Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mi Primer Bautismo!

September 13, 2016

So after another week here I've pretty much decided that the MTC is the coolest place on this earth. I absolutely love it here, I know I've already said that, but I just want to be clear: I love it here! Real quick I want to do some weekly shout-outs: Spencer Payne, Eyleen Kendall, Jenn, McKay, Mom, Dad, and Megan Thomson are all champs for writing me, especially Megan because she sent a beautiful poem about remembering the Savior during the trials on our mission. We can never complain with what we are given, because our Savior went through so much more. Also I want to say I don't have anyone on the email list saved as contacts, so if you want to hear from me; email me please. 

On Sunday during our temple walk, I saw good ole Christian Hall from BYU, so that was cool! He told me ma boi Jaron Quirante got his mission call to Oakland! Jaron, email me man! Also I wanna know where Madysen Hallman is going as well. 

So Tuesday night after emailing, (Pdays really are so blessed btw) we had a devotional from Elder D Todd Christofferson!!!! The man is like the Morgan Freeman of the apostles! His voice is so soothing and I wish I could just listen to it on tape all day long. Plus he's also from Jersey so he's also a capo for that too! He said a lot of time we focus on trusting in the Lord, but does the Lord trust us? That really impacted me: when my Savior is counting on me, can I be trusted to do the things he asks of me? Can He give me certain trials and and opportunities because He knows I can handle it? I hope so. 

Wednesday through Friday I was sick. Don't worry Momma Smalls, it wasn't nothing too bad, I was just super congested and my nose was like Niagra Falls. I didn't even have a cough! I got to skip out on exercise time and sleep because I was sick which was HEAVENLY. 

Friday we had our last lesson with Sophia and we committed her to be baptized! There's just one problem: She already is. She will actually be our teacher from here on out. I didn't take it too rough, we had found out a few days before (Elder Ibarra may or may not have logged on to our other teacher, Hermano Allred's, computer and looked through his notes to figure that out....😂.) 

Anyways on Saturday when she came in to our class on Saturday to teach us, everyone in our district started yelling: "IMPOSTOR!!!" She busted out laughing -  it was hilarious. I really loved teaching Sophia, the Spirit was always so strong and it showed me that through the Holy Ghost, I CAN teach in Spanish.  

One thing that was challenging about this week is that for the first time I haven't understood 100% of the Spanish. I don't think there's any difference in the level of speaking, I think it's because I haven't been as diligent lately in my personal studies. When I first got here I could understood and speak better than the departing missionaries who had been here for six weeks, and I really let that go to my head. I started goofing off and fooling around because speaking and teaching seemed so easy to me. Everything about the MTC has felt ridiculously easy so far, even constantly being sleep deprived isn't too bad. After being cooped up in a class all day, when there's no teacher around, it's way too easy to get distracted and forget your purpose. I need to be better and I'm so grateful for the atonement and my Savior who help me to do that.

Sunday: Everyone loves sundays here. You get up and have 2 and a half hours of personal study time, then you have a morning devotional, then sacrament meeting, then lunch, then second and third hour with your branch and district respectively, then more study time, then dinner, then more study time, then an evening devotional. Guess who spoke at that: Elder M Russell Ballard! TWO APOSTLES IN 5 DAYS😱 QUE CHIDO!!!!! It was awesome, he talked about being in Baton Rouge (Holla at ma boi, Elder Michael Jensen!) and helping the humanitarian (however the heck you spell that word lol) efforts down there and how we need to be the rescuer of souls. He promised us that if we forget ourselves then we will never have a bad day on our missions, I'm really trying hard to do that, but I feel it's harder to forget yourself here at the MTC where everything you do is for your betterment, I just need to remember why I'm doing it ;). But so far I haven't had a bad day so that's good👍

After that we watched three stories from the new Meet the Mormons, and there were all so good! Really felt the Spirit strong, but honestly if you seek it you can feel the Spirit 24/7 here, that's what I love about the MTC. 

Also the more I find out about Elder Ibarra, the more I like this guy, he's a total capo, and he's good at basketball too, so we get along really well even though our personalities are so different. he's also incredibly smart, he passed the AP Calc test, and that in itself is intelligence I can't comprehend (I got a one), also he can solve a rubik's cube like a capo. I can tell he has such a strong desire to serve the Lord, and we may have stupid little arguments sometimes, but we can always build off that common denominator. 

Yesterday we taught our first actual investigator named V, and it went really good! We committed her to read the Book of Mormon, so I think we have something to work with!
I absolutely love being a missionary, I love teaching, especially in the beautiful Spanish language! I'm so grateful my Heavenly Father and Savior trusted me enough to give me this sacred call, now I need to give back and earn their trust and completely submit my will to their's. 

Elder Smalley


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