Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 64: O caminho estreito é o caminho dretu!

A kind of less-active member told us that on Friday, and I just laughed for days. Literally it translates to "The strait path {as in the strait and narrow path} is the good path", which isn't as funny, but "estreito" and "dretu" (which is a kriolo word that they use instead of "bom") rhyme, so it's my new favorite saying. 

Here's how you say it: Oo ka-MEEN-you es-TRAY-too eh oo ka-MEEN-you dr-AY-too. Now you can speak Kriolo!

Boston is amazing. At first, I'll tell you the truth, I was nervous to be bus around Boston and have to like talk to people and stuff. Haha, I'm still really rusty on my street contacting, but Elder Shibuta, one of our Portuguese elders here, is really good at it, so I will do my best to learn from him. I have to give it one last good push, right?

But now, I love it. Taking the buses is super fun! Normally we take 1 bus from near our house and the church to go to Forest Hills, a main station, and from there we usually take another bus to get to Dorchester, which is where most of the Cape Verdeans live here in Boston. So far I've only ridden the T once to go anywhere, but we are planning to go shopping in downtown Boston, so we'll be riding all over the place now :)

(The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, all of your cares, so go DOOOOOWNTOWN! Things will be great when you're DOOWWWNTOWN! No better place for sure. DOOOOWNTOWN. Everything's waiting for youuuuu. downtown, downtown, downtown.....)

Sorry, I got a little apostate there. That's just what I think of every time I hear "downtown Boston".

It has been a crazy and awesome week. We didn't have tons of lessons, because I started the week by saying goodbye to everyone in Central Falls, and I just don't know anyone here yet, so it's been a bit slow. It's going to pick up though :)

I managed to get packed by Tuesday morning, because we needed to drive to Johnston, RI (30 minutes away) to drop our luggage off with a member there who would take it up to transfer meeting. Aren't you proud that I'm getting more efficient, Dad?

Transfer day was a little crazy. We finished things at home and drove up to Weston, where we had lunch with the Dowling family (as Mom already knows), then practiced a musical number for ages. Transfer meeting was good and it was so fun to see all of the missionaries I know! But here's the things--I don't know anyone anymore. When we got t-texts last week, I realized all of my friends are dead. They all went home. Everyone here now is so YOUNG! Weird. Luckily, I got to meet Sister Couto's greenie, who is from Mozambique! That is pretty cool. I told her Central Falls is the best place in the world. Which is pretty true. She's lucky to start there.

Best photobomb ever.

Then I met up with Sister Marques and the Walshes, the senior couple here for our Portuguese group, and off we went to Boston!

We live in a house, which is different than everywhere else I have been. We live on the first floor and have this creepy basement where our laundry machines are. The English sisters are our roommates, and they are so fun. We only have one bathroom. Believe it or not, it works out, and I think my showers are getting faster!!

From home we are a few minutes' walk away from the church, but like I said before, we are 2 bus rides away from our real proselyting area. It's okay though, Dorchester has the nickname "Lock your Dor-chester" so Roslindale is a little bit safer than that haha. Also, we get to see most of the missionaries in our zone every day. There are English elders, English sisters (our roommates), Portuguese elders (our zone leaders), us, Spanish sisters (our Sister Training Leaders), Spanish elders, 4 Haitian-Creole elders, and the Walshes in our zone. Oh, plus the sisters who are in the Brookline ward, but they are far away and have a car. All of us (except Brookline) meet in the same chapel on Sundays and we play soccer together and we're just always together. I love that.

Well, since I've been here, we've done missionary work! We have been visiting a lot of members because our little group here has slowly been going a little bit less-active. On Sunday we had 39 people at church, which was pretty good for the last couple of weeks! In a lot of ways, it is the same as the Central Falls group, but here the people are generally newer to America, and they have a LOT more problems with rides. Don't even get me started. But otherwise, the work seems about the same--Cape Verdeans are, at heart, all pretty much the same. They are pretty much all family, if you look hard enough. 

Our group leader here is great--he's from Cuba and speaks Kriolo perfectly, but his Portuguese is just a lot of Spanish-Portuguese-Kriolo mess. He's such a great guy though. His kids are super cute. He's married to a Cape Verdean lady, who is super solid. Love that.

I've met a couple investigators so far--Ana is amazing. She took notes when she read Enos. What? She came to the Women's Conference on Saturday when we went to Sister Walsh's house with the women in the group, and now she's been to church 2 Sundays in a row! We want to extend a baptismal date for her this week!! Gabriela and Briana are teenagers who have a lot of really good questions and are super funny. Maria Rodrigues has been really great and was really excited with the chapters we gave her to read on Sunday! She has dropped a few dates though, so we're still working on commitment with her.

The members here are great. My kriolo is improving (which is good, because it was pretty terrible before). My Portuguese will improve, because the elders are teaching me all sorts of new words that I never would have otherwise learned! Sister Marques is awesome. In some ways, she acts and talks a lot like Arissa White, which is just so funny to me. We have had a lot of fun together though, and I am really grateful to be her companion! Her 9-month mark is on Wednesday, so I need to do something special for her :)

I love being a missionary. I love riding buses. I love Boston. I love Cape Verdeans! I can't believe I only have 2 transfers left. I sure hope I stay here, because I already only have a really short time. But I am working hard and doing my best and just loving every second I have to be a missionary. 

Have a fantastic week, everyone! I love you!

Sister Knutti

P.S. I LOVED the Women's Conference!! President Uchtdorf's talk was the bomb dot com. So go read that one, it doesn't matter if you are a woman or not. Also, go read Alma 13:28-29. I read that today and it is SO GOOD. 

P.P.S. General Conference is this week!! Get excited. 3 new apostles?? And the prophet is going to speak to us?? Nothing gets better than that. I think General conference is my favorite weekend ever being a missionary :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 63: And You've Never Been to Boston in the Falllllllll

I am getting transferred to Boston! Specifically, I will serve in the Portuguese group attached to the Boston 1st Ward. Cool huh? Yeah, it is.

Also, since today is THE FIRST OFFICIAL DAY OF AUTUMN I will literally be serving (and going to) Boston in the Fall. So, now I will have been to Boston in the Fall. One day I'll take you there, so you won't be able to sing that song anymore.

Haha I really am so excited to be serving there. A few of my past companions have served there, and they all love it. It is another area full of Cape Verdeans, and most of them will probably be recent arrivals from Cape Verde, so my Kriolo is going to have to improve a lot. Maybe no more Spanish for me, Kriolo is hard enough. My new companion will be Sister Marques, who is from Portugal! The Azores, actually, I think. I could be wrong on that. But I've talked with her a few times and she seems pretty cool :)

I am definitely sad to leave Central Falls though. I have seen so many miracles and blessings from serving here in Rhode Island. The people here are so ready for the gospel, and the Lord is preparing them every single step of the way. This past week the elders set a baptismal date with our investigator Elizabeth (and her friend Linda!). Yesterday we went over to see why she didn't come to church... let's just say she slept until 2pm. But as we were talking with her and a different friend, Lisa, who we want to start teaching, Elizabeth starting bearing her testimony to us. She didn't know it was her testimony, but it was! She talked about the confidence and self-worth she feels from the things she has learned, and how she truly wants to take her baptism seriously. Also, she is amazing and wants to do everything that is for the benefit of her children, and she can see how the gospel will bless her family.

She did say "I have a question. So yesterday I prayed and asked if I should be baptized, but I don't know if God answered me. When I prayed, I felt peace and fresh, just like when you come out of the shower. Did He answer me or was I just thinking that?" We pretty much said "Yes, you can get baptized tomorrow if you want." Haha no, but we did explain the Holy Ghost to her. I really love teaching Elizabeth because she looks like she is really taking in everything that we say. She ponders about it when she leaves, and is always excited to have us come and talk again. She is so solid!! I promised her I would do everything I can to come back for her baptism on October 24th. What a fantastic day that will be!

Yesterday we also visited with Zito and Filomena and their twins, Liziana and Zaniah. We had a really awesome discussion about their baptism and what they think they need to do/have in order to be prepared for baptism. Their original date was yesterday, but they didn't even make it to church yesterday... we had a good talk with them about the blessings of the gospel and how they need to demonstrate faith and put ACTION into the things they are learning. They are supposed to pick a new date before the next time the elders see them, which should be tomorrow.
Liziana, Zaniah, Zito, Ju Ju, Filomena

Also, the elders taught them last week about the Word of Wisdom, and Filomena hasn't had any coffee since then, almost a week ago! She had a terrible headache at first, but now it has gone away. Thank goodness for Cevada (a drink made from barley)! Tastes like coffee without the coffee. We were also able to watch the Restoration dvd with Filomena and the girls, and the Spirit was there very strongly. I think they will continue to progress, just maybe not in the most "normal" way.

Oh yes.

Brianna moved back to Brockton this week. We finally got to talk with her again Monday night, and we had a fantastic lesson. During the middle of it though, I did get this strange feeling that this would be the last time I would see Brianna in a very long time. It didn't make sense though, because our lesson was going so well and the Spirit was so strong. Later Sister Couto told me she felt the same. The next day we went over to confirm something with Clarice, and we saw Brianna bringing the last of her things into her mom's car. She looked so devastated. It broke my heart to have to watch her leave, but I know this will be so, so, so much better for her. We need to send the Brockton sisters over to visit with her, because I can truly see the potential she has. She WILL get married in the temple one day! And I'll make sure I am there :)

This week we also started to finally teach Tiffany, another friend of the Silveira family. She is really into it! She has great questions, and is totally ready to learn. Also, VANIA CAME BACK!! I don't know if you remember her, but she has a baptismal date for the end of October, but she went to New Bedford for the summer. Lucky for us, she came back and we were able to start visiting with her again. I love that girl.

On Saturday we had an amazing experience with the digital mission--we skyped a guy named Allan (who lives in Brazil), and we talked with him more about the Book of Mormon and briefly about Joseph Smith. The greatest thing is that he is so PREPARED! He skyped with us, and the elders in Brazil were supposed to meet with him only about 30 minutes later. He is awesome. We also got to share the Joseph Smith Translation part of the Bible with him, which he thought was so interesting! We will check up on him this week, but it is really neat to talk with him, because he always thanks us profusely at the end of each Skype for talking with him and teaching him about the Book of Mormon. The Lord has a plan for the internet, and using it to share the gospel is a HUGE part of that!

Which leads me to remember 2 important announcements:

1. I was asked the other day to participate in an experiment. Sister Marques and I will be digital missionaries either on Facebook or on Twitter! Crazy, and I don't understand how that will work, but if the Lord wants it to, it will. I most likely won't be using my old facebook, don't worry, but I'm not sure if the digital mission zone leaders have figured that out yet or not.

2. The Church is FINALLY releasing an LDS version of the Portuguese Bible!!!!!! This is so exciting my friends. Finally we will have a Bible with footnotes and the JST and everything, and they might even make Portuguese quads! This isHUGE. I am so excited. It's online now at if you wanna take a look. The print version will be available in March, and I'm gonna buy one.

Also, I cried hardcore bearing my testimony on Sunday. I love this place, I love the people, I love Sister Couto. But the Lord has another plan for me in Boston and there is definitely a reason that I am going to serve there (especially because I am one of 4 driving Portuguese sisters and there are not enough as it is... logistics, man). It will be so fun and the work is just going to make the last of my mission fly by.
Ana Gonçalves

Linara and Clarice :)

Milena (from whose phone I sent those other pictures..) and Odete from Cape Verde

For now, I encourage you to study about faith. Remember, it is different than belief--faith includes ACTION. It includes a change in your life to align your will more with God's will. I want desperately to read Lectures on Faith when I get home. Faith may be one of the first principles of the gospel, but sometimes I get a glimpse of how important it really is. Faith is the thing that truly drives people to follow Jesus Christ, to change their lives, and to find happiness in this life and in the life to come.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week. I am pretty much done packing (thank goodness), but I am sending a box home today of things I don't need here right now. And after Wednesday, I'll be in Boston!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 62: Ahora yo puedo hablar español

t's true. I don't know if any of you remember, but I did NOT want to speak Spanish for any reason at any point in my life. I had NO desire. But for some reason, being in Central Falls (and going to our favorite restaurant, Taco Loco) has given me the desire to learn. I don't know why, but it's weird haha. So this last week I finally really had the opportunity to look at Spanish and see the differences between Portuguese and Spanish (it's really super similar) and put the Spanish words in my head. Then I've been using it! Haha I went on exchanges to a Spanish area, we taught a Spanish lesson, and we contacted people in Spanish. It's pretty halting, but I'm actually really speaking some Spanish now.

Can anyone say "quadrolingual"? English, Portuguese, Kriolo, Spanish...

Maybe the Lord is just blessing me with some Spanish abilities because He wants to transfer me to somewhere like Lowell (where my ex-companion Sister Lima is, along with another ex-comp, Sister Roman!!) where the sisters cover the Portuguese members and the Spanish group.... we'll find out on Friday!

I haven't started reading El Libro de Mormón yet, but I pulled one off our bookshelf this morning. "Straaaaange things are happenin' to me..." (Toy Story anyone?)

Well, on to other news!
Last Monday was awesome. Because it was Labor Day, we got to go to the temple and do a session. Later we stayed up in Cambridge all day because who wouldn't? We emailed later that night because our appointments cancelled anyways.
Tuesday we finally had another correlation meeting with our group mission leader, and he bought us Dunkin' again. I still think I like Starbucks better. (for hot chocolate, duh!) A lot of the day was spent doing boring stuff for the baptism of Maria, Walter, and Paulinho Silveira! Maria has 13 kids, so we went through the process of getting the full names and birthdays of all of them. It took a while. That night President Miller came down to his *favorite* place to visit in the mission (he said it, so it's true) and gave Maria her interview. Elder Montes later did they boys'. And they all passed!! Wahoo!!
But the coolest thing that happened on Tuesday was our skype lesson with Julio. We had it set and we were trying to have Angelica, our group leader's wife, skype with us too, but we just could not get a hold of her. Right before we were going to skype though, the Bishop walked into the chapel and stopped in front of the open Clerk's office door. We said "Perfect! Hey Bishop, do you want to be in a skype with us? He speaks English, don't worry." He said "Sure." and he stayed with us as we talked to Julio more about the Book of Mormon. I can't explain to you exactly why, but it was so perfect. Everything the Bishop said helped so much in the lesson! We committed Julio to read the Book of Mormon, and he said he totally would.
The Digital Mission is just the coolest ever. Julio is one of my favorite people.
Wednesday we had exchanges! I went to Providence Spanish with Sister Lira. She's super funny and I've actually served with her a lot. That was the day I learned Spanish, my friends. Our other STL, Hermana Buttars, had a Spanish for Missionaries book, so I used that during language study and I'm basically fluent now. Just kidding, but I can talk! We ate a lot of delicious hispanic food and I heard a lot of Spanish that day.
That night we had an adventure trying to fit a twin mattress into our Toyota Corolla to take home to Sister Watts, whose mattress now hurts her back. In case you weren't aware, it is VERY difficult to get a mattress in a car that small. It didn't work, so we carried it back into the STL's house and drove home hahaha.
Thursday we weekly planned for daysss but that night we went out with Maria Silva, who took us to her friend Blanca's house! This was the Spanish lesson we taught. We explained our purpose and talked about the Book of Mormon alllll in Spanish! Well, Sister Couto mostly spoke Portuñol. I like to think mine was more Spanish, but she did talk a lot more than me. Blanca and her husband are so great. They are Catholic, but were super interested to read the Book of Mormon! We passed them off to the Spanish elders though, because I know they speak better Spanish than me.
Friday was Zone Conference! I was asked to play the piano (again). We learned a lot, mostly about physical preparedness types of things, like eating well and working with the ward and keeping our apartments safe and nice. But President Miller did give a really good talk about the Light of Christ--everyone in the world has it! That means everyone has potential. I'll talk about that more later. Also, the elders got a modesty talk, so that was good :) They talked to us too, but we've already heard it a billion times, so we knew all about it.
After Zone Conference, we were driving back to Rhode Island and we stopped at 99 (the restaurant) with our district to celebrate Elder Montes', Sister Watts' and my "99 days left on the mission!" (Hence the pictures in front of the restaurant) It's not my favorite restaurant, but it is tradition.

I feel so old. I'm dying...
Friday was the day we contacted someone for a while in Spanish. I'm telling you, I can almost speak it now!
Saturday was CRAZYYYY. We had a solid game of Ultimate Frisbee and correlation and studies, and then we took a less-active, Antonia, to visit Elizabeth, our new investigator. We taught the Restoration, and it was so good!! Elizabeth is progressing so well. We're going to try to give her a baptismal date this week. But Antonia really truly answered the phone twice during the lesson... not by walking into another room, but by sort of ducking under the table. What? We're going to need to talk to her about that....
Then we cleaned Antonia's house because that was payment for her coming out with us. Whatever it takes. We ran around trying to settle things for the BAPTISMMM!! And we also skyped Julio again (he read the BoM but just  the chapter headings haha. At least he read!), when he said he wants to go to church!! So we called up the missionaries in Brazil, who told us they had stake conference this past weekend. Bummer. We'll get them there. We also skyped another guy, Allan, who also lives in São Paulo, and he is really interested in the Book of Mormon! We're going to send the missionaries down there to him this week. He's super cool!
Then we had the baptism! It was crazy because we forgot some really important things like to remind them to bring dry underwear and towels, but it doesn't matter now because Maria and Walter and Paulinho got baptized!! They were so happy.

One thing I just love about baptisms is that I feel pure joy every time I watch these people that I love go under the water. It just doesn't get better than that (so far). There are lots of pics on the drive, but I'll add one here... One of the best parts is that Anselmo, our recent convert, baptized Paulinho, his youngest brother. It really just can't get better than that on this earth.
Sunday was cool because those 3 got confirmed!! And we had 49 people in Sacrament Meeting! Crazy!! Almost 50. We're getting there. I can smell that branch...
We ate lunch at the Machado's and we taught Liz and Zaniah that night about the Plan of Salvation. They are only 12 but boy, they look 16. Why does everyone here look so old?
And there you have it. A full and crazy and low-numbers kind of week! But numbers aren't the most important. The most important thing is that 3 of our beloved investigators joined the Lord's Kingdom this weekend, and they are SO. HAPPY. Please pray for Maria that she can stay strong and find a new job that gives her every Sunday off. She loves church and wants to come so badly.
I love you all. Sorry I write a novel every week.
One thing I've been thinking about is this idea of the Light of Christ--what has been striking me is that every person has it. We see a LOT of people who have a lot of darkness in their lives. I mean a lot. But darkness can never ever overcome light. It just isn't possible. think about it--light will only fade if the electricity or candle or match no longer has fuel. But darkness can never overcome light.
Every person has the light of Christ. Every person has a chance. Every person has potential. Every person can use the Atonement, and every person has "hope in the redemption of Christ"! (Alma 5:15 I believe).
Our challenge and the one I give to you this week is to look at EVERYONE you talk with this week and find that light of Christ. It can be very very very hard, trust me. There is a lot of darkness in the world and in some people's lives. But look for the light, no matter what.
I love you! Have a fantabulous week with school and seminary and missionary work and work and stuff. 

Oh wait I forgot the funniest thing ever.
After church on Sunday there was an 8-yo baptism scheduled for the Bishop's son. Church ended, and someone asked "is the font filled?" We looked at each other in horror. The font here literally takes at least 1 1/2 hours to fill. The baptism was literally about to start. What did we do you may ask?
Well, we (all of the missionaries and the YM president) got to work. The font was going--slowly but surely--and we had both kitchen sinks filling up pots and bowls, plus the sinks in the men's and women's bathrooms. I even tried using the water fountain to fill a bowl, but everyone pretty much just laughed at me. It took us about a half hour or so, but we successfully filled that font using bowls, pots, and the measly little baptismal font. Miracles are real, my friends. I'm sure of it, because that font is a big one, and the Lord was definitely providing more water than what we were able to carry over to the font.
And it wasn't even a missionary baptism!
Anything for the Kingdom.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week 61: Whatever You Do, Do it in Rhode Island

I guess that's a good a slogan as any. Why you would pick Rhode Island I don't know, but we saw a billboard that said that close to Providence yesterday. 

But hey, I do missionary work, and I do it in Rhode Island!

Today we went to the temple up in Belmont, and then it was BRAZILIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY (which supposedly Brazilians don't actually celebrate unless they live in the USA) so we went to a Brazilian barbecue(churrasco) and went to a Brazilian bakery to eat açaí, which is the best fruit ever I think. Anyways, we were up in Cambridge all day long and didn't have time to write earlier. We're just writing something quick now because it's late and time to go home soon. 

My favorite thing about today is that we got to see and talk with a TON of the Portuguese missionaries. They are some of the best people I know. Also they are super fun. 

I also want to say that the temple truly brings us a TON of peace. This morning we left at 7:30am to drive to the temple for and hour and a half, and the last 30 minutes of the drive were spent trying to do our best to still get David, our recent convert, and Odete, an endowed member visiting the states, to the temple. Oh, it was horrific. The one thing I absolutely hate the most about missionary work is finding rides for people. Which probably means I will be in charge of that for my whole entire life, but at least I'm starting to get experience with it. Plus we got to the temple later than we were "supposed" to for our session that we were going to go through.

But let me tell you, when I finally got settled in the chapel of the temple waiting for the session to start, I had a real heart to heart with Heavenly Father and this temple experience was one of the most peaceful I've ever had.  The temple really is the House of the Lord and it is the place where we can find the most peace and the answers to our questions, even when we are in the midst of other problems beating upon us. I love the temple so much.

Here are the highlights for Week 61!!
-For pday last week, we watched Meet the Mormons in the Elders' apartment complex's movie theater. Also, we all had facial masks, and it was so great.

-School started for the kids this week in Rhode Island! We did Clarice's hair and nails for her first day of school and she was so happy :)
-we helped 2 families move this week. One we did all the work, the other we just ate their donuts. You do what you can.
-We sat at Firestone for 3 hours waiting for our car to get fixed. Good times. Michelle Obama was on Ellen, so that was cool. Not that I watched or payed attention....
-We are teaching this family in Brazil! Julio and Miriam Silva. We found Julio through the digital mission, and we met his wife on Thursday when we skyped him. They have really awesome potential and live just down the street from the Sao Paulo temple! #baptismsinBrazil
-we have a new investigator! Her name is Elizabeth, and I wasn't sure how interested she really was, but we taught about the Book of Mormon one day and Jesus Christ and His purpose the other. The lessons were so good. We'll get her wet too.
-Maria Silveira and Walter and Paulinho are progressing!! Their interviews will be on Tuesday and they are getting baptized on Saturday at 7:30pm!! Wahoooooooooooo!! Pictures will come of course. Also, we got Walter's clothes in the mail and he wore them to church on Sunday. He loved them so much, thank you a million times mom! I'll definitely have a picture this week for you.
-I played the piano in Primary, which reminded me how hard those songs are to play. Haha. I'm racking up a lot of experience in every church calling imaginable. You name it, I've probably done it. I'm not kidding when I say we basically run church some weeks.

Yep, there you go. That's all for now folks!

I love you all. Sorry if you emailed me and I didn't reply, I'll do it next week. Things are going great here and I am so glad to be a missionary.

On Thursday it will be my "99". It's a tradition in our mission to go to a restaurant called "99" on our "99", because it means "99 days left in your mission". So that's weird. I got an email this week asking about my departure date and which airport I should fly to (I put Dulles, don't worry). So that was bizarre. Anyways, me and Sister Asay and Sister Watts and Elder Montes all go home the same day, so we'll go to 99 after Zone Conference on Friday! Wahoo!

I gotta go. I have just a few really lovely pictures to send, hopefully the compute will work. I love you all! I hope you have a great first week at school. Enjoy Milwaukee for me (I guess you already did) and I'll see you when you're on Winter Break!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 60: Milagres

Central Falls in on FIREEEEEEEEEE! Not literally. But spiritually :)

So many good things happened this week. Let's see if I can tell you about all of them with the time I have!

Monday night we taught Keila and Nataviah (the 2 7-year olds from the Silveiras that like church) about Sunday Sam and Fubeca Freddy. Those mice teach them all about how to act on Sundays haha, it was Elder Araujo's idea. They really liked it though!

Tuesday we had a really awesome Skype lesson with a man named Julio. He lives in Sao Paulo and I think I've talked about him before... anyways, we taught him the Restoration and he told us how his family has been looking for churches and his wife liked that he was talking to us! *whew* I'm glad she's not weirded out that some girls in Boston are teaching her husband about the Church of Jesus Christ :) We were going to Skype him again on Thursday, but something else very exciting happened instead...

We taught Maria Silveira about commandments and prayer. She is really good at praying, and she actually will pray with us there, unlike some of our other investigators. She is so excited to be baptized with Walter and Paulinho :) Later that night we also visited Zito and Filomena. It was a super late appointment, but we taught the whole Plan of Salvation and talked about baptisms for the dead and everything. They loved it! We didn't quite set a baptismal date though..... the elders ended up doing that later :)

Wednesday we had a few appointments with members--new member lessons for Anselmo and Clarice and we visited with Odete, who is a super strong member from Cape Verde! She's great. Because everything else we had planned cancelled, we drove down to Providence to take care of some errands and stop by a referral. This family is from Mozambique, and they are pretty cool! They are Jehovah's Witnesses, but the oldest brother is a former investigator, and they were so nice. Funny thing, though, only the kids speak Portuguese. The parents speak Swahili and another African language. We walked out of their house and Sister Couto said "not ANOTHER language! I can't do another one!" hahaha. It was really interesting though, because these people have almost nothing. It was like another world being in their house. I can't even begin to tell you all of the new things that I have experienced being on my mission. It makes me so grateful that I am serving in America, honestly. What would it be like to serve your mission in Mozambique? Amazing, I'm sure, but so very very different.

Also, Wednesday was Sister Couto's year mark, so we celebrated by going to get frozen yogurt at--you guessed it--Tutti Frutti! They had one in the Providence Mall, so we enjoyed ourselves a little trip down memory lane and some frozen goodness. They did not have a nutella flavor, but I did put nutella on my yogurt.

That night the elders set a date with Zito and Filomena and another guy, Anilo, to be baptized on September 20th! Wahooooo!

Thursday. Oh Thursday. We did some digital mission work in the morning, but few people were on. We did pass a girl in Vietnam off to the missionaries there! The elder we talked to on the phone was from Argentina. Imagine having to learn not only Vietnamese, but English too because they don't just teach you Vietnamese straight from Spanish at the MTC! Craziness.

After we finished, the Spanish elders led us and the English sisters into one of the Primary classrooms, turned the lights on, screamed "let the games begin!" and ran out, slamming the door behind them. And thus began the Great Service Adventure. (sorry, that's a terrible name)

Basically the Portuguese Elders had set up this entire scavenger hunt around the church building and their apartment building for us and the other sisters! It was absolutely hilarious. I have 11 videos from it because one of the rules of the game was that we had to film everything. We also had these different challenges--we had to each to a card from the game Quelf, plus 10 jumping jacks in skirts, among other things. It was super duper fun. I love the missionaries I serve with here in Central Falls. They are the greatest.

The rest of the day was weekly planning! We also visited Rosie with the En sisters, which is always a good time. I've talked about her before, I'm sure. She's a firey one! But so funny. One thing she tells us often is that we text her at just the right time--we try to send her some scriptures to read every so often, and lately they have been getting to her at exactly the time that she needs them. Trust me, we have NO idea about those things. In fact, from our point of view, we always forget and never send the texts on time. But the Lord knows her, and He definitely directs us as we try to help her come back to church. He is so aware of all of our needs!

Friday we had a lovely day. District meeting complete with BLTs for lunch, a cancelled 2nd lunch appointment, and some visits! We talked about VT with one VT companionship, and we taught Ana Goncalves about the Law of Chastity. That lesson went actually very well and she loved it. She has the most beautiful dream to be able to live in her own house with her own family and go to church every week. Please pray that her mother's heart will be softened so that Ana will be able to come to church and be baptized without losing that relationship with her mother. She really needs it. We're going to try to send the missionaries in Cape Verde over to her mom to see if that will help.

Saturday we played Frisbee, painted a school, visited Odete again, and helped at a PVC tour of our chapel! Basically with that we walked around Central Falls to find people to bring in and see the displays and videos that the Portable Visitor's Center has. It was a pretty great success! It was a late night though too haha.

Sunday was crazy as always. Actually, it was relatively calm. We had an amazing 40 people at church, even though we didn't do enough work during the week to get people there. So great! The Lord is so good to us. That night we went to my first Spanish dinner--I really seriously can understand Spanish but I can NOT speak it to save my life. Oh well. When the Hermana invited us for dinner though, I was proud of myself when I said "hoy? si!" It was delicious food too. We later introduced Brianna to the English sisters and spent some time just talking with her. She wants to go to church so badly, but hasn't been able to quite break free of her situation enough to feel like she can go. She is an amazing person, but she still has a long road to travel. I love her so much. It will be good to work with the English sisters as we try to get more members involved with her. :)

And there you have it!

To summarize:

We now have 7 baptismal dates for the month of September, and we are planning on setting 3 more. The Lord is definitely hastening His work here in Central Falls, and it is an amazing thing to be a part of it.

Also, this week I decided that I will leave school and work and things like that for when I get home. That means that I will only do the absolutely necessary things while I am here (aka get an Ecclesiastical Endorsement from President Miller, that has to be done here I'm pretty sure) and leave the less necessary things (picking classes, looking for a job) for once I'm home. Part of me is a little nervous about classes and things, but I promised the Lord that I would not worry about it and just do missionary work, as long as He would help me get the classes I need and guide me in the way He wants me to go. I know He will help me, so I'm not worried :)

Which actually means Mom, Dad, could you help me get some housing for when I get back? I feel like that is probably one of the more necessary things I probably should do before I get home. I know I'm really early, but the sooner it's all set, the better I'll feel.

For now, I have a lot of work to do here!! This is my time to truly serve the Lord, so I'm going to sprint all the way until December 18th. There are too many things to do to worry about afterwards.

I love you all and hope you have a great last week of summer! Don't be too sad--all of the kids here start school on Tuesday, so at least you have one more week than them.