Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Jane in Portugal: July 2023

From Jane in Portugal!
Read all about it!

Picture this:
It was my dear companion, Sister Evans, last week on the mission. 
We wanted to send her home with a bang 
(as if two baptisms and a wedding in the same week wasn't enough, kkk 😅), 
and so naturally, we set a RIDICULOUSLY high goal
 for finding and teaching new people. 

Like, 4xhigherthanouraverage, ridiculous.
And the Lord really said, bet.
And well...we met our goal!

And it was an incredible week of miracles and hard work! 🙌😅
And then, 
we didn't get enough new missionaries this past transfer, 
so Presidente had to take missionaries out of many areas. 
So, he combined my area with the neighboring area. 

And the sisters in that area had also set a ridiculously high goal to find new people.
So when our areas combined, so did our teaching pools, 
and now we are actively teaching A LOT of people, 
and it is really hard to remember them all. 😳💀
Oh, and then my companion and all my mission friends 
went home or got transferred far away. 😪

And then Presidente really said:
"The Lord wants you to train too!"
So I am a little stressed.
But also the happiest I have ever been on my mission.
This truly is a GREAT work 🥲

My new companion is Sister Hanna from Oregon. 
We are having a great time knocking on lots of doors and drinking boba. 💙🧜🏻‍♀️

Sister Leckie (who I lived with and is a queen) 
went home and left half her wardrobe. 
So, guess whose closet just doubled with cute clothes 😈💁🏼‍♀️
We gave a woman from Guinea-Bissau named Valentina a Book of Mormon.
She has bad eyesight and a short attention span, 
so she was a little overwhelmed when we handed her a whole book.
As she flipped the pages, she asked, 
"Which part is the MOST essential? I'll read that part."
I was so excited to open up to 3 Nephi 11 and read with her 
about Christ's personal ministry to the people in ancient America.
To read Our Savior's very own words.
Pure doctrine. 

Since then, I have thought a lot about the MOST essential things in my life.
The truth is, He is the very most essential.
And as we prioritize Him and do as 
He would, in every moment of our lives, we will come to feel 
His love and love for others in ways we haven't before.
As we focus on Him - we will have more hope for the future.

Our church congregation here is small.
Real small.
And it feels like all the members we have are moving away! 😖
We are in desperate need of strong members and leaders.
One day - I fasted and prayed that the Lord would 
send strong families here to Linda-a-Velha.
We were on the bus three days later, and two men approached us. 
They are brothers (and one is a member of the church 👀)
 who moved here from Brasil (shout-out to Claire's mission in Espírito Santo 🇧🇷🥲)
 THAT VERY SAME WEEK to start new lives.

The member, Luiz, has a wife and three kids who will come here in September.
And we are now teaching João, his brother, about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 🥲 
They are the cutest brothers and actual legends. 💪
You can't hear this story and tell me that God isn't in the 
details and hearing and answering every prayer! ❤️‍🩹

I spend a lot of time in complete awe of the Lord and what He does. 🤩

There are 3 members in our ward from Venezuela - 
but they all speak pretty good Português.
On Sunday, a man named José came into the church who had just
 moved here from Venezuela but didn't speak any Português.
And so that José could understand at least a little bit of the
 meeting, one of our members bore her testimony in church in Spanish. 🥲🇻🇪
(Shout-out to Nathalie for being the greatest member that there ever was! 💝)

Also, someone sneezed during church, and there was a chorus of "bless you"s. 
It actually made me laugh really hard.
So polite these people are!

(Until they slam a door in your face and insult your ability to
 speak Português - but hey, we are focusing on the good here. 😊)

Our district went to the temple for P-day. 
Did I mention I love Jesus? 
AND I got to see my bestie from Provo, Sister Bingham.
Cute Jeniffer (who was baptized two weeks ago) and her cute 
daughter Ciara made us a cake when we visited them. 🥲🍰

We are teaching this beautiful family from Cuba! 
And they are the sweetest and will invite all their friends to church too! 💒
(And would someone please explain why
I thought it would be a good idea to take 5 years of French and no Spanish?! 🤦🏻‍♀️👎🏻

Also, it is hot.
But apricots are in season here, and I LOVE apricots, 
so that makes me happy.
And I LOVE being a missionary, except when I am super stressed
and my hair falls out.

And this email should now be considered a novel.

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