Monday, October 28, 2013

Wk 31: Training again!! :)

Area: Bata
Companion: Sister Siervo
Trainers and new arrivals

New companion: Sister Siervo (share-vo)

Baptism of Julia & Jizalyn

This week has been pretty good. It's been a roller coaster and some changes, but it will be good. :)

Last monday we got a call at about 5 o'clock and told that sister neis will transfer and that i will be staying and training. So she kind of started packing and we cried too that night. We tried going to FHE and a dinner apt. But they could tell that we were crying... so it wasn't a secret anymore. 

Anyways tuesday we went to district meeting then took sister neis to galo to meet her new companion. I also to get my companion just for a couple days. I ended up with sister madrid who is from my batch and is a Filipino. We had to go get rice and good thing or I wouldn't have had it for my new companion... But i had a good time with sister madrid until thursday morning. (the one day i actually went out before 1 o'clock for proselyting!! wow!! We taught like 10 lessons!! it was cool! We worked really well together. :) 

Thursday morning we went and met our new companion! President told us if we get a Philippine companion we need to help them learn english the best we can! I never thought i would be doing this but sure enough i got a Filipino companion :) She's super cute!! Quiet because she doesn't know much english or ilonggo, only tagalog, but we are getting there :) I love her to death and am excited to serve her. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have definitely helped me with a different view of things. It's something maybe normally i would get frustrated and i do a little bit still, but It's all ok and makes it better if you just pray and let Heavenly Father help you. It's an incredible experience and opportunity I have to be able to train another brand new missionary in the field! I love helping people, but every person is different, that's for sure. :)

Anyways, it's been a little bit of a quiet few days but it's been good :) We've had some good lessons too. We went to a less active who was the sister of Paulette (the one who reminds me of jessie), her name is Paulin, She's super cute!! Sister Siervo just shared a scripture and i bore my testimony. I said i love my savior in ilonggo and it just hit me. I started crying and it was incredible how it hit me. I can't explain the feeling, but I do love my savior and am so grateful for what he did for us and for the many things he helps us through. Also Amy, last night who's baptism is on the 9th, started crying at the end of our lesson and thanked us a lot, then she started crying even more when we prayed and thanked heavenly father for us. It was incredible how the spirit was there so strong and how it truly does help people. We are just the instruments. I love seeing someone new to the field bare their testimony. I love learning their favorite scriptures. I love being a missionary, and even though its hard, I love being with a different companion every once in a while to learn from them also, new things. :)

Thank you for all of your support and prayers!! I am so incredibly thankful for this experience and for this opportunity to become closer to my savior and be a lot more grateful for what I have. Never be scared to share the gospel!! It's our job to share the gospel as members of the church. :) I love you all!! Thank you for being in my life and being the family I love!! :)

Love, Sister Smoot

the type of bridges we cross

Monday, October 21, 2013


Zone Conference 1
with Elder and Sister Brent Nielson of the seventy

Baptism of Anelia

...and  tara and richmont

This week... hmmmm haha it's been a week full of events that are fun and spiritual!! :)

Monday... I got my hair trimmed just by Zusie Villanueva :) I forgot to take a picture but she just did it because she does her own hair :) very nice service to me. just a trim to get rid of dead ends... :) still frizzy and wonderful!! We also did FHE with Cuaresma's. Julia and Jizalyn will be baptized this coming Saturday. It was wonderful! We did a lesson with 2 cotton balls and one you pour alcohol on representing things to do to keep the holy ghost with you then you light them both of fire. The one burns really fast. Fire representing trials in life and of faith. The one with alcohol burns slow then they have time to use the Atonement and overcome it. (blow it out) it's really cool because one was still white and the other one was black and small. Julia and Jizalyn had their interview yesterday. They were really nervous for their interview. They were holding my hands walking to the church asking, who's Joseph Smith again.. as if it was like a test or something haha it was cute but they calmed down and did great :)

Tuesday... We had a text from Sinemas saying Dixie was born! :) AH! yay!! and we were sitting there studying when all of a sudden our desks started shaking and i was like, "sister, why are you shaking the desks, stop haha" just teasing her (we were doing personal study) then she was like i'm not doing anything and it wouldn't stop. but it was just like our house was a little rocky. Then we both look at each other then out the window. We thought maybe some construction worker hit our house but then we were like no... wait... it's an earth quake. By the time we figured that out it was over and we just went back to studying!! so exciting haha :) i just pray for the people in cebu and b.. wherever the center was. I can't remember. But we walked out and found out it truly was an earth quake. Well there's my first earth quake. Best thing ever huh!! :)

Wednesday, we had the most amazing mission tour! I wish i could tell you all about it!! But I don't have time right now because I've been on here too long. But one thing I do want to share that's on my mind is that Sister Neilson, in the women conference, talked about how there is peace in everything!! She was like i had 6 kids in 10 years. It was crazy!! There's toys all over and she said once she got in a rage and went and got her rake that she rakes leaves with and went from one corner of the house and raked it all into a pile. Then she decided to time herself putting it away and it was like 5 minutes. She was like ok i need to calm down. Then she read a book and it talked about peace in everything. Those kids have someone that cares for them. There's food on the floor, there's someone who feeds them. There's someone that gives them toys to play with. It was incredible! Just hearing her talk it's incredible!! I loved it! I will just have to do a family home evening when i get home on what i learned from Elder and Sister Neilson alone! It was incredible!! Sister Neilson also talked about being a neilson and how inlaws come in and "ruin everything" but they don't, they bring talents to the family. She talked about things they love to do and then she ended with, they don't have to be like you to be loved like you. She related it to our companions. Don't just tolerate them, embrace who they are. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!! I wish i had time to write forever but that's just a little glimps. And that's only Sister Neilson... Elder Neilson talked about the atonement and it's enabling power. The atonement isn't only for sins. Read Elder Bednar's talk from a BYU address in 2001. It is incredible! Made me think of Talia with 3 kids so close. She can do it!! through the atonement. :) and I can be here on a mission with the enabling power of the atonement!! :) I LOVE THIS WORK AND THIS GOSPEL!! :)

Saturday we had baptisms it was amazing!! Ramon (dad of tara and richmont) hasn't come to church before but he came to their baptism!! Was late, but he came and didn't miss much!! :) It was incredible!! Anelia cried when she was baring her testimony and when she got confirmed. I got asked before church because they forgot to ask me last week to speak. I asked if i could sing a little during my talk and they said it's fine as long as it's on topic. :) So without practicing, Sister Neis as talented as she is, played i'll go where you want me to go with some cool things! I wish you could hear her. After I talked a little that i put together during the first 2 hours of church then i sang at the end and invited everyone to share the gospel! It was cool! I miss singing and I love it so much!! :)

Sorry a little rushed for time! But it has been an eventful and wonderful awesome week!! Here and at home! You can all do it!! Even if you're tired mom! You can make it through with the Atonement! Don't forget!! :) I love you to death!! ALL OF YOU!! :) Keep being amazing and being who you are! ALWAYS follow the savior! Don't forget what he did for you and how much he loves you!! Kabalo ako nga matuod ang simbahan ni JesuCristo sang mga santos sa ulihing mga adlaw!! No matter what anybody else says to me! :) I feel strength every time someone says something that may make me doubt it. :) I love you!! again :)

P.S. Tell Ruger I love him and yes i did throw it in the garbage :) Love him!! AH!

Love, Sister Smoot :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wk 29- General Conference was awesome!! :)

Area: Bata
Companion: Sister Neis
cuaresma family
 (julia and jizalyn both 9 years old are getting baptized on the 26)

the cuaresma family has a lot of cats and dogs :)
one of them was sitting like this when we were about to leave :)

sister villanueva holding the bug!! haha
we had another incident at their house when it was flying around the room it was scary...
but she's the one that reminds me of tammy :)

villanueva's!! :)
 the one who reminds me of Brittney isn't there
but the little girl (Barbie) is her daughter :) 

zusie, elijah, and barbie :)
(zusie and elijah are working toward temple marriage in a year
and barbie is zusie's neice)

Barbie! :) 

 Zusie holding the bug (she didn't want to hold it)

yes i held the bug :) haha sister neis got it on video... haha

and this is my favorite fruit!! rambutan!

it's like dr. suess it's so good!! :)
 it's really good and i don't even know how to describe it.
it just has a seed in the middle and it's juicy :) it's good!

namit!! :)

Yes, I absolutely loved general conference!! It was incredible!! :) We also had Anelia who came with us on Sundayand we are sitting there in General Conference and one of the 70 started talking about the iron rod chapter and telling the story and she turned to me and goes, oh! 1 Nephi 9! I was like what the heck! I don't even know the exact chapter, but she did! She's getting baptized on Saturday, she's incredible and KNOWS the church is true. I love her faith also! :) I'm so excited for her! :)

We also had an investigator we went to yesterday, at his home it's just him and his little girl, Princess and his name is Ernesto. We went and followed up with him and he was in 1 nephi last week and he said, well i keep going back because I want to understand. I asked him where he had read to and he said Jacob!! I was like wow!! Holy cow!! He had read through all of that. We asked him if he'd prayed and he said yes but hasn't recieved an answer yet. We explained the holy ghost to him and we had Elijah and Zusie with us and Elijah was a Catholic before, same as brother Ernesto. It was incredible when he shared his experience about how he came to know it was true. It didn't come easy for Elijah, but it came and he talked about how we have a living prophet here on the earth. It was incredible! I love the power of the spirit and how it leads and guides us! Like it said in conference, you know you're speaking by the power of the spirit when you are learning from what you are saying. I love that and have such a testimony of that. You totally know the spirit is there when you can feel it being testified to yourself too of what you and others around you are saying. I love it so much!! :)

We also taught a less active this week that had a powerful lesson with him. He is a return missionary and is scared to come back to church because he doesn't feel like he is as strong as he was before. We had the spirit there so strong. I don't know what we said, but I know for a fact that the spirit testified to him. I saw his desire to come back to him. I reminded him and invited him to read his patriarchal blessing and to read his scriptures, because he hasn't kept his commitments the past couple times. I will be honest, i went into it and sometimes it's weird trying to teach a return missionary, because he knows what we are there for and knows our purpose, and sometimes it gets frustrating because he knows, but he is opening up and i'm starting to see the light again :) I'm so excited! We are going to him again on this week. :) 

I also didn't realize how many people here don't have their patriarchal blessings or temples so close so they don't understand exactly how to go about everything and don't understand. I honestly am so grateful to have a temple so close to have been able to baptisms for the dead often, and I am so grateful Matthew is in my life and that he helped me get to the temple every week. I was grateful for it then, but I have never been more grateful for it then now. Also, Dad, I am grateful for the willingness you have to go to the temple and to answer questions that I have. I am so incredible grateful for the people like you in my life for the times we had going to the temple and for you showing your love for the temple and helping me to go also. Thank you!! :)

It's been a really good week and I am so grateful for the spirit and I am grateful for gratitude. Having gratitude you feel content, without gratitude you feel like you want more. (i think it was from conference and it said something like that) but i am truly grateful for gratitude and for the ability to be thankful. I am thankful for everything I have. I am spoiled as a person to have what I have and to know what I know. The knowledge of this gospel is the greatest thing on earth. Even if I'm not the best missionary here, I am grateful to be the missionary I am, to be the person I am. I am a child of God, we all are. :) Ah! I love conference.

When they were talking about being a child of god and how we all are, it reminded me of Dad also. I believe (or at least it use to be) that that is his favorite song. And Last week at a dinner appointment when we shared, we sang a song and talked about the lyrics. I chose I am a child of God and it reminded me of dad also. I love you Dad. :) Thank you!! 

I am also grateful for every single person in our family. Mom, you have no idea what has come to my mind about you too. You have been people's mom's (not just your own children) when they needed one most. You truly are the most loving person I know. I am so grateful you are my mom and that you love me and worry about me and are there for me whenever I need it. I wouldn't have been here without you. I will always be your little Jenna :) I am so grateful for the parents I have and for the family I have grown up with. I wouldn't want them any other way than they are now. :) Thank you to all of you!! :) I love you!! :) 

I hope you have a wonderful week! I'm am looking forward to another wonderful week!! :) I wish i could tell you how much and show you how much I love you all!! I guess I'll just work harder with my work here. :) Love you!!

Love, Sister Smoot

Monday, October 7, 2013


Area: Bata
Companion: Sister Neis
 sister lucson! she wanted a picture with us :)
 ahha because she thinks we are beautiful! 
i need to get a picture with sister pearl her daughter too so you can see her 
she's a return missionary and works with us sometimes :)
(I told Jenna her hair looks good- she never wears it down she said)
"my hair is like a lion and falling out like crazy but i'm glad you think it looks good :)"

my whole batch from the mtc!!
Except for sister roos because she left too fast when we were getting finger printed :)

Well, i said a lot of what I wanted to say to mom. Maybe she'll share it with you :) haha but for the time i have left. I write what i didn't tell her. 

This week... We had the specialized training from president for sister Neis' batch!! It was really good! We learned a lot about studies and everything! I forgot my notes from it, but i did learn a lot! and learned a lot more about the ward and everything! it was cool! we also watched the atonement video and how it relates to missionary work again! it made me cry.. again. It's so true. If it wasn't easy for Jesus Christ, why would it be easy for us?? I love the leaders of this church and I am so excited to be able to watch conference this weekend!! :)

We went to the Relief Society broadcast and one of our investigators, Sister Analia came with us! She is super cute!! She was suppose to get baptized on the 19th but then she didn't come to church yesterday. :( but we tried to go visit her 2 times yesterday at different times and she was working with her husband. We haven't been able to contact her yet, but hopefully tonight we will. She was doing so good!! She was excited for conference also, but her husband isn't too into us either, but we will see exactly what happened when we talk to her, because she said she'd come. But she is excited and loved the relief society broadcast! :) When we showed up at that at the church. We were about 15 to 20 minutes early and the church was still locked, but there were 6 missionaries and sister analia. haha it was funny then someone pulled up about 5 minutes later and let us in. It was all set up and they started it with just us there. :) it was kind of funny but then people showed up. It wasn't full... but more people showed up. It was kinda cool though!! :) Exactly what sister Analia needed :)

We also went to do fingerprinting, and i saw my whole batch. :) And I saw sister Sanders!! Ah! I love it! It was super cool and is super cool seeing people you lived with and grew to love before on the mission. It's kinda crazy thinking that everyone here, all the missionaries, feels like your family. When in all reality, I didn't know any of them when i got my call or before i left obviously, but they are such a huge part of my life right now. :) I love it!! :)

I am running out of time, but we have 2 baptisms on the 19 of Tara and Richmond. They are children of a less active but come to church with their great uncle and aunt (the villanueva's) the one with the recent convert, Elijah. He also wants to go to the temple soon! He may be able to go to baptisms with the YSA at the end of the month :) He wants to take his mom's name to the temple for Zusie (his girlfriend) to baptize! I hope they end up being able to go. It does cost travel money though. Don't ever take advantage of the temple being so close!! Go as much as you can! I miss going so much! I love the temple and I know this church is true!!

We also have 2 baptisms on the 26th which are Julia and Jizalyn. They are from the cuaresma family :) I love this work and Hope to continue everything becoming better at following the spirit and just being the best missionary i can be!! I love you all!! :) Have a wonderful week!! :)

Love, Sister Smoot 

(these are questions & Jenna's answers)

(describe the philippines)
i honestly don't know how to explain the philippines... it's different. the cars drive around like crazy people just cross the road when they want and stop the cars. you ride in jeepneys tricycles and c-cads to get around.. you can't understand it unless you come here.. maybe one day we can come back and i can show you :) haha it's a really cool culture. people who have not very much.. maybe a little one room house made out of bamboo and they are so happy and love life :) 

it's warm.. but it's getting cold. It's hotter then home, but you go somewhere with ac and it gets freezing like church or something and it's like 26 degrees celcius whatever that means. but it's cold! but it's good here :) gets hot but we have umbrellas and it just fine and feels good then the next second it's pouring rain. like the sky just dumps out a hugs bucket of water. lasts about 5 to 10 minutes then stops. that's always fun! :) haha especially when you're teaching a lesson they have tin roofs and you can't hear anything but the pounding rain on the roof haha :) but it'snice! lets just say we have a super nice house here for living in the philippines. no ac and cold showers... but i'm use to it. i'm just lucky to be living in the "rich" part of bata. I feel bad sometimes saying i live in camilla. (camillia)

(do you walk all the time?)
yes pretty much i guess you can say. We walk to all our appointments except for once a week we go to abcasa which is far so we ride a tricycle or if we are in a hurry going from tunay to pinetree... but other than that not usually

(do you use your flashlight since it gets dark so early?)
sometimes.. i'm getting use to the places i walk and our cell phone has a flash light for the harder areas where i need it, but yes i have my flash light too and i use it every now and again :) but some places are lit. 

(food you eat on a typical day)
i eat... hmm fruit in the morning. lunch depends. sometimes pancit like top ramen if we are in a hurry if not we will make chicken with adobe like some veggies with soy sauce and vinegar... sometimes mashed potatoes (legit potatoes that we boil and mash with a little butter and milk) and some grilled chicken just on the stove! it's good :) and just switch off for dinner. sometimes we try to make stuff up. we eat eggs too sometimes :) i'm starting to eat more eggs i love eggs! especially with magic sarap just a little of that brings out the flavor.. namit!! :) and other than that... We eat oatmeal for dinner and i use to eat it for breakfast but now i'm eating fruit for breakfast sometimes i have pb and j. i do miss our homemade jam but here i eat mango pineapple because strawberry isn't as good and they don't have raspberry... we just eat whatever we feel like and whatever we have?? sometimes french toast on sundays :) i can't think of anything else...

(how much $ do you get a month?)
3700 pesos... (divide by 40 and you'll get it in dollars) i thought it was every 2 and 16th but i was just told last week that someone gets it out every other week and they've been fine and it's come out for them... so maybe i'll start doing that because when it lands that there's 3 mondays in a month it starts being hard for me, but it did come out for me last week :)

(any funny things that happened?)
well... we have random funny things happen every day.. you know you're in the philippines when.... but today coming to robbinsons (a mall) we get on the jeepney and just wait for more people and right before we are going to drive away someone older brother walks up and says to the driver wow! you have some beautiful people riding your jeepney today. Then looked at us and said guapa guapa! haha it was funny. it was all in illongo, but when you turn it to english. it sounds really funny. i'm not sure if it's exactly what he said, but he told us we were beautiful crossing the street also.. haha it was wonderful.. we love being white.. the only place you can be called fat and beautiful :) but american's are different. sister neis got her, "you're gaining wait" a couple times this week. but she's a twig!! and yes people say she looks like taylor swift :) haha was there a comment or something?? or just you thinking that? (I saw a comment on the Bata missionaries page)

(eat anything weird?)
nope! most everything is good here. I ate this one fruit that was like a crunchy hard bitterish lime but it was super sour and left a weird tingling feeling in my mouth and throat haha not my favorite but it wasn't bad it was kind of a fun taste! but other than that everything here is really good! 

(i think i got out of order,.... but i'll answer the questions i haven't yet)

(how much to ride the jeepney/trike?)
it's liek 5 to 7 pesos unless you go far it's like 10 pesos -- per person) 

(I know you do your own whites, but what do you pay to have the rest of your laundry done?)
we pay like 100 pesos for someone to do our laundry in our ward. if i send my sheets i pay 150.

(do you sing in English or Hiligaynon at church?)
we sing in english.. it's the best most of them are tone deaf and they sing different in english. the rhythm is also different sometimes it's usually acapella unless you're in sacrament meeting. or we have a piano which isn't really in any of the rooms. so the leader sings the first like then says "ready sing" usually is really low too.. alto is difficult when that happens. :) haha

usually we teach in illongo. every once in a while if they understand english we can share in english. All our trainings are in english. and at members houses and all the people we are working with now know english so we talk in english. it would be a lot easier to learn illongo if we didn't talk in english but that's what they like to do here because you're more successful if you know english.