Ho Ho Ho!! Merry Christmas.

Ho Ho Ho!! Merry Christmas.

Christmas week was great.  It was a lot of fun preparing for Natal.  Everyone was happy and welcomed our caroling. That was a plus!  Christmas Eve morning we went out teaching people like we normally do.  Suddenly we heard what sounded like bag pipes.  Sister Landbeck and I looked at each other and decided to investigate.  It turns out it was the local stilt club conducting a Christmas walk-about out with their little elf band.  We asked for a picture and they kindly accepted.  And I thought I was short!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

We spent Christmas Eve at a member’s house and we were back over there for lunch the next day.  It was just leftovers from the night before but it was equally delicious a second time.

Daniela with her puppies.

Daniela with her puppies.

We even got to teach a lesson on Christmas.  We taught a cute young couple with their two little boys.  We shared some of our sugar cookies with Christmas-red frosting and sprinkles on them.  The younger boy scraped off the frosting with his teeth and it looked like he had just started bleeding from his mouth.  Everyone was entertained.

Then we passed by the house of a recently returned missionary and her family for dinner.  We had fun singing and her dad taught me a couple of chords on the guitar!!

We even had enough time to stop by the church to talk to the family via Skype.  A big crowd gathered in Las Vegas to say, Hi!

Christmas Skype.

Christmas Skype.

The rest of the week passed by normal, not a lot to report.  Today we went on a little adventure to this place called Capelas.  Lots of great scenery.  I ran out of time.  I had to send a lot of Christmas greetings to everyone who emailed me.  I’ll send more pictures next week.

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.  Don’t get too tipsy on your sparkling apple cider! Love you guys!

‘Twas the Week before Christmas. . .

‘Twas the Week before Christmas. . .

Well hello there family and friends. This week leading up to Christmas has been an absolute blast.

A Store Display.

A Store Display.

I have to begin with last week.  We experienced a massive rainstorm. The waves were breaking over the harbor wall. It was pretty crazy.

Crazy Waves.

Crazy Waves.

On Wednesday we had an amazing thing happen.  We were walking to a lesson appointment when out of the blue a man jumped up off this little bench and yelled in English “Hey The missionaries!!!! I found you guys!!!!”

Needless to say Sister Landbeck and I were really confused.  He explained that he was a member from Canada who had moved to Portugal.  He was having difficulty in finding the church. We gave him the address to the chapel and left him with our phone number in case he got lost.

As the week went on, the bad weather continued.  We had to go home several times during the week to change our wet cloths.  This is not the time to get hypothermia.  (Yes I do have a raincoat and I have been using it.  But the water still manages to seep in through the seams of the coat and the bottoms of my skirts are still really exposed).

This door was made just for me!  Exactly the right height.

This door was made just for me! Exactly the right height.

I also got a really cool Christmas gift this year.  When we were out caroling, a woman answered and invited us in.  We talked for a few minutes and she said that she had taken the discussion in the past.  When she started talking, I assumed that it had been maybe two or three years ago.  We asked her if she had a copy of the Book of Mormon.  She said the Elders gave her a copy and after a little hunting she found her copy.

But when I looked at it, it wasn’t a nice neat new Book of Mormon.  Instead, it looked like a copy that was one of the first Portuguese copies.  I smelled like mothballs.  She said that she had been taught by the Elders over twenty years ago.

As I was admiring the old copy she just asked “Do you want to keep it?” We said no, but we can do a trade.  So we gave her a new copy and kept the old one.

We also had the ward Christmas party this week.  ‘Twas a lot of fun!  I made sugar cookies and we even had a visit by Pai Natal.  🙂

The primary program.

The primary program.

Well that’s all I got this week! Remember If you remove the last syllable of Christmas we have Christ. Remember him and keep his spirit all year.  🙂  Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

Azores Christmas Conference 2015

Azores Christmas Conference 2015

This week was a lot of fun!  On Thursday we had the Azores Christmas Conference.  It will be a great memory for all of us.  President and Sister Tavares, the APs and all of the island missionaries attended.  The mission rented a bus and picked up all of the missionaries.

That's me way in the back.

That’s me way in the back.

Our sweet ride to dinner.

Our sweet ride to dinner.

They took us out to dinner at a restaurant named Quinta dos Açores. I had a tasty hamburger without the bun.

Fun at the restaurant.

Fun at the restaurant.

Quinta dos Açores will never be the same!

Quinta dos Açores will never be the same!

While waiting for the server to bring our meals, we entertained ourselves by drawing each other without looking at the paper.  You should see some of the pictures.  They turned out rather funny.

My drawing of my companion Sis. Landbeck.

My drawing of my companion Sis. Landbeck.

After lunch, we went back to the chapel, had a little talent show and did a gift exchange.  Sister Brodrick ended up with my name.  She and her husband are a couple serving as missionaries on the island.  Sis. Brodrick gave me a ceramic trivet, an Azores apron and hot pads with a little cookbook.  It´s a really great gift!

My gifts from Sis. Brodrick.

My gifts from Sis. Brodrick.

We all pitched in and got Sister Tavares, a really cool t-shirt! and more cookbooks.  And what would a Christmas party be without a visit from Santa Claus?

Santa makes his visit to the islands.

Santa makes his visit to the islands.

On Saturday we had the opportunity to eat some Portuguese cuisine.  Francesinhas (aka heart attack with bread).

IMG_0147

It is a sandwich that originates in Porto.  It is really popular up north.  The sandwich includes a slice of bread, ham, steak, sausage, another slice of bread, cheese, and a fried egg on top.  Then the entire sandwich is doused in this amazing sauce. Because I did not get to serve in Porto, I have never had one.  I am glad that I am not serving in the north because I would have gained a ton of weight.

This week we also had the opportunity to do splits.  Sister Lewis and Sister Mancuso visited and I got to go with Sister Mancuso.

Sister Harper and Sister Mancuso.

Sister Harper and Sister Mancuso.

It was cool because President Tavares came with us and taught a lesson.  It was amazing to see the simple power that he has when he teaches.  Have a great week everybody!

PORTUAL IS GETTING A TEMPLE!!!

I REPEAT PORTUGAL IS GETTING A TEMPLE!!!!  Well here we are folks.  It is more than five years since the announcement that a temple would be built in Portugal.  The time is fulfilled.  On December 5, 2015, we watched the ground breaking ceremony for the beginning of construction.  It is a day of great blessings for the Portuguese members. We didn’t get to attend in person.  Instead, we got to watch on closed circuit TV broadcast to the chapel.

LDS Newsroom put out a video on the Groundbreaking.

Here is a wonderful infographic about how we build temples.

Building a Temple.

Building a Temple.

Since the church was opened for missionary work, faithful Portuguese members have had to go to great lengths and sacrifices to attend the temple.  By plane it is several hours.  By car or bus, it might be days.  Many still have not had the blessing to attend due to the financial and time constraints.  But at last, the day will soon come that all worthy Portuguese members will be able to readily obtain the blessings that the temple has to offer.

Check out some of these great photos.

Elder Moreira and Elder Kearon Happy family attends Lisbon Temple Groundbreaking Elder Kearons Speaks Lisbon Temple Complex Choir Performs at Groundbreaking Elder Kearon Greets Members Lisbon

Not so historic, but definitely noteworthy, Sister Landbeck had her birthday this week! Happy Birthday Sis. Landbeck.  She turned twenty.  Big celebration?  Absolutely.  We went out and bought Brazilian burgers.  Twas quite delicious I must say.

Nasceu o Salvador

The church has launched its Christmas video for 2015.  #ASaviorIsBorn #NasceuoSalvador.  Watch this amazing video in Portguese or English.  It testifies of the Birth of Christ

Here is another great video about why we need the Savior.

I feel the Spirit every single time I watch these great videos.  Be sure to share them with your friends and neighbors.

Sis. Mills