Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014 Email

Dear Family,

It's great to hear everyone had a fun time in their events and activities. Stockton must have had a good time in honor band otherwise he wouldn't have done it at all. Parker seems to be into track a lot if he's trying high jump. Brigham must be happy to be able to play baseball. Dad seems to be busy with all the work that needs to be done around the yard and with the regular work. Just always encourage the guys to get to work and don't stop till it's done.

Things have been crazy this week here as well. We had tons of lessons with investigators and less-actives and we thought we would get them all to church this week. Unfortunately, regardless of all those lessons, no one showed up to church yesterday. The sisters that double cover our Ward got an investigator out to church and a less-active, I believe. We all do really well with the Ward and the Ward always does awesome at fellowshipping investigators that we bring in. It's always important to have the members get involved with new investigators so they feel welcomed into the Ward.

This week we had a baptism for the sisters' investigators. They have been teaching this part member family for a while and were super stoked that they got them to commit to baptism. They had a father and a daughter baptized and confirmed yesterday. The daughter's baptism was in St. George, Utah about a week ago and the father was baptized on Thursday. They both got confirmed and were welcomed gladly into the Ward.

Missionary life is so much fun here and is full of joy to bring others into the church that we know to be true. All who serve The Lord diligently and without complaint, them will The Lord bless and guide them into the celestial glory of heaven. Never forget that you are precious to God and that he will never give up in you so long as you are willing to change.

I miss you all and love your letters every week to help me go on with this calling and responsibility that I've been given.


Elder Smith

WHAT WE BELIEVE:  Baptism by immersion in water by one having authority is the first saving ordinance of the gospel and is necessary for an individual to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to receive eternal salvation. All who seek eternal life must follow the example of the Savior by being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Because of Him

Dear Family,

It's so good to hear that spring is there finally. The winter we had there was crazy bad with both temperature and snow. It's been sunny here for a while. I wouldn't mind it at all, but my body is still changing to fit the climate change. It gets way hot over here and can be brutal when riding a bike in our mission clothes. Thankfully they got rid of the suit season thing before I came out, heat would probably put me in a coma from heat stroke. :) I did get that package and it was cool what you did. The quotes are Elder Ewell's favorite part about getting packages from you guys. He thinks they're so cool and creative.

It's cool that Stockton is heading out on his honor band trip soon. I really enjoyed my honor band experience over in Washington state. Let me know if he's going to any historical sites and the songs that he is playing this year. Parker and Brigham seem to be enjoying track. I always enjoyed the long distance running and had fun in the 800 meter race. Hopefully Parker's wrist is healing well, soft tissue usually takes a while to heal fully. If Brigham is still in Lego League, keep going and I hope it's a good experience for you. Dad seems to be
moving around a lot with all the City Brew's being put up. It's good that he's keeping busy though. The schedules we have here can be rough and long, but I seem to manage. Hopefully Mom isn't getting stressed out up there. There seems to be a lot with track, band, work, the Eagle Project, and no doubt the Cub Scout Day Camp prep. You guys better be helping her out with the house and the anything else she needs you to do. I don't want to hear about any complaining when I get home.

We had a pretty busy week with tech meetings for new missionaries and all that. We got a new set of missionaries to come in this last week and we had 12 new Sisters and 3 new Elders come in. We have 2 of the new missionaries in our zone and they came in when President Weston was teaching the zone about obedience. Aside from the tech meetings, we had interviews to take care of during the evenings. We've been meeting with investigators still, just not as often as we would like. We did have a cool experience though this Saturday. We meet with a family we haven't been to for a while and they had their kids there. The kids met with missionaries before and have their own copies of the Book of Mormon. They've all been reading in it and have all been learning from their studies. We invited the family to attend church and they said they would. Unfortunately, they canceled on us at the last minute and had some other plans for Easter. We'll get them next time though.

Easter was good for us. The church program didn't consist of any primary or youth involvement so I found that a little odd. Several investigators and part member families showed up and we were so stoked to see them there. We then went home teaching with the member we live with and taught a lesson in firmly set anchors. The article is about how having a firmly set anchor in the Rock of God can help us stand strong against the waves of turmoil and the winds of temptation. After home teaching, we went over to dinner with a less-active family and had some steak there. We shared a new video that's out called #BecauseofHim. The video helps people to better understand the meaning behind Easter and why we celebrate it. After meeting with them, we went off to a meeting with the mission president. He talked on obedience and how we need to be more exact in our callings here. It was a very spiritual meeting that hopefully encouraged everyone in the
zone to be more like the missionaries we are assigned to be. I encourage all those who are considering on serving a mission to do so with no second guessing. It will bless your lives and it will be a blessing to your families and your investigators.

Never stop sharing the Gospel with those around you. You might be afraid, you might think they don't want it. But you can do it and you can teach them, even if it's just to plant a seed. Do your best and never think any less of yourselves.


Elder Smith

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Box

 Here is the box we sent to Mitch for Easter.  It had the usual items for Easter, but we did something a little special.  We took plastic eggs and decorated them like monsters and then we all chose scriptures about the resurrection that we liked.  It was fun to watch the boys search for scriptures and use their spiritual brains to create something unique for their missionary brother.  Can't wait to hear about Mitch's reaction to opening this egg carton!!!

Messages to go with his treats:
"Share the gospel with everyone, not just your peeps"
"Missionaries & Messages"
"Being a missionary rocks" (for the pop rocks egg)
"3 Nephi 10:6" (to go with the chicks)

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014 email

Finally, a picture!!!!
Dear Family,

Hey there! It's good to here from all of you. It's awesome to here your all doing better and are getting into what's happening. It's cool to see that the brothers are having fun and living it up. Stockton seems to be doing well in sports. The play seemed like it went well considering it's probably the first time having a musical at the school. Parker, it's awesome to hear you placed in 3 of your events in track. I hardly ever made it on the podium in track, so keep up the good work and train hard. It's cool to hear you tried hurdles Brigham. I was never good at it so it's cool to see you exploring your talents on the field. Hope your doing well Mom and Dad, it can get a little crazy with the house here without getting told to clean all the time. It's just a way of growing up for me and to become who The Lord wants me to be. Tell Gunnar and Willy I said "hi" back.

(This is in response to an email from his Aunt CoDele who lives in California) The kids seem to be making friends in school a little easier know that they're in activities.  They need friends to help and support each other when things are looking down. I'm glad Cooper is getting better with his burns, it stinks that he now has a sickness to add onto the recovery process. I found it pretty cool to hear that Matthew helped in giving a blessing to him. It's very important to have the priesthood in the home so that when something comes up where it is needed, it can do its work and minister to the family. It's super cool that your thinking of going on a mission, Matthew. Going on a mission can bless you and your family in ways you can't even imagine until it's there. A mission helps you to grow spiritually, mentally, and physically to help shape you into the man you are to become.

I thank all of you for the letters you send and the stories you tell.  They keep me going and encourage me to look ahead and do my best for my investigators. I thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and your prayers. It gives me hope and makes me strive to become a better missionary. This experience has changed my life so much I feel I will return home a different man than I was before. The Lord is with us all as we strive to become more like Christ and to live worthy lives in the sight of God.

Love Elder Smith

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 7, 2014 email. . .

Dear Smith's,

Hey everyone! It's good you guys got one of those better log splitters. I know the guys don't like to split by means of the axe, lazy bums. Hahaha:) Anyway, just hope and pray that the weather gets better. It's needs to get better in Montana if there's to be any good moods for sports.

It's good to know that Stockton had a good time at another prom. Hopeful Parker gets better, he won't be able to go into throwing events for track. Just don't do anything that would make it worse like falling of the top bunk of a bed. :) Do good in baseball Brigz. I wish I would have had the chance to do baseball when I was younger.

We had an investigator watch general conference yesterday but all others somehow weren't able to watch it at the church or at their homes. Our investigators seem to want to learn but refuse to keep commitments or ignore everything we say. We aren't sure what to do with our people or how to really address them on the importance of the commitments. Things just seem to be getting more difficult here, but I expect that from Rio Linda. I know that they have their agency and we need to respect that. We just need them to have their hearts softened by prayer and studying the Book of Mormon to know that these things are true.

I love you all and think of you guys when ever I have hard times and struggles and know that I have your support and your welcomes when I return home.


Elder Smith

(editor's note:  Parker broke his wrist years ago from falling off a bunk bed while diving to catch a football.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

March 31, 2014 email

Hey Smith's:

I hear there is quite the bit of snow up there. I guess what ever rain comes from California some how ends up being snow by the time it hits Montana. We've been getting quite a bit of rain here recently; and that's good, don't get me wrong, but when you're biking in some heavy down pour with no fenders during an exchange, it can get pretty miserable out here.

That stinks to hear that seminary is getting canceled so much due to the snow. Seminary is the best way to stay close to God everyday. It's helped me through so many things in life and has reminded me of the gift that Heavenly Father gave to us and to grow closer to him. It's cool to hear everyone is doing well. Stockton better keep up on his practicing if he wants to keep going in Tri-County band. I was really bummed to hear they have practice for the play at 6:30 in the morning.
Just be sure to be teaching him all the seminary lessons when it's possible. Sorry to hear that you broke your wrist Parker. Just don't do anything else that could put you out of a sport. Hope Briggz is doing well in Lego League. It's gonna be tough to start baseball in that weather though.

I have had several great experiences here in Rio Linda. We had a family come to church yesterday and had them attend all the meetings. At the end of the third hour, we had one of the investigators come up to us and say, "The first time I came to church, I thought that all these people weren't actually people, if that makes sense. But today, there were actual people here to greet us and to help us out." That was one of the coolest experiences I've had happen out here so far. It
shows that we are doing our part and it shows that the members are doing their part in welcoming and befriending our investigators.

Stay warm and keep praying. I love you all and I will always have you in my prayers and my thoughts.


Elder Smith

The Official Treat Your Trainer Package for Greenies

 Here are the items that I sent in Mitchell's greenie package.  I sent two of everything since it was a treat your trainer theme.  They were all green, it's amazing how many green things you can find in the store!!!  Underneath each picture is the saying that went with the item.

Start each day Affresh

(A light up bracelet) 2 Nephi 12:5

Life can be a "breze" when we do it the Lord's way

Gain knowledge from each other

Matthew 4:19

(sing it out) The trainer and the greenie, work together in perfect harmony

Missionaries are life savers

(I blacked out the r, i and e so it only said "listen")--Listen to the still, small voice

1 Nephi 3:7

Resolve differences quickly

Spring out of bed, ready to face each day

Lengthen your stride

Always use tact

(I covered up the "dent" with the label)--"Tri" hard each day

I had one other thing that I sent in the package, but I can't remember what it was.  Feel free to send packages his way, he loves them.