Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Snails Anyone?

Hello family! I am glad to hear that all went well in Utah this past week. Things have also been going well for us this week. I am learning and growing a lot!

Well, for General Conference we went down to Oeiras to watch and we did a division with the sisters down there as well. They are in an old elder's apartment, which, consequentally, John lived in. The connections continue. I ran across an old Bible of his and met his old dona, who is very nice. The ward there is wonderful and I got to talk to a good part of them during the weekend. They all talked about how wonderful Elder Van Orman was and that the whole ward just loved him.

I especially loved Conference. I was able to see all sessions, including the Priesthood Session. President Terry encouraged us to go. It was awkward at first, but some other elders had brought a recent convert who was a woman, so we helped make her feel less awkward. We watch one session on Saturday and the rest on SUnday, so it was a long, but wonderful day. I was so touched to hear that Rome was getting a temple, but even more so that Kansas City is getting a temple. I am so excited to hear about where it is!

Well, the division went well. We were encouraged to go out and talk to people between sessions, so we had the chance to do that. I went with Irmã Fonseca and we had the chance to talk to a family that was really excited and interested. I hope that they continue with their interest. It will bless their lives.

Yesterday I had a wonderful experience. We went to Malveira to teach Barbara again. It was raining, but we hiked up the HUGE hill to her house and knocked on the door. We were excited because we saw the light on and heard voices, so we knew that others were home too. However, when we knocked on the door. It fell SILENT and no one came to the door, though we knocked a couple of times. We wrote a note stating that we would come back at 1:30pm to see Barbara and slipped it through the wooden insert to replace a window.

So we went to grab lunch and it started to rain cats and dogs. It was really coming down. Just as it was time to head out the door it started raining even harder, but we went out with a determination to teach Barbara. So we hiked up the HUGE hill again and as I went up I said a silent prayer asking for help to teach her. She's only 14 so we can't go in her house unless her mom or another female adult is there. It was clearly not going to work out for us to be outside to teach her. But we went with faith, knowing that we were doing the Lord's work.

This time as we knocked on the door, the occupants immediately said, "Barbara!" and she came and promptly answered the door. She let us in (because her mom was miraculously home) and we ended up teaching the entire family. Family, let me tell you how amazing that was! That was the first time in my mission that I have taught a family. The father, Loretto, listened very attentively and asked great questions. As his wife ranted about one thing or another, he picked up the Book of Mormon, put on his glasses, and started reading. It was incredible. We asked him to say the closing prayer, taught him how and he accepted and said the closing prayer. He spoke from the heart and gave thanks to God for all of his blessings. I know that it was the Spirit that was teaching the lesson, that inspired us with words and that it touched their hearts. I hope that they continue to feel of this joy that the gospel brings. It was such an amazing experience to teach them.

I have been having various experiences with prayer. I am so humbled to see that if I ask sincerely and specifically, then I am given specific answers. We made a bus that we should have missed when we were going to Oeiras because we were given the help we needed to help this work go forth. I know that God answers prayers.

So last week, I forgot to mention that I ate snails. Well, snail actually. There was no way that I was putting more than one of those things in my mouth. The verdict: it tasted like dirt. But it was an experience.

Next week I'll know what's going on with transfers, so I'll keep you informed. I hope that all is well. I love you all!

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