Monday, December 29, 2014

Wk 30 - Happy New Year Already?

Companion: Elder Gonzales
Area: Chillan

Elder Hancock,
elder garder who came with me to the mission from arizona
 elder catron from argentina
 elder herrera from washington
 elder gonzalez from chile
 elder mcarthur from my high school
 christmas morning

Elder Hancock

i would be lieing to say the time isn't going fast. this week has gone by so fast and we had transfers today and i am still with the same comp for another transfer. it was weird to see all the missionaries that finished their missions yesterday. it was kinda hard to see elder hancock and other missionarys leave but i sure am grateful for them. i will see hancock next week with his parents as well in church.

on christmas we played games like soccer in the church with 2 other zones from chillan. i am not going to lie i kinda miss using my hands in sports. haha all the latins want to play soccer and thats it! haha its all good i enjoy  it as well!! 

this christmas was a little different this year! obviously because i am not in my house and all but as well because i focused a little more on christ. in the streets we talked about how He is the gift in our lives. how we can obtain the happiness in our lives and the peace in our lives through him. personally i really did enjoy christmas this year. i did miss the snow and it was weird because christmas day was so hot but i had a wonderful christmas. i would have never thought i would enjoy christmas being away from my family but i definitely did. i love you guys a ton!

no we dont do anything for new years we just walk in the streets and teach lesson like normal i am pretty sure! well i love you guys a ton. and it was way nice to speak some spanish with austin!! haha i am going to send some pics of some of the elders that finished their missions.

elder smoot

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wk 29 - Merry Christmas!!

Companion: Elder Gonzalez
Area: Chillan
took this pic this morning before we left the house!
elder jensen and elder sanchez from argentina

well first of all it does not feel like christmas at all! haha yes there are a lot of decorations up and all but its like hot outside so its weird! thats really strange it has been raining in Utah!!

but this week it went by really fast! i cant even remember what i did! all i know is people there are so many things to do in the mission it is crazy! i am excited to talk to you guys this week! that will be crazy!! 

the family of elsa is awesome! elsa lives with her grand daughter and her family but elsa was baptized recently and she has a really strong testimony! it is so cool to see!!

i loved seeing those pictures of the temple! looks like you guys are having a good time!!!

when ever i see my family is happy it brings me a ton a joy.

today i am going to have a carne asado (bbq) with elder hancock and elder pavon becaue they finish their missions in like 1 week! it is so crazy to see how time flies here!! i am sure going to miss seeing elder hancock around!

tomorrow something is going to happen that is pretty cool! the whole mission is coming the chillan which is our church. our church is like the center of the mission and we are going to have all the mission in one church so that will be crazy!! that is going to happen tomorrow!

one thing that is cool i just kept forgetting to tell you this that there is a member in our ward that got back from her mission like 2 months ago and she came from santiago! (Arzola is her name) she showed me a pic with all the missionaries in her mission and i saw a familiar face! i saw nick spinder and she knew who he was and everything! she said he was really quiet and i said yep thats him!! haha it was a cool connection!

i hope you guys have a wonderful week! i love you all so much!!

Elder Smoot

Monday, December 15, 2014

Wk 28 - Elsa´s Baptism!!

Companion: Elder Gonzalez
Area: Chillan
Elsa's Baptism!

Well as you can see all went well with the baptism of Elsa! We had a wondeful experience and i loved it a ton!

for this christmas we were thinking about writing at 3 on christmas day if that would work for you guys? it would be like 11 there i think!

its so crazy how fast time goes here! i cant believe it is half way through december! i cant believe it hasnt snowed there yet! the family of elsa has little kids and so i think i am going to give them that little tie! this family is so cool! they were inactive and are now returning to the church and are saving money for the temple in april!! it is great to see the sacrifices people make!

We found a family of 2 that are pretty golden investigators. it is a mom and her son! the son is called mateas. which is matthew! and the mom is aurora! we did find them using the 'he is the gift!'

it is awesome here! it is just weird to see all the christmas stuff but it is pretty hot outside!! i do love this work! I will see if i can get the skype thing working for you guys by the way! 

I just want you guys to know that over this time on the mission the gospel has become the most important thing to me!! yes i do miss you guys a ton! 

i hope all is well with you guys and one experience that i had at the baptism was awesome. after her baptism people were sharing their testimonies and elsa began to cry and this old lady felt the spirit so strongly and it was a moment when i felt so much joy.

i hope you guys can strengthen your testimonies every day!! 

Elder Smoot

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wk 27 - Christmas is hot this year!!

Companion: Elder Gonzalez
Area: Chillan

from the Christmas package
(had to take some out because it got wet!)
From the mission blog during interviews last week (Concepcion Mission Blog)

The week was quick! every week goes by way fast so i will start will last monday. i went back to concepcion to get my ID card for chile and it is about a an hour and a half from chillan to there and i stood up the whole time! haha it was pretty awful but oh well!! i got to the office and i found my package and i was happy to see my christmas package!!:) it was a pain to carry it all the way back to chillan! haha it was so heavy! we walked so far that day and i was carrying it all day! 

So this week we will have another baptism of Elsa. She is a little cute grandma and she is awesome! her family were all less actives and now the whole family is going to church again and they are awesome! they got 4 kids that are all little! the dad is preparing to recieve the mel. priesthood and he is going to baptize his oldest son that just turned 8. it is awesome to peoples testimonies grow! 

we had a miracle that happened this week and it was when i went with another elder to teach this less active and we got there and she had her sister over from another area. so we taught the restoration and it was a really good lesson! i think it was one of the best lessons i have taught about the restoration. at the end of the lesson the sister of the less active told us yes i know everything you guys said is true. so we wrote down her address and we gave it to the sisters who work over there. so they will continue to teach her!

it is wonderful down here. my sector is huge so we walk a ton and in this area we have members wash our clothes for us so thats nice!!

i will talk to you guys about the skype thing when i know! i will try to figure that out this week! i hope you guys are good!! have a wonderful week!!

Elder Smoot

Monday, December 1, 2014

Wk 26 - Baptism!!

Companion: Elder Gonzalez
Area: Chillan
the baptism of Miguel
 Walmart (Lider in Chile)

So this week we had a baptism and it was wonderful. My companion and I are seeing miracles from obedience and it is just awesome. A little bit more about Miguel is he was a Evangelico before and last week he was supposed to be baptized but his daughter was telling him stuff that wasn't true about our church and about Joseph Smith and so he backed out last week. So my comp and I we explained everything again about the restoration and we got him to get a testimony for himself. as you can see he was baptized and is probably one of the happiest people i have every met. it was just a good experience seeing people receive the blessings of the Lord. 

We have been working with a lot of people  but they arent progressing because they dont go to church. and we have Elsa who is going to be baptized on the 13th of december so we are excited for that. 

My new area is huge!! we walk a lot more and there is more field and open area.

Time goes pretty fast but the days are always so long. by the time i get in my bed i am out and then the next day starts like 2 seconds later it feels like

I have one funny story from this week. so we got into this house and this is an old man and his name is Leon(it means lion in english) and we found out he did not like those gringos(white people). as we told him our names he kept saying he couldnt understand me and in reality he wasnt listening to me. he asked me why all the northern americans have names like Smith!? i was like my name is Smoot! haha he thought that i was just a relative of Joseph Smith and thats why i wanted to share this message with him. anyway we found out he just had something wrong with (against) those whites kids! haha

well this week we had a annoucement about how we are sharing and helping people focus on jesus christ this christmas. i am sure dad has heard of it and helped with it i am not sure but the new video about christmas. it is called, he is the gift. It is a way cool video and we have cards to give to people about focusing on jesus christ. it is pretty cool how the church is doing this and sharing the importance of christmas with everyone!

well i hope you all have a wonderful week and by the way i completely forgot it was thanksgiving! 

Elder Smoot


*tell me about your new comPanion!
from columbia and i like him because we are both exactly obedient because sadly there are missionaries that arent

*what was your best day this week? And why? 
i think it was the baptism because it was the day you see work pay off

*did you get your Christmas package yet? 
i have the package in my hands right now. no worries.:)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wk 25 - Libertador (name of the ward i am in)

Companion: Elder Gonzalez
Area: Chillan
a member came to say good bye
Elder Pavon and I leaving from Andalein
well i got to say it is nice to have a different view of things and to be in another area! this week was pretty dang good! this past week we had 4 people commtited to baptism! 
but the part that was bad is only 2 came to church. Miguel is going to be baptized this saturday and Elsa is going to be baptized the 13th of December so that's cool! we are going to keep working with the other 2 to come to church! i am learning a lot from my companion right now and i am enjoying teaching right now.
Well now it is time for the story i have! this week nothing crazy really happened but we talked to this guy who did not like gringos(people from united states). he was just going on and on how he didn't like them and he was a little drunk and all i said is well i like chile. it was pretty funny though and it was just an old guy who doesn't like gringos and blames the USA for everything haha. 

something new is we have 1 hour on the computer which is less time and 40 mins to skype on christmas just so you guys know!
i want you guys to know that all is good and i love being here. i live with 2 latinos and 1 other american. elder jensen, elder sanchez, and my comp is elder gonzalez. i will send some photos of elder pavon and i when we left the house in Andalien and a member that came to say bye. 

love you mom and family! i hope you all have a wonderful week. i will take more pictures next week of my sector. i took a video of my house but this computer doesn't have the program to translate the video so i can't send it. i will take pics of the house! 

love you guys

Elder Smoot

*tell us about your new area!:
well it is a lot bigger so i walk a ton! as well it is a lot hotter here than other areas so it is nice. i love the heat right now! i sweat a lot but it is only going to get hotter! 
yeah i will take more pics next week. this area is a lot safer so i just didnt take much pics because i was getting use to everything

- the travel to your new area:
i rode a bus that was nice and big with some other elders

-your new companion
elder gonzalez is way legit. we get along real good and he knows a ton of english. he is from columbia but knows a ton of english. we most talk in spanish though

-the ward?:
it is a ward ( barrio in spanish) and the members are nice but they just dont have a desire to work with us much so that kind of sucks

*do you do anything for Thanksgiving!?:
no we walk around and talk for thanksgiving and teach lessons

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wk 24 - ¡Me voy a la Chillan!

Companion: Elder Ramos
Area: Andalein
 the breakfast we had with our zone before they announced transfers
(yes i do cut my own hair right now)

the package 

This week was pretty good! i really enjoyed this transfer with my comp from brazil! i learned a little Portuguese for tanner and everything!;) i am excited to go to chillan and i heard it is a cool place but very hot in the summer! right now in the mission i feel pretty good and i really did love the members here in Andalien! i will be about 2 hours from the mission office so i don't know if i will be able to check if i have mail every week! but its all right! i am excited to get a different view of things. i feel like i have been in Andalien forever! haha 

I want to share a spiritual experience that i had. We were teaching one of the converts that i had Lorena and Ignacio. it was yesterday that we went to their house and this time something was different. she didn't seem so happy she was on edge with her kids and she didn't seem too happy. as we saw that she didn't come to the stake conference we had earlier that day and she hadn't been reading the scriptures and didn't do anything that we had asked to do. just so you guys know she always reads and always is the nicest lady and always does what we commit her to do after the lessons. we found out that she hadn't been reading and well hadn't been feeding herself spiritually speaking. i saw the difference in her and in the lesson she told us that she feels a difference when she is doing the things to feed herself spiritually. she told us that she is happy even during times that are hard and it was really powerful to me.

what i really wanted to say is that is so important to read every day and pray sincerely so we can have the strength and the help from God during those times that are hard. that experience stood out to me and was a testimony builder and how important it is to read every day and the blessings we will receive from that.

anyway i am happy to be here and i love doing what i am doing. i am grateful for you guys and all the support that i receive. i am sending a package today with letters for christmas so you might get it after christmas i don't know! but i love you guys so much and i hope you guys have a wonderful week!:)

Elder Smoot
Thanks for the picture Carlos!
Despidiendo a Elder pavón y Elder smoot

some questions/answers:

*Do you know about transfers yet? 
yes and i am changing to Chillan! it is 2 hours away from the office so i cant go to the mission office every week anymore!

*tell us about your experience last week!?
mom it really was nothing i will it explain it on christmas more yeah? but basically we ran into some people who took our stuff!  i have my camera still no worries because before we started working i took my camera out i dont know why but i just did so it was cool that the lord was looking out for me-i just had my spanish scriptures but i have new ones now and my hymn book in spanish and thats basically it. oh and the tie bar from tanner was in the bag i forgot it was in there so they took that. i am really bumbed about that.-i had the shoulder bag on when they took it. so i dont have it anymore

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wk 23 - God is always watching out for those missionaries!

Companion: Elder Ramos
Area: Andalein

one of my zone leaders elder miranda
tannner mancill he is our stake and jenna's friend
he is in the mission concepcion south and I saw him in the office-
(we share offices with the South mission)

so i will write hand written letters to all of you this week and answer all of your letters!

i am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary! i want you guys to know that i love you all so much and i pray for all of you every day multiple times a day!! this past week my testimony has been strengthened about how God is always watching out for those missionarys! all i want you to know mom is i am ok and i am very happy.

i would like a new little hymn book in Spanish if you could do that:) just know i am so grateful for your prayers and i do love this gospel so much!

this week i was with my companion and we were teaching a lesson and he said a word in portuguese and it was pretty funny! i guess those misionarys who know portuguese and spanish it is hard for them at times to speak one language or the other because some of the words are the same! i like having this comp because he is teaching me some words in portuguese as well! 

my companion and i are having a hard time finding people and yeah right now it is a difficult time. we walk a lot. we do contacting we have lessons with recent converts and less actives and we knock doors and referrals we use a little bit. when we get them we use them. the truth is we always find less actives and they don't want anything but i feel like the times that it is hard to find people you grow the most. i think that is true because you learn to depend on the gospel for your happiness and god.

i love how much i have learned about the scriptures. there is one scripture in Alma 13:24 that talks about how angels are here on the earth preparing the hearts of men to receive the gospel and that scripture brought me so much happiness.

i hope you all have a wonderful week and it brings me so much joy to see how happy my family is! love you all!!

Elder Smoot

Monday, November 3, 2014

Wk 22 - ¡Todo bien en Chile!

Companion: Elder Ramos
Area: Andalein

well this week was pretty good! every Wednesday we play soccer so that's always fun! 

one thing that happened is one of our recent converts well she was baptized like 7 months ago and she died from old age this past week! we always visited her and her daughter was always with her in the house and this past Sunday they had the funeral in the church after church and the daughter talked to us a little bit before the funeral. she expressed how grateful she is for the missionaries and having them always visit her mom and it was cool to see because her daughter is a less active and is participating in another church and she was expressing how grateful she was for the missionaries. i hope that she can find her way back to the true church. we are going to continue to visit the daughter and hopefully we can help her out.

i really have no idea what to write! one thing that i have learned here on the mission is to depend on the gospel and the spirit to bring me happiness and comfort. i am grateful for the comfort that i can have when i am so far away from home. it is a testimony builder how true this church is. i know without a doubt this church is true and there is nothing i would rather be doing than sharing the happiness i have. 

i just want to thank you mom for the dog dazer thing that you sent me! it has brought me a of entertainment! haha i will just be walking in the street and a dog will start barking. i use the thing and that dog just runs right off! its like magic! haha but there are some dogs that just get more mad and that's when we just walk the other way! haha!

 i enjoy my new companion and he is a great guy! we have 2 more weeks left with this transfer and it has gone by so fast!

one thing that i have learned and i am so grateful for is it is more important to please God than men. 

i hope you all have a wonderful week and i love you all!!

Elder Smoot

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wk 21 - . i have found so much happiness this week

Companion: Elder Ramos
Area: Andalein
saw my old companion today! (Elder Incil)

my comp and i are having a hard time finding right now and everyday is kind of long but i feel like this is the time where i have grown the most spiritually. i have realized that i am not always going to have success but i still have to find happiness. i have learned a little bit better how i can depend on the Lord Jesus Christ and how i can find happiness. i have found so much happiness this week. yes we have walked a ton this past week but i have never been happier talking to every person we see and testifying to of the truthfulness of the gospel. i don't know if you knew me before but i would have never done this before my mission. i feel like i am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and i am not ashamed to tell every person of the happiness that they can have.

this week i have felt the adversary working on me more than i have ever felt before but i have felt more peace and happiness through pray and it is something that is hard to explain. many times this week i have felt the efforts of satan but i chose not to listen and rely on the gospel and the scriptures for my happiness. family i want all you guys to know i love you all so much. there is not anything in this whole world that is more important than to return to our father in heaven. thinking about this a lot lately and about baseball. i have made the decision to focus on family and the gospel after my mission. baseball has been really fun and all but i have realized that there is more. 

2 weeks ago we watched this video that Jefferey R. Holland spoke at the mtc of provo. he talked about Preach my Gospel and how the program that we have is awesome. he talked about how before we had a problem with our program how all the lessons were memorized and nothing was really to find the needs of the people. he also said that Gordon B. Hinckley knew there was a problem because they were always focusing on the investigator and not the missionary. he talked about how the missionary needs to be converted and to have a testimony before they can convert someone else. he said that there were missionaries after their missions would fall away from the church because they weren't converted before and how could you fall away after preaching about it for 2 years. anyway this video was powerful and if you can find the talk on the internet and watch it i would like all you guys to watch this one talk. 

so i am on my fourth paragraph and i hope you are happy mom;) i just want to testify that there is nothing more important than to return with our father in heaven. i love all you guys so much! i hope you all have a good week and the story with jewel is awesome! i love spiritual experiences like that! love you fam!!:)

Elder Smoot

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wk 20 - New companion! /videos!

Companion: Elder Ramos
Area: Andalein

Andalein Zone Conference

ok so like every day this week was way fast! it is still weird to think that i am on my mission! it is weird to think how fast time goes! 

So i am getting a package ready for you guys! is there anything that you would like in it specificly? i got to say my favorite present is the one i am giving to Austin! you guys just have to wait and see! haha
On saturday i had a really cool experience and i was a good example of somebody that had really strong faith. My comp and i visited an old lady in our ward and she had been sick for the past 3 days and she asked us to give her a blessing so she could go to church the next day. i felt like i needed to bless her that she would feel better tomorrow so she could go to church. it was a spiritual experience for me and she said a closing prayer after we shared a scripture and in the prayer she said that she had no doubt that she would feel better tomorrow and that she could go to church! it was a cool experience for me to see someone with strong faith.
one funny story is there was a little fat kid up on a hill and we were walking back from lunch yesterday and the fat kid said to all his friends "LOOK the mormons!!!" they all had toy guns in their hands and they all started pretending to shoot us and it was pretty funny! 

all in all everything is good i love the gospel so much!! i know how important it is to continue to build your testimony everyday!!
Elder Smoot
New Elders in the house!

*hows the new comp?!
he is cool i am going to send a video of him talking in portuguese for tanner 

*hows the weather?
it is perfect right now. not too hot and not too cold! 

*do you still get fed every day?
yeah every day except p day because we are in centro most of the day writing and buying food

*how is chile most different from here?
-well every one speaks spanish haha 
-you need to lock up your house and every house has a gate around it 
-well it is very dirty here. people just throw stuff on the ground! it is sad to see how people are here 
-i hate dogs here! there are too many dogs in the street and they always bark as you walk by so pretty much i just get barked at most the day. don't get me wrong i love being here!! 
-some people use horses and not cars. most people just get around by bus. 
-we yell to knock on doors! Ahloo!!! haha because everyone has a gate so we can't knock. at times there is a little door bell by the gate you can push! but there is a ton of different things! 
-some houses i cant stand up straight and i always got to watch for my head! haha

Monday, October 13, 2014

Wk 19 - This week was fast!

Companion: Elder Ramos
Area: Andalein
Good-bye to Elder Incil 
this lady was sealed in the provo temple and is a member in my area
she lived in chile but only visited to be sealed)

I cant believe how big Dixie looks. i only remember her crawling around and thats about it! i would love if you would send pics of her kids!

It is kinda hard to remember all the stories that happen but don't worry i have them written in my journal so that's good! every day it seems there is something that happens that makes all the walking and all the talking to the people worth it. a couple days ago my companion and i we were just walking a ton that day and we were so tired and the sun is down by this time and we saw this lady and we decided to go and talk to her and we talked to her for 15 minutes or so and we shared about the temples and how she could do work for her family in the temples and we got an appointment with her this next saturday and was very interested! i hope all turns out all right with her!

It is weird here on the mission. i am so happy but always so tired! haha but honestly i dont think i have ever been happier in my life. on the mission over time that you have experiences you realize the importance of decisions, family, and well the church on the earth. I couldnt be more grateful to have all my familiy on the path to return to live with father in heaven! i am so grateful for all you guys! 

i will try and send another video hopefully it will work!! have a wonderful week family!

love you all!!!

Elder Smoot

some questions/answers:

*tell us about your new companion? 
my companion is Elder Ramos and he is awesome! he is a good guy and i feel like we will get along! he cant really speak english and can understand english but we only talk in spanish it is just easier for both of us. he is from Sau Paulo Brazil! He has been out 11 months

*How's it working out with 6 Elders in your house? 
it is crazy i just work out and get in the shower really fast so i am not last haha

*tell us about the people you are teaching now?
we are trying to find people right now and so only less actives right now

*how big is your ward? how helpful are the members in helping the missionaries? 
about 150 people attend but there is so many less actives and we have a lot members that go to the lessons with us

*do you use that bug spray I sent you? How bad are the fleas? 
yeah i dont really have a problem anymore

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wk 18 - Conference!

Companion: Elder Incil
Area: Andalein

i make pancakes almost everyday in the morning

all are members in front of the church

I learned so much from Conference and it was a way good experience! i don't know why but conference is so much better when you are on your mission! i have to share something for tayton because he popped in my head when actually i don't remember who said it but it talks about studying the scriptures daily and how you can be safe from the effects of satan through daily scripture study. i have a huge testimony about that and how that helped me to be better my senior year of high school. i just want you tayton to have daily scripture study and i promise you that it will bless your life.

All right i will get to your guys favorite part of a funny story! this week we were eating lunch with bishops family and the bishop has a little son and he doesn't like corn at all. his mom fed him corn and someone said hey is that corn and the kid didn't realize he was eating corn till someone said something and so the kid started gagging and just lost it!! haha! i was laughing so hard because elder Hancock cant stand throw up at all and he was plugging his ears and looking away and he almost lost it as well. anyway i thought that was pretty funny and i wanted to share that!

Family i want you guys to know those 4 tools that elder Holland talked about is something you guys can do to strength your testimonies as a family. there is nothing that would bring me more joy than to know that my whole family has strong testimonies in the gospel. I did enjoy the video that you guys did for me. i was able to watch that today and i had no idea the zone leaders were doing that for the missionaries. i enjoyed the part where Austin was speaking spanish it was pretty sick! 

anyway i love you guys so very much and i know how important it is to have a growing testimony everyday. hope you all have a wonderful week. 

con amor,
Elder Smoot

one interesting thing i want to tell you- they opened a new sector and because we have a big house we are going to have 6 elders living in the same house so that will be crazy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wk 17 - Baptism!!

Companion: Elder Incil
Area: Andalein
pretty much the sign says hi family!

this is the kid ignacio that i baptized

check out this big plate of meat i was definitely in heaven for a while there

As you saw in the picture i do actually enjoy the food here!

So this past week my comp and i had 2 baptisms which is way exciting because this family had been coming to church for 2 months now and now they were finally baptized! it is cool because they really want to go to the temple as a family as well. gosh when we talk about the temple i like thirst to go to the temple and it sucks because i cant go right now! haha i think one of the first things i am going go do is go to the temple here in about 20 months! haha it is fun to talk to people and see people feel the spirit!! 

I had a really cool experience this past week or i think it was this past week! the weeks kind of blend together but we were teaching this person who was baptized recently and she had not been making good decisions and i have never seen her in the church once since i had been here but we teach her all the time. we talked about her life in this lesson and how nothing in this world is more important than returning to our father in heaven. there was a lot of silence in this lesson where i think the spirit taught her and not us as missionaries. it was cool because we didn't say anything and she started crying because the spirit was so strong. it goes to show as you let the spirit teach and you give an opportunity for the spirit to teach people will feel the spirit. 

another story that is pretty funny. so you guys know that i look like a giant walking down the street with my companion and we were walking down this street and 2 kids were playing soccer and they all stopped and stared at us as we were walking and one of the kids pointed and said LOOK its BIG!! and my comp and i started laughing and it was pretty funny! 

but this week was good and time flies here and I love my family more and more every day!! and it brings me joy that i know my family can be together forever. 

Elder Smoot