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!