Monday, June 27, 2011

Wk 47 - Festa Junina!

Service project!
Elder Bailey, Smoot, Crittenden, ?, & Gessel

"the old man lives on our street and always stops us to talk to us...
hes just a funny old man"

Festa Junina!

Elders Smoot, Bailey, ? Crittenden, & Gessel
"the little boy is from our ward. the cutest little kid ever."

Food & Festa Junina

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well this week was pretty exciting... We had a service project, and its festa junina! Its celebrated in the north east of brasil with dancing, food, and they hang those flagged strings and pinhatas and everything for the party. It was pretty sweet.

Tuesday was an awesome day. We had a good district meeting and after, we ended up staying in Cidade Jardim to eat lunch, because something happened that we didnt have lunch in our area. So we went to a persons house, who was honestly one of the biggest and nicest houses ive been to, and we went there and talked with a guy i have met briefly before who served a mission in salt lake! He speaks perfect english and is pretty funny. It was cool to see some pics and what not. After we got back to our area we did a lot of visits, and one of which was a visit to Raimundo.... but it was kind of an interesting one. We found out his son is hooked on all sorts of drugs, pretty common here, and that his 16 year old daughter that we have been talking to is 4 months pregnant.... pretty common as well. Most people think that commandments and stuff are more of a restriction... but when you look at it, they really free you from addictions and having to take care of a baby so that you can choose what you want to do.... pretty interesting.

Wednesday we had a good lunch at Miguel´s house who is a pretty funny guy. He sells a thing called Cremosinhos... they are like little square things that have a go gurt or frozen yogurt type thing inside... and he has a freezer full so he lets us eat as much as we want... pretty cool. Then we went to help an investigator named Welton. He has known the church for years, but he is 17 and his parents wont let him get baptized yet... but he said he had some issues and so we went and talked to him about repentance and how Christ can help him. Also we talked to Ana, who keeps saying she´ll go back to church but hasnt yet, and Carla- who still goes to church every sunday! Then at night we talked to paulo´s family to teach english.

Thursday in the morning one of the assistants showed up at our house, Elder Wheat. He was hurt in a bus accident so he has been staying with another elder that has problems with his knees. Anyway, he came by to give us a visit... it was interesting but good. He talked to us for about an hour then we went to the service project. We pretty much had a hoe, and had to take out all of the weeds in the backyard.... so imagine our field on a very hot dry day, and it was about as big as our front yard, and you have a hoe to take out the weeds.... some of which did not want to come out.... but it was fun. I really miss working in the yard. You just make a pile and burn it after a couple of days because the sun will dry it out quick. After the service project, we visited Dailane, who is progressing and is going to church and the visit went well, and then we visited Maria das Graças a little later. She is a sweet old lady and loves our visits... and usually gives us a snack.. its pretty cool.

Friday was a pretty tough day. We had a good lunch, but then it was a lot of walking in the streets. We are still having troubles finding good investigators.... Most of the people you contact in the street are inviting, but really dont want anything with their lives... and they say it to your face. But im hoping the few good ones we have can make it to baptism.

Saturday we had another amazing lunch. A good lunch really sets the day off right... We talked to Ywério a little, who is doing awesome by the way. He is going to seminary, and participating in the ward activities. After which we talked to ywério´s friend Italo. Italo went to church on sunday and seminary a few times, so hopefully we can baptize him as well. At night we had our ward party of festa junina. Or i think its saying the party in june. Every year there is dancing and what not for this holiday... that nobody really knows what its for. They celebrate the saints, because the catholic church is so big here i think, with dancing, food, games and its pretty cool.

Sunday Church was pretty good. We had a great lunch at paulo´s house and then it was a pretty slow afternoon. We tried to find some new people... but nobody really wanted much. We went to Taquari to go to the Uruguai ward with Dailane who took her young son. It was pretty cool. She is progressing well and i think has a lot of potential. And to end the night we split up real fast and i went with a member to visit a person who knows the church pretty well named Gilson and my comp went with another member to visit Italo.

So it was a pretty intense week! I enjoyed it and we got a lot done.

Have an amazing week this week. Live every day to the fullest.

Elder Smoot

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wk 46 - Crazy week

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well, i feel pretty overwhelmed right now! It happens a lot in the mission though.

Tuesday was a tough day. We didnt have a lot planned and we are running out of good references.... But we ended up having a good day. We went to a couple of recent converts houses to help them and taught a few people. First we talked to Ana who kind of rebelled from the church and started drinking coffee and didnt go to church anymore. We went there and she asked for a blessing because she was sick. At the end of the blessing, she was crying. We came back later and she said she wasnt feeling good, and for some reason, she just knew it was the coffee... And she said at that exact moment we showed up, she was praying that someone would show up to help her... pretty neat experience. Also we talked to Bruna, who is under 18, and her mom wont letter be baptized. She comes to church every sunday and anyway, just her mom is stopping her... pretty dumb.

Wednesday started out a slow day again.... we are really lacking good investigators... But the day got better as it went on. Let me tell you, it is not very fun to roam the sunny dusty streets at 95 degrees for hours. But again, we visited a recent convert, Jo. He is a cool guy and is still goin to church. He just had a few questions about the church. He is a very cool guy. Later i cut some members hair that were begging me to do it and then we had a very cool family night. We talked about Repentance. Really as missionaries, that is what we preach. Repentance is all about having a better life and being a better person. It is the change that happens. and thats what i like to see as a missionary.

Thursday we talked to Italo... he is ywerio´s friend. We need to get him to church, but he has been going to seminary.. so hopefully that works. Then we talked with Isaura who is pretty cool as well... she is like 25 and said she has already been baptized! There are sooo many less actives here. Then we had some other visits that were cool. Also this day, Bailey and Crittenden got their calls asking what airport was closest to their house so they could buy their plane tickets... haha they were pretty happy.

Friday we had a tough day. We walked forever... and when we got to where we were going... we figured out that the person didnt even live there! It was a pain haha i miss my car.... but its just how it is. Anyway, we went throughout the day and we survived.

Saturday we had an awesome lunch, slow afternoon, but it picked up again as the night went on. We taught ana, murilo and raimundo.

Sunday... happy fathers day! Hope you had a good day. Church was alright.... it is very rowdy in our ward. All the youth get together and talk a lot... but we had a good meeting. Then after, Ywerio got the priesthood! He was pretty excited. Then we taught him about the D&C and then we went up to Taquari to the other ward to see Dailane... She went so that was good. After we talked to Rafael who is doing alright, then to Lustosa who is Heltons friend.

It was a pretty wild week.... nothing real exciting happened, but im just glad we made it. This week we are gonna have to find some new investigators and get something going on here.

Sorry i dont have many pics this week... just a few from today. Well have an awesome week!

Elder Smoot

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wk 45 - I Feel Old

Happy Birthday Tanner!
Brazilian tradition is to smash eggs
on your head when it's your birthday!
Elder Crittenden and Gessel got him!
(thanks for the pics from Crittendens)

Elder Bailey, Smoot & Crittenden

Maysa from the ward made A cake...
later, we brought a big peice back and put my candles on it and had a little party
with crittenden and gessel cause they werent there
Happy 20th Birthday Tanner!

"I think it was a little ant looking but called potó.
It releases a liquid that burns your skin.
Apparently I got pretty lucky though cause its usually worse..."

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well I guess I'm not in the teens anymore.... but anyway this week was quite the week. We worked pretty hard and got a lot done. I still cant believe I'm already 20 though... I just got used to saying I'm 19! I'm getting old.

So tuesday i woke up with something irritating my eye... Im not really sure what it was. But throughout the week it got worse... (the pic with the thing across my eye). I think it was a little ant looking but called potó. It releases a liquid that burns your skin. Apparently i got pretty lucky though cause its usually worse... so that was exciting/annoying throughout the week. You can still see it a little, but its pretty much gone. Also i had to wash my clothes by hand all week because our machine is broken.... And its still not fixed so we´ll have to see how long im gonna be washing clothes like this. During the day we visited Dailane... who has an interesting situation. She thinks all the stuff is true, she just doesnt have a desire to be baptized yet. Also, she is married to a guy that she has caught cheating on her before... so we are trying to help her out, which will be interesting. Then we talked to Carla, who we baptized our first transfer, and she is still good and going to church. Also we talked to Manuel and Maria who are doing good and also talked to a new investigator named Murilo. He is a son of this member that is an old lady and is very sweet. She always gives us juice or food when we pass and gave my comp this pimenta sauce which is really hot. Anyway, he is a good guy and came to church last sunday. We are still teaching him, but he is gonna take some time i think. And we taught english to Paulão´s family again and that night we had all the zl´s in our house from sao luis, sobral, and imperatriz so our house was a little crowded.

Wednesday we had lunch at the bishops.... But this time it was a little different. The bishop had to go, so he gave us the keys and told us to lock up and give the keys to the neighbor when we were done... haha. It was actually very relaxing and a good lunch. Later we met Tiago and Erika... who are a decent couple, but arent legally married.... just like the majority of people here. Anyway, it was a pretty slow day.

Thursday we had lots of visits. We met with Bruna who is a good girl. She is 9 years old, but suprisingly smart. The only problem is that her mom wont let her be baptized because she said she is too young and doesnt know what she wants.... so it will be another battle... It is a battle for every baptism on the mission. Every single one has something impeding the baptism from happening.... but we work through it. We visited manuel and maria again and started to teach adão, who is the neighbor, and again met with maria das graças who is murilo´s mom, and met a few other people. I decided the mission is a hard job. We walk a ton. A lot of people waste our time with wanting to hear our visits, but they dont really want anything with their lives... and its just tough. But i will never regret the decision to be here. You learn a lot. and learn a lot of patience with yourself and with others. Im just glad to be here... and even more glad for a good comp.

Friday we went to Dailane, dielle, and danielle´s house. We were going there to pretty much cut them and stop visiting them because they werent progressing very well... but then we found a paper that dielle did, that was all of the studies in the back of the pamphlets we have.. It was insane! Ive never seen anyone actually do that.. and she´s like 13 or 14! So we are gonna keep visiting them. Then we had to walk from there to lunch with was pretty much on the other end of the area... actually it was in gessel and crittenden´s area... so it was not very close. Anyway that took a while, but we eventually got into our day and we met a new family. They have a son who is going to do an exchange in the united states as an exchange student so we started teaching them. Also i got some letters... and the rest of the birthday letters. I got one from the Jensen´s which was jeremy´s graduation announcement. Dang man! Everyone is getting old haha. that was cool to see. he had a nice tux by the way. Very blue.

Saturday we had lunch at an investigators house named Danielle. They had a great lunch and then we helped her a little with english. she is studying and doing pretty well. It is amazing to me how many people study english and spanish here.. A lot of people want to be multi-lingual... Not many are, but they all study it at one time or another. Then we were walking in the road and this drunk guy called us over. he wanted help with drinking... so he bought us two cans of coca-cola and asked us to sit and talk to him. It was actually very cool. haha but he was pretty funny. That is one thing i think is cool here. Ive had a few times where people call us over and buy us a can of soda or give us food or something. Its a fun thing. Also we had quite a few visits that afternoon and late that night we stopped to get food at a place and there was a couple that owned this little place and they are legally married! Pretty rare, and they accepted visits. so that will be cool.

Sunday i woke up... walked outside and just got owned by elder gessel and crittenden. They smashed a bunch of eggs on my head. It is a brasilian thing. On your birthday they think its fun to smash eggs on your head... haha it was kind of funny... more fun for the people doing it. But then church was good and everything. I ended up doing a split with paulinho and we visited Bruna and ywério (who was baptized last week and confirmed this sunday) and we started teaching his mom as well. then we had a misisonary work meeting and me and elder bailey went to visit cleiton and ana who are recent converts who are basically rebelling the church now. We showed up and they were outside drinking coffee.... but it was a good chat and hopefully we can help them out. Then we went to teach Lustosa who is a good friend of Helton and some other members. After the lesson they had some food for us and all... But it was like this. I had to use the bathroom and so i went in and when i came out, all the lights were off and they had made a cake and everything and sang happy birthday. Helton, Edna, and Maysa from the ward (all about the same age) made me a cake and planned the little suprise thing... pretty awesome of them.

So it was a very tiresome week and i am enjoying the day of a little more relaxing today. Thanks for the videos, the cards and the emails. I loved the pics! You guys are awesome. have a great week.

Elder Smoot

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wk 44 - 20 already??

Ywerio's baptism

LDS Chapel in Teresina (Map)

Elder Bailey & Elder Smoot

Birthday package +one!

bowling on P-day

Area: Teresina-Satélite
Companion: Elder Bailey

Well i sure dont feel like im turning 20 this week.... i just barely got used to saying im 19! I guess we´ll see how it is next week.

So this week was a pretty good one. As you can see, like i said last week on p day we went bowling! It was way fun.

Tuesday we had the normal district meeting.... and after we had a really good lunch at a members house. We visited Ywério who was planning on getting baptized on saturday and that went well... Later that day i had to give a member back his guitar that we borrowed. I might have told you already, but i have been playing guitar a lot... and its getting a lot better. it was really fun. And if i stay here for longer ill ask him to let me borrow it again. That night we went to teach some english to this family in our ward. They asked for some help, so we´ve been doing that for a couple of weeks.

Wednesday i got 2 packages! I got my birthday package and the package with the stuff from tammy! Thanks. The tie was pretty sweet. I also got a bunch of letters... i pretty much hit jackpot... the only thing is that i didnt get that other shirt package with the CTR ring.... interesting. The day after lunch was pretty slow, but not too bad. We met a new family through a reference from a member which was Alessandra, but they didnt really go to church on sunday so
we´ll see if they are really interested in learning about the church. Also i helped a member with guess what? His math. HAHA man i will never complain again about helping Jenna with math. He seriously didnt understand anything past 2+2+4 and he was 16. It took a lot of patience, but it was kinda fun.

Thursday we had a morning visit with Helton. It went well and it is with the 4 people we started teaching the other week. Danielle, dielle, dailane, and erika. They were getting really interested in the church and stuff... but i dont know if they are willing to change. I have faith that anyone can change, but it takes a desire. We had a great lunch at the Bishop´s house (its always good) and then we visited Ywerio again. And later that night we taught english again.

Friday we had the interview with Ywério and it went well and we were set for the baptism on saturday night. We taught Alessandra and her family again and it was amazing. We had a good lesson and when we talked, they were quiet and attentive. I really dont know how to explain it. We came out of the house just really happy and it was just one of those good missionary experiences. we were talking about the book of mormon and the importance of a prophet. It was really cool.

Saturday... I officially have 10 months in the mish.. It feels so long yet so little.. its wierd. So we had another morning visit with Danielle and clan and it was decent. I still just feel like they like what we´re teaching... they just dont have DESIRE to change. It makes all the difference. So we went about our day and had a planned baptism that night. just one problem... The chapel didnt have water!! It is seriously a battle for every dang baptism. Something ALWAYS has to go wrong. It is insane. But we just planned to do it on sunday instead.

Sunday we had a good fast and testimony meeting and i really enjoyed it. After we had a good lunch at Maon´s. He is a cool member that always takes us in his car to his house. Also, our church was still out of water so he took us all up to Taquari in his car! He is the man. So the baptism went well and i baptized ywerio and Crittenden baptized a young woman as well and it went well.

So that was about our week. It was a lot of work but we got some stuff done.... I am getting ready to send some stuff home so in about a month or two you can be lookin for it.

And Mom, dont worry. Even though i am gonna be 20 now... I will forever be a momma´s boy.

Questions/answers to Tanner:

*Sounds like you had an awesome week last week! I love to hear you being successful- which makes you happy! I know this is week 12 in this area-- any inkling what is going to happen? Do you kinda hope you stay? Does there seem to be more American's coming in? So we did get word that this week we are all staying! That should be cool. If it goes as planned, we will have 4 americans in our house for the 4th of july! That should be awesome. As far as more americans coming in... i havent heard anything... so i dont know.

*tell me if you need any more socks or anything.. Ok so as far as stuff goes... im good! if i have problems with anything ill let you know. I really dont need clothes of any sort. I may want you to send another nyquil or night time sinus thing if you could. Mine is almost all gone now. oh and also dont send me soap or the high endurance anymore... Im bought some soap that i like here so im gonna use that for a while... if i want more ill let you know. Just thought id say it so you dont send more.

*Are you good on hygiene items? Im good on everything right now. I can buy most of that stuff here... but if i want you to send it ill let you know.

and by the way... thanks for the flip flops! My other ones just busted and i started sewing them up... but then i got new ones! ha i think that might have been inspired cause it was perfect timing.

Well thanks again for everythning... Ill get back to you next week! Have a good one.

Elder Smoot