Monday, December 28, 2015

Pics from this week!

An almost gross pig kiss... So close to touching hahaha
Skype with the family on Christmas Day!!

Elder Muller and I on intercambios :)

More meat, the Yubero's family gets really into their meat haha

Elder Morris and I at Christmas Zone Conference

Us elders and a Brazilian cake

Us elders and all the family Yubero's

My personal fav... What we ate Christmas Night! It weighed like 50
pounds hahaha

Christmas Review :)

Hello There :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! It probably wasn't as good
as mine though ;) but for real, time is flying and I'm having a lot of
fun. Oh and also, a huge shout out to everyone who sent me packages,
emails, letters, and Christmas Cards! My wall is completely covered
with the Christmas Cards and it's so beautiful to look up at it and
see all the smiling faces of the people I love! Once again I felt like
I got slapped in the face with love from all my friends and family :)
Even though I wasn't able to be with my family for Christmas, it was
definitely one I'll never forget. It's been a while since I emailed so
here's a summary of everything that went on these last 2 weeks :)

First, we found another investigator and her name is Claudia. She is
from Brazil and has lived her for like 15 years so her Spanish is
really good. When we first talked to her, it was just a normal
contact, but she couldn't stop staring at my chapa. Then she told us
that her dad was a Mormon in Brazil but he passed away just a few
months ago. We have been meeting with her a lot and we set a baptismal
date with her for the 16th of January! We will have to see what
happens with her because she has some stuff in her life that we are
trying to help her get fixed, but we have lots of hope and faith. She
told us right off the bat that she doesn't like to smoke or drink,
which to missionaries is like gold because everyone here likes to do
that stuff. She has come to church with us the last 2 weeks and the
branch members have been very supportive. Before we met her, she had
been reading a Portuguese Book of Mormon that someone left in her Piso
when she moved in, and if that isn't a sign that the Lord prepares his
people, I don't know what is! She has a lot of faith and a sincere
desire to be baptized and change her life.

Christmas Eve was one of the best nights of my whole life. We spent it
with the Yubero's which means PARTY :) I've never eaten as much good
food in my life as I did that night. I legitimately want to be adopted
into their family and be a Paraguayan ( LET'S NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING HE SAYS... 

FROM KRISTIN... HE'S NOT UP FOR ADOPTION!!) . I'm pretty sure I ate more meat
in one night that I have in my whole entire life, but I couldn't stop
because it was so incredibly good. The pictures will hopefully help
you understand why I was so stoked outta my mind when I walked in the
kitchen and saw what we would be eating :) it was delicious. Then they
brought out the cakes. Holy cow I was in heaven. We tried food from
all over the world, well mainly South America but it was from all of
the different countries! The Yubero's invited over lots of friends and
that was cool because not many of them were members. And on top of all
the food, they were playing my new kind of favorite music which is
like Spanish Reggae haha. As soon as it came on I just started dancing
and they all loved it. Seriously one of the best nights of my whole
life :)

On Christmas Day, the other Elders slept over at our Piso so we woke
up together and had breakfast then studies and did our own stuff. We
had a big lunch with a member named Manolo and his wife Rosario. She
made us some Peruvian food which I can't turn down because it's
delicious and Elder Peña just gets so happy too haha. Once again, we
ate so much food. I almost get to the point where I want to excuse
myself to the bathroom, throw up, then come back and eat more hahaha.
I remember one time at a school dance, my good friend Elder Gallagher
did that and I laughed so hard watching him gag himself in the
bathroom at Tucano's hahaha. Anyways, then I Skyped with the Fam :) I
cried quite a bit but it was so good to hear from them. I love you
mom, dad, Kenna, and Ellie! So overall this first Christmas season
away from home was a success :) only one more to go!

I'm very thankful for all the things my Heavenly Father has blessed me
with. I know he loves me and he watches out for all of his children. I
was so lucky to have my first Christmas in such a wonderful part of
Spain and I'm really going to miss Valladolid and the people here when
I have to leave. I was thinking a lot about the 2,000 Stripling
Warriors these past few weeks and how courageous they were. They never
looked back. They knew what they had to do and they did it. Thinking
about this, my dad, uncles, cousins, grandpas, church leaders,
coaches, teammates, best friends, and brothers who have all served
missions never looked back either. They set the example for me and I'm
following. It's hard, but no one ever said it would be easy. I'm very
grateful for the examples I have in my life, and especially right now
for all my friends who are out all over the world serving the Lord.

I hope everyone has a marvelous ending to 2015 we welcome in 2016 with
open arms :) talk to you all soon!!

Con Amor,

Elder Smith

Monday, December 14, 2015

Pics from this week

The youngest child/girl in the Brozovich Family (I think there are
like 6 or 7 kids) with the Llama she gave me :)

Elder Fletcher, Angel, and I after English Class!

Almost Christmas!

Hello Everyone,

I say the same thing every week but time is flying! We are so close to
Christmas, I can hardly stand it! Even in Spain the Christmas spirit
fills the air. And yeah, they might not be as receptive as the people
in Utah, but we are still seeing little miracles every day. To be
honest, it's a little sad that I won't be with my family for
Christmas, but I have another family here in Valladolid and I know
that everything is going to be okay :) here's my week!

I'll start off by telling a weird story that happened in the beginning
of a week. We were doing our weekly grocery shopping during medio dia
and got stopped by 2 guys who wanted to talk to us. They asked us what
we were doing there, two young kids in white shirts and ties was a
little weird for them I guess. Anyways, they seemed a little strange
to Elder Peña and I. They asked us about the church, where we lived
(which we don't tell people), and where we were from. As soon as I
said "Soy de los Estados Unidos", the focus immediately changed from
to the Peruvian to the American. One of them spoke English and started
to ask me all the basic questions that everyone here learns in school.
Then the other, started getting pretty close to me. He had piercings
all over his face, and then started saying "tú eres guapísimo!" It was
loud enough for other people around to stop and laugh a little. A
little weird, right? They told us to put their numbers down so we
could talk more on another day so we did. As we were walking away, the
weirder one kept calling me handsome and all this weird stuff, then
shouted "I want to eat you!" I was so scared haha but couldn't stop
laughing. I totally got hit on by 2 guys in the grocery store. Pretty
weird but kinda funny hahaha.

One thing that has been working for us is teaching English. Everyone
here wants to learn English, so that's a good way to get in the door
with a lot of people. We teach to mostly kids and then the parents
just listen. We always manage to share a spiritual thought too,
because most of the people we teach are referrals or less-actives. We
taught a family from Brazil Spanish and English which was crazy fun!
There were different languages flying left and right! I hope we can
continue to use this tool to open the hearts of the people.

My personal studies this week have been focused on the atonement and
how I can better apply it to my life. I was reading in Preach my
Gospel and in one part it says "God cannot look on sin with any degree
of allowance, and sin prevents us from living in His presence. Only
through the Savior’s grace and mercy can we become clean from sin so
that we can live with God again." This struck me pretty hard, the
atonement is something that we need to be using every day! This is
what we focused on in District Meeting on Wednesday, how we can get
our investigators and the members to feel of the important role the
atonement plays in our lives.

Thursday afternoon we went to visit the Familia Brozovich and they
live in a pueblo called Urueña. It had the coolest old castles and
stuff I have ever seen! The architecture was incredible! It was also
incredibly foggy so we couldn't see a whole lot of what else there was
to offer. Anyways, they made us a huge 5 course meal which consisted
of soup, rice and beans, chicken and more rice, beans and another
soup, then a warm apple pie. I have never been so full in my whole
life! It was delicious. They are a family from Peru and after dinner
they gave us tons of little gifts! They gave me a tiny Llama and they
helped me name it Cusco hahaha. They are such a nice family! The
oldest son in the family, Aaron, has his mission call to Bolivia! I
was super excited to tell him all about my Aunt Stephanie who served
there :) later that night we visited with Mabel, and she is struggling
with some stuff, so we didn't really share anything, we just listened
for a while. It's sad sometimes when we don't know how we can help,
but I think just listening may have been the most we could've done.

Friday we had intercambios and I was with Elder Fletcher again! It was
so much fun haha, he's like a brother to me out here! For medio dia,
we went to Hermana Fernandez's house and had some real traditional
Paella with chicken and man it was good. She invited over a less
active member named Miguel who works just below her Piso and she was
so happy to be doing member missionary work! When he left, she just
started getting so excited that he was here and she was sure that he
felt the spirit of the missionaries. It was the coolest thing to see a
member so excited about our work :) later, we met up with a lady named
Sandra, who is the mom of Nicole Ramierez! She's the one we always
hang out with. We shared a Christmas message with her and invited her
to church, but she said no because she had other stuff going on
Sunday. We set up another follow up appointment with her and hopefully
Nicole can help us figure out what she needs! Then to finish the
night, we had a meeting with Angel, the awesome guy who I love and he
loves me! I found out that he speaks 5 languages fluently, holy cow!!
We taught him the Plan of Salvation in English which was cool for a
change. He asked lots of questions and it was a good lesson! Elder
Fletcher was a good companion for a day :)

Saturday night we had a branch "Noche de Hogar" which turned out
incredible! We had lots more members than we expected there and
everyone had fun! We watched Christmas videos, had a testimony
meeting, sang songs, played games, and had treats at the end! Super
fun and everyone thanked us at the end which was the most rewarding
part of all. On Sunday we had the primary program and that was
awesome! It reminded me so much of Utah and made me miss home a little
bit! But to be honest, the songs for kids are cooler in Spanish ;)

Sorry it's another long week but there's so much stuff I don't want to
leave out of my emails. I'm having an awesome time out here serving
the people of Spain and wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now. I
know this is God's work and I'm more than willing to give him a little
bit of my time to help my brothers and sisters here come unto Christ.
Thanks for your love and support, enjoy the Christmas Season and I'll
be Skyping in 11 DAYS :) :) :)

Con Amor,

Elder Brady Craig Smith

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pics from this week

This is the ATM that's right in front of my face haha! 
Christmas trees, stocking and presents

 We played frisbee all day in the park today for P-Day :) super fun!
Okay left to right... Nichole Tamayo, Nicole Ramierez, Elder Peña,
Michael, Elder Tree, then Elder Fletcher and I

Paseo Zorilla in downtown Valladolid...Super big and really pretty!!

4 Months :)

Helloooooooooo :)

Okay I'm pretty sure I blink and another day passes by, so I'm going
to pry my eyes open with my fingers so I can maybe try to slow the
time down a bit! Holy cow! But I have good news!! The Lord loves me so
much and knows me and knows that I don't like change, so he blessed me
get more time to improve my Spanish too which is a huge blessing :) I
don't think many missionaries get to spend 3 transfers with their
trainer, so I'm extremely blessed. It seems silly but I'm so grateful!
This week was a bit slow but we still managed to have fun :) aquí

Tuesday we had medio dia lunch with Julio, the branch mission leader,
and his wife. She cooked us up some rice, beans, eggs, bread, meat,
rice cake, and fried bananas. Holy cow I ate so much food!! I was
stuffed, then for dessert we had fruit! It's a really common thing in
Spain to have an orange or something after the meal and it just tops
off the meal perfectly. Soooo good! Then we went to a meeting with a
less active lady named Maria B. and her husband. She was awesome!
She had cancer a few years back and loves the church, but I couldn't
quite figure out why she doesn't like to come anymore. She lived in
Utah for 5 years so she speaks English too! She works as a 911
distress phone call operator here in Spain and takes calls in English,
French, and Spanish. She's so cool! So I helped her figure out new
ways to respond to situations, it was so much fun. We literally
role-played about every situation in the book, from me being a grandma
with a cat stuck in a tree to a bus driver who crashed into 10 other
cars and couldn't get out of my burning bus. I think we can get her to
come to church with us again, but we'll see what happens! We had
preach my gospel class too that night, we did it in English for the
sake of Nichole who will be learning English here very soon :) her
testimony was very basic in her little English, but so powerful. It
strengthened mine that the Holy Ghost speaks all languages and it
doesn't matter if you understand or not because the power comes from

Wednesday we had Zone Conference in León which was awesome as usual. I
got my big Thanksgiving and Christmas packages which was an awesome
treat!! Thank you so much to everyone who put stuff in them for me, it
was the greatest thing to open! The spirit of Thanksgiving and
Christmas basically slapped me in the face! Friday, we contacted for a
while and talked to some more Jehovah's Witnesses and hahaha my
goodness. I didn't really think much about how much of a role other
religions play in the world until I was out of Utah. Now, I have such
a greater appreciation for how sheltered/blessed we are! I'm pretty
sure I'd never met a Jehovah's Witness before coming to Spain. It's
pretty interesting to hear them talk about what they believe in and
then after I just pray so much and thank Heavenly Father for the
knowledge I have. Then we had a BBQ at President Yubero's house with
Luís, finally. The Yubero's are from Paraguay and let me tell you...
They know how to grill! Some of the best meat I've ever had in my
life. It was heavenly :)

Saturday we had the English Class and I talked with Angel again. He is
literally one of the coolest people I've ever met!! All he wants to do
is meet up and go for a jog! He totally likes me the most out of
anyone and we just sit down and talk about everything. It's legit!!
Then we had a meeting with Mabel, the less-active lady, and we talked
about the apostasy. The spirit was so strong when we started talking
about the need for a prophet to restore the gospel back onto the
earth. She doesn't like to talk about Joseph Smith, but this time she
opened up a little and the spirit did all the work! I don't know how
anyone can deny the spirit that they feel, especially in the First
Vision! She told us she felt something different, and we got her to
come to church with us on Sunday for the first time in a while so that
was a little victory :) she called us on Saturday night after we
received the transfers to tell us that she prayed for us so we
wouldn't leave Valladolid. Her prayers were answered! Little by little
we are working her back into church!

Sunday was a good fast and testimony meeting. The first person up to
bare their testimony was Luís! He talked about how good he feels when
he is in the church and with the missionaries. I was so proud of him!
The last 2 hours of the meetings, Elder Fletcher and I took turns
playing the piano for the primary program! Super fun and the kids are
insane! Being the Primary President has got to be equally as hard as
being the Bishop ;) the primary program is next week so the kids are
all very excited.

That's about it for the week, the work here is hard but we are seeing
little miracles every day. I know that when we are doing all that we
can and working our hardest, Heavenly Father is happy and that's all
he asks of us. I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys the spirit
of Christmas, wherever you are in the world! Until next week :)

Con Amor,

Elder Brady Craig Smith

Another little story from a personal email Brady sent today:

We have been playing frisbee in a huge park all day and we just walked
through a sketchy part of town where a kid spit on me. We were walking
to find an ATM and I saw this kid popping a wheelie on his bike and I
said wow that's cool! Then he started to follow us. Then he slammed on
his brakes and landed spit all over my back side. Elder Peña was ready
to kill him but I just calmly walked away and said to myself... He
spit on the savior, not me. Anyways, we walked back past after we got
out money taken out and the kid was sitting there waiting for us. And
he had friends. They were blown away I was from Utah and I didn't want
to speak Spanish to them. So these two teenage girls tried to grab my
hands and pull me back but I broke loose and started walking faster.
Then the same kid said what's this? Pointing to my frisbee then I said
a frisbee. He said can I try and I handed it to him, fully knowing
that he would take off running, and he did. Elder Peña yelled at him
and said give it back but I said it's not important, he needs a red u
of u $2 frisbee more than me.

When we got back to the computer lab thingy, we sat down on a bench
and right about 10 feet in front of my face is an ATM. I'm not sure
why I didn't see it before we had to go through all of that, but I
learned the importance of keeping your temper. I was a little mad then
I chilled out and just said, why am I worrying so much? Anyways, dang
ATM's hahaha.