Elder Cody Smiley:
Well this week was a little tough. We have been working with a family who we thought was prepared for baptism this past Saturday. We later figured out that they had a problem with the Word of Wisdom. So, now we have to wait for changes to happen. We will see when they can get baptized. I also received a notice that I will be leaving Fresnos. I will finish my mission in a different ward for one transfer.
Mom sent Mark and I an email explaining that our ward’s missionary moms will be reporting on their missionaries. She wants me to share some things that I’ve learned. It has made me think about everything I have learned. First of all I learned Spanish. I never speak English until I am emailing my family on Mondays. I have only had native companions for my entire mission and I struggle to find the correct English words to use to email. But, somehow I’m managed to make it work. As far as the spiritual side of a mission goes, I guess it all boils down to the love that dios y jesúcristo really has for us. Once people figure out that everything else falls in place. Things for future missionaries to learn how to do:
1. Go to Seminary and pay attention.
2. Learn another language.
3. Learn to cook.
4. Learn to manage money.
5. Learn how to get along with anyone and everyone.
6. Learn how to work.
|Contacting in front of the town sign|
Elder Mark Smiley:
Here are some things for your talk:
Things I have learned on the mission: humility. The biggest thing in the way of a missionary´s success is the missionary himself. If he sees himself being the person who is having all of the success, then he is not in the right, and he is not going to feel the joy that comes from missionary work.
I used to think that to get people to be baptized was to teach in the most incredible way possible, and then they would understand it as something cool, and want to get baptized. Then I went on interchanges with my zone leader Elder Mangum. Elder Mangum is incredible. He doesn’t learn very well, so even though he has had quite a bit of time in the mission he doesn’t speak the best Spanish, nor is he good with social situations or the like, but he knows his weaknesses and he relies on the Lord, and because of that the heavens open when he teaches. We went to go teach this kid named Hector, and we were teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I began teaching, trying to get him as captivated as possible with good stories, animated teaching and hand gestures, and cool scriptures. Elder Mangum taught simply. We continued teaching like that until he came to a question, and asked us about a certain aspect of repentance. This is where elder Mangum´s spirituality comes in. I immediately tried to open to a scripture and give him a doctrinal fact to answer his inquiry, but Elder Mangum beat me to it. Instead of answering his question with a scripture and 5 minutes on nonstop talk which was honestly going to be my approach, he asked ¨Hector, why are you concerned about this?¨ Simple, but because of that inspired question, Hector opened up to us about things that had happened in the past and we now are that much closer to him getting baptized.
Alma 26:12 - ¨yea, I know that I am nothing. ¨ I have often asked myself what has impeded me from knowing that I am nothing compared to God, and how i can humble myself further to be able to have the spirit with me as a companion more often in my life
Hope this is what you are looking for mom:)
Mom tells me you are 100% in on your calling (wearing a suit and everything) and that is awesome. I am still trying to figure out how to give more of myself to this work and its admirable how hard you worked on your mission.
The Spanish is gowing grate, and the english is awlso souper emasing!!! How is that for exceling in the English language!!!!!
I really need a Spanish speaking comp though; unlike Cody I could go this whole mission with English speaking companions. The complete opposite! The Spanish is really fun though, and I am thanking my lucky stars I’m learning Spanish instead of Japanese or Russian. I have worked really hard on developing an accent, and it is starting to pay off. The other 3 elders here are not super interested in developing an accent because they don’t want it when they get home but I have been told on more than one occasion that I sound a lot easier to understand to my investigators so that is a super nice thing to hear.
I am actually really starting to love the mission. The more often i have the spirit with me the more in love with this work i am. It has taken me way too much time to realize that the spirit is everything in this work and to depend on the Lord is the only way you can serve a mission to its full potential.
Dad read a talk called The Ricciardi Letter. It is incredible! it reminds me of how missionaries probably talked about you and I think you would get a kick out of reading that and showing that to the young men back home. Also the Donaldson papers are really good but they are more for in-field elders.
|The four amigos!! About as tall as my comp, even though I am one step lower!!!|
|When it is time for a S'more, it is time for a Smore!! Hot Mexican weather or not.|