Monday, October 24, 2011


First hug to Mom!

President and Sister Paulson


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Hey family! 
So I’m definitely tripping out! I’ve been super worried about your trip and everything! It amazes me that 2 years has come and gone! This week was good and crazy again! We juggled two areas for the first half of the week! Then had Zone Conference with a G A but this one went a lot better than the last one! haha He was very humble and soft spoken. Coming home I cried a bit. Its just really crazy and I love it here so much!! Then I called you and it was great, but I felt terrible after because I was just kinda down on the phone, so I’ve been feeling guilty about that!! Elder McDanel is super stressed because he is training! haha We have been working super hard to make sure the area is top notch for when his greenie gets here! I have had many spiritual experiences this week and I really love this mission!! we found two super great families last night and I am just mad that I won’t be here to teach them! I have so much to say I don’t know what to say! haha I’m super nervous about the whole seeing you guys again! Hopefully you still like me. It’s all so weird! It’s going to be a huge crazy clash of 2 worlds! It still just doesn’t seem real!! But I want you to know that I love you all sooooooo much!! I felt terrible the other night when I hung up because I didn’t make sure that you knew that! But I am so grateful for all of you and I can’t wait to see you! I’m honestly so scared and weirded out by this all! haha I can honestly say that it is a lot scarier coming home than going out!! But I’m glad you will be there! haha I love you all soooo much!! Please drive safe and have a great day!!! Text this number when you get in safe and sound so I won’t stress! haha Thanks sooo much! I love you all a ton! Love Elder Smith  

Monday, October 3, 2011


Hey family!

Payton, it sounds like you had the hookups for the Taylor Swift concert!! Is there another one!? I wanna be your date!! haha It looks like you guys had a blast!! So fun! It also looks like the cabin has a lot of new toys, and kids that in my memory aren’t old enough  to be playing with those kinds of toys! haha I can’t believe how big Alex is! He is looking fit to! I bet the ladies are all over him!! 16 is still a couple years away buddy!! haha Well, thank you so much for the b day package! I got it a couple days ago and I was like man this is probably the only chance I will get to open my b day present early and have it be ok! haha so I had Reeses for conference (: thank you so much! You guys are the best!! President Vahovick gave me a big apple pie today too! He is so great!! Well I honestly can’t believe where the time has gone!! 

This last week has been so hard and stressful for me!! Elder Pacis, a brand knew missionary this transfer that was in my district, went home because of homesickness! It was a terrible thing! He was a recent convert of only a couple years! I had a lot of chats with him before he finally made the decision! He would talk about it and change his mind and he kept going back and forth for like a week and then he finally did it! So he was in Kenora so this whole week we were driving back and forth in a threesome trying to juggle 2 areas! With that and all of the going home prep with making calls and people dropping us in our area and all sorts of other garbage, it was a mess of a week! haha My hair is definitely falling out more rapidly! I’ve just accepted that I will look like Dad, but not as handsome! haha It’s all good though I just gotta tell people that I’m Payton’s brother and I’ll get a wife for sure! ha ha It really has been a mess of stress, but man I have some great stuff planned for when you guys come! I have a lunch and supper apt for us for almost every day you are here! I wasn’t really planning on that, at all, but everyone wants to feed us! So you guys will get to try some Canadian, African and Filipino  food! It should be really fun! Hopefully that’s ok for you guys? And hopefully Elder Woods parents are as fun as he is! hahaha But I really just don’t have time to see everyone so I guess we will just kind of have to see what happens. I think I will probably get time to call you next week though, so I was wondering what your cell #s are now? Just fill me in (: but before I forget, I have the funny quote for the week! Something bad happened to someone and Elder Mcdanel said, “Oh man he’s SOL.” I was like, “Come on man, you can’t say that.” And he got all mad and he’s like, “What? All it means is save our lives.” ha ha ha I died laughing! It was funny stuff! It was so fun calling people this week though! I’m not done yet because I’ve just found a little time to make calls but it is so fun to talk to everybody again!! It really feels so good! It was so great to call Belatu though! I told her about our get together at the fireside and I wanted her to come and she was game, but I could tell she was uneasy about it and I didn’t know why, so I was like is that ok? Will that work? And she is like, “Ya, it will but I really wanted to have your family over for supper, I have something for your Mom and Dad.” She is such a wonderful lady! It sounds like she is doing so good! I’m so excited for you guys to meet everyone though! It will be a lot of fun! 

This week was very interesting with everything that happened! Conference made me bawl like a little girl!~ especially the Priesthood session! I loved all the talks but I love the one where he talked about his mission being "Sacred Ground" It hit me pretty hard! I couldn’t stop sobbing, so it was kind of awkward with the 2 Priesthood holders in the branch and the 3 missionaries. John and Pres Vahovick weren’t  there. But it was so good!! With conference, Elder Pacis going home, and my mission coming close to the end, it made me think a lot about what all has happened in two years. I look a little different...I have more zits, hemorrhoids, and less hair! haha But I wouldn't trade the last 2 years for anything! I think about Elder Pacis and it just makes me soooooo sick! it is such a sad deal because missions ARE such Sacred Ground! I have met so many amazing people and I have had so many wonderful experiences!! I have been sooo blessed in my life with an amazing family that supports me 100% and I have seen sooo many miracles out here! I just can’t show my gratitude enough for the wonderful blessings in my life!! I know that God lives and love us! I know that he hears and answers prayers! I know that I was supposed to come to the CWM! I am sooooo grateful to be here!! Missions are so hard and frustrating, but they are the best!! I’m so excited and happy for Payton!! SOOO PROUD! haha But thank you so much for all that you all do! All is well and I’ll talk to ya next p day! (: This week should be a good stressful one (: we have Zone Conference, 2 areas to juggle that are two hours apart, and John’s receiving the Priesthood on Sunday! (: The church is soooo true! I love you guys all a bunch! Love Elder Smith

Monday, September 26, 2011


Hey Family!!
What a week!!!! So this week was super crazy! haha but super great!! It looks like Payton’s week was super great too! hahah Tell him to tell all his girly friends that he’s gonna be gone for 2 years but I’m single and and an RM (: I sent a birthday package to him! Hopefully he got it by his b-day! I kinda doubt it though because he didn’t email this week! But tell him I love him and I’m soooooooooooooooooo proud of him!! He is such a champ! He is going to be a power house missionary!! This week has been great though. District meeting went well and it was off to a good start! We have knocked every door in this city and many of them a couple times to try and get everyone at home! So this week we didn’t look at our records and we went around inviting everyone out to the fries, dogs, and movie night! On Wednesday President Vahovick just shows up at our apartment at lunch time and pulls up a chair and ate lunch with us! hahah He is such a great guy! He had to do our apartment check and we had a great chat with him! It was weird cus you’re not allowed to have members in your apartment, but since he had to do the apartment check he was ok and it was neat! We had a good little correlation meeting for the Baptism and movie night and everything! It was fun and then he gave us his cell phone # haha and he is like “don’t tell anyone in the branch! No one knows that I have it but you and my wife!” haha I love that guy to death! He is such a country fishen’ hunten’ hick! haha so of course he loves Elder Mcdanel and me! haha But that was great! John called us up on Tuesday before our apt with him and asked if he could take us out to McDonalds! So we went over and had a great lesson with him and then we piled into his Jeep and he took us to McDonalds! It was a blast! He bought us a bunch of food! It was funny though because I didn’t tell you this but when he took us to Pizza Hut after we went golfing, he ordered an iced tea. So it was really awkward and we had to talk to him about it. haha But then at McDonalds I ordered a water and the water thing comes out of the same thing as the iced tea! hahaha So he called me out and I’m like hold up man! It’s just water! haha McDonalds really needs to change that! haha It was pretty funny though!! He is such a great guy! He is a man of hilarious quotes! haha This week we reviewed the Spirit World and he said " If the Spirit Prison doesn’t have a jail keeper, it’s gonna be a lot worse than prison here!" Then he gave his goofy chuckle! hahaha After we taught him about the Priesthood and temples he looked a little over whelmed and he looks at me all serious and says, "Well this is gonna take a lot more than the 10 to 15 minutes a night!" haha I love this guy!! haha Oh while I’m on quotes, I got some new ones from Elder Mcdanel. He always says, “Oh man that’s a BO (Bad Ordeal) haha But my favorite for the week is "Man! Some people’s kids!" hahahah Golden! But the fries, dogs, and movie night was a great success! Gerrald came early and helped get it ready!! It was great to see the light in his eye as he helped with it! He was loven’ it! He was even serving people and then he did most of the clean up! He’s a great guy!! John got his mom there and she loved it! He was a great help with clean up too! Then we watched the movie Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. It is soooo great and John’s Mom was crying! She tried to blame it on a cold, hahah It was sooo great!! It was a great night! Very stressful! hahaha Oh!!!!! I almost forgot! So the church as been stinky ever since I got here and they can’t figure out what it is! But we went in on Wednessday to clean the font! We got all of the storage stuff in there moved out and then lifted up the wooden thing over the font and this terrible smell comes up!! We look down in and there are spiders and beetles everywhere and a thick sheet of mold and nastyness covering the whole bottom of the font and it had climbed up the walls a ways! We tried scraping it off and it wouldn’t budge! So we go and get some brand new things of toilet bowl cleaner and just coat it!! The smell went crazy, so we got masks and went to town! haha Let me say that I have broken the Word of Wisdom more on my mission than I ever have before I came out! haha From people’s weed and cigarettes, and toilet bowl cleaner mixed with mold! haha We were way sick when we were done, but oh man that baby was shinen’! haha So that was a fun adventure!! So we were all locked and loaded for the baptism! John and President Vahovick both showed up an hour early! We had to fill the font and it took forever and the pipes were all rust so it looked like lake water or worse! haha We were mad after all of our hard work! haha But then we went to practice what would happen! They both looked nervous, haha And we go to practice and President Vahovick doesn’t know how to do it! hahah So I had to show them and they practice some more! haha President Vahovick is so great and he has a rock solid testimony but he definitely wasn’t raised in Mormonville! haha He has such a neat conversion story and has been a convert for like 30 or 40 years! He and his wife were baptized when they were young and she was pregnant! It’s neat stuff! You will definitely have to ask them about it! But after I showed him and John how to do it John asked him, “So how many people have you baptized?” President Vahovick said, “Well not that many and then he starts counting ‘um with his kids and then some friends in the church.” haha It was just funny cus they were both pretty stressed! haha But the meeting starts and it is going great!! We go in for the Baptism and President Vahovick starts and says the prayer wrong like 3 or 4 times! haha then he got it and it was golden!! after he was like " come on it was off by like one word" hahaha i love that guy! haha it was super great though and the spirit was super strong! johns mom kept saying "its so peaceful here! There’s something about this place, it just has a different feel than anywhere that I have been before! We have got to meet with them and get them to set a date!!! They are excited to meet you guys!! It was a great night though! The ward was super supportive and the food after was great!! It was golden! It was funny at the beginning because Elder McDanel had to conduct and he messed it up pretty good! I smirked and he was still in baseball mode. He lifted up his hands and gave me the “Oops, I missed the pop fly” look! It was great! But things are so good! Missionary work is great!! As for details, you can come to Dryden on Wednesday the 12th.  I will probably meet up with you at the Vahovicks or something. So get a room in Dryden for the night of the 12th and then Winnipeg for the 13th, 14th, 15th,  and 16, because we are leaving Monday right? But that should be great! Thanks so much for all that you do! If there are any questions give Sister Polten a call(: I love you! You guys a great!! Have a great week!! Love Elder Smith!!

Monday, September 19, 2011


Hey Family!!

You guys aren’t trunky at all! hahahaha When I opened Mom’s email all I could see all over the page was “when you get home...” haha It sounds like you guys are all doing great! I feel bad for Payt and his boredom! It’s good stuff though buddy! Enjoy it, but Mom just make sure I don’t have to deal with that when I get home! Mom and Dad, thank you so much for the work with getting me into school!! You guys are so great!! Did those letters I wrote work? I felt bad because they were terrible! What did you do with them? You will have to let me know because what I wrote wouldn’t even have gotten me into byui! Thanks for the great updates though! You guys are the best.

It’s been a crazy week because there is just so much running through my head! I have never been so stressed! hahah The Acutane and stress combo started making my hair fall out! So I was like, oh man, what’s less attractive, zits or baldness, then I saw Dad’s picture and I was like zits for sure! haha But the doc still thought I should go off the meds so I did! Luckily before I bought another month worth. I think I’m gonna stay away from that stuff! haha But I’ll get an antibiotic for the rest of the zits and it should all buff out! I’m doing great though! Blood tests were all good and no side affects, other than I was loosing hair when I washed it! Not a big deal and all is well!

It has been super stressful week though! On Monday all of our appointments bailed and we tracted in terrible weather! Like a blizzard with sleety snow rain! haha I felt dumb for complaining about the heat just last week! On Tuesday it was rougher weather again and we tracted a ton and just had one lesson with Gerald. It was ok but he is frustrating! Wednesday went pretty well with apts and stuff and we left in the evening and stayed in Kenora. I slept on the floor and didn’t sleep too well! Then in the morning we drove to Winnipeg for Zone Meeting! It was good but then we had to get Elder McDanel and Pacis's winter gear for them. So we didn’t get back to Dryden till Thursday night, so the whole day was shot. Then Friday we did weekly planning and got to work more than half the day and then the assistants stayed the night with us! It was a blast to catch up with Elder Woods! He is a champ!! Then Saturday morning all four of us left for Fort Frances for the district conference. We worked there Saturday and Sunday was the Conference. Saturday night I slept on the floor again in International Falls which was rough. We busted over to the conference in Fort Frances on Sunday morning and it was great and Elder Woods and President both gave great talks!! But this Sunday was supposed to be John’s interview. Now this is stressful enough, but on top of it, John was on vacation all week and so we hadn’t talked to him since the previous Sunday. We had told him we would call him throughout the week and we got it all set up but when we called, his phone wasn’t working!! So I was soooo stressed all week because the week before the interview is huge! Not talking to them the whole week is super bad news bears!! So I had all kinds of worries of his family giving him anti and stuff going bad so I was so stressed. But that Sunday before we told John we would meet him at the church at 3:30 and talk to him before the interview that was supposed to be at 4, and it had to go through because we are out in the boonies, so it’s gotta be planned well so someone can come for the interview, so he HAD to be there. So when the conference ended, we were gonna bust out and be to Dryden by 3:30, but we remembered that we needed Baptismal clothes from the International Falls building because Dryden has nothing! Which was on the other side of the border and some of our stuff was in I Falls car, but they had already left and they weren’t answering their phone. So finally we got ahold of them and Elder You and I got picked up by them. We crossed the border and booked it to the I Falls church and got the clothes. Then I Falls dropped us off at the border because you have to pay to drive across! haha So elder You and I ran across the border bridge in the rain with a big bag of white clothes hahaha! As you can imagine, we knew we would get questioned for the bag! And we did! haha We thought about saying "Sir these are clothes for a saving ordinance and we are late for an important interview," but we figured that would lead to more questions! Luckily, the Canadian border patrol is a lot nicer than the American one! No offense Sean Marshall! I’m sure you are nice (: haha But we made it across safe and sound and went and jumped into the car with Elder Woods and McDanel! While we were doing our crazy stuff they had gotten all of our stuff bagged up so it wouldn’t get wet in the pickup for the ride home! Then Elder You drove like a champ to try and get us there in time!! We rolled into town at 4 so I was soooooo stressed thinking maybe he forgot, maybe something bad happened, maybe he got stuck on the rainy roads from Thunder Bay, maybe he already came and left because we were 30 minutes late! aaahhhhh! I was all sorts of worked up! So we’re driving through the country road to the church and we rolled up and there’s John’s jeep in front of the church!!! woooop woooop!! We were all super pumped! haha So we talked to John and he sounds great!! He got interviewed and it went great!! He was in and out quick and Elder You said he was super ready!! It was super great!! It was a great end to the week, but this week is stressing me out! haha We have a Fries, Dogs and Movie Night we are doing for the branch and investigators on Friday, the baptism on Saturday and the confirmation Sunday! We still have to get people invited to the movie night and find a projector or something. We have to get John’s program all put together and we have to clean out the baptismal font because it is filled to the brim with stuff because they turned it into their storage closet because they haven’t had a baptism in forever! And I gotta throw together a District Meeting for tomorrow still! And all this would be normal, but all this home stuff is trippen me out and I’m supposed to get the calls for all that done. We’ve got a good week planned out though and we should have a fair amount of apts!

I’m just sad to say that I still have stress issues! haha I thought the mission would cure me (: I just hope it didn’t make it worse! haha Hopefully we have a good showing for the movie night and the baptism and church! I guess it’ll all buff out! But I love you guys all so much! You are so wonderful!!

Oh, exciting news for you!! I got a letter from Nicole Witbeck this week..that pretty blonde I hung out with before I left.... All that was in it was an announcement to her baptism!! She is now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!! woop woop! haha I thought it was neat stuff! She has been off and on writing me, and I hadn’t heard from her for awhile so it was really neat! I’ve gotten 4 letters in the last 2 transfers, 3 for weddings and one for a baptism! Neat stuff! Life is so good! Missionary work is the best! I love you guys a ton! Thanks again so much for all that you do!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, September 12, 2011


Hey family!

First off, you guys are the best!!! Alex, I am scared out of my mind to see you!!! I can’t believe how mature you sound!! You’re not allowed to like girls yet!! NO DATING TILL YOUR 16!! HAHA Buddy, I’m so proud of you and the great kid you are! I loved your talk and I wish I could have been there for it! I’m gonna have to talk to the Bishop in a couple months and get you to speak again! haha Payt, I loved your email and testimony!! Powerhouse! Mom and Dad you are wonderful!! I love you all so much and I’m so grateful for all of you!!

Well, this week was another interesting one! It was hard, we broke Canadian heat records and we tracted A TON! It has been super hot! It doesn’t feel like September at all!! But it was a good week! So first off I wanna start by telling you some funny stories! haha First off, Elder McDanel had a sailor’s mouth before he came out here, so I have tried to help him with it a lot. He cut swearing before he got here, but all the other bad talk was still there. So, I’ve been working with him a lot with it and we played a game where I get a quarter every time he slips. haha I made bank! But anyways that’s the background and he’s gotten a ton better, but the other day we were tracting in an apartment building, just going door to door and in front of one door there was this huge birthday balloon, but it was full of water! Like huge! So we walk over, look at it all confused and Elder McDanel nudges it. No big deal, so we knock the door and don’t think much of it. No one was there, so we keep going and all of the sudden the water balloon breaks and water fills the hall and pours in under the door! And Elder McDanel goes, "Oh s***!" I look at him with an apalled look, not knowing what to do and then we both booked it out of there. He is such a punk and so I was mad about it, but trying so hard not to lose it laughing! Then we went out tracting and I hit my head on the rain gutter really hard and the whole thing fell off. Of course Elder McDanel thought it was hilarious and handled it the way Jordan Nelson would! It was funny stuff. Then on Saturday we showed up in the morning to the street we planning to knock and we run into two J-dub families with their kids and all out tracting! haha It was very interesting because there were two J-dub families and two Mormon missionaries having a throw down in the middle of the street! We could of taken ‘em! haha But we just had a nice little chat and then went to a different street! I’m getting to know them pretty well after how many times we have run into them. They hit the town hard though! Everywhere we went, the people told us the J-Dubs were there in the morning! It’s not a huge city and so we have already tracted it once through and some places we have tracted 2 or 3 times! We know everyone! I went in for my blood test today and seriously like everyone there I had talked too! haha It’s funny when you run into them in places like that!

Other funny story for ya. In Gospel Principles this week Gerald used the Lord’s name in vain, the “A” word and the “F” word all in one sentence to answer one of the question, and I was teaching the class! You don’t run into that one everyday! But the class was super good and he was just talking about his childhood, he wasn’t insulting my teaching (: haha It was also John’s birthday and so we made him cupcakes! The class loved them and he was thrilled by the whole thing! He has come so far and he is ready for baptism but things got moved around so his interview is set for this coming Sunday! He is such a goofy, great guy and I think he’s ready! The branch seems to love him! This week there were only 8 members there, counting us!! It was slim pickings!! But Gerald and John are unfazed by it!! Both of them were like the first ones to church, and Gerald was outside cleaning up trash when we showed up! They are both great guys! Gerald is coming along slowly. He has faced all kinds of garbage, but in our lessons this week the Spirit was super strong! He knows it’s true. It’s just now up to whether he will buckle down and do it or not. John’s lessons are great and always hilarious! He is super smart but almost too smart with dumb stuff! haha So he has some crazy tangents and he get the “deer in the headlights” look a lot! haha I love the man to death though!! This week Elder McDanel said, "So John, do you wanna be baptized?” And John said, “I wouldn’t keep showing up if I didn’t!" haha Just the way he said it cracked us up because he asked it after we had read in D&C where it talks about the qualifications for baptism. So it was like a serious moment and the way he answered was funny! It was good, we are stressed though because he is gone all this week and he gets back the day of his interview! Hopefully he is ready!! I think he is!! Things are going so great though!! The last month of a mission feels kind of similar to the month before leaving on one!! It’s just a mess of mixed feelings and a lot of stress to get things done!! I wanna finish strong! It’s craziness! But I love you all a bunch! Thanks for all that you do and have a great week!!

Love Elder Smith!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Hey family!

Sounds like you guys had such a wonderful week!! Tell Madeline congrats! Payton I am so excited for you! I can’t wait to go to the temple with you!! You’re gonna have to get me back in the groove of going!! I haven’t gone in 2 years!! The temple is the best and I am so excited to go again! Dad, thank you so much for sending your testimony!! I loved it! At first I was sad Mom and Payt and Al and Addi didn’t send there’s, but your’s was so great and now I get to still hear there’s next week! Hopefully! Payton I’m so glad to hear that you are having a good time! q for ya? Do you have a temple in your mission? Let me know!! Mom and Dad you are amazing and I love and miss you a ton! I’m so grateful for all that you do!

This week was a rainy one here!! It was raining like crazy and I have this trashy umbrella that I sooo badly wanted to last the season! Fall is definitely here and I thought for sure it would make it but then a huge storm hit and the wind whipped off the top! hahaha So I had the umbrella top and the medal rod, in a nasty rain storm! I was pretty mad, but it was pretty funny! We knocked on a door and they let us in! I took off my shoes and my socks were soaking, so I sat down my mettle rod and then my umbrella top. It was so funny because this was in the wealthy neighborhood! So this house is nice and I left a wet trail walking in from my wet socks! haha Funny stuff! It was a rough lesson! They had no desire to do anything, but it was a funny experience! But after that, I cracked and had to go buy a 10 dollar umbrella! haha It’s nice! I went into the dentist again and he said he would fix it for free because he thinks it’s just a bad filling, so hopefully all goes good there!

Gerald is doing ok, but he is super sketchy lately! We had a great lesson with him this week, but then he bailed! He is frustrating! I love them a lot though!! John is hilarious and I love him to death!! I’ve got a funny story for ya in a bit but he is ready for baptism! Hopefully the interview goes well! It will hopefully be this week!! We found a new lady named Rosa this week! She is in her 70’s but she is such a sweetheart!! She had a little bit of Grandma and Grammy in her and it made me miss both of them! She came to church which was.... interesting! haha We only had like 10 active members there this week and then John, Rosa, Trustine and her kids, and it was fast and testimony meeting! aahhh! So President Vahovick goes first and takes seriously 2 minutes! Down to 9 people who can bear their testimony! So I kinda write a talk in my head and then fill some time! hahah I used between 5 and 10 minutes so about 35 minutes to go and 8 members! Everyone of them got up and it was sooooo good! Just great testimonies!! I love branches!! If you stay active in a branch you’ve got a straight shot to the Celestial Kingdom for sure!! But church ended up pretty good! John is doing really well and he is so funny!! This week we tracted in the rich areas a ton! All the houses along the lake. It is so pretty and there is so much wildlife! We see deer here everyday in the city. But, so funny story about John... He took off work to take us golfing! So yesterday on P-day we went golfing with him! It was so fun and hilarious!! One thing about Elder McDanel, you can take the boy out of the hick town, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t take the hick town out of the boy!! haha This kid is always after some animal, while we are tracting or doing something crazy! Then we go golfing and he’s pulling Happy Gilmore and he’s screaming and laughing and going through the pond for balls and throwing clubs! haha This kid is crazy but so funny and I love him to death! He has grown so much but I donno what John thought of the whole thing! haha He couldn’t help but laugh!! That was the hardest thing for me, is golf can be hilarious!! Like man, I was trying so hard to keep it in, but it was so funny!! The funniest part of it all is that Elder McDanel somehow destroyed both John and I! hahaha The kids got a good drive!! And he almost caught a frog! haha And he found enough balls to make up for all the ones I lost!! Good times! So golfing was a lot of fun!! Definitely a little stressful for me, but all’s well that ends well!! The week was good and I love being a missionary!!

We had district meeting today and it went really well! I have Elder McDanel and then two other greenies that got here his transfer, that are all in my district so it makes meetings really fun to teach!! It’s weird to see where they all are and to remember my first couple transfers!! Missionaries are the best and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be one!! I am so grateful for the Gospel and the blessings that come from living it! I am so excited for Payton!! Missions are the best!! Love ya all! Love Elder Smith

P.S. I got a funny story that might be sketchy for my actual email so I thought I’d tack it to the end! So we were reading with John this week and instead of reading “the last resurrection” I said the last erection. I just quickly corrected and no big deal right...... But Elder McDanel is there! hahahaha And he can’t NOT laugh, so he has this huge grin and his eyes start watering because he is trying sooo hard to keep it in!! He can’t do it, so he tries to pull it off as allergies! hahahaha So he’s fake sneezing and itching his nose and twitchen all crazy between gigles and saying, “Ahhh, stupid allergies.” Just like Napolian, beccause he IS from Preston you know! hahaha It was soooooooooooo funny! And I had to give it everything not to lose it!! He is definitely a hick from Preston!! But, it all buffed out so no big deal! Love ya all!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Hey family!!

I love your emails!! Tell Payton that I’m ok with him not emailing me, but payback is coming his way quick! Just kidding, but I am so impressed at how great you all are at emailing me!! Best family ever! I just better get a big one from Payt next week! Alex, it sounds like you had a blast on the camp out! You gotta work on your fishing so we can go a bunch together! Mom, it looks like you had a blast on your sisters retreat!! I loved seeing Aunt Jill and Aunt Camille! You definitely win the classiest and most beautiful sister award though! MY Mom is classy and the best!!! (:

This week was crazy though!! I’ll start with the crazy and funny stories first! So first off we were in Kenora after our exchange the night before district meeting and we were getting ready for bed! So I’m in my usual routine, in the bathroom, and all the sudden I hear the car alarm going off! So I yelled out and they think I’m just playing around or something, but then they hear it! So the 3 of them dart out with basketball shorts and garment tops, with Elder McDanel at the front! He went booking out and the lady across the street yells, "Get inside! There’s a bear in the back of your truck!" haha So they book it back in and tell me. . . so we all book back out! We had a bag of garbage in our truck bed that was spread all over, and there was a fatty bear poop by the tire of the truck! haha No damage to the car though, other than a couple scratches on the side of the bed. It was pretty funny! But here’s the crazy part, the next morning we locked the car and had 240 pound Elder O'Driscoll get up in the bed and jump all over and shake the truck and no matter what he did, he couldn’t get the alarm to go off! He was shaking it good!! So the bear roughed it up pretty good! It was funny stuff!

Then we came in from Kenora and met John at President Vahovick’s for supper! We taught him the Word of Wisdom and it was good, but for coffee. We said it and his jaw dropped! He goes "coffee.... really??? coffee... I need it to stay awake at work!” Needless to say he’s been coffee free a week tomorrow!! woop woop!! He is great!! He’s a goofy guy though! haha He is an electrician and he’s pretty goofy. You will like meeting him! But then this week we taught him tithing too, and that was rough for him but I think he will do it! If all goes well he will get baptized on the 17th!! When we taught him this week though it was soooo funny because he asked what a Gentile was. So we taught him it and he paused for a minute and said, "I don’t feel comfortable calling myself a Jew." haha We both about died! We must have taught it really really bad! hahaha Sooo funny! He has made it to church 3 weeks in a row though and this week he was the first one to the chapel!

Other crazy story, we taught Gerald and his family the Law of Chastity. He has a girlfriend that sleeps over....... and we knew that going into it. So we teach it and he went pale with guilt. He looked kinda sick and said "Wow....... how am I gonna do it? Wow..... does that include masturbation?" So we were like, yep, and pornography. So we talked it out with him and he said he’d live it. He actually did great with it! It was pretty weird though because he talked WAY open about it with his girls right there! Being a missionary is soooooo crazy because a 19 and 20 year old kid having to teach a 38 year old guy, that has 2 kids about the Law of Chastity! It’s really so fun, and exciting and a rush kind of! It’s sooo neat to be a missionary, and I have gained such a strong testimony of the commandments!! Especially the Law of Chastity!! It’s so sad to see his girls compete with his girlfriend for attention! It makes me so sad! I love Gerald’s family so much though! I really hope he mans up and lives the commandments!! I love his girls so much and they deserve so much better! They are great and I love the way they treat us! They see us and they take off running for us saying, "It’s the Elders!" They had a rough week though!! He got bed bugs and his girls got lice!! They are temporarily in a hotel! Luckily with one bed so the girlfriend has to stay away!

Other funny story for you!! So we are tracting and we walk up to a house and right as we walk up these guys open up the garage door and we are hit with a thick wall of weed!! They all hit the ground and started to pretend they were working on a six wheeler. haha It was pretty funny. They were in there hot boxen’ the garage and I’m sure we scared em pretty bad at first! It’s crazy though because it was a dad his friend and a teenager!! Weed is huge here and it’s like a father-son thing, I guess! It was pretty ridiculous! It’s crazy that I learned how to pick out what weed smells like on my mission!

This week we also set up a booth at the fair! President Vahovick got it for us so we went and set stuff up and left it. There were members from Fort Francis there with a booth close, so they kept an eye on it. They told us some funny stories of people looking at the stuff, but they said some girls came over and said, “Oh those guys are so hot! We should take this book so we know stuff about it so we can talk to them.” hah Elder McDanel is convinced they were talking about him! It gave us a good laugh! It was a pretty crazy week but so good! Hopefully my stories aren’t too bad unedited, but I’ve been terrible with a journal and I wanted to remember some of the crazy funny stuff!

I got some bad news. I think that dentist messed up my tooth so I’m probably gonna have to get it fixed up again when I get home! It’s hard to chew with and I went back and he said it might be something else wrong, other than the cavity he fixed, so hopefully Dr. Hoover can fix me up! I’m fine though, it’s not a big deal and it’s just a little tender, but I’m just mad if the dentist did something wrong and it’s gonna cost us more.

Things are great though! its weird with all the home talk from you and President and everybody else! Scary stuff!! I’m so excited to see everyone in Winnipeg again though!! That will be a super fun week!! It was a great week though! John, Gerald, and Gerald’s 2 kids, Emma and Alisha all came to church, which put us at like 17 people there in all! It’s crazy small! But it’s so great!!

I had kind of a neat insight this week though! The Holy Ghost is so great and it plays such a huge role in conversion, but I really have recognized the role it plays with us as missionaries! It really helps us to know what to say, what to do, and it directs us with so many different problems we face. But something I have realized is that it helps us to get a taste of how people really feel and what they are going through too. It helps us to relate with people and have more charity towards them and their situation and I never thought about it much but I think that that is part of the long suffering talked about in the scriptures, because some times it’s so hard to see people and the situations that they have put themselves in. But it’s so good that we can receive guidance and help in showing patience with these people and also receive the charity and guidance needed to help them! I’m so grateful for the Spirit! I’m so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Life is so great and so hard!! But when we live the Gospel it is so worth it!! I love you all a bunch! Thanks for all that you do!

I did have one request for all of you!! It’s a crazy time in life with one kid on a mission and one about to leave, and the feelings that are there are sometimes easy to forget! haha So I was wondering if next email you would all send your testimony? Please and Thank you! (: I love you all a bunch!! Have a great week!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, August 22, 2011


Payton!! And Fam!!

HOLA!! MI AMOR TO HERMANO!!! I AM SOOOOOOO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! When I heard the news, I knew you would be soooo excited and I knew it was were you were supposed to be! It is soooo exciting!! I knew you were smart enough to learn a language!! hahaha You will tear it up!!! I’m definitely sad we only get a month together, but I guess someone there needs to be found by you fast!! You better get on that Spanish, buddy!! Hey and now we have somewhere warm to visit in up coming years!!!! woop woop! I do have some advise for you though!! Write down everything that has happened this summer and the way that you feel about it all!! Write down your testimony and your feeling about your mission call and everything and write it down in the beginning of your mission journal! Get on it fast! You will be super grateful for it later on! And study the lessons in PMG, just focus on Chapter 3 because they don’t teach that in the MTC anymore, but you need to know how to teach it! But don’t stress it too much! You are ready to go right now! (: Just figured that’d give ya a head start! haha Buddy, I am soooooooo proud of you and so excited for you!! You will love the temple! Is there one in your mission? Either way, go a lot and we will go a ton when I’m home! (: Oh, last words of advice, promise me now that you will NEVER become a Cowboys fan!!! hahahaha!

Well, this week was a good one! In big part because Payton’s going to Texas!!!! woop woop! haha But things here are going pretty well!! On Monday we had a great lesson with Gerald and we got his kids to join in! They are 9 and 12 and so good! They want to be baptized with there Dad!! The 12 year old is so great and the 9 year old is all over the place! But the lesson went great, but then they left town for the week so they get back tomorrow and it’s commandment time!! Hopefully all goes well! I love them sooo much!! I taught District Meeting here in Dryden and it went well and right now I am in Kenora for an exchange tonight and District Meeting tomorrow!! I don’t where the week goes!! It’s so ridiculous and frustrating how fast time goes! We found a new lady this week named Sandy and she is great! She and her kids have been listening to the lessons and she set a date. Her husband isn’t much for religion, but he is warming up to us and even sat in on a lesson this week! Get this.. she is already in Jacob! Crazy and she remembers so much of what she has read and she will call us to tell us about it. She made it to church and she would be completely golden if it wasn’t for the family dragging! Hopefully they will come along!! The dad is kinda messed up, but they are big into fishing! haha They have some huge fish pics! Neat stuff! Fishing is huge here!! If you don’t own a boat, you are a reject! We have had a bunch of people say, "I don’t like religion, but you guys wanna go fishin’? I’ll show you a good time!" haha It’s a double dagger to the heart, rubbing salt in the wound!!! The crazy part is we have pretty much knocked every door in the city. Of coarse not all of them have answered, but we have started going over areas again, and everyone knows us!! Almost every door they say "Oh, I saw you the other day, don’t you remember waving at me?" haha Small towns are great though!! I love it here!

So I had some funny stuff for you! I’ve started an Elder McDanel quote book! haha It’s hilarious! Here are a few: When anything bad happens he says, "It’ll buff out". When he proves me wrong, he says "Ha! read um and week!" haha I asked him what ‘week’ means and he says, “I donno, but it’s a phrase, ya know like when you win a card game!?” hahahaha I died laughing! He had to do math the other day for something and he was way off so I was giving him a hard time and he said, "I was always bad at math, but I’m great at English! I can talk to anybody." I said, “Oh, what about the class in high school though?” haha He said "Ya, my baseball coach was the teacher so he let me go hit balls and I got an A." hahaha Preston schooling at it’s finest! He is hilarious though and a great missionary and we have a blast together! He is big into hunting and I really want to do it now! It’s crazy here though because there are tons of deer here in the city!! The other day I was literally 10 feet from a 6 point buck a doe and a fawn, just eating off some guys apple tree! It’s super neat! Elder McDanel wanted to chase it down and brake its neck! He is a lot like Jordan Nelson. It’s so funny!

Things here are really going well though! I so badly hope that these people hit their dates! The last one I wanted to talk about is John Meyer! He is so great! He is an Electrician here at the mill and he is a crack up! He’s super nice and I love teaching him! He has a house to himself and a nice Jeep just like Payt’s, but black! We have already taught him the first 3 lessons and now we’re getting into the big commandments! We taught him the sabbath day this week and he was all stressed and he said, "What if because of work I have to miss church?" I was like, Oh man ): But then we asked him how much he worked on Sunday and he said, “One time every year or two, but when it happens, I have to work. What do I do?” I was like, oh ya! haha He is so good! We taught Law of Chastity, too and he is good to go! Tomorrow we are meeting him at the Vahovicks to teach the Word of Wisdom and have supper! Hopefully all goes well! Keep him in your prayers!! He is so good and he can help the branch a ton! He has already been there 2 weeks in a row and some crazy stuff has happened, like eternal mothers and all the temple stuff. And he’s still solid! He’s great! He told his parents about it and I was like well what’d they say? Hoping not anti! And he said, “Oh they didn’t talk much but I’m gonna invite them to the baptism, so I need to get the time of it!” haha HES SOO GOOD! Once we get Word of Wisdom and Tithing out there, he will be set! And then we can start using him and his Jeep to get other people out to church! woop woop! Hopefully all goes well! But missions are so wonderful!! Payton, I can’t even tell you how excited I am for you!! I don’t envy the heat you are gonna deal with! But everything else you will love sooo much!! The Church is so true! I love you all a ton!! Have a Fantastic week! Love Elder Smith!

Oh, PS So I haven’t got mail in forever, right? So I’m told I have three letters, so I’m pretty happy. I get them this week and it’s 3 wedding announcements! hahah Elder Lovelace is now married! Crazy! Elder Schulte, too! Elder Leonard got home and dropped his girlfriend that waited the full two years! haha Pretty funny stuff!! But I guess the only mail you get at this part of your mission is wedding announcements! hahah Funny stuff!! Love ya all a bunch! Love Elder Smith

Monday, August 15, 2011


Hey family!

So this was a pretty good but crazy week!! It started off in Fort Frances where we emailed and then we got to the border. The line was like a 2 hour wait and we were late for a meal appointment. We were with the two other elders and we decided to run across the border! hahah The second we started running it started down pouring rain like a waterfall! We sprinted through it and got to the border to give them our passports! They still let me into America!! Oh and turns out, passports are waterproof! Pretty neat! So we got picked up and went and ate and then later went back and got our car! It was P-day so we shopped there and it was wonderful!! We got everything like half the price that it is in Canada and the dollar is pretty much par! haha So we loaded up and spent hardly anything! It was sooo great. And the sprint in the rain over the border was pretty memorable! We had some great appointments that night and a good exchange! One with an amazing recent convert and his brother! It was really good and I enjoyed International Falls. I taught the district meeting that morning and it went well! because it was in International Falls, the senior couple that is down there came. Their name is Cutler. They are from Shelley and they said that they knew Grandpa Smith from the site! Elder Cutler had nothing but good things to say about Grandpa, of course! It was neat!

So we got home Tuesday night and ate at the Vahovicks with Gerald and his 2 daughters and then we had a great lesson with them!! I love them a ton! Hopefully things work out there. But it was a great night! The Vahovicks are wonderful and I think they will let you stay at there place when you come up! That night we taught Desmond and it went ok! Then we found this great man named John! He is an electrician here at the miss and so he knew almost everyone in the branch! He came to church and I think he enjoyed it! We are inviting him to be baptized this week, so hopefully all goes well! He seems super prepared! We also had a great family of four come to the branch!! It was really great!! So we had 15 branch members, 2 missionaries, and 5 non-members that the missionaries brought. I had to lead again and I was way frazzled because we had a bunch of investigators bail, last minute and some of our investigators rolled in late. It was interesting, but good! I love the branch though!

The dentist went well and hopefully I’m all fixed up! Sorry I haven’t sent those letters yet! They are done, but I totally spaced sending them! The fax number was handy for the dentist though! hahah

So as far as our investigators go, John is new and great, Joe is shady, Maria and Stephen came to church with there kids, but I don’t think they were fans, Desmond is getting a little flakey, but still pretty good, Jeff and Alisha are pretty new, but they set baptismal dates and committed to church next week! We have some others, but time will tell if there gonna progress! John and Gerald seem to be progressing the most, but Gerald has a lot to still overcome. Gerald is doing good but bailed on church! His jaw is all messed up and I guess he hasn’t been sleeping! But he said he’d take us fishing today so we went in and bought licenses. Mine was only like 12 bucks, but because Elder McDanel doesn’t have a Canadian drivers license he had to drop like 40 something! I felt way bad, so I bought the rest of the stuff. Gerald called and bailed on fishing though but he gave us rods and we went down to the docs! I have never felt so redneck! I told Elder McDanel as I walked up the dock that if my Dad saw me, he would be slightly ashamed! hahaha But by golly we went fishing! The saddest part is that Elder McDanel got skunked, and I caught one 20-something inch Walleye. It was a nice fish, but we were both discouraged. It would be one thing if we were inexperienced fisherman! haha But we both claim to be pros! Elder McDanel was actually a guide in Alaska for four months! Crazy, right? He said if we wanna go, he can show us some deep sea fishing!! He’s hilarious, but he was not happy about dropping 4o something bucks and then getting skunked! haha I’m not a fan of lake fishing, especially off the dock! Walleye are kinda neat fish though!

But it was a good week and now we’re gonna go rush to get everything done! Funny story for you! There are tons of deer in the city! Like we are tracting and they will be like 10 feet from us, so it’s pretty neat! But people hook up sprinklers with sensors to scare em away! So the other night at around 8:30 we were tracting and all the sudden I got blindsided and coated across the face by a sprinkler! It scared me to death, but we couldn’t stop laughing! The people felt really bad, but wouldn’t let us teach em! But it was a great week! Every day is just so full of ups and downs! We have some good people that I feel so good about! I really hope things work out!

Oh and April passed her interview this week! I set a baptismal date with her the week I left Wildwood and I guess she stuck with it and gets baptized Saturday! Neat stuff! But things are great! I love you all a bunch and hope you have a wonderful week! Mom I sent Elder Wood’s mom’s email to you earlier! Hopefully you got it! Of the 8 in our group only you guys and Elder Wood’s parents are coming! Call em up!! Payton I am so excited for you and I think you are going to the 1- Philippines or 2- Africa! But as far as stateside definitely California Spanish speaking! haha I love you buddy and I know that even if you do go to Butte, you will love every minute of it and see lots of success and you will know that it is were you are supposed to be! Love you all!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, August 8, 2011


Hey family!!

Thanks a ton for the emails this week!! You guys are the best!! Dad, I love your thoughts that you give! They really are the best!! You are a champ!! Payton, I am sooo proud of you, and so excited to hear about your call! President Vahovick's # is 807-937-5502. He and Sister Vahovick are wonderful! Get in tight with them because I think they will let you guys stay at there place when you come up! haha It is a beautiful ranch and he has horses and toys and 120 acres! Dad, we can come back up and hunt on his property! It is sooo beautiful! If you can’t get through to him you can call the Heslers. They are crazy, but great! There # is 807-223-5161. Try the Vahovicks first! haha They are great!

I loved the cabin pics! It looks like Marissa is in a lot of the pictures i get..... (: hahahaa Looks like fun stuff! Mom I will go to the dentist this week. Sorry I just keep putting it off! I hate spending so much money on dumb stuff! You’re the best Mom(:

So Dad, I am sooo glad your home! haha For some reason I was worried about your trip all week! I’m glad it wen well and you had a lot of fun! You would love to ride through Ontario! It is really pretty here!! So get this!! I’m going to America today!! i am in fort frances right now to email and just about to cross the border for the first time in 20-something months! haha I have to do district meeting here in International Falls! It’s the only area in the mission that is in the states, so I will teach it there and Kenora will listen over the phone. So we are doing P-day here and an exchange tonight and the meeting tomorrow! The drive here this morning was beautiful!! This part of Canada is sooooooo pretty! There are so many trees and lakes and wildlife! it is neat stuff!

So this week was a pretty good one! Training a new missionary is so funny! hahah It is a blast though! Elder McDanel is as hick as it gets! hahah He cracks me up! But this week we had lots of good, funny, sad, terrible, stuff happen. Missions are such a crazy roller coaster! At the beginning of the week we listened to a zone meeting over the phone, and it was terrible! We didn’t hear much, but we saved 8 hours of driving, so it was worth it! Elder Leonard called and said hello. He called the assistants and got our #. He dropped his girlfriend and is doing great in school. He’s a great kid. His dad is still a mission president and he said it was fun because he went and helped with the training!

We went street contacting this week and all kinds of funny stuff happened but we found some good people! There were two pretty college girls and I told Elder McDanel to do the talking. haha He walked up and stuttered like crazy and got out just a couple words! It was soooo funny! haha Then we tried to talk to this big guy that was walking slow. He walked past and without looking back, put his hand up and flipped us off and just kept it there forever, while he walked away. Of course Elder McDanel just couldn’t stop laughing. Then we talked to this couple and called them later in the day and the guy had turned the girl in for something and so she was in jail! And she was the more interested one. Then we ran into two drunk, pure Canadians sitting in their lawn chairs! The Canadians from the movies are for real! haha These guys were spitting images! Every other word was eh or hoser. Well, that’s the crazy, funny stuff. This week was really good!

We have been working super hard and we found a lot of good new people. Tara and Trent dropped us though. That was super depressing! We were so excited about them! But Joe is doing okay. He bailed on church this week and so we will have to see what happens! Gerald, a man that came to church the first week with his daughter, is amazing!! He is soooo good and he really desires to make changes in his life! We taught him the third lesson this week, The Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to baptism again. He brought out the concern that he wasn’t ready and he didn’t feel like he knew enough. He then told us that he’s praying but he doesn’t really need to because he really wants these things to be true! haha We also found out that his family has been anti-ing him. The Spirit was super strong when we taught him and we invited him to a date. He sat in silence for a bit and then said, “Yes, lets do it!” He is so great and we are eating supper with him and his girl at President Vahovick’s tomorrow night! It should be great! He has a lot of addictions to overcome, but he knows he wants to and needs to and so hopefully we can help him do it! The date is September 10th! Hopefully all goes well! So Friday night we were on a high! We had found some great people and Gerald had set a date, and it was all great! We were expecting a ton of people at church and every member that was in the branch was planning on taking people. And then Sunday night and Saturday, everything fell apart! Gerald was up all night sick. Voltan called us at 5 in the morning and woke us up to bail for him and his family so I couldn’t get back to sleep. Joe’s phone wasn’t working and he didn’t show and Desmond had told his family and they told him we weren’t Christians and went off. Everyone else didn’t show. I talked to Desmond in the morning and helped resolve some of his concerns and him and his 3 kids were the only ones that came! I had to lead music and it was a bunch of songs I’d never heard before! I was so confused I couldn’t even spell my name in the air! It was a rough day! We don’t have a teacher for the second hour and so I taught it again without preparing. It went pretty okay though. It was crazy. All of our appointments fell through and so we tracted the rest of the day. Desmond had a great time though and so that was sooo good because he was going to drop us and then he came to church and had a good time!

The branch is so small and they just lost their biggest family this week!! But man, are they good fellow-shippers! There is such a good spirit in this branch!! Things are going great though! I feel such a horrible time crunch though! We HAVE to find some more solid members for them before I leave! Thank you so much for your fasting and prayers!! You are all wonderful! Payton, I am so excited for you and I can’t wait to hear the news!! I love all of you so much! I have the best family ever! Mom, I was wondering if you could do me a favor! Please tell Belatu and Edilyn I say hello! Thanks a ton! Have a great week!

Love Elder Smith

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Hey family!

It sounds like you guys had a great week! Mom don’t stress the blood tests or water! I will be in for the next blood test in like 15 days and I pack water everywhere. That would be great if Aunt Jen could get me that job! I gotta stay busy! And anyway, Payt and I will have plenty of time I’m sure! I will do those application essays this week! Thanks for doing all of that for me! You are wonderful! I loved the pictures! Payt, Alex and Colter, nice flexing! I’m impressed! haha As far as the other picture, Alex... cheer up buddy! haha Payt you’re a thug! Kaylee, you are way too old and pretty to be my little cousin! haha Creepy!!! I’m sure Uncle Doug and Aunt Jen have there hands full! It’s a good thing Uncle Doug is ripped! haha Thanks so much for the emails, pics, and updates though! It’s great!! Dad be careful on your Harley trip!! Payt, I’m soo excited for your papers being in!! I’m going to send a members # next week, so right when you get your call you can call them and they can tell me!! That’s so exciting though!!

But this week was a little frustrating, but still good!! I had to go to Winnipeg for a specialized training meeting and so we left Tuesday and didn’t get home till late Thursday night. So again, we didn’t get a full week! Tara and Trent were doing so good, but when we got home their mom had given them anti! So they dropped their date, but we are still working with them. It was sad! People get opposition so fast when they start progressing! So that was kind of disappointing. Then yesterday I had to go and talk to a man that asked to have is records removed. He had already filled out everything he needed to, but President still wanted me to go by and make sure. He was a nice guy but it was an interesting experience! SAD STUFF! We taught Joe a lot this week though and he is still working toward his date, but he had to work this Sunday which was frustrating!! Hopefully it won’t be a regular thing! He is a good kid and we had supper with him over at the Hiscocks. Brother Hiscock is one of the three priesthood holders and he is great! His wife and family are wonderful and great missionaries, but they move this week after being here for like 30 years! More sad stuff! They are like half the branch!! We soooo badly need to find and baptize some priesthood holders and families!! The branch members are amazing though! They all have a ton of callings. Oh funny story for ya! haha So this week we had no chorister, so guess who filled in...... (: And Dad said I had no musical talent! haha Take that Dad! And I didn’t even spell my name or nothing! I kinda did it right! Well at least the leading part haha The hard part is that we have no pianist. I really wish I would have stuck with that!! So we have a CD player! What a pain! Finding the right song was a big struggle because there are like 8 different CDs. Funny stuff! But Saturday night before church we were so sad because everyone had bailed for church! Sooo frustrating! But we were out finding and we found this lady and her kids that wanted to come! We didn’t even teach her, but she came to church, so that was great! Things are going well though. We have 7 appointments for today with some good people, so hopefully all goes well there!! It is so hot here! It’s unreal that it can go from -40 C to +40 C in the course of a couple months! haha But when you guys come up, you will love it here! It is so beautiful!! My comp is great! He’s a good ‘ol Preston boy and I now know what an Idaho drawl is! haha Things are going so well here though!! I really hope we can get this branch rollin! Keep them in your prayers!! I love you all so much!! Be safe and smart and have a great week!

Oh one more thing.. I think I had better go to the dentist! It doesn’t hurt much but it has me worried, so i think I’m gonna get in on P-day!! Sorry let me know what the insurance deal is or whatever. I just don’t wanna have to pay for a root canal for waiting too long haha. Love you all! Have a great week!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, July 25, 2011


Hey family!

It looks like you guys all had a blast this week!! Fun stuff!! Man Greyden must be fast ehh?! That’s crazy! haha Dad, just by seeing that picture, I saw you limping for the next week! haha It gave me a great chuckle! Props for being the only adult to race! That’s super respectable!! Man, I miss you! (: Oh, tell Adrienne, she’s definitely my favorite cousin!! Tell the other cousins they are tied for last!

So this week was hilarious, long, crazy, wonderful and miraculous!! First off, before I left Saskatoon, some members had us over for supper. Now when these members pray before supper they put both hands on the table with the back of their hand against the table and they hold hands with one of their hands. It’s kind of unique, but whatever. Just so you have the background, they are great people but the husband is a super manly man! So when they do this about to pray, for some reason Elder Duncan reached up and grabbed the guy’s hand that is laying on the table! hahaha I folded my arms and tried soooooo hard not to loose it laughing! Oh man it was so funny! After when I made fun of Elder Duncan, he was like, “Man I thought they were doing one of those ‘circle hold hands prayers’ and once I committed it was to late to back out!” hahah Man it was so funny!!

But I had a good finish there and we got to teach a lot before I left. Mom, hopefully the whole Acutane thing is ok. Sorry it cost a ton!! Bishop knew I was leaving, so he hooked me up with 2 months worth. He’s a great man!! But the drugs are good and working and all is well!

So we made the forever drive to Winnipeg. winnipeg was a lot of fun! We slept in the office with the assistants the greenies and the missionaries that were going home! We played football for our workout in the morning and it was fun! I got the greenie I wanted! haha He fishes, hunts, and played all sports in high school and he is ready to work! He is from Preston, Idaho and his name is Elder McDanel. Which is super hard for me to remember and pronounce! haha So President filled me in on the branch; they have about 16 people out to church every week and only 3 priesthood holders. I think all of which are converts, and the one that was their branch president moves this month, so they will just have 2 priesthood holders! Crazy!! So we loaded up the pickup with beds and foldy chairs and some pans and stuff and our luggage and took off Thursday afternoon for Dryden! President had already put everything else in the apartment that we needed and so 4 hours later we got there and ran everything up. We got everything in and the ac set up (because it was so hot and on the third floor!) In about 30 mins. President was nervous about it all, haha so he kept calling us to check up! Right when we were about to leave, the new branch president (President Vahovic) knocked on our door! He had us follow him to the church where the branch had a ton of food for us! President Vahovic is so great and so excited to have us! He then told us that the branch was throwing a party for us and having a BBQ on Friday. We asked if we could invite investigators and he was all game so we went out and tracted the rest of the night! We invited everyone because I knew if we got people there, they would be so excited about it! We got a man named Joe and a couple and their two kids out to it and the branch was trippen out!! The party was a blast and a huge success! haha They were amazed!! We worked so hard on Friday and Saturday and we were soooooo blessed! We found a ton of new investigators! It was a week full of miracles! The couple (Tara and Trent) ended up setting baptismal dates and Trent had to work, but Tara came to church with her son. We taught Joe before church and he set a date and came to church! And a man named Gerald came to church with his daughter!! The branch didn’t know what to do! hahahaha They were running around like chickens with there heads cut off!! They tried to change their talks for the investigators. The talks were on the temple! hahahha I was pretty laid back and stress free, but the branch president was soooooo stressed! He kept shooting me apologetic stressed out glances. His face was all red and he kept running his hand through his hair. He came up after sacrament meeting and apologized to me about the talks. I could tell he was stressed so I was like, well let me teach the plan of salvation the second hour and I’ll tie everything in! He looked so relieved! haha So all the investigators came in with us and the president and we had a wonderful lesson! It was perfect!! Tara loved it!!! Joe did too!! It was sooo wonderful!! It was just such a great week!! They have an average attendance of 16, and on Sunday there were 26 people there! It was such a miracle week!!!!! In a ward you feel loved but a lot less needed. In a branch we are like ROCK STARS!! haha Like it is the best!! The members are all so stalwart and so grateful!! This area is like untouched ground!! People are so nice and a lot haven’t heard much about the church!! It is so wonderful!!! Missions are the best!! I love you all a ton! Thanks so much for all that you do!! Have a great week!! Love Elder Smith!!!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Hey Fam!

It sounds like your week was absolutely crazy!! That is such sad news about the Newtons! Hopefully all will go well for their family! They have such a great family! You have all been so great to them! Thanks for keeping me updated and send them my love! Dad, it sounds like the talk was very hard for you, but it sounds like you did a wonderful job! Mom and Dad, I am sooo grateful for you and the wonderful people that you are! You never cease to amaze me!! I just can’t tell you how grateful I am for the lives that you live!! It sounds like you are putting out more pizzas than Papa Toms!! I don’t know how you both do all that you do!!

Payton, I loved your email too! haha That sounds like a great date idea! I have the best family ever! It was good to hear from Preston! He is a great kid! I’m excited to see him! It sounded like he was hinting at the fact that I shouldn’t be emailing friends! haha You can tell him that he is free to email and I’d love to hear from him more. Because we have lots of converts in our mission, who don’t really have family to write, President allows us to email friends and family! And family friends like the Rammells, for sure!

Mom, thank you so much for getting all the University stuff figured out! How long do those essays need to be and when do they have to be done? Also was there anything I needed to do for Utah State or ISU? Let me know and I’ll get on it! Thanks soooo much for all that you do! As far as the meds go, I am doing great and it’s working better and faster than last time, so all is good!

Ok now for the news......We got transfer calls and get this!! I am a District Leader, a trainer, and I am opening a new area that hasn’t had missionaries in 15 years!! Oh, and get this!! It’s in Ontario!! haha It’s called Dryden!! I will go from being a Manitoba missionary for a year and a half to a tri-province missionary! I’m super excited, but dreading the long journey I will have for the next couple days!! haha I guess they weren’t gonna put missionaries back there but President Paulson went out there and they begged to have missionaries. President said they would get them if they found an apartment for them. President got a call 3 days later that they had found an apartment and were ready for missionaries! hahah President also opened Kanora and Elder O’Driscoll will be there to finish his mission! There used to be just one area in Ontario and it is staying open so we have an Ontario District!! It will be soooo neat, and I’m sure soooo stressful! haha I’m way excited! It’s just gonna be way weird to train and have an area that is starting from scratch! It’s gonna be crazy!!! I am way excited about it all, but sad to be leaving Wildwood! They are such an amazing ward! I am frustrated that we didn’t see more success while I was here, but I think good things will happen soon with the people here! It was so hard to say goodbye to Mauricio and Angelica! They are so great!! I don’t know if we will get to go and see them, but he committed to finish the Book of Mormon before the end of my mission! If we don’t go see him I want to come up after with Elder Woods! haha I guess we will see what happens. It’s hard to leave an area that I don’t feel like I saw the success that I would have liked to see, but I learned a ton and I met some wonderful people! I’m very excited to see what’s to come in Dryden!

So this is way off topic, but I have a ridiculous story that probably out does all of my other ridiculous mission stories!! So first off it was my idea to start buzzing apartments to try and talk to more people. We have seen lots of success with it, but Elder Duncan wasn’t a fan. So he asked President about it and President said "Well is it successful?" Elder Duncan said, “Well ya.” haha And President said "well then keep doing it!" So the argument was over and the assistants and others started doing it. So there’s the background, pretty much Elder Duncan isn’t a fan! So we were doing it one day and usually we talked to people through the buzzer and then they let us in. But a lot of times people just buzz you in without talking, so you go talk to them at their door. This often times causes awkward interesting things to happen. I have got some great stories!! But we have gotten to teach a lot because of it and it has been great. But this week we were doing it and we got buzzed in without anyone talking. So we walked up and knocked on the door and a lady yells "come in!" We sit there hoping she will come to the door, but she doesn’t, she just yells louder "come in!" We wait longer and the third time she yells, "doors unlocked, come in!" So Elder Duncan has his nervous face on! haha I grabbed the handle, open the door and take three steps in. On my right side, there is a lady in plain sight, sitting on the toilet, using the bathroom! I dive into the hall, I’m fumbling words she is fumbling words! haha She asks who we were, we tell her from the hall, where we can’t see her, hahah and she says, "Oh, you’re looking for Chris... he’s in room # 14." haha Now, I don’t remember if his name was really Chris, but I do know he was in room #14. At that point though Elder Duncan would NOT let me go talk to the guy in room #14! We were done working that apartment for the day. It was rIdiculous and kind of hilarious.......later!! Luckily she wasn’t mad at all and I think she just felt dumb. We were curious about how she buzzed the buzzer though! haha I guess we will never know.

But it really was a good week! We found some good new people, we taught a fair amount and we had people out to church! It was good! We got to have a great lesson with Mauricio on Saturday! It was so great and I felt that he is so close, but he is a very smart man and when he does get baptized, it will be for all the right reasons and he will be super solid!

Last night had a sour end, though. Christina called us, she is the one that fed us and has now been taught all of the lessons. We were so excited for her! She loved church and we thought she was so close, but she told us she had a letter for us! So we went over on our way in and she was waiting out front for us, because she knows our fellowship rule. She thanked us and said she didn’t want to waste anymore of our time and she said all of her thoughts she had put in the letter. It was super sad and then we read the letter! aaaahhh! It was terrible!! It was 3 full pages of anti!! She wrote all the reasons she couldn’t join our church!! It was harsh and sad because it was a lot of messed up anti, a lot of which was half or full on lies. I wish we could have taught her after she found it, but by the sounds of her letter, we won’t get to teach her. She was very grateful for all that we had done though. That’s what was so weird is I thought that we and other members had a pretty good relationship with her but obviously not that good! She is a great lady though, it makes me super sad! We thought that she was golden!! Thus is a mission, I guess! haha Lots and lots of ups and downs! Missions are the best though!!! I’m sad to be leaving, but super excited about all the craziness to come! I teach district meeting tomorrow and then we will hopefully teach a bit and then we will leave at 6 PM. We will stay the night in Regina and then leave the next morning to be in Winnipeg by supper. We will work in Winnipeg and then the next morning have the training meeting with the new greenie. Then load up all the furniture and dishes and whatever else you need for an apartment and all our luggage and take off for Dryden. After that, I have no idea what’s gonna happen. Hopefully someone has a directory for me and a map. I’m just glad I’m not the greenie! I thought we didn’t teach enough when I came into an area that was doing pretty good, hopefully we can find some great people fast!

But I love you all so much! Thanks for all that you do!! Have a wonderful week!! Love Elder Smith!

PS I typed fast this week, so if it doesn’t make sense, just ask me about it next week! Love you! Have a great week! Oh and tell Grandma and Grandpa thanks a ton for the letter they sent! The mailing system finally started running again and I got it! Tell the grandparents and Jay I love em all!