Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 8 - Dang sweet week!!!

Family and friends!

This week was pretty dang sweet. We were in class and an MTC cordinator came in and announced to our class that we needed to get our most boring tie, clean the classroom, and polish our shoes (which I already do. Thanx dad) because an area of the 70 was coming to see us. He is over Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina and he served in Rosario Argentina 31 years ago. His name is Elder Patania and he was really cool. He came in and talked to us with his wife for about a half an hour and it was in all Spanish. I understood everything he said, but I was too scared to ask if he knew uncle Guy. How long ago did uncle Guy serve? I can't remember. Elder Patania said the poor people in the U.S. are like the rich people in Argentina and all we can do is love them. That does more than just giving them 5 pecos. It was a great experience!

We get amazing talks every single Sunday and Tuesday night. It is really making me look forward to watching all of General Conference and taking alot of notes. I am gonna take a pillow to watch it in our big gym, because the chairs are so painful after 2 hours of sitting there. My district is awesome and all 8 of us are going to sit and watch it together. All of them have strengthened my testimony so much. We are going to be life long friends I can tell. In a talk we received, the speaker said we didn't decide to serve a mission in this lifetime but we decided in the pre existance and that is amazing to think about. This is a different learning experience than I have ever had and I encourage anyone who is thinking about going, to do it. Do it for yourself and then you will lose yourself I promise. Also, lately everyday I have been trying to write down a miracle a day that I see or happens and it has given me so much appreciation for things.

In gym people get hurt all the time. Elder Stromberg in my district got a broken nose and a concussion. People are different when they step in the gym, it's so funny. Elder Winger on Monday is going to go to the hospital to get a planter wart removed, I am going with him and I am praying for j dogs!! I also might have an inside connection to get one here. I have seen old friends here like Eric Hawskins and Alex Eliason from Oakdale, it is cool!

Spanish is coming along really well, I think. I am a little nervous for Argentina but I can't wait! Apparently there is fruit everywhere and you can just eat it (lucky huh dad?) and there is armadillos and I am gonna catch one and paint it like a soccer ball :) Thanx for the letters Colton, they are great I remember having two brothers though, haha Parker are you going to prom? You better be!! Becky is still free I think! :)
I love watching the movies on Sunday night like Legacy, the Joseph Smith movie. and The Testaments. Everyone laughs at the same parts in them and it is great, but they are also amazing and I am always gonna watch them every Sunday, even when I get home from my mission! Look on, they have a thing called "I'm a Mormon" and Stan Checketts is on there. He is elder Wingers dads boss (he makes rollercoasters) Also, look up New Years Resolution, it is in a cafe and it is about not looking back. They are all videos, they are so sweet!

That is what's happening with me I love you,
Elder Smart

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Week 7 - On the back nine

Hi family and friends ,
The MTC seems to be taking forever now that I am on the back 9 of it. I can't wait to get to Argentina and meet people, play futbol, and get lost in the work! That is exactly what I need right now. I am hoping an apostle or general authority will come and speak to us at a devotional before I leave. Even if they don't at least there is general confrence to look forward to and I can't wait for it. I am going to listen to it all in a different way than I ever had before, because I need guidance for what to do because I am trying to live every message that is taught to me. I am gonna miss going to Wingers with my dad and brothers and miss going to grandmas after and hearing all my relatives testimonies and experiences from their missions. I'm starting to lose weight here because none of the food here sounds good anymore, so i don't stuff my face like I would with my moms food! mmmm raclette sounds so good to me always. All the missionaries in my district hear about the kind of cook my mom is and they all want to come over and see for themselves. In a devotional last night the speaker sister Costa said focus on being a missionary because you have your whole life ahead of you to be a returned missionary. I love that! and I am learning to apply that to my mission. There is a quote on a video we watched and it says "we see ourselves in terms of yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but the lord sees us as forever. I feel myself changing and seeing a different importance in life and I love it. I used to look at football as being really important but now it is just something I did. The church is what I am. I need to be informed of what is happening in march madness I just want major game scores and stats from Jimmer Fredette. I don't need huge articles haha. I have met so many new people in such a short amount of time. I look back and it is amazing how close I have grown with these missionaries in such a short amount of time. Everything is going really well here and I can't wait to be in Argentina!! Keep me posted on what's going on at home. Ii love you all and thank you.
Elder Smart

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week 6 - Zone Leader

Hey family how is it going?
Spanish is looking up I think I just need to keep trying to speak it and it will start to come along! I am so sick of the food it is nasty, haha, but oh well. I love gym time because my district is so awesome. How districts work is there is like 8 to 10 elders in a district and then there is like 5 or 6 districts in the branch or zone. So I am the zoneleader of the branch and I have to keep everything in line in the residence hall which isn't that bad. It is so weird that when I got here there were elders in my district that I didn't like at all, but now we have all grown together through trial because the MTC stands for the mistakes and trials center. (jk) I love hearing all the stories here and seeing old friends like Eric Hawskins from elementary school. I also met an elder named Joel Clark who knows TJ pretty well. My companion knows Cache Guzzy and also Trevors roommate knows Chase, but I can't remember his name right now, sorry. There are some new elders here and they are really nice, but the district who got here just before them is a pain. They are all kind of crazy in the weirdest of ways.... the district that got here a few weeks before us left for San Jose today and I had to wake up at 4:30 AM to help them leave, because I am a zoneleader. I told them all about Chase and then Chase has just recently been assigned to be a trainer and I bet he gets one of them. It should be awesome!

Sorry I accidently hit send. I got grandma and grandpas letters and will write you soon. I have been cramming for time here because there is so much to do always. I have seen Elder Brett Gant here and I got a picture with him and I will send it soon. I am just kind of waiting to get more pictures first. Should I send a cd of my pictures? Also, I see Elder Danny Hanna alot which is pretty sweet. I can't wait for Argentina, they have sweet people from what my teacher says. He said everyone thinks Americans are FBI so he would always pretend to have a microphone in his shirt colar. They play soccer a ton, so I'im gonna get good! (Colton) and I am going to get sweet jerseys. Also, they have Toms there (the shoes) except they aren't called Toms, I guess, but they cost 5 pecos= 1 dollar. Sure beats 50 bucks. haha. Sending things to and from Argentina is almost impossible because customs steels anything of value even if you put Mother Mary on it. Our teacher told us a mom sent a box of ties to her elder and the mail service dropped it in a lake and they received it 5 months later haha. Mom those two cards you put in my package are really cool. Do you have them in Spanish? My district really likes them and wants to know where to get them? You sent me a quote book and I already have one remember? Do you want me to send it to TJ or did you already?
I am loving the mission, sometimes it is hard but I am growing from it. There is a quote that says "the only desire we need to have is that we are better tomorrow than we are today, God doesn't expect an acorn to be a mighty oak before it is a young sapling." Thank you for the support, upward and onward. Love Elder Smart

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Week 3 - No one said this would be easy

Hey family,
The MTC is going really well and some Spanish is starting to stick. It still is a little stressful but no one ever said to me that this would be easy to do and I know that this is going to form me into a stronger man. My companion, Elder Winger is awesome. He is so funny and the other night we had to teach a lesson to other missionaries and the topic was addressing their needs. I felt like Taylor Hartman. haha It was sweet tho and it was in English so I got to really bond with the other companionship this way. An Elder told a story about his brothers having mental breakdowns on their missions. It was great to hear the experience and the spirit was very strong. There are the most amazing people here and I wish I could get to know every single person. There are a lot of Elders and Sisters in my zone who are going to San Jose and they are really nice. I got to see Brett Grant and his companion and they are so funny because Brett is so small and his companion is big, but really nice. The food here is all tasting the same and I talk about getting a j-dog everyday (hint mom) but i can't go get one. I see a lot of kids I know and it is sweet. Apparently there is a Brighton book that floats around here at the MTC and you write in it and you put a picture of yourself in it. I heard Davis Esplin is in it and I will probably get the book soon from Elder Merkley! At the MTC bookstore they have tons of stuff to get and it is 40% off so young men preparing for missions don't stress about getting every little thing because it is cheaper here any way. I am hoping there is an apostle coming here soon for a devotional because there hasn't been one for awhile. Devotionals are awesome! Last night there was a photographer going around during the devotional and they announced he is taking pictures for an article about the MTC that is coming out of time magazine! Pretty sweet I know :) Last night the topic was planting seeds to convert generations. There was a story about how a man gave the biggest donation the church had ever received and he wasn't even a member. He did it because of his love for the Book of Mormon. He just never got around to joining the church. All because a seed was planted his family all joined the church. Amazing the power of the Book of Mormon
I love you all so much,
Elder Smart