Feb. 12 2013

Well hee-there-high-there-ho-there! This week was a real doozy. We learned a lot of Korean and our progressing investigators are progressing. Each time we teach, it gets more and more exciting! You can see that they are starting to understand and feel the Spirit in their lives! I know that they are just our teachers playing the part of investigators, but I still feel that they are real people. Haha! Anyway, yesterday, we had a substitute, Bro. Routt. I don’t know if I told you about him, but he’s one of our favorite teachers. This is because we can relate to him. He tells things as they are and nothing is sugar-coated. He had a hard time learning Korean, he says that it wasn’t until his 3rd(?) maybe 6th(?) transfer that he started to understand the scriptures in Korean. So, he sat us down yesterday and he walked us through the scriptures. Explaining how everything is structured and helping us understand everything. It was awesome. I learned SO much! I could start to understand a little bit of the scriptures. And all we would have to look up were vocab words. Anyway, I feel that I’m not SYLing (speaking your language) very well. It’s hard because I’m sortof a perfectionist so everything has to be right before I say it. I guess I need to get over it. I understand everything and it all makes sense, but it’s just applying it and doing it that I struggle with.

So Dad, thank you for doing my taxes for me. I hate to put all that stress on you, so, is there anyway I can help with it? Maybe you could send me everything and I could fill out the form for you then just send it back to you? I don’t know, I just wish I could help you. I think it’s such a fantastic and wonderful thing that you and Mom get to serve in the Temple. It’s such a beautiful, spiritual place. Oh, thank you for sending the names by-the-way. We’ll try to get all of them done before we leave. Thank you for everything!

So this week Elder Hakes and I were officially off of notes and only went in our lessons with just the Book of Mormon and Bible. We just taught from the heart and to the needs of the investigator. It was AWESOME!! One story that our teacher told us, quoting Elder Jeffery R. Holland I think, he said, "There’s a man far away from the edge of a cliff and there’s another man at the edge beckoning the other man saying: Come to the edge. "No, I’m not going to the edge, are you crazy?!" "Come to the edge!" "No, I’m not going to the edge!" "COME TO THE EDGE." "NO, I’m not coming to the edge!" COME TO THE EDGE!!!" Finally the man grabs the man and forces him to the edge. Then the 2nd man says to the man, "Jump." "Are you nuts?! I’m not going to jump!" Jump! "No, I’m not going to jump!!" JUMP. "NO, I am NOT going to jump!" JUMP! Finally the man jumps and he soared…this is exactly what my companion and I were doing with our notes. "Give me your notes." "No, I need my notes!" etc. Once we lost our "precious" notes, we soared. Sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith, then we soar. Anyway, I love teaching. You see the progress of others and it’s exciting to see.

This past week Elder Leavitt(the other zone leader) and I had to introduce the New Koreans to the MTC. We instructed them how to do companionship inventory, which is just a time set aside each week when you and your companion talk about eachothers’ strengths and some things that could be hindering the companionship’s progress, if there’s anything that needs to be resolved, etc. So right before we did this, the Branch Presidency introduced themselves and had the Koreans introduce themselves and include a brief testimony and why they decided to come on a mission. All in Korean. That experience gave me a little taste of how it was going to be/feel like in a couple weeks. It was a little daunting/scary. I got a taste of what I was getting myself into. But it was SO exciting! To hear their testimonies was truly a very spiritual experience. Their testimonies are so solid, compared to some of the American missionaries I know. There’s an elder in our zone who really doesn’t know why he’s here serving a mission, which is a little sad to tell you the truth. As a result of that, he messes around and is really immature, but he’s getting better and is starting to realize really why he is here. Anyway, next week I am going to be released as zone leader. It was fun, but a little hard to carry that burden as well as deal with my companion, but I feel that it truly matured me and helped me gain some perspective on things. Sometimes we look at trials as something that we just need to get through, but we fail to realize that God has given us these trials so that we can grow in Him. We become better people, more Christ-like. Although it may be the hardest thing that we will ever face in this life, it will never match up with what the Saviour suffered through. If we endure these trials not with a perspective of dread or complaining, but with a perspective of hope and a knowing that this trial is for our benefit, we will be blessed seven-fold. The Lord knows what we’re going through, He is beside us the entire way. Turn to Him. He will help bear the burden, he won’t necessarily take the burden away, but He will help us figure out how to endure this trial. Anyway, I hope that makes sense.

Anyway, I love all of you! Keep being awesome people I know that you are!
Love you!

사랑으로,

스미스 장로
Elder V. LeVan Smith

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