So I definitely believe that Steff is just teasing all them boys. :) She is just so darn cute. ha. Oh my goodness. That is aweful... I can't believe someone broke into their apartment to steal his tithing money. And the fact that is was his tithing money... It makes me so sad when I see and hear about things that happen in today's world. It is just ridiculous... So it makes me sooo happy to meet people that still have high standards, and really strive to be good virtuous people. That is so great about the successful hunt for Ty! Hey! Alyssa is going where I was born! ha. I love it! So we had a family night at the church with members and investigators. It was fun. We watched a little film, and the Elders talked a little about it afterwards and applied it into our lives. It was about the man who had a debt to pay, and he couldn't pay it himself. And so they talked about the Savior, and how He has payed the debt for us. How we just have to do our part in reaching out to Him to receive it. Because it is just sitting there waiting for us. But it won't do any good if we don't grab it, if we don't exert ourselves to prayer and ask for forgiveness. And even more than that, in our times of trial and we need to receive the comfort that comes from the Atonement. The comfort we need is just waiting for us to reach out and claim it. To apply the Atonement in our lives. I don't remember exactly what they said, but these were my thoughts. ha. You know how that happens and you start going off on your own and teaching yourself almost. That is what happened. :) Then afterwards we had desert! So craziness! Last week on the 15th I hit my 5 month mark! And so this next month will be my 6th month mark. I can't believe that! That will be 1/3 of my mission complete! That is a little sad. But I have already had so many growing experiences. I don't feel like I am different personality wise. But characteristic wise I have grown so much! My testimony along with that. It is incredible. I used to think that I was a really good person. Well, I was but I had so many weaknesses that needed to be worked on. And I still have so many weaknesses and being here is showing me just how many I have. Ha. Which is a ton. But I am able to work on them and have the Lord's help in strengthening them. It really is a neat experience. I feel like everyone should serve missions. It truly just helps you change your perspective on everything and truly helps you love every single person so much more. Even when they are telling you that they don't want anything to do with you. Instead of making me mad or annoyed. It makes me sad. Sad that they aren't willing to hear what we have to say. Sad that they won't give us that opportunity to make their lives so much better. To help them really see the love that their Father in Heaven has for them, and the blessings that they have already received in their lives. Being here I don't think I have ever felt so much joy and so much saddness all at the same time. So did I tell you that I sent a package home? Well, here is another reminder if so. :) Just so you are expecting it. It is Christmas stuff! And transfers are this ! At this point, it is a little nerve racking because this time it truly is very likely that I will be leaving this area... it will be sad because I love it so much here in Viseu. But I know I will love whatever knew area I am brought to. It will just be the biggest change so far. Because I have been here the whole time! 18 weeks!!!! (Well, this will be the 18th week. But still!) So we will see what happens. I am a little nervous to train. But President Fluckiger mentioned last transfer, when we had interviews, that I would probably be training soon. So that made me panick. But then I found out I wasn't training. I am actually glad I didn't. I think this transfer was really good for me. I got the normal missionary schedule, and I was finally not a "greenie" anymore. ha. So with Catia. During one of our lessons, We were talking about her baptismal date. And I asked her how she was feeling about it. She said she didn't feel like she could be ready and about the smoking thing and all. Then I told her that I knew without a doubt that she could be ready by that date and that she could feel ready as well. And that with the Lord, really anything is possible and that we can overcome all of our weaknesses with His help. But she still felt a little nervous I think. Just because of the smoking thing. And the date was set for about a week and a half later at the time. The 26th. But then Sister Warburton asked her, "Well, what date do you think you would feel ready by" (And this caught me completely off guard, and I was a little confused, but I thought, well this might be a good idea to make her feel better about being ready) So Catia thought about it and she finally said the . So Sis. Warburton told her to pray about the date and that we would too. So now, the next time we see Catia, Which is . We will make it a firm date. Me and Sis. Warburton are feeling the 9th. So on the 16th we had divisions with the sister training leaders! And we actually did then the normal way this time for the first time-for me that is. So I split with Sister Parker and Sister Warburton went with Sister Lofgreen-yes she was the other Sister that lived with us my first transfer here! And it turns out she was Sis. Warburton's MTC companion, so thats fun!. Though in the morning the Sister Training Leaders got a phone call and the other Sisters were already late for their appointment with our investigator João. (Me and Sister Warburton were a little frusterated about that because they were making him wait for us and they could have told them they would call back because they have an appt to go to) They ended up just telling me and Sis. Warburton to go to it and they will meet up with us after. I felt so bad.... João wasn't super mad. But he was a little irritated. We told him we were so sorry and I promised him we will really do are best to not be late and make him wait again. But the lesson with him went really good! He really is super cool. He is the one that wanted us to go to his church and watch his priest's cast out evil spirits. But right now he is praying to get an answer. And he told us he hasn't gotten one yet, but he knows that he will. And we know it too! :) And it will be a positive answer. Because we already know that this really is Christ's church here on the earth. And that is why we are here! To let others know about it. And to bless their lives with it. It is so great. But when we meet with him, they generally are really long lessons because he just talks sooo much! Ha. But it is all about gospel things so it is good. It just makes it really hard to have a lesson with him. But he already knows and believes so many things! And true things. :) Oh, I love Eduardo's son. We went over to his place just to see if he happened to be home because we were in the area. Though I was almost positive he would be at work. And his son answered the door. He has some sort of special need. But he is the sweetest and cutest thing. He smiled so big when he saw me! I just asked him how he was doing and if his dad was in. Then I told him we would come back to talk more when his dad was home. Ha. But he was so sweet. And I love how big his smile is! Sometimes I wish I could just get pictures with everyone and it wouldn't be weird. :) Then we had a lesson with Maria de Manuala. She is the one that was baptized in the beginning. Though I felt bad for Sister Parker cause when we entered her house, it was hard for her to hide her disgusted face... It was pretty bad though. Maria has 9 cats. And they pretty much own her house. Or they think they do. But Maria lets them. So there is cat icky, both kinds, all over the floor throughout the house. I almost slipped on the cat pee. That would have been aweful. But I caught myself. :) But that just isn't healthy for her to be living like that. The whole house smells aweful. So we have it already planned to go do a big cleaning service project with all the missionaries! Us and the Elders. :) It will be great! Gross, but great! And we will try to convince her to get rid of some of her cats... Some of them or most of them are cats off the street. So they won't let you pet them. And they go up into the ceiling in her house (Theres a hole in her kitchen ceiling above the fridge where they go) She is planning on moving as soon as she can though. She is currently looking for a job though. But Sister Parker literally wouldn't touch anything and she didn't say a word during the lesson. So I made it quick and left her a chapter to read. Afterwards, Heavenly Father blessed us with a bus! (Sis. Parker has a foot problem and it hurts her really bad to walk far, plus she wouldn't touch anything with her hands and was holding them out like they were diseases. Ha. It was funny. She laughed about it but she was utterly disgusted. I was too. But it was just one on those things we can't do anything about at the time. But we will ! She will have a clean house!) So we hopped on that back to Viseu (We were in Pascoal) and went to the restroom to wash our hands. We tried to go home but we realized we didn't have the keys. Ha. João came to church! (the other one that is a less active! He also had come to English class) We had a lesson with him last weak and he nearly broke my heart.... He is in a tough situation right now. He is living out of his car because he moved out of his girlfriend's house about a month ago. And we haven't heard from him before in over a month. But he realized something was missing in his life and so he decided to come talk to us again. So he is coming back! :) But in our last lesson with him, we watched two talks from conference with him. The one by Uchtdorf and the other by Holland. I can't remember the names of them right now though. But they were perfect for him! And after when we were talking with him. He started crying... And heput his head down cause he couldn't hold it in and he didn't want us to see him crying but it just broke my heart and then I started crying. Well, tears started falling. After he told us that he truly feels so much better. And that we helped him a lot. The poor guy... So Manuela! She is our knew investigator! She came to all three hours of church yesterday. We found her on the side of the road on some steps asking for money to be able to eat. And it turns out she is super cool!!!! She loved church and we made another appointment to see her this week. So funny thing that happened last night. we did a little division. Cause Sister Duran wasn't feeling good. So I volunteered to go out with Sister Cutler and the other two stayed home. We ran into a women on the street. And she told us that she was good at reading people. So we thought. Yes! She can tell we are good people and that we really are disciples of Christ. Then she leans in and looks around to make sure that no one else is around to hear, and she tells Sister Cutler that she does drugs. Hahahaha!!!!! I died! it literally took all of me not to start laughing. It was because Sis. Cutler's pupils were big. And when I looked they actually really were. Ha. But then she told me that I would make a fortune at a night club becuase I am so pretty and all the guys would like me and give me money in my cup.....So as in I would make a good strip model... I felt uncomfortable. So..... Don't know which one is worse..... It was interresting. We left hat conversation wondering what just happened. Me and Sister Cutler just looked at eachother and started laughing. But that just happend yesterday.Oh! We also explored a new area in our area. We have plans to go there more! Cause one of the families we found that want to talk to us lives their. though at the time they said they couldn't talk because their boys were sleeping. Even though that was the time we had marked to come and talk with them. But at least we found their house! Well, with a help of another family and they sent their daughter with us to show us which door was theirs. Then we just explored! :) Well, that is all for this week! :) I hope you guys had a great week! And that this next week will be even better. I miss you all a lot and I love you all a lot too. Stay safe!
Sister Amanda Stokes