Monday, August 30, 2010

Kamusta po sa inyo lahat,

We've been having a really good transfer so far. My companion and I are getting along great and have set some really good goals to help build the Lord's kingdom in this area. We talked to our bishop and he is helping us too. We are really focusing on getting referrals from members because we will "knock" houses all day but they hardly ever progress (we don't really knock on doors however, we yell "tao po" at the door until they open it). I never realized the importance of members in missionary work until now; they are so important! Our goal in getting members to like us and give us referrals is by eating their food :) That sounds bad, but we are trying to serve the members and love them so they will love us and realize they can trust us with their friends and family.

The Lord is helping us a lot. We had two people show up to church with a member, so we asked if they would allow us to teach them. I wasn't very familiar with the area of their home but we tried finding it after church. Finding homes here is a lot harder then finding a home in America. A lot of times, there are no street names or numbers. Your best bet is just to ask random people if they know where the person lives. I was certain how to get about half way, but beyond that point I wasn't sure where to go. Right when we got the point that I didn't know, we saw the two people who came to church walking down the street. Out of the hundreds of people on the street and at just the right time, we ran into them and they showed us the rest of the way to their home. I know this church is true and that it is the Lord who is guiding it.

Love, Elder Smith

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hey everyone,

It's the start of a new transfer and I have a new companion, but I'm still in the same area. My companion's name is Elder Vail and he is from Utah. I'm really excited to work with him. We have a lot of new things happening this transfer. We got two new Assistants to the President who are really good elders and one of the old assistants has stepped down to train in my zone. I got to work with him when I first got to the Philippines and he is an amazing elder so I'm excited to learn from him again in our meetings.

Our mission is doing really good. Last month, we got just over 200 baptisms! I see a lot of potential in my area and I know the Lord has great plans here. My companion and I are already getting along great and we are really excited to work. Other than that, we are just working really hard and the Lord is really blessing our work.

Love, Elder Smith

Friday, August 20, 2010

Her name is Erika

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hey everyone,

It’s been a really crazy week. We had a transfer this week that was three weeks early. My companion was sent to the Island Palawan, which is the place every missionary wants to go. My companion is Elder Ahat now but I'm thinking I might get transferred next week; so this will be a really short companionship.

We had two people get baptized this week, and I was blessed enough to be able to perform the ordinances. It's great to be able to be the one performing the baptism, but the best part for me is seeing their big smile after their baptism. The Lord really blessed us this week in finding the people whom He has prepared. I was getting a little worried about running out of investigators but the Lord led us to some new ones.

One couple in particular has definitely been prepared by the Lord. It was our third time teaching them and we were teaching about prayer and knowing if Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon were true. The spirit told me, during the lesson, that that was the wrong thing to be talking about. I quickly ended what I was saying and opened 2nd Nephi 31 about baptism. The mom's face lit up as she read the word "baptism." I started to invite them to be baptized but before I could even finish my sentence, the mom cut me off and with a big smile said "yes." I love doing the Lord's work and seeing His guiding hand in our work everyday.

Love, Elder Smith

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Monday, August 9, 2010

Hey everyone,

We've had another busy week as always. We have a lot of people getting baptized next week so we have been really focusing on finding new people to teach after all our current investigators get baptized. We've been doing that the last couple of weeks with a lot of success, but after the first or second lesson they stop investigating. This week, however, the Lord really blessed us in our efforts. We found a family who is currently looking for the true church; so I'm really excited and have high hopes for them. We also have an elderly couple who we have been teaching for about six weeks now. They really want to get baptized but the husband has a problem with cigarettes. He was able to quit smoking most of the time, but no matter what we did he had to have three a day. I didn't know what we could do to help him other than pray. He had a stroke about a week ago but is doing okay now. That in itself of course is a bad thing, but the doctor told him some things he needs to stop doing to keep his blood pressure down. One of the things he was told to stop doing was to stop smoking. I didn't pray that he would have a stroke, but I think that event helped him because he is no longer smoking.

We have one investigator that we have been teaching for over a month but he won’t come to church; he always has some kind of excuse. He said he would come this week, but to be sure, we should stop by his house an hour before church. The night before, it rained for about 10 hours but I didn't think anything of it, because there was no flooding by our apartment. We were almost to his house when we saw that the whole place was flooded. My companion was ready to just go to church but I'm kind of stubborn at times. I knew our investigator wouldn't show up if we didn't go to his house, so I took off my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants and started walking. After a little bit, my companion realized I was serious and reluctantly followed. The closer we got to his house, the deeper it got because he lives right next to the ocean. We were up to our knees in water but we made it to his house.

It's a pretty cool story but he didn't come to church. He said he would go at 2pm with the other ward but he didn't show up there either :( Our investigators that have a baptismal date, however, did walk through the flood to come to church; so that’s the happy ending. I know this church is true and I love you all and you are in my prayers.

Love, Elder Smith

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hello everyone,

Another week is already over; I feel like the days are going so fast I can't keep up with them. We had an amazing baptism this Saturday for our "golden investigator". We didn't have a single concern the whole time we taught her; she probably could have been baptized the first week we taught her. She gave a great testimony of how she knows the church is true and how grateful she is that we brought her this gospel. It is an amazing feeling to have someone that grateful towards you and to see the changes take place in their life as they accept the true gospel. Our investigators really become like family as we teach them. I'm really blessed to be able to do the Lord's work every day.

We have a member that asked us to give them some counsel with some problems in their family that is really trying their faith. I really had no idea what I should say to help them. I tried sharing a few scriptures but they weren't helping too much but as I listened to the spirit, I was guided to know exactly what to say and the perfect scripture to go with it. The Lord has really been blessing us in helping us know what to do to help our investigators and help them come unto Christ.

So a lot of you obviously thought it was funny that I forgot how to speak English. When I speak to other Elders in English, I don’t have any problems; maybe it's because I can throw in Tagalog too and they understand. We were out finding this week when we knocked on the door of a guy from England. My companion doesn't speak English so it was all up to me. I was really excited until I started stumbling over all my words saying stuff like “We are missionaries...with a minssahe...message... and want to talk to you about Jesus." I tried talking to him but it was probably the most ineloquent English ever. I plan to go back there when he isn't busy, but I might have to work on my English :)

Love, Elder Smith