Elder Colby Ross Smith

Elder Colby Ross Smith

Importance of Family

Hey! Mauri!

First week in Betio complete. Weeks fly by so fast in mission time, seems like I was here two days ago typing up something. Lot’s of good progress last week, and much more still in action. It’s like driving a large ship; you can’t turn it all at once. It’s little by little. We’ve got big plans!

We get back every night at 9:30p and plan right up to 10:30p. Daily organization takes a little longer because I’m still new here and we really want to get our 20+ investigators on the path to progression. They all have so much potential. We pray for them in 10+ companionship prayers per day. And, we continually pray to find more prepared individuals. That is everything.
Something really stellar happened here- I found 4 of my old investigators from Kuria and 6 from Nonouti. Not a lot of progress in the gospel for a couple of them, but it’s so fun to meet with them again. I never actually taught lessons to most of them because they weren’t interested, but they are more receptive now- planned perfectly by Him. The even cooler part is that they moved here to live with family. This will lead to more possibilities... the family.

The longer I’m here and the more experience I have, the more convinced I am that the only path to true happiness and peace in this life is through the gospel of Jesus Christ; it being the plan for all to be perfected by Him. And the greatest way for us to cultivate faith in Jesus Christ and partake of all the blessings of the restored gospel, including peace and happiness, is in the family.

We have started to make every lesson a family event. That might be a normal thing in other missions, or at least a goal, but it’s easy to skip the process of inviting everyone in the family. It’s important to learn their whole background story and life, and invite them to attend every lesson (it is very difficult; many really don’t want to be there or really don’t like the church at first, but I feel like it’s everything). Some members of the family are ready before others.  But, in my experience, progression and real change is inspired when seen in the other members of the family, between parents and children, and even the mothers and fathers. Once they feel and see good changes in their family members, it becomes something they want more of because it’s so much lighter and happier and peaceful in the home. In a sense, our work ‘’does itself.’’
That’s my summary for last week. Mostly the same investigators, but this time getting to know all their family, spending more time than usual with them, and getting everyone involved. We have found many inactive and renewed investigators from this process. Previous investigators miraculously start to keep commitments and come to church. So much fun! Nothing makes me happier. This past week we taught a lot about God’s plan of happiness and the family’s place in it, including the temple.

We are also making some changes within the Ward. Our new Ward Mission Leader is a great guy and we now know that this calling is not just for our investigators, but for him. It was what he needed. Good reminder to all of us that callings are inspired and are for a purpose. This calling is going to change Betero’s life. Way excited to work with the guy.

We had another meeting with all our return missionaries yesterday- about 15 showed up… hahaha… none are married or have callings- so they have time! And we are going to work with them. Each will receive a few investigators and recent converts to fellowship and ensure the whole Ward knows and loves. Sundays can be quite hectic, so new members can get lost in the shuffle and remain unknown by the Ward… well… no more! Things are changing! We literally meet with 5 inactive members a day. They’re coming back, though slowly.

I’ll write more specifically about some of our people. Anyways, that’s all for now. I’ve got some ideas in mind for next week’s report. But till then, have a great Christmas-season-filled week!

Elder Smith

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