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

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