Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No One Can Rain on My Parade!

Hello family! Thank you for the emails! They were wonderful this week! Everyone was very descriptive! Thanks! And, YAY!, we're going to Disney World! Now I get to have the whole SuperBowl experience: So Irma Thomas, now that you are heading home, what's the first thing that you're going to do? I'm going to Disney World! It will be so nice to see you all! But...that is still a really long way away, right? I'm going to pretend that time will not fly by these next two transfers. Maybe it will work...

This week was a good one, though very rainy. I don't think anything really changed, but God blessed me with a light heart and the blessing of facing rejecting with a smile. We're still on the lookout for investigators. Unfortunately, our teaching pool took a huge hit. Of the few people we were teaching, we lost six of them (the majority of our investigators), two moved, and even more sad, four of them dropped us. Last night, I called an investigator we started teaching last week, a girl named Greice (Grace) and her family, who are very strong evangelicals. I called to confirm our appointment and she told me that she had talked to her preacher and he told her not to talk to us anymore. That is actually the first time that's happened to me. I didn't really know how to respond, but I told her that if she ever wanted to talk to us, she was always welcome to learn more. Normally, we teach people who don't actively go to another church, so it wasn't wholly unexpected, but it still was a bit of a damper on our night.

Also, Trindade and Artur dropped us because they think they're too busy. That was very sad for me because they are perfect for the ward and they know that what we are saying makes sense, at the very least. They had the startings of a testimony. Hopefully, when their lives calm down, things will improve.

Inspite of all of this, things are going well here. We are still teaching Leide, who is great! She is so happy and positive and she never breaks a committment. She has a hard time reading and praying because she's so busy, but we commited her to reading two verses a day and hopefully, she'll be able to do that. She is so sincere and so good. I feel the Spirit so much when I teach her. She is one of the pure in heart who want to know the truth. Leide is a blessing for me right now.

This past week we also got to help Arlette move! It was a great opportunity for us to build up some trust with her and get to know her better. She's a great lady. My goodness, she is so African!It's so nice to be around Africans again! I was helping her clean the kitchen and she did it SOOO differently. It kind of grossed me out, but I just had to remind myself that she was African. I am excited to be able to see her next week and talk to her about the Restoration. She is truly looking for the truth as well. It's so nice to have people to teach who are really searching!

Friday we had our Mission Conference, as I mentioned on Sunday. It was wonderful! I got to see everyone! Elder Smith got me updated on the goings on of Faro. I am so thrilled that Wumi is doing well and the Felicia is going to church and is not drinking! Did I mention that her son, Carlos, who we taught twice, showed up to church and now wants to be baptized? Yay! That just warms my little heart to hear! What a blessing it was to be led to her. The conference was great and Elder and Sister Kearon really gave us a great boost spiritually. My favorite part was when President Terry spoke. He went off on a random tangent that was exactly what I needed to hear. It's been hard for me to not be able to see any progress here when we are working so hard. But I can only control myself, my actions, my obedience and my diligence. How true that is. Though I may be rejected numerous times every day, that's okay. All I can do is keep on going. All we can truly offer the Lord is our will. How grateful I am for President Terry.

Saturday we had our ward activity. It was called "Praising our Wives" and they invited the missionaries as the special guests. It was a bit awkward to be there with all ofthe couples in the ward, but itw as very kind of them to include us. Rui Gaspar went around, as always, taking pictures of everything and everyone. They thought that there wouldn't be enough space for everyone, so they pulled in two little side tables for the missionaries to sit at. Yes, we sat at the kiddie table. Don't worry, I got pictures. I felt like I was at a family gathering again. Me, sitting at the kids tables, surrounded by couples. It was really fun though. They served some WEIRD food. Octopus and cuddle fish. The octopus was great, but I was served SO much and couldn't eat it all. The cuddle fish was NASTY. I have liked fish up until now. Just not that little number. Ick. Fortunately, the elders helped me out.

Things with the choir are progressing well. I got to be the conductor on Sunday because the Herminia couldn't go. So... it left it up to me. It went okay, except I didn't know the song. Oh well! It's nice to be able to help out and serve. The members are all happy that I'm staying to help with stake conference.

OH yeah! We got transfer calls. We are staying together. This meas that I will be staying in Setubal until the end of my mission! Yay! I'm very excited. I really wanted to stay and I'm so glad that I get to. I hope you have a great week! I love you all!