Well we might as well start off with general conference since that was the highlight of the week! I won't say too much about it because yáll already know that it was incredible! 3 new apostles and lots and lots of inspiration! All the talks were spot on, but some of my favorites were Elder Lawrence, Elder Holland, President Nelson, President Eyring, and Elder Durrant. On Point. Because of the time difference we watched conference from 3-7 on Saturday and then again at 1-3 and 5-7 Sunday and finished up the last session this morning. One thing that I was thinking of during conference was that we could all apply the council of Elder Durrant and each week pick a scripture to ponderize together as a family. I think it would be a neat way to still have a bit of family unity while we are all scattered in various places. what do you think? This week I am going to ponderize John 3:16-17. I don't know exactly how you guys want to do it. Maybe we can all take turns to pick a verse of Scipture? Let me know what you guys think. I also wanted to share one quick experience from conference that touched my heart just as much if not more than the talks themselves.
We have one recent convert in Mafra named Antonio. Antonio is about 60+ years old, has a bit of a homely appearance, poor education, and overall doesn't have much in his life. I am ashamed to say that if I passed him on the street I probably would think he would have no interest in the gospel of Jesus Christ. But Antonio is one of the most dedicated and converted members that we have in Mafra. Out of every member in Mafra, Antonio was the ONLY member to attend conference with us, and it is incredible because if anyone has excuses not to make it to conference it is him. He lives about an hours walk to the nearest autocarro station in Mafra, and doesn't have money to meet his basic needs let alone a bus ticket for conference, and not only this but when he walks he has EXTREME pain in his leg. Yet when we called to invite him to conference this week he didn't mention any of these things. He simple said he would be there. When we showed up to the bus terminal yesterday morning he was already there waiting for us ready to go to conference. However, when we got to mem martins, there wasn't one member in the church to watch conference. (Lunch is a big thing in Portugal so they all watched that session in their house.) Because of our rules as missionaries, Sister Ventura and I weren't able to watch conference with him and had to go to another room to watch conference while Antonio sat in the chapel and watched it alone. I can't explain how powerful it was to walk by and see about 100 empty shares with one humble man sitting by himself watching the prophet and apostles of God. I never realized the kind of sacrifices people make for this church before I came to Portugal. It is truly incredible, and I learn from their examples every day!
This week just flew by!! It was basically just a festa with the sisters of Mem Martins the entire week which was incredible! We spent Monday and Tuesday with them because of District meeting and then the very next day they came to do divisions in Mafra!!!! It was so fun to get to be companions with Sister Bryner again! We had way too much fun together and definitely saw lots of miracles. While we were on our division, Sister Bryner and I tried to visit Lucas and we were waiting outside his apartment building when a woman walked past with a whole box of pastries. We said hi, and randomly she just offered us the whole box of pastries!!! It was the craziest thing! We were literally in shock just wondering if we heard her right when she handed us the box and went inside. We just kind of sat there for a moment and then realized that we should go find her and thank her! haha we entered the building and found her door was still open because she went and grabbed sumol and cups for us too. Acts of kindness fam. They still happen, and they make a difference, so I am definitely going to apply this principle more in my life and would challenge you to do the same. Little things can make all the difference in the lives of others.
During our division we also contacted an amazing family! We walked past a man in a work van and said hi, but continued to walk on. Yet just a few steps after we passed by both Sister Bryner and I looked at each other and knew we needed to go talk to them. They are a Brazilian family that have been living in Ericera (another town in our area-super beautiful by the way you guys should google it) for only the past 3 months or so. We set up an appointment to visit them because they want to learn english and we told them we teach it for free. We were able to visit them on Saturday before going to Mem Martins for conference and they are soooo cool! We will probably be going to Ericeira every week now to teach them english, but it was cool because we had a picture of one of the brazil temples with the articles of faith on the back that we showed them, and the dad was super interested and asked if he could keep it. They are currently evangelical.....soon to be LDS. hahah
As you can see it was a pretty jammed packed week! Time is absolutely flying. I can't believe I hit 8 months this week!!! Thanks for all your support and love fam. Participam bem. Amo Vocês MUITO.