"I know the Savior did for us what we cannot do for ourselves."

Date: Mon, May 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Thanks Mom,

Sounds fun, seems like alot of missionaries are coming and going about this time. When do the Del Toro's move? How is Nat's soccer going? Is she still on the same team?

I played soccer today with real Brazilians! We played at the church, they have like a cement court for basketball and soccer and volleyball, but I think people only play soccer there. Some young men came and played. They don't even wear shoes when they play! My feet would get torn up so bad, it was pretty awesome though, I felt a little more immersed in the culture. There are always kids playing soccer in the streets here. I wish I would've brought a Sounder's Jersey, everyone has their team here! 

I have been playing piano at Church, it's going well! Not sure if I told you abou tthis yet but for some reason the first time I played I was playing and I guess they didn't sing the second verse, so when I went to play the third and final verse, no one was really singing. The song just ended akwardly, but that's okay! Since then things have been pretty good. It is good practice for me and helps me keep it up. 

Transfers were this week, the other companionship left and so we have two new Elders in the house. Elder Orr (American from Salt Lake) and Elder Da Rosa (Brazilian). Both are cool, we slept outside on our patio a couple nights ago, it was kinda loud with all the street noise (even louder than normal!), but felt nice!

We had a confirmation Sunday, a young woman named Luana. She was baptized a few weeks ago but the week after had to take of her sister and the week after her cousins that usually go with her weren't there and she didn't want to go without them. But she came this week and looked happier than ever! It was great.

We had investigators at Sacrament meeting so that was fun. And we have a young man (reference) we are meeting with tonight. We have a family night with the Bishop and we are bringing some investigators. I'm pretty excited to see how it works out with all these people! It is so cool to be able to not have to worry about much but other people's happiness. Feels pretty good! 

Not much too crazy has happened since last Thursday. We are hoping for some Baptisms this weekend, We have one man 20 years old and another young man who is 13. The young man is already attending seminary! And the 20 year old has been progressing very well. I am excited for them both. The members are great here and very willing to help us with the work. I am grateful for that!

Well I hope you all have a great week! I think this will be a pretty busy one for us. I love you and miss you all! I know the Savior did for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He paid the price we could not and can not pay. We must show Him our gratitude for that sacrifice through our keeping the commandments and trying to follow his perfect example. Thanks for being such a great family, I don't know why but I was given the best! Love you and miss you all!

Your Favorite Son!

P.S. Dad I really liked the talk and Andreas story. It was nice to get some enlightenment on Mother's because I didn't understand the talks on Mother's Day perfectly in Portuguese! The joke at the beginning was awesome! And I agree, Mom and Grandma Backstein and Grandma Smith are amazing!

The Lord will truly help those who want to change

Date: Wed, May 16, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Thanks Dad, This is awesome!

I didn't read what Andrea wrote yet but I will print it out and read later. Looked like alot of fun over there one Mother's Day! Mom I hope you had an awesome Mother's Day! The best Mom deserves the best Mother's Day! I felt like I was just looking through a window, it's so cool. It was really nice to talk to you all and see you, felt too short! But I'm still grateful for it. Were you able to find my area on the map?

Well we have some really cool investigators right now. 2 young men and two Elder's quorum age young men. One young man named Junior is awesome, we found him contacting Saturday. And then received advice from a member to go visit a boy named Junior on Sunday, we had already contacted him! He came to Church and had a great time. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read and pray. Tuesday we went with a young member to pick him up for seminary (Seminary is at 7PM here). Someone said he was playing soccer. So the young man and a recent convert went on to seminary without. We checked on another appointment then came to check on him and he had already left for the church. We taught him a lesson. He has already read and prayed. He says he wants to be baptized. We will continue teaching him. He is awesome.

Another young man we have taught 2 lessons to. We taught him the Restauration yesterday. He freely accepted to say the closing prayer and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true, if we have a Prophet, if we have 12 Apostles. SO cool. I asked him to pray later about this (I think) but he prayed then, who knows maybe I asked to pray then, sometimes my tenses get mixed up, but I think not! I'm very excited for him too. 

Other investigator age 20 was drinking like 6 or 7 like bottles/thermos's of coffee a day, he really wants to change and repent. Yesterdy when he went by, hadn't dranken even 1! The Lord will truly help those who want to change and are willing to repent and come to him. 

Well this is a little update, we have another investigator but he is pretty new. We are starting to work with members more and it is really helping with the work. It really helps to have members in the lesson because they know the culture better than us. I can really tell as I begin to let go of myself a little, and care more about investigators and others, the work is going very well and we are becoming happier and happier. I am startng to leran to love the culture and people more and more each day. They are so great!

Well I love you all so much! I have P-Day Monday again after this, this we just for transfers. I am still with my trainers but we have a new companionship in the house, Elder Orr (American), and Elder Da Rosa (Brazilian) they are really nice. Thanks for the pictures Dad! I talk about you so much! I am so lucky for the family I have. I don't know why but to be raised in the family I was and with the Gospel, I feel like the luckiest man on Earth.

I loved the talk Dad, and I agree, Mom is the best! Eu amo vocês! Eu tem saldade para vocês!

Com muito Amor de Brasil,

Elder Smith

I farted for my first time during a lesson...

Ya I am very excited to talk to you guys this week! I sent some instructions for Skype in another email. I think I will call you around 2:30 PM your time. I hope that works. I don't really know how else to tell you when I will call if that doesn't work. And I don't remember when church is. I know Dad has to speak so I am hoping if church is at 1 it will still work. I can try calling at 3 PM too if it would be better. Just keep skype on and keep your cell phones in case I need to call first. But if at possible, just have skype open at and I will call you. Use Dad's skype name if you can. If you need to make a new one, add me as a skype friend my name is smith.isaac29. If all else fails I can just call.

Sounds like some fun partying! Did you guys have some real mexican food at the Cinco De Mayo party? Was Dad speaking spanish with Ed? That'd be so cool if Kadyn lived with you guys! Sister Del Toro has called me Kadyn and had a conversation with me as if I was him before, I guess we look alot alike. So maybe he will help you not miss me as much. I can't believe the tree got cut down! Send a picture if you can, what do the neighbors think about it? Do you guys like it? And tell Nat to keep playing piano. It gets funner as you get better and I am so glad I can play for church here. I should've played more but I can get by and I know I will love t play for awhile. Piano is awesome because it is something you can do all your life. How is Preschool Mom? I miss those little whipper snappers running around. There awesome. Oh and hey tell Dad to use this line in his talk, '' Every Mothers Day it seems like we talk about how awesome moms and women are, but on Fathers Day we talk about how husbands and men can be better'' Dad said this once, it would be funny if he included it in his talk.

Some things that happened this week, I farted for my first time during a lesson. But he didn't hear so it was all good! I saw a dead flat cat on the road. And I got letters and my package! Thanks for the package, it was so awesome. I love the ties and tie rack (I think one of the ties and tie rack are from JDT?) and candy and food. It was like chirstmas. I am trying to pace myself on eating everything. I want it to last! And letters and everything were awesome too. Thanks!

We have some good investigators right now. One is a young man age 19. He is accepting our message and committing to live the commandments we taught. He couldn't come to church cause he had a test but hopefully this week he can! We are teaching two families right now. I hope everything works out with them, they didn't go to church (only the husbands of the two families said they would but they didn't go either) so we will contact them this week and see what's going on. 

Well I can't wait to talk to you this weekend. I hope everything works out! If the skype thing doesn't work we can just use the phone. Sorry I didn't really prepare much. I didn't really know what to do! So just try and stick to the plan I wrote earlier and it should all work out. 

I love you all! Thanks for everything and especially the package and letters. It was so awesome to recieve them. I'll hopefully see you this weekend and if not I will for sure talk to you this weekend! Tchau!

-Elder Smith

Picture 1: I guess here in Brasil you are supposed to put tomato suace in the fridge after you open it.

Picture 2: We had a P-Day with the zone. We walked to the middle of this huge bridge in Natal. Awesome view.

Picture 3: A cool hut we found while walking to the Aquarium on our P-Day with the zone.

Astonish the daylights out of those Brazilians!

Sounds like you had a good time in Hawaii! I feel bad for Nat, maybe you can take me and Nat in a couple years. Yes I was able to put the pictures on a card and develop them, thanks! But I brought my adapter thing this week and forgot the card! I will have to do it next week. I had an awesome picture for you though. I guess your not supposed to leave pizza sauce just out in a kinda sealed container. I will attach the picture next week. It's pretty nasty! This week was even a greater adventure with the shower, Dad you'll be extra proud.

Our water got shut off by the people living under us (they didn't know it controlled our water too) and we had to just fill a bucket and take a bath with that! I did well, I think I only used like 1-2 gallons.

Tell Mom thanks for the pizza recipe, I have been making them quite often, they are pretty good! We made a couple today for everyone. Thanks for forwarding those letters. I have a couple more coming in the next few weeks I think. I just don't have many addresses. Can you email me like JDT's address and Mel and Jake and Laurel? And any others you may have too. I think I will be receiving letters this week, I am very excited for that.

We had Elder Holland come speak to us this week! It was so awesome! There was a special conference for just like 6 zones in the mission. My Pesident and his wife, a Sventy and his wife, and Elder Holland and his wife all spoke, It was awesome. We got to shake his hand too. Elder Holland spoke about teaching with power and authority, about the most important convert on your mission is yourself, about how you can never fall away after your mission, about how we need to bring spirituality into people's lives because many people have only little or no spirituality in their lives, and how we should be the missionaries that our family or little sister or brother or cousin thinks we are. Some of my favorite quotes were:

-''Astonish the daylights out of those Brazilians!''
-''Melt their Adidas to the floor''
-''We say we have authority, we must act like it''
-''Go back home with dignity, power, and strength of an Elder in Israel''
-''Be the missionary your family, little brother, little sister, or little cousin thinks you are''

I think these are pretty close to his words. The last one is my favorite. I really want to make my family proud and I show pictures of you guys all the time. You are the greatest! Thanks for helping me learn the gospel and always being such awesome examples! Alot of people can tell you what to do but I think it's alot harder to show someone what to do. Some of the greatest lessons I have learned came from examples of you guys. You are all awesome!

Dad I like that story about Bobby Jones. Another thing Elder Holland talked about was if we want our investigators to pray with real intent, then maybe we need to pray with real intent. And if we want our investigators to repent a little, maybe we need to repent a little. An example of someone goes a lot farther than just words. Sounds like Bobby Jones was a pretty awesome guy.

Well I love you all! Can't wait to skype soon! I email my president Dad about the Skype thing or google, I will let you know what he says. All is well here in Brasil! I have noticed when I do my part, things seem to go great! Like when I have confidence and faith I speak great and understand great! But when I don't I am on my own. I know we should always trust the Lord and if we do our part he will do his.
Have a great week! Eat some American food for me, hopefully I get that package this week! Tchau!

Elder Isaac Teddy Smith
(Brazilians pronounce it ''Ewder Ezmeech'')