Quincy, Washington

November 24, 2014

Family and Friends,
I hope you are all doing well and getting accustomed to this chilly weather. Out here in Washington we received some snow therefore coats were much needed. In reality, I actually like when it snows because more people are willing to let us in when we knock on the door due to the freezing weather. I'd rather get into houses and teach as opposed to knocking on doors.
Well, this week has been exciting, stressful, and full of new experiences. As I mentioned last week, I am now serving in Quincy, Washington. A little background about Quincy. It is a fairly small city, population of about 4,000 people and there is a high population of people that only speak Spanish. It seems as if I'm just bouncing from small city to small city which is something that I prefer. I say this because it makes our companionship more focused on finding the elect. I've been so blessed to serve in small cities. We also cover a little city called George, Washington. hahaha Pretty funny, right? But seriously! Also, it's been a learning experience "white-washing" an area. What this means is that both my companion and myself are new to the this area. It's been a little hard trying to figure out the ropes, but I am faithful that we will get it down soon. My companion just arrived from the MTC and his name is Elder Caskey. He's from Gilbert, Arizona and he came on a mission to work! I'm so grateful and appreciative to be his companion and be his trainer for the next 12 weeks. As we were striving to become familiar with the area this week, we noticed prayer play a huge role. Unfortunately, this area is moving a little slow right now, but we know with obedience and diligence the Lord can provide miracles. We are covering a Spanish branch and were welcomed into the branch by giving talks on our first. I just love when they do that;) 
As far as the living situation, we are in an apartment on the "sketchy" part of town. This is what we have been told... However, the town is so small I'm pretty sure it's all one side! hehe. I have just loved this area thus far and look forward to becoming more comfortable and knowledgeable of Quincy. 
In addition, this week we had a specialized zone conference in which Elder Arnold, from the Quorum of the Seventy, instructed us. It was a spiritual experience which I will never forget. Let's just say, he was definitely bold in the spirit of loving:) I received much guidance about the things that I must do to become a loving district leader. 
Getting transferred to this area has been rewarding. I can just feel and know that Quincy is the place I need to be at this time. My companion and I look forward to hitting the pavement and finding those who are ready to hear The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are going to do everything we can to become consecrated missionaries and put everything on the altar of sacrifice. The mission is hard, but more so, uplifting. I love you so very much and hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving week. Remember to also thank the Lord of what you are grateful for as well;) 

Love Always,
Elder Smith

Hasta Ver Warden

November 17, 2014

Family and Friends,
Words can't describe how much I stinking love you! Life is good, you know? I mean, Christmas season is right around the corner and the weather feels great. How can anybody not cherish how amazing the gift of life truly is. May we ever walk in the path of life with a smile on our faces as we cherish the moments that matter most. The moments that involve family, service, and a love for our fellow man. 
We've had an amazing week here in Warden, and received our transfer calls.  I am sad to report that I will be transferred out of Warden. I can't express the love and appreciation I feel for all of the several amazing people I have come in contact with. Although Warden may be small, there is a sense of unity and fellowship that is undeniable. I am thankful to say that I will be transferred to Quincy, Washington. Although I am unfamiliar with Quincy, I know that this is the place where I must go. I was also grateful to receive the call to train another new missionary. This is a great and marvelous blessing that will be a joyful experience. In addition, I was called to be the District Leader. I feel so blessed to take on this responsibility. I know that through these changes, I will continue to grow my testimony and come closer to the Lord.
I found out the secret to missionary work this past week and decided I would share it. The secret to missionary work is happiness and love. Happiness is so vital and crucial as a missionary. Through the hard and through the good, you gotta keep that smile on your face.  Love, the essence of the Gospel. There are three things we must love while serving a mission. First, your companion. Without love for your companion, you alter your ability to teach in unity and teach by the spirit.  Second, a love for your investigators. If we as missionaries are simply going through the motions and don't focus on the needs of our investigators with love, we aren't fulfilling our purpose to invite others to Christ. Thirdly, a love for our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the source and the light of the world.  He conquers all darkness and is waiting with open arms. We simply must receive his embrace and show our love through obedience. He will bear our grief and carry our burdens, we simply must show that we are worthy.

Love Always,
Elder Smith

Leales a La Fe

November 10, 2014

Como les van?!
Voy a escribir este correo electrónico en español porque suena más divertido. Sólo quiero decirte lo mucho que me encanta cada uno de ustedes! Hace frío aquí en Washington y se va a poner más frío esta semana.
Nuestra semana era bueno y vimos un montón de milagros. Es una bendición ver al Señor a nuestro lado todos los días. Todos nuestros investigadores están haciendo bien y progresando en el evangelio. Una de las familias que nos están enseñando expresamos todas sus preocupaciones con nosotros. Ahora, podemos ayudarles y resolver preocupación con el Libro de Mormón, Jesucristo, etc. Un otro de nuestros investigadores, Mario, tiene una fecha de bautismo para el 29 de noviembre. Antes, Mario tenía un problema con la bebida, pero quiere cambiar su vida. Tuvimos algunas lecciones increíbles con él y le preguntamos si quería seguir el ejemplo de Jesucristo y ser bautizado. De todas las invitaciones que le damos, éste es mi favorito. Aunque puede sentir un poco incómodo, siempre es en los momentos más espirituales.
Nunca he sido más feliz de lo que soy ahora mismo. Nunca me he sentido más cerca de mi Salvador y mi padre en el cielo. Estoy agradecido por la oportunidad de servir en una misión y sentir el espíritu más plenamente. Me gustaría dar mi testimonio de que sé esta iglesia es verdadera. Yo no estaría en una misión si no hubiera orado para saber. El Libro de Mormón es de gran alcance, dejar que te cambia como se me ha cambiado! Te quiero y espero que tengas una gran semana!

Les Amo Siempre,
Elder Smith

The Gospel Is Not Weight; It Is Wings. It Carries Us.

November 3, 2014

Mis Queridos Amigos y Familia,
Starting to get a little chilly outside. I hope you're bundling up in your warm blankets and bringing out the hot chocolate. At a members house yesterday they had their T.V. on as we entered and we saw a Christmas commercial playing. What is this world coming too? :) However, Elder Johnson and I are guilty as well because we have already began playing Christmas music in the car. There's nothing better than some good old Christmas tunes, am I right? ;)
Our week went well as we found two new promising families to teach. The families are coming to us which is proof that the Lord is blessing us.  During one of the lessons, the spirit was so strong that the mother began crying. What a powerful moment and experience it was watching the gospel bring this humble woman too tears. Unfortunately, the family that was previously on date for baptism did not come to church, meaning that we will have to push there date back. However, it's always important to remember that faith in the Lord requires faith in his timing. What a miracle it is too spread gospel happiness in others’ lives and allow them to witness that it carries us.
Also, this week we got to be a little festive and dress up in some Halloween costumes!  We had a ward trunk or treat party that brought in over 250 people. Non-members, less-actives, and members were all socializing and seeing what this church is all about. It was honestly a missionaries dream! Afterwards, we went out to our trunk and instead of handing out candy, we handed out pass along cards and Books of Mormon. All the members thought it was quite hilarious. I can just imagine all these kids going home expecting candy and to their surprise, a picture of Jesus! What better than that?!
I'd like to close by bearing my testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel. The best way to grow in your testimony is to simply share it with another. After being on a mission, I can promise that is true. Therefore, I would like to extend the invitation to share the fruits that come from the gospel with another this week. Like the title states, the gospel is not a burden and the gospel is not weight; it is wings. It carries us. 

Love Always,
Elder Smith