Monday, November 30, 2015

Contacts... lots and lots of contacts

Well, since I didn't get the chance to really do a very good email last week... I will give you all the Reader's Digest version of the last two weeks.

Two weeks ago on Moday I was not feeling so great. I wasn't feeling too great and then it got worse during the day. Then we took a bus out to Batalha to do a noite familiar with the Bishop´s family and as we were walking to their house I got super sick. The Bishop´s wife was pretty concerned about me... I'm pretty sure I looked like death. It was great. They joke about it with me every week now. :) The next day we had the best Conselho da Ala that I have ever been to. Bishop was in a really good mood and it was really good. Last Friday we were getting ready for a ward activity and we were inviting all of our investigators to go to it. We walked out towards Quinta da Alçada to invite Fernanda e Vitor to come and normally Vitor doesn't really like listening to us, but this time he actually stayed and he listened to us and afterwards he told Fernanda that he wanted to go to church. Hooray! On Saturday we had our ward activity... it was a Magusto. Basically, a magusto is when you get a bunch of Portuguese people together and they roast chestuts and play the ward members loved it. :) We had a couple of investigators and they had a good time. Sister Larson and I thought it was super funny. I've never seen a game of Bingo be so intense before. On Sunday Elder Moreira came and spoke in our sacrament meeting. He talked about how the Book of Mormon doesn't talk about picnics and fun things, but how it contains stories about suffering. He then talked about how life is not meant for picnics and fun things, but how the stories in the Book of Mormon help us with our real problems and help us to become like Christ. It was a little depressing in the beginning but once he started talking about the Plan of Salvation it all started to make more sense and the Spirit made it all make sense. 

And those are the stories from two weeks ago...

This week...

We've decided that we are going to do 50 contacts every day So far we have been able to get it. In the beginning it was hard to be constantly stopping everybody but we finally starting getting the guts to stop big groups of people and talk to all of them... Everybody. It was really crazy how we've been able to do it though. On Thanksgiving we literally had crazy stuff happen and our plans changed. We ended up helping this little old member clean the chapel. At first we were thinking " We're going to lose time to contact" but we realized that this little old lady was not going to be able to clean the whole capela on her own. We helped her and I cleaned the chapel. It actually turned out to be a super spiritual experience and when we finished we only had and hour and a half before our next compromisso. We didn't know how we were going to get 50 contacts done, but then as we got into the centro we saw more people in the park than we have ever seen there before. We decided to stop all the big groups and do a special "thanksgiving" contact. It worked really well with all the Jovens and it helped us get the courage to stop groups of 5 or 10 people. It was actually so much fun. It was one of the coolest experiences of my mission and I never imagined that I would ever be stoppin groups of 12 people and talking to all of them about the gospel. It was fun though. And we got all our 50 contacts done. We actually did 52 that day. :) The next day we did 56 and the day after that we did 73. :) We're talking to lots of people about the gospel. We're getting better at our contacts and we're finding new people... which is great because we need new people to teach. Now we just need to start teaching all these people. 

Yesterday in church I gave a talk about Christ and His love. I didn't prepare any notes or anything. I just read talks and scriptures about Christ and charity and then I got up and I started talking. I actually like giving talks that way. Preparing thoroughly so that I have things in my head that the Spirit can use and then teaching and being a real person instead of getting up and in a monotone voice reading off a sheet of paper. The members actually paid attention and I felt the Spirit. I talked in one part about how Dad is a really good example to me and I made a comment in the beginning "Eu gosto muito de meu pai" and the bishop behind me started joking and saying, "No... really? That's not normal." It was funny. We didn't have any investigators in church. Giovana's mom has started ignoring us and she is actually moving to Fátima so we don't have any way to get in touch with her. We're praying really hard that we will find a way to get in touch with Giovana and Jaqueline. If we can't get in touch with them we've lost our marcada so please include Jaqueline and Giovana in your prayers. 

I'm doing great. I'm pretty happy. I'm not sleeping super well but I'm happy. I have some good shoes now. They are super duper ugly and I never would have worn them before the mission, but they are so comfortable that I don't even care. :)

Right now in the Book of Mormon I'm in Éter. I like reading about the Brother of Jared. He's a really good example of faith and just trusting in God. 

Have a lovely week and don't forget that It's Christmas time now! Remember the reason for the season!

Com amor,

Sister Smith

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