Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hey Mommy!
I'm still here in Odivelas because transfers are next week and so I haven't been moved yet. I'll know next Sunday night:). We don't really know what's going on, and can't even predict what is going to happen. We know that a lot of sisters are coming in this transfer (only 13, which is nothing compared to the 35 that came in with me, but is more than we've had since then) so we think that our area will stay open, we just don't know which one of us will stay, but we don't think that we'll stay together. I got the envelope you sent, it was cool.
Odivelas is a really great area. The members are great, they never feed us, (and I don't think they ever will because now the mission has changed the rules about eating with members because the members must now invite an investigator- the only member who was feeding us said that he won't be anymore because there isn't enough room in his house for an investigator also) but they're still great. Soccer mania has been good, but Portugal is out, so things are a little less crazy:), though everyone is still interested in watching the other games. The weather is blasted hot. I don't know how I'm going to survive another summer. It's kind of miserable haha. 
I really like the scripture you sent, it reminds me of Luke 22:32, which is a fabulous scripture. When we become strong (or in other words, converted), we must then do the same for the people around us who need to be strengthened. 
This week was good. We worked like CRAZY and we had some crazy goals that we just blasted out of the water. I think that it was probably the best week that I've had in my mission, lesson and new investigators wise! We met a lot of families this week also, which is really cool, families are the best. We only had one person show up to church though. His name is Alexandre and he's 7th Day Adventist. They pretty much worship Saturday, so it was really interesting to have him there at church. It was also interesting because he's obsessed with the Bible and normally of course, since we believe in the Book of Mormon, we quote it a lot during church, which then offends investigators because we "don't use the Bible enough" but we were blessed and NO ONE quoted the Book of Mormon, all scriptures were from the Bible. Also, the lesson during Gospel Principles was about church on Sundays, and then there was a fabulous talk given about temples that was all backed up by the Bible, and the sister who gave it did a fabulous job! 
Also, we marked someone to be baptized. Sadly we talked to him the next day and he told us that he was MOVING!!! Ugh. So, on Sunday he moved WAY up north to a place called Moncorvo, which is a good hour drive by car from the closest branch. So that stinks. Hopefully the elders there will be able to meet with him and get everything figured out.
Today, we're going to go to downtown Lisboa, to the castle because it's our District Leaders last week in the mission, and he's never been. It'll be fun, but I won't lie, I've been there a billion times and I don't really want to go again. Haha, at least it'll be free with our bus passes! Sadly, today is the last day with them and they won't work anymore until we renew them, which we're going to wait to do after transfers. Looks like we're going to be doing LOTS of walking this week. 
 I read this the other day and thought that you might enjoy it. 
Love you!
Love, Sister Wach

Monday, June 16, 2014

How are you doing?
I'm doing great. Lots and lots of work to be done. As Sister Rose told you, I got emergency transferred to an area called Odivelas in Lisboa. Sister Taylor and I opened an area here. It's super baking hot and it's super miserable. Our area is at the top of a HUGE hill and it's about 30 minutes from our apartment. I think we're gonna get bus passes;). It is the highest baptizing area in the whole mission though, and the ward here has 150 members!!! Which is more than double anywhere that I've served before! It's also almost all Brazilians in the ward! They have such a different accent than the Portuguese accent. They're all really strong members though, and the nice thing about most Brazilians is that they got to know the church in Brazil and so they know how it should function, or have served missions, and then they bring those strengths to the new branches and wards here that are all recent converts. Brazilians definitely are a people of faith!
I love you Mommy! Thanks for sending the pictures and for letting me know how the funeral was, it sounds like you had a lot of support and that it went really well. I was a little bumbed that I couldn't watch, but what President Nudd says is what goes. I'm sorry that this is so short, but I love you tons! If you want to look up my area on Google (have Rye help ya!) I'm serving in Famões and Arroja. Then type in my address and see how long it takes to walk there haha;).
Be strong and remember who you are!
Love always,
Sister Wach
My new address:
Rua Palmira Bastos No 1 12A
2675-425 Odivelas

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hey Mom!
 To start off, I'm SO excited for Ryan! He is gonna LOVE it!!!! It'll be a fabulous mission. It'll be super nice too because he won't have the disadvantage of not knowing what's being said, and being able to teach like a master. Teaching in your native language makes your teaching way better. But Australia is gonna be SICK! That's crazy that he's going just before I get home! (By the way, I could probably just get into the MTC  with my employee badge from when I worked there... but that'd be cool to be in our tags together:)) sister Fluckiger told me where he would be going on Wednesday and I was so excited I couldn't even focus for the rest of the mission tour. Also Katie's baptism! So exciting! I can't really see the pictures, but I'm so proud of her!:)
So this week was really great, but also the end of it included some of the hardest days of my mission so far! We had mission tour this week, and so on Wednesday we rode the train up to lisboa and slept in the sisters house in amadora. Lisboa was ridiculously cold after being in the algarve which is super hot to going to 50 weather and everyone wearing giant coats! Thursday we had the chance to hear from Elder Keron of the 70. He did a really great job and taught us a lot of interesting things. He's a great guy. Also, I got to see Manuel (Elder Nazare) which was the coolest! Then I also found out that Natalina an investigator in Almada that I was teaching, got baptized! Then I found out about Ryan's call from Sister Fluckiger, and finally I had a personal interview with Elder Keron. I didn't get to talk to him long because I had to catch a train, but it was a really cool experience. He just expressed his gratitude for me being here and for the work that I've done. Then he prayed specifically for dad and my family. So, an apostle prayed for you all this week! Also he was excited for Ryan's call and was really impressed with Manuel. Mission tour was a really great experience. Then to top it all off, I got a 12 letters from Brett! I seem to be getting a lot of emails and letters from boys all of the sudden... I would say i must be at the end of my mission because I already have a few dates lined up... Haha. 4 more months, that I hope drag by super slowly. The mission is the best thing ever! Well then Friday we did weekly planning in a blanket fort in our living room... Aren't we cool? Then Saturday, the Roses took us out for ice cream because we had the cleanest apartment during apartment checks. That's where the week got hard... We happened to see a member of the ward who we really love and trust, doing something that shouldn't have been happening, and that really just broke our hearts. As a missionary you just come to love the people SO much, and when you see things like that it hurts so much to know that they're breaking their promise with heavenly father.  That had to have been the worst day of my mission, and then Sunday we had to get up and face the same problem. I won't lie, I cried, and I've not really cried my whole mission. Sunday wasn't bad though. I gave a talk on how to live the gospel in our daily lives. With talking, I've learned the best way to prepare a talk is to look for a few scriptures and make a few bullet points and just get up and let the spirit talk through you. It went really well. My piano playing wasn't so bad either:) I really am getting better.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Also, I didn't get transfered, and neither did sister Duke, its the first time I've stayed with a comp since sister Davis! That probably means that I will end my mission here in olhao, which is a crazy thought!
Love you!
Sister Wach

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hey Mommy!
I'm unhappy that Katie's baptism got moved. I got her a cute card and I wanted her to be able to read it on the actually day, but thought that it was still a while to go! Also, I have just not had enough time to write in it:P. It's cool to see a program done by the members. Tell her that I'm excited for her and that I love her!
It sounds like it's gonna be an insane week. The more insane the better right? I'm bummed that Rye still hasn't gotten his call! I guess I've got to wait until next week!
Also, I did get the shirt from Aunt Cherie this week, it's SUPER cute. Way too cute for missionary work haha. I wanted to wear it on Wednesday but I decided to wait and wear it at zone conference, and that day, I got some weird green stain on the shirt, and then I wanted to wear it on Thursday (I was impatient to use it), but I didn't, and I ended up cutting the shirt that I was wearing open on the arm when I bumped into someone's blinds and they slit the sleeve. Oops. Thankfully when I decided to be patient and wear it on Friday for zone conference, everything went great haha. Thank you also for the money! I already know what I'm gonna get haha. I got my Livro de Mórmon finally in the mail this week and I decided it was so beautiful that I want to do one in English also! They're expensive, but it's only something I can have done here, and it'll be a reminder of my mission forever:). I wanted to send you pictures, but turns out that the computers here at the library don't let you because the ability to read the camera is blocked:P. Super annoying. Let me just say, they're beautiful.
This week was good. It was unusual because Tuesday and Wednesday we had divisions with the Sister Training Leaders, which went well and was fun. Sister Ornano and I stayed up really late talking. Sister Duke went to Faro, so that was nice since we didn't have to plan plans for two companionships in one area. That's the worst thing about divisions. Then on Thursday we did our weekly planning because we had zone conference on Friday. The zone conference was good. We had interviews with President. Mine are always really short. I can't decide if that's good or bad. It always works out that the person in front of me has an interview for 30 minutes, then the one after me has one for 40 minutes, and then I get 5 minutes (though this one was a little longer, 8 minutes!;)). President is a really good guy.   Then Saturday and Sunday, to add to the weirdness, we had District Conference. Our area 70 came and spoke, so that was really cool. The Saturday session was neat because he talked about how to share the gospel using new technology. Sunday was good, but just not as interactive. We had an investigator there at both though, so that was really cool. His name is Mario and he's 28. Sister Ornano and I contacted him on Wednesday and he told us that he wasn't really interested because he doesn't believe in God, but said we could come by anyway on Friday. Well, we missed the appointment on Friday because we ended up not leaving zone conference until almost 6 pm, so we called and rescheduled for Saturday. He told us he still wasn't interested, but that he had read the pamphlet. Saturday we went over and again he said he wasn't interested and didn't want to talk to us, so we just asked him if we could leave a Book of Mormon with him, and leave with a prayer. He said yes. During the prayer, I just had this strong feeling to invite him to come to the District Conference (which was in like an hour). So I did, and he accepted! When we came back to get him, he told us that he had read the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and though he didn't really understand it, he had liked it. He also had changed into some nice pants (he's a handsome young man and he's got good fashion sense). We went and he said that he really liked it. He still keeps telling us he doesn't believe in God, but that he liked the message. Then during the whole conference, Elder Texeira (the 70), he kept calling Mario out, talking about how he, Elder Texeira feels about the missionaries who baptized him and how Mario will feel the same about us, and just baptism this and baptism that. Sister Duke and I were both bright red, as the members behind us kept wacking us on the shoulders and telling us good job. Poor Mario must have a sign on his back that says "invite me to be baptized". Then afterwards, we invited him to come on Sunday and he said yes! This time when we passed he was dressed even better! That's one of the things I think shows that the spirit is working, the fact that they change the way they dress for church (speaking of which, Gilberto came in a white shirt and tie and black pants! Talk about changes!). Mario also told us that he had read until "the first book of Nephi, chapter 2" haha, and that he didn't believe in the stuff about Joseph Smith because it doesn't make sense to him (we'll get there!). Then during the whole conference, he was sitting on the edge of his chair wide awake. He liked it, but still says he doesn't believe in God. We told him he has to pray to ask if he's there. He'll do it, and figure it out. Later, the branch president even called to ask about how teaching him was going! The only problem, which is really sad, is that when we went to pick him up, we found out he lives JUST BARELY in the elders area! Dang it. So, we're gonna pass him to them this week.
This week is gonna be good though. We're going up to Lisboa for a mission tour this week and so we won't be here for part of the week and then Sunday is transfers. I'm assuming that I'm staying so don't worry about that. It's always nice to have a little bit of a shake up during the week! The only crazy thing is that I can't believe how fast this transfer has gone! It's so weird to think that in the same amount of time that it has been since I picked up Sister Warner from the train station, I'll be at home! I keep hearing that the transfers get faster and faster, and it's so true. I just can't imagine them getting any faster!
I love you tons!
Have a great week!
Love always,
Sister Wach

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hey Mom!!
I'm glad I answered all your questions because I am just too tired to do so today. Haha, the hike and the sun took it out of me. Plus I got carsick on the way to and from the hike. Turns out that Elder Rose is a crazy driver (don't tell him that) and that the really windy, crazy Portuguese roads don't sit well with me. I guess I just like being behind the wheel instead of in the backseat;).
So this week was really good.
First off, I learned how to gut fish. Lot's of fun. We gut 16 fish.
Then also we've been teaching some cool people. Nuno and Vanessa are two of them. They are really strong in their church, but one of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ here in Olhão, Luís, is really good friends with them and so we've been teaching them. They're a great couple. Then Doris. She's the Brazilian I talked about yesterday. She's great also.
The hike was really great. We hiked to a small spring, which was beautiful, and we picked oranges and a fruit called nêspera on the way. They were delicious. Then we ate lunch at a park afterwards, it was really fun. It was hot though, 95 degrees. 
Um, sadly, the pictures took so long to send that I'm out of time. But I almost have what you sent. It would have come today, but we weren't home, so we're gonna go pick it up at the post office after this.
Let me know ASAP when Ryan gets his call!
I love you tons!!
Sister Wach

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hey Mom!
 First off, I got a new camera. It was 70 euros, which I think is somewhere in the range of $90. It's a good little camera and I've had a lot of fun playing with it. I'd decided I just couldn't not take any pictures for 5 months. About Mother's Day, it depends when the elders´parents and Sister Duke's parents go to church. Also, because by the time you get out of church it's already really late here. It's going to be 7pm already here and other people will still have to go. Would you be alright with doing it earlier in the morning? I don't want you to leave church early though. This is kind of stressful this way because we were just going to use the senior couple's tablet and laptop. Now we have one phone in the chapel. 
I'm excited for Rye to get his call! I'm gonna guess he is going to Argentina, only because every single one of my comps that has a brother on a mission has a brother serving there, so it's my turn!;).
Okay, your questions. This is the second senior couple, because I was able to spend a few weeks with the senior couple in Ponta Delgada when they got there. They were really nice. The branch is really great here. There are lots of recent converts who are really strong. Also, I still haven't gotten my Book of Mormon, which stinks because S. Caldwell and I sent ours in at the same time, and she got hers almost 2 weeks ago! I'm gonna call on Wednesday and see what's going on with it. Also, speaking of S. Caldwell, she got her trunky call this past week! That means that she knows what time she'll be flying home and what day and all that! Insane!!!
But this week was really good. We had Zone Meeting, which was fun. We practiced inspired questions, and the senior couple was nice enough to give us ride there so that we didn't have to take the train. Also, I got a few letters! I wasn't expecting any because I haven't gotten any at a Zone Meeting in a long time, but the other missionaries are right, people start to remember you exist when you get to the last 6 months of your mission! (Not to mention, that they were all boys...;))(oh, and I got a letter from the elder who went home...;)).
Also, our the District President, turns out he's a beekeeper! He's pretty cool. He's from Venezula. He gave us some honey, and it is super tasty.
Also, I just thought that I'd say some funny lines that some of the kids from the branch said this week:
"Are sister missionaries not allowed to do their hair"- Immanuel (age 5) (rude haha, but super cute, no, we just choose not to do our hair)
During the baptismal questions for Gilberto, the question about homosexual relationships...
"Of course not (as in he hadn't had one), you're my dad, and I have a mom, if not, I'd have two dads" Tania (age 9 and a recent convert whose dad was baptized)
During a prayer...
"Thank you for letting us be in the church today because this church is really good..." Nato (age 5 and son of the branch president)
Also, Sister Duke got locked in the bathroom this week. Talk about some fun. I had no idea what to do. It was 7am in the morning and we were getting ready to go running when I heard her knock on the door. Turns out something is wrong with the handle. And of course, I had to go to the bathroom also. So, I called the Roses (the senior couple) and they were nice enough to come and save her from the bathroom. While we waited, I gave her some reading material, a pamphlet haha. Good thing she puts up with me:).
Also the senior couple has been really great and have taken us to a park a couple times to run. It's really cool. The last time we went we decided to climb out on this old dock which was pretty cool. Of course I chickened out. I just didn't want to die, so S. Duke went to the end by herself:). They're gonna take us again tomorrow. They're really great. I don't know what we'd do without them.
I've also been playing the piano in church still. I'm getting better each week. Turns out that practice does make perfect after all! Haha. I sure wish that I'd practiced when I was taking lessons so I wouldn't have to practice here. At least I don't sweat anymore while I'm playing during sacrament. Thankfully, the branch is just happy to have someone who is willing to try and play. Though now they've got me playing for the primary program too. Great. The Children's Songbook is out of my league.
Also, we had a cool thing we did yesterday. It's called "Resgatar" and it's like a rescue type of thing. After church, a few of the members got back together and we went and visited less actives and people who hadn't come. All the groups had some really cool experiences, and I don't think that it will be the last time that they'll do it:).
Then, saving the last for the best, we had a baptism this week!!!! Gilberto, whose family was baptized last transfer, got baptized this week! He went from not having any interest when I first got here, to doing a complete 180! He quit smoking and started coming to church too!! He's a really great guy. It was all because we focused on the temple and the fact that families can be together forever. They're a great little family. Also, Gilberto changed SO much. He is just FULL of smiles now and he is just always happy. I'm grateful I was able to be here to watch him change. It was a really spiritual experience:).
Well, I'm gonna call you at 1:45pm ish on Sunday okay? That should be 8:45pm here. I think that's right. I'm gonna call at my time.
Also, tell Katie thanks again for the bracelet because I was totally ahead of the style here. At first I was the only one wearing one, and now EVERYONE has them haha. It's really funny.
I love you all tons!! Talk to you soon!
Love always,
Sister Wach


Monday, April 21, 2014

Hey Mom!
This week was good. It's rained a lot (which we're especially sad about because today we were going to go to an area called Tavira and go to a beach called Praia de Barril and play in the sand, sadly though, we woke up and it was rainy and cloudy, no worries though, patience is a virtue, and we'll just go next week.), but I'm still steadly working on my feet tan lines. Tan lines are the best. As a sister they're graduated tan lines on the legs (because of varying lengths of skirts), and super strong neck and feet tan lines. My face is still really white though thanks to some serious SPF 70 given to me by the dermatologist. Yeah! White face! 
I really like my new area. As I already said, Sister Davis served here, but since then, there has been A LOT of growth. They have a new chapel and a whole lot of members. It's just a branch, but there are 60 or more members every week, which is a lot more than the ward in Almada. The members here are really great too. Almost all of them are recent converts from the last two years, and they're all still learning, but they're willing. They don't feed us though because the sisters in the past didn't want to "get fat" and so they refused all meal offers from the members, and so they stopped feeding the sisters (they still feed the elders though, so I think we can get them to feed us). Some people just get to worried about getting fat in the mission. You just have to be smart, but also remember that we're never gonna get this opportunity again! Speaking of which, my wheat and sugar free diet didn't work out. Sister Dukes (who was here for a transfer and a half before I got here) can't have either of those, because she's allergic to wheat and sugar makes her sick, so I thought that I would be a good comp and try and do the same, but I failed. By Wednesday I had bought 2 donuts and a loaf of bread. Turns out I'm a sugar and wheat addict. We have been exercising really well though, as in, we ran more than 12 miles this week. I think that the most I've ever run in one day in the mission is probably a mile, but on Saturday we ran 4 miles! I almost died. Turns out that I'm a little out of shape. 
Sister Duke is really great. She is super cute and super nice and she always makes me feel good about myself. She's also a hard worker and has no fear. Sister Dukes also likes to run. She ran like I did before the mission, a marathon and just lots of daily distance running. The only difference is she kept running in her mission:). I'm lazy.
The chapel here is really nice. It's on a well known road called Avenida da Republica. It's number 216 if you wanna check it out. It's new and they're painting it again right now just for good measure. Though, actually, I just looked it up on google, and the picture is from before the chapel was there, and so it's just the front of the chapel which is totally graffittied by a famous graffiti artist here called Sen. He gets paid by the government to graffiti the whole place.  But take it on my word, the chapel is really nice, though it's already too small for the use of our branch. Oh, and guess what, they don't have any one who can play the piano here! I've never seen a ward so happy to have anyone plunk away at the piano awkwardly. Who would it be who is playing the piano? This Sister here. Yup. I'm learning to play the piano in my mission. It's going alright, I'm not going to be a piano mastermind, but I've heard worse, and plus the branch here doesn't notice the difference, they're just glad someone is willing to play.
Our apartment is nice. It has a backyard (which is just a tiled area behind the house which is REALLY dirty, turns out that no one has stepped back there in a really long time), which has annoying dogs in the backyard that is next door and also a floor above, who always bark when we come outside. It's a perfect sized apartment. It's not so big that it takes forever to clean, but then not so small that it's  cramped and dirty. We have two rooms and a small kitchen, a bathroom, and a living room. The water heater works perfectly which makes it already way better than the apartment in Almada. 
I also haven't eaten any fish here yet, though Luis, one of the members, said he would catch some for us and bring them to us. I actually during my mission have eaten some really great fish. It's not my favorite food still, but it's growing on me. 
For Easter we didn't really do anything. It was a REALLY slow day for missionary work, because not only was it Easter (which is not a very big holiday here), but also there was a soccer game between Benfica (my favorite team, and yes, they won) and the team from here in Olhão. Turns out that no one likes the team here, and so we heard honking and music and parties all night long because everyone was so excited that Benfica had won. But we did make ourselves some good food. For breakfast we had banana and chocolate pancakes (made with rice flour), then for lunch, bean burgers on rice cakes (Sister Duke's last comp was a vegetarian and so she taught her how to make them) and a chocolate bar we bought ourselves to celebrate, and then for dinner we had pork with vegetables and rice. It didn't really feel like Easter, though we did boil some eggs. Sister Duke decorated hers, and I was just too lazy, mine are still in the fridge.
We don't really have any investigators, and really aren't teaching anyone. We just do contacts all day with the Jehovah Witnesses. They're EVERYWHERE here. We do have a family, Família Santos, that was baptized last transfer that is really great.          
The mom and daughter were baptized but not the father, who was smoking. He wasn't really progressing because he wasn't coming to lessons or church, but when we went there the other day, he was there. We've decided to really focus on the temple, and so that seems to have been the key. Sunday he came to church, and he's been at every lesson since I got here. Sister Dukes is a beautiful artist and so she drew a picture of the Spain Temple and gave it to them. I also gave them one of the pictures you sent me (it's on their fridge), and we gave them each a small pass along card picture of the temple to put in a spot they can see it everyday. Then, when we went over there the other day, we read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with them, and found out that he has been reading on his own and has read over 80 pages!!! He also is really understanding because he really liked 2 Nephi 4, which is the perfect chapter for people with addictions. He said that he knew it was for him. So his daughter, Tania, took all his cigarettes and threw them away, and then we took the box and we decorated it with the temple and scriptures from the chapter he liked, and then we put in rolled up scriptures that look like cigarettes. It turned out really great and he really liked it. We also had a member with us, Luis, who was reactivated last year by Sister Davis, and he gave him a blessing and did a really great job. The dad, Gilberto, his whole face just changed afterwards, it went from lined and wrinkled and tired to full of light, and smooth. It was really cool to see. He then said he would quit smoking and has been doing well since then as we can tell by the fact that he is shaking. Then we went and visited again, and we read 2 Nephi 31 and Mosiah 18:8-11 with them and we marked him to be baptized. When we teach with families, I really like to focus on the kids. No one makes it simplier than kids. So we were focusing on Tania and I had this idea, and I had her come over and I whispered in her ear things to repeat. It was super cute. I had her first ask her dad if he loved her and wanted to be with her forever, to which of course he responded yes (he loves his family a lot), and then we had her invite him to be baptized on the 27th, to which he said yes (we talked to the district president though, and he is a really smart man, and thinks we should move his baptism to the Saturday after the 27th, so that Gilberto can get the Holy Ghost on Sunday instead of waiting a whole week without it. Which we think is true, especially for someone who has been smoking, a week without the spirit would just be too much of a temptation to smoke, and when people smoke, they tend not to come back to church if they mess up, especially if they are waiting between baptism and the Holy Ghost. Plus, baptism doesn't mean anything without the Holy Ghost, its just like a nice little bath. We don't know how to go about moving the date, but we know it's right, and so the Lord will provide). We're really excited for him and his family. Afterwards, the mother, Ana, she asked if they were going to go to the temple, and he said yes. It was the cutest thing.
Thanks for the email! Have a great week! I love you tons!
Love always,
Sister Wach