Semana 18

Hola once again from El Colorado, Formosa, Argentina!

Wow this week has been a little crazy.
But probably the highlight of this past week was the opportunity to skype my lovely family! I cant even express how fulfilling that was! I miss yàll so much and I hope that you had an awesome Christmas.

Anyways, this week after the fun times in Resistencia (doctor and zone activity) we headed back to El Colorado on the 24th and spent Christmas here! One thing thats different here for Christmas is that EVERY house had fireworks. So at midnight, in our apartment we could the WHOLE city was lite up with fireworks! So beautiful!
Also our branch president brought us food for Christmas and there was this special food from Paraguay and it was basically like corn dressing, so that was my highlight of Christmas eve, haha.

Then on this past Saturday we had an activity in our branch! We watched a movie and shared Pan Dulce (basically like a sweet bread with random fruit in it). We had some more less actives and it was a great way to spend time with people in our branch.

Overall Navidad was great. Hard not to miss family and friends, but great. Also this past week I had my 4 month mark! Crazy to think that i`ve been on my mision for 4 months! The time has flown by. I cant wait for the next 14!

On a more spiritual note, this week we recieved the “Liahonas” or the church magaize that has talks from Church leaders. Me encanta! I was reading one article from an ancient liahona and about a church leader when he was on his mission in the south pacfic (i think it was the same guy from “the other side of heaven” but im not sure). anyways, he talked about the sturggles that he went through on his mission. Not having water or food for months after a hurricane and other terrible circumstances. It made me think how grateful I am for the things in my mission. The opportunity to write my family every week. To have running water, to have (more or less) local convencices. When the going gets rough, and I try to get down on myself, I try to think of “oh it could be worse”. Basically being optomistic is what helps me.

Anyways, sometimes Navidad and other times in our lives, can be hard. Without family or other circumstances, but! I promise that if we stay optomistic and look at the bright side of things, we can be happier for the better.

So that`s this week! Not too much to report. This next week is transfers so we`ll see where the road takes me and my district.

Chau for now!
Con amor,
Hermana Smith

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Semana 17

Wow this week has been the craziest. Actually this transfer (a 6 week period) has been the craziest! Almost every week this transfer we´ve been traveling for different reasons and honestly, it´s been exhausting. But when we´re in our area we work hard!!

This week I got a new companion, Hermana Arias from Buenos Aires! I love her to death and she´s such a sweet heart. She works hard and never gives up. This week we had two less actives that haven’t gone to church in a long time and my recent convert, Nancy! I love her to death and she´s so sweet.

Over all this week has been wonderful. Feeling the spirit of Christmas in our lives and how we spread the gospel.
Also this week before Hna Guevara left for her casa, I had a small reunion with my old companions in the MTC!! It was like seeing old friends in a long time, it felt fantastic!

This morning we headed to our Zone Meeting (about 20 or so missionaries) and to have our activity for Christmas, but while walking down the stairs, Hna Arias tripped and fell because its very dark outside of our apartment where the stairs are. I called the District Leader and then we headed to Resistencia because that´s the only thing we could do. Once we got to Resistencia we headed to the doctor who told her that it was fractured and she can´t work for two weeks. So I´m not exactly sure what my future has in store for me. Today has been a little crazy but I do my best to help my companion and my district.
Anyways, that´s the big news in my life!
Not too much to write, but just wanted to let you all know how much I love every single one of yall and hope that you all have a wonderful (and possibly cold) Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!

Also for a little side note, as you prepare for Christmas, remember the reason for the season. Remember how Christ lived and died for us.
As we´ve been working this week, we´ve been handing out little cards that say “él es la Dadiva” Dadiva means gift, but not just any gift, a voluntary gift. Christ voluntarily gave his life for us so that one day we could live with our families and Heavenly Father again.

I love this gospel with all my heart and every day I learn more and more. I love you all so much and I hope that your “Navidad” is wonderful with family and friends!

All for now!

Con amor,
Hermana Smith

Semana 16

Hola familia y amigos!
First off, Feliz Navidad!! This letter might be kinda short today because we´re headed to Resistentica today for the last time with my companera, Hna Guevara! She heads home this week and I´m going to miss her so much. She´s helped me so much with everything, language, teaching, and being a missionary in itself.

But with all the crazy traveling this past week, we were blessed with having two baptisms!!! (Pictures to follow!). The two girls (Nancy and Magali) are cousins and they are the light of my life. They are so geunine and kind. I love teaching them and I´ll miss them so much! Their spirit is so strong and i love them to death.

This past week was pretty crazy (biggest understatment) and this next week as well. But I´m sure your lives are just as crazy with Navidad or Christmas this next week? Where did the time go! It feels like yesterday it was August and I was in the MTC. Crazy.
Anyways, I´m sure that you all are doing well and preparing gifts for family and friends for the coming weeks, but I would just like to remind you about the true meaning of Christmas and what it means to you.

Here in El Colorado summer starts on the 21st of December and its already been hot as hades, so that´ll be fun. Enjoy the cold weather for me!

That´s all for now, sorry again that this week is short. It´s been a crazy time here!

Love you all and have a Merry Christmas!!!

chau for now!
Hermana Smith

pictures!
1, 2, 3, names and faces of my lovely, crazy district!
4 i found a FLORIDA plate! I screamed when I saw it hahaha
5 “dont cry for me argentina!” theres a Eva statue in the plaza in El colorado
6 an Investigator family!
7 8 9 yes thats a cow. her name is negreita!
theres a ton of photos. but its my life here in argentina! i love the people and the food! Its hard, but I love it.

Semana 15

Hola once again from El Colorado!

This week has been one of the craziest and bussiest in my life. Like it says in the “subject”, I was in 5 provincias (basically like states) this week! How crazy is that!

Well we started out this week by heading to Resistencia for a reuion de zona! Where other missionaries come together to discuss how to improve our areas or whatnot. This month we talked about Navidad!! yay!
We recieved little tarjetas or cards about Navidad to give to investigadores or other people we meet. It says “Él es la dádiva” with a picture of Christ as a baby with Maria. Dádiva means “gift” but a voluntary gift. This christmas or navidad, I challenge each and everyone of you to think of how faith in Christ has helped or blessed you in your lives. “He is the gift”, the gift to help us in our lives. He gave his life for us. So that one day we could return to our Father in Heaven.
Also to know more about “Él es la dádiva”, search for christmas.mormon.org. or if you want to be really adventurous search navidad.mormon.org (para espanol )
I hope this makes sense because english is hard.

Then that night (wednesday) I headed with 30 other missionaries to Córdoba! In the terminal I saw my old companera, Hermana Beckstead and other missionaries in my distict in the MTC!! It was so glorious to see a familiar face! It was also really, really, really, hard to speak in english. It was such a blessing to talk to her for a little bit, unfortunately she couldnt come to Córdoba, but it was a blessing to see her!
Then we were on a bus for 10 hours in the night.

When we arrived in Córdoba we headed to tramites (immigration for Argentina) all day, but that night we were blessed to go to the new Templo in Córdoba!! Unfortunately it wasn´t open, pero to be near the temple was just an amazing experience in itself. I´m beyond blessed to be near one for a little bit. In my mission the closest templo es in Paraguay, so be near one was a glorious opportunity.
The next day we also spent in tramites. And then headed back to Resistentica Friday night! I absolutely loved Córdoba. Very European and such a beautiful city! Also the alfajores there were AMAZING! Me encanta!!

On Saturday morning I was reunited with my companion, Hna Guevara once again and we headed back to El Colorado. This week was very hard because we weren´t in our area to work. Very, very difficult, especially getting people ready for baptisms. But, we are picking up the pace once again!

Love you all so much. I hope that you all have a wonderful Navidad in the states. This week we watched the Christmas Devotional from the first presidency in Salt Lake and I was a little trunky for Christmas in the states and the cold weather. Pero! I only have this time (and next year) for Navidad in Argentina and I´m going to enjoy it as much as I can. Also this week is the last week with my companera, so it´s been a little crazy, very sad, and really hard.

Anyways, this week has been crazy with traveling and I´m ready to work hard in my area!
Last but not least, i urge you all to go to christmas.mormon.org and remember what the reason is for this season.

Love you all so much!!!

con amor y feliz navidad!
Hermana Smith

1, 2, 3 are photos of my crazy zone.
4 we went to walmart! so crazy.
5 part of my old zone!
6, 7,8 photos from Córdoba!
9, 10, 11 photos from templo de Córdoba!!!
12, 13 photos con Hna Guevara in Corrientas for her tramites! also with hotdogs, muuyy rico.

Semana 14: 3 Month Mark

Hola familia y amigos!

Hope all of your thanksgiving food and black friday shopping were great! All was normal here in El Colorado and hot as hades.

Well this week we worked really hard and contacted (or talking to people) a ton! First, we met this one lady named Marlen. A very sweet, compassionate lady. We taught her about the plan of Salvation and how families can be together forever. I felt the spirit so strong when we were talking and then she started crying! She said that she needed this in her life, to know where we came from, why we´re here on earth, and where we go after we die. Whenever we find a “golden” person who 1. listens, 2. has real intent, and 3. wants to change for the better, it is the absolute best. Basically Navidad (or christmas ). After working hard all day long and walking in the hot sun, finding a golden person makes it all worth it.

Also this week, we met this one family. Teaching the restauration (or the first lesson). During the begining of th elesson there were a ton of distractions. Dogs, chicos playing soccer, a cloud of dirt from the road in our faces, anything that you could think of. But when I recited the first vision (or an account from Joseph Smith when he prayed to know which church to join and saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ) We could all feel the spirit so strong. All of their attention and concentration was in the lesson. In the MTC, I was taught that we´re representatives of Jesus Christ and that only through the power of the Holy Ghost can we teach the doctorine and teachings of Jesus Christ. In that particular momment, I felt the spirit speaking through me and testifying of these true things. We then invited them to pray to know if the message is true or not. We also invited them to come to church on Sunday. That next Sunday their son, Martín came to church! He´s really intelligent and loves to learn. Also the father of the family said that his brother is a bishop (a leader in the church) in Buenos Aires! Crazy and such a blessing.
One of the hardest things is to find “prepared people”. But I hope for the best for this family and that we can help them come unto Christ.

Yesterday I gave a talk in Church about compasión and I divided it into three parts: 1. amor (love), 2. servicio (service), and 3. caridad (charity).
A brief summary: love, serve, and care for the people around you. Sometimes it might be difficult because people are difficult at times. But with patience, it´s possible. Also to serve family members, friends, or co workers. Whenever I serve my companion or those around me, I feel so much better. Doing something selfless for another person I can feel peace in my life. And last thing, charity which is also the “pure love of Christ”. I absolutely love that. Whenever we serve or care for others we can have that “wholeness” and peacfulness in our lives.
I promise that as we selflessly give our time, talents, and efforts to those in need, we¨ll be blessed in all aspects in our lives.

Well that´s all for now! Hopefully these next couple of weeks with Hna. Guevara (her last couple of weeks!! 😦 ) will be fantastic!

Love you all so much!

Con amor,
Hermana Smith

Ps, here are some photos from the week!
My thanksgiving meal with Hna Cruz(Nicaragua), Hna Guevara (Nicaragua), and Hna Mujica (Peru).
Also, my 3 month mark sign that Hna Guevara made for me and I made pancakes which I was pretty excited about!

Semana 13: Happy Turkey Week/

Hola familia y amigos!!

Happy thanksgiving! Hope all is well in your lives!! I love reading your emails each week! They make me so happy and I love them. Also if you want to send me a Dear elder, thats still a thing. if you have any questions go to my blog (sistersmithinargentina.wordpress.com) and youll find it all there!! also my mailing address! haha.

This week my companera and I worked really hard in the crazy el Colorado. First off we´re getting Marcos, Nancy, and Magali ready for baptism for the next couple of weeks. We´ve been teaching them everyday and they continue to grow their testimony and faith. I love teaching them because everytime there´s at least 12 other little chicos because all of their cousins live in the same street, haha. Never ceases to be boring here.

Last week we met Rosa. She met with the missionaries about a year ago but never really progressed. We just happened to clap, yes literally clap, at her door (#argentinaprobs) and she was so warm and welcoming towards us. She´s a very sweet lady and always calls me,*mi gringa*. I love it, haha. She has a very strong spirit and teaching her is the best.

I´m very limited on time, but I´ll wrap it up, We teach all the time, to all different types of people. Some people accept it and some dont. This week I read in Helamen 5:12 about how important to keep the faith. Google the scripture even if you´re not LDS, you´ll love it, I promise. It is so vital for our lives to remember Christ. He atoned for our sins. Every time we feel alone, upset, discouraged, and feel like we can´t go on, we can. Because he understands. Whenever I get frustrated (which happens a lot),I know that I can go on through His help and guidance. If we build a strong foundation of faith, then I know for a fact that we cannot fall.

Life here isnt easy, nor being a missionary. It´s hard especially when it rains and the whole world is asleep, or when its hot and the whold world is asleep.. Or when you tell people that you´re a mormon and they dont want anything to do with you. Or when your camera´s memory has a virus and all your pictures are erased….Its hard teaching and learning in a new language.
But with all the experiences I´ve had here in Argentina, I wouldn´t change anything. The good or the bad. It´s made me the person that I am today. I know that in my life, I´m supposed to be here right now.

I love the people here, I love the food, I love the Dulce de Leche, the helado, the plazas, the life, the tranquilidad, and most importantaly bringing souls unto Jesus Christ.

Love you all and hope you have a happy Turkey Day!!

con amor,
Hermana Smith

ps If anyone wants to send me scores for Football after Thanksgiving, that would be fantastic!

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Week 10: Raining like cats and dogs, Conferencia de Estaca, and Divisiones

Hola from the rainy land of El Colorado!

This week was full of fun adventures in mud and español.

Primer, in our district there are three sets of missionaries. Myself, my comp, two elders, and two other lovely hermanas, Hna. Cruz and Hna. Muijca, who are also the Sister Training Leaders for our zone. This week I went to San Martin and Hna. Muijca was in El Colorado for a day! It was nice to get a break from El Colorado for a bit. Entonces, Hna. Cruz and I talked to different people and old investigatores in San Martin. It was a great opportunity to learn and grow from another missionary.

This week was Conferencia de Estaca, or Stake Conference (where a bunch of LDS church congregations in one area come together) in Resistencia. This week we were trying our hardest to bring our investigators to the conferencia. One investigator who is also BFFs with the Sanchez chicos, Maria wanted to go. She invitied her cousin Marcos, so we began teaching Marcos the first lesson. He was beyond receptive and really wanted to know the truth. Since then, we´ve taught him so much and it´s really been an amazing experience. Whenever you find a “golden” investigator, it changes your whole attitude. It´s incredible.

So there´s strict law about how people under 18 can´t leave their province without the mother and the fathers permission (El Colorado is barely in Formosa and Resistencia is in Chaco). All of our investigators are either younger than 18 or have children younger than 18. So none of them could come.
But! The conferencia was brilliant. I understood probably less than 50% what was being said, but I could feel the language of the spirit and it was so strong.
President Franco and Hna. Franco (my mission presidents) spoke about how everyone can be a member missionary!

After the conferencia, I saw Hna. Lake (my comp for 2 days in the MTC) and Elder Lourence (in my District in the MTC). It felt so good to see familiar faces!

This week we have our Zone Conference on Wednesday and Multi-zone on Thursday in Resistencia! I´m pretty excited about it.

Nothing else going on here. Hope everyone had an awesome Halloween in the States! Some investigatores asked me about halloween in the states, so that was fun to explain haha.

love yáll so much and i love getting emails from you all! Sorry if I don´t respond to them, but i read them and they make my week!

con amor,
Hermana Smith

1. on the way to the conferencia!
2. Hna. Lake!

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Week 9

Hola from El Colorado, Argentina!

This week was a fun one in El Colorado. We always try to find and meet new investigators which can be tricky. Some people are very open and welcome change, whereas others are very, very stubborn. So everyday is different.

Probably one of the biggest highlights this week was that we made empanadas!! Ever since I´ve been in Argentina I´ve wanted to learn how! Super easy and I might be in love. Pictures to follow.

A very interesting experience this week: one thing about Colorado. There´s really only one family that´s active and a ton of menos activos. So every now and then while tracting we run into a member. While we were in this one area we met this member who loved the gospel and loves the missionaries. He even has a poster about the church in his house. Unfortunately, he didn´t come to church this week, but keep with hope.

Something that I´ve learned while being here is that the Lord really does prepare his people to accept the Gospel and to listen with their heart. We met this one lady who has three kids and she´s from Paraguay. She was a little bit harder to understand because it´s different than Castellano / spanish. She was so welcoming and I felt the spirit so strong with her. More on here next week, possibly. It´s the worst when you share something so dear and precious to your heart with an investigator and you can see the light of Christ in their eyes, then the next time you visit, they don´t want to hear you. But that´s the life of the average missionary.

Spiritual thought: For the past couple of weeks I´ve been reading in Alma about the Sons of Mosiah and Alma who in the Book of Mormon go to journey to another land to preach to people.
I absolutely love in Alma 28: 14 where it says “14 And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.”

Life here in Colorado is hard. But is possible! Spanish is hard, but is possible!!
Last week seeing Adrianna in the waters of baptism brought so much joy to my heart. I hope to bring as many people as I can to baptism.

Every day is different and full of adventures here. Here in Argentina, life is very, very different, but I love it.

Hope you all have a fun Halloween in the States! Love you all so much and have a great week!

con amor,
Hermana Smith

ps the sunsets here are absolutely amazing!!!

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Week 8: First Baptism and Feliz Día de Madre!

Hola once again from El Colordao, Argentina!

It´s absolutely, unbelievably hot here. Luckily, we are blessed to have AC in our apartment (only in our room where we sleep) and I´m incredibly grateful for it.

Before I came to Colorado, Hna. G and her old comp found this one family and baptized two sisters (fanny and sandra). They are the sweetest girls and I have such a strong spirit about them. Their younger sister, Adrianna, has been taking the lessons and we baptized her Saturday! She is the sweetest 8 yr. old you´ll ever meet. I feel so blessed to be apart of her conversion process.

Also, yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity of speaking in church. Let´s just say it was a struggle and I have a ton to learn. But I´m grateful for the opportunity to learn spanish. It´s really, really, really, really, really hard. Its hard not to get frustrated and quit. It´s hard not speaking english. But poco a poco. Simpre, poco a poco.

Fun fact: the food here is wonderful and the people love pasta and rice. Pero, they have this thing that tates like grits (a southern food, that is amazing). I almost died, only in Argentina would this happen, haha.

Yeserday was also Feliz Día de Madre here in Argentina, so I got to skype my mom and granny for a bit!! Such a blessing.

Probably one of my favorite parts during the day is personal study time. Just one on one time. No distractions, no heat. It´s fantastic. I encourgage each of y´all to take time out of your day and just read the scriptures. LDS or not, just take time to breath and read or ponder. I promise that you´ll feel better.

Our days are long: full of walking in the heat to different houses. It´s hard here. People are very receptive of the church but acting on faith is a different obstacle.

Every day I´m grateful for my family, for my companion, for the church, and for the opportunity to serve a mission. It´s hard, but it´s worth it.
I love each and everyone of yáll and I hope you have a fantastic week!

con amor,
hermana smith

ps: here´s some pictures of the baptism and some other fun treats!

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this is where we do our laundry. its not too bad. im actually super grateful for it. its super easy to use. then i hang my clothes
this is where we do our laundry. its not too bad. im actually super grateful for it. its super easy to use. then i hang my clothes
argentina sunset
argentina sunset

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Week 6 & 7

Hi!!!

This week has been one for the books. My first week en el campo or the field has been full of ups and downs. First off, I´m in this smallish city of Colorado, ARG. Super hot and humid. It´s fantastic. Our area is the nothern chunck of the ciudad.

My comp/trainer is Hermana Guevara and she´s from Nicaragua! She´s fantastic and we get along great. She doesnt speak any english, so im learning spanish really, really fast. Also, she´s very patient with my spanish (which im grateful for).

We landed in Buenos Aires last Tuesday morning (I cant believe that was a week ago!). Then we met a rep from the church who didnt speak any english and drove us to the other Buenos Aires airport (we also passed the temple!!). Then we had a 8 hour layover, where we met other missionaries headed to RES too! They were at the Buenos Aires MTC and are fluent in spanish. Later that night we landed in RES and then met Pres. Franco and Hna. Franco (they have a instagram or facebook thing, go find it stef!!). Then we spent the night in RES in a really nice hotel. The next morning we had training at the church. Later, I said goodbye to my comps and my district in the MTC, and went with Hna. Guevara to go the terminal to get on a bus headed to Colorado!

We are always busy with contacting (by clapping at their doors, muy rado, haha) and teaching investigadores. Everyday is a different opportunity to share the gospel with people you wouldnt expect. It´s great and it keeps you on your toes.

Life is different here in Argentina, but I love it so much. I wish I had the time to tell yáll everything, but that would be a very, very, very long email.
This weekend we went to the fieste arte in the plaza! It was full of vendors selling all sorts of things. It was incredible and I really felt the culture of the Argentine people. Oh the food! full of pasta and carne, it´s pretty awesome. We walk everywhere and enjoy the heat of Argentina.

Spanish is hard. Especially castellano (i think this is how it’s spelled?). The people speak fast and its all slurred. But poco a poco.
I hope everyone enjoyed general conference! watching it in the MTC was amazing. Especially whenever they talked about the missionaries. The Campo is different than the MTC, but I absolutely love it.

Love you all and hope you´re enjoying the fall weather!!!

te amo! Chao!
Hermana Smith

Hermana Guevara and myself!
Hermana Guevara and myself!

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always walking along dirt roads...
always walking along dirt roads…
Dogs are everywhere!
Dogs are everywhere!

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BA Temple! We passed it on the way to the other BA airport
BA Temple! We passed it on the way to the other BA airport

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