Monday, October 28, 2013


This week started out a little too good. Every visita/cita went perfect. Members came and dropped bomb testimonies. Almost no one fired. We ate with a future, (definition of future: we talked to them once before) and she invited us to eat. MIRACLE! Everyone was going fantastic. On Thursday our African family tried to drop us. We almost lost contact with our prime investigators.   Almost all our fechas dropped like flies. It was tough once Thursday hit. Sheesh. Now back on the high note. We went and played games with the African family for a visit and they hopped right back on the train. They all came to church. That was 5 people in church! Dad I´ll be honest we haven´t waited too much for investigators by the door these past weeks, we just go and pick them up!! It is not as funny as pacing at the front of the church waiting, but it is more productive.   

Mom I feel so sorry about that package. They said that could be a possibility but I think as long as you send it to the mission office it should be pretty good. Thank you so much for the shoes! They are AMAZING!! I just cycle daily through suit and shoes. It´s fantastic. It is every day wearing suits and it is everyday sweat more than the amount of beans we consumed every taco Sunday. It is a little frustrating but obedience is much more important. 

Mom, I cannot thank you enough for teaching me how to eat every thing that is given to me. Some of the things I have eaten I could not have choked down with out thinking what would mom do to me if I didn´t eat it.  
We are getting caught in a weekly food calendar. Can you send me recipes or something that we could cook in under 25 minutes? That would be AMAZING!

I just love being a missionary. There really just isn´t much more fun than laughing at the things you wouldn´t think were even remotely funny back at home. It is super weird. I love this life and the good we are doing. Thank you for your prayers and support. Keep working like champs back there and make Mark and Cody some nasty food to eat, Mom stop being such a good cook! Love all of you!

Elder Smiley
Prayer list
1. Adolfo y Liliana
2. Amelia, Valdemar, Jon, Samira
3. Euseva, yesika, y su hijo(car crash)
4. Jessica (her great grandma died)
5. Bilbao members (can be missionary members)

Thank you so much. Coming all the way from Bilbao España that´s all y agur!

Monday, October 21, 2013

DO'IN THE BAPTISM THING!! October 21, 2013

Holy smokes good week. No giant miracles but just tons and tons of little ones. 
First: A crazy African-portugean(?) lady told me I was about 1.82 metros alto. Do with that what you will. I had no idea what that means. I´m sorry mom I didn´t realize how big of a deal it was. It is kind of cool to be one of the tallest people here in Bilbao.

Second: (Don´t know why this is second) Jessica got wet and is now without pecados!  {It is not “pescados”, that means fish, learned that the hard way!} 
She went down hard! I gave her the don del Espiritu Santo. The baptism was awesome! She loved it so much. 

We found a miracle in church last week. This man and lady came to church, I´m still not sure why, but they came. They have a son who served a mission and is married in the temple. He has sent them Church literature and they are coming to know that this is it. I want to talk about eternal families with them! They are hopefully going down on the 2nd of November.

We found a family. This crazy African-protugean lady has 3 kids that just need to be baptized! They just need to come to church! Come on! I am going over there with a member next week and I will drag them to church. Watch me!!

Mom can I tell you how glad I am you taught me to keep a clean piso. Our piso is almost always spotless. I love it so much. There is no way I would know how to wash my laundry (which at times I have to teach others), wash dishes, iron my clothes. I would look like a garbage bag of dung it wasn´t for you. Thank you so much! Everyone tells me I have good style and am "Super Guapo" I just say what the army of Heleman said, "My mom taught me how to look guapo." That might be a rough translation. hahaha
I am waiting for those photos of New York. Come on! Cody I´m waiting for an update on School! Who is supposed to compliment on how sexy Tate´s hair is?

I love it and I never want to leave Bilbao or not be able to do this all the time. This is exactly where I am supposed to be.
I said I would, and I did. Dige que lo haría y lo hize.
Here is our prayer list for the next couple of weeks:  
1. Adolfo y Liliana
2. Amelia and her familia
3. Natali
4. Teresa y gabriela y Andres

Thanks for your prayers and support. Just baptize!

Elder Sonrisas

Monday, October 14, 2013

Proud Papa Paragraphs {PPP} October 14, 2013

We have made contact with Elder Wilkinson's {Dave's Trainer} Mom and she has sent us some quotes from her son's e-mails.  It is obvious from Dave's letters that he loves his trainer, but it is "doubly" nice when your trainer loves you.  I will put some of Nate Wilkinson's quotes on the blog for you all to read. This is so fun to follow his mission, and letters like this weeks letter make the time go by so fast.  When he is so busy doing what he is suppose to he does not have time to write much I think that is o.k.

Here are some quotes from Nate Wilkinson:

September 9, 2013
“This week has been pretty awesome. I´m officially training..................Élder Smiley!!!!!!!!! He´s the best! I love him to death! I got no time because we´re going to see a lighthouse by the ocean, but I just wanted to say that he´s incredible and that we´re having a blast and that we have a fecha for this weekend named Andrés, and we just need to get his Mom´s permission to baptize him and he´s good to go.”

September 16, 2013
This week was incredible! We had a bunch of miracles and I´m loving being with Elder Smiley. He´s super obedient, works his butt off, and has a blast. What more can you ask for? We´re both here to baptize and that is always the best thing you can have in a companionship. I´m going to attach some pictures from Andres´ baptism this Saturday, it was the best! We had a double baptism cause we baptized Andres and the other Elders baptized Alvaro! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooo! What a great way to start off Elder Smiley and Elder Ward´s missions.

I love being a missionary. We´re having a blast and baptizing, that´s it. It´s game time. We´re doing everything we possibly can to get people baptismal dates and get them to church. We had a neat experience on Sunday night. We´d set a goal to get 3 baptismal dates this week and as of Sunday at like 5 o´clock, we didn´t have any. We were a little frustrated about that but we said, "Let´s go out and find, and get 1." We went to a really great finding park and started talking to people on benches and teaching them. Exactly 90 minutes later we had set 3 baptismal dates with people we met there in the park. The Lord is preparing people to accept the Gospel and be baptized. It was neat and taught me a lot about faith. If we hadn´t had the faith that we could do it, the Lord wouldn´t have put those prepared people in our path. It was really neat and so we met our goal of 3 baptismal dates.

September 24, 2013
“We did a lot of finding and we saw a bunch of miracles. Right now we have 3 people that we are preparing to be baptized on October 12. It´s super neat and I love being a missionary. We´ve been seeing a lot of miracles as we show our faith by talking with everyone, looking through members on the fringes of activity, and following the Spirit.

October 1, 2013
We saw a miracle by putting into practice the planning instruction given in zone conference. Whenever we had time without a set visit, or a visit fell through, we would open up our weekly planning page in our agenda and begin to pass by people who lived near. We went in order of the planning steps, fechas, investigators, conversos recientes, menos activos, members and then futuros. As we walked from piso to piso we followed the Spirit contacting at least 3 people between each pass-by. The miracles that 
we´ve been seeing are huge. Our contacts are more efficient, almost every time we pass by a 
less-active´s piso, there is nonmember friends visiting who we set up a return visit to cook brownies with haha. It´s been the most effective finding method I´ve ever seen. Last week we found 7 investigators who were in the houses of menos activos or conversos recientes that we passed by. You´ll never waste time by visiting fringe members.

Elder Smiley is by far the most fun companion I´ve ever had. He´s crazy! He´s an incredible missionary though, he really gets missionary work. He´s teaching me a ton every day and between the two of us I think our effectiveness as the Lord´s representatives is being augmented greatly. I love Elder Smiley and he´s a perfect companion. The first thing I taught him to say was, "My companion, Elder Wilkinson, is guapo."

October 7, 2013
“Conference was incredible wasn’t it?!? It’s a great opportunity to lift our faith and receive revelation from the Spirit, I love it. My question for general conference was, “How can I baptize 25 people in 25 weeks?” I felt two strong impressions from the Spirit. First, I will improve my teaching to be more persuasive. Second, I will “keep moving forward” and strive to become a more effective missionary and emulate the example of Jesus Christ. I loved general conference, it was a spiritual, uplifting experience for me. It has brought a greater level of spirituality to our companionship and Elder Smiley is shining with the Spirit. Elder Smiley is doing great, he is so focused on his purpose and loves the work. He’s learned much about fighting through disappointment and staying positive. I consider him one of my best friends and I’m honored to be able to serve by his side. My companion is a great man. 

Another neat miracle was something that came because Elder Smiley had an inspired thought. He said, “We should go wait at the church at 10:00 on Sunday morning in case someone forgets that it’s conference.” It was a great idea!!! We went to the church and waited there and at about 10:15 a guy walked in the door. He introduced himself and said he was interested in learning about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the Melkezidek Priesthood hahahah it was crazy! We started to teach him and we asked him how he found the church. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded in half pass-along card with nothing written on it, just the name of the church. He said that he’d used the card. I asked him how he’d found the church and he said, “We’re not in New York, it wasn’t hard to find.” Hahaha I was dying it was super great!”

I love Elder Wilkinson for loving my boy.  He comes home in April and we are set to go up to his homecoming!  "My companion is a great man."  What more could I ask for in a trainer for Dave, and my prayers have been answered because I was praying that he could keep Elder Wilkinson for another 6 weeks as his companion, and that is the way things will continue for another 6 weeks.  We have put up a map of Spain in our dining room, and we will identify each town that Dave is in and as we pray we pray for Dave to do well, but we also pray for the people of that town to be receptive to the gospel.  Maybe our prayers are being answered there as well, Dave seems to think the people of Bilbao are ready for the gospel.  2 Baptisms in 6 weeks and another slotted for Saturday.  

Gettin' wet in Bilbao October 14, 2013

Hola everyone. ¿Kaixo, zer mo dus? Everything is going well. I don´t have much time today because we have visitas cutting this day we call preparation. 
This week I went to Barcelona to get my residency card and it was bad. I got car (train?) sick the whole way. It was a 7 hour train each way. We did a lot of contacting and I did love that.
Ana Maria got BAPTIZED!!!!!! Jessica is going down this week and all we need is a firma from her parents! She´s got to get in the water! I just sent all you a letter with the little time I had today. Sorry I just don´t have enough time. I am sincerely sorry.
We have just seen all of these miracles and I can´t even explain. Bilbao is the most ready place for baptisms in Spain. It does help when I have Elder Wilkinson, Elder Ward, and Elder Archibald. Elder Archibald is just like I´m guessing Dad was. He is just a total champion, always wanting to baptize everyone and thinking of different ways to do it. We have thought of some new ideas to contact Spaniards, we just tell them we will grab a coffee or a drink sometime in a bar and they love it!
I am looking forward to this next transfer with Elder Wilkinson still (rumor was he was going to be transferred). It is super great and the weather hasn´t started getting too bad yet but it´s coming. Don´t worry mom I am ok. :) It is just amazing. I will send photos next week. I will hopefully (probably not) have more time. 

Elder Smiley

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fillin' the font, getting ready for "white" in Bilbao!! October 7, 2013

Last week the letter would not send so I almost freaked out. I hope you ended up getting it. We went to a less active house that we had set up a few days prior and they invited their whole family to come. Most of them were members but one of them was not. We were a little pouncing on him at the scene. He needs to be baptized! I think we will reactivate the 12 members of this family! Woop Woop!! Game on! Another funny thing about this family is that they keep their Libros de Mormon on a shelf right next to their alcohol cupboard. It makes me want to laugh every time we ask them to grab their scriptures. 
We have a new mission as Bilbao missionaries. There are approximately 130 members. We need to reactivate and baptize 60 people to split the ward. We are going to do it. Our goal is to baptize 20 people each month as a ward. Our ward is getting psyched about it. It is just getting everyone fired up about missionary work. Let´s go. All of your friends need to be baptized! I think we can do it! I know we can do it!
We just had one of our investigators pray after a Cita and said "Thank you for the opportunity for me to be baptized in your church" She is 16 and just loves it. She is so pumped to be baptized. Her questions have turned from, “Is the book of Mormon true?” to “Who is going to baptize me?” and “Who can come?” This is what we are here to do! The whole story with Jessica is we contacted her in a big park when she was smoking. I was a little skeptical but I went forward with faith. She didn´t think she needed to be baptized again, but she would listen to us.  This past week we found out from her that she felt something different about us and knew that she needed to quit smoking. She quit smoking without us telling her that she wouldn´t be able to do that. She is the best person in the entire world!
For a person to be baptized they need to come to church twice. We got a reference from a member and she agreed to come to conference and she went to 2 sessions and is getting baptized this Saturday. Woooooooooo! Pray for Jessica and Anna Maria this week with all your corazones please that everything goes well. Please! Please! Please! They need all of our help!
We were not able to see all of General Conference but we got to see the first 4. CAN YOU SEND ME THE ENSIGN WITH ALL THE TALKS IN ASAP?!? Apparently it doesn´t get to Spain for 3 or 4 months. wow. I loved the double “member missionary” talks. I think we are all getting fired up about missionary work. I think that everyone is starting to realize that everyone needs to be baptized. That they need to bring their friends to activities, church, and to the missionaries. President Pace told the members that this is your work and his missionaries are here to help them. 
Also the black guy that talked brought the fire! Holy! He needs to come to Bilbao and come on splits with me! 
Elder Bednar "Consider your ways, and repent." BOOOOOOM!!! Let´s go! Repent and baptized!
Funny thing happened the other day, I went up to a man and I asked how he was doing, He rudely responded, "What do you want?" I responded calmly and almost cheerful "I want you to be baptized into our church!" He was so barfunkled he just turned and walked away. I do love this work!
I always try to think of what Christ would say if he was in my spot. I know if someone cursed God or denied him he would not tell him "Oh well have a good day". I have realized it and we need to stand up for Christ and sometimes put them in their place. It just bugs me, but I definitely do not let them get me down. Like Dad said "Water off a ducks back." I use that so much. I have done my part and now it is their agency. I love the things that Dad taught me. So many talks in General Conference about picking yourself up by your boot straps and go! Suck it up you big baby, someone rejected you, now go baptize the next person in sight! Let´s go!

I love you all and love and feel the prayers you are sending my way! Thank you for the letters and packages. All of you send me those wonderful pictures of the place I used to call home.

Love you

Elder  Sonrisas