Sami singing the song she wrote

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

carta del 18 de octubre

Estoy súper bien. Me alegra ver que está aprendiendo algo en su clase de castellano. Siga practicando, no más. Quiero que pueda comunicarse con mis investigadores y conversos. Eso sería genial. Si se puede!  Happy Anniversary!!! Sorry to everyone that I have missed your birthdays/important dates (especially Tallia, Jon, Alice Sage, Natalee, and all offended family members) hehe. Sorry. I will make it up to you one day. I wanted to send some stuff but I was having money issues so I thought it would be better to hold off and sending stuff and just bring cool stuff when I get home. Sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry.

Thanksgiving wish: 1. StoveTop Stuffing mix. 2. Handwritten notes or pictures from my family. Cute! Everyone can write something that says the stuff they are grateful for and then you can give them to me. That would be cute. Count your many blessings.

Whatever garment stuff you got will probably be fine. I don´t think I need petite but I don´t really know.

Christmas wish: Any cute homemade-ish thing or note from you guys.

About the miners, everyone here talks about what a big miracle it was and there is a lot of talk about how everything fell really perfectly into place with the timing of getting them out, the number of miners there (33, the same age that Jesus Christ had when He died). It is really interesting that an entire country is so believing that the newspapers can talk about things like miracles instead of taking God completely out of the picture.

Thins week is Cambios and I am still here in Constitución with Hermana Enders which is really awesome because we have A LOT of work to do together still. I will give a good report on our investigators next week but we have a lot of great people who are reading in the Book of Mormon and coming to church so we are really happy. My hija is leaving Santa Sabina and going to San Javier! Cerquita. Hermana Knapp is going to Linares to be companions with Hermana Cortes. They are going to love each other. Hermana McCombs is leaving here and going to San Javier as well.

Yea for Tax Miracles! (I just finished filing my 2009 tax return & got an unexpected extra $1200 back - just enough to pay for my ticket to Chile!)
Talk to Hermana Fischbeck. She will guide you in everything. I was hoping to be called to be her assistant this Cambio but doesn´t look like it. yet, at least.

Ran out of time. (I´m helping Hermana Egbert with her college entry essays)

Hermana Smith

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

letter & pictures from Oct 11

Hola mi mamá. ¿Qué tal? Aqui hay algunas fotos para ustedes. Ojalá que las disfruten.

Getting right down to business...
I really like all the shoes but I think it would be best to just get the same ones I have if possible because I already know that they fit me and are super comfortable and last a long time.

I will respect all your traveling decisions but I just ask you to think about the whole car thing really well. Chile is nice but it´s not Europe and we´ll end up spending a lot of time in buses getting from one place to another. Another difference is that in Europe you and Jennie were seeing a lot of touristy places. We´ll see some of those but a lot of it will be people too that I want to visit so the public transportation might not go where we want it to. Maybe you should talk to Hermana Fishbeck and see what she thinks. She and Elder Fishbeck have done a lot of traveling so they would probably know better than me.

I don´t remember the immunizations. Hepatitus A & B. Typhoid. Tetanus. I´m not sure. There were required and optional ones too.

I think it is so cute that you are taking Spanish classes. It makes me really happy.

We had a zone activity today in Constitución and I literally ripped a whole in my pants. My purple pants from Forever 21 that have served my whole mission and before. I will try to sew up or patch up the whole but  might take this opportunity to buy cool Chilean genie pants if I can find some cheap enough. Just so you know, Mom, you are going to go crazy when you see all the sweaters here. I know that you will instantly love Chilean fashion. I love it.

Stake Conference was this past Sunday and it was amazing. None of our investigators were able to come because of the distance (we traveled to Talca) but the talks were so good and President Humphrey and Hermana Humphrey came to speak. All the talks were so interesting and I really was able to feel like I got a lot out of it. We are reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning with Abi ( one of our investigators) and we are already in 2 Nephi 4 and we started about 2 weeks ago. Love it. We are going to start over again when we read it together as a mission (we aren´t sure when that will start... but it sounds kind of like what we always did in 1st Ward in August but in 2 months instead of 1)

Sounds like you guys are having fun. Que se disfruten arto. Cariños.

Hermana Smith
Sami sent lots of pictures - but I don't know what lots of them are - so just enjoy.
 Somewhere in Constitución


 Some of the tsunami destruction still evident in Constitución
 Elder Jaar and Hermana Smith
(this one is for me since Elder Jaar is one of my favorite elders & he is coming home this cambio)

Monday, October 4, 2010

carta del 04 de octubre

Estoy muy bien! Gracias por preguntarme.Muchas gracias. Muy amable. I hope your Spanish keeps going well. (I am trying to learn some Spanish in anticipation of my trip to Chile to pick up Sami) I was even thinking that maybe you could switch lessons off with Jeanee (Spanish for computr stuff) I know that you were teaching her some escell stuff before the mission I´m sure that she would love an opportunity to keep her Spanish sharp.
I saw part of General Conference in Spanish (only the Saturday afternoon session) because for the other sessions we had investigators who came or who we were waiting for (if we watch it in English we have to go to a different room) and two of our investigators came to church for the first time! Ana (Abigail´s mom) and Cecilia boh came for the first time. We haven´t been able to find Hector this week but we think that he traveled to find some temporary work and that he will come back but we aren´t sure when. We now have  investigators that we are working with who have come to church which is a miracle because there were a few weeks when we didn´t have anyone coming. We aren´t having trouble finding people to teach but we are struggling to find people who really want to change their lives or a least struggling with being better teachers so that they can understand why they would want to change.
We had Interviews this week and they were really great. President and Hermana Humphrey are so awesome. Hermana Enders and I got to do practices teaching Hermana Humphrey and Elder Jaar (seperately, and I already said bye to him and gave him your facebook info) and I really felt like a light bulb was starting to click on in my head. Then later in the week when we were teaching in real situations, I remembered the practices and how I felt there, the way I explained things so that they just seemed clearer in my mind, and I was able to put some of thse things into practice. I still feel like I need so much help to be a better teacher. I don´t have a problem loving the people we teach but I don´t feel like I am very good at teaching them. I think I complicate things too much and at the end everyone ends up confused, but I am working on that. :) It´s all just a big fat process. The mission, life, everything. We just need to bite off pieces that are big enough to chew but small enough to swallow. Big enough to help us get something out of it, but small enough that we don´t choke and die in the process.
Other note. I was wondering if you guys could look up some back exercises for me. It´s been kind of bothering me lately and I wanted some stuff I could do to try to strengthen the muscles there so it doesn´t bother me really. Also, I may be lactose intolerant if Hermana Egbert is right (she´s lactose intolerant too) My stomach was bothering me and I started avoiding dairy products and I feel better. So...I´m not 100 sure but if you could manage it I would really appreciate some lactose intolerant pills in one of the packages you are sending. They are really expensive here (something ridiculous like 500 pesos each one) Also, please keep searching for the Bob Marley tie. I cannot rest until I´ve found one/you´ve found one. :) Also, I would love to have the guitar tab for one of the songs from the Best 2 Years that starts out like this, ¨I took a snapshot of my life but the exposure was all wrong¨ That should be enough to try to find it on the internet if someone has tabbed it (just look that up in google together with ¨guitar¨ tab or ¨chords¨. I don´t need anymore socks. It´s not very cold here now. My previa shoes are size 8M. I remember getting them smaller thatn the other ones because the sizes ran weird.
Traveling. We can take the bus but be warned that you might not like it. The Chileans are small and so are their buses but if you are willing to stick it out, I´m fine. We can probably find someone nice to let us store some luggage while we are traveling south so we don´t have to take it all with us because that would be a pain (trust me). I was thinking that if you wanted to get a car in Santiago and drive it down here that I could get someone (a convert or member) who speaks English and Spanish to meet you up there and help you drive down (so you don´t get lost and so nobody cheats you). I can think of a couple people who could probably do it and would be willing to. Chile is kind of like Europe but not really at all. Once you leave Santiago or Concepción it will be hard to find people that speak English well enough to communicate anything so make sure your Spanish is good. I know a car would be expensive but just keep in mind in seeing what would be more convenient and cheaper that in the city we would have to use colectivos or buses that aren´t always going to go where we want them to and usually go for about 350 to 400 pesos a pop (a little less than a dollar). Bus rides are long and not all buses have a bathroom (the really big ones have a bathroom for number 1 only). A bus ride from Concepción to Talca is about 4 hours and costs around 5,000 mil pesos and then another 1,500 pesos and 2 hours to Constitución in bus. Cars are a lot faster because w can stop when and where we want to and they go exactly where we want to go. Just figure that we would take at an absolute absolute minimum, 3 colectivos a day (my idea of a short walk is not the same anymore...) which would be probably anywhere from $6 - 10 USD a day in buses or colectivos, but with the possibility of more, depending where we are and what we want to do.
This letter is so long. Thank you for reading it. Thank you for always writing me. And thank you for being the best family ever on the face of the whole planet. Seriously. I love you guys. I can´t believe I just finished my last General Conference in Chile. Time flies and I don´t have much left. But I´m excited to work my butt off (literally, it´s huge and I could stand to shave off a few pounds) and then see you guys and just enjoy your legit awesomeness. And some crockpot stew. I am sending lots of love with this letter.
Enclosed: Lots of Love
Hermana Smith