Monday, January 18, 2016

5 Months WOO HOO!!


It feels a little weird to be emailing again... But here we go!
Another week down and it's been good. It wasn't too eventful but there
is some stuff I wanted to tell you guys about. Here we go :)

So Claudia is all ready for her baptism! She has officially been
taught everything and she has her interviews lined up for this week.
We are waiting for these to be finished and then her date is set for
the 28th of January! We are super stoked for her and it's something
that she is really excited for. I still remember the first night that
we met her, I could just tell that something was different, and now
look!! Oh and she still calls me José Smith haha. I know that the Lord
prepares his people and that since we followed the promptings of the
Holy Ghost, we were able to find another one of his children to help
get on the path to eternal life!! WOO HOO :) the Lord's team is the
coolest one I've ever been apart of.

We have set goals as a Mission and as the Northern part of Spain to
focus more in the less actives and recent converts. The goals aren't
numbers for baptisms, they are numbers of families who will be
reactivated and how many people can have a temple recommend. I love
these goals let me tell you!! Something that I didn't understand in
the beginning of my mission was why didn't we contact all the day long
to find new investigators, but now that I've got a little experience,
there's so much more work here to be done than just baptizing. I love
passing by the less actives and recent converts here because they
already know about the gospel and all we have to do as missionaries is
remind them of the covenants they made and how important they really
are. With this being said, Mabel asked us if we could bring her the
sacrament this week and that was a huge step for her. We finally
struck a cord in her heart and she realized what she was missing out
on by not coming to church!! And, she gave us the rest of her
cigarettes again this week and told us that she is for sure done with
the smoking. Once again... WOO HOO :)

On Friday, President Pack came into town to do some interviews with us
and it was awesome as usual. I swear that guy knows me better than I
know myself haha. Anyways, it was just the perfect amount of calming
me down and firing me up at the same time. He told me some pretty cool
stuff, and one thing I wanted to share was that when we are doing all
that we can, the Lord is aware and is obligated to help us. This is
something that has been on my mind a lot, we can all do better but
when we are giving it all we have, the Lord isn't going to leave us
hanging. This was so comforting to me this week!! And we have
transfers in 2 weeks... I can't believe it. Where is my time going?!
Oh and today I completed 20% of my mission... WOO HOO :)

We bought a basketball this week and was one of the smartest things we
have ever done as a companionship. Elder Peña wants to learn how to
play basketball so bad and so now we wake up in the mornings and run
to la capilla and play in the gym!! Just a quick S/O to Nate Grant for
teaching me all my basketball skills... They're coming in handy here
in Valladolid! On the way back to our Piso one morning, I heard the
strangest "ringtone" in the world, like an insanely loud cat meowing
over and over again. But I couldn't figure out whose phone it was, but
as we got closer to a tree, there was this little tiny kitty stuck way
up high just meowing it's head off and it was so sad because it
couldn't get down!! I felt soooo sad that I couldn't help it!! I
honestly thought about doing the thing in "The Incredibles" when Mr.
Incredible rips the tree out of the ground and shakes the tree until
the cat falls out and then slams it back the other way and stops the
robber! I would have been Incredible Elder Smith and everyone would
have flocked to me and thanked me and it would have been awesome.
Hahaha!! My fantasies are what keep me going here when I get bored...

On Sunday night when we were headed to a lesson, one guy stopped us
and started to ask us the normal questions that everyone asks. He said
that he had his own church too and that he wanted to share it with us.
Haha he said he wanted to give us "an experience that we weren't going
to forget" which was a little creepy. Here I was thinking that this
guy actually wanted to talk about the gospel, but when he finished
talking I just said "yeah yeah that sounds good!" Then Elder Peña
looked at me and said "no, no I think we're okay, right Elder Smith?"
And so I just told the guy "oh I'm sorry, we are fine but thanks." He
was a little offended and then just walked away. Then Elder Peña told
me what he offered us, and turns out it was cocaine!! And me being the
little white kid I am who doesn't understand 100% still just said "Oh
yeah! Sure!" Hahaha it was a good learning experience. Thank goodness
for a native companion and now I know better than to accept an
invitation to try a little "la cocaína"!

Okay now for the spiritual thought... This week when I was listening
to some of my LDS music, one song stuck out to me because of the
lyrics. It says "it's not about you". How profound are these 4 words!!
Yeah I'm here serving my mission, but it's not about me. I'm here to
get lost in the service of other people and forget myself. I am going
to try harder this week to get lost in the service of other people
because when I do, I'm so much happier! I'm glad to be here and thanks
for all your support!! I love you all more than you know :)

Con Amor,

Elder Smith

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