Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Transfer Week


This week was transfer week and there is nothing too crazy or eventful to tell you, but this was my week day by day

Monday - Attacked the transfer board with President for about 3 hours and then had P Day

Tuesday - Prepared for the arrival of all the new missionaries and then had to solve a problem with baptismal interview form stuff that took way TOO MUCH time and then we got out and knocked a neighborhood. We had asked a family to pray and send us where they felt like the Lord wanted us to be and it has worked really well. The family sent us to a neighborhood where they have friends and family and then during the week they have called us and told us new areas where we should go and certain friends that they want us to meet. For the moment there are only some great potentials in the neighborhood but it has gotten the members excited about missionary work. I love our members here in Gex.

Wednesday - Attacked the transfer board with President for about 3 hours and then we ran out and taught an ami, named Anai, she is great. She is the nanny of a member and we invited her to church and she has come 2 times. She speaks spanish and is learning french and she has really been touched by the Book of Mormon and by the plan of salvation. We asked her to read 3 nephi 11 and she got tears in her eyes and told us that she new that the book was sent from God, it was a powerful moment, I hope she will be baptised this up coming transfer. Then we came back and attacked transfer board a lot with President.

Thursday- District Meeting and then we attacked the transfer board with President for about 3 hours and things started to just get complicated, transfers were pretty tough this time and so President just stopped in the middle and told us that he need to wrestle with the Lord. We left and went and taught a less active and knocked some more areas where members had sent us. We came back and President had really change the board and everything worked, he is inspired and it is incredible to see the spirit move upon him.

Friday- Some office stuff and then and went and taught the Famille Serrano, a less active family that Elder Bollero and I have been bringing back to church. They are the best and they are almost back to full activity. Last week the brother blessed the sacrament and things are going so so well for them. Their daughter is now looking into BYU and there son is signed up for EFY and the parents and the kids are all at church. It is a true miracle, about 8 months ago they were not that warm with the missionaries and they are now headed towards being worthy to go to the temple. I love them!

Saturday - Random transfer tasks and some good door knocking.

Sunday - We visited some members and did an activity with the ward making brownies and then passing by our amis and some less actives, we also went and taught a partial member family and had dinner with them.

Monday - I got Elder Claflin again as my companion!!!!! I will have spent a total of 7 months with him when I finish, and I will finish with him. I couldn't believe it. I am sad to lose Elder Bollero, he has been such a good companion and now I am back with my brother from Aix! Crazy cool, the Lord is too good to me.

Tuesday - Today - Woke up at 4 45 and took the finishing missionaries to the airport and then today we picked up the new missionaries and have been doing contacting and training all day with them, then tonight we got an hour and a half to get out to our area and do some work.

Elder Smith

Monday, March 19, 2012

Groa Bisous de Geneve

This past week went like this

Monday - Woke up. Did some mission reports. Flew to Toulouse. Did an exchange with the chinese speaking missionaries and pretty much just contacted for a the whole night. Talked some pretty cool people.

Tuesday- Woke up. Did a conference for all the new missionaries in the southern zones of the mission. Then cool story - We were at lunch for the new missionary conference and Elder Barton, one of the best missionaries ever, joked about us going to his city (Albi) and doing a blitz for the night and then coming back the next morning for zone conference. It seemed like it was a little impossible and we had different plans. Later we finished the conference and as we were saying the closing prayer, I had the feeling that we should go to Albi, so I talked with Elder Bollero and we looked at our plans, turns out that some things changed and that it was possible to go to Albi, so we did. We hurried off to the train station and we sat down in the train and their was a woman about my age sitting close to us and for the entire train ride I had the feeling that I should offer her a Book of Mormon. I started talking to her, but I DIDN'T HAVE A BOOK OF MORMON. I asked if we could come over that night and give her a book, she was interested and agreed. After getting to Albi we went and gave her a book, she had plenty of questions and was excited to come to church. I really felt like we had been lead literally hundreds of kilometers just to meet her. I hope that she keeps listening to the missionaries.

Wednesday- Woke up. Took the train back to Toulouse for zone conference. We taught about planning and about unity. It was really great to back in Toulouse, I love that place soooo much. After the conference we left and took a train to Bordeaux. The train broke down so we were stuck in Agen for awhile. The train got fixed and we got to Bordeaux kinda late and then went to bed.

Thursday- Woke up. Went to zone conference. We taught about planning and about asking good questions and listening. After zone conference we went and contacted for couple of hours in Bordeaux, there were tons of people and I really enjoyed talking to all these people.

Friday- Woke up and contacted from about 11 to 5. Met some cool people and hope that the zone leaders can start teaching them. Went and taught some lessons and then took the plane back to Geneva and got in a little late and crashed.

Saturday- Woke up and went to do some service for the recent convert mother of our ami chiara. Then we went and then we taught the children of another recent convert. They are super cool and they have a nanny that is 18 and she was really open to the lesson so we invited her to church. All in all things went well and I hope that we can help her kids to get baptised. They are willing to be baptised when they have a testimony, so all we have to do is help them have the testimony.

Sunday- Went to church and had 4 amis and then after church we went and taught Yan our ami. He has been
coming to church for a long time and is very open to the church. We had the chance to start teaching
him and we taught him the first lesson. We took the chance to really focus and ask good questions. We
discussed how he has a testimony of the Bible because he has felt peace, enlightenment and answers to
his prayers as he reads. We then asked him the question “What would that mean if you had a similar
experience with the Book of Mormon?” He answered and told us “I think I would have to be baptized”.
It was a powerful moment that we took to explain to him that we were there to help him have a
spiritual experience with the Book of Mormon. He has now only began his path to baptism, but through
some inspired questions we know what we need to teach him and he knows what he needs to learn.

Life is great and we have began transfers this week so it should be fun.
Elder Smith

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sometimes I have no idea what to put in the subject line!

Dear Family,

This past week went well, we have a zone conference in Geneva and then I did an exchange with Elder Bishop who is serving Yverdon in Switzerland. We had a blast, we were in the MTC together and he is super funny. He has fire red hair and is from Wales. We did quite of bit of finding and all in all we had a great exchange. The rest of week we were getting ready for this week of conferences and working in our own area. We didn't have much happen in our area but we did start teaching Chiara again. Chiara is a ten year old daughter of a recent convert, she was going to get baptised about 6 months ago but her mom had testimony struggles and the baptism got put off. This sunday we went and taught them because things have calmed down and her mom is again strong and at church every week. I know that Chiara will be baptised but her mom is very very very hesitant and that makes Chiara nervous. Chiara loves coming to church and she is there every week and has even expressed a desire to be baptised, so we are going to try and show her mother, Giovanna, that baptism is only the beginning and it is the most important thing that Chiara can do in this moment of her life.

Saturday night we were porting in a small neighborhood where we had been finding many families at home. We weren’t having much success engaging people in conversation, so we decided to start asking people about their families and how they’ve found happiness at home. Shortly after, a man opened the door and we started by asking him about how he had constructed a happy family. His response was, in short, that he had failed and that he was recently divorced. It could have been a disaster of a contact, but instead we took the opportunity to testify about the Gospel and how we had seen it help those around us with family difficulties. The Spirit was strong, and we talked with him about our optimistic message for a few minutes before leaving. Though he decided not to invite us back, we had a very spiritual conversation and we left him with a high opinion of the Church and its teachings. Our attitude and our testimony truly do impact those around us, even in our small exchanges and short contacts with those we testify to daily.

I am writing from Toulouse right now, we woke up and took the plane this morning. We have 2 conferences to do here this week and then we have a conference and an exchange in Bordeaux. We will be back in our area by saturday and we already have some good appointments set up and should have some people (like Chiara) with baptismal dates. Life is good and I can't believe that after this week will be doing transfers again. This mission is going TOO FAST!

I love you all!
Elder Smith

PS Thank you for the card Dad, Mom and Jodi, I opened the singing card and started dancing immediately and then after the music stopped I read the note in the card that had predicted that would dance in opening the card. The office elders and us laughed pretty good about that. You know me all to well.

Q & A
Where was the ocean baptism?

What has happen with the people found/taught on exchanges?
The family in Toulouse was taught for about a month and had baptismal dates and was coming to church but then decided that it was too hard, and the lessons have stopped with them

The man in Montpellier is still being taught and things are going well

The family in our area went on vacation and we are going to see them this weekend

I can't remember if there was others that I spoke about but there are a couple answers

Monday, March 5, 2012

On the road again :)

Dear Family

This past week we had the chance to be in Lyon and Aix for Zone Conferences and we really enjoyed

being able to see a good number of missionaries. After the Zone Conferences, we had the chance to go to Montpellier for an exchange. We arrived during the evening and we went out and started knocking some doors. We met a man from Haiti that opened the door and was very receptive to hear us. He let

us in and he told us how he had survived the terrible earthquakes that struck Haiti a few years ago. He

told us that he felt that God had kept him alive because there was something that he still needed to

have in his life and that there was something missing. We took the opportunity to testify to him that

200 years ago God again spoke to man and that we had come to tell the world and to find him. He has a

great faith already and he told us that he would follow our message because he felt that it came from

God. It was simply a testimony to me of the importance of stating our calling with boldness. We have

been sent by a Prophet because God spoke to Joseph Smith. It is a reality and it is a blessing to be able

to tell others about it.


Is Joan going on a Mission? If so where? and When?

Yes, her farewell was last week so she leaves soon but I am not sure where she is going….oops, I think I am a bad friend
Do you want to be home for the 4th of July?

YES, I love the festivals of the 4th way too much. But if you would like to stay longer that is ok as well because I would stay in France for the rest of my days if possible.

I know Aix for Sunday, Carcasonne, Nice, what else?????

That is the most important I think, Perigueux is too far I think, and most likely you will pick me up in Lyon so Gex will kinda be out of the way unless you want to see Geneva

Are there things you want to see and do?

Well I haven’t really seen any museums or churchs or tourist things, so whatever you would like to see is great. There is a great Indian restaurant in Nice that I need to eat at, there are the Kool Family and Greg and Jolaine that we have to see in Aix. And we need to see Dawna in Nice. And hopefully Recent Converts in all places.

We thought that we would get a car when we got there and drive around the south and then fly to Paris and use the subways there does that sound okay?
Yeah sounds good, in the south I can drive you to Marseille and to many a site seeing place like castles and all the fun stuff

Okay how was the mission tour?
Good, I got to see all my companions in just 3 cities. I love getting to see missionaries and be taught by them, I might be biased but my mission has the coolest missionaries EVER
How many forms of transportation did you use?

6, a car, trams, buses, subways, feet and an elevator

Are there missionaries on Corsica?

Not yet, but I spoke with the Nice stake president for about 10 minutes about getting missionaries in Corsica and it could maybe happen before I go home, a really big maybe.

I didn't realize that Pres. Murdock was finishing his mission in July as well. Will you have the mission home moved before the new president gets there?
We should hopefully have the mission home in Lyon, like a week before leave.

Have you had a chance to teach the golden family since you got back into town?
Nope, L

How were Elders Brough and Clafllin?

GREAT!!!! I spent the exchange with Elder Claflin, and we were right back on pace. We found a man the first night and started teaching him the next day and he is great and accepted to be baptized, he was super prepared. Aix was Great as well with Elder Baret and Elder Heywood, we slept in their apartment on Thursday night and then Elder Baret even made us breakfast the next morning. He is a good man. I also slept in Elder Allens apartment for 2 nights in a row and did an exchange with him on Tuesday. That was really sweet!

Love you!