Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Goodbye San Judas

October 4, 2016

Hello family!

  Well, it's been a bittersweet week.  I'm optimistic to be able to start a new  chapter of my mission with lots of opportunities, but it was sad to say goodbye to those that I drew so close to over the last 9  months.  The highlight of the week was obviously general conference.  We were able to listen to all of it, three sessions in Spanish and two in English (priesthood and Sunday afternoon).   There was a designated English room for the white missionaries but if we brought investigators we sat with them in Spanish.  Spanish was great still, I understood it all no problem.  Mario, Berta, Jessica, Tania, and Allison all went plus someone in the ward brought her 13 yr old nephew Mitchell.  All of our investigators really liked conference and the talks talked to them about what they were fighting for.  Elder Cook's talk was really good for Mario.  I had an awesome experience in conference as well.  I went in with four questions and as I received answers I wrote them during all of the sessions.  I designated a sheet of paper in my notebook and all of the sheets were really full for each question I had.  It was awesome.  I loved the emphasis on the restoration and Plan of Salvation.  Dad, I thought of you in the opening prayer of the priesthood session when he prayed on how men can better serve their wives because we always joked to mom about how they just talk about how men need to be better to their wives.  But you're a great example of that dad:)  Also I loved the reference to Gothenburg with Elder Renlund.  The talk that I liked the most was the Book of Mormon talk by Stevenson, I also loved sister McConkies talk on prayer, Cook's, Holland's, Bednar's, President Monson's.  Everything was great.  It was definitely my favorite conference so far.  It really helps to go into conference prepared. 

   It was also great to see and take pictures with several converts that went to conference.  Rosa and Coco went and are doing great, so did Noel.  Veronica and Mel came and Mel just received a great job he had been needing.  I think from that blessing he's thinking a lot about how it came from God and he's going to be more open to getting baptized and stopping smoking.  I know one day that family will go to the temple.  Also Hazel and Jazmin came which was super cool since they moved to a different ward in the stake right after their baptism.  Their ward over there is doing a great job of keeping them involved and included and active. 

   Yesterday and a little last weekend we went around saying goodbye to people.  Berta and her daughter Nathaly (I finally verified the spelling on that name) did something really cute and made a sign that said "Gracias Smithis 1 y 2" because we always called me Smith 1 and my comp Smith 2 since I´ve been here longer.  And they made us a nice little dinner.  I brought them a can of rootbeer and had them try it. They actually liked it, which is rare for Nicas. They think it´s really sweet.  Last night we also said by to Familia Cruz which was hard because they´re like my second family.  

   Well, I´ll let you know where I end up and who my comp is.  Wish me luck.  Also pray for poor Elder Smith, they´re coming in and doing an audit in his first week alone as finance secretary.  That´ll be rough for him.  I got lucky and never got audited.

Anyway, love you!!

Elder Smith

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