Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The last epistle of Elder Smith

July 24, 2017

Hey family,

  I never believed this day would come.  It kind of just snuck up on me  (even though sometimes it feels like I've been here my whole life).  I'll start by telling you about our week and then maybe include something kind of gushy at the end.

   On Wednesday we were basically just in the house all day because of the holiday.  On Thursday through Sunday we worked hard as normal.  We made great process this week with Luis (the old guy) and his daughter's family. On Sunday Luis came to church with his daughter Evelin, her husband Ricardo, and their 3 kids (11 yr old and two 6 yr old twins).  They had a good time in church except for one of the 6 yr olds did NOT want to be in primary and started crying.  Guisselle also came to church with her mom and we had some good lessons with her this week. Also Marvin is progressing really well and came to church with his family and has been participating a lot more (and doing things like singing along in church).  

   On Sunday I was asked to speak in church and bear my testimony since a speaker didn't show up and the bishopric knew it was my last Sunday.  It went well and hopefully it was a good way to get warmed up for my homecomeing talk this week.  

   After church on Sunday the Cruz family came and made us lunch (a family from San Judas)  The food was really good and I'm really going to miss them.  They made us a cake that said "Adios ex-misioneros" (goodbye ex-missionaries).  It was really nice and we had a good time.  

   Well here goes the gushy stuff....

   I've been reflecting a lot on my mission these last couple days and honestly it's a weird, but wonderful experience to serve a mission.  Sometimes the time goes by kind of slow but most of the time it's seemed to fly by.  I can say though that these two years serving the Lord and these people have been wonderful.  I've learned so much about just how much God loves all of his children, about his gospel, and a lot about myself as well.  It hasn't been without it's challenges, frustrations, pain, sickness, or heartache but it's something I wouldn't trade for anything.  I've grown closer to my Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ.  I know that they live and love us.  I know that Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer.  I know that this is His church, and that He guides it.  I invite all who haven't yet done so to humbly pray and ask the Lord if this is His church and follow faithfully in the answer that will surely come.  It's the only way to be truly happy.

   I love you all (especially my family) and I couldn't have made it through without them.  Words cannot express my gratitude for having been raised by goodly parents who both live and love the gospel. Your faithfulness will be felt for many generations to come.  I can't tell you how happy I am to see you and hug you on Thursday, and especially to meet Myles.  Yes mom, I am crying a little right now, but hopefully I can hold it in at the airport. 

   Also everyone that wants is invited to my homecoming on Sunday at 11 am in Riverton.  There will be sandwiches after.  And drinks in bags.  Nica style

Love You!!!!

Elder Smith

Eating nacatamales on Saturday

Lunch with family Cruz on Sunday

"Adios ex-misioneros" (goodbye ex-missionaries).

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