Guess what?! Sister Larson and I got a new companion... and guess what else?! We're training! WHAT?! Yup. Last week I found out that we are in a training tripla. Our new companion is fresh from the Madrid MTC and she is super duper cute. Her name is Sister Varuçale (pronounced "vah-roo-sall") and she is from Maputo, Moçambique. She is super funny. It's weird having a native companion again, but Sister Varuçale is super funny. She cracks me up. She is the only new sister in the entire mission, so Sister Larson and I are the only sisters training right now, and because Sister Larson is a Sister Training Leader she leaves every week to do divisions in other areas and I have to do training alone with Sister Varuçale.... it's a good thing Sister Varuçale is already a pro and already knows how to do everything because otherwise this transfer would be a lot crazier. Obviously she is adjusting and she doesn't understand everything, but thank goodness she speaks Português. Also, she was baptized only 2 years ago and she's spent that two years working with the missionaries in Maputo, so basically she is teaching me how to do missionary work. Not even kidding. She knows how to teach! And when she shares her testimony it's like the Spirit just pulls up a chair and sits down with us. She's a really special missionary.
Yup. So Sister Larson and I went up to Porto on Wednesday for a training meeting with Presidente and Sister Amorim and the assistentes, and I was already feeling a little bit like "Oh no... I don't know how to train... oh dear..." and then during the training meeting Presidente Amorim looked right into my eyes (aka... right through my soul) and said, "Training is a sacred responsibility and you will be held accountable. Be the trainer of your dreams." .... I'm not quite sure why we're in this tripla this transfer, but it's a huge stretching and growing opportunity. Everything is different when you're in a tripla instead of a dupla. For example, street contacting has taken on a whole new light. We look like an army as we walk down the road and when we stop people to talk to them they tend to panic... it's been an interesting week. :) Also, when we knock doors we've started having one person hide off to the side because when people see three of us they also tend to panic. One benefit now though is that with three of us we tend to contact groups of people. It's harder for them to escape when there are three of us. :) I thought I knew how to do missionary work, and then Heavenly Father threw us a funny curve ball. It's been a fun week. We're actually going to call the office elders this week though and ask for help. It's hard enough to do email here with two people, but now with three it's really hard. We can't find enough places with computers available and it takes about three hours now to do email because we have to change lugares. We're going to call the elderes and ask if they will look for a place where we can do email because 30 minutes is not very much time to write to Presidente and you all. :)
It's been pretty rainy but sunny too. From our apartment we have a great view of the castle and the futebol stadium and the other day there was a huge rainbow that went right in between them. It was really cool. In Leiria the members mostly live really far away. Some of them it is a 45 minute drive to come to church, so most of our interaction with the members here is on Sunday or during the week when there are meetings. We'll just overwhelm them all with love and cookies and good stuff like that. Also, these members really, really, REALLY love the missionaries and they express their love by giving us food. Literally, we receive so much food that we only have to spend about 25 euros on groceries every week for the three of us... vida boa. :) Also, in our district we have two elders that are assigned to our ward here in Leiria and the two elders from the branch of Figueira de Foz. Those poor elders take and hour long bus ride every week to get to district meeting. Sacrificios. The elders in Figueira de Foz are Elder Gee and Elder Ricci that I knew from the Porto area and the elders in our ward in Leiria are Elder Morrison and Elder Zwalhen. The funny part though is that Elder Zwalhen and I were in the Youth Symphony together in high school... :) Yeah... small world.
Because of our super sketchy email situation I don't have a ton of time this week, but our miracle of the week is pretty good. Thursday as we started trying to figure out how to work in a triple we were out contacting and on this teeny tiny road there was this great big Brasilian man wearing sweats and chains and I felt like we needed to contact him. Sister Larson was on the phone but I was thinking "Big scary looking man... let the new missionary contact him." So Sister Varuçcale starts talking to him and she's just so sweet and nice and funny that he wasn't weirded out at all. Turns out he's just a big teddy bear... that sometimes gets in fights with people. Anyway, we get his number and he says he'll come to church. Well, on Sunday we were waiting for him to show up and we ended up mission the sacrament because of it, but right after the sacrament he shows up and it turns out he was late because he decided to bring a friend to church. :) We later discovered that he actually lives in the Elders' area, but they are in need of investigators anyway. So it was an interesting week, but we still had lots of miracles. Yep. :)
I love you all!
P.S. There's our rainbow view and our little tripla.