Monday, March 28, 2016

Really Cool Spiritual Experiences

This week I had some really cool spiritual experiences.

On Friday we were walking in a part of our area called Confraternidad (yep that's ''With Brotherhood'' and we found a little development I'd never seen called Los Piños de Mi Perú (not a single pine tree in sight though haha). Anyways, we had a reference for that area so we knocked on this one door to ask for directions, and to ask if we could teach them too. They said no, another day please.

So we were on our way to find this reference, but they didn't answer the door. Neither did their neighbors. I had this feeling that we should go back to the first house in Los Piños to ask one more time if we could talk more with them. I wasn't sure how they would react, but we went back. The same woman came to the door and said, let me check with my husband. A few minutes later they let us in. Turns out, they're a menos activo family! The husband used to be the bishop of a ward in Southern Perú, but when they moved they decided to inactivar.

After we taught a little about the Book of Mormon, they felt the Spirit so strong. The wife said that she'd been thinking about how to help her family, and we just happened to come to the door. And when they were a little stubborn to let us in, we came back, and she knew what her family was missing. That really strengthened  my testimony of listening to the Holy Ghost.

Also this week we found a young couple who are convivientes, but the woman is a member! She hadn't been to church in a while, but her pareja was interested in listening to us. They live in very humble circumstances, but we taught them about the Restoration in their little apartment, and the man just told us directly at the end, ''I feel like I've received the answer to my questions about religion I've had for so many years. Thank You.'' So we got to the part to set a goal for them to get married, and normally convivientes I've met don't feel like marriage is important, so I was preparing for the worst. I asked them what's keeping them from starting papers, and they said, you know what, this week we're going to go to the offices and start our papers.

I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. His Atonement is real. The love He has for us is so great that words cannot describe it, only the power of the Holy Ghost can testify it.

Thanks for all your love and support.

Love you guys.

Monday, March 21, 2016

21 marzo - Hermano Jose!

Bautizamos Hno. Jose el sabado pasado.
Alli está mi nuevo compañero Elder Cadima también,
y mi líder de distrito, Elder Johnson con varios miembros de la rama.

It's been another great week in Mi Perú! It's not quite as hot anymore, but we're still in the summertime.

This last Saturday we baptized Hno. Jose! He's really excited to have finally made this covenant with Heavenly Father. It was a really nice baptismal service. I got to baptize him too! I think I need to work on my form so the person I'm baptizing doesn't feel like I'm trying to drown them.

This last Thursday we had a multi-zone training meeting with our mission president, and I learned a lot of things, one of them being how we can recognize if our lessons are being adjusted to each person we teach. I'm hoping to teach the Vilca family again this week and focus more with this principle of teaching according to their needs.

At church on Sunday the husband of our pensionista, who is a converso reciente from the elders here about 8 months ago, gave his first talk in sacrament meeting. It was super good! I felt the Spirit really strongly seeing him bear his testimony about how the gospel has just made him so much happier in his life.

In Ether 12 it talks a lot about faith, which is really important, and is the first principle taught in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that with faith in Jesus Christ, we can gain a greater testimony of Him and His Gospel. Estoy tan agradecido por estar aquí en la misión. Estoy aprendiendo como trabajar con el Espíritu Santo mejor cada semana. Y mas de todo, estoy sumamente agradecido por la Expiación de Jesucristo. A través de ella, podemos estar completamente perdonado, y este tiempo del año con Pascua es un momento perfecto para pensar mas en la influencia de Él en nuestras vidas.

Have a great week! Love you all.

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mission Conference, Thoughts on the Book of Mormon

I really appreciate your support and prayers. These last few months I've learned so much, it's like I've finally opened my eyes to read what the scriptures are telling me. And yet so much of my mission is left, it makes me excited to keep moving on and learning more! I'm so excited for general conference in a few weeks.

Wow the time really is going by fast here! It's still pretty hot here too. I think the strongest heat is over but it's not supposed to start cooling off until April or even May. I laugh a little when I remember that I brought my big poofy Columbia coat.

We had a visit from Elder Robbins, from the presidency of the Seventy I'm pretty sure, this last Thursday, so we all got up super early to go to La Molina, where the CCM (Lima MTC) is. The capilla next door is grandazo! One of the coolest things ever was hear the piano way up front start playing the introduction to the opening hymn and all of a sudden 500 elders start singing. I was a little startled but I felt the Spirit so strong. That's somethings I've noticed on my mission; I really feel the Spirit when I listen or sing hymns. But Elder Robbins spoke about the importance of obedience, and why we should be obedient. I got to see my old companion too which was nice.

I've been reading in Ether this week, and I was thinking for a little while about why we have the book of Ether. Because up to this point, the whole Book of Mormon is chronological right? Why jump back to talk about the Jaredites? I haven't quite figured that out yet, but I've found a lot of good verses that I like. Maybe that's why Moroni included it...

Anyways in Ether 4:12 I thought it was really interesting when it talks about accepting the words of Christ
12 And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.
It made me think, the Book of Mormon is the word of Christ, so if people won't believe that, how are they going to believe Christ Himself when He comes? As I thought about that, it brought a new light to my calling, that I need to help people to receive the Book of Mormon so that they can accept and come unto Christ.

Love you guys, hope you have a great week!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, March 7, 2016

Working Hard with Member Power

Elder Chavez and I with our pensionista's family 
the day before transfers

It's been another great week in Mi Perú. My companion and I have been working hard with our investigators that were going to get baptized this last Saturday, but there's a point when we as missionaries have done all we can to help them and they need to make decisions and set goals, so they will have their interviews this week and we're praying for their baptism this Saturday!

Something I've been learning as a missionary is the power of lessons with members. Even better is when we can leave with a member for a couple hours and meet some of the old investigators, less actives, and friends that they know that we would have likely never found. The simple and powerful testimonies that they have too are always perfect for the investigators.

This week I've also been focusing on writing in my journal each night. It's a little hard, but it really helps me reflect on my day and recognize the blessings and influence of the Spirit that I had.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity each Sunday to partake of the Sacrament. It's such a powerful moment for me to reflect on the loving sacrifice Jesus Christ made specifically for me, and it's also really hard to describe these feelings in words.

Love you all! Have a great week

Elder Evan Smith