Thanks so much for the great emails! Payt I missed hearing from ya! I don’t know if it didn’t work, or if you just forgot! I want a big one from ya next week!! Mom thank you so much for the Christmas package! The scriptures are so great and the socks were life savers!! The Reeses are gone and the choke cherry syrup will be gone after I buy some waffle mix today! haha You are the best! Thank you soooo much! I’ll look forward to opening the others when christmas comes around!! Thank you so much! You do too much!! I love the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party picture!! You really have just gone so fashionable since I left! hahaha It gave me a good chuckle. Dad, I loved your email! Especially the quote, thanks a ton!! You guys think I’m way better than I am! And tell Jose CONGRATS!!! That is so crazy and exciting!! Man! When I left, the kid wasn’t even a member, was he!? Am I thinking of the right Jose!? If so that is insane!!! Thank you so much for your emails and all that you all do! You are the best and I love and miss you a ton!
So this week was crazy! First off, Amie and Godwin haven’t been doing that well! It was pretty sad! She is working like crazy and has been too busy to meet and she missed church, so we will probably have to move her date back! Jamie is living all commandments and excited for his baptism, but he is living with his girlfriend, who is a Member! They are living the law of chastity, but he still has to move out before he can get baptized, so when he finds a place things will work out! Hopefully everything pans out there! Celia is doing great! She got a calling as the Gospel Principles President so she conducts the meeting. It’s soo great! She was pretty nervous, but did great! We are working with some other good people but this week was super frustrating! WE HAD ABOUT 40 LESSONS PLANNED, MOST OF THEM WITH RICH PEOPLE........and 11 went through and a big portion of those were with the poorer people we were already teaching! It’s so frustrating because our entire day will be filled with lessons and then we end up just tracting most of the day! I don’t know what to do!! I wanna teach! Any ideas!? The ward just can’t support anymore people without cars. We set up all these good appointments and there’s always a different excuse or they don’t show! We are trying everything! We are also frustrated with the ward because they just have no fire. The recent converts are so great, but the ward doesn’t do much for them! It’s frustrating but I sure am learning a lot from the experiences!
This week was pretty crazy too because we had so much going on! We had a baptism we took investigators to, the Christmas Devotional, 2 district meetings, and 2 baptismal interviews in Brandon. We also did two exchanges. First off I went with Elder Woods and it was a blast!! He came out with me and he is a champ! He came to our area and we had a lot of fun! We had some good lessons and some crazy ones! We went to teach this one guy and he was drunk! We said we couldn’t stay and he said, “No, I want you to stay!” So I said, “Ok, we will if you tell us what we taught you last time we came.” He looked at me and then burst into tears and then passed out! He literally passed out!Like he tipped over and drilled the floor! So me and Elder Woods tried to revive him but he was out cold! I called 911 and just as it started ringing he like hickupped and started breathing normal. So I hung up and we tried to get him up and he came to. He stood up and then we get him to sit in the chair. He sat down and said he was ok and we were like, ok we gotta go. We didn’t know what to do! I felt way bad, but we didn’t know what to do.. he was up and going and we were in his house. Any words of advice for the next time it happens?? The rest of the exchange was interesting too, but nothing too crazy.
Then I went on exchange with this kid from England. They hate Americans! haha It was funny! We had a good time and hopefully we helped em out. They had been struggling in their area and with their companionship for the transfer. It was a great exchange and this week they found some new investigators and got some people to church and set a new baptismal date, so they are sounding a lot better! It’s always great to see them get some success, when they had been struggling!
Oh and get this! While on exchange, we found this guy with a huge model railroad set! He said it cost over 30 grand! I got a ton of neat pics for you Dad! He loved showing it off!
Our week was rougher than we would have liked, but it ended up pretty good in all! On Sunday morning we taught this lady and it was insane! We had Bother Gibson with us and the lady was moody with him and us. haha We taught her a little bit about the Book of Mormon and coming to church she said she would come, but just for an hour because she had been up working all night! She then told us she was an escort! We both looked at her, completely tongue tied for a minute. While we were tongue tied she reaches under the couch and says, “Are donations allowed at the church?” As she pulls a ton of money out from under her couch, and we both just kinda nod. She shoves easy 2 or 3 hundred dollars in her shirt and then she was ready for church! She then said "It’s always good to give back, at the end of the year." She was dressed really modestly and when the Bishop saw her filling out a tithing slip, he came over to see if she was a member. It was really an odd experience and it made me think a lot of how blessed I am. Some people’s situations are so crazy and it’s so sad because they know what’s right! They know what God wants, but they are in a hole they don’t know how to get out of, or they are afraid to try. It’s crazy how weird experiences like that really make you think and make you so grateful for what you have. Hopefully we can help her! It’s so easy to judge and look down on people, but I really hope it’s something I can continue to get better at!
But I just had one more story for ya! This week I got to go to Brandon for probably the two neatest baptismal interviews I have ever done! I interviewed this lady named Bonnie. She has had the hardest life you can imagine! Mental illness and family problems and so many other things. Then the missionaries came along and she gave the sister missionaries grief for months! Finally she, as a 60 something, year old lady with all of these different crazy things in her life, comes to be interviewed by ME! It really made me feel super humble as this lady that has been through so much comes and looks up to me. She asked me some amazing questions and she just acted as if I was all knowledgeable. The neatest thing was her talking to me about just not being sure that she was ready. She knew it was true but she just felt unprepared. It was a really neat experience. Then the other one was even better!! A man named Bjorn. This man is super smart and just amazing! His wife has been a member forever and he has been an Athiest. His wife left him and the kids and it was a very humbling experience for him. Then the missionaries knocked on his door! Now he has such a super solid testimony and he and his son are getting baptized on Saturday with Bonnie!! The Mom is still no where to be found! But the dad and kids are amazing! I honestly loved that interview so much!! When he would bear his testimony, the Spirit was super strong!! It was such a neat experience! He will be an amazing member!!
Missions really are the best!! I have been so blessed with so many neat experiences!! I’m so grateful for all of you and the great support that you are to me!! I love you a ton and I’ll talk to you next week!! Love Elder Smith