Monday, October 26, 2015

Suits On The Loose

Wow, this week has been crazy. I have never had so many things to do in my life. It's something that I'm still getting used to. It's been a stressful week, but it's weird because I feel super happy (most of the time). 

We have had problems with our water for 3 weeks now. Our dirty dishes have been sitting in our sink now for about 3 weeks. The good thing is that our sink is outside, so its not stinking up the house :) The problem is that only a little bit of water comes when it does come. We´ve been using our little bit of water to shower and to use the bathroom. You know, the essentials. The dishes can wait. Who needs clean dishes anyway? I called the home owner and she said she sent someone to fix our hose, because the problem is our hose. Hopefully we start getting water in abundance now. 

The big news of the week is that we had a baptism! My companion was able to have his first baptism in the mission! He baptized Francisco. A 13 year old boy with a less active Dad, and a nonmember mom. He's a great kid.
I'm going to confirm him next Sunday. We weren't able to confirm him this past week because he came late to church. That's what the title is about I put in the heading. We were sitting in the beginning of sacrament meeting and we were super worried thinking where Francisco was! We waiting until after the Sacrament and I we left to go looking for Francisco. We ran in our suits a long ways to Francisco's house. People were looking at us weird as we were hustling in the hot mid-day sun of Santa María in our suits. I felt like the guys from Men in Black. I also thought of that one missionary movie "Suits on the Loose." 

Well we found Fransico in his house alone with just his sister. He didn't have a clue what time it was. A lot of people here tell the time by where the shade is on the side of their wall so I wasn't too surprised. We ran back, suits on the loose style again, but we didn't make it in time. Oh well, at least I got some exercise. 

I had a really spiritual experience this week too. It was 8 o'clock, after a super long day of contacting and teaching. I really wanted to just go home an hour early and relax for a bit. I was super tempted, trust me. But I knew I shouldn't because it's not my time, it's the Lord's time. The problem was that I had no idea where to go and by 8 o'clock everyone in this town is sleeping. I suddenly felt an impression to pass by this one house that we always go by on the way home every night. This family is always outside at night together, and they wave at us every night we walk by. I felt an impression to go visit them, so we did.

I walked up to their gate and said, Buenas noches, cómo están? That's all I said and they told us to come sit with them. I was pretty surprised and super relieved. We were able to teach them and one of them told us that when she was 19 years old, she had a Book of Mormon that someone gave to her and she was reading it! But one day she got caught in a storm and the Book got ruined. So she was never able to keep reading it. We were able to give her a brand new one that day.

I know that the Spirit will guide us if we are listening. That was an awesome experience that taught me that special lesson. I hope that you all remember to always be ready to let the Spirit guide you, and to ACT on your impressions. 

Love you all and I hope you have a fabulous week!

Con Amor, 
Elder Smith

Monday, October 19, 2015

Elder García

My new companion is Elder García from Sinaloa, Mexico! He´s a great guy and we get along super well. He's the type of guy I would hangout with outside of the mission. He´s pretty much the Mexican version of me. 

I have had a lot of things to worry about this week. It´s wearing me out and I just want to go take a long nap in my hammock right now. But I know that I just have to keep working as hard as I can to feel better. The best medicine for stress on the mission is work, work, and work some more! 

One of our issues is that we haven't had water all week in our house. We are showering with the jugs of purified water that they sell for drinking water. We also had no food in the house all week. But we just got back from a trip to the supermarket and we spent a good 1000 pesos on food, so we´re good on that now! For much of today, I was trying to get the owner's of the house that the sister missionaries used to live in to sign a document to end the contract. They still haven't signed it and they told me to come back tomorrow. Well, the good thing is, is that Im learning how to deal with house contracts. The mission really prepares you for everything in life.

This passed week we also had to travel to a New Missionary and Trainers meeting in Salina Cruz. Salina Cruz is about 3 hours away from Huatulco. It was nice to nap on the way to and from Salina Cruz. I really learned a lot at the meeting too. At the meeting, President Madsen talked to us that The Lord has put his trust in us and has chosen us to train. The whole culture of the mission depends on how well the trainers train the new missionaries. Its true, so I'm going to make sure that I am as obedient as I can be so that Elder García can learn from example. I am super greatful for my Trainer Elder Erikson because he taught me and showed me by example how we should act and work as Missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ. 

With all of the house contract, water, and food problems, I have been balancing the District Leader duties with all of that too. As District leader, I train all the missionaries on Tuesdays at the District Meetings and I perform all of the Baptismal Interviews of the District, as well as do reports every night. It's a lot, but it's keeping me focused on the mission. I've realized that this week, I have thought less about Home than ever. I think that's a good thing for me haha. Gotta stay focused, and the Lord is helping me with that with all my new responsibilities. 

We were invaded by a lot of unwanted creatures in our house this week. One night I was laying comfortably in my hammock and I looked over to the wall nearby...and FREAKED OUT. A GIANT tarantula just chillen there. It was almost the size of my hand. We ended up capturing it and letting it go far far away. But we found another one later in the week, even bigger. That one escaped and we don't know where it went.
Another morning, I was out back when I saw something big rummage through the trash. I saw a bunch of fat legs scurry in the trash bag so I thought it was another giant spider. My companion laughed as I squealed searching for a stick to poke it out of the garbage. I didn´t realize what it was until it came out of the trash. It was a in the world....we´re like a 20 minute drive from the beach. I don´t know how it got in our house. The crab also escaped and we don't know where it went. I then found a super big scorpian in the house. I killed it with a stick before it could escape. 

I love you all and I hope you have a fabulous week! I´m always praying for you!

Con Amor,
Elder Smith

Monday, October 12, 2015

When it rains, It pours

Happy Transfer day!

The heading of this email doesn't pertain to anything negative. But it does describe how transfers went. Well, right now I'm at Elder and Sister Dewolf's house on their laptop. Elder DeWolf is my companion for now, until my new companion gets to Huatulco. Our district had major changes. The zone leaders and I are the only ones that didn't get moved.

 I'm the new District Leader here in Huatulco, and I will be training a brand new missionary. I don't know who my new companion is yet, but I'll find out tonight. I'm going to have my first "son" on the mission! The question is if he's going to be a latino, or a gringo. Another big change is that the area, Santa Maria Huatulco 2, closed. This was the area of the Sister missionaries in our branch. So now I am in charge of ALL of Santa Maria. Before, it was split in half.

Honestly, I'm really excited to have more responsibilities. I was thinking that I was just going to be District Leader, but I never thought in a million years that I would be training a greenie! Yeah I'm a little nervous, but overall I feel really calm about it all. I know that the Lord trusts me. He trusts me more than I trust myself. The General Conference messages helped me prepare for this. This was exactly what I need so I can take another step forward in my growing process as a missionary, and as a man. For that I am super grateful for this opportunity! It's going to be incredibly hard, I realize that, but I feel like I'm ready for anything because The Lord can lift me up and make me capable to do his work. I just need to make sure I try my best to do the will of the Lord at all times.

I hope that everything is going fabulous at home! Les amo mucho y espero que tuvieran una buena semana!
Elder Smith

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference!

My General Conference weekend was awesome, because it was pretty much a two day vacation for me. We got to stay at Elder and Sister DeWolf´s house in La Cruz, Huatulco. Elder and Sister DeWolf are a married couple who are serving here in Huatulco. They Just got here about a month ago. They're from Utah and Sister DeWolf is our missionary nurse.
They're house is super nice and it has AIR CONDITIONING! We spent the night there Saturday night, and we hung out there between sessions. It was the first time that I slept in air conditioning in months. It was like staying at a super nice hotel. Oh yeah and the shower was amazing too, it actually had water pressure unlike the showers I have had in my mission so far. 

Crock Pot Chicken Curry! 

I truly believe that he Lord was talking directly to me this General Conference. I received the answers and comfort that I was looking for. This is the final week of Elder Tello's mission. I know that more sooner than later, I'm going to become a leader in the mission or at least have a lot more responsibilities after this week. I have been worrying about it these past weeks, knowing that things are going to change. Too often we get used to our routine and we get scared of change.          So far in these past eight months, the changes have always worked out. I know that if we don´t leave our comfort zone, we will never grow. I´m here to grow, not to be in my comfort zone. I was talking to Elder DeWolf about it the other day too. He had to give a talk in the District Conference in front of hundreds of members here in Spanish. Just a couple weeks after getting to Oaxaca. He doesn´t know any Spanish but he got up there and gave a great talk. He helped me realize that the things that I am doing now, that have become second nature, I was terrified to do the same things just a few months ago. Sometimes I can´t see it in myself, but I know that the Lord is helping me grow exponentially. 

Elder Gary E. Stevenson said two things in his General Conference address that really helped me and made an impression on me.

" The Lord will qualify those who he calls." "Don´t focus on what you can´t do, but what you can do."

 These were the answers I needed. I know that the Lord answers prayers and that there is a living Prophet of God and 12 Apostles on the earth today. The Lord is the head of this church and He directs inspired men to guide the church. I have no doubt in my mind. This is the testimony that has grown within me.

Les quiero mucho. Que tengan una semana maravillosa!
 Con Amor,
Elder Smith