Monday, June 27, 2016

Learning, following the Spirit

Toshi was baptized on June 18

This week has been full of great learning opportunities. We had our last multi-zone meeting with our president and he talked to us about applying the principles of our mission in our life. It brought to my attention the importance of eternal families, but more than anything the importance of following the counsel we receive from the Prophet and Apostles.

We have been teaching an investigator that is hard of hearing, and it's helped me to really narrow down all the things I could say to the simple truths of the gospel. He doesn't hear very much, and it's even harder because I'm a gringo, so I've found the trick is to have something to write on and have him read important principles. It's amazing to see the influence the Spirit has on people even if they may not understand every word I say.

We've also been able to learn how to break out of old habits. Sometimes we just get into a routine of doing things, going places, even teaching, but the Lord's work has to be done in His way, by His Spirit. I have found good counsel in Preach my Gospel and the Scriptures.

I'm sad to hear about Brother Fifita. I remember when he was my Sunday School teacher when I was 12 years old. This week I have been studying faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the talk from this past general conference just came to my mind from the Sunday session about when it comes down to the moments of trial, do we really believe in the principles of the gospel?

I testify that the Savior lives and He loves us. I am honored to be His representative. I strive to be more like Him every day.

I love you all very much. Have a great week!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Great week in Paramonga

It has been a great week in Paramonga. This week we were contacting and found a man who had a pamphlet already of the Restoration and wanted to figure out how to buy a Book of Mormon. He could not believe his ears when we offered the book for free. He belongs to the church "Dios es Amor" but told us he hasn't been attending because he doesn't have enough money to pay his "tithing" that they require to be a faithful member. We were glad to have found him to share the restored gospel.

Today for P-day we visited la Fortaleza de Paramonga. It is an ancient fort that the Incas used way back in the 9th century. It was awesome. I am trying to send photos.

I love you guys a lot! I hope everything keeps going well. Hope you had a great weekend Dad! All of Paramonga certainly celebrated Fathers Day.

Love you

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, June 13, 2016

Tri-Mission Conference with Elder Rasband

This week we will start to have multi-zone conferences with President Archibald, and this will be the last time we get to see him. Our new mission president comes at the end of June.

I can't believe the school year is already ending! A year ago I was probably going through graduation practices and things like that. Time really does fly.

Going to Lima [for our tri-mission conference] was crazy. We had to leave at 1 in the morning to get there at about 5am. I think they were planning so early so that we'd get there if there was traffic but it was fast. It was awesome! It is such a powerfully spiritual experience when we all sing together. It's interesting because when the person conducting begins it sort of feels like any other Sunday meeting, but when the music starts I could literally feel in my chest the power of all the missionaries in the room.

Elder Rasband visited us, and it was the most spiritual experience I've had in a long time. Before he started, he shook everyone's hand. Just so you understand, there was the Lima North, Lima Central, and Lima West missions there. More than 600 missionaries! He then told us how he had shaken Pres. Monson's hand the week before, and so we were just one handshake away from the prophet.

Elder Rasband talked about our divine call as missionaries, and shared how as an Apostle he gets to assign missionaries regularly. The other week he assigned some 120 mission calls and he said that those were the ones that would be received and opened just last week. He also spoke about how we can listen to the Spirit better and act on our impressions.

Yo testifico con certeza que soy llamado a servir aquí en la Misión Perú Lima Oeste porque el Señor me ha llamado aquí. Yo sé que Thomas S. Monson es el profeta viviente del Señor y que es un gran bendición que puedo compartir y apresurar Su obra en estas días. Les amo con todo mi corazón. ¡Tengan una buena semana!

Monday, June 6, 2016

New Companion, Guinea Pig for Lunch!

A street here in Paramonga

This week has been great! I have a new companion, Elder Estrada, that is from Piura, Perú. He is really funny and a really hard worker. There have been quite a few cambios this last week, mostly so that the leaders aren't all about to end their mission when our new mission president comes.

Yesterday was the big voting day, well it was segunda vuelta, because the vote in April was really close. So there was a ton of people in the streets and it was great for contacting families!

We have an investigator that's a lawyer, Carlos, and he's the best. He likes to read and just from reading the introduction has a bunch of really good questions about Joseph Smith. When we helped him understand the Restoration, he was so amazed that he was a prophet of God and did so many miracles. He said he wants to go to the municipio and change his name to José Smith!

This week I was studying from 2 Nephi 30 y 31 and I really liked how Nefi starts out by saying that he speaks plainly, and that his soul delights in the plainness of the doctrine of Christ. This reconfirmed to me that our unique message of the Restoration really is simple and true, and that the Spirit is who carries it to the hearts of the people.

On the lighter side, if you leave your guinea pig out, I may get to it first. We had guinea pig for lunch yesterday. It's a little more rubbery than chicken, but tasty all the same.

What's this, you say?