Monday, May 4, 2015

Week 43: May the Fourth Be With You

I turned to Sister Redden yesterday and said "TOMORROW IS STAR WARS DAY" and she said "what? hahaha" And I responded "May the Fourth be with you". Because of course that's the most important thing about today. (She had never heard that before. Good thing I'm here to educate her.)

This week our numbers were literally the worst I've ever had in my mission, hahaha. Not that we didn't do anything, because we got some great stuff done, but right now we don't count digital mission lessons and things in our weekly reporting. So we had a lot of zeros and 3 member lessons this week. That's it. 

But it was still awesome!

Monday we helped the Polleys finish their rental--the other half of their house. We painted and cleaned and things. They rent that side out for the summer because, well, welcome to Martha's Vineyard. That's just what happens here.

Tuesday we did some GREAT digital work--we had a lesson with Isabella from Italy and Ismael from Brazil, and we (ok I, it was all in Portuguese because Isabella is learning Portuguese and wants help practicing) started teaching the Restoration up to Christ and His Church. And let me tell you, I have never seen anyone so excited to read Amos 3:7 as Isabella was. That scripture just blew her mind! So I gave her a link to the TG Prophets, Mission of, for her to read and study :) She wants to learn more and we should talk to her tomorrow!! Oh, the digital mission is so cool. 

That afternoon we just went home though because Sister Redden was feeling sick (and had a fever and sore throat...), so I sat around and updated records and read old records and found pieces of a map of the island and all sorts of exciting things like that. I did make breadsticks, that was exciting.

Wednesday we had a webex meeting about the digital mission, so we made it over to the church in the morning for that (Dad--we do emailing and all our digital work here at the church building. The building is actually a storefront with one big room we can divide that we use for Sacrament meeting and RS and Priesthood. there are rooms for Primary, Nursery, Seminary and YW. Plus the Bishop's office, bathrooms, and Family History Center. We stay here in the Family History Center like allllll the time because it has 4 computers, our webcam for skyping people, and printers and stuff. It's like our second home. I think that means we'll probably skype you from here, because we can. ha.) Sister Redden was feeling okay, but the hospital didn't want us to go do service because those little old ladies just get sick like that, so we stayed to do some digital work. We taught Rodrigo, a Mexican man, most of the Restoration! That was sweet. I tried to speak Spanish to him, but it was a whole lot of port-iñol-gles going on really. But he understood! We also skype 2 Brazilians guys, and that was awesome. Cool stuff.

We visited a Brazilian less-active who is very interesting. Very nice, but going to church is just too hard, you know? Stuff like that. Then stop-bys all evening. 

Thursday Sister Redden wasn't feeling so good again so she slept after studies and I don't remember what I did. Later we skyped some more people and called the Elders in Cameroon!! A few weeks ago I was talking to this guy in Cameroon who wanted to learn more, and I sent a referral but nothing happened. Long story short, I finally talked to him again and heard no one contacted him so we found the missionaries' number and called them through skype (totally approved, even encouraged by President, I promise) and they got in contact with him!! They told us later that they taught him the Restoration and he's still totally interested. How cool is that?!? His name is Armstrong. And he still counts as one of my investigators :) I'M TEACHING A MAN IN CAMEROON! Whoop!

We just weekly planned after that. Oh, and made Navajo tacos! Those are literally my favorite food ever. I've finally decided. (And we fried the bread dough and NOTHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED! I'M IMPROVING!!)

Friday we had a rather impromptu Zone Meeting, so we went off-island again  for that. Good stuff. Our zone is super small but great. I'll try to get pictures to upload for you.

and that's it. We went shopping at Wal-mart again because off-island is wayyyyy less expensive, and we don't have wal-mart here. 

Saturday we did go to service, which I really love. Those old ladies are the best. And when we did digital work, we followed up with Armstrong's elders (and found out they taught the Restoration), elders in Florida for another investigator I've never talked to, and we talked with Ismael again about our church. Taught him the restoration in Portuguese too! Good stuff. The rest of the night we visited with Sister Marshall, this really sweet less-active lady, and her granddaughter. Probably stayed there too long, but we're working on that. And we walked for 20 minutes in the dark (there are no streetlights on most roads here) because we missed the bus. When we called Sister Brown to ask for a ride, she was able to (hallelujah!) but the bus literally passed us right as we saw her car. The joys of walking areas. The members here are so great though :)

Sunday! We had a grand total of ELEVEN people at church today because 2 families were sick and 1 was visiting relatives. It was great though! We had a nice fast and testimony meeting, Sunday school, and combined 3rd hour all together. Plus a potluck lunch after. Love that. 

We tried to do digital stuff but no one is online on Sundays. 

Hahahaha ok so then we tried to visit the Benoits (not home) and we ended up visiting with Alice, another Brazilian less-active, and her brother Juarez (a Brazilian with a Spanish name), who's not a member! That was sweet.

But before all of that, we were at the bus stop waiting for a bus. I heard some guy arguing with someone on the phone in Portuguese a little ways off, and when we decided to go sit inside the terminal building to wait, we passed by and I said "Oi, tudo bem?" 

He whipped around and asked "fala português??" 

"Sim! Falo português."

You should have seen the look on his face. That's my favorite part when people find out I speak Portuguese.

"Não acredito. Quando você aprendeu português? Você é brasileira?"

"Não, sou americana. Mas aprendi por que tenho muitas amigas brasileiras."

"E sem sotaque! Parece como uma paulista."

"Sim, tenho uma amiga de São Paulo, ela me ajudou muito"

And we proceeded to talk in Portuguese the whole bus ride because he was going on the same bus. THEN when we got back on the bus to go home, our friend Anderson was there again!!

Hahaha I love when Brazilians find out I speak Portuguese. They get soooo confused. And impressed. And shocked. It's the greatest. 

Well, that wraps up our week. We actually did a lot, but our numbers don't show it haha. And today I feel like FHE needs to include a little Star Wars or something, because obviously that's the thing to do today.

Sorry this was such a long email. Hopefully I can still talk to you all about interesting things on Sunday hahaha. But I'm so excited to talk with all of you!! Get ready. If you want me to say something in Portuguese, think now about what you want me to say because when I'm the only one talking, it's hard. Dad, if you want to, you can try to have a conversation with me--you speak Spanish and I'll reply in Portuguese. Or you can hear my broken Spanish if you want. Whatever.

Here's my spiritual thought for the day--I watched the "Mountains to Climb" Mormon Message this week after some guy on skype said some inappropriate things to me (I blocked him, don't worry). Boy, that was the spiritual uplift we need.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the problems we have and we forget that others are struggling too. I've been bad about that these last few weeks. But we also know that when we do have trials and difficulties and things, we can always always turn to our Father in Heaven. He loves us so much. He is really there. He is really our Father. We talk to a lot of Muslims on the digital mission (those Turkish boys must just really like American girls for some reason), and when they say they don't believe God could be our Father, it makes me so sad. We have such an opportunity to have a beautiful relationship with our Father in Heaven, and that is one thing I am so grateful for, being a member of this Church.

It's true. It's all true. I know it. And you can know it too.

Talk to you soon!!!

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