Monday, November 2, 2015

We can do hard things & My eyes have been opened!

Portugal's Temple Announced!
(Sister Courtney Smith)
Happy Halloween!! It´s weird to think I won´t be here next year for the holidays! Before I start out this weeks letter I want to tell some funny stories from last week that I missed. The first one is that we taught a woman named Diana and she lives in the yoga studio with all her yoga friends and they all speak English so we totally taught the first lesson in English with a big group of people sitting on yoga mats!! Haha it was pretty interesting! The other funny story is that when we were teaching maria de jesus her son Pedro was going crazy!!! The best way to describe him is a mini Shrek! He had this tube and was blowing in it to make a noise and was putting it right next to Sister Barratts head!!! He will just randomly scream and smile! I will have to take a picture of him next time so you can see what I mean! Haha!
But this week was really interesting! I actually felt really sick! I didn´t know what was going on. Part of me thinks it´s all of the Portuguese food that I'm eating! I really like Portuguese food the only bad part is that my stomach is really sensitive to food with a lot of oil and that´s pretty much how they make everything! So I had to stay inside for a day because I was throwing up. Well I don´t know why but I felt super under the weather that day.
Portuguese is still not easy. A lot of people would think by now it kind of just comes, but the hard part about learning a different language is that the more you study the more you realize you are making mistakes! So you get frustrated when you don´t say things right. This week I for sure felt that. Well we went and taught an amazing normal family that night!!! They have so much curiosity and want to really know if our message is true! Rui, Isabel, their son Rui, and his father in law Augosto! :) We felt the spirit really strong and we are going back on Thursday! :) But because I wasn´t feeling that great I guess I was saying things with a very American accent and Rui just kind of laughed at me and told me how American I am. Idk why but when we got home I just felt really sad because I felt like I was giving all I had in that lesson because I felt so sick. The next day I still felt really sick and sad so I got a blessing from one of our amazing members Ivo! :) They feed us every week and their family is amazing! It was really neat to receive a blessing in Portuguese! I felt so much love and I know that God is happy with the work I´m doing even if it is just an American girl trying her best to speak a different language! I know that I´m really playing a part in Gods work! I immediately felt to much better! It was like the sickness was just taken away from me and my head stopped hurting! I know the priesthood is really the power of God!
The next day we were able to help one of our other investigators receive a blessing as well and she felt a lot better after too :) It was really neat to testify to her after mine that it would help her feel better and how powerful blessings really are :)
We also passed by a member who has cancer and so we felt like it would be good to go talk to her and see how she´s doing! Well we just so happened to go over on her Birthday!!! She was so happy to see the missionaries! I know it was inspiration to go visit her that day :) we brought her a little cake and she was just smiling from ear to ear :) I love helping God help his children! And later that night Sister Rovig in Viseu called to ask for information but then later told me that our other investigators Jorge is going to be baptised the weekend and that he stopped smoking!! :) I knew that was God´s way of reassuring me that I am playing a part here in Portugal! I am so happy to see these people choosing to follow our Savior!
Well Halloween was funny because Portugal doesn´t technically celebrate Halloween! But the kids and the teenagers do! It´s becoming more of a holiday here! But the funny thing that happened was that we taught a guy we found in the road, and he seemed really nice last time, but when we met we started talking about prayer and Jesus but he just stopped and said I have felt so happy ever since last time we talked. We said that´s great! He then said he had been laughing a lot more because of how pretty I was. Then it got awkward! He said I was a princess and the most beautiful girls hes ever seen! So I guess that was my costume for Halloween, a princess :) Hahahahaha we just awkwardly laughed it off.
Last funny story! So we visited a less active member named Virginia. She is so nice and has a really cute cat, but at the end of the night the cat started choking and couldn´t breathe! it was kind of scary but he was fine well the next day in class we talked about prayer and how we should even pray for our animals, Virginia was sitting right next to me and grabbed my arm and starting laughing so hard! She shouted we forgot to pray for my cat last night! The whole class busted up :) I love the little silly moments that happen here! I know that sometimes God asks of us big things to do, if it be trials or maybe characteristics about ourselves that we want to change. I KNOW that God is wanting to help us and will if we let him :) When we are humble and have a sincere heart God will always turn our weaknesses into strengths :) This week was a testimony of that! I like what Elaine S. Dalton said: I can do Hard things! :) I know we all can do hard things with the help of our Savior and his atonement. He lives and the atonement is real, I know it :) I love you and I hope you had a great week!!
(Sister Makelle Smith)
Wow this week my eyes have been opened! I have been learning so much about myself, the gospel, and the things I need to do not only to be a better missionary but a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Geneci and Jair are starting to plan to get married! And Jair is committing to read the Book of Mormon!
Tuesday and Thursday we made a ton of contacts and just started talking to everyone outside! We made our goal this week of 13 new investigators!! Our two new investigators with a ton of potential are Jersey and Mari they are both really awesome, different families but they both are open to really ask God what is true and find what is right! Angelica still wants to be baptized we just need Marcos to want to take her to church! He said that he would pray about baptism and the Book of Mormon. For the first time he prayed by himself at the end of the lesson it was so cool! What progress! Just to see the people pray and start to develop that relationship with Heavenly Father helps me to feel like I am fulfilling my purpose.
For our activity of integration this week we did the Iron Rod. We had this huge rope and a real tree with white bon bons as the fruit. It was a neat activity and everyone loved it! Our investigators Beatrice and Lucas were there! Beatrice has 11 years and her Mom is Maria. One lesson we invited them to be baptized and they said yes! She said from the first time you talked about the Book of Mormon I felt something in my heart and I know it is true. Wow people can really feel the spirit about the restoration. We are finding a lot of people to teach. It is only sometimes they don't understand the importance of scripture study and prayer. So it has been hard to find people with real intent to know the truth or if they just let us give them a lesson because we are two Americans haha.
Michael and Ana are progressing! We read Alma 22 with them about King Lamoni and how he had a huge desire to have eternal life and be born again. They both said that they want that to and they will ask God if the Book of Mormon is true and if Joseph smith was a prophet. Wow it has been so long and now they finally have the courage to ask God what is true. I am so happy that our investigators are now starting to have that desire!! Their mom LaLa, she is catholic and never was open to change but this past lesson she asked how we pray and she wanted to try and see if it works!!
I have been learning about remission of sins. One of our investigators said they believe baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost isn't necessary they can just pray and be completely clean. But the true doctrine of Christ is in the Gospel of Christ  is clear. To truly receive this remission of our sins we need to have faith, repent, be baptized by someone holding the priesthood of God, receive the holy Ghost( participate in saving ordinances) and endure to the end by keeping the commandments of God. As we do these things faithfully and with a humble heart following Christ we will receive a full remission of our sins and be clean. I Know this to be true.
We received a referral this week and we visited her and she said to come back another day. We returned yesterday and her house was completely gone, destroyed. She only had a door left. "Sister Wright- The house is gone". HAHAHA! We make a contact, and they destroy their house! We soon learned that her house flooded so they are rebuilding! Halloween!! Sister Wright and I switched clothes and we were one another, it was fun for the night! There were kids dressed in black screaming, dolces dolces!!! So I had a few caramels and threw them out the window, they all screamed and were happy! So fun! I am grateful to be here with Sister Wright, she is such a great example to me and with her I am truly learning how to be a better person and servant of God!:)

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