Monday, January 26, 2015

There is some more "white" in Valencia

What a relief. What a crazy week. People firing. People doing crazy stuff.
1. The baptism. She didn´t want anyone else there except the missionaries and Ricardo. We accepted and went with it because it was her desire. Elder Ward went early in the morning to fill up the font and make sure it would be hot enough for the baptism. When I touched the water I thought it was perfect. When Ricardo got in he said it was burning hot. She put one foot in then screamed. Crap. I went back and turned on the coldest water and there was Ricardo in the font and with his leg was mixing in the cold water. We all had a good laugh about it. It just makes me laugh.
2. Bernardo (Our Spanish man with a fecha) said he would only make it to church for sacrament meeting because he had a military thing to go to. So when sacrament comes around he walks in the chapel in full camo and military get up. That is dedication. He is good. I am growing to love him. He is a good man. I know that he will be a great member.
 Many of you ask me for weird stories that happen to me, well here one comes: 
3. It at the end of night and we were on our way to pass by one more person when this drunk man dressed in a bunny suit starts following us. I wouldn´t have been as scared but just as missionaries we probably can´t hit him so I started getting a bit nervous. We tried to get our distance until we arrived at the house we needed to. They didn´t answer the timbre for a while until he caught up to us. With him breathing down my neck I am touching the doorbell praying that they open. After just a few seconds they answered and we went up. What a strange man.
4.  Not so strange but just made me mad. We are teaching a family and the mom had a sister over. As we started teaching her the sister started screaming at us telling us that she was part of the reformed church and that her sister and family couldn´t meet with us. I tried my best to stay calm but I was so mad at her inside that she would do that. The good sister was saying that she wants to listen to us but the crazy sister was just screaming about what mom and dad had taught them. It was bad until the point came when we just had to leave. It was frustrating.
    Well here we go. Another week in the work of the Lord, I love this work so much. There really is nothing better than what we do. It makes me cry thinking that my time is already ending.
If you all would pray for Mayra, Bernardo and Jaki & Luis that all will be well.
I love these people so much.
Thank y´all for your prayers and love and support!
May God bless you all and may we all be lighthouses to those who need us.
Love y´all!

Élder Smiley
Dave only sent one picture, so I added one of my own.   Dave and other scouts playing"Freeze Out" during a rain storm!!

Another Good Day in Valencia

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Staying in Valencia!!

I stay in Valencia!!! The harvest continues!! (D&C 4)
Another week full of miracles, so many I don´t even know where to start. The normal amount of cancels, but we had so many people come through that it outweighed the bad. That made this week go just so well.
In December Elder Smith and I set the goal of 1 baptism in January thinking of how we had no one at that time that we were teaching. Now as the end of the month is approaching and we have found tons of great people and that Mayra is back on the baptism train and that this week we will accomplish our goal that we had set in complete faith. Boy am I excited. 
Mayra is doing very well and received her answer that the Book of Mormon is true this past week and is doing well.
We began teaching Bernardo, an old Spanish man that was taught about 3 years ago, and even if he is a bit different than the rest he accepts our teaching and accepted a fecha and is reading and praying. He has a fecha on the 7th of February.
Nicolas was a man found on Sunday night after a fired visit and we scheduled a  visit with him yesterday and he is very open and very receptive to all the things that we are teaching him. Elder Smith also led the lesson that we taught Nicolas, and it helped them both a lot.
Even if Elder Smith is pickier than Mark he really is rubbing off on me and I love him a lot. He is growing and growing in confidence in himself and in his teaching. He is a great missionary and a great companion!
Elder Edwards is going to train this next transfer so we will have a newbie in the piso! We are so excited. It is going to be a great transfer!
I will keep you all updated on all the miracles going on in Valencia!
I love all of you and thank you and thank you all for your prayers for me! What a blessing you all are for me!
If you could continue to pray for: Mayra, Bernardo, Nicolaus, Noris and Luis and family.
Love y´all!

Élder Smiley

Elder Smiley & Elder Perkis

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hitting stride in Valencia - might that mean it is time to transfer???

What an eventful week. This week was Reyes, which was equivalent of Christmas. (I´ll be completely honest this week felt like a month. I thought that Reyes was 2 weeks ago) Monday and Tuesday were a bit rough, but we just went hard right after. The Lord blessed us with 16 new people to teach. 16!!!!!!!!! Going from teaching 1 or 2 people during the holidays to teaching 18 or 19, what a blessing it has been. We are back on our horse. 
Elder Smith is Cody excited. Explain. When Elder Smith gets excited, for example on our way into a teaching visit or after a successful visit, he does the Cody thing with his hands. hahaha It makes me miss ya Code. You are missed. Then I laugh it off and do it with him.
We are now teaching a group of friends from Pakistan. (Side note: G pa and G ma Smiley did y´all serve in Pakistan or where on your mission?) Elder Smith is loving it!
Now we are on our way! We got back in contact with Mayra. What a weird miracle that was. As we were talking with someone coincidentally outside her piso, she came out and said I will be waiting to talk with y´all. We finished the contact then went to her piso. She had dorky doubts and Elder Smith goes hard in the paint with the Book of Mormon and explains how it resolves doubts. (Chapter 5 Preach my Gospel) She was like. ¨Well that does make sense¨ She´s back.
I am excited and a bit nervous with transfers coming up next week. I guess we´ll see.
I had a good interview with president and a great part of it was him asking me how my missionaries were doing and as we talked he said ¨I can´t get that information out of them. Elder Smiley that could be a future career. People would pay you to do that.¨ It completely caught me by surprise then we continued. Pretty funny.
We did find out who will be our new mission president coming this July (a week before I leave). Merril T. Datyon. If you get any information I would love to get it. We are excited but a lot more sad. We love the Paces. They are like my second parents. (behind the Stevens, Bennets, Paxton´s, Jenson´s, ect....) 
What a blessing it is to serve the Lord. D&C 15:6.
I love all of you!
If you would please include these people in your prayers: Mayra, Imbran, Michael, Noris, and Carlos.
Thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all so much.
A special thanks to cousin Jane for the letter!
I love all of you!

Élder Smiley

No photo from Dave, I will put my own in.  Look at "Little Smiles" on his first 50 miler!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Holidays are over, now we can get some missionary work done!!

Almost done with the festivals, that will be the biggest miracle of all. That is what I want most!
I loved seeing what Paps got for Scott and how he did it. That was pretty dang funny. The new years party even looked fun. During our new years I was still a bit out of it and so all the members we were with asked if I was dying. haha
This week we did see some great miracles
We had 2 miracles this week. We were passing by all the old investigators and we found out that one of them didn´t live there but Elder Smith was bold enough to ask if we could go up and testify. She let us up. Turns out the person that moved in was a less active and had just been writing in her journal about how this year she wanted to make a change in her life. She came to church on Sunday. Left with a family home evening planned with a member and has already read at least the first 7 chapters in the Book of Mormon. 
The second miracle was as we were passing by another old investigator’s home who wasn´t home, and as we were on our way out of the building I felt that we should touch one door. Elder Smith started the contact by complimenting him on the dorky decoration he had on the door. From that he let us right in with out much of an explanation. Inside was another less active who hadn´t been to church in years. He accepted our invitation to return and talk with him and help him return. What a blessing.
After this Tuesday we are done with all the holidays and it is full force missionary work! We are super excited for what is going to happen. I just see so much potential going into the new year, a great area, great member support, great potential baptisms. I think this week will be the best week of my mission to be completely honest. I truly am excited to see what the Lord is preparing for us for these next few weeks.
I have really learned HOW to trust in the Lord. I have also learned how small I really am and how much I really do depend on him and especially how much I depend on my companion. Elder Smith really is a huge support to me. He really is a blessing. I love him to death. Great man.
There will be people making the covenant of baptism and many in the year of 2015. This will be the greatest year of my mission.
I love all of you and thank you for your prayers and support that all of you give me. Let´s move together forward in faith and in the work!
Let´s go baptize the world!

Élder Smiley

This is Rony, our recent convert that helps us with everything