Portugal Lisbon Mission

Portugal Lisbon Mission

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Call

We had a one hour Skype call with Lucas on Christmas! It was so good to see him. He sounds good, looks good, is happy, and works very hard in the office as an executive secretary to the President.  He is training to take over for the head secretary. He leaves the office every day by 5:30  p.m. to go out and teach.  It was a little hectic with the echoes during the call and lots of people asking questions, but he seems very happy and it really made our Christmas Day!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Already Half Over?

Que estranho! I realized when I woke up in the morning yesterday that it was the day I went into the MTC. It was very strange. I can't believe that my mission is already half over. It's frightening and exciting. Frightening because of how fast it's gone by and exciting because of how much I still have to learn! I'm only half way! I still have plenty of time! :)

Sorry that the letter will be short this week, but I get to Skype with you next Friday :) For an hour!

Sounds like life is the usual Christmas business :) Making cookies, watching Christmas movies, raining like cats and dogs :) Fun stuff :) I miss that :) I haven't made my cookies yet, but I'll probably do that this week :) Seems like the Christmas season passes faster as a missionary. I love my 12 days of Christmas Nativity by the way :)

Thank you for the presents you sent me! I opened two just for fun :) The one that was obviously pringles :) My favorite flavor :) And two fabulous ties :)! Thank you :) I'm saving the rest for Christmas day :) Well, except one. That's for Christmas Eve :)

This week has been interesting. We had a really interesting lesson with an investigator names Flavio. He's a very intelligent guy and he's interested, but he ended up teaching us a little in the lesson! He told us we were being too stiff and that he wanted to see more of who we are. I thought that was interesting. Elder Hicks and I think that it was the Lord telling us that through an investigator! haha :)

We actually have been working without a car this week because one of the others got broken into and had a GPS stolen, so it's been an interesting time getting to our area by bus and such. A car certainly is a blessing.

Man...Star Wars. There's another one :) Gotta start writing things down on my trunky list (the list every missionary makes of cool things to check out after the mission) ‘Cuz I said I would never start one until I hit a year! I thought I never would reach a year in the mission. Crazy...

We went to Bolhão today, all the shops and such, window shopped. Bought a couple Christmas presents, had lunch at a really cool Asian food place called Wok to Walk. You choose your base, rice or noodles (and which kind) and then what you want in it and then your sauce. It was really good. Needed to be spicier though. :) Been a while since I had Chinese food that didn't make me sick.

I miss you lots! We just bought webcams for the office! :) I'm excited to see you :) I love you! Have a good week! Merry Christmas!!!!

Elder Buchanan

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Only Two Years

(Lucas's work in the office sometimes keeps him from writing a lot on p-day. Here is a little from my letter this week.)

The Ashby's came in and showed me some crazy stuff that's been going on in Oregon lately! Holy cow! So much rain! I saw a video of Multnomah Falls gushing, it has a 3rd waterfall! Crazy! The Ashby's are really cool :) They told us the other day that they want us 4 to come over for Christmas Day dinner :) And we've got plans to sleep over at the assistant house on Christmas eve and have a little gift exchange in the morning :) But they do all of the celebrating on Christmas eve here, so we've got to find a good house to go to for dinner :) So Christmas'll be good :) Don't you worry :) Weird to think that it'll be my last Christmas as a missionary, even though I'll only hit my year mark on Thursday. I'll be home for Christmas next year :) I'll be singing that song next November. 

(I told Lucas how sad Adi was when I left after the baby's blessing)
You should definitely get Adi into drama classes :) She can be a little actor just like me! I miss acting. So much. I miss a lot of things. I found out that so many of my favorite bands have all now released new albums :( Sad day...But I'll live :) Only two years right?

Hey, I'm gonna wrap it up here :/ Sorry mumma! I'll try to be better on Friday! But then the next Friday will be Christmas! Yay! 

Have a great week!

Elder Buchanan

Friday, December 4, 2015


Yeah...that doesn't happen sometimes...

But today was still fun! We ran around, I got my haircut, we had lunch...same old same old :P

There is honestly not too much to see here in Porto, and it takes forever to get anywhere by Metro (‘cuz we can't use cars on P-day) But maybe next week we can go do something fun (hahaha :))

We had EDP - a power company, go and shut off the power in one of the missionary houses today. He just knocked, walked in, turned off the power and then walked out. Kinda funny, but still not good! SO there was dealing with that today.

This week has been good. It's been a lot of working hard in the office and then cut and run to go work in the field and find people to teach and help. My new area is 20 minutes away by car, so it's a little more difficult to invite people to church because they have less ability to get to the chapel! But Elder Hicks and I are working hard. We work very well together. It's weird..he's the first comp I've ever had that I knew before I actually had him as a comp. He's a very funny guy :) I remember when we first got acquainted in the mission, I told him, "Man, if we were ever comps I'm not sure we'd ever stop laughing." It's been pretty darn funny ever since.

We made an awesome Christmas CD for our car and we chill and listen to the tunes on the way to our area.

On Tuesday, we had a great zone meeting, Elder McGhie did great, especially because he's one Zone leader (and AP) by himself supporting the responsibilities of two. I felt very animated after the meeting.

We discussed an event coming up and how it's gonna be crazy awesome! We have 7 wards in the Porto area in on it, we've got a plan to get members fully involved, President will be the keynote, we're putting together a choir, and our goal is 600 people in that chapel, 300 of which are people who are not members of the church. It's going to be very special. Our goal is to give out 15.000 invites with names and contact information. It's nuts! But awesome. "Go Big or Go Home!" was the challenge Presidente Amorim gave to us awhile back when it came to events. And Elder McGhie said "Bem, não vamos para casa!" "Well, we're not going home!"

This week that's coming looks bright and fun and crazy! Especially as we get closer to the Christmas and New Years! Holy Cow...that's crazy. Getting close to being out here for a year already...that's nuts!

Have an awesome week! Miss you all! Merry Christmas! :)

Elder Buchanan

Friday, November 27, 2015


Well this week has been very long and very short at the same time! Crazy stuff's happened right here! I guess y'all know I'm still in the office cuz my Pday is still on Friday! Well Elder Hicks came in on Sunday night, and he let me know that Presidente Amorim has changed his plans for the office, and he wants to return to 4 missionaries, and that I am the new executive secretary! How crazy is that?! I'm still kind of shocked about it! So it's now gonna be my responsibility to make sure missionaries are legal, plan Presidente's travel, prep documents and all jazz! :) 

It's been crazy so far this week. We had to take care of transfers, missionaries coming off Madeira, missionaries going to Madeira, lots of missionaries passing through the office. We had to make sure the HUGE group of missionaries that left this transfer were all ready to go, making sure bags were underweight. Then I had to prep the changes that Presidente had made to the orientation manual for the new missionaries and have it ready by 10am, in the chapel next to the office. Then we had to make sure everyone made the train or bus or whatever to get home after the meeting. So that was fun! Lets just say this week has been a lot of running around, giving rides, work and craziness! So that's been fun so far! But I am more that a little tired haha :) Better get used to it, I'm pretty sure I'll be here a while.

We're planning a big, multi-zone event here in the next couple of weeks, It'll be a Chirstmas/New Years event, probably a little after the new year. We designed an invite yesterday and it looks really good and oh my goodness we are going to hand out so many!!!

Since Elder LeBaron went home, Elder McGhie is lonemanning it. He seems pretty tired lately, he has to do the job of two, don't envy him...

Elder Hicks is my new companion! He's training me as a secretary this transfer and then he's out of here. He's actually very ready to go. The office takes a toll after too long, and this is his 5th transfer here, but he's still doing good. His sister's went home on Monday, he can't even believe that. Our car that we're gonna have here in a week or so is stick, and he's help me get better at driving it. He's learned out here too, so it'll be either A) good or B) blind leading the blind, so we'll see :)

Elder Orozco peaced Porto out, he went down to the Coimbra Zone in Aveiro. I really liked the kid! A little sad to see him go. Can't remember a transfer I've laughed so much. But he's gonna have fun down there.

Today's been pretty good, we went around, stopped at McDonalds and had lunch with some really cool investigators. So that was fun. Then we stopped by one of the malls, Parque Nascente and went around (Happy Black Friday anybody?) and looked at a couple stores. Lemme say, Black Friday is nothing outside of the states. And I LIKE IT. It's great. Everybody's crazy back home. Here its just they've got most of the store's who are just like, "stuffs marked down a bit!" But they do have a lack of thanksgiving here.

Thanksgiving was just a normal day, but it was nice anyway :) Hope y'all had a good turkey day back home! Can't believe its the Christmas season again already! I can't believe I hit my "Year till I go home mark" on Wednesday....crazy. It's amazing how fast this year has passed and how much I 've changed. It's incredible! I love my mission so much :) I don't want to think about going home yet, because I still have a year! IT's so cool and so scary at the same time!

Have a great rest of the week! Happy Shopping!

Elder Buchanan

Friday, November 20, 2015

When the Storm Passes Away

This is a repeated one, but I'm using it in a different way. "Where will you go when the storm passes away?" 

We all pass through storms at one point or another in our lives. It is inevitable. We are human, we will make mistakes or those around us make negative choices that affect us. But this life is a great big learning place. So the question is, when the storm passes, when the hardship is over, where will you go? Will you stay "safe" and kept away, or will you get out and go forward? Will you let the rain stop you from enjoying the sun? The here and the now are what are important. It's not who you were, it's who you will be, it's who you can become. It's not what you did, but what you do next that counts.

Our experiences shape us into who we are, so while they may be hard, we are better because of it. I am grateful for the Grace of Christ, that it is sufficient, and whatever justice is not met in this life, will be paid in full in the world to come. 
My heart goes out to all those affected by the tragedy in Paris :(

This week was fun :) It was a crazy week that to be honest I can't even remember half of.

We talked to Bruno again! He's a cool kid. BUT he's a loser cuz he canceled on us yesterday and is leaving for Lisbon and won't be back till Wednesday :P So that's lame! But it's chill… still working, hard, looking for those who want to hear the gospel :)

Presidente gave us a very big task this week, finishing the new orientation manual for the incoming missionaries from here on out. So that's crazy and fun. I have to translate one nice long part though, cuz it has to be in both English and Portuguese...bleh. So been working on that n' stuff!

Elders Hicks, Merkle, Orozco and I all had t-shirts made :) they say "The office/Missão Portugal-Porto" on the front and then our names on the back :) Pretty cool :) I forgot to take a picture so I'll send one next week :)

We had a goodbye party for Elder and Sister Ransom today! :) It was fun :) I got to do some barbecuing! Presidente and Sister Amorim hosted us, it was very good food :) Always is haha There was feijoada (or beans) with rice and what’s called cascais (this powdery stuff you put with rice and beans, really good), then there was cooked sausage, bread (of course. never forget bread), plenty of guarana (a brazilian fruit flavored soda sooooooo good.) and then we made like 3 chicken's worth of bbq-ed chicken, like a whole cow haha and then a couple hamburgers. So that was fun :) and yummy.

I love being here in Porto, but I get a feeling that I’m gonna be leaving pretty soon so....We'll see if it's very far or not :P Can't believe it's already the end of another transfer. Getting close to that year mark :P craziness :)

Have a great week!


Friday, November 13, 2015

70º in Nov?

Yeah...we had a 70º day this week. Pretty nuts, actually.

The week was pretty darn good! Lots a fun and work and all that jazz :)

This one will be a little shorter than last week because I'm a bit tired today, but I'll give ya some good highlights!

We had a zone meeting this week and Presidente introduced a new program to help train us as missionaries and help us. It's should be cool and I'm excited!

Elder Orozco and I met a really cool guy named Bruno yesterday who was very interested to hear our message and was very willing to listen to us and we've got a time to come back and talk to him again! He's a pretty cool kid :)

Yesterday was Elder Merkle's birthday, so we decided to do something special. Sister Ashby actually made him a cake and we sang to him when we got to the office. But then Elder Orozco and I left early from the office to go to a "lesson" But we went and prepped a surprise party at the chapel just down the street. Then we lured him down because the Sisters were supposed to be at the chapel cleaning. And then we knocked his socks off! :) The sisters decked out the kitchen, made a really good cake, Orozco, Elder Mcghie and I made Carne Asada, I made some banging salsa :) We sang to Elder Merkle and I think it made him feel really good :)

Those are just some highlights. I'm sorry, we were running around having fun today and I'm beat. I took Orozco down to São Bento downtown and we had some bombin’ ice cream. I think Elder Orozco's slang is rubbing off on me :P oh well.

Have a great week!

Elder Buchanan

Friday, November 6, 2015

HEY FAM! (and Friends :))

There's this sister missionary in our district, Sister Parkinson, she says that when ever we as a district see each other :) She's super animated and hilarious, it's pretty great. Probably one of the funniest sister missionaries in the mission haha!

So! Sorry about not getting my email out yesterday. In the office, sometimes, you just have to take care of some urgent stuff, so you push off some pday stuff, but it's all good. Still get to email :) I like being here :)

So i forgot to do that day to day format, nobody gave any feedback, so I'll do it again, if y'alls don't like it and just want jumbled, Elder Buchanan Rants, lemme know!

SATURDAY:  We had an awesome Halloween Party put on by the missionaries from the Porto 2nd Ward in the stake center! (Mostly Elder McGhie). We spent a lot of that day helping prep the chapel and get everything in order. It was a lot of fun, the chapel was all decked out, we had quite a few investigators and we had some good ol' fashioned fun! I got to see some of the members from my old ward, so that was fun!

SUNDAY: Just a normal Sunday, Elder Orozco and I don't work in the office, instead we go and use the whole day after church to go out and teach and help people. So that's fun :)

MONDAY: The sisters in our district, Sisters Parkinson and Anderson, have pday on monday still, so we met them to have a "district lunch" and this Brazilian grill place, you know the kind where they bring around the meat. I'll say, there was a lot of meat, they just kept coming, but the quality wasn't that amazing :P I'll have to try that really good expensive place when I get home ;)

I also got a phonecall from the members in my old area, Peso da Régua, they tracked me down :)
They called to tell me that an Investigator that I found with Elder Gilbert is getting baptised this weekend! That was cool :)

TUESDAY: I don't remember a ton, but I do know that while we were out, Elder Orozco and I met this cool guy that turned out to be a member, his name was Bruno. So we marked a time to come back and talk to him another night.

WEDNESDAY: yeah...don't remember much about this day...

THURSDAY: This was of the day of the mission leadership training, where all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders receive training from Presidente. Elder Orozco and I stop to get a pastry on the way to the office, because we're walking and...pastry. So as we're arriving at the office, Elder McGhie calls and tells me Presidente wants to speak to me real quick, so were have to hurry and drop our stuff off, and then go over to the chapel (just down the street from the office). Presidente then sends me to cut down a forest while he has me print out 150 copies of a 5 page packet, staple them and put them in plastic sheets and then kill another forest by printing 1,200 copies of a one page sheet. Luckily I had Elder Orozco and Elder and Sister Ashby to help out :)
But on the brightside, they were the best 3 chocolate croissants of my life. They made in like you make a cinnamon role. mmmmm! so good :)

FRIDAY: Nothing too fun, Elder Krull ended up doing a division with Elder Orozco because Elder McGhie(Elder Krull's comp) went down to Santarém on AP business. So I chilled with Hicks and Merkle all day, We went out and found some pretty cool people actually! Elder Krull Orozco and I had and AWESOME lesson with this one kid Gabriel, who's be struggling to know if God exists or not. He said after the lesson it was the best he'd ever felt with the missionaries.
I don't know if I mentioned about Amelia last week but Elder Merkle and Hicks and I went to teach her about the Restoration of the gospel and she was teaching us about it too! She told us she wants to quit her 1 cigarette and 1 cup of coffee per day so she can be baptized and go and be a missionary without us saying anything. Basically she's already planning her baptism. This was only the second time we'd sat down with her! :) She's really cool :)

So there's my week in detail! Miss you all! Hope you have a great week yourselves!

Um GRANDE Abraço!

Elder Buchanan

Friday, October 30, 2015

Rainy day!

Hello, all!

Well rain has hit Porto finally! So that means I'm happy as clam :) Where does that phrase come from anyway?  Anyway, the rain is great! :) Reminds me of home! One night we were out walking in the rain, obviously getting wet, but I had a huge smile on my face. I was laughing and joking with Elder Orozco, as he mentioned to me several times that night how much he hates the rain. :) California people. haha. They say the longer you spend out in the rain as a missionary, the prettier your wife will be. haha!

I forgot to mention! In the mission office there's always an office couple to help out, and our current couple, Casal Ransom are leaving here at the end of next month, so they had to bring a new couple in so that the Ransom's could train them on their new calling! So Casal Ashby showed up not too long ago! Casal Ashby is just as cool as Casal Ransom :) They're both super nice and they're from Hillsboro! Sister Ashby was a professional photographer for quite awhile so she and I have had several chats about it and all in all, I just like being around the people here :)

I haven't written much about our new housing situation! So the secretaries, Elders Hicks and Merkle moved out of their old house and into the one I was staying last transfer. Man, the four of us have some good times :) We're always laughing and lunch is a bunch of fun. Elder Merkle referred to me as a "god of rice" the other day. haha :) He really loves the way I make rice. Or he talks me up so I make lunch...either way, I'm fine haha :)

Yesterday, Elder Orozco and I did a split, so Elder Hicks took Elder Orozco and went to his area, and Elder Merkle and I stayed in our area. We ended up finding someone who was so willing to receive us! Amalia, she's from Bulgaria but speaks great Portuguese, and she was already taught by the elders, and had been to church in the past. The missionaries left a great impression but didn't come back after a certain point! She said her husband has read the book of Mormon 3 times! Holy cow! :)

I've been doing well this week :) Hope y'all aren't worried about me :) Elder McGhie lent me a book the other day titled "The Four Doors" by Richard Paul Evans. So far its really good :) I honestly feel like a big weight has been lifted this week. I've been focusing more on my Savoir, on being positive and not allowing negative things to enter my mind and I've never felt so much better :) I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is true!

I miss you all very much! Hope you have a great week! 



Friday, October 23, 2015

Life is so Sweet on the Sunnyside of the Street

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm happy to be writing you today :) I don't have a lot of missionary experiences to share with you this week, but I do have a very important lesson to share with you :)

So unbeknownst to all of you, I've been under the weather a bit…more than a bit actually. I've been in a bit of a bad mood out here. And it had gotten to the point where I was very hard to be around.

Well this week my mission President, who was concerned about me, gave me a nice, swift, kick in the pants. Which I needed very much.

He spoke to me about several things, but what sticks out the most was that he shared with me how my attitude, and opinions truly affect not only me, but my ability to help people on my mission. How it is impossible to be happy, if I do not look for the things to be happy about. (A lesson my poor parents have tried to teach all my life, but perhaps this time with a little more fire.) I'm reminded of Pollyanna, who played the glad game :)

He shared with me a scripture in Mathew 6:22-23:

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"

He then taught me what this scripture meant through a story: When President was a branch presdent in the Missionary Training Center in Brasil, he did something with his group of new missionaries, he divided a blackboard and asked the missionaries to list all the things bad about serving a mission in Brasil. the filled the side of the board. When he finished, he said there was dark cloud hanging over the room, it was clear. Then he had them fill the other side of the board with the good things about serving a mission in Brasil, and the cloud disappeared. He then erased the left side of the board. The curious thing being that a large proportion of the things that were written on the left, were also written on the right.

Our eye, or how we view things will change the way things appear to us. It will change the very nature of who we are. 

I'm very grateful for my mission president who loves me enough to teach me such a lesson. It was a little hard to swallow, but it's what I needed to hear. I'm changing how I see things, and I hope none of you ever doubt if I'm happy or not, ever again :)

Have a fantastic week!

Elder Buchanan

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