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 asescrituras.lds.org 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!

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