Monday, December 5, 2016

Nov 28, 2016 - And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God,

Wow. I cant believe it's already here. 

Thanks to everyone and all the support I've gotten during these past 2 years. I've learned and grown so much. I dont even know where to start. My personal relationship with my Father in Heaven has grown so much and I know he loves me and each and everyone of his children. I love my Savior and I know that He will be with us through all the good and especially the bad times. He will never abandon us. I will never forget these 2 years and the people I have met and come to love. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to help God's children here in this beautiful country come closer to Him. I would highly recommend it. Cant wait to see all of you! Have a great week! 

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

p.s. this was my dinner yesterday haha it was too epic to not take a picture of it.

bread-ham-burger-onions-tomato-bread-egg-cheese-egg-lettuce-mayo-ketchup-thousand island dressing- bread. Hahah it was amazing! Well seeya soon!

Nov 21, 2016 - We Found the End of the Rainbow!

Well this week was quite interesting.

We started off with my last Zone Conference! We traveled about 3 hours north to Coimbra and there about 50 missionaries there! It was quite the riot! Being in this zone for 6 months now it was fun but hard saying bye to everyone! I bore my last testimony and it was pretty surreal. I still remember my first zone conference and listening to some last testimonies and its was strange to finally be the one doing it.

Then we found a family door knocking! This man in his late 30s answered and welcomed us in like we were old friends! His wife was ironing some clothes and their 3 little boys were watching cartoons. I felt like I was in America! He tells us their all suuuper catholic! Like they were missionaries in Spain and have done several treks to Spain in the Catholic name with his wife and all this stuff. We were in for a fight. Well then things went downhill from there and there littlest boy of about 4, started attacking me! Like really! He was jumping on me and playing with me and at first I just played back, but then it got violent! He started grabbing my tie and pulling really hard and jumping on my head! Haha it was weird because his dad just continued to listen to my comp and acted like it was all normal! The lesson was horrible and I left with a scratched eye lid and a very long tie. Haha maybe the next elders will get em...

Then we went with our senior missionary couple to a city about 30 minutes away to visit all the in-actives out there and we actually saw some success! We visited about 16 families in about 4 hours and we found a family with 6 kids! the mom is baptized and some of the kids were too. They have cars and are self sufficient and it was like striking oil out here! Hopefully I can see some fruits of the visit before I leave.

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving! 

and we channeled our inner hipster this week.

Nov 14, 2016 - God Bless The USA

Well what a great day to be an American!

Funny story of the week. So obviously tuesday was the election. On wednesday morning we get a call from our President telling us the results! Haha we were spending the night with our Zone Leaders and our Zone leader is the biggest politics junky ever and our president knowss that. So we get a call at 830 in the morning saying that Trump Won!! And also the GOP took the house and the senate! Haha best Mission President ever! Also he is from Brazil was living in America on a green card and after he told us the news he says "I hope I dont lose my visa!" Hahaha good stuff. 

Other than that we went to porto for about 3 days getting ym comp's residency card and it was fun to be back in my old area! Yesterday we had Stake conference and we had to take a 3 hour bus at 7 in the morning and a 3 hour bus back. It really made me appreciate being able to walk to my stake center in Utah. A memebr from the 70 from Costa Rica now living in Spain spoke and he told a really good story about his mission. He gave up basically the best job, the best school, and the best girlfriend all to serve a mission. And when he came back he got it all back and 100x times more! He said we always have to put the Kingdom of God First. It really hit home for me hoping that all those promised blessings really come to pass soon(;

Other than that we had a good week working a lot with less actives and honestly a lot just with our firm members who have all been needing a lot of help lately. Its not all about the number.

Have a great week! 
p.s. And Happy Birthday to my amazing Mom and to my favorite sister in law Tori!

Nov 7, 2016 - The Truth Will Set You Free

Well this week the truth set me free!

We have been told by our Mission President to really focus on less-actives in this area. We have a branch list of 100 people with a frequency of about 10. Yeah its been a tough couple years for this place. So we have been beefing up our less active visits this week. We visited this one brother who stopped coming about a year ago and was almost branch president! My comp was fed up with his excuses for never showing up for church so he pulled out John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Reading this we told him that he needs to just accept the fact that he is breaking a commandment and he needs to come to church. We know it and he knows it and he needs to be made free. He was really taken aback. I was afraid he would get even more offended but when done with the certain authority the truth needs to be said. He accepted it so humbly and realized he needed to change his life! It was a powerful lesson. 

Now I'm sure you're waiting for the awesome ending where he came to church and bore his testimony. He still flaked out and didnt show up but during that lesson I think I needed to hear that more than he did. I realized that I needed to accept the truth with some of my thought and habits and I needed to change just as much as he did. Maybe not with the same things but I definitely had a truth will set you free moment. I love how as a missionary I have the opportunity to learn as much as those I teach! So I guess my cry to you is to all stop making excuses, embrace and face the truth and change the things you need to change! Amen. (:

Well other than that, by this time next week we will have a new President Elect! Everyone needs to fulfill their duty and vote! And P.S. congrats to the CUBS!! Never thought I would see it done!

Love you all!

Oct 31, 2016 - Happy Dia Das Bruxas!

So Halloween isnt really a thing here. But they do call today Day of the Witches! Fun fact for ya.

Anyway, things here have been beautiful! Its about 80 degrees and sunny and its doesnt look like its going to rain any time soon! We had transfers this past week and I will be spending my last 6, now 5, weeks here with Elder Law! So  everyone has about 5 days to get any last packages to me before I go home(; 

As for the work, things have been pretty frustrating here. Our elders Quorum president is in the hospital. His son, Alexandre, has been teaching his friend, Ruben, with us a lot and he wants to get baptized! But now with Alexandre's dad in the hospital, things are going pretty slow. We didnt meet with them once this week and they din't show up for church when they said they would. So things have been going pretty slow. We are going over there today to give him a blessing and next week will be better for sure! 

Our water is heated by solar power. So when its cloudy we have cold showers. When its sunny we have hot showers. Haha its unfortunate.

We got an A+ on our surprise house inspection this week!

My comp made a delicious taco salad this week! We're on a healthy diet now.

Dont forget to vote!! #trump2016

Oct 24, 2016 - Surf's Up!

We come to you live here from off the coast of Portugal in beautiful Peniche! 

Well this week the World Surf League came to town and its been quite a hoot! There has been a spike in Americans which has been cool. But a lot more surfer bums walking around haha its been fun! We stopped by today to watch and snagged these awesome pictures! See below.

But other than that things have been going great here in the branch. Amelia gave us her first reference which was pretty exciting for her. It didn't turn out but we were still proud of her for having that desire so soon to share the Gospel!

The other kid we have been teaching, Ruben, has been accepting the lessons pretty well and accepted baptism! We put it off for 3 weeks out because we still have to convince his Grandma to sign the papers but we're confident she will! His friend, Alexandre who is a member, has been helping a ton and has an awesome testimony only being 15!

Oct 17, 2016 - Elite and a Half

Well as you can tell the rain has finally started here in Portugal. But this week was still good!

We have an awesome future missionary in our branch. He's 15 and is so excited to baptize! He keeps saying how he wants to baptize other young men so that he's not alone at church. So we have been teaching his really good friend a lot and he actually wants to be baptized! He has been reading a little bit in the Book of Mormon and its been fun to see them both get excited about the church! Hopefully we will have a baptism date this week!

Amelia is doing great! We retaught her tithing and even though she doesn't have a job she was so eager to pay she was asking how she can do it asap and it was funny to have to explain to her that she doesn't have to! She's what we call elite. 

We taught our crazy most faithful member about dinosaurs most likely did not walk in this earth and how we didn't evolve from apes. His mind was blown. 

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Oct 10, 2016 - Breaking Into Your Own House

So because of Conference last week, Amelia got confirmed yesterday. It was an awesome experience! My comp did the ordinance and after she was crying and looked like she had gotten rid of a ton bricks on her back. It was awesome! The whole branch then proceeded to bear testimony (Fast Sunday because of conference) of how happy they are to have her and how great she is and it was a great Sunday!

She has her schizophrenic son who has been causing a lot of problems and she is feeling pretty desperate. She finally kicked him out of the house this week but towards the end of the month, they are sending him to Lisbon to a psych ward. So her receiving the Holy Ghost will help her so much in feeling peace and knowing how to deal with him. I'm so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the priceless help he offers me and every one of us.

But like I said they kicked him out of the house. But when we went over there to teach this week, he decided he wanted to come back in. So he started ringing the doorbell a bunch, trying to open the window, walking all around outside to try to get in. It was pretty intense. My comp and I were getting ready for this guy to break in to his own house or something! He finally left and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Haha weird.... 

Well everyone have a splendid week and whatever you do don't listen to the European election coverage. #Trump2016 [?]

This is the view from the roof of our house....

Oct 3, 2016 - Conference Weekend!

Well this week wasnt too special, except for Conference!

Our recent convert, Amelia, came to conference and watched the Saturday morning session. She said she loved it! It was really good for her and for the branch! But conference was really good. It was pretty hard to see President Monson so weak and frail but just a stronger testimony that he truly is a prophet of God and won't stop testifying about the truth until he literally can't. 

Our only young man in this little branch told us after the baptism that he wants another young man in our branch! So he gave us his friend to start teaching! It was really cool. I love the members here! It really is like a little family here! 

"The fact that we can repent is the good news of the Gospel." Elder Dale G. Renlund

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sep 26, 2016 - Baptisms and Beaches!!!

Well this week was legendary!

We had the first baptism in this area in 2 years! I found Amelia with my last comp just before he left but Elder Law and I have done most of the teaching. On our first lesson together we marked her for the 1 of Oct then the next lesson we decided that was too far away so we changed it to the 25th and she accepted! During one of our last lessons before sunday she was saying how she had some doubts and didnt know if she wanted to get baptized but we calmed her fears and half way through the lesson she just burst into tears saying how she just knows this is right. She just feels every time shes with the Elders or at church that this right. Such a cool experience. 

So sunday we get her in the white clothes and headed off to the beach! Quick miracle. A couple from lisbon was on vacation and decided to come to church and they stayed for the baptism but we didnt have enough seats in cars for everyone. So they had 2 extra and it all worked out perfectly! Miracle!

But it was an awesome experience! The first time I've been in the ocean in far more than 2 years(; And the water wasnt even too bad! But it really pumped up the branch and we feel a lot more baptisms coming!

Then today we went to an island just off the coast of Peniche! It was so cool! By far the hidden gem of Portugal! We start off with a 45 minute boat ride out there followed by a giant Castle and some hikes and some caves a private beach! See pics below.

I love this work and I love the Lord. When you stop focusing on the little things and just remember to love people and do and be the good, you will be blessed. I hope you all have a question this week to be answered during conference! Have a great week!

Sep 26, 2016 - Wish you were here!

Sep 19, 2016 - Rockin in Peniche

Well transfers came this week and I am staying here in the beautiful area of Peniche for 6 more weeks! I am here with Elder Law now and it has been a riot! I have known him for about 9 months now and he's basically my best friend in the mission. We lived together in my last area for 2 transfers and it so it has been so fun to catch up with him! 

This week started off with the transfer call on Tuesday then I showed him around the area and to all the members and all that good stuff. We then had a really cool lesson with Amelia who is actually progressing really well! She accepted baptism on Oct. 1 and she came to church and everything! It was really cool! This little branch is getting really excited after not seeing too much success in the past couple years (yes years) so we are pumped to finally get some fire back in here.

We knocked into a really cool family too! The classic Dad, Mom and 10 year old son! Very rare here in portugal and they just the us in no problem! They have talked with the elders but it's been about 10 years they said but still had the Book of Mormon! It was really cool. We had a great first lesson and they loved us! Miracles happen every day ladies and gentlemen. 

These pictures are of some cool stuff we did this week and today. This area is insane! Love you all! 

I Spy Me

Sep 12 - We Saw A Miracle This Week!...And I ate snails :D

Well we really did see a miracle yesterday!

This week in our mission Olympics was who could bring the most investigators to church. So we had a huge focus on inviting anyone and everyone. We called everyone we know. We were fasting. We left the house early on sunday to go knock on investigators' doors and we got to church and nobody had shown up yet. BUT then 3 minutes before sacrament meeting Amelia showed up!! She is that lady that has the schizophrenic son. She had said that she wanted to go but she had another thing planned during church. But lo and behold she just showed up by herself! It was really cool. The Stake president was there and gave a really good non member friendly talk and it really excited the whole branch! And our zone got the gold medal for the 2nd week in a row!

Elder Zwick of the 70 visited our mission and he is a stud! He told us stories of how he built the first chapel in Bolivia with his own hands on his mission! And how he baptized 500 people and basically is a legend. His message was about foundations. He is a construction guru and said that the foundation is the most important part. He said how some buildings have 2 or 3 times as much cement in the foundation than in the rest of the building combined. And how nobody can see the foundation. It was a really good reminder of how we need our foundation to be in Christ and we need to be doing everything we can behind the scenes where nobody can see to have a strong foundation that can with hold anything. 

And I hate snails this week! They were really good! See pictures for more awesomness!

Seeya next transfer!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sep. 5, 2016 - If You Ain't First, You're Last

So a couple weeks ago President created a mini Olympic games for the mission. Each week we focus on different key indicators and the zone with the highest average in that specific thing wins that week. So my Zone leader is super competitive but actually really motivating and wants to prove to President that our Zone of the Priesthood (our zone consists of 10 duplas of elders, no sisters!) is the best zone in the mission. So he might be a little crazy but it works and has been going really crazy to make sure we're all pitching in to win! So this week the focus was having the most people with a baptism date marked! And we did just that!

A couple weeks ago we were doing groceries and this guy yelled to us in English, "Hey are you Mormons?!" So we talked to him for a little bit and at first he seemed kinda crazy and just wanted to mess with us, so we left. Then on friday we see Fernando again! And he explained how he had Mormon friends in England and really likes Mormons and wants to be one! So right then and there I marked him for the 24th to be baptized and he was all for it! We came back the next day to teach all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon and he's a really humble solid guy! 

So today we get the results of this weeks Olympics and our zone got 39 out of the 77 marks of the mission! haha we killed it!! It was pretty satisfying to be part of the club finally! 

So yeah when we follow our leaders and work as a team we can get anything done!!

Aug. 29, 2016 - Brazilians are cool!

Well this week.... can be described by this pic. Haha yes that is a cemented shut door.

But yeah we had a mini division and I went with a 3 week old Brazilian who is super chill and relaxed and it was hilarious when we found this door! 

Love you guys! The church is true. Jesus is the Christ. And God is real.

Aug. 22, 2016 - So I went to Romania this week....

We had a sweet zone meeting this week! My first zone meeting in this zone so it was cool to get to see a different part of the country down here in the southern most zone of the mission. The mission has set a goal of 50 baptisms in the month of September! The closest we've ever come was 35 so we have a lot a work to do! It was really interesting we have always set goals at right about where we've been staying. The mission baptizes about 30 a month, so our goals have always been around 30. This time president just said lets just do more! Lets just do what we think cant be done! Why do we just have to stay where we are? Lets go for 50! It was pretty cool! 

Then right after we did divisions with the zone leaders. Now they are teaching a neighborhood of Romanians. Yes an entire neighborhood! Like 70 of them! So we go from house to house speaking our very limited Romanian and their limited portuguese (yes I have picked up a few phrases here and there :D) trying to teach what we can. It was nuts we had like 5 lessons in only a couple hours! 

Side story, in one of the houses, a Real Salt Lake game was playing on the tv! What??

Anyway then we were leaving and they decided to feed us the most gigantic dinner ever! It was delicious! So that was like the highlight of the week!

Other than that, our area is moving pretty slow. The entire city is on vacation! Nobody is home and its annoying but oh well. Just gotta keep keeping on! They'll come back eventually!

SET HIGH GOALS and DREAM BIG! Have a great week!

Aug. 15, 2016 - The Cleanser

So to begin I would like to share 2 really interesting experiences that I had with my companion. First, I pulled out an apple from the fridge and asked him if he wanted one too. He said that he had never had one so he might as well see if he likes it. So he has it in his hand and he says "how do I eat this?" I was speechless. He then proceeded to unsuccessfully gnaw at the skin and what not. It was something I didnt think I would ever see. Hahaha he didnt like it.

Second, we threw a mini birthday party for a little 8 year old member in our chapel with the other members. So we were blowing up some balloons and my companion couldn't blow them up! (He plays the saxophone and the clarinet btw) The 8 year old could but for some reason he just couldn't get the air into it haha I then had to teach him out to blow up a balloon. Haha don't fret I love him! Really! He just makes for a good laugh!

Anyway as for the work this week was legendary! First off we were knocking doors and after about the 3892th door we found this really cool Brazilian, painter, surfer who married an English woman in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro! His name is Wilson. We talked to him for like an entire hour and he was really curious and accepting and said he wanted to come to church! He didnt show up but he said he was sorry and that he would next week. But still he is so cool!

Then we found Jose Leitão. This was one of the wildest thing I have ever seen. So we contact this guy and I notice he is wearing a rather fancy CTR ring. First thought; COOL! MEMBER! He then proceeds to explain how he is Catholic and he wont let us forget it haha and how he has had that ring for 30 years since the Elders gave it to him. So we go back to his house the next day and he shows us his 3 different Books Mormon that he has collected over the years. He said how his wife had died and how he felt lonely and wanted us to be his friends. We invite him to church and he says he would like to go and its been a while since he's been to Mass. So on Sunday we go pick him up and walk with him to church! It was the first investigator that this branch has seen in church in months! It was so great to see our work finally pay off!! 

I have been reading Jesus the Christ and I found something really cool during the clearing of the temple with the whips and all that good stuff. James E. Talmage is explaining it and refers to Jesus as "The Cleanser." I read that and had a sort of enlightening. We all hear how he is the Son of God, The Bread of Life, The comforter, The prince of Peace etc. but I had never thought to call him "the Cleanser" And that is truly what he is. He cleanses us when we need to be cleansed. He can take all our burdens and sins on himself and make us clean!

Well have a marvelous week! 

2nd Picture: In case of emergency, get on the see saw!!!!

Aug. 8, 2016 - Ping Pong Makes Miracles

This week was actually quite boring, and hot. But It was a good chance to really look for the tender mercies in life. 

First off we had a really cool experience with the Rock of our ward Irmão Soares. So he gets a call saying that his daughter was in the hospital. It was urgent and pretty bad. The phone call was so fast that he didnt really get the details but he was worried. Irmão Soares decides to call his brother so they can all pray for him. Not even a minute later we knock on his door. I was just tired and wanted to visit them. Turns out we came at the precise moment we were supposed to. He then told us what had happened and asked me to offer a prayer for his daughter. (I guess Elders' prayers are "more powerful" haha) Within 5 minutes he gets a call from his daughter saying all is well and she was out of the hospital! WHOA! It was actually really crazy.... so yeah prayer works!!

We had our branch FHE and we decided to play some around the world ping pong and some other games on the ping pong table. Our branch president was there for the first time! He is a good man. I sustain him. Lets just say... he is very closed and never smiles. Ever. So we were playing some ping pong and it was getting pretty fun and he started laughing and smiling!! It lightened up a lot and it was quite strange to see his teeth haha but Miracle!! Ping Pong is the key to life everyone.

But honestly this week was pretty tough and I was mentally and spiritually exhausted. We show up to fast and testimony meeting and I was in a pretty bad mood and just wanted to sleep. I didnt want to bear my testomny because I just felt like it wouldnt be very good. But being a branch with 8 members I had no choice. So I bear a short and sweet testimony on the power of prayer and I sit down and I felt so light! Just so happy with so much hope for the future. It was a huge tender mercy for me. So I hope everyone who reads this never misses a chance to bear your testimony.

3 Nephi 17:17 And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.

I read this scripture this week and I was so taken back at how much Joy Jesus Christ can truly offer us. For the Nephites it was so much they couldnt even comprehend it! I love Christ and I am so grateful for his sacrifice he did for each and everyone of us so that we can find inconceivable joy!

P.S. Congrats to Jared and Tori on their new baby boy Beckett!!! Welcome to the fam lil weirdo #2 (;

Aug. 1, 2016 - Churrasco!

Well this week was crazy!

FIrst we had our Zone conference with president. Since we are like 3 hours from where we were having we got to stay in a really nice hotel the night before! The carpet was amazing! Haha the conference was good. He talked a lot about Christ and our relationship with him needs to be always growing, so Pres. challenged all of us to read Jesus the Christ. So I guess for my last 4 and a half months here I will be reading a lot! We also got an extra hour of Pday so thats awesome!

We then had our annual branch BBQ. It was actually way better than we had planned. We had 4 investigators and 3 less actives there! We ended up having 21 people! We consider that a miracle after only having 6 members in church on my first week. 

On sunday I taught preisthood to our 1 teacher and another teacher who was visiting.I learned how to improvise an hour lesson in less than a minute! We talked about how we can take upon us the name of Christ. Then I gave a talk on the Natural man in sacrament meeting. I felt like an apostle quoting the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and Elder Holland :D 

We knocked on a ladies door from the area book and she answered and said oh I need you guys to talk to my son. So we go to his room and he starts like yelling at us and swearing at us. I tried to stay calm and have us come out to talk to us but he freaked out and slammed the door on us. We then talked to his mom and it turns how he is a scitzophrenic and sometimes she has to call the police when she feels endangered. So... yeah we're going to just teach his mom(; 

My 2nd trainer and my last comp both finished their missions today. So now I have 7 comps who are all home. Its a sad day and I feel like a little piece of me died today too.

Oh and our 2 investigators that we marked for baptism in our last area before we were emergency transferred got baptized yesterday! I was really happy to know that though my time was short in that area, I made a difference in at least 2 people there(:

Love ya guys! Have a great week! 

Jul 25, 2016 - Peniche: The Wave Capital

This week was full of miracles! 

First off on tuesday we were koncking doors kinda late and we see this guy grilling up some sardines. We think nothing of it and we keep going. Then after a couple more feet he beckons us to come over to him and he asks if we want some sardines? Of course! So pulls off these 2 fresh sardines and gives them to us. My comp doesnt like them so I got 2! I then proceeded to contact this very nice fellow and he says he's atheist and doesnt want anything. Haha it was bizarre. 

We actually found a ton of new investigators this week too. On friday we had a pretty full day and we didnt have too much time to do any finding but we walked past this 1 door and we felt well lets just hurry and knock this door. And this really nice older couple let us and we talked for about 45 minutes and we shared a little about the plan of salvation and it was sweet! They told us to come back next week!

We had a really good family home evening with a couple more members than last time. We watched the new Jospeh Smith flm which is really good!! We still have yet to bring any investigators to church or activities but Rome wasnt built in a day and we're still pushing along. 

We contacted this man in a wheel chair this week. About 5 minutes into the conversation he reaches down to get something on his leg. He then proceeds to EMPTY HIS CATHETER SACK! Hahaha just pouring pee right onto the sidewalk. Haha we left a card and said goodbye.

We had a really nice couple from Utah on vacation visit the branch yesterday. I translated for them and it was a fresh spark of life into our branch. She actually played the piano really well so that was a nice change. 

My comp is... different. He eats cereal in a bowl, with a glss of milk to the side Yes dry cereal and glass of milk. This week we made some sandwhiches to take with us out proselyting. We ended up not eating them and they were pretty hot but not too bad. When we get home my comp then proceeds to freeze our sandwhiches so that the "bacteria" from the hot day dies. Yes he froze our sandwhiches. He then tempted to deforst them and they were nasty. Gotta love comps!!

Anyway the work is going great and I'm learning and growing everyday! Everyone watch this new mormon message. 

Jul 18, 2016 - Summer is back with a Vengance

Well it's officially the hot season here. It's getting up into the 90's constantly so thats been fun! My tan is looking better than ever!

This week was basically a week of building. We got to know all the members better and have really started making some key relationships here. We had our awesome family home evening as a branch and our 3 faithful members showed up! It was a new experience for me having so litte people so our goal for this week will be to get way more people there!

I was called as the branch executive secretary. So now I know all the tithing and what not haha it'll look good on my church resumé.  But other  than that we are just trying to fill up our teaching pool and its been unusally difficult. I just think to myself that the miracles come after the trial of our faith! So yeah hopefully the trial doesnt last too much longer haha

This week I was reading in a Liahona about forgiveness and I really liked a quote I found. President faust put this way. “Forgiveness is freeing upand putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves." So may we all forgive easier and understand better. That's my 2 cents. Love ya'll! Have a great week!


Elder Powell

Jul 12, 2016 - PORTUGAL!! PORTUGAL!!

So Sunday was arguably the most successful day in portuguese soccer history. We won the Euro Cup! Its basically the world cup but with just Europe. Some say its bigger than the world cup because the European pride is a lot deeper and more emotional haha so this country went nuts!! Now baptizing will be so much easier because everyone is in a good mood!!

So this week we got emergency transferred to an area called Peniche. The elders that were there were sent home so we had to go fill their place. Its about a 4 hour train ride south of my last area and I am now about 45 minutes from Lisbon! Haha it was quite the suprise and pretty sad having to leave the area after just 3 weeks but we're excited for this new adventure.

We had a total of 6 people (not including me and my comp) at church and I blessed the sacrament and gave a talk for the first time in about a year actually. The area is beautiful and there are a lot of tourists here. And a ton of fish! Haha our chapel is right next door to this fancy fish restaurant and lets just say while we were in church it smelled really good(: Haha

We had a surprise mission conference with Elder Kearon of the 70 and it was really good. He talked a lot about obedience and 0 tolerance and how we can't have the spirit while being disobedient. So everyone! Be obedient!! And it was fun seeing the whole mission together!

Other than that these are some rad pictures from our new area:D

Jul 4, 2016 - FREEDOM!!!!!!!

I love America!! And I have never felt so Patriotic! Happy 4th of July to all! Today for Pday we went to my old districts house and had a sweet BBQ and listened to American Motab haha it was fun!

Also on my Portuguese patriotic side, this country is going nuts! They are in the semi-finals of the Euro Cup and this place is too insane about their soccer! They play again on wednesday and our ward rescheduled ward council because of it haha only in Portugal. And its especially fun because I'm living with a Portuguese Elder from Lisbon and so he's going nuts too!

This week was pretty sweet missionary work wise. There is a mom and her son who have been being taught for about 6 months now and finally there was a breakthrough. On my first lesson with her we decided to make a "goal" for her baptism for the 24th of July. They totally accepted the date and felt really good about it all. So yeah! We have those 2 who are really progressing and we are super stoked about them!

Well I think Captain Moroni sais it best in Alma 46

"In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.....and he prayed mightily unto hisGod for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should band of Christians remain to possess theland.....Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into acovenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them"

God Bless America!

Jun 27, 2016 - Beach is Life.

So the odds were not in my favor this week. I was transferred just across the river to Matosinhos! I was sad to leave all my recent converts and my friends in my last área but I couldnt have been transferred to a closer área! It shares the border with my last área and I can literally see my old bishops house from my área now haha. Its been great! And our house is 2 streets down from the beach!! This will be my 9th transfer here in this zone! I am also training Elder Madsen fom Highland Utah! He is so pumped about the work and has way more greenie fire than anyone I have ever seen! Haha its exhausting but refreshing. My last 2 comps were dying so this will be a nice change.

Well this week basically consisted of just getting to know the members and the área. But we did manage to find Daniela and Vítor from the área book! They are a young couple with a baby girl. They are so cool and so nice and when we plan their wedding its going to be awesome! :D

This week I was Reading in the Teachings of the Prophets: Joseph Smith. And there was a part that was amazing to me! It talked about babies or young children that die. He explained that the parents of such children will have the chance to raise and care for these children in heaven just like they were here on earth. So The parents will create that parent-child bond even in heaven! I love that knowledge that The Plan of Happiness gives us! I love my family and I cant wait to live with them forever!

Elder Powell

Jun 20, 2016 - R.I.P Sister Powell

Don't fret nobody died...just a part of me died. I hit my 18 month mark and if I was a sister I would have died this week haha

Anyway this week was pretty average. Nothin too special. Claudino got the Holy Ghost and he asked me to do the confirmation and it was a really cool experience! Definitely one of my favorite recent converts!

Other than that we've just been traveling a lot to other areas and what not and it's been a blast! It's beach season so we've been visiting all the districts closest to the beach:D Haha

This picture of us at the beach was too funny. So we go have a double district P day and we play some beach volleyball. The area we went to is a big cruise ship stop. So this guy taking the picture is an RM who works on the cruise ship and was on his break and saw us playin and said " hey those are totally missionaries!" and so he played with us. The Mormon brotherhood is real.

Transfers are tomorrow and I feel like I'm leaving. Which is really sad ): 

Always be preaching the gospel, and sometimes use words!

I've been channeling my inner artist

i dont know if you remember on Christmas but this was the guy whose house we stayed at for Christmas haha we returned last wek!! he actually gave me that sweater so we had to take a pic together!

Other than that I'm glad that the whole fam damily is back in utah! 

Transfers are tomorrow and I'm really sad because basically I know I'm leaving and I dont want to ): Oh well I asked prez twice if I could stay but we'll see. 

Love ya miss ya!

Jun 13, 2016 - Batismo!!

First sorry to the lack of pictures. Our stake president banned us from using the computers at the chapel so we are at an internet cafe with no way to send pictures. Lame.

Anyway Claudino got baptized yesterday! It was really awesome and the spirit was so strong. He was crying when he came out of the water and it was so cool. He brought his 17 year old son with him too and we're totally going to start teaching him! It was an awesome day!

On another note. I learned how to drive stick shift this week!!!! So we had to trade in our car for a stick and my comp totally taught me and now I'm a pro. I drove up to my last area today for P day and it's been quite fun. 

We are teaching this guy from Croatia who speaks spanish and my comp is a legend and used the gift of tongues and taught an entire first lesson in spanish!! We then proceeded to buy a spanish for dummies book and are now aprendendo español:D 

The church is true!

Jun 6, 2016 - Cheesecake!!

First of all shoutout to my awesome sister for graduating form High school this week!! And shoutout to mi padre for turning 50 this saturday! Happy birthday!!

Well this week I finally got my comp back from his recovery at the mission home and we're going hard again! We had the coolest zone meeting about staying happy and joyful in the work. Don't stress about numbers and just be good and work hard and the "numbers" will come as a result. It was exactly what our zone needed.

We had 7 member meals this week!! I think it was a record and definitely unheard of! One of them was a lady born and raised in Boston who is living here with her portuguese husband and little 2 year old boy. She made enchiladas and salted caramel cheesecake!! I felt right at home:D

Well we had originally planned to baptize Claudino on the 19th but turns out he wants to do it ASAP so now we're planning for this Sunday, the 12th! He is what you call elect! When we were teaching tithing we asked why he wanted to live this commandment and he said "well it's part of the church and its a commandment from God, so I have to do what God tells me." I couldn't have answered it better myself! So yeah next week you should be seeing some white!

Yesterday we had a Europe wide conference. It was pretty unusual but it was cool. Sister Oscarson and Elder's Kearon and Cristofferson spoke to all of Europe through satellite transmission. It was pretty cool. The underlying theme was Love. Just love people. Love your neighbor and reach out with a helping hand. Love like the savior loved and this world will be so much better. Elder Kearon talked again a lot about the refugees.

This is a picture of our HUGE zone! I love this place! Have a great week and happy summer!