Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Monday, November 25, 2013

I ate my first chicken foot

 Well it doesn't seem like I will miss out on too many things for Thanksgiving! Except for the new Hobbit movie. That is something that I really miss, just to sit down, relax, and enjoy a movie. I bet it will be way good though. But I am glad you guys are keeping a movie list to watch because I plan on having a movie marathon when I get back (: Elder Rich and I have absolutely no plans for Thanksgiving so we don't think there will be anything special, so it will be a different one for me. But for Christmas, this past week I found someone who has both Skype and a home phone so pretty much whatever you want. We will probably be able to do both. But man oh man why does Allison always get hurt. Allison chillax a little before you chop your dang arm off! Oh and a big shout out to Sam Jennings! Congrats on getting married, haha I had the privilege of serving your people in Arizona for 3 months (; you are a stud!

Well last Tuesday at 1 in the afternoon we rented a 50 passenger bus to go to Chiclayo and it was only us missionaries from the Jaen zone in the bus. It was a long 6 and a half hours with a lot of bumps and curves. Luckily I didn't get sick or anything. When we arrived around 7 30, Elder Rich got permission to visit one of his old pencionistas and so  we went to their house and they were so nice. It could just so be that I go to that area one day. But the meeting was so awesome. Elder Nelson shook our hand one by one. Also the Piura mission came so there were like 460 missionaries or so. We had the meeting in the stake center which is connected to the mission office. But he talked about families and said that obedience brings blessings but exact obedience brings miracles. The spirit was so insane and then he gave us an apostolic blessing. After the meeting I was able to say hi to Elder Winward and Quiroz so that was pretty cool. They are both in the same zone in Cajamarca. Then our zone took pizza hut to go and ate it on the bus ride back to Jaen. It was a short trip indeed but very worth it. Chiclayo is cold at night and a lot differed compared to Jaen. It is pretty flat with a lot of dirt.
But man I love that story as well! Ammon is really one of my favorite prophets and he just showed everyone what is up. I have really been trying to use my scriptures in lessons lately. This past week on Saturday I prepared a lesson about Agency and what is the difference between good and bad and what happens if we choose the good and the bad. It was a really good lesson and it turned out with a baptismal date for November! At the end of the lesson we asked, "What are some good choices that you would like to make in your life?" The investigator said, "I want to be baptized!"So we are excited about that.
The baptisms that we were going to have this weekend fell through. But the good news is that they still want to get baptized. They just didn't attend church this week because a few of them went out of town for the weekend. But they will for sure be baptized in December. Elder Rich leaves this week on Saturday so I will be staying with a different elder whose companion will be leaving to go home as well. He only has like 3 months in the field and he is American so I will basically be leading in Spanish and everything until Tuesday when we get our new companions.
Also a gross story...I ate my first chicken foot this past week. It really doesn't taste like anything but it has a lot of fat and bones and tendons so it isn't that fun to eat it...but you know me...I ate all my food (:
Things are going really well.  I am sorry that time is going kind of slow for you guys but to be honest it is going pretty fast for me! I am absolutely loving Jaen and my area. I am pretty excited to get a Latin companion. Well I think I will be getting one since I haven't had one my whole mission yet. But thanks everyone for everything
I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Monday, November 18, 2013

Testimony of personal scripture study

Oh my huge news from home this week!! To be honest I am quite sad that I won't be returning to the same bishopric, but we kind of knew it all along. Thank you Bishop Estes, Brother Crabb, and Brother Blackham for helping me to be where I am today and for being amazing leaders and priesthood holders. But how wonderful that we still have an awesome bishopric! Here in Jaen the leaders haven't changed for years! The Stake President has been president for like 18 years because there isn't really anyone else. So how blessed we are that there are so many awesome leaders.
It is nuts that Christmas is just a month away! It honestly doesn't seem like it because it is hot and I want to see some snow! Are you guys wanting me to call or skype? I really haven't asked if anyone has a home phone or skype so let me know soon so that I can start asking and planning what is going to happen. Also I think Elder Rich is planning on driving up to our house to drop off the package. But I'll give him your number so that you can plan it out. He arrives the 2nd of Dec. 
Marcos got baptized today at 11 in the morning. We didn't really have an actual P day today, but it was a baptism (: It was so cool to see him finally get baptized, because like I said last week, his girlfriend is 21 and a member and they will for sure get married in the temple. He is going to be a strong member.
We havent made contact with Eva this past week because she is never home. But Ruth and Sonya are still looking strong for the 30th of November. Please pray for them and that goal.
Sometimes its hard to keep new members active. It is mainly us as missionaries that have to keep visiting them. There aren't any home teachers or anything. However the good news with our current investigators is that they have friends that are members that help them come to church every week. Yesterday we had 16 investigators come to church again (: It was awesome!
I really love the story of Grandma Angie and her conversion and that there have been so many people blessed because of her decision. Lately I have been sharing her story with a few investigators so that they know how blessed we can be because of this church and it really brings in the spirit to our lessons.

These past few weeks I have been reading in the New Testament and I really have gained a testimony of personal scripture study. It has been awesome to see how it really helps you everyday. Some investigators have asked us a few questions that I have been able to answer from the bible and I have been able to use the scriptures that I have recently read.
Funny but sad story: On Saturday we were eating lunch with a member and she wanted us to fix her fan so Elder Rich went to work and almost chopped off his middle finger! The lucky thing is that only a little chunk of skin came flying off. Haha that is the funny part. The sad part is that I ate the nastiest food that day (; The member gave us a huge thing of rice with menestra which are small beans that taste terrible. And dried meat. The dried meat here is raw and they just let it hang and hang and hang until it is dried and they eat it. It literally tasted like a dirty dog that hasn't bathed all his life. But yeah!
I love you all. He loves you
Elder Smith

Monday, November 11, 2013

The spirit works through us as servants of the Lord

In the market with a mototaxi. I'm pretty much done with my Christmas Shopping!

Man I just sometimes miss the regular world! I see how it is...have all the fun without me (; Haha no I am glad. I really hope Ryder doesn't forget about me, as well as my other cousins! I am sure they are going to be so different! You should send me a picture of what my Called to Serve board looks like on our wall. I know the pictures always change but I just want an idea! But that is crazy what happened with my picture that fell off of it. Jordan's pictures always used to fall down but crazy it landed by Paige!
Yeah dad told me what happened in the Philippines and it is just so crazy! But we know that the Lord takes care of the missionaries. I am so glad to hear that all of the Missionaries are okay, especially Lindsey. Kind of a huge miracle. Just goes to show you how true this church is.
I can't wait to get my Christmas mail! Just a little thing that I need. An oil container. They sell them at Deseret Book. I don't need oil just the little metal container. They aren't very expensive like 3 bucks or so. But yes I have been using the little books and golden plates in the lessons. Not so much here in this area because we don't really have little kid investigators. But we do have one. I will use it soon (:
Some cool experiences this week. We were in a lesson with a 24 year old investigator named Eva. She is really Catholic but quite interested in the church. In the lesson she asked me if I am worried that one day I will lose my faith. I told her straight up no! I told her that I am not worried because our church is different. I testified that I am not worried because I know what will happen after this life and that this is the true church and that we have a living prophet that helps us and provides us with the things we need to do, so I have nothing to worry about. I felt the spirit so strong and it was cool to see how the spirit works through us as servants of the Lord.  We can see her getting baptized one day though because she attends church. We shall see what happens!
We also have a 22 year old investigator named Marcos Ramos. His girlfriend and her family are really strong in the church and are a part of our ward. But the missionaries always taught him but got nowhere. He always attends so we know he was interested. Our first lesson with him we invited him to be baptized but he wasn't quite sure. But last week during a lesson he said he wants to get baptized on the 18th of November because he received his answer and the 18th is a special day for him so it will be next Monday!
Saturday was the baptism of Leydi Diaz. I had the privilege to baptize her. I just love it because every time they tell me how clean they feel. I know she will be strong in the church all of her life. After the baptism we went to a Hotel where a member works and she made dinner for all the missionaries that are in the Jaen stake (14 missionaries). She made Chinese food and it was awesome!

Funny story...This past week we helped a member family move to Lima. We staked everything in a back of a truck including the fridge. We jauled (Jake can't spell in English anymore. . Spanish is getting ingrained in his head) a fridge down the stairs, and me being curious opened up the fridge to see what was inside...yeah...a chopped up pig!!! It smelled so disgusting! Haha but at least we did service right?

 The nastiest dog I have ever seen in my life. I miss normal dogs

Hope you all have a good one (: I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I am running around testifying to people that Christ has risen

Hello Family and Friends!
Dad and Jordan, "Que tal pata!" Haha pata means duck, but here it is a slang word for bro, a guy friend, haha! 

I can't believe that it has started to snow in Utah! You guys would probably say that you would like to switch me, but I wouldn't if I were you. It is just sooo humid and hot here and there is no way to cool down because there isn't any air conditioning and you have to wait until the night to take a freezing cold shower. I haven't really gotten used to the cold showers, I just wash myself as fast as I can.

But man that is so awesome how many missionaries that we have in our stake and ward! 105 total is a crazy number!! I am kinda sad that I don't get to return to President Lew. But I guess I am happy that the new stake president is good. It is kind of crazy to think how fast missions go. Ryan Pittard and Matt Haskell are already coming home!? Where did the time go! I am glad that I still have so much time left out here on my mission. I have so much I still need to do!

I have freaking missed the Halloween season. We didn't really do anything. In the night for Halloween we went and bought vanilla ice cream with Inca kola and we made an Inca Kola float! It was great! We also went to a cemetery. These cemeteries are legit! They have like little houses and each house belongs to a family. It is pretty cool. It looks like you all had a wonderful Halloween! All your costumes are freaking legit and way to go Dad for scaring Allison and her friends haha!!


Well here is a crazy story for ya. This past week one night there was a HUGE rainstorm! I am talking 
 HUUUGGEEE. The streets were a river and it was just down pouring. It was about 7:30 at night when it started so Elder Rich and I went to dinner a little early. Right after we went back out in the rain and we went to members houses to see if they were alright because there are some members that have adobe homes. Luckily everything was alright. By the time we got home we were just soaked! All over! I was so happy though that we decided to step out in the rain and help others instead of calling it a night. Such a great night! When we got home, we were starving from having walked all over the city. So we got a yummy pizza. Ya it wasn't American pizza but it was pretty good (:

We have worked so hard this past week and have really seen miracles. We are going to have a baptism this Saturday. Leydi is her name and she is 14 years old and just so smart. It seems like we are going to baptize a lot of young women. We have a girl named Ruth who is probably the smartest 12 year old ever. She marked her pamphlet that we gave her to read and she understands everything. She has a baptismal date for the 30th. We also have a 16 year old investigator named Sonya and she is really strong about the church. We hope to set up a date for her this Wednesday. The sad thing is that none of the parents are really interested in the church. But maybe, as we teach their daughters their minds will change.
  Here's a little mini tour of nuestra casita:
 This past week, I have really counted my blessings to really know the plan of God, especially His plan for me. There are just soooo many people who have no clue! There are so many Catholics here and when we go in their houses to teach them, they have no idea who the prophets were and they just don't understand how necessary it is to have a living prophet. It is so exciting to think that I am running around testifying to people that Christ has risen. We have been working really hard. I am so happy for that since Elder Rich goes home pretty soon. 

Well, it was a great week. I am sooo tired though because of the work we have done. But I am so happy that we work hard because we need to reach that goal of 5 baptisms this month. I am happy that we are going to have baptisms this week!
All is well here!
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith