April 20, 2015 Portugal
Hey Dad and Mom!
The mission gave some tips on making sure packages don’t get fined:
1. Don’t put high values on the items
2. Don’t put “food” in the packages. Instead, separate the items on the list and say snacks, sweets, or cookies.
3. They don’t let vitamins or medicine through.
4. The following items will always get taxed: shoes, electronics (mp3 player, iPod, cameras)
Alright, so this week was really good: full of ups and downs, little miracles and little pains. So, one really cool thing happened a few days ago. We had extra room on our plans for the next day so we selected a person from the área book named R_. Her record said that she was Buddhist and missionaries had only taught her a few times. We put her down for the next day and went over to her house to see if we could talk to her. We rang her doorbell and nobody answered. We walked away from her house and about 5 minutes later we decide to contact a lady up ahead. We asked her what her name was and she said it was R_ and that she’d only talked a little bit about the church. We were kind of blown away at the fact that we had just contacted the exact same lady we had never met but had tried to visit 5 minutes before. CRAZY! Anyway, we knew she was Buddhist, but in spite of this we focused our message on finding faith in Christ. She said she was Buddhist and started to walk away, but we told her we all have the same purpose in life, to find happiness, it’s just that we have different ways of finding it. She gave us her address. While she was telling us her address I was tempted to tell her we already knew it, but we refrained, haha! We’re going to try and talk to her this week.
Also, we had another funny contacting experience this week, and I also learned the importance of planning. We contacted this really cool couple in the street named V_ and L_. L_ gave us his number and V_ gave us their address. We made a compromisso (appointment) with them. We tried to call to confirm with them but it was the wrong number. We went over to the street anyway but we couldn’t figure out which apartment building it was. We were kind of disappointed, but it happens. We planned that night to go do some tracting in that área the next day to try and find the right house. Miraculously, we saw V_ in the street on our way to that área and we ran up to talk to her. She was like, “What happened? You guys never passed by?!” If you’re not familiar with missionary work, that’s actually a really good thing to hear because it shows that people actually keep their commitments. We got the right phone number and confirmed where her house is; we’ll talk to them this week.
Well, I must admit this week has been unusually unhealthy. We decided to do “Francesinha Friday.” If you remember back to one of my early letters, my Portuguese companion from Porto made them, so I learned how from him. It was really hectic trying to make it all and have time to eat them, but it was sooooo worth it. You can see our glorious creations in the pictures. Also, for whatever reason, we’ve eaten an abnormal amount of ice cream….not to mention our scale miraculously ran out of batteries this week as well…… 😉
So, our investigator, H_, from last week kind of regressed……It was really difficult to hear that she feels she’s not ready to accept the gospel even though she’s so prepared by the Lord. We’ll keep praying and fasting for her. Pray for her and her husband, A_, please! Also, we had two really good lessons with a lady named A_. She needs to get married or separated before she can get baptized, though. She was married once to a guy who abused her and now she’s with another guy but she’s scared to get married again…. Maybe you guys have some ideas of scriptures or stories that could help her?
We also talked to this hilarious old lady in the street named M_. We’d talked to her before, but she doesn’t want to change. She asked us if we have to marry someone from the same religion and we said, “No but it makes it a lot easier.” She started saying why she thought it was of little importance and all this kind of stuff, but it gave us a great experience to testify about temples and the importance of eternal marriage, not just “until death do you part.” It was a cool experience for us, but old Catholic ladies are not easily swayed, haha!
Anyway, thanks for your great letters. I pray for you guys all the time!
Love, Elder Cory Zwahlen