Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Week 79

AREA: TucsonMidvale
COMPANION: Elder Bradfield

Family & Friends,

Monday: Not too bad. This morning we got started on our laundry pretty
quick instead of going down to sports in Sahuarita.  After getting
laundry and shopping done we went over to the library for a little
before driving out to East Tucson for sports out there. Elder
Bradfield is a pretty big fan of sports so we try to make it out to
some type of sports. After sports we had dinner and then went home for
the night. The family we had for dinner made some super good chicken
though, its called Captain Crunch Chicken... breaded with captain
crunch cereal and cornflakes. Super good!

Tuesday: First thing we did this morning was start our exchange. I was
with Elder Phillips which went well. We had foodbank which is always
pretty fun. He wanted to go to Wendy's for lunch because he had some
of those free frosty coupons so we went there. After lunch we had our
usual Tuesday at 3 appointment with Sister Cole which was very
enjoyable as usual. We have started reading the Doctrine of Covenants
with her. Had some appointments after her which unfortunately all
canceled. Found out while driving around that our tiwi is not working.
We should probably tell the vehicle coordinator but I dont want to
haha tiwi is the little box in the corner of our windshield that tells
us to slow down. I like to call it "mom" haha. Love ya;) haha We were
able to contact a few people briefly which was nice before heading in
for the night.

Wednesday: This mornings as pretty good. I had to prepare a district
meeting on "answering the questions of the soul through the Book of
Mormon." I felt like it went okay, I was a little anxious because we
were super late. I'm sure I could have done better on my part to be on
time... but at the same time when someone you are giving a ride is 30
minutes late to your meet up spot, it can be challenging. After
district meeting we went to a little taco stand which was pretty good.
Had a yummy carne Asada burrito & a Sonoran Hot Dog. Very good food
for sure. Elder Bradfield had some allergic reaction to something
while on exchanges and wasn't feeling good at all so we took a rain
check on our lessons, stayed inside, I did some studies while he
napped. This went on pretty much the rest of the night...

Thursday: Wasn't that much of an eventful day. Had foodbank which
went well. After that we rushed over to the dry cleaners so I could
drop off one of my suites that was starting to stink pretty bad. Went
home to change so we could head over to Brother Collingwood's for
lunch. Went out and visited some of the members that he had on his
list which went well. We were able to contact some people that
probably had not been visited in a very long time. Some people we went
to visit had also moved since they were last visited. After going out
to visit with people we had dinner at Tyna's which was great as usual.
She was super kind and gave me a gift which is a dream catcher that
was blessed by some Cherokee Shaman(medicine man)  awhile back. Since
she was giving me that, I thought I would give her my dream catcher,
which I have been carrying around with me since 2nd grade. After their
place, since Elder Bradfield wasn't feeling too well still, we went
home so he could rest.

Friday: This morning Elder Bradfield still wasn't feeling well so he
slept in while I read my book. Finally felt like it was time I should
get up and start getting ready. After getting ready we did studies
before starting our weekly planning. After doing some weekly planning
we had interviews with President Passey which was great. We then had
dinner with the Deckers which was fantastic. Sister Deckers oldest son
was there and during our dinner message he looked to have gotten
emotional. He once before had said that he was not a very spiritual
guy and thats why church wasn't for him. The spirit was what made him
get a little emotional which was really cool to see, especially
because we were talking about family. Elder Bradfield is still not
feeling well so we came back to the apartment so he could rest and
take it easy. Also, I accomplished one of the coolest things ever, I
was able to turn the lights on with my farts. (We have a clapper) I
now realize I can do anything I put my mind too. HAHAHA

Saturday: Started out the morning with doing service at Brother
Freeman's. They had some more water damage from awhile back that
needed to be repaired. I guess that is what happens when you put your
own roof on when you dont necessarily know what your doing. Anyway,
after doing that we went over to a less active YSA brother's place to
give him a blessing. He has been wanting to come back to church
recently and just started meeting with the Sister's in the YSA ward to
help him get back into activity. After his place we went home for
lunch till we left to go to a baptism for a guy who is AWESOME!
Literally in the past year he has been meeting with the missionaries
he has made so many changes in his life. Super powerful baptism:) His
step son baptized him which was super cool too:) He also baptized his
mom. After the baptism we headed back to the apartment for a lesson
with Crystal which went great! She is so solid! I love teaching her so

Sunday: Church was great! Crystal drove herself to church today
instead of getting a ride to church. After the first hour of church we
headed over to Brother Collingwood's for Blunch before heading out to
Sells for Sacrament meeting there. After church there we headed home
and on the way home stopped by Faith's place and visited for her for a
little bit. Tried to figure out why they might not be coming to
church. Most of it seems to be the lack of desire to come to 9:00
church... and also the lack of energy because Sister Williams has
cancer. The rest of the evening we spent at dinner and bishops house.

This week for my little spiritual thought I would love to talk about
striving to be grateful for every situation we are  in. This week as I
was reading in 1 Nephi and how after Lehi was told to leave Jerusalem
and go into the wilderness. While reading and looking at how Laman and
Lemuel were complaining about everything. Even after having miracles
happen they would repent and then immediately go back to murmuring.
Because of their murmuring they were sent to wonder in the wilderness
for 8 years!! Something I also thought was interesting is that we also
wait till we are 8 years old before we are baptized. In those 8 years
we prepare to be ready to make a covenant with God. Just like they
were traveling in the wilderness being prepared to build a boat and
travel to the promised land. We all need to be trying to be grateful
for the experiences we have and not complain about everything. Be like
Nephi and trust that God has a plan for us.

Love you all!!


Elder Smith

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Week 78

AREA: TucsonMidvale
COMPANION: Elder Bradfield

Friends & Family,

Monday: Pretty much a normal P-day. We are still trying to figure
things out so we have enough time to do things but we will figure it
out eventually. Big reason we didnt have a whole lot of time this
morning was because Elder Bradfield needed to print some pictures off
at Walmart and getting the pictures off his iPad was not the most
simple thing ever. The rest of the evening we kinda just chilled and
had dinner with some members.

Tuesday: This morning we got ready thinking we would just be going to
foodbank, although we forgot they do inventory the first Tuesday of
the month so we pretty much just turned around and went home. We
changed into our work clothes and headed out to see Sister Cole. She
seems to be doing great which is very good. Along with that we tried
to go and visit some people in the Ward until we had to get going to
dinner. On the way to dinner we had a pretty awesome experience. We
were driving down the road, we were a little early to dinner and saw a
woman standing by the bus stop. I had a strong impression to stop and
talk to her... at first I ignored it and kept driving. After about a
mile down the road I decided I needed to turn around and talk to her.
We turned around, I told Elder Bradfield what I felt, and we talked to
her. Her name is Linda, she is a school teacher for special needs
children, she had met with missionaries in the past, gave her a copy
of the Book of Mormon with our card in it and invited her to read the
introduction and call us if she would like to learn more. Nothing yet,
but it was a great experience to follow through with a prompting like
that. After dinner we had a great lesson with Crystal and talked with
her about the Word of Wisdom, what it is, and why it's important for
us to live it.

Wednesday: Super busy day! This morning the senior missionary couple
that lives in our complex met someone that is english that lives in
our complex and wanted to introduce us to them. We went over there and
they weren't home. We then went over to Brother Collingwood's to help
out with his renovations in his house. Ended up staying there for
awhile putting in door ways, floor, and taking out some drywall. That
was pretty fun and learned some new things. After his place we rushed
over to our lesson with Faith which went really well. We committed her
to work towards getting baptized next month on the 25th. Hopefully she
actually works for that day. We will see though. We then rushed over
to dinner at Olive Garden with a sister in the ward. Met up with the
Valencia ward missionaries for exchanges, I was with Elder Ludlow.

Thursday: Exchanges went really well. Pretty much did service all day!
Started off working on a deck and towards the end of our exchange we
were trying to contact some people. Felt like we were driving around
practically all day.

Friday: Had our zone conference today which went really well. Tried to
get as much as I could out of it although for some reason I was having
a hard time focusing. Still got a lot out of it though which I will
talk about at the end of my email. After zone conference, on the way
home we visited Henry who we hadn't seen in a while. Scheduled an
appointment with him and we look forward to meeting again. After them
we hurried home to change, had a quick lesson with Crystal on the Law
of Chastity, and then went to diner. Dinner was great! It was with the
Dedmans who is an awesome family that is new in the ward.

Saturday: Did service at the Lujan's place which was really fun. It
was super slow and tedious work but it was still a lot of fun. We
started by putting some insulation in the ceiling, putting up some
walls. They were red wood boards which was pretty nice. What took so
long is he had to cut them to size, we would nail them in, and repeat.
After their place we drove home, changed, rushed over to Brother
Collingwood for a quick dinner, and then drove out to Sells for a
bonfire that turned into a family home evening practically because
nobody showed up except the family who's house we were at. That was
somewhat disappointing.

Sunday: Awesome sabbath!! Crystal is awesome at church! Her eyes are
practically glued to the people speaking. She has now been sober a
little over 2 weeks which is an amazing improvement from where she was
at. Previous to meeting with us she said 4 years previous to that she
had spent $80,000 on drugs... just so you get a bit of a perspective
of where she is at now compared to what she was. After church we went
over to Gary's for lunch, had a great discussion on conversion, and
then checked out some of his soaps. He has so much soap and it is soo
awesome! This time I got some new scents. If anyone would like some, I
would be happy to set you up with his info so you can purchase some;)

Zone Conference was awesome and Sister Passey gave a great training on
the Word of Wisdom and a different way of looking at it. A lot of the
time missionaries tend to focus on the physical blessings of keeping
the word of wisdom and we try to bribe the people we are teaching into
following it. By putting so much emphasis on the physical blessings,
it takes away from the actual reason why its there for us. She shared
a story that I believe was shared in a general conference, it was
about a little girl that did not want to listen to her mother and wear
her seatbelt. The mother tried different methods of trying to get her
daughter to wear it. Saying things like "put it on and ill give you a
treat, put it on or youre going to get hurt, etc." all of which were
methods of threat or reward. It wasn't till the mom says "Please put
your seat belt on, I love you, I care about you, and I dont want you
to get hurt." We are given the Word of Wisdom or even commandments in
general because our Heavenly Father LOVES us more than we can
comprehend. Just like how we would want the ones we love to wear their
seatbelt while driving in the car. I love you all!! Try to be
obedient:) the gospel/commandments are there for a reason:) Have a
great week!


Elder Smith

Saying goodbye to Blacker

At the fair with Bradfield

Zone picture

First day with Bradfield

Week 77

AREA: TucsonMidvale
COMPANION: Elder Bradfield

Friends and Family,

Monday: This morning started off pretty good and normal. Went to
volleyball and actually played a little which was kinda fun. The
stupid wifi was down at the building so I wasn't able to send out my
emails till later. The rest of the day we spent chilling out and
relaxing the way we do best.

Tuesday: Had a great day! Had foodbank which was a lot of fun as
usual. Went and visited with Sister Cole and we watched the
restoration movie with her. Very powerful movie and would recommend
watching it if you haven't already. After her we tried to visit
someone Elder Bradfield thought may be someone he was related too and
unfortunately they had moved. We did talk with the guy that lived
there though and said we could stop by next week sometime which was
SUPER awesome! Had a great lesson with Robert, Ernie, Emilio, and
Audrina. All of them except Audrina should be getting baptized this
month and we will see how that goes:) We would have visited with
Crystal although she wasn't feeling too good coming off of the drugs
she was on. Hopefully she will regain her energy soon and be back and
at it:)

Wednesday: Gave my first district meeting which I though went well.
There were definitely a few things that I need to work on though.
After district meeting our district had lunch together in the church
building. We just brought our own food and ate up. Went home and then
rushed over to our lesson that ended up not going through. Our backup
was then to visit the Whitlock family. They're an older couple who are
unable to come to church physically. Ended up giving them the
sacrament and then moving on to our next lesson with Faith. Faith made
a huge step in her progression! She told us that she made the choice
that she wanted to get baptized. Her baptismal date is no longer a
"goal" its an actual real thing! She is on a role and we look forward
to seeing how things go from now on. The rest of the evening we had
dinner as usual and then headed over to a members house for the
combined youth bonfire they were having. It was a lot of fun. Robert
was supposed to be able to go but wasn't able to make it

Thursday: Didn't have anything major happen today. Had foodbank as
usual and went out with Brother Collingwood for about 3 hours
contacting families. That was a lot of fun, I love Brother Collingwood
so much. Never before have I had a ward mission leader as determined
to make a difference in a ward as him. While contacting families in
the ward we contacted a guy who had an awesome hot rod he was working
on for his great grandson. He had been less active for years so we
will see what we can do with him:) After visits we had dinner with
Sister Dilley and then went and visited with Adrian who we hadn't seen
in awhile. Had a really great discussion with him.

Friday: Had a pretty good study session this morning on a bunch of
different things. After studies we started on our weekly planning
before going out to Kim's place. She is doing very good with her knee
replacement! She is already walking around, no longer doing physical
therapy, and she is already about to be scheduled again to get her
other knee replaced. Its only been about 3 weeks. We came home after
that and then got going on planning again before we went to dinner
with Sister Dilley at Costco. Had exchanges tonight:) blessings of
being a district leader...

Saturday: Spent pretty much all day doing service. Started off the day
at the church cleaning it which was a blast of course. We then went
home to then head over to Brother Freeman's to help out with some
leaks on the roof that was causing some water damage on the ceiling in
their bathroom. We ended up tearing up some dusty 30 year old carpet
that was in a bathroom. You could imagine how gross that was. We also
ripped some drywall off the wall which was fun. After his place we got
some lunch and then went to sister Lucas's place. That was really
interesting... we pretty much just went through a hoarders trailer and
sorted out all the tools. Found some really weird stuff in the
process. After their place we went to the lujan's house to go and help
them with some work around their place but by the time we got their
they were already done working. So we talked with them for awhile and
went home to get ready for our lesson with Gary. Lesson with Gary went
well, his therapist dishonorably released him which pretty much means
he is too far gone to help so he is scared that he will either be
going back to prison or going to a mental hospital. Gary is a really
good guy and I feel bad for his situation, it is truly unfortunate. He
does deserve it though.

Sunday: church was good, we had ward council again this morning which
went well. Crystal came to church again and she is doing great! She
looks so much happier since she has been keeping the word of wisdom.
Very proud of her progression in the gospel and look forward to when
she is baptized. After sacrament meeting we went over to brother
Collingwood and had breakfast (surprise breaking fast) after his place
we went to Sells for church. Unfortunately the group was pretty
small... we did have a new sister their though we were finally able to
contact! She is a teacher and didn't know we had the group meeting
their. She is a very strong member! She had kids that served missions
and everything. We then drove home and on the way stopped by the
lujans with brother Collingwood to see what he needs help with. We
will be going back shortly to help them out with building a house and
barbed wire fence. The rest of the evening was pretty relaxed... I
didn't take my ADHD medication because it was fast Sunday so I was
sooo tired and just wanted to pass out.

Today I would like to talk about the importance of church attendance
and how important it is for us to do all we can to attend. Over the
time of being on my mission and trying to help people come to church I
have heard about every excuse in the Book. There are so many, all the
way down to I didn't feel like it to my car broke down. Some of these
reasons may have been very good and understandable. At the same time
after hearing the stories of people that would do all they could to
come to church and made it a top priority. Pushing through those
trials and finding a way to church. Coming to church isn't just a time
to learn about God some more, it's way more than that. It the only day
during the week we have the opportunity to renew our baptismal
covenants. This is such a blessing and we should be taking advantage
of this as long as we can. I love this gospel and the sacrament. I
love how I feel at church and the unity of faith I have with my fellow
brothers and sisters there.

Love you all! Have a great week!😊


Elder Smith

Week 76

AREA: TucsonMidvale
COMPANION: Elder Bradfield

Monday: Today wasn't too exciting. This morning all we did was did our
normal pday things before staying home all day to watch Elder Blacker
pack his things. I'm going to miss serving with him, he is a really
good missionary, and has a lot of good intentions. Had dinner at the
Olive's home and they were awesome! As usual. They made us Japanese
food which was amazing! We then went over to the Dedmans home which
was a lot of fun. We had a very good conversation about the Plan of
Salvation till we had to take off for the night.

Tuesday: Transfer day! Woke up earlier than usual so we could head out
to the transfer site. It was nice to see some old friends. Elder
Kapele went home which was crazy because it feels like not too long
ago he hit is 18 month mark. Saw a bunch of other missionaries and got
to talk a little before having to head home so Elder Bradfield could
unpack. First day went pretty well with Elder Bradfield, their are
some things I will definitely have to get used to. He has a speech
impediment which causes him to stutter pretty bad most of the time.
Had a great lesson with Robert and then with Crystal. Roberts lesson
went well, we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then weigh Crystal
which went great too. Found out Crystal had some pretty bad issues
with the Word of Wisdom and  so we brought John, an addiction survivor
I know from my first area. Brother Fawcett came as well and at the end
of the lesson we gave her a blessing. She is such a strong person and
the amount of growth she has made since we just met her is

Wednesday: Super crazy!! This morning we had the worldwide mission
broadcast and had a very good review of last years broadcast. That
part was repetitive being that I had recently watched the broadcast
during my studies. The exciting part was that the General Authorities
of the church have decided to change our schedule and key indicators.
We now have a lot more agency when it comes to what we do during the
day. We decide when we do things as long as we wake up at 6:30,
workout (6:30-7:00), Plan (7:00-7:30), get ready (7:30-8:30), personal
studies (8:30-9:30) and companionship whenever is convenient and is
only 30 minutes now!
 Super awesome and I really love it. Only thing

that I'm not a huge fan of is that they shortened our lunch time to 30
minutes instead of an hour. It will be all good though. After the
conference we had a lesson with a less active named Edgardo, then
Faith, and then the Bagley's. All of which went really well. Had a
great gospel conversation with Faiths mom's fiancé who is Southern
Baptist and has a lot of bad information about the LDS Church. Had a
modest conversation about what we believe and it went very well.

Thursday: Super busy day today. Found out this morning that we have a
booth reserved at a fair on the Indian reservation this weekend that
we now have to prepare for. Super last minute so we rushed up to the
mission office to grab material for that, had lunch with sister
Broadbent which was awesome!! Missed her so much and it was great to
be able to catch up, and then went over to brother Collingwood's to go
out and visit less actives with him. Some of the people were home and
we had very nice conversations with them and others weren't
home/didn't want us being there. Got yelled at by some guy for being
on his property which was pretty stupid being that all we were doing
was turning around. Crystal went to the Addiction recovery meeting and
said she LOVED IT! She also said that she feels that she now has hope
that she can really beat this addiction, which she hasn't ever felt
before. Ended the night at Hermana & Elder Jones apartment making
plans for the booth in Sells.

Friday: Nothing too exciting happened today. Got distracted a few
times trying to start weekly planning and didnt end up getting a whole
lot real important stuff done. Had dinner with some awesome members,
went home, planned some, and went to bed.

Saturday: This morning was so exhausting. Had a booth set up at a
rodeo down in Sells and had to get there early before the fair to see
the parade. After the parade we rushed over to the fair and set up the
rest of our booth. There was some pretty good success here and there.
A lot of the Natives seemed to be really interested in doing family
history. Invited a few people to church so were crossing our fingers
that someone comes:) There was one guy had a difficult time not
getting defensive with... said he didnt  know much about the mormons,
until he explained stuff that he "knows" about mormons. Started from
questions about multiple wives to false accusations about Joseph
Smith. None of which he could stump me on haha it was a very good
discussion, not a bible bash. Just a discussion about different
faiths. The rest of the evening we spent driving home and at Gary's.

Sunday: This morning was hard. We had ward council this morning so we
had to wake up earlier again to get ready for that. Super tired from
the day before already. That went well, had a great day at church,
Crystal came and looked to be doing great which was great to see.
After that we talked with a few of the new missionaries in the Central
ward till we needed to leave. Got home, did studies, ate lunch, left
for dinner, visited Sister Lucas (recent convert), set plans with what
she wants us to do to help her out, and then spent the evening at
bishops. Had to do calls this evening which was interesting. End of
month numbers really suck though. I am anxious to see what calls will
be like with the new Key Indicator change.

This week I would like to talk about righteous goals. recently I was
reading in 1 Nephi where Nephi and his brothers were told to go back
to Jerusalem to get the brass plates(records) from Laban. I love the
example that Nephi made through his diligent faith in receiving the
plates. Throughout our lives we may think that things we are told to
do or expected of us are "impossible," just how it may have seemed
impossible for Nephi to get the plates. Nephi knew that if he put his
trust in the Lord that he would provide a way to receive the brass
plates, and he did. Just like that example, if we have a goal in mind
that we may feel is impossible to achieve or something expected of us
that you feel you "can't" do. Put your faith in the Lord and trust
that he will show you a way to succeed. I invite you all to do as
Nephi did, exercise your faith and make goals that you know your
Father in Heaven would be proud of and ask for His help.

I love you all! Have a great week! Thank you for all you do!


Elder Smith