Thursday, September 30, 2010

Left to Right: Elder Smoot, Sister Cardoso (teacher), Elder Shepherd

Left to Right: Elder Seymour, Elder Manson, Elder Goldhardt, Sister Cardoso, Elder Shepherd, Elder Fridley, Elder Smoot

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Last Week in the CTM!

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Well HEY howdy hey.
WED: Cut E. Manson´s hair.. pizza night every wednesday and we have this banana chocolate pizza that is really good. Anyway maybe ill try making it when i get home. Also right after i emailed i went down and found Elder Stewart. He is doing awesome by the way.
THURS: i found out i have gym with elder stewart so thats cool. At least i get to see him some part of the day. Also that night E Houston went to the hospital for stiches. We were playing basketball and he hit his shin on this little wall. Hard to explain but they are doing a bunch of remodling in the outside gym and ya. So that was cool and he had a sweet ride to the hospital i guess.
FRI: PROSELYTING... Ok so during proselyting there was a ton of rain! like it pounded it was sweet. So first person we talk to is this asian guy. He said his life was good and he didnt need religion. It was really frustrating because we couldnt explain how important it was. Anyway he was nice but didnt take a book. Nex my comp started talking to this man about our age and i kept walking, oh and we proselited on a bridge that has just thousands of people walking across it so it was cool, and so i turn around and like run to catch up to them walking the other way. Anyway he was way nice and had a beanie and earings, so obviously appearance isnt everything. he was evangelical but he accepted a book which was awesome. Next there was this old black guy and i could not understand a word coming out of his mouth it was insane. He had a few teeth so it was really slurred. Anyway he told us we were only out there because we grew up in the church. We explained to him that we have testimonies and that ya our family is a big part of it, but we know for ourself. He took a book, even though i left really confused what was going on in the whole conversation. So last there was a young man about our age again that was evangelical and he was super cool. We walked with him and he did accept a book and said he would read. So i dont know if any of these people did or not, but it was an awesome experience. Also that night we found this 2 inch long gecko one of the bathrooms so that was exciting.
SAT: Nothin too exciting. We did more practice teaching and what not and then that night there was no dinner because we did fast sunday before conference.
SUN: Fast sunday.. there were a lot of really good testimonies and everyone in our district bore a good testimony. It was a good spiritual day. Pres and Sis clark were the fireside that night and they told there conversion story which is amazing. Anyway good day.
MON: Normal day.. Taught the Word of Wisdom in practice.. nothin special
TUES: We had an ice cream party, which i love ice cream so it was awesome! it was for the opening of the new weight area so it took out of our class time and we got ice cream! it was the best of both worlds. In gym i finally could grab the rim playing basketball. With all this new weight im packin on i couldnt do it, but i finally did. and i cut E Goldhardts hair. Pretty basic tuesday. Oh and we watched Elder Holland on DVD at the provo MTC for the Devotional.. Exciting eh?
WED:Last time at the São Paulo temple for at least a few years.. maybe ever. It was a really good session and i enjoyed it.
Well onto questions/concerns/traumas...
-I fly out on OCT 5th. I am flying with 6 Brasillians and im the only american. I know all of the brazillians though because they are our roommates and on our floor so that will be cool. Elder Stewart will be two weeks behind me. Oh and i will see if i can call you when i go to the airport so if you have any questions you can ask me then.. it will be really early for you though. Anywhere from 2 in the morning to 6am for you im thinking. Depends on the flight.
- Health is good, nothing to worry about. Im doing good :)
-I agree with the no more missionties. Its cool but if im going to send a letter, i will send it to home. So no more missionties.
-And yes i used all my coupon. Well i will use it all. I started with 75 reais and now i have 5 left.
-I cant think of anything right now for a package... American candy is gold here. I dont know for sure though. If i think of something in the next 20 min i will write it in the missiontie letter.
-As far as conference goes= Yes we watch it here and i think we are lucky because we will watch it in english. If i went to the field last week i dont know if id get anything out of it! It should be around 1-3pm and 5-7pm. And i hear we watch Priesthood on sunday morning.. Not positive though. so that will be fun.
-One quick question. could you tell me how much i spent last week? Thanks. one was for the scriptures, the other was for the cases at a small store here.. Anyway thanks.
Well thats about all i got for now. Go out and have a great week! remember the gospel rules! it really is fun and i love the joy it brings.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WK 7 - 22 SEPT 2010

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Alright Lets get started....
WED: Besides what i told you last week.. i carried E Goldhardt up all of the stairs. Though he was quite a bit lighter, at least i did them all. i didnt miss the first 9. As you can tell i get easily amused here doing the same things for 9 weeks.
THURS: Class... Normal day. Portuguese was suprisingly good today when we taught. That was nice. And that night we got two new roommates. Both goin to TERESINA! same day as me. I met about 6 others that are going the same day as me so i wont travel alone.
FRI: Taught in português as usual. We do a lot of mock practices of teaching... All in portuguese so its been going pretty good. And i cut Elder houstons hair.. Not that cool but he got it done by the barber and asked me to touch it up haha. The barber is funny. He sings and just cuts away.
SAT: We had TRC. Which is where we get video taped and recorded when we teach. me and my comp taught a couple of the sisters here and it went amazing. You can just tell the difference that when the spirit is there it goes smooth and really well, but when it isnt, the language is really rough and its not very smooth. I got more ex lax and some fiber this time because i hadnt gone to the bathroom in like 4 days. It hardly does anything to me haha i give up. But its not bad i feel totally fine. That night we had a lesson by Irmão lopez and he basically told us we cant let people tell us what our mission will be like. We cant believe it if people tell you your mission doesnt baptise much. It depends on us and if we want to work for it. So really good lesson..
SUN: Blessed the sacrament again. Its always a little rough, but much better then the first time i tried! We also got a new district in our branch because that other district left. One of which is going to teresina so thats cool!
MON: Normal Day... Did some pull ups at Gym. We have pull up bars out in the middle of the track so i do that sometimes.. Also i played basketball with some brazilians. I felt super tall and like i could actually jump!! they are all short soccer players with little basketball experience so it was way fun haha. I loved it.
TUES: I got a haircut from E. Fridely, I cut Fridely´s hair, and Fridely used my stuff to cut my comps hair. So that was fun i always like short hair. And that night we had Brother Puerta talk to us and he is an area 70. About as close to a disciple as we get here haha. And tuesday is always a good night just knowing that the next day is pday.
WED:São Paulo temple this morning and after that i bought some scriptures! they are pretty cool. And i bought a mini hymn book.
Other stuff:
So about the camera stuff. I am not sure i still have time for the Mr Cheneys thing... I only have one more p day here! And im not hurting on memory space. So i will try to send you some later and see how it goes. Just let me know.
Im fine money wise. I have about 200 reais cash still so im good.
If i need a new watch i will buy it so dont worry about sending one unless you already have!
I write my friends the best i can, but pretty much write back who writes me... And i write Taylor every week and just started doin missionties to him.
Did you get pics from Irmão Heleman?? Everyone else heard they did but just wondering.
The lady at the front said we are like the last of the mohekans! haha because of the whole visa problems. Its ridiculous!
Friday this week i have my second time proselyting so ill let ya know how that goes!
I have been gaining weight. I came in at about 155 or so and i have hit 168! but i go up and down all the time...
Well im running out of time. So there will be more info in the mission tie letters so hopefully youll get those. Thanks for all you do!!
Elder Smoot

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WK 6 - real fast

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

ok so you proselyte in your 5th week and in your 7th week on that friday. jsyk. in the 5th week you stay in the MTC boundaries which is about 3 square miles. And on the 7th you go downtown.

oh and keep askin questions!!

Letter to Kaylee D.,  G. & G. Smoot, G. & G. Draper,  Mom, and Tayton

Letter to Dad...

WK 6 - Tudo Bem (How are you)

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Well its been a good week! Lets just get things started off.
Last WED: Like I said i was going to try and place a book of mormon. We talked to a couple of people but everyone we talked to had a book of mormon already... I guess thats what you get for proselyting next to the MTC. It was really fun though. Good experience for the upcoming friday.
THURS: Ya thursday was pretty enteresting. So the day before we went to that all you can eat meat place. I was so full after that and then i was kinda feelin plugged up on thurs. So i asked to doctor for something and he gave me laxative. Suprisingly it never hit me too bad, but helped. Anyway enough of that... just thought it was funny. It was a pretty normal day. The most exciting thing that happened was that we played tennis with a volleyball over the net and with our hands. Pretty lame i know, but we´re in the mtc. It gets ya through the day.
FRI: Probably the most exciting day of the week with proselyting. We went out and the first person we talk to has a BOM of course, but he was not a member, oh and he was probably about 16 or 17 ish and ya he was super cool and super nice. He said he had a book and reads it and had some friends in the church so that was cool. We told him to keep reading and what not and he even took another book to give to another friend he thought would be interested. Next we went to the little run down park in our boundaries and everyone either had one or rejected us, which was fine so we just moved on. It is just hard to express your feelings about the church in a language you hardly know! When we left the park a bunch of kids were getting out of school, so we talked to this like 12 year old... He started taking off his shirt which was actually pretty hilarious. Anyway we offered him a book and he accepted and we told him to take it home and read with his family. so next we were at a stop light and there was an old man sitting there so we started talking with him. We gave him a book and bore a very simple testimony. After that he asked if we were americans and then we said yes. Then he asked if we liked Obama and what not. That was pretty funny. Anyway we left and looked back and he started looking through the book so that was good. The next lady we talked to we asked her if she had a BOM and she said yes, but didnt have the number to call if she had questions so we gave that to her. That was actually really good too because she looked very interested and it was interesting you could tell who was interested and who wasn´t. Next we were waiting at a corner with another companionship and i noticed this man looking at us. I told the other comp to go talk to him. They didnt and we started walking off and i just felt bad. So i grabbed my comp and we went and talked to him. At first he wouldnt listen much, but by the end he acctepted the book and would read the intro. That was really cool. And we gave out one more to an asian lady walking by. It was such a good experience and i decided that is a big plus to be here at the Brazil MTC.

SAT: Irmão Peçanha, one of the head people that work here, gave a meeting about excercising faith as a missionary. It was really good and he told us about how even going on a mission was an act of faith. As a missionary we are required to exercise faith everyday. When we promise blessings to investigators, we exercise faith in that we beleive they will be blessed. Anyway really good meeting. We also taught the first lesson in português which went really well.
SUN: I gave a talk on obedience and it was the last sunday with the other district in our branch.. and there are only two districts in our branch. So now we are the oldies, and we get a new district this week.
MON:Last night with our friends from our branch, which were the missionaries on our floor in the room next to us. they were really cool guys and i may see some of them when i get back because they are all going to byu. I also ran a 5 50 mile that night. It was hard because you have to stop at each end of the track its so skinny! but it was fun.
TUES: Me and my comp taught our teacher Irmã Elias which went pretty well. We had a devotional that night from someone in the 2nd quorom of the 70 which was good. And that night there was a car crash outside the MTC which was awesome. There were two cars and they started yelling at eachother and i thought there was gonna be a fight.. But there wasnt. Woulda been cool thought. oh well. That was about as exciting as that got.
WED: Today we hit up the temple and ate lunch... thats about it.
Well it has been a good Week! if you have any questions you know where to find me ;) Well Tchau for now.
-Elder Smoot

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WK 5 - Over Half Way Done With The MTC!

Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

HEY yall! howdy do? K im just gonna jump right in.
LAST WED--- So other than the temple which i told you about last week, i ran a mile at gym, i bought a Brazil jersey from the tie lady on the corner, and that night our Brazilian roomate wasn~t feeling good so me and the guys in the room gave him a blessing. That was really cool. We used my oil because everyone else~s hadn~t been set apart yet, anyway i did the first part then his comp did the rest in português which was cool.
THURS-- Normal day... Just so you know for gym there is 3 main things to do. Run/Do pull ups, Play volleyball, play basketball. Most of the time we play volleyball and basketball.. and run.. so we do it all just depends on the night. also Elder allred from MV came in that day. Im not good friends with him, but hey i went to high school with him.
FRI-- During class we went into a room and got recorded teaching Brazilians. We didn~t do so good so luckily our video didn~t work. That night i ran a mile at gym again and we spent the rest of the time doing trick shots. I made an off the wall, up over the back of this fence shot and a couple others but they were amazazing. That was actually pretty fun. We also learned how to play the kazoo with our tags.. Quite annoying but its pretty funny.
SAT-- We taught Irmã Cardoso in class for milestones which is just our weekly teaching visits with a fake investigator which is our teacher. Then that night we didn~t have dinner because the next day was fast sunday.
SUN-- Fast Sunday so no breakfast which was kinda hard but not really. The meetings were so good that you kinda forgot about food for a while, which was awesome. The MTC President talked about making the little decisions and that when someone does something really bad its not just instant. They were slowly led off the path that led them to just go that much further until they did something really bad. Anyway really good talks on sunday, and testimony meeting was good. Everyone in our Ramo or Branch bore their testimony.
MON-- Taught Brazilians again which is always interesting. I pick up about half of what they say so i don~t get the whole story and it messes me up, but it went well.l It was also the last night with our Brazilian and Cabo Verde roommates so we said bye to them and got a couple of pics.
TUES-- was Brazil independence day.. nothing really cool happened which was a little disappointing but ya it was their independance day. There were a few fireworks, but youd see more fireworks at a soccer game here. It was the first day that it really rained which was cool. It didn~t pound too hard but it came down better then ive seen it since weve got here so we had gym in the indoor basketball gym. Also my comp cut my hair which actually doesn~t look half bad.
WED-- São Paulo temple in the morning. We had a friend of ours there that took pics with us with his camera so im going to see if he will send pics of us that we took today. Its kind of a long story but Irma Elias- our teacher - is his girlfriend and he taught us for a while and now he doesnt work here anymore because you only work here for two years.. anyway now we have hookups its pretty awesome. Anyway then we went to this Rodizio place that was like Tucanos for brazil. Super super good fresh meat that they bring around and that was cool. Hopefully Irmão Heleman- our friend- will send pics from both places. It will take a while though because we need to give him email addresses for our parents.
OK onto other stuff--- First off i love my van heusen shirts best. I spilled a drink on one and it ran right off with no problem and it was orange soda and i wiped it right off. Pretty awesome. And mom you´d be so proud, i iron my shirts almost every day. the laundry room is across the hall so i just do it with the irons in there.
By the way.. Did you get my postcard? i sent one a week or two ago. Also im sending another letter today.
Questions--- The language is coming and i learn more everyday, but nowhere near really good. I can sometimes get my point across and understand others, just depends on the day.
2. I got the pictures and they are awesome. they are good quality and fit right in my photo album.
3. I do get a water bottle with a filter when i leave the MTC.
4. P-Day- we walk around, go to mr. cheney´s, go to DIA(the little grocery store right next to us) and mail letters at Correios. It~s pretty fun and today im going to try to give out a BOM.
5. We are in the MTC for 9 weeks so we leave the MTC right after conference that tuesday i beleive. I have no idea if i would travel alone..
6. I use the gift certificate everyweek to buy a cookie for me and my comp and i buy milkshakes etc. I love it. I also got a couple of little brazil pins there too. The package-- I think i will get scriptures if you didnt send any. the ones we get are the cheapest kind and wont last. if you sent some let me know. im getting a little case for them. and there are different sizes...
7. i start to like the rice and beans.. not bad.
8. there are probably about 150 or so in the mtc now. used to be about 300 when we were here but no americans are coming in. there are about 20 sisters or so. about half americans.
9. This friday we go proselyting.
10. Everyone learning port. speaks english.
11. I got all the letters from before on friday so it can take a few days to get here, thus i didnt reply about scriptures.
Anyway sorry no more time!! peace out. ELDER SMOOT

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Area: Brazil MTC
Companion: Elder Shepherd

Alright so this week was a pretty good one. Not a ton of new stuff but i try to write stuff down so i remember to write everything. Starting with last wed night-- I gave 3 missionaries haircuts. They were my first hair cuts here but they actually went pretty well. Thank Tal for me for the hair cutting stuff. I am getting a lot of new friends...
Thurs-- I had class all day again which is always long, but it feels good to get through a day. I have gym in the afternoon so this time after gym, i carried my good friend Elder Manson, who weighs about 220 lbs, up to the top floor. I missed the first 9 stairs but i figured it was like 99 steps up to the sixth floor. And that night i gave another person a haircut.
FRI-- Same old class, and during gym i counted that its about 14 laps around the track here to do a mile so i grabbed my friend Elder Fridely and we ran a mile together. It felt really good to run and i enjoyed myself. After that i carried E. Manson up to the sixth floor from the 2nd floor so my legs were pretty exhausted that night. As you can see life is pretty exciting in the MTC. I am very easily amused.
SAT-- Other than the normal class routine, we had group meeting. The MTC Pres taught and we talked about recognizing the spirit and that everything we do needs to be with the spirit. It was really good.
SUN-- Me and my companion said the sacrament prayer in portuguese. That was actually really cool, even though it was pretty choppy, it worked. The language comes really good some days and is really hard on others. Learning a language takes a lot of patience and a lot of work. The português is comin... Slowly but surely.
MON-- All I remember about monday is that everyone was really tired and exhausted and just mentally out of it in the morning. It ended up being a really good day, but it was pretty funny how worn out everyone seemed to be. In gym i ran the mile again with Elder Fridley and i timed myself this time and got like 6:15 which isnt horrible, but definitely not race material. On top of that, i pretty much chilled so it felt nice. I am amazed that i can still run decent, even though i feel like im getting fatter every day. This is because we eat Breakfast, Have class for 4.5 hours then eat lunch, then back to class for 3.5 hours then dinner and finally gym. It is fun though, my district is way cool and the guys are real fun to be around.
TUES-- We had an english fast yesterday which was so hard. I was really frustrated all morning and most of the day i just kept my mouth closed because i was affraid of speaking english haha. It was an adventure ill tell you what. By the end of the day my head was going to explode. I never knew how important being able to communicate was. I also found that i need to get going on the language. It is a challenge, but you just need to trust that youll get it eventually and do your part.
WED-- Today we went to the Sao Paulo temple which is really beautiful. The inside is amazing. We even got to go see the baptismal font which is really cool. All throughout that temple and in the MTC there is mahoganny wood which i guess is illegal to harvest now or something, but it looks really good in the buildings. ---
So i have been thinking about what i would need in a package and im still not sure. I don~t know what i will need out there. Some things i would have liked to have here is just some cheap normal spiral notebooks because they are like 2 reais each here, some scotch tape- its like 6 reais, maybe a marker and the lint roller i think i should have brought. None the less i have everything i need and probably even more. It has been a really fun time here in the MTC and i hope i have more exciting times to come here because im running out of things to say haha.
Best of luck and make it a fantastic week -Elder Smoot