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.

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!

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


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

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)