Monday, July 25, 2016

You Ever Been to Philly Before?

July 18, 2016

I have said the above sentence hundreds of times over the past few
weeks. Why you may ask? Well the Philly Temple of course! The open
house is less than a month away and we've been going nuts running
around and inviting people to the temple open house! It's so exciting!
Even if people haven't been, or haven't seen the temple yet, it seems
that they always ask "when can I go?" It's such an awesome time to be
serving here in the Philadelphia mission!

Now while I started talking about the temple, the main subject of this
weeks letter will be food, because it's been a pretty great week for
food. It all started on Monday when Ben and Kori made us homemade
chicken wings. HOLY COW were they good! He told me how easy it was to
make them, so heads up family, I'll be making these when I get home.
Food story number 2, Sister Robinson gave a great speech in relief
society on why they all need to feed the Elders, so both sets in the
ward got loaded with meals! Even the famous Hazards fed us! As we
walked into their home they recognized me as "the one who helped with
their garden". I wish they didn't! Especially because they had us go
back to see it and it's just weeds for days. I blame Brother Hazards
methods! Sister Hazard had us cook the meal since she has a walker, so
we made the smallest amount of spaghetti I've ever seen in my life,
with a huge can of baked beans in the smallest pan I've ever seen and
two cooked hamburger patties. So let me unfold these events for you
because they were worried about everything like "someone take the
beans off the stove" as they were literally staring at me putting the
baked beans in a serving dish, no longer on the stove! As we sit down
for dinner, there's no sauce, but that's okay because I just tossed
some pepper on as I usually did in Morrisville. Well over the course
of the meal, Sister Hazard is complaining that she ran out of Ragu
while in the meantime Brother Hazard comes over with a huge box and
starts putting everything from the table inside of it, including his
uneaten meal and then carries it off to another location in the house.
So Sister Hazard keeps complaining that there's no Ragu and finally
Brother Hazard says there is, so they argue for a bit before he gets
into the cupboard and pulls out said Ragu. She tells him to warm it up
for us, which I'm questioning because I finished my pasta over 15
minutes ago. He warms it up, tosses it on Sister Hazards pasta and
over the course of the next 10 minutes tells us that she has lost her
appetite recently and then proceeds to put her almost untouched meal
on the floor for Rodger (yes the dog that bit Brother Hazard). Then
before we leave, we go out on the porch one last time to check out the
weeds, and Rodger decides to pee on the porch, and Brother Hazard
decides to step in it, but it didn't even phase him. Pretty gnarly eh?
We also came across a bag in the church foyer that said "free fresh
produce, help yourself!" Why thank you, I sure will! So I was able to
cook some dang good meals for me and some other missionaries and you
know I'm gonna send home pictures of that! Last food item came on
Sunday when one of our investigators gave me some super hipster ice
cream and I felt so blessed.

In terms of missionary work, I got to go on exchange with one of my
zone leaders Elder Larsen! He was actually my first zone leader and I
never got to go on exchanges with him, so this was like a year in the
making! It was super fun and we were so busy all day, it was crazy! I
also got to bring Elder Thompson to my area this week and it was way
fun to try to talk to people and they give you that whole "I don't
speak English" crap, so Elder Thompson would start to talk to them in
Spanish! Can't escape us! We saw a miracle when we went to see our
Haitian friend Earnest. He wasn't there, but his son Earnest Jr. was!
So we chatted with him and he's way dope. Junior is actually a member
so we invited him to the temple, then we found out Earnest was
actually there so we got to teach him too!

So just so my mom isn't worried why I got this out late, I was able to
play golf for the first time in like a year this morning so I'm super
pumped about that! It was a ton of fun and I'm looking forward to
another week! Love you all have a great week!

1) sea salt caramel my friends
2&3) golfin with Elder Laine!
4) I can't get the good pictures of me cooking, but I want my mom to
see that I can make good food!

Elder Smith: Demon Slayer

July 11, 2016

It was sort of an odd week. For as many appointments cancelled, we
still saw some success, but I'll just toss out some highlights from
this week. Starting with this morning, we ran up to the Pagoda this
morning and I'm dead tired now so that's fantastic! Elder Bucheger
wore a Spider-Man suit so all these people waved to us and stopped us
to take pictures!

We had interviews with our new mission president, President Randall,
this week! Probably the best interview I've had my entire mission. He
pretty much just got to know us and lo and behold I found out he plays
pickleball!!! I am beyond stoked! Other than that though we just
chatted about my entire mission and I can already feel the love he has
for all of us missionaries.

I think the most exciting thing that happened this week was when we
got a call from one of our investigators who claimed to have a demon
in her. So we picked her up and took her to the church to give her a
blessing. Luckily one of our experienced members was there, who came
and stood in on the blessing. Afterwards she was still freaking out so
we sang I Am a Child of God and she started to feel so much better!
Then we she started teaching the plan of salvation and she told us she
needed to ask God for forgiveness so she turned around and prayed for
like 45 minutes. Super weird turn of events hahaha.

A few days back we were approaching our dinner hour so we stopped by
Dontá's place. He was there with his friend James from Philly, so we
decided to play ball during our dinner hour and it was awesome! We
went to this big park with tons of courts and just played two on two.
Dontá and I won both times, but it was pretty awesome to see all the
homies watching us ball up. We were the only two white guys there! I
felt like such a stereotypical missionary, it was wonderful! I don't
have too much else to report on this week but no worries, things are
great! I'm still enjoying it and missing you all back home. Have a
good week everyone!

906 Las Vegas Dr.
Temple, PA 19560

1) Zone Training
3) this is on par with most of my Instagram pictures
4) Elder Anderson playing ball!

Sunday, July 10, 2016


July 4, 2016

Well happy independence day everyone! Pretty stoked we get to spend it
on pday! Hopefully in the midst of your busy holiday you have a little
bit of time to read some highlights from my week.

To start off we had a zone conference with our new mission president
and his family! President and Sister Randall have three kids out here
with them, so it will be awesome to see how his all plays out!

A little later in the week I got to bring Elder Thielen on exchanges
to my area! It was super hot so we got slurpees and VOSS water. If you
haven't had VOSS water, I recommend trying it! Smoothest water ever!
Anyways in his area there's a college campus in it and he was telling
me how awesome it was to find on it, so i decided to scratch our plans
and head to the small college campus in our area. Since schools out,
it was pretty dead, but right as we were about to leave we saw these
two guys across the street. These were two any average guys, they were
HUGE! Like jacked out of their minds! So we yelled at them and asked
how they got so big, talked to them about working out and then
introduced them to the gospel! We taught David and DJ a few days later
and they are so awesome! Nicest people I've met, and the best part is
they aren't from reading so they actually held an appointment! When we
asked when they would be available next David said "well we go to the
gym early in the morning and leave at 5, so let's meet at 6?" GET

We also found this awesome part member family! They are from Haiti and
about 10 years ago they went to church actively, but some of them
didn't get baptized. They really want to come back and get baptized
for the temple! They already know everything is true!

Some gnarly tender mercies this week starts with early in the week
when we were just having a mediocre day and we stopped by Kori & Ben
Moore's. We saw them outside  with the kids making s'mores so of
course we indulged in the sweet chocolaty goodness with a spiritual
message too! Another tender mercies was that some members had all our
recent converts over for dinner so we were able to enjoy some time
with them and play with their farm animals and eat mulberries and
stuff! Last but not least some members gave us their old workout
machine GET SWOLL

Pretty successful week, and to finish it off we got the entire zone
down here to play ball so I'm gonna get going so I can enjoy this
wonderful holiday! I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Dylan Smith


June 27, 2016

Hey everyone! It's been a slightly mediocre week here haha, it seemed
that every lesson cancelled and even our backups failed to be backups,
but there's highlights in every week! It was awesome going to
transfers because I got to see all my favorite missionaries down in
Broomall and chat them up for a while. I even got to see my old ward
mission leader George! It was awesome. My new companion is Elder
Troxell, he's from Brigham City, Utah and has been out 21 months.

We got to teach Kory again! She's the one who just got married to a
member. They fed us way good barbecue chicken and we invited her to be
baptized! She said yes, but we told her to pray about when it should
happen. We reminded her to keep the temple dedication in mind though!
Probably the best part of the week was on Sunday when I walked into
priesthood opening exercises. Paul grabbed me and said "are you going
to give me the priesthood?" So I got to have my first priesthood
ordination! I remember my dad always being nervous when he would
ordain me into the different priesthood offices because he didn't want
to forget what to say, but each time he did it I could tell he was
speaking with the spirit and did a great job! I had no idea what words
to say for a priesthood ordination, so I hurried and looked it up in
the gospel library and wow does the spirit have our back because I
remembered everything and gave a blessing as well. No way could I have
done that without the spirit with such short notice as that!

In other news Elder Martinez sprained his leg last week so I got to
hangout with him for a while last night and he's with me today too!
It's been pretty fun! Oh and the best part is I acquired a penny board
this week and it's a blast! I was riding it around today and even
though it's like a small skateboard it felt so close to snowboarding!
Anyways this will be a pretty exciting week because we get to meet our
new mission president on Wednesday! Stoked for this week, and I
realized next Monday is the 4th of July so we can actually do
something fun for the holiday!!! Love you all, have a great week!

1) my new district
2) lineage! Elder Laine was trained by Elder Martinez, who was trained
by Elder Margetts, who was trained by my good friend Joseph Sanchez!
3) my pennyboard!


June 20, 2016

Well I get to stay here another transfer, but Elder Fisher is out.
It's always interesting changing companions! Anyways we had a fun last
week. We saw a sweet miracle this week! I was going through our area
book, and I found a former investigator who is a members fiancé. The
reason she was dropped was because they lived together and wouldn't be
getting married till the summer. Well it's summer so we should go
teach them right? Last week we got a text from bishop that said "I
just married Kory and Ben, when's the baptismal date?" So we were
pumped to teach them. We planned on getting in contact with them
Monday night. So last Monday morning we got a text that said "hey
elders, want to come for dinner? We have a bunch of leftovers from the
wedding!" So of course we went and it was wonderful and we set up a
return dinner appointment so stay tuned for that one!

I got to go on exchanged with Elder Stephenson this week, and man that
was fun! He's such an awesome elder! We did service all day, helped
demolish a kitchen, so I can't complain. Speaking of service, an old
couple named the Hazards, asked if we could come garden for them. Let
me tell you, Hazard isn't just their last name, it completely
describes them. We showed up and they pointed us to a huge pile of
weeds and said "there's the garden!" And asked us to weed SOME of it.
They wanted us to leave some plants. So we start weeding and all of
the sudden Brother Hazard comes out with two lawn mowers and starts
mowing down all the weeds! Now this isn't one of those mowers that has
a bag, it just shoots out the side, so all this grass, weeds and rocks
are just flying out of this lawn mower! The entire garden was gone
hahaha. Not to mention Brother Hazards dog got scared and bit him when
he started the lawn mower. So we clean up the mess he made and turned
over the dirt to get ready to plant. In the mean time Brother Hazard
salvaged one purple flower and replanted it. We go to grab gloves and
Brother Hazard comes out with a tiller. He starts it up, but for some
reason has a twisty tie on the trigger so it's razor sharp blades are
just spinning as he carries it out! I thought I was going to see his
leg get all mangled as he played around with the twisty tie, blades
inches away! So he tills the garden and Sister Hazard gives us all
these seeds to plant. Corn, lettuce, sunflowers, marigold, peas you
name it! And this flower bed is the size of my sleeping bed! So we
start to dig rows and garden like we should, when Brother Hazard comes
back out, takes the seeds and just dumps them all over the garden, so
we follow suit! I think my mom and grandma would have had a heart
attack with how terrible our gardening went because Brother Hazard got
the rototiller back out and tilled the dirt and seeds, then had us
toss topsoil to save the seeds from the birds. Before we left, Sister
Hazard said "how will I know where the rows are so I can water them?"
And we proceeded to tell her just to water every few inches and she
should be fine! Oh I hope something actually grows haha.

So other than my unnecessarily long service story, Paul got confirmed
this week so that was sweet! The Gift of the Holy Ghost is such a
blessing! The fact that we can have that comfort and guidance all the
time is.. Well it's comforting! Anyways I'm pretty pumped for this
week and transfers because I get to drive down to Broomall with Elder
Stimpson! I love you all, have a great week!

1) Elder Hillstead! He's on his way home
2) Last picture of the district!
3&4&5) us and Dontá went to the Pagoda today, so here's some cool
shots of Reading