The Voice of the Spirit

August 25, 2015 

Family and Friends,
My heart is full of gratitude for the amazing week we have all shared here in this new Washington Yakima Mission. We had the sacred privilege of meeting with Elder and Sister Packer. As they addressed us, joy and gratitude filled my heart for the wonderful blessing it is to be a missionary. Especially as one of the pioneers of this newly formed mission.  As we greeted Elder Packer, you could feel a strong spirit and power about him. Throughout these past couple of days, my testimony has increased in regards to the importance of Priesthood Keys. 
Although I could talk for several days in regards to what Elder Packer talked to us about, I will highlight one of the most prominent truths he shared with us. He talked about the importance of always being in tune with the spirit and how to create a spiritual environment with our investigators. I learned that the Holy Ghost plays a key role in the conversion of our brothers and sisters. "If ye have not the spirit, ye shall not teach." Our job as missionaries is to help them make contact with the Holy Ghost. This can be done by teaching simply, personal worthiness, etc. However, I learned that a continual positive attitude is essential to allow others to feel the spirit. Being happy is a choice and there is so much meaning and power behind a simple smile. The gospel makes us smile, so why not allow others to share that same smile? When we share the gospel, we must realize that we often times over complicate it! If we are a light to those around us and they recognize the light, change will occur. Show forth love, be a worthy you, and allow them to recognize the love God has for them. SO SIMPLE YET SO EFFECTIVE. The voice of the spirit is one of love and comfort. 
The rest of last week was wonderful as well. We have been incredibly busy running around on exchanges and enjoying the mission culture and lifestyle. LIFE IS JUST SUCH A BLESSING! I feel so grateful for everything Heavenly Father has blessed me with. 
Please pray for everyone affected by the fires up here in Washington. We have had to evacuate some missionaries due to the heavy winds and intense fires. PRAY PLEASE!

Well, I hope you also had a joyful week! I love you so incredibly much, you are all wonderful.
Elder Smith

We Lighten the Loads of Others Best By Helping The Lord Strengthen Them

August 17, 2015 

Family and Friends,
It's been a joyful week here in the beautiful states of both Washington and Oregon. We had the wonderful opportunity to go on exchanges with several different zone leaders this week including The Dalles Zone which is located in Oregon. It's hard to believe that my father and I were both in the same state at the same time. A quick side note for my father to say thank you for the service you have rendered these past couple of weeks, you are my hero. As I pondered and thought about the several role-models I have in my life, I realized the magnitude and importance of learning from others. We all have a remarkable opportunity to, in a sense, mooch off other peoples talents. We are all given certain abilities and talents and if we "bury them" others will be hindered.  D&C 60:2 reads, "But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them." We must multiply our talents to the fullest potential. 
The greatest way to share our talents is to share what the Lord has already blessed us with, the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. A knowledge that the gospel is true is the most incredible "talent" the Lord has ever given to us. It opens the windows of heaven and permits a higher power to lead and direct our lives. We must share this talent and as we do so, The Lord will strengthen them. By directing them towards our Savior He will make a lasting influence on their lives which was conditional upon your decision to share your talent. "If you labor all your days and bring one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy," D&C 18:15.
We are excited and anxious for the arrival of Elder Packer next week! It will be a memorable and revelatory experience. 
Our investigators are still doing wonderful and are growing a stronger and stronger testimony every time we visit with them. Ray is getting baptized on the 29th and keeps talking about how much this will change the course of his life. Please pray for Ray and Rocky that they may press forward with faith and continue to have sincere desires.
I love you all so incredibly much and am appreciative of all the many talents you have shared with me throughout the course of my life. I hope your week is wonderful and that you do something special for somebody else.

Love Always,
Elder Smith

Reach Out With Love

August 10, 2015 

Family and Friends,
To start the week off, we were extremely busy planning training's and traveling around the mission. After all the training's were done, we made our way back to Yakima just in time to start preparing for this month's MLC (Mission Leadership Council). After several late nights and much scrambling to help put together this meeting, we were grateful to have an MLC which was directed by the spirit in all aspects. At every MLC, we have the sacred opportunity to help set the baptismal goal as a council for the current and upcoming month. As we all pondered together, we discussed together for about 45 mins in regards to the goal for August. After much prayer, we came to the conclusion that if we press forward with faith and act in all diligence, each companionship in the mission can be blessed with one baptism. Therefore, we set the goal as 57 baptisms. Words can't explain the incredible power of the spirit to direct and guide our conversation at MLC this month. We asked ourselves, how are we going accomplish this goal and how can we all be committed? We came to the conclusion that through dedication and prayers of faith, we can do all things. We agreed that at 7amevery morning, we as the Washington Yakima Missionaries will kneel in prayer to call down the powers of heaven to bless each and every person by name who currently has a baptismal date. We are incredibly excited. 
When Friday night came, we were committed to inviting everyone to baptism for the month of August, but we hadn't had a single second in our area. Let's pray, we decided. The next morning, we received a text from some other missionaries close by that said they had someone for us to teach. We met with the gentleman the following day and taught The Plan of Salvation. Come to find out, Ray has a desire to be baptized this month and knows the Book of Mormon is the word of God. His exact words were, "So my friend is also Mormon and lives in Oregon, what time is my baptism on August 29th? I'm just really excited and want him to come." My jaw dropped and my eyes opened wide due to an added measure of excitement. That was miracle number one. The second miracle is that we had the privilege to meet a girl named Anna. Anna has met with missionaries in the past and has a sudden urge to be baptized. She's been listening to Thomas S. Monson, knows Joseph Smith was a Prophet etc. She now has a baptismal date for September 12th. We can't take any credit for the miracles which our Heavenly Father has blessed us with this past week. Our prayers were answered. I love this gospel and I love my mission.

Love all of you to death,
Elder Smith

With Christ, We Cannot Fail

August 3, 2015

Family and Friends,
What a wonderful time of year it is too relax and breathe in the fresh air. Our week here in the beautiful Yakima, Washington was incredible. We've been blessed to meet so many new people and watch the Lord do the work as we merely sit back and are instruments in His hands. I was reflecting this week on the power of missionary work. At one point I asked myself, why is this so exciting, but at times so tiresome? At last I came to the conclusion that this isn't all fun and games because it was never easier for someone much greater than I. I'm not the first one to ask that question because our Savior endured much more difficulties than we can ever imagine.  The Savior's righteous example of persevering through the good and the bad has given me a boost when I feel stressed or out of energy.
Elder Archibald and I are still getting along wonderfully. Every week with a companion, you come to realize more and more how kind hearted and wonderful they are! I love Elder Archibald and I'm grateful for the several memories we have shared with one another.
This week brings three different training's and a lot of exchanges around the mission. Probably one of my favorite parts about being an Assistant is the ability to go on exchanges with all of the zone leaders across the mission. There is just so much to learn from others and feel of the special spirit they have to provide! 
This past week we had the sacred privilege of seeing President and Sister Ware at the airport. President Ware gave me advice I will never forget. Sister Ware and I busted out in tears and we were all just an emotional wreck. I told them we would always be great friends and that we have to stay in contact!
I hope you all have a wonderful week. I love you very much.

Love Always,
Elder Smith


July 31, 2015 

Family and Friends,
What an incredible week. I can hardly keep my eyes open or shout for joy because the transfer week has come to a close. Emotions, craziness, and happiness have all been experienced this week in our companionship. We have absolutely felt blessed from the Lord that everything ran smoothly and all the missionaries are in the right locations. We also got a TI-WI in our car this past week which makes sure we don't go over the speed limit. (It would've been great if we got in one week later). 
Transfer week goes as follows.
1. Departing Missionaries come to mission home.
2. We drop off missionaries at airport to go home.
3. We pick up the new missionaries at a different airport.
4. A ton of training's with new missionaries.
5. We have to get rides and all missionaries in their areas safely.
That's a brief rundown with A LOT of linguistic details in-between.
In one month, we have 145 Engine Hours on our truck. That's A LOT! 
We also got exciting news that Elder Packer of the 70 will be coming to our mission this month. WOOOPEEE! We are looking forward to that. Well I have so many other things to tell you, but I have to run. 
I know this church is true. I have a firm testimony that the Lord knows the details of our lives. May we come unto Him with humble hearts. 

I love you and love this gospel.
Elder Smith 

We Lighten the Loads of Others Best by Helping the Lord Strengthen Them

July 20, 2015 

Family and Friends,
I am going to have to apologize for the short letter, but I wanted to give you a quick update on our week. The Lord is blessing us immensely and we are feeling his presence in our every day missionary work. We were led to three different investigators this week that now have a baptismal date. It's been amazing to witness these miracles come to pass in our brother's and sister's lives. I love being a missionary, I love representing our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I love giving service.
"The best kind of service is recognized by God alone." We had the privilege of teaching Gospel principles class this past week and I learned about the principle of service and it's relation to charity. Even the smallest act of service can make the biggest difference in someone else's life. So every day, choose to smile because happiness is a choice. Every day we must be praying for guidance to give selfless service and do it with a positive attitude and pure motives. I love being a missionary.

Elder Smith

Christlike Love

July 13, 2015 

Family and Friends,
It's been quite a beautiful week here in Washington. The fields are green, the sky is clear, and the sun is shining brightly. I hope your week was wonderful and full of joyful experiences. Summer is a great time to create memories and spend time with loved ones.
Our week consisted of lots of traveling, exchanges, and organizing things for transfers coming up in a couple of weeks. It's been a really fun process because we have the opportunity to organize how transfers will work for a new mission. We are always running around and doing something different every day which I love. This has been a little change of routine because we never know what's going to happen next. Elder Archibald and I have come very close due to all the time we've spent together in the car and in the office. This upcoming week, we are hoping and praying we will have more time in our area to proselyte. The Yakima 3rd ward is incredible and the members are fired up about missionary work! Last week, the Lord led us to a family of 10. Eight children and the two parents. "I would absolutely love you to come back," they said.  This was one of those moments where you as companions look at each other and think to yourself, "the church is so true." Please keep them in your prayers cause they would make rock star members of the church. 
What has the Lord taught me this week through studies and experiences? I've learned that our spirits can be healed when we show Christlike love towards our fellow man. "A candle that lights another candle loses no light itself." Essentially, we are edifying ourselves as we edify those around us. Now, I realized that it's important to understand that we're not showing charity to receive self-recognition. If we do that, pride comes in and we are serving in vain. Having a pure heart, pure motives, and pure desires are a necessity when rendering service. I'm eternally grateful for a loving Savior who continues to provide selfless service and love to us. 
Hope you all have a great week!

Love Always,
Elder Smith