Hey!! Happy Valentines Day!
Mom, great work on the cookies, yet again! You and Nae are champs!! You both look like the more kids you get out of the house, the younger you get! haha I miss you a bunch! Sounds like you had a burnt meat miracle ehh!? That’s great that everything worked out! Tell Bishop I say hello! I feel terrible because I haven’t written him at all! Also before I forget, Sister Paulson loved your apron! Everytime I’m at the mission home eating her food she wears it proudly! You’re amazing! Payt it sounds like you had a blast at the dance! I’m pretty sure that you’re ‘breaking even with sunday blessings theory’ is flawed though! It’s like eating a salad and then eating all you can at McDonalds! hahah I love you kid! I felt terrible when I got your letters talking about your nightmares because I called you out about not writing me. I loved the Jedi braid though. I think I’ll carry it all over and rub it for good luck! Addison and Dad, looking good for the Daddy/Daughter Date!! I’m diggin’ the pink, Pops. I love and miss you all a ton and I’m so grateful for all that you do!!
So I’ve got some funny stories to start off. I couldn’t remember if I told you this one when it happened so I’ll tell ya now. First off, a couple weeks ago we were tracting and our car was down the street. All of the sudden a big SWAT bus with tons of cop cars and an ambulance rolled up right in front of us! The cops go crazy and tell us to get away and the SWAT guys bale out of the huge bus thing and surround the house and bust in! We were standing like 8 houses down, just in shock! haha The cops were punks and just ridiculous with us. They acted like WE were criminals! The problem was that we had and appointment, and our car was right where the SWAT bus was. So we had to wait for it to clear out before we could go to the appointment. It was pretty funny.
The other funny story was last night, we were tracting and tons of ridiculous hilarious stuff was happening. But we get to this one house and this guy invites us in! He was nice and we went in and sat down and he had a huge thing of vodka on his coffee table. He was a little tipsy so we were gonna leave but he told us that he had lost his whole family and now he was an alcoholic. He started crying and I felt way bad for him. We comforted him a little and we told him that we would come back when he was sober. He said he wanted us to, but he wasn’t sure. So there was a checkerboard on his desk and I remembered all those missionary movies where the missionary beats the kid in basketball and then teaches him and he gets baptized...... so I’m like, “If I beat you in checkers, you let us throw away all your alcohol and come teach you when your sober.” He said, “Deal!” So I’m like alright I’ll rock this drunk guy and get rid of all of his alcohol. 2 minutes later, I’m sitting there in confusion after being completely destroyed by a drunk guy in checkers! I give him a card and walk out in disgrace! We were there for like 10-15 minutes and in that time he pounded like 3 glasses of vodka and then rocked me in checkers! It was ridiculous! I definitely learned my lesson! I felt way dumb after and Elder Woods hasn’t been able to stop laughing about it.
The week was wonderful though!! Edilyn is so amazing! She has helped Amie and Godwin so much!! They were so ready! Edilyn’s surprise party was way good and Amie and Godwin loved it! It’s always a bitter sweet thing when people ask you to baptize them because I wanted a member to do it! When we asked her who she wanted to do it we listed all the possible members and then she said, “Can you do it?” So I changed the subject. And then asked her later and she was like, “Well can’t YOU do it? Aren’t you allowed to?” So we asked Godwin and he said, "Elder Smith!" I dodged it again and told her to pray about it and then I felt bad because I worried that I had offended her. So the third time I told her I’d love to. It’s just a weird thing because it’s a wonderful experience, but I think it’s best for members to do it. So it’s hard.
The Baptism went sooooooo great! The members really showed up! Edilyn’s talk was wonderful! She was so nervous about it! She is such a great lady! Brother Tolintino did a great job conducting! The whole service was so wonderful! Then at the end Brother Tolintino asked Amie and Godwin to bear their testimonies. This part for me is always super nerve wracking! Amie and Godwin were way nervous and I worried that members would judge them or that something embarrassing would happen to them. haha I don’t know, I shouldn’t worry, but I do and most baptism they don’t have them say anything. But they both said they would. Amie got up and shared such a wonderful, amazing testimony! It was so good and way funny too! She talked about how the missionaries would just never leave here alone and she tried to dodge them and she didn’t talk to us for a couple weeks and then one night she prayed and felt she should call us. That’s when we went over with Edilyn and set a date. She talked about setting a date and actually reading and praying and she talked about how she got her answer! It was so wonderful!! Like man, I was so happy! It was the best part of the night! She has such a strong testimony. Then Godwin got up! He’s only 10 and I had no idea what was gonna happen because he’s a lot like Alex! He’s way good and way funny but super shy. He got up and talked for like 8 minutes!! We were all shocked!! It honestly was amazing! He is such a bright kid!! It was such a wonderful night!! It was super stressful to get everything together, but man it went so well!! They were so grateful and it was such a wonderful night!
I honestly love being on a mission so much!! They are the best!! I have been so blessed in so many ways!! It was a really neat thing getting ready because this baptism really reminded me of my own baptism! I remember being super nervous and excited and relaxed because I had complete confidence that Dad knew what he was doing. I had a lot of those memories come back, being in with Godwin, having him wait for me to get all ready and me waiting for him to dry of and get dressed so I could go change. It’s crazy how fast time goes and crazy how different our lives all are. It made me so grateful for the amazing family that I have and for the wonderful things that I grew up with that I took so for granted! It also made me so grateful to be blessed with the opportunity to make a difference in Amie and Godwin’s lives. Missions are such a neat thing! Their confirmation was wonderful! Brother Tolintino did it and it was so great!! He is a great man that was a convert when he was younger in the Philippines. It’s crazy because here in Canada the members born into the church are the minority. It really was such a wonderful weekend!
I’m sure I forgot something, but hopefully Edilyn will fill in on anything I missed! haha The church is so true! I am so grateful for the gospel in my life! I’m so grateful for my wonderful friends and family and all the other blessings I receive and I’m so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that knows all of us by name and wants the very best for us! Thanks for everything that all of you do! I love you all so much! Happy Valentines Day! Love Elder Smith