Monday, January 13, 2014

you're basically half priesthood

Hey Loves.

Our Heavenly Father love us and is merciful and good.  He loves us.

This week was really beautiful.

Manuel got the priesthood yesterday.  At least, I think he did.  Ordinances performed in Evora are always a little questionable, but I am pretty sure Heavenly Father has Manuel's back, even if Irmao Rocha "confirmed" him the priesthood instead of "conferring" it. (?)  Ha! Manuel had his Priesthood interview with Branch President Silva over Skype, then the quorum sustained him.  President Silva told us to have Irmao Rocha do the ordination after church.  "Let him use your little white book," he said, "Just make sure he includes these 3 important parts...the specific wording doesn't have to be exact. I trust you two to oversee this; you're basically half priesthood." Ha! Never heard that one before. Not going to lie, I was pretty flattered when he said that.

Manuel came with us to teach Ana and Ulisses this week. It was awesome. He is doing so great.  And they are an awesome little family. Ana is a super high quality girl -- Ulisses has great taste, and he's super in love with her. Their daughter Beatriz is adorable, too. Will you pray for them?  It has been one of my mission goals to baptize a family, and I think Ana and Ulisses could be the ones.

Miracle:  Manuel is TOTALLY hitting it off with Americo, Nazare's husband. I swear I have no idea how that is possible, but yesterday he came to lunch at their house with us after church and he and Americo were giggling like schoolgirls.  It was super funny. And awesome. Nazare and Americo are becoming like parents to him. It is SO beautiful. For them, and for him. They don't have kids, he doesn't have parents (at least not in Portugal).  GOD IS SO GOOD. I really didn't even see this one coming. Manuel was helping Americo learn to use the internet and it was the funniest thing EVER. 

Sonia and Marina are also doing awesome.  They came to church yesterday (late), but during a lesson we had with them this week Sonia told us she wants to do missionary work with us for a whole afternoon this week. Visit investigators and less active members.  Cool, right!?  We're stoked about it; Wednesday's going to rock.  STL's here PLUS Sonia and Marina.  Pray they'll have good experiences with us!

Sister Gutz and I are afraid this is our last week together.  Next week I'll give you the news on transfers. Most likely scenario is that Sister Gutz leaves the nest and I get a new comp. I'm praying for someone who can really love Evora and be great for it. Evora is SO bizarre; a lot of the missionaries who used to serve here hated it.  But it's so great too!  It needs missionaries who love it.  I am going to miss Sister Gutz so so bad. I kind of feel bad that my next comp has to follow her.

We are learning to knit from this less active member named Palmira.  We're loving it, she's loving it. Everybody wins.

This week an eccentric artist who lives in Evora and once before told me my accent hurt his ears (grrrr!) called out to us as we walked past his table at an outdoor cafe. He looked at me and proclaimed, "You are more natural than last time. You are superb this way.  You are WILD. I like it!"

Ha! We have pretty much no idea what in the world he was talking about, but it was extremely funny and we've been parroting it all week. It sounds like it was creepy, but it wasn't.  Just eccentric. Ha!

Our Heavenly Father loves us. He is kind and good and wise. He knows what we need and will lead us to still waters. He never forgets us. He blesses us.

I'm just super grateful.  I've felt really cradled in His hand lately.

Love you.  Hugely.

Sister Sandholtz

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