Many Things To Be Thankful For On The Real Thanksgiving Week!

BOM DIA!!!!!!!!  This Thanksgiving Week couldn’t have started off any better.  What a joy!

I am thankful for my Mission.

I am thankful for my Mission.

I had an ear infection. 🙂  Basically I could NOT hear a thing.  It felt like I had cotton balls stuck in my ears all week.  Then, I had sharp shooting pains down my ear into my jaw.  Thankfully I got into the doctor on Tuesday.  He gave me so much medicine.  Not one, not two, but four prescriptions! Thankfully I’m getting better.

Here is another reason to be thankful this week, every day morning, noon and night.  We had our Companionship Thanksgiving feast on Thursday.  It was a grand meal with noodles, fish, and imitation crab meat.  WOO!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I am thankful for Sister Landbeck. Even though I wasn’t feeling well she went on a cleaning spree.  She found lots of interesting pieces of clothing that had been left in the apartment.  I know I never would have found them.

I am thankful for my companion Sis. Landbeck

I am thankful for my companion Sis. Landbeck

We also ran into some wizards!  At least that is what we thought at the beginning.  But No.  They were students attending the college here on the island.  They have Harry Potter capes as a part of their uniforms.  I am jealous.  So what do we do when we run into “wizards”?  We take pictures of course!!!

I am Thankful we found some college students in their school uniforms looking like they came straight from Hogwarts.

I am thankful we found these college students in their school uniforms looking like they came straight out of Hogwarts.

I am also thankful for one more thing this week.  A few days ago we were out finding and I am thankful that I did not find myself dead.  The streets here in town another are typical European streets; super narrow with a little sidewalk space.  We were walking on the sidewalk and either I was walking too close to the street or the car was too close to the sidewalk.  Anyway, the car went whizzing by and I got sideswiped by the car’s car mirror.

Yes I’m completely fine.  It hurt a little.  But I am thankful I am okay.  That’s all the important things that happened this Thanksgiving week on the Azores!!!  Be Thankful everyone.

Happy Week Before Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Week Before Thanksgiving Everyone!

This week has been great!  We had a wonderful opportunity to serve a member of the ward and her daughter Monica.  Prior to my arrival the sisters contacted Monica.  She gave them her name and address but when the missionaries stopped by she didn’t have time for them.  Since my arrival, we tried to contact her again.  Every time we went she did not want to talk to us.  Sometimes she would close the door without saying anything or just wouldn’t open the door in the first place.

But this week she finally she opened the door to us and invited us in.  She shared with us that her mother is a less active member who we did not know.  Monica and her mother both felt the impression that they needed something more in their lives.  We shared with them the video called The Hope of God’s Light.

Both Monica and her mom felt the spirit when we showed them the message.  A few days later and she opened the door again and we shared the showed the video entitled The Restoration.

Again, the spirit was there and testified to them.  I loved it.

There is no formal Thanksgiving celebration like the United States.  So the missionaries had their own Thanksgiving dinner with the members.  We had loads of preparation to do.  It was fun to serve.

IMG_0029

The Missionaries in the Azores

IMG_0033 (1)

Thanksgiving Preparations.

IMG_0056

Let’s get the party started!

IMG_0061 (1)

No dessert before dinner!

The members prepared a Powerpoint with the word Thanksgiving!  Underneath was the translation in portuguese (Dia acao da gracas).  Somehow it lost something in the translation.

We played games.  Elder Mubai told us all a riddle.  I was the first one to figure it out.  After a while others started to figure it out.  But all the while the others were whispering to me, “Psst Sister. What`s the answer?”  It was really fun.

I learned that the way to win the heart of anyone from Portugal is to make them Rice Krispie Treats!  Seriously.  I brought a giant bowl of them to Thanksgiving dinner and there were only three left at the end of the night. Maybe I’ll make a batch every day and take them with me when I go contacting.  It was great.

Today was transfers again and *Drum roll please* I`m still here in the Azores!  But I`ve changed comps!  I had to say so long to Sister Neves.  I am now serving with sister LANDBECK!!!!

Royalty.

Royalty.

I do not know why the Azores like people from Setubal so much.  Sister Neves was the first sister from Setubal to come here.  Then I came and now Sister Landbeck!  But we`re here!!!!

This transfer day was crazy though.  Sister Neves forgot her passport at the house.  We didn´t realize until we were at the airport.  We had to turn around and go back to the house to get it.  Even though she missed her plane, there was another one she could take.  It was crazy and frustrating at the same time 🙂  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Now we can move on to Christmas!!!

IMG_0077

Sister Lewis Wrote This To Her Mom About Her Reunion With Sister Mills

I got to do a division with Sister Mills, minha filha!!!!

Sis. Lewis and Sis. Mills back together again!

Sis. Lewis and Sis. Mills back together again!

It was seriously so much fun to serve with her again, and this time both of knowing what we were doing, mais ou menos. She took me to this place with Christmas lights, because she knows how much I love Christmas, and when she taught, I got goosebumps because of the power with which she testified of Christ. One of the best moments of the transfer, without a doubt. Also, she told me that my recent convert from Miratejo, Paulo, was sustained in Stake Conference to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood!!! Made my day!!!!

Sister Mills did rejoice exceedingly to see Sister Lewis!

Sister Mills did rejoice exceedingly to see Sister Lewis!

Hello all you people on the other side of the world!  This week was amazing!  (No we did not have a baptism but we had so many great experiences 🙂

On Wednesday the Sister Training Leaders visited.  Guess who one of them was? SISTER LEWIS!

Sister Lewis and Sister Mills

Sister Lewis and Sister Mills

It was so great to see her again.  Check Alma 17:2.  We had a great time.  We taught some people, ate some really good ice cream and dinked around the downtown area.   If you think America is bad about starting Christmas early, the stores here already have their Christmas Lights up.  It was a lot of fun.  We are getting in the spirit. 🙂  Thursday was Zone Conference!  with Presidente and Sister Tavares, Os Assistentes and all of the missionaries on the Açores!  It was really cool and we had some awesome training.

IMG_0017 (1)

Saturday was the most amazing day of the week.  We had been talking to a young woman named Nicole here on the island for about two weeks.  She shared her testimony of the things we taught her.  But out of nowhere, she stopped talking to us.  She sent us a message saying that her mother wasn’t letting her talk to us anymore.

We talked with Sister Tavares about her.  Sister Tavares suggested that we talk to the mother about all of the wonderful things that the church offers for young women.  Sister Tavares said we should teach the mom about Personal Progress and the Strength of Youth.  Sister Tavares said we should show the mom that the church can offer her daughter so many things.  So we went in fast and asked the assistants to send out an SOS to the whole mission to pray for us and for her mother that we could have the spirit and that her mom’s heart would be softened.  We prayed so many times.  As we were walking to her house I just wanted to sing every hymn from the rooftops.  My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest with the amount of spirit that began to flow through me.

IMG_0021 (1)

When we got there her mother was really nice.  She let us in and we began to talk.  She even joked with us.  It was only then that we learned that it was Nicole that didn’t want to talk to us and she had used her mother as an excuse.  She was just too embarrassed to tell us to our faces that she didn’t want talk to us anymore.  I am grateful that we have so many wonderful programs that help the youth.  I am grateful that Sister Tavares could remind us of that and I am especially grateful that the spirit teaches us of the inspiration of those programs.

 

 

Sunday we thought we were going to have an investigator a church.  We even offered to come by and wake him up.  When we did, he wouldn’t get out of bed.  But we felt that we should stay in the area of his house.  We walked around and then out of nowhere, Sister Neves saw a guy with a dog and asked if he wanted to come to church with us.  Lo and behold, he said yes. And he came with us.  It was really cool to see how Heavenly Father puts his children who are prepared in our path.

I hope everything is going well with all of you!

Mais um dia especial!!!

Hellooooooo family and friends!

This week has been an adventure!  It started off with us waiting for one of our investigators to come and play basketball with us on preparation day.  The investigator never showed up.  Then there was the joy of going to the medical clinic for Sister Neves who has been having lots of stomach problems.  Problem was that just when it was time to leave for her appointment is started to rain.  On the way to the clinic it turned into a downpour.  To make matters worse, we got lost because the map we were given did not give us the right directions.  When we arrived we were soaking wet.  We were dripping water all over the floor.  I had to take off my boots because they were so full it felt like I was standing in a swimming pool.  It had rained so hard that my rain-proof jacket kinda let water come in through the zipper and sleeves.  So my dress was wet all down the front and the skirt was completely soaked.  After going to the doctor, we had to go to the chapel and use the electric hand dryers to dry off a bit.

This week we were honored to greet President and Sister Tavares.  They came to the Azores for our Zone Conference.  I got to see Sister Lewis again.  I was so excited.  The Missionaries on the island of Terceira attended via Skpe.  Terciera is a another of the Azore islands. Mais um dia especial!!!

Azores Zone Meeting

Friday it was back to the clinic for Sister Neves.  This time they stuck a camera down her throat to look into her stomach and suck out some of the juices.  What a fun day.  But in the end, she got a medication to help make her stomach feel better.  She is on her way to being a healthy Sister Neves.

We were a little sad this week.  We had been teaching a brother for a couple of weeks.  Everything was great.  But when we arrived on Saturday to teach him a lesson he was drunk.  And on Sunday he still had not sobered up.  He prank called us and was still a bit under the influence.  No.  He did not show up for church.

But hey, this lightened things up.  I talked to some European tourists this week.  When I told them that I live in Las Vegas, they asked “So which hotel do you live in?”  Ha Ha!

Today we went and saw the Santo Cristo statue in Porta Delgada.  *STORY TIME*  The Santo Cristo (The Holy Christ) is a statute of Christ.  The statue is kept in the Convent of Our Lady of Hope in Ponta Delgada.  Many show true devotion to the images.  Some believe that the statue was discovered by the inhabitants here on São Miguel when it washed up on the shore.  The tale is that when the people rescued the statute they saw water coming out of its eyes.  Some believe that the statue is living and that it weeps for the people.  The nuns at the Convent care for the statue.  People say that the nuns file his fingernails every day because the image is alive and the nails grow.  They say that the image is related to miracles.  In fact, they call the statute Santo Cristo dos Milagres.  People will pray to the statue for miracles.  People will pray for a cure for themselves and their family members.  Some believe that the greater the sacrifice, the more likely they are to get the miracle.  People have chosen to walk around the church on their knees 40 times with a child on their backs to give thanks to him.

This all started back in the 1700s.  At the time, the Azores were experiencing lots of earthquakes.  A nun in the Convent of Our Lady of Hope Mother Teresa da Anunciada had started a procession of the statue a few years earlier.  They would take the statue and parade it around the city.  Well in 1713 while in procession an earthquake happened.  The statute fell to the ground and the earthquake stopped and didn’t come back.  That was the miracle.  So now they celebrate the Santo Christo Feast every year.  In 2016, Feast will be from April 26th to May 3 with the procession on Sunday May 1.  Maybe I’ll still be here.

I got word that my Christmas presents have been delivered.  Thanks Mike and Kelly Clark for bringing them to Portugal.  Now all we need is someone to get them from the Mission Home in Lisbon to the island.  I’ll have faith.

IMG_1468

Love Charlotte.

Another Year Has Come And Gone . . .

Well here we are.  One year ago I left my family for a year-and-a-half to serve the Lord.  That time has flown by.  I have only six months left here in Portugal.  It is really amazing to see how much change has happened over the last year.  Never did I think I would be preaching on such a beautiful island.  It has also been very uplifting to see the change in those who have entered the waters of baptism.

On my one year anniversary, Sister Neves was really nice to me.  She made me breakfast and we did a bunch of fun things together as we did our work.  🙂

My One Year Anniversary Breakfast.

My One Year Anniversary Breakfast.

We also had a baptism this weekend!  What a blessing for Milu.  She is from Cape Verde but has been living on the island of São Miguel for five years.  She rents from a member named Fransico.  Many sets of missionaries have come and gone.  Both Elders and Sisters have offered to teach her.  But she showed no interest.  In addition, she had a work schedule that was not at all conducive to coming to church on Sunday.  For years, she couldn’t get Sundays off.

Sis. Mills, Sis. Neves, Milu and Fransico.

Sis. Mills, Sis. Neves, Milu and Francisco.

She just recently showed some interest.  She exercised faith and found a way to move here work schedule so that she could come and worship.  We were so excited and she was so happy along with Fransico.  It was truly amazing.  🙂