Monday, January 23, 2012

Toulouse and Cupcakes!

Dear Family

This week was great, we spent about 3 days in Toulouse doing an exchange and doing a training for the new missionaries, it was great! I finally got to work in Toulouse, I have wanted to be transfered there since the very beginning of my mission because it was where I was called to serve. We saw miracles! While I was down in Toulouse we knocked some doors the night of P day and then we came back the next day and taught 2 families that we met, they were super super cool and then we went and taught a 1st lesson to another family that they had already contacted, in 1 day we found 3 familes, 2 familes of 2 and a family of 5! I also got see my trainer, elder.....I mean erwan magnan! that was weird, but great! he is like a brother to me, we laughed and laughed and he told me about life not as a missionary. We also went and did some shopping but i didn't buy anything.

We got back to Gex on thursday and we spent the entire weekend, knocking on doors and teaching people and meeting with members, it went pretty well, we started teaching a really cool man, he has his own construction company, his name is sylvain and is about 30. I hope to be able to see him, as well we did some pretty cool stuff with the ward, I wrote about it in a letter thing to president murdock so i will just copy and paste that

We are on the hunt for families! Like President has told us, there are multiple ways to find families, for example, finding by our own efforts, member and other referrals, potential families (students), and by completing part member or less active families. We set the goal to really use the members in finding families so we talked with our DMP to find out how we could help him and the ward missionaries find families that are in need of the gospel. We brainstormed a bit and we decided to do a cupcake activity last Sunday afternoon with all the ward missionaries. It was great! We announced at church that we were going to make cupcakes and take them to less active families and to our amis, and there were several members that came and talked to us and told us to go by certain less active families and even some of their non-member friends that were familiar with the church. We made the cupcakes at the bishop’s home with his family and the ward missionaries. It was a blast! As we made cupcakes we talked about their ideas for finding families, and about the missionary experiences that they had had. It lit a fire under the ward missionaries, and they kept adding people to the list of people to visit, after we split into 3 teams and in about 2 hours we passed by about 15 families/amis. We found 2 or 3 less active families with children that are not baptized but would like to come to youth activities, and we received some referrals as well. Afterward, the ward missionaries asked if we could do this same activity once a month because they had had so fun sharing the gospel and giving service. It strengthened our testimonies about the importance of using members and service. It was an afternoon filled with laughs and powerful gospel sharing moments.

Members want to share the gospel but sometimes they just don’t know how, so it is a blessing to be able to help them and it will help many find the truth and joy of the gospel.

So yeah, it was super fun and i hope that will be able to see some of the fruits of our ideas!

How are your amis doing? They are doing well, we have 3 straight weeks in our area now, so i hope that we will get to see them more and start getting people to church, that is own main thing, it has been about 3 months since they have seen amis at church here, so that is own main focus, because people can't get baptised if they don't come to church
Tell us a little more about your companion. Even though he has only been a member a short time does he have family support? His Family loves him and still supports him, he has a really cool family and they write him often and send stuff, so yeah
Are there any other members of his family that are members? Nope
If he is an American how come he can drive the car? Because the real problem is that I am from Utah, France only excepts Utah licences for 1 year, but he is from Arkansas so he can drive for as long as he wants
How often do you fly to meetings? Not that often maybe 1 or 2 times every 2 months, we flew this time because it was alot cheaper and faster, the train to Toulouse from Geneva takes like 5 hours and it would cost about 150 euros per person to go there and back and the plane took 50 minutes and it was 40 euros per person to there and back. The tickets were cheap because we reserved them in like december

have a great week!!!
Love Elder Smith

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello, I am in Toulouse :)

Hello Family!

This week was pretty fun, we did a good amount of traveling and we got to work as well, so I am happy!

Tuesday - We spent about 6 hours doing training for the missionaries that got the mission 2 transfers ago, that we really cool. We help with the trainings but for the most part we just get to sit and eat up the spirit as President Murdock teaches. We went over the profile of what a missionary should be after 3 months in the field. It was a great review for me and I learned tons of new things that I need to be doing. I also got to meet a bunch of really cool missionaries. I love missionaries :)

Wednesday - We spent another 6 hours in training with President Murdock, it was great, I got to see Elder Bennallack and a bunch of missionaries from my zone when I was back in Aix. We also got to do an exchange with the Lyon zone leaders and that went really really well. I really enjoyed Lyon, I am excited to see Lyon when we move there in a couple months, I think that we will be opening up a new area, so that will be cool. the city was nice and the people that we met just had a really great attitude and they were pretty open to the gospel. I did an exchange with Elder Bishop, he is British and was in the MTC with me, he is super funny and we had a blast teaching and working together.

Thursday - We went to AIX EN PROVENCE!!!!!! I got to go back the best city ever, I got to see Robine, and Greg, Jolaine and Anais and Francoise and a bunch of young single adults that I loved when I was there. I also got the work with Elder Heywood, my old companion from Perigueux, that was rad! and I got to be with Elder Baret again! I have been so blessed to have the greatest companions on my mission, every single one of them is like a best friend, I really never had any conflicts with of my companions. I love them all!

Friday - We got back the Geneva, at about 4 after having been waiting in the train stations because of late trains. I lost my bag ( full of scriptures, camera and notebooks) and then went to the American store to buy a mountain dew so that I could drink down my sorrows with something strong, we then called up the train company and one of the conductors had found my bag and it was in a city like 45 minutes away. I WAS SO LUCKY!!! the office elders had called the train and saved my bag, so we then drove to the city called Bellegarde and they had my bag!!! it was great, then we went and got to do a little bit of work in our area.

Saturday -Went well, we got to see lots of less actives and amis, we had about 6 people lined up to come to church (the Gomez family, young couple with 2 really cool boys, the Loué family, less active sister with a non member husband and father, the Auberhard family, less active family with 2 kids not baptized, Soyrara, less active, but is have an interview with the stake president and is pretty much incredible and is going to the temple this year! and Aurore a less active that is also head to the temple!) It was a great day and we had been really blessed to have such good things after not being able to work in our area

Sunday - None of our amis came to church. lame. 3 of the less actives came, so that was really cool, and there were some members that had invited some friends that really loved church, we just got to talk with them and they are not going to be taught this week, but it is very possible that they are going to come next week!

Today - We woke up and did reports with president and then got on a flight to Toulouse! It was really cool to fly in to Toulouse again, I remembered all the feelings I had last time I flew into Toulouse. I have learned so so much since I got here, and it feels like it was yesterday. Today we are going to hit the stores and I think that I am going to get some good looking shoes and a new suit. Toulouse is full of some great missionaries as well and I am excited to be here!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!! congrats to the Poulsens again! and welcome Jayne!

Elder Smith

Leaving on a jet plane !!!

I will write you tonight!
I am flying to Toulouse for a new missionary training, I am super excited! I think that I am going to see Elder Magnan as well because he is there this weekend

Jayne is adorable! congrats poulsens and good work sara! I love nephews and nieces!!!!

Love you
elder smith

Monday, January 9, 2012


Matthew Smith

8:35 AM (1 hour ago)
to me

Is there much of an LDS presence there?
Yes it is a huge ward, there are about 150 active members, There is something like 35 returned missionaries. The church headquarters of France is in Thoiry and so we have lots people that work for the church. It is great! But there hasn't been baptisms for awhile, like 1 year! We are going to have to change that

How far away in KM?
About 25 kms

Are you driving?
No, my companion drives

Do you need us to do something toward an international driving document?
No we talked to the French National Secretary of Transportation, and I have no hopes of driving even with an international license

Fill us in on all the details of your new companion and assignment.

Do I remember right that Vanessa from Carcasonne eventually got baptized? . .
Yes, but she moved to reunion, it is a French island next to madagascar

. and that Vanessa from Nice has not [yet]?
Correct, but last week I sent the sister missionaries to go teach her (sister bartlome)

What ever happened to Sophie and Dominique and Robine's friend in Aix?
They were nice but lost interest and we slowly lost contact

is the ward/branch of the church in Perigeaux still progressing?
yes, they have seen some baptisms but I think it has slowed down a little bit

Did you have direct contact with Sister Bartlome as her zone leader?
Yes I called her often and I saw her 2 or 3 times a transfer, she was doing great and always had a smile, she is training now so I saw her last week when we sent off all the new missionaries

Any comment re: Anna McKay's impending assignment to France - Paris?
She is soooooooooooo lucky! I loved this country and I don’t think that she could have gotten called to a better place. She was spoke French really well, and I am sure that she is going to tear it up!

are you aware of travel plans and schedules into the future along with mission policies and preferences?
Yes you can come pick me up, just send an email ( to the office elders and they will tell you what to do, I know that you will have to contact the church office building so that they can organize the plane tickets for me. Normally the church will still pay for my ticket

So when did you find out that you were going to be an assistant?
The Friday befor transfers this was our conversation

Pres – hello elder smith how are you?
Me – good president, and you?
Pres – good, you are going to be the new assistant to the president. Ok?
Me – ok.
Pres – ok, see you Monday and don’t forget to clean you apartment. bye

How many assistants are there?


What is your address?
Elder Smith
8 Chemin William Barbey
1292-CH Chambesy

Elder Smith

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gex (pronouced gex) - mom

So I have lots to say, but ABSOLUTELY NO TIME!!!!!!

I have been transferred to a city called Gex as an assistant, i live in Switzerland at the mission home, but I work in Gex which is in France, I have big giant french snowy alps all around me and it makes me remember how much I love snowy Utah mountains! I had a great birthday! The Kool family and Greg and his wife were soooo kind to me, it was sad for me to go, but I know that the Lord has sent me here. I think you know but they gave me the best surprise that I have ever had, I loved the video so much, and I was so glad to see Ben and Tanelle and the kids, l kept wanting to talk back to them like it was skype, but i realized that they couldn't talk back. I am now with Elder Bollero, he is a great missionary from Arkansas, he was baptized 1.5 years before his mission, and he will finish 6 weeks after me, so he as been a missionary as long as he has been a normal member.

I absolutely loved Aix and it was especially hard to say goodbye to Greg and Robine, I love them a lot and I am excited to stay in contact with them and to see them again!

Yesterday I got to the mission home and we dove straight into getting things ready for new missionaries and into planning things with President for the zone conferences, we spent this entire day with the new missionaries, they are great, we went and picked them up at the airport and they are super tired yet full of energy, I will be finishing my mission as an assistant so there are no more surprises, we are going to be traveling a lot because the mission is really big and we are moving the mission home to Lyon ASAP, but I am more excited for the work with Elder Bollero, we have a bunch of really cool families that have lots of potential in our area, we are going to have to cram things in in order to see them enough, but I think we will see some baptisms! I am definitely not going to get bored for these last 6 months!

Thank you so much for all the personal hand written letters, from all the families and all the kids, I got it the day before my birthday and it was awesome, I loved getting all the pictures and photos! My Birthday went fast, but I had some old companions that had spread the word that it was my birthday so I got a couple of pretty great phone calls from lots of my good friends! Thank you to Jen as well for the great updates, I am glad to hear from you, I thought that you might have died :) not just kidding, really thanks, it was great!

This email was pretty boring i hope that I will be able to talk about investigators and stuff in my other emails, but just know that I am doing well and that I love you!

Elder Smith

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Birthday to Matt!

Some pictures sent by the Kool family of Matt opening his birthday video and presents.

Here is the video