Monday, June 23, 2014

He is the Answer

Olá amigossss!

Another week come and GONE. Wanna know a secret? I hit my year mark this week.


I know. It´s madness. A YEAR as a missionary. I have to say, Heavenly Father has been good to me in a million ways. The time is unfortunately passing faster than Cristiano Ronaldo can score a goal against the US (just kidding, I don´t even know who won that game yet, my World Cup knowledge consists of whatever facts I pick up on the street. Literally). On the other hand, however, Heavenly Father is constantly helping me learn a billion and a half things and so when I look back, I feel like I´ve been here for even longer than a year for so much that I have learned on this adventure. 

But ANYWAY... I really don´t know what to write this week. It was a good week, as all of them are, but sometimes the week is just composed of lots of random moments.´s my week!

Oeiras is a flowery palm tree paradise! 
We taught this family from Senegal! Portugal is seriously an amazing melting pot. Unfortunately this fam didn´t really want anything, nor am I sure how much they really understood of our Portuguese but I got to practice a little French with them! Goodness people, my French grammar is intact but the words have left me.

We had a really cool lesson with Brito and Antunes this week, accompanied by our dear Irmã Sofia Albino. She was baptized less than a year ago but man is she fantastic and super knowledgeable. We call these our Recent Convert Pow Wows and they are the coolest things. It´s really neat to have Irmã Sofia teach with us and everybody´s just bearing their testimonies left and right, strengthening each other as they all go through the same experience from their different, yet often similar backgrounds. 

Oh, I have just been informed by my companion that Portugal won. WOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO. Sorry guys, I´m a patriot but let´s be real here, it´s SUPER fun being in Portugal during the World Cup. Everybody has their flags out, it´s kind of like the July 4th in America but in Portugal with Portuguese flag. VIVA PORTUGAL. (Obviously Danielle really doesn't know what's going on! 2-2 go USA!)

Also, HAPPY FATHER´S DAY MEGA-LATE. Fun fact: Father´s day in Portugal is in like March or something so...I completely forgot. All you dads out there though, you´re great.

Catching up on our journals on the bus
Um...other fun facts. We live in an apartment right by this centro-comercial. It´s kind of like a tiny mall with little boutiques and restaurants and a grocery store so we cut through it every single day and of course on P-days to go grocery shopping. The funny part is, Sister Hirschi and I 1) only have one day to do all of our grocery shopping and 2) we like to eat. So we always buy tons of food and then we have to lug it through the shopping center taking breaks along the way and all of the Portuguese people just stare at us with their daily shopping bag (note the singular nature of that word) thinking we´re crazy. It is a riot.

OH! So now that everyone´s going to the beach all day everyday (us excluded) so many strangers with their friends and surf boards honk, whistle, and yell the 3 English words they know at us constantly. We learn to tune it out (though I am tempted to yell back in German or something, just to throw them off...if I knew anything in German that is). But ANYWAY, this week we were in this kind of sketchy bairro (ooh...english translation would be something along the lines of run-down apartment complex neighborhood-ish). And anyway, we saw these cute little African boys and as we passed by they yelled out that we were ugly. It was literally the cutest funniest thing ever. Send a tall American girl to Portugal and she will come back excited when someone calls her ugly. 
Fun fact: This is the most normal thing in the world - Portuguese people park wherever and however!
Bairros are interesting places. They have lots of humble people but they also aren´t places we want to be at night...we honestly have been trying really hard to avoid them, but it´s interesting how Heavenly Father sends us to where He wants us to be in a big area like Oeiras. We just do contacts and try new areas but no matter what we do, recently we end up finding lots of people that live in this one particular bairro so it really is Him showing us where we need to be. And I trust that.

Sorry, this email is beyond random and all over the place, but hey, that´s my life! Last thought for sacrament meeting I´ve been really trying to get more revelation. One thing I realized, as missionaries we´re constantly looking for answers. Answers to investigators questions, doubts, and things that are impeding them from just progressing and being baptized. Sometimes when I study I just want a perfect answer but there just is no fix-all answer. One thing I realized yesterday is that it´s true, there is no perfect answer in the sense that the people that don´t want it, don´t want it and we can´t change that. As for the people that DO want it, the answer is ALWAYS Jesus Christ. I´ve had moments on my mission, light bulb moments when I realize, DUH, the Book of Mormon is EVERYTHING or, DUH, going to sacrament meeting is EVERYTHING. Yes and no...those things are everything for our investigators because they testify of and bring us closer to Jesus Christ. They say that Jesus is the Light, the Life and the Way. I would add just one more, and say that He is the Answer. He truly is the answer to any question we may ever have because it is His Atonement that makes everything work and everything just and everything wonderful.

Just a little food for thought.

I love you all and I hope that you´re all doing well :) Have a glorious week!

Com muito carinho,

Sister Swasey

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