Monday, December 30, 2013

Abierto Regalos y Pavo

Hello, my peeps! (Yes, I mean the marshmallow snacks.)

What a week it's been. A very, very hot Christmas passed here in Perú, and I am filled up to my nose with panetoné. What's panetoné you ask? It's fruitcake. Peruvian Fruitcake.

So, here's a brief run-through of this week. (I say brief only in the sense that it isn't a second-by-second thing, y'know?)

This past Monday was P-day, so that was pretty alright. We emailed our families like normal. (See below). After this, we had plans to visit with one of Elder Salazar's old investigators who had been hospitalized, so we spent the majority of the day in buses. And the best part is, when we got there, the man wasn't there . . .  Anyway, after that adventure, we got to the house of one of the members and did our Skype calls!! Woohoo!!! That's about all that happened on Monday.

Tuesday!!! So, it was our district meeting like normal on Tuesday. However, afterward, we had a little "gift exchange" in our zone. All of us got something for another Elder (or Sister) in the Zone, and we traded them. The rule was it had to be under about 5 dollars. Entonces, I got a pretty sweet hat. It had a cool arrow design on it.

After that, no pasa nada. Every house we went to (because it was Christmas Eve) were always gone, or too busy. We did get an entire panetoné, though. (Ugh) Anyway, at seven we went to the house of my Convert Mary Luz for dinner. We had Turkey, and rice, and potatoes. After that we went home.

...but that's not all. At about 12:30 at night, everyone in Peru lights off fireworks. I have never seen so many fireworks in my life. After that, we went to bed again.

Christmas!!! In the morning on Wednesday, we opened the presents that we'd received. It was fun, I got some cool stuff! (Thanks, Fam!!) So at about 1, we went to one of our neighbor's houses, and had lunch. Which was turkey, with rice,  and potatoes, again.  After lunch, we tried working again, but it was Christmas. No one received us. So, we went to Mary Luz's again and had dinner there. Elder Salazar called the other side of his family (because his parents are separated, he got to call twice. :/ ) And we watched the Testaments while he made his call. That's about it for that day.

On Thursday, it was a pretty normal day, other than no one wanted to talk to us. The best part of the day however, was that we had English Class in the Chapel. There were about five people there, and it was actually pretty fun. It's funny, because the sister missionaries in our ward were supposed to be giving the lesson, but they didn't want to teach, so Elder Salazar and I ended up giving it for them. 

On Friday, nothing happened.  Saturday, Tampoco. It really was just a normal day.

On Sunday however, there was one thing in particular that made it different, (besides church). We had our first real Mision correlation meeting (Is that right? I have no idea what it is in English). 

Well, that about covers my week. I do have to say though, This Christmas was pretty rough, however, it wasn't too bad, just... different, that's all. It's hard passing the holidays without your family, y'know? I do feel a lot better about everything though, so no need to worry. :D

Thank you all for all your support! I pray for all of you, especially you. (Yes, you.) Thank you for your emails, and for your prayers! I know the Lord will bless all of you!

With lots of love (and dirt),

-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith

Here's Daniel's message from last week:

It's been a pretty interesting week for me. This past Thursday we had a little party with several of the zones and our mission president. All of the zones performed little sketches that they had prepared, we got little gifts from the mission president, which consisted of a little card that had all the names of the missionaries with pictures, a little letter from the first presidency, (It was the same for all of the missionaries) and a new journal. After that we went to a buffet to have lunch. After that we went to a park called La Parque de Las Aquas, which had a whole ton of fountains, and there was a little light show, kind of like the world of colors at Disneyland, but not nearly as cool. After that we went home, so that was a fun day. :)

We also did our last choir performances this Saturday and Sunday. It was fun while it lasted, but sadly it's over now. Maybe there'll be another one next year. :P

Because we've been doing so much stuff this week, our numbers are a little low. However, the numbers are always lower at Christmas time, because no one wants to take time out of their holiday to listen to the missionaries, so that's something.

Questions, Comments, Concerns? Contact me at

I love you all! Have a fantastic Christmas!!
-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith

Monday, December 16, 2013

Feliz Navidad! . . . Almost

Hey Everyone! It's that time of the week again! (Yay!)

Well to start off, here's a little useful information about THE CHRISTMAS SKYPE-CALL!!!

The call can be any day from the 19th to the 25th. There will be a 5 minute call on one of the days preceding to set everything up, and to make sure that everything works. Other than that, I don't know what day the call will be, when I'm going to set up a Skype account, and what computer I'll be using, so that's comforting.

Anyway, this week, nothing really happened, but I'll give you a brief run through.

Me and Elder Salazar had Elder Gomez with us until Wednesday this week

Our zone has been recently practicing a small "sketch" for this coming Thursday, when we'll be having a Multi-Zone Christmas Party with our mission president. So for some of the mornings, we've practiced that.  It's kinda cheesy, but none the less, it's pretty fun. :)

Elder Salazar is from Equador, he's 21 years old, he doesn't like to eat much, and he's pretty hipster.  (Follows trends)

It sounds like life a la casa has been pretty fun as of late. Wish Evalee a late Happy Birthday for me. :) 

I think I'm going to use a little of that Christmas Cash to buy a new set of Spanish Scriptures. (The ones I got in the MTC are really... kinda crappy.) Thank you so much!! And thank Grandma for me, I don't have her e-mail address. :/

We haven't been having very much success lately, so please remember to pray for my investigators. :)

I love you all so much! Until I'm able to write again, (or until the Christmas call) ,God be with you! I'm praying for you!

-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith

P.S.  Wow! Tell Melissa's girls to slow down, because they're growing up Waaaaayyy too fast!

-Elder Smith

Monday, December 9, 2013

Nieve?, Nieve? Hay Nieve en Utah? O, y Intercambios

Hey, everybody! 

I miss being in a place where there is snow in December :)! Entonces, this week has been pretty interesting. 

To start off, I have a new companion! His name is Elder Salazar (Slytherin). Yeah, that's the only time I'm going to make that joke. Elder Salazar is from Ecuador, and I finally have a companion shorter than I am. :D Elder Campos was shorter, but only by about a centimeter. Anyway, I'm out of my training, and a Junior Companion. The only problem is, I'm the only one who knows the area, so our companionship is pretty equal right now. 

Baptism Day
The Baptism we had before transfers

The week started out pretty normal, we had exchanges on Tuesday, and I showed Elder Salazar around, introduced him to our investigators, inactive members, etc. However, on Thursday, the companion of my district leader went home, (after only two days in the field), so I've been in a trio for the past few days. This isn't permanent however, and Elder Gomez (My district leader) should have a new companion soon.
Our Scary Faces!
The first performance of the missionary choir was yesterday, at the Stake Center in Sta. Anita. There were other choirs of members in that Stake that performed as well. I could tell that our choir had the most practice. :)  The Christmas Broadcast was right after the performance, but the missionaries couldn't watch it, because we needed to go back to our apartments. 
Choir Practice
Something funny about our area is that the people are really giving. Especially now, because it's almost Christmas. At almost every house we go to, they always give us something to eat. It doesn't matter if we just had lunch, we can't reject it. This is one of the ways the people here express their care for us, I guess.
P-Day Service Project
Anyway, that's really about all that happened this week, it isn't all that exciting. :P But, Thank you all for your emails, all your support, and everything you do for me! 

I Love you all!

-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith
P.S.  Here are the pictures I couldn't download last week from our Zone's trip to the Center of Lima to visit the cathedral and catacombs.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Acerca Eso Tiempo

Well, it's about that time of the week again.

Hey everyone! Can you believe it's already been four months? I can't. The time is flying by faster than a eagle on fire racing toward a body of water. 

Here's a brief run-through of my week:

Monday:  After I finished writing my letters, we went to the Center of Lima to see some of the sights. (It was P-day, after all.)  We went and ate at a Pollo a La Brasa restaurant (All we ever eat here in the mission is chicken. :P ) and after that, we went on a tour of an old Catholic cathedral, and some cool catacombs. So that day was pretty fun. :)

Tuesday: Tuesday was pretty much just a normal day. nothing really happened.

Wednesday: On Wednesday, I went on splits with my district leader. His name is Elder Gomez. He's from Guatemala. We went and did the normal stuff that missionaries do, so that was pretty alright.

Thursday: We ended the divisions with Elder Gomez, But later that night we had baptism interviews, so I saw him again that same day. He interviewed two of our investigators, Victor Linares, and Enoc Paz.  That's about all that happened that day.

Friday: On Friday, Elder Campos got really sick, so he spent the day sleeping and vomiting. I was fine, so I read Jesus the Christ, watched a couple of church videos, and slept a little.
That same night, something interesting happened. Elder Campos and I were going to the house of one of our investigators, Enoc Paz to go with him to an interview with the stake president.  However, when we got to his house, his family wasn't there. (Him, his wife, and their two children, all of his family are members except him), and there was only about 15 minutes until his interview. We thought to ourselves, what are we going to do, because he didn't have a cell phone and we needed to find him before it was too late, or he wouldn't be able to be baptized the following day.  So after talking about it for a couple minutes, we bowed our heads and said a simple prayer to help us find him.  After this prayer, and trusting in the lord, I felt something in my heart telling me we needed to go down this certain street. At first, this was a little weird for me, and for a few minutes I didn't listen to it. However, the more time I didn't follow this prompting, the stronger it felt. So I said to my companion, I feel like we need to go in this direction, and we'll find him. Sure enough, we followed my prompting down this street, and we found him and his family buying some movies. I actually felt a little shock when we found him, but I know that we found him because I heeded that prompting. So, that was pretty interesting. It was an experience like 1 Nephi 4:6.
On Saturday: We had the Baptisms for Victor And Enoc and we helped the Hermanas with their baptism later in the day.

Sunday: We had the confirmations of our two investigators. Other than that, it was a normal day.

So, my pictures won't attach, so I'll send them next week.

I love you all! Keep up the good work, and always have faith!

-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mensaje Nuevo

If I could sleep for half a year like a bear, I would!

Hey everyone! 
This week has been a bit weird for me. We've had something to go to or be at almost every day this week. Oh, and that's other than the normal mission stuff.

To start out, Monday we had choir. Yes, I'm in a choir. It's a choir of selected individuals from all of the mission. We meet two times a week to practice. Our first performance is on the seventh. We're singing some hymns in Spanish, and a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas in Portuguese. It's interesting, because Portuguese is really close to Spanish, but... different. It's kinda hard to explain.

Tuesday we had our district meeting like normal. However, right after, Elder Campos had to go to emigrations, so I went on splits with a member of our ward. Boy, was that difficult. I had to do practically all of the talking, contacting, and everything else Elder Campos and I worked together on. That was an adventure.

On Wednesday, we had a multi-zone conference with our mission president. It was a big training thing with three different zones, and they talked about stuff like health, stress, and other important things to remember.

On Thursday, We went and helped with some service for the pensionista of the Hermanas. We sanded her walls, and did some painting.

On Friday, we had Choir again! YAY! However, after choir we had to do our weekly planning session, which always takes about two hours, so that was fun.

On Saturday, nothing happened.

On Sunday, (yesterday) there wasn't sacrament meeting, because they had elections down here, and the time for voting was right at the time of the meetings, so there just weren't any meetings. Another thing that happened was that we didn't have anywhere to go for lunch. (On Sundays we always eat with the members, but because of the elections, the schedule was messed up), so we called one of the members and they said they would feed us. Anyway, it was also a pretty normal proselyting day, and at one of the houses, they invited us in to try a little food. It turns out, a "little food" is actually a lot of food. After this, we had to go to the members who'd invited us too, so yesterday I had four meals. Breakfast, Lunch, lunch, and dinner. 
In the afternoon, we had a satellite transmission for all of the South American countries, so that was interesting. It was about "Hastening the Work of Salvation."

Anyway, that about sums up this week. I love you all, and wish you un ¡Feliz Día de Gracias! I could make a list of all the things I'm grateful for, but I don't have another hour to write it. Thanks for all your emails and all your support!

Well, I'm off to eat something either (1) salty (2) sweet, or (3) ew, what is that? Thanks!

-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith

P.S. So, I've started a collection on copies of the Book of Mormon. Right now, I have one in Portuguese, French, Spanish, and English :)


-Elder Smith

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Juegos de Video y Helado

Okay, the title is a lie, I can't play video games, and I don't have any ice cream.  But hey everyone!

This week has been pretty great! But before I explain more in depth, I'm going to answer a few questions.

The dinosaur was a gift from our favorite recent convert, Hna Mary Luz! Yay!

The baptism was this past Saturday. It was for our investigator Maria Molato. Elder Campos did this one, but the next one is definitely mine. ;)

Yes, the package made it here in one piece. Thank you so much for the letters, candy, and gifts! (I'm being good and not opening them till Christmas. Or at least until I can't stand the wait any longer. ;)

Aw man. I really need that picture of the snow. ;) I actually miss being cold. :P
I can't wait until we're able to Skype on Christmas, (Yes, we get to Skype! How cool is that!) so I can see those two little trouble makers, Evalee and Kaylee. Oh, and the rest of the family too. I guess. ;)
Congrats to Dave on his new job! ¡Felicidades!

Feliz Cumpleaños, David! Did you save me a piece of that pie?

I don't have much more time, but it's been a good week. Elder Campos and I have been having some awesome adventures.

Our most recent focus has been an investigator named Enoc Paz. His wife and daughter are members of the church, and his baptism date is set for the 30th of November. He is really invested in the lessons, and he really wants to get baptized so he can be sealed in the temple with his family. 

Thanks so much for everything!

With lots of love,
-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hay Diez Platinos Rojos

Hola Amigos y Familia!! 

I have to say, this week has been pretty long. I always seem to be tired, but I guess that's normal for missionaries. We work our bodies, spirits, and minds (especially in my case while learning the language) constantly, so it only makes sense that I feel tired. I'm just glad that I have P-day every week to kind-of "recharge."

I met a dinosaur this week.

Elder Campos and I didn't have any baptisms this week, however! we do have one this coming Saturday, so let's pray that nothing goes wrong. Fingers crossed.

Glad to hear that everything is going well en Los Estados Unidos. I have to say, I really miss the luxuries that we have up there, however, this is an experience I wouldn't give up.

So far, the MegaMind watch has worked great, but I don't know how well it will fare with the test of... Time. Get it? Watch? Time? Yeah? Anyone?...Bueller?

Okay, So if the package is a La Oficina día de hoy, it will get put with the mail for our zone, and I'll get it at the zone conference tomorrow from my zone leader.

I'm glad to hear that after everything, (the house being flooded and all), that things are finally starting to calm down at home.

Oh! and I need a picture of the first snowfall. I'm not going to see snow for two years otherwise. ;)

Thanks for all your help and support! I pray for you all every day! This is the Lord's work, and the field is all white, ready for the harvest. Keep on going! Never give up! Never surrender!

-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Un Titulo en Espanol

Buenos días familia y amigos! Greetings from the dirtiest place in South America!

I have to say, Halloween was kind of boring down here. It does exist, but the government is not very fond of it.  I saw tons of fliers saying not to celebrate Halloween, and there were only very few people actually "trick-o-treating."  It's definitely not as big as in the states, and I have to say I really missed dressing up. :P Well, only two more years till I can, right?

This has been a slow week for us down here. Our district in particular hasn't been having really good success. That may be due to it having four trainees, or something else I don't know, but it's been pretty rough. Anyway, we didn't have a baptism this week, but we have four investigators that are really close.

Funny story time! This Saturday, we were doing service at the house of Hna Mary Luz one last time, and it was only me and Elder Campos, and we went with her to the store to get supplies for cleaning, and, well, she bought herself, Elder Campos and me, watches. They're cheap replication watches, only like 6 or 7 dollars, but nevertheless, I have a new watch now. I thought it was really funny. It looks like the watch from MegaMind.

Spanish has been coming along nicely, Elder Campos insisted that I give my testimony in sacrament meeting this week, and I felt really comfortable doing so. I've also been able to participate in teaching the lessons about 50/50, like it should be. So that's pretty alright. Really, the only issue I really struggle with is understanding everything people say.

I'm glad to hear everything is going great at home, and it sounds like Halloween was fun! And the package, if you send it on Wednesday should get here either next week or the week after. 

Thanks so much everyone! I love you all!

-Elder Dañel Jacob Smith

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bautismo Numero Dos

Hey everybody!

Entonces! This week has been exciting, we had the baptism for Hermana Mary Luz this week.  (I had her name wrong before).

We spent a lot of time preparing Hermana Mary Luz for her baptism. She really is an amazing convert and a great person. Elder Campos performed the baptism on Saturday, and the confirmation was the following day, done by the bishopric. 

Here's an exciting thing that happened this week, Elder Campos had it set hard in his head that we needed to paint our room... And I wasn't going to talk him out of it, so we painted our cuarto. It was just us, so it took a couple of hours, but I do have to say that it looks a lot better. Before it was just concrete grey, but now it's a light creamish color. So, that was an adventure.

We have a problem with our ward down here. They really don't want to do anything to help.  Por Ejemplo! At the baptism of Hermana Mary, we didn't have hardly anyone show up. The Sunday before we went around to all the classes and asked them if they would attend, and they said they would, but not many people actually showed up. They need to understand that the conversos nuevos (new converts) need the support of the ward. Anyway, enough about that.

I've noticed something down here. The members don't really understand the concept of "the sabbath day." Yesterday, we were eating with one of the families in our ward, (we have lunch with a different family every Sunday), and one of the members left for a couple minutes, and came back with some bananas and a box with a couple donuts. I was a little surprised, but I didn't want to say anything, but I just kept thinking to myself "Hermana! That's against the commandments! Those donuts were purchased on the Sabbath Day!" It's a little funny how the members down here are.


It's always so nice to hear from everyone at home every week, and thanks so much for the pictures! I'm so glad to hear that everything's still alright in the States. And this Thursday marks three months in the field! The time is flying! That's 1/8 of my mission. Before I know it, I'll be back home.
I don't really have any more time to write, So I'll leave you with this. Every grey cloud has a silver lining. If your circumstances look bleak, always try and look for the good in every situation. In this is true happiness.
Elder Daniel Smith