"a very special experience..."

Date: Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 7:14 AM


I am way excited for Natalie! Sounds like she is really keeping busy! I loved being busy too. She is becoming quite the young lady! 

I forgot that thanksgiving was this week! I will have to see if I can make some mashed potatoes or something to celebrate. There is no thanksgiving here so everyone is already excited for christmas and the stores and streets are decorated with Christmas stuff. It is getting hotter, that mean christmas is close! 

Things are going really well in our area. We have some amazing people to teach who are truly looking for the truth and want to know what to do in their lives. One guy this last week who is a recent-convert's brother said, '' I learned that in our days there will be false prophets, i don't want to attend the wrong church and follow one of these false prophets.'' We explained to him how he could receiev an answer and he has been doing his part. One day we went to his house and he said that the night before he couldn't sleep well. He has been pondering what to do and as he tried to go to sleep, he couldn't sleep well and sat reflecting in their living room about what should be done. I have seen him change so much. He plays lots of instruments and is really interested about the church music and stuff. he took his girlfirend to church sunday and they both loved it! I am excited for them.

There is also another we are teaching who has changed alot. he was a referral from a member from another ward. When we first went there he was drunk. Almost everytime we went there we only got to talk to his wife because he was never able to talk to us because he was always drunk. His wife said there wasn't much we could do but we kept trying. After a while we thought maybe we would be losing our time with him and so we didn't really go back. Then, President Soares asked me to go on splits with some missionaries from another zone and so I went there. during the companion exchange, i went to their ward mission leaders house. it turns out that he was the guy who gave this referral and he asked me if I had gone there. i told him what had happened and then he said that i should try again and if he wanted he could go with me. I thought, okay! So i called me companion and told him to go there again. He went there and they guy was fine and they talked to him and found out he was interested. Long story short, after working with him a little more, he has been sober for a while now and truly has repented and has changed. When we went by the other day he was reading the Book of Mormon. He has already read more than 100 pages. He prayed the other day and asked forgiveness for his sins and said that he has never been so happy in his whole life than he is now. When I opened my eyes I looked at my companion and he was crying. Although i am not a cryer, i felt like crying! It was a very special experience. One i will never forget. he is very excited to be baptized. he keeps asking questions baout baptism and will be baptized this next sunday. His wife is also interested in the gospel and is hearing our messages.

Well things are going great! I love my mission and I love the simplicity of the gospel.

Love you and miss you all!

-Elder Smith

"I literally LOVE my mission.."

Date: Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 6:02 AM

Hello Family!

I am glad to hear things are going well at home. I am sure you are the best seminary teacher in the world mom! I am a little jealous of that cold weather! Luckily I am in Natal and so it is pretty chilly to me after being in one of the hottest cities of the missino for almost 5 months! Tell Nat good luck on the basketball tryout! I am excited to hear how it goes. I too can't believe she is in 9th grade. This is way crazy! She looks so different. Almost everytime I meet a young woman who is 14 I think, " there is no way Natalie can be this big already! " It will sure be a shocker when I get home! I really don't feel like my appearance has changed much. just a little balder and blacker. 

This last week was a great one! I love being a missionary and I love my area! I worked until friday morning in an area here in Natal close to where I started my mission. It was really fun to remember my first area. During the week, we had to go to my first area Nova Republica to do a baptismal interview for another missionary. When we we walking back we passed by a convert I had worked with when I got here. She really had grown alot! I asked her if she had her baptismal picture and she grabbed it and brought it to me. It was all framed and nice and I wanted to cry I was so happy! I think of the joy I feel when someone is baptized, but I know that here in ten years i will be so happy to talk with those I worked with and to see their growth in the gospel. I am so ecxited to see them in the temple, or on missions, or raising their children in the gospel. I literally LOVE my mission and I am so grateful to be here serving the Lord. I am so grateful that the Lord helped me serve a mission. it is the best thing ever!

This last week we were teaching a member's friends who are very awesome! One of them is one of the young women I said got a very strong testimony of the Book of Mormon last week and wanted to be baptized. Well we were preparing them for baptism this week and her sister seemed a little uneasy about her baptism. So, the missionary that was with my companion talked to her and simply asked if she had received a testimony of the Book of Mormon yet. She said she wasn't really sure. He simply asked her to read and pray and she would have an answer. the next day she was a whole new person! She had read and prayed and truly knew that this is the true church. It was so awesome. Their brother is now very interested in the church as well, he is really awesome and I am excited to teach him. 

Well I miss you all and I love being a missinoary! I can now say that I know that miracles have not stopped. this is the Lord's work and he wants us to help EVERYONE return to his presence.

Elder Smith

"I prayed for a birthday miracle..."

Date: Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Hello my wonderful family!

Thanks for all the wonderful birthday wishes and pictures and videos. I got a bunch of the people here in the office saying ohhh!!! with the video of Nolan saying happy birfday uncle Isaac! Mel sent some awesome pictures as well. 

Well I just confirmed with my president that my last day here in Brasil will be the 27th of February and most likely my plane will arrive on the 28th of February. Sorry it took so long to confirm things. But now it is certain! 

Well things are going well here, actually they are going great! This last week was awesome. On tuesday I prayed for a birthday miracle and it was such an amazing day! We went to teach one of the members friends who went to church. We got there pretty late because we had a mission leadership training thing but we got there and we shared the first lesson with her. She had a lot of great questions and when we were getting done I asked if she had any questions about what we taught and she said, '' when can I get baptized... I know it's true''. She had an amazing experience at church and also after we challenged here to read the Book of Mormon, i asked how she felt and she said, '' i don't really know how to explain it but I just know that I need to be baptized sunday". I know the Lord is truly in front of this work and I love being a part of it. This investigator also stopped drinking coffee simply after i had told her not to drink it anymore. 

Also, we are a teaching an awesome family that went to church 2 weeks ago, they had an amazing experience and our bishop is very excited about helping them join the church. We are going to work alot with them this week and help them do what they need to to be baptized in the church. 

The elect of the Lord are all around us. Sometimes we don't recognize them as the elect at first, but if we truly look for the potencial in others, we can help them change their lives. We were teaching a young lady who goes to church everyweek with her aunt and we started to teach the plan of salvation. After, we started talking about baptism. I knew she wasn't baptized but I didn't know why because she is so awesome and loves the church. I asked her if she would like to be baptized and she said yes! Then I gave her a Book of Mormon and she got super excited and read it at night and prayed about it. She was simply awaiting the invite I think. We simply need to listen to the Spirit and do what he tells us to do.

Well I love you all and I miss you alot! I am excited for the upcoming Christmas season! I love Christmas! We are trying some new programs this christmas season to try and find more people who are looking for the restored gospel!

This last birthday was the best I have ever had.


Elder Smith

"The members are the key to the growth of the church."

Date: Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Thanks for all the pictures and the letter. I got my box yesterday! I know my birthday isn't until tomorrow but I was just very excited! Thanks for all the candy and coool things you sent! The nerf ball shooter is pretty awesome. Also I gave some pop rocks to my mission president here in the office and it was pretty funny! He had never seen pop rocks before. 

This last week was really great. We went to a zone called potengi to work with some missionaries there. We found some great people to teach but I really enjoyed being there. We had some awesome investigators at church here in our area as well. One thing that I thought was cool is that the members here really are doing lots of work! We didn't have to pcik anyone up and we had 7 investigators at church. Also, when the bishop opened up the pulpit for people to bear their testimonies, all of a sudden like 20 stood up and went to the front to speak! It was so awesome! There are so many strong members here. They are trying to get a new chapel because the chapel is really starting to fill up and without air conditioning and so many people it gets really hot in there! It was a great meeting though and I really love these people. 

We are teaching an awesome family! They have 4 kids and the ward is really becoming involved in their progress. I love teaching families. I was so happy when they showed up to church sunday! I have really been thinking alot lately about how we need to do more and work with more efficiency. The time we have is so short and we need to use it wisely! 

Well thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! It is pretty crazy that I am 21, it really hasn't hit yet. Age on the mission really hasn't meant much to me. I guess when I get home and see all the little kids like bently all grwon up I will feel old. seriously I thought he was like 6 years old. I can't believe he is 8 already!

Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week. 

Just to end, i was studying this week about how we need to work with the members of the church. In the october liahona it said that the missionaries need to help the members in their efforts to preach the gospel, and not the other way around. The members are the key to the growth of the church.

Miss you guys!

Love, Elder Smith

"When we work together..."

Date: Oct 28, 2013 9:54 AM

That is a cool story about those missionaries! I love seeing missionaries try new ideas. Here our mission president is starting a new program where every member needs to give a Book of Mormon to a friend before the end of the year. In Elder Russsel's talk he said that every member should reach out to at least one member before the end of the year and I am excited to see the fruits of the new program. We are really trying to help the members work alongside the missionaries. When we work together, we find more people to baptize and those that are baptized have a much higher chance of staying active in the church. 

This week we will be traveling to a different part of Natal to do some companion exchanges with another zone. I didn't used to like copmanion exchanges to be honest but I have learned to love them and they can be a very powerful tool to help missionaries who are needing help. 

This last week I got to work alot with my companion in my area, Elder Olsen. he is from Las Vegas and is a very awesome missionary! He really is inspiring, he talks to everyone and invites everyone to church! We found some really cool new investigators just by simplying going to some of the recent-convert's houses and teaching the people that were there or visiting their neighbor's with them. Our ward is amazing! The members are all excited to do missionary work and they love inviting people to go to church. This sunday while we were waiting to catch a bus to church, one of the members starting doing contacts with the people on the street inviting them to go to church with us! It was really awesome!

Well I am loving my mission. I know this is where i need to be and I know my time is short so I will continue doing my best! I love you all and miss you!

Elder Smith

Nike Flip Flops

Date: Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Hello family! 

This last week was alot different for me. There were alot of changes but it is exciting and I like being busy. 

Monday night the assistents called me and told me I needed to do a companion exchange in a certain area that was having trouble. I was to stay there until things got better and until we had results. It took a few days but by friday I went back to my own area and got home around 9. Then, President Soares called me aroun10:20 and said I needed to leave the next day to Natal. It was pretty crazy but everything worked out and now I am here in Natal. We have been pretty busy this week. We helped pepare some trainings for the new missionaries that got here this week. It was really fun to see them all get here and to talk to them. There are alot of new sisters! There seems to be more sisters every transfer! The new missionaries seemed really nervous but also excited to serve! I cantell they are being well prepared and really have strong desires to serve. 

This last week when I was in an rea called Pombal, there was a member that visited some investigators with us. One day he had visited people with the sisters and at the end of the day I asked, how was your day? He said, "it was great! I bore my testimony three times about the Prophet and I said two prayes in the lessons." We should all be excited to share our testimonies. Also, when he was with us his flip flop broke. I felt bad because he walks with the missionaries almost every day and he was using like a 8 reais ( 3 dollar) flip flop. He said it was alright and grabbed a little nail off the ground and tried to fix it. I said let us buy you a new one but he didn't want us to. But me and the other missionary I was with bought him a new nike flip flop that was only like 12 reais( 5 or 6 dollars) and he couldn't stopped thanking us for that even the next day he was thanking us. I love these people and they are such a great example to me. 

Well I love you all and I hope everything is going well! The fans are great mom! They are nice when you have to travel and stuff! 

Well I am really loving my mission and I really grew alot this last week. I was praying alot and doing all I could to help that area I was in and we had success. I know that this is the Lord's work and I love being a part of it. 

Thank you for everything you do. I love you all! 


Elder Smith