Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 17 - Crazy Sheep

This last week went by very fast, we worked hard and time seems to zoom right by. I started reading the New Testament and it is amazing actually studying the ways things took place with the Savior. People here when we talk about the Savior for some reason they feel obligated to say all they know about him. It is interesting to hear what people think but also to hear a different opinion.

We contacted a man and a woman and they are really nice. They invited us over for lunch and when I blessed the food the man asked me to bless him that he could stop drinking. So I did and after we said amen he poured himself a glass. He is really interesting. He was in the war here in Argentina and he has alot of cool stories to tell. Also we found a couple and the husband is blind and the wife is sick. She said she has everything but cancer. They are evangelical and they pray so sincerely, it was really cool. They loved our message though and told us to come back whenever we wanted to.

We contacted a young man named Lolo and he is so interested in everything we have to say. He is a great guy and I hope he keeps his interest in the church. Our investigators always give us clementines and I like to give them out to kids on the street. People find it hard to look passed the suits we wear. They don´t realize we are humans. People think I am thirty and when I tell them I am 19 they don´t believe me at all. People try to take advantage of us in shops. Elder Black was buying something and the man in the shop tried to charge him double the price than the item actually was.

The sheep that attacked us before is crazy. It always is trying to ram us now and we have to run from it or we have to wrestle with it and I normally choose to wrestle it. I grab it by its hair and chuck it. Everyone in the area around our house doesn´t like it and it is gonna hurt someone one day when I have to leave this area.

That is what is happening with me. Thank you for all the support!
Love, elder Smart

He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.-Matthew 10:39

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Week 16 - 1st Transfer, Staying in Federal

Hello everyone!
Well my first transfer is now complete and looking back on it it has zoomed right past! I am staying here in Federal with Elder Black. I like it because we have a chance to keep teaching our same investigators. This week we have had a bunch of cool experiences! On Sunday we had 12 investigators at church, which was the most in the whole mission. It was really cool to see all these great people experiencing church for the first time.

We went over to one of our less active members house to see how she was doing because she was pregnant. We had helped make a crib for her. When we got there we found out that she had her baby boy just 5 days before! His name is Gabriel and he is so cute. Babies truly are miracles that have just come from the presence of our Father in Heaven. Next time I go over I will get a picture of him and the crib.

We went to one of my favorite members house and we taught Salidad who is progressing. When it came time to leave they told us to watch out for obison! Well obison is a myth in Argentina and he is basically a werewolf. People here actually believe in him. It is crazy and kind of creepy. One of our neighbors who we bought alparagatas (Toms) from has an animal called a carpincho. That is me holding it in the picture. They are funny little things. The man said they grow to be like 400 lbs. That one is only 2 months old though.

Everyone says the first transfer is the the hardest and there is a poem that I really like that I would like you to look up if you get the chance! It is called "The Oak Tree" by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr. I hope you like it :)
Thanx for the support!
Love, Elder Smart
Carpincho (Capybara in English)

The Oak Tree
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr.

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs
and pulled its bark
until the Oak was tired and stark.

But still the Oak Tree held its ground
while other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
"How can you still be standing Oak?"

The Oak Tree said, I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You'll never touch them, for you see
they are the deepest part of me.

Until today, I wasn't sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I've found with thanks to you,
I'm stronger than I ever knew.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week 15 - First Zone Conference

Hello family and friends!
This last week has been really hard, but really rewarding! We went and taught the Baldez family and the mom told us that she had a dream. In the dream she felt the love of our church. Then when we taught the lesson she cried and she said she would be baptized and so did the rest of her family! We invited them to church and we went to pick them all up and they were all waiting ready to go! We couldn´t have picked a better week for them to come to church, because it was Rubins (the 2nd counselors) farewell and everyone was really emotional including the family we brought with us. Rubin is going to serve in brazil and will make a great missionary, first one out of Federal. Rubins siblings are all members except for one brother and his parents.They are the parents of the kids who helped us teach Salidad before. We are going to start teaching the parents and if we can get a few things worked out with their lifestyles I think they will be baptized!

I had my first zone conference this last week and it was good. I didn´t understand everything but it was still good. It was my first and last meeting with president Villalba, he is really nice. It is sad I didn´t get to know him very well. Yesterday was the River vs Boca soccer game and everyone is a fan of one of the two teams. I felt like it was BYU vs Utah, but it was way more intense. The streets were empty and when Boca scored everyone yelled! When Boca won and the game was over, Boca fans were so happy they cried and they ran outside and started lighting off fireworks. It was crazy! I have decided that I like River, so elder Wells no pressure on what team to pick because you have to pick.

I am going to send pictures of animals that I have seen, but I don´t have one of the spider that I saw a few days ago. It was so big it should be paying rent at our apartment. It was as big as the palm of my hand! The picture with me and other kids is with Pablo, who is deaf. (he is on the far right). The one with the bird is at a members house in Concordia and the family has 14 kids. The kids let the bird pick at their teeth...I think I am used to all the dogs running around and people starring at me finally. And the spanish is coming along more and more. It is difficult getting used to the ways that they speak and the words that they choose to use in their vocabulary. Some people don´t understand what I say at all and other people talk so much that I don´t need to say anything anyways. haha

Well that is what is happening here in Argentina ;) thanx for all the love from everyone!
"Upwards and onwards"- Grandma Smart

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week 14 - Happy Mother's Day

Hello family and friends!
Happy Mothers Day!! Calling home was really nice and it was great to talk to everyone. Also it was awesome to hear that Ryan gets to go to Argentina on his mission! I was sooo excited to hear that:):)

 This last week we has been really good. We have found a lot of new people to teach :) including Salidad, she is about 25 or so and she lives with a family where the kids are all members but the parents are not. We taught Salidad and the mother listened to the lesson. It was really cool. Then we went back to teach again and the mother wasn´t there, which was disappointing. It was still a great lesson and it was so great because the kids help us with teaching and when they pray or answer a question the spirit is so strong. They are only like 7-12 years old! It is awesome! Well we invited Salidad to church and she came but also, so did the mom of the family. It was awesome!

One day during the week there was a lot of Jehovah witnesses out. Probably about 30 and they were going around 2 by 2. It was kind of awkward to go door to door while they were also. Surprisingly though people said that the jw's are pushy and they didn´t like them. So they would let us in just because we were not Jehovah Witnesses. We taught a lot of cool lessons that night!

There are really great families in this area and it is always great when we find them. We are teaching another investigator named Griselda and she is trying to quit smoking. We got Alejandra who just recently quit to agree to come help us teach her and give her support! It is going to be really great. Whenever we have the help of members it is a lot of help because sometimes when people see us in
our white shirt and tie they don´t see us as normal people which is difficult.

That is what happened this last week and sorry about my short letter last Monday. Sometimes the computer that I am on is really hard to work with. ha ha

Thanx for everything!
Love, Elder Smart

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 13 - My Pench

Hello family and friends!
Landon's Pench (House)

This week feels like it just flew right passed me! We taught a lot of lessons this week and there are people who say they want to find faith. They invite us into their homes and then they try to find fault in everything we say. It makes you feel really awful. Then next thing you know we knock on a door and there is a family and they all are so happy that we are there. They want to know everything we have to say and then they want to come to church. I know that the Lord prepares people to hear our message. That family has truly been prepared to hear from us and things are going well with them. I wish we could teach them everyday. Some people we have taught say they need to receive a dream from God, as to weather or not they should be baptized. Like Elder Bednar said, most of our revelations won´t be like light switches they are like sunrises. I have learned this week that the Lord dose not need to move mountains to build testimonies, all we need to do as missionaries is try to find those people. Sometimes they find us though. We were walking to a meeting and a man walked up to us, and normally when people walk up to us they are little kids or they are drunk old men. This man said his wife is a member and he said he was drinking that morning and wondered why he was doing it. He was walking home because he did not want to drink anymore and that is when he saw us. He wanted to stop drinking and he wants to change his life so now we are the ones who the Lord put in his path to help him!

I am really excited to talk to my family this Sunday. It is going to be really cool to hear from them :)

Thanx for all the love and support!
Love, Elder smart