First off, Dad--I had a dream last night that we were walking down the streets and I saw the man from Iron Man, and I ran up to him and asked him if I could take a picture with him just so I could send it to you. He was down with it, because he thought it was so sweet that I wanted to send a picture to my dad. So.....I`m still dreaming about you guys. ...Kinda?
In other news! So much happened this week! Last night, I was thinking about what I was going to tell you guys, and I got so excited, because WE FOUND MIKAELA!!! But, then I realized....you didn`t know we`d lost her. Hahahah. SOOO much happens in a week. It`s actually unreal. BUT. I`ll let you in on the wonderful story that is this perfect little girl.
SO. We met her and her mom like a month ago or something, but they were just here on holidays and they were leaving for another city, so we got their info and passed it off to the missionaries there blah blah whatever. And then last Sunday, we were walking down the street and we saw this little girl waving to us. I was SO confused, because NO ONE ever calls OUR attention, so we waved back and then ran over and talked to her and she could not be more elect! Anyways, we went back and talked to her the next night, and turns out her dad works in a little cafe here in Viseu, so she was here again! Well....we taught her the first lesson. She loved it. She was holding onto the Book of Mormon like it was gold and I think my heart was overflowing with joy. She actually reminds me a LOT of Milena from my first area, so it makes me really happy. But anyways, so we marked to go back on Tuesday night, and we show up and......her dad says she went back to Coimbra. WE WERE BROKEN HEARTED. Seriously, it hurt so bad.
But, we kept going by her dad`s cafe everyday and we are teaching him some English words and we washed his dishes and he`s funny and Brazilian and WHYYY OH WHYYY AM I NOT IN BRAZIL? Hahah just kidding, I love Portugal. Well....I LOVE Brazilians so... kind of just kidding.
BUT. Then, on Saturday night, we had about an hour and half to work still and ALL of our plans and back up plans and back up back up plans had fallen through, so we prayed to know where we should go and what we should do. I got this really strong feeling that we should go visit Paulo (Mikaela`s dad), and then I was like...`Ugh, but he`s always working and we can never really teach him and we need progressing investigators` (Yeah, I know...I`m really good at listening to the Spirit.) But Sister Stokes felt it too, and I still couldn`t shake the feeling, so....we walked over there, started talking to Paulo, and then all of a sudden he goes, `spera aí....minha filha (hold on...my daughter).` YOUR DAUGHTER?!?!! AND THEN MIKAELA CAME RUNNING IN!!!! HAPPINESS JOY FELICIDADE AMOR!!! AHHHH!!! SO HAPPY!!!
Then we talked to her again, and LISTEN TO EVERYTHING SHE TOLD US. She told us how her mom and her were actually riding behind us on the bus back from one of our zone conferences and then after that, they saw us everyday for the next couple weeks and we still hadn`t talked to them, so her mom said that we must have been their angels protecting them, because we were just walking around in their same paths. And then when we did talk to them, she was like they really are our angels!!! Anyways...it was the coolest thing ever and I love her SO much and she is SO perfect and I just want to take her with me everywhere. Anyways, we`re meeting with her again tomorrow night so...phew. She`s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Also, we met this SUPER nice lady this week, who is actually Russian, and I`ve realized I have such a soft spot in my heart for Russians, because they just make me think of Julia and Olga and then I just get happy. But anyways, she asked us what we do all day long, so we told her---talk to people about our message of Christ, and she goes, `So....you basically do nothing.` KNIFE IN THE HEART. Except I totally see what she is saying, yet....it`s SOO hard. It`s the hardest nothing I`ve ever done haahha. I know, I know, it really shouldn`t be... but it is.
There are so many other things I have to tell you, like how this man Luis met the Elders and bikes 80km back and forth to get to church every sunday and he heard a message from the Elders when he was 15 and he hasn`t been able to stop thinking about it since then and now he`s 50 something and he hadn`t seen the Elders again until he saw them and he contacted them and told them that they had to come to his house and he got baptized this Saturday and HE IS SO INCREDIBLY AMAZING IT`S UNREAL......but there is no time, so....sorry.
Also, there was a fire this week and it was raining ash, so...that was a first.
I just want to tell you all that I know how much God loves each and everyone of us. We are all His children and I can feel His love for other people every single day. I know that through Him we can overcome anything. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the way I can learn more and more everyday how Jesus really is the Christ. I am so grateful for the Atonement and that He loved me enough to be willing to take upon himself all of my weaknesses and doubts and stupidities. I am so grateful that I can pray every day and He will give me the strength and power and He will just pick me up and LET me be an instrument in His hands. I know He is our Savior and our Redeemer and I know that through Him we can return to our Heavenly Father again. And I know that He can do all of that for you too. We just have to have faith and put our trust in Him first.
Thank you all for lifting me and supporting me and making me want to be a better person and missionary everyday. I could not be more grateful or more blessed. I love you so much. I love this work so much. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so SO much.
KRISSY-TAN!!! G-DAWG!!! HAPPY HAPPY HAPPPPPYYYYY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! Kristan---have a ball in Prague and Vienna. Send me a postcard. Play in some water? See cool things and scope out all the good things so you can take me back for your 31st :) I LOVE YOU BOTH SO MUCH AND I HOPE IT`S THE HAPPIEST 28TH OF AGOSTO YOU`VE EVER HAD!!!
Just casually chatting on the phone in Portuguese in the middle of Portugal. And look at that almost empty water bottle!