We had a long trek from one side of the Paris airport to the other to our flight so I started talking to people. I met this cute couple from Canada that was going to vacation in the Algarves. Apparently it’s super glam down there. The guy is like, oh I have an article to show you and it’s about why people shouldn’t trust Mormons from some Canadian magazine. We were like uhhhhh you can trust us! Then we met a cute French girl and gave her a pass-along card as well.
On our flight to Lisboa I sat next to a Portuguese couple with a cute baby and out of nowhere the lady starts breastfeeding in the open and doesn’t cover herself so I get really uncomfortable and pretend to sleep for the rest of the flight. We landed and it was the coolest view of Lisboa. When we got there 15 bags in our group were lost but not mine thankfully.
I met President Torgan and Irma Torgan. I love them! We got to the mission office and he gave us our assignments. I am assigned to Porto!! We have the cutest chapel ever, I’ll send pictures next week. So then after we get our calls we had the best dinner I’ve ever had. Then we had a testimony meeting where I fell asleep. After the testimony meeting we went to bed. Sister Gourley, Sister Walton and I slept in one giant bed because we are clingy and it was our last night together.
We all woke up at 4am because of jetlag. We had another really good meal for breakfast. We went to the mission office for orientations and I met my new comp. Okay so....she doesn’t speak one word of English. She is from Brazil and finishes her mission in 5 weeks so I will get trained by someone else who doesn’t know our area. When she leaves I will have to show my new trainer the area and introduce her to the members and investigators. Scary. So after we had all our meetings we were off. And because of my ginormous suitcases and the box that mom sent to the mission home it was tricky getting everything to Porto from Lisboa. So they piled like 10 of us in a van and we drove to the train station. We took a three hour train ride to Porto, then a metro, then a bus and up a giant hill to our apt.
Our apt is on the top floor so that was fun getting all of it up the stairs. Our apt is big but old and there’s no light in the kitchen, no washing machine (so a member in our ward does our laundry) and very little warm water for showers. The apt is freezing so we study with blankets and coats on. It’s colder inside the apartment than outside the apartment. So imagine doing all of this and trying to communicate with a native comp. HAHA it’s been tricky. So our first night we went out tracting which was fun. I met Vanessa at our chapel and she’s from Mozambique and looks exactly like Rihanna. She’s adorable and speaks English. On Friday my first full day we had weekly planning. I wanted to cry because my comp kept handing me huge stacks of progress reports and I had no idea what she wanted me to do with them. So I acted like I was doing something and she obviously figured it out. So funny.
We have some awesome people in our ward and it’s a pretty big ward. We had 80 people in church this week. There’s a cute senior couple that speak English and we have a Gospel Principles class in English with two recent converts from Ghana. I love them. Oh and they have RS, then Sunday School and then Sacrament Meeting. At church a man who was completely drunk walked in yelling at people. We were like uhhhhhh that’s new. I cooked a meal for my comp after church, then we went tracting and I had my first meal at a member’s house. It was with two sisters, one speaks English and is 23 and her sister is 19. They have a Brazilian member living with them. They are awesome and can speak a little English. They made a casserole with tuna, pineapple, noodles and cheese. So different and I had to eat the whole thing because if you don´t they will get offended. I loved desert it was rice pudding but they use noodles instead of rice, with cinnamon on top. They call is aletria. It’s a traditional Christmas dish but they like it so they made it for me. I swear the only food here that is the same as home are green olives and diet coke. So great.
We have some awesome investigators. I don’t talk much but they think its endearing that I’m here and trying to learn the language. Lucia is so cute and reads the book of Mormon but is nervous to go to church, Americo is like 70ish and we met with him at the church and had this awesome member present and it was the most intense debate that I could barely understand. We have many others and it is amazing. We were walking down the street and this guy Leonardo, who was so drunk with a cigarette in his mouth yelled to us. Normally I would have kept walking but we stopped and talked to him and he actually listened to us. We told him about our church and how drinking and smoking is very bad for us and Christ wouldn’t want us to do it. We handed him a pamphlet with the picture of Christ on it. He started crying and kissing the picture of Christ and then I started crying and we said do you want to be baptized and he mumbled yes I do. Even though we had no idea what his problems were and even though he was drunk, we knew he was sad and wanted a different life. We got each others numbers and set up an appointment to meet again. When we said goodbye he tried to kiss me on the cheek and Sister Dos Santos was like NOOOONONOOOO! I like the whole kissing on the cheek thing they do here, obviously not with the males but every woman I meet does it. I feel so European or something hahahah.
Two days ago we wanted to drop by Leonardo’s house so we spent two hours trying to find it and he wasn’t home and wasn’t answering his phone. But we left a note and he called us this morning and we are going to teach him tomorrow. I can’t wait. Yesterday was our pday but we had zone conference so two zones Porto and Porto North got together and President Torgan taught us. We met a bunch of Elders. They speak so fast it’s so hard to understand. I was talking to one of my friends from the MTC, Elder Palmer about my bus pass and Irma Torgan’s mom yelled at us for speaking in English. It was funny because she doesn’t remember that I’m new. So because of our conference yesterday we have our pday today. Sorry I’m out of time. I love you all.
Rua de Aries de Omelas Nº7 2
[Images via google. Just an idea of where she is serving :)]