Monday, September 30, 2013

Wk 27: Christmas in September? :)

Area: Bata
Companion: Sister Neis
a couple weeks ago after church :

princess and rose ann at rodolfo's house :) 

we sang here! (City of Bacolod)

Missionaries singing "Love at Home"
in Illongo

both my ward mission leaders :)

someone spoiled much??? hm... thank you!! :)

me trying to be like a philippino... haha 

happy 6 months :) we made smores! :) haha

look at the pictures of me and my companion :) haha
the angles make her look huge and me look like a stub :) haha

a couple of our new investigators :) we have only taught them a few times,
but they wanted a picture :)
this is how we make our house homey :) haha

a bug.. huge!! on a members shirt he was carrying it around like a pet
Yes Christmas has started. It's the last day of september and :) there is christmas music in the mall right now that i'm at and christmas trees being sold :) haha "it's beginning to look a lot like christmas" ... not really it's still hot.. but ok i love it!! haha... but it doesn't feel like christmas... This week has been good though! :)

Monday we did family home evening at the villanueva's house! it was super fun! We talked about honesty and had everyone write a fact about elijah (a recent convert) while he was out of the room. they can do whatever they want truth or lie. and then he came back in and as he read them outloud, every one that was a lie we put a marshmellow in his mouth... it was funny :) he couldn't talk very well haha. :) and we had a whole bunch of kids there it was fun! :)

 We also sang which was fun! (It was a city of Bacolod Family week) we sang love at home in illongo. :) yeah i was the one to lead that ... i gave them pitches in the mic and then started then turned around and sang with them because i didn't want to lead... someone else was suppose to but he didn't show up haha it was cool going there, but kinda weird being there in such a worldly thing, but i was able to see lara :) Lara cobing is from my last area she worked with us all the time and she is going to the manilla mission! Leaves october 25 :) I love her and am so excited for her! I also saw a recent convert from my last area Jessie, and my previous bishop. It was fun! :) But then we weren't sure how to get back.. but we eventually figured it out :) 

Edwin and Tessie. They are a cute couple. They live in the very back of a purok and it's hard to get to them it's a maze and it takes 10 to 15 minutes to get back there. But we went back there a couple months ago a few times a week to teach them and a recent convert. Then the recent convert moved and we went back there like 3 times and they weren't there, so we started going not as often. Anyways, one day at camilla (the place where we live) so there's a million construction workers and we walk down and everyone waves at us because we are white so we wave and have given out some pamphlets too. But one day these 2 brothers come up to us and say you haven't come to us in a while. and we were like what's your name again? We usually see them in the dark with a candle, so we didn't recognize them somewhere else. Anyways now we know what they look like, it was Edwin and Robert. Two brothers in the back of pinetree. Edwin wants to be baptized and he asked when? and we said we would come talk to him. We also told him it's important to go to church, because we gave him a date before then he wasn't there. They have now come to church a few times, but then yesterday they went home to their parents... so we are going to follow up with them tomorrow. :) but it's just kind of cool how people just get put in your path. He works at camilla! We meet a lot of people that work there. But anyways, that's who edwin and tessie are :)

Another one is Analia, she is doing amazing! She is so excited to be baptized and she is one of those investigators that is just ready and teaches us everytime we come. She's read the liahona, all the pamphlets we give her and reads the book of mormon everyday at least a chapter maybe 2. It's incredible seeing her faith! She knows it's true. She was also taught when she was in high school and went to church before. And now she moved here and is married with 2 little boys. Her husband hasn't accepted yet and doesn't want the boys to be baptized but she can be, but they will come around. She has incredible faith! :)

Rodolfo who just got baptized is doing amazing! he's about 67 i think, and he is being a missionary. His grandson who is catholic wouldn't read or do much before, but he is now listening and yesterday when we went to him he read the testimony of joseph smith and the witnesses like we asked him too!! It was so cool and he prayed and said he felt happy. and he said he knows joseph smith is true and everything! so cool! His name is Henry.

Cuaresma, a less active family, their 9 year old daughter and cousin who is also 9 have a baptismal date, Julia and Jizalyn, they are super cute! I love them so much! Also, The dad got a blessing because he had something in his stomach that they had scanned before. After the blessing he went and got a scan the other day and it's gone. the priesthood, the true power of god, is powerful and real!

Also, the Villanueva's, love them to death!! The mom reminds me of Tammy so much and the daughter of Brittney, it's super funny and awesome!! They also have neighbors that are their cousins and less active. They went less active when the mom passed away. But one of her sons is now married and has 2 little kids. 9 and 10 (Tara and Richmond) They are also getting baptized and it's amazing. Their dad still works and has a problem, but tara and richmond have been coming with their dad's cousins, these villanueva's to church. :)

I love this work and love the people here! My companion is amazing too! I can't wait to continue! Yes sometimes i get down, but those are not times to remember or focus on. I love being a missionary, I love this work and am so happy everything at home is going well!! I miss you all and love you!!
And i'll see you soon :)

Love, Sister Smoot

P.S. yes i am still writing Matthew :) haha He's helped me incredibly also! as well as you all have :) thank you for your support! :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Wk 26: 6 months already?! WHAT??

Area: Bata
Companion: Sister Neis

This week has been good! And i'm sorry I don't have a ton of time today. The power went out while I've been on the computer haha but only for a few minutes at least. :) I came to the right place with a generator! :) Anyways... This week has been really good! I will just tell you some highlights that i can remember. :)

So Wednesday we had Zone Conference and it was incredible what we learned. I always learn so much and how much we truly can grow and become more like the Savior. We also watched a video that made me cry about missionaries and Jesus Christ. I think it's by Elder Eyring (the atonement and something) i can't remember, but it was incredible! It was about thinking about Christ and what he did for you when you're tired and want to rest. It was amazing!!

Anyways, at this zone conference I had an experience, I'm still not sure what to do with at this point, but I know I'm suppose to do something. Anyways, someone told me at lunch, "michael says hi" and i was trying to think who it was from my previous ward, but i couldn't remember. anyways but that was the first one so i had every michael i knew going through my mind. Then we were in the zone conference and they had missionaries go up and teach the plan of salvation. When the missionary taught about the plan of salvation she said michael a lot referring to adam. i was like ok why is michael not leaving my mind. then after I get a dear elder handed to me, guess who it's from, Michael Halmark. I was like who is michael! Anyways, side note that letter was cool. but i'll tell you about that next week, but another michael. Then we came home ate dinner and went and taught a lesson before doing studies. Then we came back and did personal study. I couldn't get michael out of my mind. I read my scriptures, didn't understand them, i got through about 4 verses over and over a few times. Then i was like ok, who's michael. I had a feeling to read my patrichal blessing and in it it talks about my ancesters, you know? So, that's what stood out to me so i was like ok... well now what? Then i remembered the pedigree chart Dad did for me.. so I got it out and sure enough, Grandma Smoot's Dad's name is Michael. I noticed on their it doesn't say him and his wife were sealed... maybe it's just not updated but I don't know what to do with that. Anyways, then that night I was telling sister Neis about all my Michaels, and she was like wow!! And then she pointed out that at the lesson we taught, he was asking about Michael and if it's bad to call them Mike or Mikey, or if they get offended. But yeah, anyways it was really weird and cool and I'm not sure what to do there, but if you could maybe look into that and let me know about Michael John Austin that'd be great. :) I'm not really sure yet what it's all about, but it's cool to know! 

We also had a baptism on saturday of Rodolfo. He's 67 years old and has been taught for a while. He finally started coming to church when we came, it was our first sunday and his as well. It was incredible! His daughter is a less active member and she works on sunday, but knows the church is true. It's incredible how happy people are when they get baptized. He shook the wittness's hands before he left the font as well as Elder Gibbons who baptized him. He chocked up a little baring his testimony and he also shook peoples hands walking down from the stand after getting confirmed on sunday. It was incredible!! I LOVE THIS WORK!! It's so cool!! :)

We also had a few different blessings given this week. It was really cool seeing how it all just works out and how powerful the priesthood is and how much it helps and lifts people up when they are sick or in need of comfort. I love the power of the priesthood and to be able to have it my home. :) Thank you! :) I love this work! :)

Love, Sister Smoot

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wk 25- Maayong udto!! :)

Our District

Sisters in our District

we went through a flood to teach sister Analia when it rained hard :) with sister connie!

We also had reggie (my previous ward's mission leader) come and work with us... sister ronalyn also wanted to be in the picture but she was taking the picture :) 

sister ronalyn is the one that brought reggie her records are in a different ward, but she always goes to here and galo. she's cute :) and maryrose is the other one! they are awesome to work with us every week! :) love them!

On our way to email today... roger asked us if we wanted a coconut... so he climbed up and got us one to drink! it was kinda funny :) so we took a picture. Roger is one of our investigators his wife and family are a member... he's kinda difficult.. but he offers us Remmelton/remboltan... i don't know what it's called but they are delicious! my favorite! he knows that too so he gave us some when we left. haha he offers us cooked bananas and everything just as we pass by it's super funny but that's his house in the background of me and sister neis :)

Area: Bata
Companion: Sister Neis

Tuesday.. transfers. Nothing really changed :) just sister polatis! We had dinner at a members house the Villinueva Family. They are the family with Zusie and Elijah is her boyfriend that just got baptized. :) We had some delicious food my favorite was the soup. :) but you do make it in a rice cooker... (do we have those at home) we have one at our apartment but never use it. But it had bananas and sweet potatoes that are white in it i don't know if we have those and we don't have the same bananas at home, but maybe ours will work i don't know haha but i may try and make it :) i got the instructions! :)

Wednesday we taught brother Enrico a recent convert! His dad is super cute and his dad, Apolonio was baptized in 2011. Apolonio is this happy, funny brother. He is like in his 70's probably and has had a stroke, but is super happy when we come over. :) He makes my day! and Enrico is kind of quiet but loves to ask questions and understand the Book of Mormon. :) We also taught brother Ramon Villinueva, who is neighbors and cousins with villinueva the active members. He hasn't been to church since like grade school and now he has 2 kids and is married. They are super cute! His two kids came to church on sunday and we've taught them, but his wife won't let us teach her yet :) but they are super cute! and i can't remember if it was this day, but we taught Ramon a lesson this week that was incredible! He read 1 Nephi chapter 1 and related Lehi to himself. He said that Lehi needed angels just like he does in his life and he pointed to us when he said that. It just made my heart melt. I can't even remember what i said. But it's incredible how just being missionaries doing what missionaries do can make you be an angel to someone else. It made me stop and realize how important this work really is! And I love how incredible it is! He's just trying to get work off on sundays to come to church. But at least his kids came with their great aunt and dad's cousins :)

Thursday, we were studying and i can't remember what we were talking about, but just about families and everything. I have never felt so grateful for my parents. Mom and Dad you are incredible! I am so grateful how much you are both there for me and how much time and effort you put into us as your children. I admire it so much.

Thursday, also reggie my previous ward mission leader worked with us! haha it made me laugh! I went to meet the 2 sisters working with us and sister ronalyn said reggie is coming to work with us too... I was like what?? haha it was nice to see him and work with him again though :) He's a character! He also told me i looked more mature... and kept laughing at my voice in illongo. I guess it just threw him off because i use to always talk to him in english. :) haha We also had a lesson this night with a Less active Husband, Father, and Grandfather. He is incredible! He said he would come to church by the end of our lesson before we transfered haha. but he has his reasons he's not coming now. But we sang a song at the end of the lesson, I am a child of god. We left him in tears. It's crazy when you can actually see how much they miss the spirit and a simple song can bring that feeling to them again.

Saturday we attended a baptism with Brother Rodolfo who is getting baptized this coming saturday. He wanted to see a baptism :) but the sister ended up not getting baptized because she couldn't get her whole body under so she will be baptized with brother rodolfo next week. :)

Sunday was incredible. Sister Neis spoke in sacrament meeting and she wrote this incredibly cute story about the pre earth life. It was so cute! :) i will send you a copy of her talk :) She wrote it all down. :) We also have Edwin and Tessie Tossing who came to church. :) They have a baptismal date and i'll tell you about them next week if i haven't told you about them yet. :)

Well, I hope you have a wonderful week! it was a good week for me and I'm going to have another good week!! :)

I love you all!! :)
Love Sister Smoot :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wk 24: BATA YEHEE!!! :)

our neighborhood :) camilla homes!

a sunset

a sign they have in camilla :) 

 walking out of camilla! :) 

i wish it was bamboo framing... but this is construction around our house
and one of the construction workers :) when it's blazing hot outside! :) 
we were melting inside because it was a brown out :) hahaha

This week has been good!! :) We just had kind of a normal week and are continuing on in the work! It was one of those weeks where it was really good! Then sunday it gets really hard, because people don't come to church... but less actives were there and they have a daughter and her friend who are 9 and it's incredible seeing how they (the cuaresma family) haven't been to church for 6 months and now are returning! I love seeing this in their life! The dad may take a minute, he just needs to figure out his work schedule :) but he's working on it! so that's good too!! :)

Wednesday, we had zone training! It was really good! We have Elder Gibbons and Elder Rillorita as our zone leaders right now and they are awesome! Elder Wilstead went to Cebuano and Elder Gibbons is now coming from 8 months of Cebuano. haha yay! :) They are amazing though! The night before I was asked to share my feelings about how the atonement has helped me as a missionary and to give a special presentation. So our zone leaders and with me and sister neis played the piano. I miss singing so much! It's so fun! I need Talia's help to get my voice back into shape when i get home for good. :) but people enjoyed it so that's good! :) haha and when i shared about how the atonement has helped me as a missionary, i had a good  experience where i realized as people were talking because i was near the end, that it's not only who you represent, but it's who your companion represents. If the savior was your companion, you would do everything, you would serve him and everything. The atonement everyday forgives me of my sins, but not only that, it helps me be relieved when i am angry at my companion, when i don't love her like i should. It's helped me overcome homesickness and everything being here in the Philippines. It's helped me overcome so much. I wouldn't be able to do this without the atonement. I wouldn't be here. The atonement is the only way we can return to our father in heaven and I am so grateful for it and for the chance and inspirations I have as a missionary here in the Philippines. 

This week we had quite a few members with us! It's cool how much members really can add. I love it! It makes me wish i would have worked with them before my mission, and it makes me want to after my mission if i can figure out where they are in utah, but it's so incredible how ever single person has such a vital part. It also made me realize that as missionaries we have Jesus Christ's name on our chest. But when we are baptized we take his name upon us. We ALL are his representatives. We need to remember that, and love him and show that we love him ever single day. I am so grateful for this gospel!

Brother Roger is one of our investigators that says he knows it's true, but he can't know until he prays. It's so important that we pray for our conversion. We can't know of spiritual truths without prayer, i read that today in preach my gospel. It's so incredible! Preach my gospel is amazing and so is the Book of Mormon! It's hard... a mission is hard... but we can do it because we have the atonement and all these amazing tools to help us! :) 

I love this work and even though i get down sometimes, I get lifted up by angels to help me continue and everyday starts new. We can choose to be sad or happy, i'm going to choose to be happy. :) I love the leaders of this church and I know for a fact we are all called of God for each calling we have! I am so grateful for every opportunity I have, i forget and take them for granted sometimes, but it's going to be a wonderful week! i'm excited :)

Love you all! Make the choice to be happy! Life is a gift from God :)

Love, Sister Smoot

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wk 23- It's already September!! AH!!

Area: Bata
Companion: Sister Neis
 with Sister Monson

Elijah's baptism

Elijah's baptism with Alvie Joy and the Elders

This week has been wonderful! :)

I went on exchanges on thursday to friday. It was a blast! We switched with Sister Martinez and Sister Maloata (i don't know how to spell her name) but it was fun! I went to silay west with sister martinez! I met a few people i remember Sister sanders talking about too because she was in the area for 6 months before she went to Galo the transfer before i came here. It's incredible to see how in all areas the work is progressing so much! I also saw the beach!! It was so cool!! but i couldn't take a picture, because we can't take pictures while proselyting... sad but it was so cool just to see out of someone's back yard a beach! :) I love it!! :)

Don't be mad mom... i am short on time so i may not be the best detailed letter... but i'll try my best really fast to do some high lights. :)

This week we had Elijah's Baptism!! It was so amazing! It's incredible to see how much faith and how strong his testimony is! Even if his parents don't want him to join... he did it anyway. It's incredible to hear his testimony and to see Zusie's dad (his girlfriends dad) be able to baptize him. Zusie's parents were converts and it's incredible to hear their storie. Their mom also does our laundry just so you know. :) But they are an incredible family! I love them so much! It makes me feel at home! The mom reminds me a little bit of Tammy and the older daughter reminds me of Brittani. It's cute. :) I love them! But i know Elijah will make it! It's incredible!! :) then after the baptism saturday night, elijah said i forgot to thank you, sorry i was nervous. but the thing is it wasn't us. It was Heavenly Father who provided the way and it's incredible just being his instruments here! :) 

Sunday he got confirmed It was amazing!! and then after church, we go around and nobody is home, we have no idea what is going on. People were drunk or not home. So we taught no investigators, but we taught less actives and recent converts. One less active family we taught was the Cuaresma family. It was incredible! They came to church for the first time in 6 months!! He wants to change and i shared 1 Nephi 3:7. It wouldn't leave my mind, but when i shared it at the end it says that God will provide a way for you to follow his commandments. He asked his boss for when they were going to change the schedule around and i love how amazing it is! How the gospel can change their lives again. They said Elders would come by and share with them, but just seeing us there again, which i feel like we didn't do much, but just going to them and showing we care, that's all it had. yesterday was only the second time we taught the parents, it was the daughters 3rd time at church and their 1st time. They have 7 kids and i found out one is 9 years old and isn't baptized yet! We realized when we were counting last night we have a new investigator! It was amazing how God puts people in your path so you can help them. He will lead you there. :)

Well, it's been a good week!! I love you!! :) I hope this is ok for this week!! :) Keep reading the scriptures and praying! And be happy with who you are! We are all sons and daughters of God! He loves us so much and will do anything to help us! Just turn to him!! :)

Love, Sister Smoot

a couple other funny things Jenna said: 

we always have kids run and give us high fives i think cuz we are white or because we shine with the light of christ or both but they always run away laughing like that was the best thing 
ever! haha :) or just have a huge smile on their face i love people here!! Ah!!! :)

oh and the other day a group of men gambling just squatting in the road. we walked by and one goes "everyone stop!!" (doing the arms as if someone was safe who just slid in to home plate) then he goes "LOOK!! She so beautiful!!" we just walked by and said maayong hapon haha he did it again when we walked by going back. it was funny :) haha they tell you 
you're fat and they tell you you're beautiful. they are just straight forward. but i can't wait til i can actually wear my hair down again! :) haha- (she said if they say you're fat, it's a 
compliment because it means you have enough food to eat)

ang sabat ko sa mga pamankot mo (no idea what that means!)

yes i drink lots of water here :) if i don't i get headaches :) fasting yesterday was hard because my body needed water... but it's ok :) i just love my water! :)

yes i figured out the bank :) i remembered my number and took out i think 50 which is something like 2000 pesos :) and water is free :) I just have a dinner appointment every week and they like to make us good food and tell us to keep eating and then complain after because the elders use to finish it and we can't... :/ haha love brother wycoco!

 I really love this work mom! It's really amazing here! don't worry about me ok?? you worry too much i promise! I am happy and fine now! :) i love being here!:)

i miss salad!! yes ranch.. they don't have it here... lettuce is so expensive here. sometimes i will get a salad because they have it at a restaurant or something... and mac and cheese 
sounds good! but what else can i eat mom i need a variety something in a meal that's easy and doesn't use cheese or something they don't have here... i am just trying to be creative 
but i'm getting bored with food and i need something healthy and kinda fastish. :) I love food here though... i miss like your home made things but that's what i'll have to wait for when i 
get home. :) (she doesn't have an oven)

 i have a zit on my forehead which i get sometimes just in life and someone asked me if i had a boyfriend yesterday and i said yes why? and they said because you have a zit it 
means your in love.... hahah it was funny i was like what?? that's news to me!

aye! salamat gid mom :) i love you!!