Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Feb 24, 2014 - cheer and bless and brighten

My adorable family.


Sister Rad had a dream this week that Nazare was married to Adam Sandler. Ha!!

Then I had a dream that Clark Barnett and Joe performed a vocal duet at a family reunion in this big auditorium.  It was a vocal arrangement of the Bach double violin concerto and it was written as if it was a song in the musical 1776.  I don't know who Clark was supposed to be, but Joe was John Adams.  The lyrics were really clever but once I woke up I couldn't remember them.  :(  Wayne, you would have loved this dream.

A few times this week I have had in mind exactly what I wanted to say to someone (usually Sister Rad) and then what comes out my mouth is entirely different.  For example, the other day Sister Rad was opening a can and suddenly pulled her had away from the can and inhaled sharply, as if she had cut herself.  I wanted to ask, "Did you cut your hand?", but the words that came out were, "Oh no!  Did you break your helf?!"  We both collapsed on the floor, laughing.

Luisa is doing great.  We have been doing a lot to help her stop smoking. She said that she has the most desire to smoke right when she wakes up.  She wakes up at 7:00.  We wake up at 7:00.  So the first thing we do each day when our alarm goes off is call Luisa.  It's a really fun and funny start to the day.  For example:

Sister Rad, groggily: "Bom dia, Luisa, how are you?"
Luisa, surprisingly ungroggily (she has a gift), "I'm fine, Irma, how are you?"
SR: "We're good.  What are you going to do today?"
Luisa: "I have my pottery class and that's about it."
SR: "Well, have a great day!  For├ža, Irma! ("strength!"), we know you are going to have a great day and that you are a daughter of God and that your willpower is stronger than tobacco!"
Luisa:  "Thanks, bye"

or something like that.  It just tickles me every time.  Probably just because I'm still half asleep.  

Another thing we did this week with her is called tobacco tea.  You make a tea out of the tobacco leaves from a few cigarettes and then they drink it and it's awful and it makes them not want to smoke ever again.  I had heard about it but never tried it with anyone until this week.  We went over to Luisa's on Friday night to do tobacco tea with her.  Apparently it makes people throw up sometimes, but Luisa didn't throw up.  I felt like Harry Potter, when Dumbledore has to drink that nasty potion and Harry has to make him do it even though it's killing him.  Luisa took a few gulps and said, "This is HORRIBLE!  It's burning my throat!"  After several more sips she said, "Ja chega?" (is that enough?).  "Just a few more sips...", I said, wondering how much of it she really should drink.  It seemed to be effective, but we haven't seen Luisa for a couple days, so I'll keep you posted.

Antonio Jr. passed the sacrament yesterday!  He is such a star.  Manuel is also doing great.  We want them to get involved in young adult activities in Setubal and stuff.  THey are just so alone out here.  Evora is so isolated.

President Silva sometimes makes members of the congregation bear testimony surprisedly.  I'm not a huge fan of this.  But it's not my branch to run.  This Sunday he chose Manuel and Antonio.  They did such a great job!  Humble, sincere words.  I loved hearing Antonio talk simply about how he had felt like something was missing in his life and now he really feels closer to God now.  I wish I could do it justice in words.  I guess you kinda had to be there.

Did I thank you all for the hilarious pamphlets you sent with captions?  THank you!  I think my fave is the one of Jesus talking to the rich young ruler where he's just like, "Dude."  Whoever did that one: good one.

This week Sister Rad and I were singing "Scatter Sunshine" and when we got to the part at the end Sister Rad was like, "cheer and bless and brighten..."
and I was like, "every freakin' day."  then we both laughed really hard.  Because, I mean, in some ways that is really apt, when you're a missionary.  That is what you do.  But it is wonderful.

We made a cool discovery about prayer this week.  One night Sister Rad said the prayer for the end of daily planning.  She often prays for me out loud in companionship prayers.  It's really sweet. Afterwards I told her that ever since we first did divisions together it was something I had noticed and been grateful for.  This started a conversation about prayer.  

We talked about how prayer is so special -- we are talking to the Being who created us and knows everything about us.  We know instinctively that He knows all, we cannot hide anything from Him nor deceive Him.  So as we talk to him, we naturally become the most honest, childlike, humble and pure version of ourselves.  That is why it is so special to hear someone pray for you -- to hear someone talk to Heavenly Father about you.

Sister Rad is so insightful.  I really love the conversations we have.

Other notable things that happened this week?  A bottle of tomato paste that had been fermenting in our fridge EXPLODED all over our kitchen and us.  That was exciting.

We got a call this morning from one of the APs.  It's funny -- we were in our beds in our pjs during what should have been personal study, because Sister Rad is sick.  Then the phone rang and we found out we are both going to be Sister training leaders next transfer (starting next week).  So we are going to Lisboa tomorrow for a training.  We still don't know if we'll be staying comps or not, or what will happen with transfers.  We are SO curious.  Will you pray for me that I can be a good STL?  Ever since my life-changing division with Sister Pieper I decided that if I ever became an STL I wanted to be really spiritually prepared like she must have been.  One day of divisions can make a big difference for a downhearted, struggling missionary like I was!  I want be able to make that difference for someone.

I love you so so so so so so so much.

Gah!  sooo much.


ps Wayne that paper letter better send it to the office, or wait till next week.  I could stay in Evora but we don't know

The District
Do you love Elder Diaz's pose?  Elder Singer is part Native American and plays the harmonica.  It's a shame we live 200km away and never really see them in real life.

This is from last transfer. What district meeting looks like in Evora!

Antonio's baptism

This is Margarida. Thanks to her and her siblings and cousins we have a primary now!!

This is Luisa

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