Tag Archives: book of mormon


Hello Everyone!

This last week was really great! First of all, Viva Portugal!!! They won the European Cup; which was actually a pretty big deal. They celebrated all night long. It was actually really cool, because when Portugal made the goal you could hear the entire city cheering.

Last week, we had found that family of Ciganos (Gypsies). Well, they are actually really interested. There are a lot of people in this family and it’s hard to keep everyone straight; so I won’t even try to explain who is who. But went out the house of one of the women, Rita, and we taught the 2nd lesson. She is very interested and wanted to come to church, but transportation was an issue. There is also another woman, Elsa, who is absolutely incredible. We taught the first lesson and she really liked it. We gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read it. When we had come back, she told us that after she had prayed to know if it was true; she felt something she had never felt before. She told us that she knew that it was true. She is very excited to come to church this week.

Vera has been out of town, so we haven’t been able to talk to her at all.

Gorete wasn’t answering our phone calls for a while, because she was staying at a friend’s house. But we got everything sorted out and now she is preparing to be baptized on the 30th of July. Please pray that she will be able to quit smoking.

Ana is amazing. It seems like she´s been a member for years already. She even went out and taught with us for the first time and everything. She bore her testimony and it was so sweet!

Yesterday was very busy! First, we had the mission conference. Then we came back and had to carry a very heavy box of BOMs. Later on, Sister Dixon came up to serve with us for 2 weeks! She’s incredible, and a wonderful example to me. This will be a great 2 weeks.

We have a lot of things going on this week. I’m going to work my butt off until the end. I’m so grateful for the mission and it’s becoming more real that it’s coming to a close.

Love you all!

Sister Runyan


Ana’s Baptism and Why Joseph Smith Didn’t Wear a Tunic

Hello Everyone

This week has been absolutely incredible! Ana was baptized and it was amazing:) So many other miracles happened; I don’t know if I can count them all.

But I will try…

  1. We taught Vera, who came to church last week. She explained that she wants to be a part of this church and accepted the invitation to be baptized! She is an incredible woman. It seems like she’s been a member for years.
  1. We found an elderly woman while looking for former investigators. Her name is Gorete. It was kind of funny, because when we found her, Sister Costa and I were thinking that she might not comprehend the lessons. But we taught her anyways and it was very spiritual! She also accepted the invitation to be baptized. 🙂 Heavenly Father loves all of his children.
  1. On Saturday, we were knocking doors and it was super-hot! On the very last door in the apartment building, a woman answered and let us come in to talk to her; something that very, very rarely happens! She has had certain things happen in her life to prepare her to receive the gospel so we are very excited to go back.
  1. Ana´s baptism was incredible. Another Brazilian woman was baptized as well, named Cris. She’s an interesting lady; very sweet and giving. Last Sunday, she had helped a woman who had been attacked. She got blood all over her clothes and we brought her a change of clothes at the hospital.
  1. Yesterday was also incredible! After church, we went out to teach a reference the elders had given us. They were quite receptive; not as comprehensive, but they’ll get there. The best part of the lesson was when we had to explain that Joseph Smith wasn’t wearing a tunic, because he’s from a different time period and that 200 years ago men wore pants not tunics. It was actually pretty funny. Ha-ha.
  1. Later that night, we found a family of Gypsies that live in Sol’s neighborhood. They kind of approached us first and asked who we were. They were very receptive and apparently they had already been taught by Sol about the gospel. He even explained The Book of Mormon and everything. They accepted the invitation to be baptized as well.

There were so many other things that happened! Sister Costa is an excellent missionary and we’re having a lot of fun together.

Thank you for all of your prays!

I love you all!

Sister Runyan

I Really Love My Mission!

Hello everyone,

This week was full of miracles!!! Best week of the transfer by far.

Thursday, We marked Ana for baptism on the 16th of July! She is so elect and is really feeling the spirit. She is a very happy and kind person and will really help this ward:)

Right after our lesson with Ana, one of Sol´s friends called us and asked to talk to us, because one of his friends had died. He met him in prison and his friend had been murdered in prison. This guy was pretty rough around the edges and is very lost. We were able to teach him about the atonement and resurrection. He´s seen so much in his life and he´s only ever responded by being bitter and revolting. When we started talking to him, his demeanor was very angry. He was listening to Portuguese rap music and crying. At first he didn’t really want to hear what we had to say. He was just so angry.  I felt very led by the spirit during that conversation. I felt impressed to say. “You’ve probably already said many things to God. Are you ready to hear what he has to say to you?” I opened the scriptures and he read Alma 7:11-13. Immediately, his countenance had changed. He was being influenced by the spirit. He confessed that he hadn’t been living a very righteous life. We invited him to change and offered our heart. With tears in his eyes, he accepted.

Unfortunately, he didn’t show up to our next appointment and we haven’t been able to get a hold of him. His friends probably gave him a hard time. Oh well, I just pray that he will at least have the desire to clean up his life a little bit. But I´m very grateful for that opportunity we had to help one of God´s children come a little closer to Christ.

We did a lot of walking this week. I wanted to contact in parts of Braga I had never been before. So we had to walk very far! (5 transfers and you get to know a place pretty well.)

We talked to a less active woman this week, who wants to come backed to church. She had been offended by someone, but she explained to us that she never lost her testimony. Her whole family went inactive during this time, except for one of her sons who is preparing to serve a mission right now. We will start working more with her to help her reintegrate with gospel living.

Yesterday, a lot of our appointments fell through so we decided to knock some doors for a while. It was pretty hot and we were very tired so we almost decided to go update some things on the computer. But instead, we listened to the promptings of the spirit. The first building we entered and the first door we knocked, answered a Brazilian man, who was a less active member for many years. It’s been 16 years since he´s last talked to the missionaries. He fell away because he had some doubts and he had moved to an area in the past where the church wasn’t very well established. He had lost his copy of The Book of Mormon, so we left him one and explained that it wasn’t by chance that we had found him. He told us that he was thinking about The Book of Mormon just the other day. He thanked us and invited us over another day to meet his wife and son, who are both not members. Those kinds of experiences rarely happen, but when they do it´s always because of diligence

This week, a returned sister missionary was visiting with her husband, who also served here. They met in the MTC. They had a baby too! I think she told me that she ended her mission in 2014! Needless to say, it kind of freaked me out a little. She was super cool. She’s English and he’s Irish. They apparently are teaching the baby Portuguese.

Man, there are so many interesting things that happened this week. I really love my mission. I love meeting new people, getting to know them and hearing their stories. I love helping people to understand the bigger picture and feeling more happiness in their lives. I love this gospel, and I feel extremely privileged to testify of Christ every day!

As most of you know I am now in my last transfer. I haven’t been perfect, and I haven’t always given my best, but I always try to give the best I know how. I love my Savior and I love this work. I just hope to be able to give my meager offering to the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart.

Love you all so much!

Sister Runyan

Festa de São João

Hello Everyone!

This week was the start of Festa de São João. It´s the saint day for John the Baptist, but it´s super huge here and it goes on for 15 days. There´s a lot of music and people and colors. Apparently, it´s the biggest festival in Braga, but it’s even bigger in Porto. There were a lot of street vendors today and I bought some hand carved elephants from Senegal!

There weren’t too many interesting things that happened this week, except for the fact that we contacted like a billion people. We are trying so hard to find new investigators, but it´s getting harder and harder by the minute. This week, we have plans to work with the members to get references.

Yesterday, Presidente Amorim came to Braga. Bishop has been inviting him to come since March. He was finally able to come and he trained the members on the listão that we’ve been doing. I hope this will help. Sol Amor continues to be an excellent example of a member missionary. He’s been taking us around to meet everyone he knows in his neighborhood. He literally has no reservations. We had a really good discussion about The Book of Mormon with some of his neighbors, and one of his friends was interested in hearing the lessons.

We´ve been teaching a reference from the elders named Ana. She’s half Brazilian, half Japanese. She is very sweet and loves to serve. Right now, she’s studying geriatrics. She is really accepting the gospel so far. We invited her to church and she came. It was actually kind of funny. In the third hour, Presidente did his training for all the members. At one point he asked how many people had introduced themselves to Ana. Not very many people raised their hands and he got after them. After church tons of people came up to her and introduced themselves. Fortunately, she really liked it. She said that she would come back next week.

This upcoming week, we’ll be finishing up the transfer. I hope we end with a bang.

Love you all!

Sister Runyan

Braga Romana

Hello Everyone!

This week was way cool! Here in Braga, there was a Roman Festival; called Braga Romana. They actually went all out and it was pretty cool!

There were a few interesting things that happened this week.

  1. I recovered from my sprained ankle. So apparently when I called someone to come pick us up on Sunday, they were in ward council; so everyone knew! A lot of people teased me, but it was all good:)
  1. We found a new family of investigators to teach. They are from Africa and they´re really receptive. We´re going back this Saturday.
  1. We couldn’t actually go and do things at the roman festival, but it was in our area; so we got to see some things. There were a lot of actors in the streets and people dressed up like Romans. It was actually really funny. There was a couple of actors who were carrying a latrine with them and trying to get visitors to use it. They were just cracking a lot of potty humor jokes. There was also an apothecary with a giant cart. There were roman soldiers, mythical creatures, gypsies, and there were also some ladies of the night (that was weird).
  1. We taught Manuel this week. He is not doing too well. He isn’t hanging around the best crowd right now.
  1. We also had stake conference, it was pretty good. The theme was service. Right after conference, Sister Mauricio and Sister Parkinson had a baptism. We made cake for them but we couldn’t stay, because we had to leave with our ward on the bus.
  1. Yesterday, I was feeling kind of down because a lot of our appointments fell through; so I was praying for help from Heavenly Father. In that moment, a man in the street stopped us and asked for a copy of The Book of Mormon. His ex-wife is a member. He said that he likes to read The Book of Mormon; but he had lost his copy. He actually lives in Porto; but his second wife was in the hospital in Braga, with terminal cancer. We got his number and we´re going to see if we can bring the elders to his wife, to give her a blessing.

Anyways, there were a lot of cool things that happened this week.

Love you all tons and happy summer vacation!!!

Sister Runyan

Transfer Five in Braga

Hello Everyone!

I am going on transfer 5 here in rainy Braga!!! I’m choosing to see this as a huge blessing because I love the people here so much. I know there’s a reason why I´m still here.

We started off this transfer pretty solid. We taught Sol´s mom and brother. They were super nice. Sol´s mom still isn’t super interested; but she agreed to read the Book of Mormon and she really enjoyed talking to us. Sol´s brother seemed a little more interested. We´ll try and teach them again this week.

On Wednesday, we talked to Berta Ro, and Afonso. We watched Meet the Mormons with them the week before and they loved it. Berta lived in Germany for a while so she had already heard the candy bomber story several times; but she didn’t know that he was Mormon. She was very pleased to find out that he was Mormon. It was so cute. Also, we all started crying during the missionary mom when the son went on his mission. They all started crying too. They were very touched.

On Thursday, we just taught Afonso; because he has already expressed his desire to be baptized. His siblings are more catholic and aren’t as spiritually in tune. He told us about all the service he’s done in his life. He likes to visit and take care of elderly people. We were very touched by how charitable he is. We shared Mosiah 18: 8-10. It was very spiritually powerful. We then invited him to be baptized and he accepted! He is going to look at his work schedule to see what day works for him. The only problem is that it’s really complicated for him to get to church on Sunday. Please pray that he can have the circumstances to come to church!! If he got baptized, It would make my whole mission worth it:) He’s incredible!

Cecilia was having some really bad pains in her neck and shoulder. She didn’t end up coming to church:(

Mercy brought another one of her friends to church! Clemens. He’s from Ghana. I translated for both of them. There are a lot of PHD students from all over the world here and a lot of them don’t have the time to learn Portuguese; because all of their classes are in English.

Well that’s about it! We have the conference with Elder Bednar

and I’m so excited !!!!!

Love you all

Sister Runyan

P.S. Hey Hey amanda I found some purple windows.


Also, this week the university had graduation. They have a tradition that each major makes a float and they just drink and party all over Braga. This picture gives you an idea of what kind of damage they left in their wake. It was kind of hilarious, because they had an entire clean up crew right behind them.



I Guess We Missed that Verse in The Bible

Hello Everyone!!

This week was super fun! First of all, I’m here in Braga still. Sister Nagliati left and everyone was super sad, including me. But now I’m serving with Sister Parkinson and she is also super great.

Ever since her first day, things have been crazy!!

On her first day here, WE GOT HIT BY A CAR! Don’t worry, it wasn’t bad at all. He did literally hit us; but it was in a cross walk, so he wasn’t going fast at all. The funniest part was that he just drove off. We were in the middle of the cross walk and then here comes this guy. I guess he didn’t get the memo that you’re actually supposed to stop when someone is walking. While we were still in shock, I look over to Sister Parkinson and she just goes “YES I ALWAYS WANTED TO GET HIT BY A CAR ON MY MISSION!”  I just started laughing. We just joked that if we went home tomorrow, it would be ok; because we had a killer story to tell people.

The rest of the week it rained non-stop. Unfortunately, a lot of our old investigators were in the process of dropping us; so we just spent most of our time contacting people; which was good. We do have a couple really good progressing investigators though. Carlos stopped believing in reincarnation and now he is like the perfect investigator; because he is really interested in what we have to teach him. Marlene didn’t accept a baptismal invitation; because she still believes her baptism is valid. We got on the subject of the Book of Mormon and she opened up about an experience she had when she had a rotten day and she came home and read the Book of Mormon and she felt a feeling of overwhelming peace. We will keep working with her and help her get a testimony in the restoration through the Book of Mormon.

One day it was raining like crazy! It was hailing and everything. We had to walk a ways to get home. By the time we got home, it looked like we had jumped in a pool. I wish we could have taken pictures.

Today, we went to Sameiro and Bom Jesus with Antonio. They are two catholic churches that sit on a hill above the city. It was really pretty. Sister Parkinson and I were just laughing at all the false doctrine we found. In Sameiro, there is a chapel that has murals lining the whole wall. It follows the life of Christ, with an emphasis on Mary. It gets to Christ’s resurrection; which depicts Mary ascending into heaven and being crowned queen of the universe. We thought that was funny; because we were just like “I guess we missed that verse in the Bible.” And then there is this other really funny part that depicts all the Portuguese colonies in Africa, Asia and the Americas and there’s a quote that translates as “Her son she gave to the world, the virgin, source of light, but after it was Portugal that gave the world Jesus.”

We had a really fun day with Antonio. He’s a funny guy.

Love you alll

Sister Runyan