Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Spirit of Happiness

We had a really good week this week and we were able to see so many blessings! Unfortunately We had to move Kelly Ann's baptism because she had some unexpected school stuff come up but she will be in the water soon enough! 
One of my favorite parts of this week was when we were able to have a movie night and watch "Meet the Mormons"! That movie is incredible! I loved it! It was really well done and I love how it covered people from so many different walks of life! It was really cool to see the good there in the world!
We are working with some really cool sisters named, Andra and Endra! (Ha you gotta love the Carribean names!) But anyway they are super cool! Andra loves the Book of Mormon and is doing great at reading it and we are really excited about her progress! They have a baptism date for the 16th of May and are really excited to be baptized by someone that holds the Priesthood authority so that they can experiences those blessings! It's been so great to work with them! We will keep you posted on it!
We also made a cake for Brother Deangelo's birthday and decorated it as well! We started joking that he is our Mom because they take care of us! They are great! I have loved getting to know him as well as other med students! I don't have time to write about all of them but they are amazing! But anyway on the cake we wrote, "Happy Birthday Mom!!!" They got a kick out of it! Ha but that was really fun! I have a pic but the computer here is being funny so I can't send it... Maybe next week!
Something I have also been thinking about a lot is the "Spirit of Happiness" IF you didn't notice by the title. Now I wish to be careful here because this is also something that I have struggled with my fair share but I guess here it goes. I've noticed that in a lot of cases we almost choose to be unhappy. We find something wrong and then whine about it. Now once again I choose to talk about whining because it's something I know a lot about. ;) Now there obviously is adversity in the world but I wonder how much happiness we miss out on because we simply choose to focus on the negative instead of the positive. A quote I love by Elder Holland says, “Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly. … No misfortune is so bad that whining about it won’t make it worse” It really hits you but it's the truth... I also want to be better at finding joy in the Journey. Life is a wonderful thing! Find joy as you go through it! We have so much to be thankful for! Don't miss the little things! I know that "Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy." That's why we're here! To find the Joy that our Heavenly Father has for us! I know that as we look for the blessings around us and the great things in life we will be happier! I love you guys! Have a great week!
With Love,
Elder Rando

“Come what may, and love it.”
Joseph B Wirthlin

"So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial...We shouldn’t wait to be happy until we reach some future point, only to discover that happiness was already available—all the time! Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect. 'This is the day which the Lord hath made … ,' the Psalmist wrote. 'Rejoice and be glad in it."
Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it."
Dieter F Uchtdorf

Monday, April 13, 2015

Keep Smilin'!

I loved this week! We got to have the Mehrs and the assistants in and we got to lime with them a little bit and it was just beautiful! I got to decorate Sister Mehr's cake! (The writing was done by yours truly!) And it was a lot of fun! I love meeting with the Mehrs and I just feel like I grow so much every single time! I loved it!
We had a wonderful week that was hard and great at the same time! One of the hardest part was that it was transfer time and so that means saying goodbyes... We had to say goodbye to Elder Naylor on Friday and that was just sad! He has become one of my best friends over the last six months of serving around him! He is a great missionary and somebody that I look up to! I can't wait to hang with him post-mission!
We are really excited though because Kelly Ann is getting baptized! It is super cool because she is 18 years old, about 4 feet tall (slight exaggeration) and good friends with the Smiths in the branch! And so the way that we met her for the first time is through them! One Sunday they just brought her with them to church! How about that! It's like a new missionary idea! ;) But she came and we started meeting with her and she is super smart and super excited! It has been really cool to see her progress and also to see the Smiths get excited! Brother Smith is going to be taking us to his daughter because he wants us to "baptize her!" (His words exactly!) Ha I love the members here!
Lee got an interview for the Aaronic Priesthood and it went well but he said he wanted to wait a couple of weeks because he HATES being in front of people! But he is coming along really well! He is about through 2 Nephi again and is doing great! He loves the Book of Mormon!
I have loved to see people throughout my mission just keep working at things until they finally overcome them because of the enabling power of the atonement! It is incredible to see the Lord make saints of sinners and to truly change lives around! I know that He can! To be honest that is the only way! I imagine most people that have overcome addictions permanently at some point had an acquaintance with the Savior. He heals. That's what He does. I know that we can help others to access this healing power and to keep trying! Lift people up! Be their Angel on this side of the veil! I love you guys! Have a great week!
With Love,
Elder Smith

"God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were. He cares that we keep on trying... My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying. If we don’t try, we’re just latter-day sinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter-day quitters; and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re latter-day hypocrites. As we try, persevere, and help others do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints."
Dale G. Renlund
 These are pics from hog island and Conference Weekend and Elder Naylor leaving and a couple with the Ap's from this weekend! :)  The first pic is of a family that Elder Naylor and I contacted and the sisters baptized the wife and are still working with the husband!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Living To See Another Day

Well this is it! We got transfer calls and I am staying for another one here in Grenada! Ha I am so thrown off because I don't stay in areas for this long! This transfer will be my 5th and the longest that I have stayed in an area has been 3 transfers. Ha so this is really crazy! But I am stoked because we have some sweet things going on!
We are really thrilled with the member work that we have been able to get done the last little bit! The Lord has blessed us tremendously with great members! We are basically teaching straight Member Referrals right now and I love it! Member work is the key! I can always tell the difference between a member referral and just somebody that we just find on our own. It is crazy how big of a difference it makes! So that is my call to all of you that are reading this! We need more member missionaries in this work! Something that President Mehr talks about is how the Lord is Hastening His Work! And how He may just be out in front of us! We cannot hold Him back! So it's our job to hasten the work with Him so that He doesn't have to wait on us! Something that Elder Cornish also said to us is that "The Lord may just expect more from us." It's a hard truth sometimes but a truth nonetheless! He may just want us to accomplish more! So keep that in mind as you go throughout the day and are bombarded with opportunities to share the gospel! They are literally everywhere!
So now to talk about Conference! I loved it! Elder Holland's talk was wonderful! I loved how he taught about the fall and how the Atonement saves us from it and how because of that sacrifice we are not just free falling forever! But with hands like the strike of lightning the Savior grabs onto us and saves us! I loved that! I also really liked the whole Saturday session. I can't remember who it was that said it, it might have been Uncle Boyd but he basically said, "The point of the church is to make sure that we have happy families that are sealed together for eternity." That is so true! I loved that! I have talked about this before but it is truly all about the covenants! They are everything!
Today I want to base my little spiritual thought on the talk given by Elder Wilford W Anderson of the seventy. About the dance steps and the music! I loved that talk! I loved how he talked about how we should live the gospel joyfully and we should learn that while we're young, in our homes. I am so grateful that I have parents that helped me to "Hear the music" growing up. They may not have always realized the impact that they had because I may have gotten a little away from the dance steps at times but they always helped me to hear the music. Thank you Mom and Dad! I love this gospel so much and it is because of all that you did while I was growing up! 
Well that's it for this week! Have a great week and tell somebody that Jesus loves them and help them to "Hear the Music"! 
With Love,
Elder Smith

"We learn the dance steps with our minds, but we hear the music with our hearts. The dance steps of the gospel are the things we do; the music of the gospel is the joyful spiritual feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost. It brings a change of heart and is the source of all righteous desires. The dance steps require discipline, but the joy of the dance will only be experienced when we come to hear the music.
The challenge for all of us who seek to teach the gospel is to expand the curriculum beyond just the dance steps. Our children’s happiness depends on their ability to hear and love the beautiful music of the gospel."
Wilford W Anderson

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Way

This week was a great one! We were able to work a lot with members and Lee is doing great! I am so proud of Him! There was one day when we took him to visit Matthew in the hospital and we get there and there was this body wrapped up in a sheet laying there on the bed! I have never seen Lee so disturbed! Ha it was way funny!
 I don't have a ton of news for this week but I just wanted to talk about the Savior a little bit! Since it's easter and all! A lot of my studies lately have been on the life of the Savior and His Atonement. I have loved it! 
Something that I have noticed is that the Savior is always inviting us to come and see, one by one. In the Book of Mormon it talks about how He asked them,to bring the sick that He could heal them. He does that one by one. He also invited the children to come so that He could bless them. Once again one by one. And these are Mormon families so that's a lot of Kids! Ha but I just thought it was so cool how concerned Christ was with the individual. He didn't just suffer for our sins as a whole! It was individual! He loved us enough to suffer for us individually! He knows exactly what we are going through! Because He has been there before! Time after time in my life I have wondered why are things so hard. Why do bad things happen when I'm trying to be good! However, I am certainly not the first person to ask this. Listen to this scripture from Matthew, "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:" In a sense He is saying, "if it's possible let me do this another way. If there is any other way, another path, I would rather walk it." But then he finishes with what characterizes the Savior so well. "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." He submitted to the Father. He knew His will was the best. I know that He is the Savior of the World! When hard times come there is always a way to make it through them! And that way is through, "The way, the truth and the life." I love you! Have a great Easter! 
With Love,
Elder Smith

"The Savior’s atonement in the garden and on the cross is intimate as well as infinite. Infinite in that it spans the eternities. Intimate in that the Savior felt each person’s pains, sufferings, and sicknesses. Consequently, he knows how to carry our sorrows and relieve our burdens that we might be healed from within, made whole persons, and receive everlasting joy in his kingdom."
Merrill J Bateman