June 15, 2015 Funchal, Madeira
Hey Mom and Dad!
Ya, I still haven’t seen “Meet the Mormons” but I also heard it was good. We actually found a lady a couple weeks ago while knocking doors who had seen Meet the Mormons and she said she really liked it. Too bad she was Catholic and wanted to stay that way for now….. I have no idea how she saw it or whether it was translated into Portuguese, but it’s pretty cool to see how the gospel is being shared all around the world in various ways.
Ya, the Porto Mission is looking like it will be pretty cool. I don’t know if I told you or not but they changed the mission President. It will be President Amorim. He and his wife are Brazilian but they’re from Park City I think.
So, this week was pretty eventful. Earlier in the week we had the most epic branch activity ever! We all met at the church and caravanned across the island to this really forested place near Camacha. There we set up camp and the branch president and mission leader got to work building a fire. The rest of us went and played soccer on this field above. A lot of members showed up and it turned out to be an epic party. They had a spiritual part and we sang “Joseph’s Smith’s First Prayer” out in the woods and it was super cool. Then came the coolest part of all when we at the best chicken I’ve ever eaten. It was barbecued over open coals on ghetto tree branches and it was sooooo good. Don’t worry, I got the secret recipe 😉 The only bad part was that it was actually really cold and I only had shorts and a t-shirt! Madeira is never cold but you go up a few hundred feet and it gets freezing! In the afternoon we packed everything up and headed home. All in all it was an incredible activity. Who knew that a couple of Portuguese men could do a better barbecue than any American I’ve ever seen!???
One cool experience that happened this week was we were walking to go visit an investigator we had only taught at his gate 2 times, when we saw an old lady with a big sack and we asked her if she needed help. She respectfully declined but we talked to her as we walked. As we got closer to M’s house we asked the lady if she knew him. She told us that by chance she was headed right there to visit the very same family, and they’re related! Because of that, we were able to enter, laugh a bit and M gave us cake he said he made. It was really good cake and when his wife came over I told her she’d picked a good husband because he makes good cake. She like flipped out and told us that SHE made it, and it was actually really funny. The older lady had some experience with another church’s missionaries and told us that we–like them–only use the parts of the Bible we know and that we twist the scriptures to fit our own theology. We promised her that our message was very, VERY different than any other she had ever heard and we started teaching her the 1st lesson. There in the house, they were about to celebrate a Catholic saint’s holiday so tons of other family members showed up and we told them all to sit down and join us. We ended up teaching like 5 people in the house but only 2 were there from the start to the finish. It was a fabulous faith builder for me that we should ALWAYS offer to help, even if people don’t accept. We, as members and missionaries alike, should be known to our neighbors as at least “the people that do good.”
So, I never told you guys how trumpet playing with a member went from the other week. C had a sweet Yamaha Xeno and I was really excited to play it. Things I noticed when I started playing: I still had my full range (I could squeak high G’s still), but my tone, flexibility, endurance, and technique were very much hindered…. Also interesting is that I had forgotten like all of my music that I had memorized. Songs I had played a billion times I simply could not remember how they go!!! It was super annoying actually! I was happy to see that I could at least play and have fun with it, even if it didn’t last long because my lips gave out…….
So we finally got the General Conference Liahona (magazines) and I’ve been going through them all. They’re so good! All of the counsel is so applicable to each one of us. I’m sure you and Dad have both gone and reread all of them, but if not, do it! It’s been really fun for me.
So, I’m currently sick and I stayed in the house all day yesterday after church with bowel problems and I still feel really weak and terrible today. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow. There’s lots of work to be done!!!!
I love you all so much!
Elder Cory Zwahlen
MOM AND DAD!!!!!!
I included a picture of Elder T and his new comp baptizing C!!!! Remember that lady I found 2 transfers ago? That’s her! The one who we found 3 times on the street in 2 days! I love her so much!!!!!