Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone!

Louisa is beautiful! It's covered in trees and hills and tracting here lets me see the greatest views. It's been pretty cold here with some slight hailing but it allows me to break out my coat and enjoy the wonderful weather. 


The branch here is really nice and I've had the pleasure of meeting a lot of neat people. There is an African couple here and they're testimonies are AMAZING. I call them Big Mama and Big Daddy (hey, they adopted me the first time I walked in their door). I'm excited to be here and I know the Lord has some great things in store for me and my new companion, Elder Bird.

Elder Bird is a funny guy. I rarely, if ever, see him without a smile on his face and it always keeps me cheery. This is an extremely rural area; far more than Currituck but it's great. I find the rural people easy to get along with.

HEY! IT JUST STARTED SNOWING! WOOT! Well everyone: I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year. I hope we all will remember the true meaning of CHRISTmas and make New Year resolutions that will bring us closer to our Heavenly Home.
Love ya'll,
Elder Smith

"And His name shall be called Wonderful..."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Being TRANSFERRED to....

 A very SMALL World...
This Elder who is with "Elder Smith" knows a family in our Kalispell 3rd Ward really well!

This Asian Elder is from Australia!
"Elder Smith LOVES his Australian accent!" 
(smile)

I will use "Elder Smith's" words regarding this picture:

"Elder Angle and I by the training grounds of mercenaries, security, military etc. It's got a history. Two guys in suits by an elite training facility...I think I've found my profession ;)"

 Current missionary companion and "Elder Smith"

This Elder's "cousin" was our 2nd born, Caleb's, MTC companion
when he went on his mission to Taiwan...
(another "small world" moment)

Elder Smith with his mission President's wife
Sister V. Perry



Well everyone, I'm being transferred.

After spending 9 months in Currituck, North Carolina I am being transferred to Louisa, Virginia. To be honest, I feel as if I'm leaving home once again. It's not a pleasant feeling and it's really hard, but I know that the Lord needs me to go to another part of His vineyard. The past several weeks I have been praying that I would stay in Currituck and not until a week ago have I started using the phrase, "Not my will but Thine be done". Does this show that the Lord doesn't care about us or our desires? Does this show that He doesn't answer prayers? On the contrary, isn't "No" an answer? When parents say "no" to a request does it mean they don't care or does it mean they may have some greater perspective and seek for our well-being? I know the answer is the latter. When I received the call from my mission president I really wasn't very happy. It was more like a dagger was placed in my heart, but, in the words of Nephi, "I know in whom I have trusted." I know the Lord "doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation." (2 Nephi 26:24). I'm grateful that the Lord is in control and He allows us to endure things that we have labeled as "trials". Because they help us to stretch, to grow, to learn, and to love. I love Currituck, but I love the Lord even more. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that wants us to be happy. I know that Jesus Christ is at the head of this Church and that He leads it. How great the day will be when He comes again and establishes His Kingdom on the earth. How great the day will be that we will be able to embrace Him and then embrace our Father.

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." (3 Nephi 5:13)

Elder Smith

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

 This was sent to me by another missionary mom...
It is truly BEAUTIFUL...
Though, I believe with all of my heart...there is NO SACRIFICE 
that can equal...what our Lord and Savior has given us...
...His ATONING SACRIFICE...
Mothers...often feel very deeply when separated from their child...
Our Father in Heaven sent his BELOVED son...and stood watch
over the GREAT SACRIFICE His son was WILLING
to make FOR us...I believe...that could
not have been easy...to witness...
I am so GRATEFUL for the decisions our children have made
to SERVE a FULL-TIME MISSION...I know the time passes VERY QUICKLY...
and the prize given back to the MOTHER...
is the MIRACLE of the
growth of their child... 
Mama Smith


A MISSIONARY CHRISTMAS
(author unknown)

I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus, my decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and socks...no fun. I've bought him all white clothes because...This year I'm giving Christ my son.


I've spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I've reread November's Ensign, Felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because, This year I'm giving Christ my son.


I wonder how those Lamanite mothers, gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion, their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence, I'll miss his smile a ton, for two years we will pray for him, I'm giving Christ my son.


I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He's always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, His choice and mine are one. I'll put my faith in God's hand, This year, I'm giving Him my son.


Past gifts have lost their glitter; I think I finally understand, Christ's birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.

It's because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing's done. My gift has taken years to make, This year...I'm giving Christ my son.

I know there's One who understands, the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, The toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before Greater love - there could be none. For years ago God gave to me, His only begotten son.


The hands I washed, the hands I held, The hands I taught to pray; Now knock on doors to find the ones Who will listen to what he'll say. Because I know Christ needs him, Until all the gathering's done, My gift has taken years to make. This year...I'm giving Christ my son. —

Monday, December 10, 2012

 Ancient Apostles

Living Apostles Today...

Hello Everyone!

This was one busy week. We've been teaching a wonderful woman all the lessons over the course of just a couple days so she is prepared for her baptism on Wednesday. She has set a wonderful example for her family as well, for, there has been several others who have expressed their interest in being taught and brought to the Church. All the events that have transpired this past week has been a testimony builder to me that the Lord is working very hard alongside all His servants. He's preparing the hearts of His children to hear the gospel! Are you going to speak up and begin to harvest?

Last night I had the unique privilege of attending another church with a non-member. As I sat there listening to the sermon and the interpretation of scripture by the pastor, I was pretty disappointed and saddened at the loss of truth that has occurred over the centuries. Amongst other things, he was teaching false concepts about the Godhead and blatantly saying that there is no revelation in these days. I was not surprised to hear these teachings but as he was preaching I kept flipping to one scripture after another stating the prophetic announcements of loss of truth in the last days. Peter prophesied that there would need to be a "restitution of all things" (Acts 3:21). Moroni lamented, "And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues; Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them. For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles." (Mormon 9:7-10)
 

God is not an author of confusion but is a God of order and organization. He's called prophets again in these last days to restore truth! People out there NEED WHAT WE HAVE! Stand up and shout, "I'M A MORMON! I KNOW it. I LIVE it. I LOVE it." then share the great plan of God with those you see. If you have made covenants to serve God, keep them. If you haven't made them, make them at baptism. If you have made them and have broken them, begin now to fix them. Part of that covenant is to live and love the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by His modern Prophets. Those prophets are found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you don't know that for yourself begin reading the Book of Mormon and ask God, in sincere prayer, if what you are reading is right and true and for you. I testify as a true representative of Jesus Christ that it IS true and that it DOES pertain to you. 

"And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good. And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness." (2 Nephi 33:10-11)

I love you all.

Elder Smith


Monday, December 3, 2012

Miracles...The Gospel Rolls Forth...Through the Spirit of God


"Let Your Light So Shine"


Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts...things have been busy! Ok! Where to begin? Well, I don't know where to begin or even tell how awesome the past couple weeks have been. 


I'll share one experience my companion and I had that makes serving a mission so worth it. So, once a week we hold a weekly planning session. That's where we sit down and for a couple hours we will talk about our next week, things we need to do, prepare for, investigators and their needs, how to find new people, etc. etc. etc. Well, there is a part-member family in this branch who are amazing people. He joined the church about a year ago and has a solid testimony and is firm in the gospel. His wife had no desire to join and didn't believe in what we taught about the Church. Since I've been here I have personally been able to witness the Lord preparing her to receive the truth. So many events have transpired that allowed us to go over to their house more often, we'd have dinner, talk and enjoy each others company and before my companion and I would leave we'd share a very simple message and leave. Well, in this weekly planning session my companion and I were talking about this couple and what we should do to help her. We just knew that we had to bring up Joseph Smith and the church with her (something that we never did and I've been here for almost nine months) We show up at their house and she was like, "You showed up at the perfect time. Come on in." She simply stated, "I want to be baptized." I can't tell you, in fact I will never be able to tell you how spiritual that moment was. They were both so happy as well as my companion and I and now we're going to begin teaching her to prepare her for that marvelous day. THE LORD LOVES HIS CHILDREN! He is helping each one to accept the gospel. This is a prime example. I saw her swing from one end to the pendulum to another and we had nothing to do with it. My companion and I knew during our planning session, days before this all transpired, and it was confirmed that wonderful day. This is just ONE of MANY miracles the Lord has performed in just a couple weeks time.

Everyone: I know the God lives and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is HIS Church. Joseph Smith was a true and real prophet! The Book of Mormon is TRUTH! Jesus is the very Christ. I know it. I know it. I know it.

Elder Smith


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Picture at a Zone Conference in September

I LOVE pictures!
This was a ZONE CONFERENCE picture 
taken in September.
Elder "Smith" just sent it to me...
so, I thought I would POST it for you...since, he must not
have had time to write a letter for the blog.



 

Monday, November 19, 2012

ANOTHER CATCH-UP LETTER!


Hyrum Smith
Nov 5, 2012
                                 
Hello Everyone!
Wow...what a crazy week. Crazily AMAZING that is! The two investigators we have that got married not too long ago have now set a baptismal date and are working hard to achieve it. They're so excited and it has been so, SO amazing to see their progression and change as they've applied to principles of the Gospel to their lives. Currituck now has a senior missionary couple in the branch and we are so excited to have them. Senior missionaries are such an amazing addition to the work and they're contributions are immeasurable. If you're in your "more mature" years I would highly encourage you to look into missionary service. It's a prayerful process but know that your contributions will help improve the lives of many. The Lord is hastening His work and is calling for more laborers. All who have willing hearts and working hands are duty bound to help lift a fellow brother or sister.

So, remember that story a while back where I was with a group of missionaries in a restaurant and a man had been listening to us speak and wrote on a napkin desiring to learn more? Well, it happened again! It didn't happen with a napkin this time, but I was with some fellow missionaries at lunch and when our meal arrived we each said our own silent prayers. Well, we weren't aware that a man in a booth directly across from us had been observing and listening to us and as we began our meal he made some very complimentary comments and asked us who we were. We explained who we were and what we did and he began telling us how he has some Mormon friends and has always been impressed by them. After talking some more we gave him a Mormon.org pass-along card and invited him to check it out. Luckily, he had a nifty smart phone and started immediately to investigate the website. After some time, he bade us farewell and thanked us for the card and said he would be looking into it a little more. Again, might I stress the importance of incorporating the Gospel into your life to where it becomes who you are at all times. People are very observant creatures and as you "let your light so shine" before them, they will will desire that light. "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and
be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." (1 Peter 3:15) It's really a lot of fun to share the gospel. Give it a shot.

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. Repentance isn't something to be feared but something to look at with joy and excitement! There is a way provided for us to clean up our past! To wipe the slate clean and start over again! Isn't that great? I don't know about you but I'm definitely not perfect and I make stupid decisions and mistakes every day...and I've made some big ones in the past. However, the Lord has promised, "though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18) I have experienced the joy and repentance and having a burden lifted from off my conscience. Peace of mind and heart, knowing that I don't have to worry about my past, is such a wonderful blessing. And now to those who know of that wonderful feeling of which I am describing, "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of
redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" (Alma 5: 26) Remember that great and wonderful feeling? Don't you want that for your friend? Don't you want that for your neighbor? Or perhaps, don't you want that for a family member? It's up to you to act and start sharing that feeling. This was made possible through the suffering of one who loves more than we are able, "And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people." (Mosiah 3:7) Don't forget the sacrifice made for you. If you haven't felt this song of redeeming love, it's available to you! Just take the first step and that is getting on your knees. He loves each of you.

I love you all,

Elder Smith

BELATED POSTS

A NOTE from "Mama Smith":
I am truly BEHIND in many of areas of my life...
Went to Pennsylvania and Virginia for
TWO baby blessings...so I have
been in catch-up mode ever since I returned!
NO...I did not see "Elder Smith" while in Virginia, even though, I was only
20 minutes from where he was "evacuated" during
Hurricane Sandy...Yes, Garvin and I were there during that time! (smile) In fact,
"Elder Smith" was evacuated to his brother, Caleb's, ward he
had MOVED FROM... People WE have gotten to know who
are in that WARD "Elder Smith" stayed in, were with US for Caleb's newborn son's
blessing...so I believe they missed him, unless,
they saw "Elder Smith" before he was sent back to his area...
FUN, isn't it? (smile)
Mama Smith

Now, for Elder Smith's email after HURRICANE SANDY:
WRITTEN: 30 October 2012
 
Hello hello!
Well, this was an eventful week! But before I get into that, yesterday was a very...long...day... Due to a "hurricane" my companion and I got evacuated out of my area up to Virginia on Saturday, and have been staying with the Elders in Great Bridge ever since. Yesterday, due to the storm, we had to be indoors...all...day. We couldn't go outside for any reason, so we were all stuck inside the apartment literally all day. It feels good to stretch the legs once again. All we really had was a bunch of rainy, cold weather.
 
However, now I've got good news! Two of our investigators got married last Thursday! WOOT! They were so excited and have now set their sights on baptism and the temple. Sharing the gospel is the greatest? Honestly, watching other people exercise great faith to make and keep commitments is so worth any sacrifice.
 
I just want to invite everyone to pick up the book, "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder" by Legrand Richards and start reading it. For members who may have a basic understanding of the Church, or perhaps even no understanding of it, it will help make the Restoration of the Gospel more clear, expand your knowledge of the importance of the Prophet Joseph Smith, how being a member of the Church makes us a "peculiar people", and will deepen your faith in Christ. For those who have an expansive understanding of the Church and its doctrine and who have a firm testimony in the Lord, I invite you to read it (again if necessary) to help you understand how to teach the truth simply and promptly to friends and neighbors you have a desire to bring to the truth. You don't need to get into focused discussions on what many consider "deep" doctrine. There is the principle of milk before meat and reading this will help you to give out more milk than meat. Finally, for those who are preparing to serve a full-time mission, this will do for you what has described to the last two groups. You need all the preparation you can get before you head out for 1 1/2-2 years. I promise you that you will be nervous the first few weeks of your mission but the Lord has promised that if you are prepared, you shall not fear.

This is a great cause that we are involved in. The Lord is hastening His work. Prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes! "Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and send unto them.
Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." (D&C 88:72-73) Isn't that what was preached in General Conference? Just a little food for thought.

Love ya'll!

Elder Smith

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Refining our Homes to fit our Celestial Home

 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,
but that which is good to the use of EDIFYING,
that it may minister GRACE unto
the hearers." 
Ephesians 4:29

Hello hello hello!

Wow...AMAZING last two weeks. Miracles abounding and faith expanding! I don't know where to begin. Another wonderful person has begun her journey as a disciple of Christ and her influence is spreading to her family. We are going to start teaching them here soon. We have several solid investigators, returned and returning less-active members, new investigators that are being found, and the walls of the church building are bulging because it's pretty full. To put it simply, celestial experiences cannot be described with telestial language; these past two weeks have been quite celestial.


We had a mission conference yesterday where Elder Scott D. Whiting of the Seventy came and spoke to us. It was a very spiritual time. Great insights were received and faith has been strengthened. 


This next week we have the wedding of two investigators occurring in the church building and the branch has been phenomenal in their help to get that set up. Again, I never want to plan another wedding in my life...it's all worth it though.

Speaking of language, I recently read an Ensign article that spoke on refining our homes to fit that of our celestial home. One point that was brought up was the use of our language. How do we speak, both in formal and casual settings? Are we refined and edifying in our language, or, are we degenerate and tearing down? Yes, actions DO speak louder than words, however, we may gain quite a bit of insight about someone by the way they speak. "Language most shows a man. Speak, that I may see thee." The way the Lord speaks shows what kind of individual He is. He's refined and modest in His words. Are we? What we say reflects who we are and reflects the kind of family we come from. Do people look up to our family by the way we act and speak? It's more than polished, measured words that make language pure, it results from purity of thought and sincerity of expression. Let us strive to be more refined in our speech. Let us uplift and edify. I know that by learning to speak as God speaks, we will be more comfortable to speak in His presence.


Love,

Elder Smith

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pictures with District and New Companion

This week...Elder Smith did not have time to write up something
for everyone...but, he did send me a couple of pictures...

Elder Smith's "District" he is serving in:
 Left to Right:
Elders Fletcher, Giesick, Stanley, Bradfield, Smith, Richards

Elders Fletcher (Elder Smith was his trainer)
Bradfield (trained Elder Smith)
and Richards have recently been transferred from
this "District"


Elder Angle - Elder Smith's NEW Companion
 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

General Conference...

"Elder Smith" was able to spend time with his brother, Caleb...
and was able to meet his NEW NEPHEW...
"Cannon Drake Smith"
during General Conference weekend...

"Elder Smith" serves in the same branch as our daughter-in-law's
parents, where Rose's father serves as the "Branch President"...
Got to love the Lord in this "arrangement"...(smile)

Here is Elder Smith's letter:


Everyone: Prophets are real.


General Conference was amazing! However, thanks to Elder Nelson's "ask the missionaries" talk now the pressure's on. But it's all good. Hopefully there were some people who were watching that will now be more at ease with talking with us. What was everyone's favorite talk?

There were so many good ones but Elder Holland's was amazing. Do not go back to bad habits. If you have felt the song of redeeming love, I ask: can you feel so now? (See Alma 5) Seriously, if one gains a testimony of the Gospel, is on the path of conversion and true discipleship (See Elder Bednar's talk) why in the world would you wallow again into the filthy mire of ungodliness? Frankly, it's stupid. The fleeting, pleasurable moment of sin is even more potent to one who has been walking in Christ's path and will cause so much more damage to one in the long run. 

Incentives matter right? Where is the incentive of no happiness, no peace, no life? This life is GONE in the blink of an eye and the consequences of this tiny moment are ETERNAL. That means they last FOREVER. Why in the world would one want eternal disappointment? OK, so you may think, "Well who wants that? I sure don't."

"...hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness." (2 Nephi 33:10-11)

Love ya'll,
Elder Smith



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Love Being Assigned to a Branch



 Elder Smith with his companion - Elder Fletcher
During and after a "Waffle" eating contest...
A sister in their branch has this standing competition
of who can eat the most "Waffles" - They get a 
certificate after the contest...
I do believe...in the end...
Elder Fletcher won this contest!
(smile)

Hello everyone!
Wow, what a week full of miracles. It's so good to see Father working along side us. It's a pretty comforting feeling.


We got our transfer calls! I'm staying yet another 6 weeks here in Currituck and I'm STOKED! I love this branch so much. Branches, I've found, are more like giant families. It's hard to find that sometimes in wards, granted it does happen, but it's easier for members of a branch to look out and love one another. I've definitely seen it in this branch. There are so many amazing people here and I love each and every one of them. I could stay here my entire mission. 


So, we've been working with a returning less-active member for a while now and she stood up and bore her testimony for the FIRST TIME yesterday. It was such a powerful and touching moment, to see someone that I've seen change, take those scary steps up to the podium and share what was in her heart. THAT is the joy of missionary work: seeing CHANGE in people's lives, homes, and countenances as they strive to be more obedient to the principles of the Gospel. To see and be a part of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual progress of one who is coming closer to their Heavenly Father is something that can never be replaced. I feel sad for those who are not involved in the missionary effort for I KNOW of the experiences and joys they are missing. There have been several other great experiences this past week but unfortunately I'm out of time.

Know that I love the Lord. Know that I love His Gospel. Know that I know and love my Heavenly Father. I know they both live and love us. Share that love with others.


Elder Smith

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Appreciation...moments

 At one of his recent baptisms in 
North Carolina

Hello Everyone!

This last week has been busy! We've done a lot of service for a lot of people. One was a member who was trying to move but it was short notice so not very many people could come. In fact, it was just him, his son, my companion and I. From 9:30 A.M. to 9:30 P.M. we were loading furniture and making loads...my backs killing me but it was great! We had a blast plus, I was able to put my tetris skills to the test as we packed the moving van. 


You know how they say, "Sharing is caring"? Well, it isn't...not when it comes to sharing a cold. But my wonderful, loving companion with the big heart that he has decided he would share with me the cold he was just enjoying all to himself....thank goodness for lots of garlic and modern medicine. It's been good though. It's really hard for me to complain when I'm sick (which I hate) because I always think how it makes me appreciate the good times in life when I'm not sick. There's a true principle there: If you want to appreciate something, imagine yourself without it. If you want to appreciate health, get sick! If you want to appreciate family, go on a mission (where you have barely any contact with them)! If you want to appreciate the Gospel and the commandments and even the Atonement of Jesus Christ, imagine yourself, or if you're a convert, remember yourself without those blessings. It's a pretty good formula to live by for when you find yourself taking things for granted or sliding off into "unknown paths" imagine the consequences and straighten yourself up. It's a lifelong process but that's what the Atonement is for. It's for imperfect people to become good and for good (still imperfect) people to become better. Grace = enabling power. Grace is granted to those who put their faith in Christ and have the COURAGE to admit to themselves they need to change and strive DILIGENTLY to be better. Trust me, in the eternal perspective it's worth it.

Hope ya'll are doing great because I sure am! This past weekend was fantastic!


Love ya'll
Elder Smith

Sunday, September 23, 2012



Hello Everyone!
A week full of miracles! It's such a delight to see them.
So, we finally got back into contact with a couple investigators who are living together. They want to be baptized but unfortunately they have to be married first. When we saw them the other night, Chris told us he had a concern (I started getting apprehensive at this point) and explains how he wants to be married first before they get baptized. It's what he feels is the right thing to do. Relieved, we explain that that is definitely important and we proceed to talk about marriage and the temple and begin making plans with them for a time and place to be married. I tell that story for two reasons: #1 The Lord prepares the hearts and minds of His children to receive the message of the Gospel. #2 I never want to plan a wedding ever again in my life. It's not fun playing match-maker.

More miracles I've seen this week include people overcoming their addictions. We have been working with several people in their fight to overcome addictions to alcohol and especially tobacco. I have seen the Atonement at work as they strive to follow the Lord's counsel and rely on His strength. 


One very POWERFUL influence in life is that of music. Again, I have SEEN and EXPERIENCED personally the power that music can have on an individual. The First Presidency has stated, " Hymns can lift our spirits, give us courage, and move us to righteous action. They can fill our souls with heavenly thoughts and bring us a spirit of peace. Hymns can also help us withstand the temptations of the adversary." (First Presidency Preface of the Hymnbook) When one is overcoming trial and addiction, the music of the Lord can fill us with strength to overcome them. There are multiple times that in a lesson or even during a service project, my companion and I have sung a hymn and it always, ALWAYS, changes the mood of the activity. Read the hymns to yourselves and try to find the messages the Lord would have you find. I add my hope to that of the First Presidency, "We hope the hymnbook will take a prominent place among the scriptures and other religious books in our homes." There is joy in singing the hymns of the Spirit. Indeed, the Lord himself has stated, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." (D&C 25:12)
 
If you are facing a problem, going through some trial both large and small, or if you are even striving to overcome some addiction or some sin that easily besets you, sing away. If you hate singing or feel it's not your thing then listen to the hymn and sing it silently in your heart. Give it a shot. It's worth it.

Elder Smith

Monday, September 10, 2012

Power of LISTENING to the Spirit



Hello everyone!
A week full of miracles! A mission is definitely the greatest thing ever. About a week ago we stopped by a potentials house that we had tracted into a while back. Nobody answered but I felt impressed to leave a Book of Mormon and a note on their front porch before leaving. That is something I never do and never thought about doing, but it was somethings that I felt I should do so I did it acting on faith. Good thing! We stopped by again just a couple days ago and caught the man just as he was leaving his house (I also noticed the Book of Mormon was gone). After talking very briefly I asked if he got the book and note we left. He was like, "That was ya'lls book? Yeah, my wife is reading it." My mouth dropped...we're going back there soon. Don't be afraid to act on impressions ESPECIALLY if it is something you wouldn't normally do. The Lord is on our side.


I'm reminded on a scripture in the Book of Mormon, "And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things." (Jacob 5:72) The Lord is on our side and is working alongside us every step of the way. 

There are awesome things happening here in Currituck. 

Elder Fletcher and myself both spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday, as well as, singing a duet! A wonderful miracle occurred during the song! The windows didn't shatter! Naa, ya'll should hear Elder Fletcher's voice. He's a really good singer.

Stay strong everyone and be a shining light to all the world!


Elder Smith

Monday, September 3, 2012

M & M's = Mosquitoes and Miracles



Hello everyone!
I'm surprised that I'm still alive to write this email. I have seen the largest mosquitoes ever! They're not the mosquito eaters or whatever they're called they're actual mosquitoes and I've seen them to be the size of a quarter. Luckily, they haven't carried me away...yet. 


But this past week has been SUPER SUPER SUPER AMAZING! Miracles are abounding! I'll share one of many: After church a non-member whom we have never taught nor any missionary has ever taught, walked right up to us and said, "I want to be baptized!" It took me a while to realize my dumbfounded look but after recovering a tiny bit and struggling to hold in my excitement (which didn't really work) I was like, "Yeah!" (Such a profound response huh?) 

One of our investigators has been progressing VERY well. She has made the 22nd her goal to be baptized and it looks like she'll make it! There are other miracles I could share but      I don't think it would all fit. It's comforting to know the Lord is on our side and it's always a GREAT privilege to see the Lord's hands in our efforts. 


I love all ya'll and stay strong!

Elder Smith

Monday, August 27, 2012

Watch What You Say...


Hello Everyone!

Wow....this has been a super AWESOME week! I won't go into details but let's just say that several people have made the commitment to come closer to Jesus Christ :D. There have been several tornado warnings as well. I guess little ol' Satan is trying to scare us away but I say, "Nu uh! You little devil!" and then the tornadoes go away. So it's all good. :)

So, a week ago we received a text (yes, we're allowed to text) from a member of the branch presidency asking if one of us (oh and when I say "us" I'm referring to my companion and I) could give a talk on Sunday. Unfortunately, my companion got a hold of the phone first and proceeded to tell me, "Elder Smith! I'm going to volunteer you for the talk." I didn't think too much about it for I thought I would only have to talk for 5 minutes (A few weeks prior my companion only had to give a 5 minute talk so I thought I would luck out). Nope! I didn't get to be a "youth speaker" so it had to go for 20. I hope it went well because I didn't make any notes.

Oh! So cool story: Last Monday me and three other elders were eating at a restaurant laughing, talking and so on. This guy suddenly walks by, drops a napkin on our desk with a long note on it, and keeps on walking. It was kind of a shock so we all turn our heads to begin reading, "I couldn't help it, but as I was listening to you four speaking [(at this point we all stopped, looked up at each other and said, "uh oh...what did we say?")]..." and he proceeds to say that he's never heard a group of "young men" speak so maturely and how we got the title of "Elder". He left his email and told us to contact him. We were in Elizabeth City (outside my area) so I just look up and say, "Well, looks like you have a potential investigator." We were shocked and pleasantly surprised. Looking back I remember pretty much all that we were talking about and wonder which parts he picked up to think so highly of us. Now this story isn't meant to brag or boast but to tell something that I learned.

One of most cliche statements as members of the Church is to always be an example and be careful of what you do and say because PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING. We've all heard that. Well, I didn't always believe it until last Monday. We had to stop and think about what we were talking about after reading that note. Well, shouldn't we always living our lives in such a way that we won't EVER have to wonder what we talked about or what we did? We are told in the scriptures, "But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not." (Mosiah 4:30) and "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12).
It's not longer a cliche statement for me. People are always watching YOU. I don't care what you think, it's so true. Especially if they know you're LDS. Be careful. Actually, DON'T be careful. Live your life in such a way that you won't have to worry at ANY TIME if what you say and do will affect someone negatively. If you need to change, do so. That's what repentance means: to change.

Elder Smith

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thoughts regarding..."Leadership"...

 "Becoming Fishers of Men"
Hopefully...it will be more "fruitful" than this picture! 
(smile)
Hello Everyone!
Oh...what a week. We had a tornado warning that other day, but no worries! I only got picked up off the ground about 2 or so feet...just kidding. But we did have a tornado warning (that means it touched down) and a nasty storm to add to that so it was a fun day. The work has picked up a lot here in Currituck and my companion and I are very happy. We're teaching a couple (the wife being a grand-daughter to a member here) and they're really excited about the Church. The Lord has also prepared other hearts for the message of the Gospel that we're currently involved with. It's really exciting!
I went on a Priesthood fishing trip this last week and caught TONS of fish. Sure, they were only about 3 or 4 inches in length but it was a good catching day :D The weather was perfect and the smell of the ocean was...oh...heavenly.

I've noticed, as I'm sure many of you have, that people tend to aspire to position and authority. Everyone has their own interests, motivations, and abilities that lead them to desire some station. This is especially found in the Church where people think that they're only "worth something" if they are called into a presidency or stake position. Some may even desire high position so they can me known as a "leader" for their own self-gratification.
"Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men..."(D&C 121:34-35)

True leadership comes from a desire to serve, help and uplift. A leader cannot lead unless he has learned how to be a follower. A follower of Christ and His perfect example. He was and is the GREATEST of all, yet, He stooped down to wash the feet of those He led. He "descended below all things" and from the service was the perfect leader. King Benjamin and King Mosiah were beloved of the people they presided over because of their service to the people. They didn't walk around town walking with puffed up chests, or seek to rebuke and reprove "because they could". Love is the motivator, the Spirit is the Key, and Christ is the Reason.
When one is called in any position, it is for two reasons: 1: The Lord knows it is time for you to stretch a little bit and grow a little more and become a little more "refined" so you can be one step closer to achieving your full potential. 2: Because the Lord knows that you can touch at least one person's life by your example and service.

Who cares about receiving praise and glory from other imperfect human beings? The only opinion that matters is that of the Lord's, and it's only when we serve Him by serving our fellow creatures with the attitude of true love, that we will be able to hear those blessed words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Elder Smith

Monday, August 6, 2012

We are the clay...



Hello Everyone!
How has your week been? Been enjoying some great summer plans? Well, I wish I could say I have. It seems that all our plans that we made this past week got blown out of the water! But such is the way of things. I have discovered that I actually have a little bit of creativity! My companion, Elder Fletcher, is quite the poet. Ever since he's been out, he'll just sit down and write out a poem and they always turn out really good! So, I figured I'd try my luck and write him a little poem for when the time comes that we split. It turned out really good! I was shocked! Sure it took me a few days to write a few lines but in the end...well...I'll confess I got a little prideful in my work ;). Later, I attempted to try my luck out again and write another poem. I thought and thought about a topic and then it hit me! I'll write one on the Book of Mormon (once a missionary always a missionary). Dang...I must say it is fantastic. I think I'll submit it to the Ensign or New Era. Unfortunately I forgot to bring it with me so ya'll will have to wait till next week for me to post it.

With the hot summer weather and the several dirt roads we have, it's easy to kick up a lot of dust. Needless to say, we come home pretty dusty as well. But as the scriptures say, aren't we all dust? In our companionship study this morning Elder Fletcher shared an interesting insight that he gained from his studies and it ties into dust. In Mosiah 3:5, King Benjamin mentions how Christ will come in a "tabernacle of clay". This, of course, is referring to the physical body. Clay has the ability to be shaped and fashioned, molded you might say, into a great creation. We are nothing but dust and Christ is the "living water". Think about it: Clay is able to be fashioned when it is wet and moist. We, as dust, can only be fashioned when we are moisturized with the water of the Atonement and thus can be shaped into what our Father in Heaven wants us to be.
I know the Atonement is real and was performed out of Love.

Love,
Elder Smith

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sacrifice



My apologies... I forgot to POST "Elder Smith's" message from LAST WEEK...(Mama Smith)

Hello Everyone!
I don't much time today so this will be brief. It was a good week! I got the recipe for some AMAZING spaghetti sauce (you gotta love good ol' Southern cookin!) and we saw a car on fire. Yup, crazy week.

It's also almost Pioneer Day! When we're asked to give up time, money, or talents for the Church is it really a sacrifice? Think of what the Pioneers faced and GAVE UP for the Church, or rather, for the Savior. The message of sacrifice is well said in the well-known hymn of "Come, Come, Ye Saints". Consider its words:

Come, come ye saints, NO toil NOR labor fear, but with JOY wend your way. And though we die, before our journey's through, HAPPY DAY! All is well. Gird up your loins, fresh courage take, our God will NEVER us forsake. And soon we'll have this tale to tell, All is well. ALL IS WELL!

There is no sacrifice too great for God. He gave everything for us! Why are we so jealous to hold back things for Him? Afterall, even in the end it's for our benefit! Everything HE does is for our benefit (2 Nephi 26:24)! How hard is it to do something for a friend or a complete stranger? Do something good for someone today! Indeed do it EVERY DAY!

I wish yall the best!

Love,
Elder Smith

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Bee" Stings and "Be" of Good Cheer

 Elder Smith is saying goodbye to
Elder Johnson - who was heading home 
from his mission.

Elder Smith and Elder Eagar wearing the same tie...
Both got their ties from the MISSIONARY MALL before their missions
Got to love it!




This was one busy week. Cleaning yards, getting stung by bees, awesome teaching appointments...I'm pooped. That's why we have P-Day! Anyways. Yes, as mentioned I got stung...twice. We were doing some service in someone's yard and I pulled back an old tarp that had been sitting in a pile for several years. I just happened to look down and noticed I had upset a huge nest of ground bees. Well, of course I took off but wasn't thinking where I was running to...my companion. No worries! He only got stung once. It's actually a miracle I only got stung twice. I looked down and notice I had about 15 (that I could see) all over me and they were sticking their stingers in my shirt and pants. Well, one got lucky and flew UP my pants and stung me in the thigh (I should be grateful he only got that far) and another jabbed me in the ankle. I get wounded for doing a good deed! The moral of this story is in the end, service jabs you in the rear. Just kidding! Always serve people no matter what the cost (my wounds still itch even after 4 days). Oh and I accidentally hit a kid with a baseball but that's another story.

The story of the bee sting is actually a good beginning to what I want to share. Many times we'll get "stung" by things seemingly collapsing all around us even when we're doing everything we should. That can create feelings of discouragement, sorrow, anguish and maybe a little bit of confusion. Why should we go through these trials when we're doing so good? Well, I learned that lesson this past week. As I said, we had an awesome busy week but deep down I was dying because we weren't completely a certain goal we were trying to achieve. I kept asking myself, "What am I doing wrong!?" It was killing me that despite our hard work and effort things weren't exactly going the way WE wanted. After all, we are trying to accomplish what the Lord wants! Yesterday, (Sunday) was the worst of it. Not one of our investigators came to church and that just put the cherry on top for me. Despite all this, that afternoon as we went to work I noticed "tender mercies" that helped my load go away. Talking to a man across his fence, sitting down with an elderly lady and listening to her talk, and other things that occurred. Something began to grow inside that said, "You're doing your part, don't worry about the rest. That's my job." I went to sleep completely at peace after a week of internal turmoil. Why do I share this? To emphasize the point that no matter the discouraging circumstances, everything is under control. "Therefore, let your hearts be comforted...for all flesh is in mine hands; be
still and know that I am God." (D&C 101:16) "...For ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6). Faith is truly a gift and it was given to me yesterday. No matter what happens, especially if it isn't what we want or view as what God wants, He knows best.
A shepherd will often break the legs of his sheep so he can immediately go and mend the wound. Why does he do that? As he takes care of the sheep during this time the sheep learn to trust him and know that he's there to help him. That way the sheep will know to listen to that voice so the shepherd can keep them from harm. God will allow us to go through the pits of hell so He can then come and heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds (Psalms 147:3). When we want to give up, look up at the sky and say, "Not my will, but Thine be done." Follow the example of the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. As He lay bleeding on the ground, experiencing the most exquisite pain and anguish that would destroy any human being, even as He begged our Father to "let this cup pass from me," He declared, "not as I will, but as Thou wilt." My faith has grown and I'm at more peace then I have ever before been. The same will occur for you if you endure it well.
Brothers and Sisters, be of good cheer! The future is as bright as your faith.*

Love,
Elder Smith

*Be of Good Cheer by President Thomas S. Monson, April, 2009

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hey hey hey!

ATTENTION TO ALL WHO READS THIS: Don't forget to wish Deborah Smith (my mother) a HAPPY BIRTHDAY this Thursday! Don't forget! I'll be watching.........

This week has been H-O-T! I'm surprised I haven't melted yet. But I guess I need to sweat off all this extra luggage I'm gaining so I'll quit complaining :) The members here are so good to us. We're fed nearly every night and the food is fantastic! There is a family here who is famous for their Waffle Challenge they do for every missionary that is new to the area. The previous record was 6 1/4 waffles...sounds easy right? Yeah, that's what I thought as well. So knowing me and how I have to be dumb enough to take up every challenge that comes my way took up the challenge. I'm somewhat sorta happy to announce that I beat the record by eating 6 1/2 waffle and not passing out. I beat the record! I was a champion! Then....my companion speeds by me and eats 8 waffles without flinching....oh well, I beat the record. Also, I have discovered the best root beer in the whole world. If you're ever in the Outer Banks area stop by the Weeping Radish. Their root beer is the best ever! I guess I'm not doing myself any favors when it comes to the extra luggage but it's worth it.

I'm sure everybody is aware of the loss of a great entertainer. Andy Griffeth passed away this past week which is huge news in this area. His home is in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and he lived around 40 miles from me. This little area has a lot of fame.

The past couple weeks have been quite busy for this mission. There is a new mission wide goal for the month of July that has every area working hard. What would cause such an increase in effort and strain? The answer would be that our wonderful mission president has given us a vision for the month of July. Vision gives people something to work toward, a goal if you will, that helps people keep making step after step. The scriptures tell us, "Where there is no vision, the people perish:" (Proverbs 29:18). When one doesn't have somethings to work towards, he slows down and begins to stagnate. What is it that motivates Latter-day Saints to volunteer so much time and effort to church callings, family responsibilities, and service opportunities, without any thought for any temporal reward? Love is one such vision. What is the greatest commandment? Love God and love your neighbor. "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matt. 22:40) Some might interpret that verse as meaning if you love God and neighbor then you can hang up or throw away all other commandments. False. The keeping of all other commandments and laws of God stem from these two great commandments. The Celestial Kingdom is another vision we have. To have the eternal perspective and realize that this life is too short and fragile to screw up and know that this is the life for us to prepare to meet our Maker helps to strive toward becoming like our Father in Heaven, for, only those who are like Him will live with Him and dwell in His presence.
Vision has this mission working at 100% capacity. Is vision helping you to work at 100% capacity? If not, get a clearer vision.

This work is true and this work will not die. It is the work of not only salvation, but the work of exaltation. I know it. I know it because God has revealed it to me and has reminded me when I ask. Call me foolish, deceived, brainwashed, whatever you want! It doesn't mean anything because you're not perfect and don't know everything. He IS perfect and DOES know everything. I think I'll listen to the latter choice.

Elder Smith

Monday, July 2, 2012

"6" Months, already...


 Currently - "Home Sweet Home"
Barco, North Carolina

Inside Trailor
Study Area

Wow....July 4th will mark 6 months of my mission...I can't believe that a quarter of my mission is over. Time FLIES as a missionary! I'm afraid of blinking for I might miss the next 18 months! Honestly, this past week seems like it has flown by. We have been working hard here in the blistering heat and sweltering humidity of North Carolina. I think Sunday was the worst day for humidity. I thought I was breaking my fast because of all the water I was inhaling! But it's all worth it. We have been working with a few referrals and the members who referred them. There is one girl that we're teaching who shows a lot of promise! The family who is working with her is AWESOME. They're so missionary focused and they've been a great help. Seriously, members that are always willing to help missionaries in any way possible are such a great help.
Looks like I'll be going to the dentist here soon as well! I got a nice hole in one of my teeth due to what I think was a very well placed elbow in a basketball game. Oh the adventures of a missionary.

Sometimes the scriptures can seem a little ancient. I confess I have thought this as well and if I keep that thought in mind during my studies it destroys my opportunity to learn. The key is to "liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning." (1 Nephi 19:23). In my personal studies this morning, I had the privilege of reading the words of the prophet Abinadi in the Book of Mosiah, chapters 12 & 13. In chapter 12, Abinadi is taken before the king and his priests and examined so they could find some means to destroy him. He stands firm in his testimony and boldly speaks of their wickedness. He asks them questions regarding the law of Moses and how well they have been keeping it and how well they've been teaching it. Now we've moved past the law of Moses, so why should this be so important to us in our day? Let's go through the scriptures and liken them to ourselves.

Chapter 12
"I say unto you, wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them; therefore, ye have perverted the ways of the Lord."
"Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise. Therefore, what teach ye this people?"
"And they said: we teach the law of Moses."
"And again he said unto them: If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye commit whoredoms and spend your strength with harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to prophesy against this people, yea, even a great evil against this people?"

Let's translate this to today's language:
What do we teach? We teach the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the words of the Modern Prophets. These contain the law or doctrine of Christ. The law we should be living by. So if you teach these things, whether it be at home, Sunday school, Relief Society, Priesthood, in a talk or in any other situation, then why don't you keep it? Actions speak louder than words. "Preach the Gospel always; use words if necessary" (St. Francis of Assisi)

Let's continue: (Verse 31)
"And it shall come to pass that ye shall be smitten for your iniquities, for ye have said that ye teach the law of Moses. And what know ye concerning the law of Moses? Doth salvation come by the law of Moses? What say ye?"
"And they answered and said that salvation did come by the law of Moses."
"But now Abinadi said unto them: I know if ye keep the commandments of God ye shall be saved; yea, if ye keep the commandments which the Lord delivered unto Moses in the mount of Sinai..."

Translation:
What do you know about the scriptures? Will you raise your voices and say that salvation comes through the Bible? or the Book of Mormon? or from something some prophet has said? I know that if you keep the commandments, indeed, if you live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (which are contained in the scriptures) then you will be saved.

Abinadi then begins to teach the commandments as handed down to Moses. In chapter 13 in verse 27 he makes this point:
"And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses."
"And moreover, I say unto you, that salvation doth not come by the law alone; and were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish, notwithstanding the law of Moses."

The Book of Mormon doesn't provide salvation. The words of any of the modern prophets don't provide salvation. "Salvation doth not come by the law ALONE". The law is meaningless unless we KEEP THE LAW and obey with EXACTNESS. Remember: Just because you've been baptized with God's Authority, and just because you've been to the Temple and partaken of those sacred ordinances does not guarantee life in the Celestial Kingdom with God. The actual performance of the law and being cleansed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (which can only occur through FAITH and ACTION) are what qualify you for exaltation.
See? Isn't scripture study fun?


Elder Smith

Monday, June 25, 2012

Brother Caleb, Chipped Tooth, and Atheists

Hello hello!
What a week! It was good, busy, hot and humid. This weekend was Stake Conference and to my surprise my Mission President and his wife, President and Sister Perry, were there.




What made this even better was the fact that my brother also lives here in my stake. So the Perry's were able to see my brother and I side by side (I was tempted to put my tag on my brother to see if they'd notice anything). It was a pleasant visit.






 Amongst other events this past week I was able to catch of glimpse of the beach (which killed me), I chipped a wonderful portion of my tooth, and had a not so pleasant conversation with a couple of atheists. It was an eventful week and my journal is full.

After my conversation with the atheists (and fuming a little as well) I was able to reflect on the complete difference in our lives. I had something to look forward to after I die; they had something to dread. I had purpose in my life; they had no drive to progress and make something of themselves. I knew there was someone who loved me and was looking out for me; they had deceived themselves to think that there was nothing up there and IF there was he didn't care about us humans. I knew of these things because of revelation through the Spirit and because I've witnessed and felt the power of God's Authority, the Holy Priesthood, in my life and in the life of others. But instead of hearing my preach, let's listen to what a prophet has to say. EVERYONE: Watch this - http://mormonchannel.org/mormonmessages?v=1370500727001

I add my witness of the divine power and responsibility placed on the shoulders of men here on earth. Treasure this power.

Elder Smith

Monday, June 18, 2012



Hey hey hey!
What's cookin everybody? I sure am! There are high and low days but when it's high it's HOT! I'm so glad my companion likes it cold because we have our AC down in the 60's...heavenly. But anyway! This was a fun week. On one particular day we did quite a bit of walking and tracted right into another Southern Baptist Preacher. No worries though! This guy was awesome. We had a pleasant conversation on his porch, he invited us in for a drink and gave us some water, we talked about each others families and missionary efforts, and he told us that if anytime we need a break, a place of refuge from the weather or if we're in the area just to stop by. I think there's some potential here...I'm looking forward to going back. Overall the people here are nice.

After finishing my personal studies this morning I have come to this conclusion: Jacob is a stud. Seriously read the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon. One reason why I like him is because how straight-forward he is. Let me do so now.

"Why will ye die?" (Jacob 6:6) What can you possibly have to gain by rejecting this Gospel and the responsibility that comes with it? Jacob chapter 5 is the famous (and long) "Olive Tree" chapter. If you read that chapter you will see that the time period in which we live is from verse 61 on. In this, the dispensation of the FULLNESS of times, the Lord has sent out his servants, which are "few", to prune, dig, nourish, and reap a final harvest in the Lord's vineyard with "the Lord of the vineyard [laboring] also with them." The Lord has set his hand to recover his people from all over the world and to prepare them for His Son's Second Coming. He needs servants to go forward in His power, might and strength, to work diligently as hard as we possibly can and indeed waste and wear out our lives to the establishing of God's Kingdom here on the earth. "How blessed are they who have labored diligently in His vineyard; and how cursed are they who...reject these words." (Jacob 6:3,8)



As members of THIS church, the one and ONLY true church on the entire face of the earth, you are called to be a light to those in darkness and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places so that you may stand spotless before the Judgement Seat of Christ and are washed clean from the sins of wickedness of your generation. Everyone: I plead with you to not stand idly by and let opportunities pass by where you can uplift a fellow brother. Repent and serve God with full purpose of heart and "cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you." Why will you destroy yourselves? Will you reject my words? Will you reject the words of the prophets? Even after being nourished by the good word of God will you reject all these witnesses? You may say that you don't but actions speak much louder than words. "Preach the Gospel always; use words if necessary."

What kind of examples are you setting for your friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and your own children? Don't you know that by rejecting this truth, this responsibility, through your actions...or rather through your lack of action, that you will, through the power of the resurrection, stand before that Almighty God and stand shameful and guilty before Him? The great Plan of Redemption has been laid before you and you have been blessed. To you who is given much, much is required now at your hand and you will be judged according to your diligence, and stand accountable of your stewardship. Don't deny that you know these thing for you and I will stand face to face at the great and dreadful bar of God and my words, with all the words of the prophets, will stand as witnesses against you.
There is so much to lose and time is running out.
This is my witness in the name of the Great Judge Jesus Christ. Amen.
Elder Smith