So I feel really weird being 20. I am no longer a teen. I’m a man now. That’s what I’m talkin about! Ha ha!!
(It looks like he got to bake his birthday cake mix that we sent from home at the church!)
That’s really lame about BYU. Hopefully they can step it up a little bit so they can get some big recruits. They should be able to since they can get into BCS now and that they have ESPN exposure but we’ll see I guess. Hopefully it improves soon and Bronco wakes them up.
We have started working a lot with members to try and find the less actives. Because the problem is that here there are no addresses and it is impossible to find anyone out here if you don’t already know where people live. Also, our areas are so large and people don’t have cars here. They just don’t feel like leaving their houses in the insane heat to go into a hot building where you can’t hear anything. So it’s really rough!
We are spicing up Sacrament meeting this upcoming week though. Me, McPhee and Drach are going to sing Be Still My Soul. It should be sweet, hopefully. Be Still My Soul doesn’t exist in the Spanish hymnbook, so we translated verse 1 and verse 3 and we are gonna sing verse 2 in English. It should be pretty sweet. And it might wake some people up! We will see if we can do a fireside or something too. Hopefully people will start to come more. It will be pretty hard to get the word out but we shall see.
Quick Sunday story from Elder Toolson: Then we had two women come to the church who were from the district and they were just checking out the primary because they are having some huge primary activity in November and the teacher seems to never show up. Randomly she comes into the priesthood class and looks at me and Elder Smith and tells us to follow her. So we get to the primary class and she tells us that we are pretty much the new primary teachers and we have to teach these kids 10 songs and memorize like 2 scriptures. If you knew how crazy Latino kids are you would know that I was/am freaking out. So every week now we have to teach all these little rascals a hymn and a scripture. This might be the hardest task of my mission so far...ha ha Ok that was joke, but it’s gonna be different. I'm good friends with almost all the kids so I'm thinking if I bring some candy I'm sure it will be a lot easier.
So the other day I did a little heat test with my thermometer/alarm clock thing. It was 90 degrees by 11 in the morning, how crazy is that!! It was 97 during the day. WHOOF! Ha but I’m getting used to it. . . well kind of. Ok, not really, but it's not too bad most days. So I guess that’s good.
(Just a funny comment that was written in a snail mail letter written August 16, but we just received it): So I haven't been up to my normal pranks out here in the mish. Honestly I haven't done any (yet). There isn't really any time to pull a prank, or the resources that I had back in college. Ha ha! So really nothing.....unless you count me scaling a wall like a ninja to scare Elder Turek by dropping water on him as he was walking up to his apartment. Ha ha! But that was it really.
I have learned a few things about myself that I didn't know before...1. I can cook really mean eggs. 2. I can eat a lot more when poeple are pushing me to eat more of their food. 3. I know a lot more about the Gospel than I thought I did. That was a surprise to me especially when I first got out to the field.
Ok so the updates on our only investigator....Julián.
He is doing really good, and still reading the Book of Mormon and everything. Super awesome! We asked him about how he felt about our church. He told us that he really liked it all and thought that everything we have shared so far is true. So that is really awesome. We popped the baptism question after that. He told us that he is not quite ready for that yet but he still wanted to keep learning more from us and he is always excited when we go visit him. So hopefully he will be able to receive the conviction as I have received that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth.
This family has that testimony and I just love them! Pictured here are Abél and Sandra Maribel Juárez Najarro. They were both baptized by their dad, Lazaro, who is a recent convert and just received the priesthood and authority to baptize his kids. So Awesome!
Her name is Hna. Córdova. She has been an active member for a long time and is super awesome! She told us that for 13 years the missionaries had been visiting her. She always allowed them in and let them teach her but never really felt the need to pray or things like that. Then one day when the missionaries came, one of them got really upset at her and told her to not believe a single word that they had taught her and to just think about if Joseph Smith was a prophet and to pray about that. He told her that they were not coming back until she did. She was so impressed by those comments that that night she got on her knees and prayed and had the strongest feeling that she had ever felt in her entire life that the Church was true. She then looked for the missionaries and when they walked past her house she stopped them and said that she wanted to be baptized.
That story helped me a lot because about 90% of the people I have taught just never pray about what we have taught them. So I learned that maybe it’s not their time to pray and that I shouldn’t get frustrated. But maybe somewhere down the line, they will feel the urge to pray and they will find out for themselves. I also hope that I can be that last missionary who finds them ready to pray, ready to receive that answer from God, and is ready to be baptized. I know that people like that are out there. We just have to find them.
That’s really about all that happened this last week. Nothing too exciting. Except for this:
And I didn’t get an email from mom to be able to answer more of your questions if you had any. But I love you guys so much!!!! (What!! Saddest day of Mom's life, because of course I wrote him a great long email full of questions and love. I have no idea what happened.)
Wait....HOLD ON! He did get mom's email and replied quickly at 6:38 pm, but it didn't make it to our email inbox until 4:05 am!! Whew! Here is what he wrote:
Well I just barely got your email Mom, so I will respond to it real quick. For my birthday we went to La Libertad to bake the cake at the church there. While the cake was baking, we watched the RM. So that was pretty fun! We didnt do too much besides that, but it was a good birthday!! The Feliz Cumpleanos family photo banner is pretty sweet! Ha not gonna lie.
Way to be that you finally went to a temple session in spanish. WHOO HOO!!
Guats Independance Day was a lot less exciting than you would think. There were a couple parades the day before. But they celebrate it really weird. Independance here is on the 15th, but they celebrate all night on the 14th and they did stuff until around 1 pm on the actual day and then that was it! Ha! I wanted to light some fireworks or something but we didn't do anything special, but it was kind of a fun little atmosphere for those few hours...
Well I don't have any more time to write but I hope you all have a great week! Love you!
P.S. I am so grateful for all your prayers and fasting and for the Lord for blessing me so greatly. I haven't had knee pain since my 2nd change. It makes the work a lot easier I don't have to deal with physcial pains anymore, just the emotional and spiritual pains and happiness! I've had many ups and downs spiritually but I have learned a lot and am continually growing.
Keep the Faith
Elder Jordan Smith