Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Another week gone. Only 3 more weeks left in this change. I have a feeling this change, I will be changing areas. I don´t know for sure, but that's what I feel. In 3 weeks, the super generation of missionaries will all be going home. About 35 missionaries go home and only 9 or so come in this next change. That means we are going to have a lot less missionaries in the Oaxaca Mission. A lot of changes are going to happen and a lot of areas will be closing. 

Also, President Madsen has mentioned that Senior and Junior companions, for the most part, will no longer exist. The two missionaries in a companionship will have the same responsibilities. Except for trainers and brand new missionaries this will be the protocol. It´s kind of scary to know that I will have a lot more responsibility after this change and in the coming months I will probably be a District or Zone Leader. 

This week we met more crazy people. It´s a daily occurrence here in Oaxaca. One day we were contacting someone at the little outdoor shop and I saw in the corner of my eye a drunk making his way down the street, almost falling on his face each step. I knew he was going to come and talk to us because they always do. He started making his way towards us and are intention was to ignore him and continue talking to the store owner. He walked right up behind Elder Torres and I and put his hands on each of our shoulders and yelled in his slurred Spanish. ¡AQUI ESTÁN DOS ÁNGELES! (Here are two angels!) He went on for about 25 minutes yapping about who knows what in his drunken Spanish. He was super animated with his body and hands motions, so it was pretty hilarious. He demanded that we go to his house with him, so we walked all the way to his door, and then when he went inside his house we bolted it down the street. We had a cita with an investigator at that time too so we decided to leave. 

Also, everyone here that thinks they know a little English always try and talk to me in English when they see me. Sometimes I try and talk to them a bit to humor them, but I find it really annoying. So a lot of times a make a weird face at them and act like I have no idea what they´re saying. Haha I know it´s kind of mean but I think its funny. Today in the District meeting, I gave the closing prayer in English. The Latino missionaries are supposed to learn English as part of the mission, they have a study book and everything. I was asked to pray in English and it was hard! I couldn't think of some words, because all I remembered was the Spanish word for whatever I wanted to say. Five months of speaking Spanish will do that to you I guess.

Thank you for all the prayers! I´m super jealous about the family reunion and the wedding! Haha I hope everything goes perfect!

Hasta la proxima semana,
-Elder Smith

Monday, June 22, 2015

Queso Antiquo (Ancient Cheese)

This last week was a great week! Oh yeah and also I got really sick for the first time here in Oaxaca. I´ll start with the getting sick story. So we had divisions this last week so I was with Elder Hernandez for a day. That morning I was hungry and Elder Hernandez said that I could eat anything I could find in the fridge. I saw some Kraft cheese and bread so I decided to make a couple grilled cheese sandwiches. I went throughout that day feeling fine. The next morning I woke up with diarrhea. Which isn´t abnormal here for me. I felt good enough to go out and teach. As the day went on I started feeling worse. I felt like I shouldn't eat anything at the food, but I ate a little anyways because I feel bad when I don´t eat what the members give me. After the food, I told my compañero that I have to go rest in the house. We went back to the house and I puked and had diarrhea non stop for the rest of the day. I felt like I was going to die. Somehow a lot of the members heard and stopped by with a bunch of medicine. My compañero gave me a blessing and I fell asleep and was able to sleep without problems. In the morning I felt almost 100%.
We are pretty sure it was the cheese that I ate with the grilled sandwiches because the other Elders said it has been in their fridge for at least 5 months...thanks for telling me that now. Haha but yeah my sickness only lasted for about a day.

We have been finding a lot of new investigators and we have been really busy this week. That makes the days and the weeks go a lot faster, and it is a lot more enjoyable when you have a lot of citas. (I forgot the word for cita in English). Most of new investigators are just from knocking on doors. Our usual approach is asking people if they want to live with their families forever, and that usually gets them interested. We found this one guy, hes a 25 year old professor at some school. He´s the only atheist that I have met here in Oaxaca. He had a bunch of super tough questions but we read 2 Nephi 2 with him, and he really liked it. So were teaching him and his brother now. Shows how powerful the Book of Mormon is. The BOM when it comes to teaching is so much better than the Bible. 
To explain some of the pictures that I uploaded, we were meeting with a less active Hermano named Umberto. I asked what kind of fruit was growing on his tree. I knew they were pomegranates but I wanted to learn what it was in Spanish. I forgot the word already. Well anyways he decided to clime up on his roof and throw me down a few of them. So I took some pictures.

Also, today for P-day we hiked up a mountain to this sweet Mine. Oh yeah and before that we played some futbol on this sweet field that overlooked all of the City of Oaxaca. We hiked to the Mine and went inside. There were bats everywhere. We could only see them with the Flash of the camera because it was so dark in there. It was an awesome hike.

Everything is going great as Elder Torres as my new compañero. We get a long really well together and he is a hard worker so it´s perfect. I can tell that I am learning Spanish a lot faster. I speak English only a few times a week and when I do, it´s really weird. After two years I´m going to come home and be really awkward speaking English for a few days, just a heads up :)
I hope you all have a great Summer! And keep writing me, I love hearing from everybody!

Con Amor,
Elder Smith

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Short update

This week was a real test for me. I came into the week pretty worried about how I was going to be able to get through it. After this week, I know that I am being strengthened by my Heavenly Father. I was able to speak to people and teach better than I ever have. Don´t get me wrong, it was a tough week, but now I know that I have nothing to worry about. If I have faith, and I try my best everyday, The Lord will always strengthen me to complete his will and continue in His work as a Missionary. 

Elder Torres and I have been knocking on hundreds of doors the past week and a half, because we need more investigators. Right now we have two progressing investigators that really have potential. Diego, a 16 year old kid who plays baseball on Sundays, and Vicky, who´s sister is a member but Vicky is scared of baptism. Vicky also has a strong believe in the Virgin Guadalupe.  When she was crossing the border a few years ago, there were border patrol officers nearby so she prayed to the Virgin Guadalupe. Border Patrol ended up not finding her so she believes in the Virgin. Little by little she is progressing, I believe she will be baptized pretty soon, its just a matter of time. Well, anyways we have been contacting a lot and we found a few new Investigators that seem to have real potential. 

That´s all I have time to write right now. I'll have a full hour to write on Monday I hope!

Love you and Miss you all!

-Elder Smith 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Goodbye Elder Erickson, Hola Elder Torres

On to my third change in Violetas! I didn`t change areas which is not a big shock, but Elder Erikson is going home so I got a new compañero. My new compañero is Elder Torres. He`s from Honduras. That`s all I really know about him. We pick him up later today at the bus station at 5:00. Change is scary, but I`m excited to grow and keep progressing as a Missionary. I`m going to have to teach Elder Torres everything about the area and the members and Investigators. It might be a little difficult. Also speaking in Spanish 24/7 will be really good for me, and I will get the language down even quicker. 

This last week was an emotional one with it being Elder Erikson`s last week. Meeting with some of the families here in our area with Elder Erikson for the last time, showed me just how much we as missionaries can touch people. Here in Oaxaca, the missionaries become family with the members because we meet with almost everyone from the ward, weekly. There are some beautiful families and strong, faithful members that I`m going to miss. Before the mission, I didn`t know I was going to feel like that with strangers that don`t even speak English! 

I took a lot of pictures this week with members and families as well as some random things. So if you didn't already know, Oaxacaños love to eat bugs. There is this one type of bug here called Chicatanas. For some reason you can only find them a couple times a year. And whenever they are out, the people go around the streets early in the morning with bags, collecting them like they were strawberries in a strawberry patch. Some people just eat them plain like they found them, but most of them don`t. What they do is remove their wings and blend them up in a blender and make a salsa out of them. I took a picture of the salsa that a sister in the ward made that day from the Chicatanas she collected that morning.
I think the bugs give the salsa a certain flavor and spice to the salsa. It was actually really good! 

My next week will be interesting with my new compañero, so I hope it all goes well and we have a smooth transition. I love hearing from all of you, thanks for writing me! Hasta la proxima semana!

Con Amor,
Elder Smith

Monday, June 1, 2015

Feliz lunes!

Feliz lunes! 

This week we had a special service opportunity. The missionaries in our zone helped distribute free
wheelchairs to kids in need here in Oaxaca. It was done through a group from the United States so we were asked to go and help translate. We talked to the kids while they were getting their wheelchair personalized, as well as told the parents of the children whatever the white guys fixing up the chairs wanted them to know. It was amazing to see the smiles on these kids faces when they first started wheeling around in their new wheelchairs. There are so many disabled kids here in Mexico, so its sweet to see them get helped out with brand new, expensive wheelchairs. 

This week is Elder Eriksons last week as a missionary. I will have a new companion in a week, so that will be excited to find out who. It would be a big surprise if I changed areas but that's also a possibility. Today we went to the ruins of Monte Alban. It was HUGE and beautiful. I took a lot of pictures. 

Other than that, nothing much happened this week. This next week will be fun, since its Elder Erikson's last week, were going to the best burger place in Mexico. The chef at this burger place lived in Virginia for 15 years and learned how to cook a real burger. 

Oh yeah i forgot to mention. I posted a picture of this fruit here called Lixi. Im not sure how you spell it but you pronounce it lichie.
Its one of my new favorite fruits. You peal the hard outside and you are left with a white kind of translucent inside with a dark pit in the middle. Its super sweet and delicious. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Con Amor,
Elder Smith
(check facebook for more Monte Alban ruins pictures)