First off can I just tell you how much I love it here! It is absolutely gorgeous! I donºt have as much time today cause a member is going to be taking us to some cool place on a mountain or something today. I donºt know much about it. Oh and sorry if I type weird symbols today. I am not entirely used to their keyboard cause their symbols are all in different positions. Ha. I am just glad the decimal key is in the same spot. Lol. Ok So I canºt understand the Portuguese people. It is killing me. They are so nice and I want to get to know them but the language barrier is getting in the way. But I already love the people here! I canºt believe how many people are willing to listen to us on the streets! It is a miracle! I try my best to help my companion, Sister Brooks, but it is super hard cause I never know what is going on. But I can do simple things like say the prayer, bare my testimony, and I did the " convite suave" last night! I smoothely invited someone to be baptized! Ha. And he excepted!!!!! I can't tell you how excited that made me! Anyways, my apartment is super cute. It isn't super fancy but it is cute. Ok so guess what happened to me on my 1st "official" day? (Though technically it was my 2nd but we had to ride up north to Viseu my area which was a 3 1/2 hour bus ride. Ha. But I am so glad I came north because it is warm. I would die in the south. Lol. So one of the groups we went up to were laying/ sitting on the grass at the "park" two were girls and one was a guy who was the boyfriend of one of the girls. So we gave them a card with our cell phone number and the address to the church, Sister Brooks shared a message and I prayed at the end (That counts as an other lesson is we share a principle and pray with them) At the end everyone gives "beijinhos" which means little kisses. So we greet/say bye everyone with two kissed on each cheek. So as we said goodbye we gave those and we canºt give them to men obviously cause we are missionaries. So Sister Brooks went first to go down the line to say bye, then I went. So Sister Brooks was giving beijinhos to one of the girls as I went to say bye to the guy and he came forward to give me beijinhos and I didnºt know what to do cause I didnt know at the time if it was ok or not and I didnt want to offend them or something cause it was their custom and so I beijinho'ed a man!! Haha. Sister Brooks was laughing so hard when we left! And I was so embarrassed. She still teases me sometimes about it. I love it. It was a once in a lifetime thing cause it isnºt going to happen again. Lol. So the shower is fantastic! It has power! I wasnºt expecting it! And it is warm! I am so happy! Cause if you remember that was the one thing that was important to me. Not having to take cold showers. Ha. So we bought groceries today for the first time. It is actually pretty nice and really big just like ours at home. Though the apples this time werent the greatest. But the sisters said they usually are really good. The only thing that is kinda gross is when we went to our investigators home, there are flies everywhere. Cause some people donºt have AC. So they open there windows so bugs enter. And we donºt have AC in our apartment. We have a fan. Ha. So I get hot a lot. But it is all good. We are going to bye another fan so we donºt have to share with the other sisters cause it is getting hot here. So I love it. Sister Brooks is seriously the best companion! She is the sweetest person and so cute! Last night she slid our beds together and created what she called "the mega-bed!" I love it. So we all rolled to the middle and had a huge group cuddle puddle/hug for a minute. I missed doing that so much!!!! I love being a sister missionary! It is so amazing and I have already seen the Lord's hand in this work so much thus far! He really does answer prayers! Even when it is that we simply want to know what direction we should walk in to find those that are ready to hear the gospel. It is amazing! I never would have thought! We got 9 new investigators in one day! I couldn't believe it! Though we haven't gone to see them or teach them the first lesson so we will see how it goes with each of them and hopefully they dont drop us we will see what happens. But I love this! My testimony has grown so much. Especially with the power of prayer. It is unbelievable. So another funny story, two portuguese guys drove past us in the car and yelled something out to us and we said "hola!" in return. Which maybe we shouldnºt have. Ha. Cause they drove back around in a circle and stopped next to us in their car to talk. So of course, we took the opportunity to talk to them about the gospel. So Sister Brooks shared a brief message and I gave the prayer. It was funny cause they were sitting in their car with their window rolled down. But it was the coolest thing! So we got their information and we are going to meet with them this week. But we are bringing the elders with us of course cause it canºt just be us with two guys. That just isnºt the safest. But I hope it goes well and it isn't only just cause they thought we were cute. Lol. But we were laughing after that and said we give everyone a chance to hear our message and to find out for themselves if it is true through prayer. So I am excited. Oh! I got to experience my first baptism on Saturday! Her name is Maria. Then she was confirmed the next day on sunday during Sacrament meeting. Well, I don't have much time left but I just want you to know that I am good! And that I am absolutely loving it here. And I seriously just can't wait till I can understand and speak well so I can have better relationships with the people. I hope all is well at home! I think I have more stories but I am out of time and I can't remember them. Ha. I love you guys so much! Stay safe! And thank you sooooo much for everyone's prayers! They have already helped me so much! Até a proximo segunda-feira! Beijinhos!
Love Sister Amanda Stokes.