Date: January 4, 2016 at 6:44:03 AM MST
From: Lee Holmes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Feliz Novo Ano para Vocês! This week was a little random at times with the new year, and with people partying and on holidays! Anyways, This week we taught Domingos and Maria English monday night and got to know them a little better. They are a couple who has been waiting to get married, got their papers to get married, but then Maria didn´t realize that her citizenship expired, so she has to renew it before her marriage papers expire the 21st. If that doesn't happen, she will have to renew her citizenship, then reapply to get married, which will take several more months. What a headache! Just trying to teach them once or twice a week, Domingos goes to church every week, Maria off and on, has been like this for a good amount of time. They just need to get married and baptized!
Anyways, the rest of the week, we entered a couple of houses and taught. Taught this family that we sang christmas carols to during christmas time, Vera and Carlos, who have kids that are younger, and they really seemed to like it. Challenged them to read the book of mormon chapter about christ in the americas and she said they would! We had another appointment with them on saturday, planned with a member, but when we got there, they weren´t home! Bummer. Well it happens. When we passed by later that night the husband said that vera´s mom got sick, but she read the chapter, and to try the next week. So we will see how it goes this week!
Also taught another man Eurico that is about 26 that we had contacted by our shopping center here. We talked to him about prophets, and how we have a living prophet today. He told us he would need to check the internet for that one! haha We told him that the internet has a bunch of good and bad things, how we have been called by that prophet to serve here in Portugal, and if he really wanted to find out for himself, that we were his source. Well anyways, we taught him this week, seemed to really like it, but with new years this week he went out of town and have lost contact with him so far.
Taught some other people that didn´t seem as interested. Just if they knew what is really out there for them. New years eve was pretty random. We taught this guy from England and his girlfriend who is from portugal, and the guy really didn´t want us to talk anything about religion, but the lady actually seemed more interested. We finally got the guy talking, got his interest a little, but then it kinda just went down hill from there. He kept telling us that he invited us over becuase we seemed like nice kids, that we needed a break from this work, and that we weren´t going to leave to go to any other appointments that night because he had prepared us snacks and cake and all to eat! hahah Long story short, they started drinking, we were a little worried he was going to freak out on us, so when he had repeated the same thing like 15 times we were like alright we got to go. He said 'no you guys just got here', and I was like 'actually we have been her for a whole lot longer than that' and finally he let us leave. Sad to see people who just love to drink and party. It made it a little difficult to do anything that night and the following days. Elder Macedo and I just went back to the house and studied a little bit. President told us we had to be in the house at 9:30, and could stay up a little past 12, but our house is boxed in so we didn´t get to see any fireworks, just a bunch of noise and crazy people screaming! haha But we passed the new year with some pão de quijo that Elder Macedo made, some ovomatchini (maybe you know what that is nick) and some ice cream. I TOTALLY FORGOT TO BUY GRAPES I DON`T KNOW WHAT I WAS THINKING! Haha It was a new years to remember, though. Good ol crazy Joseph, making us stay in his house. Only on the mission do things like this happen.
Anyways, this week tried a harder, more appointments fell through, but yesterday was interesting! This lady we have been trying to schedule something with for this whole transfer (like 5 times, we would have given up on her forever ago but she always seems like she wants to talk to us) called us after church and said she could do a church tour that we had been trying to plan with her. Elder Macedo and I were kinda like.... we´ve already tried with this lady and she has stood us up a lot. So we got a member to go there with us, waited there... she didn´t show up for 40 minutes, kept calling us telling she would, we were about to leave, and then finally she showed up! I had tried telling the member before how we wanted to do it, but when she got there, he pretty much didn´t let us talk at all. i was kinda annoyed, but at the end, he really made a good friendship with her. She wants to come to church next week. I really believe she felt the spirit, and hey who knows! We were wondering why she had called, (becuase yesterday we had seen her in the shoppying center and she said she didn´t want to go to church or anything) but she told us a couple weeks ago, when she had planned a church tour with us, that that day was really hard for her for a bunch of reasons. She remembered we told her on the phone that this is what she needed, that these things were going to bless her, and so on. She said when she passed the church, and told us that she didn´t have time, etc. etc. when she was walking away she just felt sad, and the words we had said to her on the phone and in front of the church had stuck in her mind, and maybe what we were saying really would help. Anyways, cool to hear! And maybe it´s her time now! Going to try and teach her this week, get her to church, and teach her the gospel.
Sorry my letters are so jumbled. It´s hard to explain the details especially with so little time on the computer. Wish I could just call you guys at night and give you the real low down on what´s happening.
Other news. P-day here on the mission got cut short 2 hours until we start baptizing more than 40 people a month... ends at 4 instead of 6:00. I am now the district leader here with two sets of sisters (one in Olhao and one in Tavira) and one other set of elders in Beja! Elder Macedo and I are staying together which I think will be good! I’m excited about that!