Friday, December 20, 2013

Final Note From the MISSION FIELD

Hello Everyone,
It looks like I'll be saying that in person to a lot of you soon. My two years is coming to a close. Tonight I'll be reunited with my parents and begin the next chapter of my life. I've been pondering a lot on what I would share with you at this time and the only thing I feel to be appropriate is my testimony.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the central focus of every lesson and activity of this Church. Every word of scripture teaches of the Redeemer. Why? Because Heavenly Father so loves us, that He sent the Willing Lamb to pave the way for our exaltation. Why? Because we are spiritual beings sent to this imperfect and dangerous world to learn the lessons of eternity. It is our very core nature to develop into an Eternal Being with Eternal capabilities. That is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that Pearl of great price, is designed to facilitate. And just like any mathmatical equation needs the proper constants and variables to produce the desired product, or just like any blueprint needs the correct drawings and outlines to enable the builders to construct a strong structure, so does the Gospel of Jesus Christ require certain eternal principles to be lived to produce a mighty change in us. Hence, the need for a Restoration of these proper principles AND Authority which I testify were lost. Joseph Smith was the Lord's chosen instrument to help bring about this marvelous Restoration. He was given the keys, power and authority of God, the Holy Priesthood, to unlock the doors of sacred ordinances that enable us and teach us to become as our Savior and our Father.
The evidence of all of this is the Book of Mormon. All you have to do ask, seek and knock, and I testify that all these things will be unfolded to your view. After that has been done, I invite you to live what you know with His grace assisting you.
I know what I have spoken, written, sung, taught, testified and lived to be truth. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. Oh, how I will miss expressing my love back to him as a called and set apart representative of Him and His Church.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Hyrum Smith

Monday, November 25, 2013

Life of a Missionary

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the lack of communication with everyone. I have felt like a chicken with his head cut off for the last few weeks. Despite all the hectic craziness that surrounds us, I know that the peace of God can dispel all confusion and discouragement one might feel.
 Life as a missionary is busy and (as one is doing what they're supposed to) pressured. First off, we're constantly on the Lord's errand so we must always be ready and seeking. Secondly, we're always being watched. Either there is one who is watching our example for support, or, there is one who watches for even the most minute mistake that they can take advantage of. Thirdly, we must strive to be aware of self-improvement that the Spirit of Lord can always be available to us. With all this expectation of perfection, by those and of those who have yet much to perfect, it is easy to become frustrated, annoyed and disappointed by the actions of another, or even yourself. That's part of the life as a missionary.
However, that is also, in its own right, the life of every other member of the Church and every human being that walks this earth.
One bit of condolence I bring is that everyone, even Prophets, feel such disappointment. Paul, the great Apostle, cried unto the Lord on THREE separate occasions that his "thorn in the flesh" might be removed from him. Who knows what his thorn might have been but consider the ones you feel now. Is it a thorn that comes from an exterior agent caused, perhaps, by the actions of others? Or is it a self-inflicted thorn that stems from your own noticed imperfection? Whatever it may be, these can cause us to wonder, "Why am I here?". To all who feel this, AS I HAVE MANY TIMES BEFORE, I bear my witness that the One who IS perfect, who knows and comprehend ALL things, has a sanctifying purpose for you. For us to realize this, however, and to draw strength from this new found understanding, we must learn what it means to have a mighty prayer of faith. I invite you to make that the course of your personal study over the next few days and beyond if you feel so inclined.
Don't be so caught up on your one step backwards if it causes you to rise two steps forward. Progression is eternal process and we have been promised Eternal life by Him who simply asks us to have faith.
As I mentioned before, Paul asked the Lord three times to remove his thorn. Hear the Lord's response to him and to you: "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 & Ether 12:27)
There is sanctification in service and there is no greater service than preaching the gospel.
I know that my Redeemer lives.

Elder Smith

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference

Hello Everyone!

What a weekend huh? After all that has been said by the Lord this weekend (through the medium of His Prophets) I don't know what I would add. My thoughts will be brief.

D&C 71:5-6
"Now, behold this is wisdom; whoso readeth, let him understand and receive also; For unto him that receiveth it shall be given more abundantly, even power."

What do we need to do to gain greater spiritual power and strength? It's simple: Read, Understand then Receive. What does it mean to Understand? It means to receive light and truth from the Holy Spirit, which will only come through diligent and sincere reading and study. What are we to do once we gain understanding? Receive it into our hearts that it may become a part of us - or, in other words, apply it. It's that simple! Want motivation to get out of complacency? "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance" (See D&C 131:6)

I hope we will Read the Lord's words as He has spoken them through the words of His servants this last weekend. I hope we will then seek to Understand them and, as we do, to then Receive them graciously.

Prophets are on the earth today. I know that to be true.
Elder Smith

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello Everybody!

I feel very fulfilled. This last week was a little hectic in some regards but the end result was very spiritually uplifting. Yesterday, we spent the ENTIRE day with a recent convert who was baptized 9 days ago. He had voiced some concern with some "disagreeing material" he had discovered to the point of wondering if he had made the right choice. When I say we spent the entire day with him, I mean we spent the day doing missionary work as we contacted less-actives and potential investigators. We got into the home of one man and after teaching the Restoration Ryan (the recent convert) shared a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. That evening he joined us at the Stake General Priesthood Meeting which focused completely on the power of the Book of Mormon. In the car ride back he mentioned how he had been feeling, how Satan had been working on him the entire week, then concluded by talking about how he then felt. All those feelings of doubt have left him. He knows he's on the right path. It was a beauiful transition. This has been an amazing week. Did we baptize anyone? No. But I still fulfilled my purpose completely. We are to help others come unto Christ. "Others" means anyone and everyone.

This work is true!

Elder Smith

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Incredible Experience

Hello Everyone!
This has been a crazy week. A crazy AWESOME week that is! So, we've been doing a lot of good work but one of the coolest experiences happened last Friday night. I got to go aboard the U.S.S. New York and teach a powerful lesson in the chapel of that ship. Let me tell you do not give justice to the size of naval ships. The ship was in the Norfolk Naval Base, the largest naval base on the planet. As we were driving around the base we got to see, up close, air-craft carriers, destroyers, transport ships, you name it. They're HUGE! We got a sweet tour of the ship afterward.
 The man we taught is named Ryan and he had been meeting with the missionaries for the last few weeks. He's in the navy so he'd been out at sea for 2 weeks but had good contact with his member fellowshipper who worked on the same ship. His ship came in last Friday so we made plans to meet up with him Friday night to make sure everything was still set and ready to go for his baptism the following day. The past few weeks had been quite an experience for him. Satan really put it into the hearts of several people to steer him away from the Church. There were several anti-mormon attempts to stop him. Since we were made aware of this we made plans to hold a Q&A session with him. He had a lot of questions and it was a beautiful and powerful lesson. Present were my companions and I (3), Ryan and four other members. With 8 people it would be easy for the lesson to go South BUT not in this case. Everybody was in tune with the Spirit and everything worked out for good. It was amazing. Needless to say, he was baptized the following day.

It's been a fun week. Elder Pelham and I are getting along great and we have some great things in store coming our way. Life is good and it's good because I'm serving as a missionary. If you don't understand what I mean by that then I highly recommend you serve the Lord by going on a mission. You won't regret it unless you don't work. This work is true!

Elder Smith

Monday, August 19, 2013

Being Transferred!

Hello Everyone!

My time in Poquoson is at an end. I am being transferred to Great Bridge, VA. It's going to be an adjustment for me for several reasons but I'm excited. There are going to be new opportunities for growth. My new companion is Elder Marcus (several middle names) Pelham from England! I love this guy. I know him from other areas that I've been and we're good friends. Oh, and we also have a third companion. His name is Elder Carlson. I don't know him because he's from the Raleigh Mission. Exciting times are coming. This week has been hectic and awesome. We have two people getting baptized this week so we've been doing a lot of prep work. It's been great though. It's always enjoyable to get someone ready to make that covenant with Heavenly Father.

I hope everyone is doing great and are doing their missionary work! We can't do it without you!

Much love,

Elder Smith

Monday, August 12, 2013

Miracles DO HAPPEN!

Hello Everyone:

Miracles DO happen. This past week was SO GOOD! I just finished reading Elder Kenny Johnston's email about the miracles he has been privileged to be a part of. I can testify alongside with him that miracles are very real. With his miracle I would like to share one of my own that occurred this last Friday night. I preface this by stating that this was one of the most POWERFUL lessons I have ever been a part of. 

This Friday I went on an exchange with an Elder Larsen in his area. He is one amazing man and a fantastic missionary. We had a lot of funny things happen during this exchange. Anyway, that evening there was an appointment set up to meet with a Don and Sister Ruth King from Utah. Sister King had traveled over here from Utah last year on a strong impression that she had received. The shuttle that had picked her up from the airport had no other passengers on it so she sat in the front seat with the driver and struck up a conversation with him. The driver's name was Don. Their conversation quickly turned to the subject of religion. When they arrived at her destination the bus driver said, "We need to continue this conversation!" So, they swapped information and parted ways. Over the next year, Don was made the subject of Sister King's prayers. This Sister prayed for this random stranger for a YEAR, before she felt the need to travel back. Upon arriving at the airport she jumps onto a shuttle and, lo and behold, there is Don. There had been no communication between these two and she "just happened" to get onto the same exact shuttle with the same exact driver a year later. That is no coincidence. Sister King felt the need to introduce Don to the missionaries and he agreed. Now, Friday evening is the first time for Elder Larsen and I to meet these two people. We met them in the Institute building on the campus of the School of William and Mary in Williamsburg. Before the lesson began, a knock comes to the door and an LDS couple, whom none of us know, enter the room stating that they had come for a lesson. Sister King hadn't called them and neither had we (none of us knew them). So, with six of us in a circle we learn about Don's story. I will briefly summarize what he shared:
He is a remarried man who has had a lifetime of terrible experiences with many religions and denominations. He has seen the hypocrisy of ministers and preachers, the lies and double-mindedness of church-goers of many faiths, and has nearly lost all faith in God Himself. He was very aware of the Bible's fallacies and the many manipulations by evil men that caused such fallacies. Our meeting with him began with what we thought were attacks and jabs at us but it soon became apparent that he was asking very serious questions and wanted answers. I can't relate all that was said and done in that lesson but one thing I will tell you: the Spirit of the Lord directed EVERY thought and word that Elder Larsen and I had. That man had a VERY real testimony of the Apostasy and was on the brink of despair. The message of the Restoration of the Gospel and CHURCH of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith sparked a flame of hope and faith in that man's soul. I SAW IT! When I read to him the questions that Joseph Smith asked in his search for truth, Don said, with much earnest, "Where is that?" "Where can I read that?" I witnessed that man's countenance change as we shared with him what we call the First Vision. I felt impressed to ask the members who joined us to share their testimonies. Those moments built on the message Elder Larsen and I shared and testified to. He committed, TRULY committed, to read and pray. He committed to be baptized. He is actually committed to read the entire Triple Combo in 2 weeks.
My words cannot describe that most beautiful and sacred moment. I say again that that was one of the most powerful, spiritual experiences I have been a part of. I dare say that it was the most powerful. 

Elder Johnston is right: miracles happen. 
"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done
- Joseph Smith, the Prophet.

Be worthy and ready and anxious at all times to be the instrument the Lord needs.

This work is true. I testify of it and I lie not.

Elder Smith

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Just doing my job"


 Sleeping? or Praying? 

Sent 29 July 2013

Hello Everyone!

I feel like it's been a long time since I last made a blog post! Life in Poquoson is good. Being on a bike is fantastic! The work here is doing very well. I mentioned all that in my last letter huh? I don't know where to begin. There has been so much that has happened. So far I have not been hit by any passing vehicle (although, I have had a couple VERY close calls (sorry to mention that Mom)). We have several investigators that we're currently working with and all are so very different. It's amazing to see how some people are wired. The differences in people's backgrounds, interests, personalities, etc, really show the need for the Spirit to be involved in people's conversion. There is only so much that we can see with our temporal vision and that makes it all the more important not to jump to conclusions with people. What we see is not always what is going on. The past few months I've been really striving to do all I can to learn to recognize the Spirit's promptings and to make sure I don't do anything to lose that most precious Gift.
Here in Poquoson there are a lot of families that have been here since it was settled. A lot of people's roots go back far here. With that, a lot of people aren't always anxious to change because a couple young strangers dressed up in white shirts and ties are knocking on their door. The Lord is hastening His work. I know that's a phrase being tossed around a lot but it's very true. The simple fact that there is more and MORE emphasis on MEMBER-missionary work shows that. Let me share with you some of the doctrine:
In my studies this morning I studied in the book of Jacob. We all know about Jacob 5 where he quotes the prophet Zenos in his allegory of the tame and wild olive trees. There's a lot of confusing twists and turns in there if we're not careful but one thing is very clear, and the Lord clearly states it in verse 41. "What could I have done more for my vineyard?" or rather, "What could I have done more for my children on earth?" If you look at the footnotes it directs us to 2 Nephi 26:24. What does that verse say? What does it refer to? The Lord states VERY clearly that after the Atonement WHAT MORE CAN HE DO? He makes that same expression is verses 46, 47 and 49. The Atonement is the most supreme expressions of love and commitment that far surpasses all understanding.
Moving on, the Lord then expresses to His servant the need for a final harvest before "the season and the end" (v. 77). So, what does He do? He arounds up all the servants that will heed His call and it is recorded, and this is where I would like to focus, "and they were few" (v. 70). Ok, the full-time missionary force of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is around 70,000. That's very few compared to the population of this planet. However, in these verses the "servants" are not referring to full-time LDS missionaries as is commonly thought! Why do I make that statement? Turn to 1 Nephi 14:12, "...the church of the Lamb of God, and it's numbers were few." So, who are these "servants" that so diligently heed the call of the Lord of the vineyard as recorded in Jacob 5? They are the members of the Church. The time has come for all who call themselves a Latter-day Saint to arise to the call of the Prophet, the Servant of the Lord of the Vineyard who is rounding up his fellow servants, and join the Lord in the last and great, member-missionary harvest of souls.
Read verses 72-73 and 75 and see what the result was. In this world of "wild branches" and "evil fruit" we need to arise and work so we may see the "natural fruit" spring forth once again. The vineyard will soon be burned and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will commence. Let us do our duty as MEMBERS and spread forth this message.

There is no greater work to perform.

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Elder Smith

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Pictures of Elder Smith - Smile

 He is with his new companion - who transferred into the new mission
only from the Raleigh North Carolina Mission
Elder Smith is loving serving with his new companion!
 Other Elders he is serving with...

 He left this "Word of Wisdom" pamphlet on the front step...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Independence Day and New Mission President

4th of July "Get-together"

 His awesome NEW COMPANION!

 Elder Smith's "Posterity" (mission slang)
with Mission President and wife...
He trained the two standing and the Elder who is kneeling
is his "Grandson" who was trained by one of "His Sons"

Member of the church - pushing Elder Smith around
at store - after spraining his ankle

 Newport News South Zone before transfers...

Hello Everybody!

Happy (late) Independence Day! It's always great to celebrate the beginnings of this great country. Yes, it was the beginning of freedom once again. Yes, it was the beginning of opportunity once again. But best of all it paved the way for the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! With that comes true freedom - eternal progression for those in this life, and for those who have passed on who had been waiting for centuries to gain the blessings of eternity. I wish we could always remember that.
Here's a weird fact: I have now officially served a sister's mission...the 4th of July was my 18 month mark (I swear I'm not counting).
Ok, so what have I been up to? Missionary work :). Being on a bike is great! I've been able to sweat off a few extra pounds of "winter storage" (I'm telling's hot over here) and it's a great stress reliever. This area we are in has picked up a lot since my companion and I got here. We have a several very promising investigators, less-active and part-member families we're working with. This ward is super missionary minded which helps out a lot.

This past week I met my new mission president: President Baker. I'm impressed. He's raising the bar for us missionaries out here and he has a great vision for this mission. If there is one lesson I can take away from experiencing a change in mission bounderies AND a change in the mission president it's this: Follow the key-holder. The Lord has set up order and organization in His kingdom and it is led by Priesthood authority. That is the only way it can function and thus the Lord calls on men to be leaders out of necessity. Those who hold keys are those who are authorized to direct to affairs of those under their stewardship and direct the work of salvation. Those men are called of God and because of their calling and authority, there is safety for us only if we listen and heed to direction and counsel that they give. President Baker is taking this mission in a new direction but I know he is called of God for this work and my responsibility is to sustain him and heed his counsel. So it is with the rest of us.
Also, transfer calls were last night and my companion and I are both staying.

Life is good.
Elder Smith

Monday, July 1, 2013


Our son was unable to write a letter to everyone, today...but, I will post
bits and pieces from his personal notes to his dad and I.

***TAKE NOTE that he now has a NEW MISSION OFFICE address
where all his mail can go to...If you send mail to his 
or may not get him...Might want to send it to the 
office for now...till we know for sure how
long he will be in YORKTOWN...

OK...Here are snipits from our correspondence, this morning that you might be interested in:

Hello mother! Today is the official day of the mission split. I'm NOT in the Virginia RICHMOND Mission. (he is officially in the NEWLY ORGANIZED "Virginia Chesapeake Mission"... (see new mission office address posted on this blog)

We'll be meeting our new MISSION PRESIDENT tomorrow at our mission conference. New things are comin!  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Worldwide Broadcast and Missionary Work

Hello, hello, hello Everybody!

Wow! Did anyone watch the worldwide broadcast last night?!? How did you feel throughout it all? Did you catch how historic that was? I don't know where to begin with all that happened. The Spirit was STRONG the entire meeting. When Elder L. Tom Perry spoke I could just FEEL the strength of the Spirit flowing through that man of God. We are living in interesting times. It's now time to stretch and stand a little taller. Missionary labors aren't changing, just the "how" to do things. We live in a time that it's no longer going to be enough to be active at church. We need to be active in the Gospel. I heard a wise man once say, "Don't make the Gospel part of your life. Make your life part of the Gospel." We can't just portion a small little bit of God in our "busy" lives. We need to be busy in the Lord's work.

I've made a lot of invitations in my emails home but I would like everyone to accept this one: Elder Jeffery R. Holland gave a talk at BYU years ago titled, "The Inconvenient Messiah". Please, go listen, read or watch that talk and pay attention. Even if you are a University of Utah fan, listen to this talk.

This life isn't about the best career but how you make the best out of your career in the Lord's Work. Am I missionary crazy right now? Of course I am! And I never want to forget who I am as a missionary when I go home. Two years isn't the only time we're supposed to share what we have. Neil L. Andersen had some good things to say about that last General Conference.

I know this Work in which we're engaged is of God. I know that God lives!  I pray that one day I'll be able to declare, as did Elder Boyd K. Packer did last night, "I know that He lives and I know Him." That statement holds so much weight.

Elder Smith

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New Picture of Elder Smith

I received this email from a Sister in Elder Smith's new area
of Yorktown, VA.

She was so nice in sending us a picture of him with 3 other Elders that
he is serving with in this area.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Virginia Chesapeake Mission - New Area - New Mission

Good Morning Everyone:

Well, in case you haven't heard, I have been "emergency transferred" to the Poquoson Ward. A missionary had to go home so I was called up to take his place. Poquoson is also on the other side of the mission..."on the other side" means on the Virginia Chesapeake Mission side. THe mission officially splits on July 1st and on that day I can claim that I've been in two missions. Poquoson is an old Indian term that means "Great Marsh"...yup! That means mosquitoes. I'm going through some major culture shock though. I've been serving in branches most of my mission and now I'm in a large ward. Quite a difference. There are a lot of Air Force presence here so that helps with the size of the ward. I'm also in a biking area which is great because I have too much "winter storage" I need to get rid of. Looking ahead though, it's going to now present a little bit of a challenge since I screwed up my foot this morning playing sports. Oh well, worse things can happen.

So, I've been asked about my feelings regarding the whole mission splitting, new mission president, and now me being in the new mission. Let me explain it this way: if you talk to some of the older folks of the area, they'll tell you how they remember when the first BRANCH was formed in Richmond, and that branch covered practically all of Virginia. Their stake center was in Washington D.C. In one lifetime we see the growth from one little branch, to many stakes that cover the state and surrounding states. Now we see another mission formed! WOW! Even in the short time I've been here I've been able to see fantastic growth. It's been amazing to see. As for me being in the new mission? I'm excited. It took me a while to come to that feeling but honestly I'm excited to be a part of this change. There are some fantastic things happening and I get to be a part of it. We all do actually. That reminds me: this upcoming Sunday the church will be broadcasting a mission president seminar for all new mission presidents. They have stated on that this will be a historic event (and I've heard of other comments as well). I'd highly encourage you to watch this broadcast. It will, indeed, be a historic event.

I know this Gospel is true and this Church is the ONE and ONLY true Church on the face of the earth. Jesus Christ is our Savior. Bear witness of Him every day.

Elder Smith

Monday, June 10, 2013

Emergency Transfer and New Mission

I'm getting emergency transferred over to the Virginia Chesapeake Mission tomorrow.  I'll give more info next week. I just found out an hour ago. My new address will be: 22 Parkwood Drive#202 Yorktown, VA 23693...Plus it's a biking area so I'll have to purchase a bike.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Will remain in Virginia Richmond Mission

Hello Everyone
Another transfer has begun and I'm staying in Buckingham! I'm stoked! I love this area a ton! I've really grown close to the members here. I know it's been a while since I've written. We've just been doing a LOT of service here in the past few weeks. Hey, I'm not complaining. It keeps me from getting too fat and my hands from getting too soft :).

So how's life been with all ya'll? Ya'll should send me some letters to update me (hint, hint).

Well, I don't have much to say in this letter, only that I'm grateful that the Lord trusts us enough to give us adversity. It's hard to keep that in perspective at times but I know the Lord is there for us to support us. The Lord takes raw materials, shapes them and refines them into pure and priceless gems. Apparently I need a lot of refining. It's easy to forget at times how short of time we have on this earth, and the even shorter periods of adversity that comes our way. Honestly, with a solid foundation on the Gospel of Christ, we honestly have more good times than bad. Maybe that's because some of the perceived bad times are so much easier to bear with the Gospel. I know I couldn't have lasted through what I've had to face had it not been for the knowledge to get down on my knees. Life is good. God is great! He won't leave us stranded. What was it the Lord stated to the Prophet Joseph Smith while he was in Liberty Jail? "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;  And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever." (D&C 121:7-8 & D&C 122:9)I know this Gospel is true and Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.Love,Elder Smith

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Trying to catch Elder Smith's Blog...

For those who have been following "Elder Smith's" blog...I wish to apologize
for the LACK of keeping it up...I am SO BEHIND!

I think, today, I will post PICTURES he has sent since APRIL and MAY...
I will later post his thoughts...
AGAIN...I truly apologize for not keeping his blog up!
I want you to know...HOW MUCH...he is ENJOYING his mission...
and his having the TIME OF HIS LIFE...serving!
LOVES...LOVES...his mission!

Here are some catch up pictures:

 This missionary couple served in his DISTRICT...
They were going HOME...
Elder Smith was serving as a DISTRICT LEADER...
This was the last picture taken of his DISTRICT before

 True Smith humor!

 I do not have an EXPLANATION for this picture...

 Elder Smith having his feed straddling the MISSION 
at the SAME


Monday, March 18, 2013

Today's post is SHORT...but, we now have a new
address for Elder Smith:

How is life been the past week? Life here has been pretty good. I like my new area. My companion's name is Elder Kjerengtroen (pronounced Sharingtron) and he's from South Dakota. His father is from Norway hence the cool name. He's been out for 3 months but is a solid missionary. We're doing great. Buckingham is......tiny. This is a major country area and I'm happy we have a car. Oh! Before I forget my new address is:

Elder Hyrum Smith
101 Sprouses Corner Rd.
Apt. 21
Dillwyn, VA 23936

Things are going well over here though. I like it.

Being Transferred once again...

This was LAST WEEK's letter...
I should hear from Elder Smith, TODAY, and will
update this blog with his new address.

Last week's letter:

Well Everyone:
I'm getting transferred again. This time I'm off to Buckingham, England!...Just kidding. Just wanted to make sure you were paying attention. I'm getting transferred to Buckingham, VA. More fun adventures await me there. I'm running short on time but just an update! I know this church is true and that God is in control. God can make more out of your life than you can. Just let him lead and don't get upset when things don't go your way. The gospel is true and this Work is the work of God. I'm excited to be a part of it.

Love all ya'll!
Elder Smith

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mission is Being Split

Hello everyone!

This is the letter my mission president sent out to all the missionaries over here. It tells of the new mission split and what will be going on. This is an exciting time to be a missionary. I'm honored to have the opportunity to be a full representative of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. I love this work and I love the Book of Mormon. I hope all is well with all ya'll. Have a great week!

Elder Smith
Dear Elders and Sisters:
As you know, on or about July 1, 2013 the mission will be divided.

The following stakes will be a part of the Virginia, Richmond Mission (VRM):
Chesterfield, Midlothian, Richmond, Waynesboro and two additional stakes will be added from the Washington DC South mission, they are: Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, both North of us and border our mission boundaries.

The Following stakes will be a part of the new Virginia, Chesapeake Mission (VCM): Chesapeake, Newport News, Virginia Beach and two additional stakes will be added from the North Carolina, Raleigh mission, they are: Goldsboro (just west of Chesapeake) and Kinston (which is the rest of the Outer Banks to the south). The new mission home and office will be located in the Chesapeake stake boundaries.

The incoming mission president and his wife for the VRM are: E. Bradley and Mari-Lynn Wilson (President and Sister Wilson). They will begin their service on or about July 1, 2013. They live in Plymouth, Minnesota and he just retired as the Chief Administrative Officer at Grant Thornton which is a large accounting firm. He also teaches a graduate accounting class at BYU. The Wilson's have six children and both have served in numerous leadership positions for the church. I have spoken with them and love them already, they are upbeat and very sweet. Sister Wilson served as a stake Young Women's camp director and ward chorister, for you elders, that means she is fun and loving. I will send more information as we get it..

The incoming President and his wife for the VCM are Alan J. and Mary Kay Baker (President and Sister Baker) and are from Loveland, Colorado. They too have had numerous leadership responsibilities in the church and he is a Technology guru. I will have the opportunity to speak with them this week and will provide additional information as I receive it.

The transfer in June will determine which mission you will be assigned to. I do not know which mission you will be assigned to at this time and I don't plan to pray about it until May...:-)

58 new missions were created because of the surge of incoming missionaries. We have been working on this almost since President Monson's announcement last general conference. The total count is now at 405 missions worldwide. What a great time to be in the mission field! Thank you for all you do to move this work forward, the Lord is hastening His work and we are privileged to participate.

President Perry

Monday, February 11, 2013

The "New Generation" Have Arrived...

 Elder Smith and Elder Brian

"New Generation" -  Elder Brian

Hello, hello Everybody,

Well, my new "greenie" is here and he's awesome. What makes him awesome? He's 18! The Lord is allowing me to corrupt...err...train another one of His servants and I've been privileged to work with one of the New Generation. It's been a neat experience and he really likes the experiences he's had so far. 

His name is Wyatt Brian and he's from Rexburg, Idaho (born and raised). Seeing that he was born and raised there I was excited to see his adjustment to the new life and culture of the east coast...well...he got a good taste of what it was like to be an LDS missionary in the South. He wanted to see what it was like to go tracting so we picked a nice road and start knocking doors. Well, the second door we come to...*SIGH*...happened to be a member of a local church here that is well known for it's Anti-Mormon feelings. They devote one Sunday a month to preaching against the Church actually. So, for about 10 minutes or so my new companion got to witness an LDS missionary and a LDS hater "discuss" the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Of all things to happen on the FIRST NIGHT we ran into a Basher. Truly that doesn't happen too often out here so it was crazy the odds of running into that the first day. Well, on the bright side he's been broken in. But he has a strong desire to serve the Lord and I'm happy to work alongside him.

We need missionaries who are prepared spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally because this is HARD work. If you plan on coming out on a mission with lightness and frivolity then expect to go home in vain. You'll be wasting two years. Come out DEDICATED. Come out with a TESTIMONY. Come out CONVERTED. You don't have to know everything but you have to DESIRE to try. The Lord needs hardworking servants because time is short. The Lord needs a converted people to greet him when He arrives. Let's not disappoint Him and put to waste the great Atonement He has given us. "Stand a little taller, be a little better, look to God and live." Great words from President Gordon B. Hinckley.

Elder Smith

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Krispie Kreme - Chipotle - and Saving Souls

Hello Everybody!

This was a great week!!! "What was so great?" you may ask? I was able
to go to a Krispie Kreme donut store AND a Chipotle all in the SAME
DAY! I mean, come on! What can get better than that? Ok...saving souls
definitely tops that BUT it was AMAZING! I haven't had a Chipotle
burrito OR a Krispie Kreme donut straight off the rack in YEARS!
Ohhh....sweet bliss.Yeah, that's definitely not helping with the
weight BUT I totally consider that a tender mercy of the Lord. Plus, I
went with an investigator so we were staying productive! :)

We got our transfer calls last night and my companion is gone. This
was his first area so it'll be a good growing experience for him to
leave. We had a fun time together but I know he'll do great! My new
companion? Well, I have never met him because he doesn't arrive in the
mission until Wednesday. Yep...I'm training again. This is going to be
the first wave of 18 year old Elders to hit the mission so I may have
a chance to train one of the first of the "New Generation". I'm
excited yet apprehensive at the same time. When it comes to new
missionaries you never know what kind a trainer will get. But of
course my trainer had to deal with me so this may be karma.

Well, that's the news update for this week. I hope ya'll are staying
safe and working hard and enjoying God's wonderful creations around
you. As the psalmist proclaims, "The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork."

God bless you all!

Elder Smith

Monday, January 28, 2013

Missionary SERVICE

Hello Everybody!

Louisa is doing well, my companion and I are still alive, and the Work is moving on. There have been quite a bit of craziness going on the past couple weeks but they make for good stories.

So, to all those getting ready to go on a mission - start studying your scriptures and Preach My Gospel immediately. Despite popular belief, the MTC is not a place where you will magically learn all the scriptures you need to know and that you'll come out the "Golden Missionary". With that being said, they're actually going to be cutting down the time missionaries stay in the MTC and send them out in the field with a different training program. I wouldn't be surprised to see the time they stop sending missionaries to the MTC and send them straight into the field. Start preparing NOW. If you don't, well, you're going to be a pain for your trainer and you'll have a more difficult time adjusting and gaining the Spirit of missionary work. Go out with the missionaries in your home area as often as you can. Ask them questions, and maybe even set up times to where you can role play with the missionaries to better your teaching and contacting skills. Trust me. Why this sense of urgency I feel? In a few weeks my mission is going to receive its first wave of 18/19 year old Elders and Sisters and things are going to be different. At this point in time, the Lord AND the people YOU will teach will need a better prepared representative of Christ to stand by their sides. You'll know what I'm talking about when you get out here but for now take my word for it and start preparing NOW.
It's easy to get wrapped up in trying to cram in all the fun you can before you leave but that is a total waste of time. Believe me...I know first hand. Future Elders and Sisters of the Lord, I would invite you to study NOW Alma 26. That is the Spirit of Missionary Work. That is how you will feel if you are a prepared servant of the Lord. There is nothing that can replace those feelings.

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land." - Alma 26:12&36

Friday, January 25, 2013

Service Project - WORK Hard...PLAY HARD

Elder Smith has not sent forwarding letters these past
two weeks for this blog...but, he did send a few pictures...
These two pictures were from his last Currituck...
His comment...


We have always taught our children...that 
work can be FUN, too!

I think he learned the LESSON WELL!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Reflection....over FIRST YEAR of Mission...

Hello Everyone:

Having complete one half of my full-time missionary service, I've had a chance to reflect on the past year. I've changed a lot. Things around me have changed a lot. Perspective has changed a lot. When one goes on a mission and puts effort into what they're doing and strives to learn, Heavenly Father changes you into what He needs you to be. It's quite a magnificent process but one that can occur only as much as we allow.

Sometimes we tend to become a little complacent and want to dig in and enjoy a comfortable respite from this process. This is something I've learned to call a "Spiritual Plateau". There's no more growth. There's no more higher perspectives gained. If you're paying attention you realize that you're missing out on becoming a little purer and you begin to feel like you're in a mire. Especially if you know you have work to do. Not the work you do for your job but the work God would have you do. It's hard at that point to get back in gear. You've gotten comfortable where you're at and now have to go through the extra effort of getting moving again. I know all about these plateaus because I've seen them affect the lives of others, and I've personally experienced them. It's not a pleasant feeling when you look back and see the opportunities missed, the lessons not learned and how much time has been wasted. God has been working in my life recently to help me learn this lesson. But God is Good and He is Loving. He gives us, He's given me, another chance.

I have a feeling I'll be experiencing some interesting things in the upcoming year so I'll need all the prayers I can get. I want to thank those who have been keeping the missionaries in their prayers and helped them in their efforts. I want to thank those who have been aware of me and have helped me to go on. We uplift and edify each other and through that we are better able to help others. But be warned that Satan is very real and very, very subtle. Be careful, tread carefully, and tighten your seat belts because here soon we're all going for an eternally life changing ride.

Elder Smith

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Hello everyone:

I have some interesting's finally started. My companion and I have noticed a slight (sometimes very noticable) southern drawl in my speech. After a year, I've finally started to become one with the culture here. Now I'm trying to be very aware of how I speak and usually do a good job of keeping things straight, but as soon as I stop paying attention it starts comin out.

But anyway, things are going great in Louisa. This last week was full of miracles and I expect some great things to be happening soon. My companion, Elder Bird, is a great guy too. He and I are going to get a lot done together as well as have a lot of fun. He's a bit of a goober (he's reading this and nodding his head in agreement) so that tells me that we are one in the same :). He has taught me a lot though. He's relatively new to the field but it's good to have a companion that is full of "greenie fire". It's definitely been a help to me to keep me reminded of the great work we are a part of.
Have you ever thought about the day when you were baptized (if you haven't (yet) pay attention)? Do you remember the feeling you had? Do you remember the excitement you felt? Do you remember the peace? Despite common belief, baptism is not the end. It's merely the beginning, "the gateway" to the path of discipleship. Is it work? Sure. Is it hard work? Absolutely. But don't let that stop you. The feelings of self-worth and accomplishment that comes from being a true and faith-driven follower of Christ is worth any sacrifice and trial. I've learned a lot more of God's great plan on happiness for us and it has entrenched me even deeper in my desire to "stay good" you might say. I know of and have seen people fall. I know of the misery and pain it brings to oneself and to others. Don't mess up! Don't go off into the deep end. The bait is not worth the trap! If you've made covenants, keep them. If you haven't yet then make them. If you've broken them, the Savior stands with open arms to receive you if you but go with a broken heart and contrite spirit. Humble yourself and repent. It's worth it.

Elder Smith