Monday, July 17, 2017

An Amazing Discussion

My new flag for Peru's Independence Day (Jul 28)

On Sunday we had a really good spiritual experience. A recently moved-in member that's a returned missionary said he'd accompany us after church to our appointments. I was anxious to teach with the member because he told us it'd been a long time since he'd taught with the missionaries. I was confident we would be able to teach a lesson together but still I was a little anxious. We contacted, looked for our appointments, and finally entered a house of new investigators.

It went amazing. We got to know the investigators and their needs, asked inspired questions, the member (who used to be super catholic) gave a perfect testimony for the super catholic investigators, etc. They accepted us to come back and they're going to come to church next week, and they accepted a baptismal invitation. I felt really good. I realize that this really is the Lord's work. I can't even imagine how else we'd have found these people, entered their house and shared a message of the Restoration, unless this were the Lord's work. This is the kind of experience I never want to forget.

I know that when we dedicate ourselves to do the Lord's will we'll really receive blessings that the Lord wants us to have. I testify that the Lord loves and knows us and wants to bless us all the time.

Love you all! have a great week!!

Elder Evan Smith

my companion and I eating my favorite lunch
with some members (AJI DE GALLINA!!!๐Ÿ‘Œ)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Strange Coincidence

Lasagna with a member family!

This week we had a very fun experience. Yesterday after church we were looking for an investigator's house, and we stopped by a park to get our bearings, when a woman called out to us, "Elders!" It turned out that she had just moved in and wanted us to visit them some time during the week. She said she'd moved from the US, and I asked her which state. She said Washington. Since a lot of Peruvians confuse Washington with Washington DC, I asked if she meant Washington DC. She said, "no, I'm from a little-known place called Seattle". I started freaking out a little. I said I'm from Seattle too, from the Everett stake. She's from our stake! Her family attends the Spanish branch presided by Brother Waite! I asked her what their last name was and she said the Gameros. I thought for a sec and asked if she had any grandchildren my age. She said her grandson had served a mission in Uruguay and recently got married and had a kid, and his name is JOSE JAIME. She showed me pictures on her phone of their family. They all look great! It was such a nice coincidence! Her name is Julia Mejia.

Sister Mejia just moved from the Everett Washington Stake
and attended the Chennault Beach Spanish branch

Anyways, on the more spiritual side, a week and a half ago during our interviews with president, he challenged us to coordinate a lunch appointment with our investigators with a member family so that their church attendance commitment would be stronger. We were trying like crazy to do this with no success. Saturday afternoon, a sister in the ward called us out of the blue asking us to eat lunch with them after church with a friend that she had invited to church. Talk about a miracle!! They actually didn't make it to church but we had a really nice lunch appointment with their friends and were able to have a spiritual experience.

I know that the Church is true and that when we strive to follow our leaders, even when things might not look so promising, the Lord always comes out for us. Thanks for all your love and support. Love you all!! have a great week!

Elder Evan Smith

Our zone

Our district

Monday, July 3, 2017

A Meaningful Member Visit

It's weird how holidays like the 4th of July kind of comes out of nowhere, or at least it seems like it to me. I know it's because it's not important at all to the Peruvians, but I guess just because it's always been a big deal my whole life I feel a little weird, haha. Today I'm doing a work visit with another American elder, so I think we're going to celebrate with hamburgers tonight.

This week has been really good. On Wednesday we had a district meeting. I don't know if I told you I'm the district leader, but the last couple of weeks the district meetings have come out a lot better than before. I've been focusing a lot more on our lesson practices. Our practices are just between us missionaries trading off and improving certain principles at a time. Now it's set up so that we have at least 45 minutes of straight practices. At the end of it all, the missionaries are coming out of the district meetings more excited to work in their areas, so I think it's working. I feel really good having done something unique that was able to bless the lives of others, making them happier and able to go out and bless even more people. I don't feel pride, but just a lot of joy.

Last Thursday we had an interesting experience. We had an appointment with a active-member family. The family is a single woman living with her youth-aged nephews, and they don't have leadership callings in the ward, so they have gone a little under the radar for me in my 5 months in the ward. There are a couple less actives in their family, so that's how we got to know their house and set the appointment. It was interesting that when we taught them they said that we were the first missionaries to visit them in over 5 years! I couldn't believe it! Our area isn't THAT big, and they live in about the middle, but they'd gone by a long time without many visits. They were so happy to have us there with them. We got to know them better and shared a message from the Book of Mormon. We're going to have a stake activity this week, so we invited them to invite their friends and family to go and they were really willing.

This isn't the first time this has happened on my mission, and not in this area either. Something I've learned from these experiences is that there really are people out there that need and want help and will accept us but sometimes they can't make the initiative themselves. For whatever reason, I know that if we are doing everything we can to magnify our callings and reach out to others, members, friends, and strangers alike, we'll find that these people need what we have, and the Lord will bless us to be instruments in His hands.

On Friday we had interviews with President. It was special because before the interviews he did a training meeting with the whole zone which helped me see how I can be more aligned with the revelation in the mission in my area and also help the other missionaries do the same. In my interview I was able to resolve a couple of questions I had and I left feeling really positive and uplifted. Honestly I love my mission president. He helps me out a lot and I really feel his love for us. President and Sister Stauffer remind me a lot of Mom and Dad in that way.

I know that the Gospel is true. I know that life keeps on going and sometimes our trials and difficulties seem like they're not going anywhere, but as I've focused less on myself and more on serving others, and more on how to live the first principles of the gospel, I've felt a lot of relief and hope. I know that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth and guides us in all we do. I'm so grateful for the things (Mom & Dad) taught me my whole life to be able to be worthy and follow the Lord.

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, June 26, 2017

Two Lessons about the Spirit

This week was full of tender mercies. My favorite was last Saturday before lunch. Just to set the scene a little, we were going to have a baptism but in the morning the investigator called to cancel. We went and did everything we could but it didn't happen. My companion and I felt a little down, but we had an appointment with a couple of potential investigators, so we went over there. I had contacted the woman months ago with my old companion Elder Romero. The appointment had fallen through back then, and one day when we were passing by there with Elder Diaz, the moment when we contacted her came back to my mind and we knocked on the door and set an appointment. They turned out to be really impressed with the Church. They have a member-friend that they've always seen their good example and had always wanted to know a little more about the Church. It was a really great lesson.

I learned 2 things from this experience: that the Spirit often works in subtle ways. It's something that I "knew" before but it's really powerful when you actually live it. The other is the importance of being a witness of Christ always, everywhere. You never know who's watching you, but the Lord really can use all of us as tools to help His other children come back to the fold.
"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." Alma 37:6 
I know that this Church is true and that the Lord Jesus Christ lives. I love this gospel! I love being a missionary! I know that if we read the Book of Mormon every day we'll be more spiritually protected. I know that the Pres. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.

I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Father's Day Dad!!! Hope it was a great day. I heard there was a Star Wars themed party. I liked all the pictures you guys sent! You all look happy. It's been a good week for me as well.

This week we had a mission leadership training meeting that was really awesome. Our Mission President has been focusing a lot in these last two weeks on referrals. There's an internet system that we receive referrals that our mission hasn't used very much before that he taught us about and we have been contacting the referrals like crazy. We found a person that has been waiting for the missionaries to come by for over a year. I felt so...impressed. I knew it was a miracle.

I feel like I have progressed a lot during my mission. Not just more mature or experienced, but my own testimony has grown a ton. I have never really understood before the immense importance of daily prayer and scripture study. I also understand more than ever the blessings of the temple and the importance of attending regularly. It's something we don't get to do so much as missionaries, but I think now I understand a little more how some members feel when the closest temple is hours and hours away and hardly can attend.

Thanks Dad for everything you've taught me and the example you always set for me. Love you tons!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Transfers...New Companion!

My last day with Elder Vidal

This week I had some powerful spiritual experiences. On Wednesday, Elder Christenson (Presidency of the Seventy) and Elder Godoy (President of the Area) came to visit our mission. They shared very good talks. One of my favorite points from what Elder Christenson said is how our daily scripture study can have effect in our lives. I understood that while many times we may feel that our study time is filled with goals to read x number of pages of the book of mormon or from preach my gospel, we need to remember that the fundamental principle of personal study is to connect ourselves with heaven and receive divine revelation, and this requires preparation. I hadn't thought of the importance of this before, but I now understand more the need to prepare for my studies.

This week Elder Vidal had transfers. It was sad to see him go, but he's an awesome missionary. My new companion is Elder Diaz! He's from Huaraz, Peru. On Thursday we had some crazy spiritual experiences back to back. We had like 3 appointments that we were going to that I was so certain we would teach, but every single one fell through. We exhausted our plan B's and plan C's, and even our plan d's. I felt a little confused, but a member family popped into my head. We knocked on their door but they weren't home. Then I remembered that their next door neighbors are less actives. The 20 year old son was home watching the Peru soccer game, but oddly he let us in and turned off the game to let us teach ( ๐Ÿ˜ฎ  I thought this guy was crazy, nobody does that here...). We taught a short but powerful lesson. It was cool because he said he'd gone to church a lot as a kid and went to seminary and everything. He ran to pull out his book of mormon that had a book cover and everything was marked. Elder Diaz said something that inspired me as well.
He asked, "Did you have it planned out today that the elders were going to come by to visit you?"
"Well, the Lord did. That's why we're here, because the Lord needs you."

It was awesome. But that's not the end of it. Leaving that lesson, we were going to contact as we made our way to our next plans, and I recognized a family that we'd contacted months ago, that I thought were members less active. Turned out to be that the dad isn't a member yet and he was really excited to let us come back another day. While we were talking to them, a man came up to us and asked where the church was because he's a returned missionary from another part of peru but had just moved to the area. And, his family aren't members either. So we jotted all that information down. Walking another couple blocks there was a young woman in her 20s walking into her apartment that exclaimed from across the street, "Hey are you elders from the Huandoy ward?!" She turned out to be a less active member as well that had moved away years ago but had just moved back last week and also has family members that aren't members.

In short, I truly testify to you guys that the Lord really DOES put prepared people in our path. Sometimes they'll come to us, other times we'll be guided to them. But if we open our mouths we'll find the ones that the Lord is preparing to hear His gospel.

I love the mission so much!

Love you all a ton as well. Have a great week! :D

Elder Smith

The Huaman family, our pensionista (They're the best!)

Two future missionaries in the ward

Monday, June 5, 2017

Being Led to New Investigators

Elder Vidal and I after soccer
Last week we got a referral that we went to look for when our plans had fallen through. Turned out to be a "house" that was just brick walls with no door, and nothing inside. There was a little store a couple houses down with a man sitting down by himself at a table. It was strange because it was a cold night but he was in just a short sleeved shirt. I told myself that there has to be a reason why we're here so we went and talked to him. He was a really nice man who was receptive but was going to travel in a couple days. But he told us that his cousin had recently been operated on and had his leg amputated and would do well to hear our message, and he lived across the street. We went to find his cousin, but not only did we find him, but also his mom, his brother and his sister. They are the Chavarri family. It was a really spiritual lesson. They told us that they'd always wanted to know how they can find the "correct church" among all the different kinds of churches there are in the world. They especially were interested in knowing how the Book of Mormon compares with the Bible and what they can learn from it.

This week we also had another cool experience with a new investigator we found. His name is Enzo. He's a young adult that's studying engineering in the university, and we found him one day walking to our pensionista and he started talking to me in English. It was really fun because he loves practicing and well there aren't many english speakers here. When we taught him he was interested in knowing the difference between catholics and us, and we started explainin the restoration. When we taught about the principle of baptism, it was like it clicked with him that you have to repent before you get baptized, and that's why little children don't need baptism.

During the second lesson with Enzo, we were reading a little with him from the Book of Mormon, and we began to talk about the difficulties there are in the world but how we can overcome them. I said that despite all the challenges we might have, our Heavenly Father is perfect and has a plan for all of us. He asked me then how a perfect Father could create us as imperfect people, and my companion and I got wide eyes and started teaching about the creation, the fall and the atonement. Enzo's questions are honestly so good and it makes us also really reflect on these simple truths. I really felt my testimony strengthen as I taught these lessons. I know that when we strive to have the Spirit with us, it won't just be the investigator that is edified, but all of us will be edified by the Spirit, like D&C 50 says.

I love you all so much, and I hope you have a stellar week!!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, May 29, 2017

Listening to a prompting

Pork. chicken, and guinea pig ready for the cooking barrel!

Last week we made "chancho al cilindro". It's like a homemade oven out of a metal barrel with coals at the bottom. We cooked pork, guinea pig and chicken inside and had a super good lunch afterwards ๐Ÿ˜‹.

Today we ate lunch together as a district
and made brownie banana splits

Back to last Monday, we were visiting our recent convert and her family, and as we were walking out of their house, my companion and I felt we needed to contact everyone we could. It was interesting because there wasn't anyone in the streets. We were on our way to a member's house that we'd had an appointment for.

A man and a woman walking together were approaching us and we contacted them. It turned out that they were on their way home from the pharmacy picking up some medication because his wife had been going through a difficult illness. He said he was a little surprised that we'd stopped him because he was very preoccupied but he felt like what we had to share with him would really help him. They let us into their house that very moment!

It was a really spiritual lesson. My companion and I were able to teach so fluidly and the Spirit was so strong in their home. This was a testimony builder for me that we really do need to follow the spiritual promptings we receive. I honestly felt so happy having been the instrument to let the Lord help these people in a moment of need.

A spiritual thought from what I was studying this week from general conference:
"We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety...
"I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives."
-Pres. Thomas S. Monson
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that it is the word of God. I have learned that as we study and ponder its teachings on a daily basis, We can really be provided with divine help to overcome temptation and doubt. I know that prophets are called of God and we will always be blessed by following their counsel.

I love you all so much!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Quick Note

I got into internet late and the computer crashed, but the truth is I love you all and I know that the church is true. I have photos to send next week but have a great week!

Elder Smith :D

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day Video Call

This week has been excellent. It was really great talking with you guys yesterday. There's not much more to share for now. I was super glad to see all of you yesterday, and I hope you could see/hear me alright.

Last week we had a couple of training meetings with president and he shared a great message I'd like to share with you guys. He shared the story of the Brother of Jared, and focused on the events of building the ships and the when he saw 2 problems, no air and no light. He went to the Lord for the solution, something that he'd always done and likely expected the answers. While the Lord told him what to do for their problem with air, he asked the brother of Jared what he thought would be best to fix the light problem. He then added that He didn't want to hear anything about windows nor fire, because these weren't the ways the Lord wanted them to have light. It may have been the easy response for the brother of Jared to ask for, simply windows and fires, but the Lord wanted him to make a plan, carry it out, and ask Him to help make the final touch so to speak. And it turned out to be a really special spiritual experience for the brother of Jared.

The application to us begins with a self evaluation. How many times do we ask the Lord for a "windows and fires" solution to our problems? How can we work to have our own "16 stones" solution and ask the Lord to "touch" them? As a missionary, I have been trying more to plan more effectively to teach investigators and how we will find more. Not just ask the Lord to help them with their problems, but rather make good lesson plans, use members, and ask the Lord to bless the things we've done so that the investigator can overcome their difficulties.

I know that Jesus Christ lives and is at the head of this church. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that if we read it every day we'll build up a defense that will allow us to be strong against whatever the enemy has prepared for us.

Have a great week guys! Love you all.
Elder Smith
viva  PERรš !!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Another small miracle

On top in Pro District

Today for P-day we went to a mini mountain in "Pro" (a district in Lima in the Los Olivos stake). It was awesome, the first time I've done something like this in a looooonng time :D

This week we had a really cool miracle. Yesterday we left a ward activity and we wanted to go visit a reference we'd received. It was in a part of the area we don't exactly go very often, but as we were walking by a house with a lot of people coming out. Right as we were passing by them 2 of the men said hi to us, one of them saying "Hi elders". I stopped in my tracks and we went and talked to them. Turned out to be a less active family, both parents are returned missionaries and the man's father lives with them and isn't a member. He is the probably one of the most hard-hearted of people because many missionaries have taught him before and he has never committed to do anything, but during the lesson he committed to read the Book of Mormon and go to church with the family this Sunday. That was an awesome miracle that helped me recognize the need to really talk to everyone. In this case, I think the Lord provided a tender mercy to allow us to help a family return to the church as well.

I know that if we do all that we can to follow the Spirit's promptings the first time we'll receive blessings and be sure that we are doing our part as member-missionaries. I love you all!!!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, May 1, 2017

Stake Conference

Lunch with our convert

This week we had stake conference! I'd like to share a part of the message our mission president shared with the stake during conference.

Pres. Stauffer told the conversion story of his dad when he was a teenager. He started coming to church when a young mens counselor worried enough about him to bring him to church, and when he stopped coming months later, the bishop and the priests quorum had their class in his living room to support him. Having gone by many years, he served a mission and was sealed in the temple, as well has his 5 children and many grandchildren. The main takeaway was that really the influence of just one "angel" in the life of someone in need has tremendous effects that often we cannot see nor comprehend in the moment.

As our President invited us, I also invite you all to be an angel in the lives of 1 person this week that perhaps needs a little support or encouragement, and I promise you that they'll really be blessed in a way we can't understand.

Love you tons! Have a stupendous week!

Zone pic at the end of transfers

Monday, April 24, 2017

Following the first impression

This week has been so full of things to do and has flown by so fast! Something I wanted to share with you guys before I go is my testimony of the importance of following the Spirit, and following His impressions the first time.

This week we were looking for less-actives and we passed by a woman just standing outside. We felt like we should contact her and my companion led the contact. Turned out to be a really friendly family that really needs the happy message of the restored gospel. It was really just a small moment of something we did for someone we didn't know during the week, but it had an impact that perhaps we ourselves cannot envision and comprehend.

Love you all. Have a great week!

Monday, April 17, 2017

New Investigator and Baptismal Date

Really cool member family baptizing their 8-year-old

We had a really awesome miracle yesterday. A man in our ward came to us with a reference minutes before sacrament meeting started...his 2 sisters and sister and law came to church. One of his sisters and his sister in law aren't members and the other is less active. They had a great experience in church and we were able to teach his sister that is a non-member in the afternoon. Turns out that she had started going to church in Tacna (a province in Peru about 12 hours away) after going her whole life as the only non-member of her family and has avoided the missionaries at all cost. She surprised her family when she came back to Lima and said she wanted to come to church. Her main interest is the temple and eternal families.

During ward council the bishop had given us an assignment to teach the recent converts about the temple and family history, so I had thrown a couple of the new temple and family pamphlets into my scripture bag an hour before we went to the lesson yesterday. As we were about to start the lesson, part of me was ready to teach the Restoration like we normally teach new investigators, but I thought, this person has probably already heard this, she needs to know more about the temple. So I pulled out the new pamphlet I just happened to have and we tied in principles of the Restoration with a big focus on temples and eternal families. Her brother gave a really strong testimony and she accepted a baptismal date! This was a strong moment for me that showed that the hard work we're doing to discern the investigator's needs is paying off.

The "Prince of Peace" video is awesome. I hope you all have been able to see it. It is a powerful message that helps me remember the simple truths of the Lord's Atonement and how it can bless us individually with peace. I know that He lives.

Happy Easter!๐Ÿฐ

Elder Evan Smith

Elder Diaz and I after a work visit

P-day with the zone after playing basketball and eating
"mostrito" (pollo a la brasa with chaufa and french fries...
all for 9 soles! (like $2.50

Monday, April 10, 2017


Our investigators that got baptized this last week!

Jeremy is the son of a family that recently got reactivated, and his dad is the new young mens president! His older brother baptized him as a practice for his mission he's preparing to serve later this year.

Noemi and Ariana are part of a part-member family and have been waiting to get baptized for a really long time but couldn't due to certain problems. Even though there were a few sudden, last-minute trials, nothing proved stronger than their conviction to follow Christ.

Our district P-day today...we played water balloon volleyball and ate completos - hot dogs with avocado and tomato hehe.

P-day playtime: water-balloon volleyball and
completos (hot dog with avocado and tomato)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Thoughts on General Conference

Elder Vidal and I

I feel like this LDS General Conference was literally personalized just for me. It was really inspiring. I had a couple of personal questions coming into conference that I wanted receive more spiritual enlightment. One of those questions is how can I improve my personal relationship with my Savior?

The strongest answer I received was that I need to keep doing the small and simple things on a daily basis. Even though it may seem a little unrelated at times, or perhaps cumbersome, if I stick to it, and have a great attitude, things will work out! I've had some stressful moments, but I've literally felt the Savior lift me up and help me see the bright future ahead. I know He knows each of you individually and He wants to help you.

When in doubt, keep trying!


p-day with other elders in the zone -!!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Baptism! New Companion

So this week Elder Romero had transfers and went to Puente Piedra. Now I'm training Elder Vidal!! He's from Viรฑa del Mar, Chile. He's awesome. He is really excited to get out and contact and teach and baptize. We had a great week of hard work and baptisms in the district and training meetings.

I just want to share a small message with you guys from 2 Nephi 4.
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
I love this part. I've learned that even Nephi had moments when he felt like he was in the dark, but he had a personal relationship with his Savior, and he was liberated. Even though I have a ways to go to be like Nephi, I know that if I have a personal relationship with my Savior, He can and will lift me up when I ask for His divine help. I know He can do it for you too. I invite you to seek a more personal relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ because it has literally changed my life forever.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
I hope you guys have an awesome week. Enjoy general conference!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Floods and mudslides

Well this week has been crazy.

For the last week in Perรบ there have been "huaicos", basically flash floods and mudslides, in the mountainous parts. Northern Peru is really bad, but east of Lima has also gotten a lot of rain and has sent all the muddy water through the rivers all the way to Lima, on top of unusual rain here in Lima also. Where I'm at, everything is fine! There are no rivers close by. However, this brings an ironic problem. One might think that more rain means more water for us, but that is not correct! While there is more rain, more mud enters the rivers that the water company processes, and while the river is full of mud, they can't process hardly anything. In short, Lima doesn't have much water. Thank goodness the Church teaches us to prepare! The missionaries are all fine, and we all have sufficient water and food, but there is a different feeling on the streets. Everyone is walking around with their buckets in hand, looking for water. The parks are giving out free water instead of using it to water the plants, so that helps a lot of the people. The mission has proportioned us enough mineral water to last us until the millenium so don't worry.

The investigators we are teaching are doing well, the only hard part of the work is finding new investigators in all this movement. There is one family we found that is awesome. We were inviting people to come to our English class, and one of the family members we contacted really wanted to come, and we came back to teach the family, and it's a family of 6! 3 of them came to church on Sunday too which was really cool. We haven't taught them yet because they haven't been at home all together yet, but we're going to keep up with them.

Hope you guys have a great week!!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, March 13, 2017

Multi-zone conference, finding investigators

This week we had multi-zone conference. A big takeaway was that I need to more frequently incorporate my favorite feelings, blessings, scriptures, and experiences about the Restoration and the Atonement in our lessons and tie it into the invitations we extend. I think just over a long time, I have become accustomed to use the same methods and I think that's why I have felt I need to improve something in my teaching skills. We put it in practice in these last few days and have had success.

a street view of the area

In one case, we had a day where everything fell through, until 9:30 at night when a prior street contact let us in. It was a brief lesson, of course, but so effective. We taught the Restoration by focused on testifying of the doctrine of Christ and he accepted a baptismal date! My companion said it almost felt like it was a little too easy. I know it won't always turn out like that, but I know that the Lord is always preparing people, and if we testify and teach with the Spirit, His children will hear His voice and respond.

In another case, we found a part member family in which only the young adult children are members. The mother and 9 year old daughter are not, even though they have been going to church frequently with the member-children. We read together in Alma 42 about the Atonement and, after explaining it, she began to explain the simple testimony she has about the Book of Mormon and what she has learned about repentance. She said she honestly feels very sad for her past sins and wants to repent and get baptized along with her daughter.

The man we found last week, David, who was taught by the missionaries 2 years ago, has been progressing well this week. He came to church this week with his family and we're going to have family home evening with them and another family tomorrow night. He's excited for his baptism because he's literally been waiting for so long.

We've had a lot of miracles this week. I testify that our Heavenly Father really does know us individually, and He will bless us with the opportunity to be instruments in His hands to bring more of His children to salvation. I am so happy to be a missionary and I love every minute of it!

Have a great week!

Elder Evan Smith

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Lord prepares his children for salvation

This week we had an awesome spiritual experience. Last Sunday we received a reference from the mission offices, and during the week we went to find the family without much luck, until Saturday afternoon we set an appointment for Sunday!

When the family let us in, they told us that the missionaries over 2 years ago taught them. They wanted to get baptized but couldn't because they weren't married and there were many paperwork difficulties that made it impossible at the time to get married.

Well, they kept fighting for this and a month ago they got married. However during this time they stopped attending church. The elder that taught them years ago was communicating with them over Facebook and sent us the reference to visit them. The wife is a less active member and the husband has been waiting to get baptized for over 2 years, and he accepted the baptismal date for march 25th.

I testify that the Lord is really on our side, and is always looking out for us. He also is always preparing His children to hear the restored gospel and it is important that we be His instruments to bring more of His children to salvation. I love being a missionary. There is nothing more satisfactory to me than this.

I love you all a million. Have a great week!

Elder Evan Smith

p.s. well this week we also helped the sisters move. and wow was it a LOT of work! but we had a lot of fun