Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

... And I have the PERFECT gift for y'all! Sarah's first email from the MTC is up and posted for you to read!!! She is doing really well and having MUCH success - especially with the language. Everyone is very impressed with her! However, I know she is struggling to feel use to Portugal and the culture... She brushes it off as though it is nothing, because she is awesome like that, but I know it is tough for her right now. THEREFORE, the job I have for YOU is to WRITE HER! Write her right NOW! Haha....

Enjoy the Christmas post and as she said, think of the reason we really celebrate Christmas and rejoice in that! Remember to SHARE the good message of Christmas with those around you, just as she is doing... Merry Christmas!!! - Ridiculouslygoodlooking

"From Sister Sarah Ray
December 22, 2008

Family and Friends!

I feel very overwhelmed at the moment here in Braga, but I know it will get better. The ward is fantastic...we have already been fed 3 times. Our ward also has 5 missionaries out and serving right now. Rock on Braga! We have the strongest ward in the mission so i´m really going to be spoiled after this. Right now I am in a tripla for one more week. Irmã Souza goes home a week from today to Brazil. I´m actually kinda bummed because we are doing a good job of teaching each other the language. She only talks to me in English and I only talk to her in Portuguese. It is grand fun trying to describe things to each other to get the right words.

So, we have 6 investigators right now that are progressing and 1 marked for Baptism. Unfortunately she has now left the country for Christmas so we might end up pushing the date back...she has to come to church first. I don´t know a whole lot about them right now because I can only understand about 60 percent of what anyone says. Everyone keeps telling me my language is a miracle but I still can´t understand. Everyone keeps asking me where I am transfered from and when I say the US they get really confused. No one believes me that I am fresh out of the MTC.

So, speaking of speaking, yesterday I made my first solo contact in a street meeting. It was SCARY! Also wans´t very successful because I probably answered the wrong question knowing my skills with Portuguese. It is also way hard because Braga is SUPER Catholic. the city has two names.... the city of many churches- which are all Catholic or better yet the Rome of Portugal. Needless to say we talk to a lot of really Catholic people, but it is fun.

Portugal is interesting, the entire city is paved in cobblestones, and there is no such thing as insulation or heat. It is pretty cold here, and even colder in the houses. The only heating that we have is our one little space heater that we have in our bedroom. We keep the door shut and wear lots of layers- Dad you would be proud. We need to be dressed in our Prosyliting clothes before we do study so we faithfully get ready every morning. Then we put our PJ pants back on under our skirts, hoodies, slippers, blankets and anything else we can find while we are in our study room. Mom, you would die. We also don´t really have hot water. We have a tiny little gas heater that we have to turn on before we take showers, but it only gets kinda warm. it is very similar to the water flow out of a broken sink faucet. However, we get by, plus it makes great stories. Especially since out bathroom door is broken- so it is quite the adventure to get it open.

Let see, other fun facts about Portugal...I can not eat enough to satisfy the member here...I keep trying, but I keep failing...I think it would take both Bryan and Andrew to satisfy them. We also eat at about 9 at night. In the Europe west area our time is different so we don´t get up till 7 and we are out until 9:30 or 10 if necessary. Last night our lesson didn´t end until 10 becasue one of our new members was really struggling so we were working with here. Well, we are supposed to be in our appartment by then at the latest so we sprinted home. Irmã de Macedo was already at home with a member (she is on bed rest with her foot- we aren´t quite sure what she did, but she can´t really walk so thank heavens we can do splits and irmã souza and >I can still go out) so there was the two of us running as fast as we could to get home in time. I kinda wish I had a picture.

I´ll have to start keeping a list of things that are funny or strange so that I can keep you aware of how things go in Portugal. Can´t wait to talk to you this week. Pray that it all works out okay! I know that we are all being blessed for this, even though it is really hard at times. LOVE YOU ALL and remember the reason we celebrate Christmas! ~~

Irmã Ray"

Her Portugal Address:

Portugal Porto Mission
Rua de Amalia Luazes N 23 Sala 1
4200-052 Porto


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