Saturday, December 28, 2013


Derramar is a Portuguese verb that means "to pour out".  It's one of my favorites.  Nosso misericordioso Pai tem sido derramando bençãos sobre Évora.  É um privilegio muito grande estar aqui neste momento. (Our merciful Father has been pouring out blessings upon Évora. It is a great privilege to be here right now.)

FAMBAM! The ones I love most.

Aw, I just want to talk to you.  Oh wait!  Next week I will!  Sister Gutz is planning on talking with her family at 7:30 our time, which will be 12:30 for Utah, so I could do it at 6:30 or 8:30 or whenever else you want me to.  If y'all are going skiing or something and want to talk earlier in the morning, I'm probably pretty flexible.

I can't believe Sonia's baptism was only one week ago. This week felt like eternity.  But not in a bad way. Evora is POPPING!  It feels like everyone we talk to lately wants to hear our message.  I have gotten to the point where I really don't mind contacting.  It is super interesting to talk to so many different types of people and just try to radiate love at them like a space heater while we talk.

Some of my favorite moments from the week:

1. Tall Jorge was in rare form this week. Ha!  I wish you guys could see the facial expressions he makes while trying to speak English. In the middle of our lesson he had a burp so he turned his head away and blew the air away from us, saying, "Perdao perdao perdao".  Then he turned back to us and with a huge grin said, "It was a little blowy air of my lunch." hahahahaha oh my goodness he just makes me so happy.

2. Manuel came to church again yesterday! Woot!  Keep praying. :)  He's so ready.  He told us this week that we and he and Wayne should go to Sao Tomé to bring the gospel there.  (He thinks you're really cool, Wayne.  Thanks for being friends with him.)  He's so converted. We want to mark him for 29 Dezembro. 

3. We got contacted this week by 3 middle aged Portuguese guys.  They were like, "Hi, Sisters", so we started talking with them and invited them to church. They had talked to other missionaries in the past and 2 of them actually came to church.  One of them, João, was beaming the whole time. After sacrament meeting he told me, "I really loved this service.  Thank you for your talk. It was so nice to hear a feminine voice at a pulpit. I like this church.  I am going to come back next week."  RAD, right?  His buddy Luis told us that he had been nervous before church but after the meeting felt really calm. Pretty cool. The members were really excited about them, too. We need more Priesthood Holders!

I have been thinking lately about the things I love about being a missionary.  I want to share some of them with you:

1. Having the chance to practice focusing completely on others instead of myself. It is SO good for me. I am so lucky that I have a year and a half to really try to make that part of me.  I love it so much.

2. Constantly learning. Portuguese, gospel, about other people, from my companions and the members and investigators.  I am constantly being taught.

3. Seeing myself and others grow and change.  Change is so cool. Being a missionary has changed me.  Permanently.  I am a different version of myself because of this opportunity. I love watching the transformation, in me and in the people we interact with. God is so powerful!  I loved the analogy of the balloon, Dad.  I too have lots of dead air to turn into helium.  Every little bit truly does lead to new lightness. 

4. Having sisters for the first time in my life.  It's the BEST. Sister Gutz is so rad. I am excited for you guys to meet her one day. We have such a great time. Sometimes for exercise we have dance parties and I must say she is an awkward dancing CHAMPION.  We've got to find a way to get her to come to one of the family reunions so that all can be blessed by her talents.

5. Striving to worthily fulfill my calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. He is all that is noble, kind, loving, and good. It is a never ending quest to embody His attributes and worthily represent Him. I love trying for that, even though I fall comically short. It is such a privilege.  People trust Him, what he represents.  The more we become like Him, the more they trust us.

6. Praying with people.  It is so AWESOME to witness all sorts of different people talk to Heavenly Father.  Prayer is the coolest thing ever.  I am so humbled as I see people humble themselves before Him and communicate with Him.  Words cannot express.  Palavras não bastam.

Being a missionary is just the sweetest, most exquisite experience.  I am filled with gratitude.

What else did I want to tell you?

Sonia and Marina are doing good.  Marina came to church yesterday; Sonia had to work.  But the branch is doing a good job of reaching out.  Tonight we are going to have a family night with them at Nely's.  Keep praying for them!

There is this awesome lady we are teaching named Rosalina who has an autistic son and has been through a lot. We are setting her up this week (as friends) with Lina, a recent convert who has been through lots of similar trials. You guys, there is SO MUCH domestic violence in Portugual. It is heartbreaking and sickening. My heart breaks time and time again when I hear the stories of these strong, uncomplaining Portuguese women.

Okay well I'd better log off. Thank you for being such an amazing Zion family.  I am inspiried and awestruck by you.

Love you hugely.

I will try to log on later in the day next Monday so I can communicate with you about Skyping.

Yours yours yours,


ps. names for your prayer roll, Wayne:
Sonia and Marina
The Evora Branch in general (I know that's vague, sorry) that it will continue to heal and grow
Also if you want, Joao and Luis and Lina and Rosalina, all mentioned above.  Love you!

pps.  has my package arrived yet?  keep an eye out!

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