Portugal Lisbon Mission

Portugal Lisbon Mission

Monday, July 27, 2015

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it! Missionary still serving a mission! :)

Lame I know but that's the best I got this week :) I know, you're right, I can make cheesier jokes than that. Come on, Buchanan. Get on your game!

So my week has not been too uneventful, nor over eventful, just the right amount of work.

Still just the right amount of crazy hot. But hey! Who's complaining this place is beautiful. It cools off in the evening though which is nice. And my companion has taken to carryin’ a frozen bottle of water. So I've taken to taking it and drinking his ice cold water haha :) 

Have I told y’all about Lidl? It's just a little grocery store, but they make some DARN good pastries. I will tell you, we know nothing of pastries in the states. They have THE best croissants in the world. Plus chocolate filled ones. Man they are the best. I am cherishing the next year and half here :)

We had churro trucks show up! ‘Cuz the festivals start in August and they’re getting ready. They've had a few small ones already, but they're just have a bunch of big crazy parties down by the river. It'll be crazy.

We've met some pretty cool people this week. One of them named Hélder. They don't say H's here so it was pretty funny saying "Hi Hélder! We're Elder Buchanan and Elder Gilbert"

It's very strange when you start to forget words in English or it’s easier to just blurt out Portuguese.

Sorry that this has been a unorganized email folks. But hey, it's seems a little more like me, huh? Just crazy ol' me. I love this work! Don't miss me! I'm having too much fun! 

Have good weeks!!!

Elder Buchanan

Monday, July 20, 2015

Greetings from Porto!

Bom Dia!

Our new mission president has arrived so we're officially the mission Protugal-Porto! Yahoo! :) Our New President Amorim and his wife are very nice and I'm excited to work with them!

On other news, we're in Porto today! We got permission and hopped a train to spend our P-day (Preparation day) in Porto! It’s been very cool :) We saw an amazing old cathedral, some beautiful views of the river and city, we went to a very old bookstore called Livreira Lello. We also ate lunch at an all you can eat pizza hut buffet. Which wasn't too bad. Close enough to American, right? :)

We've had a good week. Working hard, talking to tons of people. Saturday we found quite a few people who said we could come back or stop by their house to talk and we even have a few appointments tonight.

Technically we're supposed to have the area changes today, but since our president only started meeting the missionaries with us on Thursday, the time is extended for an extra two weeks. So the next one will be shorter as well. It's kinda cool :)

I love this work and these people. I know this church is true. I hope you all have a very good week :)

Elder Buchanan

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Corpses Littered Our Apartment...

…the bodies of several hundred dead ants.

We've had a problem this week. Bleck. But not to worry, our biggest problem helped us solve it, in actuality. We left of Friday to go to Chaves for the day, and left the house. Well, normally our bag of garbage is hanging on the door (we don't have essentials like a garbage can or actual bags...) well, it fell while we were gone and something must have smelled good because when we got back, there was a black line running from our bathroom, where we suspected they were coming from, to our garbage in the kitchen. We took care of them with cleaner and finally discovered the source. We went out and bought a powder that was recommended (luckily I'm an experienced ant fighter) and spread it along the area and other parts of the bathroom we thought they were coming through. Haven't seen anyone since :) HA! Take that!

So! On with my week :)

We went out to Chaves, which is actually the furthermost area in the mission, you can see Spain. Funny, I would have thought there were those big red lines like on the map. I got to do a companion switch with Elder Jones. It was a good experience. I like that guy :) It was my first time as the District Leader, because he uses that to help train the other missionaries and see how the other companions are doing and help them with any problems they might have. But it was pretty good.

My companion told me I was an uptight missionary this week. But he used it in a good way haha :) He told me I'm a very obedient missionary, which is important. He also said I know when to joke and when to be serious. So that’s good :)

We've been talking to a sweet older lady named Ana Luisa this week. She loves what we talk about and she believes in the church. I think she understands more than most of the people we talk to. She's very silly and loves to make crafts, she has some very pretty things too.

It's kind of sad being in this country sometimes because technically, it's a first world country, but it must barely qualify because I've seen so much destitution here. So many people are living in these tiny, filthy houses that are falling apart and it's so sad.

It just makes me what to preach more about the joy and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because that's why I'm here, to bring people the knowledge and joy and happiness that comes when we understand God's plan for us. And I'm grateful for every chance I get to talk to these people and testify of what I know to be true.

I love you all very much! I hope you are doing well :) I miss you and wish you a good week.

Elder Buchanan

Monday, July 6, 2015


Well go ahead...how were the fireworks?

Bom dia a Todos! (Good morning to all!)

Well this has certainly been a week of highs and lows. Many interesting topics, and so little attention span, what shall we begin with? Ah yes...the francisinia.

It was...eh. I think everyone built it up too much for me in all actuality. It’s more of a culturally cool thing to have because it's unique. Like, I liked it, but I think it'll be more of a cultural thing in the future; I'll spend my time on trying other stuff here. But it was good. I forgot to take a picture! But Elder Gilbert took one in the middle so I'll ask him to send that to me. The sauce wasn't quite as spicey as I thought and the flavor of it was a bit different, but it was good. The only part I didn't like is that the piece of bread on the bottom just gets soggy and gross. bleck. But yeah. I'd recommend it for the experience. I certainly feel full, which is good. (Part of your calling as a missionary is to never be full. We just never are.)

It's crazy how much my palate has changed. Maybe its desperation because like I said, I never feel full or it’s just the culture shock that rearranged my taste buds, but I've really hardly had anything that I didn't down with ease, if not like. Strange. Maybe when I can afford to be, I'll be a little choosier again, but I think I've certainly learned that I can get down whatever’s put in front of me until I'm not hungry while smiling like I love it :) haha

I forgot to tell you I've eaten octopus!!! I totally forgot that right before I left Abrantes we ate at an investigators house and she made us this type of soup with octopus. It was actually reaaaally good :) It’s the kind of soup that’s made with rice. It's like rice with a broth as well. It's hard to describe.

Elder Gilbert and I have been making chicken noodle soup every Friday during our weekly planning (when we spend 3 hours planning for what we will do for the week, how we can help the people we're talking to, etc.) and we have gotten DANG good at it :) He learned last transfer when he and his last comp got really sick. So we've been improving on it.

I've also learned the importance of a back up fund in budgeting, because we almost ran out when we had to take more trips to Porto and to another area, Chaves, than we thought. So yeah…real life learning right there.

Fourth of July...I missed the fireworks and the fried chicken and the cool Columbia Gorge air. (2nd year in a row. I was actually in England this time last year.) But Elder Gilbert and I did however sing the national anthem like 4 times and a bunch of other patriotic songs. So yeah. 'Murica! :)

Still waiting on our new president; he hasn't received his visa yet, so we're technically still part of the Lisbon mission. But hopefully he'll get it any day now, and when he does he'll show up and we'll be the Porto mission! :)

The Portuguese are a stubborn people. I love them and at the same time don't, ya know? Not everyone here is always pleased with me because I'm a bit rigged when it comes to doing things the right way. Can't cut corners if you want things right. Something I get from my dad :) But our members are accustomed to me and I feel their love, so that’s good.

We did however get a fire lit under us. The funny thing was this last Friday we decided that we wanted to make a goal that before the end of the transfer (or rather month) we wanted to double our frequency in church to 20 people and well, Sunday, one of the leaders in the area, the Stake President, came and told us that the goal for our group to be ready to be a branch was the end of June. So he's gonna buy us some time, but we have to have a frequency of 20 if we want to be a branch. So yeah :) We're gonna work our tails off.

I love this work. I really do. It's hard, it's tiring, its frustrating sometimes, but it is worth it. I truly know that what I'm doing is true. I know without a doubt that this is restored church of Christ. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Thomas S. Monson is his successor as such.

I love you all very much!!
Have a fantastic week and happy late fourth of July :)

Elder Buchanan