Monday, January 30, 2017

Pics from this week

Ya BOi ON a beach

Zone Conference in Vigo

Cabo Prior AND the big blue Atlantic

We crawled in an old artillery bunker

Joaquín and I at Saint George beach on a nice misty day :)

Partying in Valdoviño ft. Libro de Mormón

Beaches & I'm Happy


Hola from your favorite elder smith serving in the Spain madrid
mission! 🇪🇸 Hope y'all have had a fantastic week and I'm sure it was

almost as good as mine :) before I forget.. just a quick early b-day
shout out to my brother in Málaga elder tHamNer on Thursday. I'm still
looking forward to that 50 year old birthday celebration cruise with
our wives in just 30 short years!! Love you bud! Anyways, this week
was jam packed with tons of fun stuff. I'll see if I can briefly
summarize what has happened this week!

So to start things off, we spent Wednesday and Thursday in Vigo for a
few meetings which included the world wide missionary broadcast,
interviews, and Zone Conference! In the broadcast, we got some good
instruction from our missionary executive committee/council and some
cool new changes to switch normal missionary life up! We mostly just
talked about what we learned last year which was to teach repentance
and baptize converts. There are a lot of good things I learned and I
got some good notes from it :) they also made a schedule change which
gives us more freedom with our time and they made p-day longer!! WOO
HOO :) everyone was stoked about that haha. Then on Thursday morning I
had my interview with president pack, what a great guy :) he gave me
some good counsel on how to keep things going up here in Ferrol. Then
during Zone Conference on Thursday, we mostly talked about repentance
and working with the younger people in our areas. We can't teach
something we aren't practicing ourselves, so the invitation they left
us with was to repent of the things we have done wrong or are
currently doing wrong and head in the right direction :) I really
enjoyed the conference and we have already seen some little miracles
from the things we learned! And not to mention that Vigo is such a
beautiful and cool city. I'd totally live there after the mission. But
those were some very good eventful days! 😊

So I think you all remember Antonio, right? Well he was that old
Spanish guy who we started to teach and was really interested in the
church. Anyways, this weekend we got a call from him saying that he
was going to drop us and the church because "he was catholic and is
going to die catholic". It was really sad 😭 I was pretty frustrated

by it. I feel like I did everything I possibly could so that he could
feel the spirit and know that this is the true church but I guess we
can't control people. It's really hard to get someone to change here
especially when those catholic roots are planted soooooooo deep. Oh
well. I still love the guy! We extended a baptismal invitation to him
in the second lesson and it didn't feel right, but it's what preach my
gospel says to do so we did it. We did it because we loved him and he
just didn't feel that was the path for him. He read almost half the
Book of Mormon and prayed about it too but said he just couldn't keep
going forward. But it's okay, we are over it now and moving on :) we
planted the seeds and maybe in the future he'll come around!

On the bright side... we have 4 people on date for baptism on the 25th
of February!! Last week I talked about that member reference who is
the little Cuban family?? Anyways, we visited them on Friday night and
taught them the plan of salvation and they ate it up!! They were
seriously sooooo happy the whole lesson, the mom was smiling so big :)
at the end of the lesson when we asked them if they had thought about
baptism, they all said yes and that it was something that they needed
to do :) so the 25th of February is gonna be a pretty awesome day here
in Ferrol! They all came to church yesterday and during gospel
principles class, we talked about eternal families and they loved it
soooo much! The members did such a good job of welcoming them at
church and they felt right at home. The other person on date for
baptism is named Rocky and he is from Peru :) he's a really neat guy
with a cool background. We will see how things go with him!! We also
picked up a new reference from a member named Reyes who is from New
Mexico. Her cousin, Robert, is here staying with her for 8 weeks in
Ferrol and he is from Arizona! Both Reyes and Robert speak perfect,
beautiful American English :) Robert came to church yesterday with us
and we visited him last night and he was so excited to read the Book
of Mormon and knows that he came to Spain for some reason. He is
looking for change in his life, so hopefully in these next 8 weeks we
can help him out a bit! He was repping his Arizona Wildcats gear last
night and is an avid PAC-12 sports fan so we've already got a lot in
common :) I seriously love it up here so much. I don't know what I'm
going to do when I get home because it's not gonna be nearly as fun as
it is being a missionary!! 😐

On Saturday we had one of our good friends named Joaquín take us on a
paseo of Ferrol. He took us to a really nice beach and another place
called Cabo Prior! Galicia is by far the prettiest place in the world.
Cabo Prior had probably some of the prettiest cliffs and biggest waves
I've ever seen in my life. I'm 100% sure of it. Today we went with a
member to a couple of different places, including another old light
house and Valdoviño! We found ourselves talking to some old Gallegos
on the beaches and in old lookouts for ships on the horizon. It was
such a fun day/weekend and I am in love with Spain. I hope you all get
the chance to visit some day :) I'll be your tour guide if y'all want
haha. I'll attach a bunch of pics, no os preocupéis 😎

I want you all to know how much I love this work. Things are
progressing here very nicely and I am so happy here in Spain :') There
is no other place I would rather be in the whole world and I want to
make every second count here! Don't worry about old elder smith out
here... I'm doing just fine :) my testimony is strengthened every day,
whether it's from a zone conference, teaching our investigators,
contacting in the pouring Galician rain, or visiting more of this
beautiful world our Heavenly Father created for us. I know he lives
and loves every single one of us. I know he sent his son, Jesus
Christ, to suffer for our sins so that one day, we may return to live
with them both in the celestial kingdom. I know this is the restored
church of Jesus Christ and that missionary work and sharing the gospel
is the one of the most important things I will ever participate in.
What an honor it is to be a missionary!!

I love you all, sorry for the long letter but I'm feeling really good
lately about everything :) transfers are next week (where did this
transfer go?!?!) and I guess we will see what happens!! YOU ARE ALL
THE BEST :) keep it real wherever you are 🙃

Con amor,
€lder b.c. $mith

Monday, January 23, 2017

pics from this week

Betanzos with elder morris

Pretty scenery
#throwbackthursday to my first district conference in León! I miss
the León days (ily elder kiser)

Oingo Boingo and Miracles

Fam n fans,

Hello :) hope y'all are swell. I'm dandy in Ferrol. Actually more than
dandy haha!! This week was insanely great!! For starters, me and elder
Morris had our intercambio and that was super fun. We had a good mix
of teaching mixed with contacting which keeps things interesting! At
night we stayed up late just chatting about life and it was nice to
finally pillow talk with someone who knows the same people as me!! It
makes the stories wayyyy better!! On Tuesday we visited a guy named
José Miguel I think and he lives out in a little pueblo called
Betanzos which is the old capital of Galicia! It was insanely pretty
and elder morris are gonna move there some day and be old Spanish
neighbors :) that was a definite highlight of the week!! But there's
some more for you guys so keep reading!

I'm just gonna start out with the greatest news of the week... we
started teaching a new little family from Cuba!! They are easily the
most humble people of all time and the best part?!?! They were a
MEMBER REFERENCE!!! We have been praying and fasting for member help
with the work here because contacting and door knocking just isn't
effective. Anyways, we went over to their house on Saturday for the
first time and taught the restoration. They loved it and when we got
to the part about the visit of Jesus Christ to the Americas, all they
said was that it makes perfect sense that God would send his son to
ALL parts of the world instead of just Jerusalem. Other than the
member we invited butchering the explanation of the Book of Mormon,
things were sooo smooth! They accepted a baptismal invitation for when
they come to know that the church is true :) only the dad came to
church yesterday because the rest of the family was sick but they are
so awesome. SUCH A MIRACLE HOLY COW!! Please pray for them and keep in
mind all you members of the church... member references are soooooo
money :)

Another crazy story... we have passed this guy in the street like 2 or
3 times and we have always felt impressed to talk to him but never did
until one time he was like "hey elders!" And so we asked him for his
info but he kept walking and said he would come to the church. We saw
him again a few days later (Friday), AND WE FORGOT TO ASK FOR HIS
NAME! We were beating ourselves up for it all day long and when we got
home, we immediately got on our knees and asked Heavenly Father to
give us one more chance to see this man. The following day (Saturday)
while we were walking home from sports, we saw him! Such clutch timing
from the big man upstairs :) literally one day after saying a prayer
and asking for another chance, he gave it to us. Turns out that the
guy was baptized in Venezuela and has been looking for the church in
Ferrol for a few months! We got his name (Peter) and number and are
gonna meet up with him tomorrow to see how things are going :) SUCH A

Well, that's all the time I have this week. Lots of other cool stuff
happened but I'll save those stories for when I get home. To explain
the first part of the title, we saw an old Oingo Boingo music video
playing in a bar this week and I couldn't help but laugh and think
about when my dad would blast oingo boingo in the car or all
throughout the house :) such quality music! Hahaha! And this week we
will be headed to Vigo for a zone conference, the world wide
missionary broadcast, and interviews with president! I'm super excited
to be spiritually filled and see some more of this beautiful country
:) I seriously am so blessed and grateful for all that my father in
Heaven has given me. Being a missionary is truly the greatest thing of
all time. I love you all and I love the Lord! Thanks for being the
best fans in the whole world! Talk to you all soon and have a
fantastic week :)

Con amor,
Elder braids

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Pics from this week

      Intercambios just getting started #WXtoCORUÑA

      morir soñando district meeting

   Juan y Milka de Uruguay :) 

      Balling today in Coruña 

Gabe N Me on Intercambios today!!

¡ Bon Día !

Well another fun week has come and gone :) we are currently in Coruña just hanging out for a bit and we just finished balling out on the court. later today and tomorrow I'll be on an intercambio with GABE :) should be a fun time. I can finally say I've had a best friend as a (temporary) companion haha! But anyways here's the week :)

So I feel like now is the time to explain Antonio the Spaniard. haha. He is a guy we found on the street and we showed him the #iluminaelmundo video. He said it "woke him up" and then he came to meet with us in the church. The first lesson, he was crying a lot and telling us about his beliefs in Jesus Christ and how he wants to change his life. It was a bit weird, we weren't exactly expecting it but it was awesome. Then we taught him the restoration and he really enjoyed it, and this past week we taught the plan of salvation. We invited our branch president to accompany us and it was such a spiritual lesson! We invited him to be baptized and he said no for the moment, but he does want to keep finding out more about our church. The dude has come to church the last 2 sundays in a row and has read the first 70ish pages of the Book of Mormon! So we are hoping things go well with him and that he can continue doing his part to receive an answer! Please pray for him!! 

The people we visited last week from Uruguay are doing a lot better this week! Milka, the daughter, said that the doctors told her that she only had 1 week of treatment left because she started to heal so quickly! She called me and told me the news and then expressed thanks for the priesthood blessing and to thank my mom for her advice as well :) it was such a miracle! It seriously is so amazing to see the priesthood work wonders in the lives of our brothers and sisters. God gave it to us to use and bless other people's lives and this week I saw those blessings first hand!! Thank you all for the prayers on their behalf and thanks mom for being a radiation therapist!! 

Other interesting things that happened this week were...

·         I met the first Satan worshipper of my mission... that was a bit scary
·         We had 1 or more eating appointments every day of the week last week :)
·         We knocked on maybe 500 doors last week and only received 1 "come back later" hahahaha
·         I cut Elder Morris and 2 other elders hair this morning and they all look really good. I'm pro. 
·         It rained about every single day of the week :) I actually liked it. Good old Galicia.

Other than that, not too much fun stuff happened! Another normal week in Ferrol :) I'm happy and loving it, as usual. Attitude is everything up here, that's something I'm really trying to work on. Sometimes we have a completely open morning or afternoon with no appointments set up which means a lot of finding time. We get lots of rejections but it makes it worth it when we find the one! When we keep in mind that we are finding the one person who is prepared, it makes it a lot more fun :) I hope you all have a wonderful week and look for opportunities to share the gospel with those around you. I'll have a better report la semana que viene 😝 LOVE y'all!  

Con amor (y un besiño hehe),
Elder smith

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Pics from this week

The District
Our friend Pedro from Cadiz who is a sailor :)

Bay/harbor/boardwalk at night with the sunset :))

Borderline Grotesque Land Rover fire truck

We Rolling in Ferrol!

People/Gente :)

Good días/tardes/noches to everyone reading this :) hope you all had a
good first week of the year!! I don't have a ton of time today but
there are some things I'd love to fill all you wonderful people in on
:) here ya go!

This week was really hard as far as lessons and finding new people
goes. We got rejected like left after right, person after person, day
after day. It was hard to keep the ánimo up but we did it! We had a
bunch of people tell us while we were knocking their doors to get out
of their building (cuz no houses here) and to never come back! A
little harsh but I guess that's just part of life. This week i studied
chapter 9 of preach my gospel which is how do I find new people to
teach and I came across a dope scripture in Doctrine and Covenants
27:9 that talks about the "elect". As much as I would love to teach
every person I see in the street, that's just not how it works. It
takes effort to find those who the Lord has prepared and when we find
them, they will be ready and willing to answer the call! So the
finding continues here in Ferrol :)

We had 2 brand new investigators show up to church this week and we
didn't even have to invite them! It was by far the best part of my
week :) At the end of our lessons, they both told us that they were
coming on Sunday and they came through! One of them was a cool
Peruvian guy named Rocky and the other was Antonio, the one that I
talked about last week :) I still am scared to jinx it... but it's
honestly sooooo cool to see what the spirit does to people. It works
in mysterious ways but it's doing good things with these two! Stay
stunned for more with them and keep them in your prayers too por

We were reading in the Book of Mormon with some people this week in 3
Nefi when the Savior visits the Americas and I highly recommend going
and reading it if you haven't in a while. The whole direction of the
lessons we were having completely changed when we talked about him
talking with the people and declaring that he was the son of God. it
just helped to put it into perspective and our friends really enjoyed
it and felt the spirit. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon
is the word of God, my testimony was strengthened even more this week
as I read and re-read the words it contains. Especially the part I
just mentioned :) go read it! You won't regret it! It's a sacred book
that will help us through anything we are going through, I promise!
Put it to the test :)

We visited a father and daughter last night from Uruguay in a little
pueblo and the daughter is suffering quite a bit from cancer. She is
receiving radiation therapy and so instantly I started to talk about
my mom and her work and she got so excited! It was a nice little
connection with her :) She asked me to give her a blessing and it was
such a beautiful experience. The priesthood, what an incredible gift
from our Heavenly Father. She was so thankful and I'm certain that
with her faith, she will start to get feeling better now! Please keep
her in your prayers!!

Well, that's all I got for the weekly review :) things in Ferrol are
going awesome, it's hard but I don't think it was ever supposed to be
easy!! So we will keep working hard and hopefully I'll have some good
stuff to report on next week! I love you all, stay safe and happy!
Have a fantastic day!

Con amor,
Elder eeeesssmmeeeeeeffffff

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pics from this week

Narrow street that leads all the way down to the port

Elder Simmons and the lights

Fun noche de hogar last night :)

 New district