Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Week 62

AREA: Central Tucson    
COMPANION: Elder Esplin
Dear Family and Friends,
Monday: Just a pretty typical pday... didnt do anything special.

Tuesday: Wasn't very busy today unfortunately. Not many people were
available. We did go to the foodbank as usual and then tried to find
things to do. Went to mutual and joined in which was fun. Cody came
and had a great time:)

Wednesday: Started the day off slightly different than usual. A recent
convert in the area needed a haircut and couldnt afford to do it so he
asked if we knew anyone who could cut hair. Great thing was that we
did and he was a missionary. We ended up driving him over to their
place at about 6:30 to get his hair cut before work. Big reason he got
the haircut was for an interview. I also go a haircut out of the deal
which was fun. Had district meeting, had a lesson cancel, had dinner,
and then met with lee and amber. Theyre doing okay, seems like they
have been struggling with some things here and there but they will
push through. After their place we went home and I opened up the
package Savannah sent me which was amazing!! Loved it so much!! She is
the best girlfriend a missionary could ask for:)

Thursday: Had a really good lesson with Arshad today. We gave him his
Arabic Bible which he was very grateful to receive. We also gave him a
Restoration and Plan of Salvation pamphlet in Arabic. After his lesson
we had a lesson with Richard Trejo, a less active who we are helping
out. We shared a message with him on trials which was good. The rest
of the day was kinda blah... wish we had more success sometime but its
all part of the work sometimes... It will get better:)

Friday: Had interviews with president this morning which went well.
After the interview my investigator from Benson texted me and asked if
I was in Tucson still. I just happened to be conveniently at the
church which she was 5 minutes away from. She stopped by and we talked
for awhile about how things are going. Things could be going better
but she knows what she needs to do which is good. That took up a big
chunk of our morning, so we went home and planned till we had
coordination meeting with bro. Washburn. Had dinner with the larsons
at a buffet which arent my favorite, and then went home to try and
finish planning.

Saturday: Had an amazing day!! A convert in our ward from alittle over
a year from now went to the temple to go through for her first time:)
she invited Elder Esplin and I to go which was super amazing. Never
had I been to the Mesa temple. It is a very old temple and has such
amazing woodwork. After the temple we walked around the visitors
center while we waited for our ride to get out from doing sealing for
their ancestors. When they got out we stopped by Deseret Book so I
could buy some more garments and then had Cafe Rio for dinner. Ended
the night driving home listening to Mr.Mormon talking about the fall
of adam and eve.  Mr. Mormon by the way is the most amazing audio book
I have ever listened too! Has opened my eyes to so many things with
the gospel. Definitely would recommend downloading it and listening.
Download it on for free!!

Sunday: This morning started out slightly stressful but got better. We
really wanted to help some less active recent converts to church so we
left for church earlier than usual and tried to check and see if they
were ready. None of them answered the door. Some of them we even saw
in the house but still didn't answer. Kinda stressed me out, so we
went to church, and still... nobody was there. Walked around for
alittle looking for people and next thing I know Travis is walking
through the doors of the church! That cheered me up big time:) So
happy to see him there:) said he had a really good experience. After
church we went over to Dawn, Cody, and Kimmi's because Cody wasnt
feeling too well. Ended up giving Kimmi a blessing. Had a lesson after
lunch with a less active who is struggling with alot of things right
now. Set up some goals with him and a lesson to follow up.

I just want to bear a simple testimony that I know that this church is
true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know this because I
have read it, studied it, and prayed about it. There is nothing that
can take me know its true away from me. If you havent read it, read it
and it and pray about it and your life will be changed for the better.

Thanks for everything everyone:) I love you all:)


Elder Smith

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 61

AREA: Central Tucson  
COMPANION: Elder Esplin

Dear Family & Friends,

Monday: Today was a pretty good p-day, got everything pday like soon so we had more time to just relax. That was about it, not too exciting. 

Tuesday: Went to the food bank which was fun as usual. Visited with Josh and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ which went really well, we also went over and visited with Craig and he is doing alright... still having some problems here and there. Visited with Lee and Amber as well, he had a really tough week and has been struggling. Tried to help him as much as we could. 

Wednesday: Had district meeting today and gave part of the training on the importance of following up on invitations we give to investigators. Had a lesson with the Gallegos family, we taught a 17 year old who really doesn't have an interest in coming to church or anything. Felt that the message we left her went really well and she felt the spirit. Hopefully she has a stronger desire to come to church and do what is right. Had another lesson with Lee and Amber tonight. We decided to just read from the Book of Mormon which was a good choice I felt. We read with the whole family and even the little ones helped, it was super cute:) Before we left we gave everyone in their family a blessing except the two youngest because they were asleep. 

Thursday: Two of the young men in the ward came out with us today, its their fall break so we they had school off. Their names are Bryan and Anthony, we picked them up at about 7:45 and dropped them off at 9:00. It was pretty fun to have them out with us. They came to food bank with us after studies. Had lunch with them and  played some guitar and messed around singing like Elvis. They got a video of me singing hallelujah with an Elvis voice... they said they posted on facebook... wonder how that will go. Haha had a great lesson with Richard, read some scriptures and had some good conversation. He tried to do the shot of faith with Bryan and Anthony which kinda failed haha Anthony just picked it up and shot it back. Of course it was just pop in the shot class but he didn't know that haha. Later that night we tried to do some finding and ended the day with a lesson with Josh on obedience, prayer, and scripture study. 

Friday: Happy weekly planning day!  Pretty much all we did today and still didnt get it all complete. Had a lesson after dinner with a couple of less actives who ended up being YSA age so we passed them off to the YSA missionaries. After that lesson we stopped by to visit Dawn and to see how Kimmi is doing. She recently was put into a hospital for depression. A friend of her recently died which then brought back memories of another friend that died a year ago that she was very close to. Dawn is a very good mom and it amazes me how she does it... she has 8 kids and most of them are adopted children who's mothers drank while pregnant, some more than others. Her children have very good morals and although have minor disorders here and there, are doing very well in life. 

Saturday: Pretty good day, this morning we helped clean up some weeds in someones backyard. After that we went home to do our normal morning stuff. Originally we had a lesson planned with someone but unfortunately wasnt there. We had a member with us too... decided we would go and visit as many people as we could who was close by that we could invite to the Stake BBQ that we were having. Got a few peoples attention that made it. The BBQ was great! Had a lot of food and people. Dawn and Cody showed up and had a great time. Cody spent alot of time with some of the boys from the stake playing frisbee which isn't normally something he would do. While at the BBQ, a woman came up to us and said that I had come to her house a while ago and gave her a blessing... and because of the blessing, it gave her a stronger desire to look into the church. She was baptized last Saturday! That was soo cool of her to come up to me and tell me that:) I dont recall giving the blessing... but I do recognize her which is the interesting thing. 

Sunday: Really good Sunday, today Elder Esplin and I felt we should fast for Kimmi so we did that. Had ward council which went well, church was good too. Dawn had to work but someone picked up Cody so he could come. Had a really great time and felt the spirit he said. After church we went home and did studies and everything before going out to visit some less actives. After dinner Elder Cox and I did a role play that was fun. Elder Cox and his companion have been teaching someone who has been looking into anti which is annoying. They have been helping her recently try to recognize that anti is mostly lies, facts that have been twisted to make them sound like we are bad, or misinterpretation of things. The role play was him acting like her in a lesson... went well and was fun. The rest of the night we finished planning and thats about it.

On Sunday, Elder Esplin and I joined the young men for their lesson. The lesson was on Christlike attributes and was really good for the young men to hear it. The lesson sorta went off onto the subject of applying the things that are being taught and why its important to do it now. One of my biggest mistakes was procrastinating the application of the gospel. While growing up I knew I should apply the things taught in church... although I wanted to do things my way and I felt I "couldnt" overcome the natural man to do what God wanted me to do rather than what I wanted to do. Something I recognized is that I don't necessarily like being told that I "can't" do something and when someone tells me I cant do something... generally I want to show them up and do it if I believe I can. With that being said... why is okay for me to tell myself I "can't" do something... I came up with every excuse to procrastinate the day I put what I knew into action. How I wish I didn't do that. Please... Learn from my mistake and the mistake of many other people in procrastinating the day you apply the things we know are the right thing to do. I promise that there is no greater feeling to have a constant companionship of the Holy Ghost because by doing what God has invited me to do, it builds my faith and makes me more worthy of that constant companionship. I love this gospel, I love this church, I know that it is the true church of Jesus Christ, and I know that through this perfect gospel and by applying it, we can have eternal happiness in this life and the life to come. 
Alma 34:31-36

31 Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.

32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

36 And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.

I love you all! Have a great week!


Elder Smith

Week 60

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

Highlights of last week... 

General Conference on Saturday and Sunday for sure! I got so much out of General Conference this time around. This is the first time ever that I have not fallen asleep while watching it. The Saturday session was super good. I was slightly distracted while watching it because my good friend Travis from the food bank was there and wanted to help him have the best experience he could. Percy was there as well and he kept falling asleep which was difficult to help with that. Travis stayed for two sessions of conference which was awesome!! And Percy stayed for only one which is better than none so I'm happy. For the priesthood session of conference Cody came which was great! Super cool thing is we asked him afterward if he got anything out of it and he said that he liked the talk given by "Thomas Munson" we asked him what he got out of it and he said I dont remember but it felt good. Really cool thing is that a few day previous we told him that he may not always understand the things that he reads but you can know of its truth by how it makes you feel. It was cool to help him recognize the spirit while watching conference. Afterward we went to get frozen yogurt with some of the other missionaries. 

Sunday Session was AMAZING! I focused on it the whole time and got so much out of it! (I love being on ADHD medication) Before watching general conference I prayed that I would have question I had answered and I DID! I felt like some of those talks were spoken directly towards me! I love that we get to listen to the leaders of our church speak about inspired topics that they feel the world needs to here. Hope that you were able to get a lot of General Conference as well, if you didnt get a chance to watch it you can read them all now on the gospel library app which is what I'm in the process of doing now. 

Monday: Pday was pretty typical, did our normal pday things. Felt like it went super fast which was unfortunate... its all good though. While we were at Roys we watched Ephraim's Rescue, which is about the pioneers crossing the plains. Cannot imagine what it would have been like to be in their situation.  

Tuesday: This morning Tyna was moving into her new place because he niece got her kicked out of her old place. Ended up spending alot of time there and missing foodbank. "Borrowed" her cigarettes while I was there.... haha 😂 Found her cigarettes so I brought them home with me. So she did get super mad when she found out I took them I told her before we left... I left her 6 cigarettes for the rest of the week which came out to about 1 per day for the rest of the week. Was not happy when I told her I took them and started to cry and stuff... pretty ridiculous but she is over it now and I believe she appreciates that i took them. Still have them too... she just needs to ask me for some more cigarettes and Ill give them too her, problem is that she doesn't want to ask a missionary for cigarettes haha:) Had dinner with Travis tonight at his apartment which was fun, first time going to his place. Learned a little more about Catholics which was great! 

Wednesday: Had zone meeting today so spent alot of time in meetings learning about "calling people to repentance." Area has been moving slow recently so we spent the rest of the night kinda looking for people to teach. 

Thursday: Had foodbank which was fun and after the foodbank we went to the Library to print off some pictures for a poster that I made for her to help her quit smoking, cussing, and drinking coffee+Tea. We're working on things one at a time but it is still nice to have a friendly motivational poster hanging on the wall when striving to overcome an addiction. After that we went over to Richard Anderson and spent quiet a while there. Richards wife came home while we were there and joined in on our conversation which was nice. I have not really ever met and talked with her before and we ended up talking for about an hour. Had a lesson with Payge and Payton after that then spent the rest of the night constructing Tyna's poster which was fun. 

Friday: Spent practically all morning making Tyna's poster. Total pretty sure I spent about 6 hours working on the poster... Ill upload a picture of it bellow, but after finishing it we brought it over to her place, set some goals with her, and shared a message. Came home and started to weekly plan until the north elders for some reason decided to stop by for a visit which distracted us from planning for a good hour. Tried to get as much as we could of planning done but unfortunately we didnt. 

Saturday: Had a mini missionary with us today. His name was Caleb and he was from sierra vista. Once a year their youth group goes on mini splits with a bunch of the Tucson missionaries. So we started out the day by stopping by the Tucson Temple to get some pictures and stuff. Went home and did some studies before then meeting up with the North Elders for lunch. Thought it would be fun to introduce them to Tyna so we had a brief lesson with hannah and her. After the lesson we went and tried to contact some people in a sketchy trailer park, the person we were looking for was not home though. Contacted a referral that we had which went fantastic! Michael invited us in and told us alittle about himself and what got him curious about looking on to request a Bible and Book of Mormon, said that his sister had died a few years back and has been having a difficult time with it. Taught him the Plan of Salvation which brought great comfort to him and invited him to be baptized! He accepted a date for the 29th of October

Sunday: Really good Sunday, not too many people we invited came to church today, alot of them had to work which sucked... There were some good speakers though which was nice. After church we ate lunch, I played some guitar, we did some studies, had dinner, and then went out to contact a referral who didnt even know English. Came home and finished up with weekly planning so we can be ready for next week. 

I would like to share my testimony with you that I know Heavenly Father answers prayers. Last week before general conference I knew that if I had a question and asked that I would receive an answer during conference. I prayed and pondered over this question a few days before conference and had faith that I would receive an answer. Going into Conference with a goal of trying to get a specific thing out of it was a really great experience and receiving the answer was even better. I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers and gives us comfort when we need it. Not always does he answer it in the ways we expect it but he will always answer our prayers.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Week 59

AREA: Central Tucson  
COMPANION: Elder Esplin

Hello friends and Family,
I will have to be brief with my email today because its late but I
wanted to send out a quick message.

Highlights for this week...

Found a R2D2 shower head at a clothing drive that our ward was having.
Best thing I have ever had in my life.

had some really good scripture studies this week, I would definitely
suggest reading alma 37! Its soo good:)

Had a great lesson with some investigators, had a concern with
priesthood authority and baptism but I feel it has maybe been
resolved. We will find out though next time we visit with them.

Actually finished weekly planning on a friday! That hasnt happened in
awhile and am proud of it.

Great highlight of the week was watching General Conference! I loved
it so much! There was soo much I got out of it that I will share more
about next week:) Sorry for cutting this email short:/ wish Love you
all! And Choose The Right:)

A puppy :)

Watching conference at Roys with Bryan, his mom, and the other elders. Of course roy as well.

R2D2 Shower head that has changed my showering experience for life.

Only in Tucson....