Monday, December 16, 2013

Ora Viva!! Sure could use your letters and prayers!

Im SO PROUD OF YOU GUYS for doing missionary work! every ward ive served in, ive had a favorite member, the one who works with the missionaries all the time, who is just on fire in the gospel, the one who drops everything to help us last minute, the one who prepares their friends and then gives them as references... be that member!!! Im so proud of the work you are already doing tho.

This week was the worst week of my mission since my first transfer. we taught six lessons this week. welcome to europe. its not that we werent working, but no one, literally no one, wanted to hear from us. six lessons, seven days, thats a lot of walking and talking and knocking and getting hard core rejected. It was rough. I would really appreciate your prayers to help me find some success as a missionary, because quite frankly i feel like Im a bad luck charm. Im sure there are people out there that are prepared but i dont know if i will ever find them. Every morning when i wake up, its not that im depressed and wanna go home, but im just like, this isnt fun anymore. I know what i have to do and i do it, but i personally havent seen any of the success that makes what im doing worth it, and im starting to really doubt if i ever will, or if im just wasting my time, the lords time, and bringing my bad luck on these areas where i serve. It was a really rough week, but im really struggling to know if it will ever get better.

now that i live with brasilians, the language is coming. love living with and speaking with native speakers. its funny how when brooks and i are speaking english, portuguese words and phrases slip in. im by no means fluent, but its coming and as soon as i serve with a native speaker, it will be awesome. but mark my words im getting a job in brasil or something someday, im not losing this, it was too hard to get in the first place.
i wish i had a spiritual thought for you this week but im running on empty as far as spiritual stamina goes. go look up phillipians 4 verse 13 though. short, sweet, and to the point.

i love you all so much!! friends, i hope to hear from more of you around christmas! family, im SO excited to talk to you!! ate proxima.

paz, amor, casamento do templo,

sister briggs

Funny story from Porto!

So this week we were in a lesson with a recent convert of ours and she got a call from her daughter in the middle of our lesson from her daughter who lives in spain. So then we were asking how she was, etc. And then out of the blue, this lady was like, minha filha era meu filho. Ela era um homen. or in english, my daughter used to be my son. She used to be a man. I was like, am i just not hearing this right? is my portuguese understanding this correctly? And then this lady went to get pictures to show us and sister Brooks looked over at me with this look of being absolutely weirded out and i about just died laughing. it was all we could do to keep from laughing as she showed us the photos. Then as we left for our next appointment, we were talking about how crazy the portuguese are, and as we turned a corner of an apartment building, we see a lady out in front, walking her pet DUCK. we about died again.Oh portugal.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Preachin' in Porto!

Hey everybody!
So, this week has been interesting. Ive been in porto for a week and it feels like its been a month. Im living in a house of four girls again which is great. Porto is a pretty cool area, we actually had a baptism this past saturday! it was really cool to see and how a recent convert friend of hers helped bring her to the gospel.

So let me tell you some deets about the new area and such. We dont live in our area... we actually live in the area of the elders of the OTHER ward, so we have to take either a bus or a couple of metros to get to our area every day, and it takes anywhere from a half hour to an hour. so basically once we leave the house, we dont come back until at night. My companion sister brooks is wonderful. Im so excited to work with her. technically transfers are this coming monday but we are just both assuming that we will stay together for the next six weeks. I really hope so, im not ready for more change and i love sister brooks!! the other two sisters are awesome, one is sister call who came in with me, and the other is sister mendez, whos brasilian but lives in portugal and is being trained right now. I love them all! the other day during a meal we all just started talked about really deep aspects of the atonement and stuff like that. I love them alot!

Missionary work is like this. we go out, we start heading to an appointment, if we have time or if that appointment isnt really firm, we spend a lot more time talking to people on the street. so between street contacts and occassionally passing people by and teaching a lesson, thats mostly what we do. we also have district meetings and ward council and such too, but thats mostly what missionary work is. work.

last night and part of today we and some of the other girls that came in with me got to go to lisboa to do our residency card! since my first transfer i have been looking forward to going and doing that. It was fun to take a train ride with three other girls that came into the mission at the same time as me and just talk about what we have learned and how we have changed and such. bummer it was on a pday though.

One thing ive been thinking a lot about is how missions are just as much for the missionaries as they are for the people that we are teaching. if we dont leave this mission converted to the lord and ready to live the gospel, it doesnt matter how many baptisms we had, we have failed as a missionary. I had a really spiritual experience right before i came to porto. The strongest ive ever felt the spirit testify to me. Sister Warburton and i were just talking, and we talked about how many people go inactive in the church and how sad it is, and i just looked her straight in the eyes and told her, with a surety and a power that ive never felt before, that i would never ever leave this church. and she just looked at me and said, wow, did you feel the spirit right now? because i just did. and I did and i realized how much my testimony has changed and how strong ive become and i cried a little. I have changed because of this mission, and therefore i know i have been successful.

Well, im still getting cozy in the new area so there isnt much to report. next week is technically transfers but we will see. i love you all so much!! thanks again mom for the christmas package! i havent got the christmas sweater yet but im waiting. love you so much! oh also i will be skyping you so send me the skype name i should sign into and the skype name i should call. more deets to come. SO MUCH LOVE!!!


sister kelly briggs


Sisters in Viseu

Fresh grilled sardines!!

Okay so yeah, i got emergency transferred. heres the story:
So the past couple of weeks have been rough, just because we were resting a lot because of Sister Durans ankle. This week we had training and interviews with president, and we got put last. So we finally get around to getting in there, and sister Duran goes in first and comes out with this smile on her face and then shakes my hand and was like, your in for a suprise. I get in there, we say a prayer, and then first thing president says is that Sister Duran will take over the office work from a senior missionary couple down in Lisboa. I was surprised, but thought, thats great! she gets to stay out on her mission and stuff, and Ill probably get a new comp or work with the other sisters for the next two weeks. Nope. Im up here now in Porto with Sister Samantha Brooks. Shes 21, cute as a button, was at BYU before the mish, knows elenor jackson and lucy taylor, and its great. We have a baptism this saturday and a few people that are progressing. and because Porto is closer to the coast, its not as cold here!! Im excited to be here.
I got the christmas package you sent me mom!! thank you!! i love it and am so excited for it! any other mail that has already been sent, no worries, it will get to me eventually.
new address:
Rua Aires de Ornelas nº7 2ºandar
4000-28 Antas
That being said, a part of my heart is still in viseu with that incredible ward and with the other sisters in the house. It was so fun. I woke up this morning and was like, wait, I dont wanna leave!!! I am excitd to get to work though, and Ill see those sisters next week at our big zone conference. we also recorded something to be on the mission christmas cd. videos to come.
Miracles: So I left benfica on a super low note, the one baptism we had didnt come to church that last sunday, we had no progressing investigators, etc. It was rough. But then i got a call from Sister wach yesterday afternoon and she was like, you will never believe who got baptized this week. Story:
Me and sister wach were heading back from working to go eat lunch or something and this 20 year old portuguese guy walks up to us and was like, can i get joseph smiths bible from you guys? jaws dropped. we handed him the BOM that we had with us. We explained to him what it was, marked an appointment with us, and then walked away so excited!. Well, that appointment fell. Then the next week we saw him in a bar again and we were like, no way! he talked to us for a bit, actually told us that he had been learning about the church for awhile and put his name in for a visit over a year ago and never got one. So we marked for another time and walked away. five minutes later he called us back... and started telling us about the magic mushrooms he smokes, how awesome they are and how we should try them... we were a little freaked out but just planned on teaching him the word of wisdom asap. well, that plan fell too. and so next time he tried to mark with us we said, here, you come to church and then we will talk. Well, he never came to church while I was there. His name is Eduardo, by the way, we called him mushrooms man. But sister wach told me that about two weeks into the transfer, he showed up to church uninvited, and they couldnt believe it! they visited him that week, marked him for baptism, and taught literally everything else in 2more visits, and he was baptized yesterday. Eduardo mushrooms got in the water. I cant even believe it. I was so happy. The lord really is preparing people!
Jessica, our other recent convert, is still doing great. One of the young women picks her up every sunday and she sang in the primary program and everything. It made me really happy to hear that.

Well, thats really all, this week we were inside even more than usual so I dont have any stories from street contacts or door knockings or anything. I love you all!!! I feel your prayers and pray for you all. Happy thanksgiving! ill eat a pastry to celebrate.

Paz, amor, casamento do templo,
Sister Briggs
ps to my teammates reading this, i love and miss you all. Cougars!