Another week down. Now ive only got two weeks left of this transfer!! woo hoo!!!
This week was interesting. We´ve decided to drop a lot of our investigators that just arent progressing and so we visited a lot of novos this week. and did a loooooot of contacts on the street. Thats presidents emphasis this week so it was good. one day we had eight lessons throughout the day, four of which were on the street. it was cool. Im getting a lot better at my contacts... but my portuguese is still rough. and when i say that i mean i have a really hard time understanding people. tis incredibly annoying. They hear me and are like, wow you speak so well!!! and im like what? i didnt understand you... not literally but thats how it feels. argh.
Actually this week was kind of rough. we had some new people with a lot of potential and then our plans with them fell through. one day we had three incredible lessons lined up and lesson by lesson every single one of them fell. We had thirteen people that said they would come to church and only three came. And those three were people that i was thinking, wow, these guys are going to get baptized for sure. Well, they got to church and started talking to us about how they go to the spiritualism clinic and how they communicate with spirits and how there are good energies and bad energies and all this stuff...yikes! They came to church tho and agreed to meet with us this week so we will see. im going to give it one go and if nothing happens, im out. theyre nuts. they talked to us or other mebers for a solid hour and a half after church ended. yikes a bee.
I saw my first nun last night!!! We were going to give one of the extra efy CDs to this girl that is in the ward that is beyond incredible. IM pretty sure she is an orphan and lives in a catholic orphanage. Shes 17 and goes to school and works and walks 40 minutes to church every week and gets there EARLY which is way impressive for anyone in portugal and shes just the sweetest thing and i love her. So because our crazy investigators were talking our ears off after church, we decided to go visit her (Mariza) last night and bring her some cookies and the CD. We didnt know she lived in a catholic orphanage until we got to the giant oak doors and called her and she came out and we peeked in and there were nuns walking around giving us stares. It was soooo funny. Gosh that girl is an example to me. Would i walk 40 minutes to church every week by myself? Would you, sisters of mine?
One thing ive been thinking about a lot this week has to do with that quote that dad wants me to memorize by lief Erickson... We and the world, my children, will always be at war. Retreat is impossible. Arm yourselves. Hey look at that, I memorized it!
Well, he sent me that first in the MTC and i was like, shoot, thats a little intense... But as Ive been out here, I realized its so true. Satan is real, the lack of religion in this world is the way he blinds the eyes and heardens the hearts of men. There are many that partake of the fruit and are baptized, but then become ashamed because of the pride of the world and leave the path because of sports on Sundays, jobs, whatever it maybe. And Im on the front lines of this never ending battle. And sometimes my testimony is shaken. Im wounded. But as I look to the other missionaries, members, and most of all the scriptures and the words of the prophets, I am restrengthened and get back out on the street and share the gospel. We truly are at war, and friends and family, we truly do need to arm ourselves. Deepen your testimony so that when doubts come or temptations face you, you are built upon Chirst and cannot be shaken. Make the gospel a part of your way of life more than just running through the actions, give it meaning. I cannot emphasize this enough.
The ward mission leader here is named Edison Gomez. He was converted when he was younger, and now hes married with eight kids, most of whom live in the ward here and basically run the ward. theyre incredible. But one thing he always says during our meetings is "Estamos na Guerra". Were in the war. This man never served a mission, but ive seen him several times at night biking around visitng less active members, and whenever he has the chance at work, he hands out a book of Mormon. Hes handed out like 20. He lives his testimony, and becuase this gospel means so much to him, he knows how it is. He knows that we really at war. because we are!! sorry for this long, drawn out, rather deep comparison, but I hope you guys can see this and truly do begin to arm your selves. Basically I hope i can be edison gomes someday.
I love you all and hope to hear from ALL OF YOU soon.
Paz, amor, casamento do templo,
Sister Kelly Briggs