June 24, 2014


   Things are going great over here. We´re really happy. Right now, the Zone     I´m in (Embu) is generally known as the zone that baptizes little, because there´s a lot of jungle and much less people than the other zones. But we´re leading the mission in baptisms right now, having a ton of success. It´s such a great feeling when you see the arm of the Lord blessing the hard work and faith of missionaries you love so much. Our little zone of only 18 missionaries (one of the smallest in the mission) is working incredibly hard. My area is also going really well. Two weeks ago, we found a group of 4 young men, and invited them to church. We passed by on Sunday to take them to church, and they had invited 4 more. there was a whole bench just for our little army of kids. 3 of them will be baptized this Sunday, and we´re expecting around 30 people at this weeks sacrament meeting. 

   Unfortunately, I´m a little sick right now with the flu. So I´ll be resting today, and tomorrow back out to work. I hate it when I have to stay inside. I really do love this work, I love my area. So it stinks to have to stay home all day, but, I´ll be back out soon. My companion´s taking good care of me. I´ve been very blessed on my mission with good companions. I´ve learned a lot of patience, love, and humility. I hit 14 months today. The alarm went off, and it hit me. It´s scaring me to death to see the time fly by so quickly. I´m still nowhere close to being the man I want to be walking off the plane. But,I can sincerely say that I´ve changed so much. I know that this is the Savior´s true and only church. I know that I am doing his work. There´s a line in my Patriarchal blessing that says that as I serve as the savior did, the Christ-like attributes of love will be manifest in my daily walk. It says that through this love,I will be a friend and minister to my mission companions. I can see and feel this happening. I sincerely love those with whom I serve. I´d give my life for any one of these missionaries. I know that this time is limited, so I´m doing my best every day to take advantage of it. But what´s funny is that the harder you work, the faster the time goes by. 

   President Pinho ends his missionary service on Thursday of this week. Tomorrow we´ll have the last leadership council with him. It´s so sad to see him go, but President Dalton will be great. President Pinho took one of the lowest baptizing missions in Brazil, and turned it into the greatest. He´s like a father to me. But, we´ll still see him every once in a while. 



   But yeah, that´s my life right now. Só felicidade! 

Te amo!

Élder Smith

June 16, 2014


The World cup is crazy here. The streets are painted green, yellow and blue. The houses are also all painted. We´re not allowed to leave the house during the days that Brasil playe, which is once a week. It´s nuts during the games. The streets are completely silent, it looks like a ghost town. But when Brasil makes a goal, the whole city screams. Imagine being in the middle of New York, with every single citizen in their home yelling. Then multiply it by 50, and you have an idea. The Super Bowl doen´s even come close to being in the same league as the World Cup here. 

Well, I got transferred! I´m now in the zone Embu, which is the only remaining "interior" zone in the mission. Interior means  the outskirts. Theres a lot of jungle, trees, favela. But it´s also a normal city. But we´re gonna have to come by here when you come down. There´s a really old city here that every Saturday and Sunday opens up, and there´s a HUGE market on the streets. Hundreds of street vendors,  selling crazy cool things. It has that old rustic shop feel. It´s like what people do in the States, but real. It´s so cool. And the Zone is getting to new lvels too. The record in the Embu Zone for baptisms was 17 in a month. We still have 2 more Saturdays, and the Zone has helped 16 children of our Heavenly father enter that waters of batptism already. So things are going really well.

My new companion is also the bomb. His name is Élder Fernandes 
(Feh-nahn-jihs) . He´s an incredible missionary, and we have about the same time on the mission. So we work really well together. But yeah, life is good.

I´m not sure how much in the last sis months. But I´m really grateful. every preparation day I  want to write them, but there´s nev er time. I write a quick letter to yoiu, and then write my recent-converts for the rest of the time. But I´m pretty sure all of it gets here. I get a letter from Gma every 3 weeks just about. 

But, unfortunately my camera broke. I was on exchange, and my companion was showing the other elder how you can take photos under water. Probably something wasn´t closed, and it broke. So I´ll be without a camera. But I´ll take photos with my companions camera, and send them that way, no need to worry. 

Life is good, the sky is blue, and só batiza!

Com carinho.

Élder Smith                             

June 9, 2014

It´s alright, I´m not worried. But the package will be returned home to the mailing address. 

I´m excited for you guys. It´ll be fun.

I can´t believe Ave´s coming home. He left so little time before I did. 
It´s actually pretty cold here right now. When it´s summer there, it´s winter here, and vis versa. The climate flips south of the equator. So I´m freezing rather than burning! But, everythings great. I´m extremely sad to be leaving my companion, I recieved the transfer call this morning, so I´ll be off tomorrow morning to another Zone. But there´s an awesome phrase President Pinho says (and by the way, he´ll be leaving us on the 28th):  
"Saudades sim, remorso jamais!"
roughly translated, "Miss it? yes.Regrets? Never."

I am going to miss my area and my Zone like crazy. The missionaries here are family. You pray for them every night, seek revelation for them daily, and do all you can to help them have a happy and successful mission. And then you have to leave. It´s tough. But, I know that I left my area better then I found it. It was hard starting here. We whitewashed the area. There were no investigators, and the members weren´t to excited. But now, there are many investigators with dates set, and the members are super excited. It´s a great feeling. I did my best every day.

I´ll miss the baptism of an investigator we found last week. Sorry I´m so terrible about keeping you updated on things. Neusa, a 78-year-old lady, is maybe one of the most elect investigators I´ve ever seen. Usually, we don´t pay much attention to the old people. When we talk to them, it usually goes like this:
Me - Hello mam, I´m Elder Smith, this is my companion Elder Da Cruz. We´re         missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Lat...

Old lady - I´m a member of the "Missionary Evangelical Church of the Flaming                Crown Ministry of Bethlehem", thanks to the Lord. So before you                    waste your time, I will never visit your church, because Jesus is in                  all of them. There´s only 1 God, so it doesn´t matter what church                    you go to. The Church doesn´t save anyone..

Me - Ahh, alright then. Well mam we still would like to invite you to visit. We           testify that the very church that Christ estabelished is on the earth                 today. We also testify that you can know for yourself that this is true by         pray..

Old Lady - No, I won´t go. 

Me - Ok, Well, who do you know in the area that could use some peace and           comfort?

Old Lady - No, everyone already has their own religion. Bye, good afternoon

And last week, I said hi to an old lady, only to find out after that she was crazy. I said "Good Afternoon!", and she responded, screaming "GO TO HELL YOU FILTHY PIMP DRAGON!" And yes, she really did call me that. It was pretty funny.

But, for this reason we are a bit apprehensive in inviting older people. But Neusa is incredible. She loves the visits, and a few days ago we taught the word of wisdom. The only thing she had a problem with was coffee. But, she willingly compled to never drink it again. Later, she told us that the next morning, she went to drink a cup, but remembered that she couldn´t. She freaked out, and threw all of her coffee in the toilet. It´s been 5 days, and she has no more desire to drink it. The other day, she asked us if she could help clean the chapel and pay tithing. The faith of the Brasilian people is incredible. But, she´ll be baptised saturday. We have a few other investigators also to be baptized next week. But, I´m happy to have been able and permitted to play a part in their conversion. 

But yes, that is my week. 

Love you!

Elder Smith

June 2, 2014

The week went well. The Zone reported higher numbersw than we´ve seen in a while, so that is a reason to rejoice. With the New Mission President getting here soon, everyones scrambling to prepare the mission for him to arrive, so that the exchange will be easy and painless. I´m super sad to see President Pinho go. Like you said, it´s kinda like losing a father. He´s a fantastic man, who´ll do a lot of good for Brasil as a 70. 

And It´s my companions B-DAY today! I´m gonna use the rest of my money to make him a cake. Oh yeah, I learned how to cook! I don´t like it. Fast food´s way better. But fast food is something only rich people eat here. It´s kinda funny, McDonalds is an upper-clas restaurant here. It has an ambient really fancy, menus at every table, the waiters with fancy clothes, and everyone eats everything with a fork aqnd knife. A Big Mac is about the equivalent of 10 dollars. insane right? While the Brasilian barbeques that are so expensive there are cheaper than McDonald´s here. A good Brasilian churrasco is about 10 u.s dollars fo all-you-can-eat and natural fruit juice. SO AWESOME! 

So yeah, things are great here. I´m a bit sad, transfers are in a week, and I´ve been zone leader here for 3 transfers now. I´m probably gonna get kicked out and go to another zone. zone leaders here usually pass 2 or 3 transfers in an area before moving on. It´s sad, but I´m tryong not to think about it.

But yes, that´s my life. Pretty dang cool, eh?