25 de Abril

Hello Everyone!

This week was a little rough. We still had fun and I know that not a single effort we make is ever in vain.

We’ve been trying to find new people to teach, but for some reason we had a difficult time this week. We are preparing for a movie night on the 1st of May. We’re going to show Meet the Mormons.  So I made some invitations for that and so far we’ve printed 400 of them. We’ll probably have to print more. So we’ve been inviting everyone to that.

One of the things that was a little difficult this week was that we had a lot of really good appointments lined up, but almost all of them fell through. We are very used to this as missionaries, but it was happening at an abnormally high rate. I’m sure the Lord had a very good reason for this. I had a lot of time to do some self-reflection.

One of the interesting things about faith is we can logically reason that if God does not lie, then his promises are sure; which means if we knock, then we receive. One of things I’ve learned is there are actually some conditions on that promise. One is our own personal worthiness, another is whether it’s in accordance with the Lord’s will. Sometimes I wonder why things don’t happen the way I ask for them to. But then I remember that the Lord will try our patience sometimes, as a kind of test of endurance, but I figure as compensation we will be rewarded with far more than we asked for. In the meantime, we can try to improve our personal worthiness as much as possible, to be qualified for even more blessings. This process is very tiring and if we are not careful we can get dis-animated. That’s where faith and hope meet. Hope gives us the endurance to have faith; and charity should be our motivation.

So that is what I learned this week. Some interesting things that happened this week.

  1. We had lunch with the Marinhos for the first time in forever; because sister Marinho is feeling better now.
  2. We had a lunch with the ward on Sunday. It was great!
  3. We have been getting some nicer weather this week:) Soon it will be unbearably hot.

Also, today is 25 de Abril, a very important day in the history of Portugal. The day the dictatorship regime ended. Less than 50 years ago!!!

Love you all!!

Sister Runyan

PS  Guess What!!!!!! Elder Bednar is coming to our mission on the 19th of May! He will do a meeting especially for the missionaries!!!

When in Rome

Hello Everyone!

This week was a little slower than last week, but still fantastic.

First, we had a zone conference that was really good. Unfortunately, a missionary couple, the Dyals, lost a grandchild and flew home for the funeral. The Amorims left the conference early to be with them.

During the conference, we learned the importance of being well prepared when we teach lessons. I felt the impression that we need to think of creative object lessons to teach in each lesson. Obviously, the most important part of teaching is the spirit, but the spirit can only do its part if we do ours. This means real and serious preparation. We did this with Cecelia this week. We wanted to teach the 3rd lesson in a creative way. We put all the parts of the gospel, faith, repentance etc…. in envelopes and we had her open them as gifts. It was really powerful;especially for repentance. She felt the spirit very strong; especially because there are things she really needs to change in her life right now.

On Wednesday, we had a division. Sister Streadbeck and I stayed here with Sister Hanson. She is a wonderful missionary! I didn’t speak Portuguese nearly as well as she does, when I was in my third transfer.

One sad thing that happened this week was that we tried marking an appointment with Manuel, but his phone had been broken since the last time we went there. We had tried marking him for baptism, but we could tell that his parents weren’t happy about that. Well we called his dad to make the appointment and he said that Manuel didn’t want to continue; because he was confused. We knew that was a lie! Then he said that we couldn’t come over that week; because his wife was sick. But I heard her in the background, shouting to tell us that they don’t believe in these things. Manuel is 21! He can and should make his own decisions. Sister Streadbeck had a companion that had a lesson specifically for parents who won’t let their children be baptized. So we are planning to teach them this tonight. We have to be extremely bold and I’m really nervous. But it needs to be done. We as missionaries have a responsibility to call people to repentance, with love of course. It’s the one thing in missionary work that I feel the most uncomfortable.

Since we couldn’t get in contact with Manuel by phone, we stopped by his work to leave him a note. We didn’t have paper; so we asked this girl if she had a piece of paper she could give us. She was a little strange, but really sweet. So we invited her to church and we left…. She came to church and showed up in the third hour. During relief society, she was acting kind of weird and then she made a comment and the sister giving to the lesson casually pointed at her. This girl said very intensely, “please don’t point at me.”  It was weird. After church, another sister came up to talk to her. This girl tells her that she has black inside of her and that she needs to get it out. This sister is one of the sweetest sisters in the ward! After church, we had lesson with her and she was saying some weird stuff like that she is 26 but she only has 1 year in this world. It was really weird!!! We’ll see what happens.

Yesterday, we had a ward council just about missionary work. This Bishop here is incredible! I felt the spirit so strong. This ward has had a recent lack of baptisms; so we are focusing on really getting the members involved. We have a goal as a ward for each family to invite 3 people into their homes to hear the gospel, with the intention that at least one of them will be baptized. We are so excited to start working more closely with these incredible members.

Today, we went to see the roman ruins. Normally, they’re closed, but the guy working there was so nice and he let us in for free and gave us a private tour. After that, he told us about other ruins that basically no one knows about. The city of Braga is actually sitting on top of a whole other roman city, Bracara Augusta. It was super neat to see things so old. But the funny thing is, people here don’t give it as much attention as it deserves; because old stuff is so common here. In the U.S., ancient civilizations are a lot less common.

Well anyways love you all!

Love Sister Runyan

Follow the Prophet

April 11, 2016

Hello Everyone!!

We had a fantastic week:) We started teaching a lot more people this week and the best part is, it’s mostly families!

  1. We contacted this couple from Cabo Verde and they invited us over this week to talk to them. She had already talked to the sisters in the past. They were really receptive and agreed to read the Book of Mormon. We´re going back tomorrow.
  2. We stopped by Adelino and Isabelle again, that family that dropped us back when I was serving with Sister Nagliati. They are having problems with their son, Manuel. This week, stopped by to teach a lesson with the whole family. In the beginning they only wanted to critique Manuel in front of us. It was super awkward. I finally had enough. I felt prompted to ask Manuel how he was feel lately. His dad started to answer for him, but I politely told him to let Manuel talk. Immediately, the spirit entered the room and Manuel told us how unhappy he was for things he had done in the past. We promised him that all of that could change. It was one of the most powerful lessons I’ve ever had. We told him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray. He came to take a tour of the chapel on Saturday, but unfortunately, he couldn’t come on Sunday. We even ate lunch with Manuel and the Elders on Saturday. It was great:)
  3. Sister Parkinson and I contacted this family from Africa a few weeks ago. Every time we would stop by they wouldn’t have time. We finally got in to teach them a lesson this week and they were extremely receptive! They have a little boy named Kevin, who has a ton of energy!!
  4. Cecilia finally came to church yesterday!! I was ecstatic. José, her son was a little restless, but she really felt the spirit in gospel principles.
  5. I don’t know how much I’ve explained about Felipe, but he is amazing!! The elders went over to their house to meet him. They were planning on taking it easy with him; because he’s dating a member. They start the lesson and Felipe says that there are some things he has to say first. During General Conference he received answers to his questions. He was listening to the prophet talk about obedience and he was touched by the spirit to change his life so that he could have the blessings of baptism. He and his girlfriend are going to stop living together and he is going to be baptized on the 23rd!!! My testimony of the prophet grew from hearing this experience. Even though he spoke so little, he is the prophet and his words are inspired from God. His words touched the heart of this 34 year old Portuguese man to be baptized. This is the true church of Christ!

Overall a really good week! The Lord is definitely blessing us.

Thank you for all of your prayers!

Love Sister Runyan

Ingredients to Succeed in This Turbulent World

Hello Everyone!!!

You guessed it! Yep still in Braga:) Yay!! I love it here I feel so lucky:) Sadly, I had to say goodbye to Sister Parkinson. She went up to Viana de Castello. Things won’t be nearly as entertaining without her. But luckily we have good amount of excitement going on because I got 2 new companions!!

Sister Streadbeck is from Lehi Utah. She’s super sweet and is a really good missionary. I’ve loved serving with her so far.

Sister Mauricio is from Cabo Verde. She’s actually from the same ward as Sister Da Luz. She is awesome. She is the only member in her family and she’s a convert of almost 3 years.

Both of these sisters are amazing! We’ve already had a lot of fun this week and I know we’re going to make miracles happen:)

General Conference was amazing this year. We had 2 investigators that were able to watch it with us. A lot of others wanted to, but it rained here:( The 2 investigators that came loved it, João and Carlos. I hope that they recognized the spirit and this experience will help strengthen their testimonies.

I got a lot out of conference as well. Especially the talk about the lost sheep by Pres. Uchtdorf. He always gives my favorite talks. I loved getting to explain to our investigators about the opportunity we have to listen to prophets and apostles that live in our day. I felt so blessed to remember that this is the true church, with a living head, who is Christ; who gives us the ingredients we need to succeed in this turbulent world.

I hope all of you were able to appreciate general conference.

I can’t believe this is my last conference in the mission. Time flies so fast here.

Well love you all!

Sister Runyan