Carnival!

Bom Dia Alegria

(That’s a Portuguese greeting that doesn’t really translate to anything but is commonly used when sending texts.)

Yeah this week was Carnival!  WOO HOO!! Sister L and I decided to have our own little “festa” in our apartment with these amazing little streamer and things that you blow on and they ring.  It’s way out!!  I wish I could send videos of it!  It is so much fun!  We also had a lot of confetti that we may or may not have cleaned up since last Tuesday…

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I love the people here in Portugal!! We had the opportunity to teach the cousin and the husband of one of the ward members.  He was recently released from the hospital after three months because of a tumor.  He still is not completely cleared of the tumor.  I feel so bad for them but I am so excited to help them find the peace and joy that comes through the gospel.  Unfortunately, she can’t come to church because she works on Sundays and no one at work wants to switch her dia de folga(Day off).  But I know that in time they will be able to accept and have the peace that comes from the gospel.

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We also have had the opportunity to teach a woman who had been taught by the elders about a year ago.  She couldn’t come to church either because of work.  But recently she got a different job and was able to come for the first time yesterday.  She was so nervous.  But by the end of it she was so happy and said that she wants to get baptized soon.  We want her to feel prepared.  I am excited to help her get ready to enter the waters of baptism.

Today we had an awesome time with the Elders in our district.  For p-day, we decided to go to Belém again.  When we got there, we discovered that on our last visit, we only saw part of the site.

We went to the Torre de Belém today.  Once we saw all that there was to see in Belém we went to the chapel of Elders Schoder and Eldridge and ate tacos.  Sister Lewis made the filling.

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We also learned this week that Elder Bednar is coming to Portugal in April for a few days.  I am so excited.

That’s all I have for this week.

Tchau!!

Push Forward With Faith

Óla tudo mundo!

Like most weeks we get to the end and it feels like it has gone on forever but not.  Most days it feels like “It’s only Thursday.” while at the same time “It’s Thursday already?!?” But we steadily push forward with faith.

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This week was fun.  We had splits with the Sister Training Leaders.  I got to work with Sister Silva, a Portuguese native.  I love spending time with native speakers because it helps me develop my language skills.  I’m not fluent . . . at least not yet.  But I’m working hard every day.  Not only did she help me with my Portuguese, I also got to help her improve her English.  That is always fun.

In addition to spending time with the Sister Training Leaders, we had interviews with President Flukiger.  That is always cool.  He and I talked about how I can improve my teaching and how to work towards completing the qualifications of Mastres de Israel.  We also had some training from the Assistants to the President, the Zone Leaders and Sister Flukiger.  It was a great week all around.

This week we’ve had the opportunity to teach Antonio.  He is the brother of Alexandrina, a member of the ward.  It has been a really frustrating and humbling experience.  Frustrating because he says he knows that what is being taught is true.  However, he is waiting for what he calls a “click” before he will agree to being baptized.

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Teaching Antonio has been humbling as well.  He has never learned to read.  Sis. Lewis and I want to help him but we don’t know how best to start.  We’ve offered to help teach him how to read.  But for some reason, he won’t accept our help.  I’m just praying that he will be able to feel his “Click” and understand how his life will improve if he accepts the gospel and learns how to read.

I promise I will have more pictures this next week, as we are going to Cristo Rei today for our preparation-day activity.

Tchau Bom Dia!

Doth He Not Leave The Ninety And Nine?

The Sunday before Christmas, we met a man named Francisco.  Sis. Lewis and I contacted him on the street.  He gave us his information.  We promised we would be back in touch, but it was not until the last week in January that we were able to find him again.

The week Sister Thornley and I went on splits, we committed to find Francisco.  Sister Thornley and I tracked him down and invited him to Aula de Ingles (English class).  He came that Wednesday and has been back every week since.  He almost immediately became interested in gospel instruction as well.  In fact, we taught him all of the lessons in two weeks.  The change in him has been so great.  We taught the word of wisdom.  Two days later we met with him.  He said that he had given up everything that was getting in the way of him getting baptized.  He reported that he had only been drinking juice and water and that he felt so much better!

We had a little bit of a scare because Satan had been working on him.  When we met with Francisco Thursday, he told us that he didn’t want to be baptized.  He was struggling with studying the gospel.  He was worried about money problems and he hadn’t eaten.  We taught him a lesson and he was encouraged again by the spirit.  We talked about the blessings that come from being baptized and we encouraged him to go home and eat which he did.  Like Sister Lewis says “Food solves all problems”.

On Saturday, he was a new man.  Not just because he had eaten and felt better but also because he was baptized.  It was a joyous and funny experience.  The Brother who baptized Francisco put him down in the water so hard that it splashed out of the font and onto the feet of one of the witnesses standing near the font.  It took all my will not to laugh!  I was so happy for him.

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One of the reasons so many are coming to the waters of baptism here in Mirtejo is because of the members.  So many of them support missionary work.  I’d like to highlight one couple in our ward.  They tell us they are always available to go out and teach with us.  In fact, I have decided that if I ever need to find some Portuguese parents, they will be the ones here in Miratejo.  Bro. and Sis. Santos are always willing to serve with the missionaries.  Plus they feed us amazing food every week!  It’s really nice to be loved and supported.

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Last but not least, the work of the Lord is growing in Miratejo.  Elders were added to our district.  Sis. Lewis and I have been working alone.  It will be great to have them join us, Elders Jones, Pitcher, Eldridge, and Schroeder.  Welcome Elders.

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That’s all a have this week!

Tchau Bom Dia!

To Be Made Clean From Sin Is An Amazing Thing

My first baptism happened on Saturday!  I felt like the character from the Lego Movie who runs around yelling “Spaceship!”  But instead of saying “Spaceship” I kept saying “Baptism!!”  in my head all day.

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It is really great to see the change that comes to people when they are baptized.  To be made clean from sin is an amazing thing.  On Sunday when Idel was confirmed, his smile was brighter than I had ever seen it before.  It made me feel really happy.

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Members sometimes say “Good work with your convert.”  But I know that it is not the missionaries who convert people.  It’s the spirit.  I had nothing to do with his conversion.  But it was amazing to help him find the path that leads to true happiness.  Now all we have to do is help him get to the temple and continue to grow in the gospel!

This week we were able to help Irmã Ção (I spelled it wrong last week) send names to the temple to be added to the Prayer Roll.  It was a lot of fun trying to help her figure out electronics.  Since today was transfer day she made each of us a little crochet basket thingy which was really cute!

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Speaking of transfers, this is transfer two.  Sister Lewis and I are still companions 🙂  Yay Miratejo!

This last week I hit my three month mark as a missionary. Wait…what?  I feel like I just got to the MTC yesterday.  But here I am on my second transfer and three months in. Time flies.  But I am so glad to be here in Portugal helping others come closer to Christ.

That’s all I have for this week!

Tchau! Bom Dia!