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Thursday, 23 June 2016

The final 6

Let me just say right off the bat that this week made me extremely grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I mean I wouldn´t be out here preaching the gospel if I wasn´t already grateful for it, but this week we got pretty exposed to some other religions, and let me tell you...The church is true my friends.
One of these experiences being with a Jehovas witness. We met this son and father knocking doors a few weeks ago and they invited us back to talk a few times, but our lessons just turned into more of a discussion of the scriptures more than anything else, so this time I was determined to go back there with purpose to find out if they really had the desire to learn more about this church. We prepared a lot for our lesson, and brought e member, and in the end it was a super good experience. 
We ended up dropping them, but it was still a super cool lesson.
We realized that they were more firm in their church than we thought and were basically inviting us over to try and convert us. At one point in the lesson João (the son) was saying something about the fact that he just couldn´t believe in someone like joseph smith and said that any true prophet of God, does not speak of himself but only of the will of God. It was at this point that I was able to bear one of the strongest testimonies I have shared about Joseph Smith. There is no doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith is a prophet called of God. I shared with him just a few of the things that joseph did in his life- including leaving his family and friend behind to die for this religion, and then I asked him if he thought any man who was just establishing a church for himself would do something like that. 
He got pretty quiet after that.
In the end, he really had no desire to change his life, but for me every minute was worth it, just because of the fact that I myself gained a greater testimony of the Prophet Joseph smith and this gospel.
We were also invited to the 7th day adventist church on Saturday, so we attended a few hours of that church as well, and it was basically the same story all over again.
The church is true fam.
We are still teaching Vitor and it is going well. It is a pretty slow process with him, and even though he doesn´t have the greatest intelectual capacity, he has such a desire to change his life which is amazing.
Oh! Also, another super cool experience that happened this week!
We were invited to Bruno and Claudia´s house to eat dinner on Saturday night (they Always give us food! They would invite us over everyday if us was up to them!) but anyways, bruno had to give his first talk in church this week, so we were helping him with his talk after dinner, and the best part was that his brother was there having dinner with us. He is a super nice guy, but you could tell he was kind of trying to keep closed to make sure that we knew he wasn´t interested in anything we had to say. But there was one point where I just shared my testimony of the atonement. I don´t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember saying that I wished that every person in the world had a greater understanding of the atonement because everyone would be so much happier. I continued to share my testimony, and as I was talking Bruno´s brother was listening so intently. I then asked Bruno to read Alma 7:11-13, and I think that scripture really hit him. We finished up with a prayer and while we were praying I got the strongest impression that I needed to ask him-actually not just ask him, but basically tell him- that he had felt something as we were talking. As soon as the prayer was done I looked straight into his eyes and said, "you felt something didn´t you." He responded without hesitation and said a simple "yes". All I said after that was, "when you want to feel that again, you have our number and we are available whenever you want to talk to us."
It was such a cool experience! Ahhh. It was crazy! I´m excited to see where it goes. Yesterday his little 8 year old son came to church with Bruno and Claudia, so that is a start.
To end, we got transfer calls last night and I found out I will be serving with Sister Ditton! It is going to be a blast. Also we are going to have 2 canadians in the house...the only canadians on the mission, so that is pretty cool! Sister Bravender is from Edmonton and is only in her 2nd transfer and will be serving with Sister Vanaquer. You better believe we are going to have a great 1st of July in our house! Whoop.
Hope you all have a great week. Love ya lots! Fiquem fortes! Só mais 6 semanas...Ahhhh!
Paz e Bênçãos.

Sister Selk

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Serra de Arrabida

               Me attempting to do a breakdancing move that Sister Vanaquer taught

I like catching crabs and stuff


Well we went from nothing, to being super busy all within Last Monday to today. Finally the work has picked up!
We had what was called a "Semana Branca" Thid week in our mission, where every missionary dedicated just a little bit more and sacrificed just a little bit more, and did all that they could to baptize this week. 
Needless to say we saw many miracles right from the very start of our week.
Sister Bird and I started with a Fast on Monday to start out our week, and that night we went to a big park in our area with the sisters to meet up with one of our recent converts. While we were waiting for him we were doing contacts and I spotted a man sitting on a bench that I went to contact. We talked with him for a bit and then invited him to come join the lesson we were going to have with our member. He accepted. and as it turns out that, the member that was recently baptized is related to this man (vitor). We have since been teaching vitor about everyday, and he even came to church with us yesterday.
The only problem is that we found out he has killed someone in the past, and was very into drugs etc......but everytime we talk to him he tells us how much he wants to change, and he has already cut cut down his smoking.
The atonement is for everyone! But we will have to be a little careful and see how it goes. :)
I made cafe rio this week for our whole district, and everyone was loving it, so thanks katie for the recipe. You made some elders extremely happy that day.
We also had a division in Caiscais on Friday. Usually we stay over with the Sisters but we had to help with a baptism on Saturday, so it was a pretty quick "there and back" trip. But it is always fun to get to spend some time with Sister Barron. It was weird talking about the fact that we both only have one more transfer left on the mission.
Saturday was absolutely crazy. We were running all over the place trying to help out with the baptism of the Sisters and the Elders-Printing out programs, and getting baptismal clothes, picking up one of our investigators, and then on top of all of that trying to put together a musical number with the sisters.
Yup....Missionary life. But the baptisms were absolutely incredible! Sister Jarnagin and Vanaquer baptized the coolest 16 year old young man named Simão. He has such a strong testimony of the church and is going to do increidble things.
That night we had to capture Claudia-One of our recent converts-because it was her birthday and we planned a surprise party for her with her husband. So she came and taught some people with us while her husband and daughter prepared everything with the elders and some other friends. It was pretty fun to be a part of that.
Yesterday was also a solid day. I got to see my montijo family for the 3 time in 5 weeks, and I told them we would have to keep up this pattern. They all came to Setubal to see the baptism of one of the members daughter. (Which is a super cool story that I am going to have to tell you guys in a letter) Nevertheless, I was extremely excited to get to see them all! 
And then to finish off the week.....Snails.
I had my first experience eating snails this week. 
How I have gotten this far on the mission without eating snails...I don´t know.
But I was actually pretty excited to each them, and I think I was the only missionary out of the 4 of us who actually kind of enjoyed them.
Adventures. Why not.
Hope you guys have an incredible week. Try something new. Love ya!
Paz e Bênçãos

-Sister Selk

My first attempt at parallel parking...Sis Vanaquer has since taught me better:)

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Small and simple things

Blessing of the week: It sounds like the Sisters of Setubal will be getting a new house! Whooo!
We talked with Sister Tavares last week about our house situation, because our house is LIXO! haha I have never seen such bad mold in my life. It is to the point where the mold is no longer black but has turned that happens, I have no idea.
We also have a ton of cockroaches in our fridge and kitchen, and when sister Tavares heard about this she was pretty convinced that we needed to move. So our task this week was finding a new house. I had no idea what was included in this, but together with the 4 sisters, we figured it out. 
The real estate ladies didn´t take us very seriously, but in the end we found a nice apartment, so if all goes well we should be moving in the next few weeks.
As for the missionary work....
It´s been a little bit slow, but we are fighting the fight with faith!
Lately our challenge has been finding people with real intent. It isn´t that we haven´t found nice people.....we just haven´t found people that are willing to change their lives in accordance with the commandments of God. 
This week we had a lesson with a man that we contacted a few weeks ago. He was incredibly nice, and invited us back, the only problem is that he doesn´t believe in God. This week I was also reading in Alma about the AntiChrists, and I was thinking about him the whole time. There are so many evidences that God exists, but it is so sad that men are blinded by the things of the world. 
So if you guys are questioning what it is that you guys can pray for....We would appreciate prayers to help us find people prepared and willing to hear our message and change their lives.
Until we find these people....I don´t have much more to update you on. It was a pretty normal week doing the work of the Lord, but I am so grateful for the trials and difficulties we experience everyday, and especially for the tender mercies that the Lord gives us amongst these difficulties. Despite being a slower week, I saw many blessing from the Lord and received many answers to prayer. 
I have been learning that the Lord works through small and simple means-meaning that sometimes our answers will also be small and simple. Many times we overlook these answers to prayers, but I know that as we pray to recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives we will see his presence in our lives.
Love yáll. Fiquem Bem.
Paz e Bênçãos.

-Sister Selk

Thursday, 2 June 2016

May 30

I´m forgetting everything that happened during the week at this it might be a bit of a short email.
We had zone conference this week, and basically the whole meeting we talked about having the faith to find people, which is really what we have been needing here in Setubal. That same afternoon Sister Bird and I dedicated our time to finding new people to teach, and we saw a lot of success. We decided to try working in a new area that we had never worked in before. It is a bit of a wealthier area, so it wasn´t easy work, but we were able to find some good people to return to. Some of those people being Lucas and Paula-a mother and son who has 15 years old.
They let us enter into their yard and we were able to talk a lot with them about religion. They are very religious in their own way, and are just the humblest and nicest people (She grew up in canada for a time, so that explains a lot ;) I can honestly say that I have never explained baptisms for the dead in my first contact with anyone, but our conversation lead to that, and they were really interested in the temple. I´m hoping we will be able to go back and visit them again this week, but they are an extremely busy family, so we will see what happens.
We talked to Milia and Sofia again this week and invited them to stop smoking. I think it is going to be quite the hard addiction for them to quit, so we are working on that. Unfortunately they weren´t able to come to church this week like they said, so there hasn´t been a ton of progress with them.
I have been trying to get to know the members a little bit better, so one day this week we went and visited one of the jovens in our ward-Alexandre. He is probably the coolest jovem I have met in Portugal. Sister Jarnagin and Sister Vanaquer are teaching one of his friends at the moment who is going to get baptized in the coming weeks, and Alexandre has already baptized another friend of his who was actually asked to give his testimony in front of elder Bednar at our stake conference, so basically this one young man is creating and army of valient LDS youth......he is super cool. He is only 16 years old, and has one of the strongest testimonies I have heard. He has been working on his girlfriend as well, and we have plans to do a pday with them next week, so we can get to know her better and create a relationship with her and start teaching her! I think it is going to be a golden tactic!
The rest of the week was pretty normal. I can´t think of much else to add, so I think I am going to leave it at that.
The church is true fam. I love this gospel, and the opportunity I have to share it with as many people as possible. 
Thanks once more for all the support and love. Vocês são INCRÍVEIS!
Paz e Bênçãos

-Sister Selk