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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year

Hola Hola!

This is weird.... I feel like I just talked to you guys or something... haha oh yeah, that's right, I did! (: 

Christmas in the mission rocks! Talking to my family was honestly so refreshing! It was a little weird at first! I was like, "Whoa, they really do exist!" But that went away after about three seconds and I was just really grateful for the chance to talk to my family! haha You all looked so good and sounded really good too! What a great present for Christmas!

It sounds like you guys have been having a really busy week, and a really busy Christmas break! I remember the good old days with all of our entire family at Grandma's house for Christmas! I miss those days! I'm glad those traditions didn't die with me going on a mission. haha I was a little worried that all you would be able to talk about was how much you missed me! (; But I guess that you guys were able to break through the depression and enjoy your time together!

So I got a package today! That box you sent with the family from Utah found its way to me clear down here in Honduras!  The son had served in a couple of areas down here in Choluteca, he and his parents were visiting for Christmas and were here today. So we took a picture together with the package that they carried all the way to Honduras just for me! haha

The day after Christmas I saw the craziest car crash ever! Elder Arteaga and I were walking, about to cross this street, when a truck and a taxi hit each other. They just kinda scraped each other, and it wasn't too bad at first. But the truck over-corrected trying to regain control and ended up rolling like three times right there in front of us! It was like an action movie! So we ran over to the truck thinking for sure this guy was dead. But he was just fine! A little shaken up obviously, bumps and bruises, but no broken bones or anything! It probably didn't seem like it to him, but I think it was a miracle! That guy should be dead, but he is still alive and with his family today! 

Well I love you all! I hope you have a great new year and that we can all work together to make it the best year this world has ever seen!!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Hola Hola!!!

Feliz Navidad! I can't believe that it's already Christmas! There are a couple of big milestones you hit while you're serving a mission, and apparently your first Christmas is one of them! So tomorrow is Christmas here in Honduras. People celebrate Christmas on the 24th, haha, so today is kinda like Christmas Eve! And then the next day is real Christmas and I get to talk with my family!!!! I'm pretty excited for that! The bishop is letting us use the church's wifi, and we are borrowing a couple of computers from some members too! It's going to be great! I can't wait to hear from all of you!

Sounds like things are going really well for all of you!  Congratulations Stef on your new calling!!! Work hard and try to magnify your calling! And Dad with the Lehi basketball team haha that's sweet! Keep up the good work! Mom with your chime choir! That was always the best sounding musical piece of any program! And that's awesome that you guys got to see Margaret and her family! Tell them I say hi when you see them, ok!

This week is a little weird! A lot of the members are out of town, visiting family and stuff. But pretty much everyone else has invited us over to eat tamales and tarretas which are kinda like french toast! Oh my gosh everything is so rico!!! haha Christmas down here is something different though. IT IS SO HOT!!!  It just keeps getting hotter and hotter every day, there have been some winds that have been helping a little, but its insane!

Anyway, I just want to remind you all that there is a deeper meaning to this time of year than just the presents and the trees and the snow and the candy. I think it is kind of amazing that the whole world pretty much has come together in creating the best holiday in the world, in memory of the birth of our Savior! At times the true meaning gets lost, but that's really what it is! People are more open to the spirit right now, and everyone is just happier! I love it! Try to find an opportunity to share the gospel with someone through this door that is automatically opened by this time of year! (: 

Love you a lot! Talk to you soon!! (:

-Elder Smith

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The More the Storm, the More the Strength

Hola, Hola! 

What a week! I'm going to start with a story. So we are teaching this really old guy named Bonifasio! I mean OLD!! He's 88 and just crazy! He can never remember what we have taught him the day before or anything. But he likes to talk to us. On Friday we went over there, and we went over the First Vision with him. We got to the part where we show the picture of Joseph Smith while he was praying, with Christ and Heavenly Father appearing to him. So my comp said, "So, Joseph Smith decided to ask God which of the churches was true. And this is a picture of his experience (pointing to God and Jesus).  Bonifasio, who do you think these people are?"  He thought about it and looked at us, then said with a face completely serious, "I'm pretty sure that they are the Jehovah´s Witnesses."  haha It was so funny! We both could not stop laughing! It was hilarious! Here we are, two Mormon missionaries, teaching about the first vision, and this guy thinks that it was the Jehovah´s Witnesses who appeared to Joseph Smith when he prayed! Haha it was great!

Also this week we had our Christmas party! We drove up to Tegus this Thursday and had a little program with all the final testimonies of all the elders that are going home this change! The spirit was very strong! Then we had a little dinner, and sang some songs. President gave us all a little gift with a cool little fold out card with all of the faces of all the missionaries in the mission right now. And then we got to play soccer! It was great!

Besides that it was really a non-eventful week. We worked hard and tried to follow the spirit. But anyway, I'm going to get back to my story about Bonifasio.

So, it was super funny! Probably one of the funniest moments of my mission. But then when we went back to his house on Saturday he was super mad at us. This old guy who could never remember what we had talked about the day before, couldn't tell who we were, or even which church we represented, but he remembered that we had laughed at his answer. He told us to leave and that he didn't respect us. We spent probably 30 minutes begging for forgiveness from this old man, but in the end he told us to leave. This has been hurting me! I have been thinking about this a lot. Was it a sin for me to laugh at that comment? Because I couldn't have held it in. I have been repenting of it every day in my prayers, but it doesn't feel like it is going away. I don't know if it was a sin or if it was just an unfortunate thing that happened.

Later that day we were with our ZLs because they live down the street. Elder Elgreen could tell that I was upset and shared a poem with me. It's called Good Timbers. This is a part of it: 

Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees,
The further the sky, the greater the length, 
The more the storm, the more the strength.

By sun and cold and rain and snow
In trees and and men good timbers grow
Where thickest lie the forest growth,
We find the partiarchs of both

And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and of much strife,
This is the common law of life.

 I don't know if this is just a wind that I'm supposed to get through, but this poem is very true. I'm going to use this experience to grow! I think that is part of the purpose of going on a mission, to make mistakes and grow from them! I would like some advice on what to do, or some feedback. What do you guys think?

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, December 9, 2013

I Have Had My Eyes Opened!

Hola, Hola!

Oh my gosh, missions are so much harder when you have to make all the decisions every day! I am so grateful for Elder Glassett and everything that he did for me! I didn't realize how hard it is. I have had my eyes opened! But I think I'm adjusting to it pretty well.

We have been working super hard! We have knocked on a lot of doors in the past week! Most people here in Honduras don't like turning away people who are preaching the Palabra de Dios (word of God). So we get into most houses. And we are starting to have some success! We met this guy named Jose. He's about 17 and he is super concerned with things of God. He got in a car crash a little while back and has problems with his leg and hip now, so we shared with him the Plan of Salvacion and how he can have a perfect body again after this life.  He seemed to like that! He's ready to receive the gospel!

My Spanish has also gotten like 20 times better in just these short few days that I have spent with Elder Arteaga! He has been helping me a ton! Plus, I have felt help from heaven. There have been times when I can remember some little rule, or I will remember what I read in El Libro de Mormon, and times when I can speak really well! It is really cool. I think that this change is the time that I need to grow the most so far out of all my time in the mish! But that also means that it is going to be really hard! I have a quote on the back of my agenda that says, "Self Is created, not found." And that is what I have been working on for the past couple of weeks. 

Anyway this week I went on divisions with Elder Clawson. He is from Arizona and he is a stud! We had to go secure a paper for a wedding (because they can't do that over the internet here in Honduras so we have to go and physically pick up all of our papers...) But it was in this little village like three hours by bus into the mountains called Concepción de Maria. The bus ride sucked! But when we finally got there it was such a cool little pueblo!!

After that we drove back and went to this little place called Monte Carlo to do some interviews for baptisms. This little pueblo had NO light, NO running water, their houses were made out of sticks, mud, and cardboard. But they were so happy! I was so overwhelmed by how happy they were with how little they had! I will never forget that little place. 

Anyway, sounds like everything is going well!! Dad's team is winning! GO LEHI! Stefanie is a champ running the whole school play! That sucks that Real Salt Lake lost, but they had a great season.

I was able to watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional! And the whole time I was listening to the words that the prophet and apostles were saying I was thinking about how my family was watching the same thing at the same moment that I was! (: I was glad I was able to enjoy that with you even though we are far away. We watched it in a member's house and she cooked us a really nice meal and it was just a really good evening! When Elder Nelson talked about the Savior I felt the spirit so strongly! I love this time of year! 

Anyway, I love you so much! Hope you all have a great week! 

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, December 2, 2013

Big Week and a New Companion

Hola Hola!

It's been a pretty big week for me...changes were this last week... I'm no longer with Elder Glassett, I'm Comp Mayor (I don´t know how to say that in English...) I'm with a Latin, and I AM TRAINING!!!!! Oh my gosh!!!! 

My new companion's name is Elder Arteaga, he is from Ecuador.

He's a really cool guy! Super nice, a little interesting, but overall we are going to get along very well I think! But he speaks absolutely no English! Well, except the words racoon, monkey, I am beautiful, and a few others that he has asked me about. But we can only communicate in Spanish! My Spanish has already gotten a lot better I feel like! I still make a lot of mistakes but the gift of tongues is freaking real!

It's strange being in charge of what we do now. I used to just kinda wait for Elder Glassett to tell us where we were going, but now I have to make plans and remember people's names a whole lot better, and decide where we are going to contact, and who we are going to ask to help us and stuff like that! It's definitely weird! but also a very good learning experience and I'm glad I am getting it early in my mission! It will help me a lot.

The night we heard about changes we had a little family night at the house of our cocinera (cook lady) and they all expressed their love for the four of us who had been there, Elders Glassett, Pau'u, Moran and me and they all said that we are family and if we ever visit, we would be welcome there and it was honestly such a spiritual moment. The kid Ricardo broke down and said how we had been really good examples for him and how he wants to serve a mission now and it was very, very spiritual! I felt so much love from these people! It was amazing! I will never forget that night.

Thursday didn't even feel like Thanksgiving at all to me!!! I actually kind of forgot that it was Thanksgiving because so much was going on! Change day, going up to Tegucigalpa, getting a new comp, about a million things happened, I didn't have time to think about it! But it sounds like you guys had a great little family get together! I miss all my little cousins! You guys rock! But just think, I only have one more thanksgiving away from you guys! (;

Well, I love you guys a lot! I hope you all have a good week! Pretty soon we will get to talk on the phone! (: I´m excited for Christmas for that reason!!! 

Love Elder Smith!

P.S. I got a Christmas package! We now have a little arbolito (tree) sitting in our living room!!! haha We have a bunch of Christmas spirit in our house!