May 4, 2015, Funchal, Madeira
Okay, so, this week was pretty sweet. We did A LOT of walking, but it’s more like hiking because Funchal is on a mountainside, haha! There are all kinds of cool things here: exotic fruits, jazz bands in the street, massive cruise ships 5 minutes from our house, amazing views and some really cool members. We have really high hopes for a few investigators in these next couple of weeks. I hope and pray everything goes well and they can get baptized. I got pretty sunburned the other day, and I’m getting a great missionary tan (it’s a rather red color.)
We found some cool people this week. We found one lady named T_ that looks like she might have some potential. We taught her outside her apartment building about the restoration and she has complete faith that God will tell her which church is true. One man we talked to had absolutely no potential. He told us that his problem is that he doesn’t believe in anything he can’t see. He says he believes that we were talking to him, because he could see us. He said he’d need a ‘sign.’ His remarks reminded me of the people mocking the Savior on the Cross saying that if he was the Christ, to show them a sign and come down from the cross. Also, remember Alma’s famous conversation with Korihor. Korihor told Alma that there couldn’t be a God because he couldn’t prove it. Alma simply said that Korihor couldn’t prove that there isn’t a God, but that “all things denote there is a God” (Alma 30)–the planets, the world, the fact that we’re here, the scriptures, and all the holy prophets. Korihor received his sign, a little bit too late. Unfortunately, for most people, God doesn’t give us signs to compel us to believe, but as we all know from Moroni, we receive signs only after the trial of our faith.
So, this week has been like a battle with bed bugs. It’s still kind of a war in progress, and I won’t give all the details, but let’s just say this week has been really, really, itchy. Hopefully next week will bring pleasant relief 🙂
Anyway, I love you all so much!
See you Sunday!!!
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
1. Tell us a little about this new companion – siblings, interests, talents, character traits, etc.
His name is Elder P. He’s only in his 3rd transfer but he’s way ahead of his time – speaks well and is a fantastic missionary and companion. He’s from Southern California and loves to surf. He’s just a pretty cool guy. He went to the U before the mission. He likes to ride motorcycles and he played water polo and tennis in high school.
2. Does Funchal have one ward or branch for the whole city?
It has 2 Branches of about 45-50 people and they meet in the same building. It’s a lot more members than I’m used to! But they still don’t have a piano player!!!
3. Has your companion had quite a few investigators and teaching opportunities since he has been in Funchal?
Yeah, we have people to teach. Some of them have a lot of potential to be baptized in the next few weeks. Pray for A_, L_, and H_!
4. Are you still a District Leader?
Nope, we got two other Elders who are in Camara de Lobos and one of them, Elder S_, is our district leader. I have so much more time at night before bed now!
5. What things do your like about Funchal so far, other than seeing the ocean from pretty much everywhere?
I truly love just seeing PEOPLE. In my last area there weren’t tons of people on the streets. Here there are always people in the middle of the city, even late at night. Albeit, most of them are tourists, it’s invigorating to see the hustle and bustle of the city. Also, BUSES: I bought my bus pass and since then we’ve been able to catch lots of busses that cut down on our walking time.
6. What fun things do missionaries like to go see (on P-days) there? What is Funchal famous for having?
The other Elders in our district actually have a car, so we went all around the island today for P-day. We went to a place in the middle of the island called Nuns’ Valley first. It was soooo cool. Apparently, there was a really big war on Madeira many years ago and the nuns and other people that didn’t want to be involved in the war went and hid in this huge valley surrounded by really high mountains. We went up top to the view point and it was really sweet.
7. Are you still on foot in this area, or do you use bikes or a car?
We are very much on foot, although we can use buses some of the time. We don’t actually live in our area, but rather the area of the other elders that live in our house, so we have to walk through the really touristy area every day to get to our area because there aren’t any buses that go that way, unfortunately. Also, this place is soooo steep! I think my legs are getting huge just from hiking all around! It’s crazy!