Monday, June 11, 2018

Last zone conference, last leadership counsel, last package...06.11.2018

Hey everyone,

     This week started off well with Mission Leadership Council and Zone conference. We talked about how we can live a "full experience" as a missionary and see the miracles and have lots of spiritual moments to share. The key for this to happen is working with the members in the area that you are serving. There were lots of practices and debates on how to better acomplish this. They were two great meetings. Sadly I said some goodyes to Elder Gale, Elder Conceição, Elder Crandall, and some others as i wont see them again...


   After the meetings we went to work with short visits at members houses and going after people that we are teaching or had contacted in the street. Sadly Maxwell wasn't baptized because he was just wanting information about what we believe and was not progressing. Also Ariane moved to another part of Juiz de Fora that isn't our area so we passed her information on to the sisters in her area.  Sunday was a day of miracles meeting some good families, people that had already gone to church, and in specific a mom and daughter who stopped us. They asked us what church we are from and invited us to their home to talk more about what we do. Tomorrow we will go and meet with them. 

     There was an emergency transfer and Elder Ogden was transferred to Teresópolis and Elder Ribeiro was sent here. Yes there are now 2 Elder Ribeiros in the house and it is confusing, but they are chill. Just 3 weeks to benefit from the mission and they are going to be great. 

Until next week.

Did you get your coming home package?  I hope you haven't opened it!!
Yes, and you are trying to kill me off with those poems that you sent. I opened the package but I saved that letter that is individually packaged for the flight home.  I am a very patient person, but you know that on the mission I have to opén everything when I get it.  No all jokes aside I am fine. I am glad that I opened the package and could eat the Resses. Thoses Recses crunches or whatever they are called are really good.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Doing the work...06.04.2018

Hey everyone,

     This week was really busy. This week every companionship in the mission had to talk with 500 people in the street. So had a bunch of people that we had to visit as well and so we didn't get much rest. This week was great because we got to meet with lots of new families. One of which was a reference from a recent convert that she met in the park. The family is of Renan, Casia and their son Victor Hugo. We talked about eternal families and they like it a lot. Renan works in the oil industry and had to work Sunday so they didn't go to church, but this week they should go. 

 Thursday we met with a girl called Ariane who had been taught by the missionaries 4 years ago and said that she frequented the church a lot until she had some family problems and stopped going. Those family problems were resolved and now she is ready to return to the church and we marked a baptism date with her in 2 weeks

     Sunday an investigator called Maxwell went to church for the second time and he loved it. We showed him the baptismal font and invited him to be baptized and he said that he would. We are preparing him this week for his baptism! This week is the zone conference (Wednesday) and leadership council. I am excited. 

Until next week!
-Elder Smith

Did you get a My Plan book on your final trasfer? 

I havent received any My plan book no, nor have I heard about this book

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Last city...05.28.2018

Hey everyone, 

     So I am now here in Juiz de Fora with Elder Ribeira, Elder Ogden, and Elder de Sousa. Interestingly, Elder Ogden is from Draper as well and even went to Summit for 2 years. I found out that we know a lot of the same people. Elder Ribeiro is from Fortaleza and has 9 months in the mission field. I am the oldest by a long shot. Elder De Sousa also has 9 months in the mission field and is from Curitiba. Elder Ogden has 7 months that he is in the mission field.   It is weird being the oldest one in the mission. But it is cool to see the things that I have learned and help the people that are starting their mission right now learn faster.   We saw the guys from the mission home home today. Probably we will see them every p-day. There are 12 sisters and 10 elders in the zone. I don't know about how many houses for missionaries there are, but the mission home is 40 minutes walking from here. 

  Juiz de Fora is a big city and there is a lot of people here and a lot of hills. There isn't much different about being here in Juiz de Fora. It is good that I don't have to make conferences to talk with everybody in the Zone. The city center is huge as well so whatever I need it is easy to get.  I visited a lot of the area with Elder Ribeira going after people that had already gone to the church before. We are starting to make a teaching group but there isn't much to tell yet.  The area is lacking a little bit of people to teach. To be honest, there are 2 duplas here but they were in tri for 2 weeks and so when I arrived to complete the second dupla they divided who they had and so we are fighting to get more people to teach.  It is different than Lafaiete in lots of ways. I am sad that I don't know everyone yet and in Lafaiete I had the confidence of the members and got lots of references but now I have to gain the confidence of the members again. 
     Sunday a speaker didn't show up so 5 minutes before sacrament meeting started the Bishop asked me to speak. Luckily on the mission we have the gift to speak at least a little bit and I as able to talk about the family that the church is and how everyone plays a part. 

    Today we played basketball with the missionaries from the other district Elder Arruda and Elder Azvedo. It was a good change in the p-day. However i am dead tired now and will just relax. The mission life as always is great. Until next week!

p.s. this Lan house isn't working to send photos...  


How has the fuel strike affected you there.  Did you get extra food and water?  How long will it go on?

Juiz de Fora is out of gas and lots of things are in need. It has affected everything even Burger King who doesn't have cheese, sauce, and french fries... It doesn't affect our work much though, it just means that more people will be at home because the schools aren't functioning as well. 

What's the vibe in the apartment in JDF?  Funny?  Serious?  Friendly?

The vibe is friendly/funny. I am liking this house.   It is different than the old apartment from my 2 weeks in JDF last time. When I passed here it used to be 2 wards, but they combined them to form a bigger ward and closed one of the apartments.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Last transfer...05.21.2018

 Hello everyone,

This week was really crazy. We had divisons with Elder Stephens and Elder Andrews from Barbacena, Zone conference in Lafaiete with Pres. Lacerda, a stake activity that we prepared, baptismal interviews in São João and Barbacena, a wedding and a baptism. 

The stake activity was called " A night in Lehi´s tent," where we did a funny play showing how members really affect or daily work for the better. I was Elder Joseph and my companion was Elder Faith and it went really well. Lots of things were improved, but it all ended well. Then we showed a video that we made of making contacts, going to appointments, and entering some houses. I will try and send the video to you guys but it is a big file so we will see. Everyone loved the activity and there were more than 120 people there.

     The wedding was of Raone and Juslaine who are 2 members here of our ward that are fantastic. They help us out a lot and we got to be at their wedding at the church. They did the wedding outside and 1 hour before it started the rain came and soaked everything, but it stopped and the wedding went on after a short delay of an hour and a half. Directly after the wedding was the baptism of Jailton. 

     Sunday was a special Sunday with sacrament meeting given by the "missionary task force" better known as us and the stake missionary work leader. I talked about first impressions and how visitors don't remember much of what was fallen but how they were treated. You have 4 seconds to make a first impression and how important those 4 seconds are. If people don't feel at home at the church they wont return. It was a good Sunday. I discovered that I am being transferred for my last transfer in Juiz de Fora. I will be serving with Elder Ribeiro. It should be good. 

Until next week!
-Elder Smtih 


Will you be in the office in JDF?

I won't be an office elder no. I will be a Zone Leader still.   JDF is one of the biggest cities in the mission, and there will be 4 elders in the apartment there as well.

I will be the zone leader of Elder Ricks and everyone in the mission staff. It should be good. I will work in the same ward that I passed in those 2 weeks of the emergency transfer. I already know the bishop there and he likes me. It will be good. And yes I will be able to work in my area a lot more. We won't have to do as may travels. Practically nothing to be honest. 

How has serving your mission compare to what you expected when you got your call 2.5 years ago in March 2016?
To be honest I didn't have many expectations of a mission when I left. I just knew that I would serve and that I would have to learn another language. However, as I am here my vision has opened up much more than  you can imagine. I don't have time to write about it much, but in 6 weeks you can make this question again personally. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day #2 and last transfer coming up...05.14.2018

Hey everyone,

     This week went by so fast. We had to travel to Soão Joãl Del Rei again, Barbacena, and Ouro Branco. The week started off well with a division with Elder Baron from Ouro Branco. He is in his first transfer here on the mission. He is really humble and is loving the mission experience. Although we weren't able to teach many people at home we made some good contacts and had a killer activity at the church. The sisters gave the message and we topped it off with "Show do Mormão" which is basically Mormon jeopardy.

     After the division it was pretty much travel and resolve problems. But at the end of it all we were able to baptize Thiago and Lécia in a combined baptismal reunion with the sisters where 5 people were baptized! It would have been 6 but Jailton arrived 2.5 hours late and so he will be baptized this Saturday.


     Sunday was a great Mothers day with a video call. It was so good to talk with the family and see how everyone has grown. Lots of things change in 2 years. The mission is going great. I am still learning a lot and making the most of these last few weeks. 

This could be my final week in Lafaiete but nobody knows. Some people think that I will leave because I have been here for so long, but others are thinking that President won't transfer me in the last transfer of my mission. Whatever happens will happen and I will know at the end of this week.  My mentality on the mission is wherever I am sent I will work there. I don't know if there is more than that, but I am content to know why I am working and seeing the changes in the lives of others and my own life.

Until next week!
-Elder Smith

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Buses and ministering....05.07.2018

Hey everyone,

     This week lots of things happened but at the same time not much happened. We had splits with the APs which was cool because I went with Elder Ricks, my CTM companion. It was good to work side by side with him and see the progress that we both have gone through. After that we had to go to São Joã Del Rei for a baptismal interview of Max. He is 25 and is liking the church a lot. Because of these travels we didn't have much time to work in our area.

     This Sunday we visited Thiago and Lécia with Pres. Santos and he called them to be baptized this Saturday and they accepted. We will go there every day to help them achieve this goal. 

Jaílton didnt baptize this week because we couldnt get in contact with him even though we brought Elder Lesuer from Ouro Branco to do the interview, but we couldn't catch him. He went to church and said that he is decided that he will be baptized on Saturday. It will be a good week. 

Sunday we talked in the quorum about how the priesthood is like a loaded gun and we can't be afraid to use it. We have to be prepared and always ready to act. The priesthood is a gift and a responsibility that we can't take lightly. 

This week will probably have zone conference and we are going to travel for more baptism interviews!


So until next week. 
-Elder Smith

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Surprise mission leadership training in JDF...04.30.2018

Hey everyone,

    This week went by way fast. It started off with a FHE with Helemã and his family. They talked about how some things seem impossible but God knows how to solve the problem.  The theme of this week has been about revelations. We had a surprise Mission Leadership Council. We talked about how 100% obedience unlocks the powers of Heaven. That God is willing to take away the veil from our eyes so that we can contemplate the mysteries of heaven. That we have to learn how to rely on God to give us the information necessary to resolve our problems. Then we did some practices on learning how to better analyze the zones numbers and offer solutions to the missionaries. 

     We had a great lesson with Jaílton and his mom. In the beginning she wasn't very happy that we were there but we called her to talk a little bit and she opened up and at the end of the lesson she invited us to come back. It was a great step forward. If all goes well Jaílton will be baptized this week. We also encountered with 3 siblings Rafael, Rafaela, and Priscila who went to the church 10 years ago. They have 4 other siblings that were baptized and they would have been if the missionaries weren't transferred. They are really good and we are working with them again. 

     This Sunday was stake conference. The theme of the conference was Holiness and ministering like Christ. They talked about how we need to become more holy and think about all the blessings that we will get after this life. That the path of covenants will always be easier than leaving and trying to come back. That true happiness in life is brought through keeping the commandments. It was a good conference. 

This week there might be zone conference, we don't know yet and we have splits with the assistants of the president. So we are going to Juiz de Fora again. Wooh.

Until next week
-Elder Smith