Monday, June 29, 2015

Missionary work never ends!

What a week we had!
This Tuesday was a holiday called San Joan. It was like the 4th of July but it reminded me a lot more of like D-day. Here few fireworks are pretty. Here the goal is noise and explosion. It was a warzone all night!!! Coming home and crossing the big plaza to make it to the bus we were walking through the battle zone. We made a war zone video in piso just to display the madness. It was fun in the end.
Story time. I get a call Thursday afternoon telling me a friend of the hermanas who they met that day would be getting baptized this Saturday. Extatic as I was we went to the chapel to do the interview. She was so prepared and incredible! Iris. I then had to go on another intercambio in Barcelona (story will be told later) when they had the baptism. It all went smooth and great. That night her sister, Anti Mormon, calls all the family of Iris and tells them what happened and tells them all to hate on Iris. When she woke up Sunday morning she had a bunch of texts saying that she was dumb, psycho, etc.
She didn´t end up coming to church and the Hermanas were freaking out. They call me crying. I don´t know what to do. They went and resolved it all while I was in church so I am a happy man. Iris will be confirmed next week and all doubts are resolved. Satan is working hard so we work harder.
Intercambio. I got to Barcelona and Elder Moyano tells me, ¨We have no visits today. You ready to contact?¨ For almost the entire day we were on the streets in that incredible heat talking with the whole world. When we sat down on a bench to teach someone she said that her legs were being burnt through her dress. The madness! We got back to piso more wet then I was getting out of the shower that morning.
There was a wedding this week in the church. It was the ward mission leaders daughter and plus a lot of our friends wanted to go so we went to go help. Almost all the extended family was present and none were members. It was almost a testimony meeting about eternal families. Isn´t that interesting, I was quite surprised at how they turned a wedding into a missionary moment.
Great progress just no one is on fecha right now.
Doris came to church with Girard and Allison! Boom!!! Miracle!
Maria Jesus came to church. She loved it so much she said she was going to come every week!
tons of miracles and tons of blessings!
Could you please pray for Joy, Mari Carmen, Doris & Girard & Walter & Allison, and Maria Jesus.
Thank you for your love and support. We´ve got to go to work!
Love y´all!!

Élder Smiley
Didn't even get wet!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Is this the same boy I sent out? No he is now a man!

I´m going to go all over in this email because this week was all over.
We learned about the importance of members, obedience, testimonies of the Book of Mormon, and sacrificing.
Members. This week we had the family of Walter, Doris, Allison, and Girard over for two FHEs. One on Friday night and one on Saturday night. Maribel and Juan helped with the one on Friday and Senia and Xenia helped on Saturday. Because of those 2 FHEs the whole family is moving like a full freight on the baptism train. The parents are not married so we are trying to help the kids right now and help the parents start the marriage process. Girard asks to be baptized and Allison loves going to mutual. Members or die.
Obedience. I recalled 2 stories because of experiences this week about the topic of obedience. First was Dad at the foot of Kings peak when he said to us 12 year olds (lost and not knowing what to do) ¨When I say jump you say....¨ Kalin Olsen said, ¨How high!¨ Then Papa John said ¨Well yes that´s how the phrase goes but you just jump!¨ The other story is when Adam was asked why he was doing sacrifices by the angel he said ¨I know not save the Lord commanded me.¨ After that the angel explained to him the why. As missionaries or members we have to remember that sometimes the prophet, our bishop, our leaders ask us to do things and we might not see the whole picture or the whole why but we still JUMP! I´ve learned that our parents and leaders have been where we were and they know better. So just JUMP! 
After having had a visit with Salvatore we had a visit with a less active family. We invited Salvatore to come with us. He accepted and came with a big smile on his face. We talked about the importance of having a testimony of the Book of Mormon. When I passed it to him. He said something along these lines ¨When I met with the missionaries I had lots of doubts and very distinct beliefs but when I finally read and prayed and asked if the Book of Mormon was true that was when it all changed. I now know this is the true church.¨ What a good man he is. He is a changed man!
I can´t wait for him to get married so he can be baptized. It doesn´t look like it will happen in my time but he will help the church.
The church here in Sabadell is not close. Not even a little. If you have to go in public transportation it is about 1 hour and a half. (1 hour if you know how to work the system). Many members and non members are complaining about the distance that they have to or would have to travel to get to church. Then there was a comment from a recent convert with a strong testimony that said ¨If we love the church and desire the sacrament we´ll sacrifice for it¨ I couldn´t agree more. A blessing it is to have it close in Utah but a great blessing to sacrifice and show the Lord your willingness every Sunday when it is a trial of faith to go to church which is no longer 3 hours but 6 because of travel. 2:30p.m.-8:30 p.m.
What a great week and what a great church and what a great God.
If you would please pray for Joy, Salvatore, The family of Walter and Doris, and Maria Jesus.
Thank you so much for your many prayers and your much sacrifice in my behalf. I love all of you and thank you!
Let´s go to work!

Élder Smiley

Monday, June 15, 2015

Great week in Spain, what will the country do without Smiles!!

What a great week topped off by an incredible Preparation day in the woods. I led us out until we got lost then we bush wacked our way back to civilization. It reminded me of the time that Tate and I did that wicked hike and ended up in Payson but we still made it to Family night at the movies on time. I miss the good ole hiking experience.
Boy do I have some stories for y´all this week.
The miracle of the week was church. Earlier this week we had invited one of our friends to come to church. She doesn´t have a phone and I was just hoping and praying she would just remember to come. When we came, about 30 minutes early, I saw the lights were off in the sacrament room. I went in and turned the lights on when I saw Asunción sit up on the back row. She had come early and was taking a nap. I was so happy and we all got a good laugh out of it.
Joy. She has a baptismal date this weekend but she got kind of cold feet yesterday before church. I don´t think she thinks she is prepared. When she gets baptized she is going to have to leave her whole old life behind. Smoking, boy friend, everything! She is progressing so well. (Side nudge to mom) The 5 gum you sent me we gave to her so that every time she is tempted to light one up she just pops a stick of Chiclet. She is constantly chewing gum now which we are super grateful for!
We showed up at a visit this week and the person had invited her pastor to come. It was very interesting how we invited the spirit; complimenting on the house, quiet calm prayer, bearing testimony, and how he drove the spirit that we had brought away; Screaming halleluya, raising his voice in his teachings, saying bad things about people in the room and out, screaming in his prayer.
I know we are in the true church.
I learned this week that the law of consecration is for real. There have been side effects to people to people I know here that are not living the law of consecration. We have literally promised to give our all to him. That is what we need to do and that is how we will make it to the celestial kingdom.
Statistics of R.M.´s that President gave us. (These might be good for the priests)
80% of sealed males are R.M.
75 % of Stake Presidents are R.M
2/3 of bishops and Elders Quorum are R.M.
(Patience) If a young man serves a mission in three generation there are likely to be 18-20 active adults of his posterity.
If that young man does not serve a mission in three generation it is likely that .8 people are active adults in the church. (maybe not the person himself)
I love all of you and  I ask that you please pray for Joy as she prepares for her baptism this week.
It will be a true miracle when she is baptized!
Thank you for your prayers and support. You are all so great and are helping the kingdom of God expand!

Let´s go to work!

Elder Alder(current companion) is in the "gumball" shirt, Elder Ganowski(previous greenbean) in red shirt

Loved to get into the forest on P-day this week

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fun Letter -- Fun P-Day

What a crazy week. Lots of lessons taught but not a lot of progression. Lots of craziness all around. Here are just a couple of the high lights:
Mari Carmen brought 2 friends to church on Sunday and they arrived just a tad bit late and walked in looking as lost as 3 cave men at the Apple store. It was pretty good how the members helped them to a seat and got them comfortable. What a miracle she has been for the ward and for us. They are all just a great miracle for the ward. I think they helped a bunch getting the fire under the seat to get us a ward mission leader. We will have one by next week. That is necessary!!!!!!
In that same testimony meeting on Sunday a member got up and shared a rather tragic story how her brother in law had swung and hit her with an axe on the head and how she was grateful that Jesus was protecting her. That was when I put my head in my hands and said ¨this is no longer a testimony meeting´. Welcome to a ward full of recent converts. I love it!
Salvatore came to church again. He is great! We are trying to set him up so that he can be baptized before I leave. I love that man with all my heart!
This week we also helped Mari Carmen clean off her balcony. That thing was nasty. This may seam weird but I missed that. Doing random chores with the boys and dad. Those were such good times. I never thought that I would miss getting dirty and working but it happened. ha We just didn´t have time after to go get ice cream.
We felt the need to go knock a building of a former friend that we had previously been teaching. WE felt that the Lord was preparing someone around her. Right when we got to the building the door was opened and then I closed it. I then heard someone outside so I opened the door so they didn´t have to pull out their keys. Just about gave this lady a heart attack as I opened the door. She had been prepared by the Lord. She had been looking for the true church and had resorted to some church. It´s all good with her. Her name is Loana.
Would you please unite with me and pray for Salvatore, Joy, Girard & Allison, Loana, and Asunción.
Thank you all! I thank you all for you love and support. I hope that you have Angels supporting you in all that you do!
Love y´all!

P-Day is for being a tourist!!

These are the boys whose hands the future of the church is in?
Élder Smiley

Monday, June 1, 2015

It's White in Barcelona!!

BAPTISM!!!!!!!!! Three baptisms in our district!!!! When I was talking with Pte. Pace in the train station on transfers and told him about all the baptisms he told me that he would be there unless someone had 4. I love that man so much!
Mari Carmen. She is not the smallest person on the planet and she was very nervous bless her heart. Right when she got in the font she grabbed Elder Alders arm (clenched his arm, he appeared to have lost circulation) and started to baptism herself. I love her so much. It took us a few times (five to be exact) to get her baptized but we did it! What a giant blessing! She asked me to do the confirmation and I had never felt so good about doing a confirmation before to be completely honest. The words just soured from my mouth. I really realized and put into words just how important the Holy Ghost was for me and how it could be for her in her life. I thought it was well done.
Salvatore. Oh how I love that man. We visited him early this week and we talked about his conversion. He had missed a couple of Sundays and I was getting a bit nervous. At the end of the lesson we asked him to share his testimony after ours. he bore a simple and incredible testimony about how he knew that the church was lost and restored through José Smith. What a miracle! That is the first strong testimony I´ve heard from one of my friends before a baptism.
The family (Walter, Doris, Allison, Girard). Allison is coming consistently to mutual (something that two thirds of the youth don´t do) and her and Girard came with us to church and loved it. Walter worked and Doris had to help but it was awesome! they loved it and I loved it too. The reason they are still talking with us is because of the members. What a blessing the members are. We have incredible members and soon enough we should have a ward mission leader. Boom!!!!! This family has taught me just how important the member missionary work is. It´s the only way!!
Mari Carmen then brought her friend to church on Sunday. Our Gospel principles class, which usually has about 5-7 in attendance, had about 20 people. Those are the fruits of missionary work.
What a blessing that was!
I had to do 2 of the baptismal interviews that were baptized on Saturday and I tell you what, those things take it out of you. It´s like a constant spiritual search to make sure this person is ready and it´s hot and I was fasting. I felt and looked like a gosh dang zombie. haha
What a blessing it was to have had a great baptismal service with three of our friends making covenants with our Heavenly Father. I love this work and I love these people. If you would please pray for these friends of ours that they can get closer to baptism and/or  endure to the end. Thank you and Love you!
Thank you for your prayers and love towards me and my friends! I feel your love and presence.
Love you all!

Élder Smiley

Mari Carmen's Baptism