Monday, January 25, 2016

Snow

We had a super exciting Sunday! We have been working with this couple that we found contacting! We were searching for a reference so we were just going house to house asking if they knew who our reference was. I love them. They are just good people. Rosio and Felipe are a couple that have a lot of problems and challenges in their life, but I can see a genuine desire to find direction in their lives. It wasn't an accident that we found them. They went to church yesterday and I think they really enjoyed it! The members were so amazing and helpful. The Bishop announced and welcomed them at the beginning of church, and members offered their hymn books and scriptures to look off of. Oh it was a breath of fresh air. In all of my mission, the members haven't really been a huge help or super out of their way friendly to our investigators, until this Ward. That´s why I love this ├írea, the members that are active are truly member missionaries.

In my last letter I was mistaken. I said that the following week was a conference when member of the Seventy would come to train us. That isn't until this Wednesday. Last Wednesday was the world-wide missionary broadcast. Which was awesome. Before the Broadcast we also got flu shots. Hermana Madsen told me to make a sad face, holding my shot arm. I don't know if that photo has made it on the Facebook page yet.

So this week here in Oaxaca has had lower temperatures. I'm not sure how cold it has been getting at nights and in the mornings, but I have been freezing! Thank goodness that we have gas to heat up our water. We should be getting a blizzard coming our way in the next couple of days...haha that would be a sign of the Second Coming. I Heard it snowed a little in Mexico City. The signs are here guys.

Everyone stay safe in the snow! Send it down here!
Love you!

Monday, January 18, 2016

El Tigre'

This week I finally celebrated my Birthday and baked the cake that Mom sent me!
Its a pretty difficult task finding someone with an oven here. I was super happy to eat some real good old fashioned cake that's not mexicanized. We took a picture and a video of me blowing out the candles. Well at first we just put a bunch of matches to light on the cake, but as you will see in the video, that didn't work out too well. So after we used one big candle.
This week, Elder Schupp and I worked really hard to find new investigators. We street contacted a bunch and we searched for references. The references that we are given can be nearly impossible to find sometimes. One reference we received gave us two pieces of information. 1) The street name 2) Ask for "El Tigre". I am happy to announce that we found The Tiger. It took us a while but we searched for a couple hours and we found his little house on the side of the mountain. Hopefully he progresses so I can say that I baptized El Tigre hahaha. 

This week we have a Seventy coming to train us. I am so excited, because I love conferences and to be able to hear from a member of the Seventy will be an awesome learning experience. His name is Elder Casta├▒eda. Conferences always make the weeks go by faster too, and they already go by super fast. I can´t believe that I am at the peak of my mission and now I am going downhill...I feel like I just barely started. 
Happy Martin Luther King day! I only know that because of the email Mom sent me mentioning it ;)
Love you all!
-Elder Smith

Monday, January 11, 2016

Prayer works!

Just completed my first week with Elder Schupp! He's doing super well and we are still having trouble speaking Spanish to each other, because I missed speaking English, so we speak a lot of English. I know we should start talking more in Spanish so he can practice. So this week we had a lot of meetings and we did the Christmas program over again so it wasn't a normal week. First of all we had the new missionaries and Trainers meeting. It was the fourth time I've gone to that meeting so far in my mission but it was still really helpful. I just love the meetings that President and Sister Madsen have because they never make it boring, it's always interesting with them.

So in our area, we are focusing on street contacting and searching references, because we need more investigators! We only have a few investigators. That's what happens when the missionaries before you didn't work very hard. Another thing is THANK YOU for your prayers. I was really worried about learning the area, but after this week, I pretty much know all of the area. It came so fast for me this time, learning the layout and all the parts of the area. I know it was because you all prayed to help me and God answered and helped me so much to learn faster where all the members and investigators live.

Well anyway, we focused a lot on searching references that we have been given. Searching for references in Oaxaca is not a simple task. And we have not been able to find any of them. The directions that we get are really general and when we do get a street name and a house number, the house numbers are super random and the streets are hard to find. And in a lot of parts of the city, the houses aren't even numbered and their streets/dirtpaths don't have names. But we did have a lot of opportunities to street contact asking around! 

Today for Pday we went to go eat and buy cool stuff in big central park. Elder Schupp ate his first chapulin, so it was a good day for him hahaha. Thank you for all of your prayers! I have really felt them with all the blessings I have received. 

Que tengan una buena semana! 
Con Amor,
Elder Smith

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Training Take 2

Hey, I'm alive! I didn't get to write yesterday because transfer day can be crazy sometimes. My companion, Elder Ospina, got transferred. I had to pickup my new companion at the offices. His name is Elder Schupp, from Spokane Washington, and he's fresh out of the MTC. On Saturday I was told that I was going to train again, but they didn't tell me who. I thought for sure it was going to be a Latino, because there are very few Americans in the mission right now. I was so pumped when I went to the offices and met my new comp. This guy is a football player and he´s built like one. It's going to be a fun few months with him. He's super awesome. We're planning on talking a lot of Spanish together so he learns faster but it will be fun to speak a little more English and to be able to relate more with my companion. 

I was kind of relieved to hear that my companion got changed and that I was going to train because now I can do the things the way I want to, the correct way. Hahaha. I'm kind of joking, but really not...we are going to work our butts off in our area and we are going to turn our area around. 

Because I was sick all week, I read all of the Fullmer ancestor book and "I'd Rather Be Fishing"!!! (This is a memoir of Vern G. Morse, Nate's maternal grandfather.)  It made me really want to meet Grandpa Morse. I read all his baseball memories from high school. It's incredible how detailed they were and he was able to remember so many of his baseball games in such detail. I really enjoyed reading it and it made me miss baseball a lot too haha.

I went to a Doctor who is a member of the ward. She put me on a strict diet and bought me some meds to take. I finally can eat normal now! Last week my stomach just rejected everything. But after 4 days of eating strictly toast, fruit and this electrolyte drink I'm back to normal. 

Thank you for the prayers and support! Love you all!

-Elder Smith