Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Battle and the Band

[from 10-24-16]
Hello all my friends and family,
This is a message to all you who have been following my progress either by blog or by email: I'm now no longer authorized to call people to repentance, but I will still invite all who will listen. My authority of two years has been passed as of Saturday. I'm now on "break". But I'm still determined to work hard.
My life is great at the moment, the work we had this last week went well; we found some new people and made the leaders here on the mission a bit wide eyed. We have had a lot of fun this week running from dogs, finding new people to teach and our greatest moment this week: for the first time on my mission I found an Adeventista that didn't want to fight me over Saturday being the Lord's day. It was a good experience to talk with him about the Lord's work.
We also had a roof to change, which was a lot of work and I got really tired doing it, but the family was glad of the help. I think with all the bricks that we threw around, if it had been just the family they would have been working until this morning.
Now I have a lot to do today and I hope you all are well! Until next week!
Elder Joel A. Smith

Uai, Visguenta e Sorry

[from 10-17-16]
Hey everyone,
This week I have a lot to write and little time. We had some fun with knocking and not receiving ... at least not yet. We found almost no new people to teach, but we had some fun in the flight of some of the souls who try to avoid us. That I could tell you all, as a rule here in Brasil, if they don't want it, they hide under their beds and wait for us to go away.
But we had some success in running around and finding our investigators who have already accepted the invitation to pray and read. We're working tirelessly now. We have even taken to marking lessons on our p-day.  None of the people who we have already taught have noticed that we have been slowly upping the level of the invitation, but we'll be expecting a few people to fall through here in a while. For now, we are just glad that we have the people we do.
We found a couple of good families, again the age-old problem: no one is married. So there will be some marriages in São Marcos in the near future. All of that in mind, I'm still determined to find and teach the elect and bring them to Zion. (Sião here).
We're happy and healthy, a little tired, as here in the south of Brazil they have daylight savings, and we just jumped forward. But hoping you're all well, I look forward to hearing from you all soon. Have a great week!
Elder Joel A. Smith

Brasil, Chuva e Templo [Rain and Temple]!

[from October 10]
Hello friends and family,

We had a fun couple of weeks.  I didn't have time last week to send a group mail as I was getting back from the temple, and I had a more important matter I had to take care of.
When we finally got back to do everything it was almost 5 PM. But the temple was a wonderful experience.  I learned a lot and I made a bit of personal progress.  And we have had a lot of fun in our companionship study. I've learned more here with Elder Santos than I can explain here.
We had some fun events in the last couple of weeks that have messed with my head:  one of these is finding new people.  Just when I think we've found everyone who there is to teach here who are ready to hear the message of salvation, we find and mark a day to baptize another. And we have found some that literally fell into our laps. This has been a lot of what has kept me going:  finding the "one". And then trying not to get abused by the other 150 churches that exist here. That's the problem with people, they aren't exactly the most logical when it comes to the topic of religion.
Any way, we are happy;  we're teaching people with so many backgrounds and problems that I can't keep all the people straight some days. But that's why we have a day planner. We also live in the middle of a hole that’s a long way from the rest of the city, so we spend a lot on bus trips and eating out while we're here. And as it's a hole, ALL the rain we get gets pooled where we need to walk. I have had wet feet this last little while. Not a good feeling. But I'm happy and all is going well.  Sorry for the lack of pictures. The computers might be have bugs, and I don't want to ruin anything.
Until Next Week!
Elder Joel A. Smith

Monday, September 26, 2016

Brasil, Food And Everything Falling

Hello family, friends and leaders!
This week I have been on a roller coaster of events and feelings. One such has been anxious. We have had a ton of running from one place to the other to try to find more people to teach. But we had a battle of finding people who could be taught in the hours that we had available! We made a lot of phone calls as well, as that's a part of our work.
This week we got to participate in a marriage in another ward.  It was neat to watch two people make the promise of being loyal for all of this life; I just hope they make the next step and make it forever! I have been a little preoccupied with the people we are teaching here. One man, we got a date for him marked to be baptized on the 15th of October.  We'll be working him hard, but we want him to do most of the work, as he's the one that should be making the decisions.
Alright, I'm exhausted from this week; we had a lot of getting up early, lack of sleep, and trips to the center that got us all wound up and wrung out. We now are looking at trying to find more people to teach. That's tricky, as in the area here isn't the biggest part of the city, so almost everyone has already seen the missionaries at some point or other. That's the tough part for us, but we'll get it.

Until Next!
Elder Joel A. Smith

Elder Smith and Elder Santos