Monday, September 29, 2014

"We are in charge of 10 companionships of sisters..."

September 29, 2014

Awww I love everyone's birthday comments tell them all that I say thank you so much!!!! OK so I'm soo sorry but its gonna be a short one today. Apparently sister training leader means you take half of your writing time to do the evaluation of the sisters who you did divisions with.

 We are in charge of 10 companionships of sisters and have to do divisions [also known as splits] with all of them.. so that's twice a week that we do divisions. This week I was with a gringa both times, it was really good actually 'cause I got to learn a lot!!! And I got to learn how to take someone to the hospital, and be a translator for the Mexican doctors cause hey, that happened on Tuesday!! She's fine, she was just having some stomach pains so we called Hermana G and she freaked out and made us go to the hospital where we paid 600 pesos to a doctor who told us that she had appendicitis... SO we freaked out and called Hermana G who told us that we were actually in the wrong place, the place that wasn't insured, which is why he charged us... THEN we went to the real doctors and they told us that she was fine, and sent us home, only after having her lie in the hospital bed all the day long so they could do blood tests and a ultrasound and all this stuff. So I was just following her bed around and she didn't speak any Spanish so I had to translate everything and you would have thought she was like dying... just for a little stomach pain.. ohhh well better safe than sorry! haha

SO this week we took Manuel to the temple and had a super potente lesson about eternal families and stuff 'cause his wife died, BUT he's afraid to get baptized 'cause he doesn't want to give up drinking.... roughhh... We had a super good lesson with Natali (who out of the blue told us that she wants to be called Michelle now...) and she has family problems too. I am SO GRATEFUL that I have a normal (Ok well that's debatable) but functional family! Cause that's pretty rare here...

So some funny stuff, turns out my companion is a manipulative genius. Ok so she keeps trying to find some members from either our ward or Quintero ward to help this less active family move, cause she loves them, but we really don't have time for that and none of them members could do anything at all this week! So Elder F (our District Leader) and Elder A (his comp) have been telling us to bring donuts to the district meeting all week because, well who knows why.. they just wanted donuts I guess. OK long story short, she tricked the elders of our district into using their p day [p day is short for preparation day- missionaries get one day a week to shop, do laundry, etc,] to give service and helping this family move in exchange for some donuts. And so the elders in our district are all ticked off with her but I think it's just hilarious. Ohh I just need to video record one of the conversations of them talking. It needs it's own YouTube channel..

Ok that's all for today. Les quiero mucho!!


"...he calls us his little angels that come to teach him about God haha:) "

September 22, 2014

Fun fun! Right now I'm writing to you guys in the family history center of the church that is right up next to the temple- and the mission offices, so there's a ton of other missionaries here too writing. When I pulled up the picture of Dad I started laughing so everyone looked and I'm pretty sure they were all pretty confused cause I wasn't sure how to explain the constitution fair or James Madison or anything in Spanish... haha oh well. 

Here's the picture she's talking about

Oh yeah I forgot to tell you guys that I did get your package!! I loved it so much!!!!! I'm sorry I had to open it early but I had transfers and the box wouldn't fit in my suitcase so I had to open it. HP was more upset 'cause she wanted to put up the streamers and balloons and everything for me and now she can't :/ She's pretty upset.. but oh well. 

OK a little about my companion- Hermana Nuñez, She rocks!!! She is from Guerrero Mexico, but she lived in North Carolina for like 9 years so she speaks almost as much English as Spanish.. She is super funny and super obedient which I LOVE! She's such a great missionary and she does things so differently from all my other companions but I've been able to learn soo much from her! She's pretty much teaching me how to be sister training leader and she's super awesome. I'll send a picture of her.
I really love my area! Actually, not that much, but I know I am going to love it because I started out not liking it at all cause its in Merida again and it just reminds me of my first area Tanlum.... I didn't love that area... BUT it's a lot better and the ward is soo awesome (well HN and the other elders in our ward (cause there are 3 companionships in this ward, us and 4 other elders) don't think so but in comparison to Izamal the members are soo involved!!) We have one investigator Manuel that is soo awesome and he loves listening to us and he goes to church and everything! His wife died and he calls us his little angels that come to teach him about God haha:) He just has troubles with the whole tithing thing, but we're getting there!! We're going to baptize him.

More goats
"This is the family Ku who I LOVE!!! Ivan (Who HP and I swear is a vampire, cause he looks like Edward Cullen) His mom Dorita who cooks AMAZING!! And her son Fernando who is the funniest little kid ever!! He's not wearing pants here....."

 We have this other lady Sofia who is the mom of a recent convert named Jose and he had drug problems and was in jail a lot, but he turned his life around and got baptized and his mom Sofia claims that she already got baptized when she was little but we don't have any record of it so we re-invited her to baptism, and she was totally willing and ready for a while. Then when she did her baptismal interview, the elder who did it didn't know Spanish that well and misunderstood one of her answers and accidentally told her that she can't be baptized.. and she got kinda mad for a long time.. but now she's all soft and happy again! And coming to church!!! So we're going to baptize her too:) 

AND this week we met this 15 year old girl named Natali, and she's way cool and likes listening to us, even though her mom and brother don't really like us.. She has a lot of family problems and is kinda a rebel child, but she really had a desire to be clean of her sins so we're going to baptize her too:) 

SO I will let you know when all these baptisms happen, but in the mean time if you wanted to pray for them that would be so awesome!:) Love you all:)


Saturday, September 27, 2014

" Guess what.. I got transferred."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Arizona and other parts of the world,

 So funny story, this is actually kinda awkward after what everyone sent me this week in their emails, but guess what.. I got transferred.

 Yeahhh president did tell us a week ago that we were going to stay in Izamal one more change and we were so pumped and planning all this cool stuff all week, and then Sunday night comes. And Elder Fonseca calls (very late might I add. like at 10:00) and tells us that we have changes and I'm going to this area in Merida as sister training leader, and HP is staying in Izamal with this Latina Hermana who doesn't speak any English. And of course I don't believe him 'cause they always lie to you before telling you the truth. But then it's getting late and he's still serious and I realize he's not joking... And he's like YES hermana smith you have to be in Merida tomorrow at 8 with all your bags and everything. You're going to Chichen-itza and you and your companion are going to be sister training leaders. SISTER TRAINING LEADERS. What the heck?? I just got here?? President made a mistake. but noooo Elder Fonseca was dead serious and so I stay up all night packing cause there's no point in going to bed when it takes like an hour to pack  up and we have to wake up at like 3.30 anyway to get to Merida on time, and we go to Merida this morning. And I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone:( Actually I did call one family that I love a ton to tell them I was leaving and they brought us pancakes and french fries to say goodbye.)  So yeah.

 Now I'm in Merida again in a place called Chichen-itza and my companions name is Hermana Nuñez and we are the sister training leaders of our zone. And I'm fine cause HN is super cool and has been STL [sister training leader] before and knows how to do all the stuff, but I miss Izamal!!! I was so ready to stay there another six weeks!!! But actually I didn't take it as hard as HP. She was super super upset... I feel bad cause she is like super stressed out now cause her comp doesn't know the area and doesn't know English and yeah... but it's for the best! At least now she'll be forced to learn Spanish. 

So I'll try to send a pic of HN and I next week. She's super cool. And she speaks English perfectly. What's up with me having all these English speakers as companions? I don't know.. 
So sorry, I feel bad for letting you all down cause I actually am NOT  in Izamal anymore.. but this week went well! We had a talent show with the ward and we tried to get our bishop to rap but he wouldn't.  HP and I sang primary hymns in English  with this cool different rhythm and I did that cup thing from Pitch Perfect. Also Lucy went to church!! With her daughters!! And then we went to her house and helped her with her English homework. And I got a letter from my convert Fredy and it literally made me cry.

Ok I'll let you all know how this new area is next week but I love you all lots bye!


"...hope you all know that the church is true and the book is blue and I love you all!"

Monday September 8, 2014

Dear Mom, and other people too,

To answer your question, yes, to wash our clothes we just beat them with a rock. Its actually a super special clothes beating rock and all you do is hit your dirty clothes with it a couple times and your clothes are magically cleaned!
That was a joke. 

No usually we take our clothes to the laundry place and just pick them up like a couple days later, but then we discovered that this family in our ward (Los F, who happen to be the family of the Relief Society president, the bishop, and our ward mission leader all in one) actually have a washing machine that we can use cause they're like super rich. And they have a computer too that they let us use to write!! Ok well actually its the "church's" computer but seeing as the church is destroyed right now it's living in the house of the F family. 

ALSO, yeah I know what talk that is [note from Camille, I asked her about a talk called "His Grace is Sufficient" here is the  link,] I've read it! Ok well I haven't read it but my companion has which is kinda the same thing cause she pretty much like read and annotated the whole thing to me over the course of  two weeks. She was obsessed with it for a while. So yeah I guess I should re-read it and compare notes with HP. Just to see who has better notes ya know. just kidding, we're not competitive like that. Yeah it really helped us understand the atonement better and what's possible for us because of Christ and everything,  It's actually way good!

 Her district
 "the girls from our zone: Arriaga, Carrastro, me, HP, Manning, Montgomery, Martinez, and Hobbs." 

"so... this is a house. supposedly. But I don't know who would live there. Maybe a monkey"


Right now its raining. Like pretty much every day. I love it! And I would dance and play in it all the time too but I'm afraid someone would see me and be like "ugh those Mormons are so weird" and never want to listen to us. 

My gosh guess what!!!! Lupita went to church on Sunday and so we officially have a progressing investigator!!! The SECOND progressing investigator we've had in 2 transfers. And guess what else, President called me last night to talk about the area cause we've had really really low numbers in Izamal for like a year now and he was thinking about closing the area, but wanted to get my opinion. And HP and I had actually JUST been talking about that like 5 minutes before he called and we were commenting about how we really wanted to see a baptism here, to show everyone that Izamal COULD baptize! So I don't know why or how it came out but I ended up telling him that I would like to stay here with my companion one more transfer to try to see through our plans that we had made....... What the heck Hermana Smith why'd you tell him that, right? I don't know... but so he was like "OK Hermana Smith I trust you."

 I also asked him to divide the area 'cause its way too huge and I told him we need bikes... but we'll see what he does about that.  So he's not going to close the area and we already know that when transfers come next week we'll already know that we're staying here 6 more weeks. But its OK 'cause I'm SO DETERMINED to baptize our investigators!!! I don't know if you guys were praying for Lupita but if you were [another note from Camille- we were!!] THANK YOU cause she came to church and I think she liked it.. it was hard to tell though. we just need to work on making our investigators keep going to church and not just stop everything after one time! So keep praying for her!

 We also found this guy this week named Felipe and he seems like he has potential and says he really wants to listen to us and read our book! His story is super cool so listen to this. Last week was like the worst week ever right? So we go to district meeting and our district leader Elder Fonseca gets us all pumped up again and gives us all these ideas on how to have success! And he talked about having specific prayers, like SPECIFICALLY asking for what you want and how that helps us. SO we decided to try that on Tuesday, and we both decided we wanted to find 3 new investigators, 2 men and 1 woman, and we wanted to be able to teach a complete lesson with all three of them.  We knew that was a little ambitious, but we really wanted to redeem ourselves from last week. So we are walking down the street and this guy calls out to us just like asking us where we're from and then we start talking and he's like, "hey do you guys want to come into my house for a minute, I want you to meet my family." So we're like OK! And we go in and teach him and his wife and his two sons, one of which is 10 years old, so officially old enough to be counted as an investigator. 2 guys and one girl, all with complete lessons!  Woahhh... THEN later as we were leaving, HP tells me that this morning she was actually thinking about the goal we put, and she thought it was a little crazy, so she actually prayed so that they would all be put into a family, and that's exactly what we got!! Hahe hey prayer works! Who knew? Just kidding I already knew that. But anyway so pray for him!

 Lucy hasn't come back to church:( not because she doesn't want to but because she started school and doesn't have time anymore... but we're still going with her too. In other scandalous news, one of our investigators who is the "wife" of a recent convert from Merida came to church too and she's super awesome and willing to be baptized! The only problem is we had suspicions which were confirmed this week that she is not actually married to her "husband". The most frustrating thing though, is that they WERE married but got divorced cause he was always drinking, but they still love each other and sometimes live together. AND we didn't know this until just barely but her "husband" just got baptized not too long ago and we're not sure if he was worthy... ohhh drama. It's rough. 

Ok well that is a super long letter, and now I have to send pictures. So hope you all know that the church is true and the book is blue and I love you all!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

"I can give the natural man a slap in the face and a run for his money by not giving up and realizing that it's gonna be ok in the end."

Monday September 1, 2014

Ugh I have literally NO time today because it is officially 9:00 right now... apologies.

For your questions, Izamal is getting worse, but I'll explain more in a second.

Nobody is coming to church, pray for Lucy, Manuel, Lupita, and Hilda.
Tell the Marchants I say hi and I miss Chris too!

It never cools off here. But it is rainy season and they say that we might get a hurricane here soon. But I don't think it's very likely. What a shame, I would like to experience a hurricane... But yeah it's been raining for the past 2 days.. 

Glad to know that family is good! I can just imagine you guys having a dance party there in the family room, haha sounds fun! My comp has a really good voice but she doesn't sing much, she doesn't think she can sing well. She likes to dance but I've never seen her. She's a super awesome church youth member, like way involved in her wards youth program in Indiana, and always did stuff like that. She just worked a lot before her mission so she's a really hard worker. Yeah she knows I'm musical. I sing a lot. 

Ok this week I feel like Nephi in 2 Nephi 4. In his words (sorry I don't have my English scriptures here with me now so it's in Spanish) :"Mi corazon se entristece a cause de mi carne. Mi alma se aflige a causa de mis iniquidades. Me veo circundado a cause de los tentaciones y pecados que tan fácilmente me asedian..." [translation : "Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.  I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.  And when I desire to rejoice my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless I know in whom I have trusted..." ] Sometimes I just feel so weak. Like I don't know what I'm doing here and I get so frustrated and discouraged at the littlest things and none of our investigators are coming to church and literally NOBODY wanted to talk to us for like 3 days straight and we've been walking like 6 or 7 hours every day trying to teach people and it feels all so useless. 

 I'm so glad that President made us study a lot about the atonement cause then I can give the natural man a slap in the face and a run for his money by not giving up and realizing that it's gonna be ok in the end. In that same verse Nephi goes on to say: "No obstante, se en quien he confiado." Its been rough but I guess I already know that what's happening is no excuse to be the pathetic complaining missionary that Satan wants us to be, if I know in whom I have put my trust, it'll all be ok. Now what that means exactly, well who knows. Could mean that everything will turn around and we'll start baptizing in this area, or it could mean that this area will still continue being the most rotten area in the mission, but we'll have made some difference that only we could make here, however small. And I guess I'll be ok with that.