The Week I Left My Island!

The Week I Left My Island!

Hello Everybody!

This week was a lot of fun.  We got to leave our little island for a little time as I had divisions with the sisters on the island of Terceira!  It was a lot of fun as I was able to do divisions with both of the sisters because of our planes.  We had to wake up on Thursday at 5:00 a.m. to catch our plane to go to Terceira.  When we got there we found out that they only had one couch for us so we opted to sleep on the floor with just our sleeping bags.  Bad idea!  I woke up at least five times because I was freezing cold.  But hey, the next night we got a little heater going so it wasn’t as bad.

The Zone!

The Zone!

The divisions were great, I got to stay with Sister Hart and Sister Doman.  Sister Hart is a new missionary.  I got to train her for the day.  It was cool to see the fire that she has even though she doesn’t understand the language still.  Sister Doman is as good as ever.  She is a little stressed because of the training but she is doing well.

We had our zone conference on Friday.  It was a lot of fun.

Sister Missionaries have to look their best.

Sister Missionaries have to look their best.

Got spiritually fed, and we got to eat some awesome food!  We woke up on Saturday at 5:00 a.m. again to catch our plane back to the Azores.  Let’s just say that when I don’t sleep a lot three days consecutively my brain and body shut down.  Saturday I was just fighting to stay awake.  But hey, Sunday we had District Conference where they Skyped in from Terceira.  The connection was kinda stinky so I didn’t really understand anything until Sister and Presidente Tavares started talking about the importance of temples.

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It was cool to see the different stories they had to help them get across their testimonies.  It just made me want to go to the temple again.  I’m so happy that we have the restored gospel to help us know that we can live with our families again.  That we know everything that happens in the temple for our eternal salvation!  I’m so grateful that I’m a missionary to help others come to this knowledge that I have!  I hope everyone had a great week and will have a great week!

Sister Missionary mad cookie skills!!

Sister Missionary mad cookie skills!!

TCHAU!!!

The Faith of a Pilgrim

The Faith of a Pilgrim

Hey everybody!

In conjunction with Lent, people here on the island are thinking about religion.  At this time every year, the Catholic Church of São Miguel sponsors a Romeiro (Pilgrimage).  To see a video of the Pilgrimage, click HERE.  The Pilgrims walk around the island and visit the various Catholic churches along the way.  In total, the trip is 240 km.   The Pilgrims pray and sing and chant along the way.  They make the trip around the island in eight days.  Traditionally, only men and boys participate in the Pilgrimage.  It is inspiring to see them wearing their crosses and capes and scarves.

We got a chance to see a group of pilgrims in Ponta Delgada on their way around the island this year.

Pilgrims at Ponta Delgarda

Pilgrims at Ponta Delgarda

As missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have been trying to show faith like these Pilgrims.  We too have been doing lots of walking and lots of singing and contacting.

Faith in every footstep.

Faith in every footstep.

Maybe because Easter is coming up, people seem to be more inspired to let us in to talk.  They share with us their faith in the Catholic Church and we take the opportunity to share with them our testimony in Jesus Christ.  Lucky for us and for the Pilgrims, the weather has been pretty dry.

Last Monday we found a shop that makes pastries with Nutella.  We had Nutella crepe there.  It was really good.

Nutella Crepes.

Nutella Crepes.

That’s all I’ve got for the week! Have a great week this week!

Moonrise over Ponta Delgarda

Moonrise over Ponta Delgarda

Three is a magic number!

Hello everyone! This week has been a blast!

Sister Landbeck and I celebrated an awesome p-day together.  Then on Tuesday we welcomed Sister Luciano on our little piece of land 🙂  It’s been a really fun week that flew by very quickly!

On Thursday we visited Rejinaldo and played some checkers with him.  We lost miserably.

IMG_0067We also had a great experience on Sunday.  We were out working and we felt like we needed to visit a family that we had taught a few times.  Now keep in mind, we have been trying to get into this house for over a month.  But every time we went by there was a problem.  The son would open the door and say “Sorry, my mom is sick.  I can’t let you in”.

But today, she answered the door.  It turns out that she has had pneumonia and couldn’t leave the house.  We sat and talked with her for a little bit and we offered to bring back the Elders to give her a blessing.  She agreed to that so we started to make arrangements.  Luckily, at church that night we were having a movie night.  Everyone was getting together to watch Ephraim’s Rescue.  We finished the movie and the Elders went with us back to her house.  They gave her a great blessing and she said that she felt something different when they were blessing her.  She agreed to meet us again later in the week!! We are so excited to teach her and her family. 🙂  Hope everyone has a great week! 🙂

Cookie Time

Cookie Time

There Was Water Everywhere.

There Was Water Everywhere.

This has been a busy week.

Things started heating up at the Carnaval celebration on the Azores.  Just last week I said that we got to go see the celebration.  Well I spoke a little prematurely.  Just so the Brazilian missionaries don’t feel bad, we were warned off one day of the festivities.  After the day was over at about 7 or 8 o’clock, we went down to the touristy area of the city to investigate the carnage.

Balloon Fight-mageddon!

Balloon Fight-mageddon!

They had held a huge WATER BALLOON FIGHT.

We are told that the people throw limes and lemons as well, so we were warned not to go because the leaders didn’t want us to get hurt.  They had been using plastic baggies in place of water balloons.  There were plenty of baggies filled with water that were strewn all over.  We popped a bunch of them with our feet.  One of the baggies popped and splashed water in Sister Landbeck’s face. It was really fun.

On Wednesday, Sister Landbeck and I flew to Lisbon… again.

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But it was worth it.  We went to hear Elder Timothy Dyches of the Seventy, who visited the mission.  He spoke to all the mission’s leaders.  We were blessed to hear him teach.  It was very uplifting.  🙂

Elder Dyches

This week flew by so fast!  After our quick visit to Lisbon, we had to hurry back to prepare for Matthew’s baptism.  He was baptized on Saturday.  It has been amazing to see him grow his testimony.  He has been so willing to learn.  We were able to feel the love of the branch here and how great everyone was to try and help him understand Portuguese.  I was so happy.  He is so blessed.

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Then we closed out the week with transfers.  We found out last night that . . .  *drum roll*  I will be here on the Açores for one more transfer!!!  But it’s gonna be a little different because Presidente is putting us in a tripla! We are going to be receiving Sister Luciano tomorrow.  We are excited to meet her.

Love you all so much!!  Charlotte.

Cool Mural.

Cool Mural.

How many times will I fly to Lisbon this Transfer?

Hello friends and family!

So many things happened this week!  On Tuesday we flew to Lisbon to do splits with sister Bakker and her companion.  She serves in Odivelas, a suburb northwest of Lisbon proper.  We spent the whole day with them.  It was really great.

Odivelas

Thursday, we participated in the Lisbon and Tejo Zone Conference.  I enjoyed seeing all the other missionaries.  It is a blessing to see how the spirit leads the different Zone Conferences.

A sunset over the ocean from our apartment.

A sunset over the ocean from our apartment.

I’ve also learned secrets that few only a few are aware of . . .namely, the inner workings of the mission.  For example, we learned that Sister Tavares gets her way.  Especially when its her vs. the office elders.

The Elders convinced us we should go do contacting in their area.  But Sister Tavares saw us leaving and she asked where we were headed.  She wanted us to stay in the office for a bit.  We told her our plans and after she consulted with the President, guess whose opinion came out on top? We got to stay.

A calm day at the seashore.

A calm day at the seashore.

Also , to those Elders and Sisters in Brazil who were not allowed to go to Carnival.  It’s too bad.  Our Mission President let us go to to the Carnival celebration (mardi gras) here on the island.  What a party that was! Here is the wildest photo of all the photos that we took.

Carival - Azores Style.

Carival – Azores Style.

The coolest thing this week is that the investigator that I wrote about last week is marked for baptism.  He shared his testimony in church on Fast Sunday.  I was so happy to see him take that first brave step.  It was a very happy day for everyone.

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has been with me through all of this.  Thank you for the prayers and the love it really makes a difference in my life to know that I have people out there supporting me through all of my happiness and sadness.

THANKS!!! Love you all!

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Everyone Came to the Island!

Everyone Came to the Island!

This week has been a big adventure!  President and Sister Tavares were visiting the island this week for Zone Conference.

While they were here, Sis. Landbeck and I had the opportunity to have Sis. Tavares go teaching with us.  We got to experience first-hand what an amazing woman she is.  We watched her as she taught the gospel to a family people we visit.  She gave a wonderful lesson.  I love her so much.  🙂

Sis. Tavares and Sis. Mills.

Sis. Tavares and Sis. Mills.

On Wednesday, we had our Zone Conference.  The start of the Conference was delayed four hours.  Some non-existent weather issues delayed the arrival of the missionaries coming from the island of Teirceira.  Even though we got a late start, it was still a great conference.  A member in the ward furnished some delicious food. And more than that, it was a spiritual feast.  🙂

Zone Conference January 2016

Zone Conference January 2016

As a Sister Training Leader, I get the opportunity to do divisions (splits) with the other Sisters in the Zone.  After conference was over, I went out working with Sister Doman.  It was a lot of fun 🙂

Sis. Doman and Sis. Mills.

Sis. Doman and Sis. Mills.

Friday was a noteworthy day as well.  We made plans to pass by the house of a woman we met in the street.  Regretfully, she wasn’t home.  So we did a little street contacting to fill the time.  We talked to the first person we found on the street.  We introduced ourselves but to our surprise, he started talking to us in a very thick British accent

“Oh, you girls found me again!” he said.

As we talked to him a bit he took the chance to explain what he meant.  He said that he had met the sisters in Portimao in the Algarve area.  Then Sister Landbeck just started spouting all this information at him.

“When you met the sisters, one was a curly blonde the other one African?  Weren’t you a member of the Jehovah’s Witness church?  Aren’t you the one who was going to be baptized?  What happened? Where did you disappear to?”

He was shocked that Sis. Landbeck knew who he was.  She told him,

“I KNOW YOU!”

It turns out that one of Sis. Landbeck’s past companions had taught him and had later told Sis. Landbeck all who he was and the progress he had made.  We walked him over to a bench and started talking.  He said that he was sorry that he had just walked away.  He said,

“Yeah, I knew it was true.  I knew it back then.   I just wasn’t ready.  But now I am.  The fight in me is gone.  I am ready to surrender myself completely to God and his will.”

It was wonderful to see his desire to follow Christ and His example.  More to come soon I pray.

Today we went to a spectacular place called Sete Cidades (Seven Cities).

Seven Cities. What a beautiful place.

Seven Cities. What a beautiful place.

These are twin lakes that are in the crater of a dormant volcano.

Sete Cidades

Sete Cidades

One of the lakes is blue and one is green.  The lakes come together at one point separated only be a narrow strip of land.  It is so beautiful!

Great Sunset on the Island.

Great Sunset on the Island.

TCHAU!!!