Friday, December 25, 2015

Week 18

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)

Friends and Family,

Monday: Just your typical pday for the most part at the beginning of
the day... Went to sports and did some shopping... After all that
stuff we had dinner at the Madsen's which was fun, they invited a
Sister in our Ward who was widowed and can't have us over for dinner.
After dinner we had a lesson with William at the Barnes on the Gospel
of Jesus of Christ. William is such a cool little kid. He asks so many
questions and gets super excited about everything we have to say.

Tuesday: Rather interesting day for me today... Started out our day
pretty normal. We had a lesson with our investigator Rachel who is
always fun to teach. She always brings up stuff that she read off the
internet... We have to really be prepared for whatever it is... I
really is a bit stressful... But we're answering her questions and
things are actually getting better with her.  Later we had dinner at a
members where it happened... We ate some Cuban Pork bean stuff over
some rice... It was very good until later... Elder Ames lucked out but
after dinner we went to basketball and then when I got home I puked my
guts out.

Wednesday: This morning I woke up feeling horrible.. I even threw up
again... so I slept... I had to make the decision to go to district
meeting or to stay in... I decided to go which was miserable. I texted
sister Passey who is in charge of medical stuff and said to try to
sleep it off. After district meeting I went to sleep till about
Tuesday: I already slept in that morning and after sleeping more...
It added up to be about 13 hours of sleep. I felt bad because I had
slept practically all day so we went to the Barnes, came home and went
to sleep about 10:30ish...

Thursday:Woke up late again... Today I felt alittle better but not the
best... Woke up and then went to the Barnes to do service. I tried to
help but they ended up making me lay down on the couch while Elder
Ames did the work. Haha After that I went home and slept some more...
It was an exciting day.

Friday: Slept more... Woke up feeling extremely nauseous but went and
did service at the Chandlers. Tried to shovel the goat poo and hay but
was about to start puking so I decided to back off a little. After
Helping out the chandlers we went back home and I slept some more:/
Felt kinda like a sloth this week...

Saturday: Woke up, still feeling rather nauseous actually ate
something for once... Didn't puke it up... We had another lesson with
Rachel which was fun again. Brother Broadbent fellowshipped this
lesson which could not have been better.  Brother Broadbent knows the
Gospel inside and out and answered all of Rachel's questions with no
hesitation. It was awesome. We kinda sat back and watched him blow our
minds with some pretty deep doctrine. After that lesson we had a new
member lesson with Kim Pierce. That went well and then after her
lesson we dinner and then we went home and relaxed and went to sleep.

Sunday: Was a lot better. Felt a lot better, still felt bloated and
stuff but alright... Church was really good today. We had our
Christmas program thing and I had to participate in the choir... :/
wasn't to happy about that but it's whatever. After church we did some
finding.. No luck there, then went to dinner. Dinner was good... We
then went to the Barnes and talked for a bit then went home for

This week was very difficult and I hope will be better next week. I am
feeling a lot better and am ready to make up for lost time. It will be
a great week. Friday is Christmas, one of the most exciting days
of the year. Christmas music, presents, smiles, family, and the best
of all is to remember our Savior Jesus Christ. Every Christmas my
family always would put a stocking over the mantel with Jesus's name
on it. Every year for family home evening we would write a gift we
would like to give to the savior. Something that would make him happy.
So I would like to invite everyone to do just that. You don't have to
get a stocking for him... But give a gift to Jesus. It's kinda like a
New Years resolution but it's not for you... It's for Him. Give Him a
gift and put some thought into it before you give it and commit to it.
Love you all so much! Have a Marry Christmas!


Elder Smith

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 17

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)

Dear Friends and Family,

        Monday 12/7: Relaxing and much needed... I spent almost the entire
first half of my day just chilling at the Broadbent's place. Sometimes
it's nice to have a day of nothing to get you focused for the rest of
your week.
        Tuesday 12/8: Today was a busy day for us, we had two lessons today,
one for William and one for Aimee. When we got to their house the
members they live with weren't home so we had to teach them outside.
That was pretty fun haha. For William, Aimee did sit in with us to
help William understand it a little more. We taught the Restoration to
him and it was awesome! After teaching the lesson to William we taught
Aimee the Word of Wisdom. The lesson went great! She accepted to live
the Word of Wisdom and even ripped up her cigarettes. Things will be
difficult but we will help her and pray for her as much as possible.
Kim Louder's baptismal interview was tonight. Elder Young and Flake
before me taught her but she had the interview and it went great! She
is ready to enter the waters of baptism on the 29th this month. In
Utah... Haha but it's awesome!
        Wednesday 12/9: Today was pretty long and boring but went pretty
well. This morning we had zone meeting all day basically. After zone
meeting we went over to the Barnes to see how Aimee was doing. She
wasn't there but her kids William and Killian were. Today William told
us something awesome! He told us about how he prayed to know if the
church was true and he got a warm feeling inside telling him it was
true. Super awesome experience to see the truth or the Gospel come
clear to someone through prayer. We then had dinner, than an
appointment with the Ward mission leader to find out all the inactive
are, then stopped by the Barnes again to see if Aimee was home to see
how she was doing. She was doing good, she had a little wine... But
went all day without smoking a cigarette.
        Thursday 12/10: Today was amazing/most busy day ever! We had a total
of 5 lessons today and 3 of them were member presents. Super awesome!
First lesson was with Crystal Martinez. She is the lady that didn't
want to take the lesson from Elders because she was nervous around
men. But it went great! We taught about Families & temple marriage. We
were planning to talk about something different but she brought up
family roles and so we read from the Family Proclamation to the World
and it was great! After talking about family we touched a little on
what we planned which was the commandments of prayer and obedience.
That went well. After her lesson we went to Debbie's who is a less
active we think might be schizophrenic but shes cool, she just has
really cool stories... We shared the new Christmas message with her
and she loved it, she cried:) We then went to dinner and then to our
lesson at the Barnes with Aimee on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The
lesson went great! The spirit was strong and she accepted.
        Friday 12/11: Today was the chicken killing day. We killed chickens
for almost 4 hours today... Catching, cutting the heads off them, and
then cleaning up. After Killing chickens with the Huss's we went to
the Barnes for more service... Haha Helped out there then taught the
Law of Chastity to Aimee. The lesson was not awkward or anything, the
spirit was strong and she accepted to live it. She loved it and wishes
she knew about it sooner.
        Saturday 12/12: Long day today... We had our Ward Christmas party
this morning. It was a breakfast party and I got to wear my really
ugly sweater. Super awesome party and very creative polar express
theme. After the party we went home and did "studies" or sat around
and talked to sister Broadbent around the fireplace. It was super
relaxing but we should have been doing our studies. We then felt bad
so we left the house and went to work. We stopped by a less actives
Alan Milne and got to know him alittle bit. We then stopped by the
Barnes to see how things were going with Aimee and found out some bad
news:/ Aimee drank... Drove, crashed her moms truck into a fence, and
spent the whole day fixing it. She understands what she did was wrong
and she wants to get back on track. We really need to pray and help
her the best we can to help her out.
        Sunday 12/13: Sunday was pretty good... didn't teach much but we did
a lot. In the morning we went up to the other Ward were coverings Ward
Council in San Manuel. Went home for lunch, then went to church.
Church was pretty good. William, Killian, and Kim all showed up for
church and they all enjoyed it. After church we went to dinner at the
Mott's... Sister Mott is literally the definition of a motor mouth and
could talk forever. Last time I ate there we were there for 3 hours
because she wouldn't stop talking... We got out this time in 1 1/2
hours. no big deal. We then went to the live nativity our stake was
putting on. It was sooo cool, I had never been to one before with real
animals and stuff. The spirit was sooo strong and I almost cried. I
watched it three times since it was going every 20 min haha. While
there we got to talk with a deaf guy which was cool. Elder Ames served
in the ASL branch before he was here. Then went home and played

        Prayer is an amazing gift that Heavenly Father has given us. We have
the ability to talk to him whenever we want. Sometimes we take this
gift for granted and might not use this gift as much as we should. I
have seen how prayers can be answered and helped bless the lives of so
many people including mine. This week I would like to invite you all
to pray. Pray to our Heavenly Father and thank him for all that he has
done for you and this Christmas spirit we feel. Thank you so much for
praying for me, I feel them play a role in my mission and help me to
stay stronger everyday. I love you all!

Love, Elder Smith

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 16

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)

Dear Friends and Family

        This week was pretty awesome for the most part. We had some days that
were super long and stressful, and some days we struggled to find
something to do.
Monday: Pday was pretty lame... We woke up, I got a hair cut, we went
to zone sports and dinner and that was about it... Dinner was kind of
weird. We went to the Richardson's and Brother Richardson was on a
business trip so we couldnt eat in the house. It was pretty cold and
all I had on was a short sleeve shirt and slacks. I ate that food
pretty quick so we could get out of there haha.
Tuesday: This morning we did some service at Debbie Stampers, we
painted her kitchen so that was pretty cool. I didn't quiet agree with
the color change but if it makes her happy its whatever. She had a
friend over that commented on how we were doing the whole time so that
was pretty fun. After Debbie's we went to the Barnes house for some
service. Before we left their house we ended up giving our
investigator William who lives with them a lesson on the keeping the
sabbath day holy. I thought that it went well, him and his brother
Killian were great but they didn't come to church the following Sunday
which bummed me out. Since the transfer we have been responsible of
not just Catalina Ward but San Manuel Ward as well. San Manuel is 45
minutes from where we live... so we can only make it up there once a
week with our miles so we went today and hung out at their mutual.
Kinda weird but there are more non-members that go to their mutual
than members haha They have absolutely no interest to learn about the
church and their parents are actually against it because were not
"Christian" apparently... But hey maybe we can change that.
Wednesday: Really good day today... After district meeting we went
over to Crystals for a lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The
lesson was amazing! The spirit was so strong and me and Crystal really
can relate in a lot of ways. She has a lot of anxiety issues and not a
lot of people understand what she goes through. I only get minor
anxiety problems but I still can relate to her in a lot of ways. At
first we spent some time to get to know her because the sisters were
mainly teaching her before. After getting to know her better we taught
the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she loved it. After the lesson we gave
her a blessing for her anxiety, that she will be able to make it to
church in two weeks. After the lesson we went finding... nothing
exciting there. After dinner we had a lesson with Aimee, William's mom
on the restoration. Trial after trial it took awhile to get her to the
lesson because of a bunch of stuff that was going on but finally we
taught it and it was great! The spirit was strong, I almost cried, and
she committed to continue to pray to know if this is Christ's church.
Thursday: Today was one of those days that everything fell through and
we didnt know what we were going to do... We ended up going over to
Ricks and literally spending most of our day there. I cleaned up the
backyard and made a burn pile of a bunch of wood that was sitting all
over their backyard. Elder Ames was inside putting up molding around
the windows. We could still hear and see each other so it was all
Friday: Today we spent most of our day weekly planning... That was a
party... Let me tell you. There is nothing like spending hours sitting
and planning for what you are going to do next week. Like WOW...
nothing like it. haha After our weekly planning we met with one of our
new investigators Frank Forbes. He was a pass off investigator from
our district leaders Elder Maughan and Swain. The lesson was awesome!
Mostly we got to know him and where is at with the lessons and all. He
has been meeting with the missionaries alittle bit on and off since
2008. He has read the Book of Mormon and has a very open heart to
learning more about the Gospel. After getting to know him read a few
versus from 2 Nephi 32 and set up daily nourishment with him.
Saturday: We spent another few hours working at Ricks again. Rick is
such an amazing person. Ill have to get a picture with him sometime.
That is pretty much what we did all day was did service for Rick.
Sunday: Church was really awesome. Fast and Testimony meeting was very
powerful and the spirit was strong. Jeff Louder our investigator Kim
Louder's husband went up today and bore his testimony. He was trying
to hold back tears the whole time as he testified of the Plan of
Salvation. The previous week Kim's daughter had died in her sleep.
Super sad... It was completely unexpected and she was only 24 years
old. When I first heard about what happened I was worried but after
this Kim is looking forward to being baptized on the 29th even more.
She is getting baptized in Utah with her husbands family and it should
be awesome. Today at church Sister Butler, Crystals neighbor who
fellowships our appointments told us that Elder Ames and I are
amazing. Elder Ames gave an amazing blessing she said, she told me
that the reason I am on my mission is to connect with Crystal, she
told me that Crystal loves that we can relate and feels like I
understand what she is going through to an extent. She has a lot more
serious anxiety but she is so amazing and strong.

I love this time of year so much, Christmas music, lights, and
everyone is in a giving mood. This week we have been sharing the "A
Savior is Born" video with families and inviting them to share it with
their friends to help others see that we are Christian and open a door
for them to talk about this Gospel. This is Christ's Church and it was
restored to this earth. God the Father and His son Jesus Christ
wouldnt have come down and told him not to join any of the sects
because there were no church that was true at that time. There needed
to be a restoration and I know that Heavenly Father used Joseph Smith
to restore it. I invite you all to share this message with others.

It could change lives!

Love you all so much and thanks for the prays!

Elder Smith

Elder Smith with Elder Ames.

Ryan with the 12 days of Christmas package he got from Savannah. So sweet!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Week (14 &) 15

AREA: Northwest Zone, Tucson (Catalina, AZ)

Family and friends,

I just wanted to apologize first of all for not sending a group email
last week. It was transfers and I was too busy to get one written out.
I will try to update you all on how my past two weeks have been
without making it a novel.

Last week: The week was awesome. Sunday church was awesome and our
investigator Dax showed up which was a surprise but awesome! After
church we gave an awesome dinner message and then went over to Rick
and Robin's to kill some time and picked up two new investigators!
Aimee and her son William. P-day we had interviews with president
Passey which went pretty good nothing to worry about. I had my first
real exchange with Elder Maughan who is a pretty cool missionary who
is about to go home.

Tuesday was our lesson with Aimee and William which was one of the
best lessons of my life! Earlier that day with Elder Maughan we were
talking about how we had never set a baptism date on a first lesson.
During our lesson we taught the Plan of Salvation because we felt that
is what they needed to hear. At the end of the lesson we asked them if
they would work towards the date of December 19th to be baptized!!
They said YES!! It was an amazing experience and the spirit was so
strong. I know that they will be able to make it to that date if I
just have a little faith. We also had a lesson with a potential
investigator we tracted into Amanda! We taught the restoration on her
front porch and it was awsome! She invited us to come back as well to
teach another lesson.

The rest of my week consisted of going on another exchange with my
zone leader Elder Kientz which was okay. Sucks to not sleep in your
own bed but I lived through it alright. We taught some of his
investigators and recent converts so that was pretty awesome.

This past week: Pday was pretty busy for me... It was transfers so we
spent the day cleaning up, elder young was packing, and saying goodbye
to members of the ward. We didnt have alot of time to do pday stuff
which is why I didnt get a chance to write all my emails. After
getting to bed pretty late we woke up at 5:00 to get to the transfer
site to meet our new companions.

I met my new companion Elder Ames on Tuesday. It was pretty busy again
on Tuesday... We went home unpacked and were planning to go to the
lesson with Amanda but that canceled so we found some other missionary
stuff to do.

Wednesday wasnt too busy. We didnt have a whole lot to do. We did our
best to find things to do. Went and visited some members and tried to
visit with some investigators but for some reason people were busy the
day before Thanksgiving;)

Thanksgiving was pretty good:) We ate a lot and my pants continue to
get tighter and tighter. We had lunch with the Evenson's and dinner
with Huss's haha While we were at the Huss's we had the opportunity to
talk with Rachel, one of our investigators and scheduled an
appointment to teach her a lesson. Pretty awesome:) After our dinner's
we just went back to the house and relaxed. I am so Thankful for being
a missionary and I am so glad I made the decision to go.

Friday was pretty cool. We did all our studies then went over to the
Huss's house to do weekly planning by one of there calfs because it
wasn't used to humans and they wanted it to be. That went okay... The
cow became alittle more used to us being there but was a bit of a
distraction and we didnt get a whole lot of our weekly planning done
then so we had to make up for it that night.

Saturday was pretty cool... We did our normal stuff met with a recent
convert in the ward Doris Weber and then went to Huss's again for
dinner. Saturday for lunch we went to a lunch in after a baptism of a
kid in our ward. There was a lot of nonmembers invited to the baptism
who we got to talk to. They didnt know english very well but it was
still cool. After the Huss's we went over to Rick and Robins and gave
Aimee a short message.

Sunday: Today we found out some pretty sad news about our investigator
Kim's daughter. I  dont know how but she expectedly died. She was only
in her 20's :/ Please keep her family in your prayers. The Louder
family. After church we went to dinner then stopped by the Barnes
again. Aimee and William were there which was awesome! We got to
talking to Aimee alittle about how things are going with her reading
and what she thought of church and she is loving it all. The more she
does this stuff the more she can see her actually getting baptized on
the 19th of December.

The gospel blesses so many lives. We all have the opportunity to share
it with everyone.  Over these past couple weeks I have seen the
difference that the Gospel makes in other peoples lives. This is
Christ's church restored to the earth. We all have the opportunity to
study from it, share it, and apply it into our lives everyday. I love
this church, Christ's Church and what it has done for me and my
family. I am so thankful to have grown up being a part of it. I love
you all!


Elder Smith

P.s. my new comp is named Elder Ames, He is from Bear Lake Utah.

A little Christmas tree mom sent.

Elder Ames with the calf we tried to get used to humans.