Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September 15, 2014 Email

Hey there! As you might know, I'm emailing today because of the meeting with Elder Brent H. Neilson of the Seventy on Monday and he met with the missionaries in the south part of the mission yesterday. The meeting with Elder Neilson was great and long. The meeting started around 9 and went to about 3:30 and didn't get back home 'til about 5 with all the travel from Chico. The meeting was all focused on missionary work and how we can not just improve our teaching through study and prayer, but to grow by acting and by going out there and do the work regardless on how we may feel or how people treat us. That we need to thank God for the trials in our life rather than ask for them to be taken away from us so we could move on with our day. It taught us to trust The Lord regardless of what comes our way. While at the conference, I saw that several missionaries of my MTC District were in the northern part of the mission. All but one was there and a sister who was at the conference were in the picture here.

Like I described in my last email, we had a baptism last Saturday for Diane. She has met with missionaries for a while and her husband is a member who baptized her. She was confirmed Sunday and Elder Briggs and I had he opportunity to be a part of that as well as a new ordained Elder who will be heading on his mission here in a few weeks from now. It was a great experience to be here for and to invite her into the church.

This week we had some good experiences with our investigators showing some interest in quiting smoking and start working toward their baptismal date we have for them.  

It was cool to hear you all are doing well. It's kinda weird to have the eye injury without any cause to it being there though. You are in my prayers and I wish you the best recovery Mom. For the guys, great job in your run last weekend. Hardin isn't an easy course by any means at all, you were just lucky to run it in a bit cooler weather than in the blazing sun. I have to deal with the California heat for I believe another few months before it starts to cool down some what around here. I don't know if you've heard, but in Weed there were some huge fires there that took out about 100 homes. Most of ward is actually in that area to, so it doesn't help many people there. Hopefully winter brings the rain, or it's gonna be brutal next year for California. Hey Parker, keep working in football. I know you might not like sitting on the side lines just as much as I did. Football is a good sport for you and I know you love it, so keep working hard and show all of them that you deserve to be on that field. It's awesome to hear you got into some elk Dad. They are fun and difficult to hunt and always seem to get in the spots where you can't get a good shot in at them. Hope you have better hunting next time and hope you get into them. One other thing Mom, if you could sent out some more contacts that would be great. I love you all and wish you the best of times, even when they seem to be rough. 

Elder Smith

September 9, 2014 Email

Hey there! Sorry I didn't get back to you guys yesterday, we had another long P-Day up in Mt Shasta. We didn't go on hikes there, but we went through some sick caves and abandoned lava tunnels from Mt Shasta. The last 30 yards was for crawling and it ended in a small room big enough for 6 of us to fit. 

The rest of the week was the usual of visiting people and seeing some interesting things here in Cali. I actually found out that a few people in the Ward here are from Montana and have family up there. The Ward also has a missionary out in Helena who left just before I got here. They always send the city folk out to the country and the country men to the city. Haha! The days are getting a little cool here every once and a while so we'll be expecting rain here soon hopefully. We have an investigator who is going to be baptized here this upcoming week so we are excited for that. Everything else should be interesting this week and next week since we've got a zone conference that Elder Neilson will be attending and will continue to go to the rest of the mission. It throws the week off a bit, but we have P-Day on a Wednesday. Well I hope you all have a good week and hope the guys have fun at their games and their races. I love you all and hope to here from you next week. 

Elder Smith

September 2, 2014 Email

Hey! It's great to hear you had a great Labor Day this year. Those events that the Fowler's have are pretty fun when they have them. It gets the people in the area to know each other well and build friendships with members and others as well. Sorry I didn't get to you guys yesterday. We were up in Shasta Lake area and went on a hike to a view point of Mt Shasta. It was a good 2 1/2 mile hike up and was like home. All the pines and the mountains around me made it feel like I was hiking on the Mystic Lake trail. We were up there all day and had a great time, aside from the fact that a sister missionary rolled her ankle near the top. She made it down the mountain and got it wrapped so it could start healing, so she will be fine. We were actually going to go through some lava tubes that you could crawl through to some caves. We didn't do that yesterday so we'll be doing that next week and I'm stoked to go. 

The people from California weren't lying when they said it can get crazy hot here. I've gone through high 90's out here on bike and in some 100's. When I got into the mission at first, I thought it would be cooler up here as well, then my last companion made me think otherwise. Other than that, we've had some good luck with our people and with the Ward. We have someone on date for this weekend so we hope to help them out with that. We have a couple others in date, but that won't be for a while. Everyone else we still need to work with and have been working with the Ward as well. So this week has been super busy and filled with hear, but it gets okay after we relax at the end of the day. 

Hope to hear from you next week and wish you the best. I love you all and always have you in my prayers. Talk to ya. 

Elder Smith

August 25, 2014 Email

Hey there! 

It's great to hear you're all doing well. I still remember running in Pony and how it was always a great first race to start off the season. Hopefully Parker is able to get into the games more than I did. Do well at cross country Stockton and Brigham, it's fun and a great place to meet friends. Have fun in school and trekking on. 

This week has been pretty hectic with transfers and getting use to the area. Half of the week was spent getting everything ready for the transfer and the three hour drive to Redding. My new companion is Elder Briggs. He is from Austin, Texas and has been out on his mission no longer than two months than me. He is currently a visa waiter for a mission in Brazil and has some things to take care of before he can head into Brazil through the government. He's a pretty cool guy and we get along well, which makes it easy on me compared to my last companion who wouldn't stop pestering me. The area isn't as big as my last, but it's got some crazy hills to make up for the loss of travel distance. Thankfully I made it here when winter is about to come into California. My last companion was telling me of when he was up here in the summer. It would get to 118 and how the heat would start to melt the tires on his bike from the heat. Here, it's suppose to be cooler in the winter with rain and clouds to cool off the area. That should be amazing while I'm here so I can actually survive. The people here are really cool here and there are a few people on date for us, so we're hoping they keep to the commitments we give them. 

I love you all and I wish you all the best of luck and comfort. You are all in my prayers and hope you all have a wonderful week. 

Elder Smith

August 18, 2014 Email

Hey there!

It's great to hear everyone's getting into school and sports. Dad must be pretty swamped with work to say he might go hunting this year. I still remember some pretty crazy times we had when we went hunting for elk before I left. Maybe Dad could take Parker up in the mountains by Cory's to get some experience with bow hunting. Yesterday was the seminary kick off where my Ward Mission Leader is subbing there for a while. Stake conference here was great. President Hallstrom and Elder Smith were both here and we had a great time in both adult and regular session. It was all focused on missionary work and how we must be as missionaries are to help the missionaries. Transfer calls came in last night and I'm going up to Redding after six months in Antelope. I'm not sure where my home will be at, so I'll email you the address when I get there. 

Aside from the weekend, everything else has been slow. We helped the elders quorum finish up inviting people to stake conference last Sunday. The same with the High Priests group of people. We did pick up a new investigator who seems interested with what we have to say. Hopefully Elder Larsen and the new Greenie coming in can get in touch with him again. So that was pretty much my week here. Hopefully things go good up in Redding and I keep learning. 

I love you all and have you in my prayers all the time. Hope you all have a great week and have fun in everything you do. 

Elder Smith  

Miss that voice

Here is a little clip of Mitchell singing in a sacrament meeting.  It warmed our hearts to hear is beautiful singing voice!!!

The song is "If You Could Hie to Kolob and the lyrics are below since the video is only a short clip of the song.

  1. 1. If you could hie to Kolob
    In the twinkling of an eye,
    And then continue onward
    With that same speed to fly,
    Do you think that you could ever,
    Through all eternity,
    Find out the generation
    Where Gods began to be?
  2. 2. Or see the grand beginning,
    Where space did not extend?
    Or view the last creation,
    Where Gods and matter end?
    Methinks the Spirit whispers,
    "No man has found 'pure space,'
    Nor seen the outside curtains,
    Where nothing has a place."
  3. 3. The works of God continue,
    And worlds and lives abound;
    Improvement and progression
    Have one eternal round.
    There is no end to matter;
    There is no end to space;
    There is no end to spirit;
    There is no end to race.
  4. 4. There is no end to virtue;
    There is no end to might;
    There is no end to wisdom;
    There is no end to light.
    There is no end to union;
    There is no end to youth;
    There is no end to priesthood;
    There is no end to truth.
  5. 5. There is no end to glory;
    There is no end to love;
    There is no end to being;
    There is no death above.
    There is no end to glory;
    There is no end to love;
    There is no end to being;
    There is no death above.
  6. Text: William W. Phelps, 1792-1872

August 11, 2014 Email

Hey there!

I'm glad to be back online as well. Writing letters by hand and mailing them, not knowing when they would arrive, was a pain to deal with. It's great to hear your all doing well. Just busy with work and, here shortly, school. Be sure to get Stockton running in some time in the day so he can start getting his body prepped for practices. I made the mistake of doing nothing to prepare for cross country and my time payed for it. I just can't believe I set a goal to beat he top spot on the board when I know I wouldn't run or train for it. I hope football goes well for ya Parker. Keep striving for the best you can be and don't cut yourself short. 

It's awesome to hear that Elder Nelson was at your guys' stake conference this last week. Our stake conference is coming up this week and we will have Elders Donald L. Hallstrom and D. Zackary Smith presiding and hopefully a whole bunch of people show for that. Elder Larson and I have done a shoulder load of less active finding this last week. The Ward gave us a list of around 50 less active names that we had to go out and invite them to stake conference. Hopefully we will see some of them there so we can get to know them. We have an investigator family of four on date that's set for the middle of September. Transfers are coming up here soon and I'm pretty sure I'm leaving this time. If I move out of here, I'll still try and make arrangements to attend the baptism. I just hope I don't get sent to the top of the mission where it's very hard to get rides down to here. Aside from setting the family on date, it's just been a lot of the less active work the Ward gave us. A very long and busy week was what we expected when we got the list, and it was. 

I thank you all for your letters and for the support you give me. I recognize you in my prayers and hope for your days to be proud and happy. I love you all and hope to hear from you next week. 

Elder Smith

August 4, 2014 Email

Hey there! It's been a while since you got an email from me. My iPad had to get some bugs cleaned out so I didn't have it for a while. It's great to hear you all doing well and staying busy. Sorry I didn't get to email on Dad's Birthday, so a huge happy Birthday goes to you Dad. It's great to hear about Cory's calling in the bishopric. It's a great opportunity to grow and to learn more about the gospel. Also, congrats on Kaylee for getting engaged. It's cool to hear she will go through the temple and be sealed for eternity. 

   This week has been kinda slow for us here. Several of our people weren't available or just didn't want to talk then and there. It's been like that for the last couple of weeks for some odd reason. Drop in visits out here usually don't get the lessons in that we need them to hear so set return appointments is always the best way to go if we want to get into the homes. This last week we've had a fair amount of visits with both investigators and less-actives that we didn't really intend on having. One of our less-actives we've recently picked up wasn't able to be reached for most of the week except for yesterday. We were biking out to visit with a couple of people when we saw him waiting at a bus stop after him and his family had gone shopping at Walmart. We stopped and talked with him since he usually works through most of the day. He was able to get Sunday off so he made it to church and got up to bare his testimony for the first time in two years and did an awesome job. He is determined to come back and will hopefully stay strong to the faith for good. A miracle happened yesterday with one of our investigator families. They made it to church! I've been working with this family ever since I got here and haven't seen them make it out to church once. The mother and kids had made plans with one of the members to give her a ride, but he husband got called in for work in his day off and got Sunday off. They all made it to church and I'm so stoked about it. In total, we had 9 investigators and 4 less-actives show up at church. In all my time here, I've never seen that in this Ward and probably anywhere else in this zone. That is one of the biggest miracles I have had out here and a very up lifting one. 

   I love you all and love hearing from you. Hope you know that your in my prayers and that your a huge support for me here. Love ya. 

Elder Smith

July 16, 2014 Letter

It's amazing what they learn when out on their own!!!

July 9, 2014 Letter

It is always a struggle to be away from home when there is a holiday.

Happy Birthday, Elder Smith

Elder Smith turned 20 on July 9, 2014!!!!!!

I was in Butte a few days before Mitchell's 20th birthday, so I mailed him a package with all kinds of goodies (ties, cookies, microwave brownies, candy, etc.).

July 1, 2014 Letter

Mitchell ended up having problems with is ipad, so we got actual hand-written letters.

June 23, 2014 Email

Hey there! How are things there? I hope everything has been settling
down after scout camp. This week was another hectic, busy week with
our area here. We've been going all over trying to pick up more
investigators. We went out to our further areas and did some tracting
and found some potentials that we can go visit later on. We have been
talking with a lot of people and have found some new investigators, so
we've been way busy.

Things have been going good for me here and I have been improving in
everything. My eating habits have changed, I have a better attitude,
and I feel happier about myself. I know a mission is for the people we
teach, but it is also a place where we personally change for the
better. It has helped me grow personal, emotionally, and spiritually
in ways that I couldn't imagine.

I love you all and hope to hear from you soon.

Elder Smith

**Mitchell was not getting our emails, that is why he sounds a little bummed that we hadn't emailed.**

June 17, 2014 Email

Happy Father's Day! Sorry for the late e-mail, things got hectic yesterday and I started typing late. How has the week been for all of ya? I hope everything is starting to calm down and settle now that cub scout day camp is over with. Those always fry the nerves to no end. This week was pretty crazy here. We were over at a less actives house and almost got the cops called on us cause this landlord thought that we were trespassing when we had a return appointment. We can't go over there anymore, but will still be meeting with him in other places. We've also been biking in some, what I like to call "death heat", and have biked around 90 miles total this week. Most of the week has been cool with this Delta Breeze, so it makes up for the first few days of burning sun. 

We've been meeting with lots of less actives and trying to contact potentials so we can have a good area to work with. Several people aren't too interested and we are going to have to start tracting here soon. Let's just hope and pray that we can find new investigators so we can have something to do here. We always look for opportunities to find new people and have seen some progress. Elder Larsen is really pushing me out of my shell and has helped me to grow as a missionary and a person. I'm greatful for his support of me and for helping me succeed while I am out here.

I love you all and pray for you everyday. I hope you had a good Father's Day and hope to hear from ya next week.

Elder Smith