Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 13

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

This past week has been really awesome! We hit zone SOE (standards of
excellence) which was pretty awesome.
        Starting out the week our p-days honestly get kinda lame... Its zone
sports every week. This week we were going to go on a hike but the
weather was not in our favor.
Tuesday we spent most of the morning helping a member move some
furniture from their house to there mother's house, who is not a
member. We spent a long time over there getting to know her a little
better and pretty soon we might be able to even start teaching her the
lessons which would be really cool. After helping out with that we met
with a less active member in our ward Debbie. She hasnt been able to
make it to church for one because nobody really knew where she was,
another member found out they lived down the street from them. So we
are in the process of getting her records transferred over. We talked
with her and gave a lesson on faith which was a really cool experience
even though it was cold out on her porch.

        Wednesday was our district meeting and it was actually really cool.
We talked about the importance of teaching people not lessons. We
brought up a lot of good points while discussing the subject and made
me want to strive to work harder at doing that. After district meeting
we went around meeting with previous investigators and had the
opportunity to meet with Karry Wolf. When we knocked on her door we
werent expecting much to happen but we had the opportunity to teach a
lesson to her at the door on faith. After the message we asked if we
would be able to come back sometime and share another message but she
said no. Even though she said no it was a pretty awesome experience
for me.

Thursday was a long day, we had the oil changed and tires rotated on
the truck. After all that we went over to Bea and Han's house to read
scriptures and Bea totally snapped and was like we arent going to do
this anymore unless Han's does something to participate. Hans is a
recent covert who as soon as he was baptized fell of the deep end
pretty much. After that conversation of what we were going to do he
agreed to take the new member lessons and participate.

Friday was pretty great as well. We had our new member lesson with
Han's which was between very bad or very good. He spent most of the
time talking about random stuff that didnt really have anything to do
with the lesson. Tyson Otuafi came to teach the lesson with us and we
went from teaching the restoration to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Went
well but not in the direction it was going to be going into at first.
I pray a lot for that man and hope that he will do something to help
his life before he passes away.

Saturday we met willie today, he was this cool homeless guy that
started talking to us outside of Elder Maughan and Swains place while
we were heading out. After talking to him for a bit we gave him a Book
of Mormon and he accepted it. There was also a phone number in it as
well in case he wanted to get a hold of us. We didnt really know he
was homeless at first until we talked to Maughan and Swain about it
first. Really funny guy and we enjoyed talking to him about stuff.
Apparently he gave billions to charity last week...  After that we had
service with Debbie Stamper but found out she locked herself out of
her apartment. We helped her in and while we were helping her she told
us all this crazy stuff that she said was happening to her. People
trying to kill her or break into her house... Me and Elder Young kinda
got freaked out by her and didnt really know what to think of her...
#crazy #secretcameraswatchingher #wedidntseeanything but whatever...
As long as we dont feel like our life is in danger we will keep
visiting her.

Sunday was the best!! Church was great! Dax our investigator came to
church and stayed for the first two hours. After church we had dinner
with the Dunnes and it was really awesome. The dinner message we gave
was from Alma 37:6-7 talking about the importance of small and simple
things. After the lesson Brother and Sister Dunne complimented us and
said that our message was an answer to there prayers which really made
me happy. After that we went over to the Barnes house were we picked
up two new investigators finally!! Aimee and her Son William who is 9.
We start teaching them on Tuesday and I couldnt be more excited.

Now, I wanna talk about the importance of a testimony, and having your
own testimony. Being on a mission you really have to depend on your
testimony and your faith to teach people. Everyday I feel like I hear
some kind of new anti literature. I know for a fact that if I didnt
have a testimony of this gospel, I would not be out her still. When I
hear some of this stuff I am nervous that it will shake my faith but I
remember the spiritual anchors I have and the knowledge of the truth I
have. This knowledge did not come in one night and its not suppose
too. Just like in Alma 32:26-27 we must exercise our faith for it to
grow. I know that applying these things into your life you will be
able to gain your testimony. There are alot of things in this religion
that we might not understand and maybe we arent meant to. But I know
that through sincere prayer and a little bit of faith you can grow a
testimony of whatever you desire to have a testimony in.

Love you all!!


Elder Smith

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week 12

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

Hello Everyone,

This past week had its up and downs but it was still a pretty good week.

Tuesday we had the opportunity and talk with Doris a recent convert in
the ward about possibly going to the temple and doing baptisms for the
dead. She would love to but she tells us that she can't because she
can't pay her tithing. She is currently in a bunch of debt and cant
afford to. We as missionaries tried to relate with her as much as we
could but tried to bare testimony of the importance of tithing. She
agreed with us and told us she would pray about what to do.... We did
later go back and she completely forgot about the conversation we had
which was funny but then we got to have the discussion again alittle.
haha After helping her out we trimmed some bushes for a lady who was
in her 90s. I love old people:) She was soo thankful for the help we
had done for her and it really made me happy inside that we could help
her out:)

Wednesday was my first zone conference where they talked about a bunch
of different topics having to do with being a better missionary. Super
long, boring, etc... But I did learn some stuff that I feel has
already been affecting my work.

Once again we were able to serve at the food bank where we helped
people load boxes of donated food to their car. It is really simple to
carry a box to a car but a lot of the people are still very
appreciative of the service done for them which puts a smile on my
face when I tell them to have a great day. The people that roll there
eyes and act like its no big deal theyre getting a free box of food...
I tell them to have a great day and smirk a smile in kinda haha Kinda
annoying but the nice people make it worth my time.

Saturday was awesome! We got a call this morning to go to the hospital
and give a blessing to a sister who was in the Hospital. She was in
the hospital because she is kinda crazy... Like shes in there and it
might not be a bad idea to stay in there for alittle kind of crazy...
But it was so amazing to feel the spirit as we gave her a blessing.
Later that day after the blessing we taught a less active family about
the commandments. Super awesome lesson and the spirit was super
strong. After our lesson was dinner with the Caspers. Super cool
because the members took a picture of us and texted my mom the
picture. My mom didnt get to respond before we left but I'm sure it
consisted of saying "I love you" love you too:) haha During dinner we
got a surprise call from Dax one of our newer investigators. He said
he would like us to come over after dinner for a lesson. After dinner
we gave him the most amazing lesson ever. This guy knows the gospel
already and he hasnt even studied it. He knows nothing about mormons
but basically told us the story of lehis dream of the tree of life.
Crazy experience and we hope to meet with him soon.

We did not have regular church this sunday. It was a stake conference
broadcast thing which was really awesome. After church we ate lunch
and did some work. After that we had dinner and then tried to go visit
some less active families. Since it gets dark at 5:30 here people
would answer the door in their pj's and say that they were in bed?? So
lame but whatever props for trying right.

This email I want to talk about Christ's love for us. Throughout my
day, I see a lot of different people. Skinny, fat, tall, short, ugly,
gorgeous, scary looking, etc... In Mosiah 3:19 it talks about how the
natural man is an enemy to God. When I see people that look a little
different than me the first thought that comes to my head is from the
natural man... After have that though... you know say a quick prayer
and repent haha. Then I think of something pretty awesome. Christ
loves them, just as much as he loves me. It's crazy to think the love
Christ has for us. Enough to suffer for all our sins... He didnt do
that for just a few people... The people that seem to have no problems
or anything. Being a missionary I am a representative of Jesus Christ
and if I didnt put an effort to try and love everyone I wouldnt be
doing such a great job of doing that. I guess my point of this all is
Love thy neighbor. Just because theyre not you doesnt make them any
less different in the eyes of God. I love you all very much and I hope
you all have a great week.


Elder Smith

When you're expecting a package from mom but you weren't there to sign for it so you don't get it.......

Zone picture

Zone picture

My Halloween package came!

Gave another prayer rock away! This is Manny Otuafi, he just turned 12 and is about to be a deacon! Awesome!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Week 11

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

Sunday 10/25: Today was a long day... We started off the day with
breakfast, studies, and after that it went crazy. It was the primary
program today and we had a ton of investigators there. I believer a
total of 6 or more. There were also alot of non-members there as well
which was really cool. After the cute little kids sang their little
hearts out we talked some more and then had the opportunity to give a
blessing to someone. After the blessing we sat down and talked to her
for awhile. She has had a very difficult life and I am glad that we
were able to help her out.

I am so sorry everyone but I honestly cannot remember what we did this
week. Normally I would look at my journal and go day by day but I was
so busy I didnt have the chance to write in it. I will roughly cover
my week in a short paragraph.

This week we had some crazy experiences. We taught the plan of
salvation to our investigator Crystal. She is the one that was scared
to have us over because she kinda has some social anxiety and was
scared to meet with us at first. But we helped teach the plan of
salvation with the sister missionaries and it was amazing! The look on
her face and how it made sense to her was powerful not just to her but
to me. She has grown up all her life thinking it was womens fault for
everything wrong happening because Eve partook of the fruit first. Not
as something that was necessary to be done in order for us to be born.
Plus that there is only a heaven and a hell... Thats pretty sad as

We also got to teach Martha again and let me tell you... she is one
weird lady. When someone tells you that they believe the church is
true and that she knows that this is the restored gospel but refuses
to get baptized and come to church doesnt make any sense to me... I
mean this lady after we were teaching the plan of salvation we asked
her to be baptized and she said I was already baptized and if my
baptism wasnt valid then I guess you can come visit me in the middle
kingdom... Messed up but were going to keep trying to teach her and
bring members over to help her out. She is an awesome lady... She just
doesnt want to change.

Otuafis are doing great. We didnt get to go see them very much this
week because Elder Young has been not feeling very well lately... most
likely because of allergies but we havnt been going over as often as
we used to to go lift and stuff. He is feeling better and we will be
going back to lifting this week.

Had a lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a less active family
the Bartons. Just a husband and wife who are kinda older. The lesson
was fantastic and I feel it was the spirit that taught the lesson and
not actually us which was a really cool experience. Since being in the
Catlina Ward I have not once seen them at church. They always have
some crazy story of why they werent at church... I believe them
somewhat but still... Church is important to be at. They came this
Sunday!! super awesome.

Halloween was pretty great. That was the day we taught the Bartons.
Earlier in the day we just did normal missionary stuff... nothing
really amazing happened. After the lesson we went directly to the
Cherrington's house for dinner. Dinner was awesome and we ended up
staying there for the rest of the night before having to go home. We
had to be in before the sun went down which in Arizona is about
6:15ish... So we just chilled at there house and passed out some candy
to all the little kids.

Sunday Aimee came!! she was a potential investigator that lives with
the Barnes and finally came to church with one of her boys. Super
awesome and hopefully we will get to teach her the lessons soon:)

This week we have been giving a lesson from the Book of Mormon. We
read a couple scriptures from Alma 38:6-7 which talks about how
important the small and simple things are in order to reach something
as big as Salvation. Before my mission when I was in highschool... The
small and simple things were not my highest priority... I never read
my scriptures, I went to church but never really paid attention, went
to seminary but never really got alot out of it... Sorry Sister Larson
and Brother Doolie haha I loved getting to know you but seminary can
be challenging..., but you get what I mean. If I had done the small
and simple things I would have been way farther with my conversion to
this gospel. It wasnt till college when I recognized the importance of
the small things. Think of the small and simple things as legos...
each lego is one of those small and simple things. If you just have
one lego piece... its not going to do you much good and its going to
not be anything to great... But if you have a bunch of lego pieces, it
becomes something huge, complex, ridiculously insanely awesome... I
mean go to lego land. Just like the legos... the small and simple
things build up and become something as great as Salvation.
Everyone... I know that if you follow these teachings. Your life will
be blessed and you will have a greater understanding of the gospel.
And if you dont follow them... you will have a hard time gaining a
stronger testimony.

Love you all,

Elder Smith

Carving pumpkins with Elder Young.

$Young$ album cover.

Beautiful Tucson sky