Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 6

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)
COMPANION: Elder Young

Monday: Hiking in the Rain
Pday last week was super awesome! I woke up this morning and prayed
for the beautiful weather. Then I looked outside and it was raining!
We then found out that we were going on a hike to 7 falls. The entire
trip it was drizzling alittle but we were soaked from the drizzling on
the 10 mile hike. The hike was super fun and hopefully one day we can
go on it when it is not raining.

Tuesday: Today we were on our way to go to the Otuafis to read
scriptures and lift as usual but found out they were all sick... So we
just lifted up the garage door and lifted and went home to get ready
for the day. Today was one of those days where you have the day just
completely filled up. Me and Elder Young were super pumped to go teach
all these people. But after going appointment to appointment... Every
single appointment had canceled on us. We ended up going over to Bea &
Han's house and read scriptures, which was great but we really wish
that some of our appointments would have worked out. We did find out
while we were there that Michael our old investigator might be moving
back from Tennessee! Which sucks that things didnt work out in
Tennessee but he is moving back so we can continue to teach him! After
our long day of trying to find something to do... We went to chillies
for dinner because even our dinner canceled on us. After dinner we had
basketball with some of the people in the ward and their non-member
friends. This week me and Elder Young thought it would be a good idea
to start off with a prayer. After I brought up the idea of doing that
he was like "okay, go for it" haha so I had to get everyones attention
and tell them we were starting off with a prayer. Which doesnt seem
that hard but for some reason it was really scary. Saying that prayer
really changed the way things were at basketball. I dont know about
everyone else but I really felt that the spirit was watching over us
alittle more than normal. It was great!

Wednesday: Today we had district meeting after our normal morning
rituals. I did actually lift today... which I dont really enjoy doing
that much but it felt good in a way even though I know I am going to
be fetching sore from it. After district meeting we went over to Taco
Bell like usual to destroy our insides. Then after dinner at the
Butlers we went over to Bill Smith's house for new member lessons
which went really well.

Thursday:Amazing day!
This morning we went for a run instead of lifting and we decided to
time our miles. I havent ran or timed my mile time in awhile so I
thought this would be interesting. After running my mile I felt I
actually was going pretty fast... I ran about a 5.20 mile... Which
completely surprised me. Yes it was actually a mile. After doing that
we then started going through our list of former investigators...
First few people werent home but then we went to Stacy Jacks house.
Stacy didnt end up being Stacy.... She was Miranda and she just moved
into that house a month ago. We found out that she had been
investigating the church where she lived before and was excited to
start taking the lessons again. Super awesome experience! I have been
praying everyday for people to be prepared to hear the gospel. I know
that Miranda is prepared to hear our message. Really strengthened my
testimony of prayer.

Friday: Boring but ended great.
Today we basically stayed home all day for weekly planning. After all
our planning we stopped by our recent contact Traci (who is a less
active we found by mistake) house and found out she will be moving
that next thursday. We are now going over to their house on wednesday
with the missionaries that will be in there new area to help move her
family. After dinner we had our friday volleyball night which is kinda
a joke but still fun and got a call from sister waid from the ward
mission saying that our potential investigator we contacted last
sunday was reading from the Book of Mormon and was excited for us to
come by and share our message! super awesome!

Saturday: Amazing Day!
Today was awesome! we have so many potential investigators that are so
close to being read to have the lessons. We will definately be
teaching Amanda by next week and hopefully her kids too. We have a few
more investigators that we might pick up soon. Hoping to turn all
these potentials into baptisms soon!

Sunday: Fasting
Today was fast sunday and it was great. I did something I dont
normally do, instead of just saying a quick little prayer before
fasting, I said almost a 10 min long prayer, and I prayed with a
sincere heart. After that prayer I woke up feeling excited and ready
for church. The spirit was so strong while I was fasting and thinking
about what I was fasting for. It really helped me feel the spirit more
and felt like my fasting was really affecting things in my life and
the lives of others I was fasting for. I was still excited for dinner
which was great, then we came home and did some missionary crack
which sounds bad but all it is this cookie you drink hot chocolate
through and put it in your mouth and it just melts and it tastes sooo
amazing. We then played our sunday game of Dominion as usual. The
Broadbents are total nerds but I love them to death. They really know
how to have a fun time.

This week had its downs and ups. But in the long run was really
amazing! Every week it amazes me how my testimony of this church
grows. This is an amazing religion and it really isnt something that
you can just read in a book and find it to be true. One of the things
we tell our investigators is to not believe what we are saying. We
want them to take what we tell them and pray with a sincere heart to
know that it is true. Over time I realized something important about a
testimony and how to keep it. It's like a fire, a fire if you dont
keep adding wood to the fire it will eventually burn out and turn into
ash... there will always be evidence that there was a fire there but
it doesn't continue to burn. Like our testimonies if we dont continue
to pray to know that this is the true church and constantly recieve
spiritual confirmation that this is the true church, our testimonies
will become "ash". An evidence that we have once felt the spirit and
had that confirmation but it will be almost lost.

I challenge you all if you're not already doing it. Pray every night
to continue to receive spiritual confirmations. Ask to know that this
is the true church, that the Book of Mormon is a true book, or that
Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that through doing this you will
continue to grow your testimony and you will be able to feel the
spirit strong in your daily life.

Tucson sunset

McDonalds for P-Day with Elders Young, Jacobs, and Wall

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 5

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)
COMPANION: Elder Young

Monday: today was A nice long pday, it was much needed. We had our
morning lift session and then went to jump time at a trampoline gym in
downtown Tucson. While at the trampoline park I relearned how to do a
backflip which was awesome. After dinner we got asked by the member
feeding us if we wanted to milk a cow! So we were like "heck yeah!" So
we got to milk a cow and then Brother Richardson gave us a bottle of
milk to take home. It tastes sooo good.

Tuesday: Today we did are daily trip to the Otuafi's to lift but for
me instead of lifting I decided to so some service. The Otuafi's have
a bunch of weeds growing all around there 5 acre property. The weeds
were huge and had probably been growing for several years. It was nice
to do yard work again, it's been awhile it seems like. After doing
that we went home and got ready then went over to Elder Wall & Jacobs
apartment to drop off elder walls iPad he forgot in our truck.  We
then went and met with our investigator Martha and taught her the plan
of salvation, and didn't that just go great. She loved the plan and
told us that there is no way that it isn't true. (Just like she said
with the restoration) after things going so well we thought we would
invite her to be baptized... She said no.... Because she was "already"
baptized and she knows that she was. Ughhh we proceeded to talk about
why she didn't want to get baptized and she ended up telling us that
if she's wrong, then we can come to the Middle Kingdom and visit her.
Crazy old lady... after that we went and talked to bee a recent

Wednesday: today wasn't very busy but was awesome! I went on a run
this morning... So exhausting  We had a nicely planned out day but
everything fell through mostly. But we did end up reading scriptures
at bee and Hans house. (These are our previous investigators michaels
parents). They are both recent converts. Hans is a drunk though and
most of the time we go over he's wasted. He is also German so it can
be pretty entertaining. But it's sad. But this time we went over he
wasn't drunk! And he normally talks crap about the book of momon and
how it's all "bull shiz". Don't know why he ever decided to get
baptized but whatever... He sat down at the table and followed along
in the Book of Mormon with us! I've been praying everyday for him and
I feel my prayer was answered.

Thursday: amazing day today! Other than elder young woke me up at 5:20
am to go lift before our temple trip. This was my first of seven trips
in the mission field. I love the temple sooo much and it is an amazing
service that I really look forward to doing. Temple trip took up a lot
of the day but it was worth it big time. Had some amazing spiritual
experiences and had some prayers answered.
P.s. We go to the Gila Valley Temple.

Friday: today we went to the Otuafi's and I borrowed the broadbents
weed wacker and just killed those weeds in a day. We then did service
for a sister in the ward. She is really big into gardening and needs
dirt for her garden so we fill buckets with dirt then bring them over
to her house to fill up her garden. It's exhausting... There are about
20 buckets maybe, and they're the 5 gallon buckets and full with dirt
they weigh about 40 lbs. After service we went back and showered and
started weekly planning all day. this stuffs important and I know
that. But it still sucks. After planning we went and visited some
people before dinner. Doris was one of those people, she is such a
funny person. Things really don't click with her, but that's what
makes it so fun to talk to her. We had dinner, and after dinner we
went to the church for ward volleyball night, only one person showed
up... And the gym was being used the next day and had a bunch of
tables set up in there so we couldn't play. So brother daul the person
showed up took us to the melting pot for some cheese and
chocolate. it was sooo awesome. I ate so much... So much that I
might have thrown up right when we got into the parking lot. Haha I
was walking to the car and said "brother daul... Would you be offended
if I threw up? Then just exploded. It sucked... That food was amazing
and expensive. I feel like I should slip him a 20. But elder young and
brother daul laughed so hard I think he forgot about how much he spent
on the meal... HAha I guess i can see how it was funny.

Saturday: we did service most of the day today. IKEA furniture takes
forever to put together... 4 hours sometimes. That was our service.
But we got a free lunch out of it so that was nice. after service
we looked at our phone to find out all our appointments canceled...
Really annoying when that happens. But we found something to do till
dinner. Dinner was awesome! Lots of people there! And the members
who's house it was, the wife happened to be from bear lake Idaho and
cousins with my old roommate in college Brandon! Small world. It was
awesome to hear about how Brandon was doing.

Sunday: today was church and we accidentally slept in till about
7:30... Ikr... So late... But when we got up we got ready and did our
studies and everything. Normal morning. We had ward council at 10:00
so we went to that. It was super fun. but we learned a lot and shared
some important stuff to everyone. We then went home for lunch then
back home for lunch and went right back for 1:00 church. Church was
great and was happy to be there. Finally went tracting for the first
time and got two potential investigators in just 30 min and me and
elder young feel really good about one of the people. Hope things go
good in our lesson!  Rest of the night was your typical Sunday, we had
dinner, went to another meeting, then home to celebrate brother
broadbents birthday. We played his favorite card game.

That was my week... After writing it all out it looks like so many
things I'm doing... But it goes by soooo fast. It's awesome how when
you're so into the work, time flies. Everyday my testimony grows and I
learn to follow through with the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
Sometimes it can be hard to but I've never been disappointed. This is
an amazing gospel and I challenge all who know its true to share that
with someone, and if you don't know it's true, figure it out because
there's always a way. This is a perfect gospel. It is Jesus Christs
church in these latter days...
Remember that, and share it with someone. HELP THE ELDERS IN YOUR WARD
GET SOME BAPTISMS! They will appreciate greatly. Tracting isn't always
the most affective thing. A teacher in the mtc told our class that out
of the 39 baptisms during his mission, only 2 of them he found. The
rest were from members referrals.

Thanks for the prayers! I feel the blessings everyday, I love you all
so much and I hope I can hear from you soon.

Love, Elder Smith


She hates the smell of my cologne haha.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 4

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)
COMPANION: Elder Young


Monday: Woke up this morning at 6:20 our normal time and went to read
scriptures with a less active family in my ward named the Otuafi's.
They're a really cool family! After we read scriptures we get buff in
their home gym they have in the garage. I didn't lift though because I
have been sick with a cold from the stupid mtc. For pday me and Elder
Young met up with the zone at the stake center and played basketball.
Basketball really isn't my thing and I was sick, so I just watched and
talked with the other missionaries that didn't feel like playing.
That's all we did pretty much...

Tuesday: Awesome day! Today the day started off alittle slow because
Elder Young wasn't feeling too good, but after getting up and moving
around he felt better and we ended up getting lots done. We read the
B.O.M. with a recent convert ric Barnes. Super cool guy! He loves the
church so much. He is endowed now and everything and has a calling. He
is a ward missionary and is potentially going to set something up with
his friends Amy and Michael. Will be hearing something back from him
soon. We also met with a previous investigator and taught her the
restoration. "She was like oh my gosh this is amazing! It has to be
true" we would have invited her to be baptized if she hadn't said
before the lesson "I'm not joining your church, I love my church...
I'm happy to learn about your church but I'm not joining your church."
We will be meeting with her soon again to teach her the plan of

Wednesday: zone meeting sucks... Takes up sooo much of your day. We
have now 4 hours of studies a day because I'm doing 12 week, comp.
study, personal study, and now having to do area book. I came out
on a mission to invite and help people come unto Christ. How am
supposed to do that if I'm in meetings and studying?? It's whatever
though... It has to be done.

Thursday: worked hard all day and then came home to find that savannah
send me an amazing package. love that girl so much. So many goodies
from her.  candy.

Friday: weekly planning and did nothing but planning (6 hours)
ridiculous... I really want to be a good missionary and fulfill my
missionary purpose. But do I really need this much time to study and
plan??? It's crazy. I feel like I'm not doing what I'm supposed to do
but then again I am... So it's dumb but whatever.

Saturday: I felt pretty good today. I went on a two mile run. yeah I
know... After our run we went over to the Otuafi's and talked to the
son Nephi who is 19 about life and the Book of Mormon. Was fun, after
that we did our studies then went to Manny's football game. Another
one of the Otuafi's kids he's 11, really cool kid. At the game I had
my first snorn dog which is apparently only known in Tucson... It's a
bacon wrapped hotdog with everything on it. Sooo tastey. I will be
getting me some more of those. After the game we went over to a less
actives and they let us in because it was really hot out and stuff. We
went in and talked about the church. They explained alittle about why
they left the church and it's because of the thing with blacks not
being able to have the priesthood back in the day... I honestly didn't
know how to respond because it's not something I even really
understand. All I know is that the prophet at the time.. Was a prophet
of God and that he did it for a reason... I'm sad I couldn't say
something right to help them to see why this church isn't like any
other church... But maybe if I continue to pray for them they will
come back to church.

Sunday: church, more meetings but awesome ones. Last Sunday was my
first Sunday and we were supposed to have ward council meeting but it
was canceled but nobody told us so we showed up to church really
early... This Sunday was good though. We had a great lesson on the law
of chastity I'm elders quorum and I was able to kinda put some
comments that I hope will help the elders in my ward raise their kids
to keep the law of chastity. Love my ward and can't await to serve the
people of the Catalina ward.

Overview: everyday my testimony grows stronger and stronger. Being a
missionary is one of the best experiences ever. I know that I am
supposed to be here. There is someone who is ready for me to teach
them that first lesson or reactivate them in this amazing church. I
KNOW this is the one and only true church and that through reading the
Book of Mormon which is the thing that holds ever truth in this church
together... And praying about it. You will receive an answer that it
is true. If the Book of Mormon is true... It's all true, it's that
simple. I love this church and I couldn't be happier serving our lord
and savior for these next two years.

I love you all and hope that you all feel the same way I do, and if
you haven't had an opportunity to know it to be true, take the
challenge and try to prove me wrong. (Good luck proving me wrong) it
is all true and I'm so happy to share that with you all.

Thanks for all the prayers. I can really feel them having an affect in my work

Update on my investigator Michael. He moved to Tennessee but is
continuing the lessons there and might becoming back here to be
baptized for his mom to see

Plus we most likely will be having an investigator named Kim get
baptized soon. She just doesn't know what date will work yet because
of her crazy schedule but she is for sure getting baptized! I never
taught her a lesson... The missionaries before me taught her but
still! Awesome.

Goodnight and talk to you next week.


Elder Smith

P.S. Sorry it's late... I'm not perfect. I just have been busy all day
and never had a chance to tell everyone about my week.

I milked a cow!! This is Abby.
Some of the milk I got from the cow

Me milking the cow!

Savannah a package, she made me a box of prayer rocks to give to the kids I teach. She said when the missionaries were teaching her, they gave her prayer rock and said it really helped her to remember to pray. Super cute.

Me and my zone at a trampoline gym on pday

Selfie I took in my front yard

Me, bee, and her son Michael the investigator who moved to Tennessee. Bee has been a member for over a year and is a temple worker.

Selfie from the truck

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 3

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)
COMPANION: Elder Young

Because we just got an email from Ryan on Saturday, his emails today are a bit sparse. This is a little excerpt from an email to me:

"Everything is going great! still continue to teach out investigators and help people back to church who are less active. Having a lot of fun in Tucson. Really not as bad as people say it is. It gets hot but Im inside most of the time when Im preaching the gospel... soo... I should be having my first baptism pretty soon;) haha working at it with elder young. Hes a cool guy, good trainer and he is trying his best to help me get used to the field."

My mom also got a text from someone who fed Ryan in Tucson on Saturday! 

"We fed your son dinner tonight and thought you might like a picture of him and his companion Elder Young. This is not a typical backyard in Tucson."

Thank you for your continued prayers for Elder Smith!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Week 2 (from Ryan)

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)
COMPANION: Elder Young

Ryan finally emailed! His mission president gave him permission to email today (even though it's not his P-Day) because he was traveling on his last P-Day. (For those reading this who might not know what P-Day is, it's the day that elders are given to do laundry, go grocery shopping, write to their families, etc. Basically the day they do non-mission stuff.)


Sorry I didn't have a chance to call you from the airport😁 I was
planning on calling you when I landed but right when we landed we met
the mission president and started doing stuff. I feel really bad about
it😓 but I can't do anything now sooo... Sorry.

The rest of my experience at the mtc was pretty laid back. I had some
good days and bad days, but I got over it. My new companion is Elder
Young (haha ikr ironic elder young and smith😉)  he's a pretty cool
elder. Elder Young is from Idaho, he is a die hard Boise State Bronco
fan. He reminds me a lot like Garrett in a way when it comes to
football. We have been working hard I think... Haha I feel like our
schedule is full but we have such a big area we spend slot of time
driving instead of teaching which sucks but I guess it's the best we
can do for now. I have been working with this one investigator Michael
who is awesome! He has almost read the entire Book of Mormon and wants
to get baptized really bad. He has some word of wisdom issues he needs
to fix first but should be getting baptized soon. I love these people,
being a missionary is an amazing experience and I can really feel the
spirit basically pushing words out of my mouth to say. I hope to touch
the hearts of many.

About Arizona: Arizona can be hot but most of the time were in a car
or a house so we don't experience the heat too much. I actually am
very comfortable here. There are mountains right I'm my front yard.
I'm living at a members house who have a pretty nice house so we have
some pretty nice amenities. Living it up in the high life😎 I might be
buying a bike from one of the elders in my zone pretty soon because
he's leaving and apparently it's still in good shape... But I'll be
the judge of that😁

Sounds like everything is going great! So that's awesome! Tell everyone I say hi and I love them

Elder Smith

I'm guessing he's showing how big this dog's paw is? He did not describe these pictures at all...so now I get to guess.

I would guess this is the view right outside the place he's staying. Not bad!!
A dog. Not sure whose dog. But...a dog. With, randomly, Holes by Louis Sachar?  Maybe it's a metaphor haha.

Swag with Elder Young.

Such swag.

Wow. So strong. Swag.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 2 (from Mission President)

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)
COMPANION: Elder Young

Ryan left the MTC on Monday (we previously thought it was Tuesday, but it was actually Monday) and flew to Tucson from Salt Lake. He's officially in the field! No email from Ryan this week (at least not yet), but this is an email that his mission president sent to mom and dad. It's quite obviously scripted and sent to every missionary's parents upon his or her arrival (with specific information filled in the blanks), but we appreciate the sentiment... 

September 2, 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Smith;

It was a very special experience to personally greet your son, Elder Smith, at the airport upon his arrival in Tucson.  We were impressed by his great spirit and desire to serve.  We are grateful to have him serving here with us.

From the airport we took him and the other missionaries to the Mormon Battalion Monument in downtown Tucson, where we talked about commitment, and leaving behind all the cares of the world to focus on the work of the Lord.  After a brief stop at the mission office to meet the office staff, we went to the mission home, where our Elders and Sisters received instruction and training from the Assistants to the President, Sister Passey and myself.  I had the pleasure of interviewing your son and getting to know him personally and to feel his wonderful missionary spirit.  Later that evening we dined together, took photographs and took the opportunity to discuss our purpose as missionaries.

Elder Smith has been assigned to the Northwest Zone, located Tucson, AZ with Elder Young as his companion.  

As you write to your son, please encourage him to continue to serve faithfully, being completely obedient throughout his mission.  We know that he, and the Tucson Mission, will be in your prayers.  We also know that the coming months will bring many blessings into your lives by your son’s faithful service and the sacrifice you are making for him to serve the Lord and his fellow men.  Thank you very much for having prepared your son to withstand the rigors of missionary life and now to be serving with us here.

May the Lord bless you.   We send our love and appreciation.

President David G. Passey                                                                               
Sister Beth Passey
Arizona Tucson Mission

 Thank you for your continued prayers for Elder Smith as he's on his mission! His mission president included this picture:

Ryan with the mission president and his wife. Looking like such a little missionary dork with his tag! So cool...