Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'll be home for Christmas - just a few more weeks!!

Can't believe I'll be home in just a few short weeks - happy, sad, everything!  So, on to business . . ..

Thursday we went out to a tiny little city in the middle of the alentejo, portugal called Évora. go look it up. it was SOOOO COOOL. we went out there to do divisions with the sisters that are serving out there. it was sooo fun! i did a division with a sister named sister brotherson and shes young on the mission but she is so wonderful and just doing work out there. it was also fun just to travel out there, it was like a three hour bus ride, so we woke up at 5:30, which wasnt as fun, but whatever. then we traveled back and went right to work! it was kind of hectic and i was kind of tired, actually really tired, but it was good. then this weekend we worked in another area that was closed last transfer but there are still a few investigators out there, and that area is about 20 minutes away in a train or bus so it was hectic. we didnt spend a ton of time in our area, but thats okay. we worked hard when we could and it makes the time just fly.

we have quite a few people marked for baptism, and i would love it if you could all pray for them because ever since theyve accepted to be baptized, all these little things are happning to get in their way...  please pray for jaime, marcio, silvania, silvi, filomena, bruna and andre. we are going to keep working hard, but every little act of faith helps.

funny story, sunday night we taught the little family of filomena, bruna and andre, and after the lesson we got up to leave, but as always, the mother, filomena, wasnt going to let us leave with out food, even though we tried sooo hard to get out of it. well, i get a plate with some rice on it and then some fleshy looking bone things... and i was like thanks!!!... what is this? and she said, its rice with fish head!!! i almost died. I HAD A WHOLE FISH FIN THE SIZE OF MY HAND ON MY PLATE. i ate around all the fleshy fish head nastiness, and then when filomena left the room to get the kids together, we ran over to the pot and threw the fish back in it. i literally dont know how else i would have made it through that plate haha.

i love my mission!!! me and sister gutz watched mormon messages this morning in the chapel and we were just crying haha. i love how sensitive to the spirit i am.

Recently We had mission council at the beginning of the week and it was really great. President really just wants us to be good missionaries, through and through, to lay it all on the altar of sacrifice, to lose ourself in His service. it was really spiritual, and its always weird for me to get talked to as leaders, but I love it.

The next day we brought all of that to our zone meeting and helped them learn it too. It was fun. After, we split up and did divisions with some of the sisters in our zone. i went with sister Camacho, shes mexican but her family lives in Dallas and she is SOOOOOO cool. i had such a blast. there are so many cool sisters in this mission and i wont even get to know all of them! but she said shes gonna show me all the sweet things to do in dallas when she gets back and im pumped. Doing divisions, seeing other areas and meeting new sisters just makes the time FLY. which is nice. Although it makes me a little sad, all these sisters i wont get to know and all these areas i will never serve in... but i try not to think about that. it so fun that i have this opportunity and i do my best to help the other sisters. but lets be real. i learn way more from them than they learn from me haha.

oh i forgot, last week was daylight savings. i cannot even tell you the difference that one hour of sleep made. me and sister gutz woke up on sunday morning and got up and just looked at each other and we were like, that was a HUGE difference! i feel so much better!! hahaha. mission life is tiring. Also, halloween was this week! we bought some chocolate and wore each others name tag during the day haha. it was pretty funny, doing contacts and i would be like, Hi! im sister... Gutz! if we hadnt done that, the day would have passed like any other. also, people here dont go trick or treating on halloween, they do it on the first of november.

a christlike attribute that ive been running into a lot lately as i read the book of mormon is DILLIGENCE. its the attribute that drives  the development of all other attributes. i think its been standing out to me so much lately because im gonna need it too keep working diligently till the end of my mission, and to carry out my conversion after my mission too. i would love if you could all grab preach my gospel and the topical guide and study that this week!

Well, im officially a dying missionary.  We had transfer calls, and i will be staying here for my last transfer with sister gutz. When i got that last transfer call, it really hit me. i cant even believe im at the end of this journey. i mean, not yet, but shoot, it hit me hard. i love my mission, and i love my Savior.

this week was a week of...

MIRACLES!!!! We had to do 2 divisions this week, one right after the other with a house of 4 sisters, so we had 2 full days without being in our area and working in it. and on friday we had to prepare for a baptism and on saturday we did a special musical number in a wedding. and on top of it i got sick with a cold and winter finally arrived in portugal and it is cold and wet again... but in spite of all that, we did work this week! and we had 2 baptisms of these two kids that i love a lot. they are kids of a some what less active member who just got here from cape verde to stay, and we have been working with them for about 2 months so it was so wonderful to see them enter into the waters of baptism. And even though we were crazy busy preparing them and the baptism and everything else, Heavenly Father just took care of the rest. The chapel was sooo full this week, we had to go upstairs and get more chairs 2 times! that was a first. on top of that, one recent convert from our area gave a talk and got set apart for her calling,  another one i saw in a meeting for his calling, my recent convert got the priesthood and Carlos, the less active member that we miraculously found knocking doors a while ago, that we hadnt been able to visit in awhile, quit smoking by himself, took the sacrament and was called to be the elders quorum secretary. The bishop even commented that it was a really incredible week, and that he just focused on a few specific things that God wanted him to, and everything else just fell into place. That was exactly how i felt. God is good. easily one of the best weeks of my mission.

so we did 2 divisions this week, and everytime i do a division, i just get soo jealous that i dont get more time to serve with these super fun incredible sisters! this week i did a division with sister Larsen who is in her 3rd transfer now and i absolutely loved it, and sister kunz, who came in with me. at night we were dancing to efy music in the kitchen. it made me miss you all. thankfully im still a sister training leader so it will be great to see them all again.

Also there was a wedding in the chapel! i was gonna play the piano, but we had the sisters from the next area over come to help sister gutz sing, and i opted to let her play the piano instead and i filmed. they did a trio with a member, they sang love is spoken here. the first verse was english and the second in portuguese, and they ended the whole thing together in portuguese. it was because the wife of the kid who got married is english and doesnt speak a lick of portuguese. i tell you the whole story when i get home, but it was a really beautiful wedding and just fun to see portuguese culture haha.

The last few days dragged a little bit until friday because on friday, ELDER QUENTIN L COOK CAME AND VISITED OUR MISSION!!!! 2 hours of hearing from an apostle, and i had a front row seat. it was incredible. i got lots of personal revelation, but the thing that touched me the most was the fact that what president teaches us and what this apostle was teaching us was pretty much the same stuff. it was the same spirit, the same expectations. we truly are consecrating ourselves out here and living a higher law. it was really cool. and equally cool was the fact that half the mission was there!!!!! my whole MTC district that went to portugal was there and a lot of my old comps and other sisters that ive served around and love. it was awesome, and i was so grateful for that experience right here at the end of my mission. such a blessing.

and today we went to down town lisbon! it was sick. its my 4th time down there and 2nd time to the castle and every time i just think, im so blessed.

lots of pictures to come! love you all!!!

this month we all memorized matthew 16:24-29, with the jospeh smith translation. study it and know i love you all.

peace, love, and temple marriage,

sister briggs

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