Sami singing the song she wrote

Saturday, May 8, 2010

letter to President Chavez for May 3

This is a rough translation of Sami's last letter to President Chavez. Next cambio (in 6 weeks) he will be leaving and the Chile Concepcion Mission will get a new mission president.Dear President Chavez,

Thank you for your email. I know that everything will be fine. You can follow by example and not merely by word. I feel weak, but the Scriptures teach us that the Lord gives us our weaknesses to depend on Him and humble ourselves before Him. Good thing we're studying humility this cambio. :)

I am in a period of exponential growth in my mission and I am therefore encouraged. Like Paul, I'll try to boast about my weaknesses because they are opportunities to get closer to the Lord. Something that I realized this week is that everything depends on my attitude. I read a quote in the booklet I received at the beginning of my time here in Chile saying that life is 10% what happens to us and 90%  our attitude toward things that happen. As  Sister Chavez always says: AMP. That's right. So I'm very determined and ready to rely on the Lord because I see my faults. I think I'll appreciate the Atonement of Jesus Christ much more after that.

We have a few investigators but we are good. We began to teach a young man named Eduardo who is very good. His questions very good and  he understands the meaning of our message, that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. He has attended once and plans to attend again on Sunday. I feel that when he comes to know the truth for himself, he will remain on the road.

We will keep working to find new investigators and to help everyone attend church since it is an important step in his their spiritual progress.

See you tomorrow.
with love,
Hermana Smith

letter from May 3


I am killing my companion, Hermana Carzoli. She goes home tomorrow and at my 9th month mark I will...have an hija! That's right, fittingly at nine months I will not only be a senior companion but I will be a new mother. So I'm not sure yet who my new companion will be but I will find out tomorrow. It sounds like you guys are having fun in France. I am also having fun in Chile. We don't have a lot of investigators but we pretty much have the best ones in the world. And I just found out that Paloma (the daughter of Enzo and Alejandra, new converts from San Carlos) got baptized late Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That made me so happy. It really makes me happy to see people get baptized. All the people that I have taught and seen baptized have left the water happier than when they got in. That's why I love being a missionary. I am honestly not sure how half of my mission has already gone by. A little unjust but that's the way it is, I guess.

We are teaching an awesome joven named Eduardo. We invited him to our English class that we teach once a week (remember when I really liked English and I was thinking of majoring in it? Yeah, never going to happen. I can hardly remember anything anymore. Makes it hard to teach a class...) Anyway, we started sharing with him and he is so great. His family is Evangelical but he hasn't been active for a while. But when we share with him he has the best questions.

Mom, maybe you already know my hija. Elder Jaar says you stalk his blog a lot but that he is okay with it. Don't worry, he will be my zone leader for another cambio.

I don't have any ties to burn and I don't have enough money to burn anything else...

Here are some songs. Obviously not by me.

Jennie, stay away from the flaites. (that word is puro Chile)



ps. I would be "chica" unless you were calling me a boy

letter from April 26 - also late

This week was a good one. Not in terms of getting a lot done but definitely in terms of learning a lot. Through the course of this week we "dropped" or were dropped by more than half of our investigators and we haven't found enough new people to really make up the difference yet. But the people that we are teaching are really awesome. I don't remember if I told you that Daniel and Jorge from San Carlos got baptized the Sunday after I left! Daniel is studying here in Conce so he accompanied Hermana Carzoli and I one night. It is amazing the changes the Gospel can help us make in our lives. It was so cool to see how he has changed and grown so much in only a month. He had a lot of doubts when he was investigating but he cleared them all up. It wasn't easy but when we have to work harder for something it always sticks better.

We are teaching some families and also students here. I am definitely learning a lot. I don't feel prepared to train next week but the Lord prepares who He calls so I guess I just need to trust in that.

Oh, last minute requests:

-a little bit of that stuff you use to iron on fabric to other fabric if you have any lying around the house. I bought a winter coat but it is all gray and I want to decorate it a little because I won't be taking it off for the next 5 months.

-to go along with the other request, any cute, small remants you have to make little decorations to make my clothes and coat more "me"

-just so you know, brown sugar doesn't exist here. neither does molasses

-healthy snacks! I am trying to be more healthy because I have gotten fat.

-and if you can't find any healthy snacks you can send me things that aren't so healthy too...

By the way...I ate a huge piece of salmon for dinner on Sunday and it was delicious!!!!!! The Lord has blessed me with the ability to eat fish. Really, that salmon was so good. And we ate beets. Beets are so delicious.

Mom, I hope you have fun in Europe!!!! Don't fall into an erupting volcano, please.

Dad, those pictures of fjkthsamdwjkdtmk are awesome!

Jennie, we can exchange creepy men stories when I get back from my mission. Just kidding!!! (that was for Dad) hehe....

I am 22. How old does that make me feel?

I was going to send more songs but I forgot the cable that connects my recorder so until next week.

Hermana Smith

letter from April 19 - a little late


Hey, Mom. I haven't asked anyone about the mother's day call becasue I am too scared to ask about skype. I like the simple life and since I have no idea how to use or explain skype, I have fear of the unknown. You can thank Kate for inviting me to her wedding. I'll try to make it to one of the receptions but it is a little iffy if I'll get there on time. President Chavez is leaving next cambio. I did not realize that until this week. He is such an amazing president. I'm sure the next one will be just as amazing. They are both equally called by the Lord.

It hasn't really started to rain here yet. I was looking at boots here and they are about 80 - 120 US dollars for good boots that won't slip (there are a lot of hill in my sector). So I wouldn't mind if you could send those white ones if they have good grip on the sole.

I got your package. Thanks for sending puro chocolate y cosas para darme calor!!! When I opened up my chocolate wool package, I was truly happy. Thnkas to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday!! (Cynch, Grandma Rater, Aubrey, Mike, Jeannie, Jessica, etc.) I will try to write you all back before my mission ends but I can't make any promises.

The work is awesome here in Santa Sabina. The ward is really big (about 150 people each Sunday) so it is a lot more like the wards in the states than in San Carlos. We are trying to work better with the members so if anyone has any ideas I would welcome any of them. Right now we are working on using their help in lessons with our investigators but ideally it would be great if they could trust us enough to invite us to teach their friends and loved ones. (I just read about that in Preach My Gospel chapter 9, it was good to read about how it could be).

I am trying to prepare myself as much as I can for the next cambio. I will need to lead off all the lessons and do most of the talking starting in 2 weeks. My companion Hermana Carzoli is REALLY helpful in all of that. Giving me the chance to start of and extend commitment invitations and all. I still feel like I have a long way to go but I know that I have been called by the Lord and that He doesn't make mistakes. He will help me prepare for whatever He requires of me.

Mom, I hope everything turns out all right with your trip to Europe and your flight. Don't feel like you are lacking something without my German. I can't remember hardly anything. That was 3 semesters of college well spent. I hope I can review and bring it all back after my mission but until them I am useless when it comes to German. or French. or English for that matter. Oh yeah. And Spanish. Yep, got nothing. I'm so close to being quadligual (?) but so very, very far.

I bought a coat here so no need to worry about that. But it is grey so if you happen to have any cute patches or decorations I could put on it that would be cool. Not that anyone will see in under my raincoat....

We have a lot of great investigators that are reading and praying. For a lot of them in is difficult to get to church on Sundays. Not because of their circumstances necesarily but because they haven't felt the need to go. They don't understand the connection between sacrificing on their part so that they can receive an answer from God. Some people don't want an answer and others just don't want to do the work. But there are people who want to listen and who want to find out if our message really is true.

Something I love about the message of the Restoration is that is so bold.

Basically this church is the only church that has the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness and the only church that has the authority of God to act in His name and perform sacred ordinances of salvation (baptism, confirmation, etc.)


It is all just a great big fabrication. A giant lie that has tricked millions of people. If it isn't true at least it tricked them into living happy lives.

So that's what I like. The message is bold and the invitation is for everyone. I am confident that no one can prove the church isn't true. No one can prove that is true either. The same can be said about God. He just doesn work that way. But passing up this great opportunity to say "I KNOW this is the true and living church of God because I have recieved a personal witness by the power of the Holy Ghost that I cannot deny " or "I KNOW this is a load of crap because I have recieved a burning conviction that it is a load of bull" would be a mistake. Everyone should at least try. What could you lose? Nothing, maybe a little pride, but that never hurt anyone to lose some of that. And we can get off the fence. Fence sitters are wishy washy and usually end up having to see a stickologist in the end so the sooner we get off the fence the better. Rant is over.

Whoops. Anyway, love you all!!!!


Hermana Smith