Monday, February 27, 2012

Wk 82 - ´Hey, is this water yours?´

-some cool bikes at our apartment

some lightning

Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

Well hey.... one more week passed by and my last carnaval is over.

there wasnt too much to see here... just a deserted city and a few
exclusive parties... but we had a good time in our house studying and
what not. i loved to hear about your week as always... i dont even
remember what its like to have cars, ball games, school... man the
mission is so much easier. You have one objective and you just do your
part until someone tells you to go to a training or tells you that you
are being transfered... what a good life. and on top of that, you
always have someone with you to remind you of stuff and to help if
help is needed. pretty simple right?

this week was pretty normal... we did have district meeting even with
carnaval going... carnaval is pretty much just at night. everyone
sleeps all day to party all night. so we had a district meeting, but
this time with elder pires and his comp elder donizete.... we were
there with the secretaries and elder logan and elder pearson who are
the zone leaders... im still not sure if im part of their district....
but we had a good meeting. We had lunch at a members house, taught
some recent converts, then went to michelly´s house (well her aunts
house). We had a good lesson about the plan of salvation and marked
her baptism for this saturday (march 3rd). We then visited Ana
virginia (the adams family lady) and we had a good lesson and marked
the 3rd of march for her baptism as well. We talked with domingos and
his mom before we went home for carnaval at 6 pm. we got home, studied
a little and i made german pancakes and syrup.... turned out pretty

Wednesday i passed by the post office to ask about my package.... i
had the secretaries go there to see what was going on and it said that
my package dissappeared.... So that was all i had until friday. I did
go back on friday myself this time to see what was wrong... the man
told me that my package just simply disappeared and that you have to
file the claim because i have no proof that i am the one receiving the
package. he said that there is a possibility that it got lost on the
plane and will still come, but here in Brasil that is very unlikely.
So pretty much someone stole my package.... We had a decent day tho.
we taught José and Fátima who are the parents of ana karine and kelly
who are recent converts.. their parents are doing well.. but still
havent gone to church with us. We met a new guy named paulo
henrique... he seemed good the day we talked to him, but when we came
back, he was ´never there´... its kinda disappointing, but nothin i
can do about it. We went to another address that was passed to us, and
the address was wrong, but it was the house of a less active... pretty
cool. But they didnt go to church and now everytime we try to go there
they hide or leave. Then we ended the night at felizbela´s house...
she is not doin so good. she just talks about how she wants to die and
doesnt want her suffering any more.. .but at the same time says that
she knows that going to church will help her... but she doesnt go
still! ugh...i dont know what else to do.

Thursday morning i started studying about the atonement... the central
point of the plan of salvation. It said that anything injust in this
life can be corrected through the atonement... That all of our
feelings of hate, or guilt will be replaced with peace, comfort, and
joy if we trust in the atonement. That is the miracle of forgiveness.
I have learned a lot about that and how a lot of times things are out
of our control. we just need to pick ourselves back up, brush off the
dirt and keep on going, regardless if it was our fault or no. Pretty
cool. We again visited michelly and ana virginia to follow up and they
are both doing good. At night, we had an awesome family night at the
sepúlveda´s house with josé and fátima with ana karine and kelly. they
talked a lot and are opening up a lot more to the idea of joining the

Friday i did see that my package was lost.. i have a paper that they
printed, but its all in portuguese so it wont help you much, but its
in their system that the package was ´extraviado´. We did get to visit
michelly in the morning to finish the lesson on the ten commandments
and to talk about the law of chastity... haha i think its funny that
even though it is super wierd and what not to talk about this
commandment, but i am super blunt now and i dont have fear to talk
about it.. hopefully thats a good thing. we had lunch at the
sepúlveda´s and then we left with their son josias and the other
member domingos to do a division. i went with josias and we taught
some people and later we met back up to drink some coke then josias
had to go, so me, elder lima, and domingos finished off the night
teaching some of domingos´s neighbors. We taught one named soares. he
is the preacher of a different church that was created by the cousin
of joseph smith it looks like. he beleived in baptism for the dead and
some other stuff that is similar to the church, but their way of doing
it is different. Anyway, he really liked the message, but traveled
this weekend so he didnt go to church.

Saturday morning we were studying and the doorbell rang... my comp
went to the door and a man was there. he said ´hey! is this water
yours?´ My comp then looked in the hallway of the apartment building
and it was all flooded... we live on the 6th floor.... So my comp ran
back to the room and called me and the other elderes to come and
look.... haha elder sadler had put some clothes in the wash, but the
little hose that drains the water was out of the sink and on the
floor! all of the water that was in our washing machine was now all
over the apartement building. We live on the 6th floor, so all of the
floors below us were also getting wet.... man it was super funny. we
had to help clean it up, but it was quick and pretty funny. Anyway,
nothin too special happened during the day, but it was a decent day.

Sunday was an early day. we had to go early to get people to church...
we passed in a few houses, but only ana virginia went with us... whih
was great! later we were visiting some people and we visited
domingos.. i talked a little about the liahona (the ensign here) and
how it has the words of the prophet which are the words of christ. i
had found a cool verse in my studies in Alma 37:44-45 that explains
well the simbolism of the liahona.. i thought it was cool. We then
went to visit josé and fátima... and guess who was there? Sister
sepulveda doing her visiting teaching.. it was cool cuz she had the
whole family there talking to them about the importance of family and
the role of the mom. anyway it was cool to see that. We got a ride
home and my comp started feeling pretty sick.. i think the cake they
gave us had something that he was allergic to, so he had a swollen
throat throughout the night, but he´s better now.

today we are gonna go to elder almeida´s house and eat and then play
some soccer.. man i love sports.

Thanks again for the love and support. have a great week!

elder Smoot

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wk 81 - Another week come and gone

-elder robertson (we played basketball last p day) 

me, elder sadler, elder 
augusto, and elder lima 
after a hard rain
storm...soakin wet!

--its been rainin a lot lately.. the landscape

my guitar
Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

Ya know.... I gotta say that im thankful to have a family that are
firm in the church with me. There are so many elders here that have
been members for less than 5 years or so and their families either
have no members or there are only a brother or sister or just one
parent that are members of the church and when they go to email they
usually dont have many emails, or they get emails about how they are
having physical or financial problems at home. Some even have parents
that ask for them to come home and help with the problems... It is a
amazing to see the faith that these young men have and the loyalty
they show in serving a mission. On sunday we sang the song ´Count your
many blessings´ and that is one blessing that im grateful for. I
realized that my inicial reaction to your email with quotations and a
report on sacrament meeting was a feeling of, ´ah man, again?´ but i
really have learned to appreciate loving parents that are concerned
about the lessons we learn from studying and applying the gospel in
our lives. So thanks for everything.

The week has been pretty..... different i guess you could say. I think
valentines day was on tuesday??? at least i think it was. Well, they
dont really have valentines day here so i wouldnt know. But on tuesday
we did have a good day. elder Almeida (the one that i lived with in
campo maior) came to teach with me and elder lima during the day
because his companion was transfered and his new companion hadnt
arrived still. At lunch i ate more food than i have probably eaten in
my life... It was insane. My gut was stickin way out, i think i downed
about 3 kilos of food. The food lost its flavor by the end. Anyway,
the day went well and we taught some contacts in the street, but the
end of the day we talked to our recent converts and their parents.
(ana karine and kelly´s parents) The dad would get baptized really
quick i think, but the mom is really catholic. But they are a good
family and i am pretty sure that one day they will be baptized.

Wednesday was a good day as well. We taught some new investigators
again, but at night there was an activity in the church. Now that we
are going to the Buenos Aires ward, the new ward mission leader is
awesome. He prepared a message for the group and left time for
everyone to bear their testimonies. there were about 100 people there,
which is incredible, and about 5 or so people that were in the chapel
for the first time. Afterward there was cake for everyone and we got a
ride home from a member because it was raining!

Thursday was interesting... the member that was going to give us lunch
told us to buy lunch, then at night he would give us money to
reimburse the money we spent. I ended up getting some new guitar
strings as well and we ate quickly at a little restaurant.... (did i
tell you that i have a guitar now??) I bought a guitar from elder
Harding that was going home on monday.. he lives in Lehi. Anyway i got
it for 80 reais. But the day was good. We taught Ana virginia who is
doing okay.. she isnt really fulfilling the commitments that we leave
with her so it has been tough to help her progress. We also visited
michelly who is the neice of a member. She kind of stopped progressing
a little this week but she is still doing good. her aunt keeps telling
her to wait more time to get baptized.. We then talked to jesus, who
is domingos´s brother (domingos is a recent convert but a super strong
member) and he talked about he is feeling really bad because he helped
his girlfriend abort a baby. He is really feeling horrible about it
and we gave him a blessing. he has a desire to get baptized, but has a
kid with his girlfriend and she doesnt want to get married so its
complicated. We also taught a lady named luiza. She is a woman that is
a sister of a member. she came to the church for the first time to
that activity on wednesday. She said she knows the church is true
because when she went her brother got better from his sickness that
the doctors couldnt figure out what was the right medication. She went
to the church and when she got home, the last medicine he took solved
the problem. so it was a cool little miracle she had. but she doesnt
want to get baptized cause she wants to get to know the church
more.... common to say that here. we then went to pick up the money
that the member told us to pick up and it started pounding rain... we
got soaked so we just had a good time splashin it up all the way home.

Friday was Dad´s birthday right? HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! One year older
and wiser too... haha good luck. Man we are all gettin old. We had
lunch at the stake presidents house this day and he asked us to teach
him how to tie his tie... haha a member for 19 years and he always had
someone tie it and he just left it in the knot... We had a good lesson
with mateus, a young man but again doesnt do so well on studying and
praying, then we taught josé, who is the father of Ana karine and
kelly. He likes to talk to us and used to have a band so he played
some music for us too about jesus. We talked about the importance of
the gospel for our families and how God has a plan. And that at the
end of this plan, we want to be with our families forever... but to do
that we need to follow. Then he said that he wants to join the church
but his wife is holding him back haha she wears the pants in the
family if you know what i mean. At night once again there was a great
activity in the church. It started raining though so a lot of people
didnt come. But it was well planned and prepared and there were a lot
of games to play and it was a cool lesson about honesty and how we
follow god´s plan. Me and elder lima got to play a little bit of
basketball as well with some guys that didnt know how to play. it was
practically tackle basketball.

Saturday it rained... we got to lunch without getting too wet though.
we had time to visit a recent convert and his sister that was at the
activity, but not a member of the church. They said that they dont
like the rules that the church has (the commandments) so we tried to
explain why we have commandments.. anyway it was tough. We headed home
early because of carnaval and cleaned the house.

sunday we had church, lunch, and we taught a couple of people that
didnt go to church, then again it was time to go home because of
carnaval. We were told to study chapter 3 of PMG and learn better the
lessons that we teach.

It was a long week, sorry i wrote a bunch. I think a lot of what i
write really isnt necessary so i will try to shorten it up a bit and
write just about the good stuff that happened during the week what do
you think?

Well thanks for the updates. Loved the videos dad and the pic haha
ruger has quite the big grin. sounds like life is busy which is always
good. Love ya

Elder Smoot

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wk 80 - once again

We went to the zoo

the alien looking thing is a member that went with us.. i
dont know why he brought that costume but he´s a funny guy. 

me and a wall that says RONE that is a police force from

me and an airplane. my area is right where the
airplanes are taking off

more sushi!

me and elder lima
crossed the bridge today and took pics of the other bridge behind us..
 pretty sweet

Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

Well it was good, as always, to hear from yall. I love to hear about
how everyone is growin up and how fast ruger is growin. SOunds like
jenna is doin great as always, jade is the man and a big stud and
playin some good ball....(followin my footsteps right bro?) haha
(you´ll have to give me a few pointers when i get back) and tayton as
always- happy and playin the sports. gotta love it.

heres some pics from the week. last week we went to the zoo and the
one with the alien looking thing is a member that went with us.. i
dont know why he brought that costume but he´s a funny guy. there is
one with me and a wall that says RONE that is a police force from
here. also a pic of me and an airplane. my area is right where the
airplanes are taking off. there is one from today. me and elder lima
crossed the bridge today and took pics of the other bridge behind us..
pretty sweet.

the week was pretty intense. we had zone conference last tuesday that
was very good. President gave an awesome training about organizing our
teaching. I dont know how to sum it up, but ill do my best. Basically
we need to leave every appointment having taught a doctrine, leaving a
principle after teaching the doctrine (or how they can apply it in
their lives), then inviting them to live what we taught. And everytime
we teach a doctrine, we need to let them know the importance of that
and how it connects to the restoration and baptism and how these
things will help them attain eternal life... Pretty complicated, but
it was very good and it will help a lot and has helped a lot till
now.There was a quote that i like that sister dias shared that a
sister that already went home from our mission wrote... It says,
´Obedience is our protection, Love is our motive, the Spirit is the
key, and Christ is our reason.´ -sister dos santos. Pretty sweet quote
i thought... it pretty much sums it all up. We did have an interesting
conversation with Larisse... Looks like she has been looking stuff up
on the internet and had a lot of questions about poligamy and stuff...
ugh it is annoying and all, but we showed her scriptures and stories
in the bible and tried to help her with her doubts... but her and her
brother leonardo have gone way down hill as far as their progress
goes. we visited them later in the week and they were saying that
their church, (the catholics) believe that everyone after this life
will forget their earthly life and everyone will be equal (or in other
words, there will be no gender difference between man and woman) I
dont get it!!!! what would be the purpose of this life if we couldnt
even remember it? and how can we be judged if we dont remember what we
did? and where is the purpose of living after life if we dont have
gender. we would all just float around like angels (haha brian regean-
softball) and do absolutely nothing! man im sure glad we have the
gospel in our lives. they are so blinded by the traditions of their
parents (just like the lamanites). they said they wont change religion
because of what the family would think... man its been difficult.

We had wednesday that a member gave us money for lunch ( i realized
that we are really blessed here to have lunch EVERy DAY made by the
members) and this time we got quite a bit. so we went to the grocery
store and bought two pizzas to put in the oven and eat.. bad idea. I
didnt feel so good after we ate it all... i think ill just stick with
rice and beans for now... that´s what they do best here. we also met
up with this new lady for the first time. She reminds me of a
character on the adams family.... its creepy. her grandpa has a hunch
and like yells when he talks, she is a little skinny lady (like 30
years old) and only talks about how her neighbors persecute her and
talks in a little whispery voice... it kinda gives me the creeps. And
the little girl that lives there almost killed the cat while we were
teaching. she was takling it and almost threw it out the window and
stuff.. i was saying prayers for the cat to not feel any pain haha i
am loosing my mind.

Anyway on wednesday and thursday we went to the
new chapel in elder tanner and elder almeidas area.. It is a two story
chapel and really cool. We went in the street, me and elder tanner,
and we tried to make contacts.. their area is hard. noone in the
street and a lot of big apartement buildings. but i had a cool miracle
where i was praying in my head that we could get someone to visit the
church because there was an open house and nobody there... just as we
were givin up and actually entering in the chapel, i saw 4 women in
the road so i went after them and invited them to come in. at first
they were a little hesitant but ended up coming in. On thursday we got
lucky with a ride of a girl that was a reference of a member. Her
neighbor brought us in his car and it was cool. She did the tour of
the church and then we taught her the first lesson which went very

On friday was the dedication of the new chapel and we didnt go.. i was
too tired to go again becaUSE its a good 40 min walk or so.. so we
stayed in our area and tried to do something useful with our time..
but it was difficult still cuz we had noone to teach.

Time is passing right by. we also met with a girl named michelly. SHe
is the neice of a member and is getting to know the church. She came
from the interior of the city, ( in an area that doesnt have much
schooling and stuff) so she is living with her aunt to study here in
teresina. she is 13 or so, but understands very well what we say. just
that the aunt wants her to wait till she knows the church is true to
be baptized.. so its gonna be a little while before she gets baptized.

Saturday night there was alread a pre-party for caranval and they were
breaking some guiness book world record or something... But there were
a lot of people and a lot of bad things going down. We saw a guy
cussing this lady out and then pulled out a gun, then we had this car
come flying out of nowhere and almost tipped over the car, then a dude
on a motorcycle carrying a gun, then some girls who were screaming at
us and telling us to take them home with us.... etc. Carnaval is
insane... so we called the night a little early so we could get home
safely. I know the lord protects us so dont worry. just think it is
interesting how different things are here... carnaval is starting this
week on the 18th.

Sunday we had church in the morning for the first time. We started
going to the buenos aires ward here in teresina. So its funny because
elder pires is there so it is cool to see everyone again. The ward was
very welcoming and i liked to see that the new bishop went and visited
many families in our area. He went and visited a member as well whose
parents arent members and her dad started talking about getting
baptized... we went there that night, but in the middle of the lesson,
a friend showed up and kind of ruined the spirit that was there..
anyway, it wa a decent week.

Today we cleaned the house, i went and picked up my green card.... or
my card that is my ID here.. that was cool. And then we played
basketball in the morning with elder robertson, elder deaver, elder
amaral, elder romero, elder ferreira da silva, elder cruz, and it was
a lot of fun. Man i gotta practice when i get home... i cant jump
anymore... not that i could ever jump before... but now i jump even
less. BUT, on the brightside i can still do a backflip :). We then
went and ate food, then walked FOREVER to play soccer at the new
chapel and now im beat and ready for the week haha.

Thanks for the updates and have a great week.

Elder Smoot

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wk 79 - Baptisms...

--The baptism... Marcyjane and Edinalva

--the family of Domingos and Edinalva came to the baptism.

--Domingos and his family at the baptism

--a sweet bike parked at our apartment building

-the Buenos aires ward building.. we are gonna start going there next
week.. brand new chapel

--me and elder lima in front of a catholic church

-cajuína..but they bottled it in a beer bottle... hmmm
Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

Well as you can tell... i was in and out of the internet last week...
the place we went was horrible for internet! it took 30 or so minutes
to send that message with that one picture... so ill send more this
week. Sounds like you had a fun week. Im glad to hear that jade is
playin good ball... we´ll have to see if i can keep up with him when i
get back. Im glad to hear tayton is doin good as well... keep workin
hard dude, ive learned that if you really focus and practice hard, you
can get good at about anything, so keep workin hard and you´ll keep
improving. I did see that video of jenna´s choir... pretty sweet i
might say. Thanks for the updates.. i love to hear from you and see
the videos and pictures.

my week was a lot better this week.. we still had a few days that were
tough, and a couple of downpoints, but for the most part it was pretty
good. I did get a letter from tal and austin.. loved the family pics!
but i dont understand that ´seasons greeting´ frase anymore... i just
dont get it cause it doesnt make sense to me. Anyway as you know, last
monday was the worst internet ever... but that night i did see elder
stewart and got to catch up with him which was cool. he is in parnaiba
and was here for a leadership training.. so that was cool.

Tuesday was a day of walking the streets and making a lot of
contacts.. i gotta say that it is pretty boring, and more here because
this area has had missionaries for over 20 or so years, but every once
in a while we get some good people to talk to. That night we had
interviews with President Dias.. My interview was last of the day and
we talked a lot about how we need to involve and strengthen the
members in missionary work.. this because i will leave the area and
the things we leave with them will only benefit them.. so if they want
the blessings, we need to help them do it their selves.. it was
interesting but a really good interview. President said he is seeing a
change in me and that ive grown up a bit i guess... i think he has a
little more trust in me which is good.

Wednesday.. happy february. We visited leonardo and larisse this
day... we taught them about how there can only be one true church, but
it was kind of a messy lesson. i do feel like it was alright though...
but they are kinda loosing intrest i think... its gonna be tough. we
spent the day again just making contacts... nothin too exciting.

Thursday we had lunch at a members house... and in the middle of lunch
she pulls out a laptop and turns the screen to us... it was a news
article on the internet of a recent convert in the ward that was put
in jail because they were being accused for working for a company and
directing money into their own account or something... my stomach
dropped because it was someone that has been helping us quite a bit...
anyway, i guess they are still in jail and im not sure if they are
innocent or what, but it has been tough. We visited a couple of
people, like mateus who came to church last sunday, spent the day
making contacts with people again, then taught another recent convert
named felizbella. She said that she has been having a tough time and
had a dream that it was because she hadnt gone to church in a few
weeks... pretty cool how people receive their answers... but she wasnt
home when we passed by to take her to church.. hopefully next week.

Friday we had lunch again at the house that had the guy visiting that
served in Utah.. we had a good time talking again about the mission
and about Utah and what was different there. We then had a good lesson
with leonardo and larisse about the Book of Mormon and how that is the
way they will know if this is the true church or not.. just the
feelings in the room were strange.. i think because they know the
person that went to jail and it just is hard now for them.. We then
had a long conversation with some guy that was becoming a catholic
father or something.. the type of guys that cant get married. He was
super friendly... ya know a little too friendly to me that kinda made
him appear gay... but im not to judge. Anyway he knows the scriptures
really well and talked well of our church and said that he will visit
next sunday... it was an interesting conversation. We were on our way
home that night and a member from parnaiba stopped us and gave us a
ride home. he was there visiting his parents so that was cool to see

Saturday i hit 1year and 6 months! We had a good day too. We had the
baptismal interviews in the morning for Marcyjane and Edinalva.
Marcyjane came here on vacation and visited the church. We started
teaching her and everything just went super smoothly... I dont know if
i have felt so guided by the spirit before because every lesson we had
with her was very smooth and the spirit was always there.... I gained
a stronger testimony that the spirit really can guide our words when
we open our mouth... if we are in tune with him and just trust that he
will do his part if we do ours. Marcyjane was elect and actually
helped Edinalva i think make the decision to get baptized. Edinalva is
Domingos´s sister. Domingos is a member for 6 months and has the
preisthood and all and is an awesome guy and helps us a lot. His
sister already talked with the missionaries, but never wanted to get
baptized. Anyway we had a great lunch after the interviews, cleaned
the font, got everything ready for that night, then we had a great
baptism with all of Domingos´s family. Domingos and his mom were the
only ones baptized until now... he has two brothers still that havent
been baptized, but his family is making a lot of progress... he is a
happy man.

Sunday we brought mateus´s family to church... except him. he stayed
to watch a soccer game, but we got his mom and his 3 brothers and 1
sister to church, though they left after the first meeting. But we had
marcyjane and edinalva confirmed and it was our last sunday here...
the ward is dividing and we are going to the new chapel of buenos
aires while this old chapel is being reformed.

Anyway, it was a decent week... i always hope for better though.
Hopefully me and elder lima can keep improving and doing better every
day... thats kinda what this gospel is all about. If you can do better
today than you did yesterday, then you are doing what you should be
doing. That is trying to become more like christ. I know that in
trying your best to become like Him, you will be a whole lot happier
and feel more satisfied in your life.... Gotta love it.

Love you guys! cant wait to hear from ya next week.

Elder Smoot