Monday, March 27, 2017

Lil Africa

So there's this joke where you look up in the sky at an airplane and say "how far away do you think that plane is?" And your young companion unknowingly says "I don't know 300 miles" and you reply "it looks like 23 months for you!". When I was in Bethlehem on an exchange with a missionary who would soon be finishing his mission he said that the longer your out, it seems like the airplanes actually start to look a lot closer. Well just for your information our ward actually covers the Philadelphia airport and it's very close...

Anyways this was a good week. On Monday a recently baptized family, the Sesay's, had us over for a family home evening and they invited their sister and her kids, the Coles, who are now also investigating the church;) We taught a lot this week, I feel like we always do here and next week already looks packed. We picked up 6 new people to be taught, and they are all great! Especially the family that I just mentioned. Early in the week we hopped off the bus in a rush to get to our next appointment, I looked on my iPad and saw that a trolley that hasn't run too often in my time here was running that day. It said it was about two minutes out so we got to a stop and sure enough it picked us up. Right in front of the complex we were going to, we saw a recent convert young man named Momo walking with his friend. We hopped off to go to the appointment and waved at the two boys. As soon as they saw us they started running towards us, and when they reached us Momo's friend, Darlington said "Momo tells me a lot of great things about your church, can I come to your church?" uh Yeah! (the irony in this email is that his last name is Yeah.) so we taught him the next day and a few days later met his family and we have a lesson set up to teach the Yeah's this week! 

We had our zone conference this week, which was wonderful. I always enjoy a good spirit filled meeting, especially when I get called on to give a talk on Faith that I didn't prepare for. It went super well! The next day we had a zone Training, which was pretty good. It's nice not to have to plan for those things anymore, but as it always goes I got asked to do a short training. As usual they asked me the day before, and gave me the topic that night "How can I strengthen my Conversion through my faith in Jesus Christ?" so I stood up there with a couple notes I jotted down in about 5 minutes and taught about the Book of Mormon and the difference between Conversion and testimony. That went super well too! But wait, there's more! I show up to Gospel Principles and the other missionaries tell me that I'm teaching, yet no one informed me prior. No worries, I broke out Chapter 24: The Sabbath day and probably had one of the best discussions on the Sabbath Day ever. Remember the 111 MPH windstorm Centerville? That came up in the fact that church got cancelled for us to serve one another and clean up the place, ultimately keeping the sabbath day holy. I also cracked a few jokes and everyone participated, that shows success, right? This scripture rings true: "Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." (D&C 84:85) Although I should try to prepare a little more... sometimes;)

At church I was amped because I thought that we would fill up the entire 2nd overflow with all the people we had coming to church but as soon as I walked out of ward council I saw on the phone that we had many messages "my car won't start" "we have to go visit family" "I can't come this week", but I wasn't going to let it get my hope down. We had our regulars, which is always good, but then right as it started one of our investigators Mack walked in. Now Mack has been an investigator since last summer (S/O to Elder Fowers for finding him) but Mack has struggled staying consistent. Miraculously we met with him a few times this week. Seriously it was a miracle because past missionaries had his wrong address and we set up lessons with a lady who was a former who actually is his wife so when we went to the home she wasn't there, but he was!  Anyways I guess my teaching style is different, because I use the Book of Mormon very heavily (the scriptures teach for me) and expound on it. Mack loved it and in our second lesson we read Ether 12, which is on faith and we were quite bold with them. Topped it off with the story of "Fourth Floor, Last Door" and by the end he said "by the Grace of God, I will be at church this Sunday." Well God is good ladies and gentleman because he had a great experience and I am optimistic that it won't be the last time he comes. Thank you for the support you give me, I truly love this work and I pray you all have a great week!

Elder Dylan Smith

I need to get me one of these backpacks this summer to carry around all my baja blast!


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