Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Missionary Life

Watch me work

P Day Soccer


Peace and Knowledge

Copier Fixer

Under Repair

This week was a good one. We spent a bit of time in the office getting things ready for zone conferences this week and we also got out and hit the ground. I put in some pictures of some office work at its finest. We have changed how zone conferences and district meetings function so we have been in the books and papers a bit but that stuff is boring to talk about so I would say much more.

We spent most of the time that we were out of the office passing by members homes or teaching amis, unfortunately we didn't get tons of time to get and find some new people, but we still have started teaching 1 new family that is REALLY REALLY cool. We found their name in an old door to door book and then we contacted them and we got the chance to go over and teach. It was great. The mother is named Lucette and it was her that we were able to teach, because her husband was out of town on work. But she was very prepared by the Lord, she was asking all of the GOLDEN questions like " how can I know if what you are teaching is true?" "How can the message of the prophet bless my family?". Not Kidding. she is very sincere and unfortuneatly we are going to have to see her in about a week because this week we are going to be on a mission tour. We leave tomorrow morning bright and early and then we get home late saturday night. We will be doing a little driving, to Lyon then to Aix ( I love Aix!!) and then over to Montpellier. In Montpellier we are going to do a exchange with Elder Brough and Elder Claflin, two of my favorite companions. I'm excited.

We also went to the largest city in our area ( to be honest it is more of a village) where there are 2 grocery stores and a pretty good amount of people out in the streets and we went CONTACTING!!!!!!!!! I love contacting so much, it is how I have found people during my whole mission, to be honest I am not a huge fan of door to door, actually you could even say that I really don't prefere to do door to door. In our area, we don't really have the choice of contacting because there are only cows and trees that are out, but we went on a saturday afternoon in the city called Ferney-Voltaire ( it is where the famous Voltaire is from) and we found some cool people by contacting. We will be going back :)

There are some pictures of this P Day at the church in geneva, it was fun we played some foot. And then a picture of me being a G while we were contacting.

Life is good and I am loving my mission!
Elder Smith

Monday, February 20, 2012

Life is Beautiful!


A couple of weeks ago I broke my watch and so this past preparation day we took the chance to go into Geneva and look at a couple of stores for a new watch. We went into a store and looked around. I had found a couple of watches and was deciding between colors. I joked with the sales woman, Elodie, and asked which color she would pick if it was her watch. She said “You should pick the gray one because you can wear it to church on Sunday but it is still fun”. We laughed because it was obvious that she knew the missionaries. She told us that she often saw missionaries coming into her store because it is next to the train station. She told us that she even came to church several times as a young woman and she is a close friend of one of our current amis. We talked briefly but she had to work so we left her with a card. The next day we went to eat with our ami (her friend) and she was there! She had spoken with him and she wanted to come to our RDV. We set a return appointment with her and then went back and taught her a couple days later. She is a great. She has started to read the Book of Mormon and we are excited to teach her.

It was a miracle! We went to buy a watch on Monday, Tuesday we ate with the sales woman, and Thursday we are in her home teaching her the gospel. We learned to be ready to be an instrument for the Lord because even when we are not looking for people to teach, people are looking for us!

We have began teaching a non member husband of a sister in the ward, they are a young couple, lively and really fun to visit. His name is Yan, he comes to church every sunday and really enjoys his time but he doesn't have a testimony of the restoration yet. He is also building his own house right now, so every spare moment that he gets after work he is working on the house. But we went and talked to them and they agreed to have us over once a week for short lessons of about 20 minutes. We are excited to see him progress, and as soon as he has a testimony of the restoration he will be ready to go. He is reading the Book of Mormon almost daily with his wife and I am super excited to be able to help him find his testimony.

We also contacted a woman named Valerie and her son Loic. Valerie is french, she had been dropped by the missionaries in the past just because she got quite sick and couldn't recieve the missionaries. She is catholic but she told us that she would like to be baptised and come to church. Her son loic is 10 years old and he hasn't been baptised and he would like to come the church youth activities. They are a great family and they are willing to put in their efforts and work towards baptism. He had a really great lesson with them and the spirit was strong, we could sense her sincere desire to find the truth, she has many questions about God and she is ready to find answers.

We also have been teaching the Attobra family from the congo, I have spoken about them in the past, and things are kind of off and off with them, but we went and taught their daughter, Anais, she is 17 and really cool. She is the most interested out of everyone and she really connected with the young single adult member that we brought with us.

Unfortunately only Yan was able to come to church on sunday, but I feel that we are on the rise and that their is progess to be seen in Gex. Keep us in your prayers!


Elder Smith

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy V alentines Day!


This week has been the week where we have seen the most progress in our area and that we have been pretty busy with mission stuff. This week we have found 3 new investigators, 2 of which are a family that has accepted to be baptized when they have a testimony and hopefully they will come to church this week as well. I will let you know how things go with them. It is a mother and her son, Valerie and Louic, they are really great and are looking for a church to guide them, they are french and we found them in old teaching records.

This week was kinda crazy as you can see because I am writing to you on Thursday, but I am alive and I am happy and doing well. This last week was transfers so I haven't had the chance to sit down and send out an email, lucky mom and dad asked lots of good questions so I am just going to answer some questions.

This is your first transfer being on the administrative side of things how was it?
It is really cool, we spent a lot of time in front of the transfer board and president would bounce ideas off of us, then we would go teach a lesson and we would come back and he would have changed things and prayed and we would start again. We did that for about 3 days, but there were so many times when we could see that the spirit would hit President and he would just start making tons of changes. I also came to realize how much he loves all of the missionaries, he worked so hard and took the time to pray for each elder or sister and at the end, it was perfect. He is a great servant of the Lord and he is inspire, I love getting to work with him.
Do you escort the missionaries around?
Yes, we spent all day monday from 4 in the morning until 10 30 at night and tuesday from 6 in the morning until 6 at night just driving people to the train station, and driving people to the airport and then going contacting with the new missionaries and helping people with transfers. We also did a training with all the trainers and all of the new missionaries.

Would it be necessary or make sense to arrange for hotels in advance?

If arranged in advance it would be cheaper, but it is very possible to wing things. We also have the invitations of some members for eating and visiting things.

If so, is that something that should be done from there [help from your office staff?} or by guessing where we want to be and when and then doing something via the internet?

Probably a mix of both

What is keeping you so busy?
Being a missionary

Where are you this week?
In Gex and Geneva

I decided that if you went to Bordeau you would probably fly there as well. Is that correct? I was looking at a map and I think that Bordeau is about as far away from you as LA is from us.
Yes, that is correct. We will be doing that this transfer

How are your amis?

Great! This week has been going great and I will keep you up to date next week.

What did you decide about working at the MTC?

I think that I will apply and see what happens, it has been on my mind a bit lately so I think that I will put it to prayer and probably apply and see

Elder Smith

The pictures are kind of old, There are from a less active's birthday party, knocking doors, eating at IKEA, sending missionaries home and just being a goof.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Will you be my Valentine?

You are the best mom! I loved the litte card and I was so excited to get the Dictionary, I have been reading it all morning! I was waiting and everyday I checked the mail in hopes that it would come and today was the only day that I got caught up in other things and i didn't have the time check and mail, I came into my office and there it was!!!! You are great!

Dad, I love you too and greatly enjoyed the update this week! let me know about travel plans and such so that I can try to arange to see some of my recent converts, I think that would be great!

Love you!
Elder Smith

-14 C° and Wind


This week was cold! To be honest we don't really have anyone to teach, we work with many less actives and with the members but we don't have any investigators that are progressing and that we see often. It is always cold when you have nobody to teach, funny how that works out :) We need to put our shoulder to the wheel and teach people! We were outside quite a bit this week, and I am pretty sure that it was the coldest week of my life. We knocked a bunch of doors and found a couple of people with some real potential and we will have to see what happens. This has reminded me of my first transfer in Perigueux, it was cold as well and we had nobody to teach as well, but the Lord blessed us after and we saw lots of success, so we are going to do the same thing, we are going to keep working and I know that the Lord will send us those that are ready to accept the Gospel. It just takes time.

Saturday we had some appointments fall through and so we went and started knocking some doors. We knocked on a door and an American man stuck his head out the window and we asked him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon, he said that he hadn’t read the book. We said to him, “It is a book that has helped us build our faith in Christ. What does your faith in Christ do for you?” He was a little surprised and because it was cold he didn’t want to answer the question with the window open. He closed the window and came down and let us in and he immediately invited his wife to come down stairs and listen to us. We sat down and he said, “Before I answer your question I want to know, what your faith has done for you?” I don’t know why, but I was surprised by his question. We testified of personal revelation and the love that we have for the Savior, the man and his wife were very touched and our testimonies softened their hearts and they began to ask many questions about our faith and the Restoration. They are very strong believers in Christ, and they accepted to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and to accept us again into their home this week.

After seeing this family, the man’s question has stayed in my mind. “What does my faith in Christ do for me?” My answer is that my faith allows me to see clearly in a world that is very unclear and often impossible to navigate all alone. I am grateful for the peace and clearness that come from the Holy Ghost and from my knowledge of the Atonement. It is this same peace and clearness that has taught me that Jesus is the Christ.

I love this work and I am really enjoying my time with Elder Bollero, he is a great missionary and we are getting along great!

Love you all
Elder Smith

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Let it snow!!!

So this week was pretty great, I am writing today because Monday we were in Lyon for a Training and then on Tuesday we were in Geneva for another training.

In Geneva I finally got to see Elder Fitch, he has been out on his mission for more than a year and I finally got to see him, when I walked into the Geneva chapel yesterday he was standing there and I just ran up to him and picked him and gave him a massive hug. It was great to be able to talk with him and see him, he is a great missionary and he is still the great Mark Fitch that I knew from High School. There was a moment when we were doing some practices and I have a good 10 minutes conversation in French with him, he speaks really really well and I am sure that our high school french teacher Mr Miller would be proud. It was great to see him and we should see each other several more times, because we both just got transferred in to the Geneva zone. he is serving in an area like me that is just on the other side of the french boarder, he is in a city called Chambery.

That same day I woke up to a beautiful site as well, SNOW!!!!! as you can see i got pretty excited and ran outside and played in it a little bit. I can't wait to get back and hit the slopes next year

Besides that last week was good, we did an exchange with the Geneva elders and it went really well, because Geneva is an international melting pot there are lots of foreigners, we stayed the entire day at the institute with back to back appointments and all we did was teach about 8 Mongolians. That might be a surprise but in Geneva there are lots of Mongolians there are about with members and investigators combined there is about 30 Mongolians that come to church regularly. One of the Mongolians got baptized this week and he is super strong and will be a great priesthood holder.

Besides that we got stuck in the office a little bit doing reports and things for president and then we got out into our area. We started teaching a man named Sylvain, he is a really really cool man, he is about 30, he has his own construction company and he is really sincere and funny. He has known the missionaries for a while and we just recontacted him and started teaching him. He knows some members and would like to be baptized, we are going to help him, he worries that he won't be strong enough to quit smoking but he wants to. he only smokes every once in a while and he has stopped before in the past. I hope that we will be able to continue to see him and help him be baptized.

We also learned through visiting a member family that there is a young boy, named Greg, who is 11 years old that has never been baptized. His family is very very active in the church and he comes every week, he does his duty to god primary activities and would like to be baptized. His parents got a divorce when he was little and that is only thing that is holding him back from being baptized, so we are going to begin to fast and pray and do everything that we can to soften the fathers heart to that he will give the authorization for him to be baptized.

We had a pretty good week and we are happy and working hard, the members are really great in Gex and there are about our only source of finding people because there are not very many people that live in our area and they all work during the day and are hard to find, he have jumped in at 110 percent to help members share the gospel.

I got a package for the sealy's this week and it made my day, I loved the pictures so much!!

Have a great week

Elder Smith