Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Members Take to the Streets!

Hello family! How are all of you? It sounds like everyone is doing really well and had a great week. So I see that we will be having some big changes here soon in the States. That should be interesting to see.

It's been a good week. Last p-day we went to Loulé to play tennis with the elders there. The weather was beautiful and we had a good time. I was on a team with Elder Dimick and fortunately, he did all the running around for me. Elder Rodrigues did the same for Irmã Churak. She did her best to learn how to play tennis. However, the next day at zone conference I was still sore even though I really didn't do that much. Oh well. But it was fun to play tennis and we have a great district. We laugh a lot when we're all together.

The next day was Zone Conference and it was really different because there were only about 18 of us and as there were three native Portuguese speakers, the conference was in Portuguese. Hearing from President Terry in Portuguese is just not the same. But we had a good spirit of comradry amongst us. I translated one of the trainings of the APs and I was surprised at my ability to translate, when I had tried before and it did NOT work. I'm growing!

Albertina is still doing REALLY well. We want to invite her to be baptized tonight. We'll see how it goes! She is really understanding and loving the Book of Mormon. She's starting to just teach us the lesson. She is praying and really growing. Last week we had an integration night with the branch. The Branch Presidency was in charge and they talked about prophets. Each one talked about a different prophet and then they subtlely (I can't spell anymore..sorry. but you get what I mean, right?) slipped out of the room and then popped out in costumes. One was Nephi, one was and apostle of Christ, Simon, I think, and the branch president was Spencer W. Kimball. He was already wearing a suit, all he did was put on his wife's glasses. I took a couple of pictures and we had a good time. We invited Albertina that Monday before but she had forgotten. So we reminded her as we were heading out the door to go to the activity. She was like, "oh it's right now? Let me get my jacket!" She had a great time and we are so excited for her. Really, she becomes happier and chattier every time. She is really understanding what we teach her. It's amazing to see.

On Sunday we did a training in Relief Society and walked them through doing street contacts because later that afternoon we took to the streets! (Mind you, none of this was planned by the missionaries, it was planned by the branch!) So we took to the streets and it was great! I went witht he Relief Society President, Maria Furtado, and a Young Woman, Ana Marta. Maria Furtado talked to EVERYONE! Wow! I was so impressed with her. She was incredible. I ended up spending a good amount of time jsut talking to Ana Marta. She's having a hard time right now and I really click with her. I hope that I can help her. But I am really liking being here in Faro, it's a good fit for me.

Well, I guess I should say I like the Algarve, right now I'm in Portimão, which is on the other side of the Algarve on a division. I went with Irma Oliveira and we had a bunch of time to find yesterday. I was so fun to be with her because it reminded me of being in Brasil. I have such a love for Brasil and the people from there. I love being able to talk about that culture again. It's fun to speak more Portuguese too.

I love being here in Portugal because there are so many cultures! I have learned so much, and tried out so many different foods. A couple of weeks ago I tried squid when Irma Brady came to Faro with her family and they ate lunch with us. Family, you can skip that one. Ick. But instead I ate salmon and it was GREAT! (I know family what you are thinking, "who is this girl and what have they done with Laura?!") I am turning Portuguese family. I can't speak English anymore, I wave my index finger around to mean I don't want something, I wave my hand in front of my face when someone does something less than intelligent, and eating with just a fork is weird. Yes, family, I am Portuguese/Brasilan/American. I accept it.

Things are going well here for us. I am happy and I am loving the work. Today we are going to Ponta da Piadade and I'm really excited. Pretty much the whole zone is coming. It should be fun. I am loving being in jeans! I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk to you soon! Happy November! (Where did October and September go?)

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