Saturday, May 28, 2016

A TALE OF TWO CITIES, NO, JUST ONE CITY...PUCALLPA

So this week we went to Pucallpa.  I got to go to my old house in Pucallpa.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Some really good memories of that house and that area.  I went out to work with Elder Alvarez during the week because his companion was really sick and had to come to Iquitos to get to a better clinic. anyways it was really cool to get to know Elder Alvarez.  Hes very young.  he only got to the mission about 3 months ago.  He told me about his experience trying to get out on his mission.  The week before his reporting date his dad got super sick and no one could take care of him.  Elder Alvarez was going to stay home but then at the last minute one of his aunts said that she would take care of him until he got better.  He was so grateful for his Aunt. This last week Elder Alvarez got the news that his dad had finally recovered.  he had tuburculosis i think.  Elder Alvarez was super stoked.  It helped me realize that all the missionaries have stories.  That theres always something behind whats going on with the missionaries.  Its hard but the Lord is teaching me and giving the opportunity to see the missionaries as He does.  I really love the opportunity that the Lord has given me here in my mission.  Hopefully ill be able to take full advantage of it and grow and learn what He wants me to learn.  Hope all is well back home.
un abrazo
Elder Smith

Saturday, May 21, 2016

SHE NAMED HER LITTLE BOY "SMITH"

These last two weeks have been loaded.  Weve been in Moyobamba, Rioja, NUEVA CAJAMARCA, Tarapoto and Yurimaguas.  in nueva cajamarca i got to see my pensionista.  She was pregnant with twins while I was there, but now they are born and already are like 5 months old.  Ones a boy and ones a girl.  And guess what she named the boy: SMITH! haha she was super stoked to tell me.  anyways weve been traveling to train all the leaders in the mission and inspect everyones houses.  Right now i am writing from a city called Nauta.  its like 2 hours from Iquitos in car. The work is progressing so fast here.  Today we`re going to go out with the two companionships that live here. its going to be rad.  As for the work in our area its been a little dificult but things are going super well.  The Lord just makes up for what we cant do.  Its amazing.  A guy named Carlos called us the other day and we totally thought it was a drunk guy but my comp decided to turn around and talk to him.  He had met missionaries about 10 years ago and wanted to join the church but the missiories traveled or something so they lost contact.  But he is super stoked and loves the book of mormon.  well see how things go with him in church tomoro.  Romer and Olivia are the bomb.  Olivia just found out she has a malignant tumor in her uterus.  Romer is worried but shes just an absolute rock.  The ward is also helping a ton to get hermana olivia healthy and help the family get married and baptized.  We are praying alot for her.  All will work out.  We are also teaching a young adult named Mauricio.  Hes one of few here in iquitos who doubts the existence of God.  Hes very inteligent and is studying in college.  He tries to explain all things scientifically.  Its pretty cool but we finally got to his doubt last night.  He was a little flustered and blurted out.  "if God exists why doesnt he just come down here and show everybody"  He says he really does desire to believe but just cant bring himself to do it.  Then he said if God were to come he would run straight to us and get baptized right away.  Haha were really excited to teach Mauricio about the Plan of Salvation.  Wulp im out of time.  Peru is the best.  The church is true.
Much love 
Elder Smith

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A PROFOUND IMPACT

ok so things are going well.  about three weeks ago i got transfered from punchana and now im back in the heart of iquitos.  My ward is the ward Casta├▒as... it borders the 28 de Julio ward that i was in about a year ago.  its been really cool to see a bunch of people. i saw Victor, a convert from 28 de julio ward, today in the mornng.  he was wearing the byu hat i gave him and he has now baptized 4 other people into the church with him.  he is a stud!  So ya my new companions name is elder Yauney.  he broke the streak because hes another gringo.  But he lives real close by back home.  Hes from Fullerton and went to Troy highschool.  Hes a monster.  An absolute rock in the gospel.  we live with 2 other missionaries.  Elder Higbee from arizona and elder Varner from las vegas.  We have a washing machine in our house so we have to do our own laundry.  its really hard... also we cook our own breakfast.  also hard... i will be acepting anysort of breakfast foods in packages from here on out. (thats a joke)  But ya life is good.  We are teaching a family whose kids were all baptized about a year ago by their mothers consent but the dad doesnt want anything.  Everyone told us theres no use but we went i found him one day sitting outside.  All we did was answer his questions about the book of mormon and read moronis promise.  he commited to read and pray.  we came back another day and told us he had a dream and knew the book of mormon is true.  I think ive written about this question i have before but it always astounds me how the Lord answers some people so quickly and others take time and a whole lot more effort.  Now this answer does not mean Romer has got it and can now just stop searching and be baptized and all is well.  But it has had a profound impact on him and has boosted his desire to read and obtain a real testimony by the power of the Holy Ghost.  It will be a joy to work more with him.  i wanted to leave a little thought about the training i gave this last week.  I talked about the word RECONOCER- recognize.  i showed a youtube video called "the awareness test" which says at the end "its easy to miss what you are not looking for"  We read a few scriptures in Proverbs 3:5-6,  Alma 26:12, and 1 cor 3:6-7.  i tried to explain the difference between recognize and acknowledge to the missionaries which was difficult considering that both words mean reconocer in spanish.  But we talked about acknowledging the Lords hand in every day of our work.  I commited the missionaries to take time to reflect and write in their journals every night.  As we do so the spirit will REMIND us of the ways he helped or touched our labor that day.  As i reflect each night i recognize things that i didnt recognize during the day and i feel my faith and gratitud grow for the Lords unceasing help in this glorious work.  I love this work and love Him who makes it all possible.
con mucho amor
Elder Smith