Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wesley's Letter 6-25-12

Sup Fam and Friends,

Guess what? I officially have 1 year in the mission HOLY GUACAMOLE! Time sure does fly by when you’re having fun! Honestly I’m super psyched! Guess what? I’m also going to be buying another hammock today in like 2 hours, so Mom, if you notice that I’m missing $ from my account today, just know that’s the reason.

Well, other fantastic news is that we baptized someone named Yadira on Saturday. What makes her so cool is that about a month and a half ago her son was super sick and she needed help. The missionaries got called over to give her son a blessing, and he got better, so she started listening to us and now she’s got a super strong testimony. She’s the first of her family to get baptized. And the change I’ve seen in her since the first day I saw her is pretty incredible.

Just this whole week we’ve been seeing a ton of miracles and this next month we should be baptizing at least once every week. Exciting stuff!

This week has also been pretty hectic. We went up to Escarsega for the district meeting on Monday, then came back the next morning. Then that same afternoon we went to Campeche for a zone conference. The next day we slept there and had the conference. At like 7:00 we drove back to Champoton with the DL (district leader) so he could do Yadira’s baptismal interview on Thursday. So we did divisions him. My companion stayed in Champoton. The other elder and I went back down to Escarsega to work all day. The next morning my comp and the DL came down. The DL got dropped off, then my comp and I went back to Champoton to finally work in our own area. The next day (Saturday) we had Yadira’s baptism. On Sunday we went back to Campeche to stake conference...

Yeah, crazy week and every one of those trips was a 2-hour bus ride. Escarsega is a little bit further than Campeche but they are both about 2 hours by bus.

Ya and I’m sorry, I would send all of the awesome picks I’ve got but the internet is littlerally being a big ol jerk face, so you’ll just have to wait till next time.

All right whelp those are just some of the highlights this week. I’d write more but I’m outta timeskis.

Smith out

(Below is Wes' response to Chelsea's email telling him about her daughter Liesl's circus birthday party that is coming up this weekend.)

Whelp tell her that I love her and happy birthday. There are always circuses coming through here. The funny part is when I was in Cancun a Portuguese circus came through. It was weird, the population of street dogs was going down and no one knew why until after about a week. They found out that the circus had been rounding up street mutts and feeding them to the lions and tigers... there’s the only circus experience I’ve ever had.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wesley's Letter 6-18-12

Sup Fam and friends,

It looks like it will have been year since the last time I saw you this Friday, CRAZY. I miss you guys tons and every day it goes through my mind at least once a day of when I’m going to see you all again.

So any way this week’s been pretty sweet! We’ve been working crazy hard preachen and all that good stuff.

We’ve been doing work here. We baptized a girl named Maria this week but the even better part is that we got to help her and her husband get married. I’ll send you a pic of them. It was a pretty funny service because a lot of people here look at getting married more as a "something on the to do list” than a once and a life time experience. For their wedding we just all went to the civil register’s office and they got married right there, with some of the witnesses from church, that we brought.

Ya, so that was exciting! Other news about things this week is that there is really too much!

I really do love and miss you all and just know I’m trying my hardest here.

You are all in my prayers.

Elder Smith

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wesley's Letter 6-11-12

Sup Fam and friends,

Just kicken it old school here in Campeche right now. I am really in the city of Campeche. I haven’t been transferred yet but I’m here waiting for my new comp. Elder Gonzalez got moved to Playa del Carmen. So my new comp is going to be an American named Elder Babit. Right now he’s on a bus from Chetumal to here.

So this week was pretty cool. We didn’t baptize but if we are lucky we should baptize 4 this week WHHOOP!

All right, well tell Eric Kennedy congrats on the mission call!

A cool story this week is that while we were sitting in Sacrament meeting waiting for it to start, out of nowhere the local Seventy shows up, Elder Vialobos. When he came up to talk he told us it was his first time passing through Champoton and he didn’t know why he was there he just felt like he needed to come.

So later that day after the second hour we were in the hall when he came over to us and invited us outside where he introduced us to an investigator that we hadn’t even noticed, that had shown up. We actually just thought he was a regular member. Anyway, Elder Vialobos found him and taught him the blessings of an eternal family and he actually helped him to not only know that he should get baptized, but he also promised that he would go personally to this man’s sealing with his family. So Elder Vialobos basically told us that we had to help him keep his promise, so now were going to teach this man everything. Cool eh?

All right so now I’m going to explain these pics. The pics of the epic sunsets are what it looks like here when a storm front moves in at dusk. There’s a pic of us with the Seventy, Elder Vialobos. A few pics of the cool fruit here. The big green one is a papaya and the other alienish pink one is a Pitajaya. Wow the mangos are in season right now and man are they just ridiculously big. Honestly most of them here are bigger than grapefruit. There’s a pic of me with a family at night, their actually named La familia Pacheco and they are super funny! I don’t know if you noticed the grandma but man is she about one of the shortest people I’ve ever met. She’s actually taller sitting on a chair! They’re all hilarious!

Whelp I’m all outta time.

Much love,
Smith out

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wesley's Letter 6-4-12

Sorry, this computer won’t let me upload pics. But don’t worry I’ll send em next week!

All right, this week’s been pretty sweet here in Maya-land. We didn’t baptize anyone but these next few weeks should be chock full of baptisms. This whole week’s been full of miracles and just awesome experiences! We have 2 baptisms for this week and then three the next week that follows and then various times after that.

A cool miracle that happened recently is that we found a couple that were investigating the church. But they were about to split up when we found them, because the girl had been a drug addict and alcoholic. Actually when we found them the boyfriend had all of his stuff all packed up and ready to go, by the front door. Anyway, we gave them a super spiritual lesson and by the end of it they decided to stay together. We lost contact with them for 2 weeks but 2 days ago we saw them again and they actually now have plans to get married and the girl had completely dropped drugs and doesn’t drink any more. So they’re going to be baptized real soon.

Sorry this letter’s going to be shorter than usual but I’m out of time. I love you all tons and just know the works going well here. And I’ll see you all in about a year.

Oh, also tell everyone that has been writing me that sometimes if you’ve written me and haven’t gotten a card back it’s just probably because the mailing system is not great here and I’ve been hearing that they lose a lot more cards in the process than I thought. It’s more secure sending from the USA to Mexico than from here to there. So I‘m super sorry, but I have written back every card I’ve received just not sure if you’ve gotten them.

Much Love,
Elder Smith

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Little Note From Wesley's Mom

When Wesley wrote his last letter (it should show up under this one) and because Wes has limited time to write his letter each week, I decided to take a minute to explain some things about our church.

Our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has a tithing system. Faithful members pay a tithing on their income/increase to the church. That money is sent to our church headquarters and used for things like building and maintaining churches, temples and other things that are necessary to run a church.

What is different about our church is that our leadership is not paid. Every responsibility in the church is taken care of by the local members in each congregation (we call them wards or branches).

We believe that we are called to a specific responsibility through inspiration. (Whoever the Lord thinks is the best person for that responsibility for that particular time and situation)

So, if a bishop is called to serve he will continue doing his regular job as a CPA, janitor, businessman or whatever his profession might be, to provide for his family. In addition to that, they will be responsible for a congregation of about 200-400 people for which he is not paid. (this helps to keep from having any conflict of interest)

Every responsibility in each of our congregations (teachers, children's, Women's , Young Men's and Young Women's leaders etc) are a "calling" for which we volunteer and are not paid.

We also have a Fast Sunday each month. This means that we fast (don't eat) for 2 meals. The money that we would have paid for the food for those 2 meals, that we didn't eat, we donate to a fast offering fund which is used to help those in need. The amount that is donated by each individual or family is up to them. Most members donate significantly more than what it would cost them to eat those 2 meals themselves.

There are a lot of other opportunities for donating and volunteering as well.

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ, we feel that it is our privilege and responsibility follow the Savior's example and to help those in need.

I hope this helps you to understand a little better how our church works.

If you would like to understand in more detail how our church is organized, how it is run, and what we believe, please feel free to go to: www.mormon.org and research information there as well.

Love to you all,
Laurie (Wes' mom)