Monday, June 16, 2014

Sardines and Mustard Seeds

Como é que é?!

Hello family and friends! Life here in the land of Portugal is swell as always. My Portuguese continues to progress and I´m starting to add in all the Lisboa jargon, including today´s intro. It literally means "How is it that it is?!" which makes me laugh. The not so literal translation is something along the lines of "What´s up?" as far as I can tell. Good times.

So this week Portugal became an oven of heat beyond my wildest expectations. We walked around all week asking ourselves how on earth the missionaries in Africa survive. Fun fact, however, all the Africans keep telling us that this heat is worse than Africa. PORTUGAL IS HOTTER THAN AFRICA, I´M SORRY, WHAT?!?!?!? True story. That´s what they tell me.

Antunes and Brito

Let´s see...I don´t really remember what happened this week... OH! We had one of the funniest street contacts of my life. We taught Antunes with Irmã Aida and then we went with them to try and find somebody´s address. On the way we asked this girl for instructions and then started to contact her. We asked her if she had ever heard of this church and she said that she had already been baptized in it in Cape Verde! Irmã Aida and Antunes started getting super excited and Irmã Aida asked her if she remembered the names of the elders that baptized her. She said her mom told her that they had died... At that I just got confused and everyone got all serious and sad. She didn´t know how they had died and so Irmã Aida said it was probably just an accident...and let´s be honest it was a little awkward. Then, we asked her how old she was when she got baptized.
She said she was 2. ...What?

Turns out she got mixed up and definitely hadn´t gotten baptized in this church before! So we got her contact info to explain more and then went on our merry way. Too funny. Side note: while I was talking to her, I saw Antunes lean over and tell Sister Hirschi something. Afterwards I found out that he told her that I am a mermaid. I really have no other explanation for you all. This is my life.

This week we had the most fun ward activity EVER. It´s called a sardinhada, which as far as I can tell is a Portuguese version of a ward barbeque and instead of hot dogs and hamburgers we all eat sardines! Guys. These sardines are NOT those nasty things in a can that nobody wants on their pizzas, THEY ARE SO GOOD. It was seriously so fun! Antunes, Brito, AND Marcolino were helping out, a beautiful sight to see! Antunes even had a shirt on that said STAFF even though I know for a fact he has no idea what that means. ;) There were so many members and non-members there and everyone was just having a blast. Everyone was teaching me and Sister Hirschi how to eat it correctly so you don´t eat any of the nasty stuff. (I´m a slow learner, fun fact- random fish organs do NOT taste good.) But yeah, it was just a really fun activity and a really cool cultural experience for us. Everyone thought we were hilarious taking pictures of everything.

Hi Sardines!

I love sardines!

Sardines! Nasty Right???

My buddy Diogo

Reuniting with past District members
This week we also had another big 3-zone conference, of course in our chapel. It was really awesome and I got to do a special musical number with Sister Call, my STL, and Sister Hirschi played the piano. We didn´t have much time to practice but it turned out okay. Either way, I like doing them because it´s a fun experience and lets me get to do a little bit of everything on the mission.

Zone Conference

At church on Sunday we ended up doing the same musical number but I just did it solo. It went pretty well which was nice :) Other than when missionaries do it we never have musical numbers at church and so everyone really likes them and it mixes things up!

As for some good spiritual stuff for the week...Well we´re still working with our family but they didn´t make it to church this week. It was hard and a little sad but Heavenly Father really helped me handle it. I REALLY worked on my faith this week. It´s funny, I always thought I had a ton of faith, and I do in some senses but in others I really see so much room for improvement. Sometimes it´s still hard to put your whole heart and soul into people that might let you down and sometimes it´s hard to expect miracles rather than just hope for them. So I´ve been working on taking my faith to the next level so that I can know when I look back on whatever happens, that I did my best and that I put all my faith into the work. I was getting a little stressed about it this week honestly, wondering if my faith was really growing and if I was doing enough when Sister Hirschi (without really knowing what I was going through) read this scripture in our comp study-

"And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matthew 17:20)

EXACTLY what I needed to hear! Guys, we don´t need faith the size of the mustard tree, we just need faith the size of a mustard seed and when we use it and try we can move MOUNTAINS. Amazing. 

Anyway, I think that´s all for this week folks! I hope you´re all doing well and moving mountains :)

Abraços, beijinhos, e MUITAS saudades,

Sister Swasey

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