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.

Monday, July 22, 2013

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

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