Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Island!

The best Christmas present ever would be...? A letter from Sarah Ray! Ding ding ding! That is the correct answer - so, ask and ye shall receive! Here's the latest from the island - she only has about three months out, so give her a shout out and WRITE! Merry Christmas and Enjoy! :)

- Ridiculouslygoodlooking

"December 14, 2009

Okay, big news for the week was that Liliana was baptized on Saturday! It was a wonderful experience and probably the best day of my mission. She is such a fantastic example to everyone. It was my first baptism that something didn’t go crazily wrong, so we were pretty thankful. Irmã Call and I spent all day really nervous and anxiously awaiting whatever it was that we were going to have to deal with….but it never came. I guess we covered it all with our last baptism together in Coimbra. It really was a great example of the miracles that can happen when the members and the missionaries work together. It looked like a picture out of Preach My Gospel during the baptism. She was so well supported by people from both branches; we had more people at the baptism than we usually have in church! Plus she then bore a very sweet testimony about how she knew she was gaining a family in the church since her family isn´t really a family. Her father has passed away, her mother is in a metal institution and her sister is still living with the foster family ( since none of her aunts or uncles here would take them in) that kicked Liliana out when she turned 18. Needless to say everyone cried especially when the closing song was Families can Be Together Forever.

We also had a fantastic lesson with Carla, who has recently told us that she didn´t believe in God, because she couldn´t understand why bad things happened. Well, what did we do, we prepared a lesson on the plan of Salvation and prayed a lot. The lesson went really well and we ended up talking with her this week and she said she knows she needs to be baptized; she is just worried about her family now. We are making progress….it was pretty exciting.

Other than that, we have pretty much become the primary in our ward seeing as all of the kids seem to think it is more fun to follow the Irmãs around. It is kinda funny really, but hey, if it means that their parents have great experiences at church it is worth it. Speaking of primary, the program went really well and I am SO HAPPY it is over. I have a whole new respect and love for those who work in Primary and especially those who had me. Thank you for that.

Well, time is up but I LVOE YOU ALL and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas season for now. We haven´t really realized it is Christmas seeing as how we are still running around in short sleeves, but the lights and music are proving us wrong. Have a great one, and don´t forget why we celebrate!

Irmã Ray

December 21, 2009

Well, this week was the Christmas celebration week! President was here, we had the district of Madeira party, and we had the 1st counselor of the area presidency (Elder Caussé) here to talk to just us 10 missionaries for a whole day. It was awesome, even if we wanted to die we were so tired at the end of the week. President had a bad habit of keeping us out way later than we were supposed to be, but it was always his fault. Kinda funny. However, it was great fun.
We have also discovered that Caroling is not a Portugese activity. Irmã Call and I attempted to carol to people instead of knocking doors. Unfortunately, not a single person listened to us. Not that they weren´t home, just that they told us to go away. Now, I know we are not the Tabernacle choir here, but we are not THAT bad, and who doesn´t like good old Christmas Carols. Blast.
The weather also decided that it couldn´t be sunny and warm since it was almost Christmas, so now it is rainy and only kinda warm. The funny part is that we are on a mountain right, so when it rains, the streets become rivers. Now, not just a little bit, we were walking in water that went over our shoes a good two inches. Too bad we didn´t have our cameras. Now I understand why all the main streets have rivers in the middle of them, it isn´t to be pretty, it is to keep the city from floating away when it rains. We had a grand time singing on our way down the mountain at the top of our lungs...good thing I am with Irmã Call, she does crazy things like that with me.
On a sadder note, we had the worst lesson of my life last night. We are working really really hard with a family....the parents are menos activo, the 14 year old son isn´t a member and the 35 year old son (still living at home) is super active, but also a jerk. So we are trying to teach his brother and get his parents to stop smoking and drinking. So we had a really good lesson last night until Nelson (the older son) decided that the end of the lesson was a good time to apologize to his family for the mess he has been creating lately. We were thinking, okay that is good, until he started to tell everyone else why they were wrong, and things escalated in about 2 seconds to where the three adults were all yelling at top of their lungs, throwing things, hitting things, swearing up a storm and there were two missionaries and one member who came with them scared to death on the couch. So we stood up, and walked out the door....well more like ran scared for our lives especially when we could still hear them all they was outside of the building. It made us VERY thankful for our families and for everything that you have done to raise us not to be idiots.
Interestingly enough, the very next lesson we marked someone for baptism. Weird how there can be such hi and lows withing one hour! There really are two teams in the world and unfortunately Satan never goes on vacation.
Well, hope that everyone has a marvlelous Christams seaons and a great week. Love you all!
Irmã Ray"

The Best way to write Sarah is: (Ok this is a change, pay attention)

A) Since Sarah is on the Island, the best way to send anything (i.e. letters, packages, etc) through regular US mail is below. This method requires US $.98 postage for letters. (Better check this out, it should be the same as before)

Sister Sarah Ray
Rua de Ponte Nova
nº 12 5P
9000 Funchal

B) The alternate way is of course Dearelder that may eventually get to her.
1) On the internet go to website.
2) There is a drop down box on the right hand side down just a couple inches. Enter her mission which is Portugal Porto and then click "write a letter" just below where you select the mission.
3) On the next screen enter your return address and Sister Sarah Ray in the address line, add your email in the email box below the envelope.

4) Write your letter in the text box and then hit the "send letter" box under the text box to send it on.

This site does require US $.98 Postage. You can set up an account and it will deduct the postage each time you write.

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