Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I have never worked soooo hard in my life!

Wow I kind of forgot today was Memorial Day because I have been soooo busy. I have never worked soooo hard in my life! We had 20 lessons with members, 17 other lessons, and 50 contacts! We just kept going from house to house, from door to door and it was amazing to see how Elder Santos works. Being Zone Leader is really tiring but an amazing experience. I haven't gotten to bed on time yet because we always receive calls, or we are planning for the zone, or planning for our area. Last night we went to bed at 12 because we had to do reports. There is soooo much to learn but I am excited to help out and serve the Lord even more.

This area is soooo amazing. We are going to have 2 baptisms in June. The thing with Peru is that the people don't really get married. So it's really hard when people that have been living as a family all of the sudden have to live the Law of Chastity. We just need a little more time with these investigators and it should go well.

Today we spent the day doing a little bit of service.
There are soooo many people to teach here and I can see a lot of success. This coming week though is gonna be hard though because we have a lot of meetings. Tomorrow we are meeting with all the zone leaders and sister leaders in the office. My zone is sweet though. It covers the office and the assistants are in our zone. There are 10 sisters in the zone because this zone is the safest zone. My area is pretty nice, but still dirt roads. All the main roads are paved, but the side roads, dirt. Haha gotta love it. We also have meetings with the stake president where we talk about the problems and struggles of the zone. It is pretty cool to be honest. My companion goes home in 4 weeks and so I am kind of tired of him saying it to everyone that we meet haha but honestly he is soooo hilarious. He got in to BYU Provo and so he will be going in the fall! Cool eh?

Oh I forgot! Since we contacted so much this past week, we found a 19 year old girl named Daisy. We contacted her and she let us teach her. This was Saturday and we just taught her a short lesson. Anyways something that I learned is to always invite everyone to church. At the end of the lesson I invited her and she told me yeah! Yesterday she attended church! That has never happened to me! Just contact someone in the street and the next day they attend church! We are excited to work with her.

A fish dish. I didn't like it too much! Bet your BBQ was much better!
 I hope you guys all had a wonderful Memorial Day. I am excited to be there with you guys next year. I miss all our family holidays traditions.
I love you all. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New Assignment!

Hey family (:
Just a super quick mid week email to let you know where I am: 
Here is my new assignment!
Zone-Chiclayo Peru
Area-Los Amautas
Companion-Elder Santos from Lima Peru
Assignment-Zone Leader

Well as zone leaders we have soooo many things to do it is insane. We have to manage the money of the zone and do some paperwork right now so I just thought I'd write you guys real quick to let you know where I am! My companion is legit. He goes home in June though because he is ending his mission! So I have about 4 weeks to learn the responsibilities of a zone leader. All is well. Please pray for me though because we have a lot to do! There are 12 areas in my zone. I am excited.
Talk to you Monday!!
I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Lord has called me to a new area and so I will go!

Hello Everybody!
Wow that is crazy about Allison! This year has passed too fast. Even though I'm only like a 1 year and a few months older than Allison I feel like she should be 14 still in Jr. High School. But no! She is pretty much done with all the High School stuff! Well congrats baby sis!

That story about Braiden was really awesome! I know him actually! When I took that Peer Tutoring class for my senior year, I actually tutored Braiden for a little bit and he is such an amazing kid and I love that he just loves to talk! That is sooo amazing that he would just go to the picture of Jesus Christ and just talk to Him. I heard that the other day from a member that came out with us to teach. He explained that we must close our eyes while we pray and focus and picture that God is literally right in front of us so that we can express everything. Sometimes we just do the prayer just for doing a prayer...but every time he is listening and willing to bless us so we must strive to really try to communicate with him with a humble heart.

(Note From Elder Smith's Mom )I include the story Jake referenced above because I feel like it's one that everyone can be inspired by:  Yesterday at Allison's Seminary graduation, Brother Butler told us about this special needs boy that would usually come early and stop by his office to chat. Outside his office is a large painting of the Savior and Braiden often stopped there to pray aloud and have a real conversation with Him. Isn't that kind of faith and love so pure and honest and wonderful? He left us with a great little sentence that Braiden said during one of those prayers, "Lord, help me to stick to the good stuff!" That is seriously going to be in my head forever. I hope that we'll always be able to "stick to the good stuff!"  So much power in those simple words. I loved it. Allison said that is the main reason she is going into Special Education because it's so rewarding and you feel so good being around such perfect people.

Well folks...I have changes. I am leaving here tomorrow around 8:15 in the morning and the change meeting is at 8:30 am. I was kind of shocked when they told me that last night. I have completed 2 changes here...It has gone by pretty slow. I am sad to leave the members and the recent converts...but the Lord has called me to a new area and so I will go. I am excited too on the other hand to get to know more people. I don't know where I'll be going, tomorrow I'll find out.

I just said goodbye to Jesus Ñique and a few other members and I'll say goodbye to Laura and others later after I write all of you guys. This area of Jose Olaya has been difficult, but I have learned soo many things.

We met some awesome people this past week as well and Elder Supayabe should have more baptisms in June. Suzetty wants to get baptized in June, she just needs to attend church more. Also there are others and so I am happy that I will be leaving this area well off for Elder Supayabe. Jesus Ñique thanked me for helping him find the truth and he promised that he will never fall away and I know that that is true. We had another lesson with his neighbors and he gives such a strong testimony every time. He is so awesome. 

The other day we were walking in the street and a guy stopped us and said he wanted to talk. So we stopped for a while and all of a sudden he whips out his bible and says that he is a pastor of a church and started trashing on us. Elder Supayabe and I didn't really like that at all.  But we also understand that we need to defend the truth. Anyway after like 5 minutes of Bible bashing, we bore an awesome testimony about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. The man just looked at us and he had no idea of what to he closed his bible and just walked away!!! How cool! It really helped me to know that we have the truth. I love this gospel.

I am kind of nervous about tomorrow and where I will be going and who my next companion will be. But I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me. I love this work and I am happy that I will be able to help other people out. I love you all sooo very much. I miss you guys.

I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, May 12, 2014

Planes, monkeys, and old friends--great times!

Wow what a week that I just had!
It was awesome to be able to talk to you guys and hear your voices and see your faces! You all are amazing and have helped me so much on my mission. 
I am so happy that your calling is going great Mom. Well I have only heard great things about each one of your callings that you all have and I know that it is because the Lord really knows who you guys are and needs you guys in specific callings of the church. I hope all of you keep having wonderful spiritual experiences!

Today we went to a museum for PDay. Here are few pictures from our activity there.

Tuesday night was my flight to Lima and we left around 10 at night. It was cool though because my first MTC companion, Elder Winward, was there with the group going to Lima.  Anyway we go to Lima at 11 and we expected representatives from the Church to come pick us up to to drive us to a hotel.  But we sat there....and sat there....and sat there......No one came until 2 in the morning! Luckily they bough us some Papa John's Pizza that was delicious!! Finally! American Pizza! We got to the hotel around 3 but I didn't sleep till 4. It was a pretty nice hotel actually.  We woke up the next morning at 7:30 since they let us sleep in a little bit. 

Then we went to the airport and as I arrived to the gate, I saw my first companion that was in the field with me in Arizona, Elder Seymour! We gave each other a huge hug! I haven't seen him for almost a year since he is in the Lima East mission.

He told me that the very first family that I taught in Arizona got baptized!! Jose and Elba. I love them so much and it gives me so much joy to hear they are strong in the church! They said they are going to go through the temple next April and that they want me to be there with them.

We then had to go to Ecuador and so we flew to a city called 
Tumbes, the city that is at the very top of Peru. I almost threw up on the plane, haha it was waayyy too bumpy! Speaking of planes...I talked to everyone that I sat by about the Gospel. I guess I am not scared anymore about talking to people about it! We then crossed the border into Ecuador in a big van. We had to do a lot of paperwork since my passport had expired. Then we came back into Peru and did more paperwork. We got back on the plane at 10 at night. Arrived in Lima at 11. Fell asleep at 1:30 am and woke up at 3. So overall about 5 hours of sleep in 2 days! Not that fun!

Honestly this past week, there is not a whole lot to talk about. We have been a little bummed out because we haven't been able to find Suzette yet, she may have traveled to Lima once again...darn it. The sisters in my zone had 2 baptisms and we went to go and see it. Seeing people getting baptized is such a spiritual experience every time. When I got to baptize Jesus Ñique last week, I felt so amazing being in the baptismal font. Just to be standing in the font with a person that you have taught for such a long time, really strengthens your testimony. I love to see people find happiness in this True Church.
Just monkeying around earlier this week!

Jesus Ñique is doing sooo awesome. Saturday night he planned to do a Family Home Evening Night with his family. I found this FHE manual and we gave it to him.  He looked up the topic he wanted to discuss and shared everything! It was so legit. He is seriously going to be able to help sooo many people in this church. His family is really amazing. My biggest desire is that they all get baptized. The mom is kind of shy and doesn't really talk. But after the lesson they gave us some dessert and we were able to bond more with them and were able to gain more of her trust. Sadly they didn't attend church yesterday...only Jesus Ñique. But that's okay...little by little.

Laura Sandoval is also doing really well! She is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and is almost done with 2nd Nephi. She also received a calling as the Secretary of the Young Women. So it is perfect for her. She is really happy to be in the church. She also gave us lunch this past Friday. What makes me happy is that the recent converts here are really strong in the church and I can tell that they won't go in active ever. That is what we want as missionaries, true converts, not just whatever person that gets baptized. 

This is the last week of the change. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if I got changed but I have no idea! These past 2 changes have flown by since I have been here! And by the end of this next change, President and Hermana Risso are going home. They have been such an inspiration to me.
That is all for this week. I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Monday, May 5, 2014

...he said that we are angels that helped him get baptized

What Up!!
That is so weird that the college year is already over and that Emily and Jordan are out about once again selling in California! I am glad that they made it over there safely. Wow, Allison way to go on your high school studies and everything you have done toward college already! I am kind of jealous that you never have to take Math or English ever again. I am kind of scared for when I get back because I don't think I'll remember much.  Allison you will have to help me, okay smarty pants?

I received the Easter package this past week! Thank you sooo much! Elder Supayabe and I pretty much ate it all already haha but it hit the spot that is for sure!

Well this past week was a miracle with Jesus Ñique. We were over there every day this past week helping him out a whole bunch. Watching video clips on, reading the Liahona, reading the Book of Mormon and answering any question that he had. Thursday came and we asked him how he felt about Saturday for his baptism and he said the same thing he told us last week....not yet....But we really felt that he needed to get baptized. I explained to him that now is the time that he needs to follow Jesus Christ. He explained that his family hasn't been acting that great and he wanted to have his baptism peacefully. We told him that the only thing that would help him was his baptism. We told him that he should just have a baptismal interview with the zone leader to see if it would help him and he agreed. Friday at 6 he had his baptismal interview. He stayed in there for about 1 hour and 15 minutes! I was so nervous! Finally he came out...with a big smile on his face! He said to mem, "Elder Smith, I'm gonna get baptized tomorrow at 7 and you are going to baptize me!!"  I can't tell you guys how happy I was and I was shaking soooo much! I just wanted to scream but I couldn't because we were in the church. We all gave him a big hug! When he said 7, we thought at night, but no...In the morning! We woke up at 5:15am to be able to set up the baptism. His wife came and his son. It was sooo spiritual. When he came up out of the water, he gave me a big hug and said that he felt like a renewed person. Yesterday,  since it was fast Sunday, he gave his testimony! It was sooo powerful. He explained that many years ago, his family members always invited him to church but he felt that it wasn't his time. As time went on he started feeling the spirit so strongly and he said that Conference sealed the deal. He explained he knew it was true and he couldn't deny it. What impacted me the most is that he said that we are angels that helped him get baptized. Many members say that we are angels and I feel so blessed to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.
Here is a funny/sad story. The other day I was playing soccer in the street with some 5 year olds and there was this old grumpy lady who yelled at us for playing in the street. The street is tiny and no one drives on it. We continued playing and a the littlest boy kicked the ball right into the old grumpy lady's house. The boys got all scared and the lady slammed the door.  About 20 seconds later, she opened the door, threw the ball back out into the street, but she popped the ball, and slammed the door closed. The boys got all sad and ran off almost crying. I felt terrible! So I grabbed a Jesus Christ card that I had in my pocket and slid it under her door to show her whats up! Because they were just little kids having fun. After we put it under the door, we ran off as well...but ran off laughing! Good times!

Tomorrow I am going to Lima. My visa expired since I was here on a traveler's visa and I am going to have to travel outside of the country. Most likely to Ecuador. I am leaving tomorrow night and coming back Thursday morning. I am leaving with like 10 other missionaries.
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith