Date: Mar 4, 2013 6:09 AM

Hey Family! 

It is so great to hear from you guys everyweek. Sounds like fun doing your saturday chores with Nolan! I miss working around the house with dad and going to home depot and buying the polish sausages on saturday mornings. Good times! I can't believe Nat changed a diaper. She is really growing up fast. And my companion is actually learning portuguese pretty fast. He understands alot more than he speaks and usually people can understand most of what he says. I am learning alot of spanish because sometimes he says alot of stuff in spanish. But on a scale of 1-10, it is probably like a 7, I think it is quite a bit easier for them to learn portuguese. He does mix some words sometimes but even when he does the words are pretty similar.

Well this week we started teaching some really awesome families. We have been working with a certain family for quite a while and this week they all went to church together! They are going to get married soon and so I am pretty excited for that. Marriage is pretty expensive here but the branch is going to help them out. When the husband was talking about the church to one of his friends he said, '' it's kind of like other churches, but it's better'' and then when he was talking about the Book of Mormon he said ''it's kind of like the Bible, but better''. He is really growing alot and I believe him and his wife have become even closer because of the Gospel.

This week I had another funny experience. So when we were teaching an investigator, my companion told me after that the lady in the neighboring house was outside rolling up marijuana outside on her steps! I couldn't believe it, we returned to the guy's house where we were teaching and I saw her doing it too just there in the open. I began to question whether it was really marijuana or not. We saw another person doing the same thing at another house so I just had to ask. When I asked what it was they said ''crack''. Crack here is a drug but I think it is a different drug than our crack. I couldn't believe it! Then I saw a policeman stop close by and just ignored what was happening and I was struck with even more unbelief. Later, we went to an investigators house where his parents were doing the same thing, I asked him what it was and he said it was ''crack'' and I said well you aren't going to use it rightt?! And he said ya we will! We are getting ready for São José which is a big holiday here. I said no you can't! And then he showed me what it was. It was those little pop-it things you throw on the ground to explode! I felt pretty dumb. Later when I was telling a member about this story, they said I misunderstood. The real name of this thing is ''track''. It is pretty colse to crack in portuguese. They laughed pretty hard at me. 

But I learned a lesson! When we have in our minds a certain prefixed judgement, we tend to hear things in different forms or see things from a different point of view. If I hadn't thought in the first place that it was drugs, I probably would have understood the word track instead of crack. Just goes to show we can't judge others and we can't come to conclusions before we really know everything about the situation.

Well I love you all and hope you all have a great week. This past week was a good one and we had a great church meeting in Belém. I love hearing the testimonies of these great people. They are all so strong and pure!

I miss you tons!

Tchau for now,

Elder Smith

P.S. Can you get me the recipe for grandmas fruit dip? And also the black bean soup I made one time from your recipe book? I forgot the name of the recipe book. It's a newer one that I think was made by members of the church.

P.S.S. Mom can you have Bishop Cranney email you the email he sent me? And then you email it to me? We can only open emails from direct family members but I really want to read what he sent me!

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