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.