Monday, June 28, 2010

Kamusto po kayo lahat,

Things are great; we had a baptism this Saturday and we have about five people we are really hoping will be ready for baptism this July. The girl that was baptized on Saturday is 13 years old and the only investigator in her family. We invited both her parents to the baptism and her mom actually came. After the baptism, we were saying goodbye to them and you could tell that she had been crying. It’s great seeing the spirit testifying to people even though they don’t listen to us. We are hoping to be able to start teaching her and her husband now.

There is a problem in the Philippines with inappropriate calendars on peoples' walls. Alcohol and cigarette companies give them out free so they are everywhere. Sadly, they sometimes get into members' homes. We were at a member’s house that had one proudly displayed in their front room. I couldn’t stand seeing it so I asked them why they had it and they didn’t know why. I asked if we could rip it up and throw it away. They let us and then took us through the rest of their house to make sure there weren’t any more. It’s kind of cool; you can be bold and they don’t get offended because you are a missionary.

Well that’s my week. Lots of work and lots of rain, and we haven’t even had a storm yet. Thank you for all your letters.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hey everyone,

It’s been a good week as always. We had a few set backs with some investigators who are supposed to get baptized on Saturday. One of our investigators hasn't had a job for a few months now, but he really wants to be baptized so he comes to church every week. We went to his house on Friday to make sure he would be ready for the interview on Saturday but he was gone. He got a job at some place about 2-3 hours away; we don't even know when he will come back or if he will. The Lord has been blessing him as he was preparing for baptism but then a week before it gets messed up. That just shows how Satan will try to stop people from doing what’s right. But despite that, a lot of good things are still happening for us.

We were walking to an appointment when I saw a guy, Rome, and was prompted to talk to him. I have really high hopes for him. As we taught him, he told us he wants to find the true church but isn't sure how to know which one is true. Then in his prayer, he thanked the Lord for us being there and asked the Lord to bring him the truth. It is so amazing how the Lord guides this work and that He leads us right to the people we need to speak to.

My area is a little backwards as for people going to church. Usually we teach a lot but they don't make it to church. In this ward, we have people that have been going to church (some for months), know it's true, and want to be baptized, but are just too busy to have us come to their house. We were finally able to talk to one of these people at their house and she accepted a baptismal date the first time we taught her. All I have to say is it is great serving the Lord!

Love, Elder Smith

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hey everyone,

It's been a really crazy week again. On Sunday, we were able to go to the church to see the dedication of the Cebu Temple. We are so lucky to have so many temples all over the world and that it's so easy to go to the temple to do work for others. The spirit was strong as they talked about the importance of the temple; I know they really bless our lives. I had the opportunity to go to the temple this morning. It is so nice to just sit there without any distractions from the world and to receive inspiration. I also learned that President Monson is a really fun person. When he was outside the temple, he made the piano girl move so he could play. It's so amazing to me to have a living prophet here on the earth that can exercise the power of the Lord to dedicate temples for our benefit.

We are getting a lot of rain now. We were out working and then came home to eat lunch and while we had been out working, the sky was completely clear. Then 30 minutes later, as we were eating, we had a crazy rain storm with wind and lightening. It was probably the hardest rain storm I had ever seen; that's happened twice this week. It's definitely not like Pasco, but we continue to work. There hasn't really been a problem with flooding yet, but you do have to walk on higher ground or you will soak your shoes.

Well that's what's been going on here. I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Love, Elder Smith

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


It's been a great week; I really like working here. This area has a lot of potential and I'm learning a lot about how to be a better missionary. There have been so many times this week that my companion and I were walking and then either my companion or I stop, as prompted by the spirit, and go talk to someone and they let us in. We don't actually talk to a lot of people because the ones we talk to usually let us in to teach. We were walking one day and my companion just stopped and walked over to a guy and started talking to him. We only taught a short simple lesson about how the gospel will bless his family, but as he gave the prayer, he had tears in his eyes and then he went to church the next day. I had one experience where we were teaching a guy and the thought came to me that his wife had passed away. We talked to him a little more about his family and sure enough his wife had passed away. It's amazing how the Lord directs this work and helps us find His prepared children.

I do have one complaint about this area. In my old area we had a church right next to our house. It had a big bell at the top and they liked to ring it as loud as they could at five in the morning or in the middle of the day for funerals. I thought I would get a good night sleep here, but now we have chickens next door that like to stay up all night and be as loud as they can, but it's all worth it to serve the Lord :)

Love, Elder Smith

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hey everyone,

Kamusta po kayo? (Guess what finally happened?) After 7 months, I finally got transferred and became a senior. When we got the transfer announcements, the Assistant to the President wrote "Elder Smith will finally transfer." I'm now in Bacoor, Cavite, which is more city but not like Manila or anything big but we actually have stores here... I think. There are places called "squatters areas" where people just sit there doing nothing all day; basically like there is no point to life. It's going to be different but fun. I realized how blessed I was with my last apartment. In my last house, we had a hose with a shower head to shower with, but in this house we only have a bucket and our toilet doesn't flush; it's basically just a circle and you dump a bucket of water in it to get it to flush. It's pretty cool here though.

My companion seems really great. He is Filipino which is good because I can't talk to him in English so I feel like it's already helping my language. And it's also good in case I don't understand an investigator, he can help me. I'm really excited to start working in our area. I really don't have any idea what to expect but we had a really good transfer meeting and I know that it is the Lord who is directing this work. As long as I'm obedient and doing my best, I know the Lord will do the rest. It really is amazing to me how much the Lord has helped me in the language and how much He guides His work everyday. I love being able to share the gospel every day and know that it is the Lord's work that I am doing.

Love, Elder Smith