Monday, May 3, 2010

Email from 5/3/10


Our week has been phenomenal, thank you for asking. It was a bit rainy, but it was warm and rainy so we didn't mind very much. The other day it hit 80 degrees, I think, but I think we're supposed to drop back down into the 60s halfway through this week. Oh well, time to put the suitjacket back on. I quite prefer shirtsleeves. Yes, we bike a lot. Usually all day. But I have a flat tire (again) so we've walked the past two days, which is all right since it makes talking to people on the street a lot easier and more natural and conversational.

That's so cool to hear about Bro. Gibbons' success story! (Man in our ward who was baptized last week and ordained a Priest this week.) Good job on your Relief Society lesson - what was it on? Our lesson in Priesthood this week was on Elder Oaks' talk on healing the sick through priesthood blessings and it was awesome. I was surprised how many people had slight misconceptions about priesthood blessings. The High Priests Group leader suggested that everyone do their home teaching lessons on that talk as well. Speaking of Jenn Kanistanaux, does she have a sister or cousin or something in Toledo? Because it seems to me that Sister Bennet (the one that owns a pizza place and lets us come and make pizza for ourselves) looks JUST like her. I'll have to get a picture of her before I send the SD card home.

St. George should be fun. That's cool to hear of Robbie Brito getting married. Any specific reason they picked the St. George temple? Are they going to live there?

Way to go Cody for rocking the stirruped socks off the baseball diamond!!! That's my boy right there! Leadoff hitter, 2nd base, and shortstop aren't too shabby. Hopefully most of your team isn't 'idjits' that don't know what to do with the ball.

Good luck at your shooting competition, Dad, I'm a little bit jealous that you can just go shooting whenever you want. (not as jealous as I am that you can just go to the temple whenever you want, of course)

Que tenga buena suerte en tu examen, Delaney. Se que eres muy lista y vas a recordar todo que has estudiado. Es muy chevere que no tenias que tomar las clases de Espanol tres or cuatro. !Ojala que puedas ir en un mision hablando Espanol! Aunque no soy llamado hablando espanol, he tenido muchos oportunidades ensenar y hablar en Espanol en mi mision. Yo y Hermano Delap de nuestro barrio ibamos a ensenar un leccion a una familia que habla Espanol, pero no estaban en casa cuando llegamos. (Hermano Delap fui en su mision en Chicago hablando Espanol. El estaba con nosotros para que yo no tendria que ensenar la leccion solo, porque Elder Gullerud no habla Espanol.) Estaba muy triste que no estaban alla, porque queria practicar mas mi Espanol. Es que no he ensenado en Espanol por unos meses. Por lo menos hay dos Hermanas en nuestro barrio que son de suramerica y hablan muy bien el Espanol. Buena suerte, que vaya con Dios!

(Translation as per Merrill: Good luck on your test Delaney. I know you are very ready and you will remember what you've studied. Its cool you didn't have to take Spanish 3 and 4. Hopefully you can go on a Spanish speaking mission! Even though I'm not called to speak Spanish, I've had many opportunities to teach and speak in Spanish on my mission. Me and Brother Delap of our ward were going to teach a lesson to a Spanish speaking family, but they weren't home when we got there. (Bro. Delap went on his mission to Chicago Spanish speaking. He was with us so I wouldn't have to teach the lesson by myself, because Elder Gullerud doesn't speak Spanish) It was very sad that they weren't there, because I wanted to practice more in Spanish. Its because I haven't taught in Spanish for several months. At least there are two sisters in our ward from South America and speak really well in Spanish. Good luck and go with God!)

Holy Toledo! Trevor already has his mission call?!?! Time is going by WAY too fast for my liking. My MTC roommates were going to the Dallas mission, I think. Does Trevor speak much Spanish? Has he been going to college? How long 'til Chris comes home? I wrote a letter to him, but he never responded. The address was really weird, so I'm not sure it got there.

Anyways, like I said, this week was great. The Point Place elders had a baptism and Elder Gullerud and I taught the restoration while they changed clothes. It was a really good, powerful lesson. Some of Jason's (who was baptized) family were there and the Holland Elders now have return appointments to teach them more. The reason we taught the restoration and not Holland was because we thought the family members were in our area, but it turns out they are all in Holland's area.

We had a great lesson with Debbie (did I already tell you about Debbie?) this week. She is Sis. Coffer's friend, and we've been teaching her in Sis. Coffer's home. It is always so much nicer to teach in members' homes because: 1. the member can bear their testimony and share personal experiences with the investigator. 2. Members; homes generally are cleaner, more Spirit-inviting places than nonmembers' homes. and 3. The member will turn off the TV and radio, put the dog outside and keep the kids quiet or send them out of the room during the appointment and thus remove many distractions. Debbie is super open to learning and is excited to read the BOM. We'll probably try to commit her to baptism this week. The only problem is that she actually lives in Michigan - she's just been driving down here to hear the lessons. So if things continue to go well, we'll probably have to do some coordination with another mission (I assume it would be the Detroit mission) to have the elders over there meet her and start integrating her into the ward where she would be baptized.

Also, we had a great first lesson with a media referral yesterday. As we taught and testified of the restoration, I got the prompting that she was feeling the Spirit and I should point it out to her. Before I could even open my mouth, she stated that even though her sister had warned her about getting 'confused' by the Mormons, she knew what we were saying was true because of how strong the Spirit was. I expounded a little bit on the Spirit and testified of the restoration and Book of Mormon again and then we committed her to baptism, following a prompting that Elder Gullerud and I both recieved. That was really cool.

i'm about to get kicked off a library computer. 20 seconds to go.

i''ll try to get back on

love, elder matthew smith

Whew! I got a couple more minutes.

Anyways, yeah it's all going well. Mom, Brenda VanWagoner wrote me and asked if she could get my emails home sent to her. Could you please direct her to the blog?

Does Mr. Mac have any warranty or replacement policy on shoes? My shoes are now worn all the way through on the bottom and it's starting to get old having wet socks every time it rains. More on that story next week.

It's crazy to me how Mothers' day is now the 2nd most important holiday of the year for me. We haven't recieved any instructions about when to call home on Sunday. I would assume we will call in the evening. Probably it will be between 7:00 and 9:00 pm, Toledo time, so I think that would mean 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Mountain time. But maybe it will be earlier. I don't know. Don't skip church or anything. Probably we will be able to call on Saturday to coordinate what time to call on Sunday. That's probably most likely.

Love, Elder Matthew Smith