Monday, March 28, 2011

Wk 34 - Teresina-Satélite

Saying good bye in Campo Maior

Elder Iverson & Elder Smoot
Drinkin' Guarana Jesus with Elder Stewart!
skin problems you can encounter in Brazil
(Elder Larsen's leg)
Encontra dos Rios

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Heyo! Well as you kind of heard from Tiago, I am now in Teresina. At first i was pretty bummed that i was being transfered, mostly because of Eliane´s baptism, but I am so thankful that i got put into an awesome area. I am in the area Teresina, Satélite 1. My companion is Elder Bailey- from Salt Lake and has 1 year and about 6 months in the mission. I dont know really how to explain him... he is just crazy. haha but he is a cool kid and im loving it here in Teresina. There is so much more to do here!

Last monday i had the curveball thrown at me. We had gone to have family night at an investigators house and i got the call. i was totally expecting to just hear who my new comp would be, coming to Campo Maior... but then he said i was leaving and they were leaving only 2 missionaries in Campo Maior. Anyway, pretty much spent the evening getting ready.

Tuesday i got completely ready and went to Eliane´s work to tell her i was being transfered. She thought i was joking, but... i wasnt. I said bye to a few others and then got on the bus going to Teresina.... I got to Teresina and had no idea what to do. So i luckily wrote down Presidents number and called him to know what to do. Ended up taking a taxi alone to the Staff, which is where the secretaries live... Nobody was there so i just waited 20 min till they got there haha. It was a pretty wild and depressing start. My new comp, Elder Bailey, got there a little later and i met him.

Wednesday we went to our area and it was a good day. Elder Bailey is a goof and is unashamed and will literally talk to anyone about anything, its pretty funny. So i got to know him a little and our area. Our area has a lot of hills and this time its an actual ward, not just branch, and has a pretty cool chapel.

Thursday... Nothin too big, just getting to know the area a little better and working still.. We had a member come with us this day to help us a little more. I thought it was cool and funny, but Elder Bailey was almost mad that i havent had very many baptisms in my mission to this point. He really wants me to see what it is like to have success, even though he is a little tired of the mission at this point.

Friday we had another priest from the ward leave with us named Rafael. He is one of the coolest kids i have met here. Anyway, it was another pretty basic day, but fun. I love the Book of Mormon. If we can help the people gain a testimony of that book, they will automatically know that the church is true and that leads to a desire to be baptized. That book has a lot of power.

Saturday I was just thinking that it was Eliane´s baptism... ya i didnt get to do it.. but i am glad she got baptized. Elder Iverson called me on Sunday and told me that everything went well, which was good. We were leaving on the bus to go home, which i will tell you why in a little, and this guy came up to us and told us that a missionary left his bag on the bus. Turns out one of the missionaries left his bag on a bus and someone grabbed it and gave it to the bus driver who tracked us down and we tracked down who´s bag it was. Anyway, Elder Bailey started talkin to him about the gospel and it was sweet. It is honestly a miracle how sometimes people come to us. Ive seen it at least 3 times this past week. People come up to us and god just puts them into our hands sometimes.. it is awesome. So we take the bus because the house that is in my area got robbed so they have been living in the Staff house which is in the Center district of Teresina. The house should get reinforced this week so we can move back... Its tough living with 9 missionaries in one house, but we will still have 4 that live with us. Elder Crittenden(from Heber, and his parents came to Elder Blackhams house before the mish), Elder Moraes, me and Elder Bailey.

Sunday there were about 200 people in the ward... by far the largest group i have seen in a while. It was really cool and there are a lot of awesome people in this ward. There are lots of young men getting ready for missions that willingly do splits with us during the week which is awesome. That night the other elders, Crittenden and Moraes, had a baptism which was cool.

To sum it up... I love the new area and being here in Teresina. Today we went to the Encontra dos Rios, which is really cool. A nice shaded park area with two rivers that meet up at a point. I have some pics of that, of when i left Campo Maior, of me and Elder Stewart ( he was getting a new comp to train so he was in the Staff house when i got there... we´re drinkin Jesus! ), and of an Elder´s leg that had a weird thing going on with his skin. Elder Larsen is his name and he got here a couple weeks ago and is having some interesting problems!! Funny guy though. The mission is still getting better and better.

Well, Love you mom, dad, austin, tal, ruger, jenna, jade and tayton. have a good week.

Elder Smoot

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wk 33 - Still no companion...

Elder Smoot & Elder Stewart at mtgs in Teresina
(thanks to Elder Stewart for the pic!)

view from our new house

more people jumping-- looks fun!
(I'm sure Tanner would be doing
back flips into that water if he could)

Had to fill the font with buckets

Baptism of Lucas and Maura

Area: Campo Maior
Companions: (none) Almeida & Iverson

Well, it was a pretty fast, good week. On monday i went with Elder Almeida and Iverson again and we just went to Jefferson and Jessicas (Recent converts) house and had a good lesson with their parents that night. There parents are really cool and are just waiting to get married so they can be baptized.

Tuesday we had a district meeting, so me and Elder Iverson decided to make a cake for everyone... you know a few extra brownie points never hurts anyone. Anyway it was really good. After we visited with Darkyane, who has had some tough trials lately and she is a recent convert as well, and we tried to help her. Things were getting worse and worse, but then yesterday she was doing awesome and said she had an answer to her prayer and things were getting better in her life.... thats always good! Then we went to Lucas and Maura´s house who were planning on the baptism on saturday, and did get baptized. That night i split up and went with Assis (A RM that lives here in the ward and he is always helping us) and we went to meet with Francisco who went to church on sunday. Francisco is 14 and will be 15 in may... pretty much like jade. (Is jades birthday on the 20th or the 21st?) anyway his b day is on the 27th i think. Anyway he was awesome. We asked who could say the first prayer and he immediately volunteered. He was listening and understanding super well what we were saying and it was just insane... He didnt come to church on sunday though so we´ll see how things go this week when i get a companion to do my visits.

Wednesday... Happy Birthday Jenna! 17 Alreay?? Dang Geena! thats intense. Well it was a crazy day for us. We woke up early, as usual, but we went straight to that new house i was telling you about and we cleaned it all before we moved in. After cleaning all morning we got our stuff ready to go and ate lunch at a members house. During the Afternoon, we went and visited lucas and maura to make sure everything is good with them, and then went home to move everything. We got done in about 3 hours and only 3 pick up truck loads across town... Quickest move ive ever been apart of! it was tough though because we got to bed late and had to get up extra early on thursday.

Thursday we had to get up around 4 am because we had to head to Teresina for a Training with Elder Godoy (area 70 president of Brasil). We got there and they had a meeting first for the leaders, and Elder Stewart was there and i just figured out he´s an LD... pretty cool. Elder Godoy was awesome. He had a great sense of humor and taught a lot! He talked about that really we are here in the mission to learn from our mission president and talked about the importance of our mission president. He talked about how we need to include the book of mormon more in our teaching for if they have a testimony of that book, the rest falls into place. It was a truly amazing training. I am gaining such a strong testimony in our leaders of the church and that they trully are inspired. He talked about the apostles and when they choose our callings and it was amazing. He said sometimes there are areas that just need tons of missionaries to keep the mission going, but even then, the apostles think a bit and choose the correct one for the missionary, whether or not the mission is in need of missionaries. It truly is inspired. I saw Elder Robertson and Elder Stewart for the first time in a while and it was awesome. I hope i can be a comp or in the same house as them in the future, it is a lot more fun. But im good right now with elder Iverson, me and him have a good time. That night we got back and tried to go to Francisco, but he wasnt there so we contacted pretty much the entire street. It is pretty awesome how inviting people are to welcome you into there house, even when they dont want what you are bringing. For example, one day elder Iverson wanted water, he just walked up to a random house, asked for water and they gave it to him.... I have to admit i wanted some, but i was too busy laughing my head off that he actually did it... i didnt think he would.

Friday my new comp came with me... Assis. He has been staying with me for the last few days so i can still work in my area. We taught Gilvane, who said she was going to go to church but didnt, but we had a good lesson and i enjoyed it. She even said her little boy kept asking why we werent coming to there house anymore so we saw him again and it was fun. We talked to a recent convert José who is older and we helped him put this plug into his house and then talked about the importance of priesthood authority and prophets. And last and certainly not least, we went to visit Eliane. We had to figure out what was keeping her from baptism. Anyway, assis is an awesome teacher and we just kind of talked about the importance of the gospel. She agrees with everything we say and we ended up marking a baptism for her the next saturday! This time she has been telling people in the ward and is really excited so it should be awesome. I also used that step counter thing you sent during the day and i counted 22,170 steps and 10.47 miles... So it was quite a bit of walking this day. Im sure it wasnt exact, but it sure was close cause we walk a lot.

Saturday Elder Almeida went to Piripiri to do interviews with assis and so i was with Elder Iverson. We went to lunch, which was good, and then to pick up Lucas and Maura for the Baptism. There was some sort of a mess up and we got to the church with the ZL´s waiting for us. Anyway, we get there and the font was practically empty! and this city has a problem with water pressure during the day... so we started with the buckets. Me and Elder Iverson pretty much filled that thing up with buckets, because inside the church had a reserve water tank, and it took about 2 hours of bucket after bucket... it was crazy. But the baptism went well and Eliane was even there. After the baptism Eliane told me to come over and talk to her and she just told me that she wanted me to baptise her on Saturday! I know its not important, but it was a homerun for me. I can see and her friends have noticed the difference in her life and it is awesome.

Sunday we had a good day of church and once again we had two lunches! We had the one that was planned and then someone else wanted to give us lunch.. So we ate at the planned one and then took off to the other one haha. They were both good, but man it is hard to pass here in Campo Maior with hunger... only on fast sunday. At night we had a good lesson with Eliane, and yes im still with Assis at this time, and we talked about the modern day prophets and how we need to follow them and then i gave her the liahona from november witht he conference talks. Is conference in like 2 weeks?? Dang! Im excited.

Well it was a pretty chill week. The Training with Elder Godoy was a highlight and i have learned a lot here. I saw something about obama being in Brasil when we were at lunch this past week... haha thought that was funny. Everyone will say... Where are you from? Hey! Your president is in our country! its pretty funny. Well, have an awesome week!

Elder Smoot

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wk 32 - I´d say it was a good week

ya...we're cool!

Last night with Tiago

Felipe's baptism

Jumping off a bridge!

Lots of pigs here!

Slapping the bull!

Area: Campo Maior
Companion:(none) Elder Almeida & Elder Iverson

Well it was a pretty good week! I still dont have a comp, so i was with Elder Almeida and Iverson all week.. it was pretty awesome. I´ll write what i did real fast and get to answering your questions in another email.

Tuesday was the last day of Carnaval, which now seems forever ago, but it was crazy. We tried to go visit people, but the recent converts were at the ward camp and all of the investigators were gone or sleeping... so it made it hard, but we went home by 5 again. We had a good study of chapter 5 or PMG which talks about the Book of Mormon, then we made food, cause there was nothing else to do. I ended up making a pizza and a little later french toast haha. I am pretty sure i put on a few pounds that day. Then i was sleeping and woke up at like 3 30am just hearing the party from a mile away, but i could hear everything it was sooo loud.

Wednesday was a tough day to work too because everyone was sleeping from the party the night before. Even the members that came back from the camp were all sleeping! So it was a little slow and lots of the stores and all were still closed down, but we had a few good visits still, it was just a little later in the day.

Thursday Elder Almeida went to a leadership meeting in Teresina, he is our District Leader, and so it was me with Elder Iverson. I felt like the day went really well and I had a really good time with Elder Iverson. We taught some people that are getting ready for baptism in their area.

Friday Almeida went to go do interviews in PiriPiri with the sisters that are there, so he took a member as his comp and me and Iverson went to work again, and again it went really well. We had some really good lessons, and prepared Felipe for his baptism on Saturday and helped him know the questions of the interview and everything. Also we talked with Jefferson and his fam who is getting ready for marraige so they can be baptized. The kids are already baptized and we are working with their parents. Almeida didnt get home till 3 am from Piripiri because the guy told him wrong and a bus didnt pass until 1 am. haha it was kind of ridiculous but he told president and was kind of stuck. Sometimes it just happens.

Saturday we had Felipe´s interview and Elder Daniel and Elder Rackham came to do that and it went well. The people there actually ended up making us a lunch and everything. The people here are super giving and nice, and she wasnt even a member. The only thing is that we already had a lunch planned so we had to have a second lunch! It was pretty awesome and it went well. Later we had the baptism of Felipe and in the pic it shows his sister Karliane too, who was already baptized like a month or two ago. Also the LZ´s broght my package! Thanks so much! I love the Fruity pebbles, the horn (which i will use for our investigators on sunday), the mouthwash and everything. it was pretty sweet!

Sunday we had a good sacrament meeting and it was funny. The president announced that iverson was giving the openining prayer and he didnt hear so it was kind of a suprise. I almost died laughing at his reaction, but he did really good. Im loving it with Elder Almeida and Iverson and we have a good time doing the work.

Well have an awesome week. I was studying about the modern prophets this week and their stories are awesome. That Our Heritage book has a lot of cool stories.
Anyway, Love you.
Elder Smoot

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wk 31 - and CARNAVAL is going

splits with Elder Almeida

recent converts

Eliane- back left

corn on the cob anyone?! (Elder Iverson)

Area: Campo Maior
Companion: Elder Braga

HAHa alright so noone really complained about the pics... just made
comments.. it was a joke. Anyway, this week was pretty eventful.

Tuesday we had the same old, same old district meeting... which is
always pretty awesome. We also had president Dias come to Campo Maior
and gave the final word that we can move into the new house, right
next to Tiagos actually, when it finishes... but we still havent
moved. Then we met with Gilvana and that visit went well. She hás two
little boys that we play with and it was cool. She hás been reading
the scriptures and stuff so that was awesome. Then we went to Eliane
and taught the Word of Wisdom. She accepted immediately , which is a
miracle in itself, and she was preparing for the baptism which was
supposed to be on Saturday.

Wednesday we went and met with Liliane and Michaele, which are friends
of Eliane. It was funny because Liliane hás been to church and was
telling Michaele she needs to stop being lazy and go. After we went
and talked to a recent convert, José. He is about 50 or so and is a
cool guy. He got baptized after about 10 years of the missionaries
passing his house and now he is pretty solid coming to the church with
his fam every Sunday. Again we passed Eliane and taught about Chastity
and again she accepted immediately, it was awesome. Things were going
great with her.

Thursday we went to the far away place, the less active family, for
lunch. They were nice and then after we went to visit Deglan and
Douglas, the brothers. They have very sincere hearts and all so i hope
we can get them to come to church... just this week was a little
complicated with Carnaval. Anyway, we visited Eliane again and taught
about tithing and fast offerings and she accepted the commandment just
like the others! Things were going really good with her.

Friday... I now have 7 months... wohoo... haha not a ton, but a good
dent in two years... but it was a good day. Me and my comp bought
sling shots and went to Gilvane´s house again. Her son´s came and shot
them with us and we followed up with her. She is reading still, the
only problem right now that i see is that she works on Sunday... but
she wants to change her schedule to come, which was cool. We tried to
go to Eliane´s, but she wasnt there. We ended up seeing her in the
road! It was a miracle. We went to a little bread shop and just
prepared her for the interview and it went well. It was also the Pré
Carnaval and so the city started getting a little crazy that night.

Saturday we had the interview with Eliane after lunch and her and
Elder Almeida stayed there for about an hour... She came out looking a
little sad. Turns out she was praying a lot and just talked with
Almeida. She knows she needs to be baptized, and she could have as far
as i know, she just wasnt ready yet. There are a few more things in
her life that need to be in place i think. But this next week may work
out... so we´ll see. Carnaval was just kind of a crazy week to do a
Baptism. Plus we had to be inside the house at 5pm because of

Sunday there was hardly anyone in church... this because the ward does
a camp to keep all the youth far away from the temptations of
Carnaval. Anyway, it was cool. We passed the sacrament and almost
everyone there bore their testimonies. It was a good experience and i
had a good fast sunday. After church and lunch we went to do a visit
with the other two elders. It went well and then we had to go home
again because of Carnaval. We got home and the President has a list of
some stuff for us to do durning Carnaval because we´ll be in the
house. Anyway we did it and then me and Elder Iverson made these scone
type things (i was just guessing a recipe and turned out amazing!) and
then we made bread with the remaining dough and made a cake, and i
tried to make an ice cream thing and dumped it on it.. anyway we ate
it today and its amazing too. It´s pretty much an icecream cake and it
was so good.

Today was pretty crazy. My companion ended up getting emergency
transfered so now i am here with the other two chillin. Anyway it was
a long night but now we are here! Carnaval is still goin and goes
until tuesday. Wednesday everything will, or should, open back up
after noon because everyone sleeps all day and parties all night.

Well it was a pretty great week here... guess we´ll see what a new
comp has in store for me.

I love the gospel and what it does for individuals and for families.

Com Amor,

Elder Tanner Smoot