Missionary Monday: Elder D. Smith Serving In Budapest, Hungary

  
Notes and Thoughts and Miracles
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The Power of Baptism & Receiving the Holy Ghost – Powerful Manifestations of the Spirit by Investigators
(2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
(Act 2:38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
(D&C: 9:8) But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 7:42 AM
Subject: Re: Baptismal Experiences – Manifestations of the Spirit
(Excerpt)
The baptisms all went spectacularly. All five people (Bea, Érzsi, Fattime, Anasztázia, and István) were baptized and confirmed the following day (that is an insane number for a baptism here in Hungary). I will have to admit, baptizing in a hotel jacuzzi is a little different than the normal church font, but the spirit was still the same. It was so cool to have five people standing in white, with the three of us baptizing also standing there next to them. Infact as we were walking up to the hotel (it is up on a mountain, about 30 minutes from the branch house) a storm started rolling in. There was some of the loudest thunder I had heard ever and about 30 seconds after we arrived with all of the baptisimal candidates torrential rain started pouring outside. The hotel even had the power go out (they had generators so we were fine). It was a pretty dismal looking scene outside, however as the service started it was very peaceful. When we had finished with everything it had all cleared up, and everything was freshly rained on. It made me think about the primary song about “wondering about the beauty of an earth made clean again, I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain…” Everyone had couple of cool experiences.
Bea– Bea told us today that it was an odd feeling to be baptized. She said that when she went under the water, she honestly felt as if she had died, however in a very peaceful and natural way. And then as she came out of the water she felt as if she had “new life”. I explained to her that that is exactly what it is symbolic of, so she probably felt that way for a reason.
Érzsi- She is the coolest lady ever. She is so firm in the gospel right now. She told me that the part she really wanted to wait for is the confirmation. When I finished confirming her, she turned to me with big tears in her eyes and was absolutely overcome with how great she said she felt. 
Fattime– She was baptized and then confirmed and all seemed normal, and then whilst her younger sister was being confirmed she absolutely lost it emotionally and went went running out of the chapel crying. Her mom ran after her and asked her what was wrong, or how she was doing. She said that as she was confirmed she felt a rush of fire come in from my hands and it slowly filled her whole body. She then felt as if every bad thing she had done, including every mean thing she had said to her family was literally being pulled (rooted) out from her chest. The only thing that remained was a feeling of peace and love. She later told her mom that she never wants to do a bad thing again, in her entire life, and wants to always have that “spiritual rock removed from her”. It was really a burden that had been lifted from her. (I couldn’t help but think of the scripture “come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give thee rest”). 
Anasztázia– She is the coolest 14 year old girl ever. When I baptized her she was just beaming. She stepped in the font with just the biggest smile on her face. When I was saying the words, you could see on her face that she was fighting back a smile (she was trying to be reverent) yet she was losing the battle to the smile. When we were later back in the conference room having the program part of the meeting, an older lady in the ward gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and Anasztázia had the biggest smile on her face while hearing about the gift she would recieve the following day.
István– So after I baptized Istvan he went and got changed. There was only one changing room, so we (the three missionaries) were waiting outside. When he came out he said “Do you know what I feel right now???” And I said “well it is probably a good feeling”. “It is like a burning right here!!! *points to his chest* And I felt it when you started saying the words!!!” ” Well, do you know what that is?” “….. is it the spirit?” “Exactly.” And then with all of the excitement an 11 year old boy could muster he says “Here! Feel it!!!” and then he grabbed my hand on to his chest. I told him to write it down so that he will never forget the feeling he has.
Me– I had the opportunity of confirming the three that I didn’t baptize. This being my first confirmation a lot of prayer had gone into asking for the words that needed to be told to each individual. As we brought the people one by one in front of the congregation I was a little nervous. However, as I started the confirmation, I was relaxed and placed full faith in the Lord. With each different person being confirmed I was given a very concrete and solid blessing to give them through the Holy Ghost. I got to the point where I did not even think about what I was saying, just one word rolled off the last and gave to each one a blessing based on the needs that God wanted them to have. I honestly felt like I somewhat could discern what their future would hold for them as a church member too, which was a very interesting insight to be given while giving them a blessing, and an amazing opportunity.
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL
Love, Elder Smith
Protected by God & Angels
(D&C 84:88) And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
(Luke 10:17-19) And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 2:59 AM
Subject
: Protected from a head-on Collision
(Excerpt – not whole letter) 
Just wanted to let you know that the Lord is watching over me first and foremost, here was what I sent to president about it. 
“Also, we wanted to let you know that the spirit is watching over us. Whilst driving a car was coming head on in our lane to pass, but could not get back into his lane due to a long line of cars. We had to swerve off of the road, swerving then back on and almost losing control to avoid a head on collision on a country highway. Elder Bowen was blessed with the driving skills of Matt Damon, Tom Cruise or any other sort of action movie actor by the spirit and, surprisingly enough, did not even have a scratch on the car (There were probably inches between us and the oncoming car, as well as between the barrier and us.) The Lord continues to look out for his servants. “
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 5:11 AM
Subject:
Protected by Angels
(Excerpt – not whole letter)
So we tracted into a lady who we set up with for Friday. On our Friday meeting things started well, and then instead of letting us teach she instead taught us what she believed. She is a psychic healer who was talking about how 1. When Christ died he became a veil over the earth and we are all connected by little energy stems that come from our heads. 2. She read our palms and told us that we are called of God for something (PSH, I already knew that). 3. Gave a whole lot of partial truths and a lot of really weird stuff too. She said she has a third eye and is able to see spiritual energy rays. So at the end we ask her to pray and she did… her way. Lots of heavy breathing and rubbing our shoulders was involved. At that point I am praying in my heart that we are not effected by any sort of more evil spirit or something…. and then I pray for the same peace I feel at that point for Elder Alldredge, (Later he recounts that he had a feeling of peace come over him to replace the really weird feeling he had from this lady at that point). THEN I actually ask for an angel to be sent to guard us and the moment I say that she stops and says “someone has sent another spirit into this room….. but don”t fear he is a good spirit”. I kind of wanted to raise my hand and let her know it was me. By the end of her prayer she said she saw something over us she has seen very rarely before that, light from God. She then knew that we are delivering an important message to the people here and wished us the best and that we are able to find success. It was a weird night.
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2013 1:20 PM
Subject: Re:
Run in with Neo-Nazis
Hey all!!!
(Excerpt – not the whole letter) 
We also had a nice run in with a couple of Neo Nazis. Coming back from tracting late at night two shaven army booted guys walk up to us and started pushing us around and talking about how they are going to destroy our Jewish temple. Elder Squire didn’t really know what they were saying but I was quick to inform them that we were not in fact Jews. (My patriarchal blessing disagrees :-)) Luckily I was able to prove we were Christians because I had a trusty Book of Mormon in hand. After snatching it out of my hands and seeing that it was another testament of Jesus Christ I was just told to watch out for =/”+%!+! Jews and !%?:+!% gypsys and let them know if I see any. 
We had a really good feeling about a building this week and were able to tract it out to find some really good finds. This good feeling was for sure the spirit, we were both able to point out that this apartment building was going to be good because the Lord told us to go there. I have been able to see the promptings of the Holy Ghost a lot clearer since coming on a mission. I know that if we are living worthily the Lord will bless us and help us to grow. Try to listen to the spirit in more detail this week!!! Dont let it be drowned out by other competing voices!!
Sent: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 9:03 AM
Subject
: Don’t Judge a Book by it’s Cover
(Excerpt – not the whole letter ) 
This week while tracting I was able to realize the power of not fearing anything, nor judging on appearance. I was tracting in a V shaped apartment building where able to see to the other side of the V. We watched as a large man with large muscles walked his two MASSIVE pitbulls into his apartment while staring us down the whole way. We were headed up to his floor next. Elder Carter told me, “We are not knocking on that door” and I smiled and said, “The heck we aren’t!”. As we approached the man’s door I reached for the door bell and Elder Carter mapped out the escape plan. The hope was at this point that the 3 story drop off of the balcony we were on would only fracture something when he lets the dogs after us for dinner. He came out and his large arms held back his oversized dogs and said with a snare “What do you want?”. My response was to teach him about the plan of salvation, at which point he said he doesn’t care, but then the offer of a free book sparked his curiosity. As I spoke of the book he offered to let us in, after he put away the dogs. We were able to teach a full first lesson and he wants us to come back later. He told us of how the dogs have chewed through people’s hands, including his (accompanied by a scar on both sides where he saw the tooth go all the way through). IF we had let the fear of rejection/mutilation scare us off, we would have never talked to this guy! The gospel is the trump card in this war. 

Following the Spirit – Led by God – A Miracle
(Romans 8:14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Sent: Monday, July 22, 2013 2:36 AM
Subject: Finding a Lost Family – Directly by be being led by the Spirit
Hello Family!!!
This week we had a couple cool experiences. 
There was one time this week where we had one hour between two programs and we were determined to follow the spirit to a place where we could find someone to teach. The day prior we had a lady (Zsuzsana and her daughter Klaudia) cancel our program with her and said she would call us at some point in the future (usually meaning leave me alone), but for some reason her lesson plan was still stuck in my head. We were going to talk about how to gain guidance from the Lord. This lady we have never met before, as she was a call from the area book. 
Well as we went out to find we followed the spirit. At every turn we were asking the Lord whether or not we should turn or go straight, and we were in 100% agreement. We went all the way out to the edge of the City where I had never been before when a building caught my eye. I held my peace because, like other instances in my mission, the Lord tells me to say nothing to improve my faith. I feel the personal inspiration that my companion will feel it too and then I will now without a doubt that it is from the Lord. Elder Bowen then said… “what do you think about that set of buildings?”. I gave him a positive reply. We then parked and felt the prompting to go to the furthest back building. The first person at the telecom said we may come in but did not let us in, the second person however let us in without hesitation. As we went up to the person who let us in, and knocked on her door, I could just feel that this was right. The lady let us in with a surprising amount of ease as we gave her a standard door approach. We went in and she was very open with us. It was quite odd how she was acting, but it was good. We talked and found out she had met missionaries before. We talked about how to gain guidance from the Lord and how to get an answer. In my head I was thinking, wow, this lady is a lot like the teaching record of Zsuzsa. 
I then realized she was talking with a bit of difficulty due to dentistry, just like our would have been investigator less than 24 hours prior would have been (the reason for cancelling our program). We were then closing the program and I asked if we could set up again. I asked for her name. The replied Zsusza. I at that point knew, but wanted to be sure. Elder Bowen asked how many kids she had. The answer came one. I than asked how old she was, and she replied 19. I was then able to say with confidence without her revealing it “and her name is Klaudia, correct”…. “Yes, Klaudia”. The spirit was really strong at this point and Bowen elder turned to me and said… “hey… wait.. isn’t…” “Yes.” We then walked out after a good prayer and we knew that without a doubt the Lord had guided us directly to one of his children that was ready for the Gospel, and who we had never met. 
The first door of the random building in an edge of town belonged to the past investigator who had cancelled with us to be lost to another drought of the gospel before the Lord decided to say, whoa there, you are not getting off that easy. I had been praying for more faith (not due to a lack of faith, but when is asking for more faith a bad thing?) and the Lord saw it fit to bless us with a miracle. No doubt that we will be able to go somewhere with this new investigator. 
The Lord is willing to bless us when we follow his word and his spirit.

Importance of Making Changes
(D&C 18:13-14) And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
Subject: Re: Happy Easter from Home
(Excerpt – not the whole letter)
HOWEVER, we did meet with alot with one investigator who I told you about last week. Abigél is a cousin of a recent convert who we have met with almost every day. She is really progressing in the gospel! We challenged her to be baptized and she said yes. As of right now we are aiming for the 17th of May, but we need to make sure that we meet with her a lot before then, because she lives here but during the week is in a village far away for school, so we will meet with her only on the weekends. Well she already read and received an answer about the book of mormon, and it seems she is starting to make changes in her life. One of the sweetest feelings ever is when you see that your investigator not only read what you asked, but also highlighted, and took solace in the those words. I believe that the Lord is giving her answers to questions and trying to free her from a past life. She has mentioned that in the past she has made some bad decisions and wants to be free from those. She really has gained a REAL faith in Jesus Christ, and now we are working on helping her repent of past things and not make new ones. How wonderful that after that process she can be cleansed of all of her sins and start anew as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and enter into a covanent with Him??? 
We also were able to talk with an inactive this week. She said she just has one sin she wants to hold on to, smoking. We then read about how we need to be cleansed of ALL uncleanliness. That kind of hit her… I think it is just important that we try! We at least need to agree that the Lord is always right and we need to follow in his paths, and then we do our best! We can do great things, as long as we drop some baggage. If we don’t let go of some baggage, we won’t be able to progress.
I too know that the Lord is our Savior and that he lives. I cannot explain to you how I know, for it is by the spirit, something so simple that it is unexplainable, however it is still true. I can feel it when I testify, I can feel it when I talk about Christ, I can feel it when I repent, and when I participate in ordinances. I know it to be true and I know that the lives of me, my family, and others are blessed by this.
Elder Smith
Importance of proper Authority- Baptism & Tithing
(Acts 2:38) Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..
(Malachi 3:8-10) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 2:59 AM
Subject: Declan’s letter!!!!
(Expert – not the whole letter) 
On the brightside, Sissy will be baptized this week!!!! Saturday!!!! SHE IS SUCH A COOL INVESTIGATOR. We taught her sister this week, she also accepted a Bap-date! Hers however will be in late September. We are slowly going through the family one member at a time. The mom supports us but doesn’t seem to want to apply it to herself. We will see. Slowly but surely we can help her too!!!
Meanwhile, Crisis in the small ward. One member is planning on baptizing our investigator later, but due to her “not being able to pay tithing” and him saying to her that “in this church nothing is kötelezö (compulsory, binding, required)” (due to free agency) He says that he may just baptize her anyway, but she would not have the authority from us, nor the bishop, mission president, or anything of the kind. WOW. She has been in Budapest for a while so we haven’t even talked with her about it. This is of course all coming from a second hand source.
HOW IMPORTANT IS AUTHORITY!!!!! Without it we have nothing! Can we cheat God by forging our invitation to the wedding party??? NO! The one who sneaks in to the wedding without the wedding garment gets cast out to “outer darkness”
11 ¶And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding agarment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into aouter darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are acalled, but few are bchosen.
So we learn that authority is VITAL to the work! (Also another good symbol for that is keeping our covenants). Also I heard a good talk by Mconkie about the necessity of a prophet. As we see that Jesus’s teachings DEPENDED on the accepting of John the Baptists’s divine calling, as does it in our day on Joseph Smith’s. I think it is so cool that we have the RESTORED gospel. It is all there!! Imagine the joy that a kid has when he finds all the pieces to a puzzle that was incomplete. Now multiply it by a lot. It is we have the whole puzzle of eternal glory, and we can get the bigger message of the puzzle when we pray about it and attend the temple! All of those hidden mysteries, even the mysteries of God can be revealed to us. These are things that no man has uttered for it is forbidden them, but we can learn them through a sincere request for greater knowledge and greater light of the gospel until it fills our whole selves. HOW AWESOME IS THAT! All we need to do is be obedient to covenants and commandments and be proactive. 
By My Mouth or by the Mouth of my Servants it is the Same – Promise to an Investigator Fulfilled
(Acts 2:14-18)…But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
 
Sent: Monday, May 5, 2014 6:36 AM
Subject: Re: Promise to an Investigator Fulfilled
(Excerpt – not the whole letter)
This week we had an investigator on the verge of suicide, we had to go find his girlfriend’s house to stop him. We had gotten a call from another investigator at 6 am who had heard him muttering he was going to kill himself while walking on the street. (She works as an early morning street cleaner). He had already told us on the phone goodbye when we called him. We rushed over there and he hadn’t taken the pills yet (He works at a hospital and stole some crazy stuff from there). Well I found his girlfriend’s address in my old planner and we were able to find him and talk. His “life partner” Kicked him out of the house because they argued and he hit her. So now he is in the depths of depression because of it. The guy is super depressed still and we are helping him move out.
When he was about to move in with her we taught chastity to him and promised him that if he doesn’t move in with this girl his life will get better but (here is the interesting part) I also felt prompted to promise that if he does, it will severely affect his happiness in a negative way. So we in fact witnessed the effects of his bad decisions. Let’s just say that it is important to follow the counsel of God’s servants.
There is a principle in the scriptures and preach my gospel that says that if missionaries are moved upon by the spirit their words become scripture. That is serious stuff, and I know that it is true, I have witnessed that!
Abigél was able to come to church and is on her way to baptism! We will talk more with her about it as it gets closer. It rained this week, so we only had 14 people come to church. It is hard for newer converts to see why we need to ALWAYS do our best to go to church…. even if it is raining. 
Let us not allow the rainstorms of life to keep us away from the gospel light! We have so much to lose if we do so!
Elder Smith
Is Going on a Mission Work Worth it
(Isaiah 52:7) How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
(Excerpt)
I know that every soul is precious to God and if it were to be that I was to labor for two years day and night tracting to find even one soul, I think it would be worth it. The worth of a soul is great in the sight of God and is worth tracting for a small amount of time. We are all a part of God’s family and in the words of Lilo and Stitch “Family means that no one is left behind”. God bless the missionaries who found my ancestors and made it possible for me to already partake of the gospel this early in my life. Their sacrifice is worth it. I hope that my sacrifice can be worth it to countless others down the road. I know that the Lord is watching over us and will cause us to succeed. I know not how, or where, or by what means but I know that the effort we put in is a reason for God to show us where we need to go, what we need to say, who we need to be and and what we need to do. 
I have a testimony that this church is true, and is God’s church here on the earth with the FULNESS of his gospel. Why should one stutter or hold back to give to another person the fulness of Happiness we can achieve on earth and after. 
DO TEMPLE WORK!!! I miss the temple. I want to take part in another form of missionary work when I get back which is helping people on the other side. I love my siblings here on earth and we need to realize we love our siblings who have already passed on to the other side with out us too!!! Is any sacrifice of time too small for the Lord? When we are in the service of others, we are serving our god.
Final Testimony and Coming Home
From: Declan Smith
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 6:10 AM
Subject: I’m coming home!
The time is here.
Tomorrow I go to Budapest and spend the day there, and then I head off early Thursday morning on a plane home. I will be honest, it is scary going home!!! Life is so easy as a missionary. You know what you are doing and you know that it is helping people. I have a purpose. At home I will have a purpose too, an eternal purpose. I know that even when we are not serving the Lord as a full time missionary we can still be serving the Lord full time by serving others, staying worthy, being an example, and always doing as Christ would do.
Through my mission I have learned many things, too many to even list here right now and some that I couldn’t even if I tried. I would not exchange these past two years for anything. I have seen lives changed, people touched, and miracles happen. I am grateful for the blessing of a mission in my life.
I am also grateful for the infinite amount of strength I received from each one of you during the course of my mission. I can feel that I was being prayed for. To be honest I can not even remember a time I was sad during the course of my mission. That is two years of happiness. It was hard, and there were times my patience was tested, my loving capability stretched, my stress level soaring, and lots of physical fatigue, but I was never sad. The only tears I remember were those of joy. Thank you for supporting me.
I know that this church is true. I know that this gospel is the cleansing light that leads all men toward goodness and eventually perfection and exaltation. I have felt the mighty change of heart in my life and continue to be true to that commitment. We can always progress, and always strive for a more perfect self. With time, the Savior, and a little bit of humility, we can change our lives.
Sók szeretettel,
Elder (for two more days) Smith 
Elder D. Smith just returned home a few days ago from the Budapest, Hungary mission. He was serving from the Summit View Ward.

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