Hey family! Thank you for the emails and updates and packages! I love you all and miss you all!
This has been a ROLLERCOASTER of a week. Wow. So much has happened.
Thursday and Friday were normal days for us. Though, on Friday we received news from Wumi that she would not be able to go with us to Lisbon because her supervisor decided that she needed to give a presentation on Monday. Wumi asked her supervisor if she could change the day and she was told that it was a possibility. So we started praying. We asked for the prayers of the other missionaries around here. Friday we still heard that she couldn't go. Saturday morning I had a great study and I studied about hope in Preach My Gospel. I was filled with peace that everything would work out and that she would be able to go. I didn't know how, but I was filled with peace.
The day was a little rough, we had been trying to find people to teach all week with no luck, so we were a little down, but I continued with the hope that Wumi would go. So after our dinner, Irma Machado and I went over to Wumi's (after she had had to change our appointment time about five times...I was a little nervous that she would cancel on us). But we went there with the expectation that we would really have to persuade her to come with us just on Sunday in the hope that she would have the faith to go with us. So we got there and I just simply asked if she could still go up with us just for Sunday. Wumi stopped, looked surprised, and asked, "I can go up just for Sunday?" We responded that OF COURSE she could go up just for Sunday, to which she replied, "Yes I will go with you!" I gave her a big hug and we were set to go! The ticket guy for the train even put our seats together!
So Sunday morning rolled around and we were getting ready for church. We got a text from Wumi that said, can you come over right now? So we called her right back and found out that she had dropped her friend's phone when she was handing it to her and broke it. The friend was upset and was making Wumi fix it and pay for it, so she couldn't go right to church and wouldn't be able to leave without fixing it. Fortunately, she was able to get it fixed and come to church and to Lisbon. The whole time we were so concerned for her coming because we knew how important it was for her. (Oh, PS my branch president, President Nunes, asked me to speak in church with 20 minutes notice...it went okay...I think...)
So we went up to Lisbon by train right after church and had a great time on the way. The meeting was amazing. The chapel in Oeiras was PACKED. The chapel was full, beyond capacity. There were extra chairs put in and it was completely full with people standing up everywhere. All of the classrooms were full as well, as well as the hallways. The missionaries were all in hallways, standing as Elder Bednar spoke. It was a singular experience.
Elder Bednar formatted the meeting as a question and answer session. The members asked questions and he and Elder Kopishke and Sister Bednar answered the underlying principle behind the question. It was wonderful. I learned so much about teaching and my desire to study the scriptures and learn more about the gospel increased significantly. Wumi loved the meeting. Loved it. She knows that he, Elder Bednar, is a man of God.
I also got to see all of the members from my old areas, it was a wonderful blessing to see them. I got a bunch of HUGE hugs from the members and hearty handshakes. It was so nice to see the love that they had for me. It warmed my heart.
Then I was surprised again by Irma Rasmussen requesting that I go with her to stay with some members, Niza and Neide, from Oeiras, who had gotten permission from President Terry for us to stay there. So I got to have a sleep over with two great members!
The next day was the best. We had a meeting just the missionaries and Elder Bednar with Sister Bednar, Elder Kopishke and Sister Kopishke. Elder Bednar did the same format with question and answer. It was great to hear the questions that he asked us and the answers we received from the Holy Ghost. We were greatly edified. After he had asked his questions he requested that we ask questions.
After several missionaries had asked questions he asked for one more question. So then Irma Machado elbowed me and told me to ask the question I had told her I wanted to ask. I was sitting in the front with the rest of the irmas, so I raised my hand and he called on me. I had already answered a question and he had stared into my soul before, but this was different. I asked what he and the Brethren would like us to do better as misisonaries. He told me that we should know who we are, why we're here and for Whom we serve. He stared right into my eyes as he taught more. I know that I will always remember that. He was looking right into me. It was a little terrifying, but I was grateful for the answer that I was given.
Then I went to the dentist because I had a cavity. Yuck. Then we came home.
Well, yesterday we had transfer calls and you know how I said that President said that I would be staying? Well, he changed his mind. I was completely shocked as he told me that I will be being transferred to Setubal, with Irma Barroso, who speaks no English (Wumi?) will be coming in. I am a bit devastated right now and I really don't want to leave this area, Irma Machado and Wumi. I love it here and I love this branch and the work here. But the Lord knows best, right?
I will be serving in Setúbal with Irma Vega who has been here for two transfers. She's from Wyoming and that's pretty much all I know. Here's my address:
Irma Laura Thomas
Rua de Badajoz
Nº5 1 FRT
Feel free to send packages here.
Well, that's about it. I love you all so much and am grateful for all that I am learning and for the opportunity I had to learn from and Apostle of Jesus Christ. It was singular