Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Friday, December 26, 2014

Little One by Elder Smith and Elder Manley

Note by Elder Smith's Mom: Allison recorded this precious moment from our Christmas Skype call! Elders Smith and Manley sang the song they performed for their mission president and mission zones during their Christmas party. It's something we'll treasure forever!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A few pictures of Christmas Eve Festivities

 Christmas Eve Dinner
Going around caroling to our investigators 

Singing in the Plaza of Chiclayo with 3 zones from our mission!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Merry Christmas from Peru! - My Last One!!!

Que tal? Que hay? Que pasa? Como Estamos? (: answer the question of changes........WE DONT HAVE A CHANGE (: We are sooo happy about that. Yesterday we were freaking out! You have no idea. It is kind of crazy to think that Elder Manley and I will have been together for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. We get along great and we work hard. I only have 2 changes left now. So I'm excited to see just how much I can push myself as I end my mission. I really want to strive. 

Right now I'm kind of anxious to have a baptism...It's been kind of long. But we have hopes for this change especially. Angeles and Noeli plan on moving out this month so that they can get baptized. One of the days when we taught them, I could see that they were just not all that into the lesson that we were teaching and I could see that something was wrong. I stopped and asked what was going on, or if they had something to say and they told us that they are just losing their patience because they really want to get baptized already and they have been thinking that Heavenly Father hasn't been helping them that much. But on the other hand they haven't been going to church much and they rarely read the scriptures that we give to them so they can't really expect the help of God if they don't do their part. So we were able to read Mosiah 2:41 where it talks about if we keep the commandments, we are blessed in all things, temporal and spiritual. So I think that helped quite a bit.

Giberto is going to talk to his ex-wife that lives in Spain this week. So please be praying for that. We really need to get this process started. They are soooo strong. Lorena is now going to the activities of the young women and yesterday in church she was hugging all the young women. So they are making a lot of friends in church and they have gone to church for like 3 months straight! We are happy for them and it's amazing to see how the Spirit has worked them into who they are today. They understand everything, they read everything, and they always pray and go to church. It's pretty much as if they were members.

We have been able to find more Less Active families to teach. We are teaching a lady named Cynthia and her family. She has been a pencionista for the other Elders in our area. But they moved and changed their pencion. Also Cynthia thanked us this past week for not forgetting about her and for helping her. Yesterday they attended church and they are an amazing family.

We hope to rescue Rosa this next week. We just need to finish the lessons and she will be already to go. She is 21 and she wants to serve a mission soon. Her family isn't members and they leave in Piura. But she asked us to help her prepare a lesson that she could teach to her family about Christmas for when she goes back. It's been nice to help these less active members come back to church.

This past week we also had our Mission Christmas Activity. At 10am we went over to the mission home to practice a song that Elder Manley was going to sing for the Activity. The apartment is dang nice and I was living it up! Elder Manley and Sister Williams dragged me into singing with Elder Manley as well so I did. I'm not a fan of singing in front of others. But we did alright. We plan on singing the song to you guys on Christmas. Its dang good!! So here are some pictures of our mission president's apartment and us practicing.
Then at the activity we presented sketches, ate banana splits, watched a little video of Christ's birth, sang songs, etc. It was fun to see Elder Quiroz, Elder Winward, and other Elders from my group. All of us were saying how weird it is to only have 2 changes. It feels like it'll go by fast. 

Anyway this is dang long. Sorry. I'm excited to talk to you all next week. It seems like it has been a long time since we have talked. 
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith
PS. I got your Christmas Package Mom!!! Thank you to all family members who took their time to write me a letter! I love all the pictures from the Kids. Hahaha especially Charlie who drew me a picture of Toast, a diving board, and other silly things. Seems like everyone is growing up. Can't wait to see you all!!!
  What could these be?? Paper Presents!!!??? Ah (: I'm excited! My favorite!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

El 26 de Lehi Ward beats all!

"Paneton" A famous fruitcake here that's actually not too bad.
We don't have a knife, so I'm using my machete.
Wow you guys sure did have a spiritual week and that makes me so happy. I think that we can all say that we have been impacted from all the bishoprics that we have had in the past. They are all men who are really called of God. Lehi 26th Ward beats all. (: Even though the name of the ward doesn't really do it justice. Here in Peru they always ask me what the name is of my ward. I always have to say "El 26 de Lehi" and they are always like, " Que!?" Haha I just have to explain that there are many wards in Lehi.

Wow Allison, how about you embarrass both me and Jordan and graduate before both of us? Haha just kidding. Congratulations. I hope that you will be able to help me with my math and assignments because I have forgotten quite a bit!!! But that will be fun to have us all in the same college. Just like the good ole days. Carpools anyone?
Yesterday we were actually able to go to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional because it was broadcast to the world. I couldn't really hear though because we sat in the back and everyone was talking in the back rows. But I can definitely say that when the choir sang, ¨Oh come let us adore Him¨ I could really feel the spirit and Elder Manley and I turned to each other and we said how nice it was to actually hear Christmas music. Here in Peru there aren't any lights on the houses. But some people have trees and little Nativity Sets. Oh by the way, I bought a little Nativity Set for you Mom. But it's not that big. Just a little one. But yeah that song was amazing!!! I love Christmas.

I got Jordan's and Emily's package that they sent out to me and thank you sooooooooo very much for the football!!!! Elder Manley and I throw it around in our little room and we are trying to wake up even earlier to go outside and throw it around. The little kids in the street run up to us and they want to throw it around. I threw it to a kid and when he saw it coming at him, he jumped out of the way because he thought it was going to hurt him. So it's fun to teach the kids in the street how to play real football and run around with them with the football. Also thank you so much Sarah and Jessie and kids, Pam and Dan and kids, and Bryan, and Jordan for all the kind letters. You guys really made my day. Everyone seems all grown up now and it'll be fun to see all of you again!!!

Not much happened this past week. We have been able to find new Less Active members to teach so that they can get rescued. We plan on rescuing a 20 year old girl named Rosa. She is studying here in Chiclayo and she has been coming to church for about a month straight. We just need to finish the lessons. We are also teaching a 22 year old man named Saul. He hasn't come to church for about 5 months because of his studies. He was baptized last year and we look forward to helping him.

We were able to read Mosiah 24 with Angeles and Noeli. That seemed to help them a lot because it talks about Alma and the people escaping from the Lamanites and Amulon. We applied that to their situation and that they need to have patience. In the verses of 12 and 13 it explains how they poured their hearts to God because they couldn't pray out loud and that God heard them and told them to be patient. So we are hoping to find them a new home soon. But they have to stay for the month of December because they already paid rent. But we will keep praying for them.

Man this past week the power went out quite a bit and we don't even know why. But it was annoying because there was absolutely no light so we had to cut the nights short since it gets like 15 times more dangerous. The people seem to rob more when there is no light. But nothing happened to us. 

This is the last week of the change. Sunday we will find out if one of us has a change. We really are hoping that we don't though because we really want to have a baptism together and we want to spend Christmas together. On Thursday our zone is heading to the office to have a Christmas Party with President and Sister Williams and some other zones. We are dang excited.
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, December 1, 2014

Remember not to fear men but God because we can't fool Him

An English lesson with my little pal Artenisa

Hello Everyone!!!!
I am so happy to hear that you all had a great Thanksgiving! Mom you killed me when you told me all of the things that you made!!! Oh my gosh like seriously...a pumpkin cheesecake, lemon pie, pecan pie, and famous rolls....I could kill for those right now...But I'm glad that all turned out so well!!! So that you can all be is a picture of my Thanksgiving and what I ate...hahaha. But I'm grateful (:

So yeah about High School teaching. I'm not quite sure yet but I'm thinking about it a lot. Since I've been on the mission I have grown to love teaching and I have been blessed to be a leader in this mission and so I have learned quite a bit. Also I would love the High School environment. Plus I could teach Spanish and I love history. So we shall see. Yeah it's kind of funny that it would be the same as Jordan. But yet again, I'm not too sure yet. I'm not worried about it right now though. I'll have to look into it more and pray and fast. But so far that's what I am thinking most. Plus they make just as much as a police officer with better hours and it's a lot safer!!

So this past week we were able to rescue the Aguilar family and so now they are active in the church. I'm not sure if I've ever explained the whole rescuing process to you guys. But as missionaries we have been asked to not only baptize, but retain the recent converts, and rescue the less actives. In our mission, to rescue, is just as important to baptize because we are helping all of them to return to their Father in Heaven. But to rescue, they need to attend church 3 times at least, receive the missionary lessons, and receive an interview from the bishop. Daniel Reyes was also able to be rescued this past week. So we had 4 rescues. We were so happy to see all that work with them get paid off and they seem so much happier.

Giberto is pretty much already a member though. He has attended church every week without fail for like 2 and a half months and he accepts everything that we teach. His testimony is sooo strong and he is praying so hard for his divorce to go through so he can be re married to his current wife and be baptized. He is very humble when it comes to the gospel and he loves learning and asking questions. He always reads the Book of Mormon and so we know that Heavenly Father will help him in this process towards his baptism.

Also this past week we were able to meet a recently married couple who has a little girl. A member ran up to us in the street and told us that she wanted us to go and give a blessing to a man that got in a car accident and broke his leg. So we were able to go over and give the man a blessing. But first we explained to him about blessings and we read in Mark where it talks about anointing with oil and how Jesus Christ healed the sick according to their faith. So we are excited to start teaching them. It was a really spiritual experience and we are praying that they will accept us when we go back.

We found Elayne before church yesterday and she has been really busy with college because she has her finals right now. Her semester ends in 2 weeks and so we are planning to start teaching her seriously then. But for now we see her about twice a week. But she is still interested. So that is good.

I really enjoyed that conference talk by Elder Robbins. President Williams used that talk in the interviews that we had about a 2 months ago and it really impacted the whole mission I feel like because it's sometimes a big problem with disobedient missionaries. I really have been striving to remember that in everything I do and that I need to remember not to fear men but God because we can't fool Him. But what has really helped me to do that is to be a nice and loving person to everyone. Last week a 70 came in and talked in Stake Conference. He explained that many times as members we don't even talk with other people in church and sooo many times there are people that need a person to talk to. He invited us to sit down and ask people how they are doing. I have been striving to do that as well and it has helped me to be more loving toward men and God. Sometimes we just need to stop thinking of ourselves and sit down next to a person with our arms around them and show them our love and concern. That is what the gospel of Jesus Chris is all about!

It is getting a lot hotter here in Chiclayo and sometimes I want to run in snow. It doesn't even feel that it's already December!!!! I swear we are still in August. Plus the heat here is just gross and I don't know why I don't get as dark as I do in Utah. But anyway, we don't need to put on a jacket at night anymore so it's nice.

Don't worry about sending me glasses or money for them because I'm fine. My eyes are getting better. Here and there they get a little red but I bought really strong eye drops that help me out a whole bunch. So don't worry about that. We can just get some when I get home!
 I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Power of the Book of Mormon

Translation: "Our pencionist (mission cook) is the best because she bought us pizza!!" She replied, "Everyone come over!"

A little glimpse of what it's like riding a "moto taxi" in the streets of Peru. (Going to Stake Conference)

  Sister Williams baked us all Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!

Another week gone!
The 3rd movie of the Hunger Games came out? Man I have only seen the first one.  I have to do a lot of catching up. But that makes me happy to know that you all got USwirl. That is definitely our family's hangout spot! Love the picture btw! We always had the best of times. For me, it seems not that long ago that we did all that stuff together. But I bet that for you guys it feels a lot longer.

Bummer Jordan for losing in the Turkey Bowl. The Smith family (or any member of the family) should NEVER lose in a Turkey Bowl tournament. Haha just kidding. But I am glad that you had fun in it. Today we played basketball as a District on the court outside of our church and so I guess you could say that was our Turkey Bowl experience. It was a lot of fun playing basketball again. It has been too long and I have definitely lost my skills. I am going to need to get back at it once I get back!! 
Before Playing Basketball
 After Playing Basketball

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Be sure to eat an extra piece of pie for me because there is no Thanksgiving here in Peru. I also pray that you may be able to see the blessings in your life so that you can be happy for the things you have. While being here in Peru, it has really helped me to be grateful for the things I have. 

Mom that is sooo great that you were able to learn so much from that conference that you went to!! Your thoughts you shared with me are exactly related to what I wanted to write about today. Because I was able to see that by leaving people with scriptures to read, it helps them to obtain a personal testimony of the church and the Book of Mormon. One chapter in Preach My Gospel helps us to understand about the commitments and that we need to leave a commitment in every lesson that we have. This past week especially I was able to see how the Book of Mormon has helped each one of our investigators. Our job as missionaries is to really know the scriptures so that we may able to help the people seek guidance in them. Throughout my mission I have really gotten to know the scriptures. I am still not where I want to be, but I feel comfortable with them so that I can leave the people with scriptures that will strengthen them.

For example I have been praying a lot for Noeli. She has a lot of faith in Christ and she knows that through obedience to the commandments we will be blessed. But I could see that she didn't really trust the Book of Mormon because every time that we would share something from the Book of Mormon, she would ask if that was found in the Bible as well. We were always able to show her in the Bible, but for a person to be converted to the restored gospel, they need to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. This past Friday we went over and read Alma 32 with them and they absolutely loved it! They really needed to learn more about faith and so we read that chapter together. The whole lesson she would comment on how amazing the scriptures were. But after reading it, and at the end of the lesson, they asked us if we could leave them with something to read about Love and how to control their anger so that they may be more loving. So we left them with Moroni 7 that teaches about Charity and the love of Christ. But that was an answer of my prayers because she now trusts in the Book of Mormon and is excited to read it.

We are also teaching a less active family. Everyone is a member besides the father because he works like 7 hours from here in a mine. But the Mom has been having problems with her family members because they are mocking her for even getting baptized in this church and she doesn't know what to do. We explained to her about how we shouldn't let other people affect our faith because no matter what they say, the truth is the truth and they can't change that. But what helped her most I think is 1st Nephi 8. Where it talks about the tree of life and how some people left the tree after having partaken of the fruit because of the people from the big and spacious building. She was able to apply that to her life. We are hoping to continue to teach and reactivate her.

But other than that everything is going pretty well I guess. We are a little bummed because we couldn't find Elayne. She stayed with her Mom this whole week and so she wasn't home. We hope to find her this week to put a new baptismal date.

That is all for this week. I hope that you all may continue to search your doubts and concerns from Book of Mormon because we can always apply it to our lives!! Thank you so much for the presents that you have sent out! I can't wait to get them. I wish I had the money to send you all a package but we will all just have to wait till I get home to give you guys presents!

I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Monday, November 17, 2014

Garden of Eden is discovered in Peru!

 I don't think I'd want to go to a dentist here....

 House for sale....hmmmm.....

 Found this great little soccer field in the middle of nowhere.
 Love my new BYU tshirt. Getting ready to play a little soccer....again. I sure do miss football.

 I found this legit ice cream today!
"It's HOT!"

 I think we found the Garden of Eden!
(It's about the only green vegetation Elder Smith has seen in months)
Hello Loved Ones
I am so grateful to hear about your callings and how well they are all going. I can really see that the Lord called each of you for those specific callings because it allows you to use your talents to help other people. Yesterday I was able to teach in the Gospel Principles class to the Less Actives and investigators and we talked about that a little bit. That before this life, God gave us talents and gifts so that we may be able to bless the lives of others. That is why it's so important that we share our gifts and talents. I hope that you may all continue to serve with humility and diligence so that you may be able to bless the lives of others. 

The turkey bowl at school already happened? But it's not even Thanksgiving yet! (Mmmmmm....I can't wait to eat some pie!) It makes me happy to hear that Jordan's shoulder is healing so good and that he was able to throw the football in the game!!! Elder Manley and I want to look for a football next time we go to the Center of Chiclayo because we run in the morning and we would like to throw it around every once in awhile. Today we played soccer with the zone and to be honest I'm a little tired of soccer. Even though I do have to admit that I like it a lot better now. I'm just not that good. 

This past week we did divisions and I went with Elder Prestwich in his area. He is in the same area though as us, just the other side. We were able to teach many less active members and it's really sad to hear why they have fallen away from the church. Most of them had really never gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon, which is key. But we were able to help them. That night there was a lot of wind and so I got a pretty bad eye infection and my left eye was soooo red!! So that was annoying. The next morning I also had it in my other eye. But I bought some great eye drops and they are helping quite a lot. 

Then the next morning while I was in the shower, the cords of the water heater caught on fire!! Some rooms in the mission have water heaters and there are cords that heat it up and while I was showering, the whole bathroom looked a whole lot brighter and I looked up and there was a fire!! Thankfully it went out as I blew on the cords and I didn't get burnt, but ash went all over the place!! It was sketchy! So I finished that shower with cold water, haha!

We were able to find Elayne this past week and we moved her baptismal date to the 29th of November because that will give her time to get a stronger testimony. But she really wants to get baptized. We are going to watch the Joseph Smith movie with her tonight. 

We had a cool experience on Friday. We started to walk to a part of our area that we had never really gone before. We arrived at this market full of food and products. It was gigantic! But we noticed that it was a pretty poor side of the area with people living in shacks. As we were leaving we saw 2 little kids carrying a bucket of water each to their house so we immediately ran to help them. I helped this 5 year old boy named Daniel. He was such a stud. He looked up at me and smiled and told me, "I'm strong too!" and so we both carried the bucket all the way to his house about 100 yards away. Elder Manley helped his 8 year old sister carry her bucket of water to her house. As we arrived at the house we met the mother and she thanked us and explained that she used to attend church when she was 18. So now we are going to visit her! It was a humbling experience and we were blessed to find another investigator. 

I got your package and thank you soo much! That sports catalog was legit.  I wish that they would have done that while I was in High School! The BYU shirt is sick and I wore it today! Also the tie is sweet. So thank you so much. I about died when I tasted the candy (: Ah (: I love it! Thank you thank you thank you.

That 's about it for this week.
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith