"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

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweet little voices

Well we always go down to La Tinta to email. It’s like 30 minutes in a truck down a mountain. We meet down here and have district meeting and then do all the P day things.I got my pink package and my scriptures today!!! Woo Hoo!!! Thanks!

This week we have had fun burning little moths and grasshoppers that think they can just fly/hop all up in our business! Ha!

I am so stoked to see Harry Potter when I get home. I’m glad that Nicole got to go with all you guys to see it! Sounds like a blast.

Ok, so here is my Thanksgiving for you. Studied until 11:00 and then we went up to an area called Actela, high up in the mountains. There we ate a can beans and some chips with some juice on the mountain side. Then we worked up there and walked all the way back down at night. And after we had arrived back at the church, we planned, and I ate top ramen (Laky) for dinner. It was Wonderful! Ha we wanted to kill every chicken, pig, turkey, or whatever creature we came across so that we could eat something....But no...It’s all good though. I guess that is just how it is when you live up in a jungle mountain!

Elder Larsen (Laj Kaxlan) is the man. He was in Santo Domingo for 9 months!!! So I hear his name a lot, but yeah I see him quite often. Today in fact. He is a way sweet missionary and just an all around cool guy!

So I wish I could tell you a whole bunch of amazing stories to you all this week, but not too much happened.

Last week we had a Family Home Evening with Rosalina, which was really neat. Afterwards she gave us a little thing of chicken! That’s a big sacrifice for these people. It’s hard enough to give us some beans and a tortilla. Because everything that we eat from these people is grown and harvested by them. They’re amazing! So while we were eating this chicken, I heard little voices in the other room of her small tin house. It was the few kids that live there singing primary songs! Elder Howard had given them a Primary Song Book in Kekchi and they were singing them. There is such a special spirit with that family.

This week, I was also able to finish Jesus the Christ. So that was super cool! That is about it for all of my fun news on this end! I wish I had more.

This week was really tiring though. These mountains are rough! I swear it’s like hauling on a stair master for like 8 hours straight! It's seriously like straight up or straight down a lot of the time! But it’s good! I will hopefully lose some of this gut I have here above my belt buckle.

Dad, dang that sucks so much about the BYU vs. Utah game! I am so sad. But it’s sweet that Heaps is the man! He is going to be so good when I get home! Well at least they were able to hit up a bowl game this year right? Hopefully they win that one and do better next season. If not, well they will be unstoppable when Heaps is a Senior!

I will be watching for that protein powder to get to me. But my diet isn’t too bad in protein, I eat so many beans!!! It's like 7 grams a can! But yeah I could use more of that good stuff!

Thanks for all you do for me Dad. You are definitely one my heroes. And thanks for all the help you give me every week while I am out here. It helps me keep on truckin' out here.

Well I hope you all have another fun week! I love you!

Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Polochic Video

By: Leslie Smith
While researching information about the Polochic River Valley and the people that live there, I came across this video that was made a few years ago by an LDS missionary that was serving there. What a contrast from the way of life in the city. What a beautiful place and what happy children! No wonder Elder Smith is so happy amongst all the difficulties. It's a simple life, full of love and family and all the things that really matter the most. I will certainly not be complaining about anything(especially laundry), but counting my blessings so much more deeply this Thanksgiving Day. What a blessing to be a part of this wonderful experience. (After the video starts, Click on the 240p under the video and change it to 360p for a clearer picture)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Life in the Chik is fun, hard, and most of all, Life Changing!

Just a few reasons why the Chik is amazing. 1. The language is cool even though its hard 2. You are able to follow legends such as John Bringhurst, the first missionary ever to serve here, who actually wrote the language, and 3. You also get a chik name. There is a book of every chik name and missionary who has had them ever since the chik started. It's so cool to be able to continue the legacy. The experiences are once in a lifetime, and it’s amazingly beautiful! So those are just some of the reasons why everyone, including me, loves the chik. Also a quote by Elder Falabela, a member of the quorum of the seventy, ¨The best missionaries in the world are in the Polochik¨ It might not be exact, but its something like that. So that is really cool.

One thing really amazing happened yesterday. So this lady named Rosalina and 2 kids walked from their house to the church to be able to be their by 7 am to be able to go to the District Conference (stake conference) in Sacsuha. Super amazing!!! Elder Howard baptized them last month in his last area, but they moved and are now in our area in a place called Actela.

Yes we still have a wash lady/family. They are awesome. We have to walk about 1 mile up and down a mountain to give them our clothes!

I'm not taking my vitamin c things because we eat like 3 to 4 oranges or mandarins a day!

The language is really hard, nothing like English, nothing like Spanish. It will take at least 4 changes (6 months)for me to get it down a little bit, and I will still not really understand a lot so I will be lost for about the next 6 to 7 months. But I will get it someday! I don’t think I can even say the name of the language right yet. I’m getting it though. You will see what Q`eqchi` sounds like a tiny bit when I call you for Christmas. Well at least the name, because you have heard it already in conference talks, but anyways...

Elder Howard is sweet! We try and have fun in this crazy place. He is a really good teacher when it comes to helping me with Q`eqchi because he studies like an animal. So it’s really nice to be with him. And yes, we are re opening Santo Domingo. Thank goodness that Elder Howard was here before and knows the area. It would be completely disastrous if he didn't.

That’s great that you went to Elder Hansen’s homecoming, but funny that you commented on his smile. He was here in the Chik at one point too, and his chik name is "Smiley Man", but in Q`eqchi of course. Ha-ha!

I took out more money today because I am out of money, and my reimbursement just barely got sent, just an FYI.
So this week has been really rainy and muddy! Almost all 3 pairs of my shoes got completely soaked! We walk so high up in the mountains. We walk THROUGH clouds, when they are RAINING! So we get pretty wet from that. It’s really slippery from all the mud too, so hiking is pretty intense. I slipped and slid down like an 11 foot slope and didn’t even fall over, it was amazing!!! Another time I slipped and almost died but Elder Howard caught me luckily. It’s crazy up here! I am pretty sure I have already lost weight and only more will come off in the next while that I am here in the Chik, which is probably going to be about a year! But we will see. At least I won't be coming back a big chubbs right?

So it’s definitely rough up here, but it's good work and it will definitely make me a better person. It’s really unexplainable! One thing I'm hoping for is that we get the new beds we asked for soon. I can feel almost every single spring in my mattress. The places I can't feel them is because there aren't any! Ha ha! But since I am so exhausted, mentally and physically, I still fall asleep within like 6 minutes I swear!
But I really am excited to be up here in the Chik. It's going to be fun, hard, and most of all, Life Changing. I really don’t know how people can live here their whole lives though, it just blows my mind.

Well I really hope you guys have a wonderful week! I love you very much! Have a great Thanksgiving on Thursday without me. We will try and kill some animal and eat it or something because there is no Thanksgiving here in Guat, let alone in Polochik...

Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, November 15, 2010

I GOT CHIK´ed!!!

Hello THERE!!!
Ok, so here are the stories about changes.....Elder Toolson is in Sayaxchè still and he is training a new elder. I got a change and they told me I was going to Coban. So I was superbly stoked for that!! I then got on the bus on Wednesday at 6 am to head over to the Coban house where the Zone Leaders are. I was able to see Turek and Fadel and Schone and lots of old buddies so it was really great!!! When I got there they told me what area I would be going to. My new area is called Santo Domingo and my new companion is Elder Howard! Crazy right!? (He says that because Elder Smith's Dad’s side of the family are Howard’s.) He is from Bountiful. You are all probably wondering where Santo Domingo is....Well....It’s in a little mountain place called POLOCHIK! I GOT CHIK´ed!!! Crazy right!! So hopefully I can learn this language!!! I really think I would have started my mission here if I didn’t have knee problems because President has always asked me in interviews how my knee was doing. When I told him I hadn’t really had any problems for a while now, he sent me to one of the most mountainous areas of the Chik. It’s so beautiful up here. I am sending some pics of my new area. The pictures don’t really do it justice, but it’s really amazing.

I have already had some not too tasty stuff. The Q`eqchi` are known for their not so yummy food. I want you to try something ok? Get some corn tortillas and some warm water and then burn the shiz out of those tortillas and crush them up in that water, let it sit for a bit, and then drink it! It’s really not that bad if you plug your nose. Ha ha! And supposedly this area is the 2nd hardest in the entire mission. So we’ll see how much success we find. We are working really hard and we found a pretty cool new family, so we shall see how it goes with them. So that’s the changes for you!!!

The ATM withdrawal was for my area. Maybe you could somehow replace that money as part of my Christmas, that would be nice, I don’t know. I had to buy a good flashlight and I have to buy some rubber mud boots soon and things like that. It’s pretty expensive. And I REALLY hope you got me more pants for Christmas because one pair of pants got practically destroyed in a day. I also had to pay for the travel which cost a lot and it will take a while to get reimbursed.
I sent my coat liner to grandma to take home. I had sent the outer part with elder Winn but he forgot it I guess, so that is pretty much gone-zo. But just have her take it home. If I ever get cold, I can just wear my suit coat. I won’t be cold for a while walking up and down these mountains. I will definitely be losing some weight from that!!

I don’t really know anything in Q´eqchi´ yet but here is my testimony that I pretty much just read during lessons:
Ninnaw naq laj José Smith a´an jun profeet li Dios.
(I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God)
Ninnaw naq laj Tomás S. Monson a´an jun li wiinq b`oq`bil xb`an li Dios.
(I know that Thomas S. Monson is a man called by God)
Ninnaw naq li qaChoxahil Yuwa` a`an nokoxra ut laa`o li ralal xk´ajol.
(I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and we are His children)
Ninnaw naq Lix Iglees Li Jesukristo Reheb´ Laj Santil Paab´anel Sa´ Roso´jikeb Li Kutan li iglees tz´aqal yaal sa´ xb´een li ruchich´och.
(I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church on the earth)
Ninnaw naq Lix Hu Laj Mormon a´an tz´aql yaal. Yaal ajwi´ Li Santil Hu.
(I know that the Book of Mormon is true and the Bible is true as well)
Ut Lix Hu Laj Mormon mas nikinixtenq´a sa´ lin yu´am.
(And the Book of Mormon helps me a lot in my life)
Ninye´ eere li waatin a´an xk´aba li Jesukristo. Amen.
(I say to you this, my word, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen)
Crazy right!!!!
Well I hope I can get all that down really quickly, I guess we will find out. I expect it to take me at least 2 to 3 more changes. Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Smith
P.S. We live in the can see it if you zoom in really far in the very first picture. It's on the hill in front that you can see. The big white building....ha we were really high up when I took the picture.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


We got this photo from Elder Smith in our email this week. It looks like he is happier than ever and that smile really is stuck on his face now! Not sure how he did this....but we know that he really is grinning from ear to ear right now because we heard from someone in his first area that he was indeed transferred to Polochic! It's the place he has been wanting to go since day one and what he calls the Celestial Kingdom of the mission! Can't wait for details next week!

Monday, November 8, 2010

It would be the most joyous thing to be able to see them go to the temple!

Well Hello!!!
The baptism was amazing! It was done in the river and Lázaro was able to perform them again. I got the opportunity to confirm and give the Holy Ghost to Lety and Toolson was able to do the same with Rosa. Oh their names are Leticia Juarez Najarro and Rosa Maria Juarez Najarro. They are 17 and 11 years old respectively. It would be the most joyous thing to be able to see them go to the temple! It is really hard for people to go down to the Capital from here though. There just isn’t enough money to do it. But I really hope they can. It would be so amazing!!! It costs around 300 quetz a person to go down and Familia Juarez has 11 people in it!! So hopefully they will be able to do it one day.

Thank you so much for those short little spiritual stories from home. I can tell you put a lot of effort into trying to help me the best you can. I really appreciate it and it helped me a lot. Thanks mom.

Dad I love getting all the sports news! I need it or I think I would die out here! No it doesn’t make me feel “trunky.” It’s funny that you say trunky. Pres Torres says that word too. But us younger, hip missionaries say baggy. haha ;) I can’t believe Timpview lost to Springville though. That’s just crazy!

We will try to do those things the best we can to be able to strengthen this branch so that maybe one day it can become a ward. There are 200 families that are members according to the branch member list. So hopefully we can find a lot of them and reactivate them so that it can become really strong. We are already seeing some less actives come to church. It’s great because we need the branch to be stronger to get baptisms. I don’t feel comfortable baptizing anyone right now unless they have gone to church NUMEROUS times. I don’t want to baptize a future less active member ya know? So hopefully we can do it!

Oh, I finished the Old Testament this last week! I have now read all 4 of the books of scripture! I am now going to finish up Jesus the Christ and then start on D&C or the New Testament, I haven’t decided yet. But it’s going to be good.

So about the water problem. . .If you didn’t really understand why our water just stopped....In Guat-land, water comes every week and goes into a big tank that you have to use for that week. I guess it didn’t come or something. It did come back for a day on Thursday or something so I was able to take a quick little shower. Then we talked to our landlord about it and it is now fixed. So I was able to take a shower this morning!! YAY! It feels so nice to be semi clean again!

Oh we also killed another rat this week. I am sending a picture of a rat so you can get the picture of what runs around our house every night. (If interested in this nasty little picture, they have all been added to his slideshow entitled “Sayaxche” on the right side of this blog.)

This last Saturday we had a good little service activity that I felt was a great success. We even got the leaders to plan it!! The thing is that it is really hard for them to do it because in order to have a calling you have to pay your tithing. And not very many people do that so the leaders don’t really have the support necessary from the ward members to get things done. But they did it! And it was really nice. Some investigators came from Elder Godfrey's and Matus' area so that was really neat. We just cleaned up around the church and played games and stuff. It was sweet. The church improvements are fantastic as well.

We have a nice ceiling with good lighting and 4 ceiling fans, and a nice ceramic floor. We still don’t have a microphone but that should be coming since there is a microphone outlet in the wall now. The church is getting better, slowly, but its getting better!

Nothing too much has happened this week. Just doing the Lord’s work! It’s so crazy that this change is already over!! We’ll see what happens with changes I guess. We get those tonight right around 10:30. I really don’t know what’s going to happen! It’s kind of exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Ha don’t really know why. We are always just itching to know where the next part of our lives are going to take place I guess.
I’m sorry that this email is really short but I hope it is sufficient for now! I love you all and hope you have an excellent next week. Thanks for everything!!!!
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Elder Jordan Smith

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Abel, our baptism from last change, passed the sacrament!

I am writing today by the way because we went to San Benito yesterday, and no one was willing to give us rides back to Sayaxche. That’s how we get around over here because we don’t have the money to take buses. So we got back really late last night like 7:00. We were not able to use internet because everything was closed. It took like 4 hours to get home!!!

So nothing too exciting happened this week. We had a good Halloween, just working, until we had our RAT ATTACK! We hadn’t had any rats all change. And then at 11:30 I woke up to go to the bathroom and I caught a rat eating our bread. About an hour later me and Elder Godfrey finally killed it. Within 20 minutes, another one. That one sadly got away. Then I was going back to sleep, and I heard another one! This one was really fat so it wasn’t as fast as the others. We killed that one rather quickly. And then like 5 minutes after that one. ANOTHER ONE!!!! But again it got away. That was pretty intense and fun. It's just fantastic. I also heard one last night too, but I was way too tired to get up and chase it around. So somehow we have got to fix our rat problem.

Ha it’s me of course!! Ha ha so awesome!! She didn’t match the headband though. That’s probably why she didn’t win the costume contest ;)
In response to a picture we sent him of Allison dressed up as Jordan (pre mission) for our ward Halloween party.

I'm glad that Ryder is growing up to be feisty!! They need a nutcase in the house so it's not so tranquilo! And with a sweet name like that you've got to get some fame for being awesome!

Yeah I have around 45 ties now or more. I don't know. But I bought ties at every change conference and I got 3 corte ties just barely too. Corte is the material that the kekchi ladies make their skirts out of. The corte ones were free. I will tell you about that mas adelante at a future date.

We have our baptism coming up this Thursday! The last 2 kids of the Fam. Juárez! Lázaro is going to perform the baptisms again, so sweet! And its so going down in the river this time! Its going to be super amazing!!

Oh another thing that happened to us this week. Our water, to take a shower with, is gone. It was just dripping out for some reason for a few days so I was able to wash my hair and that’s about it. But now its completely gone. So now I am walking around with a deodorant shower! Hopefully it comes back soon. We have just enough to come out of the sink to still be able to shave. But that’s about it! I hope I don’t sweat too much! Or I will be really smelly, really fast!

Church was a little better, no microphone yet, but we were informed that supposedly we are going to get air conditioning. So we shall see if that really happens. Abél, our baptism from last change, passed the sacrament. So that was really neat and special for me to see. Primary was ..... well.... yeah....No one felt like singing and they were really obnoxious....The kid's parents are members, we just didn’t know it. And active ones too, for the most part. So no getting investigators through them.

Speaking of investigators, we passed by for those 3 sisters, Hadassa, Maya, and Jessely every day this last week at different times; they must have gone out of town or something. That was a little disappointing. We have a couple other investigators that are progressing slowly, but nothing too promising quite yet. We did put a fecha with one of them though! So hopefully she continues to go to church and hopefully she actually understands what we tell her. That is a big problem here. Not too many people are educated so they don’t really know how to think deeply. So its rough teaching sometimes. But its getting better and we are trying to figure out how to teach them more effectively. It seems to be going a little better so far. But that is about it for investigators.

Maybe you could give me some advice to help animate a ward/branch to actually do something with their callings, and not be lazy, and help them understand the basics of how the church works, because every member besides the president is practically an investigator. So I would really enjoy some advice to help this branch improve. Because it is almost impossible to have someone be baptized in this environment...unless it's the kids of a member like we are having on Thursday. That would really help! We are having more activities, but its still rough....We don’t really know what else to do!

Well there really isn’t too much else that happened this week. I just cant believe that this change is almost over! The time has gone by really fast! So we shall see what happens for changes, we will get the call Monday night....

Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Thanks for all your prayers and support!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

This is a picture taken by Sister Torres at last week's Zone Conference. So thankful for an amazing Mission President and his wife who work so hard to not only lead, guide, and inspire their missionaries, but also help them feel so loved! And also help us as parents by documenting so much of the mission for us to enjoy. I think Jordan's face may be stuck like it!