"Sadly, there are no 7-11's here"

Date: 10/16/2012

Hello Family! 

Wow so many new things everyweek! I can't believe Jo Jo is already coming home, I remember writing her a few times on the mission and how she had like six months left and it is already here! And that's way exciting about Cort and Chandler! You'll have to send some pictures. I bet Julie is pretty excited this week. Cool to hear about some of my freinds heading out on the mission, way exciting! I'm glad they are all choosing to serve. The Lord needs missionaries!

Well Mom I didn't receive the e-mail yet, have them try again maybe. I am not sure why I didn't get it. 

Well this week was pretty different than usual. I got an unexpected new companion! Elder Pechel had to resolve somethings at home and left home on wednesday. He was a great elder and I know there are many who will miss him. But he said after he gets everything worked out he can come back. It will be pretty cool if he comes back while I am still here on the mission! But now my companion is Elder Marston. He is from Illinois. He is an awesome guy with a lot of desire to work and be a good missionary. He goes home in December. We get along well and things are going good. 

Yesterday at church was good. It is crazy how in one day on the mission you can feel so happy and sad at the same time. We went to pick-up a less-active member for church. He is having some problems and I know church would help him so much! But he didn't go to church yesterday and I was pretty sad because I know how much happines comes through the gospel. But also, I saw a few new faces at church! We had an investigator there and also a few inactives who are wanting to return came to church. There was a good amount of people there at church and the Spirit was very strong. It was a great meeting.

I think this week will be super busy. We will be working with a lot of less-actives and also with investigators and trying to find more people to teach. Also we have a ward halloween activity saturday. I am pretty excited for the week. 

I was reading in Preach My Gospel today something that caught my eye. It said that as we share the gospel with others, we realize how important the gospel really is in our lives. I thought this to be so true because of the greater appreciation I have gained for the gospel in my life as I have tried to share it. We really see the differences it can make in our lives and the lives of others. The greatest thing we can give is the gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether we give this gift to investigators, friends, relatives, neighbors, children, it is the greatest gift we can give.

I am grateful for my family and the oppurtunity I had at a young age to learn about he gospel of Jesus Christ and to be raised in a family that holds strong values and teaches the principles necessary for a happy life. 

Well I love you and miss you all! Thanks for everything. You guys are the best. Drink a slurpee this week for me! Sadly, there are no 7-11's here. But that's okay, there are other good things!

Have an awesome week! 


"I learned alot this weekend at conference"

Mon, Oct 8, 2012

Happy October Family, 

Sounds like everything is going pretty well. Exciting about Mike's new job and the new houses. Everything always seems to change so fast when you only get updates every once in awhile. Conference weekend was awesome. I got to watch all of the saturday sessions in english but sunday I watched in portuguese. Conference was a good refresher! I love hearing the apostles and prophets. I gain a stronger testimony of their divine callings everytime I hear them speak. And way to go Romney! Hey did Dad figure out a way for me to vote? 

There were alot of events that went on this week. The week flew by way fast. It seems like time is going faster and faster. We found a really cool new investigator this week. He has a wife and a kid too. He recently moved here from São Paulo and knows a few people in the church. He is really liking the Book of Mormon and came to conference yesterday aswell. We will try to find him and his wife at the same time at home so we can teach them both. 

Yesterday, we were a little sad because we had called investigator, visited investigators, and it seemed that no one would make it to conference. I started a little fast yesterday with a purpose to try to have investigators at conference. When the second session had started, no one had showed. After about ten minutes though, an investigator, Williams, came in with his book of Mormon in hand! I got way excited, then a few minutes later another investigator entered with her little kid. We got pretty excited and it was a great session. I am glad they were able to experience conference and see apostles and prophets of our Heavenly Father. 

I learned alot this weekend at conference. I really like the talk from Robert C. Gay when he talked about how sometimes we justify our actions when really we are just plainly in the wrong. Also that we should let our lives show to others that God truly loves us and all of His children. Something President Utchdorf said that stood out to me was that it isn't the external circumstances that determine our happiness, we determine our happiness. We need to learn to be happy. We can always be happy when we are living the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are striving to be like Him. Also the priesthood session was awesome. They talked about how the world needs more ''real'' men. Men who are worthy, men who are willing to work, men who are kind, men who respect women and others. I thought to myself that I want to be a ''real'' man! I also thought to myself of the greatest example of a man that I have in my life, Dad! Dad you are the best and you give me an example to look up to and strive to reach. Thanks for always being an example even if sometimes I didn't act like I aprecciated it. 

Thanks for the Cameron's letter. And tell Tyler congratulations! I was waiting to hear about his call, I am way excited for him! Will he be speaking english there? I thought it was way cool about the new missionary ages. President Monson is truly inspired and it was cool to hear this announcement. 

Well I love you all and hope all is well! Carve a good pumpkin for me! The Holidays will be starting here in a little. It will be weird to have Christmas in summer. But the Christmas spirit I am sure will still be present! 

Love your favorite son, 


P.S. Hey mom, can you check my balance in my bank account? Sometimes I take out money to send letters. 

Pic: We did a service project and I thought to myself that I didn't need sunscreen cause usually I am fine. But I realized after that I used a regular shirt and not a church shirt so there was new skin exposed! 

"miracles are happening all around us."

Date: 10/1/12

Oi Família!

Thanks for the picture of Nolan, that's a pretty awesome soccer ball! And yes the water balloon fight with Edcarlos was the same Edcarlos as the scripture reading story. That is way cool to hear about the Knight Family and how you guys are involved and all. If I am remembering correctly I visited them once with Dad before? I'm so glad to hear they are going to church! There isn't a feeling much better than knowing you are helping God's children grow closer to Him and enjoy all the blessings of the Gospel. Keep me updated!

This week was good, I went on companion exchanges with another missionary that arrived with me. It was good to learn some things from him and see different ways we can go about the work. 

Dad there is a Peruvian man in my ward! He married a brazilian and they were living in Peru but now they moved here. The wife has alot of family here. They are way nice though and talk about how great Peru is. I told them you served there and all and they asked for your facebook, I'm not sure if you have one so I gave them Mom's name. So Mom if you recieve a message in spanish let Dad translate! They said they would make us some Peruvian food!

A part member family came to church this week. The wife is a member who is part-active and the husband is not a member yet. They also have a son who isn't a member yet. They are very nice and we will go there and talk with them and try to teach them this week. I am hoping we can help them gain full activity in the church and enjoy all the blessings of the gospel. 

The ward is getting pretty excited about missionary work and everyweek the work seems to keep moving forward. We had a great Sacrament/Testimony meeting yesterday. There are so many strong members that go through so much but continue to remain faithful. They are a great example to me. 

I am pretty excited for conference this weekend. We are going to try to max out the power of General Conference and try to get alot of investigators there and less-actives. It is such a great oppurtunity for them to feel the Spirit and gain a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We are going to do an activity friday in preparation for conference, it'll be great. 

I have been thinking about something cool I heard here on the mission. I think it was in a stake conference where someone said ''the greatest miracles that happen our the miracles of the converting power of the gospel of Jesus Christ''. I thought this was interesting because many times we think of miracles such as healing the sick, the blind being able to see, and things like this. When really, the greatest miracles are our own conversion and the conversion of others. This miracles matters most because it is the miracle that will bring eternal happiness. Alot of times we hear stories of miracles and think that we aren't worthy of such miracles because we don't see them much in our lives. When really, miracles are happening all around us.

Well I love you all! Thanks for all your support and everything. You guys are the best! Less than three months til Christmas!

Tchau for now!

Elder Smith

P.S. Hey can you try to find a way to get Cameron's emails from Sister Johnson and send them to me? I can only get emails from my family but if you send them to me it's all good. And maybe you can send mine to him somehow. The mail system is just so slow!

P.S. Hey Dad, will I be able to vote this year? Our Mission President said we can vote online?