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 Viña 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 Perú 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