Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Week 58

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Esplin

Friends and Family,

Monday: Today was a pretty depressing day honestly... the normal pday
stuff wasnt the depressing thing it was more because Michael, the guy
who was from Africa we were teaching told us he didnt want to meet
with us anymore. When things like this happens it really sucks... the
only feeling I can compare it too is breaking up with a girlfriend
haha. Odd but true, you develop a relationship with these people and
put alot of time into helping them. Then they drop you out of no
where. At least I know I planted a seed and helped prepare to accept
the gospel another time.

Tuesday: Had an awesome lesson with Josh, our new investigator and set
a baptismal date with him. That helped me with my bad mood a little
which was nice.

Wednesday: Met some new missionaries that just came into the area. Had
our regular Wednesday meetings and then was supposed to have a lesson
with Percy the hoarder but wasnt home so we tried a few more people.
Had a great lesson with a recent convert named Anthony who is a really
cool kid. He reminds me alot of me when I was his age. Its nice to be
able to help him out through some of his trials. After dinner we had a
great lesson with Bryan on scripture study. We did pretty much a
scripture study role play with him, helping him to know how he can
really study the scriptures in depth for better understanding.

Thursday: typical Thursday for the most part. Met with Richard
Anderson and had a pretty good discussion with him. He expressed
desire to read his scriptures more so were going to help him out with
that. Then this evening we had a lesson with Payge a recent convert
and Payton. It was Payge's first new member lesson taught by members
and it went well for having a couple old timers teach it.

Friday: Weekly planned pretty much all day... had an interesting
experience at dinner tonight with tyna... She is already starting to
get depressed about me leaving the area so she has been doing
unusually stupid things. Helped her through some of those things and
then while we were there a family member came by and started yelling
and stuff saying yo a million times... Tyna told her to leave... so I
told her where the door was... she didnt like that. Started yelling
with this neighbor she didn't like, calling her a bunch of racial
names... and so we called the cops and of course they didn't come.
Luckily the family member left and now if she is seen on the property
where Tyna lives she will get arrested.

Saturday: Great thing about tucson is that in the summer there are
monsoons so it rains a lot and makes everything grow a ton. So
everyone's yard gets overgrown and calls the missionaries:) we had the
great opportunity to help 3 people clean up their yards. After that we
went to a birthday party for someone turning 92 years old! After the
party a member wanted to introduce us to a friend of his who is from
Iraq, is muslim, and has no legs! Never thought I would teach a person
like this... IT WAS AWESOME! His english wasnt too good but we were
able to simplify our teaching to help him understand. Found the
Restoration to be fascinating and looked forward to reading the book
of mormon in Arabic. Had a great lesson with Josh after that, and then
another great lesson with Dawn, Kimmy, and Cody.

Sunday: Awesome sabbath day. Kimmy, Cody, Dawn, and Josh all made it
to church today:) They all seemed to have a great time and learned
some great things. What was really great is Josh came and he went to
bed about 6 a.m. Because a pipe bursted and flooded an apartment in
the complex he does maintenance at and he was up all night fixing
it... btw church is at 9 a.m. After church we visited with some people
and finished up some weekly planning.

I believe families are ordained of God and that they are the most
important social unit in time and all eternity. When we die, we will
have our families with us... not our football team or chess club, etc.
Through temples we can be sealed together as families and never have
to worry about losing a loved one. I love the temples and the
blessings that come from going.

Thanks for everything you all do:) I love you all! Have a great week!


Elder Smith

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week 57

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Esplin

Monday: Pretty typical pday... nothing really interesting to mention. 

Tuesday: alright day, this morning I had a doctors appointment to finalize some things with my medication. Everything's going good there. Had the chance to drive by the temple that is being built and it is beautiful! Looking forward to when it is finished... hopefully its done before I leave. Other than that... we talked with a few people, found some more potentials, and had some good conversation with Craig and travis. 

Wednesday: Amazing temple trip! Had our zone temple trip and it was fantastic! One of the best experiences I have had in the temple so far. Was able to do work for my ancestors on my moms side. Since I had some extra names I handed some of them out to people in my zone. Love the temple so much! On the way home from the temples we stopped and said hi to the Garners, the members who owned the trailer I lived in, and then went back home. Unfortunately our lessons canceled but we did our best to find some things to do. 

Thursday: Didnt end up going to foodbank today, had a great lesson with Richard A. And  had a fantastic lesson with Dawn, Cody, and Kimberly. Theyre doing great and progressing smoothly. Taught the plan of salvation and used a new drawing that I made for the plan of salvation. Since I was tired of having to draw the same picture over and over again, I thought it would be a good idea to just go make copies of it at the fedex store. So worth it because i have already used 3 pictures. 

Friday: had breakfast with the district and then went home to start weekly planning. Member of the bishoprics daughter was getting baptized and asked if we could teach the 5 min teaching moment while they were changing. Did the vase analogy again and it worked well. After that we went home and did our best to get as much weekly planning as we could done. Had a bbq this evening for new members in the ward. Had a blast and our investigators came:) never have I seen a family be fellowshipped as well as this one. Makes me really happy and proud of the ward:) Travis came as well and seemed to have had a good time.

Saturday: Helped out at a move this morning which was fun. There were alot of people that showed up so we decided to take off so we could try to finish weekly planning. The ward had a cake auction which our investigators came too! They had a blast again and a member was able to give me permission to spent $25 of his so I let them take the joy in bidding haha They bought a pie for $20. Visited Craig after the auction and he wasnt doing too good unfortunately. 

Sunday: Really good Sunday. We had ward council this morning, had our investigators at church, and had a great experience. After church we were on our way home for lunch but decided to stop by and see a few people... ended up visiting people until we had dinner. Had a really good conversation with some recent converts and less actives. Craig committed to reading and praying about the book of mormon as well as pray about if he should go to the addiction recovery classes the church offers. Finally met with David who we have been trying for awhile, he committed to coming to church which is great!

I love this gospel so much:) I know its true and I know that anyone can know if it is true if they read and pray about The Book of Mormon. The peace and joy I receive from reading that book overwhelms me and too this day I ask God to know if it is true. Even though I already do know, I love having the continual confirmation from the Holy Ghost. I love you all! Have a great week! 


Elder Smith
Plan of Salvation poster

Zone picture

Progress on the Tucson temple

Last week's temple trip to Gilbert

District picture

Picture I bought at Deseret Book while in Gilbert

Proof that jinxing is real... sister tanner she was going to get transferred. This picture was taken friday and on saturday she found out sister Latu was getting transferred. Sad day, shes been having a difficult time in the area she is in and was looking forward to being transferred.

Week 56

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

Monday: Today we went on a hike with the district which was pretty fun and after we did that Roy brought us to lunch to Costa Vida which is pretty much Cafe Rio. Rest of the day we spend running around doing things for pday. Had a lesson with Bryan which went well. 

Tuesday: Exchanged today which was fun. I was with Elder Wilson in our area for the day. Elder Wilson is from Samoa and has been out for a little bit longer than I have. Taught the Plan of Salvation to Michael and his daughter Madiana. Lesson went great! Went over to a less actives and talked about the word of wisdom. He had a pretty rough week last week:/ hopefully things get better soon.

Wednesday: Zone meeting today, went pretty good. Had another lesson with Michael and his daughter. Taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and once again he loved it! She loves it as well. He has already recognized the blessings of the gospel. 

Thursday: Went to the Family History center today with Melissa a recent convert. Had a blast helping her find family names. For those of you that havent done family history should try it, its actually alot of fun. Its like solving a puzzle, except the work travels over into the next life. While at the Family History center a woman walked in asking about what time church started. The family history center is far away from our area and when we looked up her address she was in our area! Couldn't believe it! She invited us over to her house to teach her and her 4 kids! Never been to a mormon church and wanted to learn more about us. After all that we had a great lesson with Payge and Payton making prayer rocks:) Had a lesson with Michael and Madiana again and it went awesome! they both accepted a baptism date for the 29th of October

Friday: Pretty good planning day. Spent a majority of the day planning. Gave a guy a blessing at the hospital which went well. Had a correlation meeting with Brother Washburn.

Saturday: Temple trip day! it went great! Thanks to my awesome grandma I was able to do work for my own ancestors and so was elder Esplin. I was able to proxy baptize my companion again! super cool! After the temple we had dinner and while walking out to the car a person came up to us and said that she was meeting with the missionaries in mesa and was going to get baptized and didnt end up doing it. On the spot she committed to prepare to baptized on the 29th of October as well. We then went to a lesson with Dawn and her 4 kids Angela, Ryley, Kimberly, and Cody. We taught the restoration and it was super fun. I always use the analogy of how Christ gospel when he was on the earth was like a perfect vase and after his death and his apostles death the vase "shattered". Priesthood was gone, there wasn't a prophet leading and guiding the people, etc. The people wanted to follow Christ so they took bits and pieces of the "vase" that shattered and did what they could. Without authority though it wasn't quiet like it was, which was perfect. With the restoration of the Gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith, the "vase" or gospel was restored to its original beauty. We bought accouple vases at the dollar store and actually broke the vase for the lesson and had a non broken one for the restored gospel section. IT WAS SO COOL! We set baptismal dates for the 29th with all of them:) 

Sunday:  Awesome day again! Church was fantastic! Dawn, Kimberly, and Cody came to church. They said they all had a great experience and said they really wanted to come back. After church a man came in and noticed our flag was not at half mast, the young men forgot that you're supposed to do that. So we fixed it and then ended up talking with him about the gospel. Had some interesting conversation, didn't go very far, but it was cool. Taught another awesome lesson tonight! The woman that came up to us and said she wanted to get baptized we had a lesson with and her husband. We ended up talking about their situation and what the plan is. Set two more baptismal dates! We currently have 9 baptism dates all for the 29th of October! Can't believe how blessed we are to have such an amazing pool of investigators who were prepared. 

I Love this gospel so much! I know the gospel has been restored, and that just like it was prophesied that, "a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;"(2 Tim. . Now with a great apostasy, Gods authority is not on the earth and there isn't a prophet leading the people through Gods word. Without authority we could not do as we are instructed to do in John 3:5 "be born of water and of the spirit". Only through Gods priesthood we can properly perform those ordinances. Just like how I can't go and give someone a ticket for speeding. I don't have the authority to do so even though my intentions are good, we need to leave it to those who have authority(Hebrews 5:4). 
We are all on this earth to learn and grow so we can return to live with God again. It's through baptism by water and the spirit(The Gift of the Holy Ghost, Acts 8: 14-17) we can be prepared to receive the blessings God has in store for us. 
Now if you're not aware that the gospel has been restored, it was prophesied that the second coming of Christ would not happen,"until the times of restitution(def.restoration) of all things"(Acts 4:19-20)
I know this Gospel was restored through a prophet named Joseph Smith. I know that the priesthood has been restored, and that this is Christs church once again on the earth today. I love this gospel and I love the blessings that come from striving my best to live it. Not everyday is the happiest or the easiest. But through the gospel of Jesus Christ, my days can be easier. I know this to be true because I have prayed about it(James 1:5), seen the blessings of the gospel in my life and those around me, and that it has all the great fruits that Christ church had while he was physically on the earth.(Heb.13:8) 

Love you all! I hope you have a great week!! Thanks for everything you do :) 


Elder Smith


Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 55

AREA: Central Tucson 
COMPANION: Elder Esplin

Friends and Family:
Monday: Pday was good. Gave a lesson to a guy that was completely
drunk and we asked him about it later and he didn't even remember...
Other than that it was a pretty typical pday.

Tuesday: Had a really great day at the Foodbank. Talked to this guy
who was volunteering the same time as us. Ended up teaching him the
whole restoration with Elder Cox. Gave him a Book of Mormon and
invited him to meet with us again. Seemed really excited about that.
After Foodbank we had what you could call practically a marriage
counseling lesson with a recent convert couple that have been having
issues. Luckly we brought some members with us so it wasn't as
awkward. Went to go check on some more people and saw a family moving
out of their apartment so we helped them, shared the restoration, and
went our separate ways. Love planting seeds for someone else to watch
them grow:/

Wednesday: District meeting as usual. Pretty good overall training on
teaching the restoration while finding. Had chipotle for lunch, we had
a coupon for buy one get one free. Got a call from our vehicle
coordinator saying we get a new car so we went a picked up our brand
new 2016 Toyota Corolla LE. The things is awesome compared to the
other one we had. Travis brought us to dinner and we went to chipotle
again haha. Taught him the plan of salvation which was cool. Ever
wonder what happens to that boy in China that never has heard of the
name Jesus Christ?? Does the gospel apply to them as well?? I think so
:) and the plan of salvation answers that:) we then had a lesson with
a recent convert family and taught about family history. Then had a
lesson with another kid.

Thursday: Didn't have Foodbank so we went to the family history center
and learned how to do family history. It was actually a lot of fun and
cleaned up some records that were repeated. While driving down the
road today a dog ran into the side of the car. Unfortunately the
stupid thing was fine and kept on running. Stupid dog... Had dinner
with Tyna and Hannah. Tyna gave me a card that was very nice:) Had a
lesson with a recent convert and that was about it for the night.

Friday: This morning we went to go help out with a move that ended up
happening the day before. Helped out Percy with his apartment again.
Cleaned out a bunch of junk that he had all over the place. Btw... He
is a hoarder. He donated some of his stuff and threw away some stuff.
Since Craig has been having such a hard time with giving up drinking
we made a big poster for his wall to help him remember the goals he
set. Don't know if that has done anything for him but hopefully it
has. Reallly sad to see alcohol control his life... Drunk people are
hard to work with too. Didn't get a whole lot of weekly planning done

Saturday: Found a new investigator named Rose and went on a district
blitz in someone's area to help out with finding. Went to the swap
meet which was interesting... A lot of junk.

Sunday: Pretty good sabbath. Tyna taught gospel principles and it was
actually really good. Haven't had that good of a lesson in awhile.
Went on a district blitz and was able to go through a large portion of
the list of potential investigators we have.

Just a quick thought on the gospel as a whole. I know that this is
Christs church restored on the earth. I know that is a perfect gospel
that if anyone applies it, it will change them into a person they
never felt that could be. I know that we are all sons and daughters of
God and he gave us a plan for how to return to live with him. I know
that through this plan everyone of Gods children will have a chance to
reject or accept the gospel. I love this gospel, I love this church,
and I love that I have an opportunity to be on a mission to share this
message with people.

Love you all! Hope you have a great week!


Elder Smith

Practicing contacting people at the pet store

Poster we made for Craig

Plan of Salvation drawing