Sister Danielle Swasey's letters from her service in the Portugal Lisbon Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. June 2013-December 2014.
D&C 18:16 "And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"
Monday, October 7, 2013
Conferência Geral- Vida Boa!
Querida Família e Queridos Amigos,
We have bamboo - this one's for you Grandpa!
I feel like everytime I sit down to write I just want to tell you over and over and over again how much I LOVE being a missionary. Not because I think that´s what you all want to hear but because it´s the truth! Everyday I just learn so much. That´s really the amazing thing. Usually what I learn tends to be what I need to improve, yet I never feel discouraged, just more determined to be better, work harder, see miracles.
This week was Conferência Geral! I hope you all got the chance to watch it and LOVE it. I certainly did. So what happens here is we do in fact watch it live. So on Saturday and Sunday we watched it at 5pm and 9pm in the chapel, with special permission to get home late and all that. I really had quite a spectacular experience. I understood a lot but clearly not everything, nem quase. It was especially cool though because I tried really hard to be taught by the Spirit because I knew I wasn't going to understand all the words and stuff. Whatever I did understand sparked thoughts and as it went, I can truly say that I was taught by the Spirit. It will be interesting to compare the notes I took down with the actual talks because I´m pretty sure they´re going to be very different. But that´s the amazing thing! Conference was such a good boost to keep me going and working hard. The whole thing was like a personal interview where I asked myself a million and a half questions and really evaluated how I´m doing. Now it´s time to go and apply them!
This week was really great too because we talked with a TON of people. We had special invites to conference and handed them out to practically EVERYONE. It was super cool and a few people even came, stayed for a whole session, and gave us their contact information!
We also had one of my favorite lessons yet. I can´t even really say favorite because I love so many of them but it was a good one. Sister Andrade and I taught Immanuel for the first time. I met him with Sister Vomocil one day when we ran into another investigator who was talking to him. He was outside a café drinking beer with a couple other guys. We didn´t stay long because it just didn´t feel right and all that but he definitely stood out from all the other people. Later on that week I ran into him again. I got his number just telling him I wanted to talk to him more and invite him to english classes. He hasn´t been able to come to English classes but finally I just set up a real appointment to talk to him. He was super happy to come and meet in the church and all. He told us he really believes in God but isn´t active in any church. After we taught about the restoration we read the Moroni 10:4-5 scripture with him. When we invited him to pray to know if it was true for himself he just said that he already knew. Woh. I wanted to cry right then and there. Of all of my favorite things on the mission, and there are many, this is it- when we invite an investigator to pray or keep a commandment and they reply that they already know or already want to. It really shows the power of the Spirit, humbles me, and helps me feel like I´m doing my job. I still don´t speak perfectly, not even close, and even if I was speaking English I know I have a lot to learn about how to teach better and whatnot, but when the Spirit is that strong in a lesson it´s literally life changing, for me and for our investigators. Immanuel didn´t necessarily seem like someone super interested in the gospel but after one lesson he accepted a convite suave (invitation to be baptized) and was SO excited to have his own Book of Mormon. He told us that he really believes in God and what we taught and he´s ready to change. I´m just so humbled and grateful to be apart of all that.
Fun facts for the week include the following: all the window blinds are on the outside of the windows, like a garage door kind of. Nothing life changing, but interesting não é? Also, the light switches for all the bathrooms are always on the outside of the bathroom. I´m still not sure exactly why. To me it seems like that´s the riskiest room to have the light switch on the outside haha. Other fun facts...não sei, I really like visiting the mall here on P-days because there are always super cool European clothes and really fun t-shirts in English. Sometimes they make sense, but more often than not they don´t.
Had an adventure in a random village and . . .
Life is just good, what can I say? I´m sure things go wrong during the week but at the end of the day it´s ALWAYS a good day. I just want to work, which is a weird thing to say and something I know I never said before the mission haha. In our training packet we have this AMAZING talk about being a consecrated missionary. I don´t know if I´ve already mentioned it but it has seriously become a standard work for me, I´ve read it a million times. It talks about all the things we need to leave behind to be that completely consecrated missionary to the Lord. We have to leave our fears, doubts, negativity, sarcasm, pride, disobedience, and then just trust in Him. I want more than everything to say that I´m a consecrated missionary, not just a good missionary, but a sister that is giving every last thought, minute, effort to this work. 18 months just isn´t enough time and I don´t want to waste any of it!!!!
. . . missed the bus home.
Anyway, sorry for the monologue. Enfim, life is fantastic. Full of work, and lessons, and miracles. I hope that you all are just fantastic. I think of you often and pray for you by name. Fiquem bem!