Hello family! Thanks again for the updates! It's been another eventful week here in Faro. I'll start with yesterday and work backish.
Well, yesterday we were going about our work as usual, trying to bring people unto Christ, when I received a phone call from Elder Wardenburg, who was with me in the MTC and is now a secretary in the office. Yes, Jen, we all laughed here as well that he's in the office. He's a funny kid. So he gave me a call asking me when I was going home because he was filling out a report for President Terry. So I got my unofficial trunky call. It was very weird. So that got me to being weirded out for about an hour, when we got a call from President Terry. He asked for Irma Holtzclaw. I immediately started going through the possibilities. I thought that maybe something had happened in her family, but then I knew what it was--emergency transfer. So then President asked for me and confirmed what I thought. Irma Churak had gotten sick and had to go home, so President is doing the irma transfers three weeks early. So Irma Holtzclaw is going up to beloved Seixal with Irma Martinez and me and Irma Machado are staying together until April. Yep, I will be staying here until April. We are so sad to see Irma Holtzclaw go, but I know she will love Seixal. It was a big shock for all of us, so we've been running around to try and get everything done for her. I've been going through the freakout stages of staying not only in one area for four transfers, but being with the same companion for three of them. It will be good, I love Irma Machado, but I am a person who LOVES change, so it will certainly be a change for me.
We also heard this past week that our mission is going to be cut missionaries by 25% because other areas of the world are opening up to missionary work. So happy for the rest of the world, but sad for us.
Okay, on to other news. The three girls. They are still only three just Umara, Aidil and Claudia, but we had a couple of great lessons with them. We went back on Friday and Claudia was there on time. We asked how the reading was going and she said that she had finished 1 Nephi. Woah! I have never taught anyone who actually read the way I know that the Book of Mormon could be read. Finally! She not only read it, but loved it and remembered every detail about the reading. I was so excited. Umara came a few minutes late and read through 1 Nephi 8. She also remembered everything and loved it. Then Aidil showed up about 25 minutes late and had only read five verses. So as they came later the reading was less and less. But they all have very believing hearts and are open to the gospel.
However...we went to go get them for church (mind you it had rained that morning and we were SOAKED, I love living 20 minutes from the chapel...). So Irma Holtzclaw and I went to their dorm and buzzed up to the floor. Nothing. We buzzed again. Nothing. Again we buzzed. Nothing. Finally, after about 10 minutes (I'm sure the girls on the floor just love us by now) a girl came down and let us in. She ended up being the cousin of the Iranian guy we taught once. Random. So we knocked on the girls' door. Nothing. We knocked again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. So we left a note and hurried back so we could be on time to sacrament meeting. I was so sad, but I do realize that they are 18 years old, so there are some habits to be broken here. They are still excited about everything and we are going to be teaching them the Plan of Salvation tonight. I know it will bless their lives.
We also sang in sacrament meeting this week. Sister Nelson came over from Loulé and accompanied us. It went pretty well and the whole branch started crying, even President Nunes, who never shows emotion.
Some random happenings from this week: Diogo came to church even though his mom didn't. We have a man who likes to play the accordian right outside of our building some mornings, so we get polka versions of Somewhere over the Rainbow. Sometimes it's a man with a saxophone who plays great music. It's been a bit rainy the past week and so the roads have been very slick. Cobblestone is very slick when wet. I do miss cement sometimes. However, we were walking down the road, late of course, so we were walking really fast and all the sudden I heard Irma Holtzclaw squeal. (I was on teh phone of course). So I thought she had just slipped on the road. As it turns out, she had slipped on some dog doo doo that was on the road. I laughed SOOO hard at that. But, what's even better is that a couple of days later she did it again! The tragic part of all of this is that there is ZERO grass in Faro. Really, nothing. So she had to wipe her shoe off on a bush. We laughed really hard at her. Careful where you step! You must always be on your toes as a missionary.
Things are going just great here. We taught a girl named Wumi, who lives on the same floor as the other girls. She is from Nigeria and speaks English. She is great!
Life is good here. We are happy and working hard. This is the Lord's work. I have no doubts of this. Have a great week! I love you all!