Sunday, May 22, 2016

Week 12

Tomorrow I hit 3 months. What? How weird! I feel like I´ve been here forever but on the other hand I feel like I´ve been here for a day! Time is the weirdest concept. Especially in the mission!!
So the food here is awesome and for 6 solid weeks I haven´t eaten a single weird thing and everything has been way good. But last Monday we went and visited one of our less actives and she pulled out some meat with sauce that you put on bread and eat it. It was super good!! Herman Gonzales was trying to explain to me what it was but I couldn't understand. We ate the whole plate and I loved it. After we left I finally understood. I had just eaten the head of a baby pig. Brian, eyes, tongue and all. ya and I liked it. I realized that as long as you don´t tell me what it is i´ll eat it. I don´t know if that´s a good thing or not but ya. haha That was my fun food for the week!  
  So this week I had a training in Mendoza so we were there for 3 days this week. In the bus terminal Hermana Gonzales and I were just talking and patiently waiting for the bus and this 20 something guy comes and sits next to me with the biggest grin on his face. I was a little creeped out. Then I recognized that he was the guy that helped me get my bag out of the taxi when we arrived at the terminal. He just started rambling off in Spanish about how he´s had dreams where he marries a gringa and they live happily ever after! It took everything I had not to bust up laughing. Immediately Hermana Gonzales pretended that we got a call on our cell phone and that it was for me so I got up and left. hahahaha I was a little flattered but after that we were on the look out until the bus came haha. 
   Oh and on the bus ride to Mendoza the movie Avengers was playing and I just thought of my little cousin Samantha! Ah all my little cousins will be so big when I get back. To all of you little cousins, I love you and you should all go on mission because it´s the best! Draw me a picture or something :) haha
So since we didn´t have a lot of time in Justo Daract this week there´s not much that happened. We´ve had to drop a lot of people because they won´t follow through with invitations and such. So a lot of searching for new investigators. We were knocking doors and it was cold and raining and this woman invited us into her house. When I say crazy Catholic lady I´m not exaggerating. EVERY INCH of this ladies house was covered in Saints and pictures of Christ and the Pope. On her stove, on the sink, her dogs bed was lined with little dolls that were Saints. I´m pretty sure her toilet was decorated in Saints too! Oh my gosh it was nuts! And she was wearing a necklace with the Pope’s face on it! Wow, ya, She was interesting. She said she was born catholic and was gonna die catholic. Bueno. Good Luck telling that to God on Judgement Day. 
   I´ve mentioned a couple times in my emails this huge group of little kids that we always play with and come to church and stuff. And one of the girls, Nicole, asked when she could be baptized. This week we had our first real lesson with Nicole (11 years old) and her 2 sisters Abigal (11) and Cati (9). They are literally golden! Nicole has already prayed 3 times to know if the church is true and received an answer. They have 1 BOM for the 3 of them and they read it at least once a day! We basically just had 3 baptisms slap us in the face! I´m so excited for them!! Whenever I´m with them and all their little friends they have so much energy! It makes me feel like I´m with my little cousins or the Eyrings or Gilberts! haha I love it! 
  Our investigator family, Jordan y Mary, are really good! We taught the plan of salvation this week and it was really good! But on Saturday morning we went to go visit the family to invite them to church and Mary told us about how every weekend Jordan drinks a lot. When he drinks he´s a different person and she hates it. She´s thinking about divorce and it breaks my heart. Also this week one our of member families separated and I´m watching first hand these families just fall apart. I went home on Saturday and just cried. The gospel helps families in every way. I know that for a fact! When a family is built in the gospel they are stronger. And through the gospel we can live happily with our families for eternity! 
So this is basically just a story about karma. haha  Justo Daract is super small and we see all the same people usually. And there are other missionaries here but for the Jehovah Witnesses church. One day last week Hna Gonzales and I just wanted to know more about what was up with these other missionaries. So we talked to them. Just asked what they believed in, what a mission was for them and that was it. No bible bashing or religion fights, just plain curiosity. Then the next morning at 9:30 in the morning in pouring rain 2 JW missionaries showed up at our door hahahahaha they shared with us a scripture about having a perfect knowledge. We told them we were missionaries as well and shared with them a scripture in 2 Nephi 29 and they left. Then 3 days later another different pair of missionaries showed up at our door! Ah they know where we live and it stinks! haha but it´s totally karma! ugh curiosity! 
2 Nephi 25:17
My favorite part in this scripture is where it says ¨The lord will set his hand again a second time (How awesome is that.) I just finished the book of 2 Nephi and wow. We have one amazing Heavenly Father. Every time we mess up, every time some rejects the gospel, his hand is still extended to them, to help them. I love that! 
¨Reach out and take the Lords helping hand¨ -Elder Rasband
Oh and if you have time go and read the talk ¨We are doing a great work and cannot come down¨ by Elder Uchtdorf in the May 2009 preisthood session. I read that this week and absolutely loved it! 
​les quiero mucho
hermana smoot

 This is me and Hna Gonzales, Hna Holmes (my MTC companion) and her companion all together at the training! I was so excited to see Hna Holmes! I absolutely love that girl :)
This is Cati! The 9 year old that we started teaching this week! She is so spunky!  She said she wants to serve a mission in Utah with me.

Week 11

Yesterday I got to see my family and it was the best!! I wish I could`ve skyped with everyone cause i miss you all! Thank you for all the loving emails and the support! Happy Mothers Day to all you amazing mothers :) I have a lot of amazing influences in my life and I wouldn`t be the same without my amazing family and leaders. I love you all :) 

So there`s stray dogs EVERYWHERE and it`s freaking disgusting. I don`t even wanna know what they eat or where they`ve been. But there`s a good 5-6 dogs that live in front of my house. One night this week my companion and i woke up in the middle of the night to literally a dog fight club on our front pourch! The most unnatural sounds i`ve ever heard! It was the scariest thing to wake up to! It happens daily now. It starts with some growling and then a couple barks and then straight up chaos! We have a dog fight club. it`s great. I know it`s illegal in the states but hear it`s normal. I`m gonna start charging people to watch. haha 
I got to speak english this week! It`s a long story how i met this women but her name is Hna Lilliana and she`s learnign english through the BYUI Pathway program. I got so escited cause that`s my school and that`s my language! So on friday i sat down with her for a good 2 hours and helped her with her english. It`s so weird to help someone else learn my language, cause now i know how dumb i sounds haha

So first we have an investigator named Graciela. She`s about 65 years old, smokes proably 3 packs a day and can`t read. So when we teach her it`s a lot of repeating and relying on the poewr or pray. She`s recieved an answer about Joseph Smith and the Plan of Salvation is true which is aweose! She has a bautsmal date and is doing great. Her dad died this past week and it reallyhelped her to know about the Plan of Salvation. But it`s hard for her to have the desire to go to church. We`ve invited her for 3 weeks to come and we even come by her house to walk with her and she just doesn`t answer the door. It`s really hard because if she can`t read then the only real action she can take to show she`s progressing is to come to church. So we`re going to give her the Word of Wisdom lesson this week and see what happens. But there`s a good chance we might have to drop her.  
    Analia is one of our less actives and her husband Hector is an investigator. He`s the one i talked about last week that talked to his pastor and is a little shaky about meeting with us now. We still go over to teach and share messages but every time we go Hector leaves. Analia is really benefiting from the messages but Hector has started smoking again and is drinking more. It`s really hard for Analia but she won`t go against her husband and come to church. It`s the probalem with âcting on your faith^that a lot of people have. They both have the faith, but they won`t act! It`s the sadest most frusterating thing in the whole wide world! I love these people and I want to help them but they have to have the desire to act! ahhhhh 
   This week was a lot of knocking doors and talking to people in the streets because since we`ve been losing a lot of investigators lately week need new ones. But I counted we knocked doorsfor a total of 19 hours this week and got 5 appointments. Out of those 5 appointments we actually sat down and taught none of them. Not fun at all. 
   On the bright side our investigator Jordan, Mary and their family are good :) we had 2 more lessons with them and Jordan and his son and his wife all have jobs. The power of pray is incredible!!! 
  I`m just hoping this week is better ... 

Alma 58:10-11 (i changed some of the words)
10. Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our investigators and our less actives and our recent converts for the suppport of our people in Argentina. 
11 yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that we would deliver us, yea, insomuch that he did speak peace unto our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hopefor our deliverence in him.

Talk about perfect for my week!! haha I love the scriptures :) 
Ît`s not easy, but it`s possible   -Elder Oaks

Week 10

Good heck this week was food food and more food! These people are the best cooks in the whole wide world and there is no way i´m not coming home fat. Sorry mom. Every day this week we´ve had meals with members or one of our investigators and it´s disrespectful if you don´t lick your plate clean. Literally. Spotless. After every meal I litterally feel like that one girl in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that blows up like a big blueberry.  Yep. That´s me. Someone send me some good work outs. haha I´m not kidding! It´s crazy because last week we were struggling for food because of issues with our apartment and the money so we didn´t eat much. So in a lot of our prayers we prayed for help with the money and the food and this week our prayers were definitly answered! God cares about the littlest things and it´s stinkin awesome!!!
On Saturday we had a Relief Socitey Activity were we litterally played games and ate food. We have the best members! all 7 of them haha We got some of our inactives to come and also one of our investigators! I was so happy! And the members were so welcoming they felt right at home :) Half of missionary work is the members and I´m so blessed to be working with the best of them! 

Oh my gosh. Who knew I could love these people so much!! It´s all the love of God!! 
First our investigator Juan! This guy is awesome!! He´s in sacrement meeting every week, reads his scriptures and prays every day. Lives the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chasity! Has no problems with anything we say and believes everything! But the problem is ..... his mother. I´m not kidding. This guy just turned 67 this week, has never had a girlfriend, lives on his own, and still looks for his mothers approval for every decision!! Oh my. His mother and sisters don´t want him to get baptized when he is clearly ready. Just a little frusterating. Juan even bore his testimony on Sunday and I balled like a baby!! It was the best day every! We´ve been praying every day for him and his family to understand the importance of it all! The commandments with God and the love we feel from him. 

This week we also contacted one of the persons we talked to on the street. His name is Jordan and he a wife and 2 kids, and is looking for a job. He´s been looking for a job for about 2 months. And at the end of the lesson when we prayed we asked if there was anything we could pray for for him and his family. Jordan asked us to pray that he would find a job, and if he finds a job that he´ll listen to us. We taught them the first lesson and they all felt pretty good about it. We´ve been praying like crazy for him! We went to go talk to him and see how he was doing on Friday and he said he had found a job!!!!! WOW! So we´re going back this week for a second lesson. Talk about tender mercies! 

There is a whole group of little kids that came to church with us last week that wanted to learn more and get baptized. So twice a week we basically have a little primary lesson with all of them. It´s the definition of teaching simply and teaching fast. They have the attention span of a squirrl. In the movie Over the Hedge there´s a squirrl named Hammy. Ya. My lessons are with 6-8 Hammy¨s. It´s the best honestly! haha I love it! 

So this week I had my first exchange. So I was with another Hermana, Hermana Garrido and we were teaching one of her investigators. After the lesson we were just talking and setting up an appointment time and her 3 yr old grandson swings open the back door and it makes this huge noise, so naturally we all look. And in his little Batman sweatshirt and diaper, he´s standing there flipping us off with both hands!!! That was the last thing I was expecting from a 3 year old!! Oh my after in the street Hna Garrido and I were dying! It was hands down the funniest thing of my life!
Also on the exchange on of the other investigators was trying to learn english so she asked me to say the closing prayer in English. FINALLY I get to use me real language. It was the weirdest feeling. For almost 3 months, 5-6 times a day I pray in spanish. I even try to say my personal prayers in spanish so I get used to it faster. It´s not that I forgot the English words it´s that I was so used to the Spanish words. So my prayer went a little like this. ¨Padre Celestial, oh no, Heavenly Father, Gracias por this wonderful dia y por Hna Gomez and her family. Por Favor help us to siempre recordar the expecion in our lives and the amor de Dios. En El nombre, no, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.¨ Wow. I never thought that would happen. 

1 Nephi 15:8 Have you inquired of the Lord? 
If you ever need help, if you ever need an answer, if you ever need more food, or a little help with ANYTHING inquire of the Lord. He is listening to absolutly every word and he wants to help us! When we Pray when we read the scriptures it is so much easier to feel the love of God in our lives and to recieve that guidance. 
¨Truth is found in simplicity¨ -Elder Waddell  

Les quiero mucho por todos!!!
gracias por todos la oracions y la amor
Hermana Smoot
 Relief society lunch. The best food and the best people!
This is Juan and us at his birthday party 

Week 9

This week has definitly been a little difficult, but it´s crazy because I´m still the happiest I´ve ever been :)
Every day is basically the same, not much of a difference. But time is flying and I can´t really catch up! I guess that´s a good thing! We finally moved into our new apartment!!! But the downer is that we got cheated out of hot water and gas … again. haha love that! We’re hoping it´ll get fixed this week! This Sunday we had 36 people in our ward!!! WAHOOOOOOO but we also found out some statistics that only 1percent of the members in Justo Daract are active. So as of right now all of our efforts are for those less active members! There´s a whole group of about 10 little kids from ages 8-14 that I just adore! They see us all the time in the streets and give us big hugs! They draw us pictures and play soccer with us. We invited them all to come to church and they did! One of the little girls, Nicole who is 11 years old, asked me for a Book of Mormon after church. She then asked me when she could be baptized. I almost fell over. I was so happy I just hugged her and cried! She probably thought I was a little crazy but it´s not everyday that someone asks that kind of a question. 
Oh and this week I did laundry for the first time in 2 weeks and it was the most disgusting thing. The water afterwards was BLACK. and I mean BLACK. My companion and I were on the ground laughing. I don´t know why we thought it was so funny but it was so disgusting it was funny. 

This week was not the best. 2 of our investigators with baptismal dates are second guessing their dates and if they want to be baptized at all. They both love the gospel but Satan has this hold on them and I´m just praying that they can see the light of Christ in their lives!! 
One of our investigators, Juan, has been having a bit of trouble as well with his baptismal date. When we teach him I honestly get a little scared. He´s like a Bible Encyclopedia.  He´ll just recite Bible verses and then a Book of Mormon verse with it like it´s no big deal. I think my investigator knows the BOM better than I do! But this week he shared something with me that really touched me. The first week I was here it was General Conference and then the next sunday in our ward was fast and testimony meeting. In my broken Spanish, I took the opportunity to introduce myself and bare my testimony. Juan said that was the first time the Spirit had hit him so hard that he cried. He said it was an experience he would never forget. Then the next week we had a lesson with him where I wasn´t understanding much and I was struggling to follow the lesson. At the end of the lesson he asked me, not the member present, not my companion, me what chapter in the BOM he should read. Saying a little prayer I said to read 1 Nephi 8,  Lehi´s dream of the tree of life, and while he was reading, ask how he can hold onto the rod in his life. That chapter had answered Juan’s prayer and  was exactly what he needed. It´s crazy how even with the little spanish I know, if you rely on the spirit, you can still touch those around you! 

So this week, because we moved into our new apartment, we had to go pay a guy for the down payment for the rent. We we´re in the apartment studying and my companion said oh we have to go right now to pay! We don´t need anything we´ll just take a taxi, walk in the door of the building, pay, and take a taxi back. So I didn´t think of it and just walked out the door. As we´re walking around downtown I realized I was wearing flip flops!!!! Oh my gosh my feet are the grossest thing on the planet! I am dead serious. The looks I was getting were hilarious! Wow. ya. not my best moment. I tried to justify it that Jesus wore flip flop like shoes. haha

I don´t have a specific scripture this week. But I did finish the BOM this week. That book is absolutly amazing!!!! If you think about it, for hundreds and hundreds of years prophets wrote their testimonies and the history of their people. Countless times the plates could´ve been stolen or destroyed. People gave their lives for those records. All because we have a loving Heavenly Father that wanted to help us today. To give us guidance, to give us a map in this crazy, always changing world. We really are a choosen people. If you haven´t read the BOM all the way through, please oh PLEASE do so!!! Start with the testimonies and the introduction and read it till the very last amen. And read it with a prayer in your heart. I promise it´s the best thing in the whole world! Reading the BOM as a missionary is a little different. As I read I´m not looking for comfort for myself, I´m looking and searching for scriptures to help and uplift my investigators! The BOM is a miracle and I am so thankful every day that I have the oppurtunity to talk about it all day every day! Wow. How lucky are all of us that have the chance to even read it! Honestly, no words in the spanish or english language, can describe my love for the Book of Mormon. It really is the word of God. The teachings of Jesus Christ. 
¨Be a witness of the gospel and of the Book of Mormon¨ -Elder Stevenson

les quiero mucho!! thank you for all the prayers :)
hermana smoot
 The water after I had washed my clothes!
 This is nicole! The little girl that asked be when she could be baptized :) what a cutie!
 these are some of my favorite little chichos :)
our new apartment is the 2 windows on the top floor :)

Week 8

HOLA MIS AMIGOS!! guys time flies out here! it´s crazy! I hit 2 months on sunday!
There are things I learn here everyday that I would never learn in the US.
 1.  It doesn´t matter if you listening to music in another language and can´t understand it. It´s got a good beat and that´s all that counts! right? My neighbors LOVE  21 Pilots.  I asked them if they understand the music and they said no! haha love that! And surprisingly people down here love those ¨big hair bands¨ from the 80´s! I´m constantly hearing Bon Jovi, Journey, Van Halen, Aero Smith daily! haha Livin on a prayer, Eye of the Tiger. The best was half way through a tough day when no one had been listening to us and we were really discouraged, a car drove by playing ¨Highway to Hell” and I just started laughing! how perfect!
Okay ever since I got my call to Argentina I´ve just wanted to play soccer with the natives, and last pday that dream came true!! This little 9yr old kid was totally schooling me but i loved every minute of it! I feel like a true gringa now :) haha 
There were some problems with our new apartment so long story short right now were living out of our suitcase with mattress on the floor for a week. It’s an adventure. Oh and for 3 days all of Justo Daract didn´t have running water. I love my mission :)
It literally rains here every other day. I would be mad about it but I have rain boots and they make everything fun!  We were knocking doors and a little boy asked me what my shoes were, and I explained that they were so my feet wouldn’t get cold and wet in the rain. I let him try them on and he was running around in the puddles. Oh my gosh I just about died of cuteness!! 
Okay the animals here are almost as disgusting as the men! The dogs. Their not really dogs. Their like massive rats. I can´t even begin to explain haha and they´re EVERYWHERE! sooo they poop everywhere!  Also there are horses that just walk around the streets. I don´t know why, and you never know who they belong to, they´re just there. It´s great. One day I´m gonna ride one down the streets throwing pamphlets to all the people. Ya picture that. Put that on haha

Right now we have 4 people with baptismal dates!!! Wahoooooo but with statistics that means only one will really get baptized. I take that as a challange. One of our investigators with a date, his name is Juan, is having a really hard time. He knows it’s all true but he´s getting a lot of push back from his family. I can´t even imagine the pressure! 
No one here keeps appointments and it is so frustrating! Even if we call the night before and then just a couple hours before to confirm, they won´t be there. Ya know what, it´s fine. It´s just their salvation at stake. Alma 26:27-30
We had an experience this week where we didn´t know where to knock doors so I said a prayer and then picked a road on the map. We talked to lady on that road that didn´t even believe in God. We gave her a book of mormon and bore our testimonies. She didn´t invite us back but I really do think that we were meant to talk to her. It breaks my heart every time we talk to someone that doesn´t even have a little spark of light in their lives. 

My companion is great. Still those differences and the language barrier but it doesn´t stop us from preaching the gospel and helping others come unto Christ! Both of us just do the little things to show our love! :) good stuff. The 15 members here are literally AWESOME!! Always helping us with lessons and making us food! I couldn’t ask for a better area! The men here are so stinkin’ gross! Everyone in Justo Daract knows me. Whenever we are walking past a group of men they say ¨Hermana Gringa¨ and then some random stuff in Spanish that I´m really glad I don´t understand. Sometimes I wanna turn around and slap them with the Hand of God (the Book of Mormon). haha but that´s not Christ like. 

Well I think I´ve improved at least a little bit! But when I get the courage to actually talk to people and then they have this really confused look and then ask my companion what I said. It kinda shoots my confidence right down the drain. haha There´s more work to be done in that department.

1 So a couple weeks ago we were talking to people on the street and we set a time to visit a young man and his family. His name is Gustavo. We found out it´s just him living with his father and so we have to have a member women come with us to the lessons. We have yet to teach him a lesson but we see him all the time in the streets and we´re always friendly and say hola! A couple days ago he rode past us on a bike and we said hola and kept walking. I looked back at him and he blew me a kiss. I was litterally on the ground laughing!!! We are never teaching Gustavo hahahahaha  We will leave that to the members.
2 We walked out of our apartment to go to a lesson and there were 2 men talking to our neighbors. While listening a little bit to their conversation as we walked by, we understood that they were missionaries from the Jahovahs Witnesses. We want them to get ¨Apostasy¨ tattooed on their foreheads. 
3  Knocking doors as usual and we came accross a women that was VERY catholic. We invited her to read a pamphlet on the Restoration and to pray if our church was true. She then gave us a pamphlet about the Catholic church and asked us to pray if the catholic church was true. I couldn´t believe what was happening. My mouth was on the ground and i just walked away! haha are you kidding me?????

I have two this week :) 
Alma 26:15
3 Nephi 21:26-29 ¨let the work begin¨!!
Conference was amazing a couple weeks ago and I wrote down so many good quotes! So I´m going to share 1 every week 
¨If your faith isn´t effecting your daily decisions, you´re living in vain¨ -President Uchtdorf

Oh and I´m doing a little experiment. If you have time please send me you´re 2-3 favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon :) gracias!

les quiero mucho!!!
hermana smoot
The first picture of me and my Peruvian companion! 

this is one of the dogs that I'm pretty sure carries every disease possible

One of the random horses that wanders the street! 

Week 7

I´m so sorry about my email last week! We were in a different area for the weekend for conference, and with all the traveling and shoopping we only emailed for a little bit.!

Going from the US to Argentina wasn{t really that bad, just long. When we got off the tracks at the Salt Lake Airport my suitcase brok. Wahooo so much fun haha we delt with it so we{re fine :) We went from Salt Lake to Atlanta Georgia to Buenos Aries. We drove to another airport and then got on another 3 hr plane ride to Mendoza. My are, Justo Daract, was then another 6 hours away on bus. It{s the farthest area form the mission home. We{re right on the Mendoza mission/Cordaba mission boarder.
   This week alone we{ve done a lot of traveling. Took a bus to an area an ahour away to watch conference for the weekend with our district, the drove back Monday. Then wne tback on tuesday for the distrcit meeting. Then again on wednesday for interviews with the president. The 2hrs away on fridays for a zone conference. Gotta love those buses! haha

First my mission president and wife. LOVE THEM! They are so sweet! and in my interview with him this week he was so comforting with all the struggles i was having! I am honestly so lucky! My companion, Hna. Gonzales is a cute little native from Peru with 10 months under her belt. She{s 26years old and a convert. She{s so loving and helps me a lot with my spanish. I{m really excited to be having a native because i need it for my spanish. But it also makes it very frusterating. We can{t communicate very well which makes planning lessons and our days really hard. I can understand a lot more spanish than i can speak.. Pero esta bien. cause that{s why we have the Lord. As long as we try our best, he{ll do the rest. DyC 58:26-28
   The other Hermanas here are awesome! Last weekend we stayed with the other hermanas in our district, Hna Avalos & Hna Henrie. Hna Henrie is from Virginia and i absolutly love her!!! We get along really well. We{re crossing our fingers that we get to be compaions haha:) One of the other hermanas i was traveling with said she followed me on instagram and then started discribing my life!! haha she{s from Buenos Aries! How funny is that?
   The people here are fantastice!! they give everything to the church! they mostly have dirst floors and roting teether and the clothes on their backs but they{re childern of God and i absolutly love all of them!! In our zone there{s an Elder that went to bountiful. his name is Elder Bleak!! he{s awesome!! we talked about home for a good 20 mins haha 

Wow. Argentina. It{s crazy that I´m actually here. During conference I was thinking that exactly 6 months ago I opened my call! It´s crazy but I am SO happy :) okay the food here is AMAZING! you can order 2 steaks for $5. ya you guys can keep you´re little ceasers pizza cause this stuff is fantastic! At home I was an avid Dr. Pepper fan, but ..... there is something mgaic in the Coke down here! We have Coke & Mate for every meal. (I think I´m turning into Aunt Heather) haha Mate. It´s like a teas drink, but not. Everyone down here drinks it! And I mean everyone. Everytime we walk into a house they give us mate & bread. The first time I had it, it tasted like dirst. Straight up dirt. Smells like it too. The more I have it the more I get used to it and like it. You just gotta know how to make it right!
   Now to what my mom really wants to know about, my apartment. It´s gross. not heating, no gas, no hot water. During rainstoms (which happens at least every other day) the water leaks through all our windows and door. Lots of bugs, and it smells weird. But it´s my gorss dirt, really small, weird smelling house and i like it :) Since it´s supposed to be an Elders apartment (usually sisters get nicer apartments) we are moving this wednesday haha
    I´ve gotten really good at killing bugs. I think I´m going to drop out of school and become an exterminator. 
   People here drive just like me and I love it!! haha
   We have a ward of 15 people. That{s including our investigator and us. There´s a lot of work to be done here haha. 
  In the middle of the day here everything shuts down from 1-4 in the afternoon and everyone goes home and sleeps and eats. It´s called la siesta. What the heck america? Why don´t we have that??

espanol ..... wow. Its hard and frusterating but it´s do-able. Everyday I see the Lord helping me remember words, say correct phrases and pronounce words correctly. When you give your all to the Lord, it{s amazing what he will do for you. Having a native compaion definitly helps! There´s been a lot of tears and sleepless nights with this language. But i´ve realized it´s really helping me. Before my mission I could talk for hours and hours about the gospel, but now in a language I don´t know very well, I´m forced to teach the most important docterine and teach it simply. It not only helps me but it helps our investigators. Someone told me that as long as you can pray and testify, you´re good. Alma 37:6-7

No one has been serving in this area for a good 2 transfers. So coming here was basically starting over. It{s been a lot of door knocking and street contacting. This past saturday all of our lessons fell through and no one let us in to teach. You´ll have days like that and then days where everything goes perfectly and your investigators are doing what theyre supposed to and it´s awesome! We have 3 investigators with baptismal dates and I´m so excited to see how that all turn out :) 

As a missionary and as a child of God I am the potters clay. I am being formed. Pushed, twisted, pulled and stretched in every direction. Being put into poitions in which I´m not comforable. But I know the potter see´s my potential. He knows what I can do. It´s hard and uncomfortable but the Potter knows what´s best. 
DyC 122:7-9

Thank you for all the prayers!! love you all 

les quiero mucho :)
hermana smoot

Kylie's first solo contact 

I'm loving my rain boots!

Week 6 (Kylie's first week in Argentina)

There´s no way this is real! In one week there has been so much change my head is spinning!! I don´t have much time so i´m gonna make this short and fast! But i love argentina and the people!!
there´s lots of trials and lotsof frustration! the language is hard and i have a native companion so i´m learning lots :)
my scripture this week is Helaman 10:4-5
I really am sorry it is so short! i love you all and i can feel your prayers!
les quiero mucho 
hermana smoot

Week 5!

Hola mis amigos!
Thank you so much for all of the letters this week :) I'm leaving on Monday morning and heading out to Argentina and I am sooooooo excited!! 

and we're all alone. In our hallway there are 6 classrooms and we are the only class in our hallways!! our Branch presidency told us about how this is always the slow season. During the semesters is always hard to get kids here. But as soon as all those high school graduates finish school there are so many people here. Speaking of congrats to all of you at home getting your calls!! That's so much fun! Best decision you'll ever make :) i promise! So we had 20 of our really close friends leave this week and it was not fun. It stinks cause we all got really close. But they're gone for the best reason possible! They're out serving the Lord and I couldn't be more happy about it. They're going to be so amazing!

This week we also had a birthday! Elder Hoagland turned 26! In the picture below he is the one in the middle with the glasses :) lots and lots of fun

A week from now I'm gonna be in Argentina trying to understand spanish and I'm a little freaked out. Like I say every week, the spanish is improving but there's a lot more to learn. I know I've come really far since I've been here but to think I'm going to be completely immersed in the language within a couple days is nuts.

This week we had our last lessons with our investigators and it was so sad to have to say bye! It was not fun at all. Although I know that they're all members, you develop this Christ like love for them and you just want them to come closer to Christ no matter what it takes! The hardest goodbye was definitely Hely y Jose. (there's a picture at the bottom) They got our emails and took a picture with us and said we we're some of the best teachers they had had. They are the cutest funniest little couple! Just yesterday we saw Jose walking around campus so we talked to him for a little bit. He then told us about how he hasn't had milk in 15 years. He whips our this book on milk and shows us a list of all these diseases that we can get from milk and lectures us on drinking milk. haha I love him! 

One of my buddies here got a package this week with a 12 pack of dr. pepper and I literally sacrificed my life for him to give me one!!! haha It was the best thing I've had these past 6 weeks! If you ask my companion I was almost crying when I had it! That was my happy moment of the week haha

My district is crazy talented! We're always messing around singing and dancing just as a joke but lately we'll go to one of the pianos and we'll play and sing hymns and arrangements and it's the funnest thing! 

We got our travel plans on friday and we were literally skipping and dancing all over campus! It's crazy! Our whole district is going to be flying together! On monday we fly from Salt Lake to Atlanta, Georgia, and then straight to Buenos Aries. From there the Mendoza crew will take a 10 hour bus ride on dirt roads all the way to Mendoza :) it'll be an adventure!! 

All you hear about at the MTC is how much fun it is to be here on holidays cause that's when the apostles come to speak. And I'm so lucky that my last sunday here gets to be Easter Sunday! Wahoooooo So this week I've been thinking about what the Savior did during the last week of his life. The Sunday before he was crucified, he arrived in Jerusalem on a little white donkey as the people wave palm leaves and shout "Hosanna! Hosanna!" Sound familiar to what we all did this past Sunday? The Provo Temple Dedication was broadcasted to the MTC and we all got to attend. It was amazing to watch all the missionaries and our branch presidencies stand and shout "Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! To God and the Lamb!" 3,000 people shouting all together praises to our Lord. On Palms Sunday we were waving our palms in the air shouting praises that our Lord rose on the 3rd day, and restored his gospel to the earth with priesthood power to make sacred covenants in the temple for time and all eternity. Then on Tuesday while we sat in devotional I thought of Christ having dinner with Mary Magdaline and Lazerus, who he raised from the dead, knowing it would be his last meal with them. I hope all of us this week are spiritually preparing ourselves just as Christ did the week before he took on all the sins of the world. 

Philippians 1:20-21
This scripture is amazing!!! In these verses it basically tells us that we have no excuse to not be fully devoted to the gospel. When everything we have in our lives is because of the blessings we receive from him, the first thing we should be doing every day is giving thanks. When a sister in my zone read this in our relief society she said "We have no excuse to do anything but giving this mission our all" On this mission I will testify of Christ ALWAYS. Through my words, through my actions, by setting and example to those around me, and through my countenance. Because like it says in v20 "that in nothing I shall be ashamed" Everyday I will live as the Lord would have me live. Working my hardest and inviting the whole world to come unto Christ. Because I have no excuse to not do just that. "so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death." I give my all to my Savior Jesus Christ because I know that this gospel is true and I know with my whole body and soul that he died and suffer for my sins. And on the 3rd day he rose so that we may live with our loving Father in Heaven again. All out of pure love for his children, our God has a plan of happiness, specific for each of us, and  if we give our all to him, with no excuses, we will receive those eternal blessings. 

les quiero mucho 
hermana smoot
 This is Hely and Jose! 
 The day we got our travel plans!
 Last zone picture with my favorite people. 
Happy 26th birthday to Elder Hoagland

Week 4

Days are literally flying by! I feel like yesterday I was giving my farewell talk and I blinked and now I'm 12 days away for  leaving to Argentina! Crazy stuff. crazy. We even get our travel plans on friday :) wahooooooooo It's crazy because the days themselves go by super slow but the weeks go by super fast. Last night a member of our Branch presidency told me something that I think is gonna become my new motto
I love that! Everyone talks about how fast the mission goes and the only way to get the most out of it is to really "work it to death".

This week people have been coming and going. And as Hermana Holmes would say "they're dropping like flies" Last wednesday we had a sister in our zone go home because she has to get surgery. That same day we had an Elder dislocate his finger and go to the hospital, Hermana Mann has a cyst in her wrist, an Elder in my district, Elder Richey, is on crutches because he sprained his ankle playing basketball, and we're all getting fat because the food here is terrible and all you can eat.  
A friend from high school, Sister Jackie Smith got here this week and is going to Guam! She's leaving the same day I am!
And sadly today Hermana Eyring had to go home because of more health issues. :( My prayers are with her and her family! 
So in our zone we have 3 districts. Mine and 2 others. The other 2 districts both got here on the same day. So they're all leaving us on Tuesday and then we'll be all alone :( I love my zone and I'm so sad to see them all leave but they're all gonna be amazing missionaries!! 

always progressing. slowly but surely I'm gettin there. Gotta be diligent and hard working to get stuff done. I'm no where near fluent and I'm honestly so scared to have to leave here in 12 days cause I can't have a normal conversation with people in spanish! It's gonna require lots of prayers and probably a lot more fasting. But I actually had a really cool experience with my spanish this week! I've been praying more than I ever have in my whole life since I've been out here and they're a lot most sincere too. And of course since I'm learning a language the biggest thing I pray for is the gift of tongues and to be able to understand. In a lesson we had this week with one of our "investigators" i understood EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. How?? In the middle of the lesson I just started crying. I was so excited that I could understand and then I could answer the questions she had accordingly. I know I say this every week but the gift of tongues is real. Without a doubt. There is no way a bunch of teenagers could learn a language in 6-9 weeks without it. The Lord prophesied that every man will hear the gospel in his native tongue, and this is his way of fulfilling that prophesy and I am so blessed to be just a little part of that! D&C 90:11

In our class this week we've really been concentrating on the fundamentals. Making sure we're teaching the doctrine of Christ and stuff that you don't really need to know before a baptism. Making sure we have a Christ like love for our investigators, that we're constantly serving, and doing our personal study so we are spiritually prepared we are able to truely connect with people. In our church there are so many people that get hung up on the questions and the wonders of the gospel and they lose sight of what makes this gospel so amazing. The fundamentals. The fact that God has a Plan for each and every one of us so that we can come back and live with him. That our older brother and Savior, Jesus Christ died and suffered for our sins in Gethsemane and on Calvery. And that through the atonement we are able to be clean and perfected through him as we repent and thoughtfully take the sacrament every week. The beauty of temple and the real blessings they are and the power we have of the priesthood to bind together families for time and all eternity. When people lose sight of these fundamentals, they lose sight of the true meaning of the gospel. 

So let me just clarify. I do not have real investigators. They are practice investigators that are hired by the MTC so we can practice teaching in our new language.
but the best lesson we had this week was the same lesson where I magically understood everything! It was with our investigator named Hely. She's in her 60's and is just the cutest old lady. As we've been talking about fundamentals this week my companion and I have tried to truely develop a Christ-like-love for each of our investigators! To really see them as their Heavenly Father sees them. During our lesson with Hely this week I saw her just as Christ would. I imagined her in temple clothes, and with a calling in the church and I just want to help her come unto Christ so bad! 
I think that's the goal. To see people without all the worldly stuff distracting us! To see and love everyone as our Heavenly Father would. 

This week in my studies I read in 3 Nephi 10-11. Chapter 10 is right before Christ comes to the people in America and in ch 11 it is when Christ comes. They're my new favorite chapters! When you wanna talk fundamentals, read these chapters. and all of 3 Nephi! So in chapter 10 all of the people that have survived all of the disasters are sitting in darkness crying and confused. The voice of the Lord comes out of the darkness and says "How oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings"  My mom and my grandma both have paintings of a hen gathering her chicks just as depicted in this verse and I love it! Cause really when does Christ gather us together? not just General Conference, but really gather us all together, when he comes and testifies himself. While reading that I just started thinking of when that will happen again. Whether I am here on earth or in the concourses of angles that descend with him. That day will be amazing! Then if you continue in ch 11:3 it describes the Lords voice. absolutely amazing. Then thinking of that voice as he testifies of himself in v 10-11 "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testifies shall come into the world."  "Behold I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning." As Christ comes down the first thing he talks about is the Atonement, then in v23 he give the power to baptize. The first 2 things he talks about is exactly what missionary work is!!
Testifying of the atonement and baptizing people. Teaching repentance, baptizing converts. 

Thank you for all the love and the prayers :)
les quiero 
hermana smoot
This is my zone! 

This is the Davis County Crew :) Hermana Holmes (Clearfield) Me (WX) Elder Keller (Davis) Elder Quist (Layton)

This is Hermana Klopffer! She's a doll and I love her so much! 

Me, Hermana Eyring and all of our companions! I'm gonna miss her!