Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

Hey fam,
This week has been a huge change. I ended up getting transferred! I was way sad when I got the call. I really didn't want to leave that area. It's such an incredible area. We were just about to mark a ton of people for baptism. We ended up getting "white-washed," which means that both me and Elder Da Costa left the area, and there are 2 new Elders in the area that don't know anything about it when they get there. We had to leave them a big long to-do list, because we had so many people that we were going to mark. They actually called me this week and told me that they marked 2 of them. Tânia, who was the one I told you about last week, was marked for baptism, as well as another guy we were teaching named Fernando. It was cool to hear, but I am pretty sad for not being able to be there. The Elder who replaced me there is the same Elder that replaced me in my first area, Sacavém, Elder Rush. He told me that when he was there, he baptized 2 people that I had found and was teaching before he got there. That was really cool to hear too. He is stealing all of my baptisms!!!
So my new area is called São Domingos. I'm back on the continent. It is pretty far away from Lisbon about an hour's drive northeast-ish. It is actually a way awesome area. When I got here, I wasn't liking it at all, just because I really didn't want to leave Praia da Vitória. But this week we have had a lot of success. My new companion is Elder Stanley, another Utahn. He is from St. George. It is pretty weird being with an American companion again, especially after having spoken almost only Portuguese everyday for the past 3 months. He is way cool though. We teach really well togther. We have found tons and tons of way cool people to teach. I don't really know if it's the area, us, or just the mission itself. We mostly just knock doors, but it's actually effective here. I don't know what it is, because there have been missionaries in this area for a long time. This last week has been basically just finding people, but I think this week we will be teaching a lot more.
We have a few people that we are teaching, one that we already marked for baptism. Her name is Elizabete. She is a pretty sad lady. She has a way hard life. Her husband left her and her 1-year-old daughter. She doesn't really have much money. We have been teaching her, and once gave her a blessing of comfort. The Spirit was really strong. Also, we always sing hymns when we teach her. It's cool. Elder Stanley is way good at singing, so it's a pretty big blessing for us to be able to sing to people. She really likes it, and it invites the Spirit well. She is marked to be baptized on May 1.
We have a goal to also mark and baptize 2 people this weekend. Jaqueline, and Ismar. They are both from Brazil. Jaqueline's husband, Cléber, was just baptized a few weeks ago. She has already been taught everything, she just needs to receive an answer that this is the only true church. She belongs to (as do most Brazilians) an evangelical church. She really likes our church, but also really likes her other. We feel like we can baptize her this weekend though. Ismar is friend's with Cléber. He is a way sincere, humble guy, but it also part of that same church. He has been a member of that church for 15 years. He has a really hard time believing that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. He will be harder to convince, but we prayed and feel good about him.
We have a lot of other potential here as well. Tons of people that we have found that we just need to start teaching.
Anyways, I really love being in this mission. It seems like the mission is really growing. The people here are being prepared to accept the gospel. I have seen that so much this week. It is incredible being here in this mission at this time. I can't remember if I already wrote this once, but Portugal has a prophecy about it. I think it was a member of the seventy that said it, but he basically said that there are 3 countries of promise outside of the United States, which are, Brazil, Chile, and Portugal. He said that we will see Portugal become the lighthouse of Europe, in terms of example and growth. We are really seeing it happening! I think our mission reached the highest baptizing mission in Europe. Our Mission President is incredible, and way inspired. The whole mission has changed. Everyone is seeing a lot of success.
Anyways, good to hear from y'all. I love you guys.
Elder Walker