Monday, March 28, 2016

Pics from this week

S/O to the WX Baseball team for the fresh new gear!
Good luck boys :) you are being represented well in SPAIN!

THE GIORGINO's :) greatest people on the planet

Ping Pong with Kevin and Josue!

I taught Mar and Esther that game where you make the circle and if
you look at it, they punch you. Needless to say, they're obsessed. So
we had to get a picture of us doing the sign haha!

Easterrr Weeeeeeek

Family and Friends!

Hello :) I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter! What a great time
to remember our Savior. I also hope that we are all spiritually
preparing ourselves for GENERAL CONFERENCE this weekend! I can
honestly say that General Conference as a missionary is a second
Christmas. I am so excited to hear what the prophets, apostles, and
other general authorities have prepared for us! Here is a little about
my week...

Tuesday we had our regular lesson with Lucy. Have I mentioned that she
is the Haha seriously she is so great, sometimes we will see
her on her way to work in the street and her face just lights up when
she sees us! I'm excited for her baptism, it's coming up closer and
closer! This week, we focused on three things that she doesn't really
have problems with, so it was an easier lesson for her and us! Every
time we come over, she always prepares us something delicious and this
week it was Colombian rice pudding! Holy cow I never really liked rice
pudding before the mission (sorry mom...) but this was to die for!! I
love Lucy! (Like the show haha) later that day, we had English Class
but nobody showed up so we called some members to come play ping pong
with us and it was so much fun! There are two brothers, Kevin and
Josue, and they came and turns out... Kevin is actually some pretty
decent competition! We had a lot of fun the rest of that night just
playing some ping pong :) I'm the new king here in Talavera as far as
ping pong goes... haha

The rest of the week, it was a little difficult. We talked with so
many people, but nobody wanted anything to do with us. It's rough to
stay happy when that kind of stuff happens, but we did our best and I
know that God is happy with us for trying. A family from Ourense moved
down here this week and that was what we had been praying for as a
branch! So, I know for a fact that God answered that prayer.
Apparently the mother isn't a member, but she told our branch
president that she wanted to be baptized, so we are going to get with
them this week and see what's going on over there :) the work in
Talavera is moving along just fine!

Friday was one of the greatest days of all time! On Thursday night we
went into Madrid to stay with the Barrio 3 Elders because we had Zone
Conference and we are way far away from anything haha. Anyways, Elder
Walster was on intercambios with one of the B3 Elders, Elder Kirby, so
it was a fun night full of talking and hanging out with him! On Friday
morning, we got to Pavones and started the Tri-Zone Conference. I saw
so many MTC friends again, it was the greatest! The focus of the
conference was how to find new people, which is what we really need
help with down here in Talavera! So I took good notes and we are
hoping to put the things we learned to use this week! Now I'll tell
you all the best 2 parts of the conference...
1. I have gained so much respect for President Pack this week. I can't
imagine how many things he has to worry about as a mission president!
He has his family here, almost 200 missionaries, plus stakes and
districts that all rely on him. What a big responsibility! Right
before we finished, he gave us a blessing and said it was as if his
hands were placed individually upon each one of our heads. He entitled
us to revelation, told us how much he loved us, prayed for us, and
hopes the best for us every single day. I felt the spirit so strong as
he was giving us this "blessing" that I had chills all over my whole
body! He is truly an inspired man and I'm so glad he is my mission
president :)
2. And the second was that I saw THE GIORGINO's! They are the greatest
people of all time and I have never been happier in my whole life than
to see them! I attached a picture at the bottom :)

On Sunday, our Ward Mission Leader got up in Sacrament meeting and
asked the whole congregation (there was like maybe 20 people there) to
pray for the missionaries this week, especially us in Talavera. It
finally hit me that the missionaries have millions and millions of
people praying for us every single day! Once again, I was overcome
with chills all over my whole body! There has never been another group
of people like the missionaries who have been prayed for more in the
history of the church. For some reason, this week I was so very
grateful for the support of everyone who has helped me get out here on
my mission. Thank you ALL for your continued love and support,
especially the prayers! I have never felt it so strongly like I did
this past week. It's such a blessing to be out here serving my
Heavenly Father and helping people change their lives.

These truly are the best 2 years, I love this church and know it's
true without a doubt in my mind. I love my Father in Heaven, Jesus
Christ, and the chance to represent him every single day in Spain.
Have a great week everyone :) and enjoy General Conference! love you
Heavy black heart

Con Amor,

€lder $mith

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A note from Carla....

Hello Smith family

I met Elder Smith yesterday. They were having a zone conference here in Madrid. And I just thought you might like to have receive a picture if him! He is a great missionary and it was an honor to have him in my district when he was in the MTC.

Happy Easter


Carla Giorgino


Monday, March 21, 2016

Pics from this week TALAVERA & SEMANA SANTA

Enjoy. This is classic Spain for y'all biscuits.

Arturo giving me a fresh cut in his homemade studio!

Elder Johnson, Arturo, and I :)

Me and my friend, Mar :) we switched name tag for glasses haha

I asked Brady to send me a picture of his new haircut

Then I asked him to send me a smiling one, it was a little bit of a rough week for him.  
A smile did my heart good

7 Months and Talavera


Well another week passed super quick and we had a lot of fun over here
in Talavera! I'm finally starting to get a feel for the city and where
stuff is! Elder Johnson and I are getting along super well, we are
learning a lot from each other and growing together more and more
every day. This week, La Semana Santa starts and so it should make our
missionary work a little more interesting. Spain is literally the most
catholic country in the whole entire freaking universe haha. It's not
easy to be a missionary here but I absolutely love it! Here was a look
at our week :)

We have really been getting into knocking doors and whole buildings
which is super interesting. We literally go from door to door trying
to show the new #Hallelujah video that the church put out for Easter.
It's really cool if you haven't seen it yet... Go look it up :) Lots
of doors are opened and then quickly slammed haha. So, when someone
keeps it open for a minute and we are able to testify of our Savior
and they listen, it's a huge victory for us! There are a lot of great
people here that want to listen to us, we just have to do a lot of
looking for them.

On Wednesday, we went to Toledo for district meeting. TOLEDO is NUTS!
It is a super old looking town, lots of history. We walked up and
down a few super old streets and they are lined one after another with
sword shops! And every single one that we went into, the people made
sure that we remembered that the missionaries have discounts! Haha
after years and years of Mormon Missionaries buying swords, now we
have the discount :) it was pretty funny to see how happy the owners
of these shops got when they saw all the white shirts and ties walking
around haha! I will definitely be getting a sword here! In district
meeting, we did a practice that I really enjoyed. As part of the first
lesson we teach as missionaries, we also do something that I call
"Lesson Alpha". It just means you have to get to know the person
better and try to figure out what their needs are while you are
teaching them. It's something that isn't easy, but it's necessary to
do if you want a good relationship with the investigator. Sometimes in
the lessons, all we do is get to know the people and share a short
testimony and let them know what we would like to do with them. I've
seen the blessings of these "Lesson Alpha's" and know that when we
really take interest in our investigators, they'll feel more open to
what we are teaching of them.

Speaking of investigators... LUCY! Lucy is the! She is
literally so ready to be baptized it's insane. This week we taught her
the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom. They went very well,
actually better than we expected! We kind of had a feeling that if
anything would be a struggle for her, it would be the Word of Wisdom.
We were right, as soon as we brought up Tea and Coffee, she got vocal
and said that she loves her hot drinks! She said it wouldn't be a
problem to stop though, she knows that if she stops the Lord will
bless her even more! Then she asked us if she could still drink hot
chocolate! Hahah oh Lucy... She's so great :) oh and she asked us what
clothes she needs to wear for her baptism, she is just getting this
whole thing planned out all by herself! What a wonderful experience it
is to watch someone be so excited about baptism! This world needs more

ARTURO! Arturo is a 33 year old guy from Ecuador, one of the nicest
people I have ever met! He got to know the missionaries from one of
his friends and just loves us to death haha. I heard that it was hard
to get into his house to teach him because a lot of the time he is
gone, but there's a secret! He cuts hair and if you schedule a haircut
with him, he never fails! So I called him up and told him that I
needed a haircut and guess what... WE GOT IN :) so while he was
cutting my hair (he is insanely good by the way), we talked about
everything! He is super interested in English so we practiced a lot
and then we got talking about missionary work. He knows a little bit
about Joseph Smith so we talked a lot about that. Another thing about
Arturo... He grows weed haha. He has a big weed plant in his Piso that
we saw when we walked in. So, I just need to find out to get into his
house more often than for my haircuts and how to get this guy to live
the Word of Wisdom! Other than that he's golden! He does want to hang
with us on P-Days and play soccer and then go fishing too! So we will
see how that goes :)

Adelina is also another lady that I met this week, she is an
evangelista but loves us missionaries! She took us to a bar and sat us
down, bought us a Coke, and we talked about God! It was so awesome!
She has been to our church before but isn't really interested in
changing her beliefs. One day, the missionaries knocked on her
neighbor's door but the neighbor didn't want anything to do with them
and so she decided to let them in. Oh, did I mention that she has read
the Book of Mormon 8 times?!?! Haha it was insane!! She knows that
book better than I do! She said right now that she is in Alma 32
again, and that she loves it!! Haha she was such a sweet lady, she
will be super fun to get to know more in my time here :)

Well sorry for the kind of different format this week, but I got to
know the people better which was the important part!! Also, while I
was reading one morning in my personal study, I came across D&C 50:24,
it talks about the Light of Christ. I know that every person has the
Light of Christ in them, it's up to us missionaries to help them
recognize it and get them to shine!! The people here in Talavera are
awesome and I want to help them realize that they are sons and
daughters of a loving God and that their older brother, Jesus Christ,
died for them. I'm loving this mission of mine, I'm really learning to
rely on my Heavenly Father and put my trust in him when things get
tough. Thanks for the support, love you all!

Con Amor,

Elder Smith

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pics from this week in Talavera

The Toledo District :)

the TEMPLE!!

We have found a few very slim streets here in Talavera
and I felt a picture was appropriate haha
I was very glad to see that my wonderful mother found one of my
best friends who just got home... Elder Müller! And he even delivered
the package :) this picture made me really

happy so I just decided to share it haha.

Semana 1 en Talavera :)


Week 1 in Talavera de la Reina is over! It felt kinda slow to be
honest, but I think that's always how it is when you change areas or
companions and that kind of stuff. Just to start off, some cool stuff
that I've noticed in Talavera in the last week are... 1) It's super
tiny compared to Valladolid... Valladolid had about 350,000 people and
Talavera has just over 80,000. 2) The weather here is soooo much
better, like I can walk around in a white shirt and be fine all day!
There's even palm trees here that line the streets... I'm not sure why
they're here but I'm not complaining
3) Lots of gypsies... Lots
of freaking gypsies... Hahaha. And 4) they are known for their
ceramics, and I love ceramics! Everything you look at is ceramic art
and it's super pretty. I feel like I'm in Ms. Swann's class at Woods
Cross all over again! It's the greatest! Anyways, besides all that fun
stuff, here is some more about my week :)

LUCY!! We have an investigator named Lucy from Colombia, she's 70 but
doesn't seem that old at all. She is literally the greatest person on
the planet! We teach her every Tuesday and Friday and she is super
receptive to everything we have taught so far. Anyways, we went into
the lesson on Tuesday planning to just get to know her better and
share something small, but the topic of baptism got brought up. Elder
Johnson had told me earlier that she was super set already on being
baptized and they had decided to extend the invitation for the 9th of
April. So, we asked her if she would but she said she wants to be
baptized on her son's birthday one week after so the day would be even
more special! WOO HOO :):) she is the type of lady who isn't going to
back out of a commitment like this and now we've got her locked down
for the 16th of April. I was sooooo happy, and how awesome to set a
baptismal date on my first day in the new area!!! She hasn't missed a
week of church since she came one day in January with a member friend.
We are so excited for Lucy and it's going to be really fun to see her
progress!! :)

The members here are super awesome, we meet with a bunch of them on a
regular basis. For example, every Monday night, we have correlation
meeting and a Noche de Hogar with our Branch Mission Leader who also
happens to be the Elders Quorum President and the Secretary of the
Branch. Hahaha. If that doesn't explain to you how small the branch
is, then I don't know what does! Normally we have about 20-30 people
come on Sunday's. Super different than what I'm used to, but that's
good because I'll get to know the members on a really personal level!
We eat with the Branch President every Sunday night and then talk
about how the week went and stuff. Another cool thing that we have
started is THE MAP! We have divided a map of Talavera up into 16
sections and every week we give the map to a different member and ask
them to pray about what section we should go to and look for more new
people. This week we'll be in section 11 and our goal is to find a
family. So please pray that we can have some success in section 11 and
that the Lord will help us find a family! It's a really good idea for
finding and I know that the members are really dedicated to helping us
find the people who are prepared for the gospel!

We contact A LOT here. I think the farthest we have had to walk to an
appointment is like 10 minutes away, and in Valladolid it was like an
hour to each appointment. With that being said, I'm getting to know
the city really well! We pass a lot of the same people on the street
who have shut us down earlier in the day haha. It's tiny. But I'm
loving it! Oh and what I said about gypsies last week is definitely
true, they're everywhere! There are whole 10 story Piso buildings just
with gypsies living there. They are different people but some of them
are kinda nice :) Spain in general isn't an easy place to be a
missionary and the church is very young here. But, with God's help, we
will be led to the people who are prepared to hear the good word. The
sad part is when people don't even give us a chance to introduce
ourselves and the message that we have. A lot of the people that stop
to listen to us are asking us to buy things from them because they
don't have work or they just stop and insult us. Super awesome, right?

On Wednesday, we got to go to the TEMPLE!! W
e woke up at 4 o'clock in
the morning to take our bus and metro into Madrid. It was my first
legitimate session in Spanish because in the MTC, they do sessions in
English for the missionaries. I kept up with the whole thing and still
felt the same spirit that I always do! It made me realize how blessed
we are as members of the church to have temples. ESPECIALLY IN UTAH!!
They're literally everywhere, so if you haven't gone in a while, GO!!
After we had district meeting which went well, it was weird to have
more than 4 people in a district but I loved it! Being in an area
where it's just you and your companion is an adjustment for me but
nothing that I can't handle :)

The last thing I wanna talk about is that every Friday night, the
branch has a Noche de Hogar and this time since I was the new
missionary, I got to pick the game! And of course, I picked the Name
Game :) hahaha it's so much fun to watch the people in Spain play
because they get so intense and take it so seriously!! It was a huge
hit! I love this branch so much already and I've only been here for a
week. They take good care of us missionaries and are involved in our
work with us. I don't feel like it's a church of members and a church
of missionaries, we are all together in this wonderful cause of
bringing more souls unto Christ!! I'm really excited for what the next
few transfers are going to bring :)

Thank you all for your continued support in this journey of mine! This
mission has changed me and I have learned more in the last 7 months
(almost) than in my whole life combined! The work isn't easy, but it's
so worth it and I am loving every second. I know that with God's help,
everything is possible. He knows each one of us personally and has a
plan for us. I'm grateful to represent my Savior, Jesus Christ every
single day here in Talavera. I hope you guys have a wonderful week and
I'll talk to you soon :)



Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Here's a little bit about......Talavera de la Reina

Talavera de la Reina

Talavera de la Reina is a city and municipality in the western part of the province of Toledo, which is in turn part of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha, Spain.  It is the second-largest nucleus of population in Castile-La Mancha and the largest in the province: its population of 83,793 makes it larger than the city of Toledo, although the latter remains the provincial capital.
The city is settled along the river Tagus(Tajo in Spanish) at a broad bank. There are two islands in the center of the city called Isla Grande and Chamelo Island. The city is surrounded by two ranges of mountains, in the north the Sierra de San Vicente, and in the south Montes de Toledo.
The city is divided in two by the river Tagus. The northern part is the larger and more populated; both parts are connected by three bridges, one of them built in the Middle Ages.
The weather is continental; winter is wet and cold with dense fog in the mornings, and summer is quite warm. The area is very fertile with Mediterranean forests, elms, olive trees and corks.

Salvador Church's Apse

Colegial Church of Talavera de la Reina
The river

The city is internationally known for its ceramics, which Philip II of Spain used as tiled revetments in many of his works, such as the monastery of El Escorial. The nickname of Talavera de la Reina is 'The City of Pottery' (La Ciudad de la Cerámica, in Spanish). Mexico's famous Talavera pottery was named after the city.



Pics from this week

I also gave a tie to Hermano Julio, our branch mission leader. He
gave me a big hug and kiss on the cheek and called me His Son :) he
wants me to come back and live with him after the mission hahaha!

Luis :)

.Last District Meeting in Valladolid!

Hermana Isabel León :)

Some weird/quality graffiti in Palencia haha

I did a tie swap with Johussen, presidente Yubero's son and about
cried! He's the coolest kid in the branch and like my

best friend. I'm going to miss him a lot!!

Elder Galvan and I eating his famous Spanish Pasta!

Elder Johnson and I just chilling in the capilla.....
 It's gonna be a fun few transfers with this kid :)
Hermana Juanita :)

Adios Valladolid y Hola Talavera :)

Hola familia y amigos!!

So as you can tell by the title of the email, I'm no longer in
Valladolid!! Holy cow after a good almost 6 months there it just
naturally became my new home. Now I'm in a city called Talavera de la
Reina, it's south of Madrid and kinda by Toledo. My new companion is
Elder Johnson from Ogden, Utah and he is a super good kid! He has been
out for 2 transfers and so that makes me the senior companion!! Hahaha
I'm so nervous!! But it will all be good, the Lord knows what I need
and that's why he sent me down here :) sorry I don't have a really
structured format this week but here's what has happened in the life
of Elder Smith!!

So one funny experience... We were out contacting one day before an
appointment and this big group of teenage girls stopped us and asked
us if we wanted to be their boyfriends hahahahaha. They looked a
little sketchy and then they told us they were gypsies!! That's not a
joke, they were literally gypsies. So I took my name tag off and
showed it to them and explained to them why I couldn't be their
boyfriend and that I was a missionary. They didn't like that excuse
and kept asking but I just kept saying no haha. Finally they just left
and I got a laugh out of it after. Apparently in my new area,
Talavera, the place is crawling with gypsies. So pray for me, this
could be an interesting few transfers!!

This week was just mainly filled with goodbyes. And you all know me, I
don't like goodbyes at all. So it was kind of a sad/emotional/weird
week. Elder Galvan and I pressed forward to the very end and had a
successful week. He will do great in the area that I so dearly love
and my new replacement is Elder Dover from Texas! He seems like a good
guy so I'm not too worried about the area, it'll be in good hands. On
Wednesday we had our last district meeting in Valladolid and I put a
picture of it at the bottom, but it was also Elder Galvan's birthday
so we went to an American restaurant called Foster's to celebrate!! It
was a fun day. I'm actually sad to leave Elder Galvan because he
taught me a lot of things about being a missionary. I learned from his
example and loved how he was so humble. He was always focused on the
needs of the people we met with and we have finally stared to see some
progress with them.

Luis, the guy who we have been helping since day 1, started up smoking
again :( he went 16 months without doing it but then one day he got
stressed and pulled out the cigarettes again! So we sat down with him,
gave him a blessing that he will be able to withstand the temptations
to smoke, and then created a plan. Now every night before bed we call
him to see if he has smoked that day or not and it has motivated him
to not smoke anymore. He wanted to talk scriptures with me the other
day and I was so surprised at how much he understood! I said, "Luis,
when did you read all this?" And he just responded, "well I didn't
want to make you disappointed by smoking again so I read my scriptures
instead." I hugged that guy so hard!! It's awesome when someone really
wants to change. I know that with the Lord's help, he'll stop smoking
and continue on the path that leads to eternal life.

Saturday and Sunday were days filled with goodbyes, and I didn't
really want to do it but you can't avoid it on the mission. We went to
Palencia one last time to visit the Family from Honduras and committed
them to come to church but they didn't end up showing because they got
called in to work last minute. It was a bummer but hopefully they will
be able to find something that doesn't conflict with the Sabbath. It
was a bitter sweet moment to bare my testimony in front of the branch
one last time, I really have come to love these people. Haha oh and
the hugging rule for missionaries... Yeah I got so many old ladies to
hug me. It was the best!! Oops :) I'm not too stoked to talk about all
the goodbyes but I pretty much said bye to everyone and that's that.
I'll put pictures but yeah, it just makes me kinda sad. It's a little
fresh still!! But Sunday night we went to a funeral of a lady who was
in the branch. She passed away but I never knew her because she was
always in a care facility. The way the members talked about her, she
seemed awesome!! I wish I could have gotten to know her, none of her
family is LDS except for her so the majority of the talks were focused
on the Plan of Salvation and how we can return to live with our loved
ones again. It brought peace to my mind as I thought about how I
really will be able to live with my family for all eternity!! I can't
imagine life without them :) we ate with Presidente Yubero and his
family one last time after the funeral then I got all packed and this
morning I took a train, metro, and bus to get to Talavera! It seems a
lot smaller than Valladolid but that will be good because I'll get to
know the members super well! Bring it on baby :)

Overall, I have absolutely loved my time in Valladolid and it will
always have a big special place in my heart. I'm really excited to be
here in Talavera with Elder Johnson and we will see what the next few
transfers bring! Please pray for me because you all know how I don't
like change a whole lot but I'm doing good so far haha!! That's all
for this week, I love you all and thanks for your support!! And, my
good friend Elder Gearig just got moved to Toldeo so we will be in the
same district and I'm very excited for that :)


Con Amor,
Elder Brady Smith


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pics from this week

There’s 2 Elder Smiths in the branch now J

Noche de Hogar with Israel and his Family! I love that kid so much!

Us missionaries and Angel just being ourselves :)

Real Valladolid's Stadium :)

Another lookout of the city

The sun was bright ha ha

Highest point in Valladolid with my new Jersey :) I love it here