Monday, December 28, 2015

Last email of 2015

It was awesome seeing everybody together on Friday! Sounds like a busy week for everybody. How did Ben´s track meet go? I am super sick today. I felt weird last night on our long walk home from the top of the hill/mountain. We had to walk all the way down because we didn't see any mototaxis. My body felt weak and skin sensitive. I woke up feeling knives stabbing me inside my stomach all morning vomiting and with diarrhea. I rested all morning and I felt good enough to get out of bed to write. 
 Well this past week, none of our investigators have been home. They all seemed to leave on vacation. We did a lot of contacting but with very little success. We had our Christmas dinner with President Madsen and the entire Monte Alban zone on Wednesday. It was super nice, we got to play some basketball before we ate. We then ate mashed potatoes (oh how I missed masked potatoes) some sort of breaded chicken and vegetables.

It was nice to have a meal without tortillas. After the dinner we shared some talents. At the last minute a group of us decided to sing some Christmas hymns in English in front of everybody. I had a solo and I'm super glad that we decided to do it. After the talents, President Madsen shared a few videos and a story that I really liked.
I also gave a talk this Sunday on how to have a better Personal study of the scriptures. It went great and someone told me that my Spanish was perfect. It made me happy. 😀
Here is the story if you would like to read it. "The Story of a Son"

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.
When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier.
The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door.  A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands.
He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.
The young man held out his package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears.
He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection  On the platform sat the painting of the son.
The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"
There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."
But the auctioneer persisted, "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?"
Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!  "But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford.
"We have $10, who will bid $20?" "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel.  "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel, "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What about the paintings?"
"I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"
God gave his Son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?" Because you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
Remember this messege this Christmas season and all year round. I am so blessed to be sharing the message of Jesus Christ everyday.

Thank you for your support and love. Have an awesome new years! WOOH 2016!
Elder Smith

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