eternal summer! [sent on 05 March 2012]
How is this week, with the exciting snow? are you looking forward to springtime? It is kind of strange to think that the first week of March has snow on the ground. Here it is still warm. It is always warm. The otherday, the weather forecast said it was only going to reach 34 that day. Phew, I thought, today won´t be that toasty! haha, 34 is like 92 degrees. Now the low 90´s seem managable. It amazing
how the Lord blesses our mindset. Last week it was 22 one day, I was cold!
The area is good, big but good. We walk a lot, a lot more than I did in my first area. I am always hungry because we walk all day. I don´t think that I am still losing weight, because all of the sudden I am always starving and the members of this ward actually feed us snacks! In my last area, we never had snacks during the day because nobody
offered. Should be a commandment: thou shalt feed the missionaries. good policy.
Everybody keeps asking me about carnival. It was lame. Sobral is a big city, I am assuming it has a wikipedia page. If Townsend Montana has a wikipedia page, Sobral will for sure. But it was not a party central city, and so we just went home early for almost a week. Everybody was home, but drinking and so not many lessons were taught. I did make
really good cinnamon rolls one day, but that was the highlight of the biggest holiday in Brazil. Easter is big here too, I am excited to see what March brings.
Our investigators are doing well. Our baptism fell through, Elisangela has a husband who is verbally abusive and very selfish. I want to kick him. But she was only going to be baptized to please him, not because she had a testimony. She has never even prayed on her own. And so, we shall see. We are going to continue to teach her.
Lêda is awesome. She recieved a priesthood blessing this week, and her faith is amazing. The next day, she said she felt so much better (she has been sick for a few weeks) and she knew it was because of the priesthood. I am pretty excited, she has a baptismal date this week. We are continuing. This is a busy time for us, what a blessing!
I know that I am so blessed to be here to share the gospel with people. I know that the Lord loves us and loves his children all over the world. What a joy to share with others. The Lord is very aware of our family, and I know we are in good hands.
I love you all!
Happy Birthday to Taci! [sent on 12 March 2012]
As today is the lugubrious occasion of Taci´s birthday, I must
highlight her just a tad. using the word lugubrious should do the trick. Happy Birthday Taci.
Well, this week should be a great one! I love birthday weeks. I have decided that we shouldn´t just have a day, but a whole week, and so I will enjoy the emails with wishes today, and expect wishes from others next week who missed their chance today. A whole week!
OH as a side note, I got a huge envelope with Christmas letters from the Mt. Jordan 1st Ward relief society and young men´s yesterday. I felt so loved! (everytime it said Merry Christmas, I just put Happy Birthday) It was a great hug from home. So Mom and Dad, please tell everyone that I was thrilled and very touched. Does our ward have any
other missionaries out right now?
Yesterday was Stake Conference here in Sobral. there were a ton of people there. This stake isn´t very old, it was a district until 2007. How awesome that I get to be here to help it grow. Sobral is a city of 200,000 people, imagine how many stakes there could be here! Lots and lots. I have already decided that one day Sobral will have its own mission and I will have a relative serve here. Anyways, Stake Conference was awesome. they called a new stake young mens and women´s presidencies and they spoke to the youth. I know that I am not in Young Women´s anymore, but I love to hear leaders speak to the youth. They really are so special! I wish I had spent more time enjoying such specific instruction. Korin and Xane - enjoy your time in the youth programs, you will never have such special instruction for YOU again.
We met a woman named Fatima this week. She is an older lady, who has always been accepting of what ever religion. She says that, almost everyday, someone comes to her house to preach the word of God. She is just looking for truth. When we stopped by, she even told us, ´´Oh the
Jehovah´s witnesses girls are coming this afternoon, is that a problem if you two are still here?´´ Oh nope, it isn´t (thank heavens they never showed up!) Needless to say, Fatima has a lot of people telling her what is and isn´t true about God.
As my companion ( who is doing wonderful by the way) was inviting her to pray about Joseph Smith, the Spirit whispered to me ``Heavenly Father wants her to have the truth too`` I just know that she is going to get an answer. She is a pretty special lady.
I am doing good. Ate liver this week for lunch with the ward member´s neighbor who is a transvestite. Then I ate avacado ice cream ( I chose the latter) and then I had a tummy ache. But I got better. And what an interesting day.
Sarita (the neighbor) was a sight to behold, but he/she was very nice.
I am looking forward to a great week! Happy birthday Taci!!
a 95 degree birthday! [sent on 17 March 2012]
first things first, I will no longer get letters or packages sent to
the mission office address. (well if it has already been sent I will recieve the letters, but from now on...)
The only address I can use now is the following;
Mario a Dias
A/C Sister Taralyn Smith
CP 2321 Teresina PI
But my week was good, thank you for the birthday wishes!
Saturday, the sisters made me a birthday cake. It was my favorite flavor too :burnt! But no, it was very sweet of them, I appreciated the thought. The rest of my day, the Lord gave me a birthday present too: almost nothing fell through. Almost everyday half or more of our plans fall through (some days ALL) but Saturday was a great day to work. I was very thankful.
The work continues to be good, I am thankful to still be here in the city of Sobral. We have four wards here, and everybody knows everybody. Members from other wards think that I have been here forever! But I enjoy getting to know the stake leaders as well. our ward mission leader is brand new and really awesome. His name is Robson, and he has been home from his mission for less than a year. He
is always planning activities for investigators and firesides to get the members here excited about the work. He is doing a great job... and he has the patience of Job with me. Sometimes, I still get lost or confused about the language, but he is very patient. Robson is awesome. He served in the São Paulo south mission.
This week we met a family who are just awesome. Thais and Osmar are legally married (yay!) and they live away from thier families. Thais has a brother who was baptized in another city about six months ago and her mom is now taking the missionary lessons as well. Osmar just found a job after being unemployed for over a year. Thais was able to
quit her job so that she can stay home with her 8 month old son. I am pretty excited about getting to know them better and helping them recognize the blessings of the Lord in their lives.
My companion Sister Moda is a joy. She has a great sense of humor and she even knows about costco. Can you believe it? She went to the US and stayed with a family friend there and when I said something about my Mom working at this really cool place called costco, she said ´´wow! your mom works at Costco?`´ -- she is good people.
Things are awesome, thank you for the birthday wishes.
I love you all!
have a great week,
Love Sister Smith
a win for the rookie [sent on 26 March 2012]
Spring is in full swing! is it still snowing? When I watch general conference, will I be able to see tulips on temple square? I can´t tell you how excited I am for general conference. I will be watching in English, because there is the other American sister here who doesn´t speak much portuguese, and her companion doesn´t speak english. And so, divisions. The two of us will sit in another room in the church and watch. I am kinda bummed, it would be awesome to sit with the members. but takin´ one for the team. And in my heart of hearts, it will be nice to understand every little word, not just the general idea.
I am sad to hear about Aunt Tawna, but she is finally resting. I certainly have a testimony of the Plan of Salvation, and I know that she is finally free of a body with many limitations. Please send a hug and a kiss to their family this week. I am praying extra for them. It is okay to cry and to be sad, but we have such blessings to look forward to one day!
My week was good, it rained a lot. I think that it is still a little
warm here, but I guess I will never stop complaining about the heat. We had a miracle this week.
Victoria came to church with her dad, and they told the bishop that she wants to be baptized. She is 10 years old, and her dad is already a member. They just moved from Rio de Janeiro. Her mom passed away two years ago. When we went to explain stuff, she pulled out her book of Mormon, already highlighted in various places. She just needs an
interview and a white jumpsuit. She will be baptized after General Conference. I am certain that the Lord knew we needed miracles this week.
My companion is struggling with homesickness, and this week she just cried and cried about her purpose here. And then I started to cry that I lost a loved one and was training and super stressed. And so we prayed and prayed for a miracle and that we could walk with angels this week. I know that we needed to grow first, and then we were given
someone elect. A mission is just like that sometimes. Tears are the miracle grow.
I made cake mix cookies this week, they were a hit. I taught a couple of members the recipe, and they were amazed. You can make cookies like that? It is pretty expensive to make cookies here, things like shortening and baking soda are rare and pricey. Yay utah recipies!
We were refused by an investigator who has decided that the Jehovah´s witnesses are cooler than us. I wanted to cry. Sobral has a ton, A TON! of Jehovah´s witnesses. Bless their hearts, it is great to spread the good word. But why do you have to trash talk the Mormons? Sigh. Opposition in all things.
We even had two come to our door early one morning. the four of us answered with our name tags on, it was a shock to them to say the least. They didn´t ask to come in.
Well, have a good week. I am sorry that it is tinged with sadness.
I love you all!