Monday, October 26, 2015

Brasil..... Ç And All Those Fun Accents!‏

Olá, e BOOOOM DIAAAAAA! [Hello and Good Morning!]

So after one more week of fun, conferences, and DRAMA!!!! I'm still in one piece and still in Guarapuava as transfers just shaved my head. We have a few fun stories to tell, I don't know if last week’s email made it to the blog so I'm hoping that it's alright to just go forward.

I'm still working with that amazing investigator that fell right into our lap, Jose Carlos. He's already stopped with the coffee; we're now working on cigarettes. It's all good, he only smokes 8 a day. Other than him, we have the family of a recent convert of the church that will be ready to marry on the 20th of next month. Baptism the day after. 

So my story this week comes from the trip from Xarquinho. We were happily running along home with a member driving us when suddenly out of the shadows we saw GARBAGE!!!! Or more like a cross dresser trying to get picked up. Garbage. Alright it could have been worse, but ever since we passed that corner with a member, there he/she/it was, every night, 8:40 pm on out. We came to call this "visão urubu" [vulture vision]. 

But that said, we did have a cool experience this week. We were working closely with a family that only the sister and daughters are members. The fun thing is, ever since I've been here, the sister has never wanted to get married, has always wanted to finish college and then work with her parents. Everyone here knows about my study to be a fashion designer, so, she asked me to design her graduation dress and (to my surprise) wedding gown. (I CAN'T SPELL!! English is a problem my friends.) But I think she's accepting that she needs to get married.

Take care! Amo vocês, Cuida suas responsabilidades! Fica firme na fé! [I love you, take care of your responsibilities! Firm in the faith!]

Elder Joel A. Smith

Angry Bird - quero quero [Lapwing]

Joel's doodle of "The Bird Man and the Word"

Joel's doodle of "The Monkey Man"

My Brasil, Your Brazil

From October 19, 2015

My dear friends, Family, Related others.

I have some good news and some bad, and as I'm optimistic that the bad won’t last long, I'll start with it. I'm Forgetting INGLESE!!! Desculpa mai! Mas é verdade, esto virando uma destas pessoas que será gringo em todos os países! Então, com permissão de tudo mundo, eu vou falar em um língua estranho, Americano. [Sorry, Mom! But it's true, I’m turning into one of these people who will [?] in all countries! Then, with permission of all the world, I will speak in a strange language, American.]

The good news is that we are working ourselves until a baptism comes out of this transfer!!!! And it's starting to pay off. We have two potentials, one is the ever persistent Robson... He's great and all that, but we have an issue with him. GO TO CHURCH! The other is a man we found this week, and I'd love to tell you all the story.

We were walking to our last "programmed" lesson of the day on Thursday. In Xarquinho, about 7:30 at night, meaning we had about 1 hour to get walking to get home in time. I was tired, it had been a hot day, and I was about ready to just teach the last lesson and get on the last bus home. My companion, however, was paying a little more attention to the Spirit, thank heavens he was, and felt impressed to knock one last door. Out came José Carlos, dark, thick beard, baseball hat and all. I thought O shoot, this contact is going to be a handful. I'd had some moments on my mission where I had been surprised; this experience knocked my socks off. He let us in after an introduction of under 2 minutes, introduced himself, and said "I already talked to some of your friends in Curitiba; I read the pamphlet they gave me; I'd like to know more." So we went back two days later, taught the plan of salvation, and he marked a date with us to be baptized on the first Saturday of o próximo mes [next month] ... Sorry forgetting inglese [English].

LESSONS: 1, the day is never over. 2, the least likely of people can be baptized with faith. 3, DON'T GET CAUGHT BY STEALTH RAIN! 4, Read the scriptures every day. 

My ponderize scripture this week is Helaman 10:4: “ Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.”

Have a great week!  Elder Joel A. Smith

Joel's doodle of "The Dog Man"

Rain out of Nowhere with Elder Adams

The Best Medicine in the World:  Scripture Study

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Three-Day Transfer, Brasil

Aí amigos, tudo bem? Espero que sim porque esto moito animado para trabalhar depois eu sair deste lan house! [Well friends, okay? I hope so because I am very excited to work after I leave this Internet café!]

Alright, by way of announcements, my companion has been working hard, I worked my foot off (I'll send a picture of my bruised toe next week), and I've learned my lessons well.

First and foremost, I'm living the dream. If you call a rain-drenched summer the dream. Starting on Friday it hasn't stopped raining. But the three days before is the focus. Here’s how that went:

I got to the area and met Elder Marcondes. He's now 57 days from hugging his noiva, I think that's like a fiancée. So he's trunky!!!!! But he'll work you to death if you aren't careful. We taught in that short time 32 lessons, made about 110 contacts, and challenged about 17 people to be baptized. Note: only about 5 accepted the challenge, but that's normal. I got chased by a drunk after a family-home-evening with the president of the branch in Villa Bella, in which I burned my hand eating a very Brazilian hot dog. I'll share the recipe for you all to try that next week. So, that was a very full day. The next days were full of my contacting, teaching, and finally returning to my area. I don't have time to write everything as the three days were very full, but after all that we did there I learned a few lessons that I hope will be well transmitted in my parents’ talks on Sunday. But I learned a lot and will be more than happy to share more next week. 


Elder Joel A. Smith

The Zone

Brasilian, Or Not Quite

From October 5, 2015

Hello friends, family, and ... other relations.

I'm happy that once again General Conference has passed and I had a great chance to learn and grow. Sadly, I had to finally accept that three of the beloved apostles of our time have been transferred. And to my wonder and strengthening of my testimony, three new apostles were called.

Alright, stories of what Brasil did to me this week: I had a division with my district leader in a bairro that's called Xarquinho and while there he wanted to play with a feroz cãozinho [fierce dog] (a Chihuahua). For his efforts, his foot became a temporary chew toy. When visiting Brasil, don't play with dogs behind gates. This is the second time my companion has been chewed on.

The other comes from what becomes of Ninjas in Brasil. We were a little late leaving our last lesson to be on our way home this Wednesday. I had to encourage my companion to at least walk quickly as we exited. But, and to my utter surprise, he passed me running. I started running behind to keep up with him. When suddenly: DOG! Fortunately I brought my umbrella, as we ran past the beast he took off behind my companion. With the spring loaded part of my umbrella, I opened it and the dog ran into the previously closed shield. I then spent the next 30 seconds having a sword fight with the nose of the darned thing. The dog finally quit and we took off running again. Thank you Tamara for all those Saturdays [fencing]!

Until next week, and the story of the three-day transfer.

Elder Joel A. Smith


From September 28, 2015:

Brasil and What I Found


Hello! Olá, oi, bom dia, opa, e daí, [Hello, Hi, Good morning, ??}  Or however you want to say it!

We're a week off of conference here in Brasil, and I'm thrilled! I feel that this will be a historic Conference as the members of the Quorum of the 12 will be changing! I feel really depressed that no one told me until like three days after the Apostles passed away.  THANKS A LOT GUYS!!! But Patience is a virtue, so is forgiveness.

Now, as I have been thrilled at receiving your letters. (you know who you are) I'm happy to announce that I'll be trying to send some of the pictures that don't make it into the blog into the letters! Some things are better in paper. 

So in reference to what I found, I'm working my way through trying to understand my circumstances a little better. I'm not going to tell you they're easy, that would be lying! But I'm working on understanding what I need to pull from them. And one thing that is making it fun is the stereotypes that I found out about the USA. (Prepare yourselves.) So according to the Brasilian explanation of the American: We're rich, eat fast food all the time, fat, everywhere snows and all Americans play football and don't care about soccer. That said, you say Utah, and unless they’re members, you have to say "Las Vegas" for them to even have a clue where that is.

Guarapuava is a Provo sized city, but I'm working on an outskirt part that really has a lot of fun little dangers. For example, we have to walk on what is like a highway for us to get to a part of our area that is quite important. The adventure is crossing the streets when we need to. Brasil! Why do you teach your drivers to hit and run? Other than that, I got to participate in a branch activity, which involved apples, eggs, spoons, water, and a whole lot of fruit salad. It was a blast! 

That's all I have time for now, But enjoy the pictures of  the Brasilian YMCA, Rock in the Water

Until next week!
Elder Joel A. Smith


With Companion in Park in Guarapuava

Park in Guarapuava