Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday, August 26th

 at that picnic with the ward
 random brazilians we met that wanted to get a picture with us, so we got one too! ha
 ketchup chips!

Monday, August 26th

That is so cool that dad got an Antelope! Is he planning to put it somewhere in the cabin I'm assuming?? Also, just curious, But has he done something with the bear and the wolf? I am so excited for Cheyanne!!!! She finally gets to go to Argentina! That is sooo exciting! We have sent two letters back and forth to each other so far! And yes I did get the package you sent me (the envelope one) I don't know how long it takes for them to get here. But I can only get the packages that are sent their twice every transfer because I am up in Viseu and they are sent to Lisbon. But I think it is safer that way because I haven't gotten your second letter you were talking about (i got the one with the SD card) and I still haven't gotten Jason's letter that he sent 4 weeks ago... so. I think you should just send everything to the mission home. Plus when I do get transfered, letters don't show up after I have already left. And I have three more weeks until transfers. So the 15th of September are transfers. And I just get the feeling that I am next to leave. Ha. It will be so sad though.... And Ah!!!!!! I am soooo excited for Corbin to go through the temple!!!!! That is crazy! And the fact that Ryan gets home THIS week for Brooke!!!!! Ah! I love it so much! But I am a little sad I can't be there for all this this week! But thats ok. I am in Portugal! :) With a bug filled apartment. ;P Ha. The owner of the apartment finally came to look at our toilet. He said they will (finally) fix it and get a bug guy sent over. And repaint it. (Cause they were supposed to do that like 4 transfers ago) We tried to move, and Sister Fluckiger said to look for a new place. And we found one! That is super convenient (I feel like I spelt that wrong?) and ton nicer than the one we are in because it is ancient. But I guess we can't just move. There are contracts that we don't really know about and we have to have a legitimate reason to move. (Like the owner of the apt. has to just not fix whatever problem we are having) I think the only reason he finally came over was because he heard we were trying to move out. ha. But I guess they tried moving to a new place before as well and they didn't let them... So. it is a little frusterating. Especially when the mission presidents wife tells us we need to move because it is old and gross. But it is out of our hands. So we are just going to keep itching! Secretly it is starting to drive me nuts! I itch until I bleed.... I have to stop but I can't. Ha. I am not sure yet about the media thing. I think we will find out at our next zone conference. But as of now we aren't doing Facebook here. But I will let you know as soon as we know. But what I was thinking I would love is some kind of CD that is all hymns, but more fun or ones you like. Because I can't listen to anything but Tabernacle choir, hymns, or EFY music. So if you find a CD of hymns that is really good you should send it! That is the thing I miss more is music. :) So we sing together as we walk long distances when no one is around. It's fun! Last P-day, the Elders tried to take us to this place that serves yous meet on the sticks (like that place we ate at back home that is soooo good!) But it took us like 40 minutes to walk there and it was closed! So then we decided to go to the mall to eat. So we walked back for another 20 minutes. Ha. It took so much of our P-day! But thats ok. We got to all hang out and talk! I talked with Elder Wilson for a while about plays! Like The Lion King,  Wicked, and The Blue Man Group! It was fun! But it made me miss you guys soooooo much! But we both said that one day we are going to go to all of them again! Ha. Not together though, that would be weird... Well, we could! As friends! ha. He is pretty cool. So we taught this lady that is 82 years old. Maria de Jesus taught with us. (And gave us a ride because it is so far) But when we started. Maria de Jesus just started talking about the Book of Mormon and how we believe in the Bible as far as it is translated correctly and all these things before we even started the first point which is simply that God is our loving Heavenly Father. Ha. And she talked for like 10 minutes and we just sat there. It was weird and we didn't really know what to do so we just sat there until she finally looked at us to start. Then at the end we asked if Conceição would give the last prayer. So she did, but it was a little strange. She didn't talk to God. It was more like, about God. She was talking in third person. Like, referencing God. And after, ha, Maria de Jesus said thats ok, we all pray in our own ways and there isn't anything wrong with that. We were just thinking, um, no! Ha. We have to pray to God and in the name of Jesus Christ. It was funny though. But she is convert. :) Pretty much our whole ward , they are mostly all more recent converts. But we have a plan! We want to hold a "teaching members how to teach class" and we would teach them how to teach the 1st lesson, The Restoration. So you know how district was split up into two districts last transfer? We got to have a combined district meeting last week! I loved it so much! I miss having all 8 of us together for that. It is just so weird with only four. It is so small. So I tried this new cereal (I call it my cereal of the week because I try new ones every week!) called My Time. Soooo good! It is a granola with chocolate type cereal. But the chocolate is legitimate chocolate! So it is like a dessert! I probably never should have tried it. Ha. But Elder Limperle (He served here and he had just started teaching at the MTC before we left) but he told us we had to try it when we got out here because it is amazing! So I finally decided to try it. And he was right! I wish I could send some to you guys to try! But it wouldn't work too well... it would melt. Plus I don't know if you can do that? I don't know. maybe you can. So we found this guy named Carlos. He is like 22 about. He believes in science. So he doesn't believe in God. But he is so cool! And if he did believe in God he would have sooo much faith! But he is super smart and he has read work from scientists that try to prove there isn't a God. So he stopped believing in a God because of that. It is so sad. But he seems like he really wants to know for himself if there is or not. So we met with him a second time. His sister was with us this time. She is 16. And she also doesn't believe in God. It is so sad. But I don't know how it would make any sense that things work perfectly and all in their own spheres and it all just happened to occur by chance, or by some massive explosion. It's like when someone said (I don't remember who) but making a dictionary explode and all the words and their own definitions in it just appear. But at the end he told us that his goal was to make us doubt our beliefs... So. I don't really know what to say about that one. But it won't work. ha. So we will see what we will end up doing with him. But never-the-less he is an awesome person. I think if I was a normal person we would be friends. :) But he has already read 26 pages in the BOM! So he is super cool. Atleast he is giving it a chance more or less. So we also met this family (older) Carlos and Fernanda are the 45 +- year old kids and Isabela is the mom. She is like 65. But when we were teaching them the first lesson and we got to the first vision and recited it as we showed the picture, they all sat forward in their chairs to lean forward to see better. it perked their interest and they really like it. It was so cool! And they all believed it. So we will see what happens with them too! I love that though. When we get to Joseph Smith's vision, usually everyone likes it. Seeing that God the Father and Jesus Christ really are two people. The Father and the Son. It just makes so much more sense! ha. We finally had our first service activity! We did the dishes at Paulo's little food\bar. But it was soooo gross! Ha. It smelt super super bad back there. So I never will want to eat there. ha. But he is a Brazilian we met and he is soooooo funny!!!!! We love Brazilians soooo much! Hahaha. They are just funny and super outgoing! And everysingle one of them have always talked with us! But his daughter is Mikaela. And she is 12. We thought she was 16. Ha. But we met her and her mom a month ago on the street. And we never thought we would see them again. But we were walking by this "bar" and she was sitting outside. She waved I guess twice but we didn't recognize her at first. So we waved back. But she ended up getting up so we walked over to her. Then we realized how we knew her! How cool is she that she remembered us and wanted to talk to us that she waved twice and decided to get up to make us come over. Haha. I don't know why we didn't just go over. I think maybe we were just trying to think of how it is we knew her so we were just not thinking to walk over. Who knows. But she is sooo cool! We already taught her the 1st and second lesson. Her parents are divorced. So her dad works at the bar and she lives with her mom in Coimbra. But they travel here a lot. Cause after our first lesson with her. We stopped by her dads store and he said they had already left for Coimbra and we were so sad because we didn't know if we would see her again. Then one evening all our plans fell through, so we prayed about what we should do. So we felt like we should go see Paulo-her dad. Which is weird because he is always working and there isn't enough time to sit a teach him a lesson because he has customers and things to do. But we decided we would follow the prompting. And so we went in and starting talking to him. Then he said, wait, my daughter. And then Mikaela comes running in! We were so excited! Ha. She is super cute. So we talked with her for a little and taught her the 2nd lesson. :) We are going to baptize her whole family. i just know it. :) I don't know if it will be while I am here. But it will happen. (Though that is soooo sad that if it happens, I will miss it) Cause Paulo was already talking to us about how we have to be continually doing good things each day, because we never know what will happen or when we will die and we have to be prepared. And so he teaches his daughter that same thing. To just be a good person. And he doesn't believe in drinking alcohol or things of that nature. He is cool! So yesterday in church. Anyways, this week was good! There is just so much to say that I don't have enough time to say it. But we had more fully planned and firm appointments this week. So that was nice! I am still happy and loving it here except for all the itching. But other than that I am great! I hope all is well at home! I heard from Kaitlyn that Brittany is having a baby boy!!!!!! I will have a nephew now tooo!!!!!! (And why did I hear this from kaitlyn and not you guys!?? Punks! Ha) Anyways, till next week! 
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes

Monday, August 19, 2013

 We got icecream! The Elders bought it for us! And the blue ones were "Pokemon" icecream! haha
 We went on a picnic with the ward

 Some old machine thing. Ha
Old house things 

The mall here in Viseu

Dragon at the mall!

Monday, August 19th

So last week I had pretty much the funnest contact yet on the mission. It was with a man named Antonio. He was so funny. He just thought that we were funny and he really liked us. I don't know what it was. But we just had so much energy and we were just so lively! Ha. But for him it was perfect and we will meet with him this week. So I hope it works out! Cause I like talking with him! Oh. I got the package! Thank you! Though there has to be another way to send it that is cheaper... One of the RM´s that got home in march and is now teaching at the MTC said his mom could send one of those envelope and stuff it full and it was always no more than $15... Cause I feel bad asking for anything if it costs so much... So... last week was sooo hard on me one of the days. Because Maria (a lady that is sooo awesome and cute and she would tell us that she loves us! And the Portuguese just don't say that! So it is a big deal. Lol. We were so excited about it!) But I just loved her from our first meeting, but she told us that she loves the spirit that she feels and the peace we bring when we go to her home. But basically that she isn't ready to make any changes. It was so hard for me not to cry while she was talking to us. She said she believes all good things when people talk to her about God. In all church's. And just things like that. And it was so hard on me as I was listening to what she was saying and how it pains me that there are so many people in the world that are so confused because of all the Church's and can't find true peace because they don't know which one is truly right and many people just give up. But Maria ended up dropping us in the nicest way that she could. So that night I cried... Sister Brooks came over to me and just hugged me. It helped. But it still just makes me so sad. We had interviews with Mission President last week and I talked to him about that... It was embarrassing! I ended up crying in front of President! But I couldn't hold it in because I love Maria and I wanted the gospel to bless her life so bad! And I knew it would make her happy. But darn agency... and their decision they don't want anything before they truly know what it is we have and how it really can bless their lives kills me... But thats just all part of the mission. Finding those who are ready and willing to listen and then act. So we have a new District Leader! Elder Andrade (He was here for a week) got emergency transfered out. Cause he has family here and an x-girlfriend. And maybe more reasons who knows. But that is all that I know. But the knew Elder is super awesome! He came in at the same time as Elder Richins and Elder Dunford. So they are already best friends. So it's awesome! I love our zone so much! (cause our district of 8 got split in two... so now it is only four and four-which I guess is usual but I don't like it) Though! Sis. Brooks mentioned it to President about how we loved being one district and how for district meetings each week we are only in the next room from each other doing the same thing... so. He said he would think about it. And then said how we are going to be separated one day you know? But we know! We just don't want that time to be now! Ha. So we met this 18 yr. old on the street and we ended up talking with him for about an hour! And in English! Ha. He likes speaking in English so we did. He knows like four languages plus two more that he is working on. He says he loves learning languages. Crazy right!? He is really smart. but he works literally all the time so we can't meet up with him until school for him starts. So like September sometime. Aldo, is one of our new investigators we met on the street. He said he kinda believes in God. It's funny. There are people that say that. Sometimes they do, other times they don't. It's funny. Cause I would think you either do or you don't you know? But we met up with him at the church to teach him. And Irmã Carla said that she would come down from the activity upstairs in the church to teach with us (because we can't be alone with a man) But she didn't end up coming down because she was one of the leaders for the activity. (It was for the Young men and Young women) So she said to invite him up to join with them. so... ya. We did. The beginning spiritual thought was really good. But it was just funny because he is like + or - 50 years old. But after that we went downstairs and asked someone else to come down so we could talk to him real quick. So we gave a really quick 1st lesson. I think it was actually really good for being quick. But Sis. Brooks wasn't happy about it. But we are going to make up for it next time! And we will make sure when we ask a member to come it is for certain! That was a little bit sad that she didn't come when she said she would. But maybe he needed to hear the spiritual thought. (: OH! I tried these ketchup chips and they are soooo good! I probably should not have tried them! So I am going to try to avoid them now because they are addicting. But so good! Do you know if we have those in America? They are the Ruffles brand I think? But they are delicous. Also! I tried my first Bueno Bar as well! So good! So... we have bed bugs! I am being eaten alive! Ha. Not literally but my legs itch! Before I first got there they put these leaves under the beds and under the sheets because they have already been having problems with it. But now it is escalating.... So we got permission to start to look for a different place to live. Plus only one shower and one toilet work. In the two different bathrooms. And we have mold, and the apartment is just ancient and gross... so ya! Ha. The beauties of a mission. (: JK. Though the Elders have an amazing apartment! It is newer and big and clean and nice! Yeah, lots of "and's. So we are hoping to find one soon! On Sunday, we ran into Milton! Someone we met on the street only once before. We stopped and sat with him at the outside tables of a Cafe. He is sooo funny! And sooo honest! Like bluntly honest. He is black and he apparently likes me too. Lol. But I didn't truly figure that out until afterwards. But he did keep telling me how I was pretty and he loved how I held myself, like my posture and how it was elegant. And that my eyes just were full of truth and light. That I am beautiful on the outside, but that I am more beautiful on the inside. And that if he had met me in America, before my mission. He would date me. Haha. That is the third time someone here has told me that I have truth in my eyes. Or something along those lines. I don't really understand it but I am taking it as a good thing. It's like they can see into my soul or something. Yeah, but I thought it was funny. He was so nice though! Secretly, it really did make me feel so good. :) It was like a "pick-me-up" Anyways, yeah. The work is still going good! We are still trying to get people to church! And trying to find more people to teach! And not only those that think we are cute so they want to talk to us. Ha. But, some days are better than others. But we are always so happy at the end of the day. So it is good! Though, I think Sara fell off the face of the earth.... We can't find her anywhere! We think she did end up moving and her phone is off... So. It is so sad. Cause she was so cool and she already was developing a testimony... I have faith she will find the missionaries wherever it is that she went! Well. I hope all is well at home! And try to have scripture study everynight as a family! They are so amazing and they really make such a difference when we read them frequently! I know because I have never loved my scriptures more than I do now! They are a blessing and they always make you feel happy. It is the craziest thing! So you just know they are of God. (: Well, I love you guys! 
Love Sister Amanda Stokes

Monday, August 12, 2013

 Look how pretty this horse is that we walked by! I wanted to go pet it so bad! Ha. But at least I got a picture! And I love the hen that just happened to be right there! Ha. I want to go riding soooo bad!
 Just today before we emailed! Ha 
 I don't think I sent you a pic like this. But this is behind the church! The awesome
 view and they have a really nice basketball court!
 Our ice cream cones!
 cool picture. And the Fair!!!!

 Me and Constancia! She is super cute!
 Weird pathway we found! And our shadows! ha. It looked funny and cool so I had to take a picture of it! 

Me on the stairs of the weird pathway

August 12th

   Ya, I bet it makes quite a different without all the girls home! Ha. And that is sooo crazy! Steff is done with a semester of college! Ah! Three more and she will be caught up to me! That is sooo crazy! I am so excited for Cassy to do the NSHS! She will love it and it will be worth it because she will be able to be so much further ahead! And that is so fun that Megan in on the Dance Team! Make sure she doesn't develope a little attitude though. ;P Ha. JK. She is super cute. And I am excited for Steff to go to BYU Idaho. I know she will love it! I hope she can find a job! She should as long as she looks and asks everyone. At least I hope so. Ya, we were told we get little fees each time we take money out from our card. But does it show fees even when it looks like I used it to pay at a cash register? And that is crazy!!! So did you put all my stuff in the play room? or in boxes? Ya, I know I have a lot of stuff. Ha. Yay, and about the stars on my ceiling. I never took them down cause I liked them plus it seemed like a lot of effort. Lol. So they have been there for years since Tavin put them up. (: The language books I thought Steff would like to look at since she loves Italy so she can learn Italian (Or some basics of it) and then if she chooses to serve a mission maybe she will be sent to Italy! ha. I am glad he likes the shirt! I was excited when I thought about that. I should have gotten a Portugal one for you but I didn't think about it....Not soon enough at least. The clothes I sent home I just don't want with me. I had too much stuff. (: I got your post card you sent from Hawaii! I got that a while ago. I just don't remember if I told you that or not. I haven't gotten your letter though... How long ago did you send it? Oh! I hope she is super careful!! Ha. That does make me so nervous that she is driving her. (Yes, it is a she ha) But I guess that is ok..... Ha jk. Ya, Of course that is ok. Just try not to put too many miles on her. That would be my only concern. :) Oh! Did you guys get the crack filled in the windshield? I am glad Cassy got my letter! And I am glad she liked it! Now she just has to write me back! Ha. :) Ya, I figured it would be a problem to get them to write me back because we were all terrible with Tyson. And Steff probably still hasn't written Cheyanne back. Ha. So This past week has been good! Well, depending on what the definition of good is. In this case I am still happy and loving my mission! But we aren't having a ton of success. But we are working hard everyday! Sis. Brooks and I were talking about how our feet are just doomed and we can't wait till after our mission for when we can be pretty again. Haha. I love her! We joke around with eachother all the time. I will be so sad when we get split up! Which will probably be next transfer... but thats ok. I still have 5 more weeks with her! So our new District Leader is terrified of dogs! Like deathly afraid. And the thing about Portugal- at least here in Viseu- is they are everywhere! It breaks my heart, but there are a ton of stray dogs on the streets. And literally everyone has at least one dog. Like, he runs from them! And afterwards, he just bends over trying to calm himself down. It is serious. It is so sad. So when he saw me petting the dog on the other side of the gate he asked Sister Brooks if I wasn't afraid of them. Ya, he thinks I'm crazy. But I love dogs so much! I don't know why he is so scared of them. I miss our dogs! So, when we went to talk to Cristina at her work (she works at a bar and I think I told you the story about how last time when we went there one of the drunk Portuguese old guy took my Book of Mormon out of my hand and kissed it... ya! I couldn't believe that had just happened. And I didn't feel to good about it. But ya it is a little  funny now thinking back on it. I think he thought it was the Bible) But there was another drunk guy and he recognized us and started talking to us about how his alcohol is good for him. Ha. And we told him it is better to put good things into our bodies like fruits and vegetables. So he randomly got up and left. Then when we came back. He came back with fruit! hahaha. And he showed it to us. He had Cristina go wash it for him in the back. And he gave one to Cristina to eat. (I think it was a peach or something) But yeah. it was just funny cause he decided to go eat something that was good for him. So guess what! When we were at Sofia and Armando's house, Sofia had her little boys give the prayers! it was sooo cute! each time they went in front of her and she held there arms so they kept them crossed and they repeated everything that she told them to say in the prayer. It made us soooooo happy! It was the cutest thing! I love them so much! So we met with Ana Paula again. (She is the recent-convert less-active, she was baptized about a year ago and pretty much hasn't come to church since) But she said the prayer!!!!! We were so excited! And that same day she gave us a ride to church! So she still remembers how to get there. And that has been her excuse everytime as to why she doesn't go to church, that she can't drive because she doesn't have money for gas! Plus she gave us a ride because she really likes us. (And she never gives rides to the missionaries- at-least all the ones since she was baptized I guess weren't super nice or something, so that made me sad.) But she said she would go to Church this past sunday and we knew she would because we had faith and she drove us there! But.... she didn't show! And we were soooo sad yesterday because of it.... But we found out she didn't know who Thomas S. Monson was. I don't know if she even knew we had a prophet. Which I don't really get how because that is a baptismal interview question... But she was baptized without having received all the lessons. So our plan is to teach all of them to her again. So do you remember Maria? The one that said I looked so familiar to her yet she knew we haven't ever met before. Well, she basically dropped us really nicely and my heart broke.... I was trying so hard not to cry in front of her. At least to not let a tear come out. But I think she could tell anyways. But basically what she said is there are so many church's and they all talk about good things and when someone talks about God and it is good and I feel good about it, I believe it. But that she isn't ready right now to make big changes in her life and that she still wants to talk to us because she loves the peace we bring when we come. But ya... she doesn't want to be baptized. That was what made her turn away. She has been baptized 3 times and we already talked with her about the three things we have to have to be baptized correctly. (Authority of God, Immersion-like Christ, and accountability-or age, 8 yrs. plus-) But ya.... So basically that night was really hard for me because I loved her soooo much! I still do! And it just breaks my heart that so many people are so confused because of how many church's there are. And I wish they would just really try to find out for themselves that this really is Christ's church re-established on the earth. It isn't new. It is the same church that Christ established when He was here. But I think that was the first time I truly had a hard time out here on the mission in regards to an investigator. I didn't think it would be so hard to let someone go because they just didn't want it... Anyways. To lighten the mood! Ha. Remember Adair and Elias? (they are the black boys that have crushes on my and Sis. B) So basically, we ran into them because they are going to be working at the Fair! So Elias basically told me that he will wait for me till I am done with my mission and Adair told Sis. B that he loves her and that they can go back to America together! Hahaha. It was sooooo funny! Afterwards, Sister Brooks was like, "I never have had to determine the relationship before the mission, I never thought that the first time would be ON the mission. haha" I died laughing! She is sooo funny! So she said it pretty much went like this Adair- I love you! Sis. Brooks- I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ, so..... Ha. Ya. We laughed a lot. So about the Fair! It is like a huge thing here in Portugal! It started on Friday I think. And it goes for a whole month! So we are going to go today!!!!! I am excited! Though it is a little hot outside so I hope it cools off a little before we go. But we already ate some ice cream from it! I had two ice cream cones! Sis. B wanted to but her stomache doesn't like dairy so she eats a little still. But she can't eat much... Oh! And she is a vegetarian I don't know if I told you guys that. So another funny thing is when she was giving directions. We both didn't know what the word for hill was. So she called it you know, that thing that is like a "pequena montanha" Haha. A small mountain. I don't know if things are just so much funnier on a mission or I'm just weird, but that made me laugh so hard! Anyways, they have a horse here! At the fair! I got to pet it a couple days ago. It is so pretty! I really want one some day! so yesterday morning, we went to go pick up Sara and see if she was home because she said she would go to church with us. So on the way over there we got stuck (Cause the fair has interferred with our walking course so we have to find ways around it... it is a little annoying. But thats ok) But we got stuck because the gate we were hoping would open didn't open. And if we were to turn around we had to walk a long way back and around. So we decided to hop the fence in our skirts! Ha. I wish I had gotten my camera out! It was so funny! I just happened to choose to wear my white longer skirt, so that was fun. (: My skirt did catch at one point, so I was just soooo greatful that I didn't end up falling and killing myself. And then I got to watch Sis. B climb over. Ha. Sister missionaries just aren't meant to climb tall fence things. Anyways, Sis. Barlow was Sis. Brooks's first comp\trainer and she finished her mission so her and her parents were here! They came over to the church and we talked with them for a little and them they drove us to our appointment! Which saved our feet cause it is super far. But it was so weird! Because it was her parents! I haven't seen American parents in sooo long it seems like! so it made me wish you guys could come pick me up! Ha. But I still have a long time left to go. :)Anyways, I gotta go but I love you!!! Make sure you tell all the girls how much I love them too! And miss them!!! :) Cause I know they will see this email and might now want to read it. Haha. Till next week!
Love Always!
Sister Amanda Stokes

Monday, August 5, 2013

 We carried watermelon all the way from home to the church! Ha. It was kinda a pain but funny!
 Tiago! He is so cute! He is Sofia and Armando's little boy!

Taking sister Lofgreen to the bus! :(

Monday August 5th

Family!!!!! <3
So!!!! Not a whole lot to update on in regards to the work. We are still trying to find investigators! But we did receive a girl named Sara from the Elders. And she is sooo fixe!!!!! She reads and prays and she has already gained a testimony for herself about the Book of Mormon. And she agreed to be baptized on the 31st of August!!!! I am sooooo excited!!!! For a little while me and Sister Brooks were having a hard time because we didn't have any progressing investigators and no one wanted to talk to us. So it was definitely hard not to get darn on ourselves. But even during all the hard days, there was always some sort of miracle or tender mercy every day that would lift our spirits! The Lord is so good! So I have come to understand the help from the spirit so much more now through our thoughts. Sometimes it feels like we just have these random thoughts pop into our head for no apparent reason, but it isn't just a random thought. It is a prompting from the spirit! It happens when we are trying to find people and which ones we should talk to. And when we end up talking to that person, they are actually willing to listen to us!!! It is so good. Because, yes, we do get told to leave or are waved away more often than I would have thought. It is sad... but thats ok! We are trying! It really does make me so sad though because I know if they would just let us talk and if they would just listen for a couple minutes, I know that they would feel the spirit and I know that we could help them! So it makes me so sad when people just won't even listen. Something that is funny is when we are out on the street, we will tell people "Boa tarde! Tudo bem!?" And it is super simple and they will pretend that they don't understand what we are saying because of our "crazy strong accents" Haha. Or they will say that they don't speak english. But we were speaking Portuguese! It is the funniest yet annoyingest thing! (Yeah... those aren't really words. But it is super annoying) So I had my first splits last week! We go on splits with the Sister Training Leaders once a transfer (I am assuming it is once a transfer...) But what we did is since we live far from them and there are four of us and two Sister Training Leaders. We just went in three-somes. So we stayed in companionships and went with one of the Sister Training Leaders. So we had Sister Campos de Silva. She is from France! So she only know French and Portuguese. So we spoke in Portuguese the entire day. Even at home. It actually was really good! And I understood pretty much everything! And if I didn't understand Sis. Brooks would explain to me what she said. But Sister Campos de Silva is Sister King's Companion. So I got to ask her how Sister King was doing! And later that night, Sister Campos de Silva called Sister King to talk to her, and then handed me the phone!!!!!! So I got to talk to Sister King for about 5 minutes!!!!!!! It made me so happy! Ha. So she is doing good! Though in the beginning I think she was a bit overwhelmed cause she went straight in having to speak Portuguese always because her comp. doesn't know English. That would be so hard! But she actually prayed that that would happen. So she got it! Did I ever tell you guys about creepy Antonio? Well he is this man that we contacted and met like my second week here. And when we met up with him he thought it was because we liked him... And he liked us... and yeah it was super weird. But he called us for weeks after that and we stopped answering. And finally we thought he stopped calling after four weeks. But he has started to call us again! It is crazy! We haven't answered any of his phone calls in a month! Yeah... So we don't really know what to do about him. But we had another sports night! It turned out so good! There were so many people that came! Me and Sister Brooks left during the middle of it to go find our  "investigator friends" (the super hilarious black guys that all have crushes on us) to bring to the church. So we found them and there were 5 guys and one girl. Turns out the one guy that is in "love" with Sister Brooks has a girlfriend! Haha. But he still said something about liking her. Ha. But it was awesome. When we walked back to the church we walked in with a train of black guys. I felt so cool! I seriously love them! They are super nice and funny. It is only a problem because they are in love with us. But hey. If they come to activities and if that is a way in which we can help bring them the gospel. Then why not! Though I think we are going to pass them off to the Elders. Because, well ya. Everything I just said pretty much explains why. :) Oh! We decided to do a "prize drawing" at the sports night where everyone signs up and puts their name address and number (So we got novos because of it!-because we got their information and it counts as a lesson because we had a 3-5 min. spiritual thought. And what we are doing is making them all winners! So we are going to bring a plate of cookies to everyone and share a message with them! It is perfect! (We were all laughing at our "caniving" ways to do missionary work. It was funny. Anyways, we also sang as a district again in the Rocio! (It is an open area with benches and there is a little kid merry-go-round.) I sang for 1 1/2 hours straight!! Ha. Cause Sis. Brooks went on splits with Sister Call. So me and Sister Lofgreen stayed at the table. And they never came back! Ha. So I just sang the whole time! And my voice didn't get tired or sore, and I didn't lose my voice or anything. It was crazy! Cause I seriously thought it would happen! (Tender mercy! They really are everywhere and in our lives everyday. It is so amazing) So at one point while we were singing, a retired Catholic Pastor came up and started listening to us sing, and then he came over and started singing with us!!! Haha. It is so funny! I loved it though! I think he could feel the spirit as we sang. (: Though he didn't want anything. But it still was pretty cool. So in the other Sister's ward. They had a Fireside! It was a play that went along with reading the scriptures. It was hilarious! I love our district soooo much! I was the curtain holder. (: Cause the curtain didn't quite close all the way. So I would hold it closed when they closed it.So that was just yesterday! (we handed out sooo many invites to this on Saturday as we were singing- but only one person came that we had given an invite to!) But we had a lot of members come and we had an investigator and a less active come as well. So there was a good audience. It turned out so well! And our investigator that came loved it! So transfers happened. And we got our transfer information last night. We were with the Elders at the Church already so we got to find out with them! But I am staying with Sister Brooks for 6 more weeks! I am soooo glad! I didn't want to leave. Sister Call is staying too. But Sister Lofgreen left.... She left this morning. It was so sad! But the new Sister is here! She seems really cool. so it will be good. But I am pretty sure one of us. Sister Brooks or me will be moved next transfer. But we will see! Anyways, I love you guys so much! I hope all is well at home! Sounds like you guys have been having soooo much fun! I am sad I missed the reunion. But I am glad it turned out super well! Till next week! Yay! 
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes <3