Monday, November 30, 2015

Pics from this week...

My mother in the mission, Hermana Seegmiller,
who goes home next week! :( We had to do the classic handshake
picture because I've never done one before haha! And Elder Morris.
Elder Kiser, and Hermana Santiago

Another Baptism picture :)
Elder Pena, Michael and Me

Michael's Baptism... Holy Cow what a good day!!

The last dinner (Kebab) with the other Elders, Nichole and Stefany

Us cooking our meal after church on Sunday!

Just one more with my Brother because
it was a special night!

Thanksgiving Week

Hi Everyone! 

What a week! There are so many things I wanna talk about, but first, I'd like to start off by saying Happy (late) Thanksgiving! I took some time and wrote down people and things I was grateful for, it's over 6 pages long! Only one more away from home :) Elder Peña cooked some Peruvian food for me which was alright, nothing like my Mom's stuffing though :) okay, here's the week! 

Sunday was Michael's Baptism!! What a perfect day. We got all dressed in our white clothes, took pictures, and then had the program. The coolest part was Michael's Mom, Susan, gave a talk on baptism. She is a less-active member that was baptized in the late 1990's I think. She was very nervous but we all assured her that she could do it. It was so simple and so profound, I know that every single person in that room felt the spirit she brought. She was in tears by the end so I told Michael to stand up and hug her and he did. How awesome! After, we proceeded to the font and then the baptism took place. First try baby :) then we confirmed him and had refreshments. Such a good night for everybody :) I am pretty sure I ended up learning more from teaching Michael then he did from listening to us! 

Monday night we met up with the other Elders, Nichole, and Stefany. We had one final kebab together because Stefany left for her mission to Barcelona on Tuesday! After that, we got invited to Noche de Hogar at President Yubero's house where we had hamburgers and hot dogs too, needless to say I was stuffed with food haha! We bore our testimonies on the power of missionary work and the spirit was very strong again. That's something that I've noticed in my time here, that the spirit is with us when we are testifying to the people! Superrrrrrr cool :) Tuesday we had intercambios and I was with Elder Fletcher! He's a way cool guy from Texas, and we had fun contacting and going to our appointments. We had a lesson with Susan, then after she made us "Sirviche" from Ecuador and it was SO GOOD! It was like this sauce with shrimp and I don't know how to describe it. You pour it over rice and it was the greatest thing I've ever tasted! Ecuadorians know how to cook :) 

Thursday or Thanksgiving, most of our appointments cancelled on us so we spent a lot of time contacting. We had a lesson with Luís, and guess what?! He asked for another blessing!! So we talked yet again about blessings and gave him the final blessing. He loves to meet with us so much and he really is a good guy, so I want to help him but there's a limit. Friday afternoon we went to visit Michael and found him in the park working out and doing parkour!! Haha easily the coolest thing of all time. He's so strong so to watch him do push ups was very entertaining :) then, being myself, I untucked my shirt and started doing them with him! It was so much fun, then we raced to see who was a faster runner and stuff! I felt like a kid again which was much needed to relieve a little stress. Then, more contacting. You can look at it as a chore or a blessing is what I've realized. You get the chance to talk with so many cool people. God has prepared the people, so we just need to find them! 

Saturday and Sunday were more or less the same, the Salamanca Elders had a baptism in Valladolid so we helped them prepare for that and then had English Class. One really cool guy named Angel came and had so many questions about religion and stuff, so the other Elders got his number to teach him. We always see him running in the streets and every time he stops and says "Mister Smith, how's your day?", then gives me a big hug. He invited me to go running with him sometime so I might need to take him up on it :) Sunday was Branch Conference, so basically Ward Conference for all you Utah people. After church, we cooked lunch with the other Elders in their Piso which was a blast! Then later that night, we met up with a lady named Carmen from the Dominican Republic who is a Testigo de Jehovah. She was just trying to destroy us with bible talk and finally, Elder Peña asked her to get her bible. So she left the room, then he looked at me and winked! When she came back in, he asked her to find Matthew 15:28 in her bible, but it was just a blank verse! I finally realized what was going on, Jehovah's Witnesses believe they have the same bible as the Catholics and us, but it's really not the same. So she skipped 28 and went right to 29! Elder Peña showed her up so bad, and she knew it too! When we got out of the house, I just died of laughter and he was laughing pretty good too. He told me "I don't like to do that, but she wouldn't shut up about her bible!" So yeah, it's a little hard to explain through email but it was so funny. My companion is a beast! The wink was definitely what made it all worth it though hahahahaha :) 

This week was awesome. I'm so grateful to be here in Valladolid doing the Lord's work. It was a little slow, but we have faith that we can find more people this week to start teaching! We have transfers this Saturday, so we'll see what happens. More than likely one of us is going to leave the area, so I'll probably have a new companion the next time I write! I'm sad but happy to have a change as well. Elder Peña will always be my father in the mission and I learned a ton from him, but there are other people that I'm excited to learn from as well :) thanks for reading this far, I know I write a lot!! I hope everyone has a wonderful week :) 

Con Amor,  

Elder Brady Craig Smith 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pics for the Week

President Yubero's sons, Benji and
Johussen who I love sooooo much :)

Zona de León after fútbol on Friday :)

My Week :)


Wow what a quick week, we have p-day today because of Zone Conference.
We are in León staying in a Piso with 10 other Elders! It's crazy but
super fun, mostly because Elder Morris is staying with us so it's been
super fun to hang out a little bit. This week has been really awesome,
here are the highlights!

Tuesday, we had intercambios with the Zone Leaders because Michael had
his baptismal interview that night! I was with Elder Muller, he was
born in Argentina but graduated from Pleasant Grove! He has been out
for like 20 months so he is a beast. He replaced my fav, Elder
Galeano, so of course I like him! He had lots of good ideas on things
we can do to set goals for our area and other stuff, I learned so much
from him. We had so much fun contacting and going to our appointments,
he's just legit awesome. Like my big brother that I never had :)

I wanna talk about one experience that we had on Tuesday with
Beatrice. We went into the lesson not really knowing what to talk
about, so we verified that she read Alma 32 from the last time and she
had. She loved it! We talked in particular about verse 21 where it
talks about faith. Then, we shared "Mountains to Climb" with her and
she loved it! She is such a cool lady who wants to stop smoking so bad
but like I said in an earlier email, she smokes about 25 cigarettes
every day. During the video, the whole time I was praying in my mind
and asking Heavenly Father what I could share with her so she could
know what we were talking about was really true. My answer came right
as the video was ending, bare your testimony. I immediately started
crying. I couldn't even speak, the spirit was so strong!! I bore my
testimony about faith. I can't even explain how incredible I felt, and
I know for a fact she felt the spirit testify to her of the
truthfulness of the things we talked about. I thanked her for being a
friend to me and she knows to call me with any problems she ever has.
Holy cow, she's incredible!! As we were leaving, Elder Muller hugged
me for like 5 minutes and said "where did that come from?" Hahaha I
honestly didn't have an answer. It was the most incredible thing, I
love the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost!

Later that night we met with Luís, the guy who asks us for a blessing
every time we are together. It's cool that he realizes that we have
this priesthood to use, but we talked to him about doing his part. The
blessings won't kick in until he starts doing his part, so hopefully
we sparked something inside of him to get things going. He loves to
come to church and stuff, so hopefully we can continue to work with
him and get him re-activated. After Luís, we had Michael's baptismal
interview at President Yubero's house! We all shared our testimonies,
including Michael, and the spirit was so strong. It's been so fun for
me to see the changes in him, he is not the same kid I knew 6 weeks
ago when we started teaching him! He passed his interview so we are
all scheduled to have his baptism Sunday Night!! He asked me to do the
honors, I'm really excited!! Pictures will come this next week :)

The rest of the week was good, we met with Michael to finalize
baptismal stuff and then headed up to León for Zone Conference. We
started by playing soccer for 5 hours which was a blast, but I'm
soooooo sore!! Haha I'm getting old ;) President and Hermana Pack and
the Assistants came down to speak to us and it was incredible! We
learned a lot about how to work with Branch Presidents/Bishops, Ward
Mission Leaders, and members. It's always awesome to hear from
President Pack because he has the greatest things of all time to tell
the missionaries!! The rest of the weekend we have lots of finding
activities planned and Sunday morning, we have District Conference.
It's like Stake Conference but since there isn't a stake here in
Northern Spain, it's a bit different. Also, President Pack presides
here at these conferences and holds the keys since there is no stake
president, so it's really different from Utah. I'm still learning
about how this all works.

Anyways, I want to close by sharing something I found in personal
study this week from Elder Joseph B. Worthlin. He tells a story about
his mother after he lost a football game and she said, "Come what may,
and love it." How awesome! We can't control a lot of things, but we
can control how we react. It's something I'm still trying to learn,
there are a lot of things that seem hard to love! I know as we try to
apply this in our own lives, we will see more blessings and ultimately
be more happy. So, "come what may, and love it." Have a wonderful
week, I will talk to you all really soon!

Oh! Special shout out to my Aunt Molly and Uncle Jed for having twins
this week! I am so excited to meet Holbrook and Russell in just 20
short months :)

Elder Brady Craig Smith




Monday, November 16, 2015

Pics from this week

It gets insanely foggy here every morning and every night,
pictures don't describe it very well but you seriously
can't see more than 10 feet in front of you!

Elder Pena, Nicole (A girl in our branch), and I one night in the street!
Nicole is legit!!

One of the many huge castles here in

Just me emailing with my folks, I love Mondays :)

The Best Week of My Life!!

Hello Family and Friends :)

This was possibly the greatest week of my life. I've never been happier, I'm absolutely loving the mission! The hard days and the awesome days, they all have a purpose and it's shaping me into the missionary and person that I know Heavenly Father wants me to be! The language is coming along nicely as well, living with a Peruvian 24/7 definitely helps :) okay, here's my week!

I forgot to mention this last week, but we got a call from a random guy named Javier who wanted to hear more about our church, so we set up a lesson with him. We taught him all about the Restoration and it was incredible!! The Spirit was so strong, especially the first vision. It was such a cool experience to me because the Spirit testified to me that it was a real event. My testimony also grew about the gift of tongues because I understood every word he said and I spoke without restrictions! My Spanish was perfect for one whole lesson and it gave me so much confidence. SOOOO COOL :):) 

Tuesday was good, we went to a lesson with this one guy who we thought was a non-member but it turned out he was! So like halfway through the lesson, I asked him if he would read and pray about the Book of Mormon to receive his answer if it was the word of God. Haha he was like "oh I already know it is. I've read it a lot." I was like what the heck why haven't we baptized you yet?! Then he told us he was a member and I got a good laugh out of it. He's a little inactive but we got him to come to church with us which was awesome! His name is Luís. Then later than night, like at 11 we got a call that the new Elders were waiting for us in the train station! So we got out of bed, changed out of our PJ's, and sprinted to the train station! They're really cool, one is Elder Tree from Montana and the other is Elder Fletcher from Texas. Elder Tree has 15 months in the mission and Elder Fletcher is fresh out of the MTC!! We are very excited to have them here :) 

Wednesday, we had district meeting which is just Valladolid, so 4 Elders and that's all! It's different than last transfer, but I like it because we are going to save lots of money from bus and train rides to the North! Elder Peña and I decided to fast as well, so after lunch we started. He stood up after and said "I saw something, you and me and someone else in a room." I was like what the heck are you okay?! Haha! But then he said the person was getting ready for baptism!! We both fasted to see the fruits of our labors, particularly for a baptism. Later that day, we went to visit Michael. We read Alma 39 with him, then invited him to ink and pray about a baptismal date for him on the 5th of December! He accepted!!! I've literally never been happier in my life!! I hugged Michael so tight and said I love you brother!! Then we got outside and I screamed sooooo loud hahaha. It was a very good day :) 
Thursday, we had a visit with another investigator named Fernando. He is cool but has a lot of questions about the gospel. He had an accident about 10 years ago that made it so he is in a wheelchair and can't use his legs at all. Anyways, he asked us about a ton of stuff like garments, gay marriage, having clean thoughts, and tithing. He has a cousin that lives in Utah and for some reason his cousin gave him garments and he was wearing them when we went over!! Haha it was the weirdest thing of all time!! So we talked about a ton of stuff, including that you can't wear those garments until you go through the temple! Our lesson was over 4 hours long!! We missed 2 other appointments because of him! Anyways, he came to church on Sunday which was good, and he said he liked it a lot. He just needs to stop wearing the garments!! Oh my goodness it's a weird situation but I kinda laughed about it. Nothing worth writing about happened on Friday :) 

Saturday we had the English class in the morning with a record of 6 people there! It's more fun now because we have more Elders from the states so it's not just one Hermana and I! I shared the spiritual thought which was a quote that mom sent me, "we love others best when we love God most" and the people loved it! So thanks mom :) we had another lesson with Luís (the guy who I thought wasn't a member), then another meeting with a guy named Manuel. He has been a friend of the missionaries for quite some time now and he loves to practice his English with me! So for the first 30 minutes, we talked about Utah in English because he is obsessed with Utah and then we taught him about faith! And I shared "mountains to climb" with him and he loved it! That video is freaking money! Anyways, he wants to come visit me in Utah when I get home so we will see how things go with him. He is Catholic but I think there is a chance that we can change him :) 

Sunday was by far the best day of the week. We got to church and went into the clerk’s office with Michael and the 2nd counselor in the branch. Michael told us he wanted to move his date up for his baptism to this Friday the 20th!!! I wanted to die of happiness!! Literally I've seen this kid change so much. I remember the first time we met him, he couldn't sit still and just loved to beat box. But now, he reads his scriptures every day and told us that he received his answer through prayer! So we will have a baptism this week for him!! The greatest part? During sacrament meeting I was sitting right next to him and he leaned over to me and whispered in my ear... "Will you baptize me?" OF FREAKING COURSE I'LL BAPTIZE YOU!! J It made me feel so good, like all the work I've done has finally paid off. Later that night we swung by his house and did a practice baptismal interview and he passed with flying colors! It's so cool to see people change with the gospel. His small but powerful testimony has changed mine so much more than I could ever imagine! I'm so very excited for him :) 

So overall, this week was amazing. I'm so very happy to be here serving the Lord in Spain! I know I'm in Valladolid for 1 person right now and I did all I could to invite him to come unto our savior, Jesus Christ. It paid off :) Heavenly Father is there and answers our questions, just like he answered Michael's. Don't be afraid to ask him for anything! This church rocks and Spain is the best. Look forward to pictures next week of a baptism :) 

Have a wonderful week, thanks for all the support! I love you all! 
Con Amor,
Elder Brady Craig Smith

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pics from week 12

Elder Morris and I at Zone Conference :)

The bread that Stefan made for us.... Really good!

Elder Pena and I in our matching blue shirts... :)
Thanks to EMILY and his girlfriend on her mission in Paraguay!!

3 Months and 1 Transfer

What's up J

First transfer in the books!! Haha I did it!! It feels good to have it over, and I have good news!! I will be here in Valladolid for at least 1 more transfer, with Elder Peña! This transfer is only 4 weeks long but I'll take whatever I can get with him. He is so awesome, it's going to be so hard to say bye :( okay, so my week. It was soooo good!! I don't have my journal with me but I remember the important stuff!!

Tuesday, we went to Matapozuel to visit Stefan and his familia.  They had this really good bread cooked up for us and drinks which was very thoughtful of them, considering how little they actually have.  We got permission to have Skype with missionaries in Romania so they can understand everything, so right now we are trying to schedule a time with them and it will be great! I'm super excited! Then we taught Mabel the restoration, she's the recent convert that has kinda faded away but we committed her to come to church with us which was a big step for her! Then we went to the Tamayo Familia, which is Michael and Nicole. Michael... That kid loves to do everything that he shouldn't. He wants to be baptized but won't give up his friends, he just loves to do his own thing and it makes his mom soooo sad. They just fight and cry :( please keep them in your prayers, and we will continue our support and lessons with them. 

We ended up meeting with Michael a lot this week which means we get food too, which is always a plus haha. We have lots of good spaghetti, rice, eggs, fish, Spanish tortilla, and paella. So it's really important for me to use my exercise time wisely because we eat a lot of food! :) anyways, another girl in the branch this week got her mission call too to Barcelona which is way cool! It just flooded my mind with memories of the night when I opened my call. Never did I ever imagine that I would experience these things!! But it's super cool. Another funny cool thing was when I called Beatrice to let her know I might be leaving the area (even though it wasn't too likely), she freaked out and said "Oh no, you can't go yet! We have more things to talk about and I'll miss you!" I WANTED TO CRY!! Such a sweet lady. It made my whole transfer worthwhile that I could be a good friend to someone and just listen. Something I discovered this week is that she smokes 25 cigarettes a day :/ I challenged her to cut back and she got down to 14 but then gradually started getting back up again. I'm praying for her like none other!! 

Friday, we went to visit Stefan again because all the little kids in the house are sick because the water is bad. It's a super sad situation. We are re-teaching Stefan the lessons again because he didn't understand totally everything the first time, which is quite normal for a recent convert. After the lesson, Elder Peña and I gave blessings to every single child in the house and a bunch of the adults too. Most were blessings for the sick but a few were just of comfort. I have never felt more of a priesthood responsibility in my life!! Blessing these little sick children one by one as Stefan brought them into the bedroom was such a testimony builder to me. Holy cow the priesthood is real and I felt so honored to help the family. 

We started a new thing where we teach Preach my Gospel classes to young men and women in the ward who are planning to serve missions. So far, we have 3 people that come and it's fun! I always get to bare my testimony about missionary work and other stuff, we have a blast.  And also, the English class is a huge hit! We acquire more people every week! I forgot to mention, the Hermanas in the area both left to Madrid, but we are getting 2 new Elders! One has 15 months and the other is strait out of the MTC so that's gonna be awesome to help him!! We will pick them up from the train station on Wednesday I believe.

I want to challenge/invite everyone reading this email right now to look up the Mormon Message called 'Mountains to Climb'.  It's a little excerpt from a talk by President Eyring.  I haven't felt the Spirit this strong in my life in a long time, and I have watched it over and over.  It's my new "go-to" during a lesson because it's an instant Spirit-inviter.  How wonderful that we have a Heavenly Father that loves us enough to give us trials so we can overcome them and be better.  I never looked at it this way until I saw the video, and it's going to help us appreciate the good times that much more!

I love my Heavenly Father so much, and He loves me more than I can comprehend. This is one thing I have really come to know in my life and in my short 3 months in my mission.  He knows what he wants us to become, and it's up to us to accept His plan and let it change us for the better.  His plan is perfect and I know that to be true with all my heart.  

Have a wonderful week, I love you all!!! I feel so overwhelmed with support every Monday morning when my inbox is flooded :)  it's a very good problem to have!

Con Amor, 
Elder Brady Craig Smith


Monday, November 2, 2015

Pics from Week 11

English Class

Before I opened.......

After I opened

With Beatrice.... She is legit!!!

Hot Chocolate and Churros with Julio:)

Mid hair cut with Elder Galeano :)

The finished product...... Legit!!!

My new favorite graffiti.....
Interpret for yourself but I love it :)

Week 11 !!

Hello Everyone!
Wow time is moving fast! I can't believe it, I'm almost done with my first transfer! It's been different to adjust and what not, but overall I've had a ton of fun getting to new a new area, new people, and new way of life. Here are the highlights of my week :) 

On Wednesday we had District Meeting via Skype with all the other cities in our District which was good. After, we did some pass-byes and stopped in on some less actives in the branch. One of the lady's names is Mabel. She is super cool, a convert to the church but now she is inactive. I feel really sad for her because she has really bad back problems so it keeps her from doing a lot of stuff. Anyways, we had a good chat with her about how she got to meet the missionaries, the Book of Mormon, and then we bore our testimonies. She said if she needed help with anything she would call us so that's good. I think things are getting better with her and hopefully by us reaching out to her, she will want to start coming back to church.

Thursday we visited with Beatrice! Haha I love her, she is so awesome. She shared some really interesting stuff with us this time too. That morning, she woke up and said "I had this realization that my smoking is a terrible sin. I think I'll go to hell for all this." I didn't really know what to say, so I just kept listening to her. She said the first thing she ever remembers smelling was smoke because her parents were smokers. And get this, she told me she remembers smoking when she was 5 years old! She said her dad used to bring home a carton of cigarettes every week and she didn't know what else to do so she just smoked them. I didn't know what to think when she said carton, but how sad that she started at such a young age! She is such a good lady who is very religious and loves the bible and Book of Mormon too, but just can't seem to quit smoking. I picture her lungs look like they're lined with asphalt :( We left her with Alma 32 to read since she complains she has nothing to do and she called me later that night and said what else should I read? She read it super fast so I just gave her more assignments! Haha it was awesome, such an awesome lady. Later in the evening we went to visit the Familia Tamayo. This is Michael's house and his older sister, Nicole, is the one who helps us teach Michael! Long story short, we had a tiny lesson with Michael that went well, then Susan (the mom) fed us and Nicole got her mission call that day too! She is going to Manchester, England speaking English :) I was so happy for her! Now I get to help her with her English while she helps me with my Spanish!! 

Friday we had intercambios. I dropped Elder Peña off at the train station early in the morning then hung out with the branch mission leader, Julio, for 4 hours until I got my new companion for the day. Guess who I was with?! ELDER GALEANO :) my brother! I love him soooo much. Anyways with Julio, he took me to this chocolatería in Downtown Valladolid where I had the greatest thing in my whole life. It was the thickest, richest, warmest hot chocolate I've ever had. When the waitress brought it out I thought it was steaming pudding! And churros to dip in the hot chocolate. Look at the picture attached... My goodness I was in heaven. So when we got Elder Galeano, we went and contacted for a bit and it is incredible to watch him contact people. You would think he knows the people because they stop for him and shake his hand like they're his best friend! It's very cool and I'm going to be like that some day haha. He only has 1 week left before he goes home!! After medio dia, we did a bunch of pass-byes and more contacting until about 8 that night when we met with a girl in the branch named Virginia that lived in Provo for 2 years (she went to Timpview) and was in the MTC with Elder Galeano! She is really cool and we had a good chat with her. After nightly planning, Elder Galeano cut my hair! Hahaha sounds strange but he is like a professional barber. Like legit, he laid his kit out on the couch and went to town! I attached some pictures, definitely an experience I'm never going to forget! He gave me what's called a "fade". Haha I like it! 

Saturday I dropped Elder Galeano off at the bus station and he said the 3 things that I should do in my mission are 1. Love the People 2. Work Hard and  3. Be Obedient. I couldn't agree more! It was a sad hug goodbye but I think I get to see him one more time before he leaves. Julio and I got more hot chocolate and churros after while we were waiting for Elder Peña to get back to Valladolid! I love Julio, he calls me his little grandson haha it's awesome! Later that day we had a couple appointments set up but Elder Peña didn't feel too hot and I had a bad head ache so we visited one less active family and shared the Family: A Proclamation to the World with them. They are from the Dominican Republic and are super cool people, they fed us too! Then we got in bed early, Halloween is a night full of parties and drunk people here so I'm not sure how much good we would have been out on the streets.

Sunday was a good day at church, the branch is awesome! I remember how lost I felt in my first week, but now it's totally different and we have lots of solid members who like us and who are willing to help. We taught Michael Sunday night about the Plan of Salvation. He has already had all of the missionary lessons and told us he wants to get baptized, he just has a hard time thinking about leaving all his friends who aren't such a good influence on him and other stuff. But, with his sister preparing for a mission now and we are constantly at his house, we think that things are going uphill and are super excited! Oh and yeah, the mom Susan fed us food again :) 

The spiritual thought for this week came when Elder Galeano and I were walking around contacting people. He said something that I thought was really cool, "your mission call says 'Called to Serve', not 'Called to Teach'." It brought peace to my mind that we don't have to be teaching the gospel 24/7 to be successful missionaries. I hope that now I can look for more ways to serve others and be thankful for the opportunities to teach when I have them. I invite you all to look for the ways you can serve others, even if it's something small. 

Happy November and thanks for the emails, letters, prayers, and love! I have the best family and friends a Missionary could ever ask for :) Have a great week!! 

Con Amor,

Elder Brady Smith