Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June 29, 2016

Hello family!!
Well it’s been a good week.  On a not very spiritual note, I made some pico de gallo to help make lunch after church on Sunday and it turned out awesome.  Also I had my doctor's appointment on Thursday I think it was, and it was good.  He basically didn’t tell me anything very helpful, just that my face is doing good and to keep it up.  He also tried to sell me a bunch of really expensive facial treatment things and I was just like, nah. 
  Our investigators are doing really well.  Hazel and Jasmin loved church and both are going to get baptized on Saturday at 6 along with Carmen and Guadelupe.  So it’ll be an exciting week making sure everybody is ready for their baptisms on Saturday.  Also Coco is doing awesome and is super pumped for her baptism on the 9th.
   Unfortunatly Darwin Steven did go on the stupid service trip and won’t get back until December.  Also, Mel went to church (Husband of Veronica) with his family but he`s got a lot of doubts still and smokes.  Please pray for him.  
   We´ve been pretty busy this week in the office and working with the four that are going to get baptized on Saturday and haven`t found very many new investigators.  Hazel´s 8 yr old nephew started listening to the lessons we teach there and he just came up to us one day and was like, I want to get baptized too!!  So we started teaching him too and his mom said she´d come to church with him so there are potentially a couple of new investigators there.    
   I´m glad to see that everything has been going well at home!  It will definitely be sad to miss the fourth of July this year in Idaho.  That´s always a blast.  But I hope you all have a great time.  Happy 95th Bday grandma!!  Hopefully your arm gets better fast Peyton!
 Love you!!
 Elder Smith

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


June 22, 2016

Hello family!

  We had a really good week.  It was a bit of a struggle to get out of the office due to some things that Elder Petty had to do.  I also had to go out to Ciudad Sandino to look at a house and other things like that that took up a lot of time in the office.  Our time in the area was really well spent, and we had a week of really great lessons with everyone progressing really nicely.  

   The son of Darwin Josè who's name is Darwin Steven is the one that said he`d get baptized on the 25th because on the 28th he left on a 6 month service trip.  Then we found out on Saturday that they changed up the trip on Darwin Steven and he was now going to leave on the 23rd instead.  So he`s out for being baptized on the 25th.  We couldn't just baptize him that same day because he just wasn't ready with all of the commandments.  So we lost him.  He was awesome.  But he still came to church with us and really liked it and he`s really charismatic so the ward really liked him too.  It`s a shame.  I guess you could pray that his service trip gets cancelled or something.  Someone put a reminder on your phone for 6 months from now and when it goes off, email me and I`ll get in contact with whatever missionary will be in this area and tell them to go baptize him.

   Also, the two awesome references from Hermano Castro, Carmen and her daughter Guadelupe both went to church and really liked it.  We taught them Word of Wisdom and they have some small problems with coffee but I don`t think it will hinder them much.  They are really excited to change.  Guadelupe is 8 and has a hernia that`s causing her a lot of pain.  Please pray for her.

   Hayzel went to church but her daughter Jasmin was with her Grandma so she didn`t come.  But Hazel came and she`s really excited for her fecha on the 2nd.  She also has some coffee issues but is a bit less excited to stop drinking coffee.  Please pray that she can have the true desire to stop drinking it.  

   Also Coco went to church for her second time.  She LOVED it.  Her and Rosa both made it to 2nd Nefi already (reminder that Rosa got baptized in May, I`ve heard people refer to her as an investigator).  So next week is Rosa`s turn to go to church then the next week is Coco`s turn and then Coco will have three times in church and we`ll baptize her on the 9th.  They`re going to get someone to watch the house on the 9th so Rosa can see Coco`s confirmation.  But it`s only for that week, and not a permanent solution for them both to go to church every week.  Please pray that we can find something so they can both go to church. Christina also came to church.  There`s nothing new on her divorce so we`re hoping that all of that comes through so we can get her baptized.  She really wants to do it and has no commandment problems.  Oh, also, when we taught Word of Wisdom to Coco she`s just like, ya, when you taught it to Rosa a few months ago I just stopped drinking coffee with her and haven`t had it since.  I just kind of freaked out and shook her hand like 6 times.  I was so happy.  

  Also a guy from our area went to church with an investigator of some other missionaries in another area and so we got him as a reference.  But...  he hasn`t been home when we`ve gone by and he hasn`t seem very positive when we`ve talked on the phone.  Please pray that he can be positive and want to keep investigating.  Haha sorry there`s a lot to pray for this week;)

  I hope you all have an awesome week!!

Elder Smith

Sis. Russell, Cody, President Russell

Food they received from President Russell's fridge as he prepares to go home.

Friday, June 17, 2016


June 15, 2016

 JK on the subject line, I didn´t even feel them haha
    Right now the internet´s down so I´m writing this on Microsoft Word and I´ll just copy and paste this.  Keep in mind that all of this is being written without having read any of your emails.  
   So… we had a pretty good week.  On Thursday and Friday we had the last Multizones which ran very smoothly, but went pretty long.  Friday was the day for our zone so we actually participated as much as time participated in the various classes and sat in when we could while President and Sister Russell were talking.  This, you could say, was President´s goodbye.  He explained how the mission is like a train that never stops, but we as missionaries (and mission presidents) just get off and on and depending on what we do is how fast the train goes.  So President´s just about to step off the train and President Brown´s about to step on.  President also did a brief introduction of the Brown family.  President and Sister Brown are young, President went to BYU and Sister Brown went to Utah.  The four kids range from ages 4 – 14.  Nobody actually knows when exactly President Brown will come and replace President Russell.  President Russell explained to us that one day someone will call him and President Brown will pick up instead of him.  Then at the end we all got the opportunity to take pictures with President and Sister Russell and for most of the missionaries say their last goodbyes.  The office staff didn't really say last goodbyes because we´ll be seeing and working with President Russell until the end so we can do it later.
 Internet Came back!!
    On Saturday we were actually able to get out to the area for a good chunk of time and contact.  We had an awesome lesson with an awesome lady and she was crying and knew there were a lot of things she needed to change.  And then on Sunday she lied to us three separate times, and wouldn't go to church and eventually sent out her husband to lie to us some more.  That was extremely disappointing.  But we did get a new person we have been teaching, named Hazel, and her daughter to come to church with us.  The daughter loved it but I don´t really think Hazel did.  Yesterday Hazel said she might be moving in the next couple of weeks because of some family problems but I´m hoping she´ll stay and keep progressing obviously.  Please pray for her.
   The real miracles started coming after church on Sunday.  The second counselor in the Bishopric, Hermano Castro is kind of notorious for giving a lot of really crappy references to us.  Which isn't a bad thing at all, but we´re kind of skeptical when he gives us references.  Well, on Sunday he took us to the house of a 40 year old lady named Carmen whose mom got baptized several years ago and went with the missionaries to church several times in the past.  She readily accepted a fecha for the second of July and her daughter Guadelupe who also went to church previously with her grandma happily accepted the same fecha.  So we´re really excited for them and grateful to Hermano Castro.  But, yesterday we came by for the appointment we set with her and she wasn't there so I´m hoping she´s not hiding or anything.  Then yesterday we went by the pulperia (food store) of Hermano Castro to buy a gatorade and he´s like, ya I´ve got two more references.  So he showed us to the house of two people that had been doing some work in his house that went to the church several times with the missionaries in the past.  They were just awesome in the lesson and really really really understood the restoration.  We put a fecha with the dad, Darwin José, for the 19th of July and tried to do the same with the son for the same date.  Well, he said no because he´s leaving to work in a farm out in the middle of nowhere on the 28th of June.  So, because he´s been to church more than two times already, we think we can get permission to baptize him on the 25th if he goes to church on Sunday and is keeping the commandments.  So we proposed the 25th as a fecha.  A fecha for 11 days in the future would freak a typical Nica out but this guy was really cool and was like, ya of course I will, and of course I´ll go to church on Sunday.  This is very important.  So we´ll see what happens with him.  Needless to say we´ll be working a lot with him and praying a lot.  Thank you Hermano Castro.  The lesson of the week to everyone is.....  GIVE REFERENCES TO THE MISSIONARIES!!!  It really really helps.  
    Also, there was another huge huge huge huge immeasurably huge blessing we saw this week.  President and Sister Russell were cleaning out their freezer and called me and Elder Petty over and sent us with a huge cooler filled with crap from their freezer and boxes of other crap.  It included Frozen waffles, frozen pizzas, frozen pancakes, gallons of ice cream, Hamburger patties and hot dogs and they had left-over buns and condiments and spices so we pulled out our grill and charcoal and had a barbecue.  It was awesome!  We literally ate a fridge full of crap in like one day. President and Sister Russell were very impressed (like mom was always impressed with how I ate after swim practice haha).  But I actually think they were more disgusted.  Today we also got a lot more crap like easy mac, serial, mashed potatoes, and crap like sticky notes.  I also got a couple micro fiber towels.  Heck ya!!  
 So ya, it was a good week and it´s been a lot better since we don´t have to worry about any big meetings this week.  
 I read your emails, and since May 31st I haven´t felt any earthquakes...  I didn't even know about the big earthquake on the border.  I think it´s funny that all the mission mom people were freaking out because none of us really even knew about it.  They just need to take a chill pill I guess.  
 I´m glad Peyton had a great birthday!  Happy father´s day dad!!  Congrats on the hole-in-one!!!  That´s awesome!  I´m jealous you did it without me there...
 Love you!
 Elder Smith

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


June 8, 2016

Hello Family,

  Sorry about the late email last week.  We have Multizones this week so changes ended essentially on Thursday and we got right to preparing.  

  Saturday was actually spent in the area, we taught the people we have, and looked for new investigators.  I might have misspoken unintentionally in my last email in saying that we don´t have any progressing investigators.  We do, but they aren't for June, they´re for July.  I don´t know if you remember Rosa, who got baptized the first week of May right after I got transferred out.  Well, we´re teaching her sister who is really positive and went to church two weeks ago.  The problem is that either Rosa or her sister (her name is Socorro, but she likes to be called Coco) needs to stay home on Sundays to watch the house because it´s so flimsy and open they can´t just  lock it up and call it good.  So her progress is pretty slow because she can only go to church every other week at this point.  We´re looking for a solution but haven´t found anything so far.  Please pray that we can find a way to get them both to church at the same time.  The other investigator is named Christina.  She´s the mom of four people that got baptized last change with Elder Jungers and Petty but she couldn't because she´s waiting on a divorce that should get finished up on like the fourth of July ish.  So she´s for July but she´s completely cool and ready and wanting to get married and baptized as soon as her divorce comes out.  

  On Sunday it was raining pretty hard as we brought people to church but we stayed kind of dry with our umbrellas.  Elder Petty´s feet got soaked but I was fine with my eccos.  I was walking through some pretty high puddles and my feet only got wet if the water washed over my ankle above the lowest point on my shoe.  I´d venture to say that those really expensive shoes are worth it.  But on Sunday the only person that came to church was Christina.

  Also, familia Murillo got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday.  I´m so happy for them.  I got to go to the baptism and talk on the Holy Ghost.  It was interesting because they wouldn´t come out of the bathroom in their baptismal clothes because they thought it made them look fat so we had to do the service with them in their normal clothes and they changed right before getting baptized so they could be in the clothes for as little time as possible.  Then on Sunday they got confirmed and they were very excited.  

   Monday was spent getting a ton of crap for Multizones at Pricesmart and getting it to the chapel for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  

  Yesterday we had the first multizone and everything went great except the power went out, which took the AC with it.  So it got pretty miserable there for a while until the power and the AC came back.  To avoid the risk of another power outage it was decided to move multizones from the San Juan chapel to the Altagracia chapel so today we´ll be moving all the crap from the chapel from yesterday to the Altagracia chapel for tomorrow.  At least we´ll have AC for the multizones.  It´s so weird to me that this is already my third multizone in the office, and that out of all the secretaries and APs I´ve been here in the office for the most time now.  I already have more time in the office than I have in all of my other areas (not counting the MTC) put together.  I also just completed 10 months.  It´ll be hump day before I know it.  Weird.  And, because I´m not training someone else to be Finance Secretary I´ll be here for at least this change and another.  

  Now we just have to get the multizones for tomorrow and Friday over with and we´ll have some time to get caught up with everything and get back into a normal routine.

   Thank you family for the great emails, the constant prayers, love, and support.  Know that I love you and even though it´s impossible for me to know everything you´re doing there at home, I wish you the best and pray for you 


Elder Smith

Familia Murillo

I went all out for breakfast the other day...

Elder Petty and the Gatorade for Multizones

Saturday, June 4, 2016


June 4, 2016

Hello family!

  I´m glad you had fun at the family reunion and got my letters finally.  Thank you for responding to my request and getting me some pics of Bo and Myles:) 

   Well it´s been a really really really busy week.  Not so stressful though.  Just busy.  I´m kind of to the point that I know pretty dang well what´s going on for changes, what I need to do, what food to buy and when etc.  It´s just a matter of doing it.  It´s weird because these were President´s last changes.  He´ll leave in the end of July and President Brown will come.  

  So on Monday there was the BBQ for the zone that baptized the most per companionship at President´s house and that wasn´t too hard, I just had to buy the water and gatorade and coordinate the bus to bring the missionaries up to President´s house and pay it and give the missionaries a lot of reimbursements.  

  On Monday night the new Americans got here and the Elders stayed at our house that night (the sisters stay at President´s house).  Tuesday was crazy because the new missionary training meeting requires a lot from me and I also had to get ready for actual changes on Wednesday.  For Tuesday I had to set up the tables and stuff at President´s house, pick up the lunch (which I had previously ordered), give a presentation to the new missionaries on how to use their new mission debit cards, go pick up dinner (pizza from PriceSmart), which I had already ordered that morning right when PriceSmart opened.  Then on Tuesday evening we go to the office to do a lot of stuff for changes with the APs.  But... the power went out on Tuesday night so we had to improvise and go to a nearby church that had a family history center with computers we could use (and AC:) ).  Oh ya, and on Tuesday at like 4 PM we were in President´s house bringing in the Pizza.  I was in the kitchen with three other secretaries and suddenly there was like a huge bang and the whole house shook and the pots and pans and stuff in the kitchen were just shaking like crazy.  At first I though a truck or something had smashed into the house because it was pretty violent and only lasted like two seconds.  But it was just a really short earthquake.  It was really cool.  The people that were outside when it happened said everything, roads, trees, houses, walls etc. were just undulating and moving.  

   Then on Wednesday we had change meeting.  All the missionaries that had changes came in buses with their zones to a chapel in Managua, go to a meeting, get told which zone they´ll be going to, get on that zone bus and head out.  I had to pay all the buses that came in, help Elder Aitken get all the materials set up for the zones to take (mail, chairs, fans, tables etc.).  I also gave a lot of reimbursements for all sorts of crap.  I got changed again from San Judas III back to San Judas II.  It´s a bit disappointing to go right before familia Murillo and Kenia get baptized back to San Judas II which doesn´t really have any investigators right now.  In the office, Elder Jungers moved up to ZL in Carazo in the zone I was in while I was in Masatepe.  Elder Lim from the office also got changed.  Elder Diaz (who came with me and was in the MTC with me) came to the office and is now comps with Elder Aitken in the area I just left, and the other Elder Smith also came and is with the DL, Elder Hernandez.  It´s going to frustrating having two Smith´s in the office haha.  The other Smith does key indicators and weekly numbers stuff so on a board or something when people are writing our names, to distinguish us they right it like this:  Elder $mith (me) or Elder Smith #s (other Smith).  On Wednesday night we had the dinner for the departing missionaries so for that I had to go get the meat we ordered for the dinner, and pick up the flower arrangements for the table.  And I had to do it as fast as possible to keep the meat from getting cold in the car.  The other secretaries served the dinner while me and Elder Petty went back to the office to ingress baptisms from this month.  In the month of May the mission set a new record, baptizing 306.  Everyone was pretty happy about it because the previously monthly record was 275. But the General secretary has to ingress every baptismal record onto the computer and enter all of their information from the record to the computer and it´s a pretty slow process. So, being comp of the gensec (general secretary) I was recruited to help ingress for a long time.

  On Thursday I got to wake up at 3:15 in the morning to go to the airport with the departing missionaries.  Elder Petty helps them get through check-in and I just kind of stand there and pay the extra bag fees for everyone.  Then after they left President Russell took us and the APs to McDonalds and bought us breakfast.  Then we got to go home and sleep about an hour and then we had to go back to the office at like 11. This week we have Multizones, so it´ll be probably an even crazier week because there are three days of Multizones.  But on Pday there isn´t a multizone so I´ll be able to write you on the correct day.

   So now we´re just going to start contacting and find some investigators.  This afternoon we have a lot of hours planned to contact so pray for us that we can find some positive people that we will be able to take to church on Sunday.  
  I hope you all have a great week, remember that God loves us and needs us to always be ready and worthy to be an instrument in his hands.


Elder Smith

Mango an investigator gave us.  It´s HUGE.  But the pics don´t really do it justice.