I don´t know what it is with the Portuguese time, but I cannot seem to figure it out! And that is a problem when we rely so much on Autocarros. I like to think I have my head on straight most of the time, and know how to read the bus schedules, but this week we had more than one situation where we missed our bus. But to be fair, we have realized that the Portuguese don´t care much about bus schedules. They will get there when they get there, and leave when they get there. Therefore, lesson for the week: Always show up to the bus stop 15 minutes early.
But this week was another solid week. Let´s be honest. Any week where I get to eat sushi is bound to be an amazing week. So that´s exactly what we did. I definitely got Sister Andrew hooked on sushi from my birthday dinner, and we have an amazing sushi restaurant in our area, so we went there one day for lunch this week, and it just made the rest of the week wasuavi. ha. Lame attempt at a joke.
I think I talked a little bit about Fernando last week, well...we had a super good lesson with him this week, and we were able to mark him to be baptized! So we are praying that all works out and that he can be baptized within the coming weeks.
One thing that I have loved about a lot of my areas is that they include other little cities within our area. (Rumor has it that President likes to abandon me to where there are no other missionaries near me. I understand. I am pretty ferocious.) Anyways, Sister Andrew and I had yet to explore an area called Alcochete. It is a beautiful little city right by the main bridge and river that crosses to Lisbon. So we finally decided to go check it out, and see if we could find some new people to teach. It has been about 2 years since anyone has worked in the area. It was a bit tricky working there because we only had a very vague map with most of the streets missing, but despite all that we were able to find a less active man named José Garcia, and his mother. It was a very humbling experience to be able to talk to them. They have a difficult situation. José was in a motorcycle accident and lost one of his legs, and all in all they live in very humble circumstances, but we had a powerful lesson about the nature of God and about the trials that we receive in our lives. I have been studying more about the atonement lately, and I have learned SO much about the Nature of God and Jesus Christ. One thing that I have yet to figure out is why some people seem to experience so many more trials than others. I know that some take it upon themselves with their actions, but there are some very good, humble people that go through more than I could ever comprehend. However, what I do know is that God is perfect, and Every Single Thing that we experience in this life will be justified in the life to come. You should all go read 2nd Nephi chapter 9. It´s real good! I was reading in verse 18 and realized that every single one of us has to carry our own "Crosses" of life. We all have to experience just a small part of the cross that Jesus had to carry, but the most miraculous part is that we do not have to carry it alone. Fortunately we have someone so much greater than us to help bear our burdens with ease. This I know, because I have felt that every day.
A couple weeks ago I talked about Nicolae- a member in our branch whose wife is not a member. Well, we got invited from his wife to come back to their house to celebrate Nicolae´s Birthday this week! I was pretty excited that out of everyone she thought to invite us! (That´s a good sign!) Well, I don´t think I have ever gotten so full on the mission in my life! You hear about those missionaries who have to shove the food in their bags because they just can´t eat anymore....yeah, that´s basically what happened. We showed up to their house and there was already a HUGE spread of food on the table, and we thought for sure that that was the main event. We were sorely mistaken. Apparently that was the appetizers, only to be followed by Ukranian beet soup, cabbage rolls, fruit, tea, and cake. Enough said. The food was amazing, but Sister Andrew and I just about died from food coma when we got back to our apartment.
As for other exciting things of the week. We were working hard to create a training for the leaders in our branch about member missionary work from the book that I told you all to read, and we finally got to do that training for them yesterday. I think it ran really well, which I was pleased about because I really did work hard to try and put it together, so we will see if we can see any results from that in the future!
All I can say is that I hope you are all looking for ways to reach out and create new friendships with people outside of the church, because there is no greater joy than being able to share the gospel with others.
Love you all so much! Fiquem Bem.
Paz e Bênçãos.