Preparing a 20-minute Talk in Portuguese – Quite a Task!

IMG_4793 Cory & Elder BragaSeptember 29, 2014 North of Lisbon

Hey Mom!

This week was interesting because my companion was sick for 3 days so we just stayed in the house for a looooonge time. I couldn’t decide if it was a nice break or if I was going crazy. But, I got a lot of extra time to read and study which was really nice because I had to give a talk yesterday in the branch on “The Power of Covenants” which I thought was a pretty hard topic to speak about for 20 minutes in Portuguese, but through A LOT of preparation, study, and fervent prayer, it turned out very well. If you know me well, you know that I HATE public speaking and it is, in fact, my “worst fear,” now add having to do it in Portuguese and being only one of two speakers for sacrament meeting, and you’ll see how worried I was. Thank goodness, for the power of the Holy Ghost. I’m grateful for it every day.

So Elder B and I went into a little café and the manager could tell I was American. He pointed to a picture on the wall of Manhattan and the twin towers before 9/11, and asked me this:

“Do you recognize that place?”
I said “yes, I recognize it.”
Then my Portuguese companion pointed to the photo and said: “You can just draw in the planes right here.”

I was kind of amazed at first that they could joke about that so openly! My companion told me after, when I brought it up, “This is Portugal, Bro. We don’t care about the twin towers.”

And then the most crazy part is: he said that there are actually have video games where you are the terrorists and you have to fly the planes into the twin towers! I was kind of horrified! I told him that would NOT fly in the states (no pun intended.)

Interesting thing about Portugal:
Peanut butter is almost non-existent. A lot of people have never even tasted it before. This is annoying because before the mission peanut butter was like one of my main food staples!

So we had a rain storm and it was so rainy and so windy that my poor little umbrella was almost destroyed after just one storm. Luckily you can buy umbrellas for really cheap here.

I learn Portuguese really fast with a native comp, but he speaks English a lot because he wants to learn English too, so it’s both comforting and annoying.

Also, I cooked Hootenany and Easy mac and cheese from the cookbook this week! They were really good and Elder B told me he has never met an American that can cook, especially one that actually does the dishes haha!!!

Elder B gave me a haircut today. I was a little worried, but it actually turned out very well. (Not quite as good as yours though, mom).

Also, for my birthday I really would like some photos! I have two empty albums that were given to me and so I’d love some photos from home–old, new, whatever. You don’t realize how cool photos are until after you leave.

I’m out of time so I will talk to you next week. Love you!

Elder Zwahlen


About Elder Zwahlen

Elder Cory Zwahlen is serving a 2-year proselyting mission in the Lisbon, Portugal area, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He entered the Provo MTC on July 9, 2014. One of Elder Zwahlen's favorite scriptures is Alma 29:1-2 "O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth."
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