Monday, April 20, 2015

I love General Authorities!

This week was good. As far as the work goes... not much happened. The elders from Almada had a really weird baptism and lots of strange things happened (one being that the woman getting baptized hit her head on the wall and the witnesses had to reach in the water to help pull her up because the member doing the baptism, her dad, couldn't get her up again) ... yeah. It was really weird. Anyway, we had two investigators there and afterwards they were a little weirded out by all the stuff that happened. They were asking us "That's the way we're supposed to get baptized? Are you sure that baptism is valid?" It was the most interesting baptism I've ever seen in my entire life, but other than that it was a good week.

We got rained on. During the springtime we get surprise rainstorms and we got caught in the rain on our back home for lunch one day. I also made friends with our landlord. We haven't really seen him much but he's pretty nice to me. We didn't know what our address was because our two area books didn't have it, so I asked him what our address was. He thought it was really funny that I didn't know, but he was very nice and printed it out for me. There was a fair close to our apartment building with little local things and he bought a lot of little trinkets and stuff and gave me and Sister Mills each a nifty little handmade magnet in the shape of the old mill in Corroios. It looks pretty cool.

Yesterday for church we got to go to a Tri-stake conference in Lisboa with Elder Bednar.... it was so good. Elder Moreira and Elder Teixeira were there with their wives and Elder and Sister Bednar both spoke. Sister Bednar talked about the importance of families and how our homes should be where we teach the gospel and prepare our children to be missionaries. She asked about what the end goal of parenting is and she talked about how children are special blessings for each family. I was sitting by Maria Santos and she cried through the whole talk.

Then, Elder Bednar talked about the Atonement. First he basically taught the lesson of the Restoration for all the investigators that were at the conference and then, speaking to the members, he talked about how we don't understand or use the Atonement the way we should in our lives. He said that the Atonement is not just for the forgiveness of sins, but one more aspect of it is the enabling power. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can access strength beyond our own to overcome our trials and keep the covenants we've made. He talked about Mosiah 24: 135-15 and then we sang "How Firm a Foundation." At the end he got up and explained that this hymn is about the Atonement and the enabling power so he had us sing the third and seventh verses, but he told us to really think about it and not just sing it. I couldn't sing though. The Spirit was so strong and I was a little emotional and couldn't sing. Then, I looked over and Carlos and Maria Santos were both just bawling too. :)

After the conference I ran into Ana!!! It was her birthday and she told me that all she wanted was to see me. We just hugged and hugged for forever! I love Ana. She's amazing.

Today we went to the Castelo de São Jorge. It was really cool and the history nerd inside of me was so happy, but it was crawling with tourists.... I like the non-touristy parts of Portugal more than the touristy parts. I'll send Mom some of the pictures and she can send them to the rest of the family.

The Church is true. I have no doubts about it. Anytime we think it's too hard to live the gospel principles we need to remember that it's only hard if we try to do it alone. Jesus Christ is our Savior and He did everything so that we wouldn't have to do it alone.

I love you all!

Sister Smith

P.S. The first picture is me with Ana and the second is with my old District Leader Elder Oliveira. He was only in Viseu for two weeks after I got there but he remembered me and he was really excited that I can speak Portuguese now.

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