Monday, May 4, 2015

Paso e paso & No pain No Gain.....I guess.... :(

A Trio! Sister Smith, Sister Huerta & Sister Madden
Living quarters, guess which is Makelle's!
What is she doing in........Montana?!
(Sister Makelle Smith)
Wow I am here in Montana! It is so different from what I expected but it's starting to grow on me. It was way hard for me to say goodbye to Courtney but I know she will do amazing things in Portugal. On the plane I got to hand out a pass along card to a girl named Marne and that was way neat!
When I first got here we got to meet President Meecham and his wife! We stayed at the mission home for a few days and it was nice to be with my old district for a little longer!
We got to go to the Billings Montana temple and that was so neat! It was really pretty! We then went over a lot of the mission rules and we got our new calls! I have been called to serve in the Billings Montana mission with two other companions Sister Madden from California who served in Costa Rica then Sister Huerta from Tijuana Mexico! I have two trainers and we are over two wards and we are responsible for all Spanish investigators and the Spanish ward here!!! Ahh so crazy I was really scared at first because I know Portuguese. Apparently President Meecham changed me to be with companionship at the last second. He told me I have a maturity about myself that will help this companionship! It is a blessing because I can understand Spanish and we speak Spanish and Portuguese in our apartment! It is weird having a trio companionship but I feel like I am protected when we go tracking haha! I miss Sister Irizarry we were best friends. It is hard to adjust to new companions but I am starting to love them, I am just so different from them.
This is an iPad mission so that has been an interesting change. Our iPads didn't work for a few days and that was interesting because we couldn't even get on the area book. Also our apartment doesn't have WiFi so if we need to get on we have to go to the church.
When we got to our apartment the previous Elders didn't clean! So we cleaned everything so many meat packages in the fridge, so weird :/ haha! We then did weekly planning, the area book is a disaster. No one was scheduled for lessons, so unorganized. If there was a name then there wasn't a phone number and the address would be wrong. It has been frustrating here to find people. But my companions try to cheer me up at every door saying "maybe this will be the person who says yes" haha. Sister Huerta always makes me laugh or gives me a shoulder massage whenever I feel stressed I can tell she cares about me and loves me. She always says the words "destroy and jeepers". And she tells everyone "we don't know nothing about the area." Haha she cracks me up! She always says we will get better step by step!
The members are really good here. They always feed us :) haha. One family and their little boy from Taiwan sang princess songs for us, he wants to be on Broadway. The members are so great it is fun to talk with them! We have had two lessons with investigators one with the Aguilar family! They speak Spanish and the room was packed, they seem super interested and Sister Huerta and Sister Madden did awesome with Spanish. They were grateful for us! I didn't say much but I could understand them. There were probably 8 people other than us there. They brought friends from work! They came to church and that was great. We have another lesson this week with them.
Then there is the Macintire family, older couple. Man they can talk! We didn't even get to our lesson, but they said they trust and respect us so that is good. We have another lesson with them. They have been to all of the churches around here, they said fast and testimony meeting last month was boring haha. They want church to be fun. I didn't know what to say other than "church is for friendships and doctrine not ice cream, bands and astronauts". Cute couple and seems interested though!
We met both wards and they both seem to like us better than the last Elders. I think they just did whatever during the day. It all shows in the area book. I have appreciated my time so far though, it makes me want to leave this area better than we found it. I bore my testimony on faith and missionary work, we also got to teach the New Testament class! They ward members really like us! Paso e paso! I know it will get better here as we keep working! I love and miss you all!

Looking out her apartment in Portugal! 
President Fluckiger & Sister Fluckiger
New companion Sister Johnson
I'm guessing it's Gelato! She couldn't wait for it :)
European pastries! I'm so jealous :o

(Sister Courtney Smith)
So my thoughts are kind of jumbled this week because I have so much going on!!! Well I'm pretty sure I died from the airplanes, I don't want to ever fly again for a long time!!!!
I'll kind of give you a little summary of what happened this week! So I arrived in the airport and President and Sister Fluckiger picked us up and we drove to the mission home! I met my new trainer, we ate a Portuguese sandwich and that was really good!
We had a zone meeting already the next day so we just rode a train to Coimbra and stayed over night with the Sister training leaders! I shouldn't have packed so heavy because we had to drag my luggage all over town! It was so hard to stay awake! It was a rough day..... I was sad because it's not what I was expecting. Then we ate at McDonald's which was nice because I was starving, it made my entire day! They are a lot nicer here! Then we got on a train and had to drag my bags all the way to my new area which took about 4 hours to Viseu! I've been so exhausted this whole time so I just fell asleep! We got to our apartment haha it makes me laugh because it's not that nice but it works for what we need!
Haha my first day contacting, not one person would want to talk to us! One man looked me straight in the eye and started talking and the only words I could make out was satan and church. Haha so I guess he called our church the church of satan! So that happened again our second day which wasn't that fun. On our third day we were walking and my companion Sister Johnson was making a call and we were just sitting on the corner. I didn't really have anything to do and someone was walking by so I decided to say "hello and how are you" to him, well he stopped and we started to talk. We got to a point where I couldn't understand him and luckily Sister Johnson was there and she stepped in and taught him a lesson about the Book of Mormon and the restoration! It was so cool! His name is Andre he is a spiritualist and doesn't believe a lot of the same things but he seemed so interested in what we had to say! He even wanted a Book of Mormon! So just talking to someone here is a miracle and giving a Book of Mormon to him was even better, it just made my entire day! The story doesn't end there though! Later that night there was a little festival and people were singing and cannons were going off. There were a lot of people there so it was a good opportunity to contact so we went back and we saw Andre there in the city! He lives a little bit away so it was cool to see him, but the best part is that he was only holding his Book of Mormon in his hand!! So we talked to him and he said that he had been reading it a little bit! We have an appointment with him today for another lesson!! It's so cool that even from me starting a conversation with him we have a new investigator! He's one in every fifty people we talk to but they are out there! That's the only thing I'm holding on to! I can't understand that well what anybody is saying but I can say hello and start conversations so I am doing as much as I can do at this point!
Well I was able to make it until Sunday and it was fast Sunday! We were able to meet all of the members and they were all so nice! They would give us the kisses on the cheeks! It made me feel so loved!!! So I went up and bore my testimony! I was crying so much and it was hard to think of what I wanted to say but I was able to do it!! It was such a good feeling! Everyone came up to me and told me I spoke perfect Portuguese! Haha so I think I did ok! The only hard part is that I don't know what everyone else is saying! So I just sit there and smile!! I do my best and that's enough for God! My scripture for this week is Helaman 10:4. It talks about dedication. Nephi was so dedicated in serving the Lord and he wasn't able to see immediate blessings but The Lord did bless him. That's who I'm trying to be like right now! I know when we do what the Lord wants He will bless us because we are aligning our life with the Lords! Love you all and thank you for your prayers!

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