Monday, October 26, 2009

Hey everyone,

One more week! I'll be flying to the Philippines on Monday the 2nd. I leave Salt Lake at 4:50 P.M. and I get to the Philippines at 11:45 A.M. on the 4th. It's going to be a long flight. I can't believe I've already been here for about 60 days. I'm not at all ready to speak the language but I know the Lord will help me when I get there.

Every Sunday during Sacrament Meeting, the branch president picks 2 missionaries to give a talk in Tagalog. You don't know if you could be called so you have to prepare a talk before hand. This week went by so fast I completely forgot to prepare a talk. The one week I forget is the week I get called to speak. I only had a few sentences in english prepared. I got up there and just had to translate what I wanted to say into Tagalog. It wasn't the best talk but I actually did okay. I'm really excited to go to the Philippines and learn this language and teach the people there about Christ. Well I hope everyone is doing good. I know that this church is the true church and I am so grateful to be able to help share this great gospel with others. I love you all.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hello everyone,

Well this week has gone by really fast. I can't believe I'll be leaving to the Philippines in 2 weeks! We are supposed to get our flight plan on Thursday. I'm really excited to go but at the same time I feel so unprepared. Sometimes I feel like I barely know how to greet someone let alone teach them the gospel. I guess that's where faith comes in.

I did have a cool experience on Thursday at my teaching appointment. I'm always so worried about saying the right words in my teaching that I don't really pay attention to the needs of the investigator. When we were teaching, our investigator asked me what the atonement was. I had no idea how I could answer because I didn't know any of that vocabulary in Tagalog. I just did my best to answer her and tell her my feelings for Christ and His atonement. I think I actually did pretty good. I said sentences that I've never tried to create before. I realized as long as I'm trying to teach by the spirit, the Lord will make up for what I don't know in Tagalog.

This week we had 5 new Tagalog speaking districts come in (about 60 missionaries). It's so cool seeing so many missionaries going to serve. Other than that, I'm just working hard and trying to learn as much as possible. I hope everyone is doing good. I love you all and hope the Lord is blessing you each day as much as he is blessing me.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well this week has been hard. All of my classes are now in Tagalog. Most of the class I sit there just trying to figure out what our teacher is saying. We are supposed to reply in Tagalog but that is so hard. Most people give up after a few words. This week we also had to teach the first lesson in Tagalog. I did a lot better than I thought I would but it's still far from being half way okay. During one part of the lesson, my companion was teaching and I got so lost because he speaks so fast. I thought I knew where he was at so I started to teach. Afterwards, I realized I had skipped everything about Christ and His apostles.

Teaching the lesson this week is going to be even harder. All of the Elders got new companions this week. My companion and I are still together except now it's a three person companionship. I don't know how well we are going to teach if there are three of us. Even though it's hard, I know the Lord is really helping me a lot. At times I understand what is being said even though I don't really know the words.

A really cool experience I had this week was in the referral center. I talked to a guy who doesn't think he believes in our church. His brother is learning about it so he got on to ask questions to better understand our church. I talked to him for about 45 minutes answering questions and telling him about Joseph Smith. At the end, I asked him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. He said he would! I was so excited to hear he was really going to try and find out if the church is true.

Well that was my week. Only three more and I go to the Philippines and I can't wait! Love you all.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hello everyone!

Well this coming week has me a little worried. I have to teach the 45 minute first lesson in Tagalog and I'm far from ready. I'm trying to work hard and although I know it wont be perfect or even very good, I know all things are possilbe with the Lord. Someday I'll get this language down, I just pray it's sooner than later :) One cool thing this week was we had SNOW! It was pretty much nothing but I loved it! I really hope we get a lot here before I leave because I won't see it for 2 years.

So this week has been amazing with conference. I loved being able to hear the words of the Lord through His prophet and apostles. It's amazing to think that we have a living prophet to guide us. All the questions that I had were answered during conference. I loved the talk by Jeffrey R. Holland. It is really impossible to think that Joseph Smith made up everything. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that this gospel is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and this is His church. It is amazing to be part of this work and to be a part of the endless blessings the Lord provides to His saints. I could go on forever about conference and the spirit that comes from it and how I know this gospel is true. I am so blessed to have been raised in the gospel and be able to share it with others. I have begun to realize how blessed I am, but also how often I take this knowledge of the gospel for granted. There is endless joy in the loving arms of the Lord. His love for us is endless. He loves us so much he sent His son to die for us. I don't know of any greater love than the love of our Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ.

Well I love you all and I hope everything is well. I pray for you and I know the Lord watches over you.

Love, Elder Smith