Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back South of the River, but only for a day

Hello dear family!! Thank you again for all of the emails and updates. I hope that everything continues to go well for you all. I am glad to hear that we have another missionary in our ranks! Yay Dad! I can’t wait to see how missionary work functions in the US. I bet it is SOO different, but very much the same.

Well, it’s been a good week for us. Right now I am in Seixal on a division. The areas of Seixal and Almada got combined this transfer because an irma broke her toe. So, Irma Rasmussen and I came down to do a division with the three irmas here. It was great because we could both show these areas and get to see our old areas. It’s been really weird being back here, but very rewarding. I got to see Kenia, Celeste and Salita. Celeste is doing really well and she is finally getting it about the gospel. She has grown so much and changed so much. It’s crazy. It was really fulfilling for me to see that I had helped her. Irma Brady and I knocked on her door and she let us right in. She is so much happier now because she is learning about the gospel and reading from the Book of Mormon. It was so good for me to see that I had done something here and made a difference.

It was also really fun to see this area. Irma Martinez and I ended up running into two contacts I had made here, whose addresses were wrong and I had looked for a couple of times to teach them. So, hopefully they will be able to follow-up on that and see those two women. I could see the hand of the Lord yesterday as our paths crossed and I could talk to them again. It was also fun to see how much my Portuguese has improved and my comprehension!

Things in Mafra are going pretty well. We were visiting a less active last week, Jayra, and we started out by singing hymns, which is always good. So we sang one and she really liked it, so we sang another one, and then a man who lives in one of the other rooms came into the kitchen and started banging around and making as much noise as possible. I thought it was weird. So we finished that hymn and started singing another one. He went off on us and started yelling saying that he didn’t have to listen to us and he paid to lived there and was being disrespected. I thought that was so weird, because everyone loves the hymns. Seriously. Woah. So we left the kitchen and had our lesson in her room. That lesson was special as well because I felt very directed by the Spirit. We had a very open conversation about why she was not active in the Church. She spoke very honestly and I think we were able to help her. I would never have asked her some of the things that I did had I not been directed to do so. Truly the Lord knows what we need better than we do ourselves, or anybody else.

We have been working more with the members this week and it’s been GREAT! I love working with the members and we have some great ones here. They are fantastic really. They will come whenever they can. We took Fransisco with us to teach a couple and he is a wonderful teacher and helps bridge the gap of awkwardness that sometimes exists. Unfortunately we had some difficulty teaching lessons with the members because our investigators would not let us in the house to teach them. So…we’re in the process of finding those who are ready to receive us. But it has really been great to work with the members and get to know them better.

A funny thing about Mafra. Saturday night we were walking back from Vila Velha to the main part of Mafra. It was absolutely FREEZING outside. Isabel, one of the members, and Irma Rasmussen did not believe me that I was so cold. My fingers were red and were like ice. I went home and put on my sweats and heated up some apple juice to drink. I’m sorry, but what happened to August and Summer? I usually need a jacket or sweater at night.

I ate lamb on Sunday at Manuela’s. It’s definitely not my favorite meat. Ick. But she kept putting more on my plate. Ugh. I was so full after that meal. She also gave us fruit as our before dessert dessert. So I started eating a peach and she was horrified that I was eating the skin. She took the peach out of my hand and asked me why my mother didn’t teach me how to get the skin off of a peach. So, thanks Mom. Apparently, this is a vital life skill that I was lacking in my life. Who knew?

Things are going well here for us. We are still looking and will be working with a senior couple tomorrow up in Torres Vedras. We are looking for a whole branch that went inactive up there and the couple is going to work with us. I’m really excited. But today is Irma Rasmussen’s birthday, so we are going to go have a little party for her. I am really enjoying being back here. It’s so awesome to see how open people are here.

I am learning a lot and growing a lot. I really am not starting to recognize myself. It’s crazy. I love you all!

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