Monday, February 28, 2011

Wk 30 - Faz tempo não é?

Elder Smoot &
Elder Braga

Elder Smoot & Almeida

Elder Smoot & Braga

Elder Smoot, Iverson & Almeida

Area: Campo Maior
Companion: Elder Braga

Well i tried to take a few more pics with some members and people we have been teaching... so hopefully you wont complain this time.. haha just kiddin.

So as normal, we started on Tuesday with a District meeting. After district meeting we were in a little bit of a mess. The other Elders had to walk to that house way far away (i walked there last week and that was the pic on the bike with Elder Iverson), but our lunch was pretty far in the other direction. So we ended up calling some members to borrow their bikes. It was so fun! We only got two bikes, so like that pic with Elder Iverson, we had one sit on the back and the other ride. It was a blast. It turned into a little race/water fight. Anyway, me and Elder Braga had a long walk too so the bikes helped a ton. That night we had a family night with the other elders, i sent a pic, and it was a lesson and then they started the other side of heaven and we left because it was time to go home.

Wednesday turned out to be a better day then i thought. We went to our first two visits and nobody was home. So we went to a less actives and started teaching his aunt as well. We also met some ancient investigators that never got baptised... hopefully we can help them... they actually knew Elder Washburn haha. But that was cool to see them.... but they didnt come to church on sunday!! So we will have to talk to them about that.

Thursday was a basic day... Lots of walking, we found a new that was pretty far away, but he seemed to have a strong heart cause he almost started crying. His name is Deglan i think. But it went well.. other than that... nothing too exciting.

Friday we had a bunch of visits fall through right at the start, which kills the day so fast.. so we went to Nataniel´s (less active) house and they were doing some reflooring there. So we helped for about 45min. I really enjoyed it actually... it was sweet. Then we visited Josué, the ancient investigator, and he had lots of questions and we answered them and he said he would go to church... but didnt. But it was still a good lesson and good day.

Saturday the other elders had a baptism and it was Elder Iverson doing it. The problem is that the water was coming out super slow so there was only half of the baptismal font filled... so they did it on their knees haha. But it worked out well. And Eliane and Liliane went to watch the baptism, which was good. Also our Zone Leaders came from Teresina with some stuff and i got more letters! one from Tal and Austin and some others and i finally got the one from Taylor Austin that he sent back in December. (And your right he does look like he´s gettin ripped, but dont worry, i am stayin strong too;)... or at least im tryin) Then after we grabbed a member who had a cousin close by and went to talk to her. This girls mom walked in and went on about the Catholic church haha i love teaching catholics, its funny. My comp started reading the commandments and stuff and she was really wishy washy about what she was talking about. It was just fun and we left on a good note with them.

Sunday we had some investigators in church! most important was Eliane, her friend Liliane. It was good to have them there. The coolest one was that we had an entire less active family come to church. It was that house that is pretty far away and only their daughter was going every sunday. This time the entire family came!! It made me so happy. The dad that even had drinking problems came in a white shirt and tie. It was truly a miracle. That night i did a split with Elder Almeida again and we went to visit Eliane. We finally set up a Baptismal date with her!! She is set to be baptized on this Saturday, if everything goes accordingly. So i am way excited for her.

Well it was a good week... I started reading Our Heritage and that book is really good. It talks about the beginning of the church and all of the sacrifices and miracles that happened and i really like it.

*are you using your insect repellent? How bout the sunscreen? How are all your medical supplies? I use sunscreen and bugspray every day :) and the meds are good. I just needed more pepto that you already sent.
*clothing and socks doing good? my clothes are awesome. I havent even lost a button on anything and my shirts are still white. Havent had any holes in my socks either....
*Tayton was wondering if he could play your guitar? For sure man! All of my stuff is up for grabs for the next year and a half... there is no reason to just leave it sitting there. Use it!
Thats cool you contacted Elder Iversons mom! We were both pretty pumped about that. He is a stud. We spend quite a bit of time together and have done splits quite a bit... its pretty awesome.
I liked how you talked about not knowing what to teach and just following the spirit. A lot of the times we knock on our investigators door, my comp looks at me and says, ´you know what we´re teaching today?´ ´no´ lets go find out... it really is like this sometimes and we really just need to trust in the spirit. Its a great experience.
You sent a picture of you holding a rifle out in a field. What was the story behind this? Last week they got permission to go with a member to go shoot this bb gun... the Brasilians dont get opportunities to shoot guns like we do so it was way fun for them.
What kind of a gun was it? A pellet gun.. nothing big.
We saw pictures of you and Elder Iverson on a Bike. Do you guys work together often? We work quite a bit together. Obviously he isnt my comp, but every once in a while we will go together because our district leader, Elder Almeida, wants to see how things are going in our area or with my comp.
Well love you all, hope i answered all your questions.. Make it an awesome week,
Remember, if your not living life on the edge, your taking up too much room!! (:
Elder Smoot

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wk 29 - What up fam?

Elder Smoot & Elder Iverson

Rat hunt!

Area: Campo Maior
Companion: Elder Braga

It has been a pretty awesome week! We got a lot done and im loving it
more and more. Sorry to hear that all of you are kinda sick... its not
so fun.. i know.

So Tuesday we had district meeting, as usual, and it was really good.
we got some new sisters in our district, 2 americans, and they
reopened the area piri piri. anyway it was a good meeting. after we
ate lunch and then went to work. we ended up going to a members house
to get them to go do some visits with us. There is this one girl there
named erika that is 14, she has been a member for less than a year
still, she has a calling to teach primary, and is an amazing teacher.
when she comes with us i am seriously just impressed. with any
question or anything, she does really good responding. so she came
with her friend Deinha, which is a lot older and pretty much her older
sister, and we did some visits. We went to Eliane, if you remember
her, and it went welll... and she came to church again! I am thinking
she will be baptized here pretty soon.

Wednesday we visited Sara, which lives close to our house, and the
visit went well. I decided im enjoying the mission more and more. That
night we started talking to some catholic women. one of the biggest
things i see is that people have a hard time changing religions... how
do you help that? They are so set on their religion that they kind of
push any other ideas away because they are affraid it might be right..
anyway it was a good day as well.

Thursday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I will be honest, i dont know how old
you are anymore... just more than 40 and less than 50 haha. sorry. But
i sure hope you had an awesome day. I sent a letter, like i sent for
mom and tal, i just dont think it will get there for a little while.
Anyway i had an awesome day! I went on a split with Elder Iverson. Our
first visit was this house that is about 1 hr 45min away by walking.
It was sooo far. But the walk was soo cool. We pretty much left the
city and walked for an hour on this dirt road. Anyway, what is more
impressive is that we passed a recent converts house to let her know
we were going and she ended up bringing 2 other recent convert friends
and 1 that is about to be baptized. So we walked for about 1 hr and 25
min with these four girls to go visit one of their moms. We got there
and had a great lesson and one of the girls that lives there is being
baptized on saturday this week. the mom still wasnt ready, but she
will be... dont worry. Then we finally got back after the long walk
again and started other visits. When we got to some houses i had no
idea what we would teach. i had a little idea, but i would just look
at elder iverson when we got there and say, ´you have faith´ he would
say ´ya´ i would say, ´haha thats good man, we gotta trust in
something more then ourselves cause i have no idea what we will do
here.´ i just came in and had to talk a little and start a message out
of nothing, it was a great experience. All of the lessons went awesome
and we had a great day.

Friday was a good day too, even though i was super tired, and i have
no idea why. but i was seeing some progress with our investigators and
im hoping for some baptisms.

Saturday we ate lunch and then passed in the house real fast to brush
teeth and grab my umbrella.... all of the sudden it was like.... HOLY
RAIN! It was raining super hard for about 20 min and we left right
when it started. My feet were soaked the rest of the day, luckily my
umbrella didnt break, and i grabbed the rain jacket of elder iverson
before i left because he forgot it haha. It worked great! Even though
most of our visits fell through, it was still a good day. Erika, the
14 yr old, left with us again and we visited Eliane. That night at
about midnight elder almeida comes running into our room and gets us
up. He saw a rat run into a corner and he wanted help killing it.
Anyway they pulled everything out and the rat went running. We
basically played hockey with it for a while with the brooms and then
it took off and got stuck in the front door and Elder almeida just
smacked it. Long story short, it was pretty bloody and intense, but
good story.

Sunday we had church and Eliane was there again. We ended up having
that weekly meeting with the members again so this time i went with
almeida to work and the other two stayed for the meeting. It was
awesome! We got a lot of visits done and had a good time. He took a
bunch of pictures with there investigators so i will try to take those
from him some time and send them. I will try to do better taking
pictures... my pics are pretty lame i know. I will try to get some
with our investigators and what not this week.

Other than that, Dad and Jenna, i think tiago sent you a message on
Facebook or something? Tiago is a member here and is like 17 i think.
He is just a friendly kid, kinda reminds me of Taylor Ottesen if you
know what im talkin about, he is just really friendly and cool, so
your safe to add him on facebook.

Hey mom, i know that sending the bigger shirts is like way in the
future, but i am thinking that you could send maybe 16 or 16 1/2 and a
normal collar. I see people use the button and the normal (non button)
and i havent seen a difference. I havent seen any of the other collars
get ruined... just a thought for the future.

So i have used a scripture a lot this week in thoughts and in lessons
this week, it´s Mosiah 2: 41. Its basically saying that you are happy
and blessed if you keep the commandments, and God will bles you with
temporal things, as well as spiritual things, and if you hold out to
the end, you will have never ending happiness=our goal.

Well thanks for everything! have a great week.

Elder Smoot

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Campo Maior
Huge moth in their house
monkeys come down from the trees
to get bananas from the neighbors

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wk 28 - So much better

Area: Campo Maior
Companion: Elder Braga

Well im sorry if i already sent some of these pics... after youve been
in an área for a while, you kind of run out of stuff to take pictures
of.... but ill do better in the future... i think there is a lot to
take pictures of. And i am perfectly fine now! I probably shouldnt
tell you when im sick so you dont worry so much! Its just momentary,
and now i am way more thankful for my health than i used to be! And
the coke idea is good. It helps with some stomach problems haha thanks
matt rex.

Last Tuesday was pretty normal... nothin tôo exciting... but it was
good. We went to go visit a less active family which lives about a 40
min walk from our house. We went there and just talked about what we
could do and how we can help them get back to church. The wife wants
to go again, but the dad hás drinking problems now because his mom
owns a bar... its been a difficult family. But their daughter came to
church again two Sundays in a row so it was good to visit them. I
really hope the best for them.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference. It was a really good meeting and we
learned a lot and set some new standards and guess what??! He took off
the rule he added last time about the rings. So if you would like, a
CTR ring would be awesome! Nothing fancy or expensive, just a cool
ring would be awesome, of course if you want to. He ended up taking
away 2 rules off the list. Anyway he just said to follow the
Missionary Handbook about this stuff now. That day we took the worm
pill, which made me go to the bathroom quite a bit, and i got my
valentines package and 3 letters! I still havent seen tammy´s package
yet... bummer. That night we taught Yasiara, she is about 18, and when
we teach she is really interested, but as soon as we leave and try to
get her to come to church, she shuts down all of a sudden.. its kinda

Thursday We went out to the less actives again that is the 40 min walk
from home, and tried to help her. The only thing that is hard about
going there is that she doesnt let you leave! She loves to converse
for hours, so its hard, but we are trying to help. My Mp3 stopped
working today... not really sure why, but i opened it and i may have
made it worse, or it was already broken inside... kind of random. so
now i can only listen to other peoples music.

Friday was a good day, not AMAZING, but it was good. We went to this
persons house named Eliane. She is 27 and for the past 5 or so weeks
she has said she will go to church. Everytime we go to her house, we
teach good and she is ready to go, but she always had an excuse why
she didnt go. Turns out we had a miracle this week! She came to church
and was very warmly welcomed by the members, it was amazing. She said
she will go again and will most likely baptise. She has a 3 year old
son and used to be married, but is now seperated and is looking for
change. It is cool to see her finally come to church. So this time we
just went to her house and my comp said, alright you can just take
this one... i really just decided to bear my testimony and invited her
to come to church and stuff because we already taught a lot.... It was
amazing. Just bearing my testimony reaffirmed the truth for me again.
We bear our testimony a lot, but this time really hit me, it was
pretty awesome.

Saturday The other elders went to Teresina, Elder Almeida and Iverson,
because Almeida was getting his Patriarichal Blessing so that was cool
for him. That day we spent more time talking to some less actives and
it pounded rain later that day. So we took cover in a home where the
boy Nataniel is 18 and the only member in his family, so we taught
them and it was pretty cool.

Sunday, like i said, we finally had Eliane in Church... Unfortunately,
the 8 houses we passed by before church all had some sort of excuse of
why they couldnt go, we even caught one of them just leaving there
house to go shopping.... its seriously annoying! haha but we all have
agency. That afternoon i did a split with Almeida because we had a
meeting with the ward that night and they needed a missionary from
each area. It was cool and i got to talk about our investigators with
the ward leaders and how we can help them. We then went to work in
his area and it was cool. He had his recent convert teaching out of
the book of mormon, or all of us would read a couple verses and then
explain, so it was really clear what we were talking about and
learning in the Book of mormon. Anyway at about 7 30 it started
pounding rain until 8 30 or so... i was wet, but it was fun and we had
a good time teaching. One thing i miss is a Dryer for my clothes! I
had my clothes outside on the clothesline and they were all wet when i
got home... this is like the 3rd time.. man it stinks!

So it was a pretty good week and the health with everyone is just fine
now. It was just a week where everyone was not feeling so good... And
ya, i gained pretty much all that weight back in a couple of days

Well just a quick thing i liked from General Conference again...
President Monson spoke about the Divine Gift of Gratitude. He said
´The things that provide deep and lasting happiness that money can´t
buy: Our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our
abilities, and the love we receive from those around us.... Feeling
Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not
giving it.´ So i was thinking about what truly makes me happy... and
he listed them. Family and good Friends are really big for me. Also
that we should be grateful and SHOW that we are greatful for them.
What good is a present that you wrap but dont give? So Be grateful and
show that you are.

Love you and have an amazing week!

Elder Smoot

Monday, February 7, 2011

Baptism in Campo Maior
Elder Braga, Smoot, Iverson, & Almeida

Inside a hospital...

Tha streets of Campo Maior

Bug Zapper!

Wk 27 - What a drag!

Area: Campo Maior
Companion: Elder Braga

So this week was a little rough.... and it all started on tuesday.

Tuesday... district meeting, as usual, and is always very cool. Oh and by the way, the one of the sisters in the district knew elder mccurdy from lindon that his comp baptized her... just thought it was cool. So we had our meeting and went to lunch. At lunch i was feeling awful. My stomach was just killing and i was just dragged over from sunday night still. So i decided it would be good to go lay down for a little at home and then go work.i layed down and i had no energy. i just felt even more sick and ended up staying in the house most of the day because i was just feeling gross.

Wednesday i was still feeling bad when i got up and i had spend all night in the bathroom so i was just warn out and not feeling so good. So i didnt really eat lunch and stayed in the house a while longer... but i was sick of being inside so i had to go out. We went and did a visit and i was still feeling a little off so we went to a members house to use the bathroom. i decided to call sister dias and she said to just pass the hospital and see if they can help. so we went and i ended up getting this shot, the most painful shot i have ever had, and it was wierd. I almost passed out for a sec, then the power went out and so they put me in a wheel chair and let me lay down for a while, but like 30 sec later i was ok. so we left and just went home, it was like 9 o clock already, and i slept good.

Thursday we went to Teresina for interviews with the president. The interviews were good and i am pretty sure i had the shortest interview with pres out of everyone, which was nice. It took like 5 min. So we got a bus home and man it was hard. Me and Elder iverson, the tallest people there, sitting in these seats with no leg room, it started to get hot, and my stomach starts up again. We get home and me and Elder Almeida are not feeling good so we stayed in for a while to see if it would pass, but i ate a little food and it went right through me. It was a rough day, so our comps went out and taught a little and we stayed home... again! i wanted to leave so bad at this point.

Friday i had six months! as you can see, i was just sick again. It was the worst six months in the mission i ever had haha. I was in the house sick again, just with fever, upset stomach, and headache, and Almeida stayed with me again and our comps went out to work. so it was a super long day, but was an even longer night.

Saturday i was exhausted. I stayed up almost all nightin the bathroom. I woke up about 9 or more times just to go to the bathroom. So i was staying in the house again, but i hadto leave. So we went out and i passed by a scale... i lost 8 pounds this past week. I was about 171 and went down to 163. It is a lot harder to fend for yourself when you dont have your mom at your side helping you when your sick... but hey, its all part of the experience.

Sunday we went to church and it was fast sunday and was really good. We finally had some people in the church, some investigators so i was pretty excited. We ate an amazing lunch, lasagna, and i was feeling a lot better.... but my comp likes to kill time so we spent a lot of timein a members house so it was kind of a wasted day, which was dissappointing. I really like the kid, especially because he got me away from my last comp, but i just want a comp that wants to help me go out and work! gosh. but i was ever so thankful for my health.

And now I am feeling sooo much better. After this past week i will be so much more thankful for my health.. So dont worry! i already passed through it and am doing great. I am more determined to use my health to do good and am way more thankful for my health then i used to be.

So just so you know the chocolate you sent in the package did work great, i know you asked that last week. Suprisingly was hardly melted even and to be honest was way way less messy then the salt water taffy...
and i would like you to print grandpa drapers thing and send it. i didnt have time to read it!
Well i liked a thing in President Uchtdorf´s talk...

He said this about humility... We dont discoer humility by thinking less OF ourseles, We discover humility by thinking less ABOUT ourselves. I just thought it was really cool and i am loving personal study when i read things like this. I will be honest that one of my biggest fears before the mission was studying so much, but there is so much to study, and i thought it would be sooo boring, but when i get into it, it really is cool here in the mission!

Love you guys,
Elder Smoot