Monday, September 28, 2009

Hey everyone!

Not too much going on this week again. Not a lot changes in the MTC. It's like going to school all day long, plus the spirit. The language is going alright but it seems like my progress is slowing down which worries me, because in a week and a half I have to teach the restoration in Tagalog. It's really nice having people come and talk to us two times a week because it helps bring the spirit and helps us work harder. My testimony is growing everyday and I'm trying to become better each day. One thing I didn't like about this week was that a bunch of missionaries going to the Philippines got to leave. Everyone else doesn't like it either because we still have six weeks left. A few new Philippines missionaries came, one of who gets to leave in three weeks because he was born in the Philippines.

Some people in my building just down the hall got really sick. Some even got put into a room by themselves for two days. My whole district has gotten sick but luckily not very bad. Other than that, nothing new has been happening. I hope everything is well at home.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, September 21, 2009

Well this letter is going to be pretty short. P-day went really fast so I don't have time to write much. This week has been pretty good. On Thursday I had my language task and I didn't feel prepared for it at all but the Lord really blessed me and I actually did ok. I still have trouble with the language, but I know the Lord is blessing me and I will learn it. Just like Nephi said, the Lord doesn't give us a commandement unless He gives us a way to accomplish it. The best part of the week was Tuesday's devotional. For some reason everyone could feel that something special was coming that day. Sure enough Jeffery R. Holland came to speak. It was so cool! Everyone stood up when he walked in and the spirit became so strong just by him coming in. He gave a great talk and it really inspired a lot of missionaries to start working harder, me included. Other than that, just classes and studying. I hope everyone is well.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hey everyone! Well this week has been a lot faster but the days are still long. They have a saying here that "a day feels like a week, but a week feels like a day" and it is really true. I thought I was doing a good job learning the language because I understand what is going on in class but the Lord decided to humble me this Thursday. Every Thursday we have to teach the 1st or 2nd lesson to a return missionary, that is easy. We also have a language task. Last week we had to talk and testify in Tagalog to 2 RMs for 5 minutes each. I felt good about what I knew, but they spoke so fast I didn't understand a word, not even the words and sentences I know. I realized I have a lot more work to do.

It is cool seeing the work of the Lord go forth. The Philippines branch for church got so big it got split; we had over 100 missionaries and we have 60 more coming in 2 weeks! A bunch of missionaries are leaving today so last night they sang, "Till We Meet Again" in a different language and it was really spiritual.

I had a cool experience Saturday. We went to the referral center for the first time to call people to see if they got the free item they ordered (like a Bible or DVD). Only one person answered, excluding the one that hung up on me. He had ordered a free Bible so I talked to him about it for a bit and asked him if he wanted a free Book of Mormon. He said he didn't like the idea of modern revelation so he didn't want it. I talked to him some more and testified about it and he said he was interested and he would allow missionaries to bring him one. I was so excited! I'm so glad I got to be a part of it.

Well I miss you all and hope everything is going well.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, September 7, 2009

Kamusta everyone! These last few days have been really long. I never realized how long a 16 hour day was until I got here. We wake up at 6:30 every morning and we don't stop working until 10:30 to go to bed. Everyone says the first few days are the hardest and I've noticed the days are starting to get a little faster so I'm excited for the new week to begin. Sunday is my favorite day so far because there is a lot more time to sit and study and feel the spirit. The last few days I've been so busy I'm just now starting to get used to being here. I was really excited for the temple trip today but it was cancelled because of Labor Day so I'm a little disappointed; oh well, I'll just look forward to going next week. Kasama ko si Elder De Guzman (My companion is Elder De Guzman). He is great. He is always trying to do what is right and is really excited to go teach. He is from Texas but his parents are from the Philippines so he can't wait to go and maybe teach some of his non member family there. He knows a little Tagalog so he helps me whenever I don't understand. Mahirap ang wika so akin (the language is hard for me). I'm working hard though. It's like speaking everything backwards and you have to know a lot about noun markers, different kinds of pronouns, the focus of your sentence and remember what words mean so it takes me a while to say anything but we talk it as much as possible. I'm working at it a lot and I know the Lord is blessing me so I know I will learn it. I'm excited to be apart of this great work and I'm trying my hardest to be prepared to go out and teach. I miss everyone so much and I hope everyone is safe.

Love, Elder Smith

p.s. My address is:
Elder Jacen Sommer Smith
MTC Mailbox #314
PHI-Man 1102
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Utah 84604-1793