August 26, 2013

Dearest momma smeech,

I'm happy I'm not in prison too. That'd not be fun. But at least I'd get to watch T.V. And take naps. And call home every day. But anywho, Things are still awesome. I'm loving it here. I'm sad though. We got the transfer call Saturday morning, and Elder Scott, the Elder I'm training, is getting transferred. I'm sad. But, at least We're getting a new one on Wednesday. And I'm staying in this area, for the 3rd transfer. Crazy. But I love it here. It's beautiful(ish), the people are awesome, and I LOVE BIKE AREAS. If I ever go to a car area I'm going to get so fat. Biking 25 miles a day tends to keep you in shape. My favorite thing, though, is that we get to stop and talk to EVERYONE. It's awesome. 

So I've been speaking a TON of spanish lately. It turns out there are a lot of spanish speakers here, and I'm the only Elder in the district who can relatively speak it. So we've been teaching a lot of Guatemalans. It's been awesome to teach in a foreign language. And what's crazier, is that my Portuguese has been improving because of it. It's awesome. My testimony that The Lord will provide for those that need to hear the Gospel has been strengthened so much. The Gospel will go fort boldly and nobly, and all will hear it. I'm so grateful to be able to take this glad message of light and truth to the world. Too many members see the Church as a job, as something to do on Sundays and wednesday nights. It is so much more than that. It is everything. It is light, it is truth, it is Life. If we are not doing all we can to do the Lord's work, we aren't doing enough. He has given us everything. Can we not pay back what little we can? I love this Gospel, I love Christ. I know he lives.

Love you all!!!

Elder Sam Smith

August 21, 2013


EU SO SORRY I DIDNT GET TO EMAIL! Things have been soooo busy it's insane. We recently had to move apartments because the lease was up, and they were gonna raise rent by like $300. So we were moved to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment with no washer or dryer. So it's been a little bit of a hassle with trying to move everything out, move everything in, clean the old apartment, and get settled in. On top of our proselyting. However, the work has been awesome. We recently had a baptism in the ward, a little boy named Jorge. He's a cute little guy. 

I'M ALMOST AT 4 MONTHS!!! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING!!! I'm almost done with my first transfer as a trainer! I'm thinking that I'm going to be separated from my companions. That makes me sad.  I'm gonna miss these Elders.

My testimony of the Gospel has grown so much. Every single day, I have experiences that fortify my testimony. I now that it is truly the Lord's church restored on the Earth today. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that we will grow nearer to God my sincerely reading it, than by any other book. Above all, I have a deep and strong knowledge that Jesus Christ is my savior. I know that he dies for me. I know he loves me. He truly is my best friend. I talk with him more than anyone else.

I've learned a few really cool things this week. One thing a lot of people think, is that we should ask the Lord for answers for everything. While the Lord wants us to constantly rely on him, he also says: " For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward." Preach My Gospel also says: "Do many good things of your own free will. Don’t wait for your leaders to tell you what to do. Continue until you have done all you can, even when you are tired. Focus on the most important things and avoid wasting time. Pray for guidance and strength. Plan regularly and effectively. Avoid anything that distracts your thoughts or actions."

The Lord loves us, but he wants us to make our own decisions. When we expect to receive revelation on everything we do during the day, we are telling Heavenly Father that we don't want to have that gift. There are some instances where we need to use our judgement, make an educated decision, and act on it. The Lord promises to consecrate our efforts if we exercise our faith in him. President Uchdorf said in a talk entitled The Why of Priesthood Service:  "There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do."  As we encounter problems in life, if we will but ask the Lord for help, exercise faith in him, and step into the darkness, he WILL light the path before us. We will find that no matter how dark or doubtful the future may be, the Lord always places solid ground beneath our feet. I experience this every day, and I testify that it is true.

This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Physically, I'm exhausted. Mentally, I'm beaten. However, spiritually, I become stronger and stronger daily. And while I know that it will never be easy, I have been promised by my savior that it will be worth it. So I will continue stepping into the darkness in faith, relying on the Lord almighty to keep the Earth below my feet, and guide me down the path that will lead to eternal life.

I love all of you. I miss you. I think of you often. You're constantly in my prayers. I pray that you will all continue to have faith in Christ, and to constantly strive to look for the best in each other. As President Hinkley said: "Don't look for faults in your companions; they have plenty of them." We all have weaknesses, however, we have these weaknesses that we may be humble. That we all may come to feel the love for each other that the Savior has for us is my sincere prayer, in the name of my Lord and my savior, Jesus Christ, amen.