I’m staying with Sister Da Luz! That means I’m in the Porto mission. No Azores grandma. Sorry. (The Azores are in the Lisbon Mission) They changed up our mission presidente. Now he’s an American. I don’t know his name though. (Originally, Joni Koch, from Brazil, was announced as the Porto Mission President, beginning in July)
We had a week with some sad moments. We dropped Sara, she hasn’t been progressing at all and we stopped by for the last time and she told us that Fabio doesn’t want us teaching them anymore; because he feels that we just want to change their lives. We promptly told her that our purpose is not to force them to change, but give them the opportunity to learn for themselves how to choose the right. Honestly, I feel so sad for them. They could be so much happier if they accepted the gospel.
It has been really enlightening serving with Sister Da Luz; because her family lived in really poor circumstances, there were times when they had absolutely no food in their house. But they were happy!! They had each other and understood what is important. She gets really frustrated with Português people sometimes; because they always complain that life is so difficult and are constantly miserable. They say they are poor and don’t have food, but they have Money to by tobacco. She tells me they have flour, rice, pasta. “When we had rice in our house we had a festa!” I learn more and more with her every day.
It is so true that we need to put things into perspective and learn how to be grateful. When we have gratitude, we can be happy in any situation. We have tried teaching these people how to apply the atonement in their lives and give them the recipe for happiness, but often times they choose misery. It makes me so sad sometimes. When it comes to families, the children will suffer so much more than the parents. And it turns into a cycle of children learning misery from their parents.
I have witnessed a lot of unhappiness already on my mission. This week, one of our investigators had been struggling with her boyfriend, she had scars on her face. We were pretty sure that he had beaten her. I haven’t told you this yet, but Portugal has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse in the world. These women endure so much pain, and sometimes I have no idea how I can help them have peace in their lives. But then I remember the atonement and even though I can’t understand their pain, he can. If I can teach them about the Savior, that is all they need to remember their worth as a daughter of god.
We had happy moments too! Kaity is awesome! He is 20 and has been an investigator for a few weeks. He asks a lot of questions and sometimes the questions are really funny. He asked us why he can’t just wait to be baptized until he’s really old and die and be saved. He was joking. He was baptized yesterday. It was really cool; because it was an activity for our district; so President Fluckiger was there.
This transfer we are going to baptize a lot of people!
Love you all
Questions & Answers:
How are you feeling about being in the Porto mission?
Good. It will be fixe! (Pronounced feesh & means cool) It is also literally cooler there and so I’m really excited about that. It is getting really hot here and no one has air conditioning!!!!!! I will die. They all have air conditioning in their cars, but they don’t use it. I think they just don’t believe in air conditioning. I’ve already seen Lisbon and now I will be able to see Porto too!
Are the streets in Azambuja really dirt or do they bring in dirt to cover the streets for the festival?
They bring in dirt. Now it’s all gone. I think it’s to soften the fall?