Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy 20th Birthday Elder Smith!

Happy 4th of July Week!
I hope that you guys all have an amazing 4th of July and make sure you guys send me lots of pictures! Imma miss it, but it's weird to think that next year I will be there with you guys.
 This past week was fun, but really rough on us. Fun I say because I got to go to the beach for my birthday.  Some sisters wanted to move out of their room to a different apartment.  When missionaries want to do that, the zone leaders have to go and make sure their new apartment is safe, a fair price, and stuff like that. So we went over Tuesday in the afternoon and their area is right by the beach, it's called Pimentel. As we were leaving it was around 6 o clock and so we ran to the beach to take some pictures from the boardwalk real quick.  It was pretty legit and we got some sweet photos as you can tell.
Then as we got back, my pencionista threw a little birthday party for me!  They bought me a cake and we ate some pop corn and looked at my pictures from the mission, it was pretty fun indeed!

As the week went by, it was pretty hard. We noticed that Satan is working pretty hard against us. The woman Flor that attended last week isn't interested anymore.  She told us that she looked up Apostasy from the dictionary and it means to leave your religion for another religion.  We tried to explain that she wasn't in apostasy and that she was doing a good thing, but she didn't believe us and she said that she needs to go back to her own religion. As I sat there, listening to that, I felt sooo sad and a little mad inside. We both bore a really good testimony; we also told her that she is always invited to church. But we aren't going to pass by as often. Maybe once a week to see if anything has changed. But we won't give up completely on her.

We haven't been able to find the dad of Alexis and so it's been hard...his baptismal date is this week, but we don't know if it is going to happen. We hope to pass by everyday to see if we can find him. It's just gonna be hard because the first week of every month is a killer for zone leaders. Its full of meetings, plannings, typing out plans for the zone, meeting with the stake president and other stake leaders, and zone conferences and trainings. But we always work hard so we shall see. 

Jenny hasn't attended church for 2 weeks now and she always says that she is going to go but she doesn't end up going. Her baptismal date is for the 12th of July but we want to see an effort out of her before we baptize her to make sure that she is going to be strong in the church.

It's been a hard week...but sometimes that is how the mission is. We met President Williams Saturday in a baptism of the zone and I talked to him for a bit. He was born in Wyoming but has been all over the states. He went to BYU and he met his wife in Utah.  President Williams is probably one of the funniest guys that I have ever met!!! He is sooo legit! His wife is a little quiet because she can't speak Spanish yet but she will learn. He served in Spain for his mission and he asked me how I speak Spanish so perfectly? I look forward to hearing his future talks because I bet they will be funny and so spiritual. Tomorrow we have a meeting with the zone leaders of the mission and so we are excited!
Anyway have a great weekend folks!  I love you. He loves you!
Elder Smith

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Be happy family! He loves you - HE DOES!

 Eating Mcdonalds! Finally! (Oreo Mcflurry)
Hello my dear loved ones!
Well yeah I am kind of feeling weird about me being 20 years old. I'm done being a teenager! Here comes life! It's also weird to think that last year I was in Arizona as a little greenie. I remember it like it was yesterday and I feel that this past year flew by. Its going to be weird to tell people that I'm 20 years old! I was really a happy teenager and I'll miss the years but it's time for the next chapter. Thankfully I'm on the mission learning how to be a good father, spouse, son, brother, and friend. I have learned so much during my time here in Peru, it is insane. Especially all these leadership responsibilities. 

I'm excited though for tomorrow! Today I picked up your package (: Thank you so much. I haven't opened it yet though because if I do I'll get robbed. The package didn't pass customs and so I had to go to an office today in Chiclayo and pick it up. But all went well and they didn't touch anything (:
 Saying goodbye to Elder Santos
and a new suit - Happy Birthday to me!
Goodbye to Elder White (my first companion in Peru)

Anyways...tomorrow at 7 at night my pencionista is going to have a little party for me. She invited a lot of the ward  and so they are going to go over and eat cake and stuff. So I am pretty excited. The only thing is that they are probably gonna drown me in eggs. That is the tradition here. Get the person dirty with eggs and flour, haha I'm nervous. Also in the morning we have a zone meeting. So I'll be able to be with the zone as well! I think I'll have a good birthday (:
 Zone Activity Today
1. My new companion, Elder Chavez from Lima Peru
2. Eating at a legit burger place with huge hamburgers
3. We watched a movie together, but we're missing a lot of missionaries in this picture.
My new companion is named Elder Chavez and he is from Lima. He hasn't been Zone Leader yet and so I am teaching him all the responsibilities. But he is way legit and he works really hard. We actually met in Jaen. We were in the same zone over there. We are really helping the zone and the best thing I would say is that we are working as a team. The zone is working really hard and we have 11 baptismal dates. We put in a new key indicator of baptismal dates and it helped a lot. Elder Chavez and I had to help the zone in a lot of aspects this past week, but I love how we work as a team.  

Hahaha Dad I love what you said about soccer. (that there is no sports news this week except for soccer, and that’s not news) People here are crazy about the world cup, but I'm not that into it. That's interesting about how you told me about Ether 12. That's where I'm reading write now. I actually read it this morning. I'm almost done with the Book of Mormon. But yeah I always love to teach from that chapter of the Book of Mormon. 

Thank you for your advice and message on learning to have more charity in life. That is something that I am for sure working on. Yesterday while we were eating lunch, I received a call about a brand new sister that came in the mission last week from California was feeling really homesick and wanted to go home. My companion and I left right after lunch to their area that is about 30 minutes away and I was able to talk to her and help her out. It was really cool for me to help someone like that in need. She and I set some goals and I shared experiences that happened to me on the mission. I shared quotes, scriptures, and at the end we gave her a blessing. It was really amazing. Today at the zone activity she was happy and we are gonna watch after her a little bit more.  

President and Sister Williams are coming this Friday and President and Sister Risso leave this Saturday. I am kind of sad. But I am ready for it I guess. I'll miss them a lot. They have been probably the greatest leaders that I have had in my life. But I know the next President will receive revelation as well and I will listen and obey him.

As for my area, it is going really really great. We have 2 baptismal dates in July. One with Alexis. The 17 year old who needs permission. Pray for him please. And Jenny. She is 23 and has 2 little girls. She has been listening to the missionaries for about 2 months now and she is doing really well and we are kind of just waiting for time to pass and keeping her spirits up so that she can get baptized this 12th of July for her birthday!

Oh!!! Cool story time. About a week and a half ago...Elder Santos and I were walking down this one street and we saw this 30 year old woman with her 2 little girls outside of her house eating oranges. We both decided to go and talk to her. She is from Jaen! She has been catholic her whole life like everyone else here but she never really liked it. This past Saturday, after being rejected all day long...Elder Chavez and I were kind of down and wanted to get something productive out of the day. We went to go teach her and we sat down in her house and she explained to us that she wants to join this church!!! After the lesson, Elder Chavez and I grabbed each other and started jumping up and down with joy haha. Yesterday she came to church for the first time and absolutely loved it! We just need to put a baptismal date with her this week and finish the lessons. She will most likely get baptized this month in July. I am so happy with my area. I couldn't be any happier right now and I know that the Lord really his helping us out. We worked really hard this past week.

I miss all of you so much. It's weird to think that next year for my birthday, I will be there with you guys. But be happy family...we have the gospel in our lives. I have learned so much and I have seen so many unhappy families on my mission. We are blessed to have each other. We are blessed to live where we live. We are blessed to have been born in the church. We are blessed for the scriptures. I can go on all day. But everyone. Just be happy okay? I Love you all. He loves you....HE DOES!!!
Elder Smith

Monday, June 16, 2014

One of the coolest stories of my mission so far I think!

In another area of my Zone called Monsefu.
Wow oh wow!! You guys had a really long and fun week! Good ole summer! I can't wait to spend next summer with you guys! That is pretty disgusting about Shane and how he threw up on Allison. Haha that reminds me that I threw up all over Allison when I was about 10 on a plane ride. Do you remember that and I totally missed the bag?Haha! Finally Allison got a job!!! I tried applying at Zupas, but they didn't hire me. But congrats Allison! I am excited for you to actually start working there! I'm sure you will like it and good luck on your test!

First, I am sorry if the stuff that I write doesn't make sense. Because I am soooo tired!!!! Last night, Elder Santos and I picked up some Elders from the Zone Guadalupe and one is named Elder Rich, and the other went home today. I said goodbye to Elder Santos today, as well as Elder White (my first companion in Peru)! He had 13 months when we got put together and now he is taking off!! Right now I am with Elder Rich. A 6 foot 6 gringo from Ogden. He is a stud. He played basketball and hopes to play when he gets back. Actually when he played here in Peru, he tried dunking the basketball with his ring on and his finger pretty much flew off and now he doesn't have his ring finger of his right hand. Anyway he isn't my companion, he is just here until changes tomorrow when I will get a new Elder assigned to be with me.

At night I am going to pick up Elder Flores from the bus station!! I am way stoked to see him. Tonight 8 elders are going to sleep in our apartment.  Mainly elders from Jaen who have a change. I am going to die! So many Elders! And last night I didn't get to bed till 2 in the morning because Elder Santos packed, we stayed up to talk, and I just couldn't sleep. And tonight I don't think I will get to sleep because of the 8 elders that will be here.  

Oh and about changes, I don't think it will affect my return date of March 10th because this last change was only 4 weeks and this change right now that is coming up is an 8 week long change. So it's like normal! 

This is the view from my roof. (Mom asked the question, "Why are all the buildings only half finished?") What I have heard is that if they finish the building all the way, they have to pay more. And a lot of people like to dry their clothes on top of the roof.

 A legit member in our ward took us to eat at a really nice, expensive restaurant. We had A LOT of meat. The grilled cow tongue deserved a picture all of it's own. It wasn't that bad! It tasted way better than the regular meat that we eat here everyday.

I won't be training a new missionary. I have to be with another Zone Leader. But I heard my next companion has never been a Zone Leader before, so I will be in charge. I am actually feeling okay about it though. We have a lot of changes in the zone, a lot of the sisters are leaving. But I am excited to see where things go. I have some ideas I want to put into the zone to help it a little bit more. But yeah...I'll have to basically train the new Zone Leader all the responsibilities and stuff. The good things is that I love my area sooo much. All the young men and women help us sooo much. 

This past week we put a baptismal date with a 17 year old kid named Alexis. He has been going to seminary every morning at 6 and comes to church every Sunday. He is really excited. My area is amazing. I love the members and the kids.

Elder Supayabe (my comp from my last area) wrote me today and said that Jesus Ñique was able to baptize one of the investigators that I taught over there! He was a cousin of one of the young men in our ward. And when I left we put a baptismal date with him and he got baptized yesterday and Jesus Ñique(my convert)...baptized him! One of the coolest stories of my mission so far I think!

I'm kind of feeling sick right now...just a lot of mixed emotions and nervous about this change.
I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith

Monday, June 9, 2014

I felt like a father waiting for his kid to get home

Happy Monday!
Well Mom and Dad congratulations for helping us all in our lives! Honestly it is so weird for me to think as well. Time has seriously flown by and you both are my role models and I hope to have a family like our own family one day. I will always remember going to church with you guys and how you sometimes separated me and Jordan for making too much noise or from Allison for fighting haha but you guys have always been there for me and I thank Heavenly Father everyday for the family that I have.

Well this is the last week that I will have with Elder Santos as he goes home next week. My learning experience as a leader has been short and I'd really like more time to learn all the responsibilities as ZL. Who knows, maybe I'll get a companion who has experience as a ZL. Elder Santos and I have been working insanely hard. It's legit. Our area has sooo much potential and we are finding a lot of people to teach. I think that we will have a baptism coming up. I am a little nervous to guide the area and the zone. This has happened to me a lot on my mission. With little time to get to know the area, and then there is a change and I have to guide it. For example, Arizona, Morro Solar, and Jose Olaya. But EVERY TIME, the Lord has helped me and everything has been okay. I am just nervous as well because I have now another calling as zone leader. But he will help me and I have always been guided. I really have learned to put my trust in the Lord because he will never fail us.

A kind of scary experience happened to us this past week. We received a call from a DL in an area 30 minutes away from our area saying the sisters in his area weren't answering their telephone. We tried calling them like 5 times and nothing and it was already 10:30 at night. I told the DL to leave his house to go over to the sister's apartment and see if they were home and then to call us right away. After about 20 minutes he called us from a payphone in the street and said that they don't know if they are in their house because they aren't answering the door. The bad thing as well, is that only the zone leaders here in the mission have cell phones. We called President Risso and he told us to call the branch president. We did and he left with the Elders to see where the sisters were. This whole time Elder Santos and I were thinking that they got robbed or maybe even kidnapped. Haha I told him that I felt like a father waiting for his kid to get home when it's like 1 in the morning! I was so nervous! Luckily, they got into the apartment complex, knocked on the door, and the sisters came out all confused. What happened was that they put their telephone on silent because they were sick and didn't want to be bugged and so they didn't hear the phone! Ah! So around midnight, we finally got to sleep! It's a crazy life! But hey that's the mission!

Anyway, right now I don't have much time because we are going to one of Elder Santos old areas so that he can say goodbye to some people. 
Oh and bad adapter broke and so I can't send pictures today. 
I love you guys. He loves you
Elder Smith

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Wow....what a week!

 Wow....what a week! For you guys and for me!

 Well my dear kind parents...Congratulations! You have helped us all get through High School and you have raised us so well in the gospel out to missions and serving others! It'll be weird next year to come home to an empty house but I know that we will still enjoy each other's company! I love you guys and congratulations Allison for graduating and as well as Solei! It is sooo weird for me to think that they are done with High School! But wooo hoo!! But yeah and I are tired!

The first week of every month for a Zone Leader is kind of a killer and usually don't have anytime to work. But thank goodness Elder Santos and I worked as much as we could and the week turned out pretty successful! The Zone Leaders from Jaen slept in our room Monday night since we had a Leaders Council Tuesday morning. The meeting was way cool! We put all the tables into a big square and we all pretty much faced each other talking about the mission and the zones. We looked at our last month's achievements and this month's goals. We also heard the things that we needed to teach and share with our zone. 

Wednesday in the morning we met up with the District Leaders of our zone and we gave them training on their responsibilities and we also talked about what we want to talk about during this coming month of June. We hope to teach them how to study and how to keep their hopes up through learning the Attributes of Christ and so I am excited! That night we didn't get to bed until like 12:30 because we had to plan everything that we wanted to talk about!

President Risso told us to teach the Zone how we need to be when he leaves and when the new President comes. President Risso is so amazing, I had my last interview with him, and I will never forget the words that he told me.  President Williams comes in like the 27th of June I think. We assigned some District Leaders to teach and at the end Elder Santos and I taught about the things that we are able to obtain and gain from the mission. (La Mision
Lograr una vision
Amar a las personas
Mejorar nuestra forma de ser
Inspirar las vidas de las personas
Seguidores verdaderos de Cristo
Olvidar de nosotros mismos
Nuevas personas
It was a lot of fun! Also the zone bought me a cake for my birthday that is this month! Nuts!

We were gonna have a baptism this past week but it fell through. She wanted to do it and she has a testimony of the church, she just wants to get married first and then get baptized. 

The rest of the week we spent traveling to parts of our zone to do some baptismal interviews, trainings, and room checks for sisters who wanted to move. It was a tiring week.

But I love my area! We are working soo hard and so effectively. There are a lot of teenagers as well who are helping us as much as they can. Yesterday we watched a movie with them in our pencionist's house. It reminds me a lot of our ward with all the fun teenagers and kids.

Mom good luck on your talk up at camp! Just talk about how lucky they are to have the temple so close...I miss it soo much and people here in Peru have to sacrifice so much just to go like once a year if that!
I love you all. He loves you
Elder Smith