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.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 63

 This week has passed by really slowly to me. I think it is kind of
hitting me that I might not be here that much longer in Pergamino.
Also the traveling didn´t help I am sure. I went to Rosario to do
paperwork because it has been a year  that I have been here in
Argentina! Wow... I went to the mission home and I saw all of my group
that came to Argentina here with me from the MTC. I saw Elder Winger
and everyone. It was great to see how all of us have grown and learned
so much in the gospel and in Spanish.

When we got back from Rosario we had our English class, which I love now
because there are people who actually take it seriously and want to
learn. I love explaining things to them. We speak so funny in English,
it is so confusing but we understand it perfectly. One day this week
we had breakfast, lunch and dinner with members. It was so fun to be with these
people that I have grown to love so much while I have been in Pergamino.
Members keep asking us about lunch because they know I might not be
here much longer. One night at dinner Elder Fairbanks said the funniest thing.
He wanted to say the word viaje which means trips, but on accident he said viejas.
So he said "me gustan las viejas." or I like old ladies. Hahaha The
member we were eating with started laughing so hard and I did too, but he
didn´t know what he said. hahaha

We watched the movie 17 Miracles with a family that we helped return
to the church and they loved it. They cried during all of it and the
next day at church they got up and said thank you to us for helping
them come back to church. They talked about the movie and how they
can stay strong in the church if the pioneers could do all that. It
feels good when people tell us that we help them because sometimes
when people shut the door on you it feels really crummy.

Sunday night we went and did a blessing for a hermana who tried to
commit suicide. We gave her a blessing and we promised peace to here soul
and she cried during all of it and so did her daughter. It was the
first time that we met the hermana but the daughter is someone we have
been trying to help come back to the church. Her son is great and
wants to get baptized and will be baptized this weekend or the next
one (pray for this one cuz I wanna be here) Well that is it for this
week and I will talk to you all next week on Tuesday.

Love Elder Smart


Monday, April 9, 2012

Week 62 - Happy Easter

This week was fun because it was the week of Easter here in
Argentina. The Catholics don´t eat meat, except fish. So all
week we got a bunch of questions about that. We contacted
alot this week trying to find new people because we are in need of
people to teach. We found a lady who is perfect. She has all the right
questions and she really wants answers. But, she is busy with work all the time.
We gave her a date to be baptized and I feel like she will get
baptized on that date.

We went on Thursday to play baseball at the park because a lot of
less actives go and play. I wanted to go speak to them and set up
times to visit them. Well we didn´t play cuz it is a holiday here for
Easter. In the U.S.A. it is only on Sunday, but here it is Thursday-
Monday. Man they have a lot of holidays here.

I had a meeting in Rosario for DL and ZL which was really great. I got
to see Elder Winger and Elder Pinedo. I loved catching up with them. I
have made some great friends out here on my mission who I want to
still spend time with after the mission.

Today after writing this letter I have to go to Rosario again. I have to do paperwork to be in
Argentina, because it has almost been a year since I have been here!!!
Man how time flies. I told my companion we were going  because he needed to be
trained on how to be the finance person in the mission home and he didn´t believe me.
So he called the offices, haha my friend there answered the phone and said "I
understand we are gonna be living together." It was so funny. I was
just playing, but Elder Fairbanks was nervous. haha.

Well I love you family and friends and I hope you have a nice week.
Elder Smart

Questions from home:
Did you have a nice Easter? Did you do anything special? I got a
chocolate egg from one of my good friends in the mission (Elder Santa Ana)

When are transfers? And do you know yet if you are being transferred?
Transfers are in about 2 weeks and i am 95% sure that i am leaving
here. If i don´t i will be shocked.

Who is the Elder coming home and where does he live?
 He is in Arkansa so he is gonna send the stuff to you guys.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 61 - Rosario and Robberies

This week has been crazy. We first on Monday night went to
Rosario. Which was hectic because it was me and my companion and two
other missionaries who almost know zero Spanish. So I was speaking for
us four the whole time. We got there at about 9:45 and I spoke with
Elder Faldmo, my friend from the MTC. He is doing good but he is really
tired of being in the offices though as the finance guy. He has been
there 7 months.

Tuesday morning we woke up and did all our paperwork so we can stay in
the country. We and Elder Faldmo had chili for lunch, which I haven´t
had for over a year. haha It was really good. I waited for the other
three missionaries to get back from doing their paperwork. When they
got back we went to McDonalds and I ordered all of us a bunch of food.
I forget to mention I carried all the missionary packages to Pergamino
which you will find out was a blessing.

We got back to Pergamino and then we had divisions with my district.
I went with an Elder who has three weeks left in the mission and he is
dying to get home. It made things hard but we found some new people.
In the morning we contacted a little street with two houses. We
contacted the first one and no one came out, so I thought lets go to
an area where there are more houses. Then I looked at the other house
and realized I had to contact it also. I clapped in front of the house
and a lady came out. All I said was como esta? and she told us to wait
and she came and opened the door and let us right in. Miracle, the
lord prepares people. Then during lunch there was a missionary who was
under a lot of stress and I gave him a kind of pep talk to help him. I
don´t remember what I said really, I guess that is how the spirit works.
 The spirit puts the words there and we don´t remember them
because they aren´t ours. He is a great elder and will be fine, we all
have low days.

We went out and worked again that night and we knocked on a ladies
door and she opened the door just a little and said oh sorry I thought
you knocked on my door but you knocked on the one next door. And I
said no, we knocked on your door. She didn´t wanna talk at all so I
just asked her how she was and we talked. She told me one time the
missionaries came by and they had a prayer with her and she found work
the next day. Then she proceeded to tell us her husband doesn´t have
work. I asked if we could come in and say a prayer with her for him
and she said yes. At the end of the lesson she said she wasn´t going
to let us in but for some reason she changed her mind. "a mighty
change of heart" Then she asked when we would come back. It was

The next day I got a phone call from the Zone leaders and they told
me that when they had returned home from Rosario the night before that
they had been robbed. They entered the pench and when they were
unloading things a man entered in behind them and he had a gun. He said
get down on the ground. He then took their cameras and DVD player and
money and lastly he took the suitcase that had all of the packages
and letters in it from the mission home for the missionaries. Luckily there wasn´t alot of
stuff because I had gone to Rosario two days before.

Then on the weekend we enjoyed listening to the conference in English
with all the American missionaries in a little room in the stake
center. I took many notes that I'm excited to look over during my study

Mom tell me what talks that you liked! And I want you to send me
pictures OK! Of everything that is happening as you always told me
"it´s a two way street" I send you send ;)

Mom I have an elder who is willing to take things home to you guys if
you would like. So if there is anything that you would like go ahead
and tell me. Tell me sizes and whatever it is and tell me by next week
So I can get it and send it to you in the next three weeks OK. I love
you mom and I hope all is well with you and the family
Love your son

Questions from home:

Did your T-shirt fit?
Yeah it fits pretty good. It might be a little big but that is cuz I am a little smaller I think.

Is the weather starting to get cold?  
Yeah winter is knocking on the door already here.

Are all the ruthless soccer kids LDS? Or do just random kids
gather to play?
The random kids are the ones who play ruthless the members play very appropriate with the missionaries.
Do you eat at the Bishops every Sunday?  
Yes, for the most part