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