The city of Santarém is situated on a plateau, located on the right bank of the Tagus River, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Lisbon. The economy of the city remains mainly dedicated to the production of agricultural goods.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Aveiro 5/23/16

Aloha mai kakou e ka ohana!!!

I feel like I open all my letters home by saying that its been a crazy week, so I will just say that its been a normal week, cuz this one was just as crazy as any other.

Tripa, which is basically like a crepe or a pancake filled with chocolate
 or something. Those things look harmless but let me tell you,
 they are DENSE! Sometimes I get hard time finish one, haha! 
On the 19th we had our Mission Conference thing with Elder Bednar in Porto. It was pretty crazy to navigate our way there. We had to wake up early, catch a train to Porto, catch the metro, catch a bus then walk a little bit to the chapel in which it would be held. It was so cool to seen all the Élderes and Sisteres that came. It was also cool to see my old companion, Elder Wanlass, and others from the MTC.

Man, from the moment he walked in it was like electric in there. It was awesome!!! The spirit was so strong! He didn't give a talk or anything but rather conducted it like a discussion. He would ask questions, one of the missionaries would answer, then he would elaborate or show a point of his and ask more questions. Then we had some time to ask him questions. Then we had some time to give comments on what we learned today, and we concluded with testimonies from our Mission Presidente and his wife, the Area Seventy, Élder Moreira and his wife and then Sister Bednar then Elder Bednar. It was powerful!!! Man, was pretty tired after that. Actively laboring in the Spirit always takes it out of me.

He spoke a lot about being agents and not objects. Agents go out and work, they act, while objects wait to be acted upon. I heard a lot on how we need to show our faith by reading scriptures and saying prayers, but that after that we need to go out and exercise our faith and work. Prayers are strongest after you say amen, get off your knees and make it happen. IT'S SO TRUE!!! He said how one sure way to know if its the Spirit prompting you is if you start seeing the faces of your investigators and start applying what you are learning to them and how it can help them. I definitely had some impressions on helping our investigators. He spoke about how fear is the opposite of faith. Faith is an action work, while fear is inaction. Something cool I thought he said, which I really like, was he said something like fear only comes when we stop. It's okay not to know everything but just keep going in faith because once you stop fear steps in.

Man there was just so much stuff that I felt like I learned; a lot of it was not necessarily said but felt. I felt like what I was hearing and feeling was confirming things I had been thinking about recently and that would help me become the missionary I need to be. It was awesome! After it was done, he shook all our hands!!!!! I WAS SUPER IN AWE!!! I'm a fan, ha,ha!!

Bolo de berlin,like a malasada, but filled with ovos moles, 
this special sauce made only in Aveiro. ITʻS SOOO GOOD! 
I think that's my new favorite goodie to eat, haha. Gotta watch out 
cuz they make um at like all bakeries, and the bakery under our house 
seems to make the best I've tried yet! (Danger, haha!!)
Oh yeah something he said that was funny was "In Church culture (when he said this I was thinking Utah but really it could apply to everywhere) we do dumb things". Man bust laughing!!! Also at one point of the conference, which was like 5 hours long, he fist bumped President Amorim! Man, Elder Bednar is awesome!

Leading here in Aveiro has been stressful but super rewarding as well. Every night I go to sleep tired of body, of mind and of soul, but content that we've worked hard.
 We had three people to church this week, which the most I've ever had to church. We had Madelena, that catholic lady (she's so nice and funny), Isabell, she's from Cabo Verde and has two very young children,(she reminds me a lot of you mom back when we were all small. Just the way she acts, and how she is with the kids, its like wow, she could have been my mom if I was African. It makes me so grateful for all you did mom), and Yamine, a nine year old girl who hasn't been baptized that we've been trying to contact who came to church with her grandma. 

It was sooo stressful to get them to church, with coordinating everything but it all worked out. We did everything in our power to get them there, and then trusted the Lord, and He pulled thru, and then blessed us on top of that with Yasmine who we hadn't even planned on.

Yesterday, we thought we'd go by Ana's house to check on her. I guess she had just left her house though, and so her roommate, told us she would let her know. So we left and we started looking for this less active reference that the bishopric had asked us to find. As were walking away, I kept thinking and feeling that we should go back and talk to her. Me and Elder Meza (my previous comp) had wanted to talk to her before but she never was available, but the thought kept coming so I asked my comp if we should, and he's like "ehhh...". I was like man we're doing this. So I go back and I'm like "Hey, so Ana just left? Oh shucks, well ok...would it be okay if we talked to you?" She's like "yeah!" I was like YES!!!! So we taught her the first lesson and it was awesome!!! Man I'm so excited for her especially as this will help Ana strengthen her testimony as well as she will be helping us teach her.

We also found this Dutch guy to teach which was pretty interesting because we had to teach him in English.

Tile Mosaic, 3 mins away from my house, next to train station.
Anyway, I love you guys!!! I can't believe its already been like 4 1/2 months already! Crazy! Time flies when were working hard and loving life, haha. Oluolu malama ia oukou iho ea? Hoomau i ka hana maikai!!!

A hui hou kakou i keia pule ae,
Élder Kim

Monday, May 16, 2016

5/16/16 Still in Aveiro!

Aloha hou mai kakou e ka ohana!!!

Well first and foremost, I'm still in Aveiro. My "space dad" (trainer) Elder Meza was transferred out and is now serving in Madeira as a Zone Leader. I knew he was gonna go ZL soon. Elder Gabbitas, Elder Teixeira's companion was also transferred. He is training again in Braga now.
Last picture with Elder Meza before boarding the train. (I like the
photo bombers in the back. Last picture of this group together.)

I gotta admit, last Tuesday, and Wednesday was really hard. I was soooooo sad to lose Elder Meza! I was just crying the whole way home from district meeting. I know, I so cry bebe. It was like I had left you guys again at the MTC! Sooo hard!!! But I took confidence in that I had been praying that the Lord would provide me the way that would help me grow the most, and that if that meant staying with Elder Meza I would be sooo happy, but that ultimately I would do what He called me to do. I'm seeing now that, like always, His way is better. Who woulda thunk, huh? haha

Now I have a new comp now. His name is Elder Tollefesen, and he's from Mesa, Arizona. He's 23 years old, and has already done 3.5yrs of college!!! He's kinda nerdy, but he has a really good heart. Apparently, he's served in Aveiro before, 6 months ago. But the junk thing is that I guess the majority of the work they did back then was in the other Elders' area, so yeah.

Elder Tollefsen and Elder Kim

Because I have the longest consecutive time now here in Aveiro, I'm leading our dupla (pair of missionaries). I like it a lot!!!!! It's a whole lot more work, and a lot more stress, but man its awesome!!! Me and Elder Tollefesen have been working hard, and our first few days together haven't been too bad. We still gotta get used to each other but it's not bad these past few days.

We've been able to find some promising young people to teach; one from Cabo Verde and one who actually works with Ana at McDonald's among others. We've also been back to teach that young Cabo Verdian family! Man, I sent up an appointment with her and made plans to have a member with us so that we could enter the house. The member doesn't show up so we have to teach her in her door (Maria Isabell the mother of the family). Then she tells us that last week Sunday, she and her two young children had gotten all ready to come to church with us (because she'd told us 3 weeks ago that she couldn't make it that week, but she'd go next week which was last week,)but me and Elder Meza didn't show up and neither did the ride that was supposed to take her to church! Man! I felt sooooo bad!!!! Then she was like I wanna go to church! I was like ok! So I scramble around and stuff to make ends meet with the finite amount of people in our ward with cars. Finally we get it all to work out. Then on Sunday morning she calls me and says she can't make it! It just broke my heart, but I knew that I had done everything in my power to help her get to church and that I was no longer in control.

I'm learning that I need to plan better. I need to make sure I'm communicating with everyone, especially ward leaders so that everyone knows what is needed and we can plan accordingly. I'm also learning, that I AM CAPABLE!!! I was feeling sooo overwhelmed with Elder Meza leaving but God is helping me to see that I can do it. I feel like I'm understanding people so much better now, like I'm talking better, teaching better. Its cool. With this raised awareness comes the knowledge that there is much more I need to work on. I am sooo grateful to God for His love and patience with me!

We didn't have everyone we had planned to have to church arrive, but we did have one older lady named Madelena there. We were in Gospel Principles, and she like raises her hand and is like "I'm catholic, and I have a lot of faith, and have all these pictures of the saints in my house too including this saint" as she points to the picture of Jesus Christ. I was like, well ok then, haha. But she said she really liked church. We're working hard to have more people there, and bring more unto Christ.

Also, Ana Carlos, our Recent Convert, is AWESOME!!!! I love her soo much!!! I don't know if I said this last week, but it really was the Lord who guided her to us and us to her, and His help that brought about her baptism. It was a miracle! I am sooo grateful for the opportunity to be an instrument in the Lord's hands in the bringing of God's children unto Him.
Elder Meza, Ana Carlos and Elder Kim

Funny story, I called this one potential investigatos, and he didn't respond. Then he called me back like an hour later. I'm like who is this, and he says his name, but it's a different name than when me and Elder Meza found him. Then I'm like oh hey! And he says "Isso rapaz" but just the way he said it was like the same as if Uncle Keola, or Uncle Kaio or Uncle Peeta said like "Ehhh boy" like "eh long time no see" or "there you go". It was like the closest thing to pidgin I'd heard here haha. Sorry I don't know how else to describe the intonation but it was like a refreshing bucket of water to the face. Hahaha! I loved it!!!!

Exciting news this week!!!! This week, on the 19th, all the Elders are going to Porto for a special mission conference because.....ELDER BEDNAR IS COMING!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS I'M SOOOO EXCITED!!!!! We've been given four talks to study in preparation for this conference and I thought I'd share um with you cuz their just soooo awesome! Their titled : "Seek Learning By Faith", "Ask in Faith", "Converted Unto The Lord", and "Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins". I read um and it was like BOOM, my head exploded! Haha not literally but pretty close. I loved um cuz they confirmed and strengthened things I had studied and thought about but also expanded my perspective as well. AWESOME!! You guys should read um.

"Zona Fixe means Cool Zone, which is of course,
 why I'm holding it. haha"

Well fam, I love you soo much!  I know that Christ is our Savior and he has made it possible to become better and be happy. I know that the reason for the gospel and stuff is to be happy! The commandments are our guardrails, not prison bars, and really we are soo much happier with them. I know that as we keep the commandments, say heartfelt prayers, diligently search the scriptures, and seek to apply what we learn in our daily lives and especially in turning outwards and helping others we WILL BE sooo happy and grow SOO MUCH! I KNOW this is true! He lives! This is my witness as His representative in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Me ke aloha,
Elder Kim

PS- this past weekend was crazy, cuz apparently a soccer tournament of the clubs in Portugal has been happening and the finals were yesterday and everyone was out and drinking! Bemfica won, and I guess this is their 3rd in a row and everyone, especially in Porto is going nuts, haha!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Aveiro 5-9-2016

Aloha mai kakou e ka ohana!!!

BAPTISMO (baptism)!!!!! It’s official, our investigator, Ana, was baptized on the 7th of May by Elder Meza, and confirmed a member of A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos does Últimos Dias and received the Holy Ghost by me, on the 8th of May!!!! I’m SOOO happy and proud of her!!! It’s been a crazy week, but it’s all been worth it!!!
Elder Meza, Ana and I before going down to the water.
On Friday we did splits. Me and Elder Teixeira took the ZLs (Zone Leaders) to Ana’s house to do her baptism interview. She passed!!! Elder Gabbitas and Elder Meza went to a different part of town to do the interviews for Estrella and Rachel. (The also got baptized on May 7.) They ended up getting stuck there til 8pm because of the bus schedule and stuff. Anyway, they call me, and tell me that Elder Teixeira and I need to go to Ílhavo to go invite some of Ana’s friends to the baptism. I’m like “wat!!!!” cuz I’ve never been there, and Elder Teixeira and I are “greenies”. The ZLs decide to stay with us, and we start hunting for a way to get to Ílhavo. We finally find a bus stop that goes to Ílhavo, but by then it’s late. Elder Teixeira and I, two greenies, end up leaving the ZLs, and going on to Ílhavo while the ZLs go back to Coimbra, since it was getting late already (I actually told the ZLs they should go home, since we would get back late). During the bus ride over (about 4-5 miles away) I’m kinda freaking out cuz I don’t know where we’re going, my companion doesn’t speak English, and my Portuguese isn’t amazing. However, we get there safely. We get off the bus and OUR PHONE DIES!!!! UGH!! The phone that has all the addresses!!! Shoot! We almost give up but decide to see if we can go charge it or something. We try two phone stores, a Chinese store, then go back to the same two phone stores, and then we’re finally able to make a call to the ZLs, and they give us the addresses. We contact the first guy we see and he tells us where all the streets are, then takes us to the first house!!!! Amazing!!! We get to the first house and drop off the invitation. We find what we think is the second house, drop off the invitation, then head back to the bus stop cuz our time had run out. We couldn’t get the third and last one out...shucks! We got back to Aveiro safely and just got to work passing by people and doing contacts. Just us two greenies!!! When we got home, Elder Gabbitas and Elder Meza guys were freaking out, haha! 

I learned a lot from that. I learned that I can do it! My Portuguese isn’t perfect, but that whole time I was leading us, talking to people and trying to get work done, I didn’t need English. I’m soooo grateful for the Lord helping me to see that I’m capable.

Saturday was the baptism!!! IT WAS POURING!!! But the show must go on right? hahaha. The service was nice and short, and Ana brought 4 friends!!! Elder Meza ended up baptizing her twice, hehe, but it happened! The beach was storming and stuff, (Satan doing his best to stop it) but she was still baptized!!!
"The show must go on..." Ana being ready to be baptized. Elder Kim front and center.

She's got the thumbs up. She's good to go!
Also, I’m soooo happy I got to talk to you guys on Skype! I’m sorry you guys couldn’t see me that well, but I could see you guys perfectly! It was awesome! Mom, I wanna say Happy Mother’s Day!!! Portugal’s one was last week, but America’s one was yesterday, sorry I forgot. I love you though, mom, and Ima try send something soon.
I love you guys all sooooo much!!! Please keep up the good work and take care of yourselves!!! Amo-os (I love you guys)

Até próximo,
Elder Kim

Back to front: House mates Elder Gabbitas, Elder Meza, Elder Texeira, and Elder Kim heading out to the baptism.
These Elders are cool! Three people were baptized on May 7, 2016 by this group.

It took five weeks, but he finally got our package. Yay :)
These are words from a member (whose family (the Pereira ʻohana) takes real good care of the missionaries and also allowed them to use their computer to Skype us) about Elder Kim:
 We don't do much but we're always grateful to do what we can =)

Lately we've been teaching with your son (Elder Kim) and Elder Meza, they're doing a great work and Elder Kim's Portuguese is way too good for someone who's here for only two transfers.  He's also really funny. These four elders are the worse, always pranking and stuff but they're awesome, hard-working and most of all good friends. We'll miss them when they get transferred...

With my best regards,
Karina Santos

The Pereira ʻOhana left to right: Karina Santos, Kelly, Nelly, Carlos and Elder Kim