Monday, November 18, 2013

I am SHINY! And I am SHINY!

Allright peeps.

I am going to send you pictures today.

This week felt like twenty zillion years. I can't believe that Zone Training was only 6 days ago!  We had interviews with President Fluckiger, which was really great.  I think he is pleased with the work we are doing in Evora. 

Want to hear about a crazy rad miracle?!  So you know how Wayne wrote an email to Grandma LaMyrl in response to her question about what Hastening the Work means, and sent the email to all of us?  Well, I loved that email.  At the end of my emailing time last week, when I was wrapping up my email to President Fluckiger and I felt impressed that I should copy and paste some of Wayne's thoughts as a post script to my email to President Fluckiger (Wayne, I hope that is okay with you!  just wait...).  I had no idea why, but I really felt like I should.

So the next day we show up at Zone Training and Pres. Fluckiger has the Zone Leaders pull up a document on the projector for us to read over while we are waiting for the training to start.  The document starts, "I received this letter from one of the Sisters in our mission.  It's from her brother, serving in the Boston Mission (he got that detail wrong...), and (something about Clay Christensen), who was my college roommate."!  And there it is!  Wayne's letter!  FAMOUS!  I guess it made a big impact on him!  So, thanks, Wayne!  Probably all the missionaries in my mission are going to benefit from your well-articulated thoughts.  :)

It was neat to see the fruits of a prompting followed like that.  It made me feel like I'm doing okay out here and God is aware of me.

Most of the things I wrote in my planner to write you about this week are hilarious things that people said. 

You should give me feedback on my letters.  Are they too long?  Too boring?  Too irreverent?  Too preachy?  Not preachy enough?  That being said, I'm still going to share some of these gems with you:

We've been trying to ask good questions to make people think for themselves and make sure people are understanding what we teach.  Some of the highlights from this week:

Us: Jorge, who do you think the Holy Ghost is?
Jorge (he's this tall goofy, jock-type future YM president):  The Holy Ghost is, like, Jesus' bodyguard?
Us:  Well, kinda.  (we teach who the Holy Ghost is)
Jorge: So, YOU'RE my Holy Ghosts!!
Us:  Um  ... no.

I think he was mostly just teasing on that one.  He is also the man behind the subject line of this email.  He is learning English and comes to our English classes that we've started.  He was trying to tell us that he is shy, but he kept saying, loudly, with his hands in the air, smiling, "I am SHINY!"

Us: Who is Jesus Christ to you, Luis?
Luis: (in English.  people like to speak english to us once they know we are American) It's like, bus.  He's the busdriver.

(Couldn't have said it better without the, myself.  That's for you, Dad.)

Us (after teaching VERY simply and directly the role of a prophet):  So, Natalina, what is the role of a prophet?
Gracieta (Natalina's sister):  A man who sins?

One more.  Yesterday we started practicing some Christmas Carols to sing in the praça with the members.  Americo came in late.  After we finished singing one of the hyms, he motioned towards me in smug pity and said to his wife, "Ela não tem graça"  (She doesn't have grace.  i.e. She just doesn't have a gift for singing).  He thought that me singing the alto part was me doing a really bad job at singing the melody.  Ha!  It was so funny, especially because Monica, the bassoon performance major sitting at the piano, made eye contact with me and we both just laughed silently.  Ha!  So good! 

Okay.  Funny stories are said.  Time for me to tell you about some of the miracles.

We are teaching a man named Alberto.  He has a complicated marriage situation, but he is understanding our message and keeping his commitments!  After we taught him the WOW, he promptly started keeping it.  We asked him to tell us about the blessings he is seeing in his life from keeping this commandment.  He told us about how he is feeling a lot more calm and peaceful, and his worries about how to improve his life have been less overwhelming.  And, you guys, you can really see it in him too. You can see the change that is coming into his life as he invites Christ in.

You reap what you sow.  We are meeting and teaching a lot of young people!  It's a blessing.

Yesterday this lady just SHOWED UP  at church.  She had been contacted by the sisters like 9 weeks ago and is looking for a church.  Rosalina.  It is so humbling for me to see people who are truly seeking truth.  It's so rare.  We are going to meet her again this week.  Will you pray for her?

Natalina prayed about the BOM this week and got an answer!!  She said that she was filled with happiness when she prayed about it and then slept really well.  And, you guys, the members are being SUPERstars.  Nely (this awesome classy Brazilian I love) told us she wanted to invite Natalina to a family night.  That's tonight.  We have plans to mark Natalina this week for baptism on December 1.  Will you pray for her to have courage and faith?  And her family too?

Manuel is moving along, but at his own pace.  I love him so much.  Oh!  Wayne, I'll have him friend you.  He's the bees knees.

Okay fam.  Over and out.  Pictures to follow shortly.

Love you.  GRATEFUL  for you. 

Sister Sandholtz

This is Manuel.  I wish I had more time to tell you all about him.

Me and Sister Gutz

Here I am!! Right here in PORTUGAL! This is the hobbit house!
This is Luis.  He walks the streets of Evora, like us, so we see him a lot.  usually when he sees us he salutes us.

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