September 23, 2013

Mae (mom),

Things here have been fantastic. We have a baptism scheduled for the 5th, we had one last night. Things are really moving along. Elder Hancock, my new Elder i'm training, is doing great. Everything is really opening up. I love all of the members, we have a really good relationship. They don't care too much about missionary work, so it's hard to get them to come out with us. But they're all good people. Ugh I miss Palm Harbor Ward so much sometimes. Everyone there always supported me so much. I can still feel their prayers. 

AND I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT'S YOUR NEW CALLING!!! THOSE ARE THE GUYS I WAS TEACHING BEFORE I LEFT!!! well, not the girls, but you know. Tell them I really miss 'em and I'm going to try to write them if I get time. It's so hard to write letters. But I have been thinking about them.

I'll try to write madi. I don't have her email though. But I miss her, and I miss G like crazy. I was teaching one of our investigators this week, and we started teaching about families. I started teaching about the Plan of Salvation, and how families can be forever. She asked about my family, and I told her about all you guys. I was crying so hard I'm surprised she understood me. But she started crying as well, and said she can tell I really love my family. That lesson, I committed her to be baptized. I know I was a total punk a lot of the time back home. I really feel bad about all of the crap I put you and Dad through. But I am trying hard to become a better person. I feel so much more love in my life. And the love I have for others is completely shaping who I am. I feel my Savior's love for me every day. 

Missionary work isn't just the responsibility of the missionaries. It is a commandment given to all of God's children who know the truth. Keep finding and thinking of those friends you have. No matter who it is, everyone has questions that can be answered through the Book of Mormon. I have such a strong testimony of that. And PLEASE FEED THEM! No one ever has us over here. But it's ok. 

Anyway, I love y'all. Y'all'rr in my prayers.

Com Patos,

Elder Smith

September 9, 2013

Oi meus amigos, como vao? This past week was awesome. I've been thinking a lot about our investigators, and how to best meet their needs. And with this last fast Sunday, a lot of things have come to my mind on how to help them. However, one thing really stuck out to me. One of our main investigators has taken the missionary lessons 7 times already (but everyone knows the 8th time's the charm, right?). She's having trouble with the Book of Mormon. She isn't praying to know if it's true. She asked a question our last visit with her; "If there were prophets in the Old Testament and New Testament times, who led God's children, and received revelation from God, why doesn't that still happen? If there was ever a time for that, it would be now. Why has God forsaken us?" At that moment, the spirit penetrated my heart more than ever before. I had a realization. The world is in darkness. We live in a time when satan has power over many people. We are literally at war. The dark clouds of sorrow and hatred are rapidly covering the Earth. And as representatives of Jesus Christ, as members of his church, and as Sons and Daughters of the most high God, we are tasked with dispersing the darkness through the light of Christ within us. We have that power. The end is coming. I don't know how much time we have left, but it isn't much. We are the messengers of the truth, the Harbingers of Light. We are the Hope of Israel, we are Zion's army. The Lord has called us all to gather in his sheep in these last moments before the millennium. "Let your light so shine before men,that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven" -Mathew 5:16
"Therefore, hold up your alight that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the blight which ye shall hold up" 3 nephi 18:24

May we all let our light so shine before men. Our God has given us life, he has loved us more than we can comprehend. Will we not show our love for him by giving him our lives? I testify that this Gospel is true, that Christ is the "light and life of the world". I know that nothing will bring us more joy than spreading that light with those we love. (D&C 18:16) I know that we all have weaknesses, The Lord has reminded me of my own every day. However, we also have more power than we can comprehend. "Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe." -Jeffery R. Holland

There are times in life when we will feel beaten. We will feel defeated, and we will feel lost. Lean on the Savior. Let him carry you. Look to him as an example in all things. When we feel like quitting, remember him! He never quit. He never ceased to love, he never ceased to give, he never ceased to work. He died for us, and we will live for him.

"The great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage." - Henry B. Eyring"

I love all of you. I pray for you, and think of you often. Keep going. Keep trying. I know things are hard. These troubles we face will be but a small moment in the span of eternity. This life is the time for us to prepare both ourselves and others to meet God.

Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Com Amor,

Elder Smith

September 3, 2013

Happy Elder Smith
Hi Mom!

Sorry I didn't get to write home yesterday, the library was closed. Dang holidays.

I haven't recieved it yet, but I will on thursday at Zone Meeting.

Guess what?

Elder Scott is gone, but Now I'm helping train another Elder, Elder Hancock form UTAH! Some random place called Pason

Anyway, won't write too much, haven't read your other emails yet.

 I love the Temple. I miss going there (no temple in this mission :( makes me sad )

But I'm loving these two years. It's hard to imagine I'm past 4 months.

We went caving yesterday, and it was awesome. I can't wait to go to the Sao Paulo Temple!


Com Patos,

Elder Smith

The Cribbs Family