We have taught some good lessons though. One day we took the trip out to Anthanol (requires a bus not covered in our monthly pass, so it's quite a sacrifice!) and visited the parents of one of our members. They were actually there and waiting for us even though we had received no reply from our member. They were really lovely, insisted that we had a snack with them and asked lots of questions, especially as their daughter is getting married and they wanted to know lots about it. They also told us some great stories about the history of Coimbra, like the wife of the King who founded the university, Queen/Saint Isabel, who shaved her hair when her husband died and laid it on his tomb and miraculously turned bread into roses.
We also had a different kind of Ala Ingles. Lina, our German friend, turned up with Portuguese grammar books, so we spent some time perfecting our Portuguese. Then our recent convert Carlos turned up, we made popcorn and watched a Mormon Message about living up to the blessings that God has in store for us. We talked about the film in English, which was really good, especially as we had been trying to catch Carlos at home all week!
Our ward mission leader had this great idea that we would do a training for the members on the 5th Sunday this week. We basically split into groups with one missionary and 3 or 4 members. We then had to practice teaching a lesson with our 'member' to contribute as well and then give feedback on how they did. The two people being investigators the first time had not grasped the concept of their role and were talking about they own conversion stories, or interrupting my lesson to tell me about Joseph Smith (how do you know about him yet?!) It was fairly chaotic, but a great opportunity to get the members more interested, less worried etc. about missionary work.
During Noite Familiar we played mafia and I was the murderer! Yes! Obviously, as normal, there were people who hadn't grasped the concept of the game. This meant it was pretty easy to manipulate people and no one ever guessed me as the murderer. Right up until the final three and we voted off Elder Garcia instead. Oh, the sense of accomplishment!
Anyway, on a spiritual note, I have been reading lots of Elder Utchdorf talks this week, as I an trying to build up a folder like Sister Fernandes´ Elder Holland one. I had remembered the story of the statue of Christ that had been destroyed in World War Two and even though most of it was repaired, the hands were not. The people in the town used this as a reminder that we are Christ's hands. It is amazing to think that we can literally act for him as we develop Christ like attributes. This week we were lucky enough to knock on the door of an old lady who didn't understand a lot of our message, but was begging for us to come back, because she couldn't go to church due to ill health. We didn't share exactly the same faith, but I feel privileged to be able to offer some emotional support for her. This mission is not just about baptising people, but ministering as Jesus would have done, helping people feel closer to him and finding the peace they need. Those are the days that we can be the hands of Christ here on earth.
Love hearing for everyone (even if I am really jealous of my family's trip to Disney land this week!)
Sister Regan xx