Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It is SO important that we keep our covenants and fulfill our callings.

The zones of Chiclayo Peru, Dorado, La Victoria, and Jaen all with Elder Wadell who is a 70 who came and spoke to the mission. It was amazing!  Elder Supayabe is in Morro Solar in Jaen right now and he brought me a package from Hna Deydi my pencionist in Jaen! She gave me a box of chocolates!! I miss them!!
(Elder Smith is on the far left of the top row)

 Our room...its waayyy small. With one desk and barely any room to get around between the bed and the dresser haha. But you gotta love it.

Hello Everyone Once Again!!
I say this every week but I swear that ever week flies by faster and faster!!!

This week was pretty normal. Not a lot happened to be honest. We have tried to just help the investigators that are progressing a little more and so we haven't really found any new investigators, but that is our goal for this week. We went to contact a whole bunch. 

Sometimes I get thinking of my old areas and how much I miss them. Especially Los Amautas and Morro Solar. But I am grateful to be here. The members are great, but we don't really go visit them as often because they are all pretty old and just not interested in coming out with us. So I miss visiting cool member families. So we hope to also get to know more members here in the ward.

This change has flown by soo fast! We are already in the last week of the change!!! I only have 3 more changes and so I am freaking out. I really want to end my mission strong and that is my goal. I want to work even harder and just work until the very end. I still think sometimes that it is weird to be on my mission because it's something that I have always wanted to do. And to actually think that I am a missionary makes me happy.  I was thinking the other day that if I was a sister missionary that I would be home right now! But I wouldn't want that. Because the 18 months went by way too fast and I would have been way mad and sad if I had to go at 18 months. So I am grateful that I still have time to be here. 

Angeles and Noeli still weren't able to come to church because Angeles got really sick. But they both still know the church is true and they want to get baptized sooo bad. They are just praying and searching for a way to do it. We were able to share many scriptures with them to help them out about how Heavenly Father always helps us out in our afflictions if we are faithful. One morning this past week I really looked for so many scriptures to use. My favorites were probably Jacob 3:1 where it explains of how we need to trust in Heavenly Father. We also shared Mosiah 7:33 where he will free us from our afflictions. Also Alma 7:15 where it invites us to come and not fear and that we should let every sin go that holds us back. So we hope that they were able to learn something from that lesson.

Gilberto and his daughter Lorena are really coming along and they attended church again yesterday!!! Last night we went over and his girlfriend that he is living with joined in on the lesson. We taught about Family Home Evenings and how important it is for us to learn as a family. Her name is Sara and we could tell that she is interested as well. We plan to do a FHE with them next week on Monday. I love teaching about families. I have a strong testimony about that. In the Book of Mormon it shows a lot of great examples of great parents and the influence that it had on their children.

We didn't find Elayne this past week. She studies a whole bunch but yesterday she came to church and loved it sooo much and the YSA's were able to help her to have a good experience at church. I feel that Elayne will get baptized in the month of November. She really likes the gospel and feels it's true. We just need to help her to have more faith so that she may be able to act in faith and be baptized.

Thank you sooo much for your thoughts and prayers. I am grateful for you guys and that I am a part of our family. Thanks for your love and support and advice. Everything is going well right now. I am just eager for a baptism. But I know I just need to fulfill my purpose as a missionary. Elder Wadell explained that salvation doesn't come through how high we were in callings, if we were a zone leader, a trainer, a district leader, a bishop, a stake president. It just doesn't matter. It doesn't matter how many baptisms we have because it won't bring us salvation. But it IS important that we keep our covenants and fulfill our callings. So that is what I am focusing on. 

Ideas for Christmas??? Mmm......I'm not sure Mom! I don't really care too much about candy because I'll be able to eat it soon enough. But I'd like some ties or letters or pictures. Idk surprise me (: Love you guys. He loves you!
Elder Smith

Monday, October 20, 2014

It has always been my goal to be a missionary and to be one right now is such a huge blessing

 Here is a picture of me getting tickled by this funny 8 year old who lives with our pencionista.
 Elder Manley and I singing "A Child's Prayer" 
for our Karaoke Ward Activity

Here is a picture of Gerardo (the boy on the right).  He is a member from Los Amautas ward in my last area.  He came to see me today since he leaves on his mission tomorrow! He is such a stud.

(Note from Elder Smith's Mom:  It's funny to me to see how much Jake has forgotten English. When he writes his letters, I can tell that he is thinking in Spanish and translating his thoughts to English because the sentence structure is written in Spanish form. Sometimes I change his grammar before adding it to his blog, but I've decided that it'll be much more fun for him and our family to look back on this and see his language skills go from learning Spanish, then mastering it and forgetting English little by little.)

My amazing family and friends
I can't even explain how fast these weeks are flying!!! It sometimes seems that Pday is everyday because of how the weeks fly. Especially this year!!! We are almost done with October and soon we will be able to talk on Christmas for our last time!! Ah!!!  I am excited for all that and I am also happy that I still have time to finish the work that I am doing because I know that I still have many things to complete and to accomplish.

You guys seemed like you had an amazing fall break! Just reading all of the fun memories made me tired and so I bet you are all tired of all that fun! But I am happy that you were able to spend time as a family!! I can't wait to get out golfing with dad! I dreamt that I went golfing this past week! I love the tender mercies haha. But thank you for being such a strong family.

Honestly it would be hard to live forever where I am living right now because there really isn't that much to do besides play soccer. We are so blessed to have all those fun things that we have in Utah and the beautiful place that we live in.

We had another great week! All the investigators are still progressing. They all want to get baptized, they are just having struggles doing it. Angeles and Noeli want to be baptized but have some family issues to take care of. This past week we explained more about following Christ and the blessing that we receive by living the gospel. They both said that they know the things are true. Also we had a ward activity this past Friday and they came. It was a karaoke night and they loved it. Elder Manley and I sang "A Childs Prayer" and everyone could feel the spirit. It was great! 

We taught Mari again. But she couldn't come to church because of work. But she wants us to keep teaching her. She is getting better from the tragedy that she went through and she thanked us for coming to her house. She also gave us thanks for coming to Peru and learning Spanish so that she could learn these things. She is such a sweetheart. 

We are also teaching a man named Gilberto. His nieces and cousins live in another part of the zone and they are also investigating the church and so we started to teach him and his daughter Lorena since they live in our area. They want to be baptized as well. They attended church yesterday so as long as they do their part, the Lord will help them. This past week we taught them and I was talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it has blessed my life. I explained that I have grown so much closer to the Lord throughout my mission and how it has always been my goal to be a missionary and to be one right now is such a huge blessing for me. As I said these words, tears almost burst out of my eyes because I just felt how true it was. But I kept myself strong haha.
Well I love you guys. He loves you. Thank you for your prayers
Elder Smith

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thank you so much for your prayers. We have people to teach!

To all my dear loved ones.
I want to thank you for helping us with your prayers. I will explain all of the miracles that we have seen this past week in this email. This church is wonderful. We are blessed. Thank you.

It seems that you guys are doing incredible and I am so thankful that Heavenly Father is hearing my prayers. I love you all sooo much. I am so excited to come back in the Spring right when it is warming up because it gets really chilly hear at night. Even though I miss the's been weird to be out here almost 19 months and just not see snow. I love Utah!

That stinks about the car...But I am happy that you were able to have the money to get it up and running again. Haha that car has tons of miles on it and it's just a part of our family (:

I am so grateful as well that you guys are having wonderful spiritual experiences because without those experiences it is very easy to become inactive in the church. Please always strive to have those experiences so that we may always be strengthened.

Elder Manley and I were so grateful last night for what Heavenly Father has done for us this past week. We have finally found AMAZING people to teach that are so prepared and ready to accept the gospel in their lives.  We also had many spiritual experiences.

This past Thursday morning after working a little bit we were walking back to our room. On the street there were 2 guys sitting on the corner and we wanted to talk to them. As we approached one of them was quite unhappy to see us and as we shook their hands to greet them the man started to raise his voice and just bash on Joseph Smith. He said that the Bible says no such thing as an American prophet, that he is false and so many mean things against our church. But before I could let him go any further I stopped him and said... "Look, you don't have to talk to us like that. We are just young men who teach about Christ and his gospel and ministry. We are from the United States and we came here to Peru to teach what we know to be true. Now if you have heard some bad things about the church that is fine because I have met many people who believe false things about this church. But we know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I understand that you may be confused about what we believe in. But listen to us that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We don't pray to him, we don't worship him. But he DID restore this gospel. There are true prophets today who guide us." We basically explained to him and his friend about the Restoration. It was sooo amazing to see the spirit work in them. He went from a grumpy man who hated us and this church to a man who really listened and had sincere questions. We left them with a pamphlet about the Restoration and now every time we walk by him, he says, "Hermanos!!!! Como estan!!!" with a big grin on his face. It was amazing.

Elaine, the 19 year old girl that I wrote you about last week, is really progressing. We taught a powerful lesson about the Restoration Friday morning and she was soo happy to hear the lesson and she had great questions and we were able to help her really well to understand. We invited her to the conference for the Sunday Morning Session and we picked her up and she was soo happy to be there. Her grandma didn't come because she had things to do but her grandma listens as well and is happy to see a change in Elaine. Before the conference started Elaine told me that she felt she really needed to come and that she was there for a reason. We hope to put a baptismal date with her this coming week.

We also met a 15 year old girl named Angeles. We knocked on her door and she told us that she always wanted to go to church but never knew what time it was at. When we leave her with stuff to read she reads them and knows it sooo well. She really loves this gospel and has told us that she wants to get baptized and that she already feels it is true. She is a really mature person as well. Unfortunately we can't just baptize her since she is only 15 years old. So while we were in the first lesson with her we invited her Mom to come out and she listened just great. We invited them to come to conference as well and they said to pick them up. Sunday morning we went to their house before we went to Elaine's house but they weren't home so we were bummed out. BUT they showed up!!! I can't even explain how happy I was to see them come around the corner and enter the chapel. They said that it was sooo beautiful and they learned a lot. So we hope to help them be baptized as well. But yeah let me tell you that it is very cool to be there watching conference with a non member. Sometimes they got bored though. But we just helped them understand as the conference went on. I really loved what the 70 talked about. When he said that sometimes we fear men more than God.  That is true. So let's not be like that!

Last night we contacted a referral that we got from missionaries. I asked her if she was the person from our referral.  She just about grabbed me and fell saying yes it's me. She explained that 2 days ago a man was killed because they wanted to rob his moto but he didn't give it up and so they shot him.The man was a friend of her daughter and so they are still kind of in shock for what happened. She told us how grateful she was for us to come over and she said that we came just at the right time. It was very humbling. She told us that she wished that the world was filled with young men like us. We promised her that if she follows this gospel, she may find the peace and comfort that she needs. I felt the spirit so strongly.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We have people to teach (: We are doing great things. I love you guys. He loves you. And I hope that you love Him!
Elder Smith

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We haven't been able to watch conference yet

 Just messing around the streets of Peru
 Studying hard with Elder Manley
Fast week once again!
Well I guess we should just get it straight that we weren't able to watch conference yet. In all of Peru they had elections and so it was illegal to have any type of meetings whatsoever during the elections.  We are all going to watch it this coming Saturday and Sunday in the Stake Center. I was kind of bummed out but I can't wait to see it! We are going to invite all the people that we can to come and watch it with us. But yes that is really really weird to think that it will be my last conference away from you guys! I remember when Jordan was gone and I was so stoked to say that next conference we will be together. I am sure the time will go by sooo fast.  We asked the stake to set a room apart for the English speaking Elders because there are a lot of Americans in our zone so I hope that they do it.

I am so happy to hear that you are doing great in your church calling Mom. It sounds that you have great ideas to help out the stake. That is one of my goals as I get back. I really want to contribute more and fulfill my callings because they are soo important.

This past Tuesday we had a multi-zone meeting with President and his wife. The meeting was incredible and the President teaches sooo amazing.  I have already learned sooo much from him. He mainly talked about obedience and that we shouldn't be rushed about baptizing people. We need to make sure that they truly are converted. He wants us to be obedient so that the Lord may bless us to find more people to baptize. But not only people, but families as well.  Together we all studied The Family Proclamation to the World and we all pulled out scriptures and I love all the scriptures that we were able to read. One of my favorite family scriptures is in Jacob 3 verse 7 and also Mosiah 4 verses 14 and 15. They are soo great and I always share them in lessons.  At the meeting we had some way good burgers and I was soo happy haha. I also can't wait to get back and eat that amazing conference breakfast. I am kind of tired of rice and chicken.... I need some greasy American food haha.
Well this past week went by pretty fast. We did a lot more contacting and we are still knocking sooo many doors because we don't have many people to teach. We also tried focusing on finding less active members and recent converts so that we can help in that part of missionary work as well. This past Saturday our Ward Mission Leader came out with us and he took us to houses of less actives and we found a family of 7.  The parents are sealed in the temple, but they haven't gone to church for a long time. As I walked in the house I noticed all the paintings and pictures of Jesus Christ in their home and I could tell that the family was sooo loving and nice. They just haven't gone for a long time because of work and they had to move a lot. But now they are settled in their house and we are going to start teaching them the missionary lessons so that they can become active again. It is soo wonderful to feel and see the members come back to the church.

We also had a cool experience contacting. I wish you guys could see how many people we talk to and all the doors we knock each day because it's insane but it's also amazing to see how Heavenly Father places his children in our way. Some people however are quite stubborn and rude about the gospel. We have had several doors slammed in our face, but that doesn't stop us. This past Thursday as we were contacting in the afternoon we found a 19 year old girl Elainy with her grandmother. At first they didn't really want to accept us into their home, but they did. They explained to us that right when we knocked on the door they felt it was from God and that they needed to let us in. They said that they really want to increase their faith in God. We have tried going back after that visit but they haven't been home. So we pray we may find them soon.

This area is quite different then all the others and it's a different experience because we don't know anyone and we don't have that many people to teach but we are striving.

Elder Manley is probably one of my favorite companions and we get along great together. It's fun training, but it takes a lot of energy because I have to do the talking most of the time and answer all the questions and doubts that people have. But as Elder Manley testifies, it increases the power of the spirit in the room. Sometimes he is stressed about the language but I just tell him how stressed I was. He will get the language soon though and he speaks it well for only having 2 weeks in the field. He is a good missionary.

I haven't heard about the Meet the Mormons movie but it sounds great! I Hope to get back and watch all the movies that I have missed out on! Boo ya! Movie partayy!!
I love you. He loves you
Elder Smith