Sister Runyan sent her letter via camera this week. This usually happens when multiple missionaries are sharing one computer. Despite the glitch this week of only receiving the first and last part of her letter, we are glad she has this alternative means of communicating with us while she is so far away.
Fortunately, Sister Runyan was able to get on the computer long enough to answer a few questions.
Were you able to watch the General Women’s session broadcast? If so when?
Before general conference.
Did you have a good turnout for Meet the Mormons? Was this your first time seeing it? What did you think?
The turnout wasn´t spectacular but is was good for our members and our investigators.
Is Costel back (the father of the gypsy family)? How is his family doing?
Yep. Her (the mother’s?) birthday was this week I made her a cake. They came to church this week. Their life in the gospel with be drastically different then their culture. She felt the spirit, but she can’t read or speak Portuguese very well. How does someone like that become converted to the gospel?
Is Sister Smith feeling better?
Ya she’s feeling better. This week was my turn, but it was just a cold.
Meet the Mormons was great! Our members were very involved and we had a great time. We gave invitations to everyone in the streets. The morning before the movie, a lot of the members helped us contact people in the street. Some missionaries from Porto helped too. Everyone had a Blast.
Thanks for your prayers. Sam, where is your letter?
This week was the week of being locked up in the house. With some really hard rain, it wasn’t good for Sister Smith to be outside with her throat. I spent some time painting and writing and thinking. It was hard not working, but maybe we needed that.
Also, we got a reference for a family that stopped the missionaries in the street and told them that they have something that her family needs. I’m super excited. I hope we can get an appointment with her today.
We made cookies with the Bishop’s family and they turned out well this time. Yay.
The cigana (gypsy) family has a sister that ran away from her husband and family in Romania; probably because he was an abusive pig. Now she’s the shame of the family. She came here to Costel’s house. He personally took her back to Romania to make sure her husband won’t kill her. But he used all of their money on the bus ticket. Now he has no way back and no way to talk to his family; and their rent is due soon. Normally, they only make 5 euros a day. Needless to say, we’re praying for a miracle. I thought these kinds of people only existed in movies, and history books. Apparently not.
Maria José is looking for someone to help her at night. I mentioned the cigana family. She actually really likes them and will ask them if they want to come and work for her.
We are prepping for an activity this Saturday. We are showing Meet the Mormons in the chapel and we’re trying to invite as many people as possible. Our mission Presidente has asked us to do something really bold this month. We are planning on talking to the town hall people and inviting the leaders of our area to come to the Meet the Mormons activity.
Well that’s about it for this week.
Love Sister Runyan
Questions & Answers:
How are your feet holding up?
My feet are fine. I have been using some really supportive sandals. I’m going boot shopping, because I don’t have anything that’s warm and water proof (It rains a ton here). Unless I go to Madeira; then I’ll be ok.
We saw the announcement that the LDS edition of the Bible is now available in Portuguese. Are the members there excited about that?
Yep. We watched this in sacrament meeting this week. The members are excited. The print version doesn’t come out till March though. I’ll have to wait a little longer to get a Portuguese Quad.
This week I can’t write much. Sorry. Not much happened this week because we were feeling sick. Right now, Sister Smith is really sick.
One thing that happened this week that was neat, was that we found a man in the street named Rodrigo. We invited him to check out the church website. The next day he calls us and tells us that he checked out the website and that he had talked to some missionaries online. Apparently, they were Sisters from Temple Square. He wanted to meet with us and talk about the church. He also asked for a “Book for Mormon”. We met with him and he seemed very interested! Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get a hold of him for the past few days. Please pray that everything will work out.
Other than that, I’ve had some time to be artistic. I’ll send you some pictures. Also, everyone here loves my baking.
Continue asking questions, because when I sit down to write I forget a lot of stuff.
Elder Pedro, Elder Brown, Brother Cruz, Sister Smith and Sister Runyan
This week was pretty good. We found a family who is really, really nice. We had another lesson with Gabriel too. He is moving, but he’s going to keep taking the lessons in Porto with the missionaries there. I am really bummed. He is really cool and he has so much potential it’s crazy.
Also we are teaching a Cigana family now. Saturday night, we had a really powerful lesson with them. They really want to be baptized and quit smoking. The father, Costell, had told us that he was told he needs to pay tithing; but at this point in time it would be very difficult; because they don’t have real work. The spirit came over me, and I had one of the most sacred experiences of my mission. I had told him that if he would pay tithing by the end of this month, he would see a miracle. He and his wife were touched by the spirit. In that moment, I knew that those were not my words, but the Lord’s. That was a huge testimony builder for me. Costell and his family have amazing faith and I have no doubt that they will trust the Lord’s promises to them. They have so many obstacles in becoming self-sufficient members of the church; but they have more desire in their little finger than many members have in their whole body, including me.
I am so thankful that the Lord is the one directing this work and not me. My imperfections are becoming ever so more apparent every day. But I’ve decided that the harder you try to be good the more aware you are of the things you do badly. The trick is to just have patience with yourself and keep moving forward.
We are trying to create stronger relationships with our members. I have been baking cookies like a mad woman. One of the members here loves cookies. She invited us over to help her; because they never turn out for her. Well we came over and I helped the whole time but they turned out terribly. We couldn’t figure out what it was. We used the same recipe and everything. I made them the next day and they turned out fine. Baking is really weird here in Portugal.
We had another investigator for like 2 days and then he disappeared. His name was Juan (his dad’s from Spain). Apparently, he was the shame of his family because he likes to party and he’s the “artist.” He told us he was famous. It turns out he was an extra in a movie once. He was a very interesting character. He’s a little lost and he’s looking for answers, but he is looking in a lot of the wrong places for them. We gave him a Book of Mormon and told him to pray about it. He left this Friday.
Maria José is a sad story 😦 She is 82 and had agreed to be baptized multiple times but had always backed out. This time one of our members had egged her on quite a bit. She is a good friend to her, but she is very child-like; they both are. Turns out this time was no different; she backed out again. This time we had the elders come and do an interview, but she was having mini- heart attacks. We invited the elders to give her a blessing while they were there. She wasn’t being entirely cooperative about it. But eventually, we convinced her that the blessing was something that could help her, so she agreed. Well I’m just glad the Lord is her judge and not me because he knows what she needs in this life and obviously we don’t.