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.
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.
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.
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,
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!