Friends and Family:
Mom, Dad, Payt, Alex, and Addison, you are the best! The emails and letters revive and re-pump me up every week! I love and miss you all so much! I wish I could have been there for the first ski trip! Sounds like a great time!! I can’t think about snowboarding or I start twitching and stuff, haha. I get to slide on ice a lot here though!
Let me just start by saying, you can’t imagine the week we had this week! It was the craziest, saddest, hardest, funnest, most fantastic-ly miserable week of my life!! haha It started out with me pretty well just exhausted! Every week you kill yourself with the huge build-up for Sunday! You work hard all week, and then Sunday is so stressful! Especially with a companion who is learning to be a District Leader, who knows nothing about the area, and who thinks that getting 3 people to church is a big deal! I love him to death, but Agnes has definitely been a shocker for him! haha I feel like I’m all alone with a lot of the stuff we have to do and he’s content to let me do it! Don’t get me wrong, he is a really hard worker, but if you’re willing to do the work instead, that works for him too! ha ha, especially when he doesn’t know what’s going on! He’s a great kid though! I’m sure this area and being a District Leader is stressing him out! I guess he just doesn’t show it the way I do! ha ha ha ha.
But the week started rough with a lot of not so great stuff happening. So I was a little down, but then the week pretty much jumped of a cliff and just got insane!! We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders and so me and Elder Farr took ysa. They have the whole city of Winnipeg and he’s only been a Zone Leader in this area for a week and some days, haha. And my comp stayed in Agnes with the other Zone Leader, so I had to give him directions for everything and set up the day, so he could know what he was doing. So me and Elder Farr go to street contact for an hour while we walk to an appointment. So we park the car in a spot that says we have just over 2 hours before we have to be back. So we get busy finding and all is good! We get to where the house is supposed to be and the address doesn’t exist, haha so we start finding! We get carried away and get a bunch of new investigators and all is going good! So we head back for the car and about 40 yards from the car, we are walking and we look up and see that our car is in the process of being lifted up on to a tow truck! So we take off running and screaming, going crazy. And then we meet Jim! haha He says, “68 dollars ‘el put ‘er on the ground, cash or visa?” Elder Farr, in his kind, soft spoken voice says, “Can I call my Mission President?” And our buddy Jim says, “I don’t care what you do, you got three minutes to give me $68 or I pull away.” haha So Elder Farr pulls out his Visa and hands it to Jim and Jim cheered right up and said, “Alright, I’ll lower ‘er down and you hop on in there and getr’ warmed up!” haha So he goes to the tow truck with the Visa and Elder Farr hops in the car and I say to myself, “I gotta get a picture of this to send to the fam.” haha So I whip out my camera and start taking pics and Jim busts out of the truck and storms over cussing and screaming all kinds a crazy stuff at me saying he’s gonna bust the camera into a thousand pieces and how you don’t take pictures of a man and his truck and how everything he was doing was legal. So I shove my camera in my pocket and start telling him how I just wanted to get a picture to send to my Mom! haha If I wasn’t in Canada and I wasn’t a missionary I totally would have pulled the my dads an attorney, I dare you to take my camera! Come on Jim, do it! See what happens! haha But I’m not in Idaho or even the states, and I’m a missionary, so I just took Jim’s lecture! From what I caught, I learned a lot! haha I figured out what long suffering means.... I think?? So anyways, while I’m getting chewed, Elder Farr hops out of the car to listen in and shuts the door. Somehow, the doors locked, so now we have a started car with the keys inside and Jim wants to rip my head off and we are still hooked up to Jim’s tow truck and he has Elder Farr’s Visa! So Jim chews me and goes back to his truck and Elder Farr breaks the locked doors news to me! ha ha So Jim comes out all mad and gives us the Visa and a $50 ticket from the city. So right now we are about $120 in the hole! Then Elder Farr and I apologize some more and break the locked car news to our buddy Jim! So he says, “Well I woulda dun it fer free, but because of the camera it’s gona cost ya $40” haha So now we are $180 in the hole! He gets his tools and does it and says, “I’m a nice guy, so it’ll just be $20.” (Jim’s such a pal!) haha But then he says, "It has to be cash cuz this is under the table, me doin’ you a favor." So we say we don’t have any cash and he says he needs collateral, so he takes my camera! So we go and get 20 bucks and meet up with our buddy Jim in a parking lot downtown. He hands me the camera and says, “That’s a nice camera ya got there. Have a great day!” Then he took my 20 bucks and drove off into the sunset! haha I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see my buddy Jim again.
So now our schedule is all messed up and we get lost in, who knows were, during our suppers time. Then we go to Jose's interview. He was the Zone Leader’s investigator and my companion interviewed him. But Agnes had an appointment and the interview went long and the Zone Leaders wanted to be there after the interview, so I went with one of the Senior Missionaries to teach Barnaba’s family! We picked up a translator and the appointment was amazing! We set baptismal dates with their whole family! Three people! Then we went back to the interview and Jose’ had passed, so we were all super happy!! I had taught Jose’ one time on exchange and he picked me to say the opening prayer and to be the back-up to baptize him. A member was going to baptize him and so he picked me before both of the Zone Leaders, which was so neat!! So that’s how the night ended, but Jose’s date was for the next day and President said to stick with his date, so the Zone Leaders had to throw together a baptism, that night!! So we got Barnaba’s family to go to the baptism and asked President to give him a ride! haha President was late and Barnaba’s family was even later! We were late to begin with because we had appointments all day so we are ALL way behind! We finally get them in President’s car and get on our way. Then Elder Yorgason calls me and says, “Where are you? The man that is supposed to baptize him isn’t here!! You gotta baptize him! Hurry and get here!” ha ha So we are booking, with President hot on our tail and I take off inside and President has NO idea what is going on! haha He just knows we are late!!
So I bust in and run over to Elder Yorgason and he tells me that the member that is supposed to baptize him just showed. haha So I’m of the hook there, so we run back to our investigators and sit them down and introduce them to the translator and everything. Elder Yorgason said that Jose’ said, Elder Yorgason, it’s time for the baptism and Brother_____ and Elder Smith aren’t here!!” ha ha It made me feel way bad, but it all ended great!! Or so we thought, Barnaba is now kind of worried about his baptismal date! So that was a dagger to the heart, but we can hopefully work it out!
As for Akon, she came to church this week and our ward broke the record again with 22 people to church! The Bishop was so excited! He ran over to me to tell me, as if I didn’t know! haha 16 of them were from Agnes and Barnaba’s family couldn’t come this week and half of Open’s family was sick! So next week hopefully we will top it again!
This week me and my companion had to speak, too. We walked in late, followed by half of the congregation - our investigators and the great members that drove them! They didn’t literally all come in behind us, ha ha But they came in throughout the first ten minutes Sacrament Meeting. Barnaba said he still wants his kids to get baptized but he doesn’t want to be baptized twice, so we have to work on that! Barnaba says he wants his family to sing in church on one of the up coming Sundays! He sang for us and he’s good!! Open’s family will hopefully have a date this week and Akon said, “Elder Smith, I really hope this all works out! I want to be baptized before you get transfered!” This made me want to cry! I love their family! They have been taught everything, we are just waiting on their Dad! She asked for your phone number, so I’m giving it to her tonight, so don’t be surprised if you get a call from Akon, Mom. You will love her!!
Things are sooo crazy, but so good! I love it here so much!! I just wish I could not deal with some of the hard days, but they make the good days so much better!! And the hard days give some of the best stories, and if something bad happens it always means something good is on the way!! I love my mission so much though! And when I get home, I’m totally making a movie called The Other, Other Side of Heaven! ha ha As for my spiritual thought, I don’t know what to say, life is so ridiculously insane! Love everyday!! I love and miss you all soooo much!! You are the best family in the world!!
Love, Elder Smith