Thanks for all the things about grandpa. It was really sweet to read about everybody's testimonies and all of their memories of him.
And thank you all for being amazing people and for working to live the plan of salvation day by day. by working to follow the savior and our father's plan for us all to be able to return to him.
This week has been really crazy.
Probably one of the highlights of the week was when we found this incredible family of 3. We met the mom on the street and contacted her in English, because she is from Estonia and doesn't speak Portuguese. Which is in and of itself really amazing, because if someone doesn't speak Portuguese to us when we say hello as we pass, we often don't stop and talk to them (there are a lot of tourists here). But my companion stopped her to talk anyways and she turned out to be super cool. She invited us to come over to talk more on Friday and when we ran into her the next day she remembered! (good sign :) And when we got there her husband was there as well with their 1 yr old baby. her husband is Portuguese (from the area of Leiria actually) but since his wife doesn't speak Portuguese, we taught them in English. We taught them the restoration and Mario said: wow, no one has ever told me about this before, but I believe its true. So we invited them to be baptized and they both accepted. Can you believe how many people the Lord is preparing all over the world? The next day we went to visit a lady named Paula, one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met who is at the tail end of a battle of cancer that it looks like for now she has won. She has a 16 yr old son with big gauges and lip rings who likes to skate and be super sweet to his mom :) We have been trying to visit her for the past few weeks but haven't been able to find her at home, but when we did, she had read some of the book of Mormon we left with her and really liked it. we taught her about the restoration and she said about the same thing--that she could feel that it was true. (this was Saturday.) unfortunately she couldn't come to church on Sunday because she had an appointment at the hospital where her sister works to take care of her teeth that are falling out. (cancer sucks.) she is so patient and takes things with such grace. she committed to being baptized on the 22 as long as her health permits. Can you believe that? the miracles that God is doing through out the world! He really is hastening His work. and the more we look for the miracles that we already have, the more we will find. For instance, Sister Cardoso (a mais fofinha menina no mundo) shared with us this morning in her personal study how she has seen God preparing people. she read in alma 8:10 about Alma praying for people who really didn't want to have anything to do with him. and because of the prayers that she started saying for the people of Madeira, for the Lord to prepare the people of Madeira they found some apartments where 4 of the 4 doors they knocked let them in. those are some really good odds :)
And then on Sunday, Leticia came to church! On Friday, we called her to see if we could still come over for our appointment and she simply said, I'm catholic. and so I said, so can we come over and talk for a bit, and she said, I'm catholic. So I said, so we can't. and she said, I'll come by the church one day. so yeah.. what do you say? bear your testimony and that's about it. but then the next day we called her, just because.. ya know, we're missionaries and we always hope that people will change and that that day they will come to church will be that Sunday. and she had read just 2 pages in the Book of Mormon! and she just went off about it and she had loved it and decided to come to church. Did I mention she has to take the bus at like 8 in the morning. and walk up a freaking mountain. and she is pregnant and due on the 20th? oh yeah. and it was raining. (The Portuguese are kind of funny about the rain and getting sick. basically if water touches your head you are doomed to death.) She came all by herself even though her husband was kind of like mean about it.
Also, transfers were this week. and we are absorbing the elders area. and they have 5 people marked for baptism on the 15th right now and another super elect family of 3. So basically we are going to have so much work to do and I am stoked! and Elder Stratford is going to continue as our district leader so if we have any questions about the investigators or get lost we can still just call him and get directions.
I know I didn't say much about grandpa, but the first thing I felt when I heard that grandpa had passed was.. the same. He was already here with me and so it was just the same when I heard. I'm not worried about him. I think he is living it up, serving the mission he always wanted to and bearing the testimony that he has been living and perfecting for the last 11 years. His testimony of the plan of salvation and the eternal nature of our family can be felt from the other side of the veil.
How did we get so lucky?
I love you all and I am looking forward to talking to you on Christmas. to avoid confusion, please email me your skype names and emails (any that you might use, mom, dad, Jeremy, Hannah etc) in this next week so that we can be all prepared for Christmas. :) Love you guys!
Also, any good christmas missionary ideas?
Have a great week!!! I love you so much and I love this gospel. I hope I can have the strength and determination to continue growing every single day.
P.S. the gospel's true. (it encompasses everything, christ lives and we will too and we need to keep fighting the good fight every day.)
also, I sent a horrible picture of me with lovely picture of a house called the tardis.
its the winter getaway home of a british family that comes to madeira to escape the time and space of the everyday :) hehe. I liked it.