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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Buses and stuff

Well fam. I will be completely honest and say I don't have a whole lot to say this week! Still an amazing week, but not as many exciting things happened. Acontece.
We were in Lisboa a lot this week! Too much. We had interviews with President Tavares, which always inspires me to go out and work a little harder! This interview was a little bit more interesting than my past interviews because in the middle of my interview the lights completely shut off in the office.....hahah so we had my interview by way of computer was a good time. President Tavares is incredible! 
That same day we returned to Mafra, worked in our area for about 5 hours and then had to catch the latest bus back to Lisboa for a consultation the next like I said, we spent a lot of time in Lisboa....or on buses this week. 
We taught Sebastiana and Kamila and the fam a couple times this week, and they are doing amazing! Kamila got all her books for personal progress, so I told her that we would work on it together.....since I am the worst example and never finished....... #quevergonha But hey! Never too late to repent right?
Kamila actually came to Mafra and spent some of P-day with us yesterday! We did zumba again and had some adventures in Mafra. It was a good time. We love Kamila.
Tina and Silvio visited Mafra for a few days this week! We were able to talk with them a bit more about our message, but unfortunately we didn't have a whole lot of time because of buses etc. It was evident though that they seemed a bit discouraged and depressed about their current situations in life.  It is sooo frustrating and more than anything it makes me so sad to see them in this state because I know the answer that would solve all their problems. I know without a doubt that if they would just accept the grace and love of Jesus Christ in their lives and his gospel that all their current problems would be solved. The problem is that at the moment they are too focused on their problems and don't want to accept the fact that something as simple as the gospel of Jesus Christ will help them and bring them the joy they are searching for. But we will keep working on them, and I know with time something will click! 
That is about all I have to say this week. Hope you all enjoy General Conference this weekend! I am absolutely stoked to hear what the Prophet and his apostles have to say to us this week. How blessed are we to have a prophet to lead and guide us in these latter days!
Ficam Bem Família. Amo Vocês! Paz e Bençãos.

-Sister Selk

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Família Marcelino

The Lord is definitely blessing the Sisters of Mafra. It is incredible.
We have continued to teach Silvio and Tina this week, but unfortunately today they headed back to their home in Lisboa for the next 3 or so weeks, so we have to take a break teaching them for a while, but they will return to Mafra sometime in October, so we are looking forward to that already. They are progressing well. It has been a bit more of a struggle to teach them than I initially thought, but I have no doubt that with time they will realize that this gospel is exactly the happiness and the family that they have been searching for.
The main event of the week was of course the baptism of Sebastiana, Kamila, and Luana! Wow. I love this family sooo much! Because we were preparing everything for their baptism, we ended up taking the bus to visit them every day this week. We saw a lot of miracles happen during the preparations for their baptism! One of the biggest miracles we saw was with Kamila. On Tuesday we visited just with Kamila because Sebastiana and Luis were at work, and it was in that lesson that Kamila told us that she still hadn't received an answer to her prayers and she was still unsure on whether or not she wanted to be baptized. Sister Ventura and I weren't too sure what exactly we should do other than to just love her, and pray that she would receive an answer to prayer before Saturday. During the week we continued to plan everything, we fasted especially for Kamila but made sure not to push her into anything she didn't want to do. Eventually Friday came and they were scheduled to have their baptismal interviews- the elders came out to their house to do the interviews, and everything went SO well!!! Sebastiana went first and we were expecting Luana to go next since Kamila still hadn't said anything to us, but when Sebastiana finished her interview, without saying anything, Kamila went into the room to be interviewed!! Sister Ventura and I just looked at each other and had got huge smiles on our face! It was incredible. 
Saturday Morning was cheia da loucuras!! It was insane. It included losing autocarros, half baked food, and me being completely drenched in water for the baptism. haha I am pretty sure satan did not want this baptism to happen because this family is going to be such a strong family in the church, but luckily despite everything we were able to get there and had the most beautiful baptism! 
2 of my favorite parts of the baptism:
1. Luis surprised Sebastiana, Kamila, and Luana and was able to baptize them. Ugh. So cool.
2. After the baptism while we were still at the church, Kamila asked what she needed to do to serve a mission, and was asking how a mission worked. This was amazing because earlier in the week when we had our lesson with her and she was having her doubts, I felt prompted to tell her that I thought she would be such an amazing missionary even though she wasn't yet a member of the church.
I am so excited to now help this family prepare for the temple, and to hopefully help Kamila prepare for a mission!!! 
Yesterday I was able to give my first talk in church, and besides being completely red in the face from being so nervous, I think it went pretty well. I talked on faith, which was another blessing because faith is one of my favorite topics! We also had an investigator in church yesterday! His Name is Noah and he is GOLDEN! Wow. so elect. We taught him the first lesson, have another lesson set up this week, and when we talked to him this morning he had already read part of the Book of Mormon that we left with him yesterday! 
Look out fam. Mafra is exploding with people ready to hear the gospel!
Also, this morning we went and did Zumba with one of our recent convert's mom and it was so legit! I definitely looked like a skinny white girl that didn't know how to dance amongst all the Brazilian and Portuguese dancers, but I was loving every minute of it! 
Well fam. Como de Sempre- Amo todos de vos DE MAIS! Obrigada por tudo. Paz e Bençãos.
-Sister Selk
Also thought I would add some of the talks I studied this week that I thought were absolutely amazing:
1. The Grandeur of God-holland

2. Pattern of our Parentage-packer

I LOVE this family SO MUCH!!!

mafra livin

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Miracle upon miracle!

Well. I can honestly say I have not had a week like this on the mission thus far.  It was a week that I think every missionary hopes to have at least once during the mission, and I got to experience it! We experienced miracle upon miracle!
The miracles started with the melo family! They are actually a member family from Lagos that I met when I spent that one day with Sister Ventura in Lagos my very first transfer in Portugal, but they came to visit Sister Ventura in Mafra on Tuesday, and Tuesday just happened to be the day that our oven, and washing machine broke and the water in our apartment decided to shut basically we were left with nothing, but this amazing family came and helped us with everything! They bought us water and even stocked our fridge full of food for the week, which is really a blessing because here in Mafra we spend all of our money on Transport and we usually don't have much left for food, so all in all it was a blessing!
Contacting this week was absolute Gold!!! We had some amazing experiences that happened while we were contacting so I will try to explain a few:
1. Fillipe
We met Fillipe on the street while we were contacting #claro and he told us that he didn't really believe in God, but he was really nice and continued to talk to us. Eventually we asked if we could say a prayer with him before he left. He said sure, and then we continued to ask if there was anything he needed or wanted us to ask for in the prayer. He just stopped and didn't say anything for a moment, but it was clear that he was thinking of something. His response to us however was "No, the worst has already past." In that moment he began to tear up and explain to us that his brother had passed away 2 years ago. We were able to bear strong testimony that we would see his brother again and explained to him a little bit about the plan of salvation. The spirit was so strong, and I myself was trying to hold back the tears. It was one of the most powerful experiences I have had contacting.
3. Sandra
Our experience with Sandra was very similar to our experience with Fillipe. We contacted her, and at first she didn't seem too interested, but after introducing ourselves as representatives of Jesus Cristo she completely changed! She said that she needed God in her life, and explained to us some of the problems she was having in her life at that moment. We again were able to pray with her, and she too broke down in tears! I couldn't believe it! 2 days in a row with some solid contacts! I don't know what is happening with these Portuguese people but they seem to be softening up! hahah
3. Tina e Silvio
MIRACLE COUPLE! Prepare yourself, because this story just blows me away every time!
Less than 5 minutes after we contacted Fillipe we were heading to our apartment for the night when we ran into Tina and Silvio in the street. We introduced ourselves to them and when we finished Tina said that she recognized the name of our church. She read our name tags again and then soon realized where she had heard of us before. She began to explain to us that 40 plus years ago-when she was our age- she was working for a company in Lisbon, and the owner of the company was an LDS woman from the United States. At that time they had very few members of the church and what members they did have met together in this woman's home. Tina had actually gone to church with this lady several times. She had a book of Mormon, said she loved our church and felt a special connection to Joseph Smith, but eventually this company shut down, and she lost touch with our church!
We talked with this couple for about an hour on the street, and I could hardly contain my excitement! We set up an appointment to visit them the next day, and it turns out that they live only about a block away from us! And we have visited them every day since then. They came to church with us Yesterday, loved it, and now we just need to get them baptized! I have no doubt in my mind that they will be baptized shortly! They are absolutely incredible fam! I just love them soooooo much! It is incredible how strangers can turn into family in such a short amount of time! They are definitely a miracle story.
Another miracle of the week! We have 3 people marked for baptism next week! The part member family that I talked a little bit about last week, well, Sebastiana, Kamila, and Luana will be baptized next Sunday! Sebastiana is the mom and is so nice, Kamila is the 18 year old daughter that I think would make an amazing missionary, and their other Daughter Luana. They have been taught by numerous missionaries for some time now, but last night we were able to go to their house and have an awesome lesson with them and mark them for baptism!!! 
So family, now we need all your prayers to make sure all these dates and fantastic things happen!!  
The work in Mafra is progressing, and we can feel the Lord helping us and guiding us everyday! I can't express the joy and love I feel as a missionary, it is absolutely incredible and I feel extremely blessed to get to experience all these miracles everyday.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and all your support fam! VOCÊS SÃO INCRIVEIS! Love you tons! Paz e Bençãos

-Sister Selk

Luana, Kamila, and Sebastiana!!!

Tina and Silvio

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Sep 7, 2015

 Mafra is definitely a completely diferent experience from Olhão that is for sure! haha But I love it and this week has been a good one.
I can't explain Mafra very well still because we spent the majority of our days this week traveling....crazy. I have spend way to much time on the bus and metro this week. #jáchega 
You would think that sitting on a bus might be nice for a change-a bit of a break so to speak, but I have never been so tired in my life! I can't figure it out. 
Mafra is in the middle of nowhere. I love it, but like I said Mafra is so  different! We have a huge convent in Mafra that is absolutely incredible and overall everything is charming ....  One thing that is different from Olhão is that Mafra has mostly houses! So we spend MUITO tempo knocking doors. Yesterday we were knocking doors in the afternoon and found some really cool people that we are excited to visit in the coming weeks! Knocking doors is quite the experience haha you never know what to expect or what is going to happen! 
I had to do residency in Lisboa this week, so just a few days after transfers I returned to Lisboa and got to see Sister Andrade again because she was also there with her companion. 
Not only did I have residency this week but also zone meeting and Stake conference....both of which we had to make the trip back to mem martines, so like I said I am already tired of the bus...And the bus schedule. But we find small ways to continue to do missionary work while waiting for the bus etc. This week we ran into a man who is originally from Portugal but also lived in Canada, and now goes back and forth from Portugal to the United States. We found out after talking to him that he is actually a less active member! He just loved talking to us though and I hope we somehow made an impression on him to go back to church. We also met a family from London this week! They were such a cute family we were able to help them out and do a bit of service for them as well. So it is always interesting to find out what we are going to find at the bus station.
As for other news:
We are teaching a part member family right now that is absolutely incredible! The husband Luis is a really strong member, but he has a wife and 4 daughters that aren't members. One of the daughters is 18 and SUPER intelligent. I can already see her being the most incredible missionary! They live in a town outside of Mafra, so we don't get to visit them as much as we would like, but our lesson with them this past week went really well, and we are hoping to mark them for baptism in the coming weeks.
Sister Ventura is incredible! I really wasn't worried about how we would get along, because from the few times I talked to her I could already tell that we would get along really well. We are going to get work done in Mafra! At times it feels like it is us against the world here. We are literally alone! We don't have very many strong members to help us, we don't have other missionaries to help us, but we have the Lord, so I am certain we have the strength we need to transform this area!
Amo Vocês. Tem uma boa semana! Paz e Bençãos!! 

-Sister Selk