Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

We had Zone conference this week and it was legendary! Presidente Pace brought the fire. He is just the best there is. He talked about locking our hearts, getting to work, how not everyone you meet on the street and accepts a return visit isn´t going to just jump in the water. As much as I already knew that I still hoped that that was true. haha I really need to use the book of mormon more and I already use it a ton but after hearing all of this I don´t think it´s possible to use it too much. The Book of mormon is the greatest thing ever!!! It is the greatest thing we have to do do the greatest thing which is to BAPTIZE! We are here to baptize! We found a couple non member, less active, recent converts that love us so much and  are just throwing there friends at us. I just hope we can visit all of them and of course baptize all of them! 
The 24th of september is the day of Santa Cruz. We have a lot of members from Bolivia and so we organized a little party and got so many people to come and bring friends. Now we have to turn them into investigators! So we can baptize them! We had a mountain of food with things I hope I never have to eat again and also things that I could probably eat for the rest of my life. 
We got a new ward mission leader and he is a lion. That is my only word that I can describe him with. Lion. We had our first correlation and he says our goal is to get 60 more members in this ward so we can split by 2013. I am going to do this but I need missionaries to do it. Holy. I am pumped. He wants us to baptize all of Bilbao! He has already got us a huge list of less actives (Gold Mines). We had a meeting for the 5th Domingo about missionary work and I think people were getting pumped up. I´m getting all fired up right now! We made some invitations for general conference and they are legendary. We are ready to get those to every single person in Bilbao. We don´t get the last session though on sunday which is a little disapointing but life goes on. I think we have the opportunity to watch them in English but I think I´m going to go for one in Spanish. Being bold and a little crazy! Right now we are just trying to get all of our investigators crazy excited about it. 
We have been trying to do new things for contacting and talking to new people and it has been going well but we do need to find new ways. We went and cooked "American food" for a less active family this past week and they loved it. We had burgers and brownies and they were in heaven! Saturday I don´t know if I had talked to that many people in my whole mission. Our goal was to get 6 in church and we went to every investigator, every antiguo investigator, every person on the street. It was something else. We only ended up with 2 but they were my favorite 2 and I know one of them is going to be baptized. A giant problem is that people for one reason or another can´t get married or just choose not to and move in together and start a family. I just want all of them to get married so we can baptize them! 
I love thinking about the stories that dad told us and seeing how they all really are like that. Another thing I´ve realized really fast is that you HAVE to have fun. Find fun in the little things. Be Christlike but have fun and enjoy every opportunity you have. It´s work but I love it. Tell Kim  that I would much rather be here than bricking churches. haha 
Funny things: We have 2 showers in our Piso and one of them screams everytime you turn it on and the past few mornings Elder Archibald would scream with it but scream "BAPTISM!!!!!!" I love it so much! Everything we talk about in Piso is Baptism. It´s what it all comes down to. 
Elder Ward has consumed 20 pieces of toast in the past 24 hours. wow this is getting saucy. He just eats for days and the Elder loves his toast.
Mom do you know any recipes that would be cheap in simple because pasta and rice are really racking up the "getting old" scale.
I love all of you and thank you so much! Keep up the prayers because I´m feeling ´em! Thank you for your letters. I don´t know if i thanked Uncle Scott for his letter so thanks so much it was a nice curveball in the stack from Mom. Also I met an hermana Fuller who says she knows you all and loves you all. 
Keep sending pictures. That is the highlight of my preperation day. 
Love you all and good General conference weekend! 
By the way Lance I cook my own food. I´m a boss, Chef Smiley!

Elder Sonrisas

September 30, 2013

No letter so far this morning from Dave, he did send us two pictures of a District activity!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013

First off thank you for all your support and letters. Sorry Mom for no letters but we are so busy that I don´t have much of a P-day because baptisms comes first.
Dad we use the phrase "And then we baptized!" So much! hahahaha I love it!
This past week sucked so bad though. Our numbers looked like they should have been coming out of the rear end of a cow on Christmas. We worked so hard but just got no results. Charity suffereth long. That´s what I kept coming back to.
I am trying to be more charitable and now since Monday we have seen miracles!

On Monday night we set 3 fechas with a fantastic family! Game on! Got them with service. First time someone actually accepted my service (which ended up being climbing 3 flights of stairs with a giant stroller that was big heavy and awkward) we got in the house and set some baptismal dates!
It´s been raining a lot, and no Cody I haven´t worn my boots yet but  it won’t be long.  I am going to have to wear my suit everyday after General Conference. That is going to be really hot. oughhh.

Some things that happened and a reason are numbers weren´t too swift is Zone Conference this week, so Elder Ward and I had to help our companions (The Zone Leaders) prepare.  When we got out we went to Elder Ward´s area because it was closer. That is where we saw miracles. That night not one person nos rechazaron (rejected us)! We were, by definition in my opinion, contacting by the spirit. We met a guy, who I am pretty sure is just loaded beyond belief, who drives one of 5 Chryslers in Spain! It is a big deal! He offered to buy us all this stuff but finally we sat him down and gave him a lesson that blew him away. It was something I will never forget. I hope he follows up but we couldn´t set a specific date because he works all over Europe for a clothing company and is rarely home. I hope! 

Stake conference and Zone Conference were amazing. wow. What I got out of the two is focus on what you have not on what you don´t, and the definitive power of the Book Of Mormon. You can bet I was psyched about the Book Of Mormon one!  I love that book!

I just barely got all your letters yesterday so I don´t have time this P-Day to write back but I hopefully will next. This country in unbelievable and I can´t wait to show you all these things one day.

Can you tell Nikki to keep being a champ. Also if it´s a boy it´s name should be Danger! Just a hint.
Where are you SF football! I´m sick of hearing bad news let´s go Jason $$$$!!!!
I am sick of hearing bad news bears with BYU too. Can you tell Bronco to pick it up. Seriously?
Mark I believe in you with all this math garbage. Just get it. You can always turn to the lord for help.
Cody I knew you were the top dog! Wood shopping like a champ and looking a little femi and gay, but also like a champ you cheerleading fiend! I like the fact you didn´t go to homecoming, but from now on “you are only in high school once” and I have no regrets and I hope you don´t have any either.
Andi (Dramatic spin chair into camera shot) Good Morning Bilbao! I´m Andi May and this is going to be where my first News Anchor job is. Good luck! You are in my prayers!!! Andi with watching the districts look for the one about planning and what the crazy girl says about the area book. It is the joke that lifts are spirits whenever needed! Quote "If you don´t write in the area book, you don´t understand the atonement of Christ." wow, really? Muy fuerte no?
Thanks Grandma for that funny story. It honestly made us all laugh!
 A couple funny things about Spain, everyone smokes obviously. It was sad when I saw a 10 year old smoking. Wow, I wanted to hit him bad!! There are cigarette vending machines. Seriously? This is a problem.
Keep sending me pictures I love all of them! I will keep them coming your way!!! Much love, all the way from Bilbao. Two month mark today. It´s flying by! You are all great and I wouldn´t be here if it weren´t for all of you. Thank you!

Elder Sonrisa

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

This is just a "Proud PAPA" writing this entry.  Let me tell you a story!!!

The other day Chris was told by one of Dave's friends that he had just got a great Instagram about Dave.  Baffled, but curious she got some more information.  Instagram name of "scottep" is a return missionary over in Europe on a work assignment.  He is keeping everyone in the loop by instagram. His post a week ago was three photos, one with Dave, and then the following editorial.

Today I went to church in Bilbao Spain and met Elder Smiley (his name suits him very well  haha) today is day 3 for Elder Smiley as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.  This kid is a rock star!  I went out and talked to people on the streets with him and was blown away by his spirit!  His Spanish was less that that of a pre pre-schooler yet he talked to anyone that passed him, no fear at all, bearing testimony of Jesus Christ with so much power the hair on the back of my neck shot up.  It was incredible!  Straight up like a scripture prophet.  It took me back to truly the best experience I ever had in my life when I was a missionary.  To everyone that reads this I want you to know I know God is real and his son Jesus Christ is real and Christ is our savior and He loves us all and wants us to be like him and to be happy.  If your not mormon, go find a mormon missionary and listen to what they have to share.  If you are mormon, go find a mormon missionary and listen to what they have to share.  It's always nice to be reminded what they're doing out there for 2 years of their lives like I was today.

Chris responded with:

I am Elder Smiley's mom and you just made my day by making such an eloquent post.  thank you for touching Dave's life in such a positive way.

Scottep responded with:

Seriously the coolest kid ever.  This visit to Spain may have been a vacation to start but there is no doubt in my mind that God had his hand in my decision to come here so that I could meet elder smiley and feel the spirit as string as I did while I was there.  Tender mercy of the Lord.  And freaking coolest kid, good work raising him.

Wow, what a great reinforcement that he is where he is suppose to be!  What a special ability we all have to be an influence on others.  I love that boy!!

September 16, 2013

The members are so delicious, you wouldn´t believe! We get at least 12 member present visits a week without even a sweat! It is so excellent I can´t even express my gratitude! They helped me get my first baptism!!!! It was fantastic!!! There are just so many miracles happening every which way.
This week at first was so hard! No one would talk to us and everyone was spitting in our faces, but we just kept on keeping on and went forward with faith ¨suffering long¨ but by Sunday night we had zero people with baptismal “fechas” but within one hour we sat down 3 people and gave them the introduction to the church and gave all 3 baptismal fechas!! It was a miracle. There is just too much to be gratuitous about! :)
Dad remember when we were in Cancun and we saw those missionaries standing outside the church waiting for their investigators and you said I would do that soon enough. Yeah that´s exactly what I am doing. hahaha hoping and waiting and praying and having faith. Our baptism showed up 5 minutes before the confirmation. phew. It was so stressful! We ran all the way to the metro stop to try and find him. These are the experiences I´ll never forget!
The whole church is full of South and Central Americans. Very few Spaniards are humble enough for the church, it is really interesting. I think we have maybe 1/6 Spaniards in our ward. I try to talk to everyone and just love to listen to their stories and to tell them how there life is going to change for such a better life. After church we saw Andres (baptism) sitting outside on the steps with Keven (member) and two other girl members just talking. Elder Wilkinson and I just looked at each other and said, ¨What more can we ask for?¨ It was incredible! When we went finding on Sunday a man said a word I´d never heard before and I repeated it back to him and started pulling out my notebook to write it down he looked at me weird and walked away and Elder Wilkinson was dying! Once the man was out of distance I was about to write the word down to figure out what it is when Elder Wilkinson said He said F··· and I said it right back to him. So either I offended him or gave him the shock he needs in his life to accept this gospel. haha
I love it and I enjoy everything so much!!! We are just making everything fun and preaching the great word. My Spanish is coming and I am having almost full conversations with people. It is different because they only eat 2 meals a day and I get so hungry! I love it so much and Hermana Pace said just send all Letters and PACKAGES to the mission home for safe keeping. I love all of you and thank you for your prayers and support. This is exactly where I´m supposed to be and I can feel I just have a deep connection with the people we teach and I know this work is preordained. I said I would and I did! Yo dijo vendré y hize.

Elder Smiley (In the ward I am Elder Sonrisa)  

P days are great!!

It took a week, but here is my first baptism!!!

Missionary Apartment, pretty nice one though

In place of Mom, two sister missionaries come to the rescue

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sept 9, 2013

It´s been a long time and I am sorry. This is my first dia de preparación and here comes the fire. 
I was in Barcelona for 3 days. It was very different than Madrid. Everything is a little cleaner and a lot more modern. We see Ferrari´s and Lambo´s and Mercedes´ quite a bit. I feel like I´m in “Fast and Furious” some days.
During the days we just sat around the chapel and studied. Very long and boring days! The nights though, Woooooooo! I got to go proselyting with Elder Beaton. Just a stellar man! Our first night we contacted in front of a church and offered tours of the chapel. I got a kid in the chapel then got him up to the font and gave him the baptismal commitment and he accepted!!!!! It was so cool! Game on!
The next night we went back to Elder Beaton´s area which was kind of out there, but we got to go to a members house and visit some of his people. He had no investigators when we first got there but after a day we had 4 investigators! We went knocking doors and I had to do some by myself! Ahhhhhh. So scary but we did get in and teach a lesson which was excellent! God presents many miracles in his work.
Bilbao was one of the last areas called and Elder Ward got called right before I did and we are in the same piso! Miracle! Our piso is insanely insane! Our songs and activities are nuts! They told me my companion is Elder Wilkinson who is the same person I ate with during lunch! What!?! He is so stellar! We proselyted that night in Barcelona and just talked to everyone. He understands that we are here to baptize. We do other things but are here to baptize.
Elder Ward and I sat by each other on the train and contacted a man and wife that we hope will see the missionaries. Cross your fingers. Since I´ve been here I have committed I think 5 people to baptism! It is something insane! Only 1 has accepted but the rest except one said they want to hear more before they make a commitment like that. I love it.
Miracle number one is I was walking when I saw this African man sitting down and I was drawn to him. I went and talked to him and he swam from Africa and his 2 friends died. He promised god he would listen to the first messengers he brought him. Here we are. He took the baptismal commitment. Game on! Church is stellar! We need to get investigators though!!!! Come on!!!! I love you all and thanks for your support!

Send mail to the mission office in Barcelona. Love you all! More pictures coming. Patience is a virtue, I´ve learned that!

We are not sure if this is Elder Wilkinson, his trainer, or Elder Ward, friend from MTC 

Monday, September 2, 2013

September 2, 2013

I am off to Barcelona tomorrow. I am going to miss this!!  I am so excited!!  
I am extremely nervous and I am constantly checking my pants because it is so crazy!
How is the world of school you boys?
How is the final prep for LOTOJA coming Pops?
I got to finally see Hermana Money!!!! She is doing great and just got transferred to the Canary Islands. She is going to miss a baptism this Saturday though, so I feel for her.
I have been so touched by some people that have come up to me and told me that during this MTC stay, their goals have been to be more like me. It has been something so awesome for me! Lots of people say that I have been an example for them. It is so cool!
The park was really cool this week and I got to teach an Australian girl and she was so excited.
It´s so weird finally leaving this wonderful place. While we were singing last night people across the street in apartments were opening their windows to hear us. I did cry when we sang "We are NOW the army of Helaman" and "To bring the gospel to all the world" I lost it. It´s time to serve.
I love all of you and I thank you for your prayers and support. Thanks Uncle Scott and The Paxton Family and The Steve Stamps family for your letters and pictures. It means so much to me.

Love all of you! Let´s go get lost in the service.