Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Monday, September 30, 2013

Baptisms, Migraines, and Coconuts!

Well what a week Elder White and I had. At the beginning of the week, everything started off really well with tons of lessons, excited investigators, and we were just working so hard. But during the middle of the week, we had to have the interview for the baptism of Karla. While we were teaching her, she was living in the house of her grandma and so we got permission from her grandma since Karla is only 14 years old . Her grandma is so legit and she always offered us some food and something to drink since it is a million degrees outside! The reason that she was living with her grandma was because her mom and step dad are complete drunks and they started fighting with one another. But during this week, or the week of  Karla's baptism, Karla started to miss her mom and so she moved back with her mom. The problem was that we had to then get permission from her parents. But her parents were so drunk when we went over and tried to get permission. Karla still wants to get baptized. But it might take just a few more weeks. Please pray so that we will be able to talk to her parents. 
Then with Graciela, Pamela, and Daniel. Everything pretty much went well. The day of the baptism, they all showed up and were ready to get baptized. Haha Daniel was such a little stud and he ran up to me and asked if I could baptize him. Haha I was like "Yeah!!! of course!!!" So, Pamela got baptized first by Elder White, next Graciela got baptized by our bishop, and then Daniel was going to get baptized by me. What they didn't tell us, is that he never has been under water before. Plus the font is freezing cold. We tried for like 30 minutes to get him baptized. But he just couldn't enter fully in the font. We tried lowering the font a little bit, we tried bringing in a chair but like nothing worked. He was too scared. We couldn't do it that day. I felt so bad because he was so embarrassed and didn't want to talk the rest of the night. But we plan to go to a swimming pool tomorrow. We can't enter but we are going to bring the bishop so he can get used to going under water because he still wants to get baptized. We plan on baptizing him on the 13th with one of his friends. Please pray for him as well.

Yesterday was miserable for me, well, and a little today. I have my first migraine. Man it is just terrible. My brain just feels like it is going to burst. Yesterday night it got pretty bad that I got really dizzy and threw up. Today it isn't as bad. But I hope it goes away soon. We are still continuing to work because we have important lessons. So yeah that was our work! Kinda crazy right!
Today for p day we went to a members house that is like in the jungle. He gave us coconut water, sugar cane, and his wife fed us! Pretty much just a day to relax! It was really fun!
I count my blessing everyday for having you all as my family. You guys are so amazing! I really do miss you all so much, but I know I need to be serving the Lord at this time of my life! I love you all. He loves you! Enjoy conference!
Elder Smith

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

You have no idea how much I love all of my investigators

You are all having so much fun without me! But I am so happy that you guys are having such an amazing time! I just love hearing from all of you and it is so crazy that there is a normal place like the United States somewhere! I can't wait to cook some smores by our campfire! I am really missing a regular, juicy steak! Cooked by Dad! The steak here, if we are lucky to get it, is so dry, and filled with fat, and as thin as a piece of paper! 

And yes you did tell me that you bought a vcr haha that is awesome. I sure do miss all of those good movies. I think I am going to have a marathon of Disney Movies when I get back because I miss them the most!

Fetching BYU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!! Haha oh well, at least I am not in Utah to be too embarrassed about it!  I am so glad that Lehi is doing better at football and I really hope that they have a winning season! They are legit! Today I wore my Lehi football shirt and shorts when we played sports as a zone!

I cannot believe that I have almost hit 6 months! It really has gone by pretty fast, which makes me want to work that much harder!

But man oh man you have no idea how much I love all of my investigators. They are just so amazing and so faithful! Everyday life here is SO much different and SO much harder but yet they remain faithful! The baptism of Jose was so amazing! I had the opportunity to baptism him! Right after we left the font, he turned around and just gave me a big hug and said thank you so much! He said he felt completely free of sin, and I told him that you are! He is the only member of his family that is a member. So the young men have to take good care of him! He is 17 years old and just such a stud!

You are not going to believe what is going to happen this Saturday! Graciela also has a daughter that is 16 years old named Pamela. Yesterday we met her for the first time at church and we were going to visit her this morning because she just wasn't quite sure if she wanted to be baptized. Elder White and I gave the family something to read from the Book of Mormon and we called her this morning to still make sure we could come over, but she said she had a test so we couldn't! But she said she felt the spirit when she read from the book of mormon and told us that she wants to get baptized this Saturday with her mom Graciela and her brother Daniel who is 9 years old! We will also be baptized Karla as well. So we are going to be having 4 baptisms this weekend! How blessed we are! In total we are going to have 8 baptisms this month! We think it will be the most in the mission! Ah! So blessed (: It makes me so happy! I know it isn't all about the numbers but it just makes me so happy to see all of the blessings we are receiving!

This past week, our toilet completely broke! Elder White was sick on Saturday and so while he was resting, I was studying and all of a sudden a whole bunch of water started coming into the study room, the hallway, the living room, and kitchen! Water leaked from the toilet and we had a huge flood! Luckily I saved all of our stuff that was on the floor and nothing really got wet. But I had to clean the whole thing because he was sick and I just let him sleep! But it took like 3 hours to get all of the water out! I think we almost fixed the toilet though! haha what I mess it was!

I had a cool experience 3 days ago. A Zone Leader (Elder Valenzuela and I) we went to a place called Bagua Chica which is an hour away from Jaen because he had to go do a baptismal interview and his companion stayed with Elder White. But right before we left, we were in the apartment, and a thought came to my mind that I needed to bring a book of mormon with me. So without hesitating I grabbed a book of mormon. On the way up to Bagua in the car, a lady that was sitting next to me, asked me if she could see the book. From there, it was just pure spirit! We talked to her about the book and she said she has been looking for a church for about 2 years because she was in a coma for 3 months and something told her that she needed to find a church. We testified with the spirit and we got her information because she lives in Peru. It was so amazing!
Last P day and today we went to a Festival where we bought a lot of stuff! I will probably send home a Christmas package to give some of the stuff that I bought. But as for me, I am doing well and I am understanding a whole lot more of Spanish! I don't need anything, just show me some love haha no all I need is your prayers! Things are going pretty well and some of the stress that I am used to having are going away such as Spanish, home, regular worldy things. I have really started to focus more on the work here and on my investigators. Even though it is still SUPER hard, I am continuing to persevere and I am never going to give up! 
Thanks for all of your support and all of your love!
I love you all. He loves you!
Love Elder Smith

Monday, September 16, 2013

The whole entire day we are like go go go!

Hello everyone! Happy PDay!!!
Man it sounds like you all had so much fun down in St. George! I was quite jealous! Yeah the temple there is so legit and I was so happy that I got to go inside with the priests quorum a few years ago! How weird that you went on a trip without me! I remember when we went on trips to Arizona without Jordan and it was weird! Its nuts that it is my turn to be on a mission and I am almost at 6 months! How crazy right? Well Jordan it is your birthday this week. I wrote you a letter today and I hope to send it soon. Just know that I didn't forget about you and I am way sorry about your shoulder, maybe by the time it heals, I will be home and we can work out again haha! But you all look so great and I am so happy you got to take a little vacation to my third home St. George. 1st (Lehi) 2nd (Arizona) 3rd (St. George) haha. Mary Poppins sounded like it was great! Hahaha Allison smooth move, you never fail to hurt yourself! But I hope your toe heals soon as well.

Congrats to Bailey Tuttle on her call to Argentina! Our ward will have so many Spanish speakers But I feel so bad for the Fullers. I will for sure start praying for them and fasting for their little girl. Let them know of my love!

Well this week was pretty legit! We were blessed to have two baptisms this past week and they went really well! Cristian got baptized on Saturday and Ocner got baptized yesterday! They both were just so happy and they have strong testimonies. At the end of the baptism they stood up and bore their testimonies and Ocner almost started to cry because the spirit was so strong. His goal is to serve a mission in about a month.

We also have 4 more baptismal dates!

A teenager that is 17 years old will be baptized this saturday and his name is Jose. He is the one that we got permission from last week. Also, the week after that, 3 of our investigators will get baptized.  2 of them are a mom and her son. (Graciela and Daniel). Their friend brought them to church one week and from there, we started visiting them and teaching them. Graciela is so nice and she always gives us some food to eat! She reminds me a lot of Carlos and the Ruelas Family! Her son Daniel is 9 years old and believe it or not he is really interested in the church and reads all of the things that we leave for them! Graciela also has a daughter named Pamela. But she is really busy so we haven't had the chance to visit with her yet. But I am sure she will get baptized as well!

Then we have a 14 year old girl named Karla and yesterday her grandmother signed the form for her to get baptized! She will get baptized with Graciela and Daniel on the 28th! She already has read like all of the pamphlets!

Gosh I just feel so blessed right now and I really see how hard work pays off! The whole entire day we are like go go go! Even when we don't have a set lesson, we go contacting, or we go to less active members house! Things are going really good here. It is extremely hot and we walk a ton! But I am feeling a lot more happier with the work I am doing. ! Elder White and I are killing it and we will just keep on going!

My stomach is better again.  It always is off and on. My Spanish is improving a whole bunch and I am getting used to everybody speaking Spanish. I am still studying super hard on it and I hope that it will continue to grow! I know exactly how Jordan felt. It really is a dagger to the heart when the members say that my Spanish is terrible. I guess that they just don't understand how much it takes. But I am learning just to look past that and keep pushing on. What is helping me a whole bunch is just staying focused on the work. Like when I heard that you went to St. George without me, I was just a little jealous but I was really happy for you guys and it doesn't really make me homesick anymore. I guess the reason for that is because we are working really hard and the Lord is really helping us out and has blessed us. Spanish is getting a little better. I am starting to understand a little more and have had a little bit more confidence. I will just keep on pushing on! You are right Dad, I have a lot of changes coming up on my mission and I just have to work hard everywhere I go!

Yesterday was pretty cool! We met as a whole stake. Kind of like Stake Conference but we had a special broadcast from Utah for the whole country of Peru! Elder Bednar and Elder Scott both spoke! Elder Bednar had a translator and Elder Scott actually spoke way good Spanish! I was pretty surprised! But it was cool because we had tons of investigators there with us! Oh and by the way, yesterday in the broadcast, I totally forgot her name, but the lady who directed the hymns was the wife of Jordan's mission president. The ones that already returned! It was crazy! Because she pretty much directed like all of  Peru! I like freaked out when I saw her!

This past week was a really good and fast week! I think that this change will go by pretty fast because we have 4 more baptisms to work with! Oh and the new change just started last week!

That is sooooo legit about Lehi!!!!!!! Finally we beat Westlake! Now it is time for BYU to beat Utah!!! Go cougs!

Well I love you all. He loves you.
Thanks for everything you do for me.
Elder Smith

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Apartment and 3 baptisms coming up!

Hey everyone!!   It is such a great thing to be able to hear from you every single week! It really is a blessing! Way to go Dad about your suit! Man when I come back, I am not going to be able to recognize you! It sounds like you are doing amazing and keep up the work! I can't even imagine what you look like! That is awesome about  our fruit trees as well! I really do miss peaches! It is a rule here that we can't have strawberries and so I miss them as well! But my mouth totally watered when you told me about your cream cheese peach cobbler Mom! Holy Yum!!!!!

That is so crazy about Michael and Jacob! Neighbors/best friends called to the same mission! I am so stoked for them! Allison, have fun at homecoming! Gosh I am sorry how quickly I have to  reply to all of your guys' news! I just don't have that much time because this stupid internet cafe! But please know that I care about everything little thing that you guys are telling me!

This past week has been such a miracle week! My Spanish is pretty much the same, but I am able to teach okay. It is kind of getting annoying because all the investigators are saying that I speak bad Spanish because they aren't used to hearing an accent! To be honest it kind of puts me down but all is well. A few days ago we have started to move into a better apartment because the other one was filled with cockroaches and it was nasty! Our apartment is really nice right now. Still cold water, no a/c and a disgusting bathroom, but it is still a little better with no bugs.... well...for now! The only thing is that it is in a scary part of town and everyone thinks they are going to rob us and so I won't be carrying my camera as much anymore! But while we were moving, we couldn't fit the dressers up the  stairs and we live on the 3rd floor and so we had to tie a rope and haul 2 huge dressers up by pulling! It was kind of crazy!

My stomach is getting back to where it was...a little stick.  The other day I had like 3 close calls! I almost turned into a real missionary /haha Jordan will know what that is if you guys don't/.  But all went well and I got to use a members bathroom.

We have 3 baptismal dates!
Christian is going to be baptized this saturday at 7 pm. He is a little stud and we are so excited for him. His family is really less active. But him and his older brother who is 14 always attend church and so it is really cool!

We also will be having another baptism this Saturday! We have an investigator who is 17 and his name is Ocner. We have only taught him about twice but yesterday around 8 at night we received a phone call from the branch president and told us to go to the church and so we went and found Ocner in the office of the bishop and the bishop told us that he wants to be baptized this saturday and has already made it a goal to go on a mission! Once he gets baptized and confirmed, he will be the ward mission leader! He is so legit! We are going to his house this night at 7 to get the signature from his mom! We will be teaching him every day this week so that he can be prepared! pretty legit right!

Then we have an investigator, Jose who is also 17 and we have been teaching him ever since I got here and we just couldn't ever get the signature from his mom but this past week we went with a returned missionary and he helped us out a ton and we got his moms permission. He will be baptized on the 21st of September! This is so exciting!

Well I am still having a little difficulty with the Spanish but I have noticed that I am understanding a lot more and I know I will be able to do it! I just get a little nervous about everything.  Mom you know  how I am!

But I am sorry that there are no pictures this week. I tried to load some but it just kicked me off! but next week!

Last night at dinner we were eating and we heard some people screaming and so we booked it to the window to see what was happening and we saw some robbers try to steal a purse from an old lady but a security guard shot some bullets up in the air and they bounced! It was kinda crazy! Gotta love Peru. But it such a privilege to be a missionary. Sometimes it is quite overwhelming but every day it's worth it and I know that this is my time to serve a mission. Thank you so much for those awesome quotes. Well that is all this week.

I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, September 2, 2013

My week = Waterfall trip, soccer jerseys, BYU fight song and a baptism!

Hey Family (:
It sounds like you all had such a fun week and I am so glad to hear about all the memories you are making!

I am sorry this is so late! But today we hiked to Gocta! It is a huge waterfall and it took about 3 hours to get there in a stinky old hot van with no air conditioning! The hike was incredible and it took about 3 hours both ways! But it was complete Jungle! The waterfalls were just so amazing, huge,  and refreshing to feel the mist on our faces! 

Last PDay Elder White and I bought Peru Soccer Jerseys (real ones). It just so happened that I bought one that has the number 5 and he got one that has the number 13! Which is our months that we have been out right now! It is kind of crazy to think I have only been gone 5 months. It feels a little longer, I don't know how to describe it!

This past Thursday we had a baptism of a great lady named Mirella.  I never got the chance to teach her and so I barely know her, but I could feel of the strong testimony that she has. It was cool though because she read all of the Book of Mormon in a week! That is what Elder White told me. We will be having a baptism on the 14th of September for sure with a little boy named Cristian who is 9 years old! His older brother just recently got baptized about 1 month ago. Cristian is very cool and such a little stud! We will also hopefully be having a baptism on the 21st of September. His name is Jose and he is 17 years old and so the problem is, is that we still need to get permission for his parents so please pray for his parents hearts to be open. That is the main deal right now. We have about 4 other strong investigators who are kids and they are just dying to be baptized but their parents won't let them.

My stomach is all better! Also, I really felt the Lord's hand in my life this past week. Of course my Spanish was far from perfect but I did feel His impact and could express myself a little better. Thank you so much for praying for me because it really did help me out a lot! I went on splits with an Elder from Argentina this past week and he only spoke Spanish and it was really hard to understand him. But when it came time for the lessons, I was able to understand everything! Crazy right?

That story about Chris Biggs happened to me too! I heard the exact same things every single night. There are always loud pops. Elder White at first told me that they were just fireworks but then he told me the truth and said half of them are gun shots! Haha but don't worry. They don't touch us! This past week we were in a little sketchy situation. We were walking home at about 9 at night and a drunk dude approached us and told us everything about his life! But we both realized that his hand was in his pocket the entire time he was talking to us and so we both kind of backed up a little bit! After we were done talking to him, a member approached us and said we were lucky because that guy is always in trouble! Another blessing! But yeah Mom that is a great idea to count and write down our blessings. I actually heard about that idea but I forget to tell you guys to do that!

Man how I have missed you all!  Especially this week because I really wanted to just be a part of the BYU football game crowd! But dangit! Why does BYU always have to just make these stupid little mistakes! Better luck next game.  On Saturday Elder White and I were a little sad because we knew that there was a BYU game going on and we weren't able to attend obviously. So on the way to an appointment we started singing the BYU fight song and it made us so pumped up!! Haha it was legit!

By the end of the days here I am just so exhausted! Right after we plan and pray I plop myself on my bed and call it a day! Missions are so tough, but they are so worth it! I feel so blessed to represent the Lord and help in this great work!

Dad thanks for that scripture (2 Timothy 1: 7-8 :"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of  love, and of a sound mind.  Be not thou therefore  ashamed of the testimony of our Lord.")  That is exactly how I was feeling this week. I just felt fear of speaking Spanish because I don't want to be embarrassed in front of all these natives.  That was my goal this week to improve.  So far I have felt a huge improvement.

 P.S. Oh hey Mom, So I have a little bit of a long time till I come home, but I am NOT going to want to have rice, chicken, or potatoes for my homecoming dinner. I eat that every single day with a cold drink that takes like ice cold postum. groooosss haha I love ya mommy (:

Thanks Mom and Dad for all of your support. I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the great family I have! I really do miss you all and it is hard for me sometimes to be away from you. but I have been doing a lot better and have been staying focused on the work. I really do see the blessing every day (:
I love you all so very much (: Until next week!
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith