Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week 23

AREA: Benson, AZ
COMPANION: Elder Rasmussen

Dear Friends and family

Monday 1/18: Pday was okay today... What we did was emailed, shopped,
went to zone sports, and then went on exchanges. Exchanges was pretty
fun honestly, I went to a Spanish area with Elder Wilstead. Elder
Wilstead is pretty cool and a good missionary. Something cool about
him is that he has a full ride scholarship to B.Y.U. To play as their
quarterback. For dinner we went to a Spanish Ward members house and it
was probably the best carne asada burritos ever. I ate four big
burritos and was soo full when I left that place.

Tuesday 1/19: Exchanges with Elder Wilstead was pretty good. One of
the best thing about the exchange was that I was able to take a shower
longer than 3 minutes long. Plus I didn't have to squat down to get my
head in the water. The shower I am currently using has a 3 gallon
water heater, the shower head is about up to my shoulders, and if I
were to stand on my toes my head would hit the ceiling in the shower.
So showering in their shower was great. The Wilcox missionaries live
on a members property like I do except they live in a little house.
Bro Davis the member is a very talented woodworker and leather worker.
He offered to make me a leather knife case with my initials in it. Now
with the teaching, they don't just cover a Spanish Ward so we went
around and visited a bunch of people and taught them about service. We
found two new investigators from a part member family and it was such
an amazing experience.

Wednesday 1/20: Today district meeting was "canceled" because there
was a global broadcast from Salt Lake to all the missionaries. There
was a lot of stuff that I got out of it and I used some of what I
learned later. We went and visited a less-active member Darlene and
read scriptures and asked her if she knew anyone that would benefit
from a gospel message. She got excited and told us her neighbor had at
one point been meeting with the missionaries a long time ago and said
to go over and talk to her. They weren't home when we went over but we
have plans to track her down and see if she would be interested in
meeting with us. The thing that was brought to my attention in the
broadcast was that most likely less active members have non member
friends so ask them for referrals more directly instead of asking
straight up for a referral. The rest of the day was kinda a buzz
kill... All our appointments canceled including dinner so we went back
home and ate then went into the house and talked to Aaron the Garners
less active son.

Thursday 1/21: Today was kinda a disappointment... Everything we had
planned got canceled. So we decided to go and stop by a potential
investigators house Jonathan. This was probably the most exciting part
of our day. Jonathan is 12 and is living with his grandparents because
of some issues back home. He took the lessons awhile ago but doesn't
remember them at all, right now we are trying to earn his trust before
we really start teaching him the lessons. For now we're hanging out
with him and showing him Mormon messages. This week we're going to try
and find a fellowshipper for him so he has a friend at church. We
invited him to smash a tv that we found in a dumpster on Saturday and
he's really looking forward to doing that. After his place a member
bought us some subway. When we were done eating we headed over to the
ward mission leaders for a meeting then went home to a smelly house.
At first we thought it could be a propane leak because propane is the
only thing we could compare the smell too. Turns out it's just a dead
mouse in the walls that we can't do anything about until it dries up
all the way and stops smelling on its own.

Friday 1/22: This morning we did some service with the sisters for a
member in their ward. She was helping her brother move out of his
place because he's going to prison. His place was really
interesting... It was really hard to figure out what he went to prison
for... Jk he had lamps, marijuana magazines/signs, and a phone book
with dried out weed leaves all in it. Something funny Elder Rasmussen
said was when we found the phone book with the leaves drying out he
just says "is anyone else really hungry right now?" Haha it was funny.
We spent about 3 hours there helping her out and after that we did
some weekly planning then headed to our lesson with Harold. His lesson
went really well, we invited him to be baptized February 27th which is
my birthday. He accepted the invitation and is looking forward to
working towards that date. We then had a lesson with Kristina which
went pretty good, taught the commandment of following the prophet. I
thought it went pretty good.

Saturday 1/23: Today we broke the TV with Jonathan which was super
fun. Jonathan is a pretty cool kids and he is really starting to warm
up to us. After breaking the TV we went over to a members house to see
if he would like us to do some service for him. We scheduled a few
service times with him this week so that should be fun. One of our
appointments canceled which sucked so we went to a recent converts who
wasn't home. Then we went to dinner at the Dovers which was
interesting. They have a fire place in their house and they didn't put
the wood into the fire all the way so smoke filled the entire house
pretty much. Now my jacket smells like smoke and I don't have the
money to dry clean it so I'm just going to have to go around and smell
like mesquite.

Sunday 1/24: Today was the first time I went to church for 6 hours in
one day... Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Felt a little bit
like déjà vu... Kinda interesting but I'll just have to get used to
it. After church we had a meeting with the ward mission then went to
dinner. Dinner was super cool and after dinner we tried to visit
people but nobody was available so we went home for the night.

Today I would like to share my testimony about the gifts and talents
we are given. Everyone has gifts and talents that we can choose to use
or ignore. With missionary work I come across this problem all the
time. Whether I feel like using my talents or not... Opening my mouth
and staying something or just keeping quiet. There is a scripture in
D&C 60:2-3
2 But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their
mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because
of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against
3 And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it
shall be taken away, even that which they have.
When I read this scripture it really opened my mind to the fact that I
am givin a lot of talents that I choose to hide because of my fear of
what people will say or do. We should not be afraid to be ourselves,
express our testimonies of this restored gospel, and invite and help
others come unto Christ.

Love you all so much!! Thanks for all you guys do!


Elder Smith

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 22

AREA: Benson, AZ
COMPANION: Elder Rasmussen
Monday 1/11: Today was my first p-day in the new area. Wasn't bad for
the most part... First thing we did really was got up and got ready
and did the normal stuff then went to the library around 10:00. After
emailing some we went to lunch with a member that was at the library
and offered to take us out. After lunch we went to Walmart to do some
of our shopping then went to the church to hang out for the rest of
our pday. I've been practicing my guitar a lot lately and I'm getting
a lot better. After all our pday stuff we went to Kristina & Richards
for a FHE. Kristina is our investigator and Richard is a member. Then
we went over to the Carruthers house.

Tuesday 1/12: Temple trip Tuesday!! Today I got to go to the Gila
Valley temple and do an endowment session. The temple is so amazing
and if you haven't had the opportunity to go yet work towards it
because it is one of my favorite places on earth. Well... After the
temple we went to zone lunch at this Hawaiian restaurant that was
super good. We then went back to Benson for dinner... Wasn't very
hungry but still had to down a burger, fries, and drink... Ugh. Wish I
could have canceled on dinner, I was stuffed before even showing up.

Wednesday 1/13: Today was zone meeting so you could imagine how long
and boring that was... Learned some good stuff about companionship
unity and the importance of it and some other stuff that I learned I
need to work on. After zone meeting we went and got the truck washed
because it looks like we went mudding in it. We don't have a good car
wash in our area so we had to wait to go to Sierra Vista. We then went
to our investigator Jane & Ron's house and talked then shared a
message on the importance of the small and simple things. Dinner was
pretty crazy... Just a bunch of kids running around all over the
place. We then had a lesson with Kristina and Richard on the Book of
Mormon which was pretty awesome.

Thursday 1/14: Long day of a lot of service. Literally all we did was
service... First service that we did was for Bro. Fenn. We helped him
chop a bunch of wood with this hydraulic wood splitter. After doing
that for awhile we helped him fix his 1998 Silverado that just had the
engine rebuilt. That service was great and we were able to help him
out and get to know him and his non-member son out. We then went over
to Brother Carruthers house to help him move a bunch of stuff around
at another one of his properties. After we helped him out he showed us
a bunch of the stuff he has sitting around his property. It's pretty
cool what he has, he's a welder and just collects a bunch of medal
stuff everywhere.

Friday 1/15:  Today was a typical Friday on the mission... Spent
almost all day planning and studying... We went and tried to find some
people but wasn't very successful. Kinda a rough day.

Saturday 1/16: Today was a pretty good day, we did district blitz
which is when everyone is our district goes to one companionship a
area and knocks doors to help them find some new investigators. We
found them 3 potentials that might go somewhere but we will have to
see when they follow up with them. After lunch we went to go visit
some people and scheduled an appointment with GG for next Sunday. GG
is a recent convert in another wards mom. Then we went over to Tim's
for a lesson on the Book of Mormon which ended up being awesome for a
random stop by. He is kinda flaky and doesn't stay on task very well
but we really got him interested in the Book of Mormon which was
exciting. We then had dinner just so you know... Pizza for the third
night in a row. After dinner we stopped by the Tiltons which is a less
active family to invite them to church. Sadly they didn't make it

Sunday 1/18: Today was really awesome! Woke up got ready and went to
church. Today was stake conference so it was only 2 hours. After
church we went home for lunch and then set out to change lives. While
we were out visiting people we met a previous investigator that was
wanting to meet with the missionaries again. His name is Joshua
Benton, we have an appointment with him next Saturday and Can't wait
to teach him:) After visiting with him we stopped by another
potentials and he wasn't really interested... He said he was but just
asked for our phone number and said he would call when he had time to
meet with us. Tonight we got a new investigator which was awesome! We
went to go visit Jose and while we were there someone that lives in
the same apartment as him started asking questions about the Book of
Mormon and asked us if we would help him quit smoking. We told him for
sure and then ended up teaching him about the Book of Mormon and
prayer. He said the closing prayer and it was amazing. Can't wait to
see him again on Tuesday!

This week I really noticed how important it is to bear your testimony.
As a missionary I bear my testimony practically every day. Everytime I
do it my testimony gets stronger and the spirit speaks to the people
I'm bearing my testimony too stronger each time. This week I bore my
testimony of the Book of Mormon and how I found it to be true. My true
conversion I wouldn't say happened till I was in college. This week I
was really thinking about how I found the Book of Mormon to be true
and I really remembered clearly how it happened. I remembered all my
friends were being such a good example to me and gave me a desire to
be like them. I was also taking Book of Mormon 1 for school and to
pass the class I had to read the Book of Mormon. While reading I
recognized how I felt and how much of a difference it made in my life.
This is when I really got down on my knees and asked God if the Book
of Mormon was true. The answer I got was yes... Not only was it just a
solid yes but it was a more my mind was opened and I realized how much
the book had changed my life after reading it for just a short amount
of time... This book had to be the word of God, no way a normal man
could have just written this book and changed the lives of Millions of
people. I want to invite you all to read and ponder the teachings of
the Book of Mormon and when you feel ready and have a true desire to
get an answer get on your knees and pray to know of its truth. Even
though I've done that already and I know of its truth I still ask to
know if the church is true on a daily basis. Moroni's promise in
Moroni 10:3-5 doesn't say ask once to know... Ask and you will receive
an answer. I promise you that.

LOVE YOU ALL!! Have a great week thanks for all the love and prayers


Elder Smith


Monday, January 11, 2016

Week (19, 20, &) 21

AREA: Benson, AZ
COMPANION: Elder Rasmussen


So sorry that I have not sent out an email for two weeks. It's has been a busy two weeks, I will try my best to continue to send one out to everyone so you have an update one what's going on here in the AZ Tucson Mission.

Christmas week summary: Went pretty well, our investigators are progressing, some more than others but they are making their way towards baptism. Christmas Eve was pretty awesome, we had two dinners, one was with the Marcys where I won a Panera bread gift card and the family gave me and elder Ames a Christmas present. It was a nerf blow dart thing, a nice flashlight, and an Arizona tshirt. Christmas we woke up and saw a meridian flare I think is what it's called in the sky. Brother Broadbent loves astronomy and we went and saw them in the sky. They're satellites going over us and the sun reflects off their solar panels and  so you can see them light up in the sky then fade away. After we opened presents we got to FaceTime home which was really fun. Nice to see everyone's faces. After doing all that we cleaned up some of the stuff from Christmas, played some board games, and then had dinner at the Tates which was crazy but really fun. They don't have a normal Christmas dinner there, what they do is dress up like shepherds, put blankets down on the floor of their living room, and eat the food the shepherds would have eaten while on the floor. That night I ate a lot of cheese, crackers, and berries.

New Years week summary: This week was a pretty fun week... I taught some people, bought a guitar, got a hair cut, taught some more lessons that went well. Nothing really amazing! Aimee is having a difficult time trying to quit smoking but is still cutting back a lot compared to what she used to smoke. She really wants to get baptized but she wants to make sure she is done with her old habits before she does because she doesn't want to get baptized and then go back to her old life. That's the update with Aimee since I left... We also did quiet a bit of service at Rics, trying to get the Windows done. New Year's Eve was probably one of the most exciting New Years Eve's of my life... Haha jk I slept through midnight... Haha woke up and went to work as usual. Had a lesson with the Barton's a less active family and tried to set some goals. They want to work towards getting sealed in the temple which is awesome and I hope they make it there. They have been married for 41 years and want to get sealed. Also taught Doris about Baptisms for the dead and I think she actually understood almost all of what we tried to teach her about it. Went on transfers with my MTC comp. Elder Jackson which was fun to see how much better we work together since we got out of the MTC. Found out where I'm getting transferred which was fun. I'm here now but it was Sierra Vista Stake. Benson, AZ... That's pretty much it... I'm living in a dump.

Monday: Literally spend all day packing... I have a lot of crap already and I've been out 4 months. But it will be okay... A lot of the stuff is stuff I just need for the mission that I can throw out when I leave to go home. After almost finishing up my backing I went to zone sports for alittle where my guitar got hit by a dodge ball while it was on the stage and got tipped over and broke one of the tuning pegs but it was all good. I got it fixed for free and then I went home for dinner with the Broadbent's:) they made me steak:) That was awesome!
Tuesday: Transfers... Today we woke up extremely early to get to the transfer site which was supper fun! Not:/ I still had alittle last minute packing that I had to do and was up till about 12:00 packing... Woke up at 5:30 and I wanted to die. We got to the transfer site and said my goodbyes to Elder Ames. Got into the transfer van and we drove to Benson where I met my new companion. Elder Rasmussen is quiet but cool haha Excited to learn from him, he's been out for 17 months. After we met at the transfer site we went to the trailer where I took one look and was like "I WANNA GO HOME!" Jk haha but it was kinda shocking at first. Went inside and was like okay... I'm cleaning this place before I even unpack. So I cleaned like crazy for probably an hour and then started to bring my stuff in slowly. I filled 3-4 garbage bags with random crap that was in the place that Rasmussen said I could toss. Then we went shopping and stuff, went to dinner, and then came back where I cleaned some more and went to bed. I've noticed that when my anxiety acts up I clean... Haha
Wednesday: Today felt like a really long day to me... We stayed busy all day but it still felt like it dragged on a lot. District meeting was today and Elder Rasmussen is the district leader which is kinda cool. Went and visited some of our investigators Jane & Ron. They're originally from Virginia and they talk like it which is kinda was entertaining. Jane is pretty solid and I could actually see her getting baptized soon. She has a hard time transitioning to a different religion after being a baptist for 70 years. After them we had dinner then stopped by the high priest group leaders house and he showed us some of his cool toys he had. Sand rail, ski boat(why he has one in AZ idk??), quads, and razor. He can haul it all around with his huge 5th wheel toy trailer that is about a billion times nicer than ours haha. He gave us a list of names to try and find and then we went home.

Thursday: Today seemed long too... We spend a lot of time driving places in this area because it's huge and we cover two wards. We get to the people's house were trying to visit and they're not home. We 
only get 2000 a month and things like that keep up we're going to run out fast haha. It snowed today which was super cool:) wasn't expecting that in Arizona. The flakes were huge too and they stuck to the ground for about a day. About the time it was starting to snow we met Darlene who is a recently reactivated member and we just hung out and talked and she told her life story which is pretty crazy...

Friday: Today was lame as usual... Weekly planning is kinda a pain in the butt and I'm sure that it will be till the end of the mission. I love the results of doing weekly planning, I just hate doing it. After 
planning we attempted to see some people then went to dinner. Dinner was in a nice RV which was kinda cool. Pretty sure I'm close to killing the rat in our trailer which is good.

Saturday: today was alright... The finding methods are kinda different
compared to what they were like I'm my last area. We went around and read with some less active/recently activated members. Our has a very high member population but a lot of them are not active. Benson is known as the place where members trying to hide from the church go. It's kinda sad but it gives a lot of opportunities to teach less actives. 

Sunday: Today was kinda different than a normal Sunday... It wasn't stake conference but was at the same time. A General Authority was in town for some meeting with Elder Oaks and they asked him to come and speak to our stake. So we heard from Elder Garrett W. Gong from the First quorum of the 70 and he gave an awesome talk. After church we went and visited some people. We visited a mentally handicap member Jose and read scriptures which was fun:) Jose is cool. We also read some scriptures with Dori and talked to her about how her Patriarchal blessing went. It was a pretty cool to hear experience with it. 

I just really wanted to bear my testimony of the truth of this Gospel. This Gospel is so amazing even though sometimes some of the things were commanded to do can be difficult... Not once have I ever regretted or felt bad about making the right choice. Joseph Smith did translate the Book of Mormon. It is the Word of God and I know the only way you can know that is by Reading from it and praying about it. If the Book of Mormon is true then this is all true... This is Christ's church restored to the earth and I love how perfect it is. In Moroni 10:3-5 it says
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

I know if take Moroni's promise and read and pray about The Book of Mormon we will get an answer and we may know the truth of all things. I love you all so much!! God bless you all!


Elder Smith

Me jamming out on Ric's Gibson Les Paul Custom $3500guitar

Saying my goodbyes to Ric, Robin, Remie the dog, Killian, and William 

Me and my MTC comp. Elder Jackson after 4 1/2 months of being in "the field"