Hello family! First, I will not be emailing you all individually today. We had everything planned out, but then we had a little mishap with our money being left at home, so...we had to go back and that used up my other half hour of time to write you right now. I hope to be able to come back later today and respond. But, paciencia. I will be printing out your emails and reading them. Thank you!
Well, it's been a FAST FAST FAST week here. Really, time is FLYING by here and I am honestly starting to freak out a bit about it. Yesterday we had Zone Conference, my last one. :( It was great to meet President Torgan and Irma Torgan. They are wonderful people and will continue the work that President and Irma Terry started here. It was a bit of the "Irma Thomas Show" yesterday, to my dismay. I have already mentioned before that we have the chance to give a talk, at the choice of President Torgan, and guess who got chosen...ME! I was just a bit too smiley when they got here and kept making eye contact. I should know better than that. He went right up, pointed right to me and was like "Seester, you will speak on faith, Elder you will speak on charity." Bam Bam. He has such a thick accent. It's crazy and he's got a booming voice so it was just a little scary. It went okay...I could've prepared better...I also had the chance to give my "final testimony." No, I did not cry. Yes, I teared up and was very close to crying. It just has started to hit me that I'm leaving and will never come back here as Irma Thomas. It's very sad for me in that regard. But I feel a peace about what I've been able to accomplish and what we still have to accomplish. I have loved my mission and am so grateful that the Lord told me I needed to serve. It has changed me and my life. I also got called up by President Torgan to be used as an example. And they kept talking to me and Elder Wray. Actually, that was very nice. Irma Torgan went up to the pulpit and thanked me and Elder Wray for our service and wished us the best in our lives. I could feel her love for us and that was a tender mercy. Conference was very different, but very good. President Torgan will be changing a lot of things, but it will help the work grow here.
This week we had a couple of divisions with the young women in the area. We went first with Sara Cordeiro, who's actually a young single adult. Everything fell through, so we left the building we were at (after being chastised by an older lady--out her window on the 3rd floor, mind you--about how we shouldn't ring on her neighbor's door because no one was there, although someone showed up. Oh Portugal, the funny things people do here.) So I turned to Sara and asked her where we were going to go. She got a real panicky look on her face and said, no no no, Irma, I don't choose, you do. But we insisted and we ended up on this road. We knocked on the first several doors. Nothing. But then we knocked on the door of Heloneida, a lady from Cabo Verde whose sister is a member. She let us right in and we talked to her. It was a great experience and when we left, I turned to Sara and said, Wow! Look what you did! She got a big smile on her face and said that she didn't do anything at all.
Leide is doing great and we're still working on her papers and her job situation. We had a great lesson with her and she bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. She has such a faith and is very elect. I love working with her and seeing her change. What a miracle she is.
Last night after Conference everything had fallen through and I thought of where we should go. Immediately, Lindalva came to mind. She had not been progressing at all, but we needed to go by anyway, so we went. When we got there, her husband, Marcelis, informed us that Lindalva's sister had died that day in Brasil, very suddenly, of a heart attack. We talked to her and listened. I felt so strongly the love of our Heavely Father for her. She really needed to talk to us and hear what we said. I felt so guided. Every day I am more grateful for the help I receive.
Sunday we had choir. So I was helping them with "Beautiful Savior." I ended up first helping the sopranos, while the altos were in with the piano. The sopranos got it down. Then the altos were okayish, but we were changing the ending, so I went upstairs to see how the men were faring. It was not pretty. But, fortunately, I knew the bass line...so I helped the basses. Yes, it was funny. Then the tenors were lost, so I learned the tenor line and helped them. We all laughed a bit. My voice was so hoarse. I love serving through music.
That's all I've got time for!I love you!