Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Oct. 24: A Stolen Phone's ripple affect

I`m still teaching piano lessons every week and it`s so much fun! It`s really helping us get to know the youth and the members in the ward! And it`s a fun way to use my talent :)
On Tuesday after a meeting we had with other missionaries we had TACO TUESDAY!! Some elders found this restaurant in our area that is owned and created by these 2 buddies from southern California and they came down to Argentina for an adventure! So they opened up this restaurant and they have wings, tacos and real burgers! It`s awesome and delicious! Hermana Brown and I are going again today :D haha 
This past Saturday we had another Capilla Abierta and this one was sooooo successful!!! We were giving tours non stop the whole night and even went 45 mins past the time we had planned for! The members were working like crazy (that`s a dream come true) and we were all so tired at the end, but it`s that good missionary tired, so it`s okay :)
Yesterday we received the transfer calls and I`m staying in Mendoza!!! wahooooooooo but even better I`M TRAINING!! ahhhhh that means I`m receiving someone who is brand new in the mission and I get to teach them everything I know haha I`m so nervous! It`s a huge responsibility but I`m super excited about it and I know the Lord will help me!

We`ve had a lot of people that haven`t been progressing lately so we`ve have to drop a ton of people! So this week our big focus was trying to find new people to teach. We came up with a survey and went walking around the busiest part of the city at the busiest hour and just talked to people. We asked them a couple of questions just to break the ice like ¨how many friends do you have on facebook?¨ or ¨what mode of transportation do you take most?¨ just different stuff to get them talking. Then we would ask 2 questions that we could really relate to the gospel like ¨what`s something that has helped you or your family get through hard times?¨ or ¨if you had 24hrs to live what would you do?¨ or even ¨have you heard of the Mormons? and if yes, what?¨ It was super fun to talk and get to know the people and then ask if they wanted to listen to a short message! and the people responded really well! 
Our recent convert Azul (that was baptized just about a week ago), was confirmed yesterday and it was so special! She is an amazing addition to the ward and is a pillar of light for her family! She`s already sharing the plan of salvation with her friends! people she`s 12!!!! 12!!!!!! 

So basically this is how yesterday went down. We went to church and we`re super excited to see everyone because it was possibly our last Sunday in this ward! We had the confirmation of Carina and Azul which was really special! Carina is the mom of Saulo, and Saulo is the dad of Azul. They attended sacrament meeting and Sunday school and everything was awesome, happy, and it was turning out to be a good Sunday. That`s when the chaos started .... Saulo walked into the young women's room, stole a cell phone that was sitting on the chair and walked out of the building and said he had to leave. The young women came chasing after us and said that he had stolen the phone. (and Saulo has a record of stealing so we didn`t doubt it for one second) So we ran out the door and found him and asked him 3 or 4 times if he had the phone and he said no and left. Then everyone found out and it became this huge deal and we had 2 wards involved and the stake president! They called the police that wouldn`t do anything and we called Saulo and asked him to come back to the church and he wouldn`t but Carina and Azul came back. Azul pulled us aside and told us that yes her dad did have it and was going to sell it for drugs and that her grandma (Carina) and her dad were lying. The stake president then went to their house to get the phone and talk with Saulo and he still denied that he had it. The worst part about it all is that the young women that got her phone stolen is the only member in her family and her parents are mad at her they tell her she can`t go to church or mutual. So ya. that was my Sunday. How was yours? haha

¨When you look to the book, you look to the Lord¨ -Elder Stevenson
I LOVE THIS QUOTE from conference!!! because it`s 100% true! Really when we look and read and apply anything from the Book of Mormon it`s what the Lord wants because it`s the Lords teachings. Read the Book. Pray about the Book. Apply the Book.  ( ya put that on a book mark haha) 

with lots and lots of love!
Hermana Smoot :)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Oct. 17: Running from the Police

First order of business ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!!!!!!!! Yesterday my dad turned 47!!! 3 years away from 50 ... (he`s basically half dead) I hope you had the best birthday ever dad! All of Argentina wishes you a ¡¡FELIZ CUMPLE ANO!! (proof shown in pictures)

LIFE this week was absolutely crazy! We had the worst numbers we`ve ever had in 2 transfers but we had 2 huge service projects, our exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders, preparation and perform a ¨Capilla Abierta¨ ah it was just nuts! It was still a good week though :) One of our service projects is helping our recent convert Carina paint this extra apartment she has because she wants to rent it out. So we spent almost all morning scraping off the old paint, plastering the 
holes and dents, and sandpapering the whole thing. And we get to continue tonight :) Cheap labor is a beautiful thing. 
Our exchanges were so much fun! I got to go with Hna. Teves. She`s from Argentina and is a convert of 5 years! She is so strong and such an example. I love her! After we had a sleepover because they were gonna come to the Capilla Abierta with us. Ya that was so much fun! 

Our INVESTIGATORS have really suffered this week because we haven`t much time to go proselyting or teach and when we would have time our lessons would fall through or they weren`t there. But we did get to have another lesson with the Winkau family and they are rock stars! I love our lessons with them because we`re able to laugh and have fun but also concentrate and feel the spirit. Talk about a golden lesson. They`re all progressing and saying their prayers as a family! I love even more that you can see the dynamic of the family changing as they`ve started reading and praying together! They just gotta come to church .... 

Something FUNNY that happened this week was while I was with Hna Teves in our exchange. We were walking through the streets between appointments and got a text from the assistants of the president (who are also missionaries) and it said something like ¨Some missionaries close to your area have been accused of robbing, so if the police stop and talk to you, don`t be alarmed, but be calm and tell them the truth¨ About 10 mins later me and Hna Teves called the assistants panting like we were running and told them that the police pulled up behind us and turned on their lights and sirens and we started running. (that is not true!!!!!) and the elders were so worried hahahahahaha when we told them it was a joke one of them just started laughing and the other was a little mad. Hna Teves and I laughed about it all weekend!!! 

Herman Brown and our and our sister trainer leaders.

St John 13:1-16, 34-35
This is the story of Jesus Christ washing the feet of his disciples. In verse 8 it says 

"Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."

Do we allow the Lord to clean our feet? to Cleanse us and wash us clean? He cleans us through the atonement! We let him help us when we apply the atonement! when we repent and become better through what we`ve learned! 
After Christ had washed everyone's feet he sits down with them and says -

"Know ye what I have done to you?
 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
Are we applying this commandment? How? When we really turn ourselves to the Lord and love everyone! We become more like him. Christ washed the feet of Judas, the man who sold him for the price of a slave, and he still loved him. We have the power within us to decided to love or to hate. How are we going to choose to use our agency? I promise is you try to love your neighbor, your family, the people at school or at work or in the street more, you will be blessed with the love of Christ. You will be showered with blessings that your Father in Heaven is waiting to give to you!
I love you all so so so much!!!
con mucho amor
Hermana Smoot

The Sepulveda's.  They are like our 2nd parents here and I love them!! 
This is a lot owned by the church (future temple lot).  It was so inspiring to see it.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Oct 10: Bringing souls to Christ! ( sometimes by crazy singing)

Bringing people unto Christ is the best feeling :)
We baptized Carina and Azul (grandma and granddaughter) and they we´re so happy! Originally we we´re going to baptize Saulo (the son of Carina but the dad of Azul), but after he passed his baptismal interview he had a little freak out
and went and bought $3000 worth of drugs and didn´t show up the the baptism ....... so maybe it´s best he didn´t get baptized ha ha. We had one of the young men baptize the granddaughter Azul (who's 13 years old) and it was so funny! They had to baptize her 3 times! The first time her foot popped up out of the water, and then she just dunked herself without saying the ordnance and then they finally did it right! It was so funny. We were all kinda giggling, but afterward she came back into the bathroom and started crying. She said she couldn´t even describe how she felt! And then when Carina came back she just said,¨I feel like crying, but I´m not sad." Carina´s father was a member of the church and just about a month and a half ago he was killed in the street by a gang. The last conversation she had with him was  about the church and how he wanted to go to church with the whole family. And Yesterday she fulfilled her father's desire and became a member of the church! She was so happy!!

Imagine 2 gringas running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to organize a baptism - ya- that was my week. ha ha It was crazy!

We had some amazing experiences this week. First we´re teaching a part member family right now. The mom is a member but she has 4 kids (3 are of baptism age) that aren´t members. The oldest is Tamera and she´s 16. When we first met them she told us how she always loved to be in the dark and watch horror movies and just loved all things dark. With time she told us she hadn´t watched a scary movie in a week, and her mom said that was really weird, and that she was spending much more time with the family. We asked her how her reading and praying was going and she´s gotten through the first 3 books of the Book of Mormon and prays every night and has gotten her answer that it´s true. But she´s very timid about it. We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and it really hit her. 3 years ago her dad passed away and it really affected her. As we talked about the resurrection she just began to cry, but cry uncontrollably. We had her say the closing pray and it was the most beautiful prayer I´ve ever heard! 

Our other experience was with a little 11 year old named Lautaro (who reminds me exactly! of Lockwood!! His laugh and everything ) His mom Yamile is a less active. When we went to go teach them we played a little soccer in their front yard for a little bit and then went inside for the lesson. As I finished offering the opening prayer Lautaro had tears in his eyes. We asked him why he was crying and he said that he had seen a big white thing that he couldn´t describe on the other end of the table. We then asked him if he had prayed and gotten his answer if the church was true, he then just closed his eyes and was silent for a little bit. When he opened his eyes there were tears running down his cheeks and he said, yes, I know this church is true. 

How amazing is that?? God really does choose his children that are ready for the gospel and puts them in our path. What a privilege!

Every time you prepare for a baptism you have to go clean the baptismal font to make sure it´s all pretty and clean. So when Hna Brown and I went and we´re cleaning we brought my speaker and were singing to church music as we cleaned. And we didin´t think anyone was in the church so we were singing bien alto. Not to loud, but loud enough you could hear it in the hallways. Give it like 20 mins and some of our youth walk in videotaping us hahahaha and they were with some of their non-member friends!! ha ha But they said we looked like were a fun time and  they want to have an activity with us with their non-member friends. Like a giant Family home evening. ahaha I guess being weird works ;)   These girls that we are with in this picture are all girls that are preparing to go on missions or have a mission call in hand!

This is just and underground supermarket that we went to this week!  Kind of different !

D&C 45:28-29
And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel. But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men

How sad is it when the light of God is right in front of their face and they deny it anyway. That is the power of Satan. Always look and recognize the power and hand of God in your life. If you do this, you´ll never fall away. 

les queiro mucho :)
Hermana Smoot

Oct. 3: Sick, Inspired and Progressing - and seeing HYER

So today I`ll just work with the title of my email

These past couple days I have felt like death rolled over ... and looked like it too! ha ha But my companion, Hermana Brown, had to go to the doctor this week to get her blood drawn and she passed out!!!! hahaha it was so funny! She walked out looking like a zombie and said ¨They sucked my blood, I passed out, and then I woke up on a bed¨ ha ha she was a little out of it for awhile. 
This is our district.  It feels like there are never any sisters except for my companion and I.  Once we had a district conference of 70 missionaries and there were only 4 sisters!  

INSPIRED GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING!!! ¿No? oh my we were so excited all week to go and it was so short! I would be totally fine if general conference was a week long ;) (someone send that suggestion into the First Presidency por favor) I am just on a spiritual high and I`m ready to go convert all of Argentina!!!!! There were a lot of talks centered on mission work and how important the members are. Really the members are key! Us as missionaries could testify and convert 20 people but if the members don`t help, or don`t welcome them into the ward, maybe 5 of them will stay active. Elder Oaks talk really did it justice. Another talk I loved was Elder Hales! ¨If we love the Savior more, will we hurt less?¨ ya that line tugged on the heart strings. Another one was by Elder Stevenson, he said ¨Look to the Book, look to the Lord¨ IT`S SO TRUE!!  Everything in the scriptures testifies of Jesus Christ! If we have doubts or questions or are wavering in our testimonies, we`re not reading the scriptures as much as we should be. 
I KNOW without a doubt that we have living prophets and apostles on the earth today, that have the power and authority of God to guide and direct his people in these latter days. I know that they are inspired men of god and that when we follow their counseling, and we apply their teachings we will be able to accomplish what we need to to come closer to our Heavenly Father and live with him again. 
Between conference sessions they set up tables and we all ate on the lawn outside of the church.  It was awesome.  

 Slowly but surely we have some investigators that are progressing. We`re looking forward to a couple baptisms in the weeks to come but we`ll see how it works out. This week we`ve been passing and concentrating on a lot of less actives to get them to come to general conference. It`s amazing the excuses they have for being inactive. I just hear my dad"s voice in my head ¨I hate excuses¨ ha ha ya I bet the Lord does too. 
One of our investigators Christina has been very very sick lately and has even been in the hospital. She`s a single mom with 2 kids, a 12 year old boy and a 6 year old special needs daughter. We went by this week and had a member come give her a blessing and then she called us on Sunday and told us she was completely better and had never felt this good in a long time. The power of the Priesthood!!!!!! wahoooooo

I ran into Elder Hyer in the offices this week and I was so excited!! after almost 8 months in the mission, I saw my ward buddy :)

I love you all! Thank you for all the prayers and emails! It makes my day hearing about what`s going on in your lives :)
le quiero mucho!
Hermana Smoot