Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My motto is to “Don’t leave anything behind”

Family (: I love you ALL so much!
That was a wonderful email Mom and it made me soooo happy! Don't really worry about the phone call thing, if it happens next Tuesday and nobody answers, they will let me call again so that I can tell you if I got my visa. Also, since this is the start of my fifth week, if I don't receive my visa by the end of this week, we will go and talk to the Travel Office and they will start working on our re-assignments! There is a sister missionary that is going to Peru and she didn't get her visa yet so she was supposed to leave this past week but they decided to keep her here for the next 2 weeks to see if her visa will come. If it still doesn't come then they will re-assign her temporarily, but for now she was put in our district. She is going to the Lima central mission and she is very nice! I just hope if my visa doesn't come I will be able to serve stateside for a bit because I don’t want to stay here for two more weeks. I am literally in the Lord's hands right now and so wherever he needs me to be is where I will serve and do my very best! One new thing I have learned here is that I am not that patient, and so I am grateful for this opportunity to force myself to be patient. I have come to the understanding that I’m in God's hands and wherever he needs me is where I will go, and do my absolute best! I need to be the best missionary I can be. My motto is to “don’t leave anything behind”.I try my best everyday and I try to be the best missionary that I can be, so that I will be led to those that need to hear the gospel!

That sucks for the jazz. I hope the Lakers gets smashed! Thanks for the updates! I hope Ziggy gets drafted to a good team! I am a little sad I won’t be able to attend the wedding but at least my cardboard buddy will be there haha! I bet Mom has the most unique ideas for the wedding, like she always does!

I miss ping-pong a lot! I bet Dad will be way good by the time I get back! but I’ll still beat him (; haha… probably not though...

That is really weird to think that we will be getting a new stake president! I am way happy that I got that chance to have those amazing interviews with President Lew! He is a really unique guy, and the blessing that he gave me was so powerful.

My Spanish is coming along! Each day it gets better and better. But these past few weeks we have been learning some hard rules about it. We are about done learning everything that we need to so we should be reviewing soon! Este evangelio es muy fantastico, y estoy muy agradecido por este oportunidad a servir Dios. Yo se que Dios es bendiciendo mi y nuestro familia por este servicio.

Dad, I really want to thank you for being such a great Dad to me as I have grown up. you have been there for me have always have taught me so many things! I hope that you have more good days than bad days with your stomach! But I know that you make the best of things no matter what! thanks so much for all that you have done. Thanks for being my best friend. Te quiero mucho papa. Dios le amo tambien.

I am so glad that Jordan finished school! I had the opportunity to fast for him this week, so I hope everything went well! It is so insane that he is getting married on Tuesday! I can’t even explain how excited I am for them! Elder Quiroz and I did sealings this morning and I couldn’t help but think of Jordan and Emily! It was so exciting to hear all of the blessings that they will be receiving! They both mean so very much to me and I only wish the best for them! I really hope that Jordan’s shoulder won't need surgery and that he will be okay! But whatever happens, it’s all part of the Lords plan!

I am so glad to hear that you all are doing very well and I hope Dad continues to have more good days, than bad days. He is such an inspiration to me and it’s amazing to see how he stays so happy! I bet the wedding stuff is kind of crazy but I seriously am so excited! I am sad I won’t be able to attend it but all my prayers go out to you guys! This past week I learned so much of the atonement, I was able to study the scriptures very hard and learn more about it, and it’s so amazing that Heavenly Father will forgive us because we are his children and he seriously wants the best for us! I know that with Him we won't fail! The atonement is such a wonderful thing! Heavenly Father forgives when we repent (:

There are a lot of sister missionaries here right now and it’s very cool to see all of the people I know that are here! The lines for food are sometimes very long! But it’s cool to think of all of the lives that will be changed from all of us missionaries!

--some funny and neat experiences

This past week we were sitting in class and Elder Winward broke his pen, and so he tried to throw it across the room to the garbage can but he is a bad aim and he nailed the computer screen! It totally broke! Luckily he didn’t have to pay for the new screen! They just replaced it, but it was still hilarious! We sometimes see that duck we always try to catch, but every time we just barely miss it! haha it’s so funny when we try! Also, that spot that I am pointing at is the spot where we dropped off Jordan just over 3 years ago!(see picture above) It's weird to think that I have been here longer than he ever was! It’s really crazy to think that I only have two more weeks here (hopefully). These weeks freaking fly!
Also, one night when we came back to our room, The room was trashed with all of these happy birthday signs hanging everywhere! (see picture) None of us even had a birthday! It's just that all of the other missionaries in our zone were leaving to the field so they decided to trash our room with all of their left over candy and snacks! But we didn’t complain because we have so much candy now. (: It’s weird though because our district is the oldest one in our zone now! We have come so far and we still have so many experiences to have! On Saturday, I’ll be gone a month! Time flies here and it’s crazy and so much fun!
The other picture is of our district before some of the hermanas left last week. One of our teachers, Sister Taylor, she is on the right, she served in L.A. and she is way nice! She is our hard “fake investigator".

Elder Quiroz and I are teaching a very hard "fake investigator" and tomorrow we are teaching her about the atonement! We also taught her a very good lesson (in Spanish) on Monday and I asked her if she would be baptized, "Seguira el ejemplo de jesucristo, al ser bautizada por alguien que posea la autoridad del sacerdocio de Dios?" and she said Yes! We never thought that she would be willing to be baptized but our lesson was so wonderful and she said it was so amazing and it touched her heart!

Well, I can’t wait to get your letter Mom! Also, thanks for the stamps, M&M's and little note you gave me! It really helped me have a better day! I hope you all have a WONDERFUL week and that the wedding is amazing! Hopefully I will be able to talk to you for 5 minutes about my visa or re-assignment! We will see! It's all up to the Lord and I just need to be patient!

Te Quiero Mucho. Dios le ama tambien.
Elder Smith

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A blessing from an Apostle!

Family (:
Gosh, it is sooo great to hear from you! You all seem so busy because of the wedding but all of the hard work will pay off! I got the wedding tie and it is sooooo sick!!!! I can’t wait to wear it on the 30th! I am so excited for all of you! That is insane about Ty's luggage. I hope that he gets it soon - haha - that is such a bummer! That's weird that my car is gone but I bet Brian really needs it and I hope everything works out for the best for both Brian and Lauren... Oh, Mom!!!!! I am so so so happy about your new job at the school! You are the perfect woman to get that job and I know that you will excel in it because you try your best at everything you do! When you said that it was your first missionary blessing it really made me so happy and put a smile on my face!!!

I am so excited that Adam Scott won the masters, and that Tiger’s caddy switched to him! haha poor Tiger...NOT!!! I am so happy Scott won it! I wish I could have seen it though, your Dear Elder made it sound crazy, and I bet it was so exciting to watch! I hope the Jazz win tonight just to see how far they can get in the playoffs! I just yelled out that Kobe is out for the season and everyone in the email room started clapping – haha - it was funny. Oh, guess what I did at gym time! I tied the MTC record of the most 3's in a row! I shot 17 in a row and I hope to beat it soon! It was so awesome and I was stoked!

This past week has been a crazy rollercoaster for me! Last Thursday they split up our trio, so they made Elder Quiroz and me companions. We work really hard together and our teacher says that we teach the best lessons (in Spanish). The teacher also said that we are probably the best companionship. I do miss being with Elder Winward though because I feel that we should be companions since we were supposed to be at first, but I am happy to know that we are working hard. Also, I was made District Leader! I really love being a leader here, I get to go to extra meetings every Sunday and Tuesday and learn even more! I pick up the mail for everyone, which is probably the best part of being district leader because the missionary’s faces all light up to see that they have received mail, it's cool to see!

It’s so amazing reading the scriptures in the MTC! It feels like I get so much more out of them as a missionary! Tuesday I received an answer to my prayer! But first, on Sunday was choir practice for the Tuesday devotional and I had a feeling that I needed to go sing, even though I didn’t want to. We sung “Nearer My God to Thee” and it was very special. Then my answer came from an Apostle, Elder Richard G. Scott!!!! He came and spoke to us at the devotional and it was the most Spiritual meeting that I have ever been to!!! The Spirit hit me like a ton of bricks and I felt at peace! His talk was about prayer. He said how important it is to pray, even when we don’t feel like it. At the end of his talk, he said had he received a prompting to give us an apostolic blessing. He blessed us that we will be able to learn the language, and that the Lord will bend his tasks to our abilities! This is exactly what I needed to hear! It was amazing to receive that blessing from an Apostle! It gave me such peace and was the answer to my prayer! After his talk, he sat back down and we sung the closing hymn. Then he got back up to remind us that we have been Called of God, and God doesn’t send missionaries out without help! It was such a neat experience and such a blessing to hear this man of God! His testimony is amazing! He said that he knows that God lives because he “knows” Him! How crazy! I love this gospel so much and I'm happy we will be able to live together forever. (:
So two sisters in my district received their visas on Monday, they will be leaving tomorrow morning to the Peru MTC. It’s weird because I may not see them again as they are going to the Arequipa mission. An Elder from my zone got his too. They are starting to come! Elder Quiroz and I were jealous and kind of sad that we didn’t receive ours too, but we know that everything is up to the Lord. I still hope I receive mine soon because it will give me that extra push I need right now. This past week of Spanish has been so hard on me. We are starting to learn all of the past tenses and conjugations and it sometimes gets overwhelming! I have been praying a lot that I will receive comfort and that I will always remember, the Lord will help me.  If I receive my visa  I will be able to call you for 5 minutes, so beware. (: I really hope I get it soon! I just hope and pray every day to Heavenly Father to please let me go to Peru soon, but we will see!

As for me, I don’t think that I need anything special, to be honest and I really haven’t thought about what I don't have here. You have been so nice with all of your packages and letters, just hearing from you is all I need. Thanks for praying for me, I will do the same for you.

 Other than that, this week has been pretty normal, going to class, studying hard, teaching in Spanish, and going to bed! Each day feels like a week and every week feels like it’s only a day! I can’t believe that it has been 3 weeks already and that I am halfway done with the MTC.  In three weeks, I will go out into the field! I hope Spanish makes more sense this next week, but if it doesn’t, I know that Lord will help me! I miss you all so very much and I pray for you all the time! Please, everyone, be happy, and go throughout your day with a smile because it will make your day that much better! I have learned here that the Lord really listens to our prayers and that he WANTS to hear us. Just pray to him, even when you don’t feel like praying! I am so thankful to be a missionary at this time; it is so amazing to be a part of the gospel 24/7. I hope you all have an incredible week and thanks to all who have written me.
Well Dad, I want to share one last thing with you before I go. This past week we each shared with our district who our role model is, and mine is you. You go throughout life with a smile and a laugh! You can fix anything and you have been through so much in your life.  You always make the best of it! Thanks for your example to me and thanks for all of the support you have always given me. I really needed it.  I love you so much dad. I hope your stomach gets a little better and I will pray for you.

(Mom) you have been on my mind so much, I love you so very much! You are a great example to me, do not worry about me. (: I love you, keep working hard at everything you do. Thanks for all of your support. Thanks for being the best Mom that I could ever ask for. Honestly.
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

He really listens to us

Family!!!!!!!! (: Gosh this past week has flown by for me! Thank goodness because the first week went by super slow! But I think it went by faster because of how busy things are here and I am settling in a lot better! it's so crazy, but super exciting at the same time!! I got your package today when I got back from the Provo Temple and thank you for sending me all of my home snacks haha (: it seriously just lit up my face and Jordan and Emily's wedding invitations are so awesome! it's probably the best one I have seen so far! they both look so great in them! I don't know if I was supposed to get the tie, but I have not gotten one yet. hopefully soon I will be able to get it (: can't wait!
Conference here at the MTC was a lot different than home. When they announced how many missionaries were out in the field, it made me feel so special to know that I was one of those missionaries! Also, every time they talked about the missionaries, I literally got chills! It was so weird though not being with you guys! I kept thinking of your amazing brunch that you always make, and how fun it must have been to be there for Toby's first priesthood session! But I am so happy for you guys! The spirit here is sooo strong and I love everything that I learn everyday! It was also cool to hear about marriage and family, it was so perfect for Jordan and Emily. My favorite talk was Neil L. Anderson's, it was the Sundays morning session. He talked about missionary work and it made me so happy and excited for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord for 2 years.

That is so crazy about Riley! Please if you get the chance, tell him that I will be praying for him and that he is in my thoughts! I hope his surgery goes well. I just love that kid. So, Ty and Brett left this week to their missions and I was able to give them one last hug as they lined up to go on the bus to the airport! It was so amazing to see them and talk with them. I know that it was really a blessing for me to be here at this time because I really needed that! Also, Chris Coca's classroom is right next to mine so I am able to see him every day (: I don't see Ryan Bell as much but he seems so happy and focused! It's cool to see everyone from Lehi! I can't wait to see Garret Bolles today! haha I should be able to spot him out quite easily!

My favorite scripture for my missionary plaque is Alma 26:12 and it talks about not boasting of myself, but boasting of Heavenly Father. 

MOM THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR THOSE LEMON TARTS!!! oh my gosh it made me so happy to be able to eat that during conference weekend. I loved it, and so did my companions (: PDay is so wonderful and it's so nice to kind of relax for a bit, even though we still have class from 6-9 tonight. Laundry was surprisingly easy haha I was kind of stressed to do it for the 1st time but its super easy here (: Also, we went to do an endowment session to the Provo temple this morning and I was surprised of how small the celestial room was but it was really pretty! I was expecting the inside to look a lot older but It was still cool!

We have no idea of when our visas are coming! We did hear of some Elder that got his visa last week and he's going to the Lima mission. So I just heard something amazing! on our way to go do laundry we met these sister missionaries going all over in Peru! they said that one sister that is going to Chiclayo got her visa yesterday at 5 pm! and she left this morning at 5 am! isn't that exciting? I guess I could get mine pretty soon I hope and leave there(: the only thing is that she sent her visa stuff in January while some other sister said that they  sent her visa stuff in November. so I guess it doesn't really matter when you sent it in! but it's cool to see that I could leave!
  We all keep saying that we don't feel that we will go to the MTC there. Which is kind of okay for me because I am learning so much Spanish and so much gospel knowledge here anyway (: I just want to go to Peru on time but I know it's up to the lord.  but yeah I did see Tanner Boyack haha it was sweet, but that's sooooo funny and soooo mean what he did to his class haha what a good joke (:

Speaking of jokes, me, Elder Winward, and another Elder from our district, Elder Murdock, going to Arequipa Peru, we pranced Elder Quiroz last night haha we just did the good ole fashion shaving cream on his face and made him itch it all over! it was super funny! Elder Quiroz is kind of the person that we mess around with but he knows we are joking and we all love each other (: it really feels like I am supposed to be here! And my call is really inspired!

Some cool and funny experiences I had this week:
-One night, after gym, we came back to our room and realized that none of us had our key and so we were locked out of our room. So on our way to the front office to get a key, we saw some ducks walking on the MTC campus, so me and Elder Winward looked at each other for about 2 seconds, and then looked back at the ducks and started to run at them! hahaha we both were so close to catching them in our bare hands! Elder Winward about caught one of the ducks while it was flying! I just love all of our funny experiences with each other (:
-One cool experience I had was just while we taught a new fake investigator. My Spanish is really increasing and I was able to say everything I needed to. Although I am nowhere near close  to understanding all of the lessons, my Spanish is coming along very well and I am able to remember many words and I know it's because of the lords help and his love for the missionaries (: I am also able to feel the spirit so strongly in our lessons! even though it is in Spanish!
-Also, almost every day we go to the gym and I dominated! I made like every 3! it was so much fun to play with Braiden and Ty (: ill sure miss seeing Ty here but it's so exciting to think that he is in Chile right now!
Representing the Lehi 26th ward: Elders Smith, Bartholomew, and Skousen!
I'm soooo glad I was able to be in the MTC with one of my very best friends, Braiden Thorpe.
Look who I saw right when he got here! Gotta love Garrett Bolles!
-I am also able to pray and bare my testimony quite well in Spanish! I just love it! Things have gotten so much better here and I really feel happy! I was also able to eat the chicken cordon bleu that Jordan was talking about and he was right, it's the best thing here, besides Sunday ice cream day (:
-I hope you all have such a wonderful day and know that I love you and I pray for you! keep working hard at everything you do and just ask heavenly father for help if you are feeling down because he really listens to us.

Yo se que Jesucristo es mi salvador. Yo se que la iglesia es la verdadera iglesia en la tierra. Yo se que Padre Celestial escuchars a nos. Yo se que Jose Smith fue a profeta de Dios. Yo se que Thomas S. Monson es a profeta de hoy. Estoy agradecido por mi family y por Jesucristo y por ustedes amor para me. Yo se que el libro de mormon es la palabra de Dios y es muy importante. Yo se que el Espiritu Santos es mi amigo y que el Espiritu Santos ayudame. Yo se que tiemplo y misionaro trabajar es muy importante por nuestro vivas. Estoy agradecido por mi oportunidad a ser a misionero. Gracias por todo hace por mi. Te quiero mucho mucho. En el nombre de jesucristo amen.
(I'm sorry if my grammar isn't good, they haven't really taught us anything about that yet)
Have an amazing week everyone and just know I'm doing amazing!
I love you. He loves You. See you Soon.
Elder Smith

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I love to put on my missionary name tag every morning!

Chiclayo Peru is where it's at!
Representing Lehi 26th ward! Elders Ty Skousen and Jake Smith
My Companions, Elders Quiroz and Winward

Hi Family!!!!!
I am so excited that it's P-day because it's been one stressful, hard, exciting, and LONG week!!! When I got here, I saw Braiden in a room writing letters and I screamed his name and gave him a huge hug! It's crazy that I have seen so many people I know here! Including, Ty Skousen, Bret Bartholemew, Braiden Thorpe, and a couple other kids from school! Seeing all of my friends have really helped me out because we get to talk to each other and just hug each other! It's also amazing that Braiden and Ty have gym with me...or should I say Elder Skousen, and Elder Thorpe haha we ball it up.

On Friday, we were able to teach a fake investigator about the church. It was crazy though because we had to do it in Spanish! We basically just bore our testimonies and said a prayer, it wasn't all that great. On Saturday, I had a really cool experience teaching the fake investigator in Spanish, my companion, Elder Quiroz, knows a lot of Spanish and so he said that this time he will let me speak more. I actually was able to teach a very good lesson and I said words in Spanish that I thought I didn't know how to say! So I got a little taste of the gift of tongues!!!

By then though, the MTC was still really hard because I had to get used to waking up early and just study all the way until 10:30 at night, I found that I was really stressed and I put negative thoughts in my mind. My companions and I kept asking other missionaries when the MTC gets better, they said it will get better on Sunday.

So Easter came along and it was fast sunday, I had the opportunity to bare my testimony in Spanish with my zone! I didn't know that I could do it, even though my testimony was pretty short, I felt the spirit so strongly. Later, the rumor was that one of the 12 apostles would come and speak. But it just so happened that a Presiding Bishop from the 70 came. It was pretty good but he said nothing I needed to hear and so I was still a little bit bummed of how hard the MTC and I still wanted to know when it would get better.

Later that night, we had the opportunity to watch a film of a talk given by Elder Bednar. It's called the Character of Christ and it changed my entire outlook on a mission. He said that this mission is not about us, it's about the people that we will need to teach. We need to be more like Christ and look outward, rather than being selfish and look inward. He said that God's plan is made to work, it does not fail. This talk was an answer to my prayer. It made me realize that God is with me and that he will help me.

Monday came along and it was just a normal day, study hard, learn Spanish, teach in Spanish, and eat haha but I noticed that I was a lot happier about my mission and I knew that it's my time to serve. Although the MTC will never get any easier, neither will the rest of the mission, but what helps is to just have an amazing time and make the best of what you're doing and have a smile on your face! I am feeling the spirit a lot more! Yesterday, in our Spanish lesson with our fake investigator, we were able to commit him to baptism. This shows that all of my hard work is paying off and that I am learning Spanish quite easily. I am doing my best, and that is all I need to do! Also, we went and did Initiatories this morning at the Provo temple and the Spirit was amazing! I am just so happy right now and I just love working as a missionary and I love to put on my missionary name tag every morning and to have his name, written over my heart, is such a wonderful blessing.

Alright time to answer some of your questions.
-I don't think I will get to be a host because my PDay is on Wednesday but I hope they will give us a chance because my host was so sincere and he helped me have an incredible first day. I would love to make a new missionary happy.
-Since we have 3 trios in my district, (Me and my two companions) (A sister trio that is going to Arequipa Peru) (the other trio is elders, going to Arequipa as well) The branch president said that he wants to split us up and put one of us with an Arequipa elder but we haven't split up yet. But most likely Me and Elder Winward will be companions with just the two of us.
-I'm happy that you guys are having a good spring break and I pray for you guys everyday and night (: Mom thanks for working so hard for our family. You are so amazing and I love you soooo much!!
-Also, I really wish I had some of that fruit dip, but don't worry, I wont forget what it tastes like!!!
-Thank you so much for you package on Easter! I ate almost all of it already and your lesson was sooo creative and I really felt the spirit as I followed along to it!
-Also, Paige's package was so wonderful! Thanks for telling her what I like! I will be eating all of those treats soon (:
-My teachers are very nice and very helpful! Although, I feel that they are expecting us to do so much! We teach almost everyday in Spanish but I know it's such a blessing because their techniques really work!!
-The food here is just alright, but I eat so much of it! It's kinda hard not to eat a lot when its a buffet. I haven't had the cordon bleu yet though but I'm looking forward to it because I heard it's Jordan's favorite. Also, their "steak" tastes like tuna....gross.
-My favorite part so far about the MTC is teaching and speaking as much as I can in Spanish because I love to do it!!! It's so much fun and I like making little jokes in Spanish, such as: Espanol es estupido de retardo. Because even though it's fun to speak. It's hard and confusing but I cant wait to know it! I just need patience, and I'm working really hard to get it.

I love you all so very much and I feel your prayers! I'm praying for you and I hope you have an incredible week! Please don't worry about me because I am fine and I'll never turn my back on the lord (: thanks for all your support.

I love you. He loves you. See you Soon.
Elder Smith

I cant thank you enough for the dear elders that i have received from you this week. that exodus scripture was so amazing and it put me right at ease! I shared it with my companions and they loved it so much! Dad thank you for your support. It's really hard here and sometimes I feel like bursting into tears but you're right it's just a hard phase! I have my ups and downs everyday.  I am becoming a lot more happier with myself and what I am doing here. Its too bad that Byu lost but they never really make it anywhere far in basketball! That's crazy about wichita state! I like them, but their mascot is disgusting haha. That leg accident put a disgusting look on my face! That's crazy! The food is just okay, i don't really like it but I still eat a lot. Dad I love you so much and thanks for all of your hard work that you put into our family. You are such an inspiration and you have already helped me so much while I'm on my mission!
I love you
He loves you
See you Soon
Elder Smith