So this week was really good. We’ve been working a lot with the members, visiting them, setting up lots of dinner appointments, and visiting inactives with the Branch President.
So, sacrament meeting yesterday in our small branch was amazing! We had a less-active couple come that we had visited earlier in the week, and our recent convert J and her daughter also came for the first time since her confirmation! Also, Elder B and I changed the set-up of the chairs from two rows split down the middle of the chapel to one row in the middle of the chapel. We also removed a few chairs. We were amazed at how much more unified the branch felt simply being together. If there’s one lesson I learned this week, it’s that there is power in the little things. I will expound on that later. Also, for the first time since I’ve been in Portugal we actually had piano in sacrament meeting!!! And yes, yours truly plunked away using the simplified hymns haha! No missionary has ever said, “I wish I had practiced piano less before the mission” (Except maybe Zach). I add my wish to the list of thousands of other missionaries who wish they had listened to their mother and actually practiced when they were young. But, I did a lot of praying to help me and I played better than I ever have before! It looks like it was good because I get to play the piano and choose the hymns every week now! So, with those two changes: piano and moved chairs, we had a sacrament meeting that felt like a REAL sacrament meeting and not just a small crippled branch. Things are changing here and it’s such a blessing to be part of it.
But practicing piano isn’t the best or only way you should prepare for a mission. I read a quote in the Liahona this week from Elder Bednar. He said “The single most important thing you can do to prepare for a call to serve is to become a missionary long before you go on a mission.” I realize now that being an effective missionary really does start with the small things–learning personal responsibility, reading the Book of Mormon every day, praying all the time, and letting “your light so shine before men.”
We had divisions with the zone leaders this week which was awesome! I learned a lot! Coimbra is a LOT more busy than where we are serving!
It’s getting kind of cold here now. I thought, because I came from Idaho that it wouldn’t be a problem, but I find myself putting on more layers and my Portuguese companion makes fun of me: “I thought you were from the United States?” he says.
I’ve been doing some cooking lately, and today I made a white sauce, added some fried bell peppers, sausage and cheese, and added it to some noodles (made the Portuguese way) and it turned out really good! Thank you, mom, for a cookbook.
Question: How are you supposed to correctly use a chicken bouillon cube?
Also, it would be awesome to get some EASY meals that are in the cookbook.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
1. Did you pick up a good little Portuguese-English dictionary in the MTC?
2. Does your mission advise/allow the missionaries to give lots of community service?
3. Have fleas been a problem?
4. Do you currently have investigators?
5. Are you still meeting with the couple you mentioned in your letter, M&T?
6. Are there any specific types of recipes you’d like me to find for you? Or any specific ingredients you would like to find a way to use?
1. Yep, I have one
2. The mission does, but it’s very rare
3. yes, or mosquitos, but we’re working on that
4. Yes, we always do. That is what matters
5. We haven’t yet but we should in a week or so. They’ve been really busy
6. EASY ONES, haha