Monday, April 28, 2014

 Me Sis. Cardoso and Nuno

 Home of Rosa. It was the birthday of 
her daughter as well as Easter. 
We did all the decorations! :)
Me and Rosa

Oh I took so much time reading and writing others I forgot to write my general letter! Hahaha. Well this week was good. We are finding families to teach! I am excited about that. Helena didn't make it to church this week. But she said she would make it next week. We found a family of 5! Mom and Dad and three kids. The oldest son is 17. Oh I have one minute! Sorry! Haha. I love you all so much! I hope you have a fabulous week and remember to read and pray each day!!!! Love you!
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes:)

Monday, April 21, 2014

 Apartment that used to be the Senior Missionaries

This week we have seen so many miracles! It just goes to show that the Lord like to prove our faith. Even when we are truly trying to do all we can. Things don't always go the way we want. I have definitely been learning the attribute of patience a lot within the last week. But Helena finally made it to church!!!!! Oh I was sooo happy! We met her at the bus stop and walked together to church. What made it even more amazing is that in the morning when she left her house, it was sprinkling/raining. The portuguese hate leaving their homes when it rains. Plus she does not live close. And we still had to walk 15 minutes to get to the church. (plus it may have helped that I had left my jacket at her house on accident and she said she would bring it for me ha) But the fact is she came! And she liked it! And! After, we had our Easter lunch with Irmã Fatima and her family. And Helena was also invited! I know it meant a lot to her. Cause no one had invited her over for Easter and she would have spent it alone. Also, I have grown so much appreciation for the Elders and for the priesthood. Yesterday, the Elders helped us bless two members with the sacrament. One was Rosa. She is our less active who lost her legs. And she is having treatments every other day-dialysis? But she is amazing. She has so much joy even with all she is going through. When we went over to her house with the Elders, we went into her bedroom and closed the door (She was also having a party in the other room with family- I love African people!!!!) Sang a hymn, then we prayed. Then the Elders commenced with blessing and giving the sacrament. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had recently. The happiness that it brought Rosa was just so precious. Then. Irmã Sidalha. She had asked Bishop for someone to come to her home so that she could take the sacrament-because she wouldn't be able to make it to her house. She waited and waited. And no one came. At the very end of the day. We passed her house at a little after 9. She told us her situation. And I felt strongly that we needed to call the Elders and see if they could help us a second time in giving the sacrament. We knew it was a little late. But we truly felt we needed to. Luckily the Elders were available. After it all. Irmã Sidalha just cried. She bore testimony about how Heavenly Father truly was aware of her and sent us to her. She had begun to feel like she had been completely forgotten. It truly was just so precious! I know that that is true. Heavenly Father is aware of all His children. And us, as missionaries, don't always know who needs our help. But Heavenly Father does. OH it just made me sooo happy!!!! And something our Zone leaders told us was so funny. So we haven't been having very good numbers as a zone- in regards to success. But on Saturday we had a competition with the Elders. It was Irmã's idea because she had a revelation! She said we would have 10 lessons and 4 new potential investigators. And, at the end of the day we had 10 lessons and 5 new potential investigators!!! AH!!!! We were soooo happy!!! The Elders also did really well. I don't remember their numbers. But it truly was fabulous. And so when the Zone leaders got our numbers. They sent a txt saying "Resuscitamos com a Páscoa!" Translation: We resurrected with Easter! Hahaha. It was funny. Well, I love you all soooooo much! Stay safe! And make good choices! And just love life! Because life is just so amazing and it passes oh so fast! So make every day count!!! And I know, I can't believe that I am on my way to my 1 year mark. That is just craziness! Till next week!!!! And HAPPY-late- EASTER!!!!!! (I don't think I said that in my last email. Haha.)
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes :)
p.s. I hope Mom and Tyson both had fabulous birthdays!!!!!! Love you both soooo much!!!! Thank you for everything!!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

 Our less active young man took this. I said I liked the flowers behind me in the grass 
and he said he would take my picture. Haha. But we had already passed the flowers.
 Yes, this is Ruben

I was lazy, and so with the left over cookie dough, I made a big cookie!!! :)

 All the cookies!

Yay!!!! My Compy!

 Pretty picture I took. :)  

Flowers!!!! I love the Spring!

 Me and my cute little comp 
 my tag with flowers!

This week was good! Helena is progressing so much! I love it because we gave her a talk to read about the Book of Mormon. And it talked about how the Book of Mormon is either the Word of God, or it is of the devil. Helena, after reading it said "Pois! Este livro só fala de Cristo. Tem que ser um bom livro." We were so excited! She truly knows how to follow the spirit because her pastor and friends are telling her not to read it. One said to burn the book. But it only makes her want to learn more. And the more she learns, the more she realizes that everything we are teaching is true and makes sense, and goes along with what she already believes as well. She told us this week that she doesn't want to go to her church anymore and that she would come to church this sunday. Though she didn't make it.... She didn't feel good in the morning... But we will arrange a ride for her this next sunday! Oh she is just so cute and happy all the time. Well, almost all the time. Ha. We all have our moments of hardship. But she just has a heart of gold. Oh! Right, this week was transfers.... and.... I am staying! Haha. With Sister Cardoso. Though we did move apartments. We are now going to be living in a Elderly missionary apartment. It is nice. :) We are spoiled. Ha. It will be a good transfer! Oh! So my address is different. Now it is:
Alameda 25 de Abril Nº3 5D
2855-211 Corroios
So ya! Oh! Just want to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MY BIG BROTHER!!!! 2 YEARS! PARABÉNS!!!!!!!!!! :) 2  years and two kids! Crazy! Oh and they are just the cutest little things on the face of this planet! I am a very proud auntie!!! :) :) Haha. Anyways, I love you all!!!!!! Don't forget to read and pray everyday. Those basic but essencial things truly make all the difference! It is crazy the difference it makes. I have seen many gain testimonies, and then lose them and fall away from the church because they weren't consistent in doing the "little things." And I never would have thought they would fall away! It is a scary thing. Our testimony is the most cherished possession we have in this life. So we really have to do our part to protect it and strengthen it. I love you all so much! Stay safe! And have a great week! 
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

 Us Sisters. :)
 me and my district leader. Elder Mehl

me and Elder Munoz!!

 Me and my comp! Walking to our zone meeting. It was held in Seixal. 
That is Elder Leubke. Haha. 
He was walking a little bit slow. So I decided to take advantage of the situation
 and put a smile on his face by taking a picture. :)

 my apartment!

This week we met some really cool people. We met a family from Cabe Verde. It is a mother and a son. (At least those that were at home at the time) We have high hopes for them. In the end the mom was calling us princesses. Haha. She is the sweetest thing! Though the only hard thing is she works EVERY DAY. And long hours. And she doesn't have days off. Only randomly. And not often. So that will be a challenge. But with the son, he has more time to meet with us. :) And the times when his mom is there we will review and we will also tell him to talk to her about what he is learning. It will be great! Also, we met with Helena and Julia and Nakita. They are all fabulous! We are being blessed with meeting really amazing people. The problem these women have is they live so far from the church... It takes about an hour to walk to their houses. Though there are buses. :) But it still makes it difficult. So getting them to church will be hard...  But up till now no one has officially accepted baptism. But we are working on it! Though this past week. We heard that one of our members had decided to go back to his old church! Oh it broke my heart! He had gone out and helped us for hours one day! I honestly have no idea what happened! This is Daniel. And what is even more sad and heartbreaking, is he is taking one of our recent converts with him. Because they are dating. We have been trying to meet with her. But she always has a reason as to why it won't work... I am really worried... Me and my companion are having a hard time because of it... It is so hard to be in a situation like this because there is literally almost nothing we can do... It is all in the Lord's hands. But it just breaks my heart seeing how much the choices we make affects others... She didn't go to any session of conference... And I know she could have. So we are really worried. Well, onto better news. We have an investigator named Helena. She is amazing!  She told us to talk to some of her neighbor friends. And as a result we are now teaching Lucia. :) They both have a lot of faith! And Lucia talked with the Elders in the past! So she remembers a lot. She is super nice. She just has a problem with alcohol and smoking. But we will help her. :) You  know. It was crazy. I don't have much in regard to material things on the mission. But I still at moments feel like I have almost too many nice things. It is the weirdest things. Like with my watch. It is pretty and good quality. And at moments I find myself twisting it upside down to hide its fanciness because, well I don't know! It is the weirdest thing. But I have never felt so blessed in my life. Spiritually and physically. And I have never truly realized or felt with such great force, how unimportant material things are. And I have never truly realized, just HOW important PEOPLE are! I feel like I am seeing with completely new eyes! Anyways. I am still happy! And I am loving my mission! I hope life is treating you all well! Know that I love you and pray for you. Oh!!! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY TY!!!!!! I hope you have a fabulous birthday! And that this past year was full of fabulous experiences that have helped you grow into an even better person! I love you and am so greatful to have you as my brother!
Love Always,
Sister Amanda Stokes