Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Fanny Pack and Manpris

Hello dear family!! Thank you so much for the emails and the support! I love you all so much and am so grateful for all of you. Did you fast for me on Sunday? I felt such support and strength on Sunday and I wondered if you, or some of you had been fasting for me. Thank you so much if you did because I could feel it. I appreciate the prayers and the love. Really, thank you.

Things were a lot better this past week. I did a division down in Almada, which was fun. Irmã Millet had busted her toe, so one of us stayed in with her and the other went out with Irmã Marinho and worked their area. Wow. She walks REALLY fast. I'm usually the faster walker, but I had to ask her to slow down. Wow. It was fun to go back down south of the river. I could understand everyone SOOOO much better, too. I love that area and I hope I get to go back to the Setúbal Stake to serve again. So it was a positive experience.

The next day were interviews with President Terry. President Terry is incredible. He gave me some great counsel and knew exactly what I needed to hear. I am very grateful to have a mission president like him. It was also the 4th of July and he, as well as the office elders, were wearing red, white and blue. I failed to celebrate the day of our independence. There just wasn't time!

Saturday we had a practice for the upcoming musical fireside the ward is doing. We, the missionaries, are providing musical numbers (since Portugal is lacking a bit in the musical department) and the elders inthe zone are SUPER excited about it. They are doing wonderfully and learning quickly. I am using my limited piano abilities to plunck out their parts so we can practice. Yes, I wish that I had practiced more, but I'm learning now, and it's never too late! We are doing fireside about the Restoration and the pioneers. All of the text is from Preach My Gospel. It will be great to get the ward members to come to the church again during the week. It's going to be great and everyone is very excited.

Sunday we taught Lucy during Gospel Principles with a visiting member, Valerie Hegstrom. Valerie is a professor at BYU and is here with her family doing research. The lesson was AMAZING and she really helped Lucy with some parenting skills and some gospel habits. We had worked really hard tog et the members to come with us, but everything fell through except this lesson and it made up for everything else. It really helped Lucy.

We are talking to Tania about the importance of the family and marriage right now. I happened tohave the only family picture I have and Jen's wedding announcement with me. So I showed them to Tania and talked to her about how happy my family is because we were sealed together for eternity in the temple and that we can all be together forever because of the temple. I talked to her about the importance of marriage and the examples that you are all to me. I think it really helped her. So, thank you all for your examples to me.

I left my planner with all of what happened this week back home, so I'm sorry that I can't remember a lot of specifics. I entitled this email the fanny pack and manpris because they abound here. Wow. Men wear fanny packs like they are going out of style. They also have this little pouch things on a string too. There is no American man that would be caught dead wearing a fanny pack like them or these little purse pouch things. Ick. But it's Europe and you've got to love it. They also wear manpris (man capris) here a LOT. So funny. I forget sometimes what I'm seeing and how different it is here because it just feels like the usual thing for me.

Ana, the Bishop's wife, was telling us about the American professors' family. Their son, Joseph, is about 10 but could pass for about 40. One day in primary he was fasting and he was REALLY tired. So Ana went down to tell the dad that he was really tired and so he could check up on Joe, so she went down there and talked to Brother Pratt. She expected him to jump out of his seat and run up the stairs to see if Joe was okay, but he calmly listened and walked slowly up the stairs. He calmly patted Joe on the arm and asked if he was okay, found out that he was okay, and then proceeded to go back down to Sunday school. So then Ana gave Joe something to eat and was taking care of him. Then she went to go get Sister Hegstrom to check on Joe. Again, she expected the overreaction that is normal here. But Sister Hegstrom just went up calmly and checked up on him. Ana was floored at their response. I had forgotten how different our culture is sometimes until she said that.

Things are going well here. We are doing well and working as hard as we can. I love you all! Thanks again for the love and support! Have a great week!

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