Monday, April 25, 2016

Pics form this week

Panorama of elder smith and Toledo.. Hehehe :)

Sports on Saturday Morning!

The last time with the original Castilla La Mancha District :(


#GroceryShoppingAndGraffiti...a little p day for y'all

Love me some TALAVERA


Good Day :) 😎


How you all doing? I miss every single one of you reading this email
right now. I'm extremely thankful for your influences in my life, this
week I received lots of emails from friends and family and it just
makes the week go so much more smooth! So, gracias :) Transfer calls
came last Saturday and I'll be staying in Talavera for 5 more weeks
with Elder Johnson! I'm really excited because I love it here. There's
so much work to be done and little by little, we are seeing the fruits
of our labors :) the week....

ENGLISH CLASS IS THE BOMB.COM! Seriously I don't know why, but this
week we had 3 brand new people come and they are all golden for the
gospel! One of them is a philosophy teacher, another a doctor, and the
other one I'm not sure. But they all speak very good English and seem
to have legit interest in the gospel! One of them even asked us for a
Book of Mormon and has been reading in it every day! They said that
they had seen the flyers that we put up all over town! Every time
we've had class, we have been able to share something spiritual and it
always leads into a different gospel topic, it's so great. I love
English class! Hopefully they start inviting their friends and we get
the whole capilla full :)

On another note, this week we taught Lucy a few times. The first time
we went over, we taught her the law of chastity. Don't ask me why
because I don't know, but the law of chastity is always an interesting
one to teach. People always have questions or objections. And I was
worried about teaching it to a 55 year old woman, but she took it
really well and didn't have any problems with it! The other thing we
taught her was tithing and fast offerings. This did not turn out as
expected. She kinda got the idea that after we accept everything, we
"pay" tithing to stay in the church. Like we pay for our membership.
After explaining it 3 more times, very clearly, with our branch
mission leader, she still wasn't too fond of the idea. I'll take some
of the blame because I shouldn't have saved it for the last thing to
teach. But either way I think she would have had a problem with it.
She told us that depending on how she feels after praying about it,
she would either continue with the church or stop. I was literally
speechless and my heart dropped into my stomach. I have never prayed
harder in my life than now. This church is what she needs, heck it's
what everyone needs! But prayers for Lucy would be much appreciated
this week. PLZ.

I keep forgetting this funny story about Elder Johnson every week so
I'll just tell it now... He sleepwalks and talks. A lot. It's like
funny but a little weird. Anyways, one night I couldn't sleep and so I
found my way out to the couch in the living room and when morning time
came and I went in to turn off my alarm, Elder Johnson was just curled
up like a little baby, sound asleep in my bed! It was the weirdest but
funniest thing of all time! And I can't even imagine what would have
happened if I would have stayed in my bed that night and not moved to
the couch. It must have been revelation or something hahaha. We both
got a good laugh in the morning :) and some of the rants he goes on
while he's sleeping are... Let's just say interesting. He's a good
kid.

Wednesday we had intercambios and I was with ELDER GEARIG :) it was
fun. We had a day full of lessons and it kept us busy right up until
it was time to go back to Piso. We enjoyed a night talking about high
school and all the good memories we have had and stuff. He's a good
missionary and I learned a lot from his example! I'm glad to have so
many good friends and missionaries in my mission! And luckily he
stayed in Toledo for another transfer so hopefully we get to do some
more intercambios :)

We have started to play sports every Saturday morning with the youth
here and told them all to invite friends. It was a huge success this
past week and we are excited to keep it going! We had lots of
non-members come and even a less-active! We enjoyed time playing
soccer and basketball and then were able to share a short spiritual
thought after. Hopefully we can teach some of the kids who come and a
huge S/O to the awesome members who are doing missionary work by
inviting their friends to these activities. THE WORK GOES ON :) and
Talavera is dope.

Well, that's about it for this week. It was fun, painful, spiritual,
and Spain continues to be quite the experience. I'm happy to represent
my Savior every day and I'm striving to be more like him! He is the
perfect example and I hope that we all can focus on improving our
relationship with him this week and always. Find him and love him.
When we do our part, he does his. We have his word, and he always
keeps his promises! I love this work. I hope everyone has a wonderful
week and I'll talk to you all soon!

Oh and we just found out that Elder Bednar will be coming to Madrid on
May 14th to speak to the missionaries. I AM SO STOKED ITS NOT EVEN
FUNNY :))))

Con Amor,
ELDER SMITH



Monday, April 18, 2016

Pics from this week

I like graffiti

Castilla La Mancha District :)

Cliff hanging in Toledo!!


The oldest bridge in Talavera ever known to woman kind!


Classic chapa pic

Panorama of whipping hehehe

  Me n Elder Gearig postin UP

H-h-h-h-hhhike today was super fun!!

Overhanging rock thing and a cool view of Toledo :)


The Book or Mormon can heal any "sickness" ;) thought of that one myself

Sweeeeeeeeeet week and 8 Months!

Whatttup

To start off, today I hit 8 months. Time is going by sooooo fast that
it's scary! So I'm honestly just going to stop keeping track and I
guess when they give me my plane ticket, I'll come home! ;) This week
was the bomb. Elder Johnson and I went all out and we have been seeing
some of the fruits of our labors! We had more lessons this week than
any other and they were super awesome too! Here it is :)

Someone I haven't talked about yet is Betty. We found her in our first
week here in Talavera. She is 15, from Romania, speaks English, and a
super nice girl. We had met up with her a few times but kinda got to
thinking that she was just in it to talk with 2 Americans. So, we had
"dropped" her but I had a feeling to call her one more time and try to
set something up and so we did. When we got there, she started telling
me all about Lehi's Vision of the pillar of fire story from 1st Nephi
and I was absolutely stunned! I didn't think she would be the one to
actually read but she did! Obviously she's still in chapter 1 but hey,
I had to give her some credit. She really wants to find the truth and
we have been seeing little changes in her. We've started to teach her
siblings, friends, and neighbors too! Betty has been a big help in
finding people these past few weeks haha :)

Lucy... Oh Lucy. This week we taught her about temples and I have
never seen anyone more excited about anything in my entire life! Her
face absolutely lit up when we told her that she could be baptized for
her ancestors and other family members who have passed away. We
brought our Branch Mission Leader, Eduardo, who is a convert and he
was able to tell her about his experiences with the temple. He got
sealed to his wife and daughters in Madrid not too long ago and it was
a great help to the lesson. The spirit flooded the room! I was so
happy! She still doesn't have an exact date for baptism but it will be
coming up this next transfer. She's the best :)

Do you guys remember Arturo, the guy who cut my hair? Well we got in
with him this week without a haircut appointment! He even invited over
a friend to listen to our message too. And it turns out that this
friend was an old investigator too! Anyways, we started off simple,
just talking about Christ and what he did for us. But as the
conversation went on and on, Arturo and his buddy Jorge started asking
us questions about where we came from and where we are going after we
die. THE PLAN OF SALVATION IS SO WONDERFUL! They loved it! They
totally agreed that it made sense and was a logical explanation to all
the deep questions. Jorge asked me a particular question that made me
sad and happy, he said that his mom lives in Talavera too but that
they got in a fight and now they don't talk. They haven't talked for
10 years but they see each other every day out on the streets! He
asked me what I thought he should do, and obviously I said just
forgive her and move on! I'm so glad I have a good relationship with
my own mom and that Mother's Day is coming up soon so I can see her
lovely smiling face :) he said he would try to get in contact with her
and let me know how it went. After the lesson, Arturo whipped out the
chess board and put me in CHECK MATE IN 4 TURNS. I literally blinked
and I was in check mate. It was hilarious hahahahaha I gotta get him
to teach me his ways :)

Okay this is already a long email so I'll save the other people for
next week. I'm so happy to be here serving my mission in Spain. I love
it so much! It's hard and disappointing sometimes, but there's always
something to be grateful for. For P-Day today we went down to Toledo
with Elders Gearig and Bataller. It was so much fun, we went on a nice
hike and had lunch. And I bought some legitimate Toledo Swords
😈

that's all I got for this week! Love you all so much and hope you have
a great week! The Church is True and don't ever forget it!

Con Amor,

ELDER brady CRAIG smith

Monday, April 11, 2016

Pics from this week


Elder Johnson and I just enjoying the heck out of a classic
Dominican drink, "Morir Soñando" which means "die dreaming", 
and it was made by a true Dominican too :)

My new zone yay :)


video
So here is the video of elder Bataller just destroying this Dominican kid in a rap battle. 
and for those of you who don´t understand it, he is rapping about the gospel haha. 

Rap, Basketball, Zone Conference, yeah.

Yo yo yo yo yo yo

How y'all doin? Just sitting here in freaking RAINY TALAVERA where
when it rains... IT POURS!!! It's been raining for like 2 days
straight now and it makes for some pretty crappy contacting, so it'd
be nice if it would stop! Other than that... I had a very fun week :)
here's all about it.

So we finally met with Lucy again... (Hallelujah, I've been missing
her the last like 2 weeks) and we had to move her baptismal date.
Actually right now, she doesn't have one :/ but it's okay, we still
have a few more things to teach her and in the meantime, she can heal
and then we will re-set a date for her baptism! We talked with her a
little bit about the restoration again and I don't think any of us can
really comprehend how important the restoration was. I never did until
I got out on my mission and believe me, I still have a long ways to
go! But that's what I'm here to preach, that the Gospel of Jesus
Christ has been restored back on the earth in the exact same form that
Christ had made. It's the key doctrine in this church, if we know that
it has been restored by a prophet of God, then we everything else will
fall into place! Lucy took it well :)

Wednesday was one of the greatest days of my mission. I went to Toledo
for intercambios with Elder Bataller, a native from Spain. He is
companions with my good friend, Elder Gearig. We had been out and
about contacting and had a little of success, and then we got a text
from some friends or future investigators asking if we wanted to play
basketball. Obviously I said yes ;) so we changed and went. Oh and
another side note... Elder Bataller like does legit Rap/Free Style and
so I made a goal that we would find a way to get him to rap. After we
played for awhile, a bunch of Dominicans showed up and Elder Bataller
knew a few of them, and one of them rapped too!! So needless to say,
we whipped out the instrumental beats of 50 Cent and Cali Swag
District and got to work. Elder Bataller just crushed this Dominican
kid and he did it rapping about the gospel!! And then I cleaned up on
the court, if you know what I'm saying. Yes, Elder Smith's still got
game! Later that night we passed by a menos activa and shared a quick
scripture in the door. It was short and powerful! I was super happy :)
all in all, that day we taught 4 lessons and received 5 references,
which is kinda unheard of down in Toledo. I was shocked and knew that
God opened up a door for a little basketball, rap, and sharing the
gospel. Miracles happen on intercambios!

Thursday we had a Zone Conference in Madrid, and it was all about our
methods of teaching and finding new people. Elder Bataller shared the
experience about the rap and everyone loved it haha. Just gotta think
outside the box a little :) Later that night, a new guy came to one of
our English Classes named Jesus. He said the first time he came to
English Class was in 1998 (18 years), and that the first Elders that
he ever met were Elder Smith and Elder Johnson. YES, ELDER SMITH AND
ELDER JOHNSON, YOU READ IT RIGHT!! I was absolutely blown away when he
said that! I don't think it's a coincidence that he came back when the
current Elders Johnson and Smith were here, hopefully we can open up a
gospel conversation with him! Then again, Smith and Johnson are 2 very
common names, but I guess we'll see :)

On Saturday morning, we had a branch mission activity where the
members literally left and went to contact. I was so impressed because
I've never really heard of that before, but then again these members
are incredible! We also ate with members 5 times this week (that's my
new mission record) and during this activity, they came back with a
handful of references and one guy even came to church on Sunday to
pick up a Book of Mormon! It was a huge success! And then later that
day, we met up with another one of my most favorite people on the
planet, Adelina :) we went to another bar and she bought us a coke and
we just talked gospel for a good hour. She always loves to talk about
her family, so we felt inspired to give her a "The Family : A
Proclamation to the World" pamphlet and she was so happy! She
continues to read in the Book of Mormon every day and says she loves
it, but she is pretty set in her own religion. Even if she doesn't
change, I have a dope new friend :)

That's all I have for this week! Pretty eventful and really fun. I'm
so happy out here on my mission and Elder Johnson and I are learning
and growing together more every day. I love my Father in Heaven and
his son, Jesus Christ. These truly are the best 2 years of my life and
I'm excited for another week of work here in Talavera :) thanks for
the love and prayers, I'll talk to you all soon!

Con Amor,
Elderrrr Smithhhh

Monday, April 4, 2016

Pics from this week

CONFERENCE CREW

Young Johnny Fuentes and his replica of the tallest
tower in the world from Dubai. He was so excited
to show me when I got to his house :)


Pretty much the highest point in Talavera haha...not anything too special

Peanut Butter, Conference N' Stuff

HOLA GUYS!

Not a bad week here in Talavera :) the worst parts of my emails are
definitely the beginnings because I never know what to say, so forgive
me! But anyways, I hope you all enjoyed Conference because Elder Smith
sure did :) here's what's happening in Talavera!

This week, we were not able to meet with Lucy at all. Unfortunately
she has been sick and in bed trying to get better. On Tuesday, we went
over and gave her a blessing of health and that was a super spiritual
experience. When we finished, she looked up at us with tears in her
eyes and the spirit was so strong! Even though we weren't there to
teach her anything, we all left feeling better than when we came.
We're thinking that her baptismal date will need to be pushed back a
week, but we'll see what happens. Please keep her in your prayers so
that she can get better and we can continue helping her :)

On Wednesday we had district meeting in Toledo. We did this super fun
practice where we teach the Restoration and someone stands behind us
and taps us on the head to take turns. It's supposed to represent the
Holy Ghost prompting us when to teach and how to teach with unity, but
sometimes the taps end up in awkward spots so it makes for a good
laugh. Overall, we learned how we can be more unified in our teaching
which will help our investigators feel the spirit even stronger! And
it's always a good time to be in Toledo for a few hours :) I can't
believe how many tourists are there every week when we go hahaha.
There honestly are more of them than Toledo natives! But nevertheless,
it's fun to be with the district and getting to know each other
better! Later that night, we passed by a little Latino shop and were
just looking around and guess what I found... PEANUT BUTTER :) so I
asked the lady how much it was and turns out that she has met with the
missionaries before! (The peanut butter was super cheap too, so that's
a bonus) I gave her a card with our number and she said she would be
interested to talk a bit more. And she needed some help with her shop
so she'll call us for a nice service opportunity :) moral of the
story... Well there isn't one hahaha but I found peanut butter and a
future investigator so I was happy :)

Friday, we visited the Fuentes Family :) the dad is the 2nd counselor
in the branch and the mom is the Young Women's President. They have 2
kids, Taty and Johnny, who are super fun as well. They live in a
pueblo about an hour out of Talavera, so we took a bus to get there.
The mother made some of the most incredible food that I have had in my
time in Spain. It was to die for! Super good meat, potatoes, salad,
holy cow. It was so yummy. Later on Friday night, we had the regular
Noche de Hogar with the branch. The branch here honestly just feels
like a big family, I love it so much :) We played a game at the end
and I'm not even going to try and explain it over email because it
won't make any sense. But, it was the most fun thing I have done in my
whole mission! I have never laughed harder in my life! To celebrate a
good day, Elder Johnson and I got ice cream before we came in to go to
bed haha. So worth it.

CONFERENCE... I'll be honest that I get a bit trunky when conference
time rolls around. I miss laying around the house with the Fam and
being a bit lazy. But hey, I only have 2 more on the mission and then
I'll be home ;) I'm so thankful for a living prophet who leads and
guides our church today! Although his messages may have been short,
they were sweet and profound. My favorite thing that President Monson
said was "If we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice."
It reminds me of our purpose as missionaries, to invite others to come
unto Christ. When we walk through the streets, the first thing people
see besides the shirt and tie is the name Jesus Christ on my name tag.
Immediately, they know that we are here to preach and testify of him
and his restored gospel. My love for the Savior has grown so much and
although I'll never be able to comprehend what he did for me, I can do
my best to love him and serve him by serving others. So yeah,
conference was great :) I'm looking forward to downloading the talks
and studying them again in the weeks and months that follow.

That's all I got :) a big thank you to all my supporters. Love you
guys to the moon and back! Just to finish this week... One of my
favorite quotes from one of my favorite seminary teachers, Brother
Oram..."Life is great, the Church is true, I am a child of God, and so
are YOU!" Haha have a great week everyone :)

(No clue why I put the brother Oram quote in there but yeah, I'm weird)

Con Amorrrr,

ELDER SMITH