Week 13: ELDER BEDNAR… SAY WHAAAAT???‏

Ola Familia e Amigos!! Tudo bem?

 YES. You heard me. I GOT TO SHAKE ANOTHER APOSTLE´S HAND AND LEARN FROM HIM. Elder Bednar came last Thursday and it was FANTASTIC! The highlight of my entire life… besides when Elder Holland came. Wow. I am so lucky. 2 Apostles in 1 MONTH!!!
Elder Bednar really stressed listening to the Holy Ghost and not what he said but what the spirit told me is very personal so I will just share my testimony with you of the power of the Holy Ghost. Elder Bednar has knowledge and experience that I do not, and it was the most fantastic opportunity to be in the presence of one of God´s 12 Apostles again and to learn from them. But the most important thing I learned that day was to trust the spirit and realize that the spirit is the greatest teacher, EVEN greater than Elder Bednar. The spirit is the 3rd member of the Godhead and we have this privilege to have the spirit with us teaching us at all times. HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT??
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Outside our apartment
One of the most important lessons I learned this week was the power of the Spirit. During that meeting with Elder Bednar, one of the things the spirit was teaching me was to teach as an equal with my companion, not as a trainee who knows absolutely no Portuguese. We are BOTH called to this area to help God´s children but I don´t trust the Spirit as much as I should. I want to speak but I don´t know how and I have no idea what is going on in a lesson sometimes so I just simply bear my testimony or give the prayer (HOLY COW I HAVE SAID AT LEAST 100 prayers this week because everyone wants to hear the American pray in Portuguese.) But honestly, after I realized this and made a goal for myself to always open my mouth and participate in lessons, I started to understand more during the lesson so that when I opened my mouth to speak, I had some sort of idea of what to say and other times I had NO idea what was going on in the lesson but I opened my mouth anyway and sentences just started coming out. The power of the spirit is real and I will never underestimate God´s power again. I am weak, but He is strong and He promised to help me if I am worthy and open my mouth.
WOW. I love this opportunity to be a missionary. It was absolutely incredible. It definitely has it´s challenging times… especially this week. My companion and I were sick for 4 days just laying in bed. It was terrible, BUT the other 3 days were AMAZING. Last week when we were contacting on the streets, we were on the complete opposite side of the street when my companion and I noticed a guy on the other side and we both looked at each other and immediately just crossed the street. We contacted him and invited him to come to the event with Elder Bednar and he accepted and said he has been trying to find a church but everyone so far seems to have something missing. So we returned the next day and taught him. HE IS INCREDIBLE. We gave him a Book of Mormon and he was so excited to read it and said “How often can you meet? I would like to meet regularly because I have a lot of questions.” UHHH OF COURSE!! It is absolutely incredible. On the busy streets of Portugal, my companion and I, because of the spirit, could find the one person that was wanting to know more. Heavenly Father is absolutely amazing. I am in awe of Him everyday.
MINHA NOSSA! Yesterday was our first day in our new ward (we were sick last sunday) and I LOVE THIS WARD. The members are SO nice and so welcoming. So as Relief Society was starting my companion noticed that we didn’t have a pianist, she volunteered me to play piano… I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT SONG IT WAS UNTIL I STARTED PLAYING. Thank goodness I already knew the song. And it was only a group of like 8 women, so I had no problem. But THEN in Sacrament my companion noticed again that we STILL had no pianist… There isn’t a single person in our ward that can play piano. So once again, I was volunteered and did NOT get to pick the hymns… so I sightread 4 hymns in front of the whole congregation (which is only about 45 people) but STILL. It was an adventure. Thank you mom and dad for insisting that I stick with piano, because I have a feeling I will be playing A LOT on my mission. Hahaha.
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MCDONALD’S IN PORTUGAL–I miss American food
Well, here are just some stats for you all. Every day our Mission Preisdent’s standard is to have 50 contacts a day and I LOVE talking to people. Our goal as a companionship is to do 100 a day because we have seen success from 50 contacts already and the more people we talk to, the greater chance of finding at least one person that is interested. Our daily record so far is 113. Street contacts are my absolute favorite because we meet so many great people and many funny stories! hahaha. It´s so great.
I am going to start keeping a record of how many miles/week we walk and report to you so this week we walked 31.52 miles (and remember we were sick for 4 days) WE WALK SO MUCH I HAVE ALREADY LOST THE WEIGHT I GAINED IN THE MTC. It is crazy but so fun and you get to talk to so many people this way.
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This one if for Sister Sodre: ACAI (my Brazilian comp made it for me)
I just want to share my testimony for you all. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He is ALWAYS there for each and every one of us. He wants to help and is just waiting to help. I know that He is the reason we can have hope and happiness. It is because of Him that I am here in Portugal. His children need to remember what He did for them so that they can have this same hope and happiness. I love being a missionary. I am grateful for all of the support I receive from you all. Keep enduring! Keep praying! Keep trying! He is listening, I promise.
Amo voces!!
Quote of the week: “The great thing about the gospel is that we get credit for trying.” Elder Jeffrey R Holland
This describes my week. THANK GOODNESS for this great news 🙂
Sister Keenan
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One area we go to has the most cats I have EVER seen in my life (besides that one cat lady at the vet, remember that Wyatt?) BUT SERIOUSLY. There are like 10 just in this picture; some are hiding under cars.  Wyatt would be in HEAVEN.
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