MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!! (Almost!)
Okay, First off, I will be skyping on Christmas!!!! I will call between 8:00-8:30p.m. (1-1:30 you’re time) until about 9:00-9:30 P.M (2-2:30)!!! I’m super excited to talk to you!! We will have a Christmas dinner with Grace and Arlindo Andrade so they offered their ipad and computer to let us call after dinner and after we clean up :) I’m really excited to see you all again!! Oh also, If you could, I would love to give the Andrade´s 17 Miracles as a gift from me! Could you somehow send that too me ASAP? I don’t know what will happen this next transfer, if I stay or if I go.
This week was AWESOME!!!! It went by waaaay too fast!!! You know the week is going to be good when you end P-Day with the Andrade´s eating steak, beans, and bread! They invited us over to plan the dinner for Christmas and then they ended up feeding us, and it tasted SO good to eat a steak again! First time since I’ve left! And then after that day, the week just kept getting better and better!
So Didi (the family- Sofia and Didi) CAME BACK FROM PORTO THIS PAST WEEK!!!!!!! We called Sofia to set up an appointment with her and she said she couldn’t because Didi was coming back in 2 hours!!! We had no idea!!! So now that family is back together and 4 of them will be baptized as soon as they get the final paper for marriage!!! It made us so happy to see them as a family again! We made them a HUGE cake to celebrate Bernardo´s birthday and also Didi´s return. I love that family so much! What a better time to be together than Natal. They were so happy and I felt like I was part of their family!
We’ve been teaching this really cute lady! She’s 82 years old and her and me are the same height when I’m on my knees! She’s adorable!! We made her a cake for her birthday and she just started crying because none of her kids remembered her birthday. So we spent a little time with her and had a little party to celebrate! She’s a sweet heart. I have recently discovered that I love Old ladies here on the mission!! All you have to do is get in with the old ladies, and you’re friends with EVERYONE! We have friends on the buses now that we use and it’s so fun!!! I’m going to miss my little friends when I leave Madeira! They’re so close to my heart!
Also, Oneida has a baptism date!! She’ll be baptized on the 2nd of January!!! She started crying when she told us how much the contact on the street meant to her. I love her so much! She’s almost to Helaman right now and she’s only been reading for about 10-15 days!! She’s incredible! And she always has her Book of Mormon out and marked when we get to her house!! So elect!! She has tons of friends at church and loves to talk to everyone. She makes our job really easy!
The end of the week was a roller coaster!!!! On Friday we had Zone Conference with President and wow was it good!!! So let me just explain what happened in the beginning...We got to talking about what President has seen in the past 5 months that he’s been here and the progress that he’s seen. It’s incredible the difference in such a short time! And then we went on to practices and guess who was chosen...WE WERE! I already knew going in that we would be giving the practice. So we did a baptismal invite practice and so did 2 Elders. It went all right but then president showed us how he really wants us to do it and it was awesome! He is truly inspired!!! We watched 2 videos about the mission and then we listened to how members of the church were contacted by missionaries. The spirit was so strong and when you see the genuine smiles of the members, old and newly baptized ones, it just brought the spirit. Then after they sang me happy birthday from last month, ate our `Christmas meal` and opened a present! Oh and best part of all, the last thing we did was watch a movie! And it was `It’s a Wonderful Life!!! ` MADE MY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! Loved every minute of it! haha he told us all to close our eyes every time they kissed haha the Elders couldn’t take it! It was a really good conference and I was pumped to work afterwards!!!
On Saturday we had our HUGE Madeira District Christmas party and oh my goodness was it a blast!!!!!! Canico, Machico, Funchal, and Camara dos Lobos were there!!! We filled the sacrament room and went into the overflow! We started out with the Christmas film, and a message about the importance of Christ birth and the church he established. We listened to a Piano Guys song and had lots of music! It was so fun to talk to all the members and see the joy of Christmas as we talked about Christ. We had a short talent show where the kids could get up and sing and do some sort of talent. It was adorable! We met Grace’s niece and nephew and we’re actually going to start teaching them the gospel! So they came and by the next day they were asking to see us again! They are the cutest kids ever! And then another member came up to us and brought his friend Brielen and she wants to know more about the church!! If members could just see the influence they have on others, the church would bust with members!! It was just a great night to spread the true meaning of Christmas!
On Sunday, I gave the gospel principles class on Exaltation. It went really well!! I was nervous about the whole Portuguese/ language barrier but they seemed to understand so that’s a good thing!! I got told the night before so I really threw a lesson together an hour before. It was bad planning but still was pretty good! And then we had a special Christmas sacrament meeting and they didn’t tell me we would be singing 7 songs so I ended up playing 7 Christmas songs in Sacrament...I was nervous out of my mind but it didn’t go too bad! I’m happy to say that my talent on the piano has grown and I’m site seeing better. Thank you for the piano lessons!!!!!!!
I just wanted to tell you all how much I love my Savior. I love Him with my whole heart. I’m so grateful for this time that I have to share His gospel during this time. I’m so thankful for the example He is for me and the chance that I have to be like Him. He suffered for me so that I don’t have to. He knows me. He knows our weakness and He will NEVER leave us. Actually it’s the opposite. The times we most need Him, He is right there, we just need to open our eyes to His blessings and His help. His birth was the start of a perfect life and of our salvation. We can never forget what He has done for us. Because of Him we can return to live with out loving Heavenly Father. The path is simple if we want it to be. Take the saying from Nike. JUST DO IT! It’s as simple as that. Do your part. Do what He asks. He has promised us so many blessings if we will but open our hearts to Him. He is our Savior and Redeemer. I love Him. I love you all so much!