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, June 9, 2014
"Elder, we need to FAST."
Goodness. Life is really great. Really, really great. WHAT A GREAT WEEK. So great.
So...it´s always a question of where to begin. How about the beginning! The Lisboa area is a pretty sweet place with lots of great shopping and temptation. This week we went up to Sintra on P-day and spent the whole time in one store, the ever-missionary famous Primark. It´s mega-cheap and has the coolest European clothes ever! This is a pretty missionary irrelevant fact, but in case anybody stops by Portugal, that´s your shop.
As for the work, let me see...well, this week Sister Hirschi and I were kneeling at the door praying before we left after lunch, as we always do. After praying, we always wait for any response Heavenly Father wants to send our way. Usually I just stay there for an extra couple seconds but this week I had a "The Best Two Years" moment. You know when Elder Calhoon prays for like an hour in the morning while everybody else gets ready and such. Well I stayed on the ground a good little while because Heavenly Father had a few things to say. Okay, actually He only had one. Start a fast. I was super confused and so we had a little chat. I was like, wait, huh? We just fasted on Sunday, did I hear that right? The response- start a fast. I´m not sure I´m understanding, Sister Hirschi´s sick right now... START A FAST.But...START A FAST. To which I responded, okay, okay! Just double checking! When I looked up, Sister Hirschi asked me if I´d gotten any cool revelation. I simply asked, "Would you think I´m crazy if I said we should start a fast?" Well my friends, my faithful companion simply asked if we could go get her some stuff to help her headache before starting. WHAT A CHAMP. I love her.
So anyway, we got some stuff and then stopped by the church to kneel and start our fast. We had quite a few things on our list- our goals for the month, more faith, more excitement, etc. As I was praying I thought to include fasting specifically for a family. Something we´ve been talking about for awhile but hadn´t talked about for this specific fast yet. So I threw that in there. As we left the chapel, Sister Hirschi called someone to confirm an appointment or something. I look up, and 10 feet from the gates of the church I see a guy and his son. A FAMILY. Me- But wait, Sister Hirschi´s on the phone...that´s weird. The Spirit- DON´T BE SILLY SISTER SWASEY THAT IS A FAMILY. You are so right Heavenly Father. So I ran over to them and started contacting them while she hurried to finish up on the phone. They turned out to be really cool but in a hurry so we marked to visit them the next day.
Next day. We go by their house. He wasn´t there but his wife and daughter were. We talked to them for a little while and literally practically marked them to be baptized in that very moment. It was a miracle!!!!!! We marked to visit the whole family. We went there on Saturday. THEY ARE SO AMAZING. We had the best lesson I´ve ever had in my entire mission. They have 5 kids, ages 21, 15, 12, 11, and 6. MIRACLE. We talked to all of them except for the 21 year old and the 6 year old who weren´t there. They were all super receptive and just amazing! By the end of the lesson, we started talking about baptism again and the mom, Paula, told us that after we´d met she and her daughter Tamara had talked a lot about it and so they said they wanted to be baptized! In that moment, we marked Paula, Tamara, and her two sons Johnny and José to be baptized!!!!!! IT WAS AMAZING. HEAVENLY FATHER IS SO GOOD TO US. We would have tried to mark the dad, Vitor, as well but he had to leave early. Guys. WE´RE TEACHING A FULL BIG AMAZING FAMILY. I haven´t baptized a full family yet on my mission and Heavenly Father just put one right in our path. Please, can I ask a favor? Can you all PLEASE pray for this family specifically for me? I´m begging you! We need these prayers! This family is going to do amazing things for this ward here in Oeiras and be yet another pillar for the church here in Portugal, I just know it! Please, pray for them!!!! I know that it´s not going to be that simple because I know Satan sees their potential just like we do but I know your prayers can work miracles!
Just think about it guys...if we literally wouldn´t have done that fast, we wouldn´t have been at the church and we would never have met Vitor and José. Heavenly Father knows what He´s doing!!!!
Other miracle...this week we were about to have our district meeting with the elders when Brito, our recent convert walks in with his two friends!!!! Maria Helena and Augusto came to do family history! We marked an appointment with them and almost marked them to be baptized too! THEY ARE EQUALLY AS AMAZING. MIRACLES ARE HAPPENING HERE IN OEIRAS. They just need their confirmation from the spirit and we may be planning a huge mega double family baptism. PLEASE, THESE PEOPLE NEED YOUR PRAYERS. I need them!
The news gets BETTER! Can you believe that?! Last week we were talking to this guy on the street when this other guy, Marcolino started talking to us. He had already seen the church up the road and the more we talked the more interested he was. In short, in about 5 minutes of talking to him on the street we had him marked for baptism! Last week he came to church, we taught him all this week, and...yesterday he got baptized!!!!! These things do NOT just happen! The Lord is preparing people all around us! He is working SO many miracles, real, huge, amazing MIRACLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is incredible. The baptisms and the good news of us teaching families is getting the members fired up like I have never seen before. OEIRAS IS ON FIRE. Heavenly Father is just so GOOD to us. He tests us, pushes us, makes us work but then MAN DOES HE BLESS US. It is an amazing thing.
Sister Hirschi, Marcolino, Ruben & Me
Guys, this is the Lord´s work and He is directed it. He goes out ahead of us and then just yells at us to try and catch up. It is a wonderful thing to be a part of His work. I LOVE IT. I LOVE EVERY SINGLE DAY. Life is so wonderful :)