"I took second place with chocolate chip cookies!"

Date: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Hey Family!
Well sounds like a fun week with the wedding and all! That's way cool Eric got married. They look very happy. Yes it has been pretty warm here. I am thinking it has been more than just 75 to 90 but maybe it's because we have to be out there all day in church clothes!
Well I have finally left Geisel. I was transferred to a new area call Guarabira in Paraiba state. It is a super cool town. I will have to take some pictures for you guys. It is a much smaller city than I have been in. But it is still really cool. There are lots of farms around the town and the town itself just has a really unique style. There is like a main road that has cool stuff and I am pretty excited to be serving here. In the city there are two companionships. Us and two sisters. Together we take care of a branch and a group (a group is smaller than a branch). It sounds like we have a really great branch and the work is going along well here. I am pretty excited. I don't know much because I got here like a few hours ago but Monday I should have some better information.
Geisel was a great area. I learned alot of things while I was there and had alot of great experiences; I was pretty sad to leave some of the members and some investigators but I will still try to keep track of them talking to other missionaries that are serving there. I really liked serving in Geisel and I felt like there I really grew lot more as a missionary. I am hoping this area offers some great experiences as well and that we can help the work of the Lord move forward.
My new companion is from Rio de Janeiro. He is a very happy guy and is excited to work. I will try to send some more pictures after I take some more. This transfer is only going to be four weeks instead of six because there are so many new missionaries at the MTC there are trying to get them into the field faster. It sounds like we will have 30 new missionaries arriving the next transfer. I am really excited to see how things will change!
This past weekend we had a dessert competition at our chapel. I took second place with chocolate chip cookies! I was going to try something different but I didn't want to spend alot of money and I had almost all the things I needed for the cookies. One of our investigators took first so that was a good thing.
On monday, we had a mission conference with Elder Craig Christensen of the seventy and Elder Mazzagardi of the area seventy. Elder Oakes was supposed to come but I guess he got a little sick and they didn't let him come. It was one of the best conferences I had seen. Elder Christensen is a vey powerful man. He has alot of spiritual experiences and a lot of missionary experiences. He shared a lot of things that helped us out and answered some of the questions I had been thinking about. I really felt the power of the message that was being said and the true power of the gospel of our lives.
I think many times I think that the calling to be a missionary is much more than I can handle, but with the help of Heavenly Father, somehow it always seems to turn out alright.
I miss you all and love you so much! I hope you guys have a great week! Thanks for all the support and everything you do for me. I am one of the luckiest guys in the world!
Elder Smith
P.S. I loved the chirstmas card dad!

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