This week it's been good, I really like being with Sister Smith, because we are just on the same page with things, honest about stuff and have realistic expectations. We have been making a lot of lyrics up about missionary work to put to Disney songs.
Ward council was really great, they gave each of us someone to work with and were really appreciative of things we were reporting on. For the first time it felt like we were on the same side as the members. Then afterwards bishop talked to all the missionaries and said we were the best he had ever seen and that we shouldn't feel like we are failing if there aren't lots of baptisms, because it's the ward that isn't ready to welcome them in and so he doesn't feel like the Lord will bless us. It was great and helped me feel a lot better.
We finally had a lesson with Teresa, after trying to arrange one for ages. She is just awesome. Her husband and her help at Catholic scouts and it seems like they are just always busy with good things. They're not going to get baptised any time soon, but if missionaries just keep working with them they would be great members some day. We also took a birthday card to Tiago and it was one of the sweetest moments ever. He was so surprised and so grateful and really wanted to come to the bowling activity with the other youth, but had already arranged something. We need to get him to church!
Zone meeting was great, I felt a lot more confident. I had to talk about our purpose (invite people to live the 4th article of faith) and it is great not to worry about the Portuguese so much any more. Elder Johnson our district leader is always very complimentary about it. Two Elders had to practice a baptismal invitation. It was very spiritual, but really long and almost sent you to sleep. Elder Hicks was trying to convey some of the guidance from President about cutting it down. Another Elder had to do a re-practice, but it was just hopelessly long. So Elder Hicks was looking for another volunteer. No one was volunteering and I thought, well I'd do better than that, and it was actually really direct, clear and everyone seemed to think it was good. It is great to feel more comfortable, even though we had 3 native speakers there and another newbie who is pretty good. The sisters did a practice for a church invitation and demonstrated how we need to show it is the Lord inviting them, not just us and used an analogy of someone preparing their house for you and how they would feel if you didn't turn up. We have been talking about church as the Lord's house a lot more since then. Elder Hicks also shared some thoughts about how Satan is working all the time against us, so we literally have to work `harder than hell` to combat him. Definitely room to improve, even though I am starting to enjoy the work a bit more now.
Sunday was a day of miracles. We went to M and F's house again after church. They had leftovers from their daughter's Frozen birthday party! We called on the neighbours we had seen last week, but they weren't in (we actually thought it would be best to leave it a bit) and had prepared brownies to give them instead with the idea to invite them to a FHE. We called on some other neighbours and there were 4 people at home. There was an awful lot of talking - being a missionary is actually a lot like a primary school teacher, in that your job is to get them to be quiet and pay attention to you rather than each other, the weather or the TV. Eventually we were able to start a lesson and it went fairly well (apart from not being able to ask questions for fear they would start off again). A seemed genuinely interested, F was great. He testified of the blessings of the word of wisdom as they laughed at him for not drinking wine.
Then we had to rush back in the car to Viseu and the sisters brought more pamflets for us because we had given ours away and had an appointment with a young man. He actually responds on the phone (I rarely have investigators that do that) and we started teaching him. He has some serious problems, not only with the word of wisdom, but feeling the presence of bad spirits. A recent convert walked by and knew him already and really helped us out with teaching. He has relapsed on some of those things and is a classic 'imperfect' member, which I usually don't like, but from the little I had heard of him, I felt an instant and pure love of Christ. I think it might be the first time I have felt genuine charity!
After that we had agreed to wait for a man until 7:00. It was 7:10, but we felt like we should wait a little longer. Another guy turns up in a car and asks us about the church of the Jehovah's witnesses. We explain where it is several times, but he still has questions. Eventually, he pulls out a card, one of ours, so we explain where our church is, mark an appointment with him and get his phone number. We were really blessed!
Still would like to feel like people are progressing a bit more. There should be a double baptism on Saturday as the Elders and the Sisters from the other ward both have investigators getting baptised. I actually taught one with Sister Fernandes this week. She is just a crazy miracle. They contacted her on the street and straight away she believed everything they said before they even taught it. She testified to us that the Book of Mormon is true and regularly explained the importance of the law of Chastity. She is an example of how we are not really doing anything. All we can do is be obedient and hope the Lord has prepared someone that we will come across. Hopefully, we will be able to get loads of investigators to the baptism and it will be a great teaching experience.