Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kamusta po kayo ang akin pamilya,

We had a pretty effective week. We were able to get 12 people to sacrament meeting which is the best I've ever had. Of course it really wasn't anything we did, it was entirely the Lord. We had one older couple that we had been teaching but they weren't really progressing, wouldn't come to church for three weeks, and were never home. We decided it was probably time to stop teaching them and start focusing on other people that would progress. As always, we ended our last lesson with an invitation for them to attend church. I don't know what changed, but we were waiting at church when we saw them walk in. The Lord had obviously touched them in some way to create a desire for them to come to church.

The First Presidency is changing a little bit of the way we missionaries work. It’s nothing big, but they are focusing more on the missionaries teaching by the spirit and the needs of the investigators. They are really trying to get us away from the routine lessons. So that is something we will be working on a lot these next few months. We got a brief overview of it during Zone Conference and I'm really excited about it. It will help us follow the spirit, teach by the spirit, and really do this work the way the Lord wants it done.

Something is happening that I never thought would ever happen to me; I'm forgetting English! Our zone went to a family home evening at some couple missionary’s home this week but they are from England so they don't speak Tagalog. I was the one that got to translate for them but it's so much harder than I thought. I would sit there listening to the speaker then realize the couple missionaries had no idea what was going on. When I tried to translate, I would accidentally repeat stuff in Tagalog or completely forget the English translation of a word.

Well that is what's going on over here; plus a lot of rain. It's crazy how hard it rains here and how quickly places start to flood. Thank you all for your prayers and letters.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hello everyone,

We had a great baptism on Saturday! It was one of the people that comes to church every week but there hasn't been a third male to go with us to her house. Our Mission President gave us permission to teach her outside if no one else was home. She accepted a baptismal date on the first visit and was so excited to get baptized. She lived in Cebu, but she felt like she needed to move to Manila for some unknown reason, even though her family didn't want her to. After being baptized, she said that she now knows why she moved here. She has a very strong testimony and loves this church and everything in it. She used to be Catholic and she told us it's so great that we have rules and commandments, because that's how we really do become closer to the Lord. The Lord led her right to us; she moved in with members so we didn't even have to find her.

Well, this letter is pretty short, because I just wrote like four days ago so not a lot has happened since then; just a lot of rain. Thank you for all your prayers and letters. I know the Lord hears them and He has blessed me. The Lord is really blessing us in our work and helping us to find His elect children. You are all in my prayers and I hope all is well on the other side of the world.

Love, Elder Smith

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I'm a little late writing because we got hit by a bagyo at about 1:00am Wednesday morning (bagyo is a hurricane). The hurricane took the power out in all of Manila and the surrounding areas; so we had no power which means we couldn't email. This is the first hurricane I've ever been in and it was pretty crazy. All of us Elders woke up because the wind was so loud and we just laid in bed for a few hours listening to it. I talked to some members and they said the wind was about 160 kph (we guessed that is about 90 miles an hour). Everyone keeps telling me that was a weak one. They also said there will be a lot more and they are just going to get stronger. I was kind of worried about some investigators who live in bamboo houses that are over the ocean (it’s crazy what Filipinos can do with bamboo). Luckily, they all went to someone’s house that is a little more stable, and waited there until the hurricane was over.

I thought about that and how I was perfectly safe in my house (other than a leaking roof). And then how a ton of people were in big trouble with no place to go but their tiny bamboo house which would have a lot more problems than a leaking roof. The thought came to me of how important it is for us to be prepared before the storm hits. Lots of people lost roofs, walls, and other things. This made me think about the parable of the Ten Virgins, that if we don't prepare now, it will be too late. There won’t be time to prepare and we can't run for shelter in our neighbors' house like the people here did yesterday. I'm so grateful for this gospel and the knowledge we have of what we must do to be prepared for things more important than preparing for a hurricane.

Lastly, we had transfers but I'm still in the same area with the same companion if any of you were wondering. Thank you for your letters; I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hello all,

We have had a good week with some ups and some downs. We have a golden investigator here, Russel. She has been to church three times but we didn't even know that she wasn't a member; she had her uncle give us a referral. We went to her home and she was really excited to hear of the Restoration. We returned the next day and she told us that she had received an answer to her prayers that this is the true church. We committed her to baptism during the second lesson and she accepted. We have continued to teacher her and she doesn't have any problems with the Word of Wisdom or going to church every week. We went to church on Sunday but she didn’t come with her uncle so we asked him where she was and he told us that she moved back to the providence. We were so disappointed because that’s the third time that has happened to us. Luckily, he was just playing a mean joke on us and she showed up a few minutes later.

So things are going good but we do run into some people that don’t really know what they are talking about. We had one lady that wouldn’t listen to us because she said “I already know everything.” We then had a guy who was willing to listen and after the lesson, we asked what his feelings were about Joseph Smith. He said “I know he is a true prophet, we are all prophets.” I can’t figure out how some people come up with this stuff. Then one of my favorites is the people that don’t want to talk to you at all. I tried talking to one guy and all he would say was “wala” meaning nothing, or you don’t have. I asked him his name and he would say “wala” (I don’t have a name).

But overall, things are going good here and I hope things are good back home too.

Love, Elder Smith