Monday, February 23, 2015

Weirdest week ever...

I think I've had more crazy experiences than I've had the rest of my time in the mission. You know all those weird stories missionaries always tell? I had a ton of them this week, but some of those stories are best reserved for after the mission. I have decided though that life is a lot more fun when you're not getting clipped by buses. I'm still alive though. Angels are real, and sidewalks would be nice on some roads. :)

So many things happened this week. First off, Sister Fluckiger says I have to wear a knee brace at least until the end of this transfer. We don't know what happened to my knee. I just woke up one morning and it hurt and was making funny sounds. It was bad enough one day that I couldn't walk, but I wouldn't stay in the house. I kept telling Sister Bender, "Sister Hirschi hobbled around for two weeks using an umbrella as a cane. I can keep working." Then Sister Fluckiger and Sister Ransom told me to take it easy because it's better to take one day off than to keep working abnd cause serious problems that could really make me stop working. Every day I'm supposed to elevate my knee and ice it and I have to wear a knee brace and do funny exercises for my knees. If it gets any worse they'll look into physical therapy... Hooray! Apparently, this is how many missionaries start out with problems, but I want to keep working so I'll do whatever they tell me to do.

Carnaval happened this week... it was very boring. In the MTC we heard all these stories about Carnaval in Brasil and how crazy it is. The biggest thing that happened was a soccer game... and the costume parades for all the little kids in school. We had a super funny experience that day though. We were street contacting and as we were teaching a lesson on the sidewalk some cops pulled up and asked us what we were doing. I told them that we were talking, and before I could finish my sentence one of them asked "Sobre religião?" "Sim." "Qual religião?" Then, the guy that we had been teaching starts explaining to the police everything that we had been teaching him about the Restoration and baptism. Then, one of the police officers asked "Do you do baptism by immersion?" "Sim." He paused for a minute and then he said, "That's the correct way to do it." In the end they were very nice and we invited them to church and gave them each a Book of Mormon. They said that if they're not working one Sunday they'll come to church. Que fixe! The guy we had been teaching on the sidewalk was a little nervous, but Sister Bender and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

We also had stake conference this week and interviews with President Fluckiger. Stake conference was so cool. It was the best stake conference I've ever been to. The whole stake of Coimbra (well, all the active members) together are about the size of our ward at home in Idaho Falls. The members sacrificed so much to travel here to Viseu for the stake conference, and because of all the sacrifices they made just to attend stake conference the Spirit was so strong. Growing up in Idaho I never really appreciated having a church building and a temple so close to my house, but being here where there aren't a ton of members makes me realize how important it is to have the gospel. The gospel is everything! President and Sister Fluckiger were here for the stake conference and Elder Moreira of the Seventy. It was so cool.

We had interviews this week with President Fluckiger and he helped me realize that I still have a lot of things to come on the mission. President and Sister Fluckiger are so amazing! I want to be like them some day. They are so dedicated and consecrated and they're so full of love for the missionaries and for the people of Portugal. During my interview President Fluckiger was helping me work on improving my lesson plans so that the doctrines were more clear. It was so great to have him there to help. However, at one point during my interview he started giving me advice for marriage and how to pick a husband after the mission. I was thinking "Wait a second... I don't want to think about marriage for at least 14 more months... why is he giving me counsel about picking a husband?" I don't why, but Judite, one of the members in my ward was talking to me and she told me "Sister, your mission president is so inspired. If he gave you advice about marriage you need to remember what he said and then do what he told you to do when you go home." I figured I would write down what he told me, and then not think about it for 14 months. :) Kind of like college. I'll take the advice, write it down, and then not think about it for 14 months. I like that plan... I like it very much.

Mama, right now we only have one progressing investigator: Leonilde. Sister Hirschi and I had dropped her because she wasn't progressing, but then she showed up to church on her own and now she's actually keeping the commitments. We taught her a Palavra de Sabedoria last week and at the end of the lesson she kept saying, "I knew you were going to talk about this. I just knew because I've been thinking about this all week." That was probably the most powerful moment of my mission. I promised her that if she really had the desire to quite smoking she would be able to do it, and that if she would read the Book of Mormon every day she would have the strength to quit smoking. She didn't say anything, but a few days later we learned that she's finally starting reading the Book of Mormon!

I have so many more things I want to tell you all, but I've run out of time. I love you all and I'm so grateful that every week you all have inspired emails. They're so much fun to read.

Eu vos-amo!

Sister Smith

P.S. I got to talk to Sister Hirschi! Rute was skyping Sister Hirschi and I was on the phone with Rute so Sister Hirschi and I got to talk. Que benção! It was so nice to hear her voice again!

And the pictures are of me icing my knee at the end of the day and with two of the members from Coimbra that love me: Raquel e Dani. their mom adopted me and they want me to serve in Coimbra.

P.P.S. Packages and letters have to be sent to the Mission Office and not the mission home and the address is:

Rua Jorge Barradas Nº14C,

1500-370 Lisboa

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