Monday, February 8, 2016

Feliz Carnival Família!

Olá família! Como vocês estão? Eu não consegui fazer email na semana passada mas não faz mal. Fizemos muitas coisas divertidas mas agora não tenho a vontade de falar sobre todas as coisas que fizemos.... preguiça. :)

I can't even remember off the top of my head really well everything that happened. Two weeks ago on p-day we went to Leiria Shopping with our district and then at the end of the day we had a lesson with this really interesting lady named Maria. After the lesson we went up to the capela and the élderes were all up there. We decided to play a prank on them and it was so funny... probably one of the proudest moments of my mission actually. They were turning the lights off to leave the capela and then we kept turning them on as they tried to leave. They were confused in the beginning but then by the end they were pretty scared. The last time we turned the lights back on we heard the élderes outside yelling "Let the sísteres do it! Just leave and tell the sísteres to come turn off the lights!" We didn't like that very much so we started making lots of noise and outside the élderes were actually really scared. We opened up some of the blinds in a window just enough to see the élderes but then they saw us and they got really scared because they just saw these shadows insd«ide the capela. They called Pablo to come and help them and then they went through the whole capela to find the "big guys" who were in the capela. We jumped out and scared them and they all screamed... we were laughing so hard. I have never laughed that hard in my entire life. The élderes were so embarrassed and they told Pablo to tell everyone that there were big Tongan men in the capela that they fought off.... but really it was just us. That was the biggest, funniest thing that happened. 

We have been teaching Neuza for a little while now. She is really cool and she wants to be baptized so badly but she and her boyfriend are living together and they have three kids so she can't be baptized until that Law of Chastity issue gets sorted out. She's been reading in the Book of Mormon everyday though and she says that she sees the examples of some of the members and just from seeing their lives change she knows that there is something special about our church. She said that she doesn't know for sure that our church is the one true church, but that she does want to get baptized. When we talked about temples with her she asked us where the closest one is and how she can go there because there's something about the temples that makes her feel really good and she wants to go inside and feel that peace.

Annecy is the futebol player form Gabão (in English it's Gabon) but we turned him over to the élderes this week. They're teaching him now. We sat in on the last two lessons they had with him. he's a really special kid and you can just feel that he is really special to Heavenly Father as well. He is really curious and he feels something different about our church. He said that he carries the pass-along card that I gave him in his wallet so that it's always with him to remind him that there is truth on the earth again. He came to our first lesson two weeks ago with a notebook full of notes that he had taken as he studied in the Book of Mormon. Élder Orozco went to Porto and brought back a French copy of Le Livre de Mormon and Annecy has been studying a lot more now. However, in the last lesson he started bringing up all these scripture references on typical controversial topics such as racism and priesthood and stuff like that... we were kind of wondering if he was looking at anti-mormon sites and then out of nowhere he whips out a Brigham Young quote about blacks and we knew for sure that he was looking up anti-mormon stuff. I remember a couple of years ago when I got caught up into looking at and looking for anti-mormon stuff on the internet that I found a lot of the stuff that Annecy is bringing up now. If he would just do the things we ask him to do he would be able to get the answers to his questions and he wouldn't have all these doubts, but until he decides to ask God instead of trusting in the internet he'll never get the answer he needs. We're planning on a doing a lesson with him about the Book of Mormon and talking to him about how he'll get his answers and about his intentions... I guess we're going to try to help him understand the whole part about "real intent" and how there are things that he has to do to actually receive his answers. 

We had rought time getting in touch with Izarete. We missed an appointment with him and then he missed an appointment with us because of his work schedule, but one day we were working in a different area and I just felt really strongly that we needed to go to Izarete's house righ then. We went and he was at home with his wife. We reviewed the lesson about the Restoration with him and we used pictures to show him and explain as we bore our testimonies and then we marked him for BAPTISM!!! He made his own plans for how he was going to get to church and how he would make it work with his work schedule so he's going to be baptized on the 21 de fevereiro. He is just the nicest, quietest person you could ever meet. The only problem is that he's afraid of giving us the wrong answers and he doesn't ever actually tell us what doubts he has so we're going to have to try to continue developing trust with him so that he feels comfortable enough to continue let us help him resolve his doubts. It will be good though. :) I'm excited. 

Then I got sick with grippe and the Sister Ashby from teh office told us to take a sick day so that we could get better faster and work better the rest of the week. We cleaned up the storage closest in our house (which I call the "Sala da Morte") and now it's beautiful and organized. I love cleaning. We took out 12 bags of garbage that day but our apartment looks wonderful now and it's so nice to come home at the end of the day and to see it so organized and clean. I'm pretty proud. 

We also found an old investigator named Silvia and her dad Miguel is currently visiting from Moçambique. We went over and we discovered that he's been meeting with the missionaries in Moçambique in Beira and that he loves the missionaries. We didn't go by for a couple of days and he said that he could feel a difference in the time that we weren't there at their house. He said that the élderes in Beira always come over and clean his house and they get him to come to activities at the church, but that they never talked to him about the Book of Mormon or about baptism... so we talked about the Book of Mormon with im and we invited him to be baptized. He accepted so when he goes back to Moçambique we're going to send his reference to the élderes in Beira and we're going to help him get ready for baptism. He told us that he wants to send us pictures when he gets baptized. He is the happiest little lld man without teeth. :) He's really nice. 

Yesterday we went to Coimbra for stake conference. It was INCREDIBLE!!! We woke up at 6h45 and the whole ward got on a bus at 7h30 to go to Coimbra. It was so much fun. We had the stake conference in the auditorium of the hospital in Coimbra and Élder Axel Leimar from Frankfurt, Germany was visiting. It was the best talk I have ever hear..... EVER. He talked about missionary work and he had all the full time missionaries stand up and then he talked about how just like the members here pray for their children that are serving missions in other places, our parents are praying for us and the Lord expects the members here to answers the prayers of our parents by helping us in our work here. It was the most amazing talk I have ever heard. And Nuno Ferreira did the translation into Português... it was the best translation I have heard in my whole mission. Then, I got to see all the members from Viseu and they still remembered me by name and they couldn't believe that it has already been a year since I was in Viseu. Rute wasn't there but I did call her so it was pretty nice. It was really cool to talk to her because she has officially been a member for 1 ano! 1 ANO! That's crazy that a year has already gone by. It was so nice to see them all and to talk to them all. Even Odete Paiva remembered me and she was so happy that I remembered her name! I just have a great big family now. :) I just love so many people here. The Português people are the most wonderful people in the world and my heart is spread out all over this little country. What a wonderful thing the mission is. 

Last night we were at Pablo and Nanda's house for dinner after stake conference and this couple showed up with their little baby. Nanda didn't go to stake conference because she's getting ready to have her baby and she couldn't go on the bus. While we were all gone she stayed home and they live right next to the capela. Well, this guy named Ricardo who was baptized about 3 years ago but has been inactive for 6-12 months decided yesterday that he was going to go to church. He got there and the capela was locked and the lights were off so he called Nanda and she invited him to dinner. They came over and it turns out that they are Ricarda e Cláudia.... Siser Larson and I tried so hard and we tried for so long to try and get in touch with them and then all of a sudden they decided to show up to church all on their own. Cláudia and their four kids aren't members so we were able to get an appointment to go and meet with them and we're going to teach the whole family. We can contact thousands of people in the street, but the biggest miracles are when people choose for themselves to find the truth and stick with it. It was amazing and I just sat and talked with them the whole night. They are an incredible family and I'm excited to start teaching them. 

Last p-day we just hung out with the stake presidente's son and today we went to the mosteiro em Batalha and now we're hanging out with the élderes and the stake presidente's son again. We are pretty chill people this transfer. Yup.

I'm almost done with my cover-to-cover study of Pregar Meu Evangelho (Mreach My Gospel) and I wish that I had studied it more thoroughly through my whole mission.... it's got lots of good things in it... wow. Who would have thought? :) I'm also currently making next transfer's planners for everyone in my district.... they are the most amazing (and probably the most consecrated) planners in the whole mission.... if I do say so myself. I'll send a picture of them next week. 

I think this email is probably one of the longest emails I've ever written, but that's okay. I like having enough time to talk about our investigators. They're just the most wonderful people in the whole world... and the members. I love the members too. I didn't know it was possible to love so many people.... the mission is a wonderful thing. :)

I love you all and I hope that you remember to read in the Book of Mormon every day. It might not seem like something important, but the Lord told us that we need to do it and if we'll take just a little bit of time out our lives to give Heavenly Father a chance to teach us He will work the biggest miracles in our lives. I've seen it in myself and I've seen it in other people and I know it's true. It's a lie to say that reading the scriptures isn't important. It makes all the difference in the world. 

Amo vos!

Sister Smith

P.S. The pictures are of us with Élder Leimar yesterday (that awkward moment when Sister Lyman realized that her ex-boyfriend is the nephew of Élder Leimar.... that was funny) and then us today at the monastary in Batalha. We're so cute. 

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