Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 58

Be Optimistic!
Week 58-- August 29, 2016

Every week there’s always a new adventure out here! Haha  This week was funny!  Okay, so I had been talking to my friend Elder Banz (assistant to the Pres.) this entire week about how I’d travel to Anapolis to do splits with 2 companionships of sisters.  I’d be there for 3 days.  There were some complications with money because some sisters didn’t have any so I used a lot of my personal money.  The mission will pay me back (dad, that’s why I took out money, and to buy shoes I needed, and lotion, my face is dry and I’m getting wrinkles fast out here.)  Anyway, So I get to Anaplois (80 min. bus ride) and I’m with a sister and we’re working and then we get home and a member comes over with a note and pizza and the note says, “Sister Smith, Elder Banz forgot that you have a meeting with all the leaders and President Buhrer tomorrow at 9 am.  Be at the bus station at 6:20pm.  From, The Zone leaders of Anapolis.”  I’m like WHAT??  Oh, and the sister that I was with didn’t have a phone because she was assaulted this transfer and had it stolen.  The sister said there was no way for us to make it there on time to Goiania for my meeting.   To make things worse, we didn’t have a phone to call anyone tell them!  So the whole time I am praying that everything will work out for me to make it back to Goiania for the meeting the next morning.  Once again my friends, miracles happen, I don’t know how, but we made it there and it was a miracle! Haha  Everyone was joking because whenever we have a meeting, something always happens with me.  Its like the adversary doesn’t want me to be at the meetings!! haha  

The meeting with President Buhrer was AMAZING.  Pres. it just the coolest guy ever.  He said so much stuff that helped me and motivated me, I could go on for days.  I will tell you a little.  President said missionaries have a problem with not being excited after an investigator turns them down or doesn’t want to get baptized or doesn’t go to church.  He said, brush it off and find someone else to teach.  Don’t waste your time teaching people that wont progress and don't be afraid to stop visiting them and find someone else to teach.  He said to be optimistic, make a joke about it, laugh and brush it off.  He said, do you think Heavenly Father is optimistic?  Do you think he sits there crying all day when one of his children doesn’t do something right or rejects the gospel?  No, he looks at the positive side and says, at least these children will have the opportunity to come back and live with me.  He looks at the bright side, always.  He looks at the good things about each one of us when we are all so imperfect and unworthy of his love.  God is happy and he´s an optimist.  We´d be a lot better off if we followed his example.  AHHHH he is so awesome!!

Last week I gave a training lesson to our zone on how we can become better instruments in the Lords hands, and how we can have the spirit with us 24-7.  I talked about sanctifying yourself.  If you are thinking about your girlfriend all day, fighting with your companion, or talking bad about your leaders, to stop and repent, do it fast and try to become better.  When our focus is 100% on the Lord and his work, that’s when we have the spirit with us.  That is when we talk with the voice of angels, that’s when we find Gods elects, that´s when people become converted to the gospel.  It went super good!  I challenged all the missionaries to do it!! (:

I forgot to tell you, I saw Maura the other week!  She will be getting sealed in the temple with Joao and Stephaney in July!!  She wants me there!!  I told her I’d try! AHHHH  I am so happy that they are progressing so fast!! 

I love you all!  Thanks for all your prayers, I can feel them out here!  Have a great week!!

-Sister Smith

This is our cute green house behind a members house (: 

 Look at this tree in front of our house. (: Cute house next to ours!! 

WE GOT BIKES!!! ....Just kidding!  
They are our neighbors bikes!!  
Hey look!  We can wear sunglasses now! 
I am soo happy because my eyes are always burning because of the hot sun.  

 Our new shoes...can you guess my favorite color out here on the mission??

 My adorable companion right now talking to her fam bam!! Love her!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Week 57

Meet Sister Ramona
Week 57--August 21, 2016

Time on the mission is weird. It goes by too fast. I was talking to an Elder one time about it and he´s like its because it´s the lords time not our time. His time is a lot faster than ours. It´s so true his time is soooo much faster!!  Heavenly Father, I love your time, but could you slow it down for a minute or 2? (;

Alrighty I just need to take a minute to talk about my sweet companion.  Her name is Sister Ramona, she is 21 and was baptized in July of 2014.  She has been a member for 2 years!!  Isn´t that cool to think when I graduated High School she was being baptized and now she is my companion??  Sooo cool!(:  Her family wasn’t baptized when she was, in truth, none of them liked the church or anything about it.  When she left on her mission, her dad wouldn´t even talk to her he was so mad.  So she gets out here on her mission and she´s about a month or 2 in and she gets an email from her dad apologizing for all that he said and for not being supportive of her serving a mission.  He said, “Oh, and by the way, these last couple weeks I have been listening to the missionary lessons and I was baptized last week.”  I know, that’s why I love this church and why I wanted to serve a mission!  MIRACLES!  Last week, Sister Ramona’s dad baptized her 3 siblings!  Talk about blessings from her having the faith to serve a mission!  My sweet companion is reading the Book of Mormon for the first time out here on her mission.  She doesn’t have very much confidence because she doesn’t know a lot of the doctrine.  She has only been a member for 2 years.  Sometimes she gets nervous to teach because she doesn’t want to mess up.  I just tell her to share her story.  Every time she bares her testimony and says why she was baptized and that she has only been a member for 2 years, but felt like she needed to serve a mission, the spirit is so strong!  She has so much faith!  I have been a member my entire life and I questioned about serving a mission at one time.  She is so amazing and such an example to me of what the Church of Jesus Christ is really about.  We don’t need to know everything to be a missionary, or to teach.  We just need to know and have felt the gospel of Jesus Christ change our lives and then have a desire to share it with others.  I love her and I’m so grateful she´s been my companion this transfer. 

By the way….Sister Ramona sure knows how to!  To tell you the truth, all Brazilians are super good at cleaning.  All you young men out there, if you want a wife who knows how to clean a house, come to Brazil and pick one!  Oh, and they know how to cook too! (; 

THIS WEEK WE HAD 3 BAPTIZMS!!!!  YOOOHOOOO miracles!!!  The baptism was super special and super neat.  I am so grateful God gave me the opportunity to meet this amazing family.  Fatima is my dear friend that I will have forever.  She is 25 and has 3 kids...ages 10, 9, and 5, she´s been through a lot to say the least.  God sure loves her and I know it because he sent us to teach her.  I’m excited to see her grow in the ward here in Novo Mundo.

We got a new bishop yesterday, he is 25 and got back from his mission 2 years ago! He is already a bishop of a ward!!  He´s going to have big callings in the church, everyone already knows it!  The new bishop is our next door neighbor.  We have the old bishop living in front of us and the new bishop living on the side of us.  I´ve never felt so protected on the mission! (;

My training for zone conference went super good!  I´ll tell you about it next week! Looove you all!!  Have an awesome week! xoxoxox

-Sister Jessie Jaynie Smithie


 Look at Fatima modeling, she was so embarrassed to wear this you have no idea! haha

This guy was baptized the same day, he is HUGE!!!  It took 2 guys to hold him down.  
They had to baptize him 3 times because his 
big toe kept coming up!

I gave them the CTR rings and 
they loooved them (:

Lunch at this members cute house....
...the food was so yummy!!!

I was obsessed with these puppies and the member was like, "do you want me to take some pictures of you with them?"....I'm like haha, yeah, sure! 
He took so many and wanted his plants in the background it was so funny(;

Oh Brazil, how I love you (: The whole time I was taking these pictures my companion was like, put your camera away, it's dangerous! People here are always saying that it's dangerous but I'm like, ohh it's fine!!!

(I swear my eyes are open in this picture next to the tree, but you can't tell because 
the sun is so bright) hahaha (;

The members companion doesn't like to take pictures with me...:( mom i looked at this catus and thought of you, it was pretty neat!

Mom, I looked at this catus and thought of you, it was pretty neat!
Going on splits is fuuuunnn (: 
Universitario!! WOOT woot!!! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

week 56

The Move
Week 56—August 15, 2016

This week was a roller-coaster ride for me!!  It had some ups and some downs.  But there’s always those tender mercies that keep me going and keep me thanking God for all the strength he gives me everyday.  

Just so you all know I loooove being a missionary because every Fast Sunday we have an excuse to get up in fast and testimony meeting and bare our testimonies!  There hasn’t been one Fast Sunday on my mission that I haven´t shared my testimony. (:  I think its sooo cool and such a good goal to keep up for the rest of my mission!....and maybe after my mission, we´ll see. (;

Tuesday was an awesome day because I had my first interview with President Bührer!!!  Woot woot!  Right before my interview we had a zone meeting and they showed us a video on the atonement of Jesus Christ...the video is soooo good!  The video got me super emotional.  So when I talked to President I was sitting there crying, expressing to him how much I love our Savior!  Then he talked about our Savior and how amazing he is and about Joseph Smith!  It was super special!  I asked him for advice regarding my calling and he said to just keep doing what your doing and follow the promptings of the spirit and the Lord will tell me what I need to do!(:  He talked to me about a conversation he had with President Uchdorf and that he said “showing is more important than telling.”  So it’s more important that we are examples and not just tell people what to do.  We need to show them through our actions, everyday of our lives.

I went on splits with a sweet sister from Peru this week.  She is just the cutest! (:  She´s been having a hard time with the language and so her companion wanted me to help give advice.  (It sounds like a common problem with us foreigners.)  So I gave her advice and taught her what I do to study the language.  Then I told her when people don’t understand what I’m saying, I talk slower.  I explained to her that we have strong accents to the Brazilians. Haha (:  I think things went well with her.

So when I got back to my area, my companion said that Fatima (the one who’s suppose to get baptized this weekend) has been super stressed because the lady that owns her house said she’s going to call the police on her if she doesn’t move out!  Fatima hasn’t been able to pay the rent because she lost her job. :(  Fatima doesn’t have money to get someone to take all her stuff and move it to the other house she found.  Because of all this she hasn’t been worried or even thinking about her baptism this weekend.  So we talked to her and said that we would try to find someone in the ward to help her move Saturday (it was Friday).  So I called the guy who helps the missionaries (I forgot his name in English) and he´s like look, if we would have known like a week ago, yes, but idk how we can find someone by tomorrow to help.  I was super stressed out because we had told Fatima we would find her help and well, we weren’t finding any.  On top of that, other things started happening and you know when tons of things start building on one another and you want to explode! haha!  So sister and I were praying and praying that a miracle would happen, that we would be able to find a truck or something to put all of her stuff in aaaand.....Heavenly Father saved us again!  The guy in the ward found someone last minute to move Fatima Saturday morning!  We got all her stuff in the truck in one load! Ahhh  I wish I would have taken a photo of the truck to show you was jam packed with all her stuff on this little trailer.  (I wasn’t worried about taking pictures in that moment.)  But anyway, we moved all of her stuff into her new house, so that was awesome!  So next week, Fatima will be baptized, and her 2 girls!  (Pray that everything goes okay!!)

Joana is going strong!  She is reading the Book of Mormon and is LOVING IT!!  We taught her about prophets and she was so amazed and happy to hear that God loves us enough that he gave us prophets on earth TODAY!!!!(:  I love seeing the reaction of people when you tell them we have a living prophet on the earth, leading and guiding us for the second coming of our Savior!  They get so happy and excited!  God is sooo awesome!  I love him and feel so grateful for all he helps me with. (: 
GOD LOVES YOU GUYS!  Keep showing him you love him,  and are grateful for what you have by keeping the commandments and living a righteous life. (: 

- Sister Jessica Jaynie Smithie

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 55

                                    It’s all about the Book of Mormon
Week 55--August 8, 2016
I had an awesome week full of meetings!  I love hearing the words from President and Sister Bührer, they are so inspired by the Lord.  President Buhrer is literally the funniest person ever, I love that guy!  Okay, so every Tuesday we have our meeting with our district and then with our zone....its LEGAL!!  Then on Thursday we had a multizone conference with Pres. Buhrer.  He talked about the importance of learning the doctrine for ourselves...not for our investigators.  He said too many missionaries are getting home and leaving the church because they weren’t converted.  He said, the first person who needs to learn the doctrine and have a firm testimony is YOU.  It made me think about Pres. Kuceki and what he said at his farewell.  Prayer, you have got to learn to pray and to pray with your whole heart and not let it be a recited thing you say.  You can’t be talking to God when your thinking about what you’re going to eat, or what you’re going to do when you get home from your mission.  It is extremely disrespectful to talk to your family and friends and not be paying attention to what their saying, imagine our Lord Almighty!!  You´re talking to the man who created you, the earth, you´re alive because of him and yet we pray as if we are praying to the wall.  Control your thoughts!!!  (I have had the best mission presidents btw)  Anyway, the idea Pres. Bührer was trying to get across, was, that we need to have our own experiences first.  I can’t teach someone to repent of their sins, if I haven’t done it myself.  I can’t testify of the Book of Mormon if that book isn’t engraved on my heart.   I need to have complete surety that without this book we don’t have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You can’t teach if you don’t believe it or know it yourself.  The spirit can´t be there if you don’t know it for yourself.  It was awesome!  Then Pres. asked me to bare my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I talked about how the Book of Mormon has been a strength for me in my life.  I talked about how before my mission I read the Book of Mormon a couple times...but the first time I read it during my mission I was this the same book I read when I was 8 years old??  THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!!!  These prophets are the greatest examples of the missionary that I want to be and become!  I loooove Ammon and Alma, they are my favorites!(:  They are just so powerful and the spirit is so strong and with them 24/7.  They are like my missionary heroes!!  I love the story in Alma 14 and 15 when Alma and Amulek had the gift of discernment and read the thoughts of Zeezrom and then when the prison walls came crashing down because of their insanely strong faith!!  Then I talked about how when I read the Book of Mormon I feel the spirit.  I feel the presence of my Savior Jesus Christ and I have a stronger desire to become like him.  The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and has the fullness of his gospel. I love that book!! (:
Okay, so some other news for you all, we can wear sunglasses!  I’m super excited for that!  An elder wore them walking to church yesterday and me and my companion got a kick out of it.  We were laughing our heads off!  He looked like a bodyguard or something!!  We can also wear sandals, but only a special brand.  We also have to wear longer skirts and when it starts raining more, we need to wear pants...that´ll be interesting. haha! 
This week we have 3 baptisms!! WOOT WOOT!!!  Fatima and her 2 daughters!  Quick miracle!  Joana that had the dream about the fruit (she´s so elect) we called her to confirm that she could go to church yesterday and she said,  “I was at the doctors because I’m sick and so I don’t know if I can go.”  I told her to try and stay for the first hour, we would pray for her.  So we prayed and fasted for her and you guys, SHE CAME FOR THE FIRST HOUR!!!  We were literally jumping up and down when she said she felt good enough to come!(:  She will be getting baptized the last week in August!!(: Only miracles!
I’m doing a split with a sister on Tuesday and I’m going to start going on splits with the sisters in RIO VERDE!!  That means I might get to see my Brazilian grandpa and my other favorite families!!! AHHHHH (((:
I love you all thanks for your thoughts and prayers!!  Keep being missionaries and reading O LIVRO DE MÓRMON!!  MELHOR LIVRO QUE EXISTE!!!!

One of my favorite families!

 My district!  (The elder with the glasses looks like a bodyguard.)
The Brazilian flag painted on the wall of a house. 
 p.s. People don't talk about the Olympics here much, but when we walk into their homes they are watching them.


Week 54

Fruit of Joy
Week 54—Aug. 1, 2016

This week was really good (: I can´t express to you all how much I see the Lords hand in our work.)  When we are being obedient, serving with all our heart, might, mind, and strength....Heavenly Father is just so incredible!  If I didn’t have him here with me....I don’t know, well I wouldn’t be here lets just say.

 Okay so some awesome news for you all.  Fabiana and Rafael were baptized on Saturday!  I am so happy for them and wish I could have been there, but you know that’s okay, I was there in spirit.  Yesterday at church there was a speaker from the other ward in Universitario where I served in Dec.  He´s giving a talk and says `` I don’t know if any of you have met Maura, Joao, or Estephany in my ward in Universitario but they have been baptized for 7 months and will be sealed in the temple this December.  My companion looked at me and just grinned because she knows Maura is my mom and that me and Sister Matos taught them and they were baptized and then I started crying!  Its something special when the people you teach get baptized, but when they continue strong and progress enough to be ready to enter the temple.... its like a cherry on top. AHHHHH!!!  I am so excited for them!
 Okay, so this ward here in Novo Mundo is AMAZING. The members are AMAZING.  We bring the investigator to church and I don’t even need to introduce them or ask a member if the investigator can sit by them in sacrament meeting.  The members literally take them, welcome them, sit next to them, and start teaching them about the Book of Mormon.  I’m like, Wow!  This is how all wards should be! This ward is huge and the members are truly all missionaries.  It just makes me so HAPPY.  Okay, so Jose Carlos was at church last week and we visited him and set a date for him to be baptized!  Then he introduced us to his sister and her 3 kids, 2 within the age of baptism!  We have been working with them and they will be baptized!!

So I got the wonderful opportunity to do a split with one of the sisters this week in Universitario.  To help her, give her advice, and to see how things are going.  So I’m working with her when we pass by Alessandra´s street and some other recent converts.  I asked her if she´s visited them and she’s says no, I couldn’t find their street on the map.  I’m like, sister, let me show you where they live.  Okay, so I don’t know if you remember Alessandra, Sister Matos and I taught her and she was baptized in November.  I heard that she has stopped going to church because she´s 11 and her mom doesn’t want her to walk alone or something.  I also heard she had moved but it wasn’t a for sure thing.  So we get to her house and I’m like, if she still lives here, and if she´s home right now, I’m going to cry.... it’s been 7 months and I adore this girl!  This kid opens the door and I ask if Alessandra is home and he is like ya, one minute....I looked at sister, and I’m like AHHHHHH!!!!  Alessandra walks to the door and sees me and we both start hugging and was a super tender moment for us both.  I was like, girl, why haven’t you been going to church?  How are you?  What’s going on?  We talked and caught up.  It was so special.  I told her she needs to keep reading the Book of Mormon and that Sister Rangel would pass by her home now and help her.  We called a member to pick her up on Sunday for church.  I don’t know yet if she went on Sunday, but I sure hope so. (((:

So after we went on splits, I get with my companion and she is like sister!  The elders in the office were at physical therapy and met this really cool lady!  They gave her reference to us because she lives in our area.  The Elders already gave her the Book of Mormon!  I was like, yes, lets visit her!  She lives an hour and 20 minutes away on foot, but hey!!  Gotta visit those references! (I forgot that word in English haha)  So we finally get there and she starts to tell us about her life.  She said, I am married, I have 3 kids, I have a house (a pretty big one if you ask me, it was nice)  She told us, “I work in the health care field, I have every reason to be happy, but I’ve always felt something was missing.  I thought I was depressed so I started smoking and drinking.  Then I felt worse and I have been praying for God to show me the way.  At work the other day I saw the Elders and I felt like I needed to talk to them.  So I did, and I felt this empty feeling starting to be filled.”  Sister and I started crying, we were like, yeah, we have a message that will help you with every problem you have and with the emptiness you have been feeling.  Then she goes on to say, “I had a dream about this fruit....fruit not of this world, it was different.  I ate the fruit and I felt so much joy I can’t explain to you how good it was!”  I was like, um lets read 1 Nephi 8, there was a prophet that had a dream about fruit too....WE ARE PLANNING HER BAPTISM FOR 27 of August!!  You guys, she is an elect!!

Okay so Thursday night we had family night with Jose Carlos and Fatima and her kids at a members house.  We stopped at a store to buy some cake and we were walking out, its was night time, and I’m putting the rest of my money away when I have this feeling “help sister with the cakes” and I’m like okay, let me just put my money away....and then bam!  Sister Ramona just about falls, but twists her ankle!! She did the exact same thing last transfer with her companion and now it happened again...the same ankle!  Poor thing!  So we spent the next day in the hospital taking x-rays and so yet again, another weekend in our house.  She couldn’t walk for 2 days, but now its a lot better.

God lives, this is His church, I know it and I know you can know if it’s true if you read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God!! 

com muito amor, 
Sister Smith

Look who got baptized last week... Rafael, Fabiana, and Rafaella!!!!!! The happiness I'm feeling right now is beyond anything I can describe! I joked with them and told them they needed to paste me into their baptism picture because I wouldn't be able to be there...YEP, they did it hahahah!! I am so happy, in a year they said they want to visit the US and be sealed in the temple and have me there!! I'm like my DREAM COME TRUE!!!!  

Remember Jose Carlos I told you about? I talked to him one night and he came to church the next day! Yeah!  Now we are teaching his sister Fatima and her 2 daughters that are ages 10 and 8 (they are tiny, they don't look it) and her cute little boy, Edwardo, who is 5...I am in love with them! They will be baptized next week!! 

I love this pillow case my extended family gave me before I left on my mission.