"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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Lord works with each one of us and molds us into the person we should be

Sup poopy pants! Haha
It has been going pretty good this week. My health is improving, I think. Not quite 100% yet, but I am getting there....I just hope that the cold at home doesn’t do me in when I get there. I’m done with all my prescriptions for now. I am just left with some nasal spray that I will be spraying up my nostrils for a month after I am home!

Well I am pretty sure the authorization went through for Fam. Can Tun. We called the lawyer, with our borrowed phone that we no longer have and he told us that Ernesto just needed to go in and sign something and than after, it is just the wait. So hopefully it all works out in time. I really don’t know how long it is going to take after being signed, but it better be this week. If not.....the next. But be praying extra hard. We have already seen the miracle that God gave us with that paper working out well from the Capital, so we shall see how all that goes these next few days...

Adolfo has kind of retrogressed a little this week. We had zone conference this week and since we didnt think that taking a few extra aspirins every now and then was against the Word of Wisdom, we asked President and we were right. So we then told that to Adolfo and that plus other things he got mad because we insisted him to be baptized. He had told us that that was the only thing that stopped him from being baptized. So why not get baptized right? But then he came up with a bunch of random things that really aren't that important....But we think there could be something wrong with him, like mentally. He is 52 and lives alone, and randomly lies, thinking that those lies are truth, it's weird. But we are still trying to help him the best we can. But it is hard sometimes because he says he doesn’t like it when we invite him to do something and he accepts and then doesn’t do it, that we get sad, and push him harder to do it. We told him that that is our job, but he doesn’t understand. He still has a fecha, but if he doesn’t start showing some initiative we might be forced to drop him. We will see what happens this next week.

That blows my mind that both of those little wieners are going to the same date dance. Allison isn’t even supposed to like boys yet!! Neither Jake nor Allison were even dating when I left. Super WEIRD!!! That will take a little bit to get used too.

Ha it is crazy that you guys know and have all those guys from my mission over at the house so much.

Hmm I will have to think about rooming in that house for Fall with Caleb and Tanner. I will let them know when I get home I think, so that I can talk around with more guys from the mish, and work it all out. Not too sure what I wanna do yet. But it sounds like it would be fun, especially with that many people living in the same house.

Well, let’s see…. Our house is really small, but I like it. It is just a small room with a weird wooden divider in the middle. I have pictures, but it will just be easier to show you when I get home. And we had the worst beds ever!!!! It took hours for us to fall asleep on those stupid things! But we just got new beds on Friday and they are freakin heaven!!! I fall asleep so fast!! It is so great!! And it is not THAT hot. It’s hot, but it isn’t as hot as how it was last time I was in Petén. The coldest it gets is like 80 degrees and goes up to like 90 in the day time. So it's not that bad.

My mission has flown by for sure for me. It really doesn’t feel that my time is almost up here in Guatland. But I am ready. I have worked hard, and will continue to work as hard as my health allows until the end, but it is time for me to move on with the other things in my life and keep on the line of eternal progression ya know?

The mission truly has changed my life. I have noticed how I was in the past and am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to change some things that were bad and keep the things that were good. I pray to be able to always be able to keep improving and being able to apply the many things that I have learned out here.

Yeah, Jake is a great kid, and he is definitely a better kid than I was before the mission. So I know that he will be a great missionary. The Lord has a plan for each one of us, even if it is all in different ways. He works with each one of us and molds us into the person we should be.

Well it is nuts that my time here is wrapping up, but it's not over till it's over right?! I will see you soon! Well keep praying that our baptisms work out!!! Have a great week! See you guys soon!!
Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, January 23, 2012

It would be soooo amazing to finish off my mission with 5 baptisms!

Yeah we have been able to work a little more this week. It has been good. Sometimes, I felt crappy, but it wasn’t too bad! And we got some super good news for Fam. Can Tun. The papers came back from the cap and it came out in favor of Ernesto (the dad)!!! Now we are just waiting, for another week, for that paper to get authorized, which shouldn’t bring about any problems....and then they can get married!!! We put their fecha again for the 4th, the week before Adolfo's baptism!! It would be soooo amazing to finish off my mission with 5 baptisms!!

Yeah, that is fine if we sing that song at the house instead of at my homecoming, it will be a little weird, but it’s all good. Oh and when I get home, I am definitely going to be listening to lots of Spanish music, so prepare!!!

Well for BYU Summer term classes, I honestly don’t know....I really just kinda wanna work and save up a little bit before I head to college. Just get settled down a little bit, and figure out what I wanna do and what not. I think I just wanna start in the Fall. If that isn’t possible, then I want to test out of a bunch of Spanish classes and then just take an English class. Can you find out for me?

As far as the Super Bowl goes, I will probably end up finding out anyways, especially when I head back to the states, everyone will be jabbering about it in the airport and what not, so I guess you can tell me how the game ends up. And the 9ers aren’t in it, which really bummed me out, so it’s not super important to me.....Elder Davis however, is a giants fan, he will be happy haha.

That’s good that you guys are really ''feelin it'' in primary. It must be rough sometimes, but you gotta magnify that calling, no matter what it is right? We are always called to be in places for a reason, even if that reason is so small we don’t even notice it

Yeah it is starting to feel really surreal that I am coming home. It’s weird. But good. But at least we are seeing success even though we can’t work like normal.

Well there isn’t too much news this week on this end. But our baptisms are looking more seguros and we are trying to work as much as possible. My last 2 weeks, or at least my last week we will be able to work as hard as usual.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Keep the Faith
Stay Strong
Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thanks for all the support back home and all the prayers

I am doing alright! I am feeling a little better than I have been lately. I think I should be good to go in about 2 more weeks.....hopefully.....because we are only really able to work about 3 hours a day. Thanks for all the support back home and all the prayers. I am really feeling the effect of them and the greatness of our Father in Heaven for always having a listening ear.

Things are going great with Elder Asdel! It’s great having him as a companion! Its funny, he talks like Ocho. We get along really well.

We finally got the money to be able to pay the lawyer for Familia Can Tun. So we are going to call him tonight to be able to set up a little meeting with him and pay him. After that it takes about 10 days for that paper to come. So hopefully in 2 more weeks they will be able to be baptized.

And we made great progress with Adolfo as well!! He finally told us what really held him back from being baptized. He said he didn’t feel worthy. We didn’t get out of him why at first but the next visit we read Alma's Conversion in Alma ch. 36 and we talked about repentance. He opened up and told us he is addicted to that even possible?? Ha I don’t know, it really isn’t a big deal, and he said that sometimes he takes more than he is supposed to when he needs it. But like it’s not that strong of an addiction (if you can call it that) at all. But to help him feel better about being baptized we set some goals with him, including a fecha!!! He accepted to be baptized on Feb. 11th! My last Saturday here in the mission! I really hope all works out and that he feels ready to be baptized for that date!

Those are really the only updates for this week....oh and that Elder Asdel almost lit the house on fire hahaha. That’s funny that you all played Phase 10, we played that this last Monday! In Polochik we played that lots too with Fast. Ha Mom! Funny story about how Dad owned Fast after they all went upstairs to kill the ''bad guys''!! Haha!

WHOA those are sweet sports updates! That is nuts that the Packers lost, and at home too!! That is freakin cool about the 49ers though. That would be soo sweet if they won the super bowl. On my last Monday, you can’t tell me the results of the super bowl, I just wanna watch it without knowing the result once I get home....ok? Just let me know the teams, when it gets down to the end...And the Jazz would lose to the Lakers, especially when my comp is from LA haha.

Thanks for always praying for me and helping me out! And of course for the updates! Well I hope you guys have a great week! I love you all!

Stay Strong.
Keep the Faith.
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mission Wide Christmas Service Projects 2011

This is a little bit out of order, but I had to include this on Jordan's mission blog because this is so much what a mission is all about.....losing oneself in the service of others, enriching the lives of those less fortunate with the gospel and with necessities, and most importantly remembering the Savior's life and example. This past Christmas, The Guatemala City North Missionaries were able to be a part of 4 different and significant service projects. The following is an account of them in Sister Watt's words. We thank her for organizing this and for documenting it through words and pictures so that we could all feel a part of it thousands of miles away.

The 3 Assistants to the President
Christmas 2011 Review
Dear Family and Friends,
I am going to take the opportunity today to let you all know what Christmas service projects we were able to do because of all of the things that were given to us by you. THANK YOU ALL for everything you did. Every service was wonderful, not only for the people who received the help but also for the missionaries. Thank you for being patient with me in getting this letter back to you. Ed and I were only home 8 days in the month of December and most of those days were spent getting things organized for the service projects. This week we have spent gathering new missionaries from the MTC here in Guatemala – (they are WONDERFUL!) and saying good bye to 19 of our missionaries who have completed their missions – a PAINFUL experience for me! I would like to have every missionary stay here with us until we go home, welcoming all of the new ones that we can get. But I think that I would rather ask President Monson for extensions for our missionaries than ask their Mothers. I would not like to ask President Monson though so you can guess how much I would NOT like to ask the Mothers! Anyway, it is busy – as always – here in the Mission and I do appreciate your patience.

Before I get into the specifics of the service projects, let me tell you that we had 76 missionaries who did not receive any gift from home this year. However, we were able to put together something for each one of them. Each of them received A LOT of candy, granola bars, etc., razor, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, jerky, a tie for the Elders and a little hair thing for the Hermanas. They were all thrilled! I know that some of the parents of our missionaries also sent an extra package for the companion of their son or daughter. Thank you for thinking of them. It is difficult to not have anything when your companion does. We have one Elder who has NEVER received a gift before for ANY reason so thank you for making this possible for all of them.

Our goal this year for the service projects was to do something that would help the missionaries connect with the people and the communities that they live in. We wanted to find some service activities that would allow them the opportunity to work with “people” not “dirt.” (Although we also think that “dirt” service projects are important too!) Heavenly Father truly directed us to find a service project for each area. Each project was different, but I really cannot choose one that I felt was more significant than another. The rule for each of the projects was to forget about themselves and bless someone else. Every missionary did this.

Our first project was in San Jeronimo in the Baja Verapaz Valley at an orphanage with 93 children. The children range in age from 1 year old to 18. We started together by singing Christmas songs, with Elder Nelson accompanying us on the little piano keyboard. We sang most of the songs in Spanish and then sang a few (At the suggestion of one of our Latino Elders) in English. We then played the game Fruit Basket with the missionaries and the children. It did not take long for the smiling and the squealing to begin! After the group activity we broke into smaller groups so that the missionaries could get to know the children on a more personal basis because they were responsible to choose the gifts for the children they were interacting with. The bags with the little cars, the teddy bears, stuffed rabbits and other stuffed animals, the action figures and army guys, the yoyos, the bugs and dinosaurs, the dolls, the journals and jacks, balls, EVERYTHING were just so much appreciated and loved! We had asked the people at the orphanage what the children needed or what we might do to help them and they told us that all of the children needed socks. We put together bags that had socks, a toothbrush; a Christmas pencil, (thanks Misty!), fruit snacks and candy in them and then the missionaries choose something that the child they had gotten to know would like. We were able to buy some beautiful pictures of the Savior from the Distribution Center and so each child received one of those too. We gave everyone their gifts, sang a song and then left. One little guy said that he had NEVER had his own toothbrush. I can still see the happy little faces of the children, young and old, but they did not outshine the happy faces of our missionaries. They were magnificent!

Our second project was in Chulac in the Polochic Valley. The Polochic does not have an orphanage or a retirement home, but they have significantly other needs. This is the area where the people still cook on open pit fires. Many of the people that live here have burns and infections from cuts and more serious wounds. The very first time Ed and I traveled to meet our missionaries in July, a young woman stopped us and told us the she was expecting a baby, but that she was sick and could not get the medicine. The medicine was not in the Polochic Valley. In November we saw a little 4 year old downs syndrome girl with a serious burn on her neck. All that the family had to treat it with was raw egg. If the medicine can be found in the Polochic it is VERY expensive for the people there. We found out that it is also very expensive here in the Capitol. We thought that the best service project for the missionaries in the Polochic to participate in was to help put together simple first aid kits. We found that the Church had some supplies of donated medical things that we needed that was just sitting in an unfinished building in Senahu so we were able to get some of those supplies. With other money that was donated by several of you we were able to buy supplies to make 55 big first aid kits (2 per missionary) for the missionaries to take to the Branch Presidents or other responsible leader in the Branch, 220 (8 per missionary) medium kits for the missionaries to give to people that they were aware of that might need the kits and then 100 (4 per missionary) small kits with band aides, etc. The big kits contained soap, gauze, several different kinds and sizes of band aides, tape, Antibiotic cream for infection, burn cream, anti-fungal cream, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, a thermometer, plastic gloves, and ace wraps. We also put a 5 x 7 picture of the Savior in each kit. The missionaries were given instructions about the supplies that they were giving to others so that they could explain and help where needed. I just got a picture this week of a family that Hermana Westenskow gave her first aid kit to. It was a little family of a Mother, Father and four little children. Thank you to all who donated toward this project, I think it will bless the lives of families living in the Polochic.

The third project that we were able to participate in was with all of the Elders and Hermanas in the Capitol. We had about 100 missionaries participate in this activity. We took the items that you gave us and every missionary thought of a family, a member, or investigator that did not have anything for Christmas or that needed something a little more. They each wrote their testimony and message on a card and then chose items specifically for the people they were thinking of. It was so fun to watch them carefully select the item(s) that they thought would be just right for someone else. We had a picture of the Savior, candy, etc. for them to add to the bags and then that night, December 23rd, (Joseph Smith’s birthday); they each delivered their gift to their chosen person or family. I have heard back from several of the missionaries and besides the phone call from home, this was their favorite part of the Christmas season this year. Our missionaries serve and pray and work with the people who live here and so the gift that they were able to give was not only given with your love but with theirs as well. Thank you.

The fourth project was a service project in San Benito, Petén. (This is Elder Smith's current area of assignment.) We had this activity on December 27th because of all of the meetings, Christmas Conferences and trainings held in December. We could not get to all of the places before Christmas. However, the missionaries were good sports about this and I thought that it just helped the season last a little bit longer. In Petén we were able to go to a Rest Home that houses about 90 people, around 70 men and 20 women. It is run completely by volunteers so you can guess that they need a little help. When asked what they might need, they told us that they needed food – just basic food. We were able to buy eggs, flour, beans, rice and powdered milk for them. When we got to the Home the missionaries helped us put together bags with socks, Chap Stick, razors, some smaller pictures of the Savior and some candy in each one. The missionaries then made sure that each person got a bag. The best part though was the time we each were able to spend with the residents there. They were wonderful. Some of our Q’eqchi speaking missionaries found a couple of people who spoke Q’eqchi and spent some time with them. We even met a couple who had just gotten married and they were both in their 90s. Before we left, we lined up in the hallway every other one facing opposite of each other so that we could see each person as we sang some Christmas hymns to them. It was wonderful and the Spirit was so strong. After we finished singing all of the little residents clapped. Our 4 Q’eqchi speaking Elders sang a Christmas song to our two new Q’eqchi friends. I loved seeing each missionary spending one on one time with each resident and I will never forget the sight of one of our missionaries holding the hand and talking to an older man who was in a wheelchair and was unable to move or speak. Thank you for helping to make this possible.

With all of these activities and all of the effort and money that each of you went to, I keep thinking about the part of the baptismal covenant which tells us that part of the covenant is to “bear one another’s burdens.” This you truly did this Christmas season. Not only did you help the people of Guatemala and our missionaries but you helped ALL of us be a little less homesick as we found ourselves lost in the gift of thinking about someone else. Thank you.

Well, this is long enough – SORRY!! I cannot express enough thanks for all that you have done in English or Spanish! Thank you, each one, for your kindness and generosity and once again, to those of you who are parents of our missionaries, Ed and I LOVE THEM DEARLY!!! We will forever be blessed because we have been privileged to know and serve with them. We hope that you have a wonderful, blessed New Year!
Love you, Hermana Watts

For more pictures, please click on the slideshow on the right sidebar titled "Christmas Service Projects 2011."

Monday, January 9, 2012

At least the hospital had Air Conditioning!! That was nice...

Hey Everyone!
Thanks so much for all the encouragement and prayers from back home!

Well first off, the reason I didn't tell Sister Watts that I was in the hospital was because we don’t have a phone. Second, I was able to borrow a member's phone and made calls to the Zone Leaderss and the mission nurses, it's not my fault they didn't call Hna Watts.....haha. But all of that doesn’t really matter too much now....

All I know is that I am kind of sick and tired of being sick all of the time! I don’t know how long it is going to take for me to recover from Pneumonia, but I just hope that it passes by fast. It stinks, I can’t even walk for a long time without feeling short of breath. I wanted to really work hard this last change to finish off my mission like I am supposed to. And now I can’t..... I am so done being sick. I am going to be reading and studying the scriptures a lot to find answers and to try and stay focused It worked for me last time I was sick. I hope I figure out what I am supposed to learn from all this. Everything always happens for a reason, I just have to figure out what that reason is.

One thing I do know that I have learned through all the junk that I already went through is to just trust in the Lord. I know that I am in His hands and everything will work out just the way He wants it to. So I am just fine with that....And at least the hospital had Air Conditioning!! That was nice...

Now I am trying to rest. I end up with headaches and body aches from lying down and doing nothing for such a long time though. Yeah, I will try not to push myself too much. I will be trying my best to balance working and resting. Right now, I just want to be healthy again. No, the dr didn’t tell me how long it will be until I should feel better. She really didn’t tell me anything. But I am taking 3 different meds. One for 5 days, one for 15 days, and another for 2 months. I will be home before all that is done with.

We weren’t really able to work all week. But my comp is the man, so that is a good thing! He is being really patient about us not being able to go out and work like usual, so that is really good. At least we will get along great having to stay all cooped up more than normal. But it is going to be really hard to press things forward with the investigators that we have. Hopefully we will be able to do everything efficiently with the small time we have to work now. Nothing yet on the papers for the Fam. Can Tun, hopefully this week.
All is in the Lord's hands.
Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Saturday, January 7, 2012

In the hospital!

This photo is from July 2011 when Elder Smith was in the hospital for stomach pains. Now Pneumonia!....Good thing he will be home in 5 1/2 weeks because this Mom can't take much more of this!
Emails received from Sister Watts (the mission president's wife). She is just the best to keep me informed and for loving her missionaries like her own. I'm so very thankful for her!!

6:34 am Friday January 6, 2012
Good Morning Leslie,
I just wanted to let you know that last week when I saw Elder Smith he said that he had had a cough and cold symptoms for about 2 weeks. I told him that if he was not feeling better by Friday that I wanted him to make an appointment and go see the Doctor. We have an excellent Doctor in Peten. He was obedient and made an appointment to see her on Monday. He has bronchitis and so is taking the medication necessary to get better. I will call him this morning to make sure that he is doing better. I just thought that you would like to know - not to worry you but to let you know that he is doing OK.

2:32 pm
I have been trying to reach Elder Smith for the last couple of days just to check on him but have been unable to reach him. Now I know why.
I could not reach him on his phone and so I finally called the Z Leaders to see if they knew what was happening with him and found out that the Dr. and nurses in Peten put him in the hospital on Wednesday because he has pneumonia. I am sorry to tell you this in an e-mail - please forgive me. However, I did get him on a phone - he has borrowed the phone of a member - and I was able to talk with him. He is doing fine and is expected to be released today a 5:00. He has been on an IV and is receiving antibiotics. His new companion, Elder Asdel, has been with him. Yesterday the ZLs went to see him and said he looks great, but that the Dr. wants to be sure that he is well on his way to recovery before he is released. I am going to call him again at 4:00 this afternoon to make sure that he is well and is going to be released. I will send you another note back as soon as I finish talking with him OK?
I am sorry Leslie, but I really do believe that he is doing well. I will threaten him to tell me the truth AND I will also talk with his companion. Please try not to worry. We can be on a plane and in Peten first thing in the morning if we need to, but I do feel that everything is OK.
I will get another note to you within the hour.
Love you, Lorie

4:22 pm
Ok Leslie, I just got off the phone with Elder Smith and he is doing well and is home. They have plenty of food and water and he is loaded up with all of the medicine that he needs. He is going to be resting for the next little while. I also talked with Elder Asdel, his companion, and he said that Elder Smith is taking his medicine and being obedient. I told Elder Adel that he was the boss of Elder Smith for the next few days and to make sure that he eats, that he continues to rest and take the medication. Elder Smith sounds great though. I did get after him just a little about not letting me know that he was in the hospital, but no one can be too cross with him for very long....
Everything is well now, please do not worry. We will stay in touch and let you know if there is anything else that comes up OK? He will be writing you this Monday. It is sunny and warm in Peten...
Love you, Lorie

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I have had 8 areas and 17 companions so far

(Note from Mom: Stay tuned for some great pictures coming soon! I just need to download them from a disc that we got for Christmas!!)
Chaab'il Ak Chihab' choq' eereech!!(Happy New Year to you all!)
WHOO 2012!!! Ha I bet it is going to be crazy here in December next year since the Mayans are from here! I am glad that I won’t be here for that time. It could probably get dangerous!! Ha well more than it already is I guess...

When I read that second sentence...ha you made me giggle. Thanks for the giggle you goofy mom you! Haha!

I’m glad you all liked the gifts that I got you all! Wanna know the funny thing about those shoes I sent home? I only used them for like a year total. My other 2 pairs of shoes are almost as worse, one of them might be worse....I will bring them home and we shall compare!

It was way too cold there on New Year's Eve huh? I still sweat like a chucho every day here! I don’t think I am going to survive once I get back home!

WHOA! That is insane that my Homecoming is already scheduled. I better start thinking of what to talk about!! That would be super legit if we could sing that song....

Interviews/Training with President: On Tuesday, we did a little service project at an Old Folks Home. There were 2 old people that spoke Q'eqchi' so that was fun for me and kinda funny too because the old lady that spoke Q'eqchi' kept swearing haha. And then we went and ate lunch, and then.....WATCHED A MOVIE!!!!! WITH PRESIDENT!!!!!! It was the movie Entangled! It was sooo good! I don’t know if it was good just cuz I haven’t seen a movie in so long or something, but I thought it was a good movie. And then on Wednesday we had interviews.

We are still working with the papers for Fam Can Tun. But Adolfo is really close!! He read the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith and could feel from what he read that he was truly a prophet of God. There is still something that is holding him back from being baptized, but it's something small I think, especially now that he has a testimony! He came to church yesterday too! I think he will be baptized soon. I really hope I will be able to baptize Fam Can Tun this last change too....PS I don’t have a change but my companion hopefully I will be able to work well and united with my next/last companion...Crazy thing....I have had 8 areas and 17 companions in total...there are 16 changes. That is a lot more of both of those things than normal, but I have definitely learned lots from all those different experiences!

Just a little note from last Pday....we played soccer against the Policeman from here in Santa Elena. A couple of the cops that were on duty came and watched, holding their big ol machine guns.....haha. And...We won! WHOOP!

I’m going to end my letters each week of my last change with my testimony about a different gospel topic. I guess I should probably do it in English though, huh?
I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that by him, through him, and of him we are able to return into the presence of our Father in Heaven IF we do our part. This means, if we repent, and do everything we possibly can to follow him and his example. I know that he knows our sufferings to perfection and is willing to help us in every moment of trial that we have if are willing to be patient and humble ourselves and really put our trust in God's plan for us. I am grateful for him, and I can’t wait to be able to call him King when he is on the earth once again...

Stay Strong
Keep the faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith