Monday, November 23, 2009

Hey everyone,

I baptized an 11 year old on Saturday. It was kind of weird because we didn't have a font so we just went down to the river, but it was pretty cool.

The language is slowly coming along. I don't always understand what is going on because of the language but the work is still going forward. It is great when we walk into a home and see that the investigators have been reading the Book of Mormon or the reading assignment we gave them. The language is difficult but I see the Lord's hand in my progress. It's great to be serving and know I am doing the Lord's work.

We found a guy while knocking on doors. He is paralized from the waist down from an accident, and we had a cool experience with him. We were teaching and the thought came to me to give him a blessing. Just a short while after that my companion asked him if we could give him a blessing. I never told my companion that I thought we should. We gave him a blessing and the spirit was really strong. His wife, who hadn't been in the room, came in with tears in her eyes.

It is so great to know that this is the true church of the Lord. My testimony about this gospel is so strong and I know it's true. There is no way we can find happiness if we aren't following the Lord. It's so great to be sharing what I know to be true with others.

Love, Elder Smith

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hello everyone,

Well it's been a crazy week. We teach a lot and I'm trying as hard as I can to learn this language so I can teach better. I've gotten to teach twice in English which was really nice. I've had some cool experiences where I've been praying really hard to know this language and in a lesson, I would understand everything that was being said. It has been a testimony builder to me that through the Lord anything is possible.

Again, this week the Lord has shown me how blessed I am. We were in the city for zone conference and we were walking down some stairs and I saw a little boy, probably about 5 or 6 years old, curled into a ball sleeping on the stairs. It was raining so I was wondering why he was just laying there. An Elder told me that he was probably homeless. I can't believe how little people have here.

We had a baptism on Saturday. She is such a great lady; she has a lot of faith. I was going to baptize her; I was all dressed up and ready to go when the Elder that had been teaching her for months (but was transferred) asked if he could do it. Of course I let him, he was the one that taught her everything. I'll just count that as 1/2 a baptism :) just kidding. She gave her testimony afterwards. The only word I understood was "maganda" which means beautiful. The gospel really is. It's amazing and I love it!

I've had trials here but the Lord has taught me so much already. My testimony grows more everyday. I pray we all won't take for granted the many blessings the Lord has given us. I know His hand is in our lives daily.

Love, Elder Smith

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hey everyone!

Well I'm finally here in the Philippines! My area is Naic, which is a ways from Manila. My companion is Elder Riparip. He is Filipino and this is his first time training. He is a really good Elder and is always trying to work his hardest and do the best that he can. It's so different here than back home. I think the Lord has sent me here to humble me and show me how blessed I am. People here have so little. I realized I took a lot of things for granted back home. Just the simple things we have they don't have here; like hot water, clean water, showers, washing machines, carpet, and traffic laws. My companion and I live in one of the nicer homes and we just have a hose to shower with. An Elder said they don't have traffic laws here, they have traffic suggestions. But the people here are really great.

All the kids get really excited when they see us walking down the streets. They always run up and want to shake your hand or hold your hand and walk with you. It's kind of weird when 6 kids are holding your hand as you walk down the street. I tried out smarting them by putting my hands up where they couldn't reach them but they just grab your shirt.

The people are always feeding us which is kind of hard for me because I really can't eat that much. The food is different but most of the time it's pretty good; LOTS of rice though. People just let us into there homes. I don't know if they care what we teach because I can't understand them, but I'm working on that.

The language is way different here. Eveyone speaks with an accent so it's really hard to understand them. Even if they speak English it's hard for me to understand. But I know that with the Lord's help all things are possible and through Him, I will be able to learn this language.
I hope everything is going well back home. Thank you for all your prayers. Love you all.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey everyone,

Today is the day! I'm finally heading to the Philippines. I'm not at all ready but I'm really excited and I know if I put my trust in the Lord all things are possible.

A few quick things that happened this week: L. Tom Perry came which was really cool, and President Utchdorf was also at the MTC yesterday but no one saw him; I just heard about it from some of the security here.

During my teaching appointment on Thursday I messed up pretty bad. We were talking to the guy about the law of tithing and how important it is. I was teaching, in Tagalog, when I thought of a scripture to have him read. I had him read in D&C 89, in Tagalog. Scriptures in Tagalog are really hard to understand, so it wasn't until later that I realized that I had him read about the Word of Wisdom. After he read it, I continued testifying of the importance of paying tithing. It was pretty funny but I'm not going to make that mistake again.

Well time is sort so I got to go. Sorry this letter is pretty short, there is really not any time to do anything. Also, I'm sorry to anyone I didn't write a letter back to. I appreciate your letters but there just isn't enough time to write back every time, but thank you for your letters. I love you all and hope everything is going well.

Love, Elder Smith