Friday, August 27, 2010

Gabriel is Amazing!

Hey Friends and Fam!

Another crazy week!! Thank you so much for the email! Payt congrats (on the Hillcrest Game)!!! Man, your a senior! That’s sooo messed up!!! I feel like I just left, and I’m still getting updates from the junior year football games! It’s soooo scary how fast this last year has gone!! You can’t be a senior and you can’t be more ripped than me!! This is dumb! haha haha Mom and Dad thank you so much for your great emails too!! Sounds like all is well in River City!! haha

So this week was honestly the fastest week of my life!!! It’s sooo crazy how the weeks keep clicken’ by!! So first off, I got to do a baptismal interview and it was so neat!! I interviewed a young man named Kerry. He is in Y.S.A. (Young Special Interest) and he has been taught by Elder Willardson and Elder Ewell! He was so nervous for his interview!! It was such neat experience though!! He was definitely ready!! It’s so amazing that people my age and older look up to me so much, because I am a missionary!! Serving a mission is such a great blessing!! I have gotten to see so many amazing things!! But that was so neat and the rest of the week was pretty crazy!! We are teaching a lady named Belatu and she is so great!! We found her my first week back to Agnes and she has been to church the last 2 weeks with her kids!! She is amazing and she set a baptismal date for the 24th of September!! I love her and her kids so much and get this! She’s from Sudan, too! haha She is amazing though and this Sunday the Baronins had her and us all over for supper!! The Baronins are so great!!

District meeting this week went really good!!! I finally feel comfortable with how I want to teach them and now they are a lot of fun!! I did a neat object lesson and it worked out really good!! I am so tired all the time though. I’m glad I got used to not a ton of sleep back home! Because the district is pretty big and there is a ton of stuff to talk with them on the phone calls at night!! It’s way fun and I really feel like I am helping, but I don’t get off the phone with them and the zone leaders until 10:30 and then I have to get ready for bed and then back up again at 6:30. It’s hard because I don’t have the time to study before bed, that I used to. But, it’s been a great experience to try and help people in the district! I love the way things are and I wish they could just stay that way!!! I love where I am and the people I’m serving around so much!! I wish I could have the same love for everyone that I have for Akon and Belatu and the other great people that I have taught. I’m working on it, but man I love the people here so much!!

So, crazy story this week!! We had an appointment with Gabriel and we went over to his place and he was running across the street looking all scared and he told us to have the bishop call him, fast!! We end up going in with him and he told us what was going on! He had a cousin in Regina in a bind with bad stuff so Gabriel and another member of his tribe borrowed money from another Sudanese tribe so that they could buy out their cousin’s apartment in Regina. Gabriel thought he had enough to pay them off with his upcoming paycheck so he went and paid for repairs on Akon’s van and he paid his rent! Without Gabriel knowing, his tribe and this other tribe have a conflict in Africa and so the tribe went after Gabriel for the money! He didn’t have it, so they get in a little brawl with Gabriel and his uncle. Gabriel’s uncle got his eye pretty bashed up and Gabriel has a bruise on his neck!! While Gabriel was telling us this he was really shaken up, which was super scary because Gabriel is an under cover cop and he has some crazy stories already! But he said he couldn’t go to the cops because he was in the wrong and he owed money, so he called Bishop Baronins and Bishop came and wrote a $475 check on the spot to help get Gabriel out of the hole! So Gabriel gave them the check and all is well! haha But Gabriel couldn’t go to the tribe for money, because he helped the man in Regina against Daniel’s will (Akon’s husband). There meeting about the church was that very night!! So Bishop helped him out and the meeting about the church went through that night until 5 in the morning! Akon in north dakota, Daniel in Texas and Gabriel and part of the tribe in Canada and the rest of the tribe in Africa, were all on the line!! Gabriel said that the meeting went good but Daniel is still against it!! Everyone else is for it, but Daniel, and he is the oldest brother and kind of the head honcho!! It’s all so crazy and it sounds unreal!!

Gabriel gave us a list of the people that want to learn more from his tribe here in canada and there are 25 names!! All of the names are just heads of households!! A lot of them have families!! It’s hard to get one referral in Canada from a member, let alone 25 families! Gabriel is second oldest and he seems kinda like the rebel who doesn’t play by the tribe’s rules because he got baptized and he’s trying to convert all of these other people!! Man it’s insane!!!! haha Like it’s hard to believe all this stuff, but I’ve seen a lot of it happen myself, and it’s so crazy!! Gabriel has been helping us teach a ton of people though!! He’s so great!! But Akon still isn’t home!! She has to get back within the next week because school starts and with Gabriel and her both here I think some crazy stuff is gonna happen!! Because they both are trying really hard to get their tribe on board with the church!! I cant wait to see her and the kids again!! I’m happy, healthy, and safe!! I am just gonna definitely NOT borrow any money from people from Sudan!!

Church was great! Tons of people came again, but I don’t know what to do because we don’t have enough rides to get everyone there! Bishop Baronin’s asked for a downtown branch and his request is going up the ranks. We will see what happens!! Life is so great but so crazy! I love it!! If Daniel cracks, I think we will have a ton of baptisms here!! Oh, and Akon has told the whole tribe that Mom and her are close family friends!! Akon is amazing! Mom, you are amazing!! haha It’s so weird to know that people in Sudan listen in and hear about the missionaries and there family, that are their family friends. haha Crazy stuff! haha But Payt, don’t get your Eagle!! It’s a crazy cult you don’t want to be a part of!!! hahahaha Just kidding! Just get it done so you don’t have to worry about it!! Tell Heather hello and sorry that I haven’t written back for forever! Tell everyone you see I’m sorry I haven’t written. I pushed it back and I don’t know if I wanna try and catchup with everybody. I love and miss you all a ton!! Have a great week!!!

Love Elder Smith!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Friends and Fam!

I’m back in Agnes!! Man, it has been an amazing week!! Dad, how is your back!!? Did you drink water? haha Mom, you are the greatest! Thanks for the pics! Al and Addi, you look huge. Payt you are a champ!! Stay healthy and fill me in on more football details!! That’s crazy that the first game is here already! Time is going way too fast!! I’m so stressing because I’m worried I’ll only have five and a half weeks in Agnes!! It’s crazy the urgency I feel, but I love it!!! I loved Selkirk, but I love the fast pace of Agnes!! I have been sooo busy I haven’t had time to even think!! I get up at 6:30, workout and then I’m either on the phone or studying until studies because I don’t have time to study for all the investigators and the district! I have four companionships in my district and so we teach all day and then we come in and make plans and I’m on the phone with people in my district and the zone leaders until 10:30. We haven’t been getting to bed until 11 and then we wake up and do it all again! I’m always tired, but man I love it so much!! I love street contacting so much and I got in contact with some good people that got dropped a bit after I left. Oh man! It is so great here because there is no down time between anything! We have a ton of appointments and when we ‘find’ it’s all street contacting so there is no time wasted waiting at doors or walking between doors! You are always talking to people!

The ward is doing so good!! Tim Jackson is a super solid member! Emmanuel moved to the north zone and he’s doing good. The Obeings are doing amazing! They gave us some great referrals this week and Juliet is as good as ever, too!! The Waverly Ward is the best and oh man I just love it here soooo much!! They haven’t been getting the usual #s out to church lately, partly because of shortage of rides!! But since I got here, we found 2 more amazing families and we had to get them there with the other people they were teaching!! We found 23 rides for church this week!! haha 8 were for the Obeings and then one for Gabriel and the rest were for investigators!!! hahaha It was insane!! The crazy thing is that a lot of the investigators we have now, I was here when they were found or taught! Sacapos family came and I so think they will get baptized soon! Then there are a couple of other families that we found this week!! It was so great because I feel like I haven’t missed a beat coming back because I pretty much know all of the solid investigators and all of the members!! I love it here sooo much!! And get this!! The night before I left Agnes we taught Akon and here brother was in the house! He said he wanted to be taught and then I left! Turns out he got baptized about 3 weeks ago and he is the most amazing member ever! He comes out with us all the time and get this! He has been talking to his whole tribe including Daniel (Akon’s husband) and a ton of people here in Winnipeg and his tribe in Sudan! He sent Book of Mormons to Sudan and we have been trying everything to figure out how to get the gospel to them!! President Paulson has met with Gabriel and we are sending their tribe all kinds of info and they read the Book of Mormon every week on Sunday as a tribe! Gabriel is going to Sudan in a couple months to teach them all more!! There are no missionaries there and the closest branch is 9 hours away from the tribe! We are trying to get ahold of the mission president there and hoping and praying that things workout! Gabriel is soooo amazing! Akon is in Texas with Daniel now, but she gets home in a few days. She had been gone most of the summer!! Gabriel was baptized while she was gone and we are hoping if he stays on his brother Daniel that things will workout!! It’s been so crazy!! Like I feel like I’m in a huge, crazy, amazing dream!! I love it here sooo much and I am sooo excited for Akon to get back!! I am definitely feeling pressure! President said he is planning to see Akon baptized! Everyone keeps telling me that she’s the reason I came back to Agnes. I sure hope things workout! He is so amazing and it will be the best thing ever if things workout! Please keep her in your prayers and pray that Daniel’s heart will be softened! The last 4 days have been so amazing though! We have found so many good people!! We have been so blessed already!! Oh and get this, when I left, Martha got dropped, but I talked to her and we are gonna start teaching her again!! Oh man it is so great!! The Obeings are so amazing and Pious is the greatest! Pious finds all of our investigators and he always knows whatever language they speak. He is soooo amazing!! I love the people here so much!!!

I had a question for you! I was wondering if I could get more scriptures for people? But I know they cost a ton so I might hold off until the end of my mission. I know they are spendy and I feel so bad asking you to do it so fill me in on how you feel about the whole idea and what you think I should do because if I give them to all the people I want to we are going to be poor! I just look at Pious's old trashy scriptures and I hear his amazing testimony in every language you can think of and it’s hard to not want to get him some. He will be a bishop one day I am sure of it!! Same with Gabriel. And the Obeing boys will all be amazing missionaries!! They are all kids and they are already better missionaries then I am! All these people are so amazing!!! Also, I am sooo sorry about the speeding ticket!! Should I pay for it from the savings account? I’m driving slower now and I will do my best to not let it happen again! They have those stupid photo cops everywhere!

Oh, my new comp is a champ!! He is from Rigby as I’m sure you know and he was trained in Agnes by Elder Felix last transfer, who is now a zone leader that is serving with Elder Leonard now!! I love Elder Felix and he is a great missionary!! He trained Elder Skinner well!!! Elder Skinner is a champ!! He is working super hard and it will be a great transfer!! I love this area so much and I love my mission so much!!! It is the greatest!!! The church is soooo true!!! I love you all so much!! Payt, stay healthy! Dad take care of your back!! All of you stay healthy and safe!! I love you sooo much!! Alex and Addi, I wanna hear from ya! Give me an update on life!! I love you guys a ton!!

Love Elder Smith!!

P.S. Elder Zoner and Elder Skinner are both from Idaho and Elder Zoner is from Idaho Falls and he said that a ton of people asked him if he knew me. It was soooo weird talking to him today because I don’t really understand the concept that life is still happening there! haha Also, it was so weird going back into the Agnes apartment because it felt like getting back to the house after a week at the cabin! haha Except like 10 times better! It was so neat and it was so great talking to all the members and investigators again! I am so excited for Akon to get home! Get this!! A couple days ago Gabriel was on a mass speaker phone call with a bunch of people from his tribe that are here in Winnipeg, Akon’s family in Texas and the tribe in Sudan!! The call started at 9 PM and ended at 5 AM! Most of it was talking about getting the gospel to Africa and getting Daniel to back off! Gabriel is the best ever! I don’t know him that well yet but I love him so much!! He is a champ and we are teaching with him again tonight!!! Welp times up!! Love you guys a ton and talk to you next week!!!!