I was reading Mason´s email from last week and realized that I had a pretty similar week to him this week, so it might be a bit of a repeat, mas tudo bem.
I was thinking about what happened this week, and we really did so much this week!
First off, I will talk a little bit about Olhão!!! It was super fun being able to drive down to Olhão and spend a few hours visiting with everyone I know there. We really didn´t have that much time, so we didn´t get to visit everyone that I was hoping to get to visit, but I was super content with every visit that we made. I got to see Rosaria! We went and knocked on her door and her mom answered and said that she was working, so we asked for her number, but then her mom told us to wait one second and went and knocked on their next door neighbors house. Sure enough Rosaria opened the door! I was so not expecting that, and I know Rosaria was not expecting to see me because when she saw me her mouth dropped wide open and she came and gave me a big hug.
I also got to see Nato and his Family. They came to the church to visit with us for awhile. Bruno is preparing to serve a mission and we actually just found out yesterday that he will be serving in Spain! So that is super exciting!
Definitely the highlight of the day though was being able to go visit Avo Rosalia and Nuno. I knew that she wouldn´t recognize me, because her memory is not the greatest, but I died when I saw her. She is honestly the most Precious woman I have met here in Portugal, and is just the most dedicated member. She still walks to church all by herself, even though I don´t know how safe that is for her to do, because of the issues she has with her memory. But what made my day is when she still talked about the "lourinha" missionary that was so "querida"- That being me :) Although she didn´t completely recognize me, she still knows and remembers who I am. She was talking about me and asking where I was and Nuno had to tell her that it was me, and she just got so excited and happy.
So basically it was a super succesfull trip to the algarve.
On tuesday we had zone conference. Like Mason mentioned in his last email, all the missionaries bear their testimonies in the last zone conference, so like him, I also had to bear my testimony and my feelings were about exactly the same. I have seen so many other missionaries get up and bear their testimonies that it almost didn´t seem real that it was my turn.
I honestly don´t want to and can´t think about that. Just sitting in my last fast and testimony meeting here in Portugal yesterday had me bawling.
I´m a mess.
But I am taking advantage of every minute that I have.
As our final testimony they ask us to bear our testimonies on "why our mission was a success" I stood up and had to change that a little bit to "why my mission is a success, and will continue to be a success."
I love the mission so much.
We met the sweetest couple in one of our areas this week. They are just the cutest little things! Maria Vitoria and Raul. They are 83 and 86 years old, but they are goers! Man they probably work harder than I ever have! I feel pretty blessed sometimes as a canadian, because other people that have any connection to canada always love me. That was the case with Maria and Raul. They lived in Canada for many years and Raul was a very good carpenter. (He actually reminds me a ton of Grandpa Johnson.) They raised their family there and everything, and one of their sons still live there, but they moved back to Portugal with their other son. When They found out I was from Canada they invited us back to have lunch with them, so we returned and got to explain more about the book of mormon. I think the funniest part is that they are just this cute little couple but they have the most massive, terrifying dogs I have ever seen in my life.....I will try and send a picture.
I kind of got to celebrate canada day! We went to Claudia and Bruno´s house and I made them poutine....I have to say, I just pretend like I know how to make poutine everytime, but everytime it turns out pretty dang good.....What can I say, I am a true canadian.
Another cool story of the week! We have a family in our ward that is super firm, but they have a son who is 13 and has never been baptised because it is the second marriage of the mom, and his dad never allowed him to get baptized. But finally they got it authorized, and he was baptized on Saturday!!!! It was honestly one of the coolest baptisms I have attended. He was SO happy, it was incredible. He has been religiously attending church his whole life, and has always had to sit and watch the other deacons of our ward pass the sacrament, or hear about the other youth going to the temple, but finally it was his turn, and he is officially the newest member of our ward. That baptism definitely had me crying.
The rest of the week Sister Ditton and I were just working out bums off trying to find new people to teach. We visited a TON of our members to ask for references and when we weren´t doing that we were knocking doors like crazy!......It is definitely smoking here is Setubal. It was a solid 40º yesterday.......But I honestly cannot complain. I love this work, and every little struggle is so worth it.
Amo Vocês! Fiquem bem! BEIJINHOS.
Paz e Bênçãos.
Minha Filha now serving in my area.....so weird!
Minha Querida Avo!!!
Nato e Familia....and Luis....haha
Maria Vitoria e Raul