Monday, September 15, 2014

Olá família!!

Baptism of Manuela, Euclides, and Victoria - Saturday, September 13, 2014
Sister Lacey and Victoria
Sister Lacey and Manuela
Abandoned ship in the bay, Seixal, Portugal 
Olá família!!

Hey guys!! Can you believe it has been a week already?! Because I cant. I don´t know if I have told you guys yet but I LOVE PORTUGAL!! I love the country, most of the food (Haha) and of course the people. I actually have not met that many Portuguese people; there are a lot of people from many different countries in my area and I just love them! Anyways this week has been amazing! 

Well first for some not so great news.  Erica called us last Sunday and said she couldn´t come to church and we saw her later in the street and she had completely changed. Normally she runs up to me and hugs me and is really excited to see us but she gave me a little side hug and when we asked when we could see her during the week she said she was busy. I was so sad, but I thought maybe she was just having a rough day. Well, we had a time set up to meet with her and her mom, (who isn´t the biggest fan of us) and when we went to see them, Erica answered the door and said her mom wasn't there but we could hear her talking. Well, we had a little lesson in the doorway with Erica and she did not really listen to us at all and when we asked if she would read a chapter in The Book of Mormon she said no she is too busy.  We left and I lost it. I literally just cried. My trainer seemed a little shocked; but Erica was the first investigator that I met in Portugal the first person who I taught and really the first person here who I really cared about. And she wants nothing to with me. But what made me even more sad is that she wanted nothing to do with the gospel anymore.  I know it is because of her mom, but it still just made me really sad.  Erica used to read a chapter out of The Book of Mormon and take notes on it and then talk about it with us. So anyways I cried for a little while, then I said a prayer and I felt complete peace and I know that someday when she is older and not living with her mom anymore she will come back to the truth she once knew. So sorry for the sad news we are still going to go by and see her this next week.

Okay now about Manuela, Euclides and Victoria. They are amazing!! We had a lesson with them everyday last week and can I just say the Lord did all the work!  We just had to invite and follow up.  I don't think I mentioned Euclides in the last email but he is Manuela's son who is 15 and he is deaf. When we would go to teach the lessons he would come and shake our hands.  Well, Sister Briggs decided to start giving him the pamphlets and then we would write questions on the back and communicate back and forth through writing. Well one day we wrote do you want to be baptized with you sister and mom and he got the biggest smile on his face and nodded over and over again!  Our district leader said he felt the Spirit so strong when he interviewed Euclides as they wrote back and forth and when Euclides wrote he knows the Book of Mormon is true. He is amazing. So they were all baptized on Saturday!!  After Manuela was baptized, she hugged her cousin, Jericly (the Young Men's president) and she just cried. Everyone was so happy and then after she came up to me and hugged me and cried and she said Obrigada, obrigada obrigada (Thank you, thank you, thank you). She was crying so hard and we just hugged for a long time. It was probably one of the best days ever. 

I know this is the Lords work because without him we could do nothing here. He prepared the hearts of this family.  It was not our teaching. I am so grateful that the mission age change happened. I feel like I am being taught more than I could teach anyone. Everyday as a mission we study the Atonement for 15 minutes and I love it.  I read this quote from Elder Holland the other day with this scripture. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. … Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
Elder Holland said, "that may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord’s merciful heart...  I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands". I want to apply this more. I need to feel peace and feel secure in the Lord's hands. We all do. We are so blessed. I love this Gospel so much. This is Christ's church. 
I love you all so much!!
Love Sister Lacey

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