Called to Serve in the Honduras, Tegucigalpa mission. July 2013-July 2015

Called to Serve in the Honduras, Tegucigalpa mission.  July 2013-July 2015
"I love my mission! I am so grateful to be here!." ~Elder Smith

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Gift of Tongues is True!

¡Hola, Hola! 
     Guess what, remember that time that Elder Anderson was being a big wimp about his ankle? Well it turns out he actually broke his foot!!! He has an interview with Presidente Pratt, (the CCM president) to see if he has to go home for a couple weeks before he heads to his mission.  But I mean he has been playing soccer with us, and running around for 3 weeks...? 

     This has been a week full of good and bad things. I'll finish the bad, because I already kinda started it up there. ^^^^ I lost my scriptures!!! I had my study journal, my patriarchal blessing and my favorite highlighter in there too! Every day I go to the lost and found and ask "¿mis escripturas otra ves?" which is Spanish for, "My scriptures one more time?" But the lady always tells me "no." which is Spanish for "no." But I still have faith that they will turn up! 

    Ok, that's all the bad stuff. Here's some of the good. We got a new district, and one of our jobs as zone leaders is to welcome the new districts, and have an interview with their district leader. So we go in there and Elder Caldwell is sitting there! How crazy is that! I have known that kid since 1st grade, and now we are in the same zone on our missions!!! I love it. We have also made some really good Latino friends! We sit by them every day at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we play soccer with them every day too! I love those guys. We went to the temple with them today, which is my other good news! We got to go to the temple again. The temple is always a good experience. 

     We had to say goodbye to all of our Casa Dos roommates this week. I didn't put that in the good or bad news section, because it's kinda both. It's sad because I might not ever see them again, but it's good because I know they are all going to be such great missionaries! But we also got a bunch of new guys who seem pretty cool. But they don't speak any Spanish at all!!! haha I bet that's exactly how we were 5 weeks ago. Which is great to see how much progress we have made. El don del lenguas es verdad! 

     Well I don't have a whole lot of time today, but I love you all! Next time you get a letter from me it will be from Honduras!!! 
Elder Smith

These are some of the kids we play soccer with every day!

These are our friends, and a picture of the Mexico flag at the temple!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Five Things We Need to Pray About

¡Hola Hola!

     I can't believe that cross country started without me!! That's crazy! I honestly miss training SOOOO much! Is Stefanie running for Lehi??? I miss my team! If any of you are reading this, work hard! it goes by way too fast, and then before you know it you are on a mission, thinking about how much you loved it and how much you learned and grew from all the hard work and dedication you put into it! 

     Sounds like there is a lot of excitement in our ward!! Bishop Hancock will do a great job! And Brother Moore and Meredith are great guys. You are in good hands! But Bishop Erb and Brother Crockett will definitely be missed. 

    This is my second to last P-day before I leave for Honduras! I can't believe how fast the time here has gone! I have changed a lot while I have been here, for the better. I really feel like the Lord is molding me into the person I need to be to become an effective missionary. I have never had such strong prayers in my life. This week when you guys pray, I want you to picture God sitting right next to you on your bed listening to you.  Because He is.  Really talk to him, and give him time to answer you.  Because he will. We had a member of the Quorum of the Seventy come and talk to us this week, Elder Johnson who is the Area President over México.  He talked to us about five things that we need to pray about, so we can know for ourselves that this Gospel is true. They are:  1) Do you really exist? 2) Do you really have a body? 3) Are you really my father? 4) Do you really know who I am? and 5) Do you really love me? 
     I know these may seem like simple truths, but there are people out there who don't know. I have always known these things, and I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way as I do.  But if you pray about these things, and work hard to receive the answer, because it doesn't always come right away, you will receive an answer to each one of them. It will change the way you think about the church. It will be something that you can always look back on when you are having a hard time. You will always be able to remember the peace you felt in your heart when you received your answer. It will bless your life for years to come.
     Nuestros Mensaje es verdad. Mediante fe, en Jesucristo nada es imposible. Si usted tiene preguntas, pedir Dios por medio de oracion. Yo se que Dios es amoroso y que Dios escucharé a nuestros oraciones! (Translation:  Our message is true.  Through faith in Jesus Christ nothing is impossible.  If you have questions, ask God through prayer.  I know that God is loving and that He will listen to our prayers!) 
From Casa Dos, in the middle of Mexico City, 
-Elder Smith

 District 11-C with the Branch President and his wife, Presidente and Sister Jewell.

Stuck in the elevator...

This one is from the plane! This is Mexico City!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

La Ciudad de Mexico Temple

!Hola Hola!
     Today started off a little differently than most P-days! We woke up half an hour early to get to breakfast and then got on a bus that took us halfway across La Cuidad de México to the temple!!! Oh man it was such a good experience! The temple is beautiful. Plus it was fun just to get off campus for once. We did an endowment session in Spanish! It was definitely interesting, and hard to understand at times. But the spirit was so strong! I loved every second of it!

    This week we had some interesting things happen. So on Wednesday Elder Anderson rolled his ankle. It was a little swollen and he said it hurt a lot, so we gave him a blessing. When we woke up in the morning he said it was still hurting. We went to the doctor's office and he asked for a wheel chair.... haha but he was fine. Then at one point during the day, we came to a flight of stairs, and there wasn't a ramp nearby, so Elder Anderson picked up his wheel chair, walked it down the stairs, set it down, walked around it and sat back down!!! It was so funny!!!!

     This week has had some really good things too. We taught an actual investigator on Thursday. It was awesome. That was the first time that I felt the actual don de lenguas, or gift of tongues, in my teaching so far! Everything that I wanted to say was coming out so easily and so smoothly. It was great, and I think it was because I really cared and wanted the investigator to know that the things that I was telling him were true! I have to remember to teach people, not lessons. Another good thing that happened was that the first generation of missionaries left this week. They are all great people with a lot to offer and I know they are going to make big differences out there. But with them leaving, there was a hole to fill as zone leaders. My companion and I were called in on Sunday morning and made the new zone leaders! It is a big job but I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve! I have to give a 10 minute lesson every Sunday, entirely in Spanish!!! But I know as long as I prepare well, the Spirit will help me out.

     Last night we had a really cool opportunity! We went into the auditorium for our usual previously recorded devotional. But we were surprised to find out that that night we were going to be listening to the first ever live broadcast to all the MTCs around the world! Elder Richard G. Scott gave an AMAZING talk on prayer. It was so spiritual! I honestly think that that talk was meant for me specifically.  Earlier in the day Hermano Klabacka, our teacher, had invited us all to do a self evaluation on Christ-like attributes. My lowest score was in the section under prayer. So earlier that day I wrote in my journal, "I need to have more sincere prayers. I feel like a lot of times I'm just going through the motions and not getting anything out of it." And then that very night Elder Scott gives the most powerful talk on how to have sincere, personal, meaningful, heartfelt prayers! I know it was my Father in heaven reaching out to me, trying to strengthen our relationship. And I'm so grateful for that.

Ok, For your questions:
1) How is your Spanish coming along? It is the first question everyone asks when they ask about you!
SPANISH IS HARD!!! But I am definitely improving and starting to use it more. The hard part is that you can say one word with like 15 different endings and it means a different thing. But I am improving. (:
2)  Have you run into anyone you know at the MTC? 
Yesterday I saw Elder Parker Ballard dragging his suitcase off the bus! I ran over to him and gave him the biggest hug!!! haha He is such a stud. Along with him Elder Jacob, and Elder Gabe Honieky (or however you spell it!) are here, an Elder named Trevor Buck, and this other kid that I know went to my high school but I can't remember his name are all here! Parker also told me that Jordan Peck is coming next week! And then there are some people that I recognize but don´t know very well.  Dad, Tanner Mangnum--the kid from Idaho who is going to play QB for BYU in a couple of years--is in my building! 

3)  Have you spent any money or tried to use your debit card? 
I used it once, they gave us a card right when we got here, and they put 100 pesos on it every week. (which is about 9 dollars.) so I mostly use that! 

     I loved getting mail from you guys! I will try to write back, but its hard to find time! I GOT YOUR COOKIES YESTERDAY AND THEY WERE SOOOO GOOOD!!! I LOVE YOU!!! Oh, and also, will you send me some stamps? I have to buy like 3 from the Tienda to be able to send one letter and that's like 50 pesos!
     Yo se que La Iglesia De Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ültimos Días is verdadero. Yo se Que Jesucristo es nuestros Salvador, y El es la solo camino podemos volver a Dios. Yo se que con fe, nada es imposible.  
(Translation:  I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and He is the only way we can return to God.  I know that with faith, nothing is impossible.)

With love,
Elder Smith
This is my district in front of the temple, and a sweet selfie.

Another picture of the temple, and we got some new roommates! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week #2

¡Hola Hola! 
     I can not believe how fast this week flew by! It feels like it was yesterday that I was in here typing my last letter! I also feel like I wrote a really good letter last week, which is good, except now you are going to be expecting a really good one every week... I should have set the bar much lower!!!  haha. A lot of things happened this week! We had these two nativo roommates, Elder Manriquez y Elder Espanosa, that spoke nothing but Español, but they left on Monday. It was crazy because even though there was a language barrier we grew so close to them!!! I was so sad when they left, but at the same time I know they are both going to be amazing missionaries. They were so nice and happy all the time. I'm going to miss them! 

     Besides P-days, Sundays are the best day of the week!!! My Sunday started at 2:30 in the morning with a knock on my window. One of the Hermanas in our district was sick and wanted a blessing, so Elder Anderson and I gave her a blessing! It was awesome. You know how missionary farewells and welcome homes are the best Sacrament meetings ever? Well I have Sacrament meeting with nothing but missionaries! It is so spiritual!! It was also Fast Sunday and usually I struggle with fasting.... but it was so easy! And with everyone bearing their testimonies in Spanish/English I had  to rely on the Spirit to understand what was being shared for some of the time. It was amazing! Then later that night we listened to a devotional given by Elder Holland back in 2011 at the Provo MTC. It was so good! He is such a powerful teacher. He taught on how this is not a two year sorta thing, that we have to be changed forever by our missions. I hope I can make those changes!

     Ok for your questions:
1)  Where is your companion, Elder Anderson, from?  Where will he serve his mission? 
      Elder Anderson is from Palmdale, California and he is serving in the San Antonio, Texas Mission! His parents are converts and he was sealed to them when he was like 10 or something.  He is a great guy! I like him a lot! he works hard and is learning Spanish SUPER fast! I have to work hard to keep up with him.

2)  What are your favorite foods at the MTC?  Is it all Mexican food, or some American food too? 
     The food here is actually pretty good! But it would be like eating cafeteria food for EVERY meal... good cafeteria food... but still cafeteria food. Most of it is Mexican, but on Tuesdays we always have Costco pizza for dinner!!! And always a couple other American meals here and there!! It's all really good!

3)  How did we do with packing?  Do you have everything you need?  Is there anything you want me to send to you?
     We did great with packing, I haven't really felt like I needed anything that I didn't have! 

4)  How have you been doing with getting up and going to bed on time?  You had such a crazy sleep schedule before you left, we have been a little worried about that! 
     Getting up on time is easy! haha I haven't slept in once, and I can honestly say that I don't think I will a single time, my whole mission! 

     How's Stefanie doing? Tell her to write me an e-mail!!! And tell Rachel to write me too!!! I really am loving it here! I know this church is true! We all need to be inviting others to come unto Christ as often as we can, even if it's just with our example. But every opportunity you have to talk to someone about the church, take it! I love you all! Especially you Mom and Dad!

Elder Smith
Reporting From Casa Dos in the CCM in Mexico City, Mexico, Planet Earth, Milky Way Galaxy. (; See we're not really even that far away from each other! 

These are our old roommates, and our district, and then Elder Ludlow from Provo! He is such a sick kid!!!