Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Crisis Overted and a Documentary

Hello family! Sorry this is coming to you a little later than usual, but we were in Lisbon on a division, so we waited to do email until the end of p-day. It was so good to hear from all of you. Oh, I think an email might not have gotten out last week, so if one of you didn't get one, it just didn't go through. Thank you all for keeping me updated on everything!

Well, it's been an interesting week here in Seixal, Cruz de Pau, Arrentela, Torre da Marinha. We have been busy as usual, but a LOT of things have fallen through for us. There have been these three girls who have been following the mission for a few months making a documentary. They met us when we got off of the plane to Lisbon and they followed our orientation and things like it. They talked to Irma Brady my first day about following us around for a day and wrote down our number. I didn't think anything of it, until they called about two weeks ago to take us up on the offer. They ended up following us around all day on Thursday. It was a little weird at first to have them with a camera constantly on us, but I just got used to it and to them. They are great girls who have graduated and just want experience. They chose to do a documentary on the Church because they wanted Portugal to see what the Church is all about. They aren't members but were intruigued with us. They want Portugal to see the good things that we do and the good people that we are.

It was so funny to see how people reacted to the camera. We had set up a bunch of appointments and let them know that the camera would be there so they wouldn't freak out. So we were going to our first appointment with Carmen, who is a member, and these kids started yelling, trying to get the attention of the camera. All day when we were out and about people were either avoiding us more than usual, or they were flocking to us so they too could be on camera.

The people we taught all reacted so differently and it was funny to notice. I didn't find it difficult to just be normal, but everyone was so different. Carmen had put on her best clothes and fixed up her house all nicely. Sofia and Junior acted like a perfect family and had made a cake for us to eat. Celeste was herself, which I expected, and so was Ana. Everyone was just a little bit different and put their best self forward. It was an interesting day to observe how people react.

The lessons we taught went well, but we were teaching Celeste the 2nd lesson, which is the Plan of Salvation. I felt so distinctly that these girls, who I think may be atheist or agnostic, were listening very closely. I felt the whole time that we were really giving the lesson to them. I really think that this message touched their hearts.

They are planning on coming to Ana's baptism this Saturday to document what goes on. I liked them so much and am so glad they are coming back. Speaking of the baptism...Ana is doing great! We ahve been able to see her pretty often and teach her all that she needs to have learned before her baptism. She is so excited and so ready to be baptized. Her boyfriend, Pedro, should be back from England now and will baptize her. Every time I talk to her my testimony grows. She was so prepared for this great step and change inher life. She tells us all the time how much happier she is now because of the Church and the gospel in her life. She's become a really good friend and I can't wait for her baptism. I realize I have't put up any pictures. I'll make sure to do that next week for you all. Sorry!

Leo and Renata are doing pretty well. Renata found a job in Lisbon, so we haven't seen her in a long time. I don't know when we'll be able to see her, but I'm glad she was able to find a job. Leo is still waiting for his paperwork to go through, but he is doing well. He and his friend Marcelo came to church on Sunday and we're going to talk with them this coming Sunday, I think.

That's pretty much it on the progression chart. Celeste is still doing well and reading from the Book of Mormon each day. I think she knows it's true. She says she always feels good about it, but she hasn't prayed yet. I think she's afraid to and she can't come to church because of work. We asked her if she could trade shifts and she said no, so we're going to continue to work with her on that.

Over the weekend we helped overt a crisis. Our relief society president is Salita. She's been a member for about 8 months. Yeah. She got way overloaded and decided that she was not going back to church, so we talked to her for a long while on Saturday and encouraged her to go to church. Fortunately, she was there on Sunday and everything was smoothed over. She also went to our mini MTC that night, which was AWESOME! I think it was done so well. It would be great to do back home, I think.

Next week are transfers so we'll see what happens. Oh! I did divisions yesterday in Lisbon! It was great! I worked with Irma Bradford, who is SUPER quiet and timid, so I got to speak a little more and kind of take the lead. We got into a door and taught the first lesson. It went SOOO well! I am excited to hear about the progress of Jane. I got to talk to so many people yesterday on the streets and there was one woman who was super receptive. It was great to see how other misisonaries work and to see just how much I am capable of when given the chance.

I can't think of any funny stories right now. Sorry! Just know that they happen and that that people here do the craziest things sometimes. As does my hair. It is crazy here. It makes perfect ringlets all around and is SOOO curly! Everyone comments on it and yesterday I was told that I looked a lot younger than 21 because of my hair. That's never happened before.

Everything is great here. I love you all and I hope that life continues to go well!

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