Monday, August 29, 2016

New Companion in Paramonga

This week we had transfers. I am still in Paramonga but my new companion is Elder Castro, from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He is awesome. It has been a great week for us. We had several great lessons that brought our investigators to progress.

We have been working with an older couple, Luis y Maria Huerta. They had been progressing to get baptized this Saturday, September 3, and in our lesson last Saturday night my companion said, "now just so you guys know, because we are in the last week before your baptism, you're going to feel more temptations and trials to try to hold you back". They were all good to go...until Sunday when Maria didn't show up to church. Turns out late Saturday night her brother called her asking a favor to help him plant sweet potatoes out in his farm and feed the pigs. Apparently, he only has time on Sundays, and normally helps them out so she felt obligated to go. Regardless, they aren't going to get baptized this week and we are looking forward to next week.

Testifico que el Presidente Thomas S Monson es el Profeta viviente que dirige esta iglesia. Yo sé que el Libro de Mormón es la palabra que Dios y que, igual que dijo el Profeta José Smith, que un hombre se acercaría mas a Dios al seguir sus preceptos que los de cualquier otro libro. Sé que Jesucristo vive y es nuestro Salvador. Amo a Él y me esfuerzo cada día seguirle más.

Les amo a cada uno bastante.

I am working on my plan that Sister Smith sent. I have a big list of the things I have to do as a missionary, but I'm still working on my spiritual goals.

For my birthday, I got myself a quad set of Spanish scriptures - new for here in Perú 😎.

Elder Evan Smith

New scriptures in Spanish for my birthday

Monday, August 22, 2016

Cambios, Working in Another Area

Well today is cambios, but I still don't know who will be my new companion. Elder Estrada finished his mission this week. Everything is going great though! This week I have been in a different area the majority of the time with another elder whose companion went home too. We've been working pretty hard this week and we've had a few miracles in this area being able to find new investigators and set baptismal dates with them, and when I was in my area for the weekend, it was a miracle that we could have our investigators come to church that hadn't been able to attend for the last couple weeks due to an injury, and having not been able to teach them much this week.

This morning I was reading in the Book of Mormon in Alma 13:8-9. I really like this scripture:
Now they were ordained after this manner—being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the high priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and high priesthood, is without beginning or end—Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen.
I felt like this applied to me, that my calling, ordination, and priesthood is holy too. That I really am an elder forever, because it comes after the order of the Son. I feel more responsability, but I feel peace from the Spirit too. I testify of the power of the priesthood, that it is real, and that it comes from the Lord. I testify of the principles of faith, that we need to live the principles of the Gospel in all times and in all places and trust that God will take care of us too.

I love you all a ton!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, August 15, 2016

Peruvian Birthday Celebration, BBQ "Service" Project

It was a Happy Birthday indeed!

It has been an awesome week. I got some sweet new ties for my birthday, ate german pancakes, peach cobbler (microwave edition), and had a surprise party in the church in the evening. Boy what a surprise. I walked into a room with a blindfold and left covered in eggs and flour and glitter. But my companion reassures me this is how peruanos celebrate birthdays and the ward really does love me.

We also did the funnest service project ever for a family of investigators. They sell barbeque food at the market and they had a huge order to fill and asked us to help, so I helped prep the spicy sauce and grill the chicken and pork. The nice thing is that when you do service helping at a barbeque, you get free barbeque too.

My companion and I also decided to start English classes in the church on saturdays, and the first week wasnt so good attendance wise, but last week we had a decent turnout and I taught how to pray in English, and we learned how to sing "Jesus Said Love Everyone".

I am really enjoying my mission and I love serving others. I testify that this is the true gospel, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. It is by His Atonement we can be saved.

I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Evan Smith

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Interviews with Mission President

Monday we had to go Huacho for interviews with president, and my companion and I went to the doctor to get our ingrown toenails taken care of, and after a nightmare of waiting and misunderstandings, turned out that the doctor wasn't in. So we went yesterday and didn't get back until late. It our P-day because of travel to get to interview, but I got some new sweet ties and found a decent hamburger joint in the mall in Barranca. A nice change from arroz con pollo, but I felt like it was missing something...the arroz con pollo!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Finding a new family

Here's a photo of us when we played fútbol today on
the grass field! (a rare find in the deserty coast of Perú)

Wow, here is August.

This last week, we had a pretty cool experience. We have been giving away the youth messages that come in the Liahona magazines that are collected up in our room, like the full page ad style messages with a quote and image or something, and using that as a way to contact people and teach them.

We were in a part called Atusparia looking for where one of our street contacts lived to give them one of these messages, and we asked for directions from this one nice family that was sitting outside on the porch peeling, separating, or whatever you do to prepare green onions. They were super nice, and sent one of their family members to guide us to the right house. Turned out that the person was busy, so after we set an appointment we turned away to move on when I stopped a moment.

During this time that we were talking briefly with this family and walking away, I felt like we should contact them and give them one of these messages. We were a little far away from them, and I thought it might be awkward to reappear in their porch having just been guided away from there, but I thought, what the heck, if we end up teaching them it's worth it. They were really interested in the message that was about the family, and I gave them a Family Proclamation too. We talked a little more and they let us share the message of the Restoration and they accepted a baptismal date.

I testify that this is the Lord's work and that it is super important to follow the Spirit's promptings the FIRST time we receive them. I love you all. Hope you have a great week.