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.


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!

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