Hermana Smoot

Hermana Smoot
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!


Monday, September 8, 2014

Pictures: Ally's last few days at the Mexico MTC (CCM) her district and companion

Sister Smith (a senior missionary who knows Ally's uncle, working in the MTC sent this to Marcie and she sent it to me. Allys district- leaving today! 

I saw Madi Reese! She is fabulous and just got here last week. So fun! (the one i went on heritage tours with) love you!!!Maddi wrote:YAY i saw hermana smoot and i love her so much and im sad shes leaving in 3 days but also jealous and yeah.
Me and Sister Wadsworth! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Week # 5 (Sept 4, 2014)

Hello Everyone!

So once upon a time I only have 6 days left in the MTC! What? I can't believe it. I never thought I would say I was going to miss this place, but I totally am. It has been such an incredible opportunity to learn so much every day and become a better missionary, but more importantly a more converted disciple of Christ. Amazing. 

The days continue to mesh together and fly by. But there were a few funny things worth mentioning. Our power went out this week (just as my roommate got out of the shower. haha) and it was completely dark. So we had to use our alarm clocks to try and get ready for bed/find a flashlight. My crazy roommate from oregon (also going to chile) decided it would be hilarious to go and scare the other girls in the room across the hall. And it was. I don't think I've heard screams that loud in a long time. So we had a good laugh, and I got to shower in the dark. Good times.

On sunday we were in a big empty room so I could practice my song that I'm singing in devotional next sunday. (I'm going to have sister Jones-friends with alan and marcie- send it to you mom, so no worries) 
The windows in the class room are always open and when we went in, we saw a bird that had flown in and couldn't figure out which windows were open and which weren't. So we watched it not knowing what to do and then it flew across to the other side of the room.As we were about to leave and find another room, it flew straight into the window hit the glass with a thunk and fell down on the ground. And I don't know why, but I started flipping out because I thought this bird had just died in front of me and I was all traumatized for some reason.  It was weird. A new side of Ally came out that day folks. Apparently I'm a bird lover. But no worries. It got up and finally flew out. The bird is alive. ;) And my comp got a good laugh at me.

But on to more spiritual things, I'm going to be in Chile in six days. SIX DAYS. I'm going to be doing real missionary work, speaking horrible spanish and saving souls in less than a week. Ah. I have so many emotions that all mesh together. First there is nervousness and fear: I can't speak Spanish let alone teach people and It's going to be so tiring and I'm going to get a disobedient companion who doesn't speak english and gets frustrated with me all the time...etc..etc....the list goes on and on. Then I take a step back and remember what I've been taught and how the lord didn't send me out here to fail. Of course I can't do it. But the lord can. And if I willingly give me entire life to be an instrument in his hands then of course I can do it. this is our heavenly father we're talking about. Plus, I am so excited to get to know and love so many children of god who live at the bottom of the beautiful earth. I am just so grateful for the opportunity to use the gospel to help so many people. It's absolutely amazing. 

Family, I am so proud of all you are doing. I love that you are having diligent scripture study. There are indescribable and an innumerable amount of blessing that come from the book of mormon. Treasure it like the treasure it is. 

I love you all and pray for all of your needs every night. You are beautiful and wonderful and I miss you dearly! Hasta luego!

Hermana Smoot

PS. THANK YOU FOR THE VEGGIES AGAIN. And i have literally been craving granola bars this entire time. You guys are the best. EVER.

Also, I actually leave the MTC monday night, so I will be able to write all of you again on Saturday. So feel free to write before then. :) I know it's only in a couple days. 

LOVE YOU xoxox
Our favorite sisters who left this week! Just hanging on p-day. :)

Just a night in the life of a missionary at the CCM. We LOVE our roommates they are hilarious and make a great end to the day. They are going to Rancagua Chile