"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, December 26, 2011

I have now seen 2 sides of Christmas here

Nice Work on the Q'eqchi' mother face! Yeah that runt (Ryder) is huge! I was looking at some of the pictures of him from right before I left and he was just a tiny guy. Everybody is growing up! It's crazy!!!

I am pretty sure the Guatemala City Temple is closing down soon, but I am not sure when or for how long.

Ha you guys are lazy!! Opening presents at 11! Haha. I think it will probably take me about a week or so until I get back to that though. But I am going to try and wake up earlier now. I can just get soo much more things done. And I will probably end up going to the gym in the mornings. But like at around 8 or so...nothing too crazy early haha.

That is a really interesting quote that you said about prayer! I have always tried to be thankful for things in my prayers, but now I will really think more about the way I thank the Lord for those things. I have gotten in a bad habit of sometimes just going through the motions of a prayer and not directly from my heart. I don’t do it all the time, but I notice it when it happens, and it's not good. I hope to improve. Thanks mom!

For Christmas, the gift giving was really great! Stressful, but great! (More details on this event are below in the higlights of our Christmas phonecall.)

Then for Christmas Eve....I ate soooo much. The first family gave us 2 tamales. So I thought, hey....its not gonna be too bad after all! And then the next house we had a GIANT turkey leg with salad and rice. I was stuffed! And we had 1 more house to go! We went there and they gave us rice, and 3 huge pieces of different types of meat, and pasta salad, AND 1 tamale!! OHHH my.... I was soooo full! But it was great to spend my last Christmas like that. I have now seen 2 sides of Christmas here. 1 really humble Christmas and 1 Christmas full of food. It really has been so amazing experiencing both!

Well it was great talking you all! I hope you have a great New Year mom and pops, even though you will be all alone like old fogies haha. But enjoy it! I love you guys! Have a great one!

Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Highlights of our Christmas Phonecall (12/25/11)
*He was able to put together 65 little bags of treats and toys from the things we sent him for the children in his branch. The elders in his district assembled them and gave them out at a branch activity. They had to supplement them with a little bit of candy that they bought there. They made some for the girls and different ones for the boys. It was a highlight of his Chrismtas this year to be able to do that.

*Since fireworks run in the Smith blood, he was thrilled to see so many of them for Christmas. He even did a little mini tank wars in his neighborhood with just a few fireworks that he could afford! The people said, "What are you doing? Are you crazy taping all those fireworks together?" He replied, "Oh this is should see what my family does when we get together and do them!" He said that we should start doing our own fireworks for Christmas back at home now.

*He is looking forward to starting up back at BYU and said he is excited that they are one of two schools in the U.S. that offer a class in Mayan studies...definitely one he wants to take.

*With only 7 weeks until he comes home we talked about what family vacation he would like to go on during Srping Break. We decided that it would be fun to go to New York, visit the city and also the church history sites and also venture down for a day or two in Washington D.C. Can't wait!

*Our call got dropped three times so we had to keep calling back. Everytime he answered he did it with a little "Whoop" type sound. It's impossible to replicate with words but it's a silly little sound that he said is how people answer their phone there and greet each other especially in Polochic. Made us laugh!

*He said that if he had the ultimate dream area to finish out his mission he would choose to go to Senahu in Polochic but that it is up to the Lord where he will go and he will be fine if he ends up staying in his current area.

*Jake told him that he really wants to go to South Africa on his mission. Jordan said, "Oh I've heard that South Africa is the most dangerous mission in all the world. But guess what the 2nd most dangerous mission in the world is...Guatemala City North. Oh sorry Mom, but it's true!"

*He is looking forward to zone conference this week and getting to visit with the A.P.'s who are two of his best friends in the mission. He is also excited to be with President and Sister Watts.

*We closed our phone call with our tradition of family prayer. We asked Jordan to offer it this time in English since he's said it before in Spanish and in Qeqchi. It was a perfect way to end our Christmas day. His Grandma and Grandpa Howard had stopped by towards the end of his call and they enjoyed hearing his voice for a few minutes and feeling of his missionary spirit.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Me and my comp are gonna get fat from soo much candy!!

Ok this is what you need to do for the Christmas phone call..... hopefully that time works out for you guys, cuz you can’t really get a hold of me to tell me if it doesn’t haha. Our phone broke. And we are just borrowing a phone from members to be able to make the call. So I will be home at that time....Just give me a ring!

Zone Conference isn’t until the last week of this change...but I did get my Christmas packages this week! We are going to organize the regalitos (presents) you sent for all the kids at district meeting and hand them out at a branch activity! The candy with the scriptures is really creative! I like it a lot, really! Thanks Mom! Me and my comp are gonna get fat from soo much candy!! Thank you a lot!

(Note from Mom: I sent Jordan and his companion candy and a coordinating scripture to open and enjoy each day of December up to Christmas!)

I am pretty sure that my bum is going to fall off from the cold in Utah when I get home! Sometimes in the morning here I think it is cold and it is like 73 degrees! I am going to die!

Familia Can close.....kinda.....Things got really complicated. This is what's going on and why the papers have taken a long time. The husband of the family had papers but they were stolen by his brother....and his brother then used them to get married under his name! So basically his identity was stolen, and it is complicated to be able to get it all fixed....we are thinking to just have him change his name and get papers with that new name, but he has to prove that he was born here and isn’t an extranjero and stuff like that. ESTÁ LOCA LA CASACA! Hopefully we will get it all figured out, and fast, because they really have their hopes up to be baptized on the 31st....and if it is going to continue to cost money, I am thinking about paying it.....but it is more costly. The branch helped a lot and already raised money for them to help them out, but we will see how it goes. They are not doing very well economically, so its just rough.....Be praying hard for them. They have been trying to get baptized for a good 8-9 months now....

Our other prospect is Adolfo Moya. He is really intelligent and has read the whole Triple as well as numerous Liahonas, but he has had a problem of asking questions and holding on to doubts that really don’t matter too much, and that don’t pertain to his salvation. But I think he will be able to be baptized. He has taken a big step recently in trying to leave behind those doubts and focusing on Joseph Smith, to see if he really was a prophet of our Lord Jesus Christ.....I pray that he will be able to gain a testimony of all that pertains to the restoration soon....then he will be baptized!

Yeah, it was truly amazing to hear from David in Carchá, I am truly grateful to the Lord for allowing His Spirit to work through me in such a way....=)

The branch (Santa Elena) and the district (San Benito) have a choir. They have been traveling around Peten and have been putting on shows and stuff like that. They are not too bad actually...ha well the District choir anyways....Speaking of that. We had all the branches sing at a district activity. And during the activity, another elder and I sung a Christmas hymn in Q'eqchi'! Ha that is the first time that I have sung a duet in front of so many people. Ha it’s funny though, I don’t really get nervous singing in front of the people here compared to back home....but it went well! But I don’t have any pics of it....we kinda just did it last second without really practicing or anything....haha but it went well..

Well that is about all that happened this week! I can’t wait to talk to you all on Sunday! Have a great week and a Chaab'il Ralankil ut jun li Chaab'il Ak' Chihab'. I love you! Have a fun Christmas with the fam!

Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, December 12, 2011

Truly, the Spirit was there in rich abundance!

What's up!!!
Above is a picture of David, my convert from Carcha. I got transferred the week before his baptism, but he emailed me some pictures and a really awesome letter thanking me for finding him and teaching him and bringing the gospel to him! He thanked me for changing his life and for the friendship that we developed. I love him!

I will try and look for a nativity set for you Mom. They probably have a few here since their is an island called Flores and they sell a whole bunch of crap for tourists and what not. I will try and find one today, or next week!

That is sweet that the Torres' are doing that for the Juarez Family. The dad, Lázaro, is in the Branch Presidency in Sayaxchè now! I was able to see him, his wife and Abel at the Temple Dedication this last Sunday! 2 other kids from their family, Raul and Leticia, went to Quetzaltenango for the Dedication! It was really neat to see other members from Sayaxchè too!! It is weird to think that I left that area more than a year ago!

Speaking of the Quetzaltenango Temple was amazing! Truly, the Spirit was there in rich abundance! Seeing that happen was a true testimony builder and I felt the Spirit stronger than I have felt in a little while testifying to me yet again of the truthfulness of this great work that the Lord is bringing to pass on the earth in these, the last days! I am grateful for the opportunity of being able to see the dedication of that new House of the Lord.

That is pretty cool that Elder Howard went over to the house to party it up with Fast. Ha it is funny that every body is already partying at my house and I am not even there yet! Not too much longer though, just gotta keep working hard and pushing forward till the end!

I hope things go better for you and your job Mom. The Lord has a plan and reason for everything. It will all work out, it always does!
That is a good win for the Cougs! Hey so who is all in the BCS games?
How many new cousins do I have that I don’t know? There are a buttload huh! It's gonna be crazy to see all those new little faces when I get back home.

NO!! Grandma and Grandpa Howard can’t come up to Lehi and live with Pam. Where are we going to have family meetings, and the 4th of July?! It just won’t work! Haha it will be way better if they stay down there in Provo!

I am starting to feel a little more comfortable in my area. Even though I am still not used to speaking Spanish so much. But I guess that is good for me since I will be using that a lot more once I am home. And things with my comp are improving little by little. I am trying to improve my patience and trying to focus on my studies and the work to help make the time go by faster, its working so far! The district is pretty fun. We have some chill, hard working elders, so it’s great. I really don’t know very many people from the zone since the zone is so spread out. It is pretty much just our district and the ZLs that do stuff on Pdays and what not.. It’s all good though!

We are going to be able to baptize that family soon too. Familia Can Tun. They speak Q'eqchi'!!!....well I think they do....they won’t ever speak it to me, but the little things I have said to them they understand.....But anyways. Their challenge is that they aren’t married!! Who would have thought!??! Welcome to Guatemala! But they couldn’t get married because they didn't have the papers to do so!! they have their papers and can get married....IF they get the money to do so. They already owe the lawyer money so he wants at least a little of the money they owe before he will perform the marriage. I think they can do it though. They are a great family with lots of faith. They are always the first ones in the building on Sunday! We hope to baptize them by the 31st. Pray that it all works out ok?

Well everything is going well here, I hope you have a great week! I love you all!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We are teaching a family of 4!

Hi Mom!
Well it's going I guess! Honestly, it has been going a little better. I have tried, like I have before, to try and focus on the good things, and the work to get my mind off the lame stuff, but ahí vamos.... And so sorry, I thought I answered those questions....I am in Santa Elena 1. My comp is Elder José Roque Sermeño, from Sonsonate, El Salvador. It is his 3rd change in the mission. I have been wondering the same thing as to why I am in this area....I really enjoyed Carchá, and I had great comps last change, so the adjustment has been tough. I have prayed a lot to find out what the will of the Lord is for me in this area and to be able to find my niche here (or my purpose, in better words). I am going to work hard to find out that thing and focus on it instead of all the stuff, like you said. The days go by a lot slower than they did last change. The time I have felt here so far, is the same time I felt for all of last change. So that is kind of annoying. But I don't know....everything happens for a reason. I just have to work hard until that reason is revealed to me.

HAHA that's pretty funny about Allison and driving. As long as I never enter into a car that she is driving in, I will be fine! Oh and about her dating soon....not happening! haha

For pday today, we played soccer, and basketball and then went to BK for lunch...
People in my district.....E. Eskelsen and E. Cerón are tight. They both played football before, so we get along good. and then there is E. Hopkins, he is tight too. Then my comp, and E. Bravo, the district leader from my group. I don't really know anybody from the zone....Which is also really lame. I don't really know anybody outside of Coban and Polochik.....
my area is kinda like Sayaxche, but not as pretty....the people live the same as they did in Sayaxche....and there aren't any new fun food stories here.....
Favorite thing so far this change...the weather. Its not hot like last time Ii was here in Peten. But its not freezing like it is in Coban. Its just nice and frescito the whole time...
I have no idea when the Christmas Conference is, we should find out next week I think though because the ZL's will be coming back from concilio with all of that info! But it shouldnt be too much longer!!!

We are close to putting a fecha with this man, Adolfo. He is really pilas and has read the Book of Mormon and Doc. and Cov. and the Pearl of Great Price already! But he just doesn't seem to be ready to receive an answer because he just wants to know more and more instead of relying on faith to make a decision. Hopefully he will be able to be baptized here soon. And we are also teaching a family of 4! They need to be married before they get baptized. But they need their papers. They almost have it all done though. We are helping them finish that up and they should be baptized by the end of this month, so that is really exciting!!

Well I hope you have a great week and that all is well back at home! I love you all and I will talk to you soon!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 93

Hey Hey!

Yeah, it does kind of stink that I wasn't able to see David be baptized, but he did get baptized and received the Priesthood too! So that is SUPER COOL!! But all was in the hands of the Lord.

My new area.....honestly, I don't really like it too much yet. And I don't really know any of the members yet either. Most of them went to the Temple Open House over in Quetzaltenango. So they haven't been home this last week. Living conditions....I live in tiny cuartito....I don't mean to be so bitter, but I don't want to lie and say that it is all great and dandy. Let's just say that this is going to be a long change. I hope I can come to understand why the Lord needs me here.....I miss speaking Q'eqchi' already....ok enough complaining.... (Note from Mom: Hmmm....I sure wish he would have remembered to mention the name of his new area and who his companion is!)

The packages should get here in a couple weeks. It just depends on when we have Christmas Conference up here in the zone. Until then will I receive them...Was grandma able to get the stuff that I sent down to the office yet?

We do have someone that is a possibilty in the area though. He has read the Book of Mormon twice already and he wants to keep learning more and more. Which is kind of a problem because the things he doesn't know makes a little stumbling block for him. However, he is praying and he came to church on Sunday! So we shall see how it goes for him.

Well that is about all for this week. Hopefully all improves and that I know why I am supposed to be here. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A disappointing week

Well hello there!

Well this week was kind of the story of my mission. David called us mid week and said he didn't have time this week to get baptized. We had to postpone his baptism until next week. Selvin bailed to the Capital working, so who knows when he will be back. He doesn't answer our phone calls either. And we haven't really been able to teach those new people because they have been until next week we shall see what happens....Which is another thing, I won't even be here next week!!!! I have a change, and so does Elder Olson, Elder Ware and both of the Hermanas in Carcha. They are whitewashing the whole place!! Missionaries are going to walk right into baptisms in this area. I hope I find success in my next area. I find out tomorrow where I am going. I wish I was training here in Carcha, but I guess the Lord has a different plan for me. So we shall see how it all turns out!

Crazy that Britni Smith got married on Sat. It would've been great to have gotten her invite earlier because Elder Ware knows her too! Ha crazy huh?! But that's still super cool! I didn't realize when Ben came home either! Him and Jeremy Holland were like the first of my buddies to head out. Which is really weird because Ike, Shay, and Josh all get home this upcoming change, and then I will be back! So crazy how fast that time went!

Nothing really big happened this week. We just worked like normal, receiving the disappointments for our baptisms, and then we all got changes! So we shall see what all goes down for changes and what not! I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic day and week!

OH I totally forgot. We had Stake Conference this last week. It was with everyone here in Guatemala and Belize. But it was broadcast from Utah. Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf spoke, and then.....HNA TORRES directed the intermediate hymn! It was super cool to see her again!
Anyways, that's all, I love you all! Peace and love!!
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We had an American Thanksgiving!

BUEEENOOOO!!! (greeting to contact a house, to say hi)

That is so sick that you got to see Fast! I am jealous! He is the man. He really was an amazing missionary and a just a great guy. Love that kid! Stinks that the other speaker left him no time and he couldn’t really give his talk at his homecoming. Stupid guy. That is super crazy though that he is going to come to Utah to go to school, and even crazier that he is going to be living with us! That is pretty sick, not gonna lie!!! And I think that will definitely be a help to me to have him around and not have as much companion separation anxiety, Ha ha.

News Response:
No way!!! Cat is engaged! Do you know the name of the person? I doubt I know who it is, but that is just crazy! Sweet though! Tell her congrats for me!
Toni is going on a mission huh?! WOW! I can honestly say that I never saw that coming. But super cool and pilas of her to be doing that!
That is pretty sweet that you got to meet that Peter Mourick guy. That is like saying that you have a mutual connection to the Prophet!! Lucky!!! (napoleon dynamite voice) haha

I loved that story about Ezra. Especially since it was just a little holiday like Veterans day. Don’t tell him about Martin Luther King Jr Day and Columbus Day, there are practically holidays every day! I will so kidnap him one day though and play games with him all day…and not on a holiday!

Well this week was pretty successful! We had as many news (new investigators) and lessons with a member this week than the other 4 weeks combined this whole change! It was good to actually get a little help and to find a few more cool people.

We had to change one of our fechas from this week to the next. But David is definitely getting baptized this week! I am super excited for that one! And then Selvin has a few challenges to overcome. His wife doesn’t really want him to be baptized, but he knows he needs to, and he has a great desire to be baptized as well because he knows that this church is true. He called us this morning about all of it. We will be praying a lot to figure out how to best help him. We want what is best for him, but we don’t want to tear the family apart either. So we shall see how that goes. We have a cita with him tomorrow.

I also finished the Book of Mormon this last week! I began 6 weeks ago! I finished it on 11/11/11. That makes it the 4th time that I have read it on my mission. And I am still understanding new things that I didn’t see beforehand. Super sweet. I just started reading the Old Testament again. I hope to finish it before I go home.

Today for pday we had a pretty sweet zone activity! WE HAD AN AMERICAN THANKSGIVING! With stuffing, potatoes, turkey, pies, rolls, and everything! It was sweet! Especially since for last thanksgiving I ate some beans in a can with a bag of chips! So big of a difference, but so nice.

I will try and send some pics soon! Sorry that I have been kind of lazy with that.
Well that is all for this week. I hope you all have a great week and I will talk to you all soon!

Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, November 7, 2011

There is always stuff we need to work on

Hey there peeps!!
That’s sick about your job Mom. It worked out just perfectly! What an amazing blessing that must have been!

That’s good that grandma will be here the 20th. Because changes are on the 22nd and I will be able to send you guys your Christmas presents home with her! That's what the money that I took out of my account was for by the way. . . Christmas presents for you mom, Dad, Jake, and Allison I will need to pull out that same amount again to finish it all off. Oh and I'm gonna need some travel money when that day comes because I can almost guarantee that my suitcases will be overweight. I have about 104 ties right about now too! I will be coming home with lots of those, but not all of them. But I’m planning on my suitcases to be a little bit pesaditas!

That’s sweet that Carlos and Julie had another baby. AH!!!!! There are sooo many new cousins of mine that have been born since I’ve is gonna take me a little while just to get all of their names down!

Well, working on the 1st and 2nd this past week were just horrible. And then yesterday they had the final elections for the new president here, so no one was home! It was really lame. We ended up just walking forever to find someone out in the streets at least. Lame sauce. But we did have a good lunch with some members for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on the 1st. We ate Fiambre. Practically the same thing that Tia Carmen made for us that one time. It was pretty good I guess. Lots of beets and lots of gross sausages, but it wasn’t too bad. The members that we ate with are really cool though, so it all made up for it.

Well our investigators are doing great! Selvin and David are both on track for their baptisms on the 19th! But the only problem is, we haven’t found anybody more besides them. So I’m not sure what we are going to do when they get baptized. We shall see I guess!

This last week hit the day of 2 years since I got my mission call. Crazy!! Last year I was in Sayaxchè with Elder Toolson and we had a baptism! The year before, opening my call at BYU. So weird to think how fast the time flies.

In reply to Dad’s email:
Sup Father Face!
That would be nuts if BYU played Utah again in the infamous Vegas Bowl! If they do, they better win! But are you serious about the NBA Season?! That is insane that they haven’t solved all that crap! Super lame! At least the NFL is on. I wonder if I will make it back for the superbowl or not. I doubt it, but I will just watch it later anyways, so it doesn’t matter I guess.

I really liked all that stuff you learned about in Stake Conference. Yes, there is always stuff we need to work on. It’s kind of been a weight on me, and super annoying about some of the people here. When they hear a talk that says anything about our needing to improve, they immediately take it offensively and think that it’s just cincho. It’s just the attitude/culture here I guess. It’s not everyone, but mostly. I love it here, don’t get me wrong. But certain things get old after a while if you know what I mean...

My health is great! My knee is just fine, and the meds I was on for my weird pains, well I was slowly weaning myself off of them, but I have since run out of them... But I am really doing fine, not even any signs of stress, or weird pains at all. So it’s all good!!

Well I really wish that I had more to write, but this week was kind of a lame week. Next week will be better though. I love you guys and have a fantabulous next week!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, October 31, 2011

I can't think of the word in English....

Well hey there all you ugly people,
(As grandpa would say haha)

I did get my Halloween package, it came this past week, just in time!!! It was sweet!We enjoyed those smores so much! Delicious! I can’t even remember the last time I had a graham cracker!!Thank you!!

It’s really interesting that you mentioned that scripture, because at the beginning of every change I write a scripture in my agendas. This change just happened to be that scripture! Crazy right! I really have faith in that scripture though after all of the crazy stuff that has gone down throughout my mission.
D&C 84:88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

I have played the piano a few times every now and then out here, but not that much.

Elder Howard called me last week to have me give you the info on his homecoming and how to get there and stuff. He wanted to make sure you had it and could be there so good thing you got it on his blog.

Something super sweet happened this week. We got the NEWLY TRANSLATED Q'EQCHI' TRIPLE!!! Its super sweet, especially since it is in new Q'eqchi'! It's cool too that Hermana Sully (Sulleny) in our ward was a helper during the translation. She is in the October Liahona (p. 74 in the Ensign). She was super excited when we showed it to her. She will be getting one soon.

Our investigators are doing great! David, is way too pilas if that’s even possible. We left him 3 Ne 11 to read and when we came back he had 3 pages of notes with more things highlighted than I have highlighted in my scriptures! He is sick (awesome)!! And super excited for his baptism and just wants to keep learning more. I am glad to be able to teach someone like him. Selvin is doing great too. I really don’t know what happened to him though. He was really bummed last time we passed by, but he wouldn’t really tell us the real reason, and then he didn't go to church. We are going by on Tuesday to see what happened and why he didn’t go to church. Hopefully he is still doing alright and that Satan isn’t winning against one my best investigators. David can’t get baptized until the 19th because he is working really hard at school and finals are coming up during these next few weeks, plus we haven’t taught him all the commandments. And Selvin's was held back for his wife, so that she could think about it more, but it's going to take longer for her I think. We might ask him if he wants to move up his fecha one week when we pass by on Tuesday.

This last Sunday I had to give a talk that I was randomly asked to do. I gave cinchazo (please figure out how to translate that Mom, ha cuz I can’t think of or find a word good enough in English)--- (unfortunately mom doesn’t know Spanish slang, but I think it's a joking way of reprimanding) --- for all those who haven’t helped us. We haven’t received very much help from the members in our ward so I gave them a little bit of motivation to help us. It really turned the meeting around too. The next 2 speakers changed their talks to be about missionary work!

Well that is all for this week! I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween!! Jake better go trick or treating! Heck I am definitely going trick or treating next year. Who says no to free candy?
Have a great next week too! Peace and love!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Lord's ministering angels protect His servants at every moment

What’s UP!?!
Crazy that's it's almost been two years since I got my call. The mission is definitely different than I thought it was gonna be back then for sure but it also has changed me in ways that I didn’t think were possible. It truly is amazing.

Zone Conference was sweet! Elder Amado was different than I expected hearing what was said in the other zone conferences. But I really enjoyed it. He gave me a lot to think about and how I really can improve myself as well as my missionary techniques. It was great.

Things are going good here in Carchá. Our investigators that we have are doing great. Selvin practically bore his testimony to his wife last time we were at his house. It was really neat. And our other awesome investigator, David, accepted a fecha for the same day as Selvin. It's going to be sweet! 2 baptisms, then 2 confirmations who will also receive the Priesthood the same day. SO COOL! I am soo excited! Also Noé, a guy that I found in Tucurú who later got baptized is now the branch secretary, super sweet!

There is a crazy story that happened this week. We were walking home after church yesterday. When we were almost there, a car was behind us so we moved over to the side of the road. As we did, he revved the engine and started speeding up right toward us. We couldn’t really do anything about it, there was nowhere for us to go. But right when he was about to hit us, his car just stopped. He didnt yell at us, just looked at us really confused. Then he just re started his car and drove off....I really think that the Lord's ministering angels protect His servants at every moment. I am grateful to always have his protection as I obey the rules and work as hard as I can.

I think the little cars would be good to send for the kids down here for Christmas. And for the girls, they don’t really wear bows, but I guess you could send that and those other things sound like good ideas too. And maybe just some beef jerky. A member asked if we could get that for him. No they don’t really have CD Players, only radios. So the primary CD's wouldn’t work out. But those other things sound great!

Learning languages really does change your mode of thinking and it helps you realize numerous things about words and their actual meaning in certain contexts. Like the word “Atonement”. . . in English we can give a vague definition of what the word means, but in Q'eqchi' it is really self explanatory. Xtojb'al rix li maak, basically means to pay for sins upon one's back. It just really gives extra meaning to the scriptures for me too. I am reading the Book of Mormon again. Sometimes when I have come across some deep passages, I have been able to translate them in my mind or read it in Q'eqchi' and it brings out a whole other meaning that really completes what my lack of understanding was about that specific passage of scripture. It is amazing how the knowledge of languages can do that. I will teach my kids Spanish for sure, and maybe a little Q'eqchi', we will see Ha ha!

Well that is all for this week. Success is coming and it is good to see fruits of your labors, especially since the fruit of my labors have usually come after I am gone from that area. Ha anyways, I hope you all have a great time next week!

Maajaruj b'exkanab' chixb'aanunkil li us… May you all never stop doing good!
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I am Polochic baggy right now

Our family letter to Elder Smith this week was entitled “Que Pasa?” – What’s happening? So to that he replied:
You gotta say.... “Que pasa calabaza?”
and the answer is .....“Nada nada limonada.”
Great joke huh? Ha ha ha!!
That is super sweet that you guys got to meet Elder Davis....Matt Davis. He is the man!! I can’t wait to be able to hang with him when I get home. We might room together in the Fall, once I get going back into real school at BYU, besides just the summer semester.

Our new companionship is working really well together, even though we are in a trio. I’m back with my old comp from Tucurú, Elder Olson. We’re also with Elder Ware (Tanner Skousen’s MTC comp from Spanish Fork). He is a lot of fun!! We are working hard and having success so far! So it’s all good!

(photo of Concepcion and her family after her baptism last week)
We have some sweeet new investigators too!!! One is Selvin and his wife. He is soo ready to be baptized, just golden. She is a little harder because her family is really Catholic. She said that she knows that the church is true, but it is going to be hard for her to make the decision. Selvin asked us if he could still be baptized even if his wife isn't ready yet. I think we are going to baptize him and try and get him the Priesthood as fast as possible so that his wife can see the difference it makes in the home setting and she will have a greater desire to be baptized. We put fechas with them this last week though for the 19 of November! He might get baptized before. He came to church for the 2nd time today, the 1st one was General Conference!!! So sweet. I have never had an investigator go to General Conference!

We also have David. He is awesome and has been coming to church for a long time now, we were just never really able to teach him. But we finally did and he is really pilas and has a desire to know more, and be baptized too! We should have at least 2 baptisms this change! I can’t wait!!!

It’s actually kind of sweet that one of the areas here got closed. It is soo much better, we have more to work with and there is now a lot more of our area that speaks Q'eqchi'. So since Olson and I know Q'eqchi', we are teaching it to Elder Ware, who is just The Man by the way!! He is learning super fast! It took me a good change or a little more to get my testimony and my prayer down in that language. He almost has his prayer down already and it’s only been a week! He's a future Chiker (Polochic missionary) for sure.

Well Zone Conference is tomorrow. The new Area Seventy will be there so it will be good to meet him. AND I will be able to see Pres. and Hna. Watts again!! AND I will also be able to talk to Elder Williams again!! AND I got to see all of my Chik (Polochic) bros again today for Pday!!! It was sooo sweet to see them all and talk and what not. The “Chiker Curse/Blessing'' still stands too. The last 3 elders there that had girlfriends waiting for them at home just got written off. No Chiker in the mission right now has a girl waiting for them. Ha I don’t know why I am telling you all this, but it is just good to see those guys again after soo long! If I don’t stay in Carchá to finish out my mission, I could definitely train a newbie out in Q'eqchi'-landia. We shall see what happens. I am Polochik baggy right now seeing all those guys. It’s great. They smell different too. When I was with them, I smelt the same so I didn’t notice it, but the Polochik missionaries definitely smell different. So, I am sorry if I smell bad for the first little while once I am home. Ha ha!!

Photo of the "Turkey Experience" from last week.

I would just like to finish with my testimony in Q'eqchi' with some new stuff that I learned this past it goes....
(A BIG thank you to Elder Tayler Larsen, yes the same one who was in the news on the Guatemala story the other day, for translating this for us. He said, “That's the best I could do. It may not make perfect sense but I tried to capture what he is really communicating and still have it make sense.”
Nannaw naq Lix Paab'al Li Jesukristo Reheb' Laj Tiikilal Sa' Roso'jikeb' Li Kutan a'an li junaj chi tz'aqal Paab'al ut maajun chik natawman sa' xb'een li ruuchich'och'.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only perfect faith and there is not one other found on the earth.

Nannaw naq laj Jose Smith oril li ruuch li Ajaw, ut jo'kan ajwi' li Ralal li Jesukristo sa' k'iche'. Ohwan choq' xpropeet li Yos chi ak'il, re naq ohru chixk'ojob'ankil wi'chik lix Chaab'il Esilal li Kriist.
I know that Joseph Smith saw the face of the God, and His son Jesus Christ in the forest. He was God's prophet anew so that he could restore the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Nannaw naq laj Tomas S. Monson a'an li yo'yookil xpropeet li Ajaw anajwan. Nannaw naq a'an naqaatina jo' lix yaab xkux li Qaawa'.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet of God today. I know that he speaks to us as the voice of the Lord.

Nannaq naq li Kriist a'an li aj Tojol qix li qamaak ut li aj Kolol qech sa' xk'ab'a' chixjunil lix k'anjeleb' ohlajxb'aanu qeech ut li mayej re lix junxaqalil ohk'e qeech chaq.
I know that Christ is the Payer of our sins and our Savior in the name of all the work He did for us and the sacrifice of His being that He gave to us.

Nannaw naq wi junelik taqapaab'eb' lix taqlahom li Nimajwal Ajaw, tookole'q.
I know that if we always follow the commandments of God, we will be saved.

Nannaw ajwi' naq Lix Hu Laj Mormon a'an li raatin li Yos chi tz'aqal.
I know also that the Book Of Mormon is the word of God (perfectly.

Ontaw lix nawom inch'ool a'in xmaak naq ontijok chirix, ut li Ajaw ohye wech naq yaal rik'in lix Musiq'.
I found this knowledge of my heart because I prayed about it, and the Lord told me it was true with His Spirit.

B'antioxinb'ilaqin chi junelik chiruuch li Qaawa' xmaak naq ohk'e wech lin hoonal chi k'anjelak arin Watemaal ut sa' xyaanqeb' aj ralch'och' malaj aj Q'eqchi' nayehman reheb'.
I will always be grateful to the Lord because He gave me this time to work here in Guatemala and with the natives or Qeqchis as they are called.

Nannaw chixjunil a'in chi anchal inch'ool. A'an a'in lix nawom inch'ool chi tz'aqal.
I know all of this with all of my heart. This is truthfully the knowledge of my heart.

Nanye eerech li waatin a'in sa' xk'ab'a' li Kriist. Amen. Jo'kan taxaq.
I say this, my word, to you in the name of Christ. Amen. Let it be.
Keep the Faith.
Stay Strong.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I could see the difference in her face!

Twenty months!! Veinte Meses!! Junmay Po!! It's so weird how fast time is flying. I only have 4 months left? It can’t be true. Just 3 more changes including this one that starts today. So weird!! I just want to go to the end giving it my all. Just continue working hard until my time is up...The Lord will do the rest if I do that...

Concepción's baptism was great! I was able to baptize her in lovely dirty water! =) I did get scared for a little bit because she wasn’t there when church started on Sunday. And she is always there, on time too. But she came just a little late and got confirmed. After church when I saw her get out of Relief Society, she looked like a different person. She seemed so much happier. She still has all the same problems, but without the weight of sin and the new guidance from the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I could see the difference in her face! It was so great! All of us missionaries are trying to figure out ways to help her, but we aren’t allowed to give money to people. She can get help from fast offerings now. I think through that and her willingness to pay her tithing, even though she has nothing, she will be able to receive the blessings she needs to be able to keep surviving.

Craziest story ever coming up…So on Tuesday this last week we woke up at 6:30 like good missionaries do and my comp wasn’t in his bed. Elder Bishop got up to go the bathroom and expected to find him since he is always in there! Well next thing I hear is, ''Elder Smith, your companion isn’t here.'' WHAT?! We called President and the APs and started a wild goose chase to figure out where the heck he went....nothing....I thought of this bus station where you can buy tickets to go to the Capital from Coban that was in our area. We went there and asked the secretary if she had seen or heard from him. She said she thought she got a call from him early in the morning. So she looked in her phone and found the number and called it. Sure enough, it was him, on his personal cell phone, alone, on a bus to the capital. We called the APs and we coordinated missionaries to be at that bus's bus stops. We finally found him and he was sent home the day after. Crazy right?! I didn’t expect that one at all. I still don’t understand how he got out of the house without waking one of us up. I mean the 4 of us sleep in the same room!! I ended up working in a trio for the last week of this change. It kinda stinks because you always end up asking yourself ''What more could I have done for him?'' But we all did all that we could. Makes me really sad and I hope he’ll be ok. Please remember him in your prayers.

As for changes so far, Elder Bishop has a change, and Elder Ware and I are staying here in Carchá. So now it’s just the waiting period to find out who my next companion is. They could close one of the areas here and Elder Ware and I could be comps, which would be sick (awesome)! But who knows what will happen. Anything goes really.

Another adventure for this week... I got to slice a Turkey's throat! I killed it, watched it cook, and then I ate it. Super Sweet! Ha I will spare you all the details, but it was awesome!!!

I would send you pics, but this computer is being lame and won’t do it. But I will try my best to get a good computer next week. I hope you all have a great week and I love you all!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Priesthood Session Scramble

Hey everybody over there!!!

Yeah I really enjoyed conference as well. There is also a story that goes along with that. I call it Priesthood Session Scramble... Ok so there are a few lds church buildings here in Coban. So we were at a ward building for the first 2 sessions on Saturday and we got to listen to it in English! Then we headed to the Stake Center for the Priesthood session. We got there and as it was starting the audio for the broadcast, the English feed wasn’t working. So in the rain and wearing suits, all of us North Americans booked it out of the Stake Center to find the nearest taxi to take us to the building we were at in the first place. After helping this guy push his big truck into a garage, we found a taxi. We got to the other building right after the other North American missionaries did only to find out that they didn’t have English anymore there and that the Stake Center figured out the audio. So we got back in the taxi and headed back to the Stake Center. After all the mess and 35 quetz down the drain we ran into the building to hear that Jeffrey R. Holland had just spoken and that we missed it!!!!! He's my favorite!! Bummer and a half times 10!!! So I guess I will have to wait for the Liahona to get to me to be able to read his talk. But the rest of conference was fantastic and just for me with all the talks about what to do once home from a mission!! So sweet!

I don’t think we will be able to go all the way to Quetzaltenango for the temple dedication, but we will probably be able to go to the stake center here to see it! I hope so.

Yes I did get that package from you. They brought it up with them for the little mini conference we had this last week. Thanks! Long letter with your news?.....maybe? That’s not very specific. But if it’s the one where you got a job, then yes, and CONGRATS! Well guess what? I did find a good long sleeve white shirt, so if you didnt buy one yet, don’t worry about it. It took a little bit to find my size and one that wasn’t all destroyed, but it got found and was only about 2 dollars and 50 cents (20 quetz)! Special requests for Christmas? Not really. Pop tarts are in Guatemala now! Haha! and I have a good amount of Peanut Butter still. But maybe a little something for my companion. He is from El Salvador, but his parents are living in Belgium so he doesn’t really get anything from them. It is fine if you don’t get me anything for Christmas this year. I can wait until I get home.

Our food situation just got better because we just got an increase of the money we get every month! So we are eating burritos and other good things! Yay! And we have money to buy more fruits and veggies too....So it’s all good! But if you would pray for Concepcion (our investigator) to have food. Her family has nothing. Barely enough money to survive, literally. They don’t have a bed and are sleeping on the dirt floor of their small wooden shack. And she has 5’s not the best situation...

Jhonny is progressing great! He wasn’t able to go to conference, even though he was going to go with us all day on Saturday because he couldn’t on Sunday. But it was his mom's birthday and he was going to come anyway but his sister never came over to help his mom out and make food and things like that. But a few days before that, we put a fecha with him! It is for the 22nd. So hopefully we can get him to church. Because he is reading the Book of Mormon and everything! It’s going great with him. Our other investigator, Concepción, is getting baptized this Saturday! She is Q'eqchi' so it has been great tuning up my Q'eqchi' and being able to teach those people again! But we have still not found good new investigators. It’s hard without help from the members since we have a big area, and it’s tough to figure out how to contact it effectively. So hopefully we find some soon or we won’t have any once our 2 investigators get baptized!

We just relaxed today for Pday. It was nice. Pday is usually really stressful because we are always running around everywhere to get everything done. But today was nice and chill.

Well I am pretty sure that is all! Thanks for everything and I hope you have a great week!!

Stay strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, September 26, 2011

I really am making everlasting friendships out here!

I am feeling a little bit better I guess. The rough thing is that I have had a sore throat for about 2 weeks now. I am going to get a strep test if it doesn’t go away soon. But we shall see what happens. So far it hasn’t really affected the work that much, which is a good thing. But I am just kinda tired of being sick all the time! I have been sick with different things for like 5 or 6 months now. But I guess that is just how it is sometimes. So I keep going and do what I can ya know?

Ha that is pretty sweet that all those guys came over! It’s weird to think that I will be seeing them all really soon. Oh good ol Tuxmek! Ha he would get in my bed.

(We had a few of Jordan's friends from his mission who are now at BYU over for dinner last night.) It’s definitely going to be sweet to come home and hang out with all those guys and go to mission reunions and things like that.

I agree with what you said about me preparing now for greater things to come in the future. This week Elder Bishop said a quote that I really liked. It goes something like this, "The 2 years of your mission are the best 2 years of preparation for the best years of your life." I don’t know if the Lord is trying to tell me something, but I have had quite a few close people in my life that have needed help, and it makes me wonder if it is to prepare me for the future times of my life or is it something else that the Lord will require of me through the experiences I have had (if that made much sense). I don’t know it just makes me think sometimes. When President Watts told me my new assignment he said that my job was really to just turn my companion around not only for the mission but for his life as well. So maybe that really is why I am where I am right now. Because we are finding little success even though we are working hard. But I know that the Lord calls and chooses His missionaries to be in certain places at certain times. Then it is up to us to find out what that reason is. But, what I do know is that if I try my best always, then I will be fine.

Well today for Pday we went to a place call Semuk Champey. It was super sweet! This computer isn’t working with the pictures, so I will send some next week (thanks to Elder Bronson and his mom for sending us the pictures in this post.) It was a long drive, but also really fun.

It is in city called Lanquín, which is on the way to a place call Cahobon. It is super sweet over there. I would really like to open one of those areas before I go home. There was a church in Cahobon like 50 years ago, but stuff went down and the missionaries were taken out of there. It would be super sweet to be there. It’s just like Senahú over there and with a little bit of talking to people and things that I have heard is that they speak really good, pure Q'eqchi'. If it is the will of the Lord there will be tons of baptisms over there if it is ever opened again. And it would make another Q'eqchi' speaking zone here in the mission too! That would be super sweet!!!

We are working hard here trying to find new ways to find new people to teach because contacting only goes so far and we don’t really get references here. So we shall see what happens. Jhonny is still doing good and we have been able to teach his wife too. But there is just once hitch, like always. He is waiting for a call on a job, and if he gets the job, he won’t be back to Carchá until I am home from the mission. So I pray that he finds a job here in Carchá. Because if he does, he is almost a sure baptism! It will be crazy to see what happens, we have an appt with him tomorrow. But we have a training conference with President too; hopefully we will still be able to make it to the cita. That about sums it up for investigators though. It’s hard when you have no one to teach...But there are people to teach…we just need to find ways to find them!

I am always ansy for conference now. Especially now that the world keeps digressing spiritually. It will be interesting to see what the Lord has to say to us about everything that is going down out here. I can't wait for this weekend.

Welp, big gulps ey...welp, see ya later.. Ha name the movie! That about sums up this week’s action! Mom and Dad, I promise I didn’t forget about your anniversary. I was waiting until this week to say CONGRATS! since it is closer to the event than last week. I hope you all have a great upcoming week!! Peace out!!

Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, September 19, 2011

I am 21 and super old now

Well I had a good birthday! Birthdays here in the mission aren’t the most exciting, but it was good! I am 21 and super old now haha. I am now 2 years out of being a teenager. I still feel 18 though! It is crazy how fast the time flies! A family that we all eat with after church got me a cake! That was really nice of them and fun!

That is weird that Allison is almost driving. I still don’t think she should be allowed to do that for at least 3 more years, she can’t be old enough for that yet!

I definitely read my scriptures in English; it’s just not the same to me in other languages. I read them in Q'eqchi' and Spanish every now and then, but I really only study my English ones. But I have had dreams in all of those languages. One dream I had, there was all 3! It was super weird! Isn’t it weird how our brains do that?

Well for Pday today, the Zone played soccer, but I stayed home with my comp because I have been sick this past week. But don’t worry, it’s not what you are thinking. It is just a simple cold that just doesn’t want to go away. But I will get better soon. I don’t really get to hang too much with E. Bronson, but I do get to see him and talk to him every Pday, so that is sweet! It’s crazy that we have been reunited being so old in the mission. We have known each other since day 1!!! Super insane!

(a picture from last week's activity)
I haven’t seen my birthday package yet. We don’t get packages sent to us through pouch being here outside of the Cap. and it didnt come in time for the ZLs to pick it up at Concilio, but I should get it next week, because President is coming up to see us and to do some training.

This week, nothing too exciting happened. I had a division with the ZLs, so I went to their area in Coban and was with E. Jensen (from Canada) so that was fun and a good little break that I needed. There isn’t anything in Carchá...but we live about 15 to 20 minutes outside of Coban. We have been working with Jhonny still, but he still hasn’t been able to come to church, hopefully we can get him to go this next week. We also found another guy named Carlos. He is really cool, but it’s going to be hard to get him to church. He works in our area Monday through Saturday until late at night, but he is home on Sundays in a different area here in Carchá, so it is only possible for us to teach him, but we have no idea where he lives so we can’t go pick him up on Sundays. We will figure something out though because he told us that he really wants to change. He was in a gang for a long time and now that he is out, he just wants to make up what he did to God and be able to change and have a new life. So I really hope we can help him understand that it is still possible for him to do it if he is willing to do his part. Other than that we really don’t have any investigators, it’s been hard finding new people. We don’t really get any references from the members so we are doing all we can. The ward is good, but it’s not great. The members are good in church, but outside of that, no. They don’t really help out a whole lot with the mission work and they never really do their home/visiting teaching. But that isn’t really new to me since almost every one of my areas has been that way.

Welp, all is well here in Guatland! I hope you all have a great week! Love you lots!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Elder Smith in his "birthday suit!"


Here he is looking quite spiffy wearing the new suit that he got custom made in Guatemala City for this birthday. (He and Elder Francks standing in front of the mission president's car that they wish they could drive.)

It sure is weird to not be with him to give him a hug on this special day, but we are so thankful that he is happy and especially healthy. He has grown into a man since he left home 19 months ago and we are so proud of who has become.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I wish people would just remember God

(Thanks to Tamsin Bronson for sending this picture)

Sahil ch'oolejil choq' aawe sa' xkutankil laa yo'lajik!!!!!!!

HEY what's up!!
I am guessing that you asked Turek or Larsen how to say happy birthday in Q'eqchi'. I was so confused, I was like, WOW! Mom is pilas! Haha. I love you!

Carchá is going pretty good. Just opening the area and trying to find some investigators, since we don’t really have very many at all. My comp is cool. He knows Spanish, English, French, and Dutch. Not Q'eqchi' though. But a few of the Q'eqchi' investigators that we do have speak Spanish too. But they like Q'eqchi' better, so I teach in Q'eqchi' and he teaches in Spanish. The family we found, turned into nothing. But we are teaching a guy that is super awesome and really willing to learn! His dad was one of the first members in Carchá and he used to go to church with him when he was little. But his dad died before he hit age 8, so his mom started taking him to another church. But he is really great. As of this moment, his wife doesn’t even want to listen to us. But if we can get him to come to church, he will definitely get baptized!

I don’t have any pics of my new area yet but I will try and take some soon. It’s just always raining so I don’t take my camera out to work very often.

Well 9/11 definitely had an impact on me. That really makes me mad to hear that the mayor didn't allow any prayers or clergy as part of the memorial ceremony. To me, it really means that His coming really is at the doors. I wish people would just remember God. It makes me sad and sick to my stomach that people can change that much in just a matter of 10 years. I still remember that whole day even though it was 10 years ago. But we really didn't too much. It was Election Day here in Guatemala, so President had all the missionaries stay inside all day and not work after church. But I just kept a little memory of the day in my heart.

That is freakin sick about Lehi!!! Man how I wish my team ran that Wing T when I was there! That is super cool that they finally won a homecoming! It has been a loong drought!! If I ever end up coaching high school I will definitely run a modified Wing T, depending on who I got. I just dont see how I could with no college ball experience...But i would really like to do that. I’ve been thinking about some jobs I could do when I get back. I could teach at the MTC or I could do security at BYU! Those sound like good jobs with decent enough hours for me. I was also thinking that I could work at Big 5. I don’t think I will want to work at a bank again quite yet...Too many hours to be able to be focused enough on school and things like that. But we shall see what’s up when the time comes!

It is weird to think that I can count the time I have left on 1 hand now. Its crazy how fast the time goes out here. But like Dad said, games are won and lost in the 4th quarter – not in the 1st. My mission is the same - I will definitely keep working hard through this last 4th quarter until the end of my time.

This week I went back to Tanchi! They had another baptism but my district leader can’t speak Q'eqchi', so I went back and translated for him! It was a really neat experience. The man they baptized is super pilas too! He will be a great new member of the branch there. I also got to visit Hno. Erik and his family, it was amazing seeing them again. So after the interview we had to try to get back to Carchá...There were no more we starting walking back, hoping to find something, because the bus ride takes an hour. We would have had to walk like 4 hours to back to Carchá. Luckily, when we got back to the main road, there were some big trucks full of people heading to Carchá!! So we hopped on the back just holding on to the wooden frame that they had so that we wouldn’t die!! Haha but we made back just fine, just a little wet and dirty! But it all worked out just great. I am grateful that the Lord blessed us with that ride, or that would have been a looong walk back...

Then today we went to a place called Kaqi Pek. There is a HUGE waterfall there! So we went, and it rained, and the waterfall was powerful, and we all got soaked. But it was super fun and I took some good pics that I will try and send to you next week.

Well that is about all folks! I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week! Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I still feel like I’m 18! It’s weird that I am so OLD now! Anyways, I will talk to you guys next week!

Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, September 5, 2011

Time flies when you are working hard

Elders Francks, Smith, and Hogan.
This is what missionaries look like when they come home after walking in the streets during Guatemala's famous "rainy season."

HEY Peeps!
The trip up to Carchá was rough. It usually takes 4 hours to get there from the cap and it’s usually in a fairly nice bus. Instead we were on a not so nice bus and it took 8 hours!!! We left at 1 pm and got to Coban at 9:30 pm! It was insane. So much traffic and time of not moving at all. So I didn’t get to Carchá until Thursday because there were no more buses that late. But our house is nice. I live with 4 elders again. E. Bishop, E. Ware, Me and my comp, E. Javier Rivera. He is from El Salvador and has been out in the mission for about 15 months. I really don’t miss being in the city at all. Coban is way better, but I do miss being in the office a little bit, that was nice. We have a good sized ward. There are 3 areas in Carchá. 2 for elders and 1 for sisters. Our area is the biggest and most spread out. We are practically opening it because they just barely switched the areas around so that most of the Q'eqchi' speaking areas in Carchá would be part of my area. So my area is mostly Spanish, but there is a lot of Q'eqchi' there as well. So it is really cool to be able to speak Q'eqchi' again. And still keep my Spanish going.

That sounds like a crazy BYU game! How did Ole Miss look?! I hope BYU gets hyped for that huge game against Texas! If we play really well with no turnovers we can pull it off!!! I still can’t believe that football season has started again! It seems like just yesterday when last season ended. Time flies when you are working hard I guess.

So at this moment we are kind of just working on trying to find new people to teach since we have no investigators or members in our area. So we shall see what we can do to get stuff moving along. Plus there hasn’t been a baptism here in a really long time. But so far we have found a couple of good possibilities including a cool family! So hopefully we will be able to keep finding them in their house to be able to keep teaching them.

(Never a dull moment! Always having fun and pulling crazy faces!)
Well I really wish that could write more, both nothing else has happened this week! Hopefully I can write you a better email next week. Sorry. But I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Sunday, August 28, 2011

It is amazing to be able to see the part the Lord let me play in the salvation of His children!

What’s up!?

There is news on my change actually, but I don’t work with the changes, only the assistants and president do that. But we had breakfast with President this morning and he pulled me aside to let me know about my new assignment. I am going to the area of Carchá, out in Coban. It is close to Tanchi and part of the same district. The assignment that President has given me is going to be quite challenging and I could really use your prayers. I will definitely have to learn a lot more patience and be able to be a good leader and make good decisions. I hope and pray to be able to fulfill the assignment that the Lord has given me.

More news. I have always said that I haven’t seen to much success on my mission. But it was a lie. Being in the office has allowed me to see why. I have been putting in some baptismal records when I noticed a few names and addresses. Throughout my mission I have found and taught many people! Out of the areas I have been in, besides the baptisms I was there for, I found out that 10 people that I found with my companions have been baptized! 1 in Atlántida (José), 1 in Sayaxché (Esperanza), 3 from Santo Domingo (Ronaldo Arturo, his wife Maria, and their daughter Vilma...they moved to Teleman and were just baptized by Elder Howard), 4 from Tucurú (Noé, and his family), and 1 from Tanchi (Bernardo, a really old man Laínez and I found). With each one of these people I had a part in finding them, and teaching them. It is amazing to look back and to be able to see the part the Lord let me play in the salvation of His children!

PACAS PACAS PACAS! They are the best ever! I haven’t really found very good dress clothes in them, but they sure do have the best ties! That's where all the sweet, fat polyesters come from that numerous elders have! Pacas get there clothes from the states. They buy big things of clothes, called pacas, from the states, it gets shipped down here and things are sold super cheap. Such as Ecco shoes for a good 100 quetz. That is like 15 bucks!! And not to mention sweet ties for 3 quetz, yes that is less than 50 cents! It is super nice! Paca shopping is the way to go! Haha

Yeah the sinkhole here is right in our area, it’s all fenced off, but what they did was just fill the hole with a huge load of cement. So it will be fenced off until it dries I guess. It is super crazy though! It blocks off some streets that would be convenient to get to places, but it is all good.

We did get your email reply for my travel plans home! We are trying to get things done way in advance now because we are having trouble with the group that goes home in November, so I hope that gets fixed while I am gone out of the office. We didn't really do anything when I hit 18 months, it just kind of came and left. But it was a good day!

Sé que el Señor vive y nos ama. Sé que esta Iglesia es la única iglesia verdadera sobre la faz de la tierra y sé que si nos esforzamos al hacer lo bueno cada día podemos ver milagros grandes en nuestras vidas. Yo comparto esto en el nombre de Jesucristo, nuestro Salvador. Amén.
Ninnaw naq li Qaawa' nokoxra. Nannaw naq li Ikless a'in a'an li junaj chi tz'aqal iklees sa' xb'een li ruchich'och' ut ninnaw naq wi taqayal qaq'e chixb'aanunkil li us wulaj wulaj tqil nab'aleb' li sachb'a-ch'oolej sa' li qayu'am. Ninye li waatin a'in sa' xk'ab'a' li Kriist, aj Kolol qe. Amen.

That about wraps it up for this week! I hope you all have a good week! Love you all!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Loving life working in the mission office

Hey there everyone!
I hope you all have fun up in Sundance this weekend! I really do miss the mountains. Not just at home but also in Polochik. But right now I have come to the conclusion that I really wouldn’t mind staying here in the Office until I finish my mission. I am worried that if I go back to an area in the Chik I could get sick again and not have medicine. So I think I would really like to stay here!

I thought of another thing that you could send me since you are sending me a package for my birthday. I would really like another long sleeve shirt. One that has a button collar. I like the look of those a lot better and they are more comfortable. Could you do that for me?

That’s crazy to think that you scheduled a dentist appt for me already! Its nuts how fast the time has flown. I read a talk that was titled, “When Your Best Two Years Are Over.” It said that missionaries need to be excited to go home when their time is up. Also that our best 2 years should be on our missions up to that point in our life, and after our mission is over, that every year should be the best year of our lives. So right now I am excited to finish out my mission with all that I got and then to go home and see what the future has in store for me.

It’s not that I get fed by members so often, it’s just that I am a lot less hungry. I don’t really work very hard physically anymore so my body really doesn’t need that food energy. I don’t know, it’s weird, I am just never hungry at night. And I don’t eat weird things anymore.....its all just normal compared to things before.

Yeah it is true that I spend a lot more money being here in the cap. We don’t get too much monthly (which might change soon) so I really have to use a lot more personal money. But next month it should be better. We are trying to get more money for the missionaries here. We only get 1400 quetzales a month. The other missions here get 2000. So Hna. Watts is trying to get us the same as everyone else. We shall see when that happens. Until then, yeah I do use more personal money.

Well there isn’t really anything exciting or cool that happened this week. Just one thing that happened when we picked up materials. We had ordered tons of pamphlets and things like that. We got almost all the pamphlets we ordered but on top of that, the Distribution Center sent us one of every single item they have for some reason. Including English materials and missionary plaques with no names on them! It was super weird and confusing! Who knows what we are going to do with all that stuff!

Oh and I finally got your package that you sent back in May! With the Liahona, all those pictures, and that super sick tie! I don’t know what happened, but I got it! Ha and that tie is polyester even though you thought it wasn’t. So that was a big bonus! Silk ties just don’t hold up as well...But thank you so much! Loved it!

The Assistants were gone all week doing interviews and zone conferences in Cobán and Polochik. It was weird to have them gone for such a long time. Next week they are flying up to Petén for their interviews and zone conference.

Just a quick update on Fam. Vega. They are so fantastic. It’s hard to see that they have such a long way to go before they can get baptized since they have to be divorced and married. But this last week we went to teach them and they were studying the manuals of the church while reading their scriptures. They have the New Testament, Old Testament, and Doctrine and Covenants study manuals and they go through them as they study the scriptures. They said that they are doing it so that when they become active members of the church they will be able to fulfill their callings and things like that! It blew me away!!! They got all those books from a member that the wife works with. I really hope they can get everything done quickly so they can have that desire be met!

Well that wraps it up for this week! I hope you have a fantastic week!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, August 15, 2011

I am grateful for the trials I have had.

Reunited again with Elder Howard during Zone Leader Conference

Office Elders and Assistants with President Watts

That mission scrapbook you’re working on sounds so sweet! Thanks for doing that!

I got that little package with all those pictures and I got Jake’s letter, but not Aunt Wendy’s yet. And who knows about that liahona package. I haven’t seen a trace about that. I will try and figure it out though, since I work for that part of the mission! The only things I would really love in my birthday package are some nice polyester ties. That is pretty much about it! I have my store of Peanut Butter to last until I go home so I think I am good! So pretty much just that. Thank you so much. You rock!

Through all the rough times I have been through with my health and things like that I really have seen the mission differently. I thought I was dedicated before, but now I am even more so. I am able to see the hand of the Lord more often and I have been able to understand more of my specific purpose as a missionary. I haven’t seen the most success on my mission. But I know if it had been any different, I wouldn’t be how the Lord wants me to be. I am grateful for the trials I have had. They have helped me become a better person. I still have lots of things to work on, but I have improved, that is for sure....

The families we are teaching are good....I guess. Fam. Pineda doesn’t really want to listen to us anymore, and they had a fecha! I don’t know what happened. Fam. Gil we are teaching finally tonight. They have been busy all week so we shall see how it goes! But they said that they talked about getting married, so we shall see! The wife really wants to be baptized. So it looks really good with them. The other families both need to have divorces done with previous spouses and then married again. They are still coming to church, but they aren’t really progressing because of that challenge that they have. But it is looking good. Hopefully we will be able to baptize Fam. Gil in a couple weeks!! But rumors are that I am leaving the office next change. So I hope I get to at least stay to see them be baptized. That has happened quite often though. 3 people have been baptized that I have found, and then left the area. So we shall see what happens in this case.

Today for p day we played basketball for like 3 hours! In an indoor gym! The only indoor gym in our mission! And it’s in our zone. Elder Toolson and some other missionaries came too. We played from 6 am to 7 am with them and then just the office elders and APs until 9:30 am because it’s our Pday! Crazy huh! It was super fun, but now my legs are tired, but so worth it though! And I picked up my suit today finally too! Its ballin!!!

I forgot one thing. A lesson we had last night, I just have to tell you about. We had planned to teach Pilar, an investigator that had a fecha and we are trying to put it back with her. We taught her at the bishop’s house along with her sister and her brother in law, the mission leader. We planned well for the lesson and we felt really prepared and ready to go. We got there and everything was going good, besides the fact that the mission leader's little girl wasn’t feeling very well. We were teaching, all fine and dandy, the little girl had practically fallen asleep. She was on a couch and I was on a chair next to that couch. Next thing I know, she is projectile vomiting all over me. It was fantastic. After that was all cleaned up, kinda, we continued onward! We had everyone bear their testimonies. The bishop gave one of the strongest testimonies I have ever heard. It was so powerful and the Spirit was so strong. So we asked her to be baptized on the 20th of August as she had accepted before, but then didnt want too. She It was hard. We still don’t really understand why. She knows the church is true, she just says she isn’t ready. We had planned and worked so hard. But nothing more could have gone wrong and at the same time nothing more could have gone right in that lesson. Hopefully she will accept another fecha in the near future.
Well guys I love you and I hope you have a great next week!
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Only 6 more to go!

By Leslie Smith:
One year ago Elders Winkel, Bronson, and Smith took this picture to celebrate their 6 month mark. Today they all celebrate only 6 more months to go! Also celebrating this milestone in the mission today are Elders McPhee, Lusty, Hatch, Morrow, Dixon, and Fadel! I'm so thankful for these fine young men who have all been great friends and examples to my son. Can't wait for the Party At The Airport with their families 6 months from now!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

For the first time in my mission I am teaching a family that is already married!

Honestly I think that my improved health has been a little bit of both medication and time. The medicine has helped reduce the pain so that over this time I have been able to actually improve. It’s super great! I am supposed to call the doctor again this week to see what I do after the medicine is gone in a couple more weeks.

I am pretty sure that the Buenos Aires North Mission is where Elder Saavedra lives. That is super cool that Carlos and Jason served there because he tells me about Argentina all the time.

That is so crazy that Sidney got baptized today, that just blows my mind. She can’t be old enough for that yet! Tell her congrats for me ok?!

Ooh I can’t wait for those BYU Football updates. I am super excited for the season and I am not even home! Haha! It’s funny, but nothing really makes me baggy (homesick). I know I am here for a purpose and will work hard until my time is up. I really hope to be able to be here in the office one more change to be able to baptize a family. It would be so joyous! Then I can go back to the Chik. Those mountains are calling my name every day! I am Polochik baggy!

That’s sick about Jake making the golf team and being co-captain this year! He is gonna grab that scholarship for sure if he doesn’t let some big 5A players to get to his head.

YES! We played basketball for about 2 hours today!!! And we play basketball every other day too because we have a small little court behind our house. It is so much fun!!! I love it so much! To be able to get out there and compete a bit, ya know! It keeps me alive!!

Yeah I like being in the office. It’s been good so far. I have spent most of my time fixing a lot of the organization, making things look better...such as the change cards that we have and a memory book that we give to the elders going home. They were just all over the place. So I put them in alphabetical order and made them all the same. They were all different shapes, with different fonts and things, it was annoying. But it’s all fixed now. Then I also helped with some spelling and grammar with some of the Q'eqchi' materials that we have. I had already fixed it in my own copy, so I just looked at my copy and made the appropriate changes on the computer file. So it has been great! The hardest for me right now is one of my companions. He really tries the small amount of patience that I have. I talked about it with President during interviews this past week, it really helped. I already knew what I needed to do, but he helped get it farther into my system. I know that this situation will really help my patience grow, if I allow it to. It’s been difficult, but it is getting better every day. So it will all be ok in the end. The Lord wants me to grow, I just have to commit myself more to His will and to what He wants me to be.

I looked a little bit today for that camera cord dealy. I can buy one just fine; it will just cost about 200 quetz.... I would say that that is about 25 bucks, so it’s not too much. I will buy one soon and send more pictures.

We are teaching numerous families right now so we have a high possibility for us to baptize that chosen one. We are teaching Fam. Vega, Fam. Aviche, Fam. Gil, and Fam. Pineda! It’s great, but hard at the same time. Fam. Pineda accepted a fecha this week!!! So sweet!!! The problem with Vega and Aviche is that they both need to get divorced and married, and Fam. Gil needs to get married. However, Fam. Pineda IS MARRIED!!! For the first time in my mission I am teaching a family that is already married! SO GREAT! Their problem is that it is really hard for them to make it to church, so we are working with them on that, but they are planned to be baptized on the 3 of Sept. And then Pilar is the sister in law of our Mission Leader - her fecha is not this Saturday, but the next. She is really great and has a big desire to be baptized. She is about 19 years old. She went with the young men and young women to the temple the other day. It’s really great, because she knew she couldn't enter, but she wanted to go to be with the jovenes and be able to feel the spirit of how it is right outside of the House of the Lord. Super amazing! This area is great! It’s hard because we don’t get as much time in the area as I am used to, but we are finding success, so it is so amazing!

WOW, I wrote a lot this week. Ha are you happy mom? Haha. I love you all and I hope you have a good week!
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I was scared out of my mind

Què hòndas don pingüiino??
I am doing quite well actually! Last week I was only in pain for a few minutes every day. This week, even less! So I am improving! Maybe I will be able to be sent back out to the Chik again sometime soon. At least I hope so anyways.

I kind of did a division with Elder Mays....It was a while ago when I was still really sick. I pretty much just stayed in the house with his companion in the morning and then with him in the afternoon. That was about the extent of that 'division' though.

Ha that's sweet about Jake. It is a little different from what I did with licorice when I went to EFY. We had a good red vine war though! Haha. (Jake stuck licorice in the peep hole so they wouldn't see that their lights were on after hours so they could have extra time to study the scriptures and write in their journals). How many people did he meet that were from outside of the U.S.? That’s super crazy! Everyone in my group was pretty much all from Utah when I went. I even saw some of them at college. At least there is facebook now right? So he can at least stay touch in some way.

That's really neat that Bro. Lemmon said that about me. I don’t feel that way. I don’t know, I just feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do. I love it out here. Yeah I have had a lot of hard times, but the Sons of Mosiah had it worse. I am just happy to be out here and not having to come home early like I almost had to do. Hey what mission in Argentina did Michael go to again? One of the office elders is from there....

To answer a couple of your questions:
1. My companions are good. We are really just one big companionship. I get along with them good but we really don’t have anything in common. I have a lot more things in common with the AP's so that is super fun. But we all get along and it’s all fun and dandy.
2. Marti is in Zona 2 and it is about 35 minutes from the office by taxi in the morning.
3. Yeah we go to district meetings, but I still don’t know about zone conferences though. We are normal missionaries, we just work in the office.

Familia Gil has kinda stalled and they don’t show too many signs of progression. Luckily, we are teaching some other great people! We are teaching 2 other families, Familia Aviche and Familia Vega. They are AWESOME! Honestly I have never had investigators like there are here in this area. THEY KNOW HOW TO READ! THEY UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPTS THAT WE TEACH! It’s crazy! We put a fecha with the Familia Vega. They are just so sweet! And then Familia Aviche is super close to a fecha as well. We will probably be able to put it next week! And we are also teaching the sister in law of our mission leader....which is another thing.....MY FIRST MISSION LEADER! She also accepted a fecha!!! We are planning to have those baptisms all in August!!! I haven’t had a fecha since JANUARY! So it is a really good feeling to be able to finally find some success!!!!!

I have only driven once so far. But let me tell you. . . It was so sick!! It is just like riding a bike. It wasn’t scary really at all. Ok that’s a lie----- I was scared out of my mind for like 5 minutes! But after that, it was super sweet and tranquilo! I loved it! Can't wait til I get to drive again!!

In the office we pick up the mail, we send the mail, we prepare stuff for changes and I have been busy correcting some spelling mistakes in some pamphlets and the Grammar Book in Q'eqchi'. Just random stuff like that. It really isn’t that exciting, but it’s good.

There are a few reasons why I haven’t sent pictures...1) I haven’t taken any because there isn’t anything to take pictures of. 2) I lost my camera cord, so I can’t upload anything to the computer. I will take some pics of the office and the house I guess. But other than that, there really isn’t too much to take pictures of! And since we really only work in the area at night, I can’t really take pictures because I don’t feel like getting my camera jacked! Ha which reminds me....A drunk guy tried to rob my comp the other night. It was kinda funny. But that resulted in the drunk guy just looking dumb and walking away with nothing. Good times in the capital!

The work is going well, even though there is only short amounts of it. And I am feeling better! I love you guys and I hope you all have a fantastic week! Talk to you all later!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I can’t short change the Lord

Hey you all! What’s up?!
I actually have been feeling a lot better. I have only had about 15 - 20 minutes of pain every day, but it’s honestly not that bad and I have been able to work in my area too! Yay! I know the Lord has blessed me so much to be able to have the strength to be able to continue in this great work. Honestly it was really a tough decision to keep going after having been given the opportunity to go home after having so much time out here already and feeling so crappy everyday. But I can’t short change the Lord on this great work of His. I have to give all that I have until the end of the time that He has provided for me!!

I am actually in a trio companionship right now with Elder Caleb Francks, from Mt. Pleasant Utah he has 16 months and E. John Hogan he is from Vegas and has 1 year. We are the Mission Office secretaries that do everything except the finances. The Finance Office Elders are Elder Saavedra from Argentina and Elder Casey Spilker from St. George. They almost have a year. Elder Davis (One of the AP’s) has been out for 22 months I think. He goes home in October. He has been one of my good friends for awhile. He was in my zone when I first started out the mission. He is from Heber City.

My house now is WAY too nice. There are couches (weird), there is a water heater (super weird), and an oven (weirdest). IT’S CRAZY! The ward is sweet. There are a lot of people that can speak English. It is different than I am used to but it is good.

Nope, I never got the Ensign package...But I can’t wait for the other one to come! I will get it super fast now that I am the one who picks up the mail!

I have learned so much already from President Watts. Mainly to be genuine with people. He is super great and you can really feel the love he has for all of us. I love Everything about Hermana Watts. She is amazing.

Well being in the office I get like no time at all to study...But something great did happen today! WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE! I haven't been to the temple in 13 months!! It was so fantastic to feel that peace that the temple brings into us. And I also listened to it in Q'eqchi' which was super cool!! I really realized some different things listening to it in that language.

That’s super crazy about Allison getting the lead at the dance workshop in Florida. Ha she was just a little spaz when I left! But I guess she is quite good now! That is so great for her!!!

I have been trying to eat really healthy. I have been here for about a month now and haven’t gained a pound yet. I am just not as tan haha. But I try and eat salads and things like that too. I am also working out harder because we have weights and stuff so hopefully it will be alright and I won’t get all fat and what not from sitting in the office most of the day.

Everything is going good so far. My area consists of a regular ward again. My Spanish is better than I thought. I think I have forgotten some words, but my grammar is a little better. My Q'eqchi' will probably slowly get worse and worse, but I think I will always be able to remember some things and also the great experiences that I had and the things I learned while studying that great language. We are teaching this great family, Fam. Gil. They really have a desire to be baptized. The problem is (like pretty much everyone here) is that they are not married. And they are not sure about it. They at first thought they could be baptized without a marriage. So now they are just going to figure things out and let us know. They have been to church numerous times as well. So we are super close!! Just a little more praying and a little more work! We have some great possibilities coming our way. I think that I will finally see some success out here! :)

Well I think that is about it for this week! I love you all and hope for the best! Have a fabulous week!
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith