Monday, October 14, 2013

Lutas de água and other random life facts

Dearest Family, Friends, and all other Sister Swasey´s mission enthusiasts,

Life is truly splendid!
Ah life on the mission, it´s rather splendid, truly it is. If only these emails could really display all that´s going on here in tiny Caldas da Rainha or in my head. Hopefully you´re all getting something out of these though. I don´t really have many entertaining stories to tell. Don´t get me wrong, we laugh a LOT and have a TON of fun here. Seriously, living with two brasileiras is an adventure in and of itself, they´re so crazy and so funny. Last night into this morning we had what I think was our fourth water fight. It´s becoming quite a regular thing around here. The standard beginning is always someone doing dishes. Now, keep in mind, dishwashers aren´t a common thing here, which is chill, we just wash all our dishes and leave em out to dry. The thing is, somebody always says a sarcastic comment or something and gets a cup or bowl of water dumped on them. But you can never leave it like that, né? So there begins a water fight, and the thing is, if two people are a part of it, já era, we´re all in it. Everybody starts running around the house with random cups, buckets, bowls, and water bottles chasing each other down. I tried to take a picture of our house today but my camera´s having trouble (enjoy the throwback pics, I´ll try to get it fixed soon!). Another thing is, carpet isn´t a thing here either, so the stairs became a water fall and the rest of the house a lake. Is it sad that this is a regular thing?

Rafkat & Ian,  investigators who are
also teaching Danielle some Russian
Some interesting news of the week is on Tuesday we got a call from the office andddd....Sister Andrade got transferred! Some sister had a medical thing or something so they robbed our tripla and now it´s back just me and Irmã Blanco. Nothing really stays the same very long around here! But I suppose that´s mission life. I´m not going to lie, I was super bummed. She´s like the sweetest person you will ever meet, always helping me with my Portuguese and working so hard to learn the lessons and everything. She´s only been a member for 2 years too! She´s probably going to get her mission call to serve a full-time mission soon and I secretly hope she gets called back here so I can serve with her again. 

This week we had a really cool lesson during divisions. I went with Sister Vomocil to visit Patricia two times. Sisters Vomocil and Prieto have been teaching Patricia and her family. The first time we asked how her reading in the Book of Mormon was going and she said she hadn´t read and so we started talking about how it´s important. The cool thing about her is she really does want to know that the church is true, she wants to have that certeza that it´s all real. Well recently I´ve been working hard on bearing a more real testimony, not just saying I prayed and felt that something was true. So then I told her about how I came to know the Book of Mormon is true personally. I described how for me it wasn´t one grandious moment, I read it all growing up and simply could never find something wrong about it, it always taught me good principles, brought the Spirit, and testified of Christ. I told her about how as I read I ran into verses that completely applied to me in that given moment. Well then the next day we stopped by again. She was all excited and got out her Book of Mormon and said all happily, ´Eu li!´ She then proceeded to read a scripture from some war chapter and I was super confused but then she started to explain. She´s like, I just flipped to this page and it´s talking about how wars don´t fix anything and we should avoid contention. So if I apply this I guess I learn that I really need to work on that in my own life, not being so contentious, like not yelling at my kids as much and stuff.´ Sister Vomocil and I were just in awe. Then she started telling us all about how she was working late last night but all she could think about was reading the Book of Mormon and it just kept popping into her head until she just had to read. Again, we were in awe and simply told her that this was the Spirit that she had been waiting to hear. She has really great questions and legitimate concerns, one being that she really wants to know that it´s the Spirit not just us telling ourselves it´s true. So we explained to her about that, that we know it´s not just us sometimes simply because the Spirit tells us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear, like in this case- PATRICIA LEIA O LIVRO DE MORMON. She was super receptive to this and so we read Alma 32:27 with her. This is the scripture that talks about if we just have desire and a particle of faith, we can grow that into a real testimony. It was a really cool moment with her where she really started to realize that she could have the testimony she really does want. I wish I could describe the Spirit that was there or just how AWESOME she is. The desire that she has is so real, and that´s why Alma 32 is so perfect. If we just have the DESIRE to know, we can know. We can have real faith.

Adventures cleaning the chapel - still can't get away from cleaning bathrooms! Sister Prieto is a little odd - haha
Well that´s my story from the week, not much more crazy and exciting to note unfortunately! Just working hard and learning lots! I´ve been memorizing a scripture almost every day and it´s been super sweet. It´s kind of hard in Portuguese but I´m getting a lot better! My Portuguese really is coming along better than I could have ever imagined, the Lord is really at my side every second of the day and is really filling my mouth. There´s no other explanation possible other than He´s just helping be out like crazy with the language. I´m getting to the point where I´m starting to think in Portuguese on occasion and I often can´t remember how to say things in English. The greatest thing ever is when the words just come out bem suave and I just think, ´Wait, I just said that in another language!´ It´s probably the most fun thing ever. 

Today, I read that talk I mentioned last time about becoming a consecrated missionary and I just wanted to share some quick thoughts. One of my favorite lines ever is (more or less), ´Sometimes we must do more than tell the stories of the Book of Mormon, we must live them.´ Gets me every time. Live the stories, live the gospel, and know that I love you all so much. I pray for you, think of you, and hope that all is well back in the good old USA!!!

Com muito amor,

Irmã Swasey

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