Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Visas, Pop Socks and Jet Planes

Hello family! Thank you for all of the emails and love. I hope that things continue to go well for you all. We are truly blessed, aren't we?

It's been a crazy week. I'll start from last Wednesday. We went up to Lisbon for an "irma p-day" and we met up with all of the irmas in the Lisbon area. It was really fun and nice to see everyone, but blazing hot! Fortunately, we went up to the Castelo de São Jorge, which is up on a large hill, so we got a good breeze. It was nice to see everyone again. Then Irma Vega and I headed to Oeiras for a division to wait on Irma Lister doing her visa. Irma Lister headed to Lapa (in Lisbon) for a division. Neither house had room for three. So, I ended up going with Irma West, our contingent from England. She is a riot! I learned all sorts of new things from her. Did you know that knee highs are pop socks? She also told me she didn't want~to teach me how to suck an egg and I asked her if she meant she didn't want to beat a dead horse or preach to the choir. Funny how we were speaking the same language but couldn't understand one another! We had a great time and hope that we get to serve together. Oeiras was great as always. John, everyone says hi and asks when the kids are on the way.

Then we found out Thursday morning that the visa place decided to be difficult as always, so Irma Lister couldn't start her visa renewal until Friday. So Irma Vega and I went back to Setubal and she stayed up in Lisbon until Friday night (Yes, it took literally all day of waiting to get one little form processed.)

In the mean time, we taught Leide, who we met two weeks ago. She invited her roommate, Jose Carlos a guy of about 25 from São Paulo Brasil, to listen to our message. He stood the whole time in the kitchen and listened to us. I couldn't tel lif he was even interested at all, but we invited him to read, pray and go to church, and he said he would. Well, he was good to his word about church at least. He came for the whole block! We went and picked him up, bright and early at 9:00am. Not only was he ready, but he was well dressed in nice jeans and a button-up shirt, and waiting for us outside his house. He was showered and nicely groomed. He even turned off his phone on the way there! Well, he was just great. Our ward mission leader, Irmao Caleira, really took Jose Carlos under his wing. He sat by him in all the classes and was great. The whole ward greeted him. José Carlos even read some scriptures in gospel principles! This from the guy who asked if he had to do anything and if he could just sit there quietly! We will be teaching him again tonight and I'm really excited!

The next day (Friday) we taught Trindade and Artur. It went really well. Trindade is letting us talk more and respecting our time and message very well. Unfortunately, they couldn't go to church because their son (who's 35 mind you) had pneumonia and they had to go take care of him.

Saturday was the 35th anniversary of Portugal's liberation from their dictatorship. Old men were wearing white top hats (sort of) and red carnations, the symbol of the revolution.

Sunday the other ward had a baptism and we were able to bring Rosaria to watch it. It went very well and we all felt the Spirit. Choir was a bit of a struggle. They are learning "This is the Christ" and no one knows it (except me!) including the pianist. So I had to sing at the top of my lungs so they could all hear me. It was a bit chaotic, but hopefully, we will be able to make choir more productive.

Monday was a turbulent day. We had interviews with President and while we were waiting I had the opportunity to talk quite a bit with Irma Terry. They are so close to going home! I talked to her about what she was going to do and she went off on sewing and quilting. It made me think of my mom so much! President and Irma Terry have really been like parents to me here on the mission. I am so grateful for them. My interview went well and we talked about the different challenges that my companions were facing and are still.

I found out later from Irma Vega that President told her that she would probably be going home since they can't seem to figure out what's wrong with her and she's not getting the help she needs. He called that evening to tell her she would be going home and yesterday she was picked up to stay at the mission home and this morning she left. I am already really missing her, but I know she'll be able to get better this way. We've both been very frustrated with medicine here and now she'll be able to get the help she needs. It was a great privilege to serve with her and I learned so much. I really learned how to serve and sacrifice with her. I really feel that I was able to grow and get to know my Savior better through everything.

I don't really have anything else to say. Sorry, I couldn't really think of any funny stories. My game with Irma Vega where we "called" everything was getting a little out of hand, with us calling every Smart car, mini Cooper, yellow car, Citroen blue car, etc. So I'll have to find another hobby.

I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

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