Sunday, March 12, 2017

It Snowed, but it Melted :(

December 5, 2016

It was another one of those weeks where you get to Sunday and it feels
like you had church no more than a couple days ago! Man Bethlehem is
rad and the YSA is even more rad. Our YSA investigator Linda is doing
awesome. She texted us last week and told us her sister, Jamilette,
was interested in meeting with us too! So now we have two YSA
investigators and they both came to church! On fast Sundays the YSA
does a "linger longer" which is essentially dinner for a bunch of
starving kids. Linda and Jamilette brought some Spanish rice for the
linger longer, talk about solid investigators right? I love the
fellowshipping that comes from the YSA, no one can get lost amongst
the 25 attendees, which I might add is an all time high since I've
been here!

I went on an exchange with Elder Vargas this week. Now listen up,
Elder Vargas has been out for a mere 5 weeks and he is from Ecuador,
which means he does not speak English. Now he's getting better, but
his trainer literally has to teach him English during their language
study. How cool is that? Well it rained buckets out here and we ran
around trying to share the Christmas video while getting soaked! He's
an awesome kid though, I enjoyed the exchange with him and he taught
me how to say "I am Elder Smith and I like chicken wings" in

We had MLC this week and it was held in the Stake Center across from
the Philly Temple. Driving through North Philly was nuts, I recommend
it if your an adrenaline junkie, but it was worth it to be so close to
the temple for a majority of the day. President Randall gets us the
hook ups because not only did the temple president, President Winn,
speak to us, the head of the missionary department, Elder Allen did as
well! President Winn just talked about how we made a promise to our
friends in heaven that we would come down here, find them and bring
them the gospel. I think about those I've seen change their lives and
I can't help but think that our friendships might have began way
before I came to Pennsylvania. Elder Allen talked to us about the
importance of contacting referrals, I guess our mission receives the
2nd most referrals in America, snazzy right? He asked if anyone in the
room was a fisher so I raised my hand. I was a horrible example for
him to use because almost every time I catch a fish I release it, but
anyways he compared a referral to a fish and how when we catch it, we
gut it, store it, cook it and eat it before it spoils. We need to
treat our referrals that way and not let them spoil by sitting around
too long. Fish are friends, not food right?

This week we had probably one of the toughest and most spiritual
visits I've ever had. A family who I care about a lot voiced some
concern last week and this Saturday we went over with our Bishop and
had dinner. Dinner was fantastic, it was like a chicken parmesan
sandwich! I ate 3 and trust me 3 is way too many. Anyways we had a
discussion with them and they just voiced a lot of stress in their
life and it's all piled up and there were some minor things they were
nitpicking about the people in the church. Obviously the adversary is
good at what he does because what starts as a simple stress in life
can lead to damaging ones testimony. Bishop is inspired, no doubt and
so are the prophets and apostles because in this months ensign, Henry
B Eyring has an article titled "Peace in this Life". I'm still in awe.
This article may have helped many individuals, but I feel it was
written for this family in particular. Bishop bore a powerful
testimony of the stress that comes in life and how we can find peace.
He talked about how each week he wants to give us his calling because
it seems to much, he told the family that even us missionaries think
about hoping on a plane, but why give up when you can have the savior
carry you. Elder Fowers bore a powerful testimony of the the temple
and their goal to be sealed for all eternity and I was able to bear
testimony about the Book of Mormon and how it helps us if we read each
day. I have no idea how it works, but it just makes everything better.
That's when they admitted how much they missed praying together and
that their scripture reading has been incredibly spotty. They are
going to work on the basics to see if they can get that peace back.
All it is is the basics. Read your scriptures, pray, attend church and
spend time as a family. It sounds a lot easier than it is, and no one
is ever perfect at it, but it just works.

I wasn't able to get any sweet pictures this week, but I managed to
find Christmas lights in the most random corners of our apartment so
I've tried to be creative and hang them all around. Our apartment
doesn't look too shabby right now! Thank you for the support, it means
a lot, especially during this Christmas season. #LIGHTtheWORLD

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