Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WK3 - Oi! (Hi)

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Ok to start hopefully i can get all of your questions answered. With the time limit on these computers it is pretty intense though. THURS-- We got a new missionary in our room from Cabo Verde. He is cool but didnt have a companion till friday and we got another one in our room from Sao Paulo. Seriously in the MTC all of the days become a blur so im not really sure anything exciting happend FRI or SAT. Every saturday night we have a district meeting but thats about all that changes from a normal day. Sunday we get up, study, go to church, have leadership meeting with the leaders in the branch, then have a fireside. MON-- Normal day.. And i will explain what that is. Wake up 6 30. Study for 1 hr in the classroom. Breakfast 1/2 hour. Class for 4 1/2 hrs with irmã Cardoso. Lunch for 1 hr. Class with Irmã Elias for 3 1/2 hours. Dinner 1 hr. Gym for 1 hr. then get dressed again. Comp study for 1 hr. Then plan. Then get up to the room just after 9 30. Write in journal, go to bed. Then wake up and do it all again. Quite the life huh? Other than that I have devotional on tuesday and P Day on wednesday. Tuesday-- The devotional this week was really good. One funny thing is that the speaker said he had a son serving in Teresina and asked if anyone was going there. I was the only one in the entire MTC to raise my hand. Pretty awesome right?! That was cool. There used to be like two other brasilians and one brasillian sister but they all left so im the only one. Today- Wed--- We went to Campinas temple again which is amazing i love it. I love that no matter where you go, the temple is always the same. The temple is really big and beautiful. Ok So to the questions. The Branch Pres is from Texas. He is a really cool guy and his wife is really nice too. I look forward to sundays because we have a couple hours of downtime to relax and write letters. --It was cool to make the connection with Irmã Cardoso. She is honestly one of the coolest people ever and is always super happy to be here. She spoke well of Kaylee and said she makes awesome cookies. And honestly if i was to guess i wouldnt think she was brasillian, but she is. Shes an awesome teacher. Ok for fun this week look up the Brasil National Anthem. It is crazy but we sing it every sunday. I love it and can almost say like 10 words in it haha just because its so fast. A couple other things... The doctor here is from Blackfoot and used to serve at the idaho falls temple. He knew of grandma and grandpa but doesnt really know them. Anyway just a thought. They are Elder and Sister Hill. One quick note as well. The MTC provides sheets, pillow, blanket, and a towel. So anyone going out can know that. Also a watch is super important. Time is everything on the mission. --Thats interesting to hear about BYU youll have to keep me posted. --The package you want to send.. I honestly cant think of anything i need right now so i will think about it and get back to you. --Last thing. Today at the temple i saw Wes Christansen at the temple and hes been on his mission for 9 months and is serving in Campinas. I went to high school with him so it was way cool to see him in the temple today. We just came out of our session and he was just going in. Anyway its been an eventful week!! Now that im done with email we are gonna go hit the town! We get to go walk around and we usually go to the stores and stuff its pretty fun. Well Have an otimo semana! - ELDER SMOOT

< From Dad >
Can you tell more about the Federal Police visit?
< Tanner's Answer >
Ok fed police we went and got finger prints on a computer. Nothin big haha sorry i don~t have time. Love ya Scanned Letter
Translation of the first part of the letter: "Hi Father! How are you? I am very well"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WK2 - Dois semanas em Brasil (Two weeks in Brazil)

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Hey! so the mtc has been good, but is super busy right now! And again this computers enter doesnt work so they all must be that way. Anyway last wed-sat we got to sing at an open house for a monster stake center. it was way cool and i have letters on the way from mission ties that should explain a little more about it. The letter thing from mission ties works best for me because i have time to read it. i have 10 unread mail messages right now because i dont have time to read them. so also last wednesday i bought some ties from the lady on the corner.. they are actually pretty nice i like them a lot. And i got your gift certificate for mr. chenneys haha. thanks. So honestly there isnt a lot to be writing about when your in the mtc.. you pretty much study all day and go to bed at night. The choir thing was the highlight of last week and they actually got it all on video which was cool because we watched it. good times. And randomly on saturday, the last night of singing, my friend elder goldhardt from slc, went up to a lady that looked like the one in the conference edition ensign and got her autograph it was way funny. She has a picture with two little girls and it says sao paulo brasil under the picture. Sunday i slept for an hour or so which felt way good. sunday is when i have a meeting and also monday, but they are only like a half hour or so. and sunday was the best day to write letters so i wrote a few, all in mission ties now. Tuesday i got a haircut from the barber and its funny because he doesnt speak much english and sings songs the whole time he cuts your hair and is actually a pretty good singer. and also on tuesday about 50 missionaries left the mtc for the field, about half brazilian half american. Today we went to the campinas temple which was awesome. The sao paulo is really cool too. But we were gone from 6 30 this morning till 1 because it takes about 1h 30 driving in a bus. So after that we had 15 min to eat lunch then went to the federal police. And then back here and we have hardly anytime to email. so onto your questions... my comp is Elder Shepherd from Tri-cities, Washington. He loves to crack jokes and is a baseball player. He played for a small college up in washington this year, but when he gets back he is going to play for BYU. he is a cool guy. We arent exactly alike, but being with anyone 24/7 could be frustrating a times. We are good together though. My district has 8 people. My comp is going to Belem so im the only american teresina missionary here. I have met only a couple of brazilians going there as well. Elder Houston and E. Skabelund- Belem. BTW E. houston is really cool guy i like him and am pretty tight with him. E. seymore and E. Manson- Belem. E. fridley and E. Goldhardt- Brasilia. So we have an awesome district and we have a lot of fun. And there are no sisters in our district. The teachers are awesome here and are really patient. The language is hard, but i can start to pick out words from conversations here and there. The food is as follows. Breakfast- ham and cheese sandwhich and some porage stuff. (i have this written in my letter to mom) luch- rice and beans and some form of meat Dinner-rice and beans and some form of meat. Oh and guarana at lunch and dinner. It gets old usually but sometimes they switch it up. And last, it takes 2 to 3 days to get a letter depending on when you send it. They dont do mail on sat or sun. But ya it works. well love you all! have a great week. -Elder Smoot

This picture was sent to Marcie from Elder Houston's mother.  This is Tanner's District.  Tanner's companion, Elder Shepherd is on the front right.

Letters from Tanner.  Written by hand and scanned and emailed by

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WK1 - Brasil

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Wow so much to say but not a whole lot of time! First off.. Mission ties is awesome. I have got all the letters you sent so far i think, and 3 of us in our district have it and we are the only three that have received letters so far because it takes so long to get mail here. Second, my enter button doesn´t work so its going to be a jumbled letter. -Wednesday- That was a really long flight and i probably only slept for an hour or so. It was no leg room and then it got really cold in the plane as the night went on. It was nice to finally land. We got off the flight and got in the pretty cool van that took us to the CTM and then we got a few things and then got a picture taken etc. We were done about 6pm that night with everything and then went to unpack and check the rest of the ctm out. There is a basketball court, two volleyball courts and the little track which is pretty cool. And in the middle of the track is sit-up benches and pull up bars. The CTM has 6 floors and of course im on the sixth floor and we cant use the elevators. Well that wednesday night i think we went to bed around 8 or 8 30 we were just really tired. I met my companion as well which at first was ok and all but im still not sure i like having a companion. For example if i leave something up in the room he gets mad at me because he has to walk upstairs again... its kind of annoying. -Thurs- This is when real classes and study time starts. We spent all day studying, sitting in classes, and trying to figure out portuguese. After the first night, you are in class until 9 30 every day which is pretty rough. -Friday- was a long day as was about everyday here so far, haha, but it was also our first day in gym which was pretty fun. gym time we played volleyball and a little bit of basketballl and not a whole lot of exciting things happened that day. -Saturday- was just another good day in class and studyin and all. Seemed like everything went smoothly and the day went by pretty quick. -Sunday- So far sundays are just as good, if not better, then p-days. You wake up, study, eat, then go to church meetings and then most of the rest of the day is yours until about 5 30 i think. One thing we did this last sunday was do interviews with our branch pres. And right after that, he choose me to be the district leader. It really is just to have someone take charge of the class and direct the district meetings. I have to go to a couple more meetings each week, but its not too bad. We also pulled out my bug zapper this day and that is like the best toy you can have here. It is the coolest thing ever and everyone loves using it. And it will be even more usefull in the mission field. -Monday- On top of the normal class day and studying, we talked about visas and signed a couple of papers. There is a guy here that they call nacho because he does a really good impersonation and his wifes name is ignacio or something, but he talked to us about the visas and hes really funny. -Tuesday- Yesterday was a pretty long day, mostly because i felt pretty sick as the day went on which was a drag, but i made it through and just took some medicine and woke up feeling pretty good today. There was a devotional this day as well and its interesting because the speaker speaks in portuguese and then someone translates, so the talks at devotionals last a while. -Wednesday- well today we woke up and went to the temple which was really cool. Can i just say that driving is insane here and i dont know how that driver drove a big bus to where we were going, and how he didn~t kill a motorcycle guy on the way because they are crazy too. But one disappointing thing is that we can~t take our cameras to the temple... but its ok. Sorry about not having pics this week, i don~t know if we are supposed to but i will do my best to do it next week. Mr. cheneys cookies are really good and i heard they have people patrol the computers over there now so you don~t go over your half hour. The weather is not super humid here mostly because its winter, and has been as low as 50 but today is probably about 75 or so. so not super bad. Well thank you again for the letters from missionties! we get a printed off letter in our box, which by the way is box 28, and i have more time to read it. Love you all and good luck! -Elder Smoot

Letter written by Tanner. Scanned and emailed by missionties

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

WK0 - Well I am finally here!

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Well I am finally here. I cannot even believe that I'm actually on my mission. It has been a really long couple of days flying and I'm just glad I get to sleep on a bed. It is nice and cool here in Sao Paulo and was cloudy pretty much all of today. There are so many buildings here, but everything is just dirty, and honestly the MTC is the cleanest and most healthy environment to live in down here I can almost guarantee it. Traffic is crazy and it has the motorcycles weave in & out just like Taylor's mission. It seriously looks like they're going to kill themselves its just insane. The place here seems pretty relaxed, but at the time still hardworking. It just is different. I am still not completely sure on all of the rules yet. I got my companion which was weird because it's like nothing now, but we are going to have to spend a lot of time together. I'm not sure I like having a companion so far, especially one I didn't get to choose haha just sayin. Mine is pretty good but definitely not my top choice, but it has been only one day so I gotta give him more then that.
I love the Brazillians here. They are very nice and fun to try and talk to in english. I can't wait for the things to come so wish me luck with it all because it isn't necessarily fun and I'm easily distracted by everything around me. (not negative. I just ran out of space) talk to you later
Love you all,
Elder Smoot

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tanner Arrived Safely! Yay!

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC. What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.

They now have companions and are settled into their rooms. They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study. The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting. These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.

The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs. He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.

Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple. This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.

Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”

Please accept our love,

President Donald L Clark and Sister Zaza Clark

ADDITIONAL information . . .

DO not send packages to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package can not be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you. The only other option is for us to open the package and forward the letters and photographs, giving the rest of the content of the package to the missionaries that are here.

WE Strongly eNCOURAGE sENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers. The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tanner is on his way to Brazil !!!!

Tanner is flying all night and is scheduled to land at the GRU in Sao Paulo at 7:01 AM AUG 4th. He was very ready to go. We are excited for him.

Tanner wanted breakfast at IHOP before he left.

Here we are at the SLC Airport.