Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 80

Hi family and friends,
This week was great! I am going to just jump right in. On Monday we were walking back to our pench when we had finished our day and all of a sudden a man yells at us from across the street. He says, "aren’t we a lil ways from home?" Well, we went and talked to him to find out where he is from and he is from Paraguay but his father is from Scotland. He grew up listening to his father speak English so he learned also. He is very friendly and he told us to go to his house and visit him.

Well we went to visit a few people who are progressing very well and had some great lessons. One of which was with a lady that we taught over a week ago and we thought she didn’t want to hear from us any more. But we kept going by. We finally found her home after 3 days and she tells us she has read all of 1 and 2 Nephi in less than a week. She started to tell us all the stories and things she has read. Then told us that ever since she has been reading the Book of Mormon, the head aches she has usually had are gone. She is incredible. We are going to teach her tonight and we will see what happens with her :)

On Friday we went to go see the man who speaks English and he wasn’t there but his wife came out and she said, Hola elderes! I was way confused but then she told us that she is a member and is from Buenos Aires. What a huge coincidence, right? So now we are teaching all her kids. It was a great week full of teaching.

On Saturday we finished the week with service and we did my favorite chore..... weeding. haha jk They put me in charge of digging up trees which was fun. (hadn’t done that for a while) While we were working huge spiders ran out of the garden and up the walls! Also, I was digging and I hit a rock. But it wasn’t a rock… it was a turtle that was hibernating underground. The members said it was a small little one though. It was like a football! It was so fun!

Also this week all the members were talking about how the USA basketball is amazing! haha

Well that was my week. I love you

Elder Smart


Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 75

Hello family and friends!
This last week has been full of a lot of learning experiences. On Tuesday morning we traveled to Concordia to do our interviews with the president and it was great to be out there as a zone because sometimes being here in Colon you feel forgotten. The interview went really good and I heard exactly what I needed to hear from the President. That night when I got back to the pench I got a call because someone asked me a question about Pergamino. Well I asked if Pablo the man who was baptized while I was there is still going to church and he is! They told me he is preparing to go to the open house of the Buenos Aires temple in August!

The rest of the week was all over the place. I saved my comp from some dog attacks and a man told us that Jesus was an alien. Also we found some great people who have come to certain moments in their lives in order to be introduced to the gospel. We were looking for a reference one night in the freezing cold and all of a sudden some guy comes up to us and asks us if we can pray with him. We told him we would go over and talk to him after we found the reference. Well we headed over to this park where he was sitting on a bench all alone. He told us he is 22, married, but split up from his wife in Cordoba. He is addicted to drugs. They have destroyed his life and he had a rough childhood. :( I felt so bad for him. He is a kid just like me but for some odd reason I was born into the Gospel and to a great family. "amazing grace".... we are so blessed with what we have. I cringe to the think that I used to get mad over simple things when I have so much and I have no reason to get mad at all.

We visited a family that is less active and they used to live in the states ha and the mom worked at the Golden Corral and had some decorations from the restaurant in her house. It was so funny. On the way back to the pench that night I thought to go see an hermana who is less active and when we got there her son got there and started yelling at his mom calling her an idiot and stuff, even in front of his own kids. I told him to calm down and he left. The hermana was crying and we shared a scripture with her and she told us what was happening in her life. We gave her some council but based in the gospel. I think we really helped. She said the lord sent us at that exact moment.

I have been sick this last week because it is sooooo cold here in Argentina. Last winter I was fine cuz I had just gotten out of Utah where winters are more cold. But now I am an Argentine and I freeze. This week is going to be cold also but I received a miracle that I am excited to tell you about!!

Last night I received a call and I was told my comp needs to go to Rosario on Tuesday morning. I wasn´t sure if I had to go with him or not, but it turns out another elder needs to go also. So I am going to stay in Entre Rios and work with the companion of the other elder who has to go to Rosario too. I will be working in FEDERAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited I cant even explain it. I feel like I am going to see my family here in Argentina! It is going to be an incredible week. 

Well I love you family and friends!
Un Beso Elder Smart

Monday, July 2, 2012


Hi mom
I hope you had a great week! And a great birthday! Thank you for the pictures of all the family and stuff. Sorry about the jersey for Parker. What happened was that I didn’t have time to find a jersey for him and Hunsaker was going to do it but he forgot I guess. The map of Argentina I went to a cool shop to get it and it had all kinds of stuff. I hope you enjoy it.

This last week was really slow, a lot of closed doors and it has been really humid so that didn’t help. All my excitement was lower but it is ok. We are going to have a great week this week! Being out here and hearing everyone’s idea of religion is so interesting and it is so incredible that they say exactly what we believe and we show them that we believe the same and they still don’t want to know the truth. Some people have closed hearts but we are looking for people who the lord has prepared.

This last week we cooked marshmallows with some kids and they loved it! It was way way fun. And also we had an activity about the atonement that we did and it went really well. The spirit was really strong. We had lunch today with the familia Leiva and they gave us sooooo much food my stomach hurts way bad ha. I will send you pictures of that also. They love country music so while we eat they always put it on and I love it.

Tomorrow we have interviews with the president so we are going to be traveling to Concordia tomorrow at about 10. Another day of travel...... Oh well ha.

I love you mom and I miss you so much you should try to get some more pics with you in them and parker.

Your Son

Do you just teach the Leiva family English?
Yes It is so funny.

What is the purpose of divisions?
We do divisions to try and help other missionaries learn and get better

What happened with the lady that was investigating the church for 6 years? Did she get baptized?
We are still working with her she has been sick

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 73

MOM HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! (this week)
How are you? Thank you for all of the great pictures that you have sent. I love them so much, keep them coming. What are your plans this week for your birthday? I hope you like what I sent you with Elder Hunsaker for your birthday. Mom how was it with Elder Hunsaker? He is such a stud isn´t he? I love that kid! He is a dear friend to me.

The MM lunch sounded like it was really fun with all those people. Tj gets home on the 15th and Taylor and Jean get home on the 1st! WOW how fast it goes by! and Brayden Miller? I get home the 13th of Feb  Wow I can´t believe it, it feels like I just started the mission....

This week we had divisions so I went out with another new elder who is very timid. We taught some people and he did great! I don´t know if it is just me but the missionaries that come out of the MTC are more prepared now than ever before. . . it is awesome. They already speak Spanish good when they get here but they don´t understand because it is to fast for them.

Elder Adair and I found a new lady to teach from Paraguay who is really cool. She is accepting to everything. We asked her to pray at the end of our lesson and she did it! She was nervous but we helped her. There are people who are willing to learn of Christ but they don´t know how or where to go. It is awesome to see how the Lord prepares people in such a way that no person could do it. . . only the hand of God. We will see what happens with this investigator but I have high hopes.

We are teaching English to the familia Leiva and they are so great! They plan on going to the USA to visit the temple and go to conference so we are preparing them with the language. They are gonna wait til I get there before they go and visit. I am sending a picture of them during an activity that we had where we played ping pong. They are on the right side. You spoke to them on mothers day.

On Sunday we had a lot of members who all want us to visit them this week and they are starting to give us references. Which is exciting because when I got here the excitment of the ward towards missionary work wasn´t great! Well that is it for now but I love you and thanks for everything.
Elder Smart

Where did you travel to for your leadership and new trainer meeting? 
We went to Parana which is about 5 hours away from Colon.

I love you mom SO SO much and I hope you have a good birthday week! I hope you know how much I appreciate all the things you do for me and for the family. Every meal you cook and every load of laundry you do.
I appreciate it all!! love you always mom
Your son


Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 72

Hey Family,
This week was an adventure. We had some traveling and some crazy experiences. On Tuesday night we had to travel to another zone to have a leadership meeting and a new trainer meeting. I went to both meetings. I can´t remember if I told you but I am district leader again. It was a great meeting and I learned a lot. It was fun to see some old faces that I had not seen in awhile.

When we got back to Colon we were dead tired from traveling. We went out and invited a less active member to help us visit some people and he at first said no and I convinced him other wise. We went out and he had so much excitement to get into houses and teach. It was awesome, it gave me the best feeling ever. We taught him and his family about temples and roasted marshmallows. (which they loved!) We talked about temples because the rededication is coming up for the Buenos Aires temple. I hope I can go before I finish the mission. We will see.

On Sunday we had cake at a members house for her birthday. It was fun to kind of celebrate fathers day with a family away from the family. Then we went to another house and had dinner. It was a food packed night. Got to save up for winter here. haha

Well those are the stories of my week. Happy fathers day! Love you!
Elder Smart

Did you eat the blood sausage?
Yes mom I ate the blood sausage.. it is like blood jello just thicker. I know it is gross. I miss your cooking alot mom, more than you know. I miss alot of things. I love it here but sometimes I get tired of being tired if that makes sense to you. I love you mom and I hope you have a good week.
Love your son
How fun that must be for you to see other elders that you have met in the mission. Like Elder Winger. How many were at Elder Wingers apt? 
9 people

What did you have to go to Rosario for? 
I went to pick up Elder Adair

How long does it take you to get there? 
8 hours....

You said Elder Adair waited in NY, did he know Rob World? 
No he doesn´t. He was in buffalo

What did you think of all the stuff I sent you? 
It was all so great mom thank you! the only thing that wasn´t necessary was the Oreos because they have those here but I still enjoyed them. Thank you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 71

Hello mom! It is so exciting to hear about all the things that are happening back at home with Ashley's mission call and everyone! I got the package from the mission home and the pictures where so great! I can’t believe how everyone has changed and everything! You and Bailee and Parker and Colton! Dad is kind of the same as before.

I met Elder Saloman and he said hey you are Elder Smart! We talked about the ward and the different people he met while there in Willow Creek. He is a big old guy ha.

This last week I was in an area close to mine with an Elder named Elder Handley. He is from New Jersey. I sent you a picture with me and 2 other missionaries well he is the one on my right side. The one on my left is named Elder Farley. They are both awesome guys I plan on hanging out with them when I get back. Me and Elder Handley went to Rosario on Wednesday afternoon and got there and did the necessary things such as visit McDonalds. We went and stayed in Elder Wingers pench after with a bunch of missionaries that I have met over the mission. 

We woke up the next morning and I was going to see Elder Hunsaker but he was far away from where I was and there wasn´t time to go see him :( Mom definitely go to his farewell he is an awesome guy. I sent things with a  Hermano here who is going to give the stuff to Elder Hunsaker and Hunsaker will get it to you guys.

I went and picked up my new comp and I was nervous he would be strange.... But he is sooooo cool. He is fun and has a lot of love for the people. He speaks good Spanish but he is getting used to the way they speak here. We went to a house the first day and a little kid asked him if he had pictures of his family and Elder Adair said no and the little kid said. "Bueno andáte" Haha (Alright leave) I laughed so hard. Then that night we visited a family and they gave us blood sausage (the blood is from a cow) and I didn´t tell him what it was until his 2 or 3rd helping haha. He was glad I didn´t tell him.

 We are having fun here in colon. I love introducing things to him because everything is so new to him and he isn´t used to things that are normal to me. I always ask "is it not like that in the united states?" because I can´t remember at all.....

The lady that is programmed is really great. She like I said has been investigating for 6 years. But what I think has helped alot right now in this moment is that we have included alot of new things with her. We gave her a hymn book and we have helped her to befriend a member in the ward. She has her date for baptism but we will see what happens because she tends to go to Buenos Aires alot to visit. We are trying to make everything work as far as time.

Well I will end for now but I love you and will talk to you all next week!
Love, Elder Smart

I will send the locro pictures next week to you ok. I love you mom so much and you look so good in the pictures from the cabin! I can´t believe how everyone is so different! It scares me... Do I look different in my photos mom? Well I love you and will talk to you next week,

Love, Elder Smart

Tell us all about your new companion. What's his name? Where is he from?
He is a stud. He was waiting in New York for his visa for a month! Elder Adair from Logan Utah

What do they do on the river? Any fish? 
Yes there are fish and stuff but they don't do much on the river.

That is a cool little boat. Do you know who it belongs too? Or what they use it for? 
No it is just there.

I sent two suitcases. One large one and a smaller one that fit inside. I hope they will be OK for Elder Santana. Do you know if he got them?
Yes he did and he says thank you! He might try to write you also to tell you personally!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 70

 Hey  family, how are you? I am really good. I will tell you first off that I am staying in my area and that I am going to be training a new missionary. I am going to go to Rosario to get him on Thursday. I am also the district leader. I am so excited because my friend here Elder Handley from New Jersey is training also, so we will be here together until the end of his mission! So exciting! Maybe I will train that kid Saloman from the Willow Creek Stake. I will at least see him!

I also might see Elder Hunsaker and his mom in Rosario. I am going to try to see him. You sent me two suitcases? and how much was it? Santana asked me the other day. I am going to get my package on Thursday and I told Elder Hunsaker to just leave it there in the mission home.

This last week we had a really spiritual lesson with the lady who had problems with her ex husband. She cried and said her first vocal prayer. It was way cool! We also taught a menus (less) active family and in the activity they all cried and now they want us to go back to their all the time. They went to church on Sunday and it was awesome to have the church just a little more full.

There is a lady in my area that has been investigating for 6 years or so and never got baptized ever. Well she is going to be baptized on the 16th if all goes according to plan!

Thank you for the package and everything and I will talk to you more next week! 
Love you always!
Your Son!

How are the people that their baby crawled out the door? Are you still teaching them? 
Yes we are teaching them and they are doing good! The Baby just crawled to look out the doorway right when we were there so when the mom came and grabbed the baby the missionaries yours truly was there ;)

Your dessert that you took to family home evening was great!!! Do they not have pudding down there or was it the worms that weirded them out? 
Just the way it looked freaked them out alot. And yes they have pudding here.

You talked about Locro. Did it really have pigs feet in it? Did you get sick? 
No I did not get sick. Yes it had pigs feet.

When do you think you will get your package?  

How is the training going with Elder Goodman? 
I didn´t train him I was his step dad, cuz I was his second comp

When you go to the river and take sunrise pics, how early do you go? And is that on your P-day? 
Yes on p-day and at about 7:30 it pops up.

Do you know how many new missionaries you got today?
24 I think

How are your investigators this week? 
Our investigators are really good right now. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Week 69

This last week has gone by so quickly I can´t believe it at all! We have found some great people to teach here. One lady that we have found recently had trouble with her ex-husband and she wants to know everything about the church. She is very nice. She has a daughter named Alma. So when I told her about Alma from the Book of Mormon she thought that was cool.
This week we had an activity for the 25th of May. We ate something called locro. It has corn and is a creamier kind of stew that is really good! You can look it up on the internet. It has like pigs feet in it and stuff everyone was telling us to be careful because it might make us sick. They said remember elders the pench (apartment) is really small. haha Referring to the bathroom. In the 1st photo it is a member who cooked the locro he is an incredible guy who invites the spirit into the room when he speaks. The 2nd photo is of the church with all the people there! And the 3rd picture is me with some kids of the ward. The members dressed up like gauchos and they danced and  everything there after we finished eating. An investigator went and we played ping pong and stuff with him and it was a really good experience for him! It was way fun to have all the members there doing something all together.

We found a new family to teach and we wouldn´t of found them if their little baby wouldn´t of crawled out the front door. The man let us in and we explained the restauration and they had so many questions and asked us how we know this is true. We shared about the Book of Mormon and the man asked us where he could get this book. We gave it to him right there and he said he would begin reading. We are going to visit them this tuesday so I hope all goes well.

Sunday night we had a family home evening and we ate pizza and we brought the desert. We took chocolate pudding with smashed Oreos in it. And then we put gummy worms in it like we do in the states for Halloween. We then shared the scripture in Job 19:25-27 when Job talks about how the worms may eat his flesh but he still has faith in the Savior. The family loved it but they where weirded out by the pudding.
That is it for this week and I hope all is well at home.
I love you!!
Elder Smart

Are the Hunsakers the ones that have a cabin up by ours? 
Are you having transfers next week? The week Hunsaker leaves?  
Yes and so I will not write until Tuesday next week

Monday, May 21, 2012

Week 68

Hey Mom I got back on the computer in the evening time because you hadn´t written me early. This week was really crazy! On Tuesday me and Elder Handley, an awesome guy from New Jersey did divisions together. He came to Colon from his area about an hour away because he had to do a baptism interview for us. We went to a house and the lady that we had only taught once came out and she had the book of Mormon we had given her. She had obviously gone and talked to here Pasteur because she had a note stuck to the book of Mormon with arguing scriptures from the bible. She gave the book back and we continued on. Well I had the book in my hand when we arrived at our investigators house who had the interview to be baptized scheduled. She had a lady out side from a different church there and I had a bad feeling from the very beginning. This lady started making comments and we said we were not there to argue with her and she said she didn't want to either. Well next thing you know it she said we were from the devil and all sorts of stuff. We bore our testimonies and left and when we went back later that night we found out that our testimonies had helped alot and the investigator said she told the other lady not to come back. And that she knew this is the true church of god and if it weren't she wouldn't be in it. She was later baptized on Saturday it was a great baptism and now her daughter who is 30 wants to be baptized also.

We had zone conference in Parana and I saw some old friends from the beginning of the mission. It was so nice. Also I found out today that a family I was teaching had their daughter baptized finally. I was so glad cuz I reactivated the father while I was there and he had the opportunity of baptizing her. 

Who all went to the MM Lunch?

That is it for this week, I love you.
Love, Your son

How are your three investigators? Have you scheduled any of their baptisms yet? 

You said that Colon is like St. George and a vacation spot. When you contact people are most of them on vacation and you won't be able to teach them again or do they live there?  
Well luckily I am here during the winter so no it isn´t that bad at all.

What kind of chocolate do you want me to send you for that family? 
Take 5 or Reese's or whatever you want!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 67

The phone call went so fast! And I can´t believe I only have one more call left in my mission! I am freaked
out by it alot... Grandpa looked great and all of you did too! All of you have changed alot it is weird.

This week was really cool. We found tons of people and have made alot of progress with alot of people. We have three baptisms coming up that I am really excited for! One is a girl we contacted and she went to
church and institute on Sunday and loved it. The members received her way well. The ward members here are all so willing to help, it is great! I Love the members here. The house from which I called is a member who lived in Pergamino years back. So I show up and I talk about Pergamino and he loves it.

Well I love you and I will talk to you next week!
Your son 

When you said Feb 13th, is that the day you are released, the day you fly out, or the day you will arrive in the US? Just curious! 
That is when I will be in the USA.

What does the Pres. do for the missionaries that are leaving?
 A dinner for them and he cuts their ties and stuff. I don´t know what else.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 66

Hey today I don´t have a whole lot of time to speak because I have to go to Rosario and do transmites. It stinks because Argentina is making it more difficult for missionaries to be here. So I have to travel 8 hours today.... on pday. I am going to call you using skype. I will see about the camera because the family I don´t know if they have one. I am going to call you at about 5 o'clock our time here in Argentina and I don´t know the hour difference. I think it is 4 or 5 hours. So I need you to send me your skype account OK? What is your account name and stuff. So be ready Sunday and I will call you. You need to right me before Sunday though so Ican get the email.

Elder Hunsaker is an awesome missionary and he is getting ready to go home. His parents are coming to get him so maybe you could send a package with them or something if you would? I will make a list and tell you on Sunday OK?

Elder Sands is a really great elder. He was under alot of stress at the beginning of that transfer and I just shared a few words with him. He is a great missionary as well and he knows how to trust in the lord.

I love you and I will talk to you on Sunday!
Love your son!

How are the investigators in Colon? 
It is really great here in colon and we are working with alot of great people who are progressing well. We find people really easy and I feel really good with my Spanish!

How is the training with Elder Goodman going? Where in Arizona is he from?
He is from Tucson Arizona and it is going well and he is learning well.

Are you enjoying training him and showing him the ropes? 
Yes ha he is great he loves my cooking and the things I know about Argentina.

Was he in Colon before you got him? 
Yes for two transfers.

Can you get microwave popcorn?
Yeah they have it here.
Elder Sands and Elder Smart

Monday, April 30, 2012

Week 65 With Elder Goodman

Hello family! Well last Wednesday was a crazy crazy day. I woke up in the morning and finished packing and everything and I went to say goodbye to some people. Then we had the baptism at 2 in the afternoon.  It was just perfect but also sad because I said goodbye to everyone there. :(  Alvero and his family were sad I was leaving because now they are active in the church and blessing their little 1-year-old girl Guadalupe next week.

Directly after the baptism I went to the pench and grabbed all of my things and headed to the terminal. I said goodbye to Elder Farley and it was sad. He is a great friend. I arrived in Rosario at 7 PM and I waited till 1 AM ha. I waited with Elder Winger and his companion. We ate at McDonalds, it was good. Also the soccer team Boca was playing and it went into penalties so the whole place was going crazy!

I got on the collectivo and I arrived in Colon at 6:00 in the morning.... Then I went out and worked all day ha. The area is basically like St. George at home in Utah. It is just a place for people to come and take it easy and enjoy like a week long vacation. It is a great place and the people here are great and way friendly. It is a branch here of about  40 people and I want to help them become a ward! That is basically it for this week but I will write a ton more next week about my new adventures!
Love elder Smart

How is your new area?
It appears to be small like Federal? It is small just like federal. But the houses are more spread out I think not so much farm country.

Your new pench?
The best shower I have ever had ever and we have a microwave! It is also very clean so I like it a lot.

And your companion?
Elder Goodman from Arizona. Tall and has red hair.  Kind of looks like that _________ kid who was on Parkers football team a long time ago. But a little taller than me.

Did you have to travel by yourself? How long?
I traveled all night I will tell you the story.

 How are the bus systems? Are they easy to use?

Grandpa wants to know if you have hot water in your shower?
Yes for the first time in a long time basically my whole mission.

Also did you get your scripture covers before you left?
Nope not yet I am still organizing that with the guy who does them. Do you think I should get Bible and Book of Mormon covers?

When was Elder Wair supposed to arrive home?
Last Thursday so give him a little time. Probably this week you will get the package.

Was he going to make contact with us?
No idea

When will you know about your Mother's Day call?
I will tell you next week because I am preparing that this week
Will you be able to skype? 
 Yes I believe so

Elder Smart and His Cake

Elder Smarts Cake
Elder Smart, Alvero, Elder Fairbanks
Alvero and his family at his baptism
Me in my Holland jersey and the River Uruguay

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Week 64 Going to Colon

Hey mom and family I will get straight to the point. I am being sent to Colon, Entre Rios. It is over by Federal kind of. It is very far away from the mission home but who knows maybe I will get to visit Federal again!! I would love that :) My new companion is from the same group as Elder Fairbanks so it looks like I am gonna pick up on teaching kind of where I left off. He is from Arizona and likes basketball and sports just like me.

This last week I have been telling people that I was leaving so all week people have been giving us food to eat. Last night I had my last family home evening with a family and they made me a cake with a shirt, tie and my name tag on it. Also tonight we have another family home evening with another family.

Well last week we had a meeting to decide when we were going to have Alveros baptism and they decided it would be this next Sunday. I was a little sad because I knew I was not going to be there for it. Well when they found out that I was leaving they changed the date to this Wednesday (tomorrow) Right before I leave! So tomorrow literally on my way to catch a bus out of here I am going to baptize Alvero. Alvero is an 11 year old kid that I found and his mom is a member and the father isn´t. The father is waiting for his divorce papers so he can get baptized. I helped to reactivate the family. They love Elder Fairbanks and me so much. They are going to church and they have a baby blessing of their little girl who is 1 years old, this week.

The picture I have sent are just some fun pictures that I thought you guys would like. But I will send more next week because this computer is working way well for me right now. I have loved my time here in Pergamino and I love the people here and I am sure I will love the people in Colon also.

I Love you mom and I hope all is well. SEND ME PHOTOS!
Elder smart

Tell us about the pictures you sent? Who are the four Elders with sunglasses? Is that your pench in the back ground?
Yes that is the pench in the background and those elders are me and my comp an farley (to my right) He is a great friend of mine.

And the little kids? Etc.(looks like a birthday party) The kids love you!!!
Yes they are little kids at a birthday. We went and we were the life of the party haha The kid in the black shirt is getting baptized.