Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Inka Kola and Pizza are a great combination!

Hello There!!
Well not too much happened this week. We have still tried contacting a lot of people but we are just running out of houses to contact since we have been contacting every day and since we have practically knocked every door. But here and there we enter into a house to teach a lesson. Yesterday during Elders Quorum, we talked to the members about the importance of giving a references and how we want to work together with them. I remember before my mission, I used to think that I would love contacting and I thought that it would actually be effective, but it's not. Being able to work with the members is way more effective and it allows us to find prepared people to teach. But so far, we have been lucky in finding people to teach through contacting like Elayne, and Angeles and Noeli.

This past week it was a struggle for us to find Elayne. We would call her everyday and we would go to her house every day. But she never answered. She lives with her grandma for right now and her grandma is super nice and her grandma explained that they haven't been able to find a family member for a long time and so they are busy trying to find him and also Elayne is studying a lot. To be honest, I got a little worried because we really need to teach Elayne if she wants to get baptized next weekend. Yesterday before church we ran over to Elayne's house once again and luckily we found her. She explained that her phone was broken and that she hasn't been home that much. But now she is more free and she still wants to get baptized which is good. So this week and next week we are going to try to teach her as much as possible so that she may be able to get baptized with no problem. She is really prepared.

We watched the Joseph Smith movie this past week with Gilberto and Lorena. His wife Sara wasn't able to be present in the lesson though, so that was a bummer. But the movie hits me every time and I can always feel the spirit.  Every time I watch the movie with investigators, I always find myself praying to Heavenly Father so that the investigators might be able to feel the spirit and understand the movie. At the end of the movie, they were both so grateful for Joseph Smith. In the closing
prayer, Lorena thanked God for restoring the church through Joseph Smith and she also thanked Him for helping them to change. Gilerto and his wife are doing amazing. They came to church yesterday for like the 5th time in a row and they bring their scriptures every time. It's amazing to see people find joy in this gospel.

Today for Pday we went to a member's house who got Pizza Hut for us We gave them money for them to go to a Plaza here in Chiclayo and buy it for us since we can't go as missionaries. Anyways we all had 1 pizza each as a companionship and man let me just tell you. . . Inka Kola and Pizza are a great combination.
Well...time is flying. But I really want to end my mission strong. Elder Manley and I keep thinking that one of us might have a change at the end of this change but we are praying that that won't happen. The change ends the 16th of December and so it's right before Christmas. But we really want to be together for Christmas. We shall see though. After this change, I'll only have 2 more changes. Crazy.

Well thank you for all your support and your love. I am grateful to hear that all is going well in church for all of you. Thank you for being so strong. Thank you for your prayers each day. 

I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Halloween + some videos!!!!

 Me in in the "rich/fancy" part of my area
Chilling with Elder Quiroz 20 months later
(my first comp at the MTC)
Whats up!!!!!
Can I just say how much I loved hearing about Ian and Ryder!! They seem like so much fun and I can't wait to get back and hang out with them!! Ryder looks huge!!!! I laughed soo hard when I heard what happened to Ian and the wii game and the lemon with Ryder. I wish that I could have been there! I miss you guys! But I am happy that you had a great Halloween!!

Sick costume Dad!! You win for the sexiest and most creative costume of 2014 haha (:
Elder Smith's Dad dressed up for Halloween!
That is crazy about Jordan. I forgot he was having surgery today! I hope all goes well so that we can throw the football when I get back. I miss throwing it so much. I have looked so many times here in the markets for a football but all I ever find are soccer balls and so that totally sucks. I remember that we went to the High School to throw it around when Jordan got back and that was dang fun!!

Mom your office in the school sounds really legit! I don't remember the High School doing much for Halloween while I was there. I miss the High School days. Can you believe it that when I get back, I will have 3 years being graduated!!? Time flies.

I haven't gotten the Halloween package. When did you send it out? I hope I get it either this week, or next week. That is weird talking about Christmas...I can't believe that 2014 is almost over. It is absolutely hauling!! We are going to Skype next month! But we don't really know where we will able to do it. We are searching for members who have laptops with a camera. But we shall see.

This past week was the end of the last change and none of us has a change which is good. This next change will go until the 16th of December and so we hope that we will have 3 changes together so  that we can be here together for Christmas.

I called Elder Chavez last night to see how everything was going in Los Amautas and he said that everyone is still attending church. The less active that we rescued named Alexis is 18 and is now passing the sacrament and blessing it. He also plans on going to the temple. Here in Peru the wards try to go to the temple once a year together and they all go in big buses! It's like a 20 hour drive! But that makes me happy that everyone here wants to go so bad. We are blessed for having sooo many temples close by. But they are going this next week!!

Then I called my pencionista in Jaen and she told me that one of my converts named Marcos. Remember him? His girlfriend and her family were all members. But they actually got married a few months ago and have goals to be able to get sealed in the temple next year!!! So that is amazing to hear (:

Anyways, back to Artesanos!! Things are going great!!! We were very happy to see the investigators do a fast. They are really progressing and I am happy to actually know that they want to get baptized. We are just trying to teach them according to their needs.

Elayne has a baptismal date for the 22nd of November. We were able to read 2nd Nefi 31 with her about why Christ got baptized and how we all need to be baptized. We also talked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost. At the end of the lesson, we invited her and she accepted. She is still nervous for it. So please pray for her that she may have confidence!!

Also the investigators that we are teaching have incredible faith!!! Since this past week was fast Sunday, we taught them about fasting this past week. We also invited them to fast so that they could find a way to get baptized and they did it!!

Gilberto and his daughter Lorena fasted! For 24 hours! Gilberto explained that he has felt a change inside of him ever since he has been listening to the lessons. He really feels that it is true. We heard that here in Peru, if you aren't living with your spouse for 2 years, it's an automatic divorce and he hasn't even seen his x wife for 15 years and so we are going to call the mission office to find about more. But tonight we have a family home evening with them tonight and we are going to see the Joseph Smith movie with them.

But that is pretty much it for this week!
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith