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Cotopaxi founders return to Brazil, where the company began, but this time for a different purpose

Davis and Asialene Smith share why they are giving up their successful outdoor company to serve as mission leaders

Davis and Asialene Smith family. They will be leaders of the Brazil Recife North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Davis and Asialene Smith family will be moving to Brazil in July as the parents become leaders of the Brazil Recife North Mission.

Provided by David and Asialene Smith


Cotopaxi founders return to Brazil, where the company began, but this time for a different purpose

Davis and Asialene Smith share why they are giving up their successful outdoor company to serve as mission leaders

Davis and Asialene Smith family. They will be leaders of the Brazil Recife North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Davis and Asialene Smith family will be moving to Brazil in July as the parents become leaders of the Brazil Recife North Mission.

Provided by David and Asialene Smith

The Cotopaxi company stands by its slogan “gear for good” on a large scale, dedicating a percentage of its profits to communities experiencing poverty. This idea of giving back goes much deeper than this, though.

The business’s founders, Davis and Asialene Smith, have answered the call to be mission leaders for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Brazil Recife North Mission for the next three years.

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Davis and Asialene Smith have been called as mission president and companion to lead the Brazil Recife North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the next three years.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Excited about the new service that awaits them, Davis Smith also expressed remorse for leaving something he felt was his “calling” to build. “It’s not that I own this business,” he told Church News. “I’m a steward of this business that is meant to lift people out of poverty and made to make a difference in people’s lives.”

However, the Smiths now anticipate their new calling and journey ahead in hopes that they will be able to shape the lives of missionaries, as the missionaries shape the couples’ lives in return.

Asialene Smith reflected on what has prepared her for this next adventure. She recalled living abroad in Lima, Peru, when the couple was first married for her husband’s internship. Despite not wanting to go initially, she remembers it as one of their best experiences to date.

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Davis and Asialene Smith have spent many years of their lives living abroad.

Provided by Davis Smith

In addition, Asialene Smith remembered living in Brazil for three years while starting Cotopaxi. The first six months were difficult. “But once I got settled in, I loved it,” she said, explaining that it was “wonderful.”

Davis and Asialene Smith looked back on other influential events which have proven helpful for this new stage of life they are entering into. For Davis Smith, this began early.

At just 4 years old, his family moved to Latin America. He remembered his father meeting with the children weekly to document the children’s savings in a booklet, which 40 years ago was pennies and nickels for the young Davis Smith. “It wasn’t just about saving,” he said. “It was also about sacrifice.”

Withdrawals were written down, as well; $5, $15 and $25 amounts were recorded in the “Bank of Smith’s Savings” to have gone to help various individuals. This included someone in the family’s ward serving a mission, a young couple traveling to America to be married in the temple and even Christmas gifts for children in orphanages.

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Davis Smith, center (between his sister and brother), with his father, Ole Smith, and siblings.

Provided by Davis Smith

He attributes a great deal to his parents, saying they shaped his life. Davis Smith also recounted more recent influential experiences. He said upon deciding to leave the company behind, he called the 15 individuals on his board and executive team to tell them.

After describing his and his wife’s decision to each, Smith received many positive responses. One board member got the chills, another became emotional, and an executive member said he wished he felt so deeply about something to leave so much behind. Smith said, “It was a beautiful experience for me to be able to share and articulate why this was something I was willing to do and not just willing, but wanting, to do.”

Smith said part of the coming months will be preparing to leave. The couple’s new calling does not only affect relationships at Cotopaxi.

The parents of four are taking three of their children — the oldest is in college — with them to Brazil. With excitement and apprehension, Asialene Smith said the news was received relatively positively by the children. The youngest has even begun learning Portuguese words.

Davis Smith said they are nervous about speaking the language. Regardless, he and his wife look forward to serving in a new capacity. He stated, “While we may not be great at a lot of things, we love the gospel, we love the Lord, and we can’t wait to love these missionaries.”

Asialene Smith added a personal desire for the missionaries they will soon meet. “I hope that they — wherever they are — when they start their missions, that they know it doesn’t matter where they are, they can learn more, and they can grow.”

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