Monday, April 18, 2016

Brasil, and well …

Brasil, we have been having a lot of fun finding and teaching people from all walks of life, but what has really been my worry has been the unrest that has been messing with us. We've heard every type of "Brazil is in war" and "police now have permission to use what force is needed to keep peace and control" that we worry one day it will be true and no one will believe it.

But the work continues and God answers prayers. We prayed to find and teach, and we found a family who was praying to hear our message. We were thrilled. When we got all this week done we smiled and then we grunted. We have a lot of work to do. That'll be the adventure next week but, I hope you don't mind the short mail this week—I have to do a lot today still. Until next week!

Elder A. Smith

Elders - Cousins - Filling the Baptismal Pool

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Waterless, Baptisms, And ... Brasil‏

 From 04/11/16
Well, transfer scare passed. We're staying! WOOOOOHHOOOOOO! But we got combined with the other Oswaldo Cruz area, which is about the same size as the area we are already working. So we will be walking a lot this month and a half. We also are hoping for some fixes that will make this month more ... bearable.

This week we had the baptism of Valéria; it was super special. She was the first I saw that came up from the water crying like she did. I wanted to hug her, but let's be reasonable: Bishop, Elder Rosado, and two other returned missionaries wouldn't report that to the mission president? Não pode! [Cannot!] We felt the Spirit and she did, too, so it is good that we stayed so we can explain all the new feelings to her. The other thing is that she already made friends with a returned missionary couple. So she'll be firm even in our departure.

The other thing is a sad thing really. WE HAVE NO WATER IN THE HOUSE FOR 4 DAYS! We have been running to the other missionaries to help us, resolve needs, take showers, etc. That has been a pain but we'll live it out. We paid our taxes, but we got cut on the last day. So we'll get back into the system today we hope.

But that's all the time we have for this week! Until next week! 

Elder Joel A. Smith

Day 1 Without Water

Day 2 Without Water

Day 3 Without Water


Conference and Prayers Answered, Brasil‏

 From 04/04/16

I'm happy to say that we did not have ice cream the night after conference.

I was blessed to be a part of the Luz Stake and watch the conference with one investigator that is quite excited to be baptized. So we'll be sending up dates about that next week.

The other thing that we have been excited about has been the work with the less actives and recent converts. We’ll be able to get going now that we have the information to find them; I'll be making a route list to find these people for the week. We also had the event of Elder Rosado taking out his patriarchal blessing, finding again a recent convert family that I taught about 10 months ago, then all the fun of contacts. I have been very busy with all that. But as a rule we have been trying to reserve time to find new people to teach.

Elder Joel A. Smith

Brasil, Food, and Ecuador‏

 From 03/28/16

Friends, family I'm excited, I'm pumped really, my little bro is going on a mission! I'm a little envious as he'll be close to the water wanting to or no, Jamaica!

My news of the week is more of the same:  contacts, lessons, my companion got sick for two days and he had to "rest" while still walking and teaching and all that. But we are working in some interesting notes. We "found" (rather "were found") by a single mom who has a brother being taught in São Paulo. Date of baptism, 16 of April. Quite excited she is. In the end, we're doing well; we just need to find more people to teach. As we had an EXTENSIVE study of the mission letter, so this last part is going to be brief.

Food, why? Brasilians COOK!! I'm sorry I didn't have a camera. We have been eating our own weight every 3 days! And the food is incredible. I'm not able to get the recipes that I would like but the ones I get I'll send! We had the pleasure and displeasure of eating and then having to go out into the sun. That about killed us how tired we were! But we lived. As winter approaches this will be less of a problem. Until next week!

Elder Joel A. Smith

Joel with Elder Rosado

Checking the Calls

Life Down Under, Brasil‏

 From 03/21/16

Life has about wrapped itself around me and is dragging me down to what we call as missionaries "death"—for you who don't know this term it means the end of the mission. I'm caught in a time stream that seems to have accelerated and thrown me into a wild loop, but that's okay.

We are in week ... 4 of the transfer now, and that means that we'll be doing a lot of date marking for baptisms and lots of finding attempts. We have been to the temple (for me that was a "finally!"), and I got to have a really cool experience there.  And we moved an older lady in our area, which we're suffering from still. Many heavy things were placed on my shoulders—many heavy things. That's all the time I have for this week, but take care, talk to you all next week!

Jason, Blake and Nate:  Missions in Brasil are hard! But not because of the people—it’s because missionaries are difficult!

Elder Joel A. Smith

Easter Egg

At the Temple

Helping a Sister Move

The Name Tag

At the Temple