"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