Sami singing the song she wrote

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sami's letter from Nov 9

It has been a busy week, but I thought I should post last weeks letter before I get another one tomorrow:
Hola, Familia.

It is cold here so I already use long johns. I´m pretty sure I will be able to find all the things I need here easily when I need them. It will harder to find the money to buy them... but I won´t have to worry about that until around April probably.

This week was really great. We are finding a lot of people to teach and we have a lot of baptismal dates which is really exciting. It is really hard to get people to come to church on Sunday though. There is always something else that gets in the way which is frustrating because I know what a difference it makes in my life to attend church every Sunday and how I feel when I miss one or two or I don´t take the Sacrament. It´s like all of a sudden my week is a lot more difficult but it´s hard to help other people understand that without them experiencing it for themselves.

Thank you for sending me a package with things that could melt which I assume and hope are made of chocolate.

Mom, good job on signing up for a yoga class! It will probably help the fact that your body is full of pain. Which is always a good thing to try and fix. How is Jess doing with her yoga? Is she going to try to be an instructor too?

Hey, so I gave a talk for the first time in what has probably been years and it was in Spanish. Oh how my life has changed. For the better. Honestly though. If I had known what an amazing experience missions are I would have prepared myself a long time ago. Now all my studying is for other people and their needs (which also helps address my needs and strengthen me) but it makes me all the more excited to have time to study to learn doctrines more in depth. Also , serving a mission makes me want to learn science more because it is really so amazing how intricate everything in nature is. I want to understand things better now. Too bad that doesn't mean that science will like me... hehe.

Brian, I am excited that you have a motorcycle and I will want to ride it when I get back. So many people here have motor bikes (as in a normal bike, with a motor) like you traded your bike for that one time and I think Dad got mad. Anyway, people use them a lot here. At least in San Carlos. Craiglist Master.

Something new I learned. The exchange rate isn't exact which is common sense but for some reason it didn't occur to me. but 10000 pesos which is $20 US is really more the equivalent of $60 ish dollars in the US. Which is good for me, I guess.

Mike, I would love some small games (very small) that are easy and quick to play and don´t take a lot of time to learn. I miss our game nights.  You are the Game King.

See you in 15 months.

Mom, they are going to call you as a seminary teacher and you will have to get up soooooo early.

Also, I can´t go to any other websites besides this email and and so if you send me links I´m not going to click on them unless they are for these websites. Sorry.

Be safe in the big storm that is coming from Alaska.

Jennie, be careful of the storm that will graze Ireland. It is most dangerous.

Dad, I love you.


I also love the rest of you. Thank you for writing me to keep me updated on your lives.

The work is awesome. I am trying to work harder. I hope I can make you all proud. I am so grateful that you are all in my family. We really have an amazing family and a closeness that not everyone has. Minus the fact that Jennie and I are actually on different continents... It´s nice to have good memories to remember about you all. It sounds like I am dead or you are dead. Anyway, I love you.

Hermana Smith

The following is correspondence between Sami and her sister Jennie who is teaching English in France.


Sorry I´ve been such a terrible slacker in sending you emails. Sometimes it is so hard to get everything done! I´m sure you understand that though. My Spanish is better. People tell me it is better than when I got here but honestly I can´t really tell that much. It feels like I only learn a few new things every day but those little thigs add up after a while. Plus all the practice I get seeing as no one speaks English.

You would like it here I think. It´s a lot like your ideal European lifestyle. Everyone sleeps in really late, time doesn't really matter that much. Everything starts late, that wasn't too much of an adjustment for me (thanks, Family!). Sometimes it is a little frustrating because now I am operating on the Lord´s time, not just my own. But the people here really are awesome. The food is really basic and delicious. Pretty much we eat bread, meat, and potatoes. My ideal diet, I know.

On Wednesday I ate a plate of meat and pureed beans! Nada más. Tan rica. Seriously. It was so delicious. And they have a lot of pastries. There is a fair amount of German influence which is really interesting to see.

It isn't hard to be a missionary. I expected it to be really hard. Maybe I am doing something wrong. I love the opportunity to help people change their lives. It is so cool to see the difference the gospel can make. Here almost everyone in the ward is a convert so they are really willing to help out with missionary work and they always make such a difference in the work.

We have been finding a lot of less-active members lately, which isn't surprising seeing as there are probably somewhere around 800 members here but less than 100 are active. It´s really sad to hear their stories about why they left the church. It is human nature to be easily offended, I think. We always want to take what people say personally but that never turns out well. There is a lot of work here. Cambios are next week! I can´t believe how fast time has gone by. I hope I will still be with Hermana Grahn. It would be weird to finish my training with a different trainer but it´s happened before.

I really appreciate all the things we have at home more. That we have a temple so close and a really nice chapel to use. We have so much that other people don´t have. It just makes me appreciate those things more. And Chile is really really nice for South America, I think. Really nice. But I will eat a lot of peanut butter and graham crackers while I take a really long, hot shower when I get home. :)

Hermana Smith

-----parts of Original Message-----
Hermana  Smith,

Things are going well for me. Stake conference was last weekend and it was
really cool to go and see how it's done in French. The stake is huge and
conference was 3 hours away. Afterward everyone ate lunch in a cafeteria
(things that they had packed) everyone was sharing and visiting with friends
they hadn't seen in awhile. It felt like a family reunion. I felt a little
lost since I only know people from my ward and they were mostly busy with
visiting with people they don't see very awesome. Still, it was good to see
their happiness and feel the spirit that accompanies gatherings of members,
especially after hearing good talks. Plus, I understood most all of the
talks! I can tell that my French is getting much better.

How is Spanish coming along?  How are lessons for your investigators? I hope
things are going well. In the car to stake conference we were taking about
the members needing to travel 3 hours for stake conference and 7 hours for
the temple (I know it's even worse in other places). We then talked about
the quote from Joseph Smith about how no church that doesn't require
sacrifices can produce the faith necessary for exaltation. That might be
useful in Spanish. With some commandments it's easy to point out the
temporal and spiritual blessings. With others we just have to go on faith
and know that we will blessed for our obedience.

Can't think of what else to say.

I miss you and listen to Tiger Mountain Peasant song and feel happy and miss
you more.


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