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!!!
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.