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Monday, 29 June 2015

Tears or sweat.....can't tell?

Olá! Tudo Bem Família?!
Before I write about the week, I am going to give myself about 2 minutes to rant about the BLAZING heat. Ready. Set. Go! O my goodness fam! It is a freaking furnace here in Olhão! The +35 degree weather is absolutely destroying my soul! We work all day in the sun, and then come home to our apartment that feels like a sauna! Sleep really doesn't happen because of the heat- now I know why they gave us queen size beds here......white ninjas in starfish position..that's all I am going to say about that. And then in the morning, I wake up and feel like I have been beat up by some gang here in Olhão. Throughout the day I really don't know if its tears streaming down my face or sweat. #soattractive I think the heat is getting to everyone here, because the work here has been a serious struggle. We have not had much success this past week, and have had a difficult time finding anyone who will even stop and talk to us in the street. It is definitely not all rainbows and unicorns at the moment, but at the same time, it is so worth it and I wouldn't trade it for the world! 
Last Monday we went to a beach near Taveira with the Crossman's for our P-day. It was amazing! I have never seen so many seashells in my life! So many Seashells, it was incredible!
Like I said before, this week was a bit of a struggle. I thought a lot about myself as a missionary and the work here. I have to be completely honest and say I was a bit depressed. The heat makes it incredibly hard for me to feel like I am working as hard as I should be, because most of the time I just feel half dead. And the other half of the story is that Portuguese is still a struggle for me. I don't think it comes naturally for me. It is especially difficult when Sister Andrade is amazing with words and can say everything she wants, and I am stuck with a very limited vocabulary. And even though I know that the spirit will still speak to the people I teach despite my horrid Portuguese, it is hard not to think that I would be such a better missionary if I could only speak the language. But don't worry, there is an upside to this story! Before going out to work on this particularly hard day, I just kept having the thought come to my head: "All you need to do when you walk out this door is smile and talk to everyone and you will have an incredible day." This really was the last think I wanted to do, but I did it anyways, and it really was an awesome day! We talked to sooo many people, and the heat had nothing on us because we were on fire! It was incredible, so hopefully we can keep that fogo for the rest of the summer. I absolutely love being a missionary! Every night as I write in my journal I am OVERWHELMED with how blessed I am. I cannot even comprehend it.
Other events of the week:
I attemped to make José Carlos´s chocolate cake this week.....fogo. SO difficult! We have absolutely no kitchen tools so I have to HAND BEAT egg whites until stiff. Never again. It was 20 minutes of pure arm workouts. But in the end it ended up being edible and all the people at aula de englais liked it.
We had zone conference this week. It was way good, and definitely got me pumped up to do some solid missionary work! It was our last time seeing the Fluckiger's which was so sad. They are just incredible, and I respect them a lot. I learn so much every time I am around them.
Otilia came to church yesterday! Whoo! So hopefully everything is on track for her to get baptized by the end of this transfer, but they are still trying to earn money for their wedding. I have faith though!
We still visit Nuno and Rosalia almost everyday. Nuno is still having an extremely difficult time giving up smoking, so yesterday I made a challenge with him. As of tomorrow I am going to give up sugar, and he will give up smoking. It will be a bit of a competition, and I hope that this will help him. I am also hoping it gives me a bit more of an understanding about what it is like to have an addiction and how hard it is to quit, because I know with this hot weather about the only thing I want to eat is gelado, so this is going to be a struggle for me too.
I am super excited to find some new, incredible people here in Olhão. I know without a doubt that there are people here that are prepared. We just have to find them, because like the scriptures say, "they know not where to find it" It is like one big treasure hunt to find the elect, and I just know we are gonna catch em' all!
You guys are the best! Thanks for all your love and support every week. It really means the world to me! Hope you all have an incredible week. Amo Vocês! Ficam Bem.

-Sister Selk

Endless seashells...:)

Classic nametag in the sand #original

Sister Fluckiger!  Isn't she the cutest?  And not to mention the shoes...perfection!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


First off I want to say a big ol fat congratulations to Rawley and Lindsay!! They are getting married this weekend! LOUCO!!! I am so excited for them and can't wait to see pictures of the model couple on their wedding day. Man I just love you guys so much! I am going to have to work extra hard this week so I don't have any time to think about the fact that I won't be there!
I wish I could say I was fluent in Portuguese already with Sister Andrade, but.....unfortunately, I think native companions just make you realize how awful you are at Portuguese. It is a struggle, but it can only get better right? I would be lying if I said there wasn't once this week that I was crying in the street because all I wanted to do was have a fluent conversation with the person that I am with 24/7. It is not easy, but it has been really great at the same time. I am learning MUITAS COISAS! It is nice having a walking, talking Portuguese dictionary/expert right at your side to ask questions to! Sister Andrade is from Cabo Verde and is tão fixe! She has the coolest conversion story and a huge testimony of this gospel. I feel extremely blessed to be serving with her. 
This week had its ups and downs, but for the most part it was awesome! We had zone conference at the beginning of the week and guess who is in my zone......SISTER DOMAN! My soul mate! I think I shed a few tears when I saw her face. I thought all the sisters in my district would be up north, but it turns out Sister Doman and I are in the South and Sister Parkinson and Sister Barrett are in the north. #BOO! But at least I got one of my lovely sisters!
We had a super fun Jovem activity this week. We played soccer and some of the jovems from Faro even came so we had a good turn out! I was one of the only girls to play and all the Jovems were super nice about how bad I suck at soccer. haha They were telling me that I "joga bem" but I know the real truth! They are all super good at soccer, but it was still so fun.
This afternoon we are heading to Lisbon to do residency for Sister Andrade, so I have even less time to email. Desculpa, this email is going to have to be a little short! But nonetheless, I love you all! Have a blast at the wedding. I will be praying that everything goes perfectly! Ate Proxima Semana! Amo Vocês!

-Sister Selk

Our Zone

My soulmate! Sis. Doman!


Trying, not succeeding!

Guess who got the cutest, nicest, most fantastic package from Mason? ME!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

More pics from June 8

NATO! "Because I'm Black"

Jose Carlos aka Simbercules

This is Joao!  "Ta" We haven't seen him in weeks then we ran into him this week and got the perfect picture.

Batismo de Emanuel 

Isn't he the cutest?

Sister Bryner was up at 2 packing so I told her I would make fish at 2 in the morning as our last supper...this is about how it went down!  Never made a whole fish in my life - surprisingly it turned out pretty good!

Not a happy good-bye

June 8th - The Portuguese know how to Party!!

Fam. Big News. Lots of news this week! Crazy News!!! AHHH.
With transfers being this week Sister Bryner and I knew we needed to make the most of every moment.....just in case, and it was such a good week!
We started off the week with know how I feel about that! If you start the week eating Sushi, it is bound to be a good week. SO GOOD! In heaven. Sister Bryner was celebrating her one year mark on the mission-Wooohoooo! Can you believe Mason will be hitting his one year next transfer...crazy!
This week I was also striving to pay more attention to the spirit in our lessons and contacts etc. since I often tend to get caught up in not understanding the language or trying to speak the language. And let me tell you, Heavenly Father answered my prayers! I had several lessons this week where I could not deny the spirit that I felt. It was such a nice change to think more about that than my Portuguese. One of these instances was while we stopped by a Less-active members house. She is SO cool, and has all the right desires, but of course she always works until 3 or 4 in the morning and struggles to get to church. I had the distinct impression that I needed to testify of the strength that would come as she made the effort to come to church. The spirit was strong and I know she felt it too, because she went from making excuses to asking us if we would come pick her up for church on Sunday morning. She came to church yesterday and even though you could tell she was tired, I know she will be blessed. We also had a very powerful testimony meeting yesterday. I felt like my heart was about to burst because I could feel the spirit so strongly in that room, and of course there was no surprise when I couldn't hold back my tears as I bore my testimony. I'm such a baby, what are they going to do with me! haha
We had a Churrasco and talent show with the Ramo this week, and let me tell you-THE PORTUGUESE KNOW HOW TO PARTY! Oh my goodness, I have never been to such a fun ward party, so all you take note:
1. Lots of awesome Portuguese Music
2. Lots of Dancing
3. Lots of Food
It was the best! Sister Bryner and I were having the time of our lives learning all the sweet dances they know! Technically I am not too sure if we are supposed to dance as missionaries.....buuuuut......there was no stopping us!
The people here are so talented too! Isabel Miranda is one of the Jovens in our Ramo and she has such an incredible voice. I want her to sing me to sleep at night. So many talented people....and then there was us. HAH. We decided to try and make up a song about the Ramo to the "cup song" and it was pretty dang horrendous, I will admit that right now, but it was fun nonetheless.
In general it was just a week of festas! After Church yesterday, Nato's son-Emanuel got baptized! He is the cutest little boy I have ever seen and I just want to steal him! haha The whole Ramo was practically at the baptism and it was just an amazing afternoon. 
Another story from the week: Sleep has become a struggle again because it is SO DANG HOT! I wish I had a picture to describe the desperation Sister Bryner and I feel as we are sprawled out on our beds each night trying to find some relief! hahah Ok, that is a little bit dramatic, but not too far off. And if it isn't the heat its dogs barking at 4 in the morning. We had that happen this week and we were trying to come up with plans on our balchony at 4:00 to try and get our neighbor's dog to shut up. If you can imagine, it was way to early to think of anything logical. I will leave it at that. Since then I have decided that no one in Portugal should own a dog. As Elder Crossman said: "they have trained them so well to do their business on the sidewalk and bark all night." Stellar. I love it.
But anyways! BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK!
After waiting and waiting and waiting, we finally got our transfer calls last night at 11! 11 at night fam! So Late! Sister Bryner and I thought for sure we would be good, since they weren't calling us, but our worst nightmare happened.....SISTER BRYNER LEFT ME! I cannot even tell you how sad we were. I was so depressed. I Love that Sister SO much. And......I am getting a native companion. Yup. Gonna die. haha Just kidding. I know the Lord knows me and knows what is best for me! Sister Andrade...I don't even know how to spell her name because I haven't met her, but she is from Cape Verde and will be my companion for the next six weeks in Olhao! I am staying in Olhao! And will be in the Lisbon mission!
So that is my big news for the week. Crazy. Wish me luck fam, because my Portuguese is awful, but I can tell you that I am STOKED to improve my Portuguese with this new companion. It is going to be so good!
Love you all. Hope all is well. You guys are the best! PRAY FOR ME! haha
Tchau! Ate Logo! Beijinhos!

-Sister Selk
nossa amigo na rua. Amamos Ele! AHHH

Sushi - need I say more than that?


Rosaria - loving life and dancing with
her meat!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Rosalia, my Portuguese Grandmother....BAPTIZED!!!!

Before I tell you about my crazy crazy awesomely busy week, I wanted to send out a request for favorite talks! If you could send me some of your favorite talks for ensigns or conferences or whatever else, I would love that! Thanks.
Yes, this week was insane! so crazy! But I feel like I say that every week #missionarylyfe
Last P-day was even crazy! We drove to Lagos with the Crossman's which is like an hour car ride, because Sister Bryner has some family friends who actually life there, so we got to visit them and see their home and Lagos and everything was seriously just like a picture....beautiful! 
Funny story, that night after we were walking home for the night, we decided to contact one more man in the street. We hadn't had too many successful contacts that night, so we weren't expecting much, but we talked to him anyways and he ended up being super nice! We gave him a card with our number and got his information, and then he was like, "You give me a card, I give you a fish!" He had this huge fish in his bag and whipped it out and handed it to us! It was the strangest thing! haha
Portuguese people.....I just love them so much!
We had divisions this week. Sister Bryner went to Faro and Sister Cullimore joined me here in Olhao. It was super strange not being with Sister Bryner and taking control of our area for the day. It was a good experience, but it definitely made me hate the fact that transfers are in a week-I refuse to be transferred from Sister Bryner and this area. It is not going to happen.
Saturday was when the chaos really started to occur. We decided to try and set up a display with the Crossman's and the Elders on a busy street that morning....our display wasn't super successful, so it mainly just turned into a mad contacting rage! We contacted SO many people that morning. It was insane! Usually we are studying during that time, but they have a huge market Saturday morning, so we thought it would be a good time to contact while everyone is out-and there were definitely people out! So good! We were also busy on Saturday running around to members houses giving them invites to a fireside we did yesterday and also trying to get everything figured out for ROSALIA´S BAPTISM! It was a bit stressful, but in the end, everything worked out and on Sunday afternoon Rosalia was baptized into the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! AHHHHHH! Fam, it was so special! I can't even explain how happy I was as she walked down into the font and was baptized. She is just the funniest old Portuguese woman and I love her dearly. It is weird how much she reminds me of Grandma Fay. That was the only thing I could think of during her baptism, and my heart was about to burst! 
After her baptism we had to race back to Olhao to do a fireside for the Branch on missionary work. I think for the most part it went really well! I say for the most part because we had spent Saturday night making a bolo for the fireside and when we went to bring it to the was moving...literally. It was just infested with ants! We weren't quite sure whether we should laugh or whether we should cry haha. In the end we busted out our huge can of raid and just blasted the cake with good.
We ended the night eating dinner with the Crossman's, Nato, and Claudia and it turned into quite the party! Oh my gosh, I just love it here! I am so blessed!
Well fam, you guys are the best! Thanks for everything. Have a good week! Next week will determine what mission I am in, but I am 99% sure I will be in the Lisbon mission, so that is exciting! Amo Vocês! Fica Bem!

-Sister Selk

Isn't she the cutest?!

It's always a party with the Crossman's
I was not kidding when I said the man literally handed us a fish!
Divisions with Sister Cullimore
I can't even tell you how much we love Sis. Crossman...she is so funny!

Guess who is practicing the piano?.....Mom I knew you would love this way too much!

I thought you might like a look at some of the food here.....
Soup with Octopus and cuddle fish good!
Sooooo many pastries!