Friday, September 30, 2016

He Made It To New York!!!!

Elder Smith has made it safely to New York!!  He would love to hear from everyone.  His email and letter address is on the side.

Sept 21, 2016- Next Time I'll Be In New York!!!

Sept 21, 2016
Wow the realization that I am actually leaving in 5 days is so exciting!  I have been here at the MTC for 9 weeks...... It went by so fast!  I have met so many friends that I won't forget!  The people in my district are so amazing!!  My teachers are also so great!!!

I am going to miss everyone here........  They are all going to their respective places in Korea!  I will cherish the friendships we have made here.  They are so great.  These last two months with them have been the best.  They are literally my buddies!  I am going to miss them!  At least Elder Ha is coming with me!!

I got my flight plans!!!!  I am so excited!  The next time I email I will be in New York..... Wow, that is just so exciting!  I can't wait! I am a little nervous, but I just can't wait to see what is waiting for me in New York.  I have to be ready3:30am Monday morning.  That is going to be rough, but I will probably be way excited so I will be able to get up!  

I've been talking to some people who went New York Korean speaking.  They are really good speakers after their mission, the only thing they said they did.... was work for it.  I will not be immersed in the culture as much as my other friends here at the MTC.  I will have to work for my language everyday.  I know I can do it, sure it will be hard but it will be worth it.  The gift of tongues is real.  I have already felt the influence of it and how much Korean I have learned.  

I know God lives.  I know he is there for us, if we but only pray and ask.  He can and will help us with anything.  One thing I have learned is that God does not always answer your prayers like you want them to be answered.  You just have to have patience.  Real patience!  I have already went through challenges here, and I know there will be plenty more.  I just know that God will be with me.  I know that this Gospel is true, or I would not be out here right now serving the people in New York. Each one of you are huge examples to me!
I love you all so very much!

Love, Elder Smith

Here is a link to a video of Renee speaking Korean

Sept 14, 2016- 12 More Days Until New York!!!!

Sept 14, 2016
Wowowowow! Time is flying!  I can't believe I am almost done with the MTC.  I don't feel prepared at all.  The language has gotten so much harder these last weeks.  I can't wait to get out into the field and start teaching about Christ, Joesph Smith, and Repentance.  I am so excited!  

I have learned more spiritually in these last 8 weeks than I have in my whole 18 years of living.  The spirit is so strong here, and the time you have here to just study the scriptures brings you so much closer to Christ.  

I learned something yesterday during Choir.  Brother Egget the choir instructor said this to us: " The Lord is not protecting you he is perfecting you."  "He is not protecting you from the pain"  It hit me so hard!  Christ wants us to improve and be better!  That doesn't mean he is going to let us take the easy way out.  He is going to give us challenges, but he will also help us through the challenges.  That will make us better and stronger.

We have had the most amazing week!  Last Tuesday we had Elder D. Todd Christofferson speak to us.  Sunday we had Elder M. Russell .  Then yesterday we had Elder Quentin L. Cook speak to us!  It was so amazing to have 3 apostles of the Lord speak to us in a row.

Elder Christofferson really touched me when he spoke about Trust.  He said:
It is greater to be trusted than to be loved.  "Yes Christ loves you, but does he trust you?"  Does he trust you to do his work?
Your mission president should trust you, and say I want Elder Smith in that area, because I trust him and I know he will work hard and be obedient.  I want to be that type of missionary to my mission president!

Elder Ballard said:
"May the Lord help you and may you learn to trust him"  
I know wherever the Lord sends me I will trust in him.  I will be where he wants me to be.  
Trust him that he will give all of you miracles in your life!

Elder Cook:
He touched me when he talked about the 4 Love's
Love your companion
Love the people
Love your mission President
Love the Lord
He told a story that when they assign you to your mission.  The first thing they look at is what mission president will be the best for this missionary.  He said that they are assigned to a mission because of the people there, but actually it was the mission president that was there.  He said to have complete love and respect for your mission president.  I don't know my mission president, but I already love him and trust him.  He is called of God.

Such an amazing week and I have learned so much!  I love being a missionary and I am here to teach others about the Restoration, Joesph Smith, Atonement of Jesus, and of families.  I can't wait for the opportunity to teach people that.  I just want to jump up and down, knowing that I will be in New York in less than 2 weeks.  Wow.....

I love you all!  May you all pray and ask to see God's love this week!  I know you can all see God's hand in each of your lives everyday this next week.  Thank you for all your support.

Love, Elder Smith

Sept 7, 2016

Sept 7, 2016
Wow 3 more weeks and I will be out of here!!!!  The MTC has honestly been a blast!  I love my district and would do anything for them.  Also I love my companion Elder Ha, it is sad though because we will no longer be companions.  Elder Ha is being paired up with a Native Korean, and I will be moved into a Trio with Elder Maio and Elder Burridge.  We also had to move again so I could be in a room with my new trio.  So our district had to move twice in the last week!

I have gained some weight here!  I eat like a pig and my Young Men Leader's already knew I ate a ton.  Well it caught up to me.  You can't really tell the difference by looking, but the scale doesn't lie.  I gained 8 pounds here.  I plateaued off now.  I am just banking on losing some weight in New York from walking all day but then again...... It is New York.... and I love food.

I love playing basketball here with everyone!  There are some kids that are really good here and it is just so fun to hang out and just ball.  

On Sunday I had to give the opening prayer, of course in Korean.  I think I did pretty good and everyone said I did good, so I am happy with that!  

The Older group ahead of us left so that made me sad!  They were huge examples and were always so fun to hang out with and talk to!  They all had a great attitude!  I was passed down a water boiler so we can cook up some Ramen, so that will be fun to use!

I controlled two lessons on my own this week and they went so well!!  It is just great knowing I can give a 20 minute lesson in Korean! 
In one of the lessons we had with our Sister investigator.  She said that she looked up a ton of stuff on the Internet about Joesph Smith.  I testified to her that the internet doesn't really have the truth about Joesph Smith, I then told that I believed Joesph Smith had seen god and no matter what the internet said, I knew that he was a true prophet of god.

Then I retold the first vision in Korean (I got it memorized finally......). This first vision of Joesph Smith has so much power.  I know it can change hearts.  It gave me the chills as I sat there and recited from my heart.  I know Joesph Smith is a true prophet of God.  All of this is possible because he was willing to lay down his life for this amazing gospel that we have today!  I am so grateful for that man!  

I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week!!!

-Elder Smith

Aug 31, 2016

Aug 31, 2016
Hello Everyone!!!!!

MTC is still in progress of course ;)  I am just living life here and honestly having a lot of fun with my district and with the language.  My district is so amazing, it feels like we have all hung out with each other since birth.  We all have fun and tell a lot of jokes.  I think it was a blessing that I was put with this group.  They are all amazing!

Sorry to everyone this week!  I did not have time to get to all the emails I would have liked to get to!  So I'm sorry if I didn't reply!  I will try and get to you all next week.  Life is busy, I got to study all that 한국말  (Korean).  Hope everything is well with all of you!  I know life is hard, but there is always a way.  If there is one thing I have learned here at the MTC and while studying Korean, is that the Lord will provide a way.

As I first arrived to the MTC I thought it would be a breeze, because I had already heard so much Korean at home.  I was totally wrong, and I was humbled very quickly.  I first had a companion, Elder Ha, who is practically fluent in Korean.  He is so good!  

For all those missionaries out there and for all of you at home!  Do not ever ever compare yourself to anyone else!  It will lead you to self doubt and sadness.  Do not compare!
I know you all are amazing people, don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others, it will never help you in anything!  Only compare yourself to what you were yesterday!

I fell into that trap the first couple weeks, Now looking back I saw my progress has slowed.  I now am progressing so much and growing so much more spiritually.

I read Mosiah Chapter 7-9 It talks about the people of Zarahemla finding the people of Lehi-Nephi.  I just loved reading about them and how they rejoiced after they found their brethren.

We have the opportunity to teach members from Provo and BYU every Monday night.  It is always so amazing to teach a message and talk to members.  We teach Koreans and some RM's.  This Thursday we got to teach this woman who was from Argentina.  So we got to speak English!  It was so exciting.  I actually forgot how to speak and do a message in Korean.  All I have done is Korean lessons, so it was so weird to teach someone in English.  Even though English is my first language.

Well that was it for this week!  I hope everyone is doing great.  Remember God is always with you, no matter what.

Love, Elder Smith

Aug 24, 2016

Aug 24, 2016
​Hey Everyone!!! Still just chillin in the MTC.  haha it is still fun though.  Also thank you to everyone who sent emails, packages, and letters!  shout out to Burwell's! The treats and snacks were amazing!!  Also shout out to Daddy Brown!  The drawing was amazing! ;) 

Sunday was a great day.  Saturday was my companions birthday.  So when we went on the temple walk there were signs and posters.  It was awesome.  Elder Allen's family lives in provo so they left cupcakes at the temple for us!  It may or may not have been against the rules so...... nah just kidding we were good.

We had sacrament.  And of course it is all in Korean, but it is a good thing I can understand it! ;)  During Sacrament though we had an amazing musical number.  Elder Rassmussen on the piano, Elder Hale on the Violin, and Elder Beckett singing.  The spirit was amazing!  They sang "Savior Redeemer of my soul"  String instruments are now my favorite!!  They just bring the spirit for me and sound so amazing.

I then had a lesson on Obedience: Doing the will of the Father.  We must not only be obedient.  We must have the faith, that if we do follow that rule or commandment, we can receive those blessings!  I know as we heed to the words of the prophets and our leaders we can receive those blessings, just by being obedient!

The Nashville Tribute Band came and gave us a little concert.  It was actually really awesome.  We sang "I was born"  "John's Song" and "When the Son of Man (comes again)"  with them.  It was so amazing!  They were way better in person.

After that we saw the brand new visitor center films.  No one has really seen them, they said they were only shown in the New York visitor centers.  They were super good, and I have such a strong testimony of Joesph Smith!!

The language is so cool and coming along well.  It is hard to think of vocab words though.  The only problem is that I am having a hard time memorizing some of the vocab and conjugations!  

To show you what korean is like I will give you all some examples:

I know that God is our father.
I God our father is that know.

If I read the Book of Mormon, I will feel the Holy Ghost.
I Book of Mormon read if Holy Ghost feel will.

Korean is fun, although it is confusing at times!

I love you all!!!!!