Hey ya´ll! How is everyone doing? From the sounds of it everything is going well. I am happy to hear it! This past week here in Vila Real has been something else… This little city has thrown just about everything it possibly could at us. Just to some it up really quick: The country has been in high alert for crazy wind and rain storms this week and we have sure felt it. On Saturday we had to walk to a small part of town which is a couple of miles away and we got stuck right in the middle of it. The rain was blowing harder than I have ever felt without any set direction and the rain fell heavier than I have seen, at least here in Portugal. We were walking nonstop in about 3 inches of water and occasional trudging through puddles much deeper. To top off, the cars passing us didn’t show any compassion and took every opportunity they had to splash the elders. There has been a little bit of flooding by the river because of all the rain. My shoes are still wet.
As if the weather wasn’t already enough, the animals have been attacking too! On wednesday will we were walking to a meeting with our branch mission leader, a small dog walked up to me wagging its tail looking like it just wanted some love. It looked more like a huge ugly rat than a dog and I really didn’t want to touch it so I started to move around it. Apparently it didn’t like this because immediately after it snarled and started to attack me. It nabbed me pretty good and I ended up having to go home with blood dripping down my hand to get all bandaged up.
As for the work, it is going pretty good! We marked a 76 year old angolan man to be baptized this next saturday! He has a lot of faith and desire but doesn’t think he is really all that prepared even though he knows more about the Book of Mormon than half of our members. He studies it every day with a huge magnifying glass because his eyes are a bit poor and he can’t afford glasses. Unfortunately, he has been getting pretty sick the past few days and he hasn’t really been able to get out of bed, let alone leave the house. Hopefully he gets better this week so we can finish up all the preparations and help him into the font on saturday!
The branch is doing alright. we are working a ton with the members trying to help strengthen them and bring them together. Without unity among the members the church can’t really grow too much. As a part of all this we are starting to devote all of our Pdays to passing by members houses, eating lunch, and just being friends with them to gain their trust and help them fortify their testimonies. Today we visited our Branch President. He live pretty far away in a small village up by the mountains. It took us a couple hours to arrive at his house, but it was well worth it. His wife cooked us an amazing dish from Moçambique and then we went up into the mountains to play in the snow with them and their grandson. It was the first snow I have touched since I left Utah so it was a real treat!
I love you all so much, and am so thankful for all you do to help me out here. Your emails and prayers give me so much strength! Remember that I am praying for all of you too. Stay well!
Here is a picture of me and andré. He and his dad were baptized recently. He is one of the coolest Português kids I have met!