Monday, October 11, 2010


Hey, sounds like a lame week!! First off, thank you so much for all of the stuff for my birthday! You are all amazing! Mom, I loved it all and I look good in the Grizz stuff!! Grandma and Gpa, thank you so much for the tie and toffee and everything! You are so great! Papa and Grammy, thanks a ton for the great card and the American money! I love and miss you guys a ton!!

So I’ve been thinking a lot about what I could say to cheer Payt up...... I figured I’d give you the update of my week and then do my best with some advice!

The week started out rough with 16 appointments falling through, in the first 3 days! It was so ridiculous! I felt like ALL the investigators here aren’t too solid! And we spend so much time doing Zone Leader busy work. It definitely was a little frustrating!! I was pretty upset and kinda mad about the whole situation. . .But we just took it with a smile and figured it was what was supposed to happen because we HAD been working our tails off. We just kept tracting and working hard. So, the end of the week rolls around and Elder Willardson, Randal, Schulte, Eyres, Yorgoson, and a couple others were all going home. We somehow found an investigator that wanted to go hear them speak at their ‘farewell’ testimony meeting. It was an amazing night!! Akon was there, Belatu was there, and the Spirit was so strong as they bore their testimonies! Conference came and it was another great 2 days! I learned and grew so much!! And out of nowhere, a couple of investigators we had found that week showed up for conference! Then, we got a call Saturday night that there was a man that wanted to go to priesthood, who is in our area. He showed up and he loved it! We invited him the next day and he came for both sessions! He was just soaking everything in!! After the session, he set a baptismal date with us, right there in the chapel! That night we met with him and we felt that we should go through the baptismal interview questions. And he said he will live everything! After our lesson we had him say the prayer and he broke down crying. He said a beautiful prayer and we are meeting with him four times a week until his date on Nov. 7th, and it might get moved up! His name is Keri and he is great!

Also at conference, Chris and Karl, and a ton of the Selkirk members came to the same chapel we where in!! It was so great to see them and it was such a great week!! Also at the Priesthood Session I spotted Devin Munk in the choir, with a ton of other missionaries! haha It honestly turned into an amazing week!!

Tonight I got permission to say good bye to Belatu and Akon since I got rushed out and Sister Baronins, Akon, and Belatu have a big birthday party/family home evening planned for me tonight! Because Mom told them it was my birthday. I love my mission so much!! I’ve learned that life is so full of ups and downs, but if we let the downs get us down then our faith slacks, and our effectiveness, success, and happiness decrease! It’s funny because no matter what we do, we will always have downs! But if handled in the right way we will get through them, learn from them, and enjoy the happiness that comes after, in the up, that much more!

Payton, I know that you are feeling horrible right now! It’s the worst!! But the great thing about it is, there will be an up, soon enough!! Payton, I love you and look up to you so much! You are such a champ and a star athlete!! I know that you will handle this situation like a pro! But I figured I’d give you some advice on some things that I wished I would have done when I was down and out!! First off, learn from it! haha It’s a great time to learn patience and how to really be tough! hahahaha That one’s kind of a joke because I know how frustrated you are with the whole thing, but love everyday!! Don’t be upset and turn away girls that want to come and comfort you! As a matter of fact, when ever they call, say that you really think a Jamba Juice or a hamburger would really help with the healing process! Also, enjoy the time off school! Milk it for all it’s worth with the teachers!! Don’t text while on pain killers! Eat as many of Mom’s cookies as you can!! Also, don’t let Berg tell you that you can play with one arm and then try to finish out the season! hahaha Payt I feel so bad because I know how frustrated you feel! I know that it is so upsetting and I know how miserable you feel! Actually, to be honest, I don’t because your injury sounds a lot worst... But I can imagine! But don’t get down! Keep your head up and love everyday! It’s funny because I look back and football was everything to me but I look at things today and I have such a different perspective!! Football is so great! I loved it and I learned so much from it, but the last year of my life has meant more to me than any football game or football season!

Today I talked to a brand new missionary in our zone that is super homesick and he really wants to go home and it made me think a ton!! It was hard to know what to say to him because I wanted to say so much!! It really helped me to realize what a great blessing a mission is!! I have been so blessed and had so many life changing experiences! I love the people here and my mission so much!!! And it’s funny because I don’t know if I would have gotten this much out of my mission so far if it wasn’t for the trials that I went through when I was home! When I messed up my shoulder, it helped me to switch my focus to preparing for a mission and life! Now I’m not saying you wouldn’t have been ready for a mission if you hadn’t messed up your arm, but I know that we all face so many trials in our life and if we react to them negatively, they can really slow down our progression. But as we humble ourselves and come unto Christ, and live the gospel through our trials, it truly can bless us and help in our progression. Trials are so great because they really are opportunities for growth!!

Payton, I love you so much and I’m so grateful for you example to me!! Love everyday! Stay positive! Milk your situation as long as you can, haha and learn and grow from it!! Buddy I love you so much and I’m so excited for what is to come in your life!! Don’t get down though!!

Love you all! Love Elder smith!