Monday, September 18, 2017

First Week as a Trainer

Aloha!

Has it only been a week? Feels like it's been a month (in a good way). Its funny how when you do something new on the mission it just makes time crawl. I have definitely learned a lot this past week and will continue to learn a lot over the next couple months. So my son's name is Elder Hayes and he is from Aurora, Colorado (still no Utah comps, that's five). The first and most unusual thing about him is a difficulty that he has with his left leg, namely that he doesn't have one. So yeah that was a bit of a surprise on Tuesday when President pulled me aside to give me a heads up. His leg was amputated when he was 6 because of cancer in his knee but he has some pretty fancy prosthetic so he is actually a para-olympian gold medalist. Basically I took that as a "don't go easy on him" so right after we dropped his stuff off and did some studying I took him door to door and visiting people for 4 hours, he was tired but then after we got back to the pad I found out that working in the humidity that long actually kinda messed up his leg and potentially damaged the skin... soooo I decided that maybe we needed to plan our day a little smarter and avoid that happening again. He doesn't want me to go easy on him and he is a hard worker but I just don't want to cause a problem that will get him sent home. So now instead of doing our studies in the morning we work in the morning and study in the afternoon so he has time to let his leg air out. It's still a trial and error process but we are figuring it out.

Lesson wise we had a meeting with our former with-date Ikaika and tried to reset him for a baptism date, but I think we need to do a better job explaining the why and less of the what when it comes to these things. He is a bit of a slow learner so there is slow progress with him but we are hopeful. On top of that the senior couple (Elder and Sister Anderson) brought a couple to our ward that might be interested in taking the lessons. We met them on Sunday, their names are Francis and Felicia and they are from Ghana. We didn't get to talk to them much but they seemed really open and said they would come back next week. Also that senior couple is working with another couple who they are bringing next week from Haiti so we are bringing in all the Africans. We are very hopefully about these people and looking forward to the chance of teaching them.

So yeah it has been a long week but a good week, I hope Elder Hayes isn't sick of me yet but if he is that's alright, he's stuck with me. Oh yeah we also got majorly cussed out but a very angry man yesterday because we "cut him off" in traffic. He claimed that he hated our church and was a Catholic and many other things that I will not repeat. The moral is if your mad at someone or being dumb please don't throw your religion at them because I have met lots of wonderful Catholics on my mission and this guy was just disgracing them. Remember that you represent more than just yourself out there.

Anyway love you all and remember to keep spreading the word.
Ofa atu

Elder Smith















Monday, September 11, 2017

Transfer Week

Aloha!

Well I actually have a lot to say so buckle up.

First things first this is transfer week and as such on Saturday we all get notified about leadership calls, about halfway through the day I get a call which didn't really phase me because I figured I was going to get re-called to District Leader (which i was fine with because I know how to do that). So I chatted with President Bekker and he said to me "Elder Smith I've prayed about it and I would like to call you to be a trainer" and I had no clue what to say. Naturally I accepted the calling but I was a little more than uneasy about it so needless to say these next 12 weeks will be very very interesting. I do not know who my new companion will be because President doesn't finalize that until the day before (so tonight) and I will meet him tomorrow morning. This will also be interesting to see because I don't have the area 100% down yet. Elder Fa'alavaau is being transferred to my old area in Hon-west and he will be training also so we are freaking out together. I gave him a bunch of names for him to check up on while he's there so he won't be going in completely blind.

In Waipiolani news we had a really solid lesson with the Elizinga family, they have had a hard time keeping commitments but we are seeing small but sure changes in them, especially Tika (the dad who is a less active). They told us that they are very grateful for us and that though we may not be able to see it we are having a positive impact on their life, it was really nice to hear and I can tell that whether they know it or not they are coming closer to Heavenly Father. We also had the chance to briefly meet up with Junior who we met at the Stake car wash a few weeks back, we set up a time to see him so hopefully we will be able to continue on that this next week.

In world wide news it was recently revealed to our mission that starting in 2018 all of the missions in the united states will begin transitioning to using smart phones. I don't believe that there has been an official announcement on it yet but the guy in the church that oversees all technology was vacationing in Hawai'i and told all the ZL's and they told us. I'm not fully convinced that this isn't some mission wide prank but if it is true it will definitely change the way we work a lot. I'll keep you posted on that.

All in all it has been quite the week and lots to do in the weeks to come. Keep me in your prayers because I am for sure going to need them.

Love you all!
Aloha!

Elder Smith


Monday, September 4, 2017

Waipiolani News

Keauha!

Well we had anther enjoyable week in Waipiolani. It was a tad slow this week but nonetheless enjoyable. The main problem is still getting the people we are working with to follow through with commitments, we had a really good lesson with the Elzinga family and talked to them about how important it is to maintain doing the little things like church, reading, and prayer so that we can gain our testimonies and be truly converted to the gospel. They agreed that they needed to work harder at this if they want to know that it is true... then they overslept and didn't come to church (the one drawback to morning church). Sooo we are still working with them and trying to get them to put forth a little more effort. Keep them in your prayers because they are so close to knowing this is true.

Elder Fa'alavaau had to go to Honolulu to get his blood levels checked (he has a mechanical valve, I call him Cyborg) and we drove all the way there only to find out his appointment was for the next day. So we went to Honolulu again the next day and had his actual appointment. The downside was that was a good amount of driving but the upside is I got to drive through my old area twice so that was pretty cool. Also we got to go to Pearl Harbor again this week (my eighth time) and swept through a bunch of the decks. This morning we had a pad inspection so our place actually looks nice now (pics below) and yeah that about sums up this week.

This past week I was reading in the Book of Mosiah and saw the story of Alma the Elder and his people being suppressed by Amaron and the Lamanites, the unique thing about this story is that instead of the Lord liberating his people immediately he allowed them to be tried and tested through their struggles to see if they would remain faithful (which they did). Along the way though he still heard their prayers and gave them the strength to overcome their trials, he didn't change their circumstance, he just helped them overcome them. I have seen this apply to me a ton over the past year, I was very overwhelmed when I first got out here, but every day as I prayed for help I could feel the Lord their strengthening me, he didn't make the work easier, he just made me better. Little by little. So yeah just some thought for the coming week.

Love you all and thanks for all you do!

Aloha
Elder Smith






Monday, August 28, 2017

Share What You Know

Aloha!

This week was quite the blur. Most of our investigators were busy this week so that was kinda sad. But we still have hope that they will progress, just remember to keep Ikaika and the Elzinga Ohana in your prayers, they need help keeping commitments. The frustrating thing about work is sometimes we get caught up in the idea that we are only successful if our investigators are doing everything we want them to, but it's important to remember that everyone has their agency and we can only judge our success on how well we invite them to come unto Christ and utilize his atonement. The same goes for member missionary work as well, we can talk ourselves out of sharing the gospel because we think that they will say no, but that isn't what matters. Success in sharing them gospel is not determined by what they say but instead by how much effort we make to testify. Just some thoughts to have this week!

So Elder Fa'alavaau and I were out doing our thing when we saw a less active washing his car. We struck up a conversation with him and got to know him a little better. We found out he is on probation and just got out of prison. He asked if we could share a scripture and the first one that came to mind was Ether 12:6 which says that a witness shall come after the trial of thy faith. We testified to him that as we remain faithful through our trials that we will gain a stronger testimony and become faithful because of, and not in spite of, hard times. He started to tear up and said that that day he was very tempted to begin his "old habits" and that because of our message he knows that God is mindful of him and loves him. He thanked us a ton and it was a really cool experience.

In other news me and Elder Fa'alavaau are still going strong and trying to spread the word. The members are still great and the work is moving forward, even if it isn't quite as fast as we'd like. Also the our two most solid Investigators just got poached by the Samoan Ward so that was a bittersweet moment. Aside from that the week has been great!!

Have a wonderful week and remember that everyone has the chance to share what they know.

Love you all!
Aloha!
Elder Smith





Monday, August 21, 2017

Spreading the Word

Aloha!

So this has been a pretty eventful week . I am still working on getting to know my area but it is coming along little by little. This ward continues to be amazing and I have been able to meet so many great members with a lot of great intent to share the gospel. We had a harder time getting people to church this week but I believe that they are still heading in the right direction. We are just going to need to be better about getting on them about keeping commitments.

We had a really cool stake activity this week where the wards put on a huge free car wash and the missionaries took the people on chapel tours. I have done this in my other areas too but this was much more successful. Elder Fa'alavaau and I were able to give 6 tours and the other companionships were about the same. We got a lot of solid referrals out of it and one or two of them were from our area. The members really made the difference, they put the word out and personally invited a lot of friends. It was all in all a great time and I hope to be able to see this happen more regularly (the stake is considering doing this every 3 months).

On top of this we had a zone conference up in Laie where we learned more about the atonement of Christ and how it is the central point of doctrine that covers our whole church and what gives everything meaning. During the training we had to teach the restoration but tie every point into the atonement. I thought it would be awkward but the more we thought about it and taught by the spirit the more we realized how the atonement really does tie in to everything in this gospel. It's a beautiful thing.

Aside from that it was a pretty typical week of hitting the pavement and visiting less actives, always a fun thing to do. But that's all I have to report this week, hope everyone is spreading the word and being an example. Alofa atu!

Elder Smith

1. Klaassen and Vanshaar
2. Me with my "dad" and "brother"
3. Me and Campbell
4.  Elder Fa'alavaau












Monday, August 14, 2017

One Year Down

Aloha Ohana!

So this week has been a pretty great one. We were able to teach a couple lessons to the Elzinga family and Ikaika Stuart which were both great and the highlight of the week was that they all came to church! So that was great. They are all set with baptismal dates right now but we might have to push a few of them back. They are all progressing though which is always great to see. There are a pair of Samoan girls named Va'e and Tu'ua that are also set with baptismal dates but I haven't had the chance to meet them yet because they have been with family in Waipahu, so hopefully it will work out this week.

A big thing I have thought about this week is how much I took the gospel for granted growing up. I was used to people in my old area having hard times because it was mostly low income housing but this is a much nicer area and yet there are still so many people in unfortunate circumstances. The thing is it almost all stems from someone in the family going against the commandments of God. Some of these family situations are so uncertain and sketchy that it makes me so grateful to have a relatively normal upbringing.

On another note it was really weird to hit my year mark this week. Crazy that a year ago i was a nervous little boy in the MTC, playing beach volleyball with Elder Johnson. A lot has changed since then and a lot will continue to change. I can't wait to see what else there is to do in this area.
Well I don't have time to write much else but just know that this ward is taking great care of us and that me and Elder Fa'alavaau are getting along great. Keep praying for us and we will keep the work going! Love you all!

Aloha!
Elder Smith

Monday, August 7, 2017

Loving Mililani

Aloha!

So this has been an insanely long week, but in a good way. On Tuesday morning we finished packing up the pad and went off to transfer meeting. It was awesome being able to see so many people again and catch up with a few past comps. After saying goodbye to Elder Lewis I met up with Elder Fa'alavaau and we drove to Mililani to start working. I have never been to the central part of O'ahu so it has been really cool to see this area, it is way more beautiful than my last area and the work here is great. This was by far the most warm welcome I have ever gotten into a ward, they all made a point to talk to me, I've met most of the auxiliary leaders already, members have us over all the time, and the best part is they actually volunteer to help us out a lot and give us referrals. I am not one to compare areas but I have a feeling that this ward is going to be my favorite area. My new comp is cool too, he still has his greenie fire so that is awesome to be working with, on top of that the ward loves him. He was born in American Samoa and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. His parents are converts so he has a soft spot for missionary work, he likes a lot of the same nerdy stuff as me so we get along just fine.

In terms of the work we have a handful of investigators we are teaching but I am still in the process of meeting them. There's this kid named Ikaika who we are getting involved in cub scouts and a part member family named the Elzingas that seem really solid. So all in all I love the area, the ward, and the work. I really am at a point now where I just love doing this, it isn't just a duty anymore, it's a privilege.

I had the opportunity to talk this past week with a member in the ward that has been excommunicated and is working on coming back, he told me that God has released him from his covenants because it was recognized that he wasn't mature enough to uphold them so he needs to reevaluate himself before he recommits to the covenants. He basically testified to me that even the church's discipline is an example of our Father's love for us. I think it is the biggest testimony builder in our Heavenly Father's love for us, that he is always willing to take us back.

So yeah that is my first impressions of the area. More to come for sure. Didn't grab any pics this week but I have some more that I took from Hon-West.

Love you all and can't wait to tell you more about Mililani!

Love and Aloha,
Elder Smith









Monday, July 31, 2017

Aloha oe Hon West

Alooooha!

So this has been an insanely stressful week. Like, really really stressful. But before I get into that here is the Transfer news, after 6 months in the Lanakila ward I will be transferred to the Mililani Zone where I will cover the Waipiolani Ward. I don't know exactly where the ward is but the zone as a whole takes up most of the center of the Oahu and is the only part of the island that doesn't border the ocean. I am really excited to see what working there is like, especially since i believe most of the area is military. My new companion will be Elder Fa'alavaau (Fah-ah-la-vah-ow), I met him briefly before. He is ethnically Samoan but is from Alaska and I believe he only speaks English. He has only been out for 3 months so I will be his "greenie breaker". Also I am still the district leader in my new area.

So the reason for the stress is that on top of me being transferred Elder Lewis is also being transferred out to the Honolulu Zone meaning that two new elders will be picking up where we left off. Normally I would be fine with that but because of scheduling problems Tiani's baptism had to be pushed back a week and now none of us will be here for it. We have been running around like crazy making sure it is being handled by the ward because we don't want there to be any confusion. So prayers for that to go well will be appreciated.

So basically a lot is up in the air right now, but I spent a lot of time praying and even though I am stressed beyond belief to pass this area off to two new elders, I know that it is the Lord's will and that one way or another His work will be done.

So beyond that there isn't much else to say, the church is till true and we are still preaching the word. Can't wait to update you on my new area.

Mahalo Nui and aloha oe Hon West

Love you all,
Elder Smith


Pics of my area























Saturday, July 29, 2017

Latest Pics from Hawaii













Last Week of the Transfer

Aloha!

So its been a really quick week for me. First off we had interviews with President and Sister Bekker which went really well and helped me know what I need to work on and see how far I have come since my last interview with him. This next transfer I am going to be working on being an example because we can't be out preaching the gospel if we aren't living it.

I went on an exchange this week with Elder Fanene in the Moanalua 2nd Samoan ward. So basically I sat there for 6 hours while he talked to a bunch of people in Samoan. But every once in awhile I would hear the word Pulagi which is what they call a white person so I know I was at least being discussed.

After that we had Zone conference so I was able to catch up with some old and not so old friends. The theme of the conference was the Book of Mormon. Really broad but discussing it in detail has really shown me how much of a miracle the book really is. It is simple enough that an 8 year old can know that it is true, but complicated enough to know that no man short of a genius could have written it on his own, and while I have crazy respect for Joseph Smith he was no genius. The conference made me realize that I don't testify of the book nearly as much as I should. I testify of Christ of course, but most people already have that belief. Testifying of the BoM will help strengthen everyone's faith in Christ, especially mine.

So this Saturday there were 2 separate baptisms in the stake so it was cool to attend those. Also our investigator Tiani is set to be baptized this Saturday which we are super happy about. The only problem is that the boyfriend of her mother does NOT like us at all so it can be a little hard trying to contact the family and set up the baptism. Keep praying for that to work out, this family needs the spirit in their home.

And yes this will be the last week of the transfer which means that I will most likely be assigned to a new area soon. I plan on making this last week count though. Start placing your bets as to where I'm off to next (my guess is the Marshallese branch in Waipahu, because God has a sense of humor).

Thanks for all the support and prayers, I really do love you all!

Mahalo nui loa
Elder Smith

New Investigators!

This has been a wild week. So first off Elder Lewis and I are trying to wrap our heads around how this happened but we got a crazy amount of new investigators this week. Some are more solid than others but we just kept asking people if we could come back and share more about our beliefs and about Christ and people just kept saying yes (which I'm not really used to) hopefully this will all turn out but I am starting to see how the Lord prepares people for us out here in the work.

Probably the highlight of the week was a lesson we had with an investigator named Leslie. She has seemed really solid to me since I got here but we have never been able to set up a solid appointment with her but after 5 months in this area we were finally able to meet with her and her 10 year old son. We recapped what she had been taught years earlier when she had been taught by missionaries and then we bore our testimonies of the restoration and how it blesses our lives and unites our families. The spirit was really strong and so we asked them both to commit to a baptismal dater and they agreed so as of now they are set to be baptized on August 26th. Praying for them to make that date because there are still some things that she needs to get over but we all have confidence that through Christ's atonement she can make it through anything.

On the fun side the Hon-west zone got to travel up to Laie and go to the temple today. Always a beautiful experience, really builds my testimony of the importance of a temple. Also makes me realize how lucky we are to have so many on the earth today. Also going up to the North Shore gave me an excuse to drive through my old area in Kaneohe. Any excuse to see that place is a good excuse.

One funny story though, Elder Lewis and I were walking up this hill when a non member slows down his car and says "You boys are doing great work, God bless" and drives away. Its always great to hear stuff like that so I say "man some of the people around here are so nice" as soon as I say that another car slows down and this guy yells "hail Satan" and drives away. So if you want to know what people's opinion of us are its pretty 50/50. All in all I was just laughing at the whole thing.

Well thank you for all the prayers, they are definitely working and I am truly grateful for all your support. You are the best, love you all.

Aloha,
Elder Smith







Monday, July 10, 2017

Aloha

Raam anim (Hello in Chuukese),

Hope things are going well for you all! Things are still going well here island side and the work is going on.

We were able to meet with the Marshall family and they came to church, the kids are totally crazy but they love coming and are having a good time in primary. We were able to teach the oldest (Tiani) and she is still set to be baptized this month. She totally grabbed on to everything we were saying and had a lot of good questions (she probably knows more than I did when I was 10).

Another crazy thing was that by some miracle we were able to get 6 new investigators for the 3rd week in a row. This week it was just by visiting potentials and formers that I have been trying to hit for months and they were all just kinda home this time. There is plenty of work to be done here in the Lanakila area. On top of all this I got to go on an exchange with my new Zone Leader Elder Porter and he is a boss of a street contacter. Definitely made me realize I need to up my game. Elder Lewis said the same thing about our other ZL Elder Klaassen and so we have been doing that more and that is where 3 of our new investigators came from. Its been a good week.

In the non-proselyting news we had the 4th of July this week which was a sad shadow of New Years. Honestly I easily saw 10x as many fireworks at new years than I did this week. People here are patriotic to an extent, but they are a lot more proud to be Hawaiian than American. Speaking of America we also went to Pearl Harbor again and Elder Lock and I swept and mopped a bunch of the senior officer quarters. In other words we got to go behind all the blocked off parts of the tour and snoop around. Always a good time.

But that has been my week. Crazy that it has already been 11 months on my mission, I still feel like I just got here. Just reminds me that I can't be wasting my time here. Need to make every day count.

Love you all and keep up the work of the Lord. Also if you know someone who isn't a member introduce them to the missionaries!

C pop 2 (no idea how to spell it but that's what it sounds like in Chuukese),

Elder Smith





Monday, July 3, 2017

Another Week Flies By...

Aloha!

So this week has flown by, lots of good, lots of bad. Typical week in the mission field.

On the good side Elder Lewis and I were able to get 6 new investigators again this week just by talking to people on the street, not really anything new there I guess we just talked to the right people. Elder Lewis is a wiz with cars so he talks story with anyone who is working on cars or trucks. That's nice because I don't know a thing in that field and lots of people in Honolulu like their cars. Another good thing this week was that we started teaching Sister Marshall's (less active member) kids and found out that the 11 year old Tiani is not baptized. So we talked with her and her mom about it and we will be getting her baptized later this month (if all goes well). Teaching these kids is a riot though, I've taught a lot of kids in my mission but these ones are 11, 7, 6, 4, and 3 so trying to keep them all paying attention is a circus act, but a fun one. Especially when the 7 year old claims to be a J-dub. So that was fun. On top of that we had a rather fun encounter with a roaring drunk Chuukese man and we were able to set a time to see his non-drunk family because of the incident so the lord works in mysterious ways I guess (and no worries there was a Samoan member right there when this happened making sure this guy didn't do anything dumb).

On the sadder side our investigators that we thought were going to be really solid (Athena and her son Justin) moved away very suddenly. We are still trying to find out where they moved to so we can send the missionaries over there, but so far no luck. Keep praying for them though.

Well if there's one thing I learned this week its to never set your goals low and never give up on people. So even if you think someone isn't ready to hear the gospel it never hurts to invite them.

Love you all and have a great week.

Aloha,
Elder Smith


Monday, June 26, 2017

Talofa!

So this has been a pretty crazy week. I have been saying since I got here that this area has a lot of potential and I think after all this time it is starting to show. Elder Lewis and I got 6 new investigators this week (significantly more than I have ever gotten in this area) and a good chunk of them seemed pretty solid, too. One of the situations was pretty funny, I saw one of the less actives that we haven't been able to catch since Lewis and I became comps so we pulled over on the road and talked to her to try and set up a time to visit, only problem is a minute or so into the conversation I found out that this was NOT who I thought it was, but was instead her twin sister who was not a member, soooo we were able to set up an appointment with her and we will be seeing her this week. We also got two solid referrals from the Laie Visitors center and set return appointments with both. Honestly its the first media referrals I have gotten that are both 1. Interested and 2. actually in our area so that was a small miracle in itself.

On a "small world" note, we got a call from a companionship of sisters in the California, Los Angeles Mission who told us that one of their investigators was moving to our area. It will still be a few weeks and they don't have a house yet so it may end up being in another area but hopefully it works out. The crazy part is that one of the sisters that called us is from the same home town as Elder Lewis and they know each other. Pretty crazy how that works out.

Thanks for your support and prayers, always remember to live what you know and share what you treasure.

Love you all!
Elder Smith

Monday, June 19, 2017

Transfer News!

Aloha!

So its the most exciting week of the transfer. Transfer news!! So in a bit of a surprise I will be staying here in the Lanakila ward for another 6 weeks, that will bring me to a total of 6 months in this area making it my 2nd six month area. Elder Lewis and I will be staying together and we are excited to see what the next few weeks hold. The major change is that I will now also be serving as District Leader which, among other things, means I will have to conduct a training of 3 or 4 companionship every week. So we will see how that goes. I guess I couldn't dodge leadership forever.

Elder Lewis and I are still going strong, we basically have nothing in common and for some reason we still get along great. He is super in to cars, sports, and girls which are basically the three things I know nothing about. He'll try talking cars then I'll try talking Batman and then it usually just ends up going back to Spongebob because its the one thing we both love. Who knew?

So this week has also had some educating experiences. After the less than great ward council last week I was really tempted to just bide my time and ignore the "advice" that was given to us by the High Priest Group Leader however I decided that I couldn't just give up on this area so we went and talked to his neighbors who he has invited to church before and they are super solid, their son came to church and we set a return appointment with the mom. In total we had 4 new investigators this week which is more than I have ever gotten in a week in this area. Needless to say the lord is telling me that there is still work to be done in this area.

Thank you for all your prayers and thank you for all you do. Introduce your friends to the missionaries, its something you won't regret!

Love you all!
Elder Smith






Monday, June 12, 2017

Zone Conference and Things Getting...Colorful

Aloha!
What a week it has been.

So the highlight of this week was definitely the Marshall Ohana. They are a less active part member family that Bishop Saula introduced us to. We went over and introduced ourselves, found out her life story and played a bit with her three youngest kids (who are 7, 5, and 3). She really wants to get her kids more into church and she wants to start coming back as well. Her oldest is an unbaptized 11 year old but she is with the Grandma for the summer in Waipahu and the grandma is a J-dub so something tells me she won't really be open to Mormons coming by. Sister Marshall says that she does want her daughter to be taught once she comes back in August though. So after having a lesson with them they agreed to come to church and after coordinating with bishop we got them there which was really awesome to see. On top of that it was Levi Fuaga's farewell on Sunday so I said my goodbyes to him. He went out just about every week with me and Elder Campbell so it was pretty crazy seeing him go. He is going to be an awesome missionary though.

Another cool thing was yet another zone conference, so I got to see people from the Honolulu, Waipahu, and Makakilo zones. The theme of the zone conference was working with members and it made us realize that Elder Lewis and I need to get the point across to the members that we need help since nothing that we are doing to encourage member support has been working. So, in what is probably the most uncomfortable thing I have ever done on my mission, I basically told (In a nice way) a room full active members in leadership positions that they needed to help us out more. This rubbed one person the wrong way and our discussion got... colorful, but in a way I think that better emphasized our point that there is a disconnect between the members and the missionaries and there has been since before I got here. After the meeting we had several members call us and tell us that they were going to start helping us out more so maybe we will actually start seeing some progress in the Lanakila ward. (Just in time for me to leave probably :P).

So yes we will be getting transfer news this week and it honestly is 50/50 as to whether or not I will stay. Either way I will serve where ever the lord sees fit for me to serve.

Right now in my BoM reading I'm in the beginning of Alma (chapter 5, I believe) and in my New Testament reading I am in the back half of Acts (chapter 22 if I remember correctly). Its so crazy how much you miss in the scriptures, I think that this is the first time that I actually understood the time line of the book of Mosiah with the Mulekites and the people of Limhi and the People of Alma and Ammon and all that I could just never tell what was happening. But I finally got it on this read through, guess that is why repetition is so important. Reading Acts has made me realize that my struggles are nothing compared to these early missions, Paul, Peter, Stephen, Philip, they all had it bad, so I can keep working with a better attitude.

Bishop Saula quote of the week: "Unity is important. I know that most of this ward council is older men and women, but united we can take down the Kahuku Red Raiders"

Love you all so much, find someone this week to introduce to the missionaries

Aloha Oe
Elder Smith

Pics of Zone conference, with companion Elder Lewis and Levi's mission farewell.