Olá meus amigos!
So happy to get the chance to write you guys today. We had an interesting, crazy, fun, spiritual week here in BEJA!
First off, the temperature is rising, and will rise this week and next apparently! It is so hot!! The nights are cool though right now which is nice but the daytime is brutal sometimes. This week, Elder Sanderson flew back home to the United States. The church wants him to return home and receive better medical treatment, so now Elder Sutton is working with Elder Hansen and me! It was a great week having him but a little hard to work in a trio at times. The gospel is supposed to be preached 2 by 2! haha We will see what happens with transfers next week! I was also soooooo EXCITED to hear that Anna Dobbins got baptized. So happy for you Anna and the step you have made in your life. Never forget the spirit you felt with those missionaries hearing the lessons, your baptism, and all that the church has to offer through our Heavenly Father.
Tuesday we had a great lesson with President Rubervale and his wife Chella with a recent convert Antonio (father of Leonel) who is aweomse! They shared about family history and he loved it. Leonel was suppose to be there to plan the next couple weeks for his baptism but he wasnt....he didn´t answer any of our calls as well and didn´t go to church yesterday so he can´t be baptized this Saturday. BUMMED! We will see. Antonio told me he still seemed like he wanted to get baptized. We will see all that happens. Stil have the faith everything will work out! Tuesday, when we got home the Casals here, Brother and sister Robers, dropped off Elder Sutton to us. They inspected our house and told us that if every Elders apartment could look that good, even when we weren´t planning on them inspecting it, they would be so happy! They said it was the best one they´ve seen cleanliness! haha Gotta live clean!
Wednesday I got my soccer on with good ol´Rodrigo! We were doing some contacts in the road and knocking doors and weren´t getting much success. I saw this 6 year old or so just sititng on his soccer ball while his Mom and grandma were talking on the bench! I asked him to pass me the ball but he wouldn´t until his mom yelled to him to pass it! We then started passing and a big smile went on his face. We then walked over and started talking to the mom and the grandma. It is hard with 3, and Rodrigo was just hovering around me, so I decided to play soccer with him while Elder Sutton and Hansen talked, taught and answered questions. Rodrigo was so JAZZED! At first he wouldn´t say a word, but after 10 minutes he was chatting my ear off! We then played a game and everytime he scored he would run over to his mom and tell her how he was beating the american! He beat me 4-1 (I swear it was 4-2; he totally cheated me out of a goal! haha) He was loving it. As this was going on, apparently the mom and grandma had sooooo many questions about our church. The elders said it went well but they wouldn´t give them an address or a number. Just told us to come back to the field and they are here a lot sitting on the bench talking. Although we didn´t get a time set up to talk and teach them again, I know that no work was wasted. Maybe we were just planting a seed. Their experience with the Elders was great. I have faith that one day, missionaries will knock on their door or see them in the street and they will have been prepared by our Heavenly Father to accept our message. I know we were a part of preparing them.
We have had a tough time getting another appointment with Isabel and her family, but we knew that thursday was her daughter Joanna’s birthday! So wednesday night we made her cookies and a card. On thursday, we were walking on the opposite sidewalk of her house, about to cross, and she and all her friends peak out the window and she yells ´´Elders!!´´ We walked over, gave her the cookies and the card and wished her parabems! She was sooo excited for our cookies and just kept laughing with her friends that I made them (or they were just laughing at my accent). She asked if they were good and I responded 'Of course'! She took one cookie and took a little nibble and replied ´´tá bom!´´ and then said ´´mas precisa mais açucor!´´ Hahaha (needs more sugar)
We had some other great lessons with some investigators as well who are progressing slowly, but saturday we had the opportunity to teach Isabel and her famiy again! She said the family loved the cookies and Rita, the sister, kept telling us to bring more with more chocolate! When we got into her house, I was so pumped because one of my first friends was in the house!! João! Friends with MY DAWG ANCHORMAN! I told him to tell good ol´anchorman hi for me but apparently he moved up north! I was so sad!!! Isabel’s Mom was there and as we taught the second lesson, the plan of salvation, they loved it. The mom loved it and kept telling elder sutton how she really liked us and would be there at the next appointment! They are such a great family, all 3 generations. We tried to commit Isabel to baptism but she doesn´t want to rush it. She is just such an incredible person! Hopefully with time. They still haven´t attended the church which has me a little sad. 9.30 on sundays is too early I guess.
We had more lessons with recent converts and less actives as well. I don´t have much time to write about them but they were good! Just trying our best to get the church strong here in Portugal!
A few funny things that happened this week: I accidentally bought the most expensive ham and cheese the grocery story had to offer (I thought I was saying 'least expensive' not 'most expensive' hahahah); we were going to be late getting home again and I heard these girls yell across the street to us, asking in Portuguese if we were running from the cops hahaha; AND then Elder Sutton, being a member of a family of 5 boys as well, knew what RICE KRISPIE TREATS are! haha Not your generic rice krispies, but the TREATS version that is MONEY! And finally, we aw this Gangham-style flashmob of singing and dancing this Saturday in the center street in Beja. It was bumping!
Love you all. Until next week! This church is true. I have no doubt about it. I am so honored to be trusted with this great work! Miss you guys!