Então, sorry that there was no email last week. Let me begin with a quick resume of last PDAY. We had this great idea to go to Braga (which is beautiful) as a district, so that Elder Boe could choose some super special book binding for his scriptures and we could basically be tourists for the day. First... the elders decided to have an extra long study session so we were late to leave Matosinhos. Second... it takes a really long time to choose exactly how special your want your book binding to be. Third... in buying food we missed the train and had to wait another hour so didn't get to Porto until 6pm and only had 30 minutes to email President and any one else before the end of pday. It was a laugh, but I don't need to do it again!
Transfers.... it was a nail biting wait as the zone leaders decided not to tell me who was my new companion. Luckily sister Gouveia's new companion was happy to give us such information when we called her and I have Sister Sousa! She is an awesome Brazilian with lots of enthusiasm and never doubts any of my ideas, even when we are on the limit of running out of ideas. She is really excited to be learning English as well, so we are having lots of fun. The most important thing - she loves Disney, so we are all set. The rest of transfers was suitably hectic. We headed in to Porto to swap companions, but Sister Coasta was late, so we chatted to a friendly nun for a while in the station. They had to run for the train and I was left alone for like 15 minutes. Now that I know Portuguese it wasn't as scary as in the beginning. We had to pick up her stuff from the office so we got home at like 11pm. In fact I think I have only been home on time once this week.
We organised the baptism for Raquel this week. We were super lucky to work with the ward, so it was a really special day for her. The young women sang a special musical item and I played - TEAM WORK! Her adopted parents were really late, but we waited for them and it was so sweet to see her 'dad' with a tear in his eye - he's the next one of our hit list! Her blessing when she received the Holy Ghost was very personal. It was great to help her take this step and come closer to Christ.
We have been really lucky to be building a good base of people to teach. Daiela and Victor are talking about getting married, Mery loves our calendar to help her stop smoking, we found a really cool Brazilian family in the park, Iva is set to get baptised on the 30th and we are loving door knocking together!
So, this has been another of my favourite weeks. It is basically unbelievable at the moment. We are teaching an amazing Brazilian, Iva and during our 3rd lesson this week she said that she knows the church is true, because it is the only one with prophets and apostles. I have always wanted to hear someone say that. To me it has always made such logical sense - beside feeling by the spirit that the church is true. It is incredible that we give this same message to everyone, but everyone is different and responds in a different way. I just feel so lucky to see the progress she has made and the happiness she has found with the direction the gospel has given her in her life.
And the miracles just keep coming. We were impressed to stop and talk to this Brazilian family in the park last week and invite them to the Hawain party. They were really excited about it and we arranged to meet them to catch the bus together. Now this bus is a little temperamental with me and doesn't always seem to follow the times we have (only this week we were waiting nearly 40 minutes even though one was meant to come every 20 minutes!) so I was a little worried. However, we were blessed with a bus at the right time and turned up just as people were arriving. The party was SUPER! Literally the most fun you can have on your mission. There was lots of music and interesting attempts at following 'Just dance', our favourite less active turned up to support her son who was doing the music and our Brazilian family LOVED IT! Even though we had to walk for ages in the rain, because the buses had stopped running and we had to get to the train station. They were asking about everything and even asked 'do you guys have special classes for people like us to learn more about your church?' - how easy to set up an appointment to see them again. Seriously, it is true that the Lord knows who will join the church and although a lot of the time it feels like we are just wandering around, when we finally bump into them, we know they are ready. Once again I have to say that I know this is the Lord's work and that we are just privileged to be apart of it.
I feel so lucky to live here at the moment. The sea is beautiful - sometimes we just take a break outside rather than in the house to watch the sunset. The members are great - we are getting more references from them with the help of Sister Sousa. We got to stay for the self reliance devotional - the programme is really great - and somehow I accidentally got my companion to be signed up as the facilitator for one of the groups, because I'm more likely to leave before her! Well, at least it should mean a lesson with members each week and should really help our investigators. I'm starting to appreciate the many ways the church is helping people.
Just hoping things continue this way - with a baptism this week and several people we are hoping to mark for baptism, plus General Conference - a spiritual feast on the words of living prophets and apostles. This weekend there is nothing better you could do with your time than watch at least one session.