Monday, October 25, 2010

Sponge Bob, Brazil style!

Tanner, Elder Passarin, & ?

Tanner's first baptism- Luiz Felipe
Sat. Oct. 23, 2010

Tanner, Luiz, & little bro! (?)

Guarana Jesus!


Tanner and his friend Bob Marley! :)

Hangin' around in his hammock! (it's much cooler to sleep in than his bed)

Welcome to Teresina!
Oct. 5, 2010

Airport in Sao Paulo heading to Teresina!
Oct. 5, 2010

Tanner's District at the CTM

Wk 12 - Another Week in Parnaiba

Mon: Emailed, bought a couple things in the Center. (The center is a bunch of people that set up random stuff, watches, bags, hammocks,etc.) Then went grocery shoppin..
Tues: district Meeting in the morning with elder gessel, e. logan, me and my comp. This day was my first time trying guarana Jesus! it is amazing. Its kind of like the.. ok i dont even know but it is good stuff. My comp gave me a haircut (i borrowed an energy transformer thing from another elder) so now its really short. We were at a house teaching and there was an icecream shop near by so we went and i ate 3 ice cream cones. It was crazy but i love ice cream and they were good flavors like Açai, Maracuja, and Brigadero(chocolate). and then we were late getting home so we ran and its hard in church clothes with a bag and with messed up roads!
WED: so my comp was determined to try running every morning. so we tried this morning and went for like 6 min i think. Impressive! haha I think im ready to run a marathon now. And then the brazilians in my house, im the only american, started trying totrade stuff withme. andthey love shorts! its insane so i really have to protect my stuff. And i made french toast after the longday and it was good.. but not as good as home! we dont really have cinnamon or lots of spices i can add to food, so its pretty plain.
THURs: For lunch i ate some peices of pig intestine or something. my comp refused to eat it but i tried it. It was very strange and pretty chewy where it wasnt burnt. It wasnt throw up bad, but i dont know who would go buy that at the store. its really funny because you never know what to expect when you begin a day! a lot of different things could happen! And after we went and talked to a less active and he started complaining to me about how it is so much easier to go tochurch in utah and on andon and wouldnt stop.Then he took us to bless his mother in law i think itwas.It was interesting! I had to have my comp whisper in my ear what to say.. But good experience.
FRi: president Dias came up and we had interviews. So when he came he brought mail too, and i got a letter from melissa and brandon fam so that wascool. sorry these wordsare attached. this spacebar only half works. Anyway, we went on our way and we stopped at a members house cause i had to go to the bathroom. so this was an experience that made me so thankful for my house. the walls are all just stacked bricks with a little cement in between, and the bathroom is seperated from theroom by a hanging sheet. And next to the toilet isthe shower, which is also seperated by a sheet. so they didnt have a light in there either so i had to go in the dark, with a cockroach on the wall. It was intense! and There is not a way to flush but by pouring water down the toilet. so anyway it made me realize that what we have doesnt really matter if we want to be happy. This family i think the father ran away or something but they dont have a dad, so the manof the house is my buddy who is a returned missionary and the mom and everyone there is so happy. And everytime we go over there they give us water and go by a 2 litter soda and just try to help it is amazing. So anyway That man that lives there came with us to teach andi even gotto ride his bike! it was sweet because ilove ridin my bike. And when wewere going i saw someone getting a tatoo. There is a lot of wierd/interesting stuff you see out here, but i just thought it was interesting it waslike out where everyone could see.
SAt: So today was my first Baptism! this is luiz felipe and he is 9 years old. so in the morning we went to hishouse for our DL E.Gessel to do the interview. And elder Logan was challenged to climb a treeand get a cocunut when we were there. Man it was funny. he got up and actually got one. They let us try some of the water from the coconut, and it was warm and nasty, but i heard it is pretty good. anyway we did that, went to lunch, thenwent to the church for the baptism. things got really intense for a while because We had district conference this weekend and so all the training wasin our building and whatnot. so weare tryingto have a baptism and others are setting up for their training and anyway we didnt have keys to open the font, which was already full. so we finally got that and hadlike a 10min baptism session and itwent really well, but fast because we needed to leave so training could start. So i baptized him and i got it in portuguese the first try! wahoo. i was thankful for that. anyway later that day we had another new drink i hadnt tried before. Its called Cevada and it honestly looked like coffee but my comp assured me it wasnt and they were members so i tried it. Man it was so gross and super hot! so i couldnt just chug it. Anyway i waited forever forit to cool down and then just chugged it right before we left and got offered more, but luckily i know how to say no thanks! So later we were at a house teaching and then we got called to go to a house with Pres Dias. so first the house we were at gave us some coca-cola and cake which was good. then we went to this really nice house(the nicest house ive been to yet!) and he was rich. So he had this girl, probably his house maid or something, bring us out guarana and some meat filled pocket things of goodness. so pres dias taught him and wewere far from our house so he gave us a ride home! it was perfect. We got dinner and a ride home!
SUN:District conference at an auditorium, thisbecause they dont have a building big enough for everyone. It was nice and air conditioned so i had a good time. pres and sis dias spoke. So we had lunch at a members and went home to drop off our suit coats. So all of our appointments were falling throught, when my companion started sayin he didnt feel too good. so we went to a members house nearby and my comp threw up all over their porch. Then kept throwing up just tons. We think it was lunch. My stomach felt a little strange, but it wasnt to that point. Anywho we went to this hospital thing and he got a shot and a couple things and we went to the house and he just crashed.
So thats my week and today there hasnt been much more happenin. i sent a letter so hopefully you get it!
from last week, i speak about 50/50 english portuguese with my companion. Sometimes i just get lazy and dont want to speak portuguese anymore, but he usually makes me speak in portuguese.
As far as things and suplies go im good! i can get about anything i want here! and im still onmy first stick of Deoderant and have two more.
The languageis coming and i understand more and more each day! still not second nature to methough!
The people here are mostly pretty friendly and what not, but pretty normal ya know you have some that are not very nice. But the people here are mostly darker skin, but there are areas, more or less São Paulo, that have white skin.
my comp is pretty cool, it could definitely be a lot worse. andthe other roommates are cool. My favorite person is elder magno, but heleaves after this transfer.
Only at night i have felt a little tense in some areas, butfor the most part,i never feel unsafe. My comp ismore affraidthen i am andhe´s brazilian!

I only see other missionaries in Parnaiba at district meetings and At districtthings. There are 10 of us here in Parnaiba. I have 4 at my house and im the only american. So i see the other 3 americans every tuesday.
The rules for emailing are pretty relax i think, only because he hasnt stressed it and has nothing really about it in his rules. Mostly just follow the mission handbook and be by your comp when you email... so not a big deal. if he hasnt said anything then i wont stress it!
Well love you all! thanks for the prayers and all of the help you giveme. Keep me updated with Tal!
-Elder Smoot

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tanner with his companion, Elder Passarin

Tanner walking down a railroad track...where he's going, no one knows.

Tanner at a member's house having a BBQ!!

On the left is Tanner's companion; the right are his housemates. Walking through the streets of Parnaiba.

The front of Tanner's house. All houses have gates like this down there. Tanner and his companion plus another companionship live there.

Tanner @ the Staff house with Elder Blackham, who he went to high school with. This is where he spent his first night in Teresina.

Tanner with Mission President and his Wife--Pres. and Sister Dias

Tanner in the CTM doing a back flip. Surprised?

Wk 11 - Parnaiba Week 2

Area: Parnaiba
Companion: Elder Passarin

MON: Last P day was sweet. After emailing i went to the center and bought another jersey and a hammock. I took a nap in the hammock when we got home and it was so nice. I sleep in my hammock almost every night for a couple of hours because sometimes its too hot! And that night we had a barbeque at a members. i will try to send a pic.
TUES: We had a District meeting in the morning and we do that every week i think. Anyway i saw Elder Beach there. (and he goes by elder Logan now because when a brazilian says beach... not good.) anyway i know who he is because he is in my district. Lunch was super good with some ice cream dessert, and i love ice cream! So after she even had an old guitar.. and i tried to play, but i will have to work on that when i get home. And i heard some old music that i used to like. Its funny becuase the people here either listen to some portuguese stuff and an occasional person blasting songs from the US. And everyone knows who Justin Beiber is, its ridiculous.
WED: A few more lessons, New investigators every day, and that night i found a frog in the Bathroom! it was cool, but for some reason my comp was super affraid it was funny.
THUR: We set a date for baptism for a woman that night which was good.. And at like 9:30 our power went out till bout mid night. So i took a Shower with my flashlight.. that was cool. And taking a shower is nice. There is only one temp of water here and it is nice and cool and feels good.
FRI: Lunch was amazing again with cooked meat, beans and rice, and lettuce and coca cola. Coca-Cola is like gold here. We cant drink it in our house or in the streets, but only at other places and anyway is super good. And at night we had a lesson in which was just a bunch of girls close to our age, most older than me, but they were all friends of a member in our ward. So we had 8 new investigators and 4 of the girls came to church on sunday.
SAT: A little rough because i had blisters on my heels, but i survived and im fine now. Taught a few lessons and walked a lot this day. So a couple of interesting things, first is that people here put speakers on top of their car and sometimes pull a trailer of speakers instead of putting them in their car to blast it. and i heard some remix of taylor swift haha so anyway its cool i guess. They gotta share their music with everyone when its that good. And halloween is getting close and a party for children was going on in this place and this old woman stopped us and was saying how halloween was satans holiday or something.. pretty entertaining.
SUN: So we had those four girls at church and also one boy that is 9 yrs. old named Luiz Felipe. He is supposed to be baptized this Sat and if things work out i think it is supposed to be me baptizing him. haha better get workin on that prayer for baptism. Anyway my comp went up to bless the sacrament this sunday and you stay up there the whole time, so i was sitting with Felipe alone. So i gave him a peice of paper and a pen to draw haha because i cant really understand anything he says! i felt bad, but ya i just kind of agreed with everything he said and gave him paper and a pen. But we had fun. And church is a little different here. When someone was giving a talk, two kids were playing cars under the stand, it was pretty entertaining. Anyway good day.
So thats about the week.. So i live in a little place, well actually one of the biggest houses for missionaries, and me and my comp sleep in a room and the other two Melo and Magno(he goes home after this transfer) and we have a room for study, and a main room and a kitchen. Its funny that you just kind of get used to the ants running everywhere in the house. It is a whole different style of living but i think im getting used to it. So for food i eat breakfast every day, usually an egg on a roll, and today im going to buy cereal, and lunch we have at members house everyday, and dinner we make at like 9:30 when we get home, and all its been so far is pasta so im going to try and switch it up a bit this week.
So i learn something everyday, and one thing you should know on a mission is that even though you are hungry, dont take a ton of food if you dont know if it is good or what it is. Just word of wisdom... haha i did it and had to finish, it wasnt horrible, but it made me realize to be careful.
So i can print papers here if i need to print off an email or whatever... but it would take a while to get. From what ive heard, every package and letter sent has to go to the mission office, and sometimes will sit for 3 months because depending, it wont get to us until a transfer or someone comes up here from the office. pretty lame.
-Quick question: Should i keep taking 10mp pictures or drop to 5mp? Just your opinion. The 10 take more room and longer to send.. just wonderin. and should i buy a power converter?
And thank you for the markers in the package and the lint brush! use them almost every day!
Well things are good and tudo bem here in Parnaíba! Tchau
-Elder Smoot

Monday, October 11, 2010

WK 10 - Parnaiba Week 1

Area: Parnaiba
Companion: Elder Passarin

Alright so lets back it up to where i can hardly remember haha..

Wed: almost two weeks ago when i was in the mtc... We went to the bakery and i dry cleaned my suit

Thurs: Taught the 3rd lesson and was a normal day in the CTM

Fri: Normal Day

Sat: Picked up my suit from dry cleaning and watched conference! conference was super awesome.

Sun: priesthood session in the morning because it was too late on sat. for us. Then ya more conference and i loved it. Took about 15 pages of notes

Mon: a little bit of class and a departure meeting letting me know i was leaving at 4 30 from the ctm. and also a health meeting where we got our filtered water bottles.

Tues: Left the ctm 4 30 AM and it was two flights of about 2 hours. It was sweet. Then we walked in to the little airport and our mission pres and wife were there to pick us up and bought us some really good food at the airport. i was confused the whole time because only the mission pres speaks a little english. Anyway we took taxis to the mission office and talked for a while. Had an interview, and got assigned our companions and areas. I got assigned to Parnaiba with Elder Passarin. He is from Americana, which is close to São Paulo and was a professor in english or something so he knows quite a bit. Anyway that night we slept in the staff house, which is a place where the secretaries sleep and where you sleep when you get transfered through teresina. And Elder Blackham was there so i got to see him and talk to him for a little bit

WED: Training in the morning with our new companions and at about 3 30 we ended and took off to catch our bus. We rode for about 6 hours on a bus to get to Parnaiba. We didnt get there till about 11 at night so i didnt get to bed till about 1.

Thurs: First day out in the field. It was crazy and we taught i think 3 lessons, walked about 300 miles, and when we were going home in the dark, some drunk guy stopped and talked to us... That was interesting, but it happens a lot. Oh and it is hot so i was sweating all day... and all night haha.

Fri: Taught more lessons, walked another 300 miles, and it was hot. Everyday i sweat, but here is actually one of the cooler areas because its windy, and it has to do something with the coastal area.. but we never get to see the beach.. so i wouldnt know if we are close to the ocean or not to be honest.

Sat: Pretty normal day again.. My companion wanted to see my hair cutting stuff so he plugged in the peanut, and i guess it needed a converter because im pretty sure its busted. It sounded like it over heated and fried up because of the electricity. Anyway not a big deal, but i think need to get a converter before i use the other one. And that night again two drunk guys sat us down and were asking questions about catholics and what not i was so confused. And then i didnt understand what he was saying when he asked me a question so he basically said Man you are stupid you cant even speak portuguese! haha well i understood that! :)

SUN: So this morning our power turned off at 5 am so our fan stopped working. And we lock and shut all the doors in the house so the heat just built up in our room. When i woke up because of it, it had to be 110 degrees in the room and i felt like i was drinking my own sweat.. not kidding. It was nasty and so i got up and checked what was going on and opened all the doors and windows to get some airflow and the power turned on a little later. Anyway we went to church which is super close to our house so it was cool, and the main room had AC! it was amazing, but since we have AC we are required to wear our suit coats. I swear i cant catch a break from the heat. So later we went out across the river over this cool bridge and talked to some members and met this old woman. I guess she is a member and loves missionaries, so anyway she gave us big hugs and a kiss on the cheek and i dont think she had teeth. It was slightly gross... But hey whatever she was nice. And on our way back another drunk guy ran up to us and was saying hey you guys the mormons! and we were like.. ya. And anyway he kept talking to us, very slurred because he was drunk, and he asked why the bible was black and a lot of random questions. Anyway we pretty much do the normal day after church.. So much for a day of rest! This is really hard work, on top of a new language, on top of the heat.. man its tough. But once i get used to it i think it will be a little better.

MON: as you see today is P day! I like it so far but it is 10 30 in the morning. So after this im going to go buy a hammock and get some groceries and what not. A hammock is only 20 reais so that will be sweet. There is places all over the house to hang them which i thought was cool.

So i got the package when i arrived on Tues! Muito obrigado! that was awesome. Thanks for all of the new usefull stuff and the peanut butter and candy. I forgot what peanut butter tasted like! it was super good. Anyway i cant think of much else right this second but i will try to send some photos.. not sure if it will work but ill give it a shot! Love you all and make it a great week!

Elder Smoot

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

WK 9 - Tanner Called at 2:52 AM - TUESDAY 5 OCT

We were sound asleep when the phone rang at 2:52 AM. Marcie quickly answered and I slowly woke up. We talked with Tanner for about 40 minutes. We tried to wake up the other kids. Jenna and Tayton were able to wake up, Jade couldn't wake up and stayed in bed. Tanner said that he woke up at 4:30 AM to get ready for the flight (1:30 AM in Utah). He said it was hard to say goodbye to his District since they were going to different missions, he said they were all really good friends. He said that a lot of them plan to attend BYU, so he looks forward to seeing them again. Tanner was traveling with 6 Brazilian missionaries. Elder Andrew Blackham was in training in Teresina and said in a letter that he hopes to see Elder Tanner Smoot and talk with him for a minute.

Tanner sounded good and was excited to be heading to Teresina. His p-day is on Monday's so we will not get a letter from him until Monday. So we tried to talk as long as his traveling companions would let him. It was great to hear Elder Smoot's voice, he seems to be doing well.