Monday, October 5, 2015

Eu amo a Conferência Geral!!! Melhor fim da semana... sempre. :)

At the end of a long six months full of the ups and downs of life, General Conference is literally the best thing ever. This week was a little bit rough. I have a very strong feeling that I'm going to get transferred to a different area and generally when that happens I get a little overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings that I'm not making a difference, that I haven't done any good, that I'm wasting my time and that my mission hasn't been worth it, etc. etc. It's not a lot of fun to have those thoughts, but it's been an opportunity to evaluate why I'm here and choose to be more humble and try to be more of the missionary that Heavenly Father wants me to be. Sometimes we have to stop and really think about why we're doing the things we're doing, and then we have to ask ourselves if we're doing everything that Heavenly Father needs us to be doing. I talked to Sister Wood the Sister Training Leader for about an hour one day because I was so discouraged and she told me that I need to be more patient with myself and remind myself that I don't have to be perfect now, but that I just have to be trying. Pacience.... that word never goes away.... I think Heavenly Father is trying to tell me somethine. Maybe I need to develop more patience. :) Maybe.... we'll see.

This week we've been going "Menos Ativo Hunting" so we've been going through the ward lists and looking for all the people we don't know. Then, we pull out the maps and we go and hunt for them. Turns out most of them don't live there anymore, but there have been a couple funny ones. You remember that scene in the "R.M." movie where he's home teaching and the old lady is watching around the corner to not let him in? That's basically what happened with one lady. She saw us and then she realized that we were the missionaries, so her eyes got really wide and she backed down the stairs and didn't come to the gate.... it was a little awkward at the time. :) We actually weren't able to find one guy on the map and then as we were walking one day I saw a guy up the road a little ways and I thought "I ought to contact him." Turns out it was that menos ativo that we hadn't been able to find. Also, he's an old friend of Avelino's and he didn't know that Avelino had been baptized, but he's coming to church next week and it will be good. We went and passed by his house with Xeca on Saturday morning before conference and on the way back to the capela this car pulled over and the people asked for directions to Porto. They were from Spain... and holy smokes... the Spanish accent is the strangest thing I've ever heard in my life. 

On Saturday, we watched a rebroadcast of the Women's session at 15h and then as 17h assistimos a sessão do sábado da manhã. The afternoon session started at 21h here so we watched the first 20 mintues at Xeca's house to see who the new apóstolos foram e depois voltamos à casa. Sunday morning they showed the Priesthood session at 10h and while that session was going we went Menos Ativo hunting in the rain for three hours. There was a rebroadcast of the Saturday Afternoon Session at 13h and then at 17h we watched the Sunday Morning Session. This morning for p-day we watched the Sunday Afternoon Session at the capela and it was actually my favorite session. I loved all the talks (we were discussing that maybe the church decided that all the talks need to be given in English again... is that what happened?). I really, really loved the Sunday afternoon session. When President... well, now he's not the president of BYU-Idaho, but when Elder Clark talked I lost it and then when Elder Bednar talked I really lost it and I just cried and cried and cried. Also, what happened to Presidente Monson when he was speaking. We were all pretty sure that he was going to fall down. There were lots of prayers said for him after the Sunday Morning Session. The recent converts Maria and Albertina (the really old ladies) had a rough day on Sunday. They're really, REALLY old and Albertina fell down on Sunday while I was on the phone with her... it was mildly traumatizing for me but she's okay the members are helping them out. 

I am just about out of time now.... and I still have way to much to say... how frustrating. Oh well. Hopefully, someday I will learn how to type faster and focus the subject of my emails. I would love to give you a talk-by-talk commentary of General Conference and our week and all the roads we walked on (we found a road in our area that goes all the way down to the river... and there were goats on it), but I don't have time... and it's probably not all that interesting actually. 

I do just want you all to know that really this gospel is true. None of us are perfect and the leaders of the church are people with imperfections and weaknesses too, but just like them we can be led by the Spirit to become better people and learn what Heavenly Father would have us do. His plan will never fail, but He wants us to take an active part in helping with the work so that we can be safe and happy. I've never been so grateful for the Gospel in my life as I am now, but more than anything I want you all to feel the same way to. The Church is true and it's the biggest blessing that we have it in our lives. 

Little Sister Smith

P.S. There's a view from the road that goes down to the river... and there are the goats and the sheep. Also, Sister Runyan got her hair cut last week and I'm getting my hair but this week too... dun dun dun!!!

P.P.S. I really liked that part in General Conference when he said that Heavenly Father doesn't answer our prayers just to satisfy our curiosity, but that He answers our prayers if we have real intent to act on the answers He gives.... mind blown. That is exactly what our investigators need to hear. :)

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