Monday, February 28, 2011

When Mayo attacks!!!!

So this week was pretty good, we had a lot of success and we are being blessed out the wahzoo! I don't feel like we desire these blessings but we will take them. Last week have 5 amis at church and it was the most that Périgueux has seen in six months when we walked in to sacrament meeting this week with 11 amis, the members were well suprised!
I will give a little report on the amis
Jonthan Richard age 21 French being baptised this weekend the 5th of March
Fabiola and Kevin (Ils sont trop cool!) age 18 and 21 from Guyane engaged to be baptised the 26th of March
Slyvie Parrot age 41 French, engaged to be baptised the 26th of March
Adrienne, Jean, Diane, Aimeables, Florence, Slyvie 45,17,15,13,9,12 From Congo not yet engaged for baptism
Damdin and Naran age 28 and 27 From Mongolia not yet engaged for the baptism
That is all of our Amis that came to Church, except Jonathan, the one that is getting baptised wasn't at church because he got sick because of some old Mayo in the fridge on Saturday night. He has only come to church 2 times and usually you must come to church 3 times to get baptised but because he is so ready our mission president made an exception and jonathan will still getting baptised this weekend.
We have met everyone one of this people by contacting in the road and Slyvie is the ami that we have made for the longest amount of time (5 weeks)
I am way too many stories and miracles to share with you but I would just like to give one this week.
We were sitting in Fabiola and Kevins apartment (they are cousins) and we were talking about baptism, they expressed their desire to be baptised but they said that they had too many things to change and that if they were going to get baptised they wanted to be ready so they could stay strong after. At the moment we were on exchanges and I was with Elder Noyce (he is from the big ole SLC). I had the thought to share a scripture from Mosiah 18 which says something like this in english " if this is the desire of your heart what do you have against being baptised and showing the lord that you are ready to make a covenant with him" Fabiola read the scripture and stopped after she read that phrase, she looked at me and said " the warms my heart", we bore testimony that that warmth was the Holy Ghost telling her that it was true and that she needed to follow the feeling and be baptised. She agreed and so did her cousin Kevin. It was SOOOO rad! I loved it and I absolutely love all of our amis'. I feel like I have known them all for so long, and like we are the best of friends. Everytime that we go to Kevins and Fabiolas we just laugh and talk but we feel the spirit so strong as well.
Also we have the Satuday Sports and Jonathan and Kevin came, and I finally got to play soccer with europeans! It was the dream, I had my shoes, Davis soccer shirt and legit french soccer shorts (they all complimented my shorts, Thanks JEN :) )
It was a great week but we still can improve greatly, The lord blessed us again and the work is rolling, it is hard for me to believe that 8 weeks ago I got here and was at the sacrament meeting with 35 people and this week in total there was 75!! C'est incroyable!
Alors Je vous aime tous et je prie pour que le Seigneur vous benise!!!!!
Elder Smith
PS a picture with me and my son, and my short hair because I let him go at me with the buzzers :/
MOMs Questions
Who are your amis besides Jonathan that were at church last Sunday? see section above
Where did you find Jonathan and his family? Contacting on the road to the chapel
Why did you get bikes? We got bikes because I did a little smooth talking while I was in Toulouse, there were rumors floating around the mission had a couple of bikes sitting in the garage under the office so I went exploring while we had some time between our trains the the office gave us bikes :)
Do we need to send extra money for the bike? nope
How is your new Companion working out? Peachy
How is it to be a trainer? Tiring/Demanding yet Peachy
How is it to be a District leader? good, there are not a whole lot of different things about being a district leader, exchanges, calls and baptism interviews and district meetings. so for the most part I do all the same stuff except a couple of times during the transfer

Monday, February 21, 2011

Jonathan WOW!!!!

Alright this week, we had some Elders come from Bergerac and they are staying over at our apartment tonight, so that is why I am late getting the email sent. It was fun today, we played basketball in the pouring rain and talked about BYU and JAZZ Basketball, so I now feel better. None of you give me updates and the two Elders from Bergerac get the sports page in their packages so they made up for my lack of information.

This week we had 5 AMIS at church, I don't know if that means anything to you, but that is most success that Périgueux has seen in over 6 months! The members were jumping out of their skin! People were starting to make jokes about me being the posterity of Joesph Smith and that is why this week we saw so many blessings. I think it is the Faith of Elder Bennallack that is moving the work forward. We honestly didn't do a whole lot of things differently, but the Lord blessed us and has moved more work forward himself.

Jonathan our ami that is getting baptised on the 6th is perfect. He accepted the word of wisdom like it was nothing! "Yeah, it is true when I drink wine, coffee or even smoke one cigarette, there is a little voice that tells me I shouldn't, and if I do it leaves" He is the koolest person ever! This weekend he went to a YSA conference in Bordeaux and he was asking questions and participating and the director of institute for all of France asked him why he hadn't left on a mission yet, and Jonathan replied because he is only getting baptised in 2 weeks! The instructor was shocked that he wasn't a member. We were teaching him and his brother about the restoration of the priesthood and I honestly think that he testified more than we did. He is so kool and he loves the gospel, I am so grateful for the love of the lord that he has felt and that we have felt. I can honestly say that the lord has done all of the work, we teach the lessons and that is about it. The lord had already prepared Jonathan long before we met. I love him and I love my Heavenly Father for giving me the chance to meet Jonathan.

I love you all and maybe next week we will have some more news about other amis. The work is moving here. and I am loving it. I love you all as well!!!!

LOVE Elder Smith

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A week of miracles!!

I don't know where to start. By far one of the best weeks of my mission!!!!

I did 2 exchanges this week. One with Elder Brough, one of my favorite elders in the mission, and another with Elder Mayer, a french missionary that lives next to germany. The exchanges were fun and I learned alot and really enjoyed the missionary work with these two elders. I loved my time with Elder Bennallack as well. I don't how to explain how much I loved this week, but I am going to share with you 2 stories. 1 Story was one of the most miserable moments of my life and the other was one of the greatest!

Lets start with the Miserable Moment.

We had a member that told us that her brother might be interested in the gospel. "Cha-Ching!!!!". Getting a legit referal from a member is great, and often leads to baptism, and to even make this better it was a family. The one down side.......They live in the middle of nowhere, not almost in the middle of somewhere, THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. We decided to look up a less active sister that lived in the same corner of the middle of nowhere and to try to find them both. We got on our bikes (ps we got bikes last week) and headed to Riberac. According to my navigator skills it was about 30 kms away and should take about an hour to get there on bikes. So off we went, we were a little late getting out of town and we left Périgueux at about 2:30 in the after noon. We get out of Périgueux and life is great!!! 2 Elders rolling through the french country side headed to find a "golden family" we are so excited that we are racing and laughing on the bikes, we are strolling through the hills next to the river and we come around the bend and what do we see?? MOUNT TIMPANOGOS!!!!!!!! I don't know why it wasn't on the map because this thing was only about a meter shorter than Everest, alas we go up the hill and we are dying. Sweating, legs burning, thirsty and looking like the prodigal son. We finally made it and road down the gently from the hill into a nice valley, again life was good, and.......another one. alas we climbed again a massive hill and came down into the middle of nowhere. We bailed on the less active sister and headed to the referal. We had only gone 25 kms and it took us 2.5 hours and I was wrong the less active was another 15 kms away not 5 kms. We taught the family. Dud. Not interested and I had they sorest bum EVER!!! and again we turned back and did it again, in the dark with just little lights on our bikes while buses and semis buzzed us in the pitch black forest night. We got back home, absoluetly exhausted at 8:45. Without a doubt I prayed for about an hour while we road back that I would kill my greeny. As miserable as this sounds, we found ways to laugh alot and really felt the spirit at times. I myself kept thinking about the Savior as we carried his cross alone up a much more difficult hill.

Now for the other story.

Heavenly Father loves us. This story is a story in progress. On Tuesday we contacted a young man named Jonathan, who was extremely interested. He has now been taught 3 times, come to church is being baptised in 20 days, brought his mom and brother to us as well and they would all like to evenutally be baptised! He is the definition of Golden. He had his testimony in 2 days and was disappointed that he had to wait 3 weeks to be baptised, him, his mom and brother have all been praying to find the Church of Christ and they all have felt the spirit of the church and are extremely excited for baptism. I have rarely felt the spirit so strong in my life as we engaged Jonathan to be baptised. He accepted without hesistation, and asked if we could teach his family. The week end he is even going to the region YSA activity in Bordeaux with members he just met. He is 22, studing computer animation and plays the guitar and sings and has the same personality of Trent. He is offically my new best friend while I am in France! He is so cool and a very distinct answer to countless prayers and fasts of missionaries and members.

The Lord took great care of us this week. We suffered and we also rejoiced over a new family that has been searching for the truth. I love this work, and I do feel that I have done anything worthy of these blessings. I love my Savior and I love my Heavenly Father. I felt the power of many of your prayers as we struggled on wednesday night and I as well felt the answer of many of your prayers as we have been able to teach Jonathan. This work is true. The Lord Lives. The Father Listens and the Spirit Teaches. I know without doubt these things to be true.

I love you all SO MUCH!!!! I got Moms and the Poulsons Valentines packages and I loved them all. I especially loved the cards from Jens, Ellie, Tate and Drew!

Have a great week!

Elder Smith

Monday, February 7, 2011

Crikey Mate!!!

I officially have a son! but I call him my JOEY (like the baby kangaroo) I have received Elder Bennallack has my bleu (greeny) and again another foreigner. I abosolutely love him!! We have already had some great laughs and some really good missionary moments. I loved seeing his face as we walked through Périgueux, he kept saying " We...Are....In....France.!!!!" I kept saying " Yes.....we....are. Elder". I can't wait to show these places to you, it had kind of worn off on me that I am not at home and I that I am in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Elder Bennallack's eyes were about the size of some oranges for the first couple of days and they are more like golfballs right now. He is from Adelaide and has 2 brothers and 2 sisters, he has already taught me a good amount of australian phrases that I have adopted. He has red hair and he looks like a rugbyman, he doesn't play rugby though, he plays australian football, apparently it is different. Who knew?
He has a great desire to serve the lord and I don't want to put a cap on his faith and his energy, so I can tell you that I have been working the hardest of my mission this week. He speaks french fairly well and he is learning more and more by the day. It is really a blast to be him, full of faith and full of energy. Because he doesn't know mission life quite yet and I am the one that can speak I am kind of like the wheels and the steering wheel and he is the gas and the motor. We are doing great and we are going to see miracles together.
On Thursday I had the wonderful chance of doing another baptismal interview, again a very edifing experience. I interviewed a mother of 2 children. She met the church through some members in Brive and she has gained a very powerful testimony, very quickly. She was ready and the spirit was so strong during our discussion, I am very grateful for the chance I had to be with her. Her baptism was in Périgueux because there isn't a font in Brive. We attended because we had an ami that came, her name is Slyvie and she is great. She felt the spirit and told me that she would like to be baptised!!! It was a very powerful moment. We taught her about baptism and about the holy ghost today, and she is starting to feel less strong about her baptism, but she is determined to pray and find out if she needs to be baptised! I am confident that the lord will bless her and help her to come unto her savior by being baptised. she is great and I am so glad that we get to teach her
This week was a little bit all over the place, with the trip to Toulouse and staying over at Presidents house while we waited for our bleus, but over all it was a great week and I feel as it has been a turning point in my mission.
well have a great week back in the states and know that I LOVE YOU ALL
Elder Smith
ps a funny story about my bleu
His 3rd day, one of our recent converts asked him to him a blessing, he didn't understand so he looked at me and said "what?" I smiled and told him that the member wanted him to give him a blessing, the smile left Elder Bennallacks face and he got out his White Bible, his first french blessing. We have the blessing and he did really really well but the very last phrase did make me smirk a little, this is the translated version of what he said " The spirit is very important and will bless you and guide you in your life, he is the Jelly"