Monday, November 4, 2013

Matosinhos, also known as Heaven

Queridas Pessoas Na Minha Vida,

So I have good news and I have bad news. Bad news...I´m pretty sure I died. Sorry about it everyone. The GOOD news is, I made it to the celestial kingdom!!!! Who knew it was really called Matosinhos and everybody speaks Portuguese there with funky northern accents??? 

Let´s talk seriously now, I literally think I just scored the greatest area in the entire mission, and that isn´t even all that biased. If you´re going to train and whitewash your third transfer I can´t even IMAGINE a better place to do it. Serio. Porto is GORGEOUS, first of all, you don´t even understand how beautiful and cool it is. We live on the 6th floor on a really cool street. Well, they´re all cool streets with neat shops and such. Our area is enormous so we haven´t even explored it all yet, but we´re gonna do a bajillion street contacts this week and get lost a million times I´m sure. 

Now, let´s just talk about the members here... First of all, THERE´S A WARD, A REAL WARD. I lovedddd Caldas and the adorable branch there but seriously...A WARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There´s like 100 people and it´s just magnificent. Church don´t even know. It was like I went home to the states and everyone just happened to speak Portuguese, with strange Porto accents. (Seriously, the accents up north are super funky, fingers crossed I pick it up because they´re sooo funny.) It´s all really well organized and well done, the Bishop is fantastic and so is the Ward Mission Leader (yep, we even have one of those!) Sunday school was sweet too because we don´t even have to teach the Principios do Evangelho class- THEY HAVE A TEACHER. What. Also, Relief Society? It was sweet, we got handouts and everything. IT IS LIKE AMERICA. EVEN BETTERRRR.

Also, Sister Brundage, my companion, is adorable. She´s so pumped to work and we´re already really great friends. She speaks pretty well and I´ve been trying really hard to just speak Portuguese like I did with Sister Blanco and the others. I´m sure she´s going to learn really quickly, and hopefully I will too haha. 

Sorry, can we just go back and talk about the members one more time? We´ve already eaten at 3 members house and we got here on Thursday night. WHAT. Not to mention we already have 2 more dinners planned for this week and Christmas plans. I´m sorry, but where am I?... Fun fact, Portuguese food is the bomb. Super great pastas, chicken, always rice, and they eat a decent amount of mushrooms, fried eggs, and carrots if anyone was curious. Also, a bunch of people have already sought US out and told us the times of the week they´re free to go to lessons with us. Seriously, is this real life?

In other news, we´re teaching the most elect Peruvian lady known to man. She accepts everything and I had my darling little trainee Sister Brundage invite her to be baptized. ACCEPTED. She´s super awesome, she´s married with a little daughter and speaks super great Espanguês haha. Shout out to good old Roberto, she´s from Lima in case you were wondering!

Did you think I was done? Not quite. We ALSO had a baptism yesterday!!!! Nazare, the nicest lady on the planet was baptized yesterday by her son, Pedro, also a recent convert. She was so patient with me as I tried to figure out my first baptism on my own and she has a really incredible testimony. Another fun fact about Portuguese people, ESPECIALLY Nazare, is they really do love to feed you. Everyone also thinks we´re too skinny so they load up your plate over and over and OVER again. Me, loving to eat, am more than happy to please them. Nazare just had us over to plan the baptism and we left full of sanduiches and cookies. You also seriously cannot say no to these people so you end up eating more than you think you can bear. It´s a hard life as a missionary but someone´s gotta do it!

Okay, but in all seriousness when they tell you a mission is the best and hardest thing you´ll ever do they weren´t kidding. It´s been an amazing week, but as you can imagine also pretty overwhelming. Overwhelming with goodness but still overwhelming! We´re spending a lot more time on our knees than ever before in my lifetime and I´m learning really quickly to depend on the Lord more than ever before. These past few days of running around trying to figure out the area and a baptism and training and the language have been crazy draining and at the end of the day it´s that faith in Jesus Christ that gets me through. I just hope you all know how much I love it here but also that it takes a LOT of work and I´m doing a ton of stuff I´ve never done before. The best part is though that no matter what, I know I can do it, not because I have the experience or knowledge or talent (not even close) but because I have the Salvador do Mundo at my side. So I guess what I´m saying is remember that, some days are going to be crazy hard or crazy good or just crazy in general, or all of the above! But that´s okay, it´s ALWAYS going to be okay because we´re where we´re supposed to be and we have the help of someone that´s already been through everything we´re going through. 

I love you all, shout outs to Grandpa Eubank, Sister Kite, Sister Ward, and whoever else I may be forgetting for the mail! Oh and hello to Sister Ward´s seminary class!!! Go on a mission, you´ll never regret it for a second!!!!!


Sister Swasey

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