Monday, May 18, 2015

Very Adventurous & Starting to Love Montana

P-Day Hike
Sister Doman & Sister Smith
Little church on top of the mountain
Small town, an 1 1/2 hour drive
This cow obviously didn't want the missionary discussions :)
Seriously look at that face! 
(Sister Courtney Smith)
Todo bem?? Well this past week I would say was very adventurous! It just flew by so fast! Well I´ll start out with spiritual things and then go into the funny stuff. Well A* has been progressing! He knows that he wants to be baptised and we asked him if our goal for June 2nd was still good but he didn`t say anything. We asked sooner or later? He said that we would find out! What a jokster!
We taught another lesson to a man from Africa. He's in his 20's and is here for work and school. We had the first lesson this past week and it went perfect and I think that's been our best lesson together yet! He said he was really interested in reading the Book of Mormon to see if it's true! I love how our gospel traces back to the BOM because if that isn`t true nothing is! But when we feel the spirit and feel the joy that comes in our life when we do read it, we can have a testimony for our self that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that we have living prophets today!
We have just been doing lots of contacting and its been getting really hot. I´ve learned that I´m not here for myself, I'm here to find people who are ready for the gospel! I just have to keep telling my self that and stay positive! If there is any negativity that's when I start feeling sad or frustrated.
OK ready for the funny things? So first funny thing that happened this week was that there was a big Fatima parade. Fatima is one of Portugal's saints and apparently she came down from heaven and blessed children in the city Fatima. They ALL worship her! Its actually really creepy!!! Anyways one night we walked around the corner and at a church the whole street was jam packed with people all praying to this big statue of Fatima!!! Sister Johnson and I just looked at each other and were creeped out!! So we started to walk the other way to get away from it and we ran into and talked to a crazy guy! After him we kept walking and Fatima was following us! They were carrying the statue around the city with candles and singing chants!! We started running and ran into another one! Hahahaha we just kept saying apostasy is literally chasing us!! It was a pretty funny night!
The next thing that happened this week was we ate with some members. They were so nice to feed us. I´ve definitely learned my lesson to eat very slow!! They always ask you if you want more and even if you say no they just say "So um mais!" Only one more! Until you eat more!! The nice part about being new is I get to just sit back and listen to conversations and if I don`t know what they are saying, I just smile and they start to laugh. So even if I can´t say much at least I'm making them smile.
Another thing that happened was there was a really big soccer game here in Portugal and I think it was the playoffs! There are two rival teams Benifica and Porto. Well they had tied in their previous game, so they played a different game to see who would win it all. Anyways Porto lost and Benifica tied so that made them the winners! All the sudden in the streets everyone starts honking their horns!!!! People all come out of their houses to the center of the city and just start singing and honking and shouting about how Benefica won! It went on for three hours! People were standing on the fountains with flags, fire, fireworks, and everyone was just chanting! It was really entertaining to watch but we did no contacting that night! It was fun to see how big into soccer they are here!
The last thing that happened this week was that we went on a hike to a waterfall. It was really pretty but I'm pretty sure I'm the worst hiker ever. Oh well it was a blast! Even though I'm not by the sea I'm still enjoying a different country in Europe. Things are just moving a long here with our investigators but I'll let you know about any baptisms. Love you all!!!

Out doing the work

That is one monster Montana tree!
(Sister Makelle Smith)
This week has changed my perspective as a missionary! God is here with me and I have felt Him. It was just what I needed to keep pushing forward!
We taught a woman V* she is possibly the sweetest lady I have ever met! She is so golden and so ready for the gospel. She said that the Lord has answered her prayers and led us to her! She accepted the invitation for baptism and is on date for June 11th! So amazing, what a miracle. In my first area too! Wow the Lord is with us and is truly guiding us!
One night Sister Madsen sat down with me and talked about the feelings I was having being scared, stressed and alone. When she was serving in Costa Rica before she came here she said she had all the same feelings! She talked with me about her experiences even when it was hard for her to tell me because she is very shy. It meant the world to me that she talked with me. It helped me know that we are all on the same team here. God knew she would be able to help me at that exact moment and I am grateful for that!
I've been reading the New Testament with the Book of Mormon every morning and my faith is growing!! I know that through them both we can become closer to God. I know that for sure now!
We got to eat at CafĂ© Rio and Texas Roadhouse this week, so good! I tried not listening to the country music it was sooo hard! Country music is something I miss a lot. So that was fun!
I had an interview with President Meecham this week. It was so good. He said I was in this companionship for a reason. I am supposed to be the leader even though I'm the one being trained. When he said that my perspective changed about my companionship and that I needed to step up and be the role that President wants me to be! He said I have qualities that were meant for a mission. He says I have a vision of what Billings could be and I make it happen. He said when he prays he feels a sweet feeling about me and that the Savior knows me and loves me. I had been struggling feeling the Saviors love but when he told me it hit me like a rock! I know the Savior loves me and I shouldn't ever doubt it! He said I will go through trials here and after my mission I wasn't prepared to face but through the atonement the Lord will help me get through it and feel His presence. He said you were meant to lead. Your smile shows kindness and love to everyone you meet. I don't expect you to be here longer than 30 days more, so keep you shoulders back head up and do this. You know you can. Wow, my President is so awesome. I was scared of him at first but he knows the Savior so well. What an example and leader he is in my life!
I have met so many people here who are addicted to drugs and drinking. They all say "I had big dreams for myself but look where I am". Wow the gospel has such a huge affect in our lives we sometimes just can't see it!! I am so grateful for the life I have been given, I am so blessed. I want to help others feel that in their lives. I gave a talk this Sunday about the importance of marriage and family! I can't wait to have this for myself! But more importantly this is why I'm here because I knew a family out there needs the gospel and I want to be the one to give it to them!  We were able to.....
There is a less active woman whose husband is Buddhist. He said that religion is just man claiming it to be true, then walked away. We showed this women "The Because He Lives" video and I was able to bear testimony to her why the church is true. And it is because it's not exact knowledge but we can know by the way we feel! I know this church is true with my whole heart not only because of the blessings I have received but because I have felt it in my heart. Through the spirit we can know that it is true and this is available to every man on the earth!
I'm starting to love Montana as I am getting more comfortable here. I love the colors of the homes. All super small but crazy colors. Courtney would love the teal homes here. I like the pink and peach homes. They also have a lot of gardens and flowers here! There are also a lot of old trucks, I love that! It can be beautiful everywhere if you look for it.
I fasted for my companions and I have received this witness of the Holy Ghost that we just need to take that step of faith first and the Lord will lead the way for us! I can't say how much I love the gospel with my whole heart!! I can't wait to see what this next week brings! Keep the faith<3

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