Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hola from Funchal, Madeira!!

Sunday night we got the transfer calls. I was really praying to go to lisboa, because the areas in lisboa baptize more than they do in the north, and i was really hoping to have a little more success on my mission. So when i got the call to madeira, i was pretty disappointed. the islands are like a whole other mission, you're literally separated from everything.

But im not at all disappointed anymore.

IT IS GORGEOUS HERE. I can see the sea almost every where i go and our area goes right up until the beach and the entire island is a mountain so we have to go up into the mountains to work and the views are incredible. i don't feel like a missionary, i feel like im just a visitor. Seriously. i will take lots of pictures today to send next week. I'm in a whole other world from Porto, its warm and gorgeous here and just completely different, from the second i stepped off the plane.

The work here is actually going better. They baptized a lot shortly before i got here, so now we are building the work back up again. Im so excited to be here and work with them. The challenges to this area are that its pretty touristy. we cant work in some areas because none of the people we contact are portuguese, and its always a challenge to distinguish. But its worth it.

Im serving with sister Carroll. She is awesome. and hilarious. we already get along great. She tried to make me surf on the bus here, like the second day, aka stand on the bus without holding on to anything, and i fell. hard. all out. on the ground. It was embarrassing and we had a good laugh about it. I also did a contact in english because we heard an american accent, so we went running to talk to this guy... and that contact was the most awkward thing ive ever done in my life. im so not used to making small talk not in portuguse. at the end of it i was like, hey! maybe someday you guys can go the temple! its really pretty inside!! and then we said bye and walked away. so embarrassing...

The elderes in Porto this past week had a baptism of a young man that we found and began teaching. he is incredible. His name is Paulo, and next week i will send an email of just a picture of him and his story, and you guys will be blown away.

We also had another really cool experience in Porto. One day me and sister thornley were just walking... we had no plans for that day and had already tried to talk to almost 20 people and no one wanted anything. Then all of the sudden this car passes us in the street, slams on the breaks, backs up, and rolls down the window and says, where can i buy that book? pointing at the book of mormon in sister thornleys hand. our jaws dropped and we gave him the book. then he asked whjere the church was so he could go. we gave him our card, got his number, and then he had to drive away. a couple days later we had a lesson with him, and it was incredible. he was asking about the prophet and why he is called that and who he is and when he could talk to us next and such, it was SO COOL. we found out that this guy used to be in the air force and while he was there his friends talked to him about the church, and now hes totally open to anything. he accepted to be baptized.

family, friends, loved ones, if we open our mouths and talk to our friends about the gospel and invite them to hear more, we will see miracles. read doctrine and covenants 18 for me and please please please, invite your friends to come to activites, to go to church, to recieve the missionaries.

And even if i leave my mission with only one baptism, what a privelege it will have been to serve him and do this sacred work and be his servant and His hand here in portugal. I am so grateful He has let me have this privilege, and that i have had the blessing of seeing such miracles. I know that He lives and that this is His church. I love you all.

paz, amor, e casamento do templo,

sister briggs

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