Monday, June 13, 2016

Teach When You Ball and Ball When You Teach

All the missionaries know that Preach My Gospel says we need to teach
when we find and find when we teach, but listen, we just got finished
playing street ball out in the zone leaders part of reading and they
picked up two investigators just by us playing ball for like 3 hours!
Anyways that was a good start to the week, next week we just have to
ball in our area!

So this week I got to go on exchanges with Elder Laine, my Finnish
friend, once again! He was in my district back in Lehighton. We had a
sweet day, taught some solid lessons and went to an all you can eat
wing Wednesday! We ate 80 wings together and tried the Thai Suicide
sauce to finish it off. It was a mix of habanero, jalapeño, Cajun and
Cayan pepper! I've never cried so much in my life! I also got to go
with Elder Willson, who's a complete stud. He knows all the pastors
around Reading and they hook it up with free stuff! We also got to
teach someone named Chad Smith, super gnarly.

We had our last zone conference with President and Sister Anderson.
Man how our mission will miss them. I've never seen so many
missionaries crying at once. It was an awesome zone conference though,
getting us geared up for the new mission president. I also got to see
my trainer Elder Stimpson for the first time since he got transferred
so that was just peachy!

To finish off the week we had Paul Vandi's baptism. The guy was so
prepared! He was so excited for such a quiet guy. I got to baptize
him, which I thought was odd because he was referred to us by his
friend who is a member, but I guess he prayed about it and wanted me
to do it so I'm game especially because I have white pants that
actually fit me now! We are so excited for the growth of this ward.
Paul wasn't even the first in the new Reading 1st ward to get
baptized. The other elders had a baptism Saturday and should have
three next Saturday! Crazy stuff out here!

Last night we got to go to a members house for dinner, and they have a
HUGE backyard, goes all the way back into the forest. They wanted to
take us out there to see all the Lightning bugs, and man are those
cool. With so many of them out, the ground just looks like it's
sparkling, it's pretty cool! It's times like that when I just think
how great this earth is. Everything here has a purpose, even if it's
just a bug that lights up so humans can be entertained. No way you
could look at this earth and not think about our Father in Heaven.
Stoked for another week here, last week of the transfer so we will see
what happens to us! Love you all!

1) Stimpy!
2) tryin to clean out the baptismal font with a homemade skimmer
(thanks to Stockton Christensen for the genius idea!)
3) Paul Vandi! I promise he's nicer than he looks in the picture!

Monday, June 6, 2016

No hablo español

June 6, 2016

Well this week was pretty crazy because I went on two exchanges out of
my area! The first one was over to the south side of Reading with none
other than Elder Martinez! We just joke all the time that we will end
up being companions by default because we've gone on at least 10
exchanges with each other. We taught some good lessons and ate really
good burritos so that was a thumbs up day! I then went to the south
side of Reading again with Elder Thompson, a Spanish missionary. So
essentially the entire day I had no idea what was going on because I
chose to take French in high school! It was so odd, I was probably
less than a mile or two outside of my area, yet I felt like I was far
away in a distant Spanish land.

So last week I wrote about Andrew and Vivian, the brother sister combo
that came to church. We taught them this week and I've never seen
someone as stoked as Vivian was when we invited her to be baptized!
She just yelled at the top of her lungs to everyone in the run down
motel "I'm gonna get baptized!" We also got a sweet member referral
from someone who was in the Reading 2nd part of the ward, so we are
already loving this merge of the wards! Her name is Haja and she's
from Sierra Leone. The lesson went pretty well and we are stoked to
teach her! I also had the opportunity to do a baptismal interview this
week for a guy named Anthony. He's been married to his wife, who's a
member, for 18 years. He's kinda been on and off investigating, but
he's consistently come to church to the point where people didn't even
know he wasn't a member! Anyways after his daughter got baptized
something clicked in him and he realized he needed to be baptized. He
was so solid too, but it just goes to show that you should never give
up on anyone with the gospel.

Kinda a funny experience I had came on Saturday when we took Dontá out
teaching with us. We called him the night before to come out most the
day with us. I guess he was half asleep because when we picked him up
he was so bummed out that he agreed to come with us. He told us he had
a date planned, a baseball practice and swimming with his friends and
all that. As we drove our way out to our appointments he kept joking
with us that we were holding him hostage from his fun day! So we just
kept joking back and forth with him and finally I told him "watch, the
girl you were going to take on a date will probably get sick and
wouldn't have been able to go anyways, your baseball practice won't
happen because it will rain and your boys won't be feeling the pool
because of the rain too" and son of a gun guess what happened? Dontá's
date's allergies got way bad, it started raining and he never got
invited to the pool! Each thing that happened he just looked at me
with that "are you kidding?" kind of look. I think Dontá made the
right choice coming out with us!

I was thinking about it this week and if the age requirement for
missionaries never changed then I would have just barely become
eligible last week to serve a mission. I feel so blessed that I've
just barely turned 19 and I've already been out over 9 months! Anyways
thank you to the people that wished me a happy birthday over the week,
it was pretty cool to be across the country and still feel remembered
back home! Things are great here in Reading! My mom wanted some
pictures of the area so I'll attach some so you can all see what a
beautiful and sanitary place it is! I hope you all have an amazing


May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day my friends! What a sweet day it is today because a)
we get to think about those who served for our freedom b) we all get
to play around and c) it's p-day as you all know! It's been a great
week topped off with some crazy news on Sunday so I guess if you want
to know what it is you will actually have to read to the end! As far
as our investigators go, they are doing GREAT! So we were able to
teach Hendy and Bennesen, but they sadly didn't show for church. Same
with Paul, he had to work. D'Anthony did though! We found out he's
moving to New York though:( but he loved church! In a lesson with him
this week he took out his nose ring mid lesson because he didn't
really feel right wearing it anymore! We have a star recent convert
named Dontá who comes out with us a bunch! He's 20 and he's super
hood, he grew up in Philly! He's so dope and we got to spend a bunch
of time with him teaching others and reading with him! I was so

We picked up a couple new gators this week, Andrew and Vivian. They
are a brother sister combo ages 20/18 and we are lucky to teach them!
Last week Andrew called up the Reading 2nd elders and asked if he
could get a ride to church. He loved it and wanted to come back, so
the Reading 2nd elders referred him to us since he's in our area. We
got in contact with him Saturday and he told us he wanted to come back
to church and he was going to bring his sister! Well they came and
they loved it! Especially Vivian, she kept saying how she hasn't been
to church in so long and how she wouldn't have thought to be there
today! She even got up in the middle and moved towards the front of
the congregation to see better!

I got to go on a couple exchanges this week, which were pretty fun! I
went down to Pottstown with Elder Kilcrease from Provo, who's last
companion was good ole Elder Johnson! It was awesome to reminisce
about the times we each spent with the guy and compare our times with
him! It was a sweet exchange, Elder Kilcrease came out one transfer
before me and he's such a good missionary! We taught an investigator
with three members there and they took over the entire lesson,
wouldn't even let us talk! So we got to joke about that all day, then
ate dinner with a member, who is a body builder, and picked apart his
brain for us to lose weight! Then I brought Elder Crowther, who's from
Layton, to my area! He's been out about 15 months so he's kinda got
the ropes down and we had an awesome time. It was way fun to talk
about all the mutual friends we have back home!

So the big news this week came with a 2 hour sacrament meeting with
Reading 1st and Reading 2nd! The stake presidency was there and we
found out that we are now one big ward! This ward is big! (Still a
little smaller than an average Utah ward) it's still called Reading
1st, although I wish it was something cool like Mega Reading but oh
well. it's going to be really interesting working with the other part
of the ward and the missionaries who were serving there, so the next
few weeks will either be sweet or a headache. We also got to help a
member put in a new hardwood floor, so I'm back in the renovation
business! In other big news, it's extremely hot, I'm always damp and
sweaty now and once again I moved my bed into the living room. 😎
Anyways I realize this email is getting lengthy so I'll end it with a
quick testimony that I know this church is the one and only true
church and I'm so happy to be a missionary working to help it grow! I
love you all, have a great week!

906 Las Vegas Dr, Temple PA 19560

Elder Dylan Smith