Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving! I'll have the fish.

Dearest Family and Friends,

Let´s all just take a moment to pause and realize that I am almost 5 months into my mission. WHATTTTT. Someone asked me when I would hit 6 months (Christmas day, by the way) and when I realized how soon it was I almost started to cry. Seriously. I´m almost crying just writing about 5 months right now!!!! Where did the time go and how can I get it back???

This week was really great. We all went to Porto again to have training with the assistants and interviews with President. Every interview we get a chance to ask him an ´inspired question.´ You only get one and that man is wise and so we all think about it weeks in advance. It came about time and I really didn´t even know how to word mine. I ended up just asking President how to do everything haha. There are so many people to visit, members, recent converts, less actives, investigators, the list goes on and on! He gave me a lot of good tips and such but the best thing he told me is that yeah, there´s a lot to do but if the Lord didn´t think I was capable to take care of this area He wouldn´t have sent me here. I hadn´t realized until that moment just how much I needed to hear that. There is SO much work to do, always! We work SO hard throughout the day and still have a million more things to do. It´s the work of SALVATION and I take it quite personally. I think this week what I learned a little better is to remember that I just have to do my best. I just have to try and contact as many people as I can, teach Sister Brundage the best I can (even though SHE´s practically training me here), teach with the Spirit the best that I can, and if I do the BEST that I possibly can that the Lord WILL make up the rest. He keeps showing me over and over again that He has His hand in our work here. He doesn´t show it by sending 100 baptism-ready people our way (as nice as that would be), but He NEVER fails to show me that He´s here, that He´s looking out for me and that He recognizes I´m doing my absolute best. I just hope you all know that I really feel that I am. I need to improve on a LOT of things, but that´s okay, those things will come. I also hope you just remember this lesson that I´m relearning for the one millionth time- we just have to do our best. Remember my obsession with the consecrated missionary talk? Well there´s a quote that says, ´I don´t believe that God expects perfection of us, but I do believe that He expects immediate progress.` So let´s just keep progressing okay?!

ANYWAY... this recent weeks I´m actually going to be out of my area a lot. Just in this past transfer we´ve had zone meetings, interviews, this week we have a mission tour conference with Elder Dyches, a seventy, and next week I´m going to Lisboa (ALONE. Yikes) to get my residency card! Lots of travel but it keeps things interesting. 

Fun facts from Portugal...well unfortunately Pedro, the guy we marked to be baptized disappeared from off the face of the earth. He didn´t show up to our next appointment with him and his phone doesn´t work. We tried tracking down his address but it doesn´t exist. The funny part of this all in all quite sad story is the hour we took trying to find his house. We found the road we thought it was and then started looking for the right house number. Well turns out Portugal has NO system for these things. As we´re passing houses we go by 500s, 200s, then all of the sudden it´s house #3, then we even saw a house that was #1875 AND #5. Out of all these numbers none of them turned out to be the lucky one. Obviously we´re disappointed about Pedro, but when he´s ready he´ll find the church again even if we´ll never find anyone´s address.

Other fun facts, this city has a MILLION cats. EVERYWHERE. Sister Swasey fun fact, I HATE CATS. But that´s okay, all part of the European experience? Outside of making friends with the animal life, we´ve also befriended a few of the city´s regulars. There´s a man we always see walking aroud whistling. We tried contacting him but he´s really not interested. We´ve ended up pals in the end however and we still get to enjoy the music. Another favorite is the castanhos man. He sells chestnuts on a street we pass a lot and he always gives us some when we pass. Again, not interested, but it´s fun to make friends right?

Anyway, got to go do some work and whatnot but I love you all and hope you  have an awesome thanksgiving! It´s not really a thing here so I´m sure I´ll be dining on more fish but that´s okay, Portugal is a pretty cool place to be in general.

5 months down (NOOOO), 13 more to go...

Com muito amor e abraços,

Sister Swasey

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