Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It´s still really hot‏

March 30, 2016

Hello family,

   It´s been a great week!  On Thursday we got our pday we needed so desperately after the multizones which was wonderful.  Then on Friday we had the marriage for Veronica and Mel and then Veronica´s baptism.  It was interesting because a lot of Veronica´s family came in and we were kind of thinking they might be kind of against her getting baptized in our church but we found out that her mom actually got baptized a long time ago (but went inactive) and Veronica didn´t even know her mom was a member.  Crazy huh.  But the wedding was very nice, it was kind of gross because when he said you can kiss the bride they started making out very hard, which made me a bit uncomfortable, but no one else seemed to mind too much.  The baptism went seamlessly except the guy was going to baptize didn´t show up so we ran and found some white clothes and the guy that was from the ward that was being a witness for the wedding did the baptism.
   It seems from recent emails that you guys have been a bit worried about if we´re finding new people to teach and stuff with the recent baptisms.  Well, the weeks of multizones we didn´t find a lot of positive new people but this week we´ve been working really hard and we´ve found some cool new people.  Last week we contacted a lady named Angelica and she let us in and accepted the fecha really easily and her son did too.  She came to church with us on Sunday and said she really liked it and felt the spirit.  In the morning when we passed by to pick her up she seemed a bit hesitant to go to church with us until her husband kind of helped us get her to go.  He´s a cool guy that doesn´t really want to listen to us but really wants his wife to.  Weird.  We also found this old lady named Socorro that went to church about 6 months ago with other missionaries and wanted to go again.  But on Sunday morning at like 4 AM she had severe knee pain and her daughter gave her a shot that knocked her out for a long time and she couldn´t wake up to go to church with us.  If only she realized that god can make her knee feel better a lot better than some stupid shot if she just keeps his commandments.  We also found a guy named Fabricio that´s pretty cool.  And we talked to the granddaughter of a evangelico paster and she was really cool and accepted a fecha easily and wants to go to conference this week.  So we have one new person that went to church and a lot of positive people that we´re praying will go to conference this week.

   To answer questions about conference that I know will come in the future:  We are allowed to go to priesthood session and Sunday morning session no matter what.  You could say that they´re freebies.  But to go to any other sessions you have to bring four investigators to be able to stay.  And an investigator only can count one time.  We don´t have a satellite dish in our building so we have to go to the chapel in Alta Gracia for conference.  But at least that one has AC.  

    Yesterday was leadership council at President´s house (meeting for all ZLs and Sister Training Leaders) and I had to get them donuts and juice for breakfast and Burger King for lunch and gatorade and water and oreos and a bunch of stuff like that.  I buy lots of whoppers. 

    Today for Pday I had to go with a missionary to buy an ankle brace at 10 so that kind of sucked.  But the sporting goods store we went to had spear guns for fishing that were really cheap.  Do you think you´re allowed to check that on an airplane?  It would be super cool to come home with a spear gun.  But I´m pretty sure it´s against mission rules to have a spear gun.  so I guess not.  Whatever.  Then we went and ate at a restaurant place and I had a bacon cheeseburger with strangely chewy meat.  Maybe not a great idea.  Then we went to the chapel in San Juan that has a ping pong and fuoosball table and played around there for a while.  Oh and we went to the import store and bought a ton of Dr Pepper and Rootbeer.  Now I´m set for a while if the missionaries don´t drink all my crap.

   This week I completed one third of my mission.  That´s weird...  I only have to do that two more times!!!  Easy!  I´m basically already home.  Haha jk.  But ya it´s all good in the hood over here.  Just plugging along in the heat.

   Well family, I´m glad you had fun in Vegas and St George.  I´m sure it was unbearably hot there:)  I'm starting to think that Myles must be a cute baby or something.  It´s not like you ever tell me:)  Good job dancing Peyton, good job on the ACT, that´s a great score.  Good job running dad, and going to the temple mom.  Good job doing crap for the wedding Delaney and Rich.  Get those invitations going....   Good job arresting all the thugs in Vegas Matt.  

  I´m super excited for conference this week and for all the crazy revelations I´m going to get and cool experience it´ll be for our investigators.  I´d like to invite everyone who will read this email or the blog to think of two or three questions you have and pray about them and then listen to conference and I promise that you will receive an answer to those questions.  So do that.  Don´t just read this email and think, oh that´s a great idea and then forget about it and not do it.  DO IT.  

 Love you all,

Elder Smith

Cody, Veronica, Elder Jungers

Friday, March 25, 2016

It's so hot. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Hot!

March 24, 2016

Hello Family

   In case you didn't figure it out from the subject line.... It was really hot this week.  Like super hot.  It is a physical force that slows down your steps and draws every molecule of water from your body.  It´s so hot.  so hot.  

   This week was pretty good I guess.  We got Kirby baptized and that was pretty cool to complete the second family in two weeks.  He got baptized on Saturday by a returned missionary that says he´s a friend, but he seems like more of an acquaintance to me.  It was a cool baptism because the six of us in our district (the 6 office secretaries) had a total of six baptisms.  

    Other investigators:  Familia Robleto, Javier went to church and the rest were sick and didn't.  They´ve been having a ton of problems in trying to find a competent, non Nicaraguan doctor to do the heart surgery for Rosemary.  This last week their insurance said they´d pay for the mom and Rosemary to travel to Columbia for the surgery.  They´re pretty excited about it but the mom is a bit nervous to be alone in Columbia with the baby.  They asked us to send elders to the airport to take her to the place she´ll stay and help her with the bags.  I wanted to just say, well if you would've just gotten baptized we could just call ahead to your ward and get the relief society on the job.  But she hasn't so we´ll try to figure out some way to get a member down there to help her but I´m not sure how we´ll do it.  Someone just let me know if you have a connection in Bogota Columbia.  But ya keep praying for them.  Since they´ll leave so soon it´s likely they won´t get married or baptized until at least after the mom gets back (she´ll be gone for about a month).  So that kind of sucks.  

    Our other investigators are Mel and Veronica.  Mel is Maria´s son and Monica´s brother and Veronica is his partner.  They decided they´d get married and that Veronica would get baptized on Saturday but then Satan got to work and started sucking.  First, Mel lost his job and they got super sad, but after promising them lots of blessings and giving them some pretty deep spiritual pep talks the next day they got back on board.  Then we found out that Monica and Kirby, who were going to be the witnesses for the marriages, left unexpectedly on vacation and wouldn't be back by Saturday.  And they were pretty set on them being the witnesses because for Monica and Kirbys' wedding Mel and Veronica were the witnesses.  But we convinced them to just let a young, recently-baptized couple from the ward do it.  Then the lawyer ended up not being able to do it on Saturday because he has 5 other weddings to do on Saturday. So we got them to change it for tomorrow.  So they´re getting married and she´s getting baptized tomorrow.  We´ll see what else Satan decides to throw at them but they've made it this far so they´re pretty set on getting married.  

     Sorry I´m writing today, yesterday we had the last multizones and I never got a chance to write.  The multizones went very well, and I got everyone their food and drink and crap like that.  Yesterday was Universitaria's multizone so I participated in the classes and stuff when I wasn't occupied with food or other necessary errands.  Also Granada and Carazo (zones) came so I got to see Hanson, Medrano, and Nave which was a bit of a blast from the past.  We were initially told that we´d just lose our pday this week from the multizone which kind of sucked.  But this morning at about 7:30 we found out that we could have our pday today.  Yay.  

     Good job on the piano Peyton with your superiors.  That´s really cool.  Good job on having a bridal shower Delaney, that´s cool.  But no one really gave any sort of detail about it other than some of the things she got.  I mean, you could at least say where it was held, who came...   Hopefully you all have fun in Vegas and St George.  I´m sure it´ll be soooooooooooo hot.  I feel bad for  you over there having to suffer in the heat.

     This week in Nicaragua is Semana Santa.  Basically everyone skips town today through Sunday and goes to the beach and gets super drunk.  Those that are too poor or just don´t want to be around a bunch of drunk people put out little kiddie pools in their dirt yards and party in those.  It´s kind of a pain because all of Nicaragua kind of closes down this week except McDonalds.  That´s nice at least.

Well, have a great week.  Don´t get too hot out there in Vegas.


Elder Smith

                          Jungers, guy that baptized (his name might be Eduardo), kirby, me

​The whole family
L to R:Mel, Bridget (the baby), Veronica, Maria, Jimena, Andy, Mikey (blue shirt), Brizza (plaid shirt between the two little boys pronounced Bree-suh), Monica, Kirby, Brianna

Bottom Row:  Elder Jungers, Me :)  bet  you couldn´t figure that out haha

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 16, 2016

Hello family.  It´s been a crazy week but not as bad as last week.

  This week we had the baptism for Noel and Maria.  It was probably one of my favorites so far because both of them are really cool.  Maria has gone to church without fail for about the last 9 or 10 weeks.  It was very special because she was finally able to quit smoking and she´s setting such a great example for the rest of her family (three of which are progressing investigators at the moment).  Noel was great because he´s my first completed family on the mission.  His son was the first to join the church in his family and he went on a mission and the day he got back he baptized his mom.  The son was able to baptize Noel so he ended up baptizing both of his parents after his mission which is pretty cool. 

  The baptism was on Saturday and we bought a cake and Coke at PriceSmart and had the baptism at 6.  About 50 people came to the baptism (many of them because it was right after mutual at the church and the youth wanted cake).  The only hiccup was the Noel is a bigger guy and his son had some trouble getting him all the way under.  It ended up taking 3 tries.  So Maria, who´s also a bit of a bigger lady was super worried because she went next but Noel´s son pulled through in the stretch and got her under the first try.  Maria said the next day that the night of her baptism was the best sleep she´s had in her life and she felt completely different.  She shared that in gospel principles class on Sunday after her confirmation and all of our other investigators heard it so that was a definite score:)  

   Also on Sunday Kirby, Mel, Veronica, Familia Robleto (Javier, Muriel, and Celeste) came.  Unfortunately Maria del Carmen who came last week didn´t come.  We´re still not sure what happened there.  We were sitting there in sacrament meeting and about half way through I saw Sonia (who we baptized on Jan 30) and her mom and her two younger siblings walk in.  I was super surprised (and very happy).  It was surprising to see them because a few weeks ago we had talked to the mom, Urania, and she got super evangelico on us and got pretty mad at us so we thought she wasn´t going to let her daughter come to church anymore but it looks like Sonia was a great example to her family and got them to come.  It was so crazy because she was the last person I expected to walk through that door but I can testify that God is always softening people´s hearts so they repent and keep the commandments.

  This week the goal is to get Kirby baptized.  We were going to get him interviewed on Sunday but after church he kind of disappeared to visit his mom in another city without telling anyone so we brought the ZLs over for the interview and he was just gone.  But we have an appointment tonight and I have high hopes.  

   Saturday was sad because we took Elder and Sister Beals to the airport and we´re on our own now here in the office but everything is going pretty good so far.  Just really busy.  Today we got our hair cut, ate at a good Mexican restaurant, and received a huge order of drinks for the multizones tomorrow and next week.  Yep I said it, Multizones.  More of them.  But these will be a bit easier because there isn´t a visiting authority but still we´ll have to be on our toes.  

   Mom, I got the packages on Monday.  THANK YOU!!!!  They were great!  I loved the shoes and ties and candy and USB but the best part was by far the photo album!  Seeing some of those swimming pics made me forget how great my body (especially my abs) used to be;)  Now I´ve just got a bit of a gut.  lol whatever.  I know that it´s very expensive to send packages to Nicaragua and stuff and it´s easy for me to say this but... IT¨S SO WORTH THE COST!!  I love them so much.  Seriously thank you. 

  Good job with the engagement pictures Delaney and Mom, Good job with school and going to Real games Peyton, Good job golfing Dad.  Mom, you should probably get on Matt a bit for not emailing me this week because I have no idea what he´s doing.  

Have a great Week!!

Elder Smith

Lunch on P-day

Noel and his son who baptized him, along with Cody and Elder Jungers

Cody, Maria, Elder Jungers

A Celebration!

Selfie at the font

The font is in the primary room, which is also the kitchen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

March 9, 2016

Hey family.  It´s been quite a week.  Super super busy.  
   On Sunday we had a Central America regional conference where Elder Anderson spoke.  It was really good.  There were several seventies that spoke, the young women´s second counselor or something spoke as well.  She was the only one that had her talk translated.  It was just filmed in a room in SLC and broadcast over here.  Elder Anderson did a good job talking in Spanish.  I mean, it´s probably easier to speak spanish when you have a teleprompter telling you what to say but it was good regardless.  You could definitely tell that he knows Portuguese.  Elder Anderson was talking about a trip he made to Africa and a lot of sacrifices that people from Congo had made to go to the temple and how they finally got a temple.  Then he looked at the screen and said, now I know those saints in Nicaragua have been waiting a long time for a temple... And everyone got super excited, thinking he would announce a temple or something.  But he´s just like, you´re doing a great job going to the Honduras temple.  So no temple for us but we got a bit of a scare here.  We brought six people to church this week.  Maria, Maria Del Carmen, Mel, Veronica, Kirby, and Noel.  Maria, as of Monday, had over a week of no smoking so we got her interviewed for her baptism this saturday and she´ll get baptized unless she smokes again.  We´re really excited for her.  But she needs a lot of prayers.  Mel and Veronica are family of Maria as I´ve explained and went to church and are just starting to realize I think that there has always been something missing in their lives and that by living the gospel they can fill the hole in their lives.  Wow that was a very profound sentence.  Maria Del Carmen is a fairly old lady we contacted across the street from the mission leader´s house.  She didn´t go last week because she was puking (I reminded her that I puked last week and still went to church) but after that she felt bad and promised us that she would go even if we had to carry her dead body to the chapel.  So on Sunday she left at 7 AM to get the the chapel (the meeting didn´t start until 10...)  It kind of confused us because we went to take her ourselves and she didn´t answer the door so we thought she was rejecting us.  But she´s super cool. Just pretty sick.  Kirby is doing better than last week.   He had a change of heart and he´s doing better.  Hopefully it´s a lasting change of heart.  Noel is doing great.  He´s going to get baptized this saturday (again, as long as he doesn´t smoke or drink). 
    It´s hard to have two baptisms this week with people that need a lot of Word of Wisdom verification because with changes the secretaries barely touch our areas Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  But we´re putting our faith that we´ll be blessed for everything we do to serve the lord, even if it isn´t proselyting.  So please lots of prayers for the baptism this week and the rest of the progressing investigators.  Familia Robleto again didn´t go to church but they had a pretty decent excuse.  Rosemary had been on a list of children that needed to be operated on when a certain surgeon came to nicaragua and on Friday night she was cut from that list and the surgeries were this week.  So they went to the hospitals and did everything they could to get Rosemary back on that list but to no avail.  She didn´t get operated on this week and the clock is definitely ticking.  Also, skilled surgeons qualified in this type of surgery don´t come to Nicaragua often.  So they say they´re putting all their faith in God and doing everything they can to receive His blessings but it´s not true.  They haven´t gone to church in like four weeks, they still aren´t married and she still isn´t too hot on getting baptized here shortly.  So we´ll see what happens with them but please pray for them and especially Rosemary.  

    For changes for me I basically had to make a ton of different orders at a ton of different restaurants for all the happenings on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (news arrive on Monday, get trained on Tuesday and Wednesday, old missionaries have a dinner on wednesday and leave on thursday).  So I´ve ordered a ton of Subway, Burger King, Pricesmart Pizza, bought like 70 muffins at pricesmart, Doña Haydee, Comida a la vista.  I´ve had to order flower arrangements, base plates etc.  Just a constant stream of crap to do that you can´t afford to mess up on.  So news from changes...  Elder Weyand (was my DL and materials secretary) had changes and Elder Aitken came into the office.  Elder Nave went up to ZL in Granada.  Elder Merrill got moved to be ZL in Universitaria so he´s my ZL again.  Now Jungers is DL.  I think that´s about all the missionaries you might know that got changed.  

   Oh, I forgot to tell you that on Sunday President and Sister Russell invited all of us secretaries and the APs over to their house for dinner because President had a lot fewer meetings or something due to the area conference.  So Sister Russell made a legit thanksgiving dinner with Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry juice.  It was amazing.  Wow.  I think it was kind of their way of saying enjoy this meal before the worst 3 days of your life.  A nice little pep talk before getting the crap beaten out of you.  Thats what changes do to you.  But oh well, it´s basically over.  I just have to wake up at like 3 tomorrow to take the dying missionaries (those who´ve completed their missions) to the airport with my comp. 

  Oh on Sunday I was walking down the street and I looked down and saw something smashed and fuzzy.  So I looked closer and it was an enormous, black and purple tarantula that someone apparently found and chucked out of the house.  That was pretty cool.  

  Sorry mom, I didn´t get the packages yet.  I´m definitely keeping my eye out though, trust me.  I feel back to normal now.  Not sick anymore.  All symptoms of my sickness basically ceased this past Saturday so I've been fine for a while.  Don´t worry about me.  Also, I took another parasite test (on nurses orders) and an H Pylori test (no idea what it actually is)  and both tests came back negative.  So I don´t have parasites and don´t have H Pylori.  But I´d appreciate it if someone could tell me what H pylori actually is or means.  Oh and I haven´t even started my accutane yet because we´re still waiting for final approval from SLC.  

   Well, love you all.  Enjoy golfing dad.  Enjoy feeding the chickens mom.  Good job on the violin Peyton.  Good job on doing crap for the wedding Delaney (and mom I think)  good job at saving hundreds of lives every day Matt.  

Elder Smith

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016

Hello Family!!

   I honestly can´t believe it´s pday again.  These last two weeks were so busy the time has just been flying by.  Just like one big blur.  Weird stuff.  

 But anyway...  I can´t really think of much to talk about this week so I guess I´ll give a quick update on the investigators.  Kirby.  Basically fell.  He took his whole pay check yesterday and spent it on drugs and alcohol and left his wife and children hungry.  We´re probably going to drop him because he seems to have lost the desire to change.  It´s heartbreaking to see him being a bum to his wife and daughters like that.  But luckily his wife Monica is still really cool and I think she´ll be fine in the church even after we stop going by for Kirby.  Maria is doing pretty well.  She smoked last week but she´s making it longer and longer and I think she´ll be able to stop completely pretty soon here. 

 Please include her and Kirby and Monica in your prayers.  So Maria, Kirby, and Maria´s son, Mel, and his partner Veronica all went to church this last Sunday.  We went and taught Mel and Veronica and they were positive and want to change but they don´t really want to get married in so little time and they really hesitated to take the fecha.  We´ll see what happens with them but they already have two times in church which is nice.  

  Noel is doing good.  If you don´t remember he´s the father of an RM and active daughter and his wife got baptized about a year ago.  He´s cool and went to church this week.  But after church he went to a family reunion thing and drank.  So I don´t think he learned very much in church.  But we went by on Monday and macheted him pretty hard and got him feeling pretty bad about drinking.  Please pray that he´ll be able to stop drinking and smoking.  Family Robleto talked to a lawyer on Saturday about stuff they had to get in order so they can get married.  But they didn't go to church on Sunday which was a bummer.  Things have slowed down a bit with them but Javier still wants to get baptized and Muriel still has a lot of doubts.  We´re going to teach tithing better today with a member and try to get it resolved.

  I had a bit of a rough day on Sunday.  I woke up at 5 and had some horrible diarrhea and puked like three times before church.  So to bring people to church Elder Jungers dropped me off at Noel´s house and I was on a division with his son (the RM) while Elder Jungers brought Maria´s family with the RM´s cousin who is also an RM.  I felt pretty crappy at church and then as the day went on after I felt a bit better.  I´ve felt pretty much better since then but every morning I have some pretty bad diarrhea.  The symptoms initially pointed at food poisoning but I didn't really eat anything on Saturday so the nurse thinks I have a parasite.  I got to go to a little sketchy medical lab and get a parasite test (which I won´t describe here).  We´ll get the results tomorrow.  

  I have an appointment tomorrow with the dermatologist to get the prescription for accutane.  Hopefully that goes fine.

  This week is the last normal week of the change and then we have changes next Wednesday.  It´s a weird 7 week change this change because of additional week everyone now gets in the MTC.  But it´ll go back to 6 week changes in the future.  By what I´m hearing change week is absolutely crazy in the office.  We have to coordinate all of the training and accommodations for the incoming missionaries and we have to coordinate all of the activities and stuff for the missionaries that will be departing.  Then after changes the Beals will leave and I´ll be on my own in the financial stuff.  And we have an audit possibly coming up in May.  Fun.  

   Well I hope everyone has a great week!  Have fun golfing dad!  Nice job on your pitch-in.  That´s impressive.  I think I´ve only done that once and probably from a lot closer.  I´m glad you had a good time in Arizona mom.  Sounds like a pretty relaxing vacation.  Sorry you had to come back to the real world.  Delaney, the reception venue looks nice.  Peyton, good job on the ACT.  I´m sure you did great.  Also great job on student of the month!!  Better than I ever got.  At Bingham you got some pretty cool stuff for being student of the month.  Do you get a nice parking pass or anything cool like that?  Matt good job holding down the fort in Vegas.  I´m sure you saved at least 100 lives this week.  

Love you all!!  I feel like I forgot to say something important so if I did I´ll send another email I guess.


Elder Smith