Monday, March 4, 2013

Turning 21!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Hey everybody!
How's it going?  How's everyone doing?  Hope things are going alright in cold, cold, Utah.  Well, it's official, I'm now 21!  Doesn't feel like it, but that's ok.  I'm now one year older, and I hope a bit wiser than I was last year.  I had a great time celebrating my birthday, and even there wasn't any ice cream cake I did the best I could (see attached photo).  Thanks for all the birthday wishes and for all your support!  Well, enough of that, let's get on with this past week.  
The week started off pretty good!  Monday night my companion and I held a family home evening activity for our branch.  The outcome wasn't what we expected, but we still had a great time.  We were able to help those individuals, including a few investigators, see how this time together as a family can truly strengthen relationships.  One of our investigators, Brother Chen Huan Wen, mentioned with the entire group that when he gets married he is going to hold FHE because he felt and knew that the time spent as families is limited and as we spend this time together, families will learn, grow, and become more united.  Although it wasn't quite what we expected, the impact it had on those that attended was quite fascinating.  It brought back memories of all the family home evening's that my family and I held in the past.  At that time I sometimes felt that it was boring and that there were friends that I could be hanging out with, or other things that I could do that were better, but I'm grateful for the time my family set aside to hold FHE.  Looking back I have seen the blessings that holding FHE weekly has brought to my family and me, and how it has strengthened the bonds within our family.  Such a great blessing to share with all those who were in attendance at our activity.
One of my favorite things that happened this week was when we visited with a ward member, Brother Luo.  He and his wife have been sick lately and for that reason haven't been able to come to church, and so we went and visited them to strengthen them.  In return I learned quite a bit from his remarks.  He talked to us about hope and how maintaining that hope and never losing hold of it is important in each of our lives.  It reminded me of the tree in Lehi's dream.  Lehi beheld the tree and the fruit that was desirable to make one happy.  He then went forth and partook of it and was filled with great joy.  He then desired that his family could partake of it.  He had this hope and didn't lose sight of it.  It really made me think a lot on my own hopes as a servant of the Lord, and how I can help investigators have similar hopes.  The tricky part is the buildings and other influences in Lehi's dream that cause us to lose sight of that hope.   However, as we hold onto the iron rod, keeping our eye focused on that hope and not losing sight of it, we can and will obtain eternal blessings.  I was grateful for what he shared and we all were truly edified.     
Well, just wanted to thank you all for all the support you have given my family and I these past two years.  It truly is felt over here :)
Love you all!
Elder Nick Smith