Wednesday, July 19, 2017

photos from Elder Smith

Our investigator Wang LiZhu took us out to dinner at a really good Chinese place

Other Elders in Ward at members dinner

Made my own Chinese's stir fry stuff with Eggplant and tofu

Picture from our zone p-day activity of painting a bridge at UVA with the plan of salvation

Bad Hair Cut Day but on with the work

Then we returned home and I cut Elder Bendel's hair, which turned out pretty good, then I cut my own, and since I did Elder Bendel's in the kitchen, I did mine there with our giant mirrors and I kind of just sat on the ground....well it was harder...and things kind of didn't worked...the cord was short..and yeah. It didn't turn out very well. I went too high with the #, and so I had to cut the top with a #5....and yeah it is probably the worst haircut I have given myself on my mission....oh well. After that we headed out, and didn't have much time so we left a pretty big mess in the kitchen.

After that we went to grounds/JPA...and we talked to very few Chinese people, but did give a Book of Mormon to Jessica and Owen on the Lawn which was good. They seemed pretty cool, they looked kind of Chinese from far away, but they weren't. It was a little interesting of an approach not the most standard and a little awkward...however it was good. I definitely feel like Elder Miller and I have to develop some companionship unity, but we are definitely improving.

Then we talked to some Koreans...and made our way to the Corner, and met Song Yi Feng again which was kind of cool( we met him last transfer with Elder Snow, but he never contacted us back) and so he gave us his number, but it was already in the phone..which is always a bit interesting. He doesn't talk much that is for sure. After that we realized it was 8:40 so then we had to head home.

We cleaned up the hair cutting mess, and some other things that needed to be cleaned...and I made a organized box for all of our supplies, which turned out pretty well. Then we headed to bed.
-Elder .....HairCutHayday...

Wednesday July 14, 2017
Well in the afternoon we met John from Shanghai and he is only going to be here for a day which is really lol we met him, and we met Amy Chang who was from Taiwan and is visiting for a workshop, she is a teacher in California. It was really cool, this is when we were on the corner.

Then later we had English Class, and three people came! As well a bear was in the trash at the Hydraulic building. Tina Tang, and Liu DeJun all came which was cool, YangLIJing also came. It was pretty good learned a lot from our mistakes and from things that work well. It was super awesome.
-Elder ReallyGoodDay#EnglishClass

Sunday July 16, 2017
Good good day, we found a ride for church in the morning because we were really worried about that. Brother Nichols was awesome and helped us out, however we went there as well hopefully to meet him so things would go smoother, but she left before we got there. At a stoplight a man motioned for us to roll down the window and asked, Mormon missionaries? And asked which church we were going to....then he followed us to the church, but after pulling into the parking lot we lost him and never met him. Sacrament meeting was really good, very peaceful, it reminded me of the temple. Then we had a good primary lesson with Sister Lu and Sister Witt helping Sister Lu share some thoughts which was good. After we left the entire primary class repeatedly yelled "stinky missionaries"...that was kind of funny. After church we went and tried to contact lots and lots of people. We contacted a few, the ones we were trying to find weren't home though. We tried to visit TianXu at Garden ct, Sunxin lin the taiwanese girl, she wasn't back, the pool people at ivy gardens...but met there neighbor through a through the door conversation...she said to come back and sounded Chinese.

After that we drove down 29 a long ways, and then down a long driveway to get to the Johnsons for is a really really big and nice house. Wow, they were really nice, Crozet was there too, and we had hamburgers/hot dogs/pork tenderloin which was all pretty good. Then it came to my turn for the spiritual thought, and I shared it from the Living Christ about the Sacrament. Also one of Brother Troy's cousins was there, and he didn't seem the most active in the church because I think his girlfriend was there who I think they are living together...not sure. However I definitely felt my purpose as a missionary to strengthen the members, and that God would help me do so. It was different than most dinners. I definitely made it a point for me to decide that for myself, and not hesitate about it.

After that we drove home, and contacted Aldous and mentioned Priesthood blessings to him because YangLi Jing is kind of sick, and we sent some other things off, then we headed home for studies which was also really good. For language study we went through Elder Miller's flashcards and I had him translate sentences from the words...I was impressed even if he was kind of frustrated.
Then we headed to bed.
-Elder SereneSunday

Monday, June 26, 2017

Photo of all the Mandarin Elders l to r: Elder Raty (new)
 Elder Schellenburg, Elder Snow & Elder Richty, (leaving)
 Elder Smith and Elder Miller( Elder Smith's  new companion)

New and Old Richmond Virginia Mandarin Elders

Elder Raty is from Sandy. He is now with Elder Schellenberg in Richmond, and I am with Elder Miller from Ammon Idaho. He has been out for 5 months now and will probably be the one to train the new Taiwanese Elders that come in. I am kind of his Chinese tutor and things are going well. Some other information on him, he really likes playing the trumpet and is pretty good at it I hear. He also sang and did some theater in high school.

Update on the elders coming in, so we are actually getting three Elders from Taiwan, but one of them is also an american citizen and he will come in September and there will be no visa problems, but we are still waiting to know when the other two Taiwanese Elders will come.
Elder Smith

Monday, June 19, 2017


Elder Smith, Elder Raty (new), Elder Snow(leaving this week)

Baptism of Zhumei and David

New Elder and the Mandarin work continues

Just for information 2 mandarin Elders will be going home in the next week and Elder Raty from Utah is coming out, but 3 Taiwanese Elders are to come, but are having visa issues so hopefully will be in Virginia in the next 2 weeks then Derek can help train them until he and Elder Schellenburg come home Aug. 16th.

Tuesday June 13, 2017
We woke up and the other Elders were heading out for the temple trip. We eat the Breakfast that was left for us from Sister Smith One thing for Elder Raty is that he isn't really going to have a home for the first week of his mission, which is kind of wild. Hopefully not too big of a problem though. First thing we did was go and meet with Yuan Peng at the Bailey bridge building. It was a really good lesson, and Yuan is doing well. We had a really good lesson with him about the restoration and the Book of Mormon, and found out that he actually is going to church, but only stays for the first hour because of his mom's church that he also attends. It felt really good tooo see him again and look at all the progress he has made since the first time we skyped with him. After that we went and ate at Subway really quick at the wal-mart off of Hull Street before we went and taught English to Sun ShanShan that lives in the Meadowbrook area. It was good, Elder Schellenberg did most of the english stuff because he had things planned with her. Following that we went and did some studies at the Manchester Elders apartment, well actually before that we went to the blue Fish Grill to talk to the owners about starting a Chinese group in one of the wards. It was their typical response, she was really nice and said she would be willing to help and things, but it seemed like she was just saying things to kind of pass the time and that nothing concrete would come from it.
Elder DayTwoInTheMissionHome

Wednesday June 14, 2017The morning started off well, that was until I stubbed my toe on the trundle bed that Elder Snow was using. I was talking with Elder Schellenberg and I realized that my toe was bleeding pretty bad, and the bathroom was occupied. I went up stairs with Elder Snow to the other bathroom, and started dressing my wound. Elder Schellenberg came up and notified me that there were many spots of blood on the carpet leading to the upstairs bathroom, which is the second time I have made a mess on the mission home carpet. As I was getting the bleeding to stop, Sister Smith came out and got some Neosporin for me, and the other Elders went down with her to clean up the mess. It actually took a decent sized little chunk thing out of my right pinky toe. So after that, I think breakfast started, President did bring up marriage and talked to Elder Snow and Richter if there is anyone waiting for them and things. Then surprisingly he asked me next, and so I said something like "anyone that will take me" or something like that. In response he said "well, you should be really particular about this" which was really good counsel from him, kind of at an unique moment.

We had our mandarin meeting which was really, really good. President started out with teaching us about being on time even if our car doesn't start and things like that. Then we talked about where we are at, and what we are going to do from here on out with the new Elders coming in, and how to train them, and if we have to close an area which will it be and things like that. It was really good, the Spirit was definitely present, you could feel it guiding present and what we needed to do as a program. I felt a little humbled to be there. There was one moment when President specifically asked for me input, I don't remember what I said, but mainly focused on how I felt that we really need to work with the members if this is going to go anywhere.

After that meeting we did interviews, and I started off and got my new temple recommend as well as a really good interview in which President made me feel really good and gave me confidence in that going home and going to school are good things that have to happen in life. He joked about if I would be willing to extend for a year, but then talked about the need to go home and things. He talked about his tomato plants and helping their roots grow deep.
Then we drove back to Charlottesville with Elder Raty. Lots of driving this past few weeks. We will struggle to stay near our allotted miles.
-Elder WonderfulWoundedWednesday

Thursday June 15, 2017
We tried some doors before Wang, but then end up going over to Wang which was really good. It started in an interesting way, and I'm not sure she understood why we came over. Anyways, after she sat down and agreed to listen we taught the Restoration, and then gave her a Book of Mormon, and she had really good questions, but I think more important than the questions, the way that she asked the questions seemed that she wanted to know, wasn't sure and maybe a little doubtful, but I felt there was real intent. It was really good, we invited her to pray, which she didn't because she felt weird, even after each of us offered a prayer, which was the first time that method hasn't worked. Regardless we set up a lesson for Saturday to skype with her, and planned to meet sometime next week as well. It was really good. After that, the hill across from North 38 apartments was filled with was kind of unbelievable, there were so, so many. It was like something from a movie, unfortunately our cameras aren't good enough so my memory is going to have to do. It was really cool though. Then we went to sleep, which is the third place for Elder Raty this week, and all was well.
-Elder LightingUpHarrisonburg

Monday, June 12, 2017

Feeling love from above and 3 new Mandarin speaking Elders arriving in the next 2 weeks

That is really cool to hear about all the care and stuff you are getting mom. Last week as I would pray and seek peace and comfort both for you and concerning you nothing particularly special came, so I continued to pray and go about working.
This past week has taught me some things. Wednesday morning I woke up with a partially swollen eye, and that was basically it. Then they next days it continued to get worse, and I thought a bug had bit me there. Then I starting getting more red itchy spots in different places and after calling the medical adviser he determined I probably had poison ivy. The next few days it spread more and got more itchy so I got some stuff for it. So all in all it hasn't been fun and it has been hard these past few days. Lots of different things have happened between teaching lessons and going on exchange and things. However as I have closed each day in prayer, I have felt very close to Heavenly Father. I have felt he is very mindful of my circumstance, and that He is supporting me during this bought of poison ivy and still going about missionary work. Elder Snow also gave me a blessing that was powerful and meaningful. Through this as I have pondered and thought about it, Elder Curtis and Elder Clay of the 70's came to our stake conference this past Sunday to call a new Stake Presidency, as I sat in the meeting, I felt that if I was being supported in this manner by my Heavenly Father, and how much more is my mom being supported and helped with her cancer. It was a special answer that came to me. I am very grateful for this knowledge and testimony that there is a God and He indeed love us because we are His children.

Yeah, so we got more information on the new mandarin Elders, there are three called to come so far, one from Utah and two from Taiwan. Two were going to come today, but the one from Taiwan didn't get his visa, so only the one from Utah is coming, and today all of the mandarin Elders are going to the mission home to welcome him and then stay the night there.
Tomorrow is the temple trip for departing missionaries (Elder Richter and Elder Snow) so I will stay in Richmond with Elder Schellenberg for the day with Elder Raty(The new mandarin Elder from Utah) and we will work in Richmond for that day, and then stay in the mission home another night when Elder Snow and Elder Richter get back from the temple.

Then Wednesday we have a mandarin meeting with President Smith, and then we all have interviews with him since we haven't had that yet for the transfer. Then we will return to our respective areas and Elder Raty will come with Elder Snow and I for the remainder of the week (President wants Elder Raty to be with Elder Snow for the remainder of his time) and then until next Tuesday (when the end of the transfer is, all the other new English and Spanish missionaries will come in). we will go down with Elder Raty to Richmond, drop him off at a new missionary meeting with President, and Elder Snow and I will do stuff with Elder Richter and Elder Schellenberg in their area. Then we will stay the night, go to transfers and Wednesday, Elder Snow and Elder Richter will go home. Elder Raty will go with Elder Schellenberg for the rest of the transfer and I will receive an English speaking missionary as my companion, but we will still be focusing on mandarin work.
Then next transfer, the two Taiwanese missionaries will hopefully come, and Elder Schellenberg and Elder Raty will train one of them till Elder Schellenberg leaves on the 16th of August, and the English Elder that comes with me, will be with the other Taiwanese Elder till I head home and the English elder will continue to train the Taiwanese Elder in the mandarin area.
That I think is where we are at right now. Hopefully you understand all of that.
Thanks for the love, support, letting me know how you are doing and the encouragement.
Elder Smith