Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Halloween

Man it sounds like you had a fun week! Full of Halloween stuff! I sure miss the Halloween season. It is so weird that it is the end of the year and it is still hot! I am not loving it too much! It is just really humid! But all is well! Haha but yeah Mom, I really do miss all of my clothes and just wearing whatever I want.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!! Not the Valley Center Playhouse! I can't believe it's closing down. Why is everything coming to an end? Well at least I was able to go last year! But that was such a fun thing we did for so many years. To be honest the plays are just sooo cheesy but ya gotta love the experience!

During this past week, I got the chance to go on splits in Jaen, my old area! It was nice to see some of the members there and teach some of the investigators that I left behind! One member who is 12 years old, his name is Dayton, saw me walking in the street and yelled Elder Smith!!! He ran as fast as he could and almost knocked me over because he just jumped and gave me a huge hug! It was so nice!

I also went on splits with a returned missionary from our ward. We went together to an investigators house named Ruth. She is 14 years old and she is so interested in the church. It was only our first lesson and we set a baptismal date in November for the 30th! Our goal for baptisms is 5 for the month of November so we are pretty excited to see what happens!

Speaking of November! You are not going to believe what is going to happen! Russell M. Nelson is coming to the mission! Only the Chiclayo mission! So the 19th of November we will be traveling to Chiclayo. We will hear is talk on the 20th and return on the 21st of November! So at least we get a different type of treat for November! We are so stoked!
My area is so legit and a lot more calm because we aren't that close to central Jaen. The members are great and always are willing to help and we always have a fun time with them. Elder Rich is doing really good.  The president told me that I have to make sure that he works hard the rest of his mission. Honestly we work really hard and have fun at the same time with games and stuff! We only speak in Spanish so I have grown a lot in Spanish wise and I don't worry too much about that anymore Also, my health is good. I am sleeping well and I am able to get up on time just fine. We are also running every morning from 6 30 to 7. It is a little over 2 miles what we are running.

That is so awesome that you were able to do all that family history research Dad.  Hopefully you can start to be able to do it with Mom's side. Honestly I never really was that interested in all that stuff before my mission. But I think that know I would love to do it. I will for sure look into it when I get back. But yeah I have memorized D& C 4 in English because we said it every week in priests quorum. But I will look into the other scriptures you gave me as well!

Freak yeah BYU! Beat Boise state! Man that makes me so glad to hear about Taysom Hill and that I will be able to back for his senior year! I miss football so much!

This past week for lunches with the members was um, . . .  memorable. We eat with members for lunch on Saturday and Sunday and both times they gave us soup....with chicken liver in it! Oh my gosh I almost died! Haha it was funny though. I put it in my mouth, not knowing what it was and instantly I knew that it was not normal meat because the texture is like hardish, gross butter, idk but I instantly spit it out, and asked to Elder Rich, what the heck is that. But don't worry the member didn't see. He just told me, eat it fast and don't think about what you are eating! So with the 3 huge pieces remaining I put it in my mouth, trying not to chew it, and I swallowed it! I'm still alive!

But yeah this week was legit! We also went to Shumba again where there is a member's farm! It was so awesome! We ate fruit like all day! Coconuts, bananas, star fruit, this weird gooey fruit, guanabana, these types of plums. Yeah I was in paradise! Oh while there, we climbed coconut trees and killed a snake! That is what that picture is!
 Oh and don't worry. That is fake blood that you see! 
Haha Happy Halloween!
I love you all. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, October 21, 2013

I know that I am a representative of Jesus Christ

Hey Everyone!
Well, sounds like your week was full of medical stuff! I really hope that the medicine for dad works and that all will go well. I am glad that an idea popped into your mind to decide maybe what it was. I also hope that Jordan's arm starts to heal. I hear that shoulder surgery really sucks and recovery is hard.

As for our primary I am grateful for them. They have sent me drawings and I have written them a few times. I love being able to say that our ward has a ton of missionaries serving, and with lots waiting to leave with their mission calls. I feel so special to be one of the missionaries that is serving from our ward right now. And thank goodness we are all going to come back around the same time so it will be cool to see everyone again!

Fetch I am so nervous for Lehi to play Lone Peak this week! But dang how exciting! Just imagine if we win! Lone Peak would be so embarrassed and we will be like kings! And for Lehi to be in the playoffs? Legit! But yeah, I figured Lehi golf would suck. I don't know if it will ever be the same since Riley and I graduated. Riley and I got it all going!

As for me and my week, it was really busy! But such a fun week as well! Elder Rich and I are getting along very well and we teach good lessons. For example, one of our investigadores is named Leydi and she is 12 years old. Her friends are the ones that recently got baptized, (Maria and Mirella). Leydi has always said that she didn't want to be baptized until march, but we were explaining how great the holy ghost is and what a blessing it is to be a member of the church. We really applied the lesson to her, and at the end of the lesson, we asked her if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized on the 9th of November and she told us yes! She is so excited to be baptized and really she is so smart and learns a lot every lesson that we have.

We also have 3 sisters the we are teaching (Gisela, Marleny, and Dulce Maria). They are 20, 19, and 12 years old. It is sometimes hard to find them all together but we were able to set a date for them for the 9th of November as well! They are legit! They always listen really well and they ask really good questions! We had a weird experience with them though. Thursday we had a lesson, and as we arrived we found her drunk uncle sitting outside and during the middle of the lesson he comes barging in the house threatening us and asking weird questions. It was more weird and annoying than scary because he wouldn't leave! He kept talking really loud and asking weird questions. Finally after like 15 minutes we calmed him down, asked him to leave, he stood up, and left. I think it was the spirit that made him leave. It was pretty cool.

Speaking of scary things, ha ha, on Wednesday, we were walking around a street corner and there was a huge dog! Like huge! To be nice, we kind of whistled at it so it wouldn't charge at us, but as we did so, out came a different dog, decent size, just bolting at us and barking. He was running and he wasn't going to stop! I'm not gonna lie, I was freaking scared and didn't know what to do because there was no rock to throw! It was so weird though, right as it came really close to us, it just stopped, turned around, and left.  Thankfully we weren't harmed. It is something small, but I am thankful that we have angels protecting us.The dogs here are nasty. Some are just shaved and look like they have diseases. They eat the trash, pooh in the street, they fight all day long. It is so nasty, ha ha!

Remember my little investigator dude, the little guy who was too afraid of the water to get baptized?  Today we found the member who gave us the referral and we asked her all that is happening with him. They tried to go to a pool to help him with his fears, but he still didn't want to get in. He attends church every Sunday with his mom and sister, but he doesn't like to take the sacrament because he isn't baptized. We told the lady that he could still take the sacrament, but she said that he knows that it is better if we are members. He is really smart. Elder Rich and I are thinking that we might go visit him with permission since it is just barely out of our area. Daniel really likes me so I think that would be a good idea.
Mom I got your package! Thank you so much! The water drink mix is just perfect! Elder Rich and I have eaten all of the candy and we love playing with the balloons and army guys haha. Man I loved it! Yeah I got my Batman shirt and I freaking love it! I am going to wear it so much! I have always wanted a Batman shirt! For Christmas I really want like Reeses and Snickers! I don't care if they melt, I just want it! haha! But elder Rich and I are making a list of everything that we want to do before he leaves. So far, we are going to make an Oreo shake, hike a mountain, run every morning, order a pizza from SOMEWHERE. But yeah, I am having a blast! Thanks for everything that you sent me! I ate all the M&M's in one day! I also gave the sour patch kids to Elder White with a bag of pop rocks! Hhe said thank you so much Mama Smith. Also, thank you so much for your letter as well! I am going to write you when I have time! But thanks (: Oh and also, I opened it at the church and while I did so, Christian (one of my converts that is 9) was there playing soccer so I was able to give him un anillo de HLJ (CTR ring)! It was awesome! He was so happy!

We also had interviews this past week with the President and it was awesome. My interview was really short but really good. He explained to me that I will stay with Elder Rich until he leaves the mission and he is really happy for the work I am doing. We are going to have a lot of baptisms this November. But for December I am kind of nervous because Elder Rich will leave and I will be put in charge to run the show. I really don't want my baptisms to decrease so I will work so hard.  I know this is where I need to be. I am learning so much about my Savior and this gospel. I count my blessings every day. My testimony is strong. I turn to the scriptures everyday with the questions that I have. I only speak in Spanish with my companion. I really think I have finally changed who I am. I know that I am a representative of Jesus Christ and I try to act like one. This is an amazing time.  

One last cool experience. This past week we were able to do service for one of the hermanas in our ward. Her situation is really sad. She is about 30 years old and about 3 foot 5. She has 2 little kids that are 3 and 5 years old. Her husband works in Lima and only sends 50 soles every month. That is like 18 bucks or so! But we were able to go to her house and we cut down all of her weeds that she has in her yard. We cut them with our machetes and we did it in 2 hours. It was so nice to help her out!

Man dad your emails are legit. I just love all of the advice and counsel that you get. I really want you to be straight up with me in all the things that I do or that is happening at home. You are right Dad, one day my mission will end, and I will not have this plaque anymore, I really am trying to do my best right now so that I will not leave any regrets behind.  I hope all is well and that you have a good week with your health.

Well as for now. I am so happy and I am trying to find everyone a Christmas present. All that is left is Emily. I am planning on sending it with Elder Rich. I love you all. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pancakes, Pretzels, Baptisms, Great companion = I love being a missionary!

Hello everybody!
Well my results of the migraine haven't come back and I don't really expect them until 2 more weeks or so. But honestly it doesn't really matter because I feel 100 percent better. But as for Jordan and Dad I feel terrible! Elder Rich and I are going to be fasting this Saturday and so I will fast for the both of them. I am glad that Jordan has a wife this year of school to take care of him. As for dad I am sorry because it really is annoying when none of the doctors know what is going on... just hang in there Smith boys!

Congrats to Evan and Kallee on their baby! He looks like a freaking stud and I am so excited for them. It is crazy that Evan is a dad! Just yesterday he was living with us and I was kicking his butt in ping pong haha jk (;

Man you guys did what I have been dreaming of doing. I really want to drive up the canyon to see all the leaves and just an awesome mountain. That is one thing that I will definitely do when I get back. But I will have to wait until the fall! Yeah I thought it was Noah's birthday and Ian's as well. I hope they have a blast in California!

Well, the first week in my new area (Morro Solar). Really, I love it! The members are so legit! They just treat us so well and they are sooo fun to be around. Haha on Wednesday, we went to the bishops house to talk to him about the baptisms that we were going to have and his wife made us pancakes! yes! pancakes! haha and then that night, for dinner, our pencionista made us more pancakes! It was so legit! Also tonight for FHE we are going to a members house to make more pretzels. As you can see, we already made pretzels, but that was just a test for today. Haha I told Elder Rich that I was craving pretzels and so we are going to make some! The member downloaded a recipe and we are all ready to go!

Speaking of the baptisms. We had 2 this past Saturday with 2 girls who are the best of friends who are 9 and 10 years old. Maria is the big one and Mirella is the little one. They actually have a very strong testimony for how little they are. I didn't really get the chance to teach them much, only like 3 times but they are awesome. This Saturday, we are going to have a baptism with a 9 year old boy whose name is Paul. His older brother who is 12 got baptized recently but they don't live together. Paul lives with his nonmember mom and his brother lives in Chiclayo with his dad. But we are excited for them. 

On Saturday we went to a place called Fila Alta because it is a little town in our area but it takes like 10 minutes in a moto taxi to get there. There are only like 2 member families there so we wanted to go contacting. But we made a game because we wanted to have fun while contacting. So we brought 10 pamphlets of the restoration, 8 fotos, and 3 little cards for babies. The game was, whoever handed out all of them first, won, and the loser had to buy the other one a drink and a little snack and I won (: haha it was a good way to entertain us.
But really I am having a blast out here in Morro Solar with Elder Rich. The area is just so much more calm and the members are awesome. We hope to have 2 more baptisms this month and our goal for November is 4 baptisms. Because we have some strong investigators and we look forward to see what happens.
I have been so blessed so far in my mission with the success I am having. I feel a little overwhelmed at times with Spanish. But really I have learned that it is more important that I just help as many people as I can and if I lose myself in them, Spanish will come. Speaking of Spanish, Elder Rich and I only talk in Spanish since Elder Rich mainly converted himself to Spanish and so that is helping me a lot! Elder Rich is seriously such a stud. He is helping me out in so many different ways. Also, the ward that we have is really fun and we are enjoying ourselves. 

Mom, I love you with all my heart. I don't have much more time left but I just wanted to say thank you for your little paragraph at the end of your email that you sent me. Thank you for raising me on the right path. Every time I see a family with a mom just working so hard just to put a few pieces of bread and rice on the table, I think of you. Really you are so amazing and I am so happy to be apart of our family. I have been thinking a lot about you and you are doing a perfect job as a mother. I know for a fact, I can feel it, that Heavenly Father is sooooo happy with you. He has grand blessings for you in the kingdom of heaven. I promise you that you will be blessed eternally. I am not just saying that.. I am saying it because I feel it. Mom you are the best. I love you so much. I really hope that you are loving your job at the school and that you are happy.  But also know that I am doing well! I am doing amazing. I love you mom

Dad, You are exactly right about the iron rod. That is crazy that they talked about that because I have been studying the iron rod all of this week and have used it in lessons. Really if we just hold fast to the rod, (assist church, read the scriptures, pray, fast, pay tithing, do everything the lord asks of us to do, we will be able to reach eternal life, or the love of god that we need in this life). Really the great and spacious building is real, but we can overcome the temptation if we just have both eyes on the fruit. There are things that tempt us every day, but with this gospel, this perfect amazing gospel. EVERYTHING is possible. 
I love being a missionary and all is well with me. I love you dad
Well until next week!

I love you all. He loves you
Elder Smith

Note from Mom: Elder Smith is so blessed to have an amazing example in his Dad. I just wanted to share a short thought that he wrote to Elder Smith in his last email. It's a good thing for all of us to ask of ourselves and ponder:  "Yesterday, during priesthood, while we were talking about missionary work, the topic was directed toward Lehi’s vision of the tree of life. I had this questions pop into my mind, “What is your great a spacious building?”,  meaning, what makes me turn away from the iron rod?  What makes me want to mock the righteous and turn away from the gospel?  What makes me embarrassed about the church and gospel?  What do I need to work on?
 Everyone has their faults, no matter how righteous they are.  Everyone has their own “great and spacious building”.  We all have something that we need to work on, something that draws us away from the “iron rod”.  By identifying what it is and working on it, we can become stronger.  We can become a better tool in the hands of the Lord to do His work.

Well son, I hope all is well.  I pray daily for your health and for your physical strength, for your spiritual strength and for your success in the work.  I hope you can feel the power of the many prayers that your loved ones say for you.  You are a mighty sword in the hands of God, sharpened by your trials and forged through life to withstand the forces of evil.  A weapon against the adversary, to find those who are on the Lord’s side, who are willing to fight the good fight and make a better life for them and for their family.  Search them out and you will find them.  Your best work is all that the Lord requires of you, and I have no doubt that you are doing your very best, as you always do.  The Lord is happy with all you have accomplished.  He knows your weaknesses and He knows your strengths.  Don’t get down on yourself.  Your best is all you can do.  Your best is good enough.  Keep up the good work. Love Dad."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Don't worry

What a relief it is to hear from you Mommy!
That is so amazing that you had the chance to converse with the mom of Junior and I am so happy that he is on a mission! That is so cool how that just all worked out and that she is from Peru!
I hope that Jordan continues to feel better with his shoulder. The zone leaders finally sent his letter that I wrote him this past week. 
Man, your conference weekend sounds so amazing that you guys had. I really missed all of the things that you always make. I was like craving that the whole time of conference. But I know that I only have 2 more conferences then I will be home. But we watched conference here in the stake center. It's not far at all. All of the gringos went in the room to watch it in English. Haha for priesthood we brought tons of snack for everyone. It was awesome. 

Okay I have a lot to tell you all.
Monday night I just got soooo sick and I couldn't sleep and I threw up. We called our District leader, Elder Rich, from Orem Utah (He knows Emily by the way!!). He and I went to the clinic. They gave me the worst shot I have eeeevvverrr had and they put it in my butt. It was like peanut butter entering for like 7 seconds. I couldn't get off the bed for like 5 minutes after. There is still a bruise.

The next morning we went to the hospital to take some blood tests. The results came out negative. So we went back to the same clinic as the night before and they sent us to another doctor for another analysis. But they said I don't have anything. They gave me more medicine. Thursday I tried to work. We went to a girls house named Stefani. She is eight years old and the first lesson we set a baptismal date for her and got permission from her mom! It was awesome. She will get baptized the 26th of this month. It was cool thought because at first her mom said no. But then I just followed the spirit and told her all the good things that come from baptism and after she told me yes! But then in the night I got really sick again.

Friday we called the president to see what we should do and he told me to rest until Sunday. But we still had more appointments with doctors during the day. Elder Rich and I went to a doctor that is in our ward. He sent us to a different doctor for more blood tests! The same, nothing. Then we went to the Dr. member's house, his wife is sending my blood samples and tests to Lima to see what happens.  They said it could have been dengue fever which is a disease from the mosquitos.

Saturday I felt pretty well and conference was so amazing. I love the talk by Elder Holland because he talked about exactly what I needed to hear. Basically how to overcome stress. President and Elder Rich talked and they think I am pretty stressed out and that is what is causing all my headaches. But all is well because I am feeling a lot better and it is pretty much gone.
Okay the big news. . . Since Elder Rich was with me all of this week. He told president that it would be better if we were just companions because he knows what to do if I get sick again. He is soooo amazing. He knows like everything about the mission. He reminds me a lot of Sam Jennings. So today president put me with him. I pretty much will be with him until he ends his mission in the beginning of December. I am happy to be with him, because I will learn a lot. But I am so sad that I left my area, with a lot of baptisms. 

I love you so much Mom.  I wouldn't want any other mom than you. I will take all of the advice that you just gave me. Thanks for everything. But seriously I promise I am fine now.  Don't worry. I am still in Jaen just a little bit down the block where there aren't as many motos!  Mom! Elder Rich and I bought machates today! Boooyah! 
I love you all, He loves you.
Elder Smith