Portugal Lisbon Mission

Portugal Lisbon Mission

Monday, April 27, 2015

When the Storm Passes Away

My beloved Jake Bugg. I believe this song honestly has deeper meaning than I care to go into right now. I'm using it mainly because we've had so screwy weather that last couple of days. One day we must've had three storms that blew out about as fast as they blew in. And this song kept popping into my head.

Well here we are! Surprised? So am I :) Guess where I am now! The same place! Yep haha I get to stay here in Abrantes for 6 more weeks, which is honestly a blessing (and a liiiitle bit of a curse--this is about as rural as you can get. Not even a McDonalds! You KNOW it's rural then.). I'm glad to be here in the same. Oops...the sentence makes sense in Portuguese. IT's happening already! Just kidding I may have done that on purpose...but I do feel like I'm forcing it a little when I speak English sometimes. So that’s cool.

Man oh man I wish I had my camera cord. Because I have some goooood pictures :)
Friday night was "Noite Famíliar" in the church. We have a spiritual thought and afterword play a few games with refreshments at the end. This week we played a game suggested by Elder Da Silva called "bâton" Where you have a tube of lipstick and in a circle you create a rhythm of clapping and then you say "I have 0 bâtons, how many bâtons does _____ have?" and you continue to pass it around the circle. But if you mess up or stumble over your words, the person that passed it to you gets to give you a "bâton" with the lipstick. After that you have 1 bâton and so on. It was pretty hilarious. I was one of the last ones to not have been Bâton-ed and so the youth were after the Elder, of course. Finally I messed up, and Gustavo, made a nice long line from one cheek, across my nose to the other cheek. Man oh man I wish I could send you all photos. Elder Da Silva ended up with two little circles on each cheek and one on his lips. I told him he was beautiful. Haha
For sure I'll have my cord by the 7th, because the mission President is coming up here to do interviews. So I'll get mail then :)

There was honestly something really interesting that I wanted to tell you about that happened last Monday after email...but I can remember. Sorry. Just know that it was interesting!

Sometimes as a missionary you spend a little while waiting for people to show up. The other day we were waiting for a young man to meet us in the center of a little park, it was hot and there was a little stand that was basically a café (they have cafe's like the Brits have pubs) so we ordered some lemonade and wouldn't you know it, he showed up right after that. So we had to abandon our lemonade that we hadn't even gotten yet. You want someone to show up? Have the need to go to the bathroom, go order something, or start talking to someone in the street, it's surefire! haha

I apologize this isn't jam packed with action like last week, but I hope you got a slice of the missionary life. It's a lot like yours except I talk to everyone who wants to listen about the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I don't watch TV or Movies (which to be honest I don't miss all that much) Missionaries, if we're being honest, are very strange indeed.

Have a good week! Take care! Eat some food, I know I will!

Elder Buchanan

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Are My Sunshine

I have now idea, but for some reason Johnny Cash kept popping into my mind this week, which is odd because I only really listened to a few of his songs. But this one describes my week. And Elder Muñiz. He's an Elder I met when I first got here and now he's a good buddy. He's my sunshine. Haha

This week has reminded me of my springs in Oregon. It could be raining for 15 minutes solid, but then the sun comes out, dries up all the rain and the itsy bitsy spider will crawl up the spout again. But for the most part it’s been foggy and chilly in the morning and then in the 20’s (Celsius) during the day. I like it. Reminds me of home.

They say that during the middle of summer, Abrantes get up to the equivalent of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (yeah sorry I'm a terrible speller)! Hope I don't stick around that long haha. 300 days of sun, when I am used to 300 days of rain. Our branch president said that sometimes during summer, the mission president has to tell the missionaries that are white to stay inside because the rays are so bad.

This week was a good one! I had the opportunity to do a division, which is when a set of missionaries switches companions with another for a day. I went out with one Elder Arnold, who is just a bit more of a goober than me, and you know me. It was a good day.

We ended up teaching a lesson to a woman named Branca (which means white, and I know what you're thinking, and no she wasn't black.) It was an awesome lesson. She had had some hard things in her life, and we taught her about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it could help her be whole of that. And then at the end she said a prayer and I could feel the spirit so strong. She accepted the invite to be baptized!

That Diamontino, a member, fez anos (had a birthday) he’s 19 same as me. So we had cake at Irmã Rosa's house. It was this cookie cake that's soooo good, but if you eat more than one slice it gets too rich. They're honestly such an awesome family.

That night there was a HUGE thunder and lightning storm. I loved it. It was raining so hard.

Saturday we helped a youth that's coming back into activity, with his apartment. He's prepping an apartment for him and his girlfriend (hopefully when they move in his wife) who's pregnant. He’s a cool guy. And it reminded me of my job back home, but not quite as glamorous.

And that brings me to a rant on Portuguese buildings. They make everything out of cement! No insulation, hard to make changes. And when buildings go out of use, they just sit there, no one using them. Elder Cluff, my last companion said he thinks there are more out of use building in Portugal than in use ones haha. And they make fun of us for building things out of wood! haha

Ok, this is getting to be long. So I'll cut it here. All in all a good week. Looking to this week to be even better. I might be transferred this next Monday, so depending on if I do and where, I might or might not email. So for now, have a good two weeks! And feel free to write me twice! ;)

Hope you're all well! Fica bem!
Elder Buchanan

P.S. Still no pictures sorry. Waiting on that cord. I have some good ones too. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

There is a Beast and We All Feed It

So continuing in the spirit of copying my good friend from the MTC, this song by Jake Bugg is the subject of my email this week.

Why? Partially because I haven't heard Jake Bugg in almost 4 and half months, but also because of a few words I would like to apply here in my email. In each and every one of us there is the capability to be your own worst enemy. And no one can feed this beast but us. We put ourselves down, we are the one that criticize ourselves, who won't let go of our mistakes. Now with the exception of those who are clinically ill, we have the CHOICE to be happy or not.

So I have one word for you, "LETITGO." My uplifting message for you all this week, as well as my recommendation to listen to the song (2 minutes of your day well spent).

Querido Família e Amigos!
Como estão? To bem, obrigado.

This week. This week was a different week. I hope I can improve my writing skills enough to convey to you all without making this a missionary email that drags on and on!

The start was a lot different than others. We had a Zone Conference! The first for me. We were combined with another Zone of missionaries. (A Zone is a large portion of a mission, then the zone is broken into districts, and the districts into areas. Areas have a companionship of missionaries. Like me and my comp :) ) It was very cool. We were fed very well, it was a typical Portuguese meal: Rice (of course), a couple chunks of meat, fries, and some green stuff with vinegar, which isn't terrible but I wouldn't deem "salad".

Let me tell you, the meal schedule here is messing with me. They eat breakfast (I honestly don't know what, we normally eat cereal) but then they have their largest meal of the day at lunchtime, the size of dinner back in the states. Then they have what we would have as dinner sometime between 7 and 9pm. Messing me up. Because as missionary, we have to finish dinner before 6:30pm, but I am still full from lunch and then I'm starving when we get home at night. The life of a missionary.

This is a picture of our zone conference. That’s our Mission President and his wife in the center front. I'm top right with my companion on the right of me. Sorry for lack of pictures but I lost my camera cord. I'll start taking more in preparation for my new one to show up!

I'm not sure if I've told you all how much we walk. It's a lot. At times I wish we had a car. Yesterday for instance, we walked all the way down the hill in the middle of our area (part on one side, part on the hill, part on the other side) to an area called Chainça, just to talk to ONE person. It took us a half an hour from our house to walk there. And yep, you guessed, they weren't there haha. Then we had to walk back and then back up the steep way to make it to an appointment with an investigator named Mercedes.

So we haven't been teaching a heck ton of people at the same time. Heck, we haven't been teach a heck ton. It's hard to meet someone who will be interested enough to invite you in. At times it’s frustrating when people say we can come back and repeatedly blow us off, because a simple no thank you would suffice haha. But in the words of the Portuguese, "Eh, é vida."

Mercedes is an interesting person, we have talked to her quite a few times, and yet we still don't know her. The past 4 weeks my comp and I have talked to her in the door. She loves hearing what we have to say, but she won't commit to sitting down with us to have a real discussion. We're gonna try one more week with her.

We met a man named José (there are about a billion) One day when we went to talk to him, his wife who doesn't like us tried to scare us off, but we were loving and I honestly think the conversation turned around her opinion of us a little. Because we're not here to make people move religions. Do we hope that that is what people decide to do? I would be a liar if I said no.
But as a missionary our purpose is to be representatives of Christ. We are here to help these people, we, like a doctor, find their pain and then we use the gospel of Jesus Christ to help heal that pain.

We had a branch activity this week, a family night. We have a spiritual thought and then we play games. It was a lot of fun. Especially a game Elder Da Silva (that is my companion. We have a senior couple of missionaries Elder and Sister Da Silva too) presented. A person writes something down and then they say out loud the category of what it is. Then they go around the circle and each person guesses one at a time, but the person in the middle has a cup of water, and if the person guesses what they wrote they throw the water at them! haha It was ingrasado because Sister Da Silva kept getting water thrown at her!

I'm having fun out here. Working hard, and like I said, trying to help people. I'll keep a better list of events from the week that I want to include for next week. Tchao for now! (so corny)
Have a great week!

Elder Buchanan

Monday, April 6, 2015

Charlie Brown

Alright, title. So, my buddy that I met in the MTC who's in Cape Verde, always uses a song title as his subject, so I thought I'd try it. And Charlie Brown is the title of a song by Coldplay that just makes my heart happy. If you haven't heard it, you have to go look it up now :)

I apologize that I haven't been the best email writer.  Sorry. I'll do better. I promise.

For those of you who aren't Mormon or don't know what it's like to serve a mission, let me just say this. It's hard. That's all I can really say. But my young men's leader taught me to "Do Hard Things". I know that this is the most important thing I can ever do. Because it is so hard. I am learning to rely on my God for my strength. I know He answers prayers, because He answers mine every day. I get to see Him in the service I give. If you understand one thing about why I am out here, know this: I'm out here because I love God, and I know what I'm teaching is true.

I was very sad this Saturday because we had to drop an investigator that had once been progressing. José Batista. We are still his friends, but he has no real desire to follow the commandments and for now, he won't change. We'll just keep praying for him and maybe the right set of Elders will help him better than we could.

But at the same time we met a new investigator, Duart who has real desire to know the truth. He's such a cool guy. We've taught him about the Restoration and he believes the Book of Mormon is true and Joseph Smith was a prophet. So awesome!

Portuguese is as hard as ever, but I'm honestly progressing really well, I was able to give a talk in church two weeks ago from notes! I've never even done that in English. But it's a little frustrating at times. So, people talk so fast and so slurred here, it just sounds like a bunch of gibberish! When my companion doesn't understand something (he's from Cape Verde) he says, "Como?" and he says it really loud and I want to hit him sometimes haha. Learning to live with companions and ignore the little things. It's a work in progress. Good practice for marriage one day :)

This is an adventure. I said I wanted to go out like Walter Mitty. Well, I'm here, and I'd be remiss if I regretted a single day. So I don't plan on it. If I have the right attitude, no day is bad. How can a day be bad when you're sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ? I know this is true. And just like we just were able to celebrate, I know that Christ lives. I know that He speaks today through His living Prophet. I get the privilege to bear the calling of one of His disciples.

I love you all. I hope you had a boa Páscoa and have a good week!
Elder Buchanan


Lucas didn't write a big email last week so here are a few things from my last's week letter:

I'm doing well, thank you for asking :) Nothing huge this week, still working hard and trying to teach people about the gospel. :) 

Missionary-ness...hmmm. Well, we have a new Easter video we're sharing with everyone! I honestly love the one they did, I think, two years ago. But this one's good too. 

I gave a talk yesterday! It was actually pretty good, I think. I hope everybody learned what I wanted them to. I was told it was pretty good Portuguese.  I taught about enduring to the end. I taught the first 4 points of the Doctrine of Christ and then how the final point, enduring to the end, encompased all three. I hope they were taught more by the Spirit than my words.

Elder Da Silva, once you get past the strangeness of him is cool :) He's a hard worker and wants to help this branch grow. Did I mention he started his mission the same time as Erik? Yeah. He only as 6 weeks more than me in Portugal. haha we're both still figuring this out.

I loved my package! thank you :) How did you know the eggs have the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate? :) And Snickers peanut buter yum. I'm still saving one of them :) maybe I'll eat it tonight! I rationed the Reese's and they lasted until yesterday. But I still have a nice big jar of peanut butter :) Thank you.  And for my water bottle.Thank you for my TIE! I love it :) I'm wearing it right now. I'd send you a picture but...the cord doesn't fit my camera :( I'll have to send it back! So that's kinda sad.

Have a good week :) I'll talk to you soon. Enjoy conference :)  We get it a day later so I might not write because of conference on the day. But I hope I still can :)
Tell eveyone I send me love.

Elder Buchanan