Monday, April 25, 2011

Wk 38 - Semana Santa

Tanner & Rafael

The street Tanner lives on

Elder Smoot & Elder Bailey at the bridge

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well it was an interesting week! It was semana santa.. or holy week and so everyone was on vacation and the city was just empty...which makes it a little hard to work... but we made it.

Tuesday we visited Daniela who is one of our investigators... she is 17 and her mom is visiting with us as well. They are really cool and we have been teaching them for a couple weeks now.. We picked up Rafael to come with us and he visited Aline and Marli with us... who are having problems because their relatives are all of another church and they were putting a lot of doubts into their heads... so that will be a tough one. Then we talked with manuel and maria who are an awesome couple with a kid. They are about 40 years old and they enjoy the church and all... they just need to get married. and they are working on it so its been good with them.

Wednesday we talked with Carla who was baptized on sunday. She is doing good and she did get confirmed yesterday so she actually has been pretty happy lately and it is looking good so far. Rafael came with us again (no school this week) and we visited maria, Joao and marli and aline again and it went well. we talked about the plan of salvation and the steps to living with heavenly father again... i think the plan is one of the most important things to understand... it basically gives us purpose for being here on earth... and i did use the little puzzle you sent (thanks mom). Also i wanna wish Tayton a Happy 12th birthday. congrats kid thats awesome.

Thursday we had lunch at the church because they were having an activity there... we gotta play a little bit of dodgeball with them haha. It was really fun even though they have some different rules. The day went pretty well and at night one of the coolest things ever happened. We were walking our friend jessie and her mom home because it was dark and they were carrying some stuff.. so we were going and this guy behind us (more or less 50 years old) dropped something... i saw that it was a knife. Two seconds later a Rone (a brasilian police car... way different then ours) came flying up from behind and stopped the guy. Put him up against the wall and stuff. So when they came flying at us he tried to hide behind us! The guys all had some big old guns coming at us it was so cool. Anyway they took the guy with them.. (if you youtube Tropa de Elite.. it maybe will show you more or less how the police are here). all i can say is that the lord was either protecting us... or more likely him haha. just messin. But it was seriously a really fun experience.. like watching a movie it kinda felt like.

Friday we had a good lunch at irmã Socorrinhas. She gave us lunch 3 times this week! She is a really cool member and always gives us a good lunch. Then Rafael (16 yrs.) came with us again with Cássio (18) (two awesome members in our ward) and we visited Joelma later. She is 20 years old and she came to church on sunday.. Rafael is really helping her because she has a lot of family problems so she is trying to find a little better of a life.

Saturday we had a good lunch too that a person named Helton made. He is from here in Teresina, but served a mission in the Canada Toronto East mission! He is a good guy and showed us some videos and pictures from his mission.. man i miss snow and being cold.. It was cool. He said he´s going to conference in october so i told him he should pass by our house.. maybe a place to stay and even talk with grandma and grandpa about canada or something.. thought it would be cool. tell me what you think.. Anyway he made some amazing potatoes and stuff. If he comes by he´ll have to cook a meal for ya. Anyway we walked the streets a lot... kinda hard to work when everyones gone and on vacation. but it was good.

Sunday we had church and páscoa (easter). We had another good lunch in a members house with lots of food. We had lots of visits yesterday. Everyone was basically home and we found lots of people to teach. on top of that... Cássio and Rafael went out as ward missionaries and did a bunch of contacts for us and gave us references. What studs. Man it helps so much to have the members here working with us.

That about sums up the week.. Today we went to the bridge with the tower... havent gone up yet but we will. I still havent had a chance to buy that cowboy hat so i gotta wait a little longer. anyway, it was a good week.

Love you. Dont forget to live life to its fullest and take it one day at a time.

Elder Smoot

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wk 37 - Another good week in Teresina...

Carla's baptism

Elder Smoot & Bailey

church house in Teresina Satelite

A little wet from the rain!?
Elder Smoot & Moraes

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well sounded like another busy week for you guys! This week was pretty good here and we even had a baptism! Wohoo. Well let me go through to explain how it went down.

Monday was pretty cool. you saw some of the pics already, but we climbed up in a bell tower of a catholic church. it was pretty awesome.

Tuesday we had District Meeting... Then we went to Carla´s to make sure everything was good and that the baptism was still good to be marked for sunday. We went to João and Marli´s to see why they didnt go to church... i guess joão went and got his arm broken falling off a motorcycle... then we talked to Manuel and Maria because manuel came to church last sunday with his kid and so we are starting to see some progress with them.

Wednesday we had lunch and then it just started pounding rain... and didnt stop for a while. i think i got soaked 3 times this week. i decided that an umbrella wasnt worth buying... everytime i have it with me, it doesnt rain... everytime i leave it, it rains... its just a pain. So anyway, later we went to the center for interviews with president, which went really well and i got one of the packages with two shirts in it. Thanks for those! They are pretty big, but it works well. Anyway i got some letters sent of as well... a bunch got sent back to me for some reason... anyway, good day.

Thursday was alright and nothing real speacial happened.

Friday we had a member, Rafael, come with us to do some visits and it was good. We marked a baptism for next saturday with Aline (daughter of João and Marli) but now she is having doubts because her sister of the assembly of god church started saying false accusations about the church and she has some doubts now... so we´ll try to help her out this week.

Saturday was a busy day.. we had some good visits and talked to some new investigators and i came home soaking wet that night. We had a good day... just that the people we talked to didnt come to church!! Man this is kinda a stressful work.

Sunday we had church, went to lunch, then went straight to some visits and then the baptism! I will tell you a little about Carla. She is kind of an interesting person, but she got seperated from her husband a few years ago and is stuck with 3 kids.. who are all baptized now. When we got here, she told us that she will not and does not want to be baptized... well here we are a few weeks later at her baptism. She was really nervous, but it went well. After a member gave a quick talk, she started crying and it was a good baptismal meeting.. anyway, it was awesome!

It was a good week here in Satélite and im enjoying myself a lot more in the mission. Hopefully we can see some more success in the upcoming weeks.

So lets get on to other stuff...

So you decided to fix the white Car? Just know you have full right to my account to help pay alright?! Man i still feel bad about that.... but i learned my lesson. And man i must say that i really, really miss having a car.

Happy B Day Tayton! Turning 12 will be awesome and having the priesthood and all. I sent a letter in the mail... hopefully it´ll get there in a little while. Love you buddy.

jenna, congrats on the job. The pizza factory sounds awesome. But that is making me hungry right now haha. I miss that food sooo much.

And how do i keep my pants and shoes clean? i do my best to wash them and what not... they stay pretty clean when i take care of them... but they sure arent as clean as they would be if i was at home... but they are taken care of dont worry. We just go through some mud and puddles almost everyday i dont really have a choice. A mission outside of the country, especially in Brasil and other places like this, is a whole different experience.

Did you have a good turn out of investigators for church again?This week wasnt as good, but we have a couple more baptisms coming up if they dont drop out..(which the majority do)

*What was the picture where you were standing outside in water with no shirt on? So it was raining out front and there was a river going down our street and so we were in our garments and i didnt want to get a shirt wet so i just ran out there real fast without my shirt to see how deep it was... and my comp took a picture.

Please give more information about Elder Bailey. Where in Salt Lake is he from? North Salt Lake What High School did he go to? Woods Cross.. Graduated in 2007 What are his parents names? greg and joni. etc. He is a pretty crazy guy... like taylor and will... and he´s a good guy.

Could you get a picture of your Ward Building (Just sent that) Apartment and street? I have some of our house.. well kinda. But ill try to take some pics. We have probably the biggest house in the mission. It is awesome i love it. Its not great quality, but it has space and i love having space. We have a banana tree in back too.

Well love you! Have an amazing week and ill do my best to have one too.

Elder Tanner Smoot

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Got a few pictures from Elder Crittenden's dad:
Guess they aren't starving!?

Alright here are some pics! the internet cut out on my comp yesterday so we came today so he could send an email to his parents. These are pics of the last couple p days. one of a catholic church we went up into and some other cool stuff. enjoy!
ps. i think i even attached a picture of the speaker box i bought yesterday!

Elder Smoot, Crittenden, & Bailey

Elder Smoot & Bailey

Elder Smoot & Crittenden

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wk 36 - I think im part brasilian..

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well it was a good week and things are still going good here in Teresina. We have some good solid investigators and im enjoying my time here with elder Bailey.

Tuesday wasnt anything real special, but we did have an interview for Carla who will be baptized on the 17th of this month. So that was about the highlight of the day.

Wednesday i was super tired, but that happens a lot here in the mission and you just pull through it. We did end up having a great day and this is actually the day when we marked Carla´s baptism for the 17th. she wanted to put it off for a while, but we helped her decide to do it a little earlier. We were walking in the road and this lady stops us, she was on a motorcycle, and she told us to come to her house in 30 min. It was like, what is this! But it ended up to be cool. She told us she saw this member that was with us in a dream. She doesnt know why or whatever but she started asking about our religion and she just wanted to know why she saw this guy in her dream. Anyway it was really cool... the only problem was that it is in Elder Crittendens area so he will baptize her here in a couple weeks. I also made brownies this day, which are good but not amazing, and a member dropped off a guitar at our house. It is fun to play with and im actually getting better at the guitar haha who would have thought.

Thursday we met up with João and Marli and their daughter Aline. She is 17 years old, is going to seminary and has been to church a couple times... the only problem is that the parents havent been to church yet and need to be baptized... so we will have to work with them... but they are an awesome family. Later we talked with Mayara, who is 15, and we have been working with her a lot lately. She has a problem with coffee and is seriously addicted to it.. so that will be tough. other than that we woke up this day and played a little football at the field close to our house. My comp has a little nerf football and it was pretty fun. During the day we saw some kids yellin at us in the street and so we went over there and they wanted us to play soccer with them. So we played, me and Elder Bailey vs. another two kids. haha we just messed around with them and it was really fun. A couple of the kids were members and stuff. I also got a couple of letters that night from Amber, Talia and Austin, and Grandma and Grandpa Smoot. Letters are getting better the more time im out here. I feel like i dont even know home anymore! Its wild.

Friday we had a pretty good day and ended up finding a lot of random people to teach.. and thats how its been so far. Someone will say something to us and my comp goes right over, messes with them a little, then starts teaching. Its pretty cool. We met Daniela this way and she has heard from the missionaries before and hopefully she will progress.

Saturday was a good day as well and again we got some new investigators. So that lady that had the dream, we ended up with her sister in our area so we are teaching her now with her 13 yr old son. Anyway on Saturday´s and Sunday´s the whole town, or at least my area, there is lots of loud music, loud motorcycles and parties going on... its kind of annoying to try and be a missionary when there is so much noise and commotion going on.. but it still went well.

Sunday we had church.. and had 10 investigators there! This week was the best, numbers wise, week that i think i have had in the mission... it was pretty awesome. There were tons of people in the ward today and they would split really easy.. just that there needs to be a few more preisthood holders to do that.. other than that it was a pretty chill day, a meeting in the church with the ward missionary leader and a lesson later with Mayara again.

It was a great week and im still enjoying here with elder bailey. The april fools joke was really funny and everyone had a good laugh together. Me and my comp get along pretty good and so there is no problem jokin and stuff, which i really like. Also another thing is that i dont know what is going on but i think i might be part brasilian. Lots of people will ask me if im brasilian, sometimes i say yes others no, but then they will ask me if my parents are brasilian and just moved to the USA or do i have descendants from Brasil... anyway it is pretty funny. Some people tell right off that im american and some people it takes a little before they believe me. but its pretty awesome.

*Everything is good. house is safe. We even had this member come over and do exercises with us one day... he´s a fighter and stuff so it was pretty fun... ya know just in case we have any further problems ;)

*Im always healthy haha. I have a little more chubbiness then i used to.. it just comes with the life as a missionary. and the occasional diarrhea here is pretty normal.. so id say im good

So this computer is hard to send pics from.. there is the monitor cord blocking me from using the card reader!! I will try a little bit longer to send pics.. but sorry if it doesnt work.

love ya,

Elder Tanner Smoot

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wk 35 - Livin life in Teresina

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well... sorry i dont have any pictures. We were kind of in a hurry and I forgot to grab my camera. I will be sure to get pics of the new chapel, its pretty cool, and whatever we do during the week. Things are still going great with my comp and I like the house.

Tuesday we had District meeting as we do every week.... It went well and we talked about baptismal invites. Ok so my district is this: Me & Elder Bailey, E. Crittenden & Moraes, E. Landeen & Rodriguez. All of them are really cool and we get along well which makes a world of a difference, its awesome. Also this day, because we were living in the staff, I couldnt find another shirt in my bag and had to use a long sleeve. Man i will probably not do that again. At least we are in the colder part of the year, but its still hot. I have a sweating problem... like i swear i sweat way more than anyone else. Is that just genetics or is there something else i can do? We taught Welton who is a cool guy that already knows everything about the church (btw, it was an accident that we found him in the road but he is awesome and even came to general conference and said he wants to be a missionary, and he is 17) and the only thing that stops him from being baptized is his dad... so were are trying to do service for his dad or something so we can help welton out a little. Anyway they are an awesome fam. Also we made some chicken and mashed potatoes at a recent converts house for fun to get a taste of good food in the USA... turned out really good actually.

Wednesday we spent most of the day moving back to our house in the area Satélite. The story is that the house was robbed a month or two ago so they all moved to Staff (where the secretaries live). They put some cage things over the window and we moved back this day. The house is pretty big and the shower has some insane pressure coming out of it so i love the house. It is me and my comp and Elder Crittenden (our District Leader) and Moraes (He was in my room in the CTM). Its a lot of fun and the new house has been good.

Thursday Elder Crittenden and Bailey went to renew their visas in the center and i went with Moraes to do some visits. My comp got back and we went to visit João and Marli (some people that the previous missionaries were teaching). They are awesome. There are the parents and two kids (17 and 20 yrs. old) that are all about ready to be baptized.... Just that the parents need to get married first and they will get baptized... its pretty awesome.

Friday about half way through the day i realized it was April fools day... haha. We had a pretty normal day... walkin in the sun, teaching lessons, saving the world one person at a time type stuff ya know... We got home and i pretended to get a call from president just acting like president was getting all mad at elder bailey and how i need to do something about it... anyway i gave the phone to elder bailey and he was all confused and mad that he was getting in trouble for something he didnt do and man i wish i had it on tape. The look on his face was priceless. It was a good one!

Saturday we went to lunch and then to conference. We had to go to a building about 30 min walking from our house. Also, we had to walk from the members house at lunch which was even further to walk. The other chapel was really cool and it was an amazing conference... though i had to watch it in portuguese. Though the translated voice, which is a lot more boring i might add, I managed to get some notes and what not. Sadly enough, we did not get the opportunity to see the preisthood session that night (would have started at 9) and neither the next day.

Sunday we didnt have time to go to the center to watch the preisthood session because we wouldnt have lunch, we would have to take the bus and we would be late to the morning session... so it was a bummer. But conference was still really good. We still ended up being a little late because we grabbed some investigators. And in the middle of conference, the power went out for like 10 min! Man it was a tough conference to watch. After conference we went to talk with a girl named Maiara. It started out normal and we taught our lesson and man i dont know what happened, but there was one of the coolest experiences I've had in a while. There was all sorts of noise, motorcycles and people walking by, but when i talked, she just looked straight at me and it seemed she was just shocked and just believed in what i was saying... i dont know how to explain it... Just usually when you teach people that are 15 they are very easily distracted... but she didnt look away. it was cool.

Anyway it has been a fun week and i am enjoying where i am and bein with my comp.
So mom, i have about a 4 year supply of bug spray and chapstick now so you dont need to send anymore haha love ya though. And my sunscreen is only about half way done... and i use it pretty much every day... it doesnt go away as fast when only one person uses it.

As far as money goes... i just take my money out every week and i use it well. I do have some stuff im buying but it would be cool to send you maybe another bigger hammock home, some guaraná jesus, some other jerseys or whatever... ill think about it. I am just good with money in that i take the money out and save just a little, like 15 reais each week and then save it until i have enough to spend it... so im doin good.

Dad, so internet is like this. There are quite a few people that have a USB thing that picks up internet (kind of like your sprint card you used to have). The majority do not have this. That is why the lan houses are so popular. Many have access on their cell phones, but dont always use it, it is an extra fee.

As far as the ipod and speakers go.... I can do one of two things if you dont send it to me. Normally there is at least one person in the house that has music, so i could just stick it out... Or i can use my USB and put music on it from other people and buy a little speaker box and it has access to the USB... not a big deal. So you decide. If it is too big of a pain.. then dont worry about it. I just like having my own music.. but im not like dying here.. so its all good. Just give me a response next week.

Well thats about it.. again sorry i dont have pics. Hopefully ill remember next week.

Elder Tanner Smoot