This week was very interesting. I've been in bed for two days with fevers and chills (and at one point I was convinced mom was here taking care of me... that was a little strange). President Fluckiger called and then Sister Fluckiger called. Later that night the zone leaders called and Elder Cabral told Sister Bender, "Please tell Sister Smith not to die. We need her in our zone." Sister Bender's response was, "Ela vai morrer? Espero que não Elder!" She didn't like all the talk of dying, but I'm fine now and I think my knee is all better now too. It didn't get used for two days, so it's a lot happier. The ward members were so nice. They all had advice and they all wanted to bring us food. We're sisters though so we have food storage in our apartment, and we were fine. The coolest thing is that we had so many blessings because I was sick! I slept for about 20 hours and Sister Bender called every single number in the two area books that we have. She's amazing. She discovered that a lot of people are not interested in talking with the missionaries any more, but one guy named Nuno answered that phone and told her that he's been waiting for the missionaries to call because he's been reading the Book of Mormon and he's trying to quit smoking! We would not have contacted him if I hadn't been sick in bed! Huge, huge miracle!!! Sister Fluckiger told me to get a blessing this morning so I did and in the blessing I was counseled to rest and take care of myself and when I have my health back, then I can work again. Something about patience and resting.... I still have a hard time with patience and waiting for things. I just want to work, but Sister Bender says I have to take care of myself so that I can work the rest of the time.
This week we went to a zone conference in Coimbra. It was so much fun to be in Coimbra again. After my mission I will come back to Portugal and be a tourist because Portugal is just awesome... yeah. It's so cool. Anyway, the zone conference was really good. We had a training on getting people to come to church. At one point Elder Cabral (one of our zone leaders) told us something that President Fluckiger said at the mission counsel on Tuesday. President Fluckiger said that a lot of missionaries are spending too much time trying to be friends with people and aren't fulfilling their purpose of inviting people to come unto Christ. He said, "If your purpose is not to help people come unto Christ by inviting them to be baptized what is your purpose? Why are you on a mission?" Holy smokes. That hit me like a ton of bricks. Really that is our purpose as missionaries: to invite people to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. Yes, we'll make friends along the way but our primary purpose is to represent the Savior. We're not tourists and we're not salespeople. We're missionaries. We have such a short time as missionaries. For me I realized that I've been on the mission for four months and I still have so much to learn and change, but Heavenly Father sure does put a lot of trust in the missionaries. Sometimes I feel like I'm not qualified to have all this responsibility, but then I realize I don't have to be perfect. I just have to try my hardest and give everything every day. Later on we missed our bus back to Viseu (turns out some of the elders purposely made us late so that they could go to McDonalds... Sister Bender and I were not so thrilled at that).
Mom and Dad I really like what you guys said about the stake conference you had. Sister Bender and I have been learning a lot about that lately. We have to do all the little things and we have to make sure our testimonies are firm before we can ask other people to change their lives.
I have a lot more I want to say... but my head is still a little fuzzy. Sister Bender's email is much more detailed and coherent and probably a lot more interesting. She said she'd forward it to me, so I'll send it to mom and inette. You'll get a much better version of this week from her email. I'm still a little bit slow, but I'm sure next week my email will be much better. Daddy, I'm trying to keep my feet dry and thank you for making sure I have money in my account.
I love you all!
P.S. There's a picture of Coimbra and a picture that Sister Bender took of me in Coimbra. She really liked the chapel there and the view... the picture doesn't do Coimbra justice. It's so pretty!