Thursday, July 31, 2014

Loving Portugal!


this week was awesome!!!!

So on Wednesday we had divisions, and my sister training leader is.... Sister Carroll!!!! my first comp in Madeira!!! it was so good to see her and serving with her again was so easy. I loved it, and i love that girl! all together we taught 15 lessons that day and found 10 new investigators. best division since my first area.

We had a miracle this week. We went to a part of our area that we don't usually go to because we had lunch with a member there. We decided to work there after. After leaving the house, i was tired, really full, and just didn't feel really up to talking to everyone. But in my division with my STLs, i had talked about how badly i just wanted to have the spirit with me for the rest of my mission. And i knew heavenly Father would trust me more if i listened to and obeyed every prompting that came to me. So i said a little prayer in my heart and tried to see what promptings would come.The next lady we talked to on the street was a less active member from another area. The next predio we passed was opened, so we decided to go in and knock it. We knocked the first door. While waiting, the thought literally passed through my head: I've never had anyone open a door and just be really prepared by the Lord, waiting for us. Maybe it will be this one. Then the door opened. It was a man who had been a member for 20 years and inactive for the last 10, but who had served in the bishopric and had even been to the temple. He told us he had been reading the book of mormon the past few days and asking God to send someone from the church to his house because he truly wanted to come back to church, but just didn't have the courage to do it alone. I know we were guided there to answer his prayers.

Today we went to the Torre de belem!! and ate pasteis de Belem!!! and I'm so happy to be back in Lisboa and its soo cool!!! its weird being so close to where i was the first months of my mission. but now i speak Portuguese and am totes comfortable and i just love my life here. at least on pdays. the other days, i sweat a lot and my feet hurt. but its worth it.

funny food stores. i ate snails this week! it wasn't as gross as you think.. but it wasn't very good. also, last week we ate cachupa at a members house... its like an african chile. ive mentioned it before. but there was a huge chunk of skin looking stuff on my plate that i knew i was just not going to be able to stomach and so i pushed it to the side and ate the rest. the guy that made it was like, well! i see that this girl doesn't like pig ear! i was like, nope, sorry... haha it was funny. from now on i will be serving my self.

we are working with this lady named catia. we have had some really good lessons with her. we showed her temples in our last lesson, and she loved them. shes has said, don't be sad sisters, I'm gonna get baptized! we just don't know when. but i love the lady and i know that she will get baptized, and we are preparing her right now.

i challenge you all to finish the book of mormon before i get home. challenge accepted?

love you all!

paz, amor, casamento do templo,

sister briggs

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Transferred to Lisbon!!

So long Madeira!  You were awesome!

So.  I've been transferred!  It was a bit of an ordeal.  In the islands, we usually get the calls early because we have to catch flights. Saturday night we found out that me and sister prieto were going, sister hickey would train and sister cardoso would stay. So we stayed up late that night packing, so i was already sleep deprived. we went to church the next Sunday and i told Rita, my recent convert, that i was leaving and she looked at me with a really serious look and said, your joking. and i said, nope. and she started bawling right then and there. Oh that hurt my heart. she is incredible. 

so we get to the airport at 4 pm to catch our plane at 6 pm, and as we are getting our luggage checked in, we find out the flight was cancelled, and the next one wasn't until 11:15. we got a free dinner, but it was still a long time and i was already sleep deprived. we finally got out of the airport around midnight. and then we didn't get to a house to sleep in until around 3h30 in the morning. and then the next day, i got to see sister ROSEMANN!!!! FINALLY for the first time in my mission, and sister brooks who is going home, and said goodbye to sister prieto, and then we got on a train to come to seixal, in the setubal zone, on the other side of the river from lisboa. I'm pretty excited to be here, to be back in Lisbon. its gonna be great. I miss funchal, but i think i was ready for the change. also, coming back to Lisbon and visiting my first area where the mission office is was like a dream I CANT BELIEVE ITS BEEN A YEAR. IT DOESN'T FEEL REAL. 

so, im in Seixal. technically, i haven't actually been to Seixal yet, we work in all the areas around it. I live in Amora. The area we work around in is right around a bay. It looks a lot like a Minnesota lake, and there are buildings right up by it and it reminds me a lot of little lake towns in Minnesota. The only thing is, this bay is connected to the ocean... and sometimes during the day the thing is full of water. and other times, is straight up empty. like, dry land where water used to be. its the weirdest thing! im so used to water just staying where it is!!! its so weird. but when its full, its so pretty. 

Seixal is a lot like Benfica, but not quite as busy. Its not exactly lisboa, like benfica was, so its a little calmer, but there are still way more people on the street and stuff than in Porto or funchal. I LOVE IT!!! Its so wonderful. Passing throught benfica was like walking in a dream. everything, sights, smells, everything was reminding me of my first transfer. and then i got my other suitcase that i left in the office when i went to the island, and it was like unpacking the first half of my mission. it was so weird. i still cant believe its been a year. so much has changed, and i wouldn't trade a minute of it.

I'm serving with sister Fuller! you already know who she is because i lived with her when i was in Viseu!! go look at some old pics. i love living with her and working with her, she is awesome. 

its also hot. hot hot hot hot. im red, all the time. i put sunscreen on my face, but i still turn red because of the heat. Its killer, but its also way better then the rain and cold of porto so im not complaining. 

Im sorry i dont talk more about the people or the work here. Its not because its not important to me... but because its all sacred to me. its people,, places experiences that have changed me, and im just not sure all of you understand all of that, so i do my best and share what i can, but someday ill have to tell you all about it in person.

Im reading the conference talks in my studies right now, YOU ALL NEED TO GO BACK AND READ ELDER BALLARDS TALK AND APPLY IT RIGHT NOW.

Thats all, pics coming soon.

Much love, 

sister briggs

My new mailing address:
Rua Sociedade F.O. Amorense Nº28 5ºDto
Amora 2845-469

Sunday, July 6, 2014

1 year down, 6 months to go!!

This week I hit one year on the mission and i had to look at pictures from my previous life because i'm forgetting the faces of my friends and family. i'm not even kidding. its like, do they still exist? did they ever exist? its strange. I thought back to a year ago that day, and everything in betweeen is kind of a blur, but i have changed. i want to cry to think about how much i have changed, because its so good. That day I remember saying goodbye to you, my wonderful family, crying in the bathroom in the airport, meeting sister vomocil on the plane, getting cafe rio with lance and steph, running up on byu campus to say happy birthday to amanda monn, having the MTC lady put my tag on my shirt. meeting my MTC district and not knowing how much my life would change. and i wouldnt change a single minute of it.

We had divisions with the sister training leaders this week and president and sister flukiger came to the island for zone conference. its always fun having visitors on the island. I love our little zone and i love how much more personal our conferences with president are because of it.

There's this girl on the island named sasha. Shes a member of the church but right now shes inactive because she has to work on sundays. Shes from another country in europe and speaks like, 6 languages and is here as a tour guide. last pday she gave us a tour of the island. while it was an awesome experience, the whole time i felt like there was just an elephant in the car... the fact that she served a mission and is now inactive was always in the back of my head. And it just made me think of myself. Will that be me in 5 years? will i be breaking the comandments and not going to church?



I know that Jesus Christ is my savior and example, and by following Him i will be happier than i could ever be doing anything else. I know the church is true!!! i know we have a living prophet!!! I know the book of mormon is true and the living gospel was resotred through joseph smith!!! These are things that i know, that are written on my heart and that i will never be able to deny. i am so grateful for president fluckiger and his mission to make us consecrated missionaries, that not only work hard and are faithful on the mission, but for the rest of their lives. Because thats the most important thing.

Do you guys also know these things? if you dont, i invite you to study and live the gospel until you do.

MOM I GOT THE PACKAGE AND I LOVED EVERY SINGLE PART OF IT. thank you so much, you have no idea.

I really dont have much more to say. my feet and legs hurt from walking up and down the hills of madeira, im always red because of the sun and heat, i love these people, i love speaking portugese with people and with the other sisters at home at night and i speak pretty well, to the point where sister cardoso was like, slow down, youre speaking portuguses so fast i cant even understand you. holler. my bed is like a rock so sometimes i dont sleep super well, but thats okay. we had fleas in our house and they bit everyone except me haha. I dont know. this is my life.

Will everyone who reads this send me pictures of us from before the mission? i literally am having troubles remembering life before the mish.

thats all for this week. i really do love you all.

paz, amor, casamento do templo,

sister briggs