Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hey Mom!

Thanks for the letter, and for the package. I got the package today. Tell everyone I said thanks! It came on Friday but the laws here in Portugal are really awful when it comes to packages and so whenever a package comes it pretty much always has a fee that has to be paid and normally the mission pays for the fee and then we pay them back (so they can hold the package for us) and so the elder who was picking up packages didn't have enough money to get mine too and so he left it there at the post office. Thankfully, the elders said that my package had a really cheap fee compared to others. Some of the people have to pay over $100!!! It's kind of ridiculous because if they can't refund the mission then the mission doesn't take it out of the post office and so it just gets sent back to the parents, then they've wasted however much money it was. So, I had to wait the weekend to go and get it. I went and got it this morning:). It's great, thanks a ton! I'm wearing my new skirt right now and I'm excited to eat all that candy, you guys are the best:).

My comp and I are doing fine. She's a nice girl. She's a hard worker. Jéssica and her mom are okay. The mother Asto, scheduled a hair appointment for during church yesterday and so Jéssica didn't get the Holy Ghost and we got in trouble with our elders because the last three of our baptisms haven't gotten it (I was only here for Jéssica and I have yet to meet the other two people). It's really sad and it makes Sister Briggs really stressed out because the others aren't answering our calls. One of them, she got offended, and then the other, he got a new job and now he works on Sunday (he also almost backed out of his baptism, so we're not sure what's going on with him) and we have no idea where he lives (don't ask me how that happened) and his phone doesn't work anymore. It's so sad to see when that happens, when the people miss out on blessings or when they receive trials or blessings to show if they really are committed to the gospel and then they decide to stop coming to church. The church is true, and that should be all that matters, not whether or not they were offended. I think that's one of the hardest things here. A lot of people are offended. The Portuguese people just have a lot of pride, in their nation and in themselves, which of course can be good, but it can be bad also. No worries though, Jéssica will get the Holy Ghost next week if it's the last thing that I do! The baby, Nunu, isn't doing to great. He came home from the hospital (he's stinking adorable) and then he had to go back because he caught this nasty cold that's going around. It's a bummer because Asto wants to be baptized, she's just never home for us to teach the lessons or to come to church because she's always there. I hope he gets better soon so he can come home.

Sorry about having a crazy week! Tell Katie to brush those teeth!:) Don't worry, I think I have some too (cavities). Dag gummit. That lipgloss sounds gross, but it looked beautiful on Jacob. Tell him he should wear it everyday. Poor baby Katie, tell her I love her:). Oh, and about the messiness... you would be surprised how much the mission changes that... I'm OCD now about cleaning. I absolutely hate when there are dishes in the sink or when the floor is messy. I think I've gone crazy. I always put all my stuff away too. You wouldn't believe it haha. Oh, and I made that chicken recipe you sent me and the cheesecake. The elders like the cheesecake alot, though I didn't have vanilla wafers and so I tried to use these super cheap Portuguese cookies called Bolachas de Maria, and it was gross. They burned. The chicken was great. I made it first on chicken that was boneless (boneless chicken is SUPER expensive here) and it was delicious. The second time I made it on a whole chicken (they come like that here, with the neck and little hairs on the skin and all) and Sister Briggs said it was delicious. I couldn't stomach it. Though, she's trying to make me fat, she makes this Brazilian food called Pão de Queijo almost everyday and man, I can't help myself, they're just SO good haha. Will you please send me the recipe that dad used to make the Brigadeiros in the microwave for Christmas? They're Sister Sandholtz's favorite and so I wanted to make some for her and send them with someone who is headed to the islands. I asked all the Brazilians in the ward, but I think they've been in Portugal so long that they forgot haha. One said he would bring it to me, but I think he forgot also.

Well, this week was good. We walked lots, and talked to lots of people. We're a little dry in the teaching area because none of our investigators are progressing, but things are still good here. I'm happy to be here all the same:).We've met some good people this week in the road, so we're just hoping that they'll turn into investigators. We had a family in church this week, so that was good. I just have to humble myself to teach them. They're nuts about they're religion. They're spiritualists or something like and boy, do they know how to talk! Good people though, with good moral values, now we just have to get them headed in the right direction because Satan has got a good grip on them! Oh, tell Sister Rodrigues that Inacia is doing great, she's a cute little old woman and that Adão brings her to chuch every week, and that she's still telling us that her neighbor is a witch. Also, that Irmão Edson took her to his house this weekend and all the primary kids were there for an activity with Irmã Zíla and so they learned how to sing I'm a child of God and they sang it to Inacia. I think she had a good time, and now the ward knows about the state of her house. No one should leave a 92 year old to live alone. That's the problem with Benfica. Lots of old people. It was probably hopping in the 1950's, but now all those people are old and they didn't have any kids to take care of them. One day, the streets will just be deserted here.
Inacia is pretty good at doing stuff on her own though, at least for a 92 year old. She still walks after all:). Also, tell Sister Rodrigues that Inês still hasn't gotten the Holy Ghost and we try to meet with her every day, but she says she's too busy for us. She got offended at a JAS activity and now doesn't want to come back. I don't know if she can do anything about it, but maybe she could try and contact her on Facebook?

The church here is young, and the members are different than in the states, but wow, if you could just see the youth here! They're amazing. A lot of them were baptized without their families being baptized also and they come every week by themselves. They're amazing. One of them, she's an orphan, her name is Marisa. We went this week to where she lives (we had a CD from Portugal EFY for her, which is a great CD by the way, I don't know what it's called in English, something like Stand in Holy Places probably), and she lives in a CATHOLIC ORPHANAGE like forever away. Sister Briggs saw her first nun, she was pretty happy about that. Marisa is fabulous though. There are lots of them. Another that I like a lot is Kemmer. His mom and sister were baptized also, but he was baptized first. One day the missionaries talked to him the street and they asked him some serious questions, that got him thinking and he went home and talked to his mom about them, next thing you know, they're talking to the missionaries and he's baptized! They're great members, they're like a light in the dirty bairro:), now if only the dad would get baptized. We've been working with him, but he doesn't have a desire which is a big bummer. Irmã Odete says she knows he´ll get baptized later. I sure hope so. There are just a whole bunch of them. I'm really glad that they're the future of the church here. Now if we can just find a few more to strenghten them too. 

Well I have no idea what else to say, but I love you guys! Also, keep up the missionary work, Loretta will get it soon. Do you go to a weekly meeting with the missionaries and the ward mission leader? If not, you should ask the ward mission leader about it, because you should have one every week and you should be there to know what they need. They'll give you a paper with all the numbers and addresses on it of the people they're teaching, and it's your job to call those people and fellowship them. I know it seems kind of awkward to call random people, but one of the hardest things for us as missionaries is to get the ward to participate, and yet the work is 1000 times better with their help. The people the missionaires are teaching will need friends in the church to help them to stay firm and to learn more. Keep working hard, you'll recieve lots of blessings for it:). This is a great time to do member missionary work. The work is hastening and all the energy of the church is now being put on missionary work (did you see the Friend and the New Era?! Awesome) and as members it's our job to jump in and help! Think of someone that you could share the gospel with and do it!

Love you tons!


Sister Wach

P.S. Tell people to write me paper letters, the kind you send in the mail. I'm needing some letters!;) 

 Ricki – If anyone wants to send her a paper letter let me know I can take it to the post office for you.  It usually cost $1.10J The address is on the blog:)

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