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


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!

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

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