Élder Kim was recently transferred to Vila Nova de Gaia, just south of Porto across the river Douro. The site dates back to Neolithic times. Gaia is famous for its 17 "Blue Flag" beaches. Church-wise, Gaia has the largest ward Élder Kim has served in. (In the picture, he shares the same "genealogy" with these elders: e.g. Élder Meza (right) is the "great-grandfather," and Élder Kim is his "son.")

Monday, December 5, 2016

Coimbra 12/04/16

Boa tarde!!!

Well family, it’s been a rough but great week here in Coimbra.

Elder Reed and Elder Kim
Elder Reed, an Assistant to the President,
returns home to Las Vegas soon
We went and visited the district meeting of Coimbra 1 and it was pretty cool. What made it noteworthy was that I think it was the biggest district meeting I’ve ever been to. There were like 10 people there! Us, the district leader and his comp, two duplas (couples) of sisters, and two mini missionaries with the sisters, so there was a lot of people.

We also did divisions with the APs (assistants to the president) this week. So we had to go to Gaia, which is right next to Porto (meaning a 2-hour train ride). It was pretty cool to do divisions with them since Elder Gomes was Elder Bortolo’s first ZL and Elder Reed was my first ZL and both are dieing (slang for going home). Actually Elder Gomes died yesterday, and Elder Reed will die in like 3 or 4 weeks. I learned a lot by working with them, about what I should and shouldn’t do. They are two great missionaries, and I’m happy to call them my friends. Oh yeah the pic with Elder Reed also makes up for the time when I did a division with him in Aveiro, haha.

Big Macs for lunch! Split between Elder Reed and Elder Kim.
When asked if there was any difference between Portugal and the US,
Elder Kim responded that the Portugal McDonald's was "way more expensive"!!


Elder Kim and Elder Buchanan
After the division with the APs we had to go into Porto and pick up some stuff, but because of a holiday on the 1st of December the trains weren’t passing thru how they usually do. (Note: the holiday is called “Restoration of Independence”. It celebrates the split from Spanish rule, back in 1668.) By the time we finally got into Porto and picked up some stuff from the office, it was late, and there was no way we’d get back to Coimbra let alone home before midnight. So we stayed with Elder Buchanan and Elder Oliveira. Their house is super awesome!!! It was also super cool cuz Elder Buchanan was one of the first missionaries I met here on the mish. He picked me up from the airport, so it was cool to see him off, cuz he also "died" yesterday. He had also served in Póvoa.

The rest of the week, which at that point wasn’t much, we worked in Coimbra.

Lucinda and Leonel, who came to church last week, weren’t able to make it to church and so aren’t marked anymore for this weekend. We’re super bummed. We went over there the other day and Lucinda wasn’t there. Apparently she was at the hospital, and then Leonel told us they had decided to not be baptized, and he wouldn’t even let us try to convince him to rethink. So we’re going back this week to catch them together and help them to see the blessings of this wonderful message.

The cover of Elder Kim's monthly planner.
Every month, they get new planners, and hence
make new covers. This one is made from
a soda can, a popular drink in Brazil.
We had some really rough rejections after the lesson with Leonel and Lucinda. I didn’t think it could be much worse but I got proved wrong like 3 times in a row. Was pretty bad. It just made me soo frustrated that these people wouldn’t even take the time to listen to the message, but judged us before, and then had the nerve to bash on us expecting us to respect them as they talked. I think it was the closest I ever came to losing it, haha. Thankfully, I didn’t, and I just walked away. But I learned a good lesson of patience and humility that night. That really in the end, it doesn’t matter at all. The message that we carry to the world is worth it, and will only help and bless them; and that we have a clear conscience knowing that we’ve done all we could to help them, but they didn’t accept. After all is said and done, we are all judged for our own actions.

Something really cool was the other day it was raining really hard, we got soaked all the way thru, and nobody wanted to talk to us. We ended up calling a guy we had contacted a month or so ago and he said he’d meet with us. I was like ok we’ll see. But he showed up, let us in his house, and we taught him. It was a super cool experience. I was feeling really junk because it had been a terrible day, despite our efforts; but God prepared a way for us and we found this really cool guy, and hopefully we’ll be able to teach his family too!
An outdoor amphitheater in
an area called Olivais.

In church, something that really touched me was something said in priesthood, that there are two limits to our faith. 1: that our faith cannot take away anybody else’s agency and 2: we can’t make our will the will of God. That really hit me because I’ve thought hard about the miracles you hear about in other people’s missions, and your like wow how come that don’t happen here. I’m always like I know it can happen here, I know it’s possible, am I just lacking faith? And maybe I am, but now I realize better that it doesn’t always depend on me. Meaning that I can’t force people to be baptized and accept the gospel and that I can’t go against the will of God either. I can only do the best that I can do "e mais nada"(and nothing else), haha.

Elder Bartolo, trying to contain his
excitement at being at the
amphitheater.
Later while studying this morning I came across some scriptures in Alma 50 that really showed me the necessity of constant diligence. That persevering to the end is the simplest, yet hardest element of the gospel. That we need to never weary of doing good works and keep on going with the knowledge that God will take care, that He is at the helm, and will bless us. I really like Alma 50:22 that says something like, God always takes care of the righteous. I know that He loves us. I know that we will always be protected and blessed, and in the end saved, if we are true and faithful to the commandments. I am soo grateful for the peace that the Holy Ghost brings to me as I do my best to be a tool in the hands of God. To answer your question mom, I totally agree with Tea, or Sister Jensen. This time isn’t just about being the best missionary for right now, but the how you’ll continue to be after. 

Before I close up, we got transfers yesterday night, and I’ll be staying one more with Elder Bortolo, so you’ll meet him on Christmas. Sadly, Elder Teixeira will be leaving but should be all good.

I love seeing your guys pics. The tree looks great!!! Good job decorating too! Jonah looking good out there on the field, and cool to hear about the throw net!!! I’d love learn how too! Family I love you guys!!! Keep up the great work!!! We’ll see how it goes with skype (on Christmas day he gets to “skype” home), but I still don’t know my stuff for that. We’ll see. If anything I’ll just use Elder Bortolo’s one, haha. Ok, love you fam! Fiquem kentinhos e secos kkkkkk! (Stay warm and dry, hahahaha!)

com amor,

Élder Kim do cabelo pintado vermelho (Elder Kim of the red painted hair)






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