Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Transfer to Algarve

Ola familia.

Thanks for the letters. I like seeing all of the different points of view of what's going on at home. 

I'm sorry I've been so bad about pictures. I only have like 2 pictures from my whole first transfer... 
We took some today because the Relief Society President showed us around some parts of our area that are a bit farther away that we aren't so familiar with (we we on the beach! just on in the sand..) But I don't have my cord.. So next week, mom, I will do my best to remember. :) And I will try to snap a few pictures of the streets here too. This area is really pretty and just.. quaint, I would say. Also, I feel like I can understand the people better too. Maybe I've just been here for longer and probably Heavenly Father is blessing me too, but it seems like people are easier to understand down here in the Algarve. And my companion is from France, so we only really speak Portuguese, but the amazing thing is that for the most part I don't have any trouble understanding or comunicating with her. I don't even feel like it inhibits my study time to be comunicating the things I am trying to learn in Portuguese and I always felt like it did during study time with Sister Quebbeman.

My companion's name is Sister Campos da Silva (a very Portugues name) but her doesn't sound at all Portuguese. Sometimes people have an easier time understanding my accent than hers. But she is really amazing. She has an amazing ability to never say or do anything negative. I didn't even know I was ever being negative, until I saw the comparison. I'm sure I will have a lot more to say about her. 
Things are a little bit different here than in Quinta do Conde. We do less door knocking and more street contacting and the people are much... nicer isn't the right word, because the people in QdC weren't mean, they were just more blunt. If they didn't want anything they just said so. I guess less blunt? and really friendly.

The people that stand out to me from this first week here are the amazing members of the branch here. The people here are really involved in the missionary efforts and have really strong testimonies of the work. We have 2 youth that have been brought to the church in the last 2 months by families here and we don't have any trouble getting members to come to lessons with us. This is really great because we have had a few investigators this week who are men that we can't meet with without a member. One of them is a from Ukraine and is about 19 or 20. He has known the missionaries for about 5 years, but always in different cities. The amazing thing about when we met him this week was that he said that he met Pres. Monson when he dedicated the temple in Ukraine a while back. And then when we asked, he said that he believed that he is a prophet. So then we asked if he believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and he said that it seems like he would have to be. And then we asked him about the Book of Mormon and he said he didn't really know what that had to do with anything. So we got to teach him the 1st lesson and explain about the Book of Mormon. And he is really willing to read and learn and he really wants to know for himself. Also, he doesn't really speak Portuguese, only english. So that was interesting. I got a bit lost with out my companion's help. She prayed and bore her testimony, but she didn't really understand everything that was going on.   

And thank you for praying that I will learn to love the work. I think that's the best thing that I person could pray for for me. 

... and once again this in quite a jumbled mess. But I love you all. And I will be praying for carol's family and all of you.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Getting Transferred Today

Ola familia!

So I'm getting transferred today. And that made me realize that I don't think I have really even told you anything about the area I have been in for the last 6 weeks. It's called Quinta de Conde (which I know I did mention before). And its kind of more rural (for near Lisbon that is) which is nothing like rural in Utah. But basically things are calmer out here and people like to lock themselves in their houses when the sun goes down at like 6 and then we like to knock on them make them come open the door to the cold (which is also not cold compared to utah; the thing about the cold here is that because it doesn't really get that cold, people don't really have heating in their houses. So its never really cold, but people wear their coats in their houses.) Anyways. 
Because its more rural and a bigger area and the chapel is a little bit of a ways away, one of the hardest things for the missionaries here has been getting people to church. But, we had 4 investigators in church on Sunday! Which is really quite amazing.

One was this kid, Marcos. He is great because he has recognized more than once that we always come visit him when he is thinking about what he is going to do with his life, about the hard things that he has going on. And he has really clearly talk about that he feels peaceful when he talks to us and when he reads the Book of Mormon. But his mom is really religious and doesn't like us so much (she was an investigator a while back but now doesn't really want anything to do with us) and he gets into a lot of trouble with his friends. But he really liked meeting the elders at church and he asked lots of questions, so I'm really hopeful for him.
The other 3 investigators that we had in church were Laura (who has accepted baptism and is planning for the end of this month), her husband and son. Her son was not such a fan of church. He's 14 and he stayed up the whole night before playing computer games. Laura was really nervous for chuch and said that it was really really different, but when I asked her about how she felt during the sacrament she said, good and that she remembered lots of good things. She always has really cool ways of describing how she feels the spirit. In our last lesson it was 'like someone giving you a present' and 'a will to just do everything that I need to, even ironing and I hate ironing.' She loves ironing. She also said that she has started to feel like God hasn't abandoned her quite so much since she started meeting with us. Her husband isn't so willing to talk about things, but the first time that we met him he sat down and listened to the whole second lesson and really considered the things we were talking about. So I also have a lot of hope for them as a family. 

Well I better go. The internet place is closing. 

much love.