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, January 6, 2014
Olááááááááá, como é que estão?!?!
So might as well just start with the most interesting news of the week, shall we? It happened a week from today actually. I´m only telling you people this because I think most of you will find it humorous/normal for Sister Swasey but for all you worriers out there, might as well stop reading this paragraph now and just jump ahead.....all worriers gone? K great. So let´s just start by setting the scene. We had just finished P-day and we were getting pumped to start working again and so we´d started walking to an appointment far-ish away. So fun fact, here in Portugal, EVERYONE stops at crosswalks. Seriously, ALL the cars always stop and so often times we joke that when we go home we´re all going to get run over really fast. I think you all see where I´m going with this. It had started to get dark and it was raining. Catching on by now? Let´s put it succinctly shall we...I GOT HIT BY A CAR. But before even you non-worriers freak out, I´m completely and entirely 137% fine. Alright, more details, we started walking across the cross walk and we ad gone across the first half because the road was split between the two sides. We looked and all the cars were pretty far on this wide open road and so we kept walking, just chatting all normal like. Next thing I know, Sister Brundage has disappeared, I´m seeing headlights, I´m on the hood of a car, then on the pavement. From out of NOWHERE this car came so fast it hit Sister Brundage and then me! The crazy thing is, we both just got right back up, without hesitation. Sister Brundage was pretty shocked but fine too. I honestly just started laughing from the surprise and the absurdity of it all. A bunch of old ladies gathered around, one started to cry, they all were going crazy making sure we were okay and we really were! The driver was about to put us in the car to go to the hospital but we were honestly COMPLETELY fine! We brushed ourselves off, dispersed the very kind and lovely crowd, contacted one of the ladies that gathered (Catholic as anything, but glad we survived) and went off on our way to say a HUGE prayer of gratitude. We didn´t even cry (and this is SISTER missionaries we´re talking about) until we were saying that prayer. Ladies and gents, Heavenly Father really does protect His missionaries. If anybody had any doubts about that or miracles in general, Sister Brundage, I, and about 3 random, caring catholic old ladies are witness of it. He´s taking care of us, He sends His angels, and I have no doubt that the fact that we walked away from that scene literally laughing with barely a bruise is proof of His hand directly in our lives.
But anyway, now that all you worriers are back with us, it was a really great week! As for New Year´s I have nothing exciting to report...I happily went to bed at 11 haha. Word is the tradition is beating pots and pans in the streets and midnight but I slept straight through everything :) Sorry, not much to say in that respect!
One amazing thing I want to share is that PORTUGUESE PEOPLE DON´T KNOW WHAT MEXICAN FOOD IS. Tacos and burritos and churros are a completely unknown wonders for these people. Don´t ask me how they´ve survived until now, we may never know. Somebody get some tortillas over here ASAP.
Thanks again for all of you that sent me wonderful things in the mail!!! Always just fun to hear from people. Special thanks to the seminary class of Sister Ward for the card, certainly a surprise! Yáll are the greatest, keep studying that Book of Mormon because seriously you future missionaries are going to need it one day! Not just need it, but WANT it. Something I never realized as much as I could have before is that literally EVERY scripture mastery scripture is a GOLDEN mission scripture. EVERY SINGLE ONE. So learn ´em well kids! But more than anything, just learn to trust the Lord, He knows everything WAYYYYY better than we do. That´s a lesson for all of us to learn, relearn and rerelearn a million times over.
Other news from this week....one thing I want you to know about Portuguese people is they are insanely generous!!!! I have to be careful complimenting things because then they start offering them to you. For example, I complimented a members belt and she´s like hey, let me know when you get transferred and I´ll give it to you! I´ve talked to this member maybe 3-4 times and she was perfectly serious. The financial crisis has really humbled this country but even the people that are doing well offer us everything. This week was especially generous, I´ll have to send the picture I took next week of all the things various investigators gave us this week. Everything from books to bouncy balls to tissues to different types of fruits to socks. One lady stopped by the chapel randomly and so we showed it to her and had a great experience. She doesn´t live inside our area but even still we fell in love with her. You can tell she has like nothing, but she still offered us like half of her shopping bags and would NOT take no for an answer. They are very unmaterialistic people it seems to me. If you like something they have, they give so willingly and I love it about the people. NOT because I end up with lots of cool stuff haha, but honestly and seriously because it inspires me so much to be a more giving person.
Well, times up family and friends, I love you TONS. I hope that you all can learn through me the things these amazing people are teaching me. Be giving, be loving, and be faithful.