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, September 29, 2014

One of the Best Weeks of My Mission

Hola Hola! 

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!! I love you so much!!! You are the best mom in the whole world! I am so happy that I will never have to go another one of your birthdays in my life without talking to you, even if it's just by phone, and telling you how much I love you! I hope it was a good one! 

This week was an interesting one for sure! It started just like any other week. Elder Yac and I got to work! That guy is an animal! We make a good team. We have been finding a ton of new investigators and have been being super direct and upfront with everyone about how important our message is. And people have been responding pretty well to it. I am hoping (Moroni 8:40-48 hope!) that we are going to have quite a few baptisms in October. Please pray for Alejandro and Dilcia. Alejandro is eight years old and Dilcia is his nanny, she takes care of him and his little siblings while his mom is at work. Alejandro's parents are members, just inactive, so we are trying to get the whole family back.

Then on Wednesday we had interviews with Presidente Bowler as a zone. He is an amazing man! He came down with the assistants to give us some instruction and the interviews. My interview with him was pretty quick and painless, but at the end he gave me a blessing that was super powerful. It was exactly what I needed to hear! It is always a great experience when we get to talk to president.

On Friday we got a call from some Elders in our zone, who live in the middle of NOWHERE! An area called Agua Caliente. That is about an hour and a half away from Choluteca, in the middle of the mountains. They said Elder De Leon hurt his knee pretty bad and that he was going to have to come get it checked out. So I went into the jungle in his place. It was awesome! I love that little place. I was there for three days. There is no cell phone service. Only like half the houses have electricity. No running water. Nothing! But it was awesome. 

The best part was after church on Sunday we went to give a blessing to a guy named Juan, who wasn't a member. He said that he had heard of the Elders and how they can heal people by the power of God. He had been really sick for a while. But he lived about an hour walk from the little village. So we went. When we got there it was getting dark, so they lit their oil lanterns that they use for light and we shared a short little message about the priesthood, the power of God given to men. And then we asked him if he had faith to be healed. He looked up at us with almost childlike esperanza and said, "Si." We then gave one of the most powerful blessings that I have ever been a part of. Juan is out working in his field today. 

This was probably one of the best weeks of my mission. I am so happy all the time! I am covered in mosquito bites, my feet are sore, and I'm sunburnt out of my mind. But I am just happy! 

I love you all, I hope you prepare yourselves spiritually for general conference this week! It is going to be great. I can't wait! Be good this week, keep working hard at what you are doing, but remember what is most important.

-Elder Smith

Monday, September 22, 2014

Zone Leader

Hola Hola!

That's awesome that you guys got to go to the temple rededication! I'm sure that was a great spiritual experience. I remember doing the Hosanna Shout a couple of times, it always brings the spirit so strongly! And I love what you shared about the differences between the world and the temple. It is so true. This world is full of many destructive, chaotic things, but the temple is such a clean, reverent place! I love it!

This week I had changes!!! I am now back in Choluteca. I really wasn't expecting to have changes because I had just gotten to La Travisia, and I was training...but here I am! I am also now a zone leader! My companion is Elder Yac. He was my ZL when I was back in Uyuca. A really good guy and I am already learning a lot from him.

It was actually really, really hard for me when they told me I had changes. I was not expecting to leave any time soon. And even though I had only been there one change I had already found a lot of people who I loved. I had caught hold of a vision of what I hoped for those people and that area. It broke my heart when they told me I was leaving...but I'm sure the Lord knows what He is doing. So I'll just keep serving, keep working hard.

Being a zone leader is HARD! Everyone has a ton of problems all the time, and now I am in charge of fixing them all! For example, There used to be four hermanas in our zone, but now there are just two, so we had to go and terminate the contract of the other hermanas.  And when we went to tell the landlady that we would no longer be needing that house she got SOOO MAD!!! She started calling us liars, she said that they had done a ton of damage to the house... just a ton of stuff that I would have never had to deal with if I hadn't been the zone leader. But maybe that is what I need to learn now, how to deal with angry people... I'm sure this experience will help me out somewhere down the road!

Well that's all for today! It has been a crazy week! But I'm super excited to be down here in the South again! Love you all! 

-Elder Smith

 My zone!

It rains a lot in Cholu!

A cool bird at our cocinera's house.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Zone Conference with President Duncan

Hola Hola!!

This week was amazing! We had the opportunity to have Zone Conference with President Duncan. He is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and the president of the area of Central America. It was incredible! There were two or three times when he paused, looked up as if he were speaking with someone unseen, and then continued. I am certain that he was being guided by the spirit. And what he shared with us was so powerful. He first congratulated us on the work we have done, because as a mission we are among the top three baptizing missions in the area for the last two years! So we were all feeling pretty good at that point. But then he proceeded to destroy us on all the things we weren't doing so well. He gave us many obvious ideas of how to improve, and many things that we could clearly get better at. He pointed out a ton of things that we have been doing wrong…so many things that we all felt like it was our first day in the mission again! But he did it in such a motivating way that we all left there fired up and ready to change and follow every single one of his suggestions. I loved it!

As a result of following his counsel, Elder Batista and I have been lead to a couple of people who are really searching for the truth. This one lady said, "I don't really want to change churches, are you sure you want to keep visiting me?" and we responded, "Of course! You are important to us, and to your Heavenly Father! We're not here just to change your church, we're here to help you get back to live with Him!" or something along those lines. And she just broke down crying!  She actually asked us to hug her...and we did... jaja, I feel like we had an exception on the no-hugging rule in that moment! But the spirit was so strong, and it was a direct result of following the counsel of President Duncan.

But it sounds like you guys had your own experience with special witnesses of Jesus Christ this week. That's really cool that you were able to listen to Elder Scott and Elder Nelson at Regional Conference. Those promises they gave you are powerful.

I have a challenge for everyone reading this right now. In about two weeks we have General Conference. We are going to receive so much counsel from God through his prophets! I invite every one of you to prepare yourself. It is going to be great! And we are going to hear the guidelines that are going to help us get back to heaven, intended for us specifically. It's a pretty big deal!

Stefanie, I remember running in the BYU Invitational my sophomore year too!!! It's a great memory to have!  I remember it because it was the first time I took first place for Lehi! (: I'm super happy that you are having the experience of running XC!

Other than that, the change ends this week. I don't think I'll have changes because we both just got here, but we will have some changes in our zone and ward. Elder Nielson who lives three doors down from us is finishing his mission. He's become a pretty good friend of mine and it will be weird without him. Hermana Osorio, from my district is finishing her mission too. She will be missed here in the mission. Great missionaries! It's weird to see your friends go home, But that's just life. I'm excited for this next change! I think its going to be my best of my mission so far! (:

Well, that's all my news for this week! I love you all!

~Elder Smith

A giant cross in a cemetary in my area with Elder Nielson.

Here's one with all of us.  Me, Elder Batista, Elder Galindo from San Pedro, and Elder Nielson.

Me and Elder Pau'u.  Jaja, it's kinda a tradition now!

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Refining Fire

Hola Hola!

First and foremost, congrats to my cousin Mark, or should I say, Elder Kindred!! Atta boy! I'm super proud of him for starting the mission! Our family is awesome. I can't wait for the next like 20 years to be hearing about all the missionary experiences of all my cousins. If both sides of our family all just moved to the same place in the middle of nowhere we could probably start our own ward! Jaja, good job Mark!

This week we decided to go to the other part of our area. So we work in the mountains. We have two WHOLE MOUNTAINS as our area. One is called La Mololoa, it sounds kinda Hawaiian! And the other is Agua Blanca. We had been working almost exclusively in La Mololoa before this week, because there are strong members there and it's not as hard to get there. But this week we decided to check out the other side of the canyon! So we have only been visiting our positive investigators in the Mololoa, and contacting todo el mundo in Agua Blanca! It has been kind of amazing. We found a lady whose brother is named Elder Smith!! Those are his first and second names! Not a member of the church. And her other brother's name is Hyrum. That just proves to me that angels really are preparing the hearts of the people to receive this message! (Alma 13:24) And for the very first time in my mission, we knocked on a door and a girl came out and I really felt like I knew her from before. I know that wasn't the first time I had talked to her.

We also had quite a few investigators in church! Remember Franklin and Jahaida, who I asked you to pray for? They came! They are so great! We have a ton of faith in them! Please keep praying for them!

This week was also Consejo de Lideres! It was a great experience to go and listen to Presidente, the Assistants, and to watch and see how the mission is changing! The best part was that every single one of the Elders that I came with was there! We took an awesome picture of us all together. 

The mission is like a refining fire. You get tried every day. Plunged into the flaming coals. Heated up to the point of melting, and then pulled out and plunged into freezing cold water. But the Lord is the one shaping us, changing us, picking out our imperfections, smoothing over our weaknesses, destroying our pride, strengthening our faith,  forming a masterpiece. It hurts, but I can feel his love for me in every moment. I can't wait to see the end result.

-Elder Smith

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rough Week

Hola Hola!

Wow. It was a rough week! Our zone passed through some trials this week, that's for sure. But we are all still alive at least.

I went on divisions this week with one of the elders in my zone, Elder Fasabi. And it was a really good day of work with him. We felt the spirit a lot and had a super good noche de hogar at the end, so we went to bed happy! But then at like five o'clock in the morning we got a call from my comp from my house saying that our whole house was flooded! Remember when I told you we didn't have water a couple months ago? Yeah, that happens regularly in my new house. So what had happened is my comp or the other elder turned on the water to check if there was any, and there wasn't. But then he forgot to shut it off, and then in the morning the water truck came and filled up our tank. So the water ran all morning til my comp woke up. So we took a taxi back to my house at like 5:30 a.m. and when we got there there was still like three inches of water in the house! We spent like an hour bailing water out of our house.

Then this Saturday we all went as a zone to eat baleadas. SOOO GOOD! But we think the meat they used must have been bad, because about half of the zone is sick! Elder Batista was throwing up, had diarrhea, and just is not feeling good! Jaja, he has had a pretty rough week! Poor kid!

Then on Sunday the elders that live three doors down from us got robbed! Stole their scriptures, their wallets, their phone, pretty much everything! One of the elders is about to go home in like two weeks and he had gone his whole mission without being robbed, so he was pretty upset about his record being broken.
But we have decided this week was one of two things...

1) God is punishing us for breaking all the rules...  or
2) We are just passing through some hard trials before we have the most successful week in the history of missionaries!!

I hope it's number two because I work really hard to be obedient.  I am not complaining, it has been a very memorable week. I have loved every second of it! And I am willing to go through whatever God wants to put me through. I just hope next week is a little better for Elder Batista! Jaja, I don't know if he will survive another week like this one!

Congrats to Trevor and Megan on their marriage! And atta girl, Stefanie, I love the Grass Relays!  I hope you all have a great Labor Day with the family all there! Say hi to Nancy, Linda and Grandma Smith for me!

I love you all!  Have Family Home Evening tonight!!

-Elder Smith