Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Week 54

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Esplin

Friends and Family,
Monday: Pretty normal pday other than the fact that Elder Cox and I
burned. He burned a tie for 6 months and I burned a shirt:) super fun.
After burning Roy brought us all to U-swirl.

Tuesday: Fantastic day:) had Foodbank this morning and after food
banks had a lot of great lessons with people.  Elder Esplin invited
Oscar our investigator to be baptized on the 24th of September and he
said he will work for it which is super exciting. Had a lesson with
some recent converts as well. We were supposed to meet with Michael
today, the refugee from Africa but turns out he was in Texas because
he's a truck driver. His wife was home though and the sister we
brought with us talked with her for about 20 min in French. She
doesn't know English at all... But we asked if she would like a copy
of the Book of Mormon in French and she accepted it.

Wednesday: From 9:00-4:45 today we had zone conference... What a blast
that was... Even though it was super long I got a lot out of it and
look forward to applying the things I learned. After the conference we
had a few lessons and even found a new investigator named Robert. Not
sure if he is super interested right now but we will see how things
go.

Thursday: Had a great time at the foodbank boxing up food. Really
enjoyed the conversation that Travis and I had after. Talked about the
gospel, which I feel like is our usual conversation now a days haha.
Love talking with him about the gospel. Hopefully he doesn't feel like
I'm trying to pressure him into the church or anything. I really care
about him a lot and every time I'm with him I just feel almost
inspired to talk about the gospel with him. The spirit is super strong
every time I do talk about it with him. I have never been so close to
a non-member as I have him, he's such a cool dude.
        After food banks we met with some less actives and had some good
discussions. We have been doing a 24hr follow up call to a member in
the ward that is an alcoholic. Gave him a call tonight and he didn't
answer so we went over to his place and he answered the door drunk...
:/ super sad to see how a substance has just taken over someone's
life. Still going to try and be patient and loving.

Friday: Had lunch with the Broadbents today, who were the members I
lived with in my first area. Great time catching up :) love them so
much:) After lunch we picked up our "mini missionary" which is someone
close by who has his call or is waiting for his call and goes out with
some missionaries for a few days to prepare for the real thing. Had
fun weekly planning with Wesley. Taught a lesson to a recent convert
and her mom who is not a member. Lesson went really well, found out
after we met with them Billie, the mom threw out all her coffee and
tobacco.

Saturday: Wasnt a very good day... All of our appointments canceled
today. Would have been an awesome day if they hadn't but it's all
good. Not everyday is going to go as planned. Roy bought some new fish
for his tank:) I love fish:) they're so relaxing.

Sunday: Pretty good Sunday. Billie came to church which was cool. Tyna
had alittle bit of a fit about how life sucks but we figured that out
some. Tried to visit some of the potential investigators that we have
and ended up scheduling an appointment with them for later. Look
forward to that:)

I would like to talk about the importance of making goals and
planning. Something I have really gained a testimony in since I have
been out is those things. At the conference we had a training on these
things. Before this training I knew that goals were important but
didn't understand how truely important they are. In the Book of Mormon
in
Enos 1:12 which says
"And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all
diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to
thy desires, because of thy faith."

Now what God is telling us is not "I will grant unto thee according to
thy selfish desires". He will not give us things that we don't want.
If it be Gods will he will grant unto thee according to thy desires
because of the faith we have exercised by making that goal(desire) and
doing all that we can to accomplish those things in faith.

I have seen how setting righteous goals have blessed my life and the
lives of those around me. I would love to invite you if you haven't
already sit down and write down goals that you would like to
accomplish and pray about those goals. Asking for the strength to
accomplish them. I promise you the Lord will bless you because of your
desires and help you through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Love you all! Hope you had a great week! Have another great one:) Love
you so much! Thanks for everything!

Love,

Elder Smith


This is Percy(Less active). First African American man I have met with Blue eyes. Not sure if you can tell but they are blue!

My district

New poster i got I love it.
video 
One-year shirt burning

Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 53

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Esplin
 
Dear Friends and Family,

Monday: Our apartment complex has a club house where we can go and
email, play pool, relax on a couch, and play chess as well. Spent a
lot of time in there today with Elder Cox and Heath. Had a lesson with
the African guy we met yesterday on the Restoration and it went really
well. Elder Esplin invited him to be baptized but because of cultural
reason he said he needed to talk to his father first. Well...
Technically both fathers, heavenly and earthly. Haha

Tuesday: Taught a lesson to a less active who been an true
alcoholic(meaning he drank everyday) since he was 13. Had his first
drink of alcohol when he was 9. He has had a very tough life and has
been struggling with this addiction for a very long time. Taught him
some ways that may help him to quit drinking through the strengthening
power of the atonement. Met with Melissa and Anthony some recent
converts and gave them the rundown about how new member lessons will
be, and taught a lesson to the Tuipelehake family.

Wednesday: Sent out my mama's birthday present today, it was two weeks
late but I finally got it out and she gave me the thumbs up that it
was good. Don't know if she cried or not, hopefully she did;) haha
love you mom:) happy late birthday present:) Had meetings today and
learned about prophets and how to introduce them better to people who
may not be familiar to the idea of modern day prophets, what their
purposes are, how they are called of God, and why they're important to
have. So proud of my "son", the growth he has made makes me smile:) he
was already a good missionary and now he is an even better one:) haha

Thursday: Had an intense/awesome lesson with a member today named
Richard. He's the guy who put out two shots of brown liquid and told
the new missionaries to drink up, telling them it will not harm them
in any way. It's really coke... But it doesn't look like it when
you're in the new guys shoes. Well we had a very forward and bold
discussion with him on a bunch of things. He used the "I can't" excuse
when it came to increasing his knowledge in the gospel by using
technology. Just like before my mission I was like him were I thought
I couldn't do things when it came to studying things unless I wanted
to. He can sit at a computer all day looking up guns and knives but
when it comes to the gospel it doesn't work. He reminds me very much
of me... When I was in school and didn't enjoy doing homework. Great
thing is that the atonement is infinite and real. Through the
strengthening power of the atonement we can change for the better. Had
a few other lessons and had dinner with Travis and talked about the
gospel some more and life in general, he's an awesome dude.

Friday: Happy One Year mark, crazy to think a year ago I entered the
MTC. Technically it was Thursday because this year was a leap year but
you know... Haha love to be out here serving:) wouldn't replace the
time I've spent out here for anything. Weekly planned a majority of
the day which was fun... Our ward had a talent show and a few people
we invited actually came which was fun:)

Saturday: Roy fed us steak for lunch today which was delicious:)
Received a referral for a guy named Percy and contacted him today.
Very smart man, he's almost what you can describe as a mad genius...
He's so smart he's kinda crazy haha. Showed him the Book of Mormon and
said he has already read it 4 times... That actually checked out
because he told some stories from it. Turned out as well that he is a
member. Really cool guy, he is the first black guy I have met that has
blue eyes. He expressed a desire to come back to church so we invited
him to church. After visiting with him we did some more weekly
planning.

Sunday: Really good Sunday, Percy came to church which was exciting.
After church we had lunch and checked up on a few LA the bishopric
referred us too. Scheduled some appointments with them and went home
to finish weekly planning... I feel like all I do is plan sometimes...
Good thing it all is worth it:)

Today I would like to talk about the "I can't" excuse and how
ridiculous it is. This week after our lesson with Richard I really
thought about it and what it really means to say "I can't". Think
about all that our Heavenly Father has done for us, he sent us onto
this beautiful planet to learn and grow. He gave us a Savior to die
for us and suffer for anything and everything we have experienced. He
did everything... And when we say "I can't"... It's like saying Christ
did what he did for nothing. I love my savior Jesus Christ and the
sacrifices he made for me so I can do anything if it be Gods will.

Ether 12:27
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give
unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient
for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble
themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak
things become strong unto them."

Life is tough and sometimes we may be faced with difficulties that we
feel we can't handle. We can though through the help of our loving
savior Jesus Christ. A year ago I was in the MTC thinking I wouldn't
be able to make it these two years. I've made it a year and through
him, I know he has made weak things stronger:)

Love you all!! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Smith
 
New door hanger I made

Our white board... Before I got here it was just white... Haha

Our apartment

Me at the pizza place Travis brings us to haha. It just also happens to be a bar haha
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Week 52

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Esplin
 
Monday: Cleaned Roy's fish tank, packed, and picked up some new
missionaries at the mission home and then they spent the night at our
house. One of the missionaries was from Minnesota. He wasn't in the
same stake as me though.

Tuesday: Crazy day... Said goodbye to my trainer Elder Young, and 3rd
companion Elder Rasmussen who were going home. I also met the new
missionary that I am training. His name is Elder Esplin and he is from
South Jordan, Utah. Fresh out of highschool, quiet, and really smart.

Wednesday: Zone meeting today... Went to Hannah and Tyna's for
Hannah's final lesson. She isn't in my area anymore but I wanted to be
there for her last lesson before she got baptized. We also spent a lot
of time cleaning the apartment because previous missionaries that
lived there don't know how to clean and have different expectations of
what is clean than what I do.
P.s. Thanks Mom.

Thursday: Had Foodbank, out to lunch, and Elder Cox and I scared our
new missionaries. A member in our ward does this thing called "a shot
of faith". He puts out a shot glass for the new guys, fills it with a
brown liquid(coke), and tells them to take a shot of faith. Tells them
to trust him when he says it will not harm you in any way. The guy is
a big buff guy from Southern California, he can be kinda intimidating.
Super funny when they found out that it was all a joke and set up. Had
a really good lesson from it though that really brought in the spirit
haha.

Friday: Spent a lot of time weekly planning, giving a blessing to a
very old woman at the hospital that was about to die, and helped
someone move.

Saturday: Hannah got baptized today:) Had the opportunity to baptize
her as well. Really proud of her decision to be baptized. She was very
happy and nervous at the same time.  Her mom was super happy for her
as well, Tyna was crying and telling us thank you and telling Hannah
that she was proud of her. Super special day:) rest of the day we
spent weekly planning and we helped another member move.

Sunday: Hannah was confirmed and Elder Cox did it:) Super fun day as
well:) Tyna brought a friend to church that was being rude to Tyna and
made her feel uncomfortable in church. She had a panic attack so she
left the chapel. Elder Cox and I followed her, talked with her, walked
around the church, and then gave her a blessing of comfort. Went
really well and I think it helped her a lot. After church we went and
scheduled some appointments with some less active/recent converts.
While at one of their complexes we found a new investigator. His name
is Michael and he is a refugee from Africa.

The experience that Elder Cox and I had with Tyna on Sunday was pretty
powerful. One of the big reasons that she was having a panic attack
was because of something she said that she felt guilty about saying.
She told us that never before in her life had she said anything like
that and she said it in a church. While we were walking around the
church talking with her about it with her I opened up my iPad and
scrolled through some scriptures and found what I feel was exactly
what she needed to hear. It was Ether 12:27 from the Book of Mormon.

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give
unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient
for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble
themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak
things become strong unto them.

After reading this scripture to her I noticed that she was comforted,
knowing that she has a Savior that loves her and wants to help her. I
know that our savior loves all of us and suffered for all of us. If we
humble ourselves before him I know that through His Grace, we can have
"weak things become strong."

Love you all! Hope you had a great week and are learning new things daily:)

Love,

Elder Smith
 
Good picture of us all. ( Elder Cox, Hannah, Tyna(Tina), and me)

Tyna being rude to the camera guy haha super funny though.

Me and My Son Elder Esplin:)

Goodbye Elder Rasmussen

 
 
 
 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Week 51

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Cox

Hello everyone,
Sorry I didn't get a chance to send out my email yesterday, was super
busy packing and getting ready for transfers.

This week was pretty typical, we had Foodbank as usual on Tuesday and
Thursday and had a blast hanging out with Travis there. Some other
stuff that we did was we had a couple lessons with Hannah to help
prepare her for her baptism on Saturday. Tyna has been doing really
good lately, she is still Tyna but she is manageable and really wants
to help her daughter come closer to Christ and their family.

Found out last Monday that Joe, the recent convert who we brought to a
lot of our lessons decided to just get up and move out of nowhere...
It was an extreme impulse being that he came to a lesson the day
before and said he was going to bring those people to church. It's all
good though, he moved to Cleveland Ohio and is doing great so far from
what I've heard.

Saturday was transfer calls, found out I'm staying in the same ward,
moving apartments, and areas within our ward. Our ward has two sets of
missionaries and the south elders both went home. Another thing is
that I am training and so is elder cox. About to spend 8 months of my
mission in one area... Looking forward to it haha.

Sunday was very powerful, Tyna got up and bore her testimony. It
amazing what kind of changes can be made when you look to our savior
Jesus Christ. Tyna is a perfect example of what happens when you look
to our savior, she went off on the wrong path for a while and has
decided to make a change. Instead of trying to do it all by herself
she looked to our savior and the comfort and peace he brings to us
when we need help.  We had a lesson with Hannah and Tyna again. Tyna
bore her testimony about the temple and how much at peace and joy she
felt when she went in for the first time when she was about 20 years
old. It's been almost 28 years since then but she is working as hard
as she can to go in again and feel and feel of that spirit she felt so
long ago.

I love my mission so much, I have come such a long way. I am about to
hit 1 year down on the 19th. Seems like only yesterday I was a new
missionary coming into the field not know up from down. I love this
gospel, I love my savior, and I love my Heavenly Father who has
provided a perfect plan that if we follow, we are promised we can
return home to him with open arms telling us "well done, thou good and
faithful servant..." Mat. 25:21

Thanks for all the prayers and the love sent my way☺️

Love,

Elder Smith


Ryan with his "son" (trainee) and new companion, Elder Esplin, and his "dad" (trainer), Elder Young

Elders Smith and Cox


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week 50

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Cox

Dear Family and friends,
Monday: Today was pretty cool. Was a pretty regular pday other than
that accouple zones from around me got together and had a basketball
tournament. Got to see a few of my old companions before they go home.
Two of my previous companions are going home this transfer, Elder
Young and Rasmussen. Got to facetime home to say goodbye to Kevin
before he left for the MTC. Crazy to think he is leaving on a
mission...

Tuesday: Spent some time preparing for district meeting which was fun,
learned a lot of new things while preparing for it. Travis brought us
out to dinner to a cool pizza place. Travis is so awesome!

Wednesday: Had district meeting and we gave the training on planning
and goals. I thought it went really well. Elder Cox and I have been
studying this book called "The One Thing". Really good book about how
to have a more successful and organized life. This book is what we
based a lot of our training on. After that we had a lesson with this
less active Samoan family and Hannah.

Thursday: This morning we had Foodbank as usual, went over to
Richards, and had a lesson with Carlos. Once again our appointments
with him have been going great! Love preparing for his lessons and
love the spirit that is in his lessons.

Friday: This morning we spent a lot of time helping people move. Two
people in one day actually... One gave us a few days warning and the
other just accouple hours. Cool thing is the second one was right
across the street from the first one. Someone who helped us with
moving brought us out to lunch which was nice. Since we were helping
out with moving people for so long we didn't pay the parking meter
enough so we got a ticket. The member with us took it though and said
he would pay for it... Super nice of him. After moving, we spent the
rest of the day Weekly planning.

Saturday: This morning we went to a baptism for a young 8 year old in
the ward getting baptized and we were asked to speak on baptism and
the Holy Ghost. After the baptism we went home and finished the rest
of weekly planning. After dinner we had a lesson with Lupe & Humberto
which went well.

Sunday: Pretty good Sunday. We had Carrie, Hannah, Tyna, and Lupe's
family show up to church today. Good to see them all there. Nothing
too exciting happened at church, just your typical 5th Sunday... After
church we did studies, did some finding, and then we to to Hannah and
Tyna's for a lesson.

This week as I was studying the Book of Mormon I was reading in Alma
22 and really got a lot out of the story in it. In this section of the
Book of Mormon, Aaron was teaching the people in the land of Nephi and
was led by the spirit to the King. He was talking with the king and
taught him the plan of salvation. The King having the faith had a
desire to follow Gods plan and wanted to know how to do that. Aaron
told him he needed to pray to God and repent of his sins. He then got
on his knees and says, "18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a
God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make
thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee,
and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day."
He was then overcame by the spirit and fell to the earth as if he were
dead. After he wakes up he was converted to the Lord and began to
preach to the people, and they were then converted.

And he stood upon his feet, receiving his strength.

23 Now this was done in the presence of the queen and many of the
servants. And when they saw it they greatly marveled, and began to
fear. And the king stood forth, and began to minister unto them. And
he did minister unto them, insomuch that his whole household were
converted unto the Lord.

What I got out of this chapter that we can all apply to our lives is
following the example of the king. As missionaries we do not have the
opportunity to get to know the people in our areas like the members
that live there get to know them. Like the King he was converted, he
had a friendship with the people in that house. After ministering to
them they were converted.

Member missionary work is more important than you think! Sometimes it
may be scary to talk with friends about the gospel but I know you can
do it! Do the best you can:) I love you all! Hope this message makes
sense.

Love,

Elder Smith