Monday, June 25, 2012

Wk 99 - A week of Adventures


ponte estaiada

elder eberhardt, me, elder gardner, elder pohren, elder de los santos

--big pizza for the ward party

Irapoã, elder murray, me, and edney (our investigador)

Névia, Francis, and me

seconde, me and fransis from the ward (the two of them train jiu jitsu)

me, domingos and elder de los santos

our room.... hammocks

Area: Buenos Aires 
Companion: Elder De Los Santos

Thanks again for the updates on everyone and everything you have going
on.. as well as the pics were cool. I cant believe will is back now!
thats cool. Taylors got a pretty good beard goin too haha. I am really
trying to just hang in here for the next month and i still really want
to have success.... its gonna take some patience and hard work though.
I am hoping we can see some miracles here in the next weeks though.

What a week... when everyday is an adventure time seems to move a lot
faster... this past week went pretty fast. It all started on tuesday
where we had district meeting in the morning... i dont really like
them that much now cause i have to give the trainings and stuff... its
not too hard but i prefer to sit and listen than to be up talking.
Anyway i just talked a little about our mission purpose for training.
Our zone leaders were there as well because technically they are part
of my district too so they did a little training as well then we did a
division with them after the meeting. i ended up staying with elder
christian and we went to lunch and stayed together till the next day.
We had lunch at josé and fátimas which turned out pretty awesome. the
food was good then we taught them a little... it was actually fatima
that told us what she needs to do to get baptized..... i guess they
were only married in the catholic church by the father so they need to
get legally married (and we have planned for next tuesday to go with
them to the marraige office!... i hope it works out). We then dropped
elder christians stuff at home and went to Arlete. She is doing good
as well and if she could she would be baptized this weekend! but....
she needs to get married like i said before. she is now saying that
doesnt have enough money to pay for it... she said maybe by the 5th of
july she could pay for it... but like i said it takes at least 20
days.... so i would already be home.. its gotta be this week i think.
we did have a good talk about that then about the day of rest with
her. She understands everything, studies personally and is progressing
well. We then taught cleiton who is just kinda a hard head who doesnt
want to let himself understand the concept that this is the only true
church.... i feel like its that way with a lot of people. if they just
opened their mind to try and just UNDERSTAND why this is a true church
it would be a lot easier to understand the purpose of all this
missionary work... but thats our job. try to open their mind to
understand the WHY and so they can know the HOW TO follow. Kinda
interesting. We then went to visit jefferson but just ended up talking
to his mom. it is on a pretty ghetto street in the middle of the city.
there are lots of drugs and stuff there and lots of drunks, but its
nothing dangerous or anything. She is a humble lady and accepted well
the message and said that she´d go to church on sunday... but didnt...
aaahhhhh man that is probably the most annoying thing on the mission
but ya learn to deal with it. We did some street contacts that were
pretty cool then visited a couple of less actives, some new
investigators and one more less active house where not everyone in the
house is well all of these promised that they´d be at
church but only one of the people came... anyway it was a day full of
work and lots of stuff to do.

Wednesday after studies we traded back our comps. Elder christian is a
good guy, but im used to my comp and like the guy so i prefer to stay
with him haha. We had a fun lunch at fransis and névias who are
originally from fortaleza and he really likes fighting sports (boxing,
mma, ufc, moi tai, jiu jitsu) and trains for all of them haha he is a
stud. He told some pretty funny stories for us as well. anyway it was
a slow afternoon and the highlight of the day was at night visiting
the neighbor of kelly and ana karine. Her name is Luane and it was
awesome. I dont know really what we said but we talked about the
restoration and it was very very simple and we repeated a lot to make
sure she understood clearly... and she did so it was very cool. Anyway
the spirit was there and i felt very good after the visit... but once
again she didnt come to church...

Thursday morning there was something kinda crazy that happened. pres.
dias decided to do one last crazy transfer before he left. He traded
the secretaries and a lot of people went out. so elder gardner went to
sobral, elder eberhardt went to campo maior and elder santos to são
luis. As always, i stayed here with my comp and elder tenorio. Elder
augusto who was the last secretary came back to be once again the
financial secretary and elder rais is the new executive secretary...
they are cool guys so its chill... and they put the hammer down so our
house is super clean now which is kinda nice. there is another elder
that came back to the mission that is living with us as well... elder
chagas. Well that was the start to the day. We had lunch at Jeans
which was nice. He gave me the cards, pics and candy!! thanks a bunch
it was all super good.... mom you know me too well. Peanut m&m´s,
sweedish fish, starbursts, candy necklaces... good stuff. He also
showed me some of the pics of what was goin on there and they were
pretty cool. haha he really likes tayton. Anyway he then was gonna
give us a ride back to our area but we ended up goin pretty far to a
funeral viewing with him.... it was interesting but i felt very
thankful for having the plan of salvation in my life and for knowing
what happens after this life. There was a lot of sad people, even
though it was an old lady, it was an all of a sudden thing and just
left everyone shocked..... it is nice to have the comfort of the
gospel. We taught arlete a little later about the law of tithing and
as always she accepted well and that was it. She just needs to pay for
the wedding and she´ll be baptized. We visited jose and fatima later
and just a quick talk about how the Lord blesses us when we keep his
commandments and we just told them that there are promised blessing
waiting for them... so it was just a simple visit.

Friday we had lunch then had to book it back to the chapel for a
meeting with president dias. We had our last GOOD-BYE meeting with him
and his family. It was a cool meeting and all of his 5 kids bore a
testimony and it was nice. They gave us all a mission t-shirt as a go
away gift. We then visited josina and again she said she´d go to
church.. but didnt. We also visited Ribamar who lives by domingos. So
domingos came with us and we just read mosiah 2:41 that talks about
how if we keeps gods commandments we will be happy and blessed in all
things. We just talked about how God keeps his promisses and invited
him to church but just like the rest, he didnt come.

Saturday we had lunch at Domingos then had to grab a bus to get to the
area of the zone leaders to do baptismal interviews. I had to
interview a little girl named joana who was pretty cool. She is 8
years old and has an older sister in the church. Then we had to walk
all the way back to the area of elder murray and elder soares de souza
from my district as well to do an interview for them... They are both
new guys but good guys and i feel bad cause when we got to the house
he told us he didnt want to get baptized anymore.... but i talked to
him anyway and just left a chapter for him to read and tried to help
him gain a testimony of the restoration.. he is the bishops nephew so
hopefully he´ll get a little support, but as well didnt go to church
on sunday.... we had a ward activity so after that we ended up going
there to help out cause there was a little competition of who could
bring the most investigators... unfortunately it didnt help us too
much cause we didnt get the address of anyone we didnt know already,
but there was a good guy there that we´ve known for awhile and we got
some pizza to eat afterward.

Sunday was alright. Church in the morning was good and arlete came! i
called her and she got there a little late, but she came so i was
happy. We had a good lunch but it was far and the afternoon was slow
but we did go to arlete´s a little later and talked about the
baptismal interview and she is so ready to be baptized, we just need
to get her married... we´ll start talking to her spouse this week to
see if we can get him to church cause he is already willing to get
married. We had a great lesson as well with Alcione at domingos´s
house with him and his sister edinalva and marcyjane that me and elder
lima baptized way back when i arrived here. We had a good spirit there
as we talked a little about the plan of salvation and specifically
about the gospel of jesus christ and we simply just asked if she
wanted to have a promise with God that if she is faithful to him she
will recieve an everlasting and eternal happiness... she said yes so
we invited her to be baptized and she accepted... if its not next
sunday it will be on saturday the 7th... So that was the end to our
hectic week. There was a lot done and hopefully we can get a few more
people ready for baptism.. Just gotta keep on swimming! im still here
and doing well. Trying my best to stay strong and this week was a lot
better than last week.. so lets keep going!

Love ya,

Elder Smoot

Monday, June 18, 2012

Wk 98 - Just another week

the birthday cake (thanks domingos)
me and elder de los santos
they started a cake fight...

in the church tower
-The church with elder deaver and elder byington and pereira

-the stairs

under the bell

me, e. deaver and e. byington

-me and the comp from outside the church 
-e. deaver, e. de los santos, eu, e. byington

last pic with e. robertson



-playin on domingos´s bike... man i miss my bike

some guys on the bmx ramps... i saw them ridin so i had to go see it
for myself

Area: Buenos Aires 
Companion: Elder De Los Santos

Well sounds like baseball just never stops!! thats good to hear that
my bros are doin well though.. im ready to hit up the weight room a
little bit with jade.. i just hope i can keep up with him. Glad to
hear that summer is in full gear, hopefully you can get done what you
are wantin to mom... if not, ill be home in a little over a month to
help out ;)

Well as you know, im still in the same area... same comp. but my comp
is cool so its all good. but My week, like yours, just tooookkk
fooorrreeevvveerrrr... the week was light the engergizer bunny. just
kept going and going and going. haha just kidding. i dont know why
there was just a lot that happened during the week. Monday night we
did a visit then went to Domingos´s house for family night and he had
a cake and food and pop there and we had a little party... he started
rubbing cake in my face which was kinda funny then he got my comp. it
was him and the other member junior that were gettin us. anyway
domingos is the man. He also gave me a cool present of a switch blade
knife, binoculars, and a flashlight... Lets just say that he has been
a true friend to me as im here in this area. he also helps a lot doing
visits with us and giving us references. anyway, that night we had all
the elders in our house that were leaving the mission... a lot of them
were my good friends and some people i spent some time with on the
mish... for example elder robertson, elder donizeti and elder almeida.
there was a bunch of them in my room and sitting on my bed and they
busted my bed and there was someone sleeping in my hammock so i slept
with the mattress on the floor, but it was a long night.

Tuesday was officially my birhtday.. but it was like no other birthday
ive ever had. We got a wake up call at 6 30 am as president and sister
dias walks into our house. Luckily i was up and going but i ran back
to wake up a couple of the elders to give them a heads up that
president was there.  anyway he and sister just said our house was a
peice of trash and made us clean everything and throw out a lot of
stuff. we cleaned till about 11 and then they came back to do a last
check-up. Sister came and said i needed to fix the bed but threw out
the peice of wood that was broken so since then ive been sleeping in
the hammock. the pres and sister dias still dont know that it was my
birthday that day.. We finally got out to lunch just dead tired cause
of the night before the people leaving were up late and the early wake
up call, but we had a good lunch then went out to do our visits... it
was probably the least exciting day of the week, but its already over
so thats good. We visited arlete, then spent an hour and a half trying
to find an address, and when we found it the guy wasnt there, so we
talked to a neighbor that was pretty cool named jefferson. It is a
pretty rough area to live, but he was a humble guy that wants help to
stop doing drugs. We visited domingos then went home and elder deaver
and elder byington (that have been at our house because of medical
reasons) had bought me a cake to eat so that was cool.

Wednesday we got lunch money so we bought stuff to make tacos and
pizza. I made the tacos that in the end turned out pretty good, but my
comp made pizza that was pretty good. When we were leaving the new
greenie missionaries got there and two of them are in my district
(elder lima went to araguaína... furthest area in the mission) and
they didnt know where they lived, so i took the bus with them and
helped them get into their house and know a little of where their area
is. It is elder murray (from cali and has 6 months on the mish but
only 6 weeks in brasil) and elder soares de sousa who just arrived.
Anyway, we walked back and talked to cleiton. We talked really
directly with him and pretty much he just said he doesnt want to
change religion, but who knows maybe with a little time and
understanding he can change that. We talked to arlete again and also
talked with her daughter and grandchildren a little.

Thursday we had lunch cancelled so we made pizza cause it was good...
well my comp made it. And we made a fruit salad with bananas,
strawberries, and apples. It was pretty dang good. Elder Deaver and
byington were still in our house so we made it together for all of us.
 We had another decent day talking with jefferson again. we went to go
try his neighbor who was who we were looking for the first time and we
heard from them that he had been stabbed that morning by his son and
was in the hospital... pretty messed up. So we had a good talk with
jefferson about the restoration. We also visited a family that we
contacted the other day in the street and the man wasnt home but we
had a cool conversation with the mom. It is interesting now that i
realize how easy it has been for me to talk with someone. get where
they come from and try to help them understand this doctrine from the
knowledge they have... it is just flowing a lot better and i realize
that is a big blessing after being on the mission for a while.

Friday we had lunch at domingos then after he came to visit some
people with us. We visited arlete and talked about following the
living prophet and it turned out to be pretty cool. she recieved a
liahona of last years conference so it was easy for her to see what
the prophet does and teaches. She also bore a very simple testimony of
the book of mormon. She has been studying a little and said that ´it´s
just like the bible!´ she pretty much said that someone that says they
dont believe in the book of mormon but believes in the bible just say
that cause they havent read it!! and its true. the doctrine is the
same and the purpose is the same. Anyway, cool experience. We also
visited a new family of 4 sons and a mom that live there. We talked
about the plan of salvation and it was good because she really wanted
to know what is this life after death like... it answers well in alma
ch. 40. so it was also a good opportunity to show her the book of

Saturday we had a good lunch again and we were close to raquel´s house
so we stopped by there. She is the same as always. i just asked her if
she has learned anything with our visits and she said lots of things
but cant really say what... it is a challenge to help people become
agents and not just be objects... or in other words to act for
themselves to try and understand this stuff instead of hearing lessons
and just learning some interesting facts. to hear it is one thing, to
DO IT is another. We are DOERS not listeners... like it says in James.
we talked to cleiton once more. we talked very directly about
priesthood authority and just told him to pray about it... which he
probably didnt do cause he didnt come to church on sunday. Later we
visited Domingos´s neighbors with him who i contacted the other night.
They listened well and it was a good conversation... but that was the
end of our day.

Sunday we had church and Alcione was our only investigator there...
she was a reference from domingos but doesnt have much time to hear
the lessons because she doesnt want us at her house because of the
lady that lives with her and doesnt like us and she works and
studies... but it was cool to see her at church after our last visit.
The lady that was gonna make lunch for us had forgotten so again
domingos invited over to eat with him and his family... he is the man.
he works for the army and supports his whole family and a couple of
other people that live there with him. He then went out with us to do
visits and we taught a man named diesse (or jesse) who we contacted on
friday i think. He was a good guy and listened well.. we´ll have to go
back to see if he prayed or anything. We did a couple of contacts but
the only ones i talked to said they had been to church already and
gave up because they liked to drink beer too much... then some other
girls that wanted nothing to do with the church and we went to arlete
who didnt go to church, but she wasnt home so again... its been like
this for a while and it just seems like everything is falling in
pieces... i would really like to have some success these last weeks
but im not finding the light of day... just keep on swimming.

So it was a long week, but we made it. I am trying to hold on but
everyday is just getting harder and harder because of how long ive
been here.. but dont worry im still fine and holdin on tight. I´ve
been a little sick this week with a cold.. just really wanted some
nyquil to knock me out a couple of nights but they dont have it
here... anyway, hope you are all doing well and hopefully this next
week can be better than the last. love you,

Elder Smoot

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wk 97 - One year older and hopefully a little wiser too....

sunset in Teresina

-me and the sunset
my friend arthur from parnaiba leaving on the mission

me and elder de los santos at the wedding

my new car... kinda

Area: Buenos Aires 
Companion: Elder De Los Santos

Hey again... well thanks for the birthday wishes... i guess im gettin
kinda old huh? wierd. well yeah i am not sure i have any special plans
for the b day... i think im just gonna do what i always do haha. I
will buy myself ice cream today or something.... sounds good. But it
was good to hear about the week and everything. summer days are always
good ones. i really want to do some yard work im telling you i really
hope that doesnt change when i get home. It is always good to hear
from the family and all especially being so far away. I think i really
realized the value now of everything that i had at home, and
especially after a temple dedication and having the reminder that we
have an eternal family.

It was a long week until the weekend... which was pretty funny because
its usually a slow weekend. Tuesday we had a lunch after district
meeting super far away and it took forever to get back, but it was
suuupperr good cause we ate some good pizza. We did have one cool
experience though is because we were at a members house a little later
and her nephew is 12 and said he wanted to be taught. so we had a cool
conversation with him... just one thing is that he lives in the area
of elder lima and donizeti because he didnt live with his aunt.... so
bummer, but it was still cool.

Wednesday we had another great lunch at francisco andrade´s house and
he makes a lot of food... but let me explain to you my diet. EAT AS
MUCH AS POSSIBLE EVERY DAY. the members love it when you eat a lot of
their food so it is a battle every day to eat a lot.... but just so
you know i eat more than my comp so i think im gettin quite a bit of
food in me. But as well dont worry, we do exercises in the morning so
its all been good. We had a different experience that afternoon. we
got invited to go to a language school to talk to some people in
english and spanish. the english class was very new so they didnt
understand much, but the spanish class was really cool because they
understand a lot more and asked lots of questions about the church..
hopefully something good will come from it. We visited a couple of
people and talked to an old man in the road that didnt go anywhere but
we are trying to find some success in this area.

Thursday we had some extra people at our house and some that got there
at 3 am and came into my room... man its been tough to sleep lately
and ive been exhausted because of it.... But we had a good day still.
we had lunch at sister sonia´s which is a good lady from the ward and
lives with a large family and 4 sons and has a son on the mission that
gets home a week before me.. so its fun to talk with that family. We
had a tough day, but later found a less-active family that has some
friends that arent members so we taught them a little then went to the
church for a members wedding. they asked us to come becuase there were
many non-members there, but the wedding went to late so we were just
there at the start and didnt get to watch, but they gave us some food
on teh way out :).

Friday we still had some extra people in the house which was elder
deaver (the humble giant... great guy) elder byington (he´s been sick
and needs to do some exams... great guy as well though and is elder
deavers comp) and elder taylor and elder pereira... so its been pretty
packed at home. We had a great lunch at domingos and after he did
splits with us.. i went with domingos and my comp went with another
member. We visited his friend alcione. We had a good lesson and
watched the restoration short movie... it was good and i think she has
a lot of potencial to progress because of her friends from the church.
We visited a young man that i contacted a few weeks ago, but this time
we talked to his 3 brothers and mom.. it was a good talk and we´ll
have to go back there to see how things are going. We talked to a
couple more people about prayer and it was an overall good day. we met
back up with my comp and got some food then went home.

Saturday we had a good lunch at the furtados house.. the mom is
sisters with sonia and she as well has a son on the mission.. so it
was good. We then went straight to miltons to see how he was doin..
his wife had her baby so he was dead tired but we talked quickly about
prophets and left a liahona magazine for him to read about the modern
day prophet thomas s monson. We visited ana virginia and she was doing
better and we tried to visit a couple others but it didnt work out. we
saw the game ending of brasil and argentina which was funny because
everyone was saying to my comp that argentina would loose... but
brasil lost and everyone was a little upset with my comp after that.
We visited carol and mateus´s family to end the night. we got home
tired and my comp got beat on by the brasilians haha guess soccer is
pretty important here.

Sunday we had an awesome day.. it went way better than i thought. We
had a member buy pizza´s that we cooked and then took off to the
dedication at 1. It was a cool dedication with pres. uchtdorf and
quentin l. cook. There was a lot of good talks and it reminded me a
lot of the peace and happiness that we feel in the temples. it was a
good reminder and something that i have missed a lot here on the
mission. i hope it works out dad for us to go to all the temples in
utah. After the dedication we went to domingos´s house to teach
alcione. She is pretty quiet but we had a great lesson about the book
of mormon. She understood well and when you see that they understand,
it makes you really happy. That was a great lesson and after that we
taught arlete.. .we have been trying to find her at home the whole
week and she was never there so i was getting a little worried that
she was hiding from us, but we talked to her sunday and it was
awesome. we also talked about the book of mormon and the spirit was
there and it was just awesome. She said that she knows the book of
mormon is true and we explained it a little more and you could see the
lightbulb just click in her head. she kept saying that if the bible is
true, so is the book of mormon...and i firmly believe in that as well.
We had a last visit (and domingos was still with us throughout the
afternoon) at raquel. She was doing ok but crying a little about the
plan of salvation. I felt really good about that lesson as well and
hope that she understood well that day. we talked for quite a bit and
i dont know.. i felt good about it.

Well it was a decent week... i still havent heard anything about
transfers, but i will hear a little later to day whats goin on. Thanks
for the pics, the videos and the birthday wishes. Have a good one!
love you.

Elder Smoot