OLÀ FAMÍLIA E AMIGOS!!! Como estão?
Wow! This week was absolutely incredible. It seems that each week gets better and better. That doesn´t mean we didn´t have trials, in fact, this week was one of the hardest so far on my mission, but like the scripture in Mosiah 24 says the Lord will strengthen us in times of trial, he won´t take them away, but he will strengthen us to be able to take on the trial and learn and grow from it.And WOW did we have some trials this week, but Heavenly Father sure did bless us… IMMENSLEY.
Earlier this week, Sister Fortunato and I were walking to Volei´s apartment to bring her a cake for her birthday and as we were walking we were giving out contacts and came across this man, Paulo. I started to talk to him and explain that we are missionaries and he got up into my face and started almost screaming and said “I don’t believe in churches!!” and then my companion said “Great! Neither do we. Just one!” HAHA! And after that he got even more mad and started ranting on and on about churches and during this whole thing I was just praying that I could have the words to express what I wanted to express to him and most importantly that I could understand what he was saying in Portuguese (most of the time I only understand about 50% of what people say to me) and for once in my life I actually understood everything he said and once he finished his rant, I opened my mouth to speak not having any idea of what to say but words just started coming out of my mouth and his countenance started to change. Then Sister Fortunato started to testify and at the end made a comment that I had only been in Portugal for 4 weeks and Paulo just stood there with his mouth open, “4 weeks??? And you are already speaking like that??” I clarified that I took a 6 week course before I came so it´s been a lot longer than 4 weeks that I have been learning but he was absolutely in shock… he could not believe it. In fact, I could not believe it. I know that it is not because of my intelligence that I am learning Portuguese so fast, and in that moment especially, I KNOW that it was Heavenly Father. He gave me words to speak and the ability to understand. I then was able to bear my testimony about the gift of tongues and he was completely in awe and continued to stand there with his mouth wide open. And after that he allowed us to teach him on the street for 40 minutes and it was one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever had. A lesson that started out as a ridiculously rude street contact made a complete 360. BECAUSE of the Spirit. The spirit was so strong and was helping me to understand and to speak. It was absolutely incredible. The spirit testified to him that day of what we were teaching is true and that God exists. I am in awe of Heavenly Father EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. I love having the opportunity to share this happiness with everyone around me.
ONE MORE QUICK STORY: We met a Brazilian student this week named Carla and she is absolutely incredible!! Everything we teach her makes complete sense to her and she is absoutely golden- reminds me exactly of Derek in Arizona. HEAVENLY FATHER IS PREPARING SO MANY PEOPLE HERE FOR US IN PORTO. AH! HE IS INCREDIBLE!
Okay now for a hilarious story… Every Wednesday night we have Family Home Evening at the church with our ward so we have a spiritual thought and a game and this week´s game was “Do you like your Neighbor?” and if you aren´t familiar with this game, basically one person stands in the middle and you have people sitting in a circle and the person in the middle goes up to a random person and asks the question “Do you like your neighbor?” and if they say no, they have to explain so they would say “No, I only like people with blue eyes.” And all the people with blue eyes would have to get out of their chair and go find a different chair and if you are the only one without a chair, you are the person in the middle. SO… obviously this is all in Portuguese and people talk so fast and so quiet that it´s so hard to hear what they are saying!! So pretty much every time if I couldn´t hear or didn´t recognize the word I just switched because the game is super fast… SO one time the person said “No, I only like people with hair on their chest” and I had never heard that word before so I just started switching because I figured it´s better safe then sorry and then the whole ward just starts BUSTING UP laughing and told me what the word meant… HAHAHAH WHOOOPSS!!! Seriously my life every day here. It is awesome.
I seriously love being a missionary. It is the best thing in the entire world, EVEN with people throw buckets of water at us from their apartment or literally sprint to get away from us; it is people like Soumitra, Carla, Maria do Céu, and Volei that make it worth it. And the little miracles I see everyday. I wish I had time to tell you all of them but I just want you all to know that I know this is God´s work and that He is absolutely perfect and puts people in our path for a reason. I love this work. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love you all!
Tenham um ótimo semana!!!! AMO VOCÊS!!!
P.S. I FINALLY HAVE PICTURES!!! I HAVE SO MANY THAT I CAN´T SEND THEM ALL THIS WEEK. I WILL SEND THE REST NEXT P-DAY (You can spread them out on my blog, mom) 🙂 ENJOY!! Porto is BEAUTIFUL!
The best part is, all these pictures are literally our area that we walk in everday, but the pictures are just from pday.