Monday, December 11, 2017

We are having computer problems so I cannot post their letters, but here are some pictures.  
Cody said it snowed, and was so cold that the Mission president told everyone to stay inside.  they have not worked all week.  Here is the Christmas party they had.    

Mark has several good investigators and starting to see some success.  he is pretty excited.  Starting to be able to converse with people, that is always nice.

Monday, November 20, 2017

"Nitos" are real!!

This week was good.

We had a good, but weird week.  This week we still had to be in the house until Thursday.
But we still had a little hard time with everything.  We did find some good investigators this week.
We found 2 investigators who have real potential with the gospel.  They just need to do their part and  they should be baptized.

Today we played football and we had Jorge (Inv) play with us.  That was a huge success because he got to know a lot of people from the ward and became friends with them too.

WE BOUGHT A CHRISTMAS TREE! We are feeling the Christmas spirit now!  I am getting ready for all of this Christmas stuff now!

Great Family here

Soccer jerseys on P-days

Christmas arrived, now Mom can quit worrying!!!

Cody has his Christmas cut out for him, his companion told him that this is the first time he has ever had a Christmas Tree in his house.  I have a feeling that Cody's Christmas project will be his companion!!

The malls are into Christmas already.  No Thanksgiving to worry about in Mexico!

Groovy jackets!!

OK so nitos are these little sweet bread things that are filled with sugary chocolate and they are so rich and unhealthy but they are 100% addicting.  I have had to budget myself to 1 a day or else I will spend all my cash on them

So this week went by pretty quick but here are some moments that I remember:

Elder Alvarez bought fireworks this week to throw at angry dogs and at times while I’m writing in my journal or something like that, he will randomly light them and throw them around the apartment. haha. He is crazy sometimes

I hope everyone has enjoyed/will enjoy Thanksgiving. I can’t remember if its this week or next but I kinda miss it.  Also kinda don’t because every meal is thanksgiving here, they give us so much food, it is ridiculous.

there are moments when we are walking past tiendas with songs playing, and Elder Alvarez will look at me and just say ¨baila¨ which means dance! And so I just break it down right there and get jiggy with it and Elder Alvarez just loses it.  He thinks I dance so funny.

Teaching here is difficult because literally everyone says they´re catholic, but in reality that´s just a label they give themselves to not be different from others.  We have to appeal in a manner where we respect their beliefs and testify that we are only here to help them improve their relationship with God, and hope they come to a realization that our gospel is a manner of living which brings real joy into their lives.

Other than that, I got nothing.  Sorry I left my journal at home so I can´t recall any other experiences but I guarantee this mission is full of funny experiences and I write diligently. haha.

God is real and he is good, I’m not gonna bear my testimony because I never read those in other missionary emails so there ya go. 

see yall next week.

Yep, those are missionary shoes!!

Recent convert that just loves the missionaries!!

The four gringos that came into the mission with Mark

Notice the blood spots.  If Mark would just not roll over he would not squish the bed bugs that are eating him.  

You get to experience a little bit of everything on your mission, even hairdressing!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Now Mexico is treating those boys a lot better!!

Monday November 13, 2017

Elder Cody Smiley:
This week was hard because of the elders who were here.

Elder Belito and I are opening an area.  It has been hard because the other elders who were here were not organized with one thing.  Everything has been a mess.  

Belito is a very good guy and companion.  We always joke around and have fun with each other so we will have a good companionship. 

We have just lost ourselves here in Fresnos.   Here is something really cool!

On Sunday we received like 10 references to help us here so that is really going to help us!!!! The ward is going to help us a ton.  A lot of members have come to me and have said hey Smiley I am here for you guys if you need ANYTHING I will be there! I think this ward will see a lot of Milagros (miracles)!

Cody's camera is on the fritz, and we cannot convince him to buy another!!  No pictures from Cody again.  

Elder Mark Smiley:
Subject:  Literally no time.
First of all, the houses here are so small. You can poop, shower, wash your hands, and wash a baby (there was a baby bath in a bathroom) all at the same time.

Church is so hard.  It’s a bunch of white noise Spanish that is difficult to understand but its also spiritual so not all bad.  Here comes the hard part!  A WARD COUNCIL MEETING THAT LASTS 2.5 HOURS FULL OF A BUNCH OF OLD PEOPLE, THAT MAKES US MISS AN APPOINTMENT WITH AN AWESOME INVESTIGATOR.

Quick story: So there is an investigator we have that works in a hair-cutting place.  He told us that when I first arrived, he had to excuse himself to go to the bathroom. Low and behold he was throwing up, and explained that it was because he had a gift of sensing that strength of spirits.  My spirit was so strong that it made him vomit jaja.  I mean to each his own. Also I didn’t understand any of what he said so I just kind of nodded along and then Elder Alvarez told me after what he said and i was like WHAT.

No time.  Alvarez told me we gotta leave early so I’m trying to go quick. Love you all!

thanks dad.  this week was a whole heck of a lot better.  I prayed hard that Elder Alvarez and I could get along better and our relationship has improved.  We actually have conversations while we walk haha.  

I know we talked about how hard a mission is in quorum meetings, but I’m not sure anything can prepare a missionary for their first week.  Luckily its past, and this week passed a lot quicker.

And for what you said with crappy weeks, this is an experience I shared with another friend:  
I will say this is so hard, but it was so worth it for two reasons. one: we found a woman at a store and asked if we could share with her our message.  she said sure, and that she had all day, so we gave her the first discussion, right there in the street for 45 minutes, and she was so willing to listen.  It wasn´t fun, we were sweating in the sun, it was hot and we were tired, and I was struggling with my Spanish, but I can honestly say that I felt a certain joy about my work in that moment, using the gift of tongues and seeing her accept this small part of our gospel.

The other was this guy who agreed to meet with us to hear our message in front of his English class building.  When we asked him what he hoped to get from our visits, he told us that he would listen to whatever we had to share.  It was so cool.

This part is for you and mom.  

I have actually been thinking about you two a lot this week (not home sick simply pondering), and how you taught me so much.  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TEACHING ME SO MUCH.  I can´t really put it into words but I love you guys so much and the teachings you guys have pounded into my brain help me so much with stuff here.  I never gave you guys enough time, and how I’m feeling like Cody did, all I want is to give mom and dad a hug.  I love you guys so much and I wish I had more time but Elder Alvarez just told me I have 15 minutes.  Please remember that I love and appreciate you guys so much more now.

Zone Leaders bought everyone Super Hero shirts  "Now go make it come true"

Mark, the Zone Leader, and Elder Alvarez

Nice colonial building in town

Mark's apartment

The Mormon church!!!

"You will get Baptized!!"

Mom is always right.  Chris had to force Mark to take this Spanish Plan of Salvation.  It's a hit!!

All the mirrors look the same!!  Just a shirt and tie, no faces on any of the mirrors!!!
Could we get maintenance in here to raise the height on these mirrors!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Good Days & Bad Days


Well this week was just bad!

We had changes and I left Sauzalito. worst day of my freaking life! 

I said bye to the family of familia Alvarez Ponce and it was all good and easy.  Then I forget to give them ties.  We went back to give them their ties, they opened the door and all of them were crying........ It was hard!!!!!!!

Later we said bye to Eddy.  We were about to leave and he said SMILEY WAIT!!!! I turn around and he is holding a tie in front of me and I just go awwwwww then his wife just starts yelling and said hey I gave you that tie!!!!!!!!!! We get back to the house and Elder Cornejo says dude you are his favorite!!!!!

I served in that area with blood sweat and tears in there, holy crap!!!!! I left Alisson over there!!!! I just barely invited her to baptism and she said yes!!!!!!! Then I left........
Funny story about her!!!! Her girls say hi to each other by kissing each other on the cheek. 
She entered into her work when we were going to teach her.  She tried to freaking kiss me! On the cheek obviously, but still I leaned back as far as I could then I made a noise that I do not even know............
It’s Sunday now and I am laughing just thinking about this!!!!!!!!

We were in church and a drunk guy comes in.......... A lady is talking and he walks up there and puts money on the pulpit JAJAJAJAJA!!!!!!!!!!! Later a member of the bishopric is bragging how good of a member he is and the drunk guy walks up there and talks to the guy and says  “God lives!” and other stuff!



hope yawl are enjoying stranger things season two right now because not gonna lie I keep dreaming about it.

Also mom and Anna and all others who will enjoy these, I got a buncha photos for yawl

A couple things about the people of Mexico, they talk a freakin ton. Like I asked this one woman a single question about religion and she told me her whole life story and how she believed this and that and that god has helped her so much in life.

Another thing, they are so nice!  Every time we visit members or even contact in homes, they give us fruit or bread, and it’s so cool! i love it haha.  

I´m getting ahead of myself.  I am in a city called Cholula, and it is just a little south of Puebla, and its pretty huge and its a pretty nice city (in some parts). 

We started with not a lot of investigators in this area, but we have been contacting a lot and it is hurting my legs haha.

not a lot of time but miracles miracles miracles!!

Coolest experience is probably when I was having a real rough day and I was so tired I just wanted to sit on the sidewalk and not think for a while, but I pulled myself up and talked to this guy. Right after, I started feeling better, and I started to feel more energetic. Then we walked past this house and this guy just like abruptly opened his door and stood outside.  Thinking that I had to talk to everyone I asked him if he was looking for something.  He replied he didn’t know what he was looking for, and then asked us the same question. I replied we were looking for people that were ready to hear our message and he said ¨oh you guys are missionaries? When do you have church? Where is it?¨and then told us he was going to see us there on Sunday.  we were both like uhhh wut. he replied he was looking for a real church, and that we could visit him after church.  cool stuff.

Anyway I’ve spent too much time on this email.  I love you all!

-Elder smiley

My streeet

My laundry, all by hand

My town

Bus ride to Puebla