WOOHOO! Man, This is an Awesome Experience!

 September 22,2014

Happy Fall! What in the world is happening to time? I'm really not a huge fan of there only being 24 hours in the day and 7 days in the week. However, the temperature is continually staying warm.  I'm not going to complain:) 
I always get so excited when I hear that my loved family and friends are doing well at home.  We are all having our memorable experiences in different parts of the world and truly living life to the fullest. 
My week in Warden, Washington has been nothing less than spectacular. The experiences you have and people you meet on the mission are indescribable. Through these memories, I have the opportunity to grow with those that I am teaching. Therefore, in a sense, we are both teaching eachother and coming closer to the light of Christ together.  I've truly gained a testimony that as Brother's and Sister's we share an important responsibility.  We obtain a power to change others, but it requires humilty and a true desire to give service.  Love, is the very essence of this gospel.  I have felt that love by other's on my mission and feel immensely blessed for the friends I have met on this journey.  
This week the Lord taught Elder Johnson and I through the experiences we encountered.  Unfortunately, one of our investigators which was going to be baptized this coming week got in some trouble with the law and will be unable to continue being taught at this point in time. It was pretty heartbreaking to see this man grow in the gospel, then let it quickly slip away. However, we know that we planted a seed in his heart and realize that faith in the Lord requires faith in his timing.  Through this experience, I've given a lot of thought to the way our Heavenly Father has us learn things. He has helped and guided Elder Johnson and I to approach this as an opportunity to grow as missionaries.  The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways and I am grateful that he seeks to help every one of his children on earth to grow individually. He loves us, he looks after us, and he never leaves us. I know that as we seek for him, he will manifest himself unto us.
Another thing that caught my attention this week was the strait and narrow path described in the Book of Mormon.  I thought to myself, what makes the path so narrow. Suddenly, I realized that the path at times may be hard to enter, but once you feel the overwhelming joy on the path, it is hard to go astray.  Also, to enter the path the Lord is telling us we need to leave some "cargo" behind to squeeze in that path of righteousness.  I thought to myself the cargo I need to leave behind to become a more effective missionary and servant of the Lord.  I would invite everyone reading this to consider the cargo they need to leave behind, in order to take that leap of faith onto the straight and narrow path. I know that as you do so, you will feel a change within yourself. You must give yourself to Him, for him to change YOUR nature.  Give him your desire and will.
I love you all so much and hope your week is incredible!:)
Love Always,
Elder Smith


The Mission- Nothing Quite Like It

September 15, 2014 
Hello loved ones,
    How are all of my favorite people in the world doing?  I love you all so much and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my loved ones.  I feel immensely grateful for all the support and love I have been given throughout my life, I am truly blessed.  I hope everyone is adjusting to their new schedule of going back to school, work, etc. I've heard that the weather has been quite hot in California which surprises me because Washington has been fairly cool.  Well stay out of the heat and hit the beach!
Throughout the course of this week I have been spiritually fed and uplifted. Elder Johnson and I are so grateful for the opportunity we have to serve in Warden, Washington and are excited for things to come in the near future. We know that as we align our will with our Father in Heaven's, we will notice his hand guide and direct us. The Lord allows us to feel his light in our life, we just have to stand in holy places, demonstrate humility, and recognize the promptings we receive.  There is nothing quite like feeling the Lord's personalized love for each and everyone of us!
This week we also had the opportunity to witness the baptism of Mario and Mariana.  We have taught these two lovely kids and watched them move forward to the path of baptism.  The mother is a member of the church, but the father is not.  However, it was amazing to see the father's eyes light up as he witnessed his two children step into the baptismal font.  After their baptism, the two children demonstrated both how happy they felt and the peace they received.  It's truly a miracle that Jesus Christ has set this example for all of us to be baptized.  It's through the Savior's example that several notice the Light of Christ illuminate within them.  He was the ultimate example of service, humility, and love.  How important it is for us to strive to follow this example as closely as possible.
    Also this week my companion and I were given the chance to speak in Stake Conference.  When we were notified the night before that our Mission President wanted us to speak it was pretty intimidating.  We were going to have to speak in front of 1,000 people, our Mission President, and a General Authority of the church.  Nerves definitely kicked in a little bit.  However, we hardly prepared and decided we would just follow the spirit.  It's amazing how preparation is not needed when you rely COMPLETELY on the spirit.  This applies to all aspects of our life.  Luckily, the talk went well.
I hope everyone has an amazing week and takes a leap of faith in some sort of way. I love you all.

Love always,
Elder Smith

Can Time Slow Down a Bit Please

 September 1, 2014

Family and Friends,
    As summer comes to a close and the sunny weather begins to fade, we are reminded of the joyful times of the summer and the joyful times to come. What a beautiful world we live in which we can create memorable moments throughout the entire year. I hope you all have had a great week and are absorbing the heat while it is with us.
    My week here in Warden Washington has been nothing less than spectacular, as usual. I wish I didn't have to repeat myself every week, but the mission life is a continual journey of joy. If I were to describe the mission in five words it would be the following: Spiritual, Faith Building, Joyful, Fast, and Fun. Simple words that have so much meaning behind them.  Thus far, I wouldn't have exchanged this experience for anything in the world.  Acting in faith is challenging, but as we embrace the teachings of the gospel, faith will follow. "As we appropriately seek for and receive the spiritual gift of faith in the Redeemer, we then turn to and rely upon the merits, the mercy, and the grace of the Holy Messiah," said Elder David A. Bednar.  I challenge all of you to take a step of faith this week whether it be through prayer, service for others, etc.  Always seek to find faith building and faith promoting situations through striving to stand in holy places. As we do so, we will find a light bloom within ourselves that was previously in-existent.
    Our investigators are doing well and we are still looking forward to the baptism of Mariana and Mario on the 13th of September.  They are just so excited for their baptism which always puts a smile on our face. What a blessing it is to work side by side with Elder Johnson.  I wish I would have been as good of a Trainee for my Trainer as Elder Johnson is to me. We are continually pushing one another and have enjoyed sharing several uplifting experiences. At times I wonder if we're having too much fun and then I realize, missionary work is about having fun too. I'm going to be honest, I'M LOVING LIFE RIGHT NOW! I FEEL MORE PUMPED THAN EVER!!!! WOOOHOOO! LIFE IS GOOD!

Love Always,
Elder Smith

I Love My Mission!

 Aug 25, 2014

Family and Friends,
    How was everyone's week?  Enjoying the last few breaths of the summer air?  How did it pass by so tremendously fast?  It feels as if I just blinked and now here we are wishing summer would last longer. However, I am looking forward to the winter and am hoping we will get some snow fall here in Eastern Washington.  Several people don't believe that this part of Washington is very appealing to the eye, but I absolutely love it and think the several farmlands are relaxing to look at. I've also been hearing a lot about some ice bucket challenge, I'm not too sure what that is all about, but it's apparently the new crave.  It's amazing how many things we're refrained from hearing due to lack of social media.  It's actually very relaxing not having to worry about updating Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook 24/7.  I love having the opportunity to focus on my purpose and continually strive to bring souls to come unto Christ.
    Our week was spiritually up lifting.  Yesterday, we had the amazing opportunity to have 3 investigators attend church with us.  One of them in Mariana.  Mariana now has a date to be baptized on the 13th of September.  Please keep her in your prayers. We also had Michael and Kasey come to church and it was evident that they thoroughly enjoyed Sacrament Meeting.  It's through coming to church that we see investigators progress the most.  There is such a strong spirit present within the walls of the church which is contagious.  Church is the place where I receive energy for the remainder of the week.  Alma 45:19 "Behold, this we know, that he was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken up by the spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord, even as Moses." I have such a strong testimony of the necessity of church attendance.
    I've also received great joy this week from this quote and have strived to stress the importance of it unto our investigators.
“Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
I hope you all have a great week.  I love you so very much!

Love always,
Elder Smith