Monday, April 24, 2017

Pics from this week

A big thank you to Elder Kiser's brother and Arvo wear for
sending this watch to Brady!!

I love this pic so much haha :) good job Ellie 

My famous train 馃殏 

District meeting in Gij贸n 

Our Haitian friend rolled up to the lesson repping a BYU t shirt haha


Hello children/hijitos

Howz things. I'm super duper on this awesome April Monday :) we've been having some great weather as of recently. Makes for some nice short sleeve contacting! Before I get too far into the week I gotta give a huge congrats to Ellie Faye for making sophomore class officer!! Couldn't be more proud and I'm happy you followed in my footsteps 馃懀 the legacy continues :) I've said this before and I'll say it again... I'm a prideful and proud  older brother cuz I got the 2 best sisters ever. Anyways....

So I owe an explanation on Julie and her family. They are the cool Colombians we have been working with lately. Entonces, Julie drops a bomb on us last Friday night and said that she was moving to Australia to study English and she was gonna be there for 9 months. Literally both of our hearts shattered. Then we got thinking and decided to invite her to be baptized before she left. We wouldn't normally do that but she was very prepared and we were super hyped that this might actually happen! So we talked to her about it and she was totally down for it and then she got a second opinion from someone (I won't name names) and got super hesitant. It was a real bummer. She is so prepared and loves the church and members and knows that this is what she wants for her family. Long story short, we met with her like 4 times this week but she is leaving this wednesday to Australia so we wouldn't have enough time to do the baptism. Good news is that she is gonna find the church over there and keep taking the lessons and we will continue to teach her family here :) it was a super tough situation and we knew we were rushing it, but we wouldn't have done it with anyone else other than Julie. Oh well. I know it's in the Lord's hands :) 

We are also teaching a few other peeps... our guy named Cesar is doing good. He's had a rough life but he is loving everything that we share with him. Hopefully we get him baptized soon as he is completely willing to do it! We are teaching another lady from Haiti named Maile Ruth who works a ton but is ready to be baptized as soon as she can change her work schedule :) and last but not least, this girl named Brandie from Washington! Yep, she's American and super awesome! She's studying here and we contacted her super late one night right before we went home and we have met up with her a couple of times and she has a lot of good questions about the Book of Mormon and stuff. She's got Mormon friends back at home! So things are definitely rolling here and I'm liking it. 

Other than that... not too much else to report on! We went to Gij贸n this week for a giant combined district meeting and the Bittons were there from Coru帽a doing piso inspections so they bought us all lunch! They are the best :) it was so good to see them again. We also found out this morning that today is some lame holiday only in Le贸n so everything is closed. That makes for a super tranquilo p day :) I love you all, thanks for being good kids, and good with kids! Go south!

Con amor,
Elder smith

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pics from this week




Cool castle in Ponferrada on intercambios this week!

Mexican food in Valladolid

Yo s茅 que vive mi Se帽or!

Hello fam!

This week was insane!! I'm just gonna get str8 2 it cuz we don't have
much time today. Aight. Let's go.

Semana Santa... i don't even know where to begin. People here go all
out for this big party that is all week long. It kinda made it hard to
talk to people in the street but we just pulled out the jesus cards
and they at least accepted those. When you only talk about jesus, they
usually listen. Some of the processions (parades) that they had were
insane. Elder kiser and I were scared a couple of days to go out into
the street cuz there were so many people and a lot of creepy stuff,
but overall it was a good week. I sent my mom an insane video if
anyone wants to see it. Just ask her and she can send it over. There's
a little story that goes with it too hahaha I highly recommend that
you all watch it. Maybe put it on the blog momma :)

We went back to Valladolid this week! Talk about #blessed!! We went
for the district meeting down there and then ate at some rad Mexican
restaurant. It was super delicious but very pricy. Nothing compared to
Lorena's in good old BNTFL. I just miss that place so much, I was
surprised about how much I remembered about the city! I hope we can go
back soon and maybe this time we can have more than just a few hours
so that we can pass by some of my peeps who are there :) such a
blessed sitio. Long live Valladolid.

Other cool thing... we started teaching this guy named C茅sar from
Salamanca. He lives here in Le贸n and just finished the Camino de
Santiago. The elders up there in Santiago contacted him and taught him
a lesson and he went to church and general conference there and then
came back from his trip just this week. Well, he called us up and
wanted to meet, so we have already taught him 2 times and he has a
baptismal date for the 29th of April! This guy is soooo prepared! He
got out of jail like 3 months ago but he's super cool and wants to
follow jesus. He came to church yesterday and loved it! He said that
anytime he gets ganas to smoke, he's gonna call us and take a big
drink of water! Haha dude is a stud. I hope he gets baptized!! It's
exactly what he is looking for!!

Another thing that I'm not gonna get into too much this week... the
Colombian family. The mom, Julie, dropped some serious news on us this
Friday and let's just say that there could be a serious miracle
happening this week. I don't have time to explain it but next week
when all is said and done, hopefully I have something interesting to
tell. Please pray for Julie, Margot, and Gustavo this week! We really
are working so hard with them and want them to come around!! I know
it's in God's hands and whatever is supposed to happen will happen.
I'll keep y'all updated.

Last thing... yesterday as we were singing one of the sacrament
hymns... I couldn't deny the spirit that I felt! I almost reached out
and grabbed it by the tail haha! Elder kiser and I were talking about
Easter and how grateful we are for the sacrifice that our savior made
for us. Without him, we would literally be nothing! We would be
doomed! We owe him everything and I am so glad he is my older brother.
I'm so glad to be a member of his true church and to wear his name
every day!! I've got 20 months down (as of today) and a few more to go
and I'm gonna make every single day count!! I love my savior!!

Well, today we played some baseball (with squishy balls and a ping
pong paddle) and ate chili dogs cuz elder kiser has officially 6
months left in the mission and I have officially 20 months under my
belt. It was the best way we could think of to celebrate!! Haha I'm so
happy out here. I'm dreading coming home but I know it'll be good too.
I love you all, thanks for the support! Enjoy this dope scripture that
we found the other day, hopefully you understand it and appreciate it

Quedaos tranquilos, y sabed que yo soy Dios
-Salmos 46:10

Con amor,
Elder b smith

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pics from this week

Little bit of cathedral stuff!!

One of our future investigators named Bobo plays for the Le贸n basketball team and he hooked us up with tickets and we took our member friend who is a foreign exchange student named charlotte :)

Cathedral Action

Semana Santa!

 Inside :) 

Elder Peroni :)

Leaning like a couple of cholos!

Yo yo yo how we doin :)

I don't even know how to describe this week. It was loaded with miracles, planning, stressing out, and other weird stuff. I came to the realization that this literally is the greatest time period of my life and it makes me want to live it up to the max!! I'm in the greatest country of the world, speaking the sickest language there is, and my companion is like my number 1 homie. We have nothing to worry about except for the salvation of everyone else around us, which is kinda a big deal. We are out here preaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! It literally doesn't get bette than this! Except for maybe some hot tubbing... that would definitely be nice haha me n elder kiser get home every night and complain about how sore our bodies are and pop our backs. We're getting old!! Haha but here's the week! It flew bye, just like randy Johnson's heater!! 

So to start things off, last Monday I did an intercambio with my grandson Elder Peroni! Talk about a stud muffin! The kid is a machine! He taught me so much and I was so glad to spend a day with him and get to know him better! We talked to this little Colombian family who had been contacted by missionaries a long time ago and they were just solid gold. I'll explain more about them later. But seriously, not many elders get to meet their grandsons :) I feel fortunate. He's gonna be a good leader in this mission some day! I swear the kid can get anyone and everyone on the street to stop and talk to him. 

Zone Conference this week was legit. We went up to Gij贸n to stay the night and then dropped down into Oviedo for the conference on Friday morning. Oviedo is where Gabe and boo baby kiser both started their missions so it was cool to visit! We focused a lot on finding new people to teach, planning, goals, and using time wisely. After Elder Soares of the presidency of the 70 came and visited us, we kinda changed our mission motto to 2 Nefi 25:23 which reads "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." The part that we have focused on a lot lately is the last phrase, "after all we can do." There's always something more we can do, and that's the kind of mission culture that president is trying to get us to have and who he wants us to become. The extra mile missionaries are the ones who see the miracles! 

Elder kiser and I got some time at the end to have a little council with the zone and get them hyped up and so we decided to share a video called "Quiet Confidence" from the TCU Baseball team. Obviously we both love sports so we related it to missionary work and changed the words a bit and so this is what we shared with the zone... (the changes are in bold lettering)

"We serve to be a part of something much bigger than ourselves. We join together. We believe in one another. And we push each other to achieve a level of greatness that can only be reached when we all work as one. Our quiet confidence comes from knowing that, while we may be gringos from Utah, and we might face a few rejections along the way, collectively we will rely on extreme diligence, obedience, and faithfulness to meet our challenges. Do not let our white collar appearance fool you. We are blue collar through and through. We tell our missionaries 'Don't worry about the things you can't control. It's a waste of your time and it's a waste of the Lord's.' The only things you can control when stepping out of the piso in the morning are effort and attitude. You give 100% percent of both and I assure you, you will see results. Resist the temptation to relax. It will only serve to distract and move us further from our goal. Keep your blinders on and sharpen your focus. Grasp the urgency of now and Win. This. Day. Good. Now do it again. Then when the last day finally is over, and the plane settles in Utah, only then will we learn the answer to the question everyone's asking. But know this, a single day or a single week does not define a missionary. A true missionary emerges in the early morning hours. A determined force, always on their knees. Deprived of sleep. Mentally driving the body beyond fatigue. Beyond back pain. Beyond reason. To the point of exhaustion. How far a missionary will push the limit when no one is watching, that's the essence of a real servant of the Lord. So the next time you're out one afternoon, and happen to catch a glimpse of a couple of missionaries contacting the streets of Spain, take a pause. Look closer. And feel fortunate for what you are witnessing."

Needless to say, people left the conference feeling very excited to get after it! President and hermana pack loved it too :) 

Now back to that Colombian family I was talking about earlier... I was making calls and came across a lady named Julie and decided to call her and she if she had time to meet up. She said yes :) So I went with elder peroni to a park and we talked with her, her sister Valentina, and her mom Margot. They are all super religious and want to find the true church! We visited them this past Wednesday in their house and taught them the restoration and it was sooooooooo money. They absolutely loved it! Unity people. The brady bunch has some serious comp unity. They came to church on Sunday and loved all the members! It was good to finally get some fresh faces in sacrament meeting. I don't know how long it's been since there has been this much excitement about missionary work in Le贸n but things are looking really good right now!! We also had 2 other new investigators at church for a grand total of 5 people and it was quite the sight. I am really loving Le贸n right about now 馃馃嚜馃嚫

This week is Semana Santa and things are about to get a little weird hahaha. They have said that Semana Santa in Le贸n is one of the best places to be in all of Spain to see all the super old catholic traditions. We decided to start things off the right way by touring the cathedral here and it was absolutely beautiful! I'm gonna miss this place so much. I'm so blessed to be serving in Le贸n. I wouldn't trade my mission for anything. I wish I was Spanish some days haha. 

I love you all, sorry for the long weekly report pero es lo que hay :) feliz semana! Happy Easter! Hopefully the bunny finds you all and leaves you a treat or something! 

Con amor,
Elder smitterz 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Pics from this week

Conference baby I'm sure there was some listening to
talks involved as well! hahaha

Most borderline pic of my mission

Hodgkinson's!!!!! This was truly a tender mercy. 
So many details fell into place that couldn't have been
coincidence.  What a blessing for all of us :)Ben served his mission
in Madrid a few years ago as well!
Two elder brady’s J

Cathedral in Le贸n

hello peeps!

Hola fam.i.leeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
Just a heads up... this email is gonna be short and sweet hahaha. We had a lesson this morning and have been spending p day hanging out with elders jones and peroni, my son and grandson! We are doing intercambios tonight and tomorrow with them and I'm really excited :) we spent the day playing football and ping pong and chatting. I'm so grateful for mission friends who are lifelong homies. These fools are gonna be my side until the very end!! Well, here's the week!!

I wrote last Wednesday cuz we were in Madrid last week and we were a little bummed and thinking that we wouldn't be able to get much done in Le贸n, but we were wrong! We had a ton of lessons and picked up 4 new investigators! It was ridiculous! We also had the chance to do intercambios with the elders from Ponferrada which is a little area just outside of Le贸n. They're part of our district. It was a good time :) all in all, it's been a good few days since we last chatted! Elder kiser and I are hyped about what is coming in Le贸n! I love it here!!

Another cool thing that happened was that I saw the Hodgkinson's from the good old Val Verda 4th ward!! I got a phone call saying hurry up and get to the cathedral and so I did and when I got there I was greeted by 2 very familiar faces!! It was such a nice surprise! We chatted for a while and got a picture and it kinda got me excited to go home and see all my buddies in the greatest ward of all time :) 'twas a tender mercy!!

Last thing... conference was sooooo awesome. I loved all the talks hahaha I can't pick just one. As I was looking back through who spoke, I loved Elder Ballard's talk about life goals. And president eyring's talk about the great plan of salvation. I can't just pick one talk hahaha they were all great!! I'm excited to read them all again!!

Well, that's all the time I have, I love you guys and wish you the best :) talk to you in 1 short week!! :):):):):):):)))))))

Con amor,

Elder smith