Monday, October 31, 2011


Hello everyone! 
First of all, Anthony I am so sorry I didn't wish happy birthday to you BEFORE your birthday.  Last Monday I got my new companion and I just completely spaced it in the email.  But I am proud to say I did sing "Happy Birthday".  I hope you had such a wonderful day.  Wow, for me, Halloween is today.  I decided to dress up as a missionary this year and so we'll see how much candy we get as we go tracting today.  So this week has been a new start pretty much.  My new companion, Elder Mutton, is from Adelaide, Australia.  We have gotten along pretty well so far and I cannot wait to see the change in these people here with him.  
So this past week has been very stressful!!!  AHHH!!! First of all, since my companion doesn't know the area as well right now, I have been kinda leading out in everything.  This added responsiblity has been a little tougher than it was without it, but I know this is only a part of what will be added on in the future.  Soon, this added responsibilty will just be normal for me...hopefully.  Also, this week has been extremely difficult to find people to visit with.  The University is having the mid-term exams this week and next week, and so all the students are cramming everything in right now.  Kinda reminds me of my days at college (which seem forever ago).  So this week has been focused really on finding former investigators and less-actives.  Not not happened other than that.  Sorry...
Mom you asked how we get Book of Mormons... Our mission gives them to us.  We still have this HUGE box full of them, but if you want you can send your testimonies and I can translate them into chinese (hopefully I'll be able to write the characters).  But that would probably be the best way to do it.  I don't know how you would translate it yourself, unless you had Uncle Mike do it.  But probably the best way to do it would be to send them to me and I can translate them.
Dad, I hope things are well for you at work.  Keep doing what you do, cause it is awesome.  Spencer, send me the pictures of your homecoming activity (and you need a haircut).  Julia, from the pictures mom sent me it looks like you work hard with VB, especially where you dive for that ball.  Landon, your would love all the cars here!  Also keep working hard in basketball.  Tell me all about Jr. Jazz and school this coming week.  I also expect to hear from you all this week, even you Anthony.  Tell me what I can do to be a more successful missionary!
Even though it was a tough week, I still absolutely loved every second of it. What can be better than helping of Father in Heaven bring his children unto him.  I hope you all have an Awesome Week and an Awesome Halloween. Love, Elder Smith

Monday, October 24, 2011

Transfer Call . . . I Have a New Companion

Hello Family and Friends,
So this past week has flown by so fast.  Each week keeps going by faster and faster.  I love your detailed letters and knowing how things are going back at home.  I'm still here in Fengjia and I got my new companion today.  His name is Elder Mutton, from Australia, and I cannot wait to get to work with him.  So I just got a huge responsibility since my companion moved.  I'm the only one who knows the area now, I'm the only one who knows our investigators now, and so I have a lot to do.  So we'll see how this all plays out the next few weeks.  Don't have much time so here we go...
So this past week we met with our good friend Arthur.  We had his two friends, both returned missionaries, sit down with us and we talked about faith, how to develop faith, and why it is so important.  We also invited him to keep the Word of Wisdom, and he knows it is going to be super hard for him.  He wasn't quite sure if he wanted to give it all up, but he said he would try.  The most important thing for him right now is to have his own personal spiritual experiences.  If he doesn't learn and apply what we have taught him so far, he isn't going to progress.  So having him do the basics right now I think will help him the best: praying, reading, and coming to church.
Don't have a whole lot else to say, but I absolutely love this work.  Its still a challenge to express myself to these people, because of the language, but with the Lord's help anything is possible.  I can't believe that Anthony's missionary days are almost over.  Anthony, make sure you stay busy busy busy so you don't get lazy.  I'm grateful for this time I have to be here as a missionary and I love you all.
With tons of love, Elder Smith 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Small and Simple Things (Prayer) Bring About Great Things

Hello Family and Friends,
How are all ya'll doin'?  Wow October is officially half way over.  It seemed like last week it just started.  WOW!!! Hope all of you are lovin' life cause I sure am.  I'm loving life as a missionary, even though it’s a rough, tough life but the Lord is here helping me and will help all of you.  We all will come across our own little challenges or rough patches, but as we remember the Lord and turn to him, he can help us go through those times.  When we turn to the Lord, we truly will feel His love for us.  For me, honestly, when I feel the Lord's love for me, I want to share that love with every single person on this small little island.  So, things are going great here in Taiwan and the work continues to go forward.  This past week went pretty well...
As I mentioned last Sunday, our Wu dixiong got baptized.  He wasn't able to get confirmed a member of the church that day because the bishop was out of town.  He was willing to wait an entire week to be confirmed a member of the Church, and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  We confirmed him before that exercise activity that went on last Monday, and he was so excited to come.  After the activity he was so happy, and I don't know why.  I think it may be because he was so excited to interact with the members here in Taiwan, and let those new friends know that he was fresh out of the waters of baptism.  So that was awesome I got to see that. 
Wednesday we had a pretty interesting first lesson, with a guy we found in a pretty interesting way.  So a few weeks ago we advertised our FREE ENGLISH CLASS at Fengjia University.  One of the students while trying to pull his bike out from a rack knocked over all of our missionary bikes, some of the bike parts even broke off.  He was so sorry and said he would give us money to pay of the damage.  Elder Ipsen, the newest missionary in our District was like, "Nah its alright, come to English class though."  So this kid has actually come the past couple weeks, and we finally sat down with him.  He believes in science and so we started with the basics: pray and reading the Book of Mormon.  He said the closing prayer for us, and when he ended he said, "He hasn't answered me yet."  We laughed it off and told him the Lord will answer in his own time. 
Thursday we met with our good friend Arthur, gave him his English Book of Mormon, and taught him about God's Plan of Salvation for him.  He had lots of questions, but this lesson was able to answer those for him.  What I've heard so far is that he has been reading lately, but he has started asking his family members back in Canada about Mormons.  He has been getting all this information from them about how we can't drink soda, how we are a cult, and all this other stuff.  But as Mom said, we could reference the church websites, and to invite people to learn more about the church and to help confirm that what we are teaching as missionaries.
So lately as a mission, we have set specific standards of excellence.  These standards cause us missionaries to stretch and work really really hard. As this past week was nearing its end, we were a little behind on a few of these standards.  We set a goal to get a certain amount of lessons done on Saturday, and let me just tell you it was gonna be rough.  So that day I constantly was praying to help us accomplish that goal.  We went through the day teaching lessons, sitting down with people just to pray, doing everything we could to accomplish that goal.  Looking back on that day's activities we realized that we had accomplished that goal!  The Lord is truly on our side to help us in this missionary work.  Even though we may not see these people ever again, we have placed that seed inside of them.  This seed may seem small now, but we never know what the Lord has in mind for them in the future. 
I'm so glad to be here serving. I am loving every single second of it.  Even though I may lose my super awesome companion this next week, and even though these people are super hard to understand and converse with, I love it all!  Keep working hard with work, school, or missionary work, and never forget the Lord.  ENDURE TO THE END ELDER ANTHONY SMITH!!!!!!!!! With lots and lots of love, Elder Nick Smith

Monday, October 10, 2011

General Conference + A Baptism = PURE AWESOMENESS

Hello Family and Friends,
I'd like to start off by saying the General Conference truly was amazing.  It seemed so so different watching conference on the other side of the world, but the same Spirit that was felt back at home was felt here.  The talks at conference were truly inspired and I felt like each of the speakers were talking to just me.  Each and every talk has helped me so far and has given me the desire to push forward in this work and in this gospel.  I learned so much and cannot wait to hear Conference again in another 6 months.  Had another awesome week and so here we go right into it.
So our good friend Elias, from Paraguay?, has a friend who has been asking a lot of questions about the church lately.  He was born and raised in Canada for most of his life and so both his English and Chinese are really really good.  You'd almost think he was born in America with the way he speaks English.  Well, we decided to sit down with him and answer all of his questions.  Turns out that all of his questions would be answered by the lesson we had talked about teaching him.  Said he didn't believe that God exists, but if he did that would be important.  We taught him about prayer and how our Heavenly Father can and will answer his prayers.  He then asked why there are so many Christian churches on the earth.  That led right into the apostasy and the restoration.  Had such an amazing lesson with him and the testimonies of our members present (two returned missionaries) truly helped a lot.  We gave him a Chinese Book of Mormon, but he said he would better understand the English, and so we had to order one.  But the lesson went so good and he just needs to put forth the effort to prayer and read to help him understand the truthfulness of this gospel. 
Went on exchanges with Elder Graham, from Kaysville, and we spent a lot of time searching for less-actives and trying to actually have a lesson.  They have been struggling in their area to find progressing investigators, so we went out looking for them.  One house we came across said "EDM" out on the front.  I sat and thought to myself, "That sounds so familiar, but how do I know what that is?"  Peeked inside the house and saw some posters of EDM machines.  I then remembered that I took a class about all that stuff down at BYU from Grandpa.  Elder Graham didn't know what it was so I told him all about them.  Thank you so much Grandpa Kohkonen!  The class I learned the most in and had the most fun in was your class so THANK YOU!!!
Friday we had the wonderful opportunity to take one of our ward members and proselyting with us.  He is about 14 or 15 and his mom really wanted us to get him excited to serve a mission.  So we took him out proselyting, mainly tracting since his bike was broken, and had a lot of fun with him. 
Saturday and Sunday were so awesome!  So first of all, Conference was amazing.  As I said earlier, I learned so much, but I want to spend a little time talking to any young teenagers out there.  So before I came out to serve, Elder Anthony Smith advised me to start reading the Book of Mormon, studying Preach My Gospel, and a few other things to help prepare to serve.  I did for a little bit then kinda lost track of it.  All of you young men, especially Spencer, start now (if you haven't already) to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, this Church, Joseph Smith, the existence of God, and many other things.  Have the mindset to serve a mission and start now to prepare.  Have the desire to serve and only do activities that will continue to help have the desire to serve a mission.  I promise that if you do, you will come out with a strong desire to work hard and give your all.  Your mission will be the best two years FOR your life, so you might as well start preparing now.  
After conference, we had the baptism of Wu dixiong!  Wow let me just tell you how awesome he is.  His faith is so strong and you can literally see how happy the gospel has made him so far. 
Just got done with an activity for all of Taichung.  Tons of wards came to Fengjia University for this running thingy.  It was to get families excited to start exercising together.  They said, "Continue to read and pray as a family, and now we are encouraging you to exercise as a family."  So they had all these relay races and stuff.  Pretty fun even though I didn't get to run for it... 
I forget who asked about the weather here, but I'll tell you how it has been lately.  So instead of random days of snow we get random days where it is nice and cool with the nicest breeze you can imagine—Perfect temperature to do missionary work.  When this weather doesn't roll in, it is usually hot and humid.  Occasionally we'll get rain and it seems to get even more humid at those times.   We were warned that a couple more big storms might be coming this way so we'll see how the weather turns out here soon.
I am so glad I came out here to serve a mission.  Being out here as helped me become a better person and a better disciple of the Lord.  I am grateful to be here in Taiwan and l'm loving every second of it.  I miss you all at home.  Continue to be safe and have fun in school and all your other activities. 
Love Elder Smith

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Already October!

Hello Family and Friends,
Wow is it really October?? It doesn't feel like I've been here for a little over two months. Wow!! I'm loving my time here in the Fengjia area and have really been looking forward to this weekend.  This weekend I will have the opportunity to hear General Conference!!! YEAH!!!  I am so excited even though I have already heard a little bit about it.  It is such a wonderful opportunity to hear from the leaders of our chuch.  We only get two opportunities each year to hear from the world's most inspirited men, so continue to treasure up and enjoy the messages they have shared. 
This past week we had Zone Conference, and I learned so much from it.  We learned about the importance of covenants, having the faith to find, and then about the Relief Society.  It was so good to hear from my Mission President and other leaders and learn from them.  There is always room for improvement and so I'm working my best to represent the Savior as best as I can.  This week we have also focused on helping one of our investigators get ready for baptism.  He is busy with school and his tug-a-war club and so it has been hard to meet with him, but he is willing to meet when he can and change his life around.  He was able to have his baptismal interview this past Friday and so this coming Sunday he will be baptized.  His faith in the Lord is so strong and he is so awesome!  I love him. 
Dad, you had some questions...  For my exercises, we go running (Tues, Thurs, Sat) and then do pushups, ab wheel, and dumbbell weights (Wed, Fri).  In church, the ward members give the talks.  I haven't had to give a talk yet, and neither have the other missionaries.  If a missionary is leaving to a new area, then they'll have them bear their testimony.  As for the language, I have a chinese-english dictionary, but it is terrible and has mostly the pronunciations for Mainland China so I might buy a better one.  I have both a pin yin and chinese character PMG and Book of Mormon.  Methods of learning the language... Right now I am waiting for the Phase 2 flashcards to get finished being produced, so I am just reviewing my phase 1 booklet everyday, and then I'm reading as much as I can from the character/pin yin book of mormon, reading from the character side.  I just got to 2 Nephi doing that and I can recognize quite a bit of characters.  But right now I'd rather be able to speak than to read so once those flashcards come in the characters will be put off for a while.
Landon, about that picture of the car...  It looks fake to me, but the brand name is BMW.  It looks pretty sweet but I don't think they have those kind of cars....yet.  When they do I'll buy one for us.  But you would love all the cars here, especially the ones I told you about last week (Ferarri, Mazerati, Bentley).  I can't wait for that duct tape wallet.
Well I love you all and can't wait to hear from you all again next week.  I'm grateful for all of you and for all of your prayers towards the missionaries around the world.  I'm grateful for my family and for all their love and support.  I'm grateful for all of my friends around the world who decided to serve missions.  They have all been great examples to me.  ‘Til next week. Love you all, Elder Smith