"I really will miss my mission!"

Date: Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM

I loved the story dad! I will sure be working my best and looking for miracles like the one you had! I have been kind of emotional lately, I really will miss my mission! Thanks for all the support and letters though. You are the best family in the world!

Read this: 3 John 1:13-14

I love you all!

Elder Smith

"catching the wave"

Date: Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Happy Valentines day to you all too! 

I can't believe that it is snowing there still! I think I will get pnemonia when i get home. I can't believe Sara Rosengren is going on a mission! I always thought she was alot younger than me but i guess two years when you are 17 is alot more than two years when you are 21. I would like to see this movie too! 

Well things are going great here in Natal brasil! This week it looks i will be able to work in my area so that will be nice! I have been traveling pretty everyweek this transfer but i am excited to work with Elder Adams in our area this week. I love being a missionary and we are teaching lots of great people. Last saturday we went to visit a guy who Elder Adams had talked to during the week, Wehn we got to his house he was like, hey i am going to go with you guys to church sunday! We were way excited. He went on sunday with his daughter, we didn't even have to pick him up, they just went! They are awesome. They really liked the church and said they would be going again next week. 

Our ward is having lots of miracles happen. Also, Elder Adams and I talked to a guy in front of the supermarket one night before heading home, and he is a mailman from the south of brasil. He is way awesome. We passed his address to the other missionaries because he lives in their area and sunday he went to church too! He has already accepted to be baptized and he really liked the church. I am way excited for him and I know that the gospel will change his life and the lives of his family members and friends. 

I love doing this work. I love thinking about how important it is that we share the gospel with others. I have been talking alot with the members about sharing the gospel with their friends and alot of members are "catching the wave". People always are so happy when they share the gospel. 

Well I love being a missionary and i love Brasil! 

I miss you all and I hope everything is going well! Have a great week! 

Elder Smith

"Everything is going well here on the mish!"

Date: Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Go Hawks!!!

Looks like a sweet super bowl party! Wow they really crushed the Broncos. Even Andrea looks like she got some of that hawk flu! Thanks for the pictures they are great! Laurel sent me about a billion pictures today so i am staying well updated! 

I hope everything is going well at home. It looks like everyone is happy and sounds like you had a great time their at the Badger's cabin. 

Everything is going well here on the mish! I had a great week this week. I got to do a companion exchange with an Elder in my first area Nova Republica! It was so awesome. I felt so happy to see the members strong, to see new members who have been baptized and everyone looks happy! We taught some really great people. There was a recent-convert who we taught. Her brother, sister and cousin are also going to church and they were baptized on saturday. They all are so happy and they were so excited for their baptisms. They are a great inspiration for me and I could see how the gospel has blessed their lives and the lives of their family, even though not all of them have joined the church yet. 

Well things are going well and lots of people are being prepared to join the church! We just need to find them! 

I love you and miss you all lots!

Elder Smith

Foto: This picture is me with some of the bishops kids in my first area! I was helping them grate coconut to make cocada to sell on the beach! It was fun but a little uncomfortable! We also grabbed some of the coconuts stright from the coceiro and we drank some agua de coco. so good :)

"I love finding new people who are interested in the gospel!"

Date: Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 5:39 AM

Ola minha família,

That's an awesome story about the pizza! you always have funny stories mom! Well I always liked when we did scavenger hunts in the chapel or I always liked to have food at seminary. sometimes we ate pizza and that was pretty fun. The winter is hard because its so dark in the morning and everyone is tired. also the church has lots of cool videos that could help you guys teach that is fun too. i don't know what you guys are studying but the church is making lots of videos of the new testament that are really cool.

Thats a sweet cake! It doesn't even look real! I am guessing andrea made it, she is so creative!

This last week went pretty well. I was on companion exchanges and i got sick! Being sick as a missionary isn't all that great because you have a lot to do and when your sick you feel like you aren't doing your best. We worked well though. One night we were with a member of the ward teaching a less-active member. While we were sitting outside of his house, a young lady walked by and saw all the cats that this member had. She said that she loved cats and she started slooking at them and we invited her to hear our message! We shared a message about the restoration and it went really well. She said that she always had had curiosity to visit our church. We marked another appointment with her and invited her to church. It was a fun experience. I love finding new people who are interested in the gospel! 

Yesterday at church we saw lots of miracles too! A guy that my companion had found on saturday around 6:30 and invited to church, went to church sunday! Also another lady from São Paulo was visiting and took her brother who isn't a member to church and they both seemed to really like it, We are going to teach them this week and i am really excited for them to join the church!

I love this work and i love being a missionary! Thanks for all your support! You guys are the best!

I love you and miss you all!

-Elder Smith

"I am willing to do my BEST this last transfer to end strong!"

Date: Mon, Jan 20, 2014

Hello family!

That is such an awesome story that Mont told! I love hearing stories like that! The gospel is alot easier to preach when you live it.

Well I hope you got my itinerary by now, our secretary sent it monday to dad's email. 

Sounds like you guys are very busy. I like being busy too! Today starts my last transfer on my mission. Yesterday our mission president was talking to the new missionaries about how at the end of their missions, he wants to hear them say, president, i did the best that i could. and how it is very sad to see a missionary go home with feelings that he didn't do his best.

I have been thinking about that alot and i am willing to do my BEST this last transfer to end strong! 

I know that the Lord stills has lots that He wants me to do these last six weeks that i have left. 

Sunday we had some great investigators at church. I am impressed with the faith of many of the investigators we have. We are teaching two families who have a few dificulties in their relationships. But sunday, even with some of the problems they were having, the two wives took their kids to church and are doing what they can to improve their lives. I admire their example and I feel so grateful for the family I have and for being born in the gospel. It is pretty hard for people ot change thier lives and become members of the church and leave behind them their old traditions, But it is worth it and has lasting effects on future generations.

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

Elder Smith

"There is so much work to do and i love doing it!"

This is a picture of us in Sousa during the companion exchange we did!

Date: Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 9:09 AM


Happy Birthday mom! Looks like a pretty tasty cake you got! That is really funny about Judy's gift too. I bet everyone thought it was pretty funny. 

This last week was great! I got to travel to Sousa, my old area, and work there for the week. It was awesome! I got to visit some converts and see people who I had taught who were baptized after i left and our now super strong in the church! Also, i got to see lots of fruits from the english class we did. One young man who was baptized because of the english class is now the branch secretary and is preparing to serve a mission! I am so excited for him! I know that miracles happen when we are working in the Lord's work. 

I really enjoyed going to Sousa because I got to see what affect missionary work has on an area. When members and missinoaries work together, great things happen and lots of people are blessed through the gospel. I have realized that there are alot of people who want to join the church and lots of people who accept the gospel. But one of the hardest things is a recent-convert leaving his old life behind him and starting a whole new life. There are so many new things to learn and if the converts don't have support from the members of the church, they will look for support from other people.

I am really grateful for the chance I have to serve a mission. I love my mission and i am trying to take advantage of the time i have left. There is so much work to do and i love doing it! I am so grateful to have the gospel in my life too. There is so much I learn in the church and I can't even imagine how lost I would be if i didn't have the gospel in my life.

I love you all!

Elder Smith

"A grandma who is sweeter than skittles..."

Date: Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Feliz Natal!!

Well Christmas went very well. It was so great talking to you guys and seeing everyone. I really missed Mel and Jake and Paigers and Daphne and Henry though. Tell them I miss them and love them! You guys all look great! Everyone looks happy and Mom and Dad and Grandma look younger! Maybe its just skype or maybe mom's new hair doo but everyone looks great. I probably look older because I am getting balder I think but whatevs!

This year was very special for me. Last year I think i was so shocked about how different Christmas was here that I didn't really enjoy Christmas fully but this year I already knew what to expect so I really was able to get in the christmas spirit and i got a new look on what christmas is all about. 

Two things that happened this week that helped me learn a few lessons. 

One was with a lady in our ward who is pretty well off financially. She is a lawyer and has a nice apartment and lots of nice things. She invited us over one christmas eve to have dinner with her and she invited some of her family members who aren't members of the church. What I thought was incredible was how much time and thought she put into the dinner. It was very nice and I felt like she did that because she wanted to give the best she could to her family and to us as missionaries. She even gave us some presents to open and I really felt the love she had for us as missionaries. She treated us like true representatives of Jesus Christ.

The other story was with a family who is alot more needy in our ward. They don't have hardly anything. There house is very small and the live a very simple life. The dad is a fisherman and he has a samll fishing boat that the made himself to catch food for his family. In his prayers he asks God to help the other fisherman that live close to him catch food so that they can feed their families. His children also work trying to catch crabs in little homemade crab traps along the riverside where they live. Well this last week, they caught quite a few crabs and sold them on saturday. That same day after getting money, this man tried to give my companion and i 20 reaias (10 dollars) to eat a nice dinner at night. I almost cried when he offered it to me. He told me "I usually don't have money but when i do have it I like to give it to others". I couldn't accept it and i told him i would much rather have dinner with him and his family at their house one night. After trying to give it to me again he accepted and said,"okay, we'll eat some fish one night with you guys". I was happy and very touched. Even though the amount he was willing to give was a lot less than the other lady in our ward, he was willing to give what he could. He treated us like true representatives of Jesus Christ.

Well I love you all so much. After skyping you all, i remembered how grateful I am for having such an amazing family. I really don't know what i did in the pre-existence to deserve two parents who truly love me and what me to do my best and support me in all that I do. A grandma who is sweeter than skittles. Four sisters who are super cool and love me too. Two brother in laws to keep an eye on me and mess around with and who show me an example of the kind of guy I need to be when I am older. And 5 nieces and nephews who are awesome and make me smile and laugh really hard!

I love you all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Elder Smith

P.S. Sorry this email was a little cheesy but like a wiseman (Bryce) once said, every cracker needs a little cheese!

"One cool experience that happened this week...'

Date: Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Hello Family!

I am very excited to talk to you al on Christmas! 7 PM it is then! I have already talked to the member who has skype where we will use it. 

Well I guess I don't have too much to tell you since I'll see you on skype in a couple days but one cool experience that happened this week was that we went to visit a referral that we had gotten from a member from another ward. They said there was someone at the house that just spoke english and not portuguese. Well we went there and we met an awesome family. There a woman that lives with them, she is from Ukraine and is dating a guy here in Brasil. She speaks Ukrainian, Hebrew, russion, english and polish. It turns out that she actually has knwon of the church for quite a while now and she wasn't able to join because of the laws of her country and a family who has totally different religious backgrounds but she loves the church and went to the ward christmas party on saturday. I think she liked it because there a quite a few members in our ward that speak english as well and so she got to know lots of people. It is interesting teaching in english but I am excited to see her progress. Elder Adams and I are having a little trouble speaking english perfectly with her but its good practice for christmas day when we talk to you guys! It was funny because she had a hard time believing we were from the US because we didn't speak super smoothly. 

Other than that things are going well. We are teaching another amazing family who is progressing really well and the ward is really integrating them good. We are working with them so that they can get married but they are very excited about the church and love the changes that are happening in their lives.

Well I love you all and I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! Merry Christmas!


Elder Smith

"we need to talk to everyone and open our mouths about the gospel"

Date: Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Hello Family!

Well I am excited to talk to you guys next week. 7 PM will work for me too. I wasn't sure because one of the guys that lives with me said he might skype at the same time but I think this year we will use skype at an internet cafe or in the office so there won't be any problem. 

I am really loving the Christmas countdown presents you sent me! I have never had anything like that before! Thanks alot! I am using one of the ties you sent me right now. You are the best family in the world!

As far as Christmas traditions go here in Brazil, they really just commemorate Christmas Eve. they have a huge dinner and invite a buunch of friends and family over and stay up super late. So as missionaries who have to be home at 9 and can't party there aren't many traditions to follow! One tradition I like is the sweet bread they make during this time of year and usually it is a gift that people give to one another. It is kind of like christmas cookies in the united states. I think we are going to make cookies for the people in our apartment building this week and share a message with them! 

I have learned that we need to talk to everyone and open our mouths about the gospel. We never know who will accept our message. For example, we found a pizza place not too long ago that was the cheapest pizza close by. So sometimes we would buy pizza and the delivery guy was pretty cool. Everytime he dropped off the pizza we would talk to him and we invited him to learn more about what we do as missionaries. Our ward is split in two areas and so the other missionaries that live with us went to teach him. He accepted the invite to go to church and he found what was missing in his life. Yesterday he was baptized and it was a very spiritual experience. I know that our Heavenly Father is preparing His children to receive the gospel. The ward was very excited about his baptism and he has alot of friends already. 

Well I love you all and i hope you have a great week. Can't wait to talk to you next week! 

Elder Smith

"Miracles are happening all around us!"

Date: Monday December 9th

Thanks for the pictures dad! Looks like everyone is in the chirtsmas spirit. I have been listening to some christmas music and I am feeling like it is more and more like christmas. I have been eating alot of panetone as well which makes it feel like Christmas. Panetone is pan dulce dad. I didn't understand exactly what time i should call, is it 2pm  or noon? Do you know what time that is for me here? okay i will get a number for you to call too. 

This last week was really great. My new companion is awesome. He has so much love for the people and big desire to be an awesome missionary. We have been working really hard and we have been teaching some awesome people. I love my area. Miracles are happening all around us! I am glad to be here at this time. 

This last week we were with a member teaching an investigator. We gave the investigator a book of Mormon and she said she would read it. She said she actually had one before and had to gone to church already and everything. The member that was with us said, now you just need to be baptized! We asked her why she wasn't baptized before when she was investigating the church, she said no one really encouraged her to do so, but now that her friend had invited her again and we were teaching her she would like to go to church and become a member! It was awesome. There are people who aren't members of the church just because they don't know where it is or weren't invited to go. So many people are looking for the truth. We need to recognize this and just invite everyone to church because there are alot of people who are curious but were never invited. This experience really helped my testimony. 

We are also teaching a few other great families. Do you guys remember that guy we were teaching who stopped drinking and smoking and doing everything wrong and I said would be baptized? Well he and his wife were baptized and their adopted son who is a member of the church got to baptize them. It was such an amazing thing to see. 

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


"My biggest Christmas wish this year..."

Date: Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM

e aí family!

Sounds like thanksgiving was an awesome day! Ya natalie told me she made the team. I am excited for her. When does the season end? maybe i will be able to see a game or two. if not, try to record one for me to watch! 

Everything is going well here. This week, three new missionaries got here. I love seeing the new missionaries and how nervous they all look. I remember my first day and how nervous I was. This next transfer we should be getting about 15-20 new missionaries so I am really excited for that! I have a new companion, Elder Adams. He is from enterprise utah, he is an awesome guy with a strong desire to serve the Lord. I will miss Elder Olsen, he is a great missionary but he is still here in the zone so I get to see him alot. 

We are teaching some amazing families! My biggest chirstmas wish this year is that they all get baptized! I love participating in this work. Every day that goes by seems to be busier and busier. Time seems to be getting shorter and shorter. The Lord is truely hastening His work and there a lot of people who are ready to accept the gospel. I have felt my faith increase these last few months. I am truly seeing miracles everyday. 

One miracle i am seeing is a family who we are teaching. the husband said he has been having trouble finding work these past few weeks. He washes cars and said that letly business has been slow. At church sunday, he bores his testimony in teh gospel principles class about prayer. He said that on thursday when we went to visit him and his family, it was one of the first prayers he had really said with us and he said that after that prayer, cars started showing up out of nowhere and now he is having a lot of work to do! His life is getting better and he knows it is because of the blessings he is recieving from the Lord.

Well I better get going. I love you all so much! 


Elder Smith

P.S. Chirstmas is right around the corner! I will have between 10 in the morning and 6 at night to talk to you guys. what is the best time to call? I want to know soon so that I can coordinate with my companion.