HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOELLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope your birthday is just full of love and kisses!!!
So we ended up not going to Porto this week but this next week President wants all the Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in Porto. So this next week I don’t know what the time is going to be like so don’t worry if I can’t email, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to email!
So we had our first Zone Meeting this week!!! I did my very first training in front of everyone with my companion and it’s actually really cool! We did this goal chart between my companion and me a few weeks ago and then we applied what we learned at Zone Meeting and did it all together. It was super fun!! I was REALLY NERVOUS but at the same time it felt good to be leading again! Still am grateful that I’m not a zone leader or district leader! But it was a really good experience. I ended up in a room with the ZL´s and the DL´s all by myself so that was a little weird but it was the leadership meeting so it wasn’t too bad!
So we met a lot of elects this week! One of them being Orneida! She’s from Venezuela and she’s speaks a mixture or Portuguese, Spanish, and English, so does that make is spenguese?? I have no idea but there are times that I have NO IDEA what she’s saying...but when she starts speaking Spanish it’s a whole lot better! We had met her a week ago and then we decided to call her up and see her and wow is she amazing!! Her son is LDS and so she knows a little but really not too much. At church we gave her a Spanish book or Mormon and she said she’d never actually been in a LDS church and never had the BOM. All I could think, `Are we doing our part as members about sharing the gospel to everyone, even loved ones??` But she started reading the BOM in relief society and she really liked it! She’s super awesome!
Every day this week we felt that we had gotten really close to breaking. But every time we saw the Lord’s hand. Truly sometimes we need to continue on even it we don’t think anything good is going to come out of it. For example: we were an hour late for an appointment because we had no idea where the road was. We tried asking and most people just rejected us before we could ask. All of our other appointments were behind, our member that was suppose to teach with us wasn’t answering…it was just a mess. Finally we just stopped after we got rejected with out saying anything. We were lost, late, and over all just exhausted. I see this lady with a baby and the baby was waving at us. It made me smile a little bit and then as she was leaving the gate I just asked if she knew where the road was and then she surprised us by being English!!! The next line she told us to come by this week!! Literally we had hit the point that we couldn’t do anything. We ended up taking 5 more steps and finding the road. Just little blessings like that make me awe. The Lord knows my weakness so perfectly and knows when I can’t take it. If we can just see the simple things in life, we will see that we do have a loving Father in Heaven who knows us.
Oh also this week our Zone Leader Elder Da Veiga got SUPER sick. He’d been sleeping and studying by this hole in the wall (with mold) and so he has an infection in his lungs. He went to medical doctors and within the hour they were out of the house and into a hotel. So this weekend we would bring them food because they had nothing in the room so our senior couple would make them food and every night before going home we’d bring them food. He was so sick. Now he’s going back to Porto to be treated by the mission home and the doctors there. It was really sad for him to say goodbye to everyone. We’re all really sad that he’s going. He got here when I did and everything that has happened we all did together. Again, I never want to leave this Island. The idea of is just makes me so sad!!!
The best part of the week...TEMPLE IN LISBON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t know how many of you saw the ground breaking for the Lisbon Temple, but I did!!! I was crying because I was so happy!!!!!!!!!! GRANDPA WAS THERE. I know he was and he was cheering and crying with every single one of us. And he also put this in the letter to all the missionaries in the mission:
`Pensei no meu irmão, que serviu aqui por 5 anos e trouxe pessoas para o rebanho que encontro em vários lugares por onde passo. Pensei em amigos que serviram aqui e amaram este povo e são lembrados até hoje. O Elder Hillam, avô da nossa Sister Hillam, já falecido, serviu muitos anos aqui, como presidente de missão e depois da área, foi lembrado por muitos no sábado a ponto de dizeram que sabiam que ele estava ali e feliz de ver a “água do poço que ajudou a cavar.”`
(Translation: I thought of my brother that served here for 5 years and brought people to the flock that I meet in various place where I go. I thought about my friends that I have served with here and loved this people and are remembered today. Elder Hillam, Grandfather to our Sister Hillam, who passed away, served many years here, as President of the mission and after the area, was remembered by many on Saturday to the point that they said that they knew he was there and happy to see `the water of the well that he helped dig`)
I have such a huge testimony of the temple. I know grandpa was there. I felt him as I watched the broadcast and I couldn’t help but cry for joy for these people. I love this people so much and I felt the love that grandpa has too. I know that our family is together forever and that I have the best opportunity to share that with everyone around me. I’m so grateful for the gospel and for the heritage that I have. I couldn’t be more grateful for every single one of your examples in my life. I love the church and this gospel. It has changed my life. I know that we have a prophet today and that he speaks for God. I know that Joseph Smith restored the church and because of his sacrifice, we have the truth. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God; that it is the corner stone of our religion. I know without a doubt that God’s plan is perfect and our family is eternal, never to be separated. I love you all so much! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!