Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 19

Guess Who wants to move to Utah!
Week 19- Nov. 30, 2015

This week was AWESOME!!  We had last minute interviews with President Kuceki, because we live so close to the mission home now.  We are in the ward next to his, so we are in the same stake!  I will be seeing lots of him now! woot woot!!  President Kuceki is so hilarious, chill, and super nice!  He asked me in the interview where I lived in Utah and I said Draper!!  He was like ahhhh, that is where our family wants to move when our kids get a little older!!!  Draper or Sandy area! YEAHHH!  How cool is that??  I will get to live by my Brazilian Mission President in 10 years!!  Then he asked me how my family was and I held back tears and said “oh, they are just FANTASTIC, me serving a mission is really strengthening them and blessing our family.”  Then he asked me how the mission has changed me and made me a better person.  Holy Cow…I was like, the mission has taught me humility.  In order for you to teach, you have to have the spirit with you, and to learn another language you HAVE to work hard and have FAITH and rely on the Lord.  I said “I have never prayed so hard in my entire live to have the spirit with me.”  I need to have the spirit with me for others to feel the spirit and that´s not ALWAYS easy.  I told him how happy I am here, and how incredible the people are.  I miss my last area but I’m excited to work hard here too.  He was like yeah, “Rio Verde is awesome!”  He gave me advice about how I should study the language and advice for perfecting my Portuguese.  Then he pulled out the Book of Mormon and told me to read out loud.   He stopped me at the 2nd word and corrected my accent and had me say it again.  I said it again and he said “no,” like this and said it again!  Then I said it wrong again!  Then he plugged his nose and said it and he said “plugged your nose too!” hahahah  I was trying not to bust out laughing!  Just picture me with my mission president plugging our noses and saying this word in Portuguese’s over and over it was HILARIOUS AND AWESOME!!  We got super close in the interview.

Later we had the privilege of eating in his house with Sister Kuceki and their 4 kids!  The oldest is married and lives in Provo (Sister Kuceki asked about Sarah´s brother David who is friends with her son, because they served their missions together in Brazil) then they have a 21 year old daughter who is married with a baby, then an 18 year old girl, a 16 year old girl, a 8 year old girl, and 3 year old boy...he is so stinking adorable!  He is so tiny and their family just adores him!!  But anyway, the food was so delicious!!  Oh my word!  Sister Kuceki is so amazing she is always so happy, smiling and laughing...she reminds me of my mommy!  Love you mom!  Then after we took a picture and they put it on the Mission Goiania Mission page.  Okay, the Brazilians love condensed milk...LOVE!  For deserts we always have fruit and condensed milk..yummy(: (my twin wouldn’t like dessert here). 

Okay so background, for your information.  People here are OBSESSED WITH AMERICANS.  Especially if you are blonde haired and blue eyed like holy cow you’re a celebrity (remember my experience in the MTC).  I always have people asking if I have contacts or if my eyes are really this color.  There’s this man we taught a lesson to, he really liked me and was super friendly and what not, yeah!  Then a couple days later we ran into him and he said he had a dream about me and asked my companion if I had someone waiting for me at home.  She was like YES!!  And we ran away...never to visit him again...

Okay so I didn’t get to finish my awesome news last week.  So when I was here in Goiania, when Sister Amaral had meetings, I went on splits with another sister and we met this girl, Stephaney.  She is elect, and she happens to love she loves me!  She didn’t even have to get to know me to love me, she just instantly did!  (-;   She is 16 and is hungry to learn the gospel.  When I met her I was sad because I would most likely never see her again...then I got transferred here...the Lord is AWESOME PEOPLE!!!  She is getting baptized on the 12 and yesterday her and her mom came to church.  Yesterday was special because a Quorum of the 70 talked to us I don’t remember his name but he is Brazilian.  Pres. and Sister Kuceki also spoke and holy cow Stephaney’s mom was super emotional the whole time and after she said “that was an answer to my prayers.” When she was leaving she told the elders, “I will see you at church every Sunday.”  Today we will invite her to be baptized too! WOOT WOOT!!! MIRACLE!!!

Then this week we have a baptism for Alessandria, she is 11 and is beautiful!  We met her the first week here when we were teaching her brother and she asked, what baptism?  I want to be baptized!!  We were like, HECK YES YOU DO AND YOU CAN!!!  I love her!  She is like my second baby sister and when we were teaching the law of chastity to her yesterday I was getting so emotional because I just care for her so much and I would never want a man or boy to take advantage of her.  It was so special!  She is getting baptized this SATURDAY!! YEAHHH! 

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, I love you all!! 
-Sister Smith

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 18

My first week in Goiania!
Week 18—Nov. 23, 2015

I prayed for a hardworking and patient companion and WAHOOOO he gave me Sister Matos!  Heavenly Father heard my prayer, he always does.(:  Sister Matos said she prayed for an American companion to help with Portuguese and HELLO HERE I AM!!  I have already learned so much from her! I ask her questions on the bus everyday when we are walking to and from the church, which takes an hour to get there from our house...lots of walking.  When we don’t have time or have lunch at a members house that is forever away we take the bus. And let me tell you a little something...the buses here are INSANE!!  You know the night bus in Harry Potter..yes that is what it is like!  If you aren’t holding on to something, you´ll be smashed in the wall in a second!  I don’t know how the buses don’t flip over with how fast they go and how sharp of turns they take.  It’s a wild ride everyday hahaha! 

My companion is a lot different from me, she is shy and more nervous to talk to people than I am, which is funny because I don’t know the language very good but I’m not afraid and I’m not embarrassed.  I feel like I’m teaching her a lot because...I mean I did have the best trainer in the mission.  No seriously, Sister Amaral is like famous!  But I have realized how much I have learned from Sister Amaral and I am taking what I learned and teaching Sister Matos, its awesome!  I feel like she is helping me with the language and I’m teaching her how not to be timid and to talk to everyone and to be proactive and remember to do the little things.  Having her as my companion has made me see how much I have already grown on my is truly amazing.  I am far from perfect and have a lot to work on, but it’s been a blessing to see some progress. 

I had a miracle happen this week.  Every night we somehow have been getting lost and it’s been a little stressful, but it’s a new area and we are still getting the hang of it.  It was our 3rd night in Goiania and we couldn’t find the portal for the bus that we needed to get home.  It was getting late, and near to the time we had to be in our house.   We were trying not to freak out.  I said a prayer in my mind and said Heavenly Father I don’t care how we get home, just please help us to get home on time.  Five minutes later I automatically, without thinking, stopped this lady in the street and invited her to church.  She was like AHHH I loooove the missionaries, I used to go to your church but I go to a different one  now!   She asked if we speak English and then she started talking to us in English.  She was like come to my house and I will feed you 2 or what can I do for you?  I asked her to help us find the right portal to get on the bus because we need to be home by a certain time.  She couldn’t find the right portal either, so she got a taxi and rode with us to our house.  It was the biggest blessing EVER!  She tried to talked English to me the whole way to our house!  It was such a tender mercy from the Lord.

Another cool experience I had this week, was while I was studying in the scriptures.  I read D&C 84:87-88...this scripture is in my patriarchal blessing and it is so cool because this is a mission scripture and I never thought my blessing talked about a mission, but it does!   Last night we decided to walk home and it takes and hour and it was dark (mom don’t freak out).  I have to admit I was scared, but I thought about this scripture and about angels being on my right and left keeping me safe.  I kid you not there were moments I was holding my breath, but we were protected and I seriously was so grateful!  I couldn’t sleep last night I was so amazed that everything was okay.  Heavenly Father loves his missionaries and protects us.  I feel so blessed to be representing Jesus Christ everyday. I can’t believe I have been out for 4 months.  I never want my mission to end!  

Thanks for all the love and support.

-Sister Smith

My new Companion Sister Matos!  She has only had 1 more month in the mission than me and she is new in this area too! 
I love her she is shy but so sweet!

Goiania the week before I got transfered!  The gigantic football stadium and the view of Goiania (this is when I didn't know I would be living here for my next transfer hehe).

 My view at night, the mall in Goiania..this city has got money..very different than my other area!


My new area...I litterally cried when I saw this view…It's so beautiful here..I WANT YOU TO COME HERE FAMILY!!  No, this is not my new companion I went on splits with her in Goiania when Sister Amaral was meeting with Presidnet Kuceki.

Adventures in Goiania before I knew I would be living there my next transfer!!

 This is what happens when you get your Christmas package and there are 10 other sisters there..hahaha Sister Carvalou, I looove her!  Sister Amaral and her are best friends(:  My favorite sisters. 

When I found out I was getting transfered and I was bawling, Sister Amaral wasn't, she never does hahaha….

 My last baptism in Rio Verde with everyone!!

Me trying to tell Fabiano to smile for a picture (Brazilians never smile). 

Me, my old Zone Leaders Elder Snail (he is from Spanish Fork and his parents moved to St George, he is awesome) Elder Badu (black dude, other Zone Leader, he's craaazy) Elder..I can't remember but he is from Orem and his mom is in the Tabernacle Choir) We always chat in English togther(:

This was a day of tears haha (:

I love Carol!

Last days in Rio Verde!

My favorite baby Sophia (her parents want to stay at our house and visit the Salt Lake City Temple) I love this baby sooo much!

Clauese, with the picture she drew me of Louis Tomlinson.

 My favorite juice Regina makes (fruit from her trees) 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 17

GOIANIA here I COME!!!!(:
Week 17—Nov.16, 2015

This week has been the most crazy, busy, emotional week by FAR!!!! SHEEESH!!  But I’m so happy, so don’t worry!!(:  Transfers are here and guess where I´m going?!  I’m going to be living in the middle of the beautiful city of Goiania!  Sister Amaral lived there for 6 months before she moved to Rio Verde with me!  She absolutely loved it there and wouldn’t stop saying how much she missed Goiania during her first transfer!  Whenever we go to Goiania for meetings for all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders we stay with sisters in their house, and now I`ll be living there! wooot woot!!!  I’m sooo excited!  Everyone says where I´ll be living is like the nicest apartment in the MISSION!!  It really is though, it’s so nice!  I´ll have a beautiful view from my window everyday… and there’s is a GIANT pool, we swim in it on P-days!!..HA!  Just kidding, but its fun to look at! 

Okay, so this week we went to Goiania for the meeting for all the leaders and we stayed in the exact apartment I will be staying in for my next transfer.  But while sister Amaral was in the meeting I got to go on splits or divisions, don’t know the word in English, but I worked with another sister.   Holy freak!!  Goiania is so different from Rio Verde!  Many of the people are college students and the city is really big.  I talked to 45 people and only 10 of them said they would visit church on Sunday.  In Rio Verde 25 out of 45 people say they will visit church.  Rio Verde has many more people with humility.  The night when all the sisters returned from their meeting, Sister Amaral took me aside and said “I talked to President Kuceki and you won’t be in Rio Verde for the next transfer”  I STARTED BAWLING!!  Lets just say it’s been a ruff week saying goodbye to the 14 new converts that we have taught here.  They are my family and have part of my heart.  Holy cow, people told me before the mission, you think it’s hard to leave your family?  Try leaving the people you baptize and the members you fall in love with.  Yep, I understand it now.  I think I have cried almost as much as I did when it was my last day before I left on my mission and we were at the temple as a family..remember that day?  Yes, I cried A LOT!!   My favorite member Carol and I hugged in the chapel for like 30 minutes crying and laughing at all our memories and inside jokes.  She gave me the cutest stuffed animal frog.(:  I love you Carol!!  

Then Saturday night at like 9:15 Bishop Carlos said, Sister Smith, you haven’t given a talk and your leaving!  Will you give a talk tomorrow in church?...(church is at 9 am, we have to visit 20 people and stop by their houses in the morning to get them before church, oh and it’s SATURDAY) Haha, but of course I said yes, I will.  He asked me what do I want to give my talk on..I was like ummm I don’t know.  He said just talk about your family.  I said “no”!!  Then I´ll just be crying the whole time haha!  Then Sister Amaral said faith!  They suggested other topics, but I was like ahhhh I don’t know!!  Then that night I was trying to prepare my talk in Portuguese and I only had 30 minutes!  At the end of 30 minutes, I had nothing and all the awesome talks and quotes I have are in ENGLISH!!  So I went to bed and was praying and I had the coolest revelation of what I should talk about!  It was so cool!  Sister Amaral always talks about how when she doesn’t have time to prepare a talk, the Lord fills her mind with the things she should say the night before and I´ve always wanted that to happen to me too!…Well, it happened!  Heavenly Father is so awesome!!  

My talk went great!!!  It was funny because I was running late and they saw that I was and switched me to be the 3rd speaker and I ran down and asked Elder Sneil for some help conjugating words that I needed to say, then the kid giving his talk finished in less than I minute!  I was like holy cow!!  I ran up there grabbed all my stuff and ran to the pulpit.  And WOW, the spirit took over and it was such a special talk.  I incorporated faith and my family together and then at the end said how much I love everyone in the ward and thanked them for letting us in their houses for lunch.  I was crying and everyone was crying, well, not everyone but almost (;   Then President Carlos got up after and said “when Sister Smith got here 3 months ago she bore her testimony and didn’t know Portuguese and 3 months later she is giving a talk and we all understand her”.  It was so sweet and he commented on my family...because I talked about my mommy and how it was hard for her when I left but she chose to have faith in God and trust him that everything would be okay.  Then I talked about how when I opened my call I lacked faith to speak Portuguese but my dad said, “I know you can do it” and I said how my dad had faith in me, but that Heavenly Father has even more faith in us.  It went great!  Everyone told me they understood every word… I don’t know about that:), but I was so grateful for the spirit and that Heavenly Father gave me the give of tongues in that moment and let everyone feel the spirit. 

After there were lots of pictures, tears, and exchanges of emails and people saying the sweetest things to me.  I told everyone that if they ever visit the US they can come and stay at our house and we can visit all the temples together.  I gave people our address and mom & dad your telephone numbers....I don’t think they will ever call you though because they don’t know English!  But I am hoping in a couple years we have some Brazilians staying in our house...ahhhh!  I love them all!

So after church I visited almost all our recent converts (that we baptized) Holy cow..that was hard.  We visited Luis and Regina and their 5 kids.  They are so sweet they gave me presents and I shared my testimony and talked about the first time we saw them on the street we knew they were special and were a perfect happy family.  Regina was crying...I’ve never seen her was so special!  She said she would miss me so much! I told them they have to send me a picture of them standing in front of the temple when they are sealed together as a family.(:

Then I said goodbye to my Brazilian Grandpa Noguerria.  That was not easy. He lost his son a week ago and has been struggling and Alexandre said that he has been sad the whole day because I am leaving.  He asked me when I would visit and I said I don’t know.  Then he started crying...I have never seen this man cry, only laugh and crack jokes.  He started bawling and said “God be with you my child” and kissed my hand.  Then I started bawling and said “I love you, stay strong”!! 

Then Carol had a party for me at her house and made a bunch of yummy food and treats...she is an amazing cook!  Her future husband is going to be a lucky man!  We hung out and laughed with the Elders and some members.  Then I hugged Carol for like 20 minutes again and cried my eyes out. 

In an hour I will be on a 5 hour bus ride to Goiania to meet my new Brazilian companion! Woot woot!! 

-Sister Jessie Pooh, your little missionary 

Carol's house

Goodbye Party just for me….hehe

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 16

Because Salvation NEVER was Easy!
Week 16—Nov. 9, 2015

This is my new favorite quote on my mission! The other day when one of our favorite investigators turned down baptism we were more than a little bummed.  Then out of nowhere Sister Amaral said in English “because salvation never was easy!!” I looked at her shocked and busted out laughing because she always just randomly says these English phrases when I least expect her too. She said Elder Holland said this in one of the missionary talks he gave...I haven’t heard it yet!  But holy cow did I need to hear this!  It is so true!  Salvation is not easy, if it were, everyone would be baptized and be a member of the church!  There would be no need to have missionaries, but guess what? This is not the case.  Some people are ready to be baptized and some aren’t.  I just need to keep remember this is the LORDS WORK...not mine haha!  So whenever someone turns us down, I say this out loud and I feel better! AHHH I love this quote!! Elder Holland rocks!!

Okay, so this week we had two baptisms!!! Fabiano and Flaviano!! They are so amazing and were soooo ready to be baptized. They are what Sister Amaral and I call elect beings haha.  It is something else when you teach an investigator, they know the gospel is true, get baptized, and then help you teach other investigators and share their testimony with them!  They did this yesterday and the whole time they talked and shared their personal experiences in the lesson, I sat there grinning the whole time.  I have so much love for these people that want to give up drugs, they want a better life, and then take action and do it!  They read the Book of Mormon, they come to church, and participated in the lessons.  Man, when you serve a mission you see the atonement work in people's lives more than ever!!  I feel so blessed to be here in Brazil, in Rio Verde, baptizing people.  I thank Heavenly Father everyday for this experience!
I love you all! 

-Sister Smith

Flaviano and Fabiano got baptized!! Woot woot! I love these guys they are my favorite and were so excited to get baptized (:

Fabiano´s baptism!! I love him..I asked him to smile like a hundred times but he said no, not in pictures, I was so bummed. haha

I love Tiece, she is going to serve in Portugal next month!! I love my awesome district! 

I love Clauese she is my other favorite member! She is the one that gave me the picture of Louis Tomlinson!

 I have been wanting to take a picture of this ever since I got here, but I never have my camera.  I saw this coming down the street and wipped out my camera!  The man was looking at me like I was some freak!   After I took the picture I smiled and waved at him, it was funny! 

This is another family in our ward!  They asked if it would just be us and not the elders...what can we say, they love the Sisters better (; hehe!  They already have their Christmas tree up! They don't have Thanksgiving here!  Their daughter in the back isn't active.  We talked about the Holy Ghost and oh man, the spirit was so strong! We had a fun time!

My favorite baby in Brazil!! Sophia! Her parents Ludiani and Wesner are members and always love us to come and visit them! They wanted to do a family night with only me and Sister Amaral because they just love us so much!  They fed us the most amazing dinner like holy freak, I wish you could all try it!!

We visited other Sisters in our area because Sister Verscosa only has one more week in the mission! We went to the mall to eat and THEY HAVE SUBWAY!! Best day EVER!!!

These sisters are so amazing!!! I love them(: 
We had a fun P-day all together(:

Having fun at the mall on P-day!!

I can't wait to watch this when I get home. ;)