3 Nephi 13: 21

Date: May 27, 2013 7:08 AM

Hello everyone! I liked the cousin awards. And it seems like yesterday I was reading about last years Memorial day dutch oven party! Time really flies! You'll have to let me know what some of the best dishes were.
This week went well. We are pretty tired but it feels good working alot. We taught alot of different people and we are diligently searching for the elect!
Very frequently, we walk to a part of the town a little away from the city. It is called Sitio Lucas. There we have a few investigators who we teach and sundays there is a van that takes them into town for church. Well there are a few road workers usually who talk to us when we pass by or ask about the church so we marked a day to go there during their lunch break and teach them a lesson. On friday we went there and about 12 rough looking men gathered around and let us preach! It was a very new experience. We taught the first lesson and I think it went well. I kind of felt like Dan Jones. Sadly, they all pretty much live really far and are just here working. But I know that we may have planted some good seeds and who know what might come out of it. We still walk by there frequently so we will be able to maintain contact. It was a little different but a fun new experience.
Well, we are paciently working and trying to help our ward grow. We have some really great members but it just seems like things aren't moving too quickly as of now. We have made some good plans and we are going to be doing an activity here in a few weeeks to help things get rolling!
This week we started teaching a few less-actives. It is interesting to see how there really are alot of people who want to return to church, but without someone helping them, it is really hard! They might wonder what others will think or how they may be accepted at church. That is why we need to go in search for these people and walk with them back into the light. I find the same amount of joy in helping someone become active in the church again as much as helping someone be baptized. Either way, you are helping someone follow the example of Christ and helping someone to get on the true path.
I was studying the Book of Mormon this week and the sermon on the mount that Christ gave. I really like the scipture in 3 Nephi 13: 21 which talks about how wherever our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Or in other words, whatever our desires are, that will influence our actions. If we choose to serve God, our rewards will come from Him also. And the opposite is true also.
Well I am really feeling grateful for my mission and for everything I have in my life. It is crazy how many things I took for granted. Even little things like always having food at home, having good water to drink, having water at all, etc. I know I was called to Brasil for a reason and I love these people.
Have an awesome week. I miss you all and love you lots!
Love, Elder Smith

Chinese food

Date: Mon, May 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Hey Mom!
That's way awesome Brady is home. Can you get his email for me? Sounds like he had a great mission from what Dad said. I don't doubt it because Brasil is the best! Good luck on the garage sale shopping! I miss those sweet deals!
Well this week went well. On tuesday one of the Brothers in the ward took us out for lunch. I got pretty excited when he said that we were going to eat chinese food! I thought wow, something different and it has been so long since I have eaten chinese! Well.. I was a little fooled. It was the first chinese food restuarant I have been to that served beans with your meal. It was still tasty though. It was like regular Brazilian food but with different chinese spices. It was good though and I actually really liked it. I just thought it was kind of funny.
Well I really have realized how much I love Brazilians. I love the people who we serve so much. They are all like family to me. Even the old men on the road who aren't really all there or sometimes the drunk guys who try to hug us. I love them all! I really am starting to realize how the short the mission is. After this transfer, I only have 5 left. I can't believe how fast it has gone. I really want to work hard and do my best for the Lord. I want to be able to say at the end, '' I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith''.(somewhere in the Bible)
We have recieved alot of work from the ward which is great! The bishop asked us to take a list of every member in the ward and visit everyone (atleast the ones that we know who don't go to church) and kind of clean out the records because there are alot of people who have moved and stuff. We are going to use this to find new people to teach and also to try and reactivate less-actives. The ward is starting to ''catch the wave'' of the missionary work and it is exciting. I love doing this work and it is even better when the members are there helping you in the battle!
Well I hope you all have a great week. We are working hard to find new investigators and try to baptize part-members families. We are currently teaching five families. I love teaching families. There is nothing better than kneeling down with a sweet Brazilian family and watching the dad say a prayer to bless his family. I think for many of them it is their first prayer with the family and I feel so good to be a part of it.
Well I love you all so much. I hope things continues to go well back home. I pray for you all and hope that life is just going great!
Like a wise man once told me, '' Life is a sponge, soak it up'' - Bryce Woodhouse
Eu sinto-me grato todos os dias por ter uma família tão legal! Eu amo vocês!
Elder Smith

"I was born to a family of sisters for a reason."

Date: May 13, 2013 7:17 AM

Hello Family!
Well I am trying not to feel down about the skype call! It's true I guess we were probably just expecting too much! But I am just glad I got to see you guys and hear your voices. Sounds like everyone is doing good and that is a blessing in itself. I miss you guys a whole lot! Sorry if my english was bad, I caught myself speaking a few portuguese words in the middle of talking so that probably didn't help. I felt a little sad because it felt like you guys couldn't understand what I was saying and it was weird to think about that. But I can't complain because I am just lucky to have such an amazing family! I hope mom and grandma and Andrea and Mel had a good mother's day.
I am excited to play tennis with nat when I get back! I have only seen 1 tennis court on my mission and so I am pretty sure I won't be playing tennis until I get home! But I have played some ping pong so the idea is still there.
I really like the ward I am in. The stake president was at church sunday and he talked about how he really wants the ward to grow and how if we work with the members it can happen. I think everyone felt a new excitement to do the work. I really feel a lot of potential with this ward and I am excited to work here. This week is looking to be a really great one. We have some great members who are willing to help and some good areas to work in. Now we just need to keep working hard!
Yesterday, we visited a man who went to church. I felt the Spirit strong while we were teaching him. He accepted to be baptized in June. He needs to get married first. We are going to go back this week and teach his whole family. I love teaching families.
Hey can you guys send me a list with all the cousin awards that were given out? I thought that was pretty awesome!
Well something funny I thought I would tell you guys is that I think I was born to a family of sisters for a reason. In my last 4 transfers it has only been my companion and I and sisters in our district with the exception for one transfers when there was a group of other elders. I thought it was pretty funny. But I enjoy working with the Sisters, they bring a spark to the work and work really hard! I think with all these new sisters going out to the field the work will really accelerate.
Well I love you all and I hope things continue to go well back home. I think about you and love you guys!
Have an awesome week!
I miss you all!
Elder Smith
P.S. Pretty funny story about the brazilian lady who didn't know who you were looking for. At least Abe was able to speak portuguese, imagine how it would've been if there wasn't anyone to understand her!

"Sunday we saw some miracles at church..."

Date: May 6, 2013 at  7:23 AM

Hello family!
Sounds like cinco de mayo was a success! I really miss mexican food! Tell Natalie everything will be okay, I am sure the MRI will help her feel better. I haven't really had headaches or anything much, sometimes I feel dizzy but it isn't anything out of the ordinary I think, I think sometimes it is just so warm I just kind of get headaches. I hope everything goes well with that new family as well in the ward! It is so great to see a new family get baptized in the church. I am sure they are recieving lots of help from the Roderick's and Cranney's.
Well I was transferred today to an area called Malvinas in the city of Campina Grande. I guess it gets pretty chilly here at night they say, but we will see if that's really true, I haven't really felt cold in a long time. I really enjoyed Guarabira. The people there were really awesome and I had alot of great experiences. It will be great though to be in a new place, I know it is where the Lord needs me. I always get a little nervous every transfer when I go to a new place, but everything always seems to work out.
This last week we worked quite a bit in Belém and we had a good number of investigators there. The members there really like to help and all have amazing testimonies. I will never forget those people. I hope by the end of my mission that small group can become a branch.
Sunday we saw some miracles at church. We walked around in the scorching sun before church for a little over an hour trying to pick up investigators but no one would go with us or they just weren't home. Well we got to the chapel hoping a few had maybe gone alone but there was no one there. At around 930 we left ( sacrament meeting is at the end of church) and went to try and find people to take to church! We were able to take a young boy who was the son of a family we are teaching. He was the only one that went with us but when we got back to the church, there were lots of investigators that has gone there alone! It was a pretty cool experience and I was so happy to see them all at church. 
Well I love you all and hope all is well! Sorry I don't have much to write, I am kind of lost in this new area and there is alot going on! But I am very excited for sunday to talk to you guys! 
Elder Smith
Mom, I won't wish you a happy mother's day now because I will get to talk to you sunday!

''because I said so''

Date: Apr 29, 2013 7:24 AM

Hello Family!
Thanks for the video dad! It's cool to hear your voices and stuff. I am pretty excited for the call next week! That's really cool you got called to the High Council. I bet it's fun serving wit Mike and Pat and Hal and Chris. What a good group!
This week was pretty crazy traveling back and forth from Belém to Guarabira. I think we are actually working more in Belém than Guarabira. I really like Belém and the members there are awesome and really willing to help. How are things going with th refferal you gave? Referrals are awesome! I already have a ton of ideas of friends I will invite to hear the missionaries when I get back. Have there been any new members in the ward lately? Is the ward growing?
Well sadly, our branch in Guarabira isn't progressing as it should. There are many members who weren't there on sunday and I am really worried about them. We found a great family here in Guarabira who is really showing a desire to progress. It is a couple and two children. Sunday, one of the little boys ate a whole tub of ice cream and didn't make it to church because he had to go to the doctor because he was feeling so sick! I thought it was kind of funny. They remind me of Jeremy and Jonah when they were younger. I am excited to keep working with them.
In Belém, there are some truly golden investigators. These people though are the first in their family to join the church and some of the first in the city so there is a lot of opposition and there are facing many challenges. It is great though to see how the truthfulness of the gospel has touched their hearts and is helping them continue forward through these trials. I am grateful to be able to witness such great faith.
I gave a talk in Belém ( I speak almost every sunday ) about obedience. I talked about how we sometimes just have to obey even when we don't know why. I talked about how sometimes mom told me I couldn't do something or that I needed to something and how when I asked why sometimes the answer was simply, ''because I said so''. I have learned alot with this sentence about the importance of being obedient always. Even when we don't know why and we think that we don't need to be obedient in a certain situation. I love reading scriptures that translate the same message. Sometimes God gives a commandment and at the end of the scripture it says something like, and these things are true because the Lord said so.
This is the last week of this transfer so I am really hoping to end well with Elder Cabrera, we might stay together more but I don't think so because I was just training him. It was a great experiece to train and I have learned a whole lot. If I train again it will be good. It always seems like just when you think you are getting good at something you get asked to do something else. I think it is becuase Heavenly Father doesn't want us to think we can do things on our own. We always need His help.
Well I hope you all have a great week. Thanks for the support and everything you all do for me. I love you so much and can't wait to skype you on mother's day!
Papá! Yo estoy aprendiendo español con mi compañero para hablar en español contigo en el dia de las madres! Todavia yo no hablo muy bien pero pienso que tu vai a compreenderme! Te amo! Cuando yo oro a la noche yo pido a mi compañero si él quere que yo hable en inlges, español o portuguese!
Hey are we going to do 3 way skype again? I think maybe it would be better if I skyped Laurel first and then the reast of you if you will all be together because last time we tried 3 way skype I didn't hardly get to see anyone! Just let me know what would be better.
Love you and miss you all!
Elder Smith