GUATEMALA CITY NORTH MISSION February 2010 - 2012
STAY STRONG AND KEEP THE FAITH ~ Elder Smith's Motto
"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." D&C 121:7-8

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I will teach thee what thou shalt say

Week 2 at the MTC:

1. Tell us how you have liked your packages?

Valentines (family book): Valentines was way sweet!

Snack Attack package: ( please share it all with everyone so that it doesn’t go bad or get left behind. We don’t want to eat those treats at next month’s family meeting. Ha ha!) Snack attack was awesome but a little too much. It's all good though.

Thanks so much for those labels!! perfect!

2. How have you adapted to the early mornings? Its really hard getting up, but I'm getting used to it.

3. We hope you’ve taken lots of photos. Did you figure out the DVD burner? I have taken a decent amount of pictures. I will send a dvd before I leave on Tuesday. Grandpa told me that he told you that I am indeed going to the CCM!

4. How is your knee doing? Sometimes my knee kills and other days it feels great!! I don’t know what makes it do that...but it isn't too bad.

5. How is your chest doing? (Jordan popped out a rib next to his sternum a few weeks before leaving from a sneeze!) My chest is doing great! No pain at all!

6. How are you handling wearing your suit every day? Wearing my suit everyday is just fine.

7. Do you want us to get you a different watch? Ya just a good old analog watch or pocketwatch would be great. This watch gets its buttons pushed by itself and the time changes all the time on its own.

8. Tell us about a funny/embarrassing/weird MTC moment: Well you heard the estamos desnudos story. Here's one about Elder Garner in my district. We were at the temple on Sunday for our temple walk and while taking pictures he had to sneeze. So he turned around to sneeze and his head slammed into a marble ledge thing and it cut his head open. He's alright though so it's really kinda funny. He is now Harry Potter!!

9. Tell us about a hard/challenging MTC experience. Something hard....the language...I can understand a lot but its hard for me to actually respond back in spanish. Dad, thanks for that scripture. It really helped a lot!
(Exodus 4:10-12 10)
10 And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

10. Tell us about something you learned that you hadn’t thought of or known before?
I don't really know, just how to teach I guess.

11. How is the MTC different from what you expected? It really isn't that much different than I expected.

12. Do you know how much we love you? YES

13. Do you need anything? Nope I'm good. I couldn't find my sweaters though. Did you pack them?

14. Do you know anything about leaving to the Guatemala CCM yet? Yes....Grandpa told you I think. I leave March 2nd! Be ready to answer the phone cuz I have a 5 hour lay over in Texas. How do I call collect?

15. Anything else you want to share?
(Sorry for the typing and spacing...the space bar doesn't work half the time. I don't know why.)

Ok so first of all, Dad was right about my teacher.. it is Brother Rivers, not Rios, and we call him Hermano Rivers.

I met Elder Crapo in gym the other day and played one game of basketball with him. That's it. As for the rest of the Elders you mentioned I have never seen them. I have seen Mason and Josh a few times though. My comp and Josh's comp are friends! Crazy!! There is only one other companionship going to my mission from my district and one going to the Quetzaltenango mission. I haven't seen Elder Dudley but Elder Haskell is in our zone. He says we were in the same ward when we were little and lived in Orem. His mom told him that because we didn't really know or remember each other. Oh and I saw Elder Winkel the first day.

Jake! I want my bed back! Oh well, enjoy it. You're lucky. How were those pancakes? Dang man, too bad you lost a game, but you will get them next time for sure! Thanks for writing! Write about anything you want, whenever! Spanish is hard by the way. Really try to do the scripture mastery stuff in seminary. Not just memorizing them, but what they are really about and where they are. I wish I would have.

That is way sweet that Brian and Lauren are having another boy!! Tell them congrats and tell Brian thanks for the letter he gave me the day I went in...it helped so so much!!

Nice deal on that rosetta stone deally!

I highly doubt I will host for new missionaries...but we get a district of nuevos next week!

We learned a missionary Haka! It is way tight! (Jordan's Dad served his mission to New Zealand so the Haka, a warrior chant/dance that most polynesian countries do, has been a BIG part of our family's life. It also doesn't hurt that the BYU football team does one before each game too!)

Toka tu moana ae......HEE!
Tu pakari....Kore kore rawa ae inga
Itay pukairi, itay hara wainga, ita mou, wahada ae
Wai wai tamaha....HEE! HAA!
Kote Kupu whaka kana, whiti aka pakae kaha
Kiya lita, kiya hamama, kiya umaedae i
Whaka mou wa hapaka
Mo tae aroha no wha otae tangata herekori
Kiya whiora i itay moke moke
Kiya kore i, whakapehi ita ringa mai
Tawahei tu tonu tu kaha ahkae, ahkae
Whuwa (fewa) teringa taku topuni
Eri tako iho inga kopere ae
Tu tono tu kaha ahkae, ahkae
Whuwa (fewa) teringa taku topuni
Eri tako iho inga kopere ae
Eputa atu kwae Ito ahuru
Mo wai pika iritae ara[puotama
Kiya maiya kiya nifa
Patu tanifa Patu rangu rui
Eita, Eita kia tou....HEEE!
It means:
Be Prepared
Go out, never never fall to
Coveting, jealousy, anger
Always be bold, strong
Call to the Heavens to give you Strength
Stay centered, Immovable
Clear all worldy thoughts, Put on the Armor of God
Block the Adversary from attacking
Your seed (posterity), your heart, and your mind
Now go out and serve
You are out of the womb
Build your way up to your Father in Heaven
Remember these Teachings
Remember these words and
Always, Always, stay strong!

We do it for the departing missionaries in our zone. IT'S SWEET! I have a video of it but you cant really see me though.

Well that's all for now!
Oh send me a copy of the lyrics and music for "Come thou Fount of Ev'ry Blessing" Thanks!!! Love you!!!

I sent the fam a letter. I hope that this is good enough for you...I didn't write you a personal letter cuz that would take waaayyy too long! My hand would hurt if I wrote you everything. Haha so that’s why you get my email. Thanks for the overload of food! I will send pictures before I leave.
I love you Mom!!
-Elder Jordan Smith

Friday, February 19, 2010

A few more details from week 1

Here are some of the random thoughts, silly stories, and more details that Jordan wrote to Nicole this past week. Never thought this guy would write so many letters. All of them are short and sweet, but we love every single thing we get! I'll try to post more chronologically in the future.

Feb. 12, 2010
I had a little bit of free time this morning, so I thought I would write you a quick little something.
Waking up was hard today. I need a nap so bad. But none of that here I guess. The food here was supposed to be good... Its not. So don't worry, I won't be gaining much weight here. Plus we have gym time everyday for about an hour. Well I better get going. I have to get ready for a meeting :)

Feb. 14, 2010
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!
I saw Josh today! His companion is friends with my companion! Its crazy! Josh got 19 stitches in his knee from messing around! Its so crazy!

Well Sunday is nice! I made it! Ha it is quite relaxing. No class and then we have only 2 hours of church and a fireside, its nice. My district is fun! Oh. And great story. Ok so all of us that live in my room.. 4 elders... All decided to take a shower at the same time... There is like a giant bathroom with 8 or 9 separate showers... Anyways we all forgot our key and were locked out of our room in only towels. This random elder said he would go to the front desk and get us a spare. He came back and the spare didn't work. Then we sent someone else to get a spare. Then our Branch President shows up! It was so nuts! And we finally got back into our room 45 minutes later! It was so crazy! Estamos Desnudos! (We are naked!)

Feb. 16, 2010
I'm here just waiting for my laundry to get done. It has a half hour left so I thought I should write more! I don't know if I told you that my companion was shy at first but after the story I just told you about, he is pretty tight and not shy anymore.

I still don't know if I'm going down to the Guatemala MTC. The only way to be able to find out is if I get my travel plans this week or next week to go down there. I will definitely learn Spanish faster down there. I wish I could just know it ya know? So I can just start with my mission.

My teachers are good. Hermano Scott and Hermano Rivers taught a really good lesson last night and that we should be "Ser" missionaries and not "Estar" missionaries. In Spanish, "Ser" and "Estar" both mean to be "to be" but "Ser" is more of a definition and "Estar" is more temporary. So a "Ser" missionary, is a missionary who is one through and through, its who he is. An "Estar" missionary is one who acts like a missionary in front of people, but isn't really a missionary when by himself. I hope that makes sense.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The food keeps you regular for sure

Mamasita!
Hola. My district is pretty sweet! My companion is Elder McPhee. He went to West Jordan. His is pretty tight! The rest in my district are Elders Peterson, Garner, Anderson,Welch, Knowles, Bronson, Bautner, and Hess. Elder Hess got here yesterday because he was stuck in the snow storms back East. The food keeps you regular for sure...It's not too tasty either. Oh well.

This has been pretty tough. Spanish is hard too. But I made it to Sunday and everyone says, "Make it to Sunday and it's all easier." It's already true. Sunday is nice and relaxing, for once. Way better than 12 hours in a class. Hopefully I get Spanish. It's way harder than I thought.

Well, there really isn't too much to write, but it's all good! I will let you know more stuff in my email. I love you guys lots!

Elder Smith

P.S. Yo se que Dios restauro Su Evangelio a traves de Jose Smith.
Somos misionaries de La Iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los Santos de los Ulitmos Dias.

P.S.S. My watch is...well...hard to work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh, and...

First Week

(We got a total of 5 emails today. One in the morning and 4 all in a row later in the afternoon. I guess he just kept hitting send and then would remember something he had forgotten to say.)

I sent a letter today. And earlier as well.
When you get those just write back or use this.
But here is my Email Account.

Ya I sent 2...maybe 3 letters I can't remember. I talked to grandpa and he said you would probably get them today or tomorrow! Lame though...I sent them forever ago. And one this morning. I cant remember what I wrote in them so you will have to remind me when you write back.

I think I get 30 min. of email a day. I'm not sure. It could be a week, but I can only email on P-day. I just write letters when I have free time. Anyways....
I love you!!!

Oh and I didn't put this in my letter...But last night Hermano Rivers(Rios) taught us a great lesson. He and Hermano Scott are our Spanish/Gospel Teachers. Hmo. Rios talked to us about being an "Estar Misionero" or a "Ser Misionero" It was very spiritual and amazing. And definitely impacted our whole district. You know how those verbs are used in Spanish so I don't have to explain that. But it was amazing...ok til next time...My time is almost out. I love you.

Oh and I didn't have to speak..We just have to write a talk every week because they randomly choose people to talk each Sunday.
Gotta go. 1 minute left.
I will respond to the letters that I get asap.
Yeah i did get the dear elder letters.
I love you all!!!!

-Elder Jordan Smith

"Bienvenidos Nuevos"

Week 1 Feb 10, 2010
Today was kind of a rough day. But I guess everyone's first day is. I am happy to be here though. I think I start learning Spanish tomorrow, I'm not sure. My companion is Elder McPhee. He's shy but he's a pretty cool guy.

We had a "Bienvenidos Nuevos" party and I met the Elders in my zone. They are crazy and fun so that will be nice. Most of them are leaving soon. My district has people going to Arcadia, CA. It's kinda crazy that I had no idea that place existed and then Josh (one of his good friends) is going there and then my district too. One Elder is from my ward at BYU. Elder Welch. He is going to Arcadia too.

I sure hope I will be able to get this language thing down so I can teach it. The food schedule stinks. Breakfast at 7:00, Lunch at 11:30, Dinner at 4:30. So please send snacks because I'm already starving.

Well, I better go. It's getting late. Give my love to Dad!

-Elder Smith

Jake,
I love you bro and I want you to know that even though I might be far away that you can talk to me about anything alright? I love you man. Keep up the good work in school and keep up your practice in basketball and golf.
Love,
Elder Jordan Smith

Allison,
Hey Baby Sis!
I hope your birthday was a good one. Don't miss me and focus on what matters most. I bug you but I sure do love you. Better not be liking too many boys. Anyways, til next time....
I love you,
Elder Smith

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Author

Up until now, I (Leslie, Jordan's mom) have been writing about the events leading up to Jordan leaving on his mission.

This is now Jordan's blog. I will post all of his letters each week and he will be the sole author of it. Can't wait for that first letter!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Officially a Missionary!

The morning of the 10th, Jordan didn’t get out of his room until after 11 am. I don’t think he could face our tears and didn’t really want to say goodbye to his room yet. Finally he came down the stairs very quiet and withdrawn. His dad gave him a blessing which brought a great spirit of love to our family and our home. He put on his shoes, zipped up his suitcases, looked around the house for the last time (after running up to his room at least 5 or 6 more times), and we walked out. That was really hard to see.

My wonderful neighbor, Kerri, brought over keys to her Ford Excursion so that we could fit his luggage AND our family and my parents. In our Expedition, we have a very small trunk and we wouldn’t have had room for my parents who are extremely close to Jordan. We got in and found a box of tissues with a sweet note for me…I hadn’t even thought to grab some in advance and boy did I need them. A CD titled “Army of Helaman” was playing as we turned on the car. So thoughtful!

Jordan had requested that we eat at Wingers for his last meal home. He used to go there every week for years with his football teammates before every game. It was a good place for him and has lots of good memories. It was fun to be able to get our mind’s off saying goodbye and to laugh together.

Then we headed off to the MTC. That was probably the hardest part of the whole day!! Brendan drove and Jordan sat in the front. I sat behind him and watched as he took in all of the places that were his life between Lehi and Provo. By the time we got to BYU campus, the tears were going full force. I reached from behind and put my hand on his shoulder. He squeezed my hand and held it till we got to the MTC.

We had the last time slot to check in and were about 5 min. late so there really weren’t lines of cars behind us. We were greeted by a cute Elder White who upon hearing Jordan graduated from Lehi High asked him if he knew a few of his friends. Jordan had played football with ALL of them and they struck up a conversation immediately.

He gave his dad a hug first and then he came over to me. I told him I need to be last and he said, “I’ll hug you now and hug you last too.” He did. Again, seeing him hug his brother and sister was difficult for me to watch.


He hugged his sweet girlfriend goodbye and I silently prayed that it wouldn’t be the last time he got to do that. After my hug again, he and Elder White situated his suitcases and off they went.

He turned around for this last time with a nervous, but excited smile and that was it. He had a long walk to the buildings, but once he started walking he never looked back.

video


That’s it. He was gone. After all these years of talking about it and preparing for it, it’s over. He’s gone and on his mission!

“In the Hollow of His Hands” was playing as we got in the car to go home. It brought such a spirit of comfort and peace in the car. The timing of that was a real blessing. We got home and didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We all sat on the couch and looked pathetic. It didn’t feel right to watch tv or play a game or go out anywhere. Nicole pulled out his phone after about 30 minutes and played a video that Jordan had taken of himself and his roommates singing (yelling) Christmas Carols after watching “Elf.” It was SO GOOD to hear his loud and crazy voice being his goofy self. It immediately cheered us up. We were all comforted so much and over the next few days literally felt the love and prayers of all our friends and family. We so appreciated the phone calls, texts, emails, and gifts given to us.

We are still waiting for Jordan’s first email and pray that he is doing ok, that he loves his companion and district, and has adjusted to the early mornings and busy schedule. My baby is all grown up. I thank my Heavenly Father for giving him to me for the past 19 years. I have treasured every single minute of it and have been so blessed to have been chosen to be the mother to this extraordinary child of God. We wouldn’t want him anywhere else. We love him and miss him but are so proud of him. We look forward to seeing him grow in His service and have the adventure of a lifetime in Guatemala. What a blessing to be able to serve the people of such a choice land. I turn him over to His care now.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Setting Apart

I won’t lie, Tuesday and Wednesday were THE hardest days of my life. The farewell and family parties were happy celebrations and I made it through them just fine. But when he got set apart and we knew we had less than 24 hours left with him, it hit our family really hard. He picked up his 15 year old brother from school on Tuesday and took him out for a smoothie together. That started the nonstop tears for me. Seeing my boys together like that for the last time in two years.

In between our final packing and setting apart, my mom made us an authentic Guatemalan dinner the night before he left. It was incredible. I know Jordan won't be eating that good all the time, but it's nice to know that he is familiar with the food a little bit and enjoys rice and beans (for now anyway).

After dinner, he handed over his cell phone to his girlfriend (she doesn’t have one so she’s using his while he’s gone), typed his goodbye on his blog and facebook page, and put on his suit it preparation to meet with our Stake President that night.

President Lew, Elder Smith, Bishop Estes

Jordan changed demeanor almost instantly. He became very quiet, humble, obedient, and a little withdrawn…..all qualities that are NOT Jordan. His setting apart was so beautiful and he received an amazing blessing.

Then it hit all of us! His brother and sister cried for the first time. He and his sister have pretty much existed together, but haven’t really been close for a few years. When he saw tears well up in her eyes, he hugged her the longest out of all of us. It truly melted my heart. But to see my boys hug and cry together just about broke it.

Later that evening, he asked for his phone back for about 1 minute and gave it back. I later saw on my phone that he had sent me one last text that said, "I love you mom."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Goodbye!

Welp it looks like this is my last day of normal life. If you can call it that. Busy packing everything and getting my awesome burns chopped, which was kind of depressing. Oh well. I'm excited to get out into the mission field and to start learning Spanish. I hope the 12 hours in classrooms per day doesn't make me lose my sanity! I will miss all you guys and I hope you all are excellent to each other for the duration of my absence. Party on dudes!

I am so happy and grateful to be able to serve where my family is from, I can't wait. Hopefully I will be able to teach some of them. I think one of my family members is actually in my mission area!! I guess I will talk to you all in 2 years! Thanks for being great people to me all throughout the years! Love you guys!

-Elder Jordan Albert "Impact" Smith

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pre MTC

On February 7th, we drove down to the MTC right after Church to take photos by the infamous sign. I've seen it before on Wednesdays and know that the lines are long and the faces not very happy. Those that know me well know that I'm a photo freak and those memories are too precious to take a chance. So with grumblings coming from the fam, we packed in the car and off we went.


Jordan as an Elder (19) . . . . . . . . . Jordan as a Deacon (12)

Jordan's antics never cease to run out. "Guatemala Here I Come" was the name of this one. I know he'll mature and change in so many ways which will be great, but I hope his silly ways never leave him.

It's hard to believe that my boys are this big. These two have had their ups and downs but their brotherly love and respect for each other is so deep. I know Jordan's mission will bring them even closer togethe. Jake has said multiple times, "I wish I could go on my mission right now too!" Hold on little guy, this mom can only handle one at a time.

And now for my all time favorite picture ever! I tried to kiss Jordan and he straightened up really tall just to bug me and I couldn't reach him. I tried pulling him down and of course didn't have the strength to even make him budge. Then he picked me up, but pulled his head back so I still couldn't reach. We were all cracking up and I gave up.

He let his guard down while laughing, I kissed him on the cheek and this face of his is just priceless to me. So typical of Jordan's faces. I'm going to miss these so much!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Elder to Elder



Through this incredible Missionary Mom Email group I have met so many fun moms with Missionaries serving in Guatemala and El Salvador. They have become dear friends even though I haven't met any of them face to face.

Eileen Swenson's son Shawn came home the first week of January from Guatemala City North and they live less than 30 minutes away from us. We arranged for our sons to meet the Saturday before Jordan left. What a great day....to see Elder Swenson so excited from his service and the love for the people there still so fresh in his heart and Jordan so excited to go there and start his own mission. We spent several hours looking at photos and souvenirs that he and his mom brought over. He answered so many of our questions and set our minds at ease of some of the fears. We are so thankful for this new friendship that we were able to receive in our lives. We were blessed with an excitement unlike any we had ever felt for this upcoming mission experience.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Elder Jordan Smith's Farewell

All these years of hearing, "Before you know it, it will be Jordan's farewell" has finally come true. It was a very joyous day at our house. Not sad or tearful, but a true celebration of this momentous occasion in Jordan's life.

He gave a very beautiful talk on the Apostasy of the gospel and the pitfalls of Personal Apostasy in one's life. I was so impressed with his use of the scriptures and his organization of his thoughts. I remember helping him with talks and papers his whole life, but after spending most of the week working on it, he did this one all on his own. My boy has definitely grown up!

What a blessing it was to have so many of his friends and family travel from near and far to support him. The pictures above are just a few of his BYU roommates and friends.

A very proud momma and her missionary son!
As I pondered my feelings of the day, I must say that I was truly sustained by the prayers of all my family and friends. I thought I'd be a blubbering baby all day, but I felt so happy and calm. I am so thankful for the sweet spirit that I felt starting in sacrament meeting. A few things too sacred to share on a public blog, but truly a day I will never forget for so many reasons.






We had a packed house to say the least. We estimate that we had over 150 people come. Somehow we were able to squeeze them all in our house and we had plenty of food for all. I'm so thankful for all my family and friends who so graciously helped with the food. I couldn't have done it without them. I am especially thankful for my mom for helping me with everything for weeks! She worked tirelessly in the kitchen all day, despite it being her birthday. I love you Moms!! Brendan and I spent most of Saturday moving things around to accommodate our family and friends. It's kind of amazing how many people we were able to fit once we de junked a few rooms and had people spread ALL over our main floor and basement.

I love these fun pictures below. The first one is of "Coach Smith" with two of his little 6th grade football stars, Josh and Max. He helped Coach their football team this past year and it was a highlight of his summer! He only wishes he could major in football coaching at BYU because it's become a love in his life. The second photo is of Coach Smith with two wannabe football stars, aka Ocho and Justin. They have been great friends and a source of a lot of fun for Jordan. Three Amigos forever!
This is the only photo that I took of Jordan and Nicole the whole day. I was kind of bummed. It was so crazy and busy, but I think it has a tender feel to it.

Brendan spent a good part of the week before putting this video of Jordan's life to play during the farewell brunch/party. I'm so thankful for all of the hard work that he put into it. It's a treasure that I know I'll be playing over and over during the next two years. It's almost 10 minutes long so it's for Jordan die hard fans only. It was actually 13 minutes long, but You Tube has a 10 min. max. so I had to cut a few things to make it fit.
Jordan is ready. He's prepared.
He's almost all packed.
He's anxious. He's excited.
It's time.
We couldn't be prouder of our missionary son!