Archive | January 2013

Jan. 29 2013

Hello!! Wow this week has been very emotionally wishy washy. So the new elders came in last week on Wednesday, that meant that I and the other Zone Leader had to show them around the MTC campus and make them feel at home basically. So, on Wednesday, we did what’s called Missionary Hosting. Which is basically just welcoming the new elders on the curb, taking their bags and getting them situated in the MTC. I always love doing it and this time I was extra excited to do it cause I knew that the New Korean elders were coming in. So I was super pumped to get to see some of the new elders, maybe. So for the entire time I’m hosting, I don’t get a single elder going to Korea. I was almost done, I thought I should just go back, but I decided to do just one more. And guess what? It was a Korean elder! i was really excited! His name is Elder Omer, and he’s from Burley and he knows my companion! Anyway, so come thursday, I and Elder Leavitt(other Zone leader) had to give an orientation to them on companionships and what not. I was really stressed out about it. I don’t know why, but I was. So in total there was 41 missionaries that came in. I’m still tryin to get all of their names, it’s hard to get that many names in a few days time. I know all their faces though. Anyway, while all this hubbub with the new missionaries was going on throughout the week, my companion and I were still trying to work out our differences. It was really frustrating at some points, so I had to vent to my district leader about it, and how we could remedy the problem. I gained a lot of insight and learned to truly have charity, or the pure love of Christ for him. I’ve figured that with the kind of person that he is and the kind of person I am, the way to have a connection is through love. Just really trying to do whatever is possible to help him. I’ve found that when I show my love, or charity, he responds differently and treats me more kindly. I’m sure that he’s trying to find out how I work too. So if we both work on our flaws, we work well together. So to wrap up what I’m trying to say, this week I saw the results of our labors. Yesterday, we taught one of our investigators. We had a lesson plan that we were going to follow, and what we were going to say and what not. We go into the lesson ask him a couple questions about God and what he believes, then he gives us a curveball. So we had to go totally off of our lesson and notes. So we look at eachother, close our binders and turn to talk to him, working in unity to teach him about prayer. Originally we were going to talk about prophets and the restoration. So anyway, throughout the lesson, I’m realizing that this is the best lesson that we have taught so far. So once we’re done with the lesson, we turn to eachother and realize that that was the best lesson we’ve taught. I’m positve the Spirit was guiding us the entire way through that lesson, but I learned something, teach the person and how the Gospel of Jesus Christ applies to them, not just the lesson. Our purpose is to bring others closer to Christ. Not to shove them into the Gospel. We’re bringing them, leading them by their hand like you would a child, into the fold of their Savior. I would encourage all of you who are reading this to think about what your purpose is. Ponder why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is important to you, how it has changed your life. What we can do to come closer to the Savior and feel His love for you. Love can change anything. It changes lives, it heals wounds and it rescues those who are lost. "As I have loved you, love one another. This new commandment, love one another. By this shall men know, ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." I love all of you, I’m concerned for you, but it will never match up with the love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for you.

하나님께서는 우리를 사랑합니다.

Love,
Elder V. LeVan Smith

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P.S. sorry this letter is so short, I have to go practice for "Lord I would Follow thee"(my arrangement) I printed it off and some elders and I are going to audition for one of the devotionals.

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Jan. 22 2013

Talk about a stressful, action-packed, disappointing week. So it starts off with this: For our devotional last tuesday, I said that we were going to have a general authority come, so my companion and one of the other elders in my room prayed that Dieter F. Uchtdorf would come because they watched his CES devotional that week. I thought they were just joking with it, but they actually did it. So anyway, before we went to the devotional, I had to write the letter to you all and so I was in 4M in one of the nice computer labs(haha!) and Elder Hakes was rushing me out the door and what not. So I jump up and start running to our room, because I forgot my study journal. We start running to our residence hall and it was dark. So we’re almost to our residence hall door, and I didn’t realize that there was ice around this corner on the way to the door. So I’m sure you can guess what happens next, I slip and roll and fall, but it was totally parkour style! Haha! Anyway, I get up and we get inside our room on the 4th floor, and I grab my journal. Then I look down, and my heart dropped. When i fell, I didn’t realize that I ripped my pants all the way across the left knee! It hit me, I was going to a devotional with a general authority…I couldn’t go there with a huge rip across my knee. So I grabbed my sewing kit, my journal, and ran out the door. (Actually, I think I sped walk this time!) Anyway, we were already late for the devotional(late means only 20-30 min early) there was already a BUNCH of people there waiting at the door to get in. But we sneak in another door off to the side and totally get in the front of the line. So they let us in after they tell us to be good for the general authority and everything. We get a seat right up front by where the camera is, and when we sit down, the first thing I do is take out my sewing kit! Haha! So I’m there, while everyone is shuffling in, threading a needle and starting to sew my pants, I can only imagine what it must’ve looked like from another persons’ perspective! Anyway, right as I’m done sewing my pants, we start singing prelude music. i thought it was pretty good timing! Anyway, come to find out, Elder Jeffery R. Holland was the speaker! And my companion leans over to me and says, "Dude, my prayers were double answered! Jeffery R. Holland is my favorite Apostle!!" I just had to chuckle at that! But he seriously is in love with him. He’s his idol, so he was freaking out about it the entire time and afterward too.

So a funny story. You’ve all probably heard something about the MTC food, for those of you who have eaten there or whatever it may be. But here’s another story for you. So one day, it was just a normal, simple day in the MTC. Nothing out of the ordinary. I’m going through the lunch line and i get my food and I grab this berry crisp that looked pretty good. I go over to my table and set my food tray down and bless my food and get ready for my meal. I finish my main course and then I get to the crisp. I was thinking to myself like, "Oh yeah, this is gonna be great! It’s gonna taste awesome, I can feel it!" Stuff like that. Mid-way through eating this crisp, I chew something hard. It felt somewhat like a cherry pit and so I thought it was. So I spit it out, and guess what it was? A rock. A rock was in my crisp. Like a full-blown pebble, in my crisp. I still have it, it’s sitting on my desk. I still can’t figure out HOW a pebble got inside my crisp. I asked all the people around me if they put it in or something…I still can’t figure it out. Anyway, it’s pretty funny, but the food here is okay. It’s nothing like Mom’s cooking though!

So today, after we went to the temple, we were walking back to take a quick nap just before dinner. While walking back, we come up to this lady that’s pushing a stroller down the small sidewalk that goes down the hill to the MTC. Elder Hakes asks her to move, and she just rags on him! Talking about how you should respect ladys with a baby and what not and I could tell that Elder Hakes was like shrinking back, trying to remedy the situation. And i was sorta chuckling inside! Haha! Anyway, after trying to apologize, we start talking and the entire time we were walking back, she told us a BUNCH of stuff. Come to find out that she’s tongan and that she wants to go on a mission. Over the course of the conversation, we come to find out that she’s a really sweet lady and a very good member of the church. So we cross the street to the MTC with her and when we get to the other corner, she asks us where we’re going on our mission and everything. Then she asks us, "So now that you’ve met me, what are you going to do?" So we’re scrambling on what we’re going to teach her so to say. Because everyday, our teacher asks us what we did that day to fufill our purpose, which is, to invite others to come unto Christ. So this is going through my head while we’re scrambling on what we’re going to say. Then Elder Hakes perks up and teaches her a little about the Plan of Salvation, then she goes on to correct us on how to say it and stuff like that. It felt like she was the missionary and we were the street contact! Haha! Anyway, further on down the conversation, I ask her if she will commit to read the Book of Mormon with a question in mind and try to find her answer. Or something like that, I can’t remember what exactly I said, but that was the summary. She liked that! Haha! Anyway, she’s one of those people who just keep on talking, who never stop. It felt like it was one breath, you know what I mean? Haha! Anyway, over the course of the conversation, we come to find out that she was the daughter of one of the people that "The Other Side of Heaven" was based on. If you’ve ever seen the movie, her father was I think the Branch President that rowed out to get the missionary. But she told us this story, she met the actor that played her father, and she said to him that he forgot a very crucial point to the character. They forgot to mention that his left arm was paralyzed! And that the Lord blessed him just enough strength to row out to get the missionary! Anyway, I thought that was a very inspiring story. Anyway, I have to go. Thank you for all the letters, love and support! I love you all!

Elder V. LeVan Smith

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Jan. 15 2013

Whoah, I’m glad everything is Ok with Mom, it could’ve been a lot worse if it was someone different. It makes me happy to know that there are still good people in the world who take responsibility. And remember Mom, "Everyone’s an Idiot!" Haha!! Not saying that the person was an idiot so to say, just their driving =). Anyway, the other night on Sunday, we had one of the uppety-ups from the media department of the Church, Michael Hemingway, speak to us. He was talking about the beginnings of the church and how the missionary work was done, or rather, how the word was spread to some of the well-known people in the beginnings of the church. So he went on to tell us about how we, as humans make social networks, and by these networks we have a wonderful tool to use in missionary work. Nowadays, we have what’s called, "Facebook" and just think about how many connections we have on there and think about how many non-member friends we have on there. He joked about talking to the church(at least I thought he was joking…) about making facebook accessible to missionaries. Anyway, what he challenged us is, after we get home from our mission, use that wonderful resource in sharing with others the wonderful news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it doesn’t have to be some big thing you do, just post your testimony or something like that. So I extend that challenge to all of you, use your resources that God has given us, and do your part in sharing with others what you treasure and what makes you happy!

Well this week was the bye-bye week for the older districts. We’re all going to miss them, but they were WAY excited to get out into the field. But one of the elders’ mission is in LA, and he doesn’t head out until this wednesday so he’s staying with us and hanging out with us until he departs. His name is Elder Craner, he’s from Arizona and he’s a pretty funny guy! But he was in the district at the end of everything, end of the residence hall, end of the classroom hall, end of the dining table, etc so we weren’t able to really get to know him before. It’s too bad cause he’s really cool. Anyway, so about the Zone leader thing, it takes away all my time from everything, but somehow I find times to do things and get things done. So this week, Brother Pendley, our teacher, pulled me aside and talked to me about all the new missionaries that are going to come in in the next week and saying how we need to step up on our SYL(Speak Your Language) and really set the bar high for the new missionaries. We’ve sorta slacked on that, but tonight, we’re going to get together and talk about it as a Zone. So, I have to tell you guys a funny story that’s been happening over the past couple weeks. So my roommates and I do something that we call, "Pillow Talk". You can only imagine what I mean by that, what it is is after Lights Out at 10:30, they like to talk for a couple minutes about whatever. But sometimes they can get a little carried away, so a long time ago, I tried something, something that I never realized would take off like it did. So they were talking and I was tired and I could tell that all of them were tired but didn’t want to hush-up. So, believe it or not, I started singing. I started singing my favorite "lullaby" song, "Scarlet Ribbons" and so I didn’t stop because I could tell that they liked it, and once I was done, they didn’t say a single word. Haha!! It was really funny, they’re a bunch of saps! And these elders are like the manliest guys I know, and they were purring like kittens once I was done! But i didn’t know all the words, so Mom Dad, could you send me the lyrics in your next letter? That would be awesome, also "Beautiful Dreamer", that one is my companions favorite. So now they request a lullaby whenever they can’t hush-up! Anyway, i need to go to Devotional, Apparently there’s a general Authority coming, everyone’s saying Bednar, but you never know…anyway, I send you my love and have fun! Don’t worry about me, just basically the same stuff everyday, I swear, I feel like I’m eating 24/7!

Elder V. LeVan Smith

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Pictures!!

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Jan 8th 2012

Talk about a crazy week!! It went like this:

1. So on tuesday, everyone in the MTC was freaking out about a stomach virus that was going around. I thought that it wasn’t a very big deal, but then I realized how FAST it was spreading. By the next day it was like the plague/ghost town. Basically everyone was sick. They had to cancel the MTC devotional on tuesday and broadcast it into the classrooms. BUT since I wasn’t sick, I was able to go into the room where the speaker was speaking. And it was way cool because it was a member of the Seventy that was a Korean! But even cooler is that he personally invited all of the Koreans to sit in the very first few rows along with our Branch President, who is also a Native Korean. He was a really good speaker and in the middle of his talk, he had everyone that was in the room to stand up and sing, "I am a Child of God." The first verse was just him and his wife and all the Korean Elders. We sang it in Korean, then the next verse was everyone else in their language they were studying, then the last verse was everyone and we sang it in English. It was SO cool! I love singing hymns in Korean, it is truly a beautiful language! Anyway, I thought I would get away with not catching the virus, but I thought wrong. I was secluded to my bed for a whole day and I felt like I missed a week of learning. But after I received a blessing from the elders in my room, I was way better the next day. It was so cool to feel the power of God through those wonderful elders. They are like brothers to me. I actually see a lot of characteristics of you guys in them.

2. On wednesday when I was secluded to my bed, one of the Elders in my room, Elder Chow, wanted to break a gym record for sit-ups. it was amazing how much he was able to do! The total count was: 470!! He’s a stud! We always make fun of him because he has such defined abs, we call them, "Chedda’ Shredda’ Abs". Because one of the elders in our zone said, "Man, those things are so defined I could shred cheese on those!" Anyway, so after he got back from breaking this record, he went back to the room and while he was changing, he basically lost control of his muscles in his core. So I’m laying in bed and then I just see him fall to the ground out of nowhere! It was a little hilarious! But then the next day, we were in class and he started complaining about his head. How he was having a hard time concentrating and a headache. So he and his companion went to the health clinic to get checked out. About 30 min later, they come in and say that they have to go to the E.R.! Apparently when he fell, he hit his head on the concrete floor and got a concussion. Ouch. He’s okay now, but it was a little scary at the time.

3. So on Sunday, they had to call new assignments because the older districts are leaving next tuesday. So while we were studying one of the Branch Presidency pulled me aside and asked if I would serve as one of the new Zone leaders! Now, you have to understand what’s going to happen in the future for our zone. On I think Jan. 25th, we are getting 45 or something new missionaries. Then a week later we get 15 or so Native Korean missionaries! That doubles the size of our Zone as of right now! Of course I accepted the call, but the thoughts that were going through my head just flooded my brain. Talk about a lot of responsibility! Watching over that many missionaries is almost a little insane, for me. Thank heavens we have awesome district leaders that take a lot of the responsibility, but still, it’s a LOT of missionaries!

So that was a brief summary of my week, pretty insane huh? I can only imagine what it’s going to be like in the future. Mom, Dad, sorry I didn’t say anything about your letter last week. I was in the process of writing a hand-written letter, but didn’t have a lot of time to send it. Sorry. Thank you everyone for all the letters! I love getting letters. But sorry if I don’t respond for a long time, I barely had time before to write any letters, and now that I’m a Zone leader, I’ll have even less time to write. Oh, can someone tell me when Kody Ogaard reports to the MTC? I might be hosting missionaries when he comes in and I might even host him. Anyway, I love you all and keep sending those letters! I’ll try to write as much as I can, and about photos, I keep on forgetting to ask one of the elders if I could borrow their card reader. I’ll send them ASAP. Anyway, talk to you soon!

Elder V. LeVan Smith

안영하새요!!

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Happy New Year!! Jan. 1st 2013

It’s already 2013??? Wow! Everything just keeps on flying by. So, where did I leave off…oh yeah. Christmas!! So after I emailed last time, we had an MTC-wide Talent Show. They had some good talent, one of them was a pair of twins that were pianists. They did Hungarian Rhapsody #2. On one piano, instead of 2. It was hilarious! When they finished, everyone roared and gave them a standing ovation! They were probably the best act. Anyway, after all that, they let us watch my favorite movie…."It’s a Wonderful Life"!!!! I love that movie, and everyone LOVED it. Most of my roommates have never seen it. So they were very pleased with it.

So Christmas was one of the best Christmas’s that I’ve ever had! Not to put you guys down, but I truly had a very merry Christmas! And I hope all of you did as well! So, in this past week a bunch of funny things happened. One of my dorm’s "traditions" is "Story Time"!! We hold story time every night before Quiet time. I guess it’s a little against the rules to hold group gatherings, but we do it anyway. So this past story time, I told the famous "Pink Scarf" Story. Those who have heard it, know that it is a golden story to tell! So I told the story and they were laughing and laughing so hard. It was awesome! Another funny thing that happened, is yesterday at gym time, i didn’t know what to do. So I went with some other elders and sisters up to the track. And their plan was to speed-walk for a couple rounds around the track. I thought to myself, "That sounds ridiculous…" But I went along with it just because, you know, that’s me. Doing ridiculous things. So, we start speed-walking, and let me tell you, it was surely a sight to see! If you were to look at us, you would’ve cracked up! Just imagine, a bunch of elders and sisters walking around the track like a bunch of grandmas! (No offense Grandma. =P ) But I had no idea that speedwalking hurt so much! It really works your calves and shin muscles and thighs!! It really BURNED! Anyway, I thought that was really hilarious.

So yesterday, we lost one of our teachers…=( So at the end of the day when we had to say goodbye, we sang "God be with you till we meet again" in Korean. It was really cool. She was our first "Investigator", her name is Sis. Wadsworth. She’s hilarious! So we were sad that she had to go. Another cool thing that happened, was last night in our classroom building. Since it was New Year’s Eve, We decided to sing some hymns, me and my district. So we went through the Korean Hymnbook and sang a bunch of songs. Then other peolple in our zone down the hall joined in. It sounded pretty cool. Anyway, i’m not a very fast typer so this is all can say for now cause a bunch of elders are waiting on me. I hope you all have a good New Year and make the best of it. I sure will!

Elder V LeVan Smith

P.S. if you want to say "Happy New Year" in Korean it’s pronounced, Seh-Bohk-Mah-Nee-Ba-Du-Say-Yoh. (Once again, I’m not on a computer that types in Korean…darn it!)

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