21 March 2012


Ah today has been so great. And getting on email and seeing your emails makes me giddy. Seriously everyone stares at me in the internet cafe because I’m grinning and giggling with my face two inches from the computer screen. No kidding. Well the creepy guy with dreads next to me is into it...anyway thank you for all the updates! I can’t stop apologizing for the lack of responses to emails. They are so long and full of awesome detail that I would need an entire week to write what I would actually like to write back. BUT I need to clarify real quickly. When I sent my address I wrote it wrong and just now caught it. 
It’s Ornelas not Omelas.....but I’ve still been getting everything! The mailman must know that I just don´t know how to read.

This week we found Francisco, a single father from Angola and he brought his daughter to church yesterday and calls us his angels! Hopefully everything turns out okay!

Okay so yesterday we ate at our Bishop’s house after church it was really good and they are all about manners. They all eat with a fork and a knife here and it’s rude to just use a fork. You have to use
your knife to scoop your food onto the fork. It’s very hard for me. They totally knew I had no idea what I was doing cause I was just holding the knife pretending to use it. And when you want more food you like place your silverware a certain way and when you’re done you put them pointing to the left and parallel? News to me. Vanessa started fighting with me because she said these are universal manners and people in America do it too....um I’m from America and I’ve never see anyone do this. She was like then how to people know you’re done eating? And I was like idk you say you’re done and stop eating? And she was like NOOOOOOO. And I was like YESSSSSSS. Am I the only person
in the world that didn’t know this?! Whatever, she’s never been to America. When I come back I’m not using a knife.

In other news I have an addiction to pastel de natas. Google them. I have like two a day. Irma Dos Santos says I have a problem.... I say I’m only in Portugal once. Works for me.

Our ward is taking a Temple trip next month to Madrid and every time some one talks about it I die a little inside. I want to go so BAD. You have no idea how much I miss the Temple. I can´t wait to be able to go again. I haven’t heard any updates on the Temple in Lisboa. But its already my favorite in the world...next to Mesa and Oakland.

GENERAL CONFERENCE is SO SOON! I´m dying I´m so excited. I miss watching it being surrounded by my family and friends eating a massive breakfast in our pj´s. But no matter where you are watching
conference, the message is the same. I invite EVERYONE members and non members to watch.
They will be broadcasting it in the chapel here and in the garage they will have it in English! I’m actually excited cause the senior couple is making food and there are couches in the garage :) score.

Finally.... I´ve been impressed to tell all of you about being a missionary. Missionary work is nearly impossible with out help from the members. References and having members present makes all the
difference in conversion. I challenge all of you to be missionaries. Talk to everyone you know about the Gospel. NEVER be ashamed of your faith. Yes we can be shy sometimes but we need to understand this Gospel is MANDITORY for EVERY soul. And if we don’t share it with others His Kingdom won’t grow. It we want to be with our families forever we need to do all that we can to share the Gospel. And it all starts with being an example. When you live your life worthy of the
Holy Ghost people will feel it and it will spread and your light will shine. Others will see that light and want to be a part of it. Be friends with the missionaries in your area. Form strong relationships
and introduce them to you´re friends. I love you all and because I love you I want all of us to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.

Please have a good week :)
beijinhos (kisses)
Irmã Nelson

15 March 2012

Pretty Porto

Thank you for your emails, honestly they make my entire week. This week was a better week for teaching. We had a zone meeting on Wednesday to talk about what we could improve in our zone. I could actually kind of understand. So I think I’m getting there with the language. I see you got my pictures. Right after emailing last week we went over to that bridge and it was the most breath taking view I have ever seen. 
We didn´t have a lot of time (we never have enough time; people who have served missions know exactly what I’m talking about). I wish so bad that I could write individual emails back to all of you and say what I really want to say and go into detail but never have the time. But we will all just have to talk for a really long time when I get back :)
This week I received an email from Dene, Paris and Jenny. I died I was so happy! I need more stamps so I can respond to your letters. But finding stamps here to the US is nearly impossible.
This week we helped several people move. One was this adorable lady named Giselle from Germany. She has lived in Portugal for 27 years teaching ballet and has two sons. One is a member and one is not. We are trying to help the one son to accept the Gospel. We also taught one of our recent converts Vanessa a few times. She’s adorable and from Mozambique and has the whole Rihanna thing going on. We´ve also been helping her move. During one of our visits she said she came across a ton of anti-Mormon videos and websites that started to make her doubt her faith. It’s heartbreaking to see what people have to say out there about our religion. It’s Satan working so hard on us to deny what we know is true.
I know without a doubt in my mind and heart that this Church it true. The Spirit has born testimony to me so strong of the truth of these things. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. Every time I watch the restoration video (I nearly have it memorized in Portuguese), I know that he saw God the Father and His Beloved Son. Sharing this gospel is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can´t wait for the day when I´m finally fluent in the language and can really make a difference in the lives of the people here.
I´m sorry my letter is so short this week, but the most important thing is that you all know my testimony and I invite all of you to thank your Heavenly Father for all of the many blessings in your lives. He loves each of you so much and knows each of you individually. Thank you all so much for everything. I’m sorry I don’t have time to answer all of your questions but know that I’m perfectly happy, working hard and seeing miracles. And that I love each one of you.
You´re always in my prayers...
-Irmã Nelson
Oh, this week we found a McDonalds by our house. It’s seriously the most glam place I’ve ever seen. They are so nice in Europe it’s insane. They even have different food, nice couches and super dressy outfits! ( McD´s in the USA needs to take a tip or two from these people) and we may or may not have eaten there twice.....don´t judge me

06 March 2012

Pics from Portugal!

Presidente and Irmã Torgan

first companion- Irmã  Dos Santos

Porto's church building

BOM DIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love all of your emails. They seriously make me miss all of you so much. Thank you for remembering me. Okay we are really limited on time today but I will fill you in on our week.
The language is still hard but I´m beginning to understand a little better. Everyday with the Lord's help I will continue to learn more and more. Some days are hard and I think to myself that I will never become fluent in the language but then I remember all of your encouraging words and I feel much better. I absolutely love being a missionary and in time I will learn everything I need to know.
Last pday was awesome after I finished writing you guys. my comp and I walked around Mercado do Bolhão. It’s really pretty.We went in to a huge Catholic cathedral and the people inside stared at us because of course they know who we are. My companion let me go into Zara and I found a killer skirt for $5. I was pretty happy about that.Then we went to this store called Continente which is like Wal-Mart Super Store plus Target. So big and overwhelming.I finally saw the dried cod situation. So bizarre. So much fish.
The bus drivers (motoristas) here are so glam. They wear massive trendy shades and have Euro hawk haircuts. One had really long hair with a plastic headband. So funny. They never smile, they´re just too cool.
We were a little sad this week, several of our appointments fell through. We have people that we pray for each week that we want to be baptized called Revelados.We had a couple (Annabel and Manuel) and their daughter who have been in church the last two Sundays.We stopped by their house everyday and some times twice a day and they were never home (I felt like such a stalker, but my comp and district leader told us to do it).We called them over and over and they wouldn’t answer.A sister in our ward sent us to her (Claudia) granddaughters house and we get to the door and her little boy answers the door.Then Annabel comes to the door and Claudia comes to the door and screams at us to go away and slammed the door in our face.I was so sad.Then it started raining and the bus stop was a mile away. It was a great time. But we just calmed down and ended up laughing about it while we walked in the rain. Adelberto didn’t come to church this week so we have to push his baptism date back another week. Hopefully he is still doing well.We haven’t heard from him in two days.
Well I have got to go. Thank you all for everything. I´m so grateful for this Gospel and my opportunity to serve. This mission is teaching me so much and I´m having so much fun learning a new culture. The work is so amazing and it is such an honor to teach about God and His beloved Son everyday. I know this Church is true with all of my heart.
I miss you all.~
irmã nelson

01 March 2012

Bom Dia!!

BOM DIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So much has happened this week. Thank you everyone for your sweet emails they are so encouraging!
So to answer some questions, my health is good I can walk for hours and it doesn´t bother me a bit. These boots may ware out soon but I guess that’s part of being a missionary. It´s still pretty hard to communicate with my companion, it really is like a guessing game and charades. But my companion had a quote in the MTC on a magnet she loved. It said that "life begins at the end of your comfort zone”. 
We met a man named Isaque from Brazil the other day on the rua (street) and taught him a couple of days later in a park. While my companion was teaching the 1st lesson and I tried acting like I knew that she was saying a pigeon pooped all over her. It was so sad but she wiped it of her face (it was everywhere in her mail, on her face, on her clothes) (I hate pigeons btw) and kept on teaching. She really is such an example to me as a missionary. She’s a great teacher and so obedient. One day we will communicate really well.
Some of the things I love about Porto; obviously the people here worship soccer (futebol) and the stadium here like owns the cardinals stadium. When a game is one no one is out on the streets and they’re all completely focused on TVs inside restaurants cafes and bars. It’s hilarious. But also makes proselyting a little tricky. Another thing I love here is obviously the bread and all the building have these beautiful wall tiles. I want them on my future house. 
One night as we were heading home we met a man named Adelberto. We have taught him two times now and he already wants to be baptized. We´ve set a date for the 10 of March and we threw a little birthday party for him (we couldn’t actually stay) at the center for jovens (youths), he was turning 22. The youth center is under our chapel. It is for LDS and non LDS people 18-30 to hang out, etc. and a senior couple serves and cooks them food on Fridays and Saturdays. They have a ton of jovens. He was awesome and will be the first person that I street contacted and hopefully gets baptized. 
Yesterday at Sacrament Meeting the Bishop had me share my testimony with the Ward in Portuguese and everyone came up to me after and told me I spoke really well. But I still can´t understand anyone. But I’m getting there. I love our little English Gospel Essentials class. Elder McConkie taught us and he is so knowledgeable about the Gospel. Oh and I was informed at church by the Bishops wife that she will be helping me learn the Porto accent. She said that in Porto it is rude to use voce and tu (their forms of you). So basically I have to start all over again. I have to use senhor and senhora always. They are extremely formal here and their accent is nearly impossible to master. So that’s going to be fun.
Well, I’m all out of time but I love you all. I’m so glad to hear Jami Pond and Richard Cunningham are home and well and that Darien’s baby is perfect. Courtney filled me in on all the celeb gossip and mom always updates me on Mitt Romney.
Thank you all for your prayers--
This week in the scriptures I read section 31 of the D&C and put my name in instead of Thomas Marsh and it brought me so much comfort. I`m also reading in the Gospels right now in the book of Luke. I love reading about the life of our Savior. He was so selfless and leads by example always. I’m so grateful for Him and His atoning sacrifice. He loves all of us so much.
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH and you´re always in my prayers
Irmã Nelson