June 29, 2015 Funchal, Madeira
Hey Mom and dad!
So, the CRAZIEST thing happened yesterday :0 !!! Elder P and I were leaving church the back way when we saw a super-old sister from the other branch on the ground. We ran over to her and as we got close, we saw blood all over the ground and on this lady’s head! Elder P stayed with the lady and I ran into the building to get help. I sent a couple of brothers down to her as fast as I could and asked a sister to call the ambulance. There were enough members there to help this sister until the paramedics got there. This sister was over 90, and had tripped on the stairs and messed up her face and nose pretty bad. The paramedics arrived and we think she’ll be okay; but it was super scary!!!
So, I know I already kind of divulged that I’d be in the Portugal Porto Mission, but it’s a for-sure deal now. President and Sister Fluckiger leave tomorrow and President and Sister Amorim will arrive sometime this week. I’m sure he’ll be a spectacular mission president and the Porto Mission is gonna be sweet!!!
This week went well. We were pretty disappointed when L, who is scheduled for baptism this weekend, didn’t show up to church. His phone was having issues so we couldn’t call him, and nobody at church had the means to go pick him up with us. But, he’s still scheduled so we’re going to do everything we can to get him baptized this Sunday.
We have this long-time investigator named H whom we pretty much dropped because she wouldn’t do anything and is super catholic, but we pass by to say hi every so often, and we asked if we could meet her 25 year-old son, P. So, last night we taught the restoration to him with H, and he understood it sooooo much better that H ever did. We’re really excited because he seemed really rational as we asked him questions. When we think about the gospel in a logical way, it’s quite interesting what we find: it is clearly either true or it’s not, black and white. The Book of Mormon was either a record written by ancient prophets, and was prepared by God to testify that Christ has restored his gospel in the latter days, or it is a complete hoax meant to draw people away from God. I know it brings people closer to God and our Savior, and it IS what it says it is. My point is that P, during our lesson, seemed to understand that – knowing that our message is important because if it’s true that means that we really DO have a living prophet in our day and we have the authority to baptize people unto salvation. For example, if a baptism by immersion is done by one not having authority, what is it? It’s like taking a bath! We were happy that he was rational enough to see that, because a lot of people we talk to at least act like they don’t understand things like that. Some people think that the Book of Mormon is true, it talks about God, but that also all other churches talk about God and can be true too. NO! One of my favorite phrases that I hear all the time (There’s quite a few of them) is “Deus está em todo lado” which pretty much means “God is in everything,” and is usually accompanied by a look towards the sky and a large round hand motion. It’s actually very annoying! Many people feel that God can be in every church, but we learn from the Book of Mormon that there are truly only 2 churches: the church of God and the church against God.
Random thing: So, you know Sister Hillam from Idaho Falls? Her older brother served in Portugal and served here in Funchal in 2006. Our branch mission leader still remembers him and he appears in the area book a couple times as well. I just thought it was kind of cool 😉
We’ve started a new initiative in Madeira called ‘Madeira Avante’ which has every companionship make a separate goal each morning before they leave that they would like to accomplish that day. One day, Elder P and I made a goal to have a lesson with at least one new person (new investigator) before lunch. We worked really hard, but we didn’t succeed. I was kind of bummed that we couldn’t achieve our goal, but after lunch we were able to find 3 new investigators, which is pretty good! What I learned was that God always fulfills His promises in His own way and in His own time.
No, I am not in dire need of money like the scam- email told you, haha 😉 Although this month is a five p-day month and we get money monthly, so we’re all pretty poor right now…, hehe!
Also, Thanks so much for the insight on BYU vs BYU Provo. I value your guys’ opinion A LOT. I don’t have any more time today to talk more about it, but I’ll give you my reflections next week.
I love you all!