Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Family and Friends,
Hey everybody!  How's it going lately?  So yes, it is Wednesday and feels weird having preparation day today.  Monday we had a Mission Tour where Elder Evans from the missionary department came and talked with us, and then today is temple day for my zone, but because we're too far in the mountains we couldn't go . . . So it's p-day.  One thing I forget to write in last weeks letter was HAPPY BIRTHDAY SPECER!  You're 18, and what does that mean?  I hope that filling those mission papers out soon goes smoothly for you.  This past week went pretty good, and this week has been off to a great start.
The most interesting thing that happened this past week was when we visited former investigators.  We went and visited a Wang family and they invited us in.  We sat down with the dad and his son and began sharing about the gospel.  Well, the dad's interest wasn't there, but his son just so happened to be attending a Christian school in the area and quite loved reading the Bible and praying, and so it was easier to focus the attention on the son.  Well, as things were wrapping up, the mother came down and decided to join the conversation and was just prepared to listen.  Ever since her son began attending this school, she herself opened her heart to Christianity and began to read the Bible occasionally and pray as well.  We will be visiting with them again this Friday, and even though we don't know the turnout of this lesson, it just goes to show that the Lord truly is preparing people to receive this message.  This family wasn't prepare five years ago when missionaries began visiting, but who knows, this may be the time they have been prepared for.  It was just a testimony builder to know that the Lord continues to prepare people to accept this gospel. It's almost like hide-and-seek.  We just gotta go out and look for them and not give up.
Last week we visited with Brother Xu and his son Jia Xiang, the one we are working with to get baptized.  Long story short, Jia Xiang changed our entire lesson plan, but it was for the better.  We had originally planned to finish teaching the Message of the Restoration with him and focus on giving him a spiritual experience and desire to actually want to be baptized.  Well, in previous appointments to be funny, him and his little brother would go through the hymn book to find the shortest hymns and would only want to sing those songs.  Well, this time he found one of the shortest verses in the scriptures which was Alma 18:27, where Ammon is teaching King Lamoni about God.  He helped change the topic on to where we needed to focus the lesson for him.  We were able to help him know more who God is and what relationship He has with him and everyone of us.  He really enjoyed the lesson and was able to share with us the things he learned about God.  Teaching Jia Xiang this time really made me think about Landon because they are about the same age.  Hey Landon, can you do something for me?  I want you to read Alma 18: 24-32 with either mom or dad, or both, and to talk about who God is and what relationship He has with us, especially with you.  And then in next week's letter you can write to me about what you learned, ok?
I began thinking about why it's important to know about God.  I then thought of the scripture John 17:3 that says, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."  Eternal life is to know God and His son, Jesus Christ.  As we come to know more about God, we come to know more about the plan of happiness he has for each and everyone of us.  Without going into a whole lot of detail, I was able to see how important it is for each of us to have a firm testimony of the plan God has for us.  Life is uncertain, and can come to an end when we least expect it, and for that reason we need to be prepared at all times, and in all places.  It is only the gospel of Jesus Christ that can unit families for eternity.  As our knowledge and testimony of this plan grows, so will our determination to serve Him to the end.  I'm know that Christ is our Savior, and His atoning sacrifice is the center of this plan.  I know that through faith, repentance, keeping and living our covenants, and enduring to the end, we can be stand blameless at the last day and be welcomed into our Father's kingdom.  This is the wonderful message I have to share each and every day and I'm grateful for it!  Thank you all for your prayers and support! 
Elder Nick Smith