Monday, February 28, 2011

What a crappy day --- literally...‏


Here's the story behind the subject of this email:

So we got home from the office last night at around 12:00 or 12:30 ish and went to bed. Sometime between 3:00 and 3:30, Elder Hunt was woken up by water falling on his face. The window well above his bed was filled with water and leaking rapidly, as were all the other windows in the basement. There was about an inch or two of water on the ground. We got up, woke up the members with whom we live, and started rescuing stuff. Pretty soon the sewers backed up through the tub, toilet, and floor drain as well and the water level rose for the next few hours until we had about 18" of water on the ground. Luckily we didn't lose too much stuff (it doesn't take long to rescue all your worldly posessions when you live out of two suitcases), but the members we live with will probably have taken some pretty heavy losses. The water was very cold and smelled quite nasty. We are staying at the mission home now and will be moving to an apartment tomorrow.

Luckily the rest of the week was very good. Zone conferences have been great - we only have one left. Our role is to present workshops and demonstrate roleplays and otherwise assist in making it an amazing and spiritual meeting.

Church was great - we had five investigators there, and two more nonmembers came to the "linger-longer" activity afterwards (they had been invited by member friends), so we'll start working with them as well.

We're having a lot of success with the investigators we have and we're really seeing how effective member-missionary work can be. We've been getting a lot of member referrals recently.

Thanks for taking care of so much college stuff - that's great to hear that I was accepted to BYU.

How are you getting invited to everyone's houses to watch movies? Are you really that popular? Are the Beachams members of the church?

Alma 17:2 - I can't wait to see Chris and Jordan again!

I love to hear about missionaries leaving like Ryan - If he's having visa troubles we could always request a couple of visa-waiters from the MTC to come to the OCM, especially in light of having lost so many elders recently.

No, I haven't had time to unpack my suitcase yet, but that's probably a good thing in light of the flooding.

Well, it's been a pretty hectic day, so I'm going to have to go.

Elder Matthew Smith

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Email from 2/21/11

Happy P-day, everyone!

It's always good to hear from home.

This week was pretty hectic. Transfers was Wednesday, and we kept on feeling unsettled about where people were being transferred, so we made changes to the 'transfer board' just about every day from last Thursday to last Monday, when we called and announced the transfers and made them official. Tuesday was spent taking care of the new arrival missionaries, Wednesday was taken up with transfers and taking care of the departing missionaries, and Thursday we took them to the airport to go home. Then on Friday we had to do a lot of driving to do some last-minute transfers because we had to send three missionaries home early (including one of my best friends from the mission, to whom I've looked up for a long time).

We're gearing up for another exciting week since this week is zone conference week, hence a lot of driving and exchanges with other missionaries and, again, not much time spent working in our area.

I'm excited that you're praying for missionary opportunities so diligently! I can't wait to hear what you come up with and how it goes. It seems like just about all we do when we're not teaching investigators or less active members is seeking referrals from the members of the church. It works a whole lot better than tracting (if the members follow through and do the missionary work, that is). What we've been doing to help members fulfill their missionary responsibilities is watching the Preach My Gospel DVDs with them about member missionary work or the purpose of missionary work and then role-playing with them how they will invite their acquaintance to church, to an activity, to dinner, to meet with the missionaries, etc. Did you do much in the way of seeking member referrals on your mission, Dad?

Our investigators are making halting progress. The Schroth family has been vacationing and as such has been out of town and mostly out of our reach. Brian is progressing but was sick on Sunday. We just found out that the 9-yr old son of a recently reactivated family is unbaptized, so we're starting to teach that family and they came to church (as usual).

I wish you good success with your missionary work and all other work!

Elder Matthew Smith

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Email Received from North Olmstead, OH


Hi Moms!
Attached are two pictures of your sons after dinner at our house on Feb 3, 2011.
As you can see, they are happy, healthy and full of the Spirit.
Thank you for raising such wonderful young men and sending out to spread the Gospel of our Saviour.
They send their love to you.


Terrence M. Brown

Email February 15, 2011

Hello Family,

Sorry about the late email last week. Hopefully this one will arrive in a much more timely manner.

So Elder Hunt is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He's the 2nd of 5 Children. He's big into golfing, and played on SUU's golf team and has a spot waiting for him when he goes home. He came out one transfer before me, but had to go home for medical reasons (all resolved now) for six weeks, so he will go home with my transfer. He has one year of school under his belt and is thinking about majoring in economics. He's not a big hunter, but he has hunted birds before. He's a really good missionary and is good at thinking outside the box to get things done. I'm pretty excited to be serving with him.

No, Elder Farmer is not going home. He doesn't go home until August 4th (same time as Elder Hunt and me). APs are more like Seventies than Apostles - they are given emeritus status and put out to pasture after they've served for a while. (although sometimes they die APs instead)

Robbie and Esther's baptism has been postponed until March 12th, and they are on track to be baptized then.

How is the 21 days of praying for a missionary experience going?

Thanks for the 4-gen chart and stories. Now when we go on the tour of the temple tomorrow with the new arrivals I'll have some names when Karl Anderson asks us who from our family was in the Kirtland area. Last time the only one I knew of was Adam.

I'm glad Lauren enjoyed her birthday present so much. And that she was wearing a helmet. When do you think the horses will come home at the Smith Ranch? Is it weird not having them back there?

That's really funny that Cody got a foul for Mom's team. Who was the Ref? It's also really funny for you to call Mom's team the "old lady's team".

No, I haven't scheduled a physical yet. We have transfers this week and zone conferences next week. I'll probably do it sometime. Let me know what BYU says.

Thanks for the valentines' day box. Elders Farmer and Hunt and I have been enjoying all the jerky and goodies.

Well, I'd best be going now. We've got a lot of stuff to take care of before we pick up the new missionaries at the airport this afternoon.

Interesting fact - I've still yet to unpack my stuff from my suitcases after transferring to this area in the end of December.

Thanks for being such a great and supportive and functional family!

Elder Matthew Smith

Friday, February 11, 2011

Email from 2/11/11

Hello Family,

I thought I had better jot off a quick email and apologize for not writing last week.

Sorry I never got around to emailing on Monday - We had a lot of stuff to deal with - there were a couple emergency transfers we had to pick up and take to new areas. But Elder Farmer and I got a new companion out of the deal - Elder Hunt is now serving with us in a triple-up, and we will be tripled up until transfers this coming wednesday when Elder Farmer will be released and I will be serving with Elder Hunt. Elder Hunt is an amazing missionary - a real go-getter. I'm really excited to work with him. Him and Elder Baxter (one of my previous companions) were having a lot of success in Shaker Heights. I'm excited to tell you all about him, but I need to be going here.

Elder Matthew Smith

ps thanks for feeding the sister missionaries. I can't wait to brag to the whole mission that my family is so solid that they skipped the superbowl to feed the missionaries! Who have you thought about to refer to them? By the way, who among our family is not members of the church? Do you think you could get me Bob McGraw's phone number so I could have the Kirtland sisters call him?