Monday, August 12, 2013

Ola from Lisboa!

First things first, I’m here, I’m safe. The mail address that dad sent me the snail mail through is perfect, I got it already. If anyone wants to mail me, tell them to use that

OKAY!!!! So. I don’t speak Portuguese. More importantly, when people speak Portuguese, I can’t understand a lick of what they’re saying. So... that stinks. When they’re talking to people, they don’t even look at me because I don’t say anything, I just stare and smile occasionally when other people are smiling (smile and wave boys...) I’ve never relied so much on the lord. ARGH not fun, but I’m learning and doing alright. 

Oh btw traveling was fine, except that I didn’t get to call much. That was hard. But other than that it was smooth.  Also I didn’t place a Book of Mormon because I was sitting with missionaries the whole time, which was actually nice. People in London really do have bad teeth, it’s not a myth. 

Here’s an example of how bad my language is. We're supposed to do this thing called convite suave... or smooth invite. It's where you ask, when or if you receive an answer, will you be baptized? Well I’ve tried to do it three times during lessons, and all three times they just look at me confused, and my companion has to jump in and help. haha it super stinks in the moment but looking back its pretty funny haha.

It’s hard to remember I’ve been here less than a week when everyone around me is fluent. I just wish I knew what was going on around me mostly. I wish I could understand what these people are saying so I could help them.

So my Zone is Lisboa, my area is Benfica. We live right above the chapel and the office which is sweet! All the mail goes to the office so I could get it the day it comes in, the elders are always there so I never feel too isolated, and it’s just a cool place. A tender mercy for sure. 

Benfica slash Lisboa in general is just one big giant dirty smelly gross city. That’s all. All I see in any direction is more buildings.  Flying in I was so excited because I could see all the pretty red roofs and stuff, but once you get closer it’s just like, this place is gross. ugh. 

Well, in my first five days of being a missionary in the field, I’ve done everything a missionary could do. Had two baptisms, eaten with members, slightly offended one because I didn’t take a banana home, walked through the ghetto, been proposed to, walked everywhere and sweat like never before, met Angolans, Mozambuiquans, Capo Verdianos, and Brazilians; been rejected, gotten into arguments about religion (okay well mostly my comp did that) but yeah. It’s been real.

My second day I was already weary, so Heavenly Father sent me a tender mercy of getting to eat out! Someone in the ward works at this buffet place and lets us eat there sometime. It was Brazilian food but it was dang good.  Someday I’ll figure out how to send a pic. 

They do bejinos here, or little kisses. The kisses on the cheek thing? Yeah. Not a fan. But it’s just like second nature to these people. I’ll meet someone new and they’ll come up and put their face in my face and I’m just like, what’s your face doing up in there??? Get that out of there!!! But no, instead I give them little kisses. ugh...

My companion is Sister Echeverria. She’s from Vegas but her parents were from Guatemala. She’s been here two transfers and is already basically fluent. Maybe me someday? Sure hope so. The first day she didn’t speak any English to me and I almost lost it... that was a rough day, so now she’s going easier on me and were doing well. This area is super successful. Seriously, I had a baptism in the first hours of being here. It’s cool.

Funny story, our elevator was broken for a little bit, and we live on the seventh floor of a building. That was not fun. Thankfully it’s all better now. But yikes, we were basically living in the church for a bit because we hated walking up all those stairs haha. 

So I had to give a short short talk at one of the baptisms, about the Holy Ghost. One of the members even said to my comp when they saw my name on the program... Sister Briggs doesn’t even speak Portuguese! How is she gonna give a talk???  But I got up there and it went great. When I sat back down the elders’ faces were straight up shocked. They told me later I’m speaking great and they were way impressed and I speak way better than they did when they got out here. That’s great; mostly I just wish I could understand people haha. But it was a nice self confidence boost. 

Dad it was funny that you told me about buying milk in bags on your mish because I bought milk in boxes this week. Except it’s more like chalky water than milk... but it does the job with cereal. 

Sister e has some sweet tricked out primary music that we listen to and I love it. I’m talking straight up dropping the bass techno music. Only with book of Mormon stories as the lyrics. It’s fantastic.

Well, that’s really all that happened other than lots of walking, lots of teaching, lots of sweating sleeping planning reading struggling and most of all praying. I’m sure more happened but I wouldn’t know, I can’t understand anything haha.

I have never learned to rely on the Lord like now. I’ve never know what it’s meant to endure trials well until this. I’ve never felt humility, felt that I truly am nothing without him until this. I hope you all can humble yourselves enough so you don’t have to go through anything like this. Prayer works miracles. That’s all I’ve got for a spiritual thought this week.

FAMILY I LOVE AND MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!!!! Mom, Dad, Erin, Emily, Claire, Mary, Audrey, Ailene. It’s rough, but rest assured I’m doing well. Lots of love and prayer headed your way.

P.S.  Thanks to all that emailed me and have been praying for me. Also Sam Wright and Dad for sending my first two letters out here!!!!

Peace, love and temple marriage (in the best language ever)

Sister Kelly Briggs

Sister Echevarria, Sister Briggs, Sister Fluckinger, President Fluckinger

Benfica part of Lisbon below

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