We were really excited to teach Raquel, because it is the first time I had an appointment scheduled with bishop and we knew she wanted to be baptised. Of course, we had to wait ages for her adopted parents to arrive (bishop suggested we leave and try another day, but I assured him that the same problem could occur, as it depends on when customers leave their café). We had a very powerful lesson about faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. Raquel reinforced her desire to be baptised (although this time we found out that she had spoken to a member who said there was no rush - a feeling I used to share before I witnessed how quickly people can loose those good feelings they have about the gospel when they don't act on them) which was a little disappointing. No one else had prayed about the question we had left to ask God whether this church was true and they should be baptised. Then some how we lost all control of the lesson! Portuguese people love to talk, especially members and when they start (uninvited by us) there is no stopping them. Bishop went into a long discussion with Albino about the Holy Ghost and nearly every responsibility various people have in the church and we could see everyone else falling asleep (because it was late and they still hadn't had dinner) and we knew we had lost people. We managed to get out of there before 11 o'clock and bishop praised us for having broken the record of latest missionaries home (oh, I wish that was the latest I had ever got home!) which was pretty ironic as he had done all the talking. We were disappointed not to have managed to set a date with Raquel for her baptism, but hopefully we will be able to work out a good one with her soon.
We had a an interesting experience with referrals this week. We had received a reference that Fabricia wanted a Book of Mormon a while ago. We had contacted her and made some appointments, but she had never been able to make them and the last time we had gone round someone told us she wouldn't be back until September. So, we decided to go round there when there was nothing else to do. The day before we had received another reference for Nathane, but she had neither picked up the phone nor responded to a text. We were thinking of calling the Elders that had passed the reference on, but were giving her a bit more time. When we turn up at Fabricias she opens the door (always a miracle!) and we meet her sister Nathane! It was great to tie up those loose ends. It was a little confusing at first what Nathane had been taught, but she is Reading the Book of Mormon and seems interested, so hopefully we will be able to keep working with her. Fabricia however, doesn't want to talk about Jesus. You really do just have to try everything and not get discouraged when things don't work out, because eventually some do.
I had a super time on divisions with our sister training leader in Gumirães. It is the oldest (literally) and probably most beautiful city in Portugal. We were just so happy all day, because we were working and you really do feel good when you are doing what you are supposed to, whatever the results. Luckily the results were awesome that day. We were let into a massive block of flats during the middle of the day (normally one of the hardest times to work) and met 3 people that let us teach them. The last one we just knocked her door because we didn't want to leave one left on the floor, even though we didn't really have time and thought no one would answer, but she was really interested in coming to church and seeing what it is like! We also met a typically crazy Portguese old lady that firstly couldn't open the window because she wasn't dressed, then explained her several near death experiences to us that were the foundation of her faith and then let us into her house where there was a light that kept flickering on. It always came on when we talked about baptism and she seemed to agree that this was a sign, but she didn't like the sound of getting baptised again and in the end enjoyed talking at us more than listening to us. It was really great being with someone super motivated and really positive about our teaching strategies and always having the same ideas.
Oh - we have the mission tour this week with Elder Zwick, so have been on super tidy house keeping (we got the highest accolade gold star this week from Sister Roque – what a turn around from her last visit!) which is good, but kind of intense. Sister Smith also asked me to play for their musical item at the conference, which I was happy to agree to, but am now kind of scared! It was another miracle that when the zone leaders asked her if they were singing in Portuguese and she said no and they told her to find the music in Portuguese, I had magically brought the exact music she was planning to use in Portuguese in my weekend bag (it just lives there for some unknown reason!) What blessings!
I absolutely love the hymn Oh Say what is Truth - it is great that the Portuguese people know it better than we did in my ward back home. It certainly is the most precious thing we can find and requires a serious search on our part to find it for ourselves. No one can give it to us, I can't plant the knowledge I have into someone else's head, we can only give them the treasure map. I hope you are all using the best sources for your exploration of the precious possession that is the truth.