"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

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