Sunday, October 22, 2023

Jane in Portugal: October 2023 (with emoji's)

 A total of 6 weeks ago, I left my treasured area of Linda-a-Velha ๐Ÿ˜ช 
and headed up North to Vila Nova de Gaia! ๐Ÿคฉ
(Awkward that I am just writing an email right now, hehe)
Change is good. 
It.Is.So.Beautiful.Here! ๐ŸคŽ
I love it! 
The buildings and houses are so European! 
There is beautiful blue tile on all the walls and floors, 
and I love hearing the thick Portuguese accent while
 walking down picturesque cobblestone streets. ๐Ÿ’™
(Sister Austin (my mom on the mission) also served 
here after she trained me - so that is kinda special. ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿฅฒ)
The ward here is so good! 
So good. 
And big. ๐Ÿ˜ณ
A lot bigger than the 35 active members in 
Linda-a-Velha...but cheers for more ward support!! ๐Ÿฅณ 
(I don't think I will ever remember everyone's names - 
especially when half of them are Paulo and Ana ๐Ÿ˜†)
I love my cutie companion Sister Huth! 
We have so much in common and were fast friends!
She reminds me a lot of Mandy Moore - 
in the way she talks and her other mannerisms ๐ŸŒธ
Also, this girl is a cooking wizard, and let me just say, 
we have been eating some yummmmy things this transfer. ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿง™๐Ÿผ‍♀️
It is starting to get dark here earlier in the day - and it is still dark when we wake up. (๐Ÿ˜ซ) 
I hate that. Sorry not sorry to say it.
BUT, there is a pastelaria across the street from us - 
and seeing its cozy golden light in the windows 
shining on fresh bread helps me get up in the morning, kkk ๐Ÿฅ–๐Ÿฅ
(I already know that I am going to miss the bread here so much! ๐Ÿ˜…)
While walking to a member meal the other day
 we stumbled upon grape vines heavy with fruit, 
JUST WAITING for us to pick it.
So, we ate lots of grapes. 
And they were delicious. ๐Ÿ‡
Hopefully, I don't get a disease from eating street grapes. ๐Ÿ‘
I electrocuted myself while I was sleeping.
There is an open outlet on the wall by my bed. 
I don't know why, but there are just a bunch of loose wires hanging out of it, 
and my hand accidentally brushes it while I sleep.
0/10 would not recommend.
We also are teaching this
old man named Duarte.
He is 93 and wants to be baptized!
Pray for Duarte! ๐Ÿ™
Me and Sister Huth bought matching rings at a market in Porto. ๐Ÿ‘ฏ๐Ÿป‍♀️
And our apartment building is 15 floors high, 
so we do our weekly planning and eat dinner on 
the roof sometimes, the view of the city of Porto 
AND the ocean is absolutely stunning. ๐ŸŒ…๐Ÿ˜

Also, I tried a francesinha for the first time.
Wasn't the best. 
Wasn't the worst.
I woke up one morning, and my nails were all bloody and stinging ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿฉธ
I don't know why?! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿป‍♀️
Maybe I was picking them while I slept? 
Maybe I electrocuted myself again and didn't realize it? 
Maybe my nail beds just bleed when I am stressed? 
I don't know.
But it was a little spooky. 
I looked like I had murdered someone. ๐Ÿ‘ป
I should have taken a picture. 
But,,, the work carries on. ๐Ÿ’ช
We took the 3-hour train ride to Lisbon (and 3 hours back) -
 best naps of my mission. ๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป
I had a division with Sister Webster. 
This woman is an absolute QUEEN! ๐Ÿ‘‘
I learned so much from her.
We worked hard, laughed, she gave me good counsel,
 and we talked about how to be better missionaries and
 how to enjoy our missions to the fullest! 
THIS is ONE of the many things I love about my mission.
I get to learn from so many incredible people! 
I just feel like a sponge all the time. ๐Ÿงฝ 
One of the fun things about serving in Europe, and Porto especially, 
is that we get to go inside lots of beautiful Catholic churches!
There is a lot of beautiful architecture and paintings.
This transfer has been an absolute whirlwind! ๐ŸŒช
I feel like I just arrived here in Gaia, and already it has come to an end! 
In our zone, we had one emergency transfer and three emergency exchanges. 
I am learning, and I am growing, and I am so excited 
and ready to take on this next transfer! ๐Ÿคฉ
Sorry for the long email, y'all. 
It is trying to encompass a whole 6 weeks of miracles and hard work. 
You don't have to read it (just skip to the pictures! ๐Ÿ˜‰),
 but, according to my mom, it will be a good record to have one day.
I agree. 
My deep love for Portugal has only grown exponentially 
as the days, weeks, and months of my mission have gone on. 
My love for the sometimes brash people, the phrases and words, 
the accent, pastel de nata, catholic churches on 
every corner, sardines, EVERYTHING! 
It is a special place. 
And always will be to me. ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น
I don't think I will ever be able to describe the feelings 
of gratitude and love I have for this work, my mission, and Jesus.
Until next time! 
(Quem sabe quando serรก, kkk)


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