"You live and you learn"

Date: Nov 26, 2012 6:26 AM

Holy smokes that's alot of food!

Wow I could hardly believe how much food you guys had there! And grandma and laurel's pies look delicious! I'm glad you guys had a good thanksgiving. There isn't thanksgiving here. I think the only reason I really remembered it was thanksgiving is because a guy in my ward who served in Provo reminded me that the day after would be black friday and then I remembered. But thanks for that thought dad, I never thought about that but it is so true. We often take alot for granted and I think if we had to go a day with just the things we thanked God for the day before it would be a pretty dificult day! Is that tree the tree that you guys chose? That's awesome! I like natural trees because they smell good. My favorite christmas tree was that real flock tree we bought one year.

Well sounds like some fun plans for the holidays aswell with Mark and all. That will be a packed house! I still remember that one christmas when all the cousins came to our house, good times!

Well this week went well. We have a new investigator, a young man, who went to seminary and to church this week. He actually has a friend in the church and has been going to church with her in a different ward but he is going to start coming to our ward now. He is really cool and already has a good understanding of the church. We are going to start teaching his whole family aswell. They are really awesome people and they said they would come visit church aswell with their son. I'm pretty excited!

We have a family we are teaching that isn't really progressing well. But this week we passed by there and showed a short video of the Book of Mormon and I think they rreally liked it. They asked some questions after and agreed to read a part that we marked. I am excited to see how it went and hoping that this sparked some excitement in them. 

I played piano for the primary program this week. It was realy fun and I got this little CTR heart afterwards that they gave out. It was pretty funny because when it came time to sing the primary song about Nephi (I forgot the name of the song in english) some of the kids were like, ''woohoo!'' and they were like yelling when they were singing. I was kind of chuckling and playing piano at the same time. Also I gained an appreciation for primary leaders. That is a hard calling.

This week I got a little sick. I had to take an anti-biotic. It was pretty funny because the anti-biotic that they gave me to take, I already had. It was a prescription that the traveling doctor gave to me before I left. But I learned something. I had been taking that pill when I felt a little sick, but just one at a time. Then when I really was told to use it I told the mission president's wife I only had like three. And then she explained to me that with anti-biotics you have to take them like as a course and not like ibuprofen that you take just when you need it. It was pretty funny. But you live and you learn I guess! Don't worry, I am feeling much better already!

Well this week we are going to really try and find some more new investigators. We are going to try and use some new ways aswell to find these people that the Lord is preparing to hear this message. I really believe that the Lord is preparing many and that we must be ready when we meet them so that we can testify and teach our message with power and authority. There is no greater news than the gospel, nothing greater we can give to these people. 

I love you and miss you all! I hope the holidays continue to be great for everyone. Keep me updated and thanks for all the pictures! Less than a month 'til Santa Clause comes! 

Tchau for now!

Elder Smith

"I am getting a little worried about my balding..."

Date: Nov 12, 2012 7:12 AM

Hello Family! 

Thanks for the birthday box! I opened it on Tuesday night and it was really awesome. Thanks alot! Also I received a few letters and another box from the Badger's so I will have to write some thank you cards. Also, one of the family's in the ward invited us to a family night along with other members and then at the end they surprised me with a birthday cake and another sister even made me a tie. It was fun and really nice of them. I will attach some pictures.

Well funny things, I am getting a little worried about my balding. I bought some ''Stop queda'' shampoo with means like ''stop fall or loss of hair''. I feel pretty old. First it was blood thinners, now this! But that's alright. I know my family will still love me if I come home bald. 

We had kind of a hard week finding, teaching, and overall doing our work. We are teaching a funny young man who is progressing well. His goal is to read the Book of Mormon before his baptism and I seriously think he will do it. He understands scripture really well and has already shown good improvement since he starting learning about the gospel. Sometimes I lose patience with him because he likes to joke so much but I love the guy! 

Also, one of our investigators, finally stopped smoking! It was really cool and I was way excited for him. The only problem is he is moving to Rio de Janeiro today and so we won't get to see the rest of his progress, but we will pass him as a reference to the missionaries there and I hope I can in some way keep in touch with him and see how the rest of his journey goes! 

Well I love you all! I hope you all have a great week. People are starting to put up christmas decorations here. I will have to take some pictures and show you how it looks. It's cool to see decoration but a little weird because it is so hot. It will sure be a different feel this year! 

It is so true about the union you have with your companion and how important it is. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little and try pretty hard to get union with your companion. But if you don't have love for your companion, it is really hard to teach others the love that comes from the gospel.

I hope you all have a great week. Too bad to hear about the elections, it's a little crazy the changes that are being allowed to be made. Heavenly Father needs us as examples more than ever! 

I love you all and miss you!

Tchau for now,


Bizik Turns 20!!!

Date: Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 6:13 AM

Hello Family!

Thanks for all the birthday letters and pictures. I really enjoyed it all. Sounds like things are going well back home. I can't believe Nat got braces! They make her look pretty old. Everyone seems to look so much older and I feel like I haven't really even changed! I voted today. It was really easy how they have it all set up and didn't even take much time. Thanks for helping me out with all that. I can't wait to hear how the elections go! Tell Jo Jo hi for me and that I'll have to keep representing the Backstein clan down here for a little longer without her.

Well this week was good. My new companion Elder Wanderson is a great guy. He is really energetic and likes to work. He walks really fast so I think I will be losing some weight this transfer. It has been getting hotter and hotter because the summer is just around the corner. It's hard to believe I have really only experienced winter here. I am a little scared to what the summer might bring! Yesterday during lunch I was sweating so much. I looked like those guys on the gatorade commercials. Except for my sweat wasn't actually gatorade and I am a little buffer than those guys. 

This weekend was also really good. One of our investigators finally was able to go 2 days without smoking! We were really happy and we will pass by there today to see how today went as well. He is already seeming to be alot more happy and it's cool to see the progress in his life. 

Yesterday, a less-active family also went to church who we have been visiting. There are really cool and invited us over for lunch today. It is awesome to see people making such great decisions to come back to church or to enter the church and also to see how the Gospel changes and improves lives. The brother of this less-active who came to church yesterday is also returning to church. He quit his job because it was messing with his family time and church time. He wants a calling, he wants to spend time with his church, and he wants to keep the commandments. It is cool how much trust he is putting in the Lord and he knows that as he keeps the commandments the Lord will bless him and his family. These people are real examples to me.

My pants ripped again this week. I bent over to put on my shoes and they just ripped down the middle. Luckily I was at home this time. I am getting pretty good at sewing though as I fix the little rips that I get from day to day use of my stuff.

Well I have been thinking alot this week about my efforts. If they are acceptable to the Lord. If we are doing our best with the area the Lord has given us to take care of. Also if Christ came now, if I would be ready. I haven't really gotten an answer to all of these questions but I do know that if Christ did come, I would be on the right path. It is great how we have the gospel in our lives to keep us on the path. Although no one is perfect and we all have lots to change in our lives still, we are in the right place to make these changes and to continually strive to do our best.

Well I love you all so much! Thanks for all the birthday letters and such. Mom my package arrived like two weeks ago but I won't get it until wednesday, it is waiting for me though! Thank you so much! 

I miss you all and hope that all continues to go well there. I am grateful to have such an awesome family!