"I have learned a lot from many humble people here in Brasil."

Date: Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 7:28 AM

Hello Family!

Sounds like you guys had a great week there in Utah! Looks like the sun was shining and everyone had a good tme. You are all looking so great! Even though Nat and Laurel look older, mom and dad look younger! I think I am starting to look old too, not sure though. I haven't lost as much hair as I thought I would so that is a good sign! Thank you for all the pictures, I love pictures! That is cool you guys got to go to the Las Vegas and St. George Temples.  l love temples.

Well this week was a busy one! We are traveling even more now, working basically in two cities. I am really greatful for this oppurtunity though because I am meeting more great people than before! One of our investigators in Belém who's parents don´t let her go to church or be baptized, is showing alot of faith. We saw her this week and she said that she has to wake up at 1230 at night to readthe Book of Mormon because her family doesn't want to see that book. I thought it was so cool how someone who isn't even member of the church is doing every thing possible to read the Book of Mormon, it really shows us how we need to appreciate the Book of Mormon and take advantage of the opportunity we have to read from it's pages.

It started raining a little this week which has been a blessing for many here in the northeast part of Brasil. It has been really dry and the price of almost everything has gone up becuase of poor farming opportunities. I am happy that it has been raining because there are many cities without water now and I know that it is a blessing to many humble people. I never even thought to be grateful for things so simple as water before my mission. When something is always available to us we aren't as grateful for that thing as we should be. I have learned a lot from many humble people here in Brasil.

Because of the rain, there are alot more bugs! Yesterday we got to the church for Branch Counsel and the hallway had a ton of little bugs! I thought it was nasty, then a member told me that people eat these bugs here in Brasil and they are actually kind of rare and expensive! I don't think I will be trying this type of food but it was still a little interesting. 

I have really been enjoying the opportunities I have to study the scriptures lately. I am glad to have so much time to learn more about the gospel and the teachings of prophets both ancient and modern. I know that Heavenly Father truly inspires and calls prophets to guide us and help us through the journey of life.

Well I love you all so much! Thanks for all the support you all give me! I don't know how I got so lucky to be born into this family. You guys are the best! 

I am very excited to skype you guys as well. I don't know if I will be here in Guarbira or in another area for mothers day because we have transfers just the week before. But usually the wards here start at 9 but then we have lunch with a member so I am thinking that maybe after your church, around 3 or 4 would be a good time. But if you prefer before church I think that would work too. 

I read an awesome scripture today in I Corinthians 9:16 that talks about our duty to preach the gospel. I am gratefulf or the chance I have to be a full-time missionary and I love my purpose!

Tchau for now!

Love you all!

Elder Smith

Pic 1: My companion fake eating the nasty bug
Pic 2: Me with my wonderful treats from you guys!
Pic 3: We had an open house at the chapel but no one entered, so we took a table outside and talked to the people that passed by on the street in front of the chapel!
Pic 4: Nasty bug that people here fry up and eat! I think they just eat one part of it.

"My testimony of this gospel is so strong"

Date: Apr 15, 2013 9:43 AM


Thanks for the pictures Dad. Looks like you are all having fun and looking great! Mom and Dad you guys actually look younger than I remember! Laurel and Nat have sure changed alot though! I got a package from you guys and also from Laurel this week. Thank you so much! It was such a great gift. You have no idea how much it means to me!

How is St. George? I am actually in João Pessoa today because I had to renew my visa. I will be heading back to Guarabira here shortly though. I actually passed by a little in one of my old areas and it brought back some good memories! 

Well this week we really worked well. We did some splits with some members and found some cool investigators.

We decided to look in the area book for some older investigators to try and contact again. I found a baptismal form of two ladies who filled out the form but weren't interviewed or anything. We felt like we should visit them. It was a mom and her daughter. They received us well but the mom really wasn't super interested. But her daughter was! We gave her a Book of Mormon. She is loving it and has already gone to her friends to share it's contents. She was super excited to go to church and was already planning on a baptismal date. Sadly, some of her brothers and sisters have been saying things to her and her mom and trying to get her to not go to church. One sunday when we passed by to walk with her to church she was all ready and excited but after some talking, her mom would not let her go. I am really praying for her and hoping that this week we can help her continue progressing. She is one of the elect!

On Saturday, we held an open house at the chapel. Sadly, really no one was entering to see the church. So... we decided to grab a few of the table from the church and we moved things outside! We stood in the front of the gate and we put out some manuals and flyers and stuff and talked to people as they walked by on the street, we actually were able to get alot of addresses and we will e following up this week with these people. I love trying new ways to find people to teach. There are so many people waiting to hear the gospel, we just need to find them!

I am grateful for my mission and for the chance to serve. My testimony of this gospel is so strong. I really want to share what I know with others because I know it is the only way to complete happiness in this life and this the life to come. I get sad when people do not accept our message. They don't know what they are missing. But we can't be disouraged and we need to find those that will hear us. 

Thanks for all the support and for everything you guys do for me! I am very excited to skype you all! What time do you guys have church? I want to plan it al out early so everything goes smoothly! 

I love you all! Have an awesome week and thanks for the pictures!


Elder Smith 

"I can't believe how fast I am growing up!"

Date: Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Ola família!

Sounds like you guys had a great week this past week! Sailboat riding and hanging out with the fam, doesn't get much better than that! This past week was a little dissapointing for us. But at least at the end of the week we got to watch conference. I think my favorite two talks were the talk on obedience by President Monson and Elder Holland's talk. I love hearing the words of living prophets and I am so grateful we have living prophets to guide us in our lives. 

This last week one of our investigators who was progressing well, stopped progressing. Sadly, her family is very against the church. She loves the Book of Mormon and going to church. She is really on of the elect. When we went to her house to talk to her parents, they didn't really accept us very well. We explained lots of things and one of the brothers in the ward was there with his wife. She ended up not going to church sunday which made me pretty sad. But we will continue to work and pray for her that she can overcome the challenges that lie ahead. 

Don't worry to much about the warts mom, I will go to the pharmacy and try to get something to get them off of my feet. They do hurt quite a bit but thats okay. I think I will be going to a lady either today or tomorrow to remove the ingrown toenail, luckily it doesn't hurt that bad! That's crazy to hear that Christian got diabetes. I hope his mom will feel better. He is a good sport, reading his letter I was impressed on how he handled the situation and knew that this challenge would only benefit him in his life.

This week, we worked alot with a recent convert. He took us around to visit some of his friends and he really has no shyness in sharing the gospel! He asks the people he see's on the street, '' can we share the bible with you?'' He is a great guy. He was mute until the age of fourteen so his speech isn't perfect but he really is an example to many. He has completely turned his life around and it is interesting to see other's reaction as he passes by with us at his side. I tell him'' you are an example to so many! So many talk about following Christ but you are actually doing it!'' 

Well it seems that the main theme in conference is missions and families, two things I love! I think that on my mission, two things I have developed great love for are missionary work and families. I have developed a greater apreciation for my family and a stronger desire to be a good father to my future family. I have developed a greater love for  missionary work as well and a greater desire to do this work for the rest of my life. There aren't things much greater than these two things.

Well it seems like everyone is returning to the great northwest! Congrats to Bryce and Philly This! I could really go for a philly about now and now that I like the other things you put on them I think they will be even better! Did I tell you that I ate lunch the other day and there were mushrooms in the food?! I ate all the mushrooms and I felt so proud! I didn't think they tasted super great but it was alright. I can't believe how fast I am growing up!

Well I love you all and miss you all as well! Thank you for all the support and everything you guys do for me. You mean everything to me! I am already looking forward to skyping you guys this mothers day!

Drink a slurpee for me! (I bet in this heat down here 7-11 would do well!)

Abraço! Cheiro!

(Cheiro means smell, and here they sniff you sometimes when they give you a hug, usually the women do it so luckily the only sniff's I have gotten are jokes from other missionaries)

Elder Smith 

"My first ingrown toenail!"

Date: Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Thanks for the letter and the pictures!

Wow those are kids are just so darn cute! They are all growing super fast aswell! That's exciting that Mel will have a boy. Now Jake will have a huntin' partner! I hope Easter went well for you all. My package is in João Pessoa and I think next week I should be getting it! Thanks so much!

Well this last week was very busy. We had transfers yesterday. I will be staying here in Guarabira with Elder Cabrera. A new sister got here. She is from paraguay! Now we have four different nationalities in our district! It's pretty fun and sometimes I work on my spanish talking with them. I am praying in spanish almost every night! Now when I get home and we have family prayer I will do as Dad does when he asks what language we want but instead I will say, ''english, portuguese, or spanish?''

We have a really great investigator who is a recent convert's cousin. She started reading the Book of Mormon about two weeks ago and she is really one of the elect. She told us that since she has started reading the Book of Mormon she can't feel sad anymore! She said she has never seen anything so true. She loves the church and studies the gospel alot. Before we even taught her the lessons it seemed that she had already taken some of the pamphlets we use from her cousin and had already learned almost everything! Sadly, her family doesn't quite agree. Her dad said if she gets baptized she won't be able to live there anymore. She is working through lots of problems there at home but is maintaining lots of faith and is working through many trials. Her testimony of the gospel and determination to follow Christ is amazing. I am very excited for her and I know she will make a great member of the church. 

We also have a recent convert who is progressing very well. He showed up at church about an hour early in a white shirt and tie. He is very excited about the gospel and is anxious to go to the temple. Unfortunately there is only a caravan to the temple about every three months, but he is preparing along with another recent convert family and I am very excited for them all. The temple should always be our focus. I am so excited to go to the temple again after my mission!

Well my fruit diet is going well. I am feeling alot more healthy and I have lost around 20 pounds since I left home! It doesn't really look like it though. i think I have just lost a lot of muscle! I usually do exercises in the morning but I don't have equipment so it is just basically puch-ups and sit-ups!

Well I love you all! I hope you have a great rest of the week! I think about you all alot and I am very excited to skype you here in about 5 weeks!

Com muito amor,

Elder Smith

P.S. Now we can send and recieve emails from anyone! So if you could get me camerons email address that would be awesome! Thanks!

Pic 1: These are some warts on the bottom of my feet! I have a few between the toes too!
Pic 2: We had to empty the baptismal font with buckets because here they have a pump to empty the font and it broke!
Pic 3: My first ingrown toenail!