Peru Chiclayo Mission - March 2013-2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

This is MY Mission!

 Elder Zavala (from my group) went home 3 weeks early so he could start his studies this past week.
Buenas Tardes!
I bet that Dad and Jordan can agree that at the end of their missions, they still didn't feel that they were going home soon. To be honest, sometimes I feel that I'm going to be a missionary my whole life! But I know that my time is coming to an end. However I'm grateful that I still have....animos to work hard....I don't know how to word that in English.

I'm not sure really sure if I'm going to have time on the 9th to write home because we are going to have a meeting for those that are going home from 8 until 4 and then from there I'm pretty sure that we are going to go to the mission house to eat with President and Sister Williams and then from there, to the airport. So I think that we will only have 2 more times to write after this. Crazy right?

I definitely have mixed feeling about all this. I'm very excited to continue my life and see all of you guys and I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me. But yet again, THIS IS MY MISSION!....This is what I've been dreaming of my whole life and everyday has been hard, spiritual, fun, and exciting. These past 2 years have really helped me to be more humble and to realize just how blessed I am. My testimony is stronger than it has ever has been and I can say that I understand the Gospel a lot more and that has prepared me up until now. I'm happy and excited to come home soon, but at the same time sad. I'm pretty sure all returned missionaries can agree with me!

 Here are my shoes! They are so trashed and have holes on the bottom of each one. Let's just say that every day, I have rocks in my shoes and my socks are covered in dirt!

This past week has been a good one once again. We have been able to help many people to realize the importance of the Restored Church and I've been able to feel the spirit in every lesson that we have had.

Angels and Noeli were finally able to attend church because they have been having many problems and challenges over the past few weeks that have come in the way and les han impedido ir a la iglesia. Haha I'm sorry I don't know anymore what I'm trying to write in English...
But they attended church and last night we went over to see how church was for them and they said that they had felt a peace and joy that they have needed to feel for a long time. We explained that Heavenly Father always wants us to feel like that and so that is why he has given us the Atonement and Church to always comfort us. We also explained the conversion of Alma the younger and how he said that he felt the same thing when he turned to God and repented. So we hope that they will always remember that feeling from here on out so that they can always go to church. I hope that they can get baptized soon though.

We also met a man who is about 28 named Jorge. He explained that he has been looking for a church to attend to recently and that he wants to be a part of a church. We were able to teach him a powerful lesson about the Restoration. However for some reason he didn't come to church yesterday and so we hope to find him this week so that he can come next week.

Thanks for your prayers and support. I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, February 9, 2015

I know that I'll be able to leave this area in good hands

Well time keeps on going by and my time is coming to an end faster and faster. Even though I have a short amount of time left, we are working hard! At the beginning of the week we really tried to start it off great and we did just that. We have contacted many many people and we have found new people to teach.
 Above: My very first MTC companion Elder Winward
Below: My very last companion Elder Rubio
Kind of cool to get to hang out all together at this time
On Monday as we left to work around 6 we immediately started to contact and we found some cool people to help. We are teaching a pretty poor couple that are named Adel and Alfonzo. They don't have too much and they go around everyday selling their drink medicines. But they have always gone to church and they have always been really religious. Saturday as we came back they really wanted to know how to exactly raise their boy in a good home with good principles so we started to teach them about church and how big of a blessing it is to us. I shared with them that I was born in the church and that all my life, I had learned many principles that have helped me to make good decisions. So we invited them to church but they said that they would come next week because they had to go to the hospital to visit their family member. But we were able to teach with the spirit and they really felt that going to church would help them a whole bunch.

On Tuesday we knocked on a door and a man that is about 30 years old opened and as we were talking to him, I just knew and felt that he would let us in his house to teach a lesson and sure enough he did! We talked a little bit about the church and how it blesses families. Then on Thursday we went back and we taught a very powerful lesson about the Restoration. He had some questions, but we were able to answer them with the spirit and you could really see how surprised and excited he was to know that we have living prophets. We left him with a Book of Mormon and we are gonna go back this coming week! So we are really having success from the contacts we have been doing. I probably won't have a baptism in these next 4 weeks, but I know that I'll be able to leave this area in good hands and well off.

We also have been visiting a really less active lady named Maria Reyes. When I first got here she was really strong in the church, but she heard a member say something mean about her and so she hasn't gone since then. We talked about how we go to church because we love God. We also taught that as we follow Christ, there will be obstacles and Satan will try everything in his power to not make us go to church. The lessons that we taught were very powerful and spiritual and sure enough...she came to church yesterday!!! So we look forward on rescuing her soon in the next couple of weeks!

This past week we had a Multi Zone Conference with a couple of Zones and I saw Elder Supayabe and Elder Flores there. So it was fun to say goodbye to them because from here on out we won't see each other since I'm heading out soon!
Well right now it is very hot in Chiclayo. It's kind of hard to sleep at night and we are burning while we work! Yesterday it was hard because Sundays are the worst. No one is really home. So we contacted and walked around for like 5 hours straight! But I plan on working hard until the end!!

Thanks for everything. I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, February 2, 2015

Goodbye to my most favorite companion

Hey ya'll haha as Elder Manley would say.
Sounds like you all had an amazing time for the Super Bowl party!! It seems like 3 months ago that we watched it at Chris's house! I'm stoked to be there again!

Elder Manley got sent to Cajamarca and he is totally stoked because everyone wants to go there here in the mission! I miss him quite a bit and it's really weird to not have him here teaching the people and working with me. 
 Goodbye Elder Manley :(
Hello Elder Rubio
My new companion is Elder Rubio and he originally is from Putumayo Peru but he moved to Lima several years ago. He is 20 and also a convert which is pretty cool. We are pretty different from each other but we both have desires to work well. He was baptized 2 and half years ago and is the only member in his family and so I give him huge props for that. We are really working really hard and have contacted a whole bunch of people. He always went out with the missionaries while he was home and so he already knows how to teach well and our lessons are really powerful. 

This past week we had to walk a whole bunch. I probably walked the most I have ever walked in a week during my mission. We had to walk a whole bunch because all of our set appointments kept on falling through and so we had to contact and we barely entered into the houses to teach. Let's just say that this past week, I've learned a lot about diligence because even though there aren't a lot of people home sometimes, we have to keep going and contacting. All is well though. I have really felt excited to keep on working even though I know that I am going home soon. I'm trying hard not to think about that because I want to be focused on my mission as much as possible and I want to help as much people as I can before it's my turn to head home.
Cynthia Vasquez and her kids were rescued this past week and so that was really nice! I'm happy for them because they really seem a lot happier now that they come to church. It's just hard for them all to get up since we attend church at 8 am. But Saturday night we called them to remind them about church.

That is all for this week. I haven't received any news about my Travel Plans but we have a Multi Zone meeting on Thursday so I'll probably talk about it to them there.
I love you. He loves you.
Elder Smith

Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm about to have my 3rd "son."

Mis Queridos Amados!
First off thank you Mom for that wonderful email. Geez make me cry why don't you? Haha no but seriously I love you so much and I'm so thankful for your guidance and example. I have been so blessed to have you and Dad as my parents and thank you for sharing that with us. I really hope that we all can follow her advice and be that much more loving and supportive. 

But you are right. We are so blessed to live where we live and to have the family that we have. To be honest I have always thought what you have thought. . .  Why did I get so blessed? Why did Heavenly Father send me to Utah to live with the most perfect family for me? Now it's clear, just like you said, because He knew that I wouldn't take advantage of the blessings. Honestly before my mission, I took way too many things for granted it's not even funny. But I'm excited to get back and be more grateful for things such as carpet, air conditioning, grass, clear air, a car, just sooo many things. 

Anyways time to get down to the sad news..... Elder Manley has a change and he leaves tomorrow. We are both quite sad about it. Never have I been this sad about a change before but I'm really going to miss him. Last night we stayed awake until 1 in the morning because we couldn't sleep because just the thought of not having him around sucks! It sounds girly, I know I know, but we have become the best of friends.  It'll be exciting to hear how is doing once I am home and we will for sure see each other again. We have had 3 changes together and the time went by sooo dang fast. We are mainly sad because it won't be the same when we are in the house of our pencionista because we always play with the 9, 6, and 5 year old that live there. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry when it's my turn to say goodbye to them. But  anyway, we are trying to stay positive and I know that Elder Manley will do amazing things in his mission

Also....I'm going to train again!!!! Every time someone trains, they have a ¨kid¨. So it will be my 3rd son on the mission. I'm excited about it and I'm happy that the Lord trusts in me to be able to do it again. I'm not sure if it's going to be a latino or a gringo but I hope it's a latino so that I can get my Spanish up again. Plus I know that since I'm training again, it will help me to keep working hard until my time is up.

Today is the first day of my last change and its definitely bitter sweet. But I'm excited for the new experiences that are about to come. I know that I still have things to do and just like you said Mom, I don't want to sit back and say that I did my part because I still have to work!

Thank you for those scriptures. I have really been feeling a lot better about everything. I continued to read in Alma. And I think it's in Alma 17 where Alma and Amulek suffer a lot of afflictions but the Lord comforts them. I know that the Lord is proud of what I'm doing. I'm excited to keep working hard until the end. Thanks for your support. I have really tried to keep finding people to teach. Now that I'm training again, I'll be able to keep working hard and I know that I will leave the area well off. I just need to keep on being diligent and obedient

Gilberto's ex-wife plans on coming to Peru probably in March. So I'm happy that things are moving along with him. He is reading in the Book of Mormon and he is so far into it. He understands everything. At the end of the lesson this past week we asked him if he needed anything and he said that he just needs to get baptized! His daughter Lorena is now doing her Personal Progress and she is also very far into it. It makes me happy.

Also good news! Do you remember Annie from my last area? The little girl that got baptized by her older brother, Gerardo? Well I called Elder Chavez the other day and he said that their Dad is now going to get baptized in February! I'm so stoked! Gerardo is now on a mission in Arequipa Peru and we are writing each other weekly. But it makes me happy that they will be an eternal family soon!

Even though Elder Manley has to leave, there are still good news (: We just got to look at the good in all things. Like even though it's hot here and very dusty, I'm learning so much and at least we haven't gotten robbed yet haha!

I'm also getting impatient about the Travel Plans. I went to the office the other week and I asked them about it but they said that the guy that works for the church travel dept.hasn't bought them yet. The mission office doesn't buy the tickets. I guess that it's someone else in the states or something that buys them. But I know, I'm getting annoyed by that.

This past week I had the 2nd to last interview with President Williams and he told me some great things. He first thanked me for helping out the mission so much and for working hard where I'm at. He gave me great counsel; he told me that once I get back I have to know that my life is about me and Heavenly Father. Throughout my life I've kind of based my life off of my friends and examples and I've listened to them more. But I need to focus on what Heavenly Father wants me to do. That will help me in my studies and also to choose an eternal companion. I also need to pay attention to the spirit and follow what He wants me to do so that I may have a successful life in the gospel. But I don't need to worry about that right now.

I'm ready to work!

I love you all. He loves you
Elder Smith
Ps. My memory card got a virus. So no photos. Sorry