Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Transfer 9 week 1

Was hoping i would have another six weeks to work in Julio, but looks like God has another plan for me! Im being transfered to Banderantes, my new comp is 4 month Sister V. Morais. I am looking forward to learn with and from her, I hear she is hard worker and knows her scriptures well. She is more timid, but im sure we´ll find things to joke about.
It was great to see ya´ll yesterday, was the best christmas ever,
its was white. WHite with the baptism of Alexandre! and his family was there so it was good. His grandma Euredes said that she´d like to visit church with Alexandre. the zone leaders got switched into Julio and so i gave Elder Conceição the stare down....take care of Alexandre and baptise his family, ya hear?! It will be good for him to have some priesthood examples in hhis life, bishop wants him to be recieving the office of a deacon really quick.
will talk to ya next week!
happy new year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

transfer 8 week 6

hello family and friends!
This week has been another week of interesting experiences, We are working with 13 year old Alexandre who has a baptism date for Christmas day. He is really excited and getting involved with the ward. He is trying to make changes in his life, as he was a street kid for a while. Some members helped him get his biked fixed up so he bikes the long ride to the church almost everyday to play ball with the youth or whatnot. ITs hard for his family to believe that he is actually being honest about where he is at, as he´d been a kid playing in the streets and never saying where he is at. The gospel changes people. Thats for sure.
So friday our neighbors who are members of the Assembly church invited us to their secret friend night. It was quite the experience. Moises was really cool about us ´mormons´ he thanked us for being present and explained a little about our work for the people there. We for our thank you sang a hymn. but before we sang they said the prayer. I say they because their church prays differently thank ours. One person begins to pray aloud and then everyone prays at the same time; it super confusing because it becomes to the point when people are shouting and you just dont understand anything. Then after the prayer we sang. Okay, so honestly we are not good singers, i could say we are close to terrible. Nothing anyone would pay to see. But the spirit was with us and helped us to sing. Like sister Lima, she was shocked that she was able to sing the soprano part and not get lost or loose the notes. The last verse the spirit was especially strong. IT was a night and day difference between their prayer and our hymn. AFterwards sister Lima heard one of the youth say, wow they sing so good!

So we hear stories about dogs chasing missionaries....well i hadnt ever heard of a dog going after a sister missionary so i decided the doggies just like elders.
That was wrong. There is an evil black and white dog that has tried to bite me three times, the third time he almost got my leg, left a small hole in my skirt where his nasty teeth caught hold. thank goodness sister chatwin had her waterbottle of power to hit him!

The great Apostacy still continues to this day. We met a pastor of an Assemblian church this week too. What i found extremely interesting is how he started off bashing other churches, saying how other churches do false healings and so have their church to get money. That so many people are being confused by false teachings. I said to him, well, as it says in matt 24 in the last days even the elect will be confused. He then said that he didnt hold a lot of stock in profecies, just faith in Christ. yep. So to show how he practices what he preaches, he gave us his card for us to give to our pastor to call him to come preach in our church and he wont charge us. And if we have any deaf or blind or those who cant walk, he will heal them. He is preparing to resssurect the dead too. Then suddenly he begins to pray and after the prayer looks at me and says with in this week you will recieve a vision as a answer to the prayers you have been seeking.
whooeeeyyyyyy. First, everything you said is hypocritcal to your first statements. And second, you dont have any authority over me to recieve revelation for my life. But thanks anyway.
Everyday you see something different, thats for sure.
The church is true, God is in charge. We just got to be obedient and share the gospel with others.
Love ya´ll
Merry Christmas, FELIZ NATAL!!
amo voces,

transfer 8 week 5

Christmas Christmas time is here, time for joy and time for tears.
we´ve been good but we can´t last, hurry Christmas hurry fast!

So thats kinda our favorite song here in the house, gotta sing it with the voices of the chipmunks.
This morning i made a video to send for my weekly letter home, but what do you know? I bring everytiung
I need to the lan house other than my camera.
but I probably need to learn how to zip a file so I can actually send it to you thourg emailo.

So we had our christmas/zone conference this week that was totaly awesome. We got to watch some
clips of mormon tab and from the prophet too. I just love how sincere and inspired our leaders are.

Its interesting to see how much this work truly is the Lord´s and how much we need to follow the spirit.
As we had switched areas this transfer, sister Lima and I are still getting to know all the neighborhoods
in our area. We went to one that is pretty much close to the end of the world, is over an hour´s walk to get there.
our first time there we were looking for a less active. the street she lives on i didnt even know was a street.
the houses dont even hardly have numbers. we only found one person in the front of her house and she wasnt
all that friendly. This last thursday we had divisions with our zone leaders and i decided to try that street again
to find that member. we ended up encountering three families. one of which when we retuned the next day, the
grandson Allesandre was there. He didnt seem to be paying alot of attention to our lesson but at the end he asked
us about baptism, why its important. Really the whole time we were teaching the plan of salvation, it just want feeling
like it was the right thing to be teaching. in the middle of the lesson the thought was, you need to talk about baptism.
but being the orderly ignorant person i am, i retorted to myself, how am I going to talk about baptism in the middle of this lesson? i have no idea how i would switch to that topic with out it being weird. Well, even though i was denying the spirit, the spirit spoke to that 13 yr old boy and we ended up finally teaching what he needed. He has his date marked for Christmas day, as he said, the best Christmas present I could have; He loved church. He said he didnt know how to explain why he liked it; just that is was different than any other church he visited, ´´´there is no comparasion´´ is how he put it. His life is difficult; abandonment, drugs, lots of things but he wants to change.
if you want to change, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will definaitely do that. If you are willing to do your part.
I love this work, I love this gospel. This church is perfect, as it was organized by the only One who is Perfect.
Merry Christmas, Feliz Natal ya´ll!
So what are the christmas plans? I kinda would like to know what hour will be better for the phone call for christmas, i can call either the 24th or 25th, Irma Neide is letting us use her computer that has skype and we will be there christmas day, but i dont know what hours you have church and stuff; so let me know what hour would be good and I will call the day before to get things organized better. We have a whole hour to talk with our families, President authorized!!!
love kristin

Monday, December 5, 2011

week 4 transfer 8

THis week has been flying by! we have been working with a few families so hopefully we will be able to help some more people make the convenent of baptism in the incoming weeks. I have been learning alot more about diligence and faith, and listening to the whisperings of the spirit. SEriously, the things we learn on the mission we take into our lives. we are working with an 8 year old girl, Rafaela. Oh my gosh. The moment we met, I just have had this feeling that I have to help her be baptised. She is such a speciall little girl, and she wants so much. I could tell she wants to be part of the church before she even said anything, I could see it in her eyes, practically begging to be invited to be baptised. We were able to teach a lesson with her aunt (A member) and her brother (member less active) and mom (penticostal). Matilde (mom of her) said, hey its your choice not mine, and during the lesson Rafaela spoke up. ´´I have my answer, I will be baptised.´´ immdeately Matilde said No. Never has the word No cut my soul so deeply as it did. I failed to hide my tears. We talked more with Matilde about her doubts and talked alot about the true power of priesthood and profets and she began to soften. Now its in her hands to do her part to pray. We will conitnue working with them, I cant stop, those eight year old eyes will haunt me for the rest of my life If I dont help her. We are wroking with the mom of a recent convert. She loves the church, from the two visits she has had. She likes that we learn there and that it is peaceful. Her experiences with other churches she has had spirits enter into her so she stoped going to churches. She isnt married so we haave to work with that too. We finaily we able to go to her house (its pretty much the end of the world where she lives...dirt road and then take the path through the trees...its a beautiful farm) Zelia, her daughter told me last night that I will be the one to help her mom. I hadnt noticed, but Mercedes always almost cries when i am around. She had a baby girl die and somehow I remind her of her little girl, i have her face. ( I always knew there had to be a reason I have a child´s face!) We are trying so hard to find people who are ready to accept the gospel. Another woman we met in a part of our area i have never been to. I lost our map and so i said lets ask those women and talk about the church. We ended up sitting down and teaching the message of the REstoration and Elza accepted the invite to be baptised. She has been reading teh pamplets and parying and really looking forward to going to church. She totaly recognizes that the apostacy happened. Its a great privelgde and responsiblity to work with all these special people. Just got to live up to it!
Love you all,
photo 1: a thank you box i made for elder luz. we have a joke about me and maybe one time there was a situation similar to the drawing i made....
photo 2: the scary green dress we found in the house......yikessss
photo 3> sister feirra and I....celbrating one year of mission with açai!! yummmm

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Week 2 Transfer8

JACA!!!!!!!!! Our neighbors are awesome, last week Moses brought me a jaca, I´d heard so much about that fruit from Sister Morais, and seen it in the streets of Cuiabá but they were never ripe, until now. So Im pretty sure starburst use this flavor, thats what it reminds me of is a starburst. I will miss very much the fruits in the streets, you really just cant go hungry walking down the road, between the jaca, manga, e acerola. Our new zone is pretty darn awesome, my zone leader from two transfers ago, elder conceição got transfered to here, so ive been pretty pumped to work with him again. Okay, so he´s probably been my favorite zone leader here in brasil; he´s funny and hardworking. Sunday was one of the best scrament meetings ever; it was all done by the primary, it being the primary presentation. I´ve never been in a primary presentation that I can rembmeber the spirit being so strong that almost everyone in the audience was crying and so were the children. It was a super neat experience; the primary did all the prayers and even played the hymns and lead the music. When it ended, everyone was joyfuly embracing. I imagined thats what a meeting in the Celestial Kingdom will be like. Our training with Elder Bednar was so wonderful. Like it was nothing like you could imagine. It wasnt a talk, and it was completely lead by the spirit. It was a pattern for teaching as we learned. I learned alot of things to do better in my teaching. Elder Bedar was direct and to the point about everything and did a lot of questions. Thats how we learn, durrrh.. And he left an hour or two open just for us to make questions for him. One elder stood up and said he had a question from his mom, his family lives in an area of manaus where the church is really isolated and she´d never have such an opportunity. Her question was what is it like to be at the side of President Monson. Bednar spoke about how Monson stops and talks with everyone and is so full of love. Its incredible. I got more of a sense of the responsiblity my nametag holds; Elder Bednar spoke of how we truly are doing things in the name of Christ, and that if we fail to help someone progress who could have, we are under condemnation. This work is urgent. Heavenly Father wants all His children return to Him. This work isnt just part time, or just for missionaries. The work of sharing the gospel is a full time calling for all of us. If we are not seeking opportunities to share with others, we are failing our life mission. Its not just to get yourself back home, but get your family. And if it is that we are all children of God, we are all family. And so we must do what we can to bring our brothers and sisters the opportunity to recieve and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this work. I love our Family. Have a great week everyone, ya´ll are in my prayers. Kristin ps. photos 1 and 2: jaca photo 3: my ´´cousin´´ elder smith from WY photo 4 sister smith, sister lima, sister fierra, sister chatwin THE AWESOME SISTERS OF JUCA!

Monday, November 14, 2011

transfer 8 week 1

okay, so I just spend a lot of time trying to send my letter to president, sometimes applications fail to work properly.
so just want to say I love you all very much!
its raining like crazy today!
I have been doing splits with sister chatwin and I have been very bad and talking alot of english with her.
didnt realize how much I missed speaking in my native tounge!
the week in photos:
photo 1: last monday. the sky here is beautiful
photo 2: im sister cinderella tuesday
photo 3: elder chictchury turns 22! i did the one on the end, with the elder barfing.
photo 4: today! in the rain!
photo 5: baptism of Zelia, shes awesome

Transferencia 7 semana 6

I can´t believe we are already on our last week of this transfer! the last few weeks have been kinda difficult, as sister chatwin has been really sick, we have been doing splits so I have been working with her in my area, but she hasnt had the strenght to work more than a few hours each day. Its amazing though how even when your best isnt enough, God always makes up for the rest of it and sees what it was. Like I was really thinking all our numbers would be low for church, few recent converts, no less actives, no investigators. We had three recent converts and 5 less actives at church, our efforts with our less actives paid off! The neat thing is through these less actives we are finding more people to teach, finding families who are only part members. I really am praying that this week sister lima and I can come across a miracle and have a baptism this week. This work is not easy; sure the baptism rate is higher in brasil than in other places, but we work so hard to get these people to understand and to feel and to accept the gospel. I have to admit when I was coming here leaving lousiana, I had the terrible misconception that the work would be easier. I know that I work a whole lot harder than I did in my previous mission. When you know it is possible to baptise weekly, you have that in your mind, that if you dont find someone, you truly are wasting the Lord´s time, you are failing your purpose as a missionary. I think this week has been my mid-mission crisis. Not that I know everything of how to be a missionary, heaven forbid I would ever think that, but I have had the training, and I know what more or less should be done, and the language isnt as big as a set back as it once was; so why am I struggling so hard to find people to teach? find people to invite? find people to baptise? I have had to do a lot of thinking this week, have had more time to think as I havent been able to work like normal. I still don´t know the answers, but there is one thing I do know. That God loves me. And because He loves me, He makes me struggle on my own sometimes so that I can turn to Him. I have learned that if you ask something, with only thinking of doing His will, and then do all that you can to try and attain it, God will give it to you. But if you arent willing to go all the way and just a little bit further, you aren´t going to land where you want.
Last night after closing our numbers, the sisters of julio de castilho let off some stress and had a blast.
So it started with drawing a tear drop one sister and it ended up with hitler mustaches and a fashion show.
Best night on the mission ever, well, funnest night ever. I dont think I have laughed so hard in a long time. I will be sending some pictures soon of that little event. hope it gets there in time for christmas!
oh and I finaly got that second package if I forgot to mention, THANK you for all the little goodies., we enjoyed much of the peanut butter last night. :)
photo 1. sister lima and I
photo 2. orelhão: phone booth!
photo 3. my mini foot with the grande hand of my comp.

semana 5 transferencia 7

can i just say this transfer is flying by? like what the heck here! I have plans that time just doesnt want to give room for. Im pretty excited for this night of proselytismo, we are having a family home evening night with some members who are inviting non member friends and we are bringing some young men who the elders referred to us whom they´d contacted in the street. (AND we are going to eat tapioca. tapicoca isnt like pudding here, its more like a fluffly tortia that you can serve sweet or salty. I didnt like it the first time, but I love it now, Sister Lima learned how to make it so I´ve gained a good two pounds off of the treats she makes.)
Its so wonderful to work with the members, im starting to know where members live and which are open to helping out so our work with members should improve. We had a special meeting this week with president oliveira were we learned better techniques to work with members active and less active, we are working alot with less actives to find new people to teach. We have new neighbors that we drank terreré with them this past week and invited them for church (terére is like an herbal tea that is cold and you use a filtered straw to drink. its like the typical thing to drink here) and saturday night they passed by and knocked on our door to say they´d be going with us the next morning! yay! we were nervous they would cancel because of the rain, but they went and liked the meeting. they are pretty strong in their own religion, but hey, if hearts are open, the holy spirit can testify of the truths we are sharing.
THis truly is the work of the Lord, just hope that I dont get in the way too much of alowing the work to be done through me.
love sister smith

Week 4 transfer 7

I just finished reading the book of mormon, I read almost the whole thing in portuges. I wanted to read it a second time in the language, but I decided to try the bible. its more difficult but I need to have more of a testimony of the bible. seriously, I dont feel the same about the bible as I do the book of mormon. bom, im only going to read the new testament and then return to the book of mormon. The old testament is difficult enough in english!
We had a suprise transfer this past week too, one of our visa waiters finally recieved her visa, so sister sorensen went to durados (i hope that will be my next area after here) and sister fernandes is ``training`` sister chatwin. Poor little thing, she got really sick yesterday. I think its a combination of the hot sun (she left new hampshire, it was cold there) and the heavy food. I honestly never had problems with the food, but i think thats because im used to eating good, its part of being a kunz, right? hearty food and hard labor!
This week has been a really good week, im loving working with sister Lima. She has a golden heart, and she helps me to see the tender mercies God me gives each day. We have had some good little experiences together that has really got the fire in my heart turning into a bonfire for this work. IT was funny, saturday sister Lima asked me if we will run next week. And I said, yes, will will run to find our baptisms. Ela started to laugh, não, como run for our exersizes in the morning. oh. yeah... I want miracles and more amazing experiences, so I cant really help it if the only thing i think about is baptism. I definately have developed a testimony about baptism, its not something you wait for. With out baptism, we are hell bound, really we are. now if people would just understand how important it is to have the right authority... I know that after the death of Christ and His Apostolos the authority to preach and baptise in the name of Christ was taken off the earth, and wasnt re established until Joseph Smith recieved it of peter james and john. How fortunate am I to have had this knowldge my whole life and now to be able to share it with others. Its so clear to me that this is Gods work, and this is God´s Kingdom on earth, when I feel the spirit testify so strongly to me and to those who listen to Joseph´s experience in the sacred grove. I am so grateful for those tender mercies Heavenly Father gives to me that lets me know that I am making a difference in someone´s life, or that I am being an instrument in His hands. I dont want to think about that day when I will be released from this calling, I know that I will miss these feelings very much.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Transfer 7 week 3

thanks everyone for the happy birthday wishes.
I had a good birthday, my zone suprised me with a cake and stuff in the chapel (okay, so I was suspecting something when everyone was acting all fishy during the week with odd phone calls requiring my companion to leave the room and the sudden ``emergency meeting in the chapel``) But it was good. And even better is yesterday we had a baptism, of a dear old lady, donna Maria. Her granddaughter had been baptised a few months past and the sisters had been working with her for a while, but she finally decided to test the water. Literally, I think her biggest concern was if the water would be cold. okay, we tried to get hot water, but it just didnt give. The water was cold, but not ice cold. and it was really neat, we had one of the young men in the ward perform the baptism, our bispo here is really great about getting involved, getting the ward memebers involved. Its sad how many inactives we have, this area is small. Our goal this week is to assign a street to every day to visit members on that streeet. We did that on thursday and we found a family really neat, they were baptised in 2007 , the mom, and two sons. the father isnt a member, he has big problems with drinking so we (sister Lima and I) want to help this family during our time together. THe area here is realyl different, people arent as friendly as in Cuiabá and its more suburb, so youdont see as many people on the streets so we are going to focus our efforts on getting referrals from members. Referrals from members is like 95% more effective than street contacting. But everyone needs a chance to hear the gospel. some need it a few more times than others. IF there is one thing I could say I have learned this week is to not get discouraged. The numbers for my companionship have been low, and where we both were tranfsered in not knowing the area, its easy to feel frustrated. But its no excuse; the Lord will help us no matter what circumstance we are in if we do all that we can to seek Him, and be happy while we are doing it. Im the old lady of the sisters here in Julio de Castilho, so im really trying to be a good example to them and have patience. Rumor has it that an apostle will be visiting next month. I wont say more than this because tecnhically I shouldn´t know, but dont be suprised it the ex-president of BYU-Idaho comes. But hey, thats just wnat I have heard. Crossing my fingers we can work out a way to get to cuiabá next month!! Im working on my obedience and diligence this transfer; and patience too. I know that if I can be more obedident that I will see more changes in the work I do and in the miracles I can see. Ive got 8 months left to squeeze in as much experiences as possible; 8 months to make the most of the changes the Lord wants me to make in this time.
Love you all,

Transfer 7 week 2

oh boy!
campo grande is great. I sure did leave the heat behind in Cuiabá. My new companion is sister Lima dos Santos, she is a really sweet girl with a tender heart. We are going to have some good times together. She has three months of the mission, so she has the power and excitement of a new missionary. This is something really good in a companionship. :) Im in Julio de Castilho, its super different here than in Cuiabá. There isnt a lot of movement and everything is pretty laid back and tranquil. Finding is going to be more of a challenge with less people on the streets, but we have a baptism coming up this weekd, donna Maria, the grandmother of a recent convert. the sisters have been working with her over the past two transfers, and she had accepted a date for the sunday past, but when we visited her the last week she said she´d be more satisfied the next sunday. okay alright, lets have some faith here! ITs already rained two days since i got here, i love it. Campo grande is pretty and so I will be actually taking pictures now. Im going to miss Cuiabá still. I miss those sisteres but its going to be an interesting experience here with this young sisters. Im the old lady of the house, the other three arrived in the field two transfers back, so i´ve got to set the example for these youngsters. the southern part of the mission is known for being laid back and slackers. I won´t, just laying down the law.
The ward here is in a chapel so im excited to be in an actual chapel. The chapels here are massive, much larger than what ive been accustomed to states side. This is my first time on my mission being in an actual chapel, as a matter of fact. Sister Lima is teaching me lots of new words, she is also from the northeast, i have yet to have a companion who isnt northeasterner. Sister warken is the only sister i know from the southern part of brasil, rio do sul, most people here have thought i was brasilian until they saw my nametag, i look like im from the southeast apparently.
anyway, we are getting together with the elders to play volleyball and have lunch, so got to run. this week going to have a miracle, fe +works+obedience=milagres
love ya

Monday, October 3, 2011

Transferencia 7 week 1

holy cow.
even better than that, is that I got to hear all of conference! Granted i didnt understand every detail, but I had the whole Português experience. But it was so great to see our profeta Thomas S. Monson, he truly is called of God. Everytime I hear his teachings, I am more and more convinced of the divinity of his calling. We had a great final de tranferencia here in Zona Cuiabá. We had a good set of baptisms both saturday and sunday, between sessions and depois the final. Sister Morais and I had another baptism, I dont remmeber if id spoke of Warlen, but he was baptised by our Líder de Zona, elder Conçeicão. He has been a fantastic lidere also. YEh, Warlen is an electo. He is super excited to be a part of the gospel and wants to do anything to serve God. Our other Recent Covert, Douglas is doing swimingly. I just love that young man, he has such strength and character, and a special love for all the mssionaries. He only has 22 years, so a mission is an option for him, plus his aunt and uncle are super supportive. (they are members, they were the ones who gave the reference). Douglas always helps me with my portuges so its a good trade off. ;) So yea, its sad to have to say goodbye to people, i think everyone was already knowing that I would be leaving this transfer before I actually did.
MY new area will be, starting tommrow morning when the bus pulls in,
*drum roll*
JULIHO DE CASTILHO! (in truth, i thought it was juliho do castigo.... castigo meaning like prison, being in fetters. haha)
Sister Morais and Warken already served there so they have me pumped. its a smaller area; the food is great. Which is both good and bad. because I will really have to fight not to gain more weight. (yah. i gained a good 4 pounds here, in the area where people loose weight. parabens para mim.) ITs cooler theere too, im happy about that because im pretty sure my brain and blood has been boiling the last few weeks) and everything is a lot cheaper. this is good. And my companion appears to be super too.
im exited, my third area of the mission!
will send a carta soon.
Sister de Poder, Batisadora
(i can say that right? 3 weeks running, 3 men? lol estou brincando. its the Lord putting em in our paths :) hhe)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Transfer 6 week 6

so we had our p day today because our zone got to have an acitivity day! woot woot! we got to go to the zoological today and see the animals. I will try and send photos next week, if i can. I dont have a lot of time because we arrived back late this day has been super crazy, sister De Oliveira sprained her foot on tuesday and so she snt to walk on it for 15 days. so we are doing splits, already were with her and sister warken being sick a lot. Will be a bit stressful, with trying to have a lot of baptism for conference. We are hoping to commit two more people this week for baptism for sunday, we already have been working with 29 yr old warlen. He actually stopped us in the street to ask what we were doing. he´d seen missionaries before but never spoke with any. HE is always excited to learn more and meet with us. He has been throug a lot of experrinece difficult that lead him to lean on the lord and search the truth. Its looking like i will be heading south, so next email i will be telling you eree in the south im headed, as president called to see how i was doing and i had great referrals from sister warken. So letes see what happens. Loveo you all,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Transfer 6 week 5

Dear family;
This week I had quite the experience of faith and diligence.
Our president had challenged us to find someone who´d already attended a church meeting and baptize them. To be honest, I never thought I could be one of those missionaries that have one of those faith building experiences. But, when in district meeting, my district and zone leader both felt like we would have a baptism, i started to think about what I could be doing more, what I could be doing better. I decided to accept the challenge. It was a really hard week, with both my companion and sister warken falling ill, and myself not too good either, it was rough, but we worked até o pó. every single day we had some sort of challenge of faith, if we could REALLY find someone. While on a division, I left the chore of praying and prayfully studying the area book to Sister Morais. I had to have the faith that she would find someone. and she did. The following day we were in the house of 82 year old João, and taught him the plan of salvation. (his wife died just after accepting the convite to be baptized. his niece did her work in the temple already.) The spirit was so strong as we invited him for baptism the following sunday, and his grandson, a less active was so supportive about it (the rest of the family kinda ignore granpa, he will probably die in a few months, his health isnt good). that night my zone leader called me and challenged me to find another person. That was another stretch, could we really? we keept searching. The next day João said that he wont be bpatised sunday, but wouldnt give another reason other than it was too miuch work for other people. The following day the elders were with us (as we were accompaning them for a enterview for the other companionship, sis. warken being ill) and we decided to visit joao e see if we couldnt help him still. he still wants to be bpatised but, only tjhrouigh Elder De Oliveira talking with him one and one did he reveal how poor of health he has. we willl pray for his health to improve that he can be baptized. I think he will be strong eough to baptise and depois, die. anyhow that was satuyrday afternoon. 24 hours to find someone befoire the stake conference. I didnt know what to do, but we did a lot of praying and pondering and we continued working. We sought the help of a member for references of friends already done a visit. What is amazing is that by doing this, we found one of her friends that we tought two times whos heart was realyl closed, is now open. She said to us, this is the church of juesus christ, huh. YES! but she didnt accept the date of baptsm. Nos vamos proximo domingo. :) so we worked all sunday and caught the bus at 430 for conference. With no prospects but still faith that the Lord would provide someone. During the conference i pondered on who i knew that was in the church more thna 2 times, and the two people i remembered didnt seem very likely but i was willing to do whatever was required. in the middle of the conference the intermiedo hymn, i looked behind me and young man waved excitedly at me. In that momoment i knew who it was that we were to baptize. Douglas. A young man, we tuaght him the past transfer but he wasnt open yet to making the cnhanges. His aunt is a member in anopther ward and he´s been frequenting for some time now. AFter the meeting we saught him out and asked to talk to him privately. He smiled and quickly followed our lead. In the front on the chapel we invited him to be baptised, clearing his doubts and he accepted to be baptized that night. 1 hour later, he entered the convennt of baptism. We still had to have faith to the very end, that he would passs the enterview, as his aunt and uncle were very scepticle to his preparedness. We are excited to work with him. he is a good young man, in the interview he said that he´d been waiting for someone to invite him to be baptised, that he wanted but was embarassaed to ask.
Oh how the Lord works. I know that if we´d had someone else to baptise, we wouldnt have invited him that night.
I learned so much about faith and work, and that I can work harder than I thought I could.
Love you all,

Transfer 6 week 4

Hello familia, all is well?
I hope the answer is yes yes yes!
I am doing fantastic, as I am super animado for this week. It was a rough past week for myself and sister Morais,as we were doing everything we were ever trained or ever thought to help our investigators. in the end, I burned the field. ``Sister Morais, we only have two more weeks togheter in this transfer. We can´t spend any more time on people who dont want commitments. We are cutting our investigators and starting at zero again.`` I have hopes for one man still, Paulo. He is such a great man, well read in the scriptures. He believes in the doctrine of christ, yet we didnt quite get him to understand authority. We are going to go back this week to teach him about authority. The more I study the scriptures, the more obvious it becomes to me that this is the gospel of jesus christ, this is his church.
I totaly wore red white and blue yesterday for sept 11. My heart is very sad for people who lost a loved one in that tragic event, and am even more disturbed when people believe in consipiracy theories and say our govenment set it up. Im pretty sure USA no is quite on the level of genocide, and i dont believe the tsunami in japan was done by america. Okay lets just say that we had a investigator going off about this. Needless to say being the only american in this area did not make me feel very welcome, and this is why we dont talk polotics as missionaries. wasnot very pleased with the man.
I have to say drunk people are funny, but sometimes they are downright scary. My companion is scared of just about anything,so i think its quite fitting that we are togheter because i usuallyfind things laughable in the moment i should be scared. last night we had a drunk man, compeltely wasted who wanted us to teach him. we were walking past the chapel and i said, well, here is the church come here sunday and we will teach you, and webegan to walk faster. and so did he. he was pretty wild and shouting things that i dont even know but pretty bad,my comp was rattled and quite offended as we ran to escape him. I seriously thought he was going to start hitting us. we hid in our apartment building untilhe passed. when we thought our drunken problems were over, we went to a house of a less active. ERRR wrong again! the non memeber daughter asked us to give her and her nusband a blessing, uh we cant,we dont have that authority, but we can all say a prayer togher. I knew she´d had a few drinks,but didnt know how much. Well,in the middle of the prayer she completely fell over and passed out. yesh. needless to say we got outta there pretty quick, a bunch of drunks and missionaries just dont mix. My companion was not very pleased, she was certain a spirit had entered in the poorwoman. Well,if youre willing to drink, thats your consequence.
moralof the story, dont visit less actives on a sunday night who live close to a bar.
Praying for you all,

transfer 6 week 3

I hit the day of birth of the mission, 9 months. I thought I was running already, but im feeling the push to run even faster in this work. I feel like i have such little time to do many things. Sister Morais and I definately are learning alot about faith, hope and patience this transfer, as we have been starting with very little to work with. Something we have been seeing alot of is people do not want obligations, they dont want to have expections or responsiblity. Its always, well, I wont say that I will go to church because maybe I wont make it there. Or, IF GOD WANTS IT TO BE. Hello, of course God wants you to be at church on sunday, thats why Christ established a church, thats why the Lord called for the Sabbath Day in the first place. We were talking with one of our members about this, Irma Rosalia. She is so awesome, she needs to serve a mission. She has such a testimony, and conviction of this gospel. Its such a priveldge to have members so strong who understand their role in this life, who are member missionaries. anyway, we were talking about this lack of responislibity in people. Rosalia brought up that our church is one of the few that do missionary work, but why are so many people flocking to other churches? Its because other churches dont ask anything of people. Come when you want, leave when you want. Don´t have to do anything. To be a follower of Christ requires work and sacrifice. I guess something im learning alot about here in this work is just that, the perserving when things dont look too hopeful. We´ve just got to do it. I often think to myself, when I just want to go home, when I just want to sleep on the side of the road, when i want to give up--I think Kristin, if you can´t do this little thing for 18 months, how will you be able to anything more the Lord asks in the rest of your life? We have to show the Lord that we are willing to do anything he asks of us, this is the only way we can truely come unto him. We have been doing a sort of race with our ward here, each week the different orginazations have to do some sort of missionary work, and each category of work they gain points. This ward is SOOO EXCITED. The class principles of the gospel is in the lead, our investigators and new members are kicking butt. The young men are trying to catch up and the relief society is on fire to get a head of principle of the gospel. ITs so awesome, we are getting alot of good work in, members going with us for lessons. Now we are just praying to meet people who are ready. I know they are out there somewhere waiting for sister morais and I to interrupt their train of thought with our ever so awkward yet amazing approaches to conacting people in the street.
Its been super hot and dry here, im drying to stay hydrated, but i know im sweating off more than im intaking. Didnt think i´d be using a lot of lotion here in brasil but i was much mistaken. trying to stay white too, dont want any cancer, especially on this lovely face of mine. ha.
Love yall
sister smith

Transfer 6 week 2

This week has been quite the joy!
As I am now the grandma of Verdão, Sister Morais and I are no longer working in área B, but now área A.
This is a great advantage, because our chapel is in área A. and closer to house. Im glad because my feet
and legs havent been too happy with the long walk to arrive in area B. Unfortunately we havent had much
sucess in this area yet, not a lot has been done in this part of Verdão for a good while. But we know that
there are people waiting to here the gospel, we just havent found them yet.
Funny stories for the week:
alright, i think it was sunday or munday night, sister warken´s suitcase arrived (when she had to go home because of the foot problems she left a suit case in the house of her area in camp grande and so she had to wait for someone to be coming up north) sister albuqurque and s warken left the house to get them from the assistants. I was making cookies and sister morais was reading or eating. Okay dont judge too much, but i was just in a t shirt and garments because its sooooo hot all day and all night! anyway we were doing our stuff and i say to s morais, você esta ouvindo vozes de homems? Are you hearing the voices of men? and we start freaking out, oh my gosh the asssistants are carring the suitcase to our apartment! I dont have pants on! sister morais: I dont have a bra on! so we run to the other room to get clothes, and I realize i have dough all over my hands. so sister morais helped me put my shorts on and she pulled them way up high. when the door opened, it was only the sisters with this look of, what the heck is going on, and sister warken starts to laugh nice shorts sister.
this thursday, my contacting were complete failures.
the first three, all I said was bom dia e tudo bem, nos somos miss..... ``so forget it.`` ``already have my church`` and ``sorry dont have time, next time maybe.``
this was the theme of the day. i didnt have not even one person let me get their address for a visit. (mind you, this is pretty easy to get from people) so reject me, what ever! it was a great day even with the rejection!
yesterday was bem interesting too.
one contact, the man studys socialogy and was making a bunch of questions that were leaving my companion confuddled. After I had to explain to her that he was just trying to see how she´d react, he wasnt trying to force her to agree with his opnions. I found it rather entertaining watchin him get her all flustered. I guess i knew how to handle the situation because of a investigator i had in Lousiana who was the same way. The type of person who asks WHY and HOW about everything. And then that night we were trying to find a recent convert, he lives in an area that has a bunch of young men so we dont really enter the alley because, well, young men, darkness, two young women, not smart. an ex investigator immerged and so my companion decides to share a message with him. which draws the attention of the others.. one we´d contacted in the street i think 2 transfers ago remebered me and was set on offering us refriderante, we said no, but he wouldnt take no for an answer. IT wasnt until after we started to talk about the gospel that I realize why he was overly friendly. definatley had more than one beer. we wrapped up that lesson real quick and he tried to kiss my hand. yuck. thats one thing I will NOT miss, those hand kissers.
weell, gota go
love ya!
sister smith

Transfer 6 week 1

yes you may be wondering why i didnt send an email yesterday. Well yesterday was a crazy very crazy P day. With S. Albuquerque leaving for home, ysterday she got to go with president and other mission finalists pra the waterfalls outside of Cuiabá. (the thing to look forward to when your mission ends here) Sister Warken had an appt. with the neurologist because she has had a migrane everyday since she arrived here in Cuiabá, we had to do splits so I was with her and that took a lot of time. By the end of the day we´d walked probably more than we do on a normal day and all the lan houses we encontramos were fechado. Entao, we didnt have time or chance. Dont have much time now cuz we got to run back home to be there for when sister a. returns, and sister warken will go to pick up her flegling. Verdão is going to have sucess de mais this transfer! we are all super excited to reap the harvest here.
Bom, as for transfer calls,
Sister Smith & Sister Morais : VERDÃO!
yes, we get to stay together another transfer! que sorte! This is good, because I just had a feeling last transfer we had a lot to do together still, and we need more time to accomplish this work in this part of the vineyard.
Praying for you all,
sister smith

Monday, August 22, 2011

transfer 5 week 6

Message body

i had to sit and think for a little bit about what transfer im on.....the weeks and days are realy becoming a blur, especially this past week. We were scheduled to have our zone conference this week, but President was inspired to move it up a week, who knows why but the Lord, but we dont doubt that there is a good reason behind it. President had warned us all to prepare a 7 min talk about righeousness and one of us would be chosen to share. I got that priveldge, i was just relieved i wasnt asked to speak doctrine & convenants 4 because i just dont quite have that one down. I also got to do a demonstration infront of everyone with my companion of one of the new trainings we´d recieved. Hey, if you are prepared you need not fear; so i was relieved that i had been practicing the trainings the previous week. This conferencia foi muuito bom. I learned so much, so much that i need to change to be a better missionary ane person, and the pracitces we did really are helping my companion and I. I really wish Sister Morais and I could stay companions for longer, i love working with her. But its not very likely, as we have 2 or 3 more sisters coming this next transfer, and all the other sisters are training, so we´ll clearly be training. We´ll see next week where i will be.
We had the baptism of Marcos this sunday, he is such a good youth. He´d recieved a book of mormon from one of our young women and accepted the convite for baptism right away. His brother was baptised the other week, Lucas. Its awesome to be a part of helping people find the gospel. The spirit was strong at his baptism, and I felt that excitment burning in me the whole day because of it. Its a happiness like no other happy feeling, when you see someone take that step towards heaven, towards returning to our Heavenly Father.
We are working with a couple of people towards baptism in the incoming weeks, praying for a miracle that we can help one young man understand the need for baptism by immersion with autority that he can be baptsed this sunday. We found a family this past saturday, the grandma (elanane) and granddaughter (D´diane) are of the Assembly, and the mother Tatiane is baptsist. But Wilson & Cidanie havent found a church they believe to be true yet. we shared the restoration with them yesterday. The spirit surely was touching the heart of wilson, but he was nervous about being prepared for baptism. We´re going to push him to exercise his faith that he can be ready. At times thats what we need, someone to take us by the hand to lead us. And that is what our role as missionarys are, to be guides. we are excited that he accepted. He can be an example to his family. We also found a young man, through Ricardo, that really wants change his life. He has a lot of problems that will take a lot of faith, prayer and patience but we want to help him.
Am excited for this week to trabalhar er work hard! im already starting to feel like my body is a thousand years not looking forward to walking home (We go to the city center for our emails, a good hour walk) sister morais and I have been running like crazt last week
love yall,

transfer 5 week 5

yeah, seriously, this transfer has just been flying by.
Lucas recieved the Holy Ghost yesterday and his brother Marcos made it (finally!) to church. Marcos will be baptised the following week. Sister Morais and i willl be searching like crazy to find another person to recieve the blessings of the gospel between now and sunday. Our trio has been dismembered as of last night. Sister Warken, a sister who was serving in matto grosso do sul, had to go home past transfer becase of a tumor on her foot or some sort of problem, but she is back now and will be companions with Sister Albuquerque for the remainder of this transfer. It will be great to have another dupla in this area; Verdão is a big area, especially for sisters. My feet will never be the same after walking the streets here. My feet are already pretty ugly, p days i try to make them pretty, but its not an easy feat. Cuiabá is heating up, its not uncommon to have a headache all day everyday for me now. We had a little bit of an adveuntre during this past week, another sister, Sister Sorenson serving in no sul, ela was robbed and lost her protecol documentos que allow her to be here in brasil. so she had to come up to cuiabá and go through the police department all over again. Que sorte for her first transfer of her mission! lol im glad that i thought to make a copy of mine, i dont want to ahve the same expereince as her.
so i think maybe my camera has a virus, or mabe my memory card...because when i tried to print photos at the photo booth, wouldnt work. I have another 4 GB card that was gifted to me ( was only 20 R$. deals on wheels...)
well, im outta time already!
love ya´ll
sis smith

Semana 4 Transferencia 5

you may congradulate me.
Yesterday we had two baptisms, that of Lucas & Yuri. They are friends, Yuri´s grandma is a member of the church. IT is so great to see young people choosing to do the right thing; its so much better to take the opportunity to become strong in the faith as a youth, than when we are old farts! I keep thinking about the scripture in Alma 37, learn wisdom in thy youth. Thanks mom & dad for teaching me in my juventude!
Vocês podem congradulate me de novo.
PORQUE: today I hit month 8 of the 18 of my mission.
holy cheese! its flying by, i hope i can just do things the right way, the Lord´s way in the next 10 months to have the success of the Lord in this Missão Brasil Cuiabá.
Eu amo vocês muito, continuar ficando firme em verdade.
sister smith

ps. last p day i made cookies. they were good, but super fluffy....i want a recipie for the type of cookies that are gohey e delicious. ya know what im saying? also.....bethany, that cake you have made, the jello cake? i just bake a cake and throw the jello mixture on top and refridgerate?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Transfer 5 week 3

Can I just say by sunday, I am dead? This past week the trio of Verdão was running like crazy to get to appointments, to get people committed, to get people to church. It is a good feeling when you feel like you´ve done all you can do. But its also frustrating when you feel like you have done all that you can do and its still not enough. We´ve had a few baptisms fall through, which is devistating. One thing I am seeing on my mission in this time, is that satan is working double time to derail the train of this work. As missionaries, we have to do everything we can to help people understand and have the opportinity to recive this gospel; but in the end it is their agency to act. Fear of change, lack of desire to change, and the cunning deceptions of satan really hinder the progression of a soul. Its sad when you see someone who rejects this glad message, but you recieve comfort knowning you offered to them this gift. Yesterday I got the opportunity to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Of course sister Morais and I talked about missionary work. :) I was pondering all week about how to talk to this ward, what exactly to say to help this memebers understand their role in this work. We have some members who are willing to help us and are great missionaries, but still, this ward needs to grasp the excitment of sharing the gospel. as I was preparing my talk, my mind settled in on a phrase in Jacob 5. I ended up pretty much reading that chapter to my ward. I started, ``Ouve, Ala Verdão!`` or listen, verdao ward! I compared this ward to that olive tree. This ward started out miniscule, they met in the house of a memeber. they grew enoguh to have a rented building. But the retention, is sad. our records have us at 340 more or less members. We do good to have 110 people every week. I related to them how the Lord of the vineyard wept, because of the work He did, yet the tree was corrupt. `´Who has corrupted my vineyard?´´ Satan. Oh gosh he is such a pain in the neck. He is so miserable. I think sometimes we forget how much power satan does have, when ever i am feeling down or angry or frustrated (which I feel everyday, along with the opooiste feeling of complete joy and happiness) i remember its satan that is trying to make me feel this way, to give up, to go home. But God has the higher ground. He prolongs His hand over His creations, His children. We have to work with the Lord to help the olive tree grow strong and produce good fruit. the final verse I shared I tiink is verse 79, near the end of the chapter where the Lord sees that the vineyard is good, and says blessed art thou because youhave labored diligently and worked in my vineyard. As members of the church, it is our responisiblity, our priveldge to work in the vineyard, to strengthen our brothers and sisters. I am so grateful that the Lord directed me to serving a mission; I am really coming to understand what I need to be doing with my life. ITs simple, the Christ taught that the purpose of this live is to prepare to meet God. But not only prepare ourselves, but each other. To me, when the Lord says to return to him as a family, its not just my intermediate family, but OUR family. EVERYONE. So ya´ll, lets make it back home to our Father!!Love you all.sister smith

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week 2 of Transfer 5

My new companion, Sister Morais is just awesome. i can already tell we are going to have a great time together. Im pretty certain that she got transfered here specifically for me, I definately need her, she´d make the better senior companion than me. She´s from Paranaboko (spelling, I dont know...) Recife, but has been living in São Paulo. I´ve got two Recifians in the house! Currently I am once again in a Trio, sister Albuquerque´s companion is having visa problems and is waiting in the MTC provo. The other 2 Americans arrived timely, but sister Chatwin has yet to come. I hope she gets her visa in a jiffy, my comp. needs one less stressful thing in the final transfer of her mission. Today we are going to go to the house of Mídia, a recent convert who was less active, but now that her son has joined the church she has this drive to keep going and reading her scriptures. I love this woman, I struggle to understand her, heck brasilians struggle to understand her cuz she talks so fast and talks alot. But she has this happiness about her all the time. Anywho today we´re going to crash at her house, watch a church film and learn how to make her pão con canela. (cinnamon bread. it is so delicious!) and then tonight we will have a family home evening lesson with recent convert family Eduardo e Debora, along with Mídia e Ricardo. Vai ser muito fun. We had a lot of crazy things happening the past three days, remeber Marcia? the woman we taught 2 weeks back who accepted a date for baptism and then decided she couldnt give up coffee? well she decided she could, and was going to suprise her spouse for their anniversary by arranging the baptism for saturday, her there in the capella in white and him show up with the bishop for a ´´meeting´´ . well that all fell through when she decided to talk to him about it friday night. he told her she wasnt ready yet. AUGH! He´s been relentless with her about how he wants to be sealed to her, and when she finally gives up her coffee and says the Lord is calling her to do this (for a second time) why? I was very frustrated because all our time got robbed because of having to rearranging everything for her, my companion was pretty depressed and useless after the phone call on saturday. I just hope that we dont loose another future baptism we had set because of this. Its hard to have these emotional rollercoasters, esp on your last transfer. everything is a BIG DEAL. you are overly sensitive and think everyone is watching you. At least this is what im seeing from my companion. something to look forward to? But things always could be worse; our fans could break. Yes, that would be the worst thing ever! I would die. There has been more than one day this week that i´ve thought, Heavenly Father, are you trying to kill me? because this heat is cookn´ me. And then i had to reflect on the scripture that talks about the refiner´s fire. I guess for me that scripture is literal. the firey sun of Cuiabá. Im hoping i can load some pictures today! this mach. is alittle wacky.
stay strong ya´ll, youre in my prayers.
sister. smith.

transfer 5 week 1

Am I excited? yeshhh. I´ve been walking on the clouds today. I´ve been pretty happy the last few days, cuz, you know what, I have no reason NOT to be happy. I´ve got the restored Gospel in my life. I´ve got awesome friends and family who keep me updated in life and laughing. And I´ve got this great opportunity to leave life for a small while and share the great news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with other people.
And.......after serving together for two transfers and wading through the discouragement of not finding those who want the gospel, The last day of our transfer we had the amazing opportunity to see our irmão Ricardo be baptised!!!!!!!!
He is going to be such a great leader in the church, he has had so many experiences where the Lord truly has been guiding him. His mom is a recent convert, who hasnt been super active (I love Mídia like no other! but she is kinda flakey, you know, air head?) but I think they´ll be able to keep each other strong. He had already been keeping the word of wisdom. awesome.
So yep i´ll still be in Verdão, i´m guessing for at least one more transfer. Some people dont like Verdão, but I think its great. ITs not the area that is slow, its the missionaries, right?! This last week was a lot of running, Im looking forward to getting back to the apartment and just sleeping.....
Pictures attached:
baptism of Ricardo

oh mother, I have been very grateful for the 40% deet bug repelant....i havent actually been using it on my skin but on the infestation of formidas! err little ants! they are everywhere! I hate them......I pretend they are satan when I spray them.....
okay well...i thought I had some more awesomethings to
love much,
sister smith

semana 6 transferencia 4

Tanto de coisas falar sobre este semana...
OKay I will start at the top of my list:
Friday I ate fish. Very tasty. This fish had teeth. I would have taken a photo, but it was in a the house of a member....that would be rude....but seriously! TEETH!
Friday will also met more crazies.
An old man, probably 60 yrs with no teeth (therefore I didnt understand him anyway...) was speaking in tounges and prophecying for my companion and I. He said he is 110 yrs old.
After that we stopped by the house of some less actives and my companion about strangled one member, he was wanting us to go with him to a house of a friend who is aflicted by an evil spirit, he says. He wanted us to go and make prayers and give a blessing.
Ricardo.....let us explain again.....we dont have the priesthood......
In the mix of that one of their neighboors who is short a fuse or two, came over and starting talking about everything under the sun. She said I was a lier because she didnt believe I was American. And when I spoke english to her (´´speak english, I know englihs´´) she said i have to be french. she wanted to get in a fight with my companion, called us prositutes. Sorry, we dont have time to play games ma´am.
Friday was rather depressing because we were planning on going to our ward activity, we had invited a bunch of investigaters there and a lot of our members were bringing non memeber friends. Great opportunity, no? But president called and said we when it was time for dinner break, i wanted icecream. (i was really dissapointed, okay) so maybe I ate r$8 worth of chocolate icecream. my comp was shocked becase im such a tight wad usually. and after i had consumed that tasty goodnesss, I was so happy.
But the sad thing was that night we had arrranged for our leader of missionary work to pick up an investigator, whom on tuesday said that he knew if he came to church with us he´d be baptised.....elect....well, somehow he didnt get picked up and he called us at 930 livid. He didnt want to hear from us again. he went out drinking with his friend instead. Low of Lows. But we made a cake and a card and droped off at his work, he didnt show up the whole weekened for work. I hope he forgives us. yo your salvation is on it friend! But after this saturday, an old investigator told her husband she wanted to be baptised. So of course we suprised her at her home. She accepted a date for ysterday, but she has to give up coffee so hopefully next week we´ll be hearing that I finally was able to participate in a baptism here in brasil! We are working with a few people for baptism, i pray that we can be effective in helping them.
Ive felt a lot of dissapointment here in my mission in brasil, but I have had a lot to learn from the dissapointment. And im super greatful for the good experiences I had in Louisiana that bring some sun in the rain! This week is going to be awesome, we are going to end this transfer with a kick!
and yes, its cold in cuiabá.;
im wearing my winter clothes.
sis. smith

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

semana 5 trasferencia 4

Where to start.....This week has definately been wholesome. We´ve been working alot with part member families and less actives. This sunday we had 7 less active members at church! Its nice to see that our work is actually worth while; it can be easy to get discouraged but discouragement comes from satan. I loathe satan, he tries to ruin our lives. and the saddest thing is when people openly embrace him. Hello folks, he´s going to chain you to him and drag you down to that endless pit of misery and woe!! And then after that, he will point and laugh at you, and rub dirt in your face. and then after that, laugh again, hey sucker! you thought my promises of chocolate houses and golden streets were legit?! fail!I´ve been studying in Helmã this past week; seeing how pride destroys people. I couldnt help but think about the problems we see in these latter days, how people are so decieved; reject what is good and accept any flattering words for truth. I heard that New York has legalized gay marriage. my first thought was, agghh! my country! we are going to be destroyed if we keep this up. My graditude for the knowledge of the gospel in my life increases everyday, why was I so lucky as to come from a line of people who have the restored gospel, and yet so many don´t? I´ve also been thinking about the kind of missionary I am, and what kind of member of the church I want to be. Will I be like those people I read about, who get so full of pride that they loose sight of the end goal, life eternal with Heavenly Father? I really dont want to be cast out; eternity with satan doesnt sound too fanastic. I think i used to be afraid to tell people they need to repent, ya know, dont want to offend them- pshhh you gotta repent to be worthy of the celestial kingdom and eternal bliss! I want to be like our missionaries in the book of mormon, taught with power and conviction. Maybe i´ll get a corner stand and start my discourse with ``ARREPENDER-SE!!!!!`` just kidding. but seriously, we need to repent. i need to everyday all day. im pretty weak sauce. I believe that is a side-effect of mortality. Thank goodness for the Atonement.hope all is well, bethany said grandma had hip replaced, and the outlook is good. Bring some kisses to her for me! and no more falling!loves. smith

Monday, June 20, 2011

Transfer 4 week 4

you know what I really miss? HAVING MY OWN COMPUTER. okay so i just was getting pretty frustrated at the lan house here....first computer was frozen, and then this one, the mouse is acting up. like it took me three mins just to get to click on the box to type in this fanatistic letter home! today has already been quite the adventure, my comp and i met up with a menos activo Meídia, and we walked to the centro of Cuiaba together, except we went a different way and got pretty lost. but hey it was fun. so we are really behind our usual schedule of things but whatever, i saw new stuff. like this awesome hotel, i will hopefully be able to add to this week´s letter.We´ve had some interesting experiences as we´ve been finding people on the streets this week, as the norm, 80% of the people we contact dont live in our area. But last night we contacted two inactive members, a youngster who we are going to track down next sunday for church, and a woman who just got married a few months back. (amazing! they are legally married! RAREITY!) Its really sad to meet people who´ve lost sight of the iron rod, but its not like they are lost forever, we can help them out! so yeah, im trying to think of creavitve ways we can help this ward grow, help the members see the vision of missionary work, so we can have our own chapel. That would be awesome.
(so the pictures this week are kinda random, i borrowed my comps camera, she takes more pictures than me....)
So yeah, i´ve got new plans and ideas rolling in my head, its funny, i´ve been having this idea of what a ´´good missionary´´ is. took a couple of letters from friends and a lot of praying and pondering to realize, i dont need to be anybody else but me to be an effective missionary. Duh. hello! im trying to utlize what talents that i have- i came up with an idea for an activity with our youth to get them to come out with us to do street contactiing and lessons. I think it willl be pretty awesome, if i do say so myself. Im excited to try and make changes in this area, get excited about this work, becase it is great. what other time in our lives do we have the chance to spend our whole day helping others?
Love ya´ll, thanks for all the letters of support! I am just so lucky.
love sister smmmeeech

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

week 3 transfer 4

This week was awesome!!!! we had mission tour and Elder Massagaurdi (im pretty sure I just slaughtered his name) our Area authority was the speaker. I didnt understand totaly of what he said, but i got a lot of inspiration for what I need to do in this area of my mission and this time in my life as a missionary. We finally have someone with a marked date for baptism, a gal named Raquel, a friend of one of our recent converts, debra and edwardo. I love Debra, she reminds me of Hayley in some ways.
So I have a story to share:
The Miracle of the Map

One day two missionaries were working in the City of Cuiaba, bairro Jardim Cuiaba, a fair distance from the rest of the missionaries area. The senior companion had finally decided to let the jr. companion be the map carrier, for she had proven herself capable of finding the places they wanted to go. After placing in mind where to head to next to visit a less active member, the junior companion put the map in the side pocket of her backpack, one without a zipper. Easily accesable, she thought. Not certain it was a secure location, but not wanting to change its place, she chose instead to check every few mins to see if it would move. After doing this a dozen times, she deemed it secure. half a mile later, the junior companion decied to check the map again. To her chagrin, the map was not there. THE ONE AND ONLY MAP THAT AREA VERDÃO OWNS, WAS GONE!
quickly retracing their steps and praying for success, the dupla stopped at the last place the junuior companion remembered checking for the map. Nothing was there. the wind surely had blown the map to a place they´d never find. But in the mind of the junior companion was a place just a little bit futher up the rua, she said to her disgruntled companion, um pouco mais! um pouco mais, there in a pothole in the side walk was the map, in perfect condition.
MIRACLES happen, ya´ll. God answers your prayers, even when it comes down to as simple as a map.
and yes, i was the careless junior companion.
Other crazy thing, I think im starting to forget my english. I contacted a man in the street and we got to talking, he´d lived in florida for 5 years and so he was trying his english out on me. I had to think about my response to respond in enlglish, it wasnt automatic to say something in english. Not that my portuges is great, its kinda like being a baby not knowing how to speak at all.... but hey, its progress. And president said to get me ready to really know this area, im probably going to be training next transfer. yikes!
love ya´ll,
s. smith

Monday, June 6, 2011

week 2 transfer 4

this past week just flew by!Said goodbye to 2 sisters here and my Sister Randall (down south to Campo Grande) Its looking like I´ll be here in Cuiabá for another transfer after this one; we have 5 new sisters coming in next month! That is exciting, because sisters kick butt. I´m starting to actually enjoy reading my scriptures in portugese since I´ve been banned from them in english during personal study. Ive been reading the last few chapters in Alma. I just love the war chapters. I get to almost watch a movie in my head; and you learn so much about the people, and how you can relate stratagems to your own life. Im just very grateful to have the scriptures; they are always such a source of comfort and peace, and of direction. Its just so amazing how the Book of Mormon just answers every question-no other book could possibly do that. My testimony of the Book of Mormon is bem simples, ITS TRUE! I dont know how anyone could read this book and not know that it is of God. Past tuesday Sister Randall and I got to go with the other new elders and the departing missionaries to have lunch with president and sister Oliviera. Oh my gosh, food, AMAZING! Honestly after living here, i will never cook rice the same. it was a great experience as a newbie to hear the testimonies of those who have completed their missions here, and sooner than I will realize, it will be myself and sister randall saying goodbye. Pres. Oliviera will be finishing his mission the same time as we will. got to run, my comp is going to vomit......until next week!

Monday, May 30, 2011

transferencia 4 semana 1

Indeed, I will be staying here in Verdão por another transfer with Sister Albuquerque. Sister Frischneckt just ended her last transfer and is flying back home to utah this thursday, and Sister Randall is heading down to Campo Grande, a good 12-13 hr bus ride. Lucky duck! ha!Im excited to start afresh and have a few more bairros added to my area, my comp and I will have two areas to cover until the next transfer when we get 4 more sisters into the mission! wa-hoo! President Oliviera loves sisters, i think part of it has to do with his own conversion experience being sister missionaries who taught him the gospel. Thanks mom for forwarding the email from Sister Manning, Im so happy to hear that things are progressing with Mario, he is definately an elect.This week I am excited to trying to put the shoulder to the wheel and keep up the excitement, i did alot of pondering and praying about what I can do to help keep the work going and the only thing to do is be excited about it! GREAT things are going to happen, Sister A. and I are going to tear it up in Verdão!Dad, I decided that the missing link in the family tree commenced in Brasil. I see all these homens on the rua men on the street, and i think, man he could be dad´s brother, or cousin. When i speak portuguese well enough that people dont have to question what language i am speaking, i am going to say im from the North, rather than estados unidos. Cuz some people just arent very polite after they learn this. Tommrow sister Randall and I willl go with Sister F. and sis. Hatten to have almosço com presidente Oliviera; you get lunch with presidente when you leave and when you arrive, so that will be fun. I look forward to the day when I can understand him. His accent isn´t too heavy like most Cuiabá people (speak very poor portugese and very fast) but he talks really softly.We´ve been trying to work with our less active, not active people here in the ward, whereas we have so many. It is really saddening to find someone, who knows the church is true, but they just have no desire to return because of the actions of the members. We met one woman this past week; so strong in faith, but she said she stayed there for 8 years and she just could not put up with the things that were going on there. Our ward needs to grow; if Verdão grows we´ll get to have a building of our own! ITs crazy, i feel like im still in Oakdale; im facing almost the exact challenges here as there, just with a little more population to work with and in a different language.I keep thinking about how in the last days the wheat will be seperated from the Tares, and even memebers of the church will be sifted; I see it now. There are many people who arent strong enough or willling to do what the Lord asks. It makes me have even more of a desire to stay strong to what I know is true; to gaurd my covenants and endure to the end. Of all the things we have to do in this life to recieve salvation and exaltation, its the enduring the to end that is difficult.Stay strong ya´ll,eu amo vocês!sister smith

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

transfer 3 week 6

Its been another difficult week here in Area Verdao B. I´ve been reflecting alot on my experiences in my last area in Oakdale, things were very similar to here. I am trying to see what changes I can bring to help improve the area. Its very easy to get discouraged, but I know discouragement comes from Satan; he doesnt want the work to continue. I´ve take the advice of my last trainer, sister Hislop. ``Dont ask why but HOW can I improve the situation´´ Sister Albuquerque and I are praying and fasting for some miracles, and seeing how we can be more diligent and obedient to recieve blessings. I cant believe this transfer is almost over. Im learning so much more about patience and listening to the spirit, and to truly love the people I teach. We had one investigator at church sunday, we taugh him, his mother and brother the first lesson on saturday and Luis wanted to come to church with us. He seemed to really enjoy the classes and sacrament meeting and appears to be excited to meet with us again tonight. I will most likely be staying here in Cuiabá, sister Randall is probably going to be transfered down to Campo Grande. I cant wait for when i go there, Sister Albuquerque tells me I wont be able to hardly stop taking pictures, its very beautiful there, very different from Cuiabá. Haven´t tried anything crazy this week, just enduring the heat and the sweat. Yesterday was so hot, I was thinking, Heavenly Father, are you trying to kill me? Nope, just close to it. Literally the refiners fire, não? I hate to think about when it really gets hot here....staying hydrated.....I already drink 6 bottles of water during the day! I´ve lost 2.5 kilos too...probably all the weight I gained in the MTC and in Louisiana. Sister Alburquerque said I´ll probably loose at least 5 more. With all the walking and the sweating, go figure! haha
Hope everyone is happy and healthy. I read about Morôni this morning, in Alma 48, he´s my role model. Im tired of being discouraged and tired of low numbers and dissapointing my leaders, myself and most importantly God. I´ve felt satan really working on me the last few weeks and its been really hard to stay focused and have the desire to be diligent. But I have the fortune of many people who love me and support me that I´ve been able to relflect on to give me strength. Thank you all for your love and prayers.
This is God´s work; No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Pursecutions may rage, mobs may combine, calamuity may defame. But the works of God will go forth Boldly, Nobly, and Independent, Until it has penitrated every climb, swept every nation, and sounded in every ear...until the Great Jehovah shall say, The Work Is Done! (from the wentworth letters, joseph smith jr...)
Remeber we are all missionaries for the LORD!!
sister smith

Monday, May 16, 2011

transferença 3 semana 5

This week, todo mundo were either bebidos* or duidos**.
Im not baptising either of those folks, since they are not in the right mind for anything.
This week has been another interesting week, still dont understand what people say, but im understanding more words. :)
Contacting is really fun, Its all practice for me. haha My trainer has about 3 months left in the field, and we´ll probably be together for the next transfer, we´ve got new training materials! hurrah!

I´ve been pondering alot about the things I learned and experienced in Louisiana in comparasion to here in Brasil.
Being here in brasil, cuiabá is hardest probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
When I wake up, I honestly dread the day. But once I hit the street, the sun blazing down on minha cabeça and minha mochilla, I get pumped. Lets go save some souls! Having the language barrier is really difficult, but I see how this is really helping me rely more on the Lord. I have never felt more alone than I have here. But at the same time, I constantly feel the Love of our Heavenly Father, comforting me and helping me to stay postitive and strive to see the bigger picture, past the sore feet, past the stench, past the thirst and tiredness.
All in all, I can say I definately am being stretched, much more than I imagined. And Im grateful for it.
you cant appreciate the joy in life with out the pains, no?

Thanks for all the pictures of sadie, bethany! SHE IS A DOLL!!! i wish i had more time to email everyone back individually, but the computer im using is slow and it took a while for me to look at the pictures. They were food for my eyes!
Emily looked lovely, it was good to see how things are happening in the family.
Next week hopefully I´ll be able to send some pictures.
I got some sandalas that are more comfortable for my feet hurrah! and sister alburquerque rigged up´a backing for my chacos, using straps from her old bra! haha! oh the life of the missão!

So here´s a little story about hands.
Saturday, there had to be some sort of holiday going on (oh yeah, its the weekend! thats holiday enough!) tudo mundo were drunk, sister Frischneckt and Sister Randall got their hands kissed twice by different drunks in the street, and my comp and i went to visit one of our less actives, Jonas....well he had been drinking. Lets just say i had to dodge to miss a third kissing on myy hand. yes....akward.....
indeed excitment!
love ya,
sister smith
Mosiah 8:18, Eter 12:12

vocab for the week:
**crazy, madman

Monday, May 9, 2011

transfer 3 week 4

sometimes i feel like a rebel. because sometimes i speak ingles in my head.

We´re off to a blooming good start this week! new goals, new people to meet. Sister Alberquerque and I have a lot of work to do try improve from last week, where i was having problems with my feet (the pansies arent used to walking for more or less 9 hrs a day) no bolhas er bb..blisters mais, my feet have not been super proactive for the work. I´ve had some medicine to help, i´m not sure if it actually does so today im not going to use it. it makes me super thirsty. and im already thirsty enough. lol but i hope these feet of mine are ready to work this week cuz i dont want to spend another hour with my toes above my head or doused in ice water. Yeah, im not so sure icebaths are that healthy.....I decided its the perfect form of torture. its like, hey lets walk in the Sahara Desert for 3 days and then go dip them in a bucket of water fetched from the Artic.
yes. torture.
então, I gave my first baptism invitation in portuges this week! We taught this older lady, Ana the restoration. She didnt really understand anything I said, `mais or menos´ Ive got to speak slower too so people understand me. I think in the back of my mind I think, hey if I speak quickly, they wont notice that Im speaking incorrectly! ERRR nope....makes it worse. haha
Im understanding a little more, i think, each day, but some people are very difficult to understand. especally old men with no teeth....yes i was doing a street contact and this old fella went off about something, very animated and enthusastic. He kept saying things and looking at me, and i kept thinking, is he asking me a question? i just hoped I was making the right facial expressions to suit his conversation cuz I understood nada. lol ´tis vida, não?
Oh by ways of business, i dont remember if i asked this in my last email, but mom&Dad, could ya´ll move some money from my checking to my credit because i used my credit card to pay for the box i sent before i left Louisiana. I might have, but better to check than have a huge bill when i get back from my mission.
Now that I´ve come to Brasil, I´ve been thinking alot on the reasons for why I need to go to Louisiana. I had some ideas in my mind, but I´m starting to think there are other reasons, things I can do to help my mission here? I knew things would be different, but i didnt think it would be as different as I am finding. I cant wait until I can understand and speak better, so I can be of better use.
Congrats to Bethany finally giving birth!! yay! Im excited for you and Alex to be parents, and she´ll be in the fun age when I get back!
Now we just need to get Megan and Liesel a husband so they can start popping out kids for me to play with. ;) jk
I cant believe how quickly the time goes by, this transfer is half gone, and at the end I will hit the 6 month mark. crazy. Somedays i really cant wait for this to be all over, probably because im in the greenie stage all over again. its super lame being the greenie! haha
well, mom and dad let me know when you get my letters so i know about how long they take to arrive. i sent them last tuesday. twas a happy birthday dad and happy mothers day mom!
photo 1: view from my window.
photo 2: what happens when we make chocolate frosting....
photo 3: trying the food on the rua...freshly BBQ
photo 4: starting of a weekly journal of the tanlines on my feet here in brasil.

hope ya´ll are happy and healthy! Love much,