Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I think it's summertime already...

The weather here has been really warm.... it feels like June here. It's so hot and the sun is really bright... the people on the streets have made several comments of how white I am.  We're ready to buy our summer sandals and the thought of using coats is just horrible. The members said this isn't normal though and that it will get cold again. Hooray!

Quick rundown of my week: On Monday we walked out to Abraveses to do a Noite Familiar with some members and they thought it was so weird that I like feijoada. The people here don't like feijoada so they think I'm crazy. On Tuesday we had ward council and my goal the whole time I've been here has been to earn the Bishop's respect. He was really concerned when he found out that I'd been sick and then at the end he told us that he really is grateful for us. He also said that he knows this is a hard area to work in, but that he's proud of the work we've done... (my little heart was so happy to know that Bishop is glad that we're here). On Wednesday we had the Sister Training Leaders here with us. They're from Cabo Verde and São Paulo. I was with Sister Neves the Brasilian.... Brasilians are very loud.... and they talk very, very quickly. I couldn't understand her very well. On Thursday we had an appointment with a family that seemed really interested in talking with us. We were so excited to teach a family! We walked for 2 1/2 hours along the highway to get to their house... turns out they're the leaders of the 7th Day Adventists here in Viseu... and they know the Bible really, REALLY well. Yeah... it was an interesting lesson. The dad grilled us on all kinds of things he'd read about the Church, but they were very, very nice and at the end they gave us a ride back into the city. That was nice of them. On Friday we taught Ricardo the Hippie. No really, he is a hippie. He was really attentive at first but then he started asking a lot of really weird questions. He was trying to play "Stump the Missionaries" but I had the thought to just answer his questions and testify. It was so crazy because he was trying really hard to trip us up but the answers came into my head every time and I knew what to say. It was really cool. Then at the end he started talking about drugs and I felt like I was in my World History class in high school with Mr. Haroldsen. Mr. Haroldsen would be so proud if he knew how much his class has stuck with me. On Saturday all our appointments fell through, but then the ward asked us to come to a baptism of one of the kids in the ward and that was nice. The little girl Constança loves the sister missionaries and she wants to be a missionary so much!

Yesterday for church we had ward conference. It was so good. The talks were all amazing! One of the stake leaders talked about how when we give talks and when we bear testimonies we should be trying to edify and uplift others. He says a problem here in Portugal is that people like to talk about their past trangressions over the pulpit, but he said "These pulpits are sacred and we should remember that. We're supposed to help other people by bearing testimony of Jesus Christ." It was so cool and the Spirit was so strong when he said that. Then the Stake President spoke about faith and missionary work. His talk was so inspired. He kept telling stories from his mission and how if we have faith and we do our part Heavenly Father can do all things. He kept looking right at me throughout his talk and it was like he was talking just to me. Afterwards he came down and talked to me for a few minutes. He gave me some pretty good advice. Ana came up from Lisboa for the weekend and it was so nice to see her. She told me that she'll come to visit me after my mission and she wants me to come visit her too.

So that was my week. Sister Bender says I talk a lot in my sleep... in Portuguese. The last thing she told me about was that I was giving a very detailed training on how to do street contacting. I don't have normal dreams anymore... they're all in Portuguese. This is the last week of the transfer and it's very possible that I'll be transfered to another area, so we're going to go be tourists today and take pictures of everything.... EVERYTHING. So many things to take pictures of. Yesterday at church the Ward Mission Leader told me that Presidente Fluckiger can't take me from Viseu. He was joking that we could just turn off the phone so we didn't get transfer calls, but I think that would probably be a bad idea. One more random thing that I just remembered: when I was sick Sister Bender called everyone in the area book and found Nuno, the super elect guy that had been waiting for the missionaries to call. Turns out he left for Geneva, Switzerland this week to find work, but he wanted to meet with the missionaries there. So we passed a reference off to the Elders in Geneva... but they'll have to teach him in English because he doesn't speak French.

My brain is empty... I can't think of anything else to say, but I love you all and I'm grateful for all the prayers.

Sister Smith

P.S. Pictures are of me, Sister Bender, and Constança and then the view of the city from the capela. 

with Ana

..... and then the creepy little lizard that run in front of me the other night.

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