Monday, April 20, 2015


So I'm going to be brief today because we have a lot to do back at the house to prepare for war. Yes, we’re fighting here in Pinherinho now. My companion and I have taken it upon ourselves to personally go and find those 300+ lost sheep in our area, and then try to save Korihor. (don't remember the story? Alma 30).

So Elder Barros, he's from Ceara and he's a lot of fun. We're almost always joking with each other, and the only thing that I can do is help him put into practice what he learned in training. I'm senior companion now, but I still have a ton to learn, so I'm working with the district leader to keep getting better at my teaching techniques and reaching higher goals. Fortunately we have special permission to find these less-actives, so our number of lessons is getting bigger even though we're having trouble finding "new" people.

I'm going to be blunt, this ward needs help. I arrived feeling something was off, then I started asking questions and found a large hole in the leadership, members, and ward mission plan. This ward is work! At least for now, I have a mind to leave this ward so big they're going to need to split. But first, I have to get the leadership onboard. Say a few prayers for me and my companion as were both under 6 months in the mission trying to do all this on our own (so to speak). 

And I have to tell a story, you’re going to like this one. Work as usual here in Pinherinho—contacts, and addresses. I got on the bus with the District Leader on a split, and made a public announcement: "Afternoon, My name is Elder A. Smith, and I'm a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We have a message that we share, independent the religion, and we'd like to share it with you. We have these little cards with a number and a present, it's a free number and the present is also free, all you have to do is call and we'll be more than happy to drop it off for you. If any are interested please raise your hand and we'll hand these out to you." My District leader now thinks I'm crazy, but you guys already knew that. The best part happened after the "Public-contact", the district leader asked if that had worked in the past. I then got to tell him of a different event with Elder Matos when it had.

Hope you're all well and happy. Remember [Christians]: never have shame for the name you carry! Be it on a bus in hot Brasileiro sun, or in an air-conditioned office, you bear the name of a perfect life [Jesus Christ] and need to share the blessings with YOUR brothers and sisters!

Até Próximo [Up Next]! 

Elder Joel A. Smith

Monday, April 13, 2015

My Friends from Pinheirinho

NOTE: Joel’s mission address has changed. See the new address in the sidebar to the right, below his mission picture.

So, here's my life from Brasil: Eat, make contacts, teach lessons, read scriptures, sleep, repeat. And here's the fun part, I'm enjoying it! I would have never guessed I could have been happy trying to teach people that would reject you and try to make you look stupid (that I'll explain in a bit). But I'm loving the work of the Lord here, and I'm still trying to get used to some of the people here in my new area, but I'm starting to understand them better.

I have a confession to make, in the field I don't count the time I spent in the MTC in Provo or the CTM in São Paulo as a part of my mission as I really learned only 3 things  there: order the lessons, a basic "greetings" lesson in Portuguese, and don't eat the chicken cordon blue. So I have 5 1/2 months of really learning the language and I'm already fluent... with a relatively limited vocabulary. I can talk, and listen, and give a lot of lessons and, relatively speaking, I'm fluent. I have a few grammatical things to clean up but other than that this language is fácil [easy].

BAPTISMS!!! We'd like you to meet Vitoria, Marcos, and Jeniffer. Marcos is excited and more about the church, Vitoria is also a good friend in the church already, and Jeniffer is waiting for a boyfriend to visit to be baptized but she wants to be too. So the only problem is keeping Jeniffer interested, Vitoria with a group of friends, and Marcos from doing our work for us. He's already (like yesterday) bringing friends to church!

That's all the time I have for now, check my blog for more info. My mission address changed and if you want to know more, send me a letter. I have all the time in a Segunda-feira [Monday] to write back. Tchau!

Elder A. Smith
Vitoria, Elder Smith, Marcos, Elder Barros, Jeniffer

Monday, April 6, 2015

Transfer to Pinherinho

This weekend, we mainly watched General Conference in the ward building. Only one session was watched in the house of a member, our recent convert family of Isalino and Deise. But that said, it was really weird to listen to all these people speaking English, only to hear Português. I sat mainly with my companion and a few of our investigators. 

Easter Sunday, just was sad. I gave out cards of Easter (if you have time, look up Porque ele Vive “Because He Lives”) and said my goodbyes to dear old Campo Comprido. I've been transferred to Pinherinho on the other side of Curitiba and will be working as a "senior companion" for now with Elder Barros. So, all new stuff here:  new house, new companion, new role.  Wish me luck! 
Elder Matos