This week was pretty great!! I love Viseu!!! its absolutely gorgeous here and with the fall leaves coming in and then Christmas on its way, I'm just so grateful to be serving here. Its such a privilege.
Another reason serving in Viseu is so wonderful, the ward here is absolutely incredible!!!! Last week the second counselor in the bishopric called all the missionaries (there are 4 of us assigned to this ward) into a room to chat for a second, and he said there is something very disturbing happening in the Viseu 2 ward... the missionaries are sitting with their investigators. I was thinking, this is a problem why? but he went on to say that missionary work is the members work when we are in the chapel. I was absolutely amazed. This week we had 5 investigators in church and the members sat with all of them. It was awesome. We got a member reference this week and they are going to get baptized, com certeza, they just don't know it yet, and then today a couple members took all the missionaries on a drive to this tiny village about 45 minutes outside of viseu and then took us on a hike nearby. It was absolutely beautiful and so fun. The members here are so awesome!! I hope everyone at home reading this takes a hint from this letter from a missionary and ups their effort with the missionaries :) And not just with dinners and such, but with real missionary work. We need the members! we cant do this alone.
So, the member reference we received this past week. Truly a blessing from heaven. Ive been working for awhile with out really seeing success and its been a little rough. But then this member reference came through, Tina from Brasil and her son Dudo (yes that's really what people call him). We didn't even find her, she found us! We had just a family night slash dinner at her house one night and it was wonderful just to make that foundation of friendship, etc. Then this past week we taught the first lesson and she accepted it completely and then we asked her to be baptized once she received an answer about the Book of Mormon, and she answered with a "claro que sim" or of course. I walked out of that lesson about to cry. The Spirit was there and God has really prepared her well. Her whole family is catholic but she has been thinking about changing religions and just has a lot of faith and is incredible, to sum it all up. I know that she is a blessing for me, after weeks and weeks of work to finally have someone to teach and someone who is progressing. He hears and answers prayers!! And I'm sure our encounter is a blessing for both us as missionaries and Tina and Dudo as individuals. Working with them has been such a testimony builder for me. Its moments like that where I'm like, I love being a missionary!!!
This week we also did splits! we call them divisions here, or divisões. My sister training leader this transfer is Sister Seidmann, that little brasileira that was with us for a few days in Benfica. She is so great and it was so fun to do a division with her. Not to mention shes brasilian so she speaks perfectly and did all the work for me. I love doing splits, its just a nice change and somehow my Sister training leaders always know what I need to hear.
Ive actually been doing splits a lot this week because of Sister Duran´s foot. She hurt it at the very beginning of her mission and its been bothering her ever since but shes kept going, and now shes really paying for it. These past few days entirely shes been at home. One day sister Fuller and I went out and worked in the other sister´s area, one day sister Warburton and I went and taught a lesson and did some contacts in our area, and then I stayed at home with sister Duran one night. While I've felt kind of like a slacker because of it, its also been cool to work with the other sisters. The first time we taught Tina I was actually with sister Warburton, and it was so awesome.
This Pday we went to the aldeia, or village, of Pena, this tiny basically abandoned village that's about 300 some years old. It was so cool. One thing I love about Portugal is that this place just oozes history. Its built on its own History, its history is so deep and rich. The people of Portugal are a people so connected to their past and so attached to their traditions. I love seeing how their culture works. The members we were with drove us to the top of this mountain where we could see all the other tiny aldeias or villages that spot the country side. There were people that lived and died in those villages, with out knowing anything else. And there are still people that live there. Blows my mind. Oh, also, at the top of this hill that I was on, There was a 200 year old catholic church made of stone. Seriously, the top of this mountain in the middle of no where. Of course. Welcome to Portugal.
Family, I love you all so much. This church is true. Heavenly Father loves us and truly sent His son to die for us, and now He leads this church today.
Paz, amor, casamento do templo,
Sister Kelly Briggs