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Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Comida de Mais! Week 16

This week went by so fast! Oh my goodness, Sister Bryner and I were flying this week! As Irmão Belchior would say, "These missionaries on fire!" It was such a good week with many many miracles.
We had a lesson with a new investigator-Sandrine in the beginning of the week. We didnt know it at the time, but she was a miracle contact. We were walking down the street and we walked past her and then decided to turn around and talk to her. She had recently had a brother who had passed away, so we shared with her the Plan of Salvation and bore our testimonies. We found out during that time that she was good friends with someone in the ward and said she would call her and set up a time for all of us to meet together. I am not going to lie, I wasn't very hopeful that she would call us because when people say they will call us....they usually don't. This was about 2 weeks ago, so we had kind of forgotten about her, but then on Monday we got a call from her and soon enough we were in her home having a lesson. The member who came with us told us that Sandrine had been feeling like she needed something from God, and then right at that moment, we stopped and contacted her! So cool! She is an amazing lady and has such a cute family, so we are excited to teach her some more.
We have spent almost everyday eating lunch and teaching Nuno's mom- Rosalia. Oh my goodness fam, they have fed us so much food! Everyday they ask us to come for lunch, and let me tell you, lunch here is not just a peanut butter sandwich. I am going to get fat! But the good results from all of this is that Rosalia is marked for baptism next week! Woooooo! She is definitely my Portuguese Grandmother. She is adorable, she would talk for days if you would let her, and even though I understand about 0.5% of what she says, I love spending every minute with her and Nuno.
We had a solid lesson with Harman this week about Dia do Senhor. He works everyday and only has 2 hours off each day, which he chooses to spend with us. He is so elect and would've been baptized already if it weren't for his ridiculous work schedule and inability to come to church. He has such a strong testimony, and church is the only thing holding him back from being baptized, so we told him we would fast for him and testified of the miracles that would come if he came to church. 
There was no surprise when Sunday came around and miracles happened again! We called Harman to see if he had asked his boss and he told us, "If my boss is here I will ask him, and if he isn't, I will close the restaurant and come anyways." An hour later he walked in the church! Ahhhhhh! I can't even explain how happy I was to see him there! He doesn´t speak fluent Portuguese and said he didn´t really understand anything that was said, but he was able to feel of the spirit and it was such a blessing. Miracles have not ceased to exist. I know without a doubt that miracles happen every day. God is here. He certainly does hear and answer prayers.
Rosalia also came to church-which was another miracle because we went to go pick her up and she said she wasn't feeling good. Sister Bryner and I didn't know what to do, all we knew was that she needed to come to church so she could be baptized next week. We just kept talking to her and all of a sudden she changed her mind and was so excited to come! I don't exactly know what changed her mind, it could have been that we told her we would be speaking (which we found out an hour before sacrament-roughest thing of my life! So bad) but if the Lord needs me to speak horrendously in sacrament meeting to convince our investigators to come to church then so be it! 
I can honestly say I am so blessed to be a missionary. It is not easy, but the miracles and changes you experience are worth everything. So amazing. I challenge you all to look for the miracles in your life. I know they are there. They may not be big, but they are there. I know as you start looking for the miracles, you will find them and realize just how merciful and loving God is. I love you guys! Thanks for all you do for me, I truly have the most amazing support. Fica Bem! Amo Vocês! 

-Sister Selk

A flashback pic from the Payson Temple open house

Walking to church with Rosalia is just one small precious moment that I will never take for granted.
My determination to get this family sealed in the temple is just SO STRONG!
Aren't we just the cutest - haha!!!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

May 18th

Ola familia!!!
Wow this has been such a crazy day! We traveled to Albufeira today for our district p-day so I have about zero time to write!
This week was another good one. We are trying to get Olhao going again because the work has come to a bit of a halt here. We spent quite a bit of time this week just going through our area book and trying to organize things and get in contact with lost contacts etc. And it has been a slow process, but we have seen blessing starting to occur! Just a day after we went through our area book we were out contacting and ran into 2 different people that we had specifically looked at in the area book to contact again. It was a miracle! They both seem like they have great potential, so I am extremely excited to see where that goes this week.
We marked Beto for baptism this week, but he needs to humble himself quite a bit before that will happen.
We also had interviews with President Fluckiger this weekend. I learned so much talking with him and Sister Fluckiger. They are just incredible! So awesome!
Sunday was pretty exciting as well because we had district conference! It was like stake conference for all of the Algarve area. President and Sister Fluckiger spoke at it as well as some other speakers. I learned a lot from it which I wasn't expecting! Haha I don't know if I was just making it up in my head what they were saying or if I was actually comprehending little bits and pieces of what they were saying. Either way the spirit spoke to me, so I was grateful for that!
It is getting HOT here in the Algarve. We are only and hour boat ride from Africa and I am definitely feeling the heat! Oh my Lanta, I think I might die this summer, so I will need your prayers fam! Haha
I hope you are all doing well back home. This week held some more shocking news for all of us, but I hope you know that you are always in my prayers and I hope that this sad time can all bring us closer as a family and to the Lord. I love you all so much. You guys mean the world to me and I am so grateful to feel your support each and every day as I do the work of the Lord.
Beijinhos. Amos Voces.

-Sister Selk
From last P-day - I was determined to catch a crab

Probably one of my favorite pictures to date - haha, so accurate


paz e bencoes!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015


Minha Familia!
This week was probably one of the longest weeks of my life! Lots of contacting, finding, hunting, and inviting that went on this week. We had a ton we were trying to get accomplished because at our district meeting this week we set some high goals that we were determined to achieve. We also had two baptisms that were marked for this weekend, so lots of work needed to be done.
Both João and Johny-another joão-were marked for baptism....but unfortunately both are a bit flaky and unpredictable, so we spend the majority of our week trying to track them down! haha We stopped by their houses, called them about 10 times a day and were working really hard to make sure their baptisms were solid. Johny was supposed to be baptized on Saturday and we couldn`t find him anywhere. He was never home and just ignored our calls, so he didn`t end up getting baptized...sad day.
And then there is João...hahah oh my. This is the guy that we just aren`t sure is completely all there, but he definitely gives us some good laughs. Everytime we call him the song "having a good time" comes on the phone and then he answers with "Tá!" I don`t know why it is so funny, but every time sister Bryner and I just die laughing! Also earlier this week he showed up at the church on his bike and when Sister Bryner and I saw him he was perfectly posed leaning up against his bike with his hip popped out.....I am just not doing this situation justice by trying to describe it, but trust me, it was hilarious! Always some good laughs with João. We thought he was so excited to be baptized and everything, but then on Thursday he stopped answering all of our calls and wouldn`t show up to the appointments that he always showed up to, so we got really worried. We spend Saturday night going on a crazy man hunt for him with the Elders in our disctrict because we didn`t have his address. We knocked on so many doors and asked so many people and after asking so many people, and A HUGE MIRACLE, we found him! I`m telling you fam, it was a major miracle. It was a big trial of faith, but Heavenly Father always provides a way. João passed his interview to be baptized and said he was excited, but when Sunday came he didn`t show up to church and we went searching for him again but he wasn´t at his house. So our second marked baptism fell through and Sister Bryner and I were pretty discouraged, but we have decided to just start from scratch and find some super solid people this week. I am excited!
We did get to go to a baptism this week. It was for a lady in our area named Celeste who the elders taught and we have taught her a few times as well, so that was definitely an exciting part of the week. We got to bring one of our investigators as well. He is from India and is a Christian that just loves talking to us about God and has some amazing values, but he just needs to find a different job so that he can come to church with us on Sunday.
It was so fun to be able to talk to the family yesterday! You all looked SO good! You are the best, and I really appreciate all your love and support! Nix and Benz are looking older already! What the heck! That can´t happen already! 
Have an amazing week! Amo Vocês!
-Sister Selk

Some final pictures from Vernal and Ola Olhao!!

Look at who it is!!

crazzzyyyy week! Wow! It is crazy to believe that I am sending this email from PORTUGAL!!
We will start will the flights- obviously your fasting worked because all flights were made and connected and I had absolutely no pain on the plane rides which as you know is a miracle in itself. We were cutting it really close for all our flights, and we were just about late for our flight in Paris, but luckily the flight was running late and so we were able to make it. But I have to say that I will never lug around a 40 pound carry on PLUS a 20 pound backback with crazy flights like that ever again. It was the worst. At one point when we were running around the airport in Paris I was exhausted after not having any time to eat anything and not sleeping and I literally thought I might collapse, but I just said a prayer asking God to give me strength and I was able to make it. Never again. But I am here, so YEAHHH!!!
President and Sister Fluckiger are probably the coolest people ever! I love them a lot and I am a little disappointed I will only have about 2 months with them. We ended up getting into Portugal at around 12 on Wednesday.....I think it was wednesday.....? We got our companions right away and then had some training. My companion is Sister Bryner. She is awesome. Seriously awesome. She is a really hard worker which is what I was praying for. We are both super chill and I think we are going to have a great transfer together. I also found out that I would be heading to the very south of Portugal to Olhao!!! Who knew! I definitely predicted that I would be going to the North, but it has been so good here! Its about a 4 hour bus ride from Lisbon, so we had to catch that after training on wednesday. 
I figured out pretty quick that I stink at the language and the Portuguese here is like a completely different Portuguese than I learned in the MTC! I wasnt very surprised by that though. I have definitely gone through some ups and downs with the language. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I dont know anything and other times I just have to think about how much I have learned over the past 5 days. When I think about it that way it always seems a lot better! haha Hopefully it will come! I know I have definitely already learned a lot!
I already love the people here. They are awesome!.....and maybe some a little strange and creepy.....Olhao is kind of ghetto, which you know I love, so it has been a good time. So good! We met a guy names Beto on one of my first days here and he is super cool and we were able to teach him a lesson. I have very high hopes for him and I am convinced he will get baptized! He would be such a good member, so everyone pray for BETO :) 
One of my other favorite person here is Nuno. He is a recent convert, and he is just the nicest guy! Last night he walked around with us for about 4 hours or so just contacting people. He is super patient with my Portuguese, and it is really nice because I actually feel like I can try speaking Portuguese and he doesnt judge me like everyone else here haha. 
Also the food here.......SO GOOOD. Mom, you would love it. Its probably not a good thing how good it is. Yesterday we got invited to a huge family dinner-I swear half the ward was there, and it was the best thing ever! We sat outside their families cafe and got to talk to the ward secretary who is the coolest guy and eat some seriously amazing food. JUST LIVING THE LIFE!
Another fun fact about Portugal....everyone and their dogs name is Joao. haha So funny. I think we pray for about 7 Joaos per night. We have to get pretty creative with how we distinguish them.
Well fam, I hope you are doing well. Thanks for all your love and support! Cant wait to talk to you this week! Amo Voces!!!
-Sister Selk
I was looking EXTREMELY rough by the time I got to Portugal - but oh well haha!