Monday, August 29, 2016

One Month in Portugal!

Helloooooooo Everyone!!!

What a great week this has been! I can't believe I have been here a whole month! Time is so funny here. The days are so slow but then you look back and a whole month has flown by! 

But let's talk about the past few weeks! I didn't do a great job of updating y'all last week so here we go!
 One thing I forgot to mention last week was that Sister Smyth and I got to stop by FSY which is EFY in Portugal! They held it here at the college in Guimarães and it was a BLAST! They called us because there were a few workers helping with FSY that weren't members and so we came and talked to them about the church and gave them a Book of Mormon. After that we went in and chatted with all of the people running FSY and helped them cut up fruit and had a great time!
Miracle last week! Okay it was the end of a long day and we were knocking some apartment buildings. Sister Smyth and I were both exhausted but we were chugging along and then we knocked on a door and Consuela opened it. It turns out she is a less active! We talked to her and she was telling us about how her husband is Catholic and none of her kids have been baptized. Then she started to cry a little bit and told us that she had been praying recently for more light in her life and had started to think Heavenly Father wasn't answering, but she knew that we were the answer. It was such an incredible experience! You never know where the Lord is leading you! We haven't taught her family yet because they've been busy but this week hopefully! 
Yesterday was a great Sunday because two of our investigators came to church! Ricardo is 16 and we have been teaching his whole family but only he wanted to come. And he loved it! He is so excited about the church! We are teaching his whole family again this week and hope they all come next Sunday! The other investigator is Larinda and she is the mom of a recent convert. She has come to church so many times and really loves it. She lives far away so it is hard to teach her but we are figuring it out! 
Other updates: I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the store and Sister Smyth and I had a little nerd moment about it.Other fun things:
1. The local pasteleria has 3 pastries for 1 euro every day at 7....let's just say Sister Smyth and I have had to make serious health goals...
2. The other day as we were walking a lady called out to us and said "Hello my fellow Americans!!!!!" Her name was Joy and she is from Indiana and is the funniest lady ever! She has lived here for 6 years and so she always recognizes the missionaries and likes to chat with them. She was talking about how hard Portuguese is and told me to embrace my inner yoda to learn the sentence structure. It was a blast to talk to her and we hope we find her again!
3. Sister Smyth is a fantastic singer and basically knows every musical out there. Including....Fiddler on the Roof. We have had a great time singing that together as we walk home :)

Alright that is enough updates for now! I hope you all are having a great week! My scripture for you this week is John 16:33. I love this scripture! We don't need to fear because Christ has overcome the world and through Him, all things are possible. I can learn Portuguese and find people ready to recieve the gospel, and you can do the things that are hard for you too! 

Com amor,
Sister Morey

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

When the going gets rough you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming!

Olá Everyone! Tudo Bem?

What a crazy few weeks these have been! But they have been such great weeks! I love it here and am so happy to be serving here! Things are settled down and I have gotten into a rhythm which has helped a lot! And the Portuguese is coming along! As much as I want to wake up one day and just understand what everyone is saying, I know that it will come a little bit at a time. But I am able to understand a little more every day and that is all that matters. Yesterday I bore my testimony again in sacrament meeting and let me tell you, I wanted to die realizing I was going to have to go up there again, but it turned out better than I expected! My brain was working so fast trying to put the conjugations together but I think everything worked out! :) 

We got to go to Porto twice this week! Once because Sister Smyth had leadership council so I got to go on a division with some other sisters (Including my favorite Sister Hulsey!), and the second time for our zone meeting. It was so fun getting to meet all of the other missionaries! And for our meeting our president included some clips from Apollo 13 so we got to have a little movie party which we were all very excited about!

I'm sorry I don't have a lot of time, but I will have a better update and pictures next week. But to follow up with the title of the e-mail, over the past few weeks I have realized that we all have hard times. All of us! There will always be hard moments. But we choose what we do with those hard times. We choose whether we let those moments make us miserable or if we will embrace them, learn from them, and keep moving forward! Life is hard, but there are so many things that make it worth it. So keep swimming! Keep looking for the good! Look for the little blessings and miracles in every day. Because they are there. This life is a life for us to learn and to grow, but God wants us to enjoy this life! He is there, constantly strengthening us and showing us His love, we just have to look for it. 

I love you all so very much! Have a wonderful week!

Com muito amor,

Sister Morey

Monday, August 8, 2016

Once Upon a Time in Portugal!

Oh my goodness guess what!! I am in Portugal!!!!!!!

I can't even begin to describe what a week this has been! From traveling for 24 plus hours, getting to Portugal, meeting my mission president, President Amorim, getting my trainer (Sister Smyth), coming to my area, Guimarães, and then finishing off the week has been quite the ride! But I'll do my best to update you!

1. I know you all want to know about the language and I think the best way I can sum it up for you is with a quote from The Best Two Years. You know when Elder Calhoun first talks to someone in Holland and just stares at them blank faced and then turns around and says "That isn't the language I learned in the MTC." Well folks, that has been the past week of my life! I'll be honest, it's definitely tough not being able to understand people because I have no idea what to say back to them! But baby steps! I know I'll get there! I did share my testimony in sacrament meeting this week which was terrifying but I was really glad I did. I figured that the best way for me to show the Lord and my branch my willingness to learn was by opening my mouth and sharing my testimony. A lot of people came up to me and said that I spoke well (at least I think that is what they said...) Just know that I smile a lot and look to Sister Smyth a lot for help :) 

2. Speaking of Sister Smyth, she is AMAZING!! She is from California and has been out here a year! She is so nice and cheers me on every day. After the lessons when I am slightly skeptical of how I spoke, she always says "You are doing so well! I feel the Spirit every time you speak!" I am so grateful for her! She makes me laugh and is so fun to talk to. I have been very blessed to have her as a trainer. We work hard every day and are doing our best to find people and families ready to be baptized. Speaing of which...yesterday we had quite the miracle! Our mission goal is to have 12 lessons a week and we had 11 yesterday. So we prayed and prayed that as we went out that we would find one person to teach by the time we had to turn our numbers in at 5. So we went out and started knocking doors. And....nothing. It was 4:45 and we hadn't found anyone! But then as we were walking up the hill I heard something, turned around, and there was a lady outside her house. Well it turns out she is the nicest lady in the world! We talked to her for about 15 minutes and then she said we could come back again! Miracles happen ladies and gentlemen. 

3. Finally, Guimarães is the most beautiful place I have seen! I honestly feel like I am walking around in a movie! It is one of the oldest cities in Portugal. There is a castle, cobblestone streets, alleyways with laundry hanging down, everything! It is so beautiful! Every day I just think "I am in the most beautiful place in the world!" Also, right now there are festivals going on so there are parades and bands and all kinds of great things!

Alright I have to run, but know that I love you all so much and that we can all do hard things as we rely on the Lord!

Com muito amor,

Sister Morey