Monday, February 24, 2014

Today has been insane in the membrane! But it has been great too. We played floorball for an extended period of time because the Elders and Sisters serving up in Brewton, AL came down to play. It was fun! I played about half the time. There is just not enough time to accomplish all that I need to do! That statement is true for both Pday time and regular proselyting time. I have gained about five pounds in the past three weeks or so. We have been been diligent in our exercising... So I am hoping that is 5 pounds of muscle! Hahaha we shall see I guess though. The real test will be mother's day. And then the final exam will be when you see me in the flesh for the first time. "Wow kev... you really enjoyed that southern cookin'" Haha!! I am stoked to hear that Drew is going to the great nation of Mexico!! I think it is so fitting He is going to do a great job!! I got an email from and old friend from 2nd ward asking me if Sean was preparing for his mission. I chuckled and then responded by relating that Drew had his mission call!! So funny how we have clocks on us 24/7 and yet still time slips into the abyss so quickly. Ha! We had a meeting of the minds yesterday with several leaders including the President of the West Florida Genealogical Society to discuss the big event that we are putting on. There will be more details to come, but man are we getting geared up! It's going to be an open house using family history in order to help people become interested in the church, and genealogy. We are trying to find ways to help people become interested, and I know that family history is one of the best ways we can do it!! This week we taught 20 less active/recent convert lessons. That is by far a record for me. We stayed fairly busy this past week with teaching. We are seeing some people returning even still! We also were able to teach 6 investigator lesson. I am hoping that can come up. This ward is doing a great job though. We, as a ward missionary effort, are over double the mission average for lessons taught per companionship, both in total and in investigator lessons. Our bishop is exercising his keys, our ward mission leader is committed to the work, and we have members that are being a great support! One cool experience I can give y'all - I always forget to share my spiritual experiences with you. Probably because words just cannot and do not describe what actually took place – We were teaching Michael and Itzel last night, our recent convert and his wife. We were able to answer some really big questions for them. On the way over to their house (about a 4 mile walk) Elder Smith and I were talking about just how hard it must be for God to see all of His children, who He has a perfect love for, turn and reject him. Well, one of them wanted to know who was at fault, in the case of their family, for their sister getting an abortion. Her dad was the one that told her that she had to get one, and she went ahead and did it. Michael and Itzel didn't know who was going to be responsible for that at the last day. We discussed that, but the really sweet experience came after they expressed deep sorrow and sadness and remorse that their family was going so far off the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life. And we then had a very powerful experience, talking about the lessons that they were learning about God, and how He must feel when He sees the wickedness of those He loves most. When we experience others rejecting our purest love, our best intentions, our deepest and most vulnerable feelings, we taste one of the easily forgotten parts of Godhood. The Spirit that was there was so strong. I wish you could have felt it. I hope all of us can bear in mind just how hard it is for our Heavenly Father to see us come out in open rebellion against Him and the love and blessings He is trying to extend. I'm sure He is just waiting so anxiously for the day when we will return to Him, so He can give us all the blessings He has wanted to give us all along. May we all be worthy of such a joyous reunion. I love you, each and every one of you. Elder Smith

Monday, February 10, 2014

Could be better, could be worse

First off, let me tell you about the investigators we currently have! We had to drop 3 of them this week, which was really quite sad. Our pool is beginning to dry up again, which really just stinks! We no longer have any people committed to a specific baptismal date. One no longer wants visits, one is still pretty hard to get a hold of and the other didn't come to church this week which means he cannot be baptized on his scheduled date. So! As you can see, we have a fair amount of work to do! But, the good news is that our district is still doing amazing! We represent, in numbers of proselyting young missionaries, a fifth of our entire zone. Yet within our district we have all of the zones current BCDs! Holler, right? Last week we help all but one! So that is really good for our district. But also sad that the rest of the zone isn't having much luck right now. We had a member out with us each day this past week. Is that not a blessing or what? We received a zone training on Tuesday about that very thing actually. Instead of just having members come out with us, we are to be working with each of the members within the walls of their own homes, teaching someone that they have found, not us! I am hoping that can happen. It really is a different work you are a part of when that is the case. Because the people we are working with have no cars, no phones... It's very very difficult to get in contact with them when that is the case! Cause they are always out walking the streets, or you can't ever call ahead. And so we end up having a lot of dropped appointments, non church attendance, and so forth. So! Our focus this week is going to be to find the very elect! Those who have been prepared to receive us. :) My email this week from President Smith was informing us that Elder Ballard was going to be in our mission March 8th, and that we were all invited to come and participate in that meeting!! I am stoked. Beyond stoked!! Elder Ballard is the apostle that set President Smith apart. I think that is totally neato!! I don't think I have anything else for you all. I know this work is true. I love you all, and hope you have a great Valentine's day!! Elder Smith