Hermana Smoot

Hermana Smoot
Hermana Smoot

Monday, December 29, 2014

Week #22 ( Dec 29, 2014) Lots of fun pictures i found on sister Harveys blog!

Hello world!  

How is everyone? I hope  that everyone just had the most amazing christmas  ever! It was an incredible opportunity to be a missionary  on christmas. I missed home a little, but it was so nice just to focus on love and the atonement of our savior jesus Christ. Becuase HE is christmas. 
For christmas  we celebrated it with a family in the ward. They have a big dinner in the night with turkey (that was half frozen....then they had to microwave it...but that´s a story for another day haha.) And then after we  left, they  opened all their  presents after midnight.  On christmas morning we got to open our gifts that we  had from people in the ward and each other and also the  AMAZING package from mom. Thank you so much. Seriously. And we had  to stay in our  house for two days. And I realized that time passes a lot faster when you are working hard. :)
It was so amazing to  talk to you guys this week. You  are all so incredibly supportive and loving. I can´t thank you enough for everything you do for me. It´s amazing to know that I have such a  great support backing  meup.

If there is one thing that I  learned...again...this week it is that of humility. And that really  nothing is possible without it. I think I was feeling a little too confident in my ablities to teach or something and I wasn´t relying on the lord. And we tried to teach and I couldn´t feel the spirit and it was a time of frustration. But I  realized that heavenly father was giving me a little nudge and giving me an opportnity  to learn. I know that I am nothing  without the lord, but with  the lord we can be incredible and "boast of our god." I love this work so much. And there are days that are incredibly hard and your companion steps on your  glasses and you just feel like crying...but looking back, we learn so much. And  with faith  in the lord, all of the little things aren´t important. And we can do everything with Him.

Thank you again so much for everything. there  are not enough thank yous to say for  everything you have done. I wish you all love and happiness in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Happy new year. And happy anniversary yesterday mom and dad!!

Love, Hermana Smoot
P.S. Yes my glasses broke......is there a possibility that you could send new ones? We´ll have to figure that one out. 

PS I  just love   you all. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Week # 21 ( Dec 22, 2014) Merry Christmas/FELIZ NAVIDAD y MAs Felicidad.

Ok. I´m just so happy right now. 

This week was crazy and so incredibly lovely. I just love the mission. And christmas in the mission is actually really lovely. And everyone tries to make is special. For example, we had an activity with 2 other zones and the president and his wife. We ate together an put on skits and then we all went to this big plaza in downtown puerto montt and SANG christmas songs. (And they let me sings a solo/duet and it felt way to good to be in front of a microphone. way too good.) But really. Christmas is so amazing and we have been still been singing for everyone and their dogs to bring te spirit. At doors and on the street and for all! 

But there are things in the mission, aside all that is beautiful, that are so incredibly hard that your heart just feels like it´s going to explode.
Names have been changed.
This week I learned so much of the grace an mercy an love of our savior Jesus Christ. The other day we went to the Lopez house.  We were always excited to teach this family, especially the father, Javier.  When we went in, he wasn´t there and when we asked his family they told us that he had been drinking. I honestly couldn´t believe it. And I thought it was a joke. But it was true. And at the end of our lesson with them, Javier came down the stairs, a little bit drunk still, with tears in his eyes and the deepest remorse in his face. When we left I was heartbroken. He is baptized and he already stopped drinking. He was always our hope. The person who we could count on to do his reading and to come to church. Someone with a testimony. Someone who changed. How could this happen. But I was studying the next morning the talk that Elder Packer gave on the Hope of christ this conference. And I realized that everything I new about starting over and clean slates applied more than ever. The power and hope of the atonement of jesus christ stretche beyond all  bounds of comprehension. He can start over. Even if he has already changed and been forgiven. We all make mistakes and no matter how big the fall, we always more forward and upward with the light of christ. 
I know with all my heart that this church is true. And the our savior directs it. I hope that this christmas we can not only remember that perfect quiet baby in bethlehem, but that we can remember the savior and redeemer who suffered for each one of us so that we can live a life of happeness. Free of guilt and pain. And eventually return to our father through him.
I love  you ALL!! Merry Christmas.

Love Ally

PS we are going to have christmas with a family in the ward. And here it´s the night before that is huge. Where they eat and open all the gifts at midnight

PPS I gave my first talk and spanish! Woohoo. That was interesting. But good overall. Also, english is really hard now. 
Feliz Navidad! del Trio. Hna Bretòn, Hna Harvey y Hna Smoot!

Also, fed a goose. It was great.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week #20 (Dec. 15, 2014)

Hello Everyone!

Oh my goodness, being a missionary is so lovely. Really. It´s like I´m so tired and my body hurts and there is no time to rest, but I´m super happy. 

This week FLEW by and I´m sorry that I never have a ton of details. The days just go by so fast! Being in a trio is way too fun. There are a lot of ideas and it´s takes a little longer to get out the door with three girls. (wlecome to my entire life) But it is so fun. And we work A LOT! We´ve been really focusing this week in people that are really going to progress in the work. And therefore we have stopped teaching a lot of people that have been investigating for ever and don´t want to make decisions. It´s sad at times because everyone is a child of god and everyone will benefit from living the gospel, but it´s just not their time. One of the hardest facts to face on the mission is that everyone has their agency and we can only do so much. But in the process of this, we have been able to find amazing families! For example, we contacted a man and his son in the street and set up an appointment to visit them. And when we went, we met his wife, who is so kind and was talking about how she was really excited to recieve our message and we were all giddy inside the whole time. And they are going to be baptized and live forever as a family I just know it. 

Also, we  have really been taking advantage of La Navidad! As we knock on doors and they don´t want anything, we just say we want to sing a hymn for them. And then they listen and take our little cards and are super receptive. Also it´s super fun. Music is a miracle. 

This life is so beautiful. I´m so glad that I´m learning to enjoy life, even when there is so much to do and so much to think about and to stress about. I know with all of my heart that this chruch is true and when we excersize our faith and LIVE the gospel, we will be happy. Enjoy life here in the beautiful world, becuase we are here "that we might have JOY!" No se preocupe, sea Feliz!

MUchisimo amor,

Hermana Smoot

PS It´s really hard to speak in english. I never thought this day would come. Please excuse my grammer. Ashley, I have no idea how all your letters were so beautifully written. I can´t think of any words. ;)
xoxoxo. Disfrute la vida. 

Hna Bretón y Hermana Harvey

Adorable kittens from one of the families in the ward.

Week # 19 (December 8, 2014) Trio time!

New Companions-A TRIO! 
Hna Harvey ( from California)  
Hna Breton (from Dominica Republic)

Hello my dear loved ones!!!

There is never enough time to say everything that has happened ESPECIALLY this week. But in short I have new companions!!!!! WOOOT. And we are a lovely little trio. There aren´t enough hermanas in the mission this cambio, so we are 3 now. The sector of Hna Harvey (the hermana from the CCM that was training at the same time and was in the other sector next to ours) and Hna Breton from Dominican Republic are my new comps and our sectors COMBINED. So now we have a GIANT area and millions of investigadores and people to find. At first it was very very difficult. Not going to lie. After Hna Figuerdo left (tears of sadness) I was basically given responsiblity to remember all the people we have to teach and where everyone lives and what I have to do and......responsibitlies... And I was scared and I´m still a really new missionary. Even though I´ve been her for a while. But through all of it, and a lot of prayer we have been able to do it. And I know that when we humble ourselves, the lord will help us. He is there to help us progress and learn through our trials. We just have to trust him. 
But apart from the added stress, I´m having WAY too much fun. Having three people is so much fun. We just laugh and talk and enjoy ourselves too much. And for example, last night we had singing lessons and I sang one of my old musical theatre songs for them. And the Hermana Harvey said "I wanna Act!" So we burst out in "a few of my favorite things" from sound of music. And it was absolutely hilarious. We are also working super hard as well. Hna Breton is a DOER. But a doer with a smile on her face and the intention to enjoy her time. So we are having fun and talking to every person we can find and doing the work of the lord and it is beautiful. So en fin, I just want to say that even when there is so much to do, and when we feel like we can´t do it, PRAY and the lord will lighten our burdens. And then enjoy your life. We only get one and it is ¨that we might have joy¨ 

You are all so beautiful and lovely and I love all of you SO MUCH: 

Que estén MUY bien. xoxox

Hna Smoot

Baptism de Guillermo from last week!!! He is amazing! Next step temple with ALL the fam.
This one just shows his happy face better. With our papita. Hno Leon. 
Volcan Osorno. We went with all the missionaries!!

Be jealous.

Monday, December 1, 2014

week # 18 (Dec. 1, 21014) Baptisms and Cambios!!

Hola familia!

I wish I had more time to write becuase this week was ridiculously full of work and miracles. But I´ll just focus on the most important.

I finished my training yesterday, and I know I still have SO MUCH to learn. There was a moment this week where I really didn´t know if I could do everything and lead our sector and be responsible for so many souls. But as I fell to my knees I told my heavenly father that I knew I was here for some reason. I have my own talents and heavenly father wants me here for some reasn. But I need help. Although I didn´t actually recieve that sudden peace and tranquility that everyone talks about, I did recieve an answer. Becuase at the end of that day, after I pushed myself out the door and worked hard, we had two new investigators and saw so many miracles. Becuase when we put our trust in him, he can trust us!

We had our baptism with Hermano Guillermo!! This whole experience with him has been a miracle. A full blown miracle. Now his whole family are members. His family has been investigating the church for a long time. His wife was baptized when she was really little and was inactive when the other sisters started visiting them. All three of their kids were baptized in the last year and the dad, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with the church, was baptized by his son (who is now going to serve a mission) yesterday. It was all very emotional and so utterly beautiful. I can´t describe the feeling of love and peace that I felt as he went under the water. He hugged his son after he came up and they were both weeping. We got to talk to them later that day and something was different in their home. And he is ready to perseverar hasta el fin. Endure to the end. He has such a strong testimony of the atonement and their next step is the TEMPLE to be seal FOREVER!!!! The gospel is such and incredibly beautiful thing and really, REALLY changes lives. 
I don´t have more time, but I challenge everyone to LIVE the gospel. Learn to understand it and follow the commandments. Your life will change! It´s in the small things. :)

I love you all!!!!!!!

Hermana SMoot

ps sending pics next week!!

I asked Ally some questions: 
How is your companionship? How are your living conditions? Do you have what you need? 
How is the language going Ally?  Does your comp speak english? Do you just speak Spanish all the time now ?

How are the fleas? Did you end up getting flea colars or what is working? How is that oil from avon?

Did you get some recipes? Let me know of regular veggies, meat and fruit that you have access to and we can come up and find more recipes for you. 

My companion is the most amazing human ever. She doesn´t know english...more or less...and yes i´ve been speaking spanihs for a solid 3 months. (baptism by fire).

Fleas actually aren´t a problem anymore. and the avon oil totally work. People say it´s worse in the summer (now is summer...it´s opposite...but I think I´m fine.

It´s hard to say. Meat is expensive, but sometimes I buy it. I eat a lot of oatmeal. Eggs, rice. What I really want is excersices that I can understand and i can do in 15 to 20 minutes.  I love you so much.

Also, MY PACKAGE CAME!. bUT I´m not going to open it until christmas. I love you. Any recipes and Ideas for easy quick meals would be great. The thing from ashley was amazing. I love you so flipping much!!!!!!!

*****SO IF ANY OF YOU NICE PEOPLE OUT THERE HAVE ANY WORKOUTS AND/OR EASY MEAL RECIPES OR IDEAS ALLY IS ASKING FOR THEM. Just email her! She is able to print them or takes pictures of them. xoxoxo

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week # 17 (Nov. 24 2014) Ser un Misionero

Ah! La Mision. Ther really are no words to describe what is a missino. And what one feels during a day, during an hour, during a minute. It´s sheer joy, a moment of pure power from the spirit, intense stress, fear and disappointment. And all the while you go and go and go and you´re tired and wet and yet...happy. Ridiculously happy. THis week I have learned so much and with all the stress has come good. it always does. When we go through something difficult and use he lord to overcome it, we become incredibly close to God and are so blessed for everything that happens. There is always a purpose!

This week is the second to last week of my training which means that I had to take the lead with all the planning, and teaching for the whole week. Which means that if I didn´t say anything about the gospel or relate their lives to the gospel, we don´t teach. And may I just say, that the people here talk a lot. A LOT. Like getting a word in edgewise is nigh impossible. Let alone about the gospel. But I´m learning day by day. And through added stress I really have been able to humble myself and become closer to my Heavenly father. And rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ to help me do everything. I know that I am nothing without the Lord, but WITH him, I can be a powerful instrument.

Hno Guillermo had his baptismal interview this week!!! We were really nervous that he wasn´t going to make the date because he has been working a ton and we could only see him once last week. So we gave him all the commandment pamphlets so that our lesson could be shorter and so he could understand before we taught. We didn´t know if he would read all them or understand well enought to be ready but we just prayed that the lord´s will would be done. When we saw him, it turned out that he had stayed up til about 2am reading and studying the pamphlets with the extra scriptures in the back and understood, REALLY understood the doctrine. We wanted to cry with joy. His baptism is this sunday and we are so excited for him. Change is real! Miracles are REAL!

Also, really quickly, the spirit of Elijah and family history is real. There has been a huge focus on it in our mission and we have been trying to use it more. All I can say is when there are people that aren´t progressing or aren´t interested, Family history is like wild fire spirituality. It´s amazing. Also, word of advice for anyone preparing to serve a mission: Learn how to do family history well enough to teach it. :) But I know that Family history is JUST as important and regular missionary work. We are helping people enter the KINGDOM OF GOD. What? DO it. 

I love you all so much. SO MUCH. And I pray every day that you can put your trust in heavenly father to live your lives with joy. Thank you for all your support. Read, Pray and Go to church! :) It´s the small and simple things that change lives. 

muchísimo amor,
Hermana Smoot 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Week # 16 (Nov. 27, 2014) La Humilda

Hola Familia!!!! 

Holy Cow esta semana. This week. Was crazy and beautiful and just, well, a mission. :) But the HIGHLIGHT of this week/my mission/my life was that we had a special conferenct with ELDER NELSON. What!? It was the most amazing experience to be in the same chapel as an apostle. We all got to meet him and his wife as well. The spirit in the room was so thick and full while he and his beautiful wife spoke. (in english, I might add!) The main theme that I understood, was that of time. He and his wife spoke a lot about never wasting a second while we are here. Never waste a moment to save a soul because we have such a limited time here and it is going to be gone before we realize. (For example I´ve been on a mission for almost 4 months) What happened to the time? He also spoke of enjoying it. Enjoying each second, whether it is a moment of sadness, heartache and fatigue or a moment of sheer joy. Enjoy time and find the beautiful things in our mission and in life. Sufrir con Gozo (Suffer with joy.) But overall it was absolutely amazing and my testimony of Prophets and Apostles and modern revelation is so strong right now. 

We have two investigators, Marcella y Heriberto who are just fabulous. We found Heri one day out in his yard and as we talked to him we found out his companion was a member! So now we are teaching Heriberto along with his less active pareja (pare...girlfriend?) And they want to get married so that Heri can get baptized!!! We had a fairly hilarious lesson with them about marriage and about the date of their wedding. Heri was SET on april 29 2015 at 9am(ya....specific) But Marcella wanted to do it sooner and basically they hadn´t really talked about it. So we invited them to pray together about a sooner day so that Heriberto can get baptized. They also came to church this week, after we searched everywhere for clothes to give to Marcella becuase she didn´t want to return to chruch without proper attire. I was able to sing during sacrament meeting with another Elder who is ridiculously talented and is going to study music (um, cool) and As we sang, Hermana Marcella was sobbing in the back. AH! Que bonita! It´s amazing that we can use our talents to touch the lives of others. They felt the spirit and they are progressing and it´s beautiful!!

I just know I am supposed to be here. At times I am scared and I don´t understand exactly what is happening and what I need to do. And I feel overwhelmed and nervous. But as I really try to humble myself before the Lord and give my entire life to him, I will become and intsrument in his hands. And I don´t need to worry, becuase Heavenly Father knows exactly what I need to do. And I will find strength in and follow him.

I challenge you all to enjoy your beautiful lives, the good and the bad and to trust in the lord that you can do all things through him. The church is SO true. And we are incredibly blessed to have it in our lives. 

MUCH love,
Hermana Smoot

Volcanos in chile. It is too beautiful here in the spring.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week # 15 ( Nov. 11) Bienvenido a Casa!!!!!

Hola Family!

Welcome home my dearest sister shelly!!!! My body is dying from the Joy in my heart looking at all of the pictures of you guys together. SO weird and so beautiful. Uh. Our family is beautiful. :)

This week was lovely and full and wonderful and missions are the best. I had a whole bunch of firsts as well. My first exchange with the Sister leaders in my own sector was a little crazy. I had to lead the whole day and know where all of the streets were and which collectivos to take and who to call. Names and streets are really difficult when it´s not in your language, by the way. (We have a street named Lullaillaco. Ya.) But with a little prayer on the bathroom floor for strenght and guidance, everything was ok. I just tried to enjoy every moment and not worry to much. Becuase what happens, happens, and our lives are to be enjoyed. :)

I also had my first Zone conference and it was the best. First of all, I COULD TOTALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON. WhaT? que linda. Thank heavens my mission president is from Mexico and not from chile. He speaks 700 times slower. But really, I am seeing the gift of tongues every day in my life---with patience and humility and obedience, everything is possible.  I also met Hna. Meacham, the girl mom met at the mall. She´s totally in my Zone. So weird. But I tried to talk in english to her and my words were all jumbled and my brain couldn´t change. It was so weird. But really exciting at the same time. I also recieved a lot of answers and comfort from the words of our leaders and I am ready to go! God is real! 

I know with all of my being that God exists and he wants us to be the best we can be to enjoy our lives and return to him. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spread hope and joy EVERY DAY. Uh. the mission is the best. And even though it´s hard sometimes...a lot of times....we can be strengthened through the lord and his atonement. Keep pressing forward in everything that you are doing. Keep praying and doing all you can do. And also family, learn from Ashley, she is just a fountain of knowledge and joy righ now. :) Ug. I am just so happy right now.
I pray for you everyday! 

Much Love, 
Hermana Smoot

This is Hermana Maria. She´s an old hilarious lady who we visit just to sing to her and talk to her and chop her wood. And all i´m saying is that through service, you come to love people. She makes my day every time we go. 

This just shows her personality more. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Week # 14 (November 3, 2014)

Hola Familia!!

How is everyone! This week was so quick and I don´t even know what to say. A lot of rain, a lot of teaching, and.....rain. :) All I know is that when you are enjoying your life, time goes by very quickly. Muy rápido. And that is what I am doing and praying for: that I can just enjoy every moment here in the sur de Chile. Becuase it´s beautiful.

First of all, Guillermo is GOLD. Really. He is progressing so much and when he asked him if he had prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, he said that he already knew it. When he reads the Book of Mormon he knows it is true. He is literally so excited to talk about what he read and understand more every time we visit. AH. It´s just the best. The change that has happened in his life is incredible. The atonement is SO REAL.

Another experience worth mentioning: We were knocking on doors in the wind and rain (welcome to Puerto Montt) and we met a woman whose mother had passed away. Although she was religious, she didn´t believe  that she was going to see her mom again. We were able to bear fervent testimonies that God has a plan for her and she CAN see her mother again in the next life. It was such a simple and beautiful experience to be able to give love and hope to someone. That´s why missionary work is so incredible. We have such an amazing knowlegde that is joyful and beautiful. 

I know with every fiber of my being that when we live our lives as god wants, and when we do the small basic things like reading praying and attending church, our lives instantly become so much better. We have eternal perspective and realize that what we are going through is only momentary. God will answer our prayers in the way we need (not want) and we can be happy, truly happy, with him in our lives.

Ug, I just can´t say how much I love this gospel. My heart is too full of joy. You are all INCREDIBLE and I love you all so much. Keep going and loving and living the gospel. :)
Much Love,

Hermana Smoot

P.S. Ashley!!! AH! I can´t believe you are coming home. WHAT is happening. GOOD luck with everything. I love you more than words can describe and I´m jealous that the fam gets to see you before me. much love!
Just a beautiful day. UG. Chile is SO PRETTY

Amaro, Camila and me. (the siblings of nicolas-baptism.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week # 13 (Oct, 27 2014) My First Baptism!

Hello Dearest ones.

¿Como están? This week has been crazy and we feel a little destroyed...but hey! That´s a great feeling on the mission becuase it means that we´ve been working hard. 

I had my first baptism this week with our investigator Nicolas Saldivia. He is the 11 year old that is absolutely wonderful. It was so beautiful to be apart of a day so special for him. My companion and I got to sing for the service and plan the whole thing.....(hence destroyed...) But it was all worth it to see the smile on his face after the service. He is really shy, but he did tell us that he felt really happy. :) Also, The change in their family has been really beautiful to witness as his mom is reminded of all the things she learned and as the gospel fills their home with the love of christ. Ah. So beautiful. 

Also, GUILLERMO! Ah. People like him are the reason that we serve missions. Guillermo has had so much darkness in his life and now, he is literally a different person. He honestly wants to know everything about the gospel and feel the happiness and power that it brings to his life. During our lesson on the plan of salvation, after teaching him, he literally explained the whole plan, including the Fall and agency in about 2 or 3 sentences. Hna Figueredo and I were pretty much speechless from happiness. AH. The atonement of Jesus Christ is real. And makes everything possible. 

We are definitely tired and as always, there are days when I really don´t want to go outside and walk for miles and miles. But like all of Ashley´s letters, there are so many miracles in a day that make it all beautiful. Keep pressing onward in this gospel, becuase when we TRULY live it, and repent every single day to become better, God pours out his blessings upon us. 
I love you all and wish you the VERY best. Remember you all have divine potential and to enjoy every day of your life with the light of Christ. 

Hermana Smoot

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LILLY!!!!!!!!! You are the best! Give her a million kisses from me and tell her that I love her. :)

PPS I would like to make an official and public announcement that I have eaten chili in chile. Also, nobody knows what chili is here....funny. But it was lovely and it reminded me so much of my dear home where food is normal and not just meat, potatoes and bread. :)


Happy Birthdy Lil bug!

Nico y su familia!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week # 12 (Oct. 20, 2014)

Mi primero paquete!! GRACIAS (also, it took a little over a month and a half for future reference)

Mi primero paquete!! GRACIAS (also, it took a little over a month and a half for future reference)

Hola mi familia!!

Como estan?!! I love you all very much. Just to let you know. Also. HOLY COW THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH. It came and I was jumping up and down becuase chocolate and green smoothies. My inner battle between healthy food and my weakness for sweets: me in a nut shell.....my mother knows me too well.

This week was so fast. I´m done with my first cambio? What happened. It has been beautiful and I hope that I can enjoy all of them as much as I have enjoyed the first. 
In fabulous news: We are having a baptism this sunday! Our investigador Nico is 11 years old and we´ve taught him all the discussion and he had his interview in saturday and is ready to go! Even with just 11 years, we have been able to see such a change in his life and in the home of his family. He reads his scriptures and prays every day and just has a desire to be good. It´s amazing to see a change in a family through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Speaking of the miracle of change and the atonement, Hermano Guillermo (the one who had the drinking problem and relapsed)  and his family are Amazing. Miracles people. We went to their house last night and he was so excited to learn and understand. He even said that his brothers and sisters were teasing him for wanting to join the church and thinking he could change, and he stood his ground and testified of this church. WHAT? His wife said that they could really see the change in their home. All of them are working toward one purpose and trying to believe that their father can do this. The feeling is literally indescribable. To be able to see the miracle of the atonement in such a personal way is incredible. Change is real and very possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ!!!

I love this work. I am so grateful for this life that we have. Honestly, we are so lucky. If you ever feel sad, look around you and realize how many blessings you have. Because honestly family, you guys are ridiculously blessed. Like, ridiculously. Be grateful and give to others. This life is beautiful and we can do anything with the power of God!!
I love you all so much. Continue onward. Seguir adelante. :)

Hermana Smoot

 1.Hermana Figueredo...I just love her. (And don´t want her to leave this cambio. We´re crossing our fingers!)
 2.We went on a walk. Just take that view in people. UG. it´s too beautiful here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week # 11 (Oct. 13, 2014)

Hello wonderful loved ones!

I would just like all of you to know that I totally just wrote my mission president in Spanish. What? I´m awesome. That´s what. Actually no, basically I´m witnessing the Don de lenguas (gift of tounges) in my life more and more each day. And honestly, missionary work is absolutely amazing. It´s really ridiculously hard and crazy that I have the resposibility of saving souls here in Valle Volcanes in the Pichi Pelluco ward en Puerto Montt. I just pray that I can be an instrument in God´s hands and do what he needs me to do. But in all, the church is wonderful and the joy of the spirit is incredible. Inexplicably so. 

This week was really awesome and Super difficult as well. There was a lot of rejection and not a whole lot of actual appointments. Just a whole bunch of contacts and lessons in the street. Which are always fun. And really interesting. It´s crazy that some people don´t believe there is a god. It really doesn´t make a whole lot of sense to me. And also when people have all these questions and this church has ALL the answers but they don´t want them. Those moments are the most frustrating. But it´s ok. This is why we pray every day to find people that are ready.

Also, can I just mention how lucky I am to have my companion. She is the kind of missionary I want to be. She just sincerely loves and enjoys every moment of her mission and is SO focused on her purpose. I´m pretty sure she would give her whole life to missionary work if she could. (she is halfway done at this point and hates when I remind her that.) :)

At the end of this week we decided to fast for all of our investigators, specifically Hno Guillermo. He has been having a really hard time stopping his addiction to Alcohol. (Like anyone who has been drinking their whole lives) It´s just incredibly difficult becuase his family doesn´t really believe in him and he feels really alone. So we have just been doing everything possible and praying like crazy that we can figure out how to best help him. Because it is WAY over our heads at this point. But we did see so many miracles from our fast. For example, in the street, almost everyone we talked to and all the doors we knocked were almost strangely nice. Like, I thought my companion knew them from before. And one girl just let us into her house before we even introduced ourselves. What!? Heavenly father gives us so many miracles to lift us up. So the week ended well.

I challenge all of you to really look for miracles in each day. Heavenly father loves you so much and your lives and INCREDIBLY blesses. I know that more than ever when I meet broken families and homes. Count your blessings becuase you have more that you know. Like Ashley said, EXPECT MIRACLES. :) (Also good luck ashley in your last cambio....I don´t know what that word is in english....exchange? Algo asì.

I love you all and pray for you every night!! Tenga una BONITA Día!!! 

Mucho Amor,
Hermana Smoot

P.S. Fleas. Fleas.....fleas.

THIS is puerto montt. I get to look at this every day people.

The ugliest statue in puerto montt. I don´t really understand it. Apparently there is some song that goes with it. It´s really famous. But hideous.

A birthday party for one of our investigadores. We eat too much.

And also this. Just an average every day view of the lovely Hna Figueredo 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

week # 10 ( Oct. 6, 2014) Angel the Atheist/fleas/conference

Hola Familia,

First of all, SORRY ASHLEY! I didn´t realize that hadn´t been sending my letters to you. I love you so much and pray for you every night! You are totally my example and if I can be half the missionary that you have been, I will be set for life. :) You are beautiful.

This week was another week of work, trying to understand/speak spanish, and this wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ. I really love living the life of a missionary. It´s really hard at times and sometimes/all the time I just want to take a nap and watch a Disney movie and eat peanut butter, BUT I absolutely love that my life is so in line with Christ´s life. And all my thoughts lead to gospel and I get the chance to love so many people and do so many wonderful things. And LEARN so much. Ugh. This is the best.

First of all, funny story: We were walking down the street and stopped to talk to a child of god that chose to dress slightly differently/emo and his black hair covered his eyes and all that jazz. We asked him about his relijeous beliefs and he said "No hay Dios" or "There is no god." We tried to talk to him about the fact that there is a god and he loves you! But he just kind of smiled like we were idiots. Woot. But the funny part, though is that his name is ANGEL. I really wanted to ask him if he had any idea what his name meant. Oh. Good times.

Also, another FUN fact. Pulgas. Fleas. They are a thing. And that thing is biting me in the night. But mother, no se preocupe. Don´t worry. I am fine and living and they aren´t very bad and I´m using the Avon oil and all that Jazz. We had intercambios...over exchanges (sorry..don´t know missionary terms in english) But I stayed in overnight at our sister training leader´s house and her bed had fleas. So I may have brought them back. But they really aren´t super bad. They are just more present in the warmer weather that is starting to appear. But it´s just the mission life!

Conference was this weekend! As you all should know. What an incredible opportunity. Conference is the best people. If you didn´t watch, GO DO IT RIGHT NOW. DON¨T EVEN FINISH THIS LETTER. If you did, good job. Now go do it again. Until april conference. :) I was really hoping and praying that I would be able to watch conference in English but it turned out that there isn´t enough internet power in the chapel and we couldn´t connect 2 computers. And it was only me and sister Harvey (the other newbie) that wanted english. So it didn´t happen. We did get to watch saturday afternoon at a member´s house, but the rest were in spanish at the chapel. And I´m not going to lie, I was mad. I wanted to shake someone and tell them "Do you realize how important this is to me as a missionary!! You don´t understand!!" So I sulked through the first session on sunday morning. But it´s never good to be angry and we can always learn something from hard experiences and anger and difficulty. I realized how selfish I was being and how ridiculous my anger was. I was in a comfortable chapel on a mission with members who were gaining valuable spiritual experiences. And I can speak a little spanish. I can still learn. So the spirit softened my heart and I just decided to pray for the ability to understand for the second session. And guess what? Prayer is real. What? I didn´t understand everything, and I was still struggling to translate and internalize, but I still learned and felt the power of the prophets. People, this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to have modern day prophets. The more we focus on others and try to be like our savior the more we learn and the more we ENJOY our lives. And that is the purpose of our lives. To have joy. :) So learn from your trials and setbacks, put your faith in the lord and love life. Because it is a blessing and you have the knowledge of this gospel!! 
I love you all and pray for you! Have a beautiful day!

Hermana Smoot

Monday, September 29, 2014

week # 9 (sept. 28, 2014)

Ally is serving in Puerto Montt.
Her companion is Hna Figuereda from Argentina.

Hola loved ones!

How is everyone in all your various places? This week has been lovely and hard and actually quite short. My 2 month mark on my mission is tomorrow. What? What happened with the time? I have no idea. I really need to soak up every day because I´m going to be home before I even realize!

Fun things about this week before I talk spiritual: 
First of all, we do not have any more wood for our stove...and we won´t be getting any until next week. So....it´s basically the same tempurature inside and out. So I´m cold all the time, but it´s fine. Bienvenida a la mision! (As my comp so graciously says when I complain about being hungry/cold/tired) 
Also, we did a service project for one of our Less Actives and offered to clean her yard. She had, in the most literal sense possible, let her yard go to the dogs. There was foam matress that had been torn up and spread EVERYWHERE and tons of trash and did I mention dog hair? Everywhere. Lovely. Oh also, we got to use plastic grocery sacks for gloves. It was SO fun. Basically I´m prepared to do anything now. 

With the work, I am slowly beginning to participate more and understand more. I´ve had a couple of my own contacts too! I started up a conversation with a worker at the grocery store and he ended up coming to church this week. We had 5 whole investigators at church this week!! And it was extra special becuase I was able to give a special musical number and sing for the ward. I am so grateful that God gave me the talent to sing. Music has such a power and brings the spirit so strongly. It was amazing to be able to bear my testimony that way to our investigators. 

With the improvemtn, there are definitely moments during the day and during lessons, where I get so frustrated becuase I can´t understand anything and therefore can´t participate, but I have a feeling that those feelings are going to come throughout my entire mission an my entire life. So I´m learning to do a few things to deal with it. 1. Look for the miracles in every day. Especially on the REALLY bad days. Write them down and realize that God totally has is hand in everything. 2. Have patience with yourself and realize that at times, the things that we want take time work, but if we bear all things with patience and turn to god in times of need, all things are possible. And 3. Take ACTION! When I feel grumpy or just talked to an Athiest named paul who doesn´t belief in anything and shut us down hard core, Sing a happy hymn. Change your attitude. Realize there are more opportunities, more doors opening and more chances to start again and be better. We can always rely on our heavenly father and the atonement of Jesus Christ. Siempre!!

I love you all so very much and I can´t even tell you, family, how much I appreciate your support. I pray that you can all turn to God in ANY time of need. Have an absolutely beautiful day. :)

Much Love,
Hermana Smoot

Didn´t take any pictures this week....lo siento...I know it´s a sin. But here are a few that I wanted to send last week. 

This is the activity in with the ward in El Campo. They had a zipline.(Is that what it´s called in english?

This is the familia cardenas. The dad is Guillermo the one that we spent the 18th with and that has the baptismal date. They are fabulous.

This is the activity with the ward in El Campo. They had a zipline.(Is that what it´s called in english?)
This is the familia cardenas. The dad is Guillermo the one that we spent the 18th with and that has the baptismal date. They are fabulous.

This is our group from the MTC. someone just sent it to me.

Monday, September 22, 2014

week # 8 (Sept. 22, 2014)

This is El Camp....but not the best picture. The two girls who live with us. the one in red was in my casa at the mtc! I´ll try more next week.

The Chacai that I´m obsessed with. Happy spring, by the way!!!

The Chacai that I´m obsessed with. Happy spring, by the way!!!
This is El Camp....but not the best picture. The two girls who live with us. the one in red was in my casa at the mtc! I´ll try more next week.
Mi Primero Empenada!!

Mi Primero Empenada!!

Hello Dearest Ones!

How is everybody this week? Another week of missionary work has past, and although it wasn´t ridiculously fast, I can tell that by the end of this experience, I am going to wonder where the time has gone. But I´m learning to enjoy every day and enjoy what is happening in the moment. It´s an important lesson that I hope to take with me after I return. Live in the present people! Life is beautiful!

This week was the grand fiesta of La Dìa de Independencia!!! Woot! Woot! Becuase of the holiday, the missionaries were basically quarantined to our casas exept for Almuerzo (Lunch at a members house every day) and appointments during the afternoon. Which, although the days were a little long, was actually really fun. One of the days we got to go to El Campo...which is basically just out in the country...and we got so many beautiful pictures and spent the day with the ward eating empenadas and playing volleyball and it was a party. Woot. Also, I have eaten so many empenadas. I taught my companion the term "Turkey coma" (you know, from too much turkey on Thanksgiving) and so we like to use the term "empenada coma" here. It´s hilarious. But overall, the festivities were so fun.

I have my first BAPTISMAL DATE. WOoot. His name is Hermano Guillermo Cardenas. The Cardenas are fabulous people who are all recent converts just awesome. We actually ate with them on the 18th (ind. day) But the father of the family had a drinking problem and wasn´t really interested at first. But while we were there he told us in tears that he really wanted to change and to get baptized. It was amazing. A few days later we visited again and he told us with godly sorrow in his voice that he, after trying to stop drinking, had made a mistake and drank. So I asked how we could help him and we started talking about the priesthood and how he can recieve a blessing of health and strength. We had a neighbor come over and give him a beautiful blessing of strength to quit. He was in tears again. The next day he came to church with his family for all three hours and even stayed an hour after for a baptism of an 8 year old member, Leslie (possibly the tiniest cutest human ever, by the way) But this whole experience has been absolutly amazing. The Atonement is so real. And it is beautiful to be able to be apart of that change. To help someone change their life through Christ. To be able to bear testimony to them of the truthfulness and power that this gospel of Jesus Christ has. Even in very, very broken spanish. The spirit penetrates all languages. :)

Speaking of, well, speaking, it´s still slightly (really) difficult. Especially this week when we had a special conference with an Area Seventy. It was about 4 hours long and all in spanish. I just really wanted to understand everything and  learn how to be a better missionary. And during lessons or just during the day, I get really frustrated with myself becuase I honestly feel like a baby sometimes. I now understand how Lilly feels when she knows what she wants but can´t communicate. :) But, at the same time, I know that I am learning SO MUCH. I have never had to have so much patience and faith and I know it will bless me so much in my life. And I just have to look for little miracles throughout the day that my heavenly father gives me. Like being able to have a full on conversation with someone, or understanding here and there. Heavenly Father really is here for us. Siempre. Always. He loves us and will help us with anything and everything. We just have to have faith, act on it, and expect miracles. Or as presidente pratt of the CCM said, "Pray like everything depends on the Lord and DO like everything depends on you."

This gospel is true and I know we are all children of God with a Savior who loves us. Let that knowledge fill your life with joy and peace. It is the greatest blessing we have! I love you all and wish you the VERY BEST this week. I pray for you always. 

Much love,
Hermana Smoot

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week # 7- First week in Chile! (Sept. 14, 2014)

Ally is serving in Puerto Montt.
Her companion is Hna Figuereda

Hello! I´m alive and in Chile!

First of all, sorry for not being able to call on tuesday. We literally tried everything, and when we finally figured out how to make the call, we found out it was about 50 bucks to call for 5 minutes.....so ya. No bueno. But I´m pretty sure I would have been a million times more homesick hearing your voice mom.

I´m in Chile! After a million and twelve hours of flying and trying to do missionary work in the airport and on a plane (placed my first book of mormon!) we arrived in the beautiful land of Chile. It really is so beautiful. We arrived at the mission home and ate and figured out who our companions were going to be. Presidente Obeso and his wife are from Mexico and are the sweetest humans in the world. Plus I can actually understand what they are saying. (Mexican spanish is a million times slower than chilean..) That night we had COMPLETOS, yes like kid history. They are basically just hot dogs with a million toppings. Good stuff. We stayed in a hotel and then the next day met our companions and went to our areas. I was assigned to Puerto Montt. It is probably the most beautiful thing ever. I´m righ by the coast so when we go into the city, we can see the coast and it´s gorgeous. My compañera is named Hna. Figuereda. She is possibly the most fabulous human in the world. She is the best missionary ever and is so utterly kind and loving. I really don´t know how I got so lucky. She is from Misiones, Argentina and so she doesn´t speak a lot of english, But it´s ok. Because I´m learning a lot. And we can communicate enough.

The main difficulty I am having right now is obviously with the language. I honestly don´t do a ton right now except for smile and bear my testimony. I don´t really understand what is going on a lot of the time because the people here speak SO FAST. And they cut off their words and don´t say their S´s very clearly. Anyway, it´s just hard to understand. So I´m just trying my hardest to be obedient and to have the spirit with me. I know I´m just supposed to be learning patience and diligence right now. And I will definitely be grateful for it in hindsight. It´s just slightly difficult right now. But it´s all ok! Becuase through god all things are possible!!

Speaking of which, I definitely witnessed a miracle yesterday. We were teaching one of our investigators about prophets and authority and I actually understood her questions and concerns. I was able to bear my testimony and tell her that she had to find out for herself that this was the one faith and baptism she had read about. While we prayed with her, I really felt that burning desire to have heavenly father soften he heart and for her to know like I do. After the lesson though, I went back to not understanding very much. I know heavenly father is helping me SO much right now and as long as I rely on him, I really can do this. Heavenly father answers our prayers and he will provide a way! Just trust in him.

Other than the language barrier, I really love missionary work. The days are long and there is always plenty to do, but it´s wondeful. I love the people here so much and I love trying to talk to people and giving out pass along cards and smiling and being a representative of christ. It´s just absolutly wonderful. This is truly a divine work.

I love you all so much and I wish I could write a million more things. But know that I pray for you every night and this church is true!

Hermana Smoot

Gotta have a lovely selfie- Me and Hermana Figuereda

Just...Chile. Me gusta.

Choppin away!  must. chop. for. heat

Funny things about chile

There are definitely dogs EVERYWHERE. I don´t think I´ve seen so many strays in my life. And they act like cats sometimes, where they will just sit and nap in the sun. It´s amusing. Good news though, no fleas! Apparently there are seasons for fleas. i´m not sure when it is, but it´s not now. yay!

Peanut Butter is scarce and expensive 4 or 5 dollars for about a cup. Dumb. Send me some mom? haha.

no but really

We get to chop wood. And I look like an idiot when I do it. So that´s fun.

Independence day is Equivalent to American Christmas. (Sept 18) Nobody wants to talk to us. 

Did i mention it´s beautiful here? Becuase it is. ohhhhh 

Yellow flowers here called Chacai...i think. Ya, want them at my wedding. they are everywhere and wonderful.

yay missions!