Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It was really nice to help other kids have a great Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Well I am so happy that each and everyone liked their presents. That movie was a lot of fun to make! But wow I better start praying for all the sicknesses that are going around! 

Well that was quite awesome that Skype worked out, it was so legit to see everyone and talk to you all. My first Christmas here was a lot different here but special at the same time. My companion and I rented out Santa Claus suits and bought toys for kids that are really poor. Anyway we bought as many toys as we could with the money that I got from you guys for Christmas. 24 cars and 24 little dolls. We went to this really poor town and within 10 minutes or less, all the toys ran out! It was really nice to spend Christmas like that and to help other kids have a great Christmas.

Eating Christmas Dinner!
Honestly this year I will always remember. The year I started my mission. To be able to Skype was really fun and I thought I was gonna die at the end, because I don't like saying goodbye. But really I was okay! I felt ready to get back to the work right away. The mission is just something that I do right now. I think that this year will really fly past because it is basically the last year of my mission.

Right after I got off Skype I received a call from my district leader whose from lima and he told me that him and his companion from California found a guy who is here on vacation for about another month and a half and is from Arizona! He asked me if I could go with his companion the next morning to teach in English. So I was way stoked. Anyways during this lesson I noticed he didn't really care what we had to say he just had so many questions. He brought with him about 10 anti Mormon questions and the other Elder and him were pretty much just arguing the whole time. I was really bummed out because this man was about 24 and super nice, but everything went downhill. Before it got any worse I just told him that as missionaries we aren't here to argue with people, but we are here to share with people a message that we know to be true. Then I ended it with a prayer and we left. Anyways after I was kinda sad because all of that anti Mormon stuff I heard about the church, but they were so ridiculous it really just helped me to know how true and wonderful this church really is. Also I know that I am supposed to be here in Peru.

The rest of the week we were able to set up a baptism date on the 11th of January with a boy Paul who is 9 years old. His older brother got baptized in July and so we are excited to help them become members together. Just please pray that his mom will give him permission.

Anyway yesterday wasn't P Day for us, it is obviously today and we have till 11 at night! Our stake is having a party with all the wards and missionaries so we are excited. The computer isn't reading my card so next week I will send the pics of Christmas

Elder Rich really helped me a lot on my mission. I am glad you guys were able to go to his homecoming. He showed me really how to be a good person to others

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve a mission. Like I always say, it is hard, but it is worth it. I am really happy with what I am doing. Every one is saying I am going to have changes this next change. Or to be more exact the 14th or so of this month. So we shall see. I might leave and train someone, who knows. But I know it will be by inspiration

I love you all. Allison good luck on finding a partner and everything. Thank you all for all that you do for me. 
I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Elder Flores and I are going to play Santa Claus!

I loved that poem that you gave me so much! This week has been soooo amazing, but especially today. You guys seem so happy and amazing and I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Of course I miss the snow, and being with the family, the lights, and the music. But I am so happy right now. During this past week, I have really counted my blessings that I can be on my mission during this holiday and Christmas season. Let me tell you, yes it is hard, but I am so close to Christ and I am so grateful to be doing His work, for right now is my time to serve him and to bring others to Him. As your poem said that I am knocking doors, this past week, I have never knocked as many doors in my life. We contact so much everyday and really, I know we have the spirit with us because a lot of people are letting us in.

Sonia got baptized this past week as you can see by the fotos. While we were preparing the baptism, the water came out soooo dirty because the water ran out in Jaen so we had to use the left over water that there was and so it was like I baptized her in the river. But it was so amazing! After her baptism she stood up and bore her testimony. She thanked us and Heavenly Father. She also promised to Him and all the members that she will ALWAYS be in the church and she wants to serve a mission. She started crying and the spirit was amazing. I am so happy to be able to see lives changed while on my mission.

This past weekend there was a ward party and there was a dance, and since us as missionaries can't dance, well, I danced with all the kids! It was a lot of fun haha we made a train and ran around and I swung them around.

Well today was so amazing...President came to our zone to spend Christmas with us. I got your pink box btw, I plan on opening it Christmas morning! We played soccer for like 30 minutes and then we had each district do a little talent. Our district made a song and during the song, I pulled out my Evan Fast moves and started to rap (but in Spanish!) I will show you guys the rap on Wednesday though! Then we watched an amazing movie! It is called Ephraim's Rescue. You guys all need to see it. It is like an add on to 17 miracles but not really. It is about Ephraim and how he gave amazing blessings. I almost caught myself crying like 3 times in that movie haha but don't worry I didn't cry. Then we all went to lunch together. So tomorrow in the morning I am going to a members house to kill their rooster! They are letting me kill it haha and I am kind of nervous. The family here is like my 2nd family. We call them mom and dad. I am excited. Then we will eat dinner with them tomorrow as well as our pencionista.

But alright everyone, pay attention to this. Tomorrow, Elder Flores and I are going to be Santa Clauses. That helmet of Santa Claus that you see in the above picture is just a part of the costume. But we are going to a town called NiƱo sin techo, which means kid without roof. Because there they are sooo poor. We are going as Santa and we are going to give the kids little presents so thank you so much for all the money you have given me. I will be able to buy them all a little gift. As well we are going to the members house to sing. So tomorrow will be soooo fun!!!!! 

But I can't wait to talk to you all on Wednesday. Remember I will call around 5:30, Utah time so be ready. I love you all. He loves you.

May you all have an amazing Christmas. Se que cristo vive y que esta es la iglesia de El. Estoy muy agradecido por su vida y por este tiempo muy especial que tenemos a recordar de su nacimiento y su vida. Se que siempre tenemos que recordar de El, y si lo hacemos, vamos a poder recibir muchas bendiciones y que vamos a poder sentir de su amor. Estoy muy agradecido y muy bendicido por ustedes. Gracias por todas de las oraciones que me dan. Realmente le siento a Dios cada dia, y si fuera por esta iglesia, y si esta iglesia no fuera verdadera, yo no estaria aqui. Pero es verdadera. Gracias por todo. Que les pase una navidad muy bonita.
Elder Smith

Monday, December 16, 2013

People recognize the blessings we have and take for granted sometimes from so far away.

Hey everyone!
 I can't believe that next week we will be able to see each others faces through Skype. I told Jordan to make me a Skype account and just give me the details next week so that everything is all ready to go. And also if he can make us as friends. I plan on calling her around 7 30 or like 5 30 your time I am not quite sure. For Christmas the president will come next Monday to have PDay with us so that will be fun and he will most likely bring all of the packages that he has for us. I only got one. But it was great, I used the popsicle sticks in a lesson with recent converts this past week. They just loved it. We put it all together and I had them tell me what they saw and felt. We also were able to sing some Christmas songs with them. Tuesday for the 24th we plan on doing something cool as a district like making something or going around singing for people. Then most likely we will eat a lot because every member is inviting us to eat. But we are excited. Then for Christmas we will call! A weird tradition they do her is burn giant dolls in the middle of the street. haha we heard it is now illegal but they still do it. But we shall see. kind of scary right haha

You guys seem like you are all doing so amazing. I really hope that you can feel the light of Christ in your lives during this time of year. Allison congrats on your dance tournament and your grades. Jordan and Emily, good luck on finals. 

Well this past week was legit. We went to an investigators house named Sonia. She is 16 and her aunt Gleny got baptized on the 30th, the girl I baptized in the dark. Well we went over to her house to teach her. But before we planned a legit lesson, while we were planning we felt we should ask her to be baptized. Well when we went we asked her and she told us yes! She wants to get baptized tomorrow for her birthday and she asked me to baptize her. Everything is all ready to go, we got permission, she passed her baptismal interview. So we are so excited for her. About a week ago she came to the Christmas devotional with us and she loved it. She said President Monson is so cute and she felt the spirit so strong.

On the bad note, we passed by Friday the 13th this past week....worst day...ever. We only had 2 lessons the whole entire day. We had like 8 set lessons but no one was home! Also, a member was going to come out with us and help us but he bailed. I also stepped in dog poop and didn't realize until we were in a lesson during the prayer. Elder Flores and I looked at each other and almost died laughing. It stunk soooo bad. Worst day ever haha.

 Something cool that I heard yesterday in church during ward counsel was that they were talking about their numbers and how many came to church, they said that they wanted to be like a ward in Utah. How blessed we are to have a magnificent ward. And that people recognize the blessings we have and take for granted sometimes from so far away.

I am learning so much as I have been senior companion. We are having a baptism tomorrow and we had like 16 lessons with a member present this past week. We contact every day and I have really learned to like contacting even though it is a little tricky. Elder Flores and I are really tuned in with the spirit and so I think the people notice that and let us in. I am trying so hard to work hard for the Lord as you are right, this time is a very special time to serve him, as it will be a different memory.

I have read the bible a lot lately and it just surprises me how some religions don't understand it. It teaches us the correct baptism and everything so I have been using it a lot lately. I have grown to love personal and companionship study. This past week I have really noticed that right now, the mission is just something I do. I have learned to love it and I feel I am giving it my all, as well as having fun.

Well we went to Gocta today and it was so fun so I hope you enjoy the pics.
I am doing so well and I can't wait to talk to you all my first Christmas in the mission next week. If there is anything I can do to help you all let me know. I love you. He loves you. 

Elder Smith       

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I am loving the work I am doing

Hey everyone
What a week it has been. I am kind of jealous that you guys are probably going to have a white Christmas. It is so weird to be in the heat. But I guess I am getting used to it.

Tuesday night all of the missionaries arrived. In the zone we got 12  new missionaries and so it was kind of nuts. My companion is from El Salvador and his name is Elder Flores. He only has like 4 months in the mission and so I am senior companion. It is kind of different leading everything but I am enjoying it. So now I feel like the numbers are really on my back. I am working so hard, and I have really found myself a lot happier as I have worked hard.   Elder Flores and I get along very well and work even harder. Our numbers this past week were really good. Last week at church we only had 1 investigator attend church. So this past week we really got focused in inviting them to church. We had 8 investigators attend. As well as our ward, they gave us 11 families to re activate and a lot of them showed up. I am also starting to contact more. When I got to Peru I always hated to contact and we didn't really do it because in Arizona we aren't allowed to knock doors because it doesn't work. So when I came here, I came in with the mindset to not knock doors. Well this past week we have contacted a ton. I have really noticed something though. Elder Flores and I are entering in about 80 percent of the homes we contact. We have also found many more people to contact so it is really cool. Whenever we are going to an appointment, we knock doors. And we are going to the members so that they can help us. I have really changed who I am thus far on my mission and my testimony is as strong as ever. The Lord really has been blessing me in Spanish, he has helped me to teach with the spirit and listen and understand the investigators. My companion and I get along very well and he is really cool. I would just ask to pray for me because I am leading the area and it is kind of rough. I would say that I am about fluent in Spanish, but I have some days that are hard, it is weird. But I really am talking a whole bunch more since everyone in our ward knows me. I am loving the work I am doing. I feel like I can go far in my mission if I can keep working like I am doing.
Ruth was able to be baptized on Saturday. This past Wednesday we went over to her house to ask her about her baptism and she told us that she still didn't feel quite ready. At the end of the lesson we invited her to pray to Heavenly Father and ask him when and if you should be baptized. So Thursday night we went over to her house and asked her if she prayed. She told us yes and that Heavenly Father answered her prayers. She told us she knew the church was true from the beginning she was just scared and a little shy. Friday night we went and got permission from her dad. He said that it is her decision. Also Saturday night her dad came to her baptism and it was really special because afterward Ruth bore her testimony and it was so strong. She is going to be so strong in the church. I was able to baptize her.

Something that I really love about Peru is the kids. While on my mission I have counted my blessings that Heavenly Father blessed me with a bunch of little cousins growing up. I just get along so well with the little kids. Oh...Mom I found the little girls that got baptized in Jaen yesterday at the Christmas devotional and I was able to give her a ctr ring and she loved it and gave me a big hug. I just love being around them. Also yesterday we had like 20 minutes of free time so we went to the park to play with the kids, mainly members and recent converts were all there. And we swung, went down the slide and everything.
I am also so grateful for the priesthood. It is so essential to this church. I can't imagine having a church without the priesthood. I have really used the priesthood this past week. I dedicated a house and gave 3 blessings. I could really use a blessing though right now as I start being a leader. So thanks for reminding me.

I am really loving my mission. I miss Elder Rich a lot and it is weird that he is home and not here with my 24/7 haha but how crazy that he saw all of you guys. I am glad you got all your presents. I hope you like them. I got one of your packages this past week. I just opened the big envelope but didn't open the presents from Jordan, Allison, and Emily. But I love the glow sticks. I told Elder Flores this morning that we are going to use them in lessons this coming week. If it is night, I am going to ask the investigator to turn the lights off. I am going to break the bracelet a little bit at a time, so we see how it increases until the bar is fully light up. I am going to use that like a testimony, how it takes a little time for our testimonies to be very strong. Because almost every one of our investigators feel like they should be baptized, but they feel like they should have stronger testimonies. So we shall see how that works.

Well I love you all. He loves you. Talk to you in 2 and a half weeks
Elder Smith