I definitely had one of the best weeks in the mission this past week. It was such a solid week full of absolute miracles!
I had my second division this week, but this time it was with....SISTER TILTON!!! You better believe that I was incredibly excited to serve with her again for even just one day. She is currently serving in a tripla, so we had Sister Tilton, Sister Hansen, and Sister Ditton come to our area. Sister Ditton is in her second transfer like Sister Andrew, and Sister Hansen is in her first transfer.....power to Sister Tilton for training two sisters....that is absolutely insane. She is a powerhouse.
I always get a little stressed about divisions. It is a lot of pressure to try and have solid plans for two people. I have been fasting before every division, and was really hoping to see the miracles from that. I am going to be completely honest and say that it was slow going at first. We literally called every single person we could to try and set up appointments for Tuesday.....We called SO MANY PEOPLE! And absolutely no one was available on Tuesday, so we had no fixed plans. So I stayed up later on Monday night just trying to at least organize a bunch of people from our area book that we could pass by. By about midnight on Monday night I had plans, backup plans, and double backup plans to pass by a ton of people.
Sister Tilton and I ended up going to Pinhal Novo for the day, and basically passed by a ton of people that had previously been taught by missionaries. Although we didn´t have a ton of success with that, God still provided us with some major miracles! Just being able to work and contact with Sister Tilton again was a miracle in and of itself. We work so well together, and have a ton of fun so it is the best of both worlds with her. But besides being able to work with Sister Tilton, we had so many good experiences that day. We were walking down the main street and were going to pick up some dinner real quick when a lady stopped us and asked if we were the missionaries. She works next to the cafe we always go to to eat, and has seen us a number of times, but said she was always to hesistant to stop us, but this time she came out from her store to talk to us! She is a mom with a 14 year old daughter that were baptized in Setubal- another area in Portugal, but then they moved to Pinhal Novo and no longer knew where the church was. She said she missed going to church and wanted to start going again. I honestly couldn´t believe it! It was so incredible! Sister Tilton and I just walked away like "did that really just happen?" Then, not even like 10 feet away from where we were talking to her, we got stopped yet again by a guy who asked if we were the sisters. Although I had never seen this young man before, I knew exactly who it was. President Luis told us about a young man from Pinhal Novo that had been baptized over the weekend. Although he is living in our area, and we probably should have received his reference, the elders in another area baptized him, and he has been attending church in another ward. President Luis didn´t know his name or really anything about him, and just a few hours earlier I had asked him if he had found out anything more about him so we could contact him somehow. He still didn´t know anything, but luckily the Lord has all the information, and placed this young man right in our path. It was literally the most incredible thing ever. His name is Paulo. He is 25 years old and just the most amazing guy. You can tell he already has such a strong converted testimony and already wants to send in his mission papers. He received the priesthood this week in the other ward, but said that he wants to start coming to our branch, so we are going to start working with him!
The rest of the week was absolute gold. After divisions, our work picked up majorly. There were 2 solid days that we had to run from lesson to lesson, and we found and are teaching so many amazing people at the moment. So I am going to tell you a bit about them.
While calling everyone in preparation for divisions, we called a less active member Etiandro. We had never met him before, but we set up a time to meet with him. We got to his house and no one was home which was unfortunate, but then when we were walking out of the building we saw 2 black men just sitting and talking. I decided to walk over there and see if they happened to know who Etiandro was. Well turns out that we were talking to him and his friend-Toni. I didn´t realize but we had actually contacted Toni already before in January, but it was a super fast contact because he had just gotten out of the hospital and was on his way to the pharmacy. Well, we ended up being able to teach them both and Etiandro bore his testimony to Toni, and it was such a good experience. I invited Toni to prepare to be baptized and he accepted. He wanted to come to church yesterday, but unfortunately he had work, so he couldn´t this week. But I am super stoked to be teaching him. He is such a humble man with huge potential.
We also got to teach Denilson and his family again this week. It was so hard having to wait until Saturday to be able to teach them again! But Denilson is still super interested and has tons of questions. He explained to us that he started attending the Evangelical church for a while and had the desire to become a preacher, but then said he realized it was a lot more complicated than what he initally thought. He is incredible smart, and knows a lot of things! We set up another appointment to talk with him again, but this time we made sure we didn´t have to wait a whole week to talk to him, so we will actually be talking to him again tomorrow!
And the final people that I wanted to tell you all about are Sorin and Andreia. This family is so awesome! They are actually from Romania, but have been living in Portugal for 11 years. We contacted Andreia on the street, and it has been a few weeks, but we finally got to stop by and talk with them! Oh my goodness, I am so excited about this family I can hardly stand it! Ahhhh! We got to teach them the first lesson on Saturday, and invited them to church. They had a bunch of questions which I absolutely love! Sorin still has some trouble speaking and reading Portugues, so we were able to give him a book of mormon in Romanian, and I think he really loved it. Andreia didn´t end up coming to church on Sunday because she was at home with her kids, but Sorin came for all 3 hours and I think he really enjoyed it! The members treated him so well, and the best part is that our elders quorum president- Nicolae actually could speak to Sorin in Romanian and told him to call him any time.
I wish I had time to really explain all of the miracles that we saw this week. But basically my level of happiness was through the roof. So good! Thanks for all your prayers on my behalf. I am definitely receiving all the blessings!
I am especially grateful this Easter week for the sacrifice and resurrection of our Lord and Savior. I feel his presence everyday and I have seen his hand in this work, and because of that I know that he lives. I know that he lives for us. He didn´t rise the 3rd day just for him to live again, but he rose so that each of us through him might live. I know this is true. I know he loves each and everyone of us to an extent that we cannot comprehend. He truly is our living Savior and Redeemer.
Love you all! Feliz Páscoa!
Paz e Bênçãos
Noite familiar com familia simão!