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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Six Months

Hola Hola!!!

P-day got changed to today because there was an emergency meeting for all of the zone and district leaders...not an acceptable reason in my opinion...but what can you do sometimes, ya know?? Sorry to keep you waiting yesterday!

...It's been about 30 minutes since I wrote that paragraph up there...I got distracted looking at my blog for the first time! haha It looks good, Mom! Good work! 

Anyway, this week has been pretty good. I have officially completed six months of my mission. Woah! Where the heck did that go? I still feel so new, but at the same time I am so comfortable walking up to people's doors, knocking, and in a new language giving a brief summary of the most important message that anyone could ever receive; how Christ has re-established his true church on the earth today through a prophet named Joseph Smith, and then asking them if they would like to learn more.

This week my estaca (stake) had a mini-CCM (MTC) for the youth. They had asked the zone leaders to help, but because they had to go to Tegus for a meeting, it fell to us. But it was soo cool! Elder Arteaga and I explained the importance of district meetings and how we use them to help us find solutions to their problems. So we gave them each an investigator scenario to work with. We used our own investigators but changed their names, hoping that maybe we would actually get some good ideas from them, and we really did! They helped us and other people out a lot without even really knowing it! I know these kids are going to be good missionaries! 

Stefanie, thank you for that spiritual thought!! (Never postpone a prompting.~Thomas S. Monson) I have actually been thinking a lot about Thomas S. Monson this week. We watched a movie about his life called "On The Lords Errand" with one of our investigators. President Monson is truly an amazing man and I have no doubt that he is a prophet of God! I think you were led to share that thought with me! Way to be spiritually in-tune! You are already ready to be a missionary! (:

Sounds like life is moving along back in the USA too! Stefanie with braces! Vocal Point Concert! Super Bowl! haha Stay strong Rachel! I am cheering for the Broncos with you! (Even though you are only a fake Broncos fan...) Nobody here really cares about the Super Bowl... haha first time I won't watch it in my life!

Keep working hard! Remember that we are supposed to be happy! Take some time to think about what makes you truly happy this week and then just decide to follow or do whatever it is that you are inspired to come up with! (:

I know the church is true! I know if we let God help us with our lives more we will be a whole lot happier and more successful. I know that because I have seen it in my own life. But what good is that to you guys? I encourage you to let God lead the way in every aspect of your life this week. Invite him through prayer to guide you. And then at the end of this week review what has happened.

Love Elder Smith

Monday, January 20, 2014

Surprise Temple Trip

Hola Hola!

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!!! It started off with a surprise temple trip. Right after we got done writing last week we got a call from the APs saying, "Hey guess what, you guys get to go to the temple tomorrow!!!"  Best news ever! I love that place. Earlier in the week I had decided to fast so I could get a little help with this crazy adventure I'm on right now, and I got it. It was such a great experience! 

I had the feeling that we should visit this lady named E****** the next day. So we went, and we talked about her life and her family. She opened up with us a little bit and told us how she and her husband had been novios (sweethearts) since esquela, which is like elementary school, and they have been in love their whole lives. But he started drinking a couple of years ago, and now she feels like she doesn't even know him anymore. That is so sad to me! It just shows how important the Word of Wisdom is. Not just for us, but for those who we love too! God is pretty smart. It's probably a good idea to listen to what he tells us to do.   

The next day I went on divisions with my District Leader, Elder Reyes. He is the best Elder I've ever met. I really look up to him so much. He finishes his mission in one month from today so he's been around the block a few times. He's from Boston, but his parents are both Guatemalteco so he's Latin too. Anyway, while we were working I could really just feel and see how much love he had for everyone that we taught! It was incredible. He has helped me more than a few times and I really feel like the help I was asking for in the temple was given to me through the day that I got to work with Elder Reyes. 

I'm really sorry that Stef injured her shoulder. But I'm so proud of her for being tough and going through with the dance competition and trying her best anyway. That's my sister! (: I'm actually teaching a little girl named Stefany right now! Cute little girl. Every time I say her name I think about you, Stefanie! 

I have definitely felt the effect of my family's help in our "Hour Of Power".  It is honestly like plugging into a power source for that hour! I can feel the spirit so strong and I really want to thank you all for that. 

Today we got to play soccer! We only get to play one p-day each month...and it was rico! I love soccer! I decided that I will know who to marry when I would rather spend time with her than play soccer. It has been a good day!

I'm so proud of my cousin Maggie. Way to get your mission call! You are going to be a great missionary! Anybody else who gets their call, let me know. I love missions! 

That's all for today. I love you all! Keep working hard at whatever you're doing. I know the best thing you can do in any situation is to have the spirit. 

Love Elder Smith

P.S. Bronco Nation!!! 

P.P.S.  Look what I ate--it's a crab!  Like a whole crab.  I was eating soup and then, whoa, there were like three crabs in there that I didn't see...haha they were so good!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hour of Power

Hola Hola!

So the coolest thing ever happened to me on my birthday. My cocinera (cook lady) had a little party for me, and it was really nice. We had cake and baleadas, and then everyone went around in a circle and gave me some advice or something like that. When we got to the abuelita (grandmother) she asked if she could give me a traditional Honduran mother's blessing! It was strangely similar to a real decide if that is a coincidence or not. But it was such a great honor for her to do that for me and I really felt like a part of their family in that moment! It was awesome!

This week we had changes!!! But Elder Arteaga and I are still comps. And still in Limon B. But Elder Clawson who was one of my good buddies and our ZL got changed. Missions are the weirdest things ever! I was talking to Elder Clawson as he was packing his stuff before he left and it was such a bittersweet moment. We have been in the same zone for my whole mission and now he's just gone!  That's how missions are. You come into a place, knowing casi nobody. You make great friends, and then you get a phone call one day and they just leave. I might never see him again. This really is a weird phase of life. 

But the next day Elder Vellver came, he is from Mexico and he has already become a great friend of mine. All of this is part of mission life! I love it! We are all going through this crazy time together, helping other people come to Christ, changing lives and then trusting in the Lord that He will help them do it on their own after we leave. 

We had district meeting last week, and we started doing this thing called "Hour Of Power".  Every day at 5:00 each companionship says a prayer. We are all in our separate areas but we come together and lend each other our faith through this prayer. The idea is that a combined, sincere effort will bring more blessings and more help from our Heavenly Father to our investigators. I would like to invite everyone who reads this to join us in doing this! But only if you are going to do it with real faith! If you aren't going to exert yourself with your heart and mind through prayer for this hour then please do not participate because you could hinder the effectiveness our Hour of Power. But if you are willing to put in one hour of focusing on the Lord, asking for him to bless us, our investigators, or people who you would like to share the gospel with then please join in! The more people we have exerting faith in this moment, the more miracles we are going to see! 

I'm glad everything is going so well back at home! Mom, keep tearing it up primary style! Good work out on the court, Dad! Stefanie you rock, keep practicing your tumbling, don't get comfortable with where you are. Rachel and George, way to be married! Keep working hard on that! 

I love you all!

Elder Smith

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Best Year of My Life

Hola Hola!! 

Happy New Year!!!!! Holy cow, I can't believe it's already 2014! Ya se fue Un ano mas, y Ya viene una otra oportunidad para mejorar nuestro vidas y nuestro relaciones con nuestro padre celestial. Estoy muy agradecido por este tiempo que tengo para servir como misionero en Honduras! (Translation:  It is a new year, and another chance to improve our lives and our relationships with our Heavenly Father. I am very grateful for this time I have to serve as a missionary in Honduras!)

So I was laying in my bed on New Year's Eve, thinking back on this past year and I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude. This last year of my life was WITHOUT A DOUBT the best year of my life. No other year even comes close! This year I submitted my mission papers, got my call, won state, graduated from high school, went to Alaska, had the best summer ever, lived in Mexico for a month and a half (aka the MTC), and have been serving in Honduras for the past four months. It has been amazing! 

I couldn't sleep that night, partially because of all the fireworks that were going off...Honduras gets pretty crazy on New Years! But also because I was just so happy! I knelt down and prayed and I really just felt so much love! (: Missions rock! haha That day I was finalizing my goals for this year, and my number one goal is to have the best year of my life once again. Wouldn't it be great if at the end of every year of our lives we could look back and say, "Wow, that was without a doubt the best year of my life!!!" That's what I´m trying to do.  

Oh yeah, And now its my birthday. haha Here's a picture! 
Mom, you have no idea how narcissistic I felt while hanging my own birthday banner. (Editor's note...I sent him a birthday package filled with decorations including the banner, streamers, hats, noisemakers and balloons.) I was laughing to myself and said "Happy birthday to me!!", sarcastically of course...haha. But I knew this picture would make you happy so here it is! I'm officially 19!  It doesn't really feel like a birthday to me... just another day in the mish.  

I'm glad everything is going so well for you guys!! I'm sorry to hear about Tami! I'll say a few extra prayers for her. Thanks for all your birthday wishes! You guys are the best and thank you for the prayers, they are felt. Let me know if you have any advice for me! There are a lot of you who know a lot more than me! I'm always looking for ways to take the short cut and not have to go through more trials and hard times. Let me know!

I hope you all have a great year and come closer to the Lord! (:

Love, Elder Smith

There are murals all over the place here! It's awesome!

This looks like a ton of money!!! haha But its really only about 200 dollars...for the rent and for my money to live on for the month!