Saturday, June 7, 2014

Last Post from the USA

We have had a very full, emotional week.  It was decided that we would fly to Brazil this coming Monday, June 9.  It's been hard thinking about having to leave, and it was very hard to tell our sisters and the wonderful people we've been able to work with.  We've both been amazed at how quickly we connected with the branch and the people here.  But Fortaleza is where we were called, so we'll be on our way in 72 hours!!!

Because we worked in the temple and doing other missionary things on Saturday, we took our p-day on Monday.  We walked the Freedom Trail and did touristy things like go to Paul Revere's home.  We decided the bulk of the day fell under "exercise," so didn't wear our missionary clothes.  It was so nice to not have aching feet at the end of the day - how I've missed my tennis shoes!  

Site of "Boston Massacre," and the Old State House, from which balcony the Declaration of Independence was first publicly read!  I have loved living around all this amazing US history!
Old North Church, of Paul Revere's "One if by land, two if by sea" fame

I was so touched this week as I was talking to my 6-year old granddaughter who asked me how my missionary work was going - I mentioned we were working with someone who was trying to quit smoking and she said, "Oh - Reginaldo!  We've been praying for him!"  Thank you for your prayers - he has gone 8 days without smoking, which should mean he's finished for good.  I hope.  He told the sisters that he will give them a baptismal date this Sunday.  I hate not to be here when that happens!!!

Smoke-Free Reginaldo with beautiful girlfriend, Nina (who always feeds us) and of course our darling sisters.  Oh - and Craig too!  :)

Another young investigator we've been able to visit with the sisters was having a hard time last week and asked for a blessing from Craig.  A few days later she collapsed and was rushed to the hospital and the next day was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor.  She told the sisters that during the blessing she could see the tumor in her body, so she knew it was there before the diagnosis (though she hadn't had any symptoms or been to the doctor.)  This really strengthened her testimony that Heavenly Father is aware of her and loves her and that everything will be fine.  She'll be baptized soon too.  Craig has been able to give some amazing blessings that have helped so many people, and has been asked by a strong member of our branch to come over tomorrow and give a blessing to his son.  As hard as this language barrier has been for me, I've loved watching him interact in a language that he loves so dearly, and be able to use his Priesthood to bless so many lives.

I hate to end on a downer, but I'll just real quickly tell about something that happened yesterday.  We had District Mtg, then Zone Mtg, then Zone Conference (well, one of us had all three and the other went to only two...)  We had to leave ZC early to get to Costco to get Craig's prescriptions now that we have the go-ahead to stalk up.  (Insurance wouldn't let us do it before...)  Not only was it rush hour on a Friday, but a train had broken down causing a REAL problem in the subway station.  I about died on the train below (gotta love Craig's long arms and willingness to take my silly pictures).  But after we got off of this train we had to catch another train by going through a connecting underground tunnel.  The people-jam from the broken-down train was not to be believed!  There were HUNDREDS (thousands?) of people packed in this small tunnel trying to move and nobody could.  We got in the middle of it all and I got so claustrophobic I thought I was going to pass out.  I've gotten claustrophobic before, but have always been able to remove myself or look up or switch to a window seat or something.  I just held on to Craig's hand and hoped he'd check on me if I let go.  We FINALLY got out of the tunnel, but I couldn't catch my breath.  The next train came shortly after and Craig got on, but big men with backpacks kept pushing me out of the way and I wasn't able to force myself on, so I watched a panicked-looking Craig (who couldn't budge) go off.  I wasn't nervous about going on the subway alone - I'm very comfortable with the system, but I couldn't stop crying and couldn't catch my breath.  I wondered if I should take my name tag off, as I did not look like a good representative for of the happy news of the Gospel!  Anyway, we connected, got the meds, and had a lovely mile walk back to the subway carrying a Costco load!  Sorry - this is why I try to do mostly pictures.  Just have to say - missions are not for wimps, and I think I may be one!  :)

Oh that this squishiness was as bad as it got!!!  :)

So tomorrow we say goodbye to the branch and people we have fallen in love with so quickly and deeply, and figure out how to leave a clean house (washed bedding, etc) and be out by 6 a.m. on Monday.  I won't have a phone after Monday, and probably not internet in our home in Brazil.  THAT will be an adjustment that I'm nervous to make.  I AM a wimp!

Oh - last thing - Our new mission president had told the Church Missionary Dept that he was ready for us and anxious for us to come, but through personal emails we found out he doesn't have a place for us to live - but invited us to stay in the mission home until we find an apartment.  And he doesn't speak English!!!  (New President comes in July - I hope he does!)  I guess next week my wimpiness level will really be tested.  Do you think I can learn Portuguese on the flight down???

Love to you all!!!

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps not on the flight down, but surely in the moment that you need it! I can guarantee you without reservation that the Lord watches over and cares for His missionaries - even those who think they are wimps (who He usually and eventually proves to that they are not :) ). Sounds to me like you were in Boston long enough to touch the hearts you needed to, and that you were both blessed to have your hearts touched as well. We love you guys and you are in our thoughts and prayers. Boa viagem!