Monday, March 28, 2011

Nap :)

Hello family, I love you all and I hope you all are doing well and that you know that I love you. Mom gave me the update on you and all the happinings at home. Sounds like everybody is doing well and that you all are having some good times.

Mom and Dad - Thanks for the emails and for the love sent my way, know that it is sent right back and that I love to hear about what is happening at home. You both sound very comfortable as you talk about the family, the ward, the houses, work.....and GOING TO FLORIDA! What is this? both of you started off your emails with "well this week we are doing just some usual things with the grandkids and this and that and then tomorrow we are just going to florida" WHAT? This isn't fair. I feel like you are taking advantage of the empty nester situation way too much, and it sounds way too enjoyable!

Lish, Aaron and Carter - Life is busy like usual, but I loved to see the pictures of Carter, he looks like a little stud and I can't believe when I finally meet him, he will be walking and talking. It is crazy. Between work, carter, church, the house and all the laughs I think that you have got your hands pretty full.

Tim, Sara, Jens, Ellie, Tate and Drew - Dad gave me the low down on an ice caving camping trip, I am glad to hear that Jens stayed warm and that Tim played it smart and stayed inside. Hereing that Sara and the kids went off to go skiing made me super jealous, I miss the slopes like crazy and apparently it was a bombin day! I hope you got a little extra powder for me, ( also made me a little jealous to hear that jen tore up snow as well) The Poulsens and I will have to take a skiing day trip when I get back!

Tres, Elizabeth, Garrett, Charlie, and Morgan - Sounds like the basement is up and rolling, and that soon you will be getting out the big scissors and cutting the ribbons. I was glad to hear that Papa Todd has again set the bar for an another Eagle scout! Good luck Garrett!

Ben, Tanelle, Addie, Nathan and Carson - After some serious re-reading I think that you got good results from the "match" and that you will be staying in New Jersery for a little bit, It seemed a little stressful and I don't know if I understood everything, but I think in the end it was happy news, except for the fact that Ben is 31! Ouch, you are almost dead :)

Ky, Jeanell, Annaka, Porter, Skyler and Mia - The twinners are off and running and there is a little bit of spring fever up in Logan from what I understood, things are as crazy as ever, but everybody is still fighting the good fight!

Jodi - That is what I like to hear, still "still down in the trenches, saving babies!" It has been along time since I heard about 5 date man, was he a loser? or did I get dropped from the circle of trust?

Grandma Sanders - Hey Hey, still being of good cheer! I am glad to hear that you were out for the monthly smith extravaganza and that you were able to keep all those crazy kids in line! at least somebody is keeping an eye on all of these hooligans while I am away :)

As for me I still am in france, it was a very normal week and it was good, full of contacting, teaching lessons and little miracles. I got to do an exchange with Elder Barton, one of the Elders from my MTC district, it was great! The Elders of Bergerac have made the habit of coming to Périgueux and playing basketball on P-Day so that has been fun, they didn't come this week, but they have came every week for the past 5 or so weeks. They both are strong BYU basketball fans and give me updates, we also have a member that is from Alpine that was keeping me in touch with the basketball scene, they had printed us out some brackets and after BYU lost in the sweet sixteen in Over Time, my bracket was killed, I was pretty let down to hear that my cougars have hung up the towel for the year. It is crazy that it is already the end of March, Taylor has been out for a year, it will be my second General Conference out on the mission, it was my second Daylight savings (which was miserable, we switched times the day that we walked about 15 kilometers, I was so stinking tired). I feel like it is the superbowl this weekend, I have been studying up on my conference talks and I am STOKED to listen to the prophet and the brethren, my fellow Elders, I don't remember if I said this already, but I would totally love a personal copy of the Ensign Conference Edition.

I love you all and I hope that you all enjoy conference, and that you can enjoy the teachings of our living prophet this week end as well. I don't have tons of news for you this week, we stubbled onto some kool contacts and we will see if next week we have any rockin golden amis, I will let you know.

Have smashing good week! (influence of my australien companion that I love and laugh with all the time)

Elder Smith

PS I titled this email "Nap" because I just took my very first nap of my mission, the very first time besides the trains that I have fallen asleep in between 6 30 and 10 30, and it was fantastic, probably the best news of the week that I can give you, I don't know what I have been doing for 9 and a half months because it was SOOO nice :)

PSS If anybody is thinking about sending easter packages and things my way you should send singing cards, I really really love the singing hallmark cards :)..........and PEANUT BUTTER :)

à bientot!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tower of Babel (continued)

So I have some good news and some bad news.
This week we went back to the tower of babel and taught Danielle ( she was engaged for baptism in the Ivory Coast), we taught her with Jonathan (he is still incredible! he blesses the sacrament each week and bore his testimony as the stake priesthood meeting, he has recieved a calling to be a ward missionary, is making plans to go to the temple in like 2 months and has already set up his mission fund, WOW) but anyways he came with us to teach Danielle and he bore his testimony again about Joseph Smith, needless to say Danielle is re-engaged for baptism, but this time it is in Périgueux
We were supposed to get Fabiola and Kevin baptised this week, but Fabiola got super sick and she couldn't come to church and so she won't for the week and Kevin either, so their baptisms have been rescheduled for after general conference
Speaking about general conference. mom, I can get the ensign in english but it will stay in the apartment and they some how find a way to disapear, so I would love a personal copy in english.
Speaking about sending things. if you are going to send something to me, I would love some more peanut butter but for sure I would love some new razor heads (Fusion 5 blades, non-power) I think that we bought like 16 before I left for like 25 dollars and here it costs 25 euros for like 8
I love you family but I gotta run
Elder smith

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Tower of Babel!!!

Yo, Quoi de neuf?

I wanna give some shout outs this week to my boys out there this week. GGGG Baby Garrett Happy 11th Birthday!!! and my little stunner Carson will be 3! Wow, that is crazy!
Garrett and Carson, have a great birthday and know that I love you BEAUCOUP!!!

This week was so pretty here in Périgueux, the sun came out, the trees are getting their leaves, all the flowers are blooming and the trees are blossoming, the sky is blue and the work went pretty well. It is a new transfer and I will still be in Périgueux with Elder Bennallack. I am excited to keep working in the city, with these amis and with my son. He is getting better and better with his french and he is becoming more and more like a normal missionary. It is fun to work with him and to be dig into the work with somebody that is excited and ready to learn.

A brief point of buisness: I don't know who is following these emails and I don't know if you that are following these emails remember VANESSA in Carcassonne, but she got BAPTISED this week!!!!!!!! I remember how sad and destroied I was when she decided to not get baptised and I am so so so happy to here that finally she got baptised. She has had a whole herd of missionaries that taught here and the word passed through the grapevine all over the mission that she had finally got baptised!!!!!!! SoOoOo AWESOME!!!

Our amis are doing good. Fabiola and Kevin are both progressing well and their baptisms are set for the 25th of March, they are so kool and they have a desire to follow Jesus Christ, they both have a boyfriend/girlfriend and that might delay the baptism, but we will see. We also have an ami, here name is Diane. she is from congo and she is 15, she is getting baptised on the 9th of April and she is GREAT, she loves coming to young womans and the girls in the branch have all become instant friends with here and it has even brought out some less active young women because they have become friends with Diane, and Diane loves to come to church and activities.

and alas the Tower of Babel. Just a little quick story. There is a big giant 10 story apartment complex that is by the church and it is also set at the very tip top of a hill that over looks all of Périgueux, while I was with Elder Heywood we were trying to guess how many people lived in that building, and then I said to him "Don't you think that at least 1 of those people would be interested in the gospel?" while I was with Elder Heywood we never had the chance to go contacting in that building, but I have kept looking at the building and saying we need to go and call the tower of babel to repentance. But it is kind of out of the way to go up this massive hill, well this week we had a little bit of time at the end of the day and I looked but at the tower of babel and decided that it was time to finally call these people to some repentance. We got inside the building and he headed up to the very top of the building and started knocking, surprisingly everyone was really really kind even if they weren't interested and then we got to the 3rd door, knock knock knock, we were like "hey we are missionaries and we talk about God" he was like "hey i'm african I love god" ( ok so he didn't tell us he was african, but he was a total sterotype) we went in and started talking with him, he is muslim and doesn't want to change but really really nice.....then his wife walked in........she starts to talk to us, turns out that she is from Ivory Coast and she has been in france for 2 years and like 3 weeks before she got to france she HAD A BAPTISMAL DATE IN THE IVORY COAST!!!!!! she didn't show for her baptism because she got nervous and we found her! wow! we haven't taught her a second time but can you spell MIRACLE! crazy

well that is all she wrote, have a great week!!!

LOve Elder Smith

ps good luck to ben with the match ( I have no idea what the match is, but it sounds important and very intimidating, I am guessing it is some kind of decision making process for medical school. GOOD LUCK!)

Monday, March 7, 2011


Two years ago President Beard (stake president) asked me to go and teach a missionary lesson with Aaron Burgin, who was preparing to leave on his mission at the time, I was nervous and I had started to consider a mission. I agreed to teach the lessons but I was still nervous so I headed off to the Bountiful temple to seek a little bit of the spirit and a little bit of comfort. As I was in the baptistry at the temple, I was reading the scriptures and praying to know if I needed to start to get myself read to serve a mission. I opened the scriptures randomly and my eyes fell upon the verse 3 of Doctrine and Covenants 31, "Lift up your heart and rejoice for the hour of your mission is come" I continued to read and was filled with peace and received the comfort that I needed. I had received my answer that indeed the Lord wanted me to prepare to serve a mission and that I would be blessed by following this impression. I came to love this passage, verse 3 to 7, because it speaks about the blessings that my mission would bring to my family. It was a scripture that I read often as I prepared for my mission. From time to time I re-read it during sacrament meeting or during my personal studies in the morning. In that scripture the Lord makes several promises. I had been taught by the spirit that these promises were given straight to me as well.

This week during the baptism of Jonathan Richard, the closing song was "Love at Home". As the song started, I had the sweetest spirit come over me and the deepest impression that the promise of the Lord had been fufilled -- that I had been guided to France, to Périgueux and to Jonathan as a result of my sincere prayer from that day two years ago in the Bountiful temple. I felt a reassurance for my family and also a forgiveness of my sins and that truly the Lord was "establishing his church by my hand". The baptismal service was powerful, the spirit was there and Jonathan was radiant. A priest in the ward, Matthieu Donadier, baptised Jonathan. After the baptism Jonathan told me that he is going to start preparation for his mission and that as soon as he has the means, he is going to leave. He has asked us if he can teach with us as well. He will be a powerful and great member of the church and the Lord will further establish his church by his hand. I have had the spirit touch my heart and witness to me that I was a tool in bringing one of the lost sheep back into the fold and that Jonathan will stay strong and one day enter into the rest of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am so very humbled to have been blessed by the Lord and am so so very grateful for the chance that I have to be here in Périgueux. On top of all of that, Jonathan even recieved the priesthood after church and he is now a priest. I met him on the street 27 days ago.

Elders Bennallack, Mayer, Smith and Magnan with Jonathan Richard

Elder Bennalack, Mathieu Donadier, Jonathan Richard and Elder Smith

I have come to know that those who honestly search for the truth and seek for the holy ghost will find the truth, it is true that we can fall from the Lord very quickly but we can also have a rapid change of heart for the better when we are sincere. I know that the Lord lives, I have no doubt that he loves me, and I will forever remember this week and the blessings that we have received.

I love you all and I hope that you like the pictures. It is warming up here in Périgueux and I'm loving it! Summer here we come!

Love Elder Smith