Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coming home.

Sister smith will be arriving home on June 7th She will be giving a talk on the 10th and there will be a lunch held after in her honor. We are so excited to welcome her home an are so very proud f the work she ha accomplished. If you would like further information regarding her homecoming feel free to contact us.

Final countdown - week 6!

WAHOOO!!! yesterday was the BEST sacrament meeting ever.  The ward was really full, and the spirit was strong. This week our zone leaders decided to do splits in our area, ´´blits´´ where they go into the areas of the district for a couple of hours and just do a bunch of contacts to find new people. its pretty cool.  Well, they found a boy named victor, he´s a big kid for an 11 year old.  But we´ve been teaching him all this week and yesterday he had a great experience at church. Loved primary.  His younger brother jonathan wanted nothing to do with our lessons, but on sudnay when we passed by to pick up victor for church his mom told him to get dressed and go with us.  Jonthan loved church and when we explained about baptism, that he could be baptised like Jesus, and on the same day as his brother, he said GREAT IDEA!!! seriously, they loved church.  We sang Master The Tempest is Raging for the intermediate hymn and Victor just soaked up the singing.  It was a neat experience because the spirit was really strong during the hymn.  I felt the room fill up, as if any empty space had something there.  After church when we dropped them off, they entered the house shouting how much they liked church,  CHURCH IS COOL MOM!!! I would like to be baptised!!!!  And now their mom is saying she´d like to visit. FAMILY!!! Woot! Seriously, this transfer we have worked alot, its been a lot of faith to not give up.  But the Lord gives blessings, it is so after the trial of our faith.  And it is never how we think or would like.  Im determined to have another full week and leave with some baptisms marked for the next week so that sister Morais will have to send me photos of who was baptised the next week.  That would just make my going home even better, to know that I worked until the very last day.   I love this work.  It certainly isnt easy, and never happens how we think.  but it is so wonderful.   I know that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored to fullness of the gospel in these last days, I know that Christ lives and is the head of this church.  I know that God has a plan for each of us, that if we seek Him, we will find Him. Love ya´ll, see you next week!! hahaha kristin   i think this is my last mission letter....

Final countdown - week 5

I didnt get to send an email yesterday because the lan house was closing for lunch and kicked us out.  Then after I had to take my comp. to the hospital becuase she´d been vomiting all night....but here I am!!! The time sure is flying by.   This transfer is a tough one, being in a new area that has its own difficulties, but every day I am having some great experiences with sister v. morais.   Unfortunately we  haven´t had any baptisms yet, but I know if we continue doing our best we will find someone.  We had a great ward counsel meeting sunday.  I finally got to meet our bishop.   He works driving truck so he is gone, pretty much always. but when he is here the ward really vives up.  We are going to take advantage of the organized volley ball two nights a week here to meet and teach non-member youth who participate.  Seriously, the whole neighborhood comes out for these things.  The elders would just jump in the middle of the games and start playing in their proseylting clothes, but its kinda different working in a skirt.   So im hoping things will work out and the memebers will help us get to know the people.  the plan is to have like an open house during volley, so the people that arent playing, they can come into the chapel, see what is like, drink some juice eat some crackers (if we are lucky there will be food, oh my gosh have some tightwads in this ward) and we´ll teach some quick lessons of the restoration.  Im hoping we will see fruits from this.   Because we aren´t sure what else to do.   Our area is pretty small, which im glad about that to a point because people are more familiar with the location of the chapel.  Probably next week i wont be sending an email until next thrusday, we ar going to see if we can switch our p-day becayse there is a cool gallery and open fair that is only open on thursdays. love ya, kristin

Final countdown - week 4

It was great to see ya´ll yesterday, even with some of he computer problems everything went well enough. I was going to send picuteres from our adventures at the park last week but im thinking next month i´ll show all my pictures. haha.  today we dont havea lot of plans, because nobody has money. hahaha.  but im  thinking next week  we will go the center. i am not going to write much more cuz i said eveything i would have yesterday, i think. so  a few things i have read today,  in president´s letter he talked about obedience, said  to know and not do is to not know.    Also i read a talk by elder maxwell about irony. What is true irony.  that sometimes,you do all that you can to achieve a certain outcome but that isnt what you recieve.  it was interesting. love ya, kristin

Monday, May 7, 2012

Final countdown - week 3

it was a crazy week that sister V. Morais and I had, we worked a lot and taught a lot of lessons, but didnt see too much of an outcome.  But I have faith that our work will show and we will see the fruits of this harvest.  We definately had a miracle yesterday.  We had a good 4 people firm to go to church and 4 others who werent quite certain.   Saturday night I called everyone in our planner that we had met and invited them to church.  Sunday morning as we were waiting for people to arrive, we received a phone call from one of the people I invited.  she said she was leaving her house and wanted to know if it was okay if she got there late.  She really liked the meetings and we marked to teach her tonight more about the gospel.  Im really excited.  We had a crazy week, we had two péople who accepted dates for baptism, but when the hour came fell through.  Its a tough world we live in.  It can only get better if we seek the Lord.  Im doing my best to give all that I have these last few weeks because I know I wont have more time.  We found a less active family that we are trying to reactivate.   we had two churrascos  (BBQ) this week, it was awesome.  One of our recent convert families, Irmã Fanny and her kids, are so great.  Fanny´s husband, Gaucho (I dont actually know his name, he´s from do Sul, and people from the south are called eyah that is his nickname) we ran into in the street one night and he said how he missed our visits.  I said, lets have a churrasco, gaucho style.  (gaucho´s are known for their churrasco´s)  friday night we had a great family night.  I´d been teasing sister morais, as she was doing her 9th month of the mission on friday, asking how she wanted to celebrate.  she said anything but chocolate cake, and I jokingly said lets have churrasco.  Worked out perfect, no?  Sunday we had lunch with  a family that arent members of the church, their son is on a mission in João Pessoa.   That was an interesting experience to see someone who  isnt a member of the church and how they see a mission.  A great family, all the missionaries that pass through try to baptise them, thats certain.  have to find out what is lacking for them.   Its complicated. But seriously, it was the best churrasco EVER!  Every week we meet with so many different people.  Its great. Hope everyone is well, look forward to seeing ya~ll sunday. love kristin

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The final countdown - week 2 of 6

Dear friends and family, This last week was an interesting one.  It all started with our district meeting.  Our whole zone was together waiting for the the zone leaders to start on what they wanted to say to us, and music starts playing and a man in a black suit comes dancing in.  My first thought was:  WHAT THE HECK. my second thought was: Where is Presidente? it turned out to be a really neat start of the transfer meeting.  It definately wasnt the norm.  There is a member in our stake that he does magic shows.  and so he did a motivational speech using magic tricks to teach us about being motivated as missionaries, having good attitudes, faith in God and yourself, and go for your goals.  Kinda cool.  The next day we had a special meeting with president.  In my zone, president put pretty much all the missionaries who are going home next transfer, less than two elders, i believe.  its a big group. Anyway he talked how we are his last group, as he is going home with us. And how we need to set the example for the rest of the mission.  It was a really neat meeting that has left an impression on me since.  He related how we are on our last 40 days in the field, and how Christ did the most work in his last 40 days of his earthly life.  Just do what Christ would do. Im glad to be back in Cuiabá again, I forgot just how hot it is here.  But today is being cold.. And since nobody has any money...we are playing it easy staying in house and sleeping.  I need that for sure.  We are working with a couple of families here, one of them we are going to help them get married.  Two of their kids are already baptised, they are so cute.  They love church and are always brining a cousin or friend to church.  MY area is pretty far from the city center, its an hour bus ride to get into the main city.  It seems more rural.  I like it, its different than what i knew of cuiabá the first time.  There is swamp and stuff so the risks of dengue is high. dengue is also caled break bone fever, my companion has sick this last week with it but she´s fully recovered now.  but its painful. strong headache, pain in the eyes, pain in the joints, fever and rash.  no thanks. Love ya´ll, kristin

The finale countdown - Week 1 of 6

Caro Familia, quero agradecer pelo amor, apoia, e confiança vocês monstram em mim. Quero lhes dizer que amo vocês e estou muito animada para compartilhar o seguinte:   Transfer calls came in.....and.....I´mm.....gooooinggg tooooooooo: CUIABÁ!!! YAYAYAYAYAYA WOOOT WOOTT! *and the crowd cheers*   SEriously, I have enjoyed Campo Grande, and I thought I would be finishing out my mission here. BUT, looks like the Lord has other plans for me.  I had the feeling I wouldnt be staying in Bandeirantes much longer, so when president called me outta the blue to ask me about my last transfer, how im feeling and what my thoughts are about going to cuiaba, or staying here....well, he gave me the impression I´d be northward bound.  Of course I said whereever you put me president, I will work, you know that.  So yep. Im going to Industriario, sister De Oliveria opened the area there, the ward is awesome, and I will work with Sister V. Morais again.  Im looking forward to another chance at building more of a relationship with her and really taking our weaknesses and making them strong.  I am super tired, but I have got to make the best of these last few weeks.  Its going to be an interesting trasfer, because the three of the four sisters in our house are on their last transfer, Randall, Naciemento and me.  Poor sister V. Morais. She will be trunked out! This last transfer of 5 weeks was really interesting.  For only being 5 weeks, a lot of things happeened.  Worked alot, was sick a lot (im getting over a bad sinus infection i got that left me pretty dead the past three days) but learned alot.  I really enjoyed my District, seeing each person develop. Im not looking forward to the 12 hour bus ride to cuiabá, but this time I wont be the only sister.  I will finaly have the chance to really catch up with sister randall, we havent had the chance to really talk since last june.  Want to share a citation of President Joseph F. Smith that presidente Oliviera shared in his carta this week. ´´You need not only believe, but you need to obey the things that God ordains and do them.  You need to not only do this, but you need to dedicate all of your heart, your love, and your soul voluntarily to God.  You need to submit your personal will to the will of the Father, and you need to do everything that he requires of you,  If you want to be saved and exalted to his presence.´´ Just be obedient, nê? Love you all, hope ya´ll have a fabulous week. beijos, kristin

Monday, April 16, 2012

transfer 11 week 5

Hello family!!
We had a great week this week working with our members and integrating our investigators with them. We are working with four families right now, one of them we met yesterday. These families are super legal, but we are having a big struggle getting these folks out to church. I really want to blast this last transfer outta the park, giving it all I have and more. I feel super blessed for the opportunity to be working with so many neat families, as I have never encountered so many families to teach at one time. I know with patience, diligence and obedience we can meet our goals and help these families commece on the path that leads to eternal families. we are trying to reactivate another family too, soemthing that is really neat is one of the elders in our zone, his first area in brasil (he also had visa problems and was reassigned to Alabama for 6 months) was Bandeirantes and this family was the very first home he visited. So this last week had a family night and invited him and his companion. We did not say anthing to Elidimar about him coming, we just showed up and said we had a suprise for her. The whole family was so happy to see him, it was a cool experiece. We are working really hard to help people feel the spirit and understand how to make those changes in life that are neccisary to come unto Christ. I really want to make the best of these last 7 weeks.
As much as I joke about being ´´trunky´´ with everyone, and truly I am counting down the weeks, I feel even more of a desire to give all that I have. Im not just going to stop because my time is almost up. Yesterday we had our meeting with our ward mission leader and in the middle of it, I was thinking of some things I could do differently, some activities we could plan for the ward, and I felt so anxious to get out of the chapel and start talking with people on the street about the gospel, and how short this time really is, I just had a thought, minha nossa, (thats like, oh my gosh) I need more time! This is the best time in my life, to truly know what it is to serve the Lord with everything that I am, and everything that I could be. This is the best opportunity to show the Lord how grateful we are for the bountious blessings he gives us, especially to me. To have been born in the gospel, to have felt the sweetness of His Redeeming Love, God is so good to us, we give our lousy 10% and he gives 100% because he loves us that much. As much as sometimes I feel realy discouraged in this work, as people have their agency, I know that I have done my part. I have testified and been sincere in letting people know that I know that this is the only church on the face of the earth that is completely Christ´s, no other has the fulness. I am grateful for the other religions and churches, for the faith that these churches have given people, that in the end prepare them to recieve the fulness of the gospel. I know this is work is of the Lord, and I am grateful for the privelege to have the autority to preach it.
Love you all,

transfer 11 week 4

i have only this week and the next left of this transfer, already! the Time really is flying by. Sister De Oliveira and I are really working hard to do better each day so that we can qualify to receive the blessings of the Lord--finding, teaching, and baptising the Lord´s Elect. It is no way an easy task. This past week we spent much of our companionship study hour to study more about the role of the Holy Spirit in our teaching, and in the conversion of our investigators. Without the Spirit, we are teaching the precepts of man, it has to be in the Lord´s way. We have had some realy neat experiences in our teaching where all are being edified, where all can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. We met three families this week to teach, two of them we have to help them get married. People dont always understand that marriage is one of the ten But we are really excited to work with them. We havent been able to teach them yet because of the weekend of Páscoa, of Easter. when we came for one of our appointments, the father of the family had brought home some friends to celebrate. We´ll just say that of the 6 adults present, only one was in conditions to be taught so we remarked for during the week. As a missionary, i dont really like holidays because its an excuse to get extremely drunk. EVERYONE. So we didnt have a realy good turn out of our investigators going to church, but the Lord blessed us. The parents of Percídio that live out on the farm had come in to visit. His mom was baptised the same period as Ediria and the kids. After the sacrament meeting, Mamedes came up to us and said he wants to be baptised, and very much. We taught him during the sunday school class, his wife had been studying on her own out on the farm and was wanting to know when she can get married in the temple. (it was funny, she said, i finished reading the gospel principles book. I was married in the catholic church, but now I know that only counts for this earth life. We will do 50 years mrried in may, can we get married in the temple then? I answered, when you do 51 years, you can!) It really was a miracle, because he had to be interview by president, and because of certain conditions he´d probably need to wait for more permission, so it wouldnt be until summer. But presidient called upon his conselor here, President Midina and, after his interview he was baptised. Percídio baptised him. IT was so neat, all of their children where there and watched the baptism. Really soften the heart of one of his daughters and she wants us to come by and vist. SCORE!!! baptise the patriach, batise the family!!
We are really excited to kick butt and work super hard this week. I wanna finish off this mission baptising like i have never seen before. Thats what the Lord wants, right? I know that this church is true, the only one with the priesthood, there is no way I could negate that.
Love you all,
Hope ya´ll had a great Easter, remembering Who it is that gave His perfect life for us.

see ya´ll in a few months,
Sister Smith

miracle baptism!
one is of the whole family,
and the other is part of the family!
what luck i had fixed my hair yesterday...

transfer 11 week 3

Hope everyone had the opportunity to listen to general conference this weekend, seriously, its such a blessing for us the hear from the lidership of the church. Really recharged my batteries to give me some more gun-ho for these last two transfers. I was really impressed by the testimonies of those who spoke, and the love and compassion they show for us. Without a doubt in my mind this men are truly prophets and apostolos of God. We are so blessed to be living in a time where the gospel is being carried throughout the world, and all the tecnologies that allow todos ouvir the words of the prophet. Did ya´ll know that Elder Scott does his own translation into portuges? Yeah. it was funny, because i leaned over to sister De Oliveira and said, man this translator´s voice is exactly like Elder scott´s.; She laughed at me, uh thats because this IS his voice. Chique de mais! We had two of our less actives of whom we are working with who went to the conference. Super blessing. I think inactives are more difficult to get to church than investigators, I was really happy when i saw them there.
People always said a mission isn´t easy. You can´t really imagine how hard it is until you are in it. There are many moments of sadness, rejection, pain, anquish, frustration, tiredness; Its really hard to see people who have been touched by the holy spirit, who recieve a witness of the varacity of the gospel, and still, wont follow. But what makes up for these moments is the complete joy of seeing some accept and make the changes in their lives. I think you see more challenges and difficulties than the good, but the good is so great it outshines those of the opposite. Im grateful for all those who have had an influence in my life to make those decisions that lead to happiness. Those decisions of choosing the right, keeping the commandents, repenting, making covenants. I am grateful for our Heavenly Father, that he gave me the life and the light i have, to help other people. I know this is the only true church upon the face of the earth, the only church that has the fulness of the gospel, with revelation through a prophet and autority of God. I know this is the plan of happiness, to return back to our Heavenly Parents. I know the book of Mormon is another testmony of our Savior Jesus Christ; that we can resolve any life question by reading her. I know Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the church of Christ.
I love my Savior, I know he lives and loves each one of us with a love we cannot comprehend.
Love this work.
Sister Smith

photo 1: (left to right) sister Heydorn (california) Sister Ramires (Campo grande, she is serving cut time in the place of sister fernandes) Eu e sister De Oliveira (natal)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Transfer 11 week 2

I was sop escited about the news of ella´s birth and ben going to prom and ammon having mono that i nearly forgot to mandar noticias.  I am well, happy and working hard.  One sister got news from the doctor that her knee is beyond repair on the mission and she had to go home today.  that was friday that president called.  so it has been a little crazy.  Really escited for general conference, prepararem-se bem, tá bom?!
amo vocês,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Transfer 11 week 1

and the transfer call sayssssss:
stayed!!! yeashh, I will have yet another transfer with sister De Oliveira here.  Im really excited, we have a few families of which we are working with, that i really want to see their progression.  Not everyone is a two week baptism.  We had zone conference tuesday which was really awesome, I love conferences.  It might be my last one, being as i zone conferece is usually every three months.  President did a simulation of us being released from our callings and he had us take off our name tags.  That was the weirdest feeling ever.  All I could think was, okay pres, when are you going to let me put my tag back on?  this isn´t my time yet!!
I wonder if I will feel that again when it really happens.  Made all of us think once again how we got here and why were are here.
We met a little family this week that I am really excited to see how take hold of the gospel.  We had been searching for  two young women but we couldnt find their house number so we started asking people on the street.  One group told us to talk with this woman, Tareza, becuase she rents out a few houses in front of hers.  We talked with her, not finding the ladies, but explained who we are.  Immediately she had a question about who or what is Mormon?  She was busy with her little daughter so we quickly expained what is the book of mormon and we left it with her, along with a pamflet about the restoration of the gospel.   Saturday it was just by chance we were close to her neighboorhood and passed by to see how her reading went.  She had already read starting from the front cover up until ch. 5 in 1st nephi.  Her son attended us at the door and when we understood who we were he was really excited, Tareza had passed the pamphlet for him to read and he´d read all of it.  We shared the message of the restoration and before we even talked about  joseph the room was filled with the spirit, she was almost crying when we talked about joseph´s search and the direction given in james.   She said she will pray, but she already feels she´d recieved and answer, that this is the path she´d been searching for.  Directly after the lesson she told us that she smokes and wants to stop.  It is true as the scriptures say, the Elect hear His Voice and they follow.  It was neat discussing the lesson afterwards with sister De Oliveira. She said that this was the first time that she sat down and clearly pictured the person dressed in white.  Just got to pray that satan wont get in the way, becuase he does like to do that, i have seen that many times on my mission. People who know that the church is true, they have felt the spirit bare witness, but the world gets in the way and they arent truly certain if they can live the life that God requires.  We saw that this week, teaching a mother and daughter who´d already recieved the lessons.  They said they believe in what we taught them, that Joseph was the prophet of the restoration, but when it comes to following, they say its complicated, or its too dificult.  So, let me understand, its too hard to follow Christ?
It makes you sad, when you know they just aren´t willing to open their hearts and follow the spirit.  But not everyone excepted or recognized even when Jesus Christ himself was teaching his truths.
This transfer will be a short one, of only 5 weeks.
 story funny.  So im pretty sure our neighbors are going to hate us after last night, but we had 2 cockroach appearances, one which was having a baby.  (yeah i didnt look at that one....ewww)  imagine 4 young women tryying to kill a cockroach, one screaming jumping up and down, one ontop of a chair with a can of raid, one with a shoe, and the other with the broom.  (i always prefer the broom).  Not only once last night, but twice.
I almost wet myself from the laughter.
So im really excited about Ella being born.  I was waiting to hear if she already left the womb or if she is hanging in on there. I´ll pray for you Leda, i know God will bless you with a quick deliverance. ;)
estou animada!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Transfer 10 week 6

Minha Nossa! Já esta a final semana desta transferência!!
Tommrow we will have our Zone Conference, Im excited, because its such a great day of learning, but im a little nervous. I have finally memorized Doctrine and Convenants section 4 in portuguese. I know....over a year into my mission and I finally make the effort...becuase who knows, i might get called on to say it infront of three zones of missionaries. Its funny, to help me remember the verse that says ´´remember the faith, the virtue, the knowledge, the temperance....etc´´ i remember it by pointing to parts of my body. virtue=eyes knowlege=temples temperance=nose pacience=mouth., get the picture. im imagining tommrow i get called on, and being nervous i wont rembmer the words with out doing head shoulders knees and toes.
We have been working with a few little families this transfer, one we just absolutely love. Juliana and her three kids, Debora, Diego and Sara. HEr parents too. I have been learning alot about patience, as we have been visiting them for a few weeks but they still havent been to church yet and we hadnt even invited Juliana for baptism. We finally had a moment where her kids were out with their dad that we could teach her in reverence. I am not going to lie, i was really nervous about it. and she accepted the challenge! progress!! Sometimes it is hard for me, as I have always been so impatient, to accept the timing of the Lord. Im like, if we are going to do it, lets do it now!! But everyone has the momement right to accept the gospel. Its hard too when you work with someone and you love them so much and want so desperately to see them have more happiness in their lifes, but it isnt their time yet. Im learning that pacience has a lot to do with faith.
Today is going to be pretty crazy again, we have already finished at the dentist and now we have to meet up with the other companionship of sisters to get my papers that i had forgotten, for me to go to my exam. wha-oo! we are goping to be running like crazy in the city center today, and getting things ready for the week and for conference.....haev to remain calm.b But tonight we will have a FHE with a less active and make tapioca. YES!!!! excited I am.
love you all,

transfer 10 week 5

I hit 1 year 3 months last week.
Minha Nossa.
Ave Maria!
Im getting old here! we are getting ourselves well prepared for our next conference of Zone. I´ll hit one more before i go home, i think. Today is a trunkie letter day....haha last night we celebrated sister De Oliveira doing 7 months of the mission with lots of sugar; brownie with chocolate covering and strawberries, chocolate icecream and coca cola. we will just say that we took a lot of pictures and had a few giggle was quite funny us four sprawled out on the floor making faces and taking photos. I have been pretty stressed so it was good to wind down. Its been a tough week, with finding new people but not having people making commitments, i think my immune system has been low because i have gotten sick, lots of pain in the body and head and weakenss. i went to the doctor and she gave me some drugs and i have to go back in today. Im not too worried about it; i think I really just need a good rest. My cist that had a removed a few years back flared up again so, that could be a factor in all this.
Today in the lan house we ran into a man from california, it was weird trying to converse in english! the other sisters will get the joy of visiting him; he already has lived in utah, in Centerville and knows a lot about the history of the church. now its time for the spirit to teach him. HAHAHA
So yeah, to return to the point that this is a trunkie letter, i have less than 15 weeks!!!! probably my fly in day will be the 4th or 5th of june!!!!
I like to tease my companion by saying the following....´´you know I could kiss a young man this year. BUT YOU WONT until 2013!!! you know what? I could go to the beach this year.....BUT YOU WONT until 2013!!!!!!!!´´
ARent i mean? rsrsrsrsrs
but its good to tease your companions, they need it once and a while.
On saturday we had quite the tempest here!! luckily we were still at lunch when it started the down pour. happened to be that i and sister de oliveira had forgotten our umbrellas in the house of another member that we did a family night; if we´d had been in the street, minha nossa what a disaster it would have been!

photo1: nós quatro-smith, heydorn, fernades e de oliveira
photo2: the storm
photo3: ´´please bless this food to nurish and strengthen our much as chocolate, sugar, and coca cola can´´

I pray for all of you and hope ya´ll have a great week!

PS--dear family!!! send me photos of the family so i can show them to my companion...for example, cousins who are single. ;) hahaha

Transferencia 10 Semana 4

Another week has come and gone!
Time sure is passing by quickly, am having a lot of fun and alot of learning with Sister De Oliveira. She makes me trunky. Trunky for her house! SEriously, I have got to visit Natal. Go to the beach, eat açaí and cuscuz......its so delicious. She is a person with big Energizer batteries. We are always singing and laughing and messing around; our favorite this week is to pretend like we are mad at each other and one is the mother and the other the child receving punishment. It is so hilarious, becase the other sisters haven´t a clue what to do with us! hahahaha today is going to be a very chilax day. I will actually write some letters, watch a movie (yeah, when your options are only church filmes, you still get excited to watch together forever or the restoration!) and eat popcorn! its going to be awesome! Last week we went to play paintball with another zone but we were late and the place had someone else already scheduled so we ended up going to another chapel in the centro and played football. err soccer. it was really fun, and funny because you have to play easy beccause there is the no contact rule between elders and sisters so as sisters we´d take advantage of that and make some scores! E. Conceição and I got ourselves a game plan that we pulled the wool over my companion´s eyes (as she was the goalie). He´d go in like he was going to kick the ball in, so she was only paying attention to him, he´d bluff and kick it to me on the other side and i´d bump the ball into the net. hahaha it was great fun. We are having good success too, with working with the members. We had three members walk with us to do visits and contacts and we have been having family home evening nights every week too. Sunday we had two more members offer to walk with us. This makes me happy, that we are starting to get more involoved with the members, because its really the only way that works well.
So sometimes I feel like i have been on my mission all my life, yesterday I was trying to remember the names of Leda´s girls in whole, and I couldnt! I wont even try to guess what birthdays are lol
We have found a couple of neat families to work with. It would really complete my joy if we could bring a family into the gospel this transfer. it is sometimes really complicated, to find a couple that is legaly married or wants to be married, and then to meet with everyone at the same time; I am praying this two families we have met will progresss. One we met, it was by complete chance where our plans had fallen through, and I only remembered the name of the woman that I had read in the area book (a book of records of people who recieved lessons, or only were contacts in the street, recent converts and less actives) she was a contact. Last transfer we had tried to encontrar her in her house but she wasnt. I didnt even remember what the number was or the name of the street, but i believe the spirit led me to remember because when we got to her house she was home and let us in. She had already recieved the lessons from missionaries years past, but we talked about the restoration and families. She said that she prays everyday for the Lord to show her which church is true; because she wants to raise her family with gospel principles. She said she wants to be like us, and be able to say ´´I know this is the true Church of God.´´ She has a mother in law who is a memeber, and had actually been talking about doing a visit in the church again because its been a while since she went. The only thing that is faltering is marriage.
nobody gets married here!
but at least Campo Grande has this great marriage system. If you have beeen living together more than one year, you go to where this moblie marrage center is and bring all your documents and get married for free. for FREEE!! just do it!
but yeah,
hope ya´ll have a fantastic week.
lo0ve kristin

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Transfer 10 week 3

What a great week we had! it ended with a great baptism of Marilene, our neighbor in our aparments. It is such a pleasure to see the changes people make becuase of the gospel. she stoped smoking in one week and the next week stopped drinking coffee. She never had a very religious background, but she pays attention and observes alot and has a desire to follow the Savior. We met a little family after church yesterday and they fully accepted the message of the restoration. It is awesome to see how much the Lord blesses us in our lives.
Sister De Oliveira is helping me loose my accent, which really isnt easy when im choosing to learn a northeastern accent; its difficult for us americans! I practice when i read anything to pronounce like she does. cuz her accent is awesome!
Sorry its short this week,
because of carnival its been hard to find a lan house open and so we are a little behind schedule.
amo voces!
sister smith
photo 1: what you do when your iron stops working and your companion cant leave the house with anything slightly wrinkled
photo 2: when you put your cup of tereré in the fridge and it freezes...

Transfer 10 week 2

Sending pictures!
me and sister De Oliveira
A family bem especial! Roni and Elaine. They take care of the missionaries. And we got a present from them yesterday! Gave us tereré boxes for our herb!!
Its been a good week. Im loving the time working with my new companion. She is always excited and wanting to work and talks all the time. She is going to help me alot, we are going to kick butt this transfer! We are working with Marlelene and Sueli. They both have their own set of problems, but willing to follow the Savior. Im hoping that we can surpass our goal and have two baptisms of two special women this weekend. This work only goes forward when we are all focused and working togeher. Its great to have a companion who has the same focus as you and you want to work to be better, no matter how difficult or challenging the task.
Im also working on my portuges, she is going to help me lose my accent. Becuase its really getting me frustrated lately, people deciding that they dont understand anything I say becuase I have an accent. I know how to speak your language, that is how we have been conversing for the last ten minutes!!
Hope everyone is doing well!
love kristin

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Transfer 10 week 1


Yes, that is how i am feeling today!!!
Why? Because its transfer day!!!!!!!!!
President did a LOT of changes for the sisters this transfer, hallelujah. and my companion will be *drumroll*
ssssiiissssstttttteeerrrrrrrr DE OLIVERIA!!!
YEAH. im excited.
We were together last year in Verdão and ever since that amazing month i have wanted to serve with her.
Im staying in Bandeirantes still, but im happy with that. we have some good prospects.
We are working with Sueli, ELECT!!!!!! She is a neighbor of our ward mission leader. We finaly were able
to catch her at home on friday, she has been looking for a church. She accepted everything we taught and in the middle of our lesson, she stopped us. ´´You know what question i have always had? ´´ Yeah what is that? ´´If God is one, why are there so many churches, shouldnt there be just one?´´
Sunday she said it was love at first sight when she walked into the chapel. she said she felt the spirit of God so strong as if he was saying, yes my daughter, this is the path. At the end of testimony meeting she shared her experience in every class and said that she knew this church was true too, and so excited for baptism. She is one special woman. her husband who has already passed away was a preacher in another church. The spirit was very strong in that meeting; our investigator Cema, who was born and raised in the relgion of Spiritism and wasnt interested at all, cried during the first hymn and after the meeting said she was searching for a church and felt good here.
I love the Holy Spirit, he makes everything so much easier.
Im really excited for a new transfer, new goals and everything to start afresh. Im glad for the experiences of this last transfer; it wasnt always easy but i learnt alot.
I hope everyone is well, that Grandma is doing better with the sergury and all.
So i hit my 1 year 2 month mark!! not that im counting or anything, but doing the math, i have 18 weeks left of my mission. Thats less than some elders have months. HAHAHAHAHA
NOT trunky. I love you all, and miss you all, but Im not crying my eyes out to return. I only cry about the work, because i know this time is short and i will have the rest of my life and eternity with my family.

im sending photos of the recent pieces of art i did.
the first photo is of the temple in São Paulo, i did it for Elder Conceição for him to give to a less active couple in Julio Castilho.
Underneath it says something like Not one sucess in life compensates for weakeness in the home.
photo 2: I designed again a t shirt for my zone, this time it turned out superb. guess which couple i am!

Talk to you all next p day!

transfer 9 week 6

one more week has past and gone that has left me very tired....Gotta keep running though. This week was a week very difficult, as we were working so hard to find people to teach and bring them to the church, rejection was the daily meal. We had one teenager who had accepted to prepare for batism, we talked with her mom to get her signature of it and she said her daughter didnt want to be baptised or go to church. So I called her daughter, when i said this, she hung up the phone. Yeah. got my answer cleared. Yeah, its been a week of running after people who are whishy-washy....we dont have time for this! There are people out there! It is frustrating as everyday i am constantly thinking of what needs to be changed, why arent we having success, and really i just dont know what to do. One thing i know for certain, you can´t do this work alone. you need the Spirit and you need your companion. If the three of you arent on the same page, its not going to go right.
Our new ward mission leader Luis and his wife Ana Paula are so awesome! they are the couple I want to be. Return missionaries who have the vision of sharing the gospel, I have never had a leader who on his own will went to visit a investigator. We had a great activity last night, we watched 17 miracles, was such a great opportunity for members to bring non-members. we had one woman from our apartment go with us and we will start teaching her now.
hope you all enjoy the photos.
Hope you all have a great week.
love kristin

photo 1: henrique: the little car that has a lot of experience in missionary work
photo 2:Percídio, Edinira, Fatima, Ederlinio, The men recieved the priesthood last week and Percídio is preparing to recieve the higher priesthood! ITs so amzing to see how much the gospel changes people. Happy family. :)
photo 3: what we do after nightly planning session, sit on the veranada eating icecream and playing uno...

transfer 9 week 5

Dear family,
if i would have been thinking better i would be sending pictures of our new apartment. YEAH!! we have a new apartment, we moved this week. Second house move i have done on my mission, i should be pro. except this time the help we were to recieve from members fell through so it took a lot longer to get everything moved....the elders in my zone helped us out. we carryed alot of things in hand down the street and around the corner into the other neighboorhood, a good 15 min walk. It was so funny watching one elder pulling a purple and pink suitcase down the street. And then when we took the mattresses, there was a mattress fight in the street. got a ride from sister aires on the bike of juan, son of a recent convert. Its a good little apartment we are in now, its a lot more secure, where there is a gate with a man at the post and the rent is cheaper than the house. Im excited for this week of work; we had one of those weeks where we cut all of our investigators because they just werent willing to make a compromise with God to go to church. Some people recieve missionaries openly in their home, keep other promises of praying and studying, but when it comes to leavin the house, they can´t. Its sad when you work so hard with someone and you really love them and you know they felt that it is true, but they can´t seem to let go of the world. the world sucks, its not going to bring you any happiness!!! just repent and go to church. Its simple! salvation or damnation, those really are the options! For me, anything less than the Celestial Kingdom is damnation.
Hope everyone is well, im praying for all ya´ll. give my love to the little ones!

transfer 9 week 4

the week in photos...
last p day in the centro...
1. the tree that looks like a giant pineapple
2. the view from the park of the indidious nations
3. i was sick for the rest of the day after elder ertel spun us on the merry go round
4. the sky is beautiful in campo grande...
5. making pancakes with frozen eggs! yeahhhhhh!

yeah, i wish i would have taken a picture of all of us sisters this week. its pretty much rained non stop the past week. and i lost my umbrella so i was resorting to using a plastic poncho i found in another area in my mission. I got a lot of stare-downs in that one. ´´What, you´ve never seen a walking plastic bag before?`` .....``now i know what it feels like to be garbage...``

so yeah things have been kinda slow this week, i haven´t had numbers like this since can onlky get better, right? We have met some really neat people the past two weeks, i hope that this week we can help them learn more of the gospel and become a part of the church. This transfer is just running past and i have so many changes to make within myself and my work. Today we will make pizza, sounds like it will be sisteres sem elderes dia, since the elders had marked with some other elders in another zone to go paint balling. i would like to, but today i have a lot to do. After here I have to go to the centro para comprar sandals, my sandals i bought that I thought would be good are already hashed after two months. and i need to cut my hair. its really hideous with its multi tone. i just want to loose light ends, really!

hope all is well with ya´ll. Have any of you watched 17 17 miracles, about the willie handcart company? we watched it last night in a FHE with a recent convert...such a moving film. I would have cried had we not 4 elders in the house watching to see if the sisters would bawl.

love, kristin

Monday, January 9, 2012

Transfer 9 week 3

hello dear friends and family;
I have survived yet another week here in Bandeirantes. Between the blistering sun, the umbrella tearing rain and the rocky roads, its been a tiring yet satisfying week of work in the Work of The Lord. Its been a tough week, searching for those who´ve strayed from the path. We have been using our list of members to find those who arent active, to re-active and meet new people to share the gospel in this form. The hardest day was friday. We were able to meet many of those inactive families that particular day. The saddening part was to see home after home, people who had completely lost their testimonies. by five in the afternoon my companion and I were spiritually depressed, all I wanted was to return to our house and eat a pot of icecream. But you just cant give up like that. Sister V. Morais, we have to teach and testify right now and then we´ll feel better. Oh look! theres three women sitting infront of that house. lets talk to them!´´ Well. one of them had to leave, but invited us to pass by another day. we sat and talked with her mom and her aunt. Her mom had some crazy experiences to share about seeing Saint Peter....but we wrote down Ivette´s name and adress to pass by another time. She seemed nice in the 10 seconds we knew her. We had the opportunity to pass by saturday, and she wasnt home but would probably return shortly. So we chatted with her aunt until she got home 15 mins later. Ivette had met missionaries of the chruch while living and visiting in Paraguay, France, and Portugal, but never went to church. She´d had the missionaries here in her home 7 years back, but never receieved a book of Mormon. (sounds like they liked getting free food and conversing more than converting) We taught her the restoration and about joseph smith. I sat there in awe at the faith that she showed. She said straight up, I know God answers prayers. I once prayed in my room, about something in my life. No angel appeared, but I felt this deep warmth and love from God. She said that she would pray and when she recieves her answer, she would be baptised.
Unfortunately she didnt make it to church, but the experience that night gave me hope and reminded me that there are people here to recieve the gospel. At times it gets discouraging when you struggle so much to teach somone, or to even find someone who is honest about recieving you in their home to hear the message.
But an even great miracle happened this weekend. Percídio recieved permission after 2-3 months of waiting from the First Presidency to be baptised. President called us saturday night, and said for us not to notify Percídio, that he would in the enterview. (it was such a miracle that it happened to come the weekend President had come to campo Grande for leadership training) In sacrament meeting the spirit was so powerful, especially afer Percídio arose and shared his testimony of the gospel. He spoke of the change that the gospel brought in his life personally, and the life of his family, and the true happiness he has. AFter that it seemed like the whole congregation rose to bare testimony. When President Oliveira told him that today he would be finally clean of his sins, he and his wife were full of smiles and tears. These are those baptisms that you never forget. Those who have found the truth and truly have felt the power of the atonement and know what baptism means for them and their family. There was not a dry eye in the meeting, and the spirit was so ever present. I will never forget the spirit I felt as he recieved the gift of the holy ghost. My whole body was washed with that sweet purifying sensation that only comes through the Holy Spirit. And now the family of brother Percídio can finally start working towards being an eternal family. Our work doesnt stop at baptism; its the temple that is our goal.
Since the assistants were with president, and they are now in my area of Verdão, I got to hear about my recent converts there. Douglas is ever strong, he and Ricardo are preparing for missions!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IF those recent converts can just make it to the temple, I know the possiblities of them staying true to their baptismal convenant is more likely. Its saddening to hear of your recent converts who have already fallen through the cracks. I worry greatly about many of those. But their names are on the records. They wont ever be forgotten, even if they want to be.
I know this gospel is true-its perfect.
Im so greatful to Father in Heaven, for giving me this opportunity to grow and be an instrument for others to recieve His Truths.
Have a great week, send a hug to Grandma!
love you all,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Transfer 9 week 2

FEliz Ano Novo todo mundo!
espero que sejam felizes este ano e fazem muitas coisas boas para O Senhor.
Im enjoying working with my new companion, sister V. Morais.  SHe is a hard worker and dedicated so we are going to get a long great.  Im getting to know the area, its a lot bigger than what I was working in Julio de Castilho, but I rather enjoy more space to walk.  Its going to be a good transfer for sure. I know im going to be learning alot too.  I have been very pensativa....umm reflective, pensive: yeah about what i want to accomplish in the next five months and the rest of my life.  the last few nights  I have hardly been able to sleep because my mind is going crazy.  I first am thinking about my area and what i need to improve and then my thoughts start to wander off on the changes i make now how they´ll effect me in the future and then it thinking about everything under the sun and next thing i know im laying in bed wide eyed with a headache at 12:30 when i really need to be sleeping.  I literally had to count sheep last night to fall asleep.  I guess with the new year starting im seeing how quickly this time passes.  I dont want, on my last day of my mission to have tears of regret but tears of joy and happiness.
We have some awesome recent converts in my area, families so great.  one family in particular we are praying so much for.  Everyone is baptised except the father, (i wont cite his name because i dont know how to spell it or pronouce it properly...)  and he wants to be baptised so much.  He is such a humble man, the only problem is that he has commited one of those sins that arent easily pardoned.  Seeing him, knowing him, you wouldnt believe that he has killed someone.  I dont know the circumstance, but i believe it had to be for self defense.  We are waiting to hear back from the prophet if he can.  Sister Morais said it was heart breaking the first few months of working with the family because he would cry every time the sisters visited because he wants so much.  I want to see this family be an eternal family.  They are so special.  I have been studying more about breaking and keeping the commandments.  In this world satan tries to make us think that we arent sinning, or that it isnt a big deal.  But it is.  there are so many ways that we separate ourselves from God.  The hymn nearer my God to thee has taken on a new meaning to me as I have been reflecting on how i can purify my life.  That is what I want, to be nearer to God, to feel His spirit ever present in this life.  I know that the basics we need to do in this life are make and magnify our covenants with God; raise an eternal family, and share the gospel.  These are the things most important that daily living at times makes us forget.
God is awesome, HE really is our Father Eternal.  He is waiting to bless us, if we just keep His commandments.  I love this gospel, its perfect.
Love ya´ll, have a great week.
ps-did ya´ll make a list of what is happening in our family in 2011?  if so I want to know the results and if ya´ll did one for 2012.
pps-- you know what is awkward?  when you are sitting next to someone who obviously isnt using deodorant...and you keep thinking, is that me.? so you do the sneaky check like 5 times becuase you are started to get paranoid that you smell bad.