Elder Smith

Elder Smith
Write to him at: Elder Samuel Smith Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission House 2B, Street 222, Off Norodom Blvd PO Box 165 Phnom Penh Cambodia email address: shsmith@myldsmail.net

Monday, August 31, 2015

I Stand All Amazed Week #8

 The three Eagle boys called to serve!!

Just some dear friends at BYU who "happened" to take a walk to the temple on Sunday and saw these cute Elders...I'm sure that made his day :)

Hey fam,

Looks like everybody is doing awesome. The funeral looked like it was really neat. I'm super bummed I couldnt be there with you guys. Grandpa was amazing. He's definitely going to be helping all of us through our lives. I know it. Thanks for sending those pics. Hey mom try to read Mosiah 23:21-22. It talks about how even when people are doing exaclty what they need they get trials and hard things thrown at them. The whole chapter is awesome. Also if you have time go on LDS.org and watch the refiners fire video. AMAZING story. Its so good. Mom I've thought a lot about you this week. I love you. I hope you're doing good. You're amazing. 

This week was super cool. We have these "Investigators" we teach everyday and one of them finally got "baptized". It wasn't real at all, but it made me so pumped after asking someone to commit to baptism. It was so awesome. I have like 8 days left and its for REAL. Crazy stuff!

I read this amazing talk the other day by Jeffrey R. Holland. Its called "I Stand All Amazed" Its was sooo good. It talks about how the Atonement isnt just for what we think it is. Totally gives you a new perspective on how important and amazing the sacrifice Jesus chose to take part in. Im so grateful for Him and what He did for all of us. Its a gift that just keeps on giving. 

Also if any of you guys get kinda bored, look up the video "Hope of God's light" Super good video on how the Lord is always there for us. Its on the YouTube and Lds.org

Fun Fact: If you "pass gas" on someone in Cambodia you tell that person you hate them with a burning passion, you want to never see them again, and you leave a bad omen. And If you "pass gas" on a family member you pretty much tell them you will never see them again. So think twice brothers, just saying. 

It's wierd to think about how I only have one more week. We were talking to one of our teachers and we asked him if we could like do something cool or party our last day here. He said we could, but asked us a question. He said yeah it would be fun and Im not saying its bad, but try to see if you can make this week your best week and hit the ground running when you land In Cambodia. I was kinda bummed, but Its so true. I loved how he said it. Its time to work hard right now. It gets really hard sometimes, but I know you guys are praying for me and its making all the difference. I love you ALL! 

Thank you so much Steeds, Mom and Dad, and Kim Christensen for the packages. I loved it so much! You guys are awesome!!

My address at the mission home if you would like to write me a letter is:
Elder Samuel Hilbig Smith
Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission
House 2B, Street 222
Off Norodom Blvd. 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Everything we need to be a good missionary we learned in Sunbeams" Week #7

Hey fam,
How's everybody doing?? Hearing the news about Grandpa passing away made me feel so sorry for everyone. It was really frustrating knowing how much pain everybody was in and not being able to do anything about it. I couldn't do anything or reach out to anyone. I love Grandpa so much. He was such an amazing example to everyone. He made every single person feel important. Such an amazing legacy he left behind. I am proud to wear the Hilbig name.

This week has been really good and It actually went by pretty fast. It felt good. We learned a lot and got a lot done. We were all feeling really good about the language a couple days ago, and I think our teachers felt it. They put on a conference talk in Khmer and boy we learned really fast how little we know. Kid you no I understood like 5 words. I have a ton of work to do. 

We had a lesson given to us and our teacher told us "Sometimes we complicate missionary work way too much. Everything we need to be a good missionary we learned in Sun Beams. Following Jesus, being a good friend, serving, and just being happy is all we need. Everything else is just extra credit." It's so true. People are attracted to people who are positive and who have the Light of Christ in them. 

Also I want to give a special S/O to the Eagle 3rd Ward young women. Thanks for those cards! Means a lot! 

We had priesthood and an elder shared an awesome scripture. Its D&C 128:24. It talks about how Jesus Christ is like a refiner. The Elder explained that Jesus isnt trying to change everything about us while we're here. We've all been given different talents and gifts. God refines our abilities and makes them perfect. A refiner doesnt change the whole object, just makes it more useful and more beautiful. If we let Jesus shape us we will become the person he needs us to be and share the gospel with the people who need it.

Here in the MTC I've learned so many things. The people who teach us everyday are just amazing. Not going to lie the mission life can be hard sometimes. Its draining. Day in and day out. The same thing all the time (at least in the MTC), but its all for something way more important than our own desires!!

I love you all. 

P.S. I saw Chandler and it was amazing.


Sam's last goodbye to his grandpa before going into the MTC that day...

"We receive no witness until after the trial of our faith" Week #6

Well to start this email off I'm just going to start off by saying that I think I'm starting to go insane. I'm losing it. I haven't left this place for like 6 weeks and I'm finally feeling the effects of it, Just pray I wont go berserk.... (eminem reference just for you momma).

I hit the alphabet hard this week. I've memorized all the constants, sub-constants, and vowels because God loves me. No other way I could do that. There's still like 20 rules I have to memorize but those can wait, It took me about 20 minutes to read the first firse in the Book of Mormon, but I did it and sounded hard core asian so that was awesome. 

We learned some stuff about our mission. Apparently not a lot of the huts/houses we will be teaching have doors so we just yell "ooie!" and they come out. #coolesdoorbellever And apparently they have a tarantula festival in Cambodia. Every one just eats spiders all day. SO DOPE.

The first counsler in our branch presidency (there's like 60 people in our branch) got released and guess who replaced him. PRESIDENT MOON. He just got back from being the mission prez in Cambodian like a month ago. Our district was so siked! He and his wife are awesome!

So our district played this get to know you game yesterday and it was the funniest thing ever. Elder Rom (the cambodian elder) had some funny stuff. Well apparently he used to be a monk when he was younger!! So sick. His mom made him do it. Coolest thing ever. I guess in Georgia theres a ton of temples or something. He's also a semi pro martial arts dude. He's made quite a bit of money fighting. So sick. Kung fu buddha in the flesh. 

Now on to more important stuff, I figured out something this past week that I've kind of been struggling with. Before I came here I thought since I would be a missionary I would be able to feel the spirit whenever I wanted. Like It would be in a water bottle and I could just drink it whenever I wanted. The first couple nights I would pray for a really long time and like nothing would happen. I was really confused. I was a missionary... I should be able to feel it and have a insane burning testimony, but as the days went by I felt like I was losing faith. It was so weird, but I decided that wouldn't effect me. I loved God because of who HE is. I started to really study the scriptures. I just read and read and read. Studied Preach my Gospel and prayed prayed prayed. Because I wasn't feeling the spirit I either could choose to be mad or I could try to prove to God that I really really wanted to feel his love for me.  Sometimes the Lord might withhold it just for a little, to make us choose for ourselves if we really do want it. When you pray for the spirit  and don't feel anything dont get dicouraged. Learn from it. It took me like 5 weeks to figure it out. When we show God how committed we are he will bless us. I know it. I have been so blessed with the Spirit since this experience. "We receive no witness until after the trial of our faith." We believe first and then God will manifest it to us. 

I love all of you guys. Thanks for everything!! 

Come what may and love it! Week #5

Hey guys!! All the pictures are awesome and thank all of you who sent a package. MUCH LOVE FOR YOU!! 
We were oober blessed this past week and had Sheri Dew and the President of the 12 (Russel M. Nelson) come speak. Those two people are power houses. When President Nelson came in the room, you could instatntly just feel the room change. It was so cool. He talked about how we are epistles of the Lord. He told us that we are going to help create multi-generational families in the Gospel. I loved that. 

I saw this quote the other day and I loved it. It's kind of been my motto the past couple days. It says "Come what may and love it. The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life." (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin) Being a missionary you feel a whole lot of different emotions each day. You could be super stoked because you just killed it during a lesson, and then you could start learning the longest phonetic alphabet in the world. (CAMBODIAN) its insane. There's like three levels to the alphabet, so we have to memorize like three different alphabets. So awesome.

Thank you all for the prayers. I really do feel them. They help a lot. Its really humbling to see how much you have to rely on the Lord here. I really cant do it without Him. If God wanted me to speak this language already I would be, but the Lord needs me to learn lessons along the way in order for me to become the missionary he needs me to be. Its sometimes hard to keep an eternal perspective during our lives, but when we do each day is easier and more fun to live. This Gospel is sweet. It gives happiness to everyone who follows it. 

"We have few things to be discouraged in, but everything to rejoice in." (dont know who said that but its shweeet)

Love all you guys. See you in a week Chandler!
1) Selfie with Beckstead-funniest guy ever
2) My awesome district (almost all of them)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Be Still and Know that I am God Week #4

I dont ever know how to start these things so I'm just going to break it right in. I've been kind of down under the weather this past week. One kid got sick in our district and the next day half of us got sick. But my room mate had some nyquil and i thought it would make me feel better, so he gave me some pills to take and they were like mini golf balls I swear. Biggest pill i ever did see. I told him that if i would take it, i would puke it up without a doubt. He started making fun of me, so for some reason I attempted to swallow. 5 seconds later my chest cavity started flipping out and the next second I was puking for like 5 minutes straght. My roomates were laughing so hard there were crying. I looked behind me and started laughing too, so i was puking and laughing. NASTAAAY combo let me tell you. But im fine now so its alllll good.

So the new Console General of Thailand is coming to our hallway this week to see why his country has been giving all these visas to a bunch of 18 year old kids, so we have been told to be on our best behavior, because if he has a good experience the church might get more visas or something. Super cool though.

One of the counselors in my branch presidency is named Brother Weaver. Total stud. Love him. He told us last night to pray to God and ask him how awesome he thinks we are. I thought it was really kinda odd, but I did it and I just felt this love and gratitude for the life I have been given. It was so cool to ask God how he thinks of me. Never really done that before. So i challenge all you guys to pray and ask God, how awesome he thinks you are. Cause you are all truly amazing.

 We taught again in TRC the other day and had a sweet experience talking to this Japenese woman who speaks khmer. We learn the language every day and I forget why I'm here sometimes. When we talked to this woman and taught her a lesson about how important personal revelation is in our lives, I realized that missionaries are here just to help. We're here to make peoples lives better by serving them, inviting them to Christ, being a friend, and helping them understad they are loved. The Spirit does all the work for us. The language is important, but helping people is the key.

We get a lot of personal study time and I just eat it up . Never thought I could study the scriptures for 2 hours straight but I guess it's possible. Its so cool to study the scriptures for someone else. You get a whole new perspective. We have "investigators" here and its so sweet to read a scripture and realize that would help that person. Makes studying that much more meaningful.

A scripture I heard this week has stuck with me a lot. I dont remember what it was, but it says "BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD." Sweet and simple but it has a lot of meaning. Sometimes we need to just relax. Just realize that God has a role in our life. We can always improve and be better, but when we stress over things that are out of our hand, it just puts stress in our life we dont need. Be still and know that it will work out. God knows. He always has.

I love all of you guys. Thank you so much for all that you do!

Darcy!!! Thank you so much for the several packages. My roomates dont know you but they love you all the same. Thank you for sending all those packages and cards. It made my day!
Thank you Demordaunts for the package too! I ate all of them! Cord and Amy thank you so much for the cinnamon rolls. They were delicious! Jared and Tiff! You guys are amazing. I ate like 5 donuts the other day. And no Jared I haven't started balding yet, but there are some guys here in the MTC who are, and it definitely scares me a little! Ha thanks everyone for all the love. It really makes my day!!
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