"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

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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I am now an office elder

First off, Happy Birthday this week pops!! You will be 43! You old fart you! Haha jk I love you.

Well here I am writing on Saturday. A little bit of a change than writing on Mondays but it looks like I am going to have to get used to it...hint hint... I am now an office elder...kind of. Changes haven't officially happened but I am going to be here in the office as a Pouchero/Secretary. So my emails for the next long time will be on Saturdays! My area is called Martí. I will definitely be missing Polochik and speaking Q'eqchi' and being amongst those humble people. But I know the Lord has something in store for me here. I honestly felt from the start of my mission that I was to come into the office. When I was sent to Polochik I was really kind of confused. And now that I am here, I know that my mission has been how the Lord has wanted it all along!

I didn’t get the prescription earlier because I wanted to see if I could handle it or if it would slowly start going away by itself. But that didn’t really work out too well...But yesterday I finally got the prescription because I haven’t been able to get a hold of the doctor. So I am going to pick it all up today and we shall see how it goes. It hasn’t been too bad the last couple days, but some days are worse than others. But I think the medicine will help me get back to normall!

This morning started out as a good P day. We went to the mission home with President and Hna. Watts. It was sooo good! Just a nice classic American breakfast! WITH REAL MILK! It has been such a long time since I have had something besides powdered milk! It was delicious! Elder Davis and I just attacked that thing and finished all the milk between us. It was soo good! Ha the food was really good too. I could get used to being in the office ;) I really love President and Hna. Watts they are just so fantastic and loving!

I am glad you were able to talk to Elder Rodriguez! He was a great companion and I really love that guy!

What is Jake shooting these days? That’s really cool how great they are doing. If they can’t take state they will make it to the tourney and do well. That will definitely get some colleges to look at him. I am pretty dang sure that that kid will be golfing in college. That sounds good for Lehi football. What classification is Copper Hills? Even if they can win a few games this year it will be way better than before. What is the new coach's name and where did he coach before? I am really thinking of trying to be an assistant coach for Lehi the season after I get home. I think it would just be super fun. I just don’t know how I could balance school with that. And if it would pay me enough and stuff like that. But I really do have a desire to do some coaching...what do you think?

I hope you all have fun watching Harry Potter without me. You are soo lucky. I saw a billboard for that last movie just the other day! I want to see it soo bad. But I will see it in just a little bit less than 7 months so it will be all ok!

I hope you all have a great rest of the week as well! I will talk to you all next week! I am sorry in advance if my emails get boring. There just won’t be as many crazy stories and stuff like that, but I will do what I can! I love you all! Have a good one!

Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, July 11, 2011

I am eternally grateful to our Father in Heaven for giving me the opportunity to serve amongst the Q'eqchi' people

Hey folks!
Well this week wasn’t the best week. It was really rough trying to get out to work. That was kinda frustrating, but other than that, it went well. I am super glad to have been able to go back to Tanchi and see those people for the last time and to maybe speak their language for one of the last times. One member I will never forget. His name is Hno. Erik. He is just amazing. He has helped us as missionaries in those few days I was actually in the area more than any other member has throughout my whole mission. He is just always willing to help and just a great loveable man who always wants to do what is right. He is super funny too. Ha when I got back he asked the name of my sickness. ''K'a'ru xk'ab'a' laa yajel?'' I said I didnt know. ''Ink'a' ninnaw k'a'ru xk'ab'a'.'' then he said ''BASURA xk'ab'a' laa yajel.'' Haha it was just really goofy how he said. Something I will never forget. Those people are just so humble and fantastic. His family prepared a caldo just for me since I was leaving. They really don’t have that much, so I am forever grateful to them. Hno. Erik cried when I left his humble home. I was only there for a short time...It just amazes me. I am eternally grateful to our Father in Heaven for giving me the opportunity to serve amongst the Q'eqchi' people.

At church this past week, in sunday school we were talking about the atonement and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The teacher called in a little girl from the primary to tell the class why Christ died and suffered for us. It was a super powerful testimony. I will never forget that moment. Her little voice in Q'eqchi' was just so cute and her words were one of the strongest testimonies of our Savior I have heard in a long time. It was truly amazing.

Those pictures from Tank Warz are super sweet! Ha I can’t believe that Jake beat Brian. I hope Jake gives him crap for that for awhile. And just so everyone knows, I am taking that trophy next year. I am going to come up with some crazy design to put together to just own everybody next year!! I have got some ideas already. I can’t wait to have the best 4th of July ever when I am home next year!!

I haven’t taken any medication yet. I wanted to see how I could do without it all. But I think I will start it up soon since it hasn’t really proved too well without it. I will have to call the doctor tomorrow since I get back to the capital tonight to get that all taken care of. Because I don’t have the prescription....So we shall see what happens and if it helps. If it doesn’t help, it looks like we have another problem on our hands. But it should all turn out great. It’s just more annoying than anything to know that I won’t be able to be without pain for a long time. I am kind of getting sick of having a headache and being all nauseas (who knows how to spell that) all the time. Hopefully it will go away once I start the medication. I took stuff for parasites 4 months ago. I can’t for another 2 or 3 months. Plus I think they would have found parasites through all those tests. Especially the endoscopy colonoscopy deal. There is nothing organic about this sickness..Regarding disease or parasites...That is what all the tests were able to find out. Definitely in the Lords hands. President said he is praying to be able to find out the best assignment for me to have.

That’s super crazy that you guys went to Pres and Hna Torres' homecoming and saw all those returned missionaries. It blows my mind how fast the time goes! Elder Smith had just hit a year when he was with me. Super nuts! If you ever see Burden again tell him I love him! And I really hope and pray that Fast will be able to be alright quickly as well. Yeah Pres. Torres always talked like that here in the mission (switching between English and Spanish). That’s super funny that he kept it up during his homecoming talk. He is the man! They are great people. I’m happy to have been able to have served under their guidance and direction. And I just love Hna. Torres!! She really did truly love us. I will never forget either of them!

Well I wish I had a ton more stories to tell you all but that is it! I will be heading back down to the capital today in a couple hours and I will get there tonight. After that, well, all is up to the Lord to see where He wants to place me. Chances are that I go to the office, but I could be somewhere else as well. We'll see what happens. If I do go to the office, my P-days will be on Saturday, just a heads up. Well I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Nannaw naq li Kriist kixtoj rix li qamaak sa' li Awiimq Jetsemani re naq ink'a' tawanq li raylal ut li ch'a'ajkilal sa' li qayu'am. Nannaw naq a'an aj Kolol qe ut rik'in qapaab'ankil chiru, naru taqanumta rajlal ch'a'ajkilal li wanq qik'in. Osob'tesinb'ilo xmaak naq wan li k'uub'anb'il na'leb re li kolb'a-ib' ut li qanawom chirixeb' li k'a'aq re ru tento taqab'aanu re naq toosutq'iiq rik'in li Yos chirix li yu'am a'in xb'aan li ruxtaana li Jesukristo. Ninye li waatin a'in sa' xk'ab'a' li Jesukristo, aj Kolol qe. Amen
A big thank you to Elder Shawn Turek (returned June 2011) who emailed me this translation: "I know that Christ atoned for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane so that there isn't pain and difficulty in our lives. I know that He is our Savior and if we believe in Him, we can overcome all of our difficulties. We are blessed because of the Plan of Salvation and our knowledge of the things that we must do to return with God after this life thanks to the grace of Jesus Christ. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, amen."
It is a little awkward-sounding being translated into English, but I hope that helped!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A diagnosis finally!!!

By Leslie Smith (Mom):
We got a call from Elder Smith last night telling us the news that his doctor has finally been able to figure out what he has. It's called Functioning Abdominal Pain Syndrome. It's basically a neurological disorder that causes the nerves to malfunction and send pain signals to the brain, even though there is nothing physically causing the pain. It also causes headaches, nausea and fatigue.....every symptom that Jordan has had. It's not affected by eating certain foods, does not respond to pain medications and causes no problems with digestion, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation none of which he has had. Activity such as walking can exaggerate the pain as well.

Jordan has had a really good relationship with his dr. He feels he has been very extensive in his exams and evaluating his test results. The dr. was trained in the United States and has worked very hard to research and diagnose Jordan's condition. It is found mostly in children following a traumatic event, but adults can get it from extreme stress, change of culture, etc. It may have been building up for the last 17 months or it may have been triggered recently during some stressful times that he experienced about a month ago. Sometimes when a person is put in a different environment and adapting to a new situation they may not even feel the stress but the mind does and the body reacts.

The doctor's recommendation is that Jordan go home to a more relaxed life and society. He admits that life in Guatemala, no matter how good the situation, is really hard. He feels that if Jordan went home, he would feel perfectly fine in a day or two. However, Jordan and President Watts have felt prompted for him to continue forward with his mission. The doctor has perscribed some medication that has been approved by the president. Jordan will be under their care and guidance to do what he needs to do to manage this and hopefully overcome it altogether while still in Guatemala.

Today he will get to accompany President Watts, his wife, and the assistants up to his previously assigned zone in Coban. President will be meeting all of those missionaries and having a personal interview with them. Jordan has had the privilege of having several great personal discussions with the president. He loves and respects President Watts very much already. He has felt the spirit testify of this man's divine calling and power and has complete faith that the Lord's will will be carried out through the president's direction. President Watts has decided that Jordan will go back to his original assigned area in Tanchi to finish out the last week and a half of this change. New assignments will be given out for the whole mission on the 18th. Until then, President Watts will be praying for inspiration as to the best place for Jordan's needs as well as for the right place for him to be able to accomplish what the Lord needs from him. It may be in the mission office or it may be back in Jordan's beloved mountains of Polochic. As his parents, we have complete faith that the Lord is directing Jordan's life right now and that wherever he goes, it will be right for him.

Brendan, Jordan, and I have received countless thoughts, impressions, and dreams regarding this whole situation. The Lord works in mysterious ways. His wisdom is beyond anything we can even comprehend. As we have acted upon inspiration, we have all received answers. It's going to be ok.

We know that this isn't going to go away tomorrow. It's going to take some time and a lot more prayers. Jordan will get better, but it will be a painful process. He is willing to do what it takes to get through it and complete his mission. As we hung up, he said, "Well, I hope I won't have to talk to you guys now until Christmas, right?" Right!!! We loved hearing his voice and feeling of his missionary spirit, but are looking foward to his full recovery and return to missionary work in the sacred lands of Guatemala. We feel such peace and thank all of our family and friends and even strangers for your prayers, thoughts, and fasting. Jordan's little cousins fasted all day for him as they drove across the country to come to Utah for vacation. Heavenly Father has been very good to us and has answered our pleas. We are so grateful that it isn't something life threatening and even more grateful for the faith and determination of our missionary. I know the Lord will bless him forever for his efforts and sacrifice. What a blessing it is to have the knowledge of prayer and the gift of the scriptures. They have been our rock through this whole trial. We have come to rely on our Savior's Atonement more than ever and have received so much peace from applying it's principles.

We know that the Lord needs our son, and all of his missionaries, to carry on His word and His gospel to others so that they too may have the comfort and blessings we are fortunate to have in our lives. So as Elder Smith always asks us to do.....we will go forward, "Stay Strong," and "Keep the Faith."

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Inspiration from the scriptures

Hey there all of you!
Yes, it has been mentally hard not to be able to do the work that I was assigned to do. My pain has gotten worse since they did the procedures last Thursday, but it is much much better than last Friday night when it was the worse ever. I will do whatever I can to stay out here. But I will always stay honest to the doctors and everybody to be able to figure out what is going wrong. Right now the pain isn’t too bad, it was worse when I woke up. Sleeping on my side isn’t a very good idea...But that is kind of how it has been. Some days I have low amounts of pain, others I have a lot more. It’s weird to me. Yes they did both an endoscopy and a colonoscopy and found nothing....My next appointment with the doctor is on Tuesday, July 5th. I will tell him about getting a....tomografía....if nothing appears after that we will see what happens. I know everything will be alright and that the Lord's will shall be done. It is just going to take a little bit more time. Hopefully not too much longer though. It has been nearly a month now since I have been sick! But hopefully we can get it figured out here, if not...well it’s in the Lord's hands

Those are pretty amazing stories that you told me about those sicknesses and recoveries happening. I am definitely growing closer to the Lord and realizing many different things about my life and things like that. This week I was prompted a couple specific times to open my scriptures. I have been praying a lot to know the will of the Lord for me and what I must do. The scripture I turned to was Alma 20. As I read, these verses stood out to me.

14Now the father of Lamoni commanded him that he should slay Ammon with the sword. And he also commanded him that he should not go to the land of Middoni, but that he should return with him to the land of Ishmael.

15But Lamoni said unto him: I will not slay Ammon, neither will I return to the land of Ishmael, but I go to the land of Middoni that I may release the brethren of Ammon, for I know that they are just men and holy prophets of the true God.

What I got from that is that Satan has been tempting me to give up and putting desires in my heart to just simply go home. But this scripture helped me understand that I cannot go home, unless the circumstances require. And if I do, I must come back to the land of Guatemala that I may release my brethren from evil and continue to preach unto them this great gospel that they may be saved.

I was also prompted to read D&C 76. I couldn’t sleep from my pain and from thinking too much so I felt that I should read the scriptures. To not wake my companion, I went into the bathroom so I could have light while I read. This is what really hit me as I got to verse 11....This section was written from inspiration received by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon on February 16, 1832. It wasn’t just coincidence that I opened to read this section. That day is the very day I am scheduled to end my mission. February 16, 2012. Whatever happens I will not have my mission ended until that day. I have really been trying to know what to do. And now, I think I know.

Dad, that is just amazing that you were prompted to read and ponder Mosiah 15 and tell me what it means to you. Because that was another scripture I was prompted to read this week. I opened straight to Mosiah 14 after getting the prompting to read it. Mosiah 14 is all about the Atonement (also in Isaiah). It helped me realize that Christ knows my suffering. I felt prompted to continue to read chapter 15 and then stop. That same scripture came to my mind as well (Mosiah 15:16-18) but I also didnt know what it meant. I am grateful for the Spirit working on you so that I am able to now know what it means for me. Thank you so much for sharing that with me!!

I remember that part of my patriarchal blessing as well. It makes me wonder what exactly the Lord has planned for me to do after my mission. I know this is preparing me for that time right now. It has really made me think...What do you think that could mean?

I have written down little details of what has happened in my agenda, since my journal is sitting on my desk back in Tanchi.

President Watts is truly amazing. The day he came in the Spirit just testified of his calling. He is a great man and perfect to lead the Lord's work in this part of the world. He and is wife are really loving and have really shown their love to me in this tough time.

I am jealous of you guys celebrating the 4th of July. You better make those explosions extra big for me! I hope you guys have fun! Well that is all for this week. Hopefully I will be able to send you a medical update here soon. I love you all and I hope you have a great 4th and a great week.
God Bless America!
Que Dios Bendiga los Estados Unidos
Li Yos Chihosob'tesinq re los Estados Unidos
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith