Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kind of Sad to get a transfer

Hi everyone, and Happy Memorial Day!
I hope it’s going good.
Last p-day we went to the zoo and it was so much fun! We took some awesome pictures and just had a blast!
But then I was transferred to Apache Junction on Tuesday because an elder got his visa to Peru and so his companion was left alone. Since I was in a trio, they put me out here. The real change is in 2 weeks. We were at the zoo and we saw that we had a missed call from the President. I was freaking out because I thought it was going to be about my visa. . . but no. I was so sad to leave my investigators, especially the Jimenez family.  Before I left we had a lesson with them and so I was able to say goodbye. I gave Jose (the dad) one of my ties. He really appreciated that. I just love them so much. I will have to come back to visit them for sure!
But  yeah, I'm pretty sad right now. Its just sad because I was finally getting to know the area, the ward, and the zone and I loved my companions. I really didn't want to leave. But sometimes I guess I just need to remember that this mission isn't about me. It's just hard to have left the Jiminez family that I love so much and my companions. Elder Seymour said that as a visa waiter, you really don't stay in the same area the whole change because they always need emergency companion placements.

Also, Tuesday, before I was transferred, we went to the Mesa Temple and did a session. It was really cool! My new companion is Elder Eskeets, from Ogden UT. He's been out about a year and a half. He's pretty funny and we have gotten along so far. 
When I finally arrived in Apache Junction, I had a cool experience. We went to this trailer park and knocked on a door. A man answered and he told us that he had lost his Bible so he wasn't able to read it anymore. I felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon, and so I did. Then I bore my testimony of it, and as I did so, I felt chills all over my body.  The investigator said he felt really peaceful when I bore my testimony, so that was really cool!

The area that we are in is a car area so I probably won't ride a bike for 2 more weeks or more if I don't get transferred again. Also I have heard that the branch isn't as strong and they don't have a lot of success out here.  I'm living in a smaller apartment right now. It has one bathroom, study room, little living room, and a bedroom. It sounds okay, but it's really old and pretty much in the middle of no where.  The good thing is that we have big desks with drawers so we can stay organized. 

Wednesday was pretty hard. No one here in Apache Junction really gives us the time of day. It's seriously a desert with cacti all over with trailer parks and little tiny homes. When we talk to them, they all just make excuses about how they can't talk right now. Our branch is also struggling. None of the members want/can come. It's a lot different here than in Mesa. So yeah, Wednesday, we talked with a lot of people, but no one was interested.

Thursday, after studies, we helped clean out a hoarder’s trailer.  It was probably the most disgusting thing I have ever done. There were cockroaches all over and all sorts of bugs running everywhere! She had some 5-year-old food that she didn't want to throw away haha. So overall, it was nasty.

Friday, while walking down the street we saw this man sitting in his garage, and he waved us in. We started talking about church and he believes every church is good. I gave him a Book of Mormon and he said that he doesn't want the missionaries to come because he's always busy. I promised him if he reads the Book of Mormon, and have the missionaries come over, it would change his life. I hope the best for him.

Saturday was kind of hard for me. I was sick and at little dizzy the whole day. All of our appointments fell through, some weren't home and others just locked us out. Later that night, we had a late mother’s day party with our branch and we played football with the kids. It was fun but it kind of made me even sicker. The next day I was finally better.

Sunday, we attended an English ward because a member from that ward brought her investigator friend who only spoke Spanish. Elder Eskeets translated for him. It seems like he's really interested in the church, so we are going to teach him later this week.Later, we went to our branch and I spoke about Missionary Work in sacrament meeting. I feel like it went pretty well with my limited vocabulary. Then we were supposed to go to the visitor center with an investigator but she "forgot". Hopefully she will go with us later this week.

Being the only Spanish-speaking missionaries in this area, we aren't having the best of luck. Hopefully things will change soon. We have received a lot of referrals and so we hope to see them this week.  Referrals are such a blessing.

I just have so much stress on my shoulders right now with Spanish and wonder if I can do it, but I need to remember my Patriarchal Blessing and the Lord will bless me.  I miss you guys a lot and I hope all is well. Don't worry about me though. I will just continue to do my best and push through the hard times. I am thankful I'm still in a Spanish area.

Well, this is the last week before transfers so who knows where I will end up! I hope to go to Peru soon! I want to be there so bad, but being here is where the Lord wants me right now. Spanish is tough for me. But I learn more and more each day so it’s really cool.
Well, I’m off to another week in the field. Everyday has its trials but I’m learning from them. Please pray that our investigators hearts may be open so they can be happy. I promise I will work my hardest. Thanks for being there for me and all that you do Mom! My mission is really hard but I learn from it and all I can do is be obedient and try my best to make you and the Lord proud. Have a good Memorial Day and say hi to Teta for me and to Albert and Bert. Have a fantastic week.
I love you. He loves you. 
Elder Smith

Monday, May 20, 2013


We just got a message from a family friend who lives in Mesa AZ (he served with Jake's older brother, Jordan, on their mission in Guatemala). He is trying to plan to go on splits with Jake and spend a day helping him teach. Jake just called him a few minutes ago to tell him that he got a transfer!!!

Since all the other missionaries got their visas, they are off to Peru which caused some shuffling among companionships. Jake will still be in a Spanish speaking area in Mesa, but will have to leave his beloved investigators behind.

It makes us sad to think of how heavy his tender heart must be right now since he may not even get to say goodbye to these families that he loves so much, but the Lord's ways are always the best ways and there is a reason for this transfer.We must always trust in His wisdom.

We will be praying a little extra hard this week for our sweet boy!


Hello Everyone!!!
This week was so long, and way short at the same time! We just do so much in one day that by the time we go to bed we are just knocked out! Our investigators are doing very well, I’ll explain later!  Our investigator, Sarah, wasn't home when we went to see her so we hope to go by again this week!
That is so crazy about Jordan and Emily already living in California! It's so exciting that they have a home and that they are starting their lives together (: I just love them so much!  They have been a huge help to me so far on my mission!

I miss all my little cousins and their awesome spirits!  I look forward to the day when I can wrestle with them again, haha (: That's awesome about the trees in the backyard! Sounds like there will be another change to the yard too! That's exciting!

I can’t believe that Mark and Davis are already leaving! It's so exciting how many missionaries we have out! Its nuts to me that McKenzie got married and that Demi is getting married too! AWESOME!!
Tell Allison congrats on her ballroom concert.  She is way good at dance! Haha, and of course the costumes are amazing! I just think of the Lady Bug Ball costumes when we were little and it makes me crack up!
Well, here goes my week. Last Tuesday we gave a blessing to a 13-year-old boy who was very sick (Diego) he's a recent convert and it was the first blessing he has ever received. He was able to recover by next day and finish his last few weeks of school.

We went to dinner at this member’s house and they have chickens!  We chased them all around.  I caught one! It was a blast. We also went to a huge mansion owned by a member to teach some non-member co-workers who speak Spanish.  We taught them and they really want to learn more! But, they aren't in our mission, so we had to refer them to other missionaries, I hope it goes well!!
 Wednesday, we had a zone conference with President and Sister Ellsworth.  They're so very nice!  The spirit was really strong. The only bad thing is that they leave to go home next change, so it's kinda sad!

We are still teaching the Jimenez Family, I love them so freaking much. They have 6 children 2 of which are old enough to be baptized. The parents have been together for 13 years...but they aren't married!!! So, we don't think they'll be able to make their baptismal date (June 8th) because the Dad, Jose, wants more time to decide on the marriage, so please pray for them! However, they said that they know the church is true, and Jose said that they have had missionaries over before but he didn't like them. He said that he feels something special about us. Hearing that made me so happy, it really made me realize exactly why I need to be here in Mesa, Arizona! They're just so fun to be around and so funny! They offer us rides everywhere, and food and haircuts too! We love them so much!!
Friday we had a breakfast meeting with the stake presidency at a member’s house. The member is nuts! She joined the church about a year and a half ago and is about 65.  She got married about 2 years ago to a member of the church. Well, she has a LOT of cats, and I guess they used to be naughty little cats, so she made her husband give them all a blessing! Haha, when she told us about it we all looked at each other like, “ what the heck”...   CRAZY! We all had allergy attacks from so many cats, but we're all better now! That night we played v-ball with the ward, that’s always a lot of fun!! 

Speaking of members, they feed us so much food!! It's crazy! Good thing we ride our bikes everywhere in the blazing heat! It got up to 98 this past week! We drink and lots of water though, so no worries!
Amazing meal! One of many that I get all the time!!
Riding on a member's bike just for fun.
Mom, I think the reason why you thought all those things about me on Saturday was because that day was the best day of my mission so far. (Note from Mom: I kept hearing Jake's cute laughter in my head over and over all afternoon. Now I know why!)  We were riding our bikes around and we were by a Mexican Store and we noticed that this ladies’ car wouldn’t start, so we went over to help her and started up a conversation about the church. She wants us to come teach her this week! She is married and his 3 kids! It was just cool that her car happened to break down right  when we were there! It's like it was meant to be! We shall see what happens.  Her name is Claudia.
Then, I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM!! His name is Saul and his wife is a member. They have 5 kids and they live in a trailer. I know that the Lord will give them so many blessings now! The Baptism was amazing. Elder Nielson baptized him and then we sang Mas Cerca Dios de Ti. It was so special for me. Also, I understood a lot of Spanish during the program!!
This past week we dropped one of our investigators, Rafaela, (the one who speaks very fast) she just doesn't do anything we invite her to do and she just likes to talk the whole time, so we can’t really teach her anymore!
Spanish is so hard sometimes. Understanding the way they conjugate is kicking my butt. But, every day I get better and better. We study and work so very hard. The lord will bless us. I'll get it one day. But sometimes I get really discouraged because I just want to tell people exactly what I know to be true, but I just can’t speak well enough. I just have to stick with my testimony right now.  I get frustrated, then I remember that this mission isn't about me. I just need to serve the best that I can!
Being in Arizona makes me so happy!  But, two missionaries from our mission got their visas to Peru, and the two that are in Oregon got their visas too!!!  Visas are starting to come! But, I really want to stay so I can see the Jimenez’s be baptized, but we shall see!
Well I love you all so very much and I am happy to hear that you all are doing well! Remember who you are and what you stand for! Thanks for all your prayers and support. You mean the world to me! I miss you all so much and I hope you have an incredible week! Now I'm off to the zoo! I love you and thanks for everything (:
Beautiful Arizona Sunset
Les amo. Dios les ama tambien.
Elder Smith

Monday, May 13, 2013

When we pray here we try to pray as if Heavenly Father is right in front of us, listening.

Hey Family (:
I am so happy that I got to talk to you yesterday. You are all amazing people and you really give me the support I need! I feel so blessed to have you all supporting me! I’m glad that you think my Spanish is good but I can only really understand prayers and gospel stuff. I can’t wait to get better at it throughout my mission! It was good to hear that Jordan had the same struggles with Spanish that I have! Haha, I can’t wait for Spanish to come for me too.  I so am happy I get to learn it! It’s actually pretty fun sometimes!

Through my struggles here I have learned so much about prayer. When we pray here we try to pray as if Heavenly Father is right in front of us, listening. I love praying when He is listening! Prayer has increased my faith and has given me a sense of peace!

Last night we went to the Jimenez’s home and explained the sacrament to them because they were a little confused about it when they attended church yesterday. They are so freaking awesome, I just love them! Tonight we have another lesson with them! They are cooking us dinner! Their baptism date is June 8th so hopefully I will still be here so I can go to it.  The Dad (José), the mom (Elva), Lezlie who is 12, and Jazmine who is 10, will all be baptized. The rest of the kids are under eight but they are all so nice and so committed to the gospel. They offer us rides everywhere we go! It's like they are already members, haha, it’s amazing and I am so happy to be a part of this work here in Arizona!  We have like 9 baptisms lined up! (: It’s so awesome to see the promises of my patriarchal blessing coming true. It is so exciting to see the gospel changing people’s lives!  All of my investigators deserve the best!
This week we are baptizing a man named Saul. His wife is a member and he has 4 little kids, I just can’t wait to see his life totally change!
Saul's awesome car collection
 By the way, the zone leaders changed our zoo trip to next Monday, so we aren't going today.

Wow that’s crazy about what happened in golf this week! Stupid Tiger! He's such a jerk! Also, OKC better come back and win it all! I want Chicago to win though too, because I love D Rose!

I’m so glad that Jordan was able to attend the priesthood lesson on eternal families! It’s so weird to think that he’s married.  I love them both so much! Also, thanks for the thought on tithing; I will remember it throughout my life. (Tithing isn’t only about money; it’s about faith and obedience.)

Mom, I wish you the best of luck with your jobs and I love that you are so dedicated in your work and in all that you do! Tell Allison that I wish her luck during her ballroom concert! I bet she will make more friends because she really is friendly to everyone that she meets!

I’m so happy that Jordan and Emily were finally able to open their presents! Man, I am so excited for the both of them and I wish them the best of luck in California! 

Mom I actually read that exact same scripture today in my personal studies! 1 Nephi 1:20 "...the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them Mighty even unto the power of deliverance." I loved it because he gives us little tender mercies everyday! We just need to look for them and be grateful (:

Well, I have already told you about the rest of my week, so you can put it on my blog if you want. It's really hot here and biking everywhere is really hard, but my legs will get big!  I love you all so much (: Sorry that this letter is short, I just don’t know what else to say after such a long phone call yesterday!

Well, Elder Seymour has to go to the chiropractor so I don’t have any more time.
 I love you. He loves you!
 Elder Smith

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Just a few Mother's Day phone call highlights:

Me talking to all of you on Mother's Day!
Leaving the MTC on May 7, 2013 (5:00 am)

When we got to the mission office, I immediately had an interview with the President. He told me that I was assigned to an English speaking area and companions. But when the assignments were read, I ended up the only "visa waiter" to be sent to a spanish speaking area with Spanish speaking companions. I don't know what changed or why, but I am so grateful! My companions are both from Utah and they are the best! Both so hard working! One of them is also a visa waiter and has been here 4 months. The other is the district leader and has been out almost 1 1/2 years. They are funny and we all get along really well.
Playing basketball on the street with some local kids has been a highlight of my week!

The members feed us every single night! Sometimes it's too much but I don't know how to politely turn down food in Spanish yet, ha ha! We had amazing strawberry smoothies a few days ago!
 We ride bikes here - - yes, it's VERY hot! This was my face after my bike broke. It's going to be fixed tomorrow so it'll be good.

Jake: "It's so hot here that I have actually started to sweat!" (Jake NEVER sweats)
Jordan (who sweats a ton) : "Ya you probably only had like one drop drip down your nose."
Jake: "Oh no, it wasn't that hot!  Just a little sweat down my back."
Jordan gave him a dirty look over the phone :)

 I mainly only know Gospel terms in Spanish so it's hard to understand a normal conversation. The people ask me if I am just shy, but I have to tell them that I'm just learning Spanish. I wish I could express my feelings better right now.
I thought of you Mom when I read this, ha ha!

Thoughts from Mom:
Jake expressed that even though some people may make fun of his Spanish, he only cares what Heavenly Father thinks of him. His opinion is the only thing that matters and he prays every single day to know what He would have him do and if He is pleased with his effort and work.

We ended our phone call with a family prayer offered by Jake in Spanish. It was miraculous. So fluent and heartfelt. Not a memorized standard prayer at all. No wonder Jake said that his companions always ask him to say the prayer at lessons and at home. He is such a sweetheart with such a tremendous desire to do his very best.

Until next time, We love you so very much Elder Smith.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Arizona just seems so right for me

Dear Family,
It's so weird to think that on Tuesday I will be in the field! I am so excited to go to Arizona while I wait for my visa to Peru! I told myself that if my re-assignment would be inspired that it would be to Arizona and sure enough it was!!

Arizona just seems so right for me and I can't wait to go share my testimony and this gospel with other people. I'm also excited to stand out as a missionary of this Church! I can't wait for my skin to get dark, but I'm going to have some nasty tan lines. I'm so very happy about my re-assignment because I love Arizona so much and it will help me focus on being there and not being worried about being in Peru.

The MTC has had its ups and downs. But I'm grateful for my struggles because it has helped me to turn to the Savior and become stronger. I truly know that I can't do anything without His help. This past week I have tried my very best to be an obedient missionary and it helped me to teach with the spirit and feel of the Spirit more.

Last night I met an Elder from El Salvador and I was able to have a normal conversation with him in Spanish and it was so amazing. It's very cool to notice how much the Lord is helping me right now!

A really cool quote I heard here is about a missionary: "Missionary - someone who leaves their family for a short period of time so that others can be with their family forever." That has helped me a lot because I miss you all so much, but I am excited to bless the lives of others. I am grateful for all of you and your support and prayers. I freaking love the scriptures so much and it's been cool to see all of the verses that stand out to me as a missionary. I can't wait to talk with you all on Tuesday from the airport and then again next Sunday!

What I am really nervous about the field is that I know my investigator's Spanish will be a lot different and faster than what I have heard here but I just need to have faith that Heavenly Father will help me and bring the spirit.

Well I just wanted to write you all one more time while I am in the MTC. I have learned so much here and I can't believe that its' time for me to enter into the field. I am so excited for all of the experiences I am about to have.

I love you all so much and I can't ask for a better family. Thanks for supporting me and praying for me.

Yo se que este Evangelio es verdadro. Yo se que nuestra familia es para siempre porque eld Plan de Dios. Estoy animado ser un misionero hoy. Gracias por todo hace. Yo se que Dios vivir hoy. Les quiero much. Adios por ahora. Halbare a ustedes en Martes y primero semana.
Love, Elder Smith

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I can’t wait to go to the airport with my badge over my heart and be a representative of the Lord!

Hola mi mamacita (:
It is soo good to hear from you and I am so happy that the wedding was spectacular! They both look so happy in all of their pictures and it’s really cool to think that they will be together forever (: I am soooo stoked for the both of them! I really wish I could have been there, but I know that the Lord really needs me here. When I heard that Mom was sick the thought of fasting immediately came to my mind! So, the next day, Elder Quiroz and I fasted, and I’m so glad Dad gave her a blessing too! I am so happy that, because of all our faith, Mom was able to get better so she could have a good time at the wedding! Hearing of the wedding just makes me so happy! It seems like it was a fairytale or something! How awesome. I am full of joy! I was praying for all of you the whole entire day! I was so happy that the weather was at least sunny!
Congratulations to my big brother Jordan and his new wife Emily! Wearing the wedding tie because I'm an honorary groomsman!
Oh yeah, I know that Jordan was going to surprise Emily for the honeymoon, but what were the final plans for it? Where are they going? (They went to Costa Rica!)
So far, we haven’t really heard anything about our visas.  A sister that is going to Lima North, who is in another district, got her visa yesterday. She is leaving on Monday! I am so happy for her! We heard that we will be reassigned either tonight or tomorrow! I hope I go somewhere on the east coast but we shall see! You should expect a 5-minute call from me tomorrow to tell you where I’m going! I am actually very excited! It's really neat to understand that Heavenly Father needs me in many parts of the world. I hope I get to leave before Mother’s day so that I can talk to you all! I really want to talk to you but maybe the Lord needs to test my patience just a little more! Haha, but we shall see!

This past week was one crazy week! Spanish has really overwhelmed me! We have learned all kinds of grammar and we have been reviewing everything. It’s going crazy! I really started to doubt myself and I became very discouraged! I even felt that my Spanish got worse! Sometimes I just feel alone and sometimes I just need some family time, you know? My teacher (Hermano Wald) told me that he thinks my heart and one of my feet are here but that the other foot is still at home. I found that to be true.
Sunday, I realized that my faith was draining away. So, during personal study, I studied faith. It really helped me to realize that in order to have faith I have to act upon it. I prayed to Heavenly Father to help me get lost in the work. These past few days, Elder Quiroz and I have worked our hardest! We are using all of the time we have to study and focus! Even though Spanish is still way hard, it is easier to remember that the Lord will help me when I work hard and have faith!  My faith has really increased and I plan to keep on working hard my whole entire life so that the Lord can bless me! I hope that going into the field will just kick my butt, that way I can work even harder!  Heavenly Father will bless me and He will help me with anything. I need to remember that He is with me, every step of the way. By working hard, this has gotten easier and it has helped me to bring my other foot here so that I can get lost in the work!
I like to relate this mission experience to golf. I have to rely on myself and my talents. Some holes (days) will be hard. Some rounds (weeks) will be hard. But the next hole or the next round might just be the best round I have ever played. If I just keep working and practicing I will become better and it will be a lot more fun. I know that practice makes perfect.  If I just work hard I can do anything because the Lord will bless me.
Being here at the MTC has helped me grow so much! I know that I wasn't meant to go to the Peru MTC. I was meant to come here and to meet the people in my district. They have been such a blessing to me and we have all made very good friendships with each other! Also, my teachers are so amazing, they cheer for us all day long, and I feel the spirit all the time here! I have really learned a lot about myself! Being on my own has really helped me because I have learned to just rely on the Lord and push myself! Thinking that I will be in the field next week really blows my mind! I am just so excited to share my testimony with real investigators that I have never met! I can’t wait to see lives changed because of this church!

(A funny experience)
So last night, our district decided to play a little prank with another district in our zone! We set the alarm clock for 3:30am and then duck taped it shut! Haha, then we put it under the desk in the districts room! So, this morning they told us that they couldn’t find the clock and one of them thought that it was 6:30 so he got ready for the day, haha, but he couldn’t get the duck tape off for like 10 minutes. It was so hilarious! Hahaha, they were all very good sports about it. It’s nice to have a laugh here and there (:

I had a cool experience when I went up to the temple this morning. As we were walking up an old man asked us where we are from and where we are going. I said I’m from Lehi and he asked if I knew Officer Neer. My eyes lit up and I said, “yes, I love him so much, he is such a stud”! It just so happens that the old man is Officer Neer's father! Crazy right? It was just so cool for me! (Officer Neer was one of Jake’s golf coaches)

This week has been an eye opener for me. It’s weird to think that I have already been gone for more than a Month! Don’t worry about me, the Lord is with me. I feel so happy and humbled to be a missionary! I can’t wait to go to the airport with my badge over my heart and be a representative of the Lord to people that have never heard of our church! I can’t wait to teach my first lesson in Spanish! I am nervous, but I will be okay.

Braiden left to the field on Monday! Crazy! Time is flying here! It’s about my turn to leave!

Mom I love you so much and I am very thankful for you! I hope you know that! I pray for you all day every day and I hope this past Month has been special! I always think of our family and Christ pulling me up the hill when I am down! That is what has helped me so far and it will help me throughout my life!  One other thing I do is I always read my patriarchal blessing.  It’s so amazing and it makes me so happy. It says that I will excel on my mission and that I will see many lives changed and brought unto the gospel. I need to remember that. It's truly amazing how Christ went through everything for us...for me...He wants us to be happy. This church is true. Thanks for raising me in the church.  Thanks for being parents that I can always count on. If I didn’t have parents like you in my life I don’t know what I would be doing right now. You have guided me to this spot and for that I am forever grateful.

Dad, I’m doing a lot better today and I appreciate you. You have always reached out to help me and you've always brought me up and put me on your back. I remember a time when we went swimming when I was little, I think it was at a hotel or something, but you put me on your back and we dove under the water as I held onto you and you helped me swim through the deep parts so that I could have fun. Maybe you don’t remember it because it’s probably not that big of a deal. But I remember it very well, and it’s so amazing to think about. It's just like right now, you are helping me by putting me on your back and helping me through the deep parts. I really loved the story you sent about that missionary who was the worst Spanish speaker in his mission but he was the highest in baptisms! I know that learning Spanish will take time and I just need to remember that! Thanks Dad. Thanks again for everything and thanks for being my best friend through life.

Tell everyone that I love them! Mom I will talk to you soon! I can’t wait to hear your sweet voice! Tell Allison I love her too and I am very thankful for her! Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers. Thanks for supporting me!

Te Quiero Mucho. Dios te ama tambien.
I will talk to you soon!!! Just be ready!
Elder Smith