Sunday, September 12, 2010

UPs and DOWNs

Bonjour! P-Day is tuesday this week because we had a District Metting on monday.
Its so good to hear from all of you and I'm glad that there is still a party at the Smith Residence! always :) It sounds like it was great! I loved seening pictures of all the grandkids and everyone. So many cute faces covered in cupcakes and kids on the swings, I'm definitly looking forward to the 3rd sunday meals in 2012.
My sunday dinner was a little bit different than our typical smith sunday dinners last week. Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Tomatoes. Rice. Liver Paste Stuff. and Green Beans. I hate to say it but I actually enjoyed it. We ate with some members and it was meat stuffed in to tomatoes and baked and such, it was really good. I think something is wrong because every time I eat a tomato, mushroom, or onion. I like it. You know me. This isn't normal. As I read all the emails I remember how great kaysville and the fall is. Here it is still hot and humid and not nearly as green as all these pictures that I'm seeing. WOW it is super green in utah.
It was a little it up and down this week. We taught a good amount, 25 or so lessons but all of our babtismal dates got pushed back in the process of the week and we now only have 1 babtismal date set. A week of super high exciting times and times of disappointments as well. It is a rollercoaster ride, but I'm enjoying it. It was a good week.
I played basketball one on one with a 16 year old investigator and won barely :) but after we talked about the Book of Mormon and he had read and he prayed and he felt the spirit. It was really cool, because when we invited him to read and pray the week before he wasn't very receptive and wasn't very mature. But after talking to him, We could definitly see the sparks of a testimony in him. It was really cool and a lesson to me to not judge so quickly and to let the gospel and the spirit do the teaching not me.
We also had a DTR (Define the Relationship) with one of our investigators. We had set a babtismal date and worked really hard towards it. We taught him about 8 lessons in 10 days. We were really trying to get him ready for babtism and working hard. And we asked him about the Book of Mormon and his testimony, and he was totally opposed to all our teachings. He started to tell me that an 8 year old can't decide on babtism, and that the book of mormon doesn't have answers, and that weak people pray. I was getting really frustrated because he was insulting my entire life. He was insulting my decision to be babtised, my family, my testimony. There was a piece of me that said -turn the other cheek - and other part of me that said - defend the faith defend your family. I was about ready to stand up and call him to repentance and send him to weaping and wailing and gnashing teeth and fire and brimestone, and then Elder Magnan wispered in english "calm down" (its nice that we can secretly commincate in front of investigators cause he speaks english) and he was right. I remembered a scripture in Alma that says something along the lines of "when hearts are hard just bare a stong testimony" So thats what we did. He didn't change his mind, but I learned a lesson that love is ten times stronger than anger. and that people can't argue the things that I have felt and learned for myself. Like I said it was a week of ups and downs
We also had a zone conference with President and Sister Carter in Montpillier, It was SOOO good. It was awesome to work with them and all the missionaries in the zone, we talked about the best ways for our investigators to gain a testimony through personal revelation. Prayer. Reading. and Coming to Church. It was really good, and we learned some awesome ways to teach these priciples. I think that thus far on my mission, I've learned the truthfulness of these things. "It is by small things that great things are brought to pass" I've realized that a lot of my own testimony has developed my the small things not big experiences. "waxed strong in the lord" not dumped on all at once. If the people we would teach would do the small things like this they would progress so much better and could gain their testimonies, and the ones that listen to us and do these things are progressing faster.
1. How do exchanges work?
We do them after district meetings, because everyone has come together, and then after the meeting you just leave with someone else. You travel to the other city or stay in the same place, depends on the assignment and then the next day, one of the companionships comes to your city and your switch back and either return to your city or you send the other companionship off to their city. I hope that makes sense, I feel like I explained it very vaguely
2. What kind of a town was Beziers from the map it looks like it was close to the Mediterranean Sea?
It was hot, but I didn't see the mediterranean at all I'm not even though it is close. We were in the city contacting and teaching lessons.
3. Are you going to experience seasonal changes in Carcasonne or is it pretty much the same all year?
Yes. It will start to get cold in about a month, cold as in, put on a sweater. and in January it will snow a little bit, nor more than an inch or so. But appartently it gets pretty cold because the humidity. All the rumors we heard were false, I'll be buying a winter coat and sweaters with in the next month or so.
I love you all and I'll try to send the pictures again! Love you!
Elder Smith

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