Olá gente!! Tudo bem?
WOW! This week was one of my favorites… I feel like I say that every week but I am seriously LOVING it here in Leiria. The members, our investigators, our area EVERYTHING!
This week was a week where we asked ourselves the question “What would Christ do?” almost everytime we had a decision to make (which is literally like every two seconds) and what a difference it made in our work here and especially in my growth. I feel so much closer to Christ because of it.
The past couple weeks we have been praying a lot for a way we could grow closer with our ward and help the work develop here and we are finally starting to see the fruits of our labor this week. We started a family home evening every single thursday night with the members and our investigators and we had about 30 members show up (we only have about 70 members)… INCREDIBLE! They are getting super super excited about the work here in Leiria! I have such a strong testimony that missionary work is a billion times more effective with members and that members are crucial to our success at helping the members be truly converted to the gospel. I seriously love our members. They are so supportive (small in number but strong in spirit) and we are having a devotional with the members in the next couple weeks all about missionary work AND a LUAU!!! SO PUMPED!!!
This week one thing we really wanted to improve was looking for more service opportunities and how we can serve people in other ways than teaching. (In the past we had 1 opportunity to do service becuase no one ever took us up on our offer) This week we prayed every single day to find more service opportunities and on Monday, one of our members called to ask if we could help her mother in law move out of her apartment the next day… Two days later we were visiting a member in an area about 40 minutes away walking from our house and so we decided to stay in that area and search for people from the area book and as we got to the last reference we were walking into the apartment complex and noticed two women standing there with moving boxes and asked if they needed help and they politely declined but we insisted and said “No. We really want to help. Let us take them” So we started taking the boxes from them and they just stood there shocked and said “Wait. Seriously? You want to help us? We would love your help!” YESSS!! So we start carrying the boxes up the stairs to the apartment and the old lady whose apartment it was just starts kissing and hugging us and asked “WHO ARE YOU?? What teenagers walk around all dressed up offering to help an old lady move?” Hahaha we explained who we are and she goes “OH MY GOODNESS! HOW WONDERFUL!! Where is your church??” We explained where it was and she said “I´m coming next Sunday. What time?” Then she turned to her friends (there are about 4 of them) and said “Are you coming with me?” They all agreed super excitedly! It is seriously incredible the effect that just merely helping someone for about 30 minutes has. She saw us as literal representatives of Jesus Christ. Because we were striving to do exactly what Christ would do, we were able to help in ways that we haven´t had the chance to before. Heavenly Father definitely answers prayers. I have no doubt about that.
UPDATE: José is getting baptized this Sunday!!!! He is the man I have been talking about for about 2 months now. He was the one that the day after we met him, he was in church 30 minutes early waiting for us to show up. He is incredible. It has been such a battle with him but a battle that has changed me completely. THIS is why I came. He has changed completely because of this gospel. He went from drinking about 5 cups or more of alcohol a day to completely stopping. I know the Atonement is real. This gospel changes lives. It changed mine and has now changed José´s. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to be apart of this.
I am so grateful to be a missionary and a representative of Jesus Christ here in Portugal. People think we are crazy to leave everything behind for this and that it is such a hard life. But it is absolutely nothing compared to what Christ suffered for us. To think about all the lifes out there that could be saved because of this gospel is what keeps motivating me everyday. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. This message is the best way to help and has an answer and solution for everything.
Tenha uma boa semana!!
P.S. I am going to try to send pictures a little later if we have time 🙂 Sorry! I promise I will be better!