"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, 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