Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Baptism of Mari Campos!


Okay, last week I focused on the story of Alfonso, but also last Saturday was the Baptism of Mari Campos. She is a woman of strong faith and diligence. I wont go into the details of the back story of her life, because I feel like it is too much personal information. But, just know that she is a great example of someone overcoming trials, and putting one foot forward at a time everyday, knowing that God is aware of her and her children as well.

Here is a photo of us from her Baptism day, outside of the Hermosillo, Senora - Mexico Temple.

Me and My Companion sang at the Baptism. Yeah I know... Im not the first one to offer to sing. But we sang, "Yo se que vive mi SeƱor" = "I know that My Redeemer Lives". And as we stood in front of everyone, Alfonso and Mari were on the front row right in front of us in white. And it didnt matter that Im not a super star at singing. The lyrics were what are important. The journey of their lives to get them to the point of baptism, forgiven of their sins, and moving towards a brighter future. 

She was confirmed a member of the church yesterday in Sacrament. She has two sons, Erwin (who is in the picture here), and Santiago (who is her five month old baby). And Santiago was blessed yesterday. So it was a super happy day!  :)

My Companion, Hermana Juarez, and me yesterday on Easter. We didnt wake up to the Easter Bunny... but it was still a great day.  ;)  And we can all look the other way and ignore the blonde streaks in my hair. Ha ha.

Christ is our Redeemer, he suffered for our sins, short comings and infirmities. He did it for all of us, but he would have done it if it was just YOU. His love is perfect, and so is his plan. I hope that we can all appreciate the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and become better every day.

P.S. Next week is Transfer Day... Ah, I dont know!

I Love You All!

Love Always,
                    Hermana Smith

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Alfonso's Baptism!!! :)


This week has been super crazy, but full of blessings also.

Okay, Alfonso is my favorite!

Before I left on my Mission, I made a list of goals that I wanted to apply. And one of them was, "Dont forget the man sitting in the gutter. meaning, every person deserves the gospel of Jesus Christ in their life." And that is exactly where we found Alfonso, he was sitting in his wheelchair in the gutter, sweeping leaves. And I asked him if he needed help. we offer help a lot to people here with service, they usually say no, but we still offer.(okay side note, this computer is ghetto and isnt letting me make a lot of letters capital, so ignore that fact). but alfonso said yes. So we helped him sweep leaves and began talking to him about life. then we asked him if we could share with him our message, and he happily said yes.

when we showed up to his house he was excitedly waiting outside for us right on time! He is humble and loving, and easily welcomed the message we had. we would randomly suprise him outside the store where he sweeps, or at his house and he was always reading the pamphlets that we gave him, always studying! And we even caught him reading them and sharing them with people around him, doing his own missionary work!

i told the story of him in an email before where he came all by himself the 25 blocks in the blazing sun, in his wheelchair. because he knows the importance of what it means to be at church every week.

me and my companion had colds one week, and then next day when we came back Alfonso had bought us cough drops. he always buys us little treats that he gives us in sacrament meeting on sundays. He called us his little angels, and even made up a little friend cheer that we do. Ha ha.

But this is also a good example of timing, i dont think if we met 20 or 30 year old Alfonso if he would have taken our message the same. god has a plan for each one of us, and it will all work out in his timing.

just a typical lesson at alfonsos house, always having fun with him.

this past saturday alfonso was baptized, clean from all the past. here we are infront of the Hermosillo, mexico temple. it is right next door to the church house that we meet at.

alfonso after his baptism, ah I wish you all knew him, he is the best!

i love you all tons! And i hope you have a week full of success in all that you do.

love always,
hermana Smith

p.s. Mari Campos got baptized on Saturday also. I will tell you her story next week. She is getting confirmed this next Sunday.

Uplifted From General Conference

Familia y Amigos,
I hope your Conference Weekend was filled with answers, joy, and encouragement. I was blessed to find a television outside some offices in our building that was playing Conference in ENGLISH! It was just sitting there on, in front of a way comfortable couch, with nobody occupying it. Just a little TV that decended from Heaven to let me hear Conference in English. ;) Luckily my Companion knows English also, so we were able to watch both of the Saturday sessions there. The first session just us, and the second with the Elders that speak English after we shared with them our discovery (because everyone else was watching it in the Chapel in Spanish with Members and Investigators). Then on Sunday for the first session we watched it in Spanish, because 5 of our Investigators came to watch it as well. And then for the second session we watched it in English.
But actually my favorite talk was one that I listened to in Spanish. So I will share with you what I took from it, hopefully the meaning didnt get lost in translation. My favorite was the Sunday Morning Session by Elder Uchtdorf about Gratitude. (P.S. My spelling in English is awful now, that was the struggle during Conference when I wrote notes in English I know I spelled a lot of things wrong.) He talked of how Gratitude isnt just for when things are going good in your life, and it isnt to be linked with the quanitity of your blessings. Gratitude is to be recognized in all situations, especially your trials and short comings.
I know that is true, we should be greatful for our trials, because that makes our blessings that much sweeter. God knows what he is doing, his hand is in our lives, it is as close as we will let it be. As we apply our faith with actions, because it isnt enough to just happily hold your faith alone. We must MOVE forward with Faith, knowing that God will do his part. Our ACTION of Faith is an example of our love and trust to our Heavenly Father. And as we pair that with prayer, our opportunities are endless. With God as our Business Partner in all things, we can not fail.
And General Conference isnt meant to be ignored for another six months. The talks will all be made available on www.lds.org , so... we can read and study them, and learn even more!

Working Hard on the Ranch! Nah not really, because it was Sunday. But a recent convert invited us to have lunch with her on Sunday at her parents Ranch, inbetween the sessions of Conference.

This same member gave me and my companion these bracelets. Super sweet of her! The people in our ward here are SO good to the Missionaries! A lot of them are converts, so they love the Missionaries, because they remember the Missionaries that shared the Gospel with them, and how the Gospel has changed their lives. (Hna. is an abbreviation for Hermana.)

I hope that you are all having a Wonderful Day, and preparing for a Fabulous Week!
Pray, PRAY often. And know that God IS listening. Be patient, and willing to comprehend the will of God as well.
I Love you TONS!!!

Love Always,
Hermana Smith    

Friday, April 4, 2014

Give with a Happy Heart! :)

Little Darlings,

I hope you are all doing beyond fabulous!

One of the many lessons that I have learned since I have been on my mission is that Charity should be our first option. Me and Hermana Juarez were teaching a family, and we noticed that they didnt have food. As missionaries, of course we are not rolling in the dough here. But I cant know that someone is in need, and not help them. So when we left we took a chunk from our budget knowing that we would have less than what we wanted and we went to the store and bought them the basics and what we knew they needed. And of course, what happened that week, members, random investigators and people gave us food. I asked my companion, "You know why people are giving us food right?" She said no, and I replied "Because we gave that family all that food." Little by little we were payed back for our deed, God wasnt going to let us his missionaries go hungry. And that isnt to say that you should give, with expectations of receiving, but all will turn out in the end. So give, love, and serve, knowing that God will do his part. 

Another time a homeless man came knocking at our gate for food. Once again our cupboards are far from bursting with food. But we had, so we gave. And later that day this man randomly bought us cold drinks in the hot sun. And I asked my companion, "You know why that man bought us drinks, right?" She said no, and I replied "Because, we gave that man food this morning." It is important that we give God credit for our blessings and tender mercies in life.

My favorite scripture is Mosiah 4:24, I am not going to type it, that means you have to go look it up yourself, nice eh?!  ;)

And my favorite story of the week: We taught a lesson early one morning, so after we were going to return to our apartment. We started walking down the street and I saw a old man in the distance, he was riding a bike, with a big cart thing with wheels attached to the front with an old woman sitting in it. All I could think was, how loving of him to bike her around. We crossed the rode, I looked back at them. I had an overwhelming feeling that we needed to talk to them. So I told my companion we needed to cross back to the other side of the rode again. We began to talk to them, and jeesh talk about HUMBLE! I had an instant love for them. They opened up and told us that their only son died three months ago. The woman said that she has diabetes, and she held in her hand an empty insulin bottle. She sadly told us that it was too expensive, and she hadnt had insulin in four days. I took the bottle and wrote down all of the details, and gave it back. We gave them pamphlets for the Plan of Salvation, we got their address to send missionaries to their house since they were out of our area. And we told them where our ward met on Sundays and what time, they were so excited and said that they would come. But as missionaries well know, you tend to not believe the "I will come to church." speil, until you see it. But I knew that wasnt enough, this woman was in need. And we could help her. So we went to a Pharmacy and I bought some insulin. My companion said sweet, we can give it to them on Sunday if they come. I said yeah right, she could die without insulin. So we went back to the streets to find them, thinking they couldnt have gone too far. But my roommate at BYU used insulin, and I knew that you had to keep it in the fridge. And it was only a zillion and a half degrees this day. I have a camelback backpack, and I put the insulin in the insulated part with my water, to keep it as low of temperature as I could. And we took a bus, and took it to her house. We had beat them to their house, but left it with a relative there. And I thought that was it, we did our part, end of story. No, who came to church on Sunday and sat right be?! This humble man and woman, ready and thirsty for the Gospel!  :)

A quote that one of my MTC Teachers gave me that I love is, "When a man is starving there is no opportunity to feed him spiritually. Only when a man has been fed and clothed and his temporal needs have been satisfied, and only then can you begin to spiritualize that man." - Harold B. Lee

This is a stinkin long email. But I hope you get the point, give, if you are blessed (which I know you are), GIVE. Point blank. It doesnt have to be your money, it can be your time, your talent, or your friendship. Everyone has something that someone else is lacking, so whatever it is, split and multiply it!

Here is a picture of some Hermanas after the Relief Society Broadcast this week.

I dont know, all I think of when I see this sign is, be cautious when bacon is crossing the road.

Okay and last of all General Confrence this Weekend, HOLLA! It is like the Super Bowl for Missionaries. Mmm mmm, so pumped!!! So I invite all of you to watch it this Saturday and Sunday. It is designed for everyone. Go with questions that you need answered, go humbly, and the answers will pour out to you. My notes might be shorter, as I write them in Spanish. But it will still be as sweet as ever.

I love you all!

Love Always,
                    Hermana Smith