Sami singing the song she wrote

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sami's letter to President Humphrey, July 26 2010

President Humphrey,

Well, I was expecting the Changes because  I thought that they were going to happen.  Truly I am so happy and excited to go to Constitution and to work for the Lord.  Sometimes I feel like I'm missing some big changes to help me apply the things I've learned. I think that maybe this will serve for this purpose.

I'm getting more and more of a testimony of this new program that the Presidency of the Church has set for us here. Speaking of the pure doctrine of Christ truly is our calling and sometimes we need something to remind us of that, at least I do. I feel this change will be very good for Sister Robertson also. I know that Sister Meikle is a very good missionary. I know her and I have much respect for her and I know she and Sister Robertson will see many miracles here.

We were experiencing a hard time of testing, but I can see the light at the end of the tunel.  We had 3 new investigators in the church this passed Sunday.  I believe that good things are about to happen here in Santa Sabina. The sad thing is that I am not going to see them with my own eyes, but I know that the Lord has other things prepared for me to help me to grow and to progress like He knows that I can.  Thank you so much for this new one opportunity, truly. 

Hermana Smith

Presidente Humphrey,

Bueno, estaba espenando los Cambios porque pensaba que iban a pasar así. De verdad estoy tan contenta y animada de ir a Constitución y trabajar por el Señor aya. Aveces siento que estoy faltando algun cambio grande para ayudarme a aplicar las cosas que he aprendido. Creo que a lo mejor esto va a servir por ese propósito.

Estoy logrando más y más un testimonio propio de esta nueva programa que la Presidencia de la Iglesia han establecido para nosotros aqui. Hablando de la doctrina pura de Cristo de verdad es nuestro llamamiento y aveces necesitamos algo para recordarnos de eso, yo por lo menos soy así. Siento que este cambio va a ser buenísimo para la Hermana Robertson igual. Sé que la Hermana Meikle es una misionera tan buena. La conozco y tengo tanto respeto para ella y sé que ella y la Hermana Robertson van a ver muchos milagros aqui.

Estabamos experimentando un tiempo más duro de pruebas pero puedo ver la luz a la final del tunel. Tuvimos 3 investigadores nuevos en la iglesia este domingo pasado. Creo que buenas cosas están al punto de pasar aqui en Santa Sabina, lo triste es que no voy a verlas con mis propios ojos, pero sé que el Señor tiene otras cosas preparadas para mi para ayudarme a crecer y progresar como Él sabe que puedo hacerlo. Muchas gracias por esta nueva opotunidad, de verdad.

Hermana Smith

Sami is on the move again

Transfers are Tuesday July 27 and Sami will be moving to Constitución, a resort town on the coast that suffered considerable damage during the Tsunami.
MOM! What´s up, Foxy Lady?!? I am awesome. I am also going to Constitución tomorrow! Crazy, huh? When I got to San Carlos I thought that I was going to go to Conce and Consti. And won´t you just look at that. And guess who is coming to take care of my hija? Hna Meikle!!!!! One of my favorite missionaries in the whole freakin world!!! My hija is so lucky.

Oscar is doing well, I think. It will be sad to leave him here in Conce but I am pretty sure we will keep being friends after the mission so it doesn't make me too sad right now. I just hope that he can figure things out and make the right decisions that will help him understand why we talk so much about how great the Gospel is because he will be living the blessings, not just hearing about them. But I know that Hna Robertson and Hna Meikle are going to be SO AWESOME together. They are going to help so many people here in Santa Sabina. Seriously. I just see that ending up being a dream team with a little bit of time.

We found some new investigators that came to church this Sunday for the first time and Cindi (the name of the mom/wife) bore her testimony in RS about a Priesthood blessing she had received. Wow. They are relatives of a member and they have an appointment Tuesday. It will be tough not knowing what is happening with all our investigators like them, Oscar, Katarin, Leila, Roberto, Angela, Lilian and Roberto (they told us last night that they want to get married!!!!! First time they have said anything like that in the past 5 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). And I will miss the Hermanas so much. We had Christmas in July last night and I ate so many cinnamon rolls, cookies, and completos that I am really surprised that I didn't upchuck everything. But life is just full of little surprises like that I guess.

I still have to think about the guitar. I have until tomorrow morning to decide. I did think of the option you put out there of taking it with me and then leaving it for Hna Robertson as my legacy when I go. I think that is probably my favorite option right now...(although Sami loves having the guitar she bought for Christmas, she has considered leaving it with her companion, Hermana Robertson because she has also enjoyed playing it. I selfishly kind of hope she keeps it until her mission is over because I enjoy getting recordings of her guitar playing and singing.

How crazy that Jennie is almost home! (from her teaching in France) Sounds like your trip (this is to Mom, Brian, Jessica, and Xander) was really fun. (we went to CA to visit Sami's sister and her family) Yours too (that was to Jennie).

Well, I have to go pack up my life now. Luckily we just moved about a week and a half ago so it won´t be a big deal because I never really unpacked myself the first time. Keep it real and legit donde se encuentren ustedes.

Sami's Zone in Concepción
First inside conference with President Humphrey
First Outside Conference with President Humphrey

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

News from July 19

Family Ties,

Okay, I will attempt to describe these pictures...

I will include her explanations with the pictures which I will post at the end of this post.

Cambios are next Monday. I'm not sure what will happen but I think that it is probable that one of us is leaving at the very least. Personally I think that Hermana Knapp will come take my place but that is just me. I don't really know. (I guess we will have to wait until next Monday to find out if Sami is correct)

Oscar is doing great. He is the best investigator ever. By the way, he is probably reading this. Oscar, ¿ha leido en el Libro de Mormón ya hoy día? Si no lo ha hecho sabe que tiene que hacer....

When does Jennie come home? It's kind of weird to think that you will all be chillin at home without me but I guess that is nothing new from the past almost 12 months of my life. (I think Sami has been a little homesick the past couple of weeks since knowing her sister will be coming home from her year of teaching in France & Sami won't be around to see her - but just a little over 6 months left - so the time will fly for all of us I am sure)

I am kind of frustrated with myself because I feel like I have let my spiritual progression slow down at lot, at least it is getting harder to notice the progress I am making. But I suppose that happens in anything really. When I was singing there were times that I could note my progress really easily and other times when I didn't feel like anything was changing but what really counts is the final product: Me! Haha, just kidding. Sort of.

We had a Noche de Hogar (FHE) last night at a member's house and we brought Oscar. It was pretty sweet. Hija (Hna Robertson) and I ended up playing guitar. Oh yeah. I can't decide if I'll leave my guitar here when I peace out from this sector. If I leave it I might die but if I take it with me my hija might die. Bueno, blessings are given for sacrifices.

I made a necklace and earrings!!! They are cute. I really like to make things. When I come home I will make things all day long. Food, jewelry, crafts, harem pants. The possibilities are endless. I mentioned the harem pants because I saw some cool linen pants that I really wanted to buy but I stopped myself because I feel like I am becoming too materialistic. I only say that because I don't have any money. Haha. But really.

I don't have any new songs to send you of my own make but I have remembered quite a few from before. Or at least parts if them. Hurt, Engine Driver, Mariner's Revenge Song, etc. It really frustrates me when I can only remember part of a song. Lame. Anyway. It doesn't really matter because what I am doing right now (sharing the gospel) is a lot more important and I don't have a lot of time left to do it.

I started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning again. I started it in the MTC but now Oscar is reading it from the beginning and I wanted to be able to relate better to what he was reading and keep up with him so he wouldn't have to do it by himself. It's pretty sweet. Lots of action in the first part. I love the Book of Mormon so much. I was thinking about it and it's almost like Heavenly Father gave us a picture book or something. Like He gave us all the gospel principles but He put them in a cool book. Like a comic with a moral message. Or not. Just some random thoughts I had. Obviously the Book of Mormon is much more sophisticated than my simplified explanation for me!

Thanks for sending me a package! You guys are cute and the best and I miss you. I will be Chilena when I get home.

Loves and a giant beso por cada quien,
Hermana Smith
 Sami and her companion made cinnamon rolls for Oscar (an investigator) and his family
Sami's boots died & smelled like mold, so she had to throw them out
Which made her very sad
It is very cold - inside and outside their apartment
The 4 hermanas moved to a new apartment this week & are very happy about it (I do not know why or what was wrong with their original one)
Sami's companion (Hermana Robertson) playing Sami's guitar.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pictures of the last conference with President Chavez

These are pictures I 'borrowed' from another blog of the last conference with President Chavez. There are 2 pictures because they hold 2 conferences, one for the zones 'Outside' of Concepcion, and one for the zones 'Inside' and near Concepcion. Most of the sister missionaries are at the Outside conference; Sami's apartment of 4 girls are the only ones at the Inside conference.

This is the Inside Conference which Sami and her roommates attend.
This is the Outside Conference - Sami attended this one when she was in San Carlos

Pictures from around the Mission

I have borrowed some pictures from other missionaries to show what the weather is like in Chile right now. Since Sami is in Concepcion which is near the Ocean it does not get as cold as some parts of her mission, but it is also windier than other parts - so that probably makes up for the milder temperature.

First some scenes from San Carlos and Chilean, her first area in the Mission
 The streets don't drain very well - so this is what they look like after a heavy rain.
This elder needed some boots, so he improvised
Finally, the sisters in San Carlos fighting the wind and rain.

And now some scenes from some trips to the mountains by the Chilean zones. Since Sami is in Concepcion, she does not get to see scenes like those below.

Too Much fun to write

Sami was apparently having too much fun doing other things to write much this week - but that's ok - the email came so late that I was afraid I was not going to get one at all - and a short letter is better than no letter!
Hey. I have almost no time to write today because of poor planning so it´s really great that you enjoyed the longer email from last week. Things are great here. President Humphrey is great. My companion is great. Our investigators are great. We are still looking for more people to teach but that is an eternal process, I guess. I miss you guys a bunch. I´m learning a lot but I will be really happy to be able to talk to you and hang out with you in person and not over email. The final stretch is looking pretty long but I suppose that´s normal. It makes sense since it was so easy for me at the beginning that I would have to hit a rough patch at some point. But don´t worry. The chances of me coming out alive are pretty good. The dress standards did change, by the way. Anyway. I´ll talk to you all later. Hope you have an awesome week and all.


Part of what she was doing was watching the eclipse of the sun which you could see in Chile. She told her Dad it was 'bakan' - which is apparently a Chilean slang word for good.

Monday, July 5, 2010

And some Pictures also

Sami's Zone in Concepcion
one of the hermanas who lives with Sami
Another hermana from Sami's house
Sami's companion
And finally Sami herself
Sami and one of their investigators, Oscar
Pizza a la Chileno

Finally a nice long letter

Okay, I'll stop thinking that I am so funny any day now. I am doing great. President and Hermana Humphrey are awesome! I am so excited to work with them. It's true that there are some changes that President Humphrey mentioned that are coming from SLC. For example, it sounds like we might get a little bit of new material, like a new program to work with. I hope so. I was so excited when he was talking about it! Also, we will have conferences and interviews ever 12 weeks instead of every 6 weeks. And it sounds like President and Hermana Humphrey will be working more closely with us and our investigators. I am honestly so excited. We have interviews this Wednesday so we'll see what happens. (The Concepcion Mission got a new mission president this past week - the missionaries were a little concerned since they all loved Pres and Hermana Chavez so much, but I have only heard good things about the new president and his wife)

How weird that Megan and Jeanee (2 friends of Sami's who just returned from their missions - Megan in Canada and Jeanee in Argentina) are back already!!!! Que extraño. I guess I'll be back soon enough. Even weirder!!!  Tell them both that I said hi!

It sounds like you guys had fun for the 4th. I do miss our game nights a lot.(our family loves to play board games - and Sami's older brother owns almost every one ever invented - so we get together often with her married siblings and their families to play games)  We had a FHE at Oscar's house and we played spoons. We tried to put them on the other side of the room but it didn't work out too well. I almost died. Twice. Not really, but I did dive for a spoon in a skirt and big rubber boots if you can imagine that. If you can't don't sweat it, I'll tell you about it later. It rains A LOT here but the big problem is the drainage in the streets isn't very good. And if you can imagine how windy it is in San Carlos think about being that much closer to the coast. Only strong umbrellas hold up here. I use all the things you sent me to keep me warm and I am sharing them with Hija also. But I have bad news... I managed to lose my two favorite hand warmer things (the blue ones you made and the teal ones) within 2 days of each other. It wasn't too long ago so I still have hope that I can find them again... Oh, about a package, I would rather you skip on the peanut butter and put in brown sugar or more chocolate chips instead... I can find PB here now but not brown sugar at all. Sad because I would like to eat chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

The work is going great. Oscar, Yamil, Erika y Michele, and Juan Carlos all came to church on Sunday! Cute. I sent pictures with us and Oscar so you can put a name with the face. Lookin sharp in a suit. Erika and Yamil and Michele (a cute little family!) came for the first time yesterday. We have been sharing with them for about 3 months at least, they are so nice and it looks like they liked church so we'll see what happens next week. We might be having a FHE with them tonight with our Ward Mission Leader, Hno Alejandro. Juan Carlos is an older gentleman who comes to our English classes. We invited him on Tuesday and he showed up on Sunday. Right on. That's what I like to see. Initiative.

I have beat Hija at backgammon 2 times now (we don't have that much time to play) therefore I am the undisputed champ of backgammon in Santa Sabina. Por lo menos según que yo sepa.

I am trying to figure out the guitar to go with Ave Maria that you sent me so when I have that ready, I'll send it on over. We might be moving to a new house soon, we'll see what the mission says. Anyway. Miss you. Love you. Keep it real, por favor.


Hermana Smith