Hermana Smoot

Hermana Smoot
Hermana Smoot

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week #72 (Dec. 14, 2015) Animo ( mood, spirits, encouragement, purpose, intention)

This week was SO cool. Mainly because Elder Teixeira from the Seventy came to Pto Montt to talk to the missionaries. IT. WAS. the best. ever. We left that meeting literally wanting to baptize EVERYONE. I feel so humbled to be able to be a sister leader because there was a little meeting with the zone leaders and the STLs where he and his wife gave us special instruction. I don´t know why i was special enough to be there but it was incredible. I feel such a desire to keep repenting and to keep going. Every day i realize more and more the importance of what we do as missionaries. We are just praying to keep up the enthusiasm to do the work. Which is actually a very difficult task being a human being. We get tired and discouraged. A lot. But Heavenly Father recognizes that our hearts really do want to do the best we can.

I was talking to my companion, hermann Wyatt who is like the Gandalf of my mission in all of her wisdom. Seriously I love her. She finishes her mission this week and it has been such a blessing being with her. She gives me so much advice and more than anything just teaches by example. We were talking about christmas the other day. I have really been trying to think about something special i can do for christmas. Some sort of service project or something. And she told me that really it will be a special christmas. Even if we spend the whole day knocking doors or if President says we have to stay inside or if we do a big service project. It will be special becuase we are giving it to the lord. I really liked that. And pray to remember it during christmas and after. 
As my companion leaves, we got news that I will be with a BRAZILIAN. That means living with 3 latinas. Latin American missionaries. Chau english. haha. It´s fine!  I´m really excited though and know that all will be well. 
I really love you all SO much. You are all the best and most supported family ever. I pray for you always and wish you the BEST week ever.  :)
Love you,
Hermana Smoot

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Week # 71 (Dec. 7, 2015) Christmas and attitude.

Hello loved ones.

It´s so funny how much you can change in a week. Heavenly father just makes us grow so much in all the little things that we do. I´m so excited about christmas! We got a little tree and our new christmas pass along cards that we are sharing with EVERYONE we see. Except for those that dont celebrate christmas. 

LOOK UP THE VIDEO IF YOU HAVEN¨T ALREADY. (A savior is born) (Funny side story, we kept contacting people in the street and handing out the cards and all of the sudden we talked to this lady who said, "I´m jehovas witness and i don´t celebrate christmas. Then she chewed us out for not following the bible. We walked away chuckling a bit and then about 10 minutes later we asked another guy, "Hey can we give you a card about christmas?" and he said "I´m jewish, i don´t celabrate christmas. Bye." Ok fine christmas haters. We got a good laugh out of it though. :) 

I think the biggest lesson I learned this week came from an inspired companion that told me an experience that changed my whole outlook on my mission. I got really tired this transfer. But REALLY tired. Tired in a lot of different ways, not just physically. I just felt like I´d been working so hard for so long and my battery was running really low. I went a few weeks like that, trying really hard but just dragging. And finally one day while we were planning I just couldn´t feel the spirit and couldn´t make decisions and just felt like a zombie. But my companion (who finishes her own mission in 2 weeks) told me a story that really helped me about 2 different missionaries. The were both great missionaries. And worked hard. One of them however, her last transfer was really tired. And let that overtake her. Every day she told her companion just how tired she was. How she was so utterly exhausted. How much she had given. How much her body hurt. And that she just couldn´t any more. And she ended her mission, but ended up wishing those last 6 weeks away. The other missionary was tired too. Really tired. and ended as a trainer. But she did everything in her power to focus on other people. To never dwell on her exhaustion or her problems. But to always look on other people. And she ended well and satisfied with the work she did. I thought about that good and hard after she told me. And i realized that, like we always say, happiness is a choice. Sometimes that choice is a lot harder than we´d like, but it´s always possible. I´ve tried really hard this week to implement that into my life this week. To really try to think of others. And more importantly to think about the atonement. Christ was much more tired that I will ever be during his mortal ministry. I can choose to be happy about my circumstances and choose to focus myself in others. It´s been incredible to do it this week. And i really haven´t been perfect. And i´ve still had moments of exhaustion. And hard and frustrating things have still happened. But i feel energized in a really cool way. I think i´m finally beginning to understand that attitude really does determine altitude.
Sorry for all my rants. Andres the guy we found in the phone is doing well. He hasn´t accepted a baptismal date yet becuase he has SO many doubts. He´s a very proof based person. But we are praying and fasting that he will find an answer to be able to make that covenant with god and recieve a remission of his sins. Ah. What a blessing that is. 

I really love you all. If you haven´t had the chance to watch the Christmas devo, it was amazing. Remember christ this year and everything that he did for you. My comp and her family have a cool tradition where they write down something they are going to sacrifice or do better for christ. The write it down and put it under the tree and it´s the first gift they open. I INVITE you guys to do it. :) 

Sorry these thoughts are all over the place. Know that i really do love all of you and I´m deeply grateful for the love and kindness and caring that you have given me. I wish you the very best week!

Hermana Smoot

PS. I want to ask all of you if you could try not to mention the time i have left in the mission or what might happen after. I know being trunky is a choice but hearing about it doesn´t help very much. Help a poor missionary wouldnt ya? haha thank you!

Our 3 dollar christmas tree and a ginger candle. YUM. #slybyupride

Remember Hna Harvey?! (the trio last year) Old compy. We had a little get together with 6 other sisters today. Pizza! (that one´s only christmasy for our family haha)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week # 70 (Nov. 30, 2015) For all of you who like math!

Hello one and all!
First, thank you all for writing Hermana Terceros! She LOVED it and will write next week. 

It´s hard to describe in a few paragraphs everything that happens in a week....so i´m just going to write some things that happened...
1. I got sick again....the weather here is ridiculous. BUT we still saw a bunch of amazing miracles even if we weren´t outside every single day
2. We found 2 new families!! Which is a huge miracle becuase, well, the investigator pool had become a small puddle and i was going to die if one more contact didn´t want to know any more. One was just a lady we found in the street who was in a hurry and gave us her address. We called her and set an appointment and when we went she was super interested and her kids understood the apostasy. It was weird and super awesome. Her name is Nadia. We also started working with another family who is searching for the truth and she thinks that what we do is incredible. She invited us over and told us to pray that her husband can be home the next time becuase he´s always really busy. It´s just beautiful to be able to see some of the seeds started to grow up. 
3. We found Marianela! I was becoming ver very worried. She went north for some medical problems, and was gone for about a week and a half, and came back with a load of questions and doubts. And is not sure she wants to be baptized right now. But she is willing to keep reading and praying. It´s something she really really wants, but is just so unsure now. I´m praying so hard that she can get her answer.
4. Also, on friday we had an activity (TOTAL flop) and started frantically calling everyone, including old investigators whose contact was in the phone. And we ended up setting up a whole bunch of appointments. One of then was Andres who told us to come to his house the next day. We went and he has obviously talked to a lot of missionaries and always had a lot of questions and doesn´t really understand the need of baptism. But it´s been about 9 months since they went to his hous. We had a little example of dispensations that looks like little hills and he said it looked like waves and started talking math terms. So I had a thought (SPIRIT) to compare baptism to math. Or basically like god has set terms or a formula that we all need to follow to go back to live with him. And sometimes the formula is super difficult and we don´t want to do the arithmatic or figure it out. But the best solutions come from it. And baptism is the only formula to get the solution. I explained it better (SPIRIT) but it was cool becuase he finally got it and came to church yesterday. We are going to give him a baptismal date this week (hopefully!)
I know that God loves us SO SO much. He gives us the good the bad the ugly and the incredible just to show how much he loves us. And sometimes life is like math. And it´s really hard, but when one problem is finally solved and miracles come, it´s oh so sweet. I love you all so much!! Have a beautiful week!

Hermana Smoot

I made a beautiful pie for thanksgiving. We eat a ton of meat and potatos every day so that part wasn´t necessary....

I made a beautiful pie for thanksgiving. We eat a ton of meat and potatos every day so that part wasn´t necessary....

We decorated the bul. board with a less active and another sister to help him get involved! Adorable.
Knocking.....and dogs...... they were SO big. AND fleas....

look how patriotically chilean this is. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week # 69 (Nov 23, 2015) How is it already Thanksgiving?

Hello one and All!

Thank you all so much for the support and love. I really don´t deserve all the kind words that I recieved. :) This week was much better in the sense of my attitude and mood. And we reached the standard of exellence in our mission for contacts. I think thats one of the only times i´ve done it so, go us! I can´t really even remember what happened this week, the time goes by so quickly. We had two companion exchanges; one with a brazilian new missionary who is adorable and gave me more enthusiasm to work and the other with a chilean who is adorable and is really good at not rambling and saying exactly what people need to hear. It´s something that a lot of missionaries do not have (me) and I want to get better. My companion is amazing and is helping me so much to be the best i can be and be super focused in right now. And not worry about what is going to happend after or about my career or about all the things that come after these few short months. We talked about how we have to focus on now or we will begin to just wish away the future. It´s definitely easier said than done but i hope to learn it well and make it a lifestyle. 
We had a fun adventure this week. The nurse called us at roughly 9:30 as we were running to our house saying that one of the sisters had fractured her ankle and we had to go be with her in the hospital in pto montt. So a million and a half calls later, a member helped us get there and we stayed the night with some other sisters that lived there. It was amazing how smoothly everything went seeing has it was a last minute not planned at all situation. Heavenly father really is in charge. Sometimes i find myself so worried about all the small stuff, but if i just stay calm, trust and do what I can, Heavenly Father always provides. And it´s always just fine in the end. #eternalperspective haha.
We had some complications with Marianela.....meaning we can´t find her. Literally. But we are praying that everything is ok. And hoping for the best. We gave her a little heart attack on her door just to show her we love her. There is power in just a few gestures of love. 
Sorry this letter is all over the place. I know god lives. The gospel is true. The book of mormon is amazing and is the word of god. I´m so grateful for my testimony and for all of you. And this time I have in southern chile. I hope all of you the best. Be well.

Hermana Smoot

Hermana Wyatt and I
Raining.....and raining. This is the life.
My tape ready compy

Our lovely view on the hills we get to walk up

Week # 68 (nov. 19) Esperanza (HOPE)

I wish i had had Aunt Vicki this week chanting, "We can do hard things!" Becuase this week was just that. Very hard. And i think I learned and grew more in one concentrated period of time than I have for a while now. I think, more than anything i learned a lot about the nature of my heavenly father and how he works to make us into what we need to be. And what he needs us to be for him.
Friday the 13th (ridiculously ironic) was one of the most difficult days I think I´ve had here. It may have just felt like that in the moment. But it was. This whole week was just full of walking....and walking...and putting forth every drop of effort to recieve....nothing. Then after a week of that friday rolled around and after a frustrating lunch with a member and trying to figure out a map for our sector (don´t even ask) I thought after so many downs, God would give us a really good lesson with some investegators that we were going to visit who were AWESOME. Like chosen, searching for the truth awesome. Because that always happens, after the bad, comes the good. So we went and lo and behold, the dad comes out with his book of mormon saying they aren´t prepared and don´t want to continue more. I turned away kind of in denial and shock and then within 5 minutes I started crying as we are talking to a woman at her door and then I just sat down on a swing and the water works came out. I just didn´t understand why it was so hard. And i was SO so so tired. It all just came crushing down. I think the only word to descibe would be hopeless. It just felt like there was no way out and even when this day was over, more bad things were just going to happen. I´m sure at one point in our lives, we´ve all felt a little like that. My heart just felt so heavy and worn completely out. But our loving heavenly father, in my lowest of lows sent gaurdian angels in a time when i needed it most. A time where i felt tired of being the hope and help that evryone else needed. The messenger needed the message...my companion sat down with me and we rested and instead of a scripture, read me the quote from Lord of the Rings when Frodo just can´t anymore and sam is there to say that there is still good in the world. When i calmed down enough to stand up and go get something to eat, a man in the store was super friendly with us and bought me a little chocolate. As we walked to our totally destroyed plans we found a couple that thanked us for our service and told us how brave we were and how impressed they were with all the hard work we were doing. And finally another contact saw us and started talking to us about his life. He´s lived in Jersey for 5 years and spoke to us in his broken chilean-jersey english about christ. And in a random street in the south of chile, i was given peace. he talked about how christ will never lave us even if we leave him, how christ is there even in the darkest of times. Even when we can´t see it. He is there. He is hope. I was almost moved to tears with the simplicity of his words. And as we turned away to go home, I´ll admit that i didn´t feel a sudden surge of energy nor a flodding burning feeling of happiness. My heart still felt heavy and exhausted. But i felt peace. And gratitude that my heavenly father sen angels to his missionary that is always sent to everyone else. I was amazing at the love and how involved our heavenly father is in every detail of our lives. And i´ll admit that even after 8 hours of sleep, the next day was still hard and a few tears were still shed. But little by little, prayer by prayer, i was able to see more and more light. Feel more peace, more hope. It´s just so funny how god works sometimes. After so much bad i expected some miracle to chenge everything around. An amazing day where everyone lets us in and the sun shines and the choir sings. And He is totally capable of that. But it didn´t happen that way. He gave me small and simple seeds of hope, exercising my faith, and patience and humility and letting me figure it out. What i know is that GOD LOVES US. More than we can understand. That is why there is bad in the world and that is why there is good. It´s all from him. And we are progressing and learning and becoming things that we can´t imagine. That is why giving up isn´t an option. Like Sam says, I  know Frodo that you can´t do this. But He can carry us. And there is always a little bit of light that´s worth fighting for.
I love you all and i´m doing really really good right now. Actually, we fasted with Marianela and she quit smoking! We´ve got only a few more complications but she should be getting baptized in a couple weeks. Thank you for all of your prayers. I love you so much and wish you all the best week ever!

Hermana Smoot

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week # 67 ( Nov. 9, 2015) Saving Dogs whilst saving souls

CAMBIOS. Transfers.
Hna Wyatt and me. The SUN is starting to come out
This. Week. Has. Been. So. Long. But so darn lovely. I have a wonderful companion that leaves in December and is doing everything possible to make this the BEST six weeks of her mission. It´s helping me so much to focus. She is basically the best, most obediente human ever. So we are seeing miracles. And coming home So tired But in the best way possible. I am grateful. 

This week was full of news and olds and memories. And some hilariously miraculous situations. First the funny
Once upon a time we were doing contacts and we saw two girls chasing their chubby little dog up the street. And every time they called her name, it would run farther up the street. So we decided to help. And after about 10 minutes of running and chasing, I grabbed her gave her to the girls (thanks Hermana Braithwaite for teaching me to love dogs more than i did before) And we striked up a conversation and got down their information. So, even though knocking on doors is super fun.... there are always MANY ways to find people to teach. Including rescuing puppies. 
I´ve also been introduced to a lot of new responsibilties as a sister trainging leader with trying to catch buses and checking on houses and doing a lot of other things that I hadn´t really thought of. Yesterday, we had to go to a town a 20 minute bus ride from pto. Varas and we were already running super late. So we were going to call the sisters that we were going to meet when i realized i totally forgot the phone in the house. And we had never been to where we were going. So without knowing what to do, we both just said a silent prayer and trusted. We got out and ended up finding a guy who onle a call center and had met a ton of missionaries. He let us use his phone and we were able to meet up with the sisters on time. I´ve had so many experiences like that where i get so stressed out about so many little things that we have to do and the situation just seems impossible. But after prayer, we move forward with faith and it ALWAYS works out. Heavenly father provides a way for situations to have a beneficial outcome. Whether it means what we wanted in the first place, or what he wanted us to learn in the end. 
I´ve been thinking a lot about the will of our heavenly father and just giving everything up to him. Even all the little things that aren´t bad, but in the end don´t help me focus on my purpose. My companion has seemed to really mastered it, even though we are both in the process. But it´s amazing becuase for the past few days we´ve been able to help each other to complete those personal goals. I hope it can continue and I pray for the strength to do it. I´m NOt perfect and never will be but it´s our heart that heavenly father wants. Just the pure desire to do his will and the loyalty that we have to that promise. And then he knows that we will make mistakes becuase that´s part of this moral state that we are in. But we just have to give him our heart. 
Sorry I just keep missionary ranting. Just  know that I love this work and I love all of you. I hope that all of you are trusting in him. The gospel is beautiful and simple and I know it´s true. 
Have the most beautiful week!

Herman Smoot

Also, Puerto Varas es hermoso! (beautiful)
This is blurry but its the fat dog that we saved

Week # 66 ( Nov. 2, 2015) Treasure

A family night while Marianela´s daughters were visiting! She says that we remind her of them. She is adorable.

Oh, ps. I cut my hair and i love it. 

Hello one and all!

This transfer is coming to a close and I can´t really believe it. I know i frequently talk of the time, but it´s just becuase it flies SO fast. 
This next transfer i will be staying her in Pto Varas and my lovely companion Hna Braithwaite is going to llanquihue. (tears. sniff) BUT it´s actually really cool because I was called as Sister training leader and i will be able to have exchanges with her. YES! I´m actually really nervous and excited about the new assignment. Even though i´m nervous to be that example, i know that the lord will qualify me. I´m really working on just being "fiercly loyal" (as Ashley says) to the lord and just do his will. When you are on his team you do what he wants and you see miracles. Even if I´m still very imperfect and quite rough around the edges. We can do this together.

This week was a roller coaster,  but hey, what´s new. :) We had two AMAZING days and 5 not so good ones, but as they always say, I really only remember the good. We had zone conference and are really focusing as a mission to have more faith and the be more spiritual, including a three month reading of the book of mormon. What better way to end the mission? On top of that, we found the coolest people this week. SO prepared. We have been knocking a lot of doors and finally have been finding. There is a family that we found that studied with the Jehova´s Witnesses for a long time but in the end didn´t join. They said that the felt something was missing. The mom, Soledad, said that she knows that there has to be a true church and she is just searching to find it! WHAT since when do people actually say that. They recieved us really well and our message and are going to be praying. They are willing to take the risk.  
Marianela is doing great. She picked a baptismal date for the 28 of November and we are working toward it. I think she is finally getting it in her mind that she can really quit smoking by herself and with god. She is on her way and, as the picture shows, is trying to teach her little girls about it too. :) She humbles me so much.
Can we all just realize how incredible this gospel is. The more I study it and the more that I meet people that don´t have it, the more precious i realize it is. This week our ward took their trip to the temple. Most people here go about once a year and save up for it and take a long weekend, and a 15 hour bus ride to make it there. In testimony meeting a couple stood up and bore fervent testimony of the blessings that they had felt. The sister had gotten baptized a long time ago and her husbad was inactive for a long time. But he became active this last year and they were able to get sealed this weekend. Everyone was in tears to hear that pure testimony. What a blessing we have. A gift. There are literally 10 temples within a couple hours of my house. I hope to take advantage of that when i get home. Take advantage of it now! The gospel is wonderful. We are children of god. We have purpose. Jesus Christ died for us. We can be truely happy. Take a minute to think of all the blessings. :) They aren´t few. I love you all so much and I love my heavenly father. I am grateful for this gospel. To be a missionary. To have really really difficult days so that i can love the good ones. 
....I´m missionary ranting. :) I just can´t help it. 
Have a beautiful week and treasure the knowledge you have. LOVE YOU!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week # 65 (Oct. 26, 2015) Superlatively lovely

Superlatively lovely
We had lunch with this crazy boy and he put on his dad´s nametag. Future missionary!!

it was warm enough to not wear TIGHTS. you don´t understand the freedom that i felt.

We went to the most beautiful farmhouse with hermana Patricia. She is hilarious. Also, we. ate. so. much. food. They do like their cooking.

WIND! I seriously love my companion so much. She is the best.

They say that when something happens three times it´s means it´s a superlative or the most that it could be (big, better, BEST) and our three miracles on wednesday pretty much made for one of the best days of the mission. 
1. We had a lesson with a (VERY) stubborn less active that said, upon entering her house, that she didn´t want us to come anymore. She just was tired and didn´t want to try anymore. I don´t know why, but i felt that really something we could say would change her mind...and that scared me more because THAts a lot of pressure. But i just prayed super hard that we could say something to touch her heart. And i can´t really remember the exact words that we said, but suddenly after my companion´s powerful testimony, she said softly, "ya. i need to go to church....I´m going to go to church." I almost had a heart attack. WHAT. But then she said. but not this week....next week. Just to be stubborn haha. But i was amazed at the power of the spirit.
2. A father of two let us into his house and is really searching for the truth and had so many questions. He wanted to come to church yester day but went out of town. But we really feel good about him. 
3. The biggest of all this week: We had lunch with a family that has an inactive son. They are MORE than active in the church but his son just got lost. He came and ate with us and up until that moment we didn´t know very much about him. We were joking about how he can speak english very well and didn´t really want to show it. But then suddenly he just started talking and, as he was shaking, told us everything that he was going through. He poured out his trials and weaknesses. His problems with drugs, alcohol, tobacco, sexual orientation and the fact that he just wanted to be happy, but felt like his heart was just shattered. As he talked, my mind was racing about how in the world I was supposed to help someone like that. But we just listened and i prayed SO hard to just give him some comfort. And I´m acutally not really sure what we said, but we spoke directly from the spirit and cried and bore testimony of the power of the atonement and that the only real happiness comes from that power of repentance and the relief of our burdens. As we were talking, suddenly my companion said, ¨do you want to fast?" And i was like, "what? this kid doesn´t even pray, how is he going to fast?" But then we explained it and he said yes. And right there we started a fast together. When we went back the next day, not everything changed, but there was definitely a different light on his face. And i really think that was so crucial in this path the he is now on. Yesterday we challenged him to pray every day, and even though he was reluctant, he is willing to try. I just pray he can make it and be healed. I know the atonement is more powerful that ANY sin or problem that we have. Grandpa Smoot explained it to me one time that it´s like being in a hole. And some of our holes are a lot deeper than others. So deep that we can´t even see the light at the top. But if we can even jump just an inch. A centimeter. Excersise our faith just a little and trust him, he will pull us out. Always.  

I know that christ lives. I know that´s one of the main reasons i am here. So that people can feel the love of god and the redemptive and rescuing power of the atonement. There are still hard days. Actually most of the days this week were really hard. But heavenly father does that on purpose and everything will be for our profit and learning. We just need to trust, look for the light, and move forward with faith. :)

I love all of you so much. Thank you for all the support!!! I really can´t tell you how lucky I am to have a family like you.  HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY LILLY. She is so big. Can´t wait to see all the pics of her pinterest birthday. hahaha. :) 

Hermana Smoot

Week #64 ( Oct. 19, 2015) Sacrifice Brings forth the blessings of Heaven

Sacrifice Brings forth the blessings of Heaven:

If i had a dollar for every time I sang that song, i would be a very rich missionary. This week was lovely. We are still having slight problems with health but as of today the four of us that live together are doing well. It´s actually a blessing that there are four of us becuase we can go on splits when someone is sick and it works really well. haha. I put that song as the title today because I really have felt it. The harder the work is the more blessings that just seem to pour out from heaven. I can think of a few examples the week:
1. OUR BISHOP came to a mini ward council meeting that we are supposed to have every week. Our bishop has a very busy work schedule and can only come to church every other sunday and it´s pretty darn difficult to have a ward council. So we did a fast for him and we are seeing some fruit budding. We are getting there! The ward members here really are amazing.
2. We were on our way to lunch (this was a morning where i didn´t really feel good) and we had about 20 minutes so we knocked on doors. A man opened his door and was super intersted in what we were saying and we have an appointment with him. He gave us a couple references of his neighbors and is going to invite his girlfriend to come listen this week. SO cool.
3. We gave Marianela the challenge to read 3 nefi 11-27 (Earthly ministry of Christ in the Americas) and when we called yesterday she said that she has almost finished! And we gave it to her a week or so ago. She is doing well. But we are still working with the smoking. Thank you so much aunt paula and grandpa and everyone who has given advice and support for her situation. I´m sure she is feeling so many prayers. 
4. The coolest part of this week was yesterday. We went to church and a member came up to us and said that someone had come to church by herself and wasn´t a member. We went up to her and apparently has been looking at a lot of churches and always passes by our chapel. So she just decided to come. Her name is Carmen and is really awesome. She had to go to work and couldn´t come to the classes, but we set up an appointment. I have a good feeling about her. It was amazing. I didn´t think stuff like that actually happened. 

So, as you can see, there are many a blessing to count from heaven for all the sacrifices that we make. Whether it just be a friendly smile, making an extra effort to pray or read, or talking to someone. Heavenly Father smiles at us at all we do and and think he´s just waiting for opportunities to shower blessings upon us. :) So sacrifice a little and the windows of heaven will open so much that there won´t be room to recieve the blessings.

I love you all so much. I can´t thank you enough for the support an love that I feel. You are all amazing and are helping so much in this grand work. Have a beautiful week!!

I love Pto Varas! 

Week # 63 ( Oct. 12, 2015) Caminar mas que Mormón

There is a saying here in southern chile when someone walks a ton and is super tired. "we walked more than the mormans" :) That saying was validated this week. We finally left this week after my lovely case of bronchitis and becuase we hadn´t left for a while, we didn´t really have any appointments. Also, our sector is SO big. So, we walked. And walked and walked. Literally, on saturday we did not enter one house and were walking from 11 to 9:30. Minus lunch. We almost died. BUT the day was super super pretty. And we were able to find a few people. And bond through hardships as companions. haha. 
The work is going well here in Pto Varas. We got a little sneak peek of summer these past few days and it was So pretty. (photos will follow) Marianela is doing OK, and is progessing slowly but surely. She said that after her daughter went to conference with her she said "Mommy, i´m a mormon" or "yo soy mormona" she´s five and has a little lisp so it was adorable. She really wants to progress but just has to stop smoking. We are doing everything we can to help her so now it´s just in her hands. I know she can make it. 
We also had a super cool contanct/lesson with a inactive soccer coach thanks to my awesome sporty companion. We found him washing his car and he had a shirt on that said "coach" so we started talking about soccer and he is a professional trainer that has lived in the United states for five years. English plus soccer plus the spirit and my comp was on a ball. Seriously it was one of the coolest lessons ever. My comp totally compared the gospel to all the rigor of sports and that it´s really in our hands to follow the commandments and heavenly father is yelling on the sidelines cheering us on and knows exactly what we need. and When we follow it, we are always better off. It was my miracle of the day. I really think he is going to progress. 
Life is great and I´m honestly just trying to enjoy it. There are ups and downs and upside downs, but the work goes forth and I am his instrument.
I hope that your week is full of tender mercies and that you enjoy it. :)

I love you!!

Hermana Smoot

Yes i totally took that picture. And yes almost all that you see is our sector....apart from the volcano.....

veggies for district meeting.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week # 62 ( Oct. 5, 2015) Forever is composed of Nows


Wow, this week was just so great. Even though I got a slight case of bronchitis and the nurse told me to stay inside for a few days, we still saw so many miracles. :) 
First of all Marianela got a HUGE answer she was looking for. She, like i said, is just very damaged from what has happened in her life, with divorce and custody battles, unemployment and depression. But a couple weeks ago my incredible companion just promised her boldy through the spirit at the end of one of the lessons that if she put an honest effort to pray and read the Book fo Mormon, she would get her answer. She hadn´t been reading for a while, but finally took it seriously and read. A TON. My comp went on a companion exchange to visit her and she said that she had read and her whole book was marked. She had been praying and turned to Moroni 7 that talks about Charity. And she just felt the overwhelming impression that she needed to forgive her spouse. It was incredible. The book of mormon has SO MUCH POWER: i love it so much. She just needs to keep fighting in her battle to quit smoking and everything should be ok :) Keep her in your prayers.

Ok, general conference was probably the most powerful I had ever seen. I started crying and at the end, I was just filled with the gratitude of the gospel and the gift of the Holy Ghost and how strong I can feel it. And then i couldn´t STOP crying because i realized that this spiritually elevated time is slowly closing. And that was my last conference here. BUT I recieved every answer that i needed to here. One that really hit me was Elder Uchtdorf´s parable from the general woman session. And his talk at the beginning of saturday session. He just talked a about enjoying life right now. And that the gospel is joyful. Missionary work is joyful. And if we aren´t enjoying it, we need to look at it in a different perspective. And keep moving forward day by day, basking in the love of christ and living every moment well. He quoted my little miracle journal that i have that "Forever is composed of Nows" NOW is the time to be happy. It won´t just magically change when things are different. If we aren´t happy now, we won´t be later. The gospel is a gospel of Joy. We are to ENJOY to the end. :) I really know that christ lives and is our savior and redeemer. And I still have a big chunk of time to Proclaim that good news to the world. And hopefully, as all of us should, throughout the rest of my life. 
I love you all so much and appreciate all the little things that you say and send me.:) I hop that this week is full of joy.

Les quiero MUCHO!

Hermana Smoot

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week # 61 (Sept. 28, 2015) More tender mercies. They just never end! )


Hello everyone. I feel like time is just slipping between my hands i don´t know what to do about it. BUT for the time being, as always, on with the work.  (First part of February will come soon)

This week we worked mainly with Marianela (ok, so embarassing, we found out her name is marianel and not maria elena. She just thought we were "gringas" and couldn´t say it right. Ug. que vergüenza) But She is doing well. She has had SO much happen to her in her life and i think doesnt really understand the healing power of the atonement. She just feels so much pain in her heart. She knows that he book of mormon is true and that this is the truth, but baptism is just so important to her that she doesn´t feel prepared. We are praying and studying hard that she can find her answers and faith in the book of mormon and make her decision. She is serisouly so specail though. I honestly do not feel worthy to teach her. She is one of the most humble, loving people i know and I know that this gospel will help her so much to heal and leave her past behind. Pray for her.

We also worked a lot with P who is a reactivating less active who has a secret plot to get her husbad baptized. haha. She just got married and her husband isnt...the best...human ever. He´s probably really great but he just doesn´t want anything to do with us, or the gospel and drinks and smokes...a lot. But P is the kindest human and she just wants to set the example and start reading and going to church and show him the happiness that gospel brings. We are praying that his heart will be touched at some point.

The COOLEST part of the week was yesterday. I SAW THE SANTANA FAMILY. The family that is amazing and got baptized in Pto Montt. The dad, Marcelo is from here and we were talking to someone the street and their white truck came up and slowed down. And then i was like, "why do i know that truck" and then i saw Hno M
arcelo and i flipped out and Hermana Karina gets out of the car and I screamed and ran up to her we hugged. (meanwhile my companion and this contact were like, What is going on?) but we got out and they told me they were doing great and Hno Marcelo has the Melquesidic preisthood (how do you spell that in english) And hna Karina had her BABY five days after my birthday and is about to recieve her first calling in the primary. The joy in my heart can literally not be described. It was such a miracle that my heavenly father gave me in a time when i really needed to be reminded why I´m here and what i´m doing. :)
I love this gospel so much. I know sometimes it´s not easy. But as they say " the best things in life are never the easeist. I know that this church is true and that God loves us in a way that is indescribable. Reach out to him, becuase is "hands are outstretched still." no matter what. 
Have the most beautiful week :)

Hermana Smoot

I´ll try to send pictures next week. This USB port is broken. (It´s always when i make an extra effort to take them too. Boo. ) haha

Zone PHOTO from a few weeks ago

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week # 60 (Sept. 21, 2015) Hay SOL

Area: Puerto Varas, Chile/ Pto Montte stake
Companion: Sister Braithwaite

Yo y mi compañera. The sun is finally coming out!

This is chile....Sopaipilla for the activity (fried bread)
My compy with some awesome people in the ward. Marcos y su esposa:)
The family that lives across the street. They make yummy food. .) He is the brother of the guy that owns the famous fruit store here. :)

Hola Todos

This week was lovely and so patriotic. We celebrate the 18th of september which is independence day here and pretty much as big is Christmas. And if i thought i ate a lot normally....well I ate MUCH more. But really so many empanadas. This year our president wanted us to work normally even though last year he didn't want us to go out and prosylite becuase everyone drinks. A lot. But he told us to be wise. So us, being in Pto Varas, just didn´t work after it got dark, becuase its safe, but not super safe at night...but don't worry mom. My comp grew up on a farm and has a whole bunch of brothers and could probably scare any chilean. Hahaha. I love her so much.
We have (real) transfers this week but thankfully we are staying here so I get to keep my lovely hilarious compañera and keep working her in Pto Varas. I'm beginning to think that I will spend almost my entire mission here in the Pto Montt stake. :) 

Maria Elena is doing SUPER well. We thought we had lost her for a minute becuase she started to work and for almost the entire week she wasn{t home and wouldn't answer our calls and we thought that maybe she thought we were too persistent or something. And she didn't come to church yesterday when she said she would So we were a little sad. But we went and knocked on her door last night without much faith and she answered! She said that she had just been working a ton with her new job and she was called into work on Sunday morning. But she has started to stop smoking and said she is doing really well. She doesnt feel worthy right now to be baptized keeps saying its such an important decision. But she really wants to do it. I don't feel worthy to teach her honestly. She is such a humble person that has gone through so much and has found the gospel as the light at the end of her tunnel. Pray that she can make it :)

I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for your prayers. Be grateful for this wonderful gospel and feel the joy that it brings and the healing that it gives! Have the most beautiful week ever!

Hermana Smoot

Yo y mi compañera. The sun is finally coming out!

This is chile....Sopaipilla for the activity (fried bread)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week # 59 (Sept. 14, 2015) Puerto Varas: Take 2

Hello lovelies!

This week has been a lot of change, but as always really good change. I´m back in Pto. Varas which is actually in the same stake as my first area in pto Montt (where i was for 7 months) So it´s been really fun connecting with old members. I'm in one ward over but we live with the Hermanas that are in my old Area here. I was actually able to go on splits with one of them for a day becuase on of them is having hip problems. It was the weirdest/coolest thing ever. It felt like a giant day of Deja Vu. Like, literally that sensation all day long. But I was able to see a lot of members and go see the family that owns the Fruit store that gives fruit to all the missionaries.They are fabulous.So it was a good day.
My companion´s name is Hna Braithwaite. She is the coolest ever. She was actually Hna Kogianes´companion in the MTC. So her trainer went to my companion and i´m finishing the training of Hna Braithwaite. (Hna B´s trainer had knee problems so we switched sectors. This one is huge and san pablo is flat and tiny.)
ANYWAY, my companion is awesome, my area is HUGE. Like, SO big and life is good. The first day here my comp said, ya, see the houses over there? that´s our area. Oh, and those over there. and those. And it reminded me of lion king where he says to Simba "Everything that the light touches is ours" Basically the same thing.
We have an INCREDIBLE investigator that has a baptismal date for October 10th. She had been super depressed for a long time becuase of a divorce and lack of work and a lot of really sad things that were happening in her life. One day she was watching movies and came across the Emma Smith movie. She felt the spirit so strong and called one of her friends that was a member of the church and asked her how she could get more. The sisters before had visited her about 2 times and the first time her house was dark and sad and she had´nt showered for days. But the next time, my comp said that she had done a 360. She got ready and her house was clean and she had a light. The lesson we had with her we talked about baptism and invited her for the 10th and even though she doesn´t feel ready right now, she is willing to learn and wants to do it. We bore testimony of how much the gospel has blessed us and she said "Oh, it´s blessed me so much too" I was dying. I have never met anyone like that on my mission. I think it is so amazing how much God really does prepare his children. And sometimes it´s so hard to believe it when there are so many people that just don´t want anything, hear our name and run away or simply slam the door. But as we are diligent and do what we can, however far it is from perfection, god lets us know how much he loves us through the spirit and through his abundand miracles. 
Thank you so much for everything you do. I love you all so much. And i hope that you look for all the miracles that god has put in your lives. However small and insignificant they may seem! ;) Love you!!!

Hermana Smoot

The lovely Hna Braithwaite. 

The owner of our house. The adorable Hermana Maria. :)

Saying goodbye to president and his wife in San Pablo.

Old members from Pto. Montt (she told me that a couple that we found with hna McClary got married and are ready to get baptized. SO cool.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week # 58 (Sept. 7, 2015) early transfer

It was super sunny this week and we were definitely happy about it. :)
We found a street that we had never been on. Turns out there weren´t any houses...but there was a gorgeous view. :)

Dear Family, 

So I´d like to start out with the fact that I´m ok, and my dog bite is pretty much better. I have one more doctor´s appointment. But I am walking and normal now. Thank you for all the prayers!

ALSO, our zone leaders just called us and I¨M GOING BACK TO PUERTO MONTT. It´s actually Pto. Varas, but in that zone. I´m literally on the verge of tears right now becuase transfers aren´t for another 2 weeks and I can´t finish being a trainer, and I have to pack and leave today. Which means I won´t be able to say goodbye to anyone or do anything. Basically crying and trying to just swallow and take a leap of faith forward. 

This week was awesome though. We don´t really have many investigators thanks to my small medical problems, but we´ve both been trying really hard to just follow the spirit and talk to every possible person we can. It´s so funny because even as a missionary for more than a year and as a really social person in general, it is so hard to talk to everyone about the gospel. But as i just try to remember how much everone needs this gospel and the reason behind all goals and rules, it helps me a lot to just DO. :)

We had one of the coolest lessons of my mission yesterday and I don´t have the capacity to give all the details, but it was amazing. We taught Veronica, who said the first time we talked to her that she was athiest and was probably never going to change her mind. But after a few attempts she let us in her house and we had only taught her a few times since then with a lot of talking and only a little scripture thought. So i was kind of feeling like it wasn´t worth our time and she wasn´t going to progress, but we had a really good feeling about her. So we went yesterday and were able to start with a song and a prayer and we taught her the basics of the plan of salvation with our little picture drawings. And she just kept saying, well i think differently. And then she started saying that she didn´t know what she thought. And kept just saying, "I don´t know....I don´t know" At one point it got really quiet and she was just looking at the picture of Christ in gethsemene that we put out. She then just said quietly, "It´s just not that easy to change. You just cant" and she started crying and crying. And i grabbed her hand and we bore our testimonies of christ and the atonement. And that change is possible. That there is a god and he loves her more than we can begin to understand. We started tearing up as well and just bore powerful testimony. The spirit was seriously so strong. She promised after that, that she would pray, for the first time in years and years. And then to end, we forgot our book of mormon so Hermana Kogianes gave hers to Veronica to read Enos. The whole thing was just so powerful. Pray that she can feel something when she prays and reads. Even if she doesn´t become a convert and just starts believing in god, it will be such a miracle. 
God is so present in our lives. Although he rairly gives us what we want, nor when we want it. I kept silently complaining why we couldn´t find some incredibly prepared family or why people didn´t want to listen. But like with Maria Elena and our lesson with Veronica, there are so many ways that her works through us to bless his children. His ways are MUCH higher than our ways. We just have to trust him and accept his will.
I´m going to try to take my own adivice this week as a get my new companion and sector and start finding. I love you all so much. And god loves you even more. The atonement is real and changes us everyday as we accept it and keep becoming better. Have a beautifully spiritual week.

Hermana Smoot 
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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Dog bite is not infected anymore...(mom hopes!)

Happy Birthday Mother,

MOM! I love you so much. I"m glad you got my letter on time. I wanted to do something special like a video or something. Sorry. Just know that i love you so much and i am so happy that you are my mother. Have some fro yo or baskin robbins peanut butter icecream. Haha. I love you so much seriously. Thank you for always being there for me. 

My cut is fine and not infected anymore. ill be walking i think tomorrow or Wednesday. Thanks for caring. The vitamins are great and so are the powders. i still have more than half left so i should be fine for a while. feel free to send stuff though. haha. :) I really do love you and I hope you have the BEST DAY EVER!!!

Week # 57 (Aug. 31, 2015) Life in a wooden box 2

Well this week was....fun.
As I failed to mention last week, my leg that was bitten by a dog got infected and the doctor told me that i had to rest for 7 days. Then the doctors said yesterday that it was still bad and gave me another few days....so my week has been life in a little wooden box without ANYTHING to do. Many of you will recieve letters soon though.....
But apart from going a little crazy, and eating my weight every day (am i eating becuase i'm bored? -grinch. yes)  I actually have learned a ton. Without much to do, I was given a lot of time for self reflection and study of the scriptures that i would like to share. :)

First of all I was able to finish the book of mormon and was able to pray about it and I love it so much. The book of mormon is the most powerful book in the world. I feel the love of our heavenly father so much as I read. I invite all of you to read in your moments of distress or if your testimony is lacking. A big dose does wonders.

All week i was praying to know what i could learn from this experience and I'm not sure if i figured it all out, but I do know that from every single thing we go through, heavenly father allows us to learn. There is an article in the liahona about a girl who, with three months left in her mission was sick in bed. And learned a great lesson of patience. She said that she realized that even though she wanted to teach so bad, what the servant learns is just as important as the task at hand. It's hard for me to understand sometimes why things happen when it seems like it won't help his children, but he has plans that are a lot bigger than my plans. HIs will is so hard to accept sometimes. But I know that the frustration that I have felt and the revelation I have recieved will help me for the rest of my mission. I need to remember that the One that calmed the storm was also the One that makes it. And all of it will eventually be for our learning and our good. 

I really love all of you so much. I'm grateful for this oportunity to serve the Lord. Im grateful for my companion who is such and incredible example to me of putting her whole heart in everything. And Im grateful for my MOTHER today who turns thirty-forever (as they say here) who has led and helped me in everything that i do. Mom, you are one of the greatest examples ever. Thank you for your endless service and love. KEEP GOING and loving. 

Sorry this was slightly scatterbrained. I'm excited to leave this week and find all those chosen and prepared people. PRAY that we can find them. :) 

Much much love,

Hermana Smoot

Our sister training leaders brought us,"the other side of heaven" and my COMP totally was in charge for a couple hours during splits. ANd sshe did wonderfully.