Here is the latest from Sarah! This could be her last letter from Braga - I will let you know as soon as I hear from her or her dad of an address change. I should get an email from her tomorrow or Tuesday and I'll post her group one ASAP too! :) She is really gettin' to work out there, so make sure you are keeping her in your prayers!
"April 14, 2009
So sorry for the delay of the letter this week. Since I don´t have a whole lot of time today, it is just going to be one big letter. Turns out that the Catholics feel ripped off that they don´t get off since it is already a weekend, so they just stay closed for another day after. Not to mention pretty much everything was shut down for Semana Santa here in Braga. This week was interesting...pretty much all of Portugal comes to Braga for Easter because it is the home of the Catholics here in Portugal. They also had all sorts of crazy parades every night, people walking around carrying crosses, wearing thorny crowns, black masks and noise makers to look like the angel of death and all sorts of crazy things. They also have all of the streets in the center wired with speakers and were playing crazy death music interspersed with Ave Maria and Pai Nosso. It was definitely an interesting experience of which I didn´t understand a lot of, but that's okay. There were also a bunch of groups going door to door scattering flowers and talking to people so our knocking was a little different this week. We actually decided to be clever and rolled up copies of the Living Christ, tied them with ribbons, and knocked doors telling people we had an Easter present. thought we were nuts, but it was actually more effective than usual. I don´t know if that was because we were a bit outside of the city in a really poor area, or if it is because we told people we had a present for them. Everyone likes presents right??
As for transfers, we will know for sure , but I am pretty sure this is my last full week here in Braga. I think I am really going to miss it, but I would rather leave because I know if I stay here, I will be training. There is actually a good chance that I will be training anyway, but I´m hopeful that I don´t have to do that yet. This transfer is going to be crazy because we are getting 16 new missionaries, so it is definitely going to be a party in Porto next week. 4 new sisters and all are American. That is why I will probably train because there are only 4 of us that know enough of both languages to get around, and one of them is already training. I guess that is what happens when the majority are Brazilian and don´t speak a bit of English. I don´t feel that I speak well enough to train yet, but we will see what the Lord´s take is on that. (as for the accent mom, unfortunately my companion has corrupted my carefully cultivated European accent and now people in the street actually ask me if I am from Brazil) For sure Irmã Polito and I are being separated. As a result we have decided to make this the best week of our companionship and one-up our own records that we have set here. We have a goal of 40 lessons this week, so we will see how it goes. We are usually around 18-22 but we set a record with 39 one week. Prayers would be appreciated!
Speaking off- my 6 month mark is tomorrow!!!! Crazy weird how fast time flies. I can hardly believe it. I was just thinking as we packed our bags this morning how my life is so completely different right now that I ever would have expected it to be a year ago. It was so totally natural to count out the number of pamphlets and pass along cards that I have a set as a goal today, the Tabernacle choir playing as we got ready and I don´t think I am comfortable walking without the Book of Mormon in my hand now. It is amazing how it has become second nature to talk to people in the streets in a language that I hardly know. We are truly blessed with the companionship of the spirit in our work, because there is NO WAY I could do any of this without it. I am so completely unqualified to be the representative of something so marvelous, it is actually kinda scary to think about sometimes. I truly am thankful for the knowledge we have and the power that comes with the covenants that we keep.
As for the heat in April, we know how you feel. Cold and Wet has returned with a vengeance, and we had a very rainy week and Easter. Bummer, but the good news is I managed to buy a new umbrella before it got bad. The really good new is that it is pink with white polkadots, so at least we have something to help lift our spirits. The Elders like to make fun of it, but they sure were grateful to share when we all got caught in the rain yesterday! I am learning every day more the power of prayer. Love you all and thank you so much for your support.