Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Back From The Dead!

Well I am back here in St. Lucia! It is crazy! Ha I wish that you could see some of the peoples faces when they saw me for the first time! Ha it is so funny! The funniest one was a girl named Kimberly who is about 14. She was the first one that saw me and she looked at me like I was coming back from the dead! Ha it was so funny! Church was great but very hard... O'Brian is inactive as well as his family and so that was hard to see. There also are a lot of people that were there a year ago that aren't there now... It breaks my heart and we have a lot of work to do!
We had a good finish in Grenada though! It was great! We had Andra and Corey's baptism and they are super excited! They are doing so well! I am so happy for them! During the baptism I also stepped on a sea urchin... Ha so I got a bunch of little quill things stuck in my foot and so at the Deangelo's dinner appointment right after that we ate while I soaked my foot in crazy hot water and then Brother Deangelo spent about an hour and a half getting the things out with a needle and some tweezers... Ha he was so funny! But it was good! I am doing just fine now to mom so don't get to worried! ;)
I miss Grenada bad and it was really hard to leave! (I have some pics that I will send next week because I forgot my camera! I am happy to be here in St. Lucia though and I know I need to be my best here!
So I know you are dying to hear how things are going with Elder Beck! It's great! I love that guy! We are working with some sweet people and we are going to see some miracles! IT was funny because last night I was looking back at my journal from the beginning of my mission and it was funny to read that and see how much we have changed! I also came across an entry that we thought was funny because about after 4 days in the MTC I said that I hoped Elder Beck and I get to serve together! Now here we are! Ha it's pretty crazy!
I have loved seeing the joy and change that serving the Lord has brought to me! I love it! If there is anyone that is wondering whether to serve or not, you've got to! It is the greatest thing! I love it! The Lord surely pays in His own way! I love you all! Have a great week!
With Love,
Elder Smith 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Transfer Calls! Buckle up!!

I will post his new address as soon as I get it, he is obviously so excited!  

You ready for this?!?!?!?!?! I am going to.............................. Castries St. Lucia! And serving with.................................................................... Elder Beck!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha can  you believe it/ We are going to be zone leaders together there! IT is a different area but the same branch that I was in before! I am stoked! Ha so yeah there it is!
I am going to miss Grenada a lot! The people here are great! But the Lord needs me elsewhere!
This week was wonderful! I grew a ton and I feel like I have gotten so much closer to the Savior! I sure do love the Lord! The big news is that Andra and Corey are going to be getting baptized on tuesday! We are sneaking it in before transfers! Also for Elder Bingham's birthday! IT's going to be great! We had a very special moment with Andra as she told us that one of the big things pushing her is the change that she has seen in her 10 year old son Corey. And that since this is going to make him the man that she wants him to be she is going to keep going! No matter what! That is just an echo of my email last week! Andra is a mother who knows! That was so powerful! I am so excited for them! They have come so far!
We also got to go to a service projects at some old folks homes and it was great! I have changed to say the least! I used to really struggle with things like that! But it was such a sweet experience!
I also got to have a special fast this week and I have a testimony of that! I do still wonder at times if we're going to get to the judgement bar and Heavenly Father is going to ask us if we have any questions and I am going to ask, "What was up with that fasting thing?" And he is going to say, "You guys missed a letter! It was supposed to be feasting! You were supposed to have feast and testimony meeting!" Ha but we'll see! :) Thank you Hank Smith for that joke! :) But in all seriousness I love the promise in Isaiah 58. Listen to this, "Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am." I love that! Don't we all at times when we are in deep distress, sadness, confusion, worry, whatever it may be! Don't we all need the Lord to say as we cry out to Him, "Hey, I'm here. It's ok." I testify that is exactly what fasting does for us! I saw that! I testify that He will answer! He always does! Just trust! Hang in and hold on! Take heart! He is there! I love you all! I know that the Lord always keeps his promises. Especially as we obey His laws. I love you all! Have a great week! 
With Love,
Elder Smith

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

I love this boy of mine, don't miss the pics!

Things are going great here in Grenada! I love it! Andra is doing really well and so is her son! I don't have much time today but since it was Mother's Day I want to pay a tribute to my mom! She has always been there and I am so grateful for her! I am with the stripling warriors when I say, "We did not doubt, our mothers knew it" I am so grateful for her and my grandmothers! I know that as mothers take care of their children it is very much an eternal work that they are doing! I am so grateful that my mother has stuck through it all and has helped me to "Hear the music" I know that the women in our lives play a very eternal role and I am so grateful for each one of them! I testify that as Mothers try their very hardest they will see miracles from their work! If not now then soon! I know that! Because that is what has happened in my life. Thank you Mom for everything that you have done for me! I love you!
I am sorry that it is short this week but I love you all! Have a great week!
With Love,
Elder Smith

"If you try your best to be the best parent you can be, you will have done all that a human being can do and all that God expects you to do."
"You are doing God’s work. You are doing it wonderfully well. He is blessing you and He will bless you, even—no, especially—when your days and your nights may be the most challenging. Like the woman who anonymously, meekly, perhaps even with hesitation and some embarrassment, fought her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of the Master’s garment, so Christ will say to the women who worry and wonder and sometimes weep over their responsibility as mothers, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.”  And it will make your children whole as well."
Elder Holland (Because She is a Mother)

 Cake for  Bro. Deangelo?  They call him MOM :)

 MLC  Mission Leadership Conference

Monday, May 4, 2015

18 months? IF?!?!‏

I remember early on in my mission how crazy it was going to be when I hit my 18 month mark but that always seemed forever away and I didn't think I would ever hit it! Ha well sure enough, here it is! Crazy! I can't believe how fast time is going!
This week was sweet! We got to go to Trinidad this week for our Mission Leadership conference! It was sweet! I got to see a ton of really good friends and we were fed really well physically and spiritually! I was so full by the end! Ha but it was a great conference! I learned a ton! A really cool part about it was that there was a missionary that I was good friends with in High School, Matt Pulsipher but he was on the dutch side so I haven't seen him my entire mission! But he was going home while I was in Trinidad for school and so I got to hang out with him for a day and then go to drop him off at the airport the next morning! It was so good to see him! He is still the crazy, ridiculous guy that I remember but just more mature! Ha I love that guy though! He is a funny man! Ha so that was great!
I also got to see Elder Beck and some former companions and it was just great! I have some great pics but the computer won't let me send them again so I guess you'll just have to wait another week!
Things here in Grenada are going really well! The branch is thriving! I am so excited about it! The branch has stepped up and all is well in St. Georges! They are wonderful here! 
A talk that stood out to me in the last general conference is "Is it still wonderful to you?" by Bishop Gérald Caussé and he talked about how the wonder of the gospel sometimes starts to wear off as we stop noticing the Lord's hand and the small little things that the gospel brings into our lives! That's when we get into danger zone! The gospel is the answer for just about every problem that we run into! It may be simple but it always works! I know that as we focus on those blessings we will never become "tired" of the gospel! Because it really is sweet! I love you guys! Have a great week!
With Love,
Elder Smith
"To marvel at the wonders of the gospel is a sign of faith. It is to recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives and in everything around us."
Gérald Caussé

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Don't You Quit!

This week was an interesting week and for reasons that I can't really talk about to much today it was kind of tough! However Andra is doing great and we are really excited for her and Indra! They love the Book of Mormon! It makes teaching them so great! I love it!
This last week I have also just been blessed so much by so many different people and their influence on me! Wow it has been incredible to see how great people still are in a world that isn't so great! I have grown to love people so much here in Grenada! The Grenadian people are wonderful and the medical students in the branch are my heroes! I love these people!
This week i was able to see the members rally around another member at a time of need and it was so incredible to see! Elder Bingham and I were in tears time and time again as we watched this unfold. And because of the situation we kind of had to simply just sit back and watch the members step up. And did they ever! I am honored to be able to work with these people!
I don't have much to say today but I just want anybody that may be having a hard time as they read this to just pay attention for a second. Because of the events that have happened this week this is something that I am kinda passionate about right now. I want everyone who is reading this right now to know that God loves them. I know that. You matter to Him. You are His work and his Glory! I testify that God loves each of us with a perfect love. He is very mindful of us. I also know that the Savior is as it says in Hebrews, "the Mediator of a better covenant" and "An High Priest of good things to come." Things will get better. He conquered, not just overcame, but conquered every thing that any of us has been through, are currently going through and ever will go through. Trust Him. He is the Way! I know that He loves us. Hang on, and hold on. If things are hard, take heart. With His help you will reach your promised land.
With love,
Elder Smith

ps this is a story from an Elder Holland talk that I love!
"Katie Lewis is my neighbor. Her older brother, Jimmie, is battling leukemia. But like the faithful Latter-day Saints they are, the Lewises turned to God with urgency and with faith and with hope. They fasted and prayed, prayed and fasted. And they went again and again to the temple.
One day Sister Lewis came home from a temple session weary and worried. As she entered her home, four-year-old Katie ran up to her with love in her eyes and a crumpled sheaf [stack] of papers in her hand. Holding the papers out to her mother, she said enthusiastically, “Mommy, do you know what these are?”
Sister Lewis smiled through her sorrow and said, “No, Katie. I don’t know what they are. Please tell me.”
“They are the scriptures,” Katie beamed back, “and do you know what they say?”
Sister Lewis knelt down to her level and said, “Tell me, Katie. What do the scriptures say?”
“They say, ‘Trust Jesus.’”
Sister Lewis said that as she stood back up, she felt arms of peace encircle her weary soul and a divine stillness calm her troubled heart.
In a world of discouragement, sorrow, and sin, in times when fear and despair seem to prevail, I too say, “Trust Jesus.” Believe that He can lift mankind from its bed of affliction [trouble], in time and in eternity."

"Don’t give up, Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead.You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."
Jeffrey R Holland

"It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is.
It all works out. Don’t worry.
I say that to myself every morning.
It will all work out.
Put your trust in God,
and move forward with faith
and confidence in the future.
The Lord will not forsake us.
He will not forsake us.
If we will put our trust in Him,
if we will pray to Him,
if we will live worthy of His blessings, 
He will hear our prayers."
-Gordon B Hinckley