Letters & Emails from Elder Smith. Marshall has been called to serve in the Arizona Tempe Mission.

Letters and Emails from Elder Smith. Marshall has been called to serve in the Arizona Tempe Mission.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Transfer, Training, and District Leader...Goin' to YUMA!

I got this from a member the other day!  Happy Mommy!!

9 Sept 2013

Well we got transfer calls this morning.... I will be going to a new area and I will be serving the Lord and other missionaries as a district leader and will be training another new missionary at the same time. So white wash, district leader, trainer. Talk about fun...not so much. Well actually it is really fun once you get there and start working, but I am really nervous right now. White washing is kinda scurry to me. Along with that I don't really know how to be a district leader. I guess I will just FTS (follow the spirit) and do what I can to serve.

As for the investigators. Not a lot of progress except with one lady who we found this week. She was a referral from the visitors center. She is dating a member that is less active but wants to come back to activity. We called her on Wednesday and set up a lesson for Thursday night. We had to go on splits that night so Brother K.(WML) and I went and taught. She is a really kind lady. We extended the date of September 28th for baptism and she accepted. She has been reading to Book of Mormon. It is just neat to see how the Lord has prepared people already we just need to invite. 

As for everyone else it has been pretty slow and we have had a lot of cancellations this week. What can you do? It was still a good week though. 

That was pretty much all this week. As for the pictures, I would be ecstatic if you could put them back on a memory card and send them back :) But don't be doing that anytime soon because I dont know where I will be living. Yuma would be kind of fun. I wouldn't mind going back to Gilbert either. We will see and I will let you know next Monday.

I am excited for Hayden and all his med school business. Really exciting. And it sounds like Christian is adjusting well back to normal life :) Now it is time for him to get married :) I would like to be an uncle when I get home :) 

I love you all!! Sorry it is short!


Elder Smith

16 Sept 2013
Well so everything is going good in Yuma. We only cover one ward and the work is pretty much non existing. There are no investigators and no potential investigators. We are basically starting from scratch. But its whatever. Been doing a ton of street contacting. 

My comp is from Moore ID. Near Arco. He just graduated. He is doing good. Just tired all the time, which is understandable because it is a new way of life and very tiring. I remember it.

The size of Yuma is about 100,000. There are 6 sets of missionaries in actual Yuma and then another 5 sets around the area. Foothills and somerton and san luis. ask Gma and gpa about it. 

Sorry this email is so short, but we really don't have like anything going in the area right now. We are working on it. Mom I have a bday present I am trying to get mailed but with transfers and all it has been a little chaotic. Sorry!!

The blog you can keep updating but i will be doing fb. You can link the blog with your fb if you want but I probably wont be.

Good to hear that Hayd and Chris are working hard!! And yes my Spanish is  definitely getting tested everyday. 

As for K. I love that kid to death. I was praying at every transfer that I would get to be his comp. Please do keep him in your prayers. He taught me alot and I will def be hanging out with him after the mish. 

Well I love you all

Elder Smith

Still Havin' FUN!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

I didn't get transferred & So Many New Invesigators We Must Be Criminals

 5 August 2013

Soooo after I emailed last week the AP's called like 5 hours later and said that I was staying in Maricopa and Elder B. was leaving. So I am still at the same address but training.  My new comp is Elder J. He is 18. Just graduated in June. We get along super well.  I get along with Elder J. great! He is from SLC. Family of 10. Plays bball and vball. 

The work is really slow right now. After N. and Sis K. and the E. family getting baptized that was pretty much our teaching pool. We have been tracting and biking a lot looking for people to talk to and teach. I feel bad being a trainer in this area because there is not that much work here so it is hard to get Elder J. teaching and learning because we don't teach a lot right now. I'm not to worried though because from the lessons that we have had he seems to know his stuff and will do great as a missionary. 

The one progressing investigator that we do have is named A. He is 17 and is related to our WML. He has been coming to church for about a month and we have taught him twice. He was on date for the 3rd but felt a little pressured, so he wants more time to read and pray for an answer. He does want to be baptized though. So we will keep teaching him and help him receive an answer.

About the tech stuff we haven't really heard anything. We do have a member of the 70 coming to visit the mission. Elder Craig A Cardon. My hope is that he brings some big boxes with iPhones and iPads.

Sounds like all is well back home. Chris deserves some fun after a summer at the golf course. That place can be muckduck (The Office (Dad dont say anything)) 

I love you all and the mission is the greatest time of my life. Wouldn't change it for the world!!

Elder Smith  

12 August 2013
This week has been off the chain!! On Tuesday we got a call from a lady that is a member somewhere in AZ and told us that her sister, V., is going through some hard times and has to move and could use some help. We went to V's house and helped her move across town for like 3 hours. Then the next day she needed some more help so we went and helped for another hour or so. V came to church on Sunday and loved it and then we taught her a lesson at the RSP's home and she accepted the invitation to be baptized, but Elder J. and I both felt as though we would wait until our next lesson to extend a date. 

Then last Sunday this lady that Elder B. and I had talked to about a month ago decided to come to church out of the blue. When we first talked to her she was a wreck. She was being evicted and going through a divorce and a ton of other stuff all at once and didn't really want to talk at the time so we left her with a mo dot o card with the address of the church and the time. Out of the blue she came last week with her 4 kids. Sacrament meeting was fine but when primary came along she didn't want her kids to be split. So our potential investigator (D.) just took her kids and left. Elder J. and I decided we should stop by and aplogize for the rough experiance. Turns out when she answered the door she was aplogizing to us leaving. After all was said we set up a lesson. When we went by for the lesson the first thing she tells us is that she is gay. We had a good talk about the churchs' stance on that and she wasnt mad or anything. She actually knew from reading the Bible. So that was good. The lesson went well. She didn't come to church yesterday though which was a bummer. She is still in a rough situation finacially. 

And then yesterday we had a part member family come to church. She wife is the nonmember and at church we set up a lesson for that evening. We taught the wife and the husband who hasn't been to church in 10+ years. The wife got really emotional about learning more and wanting to be baptized. She is on date for the 24th of August. Pretty cool.

And then we also had a nonmember couple come to church for no reason. They just saw the church building and wanted to see what it was like. We have a lesson with them on Thursday. That will be awesome.
I hope Dad is reading this and realizing that I am trying to use correct spelling and punctuation so I don't get to out of it :) I hope everyone is enjoying life because that is all we need to do. Don't stress about anything Mom. I never did and I still graduated high school. Hold your comments about that because I know you have some :) 

Sounds like all is going good at home. That is good to hear. I love you all and hope things continue to go well!!

Elder Smith

Monday, July 29, 2013

Oh Transfers...

29 July 2013

Two weeks in a row...I'm on a roll!-Deb

Welllll last night we got transfer calls..... and once again I will be whitewash training. I just want to be with a companion for more than six weeks and in an area for like six months so i can really get into the work and get some stuff going. Maricopa has been awesome though. Only here for 4.5 months but it was really successful and I loved every second of it. This whole mission thing really teaches me how I need to align God's will with mine. I don't want to be transferred. I will miss Elder B. I will miss Maricopa, but I know that Heavenly Father has more in store somewhere else. Somewhere I need to be to learn and grow so I will go and do. Hopefully I will learn and do what I am supposed to do in the new area. And I will be training again. I do like training. It's fun. So far after I got trained I have been a trainer. I hope it continues like that because I really like new missionaries. They are so gung ho about the work and it us super fun.

As for N. he got baptized on Saturday. It was a really cool service. His girlfriend and her family made it down and the dad did the baptizing and confirming. The spirit was super strong during the confirmation. Really incredible. 

We also started teaching a 17 year old boy on Friday who has come to church 3 times with his friend. He accepted the baptismal date of Aug 3. So another baptism this weekend. Too bad I wont be there. oh well.

Aside from that it has been alot of trying to find. We got a few referrals so hopefully something good will come of those. 

On Friday we had a visit to make but since it is the end of the month we are almost out of miles for our car so we had to bike like 20 miles to go make this visit in what felt like the worst head wind of my life. It sucked so bad and my butt hurt soooo bad after that. but it was an adventure so it was good. We have been working with a lady that got excommunicated a few years ago and decided she wanted to come back to churhc. She is doing really good and is really working hard on doing whats right. She is still trying to quit smoking but that will come. What is even cooler is to see her 15 year old son getting really excited to start coming back to church and reading the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. It sounds like he is preparing for a mission now. Super cool. I am going to miss Copa'. 

How is all back home? Sounds like everything is going good. I hope you all are doing well.

Well I love you all and pray for you


Elder Smith

Monday, July 22, 2013

We Keep It Poppin' Like a Needle in a New Balloon

22 July 2013

Well I haven't got the letter with the tweezers yet so I haven't heard what happened with the CRV! That looks crazy! I hope everyone is okay. Especially Brooklyn... and mom too :) Love you mom!!!

Well last week was pretty good. We have been teaching a lot of lessons because while we are tracting or street contacting we just start teaching adn people are usually willing to listen right on the spot and they have questions and stuff but when we try to set up appointments that is where the interest ends. Its weird.
Anyway so on Monday we were going to this house and there was a lizard on the door way arch thing but it was to high to grab so my instincts kicked in and i took my planner and threw it at the lizard and it came flying down in the air and i caught it and it was awesome. that was Monday's highlight. Tuesday was just tuesday. Wednesday we were walking to a few different houses and it is around 8:30 so it is dark and there arent any street lights in Maricopa because it just became an official city in 2008 and if its not a city there doesn't have to be street lights to it is really dark in the neighborhoods. So anyway we were walking and someone yelled at us but we looked around and couldn't see anyone and then they yelled again and we saw this big guy in the shadow smoking and he told us we needed some visibility. So we started talkin to him (his name is D.) and found out that he had this experience when he was younger that when he was leaving a bar a security guard came up to him and told him that he should leave and it would be in his best interest. so he left and then i guess something bad happened at the bar that night and D. told us that the security guard was Jesus. Interesting. Then he told us that he believed that with all the stem cell research going on that in the next 20 years people would be able to go to a Circle K and get a new heart for 20 bucks and be all better. Interesting guy. we have a lesson with him tomorrow. 

Thursday we had Zone Conference. We had training from the zls, the apes, and President and Sister Toone. They are from somewhere in UT. I think they have 8 kids. President is, as he says, "Five foot, twenty four inches." He is 7 feet tall. When we hug him its like hugging a tree. Crazy. But he is cool and chill and i think we are going to get along good. 

As for investigators N. is still good for the 27th. We sat down with his mom and addressed her concerns which was more that N. was just doing this for his gf. She is just worried that he is going to get baptized and then not follow through. Which I am glad that she is worried about that because hopefully she will push him to go to church functions and such. N's gf and family are coming down from UT for the baptism and the dad is doing the baptizing. gonna be awesome. 

That is pretty much it for this week. good week. Looks like mom and brooke had an adventure. looking forward to hearing about that. Love you all and hope you are doing wonderful!!


Elder Smith

15 July 2013

Whats goin on in the Tri Cities? Looks like you guys are having a ton of fun! The only downside for you is that AZ is way better!  Man working with Elder B. is so much fun and we work so well togethter that when we are teaching everything just flows. Contention really is Satan's way. I've noticed the difference when you go into a lesson with not the greatest of feelings toward your companion and the lesson is just ehh. But when you are on the same page and get along everything really does just flow and the spirit is there soooo much more strong.  We don't have a ton going on right now. 

N. is still looking good to get baptized on the 27th. His gf and her family are coming down for the baptism and her dad is going to do it. That should be really exciting. Aside from that we have been doing a ton of different finding ideas. We are organizing a church tour and made flyers and handouts and everything so hopefully that will be successful and there will be a good turn out. We also have been doing a fair amount of tracting. Not alot of people are outside right now considering it is 110+ almost everyday so we have been going to them. It has actually been going better than I thought. I like tracting :)

Yesterday I realized how cool it is to let your tongue be loosed and let the spirit direct what you say. David A Bednar gave a talk addressing worries about whether thoughts are of the spirit or not and he said, "Don't worry about it." That is something I am working on. We talked to a guy yesterday and taught him about the restoration. He brought up some concerns and without hesitation I just started talking not really knowing what I was saying and he totally understood and we scheduled another lesson with him. Super cool experience. I love being on a mission and seeing all these miracles happen all the time. I don't know how people live without the gospel in their lives. It truly is amazing.

 Well Im glad you all had an awesome week! I love you all!!!!


Elder Smith

Fresh to the death like we're drowning in Febreeze

8 July 2013

This week was LEGIT. Sister K. got baptized and confirmed this weekend. It was awesome. One of the best baptisms I have ever attended. The spirit was super strong and awesome. So that was a treat. 

N. was supposed to get baptized on July 13 but didn't get to church on Sunday so that is kind of frustrating because he says he wants to be baptized and all but just isn't coming to church. Really cool kid though. He is 15 or maybe 16 (when we asked him he said he forgot so he would ask his mom) but his gf lives in UT and is a member and so at first we thought he was just a victim of the 14th chapter of Preach my Gospel, "Flirt to Convert." After talking to him a few times we found out that may be part of it but he really does want to change and is a good kid. Our WML Bro B. was a teacher at the middle school and now principal but is really surprised to see how much he has changed in the last year or two. He is a great kid!

We are also working with a lady that got excommunicated a few years ago and wants to come back to church. After we read a chapter of the Book of Mormon she had a bunch of thoughts about how baptism should be later than the age of 8 so that people can mess up and then just be baptized later and BAM. Clean. So everything addressed back to her testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. One awesome thing is that she has a super strong testimony of the priesthood and that is way cool to see. I love being able to help people build their testimony through the Holy Ghost testifying to them and telling them of truths. 

Oh we also called M. this week who has pretty much turned into an eternal investigator. Anyway we went over to her house to give her a blessing because life has been hard for her. So we sit down and she starts talking to us about how hard her life is and how she would much rather be on the cross and doing what Christ did because that is nothing compared to what she was going through. So we sat there and the spirit just told me to interrupt her and I literally told her to stop talking and that she didn't know what she was talking about. After I explained what Christ did and how He knows exactly what we are going through and what He did is FAR harder than anything we will ever go through. After I was kind of worried about what she would say but she didn't really say anything and then changed the subject. She wasn't mad or anything because I know that the Holy Ghost testified to her of the truthfulness of the atonement. Really cool to see.

Well life is good here. The heat sucks but all else is well. thank you for the package. Oh I meant to ask for another pair of tweezers. Some how mine fell out and are gone and they always come in handy!! Thanks for everything and all the support!! 

Elder Smith

It's been awhile since I've updated, but here's the highlights of what's happening in the ATM (Arizona Tempe Mission)

1 July 2013

Oh family what a week.  Super duper hot. I  don't think I have ever sweat soooo much. everything is just sweaty all the time. its super fun. the up side is that people feel bad and let you in for some water and you can talk to them that way. So the work is going really good. Sis K. is getting baptized this week by her husband and it is gonna be ballin'. And we have another kid on date for the 13 of July. He is a good kid that has made some really cool changes for a kid his age. He is 15 and wants to change his life in many different ways. The only problem is that he is 15 and forgets about appointments and stuff. But that is okay. we are just going to keep working with him and making sure we keep in touch with him alot. Besides that we dont have a ton of other investigators. We have been doing alot of work with less actives, but the ward that we were doing all that work in got taken from us so now we only cover two wards. Kind of a bummer but its going to be good for the ward because with conflicting church times they will now be able to get the missionaries more and have the work they deserve. 
We went out scorpion hunting with a member last week and caught these huge fat scorpions. they are legit. I will send pictures. They are so big that they eat the lizards. CRAZY. And also last night was the first Haboob (dust storm). It was pretty cool but wasnt to bad. but EVERYTHING is dusty now. so that was interesting.
Glad to see everything back home is going good. I hope all is going well and that you are all looking for missionary oppurtunities. They are everywhere!!

Elder Smith 

24 June 2013

What a good week. Transfers was this week as you know. I got a brand new greenie :) His name is Elder B. He is from Cheney!! And he is AWESOME. We get along great. Its gonna be an awesome transfer. So anyway this week has been great. Elder B. is a great missionary and is going to do great as he learns the mission life and learns the lessons and everything. So we had this one lesson with this lady that we taught when I was in a trio. At the end of the first lesson that happened in April we invited her (Sis K) to be baptized. She said that she had already been baptized. At three months out I didn't really know what to say but the other two elders I was with kind of didn't handle it to great. They told her it wasn't really valid and didn't mean anything. Well that didn't sit well with Sis K because even a baptism done without the priesthood is still a big commitment to some people and it really meant a lot to her when she got baptized. So she didn't have us back for a while. Well about two weeks ago we were blessed to have another lesson with her and this time it went wonderfully. When she brought up that she had been baptized we told her how that must have been a wonderful experience and how it is still a great commitment to follow the Lord but explained that the priesthood authority is still necessary. She understood. Her and her husband (a member) came to the broadcast and at the end her husband thanked us for our persistence and she asked when she could be baptized. This just shows how the Lord is preparing people everyday. Even if their first experience with missionaries isn't great they still know in their hearts that something is missing. So that was my spiritual thought for the week. 

Now a funny thought. So Elder B and I were walking/tracting and we came upon a little baby lizard. So we proceeded to catch it. Once we caught it we didn't know what to do with it so I put it in a little pouch in my backpack to take home and raise and feed and stuff. This was about 6:30. So we kept tracting and then went to our lesson at 8. We went in a talked to the family. As they got up to go get their scrips I reached in my backpack to get mine. Well somehow the lizard had got out of the little pouch and into the main part. So when I pulled my scrips out, out came the lizard too. Well the family came back so I just used my back pack and feet to hide it. We teach our lesson and they commit to come to church. So I put my scriptures back in my bag and the lizard is still sitting right between my feet and backpack. The father came over to shake our hands and walk us out. When i get up i strategically place my feet to continue hiding it and on my first step i used my foot to shove it under the couch. And off we went. So now our pet lizard is in this families house. I hope they dont mind to much :) 

Dad that is awesome that you got to go to all the cool church places and almost meet my boy J R Holland!!! Me and him are tight!! And mom the room looks nice and girly... 
Yes I am still at the Cypress house and it is ballin'!! Well I love you all so much!!!!

Elder Smith 

17 June 2013

Well we got transfer calls last night/ this morning and I got the call to train again :) and I will be staying in 'Copa. Thank goodness. I didn't want to whitewash train again. So yeah we will see on Wednesday who the comp is and everything like that. Um other than that not much news about me. Some of the people we are working with are going through some hard stuff. The E. family that just got baptized is definitely being tried. Well now that they have been baptized the advisary is working hard. But she has been super faithful and knows that without the help of our Heavenly Father she wont be able to make it.

Along with that we have been working with a less active family named the B's. Within the last few months the parents have separated and the dad has gone off. For a while it looked like things might get better but the husband never figured things out and just two days ago said he was going to start dating other women and didn't believe the church was true. So far that he said he wants his records removed from the church. The family is very sad but they continue to read their scripts and pray. We gave Sis B. a blessing on Saturday and it was really neat to feel the spirit come so strong because of her faith in the power and authority of the priesthood.

So this week has been hard for the people we have been working with. All in all I have come to realize that pride is no good. Pride is what is causing all the contention and heartache. So I am going to make sure that I am never prideful, which is not always easy especially in the mission field when you think you know what you are doing and don't want to take any suggestions. I am going to do my best to learn from my new greenie comp and we are going to make a powerhouse of a team and baptize all of Maricopa and in a few months when you don't see it on a map you will know that the whole city got translated :)

Love you all so much!
Elder Smith

3 June 2013

Oh what a week. The E. family got baptized which was awesome. They have been the most prepared family I have ever seen. Incredible. Elder J. got to baptize M. and A., 12 and 10, and I was privileged to baptize P. The spirit at baptisms is truly amazing. And then on Sunday I was blessed to confirm M. which was truly amazing. I was really nervous to do it but when I started talking the words just flowed and everything went great. It was one of the best weekends on the mission so far.

Aside from that we had a lot of cancellations this week. But we did have some good street contacts. There were these three little kids probably around 12 making these dirt jumps and so we went to talk to them. The whole time we were talking they were taking turns hitting the jumps and so when one of them told us we should try I couldn't resist. Plus I had to impress these kids so they would come to church. So I go back to get some speed and as I am riding up to the jump I can tell I dont have enough speed but I was to close to do anything about it so I just went for it. There was a gap in between the jump and the landing and I didnt have enough speed and my back wheel hit the bump and my butt ate the seat and it hurt super bad and I almost went over the handle bars. It was scary but the kids thought it was awesome so all is well. And then they said they would come to church and talk to one of their LDS friends and ask about mutual and stuff like that so it was totally worth it.

That is really all that happened this week. The J. family moved away and we might start teaching another family of 6 so that would be awesome. We helped them move and two of their kids have been reading the BOM. Will tell you more next week.

Well I love you all and hope all is going well. Sorry to hear about Chris losing to Emma but Im not surprised. Some one needs to destroy that little girl in ping pong. I wish I could have but it will have to be someone else.
I love you all!!

Elder Smith

A screen shot of our Mother's Day Skype.  Marshall and his companion.
26 April 2013

So about everything this week. Well when we started in the new area Elder J. and I were not super busy. But it has been really neat to see how through hard work and diligence the area is really starting to move along. We had some good lessons this week.

So I have mentioned M. before. Super nice lady, Jewish, and is really developing a lot of faith in Christ. Well she had these two cats that were like 20 years old and she loved them more than people.  Well on Thursday night one of them died in her arms and she was devastated. She called us crying and told us our lesson for Friday evening was off.  So we were kind of bummed but knew she would need some time. Well Friday morning she called and said she wanted to meet in the evening. So we went over there and she was still super upset.  Told us she wouldn't be able to sit through a lesson or anything so before we left we offered her a blessing. She was also planning on putting down her other cat the next day because it had cancer and was really sick.  So we gave her the blessing and left. Saturday morning she called and wanted us to go to the vet with her to put the second cat down. So we met her there and she was hysterical. I have never seen someone so upset. Ever. She really loved those cats.  So after about an hour and a half at the vets it was all over and she told us she was to upset to go to church the next day so we shouldn't be expecting her. Well out of the blue she walked into gospel principles. She then went on to share what happened to her.  She said when she got home from the vet she was no longer sad. She said she knew what had happened was supposed to happen and wasn't upset anymore. She said she was fine, and knew that the only reason she felt that way was because of the blessing and the comfort the Holy Ghost was providing her. It was so cool to see her recognize the blessings of the gospel and the peace that is found in it.

That was about all that happened this week. We found some new investigators and I will tell you how things go with them next week. Also we have transfers on Wednesday and usually they make calls on Sunday night but th
ey didn't. President said that this Pday everyone has to stay in their house from 2-6 and clean and prepare the area books as if they are going to be White washed so we dont know what is happening. this is the transfer where it is pretty much determined which mission you will be in. We will see what happens tonight. As for the call we are allowed to Skype but we don't really know where we will be so it will be a toss up. if you could send me haydens skype account information that would be good. I don't really know what will be going on so just be on your toes. I will probably call around 9:30 so make sure to be home at that time. haha just kidding. I'll make sure that you guys are home but do be on your toes and have haydens laptop open on skype and everything.

Well I love you all and hope for the best. I am excited to talk to you and see you all next weekend!!


Elder Smith