"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, May 30, 2011

I was able to see President and Sister Torres for the last time. I sure am going to miss them!

Hey there all you peoples!!
Today we are in El Estor. We only came here with our district. We came here because it’s the only place to print pictures off! Crazy right? So I am here again in the super nice internet place! Its super nice, A/C and everything. Love it!

So as for this week... Nothing really happened. I have had a migraine all week! The nurses said it was from stress and things like that. It was pretty bad. I couldn’t really walk or do anything without getting dizzy and nauseous. So I was in the house for 4 days this week! Being in a hot house for that long is definitely not the best, but there was nothing else I could really do! My headache is going down a little bit, but it’s still persistent. It started on Tuesday evening. So that has been rough. But that is pretty much it for my week.

We had district conference with all the branches yesterday as well. So I saw some people from Santo Domingo and was able to see President and Sister Torres for the last time. I sure am going to miss them!

I hope you guys have a great memorial day together. Tell Carlos and Julie congrats! Ha that family curse will never be broken!! (He’s talking about the “2 boys and 1 girl” for every family member on my side).

I am super stoked about that law being lifted on the fireworks! Our family Tank Wars July 4, 2012 are going to be insane! I don’t even think You Tube is ready for what is going to hit it in about a year!

To the boys in our ward getting ready to serve a mission I would tell them to just get to really know the scriptures and the doctrines of the church. The more you know, the easier it will be to teach it simply.

The other week we helped carry this old lady's stuff up the mountain and then she let us in the house to teach her! The lesson was not that great but I will still remember helping the people and the feeling it gives me to help others out.

Mom asked , tell us something about Guatemala that we don’t know: Well I'm not sure if I can disclose those things over an email....

Well that’s all I have for this week! But I hope you have a fantastic upcoming week!! Love you ALL!
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
Love Elder Jordan Smith
aka aj Q'anjorin

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A video of Elder Jordan Smith!!!

We are so excited to be able to share a video that Jordan's uncle took of him last week when he was there. To us, he speaks differently and has some quirky mannerisms that are new (like how the ends of his mouth turn downward - weird). But he's still our Jordan and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to see him like this. Thank you Jesse! P.S. Sarah is his aunt by the way.
Click on the link below to view the video:

There is one more short one that features most of the elders in his zone:

I will also be posting new pictures and adding many more to the slideshows as well so stay tuned!

Thank you all for your continued love, prayers, and support for our missionary and for our family. It's an incredibly wonderful journey to be on!


Monday, May 23, 2011

I saw Jesse today!!

I'm doing good! It was a good short week, since we got back so late from Zone Conference up in Senahu. All is well.

I was able to see Jesse today! I thought that I was going to miss him but we got things all worked out just fine! It was super weird to see someone from home, but it was really sweet as well! I think the weirdest thing was to just speak in English again to someone who isn't a missionary. It felt good!

(Jesse is Jordan's uncle from Utah!! As an editor/writer for the Deseret News, he was asked by the Church to accompany an LDS Humanitarian crew working on a project in Guatemala to document the whole thing. It just so happened that it was in Senahu near Jordan's area! One of Jordan's good friends and mission buddies, Elder Tayler Larsen was able to serve as the crew's translator for three days. Jesse got special permission from the area president to see Jordan. This is what he had to say about his visit with Jordan!)
"I saw Jordan for about 10 minutes today. He looks great. The rest of the crew with me remarked on how healthy and happy he looks. I met him in Teleman. It was P-Day and the zone was meeting at a gas station to go up to an activity in another city. A canadian buffet I think. I took some pictures and shot some video of Jordan talking about his mission so far. We weren't able to talk that long because they had to catch the bus. But he looked awesome and it was really fun to see him. I can't wait to show you all the video when I get back."

That big family of 8 that I was telling you about, we found out is actually 2 families that live together. But it was going good until Sunday. We went and passed by their house so that they would go to church with us. With what they said, some of them will never go to church, they don't want to change. But one of them, xCristina, she is 22. I could really tell that she felt the spirit when we taught them. I told her, "I know that you have received an answer that our church is true." She said that I was correct. I then just simply invited her to come to church whenever she could. She wants to, but her family won't really allow that to happen. I know that she will be able to hear and accept this message after this life. She has a willing heart but is not allowed because of the position she is in. We are going to go by again this week and try to figure out what we can do for them. Hopefully it improves. (the x on Cristina's name is not a typo. It is what you put in front of women's names in Q'eqchi').

We did find another family of 8 people though! The parents and 2 of the kids are of age to be baptized. The kids are ages 11, 9, 7, 6, 4, and 3. We have only taught them once. They were out of town this last Sunday, but they said that they don't attend any church very regularly, so that looks promising. But time will tell. They are really nice and cool so I hope we will be able to help them progress.

Just one of the many dusty roads that we travel on each day:

Another shot of Tucuru: (notice the sweat dripping off his arm!)

I will have to take more pictures of the city streets, but here are some that I took today from our zone activity up in Ch'ulak, where E. McPhee is right now. It's beautiful up there! I really miss the mountains. One of the churches up there, as you can see, is really nice!!! It looks like an American chapel, just without carpet. It's so cool to see that grand edifice between all of the stick houses and things like that up there.

If you send me the Conference Ensign, maybe you could also include just a few pics from Jake's prom or something.
Well that's all I really have for you this week! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I like teaching in Q'eqchi' more than Spanish now

You have probably heard what happened in Peten. Super sad. 27 dead in a chainsaw massacre. Super disgusting. President Torres told us about it and also said that this world will keep getting worse and worse until His 2nd coming. It really is getting bad out here these days. But I know that if we stick to the principles of the Gospel we will be safe and protected from any harm!

The members feed us tons more here! This place is really close to Coban so we get some good stuff sometimes. Its great! I haven't eaten anything too weird here. It's a lot more tranquilo with weird things to eat. I haven't even had q'em ha' yet. That corn dough drink I told you about.

We had a really good lesson with this family of 8 last week. We found them and started teaching them. They seem super amazing! We taught them lesson 1 and one of the family members was super interested and cried when I recited the first vision. They are super nice and great. It's going to be hard to get them to go to church Ii think, but if they can go, they will be baptized. They are pure Q'eqchi' as well. That is also really fun for me. I like teaching in Q'eqchi' more than Spanish now.

I was able to get the 2 other packages! They are amazing! Thank you sooo much!

Allison, nice work on finishing up your Personal Progress and getting your medallion! So you got your first cell phone? What kind of phone is it? Do you like it? You are big now, weird. Yes the time is going by really fast for me too. It never stops flying by faster and faster! Its crazy!

Well everything is going good over here. We are just working hard and just trying to keep finding new people! We also have a ward mission leader! Something I haven't had in a really long time! So we are working with him to figure out some schedules so that we can have members leave with us every day of the week. I hope we will be able to find lots of success with that! Well that's all for now. Sorry that this email is really short, but I hope you enjoy all the pictures! I love you all and have a fantastic week!
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Pictures from Zone Conference:

Last real interview with President Torres

Chillin with my homies: Above Elder Jared Fadel
Below: Elder Tayler Larsen

Pictures of my new home....Tucuru

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Highlights from our phone call

By Leslie Smith:
Our very much anticipated Mother's Day phone call was more than we could have imagined! It was amazing to feel like a whole and complete family with all of five of us talking together. Here are a few interesting things we learned:

Tucuru has a population of both Spanish and Qeqchi. Church meetings are a little tricky. The prayers are offered twice (once in each language) and the Sacrament meeting talks are assigned one in Spanish and the other in Qeqchi.

They are going to start teaching an English class to the people once a week. He gave us a short Qeqchi lesson which was fun!

He is used to the weather being in the high 90's most of the time. The other day, it had been cloudy and rainy for about 4 days straight. When they got home they put on sweats and hoodies because they were freezing. They looked over at the thermometer and it said 75 degrees!! He's going to be in BIG trouble when he comes home to Utah in February and the average temperature is in the 20's and 30's.

"Caldo" is the normal meal that he eats at people's houses. But the food there doesn't resembles his grandma's guatemalan cooking at all! Caldo in his area consists of a very spicy broth and a piece of chicken.

His typical diet consists of oatmeal for breakfast, ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, and a Top Ramen-type soup for dinner. With an occasional can of beans.

He is absolutley in love with the Qeqchi language. He loves how simple the vocabulary is and how things aren't "nouns" but are described. For example, he said there is no word for "coffin." Instead it is described as "the box where you hide the dead."

He feels very comfortable in both languages now and said that he would be embarrassed if he was asked to offer a prayer in English because he can't really remember how to do it anymore.

We talked about college majors and classes, sports ...well, just football really, his mission buddies and activities they've had, the new mission president coming, and so much more.

We ended with a family prayer again. This time, however, Brendan offered it. It's fun listening to Jordan say it in another language, but we felt that he needed to hear his Dad say it and feel of our love and support as he is the one that is far away from family. At the end it was so hard to say goodbye, like always. Especially knowing that it will be 7 long months until we hear from him again at Christmas. We had to be strong, say "Goodbye. We love you" and hang up....Jordan didn't hang up the phone until all of us did first.

We also got a CD with hundreds of pictures, his old scriptures, and some traditional handbags. So cool!! I will post some of those pictures on the blog later this week. For now, we are still waiting to hear from him this week as he had Zone Conference this past Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time just seems like it doesn’t exist when you are working hard out here

(Elders Smith, Olson, Parry, and Dilworth)
Hey there all you people!
It was just fantastic to be able to talk to you all yesterday. It made home seem a lot more real and a lot less far off. It was great being able to replace in my mind that all you guys still actually exist! Ha ha! There is a big break between now and the next call, but time is going to fly by so fast, at least for me. Time just seems like it doesn’t exist when you are working hard out here.

I am grateful for the gospel too and how we can be together forever. We found a lady named Laura and we taught her a little bit about that great blessing of this gospel. Our next visit she had many questions. Such as, how we know that such a blessing exists and what else happens after we die, and she also had questions about Joseph Smith. I was on a division for that lesson, but she seems still really interested to learn more. Her husband works a lot but we are working to be able to teach him too. She said that she told him about what we had said and he is really interested as well. It’s going to be hard to get them to church because of how much he works, but luckily they live practically across the street from the church, so I can’t wait to teach them this upcoming week and see what happens!!

Yeah I just feel like accounting would be good for me. I really liked it in high school, it’s a good economically safe job, and a degree in it from BYU will be even better. So hopefully all will work well with that. I could even work under dad or something one day and then take his spot when he is old, wrinkly and retired! So I better finish school up fast huh??!! Haha just kidding Dad.

I am lucky to be your son Mom! Thanks for everything. I know you have raised me up right! All the little fights that I had with you were just me being a dumb little kid. I know that everything you have ever done for me has been for my betterment. You rock my socks Mom!

I don’t even know how I can repay the Lord for all of the blessings that He has given to me in my life. I recognize them more and more every day. I am grateful for all of you and always supporting me in everything that I have done. I am having a great time out here and I hope you are all having fun back at home as well! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
Love you!!!
Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, May 2, 2011

All is good in Tucuru!!

I don’t really have any pics of the new area but those will come soon. Here is just a couple from the last few days in Santo Domingo.
Ha you write it like this....Ma sa sa' laa ch'ool inyum? I will tell you how to say it when I call you. (I asked him how to say "Hello my son." I often wrote it to him in spanish, but now I know how to say it in Qeqchi too!)

I plan on calling you guys during the week, probably on Friday, to get it all figured out and so that you will have my number to call me. Sound good? Cuz we still don’t know what’s gonna happen since there are 4 of us living in the same house. But we will figure it out!

I really like my new area of Tucuru. There is more Spanish than I am used to, so that will be a little bit of an adjustment for me, but other than that, all is good! The Spanish to Q'eqchi' ratio is probably about 55 / 45 respectively. And the people are so much nicer here as well!! Our branch is good. It’s a lot better than Santo Domingo and the members are really willing to help us out so I am excited to have some help! Tucuru has a city and some bordering hills and stuff. The mountainy parts aren’t like Santo Domingo but I will still be able to experience some hiking and things like that.

Our living conditions are rather cramped because there are 4 of us elders here, but there isn’t another bigger house in our area. My companion is Elder Ethan Olson. He is from Tennessee and he has 13 months in the mission. He was in Senahú earlier but was taken out, so I am reteaching him Q'eqchi'. So far it’s going good together. We haven’t really divided the area so we haven’t had too much time just working on our own, but things will be good.

I am the District Leader.

Does Allison have to use my phone? I really wanted that phone when I get's my favorite phone! I guess it’s ok....kinda.

We saw in the paper today about Bin Laden at a tienda, but the details weren't that great. That is super sick! What a great victory for the USA!!!! The war is not over I'm guessing, but we won a pretty large battle!

Mack X is a pretty sick name (sick = awesome)! It's crazy how many cousins I am going to see for the first time when I get home!

Mom, I got one of your letters and I wrote you back and sent it awhile ago but it really takes a super long time to send letters from out here. I am sending another package tomorrow for Grandma to take home when the Zone Leaders go to the Capital. So I hope you get that. There should already be at least 3 in the office already. 4 in total, the last one has my quad in it and a cd of pics. The others have souvenirs and things like that. One of them you can’t open because I know the stuff will be really used when I get home, and I kinda want it...haha. Hopefully I will get those packages from you soon.

Right now we have an office-like cell phone thing. But I am supposed to be getting a cell phone this Friday at a District Leader meeting with the Zone Leaders so I will figure it out and let you know when I call you on Friday. Sound good? Ok good.

Well I don’t want to make this too long so that we can have a good talk on Sunday. So I will talk to you all then! I am so excited! Can’t wait!!!
Have a great week!
Keep the Faith Stay Strong
Love Elder Jordan Smith