November 23, 2009
Hey Friends and Fam!!
First off if I wasn’t working so hard to gain Christlike attributes I’d have a whole lot that I would want to say to Coach Shippen and all of those other . . . I better stop there! Payt, I sent you a letter congratulating you (before I got word of the stupid last cut) but I’m going to be completely honest with you! High School basketball really isn’t that neat! ha ha I want you to go down stairs in my room and get out my snowboard and I promise that you will have the best winter ever!! And you know that you can rock any kid on that basketball team and they all know it too!! And I also know that by next years football season you are going to be the biggest beast that as ever played Skyline Football! Keep your head up and don’t let it get you down at all! You have an amazing family, great friends, cute girls all over you and NOW, a very nice snowboard! ha ha Life doesn’t get better I promise you! I have some great stories to prove it! You’ve got it made and you are too good for basketball anyways!!
Alright, first off, tell the grandparents that they are all soooo amazing! Grammy, thank you so much for the great letter and Papa, I’m praying for you!! I know that you’ll handle all this surgery stuff like an old pro because you are one! I look up to you so much for all that you’ve been through! Grandpa and Grandma, you are amazing!! I love all of your letters so much! Grandpa, your letter on graph paper made my week!! It was so great!! And family!! Wow, thank you so much for all of the letters!! They were all so great!! The drawings from Payt finally got here and I love them sooo much!! Payt, can you please make another one that has the whole Plan of Salvation!! Make it the size of my scriptures so that I can use it in lessons!! That would be sooo great if you could do that but I love the ones that you already sent!! They are sooo great!! So thank you all soo much! Thanks to Chelsea, Heather and Whitney too! All the letters are great! Sorry I don’t write back often, I have NO time!!
Okay, story time! This was the best week ever, but it had some downers too! First off, we set a baptismal date for a man named Robert and he is so good! So hopefully that goes well! The average baptisms for a whole mission here is four so the fact that I’ve been part of one and we are setting so many dates is so great! We’ve been so blessed!
Also, get this! We met a man named Bert and scheduled an appointment. He wasn’t there and this happens a lot so we forgot about him! We have so many investigators that we don’t have time to mess with those that aren’t interested. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but we totally just forgot about Burt. A week later we were eating at McDonald’s and we see Burt! He runs over and sits by us and tells us how sorry he is that he missed our appointment and he has been thinking about us all week! Turns out, the night before our appointment, he had gone out for pizza and a man came to rob the pizza store with a machete! So he’s robbing it and Burt sits there and just keeps eating his pizza! ha ha But the owner of the store fights off the robber with a pizza pan and another worker locked the door so they are all locked inside with the robber with the big machete! ha ha So all this is happening and Burt keeps eating his pizza! Then the cops burst in and tell everyone to get on the ground and drop everything on the ground. So Burt has to drop his pizza on the ground and get down. Then the cops get the robber and take him, but they ask Burt for a statement so he gives them one and they get his name. Well they find that there is a warrant for him so they hall him off to jail after he helped them! He was in jail for a week and that’s why he missed our appointment! ha ha A bunch of other stuff happened that he told us about and we just ate with him while he told us this crazy story. He’s a really funny native man and through the whole story I’m busting’ up!! He was really mad that he had to throw down his pizza! ha ha But after he told us his story in McDonald’s we totally related the gospel to his life and his experience. I don’t even remember how but it was amazing and believe it or not we all felt the Spirit in McDonald’s!! We then committed him to be baptized and he set a date. He’s been at all the appointments since! He’s so great and he is way excited about the baptism date!! In Preach my Gospel it says to look for families with a recent death or birth, but me and my comp think that they should add recently out of jail, and recently jumped to it too! ha ha
The people here are sooo humble and I love the natives so much! There are so many people from all over the world too, though! We teach a couple families from Thailand with a translator and that is way fun! We also taught a man that left Columbia because people wanted to kill him! We taught him with a Spanish man in our ward that translated! We taught a crazy lady that said she has the Gift of Tongues and we are teaching a bar bouncer that is super ripped!! I’ll get a picture with him! We taught a man that is super bipolar! One day he loves us and the next day he rages! I mean, this guy can goo off! We are teaching a man named Derek who is so great and we want to set a date for him really bad but he’s just progressing really slow! We teach this guy who loves Elvis and his wife has cancer! They are really great and starting to progress! I love this! It’s so fun and exciting, but soo hard!
Tim got confirmed this week and I got to stand in! That was neat. Also this week me and my companion were bound and determined to get everyone to church!! We skipped a meeting with the ward and ran around before church waking people up and getting them ready for there rides!! It was a rush! We were running like crazy from house to house!! We were expecting 17 and we had 12 show!! Two of them we weren’t expecting, so they didn’t count! But it tied the ward record. Our district got more than ever before and the President called us because he was so shocked! But even with that I was disappointed and I’m trying so hard not to be. A couple of my favorite investigators didn’t show! It’s so hard to see people not show! It’s funny because numbers don’t matter, they are good, for sure, but I need to want them for the right reasons. This week we are going to try to get even more, but we have to stay humble! It’s so easy to think that we are good when really we are nothing. ha ha We can do so much better I know it and I know our only success is because of the Lord! I love this so much, but it’s so hard to see what people go through and see them not progress! But it’s great!
Just so you know, I am super safe and completely healthy, so don’t stress!! Finally, I have one thing that I’ve learned that is so huge in this life and I’ve been taught it before by Coach Berger, ha ha ridiculous I know, but he’d always say, “Better every day" and wow it is so true! I have wasted so much time of my life not getting better! Everyday is an opportunity to grow! If you don’t learn something new or have some kind of growth, the day is wasted! I’ve learned so much out here but it is nothing compared to what there is to learn!! Everyday, we have a chance to get better and it’s so great! Take advantage of it! Set goals and achieve them! If you pick a little goal every day, just after a week you will grow so much. Check out Alma 34:32! Every day is a day to prepare to meet god! Never have a bad day! Everyday has something great about it! I love you all so much and I look up to you so much!! I am doing great so don’t worry about me and Payt, keep your head up!! Snowboarding is so fun I’m so jealous, ha ha, love it and remember how great your life is!! I love you all!! Elder Smith