Monday, February 29, 2016

"It's like dejavú... like I've been here before..."

Sometimes the weirdest things happen at transfers. I thought I was headed up to Viena do Castelo or down to Santarém. I knew I wasn't going to stay in Leiria but I definitely had no idea that I was going to serve in the same area twice... now the trick is to guess where I'm serving. I'll give you a really BIG hint...

Yes sir! I am serving once more in the grande old city of Viseu! Same ward, same area, same nasty old apartment, but everything's definitely not the same! It's completely different when I was here a year ago... okay... it's not actaully all that different... I'm just a lot different than I was a year ago. :) Hooray! It's kind of fun being in my first area again. Oddly enough I still remember all the member's names, all the road names, and I recognize almost all the people on the road.... It's a little scary. I can't say the same for all my other areas. I remember lots of things, but Viseu is carved into my memory. :)

I'm a pretty lucky kid. Some of the élderes in the office are my friends and even though technically they're not supposed to tell us anything about transfers before the official calls, they called to give me warning to pack my bags. ;) Then, at about 22h30 Monday night, Élder McColley, one of the assistants, called to tell us what our transfer assignments were because our whole district got shaken up and because of that we got to find out a day early. Élder Orozco is training a native in Leiria, Élder Ricci went up to Peso da Régua to take over the area when his companion goes home, Élder Tobler is training in Figueira da Foz, Élder Ward is training and opening an area up in Braga, Síster Lyman in still in Leiria and now being trained by Síster Smyth (funny side note: in the Porto Mission there are three sisters with the last name Smith. One other served here in Viseu after me, and we all served in areas in Gaia at the same time... weirdness... ), and then there's little old Me. I'm serving in Viseu 1A and I'm a Sister Training Leader.  I like the part about being in Viseu again. When they told me I was going to be a Sister Training Leader I called them back and told them that I didn't want to be a Sister Training Leader because that's a job that's way too stressful and Sister Training Leaders tend to all go crazy... the elders in the office just laughed and said that in the meeting to decide the transfer assignments that's why Presidente Amorim put me back in Viseu as the STL.... because apparently I have a reputation as being a "calm and collected sister".... right. I don't know what makes them think that I'm call and chill and collected, but whatever. Tomorrow we're taking a bus up to Porto and on Wednesday we have Mission Leadership Council. then we have to plan the zone meeting on Thursday... yup. That is life now. :)Anywho... my new companion is my favorite English sister in the entire world: Sister Regan. I love being her companion. I have wanted to be her companion since we had our first division together a few months ago. I'm slowly turning English because we have 3 English missionaries in our district: Sister Regan, Sister Fernandes, and Élder Short. We're all going to be speaking really weird English and eating strange English things by the end of this transfer. :) It's going to be an adventure. 

On Monday we had our p-day in Leiria and then on Tuesday we had our district meeting and riht after it ended we all took Élder Ricci to the bus station and we sent him on his way. Biggest miracle ever: after leaving the capela we ran into Izarete, our investigator who was supposed to get baptized a few weeks ago. He never showed up to church and we couldn't get in touch with him. We ran into him next to a kebab stand and he told us that his work schedule had put him working really late, but that he could go to church the next few weeks and that he had already looked at his work schedule and figured out when he would meet the qualifications for baptism. He felt so badly for missing church and then he had made all his own baptismal plans to surprise us. If we hadn't run into him, I wouldn't have gotten to see him again, but Heavenly Father is really sweet and sometimes lets us get to know how things work out. :) Then we got lunch and I packed my bags (probably the sketchiest packing job I've yet done). I didn't have a ton of time to really organize and balance the weight in my suitcases so when the elderes were carrying my suitcases to the bus stop Élder Ward told me, "You know Síster Smith, you might want to consider leaving the baby elephant behind next time." Woops.... :) Hooray for wonderfully nice elderes who haul my suitcases around for me. Sister Lyman and I were together on the bus from Leiria to Coimbra and while she slept I called and said goodbye to people, but after saying goodbye to a couple of investigators I decided to say goodbye to the Bishop's wife and I lost it and just started crying so I decided I wasn't going to say goodbye to anymore people. I switched buses in Coimbra and I went alone to Viseu while Sister Lyman went up to Porto to meet up with her companion. 

The buses never got to Viseu on time, let alone early, but this time the bus got there 20 minutes early. It's an outdoor bus station so I was just standing alone for about a half hour when I finally saw sister Regan coming with a group of people. I was so happy to see them all, and then I turned around and I looked at the other entrance to the bus stop and I saw that half the ward was there to greet me. They had been up at Conselho da Ala and when they heard that I was the new sister they came down to the bus stop to get me. I was so happy and it made my little heart melt. :) It's pretty hard to find a happier person than Sister Smith these days. Sister Regan told me that the apartment was getting work done on it with plastering and plumbing work so I was pretty excited. Then, as we got home our night got more interesting as we discovered that there has been a flood in our apartment that had flooded the entire building. :) I have a video of us just laughing as we got into our apartment. It was a fair bit of work cleaning up all the water and talking to some of the neighbors, but in the end it all worked out. The floors all needed to be mopped anyway. :) Then I got sick and I spent a couple days in the house throwing up... it's all good fun. 

We're currently teaching a family that I contacted a year ago and we're also teaching a few jovens that live in Povoa de Abraveses. We're working in areas that I had never worked in when I was here last time, so it's pretty fun. It's the same area but it's all new to me as well. :)

All the great adventures happen in Viseu. That's for sure. As I was typing the paragraph above the internet in the little internet place cut and we sat and waited for a while but then we decided to head up to the capela just to send the emails off. So aren't you all just lucky that I decided to write the big email first thing instead of writing little responses to everyone. :) 

I love you all! Remeber that the day starts best with the Book of Mormon and that if you miss a day you need to start over and just keep going with it. Also, don't forget to write in you journals... there's no point in going on adventures if you're not going to write them down. :)

Sister Smith

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