Monday, March 29, 2010

Hello everyone!

It's been a good week as always. We had zone conference this week which was really good. It's amazing how the work is moving forward. The Lord has really prepared the Philippines. My companion and I have been doing really good in our area. We got home after zone conference with only a few hours to work (because we live so far away) and decided to just do a little finding before the end of the day. We followed the spirit to where we should go and found people to teach. We have been back to teach them and although we haven't taught a lot, I told them they needed to prepare to be baptized. I thought it was still too early so I didn't want to, but in the middle of the lesson the spirit told me I needed to. They said they would begin preparing to be baptized. It is a great feeling when they make that commitment.

We had something kind of funny and bad happen this week. Every month and a half we have apartment checks to make sure our apartment is clean. We were really busy that day cooking, studying, and showering. Then all of a sudden, the couple missionaries walked in the door. Another elder and I were walking around in our towels waiting for the shower so it was pretty embarrassing... Thank you for all of your letters and prayers.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hey everyone,

This week was pretty normal until Sunday. First, we had district conference and Elder Sinamban of the area 70 came; he was really good. One of my favorite parts was when we had a meeting for the new members. He was explaining how they can stay active and go to the Temple. He called up one of our recent converts and told him he needs to go on a mission. This is exactly what we are trying to get him to do. He later called up a couple in our branch who have been inactive for 10 months. My companion and I had just met them a few days before and were trying to get them back to church. They came to the district conference and Elder Sinamban told them they needed to be active in the church if they wanted to be together forever. He said exactly what they needed to hear even though we never told him about them.

After the conference, we were asked to give a blessing to a man in the hospital who was in a coma. I'd never seen him before and I didn't know what had happened to him, but I was asked to give him a blessing. I realized how important it is to follow the spirit and be worthy of the spirit at all times. President Eyring gave a talk about how we must always be worthy to use the Priesthood because we never know when the time will come that we will be asked to use it.

The last thing that happened occurred in our last lesson Sunday night. We were teaching my favorite family about baptism. While teaching, the mother started crying and we asked what her feelings were and she said masaya (happy). It is an amazing feeling to see people accepting the gospel and realizing its truth. I love the gospel and the many blessings it brings to us. I know this is the true church and that the Lord does have a plan for each one of us.

I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hey everyone,

Another week is already gone; it's crazy how time flies. Things are good here; we are working really hard and seeing the success of it. In our teachings, we have been really led by the spirit to the things which we should say and do. It's amazing the hold Satan has on some people though. They are great people but they wont even try to pray or read. On the other hand, we see people whom the Lord has prepared and they are receiving the gospel with their whole heart. We are teaching a mom and she told us how different this church is; that you can actually understand it and feel uplifted afterwards. She told us how her "heart burns" as we teach and testify of this gospel. It's so amazing to me; I love seeing these people come closer to the Lord and receive so many blessings.

We have been teaching a guy whom I really feel like we were led to and should be teaching, but he is really hard hearted. It's really hard when we tell him this is the truth and he won't accept it. I know this is true and I know there are endless blessings to the people who will accept it and live it. I'm so grateful to be a member of this church. I've been blessed so much while I've been out serving the Lord. I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Love, Elder Smith

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello everyone,

We had transfers this week. Thirteen new elders are coming from the MTC, that means 190 missionaries in this mission... It's huge! Nothing changed here though, but I'm happy with that. I like my companion and I feel like there is something we really need to do together in this area. We got a new elder in my apartment though. He was my zone leader in the MTC for a few weeks but left before me; I really like him. We were talking and we think I may have worked with his cousin in Washington when I went on that one week mini-mission. When I first got here, I was the only white elder in the apartment but now there is only one Filipino. That probably means we will only eat a little rice now :)

Sorry this letter is way short; not a ton has happened. We are working hard and we have really high hopes for some of the people here and their families. Thank you all for your prayers, love, and letters. You are in my prayers; I'm so glad we can pray to the Lord and receive answers to our concerns and have protection. I know this is the Lord's true church and His work. It's great being able to share it everyday!

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hey everyone,

My week was great! Elder Teh of the Seventy came on Tuesday and that was great. I even got a hug from him. He was giving an example of how Satan will hold us and won't let us go if we go to places where he is at. He tempted me with chocolate; I got the chocolate but then he put his arms around me and wouldn't let me go. He had us ask questions but he didn't answer them. He just started teaching what the spirit told him to teach, and he told us to find the answer to our questions through the spirit. It was really cool! He didn't come out and answer my question but I still got an answer by the spirit.

We had two baptisms on Saturday. I got to do one of them; he is really great. He said in his testimony that he used to think that all he had to do was have faith in Christ but now he realizes that he has to be in the true church with the authority of the Lord. I'm really hoping he will be on a mission in a year. I realized, again, how lucky we are back home. My companion and I spent a lot of time just getting things organized for the baptism and without cars or cellphones it makes it so hard. We didn't even know how to get one of the guys being baptized to the baptism because they didn't have money for the bus. But of course, the Lord provides a way.

On Saturday, Jon Schmidt came! If you don't know who he is....shame on you (just kidding) he is an amazing pianist! It was a fireside so it was more of a spiritual event than a concert. He also brought Steven Sharp who is amazing at playing the cello. They were here for a fund raiser and wanted to play for us; they were so amazing. At the end they played "I am a Child of God," and they were so incredible! They didn't have music, hadn't practiced it, and were improvising but it was so good. They are also very strong in the church. They told us to pray for help with everything, even if it's just practicing the piano. We really can't do anything by ourselves and if we ask for the Lord's help we are blessed so much. I've started doing it and I feel like it's helped me so much. It helps you have the spirit, focus on the Lord, and you are blessed in whatever you are doing.

Well that's about it for this week. Thank you for your letters; I love you all!

Love, Elder Smith