Monday, October 12, 2015

As transferências... :) Outra vez?!

Então família linda.... não estou em Gaia.... eu estou em Leiria. This last week was such a good week and I'm really glad that I finished out my time in Gaia with all the work that we did last week. We nearly killed ourselves working.... it was beautiful. :) This last week we walked on every single road in Oliveira do Douro and we contacted hundreds of people. Most of them weren't interested, but two of them turned out to be menos ativos that we had been trying to find. Miracles were happening all over the place! :) We literally walked everywhere in Oliveira do Douro, but we didn't go out to the other part of our area in Avintes at all. I don't really know Avintes very well, but I've pretty much got all the roads in Oliveira do Douro memorized... lots of things can be said about my work as a missionary but one thing is for sure: I know my area really well. :)

So it was a really good week. We had a zone conference with Presidente and Sister Amorim on Wednesday and it took up almost the entire day, but it was pretty good. Sister Runyan and I were randomly selected to teach a role play lesson in front of the zone and then have everyone critique it. I sat in the chair and held on really tightly to a pamphlet so that people wouldn't see me shaking. I still don't like getting up in front of people, but Presidente Amorim had some really good advice and corrections for us. He said that for me specifically I need to have more confidence when I bear my testimony. He told me to quit using "language of doubt" and to start being more bold when I share my testimony. I hadn't actually thought of that until he told me about it, but he's right. I do need to work on that. After the zone conference on Wednesday we had a mini division with Sister Wood and Sister Smyth from the other ward in Gaia. It was fun. Once we all got home we ate pizza and a tub of nutella ice cream and we had a fun little half-hour party. It's nice to be with other sisters once in a while. Thursday we had our interviews with Presidente Amorim. It was probably the best interview I have ever had in my entire life. He let me ask him a question and then he asked me a bunch of questions to help me find my own answer... it was really good and the Spirit was really strong. I really missed Presidente and Sister Fluckiger when they left, but I really just love Presidente and Sister Amorim. 

All week long (actually, all transfer long) I'd had a feeling that I would be leaving Gaia, but because I was in denial I decided not to pack. We did however get a lot of our giant to-do list done. Gabriel had moved to Porto several weeks ago but we were never able to get him switched off to those elderes there and we got that done. Gabriel seemed to really like the elders. We also cleaned up our area book and we found out that a bunch of people don't actually live in our area anymore. It's tedious work, but it's good to get it done and it makes it easier for the next missionaries. It was also really nice to see so much of my area before leaving. 

Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting and Carlos (who normally has a million excuses about why he can't come to church.... generally, they're about the mafia *eye roll*), showed up because he knew it was my last Sunday. The MMA fighter José said he was going to come, but then when he saw that it was raining he decided not to go.... *another eye roll*. People are so silly sometimes... and also really lazy sometimes. It was probably one of the best testimony meetings I've seen in my mission though. A lot of people had the chance to get up and share their testimonies so it was really nice. Sunday night we had lunch with a member named Maria de Jesus (she's the Bishop's mother-in-law) and then we went to choir practice and then we had dinner with the bishop's family while we waited for transfer calls. While we waited I returned Elder Andrade's violin to him (sadness... lots and lots of sadness... I liked the little violin). We went back to Bishop's house and we got the transfer calls. Then I sat on the floor in the Bishop's house and cried with everybody for a half hour... it was good. :) Then I called all the investigators and all the members and told them goodbye. That was actually the hardest part. Gabriel said though that it is impossible to forget Sister Smith and that in 6 months we can talk on facebook, so that's something on the bright side. 

I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning packing and then we had all kinds of adventures trying to get to the bus stop in Batlha in Porto. I got a bus from Porto to Coimbra and then I had to switch buses and I made it up to Leiria. Leiria is basically the fairytale storybook town that everyone thinks about when they think about Europe. There is a giant castle and it's right outside our door, the buildings are just cute, and it's very storybook-like... it's a little weird actually. My new companion is Sister Larson and I was telling her that Leiria is probably what most people think of when they think of where I'm serving my mission. :) É verdade. It's really tricky to do email here though. The library only has three computers and there's an internet café that also has only three computers, so I apologize in advance if my emails become kind of iffy while I'm here in Leiria. I'll do my best. The apartment is bigger than the Gaia apartment but it's really empty and it's gonna be really cold in the winter time. It'll be fun. :) From our apartment window we can see the castle on the hill and the futebol stadium.... it's a pretty cute looking area. We'll just have to see if it's a cute working area. :)

I have basically dumped my brain into this email and I don't know what else to say. Thank you for all the emails this week. Benjamin, don't forget to send me a video of when you get your mission call. It would be cool if you came to Portugal... obviously it's one of the best places to go, but where ever you go remember that it is where you will be the best missionary you can be and that Heavenly Father needs you there. It all works out in the end. :)

I love you all!!! <3

Little Sister Smith

P.S. The pictures are from one of the highest parts in our area that we hiked to the other day. The other picture is me and Sister Runyan right before I left on the bus.... :) We're pretty cute. 

P.P.S. Finally!!! I am in an area that has a post office!!! Letters galore! :D 

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