Portugal Lisbon Mission

Portugal Lisbon Mission

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ok...Now In Portuguese

Bom Dia, meu amigos!

Hope you're ALL having a good week! If not, well then I hope a good ol' dose of Elder Buchanan will perk your spirits ;)

Today marks the halfway mark of my first transfer! For those of you playing at home that means there are 3 weeks left in this transfer. And the end of the transfer means that I have halfway done with being trained. That means I've already completed 1/4 of my training!!! BaH! Scary stuff right there haha. Why is that, might you ask? Because of the increase of missionaries, they want missionaries to be prepared and able to train new missionaries at the end of their own 12 week training period! Crazy stuff.

So we mark Roqui for baptism! Which is awesome. She's so excited and so are we. I just wish Quintino would get baptized. He says he knows that the church is true, but something’s holding him back. He's just unwilling to put both feet in. He even takes pride in the fact that he brought the missionaries home that led to the rest of his family being baptized. But I just want to ask him, then why won't you?! He has a testimony, I know it. He wants his sons to stay strong in the gospel, but we're trying to teaching him that showing is better than telling. We're still working on it :)

We have some perspective people that I'm excited to talk to becasue they seem super cool. We've been getting most of our contacts out of the Area Book, which is the record of whom the other missionaries in the past have taught. It's hard to be able to talk to people when ever you say anything more than "Hi." everyone tends to say "Não quero nada!" Meaning they don't want to hear our message. It makes me sad for them.

The people here are very stubborn. A funny instance was we were talking to a lady and my companion asked her what she would say if she knew a prophet of God was on the earth, would she follow that church. Her answer cracks me up. "No, not even then. I was born a catholic and I will die a catholic."

Teach the Gospel to Everyone!

So we would have Roqui's baptism in the Rio (River) Tejo which is just down the hill from us, but its too cold right now. I'm honestly sure its fine, but these Portuguese are whimps haha. I can get away on most days(unless its raining) with just my white shirt on. And I honestly think its warm. But when I talk to a member of the branch they're all "não tens frio?!" you're not cold?! They're all bundled up in their thick coats. and I kinda laugh. Saying, no. Home is about this temperature most of the year. It usually about in the low 50s high 40s. Maybe its because I'm always walking, I don't know. It's nice when it rains though. But the sunny days are just as good :)

I'm working hard out here, still the same old me, with a few upgrades. The Portuguese is coming. Everybody always says I speak well for only having been here for 3 weeks now. Which I can't tell if they're just being nice or not. Because honestly, some of my conjegations are attrocious. Like the spelling of the word :)

One time in a lesson with a recent convert, I said something to her (Irmã Carmen) and when I finished she said "Ok now in Portuguese." and my companion just started laughing. You might think that was my first week? nope. Thursday. haha

Alright. Hope I've improved y'all's weeks :) Have a good rest of the week and feel free to send a note! I love you all!

Elder Buchanan

3 Pizzas for the price of ONE
Arches built before the birth of Christ

Monday, February 16, 2015

Faith -- Have It My Friends

Hola pessoas!

How's everyone's week? Mine's been pretty dang awesome. Why? Because I live in Portugal and I teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who will listen. Or more specifically who will listen to me. Because yes my speaking has been getting better, my comprehension is still crawling, not quite walking yet. But, with time it'll come :) Sometimes I dread going up to, or just speaking with someone because I know at some point something is going to be said to me and I'm going to have to understand what was said haha. But, ya have to look stupid for a while before you can be proficient. It's one lesson everyone's gotta learn multiple times (unless you're one of THOSE people). That you have to start at the bottom and WORK to get to the top. so right now I'm working :)

Lot of walking here. Which sometimes is hard. But I'm getting really used to it. I just sometimes wish we had a car so that we could go out to the farther parts of our area to talk to people. But we'll be able to time-to-time with our couple missionaries. The de Silvas. they're really cool people. I forgot to mention them last week.

Elder Muniz from Port Alegra and Elder Cluff
Car ride back from Zone Training

There's not too much to mention in terms of teachings. We're still working really hard to find people to teach. We have a good size list of references/names. We just can't ever seem to get them at home! But we have some really promising people. And plans to get some references from members. So we're excited. I know these people are ready to hear the gospel in Abrantes. We actually met a really cool guy who lives spitting distance of a member. He'd been taught before and seemed cool with meeting with us again. So we're going over tomorrow! woot :) João and Julianna

A pretty good story from this week. So there are what are called predios. and then there are some that are built with doors on the sides. So we're going down the stairs and we look out and see this guy stumbling up the road behind the building. Super drunk. It was hilarious. His srides were as wide as the path. he gets to the gate at the back and is fumbling with the keys and its hard to explain but we were dying. And when he dropped them it was just icing on the cake. He almost fell over bending over to pick them up. I was trying to be quiet but I was almost crying. The only down side is the door of the person that we were going to knock on was the one he went into, and we didn't want to risk upsetting him and not being able to come back. so we left her alone that night. We think it was her son that lives there.

It was still super funny :)

So yeah. Stories of the mission. We're working on having Quintino baptized this Saturday. Because he and Roqui are both ready. He just needs to put both feet in figuratively and literally haha. So we'll see if we can :) Faith. Have it my friends. Cuz it will work miracles.

Love you all!

Elder Buchanan

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's the Spirit That Teaches

After posting a note and picture on the Lisbon mission Facebook page I got this back from Elder Cluff's mom:

I am so happy to connect with you!!!  Chris had all good things to say about your son. :)  He shared this thought with me today in my email...

“All the new Elders had to give talks (mostly just testimonies) and while Elder Buchanan was talking, he said...”I know I don't speak Portuguese very well”, in his missionary way of speaking, and Quintino said to me “yes, but we still understand what he is saying!” And a lot of members after the meeting talked about how much they loved his testimony.  It just goes to show it doesn't matter what you say, it's the spirit that teaches."

Isn't that wonderful.  :)  Chris also mentioned that he is learning the language really quickly. Sorry so long!  Take care...  :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Made It

Elder Cluff, Elder Buchanan, Sister and President Fluckiger
Oi people!

Como estão?! How are you all? Hope you're doing well! What a crazy Week I've had. So much to say.

I made it to Portugal and am in a lovely little city called Abrantes. It's actually quite quiet here. We spend a lot of time walking to people we've already met or have talked to in the past's houses and knocking doors. The culture here is a lot different. Saturdays and Sundays you see very few people in the street. And most people will ignore the door. It's a bit different.

The day I arrived I met my new companion and trainer, Elder Cluff who's from Arizona which was a relief. I don't always have to speak Portuguese, even though we make it our goal to only do so outside the house. But inside its nice that I still can.

Abrantes is one of those cool European cities. It has cobblestone and those narrow streets between buildings. We actually have a pretty large area. Every night I come home completely pooped. But glad I was out there. The food here is absolutely incredible, especially if you get Africans cooking for you. There's a family in the branch, the familia Mendes. Oh man. Irma Rosa feeds us every time we come in. Yum :) We also have a second set of missionaries in our apartment, Elders Fortes and Domingos and they are from Cape Verde and Angola and man they can cook too. Yum.

Sorry I'm trying to cram so much in. There's just so much to tell. And I don't want to take up too much of everyone's time with reading a boring missionary email!

We have Irma Rosa's niece Roqui who is ready for baptism, but they're waiting until her husband Quintino is ready. We're gonna be working hard with him to get him to commit. Because he's kinda one foot in.  So we're trying.

All the people in our branch are cool and fun. A funny story actually. On Friday night, towards the end my first full day of work, we were going to the Mendes home for my first time. We go down this stair case to a back way to their rua(road). When a jovem(youth) pops out and points his pocket at us. My stomach sank. I had All my mission funds for the month and my camera with me. He said he wanted Tudo. My Portuguese had ultimately failed me but I understood that meant "all" I then chanced to look and him. He then just had this biggest smile on his face, pulled his hand out of his pocket and clasped my hand.

Elder Cluff then introduced me to Elaniou, and his brother who came down the stairs, Deamitinou Mendes. Irma Rosa's sons. They had a fun little laugh when I just shook my head and said "não divertido".  Elder Cluff said they are the guys who will keep us from getting robbed. It's pretty funny and was at the time, too. I knew at that point I was going to like them and like my companion. Deimantinou, Elaninou and Celciou (her third son) are all super awesome. I like them a lot.

Always exciting here in Abrantes.
I'll talk to all again real soon! Have a good week!

Elder Buchanan

Elder Cluff at a little sopas and sandes shop
across from our apartment

Monday, February 2, 2015

No News is Good News


Crazy week here at the MTC!
So today is my p-day, because I was SUPPOSED to leave tomorrow. But now I'm not. I shall relate this interesting tale to you all.

Portugal is supposed to be the easiest country to get visas from. They're supposed to take a month. I was told "no news is good news."

Then this last Thursday I received a reassignment along with everyone else going to Portugal, because I had not received my visa. I was assigned to Labor in Provo, Utah. Yeah...yuck it up :P Well then we found out that there was a possibility that they could be approved the next day and sure enough! I got my visa! There were 5 people who didn't get theirs. My companion was one of them. He left this morning for Bakersfield, CA. 

We on the other hand, have been waiting for our visas to arrive. They were hoping they'd get here today. But alas, they did not. So I am packed and ready to go, but instead I don't leave until Wednesday haha (hopefully!)

So we shall see. I'll send a short update tomorrow, maybe. If I'm allowed.

It's so strange to see this time I've had here come to an end. It's amazing how fast, and yet how slow 7 weeks have come and gone. Time flies when you look back. I have very few regrets from my time here, and hope to learn from that to come home form this mission with no regrets. I'm getting much better at portuguese and improve leaps and bounds each day. Honestly, I know I could not do this without Gods help.

I love being out here, and can't wait to get out to teach everyone I can, in my broken Portuguese that Christ Lives. To share the amazing message of His gospel. I hope all of you know that's why I'm out here. Because I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints(A Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos Santos dos Ultimos Dias), and I want to share it with others.

I love you all. I miss you very much. Have an amazing week and find something to be happy about! I promise you'll be blessed :)

Elder Buchanan

District - Elders Simpson, Jones, Masubelele, Bullock,
Massey, Maake, Gee, Buchanan
MTC Zone - 5/6 districts (missing 14 missionaries)