Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Back Home...

So unfortunately I won't be having any "West Indies Adventures" for a little while... I have been forced to come back home for knee surgery and so now I'm going to be on the "Journey back to the West Indies". So we probably won't have very many posts on here for the next little bit. Thanks for all the prayers and support. It means a lot. Love ya all!

-Elder Smith

Thursday, October 24, 2013

One Week More! (Parody of Les Miserables "One Day More")‏

So this week was an interesting yet good week. First off guess who the ENTIRE Montoute Family (That's like 8 people so it must be true) said I looked like? Brad Freakin Pitt. So obviously I was very excited about that. Because I currently have a buzzed head and they said that is what has brought the Brad Pitt'ness out. However there is a backstory to all of this. So you know in Love's Labours Lost when it gets all serious at the end because the Princess' Father died. Well I would always tell everyone that that's when I go from bringing out the James Roday'ness to bringing the Brad Pitt'ness. And they all laughed and told me that I could never be like Brad Pitt. (Despite my obvious resemblence to him when it comes to looks.) So to all of those doubters I would like to quote from a Phil Collins song. "Take a look at me now." (Pretty sure that's Phil Collins) Ha so that's about it. It made my week though. :)
So my knee isn't doing the best but I have kept going. I have received a lot of strength and just hope to Keep on Trucking! (That's a great image for someone my size. I like it.) But one of our investigators, Tony, has been super concerned about it. He wants to keep me taken care of. He is an awesome guy. 
The most spiritual experience came from a blessing I received from Elder Hatch. As i have already expressed I have so much respect for him. He is my Hero! He came over on Tuesday night and gave me a blessing. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had. It was a real blessing of comfort. I know that the Spirit guided that blessing. I don't remember much that he said but I will never forget the way I felt. The Spirit was so strong and brought so much comfort during a hard time. I am so grateful for the Priesthood and all the blessings I have recieved over the years. It really is so powerful. 
Once again I know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. And as the Lord told Samuel, He looks upon the heart. So we must all have the desire to go about doing good! I miss you all so much but I am glad that I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve here. Keep it real! Love ya!

-Elder Smith

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


So this week in Trinidad we had an earthquake! It was big enough to notice and be cool but not bring any damage. So that was sweet! Also this week has just been an eventful one. 
I have had my left knee giving me some trouble lately so I had to go and talk to our mission doctor, also  named Elder Smith. (That's why it's important to put Elder Randon Smith on my letters. There are like 8 Elder Smith's here. Ha but anyway...) He told me that he doesn't think there are any tears or anything serious but there is major inflammation so my LCL and MCL are super sore and tender. However being in a walking area it makes it rather tough to just let the inflammation go down. Plus there are hills all over our area. Like monstrous ones! So he basically gave me the Mike Burgraff treatment. "Ice and Ibuprofen!" Ha so that's the plan. I just keep pushing through and hopefully it will start to get better! He also said to keep losing weight. I don't really see that as a problem! :)
Next thing is we started teaching this homeless guy last week. He seemed really interested and yesterday he even came to church! However he left before it started to "go get some water..." He never came back. So we thought... Last night when we were walking home we say that there was a light on in the Chapel. So we were like "Ok, that's kinda weird..." So we went to turn it off and we see this homeless man just passed out on one of the benches! So obviously I was like "Jeepers Creepers! What do we do?!" Also this is a big guy. Like 6'7", 250 lbs. So we basically weigh the same. (Ha due to my West Indies weight loss program) But anyway we called the Bishop and let him take care of him. I am so glad he didn't wake up because with how out of it he was I am pretty sure he was on something. Ha he loved the church so much he didn't want to leave. Ha but yeah it was super crazy!
So to be one hundred percent honest this was kind of a tough week for me. It was just tough with all of the knee issues and some homesickness and things. Also there are just times when you wonder why am I here? Am I just wasting my time? Or am I doing well enough? Just things like that. Then last night I got a call from our zone leader, Elder Hatch. And you have to understand that Elder Hatch is like my hero. I look up to him so much! He basically told me that he was impressed and that I was doing a great job. He asked me how I like my mission and I told him it's super hard yet rewarding. Also that I miss back home a little bit and just some of the thoughts I mentioned earlier. He then told me that he remembers going through that stage and just told me once again that he was super impressed with me and as I continue to work those things will become easier. I really needed that. Then finding out today in my email that Mom was fasting for me to know that Heavenly Father was pleased with my work. Jeepers creepers, I know that Elder Hatch's call was an answer to that fasting and praying. Thank you Mom! It helped me so much.
I know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us and wants us to pray to him. I am so grateful for all of the comfort that has come from my prayers and others that have been said for me. He answers our prayers. I know it! Thanks once again for all of the support. I couldn't do this without it! Love you all!

-Elder Smith

*MAYBE WE COULD ALL PRAY A LITTLE EXTRA FOR ELDER SMITH THIS WEEK, IT SOUNDS LIKE HE NEEDS IT!  I wish I could hug him, my arms just aren't long enough....

Monday, October 7, 2013

Living to see another transfer

So we got our transfer calls on Saturday just before conference and I found out that me and Elder Jamison are going to be staying for another transfer in the port of spain! I am so happy about that!
Conference this week was great! We watched it at the church and it was so good! I loved how the theme was hastening the work! Especially on Saturday! It was kinda hard at the same time too though. Looking back some of my greatest memories is being able to watch conference with the fam. I really missed that! Especially the Priesthood session with Dad and everybody. Not going to lie, that was tough. I loved conference though! I didn't really have a favorite talk but I loved many of them. Elder Holland's was obviously one of my favorites once again. It was a different topic than I was expecting but I loved how he talked about how one day we would all be made perfect. How great will that day be? I also love Elder Ballard's talk on Saturday. Then Uncle Boyd came through once again with a great talk. Also we had an investigator named Norma come to all four sessions! It was so awesome! She is going to be baptized just now!
So this week my favorite experience came from working with a young girl named Jamalia. She is almost 9. We had been teaching her dad Tony for sometime now and he will be baptized once his divorce goes through. He is such an amazing humble man. But Jamalia has shown the desire to get baptized and should be on saturday. She is the most innocent, adorable, little girl and loves church! So on Friday we were teaching her about prayer and invited her to say a prayer on her own. She had never done this before. So we told her just to talk to her Heavenly Father. And she did! It was so simple yet so powerful. You could tell that she was having a conversation with her Heavenly Father. Tony was just beaming afterwards! That was probably one of my favorite experiences so far.
I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. He listens and cares about us individually. Thank you so much for all of the prayers that have been said for me. I truly notice their effects all the time. I could not do this if it wasn't for prayer and the blessings that come from it. 
I love you all and keep it real back home!
-Elder Smith
 Susan's Baptism

 I'm in the same district with Elder Beck here still! I love this kid!

 I was on a tradeoff with Elder Brown and this is him with our food! 

Not nearly as good as Brigham's... But you can't win them all! 

Monday, September 30, 2013


Sept. 30, 2013

So this was an absolutely amazing week! We had Susan's Baptism this week and it was such an amazing experience being able to baptize her! The coolest part was on Sunday though when she was confirmed and bore her testimony. On Sunday morning she kinda had a rough time with her husband I guess so she was pretty sad when she got to church. But when we went up to have Bishop confirm her it was the neatest thing ever. After he was done we all took our hands off of her head and she was bawling. She had so many tears running down her face. Then later on she got up and bore her testimony. She talked about her long journey to becoming a member of the church and then said "when I was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost I didn't feel 8 hands on my head, but I felt surrounded by 8 angels." I lost it! I started to leak profusely out of my eyes! The entire congregation was crying. That was the most spiritual experience I've had out here so far! She is so solid and it really shows that people are being prepared to live the gospel.
I love this area! It seriously is the best! We had 7 investigators at church on Sunday and we have some really solid ones! It's so exciting to see people progress and notice for themselves the blessings that are coming from following Christ!
Also guess what! I have lost 30 pounds in my first month here! It is so crazy! One of the senior missionaries described it as walking around in a sauna. Ha and it is kinda true!
Well that really is about it for this week. I am loving it even though it is super tough! Luvs!

-Elder Smith

Monday, September 23, 2013

I Believe

(He sent pics!  Yay!  They are at the bottom after the letter)

So this has been such a hard yet fantastic week. Susan wasn't able to get baptized because something came up but she will be this week! Also on saturday some of our investigators, Rondell and Simone were married and it was a super humble wedding but they were so happy! So that was neat. Simone gave me this huge hug and it was kinda awkward... But she was happy i guess! 
One thing that I wanted to really focus on was coming out of my shell around new people better. Now that it's happened I'm not necessarily sure it was for the best... Because now more people just get to see me be out of control and see the "Shawn-ness". So it might actually not be the best thing... Ha so i might not be mature and know how to bring in my sarcasm when i get back. Ha but it's made it more enjoyable for me! I have really started to love the people and the area here! It has been really great!
I sweat so much though! People tell me all the time that I look like I just got out of the shower. And I'm just like "yes I know I sweat like Kevin Garnett. Sue me!" But jeepers creepers I am just used to being wet constantly now! It is absolutely unbelievable!
So as far as the Indies weight loss program goes I am still losing a lot and my clothes are starting to become ginormous! So because of the size of my clothes it makes it really hard to see the ripped beast that I am becoming :).  So even though it might be tough to see it in the pics it is very much happening. :)

Something else that I noticed is how in the baptismal interview questions it keeps asking "Do you believe..." So that got me thinking about Elder Hollands talk in the last conference "Lord, I Believe" it talks about how even the smallest amount of faith can work miracles. So stay true to that faith! Elder Holland says:
"When facing the challenge of faith, the father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitation. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: “Lord, I believe.” I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. It was of this very incident, this specific miracle, that Jesus said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know."
I realized how important that is this week. I may not know it all and may only be 18 years old but I do know know that The Book of Mormon is true and it blesses and changes lives! And because of that knowledge I know that Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that he was called by God to restore Christ's church in it's fullness. And I know that through Jesus Christ's atonement people can change, And the only way we can return to live with our Heavenly Father is through him. I love ya and miss ya! Keep it real!

-Elder Smith

The Beach!

The Wedding. They really were happy. I promise!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We got 2 emails today!  And some pics!  Enjoy! Yay!

Me and Elder Beck with Bro Lester at the MTC! I'll send more next week! :) Luvs!!! 

Me and Elder Jamison, Elder Hatch and Elder Brown at a member's house,

So you know how I told you about the Montoutes and how the mother (Susan) would be baptized if she had her husband's consent? Well she got it and now she is going to be baptized on Saturday! And her husband is going to even come to her baptism! This is certainly a miracle from the Lord! 
Also something else really cool that happened for me was on Friday when one of the AP's came out with us! His name is Elder Boyer and he makes me laugh quite a bit. But anyway when we were teaching he just kind of gave me this look that was like "Go get 'em!" Ha so I did! It was so neat because I really was able to build my confidence in teaching through that experience! I definitely needed that. That really is about the just of it as far as our week goes. We weren't really able to go out very much this last week because Elder Jamison was sick... So I'm not going to lie, staying in our apartment all week really wasn't very fun at all. I read so many scriptures and watched so many district videos this week! Ha I feel all studied out! All in all it was a dang good week! I kinda had my whole weight loss program put on hold though because if you're not walking you're not losing in the Indies! So that was kind of a disappointment.
I have received a lot of questions about food here though so I will talk about it. It's one of my favorite things to talk about! :) But anyway the food here is good, really spicy, and messes with your bowels in the morning... I know that's really blunt but that really is the way it is! You asked so I told you! Ha but it is a lot of rice, beans and chicken when we eat at members houses. They love their chicken around here! 
I also realized that I haven't really talked about Pres. and Sister Mehr very much. So here it goes! I love the Mehr's! They seriously are the best people ever! President Mehr reminds me of Coach Mecham a ton! But he actually has a lot of hair... Ha so if Coach Mecham wasn't bald he would be exactly like him! Ha he has this loving boldness about him when he talks. He is very smart and relates the gospel really well to things. Sister Mehr is one of the nicest people I have ever met! She is so great! So basically they are the power couple of the Indies! I love them!
Well it's been real but I gotta get going! Do the little things and you will be blessed! Luvs!!!

-Elder Smith

Monday, September 9, 2013

Port of Spain Week 2

  • Port of Spain Week 2‏

Well this has been a crazy week! It has been super hot and I continue to waste away! Ha but it's been good! I actually spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday and so that was kinda good.. Ha I like speaking for people that I know a little bit better... Ha but yeah I got a call from Bro. Camejo (1st counselor in the bishopric) at 9 30 on saturday night so I had about an hour before bed to prepare my talk for the next day. I talked a little about member missionary work and how important that really is! I said "There are two things that missionaries love 1. Getting fed by the members (that is so me) 2. Referrals from the members. And if we can get both in one night? Yahtzee!" I found out later that people in trinidad aren't really familiar with Yahtzee.. One of them actually thought I said "Nazi"... So I had some clearing up to do... Ha but all in all it was good!

As far as our Baptisms go it was a tough week. None of the ones with dates came to church so now we have to move it back a week. It really boils my potatoes, However the lady with dreads, Norma, has been coming and progressing a ton! She was my first appointment here in Trinidad and she has been doing really well. She says once she comes to know it's true that she'll be baptized. So me and Elder Jamison are really praying.

Another super cool family that we're teaching is the Montoutes! They are amazing. They have a 15 year old son who was baptized the saturday before I got here and he is doing fantastic. Now we're teaching his mom (Susan) and some of his brothers. They are doing really well! Unfortunately their dad is really against it and so it might be tough for them to get baptized as of now. But the coolest experience of my week was with them. I had been praying to be able to recognize and act on spiritual promptings better. When we went to teach them that night as the lesson went on I had the strongest prompting to promise them that somehow the Lord would soften Susan's husbands heart. So I acted on it and read 1 nephi 3:7 which talks about how the Lord always provides a way. Then I said something along the lines of "Susan I promise you in the name of Jesus Christ that as long as you do your part the Lord will soften your husband's heart." I then started to leak! Out of my eyes! It was the coolest thing though because I felt the spirit so strong.

I can testify that the Lord knows exactly what we need and as long as we're willing to lean on him he can bless us! He said "Learn of me, and listen to my words, walk in the meekness of my spirit and you will have peace in me." I know that is true. Remember that in the Garden of Gethsemane he bore each of our burdens individually. So when you feel like no one knows what you are going through lean on him! Because he has been there before! I love you all and keep the faith!

-Elder Smith

ps It's confession time... I actually did Love's Labours Lost at state without my sling... I thought I would wait until I was out of the country to let you know that mom... Ha love ya!
Ok, he is sooooooooooooooooooooo in trouble!!! --Shanna

Monday, September 2, 2013

First P-day letter from the "Indies"

Olo, (cheesy megamind quote)
I am in the Port of Spain in Trinidad right now and it is crazy! All I know is this isn't the language they taught me in the MTC! I don't necessarily understand the english here... Ha but I have gotten a little better with it as time has gone on. It's a great place but there are some interesting people here. So i learned that we can't really just smile and nod for everything when you can't understand them. I did that when a guy apparently said that Moses was half man and half horse... I ended up agreeing by smiling and nodding and it turned into a real interesting situation... Ha but what can you do?! 
My comp is Elder Jamison from Riverton and we are doing really well. We have like 8 people who have baptism dates in the next little bit. So we're hoping and praying that they can make it! We're also teaching a lady with dreads! I was so excited when I saw she had dreads because of my goal to baptize at least 6 people with dreads! Ha why am i so dumb?! But anyway I am loving it here even though it is so hot and humid! Plus I am in a walking area and we literally walked at least 10 miles my first day! I am wasting away! I have lost so much weight and I've only been here about a week! So basically i'm on the verge of a six-pack. No big deal.
This is honestly the hardest thing I've ever done though. Physically I am absolutely dead and emotionally it's super tough too. It's breaking my heart to see so many people not want to enjoy eternal happiness because our standards may be a little uncomfortable or inconvenient. I know that it's worth it and I just hope more people can see that. Stay strong and never stray. But if you have we must understand that we are always welcomed back with open arms, no matter how great the detour! Love you all and I hope everything is going great in the BIG BC! 

-Elder Smith

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

He's arrived in the "Indies"!

After only 12 days in the MTC, we got to talk to Elder Randon Smith on Monday morning (8-26-13)as he was on his way.  He called us from Houston, TX while on a layover.  It was so good to hear his voice!  We had speaker phones going so Dad could be in on the conversation from work.  We were so happy to hear from him.  He was so excited and ready to get to the "Indies" as he called it.  He left the MTC at 2:30 am and was tired too!  He still had a 6 hour flight to get to the Indies.  He arrived there last night (8-26-13) at 9:00 pm.  His time zone is 3 hours ahead of us.  He looks great in the photo!  Big smile!  He sounded so happy when we talked to him, he loved the MTC and said he did take pics.  So I will post those as soon as he sends them to me!  I asked him how he was doing and he said, "Great, I just can't wait to get there!"  It is such an amazing feeling, as a mother,  to look at this picture!  I can't describe the excitement and joy that I feel.  I am so proud of this Elder and love him so much!  His message is posted below.  He said to just send letters to the Mission home address which is posted on this blog, then they send the letters to him. He is shown here with his mission pres. and wife, The Mehrs.

Twenty-two new elders arrive in Trinidad:
Back Row: Elder Jacobsen, Elder Larson, Elder Sorensen, Elder Hodgkinson, Elder Harding, 
Elder Smith, Elder Christensen & Elder Bates. Middle Row: Elder Smith, Elder Evans, Elder 
Day, Elder Garner, Elder Kippen, Elder Fraley & Elder Lever. Front Row: Elder Brown, Elder 
Beck, Elder Bertschi, Elder Witten, Elder Chapman, Elder Call & Elder Lewis. 
Seated: President and Sister Mehr

Hey I just wanted to let you know I made it! I have been assigned to port of spain in trinidad. I will let you know more but the Mehr's are amazing! Love them already! Well I gotta go! Love you lots!

-Elder Smith

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Elder Smith is heading to the "Indies"!

We got a letter yesterday!  Yay!  We love our missionary!  He flys out Monday morning at the very early time of 2:30 A.M.  So he'll have a short night's sleep Sunday night!  He is happy and well, no more injuries! :)  I will post his Indies address as soon as I know it, but you can still send letters to the general Indies address he already posted on here and the letters will still get to him.  Missionaries like mail, so please write! The church is true, it rolls powerfully forth with the incredible help of all of these righteous young men and women, It's amazing!  I'll keep you posted, I told him to take pictures, he's not so good at that so we will see!  :)  Luvs to all of you amazing family and friends!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First letter from Randon from the MTC! Feels like we waited for eternity! :)

So if you were wondering if I was going to grow up on my mission then after the first week it probably isn't looking to good... Ha I actually just got out of the doctors office because of an injury that occurred last night... We'll discuss that later on...
The MTC is amazing! The food is not the greatest for your bowels at times but I still love it here! It's a lot like the NBA finals in a way. It has a lot of excitement and I have seen every single stage of male patterned baldness! I thank Heavenly Father for my thick mane every day! :) I have 2 comps and we are the West indies Brothers! One is Elder Christensen who is super spiritual and a really humble guy from Oak City, Utah and I like him a lot. He is also the big District Leader! He is a stud! The other one is Elder Beck from Boise! He even watches The Office so we talk about that sometimes. He reminds me a lot of Mckay Parrish in a way and he is super cool! We like to party and we're practicing our whistling so we can do a musical number! Ha so yes mom I am using my musical talents. We also have two other elders in our district who are going to Colorado Springs. One is Elder Hansen who went to Skyview. He said that he wrestled Nick Sorenson. Elder Hansen is a super cool guy who I've grown to love. I didn't know that Skyview could create cool people so it was nice to learn that... The other is Elder Boswell. He is hilarious! He reminds me so much of Scott Frishkinechthskdht. (I gave up on trying to spell that last name) But anyway Elder Boswell is just a funny guy and he even does Scott's pointing thing when he talks! Ha it kills me every time! There is also a sister in my district that reminds me of Zoey a lot... So seeing all these people really helps in a way! There is also an Elder that reminds me of Dwight Schrute! Ha so he makes things ten times better!
So I know you're all wondering "How did Elder Smith get injured?!?" Well just hold in the tears because I am still OK. But the story goes like this. I sleep on the top bunk and so i have to get up there somehow. So last night Dwight and some other Elders came over to our room and Elder Beck was like "Elder Smith show them how you jump onto your bed!" K so I don't ever jump onto my bed, I use the ladder... So me jumping onto the bed was a leap of faith! So I'm just like "Yeah I'm going to show Dwight how it's done!" So I stretched first, then got a running start, and jumped! Let's just say I didn't quite make it... I ended up grabbing onto the bar on the bed and kinda broke it and fell backwards and landed on my wrist... But for a moment there I felt like MJ! However now I feel like Greg Ostertag with a sprained wrist... So it's a tough deal!
All in all the MTC is great and I love it here! We need more sisters though! They bring a love that the elders just can't bring so that's my challenge to all the girls out there!
I'd be lying if I told you I didn't miss you all a ton and that I'm not a little homesick! But I'd also be lying if I told you that this isn't where I need to be! The spirit is so strong here and I love this work! It is moving forward so choose the Lord's team NOW! He blesses people and will bless you!
Love you all,
Elder Smith
P.S, We had a fireside on Sunday with Vai Sikahema as the speaker! It was great and exactly what I needed. He talked about how he has been privileged to put on some of the most iconic sports uniforms ever. But his favorite uniform he ever put on was the shirt, tie and a missionary name-tag! Just thought I'd share that with you. :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The MTC!

Today was the start of Elder Randon Smith's West Indies Adventure!  And what an adventure it will be.  My heart was breaking as we all said goodbye!  The Lord will take good care of him, he is in His hands.  We arrived at the MTC at exactly 2:00 pm and we all were so excited because we were on time (apparently being on time for things is a problem for us)!:)  I rolled down the van window and an elderly missionary said, "are you here to drop off a sister or an elder?"  I said, "an elder", and he then stuck a blue sticky note on my windshield!  I then hear a "manly" squeal from the back of the van as Randon expresses his excitement.  He was so ready to be there!  He said something like, "YES!  This is so incredible!"  Pulled over to the curb, we all got out and said our goodbyes and took one final picture!  He was beaming as we were all crying!  As he walked away he turned and gave me one last look and...A WINK!  The Stake Presidency member who set him apart told him to do that and he remembered!  Made my day!  We all cried for a good while after that, but it helped that he was smiling as big as Texas as he walked away! Go get 'em Elder Smith!