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, June 29, 2015

All I Can Really Say Is Thank You

Hola Hola!

Well, this is it. My last full week as a missionary. I can't believe how fast these two years have flown by. It feels to me like only last week I was saying goodbye to my best friends and family the night before I left. I remember so vividly walking into the airport and meeting Elder Christiansen. We didn't know what we were in for! We didn't realize that we would grow to be such good friends while serving out here together.

I remember saying goodbye to my family without really realizing how important that moment was.

I remember getting to the CCM and meeting a bunch of guys that had so much faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that they were willing to leave everything behind for two whole years. I remember learning so much in that place. It is one of the best environments in the world to feel the spirit, grow, learn and prepare.

I remember getting to Honduras and meeting my trainer, Elder Glassett! One of my best friends! I remember the first long drive down to Choluteca, the pouring rain that drenched us within seconds of getting off the bus...I remember the heat, the mud, the incredibly humble and prepared people that accepted the gospel through two missionaries that had only about four months of experience between them! I remember my first leaders that made that zone so great and the example they gave me for the rest of my mission. Thank you guys!

I remember every single area since then, and my heart is still there in every one of them! I remember every mountain I climbed. Every meal I ate in the homes of people who couldn't afford to feed us. I remember every service project we did with all our hearts to help those people. I remember lessons where everyone left crying, and lessons ending with us getting thrown out of the house. I remember loving these people no matter what their answers were to our invitation.

I remember the five Sundays I had when I brought more than fifteen investigators to church and how happy I felt. I also remember all the Sundays when my companion and I sat there without a single one. 

I remember watching a family of menos activos walk through the door just before Sacrament Meeting for the first time in three years and feeling such a feeling of love from the Savior. I remember watching the whole ward walk over and welcome them back right after the closing prayer. I remember saying a prayer of thanksgiving with my companion, Elder Yac, in the back of the church.

I remember sharing my most spiritual experience with Hermana Xiomara and then listening to Elder Pearson do the same. I remember the spirit testifying so strongly and watching her son cry. I remember her telling us that it wasn't her time, and how badly that hurt. I remember begging and pleading with the Lord to have her call us and ask us to visit her again, because when we prayed to know what to do with her we felt we needed to wait for her to call us. I will always remember her and her family.

I have so many memories and the only thing I can really say is thank you. Thank you to my parents, my leaders who helped me get here, my coaches who were great examples, my companions, my leaders, my mission presidents. But most of all to God.

-Elder Smith

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

She Passed Her Test

Hola Hola! 

Well, it's been an interesting week, I think for you at home much more than for me here in the mission. Honestly, it was a pretty good week for us out here. The big day was Friday so we'll focus on that day. 

It started early with a last minute final check and clean of our apartment. Every time we have interviews with President we run the risk of him coming to inspect our house. Now we have another set of older missionaries here as well, the Oldroids. And Elder Oldroid's main responsibility is taking care of the missionary houses. And thus the shower pictures from a few weeks ago, haha.

After a little cleaning we went to the church and started the interviews. President always has us and the Assistants take turns teaching lessons while he is interviewing everyone. Elder Pearson and I had prepared a couple of really good lessons! We invited some members to come so we could have actual practices, we prepared videos, we had called people beforehand to ponder certain topics and then asked them to share about that topic. And we were successful in inviting the spirit to help us teach, which is the most important part. It went really well for us.

After President had finished with everyone besides us we had lunch and he shared a short message with us. He always has great insights. He shared stories about his mission, miracles that he saw and helped bring to pass, and ideas that we could use. He finished, we closed the meeting and everyone else left to work. Elder Pearson had his interview, leaving me for last. 

He started by telling me that my service has been accepted by the Lord, and that I had done a much better job than even I knew or felt I had done. He said that the Lord was very happy and proud of me for serving a mission. He asked me about the zone and how things were going in our area and companionship. Then he read the message Mom had sent to him and shared with me that Grandma Smith had passed away. It wasn't really a shock, but I wasn't expecting it either. He shared some very comforting words and counsel and gave me a big hug. The spirit was there comforting us both. 

After that Hermana Bowler took me aside and also offered some comfort and support. She is so great! She told me that If I needed anything that I could call her and talk. 

Through it all I was mostly just worried about Dad. I know this must be really hard for him. But she made it! She passed her test! God decided it was time to take her to paradise.  I am so proud of her, and of Grandpa. They have left us a great example of enduring to the end. I hope to follow their example. 

After that we went to work. There are still people to find and teach out here! I love my calling and I'm going to magnify it until they release me. 

I love you all and I'm praying for you.

-Elder Smith

Monday, June 15, 2015

Burning Down Babylon

Hola Hola! 

Wow, you guys had a really exciting week! Everyone going in different directions. That's the summer for ya. I'm glad you had such good experiences. Good luck Carter! You're going to be a great missionary. It will be good to see you after four years when you get back! But for three weeks the Smith cousins are going to be burning down Babylon!

Our week was pretty good, we spent it contacting all the people we met with the single adults. Last week we were all working at the same time, but this week we left with each of them individually to go meet the people they had contacted. It was pretty fun! They are almost all returned missionaries. This ward has so much potential. We just have to light the fire again and we are going to see miracles! 

The rainy season has officially started again down here in Honduras. It rains here every single day. I realized just how destroyed my shoes are this week, haha. I think I'm going to have wet feet till the end of my mission. But because of all the rain everything is turning so green and beautiful! This country really is amazing. I love it. 

Stefanie, I'm really glad you had a good time at Youth Conference! I remember loving those things. And I'm proud of you for being a good missionary. That's so important! And I'm sorry everyone keeps asking you about me! Haha, I don't even know who would be asking about me, I can't remember anybody anymore. But I'm glad I'm still loved! (: 

Dad, thanks for the advice. Don't worry, I'm going to be knocking on doors, talking to everyone I can up until the day they make me get on the plane. I have three more weeks of FULL TIME missionary service. A whole lot of good can happen in three weeks. I know why I'm here.

I love you guys! I hope you have a great week! 

-Elder Smith

Monday, June 8, 2015

There is Nothing That Can Stop the Work From Progressing

Hola Hola! 

This week was pretty uneventful. We worked really hard, but not a whole lot beside that. Let's see if I can't still write a good letter today. 

This week we had a lot of help from our ward. On Sunday we had an activity with the JAS which is the young single adults, where we went to contact in a part of our area. Almost every one of the single adults here are returned missionaries so it was really fun to be able to work with them and see their love for missionary work come back into their lives. It was a blast, and we found a couple of families that seem like they are honestly going to progress! God blesses people when they try to go above and beyond! 

There is an Hermana in our ward who got back from her mission this week. She is awesome! She has already given us like five references, she has asked to work with us in the area where she lives. She still has the fire in her! It's crazy what one person with a lot of faith can do! But it's even more incredible when a whole group of people come together, that's when you really see miracles! 

We had Consejo this week as well. Consejo is always great! It helps us to stay focused and to remember our huge responsibility. But it also helps us to stay down to earth and remember that it's all in God's hands. He is the one behind the plans. And there is nothing that can stop the work from progressing.  

Another thing we did this week was FINALLY clean our bathroom! Haha, I'm going to attach some photos of our shower! It was super dirty... its sad... viewer disgression is advised... 



Well, I think that's all from me today! I love you all and hope you will have a great week!

-Elder Smith

Monday, June 1, 2015

I Know In Whom I Have Trusted

Hola Hola!

First of all, Mom, my toe is fine! Haha, we went to the office on Tuesday, they gave me a shot, cut my toenail off and we were working again that night. It was no big deal at all. My toe does feel a whole lot better. But thanks for worrying about me!

I'm still with Elder Pearson, we didn't have changes. But there were quite a few changes in our zone. It should be a pretty good change, my last one. That's a crazy thought! I got an email from Elder Staten, he's finishing his mission and going home this week. I swear I was just at his farewell! But that's how the mission works. You start and before you even know it it's ending. Mom, I'm sure that's exactly how you felt this week saying goodbye to your little first graders. Dad, that must be how you felt this week with Grandma. But that's one of the great parts of life! Nefi talked about that right after Lehi passed away in 2 Nefi 4. Se en quien he confiado. I know in whom I have trusted. We just have to trust in the Lord and trust that better things are coming. 

Apart from that it was a pretty normal week! We worked hard. Saw some progress in some people that we weren't expecting to progress. Had one of the WORST lessons in my whole mission. We didn´t eat very much this week because last week was stake conference and the Relief Society didn't plan who we were going to eat with! Haha, that was interesting. But all in all a great week. 

Stefanie, I hope you will have a great summer! Working and dating and going to high school and all that stuff! Haha, you are so grown up! Kevin, atta boy! I'll see you at the airport! And tell my coach that poster is awesome! I love you all, have a great week!

~Elder Smith