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