Monday, August 25, 2014


Enjoying her first Portuguese pastry
The view from her 5th floor apartment in Amora, Portugal 
With Erika (see story below)
Minha Família!!

Hey guys! I miss you! Can you believe I am in Portugal because I still cant?. These past few days have been crazy to say the least. All I know is the gospel is true because if the gospel was not true nothing would happen because we would not have the Spirit with us to guide us and comfort us. 

So on Wednesday, we got off the plane and it was a bit overwhelming. When I heard everyone talking I recognized it was Portuguese ,but that's about it. Haha  When I was walking with some of the Elders, I heard someone yell "Sister!!" This little girl and her dad ran towards us and said "We're Mormons!"  They were so excited to see us! It was so cool. Then we met President and Sister Fluckiger and can I just say they are amazing! They are seriously the nicest people ever. We stayed the night at their house and then we left in the morning to go meet our trainers. My trainer's name is Sister Briggs and she has been out for almost 14 months. I am serving in Seixal pronounced Say-Shawl. One funny thing that happened was that the APs drove most of us sisters to the train station and my companion didn't fit in the car so they said she would be coming right behind us. So we get out and both cars come and my companion isn't there. They seriously gave me my bags and said she should be here soon; and they were about to leave! Haha Well you know me I wouldn't allow that. Anyways it was pretty funny.

We got back to the apartment, I set my stuff down and we got to work. We actually don't live in Seixal. We live across the bay about a 30 minute walk a away in Amora. The first person we taught is named Erika. She is from Sao Tome which is an Island of the coast of Africa. She is 12 and she is amazing! She is so sweet when I speak Portuguese she just helps me and when I say something right she gets this big smile on her face. I love her. She is progressing a lot. 

The people in Portugal seriously are some of the nicest people I have met. You meet someone on the street and they just say of course you can share you message with us! They always want to feed me too. They say I am too skinny. Haha They also think it is cool that I am from California. One guy, when he heard that, he got this funny look on his face and said you are too white to be from California. Apparently I am supposed to have a nice tan. Haha It was pretty funny. 

Okay you want to here about some miracles? We were on our way home Thursday night and my companion was on the phone with our Zone Leaders.  Well, I saw this one girl and I had the impression to talk with her, so I stopped my companion and we walked over to her.  She is from Africa and is about 23 years old. I don't really know how to spell her name. Anyways, when we were talking with her, Sister Briggs asked if we could say a prayer.  So I said the prayer and after that she had tears in eyes and just gave a sigh of relief.  She said that she loved how we just talked with God and that our prayers come form our hearts. It was just a testimony builder to me that even though I am not by any means fluent, people can still feel the love their Father in Heaven has for them. She is going to meet with the Elders because she lives in their area. On Saturday we were out contacting again and we said a prayer when we got into our area and right when I opened my eyes I saw a man and I knew we needed to talk to him. We ended up going to his house to talk with his wife. And while we were there she said that she has read some of The Book of Mormon and she knows it is true! We then invited her to church and she said she would come. Well on Sunday, we heard form her and she said she was to tired to come. I personally wanted to still go over to her house and say Joan, you know the Book of Mormon is true so you need to come to church. Well anyways I was sitting in Sacrament feeling very down and I couldn't understand the talks and I was feeling frustrated because the ward is seriously amazing! They are the largest ward in Portugal and the members are so loving, but I just couldn't understand people. So sacrament ended and this one little girl ran up to me and gave me a kiss on both cheeks and said in Portuguese, "When are you coming over to my house?" It was so cute. It was just what I needed. To know I am not alone and I can make a difference here even if the language is not coming as great as I would like. 

I love you all so much! I know this gospel is true but I know that in order for me to become what the Lord needs me to be I must be challenged first. In Alma 7 it says, "And he shall go fort, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him deaththat he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, thahe may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

I read this scripture this morning and it just really hit me. Not only did Christ feel the pain of our sins but he knows how it feels to be tempted. So he knows how it feels when I want to speak more and then I begin to feel discouraged and when I start being negative and hard on myself. He knows how to succor his people according to their infirmities and I know this to be true. I love you all so much!! 
Sister Lacey

Monday, August 18, 2014

We go to Portugal tomorrow!!

Sister Lacey's MTC District and teacher
Sister Lacey and Sister Brown (from last week's running story)
It was freezing in their room one night!
Ola Familia!!

I cannot believe I am leaving the MTC tomorrow! I am so excited! This has seriously been an amazing week! I just love this gospel so much! Wow that is a lot of exclamation points.

Last night after the devotional they showed Elder Bednar's talk that he gave at the MTC a couple Christmas's ago. It is called the Character of Christ. It seriously felt like he was speaking directly to me. He was very blunt which you all know I enjoy. He said, "If you are upset things in your mission are not going the way you think you they should go... Get over yourself! It is not about you. It is about Christ." In the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 3:19 it says, "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and wilbe,  forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spiritand putteth off the natural man and becometh saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord,and becometh as childsubmissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to althings which the Lord seeth fit to inflict  upon him, even as child doth submit to his father." Elder Bednar went on to say that when we think of ourselves that is the natural man. 

So, now I'll share some notes and what I learned from his talk.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said,"There would have been no atoning sacrifice without the character of Christ." So what is the character of Christ? His character is his moral qualities which he consistently showed. Christ always turned outwards, away from himself and turned to lift others. One example of this happened right after the Atonement in Luke 22 it says,"47 And while he yet spake, behold multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kishim. 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judasbetrayest thou the Son oman with kiss49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? 50 ¶And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right  ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him."

I just love this scripture. Christ just atoned for all of mankind's sins and one of his apostles just betrayed him and he heals a guard's ear. He turns outward and does not think of himself. Another example is one of my favorites. It is when Christ is on the cross in John 

John 19:26-27 "26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."

Christ was on the cross and he again turned away from himself and took care of another. 

Elder Bednar went on to share the difference between having a testimony and being converted. He said a testimony is not enough. We must be converted. And being converted is when you consistently live and are being true to what you know. It is not enough to be converted to the church or to a certain church program or even an apostle. We must be converted unto The Lord. It just finally made me realize why there are some who fall away from the truth of the gospel. They are not being true to their testimonies and they are thinking of themselves. Sorry I am being so blunt. I just love this gospel. And I know that no one is perfect and I am far from it but I know that through the Atonement we can not only be cleansed form sin but be strengthend and become more like him. I know I cannot do this but with The Lords help I can. I feel like Ammom when in Alma 26:12 he says," 12 Yea, know that anothingas to my strength I am weak; therefore will not boast of myself, but will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things... for which we will praise his name forever."
 I have learned so much while in the MTC. I learned that I cannot expect my investigators to come unto Christ or turn towards him if I am turned inward and thinking of myself. I am ready to go to Portugal! I am already begining to feel a love for the people. I love you all so much! I know this gospel is true because Christ himself leads it. This is his work. Eu amo voces!!
Love, Sister Lacey

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


The blog just hit 1,000 views today!  Thank you all for your interest and support of Sister Lacey's missionary experiences.

One week to go!

In 1 week they will be heading to Portugal! 
MTC Companions!
Hey Everyone!!

Thank you so much for everything! You are awesome! This has been another amazing week at the MTC! Awe I love it here. I was able to go to the temple last week after emailing you and it was once again amazing! Today is my last day to go to the temple for 17 months! I am pretty sad and will probably cry leaving the temple today, but I am so happy that the people of Portugal will have a temple! The work is hastening! Everyone says how amazing the people of Portugal are. They call it the lighthouse of Europe here. 

One of the coolest experiences happened to me on Friday. I was a little frustrated with the language. Like I've said, my companion, Sister Mancuso, is basically fluent in the language... Anyway, if we are in a lesson and it takes me too long to respond, sometimes she will try to help and answer, which is understandable. Unfortunately, that makes it hard for me to use what I know.  Anyways, we had just gotten out of teaching a lesson and I was frustrated. Then we had gym time so I was just flying around the track. I passed one sister who is going to Cape Verde and we have talked a couple of times before but we dont know each other too well. We said "Ola." And I kept on going when I had the distinct impression to stop and walk with her. I thought this was crazy because I wanted to run! Haha. Well, the thought came again. "Stop now and walk with her." So I did. Long story short I have been feeling very inadequate when it comes to the language because it is hard having a companion that is on such a different level than me with the language. And this sister, Sister Brown, has a companion who is basically fluent in Portuguese as well. So we have had the same frustrations. We walked around the track talking and crying, realizing that there was someone else who knew exactly how we were feeling. And then we started talking about the Atonement and that we should of realized earlier that we were not alone at all in our feelings because our Savior has suffered for all our sins, pains and afflictions and he knows exactly how we feel. And then, as we were talking more she said, "Sister Lacey this may sound weird, but I had the impression to stop you and talk with you." Isnt that amazing!!  I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers our prayers!

I think at times we underestimate the deep love our Father in Heaven has for us. I know he aches when we are in pain and saddened and he just wants us to come unto him. I am so thankful for the Godhead and the three different roles in our lives that they play! Our Heavenly Father loves us. So much that he gave us his Only Begotten Son. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  He gave us is son so we could not only return to live with them but grow and learn and have the potential to one day become like them through the Atonement. I know that Christ is the only way we can return to live with our Father In Heaven.  He is our advocate with the Father. And Christ gave us the Holy Ghost so that we could be guided and comforted because Christ knew we would need help in this life. One of my favorite scriptures in the New Testament is John 14:26-27 when Christ says, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

We are so blessed to have a member of the Godhead always with us!

I love you all so much!! We are so blessed to be members of this gospel! I know it is true. I love you!!
Love Sister Lacey

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

2 more weeks until Portugal!

Sisters Mancuso and Lacey
Hey Everyone!!

Thank you so much for all of letters, packages and emails! You are all amazing! I love you so much! This week has been amazing!  After I wrote you all last Tuesday I was able to go to the temple. I LOVE the temple. Each time I go I learn and feel the overwhelming love our Father in Heaven has for all his children. Words cannot express how much I love the temple. I am so excited that the wonderful people of Portugal will have a temple soon!  My teacher Irmao Tiago, who served in Portugal said it is amazing how much the work of The Lord is progressing since the temple was announced. We even got to see when President Monson made the announcement of the temple in Portugal and a when the member from Portugal translated it he began crying. I already am beginning to love the People in Portugal. I am so excited!

Sister Lacey with some fresh cinnamon rolls we had sent to her!
We had an amazing relief society meeting 2 Sundays ago. Sherri Dew came and spoke to us Sisters. She talked about the Priesthood and Elder Oaks last conference talk. She said how we need to study and learn about the Priesthood just as much as the men because we too are endowed with or blessed with Gods power when we go through the temple and keep our covenants that we made with our Father in Heaven. I feel so sad for the small number of women who feel like they are less than men in this church. They obviously do not understand the priesthood and what we have truly been blessed with. They truly do not understand how much their Heavenly Father loves all his children.
Sister Lacey and Sister Hadley (former roommates at Dixie State)
I have a few funny stories to tell.  Yesterday while my companion and I were walking to class, she said,"Sister Lacey, can we slow down? We are going to be 15 minutes early to class. We do not need to rush."  Haha Apparently I walk super fast everywhere I blame it on my nursing assisting clinicals. Haha. Hopefully I dont kill my companions in Portugal with all my fast walking. Haha. Another story about my teacher, who went to Portugal; well, he gained some weight on his mission. He was talking about the bolos (cakes) in class and I said how I was scared about them, he asked why and I said,"I do not want to gain weight!' And he said, "That is a legitimate fear" but he said, "I gained so much weight because I ate like 4 bolos a day!" Haha It was seriously so funny! One last story about the way I smell. One Elder in my district said,"Sister Lacey you should start a sister missionary perfume line called Come Follow Me." Haha I seriously laugh so hard every day. I love my district!

I have grown to love the Book of Mormon so much more since being here. My teacher Irmao Gray said,"There is no other talk, lesson or any other book that has brought me closer to the Savior than the Book of Mormon has." And I completely agree with him. I love the Book of Mormon! I wish everyone could just know how important it is. During class and in personal study I read 2 Nephi 33:3-15 and Moroni 10:3-6,  which are their finals testimonies about the words they were commanded to write. 

I just love how they knew what they were writing (The Book of Mormon) was and is of such great worth unto all God's children. I know that anyone who sincerely reads the Book of Mormon with real intent, meaning they intend to act on the answer they receive, from a loving Heavenly Father, will know and feel how true this book is! I just love how Nephi said in verse 10,"...and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good." The Book of Mormon is Christ's word! I hope I can be able to have the Holy Ghost with me in Portugal because he will testify of Christ and the Book of Mormon. Again I know the Book of Mormon is true. I cannot deny it. I am so thankful that we have a Father in Heaven who gave us more of his words. The bible and the Book of Mormon support each other. Why wouldn't we want to know and learn more about our Savior? As it says in the 3rd paragraph and the 8th of the introduction to The Book of Mormon,"tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come... We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)' 

I love this gospel. I know it is true. It has brought me so much happiness. Eu sou grato por meu Salvador, Jesus Cristo e sua expiacao, Eu ama ele (I am so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his atonement, I love him). I love you all so much!! Thank you for all you do! We are so blessed! I pray for you daily.

Love Sister Lacey