It rained a lot yesterday. When church ended it was cool and a little cloudy, and then after lunch it was a little bit cooler and a little bit more cloudy. Then, once we were pretty far away from home the rain just dumped on us. I had my little umbrella, but I prefer street contacting without umbrellas so I didn't use it a ton... We got pretty wet. It was fun. :)
This week.... was very long. It was really long. We had our email adventure last week when the library closed. Then, we went to the capela and there was a returned missionary there with her family. Her name was Sister Hickey. She actually was in the MTC volunteering with TRC when I was there... and I remembered her.... and she was a little weirded out by that. :) She also served in Miratejo so she and I talked for a little bit about the people there. It was pretty fun. On Tuesday after District Meeting we went to the Mission Office in Porto and met with Presidente Amorim. Tuesday night I had a lovely chat with the elders over the phone about bullying. There's been a problem the last two transfers with the elders bullying us, so we had a nice chat over the phone and ever since then they've been a lot nicer to us and the members even noticed the difference yesterday in church. I guess standing up for yourself is good sometimes.... who would have thought? :)
On Wednesday we did a surprise division with the Sister Training Leaders Sister Wood and Sister Jones. I was with Sister Wood. I really, really, REALLY like working with Sister Wood. She's an incredible missionary and she definitely knows how to follow the Spirit. Thursday.... I don't actually remember what happened on Thursday, but I know that our apointments all got cancelled. :) Friday we had weekly planning and then we went and contacted on the streets when our appointments all fell through. On Saturday we did more street contacting because our plans fell through again. :) (I don't know about you, but I'm noticing a pattern...) And then on Sunday we had church... Church is nice. Church is really nice. It's a little stressful because we spend the whole morning hiking around trying to bring our investigators to church and then we spend the whole Sacrament Meeting praying that our investigators will feel the Spirit even though there are some really weird things going on or false doctrine being preached. :) Yeah, church is interesting sometimes. Every day is an adventure. Actually, Sunday morning is one of my favorite parts of the week because I call every single one of our investigators to wake them up... :) I'm pretty sure they all hate me, but it makes me feel good knowing that I'm helping them make good choices. When I called Carlos to wake him up he told me that he would never answer the phone again, and then at church he tried to give me the cold-shoulder but in the end he was laughing because I kept telling him, "Sorry Carlos. I only do it because I have to. Eternal life is kind of important. I care more about eternal life than the amount of sleep you get." I don't know when he'll get baptized, but he told me he might not invite me just because I wake him up early every Sunday morning. Oh vida.... vida boa.
This week Zé stopped answering the phone when we call. We saw him on the road a few times this week (that's a big blessing every time) and he told us that his MMA fighting is more important to him right now than religion and he also said that while he's not a complete waste of our time, he's almost a complete waste of our time. It was a little bit discouraging. It made me really evaluate how we had been working the last few weeks and how our recent lessons with him have gone. I re-learned a very important lesson this week: that no matter how bad the missionaries are and no matter how poorly they teach, the gospel is true and the Spirit will testify of it, but people still have agency. We're really not very good teachers.. hindsight is all we need to know that we're not good teachers, but thankfully the Spirit still speaks to our investigators. If the church wasn't true, the missionaries would have messed it up a long time ago and that's the truth. I think Zé will get baptized someday, but right now we're going to give him a break and see what happens. He just needs to get his priorities straightened out and that's something that we can't really help with. He has to make that decision for himself.
What else happened this week? .... I can't remember. Quite a bit, but it's all jumbled up into random thoughts in my head. Maria José, a little member from our ward gave me a white skirt this week. I wore it to church yesterday and she paraded me around and told everyone how nice it looked on me. I was embarrassed until Ana Cruz told me that I looked less-white than normal in the skirt. :) She was pretty funny.
We had a new investigatore with us in church yesterday. His name is Bruno. He's 18 and he just came back from living in Switzerland with his dad (sorry Daddy, they live in Geneve in the French part... not the German part). Sister Runyan and Sister Jones found him on the division and he was really excited about going to church. He was a little weirded out by church yesterday, but he said that he really liked it so I'm guessing he felt the Spirit and will still come back. Hooray! :D
The library is closing early again.... luckily we came earlier this week, but now we have to go to the capela to finish emails.
Okay... we're at the capela now. The problem is that I don't have much else to say... :) I love you all. Remember that things will all work out the way that Heavenly Father wants them to. Normally there's just stuff that we have to learn along the way. So keep reading and studying the scriptures and praying every day. I didn't realize until my mission how important the smallest things are in helping strengthen and keep our testimonies. I love you all!
Little Sister Smith
P.S. Keep me updated on Benjamin's mission papers... and don't forget that I expect to see a video of his mission call opening. I want to see it before I read it. :)
P.P.S. Here's a lovely selfie with Presidente Cruz and his wife... and me... and Sister Runyan... and Elder Nielson. He actually ended his mission yesterday and went home... poor guy. :)
The other picture is when we were out and about in the rain. It was a little wet. Good thing I have all of the song "Singing in the Rain" memorized. It tends to weird people out that I'm so happy and it gives a pretty good excuse to talk to them about the Gospel. :D I'll send more pictures to mom and she can distribute them. Amo-vos! Tchau!
The little lady is Maria José that gave me the skirt
Then there's our district picture with our whole little district before Elder Nielson left.
I spent the whole day updating the Area book today... it was a boring and fairly responsible p-day.... responsibility... whose idea was that?
And then there's me with Ana Cruz and Tatiana Gomes