Monday, April 28, 2014

"DOUBLE DIPPER" on Saturday ..... Chance for a "TRIFECTA OF WHITE" next Saturday

BAPTISM!!!!!!!! BAPTISM!!!!!! Did I say that two times?
Oh because (In the words of Elder Wilkinson and Archibald) we had a double dipper!!!! It was incredible!!!! Wooohooooooo!!! Manuel went down down down!!!! In fact he asked me to baptize him and I got to baptize him forward because he couldn´t bend back. It was incredible!!!!
Jonathan was so excited to get baptized when we went to go pick him up he screamed back to his Mom and the other kids ¨Today I´m getting baptized!!!!¨ All the kids looked at him as he ran towards us and then to the church.
Church is going great. We had 40 people in church. I was talking to president after and he told me that last year the normal was 7 or 9 people in the church and a big group was 15 or something like that. Now the average is about 35 to 40. He said that we have worked our butt´s off and he is super pumped where this is going.
Another thing. Summer attendance! I think that most of the members have made situations possible to not work on Sunday, but if they have to work they can work in the afternoon. Miracles. Miracles. Miracles. The best part is that all of Elder Ponce and I´s converts come every week. It is the best! Stiven is already preparing for the Melckezidek (sue me) Priesthood. Mira

We also had a huge branch activity where we went to Es Grau. Beautiful!! Everyone loved it and it got a lot of people out that we can´t usually talk to.
The best story was last night this weird man wanted to talk to me alone and Alexander (remember he is the unmarried man with the kids baptized) was with me.   I didn´t understand a lot of what the weird man said, probably for the better, but Alexander said back to the man that if he messes with me that he will be in for a fist fight with him. haha
Then this lady who was an old investigator wanted to give us our Book of Mormon back and Alexander told her off. Said that we as missionaries are here for our salvation and this is how she treats us. It was super cool.
We are just seeing miracles and baptisms! I love it!
Prayer list.
Sole. Baptism this Saturday, the 3rd.
Deya and Mathew(wanted to wait for his sister). baptized the 10th. They can have a lot more dedication!
That we can find new investigators!!!!!! we need them

I love all of you and thank you for your prayers. I feel your love and support! Let´s go baptize the world!!!

Manuel's Baptism!!  Dave & Manuel got along so well he is sure that this is someone that he promised that he would find and share the gospel with!  What else would an old man and a young buck have in common??

Branch Activity


The Smiley Family went to SLC yesterday to hear Dave's trainer give his homecoming talk.  {the above mentioned Elder Wilkinson} It was an absolute blast!  He hunted him down before the meeting and introduced ourselves.  He lit up like a Christmas tree.  He saw Mark sporting a great big  smile and then commented that he smiled just like Elder Smiley.  

He had a story about training Smiles that he was planning to share, but since he knew we were there, he spent an inordinate amount of time introducing everyone to his favorite companion, Elder Smiley.   

Parent's Payday:  He mentioned that he was learning from Elder Smiley right from the first day of his mission!  On Dave's first day in the mission field they came back from "finding" and were doing some daily planning when Dave said to his trainer    "My Dad went to Japan {Elder Wilkinson remembered my mission location} and it changed his life, he is always talking about his mission.  My mission will be the most important thing that I do in my like, lets make it a good one." 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Just a regular week on the Island

This week was hard because we could not baptize because of this conference that we went to in Palma, but it doesn´t matter we´ll just keep moving forward. We worked like crazy this week for the little time we had in our area.
Here is the answer your question of the similarity of Easter between here and there? Not a thing! Everyone is Catholic and they get the whole week off of work and school. Then they all dress up like KKK people and hold up these scary images of saints and statues. It is super dark and scary! That is why we have been talking about how OUR church remembers Christ. It is a lot different, and it is also the purpose of the video #BecauseOfHim.  It was incredible! 
I had my interview this week and he said that I might stay even longer here in Menorca to keep the stability in the branch. I might be here on this rock for 7 1/2 months. Crazy!!!! He said that I should see this branch continue to grow. I´m not sure how I feel about it right now, but we´ll keep moving with it.
Then we listened to Elder Evans who scared me. He said that the time of contacting and door knocking is almost dead. I am looking at my tiny branch that is just coming back to life, and thinking that I can only go through them? This is something else! I don´t know how I feel about it, but we´ll keep going.
I thought it would be good to tell y´all how much we quote star wars. It is super funny. When we call one or the other we call each other gold leader and blue leader. When something good happens we say ¨transport 2 is away¨ I get a kick out of it!

We are just hoping for some big miracles! We are hoping for a “triple dipper” this weekend!!! Prayer list and Baptismal Dates:

26. Manuel, Mathew and Jonathon!
3. Sole.
10. Deya.

It is just going crazy here in Menorca!!! We need your prayers!!! Please and thank you!! I love all of you!!!!

Archeological wonderland Gramps!!  Over 2500 years old
Meditating in the Temple!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Not much of a setback! Look at the day the 26th will be!!!!

First things first. BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was great! Another baptism in Menorca!!! Darwin is the kid of the family that we found. The whole branch is getting fired up!!! The whole mission has heard about what is happening in Menorca. We have even heard word from other parts of Europe about what is happening here in Menorca. It is great!
Mom maybe you have seen this before in the catholic church but everyone dresses up like the KKK and walks around the street with their images and shrines. It is disgusting. It happened last night and the whole town was just going crazy about this thing. It made me sick.
Another thing to put into perspective. I was talking to one of our best members Alejandra about where she works and what she does and she told me she works in a hotel tourist thing where she helps people in her hotel get to their destinations and cleans all the rooms for this hotel. I was thinking about all the times we were in Mexico or in California and the cleaning lady, just the humble lady she is, could be the strongest member in her branch or ward. The next time we go traveling I am going to think about that.
For the baptism what did the family cook for us. They cooked Shrimp and clams! I just thought about the story of Dad and the octupus and I choked that stuff down. It was great. We sure did have a good laugh about it in piso after.
Manuel bore his testimony in church yesterday and said that he now knows after all this time that it´s all true! The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, Everything!
Darwin also bore his testimony in testimony meeting and invited everyone that is not baptized to be baptized ASAP. He said how great his was and he wants everyone else to have it too.
This week another 70 is coming to the mission. Elder Evans! We are super excited especially because he is only coming to the islands! It is great!
For the most part it has just been great. The branch is growing. People are moving around. People want to be baptized. IT is great!

Prayer list:
Manuel. Baptized the 26th. His date was the 26th. Sorry for not explaining that.
Mathew and Deya. Baptized the 26th. Brother & Sister to Darwin
Jonathon. Baptized the 26th.
Rufina and the tribe. Figure out the marriage issue and be baptized.
Alexander and Mariana. Married then baptized.

I love you all and thank you all for your help and your prayers. I feel your love and your support. Let´s go baptize the world!

Élder Smiley

Alexander & Mariana, Deya & Mathew, and Darwin in White

Missionary Setbacks...

This week was super hard to be disappointed with all the miracles that have happened but we hit some bad news. The family of 5 we are teaching is not married. It hit us like a blind sided linebacker. I didn´t even think about it. Everyone wants to be baptized still, but the husband has had a super bad experience with marriage in the past and now he doesn´t want to be married. You can see it in the eyes of the rest of the family how much it hurts. It was a heart breaker for Elder Ponce more than it was for me. I am honestly not sure what to think. It has been blocking my capacity to think for the whole weekend. I don´t know if God wants us to baptize the kids then wait for the parents, or have a family baptism in a few weeks if/when the father comes around. If you could pray for me to receive the revelation to know what to do with that. 
Now to good news. Manuel wants to be baptized! After a visit with President Pace and reading 85 gosh dang pages in the Book of Mormon he said it´s time. The man is a champion and Satan is attacking him from all sides but he is just pushing through. I really do love him. He is one of them, the people that I was supposed to come to Menorca and baptize. I am sure of it!
The mother of a less active wants to be baptized. All she needs is her answer and she is down in the water. I am very excited for that baptism!
We have been talking with the mother of Jose and she wants it. I haven´t heard it out of her mouth but she wants the church bad. She has been through a lot and she needs it. I am super excited to start with her.
The same member brought another friend to church and we have started teaching him and he loved General Conference and is already reading the Book of Mormon.
Oh it was transfers week and Elder Vargas left and Elder Neumiller is training too.   There is a lot of young blood here on the isla. 
I was talking with Elder Neumiller the other day after telling him about how much the Lord has blessed us with all these miracles, and he told me that he remembered all the nights I came home with Elder Alder and asked ¨I don´t know what I am going to do?¨ He said the Lord is paying off his debt for all the hard times that have passed.

We´re going hard into April and we are hoping for some serious miracles and I really need your prayers this month because this is the do or die month for Menorca. This is the ¨warm before the storm¨ (like dad would say). We´ve got to baptize everyone!

Prayer list:
1. Alexander and Mariana. Marriage and Baptism
2. Darwin, Deya, Mathew. Kids of Alexander and Mariana   Baptism
3. Rofina. Keep reading and praying and understand her answer from God. 19th.
4. Manuel. Keep reading and praying. Baptism 26th.
5. Soly. Accept baptismal date. Find time to see us. Follow her son.
6. Jonaton. Read. pray. be baptized. Accept a date.

I love and pray for all of you! I thank you for your prayers and support. Let´s go baptize the world!

Élder Smiley

Go baptize someone today

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Life is grand on the Island of Menorca, even the Mission President wants to be here!!

President Pace came to Menorca, we obliged with a baptism!!
BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Miracles!!! This week was so long and so hectic and so crazy but ended with the biggest miracles of my mission! 

Remember when I got here there was 7 members in the church. I was super depressed. Everything hit the fan. No one was progressing. I think all those trials have been paid for, Miracles, Miracles, Miracles!!!!
This week we had 55 people in the church!! President got up to preside and started to cry. Hermana pace cried. Heck, I even cried. No one has ever seen that many people in the church here in Menorca, ever! We had 12 investigators in the church! It´s moving!! Everything is trucking right along!!! We have 6 fechas for the 12 of April too!!! 

President Pace came this week to see what we have been doing here because of all this success. He is very proud of us and put out a shout out to all the mission. The assistants told us that we are the beacon of hope to the mission.

President told our investigator family that he wants to see their baptism. He is going to try and book a flight the morning of the 12th and still make it back for a meeting for the evening. Everyone is super excited!!! 

The branch has life!!! We are El Faro and this is what we do!

I have to read this book called ´adapting to missionary life¨ because I´m training and this week I read a line that said ¨write your family every week and don´t forget big events or birthdays.¨ That is when I remembered that it was mom´s birthday yesterday! I flipped! I totally forgot! The whole piso said that mom was going to kill me. I´m sorry mom!!! Thanks family for reminding me in every email!
Elder Wilkinson went home today. What the? What happened to time? I hate this.

Prayer List:
Alexander and family: Baptism the 12th. 
Rofina: Baptism the 12th.
Soly: can follow the example of her son and be baptized.
Manuel: Just get in the water already!

Élder Smiley
Go baptize someone today

Our investigator family bought us soccer jerseys when they found out our favorite teams!!!