July 6, 2015
Hermano's y Hermana's,
I'd like to start off this letter with a joke to liven it up a bit. What do you call a cow walking through a tall field of grass? Answer: Utterly Tickled. What do you call a cow jumping over a barbed wire fence? Answer: Utter Destruction. What do you call a cow without legs? Answer: Ground Beef. What do you call a cow with 3 legs? Answer: Tri-Tip. Well that's enough of the cow jokes, I hope all of you wonderful and beautiful people had a fantastic week! Summer is an excellent time to be with family and do service for others. If you have some free time as you read this, I want you to play your favorite song of all time. When the song starts playing I would as that you close your eyes and dance your heart out while pondering how great life is. I'm not exactly sure what prompted me to ask you to do this, but please just dance.
This week will go down as one of the greatest and most memorable weeks of my life. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet President and Sister Lewis. It was a unique experience because we got to watch them take their first steps on Yakima, Washington soil. After seeing the smile on his face as he got out of the car you just knew that this new mission needed someone like President Lewis to lead and guide us missionaries under the Lord's direction. We have had the blessing of meeting with him every single day since and coming to the conclusion that he is a great leader. Sister Lewis is a humanitarian! She has spent most of her life either in Africa or providing young girls in Africa with feminine hygiene kits. Sister Lewis is a charitable giant. If I was to use 5 words to describe President and Sister Lewis they would be Loving, Energetic, Fun, Spiritual, and Humble.
This week I have gained a stronger testimony about the power of humility in this work. Humility is the source of success. When we give all the credit to the Lord and take no credit ourselves for the miracles he performs, the spirit can dwell within us. "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things," states D&C 59:7. We have this amazing opportunity to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice and give it to the Savior. We will not only recognize our blessings when we exert humility, but the windows of heaven will be opened. I love this gospel and I know it is true. I'm thankful for a loving Savior whose arms are always outstretched towards each one of his children. "Be of good cheer, your future is as bright as your faith," said President Monson.
Love you All,
June 29, 2015
Hoping your week was incredible and full of several memorable experiences. I sure miss all of you!
The clock is ticking and President and Sister Lewis get here in two days! I am so excited and eager to meet this wonderful couple. This past week has been quite the experience. We drove about 1500 miles, ran around the mission, and are continuing to prepare for this mission split. I feel extremely blessed to have served as a Washington, Kennewick missionary and will now have the privilege to serve as a Washington Yakima missionary. The mission office is set up, the mission home is beautiful, and our new apartment is jaw dropping. Everything is happening fast and our hairs are sticking up due to anticipation.
Also, this week I received a wedding invitation to my sisters wedding. Although I won't be there for her and Josh's special occasion, I hope they know of my deep love for them and know that I will be there in spirits. They are the cutest couple:)
I would also like to say a quick thank you to my wonderful parents. Throughout the week, I truly pondered and came to the conclusion that your family shapes you. To my mom, my dad, my sister, and all my other relatives, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the light and guidance that you have provided in my life. Elder L. Tom Perry stated, "It is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities." I couldn't agree more. If you have distanced yourself from your family and/or think your family is unimportant, I would recommend serving your family members every day. Through serving members of your family, you will strengthen relationships and build a sense of unity within your home. Make them happy because I promise they do everything they can to make you happy. If you don't feel that way, serve more. I love my family and I love their example to me.
I love all of you,
June 22, 2015
Hello Wonderful Family and Friends,
It's been quite a magnificent week here in the Washington, Kennewick Mission. We are preparing for the mission split and are excited for the arrival of President and Sister Lewis. We've been running around busy as ever and are enjoying every second of this experience. The Lord is truly hastening his work and that is made evident through this mission split. I am going to deeply miss the WKM due to all the wonderful missionaries and people I have met. I know President and Sister Ware are inspired. Being around them more frequently allows me to understand the importance of being in tune with the spirit at all times and in all places.
This week we will be heading up North with President and Sister Ware to assist them in saying goodbye to all the missionaries which will be in the Yakima Mission. Therefore, Elder Archibald and I are on the road again.
Last week we drove all the missionaries around for transfers and got everyone settled into their new areas. When I was in Quincy, I was greeted by some special visitors. The FERNANDEZ FAMILY! I was teaching them in Quincy and happened to run into them at the church. The kids came running up to me saying, "SMITH, SMITH, SMITH, WE MISS YOU!" "Why are you here?" I asked. It turns out, the kids were having their baptismal interviews. Tears practically ran down my cheeks due to the joy I felt. Definitely one of the most memorable experiences I've had on my mission.
“When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.” —President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency. I love this truth taught by Elder Eyring. I know this church is true.
June 15, 2015
Family and Friends,
Well HOWD'Y! How y'all doing this fine and beautiful day? Your week was wonderful right? I most certainly hope so. The weather is getting warmer, the beach sounds more appealing, and everyone is ready for a nice summer vacation.
Our week was fantastic. President and Sister Ware gave me the assignment to be one of the assistants to the President in the new Yakima Mission serving alongside President and Sister Lewis. My heart is full of gratitude and I feel privileged to have this opportunity. My companion will be Elder Archibald. He is from the Dalles in the Vancouver Mission and will be serving in Yakima as well. Dalles will be included in the new mission. We have had a blast serving with each other these past couple of days and are excited for the several revelatory experiences to come. I've only known Elder Archibald for two days, but I already know that he is a humble leader.
I apologize for making this message short, but I would like to simply bear my testimony. I know this church is true. I know it with all my heart. The gospel of Jesus Christ gives me hope and courage to press on and endure. We must walk by faith and walk with a pure heart. President Uchtdorf stated, "Love should be our walk and our talk." I'm eternally blessed for the example Jesus Christ has given us. We can laugh, smile, experience joy, and help others because of this life our Heavenly Father has given us.
I love you all.
June 8, 2015
Family and Friends,
My heart is pumping so fast because I can't even begin to describe how awesome our week was. Now I know you're thinking, what happened? What did you do? Where did you go? However, we didn't do much of the work, but the Lord did. We have witnessed so many gifts from Our Heavenly Father pour down on our area and we have to give all credit to him. Although the Lord can work miracles, it is so crucial that we do our part as well. We must serve with all diligence and press forward with great faith. As we do so, we show unto the Lord that we are willing to put our whole heart to help our brothers and sisters come unto him. This past week, I've also gained a testimony about the power of the Lord answering our prayers in regards to how well we serve others. Through charity, we show that we are more willing and humble to receive guidance from the Holy Ghost. Dieter F. Uchtdorf stated, "Often, the answer to our prayers does not come while we are on our knees but while were on our feet serving the Lord and those around us." I couldn't agree more with this eternal truth taught by a living apostle of the Lord.
I'd like to share two faith building experiences that occurred this past week. One night, we felt the impression at around 8:45 p.m. to walk down the street. As we walked, we saw a couple in their garage organizing different things. We walked up and introduced ourselves as representatives of Jesus Christ. After teaching principles from the restoration, she started crying because she recently lost her job. We promised and bore testimony that her family would be blessed because of the great faith she exerted. The spirit touched her heart. The second story is very similar. We were out knocking doors when we came across another couple. When we walked up, we saw that the boyfriend had tattoo's and the wife had multiple face piercings. After getting to know them and teaching doctrine, the girlfriend started crying and said, "You guys don't understand, I have been praying for 6 months for guidance and direction. You could not have come at a more perfect time. What you just taught touched me more than anything I have learned in the past." After reassuring that the spirit was touching her, we bore simple testimony. "Where can I get a Book of Mormon and when can I come to church?" she asked. After our jaws dropped and we left their home, we were full of thankfulness and gratitude for the Lord providing light and truth into her life.
This upcoming week we will have a lot of meetings and several revelatory experiences. We look forward to the mission split coming up and the new Washington Yakima Mission to be formed.
I love you all so very much and hope you have a week full of service for others. Just remember, "Charity Never Faileth."
Love you tons,
June 1, 2015
Family and Friends,
So guess what?! I was thinking this week about how great life is. If you are reading this I would ask that you just take a quick moment to lean back in your chair and close your eyes thinking of 5 different things that you are grateful for. Life is good right? We always have to be looking at the positive and not the negative. This has been something that's been beneficial to help me. Focus on the positive, press forward with faith, and turn towards Christ. Elder Holland stated, "Above all, never lose your faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend."
Our week has been full of joyful experiences and several memorable moments. This week, I truly gained a testimony about the power of teamwork and lifting one another. My companion, Elder Stringham has been such a blast to serve with and has helped me increase my faith and desires. In this life we must show charity to our Brother's and Sister's to allow our hearts become pure and our humility to become strong. I've been studying quite a lot about the correspondence with charity and humility. When we express humility, we know that we are taking away all pride that may consume us. Charity is when we go on the never ending search for someone else's happiness. Therefore, if we take the attention off of ourselves and focus on others, we are being both charitable and humble. GREAT RIGHT?! "We will attain new levels of spirituality and place our lives in closer harmony with Jesus the Christ based on how fully faith, hope, and charity become integral components of our lives."
I love you all so incredibly much and hope your week is WONDERFUL! Please share your testimony with one person this week:)