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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Póvoa de Varzim 6/27/2016

Aloha mai kakou e ka Ohana!!!

The train station
Transfers have come and gone and I have gone with it. I've left Aveiro, the land of my "birth", and have been transferred to Póvoa de Varzim!!! It's about like 2-ish hours north of Aveiro, and it's right on the beach. I also now have the added responsibility of serving as District Leader and..... second transfer training!!! (Second transfer training means that my comp has already been trained for 1 month and Ima conclude his training. I'm in my fourth transfer and my second area.)

Elder Tollefsen, Elder Andrade (my replacement in Aveiro), and I
So I packed up last Tuesday cuz I already knew that I'd be transferred. We got the call from the Zone Leaders, and I found out I was coming here to Póvoa de Varzim as a District Leader. So I hopped on the train by myself, which was rather weird, and road the train for an hour to Campanhã, Porto. I lugged my bags to the metro station, then hopped on the metro and rode that for about an hour to the end of the line, and got off in Póvoa. My comp, Elder Nunes, met me at the station and we headed over to our house. (Elder Nunes only has one transfer here, and this will be my first here, so we're basically getting to know the area together. Póvoa is right on the coast. It's kinda like Aveiro but more open, with less big buildings and more houses. There seem to be more families here. It's really nice. I like it. Nice and windy too, and super sunny.)

On our way over, I find out where he's from and stuff and that I'd be training!!! I freak out!!! I'd only just been informed that I'd be DL, so I started to panic little bit cuz that was an unexpected added responsibility haha. Sometimes it's stressful with the combination of DL kuleana and training as well, and also having to worry about investigators and the progression of the work. I'm getting used to it though and it's been great. I'm learning a lot, that's for sure. It's definitely a humbling experience. 

Elder Nunes and I
So my "son's" name is Élder Nunes!!! He's from São Paulo, Brazil, and he doesn't speak a lick of English. It's been all Portuguese this past few days, and that has been interesting and rather awesome!!! His accent is a little different, but I'm getting used to it. (The accent here in general is different since I'm in the north now.)

Our house is a two-elder house. It's rather nice, and I like it a lot. I kinda miss the social aspect of the 4-elder house, but the two-elder house is helping us to focus a lot more. The chapel here is really beautiful, and super close to our house!!! Only like 10 mins away!!! And it's like a real chapel too! The members are super nice and we have an attending number of about 30-35!

Me and Elder Nunes have been working really hard trying to find new people to teach, finding less-actives, and also trying to re-find x-investigators.

Shout out to Alohi on her mission call!!! SO EXCITED FOR HER!!!!! Kui, hope to hear from you as you enter the MTC!!! 

Looks like you guys are all doing great in your activities of the summer! Keep up the great work!!! The water looks great!!! haha. I love you guys sooo much!!! Tchau!!!

com amor,
Élder Kim do Hawaii

A view of the beach in my new area. The water looks great here too :)
A few more pictures from the Porto Train Station from a couple weeks ago;
Blue tiling. Love it.

View from the Porto Train Station. Incredible buildings.
It's been kinda sad to leave my first area. I really love Aveiro, but I am happy to learn and grow here in a new area! I love Portugal's flag hanging out the window...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tchau Aveiro!

Aloha e minha família!!!

This week has been rather bittersweet. Both Fátimas and Madelena's baptisms fell through this week. That was really hard on me to see both of them go down. I was super disappointed that they couldn't be baptized. I wanted to get mad and frustrated, but all I could seem to do is be sad.

Elder Tollefsen and I
The whole week I was praying that me and Elder Tollefsen would have the Spirit to be with us to help them be ready to be baptized, and that we could discern what needed to be done to help them. Some problems came up with both Fátima and Madelena that didn't quite make sense with the knowledge that we had. I really didn't know the best way to proceed. All I could do was come up with the best course of action I could think of as a young missionary, and rely on the Lord. In the following visits with them, the Spirit was able to guide us to the source of the problem, and enlightened our minds on how to proceed. In both instances we recognized that they weren't ready for baptism, and that now wasn't the time for them. I was sad at first, because we'd been working so hard to help them be ready, but then the Spirit came in and just filled me with peace with what all had gone down. We had done all we could to help them be ready. We had relied on the Lord and followed the promptings of the Spirit, and it had all gone down as it should've. I am sooo grateful for the Spirit, and the help God provides through the Spirit. I am SOOO grateful for the opportunities I have to work as an instrument of the Lord in bringing people unto Him. It really is the best thing ever.

Elder Garcia, my zone leader, and I out on divisions.
Well on the sweeter side of things, my 3rd transfer is over, and thus begins my 4th transfer. This transfer has just flown by sooo fast I can't believe it. I'm sooo grateful for the Lord's help in helping me become the missionary I need to become. It has a been a great first few transfers here in Aveiro. I don't know if I'll get transferred or not, but whether or not I do, I am grateful for the great start I've had, and for all the help and love of the Lord I've felt, from Him, from the members, and from the people of Aveiro. I can honestly agree now with what Kaiawe said, I've never felt so far from home and never so close to the Lord. I know He's got my back and that I need to have faith enough to continue diligently, and to have patience enough to wait on His timing.
Beautiful blue tiling in the Porto Train Station

During our ward council yesterday, I was just reminded about how only a few short months ago I arrived here in Aveiro. I just remembered my first ward council with basically the same people on my 2nd night in Portugal, and I didn't understand anything, and didn't know what was going on. But now, there I was listening to everyone's comments and stuff and actively participating. The people no longer look at me as the greenie who doesn't know anything, but as Elder Kim, who knows a little bit more than Greenie Kim, and is actively working to grow the work in this area of Portugal.

Porto from the train station.
Parabens (congratulations) to Joyden Madriaga on his mission call!!!! I actually have a friend whose serving in Brasil from Kansas City. He's from a Spanish speaking ward. I'm sooo stoked for him. Shout out to Kuilua who's checking in to the MTC in a few days!!! Go get 'um, my Braddah!! haha Joji, welcome home!!! To all the other missionaries of Hilo, and to those I know who are serving missions, keep up the good work and be obedient!!!!

Family, sounds like you guys are doing great!!! Sounds like you guys are all having fun with your summer activities and going to the day I can go swim again haha. Make sure you guys take care of yourselves yeah? Sorry about the computer haha. It had a nice long life, but hey, all good things come to an end. It's all good though cuz Runescape isn't only found on that computer, so you guys should be all good haha. (BTW, found out that Elder Gee played Starcraft too, and we nearly freaked out hahaha.)

Soccer madness. The European Cup is going on right now.
Everyone follows it (this is in the streets) and sometimes it gets nuts!
As far as weather goes here in Aveiro, it's been HOT!!! No long sleeve shirts here! I kinda getting sun burn too haha. See when you ilikea, das y hard haha. Now gotta put da aila pale la (ekolu huaolelo? kkkk)

As far as food goes, nothing different really. Been pretty calm as far as that goes. Something I've discovered that I really like is chocolate milk. It's like $.67 and comes in a glass bottle so it's pretty cool. I've learned how to pop off the top without a bottle opener, so I'm all cool now. haha.

Anyway, I love you guys!!! Thank you soo much for all your love and support. I pray for you guys every day. Ficam bem (stay well).  To all the fathers of Hilo, and all the fathers I know, a shout out for a Happy Father's Day! :)

com amor,
Élder Kim do Hawaii

ps. the phrase of this transfer of our house has been "TRINTA E UM FACADAS" (31 stabs (doesn't really translate well, but it's close. It doesn't sound as good kkkk) Elder Teixeira and Felipi told us a story of this one murderer guy in Brasil who broke out of his cell to kill his dad who was also in prison there. He broke out and killed his dad with 30 stabs because his dad had killed his mom with 29. So he did one more to get even. It's a really sad and crazy story, but we say 31 facadas, just to like, top it. We were talking about going super sane, and we'd probably be like "AHHHHHHHH!!! 31 FACADAS" like that was our super power or something haha. Anyway, I don't know if you guys understood that but hopefully haha. Tchau!
Last picture with Nilson, "meu filho preto"! ("my black son")
This just in: I know I'm leaving Aveiro. Guarantee transferred. We just received Elder Tollefsen's new comp., Elder Andrade. Apparently, he just had surgery or something and so to make the adjustment easier for him, he was made aware of his new assignment early. I still don't know where I am going, but it's guarantee now that I'll leave. I'm both super excited and kinda sad. Super excited because it's somewhere new, but sad because I've learned to love this place. When I leave I will be leaving a piece of my heart here.... I'm doing my best to let everyone know I'm leaving.

I'm also kinda sad cuz this upcoming transfer is looking promising as far as people getting baptized. I'm sad I won't be able to be there when they do. I do take comfort though in the fact that I've done all I can to help this area. I've done all I can to help this area grow. I understand now that I was meant to come here to prepare the people of Aveiro. I was sent here to sow the seeds. I believe that this Elder that came in, Elder Andrade, will be the key in getting them all baptized. Everyone plays a part, and it seems like mine was in the preparation of this area.

Ward members of Aveiro who I have grown to love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Aveiro 6/13/16

Aloha hou mai kakou!

And here we are in the last week of my 3rd transfer.... CRAZY!!! Only got one week left, and then this one is over, and then we'll see if I stay or go. And of course us being us, we wanna end it with a bang...meaning baptismos!!!

Fátima and Madelena are both still on track to be baptized this Saturday!!! I'm sooo grateful for the Lord's help with getting them this far, and I continue to pray for His help so they can both make it to baptism and confirmation this weekend. Me and Elder Tollefsen are working hard to stay constantly vigilant, so that we can fight off the efforts of the dark side in stopping these baptisms, teach them what they need to know, and plan out the baptism.... which, sadly hasn't been planned out completely yet.... working on it haha.

We've travelled a lot this week. On Wednesday, we went to Porto and I got to see all the people who came in with me!!! It was soo cool to be able to see them, and talk story about all the crazy things we've seen and done here in Portugal. (Oh yeah, the reason why we were all there was so that we could do residency and basically be here legally haha. It will have to be done every 90 days for the entire mission.)

On Thursday, we did divisions with the other Elders of Aveiro. Elder Tollefsen and Elder Teixeira went together in my area, and I went with Elder Gee in their area. It was a nice change of pace to the norm of my area. Something I noticed about Elder Gee that I feel like I need to work on is really loving the people when we teach. As we'd be teaching, he'd always ask for their input or their opinion, and always be patient even when the people go off topic or are just being rude. I tend to not ask as many questions as I should and sometimes get super irritated with people during lessons when we go off topic. I learned I need to love people more, ask more questions, really look to serve the people, and try to respect people's agency more, not just try to force feed the Gospel to people hahaha.

On Friday, we did divisions with the Zone Leaders in Coimbra. I went with Elder Garcia. It was cool. I got some really nice shots of Coimbra. As me and Elder Garcia were working, I was just struck by how much God has blessed me. I noticed that I am now becoming more of a "real" missionary who can actively participate, be a benefit to the dupla, and adapt when needed. I'm so grateful for all the Lord's help in my progression as a missionary.

As far as investigators go, we've been meeting with this Brazilian lady named Barbara. She came to church this past Sunday for the first time. She's super awesome! She doesn't believe in God, but she seems really interested. She's reading everything we leave with her, and has researched everything about the church from the church websites. She's asking questions and participating. It's awesome!!! Sadly, though, she and her boyfriend are trying to move to Lisboa by the end of the month or so. It'll be sad to see them leave but at the same time, they need to do what is best for them, and they can still be baptized in Lisboa.

We also have Gonçalo and Zaira. We hadn't talked to them in a while but yesterday, I felt like we should pass them. So we passed them and we were able to have a lesson with them. We hadn't planned anything, so I was just gonna give a short spiritual thought, but I was praying that the Spirit could guide us to do that which was best. Turns out they had some questions, so it kinda turned into a q&a. I really liked it because I felt like we were able to respond to a lot of their doubts, strengthen our relationship, help them understand the purpose of our visits, and help them to see that baptism could only improve their lives. The whole time, I felt like the Spirit was there confirming what we were saying to them. I'm so grateful for the Spirit's help and the opportunity to be able to show how awesome the Gospel and the Church are.

All in all, it's been a great week. God is definitely on our side. I know that He is supporting us, supporting me in this great work. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be able to help other people become better, become happy! I can honestly say that I am happy doing this work, and I always go to sleep exhausted. Lol.

Anyway I love you, Family! Iona, Sam, Seta and Haili, stay safe on your guys' adventures this summer!!! Mom, Dad, love you guys sooo much!!! Keep up the good work!!!

com amor,
Élder Kim do cabelo de fogo (Elder Kim of the fire hair kkkkkk)

P.S - Iʻm sorry, cuz it looks like I won't be able to send pics this week, even though I took plenty. I must say I got some nice shots. Next week, maybe. Tell everyone I said hi. 

We're gonna try and play soccer again this afternoon. We'll see how it goes. It's been super hot and sunny the last few days, but last night and this morning has been foggy, and kinda rainy. Kinda sad, but what can you do?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Aveiro 6/6/2016

Boa tarde minha família!!! (at least its boa tarde where I'm at haha)

God has definitely been blessing us and helping us as we've worked this week. I'm sooo grateful for all that He does for us. I know that without His help, we couldn't do anything.

We started of this week with marking one of our investigators to be baptized on the 18th of June!!! I was sooo stoked!!! Her name is Fátima, and she is like the sweetest lady ever!!! She was actually a contact that I had done a few weeks ago, and I remember that when I had contacted her, I just got the firmest impression that I needed to contact her. So it was really rewarding when I invited her to be baptized, that she accepted!!!

We were also able to re-mark Madelena to be baptized on the 18th of June as well. We were able to resolve the conflict had occurred with her neighbors, and things seem to be looking up now with her. She is also continuing to keep the Word of Wisdom! yay!

For both her and Fátima, and with this work in general, we have to keep constant vigilance!!! It's a lot of work but it's sooo worth it!!!

We were able to start teaching Ana Carlos' boyfriend, Pape. He's a semi-professional soccer player, of African descent, and is super cool. He's also Muslim. It was an interesting lesson, but I really felt like the Spirit was there. It's super cool to see Ana Carlos now on the other side of things, bearing her testimony and stuff.

Funny lesson this week, we found this college student Savañe, from Spain. We knocked on her door, we asked if we could come in. She let us in. After checking that there was a man in the house, we walked in. Man, that was the first time in a while that I felt rather lost in a lesson. I felt like she had been speaking to us in Portuguêse while we were in her doorway, but in her house, it was straight Español. I was like oh man! kkkkkk I basically knew what she was saying, but toward the end of the lesson when she was expressing her doubts and stuff, I don't think I fully understood it. I was basically said, I know this Church is true and that you can know this church is true too, and when we come back next time, we'll bring back somebody who speaks Spanish so we can know exactly what you're saying, haha. She laughed and was like, sounds good. haha.

We also found this ex-investigator named Pedro. He's super cool! He's 18yrs old and is planning on moving to England in the next year, and eventually going to America for school. He told us he really wants us to help him with his English, haha. We ended up teaching him the first lesson, but before we taught him, we asked him what his beliefs in God were. He basically responded with a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we should all know about that and be grateful for it. It was sooo awesome!

Sunday was interesting. We had Fátima and Madelena at church! Yay! We also had a special transmission from Church Headquarters for West Europe! It was pretty sweet!!! Elder Christofferson spoke as well!

After church, we went to a less-active member's home for lunch. Her name is Ana Mateus, and she's from Angola. We ended up helping her make lunch, which was fried fish! I was soooo happy!!! I haven't had fried fish in forever!!!! It was funny cuz we get home, and her 25yr son is home and she's like ʻhow come you neva do naughtin?!ʻ Then she storms into the kitchen and starts cooking. We end up helping her, and because I'm not that familiar with the vocab of the kitchen, she'll tell me to do something and I'm like wat??? haha Then she'll show me how, and I'll do it. Lunch turned out super good though!!! I wouldn't say it's as good as the kine back home, but it was still good! After I wen help her cook, then after when I wen show dat I can eat fish, she was all happy wit me haha. During that whole thing though, she went out to the couch where her son Nilson is sitting, and says "Nilson, meu filho preto, o que está a fazer??" (Nilson, my black child/son, what are you doing??) Man I couldn't help but die laughing!!!

This morning we had an activity and played soccer with Nilson and Pedro. It was super fun!!!!! It felt really good to wear normal clothes and play. It's a beautiful day!!! I had a great time. Man, Nilson is sooo good! It's hard to compete haha. 

Anyway I gotta get off the computer for other people. I love you guys!!!! Take care!!!

com amor,

Élder Kim de Hawaii
L to R : Pedro (one of our investigators, he's super cool), Nilson (kinda sorta less active, professional soccer player), me, Elder Teixeira, Elder Gee, Elder Tollefsen