"There is no greater joy that I have felt in my life..."

Date: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 at 7:23 AM

Dear Family,

Sounds like things are a little crazy there! I remember that I loved food during seminary. Even though I have the best mom in the world and always made me a travel breakfast in the morning, it was nice to eat even more when i got to seminary. Safeway bagels are the bomb. Also I liked to watch videos and do activities in groups. Also I liked to get up and move around a little bit because it is pretty hard to sit for an hour after you just woke up. For example we would do like a scavenger hunt in the chapel or play a basketball scripture mastery game or run around with wheelchairs in the gym. It is nice to do more physical activities because early in the morning it is hard to concentrate! These are something that I liked to do in seminary.

This last week was pretty hard for a lot of missionaries. Elder Paul and I are working well and we are seeing miracles. We are teaching a young man who has really impressed me this last week. He has so much desire to be baptized and to live the commandments. His past life was really different but he is showing a lot of desire to follow Jesus Christ and I just love teaching him and watching him grow. There is no greater joy that I have felt in my life than seeing others embrace and live the teaching of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love being a missionary. 

Well I am short on time but I just wanty to tell you a story of the other two missionaries that live with us. on saturday, they had a lady and her two kids at the church, the font filled and everyone had been interviewed and everything was ready for the baptism. her husband called and said that he would not let his wife and kids be baptized. it was really sad. the missionaries did everything they could so that they could be baptized but he wouldn't let them. so they left the church and continued to work hard doing contacts on the street and what not. during this time they were rudely rejected and called Satan and other horrible things. when we got home they were in the living room praying together and asking Heavenly Father to forgive these people because they didn't know what they were saying. it was a strong example to me and i know that we need to love everyone even if they don't love us.

Well I love you all and i hope you have a great week! Thanks for everything! My mission is awesome and I am very happy!

Love, Elder Smith


Pic 1 The first week of our English class
Pic 2 Me with someone elses's glasses
Pic 3 Other pictures on the first day of the English class
Pic 4 Playing Frisbee on Pday

"We need to act and use our good intentions to bless the lives of others."

Date: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 7:21 AM

Hello Family! Well the deck is looking great! I am excited to see the finished product. do the stairs get in the way of the garage? do we still have a trampoline? Everything will be so different when i get back! You guys have done some great remodeling. But there are other missionaries who have parents in other countries now so i think i am grateful that not much has changed! 

This week we worked alot. We have been having a few dificulties in our mission and so everyone needs to work harder! I really love the missionaries that I get to work with and also the members in our area. We had some pretty cool investigators at church this last week. We are trying to work better with the members so that recent converts have friends and everything. It is important because if not, when the missionaries get transfered, usually the converts that don't have friends leave as well. We are also working with some less-actives. We visited a young woman who was less-active and she went to church! It was amazing. It seemed like all she needed was a visit. She looked really happy at church and we are going to continues to work with her and ask her to help more in the missionary work. I want her to serve a missoin! I have gained a strong testimony that there are alot of people who just need to know that they are missed at church and that we love them and want to see them at church. My mission president showed me a quotation that says something like if all men had actoins as good as their intention, they would be amazing men. Really there are alot of people with good hearts and good intentions, but we need to act or else these good intentions just stay in our hearts and no one is really blessed by this. We need to act and use our good intentions to bless the lives of others. 

Well I am really enjoying m mission and even though there are a lot of dificulties, it is exciting to be on a mission and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

I love you all and miss you so much!

-Elder Smith

Pic 1: We bought some fancy looking chapeu's!
Pic 2; Papagaio

"we are seeing lots of miracles in our area..."

The first two are a picture of our breakfast on staurday

and the other is a picture of my feet when i get home because my shoes are started to wear out and and dust enters my shoes

Date: Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 7:33 AM

Hello family!

That's too bad to hear about Aunt Patsy. I hope the family is alright. 

Sounds like everything else is going good there in the states. I can't believe Natalie is already starting seminary! Well Mom, its kind of funny you said ''not to make you trunky'' because lots of people are starting to say trunky things in their emails to me! But I am scheduled to leave on the 16th and probably get home the 17th (of January). But... my mission president emailed me and said he was going to talk to the mission department to see if I could stay longer on my mission so I am not sure. If they don't let me stay longer I will be home the 17th   of January but if I stay longer I think it will be at the end of February. I will talk to my mission president to try and see if he has already talked to them or not so that I can let you guys know as soon as possible.

This week was transfers. I will be staying here in Sousa with Elder Paul! I am really excited about that because I love my area and my companion. Things are really going well with the branch and we have some really cool investigators we are working with. Quite a few missionaries in the zone got transferred so it will be a fun experience getting to know other missionaries and working with them.

This last sunday was great. I went to go an investigators house to go with them to church. As we were walking there they called me and said they wouldn't be able to go, but I felt like we should still go to their house. I really wanted them to go and was determined to get them to church! So we got there and one of them was sitting outside and said, oh my sister got home late and is really tired and went to go buy something at the market and i don't thnk we can go today. SO we waited a little and then his sister called and said she would be getting home soon and would be going to church! I was very excited! Well she got back and then she got ready and her boyfriend who is a member of the church was supposed to go to her house and pick her up but didn't go, so i stayed there waiting and after a little we started walking with her to meet up with her boyfirend who would talk them to church. Meanwhile,her brother who was also going to go went somewhere and I didn't know where he went! So we went with her and her byfriend and when we got to the church we called her brother and then he showed up! Well long story short, after about an hour and a half every one was at church! I was so excited and they really liked the meetings. I am grateful for the chance I had to watch them follow the commandments and go to church!

Well we are seeing lots of miracles in our area. We are also helping a really awesome family. he wife is going to go with us tomorrow to the courthouse to start the divorce so that she can remarry and be baptized! We are really ecited for them. Yesterday, we went there and she said they like fight over who gets to carry the Book of Mormon, She puts it in her purse and reads slowly because she doesn't read too great. They are a great exanple to me. They are loving some of the church films we have brought them I love seeing whole familys embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Also, saturday was a holiday so instead of having engilsh class we had a breakfast! We made pancakes and french toast and muffins and maple syrup! Lots of people liked it, some didn't! I think we made around 100 pancakes! It was funa nd it was a chance to shw some of our culture!

Well all is well here! I am staying healthy and eating lots of açaí! I love you all!

Have an awesome week!

My mission address is :
Missão Brasil Natal
Ave. Interventor Mario Camara No. 2066
Dix-Sept Rosado
Natal, RN

"It is really awesome teaching families"

Date: Mon, Sep 2, 2013 at 7:13 AM


Thanks for all the pictures this week! Looks like everyone is doing well and I really like Laurel's new car! I hope the trip goes well. 

This last week was pretty busy but we were able to get a lot done. Our branch seems to be getting more excited about the work and have more union every week! Our branch president taught with us this week a really cool family. They were a referall from another member. Sadly, they aren't married and the wife has been trying for 8 years to get a divorce so that she can re-marry! They are an awesome family though and I feel the Spirit really strong when we are at their house. They have two kids, one daughter who is 10 years old and another boy that is 7. He is really shy and hides behind the door when we go to their house! It is  really awesome teaching families though. I love seeing families embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We are trying new ideas to find new people to teach always. I am playing piano at the district conference that will be on the 30th of september. It is crazy how it is already september! I don't really like thinking about how close i am from coming home! It's a little scary! 

One of our recent converts bore his testimony yesterday! I must admit my heart sunk when I saw him going up to the pulpit because I was afraid he might say weird things because he is so new in the church but it was really an awesome testimony! He is a really humble man with a strong desire to serve Christ. He only has one pair of sandals and he has to have a cord on the sandals from not falling off his feet because he can hardly move his toes because he injured his leg. He is a strong example to me though and I love seeing his faith.

Well I will start trying to note things down that happen during the week because I forget alot of things when it comes to send email!

I hope you have an awesome week! I love you and and miss you so much!

Elder Smith

"my faith continues to grow..."

Date: Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 7:31 AM

Hello Family!

Congratulations to Mel and Jake on the new baby! He looks great. Jake sent me a picture of the whole family together. It is crazy how fast their family is growing! At least I know that I will be home for the next neice or nephew that comes! I bet Jake is excited to have a boy in the family! Maybe he will be like me and have all sisters! 

Well this last week went well. I really felt like we fulfilled our purpose and that we are working hard each day. But I am seeing the promises of the Lord being fulfilled in my mission and my faith continues to grow. 

The end of the month is always a little crazy but it also a time when we see the most miracles. We are teaching an older man named Gilvan who really has been interested in the church. When we started, I kind of thought it would be really hard for him to gain a strong testimony of the church because he has already gone to so many churches and thinks all have authority and so on. Well we started teaching him and he likes to talk alot!!!! It was really hard to teach sometimes because he just wanted to talk and didn't let us say much! But we had patience and kept working with him. We read the beginning of 3 Nephi 27 with him and explained that the church of Christ needs to have His name and what not. We thought he didn't really pay attention but later in the week he told his nephew that to be the church of Jesus Christ, it needs to have His name! It was really awesome. He is progressing well and I really saw the power of the Book of Mormon. 

Our branch is really excited about missionary work and we have some great new ideas to involve the members more. The key to success in missionary work is the members! There is no better way to find new investigators and help investigators stay active in the church than working with members. Luckily we are having sucess with this and we hope that it continues.

Thanks for the pictures of Henry. Does he have a nickname yet? Do they call him Hank?

Well today the whole zone is getting together to have lunch and spent a few hours togther on p-day and maybe play football or ping pong, etc. It should be lots of fun. I will send some pictures next week!

I love you all and miss you alot! Tchau!

Elder Smith

" We are really seeing lots of miracles here in Sousa"

Date: Mon, Aug 19, 2013
Dear Fam,

This last week was great! We are really seeing lots of miracles here in Sousa. Our english class continues to go well and strong and the students are starting to become more curious about the church and what else we do there. Also, we are working alot with recent-converts to try and find more new people to teach which has been working really well for us. This week we are going to continue these efforts and also try to work more with less-actves to help reactivate them and also find more people to teach. I love this work.

Well I am writing you on tuesday beacuase yesterday we had a mission conference with Elder Claudio M. Costa from the quorum of the Seventy. He is also the Brazil Area President. It was such an awesome experience. He talked about some things we need to do to better our work here on the mission (planning better, teaching with the Spirit, etc.) It was really inspiring and I loved hearing his ideas on new things we can do her ein Sousa. The work is really being sped up and we need to react! We need to open up our minds and believe more and try new things. I have seen that we really have more potencial than we think. Not just missionaries but every child of God has so much potencial, sadly we limit this potencial because we don't believe enough in ourselves and the help we can receive and we need. 

Elder Costa ended the conference talking about his testimony, mainly his testimony of the Savior. It was the most powerful testimony of teh Savior that I have ever heard. It seemed like he actually was there when Christ was on the earth the way he described Him and His suffering. I now understand that the apostles and quorumn of the Seventy are truly special witnesses of Him. It was an amazing experience that I won't ever forget.

After the conference, they chose a few missionaries to have a personal interview with Elder Costa. Well, surprisingly I was one of them! We had an interview at the mission office. It wasn't too long. He just asked a few things about my family and things I learned and we talked a little about my mission. It was really a cool experience though to have an interview with a genral authority! 

Well the work is going great and I am happy. Time seems to fly by faster and faster as I feel like I am becoming busier and busier everyday. But every minute is rewarding and I know this is the work of the Lord.

Well I love you all and miss you guys a lot! I don't know how I got so lucky to have been born into the family I have but I am very grateful!

I miss you guys!


Elder Smith