Friends and Fam!
What a crazy week!! haha I don’t know what to start with! First off, Payt you are a champ! That’s so neat that you made the paper! Can you send it to me??? Mom and Dad, you are the greatest!! Thanks a ton for the great emails!!
So this past week has been so crazy!! District meeting last Tuesday went super good, but then today’s I wasn’t too happy with! I think I got a little cocky because of how well last weeks went and I kinda stuffed this week! I have a super teachable district with the exception of one companionship and that companionship is a pain!! haha But I’m working with them the best I can. It’s hard to see them waste so much time!
So Belatu is amazing!!! We taught her the Word of Wisdom this week and she took it great! She is so good!! I love her and her kids so much!! She will get baptized the end of this month!
Funny story... The Baronins had us over for a Fast Sunday meal and we got stuffed! Then we went to Belatus’ with the Baronins to teach and Belatu had a huge Sudanese meal for us!! It was amazing!!! We were all so sick after forcing 2 meals down!! I want to marry a woman from Sudan though!! They are so amazing!! Her food was so good and different and spicy! Oh man, I can’t wait till you get to try some when you come here! Belatu fed us twice this week! I died and went to heaven! haha I have learned so much about their culture! It’s so crazy! Belatu left because her husband took another wife! They still buy their wives like on Johnny Lingo!! Akon was a 150 cow wife! 80 is avgerage. I don’t know how many Belatu was bought for, but Gabriel told us probably a lot. It is so crazy! Belatu was forced into marriage when she was 14 and so she is only 22! I thought she was in her 30’s because she is so mature!! She and her mom left Sudan because of the messed up situation! A lot of the men there are just ‘piles’ and they make the women do everything!! Even Gabriel said he doesn’t like his culture because the men are so lazy!! Belatu is accepting everything and she is so amazing!! She is starting school this week and she is so smart! She is way professional too! She has her blackberry and she speaks great English and knows 3 other languages! You would never think that she has the background that she does!
Akon still isn’t home, but hopefully today is the day! They have been having these huge meetings over the phone with a ton of people in Canada from the tribe, some in North Dakota and Daniel in Texas and the rest in Sudan! This week the tribe ok'd the church and so according to Gabriel they can be taught now!! He showed us a sheet with 25 names, addresses, and phone numbers and said that all of them have families and all of them need to be taught. This week we are supposed to teach all of these people in groups of 25 and honestly I don’t know that I can believe Gabriel!! It sounds sooo unreal!! I guess I will let you know next week if we end up teaching all of these people. haha - good luck finding ‘em all rides to church! It’s crazy though because this tribe is so tight knit!! I like honestly can’t believe all of the crazy stuff that is happening here! We are already busy out of our mind and we have such a struggle getting rides for people to church. We are having to tell a lot of our investigators to take a bus and it makes it hard on them!!
We have so many solid people to teach, but there are a lot of, not so solid people too. The other day we had 7 people in one day stand us up but we still taught some lessons. It’s crazy! Gabriel said that his tribe has no religious background at all. That’s why some crazy stuff happens!! He said that Akon has been teaching them over the phone because she knows so much! She is so amazing and I can’t wait to see her! They have 2 copies of the Book of Mormon that made it to Sudan and with Akon teaching them they have been having their own little church service once a week! This last week they were in a big drought and there was a big snake in the village! Gabriel said they prayed and the snake left and it rained! Insane!! That was what sealed the deal for the tribe here to start getting taught!! These stories are like a dream, like there crazy!@!!! You can’t even find this stuff in the Ensign!!! Man, missions are the greatest!!!! I love it soooo much!! I wanna put in papers now and see if I can serve another 2 years in Sudan!! haha But I will let you know how the week goes! I honestly still find all of this unreal. Like Gabriel was telling us all this and showing us the names and we didn’t react because it’s so hard to believe! It’s crazy!! Gabriel is amazing too! This week he helped us a ton because anyone we can’t teach, he can because he knows so many different languages!!
We teach Belatu tonight and we are teaching tithing! It’s the only bigger commandment that we haven’t taught yet!! I love going to her house so much!! This week we also had a ward picnic and her and the kids went and loved it!! Of course Sister Baronins was in charge and it was a success!! She is a party thrower, for sure! She is always trying to break her record of the # of people at her church parties! She and Bishop remind me a lot of you Mom and Dad because they know how to throw a party!!
I went in to pay my speeding ticket this week! t was $240, but I talked to one of the judge people here. Their system is crazy, but it took an hour to talk to them and pay the ticket and, get this, haha I talked to them and explained that I was a missionary and was lost and I’m bad with mile to kilometer swap and all the other excuses I could think of. They cut the ticket in half! haha So I guess $120 is better then $240! That made me happy and I guess I still kinda got it with talking my way outa tickets! haha To celebrate before we went teaching with Pious the next night, I bought him some Mexican food! He loves his Mexican food ever since I introduced him to it!! haha
It was a great week! There is so much that I want to tell you but I have no time! We found a new family of 10 and we teach them in 15! They are amazing and yes, they are African!! Africans are the best!! They just met us yesterday and they had us right in and gave us Cokes. Oh, and Africans love Coke! Especially Gabriel!! After they taught him about the Word of Wisdom, he quite coffee and tea and now he is a Coke addict.
Man, I love the people here so much! There isn’t enough time in the day!! Everything is so great and we are being so blessed!! I love you all so much!! Stay safe and smart!! Payt, my lucky blue tie will be on Friday!! Keep me updated and let me know the day the games are, if they aren’t Friday, so I can wear it at the right time!! Tear it up! I love you all so much!! Love Elder Smith!!