Last night we were dinnering on whole wheat crackers and canned peaches, because it was Sunday night and on Sunday night you eat whatever is left in the house. I dipped one of my crackers into some of the peach syrup. Sister Rad said, "mmmm....that's going to be a nice soggy peach cracker." I said, "that sounds like a really lame name for a rapper.
All right people. I'm going to Madeira today. My life is awesome.
This week was kind of trying. Adjusting to a new responsibility which you have to fulfill in an unknown, unfamiliar environment is kind of hard, especially when you still have your own area to take care of and you stupidly decided to save time by skipping pday 3 weeks in a row. (That was kind of unavoidable but we're never going to do it again. Pday is important. We are feeling kind of ragged at this point.) I had some nice little cry sessions this week. But deep down I have no doubts whatsoever that everything is totally going to be fine.
I feel like I am being stretched. Which is actually a really great thing. Being stretched = growing. Growing is really important. And beautiful.
The Sisters we are in charge of are amazing missionaries, baptizing families and leading their zones in lessons taught and number of contacts and stuff. I'm kind of like, "Okay, um, I am a way less awesome missionary than you are, so, um, thanks for letting me hang out with you for 24 hours and learn a lot of cool stuff!" But I was thinking about this and feeling unqualified for this job and intimidated and then I was like, "Look, self, this whole thing is just about love. Can you love these Sisters and help them feel Heavenly Father's confidence in them?" and then I was like, "Yeah. I can do that." And then I felt a lot better.
Nate, I LOVED your thoughts about how sin stems from a person's unmet needs, which probably 100% of the time have to do with a lack of love. That is so so so true. Sheesh, people, all we need is love! The Beatles were RIGHT.
Yesterday we tried to mark the family for baptism on the 30th. I think the kids are all on board, but Joao and Luciana were baptized in a Evangelical church 13 years ago and take the promise they made very seriously. They (especially Joao) think it would be disprespectful to be baptized again. However, we explained a few more things and in the end they committed to pray and really seek the will of Heavenly Father for their family. I really think they will be baptized, just possibly not as soon as we originally had in mind. 4 of the 6 of them came to church yesterday.
All in all they are just really focused on really finding out what Heavenly Father wants them to do and then doing it, so I think that is actually great reason to rejoice. They're a cool fam.
Yesterday they offered to give us a ride back to the city and I was like, " nao nao, hoje é o unico dia que têm para estar juntos na cama.... nao! na casa!" ("no no no, this is your only day to be all together in the bed!!..... I mean in the house!!") Whoops. Ha.
Heavenly Father has been so merciful to us. We were out of the area for 2 days, and then when we got back it was like He put a lot of people we needed to see in our path, so we didn't have to spend our limited time tracking them down.
Yesterday we put on a mini fireside for the members about rescuing less active members. I think everyone got excited and is feeling fired up about it. We are going to call them to follow up and are expecting big miracles in the next 2 weeks.
Want to hear about a cool tender mercy? Two days ago, we got a phone call from Pres. Fluckiger. Sister Rad got all wide-eyed when she saw it was him on the caller ID (it's not every day that the mission president calls!) Turned out he was calling to ask me if I would live the BYU honor code, so he could send in my eccleisastical endorsement. When the phone call wrapped up, he was like, "all right, have a good Sunday, love you."
After I hung up I was like, "Sister Rad, President Fluckiger just said 'love you' to me on the phone."
Rad: "I know, I heard! He never says that!"
Me: (start crying) (ha, I'm a big baby and really dramatic.)
It was just something so small and simple but it just felt like a vote of confidence, a hug from heaven, a reminder that even though I've been out in the most forgotten corner of the mission map trying to make something good happen in Evora for the last 5 months, I am not forgotten, and I am loved. That tiny thing lifted me up so much. God is good.
We made up a fun game to play when you're out walking on a non-busy street. You take turns saying a name, and the other comp says whether or not they would ever name their kid that name. For example:
Rad: No! Never! Do I look like a person who would name my daughter 'Tamra'!?
Me: boy or girl?
Me: well, I'd probably be more likely to do it for a girl, but everyone would think I named her after Elton John.... I don't think I could do it.
Rad: What if your husband REALLY loved that name though?
Me: Then maybe I'd consider it a little bit more.
etc, etc. It's actually really fun.
Okay I have to log off. I love you so much.
Wayne and Nate, thank you for the packages! I love the scarf and the Oxnard sweatshirt. The best part of all was seeing your handwriting.
Christ lives! He loves us. He has really cool surprises in store for those who love Him.
ps. I am legitimately happy. Don't worry, Mom. :) Love you.