Monday, January 31, 2011

Careful what you wish for

Hola Family!!!

Let me start by telling you a funny story. Okay so when I left Marcala 3 changes ago they opened up a new zone called La Esperanza (combining the areas Marcala and Esperanza). Dont know why but i was so excited about it! It was only elders there, but I just thought that was so cool. A few weeks later I was thinking about it wondering why they didnt have sisters there. I commented to a few of my companions, ¨I think they should open up an area for sisters there... that would be so fun! I love that area!¨

So i get a call last night that goes more or less like this, ¨Hey sisters! We have the changes! Hermana Cutler, you are going to stay here and train. Hermana Smith, you are going to open a new area in La Esperanza.¨ Careful what you wish for, huh?

Ha! But I definitley couldnt be more excited to go. I’m so sad to leave Talanga and the people I LOVE here, but as i thought and prayed about my new assignment last night and today, it just seems so right. Its going to be hard, but I’m excited for an adventure and lots of cool miracles I just know are going to happen.

So yeah that’s basically the biggest news that has happened here. The work is going good, the Martinez family still amazes us more and more with their faith and love of the gospel and it becomes harder and harder to think i have to say goodbye. We are going to have one last family home evening with them tonight and i’m so excited. They should get married and baptized this next month, and i cant wait to see pictures!

Anyway, so i just wanted to let you all know I’m really sorry if i haven’t written you back. The last few months i havent been good at writing back all the time.. its just hard because there’s really not that much time and i hardly ever get a chance to send mail to the office to be sent off. So i just forget about it. Anyway, sorry! But please keep sending letters.. i promised they are appreciated!

Anyway, so this is a short and sweet letter i feel like, but not much time left. Keep working hard and being missionaries! Hard work makes the best joy!

Love you all!

Hermana Smith. Aka Hermana Esmeet. Or Hermana Mix.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Phew what a week

Hello family!

Phew what a week! We had lots of good work and lots of fun moments so it made it a fun week. My second change with hermana cutler is almost over… time is flying. Next week we’ll know the changes. Its so crazy! I’m going to miss her so much, but I’m glad for all the things I learned this change.


1. So we went to the Martinez Family’s house the other night for about 5 minutes before we went home to drop something off and so of course they offered us food… it was their delicious soup they had for lunch and had saved us some. Its called Mondongo soup.. a delicacy here. Aka. Cow feet soup. DISgusting. Okay actually its not that bad tasting, but it feels like a huge piece of fat in my mouth. Also ive seen it prepared…. NOT appetizing. I had to try it to be kind, but I’m just so grateful they let us take it home so I could laugh about it with my comp. hahah. MLIAIH

2. So I found out what happiness is: going visiting teaching with the Relief Society sisters, in particular your recent convert of 1 week. Haha we went VTing last night with Vanessa. She was SOOO excited to be doing visits. It was me, her, and one other sister so we decided the sister would direct the prayer and song, I would share the thought, then Vanessa would bear her testimony. Of course she was so scared, but I just told her to talk for 1 minute or so about how she felt in the church. We did two visits and she shared her testimony in both and she was just beaming. She just loves the church.. and it was perfect because it really helped her realize she HAS a testimony. Okay anyway the funny part is that after she turns to me and goes, ¨Hermana Smith, tell me, how did I do??¨ haha I assured her she was perfect, gave her a big hug, and now she’s ready to visit with us all the time! MLIAIH

3. Today we went on a big hike adventure thing to a sugar cane factory. We ate it in four forms. It was way cool. Pictures attached. But now I have a sugar headache. MLIAIH

4. On the way to the sugar cane factory we were talking to this member who was taking us there. He started telling stories about the experiences he’s had castrating animals. Like it’s a normal thing to do here. Hahah. He said he neutered a bull one time and it started chasing him.. so he climbed up in a mango tree and was there for hours til the bull left. MLIAIH

Okay well times running out.. hope you enjoyed a few funnies. I just gotta say I love this work so much. I love being a missionary and being here in Honduras. This time has changed my life because of the Savior. Its an incredible feeling letting the Atonement change you. Let it change you!!

Lots of love from Honduras,

Hermana Smith

(for more pictures, see Alex's facebook)

Monday, January 17, 2011

what an AWESOME weekend

Hello family!

Oh what an AWESOME weekend we had!!! Let me tell you why. Okay first of all I’m an idiot and realized I didnt tell you.. like a month ago during our Christmas Mission Conference they announced the visit of an apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard. Weeks passed by where I forgot to tell you about it, and it happened on Saturday!! It was totally awesome. Elder Ballard came with Elder Jay Jensen of the Seventy and our Area President, Elder Don Clark. They came to visit our mission and the Honduras, Tegucigalpa Mission. We traveled to Tegucigalpa on Saturday at 5 in the morning for the conference at 9. (yes, we’re only an hour away, but i’m glad we got there on time!) Anyway it was so beautiful and the Spirit helped me learned some things that I know will make these last 6 months of my mission the best. I’m so grateful for the inspiration of that servant of God and for the chance I had to see him in person. (and on the second row, no less!) It was definitely a spiritual feast and gave me a great new energy to keep working.

Something that he said i wanted to share with you... he said, ´´As long as I can remember we’ve been telling the members to do member missionary work. We keep saying it and saying it but it just doesnt seem to sink in. But based on the scriptures we know that dying can’t even get you away from your responsibility!¨ (then he goes on to cite scriptures about preaching in the spirit world, etc. ) anyway that is a VERYYYY summarized version of what he said... (just made it up really and put quotes).. but the idea he gave. I really liked it. Its so true though, lets break that thought all the general authorities have of the members and DO the member missionary work. Please! Get involved by leaving with the missionaries, giving away Ensigns, give away pamphlets and give service to get involved with neighbors! I know its hard, but its so essential.. its part of the baptismal covenant we made. Every little thing helps (Alma 37:6 and Hebrews 10: 6... i think. ) haha. Okay that’s my soap box...


1. The other day we were teaching a lesson and in the middle of our sentence the lady stands up to do something... she stood up, reached over my head and pushed a chicken down from the cupboard so that it wouldnt fall on my head when i wasn’t watching. Hahahaha only here. MLIAIH

2. So i dont say this to scare any of you (mom...) but seeing a drunk guy here is NOT uncommon. Including we went to the house of this lady who just got baptized (more on that in 2 seconds). I asked the kid where his mom was.. wasnt there. Then i looked in the house and noticed this guy sleeping on a chair. I asked who it was and he goes ¨oh, just some drunk guy.¨ like it was no big deal. Turns out it was somebody they knew, but she still just left her 3 kids in the house by themselves.. with a drunk man. Hahaha not because she’s irresponsible but because they knew it was normal. And i dont think he’d be a danger because he was so wasted that 2 seconds later he fell of the chair, on top of a bike, and didnt even wake up. Hahahahah it was so funny i’m still laughing about it. Haha. MLIAIH

So back to the spiritual.. we had 2 baptisms this weekend. Vanessa, and her son Alex. She is the most amazing person ever. I actually found her in October and started teaching her once in a while, but it was hard to find her. Then when Hermana Cutler came we taught her a few more times but she wasn’t really progressing that much. But then one time we found her and taught her a lesson about love that she really needed to hear (after a few inspired questions) and she opened up a lot and we found out how to help her. Then next week we went by, thinking that just MAYBE she would have read her Book of Mormon. When we got there she was SO excited to see us. We asked her how it went and she just had this HUGE grin, and practically started laughing. She told us that she read it, prayed, and from that moment couldnt stop thinking about the church... she was SO excited to go that Sunday. (now that i think about it i may have told you this before... sorry,) anyway ever since then she’s gained a huge testimony of the truth and really repented and made her baptism a huge chance for her. She is so incredible. I have SO many stories about her, but no time. Anyway just one more thing.. during her son’s confirmation yesterday he was blessed to prepare to go a on a mission and she was so touched when I looked up she was crying. I just know it was a special moment for her. She’s so awesome.

Anyway, well time just ran out fast. But i love you all so much! Thanks for the support, always! Keep praying hard!

Love, Hermana Smith

Monday, January 10, 2011

lots of stress, not enough sleep, but still loving it all

January 10, 2010

Hey family!
So this week was pretty normal missionary week.. lots of stress, not enough sleep, but still loving it all! I’m really noticing a special spirit in this work as I focus on people, study hard, and repent of all my faults. Gotta love being a missionary! Its always funny because as much as I love this work it stinks because we have so many more sins to worry about not committing. For example, waking up at 6:31 or letting myself think about home for more than 2 minutes. Haha. Stressful! But I love it. It makes a huge difference.

Sorry, guess that was a random thought. Anyway, so we have a few funnies for this week.
1. Today is my birthday! 11 months from today I walked into the MTC as a missionary. And its FLOWN since then! MLIAIH
2. I love Hondurans because they are the most easily entertained people ever. For example my comp and I made a ¨Don’t eat pete¨ board and have used it to entertain adults, youth, children, EVERYONE loves it. Hahahah. Pictures to come hopefully. MLIAIH
3. So I’ve decided you can tell how long a missionary has been out by looking at two things: the nametag and their knees. For instance, 11 months into my mission, my name on my nametag is turning yellow instead of cristal ¨newbie¨ white, and my knees have calluses and almost bleed some days. Not even exaggerating. Haha. MLIAIH
So did any of you recognize in the last December ensign the last page that talked about the grape fields in Madera???? I was SO excited to see it, made me so proud of being from Central California! Yeah!

Also just wanted to share a cool experience I had in my personal study this morning.. I was studying for how to help a lady who is having some troubles with depression and things. She just isn’t feeling the spirit she felt at baptism and is having some problems. Anyway so I prayed to know how I could help her and got impressed to read a certain part of Preach my Gospel. Of course my natural mind doubted. I thought, ¨I’ve read that chapter before… and I don’t think this is going to help.. but whatever, the spirit told me, so here we go!¨ so I opened up and started reading about the process of repentance. Then I was led to a few scriptures. I opened one up and read it, it was nice, etc. but then I read the scripture after the scripture that was written in PMG and it was exactly what we needed to read! D&C 1:33 teaches us that when we don’t repent often we start losing the light that is given us. I received a huge impression that we need to teach this lady to repent often and hard so that she could feel that light come back into her life. Anyway there are a lot more ways we are going to try to help her, but this will be essential. Maybe you all can read verses 31 to 33 also to receive some personal revelation on how you can improve and receive more and more light also in YOUR life.

I’m so grateful for the scriptures and for this opportunity I have to learn from them. Gotta run, but I hope this letter finds you all safe and happy.
Hermana Smith


January 3, 2010

hey everyone! okay this is probably going to be one of the shortest letters I've sent, but time flies and my head hurts so i dont want to overdo the thinking thing. haha. jk. but I'm doing so great! I've felt so great lately, just realizing how much the Lord is aware of our needs and our desires.
Best news lately is that we're working with an awesome family who just about knocked us out of our seats the other day. short version: we've been teaching the husband, Ruben but his wife hasn't wanted anything with the church. she actually acted rude sometimes. but we havent given up because Ruben has just loved taking the lessons and everything. so the other night we went to their house and the wife, Senia answered the door and super happy. (weird....) but that's okay.. so we get in the house sit down and start chatting, and Senia sat down and was totally participating in the conversation and everything. so kind of made that motion that means we were gonna start the lesson and she jumps up to grab her Bible and Ruben´s book of mormon. so we start the lesson and she was like way into singing the song and reading and everything. Of course we're happy, but just wondering what had gotten into her. Then i dont even remember what we asked or anything but Senia answered, ¨Okay, so we have news. We ALL want to go to church tomorrow. We wanted to surprise you tomorrow because we didnt know you were coming tonight, but i guess well just tell you now!¨ our jaws dropped. what had changed? she went on to explain that she really liked the way we treated her family. that if they couldnt go to church one week we didnt just get mad and not go back, we still kept going and kept calling. (we've been working with them for about 6 weeks and havent given up.) she said a lot of other churches come by when they dont go to church, get mad, then just never come back. but we're always there! (even though we thought we were annoying them... haha) also i think the cute christmas card we made was inspired. hehe.
so they all went to church, LOVED IT, and we're going back tonight. super excited!

okay well gotta go, but thanks for all the support and love like usual. pictures to come next week!

lots of love!
hermana smith