October 21, 2013

Another great week in Paradise. Things are absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, all 6 of our baptisms yesterday were pushed back a week :( , BUT we have an extra 6 marked for November. So even though we had a rough Saturday, The Lord immediately blessed us. He really does live, he really does love us, and he really is at the head of this work.
I was able to use a lot of the card, so thank you. I´m loving it herre. But remember when I said stuff was really cheap? I had no idea what I was talking about. Everything but fruit and meat is almost double the equivalent price in the U.S. A tiny box of cereal, (I´m talking pop-tart box size, and dont even get me started on pop-tarts) is 5 us. dollars. And milk here is sold warm, on the shelf, and it is incredibly expensive, and it tastes like cream cheese. So cereal is a no-go. But I´m eating really well. Lots of rice, beans, meat, fish, fruits and stuff. AND OH MY GOODNESS IT´S AMAZING. I´ve never had food this good in my lif......on my mission. It´s so amazing. We only have to worry about breakfast, the members do the rest for us. It´s AWESOME. Going from a place where you get fed once a week by the same person, to getting fed twice daily be the whole ward. Ah I love it. And I absolutely love and miss my old area, but this is just incredible.
And President Pinho is just incredible. He will be a twelve, mark my words.
But anyway, here are a few highlights of my week
Mon. (segunda) - Wallet issues / ladie laughing at my accent
Tues.(terça) - Ok, who´s homeless man is this?
Wed. (quarta) - 2 baptismal committments / I can´t sing
Thurs.(quinta) - running through the favela / gotta make it home on time
Fri. (sexta) -  Seriously, who´s homeless man is this?
Sat. (Sabado) - Baptism blues, WOOHOO! New investigators!
Sun. (Domingo) - Ok, this is getting annoying. WHO OWNS THIS HOMELESS MAN? / Church
Well now you have a little taste of the glory, see what it tastes like ( Nacho Libre, not being prideful)
Elder Smith

October 14, 2013

AHH BRASIL IS INSANELY AWESOME! I can´t even tell you everything it´s that great. We had a baptism last Saturday, 6 this Saturday, and 12 more for next month. Things here are so different. When we OYM, if people don´t committ to baptism right there on the street, we don´t teach them. Because we are teaching so may people there isn´t enough time in the week for people who aren´t the elect. But we get at least 1 or 2 solid committments a day.  We get fed lunch and dinner every single day. The ward meal roster is full, with backups, for every day of this month through November. We only spend around 30 minutes at each appointment. In my planner, every single slot has a name in it, even the backups. There isn´t a single blank box. It´s incredible. And my new trainer is absolutely amazing. I´ve been out longer than him, and he´s a convert of two years. I live with 3 other Elders, all of which are natives. So I´m picking the language up quickly, but it´s so stressful not being able to understand or say what you feel. But I´m picking it up quickly. The food here is absolutely incredible. And everything is super cheap. But, we dont get very much money. we get 130 reais, and its 2 reais to the dollar. We live in the middle of the favela. It´s completely insane. Drunk people passed out on the street, trash EVERYWHERE. The whole area smells like crap. But the people are humble as can be, because they have nothing.
I think tht´s just about everything. Oh, I can´t find my wallet. It could´ve been stolen. It had my temple recommend, my drivers license, my missionary credit card, and about 60 reais (equivalent to 30 dollars cash) But, it may turn up in the apartment. I was told not to worry about it. This hardly ever happens, but apparently it isn´t too big of a deal. I´m still freaking out though. My companion was saying ´´Elder, Elder, calm down, it´s all ok. Everything´s going to be fine. Everything will get replaced, you´ll get a new card, it´s all ok´´ but in Portuguese. I was so upset. But I´m good now. The church is still true.
But yes, things are great. I´m loving the people, we´re baptising like crazy, and the members couldn´t be more supportive. But \i´m getting WAY too much attention. After I bore my testimony in meeting sacrament this past sunday, after the meeting, about 7 people walked up to me and told me I resemble Joseph Smith. They said ´´you have to be related to him somehow´´. When I told them I was, but hardly, they all freaked out and wanted a picture with me. It was so wierd. Now, everytime I walk into a room in the church, someone says ´´Oi, mundo! O filho de José esta aqui´´! Super strange. And I had the priveledge(?) to baptise a young man on Saturday. His name is Vitor Smith Sanchez. He aked me to baptize him. It caught me off guard, but I was honored. It was such a spiritual experience. AND YES, I HAVE PICTURES.
Anyway, I don´t know the mission office address off the top of my cabeça, but I´ll send it soon.
Com Amor (e patos)
Elder Smeech (as they call me here)

October 9, 2013 Sao Paulo, Brazil

I´m in Brasil!!  It´s awesome here. i´m in the middle of the Favelas. It´s so crazy. My Trainer is awesome, he´s hardly been out longer than me, and it´s a struggle to communicate, but I love it. I can only understand about 50% of what people say, and it gets really frustrating. But, \i´m learning quickly, and the people are simply awesome. \we´ve already been fed twice. In tennessee, the entire mission baptized around 40 a month. Here, each companionship sets a goal to baptize about 30 a month. It´s crazy. This mission is the second highest in Brazil for Baptisms, but first for retention. It´s simply awesome. Every aspect of life is different. I´m in an apartment with 3 other missionaries, all of which are south American. I LOVE IT!
Anyway, just wanted to let you know I´m alive and well. I´ll send pictures on monday.
Com amor,
Elder Smith

September 30, 2013


So I got my visa, but guess what. I have poison ivy on my left eye. It sucks. I called the mission nurse,and she told me to go to the hospital. So i went yesterday, and I'm on steroids. Hope it goes away by next week. The meds are super draining, its rough. But I went to church and told everyone I'm leaving, and they all want to have us over before I go. So we have like 8 meal appointments this week. I wish they had been like that the whole time. But you'll be happy to hear that we'll be spending conference sunday with the YSA branch president, President Wolfley, and his family in their monsterously huge house on the side of the top of a mountain overlooking the super green Chattanooga valley. I'll send pictures.

Anyway, I miss you all and can't wait to call in a few days!