The most newsworthy week of my mission. . .

The most newsworthy week of my mission. . .

This was a phenomenal week on the Azores.

The island of São Miguel in the Azores.  Ponta Delgada is the largest city on the Island.

The island of São Miguel in the Azores. Ponta Delgada is the largest city on the Island.

Monday started off with Family Home Evening with our District President and his family.  We made “arms and legs” as Sis. Neves likes to call them.  Actually it is chicken wings and drumsticks in a tomato sauce.  It it turned out pretty tasty.

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Tuesday we had lunch with the family I have dubbed My Family of the Azores!  Sis. Neves and I and all of the Elders from our district were invited.  We had fish, sweet potatoes and vegetables.

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Thursday was the day it rained.  It was a downpour all day.  We’re talking some serious rain. We had a ward activity, a movie night, we watched Meet the Mormons, because the people here had not yet had the opportunity to see it.  I love that movie.

Movie Night at the Chapel.

Movie Night at the Chapel.

The big event of the week came on Friday.  Everyone is so excited.  That was the day that we got the official announcement that they will be breaking ground for the Portugal Temple on December 5, 2015!!!!!!!!!!  HERE and HERE are links to the announcement.

All the members shared with us the architectural rendering of the temple.  They are thrilled to see construction start on “their” temple.

The Lisbon Portugal Temple.

The Lisbon Portugal Temple.

We are teaching a woman is gaining her own testimony.  Saturday we had the opportunity to talked to her.  It’s amazing to see the growth of people and their willingness to step out of their comfort zone to learn new things and  accept the feelings of the spirit.

Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity…*insert sarcasm here*  to give a talk in Sacrament meeting.  I felt like the talk went well but I still do not cherish the opportunity to give a talk to all of the members.  I’ll have to work on that.  Today we are planning to play basketball with the elders and a few friends 🙂  That’s plenty for this week.

Sis. Neves, Joana and Me.

Sis. Neves, Joana and Me.

I played checkers.

I played checkers.

The thrill of victory.

The thrill of victory.

The agony of defeat.

The agony of defeat.

A really neat old church in our area.

A really neat old church in our area.

Another shot of the facade.

Another shot of the facade.

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I Have A Feeling We’re Not In Portugal Anymore.

I Have A Feeling We’re Not In Portugal Anymore.

Well that’s not exactly true. But sometimes I feel like it is. Everything is so different here on the Azores. The weather is not completely bad, just a little more rainy. The members are so kind. I feel like I’m at home. Not much happened this last week. But I don’t really care because I’m living in paradise.

It is a struggle some days.

It is a struggle some days.

We are in the little branch of Ponta Delgada on the island São Miguel. There are two other companionships of Elders. It’s a lot of fun! One of the things that has been super hard about working here is the fact that they speak a language that seems completely different from Portuguese. The natives have such strong accidents. It is Portugese mixed with French. It is the hardest thing ever too understand. Thankfully, the members of the branch are nice enough to slow down and try to keep their accents to a minimum. But non-members . . . WOOF!  I’m having such a hard time keeping up with what everyone is saying.

Waterfall

Waterfall

But again, I have to look on the upside. It is really, really pretty here!! Compared to the mainland, island life is really slow. That is true except for my companion, Sister Neves. She just runs from house to house. She is wearing me out. When I get home I am completely exhausted. But that’s okay. Because I am living in paradise!

Ocean.

Ocean.

Contacting on the Azores!

Contacting on the Azores!

L to R.  Joana, me, Minda and Sis. Neves.

L to R. Joana, me, Minda and Sis. Neves.

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Well, I really am preaching in a postcard now. . .

Well, I really am preaching in a postcard now. . .

It is transfer time again.  And where did I end up?… *Cue the drum roll*  THE AZORES!!!!!!!!! WOOOO

I’m on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  It’s is about 1,024 miles from Lisbon to the Azores.  Only a two and a half hour plane ride from Lisbon.  I had wanted to serve on the island and this is a dream come true.  I am serving on São Miguel Island which the most populated island of the Azores archipelago.

It is the prettiest place ever!  In addition to being a great place, I will have Sister Neves as my companion!!!!  I served with her in Miratejo.  We weren’t companions, but we shared the same apartment.

Sis. Neves and me.

Sis. Neves and me.

Before heading out on my transfer, we had just finished up a great week.  It was Elder Welch’s birthday on October 8.  We used all of the party decorations that Sister Nielsen and I got in our birthday boxes to have a joint celebration.  It was a lot of fun!  We also had a baptism on Saturday.  Jose is a choice son of our Heavenly Father.  We were going through the park one day and were inspired to talk to him.  He accepted our invitation for baptism and was baptize two weeks after receiving the first discussion.  It was really great.  He is super humble and very quiet!

Sunday and today were very hectic.  We got a call during church that I needed to pack my bags packed because I would be leaving Sunday night.  We took the train into Lisbon where I was told that I was going to the Azores.  The plane was scheduled to leave at stinking 4:30 in the morning on Monday.  That kinda sucked.  But I got to the airport on time.  I got to the apartment at about 8:00 a.m., which was really 7:00 a.m. because there is a one hour time difference.  I was exhausted and Sis. Neves let me sleep for bit and then a member took us to the other side of the island with so many things!  Cliffs, the ocean and waterfalls!  It was so cool!!!!!! Here’s some pictures of the prettiness!

Elder Hansen, Bruno, Sister Neves, me and Elder Kaelber.

Elder Hansen, Bruno, Sister Neves, me and Elder Kaelber.

I’ve got to get a new camera because someone stole mine.  Other missionaries shared their photos with me so I could post these up.  I will get out and get one right away so that I don’t want to miss all of the really beautify scenery that I will have on the island.

Every Week In Setubal Is An Adventure

Every Week In Setubal Is An Adventure

Well at least this week was.

Setubal Sunset.

Setubal Sunset.

Tuesday we had interviews with president.  Wednesday we had the Sister Training Leaders over for splits.  We also discovered that we (being me) had some fleas.  Sister Neilsen and I thought the weird little bug bites that I had been getting at night were just mosquito bites.  But NOPE!   It had to be fleas.  Thankfully our district leader was a pro at the extermination techniques.  And things seem to be under control for now.  I have not been awakened with any new bites.  We are just glad we caught it early on.

Thursday we had to stay in the house for so long because the men came to fix our house and make sure that no water will come exploding out of the sink again. YEAY!!!!

Here in Portugal, we are keeping the tradition alive!  We the Sisters of Setubal planned to go out to eat when the men were at Priesthood meeting.  But Saturday wasn’t going to work out because of schedules.  So we went out on Friday evening instead.  SUSHI!  It was really good 🙂

Sushi.

Sushi.

Charlotte Selfie

Charlotte Selfie

On Saturday we had the opportunity to go to a wedding, it was the cutest thing ever!  The Groom started crying when the bride walked in and you could see how much he loved her!  It was so great! Then it was time for conference!  WOOHOO!  Guess who showed up at the wedding?  Sister Anaya, my companion from the MTC.  It was great to see her.

Sis. Mills & Sis. Anaya.

Sis. Mills & Sis. Anaya.

Bernardo and me.

Bernardo and me.

My favorite talk from Women’s Conference was President Uchtdorf.  He reminded me that even when we have hard times we can still be happy because we know that the Savior withstood all that we have gone through in this life.

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I am writing this on Monday morning.  We still have yet to watch the Sunday Afternoon session but thus far my favorite talk was that of Elder Holland.  His his testimony of the love of mothers really touched my heart.  I remembered all of the love that my mother has shown for me over the years and how much she has done for me!  LOVE YOU MAMA!

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Conference Sunday was also 20th birthday, and a baptism!  Dina the woman I talked about last week got baptized!!  We were so happy for her and she kept telling us “Today is the first day of my new life!”  She started crying when I talked about baptism! It is amazing how the Lord can change people and make it possible for them to start anew.

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The Missionaries of Setubal. Elder Hart, Sister Neilsen, me, Sister Steagall, Sister Landbeck, Elder Martinez

The Missionaries of Setubal. Elder Hart, Sister Neilsen, me, Sister Steagall, Sister Landbeck, Elder Martinez

Another thing this week.  We got the Elders back in Setubal! Elder Welch and Elder Gomes, Elder Welch is our district leader.

Elder Welch and Elder Gomes

Elder Welch and Elder Gomes

This is in his second transfer.  But he speaks Portuguese really well and is doing a really good job.  His companion is Elder Gomes.  He is not a full time missionary.  He is a local member.  But has his missionary application papers in and is waiting for his mission call.  We hope he gets it soon so that he can serve a full time mission.  Elder Welch is a very nice person.  At the end of every phone report, he asks us if there is anything that he and his companion can do for us.  I’ve been on my mission for almost a year now and I have been answering that question the same way for a long time.  When they ask what do we need I always say bolachas, or cookies in English.  Elder Welch and Elder Gomes are the first missionaries to actually make us cookies right away.  Two days after my request, the cookies were on our doorstep and they were pretty dang good might I add.

Bolaches

Bolaches

Thanks Elders!!

Love you all!

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