Well, Here We Go!:)

April  27, 2015

Good Morning Family and Friends,
I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful sunny day.  While serving in Washington, the Spring has been my favorite period of the year due to the plants growing and the flowers blossoming. Serving in small farming communities has allowed made me come to love the large fields and the laid back lifestyle. 
It seems as if I find myself in a very large city this morning. I have been given a new assignment to serve in the Pasco 9th Ward with Elder Stringham and Elder Adling. Elder Adling is unfortunately going home in a couple of weeks and was a great example for everyone who served around him. I have been here in Kennewick for about 5 days now and I absolutely love it. Serving with the two missionaries which have set such a great example previously has been a great learning experience. I love them both so much! In the words of Elder Adling, "He is retired." President Ware had an interview with me on Wednesday and said to pack my bags because I was leaving the following day. I will now be serving in the office as an Assistant to the President. I feel so blessed to be given this opportunity. I know that through prayer and faith, the Lord will help me with this leadership opportunities.
Unfortunately, I had to leave Elder Knowles very quickly. He is now in a trio with the other 2 missionaries that I was previously living with. I loved serving with him and absorbing as much as I could from his many talents and abilities. I will miss him dearly. However, Elder Stringham is also incredible and has such a strong testimony of the gospel. Throughout this week, I have felt the spirit that he provides and his strong desire to share the gospel with everyone. 
I don't have too much time, but I wanted to quickly bear my testimony about our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know he lives. I know that if we search his light, he will provide us that needed light to get through both the good and the bad. I love him and I love his restored gospel.

Love Always,
Elder Smith

Embark in the Service of God

April 20, 2015 

Family and Friends,
How is everybody? I hope you are all doing well and living life to its fullest. It's mind boggling to think that summer is just right around the corner. Can time just slow down a little bit? This past year has by far been the quickest one that I have lived. Time flies by when you're having fun right. I couldn't agree more because serving a mission is by far the most fun, happy, spiritual uplifting experience that one could ask for. Emocionante, esto es emocionante. 
Our week here in Yakima Washington was wonderful, absolutely wonderful. We are hoping and praying that as this transfer comes to a close that we will stay here because the work is blowing up! We are working very closely with the Ceja family and they are just a few steps away from accepting the invitation to be baptized. The father is getting baptized this Saturday! WOOOOO:) They are searching for an answer, therefore God will provide the answer. That is probably my favorite aspect about missionary work. We simply ask people to find their own answer. We do not need to be clever with our words or use a large amount of scriptures to prove our church is true, but simply testify of simple truths and invite them to act in faith. An investigator told us just last night, "I love how you don't shove it down my throat, but instead confide in God because you know he will guide me." We are invitation givers, not forceful bashers. The restored gospel has the power to fill any emptiness and heal any wound. It is a way in which can overcome all sorrow and contention. 
We also find a golden new investigator this week named Moises. Translated to "Moses" in English. The Lord touched his heart and he has a baptismal date for the 16th of next month! The Lord is preparing so many people to bring unto him it is INCREDIBLE. I love this church, I love life, and I love all of you! Have a great week!

Elder Smith

Life is Good

April 13, 2015 

Family and Friends,
Although my letter is short, my heart is full of joy and gratitude for the miracles that the Lord is pouring down upon us. We had an amazing week full of joyful experiences and disappointments as well. On the mission, I've learned that an essential part is accepting that God has given all of us agency to choose. Therefore, as missionaries, we cannot become frustrated because of others actions and opinions. I love my mission so much and I love you so much. I hope that everything is going wonderful wherever you may be.


Elder Smith

True Discipleship

April 6, 2015 

Family and Friends,
WOOOO what a great weekend of General Conference in which we were blessed to hear the Prophet and Apostles speak to us and provide revelation to our hearts. As always, it was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. An over compassing theme that was highlighted was becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I also strengthened my testimony of the power of the spirit. Kevin Pearson stated, "If you lose the spirit you are lost." "We need worthy and spiritually energized missionaries," stated M. Russell Ballard. As the words came out of their mouths the spirit continually touched my heart and nudged me as if it were saying, "You can do better, you can improve, you can develop more faith, and you can become a better disciple of Jesus Christ." I'm so very grateful for the small whispers of the spirit which acts as a comforter.
All of our investigators are doing great and we are making the transition to enter "finding mode." We know that as we work close to the members and find through the spirit, the Lord will place in our path those who he has prepared. It all begins with faith. Faith, faith, faith; I would say the single most important principle of missionary work.
We are so excited for the baptism of Silvino this Saturday. Unfortunately, he drives truck 5 out of the 7 days of the week so it's been hard to contact him. However, we know and have complete faith he will enter into the waters of baptism this Saturday. Hortencia is doing incredible as well. We had a lesson with her this past week and asked her how she is doing with reading, praying, etc. She told us, "I find myself reading The Book of Mormon 1-2 hours every night before I go to bed. Also, I have to wake myself up early everyday before 3am so that I can say my prayers. They are that important to me. Quite frankly, the thing I want most in this world is for my kids to be baptized. Baptism was the greatest thing that has ever happened to me." My companion and I were filled with so much joy for the Lord's power in her conversion. 
Fun fact for the week. Because our area in Yakima is so incredibly sketchy, every time a car drives by my companion and I say "love you" so that our last words are kind words. Ohhhh, how I love my companion Elder Knowles. Life is good.

Well have a great week, love you all so much!

Elder Smith

Divinity and Destiny

March 30, 2015 

Family and Friends,
Wooooooeeeeeeee! What a busy and eventful week. My companion and I have been running around to meetings and living the mission dream. The month of March is already gone?! Time is a joke while serving a mission. This upcoming week we have a district meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Mission Leadership Conference on Thursday. Weekly Planning on Friday followed by general conference on Saturday and Sunday. This week is going to fly by as well. I hope we will have some time to proselyte in our area:)
Speaking of our area, it is doing wonderful! We found a family of 7 this past week and they are incredible. We had seen them outside their house one day as we were getting in the car and both my companion and I felt something good about this family. We couldn't really explain it, but we knew we needed to come back. As the night went on and we ran out of people to try by, we decided to try the family that we had seen previously. We knocked on the door and they let us right in. After testifying of the restoration and our purpose as missionaries, we knew that this family was special. We tried back a couple of days later, and they said we could come back soon because they had read the Book of Mormon and had questions. They also mentioned baptism! This week we also had the privilege to have the baptism of Hortencia. She was sooooo happy! It's moments like these that a missionary dream of having. I feel so blessed to have been part of her conversion, but I know that the spirit touched her heart more than anything. I love my mission. I love it so very much that it almost brings tears to my eyes.
I have such a strong testimony of this restored church of Jesus Christ. We must administer this gospel to everyone we come across, there is no time to waste. I love you all so very much and keep you close to my heart daily.

Love Always,

Elder Smith