Monday, May 28, 2012

Wk 95 - Faça Valer

-zone conference (me, elder stewart, elder robertson)
the bridge (ponte estaiada)

ponte estaiada
me and elder gardner
bowling again... (this is everyone that lives in the apartement with me)
 Elder de los Santos,
Elder tenório, elder Santos, Elder Gardner, Elder Eberhardt, and me.
-the district (pizza at nilza´s. me e. de los santos, e. lima, e. donizeti)
some dude carrying roosters in the street

this is marcos and raquel´s daughter. name-fernanda 

Area: Buenos Aires 
Companion: Elder De Los Santos

Sounds like life is good for you guys! haha man i would love to do a
little bit of yard work... i really hope i keep all of these desires
that i have when i get home... We cleaned our apartement today,
another deep clean, and its always nice when its all clean... Im
pretty sure i learned that one from you mom. But yeah i cant beleive
jade is 16... did he get his lisence yet? and jenna is gonna graduate
this week?? pretty cool. Good luck to ya! what are your plans in the
fall jenna?

The week was pretty good... last monday we went bowling... again! i
have gone quite a few times for being on the mission haha, but always
with different people. I have been here for a while so i know a lot of
things, so i am pretty used as far as showing people around teresina
and where to find cool hammocks, jerseys, or presents for family, or
just to show them cool places in teresina.

Tuesday we got back into the rythm with district meeting.. it was
alright. Our zone leaders came which was kind of boring.... i dont
really understand why its like that, but in our mission everyone seems
to be up tight when the leaders are there... not that they do
anything, they just usually critique what you do and tell you that you
are wrong if that makes sense... and nobody likes that. but whatever.
It was chill, then we went to lunch. The member actually forgot about
lunch so he threw something together real quick... its kinda cool here
that you can buy food for lunch at many places... but its all the same
food... rice, beans, lettuce with tomatoes, some noodles, and two
types of meat... usually chicken and beef... sometimes its good,
sometimes not so good. but it was good this time. We then visited
Arlete who has progressed the most this week. We had a good plan of
salvation lesson with her... the lesson just went smooth and it was
easy to understand. When we teach her we sit in some lawn chairs on
the sidewalk in front of her house... man its so different than things
at home. We visited cleiton or chavier.... still not sure what to call
him because at home the people call him cleiton, but last sunday he
said his name was chavier, then he said his full name was josé roberto
chavier...... yeah im just gonna call him cleiton... anyway we had a
quick visit with him then went to milton´s because he lives close by.
Milton wasnt home, but his wife and mom were there so we talked to
them for a bit. his mom´s name is tânia, and she commited to come to
church with us on sunday.

Wednesday we had Zone Conference.... this was a good one because it
was my last one! I was asked to give the thought, so i talked about
alma 22 and how aaron converted the king (lamoni´s dad) and
specifically why the baptism is an important part of conversion and
why it is essencial in our work... because everyone now just talks
about baptism, baptism, baptism.... president said that if you arent
baptizing every week, then you are doing something wrong.... so
obviously im doing something wrong, but yeah it is kind of annoying.
But, i talked about WHY it is important and not just the fact that we
need to baptize. anyway, as well the people leaving and the newbies
got to bear their testimony. So i got to bear my last testimony, as
well as elder robertson and elder stewart... Elder robertson is going
home in two weeks though. anyway, it was a good meeting and after that
we didnt have lunch, so we combined with elder donizeti and lima and
bought some stuff to make lunch... which turned out alright. We
visited Raquel and marcos later and she was doing good... but still
didnt come to church on sunday! with them as well is one that we sit
down on the sidewalk in front of the house... one of the reasons is
because it is hot inside the houses! so everyones sits out front to
catch a less-hot breeze haha. We passed by domingos´s house as well to
see how he was doing and it was a decent day.

Thursday we had weekly planning, which is always.... super fun....
yeah... then off to lunch. Ate lunch then went to ana virginia´s. She
is still going to church and is studying and doing well, but this day
she wasnt feeling so good. So we taught her about priesthood blessings
and offered her a blessing. We again went to miltons, this time he was
there, but as always he likes to talk about lots of other things... he
thinks he knows the church well enough and just wants to study on his
own... its still in a hard situation for him to get baptized because
his wife is pregnant with 8 months, he receives money for his dad that
died until 21 years old and he doesnt have a job so there is no way to
pay the bills and for the new child if he doesnt recieve that money,
and yeah... so that is how its been with a lot of investigators we
have... people that i think would get baptized, but have a lot of
barriers in the way of that. We taught arlete again who is still doing
well... she as well is ready for baptism, but we figured out this week
that she lives with a man. she is like 55 years old or so and wants to
get married, but her ´husband´ just never saw the purpose... so now
she as well has a barrier to pass. We went to wish raquel a happy
birthday then had a good 30 min walk home.

Friday we had a good study on the commandments.... the simple
commandments that we teach as missionaries... i really like that it
tells you to share personal experiences of how keeping a commandment
blessed your life. i really havent had THAT eventful of a life.... in
means of crazy things happening or dangerous experiences, so i guess
thats pretty much the blessing! I have really seen how blessed we are
where we live, and i know that is because of what we do to receives
God´s blessings. Everyone just loves to see our family pictures and
everyone says, ´just send me there because it looks like a paradise
with your family all united and happy´ count your many
blessings! We had lunch then met up with domingos for a while and he
came with us to meet a man named ribamar that lived close to his
house. He is an interesting guy, a painter acutally that also sells
alcoholic beverages, but was a very humble man that has a family...
hopefully we´ll see some progress with him... other than that, not too
much happened during the day.

Saturday was a pretty full day. we had lunch at a cool members house,
then we needed to meet up with elder lima and donizeti, but they didnt
have a phone because its broken... so we walked up to their house and
knocked on the door, but they had already left... the neighbor then
offered us water and we started talking to her and actually taught the
neighbor and her two daughters... so that was pretty cool, but they
didnt come to church on sunday like they said they would. (later i
found out they were in the chapel and we passed right in front of it
to go to their house!) So we headed back to our area and again talked
to arlete and talked more about the baptism and prayer. We visited
cleiton real quick and he said he couldnt go to church on sunday
because he had to go to the hospital to visit his grandma, so we went
to milotns. We again talked to him and his mom and she commited to go
to church, and she did... on the way home we stopped by felizbella´s
and she was doing great.. much better after she went to church. We
talked to her and her neighbors there a bit about how God´s blessings
come from our actions and had a prayer with them. We were on our way
home when we saw a lot of commotion and there had been a car accident
there... there was one getting into the ambulance and one guy almost
started fighting the cops which was interesting... that was just on
the walk home, but i dont think anyone was too seriously hurt... but i
have seen a lot of interesting things like this on the mission.

Sunday we walked with Tânia (miltons mom) to church. We had a good day
at church because arlete came alone again and brought two
grandchildren with her to go to primary... she is really liking it.
Arlete even brought some canned food and empty 2 liter jugs to help
the releif society with a donation drive thing...We had a good class
in the principles of the Gospel class about baptism and that really
opened up our investigators. Elder donizeti interviewed arlete during
church, but all that she needs to do is get married now. We had a good
lunch, but after i wasnt feeling too good so we booked it home and i
was having some stomach pains so i spent some time in the bathroom...
i took a shower and layed down for a bit, but later we ended up
leaving. We passed by domingos´s house then i went to talk to jean. I
guess he is going there this week, so is there anything you want me to
send with him??

Well that was the week... hopefully that was detailed enough for ya.
Hope you have a good week! time is flying and we are all growin up,
like it or not.. Love ya!

Elder Smoot

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wk 94 - once again...

on last p day we went to that church where i
went about a year ago in the bell tower... noone knows about it except
those who have gone! haha I took my comp and then two other elders
that live in our apartment (elder santos and elder tenório).

a pic of the new motorcycles we bought ;)

-the group that did the division on tuesday with us

Area: Buenos Aires 
Companion: Elder De Los Santos

ok i think i can count on my fingers how many times i have left to
write you now!!! thank goodness. This is probably the toughest part of
p day haha. anyway, i loved hearin what is happening at home... i cant
believe jenna graduates next week.... pretty cool! summer vacation is
close and school is ending... thats always a good time. Well, i guess
i can just rub it in your face that i am already in the summer
weather..... and that was about 2 years ago hahaha you may be jealous
of the heat, but when you dont have air conditioning and a car to get
around and you cant go swimming to cool off... its not as fun as you
think. but im used to it by now i think and its goin good.

This week was pretty normal though... nothing TOO exciting ya know? So
as you can guess by now.... tuesday we had district meeting, then we
ate lunch with elder lima and donizeti then we all went to my area
with a couple of members and split up in my area to try and get
something started there, because ive kinda been in a whole lately.
President has been pounding everyone about baptizing every week here
that im starting to get a little dissappointed cause im not doing it!
its been a while since ive baptized someone. So, because elder lima
and donizeti are good guys and wanted to help, we all teamed up to go
into my area. I stayed with a member named francilio. He is a funny
guy and we had a good time... we mostly just made contacts the whole
day and i made a contact that was really cool. We decided that there
is no way that one of us doing contacts all day wouldnt be able to
find someone interested...  We ran into a man named cleiton. He is 25
and goes to the catholic church but is super open to other churches...
i did something that i usally dont like to do on the first visit which
is mark a baptismal date. but i just felt like he was ready and
prepared, so i marked his baptism for the 2nd of june.. hopefully it
works out. he did go to church on sunday which was a good sign, so
hopefully he will keep progressing.

Wednesday we didnt have lunch so my comp made some food after we went
to the supermarket. Its always some pasta with meat that he likes to
eat. we had a bunch of visits during the day, one of them being to
cleiton and it went well,but nothing out of the ordinary

Thursday we had lunch at domingos´s house... i really respect domingos
and get along with him very well... i gotta say that domingos´s is the
best friend that ive met from brasil, he´s been a true friend to me.
anyway we went to visit milton who is doing ok.... he isnt progressing
as much as before, mostly because of the marriage issue i think. but

Friday in the morning we were reading some stuff and what not for
studies and we got up and walked around a little to stretch out the
legs when all of a sudden the other elders started picking on my
´little´ comp and it started a huge water fight haha.... dont ask me
how it started but i just stayed in my room and when i left our
apartement was like a swimming pool. but it was all good cause the
guys were good sports and cleaned it all up and it actually made it a
lot cleaner in the house. We had lunch at frances and nevias house
again then went to do a division with domingos and another member. i
went with domingos and we had a good day. Like i said, he is a good
guy and we get along well so the day went by fast. we visited a lady
named lene who is a new investigator now. she is a hair dresser lady
that has a kind of different religion. I just like to see when you
explain about the church and the person understands.. you see a
lightbulb just click inside their head and it just says ´hey this
makes sense´.... but even though it all makes sense, lots of people
dont want to follow. We talked to marcos who said he was going to go
back to his church (the assembly of god) even though when he went last
week noone talks to him because he is a ´sinner´. Man i really dont
understand these people sometimes. Then we had a really cool testimony
meeting with Fátima (kelly and ana karine´s mom) and it was good...

Saturday was kind of a long day, but not too bad. Saturday is the day
for everyone to eat, sleep, drink, and be merry... Its usually a hard
day to do missionary work, but we did talk to ana virginia and arlete.
Arlete is also a semi-new investigator that went to church last week
and went again this week, and this time with her granddaughter! I feel
like she is progressing, but it will be difficult for her because of
lots of other influences in her house and 1 or 2 kids that are hooked
on drugs... we will do our best to help her. And at night we passed by
the stake center for about 15 min because there was a stake talent
show going on... and it was very well done. But that was the end of
the day.

sunday we had a good turn out to church. We took cleiton to church who
now told us that his name is chavier... im still not sure what his
name really is, but he came to church with us... Later arlete showed
up with her granddaughter barbara. Another member brought some friends
with her that liked the church... and lastly we had Felizbella come to
church!!! If you remember about a month ago or even more we visited
her a lot and she never came! well, this was the first time ive seen
her there since ive been here... and she was baptized a couple months
before i got here. We had lunch at josé and fatimas house and we
stayed there for a while. They had a friend show up that i was
teaching with elder lima and it was good to talk and see him again..
hopefully we will have even more people progressing and going to
church next week...

That was pretty much the week... sorry i know there was nothing too
interesting to hear about, but it was a decent week.

have a good one as school is finishing up and all... see ya later

elder smoot

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wk 93 - hey again. Mothers day weekend... Love ya mom!

-my new shades and a little reminder of how catholic brasil is 

me, elder de los santos, josé and fatima, kelly and ana karine, and
the little girl is domingos´s neice named aniele.

a jersey from the district in parnaiba. Elder stewart got me it cuz
they did a group order

the jersey. It is the churches jersey in parnaiba 

at the leadership meeting

elder iverson

elder stewart

elder deaver (pretty short huh??i call him the humble giant... great
guy from cali)

me and irapoã

-me, irapoã, and elder lima.. baptism

comps eye

-passin through a graveyard.

at domingos´s house.. i got another pair of pants and a
hat...domingos is awesome

-the iguana i wanted to catch on our way to church

-me, elder de los santos, josé and fatima, kelly and ana karine, and
the little girl is domingos´s neice named aniele.

Area: Buenos Aires 
Companion: Elder De Los Santos

It was great to talk to ya guys! i loved to see the baby and all...
even though it was really choppy and the last 15 min it didnt even
work, and it was a 30 second delay,  it was still great. I have really
learned to appreciatte my family and all of my good friends on my
mission. That is one thing that i will strive to do better with when i
get home... really learn to value what i have. And like president
uchtdorf said... Love is really spelled T I M E. Cant wait to spend
some time with you guys.

Well since i still didnt tell you about the week, ill give you the low
down... this week was a pretty tough week as far as work goes... i
hadnt told you i think, but my comp has had a problem with his eye the
last couple of weeks, so we went to the doctor the past week and got
some cream... the cream stuff didnt fix the problem so on tuesday was
his appointment to see what they were going to do... I actually had to
go to the leadership meeting so i went with elder donizeti and elder
lima went with my comp to the doctor. The leadership conference was
alright, againg its a little annoying because most everyone stays in
our house so there was about 20 of us in our apartement, and the whole
conference was about baptism. They just talked about how we need to
just talk about baptism to our investigators and our baptisms will
increase... our assistants are just like that... they just want to
look good and throw a bunch of people in the water. Dont get me wrong
like i know it is important to baptize, but im trying to help people,
but i havent baptized in like a month and im getting pretty
discouraged and that training pretty much said if you arent baptizing,
what are you doing here? So ya... it was some salt on the wound. But
its all good. I got home and figured out that my comp was going to
have to do a little surgery on his eye on friday so that was some
interesting news.

Wednesday again we had a leadership training, and this time we had
weekly planning... and ive already had the training when i had the
trainers meeting a couple months ago.. so it was easy. Again they
talked about guess what?? baptize, baptize and baptize.... we had
lunch then the last minutes with pres. dias and then we went back to
our areas. Me and elder de los santos went out and talked to some
people, one of them being milton and said he was going to go to church
on sunday, but didnt go.... I dont know what else to do.

thursday we got money for lunch, so we bought a quentinha... its just
a little tin foil tray thing with rice, beans, lettuce and your choice
of meat... its ok but not amazing. We went out in the street and just
every one of our appointments fell through... it was a long and hot
afternoon. We finally talked to a new investigator named arlete. She
was the one that came to church with us on sunday which was very cool.
We taught her the gospel of jesus christ about exercising our faith
and acting on what we learn and specifically about baptism.. it was
alright and she did go to church on sunday so it was very cool. We
talked to Levy again... he is still the same way. We tell him he needs
to go to church and he diverts the conversation to talk about hunting.
Guilbert wasnt home.... so we went to irapoã´s baptism which was
sweet. Irapoã was that cool man that i talked about last week.. he was
an elect that the Lord prepared for his gospel and president came and
baptized him and it was great. He was very happy and content with his
decision to enter in the church of Jesus Christ... even though he
wasnt from my area, nothing makes me happier than to see people like
him who truly seek the truth and when they find it, they leave
whatever behind to follow it... it was truly a miracle.

Friday we went to the hospital and had the surgery.. took about a half
hour and then we went home at about noon... my comp had a big thing on
his eye so i made some spaghetti for us for lunch with potatoes and
hot dogs... the doctor told us to stay home until we had to go back at
4 and then we left the hospital at about 6 and yeah... the day was
pretty much over and my comp couldnt leave because of the risk to get
another infection in his eye with the open wound... It was a long day
at home so i pretty much just slept through it.

Saturday we had lunch and again it was a hot afternoon. When you dont
find anyone to teach you just walk in the hot sun... and it is
depressing. But we did teach milton again... he is the same as well...
i dont know if im wrong to keep going back and all cause he is a good
friend with us and all, but i cant decide if he is going to progress
or not. We were on our way home at night after a long day and a
jehovas witness stopped us and started talking to us... It was really
interesting.. he started quoting a bunch of verses of why he thought
his church was true...i really need to study the bible a little more
when i get home but it was just a simple answer that we gave him... if
you want to know if this church is really what we say it is, you gotta
ask God. He knows all things, i dont. He can give you a straight
answer that you will believe, I cant. Its SO SIMPLE. Ask in faith, and
it shall be given you. I love it. Every religion that we see is just a
great idea of how you can follow the bible.... But how is that gonna
help you if we arent following God´s will? Have you asked God what he
wants you to do? People that want to follow the bible and dont join
the church dont understand the principles taught in the bible. A
prophet to lead and guide us is essencial and i am so grateful to have
that knowledge. I know that moroni´s promise is true because i have
seen people change their lives because of it...a simple prayer with a
little bit of faith. all it takes is a little faith and humility.
Simple... thats how God does it. Gotta love it.

Well sunday we showed up early to take arlete to church and we got
there at 8 30... and she was all ready to go! pretty sweet. We went to
church and she enjoyed it and all... that was our only investigator in
church today, but i really think she felt good there. We had lunch at
josé and fatimas which was cool. They are a good family but still
havent committed to go to church.. fatima is really stuck on her
catholic traditions. We went to go visit some people in the afternoon
and one of them were some members and they were talking to guess who?
elder crittenden on skype haha that was pretty funny. i talked to him
for a little bit. Later we went up to jean´s house and my comp started
talking to his family then i called you guys... then it was already
time to go home..

Today we dont have much planned.. just cleaning the house in the
morning then we came here to the lan house to use the internet...

Thats my week... do really like to hear about this?? haha im sure its
getting old by now. anyway, have a great week! again i loved the phone
call! next time i call i will be on my way home...TCHAUZINHO

Elder Smoot