Week 75: The best 18 months

Hello loved ones! So the time has arrived, and has arrived very quickly. This will be my last email sent from the mission… que loucura.

This week was full of emotions, of fear and excitement and sadness (lots of goodbyes and tears, tears tears tears tears) and hope and joy and gratitude and love. Full of reflection about my mission and about the goodness of God. I cannot even hope to put into words all that I learned and felt and experienced and suffered and grown here on the mission; “I cannot express the smallest part of what I feel” (Alma 26:16).

But, I can say that the decision to serve a full time mission for the Lord was the best decision I have ever made in my life, and will ever make, I think.

I would like to list all of the things I learned here on the mission but today it would take ten years, so I’ll just say a few:

-The glory and goodness of God
-The power of prayer
-How to truly worship (through scripture study, through church attendance, through prayer, through fast, through obedience to the commandments of a loving and caring Heavenly Father)
-How to recognize the whisperings of the Holy Ghost
-The very real and capacitating power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ
-Who God and Jesus Christ truly are; I came and am still coming to know them, and I think that is the best of all; that is life eternal, right? To know God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ.

I testify with all of my heart and soul and being, in a way that I, personally, could never have testified without my mission, that God is our loving Heavenly Father who knows me and loves me perfectly, and knows what is best for me, and He will do what is best for me if I simply trust Him. That Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and He is and will forever be my Master, that He lived and suffered and died and was ressurrected for me, and that I can draw divine power from His grace. That prayer is powerful, that God talks to us through the Book of Mormon, that the presence of the Holy Ghost, made accessible to us through the sacrament, is the best recompense of obedience that we can receive, that it is his presence that gives us hope and joy and peace and strength. That we need only make the decision to trust and obey and keep going, and the grace and help will come. I know that this is the only living, true church of Jesus Christ on the face of this earth, that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, that the Book of Mormon is the most perfect and divine and powerful book that exists. I know that if we obey and trust and give our all, even if it’s not perfect, if we recognize our weaknesses and repent and try to be better, we will be forgiven time and time again. The grace of the Atonement of Jesus Christ never runs out, and this grace can mold us and transform us into everything that God wants us to be, which is beyond our wildest imaginations. And all we have to do is love, trust, and obey.

“Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.”

Alma 26:16

I love you all and I love this gospel, it’s perfect!!!! Please do the right and you will be blessed!!!! Just trust in Him and obey, He loves you so much!!!!
-My last desperate plea as Sister Smith lol

Com amor,
Sister Smith

1. Selfie of my last lesson with Adair ūüė¶
2. Heavenly Father blessed my last day in the field
3. A dançinha do Romano
4-8. A series of my lack of strength lol sorry companion beloved
9-10. Suzy and the best present ever11. So there is a tradition here in Brasil that when there is a big event happening in someone¬īs life, they commemorate by throwing eggs and flour on that person. And so that is what my wonderful branch did to me. And then I went, covered in eggs and flour, and hugged Fifi who was responsible for it all hehe
12. The lovely and perfect branch of Buti√° on my last Sunday. The second photo shows how stressed out everyone was because I made them stay in the sun for 10 years hahaha it was worth it
13. Sad goodbyes. The hardest part about the mission
15. My favorite family of all.



Week 74: My last Christmas, my last churrasco, my last week

Hello loved ones!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!! My second (and last) Christmas here in the mission was wonderful. I love these people very very much.

This week was really really really good. We had our Christmas conference!!! With the half of the mission that is here closer to Porto Alegre. It was wonderful. We received a training, Presidente Cruz spoke and the spirit was so strong, and then we had a dope lunch and then after were the going away testemonies, of which I bore. I stood up in front of everyone and basically just cried the whole two minutes hahaha it was very surreal. But I don’t know, it was sad but good. I had been feeling anxious the last days, not sure if I had been acceptable to the Lord in my year and a half of service. But that morning I felt a very strong confirmation that the Lord was happy with me, and that He wanted me to be happy. And so in that moment I felt happy, and very very very grateful for everything that my mission had done for me. And then each zone performed a skit in front of everyone and it was hilarious and our zone didn’t practice our skit and so it was a disaster hahahhahaa no one laughed at our skit…. YAAAAaaaaaa but we were laughing soooo hard so it’s all good. If it wasn’t funny for them at least it was funny for us right… haha

And then the rest of this week was wonderful. We had an amazing Christmas, I loooooved seeing my family ūüôā it was perfect. I love you guys so much. And then we had a Christmas dinner at one of the member’s house, and almost all of the members of our branch came, it was super fun. They gave us each a mug with a picture of our nametag, I cried when I saw it haha. It was so good. I love them. And then yesterday we worked! Presidente Cruz traded our pday for today so that we could work yesterday. So all day yesterday we knocked on doors, offering a Christmas message and singing for the people. Some thought it was weird (caroling isn’t a big thing here haha) but others liked it, and we received many invitations to return. (!!!!)

So it was a wonderful week, and I had one more wonderful week ahead of me. It isn’t real to me yet that my mission is ending. I am very excited to be home, but I am devastated to leave my mission, which has become holy land for me. But anyways. We can talk more about this next week haha.

I was reflecting this week about everything that I have learned here on the mission, which is a lot. It makes me realize how little I knew and felt before the mission haha. But one of the things that I realized this week that I had learned profoundly, is about the power of the Holy Ghost, and how great privelige (?) it is that we, Latter Day Saints, can have his company with us always. I don’t know if I already sent this quote, but I love it so much that I’ll send it again.

“The gift of the Holy Ghost quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom, to their lawful use. It inspires, develops, cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings and affections of our nature. It inspires virtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. It tends to health, vigor, animation, and social feeling. It invigorates all the faculties of the physical and intellectual man. It strengthens and gives tone to the nerves. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to they eyes, music to the ears, and life to the whole being.”¬†-Parley P. Pratt

Whatever sacrifice we have to make to have the Holy Ghost more wholly and completely with us is worth it, for the best recompense of our obedience is the presence of the Holy Ghost, and the peace and love and joy that he brings. Let us all follow the Savior in such a way that we can feel the Holy Ghost with us always!

I love you all!!!! Thank you for your prayers and love and faith. Have a wonderful week!

1. We wanted to take a cool photo with the moon and I ended up eating Sister Silva’s hair lol2. Lol trying to be hardcore
3-4. After several long weeks of very very very hot weather, finally it rained, and we took advantage of it haha
6. We gained a present from the most horrifying Santa I have ever seen hahaha
7. I stole this dress from Sister Berger…. jk missionaries don’t steal haha
8-11. This series is called: “Sightings found only in Buti√°”
12. Christmas Churrasco part 2


Week 73: Lovest thou me?

In Peter’s case, it was the fish. In my case, what will it be? What will keep me from being able to say to the Savior, “Thou knowest that I love thee, more than these.”

I can follow the example of Lamoni’s father:

“O God… I will give away all my sins to know thee.” (Alma¬†22:18)

It’s a really good thing that the Lord is infinitely merciful and kind and loving and giving and forgiving, because if He were not, I would be toast haha. But how I am grateful that in this one year and five months, I have come to know Him, and I know that He is merciful and kind and loving and giving and forgiving. Trust in Him, and know that the Savior is always always always calling us to exchange our sins for something much more; to know Him and live with Him forever.

I love you all!!!!! I love this gospel so much, it is perfect and healing and perfect and perfect. Have a wonderful week of love and hope and light and remember the Savior Jesus Christ in every moment of every day, and think of what you can give to Him this Christmas season to show Him you love Him, more than these.

Com amor,
Sister Smith

Desculpa falta de fotos!!!!!

Week 72: Engaged in the saving of the human soul

Hello my dearest loved ones. This week was a week that Heavenly Father blessed us to see some of the fruits of our labors. This Sunday, the frequency hit 76, which is record in this branch, and just four short of being able to be qualified to be a ward. (!!!) Taisi and Diego, two eternal investigators, were baptized, and we had a frequency of 50 people at the baptism, another record!! And we had two resgates this Sunday also!!! Heavenly Father is pouring His blessing upon this blessed city. I love this place and I love this work. One miracle especially special to us that happened this week is this: so we live behind a fast food restaurant where a less active young man of 23 years works. Every day we passed we talked with him, and every¬†Saturday¬†night we nagged him to go to church, and he never went. But,¬†Saturday, another young man that is preparing to go on a mission, Filipe, was talking with him (Douglas). And¬†Saturday¬†night at the baptism, Filipe came running up to us and told us that a miracle happened, that Douglas decided that he wanted to return to church, and that he too wanted to go on a mission. He said that he told Filipe that he wouldn’t let him go alone! And so he went to church¬†Sunday¬†and at the end, he thanked us for never giving up on him. Never never never give up on the lost sheep; we never know when the Savior will touch their hearts and they will return, and we will be the way through which they could be saved again (3 Nephi¬†18:32), and we will be engaged in the same work of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father; in the saving of the human soul.

This week I remembered a primary song that touched my heart as I did a study of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

It shouldn’t be hard, to sit very still
To think about Jesus, His cross on the hill
It shouldn’t be hard, to sit quietly
To think how He suffered and died for me

(And then I forgot the rest haha but anyways)

I made a goal to think more constantly about the Savior, in every moment of every day, so that I could come to know Him even more than I have come to know Him here on the mission, and I challenge you, my loved ones, to do the same ūüôā

I know with my whole being that Christ lives, that he lived and suffered and died and lived again for me, and for each one of us. Let us try to make every day a demonstration of our humble gratitude for this eternal and perfect sacrifice.

I love you all!!!!!

Photos! 1. Erick, one of the most Christlike persons I have ever met in my life, dedicated his whole Saturday to helping us with the pia batismal for the baptism, because always something has to go wrong with the pia batismal the day of the baptism haha
2. These kind missionaries used this mop to imitate my hair lol
3. Taisi in white!!
4. Diego in white!!
5. Diego and Pedro Paulo Dias hahaha love them


Week 70: Adair’s baptism!!

Hello loved ones!!! This week was wonderful. Adair was baptized!!! As always, everything went wrong the last minute hahaha normal. So his baptism ended up having to be Sunday morning before church, and the baptismal font wasn’t filling up (see photo below) hahaha. But, in the end, everything worked out, Adair was baptized, and it was so so so good. He left the water gleaming, saying over and over again, “I’m so happy, but so so happy.” We love him so much.

Also, other miracle, Jenifer came out of nowhere (the sister of a recent convert) and we challenged her to ask Heavenly Father if she should be baptized. This wa Saturday night, and Sunday morning she showed up at church and told us that she had received an answer to her prayers, and that she wanted to be baptized, this Saturday!! I’ll leave it at this: the power of fast and prayer is so so so so real. God is so good.

One thing that I have learned is that everything depends on the desires of our hearts. If our hearts are right, then what we will ask God in prayer will be right, and then we will receive what we ask accordingly. And He never never never fails to keep a promise, to answer our prayers, and to show His merciful arm in the lives of those who ask humbly and seek Him earnestly. I love Him so so so so much, and for this reason I love this work so so so so so much.

“O taste, and see that the Lord is good.”¬†Psalms 33:8

I don’t have a lot of time again today haha but here are some photos!!!!
1. Adair’s baptism!!
2. Selfie with Adair lol
3. Long story short: last minute the batismal font didn’t want to fill up, so all of the children ran and filled up pots with water to dump in the font and it was hilarious and wonderful and I love them
4. One of our investigators that made it out to church! lololol but for reals he followed us until church


Week 69: I shall not be moved

Loved ones!!!! This week was a week of miracles!!!! I know I always say that hahaha but for real. Every week is more miraculous than the last. And na verdade almost all of the miracles happened yesterday… So I’ll tell you guys all about it.

Sunday morning: Went to church, searched and picked up our investigators. One investigator in especial: Adair. This was his second time at church, and he LOVED it. He had a serious problem with the word of wisdom, but from the moment we taught him the word of wisdom, he stopped completely. Stopped cold. Is that how we say it? I forgot hahaha anyways, miracle number one. And he went to church yesterday and he will be baptized this week!!!!!! Miracle number two, a man that we had street contacted a long time ago (so long ago that I don’t actually remember haha) talked with one of the members saturday, and he invited him to church. He said he would go. But until sacrament meeting, he still hadn’t showed up. So we went with the member, Paulo Dias, to pick him up. We arrived there, and he was not expecting us haha BUT, he dropped everything and went to church with us, and he too loved it. Third miracle, two eternal investigators, literally, 20 years. We almost gave up on them, but we felt yesterday that we should visit them. So we went and they told us that they were resolving their problems (aka not being married), she told us, “You guys won’t believe what just happened. My husband (husband entre aspas) just asked me to marry him.” !!!!!!!!! and that they (she and her son) wanted to be baptized agora. !!!!! Fourth miracle, that same member called us last night and told us that he has someone that is interested and is prepared to be baptized. Gente, we walked home last night, exhausted after a long week of hard work, but floating in the clouds because of the goodness of God. He is blessing us so much, He is so good. This I know with all of my being, that when we do our part, he is obligated to do His part, and He will never never never let us down. On the contrary, He will always do so much more than we can ever expect or want. He is so good, gente. Trust in Him! He always always always keeps His promises. I love Him very much.

“I have set the Lord before me, and I shall not be moved.” Trust in Him!!!! Don’t be moved!!! He is perfect and loving and knows you and loves you, and He will answer your prayers, this I know with all of my being.

I love you all!!!!!!

1-2. BUTI√Ā
3-4. These were supposed to turn out cool lol
5. We love Buti√°
6. Our little army of helping hands


Week 68: Love love love, here it comes :)

Hello loved ones!!!!!! I’m so sorry, this week I don’t have much time to write, but it was a WONDERFUL week, every week is more wonderful than the last, not sure why Heavenly Father is doing this to me, it’s making it a lot more annoying that it’s coming to the end… hahaha just kidding but for real. I sometimes stop in the street in awe and unbelief at how wonderful the mission is, how wonderful God is, and our Savior Jesus Christ. And I know that it sounds dumb haha but I don’t know, being a missionary has been and continues to be the best thing that has ever happened to me, and it is incredible to me. My love for Heavenly Father and my awe and gratitude at His love and mercy and glory grows every day. I love the people here, I love the members, I LOVE my companion, but most of all, I love being able to testify of Jesus Christ every single day, being His representative. This alone fills my heart with so much joy, I can’t comprehend it. I know that He lives, with all of my being, with more surety than I know anything else, I know that He lives. And this testimony has made all the difference for me.

I promise I’ll write more next week!!!! And send photos!! I love you all!!!!
Com amor,
Sister Smith