Como Estáo!? Another great week here in the Desert of Portugual...BEJA! Haha the temperature is going down but walking around in pants and a tie gets a little hot. Anyway, I´m loving it here. I´m loving getting to know the people, the culture, Beja, my companion, my roomates, and eating Pastel de Nata cada dia. Well as many days as I can haha they are so good! I´ve seen them around before, but the other night this member brought some out that she had made and they were delicious i wanted to eat all of them! Haha
This week we worked a lot and I studied hard. Both the language, what to teach, and how to teach. The language is really coming and I´m trying as hard as I can! Haha my companion says I´m doing good and says I talk to the whole world. Even if I don´t always understand completely what they are saying back. I´ve been really picking up on the words and the accent. It just sounds like a bunch of shhhhing here with the shhhhing of the s but it is such a cool language.
This week I really saw the blessings of obedience. I was really striving to be as obedient as I could to the misison rules and there were so many times we were blessed for doing so. The other night we left the house on time to get over to an appointment and we ran into 2 gentlement from Romania. They stopped us and were super nice. Pedro spoke Portuguese but Daniel not so much. We testified about the Book of Mormon, felt inspired to give them a copy and got their contact information. Yesterday we ended up having the first lesson with them and I know Pedro really felt the Spirit. He said once he felt it was true, he would get baptized, and wanted another appointment. The spirit was so strong and I could see that he was touched by the message we had to share. Just having the faith we can meet with him again and that this is his time to progress.
Another experience was with a gentlemen named José Rocha. We were just walking up a street and saw him sitting under a tree. We felt prompted to go and talk to him. At first, he kinda shewed us away with his hand but as we asked him if we could help him with anything or if everything is alright, he just began to cry. He shared how his wife passed away 8 months ago and shortly after he went blind. He can see shapes and what not but for the most part practically nothing. As we talked with him about our Heavenly Father´s plan for us in this life, and how he will be able to live with his wife again, I too began to tear up. I was so touched and again the Spirit was just so strong. How many 19 year old kids have the opportunity to stop on the side of the road to help an Elderly out? And truly care about him and his feelings? I realized shortly after that this is why I am here. To bless. To help these people of Portugal in their lives. Whether they are going through trials now are will soon be going through trials. Everyone needs that faith in our Heavenly Father´s plan to press on.
Saturday night we again had dinner with Alice and Rose, and Bernaldo. It was Alice´s Birthday which was fun! Simão (the Mission area president) and Tavarez (the Elders Quorum President who has taught plenty of lessons with us) also joined us. Alice had her feast of food again and I was in Heaven. I told her the next morning that I dreamed about her food the night before! Bernaldo is a funny kid so I decided to teach them the Pig Snorting Game! Haha They didn´t really get it at first but towards the end they were all laughing.
On the way home from Alice´s house was probably my favorite part of the week. We were kind of in a hurry to get back in time but as we were walking up an Alley, this girl came out of the door and we could tell she had tears in her eyes. We had to make a decision there on whether we were going to get back on time or help a person out. We decide to walk back a little and continued to ask her if everything was alright. She said she was down, but all was fine there was nothing to do about it. We asked her if we could offer her a prayer for comfort. She told us she wasn´t religious. We then shared how lots of people aren´t, and how that is one of the reasons we are here for 2 years. To help people belive in Christ and come closer to him. We shared how we knew the prayer would help her and she would feel the spirit. She shared how if we really thought it would do something we could offer one. As we offered a prayer I could really feel the spirit and afterwards she was very grateful for what we had done. We left her a picture of Christ with our number on the back if she ever needed anything, and scurried home. What a great experience. Again, why we are here in Portugal. To do everything we can to bless.
This Sunday, for Fast and Testimony meeting, I had the opportunity to share my testimony again. I really tried to use what I had learned this week, both Langauge and what I was feeling spiritually. I shared how grateful I am that Joseph Smith offered his first prayer. That my life would be a whole lot different if he wouln´t have had the faith that God would answer his prayer. I wouldn´t be here in Portugal, my family wouldn´t be as strong, and I wouldn´t have such a happy life with all the blessings. I also shared how when times get hard, I think of my Savior. How in his weekest moments while he performed the Atonement in Gethsemane and on the cross, he thought of me. He thought of each and everyone of us and felt all that we would go through. Being rejected, spit upon, cursed at and laughed at. He did it for us. That we can be forgiven of our sins and attain happiness in this life and the life to come.
Anyway, I really like the branch here. I also love cooking here especially Breakfast. It´s great and we are eating healthy. It was funny though the other day Elder Sanderson, as I was doing dishes, shared how you don´t really realize how handy and useful a garbage disposal is until you don´t have one. I went on to say that it’s kind of like mothers. You don´t really realize how handy and useful mothers are until they aren´t living with you anymore and don´t do your laundry and make you toad in the holes for in the morning. haha Love you mom.
And lastly, the food here is pretty great. I knew I would like it. Food of Europe is money! Today we went out to a place caled Rei de Sabor (King of Flavor) and got some nice chicken Kabobs! They were so good and actually not that expensive. It was the first time we ate out, and we´ve eaten with members frequently but mostly just cook for ourselves.
Anyways, there is a little recap of the week! I’m grateful to be here and excited to see how much more I progress in the next couple weeks and the Next 2 years. Trying to be obedient and recognize the blessings for doing so. I think of our Savior, when he visited the Americas after his ressurection, and how the first thing he taught us was his obedience to the Father, how he drank of that bitter cup. This shows me how important obedience was to Christ, in being obedient to the Father, and if I want to strive to be Christlike, I too must strive to be obedient.
Love you all, Adeus!