Ola Querida Família! Well, I got the call yesterday from President. The whole transfer we thought I was going to the Algarve or to Almada, but I was shocked when President asked if I would serve in Mafra with Irmã Rasmussen. Mafra is close-ish to Sintra and is an area with a strong branch. I am excited to serve with Irmã Rasmussen because she was in Almada when I was in Seixal so I saw her all the time. It's going to be fun. The area is big and has just a bunch of little villages in it. I'm thinking it's pretty green and I'm hoping it's cooler up there. We will be the only irmãs north of the Rio Tejo, so the next closest irmãs will be in Seixal, about two hours away by train, taxi, and bus. Crazy.
I am really excited to go up there and I think it is the perfect place for me. President said that he felt very strongly that I needed to go up there, so we'll see what work I need to do there. I'm really excited though.
This was a good week for us here in Olivais. We discovered that if you go to the city hall type things here that they will give you free pins and patches with the seal of the city on it. So right now I have a little Olivais pin on. It's rad.
Well on Sunday was our musical fireside. It was awesome!! We got the whole zone together a couple of hours before to run through everything. It actually ended up sounding pretty good. The whole zone sang Faith in Every Footstep and Ide por Todo o Mundo, which is a Portuguese hymn. I saw a lot of growth in the elders through this experience. They all got out of their comfort zone and they ended up loving it. I sang a duet with Elder Rindfleisch called In a Quiet Grove. We blended PERFECTLY and it sounded really nice. I can finally support my voice!! YAY! Elder Davis told me later that because of the fireside he wants to learn how to sing better.
There was a great turnout. The chapel was about 5/7 full, which is AMAZING for this area. We were expecting about 20 people, but we invited the whole stake and some other missionaries brought investigators. I think that it was a really positive experience for everyone. The Spirit was really strong as we bore testimony of the Restoration through song. I ended up singing A LOT. It was really great, though BOILING HOT. Wow. I miss air conditioning. I was wearing a jacket too and I feel for the men in the Church. Wow. I am so glad that I don't have to wear jackets very often. President Terry spoke and it was wonderful. He bore testimony of the Restoration. This was definately the highlight for all of us in the zone for the transfer and I'm glad that we pulled it together.
We went to say goodbye to a member in the other ward, Maria Encarnação, who is the APs recent convert. We ended up having dinner at another member's house, Rita, with the APs. We had a blast! There were a lot of laughs and it was fun to see Elder Davis and Elder Rindfleisch in a different setting. Encarnação and Rita were fussing over the elders the whole time, rustling in and out and pushing food on them. Poor elders.
Random tidbit: the Sporting Stadium is in my area. So thus, I am for Sporting. On the stadium it says " Só eu sei porque sou fã" (I only know because I'm a fan).
Well, we've been getting the apartment ready to be cleared out. Let me tell you, we have cleaned some gross things. Ick. Another icky thing is the mullet. Yes, the mullet is also here in full force in Europe. I don't know whoever thought that was a good idea back in the 80s, but Europe has really taken to it here. (note: for those who don't know what a mullet is, it's a haircut where the top is short and the bottom is long. SLT)
So as Irmã Ives and Elder Davis are "dying" in the mission, we held a "funeral" for them after our district meeting and mourned their loss. I think they are both freaking out a bit about it all. It's been great getting to know them and seeing the other end of the mission through them. (note: "dying" in the mission is the term the missionaries seem to use to mean that their mission is over and they are going home. SLT)
Today we're going to the aquarium and the Almada zone is going too, so I'll get to see some old friends. Last week we had a barbeque and volleyball tournament and I got to see some elders from my MTC group. It was really fun.
Lucy is doing pretty well. She and Tania were really sad that we are leaving. They started crying and, actually, Tania got really mad and started talking about "Senhor Presidente" (President Terry) and how he's blonde in the head and had gray hair and didn't know what he was doing. It will be hard for them for us to leave, but I think it is a great opportunity for the ward to step-up and take care of them.
I have learned a lot here in Olivais. I know now more than before how important the members are. We have such a great responsibility to teach, nurture and share this message of happiness to others. I know that this is the Lord's church on the eartha gain. I know it brings greater happiness because I have seen it. I know it is the best way because I have lived it and I can see it. The gospel changes lives. It changes people and they have such richer fuller lives.
Have a great week. I love you all.