Oh family! It was so good to see you all on Christmas!!! And I'm so glad we had Google hangout when Skype didn't work. I have the best family in the world. Seriously. I love you all so much, and I'm super grateful that we have things like Skype so that we can all see each other. And just think of how cool next year will be! You get to skype me and Benjamin! So cool! We probably won't be able to all see each other depending on where Benjamin serves his mission, but it will be amazing! Mom and Dad, you're going to have two kids on missions at the same time. Craziness. I bet you never planned for that. :) Christmas night we had a dinner in the Church for people that didn't have anything for Christmas and it was great. The elders planned it and we met so many people. There weren't a ton of people there, but we got to know them and we talked about our Savior. It was a special Christmas.
So this week was very interesting and there were a ton of changes. A lot of things happened and I'm not going to talk about them right now, but President Fluckiger did an emergency transfer and you'll never guess who my new companion is....
Oh. My. Goodness. When she and Sister Corrêa came and did divisions I just loved her, and now she's my companion. Miracles are going to happen here in Viseu. This is her last transfer though so she'll be going home in the beginning of February, but I know that Heavenly Father wants me to learn as much as I can from her. She is an amazing missionary. As I've watched her work I've just been blown away by how she does things. She has no fear of talking to anyone in the road... I am the exact opposite. I remember the morning I left for the MTC Daddy gave me a blessing. I don't remember everything he said but I remember one thing was that I would be able to overcome my shyness and timidity. Well, Sister Hirschi is definitely going to help me get rid of it. We go street contacting and she says "They're all yours Sister." The first time she said that I panicked and the first couple of times I started conversations were so awkward, but it's getting better the more I do it. Sister Hirschi is a great missionary and I'm definitely going to learn so many things from her. She is still a Sister Training Leader though so she will still go on divisions and go to meetings in Lisboa, but that means that I get to go stay with the Sisters in Coimbra. I love the sisters in Coimbra, Sister Mancuso and Sister Donahoo from the MTC. Actually, I'm going to Coimbra tonight to stay with them. Sister Hirschi has a mission conference in Lisboa so I get to work in Coimbra tonight and tomorrow. We're going to have so much fun.
We're starting to get to know the members really well here. Turns out that a lot of the members in our ward served missions 15 and 20 years ago here in Portugal... long ago when there were three missions. They think it's really funny that I don't speak a lot of Portuguese, but I have learned to understand when they're talking about me and when they tell Sister Hirschi to go leave me in the middle of nowhere to see how quickly I learn the language... they're really funny. Really. They love to feed the missionaries, but I guess the recent missionaries didn't work with the members so the members are excited that we want them involved. Honestly, they are so important. Without the members we have so little success! Members are a huge help to the missionaries and to the investigators. Without the members we can't fulfill our missionary purpose and we can't do the work we've been called to do. Member missionaries are wonderful!
Our district leader Elder Madsen was an emergency transfer here to Viseu and his companion has been in Viseu as long as I have, and now with Sister Hirschi it's basically a white wash and a pink wash of the entire city. That's what Sister Hirschi said... she had to explain what white washes and pink washes are, but now I understand. They didn't have any progressing investigators before, but now we've met so many people and the members are starting to work with us. It's going to be amazing!
The pictures are of one part of our area and the Christmas activity while everyone was watching "Finding Faith in Christ".... yeah. I think those are the pictures I'm sending.
Clarissa and Allison I love, love, LOVED the pictures and the emails. Matthew and Inette, I will check the mail for your letter. It shouldn't take too long to get from Germany to Portugal.
I love you all!