Monday, March 26, 2012

Wk 86 - Weekly letter







Area: Buenos Aires
Companion: Elder Lima

Hey again... man this week was kinda fast... it feels like yesterday i
was writing email to you... man this whole email thing is so boring!
but ill still do it so dont worry. Sounded like another full week for
you guys and sounded like a fun trip. I gotta say though that so me
vacation would be going to the cold... i havent seen anything below 75
for over a year and 6 months... its starting to drive me crazy! the
coldest i get is in the shower. Anyway, as always i love to hear about
the baseball and what not. keep up the good work bros.

This week was as any other week on the mission. The district meeting
on tuesday and all... i did do a division with elder martinez though
which was cool. He is a good guy. We did have to take two busses
though cuz my lunch was way out in buenos aires again. So we had a
good chocolate cake at lunch with strawberrys... it has been so long
since i have had strawberries. My taste buds have completely changed
on the mission. My subway sandwich isnt just meat, cheese and mayonese
anymore if you know what im sayin. It was a good day tho with elder
martinez... he is a good guy. mexican heritage but he´s from mesa
arizona. We had a good day teachin the people and all but i wasnt
feelin to good. I had to put on some vicks vapor rub and take some
pepto bismol to sleep good that night.

Wednesday elder lima came back to the house and during the day we made
some new contacts with people that were cool. We met someone named
tamara haha go figure. But she was from a different city called oeiras
so it wont work out to teach her too much. It was elder pires´s
birthday so a member made pizza for us that night and we ate it with
him.. it started to rain to so they gave us a ride home... what a good
day.

On thursday is weekly planning, but its hard to do this stuff cuz we
have elder almeida and elder santana in our house. elder almeida´s
comp has a hurt foot, so they cant go work for a while... it is
possible that his comp will get sent home to do some physical therapy
and stuff. We did meet with ana virginia and teach her about temples
which was cool. Thats definitely something that i plan on taking
advantage of when we get back.... the temples are awesome. We talked
to fabrício and mateus about baptism some more... but their grandma
thinks they are too young to make a decision for themselves... so it
will be difficult. We conversed with Guilbert and he is still
struggling with smoking and drinking a little... I really want to help
him, but i dont know what to do. it will require a lot of desire on
his part. Our last visit was with josé and fatima where we watched the
joseph smith movie. It is always a testimony strengthener of why we
are here and the sacrifices that the early saints went through so that
we can have the church on the earth today.

Friday i bought a new journal thing.. its kind of a calendar thing,
but im running out of paper in my journal... do you believe it? i have
written every day till now. WE had a good lunch of rice, beans, some
pasta casserole thing, fruit salad, and a mix of alfredo with meat..
it was good. Friday was the day as well that i went and saw jean. He
really liked you guys so thanks for helpin him out. haha he like the
xbox kinect so much that he bought one for himself he told me. Thanks
for the package! i´ve been eating a lot of candy lately but dont worry
about if i do or dont have candy on easter... doesnt make a big
difference for me if its now or later! Thanks for the treats and the
memory cards and shoe insoles!

Saturday lunch was really far away, so we stayed home and bought some
stuff close by then we went to mateus and talked about my favorite
question.... WHY? Why we should go to church, why should we follow the
prophet, why we should keep the commandments..etc. The why for me is
really easy to answer now. Its because God exists and he knows what
will bless and protect our lives. Its god´s map on showing us how to
be happy. Man the mission really cleared a lot of things up for me. We
took ana virginia to institute which is on the other side of the river
so we had to cross the bridge.... institute was pretty far but it
worked out for us to have her get a ride home from a member... we went
back to our area, but it was tough.. Carol wasnt home and neither was
amparo or rayca... so we pretty much walked the rest of the night.. We
got home a little early for us to cut hair.

Sunday we had church, then lunch which was super hot. I dont know why,
but the house we were in didnt have windows.... and the sun was
especially hot this day, so it was basically an oven or sitting in a
sauna in church clothes. it was quite the experience. We ended up
having a pretty long day again... just visited Mychely and talked
about enduring to the end and how prayer and scripture study and
reading the scriptures is important and we visited domingos who is a
stud and he walked in the street with us trying to make some
contacts... but we only got a couple of addresses and not too much
success...

But it was a good week and like i said, it passed pretty quick. Every
week is going by and today there are about 8 missionaries leaving
including elder Gessel, elder olsen, Elder Wells, and some others.
There will be a change but i dont know anything about transfers still.

Love you. have a good week and remember to live life to the fullest
cuz its passin by so fast.

Elder Smoot

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wk 85 - Hey

me leaving the airport... welcome to teresina! 

 a quick pic of the coke factory that is in the buenos aires area... 

video
vid of me doing backflip... with elder almeida

Area: buenos aires
Companion: Elder Lima


Seems like you guys had quite the week... i get tired just thinking
about all the runnin around you do. Im thinking your life at home is
similar in one aspect. The days last forever, but the night passes by
so fast. I feel like i lay down and before i know it i have to get
back up! what a life. But it was good to hear about jenna and all,
congrats on the award thing that you got and happy birthday! JAde
sounds like you are playin well, thats my boy. Tayton.... you keep
doin what your doin man.

my week was pretty basic... as always ya know. There are always little
things that happen that are different, but everyday is the same
mission. Tuesday we had our district meeting over in cidade jardim
again... this time the zone leaders came... one zone leader has like 2
months on the mission and is..... a sweet spirit.... but really gets
on your nerves type of a guy. So the meeting went well for the most
part. Im just glad elder martinez is there cuz he´s a good guy. After
lunch we spent a good amount of time lookin for addresses. I swear the
people pass the wrong address... it is a legit road and all but
somehow they always seem to pick the one number of a house that doesnt
exist.... so we didnt have much success with that. WE tried visiting a
few people... noone home. But we did get to talk to guilbert... who
was a contact in the road from last week. We had some good lessons
with him and we invited him to church on sunday... and he actually
came! i think he has a strong desire to change, we just gotta work on
one thing... he drinks and smokes. so its gonna be a battle cuz he
already has 55 or so years and he is pretty addicted... so it will be
a lot of prayer and work to help him.

Wednesday in the morning, i dont know if ive told you this already,
but we play hoops in the morning some days as our exercises. There is
an army base really close to our house that has a basketball hoop and
some pull up bars there, so we like to go in the morning... thats a
good part of this area. later we went to mateus and fabricio who are
some guys that know the church well. Fabricio is a son of a member,
but his mom is living in another state for some reason and he lives
here... but he stayed in the primary a couple of years it looks like
cuz he´s 11 and knows a lot about the church. Anyway we marked them to
be baptized on the 31st... but again it will take a lot of work cuz
they have marked many baptismal dates before... but this week fabricio
came to church with us so that was good progress. WE also talked to
josé eduardo (who was in the motorcycle accident) and he is healing
quickly. He also came to church on sunday... in a suit and tie! he has
a strong desire to change. His accident was caused because of drinking
and driving so he now thinks of it as God giving him a chance to
change. It was a slow day after that, but at least it had some good
progress with some investigators.

Thursday we had the weekly planning which means we study and plan till
noon... lunch was super far so we had to grab a bus... its killing us
cuz we have been walking a ton to get to lunch and back to our area...
it eats up a lot of time and makes us really really tired. But this
day we passed by the airport on the way home and picked up our money
from an electronic box... or atm thing. We talked to ana virginia
again... she always complains about her neighbors throwing rocks at
her house (on the roof.... the roof is made of a hard clay type thing
so when they throw rocks it puts holes in the roof and leaks water in
the house when it rains) and is always upset about this.... so we are
trying to help her find a way to stay calm and not get angry at her
neighbors. We did some street contacts and met felipe who looked like
a solid guy about 16 years old... but when we came back he was super
flaky and didnt want much anymore. Later it started raining hard, so
we ran into a bakery and bought some bread till it stopped, but it
just slowed down, so we walked home in the rain... didnt get too wet
though.

Friday was jenna´s b day right? dang i cant believe you are 18! I also
think that marks 2 years since i got my call?? anyway, jenna wait for
me to get home to protect you. Just stay far from the guys, especially
RM´s, and i will protect you. aight? Today we did some other visits...
mychely we taught her a little more about the priesthood and
missionary work... it was a pretty long day, but we made it. We
visited fátima and all to see how she was doin. she was pretty tired
from working the graveyard shift the night before so we just talked
quick then headed home. Man im getting really exhausted lately and my
body is startin to get a little achy! i dont know if its cuz im gettin
old or if its just time on the mission! but im hangin on and hangin on
tight so dont worry.

Saturday was st patrick´s day right? i called all the americans i
knew and told them to pinch themselves if they werent wearing green...
ahha mom thanks for the calendar, it reminds me of all the american
holidays that they dont have here. Today we had some appointments fall
through, a decent lunch, we tried to teach felipe, the street contact,
but he turned flaky on us.. so we did some more contacting! i just
know that every day i get home nice and tired which makes for a good
nights sleep.

Sunday used to be a day of rest.. here its just chaos. We had a little
roundup of people to go to church. we got fabricio and his cousin
gabriel and also guilbert. WE had a bunch of others that said they
were going to go, but the only one that actually went was jose
eduardo... It was a good meeting and then after we had lunch. I met a
guy named frank in the ward, maybe i talked about him last week cause
he did visits with us last sunday, but he served a mission in japan
and it looks like next week he is going to study at lds business
college or something... pretty cool i thought. ill probably see him
when i go home in july. We visited josé eduardo later at home with our
friend/member domingos cuz he lives close by. We talked about this
change that the gospel brings and he said he wants to get baptized
next month with his little cousin that will turn 8. sounds like it
will be a cool day and an awesome baptism. josé eduardo is 20 years
old. We also went and visited a contact we made the other night.. her
name was tasmânia.... like the place tasmania or like taz the
tasmainian devil... anyway she accepted very easily the message...
just that she was visiting and was planning on going back to her city
that is called oeiras or something here in piaui.. anyway it was a
good end to the week.

today we woke up with elder SMith, elder Iverson, and elder Embree in
our house... they got here early this morning to renew their visas. It
is kinda fun to live in the staff cuz you see everyone come in and out
and i see them more than i would if i didnt live here.... make sense?
anyway they are good guys and elder smith and embree are in my group
to go home.

WEll hope you have a good week... ill try to send some pics... we´ll
see if it works.. i will get my cards this week! love yall

Elder smoot

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wk 84 - just another day in paradise

Mychely's Baptism






Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima

you know, i was talking to a returned missionary in our ward that came
back a little over a week ago from são paulo... I realized that home
is cool and sure there is a ton of stuff that i miss.... but it really
is awesome on the mission. We are all happy when we are workin and we
have one objective which makes life very easy. So for me, i´d just
like to stay here! haha every week it seems like you have a ton to do,
a lot done, and it never stops. I dont like to think about school and
stuff at home. It really is a nice life out here. But i loved to hear
about the hectic life that you have. There are so many things in this
life that are frustrating and not fair, so we just gotta keep are
heads up and do our best to enjoy life. I loved the vid of ruger ha
he´s growin up quick. cant wait to see him.

I know my life is boring, but ill tell you about a little about the
week.... on tuesday we went and painted a house. It was actually the
members house that made lunch for us, so we painted forever then ate
lunch after.. we pretty much ran home after cuz the house was like
over 3 miles away from our house and its so boring to walk! Dont worry
mom i am pretty sure ill work hard to buy another car... walking is so
not worth it. We taught mychely who got baptized on saturday... we
just visited her randomly throughout the week to make sure she felt
good and ready for the baptism. We then were walkin in the street with
nothing to do when a member called us in the street... it was a member
from another ward that was visiting their cousins. her nephew had been
in a motorcycle accident and was pretty beat up and asked us to give
him a blessing. He said after the blessing that as soon as he gets
better that he is gonna get baptized in the church... we went back a
couple days later and he was doing a lot better and we taught him and
his mom about the plan of salvation.. it was funny cuz she asked us to
put more oil on his head cuz the last time we did he got a lot
better!... pretty funny i thought. We taught a man named Guilbert as
well. He was a contact in the street and i havent seen too much
progress so far, but he has showed a sincere interest so we just need
to get him to church. We got home on tuesday and we had some elders
there for the monthly leadership training.. i saw elder iverson and it
was funny because exactly one year ago on this day was the night that
my comp went to carnaval.... crzy how time flies.

Wednesday was the day that i dropped of my stuff to Jean. He will
bring another... hammock (yeah sorry i dont know what else to buy!)
And a cool cowboy hat.... and a letter that has my last SD card in it!
I am out of SD cards now so if you want to send one with him? or is
there one comin in the package? I dont know, so you decide. He showed
me what a digital picture frame is... they are pretty sweet! Anyway,
It was a long day.. actually it was a long week. we went to teach
people and it didnt work. my comp ended up burning this lady cause she
was saying a lot of contradiction against her own religion... man its
just tough sometimes. i got home and saw elder stewart for a bit. he
was headin out to go to the bus station and i also met an elder plewe
from salt lake haha he´s been in maranhão his whole mish and has a
year and almost 3 or 4 months just in são luis... So thats why i
hardly ever see him.

Thursday was normal. it was the day we visited josé eduardo (20 year
old... the kid that got in the motorcycle accident) and his mom. I
really learned a lot about the atonement and how it takes away
spiritual and physical death. We will all recieve an imortal body and
if we accept Christ in our life throught the first ordinances of his
gospel, we can return to God´s presence... its so simple! We talked to
ana virginia to make sure that she was doing good after her baptism
and i gave her a little picture of the prophet. We taught Fátima at
night (the mom of ana karine and kelly) and we had a good lesson about
the plan of salvation... It really makes sense and the mission has
helped me connect all the dots in my head that the church is true and
then some.. it all makes sense now.

Friday we had elder martinez do mychely´s interview, i recieved a
package as well from the spinder family and from the primary. That was
really nice. Tell them thanks! the treats are super good and the mac &
cheese i ate today and it was super good as well... its so different
than what they have here. This was really the longest day of the week.
we spent the day walking and walking and occasionally sitting down on
the curb just not knowing what to do. we said a prayer and just
started making contacts... i gotta say that it is tought, but i also
realized that no matter how long the day seems to last, it always
ends.

Saturday we did a lot of walking, but we spent the time inviting
people to mychely´s baptism. We walked ana virginia to the church and
had a good baptismal meeting. All went well....... except that we dont
have keys to the font! The ward mission leader said he filled it up
full... but when we saw it, it was too late. It was at about knee
highth... my comp baptized her, but she had to sit down and lay all
the way down to get under the water. pretty embarassing, but funny
story to tell tho. It all went well and her aunt made cake so we got
some after the baptism.

Sunday we had church and Mychely and ana virginia were confirmed
during sacrament meeting. We went to visit the people after lunch and
some members were going in a car to visit our investigators with a
weekly report that we gave them.. So they invited us to go with them.
we got to ride in the car almost the whole day! it was a miracle. my
comps knees are hurtin and so it was a good help. We even visited
fatima and jose and it was an awesome visit. the person driving the
car was a returned missionary that served in japan so he knew english
and japonese after the mission so it was cool to talk to him. Anyway
that was about our week.

Today we played some basketball in the morning, thats why im a little
later... but it was fun. we played with elder martinez and his comp
and elder pires and donizete. It was fun, but its wierd to play with
brasilians, there are very few that play good ball.. most just know
how to play soccer.

Well love ya guys, thanks for the support, as always.

Elder smoot

I am almost 100 percent sure now that im going home on the 24th of
july... ill arrive on the 25th. OKAY? the group before me is going
home on the 12th of June... so there ya go.

ALSO MY COMP would like to buy one of those thin towels that we got at
Missionary mall... if you could stop by there with Jean while you are
there close by... my comp would like to buy one.

thanks

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wk 83 - Mais uma vez...




Service!

American Football!


Ana Virginia's baptism

Area: Teresina Horto 2
Companion: Elder Lima


Hey. Well first off i just gotta say... my comp bought the monster...

i dont think i´ve ever drinken an entire monster or energy drink in my
life... and thats the only time that i had a little in my entire
mission. I just think the mark is cool. you gotta admit, its a pretty
cool symbol isnt it?

Second, mom dont worry about me being ´trunky´ (by the way, where did
you learn that word) its not like homesickness, its just funny and a
word that missionaries use when we hear about home or somethin... so i
wasnt trunky, but i thought it was pretty cool. If anything im getting
more and more into the mission as time goes. its gonna be hard to
leave.

Thanks for the updates and stuff, it was good to hear about the
week... Sounds like everyone is doing the same old stuff... jenna
singin and dancin, jade and tayton playin ball... its good stuff. Keep
up the good work.

This week was pretty good. Last monday for p day after i talked to you
on the internet, we went to a members house to do a service project,
then we went and played american football cause it started to rain and
it wasnt gonna work out to play soccer. So we played american football
with my comps football and it was really fun. we taught everyone how
to play and it was me, my comp, elder almeida, elder santana (new
elder), elder martinez, and elder Jimenez. Hey ask austin if he served
in an area called Ituzaingo 4 in the buenos aires west mission...
(that was his mission right?) Elder Jimenez is from there and his
family always lived there but he had been living in another city when
austin was on the mish. Anyway it is in that Ituzaingo ward or
something and the Jimenez family.

Tuesday we had district meeting. We are with everyone that played
football on monday. Elder martinez from arizona (i lived with him in
parnaiba) is the district leader. We then walked back to our area. We
talked to ana virginia who got baptized on sunday, and george (a
recent convert that was baptized 6 or so months ago) and we walked a
ton. We had a meeting at night with the ward mission leader.... We got
home just dead tired. we walked a lot!

Wednesday... happy leap day. WE got pretty lucky right? got an extra
day on the mission. We had lunch pretty early because the member
called and forgot about our lunch and so they gave us money to eat. My
comp made some rice, beans, and macaroni... it was pretty good. It was
a slow slow day... its tough but the week was really long and slow as
far as appointments and stuff goes. But we did have a nice
conversation with Fátima, mom of ana karine and kelly, who really
opened up to us. I guess that she had talked to ana karine one night
about her troubles and ana karine explained the plan of salvation to
her... ana karine told us after that she knows the church is true, but
has fear to get baptized... so that was really really cool to hear.
But this night she told us about her life, she had a son that died and
lots of other things that happened in her life... we are going to work
hard with this family this week.

Thursday.. happy march.... MARCH MADNESS right? haha cool. Well we had
weekly planning, lunch, we were walkin in the street looking for
something to do and we had a lady stop us to come talk to her son. he
was having withdrawls from drugs and was just out of it... we didnt
really do anything, cause he was sleeping, but we marked their address
and sent it to the other elders. We had a cool visit with Carol, ana
karine´s friend, later and talked about our purpose in life... i found
some cool verses in alma 40:12 i think is where it is. it has a lot of
cool stuff about our life after death and it is alma talking to his
son coriantum who wasnt the straightest of his sons. That was about
the highlight of the day.

Friday we had lunch at Jeans house... He is a cool guy and he had that
thing to call you... but i didnt believe what it did. So he asked me
your number mom and called you haha that was funny. its a little USB
port that hooks up a telefone and he can call anyone in the states for
free.. using the internet. We talked to ana virginia later that day,
another man named francisco that we found the other day in the street
walking his kid home from school, and when it was getting dark, we
went to domingos´s house to watch the joseph smith movie with his
family. it was a good spirit there cause that film is powerful.

Saturday we had elder martinez come do the interview of ana virginia..
she decided to get baptized on sunday. He stayed and ate lunch with us
that day then headed to elder almeida´s area to do more interviews. We
were then walking in the street when a car stopped us and i saw that
it was antonio and his daughter mariana (where we skyped for
christmas). they were in teresina for the week and it was cool to talk
to them again. We taught Leonardo and Larisse after a few weeks of not
visiting them... they feel good when they go to church and stuff, but
they are so fixed on family tradition that they dont want to get
baptized... thats why we havent been visiting them. but this time we
were a little more blunt and told them the results after this life if
they follow the gospel of jesus christ... anyway, it was a good
lesson. That night we went to visit José, the dad of ana karine and
kelly. Everyone else was gone because of a church activity and the mom
was working, so we watched the joseph smith movie with him. He pretty
much said that he knows the church is true, and as soon as his wife
fátima gets baptized, he will as well... i have a lot of hope for this
family.

sunday i completed 1 year and 7 months on the mission... im starting
to get old out here.. .here in a few weeks elder gessel, elder wells,
elder olsen... they are all headin out! and taylor is only falting 5
weeks thats insane! But the mission is good times so im going to enjoy
the time i have left. We had a meeting at 7 30 am... but it was a long
ways away so we were a little late.. but nothing like wakin up early
to do a 45 min walk in church clothes... We had church and ana
virginia was there and the meeting was very full. We had lunch, a kind
of tough day to teach so we spent a lot of time just inviting members
to the baptism, and at night, we had ana virginia´s baptism. i
baptized her, and almost drowned her cuz i put her under the water 3
times... haha never again i will let my comp be a witness. Just
kiddin. She didnt want to go under, so i put my feet on hers and
forced the 3rd time haha but it went very well, had a cool musical
number and she was very happy.

Man it was a tough and long week but we made it. im gonna buy some
stuff today to send home... probably a hammock, a cool cowboy hat
thing, some other stuff and we´ll see what else.

Love ya, have a good week.

elder smot