Monday, June 29, 2015


1. Xeca had us over for dinner but then she just kind of left us in her house? And we didn´t know what to do so naturally we took a picture and then cranked up the Enya. Featuring my newly aquired double chin SHOUTOUT TO THE FOOD OF PORTUGAL



OLAAAAAAAA FAM AND FRIENDS!! Okay so basically this week was the CRAZIEST. The actually craziest and the weirdest but also the best. SUCH IS THE MISSION LIFE.

So basically on Tuesday there was this huge Sao João festival (Portuguese people have a lot of random holidays. This is the perfect example of a totally random but really fun holiday) here in Porto and we had a GIANT party at the capela. Im not sure what Sao João is actually for, but we basically just ate a TON of food (and sardines. This holiday is all about the sardines) and then people light fireworks and run around and hit each other on the head with plastic hammers. I wish I was kidding, but no, I literally was getting hit on the head for a solid 2 hours with a plastic hammer. But there was also a lot of dancing, paper lantern lighting on fire-ing (LITERALLY TANGELED AND I MAYBE CRIED) and general craziness. It was a ton of fun and I gotta say, the best part of the evening was when our 78 year old recent convert Maria threw aside her half-eaten sardine, jumped up and started a conga line. This is Portugal everybody.

So then the next weird thing that happened was Sister Smith and I left our bags unattended in the capela and we TOTALLY GOT ROBBED. SO VERY ROBBED. Luckily it was just our leftover change but we went down about 80 euros or so. So robbed. We have a pretty good attitude about it actually and it basically is just making this whole living-in-Europe experience a little more real, wouldnt you say?! The funny part came when we called different elders to see what we could do about the situation... Our district leader basically said "that sucks sisters" and the secretary in the south said "okay... what do you want me to do about it" and then the secretary in the north said "OH MY GOSH SISTERS IM SO SORRY. Do you still have your residency card? Your credit cards? We will call so-and-so...." Oh the different types of elders in this world.

AND THEN. WE HAD. THE GREATEST. DAY. EVER. By now I have already talked a TON (sorry about it) about Avelino and Xeca, but basically Xeca has been inactive for about 7 years, started to be friends with the sisters and do lessons with us so started coming back, and Avelino her husband has been just prepared and prepared and prepared for us for these last 8 years of their marriage. Once we actually started teaching him, he accepted everything, no problem. He was SO ready for this. And then on Friday, the miracle happened and AVELINO WAS BAPTIZED!!! It was the absolute BEST baptisimal service Ive ever been too. The whole ward knows and loves Avelino and they are just so stoked for him and its so great to see the support. And seeing Avelino smile this HUGE smile at Xeca after the baptism... Yep, it was a moment to remember for a lifetime. I kind of starting weeping during his baptism and everybody was really concerned BUT I WAS JUST SO HAPPY. Avelino bore his testimony after about how baptism really was a new birth, no other way to describe it, and how the temple is their next goal. JUST. SO. INCREDIBLE. This is what missionary work is all about fam!

Okay sorry that was a NOVEL but it was the greatest experience and I am so so so blessed to have gotten to be a part of it. Its something I will remember forever and ever and ever. I love it out here! It can be tough for sure but it is also so rewarding. Gaia will always have a huge HUGE place in my heart and all the members out here. I LOVE THIS CITY AND THESE PEOPLE

And I love all of YOU. Thanks for all the love and support, it means a lot. And remember, miracles are REAL!



Sister Parkinson

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