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Monday, 30 November 2015


Minha Família!!
Well, Vasco de Gama is completely different than Mafra, but I think we are going to have some good times here. The Christmas lights and Christmas music they play all over town is enough to make me super happy walking down the streets, let alone getting to talk to the world about Christ's Church being restored to the earth. Life is good.
I am not going to lie, the first part of this week was pretty rough. Sister Lacey got a bad cold at the beginning of the week, so I spent quite a few hours inside decorating our branch's Christmas invitations while she slept, but luckily we got to work at least a few solid hours everyday this week. 
We had our first district meeting with the new district here, and SURPRISE! Sister Ventura is in my district and will actually be my sister training leader this transfer. #blessings. Elder Pitcher (Mason's Friend) is also in my district! I haven't seen him since being on the mission, but now he is my zone leader and so I am pretty excited about this district. We actually celebrated U.S. Thanksgiving together after our district meeting, and it was super legit....the only problem is that we left the elders in charge to do the turkey, and they showed up with some sort of curried turkey breast......but other than that it was a big success. 
Like I said, Montijo/ Vasco de Gama is completely different than Mafra. It is on the other side of the river of Lisboa, so we can see Lisboa from our area because it is basically right on the river. We have a branch here as well. For some reason there were very few members in church yesterday, but the ones that I have met are absolutely incredible and I love them already. They are on the bigger side for a branch, so hopefully we can help them turn into a ward in the next few months.
As for other stories this week:
We made a really interesting contact one night this week. We were walking down the street and it was already dark and I saw a man standing at the gate of his house. He was about 60 years old and I started talking to him. I asked him if he believed in God, and then continued to tell us that he couldn't decide. He said that he would like to believe there is a God, but then said that his son had died in an accident and one of his daughters was mentally challenged and at times it was hard for him to believe that a loving God could allow those things to happen. It was amazing to be able to bear testimony after of the reality of a loving heavenly father, and the spirit was so strong. 
Family I want you to know that I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and knows us perfectly. It is one of the simplest doctrines of the gospel, but one of my absolute favorite things to bear testimony about. This is why I am here. I remember sitting in my international developement class the semester before I left for the mission just wondering why so many bad things happen in this world and how I could make a difference. It occured to me that the best thing that I could do was serve a mission. Because I know that Heavenly Father is the greatest changemaker. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share this joy with others. He truly does love him, and just like Ether 12:4 says, through faith in him we can hope for a better world. I know this is true and that one day all wrongs will be made right because he is just, merciful, loving, and perfect.
I hope you guys can all remember the love that your father has for you. It is infinite and perfect, and he truly wants the best for us. I love you guys SO much!!! Thanks for everything you do. Continue com fé. Paz e Bênçãos Família!

-Sister Selk  

Elder Pitcher!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Nobody saw this coming!

This week was absolutely unexpected- So good and so sad in so many ways! Ahh! Mission life! 
It started off with a funeral- SISTER BRYNER DIED TODAY!!!! oh my goodness fam. I gave her one last hug in the mission office today and just about died! She is the cutest human being! So obviously for district meeting this week we gave her the best funeral that we possibly could. (I would have to say that it was probably right up there with the pope's funeral!) I will send you guys the photos and I think they will speak for themselves.
If I haven't already talked about my love for Mafra......and for Sister Tilton, I am just going to talk for a minute about those two things. Our group here is absolutely INCREDIBLE! I love them so much! We had an activity in the capela this week that went really well. Sister Tilton and I planned an activity with a whole bunch of Minute to Win It games related to gospel principles and the members here just loved it! They literally "Ate it up" and it was so fun to see all of them get so excited about everything. We tried really hard to put an emphasis on bringing a friend to the activity, but unfortunately that was the only unsuccessful one brought a friend. (We are going to have to work on that)
I can honestly say at times on the mission I have questioned if I am making a difference or making the area I am in better, but this week I really felt a strong impression that we were doing things that were changing Mafra. We had one particular experience with a member one morning this week where she invited us over and completely opened up to us. She works a ton and has a busy family, so in the past the missionaries rarely were able to go to her house, but more and more she started inviting us to her house, up until the this point where she just thanked us for the work we were doing. It was the first time I have had a member tell me that I really was there making a difference and changing lives. I have felt constantly inadequate on the mission, so it was so nice to have someone tell us to our face that we were there making a difference.
Sunday our whole group went to Mem Martins because they had the primary presentation. Oh my goodness. If you thought the regular primary presentation was good.....just try watching a bunch of little portuguese children sing and talk about Jesus. IT BLEW MY MIND!!!!!! I just had a huge smile on my face the entire time I was there, and I am pretty sure Sister Tilton was laughing more at my reaction to things than the children. I was loving life! And it was awesome because I looked around and almost our whole group was there! Antonio was there and it was CRAZY because I looked over and almost didn't recognize him! He cut his hair and he looked like such a chic man! It really is incredible how the gospel changes the appearance of people. There was something special yesterday in our church meetings. I felt like our group was so united and powerful and that we were really progressing together to salvation. It was the coolest feeling! 
With all these feeling that I have had over the past week and over the past 2 transfers here in Mafra for these people, I was sure I would be staying at least one more transfer with sister Tilton there. I had written President about all my goals too, and he gave me the strong impression that I would be staying as well........Welll.  Yesterday night when we got transfer calls and found out I would be transferred.....I literally felt like someone had just absolutely betrayed me and backhanded me in the face! A little dramatic?...probably, but I cannot even tell you how much I wanted to stay in Mafra one more transfer. I was pretty devastated.
So to give you the news: I got transferred to VASCO DE GAMA! And I will be serving with Sister Lacey!! It is her last transfer in the mission, so I will be killing her. That will be a new experience. I literally was up all night packing last night because we were in a super solid lesson until way late with a family that Sister Tilton found knocking doors....which is another reason I am super bummed that I had to leave Mafra....This family is definitely going to be baptized! They were absolutely incredible! They invited us back to our house and we taught the first lesson to them, but in reality they basically taught us and shared all these amazing insights, and my mind was exploding the whole entire time we were there. So that is cool! And then I got the call and was in no way prepared to pack all of my backs. So I got one hour of sleep last night and I feel like I got hit by a bus at this point. We were in the mission office for like 4 hours today and I hadn't had anything to eat but basically I am treating my body real well! But it was fun to get to see A TON of missionaries that I have come to know in the mission because we had 16 WHITEWASHES this transfer. CRAZY! Basically every area got switched up real good!
But I am incredibly stoked to start this new transfer and I know I am going to learn soooo much here! 
Love you guys to death! Participem bem! Paz e Bênçãos!

-Sister Selk
The Funeral


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Nov. 16, 2015

This is what we were working with this week

We walked about an hour among fields and cows and dirt paths to get to knock some doors. #adventures I LOVE LIFE

Friday, 13 November 2015

Running Miracles

Well....I feel like we didn´t stop running once this week to fulfill all the miracles that God had in store for us. In other words it was a pretty rad week.
I have so much to tell you about since last week I didn´t get to doing a big email, so I will try and include some things that happened last week that continued into this week.
Starting with Dia das Almas. 
Halloween basically doesn´t exist here in Portugal. so we had a fun time last weekend teaching people how to do halloween the american way, but they do have a holiday called dia das almas the day after halloween. Basically it is a day to remember all those who have passed away, so lots of people will visit their loved ones etc. Knowing this, Presidente Tavares wanted us to spend that Sunday in the cemetaries talking to people about the plan of salvation. I am not going to lie....we didn´t have a ton of success from that activity, BUT we did end up finding one man named João Carlos who is incredible, so it was worth it!!!
He was actually the security guard at the cemetary and was the very last contact we decided to make before leaving. We were walking down the street only a few days later and he saw us. completely stopped his car in the middle of the road just to say hi and that we should call him to set up a lesson.....WHAT! That kind of stuff never happens in Portugal!!!!! Long story short we were able to talk to him this week and had a killer lesson! He accepted everything amazingly, but the only problem that we can see at this point is that he isn´t married.....But we have faith that we will be able to overcome this no problem!
As for other exciting news......JOANA!!!!
All of this has happened so fast with Joana that I haven´t been able to talk to much about her, but she is by far the most elect and accepting person I have met on the mission thus far! She is incredible! Just 3 weeks ago we met her on the street, and this past weekend she was baptized as the newest member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!! We didn´t end up doing her baptism last week because we wanted to make sure was taught everything sufficient and that she understood, but she really was prepared since the moment we talked to her! 2 Sundays ago during fast and testimony meeting, she just decided to get up and share her testimony with everyone!!!! Sister Tilton and I were BLOWN AWAY!!! It was a beautiful testimony too. She basically said that she believed that the church was true and that we would work together to achieve salvation.....yup......she is pretty cool! 
I am literally just amazing everytime we talk to her! The other day we were asking what she did that day and she told us, "Oh I was looking up some stuff about the temple and looking at pictures...." It is the strangest thing because I feel like I didn´t actually do anything to prepare her. We just simply gave her the information and she accepted and did everything on her own. One thing that we have been doing with our investigators is teach the law of opposition to them before baptism. We were teaching her this principle and said that there might be things that come up that could keep her from being baptized and she should be prepared to face these things and overcome them. While we were talking to her about it she just simply looked at us and said so firmly, "I am getting baptized this Saturday."
It was so powerful, and I just love her so much!
Her baptism was perfect. That´s really all I can say. From the perfect tempture to her getting out of the font and saying, "Ah, Que Bom!!!" The Lord had his hand in every moment.
As for other things that happened this week:
I officially hit 9 months!!! Sister Tilton spoiled me way too much with a breakfast and we had a solid day-we got to have dinner with the president of our group and his wife in the house of Sebastiana and Luis, and then that night we went to mem martins because the next day we had zone meeting. Our zone meeting was really good and I always receive a good burst of energy to go out and do better.
It is also interesting because this week we have had a lot of experiences with Brazilians! We have about 3 or more brazilian families that we are teaching including João Carlos, and they are all so cool!!! It is super interesting to get a small glimpse at what a mission in Brazil might be like because most Brazilians here in Portugal are much more willing to talk to us and accept the gospel. Hence why our group consists mainly of brazilians....haha Just last night, we were staying in Mem Martins with the Sisters and they asked us if we could stay in their house and wait for a man to come change their gas while they went out to teach a lesson. Well, this man showed up and he ended up being from Brazil. He ended up talking to us for about 1/2 hour because he saw that we were missionaries and told us that he was just here for a few months until he could get back to brazil but said that he knew all about the church because his both in Brazil was a member and would talk about it all the time. He said he follows the church on facebook, and basically knows just about everything about the church!!! It was crazy! He loved hearing all about the church and actually wanted to visit the church in Brazil, but thought he needed an invitation to go, so he never ended up going. Sister Tilton and I were pretty much freaking out listening to this man speak! We couldn´t believe it. The Lord knew we couldn´t go out and work, so he brought someone to us. We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon etc. and we will see what happens to him!
I think that´s about all I have to say this week. We are just getting showered with miracles and it feels incredible! We have been so blessed. The Lord is amazing. Hope you all have a great week. O Senhor ama Vocês! Fiquem Bem Família!!!! Paz e Bênçãos.

-Sister Selk

We had a joint baptism with Sister Bryner and Sister Bakker-one of the last times with Sister Bryner!!!


Zona de Oeiras

I had to include my camel because I am in love with him!!

These are the most magical pants that ever existed on the face of the planet. Amazing.

just one of the reasons I am living in paradise :)

We were working in Ericeira the other day and there was the most amazing sunset!!!!! Just ignore my eye. I am still having some problems with it.....

Halloween Photos

We went to Claudia´s and helped them carve pumpkins.

Also, our lame attempt at costumes.....