Thursday, December 29, 2011

Families are Great!

Dear Family, Jen, Phillipe, Cousins, Friends and Everyone,

So I don't have a whole lot to tell you because I talked to you yesterday, but I loved seeing you all, and I was glad to meet Tanner and big Carter, I will have to meet Owen on Mothers Day! Sorry to Ben and Tanelle and Ky and Jeanell, I would have loved to see you but I am also glad that you went to Church. I wouldn't be a very good missionary if I had kept you from going to church, I was shocked at how much all the kids have grown, I am pretty sure you are aware of that seeing as I said it like every two seconds but wow!!! Jens and Garrett especially!! You are men!

We had a great Christmas, I think I told you, but I will tell you again, we woke up and tore into the presents, then we went to church and we sang for the Christmas program then we spent the afternoon talking to our families and eating with our investigators and members! It was a very merry Christmas!

This week when we were at zone conference for Christmas, there was a moment that someone shared a Christmas story and they talked about a family finally being reunited for Christmas after several years, it made me realize how grateful I am for all of you, I didn't need presents or money or candy or anything like that, the greatest gift that I could have was to know that my family and friends were rooted in their faith in Jesus Christ and to know that my Heavenly Father was watching over them. I am so grateful for this present of 2 years that the Lord has given to me, there was a second yesterday when mom started talking about picking me up and about where I was going to live for college and I realize that the time is counting down on my present, I will never be able to thank you enough for allowing me to go on a mission, I will never be able to thank the Lord enough either, I love the Lord and I love you, I feel like the unprofitable servant that King Benjamin spoke of, because I will never be able to thank the Lord enough for what he has given me, it is the largest debt ever, I do 1 thing and he gives me 10, I do one more thing and he gives me 10 more! It is not fair but I am grateful!

What a blessing it is to have a family in the gospel of Jesus Christ and to have a knowledge of his birth, life, death, and resurrection. He was born of Mary, he did live and die and he lives again! It is the good news of the gospel! I know it to be true with my whole heart. I love you all and again I hope that you had a very merry Christmas!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, December 19, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The weather has started to get pretty chilly, I can't complain it feels like it should have in the middle of november, and we still have lots of sunshine, it is just brisk in the mornings and at night, and once awhile in the afternoon it starts to get hot under a sweater and jacket, so things are pretty well. Everybody has a runny nose because it is the first time this year that it has started to feel like winter. The houses and apartments are have lights up and the whole town is lit up, they have brought in merry go rounds and rides for all the kids just like they did in carcassonne and in perigueux.

Me and Elder Baret are getting along great, we laugh alot and I would love staying with him in Aix. He is always happy and always joking about something, it is good. It is hard for me to work with and be "downers". So Elder Baret and I get along great, constantly playing tricks on each other and goofing around a bit. He is also a mega soccer fan, and that is what I have been waiting for, he play soccer every p day and we got an activity with our investigators and members and we had a pretty sweet soccer match on saturday. I loved it.

So this week we had quite a few setbacks and things but at the same time we finally got to see some fruits of all the labors we have been putting in this transfer. I'll explain, This we started out with a phone call from President Murdock informing me that I will no longer be driving, I was bummed out but there are worst things that happen in life. Then we went on an exchange with nice and I got to see lots of members and people that I had tought it was super cool, I also got to see my Homie G Elder Brough in nice where I had served with him. Thats was great, then we had some bad news, I had the unfortunate chance to send a missionary home early, Elder Mutamba, a great missionary, he was supposed to finish in 2 weeks and had some great baptism set up and he tore his achilles tendon, He was super sad and we took him with us and then set him home with some Elders that had to go to geneve for the office. It broke my heart to see him like that and it made me realize how precious my mission is, he is only going home 2 weeks early and it was very understandable, and if it had been a different missionary it would have been different, but his sadness is what killed me. I hope to see him back at BYU. Then we got home and the missionaries in marseille called us in a overwhelmed state, they had to move from their appartment and they had had help from other elders and stuff but then they were all alone and they were beat, so we cancelled our stuff for half that day and went and took them to lunch and helped them get back on their feet. AND THEN after all that we had the ward christmas party, it was great, we had been encouraging members to bring their friends and we had been inviting lots of less actives and at the party there was 25 non members and 7 less actives, we took lots of appointments and this week we are going to teach 4 or 5 of the families with their friends!!!! The activity was a blast, we had games and a dance(we didn't stay for that part) and a meal, there was a trivia game that they played with the missionaries and a good time was had by all!

Lots of great stuff happened and lots of rough stuff happened but now we are looking at a great christmas and some very promising blessings! I am excited to see you all and to talk to you on skype, I think that I will call at about 9 o'clock in the morning on christmas utah time, that is 5 oclock france time. Sorry if that is too early, but we are going to be a little bit booked on christmas and that is the best time, hope it works! we will be with members that have skype, I don't remember passwords or whatever so I will call right before and get the username and password of one of you like last time.

I love you all and I wish you a very merry christmas!

SEE you next week!

Love
Elder Smith

Monday, December 12, 2011

HOLA!!!

I excuse myself in advance for the shortness of this email, 1 I don't have that much time to write because we spent way too long playing soccer today and 2 because I don't what to tell you.

We spent a lot of time looking for less actives and trying to find families that have children that are not baptised, we ate lots with members and we invited them to invite people to the christmas activities, there are lots of members that have been inviting lots of people and I think that we are going to hit the jackpot pretty soon here. at the beginning of this transfer we were praying to know what the Lord wanted us to in our area right now and we both felt like we should work close to the members and their friends and families during the hollidays, it hasn't brought forth as much fruit as we would have liked but we are going to keep going because we felt that it is what needs to be done.

We did get to see a little fruits, we got to teach the boyfriend of a young adult this week and he has come to one of the activities, he is not very believing and I don't know if he will progress but it has been good for the member to really get share her beliefs and values, we also met a less active sister and that has a daughter that isn't baptised, we have an appointment this week to teach her and I think that she has tons of potential, she is very cool and I have lots of faith for her.

We spent some time knocking doors as well and we are still hunting for a family!

I love you all and I am doing well! get your questions ready and we will talk on christmas!
Have a great week!

Love
Elder Smith

ps I got a package with some scocharoos!!! and a bunch of wrapped presents from mom! it was great except I didn't have the patience and I opened up one of the gifts because I could tell that is was a nerf football, we loved it and then loved it a little too much and it is stuck behind the washer, we are going to have to do something impressive to get it out

ps our baptism got pushed back because our investigators are not quite ready, greg and nicholas are progressing and we hope to see them baptised soon!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bonjour!

This week we traveled a bit and spent lots of time trying to contact some less active members.

We took the list of all of the members of the ward and set the goal to invite each of them to come to the Christmas activity and that has proven to be quite a challenge. We have to look in the white pages and talk to lots of people in order to find some of them. It gives a chance to talk to lots of people, because we are just there asking them if they know someone, and then we bring up the gospel and invite them to hear our message. It has taken lots of time and we haven't yet seen some of the fruits that we are looking for but we have hope and faith and are excited to invite all of these people to come to church with their friends and such. There is lots and lots of potential with partial member families and less actives. people that have gone through the temple but have fallen less active and they have children that are not baptised! There is gold but it is kind of delicate to get to it, we are trying our best to really focus on the ward and on getting familes established and headed to the temple.

We also went to Lyon and had a meeting with President Murdock! I love that man, he is so inspired! I could sit and listen to his teachings all day long if I was allowed to. We spent a lot of time talking about how to get all of the investigators that we have to actually get baptised, because in the mission right now we have lots of people with baptismal dates but that are having a hard time staying strong and not pushing back their baptismal dates, it was really great. We are going to try our best to get as many of these people as possible baptised and headed down the right path. In Lyon I got the chance to see Elder Duncan, from Nice, and Elder Claflin from Aix. It was great! (Elder Brough, from Nice is also back into the zone and I will get to see him in 2 weeks, I'm stoked!)

Besides that, it was a good week, a little tiring, it seemed pretty hard to get out of bed this week and hit the work, I don't know why but I was kinda tired, but I am excited to get back to work and bust up aix this week with Elder Baret.

Thanks for the package mom and the singing card. haha you know how much I love those cards.

Have a great week and good luck cleaning up after the huge storm, I hope that I will recognize our house when i get back.

Love
Elder Smith

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giving Thanks



We had a great week in Aix, and we are still working along great. I am excited to be with Elder Baret, he is funny and works hard and is a great companion. Last p day was a little bit crazy. I was waiting around for him all day and then the institute teacher contacted us because there was a filming crew here from Salt Lake to do a special on europe institute and seminary, and they needed a translator. So we headed right off and did that and it was pretty cool, it wasn't an offical translation so my voice won't be in the actual video I don't think, I was just there to help the man doing the interviews understand what the people were saying. We also taught a good amount of people and had a couple investigators at church.

For Thanksgiving we ate with a family where the father had served his mission in the states and he did thanksgiving up right. We ate tons and then they gave us this stuff like peptobismal because they we afraid that they had fed us too much. It was pretty funny. We got invited several times for thanksgiving, so we celebrated more than once, on the days before and after. This ward is too cool! I am excited to be here for Christmas.

This week we were teaching our investigator Francoise and she expressed the same problem that she has had for the last 2 months, the problem that she can't come to church on sundays because she tends her grandchildren, she has come 2 times in the last couple of months when here grandchildren were not there, but we sat down with her and we started to talk about the church. We hadn't planned to talk about church, but the spirit changed the lesson and we ended up talking about service and about how it is important to help others. We also talked about how the church is there so that we can serve and strengthen one another. She immediately shot up her problem about the grandchildren and we invited her to allow the members to serve her, she was embarassed to have to have someone come and pick her up with the car seats and everything because she doesn't have a car. Elder Baret shared the scripture that Christ said " when you have served one of the least of my brethren you have served me as well" (it is something like that) and then I asked her "will you allow us and the members to serve you and help you come to church?" we sat there in silence for about 30 seconds and she started to cry, the spirit was very very strong. She told us that she was so touched that we wanted her to come unto christ and that we would do anything for her. She said that she had never felt so much love than the service of 2 young men that knocked on her door and then painted her apartement and pray with her and help her come to church. She accepted to come to church and everything went really well on sunday. I am so grateful to be able to carry the love of the Savior to people like Francoise, I know that it has nothing to do with us, and that is why I am grateful to have been put on her path so that she could come unto Christ and feel of his love.

Nicholas is doing great, he came to church and really loved talking with the members, he told one the members that he has visited lots of churches but finally he feels like he has fold the one for him, he is still engaged to be baptised on the 11th of december, he has some minor worries, but I think that he will push through and that he can be baptised on that day.

Greg is doing great as well, we talked about trials with him, because he had a hard week of opposition and was having some doubts, we talked about patience and faith that push us through our trials and he is doing well.


I am so grateful for my mission and for the people that I have met while I have been out here in France. I am so grateful for all of you and for the testimonies that you are for those that are around you. This gospel is true and has been restored by a prophet of God, I am so grateful for that. I am grateful for my Savior for his sacrifice for me, I am grateful for the remission of my sins that I have found in following Jesus Christ. He is the Christ, the Messiah and the King of Kings. I love him and I am grateful for him!


Love Elder Smith

ps I got a singing card today from mom and dad!!! Thanks

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White Aix-mas

This week was wonderful just like the last 17 weeks in Aix, I lost my brother though. Elder Claflin has been transfered to Montpellier and I will be serving with Elder Baret, he will finish his mission one transfer before me, he is french, he is from Grenoble. I have know him since the very beginning of my mission and we are going to have a blast. He has already served in Aix, I actually replaced him, and now he is coming right back to Aix. He spent 4 months in Geneve. We are going to have blast! I am really going to miss Elder Claflin, I don't think that I can explain to you how much I have enjoyed these last 3 transfers with him. The day that we meet up again in Utah, will be alot like the sons of mosiah and Ammon. He is going to be a life long friend.

This week we kept working with our amis that are engaged for baptism.

Our ami DODO, who is from togo, has started the Book of Mormon, he is really cool, but he struggles understanding why he would need another book of scripture and not just the bible, we taught him with one of brothers that is here in Aix that is from Cameroon. It went well and I hope that we will get to see him a couple times this week.

Our ami, NICHOLAS, who is french and has grown up his whole life in the south.( His accent is soooooo strong, I don't know if I have told you, because I have been in the south for my entire mission, but it is like serving in the south of the united states as far as the accent goes). he came to church and is really progressing towards baptism, he had lots of questions and is very very sincere about knowing if the Book of Mormon is true. He has read it 3 times and he as read all of the other standard works, he knows that it is true with his heart, but he is really searching for an intellectual testimony, we explained to him, that we can't know all things with our heads and that we need to trust the spirit in our hearts. It went well and as soon as he can stop some small bad habits with chewing tabacco he will be ready to be baptised.

Our Ami, SERGIO, is being taught again, he came to the first half of church and he is doing well. We had a great lessons about prophets with him and he now understands why he needs to read the Book of Mormon.

Our ami, GREG, is doing great, he is again super close to baptism. He told us that he knows that the church is true and he wants to get to a point where he has the faith to be baptised. His wife is a member, and so he has some questions about the temple and the fact that he can't go inside gives him some small doubts. He knows what he needs to do, and he is so close. Elder Baret taught him alot and greg asked us if Elder Baret could come back to baptise him, and then the Lord sent Elder Baret back. WOW! I have never ever seen someone come right back to the same city just 4 months after! We never said anything to our mission president, but the Lord was listening to Gregs prayers. I have the faith that Greg will be baptised before 2012, he is great! I love him!

Our ami, Francoise came to church!!!! we were going to drop her, because she just kept giving "excuses" about not coming to church, and then we were walking to the church and she was at the bus stop waiting for the church to be opened!! That was a miracle and we are going to keep teaching her.

Robine is doing great! She is golden, she has asked if she can teach with us and she testifies like a machine! She is a great missionary and she has only been a member of the church for 8 days!

We also went up to Manosque and saw our ami Dominque, she is struggling a little and we are not sure if we are going to keep seeing her. Right after we went and ate with the Kempton family! They were great and we loved being there, it was awesome to meet up with a utah famliy, especially since she is a good friend of sara's.

I love you
Elder Smith

Ps, I don't know if you remember Jonathan from Perigueux, back he has come back to church and is doing great! Miracle!

1 Francoise
2 Greg
3 Sergio

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BEST WEEK OF MY MISSION

Missionaries,Robine and Robine's friend's

Robine and Jeremie Pichon

Elder Smith, Robine, Elder Claflin

Sonia, Robine and another friend

Life is beautiful!

Robine got baptised! It was super great! A perfect baptismal service with lots of members that were there to support her, she was baptised by Jeremie Pichon, one of the coolest members ever!, he got off his mission about a year ago and he taught with us. She was just radiant after her baptism and she then left straight away to a stake relief society activity and she LOVED it! The spirit was so strong during her confirmation as well, she was crying and she was a new person, it was so beautiful. She invited her friend Sonia to her baptism ( she is in the picture with the straight hair) Sonia went to the activity on saturday with her and she has a baptismal date as well now. Robine was GOLDEN! and a real miracle, she was taught everyday by the spirit, she has been converted to real disiple of Christ and she is now inviting others to come unto Christ, the baptism was perfect the ward has accepted her just how it should happen, and we couldn't be happier! Ginette Lacan was also confirmed this week because she got baptised after Church last week! She is doing also doing well!

It was Elder Claflin's Birthday and we had a SUPER GREAT dinner with the Kool family ( the family of Greg). I love that family so much! They take care of us and we eat with them everyweek! They are so fun and I want to come back and visit them!

We had our interviews with President this week, and that went really well. We had the whole zone with us and we had a great conference together. President was feeling very very sick and was having some problems, so I asked him if he had had a blessing, he said that he hadn't and he asked me to give him a blessing. I was kinda of nervous but it was one of the neatest moments of my mission, and I really felt the spirit, we sent him off to the hotel and he came back the next morning looking great and ready to do interviews with the other 20 missionaries. I love that man, I am so grateful to have him as my mission president and I am grateful for the priesthood and the power of faith. An experience that I will never forget.

We also had the yearly primary program, and it made me miss all the kids! I love all of you! With all of the grandkids that are in the family we could have had the same size primary program at our house! I am so grateful for all of you from JENS to OWEN!

Our ami Dominque is kinda of shaky, because she has big problems with smoking, but we also have an new ami that is engaged for baptism, his name is Nicholas, he has already read the book of mormon and the doctrine and covenants and the pearl of great price. He had been dropped but we found him in the books this week, he is really cool. he is about 30, french and honestly looking for the truth. He has lost some faith so we are going to have to get to work with him, but he has lots of potential to be baptised next transfer. Sonia and Nicholas are engaged for the 10th of december!

Greg is doing great and is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO close to a baptism date! i love him, and I know that we will decide soon when he will be baptised, we feel the spirit so strong with him everytime that we see him. He is praying for his baptismal date and I think that it will be before 2012! Cross your fingers!

I don't want to leave Aix and I don't want Elder Claflin to leave either, we are starting to tear things up with the help of the Lord and I have never been so happy and excited to work! We will do what the Lord wants and I know that even if I leave or he leaves that we will be directed by the Lord, but if it was me that was deciding, I would totally stay in Aix with him! He will be a long life friend and brother!


QUESTIONS
1. How are your P-day clothes holding up? FINE
With winter coming again do you need warm pj's? I'M FINE
Do you have central heating in your apartments or do you heat with space Heaters? I don't know, but I am warm
2. How is Robine doing? GREAT! and she is a member :)
3. Where Domonique lives, Manosque, is it far from Aix? 45 minutes if mom drives, 28 minutes if dad is driving
4. I have a Thanksgiving letter to send should I send it or hold it? NO IDEA
Do you have any idea what will happen with transfers? NOT THE SLIGHTEST IDEA ABOUT WHO but a change is very probable

You are Christmas package hunting, I know.

1 Couple paires of Gs
2 REAL LETTERS!!!! I can count the amount of tangible handwritten letters that I have recieved since last November on 2 hands
3 Razor Heads
4 Tangible pictures are cool as well


I LOVE YOU, Thank you for giving me the chance to go on a mission! I will never be able to repay you for all of the joy that this has brought me

Elder Smith

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween, Babies and Baptisms

River Jordan


Dominique & River Crossing


Ginette's Baptism


Bernard & Sis. Siriex with Ginette

Jack-o- Moroni
Family!

Thank you for all the pictures from everyone, I am so happy to hear that there is another elder smith and an elder pack, that have been added to the club. I didn't realize that all the due dates were so soon, so I was very surprised to hear that Alicia and Tanelle had their babies! That is so exciting, and I am so grateful that both moms and boys and are health and smiling. I still need to see some pictures of Owen, but Tanner is looking like a stud! In the other pictures I thought that Skyler was Drew and I didn't even recognize Carter, I thought that it was one of Aarons siblings children or something, and Morgan is a MAN! What are you feeding all of these children/young single adults!!!!?? geez,

Halloween was great we went and did a little bit of door knocking, but we didn't get any candy unfortuneatly, we met some new people and a man name Jean Yves that is interested in learning more about the gospel. We also went to a haunted castle with our investigator Greg and his wife, unfortuneatly i didn't have my camera with me or else we would have taken tons of photos, they took some photos and they have put them on face book, so someday when I get home you can see them, I also bought a pumpkin and carved good ole moroni into it, I was pretty proud of my skills. :)

And last but not least our investigator Ginette got baptised!!!! She is the sweetest thing on this planet, we had to block the drains and fill up the font pretty high because she has a hard time bending, it was a really great baptism. In the pictures there are her 2 friends that introduced her to us, and she was baptised by her friend Bernard. It was a great, it was his first time, and as she descended into the water he helped her, he was a little nervous and didn't get her under until after a couple tries, when she finally got baptised, she looked up at us (we were the witnesses) and said "If I am not baptised I don't know who is!!!!" She is very funny, and reminds me alot of Grandma Sanders, she has got some attitude and she doesn't hide it. After the baptism as usual she slapped another great grandma kiss on both of us. Ha ha

We also went to Lyon and Nice, that was awesome, I got to see James, he got baptised while I was there and I got to talk with Antonio on the phone they both have found jobs that are a lot better and they are doing well. The wife of Antonio is still not baptised and she has stopped taking the lessons, it is sad and I hope that I can do another exchange in Nice so that I can go see her. I love them.

We have 2 investigators that are getting ready to be baptised as well,
Robine is 35. she is from madagascar and she is getting baptised this week, if she can get work off. She works at Best Western and her boss is kinda of a jerk about letting her go to church on sundays, every lesson that we have with her is really powerful and she is frustrated that she can't come to church. I don't remember if I explained but she was an old investigator about 4 years ago, a month ago she saw the book of mormon at her house and she opened it and as she read she really felt the spirit that told her she needed to come back to church, she is awesome!
Dominque is also an old investigator that lives in manosque, I gave her a call in august and she told me that she would call us back, I didn't really believe her and last week she called us and asked if we could come teach her!! a miracle! We said yes of course and we went and taught her about the book of mormon, she excepted to be baptised in December. she smokes and is kind of busy so we are really going to have to work, but I can definitly see her being baptised. It was at her house that we came out and there was a river! I had to take off my shoes to get to the car, it was dumping!!! There were people pushing their cars because there was a massive river that had overflown. It was pretty fun, when we came out she said "hey it is the river jordan! where is noah?" we laughed pretty hard.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
Elder Smith




Monday, October 31, 2011

Allo Oui....n

Ginette - She is doing well, she broke 2 ribs last week so that made it hard for us to teach her, she is so great and has a great desire to be baptized. She is 85 and a friend of some members, she asked us if she could be baptized. She is getting baptized next week after church, but we still have to teach her a lot this week, so we hope that we are going to get everything taught before Sunday, because she is a little older we have to go a little slower with her and we don't appointments as often, so she is going to get one massive lesson this week with lots of commandments and good stuff all at the same time. She will be the older active member in the ward, and the relief society is excited for her to be their adopted grandma. she is so cute, she took me by the cheeks and gave me a big Grandma kiss on the cheek at church because she was so happy for her baptism, it was pretty funny. Elder Claflin looked at me like he had dodged a bullet and then she turned to him and slapped a big one on him as well. She is a very sweet lady and she wants to meet those that come to pick me up.

Greg - He is doing great, we have been seeing him lots more often, we ate with them 2 times last week and he is doing well. He came to all 3 hours of church and we feel the spirit with him each time that we are together. He accepted to the life as a member for a month and to see how he feels he is doing great and he says that he feels about the same because he hasn't had to change much.

Robine - she is from Madagascar, she came to a child baptism this week and loved it! She is getting baptized on the 12th of November. She is so sweet, she is getting close with members and doing really well. She loves the Book of Mormon!

I love you all and hope that you have a great Halloween, sorry that this is short! I expect pictures of costumes and I need reports on the pregnants!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, October 24, 2011

Life is Beautiful

Dear Loved Ones

Another great week, I don't know if there are weeks that aren't great in Aix en Provence, but this ones was super great. I am horrible at writing in my journal so I am going to give you a daily look at the week and so that I can use this later in life to remember

Monday- We spent most of p day just goofing around the apartment and went out and taught a man named mr kotbi, he is very very muslim, and we are not going to keep seeing him, he was really kind and it is a good discussion but he is not ready to accept the Christ or our teachings. We caught a lizard (see photo attached) and we ate at dominos pizza, it was delish. It was a day that i felt like I was back in the states because I ate at dominos, God bless America and God bless Fast food.

Tuesday - We went and got the oil changed in the car and then we went and taught Francoise, she is hesitant to accept a baptismal date, but we felt the spirit verying strongly at the end of the lesson, because she offered a very sincere and very powerful prayer, she is leaving for the weekend so she won't be able to come to church this week. We also went and taught Ginette with Bernard and Sr Sirieix, she accepted to be baptised the 5th of November and she is awesome, she had an accident last week and she broke 2 ribs, we gave her a blessing and she won't be able to come to church this weekend either because she is on bed rest. we might have to push back her date, but either way she is great and she will be baptised

Wednesday - We spent the morning doing contacting with our board out in the streets, after lunch we went and knocked doors. The we went and saw sophie and her friend jeanine who wants to learn more about the church. We ate with them and it was a really great moment. Jeanine is a little bit older and we are going to try to get her to come to relief society because I think it will help her see the blessings of the church. After we had english class, Elder Claflin was helping Clementine ( a member ) and a friend with their english home work, so i taught my 7 college students about how to talk about university life in english, it was way funny and we are going to try to get them to come out to institute because they would all love it.

Thursday - We spent the morning doing contacting with our board out in the streets and we met lots of really cool people, I hope that we will get to teach them this up coming week. Lots of young students that are interested in the goal of life and what they can do to be happier and more successful in life, easy answer "the gospel!". We then had to start getting ready for the zone conference, we had 45 missionaries from our zone and montpeiller that we had to welcome, we had to get the chapel ready for Elder Caussé (the 70 that came to talk to us) That was hecktic but we got everybody to an apartment and got the chapel ready for the friday

Friday - we had an Awesome zone conference with Elder Caussé he brought the spirit and taught alot about teaching and using members, he wants us to be alot closer to members and to teach alot more, he said the contacting is on a much lower priority, that is a huge change for what I have been doing for the past year a half, but the spirit was strong and we are going to follow his teachings as close as possible. We spent practically the whole day with him and then we sent of 45 missionaries and had to organize the church for a stake meeting that elder caussé was having at the church. We also had to pick up 14 Elders for the saturday zone leader counsil with elder caussé, there was a work train that derailed close to bordeaux and it messed up the whole country, we had got get missionaries at the trainstation until 2 oclock in the morning with president murdock and then get them to their hotels, we were the only people with a car so we did alot of taxiing these last 2 days. It was crazy but super fun and tiring

Saturday, we had another great time with Elder Caussé, we did the taxi thing for all afternoon we cleaned up the chapel and then we got on our knees to find out what we could do with the time that was left, we felt like we need to call a young return missionary that is in the ward, we called and he needed a blessing and he wanted our help, it was wonderful to be an answer to his prayer. He is awesome and he is going to be teaching with us more and more.

Sunday - France was in the rugby world cup (they lost 7 to 8 ) and so we didn't have an amis at church and there was a good number of members that happened to miss church as well, we did have a miricale, an old ami came to church because she didn't have work, she is from madagascar and her name is robine, she is really cool and asked if she could have the lessons again so we are going to teach her tomorrow. Then we went and knocked doors, the 2nd door was a man from africa name christian that was interested in what we were doing, we taught him and are going to see him this week, we then hurried off to teach greg, greg is great we taught him and ate with him (see attached photos) We invited him to prepare for baptism for the 19 of november he is going to pray and doing his best to have an answer and is going to take the lessons for a month and he said that when he has his answer he will be baptised!!!!! I love him, and I am excited to help to find his testimony!

There is my week!, at the end of friday the longest day of my life, I came home to a care package from mom, the timing couldn't have been better! Thank you so much!

a happy happy birthday to day and a whoo hooo to jodi for a new car that is super cool, Mom don't die from chasing grand kids around all day! I love you all and I expect to start getting news about babies!

This work is true and the savoir lives!
elder smith

Sophie her mother me and Elder Claflin
me and my lizard
Greg, Jolaine the Elders (us) Allison and Anias (Gregg's sister-in-laws)



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Life in Aix

A great week! It just felt good to work in Aix, we didn't do any exchanges or any conferences, it was just me and elder claflin, sore knuckles and teaching. We met 5 new people to teach, we will see if they are going to progress, but we have at least one that will be baptised. Her name is Ginette, she is an older woman that is a friend of 2 members, she asked if she could meet the missionaries and if she could be baptised. That makes our job really easy, she set up the appointment and she accepted the invitation before we could invite her. She is really sweet, it will take a little bit of time to get her ready just because we have to go a little slower that normal, but I think she will be baptised before the end of the transfer, she is really really nice and a wonderful blessing to everyone that meets her.

We have started teaching some young students but I don't have the time to tell you about them, it was a little shaky about this week so if there is something to say about it next week I will say it. Our investigators Sophie and Sergio are doing well, Sergio moved to Marseille so we passed him to the Elders in that area, and Sophie is great, she has made us slippers, and hats and ponchos and invites us to eat all the time, unfortunatly she has lost her fire for the gospel and it is sad, she says that she will always be a friend to the church and so we are going to try to get her back into a situation where she can feel the spirit, we hope that she can continue to progress and want to be baptised. Either way she is a wonderful woman and some day I know that she will be baptised

We taught Francoise this week and it was a powerful moment about the book of mormon and having a testimony of the book. She wants to know if it is true, but she is taking her time, which is a good thing, we just hope that she will keep that strong desire to find the truth.

Greg was out of town so, we didn't get to teach him

This week a 70 is coming to aix for 2 days, so that will be fun leading him and around and such, I am excited for Elder Caussé, he is french, and he is a powerful teacher. We will also be going to nice to do a baptismal interview. so much for calm weeks of just normal work. oh well, we do what the Lord wants, what ever it is.

I love you and I will talk to you in 7 days, have a great week!
congrats to carter, who WALKED! I have never met you, but I hope that I will be home before you leave on your mission! geez

Elder Smith



How is your weather? We are back into suits and it is great, not rainy or that cold, just a little brisk and it is starting to get dark sooner. It is about the same feeling as the begining of september in utah

Do you need razors? YES badly, fusion 5 non electic0

What could you use for Christmas? Candy, pictures and singing cards0

Have you been to see Sara's Friend yet? This is a heads up Sara sent her a copy of the video of you doing the Sponge Bob song.
Yes and Yes, I met her and it was fun to talk to her, it was at a branch activity and yes she had already seen the video, thanks sara. haha0

How are you set for winter clothes? Great, I just bought a new suit because one of my other ones was all torn up, I have sweaters, scarfs, coats and I am probably going to buy some gloves when january gets here, but I don't need anything from home

Will it get as cold in Aix as it did in Perigeux? I am not sure, but I don't think so, it will get windy I think, but not bad0

Monday, October 10, 2011

GOOD NEWS

HELLO

So this week I am in marseille for transfers and I don't have lots of time, I am in a shady cybercafe that you see in movies, where some guy with a beard is hacking the whole word.....I pretty sure that I just saw that guy.

I have so good news and some really good news and then some even better news so lets get started

good news 1 - I had a wonderful week traveling and seeing lots of missionaries and listening to President Murdock! He is a great man!
We left right after I sent the email last week, we took a speed train to Lyon and then a slow train to Geniva, we got to the mission home at about 8 oclock we had a very nice small dinner with Sister Murdock and then we went to bed, the next morning Elder Claflin went and did stuff for his visa and then we had a counsil with the other zone leaders with president, it was awesome and he is called of god! That lasted till about 7, after train strikes and problems we got to the appartment in lyon at 1030 with 10 other zone leaders in an appartment for 2, we then slept till 5 and carried super heavy boxes of book of mormons through the city of lyon and took another speed train to nice, we gave them some book of mormons and then I went back to aix with elder harris for an exchange, we worked well and found and taught a new investigator

good news 2 - Friday I learned that I get to stay with Elder Claflin for the next transfer in aix, we were praying and we really wanted to stay together for a 3rd transfer! I am stoked!!!!!!!!

good news 3 ( the best ) - our investigator Francoise, ( we painted her appartment) came to church! we found 3 new investigators and our investigator greg is practically already wet for baptism! Sunday was great!

We went and ate with greg and his inlaws ( who are members) They stuffed us with cake and crepes! like stuffed us, I thought I was going to die, we laughed alot and then had a really really great family home evening and after Elder Claflin told greg and his wife that we were staying together. His wife laughed and said "so that gives you 6 weeks to baptise greg" then greg said "next week when we start the lessons again I think it will only take 6 days!" Appartently after he went to salt lake city, he found his testimony, we still need to teach things to him to answer some small questions but greg would have NEVER said that before he went to salt lake city!

I love greg, and I am so glad that we get to stay here with him for at least 1 more transfer!

I love you all and I hope that you are doing well!
Tate and Carter! Don't be sick I won't allow it!

LOVE, Elder Smith

Monday, October 3, 2011

I love conference like a fat kid loves cake

So this week was pretty good, I am getting nervous that my time with Elder Claflin is winding down, I would stay 5 transfers with him if the Lord would let me, we will see this weekend if we have any news and if he or I will be on the move.

Monday - We taught are ami Christophe and we dropped him......we were super direct with the law of chasity because he has some big issues with it and we called him to repentance with love,but very boldly. He told us that he wasn't ready to make the changes and that he didn't want to, so we told him that we would pray for him and that when he was ready to change we would love to help him. sad but necessary. Then we knocked doors

Tuesday - We knocked doors and we did lots of contacting close to the institute building, we were just inviting everyone to come to institute or come to english classes

Wednesday - we visited a less active sister and then we taught some lessons and knocked some more doors. We also taught english class for the first time in aix,
that was really fun, we had some cool people show up and we are hoping to be able to teach them in the weeks to come.

Thursday - knocked more doors and talked to people about coming to institute

Friday - knocked more doors and talked to people about coming to institute

Saturday - we went and helped our ami Francoise with her apartment, we painted her kitchen and talked about
conference with her, she was really excited to come. Then she got really sick and wasn't able to come
*then we watched the first session of conference and that was really great. I love love love general conference

Sunday - we watched priesthood and the other 2 sessions. We weren't able to see the last session because it is in the middle of the night here.


Our ami greg, that went to Salt Lake last week with his wife (who used to be a missionary at temple square) came to conference and we were able to talk with him, he loved salt lake and now he wants to re-take the missionary lessons and find a testimony. That was super cool, they are going to be out of town this week but next week we are going to start up with the lessons. We will be baptised, there is now question.


My thoughts about conference :

There was a couple of messages that seemed to keep coming through and I think it would only be wise to head to the prophets counsel

1 Be an Example
2 Repent
3 Share the Gospel (MOM AND DAD) :)

There were also lots of other things but these were the things that seemed to be very very clear as i listened, there were lots of speakers that
talked about these same subjects. I especially loved Elder Eyring, Sister Dalton, Elder Callister, Elder Perry, and Elder Anderson.


I know that we are guided by the prophets of god, the signs of the times are around us and the teachings of this conference were as
clear for me as king benjamin or the words of chirst himself. There are things that are before us and we cannot see them clearly but our prophet can see them, I am so so so grateful for the chance that I had to watch conference and i can't wait to study the ensign in a couple of weeks!

I love you all

Elder Smith

ps today i am going to geneve, for a couple of days and then
we are head back to nice to do an exchange, I think that is week will be full of running and sprinting and I hope that we will get some time to teach and find

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Elder Smith and Company

This week was enjoyable and full of traveling

Monday - P-Day, we went hiking with Christophe and a huge wind storm came up us and it was super sketchy so we went back down and went to family night at the institute with him. Also had, our weekly wrestling match in the appartment ( elder claflin wrestled in the past and I think I am bigger than I am. so practically every week I end up trying to take him down and then he puts me in in really uncomfortable wrestling moves and then he teaches me how to get out)

Tuesday - We taught our ami Carline, that is doing well. We taught the plan of salvation with a convert that got baptised 7 months ago and is super super cool, he is getting ready for a mission. Carline has been reading in the book of mormon and she told us that she feels happier and that she feels better in her life, she wasn't able to come to church because her family took a week end trip but we are going to try to get her to come to institute with us this week.

Wednesday - we did an exchange with the missionaries in toulon and we also did some shopping for the zone at ikea, president murdock did a tour of the zone and because we have the credit card with out limits we had to by tables and chairs and stuff for all of the appartments. we did that early in the morning and then we did the exchange, i was with elder stephens , he is from provo, and we worked in toulon. we taught a new investigator and we knocked some doors and talked with a good amount of people but we didn't meet any elect that wanted to learn more.

Thursday - wow, I left the appartment at 8 in the morning at got back inside at 11 45 at night. don't worry we called president, we went to marseille for a district meeting and we went to nice to do a baptismal interview and there was train problems so we had to get home late. that was super tiring to be in transport (4 trains, 4 buses and 2 metros all day) but it was a really great baptismal interview. I felt a very strong spirit as i was able to talk with the young man that got baptised, he is 20 and wants to serve a mission as well.

Friday - We went out to a little village to visit someone, but they weren't there, so we decided to go pass a less active sister. She needed us and we were touched by the spirit, she lost her son 4 weeks ago in a moto accident and she wanted a blessing, her husband isn't a member and he has had a really really hard time with the death of his son. we are going to trying to go back and help them this week and maybe be able to teach her husband.

Saturday - we painted the appartment of one of our amis, Francoise, which was kool. We are hoping to be able to start teaching her daughters and friend that were there as well. Then we knocked doors for while and taught our ami Christophe about the law of chasity. He is engaged to be baptised in 2 weeks, but he has lots of changes to make in his life, he has started and it is really realy cool to see him repenting but we will see if he can be ready for the 8 oct.

Sunday - Church and the start up of institute for the year. it was great! we have about 20 young adults that we are going to try to teach with!

I am out of time but I love you all! I love my mission and to answer your question dad - YES! I am having lots of fun! The best moment of my life!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rejoice!

Friends, Relatives, Countrymen lend me your ears! -


So this week went well we did an exchange with the elders in avignon and I loved it. We did lots of finding, because the universities have started up we were right out in front of the library and we were talking about the plan of salvation with everyone, we talked with quite a few people and we met a couple youngsters that were interested in life and the book of mormon. It is strange to be able to teach people that are my same age, because we have been around the block the same amount of times, but I am able to give lots of “wise advice” (the gospel) and most of the students that we talk with don’t have a clue why they are here on earth and what they can do to be happy. I love being able to testify in those moments that there is a prophet on the earth and the fullness of the gospel is on the earth so that we can find the answers to both of those problems! The gospel is sooooo good! We are spoiled to have it in our lives.


This week we had stake conference that it went really well, there was a 70 that came and talked to us about the small and simple things, he testified a lot about the family, the book of mormon, pray and obedience. It was nothing new or very special but he testified with the spirit because it was the things that he had lived. We were able to go on Saturday night because we had an investigator that was able to come, that was really great as well and I was able to see lots of members from Nice! There was a brother that came and picked me up off the ground in a huge huge and another brother that grabbed me and kissed me on the cheek, It was kinda of like the reunion of ammon and is brothers. I realized how much I love my mission and that people that I have met here. I am so grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary and to meet and be with the saints of god in France! I love it so much!


During the conference the temple in paris was made official and the spirit was very strong, there were many members brought to tears, because they have been waiting there entire lives to have a temple in France. It was really really special and I will never forget it.

Our ami, Christophe is doing well, he came to conference and today for p day we are going hiking with him, it should be pretty cool and I think it will be good for him. We also have another amie carline that is engaged to me baptized on the 15th of October. She is really sincere about finding the true church, she is 24 and she is really really cool, I really think that she will be baptized!


Rejoice! The gospel is restored!

Love Elder Smith



Ps I did meet sara’s friend, turns out that she lives in manosque which is another branch in our area ( I don’t know if I told you that, but we take care of a branch and a ward) She is the wife of the branch president but I didn’t know. She singled me out at stake conference by talking to all of the other missionaries. She was nice and I think that I will be seeing her again in about 2 weeks

Monday, September 12, 2011

Robin Hood, Baptism and the Cops....a good week

Missions are great, lets get started

Robin Hood - As you can see from the pictures I did a little bit of exploring this week. Let me explain. So we went off to teach our ami, sophie, she is super super nice and into nature and natural healing and all sorts of good stuff like that. She lives about 10 minutes from Aix by car, out in the vineyards and just on top of the hill next to her house are these ancient Celtic ruins that look like a Robin Hood movie. We went and saw her and she gave us some drinks and a pie, that was delish, then we embarked on our little journey, We walked for about 8 minutes and we were there. It was actually pretty cool, we took some pictures and then sat down on some rocks and talked about the gospel. she is really nice and has a huge heart, but she doesn't really agree with some commandments, she loves jesus christ and it is always uplifting to be with her, she doesn't have a testimony of joseph smith and that is often what we discuss, either his story and how he came to be a prophet or a teaching that comes from him, word of wisdom, the book of mormon etc etc. Needless to say it was a cool experience and we were able to feel a neat spirit while we were out in the woods a little bit. We finished because it was getting dark, and we left with the spirit

Baptism - We were doing a little door knocking and we had an hour left last night and I had the feeling that we should pass by an ami. We headed off to the car and drove over to his apartment and rang the bell, but he wasn't there. We were headed off when I gave him a call and he told me that he was down in town and that he could be at the church in 5 minutes, so we headed off to the church. Our appointments with him, often go off in all directions and we have a hard time getting the spirit, so we decided we were going to have a very very small lesson and then fix another moment for today. We sat down and shared one scripture and then were about to pray. We could tell that he had diffferent spirit about him than normal, we both had the impression to testify of repentance and baptism, I felt the spirit telling me to invite him to baptism, when i looked at my companion and he opened his mouth and invited him to be baptised. We looked at the ground for a couple of seconds and then nodded his head and said "yes I need to be forgiven of my sins" the spirit was strong and we fixed a date with him for the 8th of october, his name is christophe and i am excited to work with him

I am almost out of time so this will be short

Cops - We were knocking doors when 3 people in civialian clothes came up to us asking for papers, we asked why and they then informed us that they are the french version of federal agents, they frisked us and searched our bags because we had left our passports in the apartment, I tried to give them a book of mormon and then unfortunately didn't except. We had to go to the city building right after and show our passports, there was no problem but it was kinda of funny. It was just a random check, they were looking for some kinda of person on the run

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love Elder smith

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BONJOUR!!!

So this past week was good, we went to Marseilles on Saturday to help our investigator move that was a cool. She started giving us books and plates and stuff that is like 300 years old. She is moving to New York City, and she need help clearing the stuff out of her old apartment. We also spent a the whole day in Marseilles on Wednesday with transfers and that is when I met Sister Bartlomé. That was pretty cool to get to see her on the other side of the world, she is companions with Sister Lala, who is french and super super cool, they will have a great time in Nice. We found a couple of new investigators and we went and did some more service on Thursday (helped someone move into their apartment). We were kind of running around all week just trying to find 1 or 2 hours here and there to teach and to find, but we invited everyone to church and the Lord blessed us on Sunday and we had 4 of our investigators out to church.

We had a lesson with Greg, the husband of a member that served a mission at Temple Square and it was really great. He asked all 4 of the missionaries in Aix to come because he likes to here lots of opinions and hear more than 1 or 2 people teach. He had prepared a list of questions about the plan of salvation and about the commandments and about prophets and how to get a testimony. The lesson kinda of went in all directions because we were talking about some many different subjects. Normally we would try to just set up another appointment but they were leaving for salt lake in 2 days, so he really wanted just plain and clear answers to his questions. It seemed that every time he asked a question there was one of us that had a feeling, scripture, or experience that we could share with him, we were able to answer lots of his questions and we left him with scriptures for the other ones. The appointment ended very well, we were talking and everyone one just kinda of went quiet and had nothing left to say. I felt prompted to share my testimony of Joseph Smith and how I had come to know that we has a prophet. I testified that I had been taught by the spirit as I watch the Joseph Smith movie in Salt Lake and that he would have that same chance, We invited him to offer a simple prayer of "God, was Joseph Smith a prophet?" every time he was in question while he was in Salt Lake, my companion then testified powerfully of Jesus Christ and Greg left the appointment with a great desire to know the truth for himself. He is now in America and he will be visiting Salt Lake in about 5 days. I am excited to see him when he gets back and has his testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.

This Monday we spent the morning on a bullet train to Lyon and and then we had a meeting with President Murdock for about 5 hours, we then spent another 3 1/2 hours on a train to Besançon. We went and saw the city a little bit, ate at SUBWAY!!!!! ( God bless America) and then went back and crashed in the apartment. The next morning we woke up early and when and got at line at the visa office, we then hurried of the aix and took another bullet train for 4 1/2 hours to Aix en Provence ( I was very happy to see that we weren't on a slow poke for the return). we got back to aix and hurried off to another service activity with a brother that need help in his garden. We have been doing lots of service lately and we don't get a lot of time in our area. Today we will have about 6 hours of contacting and I am excited to finally get to work. We are going to knock a building that I saw the other day and I felt the spirit when we passed that there was good things waiting for us, I will let you know if there is anything exciting for you next week.

This week during church I was doing lots of praying and trying to find out what the Lord wanted me to do this week, I hadn't felt anything special during all of the meetings and I was praying during the sacrament and I felt a peace in my heart that witnessed to me of the importance of the Book of Mormon. I wanted to let you know that I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, the spirit has testified to me that it is the proof of God's love. Through that knowledge I know as well the Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is his kingdom restored again to the earth. I love the Book of Mormon and I love the Lord.

Thanks for all the updates recently, Mom and Dad, the Sealys, the Ben Smiths, the Poulsens all did a great job this week, and last week I had the Tres Smiths and the Packs........Jodi what are you doing?

Glad that the New Yorkers are safe, and that Both the Ben Smiths and the Poulsens will be keeping the newborns inspite of the objections of the children.

I love you all!
Elder Smith

PS Congrats Charlie, I was so happy to hear about your babtism, I wish I could have been there! I love you bud!

1. Did you get both packages? I got both of the packages and the debit card, and I even got a package from the sealys!

2. Are you Tiffany Bartlome's zone leader? Yes See attached pictures

3. Is Fall nipping the air over there? A little bit but not that much yet, I am still in short sleeves

4. Have the students returned to Aix en Provence? They are starting to show up, the big university starts in 2 weeks and a couple of small ones have started

5. Sister Wallin came over to the Zucchini Swap and she has been to Aix en Provence and has a movie that was filmed there she is going to loan us. This wasn't a question.

6. How is the apartment building that you were tracting out last week? Pretty good, we are working with a woman named Francoise that is from Africa and is honestly looking for the truth.

7. How was Elder Clayton? He didn't come, he got an emergency phone call and had to go to New York City, that was a bummer. But we did get the chance to see President Murdock though.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Besancon

Hello family I am next to switzerland today and I am up in the northern countries, and it is cold and I have to wear a suit coat, I had to sleep with the windows closed AND with a blanket. I hadn't realized but after this summer I have become a southern boy. We are up here in Besançon because Elder Claflin had to get his visa renewed, he applied for it up here so it is where he had to applie for it again. We spent all day yesterday in Lyon with President and the other zone leaders. THAT MAN IS SO CALLED OF GOD!!!! I love listening to his teachings and I love the spirit of his teachings even more. We came up here just for the day and by tonight I will be back in Aix and I will try to write. I have got to go catch my 7 hour train!

LOVE Elder Smith

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Love My Mother!

This week was great! I felt like it was the first time that we got to work without some kind of set back! we did lots of finding and teaching and service and just all sorts of missionary work jazz!

I have several pieces of good news
I have now offically recieved the packages and a hand writen note from mom and it TOTALLY made my week, we had lots of work to do, and to make things even better I got a little bit of mail! I loved it and I still love it! The nut roll, air heads, charleston chew and peach rings are already gone, but they were great, and tonight I am going to attack the skittles! The ties scream handsome and I am sure we will see more success as I were them while doing some contacting!


This week we found an apartment complex that is white for the harvest, we have found a new investigator in each stairwell, it is huge, there are 16 stairwells and we have only knocked done 8. I will keep you up to date on the people because to be honest they are not all super solid investigators, but nevertheless we are getting to teach more and more people!

I am loving my time with Elder Claflin, we learned today that we will be staying together, we were stoked! He is my fave since Elder Magnan, we are getting along great and we are hitting the work!

We went to marseille this past week to do some service for an ami, we were helping her(sophie) clean out her old house, we were finding antiques left and right and getting things ready for her move to New York City. Marseille isn't in our sector so we had to get permission from president, but there was no problem so we spent saturday morning helping her. I also had the chance to go to Toulon for an exchange with an Elder that I didn't know from the other mission, it was a little different, but good. They have been struggling because his companion (Elder Bennallack, my son) is very fixed in his ways( that I taught him). It was a good exchange and I think that things will get up and going again in that sector, both of them are super super cool and hilarious but they are just have some bumpy times.

We are teaching the husband of a member, GREG, and they are going to SLC next week. She served her mission at Temple Square and he wants to understand the temple, he has been searching a testimony for a long time. We ate with them this week and it was AWESOME the spirit was sooo strong as we talked about forever families and the chance to go to the temple. He gave us a big list of questions that we are going to answer before they leave so that he can really understand everything. They also wanted to know what they could do in SLC, so I directed them over there should to Liberty Park, and the Gateway, I told them they had to stop at 7 11 for a slurpee. They are going to have a blast and I really really hope that he can get a testimony of Joseph Smith while he is in Utah because there is absolutely nothing else that is keeping him from being baptised!

Our investigator, Sergio, is digging into the Book of Mormon. He started on saturday night and he is going to be finished in about a day! He wants to know if the Joseph Smith was a prophet and if he needs to follow this church.

Both of them are super cool and we have been doing a good amount of praying and fasting for them, and I am excited for them to get their answers!

I love you all and a special thank you to mom for the packages and letter! It was great! You da you da best!

Love Elder Smith

Monday, August 22, 2011

Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!

C'est moi Elder Smiss encore, je vous aime et je vais vous ecrire en anglais

So this week was good but we weren't able to do a whole lot of work our area. Monday we had p-day, Tuesday we spenting preparing for zone conference and doing a little bit of soap box downtown preaching, wednesday we were still getting ready for the zone conference and doing a little bit of finding then we started interviews and ate with president and sister murdock, we spent thursday having zone conferance and helping somebody in the ward move, friday we were in gap, saturday we spent all day finding and contacting, and sunday we went to church and had blessings that feel from the sky,(people that just were curious so they came church) and then we had a crepe night with members.

zone conference - We have a very large zone, I have been told that it is the largest europe, it is about the size of Bear Lake to Provo and we have 13 companionships. So we do our interviews for 2 days. The entire zone comes to Aix and we are in charge of doing teachings and practices with missionnaries while President does interviews with everybody. That was really cool and we felt a sweet spirit as we each got to be with president murdock. My Interview lasted about 2 minutes, just like my last 2 with president Carter it went like this. "How are you doing Elder Smith?" "Good, I love Aix, I love my companion and I love being a missionary" Pres "sounds great, maybe we could finish why a prayer?" He gave me some small encouragements and I felt the spirit even if it was short. I love president and sister murdock

gap - a companionship that has been struggling for awhile so we did 2 companionships in the city and just contacted like crazy and taught some lessons. I think that it was a good thing for each of us. We were able to give a boost to a struggling trainer and greeny. ( the greeny actually recognized me when we met, because he had been following my blog, turns out there are some people that read these things)

Finding people - we took a guitar and a little bongo and we went and played the hymns down in town, there was some people that we interested and enjoyed our music. It was cool because the people that always see the "mormons" were very suprised that we were singing and clapping and playing music down in town.

Amis
Sophie - she is progressing and loves coming to church, she had some hiccups because she miss understood the temple, but things are looking up and we had a great lesson with here during sunday school, she has lots of questions but she has noticed something with us that she can't explain

Sergio - is a man that we met on the street and loves church, he came on his own and he is engaged to be baptised on the 10th of september. He is cool and has lots of things to learn, but at the same time we can see that he has lots of questions and he is searching for the truth. He is from romania, he is 52 and he is super cool. I love him.

There are other amis but I don't much time to talk

I love working with Elder Claflin, Elder Magnan finished his mission today, he went home a week early because he has an interview for college. He got the permission to call me, we talked for about 25 minutes. I love him so much, he changed my mission and changed my life. I will be staying in contact with him for the rest of my life.

So there you have it, I loved the pictures it has been about 6 months since i saw pictures like that, everybody looks so grown up. Especially Jens, Ellie, Garrett, Charlie, Porter and Morgan, and especially Carter. Come to think about they all just look like grown ups. Sounds and looks like it was a blast and the pictures made my week!

LOVE YOU
Elder Smith

Monday, August 15, 2011

Repent ye!!!!!!

So it seems that Bear Lake came and went and that a good time was had by all, I would just like to call my brothers and sisters to repentance real quick.

This week I re read 1st Nephi, as part of my goal to finish the Book of Mormon in French before 2 transfers. And I saw some similarities between The Smith Family and The Lehi Family ( it ig wierd we don't know their last name).

Similarities, 1 There is a righteous younger brother that follows the Lord, is super muscular and hunts beasts
2 There is wicked siblings that dance and sing and make there parents super tired

I think that mom and dad both said how you all wore them out this past week ha ha

So I had some requests about todays subject from dad, and so here goes

"Tell us about your companions, your president, the countryside and your heart."

Companion - Elder Claflin Honestly one of my favorites, right next to Elder Magnan, Brough, and Bennallack. We laugh constantly and we work well together, He is from Ceder Hills, but he grew up in Wyoming. He is a stud and I will send a picture. He speaks french really well, and thus we don't speak english together. Which I love, this is the first time since Carcassonne that I have had a companion that speaks french better than me, and I love it. I get to learn again, I was learning before but now we are getting the little grammer quirky things. I love French and France. The Lord picked well.

President Murdock is much more "loving" directed. I never had the impression that I wasn't loved by President Carter, I really really really love President Carter and I miss him a lot, but President Murdock is also great. He has made several mission changes, he kept alot of our email and music rules, and he as kept a bunch of swiss rules as well. But he is much much less focused on the numbers or the work we do, but more about how we feel. He is the CEO of OC TANNER and is a teddy bear. He will be coming to Aix this week for interviews.

The Countryside is great, we have the sea like 30 minutes from us and we have some pretty famous rock climbing and hiking mountains about 45 minutes from us. So we see lots of backpackers and tourists. We walk through lots of little courtyards and small smart car size streets. We also have seen some of the nastiest appartment complexs ever, we are only 30 minutes from Marseille so there are a pretty good amount of muslims ( I am not racist, but for the most part the muslim neighborhoods are pretty un clean and sketchy. when I say sketchy i mean GHETTO!!! For example the other day we came out of an apartment building and there was like 5 men argueing and I think there was maybe 1 sober one, and a guy with a crowbar so we peaced out pretty quick (that changed pretty quick from the countryside but you asked so I told )

My Heart is pretty good, I think that I eat pretty well, but by genes I think that my cholestrol is a little high ..
but in all in all my heart is good. especially as i look back on what I have been able to experience as a missionary. It is when I think about old companions, members, amis, cities or baptisms that my heart rejoices. I don't know if I have made a print on the work but the work has made a print on me. I know that the book of mormon is true. as I have started over again, the spirit just pours out of it. I enjoy reading in french, I don't know why but the scriptures touch me more in french. When I read in english I stubble on all the th's and ilt's. I feel good about the work, and I just wish that we could get somebody commited to baptism soon, we are so close with some people, but the devil has sent his opposition. I don't like the devil, I think he's a jerk.

but I love you all and I know that the lord loves you!!

Have a great week
Elder Smith

Monday, August 8, 2011

Salut!

Send all things to me that you want me to get soon, with the change of the mission it will take at least 6 weeks to get to me if you send it to the mission home. Also don't forget to put "Les Missionnaries/Elder" because that is how the mailbox is marked. I think it will probably be a good idea as well to just put my address on the blog, if you are still doing the blog. Even though nobody writes me from the blog, we have got to show so faith and give them a chance with the current address (Moro 7:33)

So this week was pretty good, we were really busy with travels and stuff but we still found time to teach a good amount of lessons and find some new people that are super awesome. With the white wash , we kind of started from ground zero with everything. I am loving it, our area that was pretty dead, 3 weeks ago is looking more and more like a well maintained part of the vineyard. We have beening findind lots of sincere people that are honestly seeking the truth, and we are finding them through members! I don't know if you realize how much of a blessing that is, I have recieved 2 genuine referals from members and we babtised 1 and the other is still recieving the lessons. 3 referals from members! 1 in 3 referals given by members is baptised and 1 in 1200 people contacted by missionaries in the street or by door to door is baptised! Member work is by far the most effective way of sharing the gospel, because the investigators have a built in support, they get to see the blessings in the life of a normal person. When paul taught about missionary work he said "be an example of the believers". In that sense you are doing missionary work that is
400% times more effective than me, and I do it 24/7 and you do it with constantly and by small acts of charity and love. You all are great missionaries!

Nevertheless, the lord has blessed us with some great people to teach, thanks to our members!
Sophie - she is a patient of a member that is a doctor, he is a cancer doctor and she is very very believing, he said nothing to her about his religion, but she kept talking about healing by the laying on of hands, finally after several treatments it was pretty much decided that she was going to die, but he felt pushed by the spirit to explain that he was a priesthood holder, he gave her a blessing and now 5 months later, she has no signs of cancer, she had a huge tumor on her throat and she was basically slowly dying. Now we teach her and she has tons of questions and is skeptical of the "mormons" but she knows that there is something special with us because it healed her
Kahina - 32, a study from canada gave her a book of mormon and it touched her, and she wants to have the testimony of it in her life
Mia - 24 she is from romania and she is living with a member family as a student. She noticed that they prayed alot and that they were different, she has never believed in god, because she was taught in a comunnist school that he didn't exist, but she wants to know if he exists and she wants to pray. She is really really sincere and nice

we have found several other amis, and they are doing well and we are loving teaching them, I LOVE THIS WORK!

We went to Lyon this week as well to have a zone leader conference with president, that was really kool to be taught by him and to be able to discuss the work on such a large scale. We drove for 6 hours in total and we sat in the meeting for 6 hours as well, we ate for 1 hour, it was pretty much wake up drive, listen and feel the spirit, eat, listen and feel the spirit, drive, go to bed. Crazy, crazy crazy

I also went to the french consolate and got my visa for this 2nd year in france, so it is sure I will be staying till next june ;)

Well there you go, I hope that you have a great week!

Love Elder Smith


ps THANK YOU POULSENS!!!!! I loved the update! xbox's, bear lake, babies, vacations, weddings and all sorts of good things! I love you and I pray for you!
pss mom, sorry that you got my package back, and i am even more sorry you ate the oreos that you sent me, It is the thought that counts!...........and the oreos

allez, biscous, ciao!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Situation

Hi!
Ok, sorry for last week, that was terrible of me, I didn't really have any time to talk, because we had a rendez vous and we had a hard time finding parking, and I had smashed my leg. There is lots of stories to tell and updates to give so here it goes

Aix en Provence is very beautiful, it makes me think of Carcassonne, The down town is very rustic and old french, there are many many little churches and fountains and bakeries and people painting in the streets. We have the car so we don't work a whole lot in town, the other companionship that is on foot works there, and we travel to smaller villages around Aix and we also work in the more suburban areas of apartment complexes and such. Aix is one of the biggest university cites in France, but because it is summer we don't see alot of students. We have spent most of our time doing door to door and traveling between cities. We had the chance to go back to Nice last week to visit for a district meeting. It was great, I loved seeing all of the missionaries that I had worked with, I had only been away for about 2 weeks but it still was great to see them again. Each time that I get to see old companions or missionaries that I worked with it is like the reunion that ammon had with the dudes of mosiah. Normally we will work close to the universities because there is an institute building and lots of super kool young single adults in Aix but for the moment there is nobody in school so we are just doing old school work. It is nice to have the car, but at the same time we don't get to contact as much and it is a bit of a change for me, but on the other hand when we are not in the car it makes us go even harder because we know that our time is limited to find people. When I got to Aix there was 1 ami and the apartment was filthy and the books and organization was terrible! So we whitewashed and we spent a good day and a half trying to recontact people and clean things and organize things. We also have had the change of the mission president so there are 2 styles of work going on, there is the Toulouse mentality and the Swiss mentality, both are focused on moving the work of the Lord we just do it differently, so that has been fun. Because we pretty much are inventing the new way that the zone leaders work in the mission. Each companionship of Zone leaders is a mix of Toulouse and Swiss, so it is happening all over the mission. And tomorrow all of the zone leaders are going to Lyon to meet with president so that we can learn his new way of working because he has tried to take the best parts of both missions and he has made the France Lyon Mission. It is a bit of a party needless to say with all of the changes.

So a missionary rule is that when you are backing up in the car, you must have 1 missionary outside of the car. And because the parking is super tight and small in France and everybody drives at like 100 mph sometimes parking in town is CRAZY and so last week we saw a parallel parking spot that was a little tight but it was the only one, so we punched it and beat the others to the spot and I bailed out of the car to lead Elder Claflin. We park like 4 inches from the other cars so I was backing him up and I was inbetween our car and a car that was parked behind us, I was waving him on and he came fast and I looked away for a split second at the traffic and WAM I was wedge between the cars right below my left knee. So I tapped the car and be pulled forward. It hurt like a mother but it was super funny how fast everything happend I jumped out of the car and then got smashed in a matter of like 10 seconds, so from the perspective of the other people in the street it looked super funny that I got out of the car in order to stand between the other car and get hit and then to just get back in the car. I was limping for a couple of days, but after some praying and sleeping I feel no problem now, so its all good.

We we doing door to door yesterday and we found a family that is golden. It is a father with his 3 kids and he was telling us about the need for prophets and the need for personal revelation and the fact that other the other churches had been changed by men and that we needed a restoration of the true church on earth, he told us that the only way to recognize that church would be by the holy ghost. It was AWESOME to meet someone that honestly was searching for the truth, I don't know if I have ever met someone that was so honest in searching the truth and who had search with so much faith. He let us in and we taught the restoration and the spirit was very powerful as we talked with him and his children. His name is David, he has 3 kids 11, 8, 5 and a half. Pretty much Garrett, Charlie and Morgan. It made me realize how bless my family is to have found the truth, each one of you that are married have small families like that, and they are eternal families. The scripture rang true to me that "there are many who seek the truth but they know not where to find it"

I am super jealous that everyone is up at the lake, and I am excited to be able to be there next year, that is super rad that the water is so high and I would kill to be up in Laketown with the crew, but you will have to put me with the Yellow Death for Risk and Jens and Garrett can toss my horse shoes. Also each an extra smore for me.

I love you all and I love the Lord we have been blessed this last week to have found 6 new investigators, we came in on a blank slate and the Lord has prepared our way. I KNOW that he leads this work and that these miracles come from him, not his missionaries, but from him in all reality. He lives and I love him.

I love you all as well and I hope that you have a great week!

Elder Smith

Ps some sun flower fields that I saw while we where out in the country side and some brothers in Nice
Pss I loved have an update from the Smiths of 200 South, it was so good to hear about soccer tournaments, church, work, the fam, the vacations, I think that each fam should follow the example of The Tres Smiths ( Jeanell as well sent a great update 2 weeks ago that was equally awesome)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

(Aix en Provence) X on Pro vonce

Hello Family

1. How do you pronounce Aix en Provence?
See the Subject of the email
2. Where is Elder Claffin from - tell us a little about him. Did he break his back in the MTC?
Elder Claflin is from Ceder Hills utah, he is great and speaks french SOOOO good, he did brake his back in the mtc and had to go home for 10 weeks and he then came straight to the field, he was supposed to stay home for a year and a half but he was tremendously blessed and was healed in a matter of 10 weeks. He has served almost his entire mission in Switzerland and is loving the south, he is a Door to Door type of missionary. He contacts but he has done door to door for most of his mission, I am a contacting missionary, so it is different but still great. Thus this week I did my first day of door to door
3. How is it to drive there? Is the car an automatic? In the movies the roads look narrow.
I learned how to drive stick shift today, I got out of first my first time and I am working on shifting at full speed. The roads are CRAZY and super narrow and confusing so I gave up and bought a GPS 2 days ago
4. Do you still have a mission newsletter like the "Banniere"?
Yes it is called L'Etantard

5. Someone we met (can't remember who) has family or friends living in Grenoble that is in your mission right? Is it your zone?
yes in the mission not in the zone

6. Haven't heard about Elder Allen or Fitch or Elder Magnan for a while? From what we read the temple is going to be very close to Elder Magnan's home. I attached an email with all of that
7. Have you seen or heard of Gloria's daughter Sister Tiffany Bartlome?
she is in grenoble

Today I got hit by a car and I am limping a little bit, and I can feel my pulse in my leg, but don't worry it is not as bad as it sounds, the sad part is, is that my collegue was driving the car! CRAZY!!!! but SO Funny!!!! We laughed for a long time

if it consists I will tell you next week

LOVE YOU

Elder Smith

Monday, July 11, 2011

No school like the old school

Old School is the kool school!

I will explain, I don't know why but with summer arriving we have like no amis that are progressing towards baptism, we are finding good amounts of people but we get to like 1 or 2 lessons and then people disappear or just loose interest. We taught like 22 lessons this week so we have things to do but we don't have a lot of people that are progressing for the moment because we baptised all of the good ones. So this week we have been doing a lot of finding efforts, and by the inspiration of our new mission president we have started a new way of contacting and it was A BLAST!!!!!!

It actually was't that new, if you remember the back in the old days, a missionary got up on a soap box and yelled the restored gospel at the top of his lungs and invited everyone to come unto christ. That is how we do contacting :) ok ok so we are not quite as cool as the old school but almost. We take a big easel with a picture of christ and the 1st vision and then we just talk to people about the restored church, we went to the down town of nice where there was tourist and shoppers and trams and buses and taxis and skateboards and people playing jazz music and breakdancers and a huge fountain and the ELDERS. It was great!

At one point Elder Harris got excited and did jump up on a little post and held the book of mormon up in the air and started talking/yelling about the restored gospel we are teaching a young student that was listening tomorrow.

All in all we are doing well and we started waking up eariler so that we have more time to work out and study and have more of the spirit with us, we still have moments of fatigue and we are going to keep working hard so that we can be better, but nevertheless it was a fun week.

I came across a scripture in the Doctrine and covenants this week that hit me, it was a scripture that I have read before and I don't even remember the reference, I think it is like 58:3 or something, but it just pointed out the fact that the elders needed to spread the gospel in order to have salvation, the spirit smote for a second and I realized that I really need to work harder or my salvation is up in the air! yikes!

I am happy to hear that carter is doing better and that everybody is going well,

I love you all!!!

Elder Smith

ps Dad - 1 Rimas Civanovic has his mother, brother and 2 cousins here in Nice and he has a sister in Brest and more cousins all over france.
2 - Bastille Day is this thursday are we are having a picnic with our amis and the members and we are going and playing soccer up in a park that over looks all of nice and monaco and the beach, should be kool