Monday, April 25, 2011

Week 12 - Happy Easter

Hello family and friends!
I want to start out by saying congrats to Gentry for getting his mission call to Alabama! That is so awesome!
Also I want to say Happy Easter to everyone!
This last week has been really cool, but also kind of crazy. It rains buckets down here, but then it will all of a sudden just be way hot. The weather can´t make up its mind. I am starting to get used to the fact that people stare at me wherever I go haha. Everyone asks me and my companion to speak English and a cute little girl told me that I speak like they do on the tele! We were teaching her brother who is deaf and he just got baptized. That is probably the person that I have taught the best lesson to because we didn´t speak at all haha. We had to travel two hours by bus to Concordia last week and when we got there we contacted and no one was willing to listen to us and we were in a more wealthy area. Then we went to the door of a man named Alberto and he was so kind and he understood everything we said.It was an amazing experience, he was truly prepared for us to teach him. Then the next day in Concordia I was with a Latin companion for the day because Elder Black had a meeting. I saw a dogoargentino, they are dogs that are huge! Like rottweilers but they are white. It was scary. We went to this house for lunch and I have never seen so much food in my life. It was a members birthday and they tried to sing to her in English, it was so funny haha. Also in the week we went to eat at a members house named José. He made pizza for us and was so kind, it was awesome. The members serve us with everything they have it´s awesome, but I also feel awful eating their food. We got invited to a nonmembers house and they did a BBQ for us. The food was so good I was in heaven! But... he also had me try blood sausage. It was not very good, I ate all he gave me though! To conclude my week I was on my way out from church and there are sheep by our pench and I got chased by it and it tries to headbutt me. It is crazy. I grabbed it by its hair once and flipped it on its side and we got away from it haha. That´s what is happening with me down here and I´ll write again soon!
Love, Elder Smart

Jose, Elder Smart and Elder Black
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Week 11- First Baptism

Elder Smart, Allegandra, Augustina, Elder Black
April 18, 2011

Hello family, after we talked I got on the plane for my 9 hour plane ride. I didn´t sleep much but in the morning right before we landed I saw one of the most pretty sunsets ever. Then I got off the plane and we had to get on this little shuttle and we all didn´t fit on it so me and 4 elders, I didn´t know got in some little tiny car to drive to the mission home. We got there in 5 hours and the shuttle that i almost got on, got lost and arrived 3 ½ hours after we did. It was way lucky for me! Then we had interviews and spent the night there. We woke up the next morning and played some futbol and me being the big white kid got picked last haha but i held my own. Then in the afternoon I met my companion, Elder Black. He is from Idaho and everyone told me even before I met him that he was the best at speaking Spanish, in the whole field out of the shanky missionaries. (shanky=American) He is really cool and talks way fast. We then got on a bus for 9 hours to go to our area of Federal and it is pronounced Feder-all, not Federal like a prison. I already made that mistake. The buses here are so sweet and nice, they all have like lazy boys on them it is nice. We arrived at our pench as they are called at about 11:00 and Elder Black said it is a nicer pench than other missionaries have. To me it is ghetto and not really clean. My area is just full of poverty. It is like a combination of country and city. There are dogs everywhere and I mean everywhere. Most of them are nice, some bark but never bite, but once my companion said I almost got bit but I barely dogged it. It is crazy, everyone here wears “Toms” and here it is almost a symbol that you are poor. In the states rich people wear them. Me and Elder Black are the only missionaries here, within about two hours and I am not sure where Elder Winger is exactly? (MTC Comp) On Thursday we taught Allegandra and her daughter Augustina and we asked them to be baptized and they agreed. All I can do is bare my testimony, but Elder Black is a good teacher. He is the only person I speak English to and he translates stuff sometimes because people talk so fast. Well then on Saturday we had the baptism and it was cool. I got to baptize them I had to memorize the blessing in Spanish and now I will never forget it. On Sunday it rained really hard and people kind of used it as an excuse not to come to church and the streets are empty. So it feels like I am playing Call of Duty or something with the dogs everywhere. Since there wasn´t a lot of people in church it was good for me because I had to give a talk. I think people understood me haha. Elder Black said that he hasn´t really done service a lot because no one understands really that we don´t want to be paid or anything. I told him we need to find people and there is a member who is going to have a baby soon and we are making her a crib and the Dad of the girl having the baby invited us over for a BBQ! I am excited because all we eat at the pench is hot dogs, pasta, rice, and cereal. We are gonna shop today. (Dad) People give us fruit sometimes and yesterday we got a huge bag of oranges. They were the best I have ever had in my life!
I am sending some pictures and I will write again soon.
Love, Elder Smart!!
I will call you on Mothers day don´t worry :)
I also met Elder Hanson who went to Brighton. I can´t remember if you told me about him? I love you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Week 9 - So ready for Argentina!

Hello family and friends,
Man does time fly. I am so ready to go to Argentina! I leave this Monday and my flight leaves at 11:00, which is better than Elder Mendels, because he had to leave at 4:00 in the morning. I got up to walk some of my zone out to say goodbye to them, so I got to say goodbye to him also. I first fly to Atlanta and I have a 4 hour layover there. So that is when I will call home. Then I get on the plane and fly to Argentina and I get there at about 7:00 in the morning. I can't wait!!

I loved conference this weekend and we all watched it. The whole MTC, in the gym, it was really cool! I loved all the talks and one specifically that I liked was Richard G. Scotts! That night after conference, so Sunday night we had a special guest spearker Vai Sikahema and it was so sweet to here all his stories. He was great! Last night we got to hear from Elder Oaks of the 70, who is a 4 star general but everyone thought it was Dallin H. Oaks who was coming. haha It was funny. I was chosen to teach the new missionaries who come to the MTC today. They choose 15 companionships from the whole MTC to do it and Elder Winger and I were selected. . . pretty crazy.
I got the Brighton book finally, and it is full of different Brighton students pictures and testimonies. When it is full it will be sent to the Sandy Institute Center. It was really cool to read and see friends that have come through the MTC! Well I might write more later on Saturday if I can, but I am running out of time! If you want to send me a letter it has got to be before the weekend, because I won't get it Monday and Dear Elders don't come on Saturday night or just send me an email!

I love you all and thank you for the support,
Elder Smart

How is Nate doing and what is Parker doing for prom? I met someone here named Elder Sumner who is going to Japan and he knows Rand and Lyndy from Hurrican. Also Wes Hoover is here going to Japan. I see Taylor Millet all the time. Maybe I will see Brad Walker before I leave! IDK Eric Hanson, but he is in the Brighton book I believe. I think Elder Wingers mom is going to get om MM but she is also sending us some scentsy spray. It's way sweet stuff. I am really excited for Argentina. I am nervous for Spanish because I am not amazing at it, but I know it will come. I hope I can transition to there smoothly, I am very excited though! i love you so much and i can't wait to talk to you. I love you mom and I will talk to you soon and I hope to hear from you soon. love Elder Smart