Last P-day was so fun! We got to see a giant monestary! And the Torre de Belém!! And that same place is where Christoffer Colombus left and set said to the Americas! Did you know that Christoffer Columbus is Portuguese?? But they wouldn't pay for him to go. But the spanish did. Ha. But the Portuguese still love him so much, which is funny because they didn't help him. Oh the Portuguese. :) And I got to take the metro! I have never taken one before! That thing that travels underground! It was cool. :) Though you can't see anything. So travelling in Portugal I like the bus better. :) So while we were on the metro, we talked to a Chinese mom and daughter. They were super nice. The daughter offered us some homemmade something in a bag. They were round small balls of something. So we decided it looked like it could be good. So we both took one and popped them in our mouth. The very second that ball thing touched my tongue, my taste buds whirled in protest! It was the nastiest thing I have ever allowed in my mouth! It was sooooo hard not to make a face! The mom told us how she makes them. They are made out of yogurt and cheese, and she leaves them out in the sun in balls to harden like a rock! But the flavor tasted nothing like yogurt or cheese. I can't even explain the flavor. But when I took it out and threw it into the trash can I started gagging and coughing. Ha. It was so gross! For a minute I actually thought I was going to throw up. So we have been struggling the past two weeks. And we have been getting quite depressed because we haven't been having any success. And we started feeling like bad missionaries and like we weren't fulfilling our purpose. Then the time came for our interviews with Presidente. And right after I said the first prayer and started talking to him, I started balling! Right in front of my mission president. Oh I am so embarrassed! But I had retained all my feelings and I think because of that, they just exploded on him. Ha. I told him how I was struggling and how we didn't have anyone to teach. And how we were trying to find people to teach, but that no one would even give us the chance to talk to them. I mean, I honestly don't think I have ever met so many unkind people in my entire life. And I also don't think I have ever felt so low and unliked in my entire life. So it was rough when it all finally hit me. Cause it literally hit me like a train. I had lost all desire to talk to anyone because I knew they would not have anything nice to say. And they wouldn't have any desire to hear what I had to say. We had a little meeting with our district leader. Just me, Sister Wach, and Elder Ryan. He challenged us to pray a whole lot more. And to ask Heavenly Father for help and for Him to place those who will listen to us in our pathway each time we prayed. And that night. (Right after that meeting) We stepped to the side and prayed. (We only had about 15 minutes left of the day) We told Heavenly Father, we hadn't had a single novo (new potential investigator) all day. And that we only had a little time left. And that we will talk to whoever we see that is still out at this time and that they will want to listen to us and feel the spirit, and have a desire to learn more about our message. So we started walking and we saw and older man up ahead. We decided to talk to him. When we started to talk to him, he looked at us, smiled, and STOPPED!!!! He talked to us! We talked to him for about 5 minutes! He was sooo sweet! I felt completely healed and happy after that. I just needed someone who would listen and talk back and be nice. He didn't end up wanting anything. But he told us a couple encouraging things, and we said goodnight and split ways. But now I was super happy again! And then, up ahead was one more older man with a bucket. So we talked to him as well. And he smiled at us too! And he talked to us for a couple minutes. He was so sweet, and not only that, he wanted to meet with us again and learn more! And he let us pray with him to bless his night. So we got our novo on the way walking back home for the night! And just yesterday, everysingle person we stopped to talk to was nice to us! Every single one. That has never happened. Ever. It truly was a tender mercy from the Lord. And me and Sister Wach were just so happy I am sure our faces were gleaming out of pure joy! So now I am so happy again! I am loving the work. And I know that sometimes, Heavenly Father will test our faith. He will have moments in live where we just have to keep pressing forward even when we truly don't want to or when it is almost impossible to. And right there in the very end, when you feel you are at the end of the rope, and pours down His blessing upon you because you held out till the end. And, in the end, you are better off than you were in the beginning. You are happier, you feel the love of God more strongly, and your testimony has been strengthened. I am so greatful for the trials in my life, and for the opportunity I have to be here on a mission. Even though it is so hard at times. I have never had so many moments of almost overwhelming happiness as I have here. God is so good, and He is more involved in our lives than we realize. And He loves us so much more than we realize. I hope you all are super happy this week! I love you all so much! And guess what, in 4 days, I hit my 6th month mark. That just blows my mind. The time is going so fast. It is a bitter-sweet thing. Ha. Sad cause it is going to be over before I know it, but happy because I will get to see all of you again. Remember to make every moment count. Life goes by faster than we realize in the beginning. I love you!
Sister Amanda Stokes