Guest Testimonies

Friday, January 24, 2014

"sometimes ya just gotta spray your comp with some ice"

Finally I get to write some stuff here! Stories and experiences and such straight outta Joburg!
So a last week we went to a place called "carnivor" to eat. YO! It’s perfect for Africa! Haha now I can say that I’ve eaten: zebra, crocodile, Kudu, impala, beef, pork, chicken, and chicken liver all the African way! haha Then we went ice skating! haha I tried not to dazzle all the elders with my skills but, hey, sometimes ya just gotta spray your comp with some ice! ;) haha One of the cool things about being here in Jozi is that the temple is only 15 minutes away from our area! So we have our district meeting on the temple grounds and in the gardens:) it’s so sick!
But then we always face our challenges with being in the city. Lots of people are jokers and just say they want you to come but tell you to come when they’re conveniently at work -____- haha so now elder Matos and I have come up with a new strategy! Instead of giving out our phone numbers for them to call us, we set up appointments right then and there! It seems to really help and we are more and more busy!  We’ve even got one of our investigators set on baptism date!! Leslie Ncube (n-tsk sound-oo-bay) is progressing to be baptized on 16 March!!  He even committed right then and there to give up alcohol and coffee to live the Word of wisdom!! It’s so cool to see how the Lord prepares people to be taught and how to choose to change their own lives! If there is one thing I’ve been able to learn, it’s that people have their agency and you have to respect it just like God respects it.
We also got the privilege to meet this awesome guy named Patrick! We can’t teach him since he stays in Joburg 1's area but he works a fruit and veg stand in our area! We met him because I wanted to buy his guitar off of him and so it all began! haha He said he wanted to be a musician and his fruit and veg was just a way to get his stuff recorded (right there I knew I wasn’t gonna buy it from him, I just couldn’t!) But now, he has come to church and even brought friends!! He doesn’t even have a car but he still comes to church without having the 1st lesson. What I love most about Patrick though is how his face lights up when he sees us! It’s really my face that lights up though and I can see how much the gospel can benefit him! Family and friends, please pray that the Joburg 1 elders will contact him soon:) so since I didn’t want to buy Patrick’s guitar, I’m buying one from an elder here in the mission for only R400! I hope it’s good quality and I’m waiting on a picture and feedback so I know if I want to buy it or not but I can’t wait to have a guitar!! It’ll definitely fill a gap haha! 
I love you all and appreciate your prayers on my behalf and on behalf of those here in SA:) they mean more than I can describe!! Oh hey, in 8 days I’ll have been out 2 months :) time flies! Haha
Tha’s ‘bout it!
Elder Smith
Welcome to Joburg- haha!

Monday, January 13, 2014

a mashup

Elder Smith had limited time for emailing this week & didn't have time to write very much for his blog.  Instead I've taken a bit from each of the emails he wrote to all of us (his family) & posted them.

sorry no blog email this time :/ but here's a picture from the temple gardens!!
we had our district meeting there and it was amazing!
oh! and i celebrated my 1 month anniversary in the field this week by doing more missionary work!! :P haha 
elder smith 
ps. sorry, short emailing time this week:/

Dear Mom- 
I’ve noticed here in SA that the lord does love his people as much as he loves me! Their eyes light up when they see "Jesus Christ" on our nametags and they want to hear more! Even if they’re just jokers, like Joseph said, sometimes, we just plant seeds to be nurtured down the road by the missionaries who will impact them more! the lord is the perfect micromanager;) but then we get people like Leslie Ncube (n- tsk sound-oobay) who commit to be baptized after saying "give me 2 seconds to think about that, 1,2, yes!" haha it made my day and I hope he will continue progressing!! It's been amazing to see the gospel work in his life:) I know I'm the missionary but he inspired me to fix a couple things that I need to and it's been a huge blessing!!  

Dear Emma- 
Thanks for your prayers and inspiration to do that which is right. I know that as you set goals and work towards them that you will become a better person, even if maybe you fall a little short you were still further than when you started and it just motivates a person like you to work a little harder:) keep on keepin on!!  Haha we have to wake up even earlier to exercise and it kills me but I always feel better:)
Dear Ben (who asked about baptisms, missionaries, zone conferences & Spencer's twisted ankle)-
no but we set Leslie on date for baptism the 16th of MARCH!!!!, in Joburg there are 7, only one zone conference but district meeting every week, its better! Bruised still but I’m running again:),
Dear Bekah-
I’m living super simple here haha um cool story is that we went ice skating today for p-day at the Northgate mall!!!! The skates were horrible but I still had fun:) hahaha 
Yeah about the ankle.  I guess I left that story hanging huh? Well we were playing rugby for pday 2 weeks ago and I just stepped weird in a hole and it was bad!! It’s finally stopped swelling and now the bruising is going away but man! Did it hurt! Haha part of life I guess...
Dear Dad- 
I wish you could like be here with me to answer the hard questions but I’ve learned something cool as you cannot be here haha it’s that we need to rely on the promise the Lord gave us to study those things and then we will have what we need to say, and what we say is just the simple doctrine! Just the eternal truths that we know and the spirit can do the rest:) one cool thing I learned is that we first "obtain" his word then we can declare. Well what does "obtain" mean? I came to the point that to obtain something, we need to pay a price; money, time, etc. so to obtain his word, or a testimony, we need to pay a price of our time or giving up a vice or worldly thing so that we can know His word! How cool is that!?
Well, tha's 'bout it! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

"This work is hard but fulfilling..."

Hello everybody!!
 Well I hope you guys had a great holiday season and I apologize I didn't get a chance to write last week but, as always, time is very valuable here! So I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and encourage you all to set some goals! We can all be better and do better, haha this is something I've found out is that we always can improve in something:)
So for New Year's here in Jozi, we can’t go outside cause crime is crazy on holidays cause everyone is drunk :/ it’s sad for sure... so we invited all the missionaries from our zone over to our flat for a braai (bbq) and it was dope!! So good and so much fun:) we had wors, chicken, steak, and pap!
So the bummer is though, last p-day, we played rugby after email and, yup, I got hurt.... like my ankle has been soo swollen and purple this last week its crazy!! I was running the ball and stepped in a hole and twisted my ankle bad -______- luckily the worst pain went away and we didn’t have to tract that day haha but it sure made me count my blessings for being healthy and uninjured haha.
This work is hard but fulfilling and this past week has started a change in my life that will be for the better no doubt! I read a talk by Pres. Uchtdorf called "you can do it now!" from Oct 2013 conference and it inspired me!! If there is one thing my mission has taught me, it’s what I really want in life and who I am as an individual. Family and friends, I want you all to know that I know the Lord has a plan for each of his children and he is just waiting to bless us if we only have the courage to disregard what the world says and follow what he says. I know this to be true and I’ve felt very strong feelings of love from our Savior and Father in Heaven and they love all of us!!! I would ask humbly that you keep me in your prayers for this next week as I know a bumpy road is ahead! It’ll all be worth it tho!
I apologize this letter is short and all over the place but we only have so much time. Know that you are all in my daily prayers and that I love you all:) love from South Africa!
Tha’s ‘bout it!
Elder David Spencer Tony Smith
p.s. Oh did you guys know that Norm Bangerter (Bangerter Highway and the governor) was a mission president in the South Africa Joburg mission!!?? Crazy!!
p.s.s. Here in Joburg for New Year’s Eve, I continued the family tradition of sparkling cider when it turned New Year’s and we were up on this hill at midnight (we had permission don’t worry :P ) and saw allllll the fireworks in the whole Gauteng Province!! It was super cool!!