Well, Vasco de Gama is completely different than Mafra, but I think we are going to have some good times here. The Christmas lights and Christmas music they play all over town is enough to make me super happy walking down the streets, let alone getting to talk to the world about Christ's Church being restored to the earth. Life is good.
I am not going to lie, the first part of this week was pretty rough. Sister Lacey got a bad cold at the beginning of the week, so I spent quite a few hours inside decorating our branch's Christmas invitations while she slept, but luckily we got to work at least a few solid hours everyday this week.
We had our first district meeting with the new district here, and SURPRISE! Sister Ventura is in my district and will actually be my sister training leader this transfer. #blessings. Elder Pitcher (Mason's Friend) is also in my district! I haven't seen him since being on the mission, but now he is my zone leader and so I am pretty excited about this district. We actually celebrated U.S. Thanksgiving together after our district meeting, and it was super legit....the only problem is that we left the elders in charge to do the turkey, and they showed up with some sort of curried turkey breast......but other than that it was a big success.
Like I said, Montijo/ Vasco de Gama is completely different than Mafra. It is on the other side of the river of Lisboa, so we can see Lisboa from our area because it is basically right on the river. We have a branch here as well. For some reason there were very few members in church yesterday, but the ones that I have met are absolutely incredible and I love them already. They are on the bigger side for a branch, so hopefully we can help them turn into a ward in the next few months.
As for other stories this week:
We made a really interesting contact one night this week. We were walking down the street and it was already dark and I saw a man standing at the gate of his house. He was about 60 years old and I started talking to him. I asked him if he believed in God, and then continued to tell us that he couldn't decide. He said that he would like to believe there is a God, but then said that his son had died in an accident and one of his daughters was mentally challenged and at times it was hard for him to believe that a loving God could allow those things to happen. It was amazing to be able to bear testimony after of the reality of a loving heavenly father, and the spirit was so strong.
Family I want you to know that I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and knows us perfectly. It is one of the simplest doctrines of the gospel, but one of my absolute favorite things to bear testimony about. This is why I am here. I remember sitting in my international developement class the semester before I left for the mission just wondering why so many bad things happen in this world and how I could make a difference. It occured to me that the best thing that I could do was serve a mission. Because I know that Heavenly Father is the greatest changemaker. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share this joy with others. He truly does love him, and just like Ether 12:4 says, through faith in him we can hope for a better world. I know this is true and that one day all wrongs will be made right because he is just, merciful, loving, and perfect.
I hope you guys can all remember the love that your father has for you. It is infinite and perfect, and he truly wants the best for us. I love you guys SO much!!! Thanks for everything you do. Continue com fé. Paz e Bênçãos Família!