Monday, May 30, 2011

Wk 43 - Baptism week!

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Baptism for Manuel and Maria
Signing as a witness for the wedding of Manuel and Maria 
Manuel and Maria

Elder Smoot's Chapel
Back-flip at the baptism
Setting up for a concert

Well it was a good week. We have been working long and hard with these people and we finally got some of our long awaited investigators in the water!

Tuesday we had district meeting, as usual, but this one was pretty good.... i´d have to say one of the better district meetings we´ve had. After we had district meeting, which we have at the Cidade Jardim church with two other elders (Rodrigues and E. Ferreira) and its about a 15 min bus ride, We got a ride home from someone in our ward. I realized that it feels like a privilege here when you get a ride in the car... We are always walking so when we get a ride, its amazing. I was just thinking about how it is just a way of life at home.. so be thankful for your cars this week. They are awesome. We had a visit after lunch with a recent convert that was having many problems. He told us he would read the book of mormon and pray about it again. His name is Cleiton. Then we had a visit with carla and manuel and maria. Carla is still doing good. She has a few problems, but we set up a time this week to talk to the bishop. Manuel and maria we went there just to make sure everything was all set for the weekend. The wedding and the baptism.

Wednesday we met some new investigators that were a reference from a member. Danielle, Dielle, Dailane, and Erika. We had a good visit and they understood the message well. Then we had to walk from one end of the ward boundaries to the other. Let me just say it was a long walk.... but i think ive had worse in the mission already... but it was long. But again i cant complain... im thankful i have the ability and the legs to walk a lot. Then we talked with Daniela... who said she was going to go to church on sunday and read and pray about the book of mormon again.

Thrusday we talked with Cleiton again and his wife Ana. They are always fighting at the house and just complain and tear each other apart. So we spent about 2 hours talking to them because they started ganging up with one another saying ´why do you just study the book of mormon?´ why cant we study the bible?... stuff like this. The people here all beleive that the bible is the word of god.... but they have never read the thing!!! Its so annoying. The bible is an interesting book. I would have more doubts about the bible then the book of mormon if i read the two! They just ´know´ the bible is true because everyone else does. Anyway, we explained that both are books of god, and added the fact that almost every church uses the bible, but only one uses the book of mormon. It is the keystone of our religion. It is what sets us apart. It is an incredible book. So they said they would read and go to church on sunday... but they didnt. we went to go pick them up on sunday and she pulls out a thing of coffee and said ´im gonna go make my coffee and not go to church.... so we´ll have to go back another day and try to help them. Other than that, we had an awesome talk with Ywério, who is gonna get baptized on the 4th! He is 14 and is a stud. On sunday he came up to me and asked, just to make sure, that his baptism was on saturday. it was pretty cool. Then i was feeling very grateful for my comp. This area is a decent area, but has a lot of stress that comes with it. So we´ve been working well together and its nice to have an assigned friend in it with me.

Friday we visited the danielle, dielle..etc again and it was a good visit. They said they´ll go to church on sunday... and they did! it was cool. But we were actually invited to eat lunch at manuel and maria´s house. We went with them then rode to the center to help them with their wedding. It was called a community wedding. In other words, they married 87 couples at the same time. That pic where i am signing the paper is of me signing as a witness that they were getting married. Me and elder Bailey were witnesses for them and they signed the paper as well. so it was a good wedding and i cant believe it all went through! It was truly a miracle.

Saturday we had the baptism and they showed up on time and it all went smooth! I baptized manuel and Bailey baptized Maria who is 7months prego! That was pretty funny. But it was an amazing baptism. I have a lot stronger testimony on fasting now. After the last couple weeks where everything was falling through, we decided to start fasting for our investigators... and it worked. I know that fasting works. it was an amazing experience.

Sunday we had Manuel and Maria confirmed and that was awesome as well. They were even invited to bear their testimonies and they did! Maria hardly talks at all, but she bore an awesome testimony in front of a bunch of people. Im telling you, this was a good last few days. We also had about 7 investigators visiting that day. That afternoon they have the Uruguai ward up at the Taquari building (the wards split recently), we took the Danielly, dielle crew up to watch because they couldnt go in the morning. It was an amazing experience as well. I will explain real fast. Our ward in satelite is pretty irreverent. A lot of the youth just dont go to class and stay in the halls, there is a lot of talking, crying kids and whatever else in sacrament. I was feeling a little upset about that this particular sunday because it was extremely loud... But we went up to this other ward with those 4 people we are teaching and it was amazing. It is a nice chapel, it was very quiet and it just felt good. That is something i miss. There are few wards here that i have seen it very reverent and the youth being attentive and listening.... so our ward is pretty much awesome haha. I miss it, but we are here to hopefully help these wards be a little stronger.

Well it was quite a week.... today we are going to relax a bit and actually go bowling! Should be pretty fun.

*So, what do you need? Is there anything we can do for you? Or send you? Im good for now... thanks though!

*How's the mission doing? The president? your meetings? baptisms? companion? going good. We dont really hear much from anyone, like president, we just stay in our area and go to work. Our baptisms went through this week and we should have another on saturday so its going good. My comp is still crazy but i love the man. We have fun together.

1) The tour of your house was great. Is there a chance you could slow down and actually talk about each of the rooms and even show yourself as you talk about them? Not a big deal if you don't want to do it again. I have a longer video on the card, which i just filled up and will be sending to you here soon, i just had to go fast so the video was short because the other video was too long to send over email.

2) Tell me about Crittenden the Warrior. Is this a made-up costume, or have you seen someone else dress this way? hahaha no. We have banana trees in our backyard. He just cut off a couple of big leaves and he made it up himself. I thought it was pretty funny. He took rubberbands to hold the leaves on him and it was all his idea.

3) How far away is the market from where you live? You showed us a couple of pictures. The market is in the center... its a good 20-30 min bus ride to get there, but we go there a lot on P day. Its a cool place! Maybe one day if you come back with me we can check it out.

Well i dont got much else to say. It was an intense week, but i made it through alive. Sounds like baseball is going good and the flooding is starting... sounds exciting! Have an awesome week.

Elder Smoot

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wk 42 - What a Week

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

House in Teresina, the quick tour.

My new hammock

Elder Crittenden- the warrior!

So this week had a lot of ups and downs.. and it was a lot of work... which is always good. It makes the week go by a little faster.

Tuesday, we went to go visit amanda who was going to get baptized last week... we show up, and she is laying down all bandaged up! She got hit by a motorcycle the day before. What are the chances! Anyway, we were going to baptize her at the end of this week, but it looked like it wouldnt happen... so we just said we´ll come back to visit later in the week. Then we were going to district meeting, because our district leader changed, we have to take a bus to go to a different area. We waited forever to get the right bus! It just was not the right way to start the day. On top of that, to come back, we waited forever for the right bus. Finally i just said, lets get the next bus. So we take it, i look back as we are taking off and guess what? I saw the bus we wanted come around the corner!! Man i dont remember praying for patience that morning, but it really tested my patience there... anyway after we finally got to lunch, because we took a different bus to where we had to walk a ways to get there, the day wasnt too bad. Also, we had the assistants doing a split with the zone leaders so we had Elder Wheat in our house with elder Gessel.

Wednesday we visited mayara and pretty much told her we cant come back until she wants to be baptized because she has enough knowledge now... Then we went to watch the baptism of Leonice... So let me tell you about her. Me, Elder Bailey, and Daniel (a member of our ward) were walking in the road and this lady stopped on her motorcycle and told us to stop at her house. We went and she told us she had a dream the night before of daniel... she had never seen him before but wanted to see why she had a dream.... pretty cool! Sadly though, it was in elder crittenden´s area, so it wasnt our baptism. But she decided to get baptized and is really happy. it was clearly a miracle. And we had a decent lunch and went about our day. so reality kinda hit me today too. i am used to it now, but i realized we were eating lunch in a mud hut. It is insane how these people live. But it was a good lunch, i just think these mud huts are crazy.

Thursday we went to amanda´s again and she was doing good, so we marked the baptism for friday morning. so we´ll see how that goes... oh wait it didnt. Lunch was amazing, at the bishops house, and we have that every thursday there. basic day after lunch.

Friday we had the baptism of amanda all planned for 8 30 in the morning. We showed up, we had the white clothes, the font filled, bishop present... but where is amanda. We went to her house and she said she forgot!! This is kind of how it has been here lately with me and elder bailey.. its kinda ridiculous.. but its ok because we are doing our part. Anyway, baptism didnt happen because all of the sudden her dad didnt want her to be baptized... so it was a rough start to the day... but we ended up having a decent day.

Saturday... Happy Birthday Jade. 15 now? You´ll have to let me know when you get your permit so i can stay ready if i see you driving around... haha oh wait.. im already thousands of miles away! Man speaking of which.. the drivers are horrible here. You´ll see up to 6 people on one motorcycle... impressive i might say. And you´ll see 10 year olds driving. And the law is that you have to be 18. The people have laws here.. you just dont have to follow them. Well, it was a good day and we met up with Ywério. he is 14 and was a friend of a member. He is a stud and we have his baptism marked for the 4th of june. Should be a good one. That night there was a huge party outside our house until about 4 in the morning!! Man it was hard to sleep. But the first song they played was a U2 song and man that made my night. It was cool. But it made me pretty tired when church came around.

Sunday we had church, which was good as always. We had a decent lunch and after lunch the day started a little slow, but then Helton came with us and we had a lot of visits. Side note: So i was looking at pics from Helton´s mission and i saw a pic of Danny Nelson... I guess he was assistant at the cananda toronto east mission or something.. thought it was pretty cool. Anwwho, We had a lot of good visits and a lot of new people to teach. We visited Daniela again after a while and i think Helton will help her a lot with her testimony... Anyway, good day.

so it was a good and busy week. We got a lot done and we are prepped and ready for the baptism and marraige of Manuel and Maria this next week. Should be awesome.

Well thanks for the emails and it sounds like things are good. Good luck jade and tayton with the baseball. Sounds fun. And good luck with all the flooding... that sounds exciting. i wish i coulda seen all the snow!! Love ya,

Elder Smoot

*Did you ever get that package with the one shirt in it?
*Or the other one with the USB drive?

I still have not received any more packages... ill let you know when i do though... As much as i want to get them, there are a lot of..... not so cool/happy people here that tell you to wait because everyone else has to wait as well... but maybe next week i can swing by and see if i cant get whats there.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wk 41 - Pretty chill week I´d say...

Elder Bailey, Smoot, Crittenden, & Gessel

this person from the ward caught this little bird.
I was holding it, and of course with my luck it pooped on my hand...
I didnt want to hold the bird anymore

We are eating these amazing top ramen sandwiches that Bailey makes.
They are the top ramen noodles, hamburger, it has a piece of fresh pineaple on it,
tomato, some really good mustard stuff.... its just a good sandwich. and very filling.

Crittendens hand...

HAHA i forgot to tell what happened.
He was going to break a brick with his hand or something...
so he just opened it right up! it was hillarious.
But he ended up getting stitches and you could see the bone! It was pretty dang deep

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

So it was another good week here in Teresina with Elder Bailey. I am so thankful that I get along well with my comp and that we have a good time when we work. It is a lot easier to face the day when you get to be with someone that you dont mind being with. I gotta say it is hard when you have to go work with someone that is difficult to get along with.

Tuesday started the week good with a good zone conference. We had training from the assistants and our new
ZL´s.... Elder Crittenden and Gessel. I love those guys. The training was good and it helped me realize that I need to be a little bit more straight forward with some of our investigators. So we visited Mayara (15) and we kind of told her that she needs to decide if she is going to follow the things that she knows is right or if she is just gonna go back to the catholic church.... so she is really close to baptism. We talked with Joelma (20) and kind of told her the same thing. We said that we wont be able to visit her again until she comes to church. And pretty much the same thing with Daniela (17 yrs. old). She is probably the closest of these three to get baptized. We told her she needs to get baptized and she knows it... she just is afraid. That night it was my comps b day so some ward members made a cake and a little suprise party for him. It was pretty funny and i think he had a pretty good day.... I hope at least. he turned 22 and has about 5 months left in the mission.

Wednesday was pretty tiring... but a pretty normal day... I dont remember anything special other than the same old visits and what not.

Thursday we decided to help some new converts out.... They are having some family problems. One is Carla who we baptized a few weeks back. They are neighbors with this other person, Ana. They are always just yelling and fighting with each other. So we took a video there and we made their kids a list of jobs to do and it was kind of ridiculous.... but it seemed like things were getting a little better this week. We also met Ywério who is one of our new investigators. He is 14 and is pretty cool. He is a friend of a member and this kid invited us to go teach him... Anyway his lesson was good.... I just thought his name was pretty cool.

Friday we marked a baptism for amanda (8). she is a cousin of some members and wants to be baptized. We actually marked it for saturday, but her mom called saturday morning and said that they were going on a trip... but its good because we are teaching her mom as well... just that the mom drinks a lot so we need to help her with that. but she supports amanda´s baptism which is cool. so we´ll probably do that next week. We also had some new street contacts and had a guy stop us and ask for something to read about God and Jesus.... that was cool. The problem is you have to decide if he really wants to read, or if he wants the paper to roll a doobie and smoke.... but this guy was cool and we read some versus with him and he said he was stuck there for the night and wanted something to read. Its amazing to see how sometimes you will have people jump in front of your face and ask what your doing, or ask to hear what we have to say.

Saturday, like I said, amandas mom called to say the baptism wouldnt work... but we still went to the church to help Gessel and Crittenden clean the baptismal font before their baptism. We had some good visits and the day went well.

Sunday we had church, which was really good and a man from the stake came and talked about the preisthood because of the anniversary of the restoration of the preisthood. It was a really good talk. We had an amazing lunch at a members house and they have a parrot which was cool. Later in the day we passed by the church for a missionary work meeting and this person from the ward caught this little bird. (one of the pics i sent) I was holding it, and of course with my luck it pooped on my hand... i didnt want to hold the bird anymore. We had a nice long walk later that night to teach a new investigator that was in the church and it was good. Probably one of the best investigators I've seen because he understood the lesson. Most people are just clueless, but he read and understood the things we were teaching.

Today has been pretty chill. I learned that I should wear shoes to play soccer (all the brasilians go barefoot... but i cant do that more than 15 min before my feet start hurting)... and that it is a bad idea to put your finger in the fan (that was on accident but my finger is killing me) haha. I think we´re going to the center today so that should be fun.

Thats wierd thats school is almost out! Have a nice week and live it up.

Elder Smoot

Random questions we sent Tanner this week:

*investigators? investigators are good... we have about 5 really close to baptism. Im excited for Manuel and Maria especially but they will be in a couple weeks. 27th=married 28th=baptism.

*what time of the month do you receive your packages from the office? i think i can pick them up in the center on p day... i just have to call to ask if i have a package there... theres no real specific time of month. . you just gotta get lucky.
I know your birthday package is in customs right now-- Ya for some reason they just seem to take a long time randomly... i wonder what is really going on with the package all this time.

* How many people did you get to church on Sunday? we had about 9 investigators this sunday. Daniela, manuel and a bunch of others that we teach... well 3 new ones who were just invited by friends... so it was a good week.
* At one point you said that you needed a few more priesthood brethren and you could split the ward. Do you know how many you really need to split? It is either 5 or 6 more to split the ward...
* You said that you have a big house. How many rooms are in it? 3 main areas... one is our room but it wouldnt be considered a room without our stuff there. 3 rooms. 1 bathroom. How many beds do you have? 1 room has 5 bunk beds... but we dont use that room. so other than that it is our 4 beds. How many extra missionaries can you handle staying there? we had about 12 or so missionaries in our house for 3 days about a week ago. Its possible to have that many.. but you dont live very comfortably.
There is a room was about the size of our garage? thats where our study room or my bedroom is... but we just push everything to the sides and put some garbage cans on the side as goals and play with that new little soccer ball mom sent me. thanks mom!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wk 40 - Happy Mothers day mom!

Elder Stewart gave me that jersey with my name on it!

Irmão Maon´s birthday

little jarede´s baptism

dia das mães party or mothers day party-
in the church parking lot

No the iguana didnt bite... just whipped with the tail and scratched with his nails....
it was a beast! But i didnt get hit by him.

ya thats a caterpillar!
They said if you touch those hairs you could feel symptoms of the flu...
We saw it in the road and elder Crittenden carried it all the way home,
just to take a picture haha!
he carried it on a leaf so he didnt touch it.... just so you know..

Gracielly & Daniela with Elder Smoot,
Bailey, & Moraes

9 months... im due!

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well it was an eventful week. Most of the week was spent with about 14 or so people in our house... and one shower. it was crazy. but we made it through and we are all back to normal now.

Last Tuesday i had to do a split with Elder Pimentel... good hard work... but lets just say its not my choice of companion. We had a nice talk with Daniela and everything is going well with her. We did do a lot of work, but lets just say im good with the comp that i have. I also feel really blessed for where i am from. Some of these guys come out on the mission with two years of membership in the church. I was blessed enough to have the church with me all my life... its amazing. Also, Elder Stewart got to our house late and gave me that jersey with my name on it! What a cool guy. i wish i could be comps with him someday.

Wednesday i officially hit 9 months on the mish... its going by pretty quick. The days last forever, but it really does pass by fast. I had to go on another split with Elder Pimentel... who actually was in the MTC with me and was comps with Elder Moraes. Anyway, before that we had to go to another area to set up a wedding for manuel and maria who with get married on the 27th this month so that was nice. with pimentel we worked hard again and we had that drunk guy take us into his house (the one i told you on the phone). He gave us dinner and kissed my head.... pretty interesting experience haha. but, we got a free dinner out of it so its all good.

Thursday we had lunch then the assistents told us to go to the center.... we get there and we remember that moraes had to get his stuff from the house to go to imperatriz and we had the keys... so we had to go on another bus ride back to where he was at to give him the keys... we spent a couple of hours getting everything set to go and we had to do a split... again! but it started to get late so i went with my comp. Anyway, finally everyone left this night and we had just 4 in the house after this... the house was a mess. So we spent a little time cleaning it up and finished the next morning. I just gotta say im glad to have our house back. Moraes is gone and Gessel is here for good. We are havin a good time. Oh and i got my easter package this day.

Friday we left with Rafael again. We had some good visits with Daniela and others. Daniela didnt come to church on sunday so that was a bummer.... we´ll have to work with her. Anyway at night i was a little disappointed because everyone says they will read the book of mormon, go to church, but nobody does anything... its hard but its what we do.

Saturday was a good day. We came out working hard and we had Cássio leave with us to have some lessons with members and it went well. Later that night there was a dia das mães party or mothers day party and then after there was Irmão Maon´s birthday. There was a ton of meat and food. I guess its tradition that every year for his birthday he kills a cow then feeds it to everyone. It was a pretty cool party. He really gave us VIP so we could come in and eat quick and sent us home with some soda and cake. What a cool guy.

Sunday... happy mother´s day mom! It was a lot of fun to talk to you all. I love you so much mom and thanks for everything you´ve ever helped me with. And thanks for all of the packages and everything! It makes the mission a great experience. I will do my best to send a package to you guys... we´ll see.

And today we went to little jarede´s baptism. He is the bishops grandson and the son of irmã socorrinha who always gives us lunch. So we went to his baptism.

Well thats about it! Today we were cleaning out our backyard and then an iguana ran in! So i sent some pics of the iguana we caught as well... it was pretty cool. have a great week.

Elder Smoot.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wk 39 - A semana de tranferências... mas eu ficei com meu comp!

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

"the water is from the rain! the river in the street is insane in front of our house"

View of Teresina

Elder Bailey- before the haircut!
"I cut bailey´s hair this week. It was funny. I made a mohak first just for fun, then I cut it... he almost cried! it was short, but i used an 8! I dont trust myself with scissors yet.. but it was funny. its cool now.

Well hey! hows it going? I guess I will know this sunday comin up... that went pretty quick.
Tuesday we had a district meeting and it was good... the day went pretty normal and we visited Daniela, Joelma, Carla, and João (john in english) & Marli. Daniela is 17 and has a less active friend (that actually came to church twice after 9 months not going) and we just contacted her in the road one day... the week went well teaching her, but unfortunately she didnt come to church... so we will see whats up this next week. Joelma is 20 and started talking to us really because we were american. She wants to travel the world someday and anyway, she is a cool person. She really likes the lessons and visits, but im not sure if she wants to move forward with it. she has some good member friends now (rafael and cássio) that will try and help us. Carla is still good, but has a lot of problems. Her ex husband came back and i am really confused whats going on there... so we have to help her. She is still coming to church though and is doing good. João and marli are ok... but the lesson we taught this day was the plan of salvation. It went amazing, but later this week things got a little messed up.
Wednesday was just a basic day... doing our visits and what not. I had a nice talk with my comp about the mission and stuff... it was just a normal day. I am loving having a comp i actually like to be with and doesnt leave in the middle of the night. im telling you.. makes a world of a difference.
Thursday we had Rafael come with us again and had some good visits here in our area... nothin too special.
Friday we had a visit with Amanda (an 8 year old girl) who has an aunt that has 12 years or something and her other aunt and uncle that are members... and she said she wanted to get baptized.. so we went there... went well... but she didnt come to church.. so its hard. We had a good lunch again at Socorrinha´s house and visited Daniela again and also Manuel and Maria. So these two are doing good. Our goal is to get them married this week and baptized on Saturday.. it will be a race but i think we can do it... So we´ll see how it goes. They are a couple about 40 years old the two and they have a little son that is pretty cool. We then got new elders at like 11:40 at night... but i was sleeping so i didnt see them till the next day.
Saturday i met the two new elders from the mtc in são paulo, two brasilians, Elder de Oliveira and Elder Nascimento. They are both pretty cool guys. Anyway they went with Crittenden and Moraes during the day. We went to our places and had a visit with Dália who was at a cousins house. Dália lived in campo maior and elder bailey baptized her like a year ago. So it was cool. We both knew her and bailey had baptized her. We had cássio and Rafael with us and did some other visits.
Sunday was a good lunch, and the guy has a car and we got to ride in a car to lunch! It was cool. Then we did a split and i went with elder de oliveira and my comp went with nascimento. Both are cool guys. So elder nascimento lost his tag so i lent him mine just to have something on his chest haha. it was funny. he started saying he was my brother and that i was tan and he was just a little bit darker (he´s black) and that his eyes were just a little bit darker than mine. He was basically me with brasilian blood is what he said. haha he was cool.
Today nascimento left at like 5 30 to head off to Parnaiba and we got a bunch of people in our house with us now. We have a big house with some bunk beds, so when there is training, there is people in our house. Elder Stewart should be coming tomorow so i should see him! That will be cool. Anyway me, elder de oliveira and elder pimentel (i was in the ctm with him) we went up and played soccer with a bunch of students at this cement footsall field they have here. Man it was hot, but it was fun.
so it was a great week and it looks like im stayin with Elder Bailey for another transfer, which is awesome. We now have elder Gessel in our house who will be the comp of Elder Crittenden and Elder Moraes is going to Imperatriz.
Have a great week... talk to you on sunday!
Elder Tanner Smoot