I'm going to serve in the Portugal Porto Mission!!! All last week I knew that I was going to get transferred, but I just didn't want to leave Miratejo. I loved being in the south and being in that area. I loved the members so much and I loved our investigators so much.... but I kept remembering one day in the MTC when they were trying to teach us about Portugal Portuguese and one professor mentioned the northern accent. I got the huge impression that I would spend my mission in the north. So I was thinking of that all week and I knew that this transfer determined which mission we would serve in.... I knew I was getting transferred back to the north. Church was really hard because I said goodbye to a lot of the members and that's not ever any fun. After church I went home and starting packing, but it went a little slowly because I was crying so much that I could hardly pack. I know it's good to go to other places and meet new people, but it's not a lot of fun to say goodbye to people knowing that you might not ever see them again. I don't really like transfers... I have a really hard time with them. The Porto Mission will be fun though. It's really weird to be in the north again, but I'm excited. It will be an adventure.
Anyway.... I'm in Gaia (it's pronounced "guy-uh") so I'm really, REALLY close to Porto. I thought it would be cooler up here, but no. It's super hot. There are also very few Africans up here.... it's a little too white for my tastes but I suppose Europeans need the Gospel too. :) My new companion is Sister Parkinson. She's in her thrid transfer so I'm "greenie-breaking" her. I don't actually like that name (I think it's kind of degrading), but basically my job is to transition her from training to normal mission life.... I'm a little nervous because I don't feel like I'm ready to be a senior companion. Sister Parkinson is so sweet though. She's so happy and so friendly. She's from Texas and she's basically the cutest sister missionary ever. I don't think I have ever met anyone so happy! And our apartment is apparently one of the nicest in the mission... it's definitely the biggest, but probably one the messiest too. I have a tendency to clean the apartments a ton though so it'll look different in a few weeks. Sister Parkinson and I actually found each other on Facebook before I went into the MTC so we already kind of knew each other. It'll be a good transfer. :) Today Sister McCall and I took a train from Corroios to Lisboa and then from Lisboa I took a four hour bus ride to Porto. From Porto Sister Parkinson and I had to pull my luggage from the bus station to the metro. On the way to the metro there was a group of American tourists and a bunch of them were RM's. They were all pretty excited to see us. I heard a lot of "Look, there are Sisters here!" So it was pretty fun. When we got on the metro Sister Parkinson didn't actually know where we were going so we got on the wrong line. We jumped off two stops later and got on a different line to back to Porto and then we switched lines and came to Gaia. Yeah... we had lots of adventures.... I almost got hit by a bus too. It's was fun. :)
Last week in Miratejo I went to a dentist in Santa Marta. Turns out I don't have cavities..... I don't know what he said it is that I have... but it's not cavities and he said it should go away in a few weeks. He was really nice. He tried to give me beijinhos, but Sisters can't do that with guys and when I ducked away the member who was with us had to explain the rule to the dentist. The poor dentist felt so bad. He just kept apologizing and saying, "I had no idea you couldn't give beijinhos. I am so sorry." He was a really nice dentist, and he didn't charge me anything for the appointment either, so now I have lots of money because I didn't have to have any dental work done. Hooray!!!
It was also really hot in Miratejo this last week. It was more humid than normal so when we were walking on Saturday it felt like we were swimming as we were walking. I kept laughing because it was so weird, but Sister McCall about died. It was making her so sick to be out walking. You wouldn't have liked it Mom. Super.... SUPER humid. It's very different from Idaho. Nothing is every really "dry" but somethings are more wet than others. It makes life more interesting. On Saturday we were out working and we ran into our investigator Otelinda and her daughter Beatriz in the road. Bea is three years old and I made it a personal goal to be her friend by the end of the transfer. Apparently I was successful because she just wanted to play with me all day Saturday. We were playing hopscotch and she really liked it. Yay! I made a friend. :)
We had four investigators in church yesterday, and our recent convert João came without any help yesterday! FELICIDADE!!! It's really cool to see the change in people, and João is definitely changing. It's not a huge all-at-once change, but I can see how all the little things are starting to make a big difference in his life. I didn't think I'd really done much in Miratejo, but when the members found out that I was leaving and as they starting talking to me I started to realize that sometimes you don't ever see the difference you make. It was a good little reminder.
I'm about out of time now, but I love you all. Thank you for all the emails and all the love. I love reading all your stories and hearing about all the things you're all learning. The only thing I can think to say is to remember to have charity for everyone. That's a lesson I'm working on learning right now: having charity for everyone, nice or not-so-nice. Normally, it makes a bigger difference for us than it does for the other people.
P.S. Benjamin is graduated from high school? What is this? When I did I get that old? When did I get old enough to have a little brother finish high school? When did I get old enough to go on a mission? Yuck.... time is a weird thing.
P.P.S. This is my new companion Sister Parkinson... and then there's a picture of Otelinda and Beatriz.