Monday, February 22, 2016

2/22/2016 - Transfer to San Fernando

What a week it has been here in California! It above 30 degrees as a regular here and this is winter weather so everyone is wearing sweaters and are all bundled up, its supposed to get up to above 50 in the summer so that should be fun!

I am in a treo once again since I came in too late for the transfer and I am having a blast! Elder Wilson and Elder Gentemen are really fantastic they are filled with the spirit and we are having a great time together, we have a total of two investigators we are currently teaching, They are some interesting fellows, Anthony lives with his mother and doesn't have a job so he is open a lot for us to teach and he is pretty receptive, despite some initial concerns, of some weird anti, apparently people think we teach in our church that the moon is populated, and we still practice polygamy and we are all liberal. but we cleared a lot of that up and he is really excited to learn more.

I have to really hold myself back a lot, there are a lot of people here who really like to argue and demean the church, on the other hand there is a lot of respect people give to us going out and proclaiming our religion, apparently not a lot of churches go out and do what we do, there was one lady that was convinced we practiced polygamy and we told her we didn't and she kept saying, "Yes, you do!" then we would state that we don't and she would tell us we do once again, and there was no getting past that, so set was she in her mind that we practiced it that we could not tell her otherwise, then another lady kept trying to convince us that God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost were one and the same person, and I was so tempted to whip out the bible and prove to her that she was wrong and We were right. My heart was filled with contention and I really wanted to just tell her she was blind and that she needed to open her eyes, but then a thought entered into my mind, to bare my testimony and holding out a Book of Mormon I testified that I knew it was true and that Joseph Smith truly saw God and Jesus Christ Two separate beings with bodies of flesh and bones, and when I stated the first vision the spirit of peace entered into my heart and the spirit of contention fled, it was so amazing, we gave her the Book of Mormon and exhorted her to read of it and pray about it. It was an amazing experience.

There is something that has bothered me since the beginning of my mission, something that I have seen and felt from non-members and members alike, that we don't appreciate what we have, this gospel is such an amazing blessing and is incomprehensibly simple and awe inspiring, and not many people understand that we can be so much more that what we are now. Its hard to explain the depth of feeling I have for this, a lot of times I have felt that church was a burden, when we needed to do home teaching or other callings in the church I viewed it as an inconvenience something that I could do without, but looking now, I know that I never understood the blessings that it brings, all the programs of the church all we are called to do is for a purpose, please find that spark in the Gospel, Hear the music that goes with the dance, I know that all of us are living below our privileges, that we don't yet understand what exactly we have, this treasure in which we are squandering, Awake and Arise! and be more that you are now! Look at the Treasure laid before you! we have a book that can bring us closer to God in every way, and we set it as not, do not be complacent don't waist your time on meaningless things when the true meaning of life and happiness is laying before you, Pray with all energy of heart, and humble yourselves to the depth of humility, walk the path that Christ walked, Lift each other up, and look to the light which is the light of Christ. I exhort you, all of you, Sam, Ben, Abby, Mia, Mom, Dad, Steph, and Tyler, the time is at hand when we must choose to be all in or all out. 

I love you guys so much and hope you are all doing well, 

Elder Joshua Smith

P.S

Mom I know you like folk music a bit and a cool music group is called The Lower Lights, I bet you would like it,

also something I have realized as a missionary is that pictures and letters are like life, whenever I get some I am filled with Joy and happiness I never truly understood how deeply they effect a missionary until, Hey! I was a missionary and Boom! I realize that hearing about your lives and seeing the progress of my family truly is what I yearn for.

P.S. 2

I also finished The Book of Mormon and am looking forward to reading the Bible now! I hope everyone is reading well and that they are reading with a purpose or question in mind.

2/9/2016 - Last week in Halifax Mission

Rumor travels fast, I have got my visa and will be leaving for California next Tuesday, the reason I am emailing now is that Monday we are not going to have P-day, Dartmouth district is sacrificing a P-day to go to the temple on Thursday of next week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2/8/2016

By far the one thing that I would want to express to all of you is that I love you all so much, I love this Gospel with all of my heart and see it change lives daily, I know it has changed mine, I hope you guys are doing great and are all staying healthy, improve the shining moments.
I have a couple things to say that will help you and will help this great work from progressing.
First off, when ever you have the missionaries over, try to have at least one referral for them that can make their day. and also don't be afraid to be missionaries right now, something that I have realized is that it is easier than it looks. Be a missionary now, because more often then not, it is the members of the church that are not serving missions that make the most difference in the work.
The other day it was a brutal rainstorm, rain cascading down upon us as we walked miserably through the streets of Dartmouth, me and Elder Gardner were trudging through the wet streets shoes and socks soaked striving to find people who would listen to us long enough to hear our message, people would pass by us at nearly a run trying to get from one location to the other as quick as possible, we stopped under an overhang of a building to get a rest from the rain and I noticed a guys smoking in the corner, turning I said a simple hello to which he grunted back, then something interesting happened as I stated my name, he turned to me and we started a conversation about life, we talked of his family, his vocation, he spoke of the trials of life and I told him a brief portion of our message before he walked off thanking me for the conversation.

On a bus traveling to the Church, we were on Splits and me and Elder Breinholt and Elder Walker were heading downtown, I looked over at this man who looked miserable, after a couple failed attempts at conversation I finally told him my name, "I am Elder Smith by the way" 
slowly he turned and asked why I was called elder, I stated that I was a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and he laughed at that, and I asked him about why, He promptly told me to get out of religion as fast as I could, because religion was a sin according to the bible, and I was a bit taken aback this was the first time I had met someone who wanted to bash about religion, we continued the conversation on why, and his reasons for hating the Mormon Church, we talked of Joseph smith and the Book of Mormon, which he said was a false book, I then asked him if he had read it. The response was that he had read it a little bit. So I bore my testimony of the truthfulness of it and how it was an accompaniment to the Bible. and how "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts then any other book" (introduction to the book of mormon) and challenged him to read it. He then told me the next time we met he would have read it, and challenged me to think about what he said, and I have thought a lot about it, and studied deeply into it, and have found (as I have countless times before) that I know this to be the one true church of God and that Jesus literally leads this church through revelation, that Joseph Smith was called by God to be a prophet in this last dispensation. I know that this Church is true, and I hope that you guys are on the paths to finding it out for yourselves.
I love you all with all my heart,
 Elder Joshua Smith

Monday, February 1, 2016

2/1/2016

To Dad:

Nothing on the Visa, I guess the Lord needs me here for the time being and once I have fulfilled my purpose here I will definitely get word on my Visa.
I don't know If my spiritual jar has been popping... well less like popping and more like overflowing at the moment, I may need another jar. In every lesson I can feel the spirit poor through me, whenever I say the first vision the spirit roots me in place, there have been continuous experiences such that I cannot state them all, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be and I am reminded everyday about it.
2 Nephi 32:3 is such a great scripture I encourage you all to apply it to your lives and continue to read the Book of Mormon.
Dad, I am starting to understand how mission life goes, and a lot of your stories are coming to life for me, please continue to tell everyone of all of your experiences because a mission is so great. What were some of your Street Contacting experiences? What did you do for fun?
I am looking forward to this new house and I know that as long as we stay true to the Principles of the Gospel the Lord will provide all that we need. sometimes we need to ask him. Pray always says the Lord, are we praying for all we do? for all we get? for all we love?
a quote In the mission home goes like this:
"What if you woke up in the morning with only the things you thanked God for the previous night?"
I love being on a mission, and though I am starting to see how truly hard a mission can be I love it all the same, the good and the difficult.

To Mom:

Thank you Mom, I absolutely love hearing everyone of these stories of such amazing people, In every way I can see that each of my brothers and sisters are great leaders, in courage and in attitude. Reading each of these stories I marvel at the great qualities everyone portrays and I know that it is threw the Gospel and the great example of you and dad that we are where we are today, and I along with everyone in our family thank you for your leadership and parenthood, and I fervently hope that everyone from Mia to Sam are treating you with full respect and expressing their love for you, because I know that I love my family so much. I know for a fact that the Gospel truly blesses families.
I have to say that all of my favorite experiences have been out street contacting, on Thursday I got to teach people the restoration, and it was only after that I realized that they were completely drunk... so I probably didn't do much but it was a great experience. I also find something else interesting here, that people first of all are really wary of missionaries, whenever we say hi they treat us like we are selling something, and two, that people trust missionaries way more than regular people, a lot of people here once you get them talking will just unload their problems on you, every load of crap they face in life they will just lay out, the very first door I got invited into the man just dropped a bomb of every thing he hated, he talked about how his wife cheated on him his whole marriage, and how the world was going to the dogs, and every other tiny little problem... eventually we just had to leave because we couldn't get a word in edge wise. Not too many experiences pop out at me when writing these emails, but I would encourage another cross Canada trip to Halifax because it is seriously beautiful here in Dartmouth, and the weather here is super messed up, a week ago it was -10 and full out dumping all kinds of snow, today is 10 and the sun is brilliantly shining.
I was reading recently in Mosiah and Alma, and it speaks of the difference of the people of the church and those not of the church, how everyone in the church was extremely wealthy and those who didn't belong were poor, and the deciding factor was in Alma 1:27, 30-32
and my question to you is, what in our lives are we spending money on that is possibly idle, indulging, and costly, that we don't need? and how much better would it be to give up some of our usual pleasantries to give to the needy? do we need costly apparel? why can't we just be neat and comely? I have also been studying the history of the church, I would encourage you all to study more deeply into the history of the church, and the story of how the Gospel was restored and the wonderful process that took place, it has strengthened my testimony so much and I know it can strengthen yours, "Our Heritage" is recommended. Also an interesting study: what happened to the Christian religion after the death of Christ and his apostles it truly shows a turning away from the Truth, did you know that after the apostles died that the christian religion really struggled under persecution, until the ruler Constantine accepted and protected them in his kingdom, but it was conditional on him becoming leader and when he did he made unauthorized changes, adding in his own thoughts and ideals. Then a part of the people rejected his teachings and appointed a Pope to lead them, and the Pope changed the ordinance of baptism conforming it to adapt to the ceremony of the country at the time. He also claimed to be a speaker for God but did not claim to be a prophet, but rather the voice of God. and thus creating first the Greek orthodox, and Roman Catholics and it goes on from there.
Well there is my rants for today, I hope everyone is doing well, Thank God for everything good and bad in your life, because everything good comes from God, and everything bad or challenging in our lives helps us to become who we are meant to be.
I love you guys with all of my heart and I know that you are all meant to be great leaders, so start acting like it.
Elder Joshua Smith

1/25/2016

That Giant snow storm by passed us by a lot, so we got only a sprinkling here in Dartmouth area, everything is going wonderfully.
This week has been so Great and marvelous, with so many blessings and events that have been mind blowing.

we were just about to go street contacting and said a prayer for the Lord to bless us to find the people he had prepared us to find, so we went out and were talking to people for about an hour with no success, we had just exited the building and in passing through a passing hello to a man walking by us and continued walking, before we got too far we heard this man call out to us, and he came up to us, he had seen us walking day by day and knew we were Mormon and had heard a lot of anti about us, and he just wanted to say he was amazed by our conviction in still going out even when it was hard, and he wanted to know what the truth of everything was, why we did what we did, and we were able to relate the restoration to him and bear our testimonies about the first vision, he gave us his number and asked us to set up a time for us to come and teach him more.
I know that the Lord had set up everything that day for us to find that man, His name is Alex and I just thank the Lord for putting him in our path, because I know that we would not have met him except through the spirit.
We have been also meeting with a man named Jerry who is a black man and is very spiritual and loves hearing the word of God, but he is caught up on it and won't move past that grudge he is holding from it, I would encourage you all to learn about it, because you will definitely come across people who have major concerns about it, something that I find comforting though is no matter what mistakes anyone makes in this church, the Gospel is true, and any missteps or mistakes are the mistakes of man, as for the doctrines of the Gospel they are pure and without the teachings which we learn and grow from we would all be lost in a world that would love us to do everything contrary to that which we believe, having a wonderful family, living a higher way of living, finding peace in this life, there are so many people I meet who are lost, who are despairing and desperate for peace, you don't even have to ask with some people I have seen the spiritual hunger in peoples faces and the need for this Gospel, I know the Church is true even as much as I know that I have a body, and the teachings that are taught, and the doctrines expressed through the Gospel are all true and meant to benefit our lives, nothing can change the truth, the truth will always be the truth and the only thing that changes is us, we can turn away from truth but that still doesn't change it.
I don't know why I go off on these rant's just know that when I do, its something that I am concerned about, I would invite everyone to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know it is true, I have done so and I know it is true, I know that God is out loving Heavenly Father and he has a plan for each on of us, I know that Christ came to earth to be a perfect example to us and that he truly suffered the atonement, we cannot even comprehend the depths of the atonement, he suffered for everyone of our sins, our heartaches, our anger, our vanity, our shortcomings, our depression, our grief, our pains, he had felt every paper cut, every hurt and sadness we have ever felt and will ever feel, and the greatest treasure of all is that we can let him relieve all of it, if we put our trust in him, I have had so many struggles and it is only because of the atonement that I am here today, writing this email from Halifax, and soon to be California, He is reaching for you to take his hand, his arm is ever extended... will you take it? I encourage every one of you to look to him because it is in him that we are saved from everything.

1/18/2016

I sure do love you guys and its so cool to hear about the growth of everyone (including coco) I know for a fact that we are a family of leaders, I do not say this to make us filled with pride but because every time I see improvement in each one of my siblings and hear the wonderful stories related with them I know that everyone of this family can inspire all those around them, I know that you guys sure inspire me, I am grateful for parents who built me up and for each one of you to encourage me to be greater, From steph inspiring me to take risks and go on adventures, Sam inspiring me to follow my heart and stick to what I feel is right, Ben makes me never want to give up to stick to the task and to follow my passions to the end, When I feel down on my luck and miserable I think of Abby and I can find the courage to follow my heart, and Mia is always my ray of hope, I think of her bright smile and I can't be sad. All of you are an example to me and I know I could never be half the person I am without all of you guys showing me great examples of leaders among men, I can never express enough how lucky I feel to be among these noble and great ones. and how lucky we are to be raised by parents who love us and only want us to reach our full potential. 
Mom and Dad you guys are the reason I am here today, without you I could never have made it this far, I will always be eternally grateful for everything you do and have done to raise me, who knows where I would be today without Dad's unshakable example of what a good man should be, I know that all of my life I have wanted to grow up to be like my dad. Mom has always told me to be the best I could be, she always wants the best for me, I am so glad for the relationship we have and how I could talk to her about anything, Mom you are busy all the time with us with hardly a moment to yourself, and yet you always found time for me, I know that some moments were easier then others and that i haven't always expressed how deeply I am in your debt for teaching me and showing me how to be the best person I can become.
I write in my journal everyday, and I always write as did nephi only briefly the account of events, I record thoughts and questions, Epiphanies and joy's of the day, highlights and feelings. I have found that when you are constantly learning something new everyday that it isn't that hard to write at least a little, and I would encourage everyone that they write in their journal, it doesn't have to be long or complex, well written or proper, write what you feel you want to write, their is no specific way you have to write it, as long as you can read it it doesn't matter what you put in their, you can draw pictures, make up a language, who cares what you write in it? its your journal as long as you care what you write in it, that is all you need.
a little report on events,
we picked up a new investigator this week her name is Faith Eweka, she is a single mother She is black, and she is so cool, she has a belief in God and she is crazy busy, she works three jobs, airport security, teacher, and substitute teacher, and she is going to school to be a counselor and on top of that she has to care for her ten year old daughter.
I am doing a lot of knocking and street contacting because the people here are really stubborn but I know that the spirit can touch the heart of all who are willing to listen.
How is the individual scripture reading? Anybody find anything cool? the other day I found that their are satyrs in the Book of Mormon. Its your job to find out where. I also found that God's hand is always reaching for us, all we need to do is grasp hold of his everlasting love.
Any cool missionary experiences from anyone? I challenge everyone of you to share your testimony with someone you know. There is a promise in a talk I read that if you are willing to speak of truth, and you don't feel like you have a testimony, if you will tell people of the truth of the gospel the spirit will manifest its truthfulness unto you as well. 
Any questions for me? I can promise you that if you are wondering about anything in the Gospel I will help you to the best of my ability.

Here are a couple pictures of some of my first day's here, we went to a cool place filled with street art the mural I am standing in front of tells a story and I think Russell Francis would love that, it is so cool.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Braxton Breinholt <braxton.breinholt@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 12:18 PM
Subject: Pics
To: joshua.c.smith@myldsmail.net

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1/11/2016

We have been pretty busy this week and its been interesting to see things unfold and look back at how many things go 'just right' during the week, even today we were street contacting when we stopped to give this random guy a card for Mormon.org, (highly suggest everyone makes an account on that it is a wonderful way to tell who you are and what you believe, Sam and Ben you want to be a missionary now? then update your mormon.org accounts regularly, you never know when someone your age will be looking over it)

Also this week I have been reflecting a lot on life, and i have to say I am constantly worried, like Nephi I want the best for my siblings, though each one of you guys are so amazing, I have met so many people while knocking on doors who just up a leave the church because they just don't "feel like its for them" and I just want you guys to know that I have a personal witness that this Gospel is so true, I can't stress enough the need for conversion, and finding and growing your testimony now, I also have a personal witness that Satan wants each of you guys to fail, to not achieve your full potential, I have felt his influence in my life, and have lost a lot of time trying to figure things out, I know that each one of you are so amazing and are all leaders among men, why do you think God saved you until the best and worst days of the world? he sent us here because we are his choice spirits, he sent us here because whatever this world threw at us he knew we could take it and throw it back better then ever, each one of you has so many talents and abilities that enable you to be great, don't waist another moment, because you are truly special, and nothing can bring you down, stop lazing about, and be who you truly are meant to be, I am constantly amazed that I can be in such a great family with people filled with so much light and love, and every time I think about each and everyone of you, Dad, Mom, Steph, Sam, Ben, Abby Mia. I can't help but think how lucky, how privileged, and how great it is to be able to grow up with leaders, and examples to me in my life. I cant even express the depth of emotion I feel, the fullness of love I have for all of you, you have made me who I am, and I know that you all are meant to "shake the very foundations of Hell" and that I get to be counted among you.

So my plea to each one of you, is stop wasting time being average. Stop wasting time being distracted, because that's what Satin wants, that is when satin wins, when he can pull us away from our full potential... Follow your dreams, and trust in the Lord. I don't say this because I hear about people rejecting the Gospel, I say this because I have seen it so many times this week, people leave at literally any age, especially when they are raised up in the Gospel

Nothing is too hard yet, my companions are pretty great, we get along well, though Elder Gardner is struggling with severe foot pains which makes tracting a bit hard, but other then that I have to say this is the closest I have ever felt to the Lord.

 Its so cool how things are turning out, I have been studying the first vision, and its pretty interesting how things go, MEMORIZE the fist vision! and then experiment on non member friends, it has a cool effect when you say the first vision story word for word starting from "I saw a light" no matter what people are doing they literally shut down, and will look at you in the eyes until you finish and a lot of times its because the spirit pierces their souls. so I encourage you try it... it's cool. Make sure to explain things first though, :) 

I shall update you as much as I can next week, I can't really describe a lot of main events, a lot of times I only send what I feel I need to, and I can't really remember too many events. one thing I do remember however is that February 9th is national pizza day, :) 

I Love all of you SO much and I am proud to be one of the Smiths. 

Elder Joshua Smith

we have a two hour time block for writing emails and there is a lot of specific spiritual insights i feel could benefit specific people I know so I feel like as long as I can keep my head and prioritize my time (with the help of my companions) i can use that two hours to increase faith in people i know and fulfill my purpose more effectively by helping others more fully come unto Christ. I know it was unadvised it is probably cause of missionaries getting sidetracked, if I feel I am getting sidetracked and drawn away from my purpose I will ask them to just send me letters or speak to me after my mission.

My address is

7 horizon court 
101 dartmouth
NS B3A 4R2

and the mission office address is:

202 brownlow ave
FF dortmouth
NS B3B 1T5

1/4/2016

I love hearing everything from you guys, its so much fun to be a part of your lives while being apart from all of you, just know i am thinking of you everyday, I did feel really inspired on Sunday, it has been an interesting experience thrusting myself into the work, street contacting and knocking on doors is really nerve racking but really fun, especially when people are even a little receptive, Halifax is an interesting place people here are really set in their ways so we are spending a lot of time finding people to teach.

​I get to be in a trio, the guy with blond hair is Elder Brienholt and the guy with black hair is Elder Gardner, and the super handsome guy in the middle is Elder smith
Elder Gardner has been out 18 months and is always excited about one thing or another, Elder Brienholt has been out 6 months and is the district leader for the Dartmouth area where I am positioned, both have a real desire to serve to their fullest and both are real sticklers for the rules. so I am in good hands.
I am so glad to be out here, the members are really fun to be around and love having us over, we have visited with a few since I have been here.
yesterday we went to the Fox's and they had a son serve in dads mission close to when he served his, an Elder Fox. which was pretty cool, and they asked if dad knew an Elder Fox, I told them I would ask,
as for missionary work its been quite an adventure, I have met a couple crazy people, one old man just ranted to us for thirty minutes about the worlds problems and kept asking questions like, "why are there so many churches!?" or "why isn't there rules against sex before marriage!" and "why is it that no church has the full truth!?" which really excited me because I was ready to tell him that I knew the answers and that the gospel could help him... but he wouldn't let us get a word in edge wise so we left him with a card and told him that he could find truthmormon.org, and walked away with him still ranting like we were still there.
there have also been quite spiritual experiences, we got to give a blessing to a sister that was feeling really homesick, and the spirit of comfort was so strong that i nearly cried.
President Pratt is really great, I can tell this because he jokes and teases constantly, so he isn't one of those presidents that are really serious, which is a bit of a comfort, its also really interesting this is not an iPad mission but we do use facebook for teaching opportunities, so I don't really know everything about it, but if I am on too much i will get locked out, so just a warning for all who have access to my account that I can use facebook, so a blog is probably a really smart idea dad. maybe send everyone of my friends a link to it, I kind of wish I could have everyone's email so I could send them specific spiritual thoughts that could help them increase their faith and love of Christ but have no way to ask for them. If somehow you guys could do that it would be helpful.
something that I learned about life being on a mission is that life is not set in stone, lots of changes come your way that you can't predict, but a little advice to you Sam, Ben, Abby, and Mia, that setting goals though hard allows you to get so much out of life that can't be found without that plan set in place, It's something dad has tried to help me do all of my life, because he knows the effects of setting goals, its something i wish i would have listened to sooner, sadly I am only figuring it out now, so my challenge for you guys is to set goals everyday, for your day, for your week, for your life, a good analogy is the long jump, where people try to jump as far as they can and mark a line where they landed, then jumping again, nine times out of ten they could go farther then they could when they didn't have a line, when you have a goal, you have a greater chance of hitting it and surpassing your goal.
Something else I learned as a missionary is to be clear about your purpose, when you want something for someone else, then you need to be specific and clear, don't leave people wondering what you want, be simple clear and specific about your purpose, as a missionary when you challenge someone you can't say "do you want?" or "do you feel like?" it is always "Will you do this?" that way it only gives them two options how to answer yes, or no. 

I am also getting familiar with a lot of missionary language, its like a whole new culture of weird here, when you are a greeny your trainer becomes your father as you are born into the missionary world, when you go home it is referred to as dying and whoever your companion is when you go home "kills you off" also missionary humor is interesting, because as a missionary you are very limited to what you can do for fun, no worldly music, no swimming, no flirting, so Elders will often make jokes up that apply to the mission or to zone leaders, and for entertainment something that is done here is every once and a while elders will break into song, with any songs they remember from home but this happens rarely.
I love studying, its fantastic, the Joseph smith story is so fascinating and is an adventure to read, and also brings a great sense of the spirit, I would encourage you guys as you read the Book of Mormon, to not only read it with a question in your mind but also read more deeply into the background of how it came to be in your hands, I just love it.

​Here is some other pictures of me with my MTC District, From right to left, Elder Adams, me, Elder Silva, Brother Weekes (our teacher)
Elder Edwards (In front) Elder Baker, then Elder Lee.
Love you guys a bunch, and I hope you guys are all well and can all feel of the love of Christ.
Elder Smith

12/28/2015

The more learn the more I realize that I am nothing, I have a knowledge and a testimony of this gospel and every single day it is growing, I watched a talk by Jeffrey R Holland in which he talked about how you can not waste a minute on your mission, he spoke of forgetting yourself and making this your life, and i can testify that nothing in this world is more important than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my whole life I never knew what it meant to lose your life to gain it, but I am now starting to understand a little and I will tell you my take on it, for all those who will be serving a mission soon, there is three things you need to know that are super important, 

1. obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles. and as long as you will be obedient to the commandments of The Lord then you will have a power inside you that can be seen no matter where you are, did you know that commandments is stated 204 times in the book of mormon? and around 10 in the first five chapters of nephi? To everyone reading the book of mormon, when you go in with a sincere question that you really want to know about anything at all that the book of mormon comes alive in your hands, but to make this happen you must have a question in your mind before you even start reading and make sure to write it on the cover, reading a chapter used to be so hard for me, but with a question to think about I can't wait to get reading again.

2. Love everyone you see, when you determine to love someone before you even get to know them everything about them is fascinating, with love in your heart you can make the best of friends in five minutes, Become as a little child, you know how children can look at a stranger their age and say "you are now my best friend" and they are? amazing right? where did that ability go? when we grow up is the ability to love at first sight lost? I encourage all of you to hold love in your heart at all times, its something we all need to re-learn to do. 

3. For all those serving a mission this is the one thing you need to know... well there is a bit i would like to say, Sam, Ben, going on a mission isn't something to check off your list it's not a goal. It is a life style, Elder Holland said,
THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING TO REAL LIFE YOU WILL EVER GET. Don't think about it as something for you, the moment you get on a mission, the moment you get set apart you no longer get to think about yourself. once you are set apart you are on The Lords Mission its not your mission, it's not dad's mission. The Lord will call you and the lord will work through you, there can be no room in your mind for any of your thoughts...well that's a lie, on a mission you MUST MAKE YOUR THOUGHTS ALIGN WITH GOD'S there is no other way for you to gain the directions of the spirit, you must make this work your own. and you must fill your mind with the scriptures with the Gospel with every bit of knowledge so that the spirit can have every bit of material available to work with through you, you are not the teacher when you serve a mission you are the conduit through which the spirit can teach. 

I love you guys and I hope that you feel the spirit often because in my mind there is nothing that feels as good as when you feel the fire of the spirit burning in your heart. When you are baptized you have access to the spirit 24/7 as long as you live so that he can be there for you.

in other news, after we finished talking there was a devotional and everyone wasn't excited because the christmas devotionals were starting to get monotonous and compared to David A Bednar nothing could compare right? well boy were we wrong since there was a surprise visit by David Archuletta it was so wonderful. he sang dad's favourite song, and everyone was crying, we were encouraged not to scream but I have to admit i squealed just a little. 

I Love You Guys and miss you when I have time to think about it, I am working on aligning my will with God's and find it is harder than it sounds.

Elder Smith

P.S. 

would you be able to ask on facebook for everyone who wants to put their email up for me to send things, I would like to send short spiritual thoughts to people who need them, if you could put a post on facebook for people to put their emails up in comments it would be much appreciated on my end.  

This is my Flight information for my flight to Halifax

Delta Air Lines DL 728

I will be flying out at 8:45 am from salt lake to Minneapolis 

from Minneapolis

Delta Air Lines DL 5130

to Toronto 

from Toronto

Delta Air Lines DL 7160

and I will be landing in halifax around 9:17 PM

12/29/2015

We'll I got a delay so we will probably get to Halifax sometime in the morning, I am interested to see what The Lord has in store for me, I really wonder what is something that I can do or have to do now? Any advice? 

12/21/2015

12/21/2015

Dad. I am so amazed by the Spirit, It's so strong here and i am overwhelmed every single day, I realize now, that I have never felt what it means to have the of the spirit. Not like this, you know when they say you will feel a warmth in the heart when you feel it. I think it is more of a blaze, I have felt the spirit so strong that i could barely stand. I can't express to you everything I feel there is too much, and most of it is undescribably

Other then that, My favourite part about sunday was a recorded talk from elder Bednar as he said to become like Christ and be selfless, and get over yourself, and i realized that i am very prideful and self centered. 

I don't have much time but I will give you a short report.

I am in charge of sacrament meeting, they always assign missionaries to do it.

There I Elder Lee, he is our district leader, Elder Edwards is his companion, he is more in touch with the spirit than anyone i have ever seen, Elder Silva, and Elder Baker, Me and Elder Adams, 
Elder Lee, Elder Edwards, Elder Baker and me are all from Canada. its pretty cool and everyone is going to different places except Elder Adams and me, we are both going to San Fernando.

Cafeteria food is fifty fifty on how good it may be. 

No time to think is how my Schedule is, which is a learning experience for me, its cool trying to fit time in to even make a lesson for our investigators, it is so cool how much the spirit helps when you are prepared, and when you aren't. 

Looks like i am going to Halafax, I don't think I will get it in time, But Elder Lee, Baker, and Edwards are going to Edmonton so look for them Elder Lee is a Ginger, Edwards is large and soft spoken, and Elder Baker is really tall.

i learned also that i can Bench press Bailey about ten times which is pretty fun to do. 

anyway, give my love to everyone, my time is up. 

Elder Smith

12/17/2015

12/17/2015

My companion is Elder Adams and he is pretty great, he is left handed like me and we were both homeschooled though he was only homeschooled for a little, it is definitely really fast paced here not much time for anything other then our plans, investigator lessons are tomorrow and we are slowly getting into the pace of things. I am absolutely loving it here and i am sad i only get a short time to do this, but i am glad of the time i have and i am so thankful for everything that I am going through, even the fatigue is nothing when i can feel of the spirit. 

I love you dad and I hope you guys are all doing well.

love to everyone,

Elder  Smith

12/16/2015

12/16/15

I am here, I am all right, I just wanted you to know that i am slightly overwhelmed but its so amazing here, give my love to everyone.

The MTC is already fantastic and everything is going really really well, i am super excited for the future.

And this is my mailing address please give it to all those who want it.

Elder Joshua Chad Smith
DEC29  CA-SFER
2005 N 900 E Unit  37
Provo UT 84602


Elder Smith