Portugal Lisbon Mission

Portugal Lisbon Mission

Monday, November 28, 2016

Two Years have brought us to this point

Well, two years have brought us to this point. I can still remember those first weeks in the MTC, now here I am writing my last email.
So, this week has been a challenge but a blessing :) I'm so glad I served my mission. Good, Bad and Ugly, I'd go back a serve it all over again. What an amazing experience, what a privilege. My patriarchal blessing was fulfilled in part when I was blessed with a greater understanding of the Atonement in my life. I have grown a strong love and understanding of the gospel. I have learned the importance of consistency in all things, but especially in the gospel. I've come to trust my Heavenly Father and believe Him, in that I believe in His promises. Enough to do hard things. I've learned the principle of endurance. And I've given myself a jumpstart to discipleship.

I love the Savior. I love being a missionary.

Pray for me and for the good people of Portugal. I love them so very much.

I'll see you soon.


Elder Buchanan and Elder Zanni


Elder Buchanan and Elder Humphrey


Elder Oliveira (Grandson), Elder Da Silva (Step Grandpa), 
Me (Dad), Elder Garcia (Grandson) 




 


Monday, November 21, 2016

A lot of walking around

Well, this week was a lot of walking around, not a whole lot to report on. Carlos kinda just disappeared into the air so that's kinda sad, but we're trying to get back in contact with him. His baptism had been marked for this last Saturday :/
Vasco's doing well! He's a happier individual, he got a phone, looks like he'll have a job soon! We weren't able to talk to him all week but he came to church on Sunday! By himself! In the pouring rain!!!! He's so cool :) Now he has a phone so we can set up times to pass instead of just trying haha.

We had a FHE in the house of the 1st counselor in the bishopric and the Relief society president on Monday with that family, they loved it which was good. We've got another one set up for tonight :) so that's nice.

Have a good week!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Another Week Under the Belt

Well, just another week under the belt :) It doesn't feel like I'm really counting down. But then again I've forbidden my companion to mention anything in terms of time haha :) I did make a good joke the other night. We stopped to grab a sandwich in a café, my back was really hurting as I sat down and I started coughing, and he was like, "are you ok? You sick?" I said "no....I'm dying!" hahahaahahahaha bum bum chi! haha get it? cuz when a missionary is finishing his mission they say he's dying haha :)

This week we have been teaching a man named Carlos Sampaio, I think I mentioned him this last week. He's progressing well. We're planning a spectacular baptismal service here in two weeks for him :) We met a really nice man this week that really needs the gospel in his life. And he came to church! He said he really liked and he felt really good and we could count on him the next week. He was the last door of a apartment complex, the only one that opened the door to us. At least in the sense that he let us talk more than 5 seconds before being like "no no no, I don't want anything" slam. (Side note: Funniest thing about the Portuguese, they'l open the door and be like "what do you want?"(that's the translation, but it's less rude) And I get out two words like, "We're here to-" "nonononono. thank you. bye. haha ...so ridiculous haha) But last door right? he let us in. He told us he'd been in a deep depression since march, and this week was the first week in a long time where he was feeling well enough to talk. And we met him! We taught about the plan of salvation, and then the gospel of Jesus Christ. He's in his 50's and loves his grandson :) Vasco. He's a good man.

I forgot to tell you some cool news!!!! We moved houses! It's just me and Elder Oliviera now :) We even live in our area. It's great, close to the church.

Here's a photo for when it was super cold while we were studying cuz we still didn't have a heater, So I made us some turbans from our scarves. 
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Monday, November 7, 2016

The End is getting close

Really weird to think that the end is getting so close. It doesn't really feel like it. I was telling Elder Oliveira how normal this life becomes to you. I'm scared with the prospect of have so much time on my hands haha. I messed with him yesterday, I love to joke around and he likes English, but I'm too witty for him in English haha. He was shaking his head at me and I started singing, "When I'm gone. When I'm gone! You're gonna miss me when I'm gone! You're gonna miss me by my hair you're gonna miss me everywhere, o you're sure gonna miss me when I'm gone." haha :) He likes me, so it's funny to remind him sometimes. 

We've been working super hard this week. We've had some cool experiences! We met Carlos Sampaio, to whom we taught the plan of salvation, came back the next day taught the restoration and invited him to be baptised on the 19th. He came to church and then stayed for the baptism of the sisters, Maria de Fátima. Great baptism, well prepared, very spiritual. He loved it!
The Jesus Family came to church! All three of them! Patrícia is on a two week leave from work so she came this week and will go next week. Brother Silva invited them to his house with us tonight for a family home evening!

Elder Oliveira and I are getting along really well. He's helping me get a better Portuguese accent. Even though he said, "it'll be lost time since you're just gonna lose it in the states with your brother and everybody else who speaks Brazilian." haha ;) Sou Tripeiro! Que fala com sotaque de Lisboeta.

Anyway, there's my week.

P-day Sites

We went in a little three wheel car called a tuk tuk 
and on the cable car and saw some cool sites.

 Elder Lucas and Elder Oliveira


Monday, October 24, 2016

Pictures from P-Day

 a jelly fish
 A turtle named Rosey
 This is Luis
"Welcome to the Independent Republic of My House" hahaha :)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Importance of the Sacrament

This week I came to understand better the importance of the sacrament. Some things clicked in my studies and also during the sacrament. There was a great talk, I can't remember from whom now, on the subject of preparing for the sacrament. So this week that's exactly what I did. As I listened to the words of the sacrament hymn, (I stand all amazed) I felt an appreciation for my Savior. I heard the words of the prayer and remembered what I had learned and relearned during the week: I was reading Alma and came upon a promise that stated that if we repent, are baptized and keep the commandments we will receive the promise of eternal life. I thought, but we can only be baptized once. Then I remembered the words of Elder Bednar's talk from April. That the sacrament is a SACRED ORDINANCE in which we renew(or rather make again) the covenants of baptism and receive the purifying presence of the Holy Ghost. That is what baptism is. It is the making of a covenant through an ordinance, and then receiving the promise of the Holy Ghost to always be with us. That is why the office of a Priest administers both the sacrament, and the ordinance of baptism.(discovered that this week :) )

So each time I listen to the prayer I hear the covenants I make with the Lord, "To witness unto....God the Eternal Father, that (I) do always remember (Christ), and to keep His commandments which He has given (me)"

As I heard the prayer, I really started to understand the promise, "That they might always have His Spirit to be with them."
As I partook, I really felt the love of my Savior and Father in Heaven. I remembered Christ's words that He is the Bread of Life. He who eateth of His flesh and drinketh of His blood shall never hunger nor thirst, but be filled.

I know the Atonement is real. And that Jesus Christ lives.

That's my spiritual thought for the week :)

Monday, October 10, 2016

A perfect week is not necessary to be happy

Missionary work goes well :) not a perfect week, but that's not always necessary to be happy. Even if nothing seems to be accomplished, no one came to church or you never were able to teach a lesson, if you did all you can, the Lord gives you a feeling of peace and accomplishment :) Like Elder Holland says "You get credit for trying I love that doctrine!" :) I love it too.

We had a good lesson this week in which we taught the Jesus family (yes that's their last name haha), the ones with a little girl that the dad and she came to church. We had a lesson marked for Saturday with Vanderley and Katizia but the family dis-marked it. Blah! haha but they firmly marked for next Saturday, so we'll try to teach with a super cool recent convert of Elder Wanlass and Short named Aleh during this week.

We painted part of our ward secretary/mission leader Marco's house on Saturday. Goodness it's so funny to hear him joke with his grandma haha. He's a recently returned missionary and has been helping the ward tons. The sisters were able to help his grandmother (who raised him) be baptized :) Now he's working with us to help open his grandfather to receive the gospel :)
We talked with Marco too which was good :) He's a great teacher, and funny guy.
We're preparing a man to be baptized on the 29th! It'll be super cool :) He's come to church for quite a while, was almost baptized in the past but got sick and was in the hospital for 3 months without anyone knowing. But he came back and we've been teaching him :) He has a big desire to improve, and is working on quitting to smoke. So that's good :)

I hope your week goes well everyone :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Just Pictures This Week

Two Stake Activity

 Elder Zanni and I manned the front door of the party
 
 Everybody's dancing
My son came too!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Missionary life is life

Well I'm now serving in the fantastic area of......................(dramatic drum roll) PORTO 2! Yes that's right I stayed! And I'm serving with............................(another drum roll) ELDER ZANNI! Yeah so that was a weird transfer to see. But the Lord wants me to stay in Porto for more than a year I guess :) It's ok, I'll get to baptize the cool families that we met :) Elder Zanni is from Argentinea, his parents are serving as the mission presidente in the Argentina, Rosario mission. He's very passionate for the gospel, he likes to make a lot of dad jokes haha.
Our ward got a new bishop! That was cool! :) I didn't say that last week. Irmão Vanderley. He's from São Tomé a small island off the coast of Africa. There are two, São tomé and Prícipe. Saint Thomas and Prince haha :) He gave a fantastic talk on Sunday, spectacular. I really saw the mantle of a bishop fall on him.

We met an lady that had been baptised with 8 years and then just went inactive (stupid missionaries) but she let us come in and teach her breifly and her kids. We'll have to pass her to the sisters because there's no man in the house, but she's super cool :)

Saturday Elder Zanni felt really sick but we still went out and we taught a super cool African family. She just invited us in (we'd talked to her and her husband earlier) even though she had visitors and just let us have a lesson haha :) super cool :) I don't think I'd do that even being a member haha.
But the super cool thing was that our investigator that had broken her knee (wasn't really broken) we saw her in the street! we were like you're out of the hospital! and she was like yeah! I was hoping you'd come by my house this week! She had accepted to be baptized and immediately after lost two relatives and her dog knocked her down hurting her knees. But she's doing ok now! :) still needs to be operated but getting around :) we're gonna teach her tomorrow :)
Missionary life is life!

Here are some pictures from last week when we went to the Dragon Stadium.

 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back in Black

I apologize for the rareness of an email from me now-of-days! I hope you are well. I wanted to write an update to fill you in on my life and the last few weeks of my mission! We've reached the end of a transfer! Wow!

What a wonderful transfer this has been. Elder Zanni and I have worked together the last 12 weeks at it's been a lot of fun. I feel like we've been become good friends :) We joke and laugh and have fun! We've met a bunch of very cool families! :) One of them came to church. Vitor, Patrícia and Leonor. Leonor is eight and adorable. She's one of those adult children and looks just like Patrícia haha. Vitor works for the alarm company and has been to several of our chapels because of the alarms haha. Patrícia wasn't able to come because she works on Sundays but Leonor and Vítor had a great time. It was great. Leonor leaned over to me after the first hymn and asked, "when are we going to sing again?" haha then the wife of one of the members of the stake presidency was sitting with her 4 daughters while he had to be on the stand, 3 super young and she was having trouble keeping them reverent and at one point she put her head in her hands, Leonor leans over and whispers, "It must be hard having 4 daughters." haha!! I was like, how old are you again? :)

This week we had the privilege to have a missionary meetings with Elder G. Craig Zwick and his wife. Elder Zwick is one of the Presidents of the Quorum of the Seventy and the Head of the missionary department. It was a very spiritual meeting :) I learned that obedience is the first law of EVERYthing. When we follow the commandments of God, everything else is secondary but will all fall into place. When I explain that to people we teach I explain it like I learned from a young men's leader: The commandments of God are like various golf balls, and everything else in our life, like a bunch of sand. The golf balls are fewer but larger, because they are more important. The sand is small, but there are lots of them. If we imagine a jar as our life, if we fill the jar with sand, there's no space left for the golf balls. You can't jam 'em in. But if you put the golf balls in first, all of the sand will take its place around them and it will all fit. Obedience to God's laws bring innumerous blessings.
When we put God first, he puts us first. I know because I know he is our
Heavenly Father. and He loves us.

That was really what was taught with Elder Zwick, but it's one of the small things I learned expanded. I learned a lot :)

Elder Zwick and Elder Buchanan

I'm excited to find out if I'll go or stay here in Porto. Either way I'll be happy :)
Have a great week!
Grande Abraço,
Elder Buchanan



We did an activity in the middle of Porto where we sang hymns and gave out the BoM and invited people to an activity at the end of the month! :)


Door made of cork

Monday, September 5, 2016

A long week, but a good one

This week's been a good week, it could have been a lot better, but it's been good :) We worked really hard this week to help our investigator, R., who's preparing to be baptized on Sunday! :) We've been making goals and working with him to quit smoking. He's been doing well. We took him with us to a baptism the other day in Foz do Douro and he really liked it and he went quite a long time without smoking! We keep trying to help him understand that he's stronger than the desire to smoke. He's gonna be baptized, Elder Zanni and I are doing we all we can to help him. He gave us his pack of cigarettes Saturday! It was awesome!

Elder Zanni hit a year mark this week :) so he burned a shirt and we helped haha, didn't burn down the house, cuz we have a patio!

We met a super cool family this week!!! Holy cow! The were a contact from last weekend, we stopped by on I think Tuesday, and the wife with whom we spoke wasn't there, but her husband was, super nice! That's so rare. Usually one's nice and the other doesn't like us! haha He said she wasn't there but we could come back on her day off (he's injured and not working) and talk! so cool! On Friday we had the greatest lesson with them!
He has a friend whom he's known for 7 years as a member of the church and he responds to several of the alarms that are in our church buildings haha :)
He wa so open and prayed with us and got emotional! She was quiet but open still that she didn't really trust God and the lesson was spiritual! She said she'd read and he did too, then their 8-year-old daughter piped up and said she would :) haha Vitor, Patrícia e Leonor.

This week has been a long one, but good :)

Monday, August 29, 2016

I've never been so tired in my life

I'll start in on my week. What a long and short week! Holy cow. I've never been so tired in my life haha :) Such a good feeling :)
This week our zone of 16 missionaries made the goal to teach 70 new investigators. The mission had a goal of 400 (something never even close to being done). We taught in our zone 60 new people! :) We all worked super hard to achieve that goal :) The mission beat its goal! 431. Not only did Elder Zanni and I find new people to teach, we invited every one of them to be baptized! We ended the week with 5 people marked for baptism in September! Carlos, Amélia, Ricardo, Miguel and Patrícia! 

Amélia was such a cool person to teach! We met her last week, in a neighborhood, and she told us where she lived. She wasn't there the first time. But we marked a second time to come by, her husband was leaving when we came and said she was busy and couldn't talk. He told us to come by at 10 but we didn't hear him! She waited all day for us!
Finally we had a lesson with her on Saturday and wow! She decided to be baptized in September!!! She said that when she had talked to us she felt something, She's so cool!!!!

We met Monica and Valentine  and their family! 6 kids! That's so rare for Portugal! and Europe! only two of them are younger than 8! so cool :) They were all going to come to church but then the oldest daughter's daughter got sick and they had to go to the hospital! but that's ok, they'll come :)

Last week a guy named Carlos came to church. He was super cool. He introduced us to his family and that was a pretty good lesson :)
Had a house check of surprise, 138/140 :) (forgot to take the trash out)

We met a guy twice on our way home in the metro that must have been a big Porto fan because he yelled "PORTO!" really loud. It was hilarious haha :) He thought it was pretty funny...might have been a bit buzzed :)

We have a member from the Presidency of the Seventy coming next week! Elder Swick. It'll be cool :) He's gonna do practices with us and everything it should be a blast :)

Have a great week!

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Bom Dia Energia!"

Good Morning Energy! haha :) In Portuguese, that rhymes. "Bom Dia Energia!" (That's Presidente's current catch phrase for the mission haha)

This week was FAAAAAAAAAAANtastic! Man o man. We had Leadership Council with Pres. on Tuesday, which is when he does a training with all of the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders are invited. It was so very inspired! I grow to love Presidente more and more each day! He did a fantastic discussion with us on how the mission is and what we can do to change. Then he presented his plans for us this coming month! The mission has a goal to baptize 50 people in September! woo! He did a training about faith. And one of the biggest things I learned was that faith is believing first, casting aside our disbelief and even doubt, unquestioning, so finding and doing everything we can in our power to accomplish that which we desire righteously, tirelessly! Presidente used a really cool way to present it, using a true story, Apollo 13. He used clips from the movie to show the faith and the work of the ground crew in Houston in bringing the 3 men back! It was such a spiritual experience! And awesome cuz he used Apollo 13 haha :)

On Thursday we got to present, Elder Zanni and I, everything Presidente had taught to our Zone. We had a fantastic discussion and I think it really went well. President told me on Friday in my routine interview, that he'd called to some members of the Zone and he'd gotten good feedback about it :) So that made us feel good!

We worked tirelessly to achieve our goals this week. Saturday night, just before we were ready to go home, we were in a social housing neighborhood, we found a building door open, so we climbed to the top. The first door we knocked, a lady opened the door. We started saying we had a message, but then from the inside we heard someone say, "Elders? Elders come in please! I want to hear a message." It was her husband.  We had an opportunity to sit down and talk about repentance and the Atonement and bring the spirit to their house! They have 5 kids! wow! It was so cool! :)

Sunday we had a young man come to church named Ricardo. He's a good person and he loved all three hours of church :) He left feeling good and smiling :)

Lots of love!

Love,
Elder Buchanan

Monday, August 8, 2016

Transfer No. 7.5 in Porto!

Well, if I stay here 3 more weeks after the end of this transfer period, I'll have passed 1 year in Porto. 2 months shy of 1 year here!

I get to continue with Elder Zanni as my companion which is awesome! 2nd time in history! :) haha
We worked super hard this week! We found some really cool people!
We finally got to talk to a member of the church that's kind of distanced from the church. He let us in and we talked a little while and he said he wanted to come to church and we talked about how important it could be not just for him but for his family who weren't members of the church!
They couldn't come but they are super cool, so the will eventually, and at church they'll feel the spirit and be more united as a family! :)

Just working hard. Sorry, not a whole lot to write in a general aspect. But uh...yeah :) I'm happy. Are you happy?

Oh! we got a new Elder in our House, Elder Short. Super dope guy. English. He's freaking 25. I picked him up at the airport when he came in...weird. But yeah. He's a carpenter. Boss.

Lots of love!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Monday, August 1, 2016

Hey Ho!

Hey ho!
Great song by the way.

This week was yet another mix up. But Elder Bortolo was back to work by Friday and Elder Zanni gets his stitches out on Tuesday! So fun stuff there :) But I was out and then in and then out and then in the house again haha.

I can't beleive another 6 weeks has flown by. What a crazy transfer. Well, tomorrow transfers will be announced and we'll find out if anything changes or if we'll just stay here haha.

Not too much more to comente on. However, I would like to let everyone within reach on this email to know that I know that Jesus Christ live. He is our Savior. It was He whom in those 3 hours in Gethsemene and 3 long hours on the Cross at Calvary suffered for each one of us, so that the scriptures might be fulfilled that He would take upon Himself our infirmities and afflictions and the punishment for our sin if we choose to take part. I know that he promises rest to all those who desire it if they but follow Him and do the things that he taught us to do. I know He is the Living Head of His Living Church. I know that He and Heavenly Father want all of us to experience happiness and we will if we but follow Him.
These last few weeks have been rough on me physically and spirtitually. But I know that nothing could have helped me more than seeking my Savior's guidance and support. I have felt a force that is impossible to describe, that can't just naturally come that can't be psychologically caused. I truly have felt Christ's influence in my life.

I want to invite all of you, as I do several times a day to strangers here in Portugal, to pray and ask God if what I said is true. I know he will respond if you pray with desire to act on what you learn.

I miss you all! I hope your week goes great!
Lots of Love!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Monday, July 25, 2016

Here are a few thoughts from Lucas's email to me this week.

This week's been a bit hard, mostly on my back. I've started the new treatments twice a week and they at first made me sore in my abs, but the last three days or so my back muscles have really hurt and it's been hard to walk. But I've been out working with Elder Wanlass, as Elder Zanni had foot surgery on Tuesday, and Elder Bortolo's toe still isn't better.

Elders Buchanan, Zanni, Bortolo and Wanlass
We taught an investigator of theirs - João. And we invited him to be baptized August 7th, and he said yes. Which was awesome! He came to church too.
We were finally able to teach a small family that we met 2 weeks ago. It was a bit crazy with the 3 little ones running around and they didn't understand a lot, but they became more open and want us to come back another time.

We had a fanTAStic zone conference with President this week. He gave an amazing training about chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel
, which are the attributes of Christ. But instead of talking directly about each attribute, he instead focused on Christ. He used the first few paragraphs of the chapter as his basis. We watched the bible video and read the verses when Christ called Peter, Andrew, James and John to discipleship. "Come follow me, and I will make ye Fishers of Men." He talked about how every other chapter in PMG is focused on what we DO, but this chapter is focused on who we ARE. Christ made these four men, what they could have never have been of themselves. He offers the same call to us. And he can make us who we never could be ourselves, like Him. Then he invited us to follow the example of Ben Franklin in choosing one attribute a week to work on (Franklin had 12 Virtues) and to do everything we can to develop that attribute that week. There is a list of 54 attributes at the end of Chapter 8. So he invited us to pick one this week and then one more every week for the rest of our mission.

Monday, July 18, 2016

House Bound

I've been in the house all week, but not with Elder Zanni but with Elder Bortolo. He had an infection in his big toe, so the doctor removed the whole nail. He had to stay in. So rather than their area not be worked for a week, I stayed with him and his comp Elder Wanlass went with Elder Zanni everyday. So I was stuck in the house haha. Rested my back a bit, but I was bored most of the time. We took to filming little videos that were funny but dumb, playing chess (somebody left a board in our house) and casting actors in our Book of Mormon movie haha.
All in all, there's not a lot to report on the work front.

Spiritually however I have some good stuff. The Spirit is the real missionary.
It's interesting. If we truly do all we can, the Spirit does all the work. As a missionary, as well as a member, we must prepare daily. Study the scriptures, try to understand the words of life. Treasure them up. As we do, we create a cache of knowledge and understanding with which the Spirit can work. He places us in the lives of others or moves them into ours. He prompts us to speak. And if we truly are "good", then that's enough and we are instruments for the Spirit to teach. In everything we do, be it a missionary teaching a lesson, a Sunday school teacher in class or us just talking to a friend about the gospel, all we have to do is be a good instrument and the rest doesn't matter because the Spirit does all the work. He gives us the words he needs to come unto the hearts of individuals :)
How cool is that?!

I'm grateful for the Atonement and the sacrament through which we can renew our covenants daily. I love that my mission has taught me to come even closer to my Savior.

Monday, July 11, 2016

CAMPEÕES EUROPEUS!

Portugal won the EuroCup! WOOO!!! I was a Portuguese on Sunday Night when I found that out haha :) We won! There were horns honking, engines blaring, horns blowing, people shouting. Someone even set of fire works haha good times :) Viva Portugal! 1st time they've won :)

This week was actually a blur. Can't really remember much of it actually haha :) But yesterday we had a mission wide meeting. It was cool to get to sing the mission Hymn with the ENTIRE mission there (including Maderia!) Lots of force :)

We had a fantastic event at the church on Saturday. An Arrail! São João Brasilian style. Very good! Lots of investigators and members all there. We had 7 investigators there! :) woo!

On Sunday, Maria do Céu and Bruno got baptized in Porto 1! I started teaching them and marked them for baptism! But then I left, but Bruno asked that I baptize him! :) That was super cool :) He's gonna be an awesome missionary some day.

All in all, it's been a good week. My back's holding up.

Hope y'all are well! Have an awesome week!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fourth of July

Happy America day! Huzzah! Best Country in the world ;)
Patriotism...That's how you do it my friends.

What a cool week! I don't have a lot to say, but I've got a good story!

In Portugal, everyone thinks it's hilarious that we're all called "Elder" because for them its pronounced the same as the name "Helder" so they all get a good laugh out of it. Well the youths also will be annoying and yell "oh elder!" just to mess with us. 'Cuz they know we're all "Elder" Well when someone shouts that, it's fun to go over to the person and contact them. They always get a bit uncomfortable and then you know there's one less person to yell "oh elder" haha. I've only done it like twice
Well that's the background. Elder Zanni and I are getting off the Metro and I hear "Oh elder!" I decide to ignore it, but then there it is again and Elder Zanni hears it too. He's gonna walk away but I'm like...naw man, we gotta go contact him. I can't let this slip by! So we got over and we're like "You called?" and he says, "Yeah! I want to know more about your church!" Man! haha it was so cool! His name is Diego and he's from Argentine too like Elder Zanni, so they hit it off really well. Diego is super ready to hear our message. He said he's felt an absence of God and he doesn't really feel it in many churches. He introduced us to his dad on the phone! It was so cool! They were gonna come to church but something came up so we're gonna have to follow up! That day was super cool!

Well, I hope y'all have a good week!

Abraço!

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Zone Leaders in Porto

Hey everyone!
Sorry I couldn't write last week and this week will only be a brief look into my week.

I finally left Porto 1 and where did I go? Porto 2!!! haha :) I served here for six weeks last August, so lots of people still remember me which is nice. I've been called to serve as Zone Leader of Porto with my new companion Elder Zanni! He's from Argentina. So I'm taking advantage and trying to learn some Spanish to complement my Portuguese haha

Elder Zanni's an awesome missionary. Super funny, loves to laugh, hard worker!
President gave us the challenge to be perfect examples for our Zone because he needs 100% obedience to missionary rules leaders. So that's what we've been doing!

We're doing a white wash here. We work in more suburban part of Porto, closer to Matosinhos and Amial. The last Elders left us some contacts to work with but not much so we're working hard to find people to teach and bring to church!

I'm having a great week :) We live in a house with Elder Bortolo an awesome Brazilian and Elder Wanlass, an awesome American, who's hilarious.

Have a great week!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan
                                  


Elders Zanni, Buchanan, Bortolo and Wanlass

Friday, June 17, 2016

Dia de Portugal!

You guys!
Today is Portugal day! How cool is that?! What? What's Portugal day? ...I actually have no idea. These people have like 6 "Independence" days. All I can say is that if Aliens invaded Portugal, it's a good chance they could call it Independence Day 2 haha

Today is also the day Elder Morrison hits a year in the mission! (I hit 6 months until I go home this last Tuesday!) So to celebrate, we're gonna take part of our pday and go on a hike! It's easy because our area is so huge it's really hard to go outside of it! haha We'll see how my back holds up, it shouldn't be too much uphill, relatively flat. I haven't been feeling much better, however...but maybe this'll strengthen the muscles. Or make them worse haha...:/

I'm gonna be honest with y'all...I had a good story to tell, I know it. And I thought about it like yesterday...but now I can't remember what it was...A HA! Remembered :)

SO! I'm getting physical therapy right? It's at the clinic in the Porto Stadium. The PT area isn't like an appointment with you and the therapist one on one. It's an open area, run by a doctor, but then there are a bunch of people walking around who do the thearapy. Well...normally it's the same person who does mine, but I mean there are people that aid in the smaller stuff.

Anyway. I go to physical therapy and then I leave. That evening we go to Gondomar to do some searching for new people to talk with. So we start ringing some doorbells, one guy let's us in, but it's only to tell us politly, face to face that he's a Jehova's Whitness and he doesn't want anything. So we're like..ok. But we're still in the building so we start knocking his neighbors that we hadn't rang already. We get to the last door. And a lady opens the door, and I just kinda stare at her and she stares at me for a couple seconds and then she's just like, "...I know you..."
YOU GUYS! She works at the clinic! haha! Oh man it was hilarious! It's really easy to remember the guy that comes in a white shirt and tie to do physical therapy haha
So I was like, "Yeah! I'm actually a missionary! We talk to people about Jesus Christ!...Can we share a message?" She was on the phone and so we said we'd try another day haha. Saw her on Wednesday at the clinic though haha...awkward.

But that's ok, the gospel isn't convenient. But it is true!

I hope y'all have a great week! I'll send some pictures next week!

Abraço,

Elder Buchanan

Friday, June 3, 2016

Trapped in a Portuguese Elevator

So the day after I wrote last week's email, I actually was finally stuck in an elevator for the first time, not only in Portugal, but in my life.
And let me tell you about the elevators here. They're not like the ones back home. They are a tiny box, big enough for four people to squish in. There is no double door that closes, no. It's a metal swinging door, that will lock, and then you move along the wall! BLAH! So we had five Elders. The elevator was going down and got stuck! It was 9:30 pm haha Luckily we were close enough to a door that when the technition opened it, we could get out. weew haha, we were there for almost an hour. And it got super hot. :P
Don't want to go through that again haha pretty funny experience.

We taught Rui twice this week! We taught him about the Book of Mormon and HE ACTUALLY READ THE CHAPTER WE LEFT HIM! It was awesome. He's says, "I believe basically everything you're saying. And the stuff I don't is because its "formal" and I'm an informal guy." haha :) he doesn't want to do it because there's "ceremony" attached to it! haha so we'll be talking about that. He invited us to dinner!

This week has been good :) Hope y'all have a good week! Send me a note if you will :) love to have an update!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Friday, May 27, 2016

Group Emails are "Back"

Short but sweet this week! Wanted to say sorry for my absence of writting to keep y'all in the loop!

Things are going pretty well. I'm still here in Porto getting my back taken care of and hanging out in the office.

My back's doing better which is nice, I've started being able to sleep on my side at night without it really hurting. I feel like I'm getting my mobility back. It still hurts during the day and towards the end, so that's still bad. But when I started the PT massages my lumbar muscles were tight and painful when they hit them right, but they've loosened up a lot and I clench my back a lot less and it feels better. Today actually I haven't felt hardly any pain so far, though it's only 2pm. But I mean I cleaned the house and felt pretty good. I've just had a headache all day though. But we'll see if on Monday they put me to work at muscle strengthening or if I'll get massages a little longer.

This week we met a really cool guy named Rui Correia. He believes in the Universe and not really any "god" but he believes a lot of principles we teach. We managed to convice him to let us come back and teach him our message at least once, so he agreed, if we did it in English haha. We came back and it turned into us teaching in Portuguese and he responding in fair English. Be he's Portuguese, and the Portuguese talk A LOT, and the fact he was trying to do it in English made him slower, so we left that lesson 2 hours later! haha holy cow. We made an appointment to come back yesterday, but he apparently had to leave. BUT HE LEFT A NOTE! haha :) That's the first time I think an investigator has ever left a note when they had to leave haha :) he's cool!

We also are going to teach José's sister today! So that'll be super cool. We're hoping to make her a progressing investigator.

Not much to report aside from that. Hope everyone has a great week!

Abraço,

Elder Buchanan

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Back Update

Lucas has been having pain in his back and we recently got an update. They have tried muscle relaxers, pain medication, injections and nothing has really worked. He had an MRI and a doctor appointment that was rescheduled several times. We finally have the scoop. The doctor that read the MRI said that he has a deterioration of the cartilage between two of his discs. They think that it is probably hereditary. The solution that they are going to try is to keep him in the office for at least half of the next transfer and start him in physical therapy to strengthen the muscles in his back. Hopefully that will help and he can continue on in the mission. Here is what he wrote about it.
"My back, so, from everything I understood, it's not a cyst or a hernia, which is good. The disk in between my L4 and L3 vertebrae has lost cartilage and become more rigid and essentially loosing its function to support weight and impact. That then inflames my spinal muscles because they have to take on a larger role. Its apparently inoperable and could lead to a hernia if I'm not careful. I can't gain weight, and I have to strengthen my abdominal and back muscles. I think there's gonna be physical therapy involved. I'm not entirely sure. But Sister Amorim and President seemed relived it wasn't something more serious. But I can spend too long sitting, or too long standing, it has to be a back and forth."


As far as what he has been up to in the office, he hangs around trying to be helpful, then goes out with Elder Erhardt and Elder Morrison in the evenings. Looks like he got in a game of bowling on p-day. Maybe that's part of the PT?


I'm sure he would appreciate prayers for a speedy recovery and some strong back muscles.

Monday, April 18, 2016

"Back" in the office

Fun story for y'all. My former companion Elder Morrison. Why was I talking to him you ask? Because I'm in the stinkin' office.

So long story short, I've been struggling with some back problems for close to 2 weeks now. I went to the doctor last Monday and was told to take injections, but while doing so I couldn't be walking around all day every day...that doesn't work for a missionary haha :)
So Elder Wait and I managed to do a division with the members of our ward on Tuesday, I hung out with Ricardo for most of the day and Elder Wait went out with Cristiano (He just got back from his mission in Set. so you can imagine he was excited :) haha ).

We realized however that that wouldn't work to do for the 6 DAYS that I had to take the injections. We called the assistants and then president and he decided that since there are three executives in the office, one would come up and stay with Elder Wait so they could keep working, and I came down to Porto to stay in the mission home. Sonia, who takes care of the mission home and Sister Amorim were both excited that I was there haha :) They said that they were going to be coddling me :) haha It was nice to be taken care of. I kept having to switch. stand up and walk around a little, lay down sit down. I slept a lot. It was nice. Sister Amorim marked me an appointment at a better hospital with a orthopedic specialist, in spines, he prescribed even more drugs and an MRI. This morning I got the MRI, which was one of the strangest events of my life haha :) And the results don't come until Friday, and so the next appointment can't be marked until next Monday. So we're going to see what happens to me... :)

I left the mission home Friday night and am staying with Elder Morrison and Erhardt, the executives and hanging out in the office again haha :) Glad that I got out when I did haha, this place is nuts!

I got to see José Alves this week :) that was cool. He passed the sacrament on Sunday :)

So this week's just been about that. Not much to report. Just back in Porto, loving the rain :)

Hope y'all have a good week!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter!

Hello!

This week has been...well it's been and it's gone haha :)
There are some changes! Changes in time, weather and my companion!
Man that one less hour of sleep really kills when you're a missionary haha :) We tried to get up a little early yesterday, to give ourselves time to get out of the house early, but that didn't work haha :) Too tired. Out of bed at the prescribed hour, thank you! Sunday was just a crazy day actually...
So it's Easter, right? (Happy late Easter!) so
we get to the chapel early to make sure everything's nice and in order and ready for everyone, haha almost no one showed up on time! :P Probably because of the time change haha :) I laughed to myself. :) THEN we went home to eat lunch because we didn't manage to get ourselves invited to someones home (there's a sidenote*).
I cooked the rice and got it good and done and it sat in the pot kind of finishing cooking and right in the middle of me trying to start the chicken curry...our gas ran out! haha We have a tank that feeds our water heater and stove, and we need to replace it about one a month or so...man what a time to go.
So what did I do? The only think I could. Cooked in the microwave haha :) It actually wasn't bad, and luckily the rice was already done. Not the most amazing Easter meal, but still good :)

So My new companion! Elder Wait! He's now in his 5th transfer. There's about the same distance between us as there was between Elder Gilbert and I...so that's a frightening thought! haha :)
He's one of the most Christlike people I know. He's very ambitios and has lots of good ideas on how to help our ward. He and I are getting along well. It's funny because I was in the office when he came into the mission. So I saw him grow up haha...so to speak.
The kid is straighter than an arrow. He finished college already studying architecture, and has plans to go home to do his masters. He's 23 and converted to the church about 2 -1/2 years ago. He's an awesome guy.

We've been facing some opposition from Inês's family, but we're trying to help her over come it so that she can be baptized which'll be awesome! :)

We were supposed to have an outdoor ward activity today, but the rain killed it. Darn you rain. We were going to have a barbque! My life is over! haha :) I think I'm becoming accustomed to a climate that doesn't rain as much as home...even though I miss my dear Oregon. Today during studies I had the heater by my feet and the window slightly cracked so I could smell the rain :)

Well, we've got some good looking weeks ahead of us! I'm excited :)


I just want to include here my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Chirst. I love Easter because it's an opportunity to remember not only that Christ suffered for us, so He could understand us perfectly, to pay the price for our sin. but He also rose again. So that I can rise again. That every single person that ever lived our will live will live again. I know that He lives, that He loves us, and that He still leads His church through His prophet, Thomas S. Monson.

Hope you're all doing well! Sorry I'm a bad writer! We're supposed to be getting two computers side by side in the chapel soon, so that would mean I could be a bit better at responding to everyone, But I missi you all!

Abraço.
Elder Buchanan

*Side note: It's funny, my mother always taught me to never invite myself to someone's house. Haha but as a missionary, that's what I do all the time. "When can we come over and teach/visit you?" Our ward missionary leader and another member Think we need to be more upfront about getting meals with members, that we should ask rather than wait to be invited. David, a member was telling us about his mission in spain and how he used to go up to members after church and ask, "So, Irmão, when are we coming to your house for lunch?" haha :) He told us to never have fear to ask them for food, "Só diz 'Os Servos do Senhor tem fome!' " haha ("Just say, 'The Servants of the Lord are hungry!' ") That what he told me haha :)
The purpose of meals is to fortify and build up the members, as well as feed us. Cuz it's nice to have a meal that you didn't cook haha

Monday, March 14, 2016

20 Years Young

I'm no longer a teenager... weird haha

This week was crazy. This'll be a short one in all actuality, so I apologize, but I'll put in some pictures to make up for it!

Wednesday. Let's just focus on Wednesday. 6 marked appointments. 5 with investigators, all planned to have members of our ward come with us, right?
The day started with the member who was to be with us for 3 of the appointments cancelling, he had a good excuse, cool, that's ok. We talk a recent convert and then he came with us to the following appointment instead. Appointment was a disaster but we marked a new one. Next appointment fell through. Appointment for the end of the day called, fell through. Then our member who was supposed to come with us got lost and walked 40 minutes the opposite direction, he's new to the area, that's cool, went to the appointment, didn't answer...

What a ridiculous day of  mission life haha :) I'll just let that experience take the cake for this email.
In other news, I got a great package from my family on my birthday, brought to me by the Ashby's, who are the freaking greatest. Sister Ashby even made us (me ;) ) a whole cake!!! MMM so good :) and a cute little banner. IT was really nice :) Then they inspected our house. WE PASSED :)

A young man named Pedro came to church with us, so that was cool. And a member brought his brother, so that was cool to get to know him!

Here's to a better week :) "Ser Mormon é ser feliz!" " To be Mormon is to be happy!"

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan
 The  photo is for everyone who wished me a happy birthday this week, in whatever way they did :) (Translation: "Thank you so much! I love you all!")


Monday, March 7, 2016

Adventure is Out There!

Hello! :)

This week was fantastic! Today I'm actually not in Póvoa! I had to take a taxi and two buses with my companion to come all the way down and east to the city of Portalgre! So that my companion, and Elder Zwahlen's companion could go leave the mission limits together and take care of things in Lisbon today! So I'm spending p-day with Elder Zwahlen. He's pretty laid back, chill dude. He trained my last comp, Elder Morrison and they're very alike haha :) Oh man, the trip down here was soooooo long :) Going back is going to be soooooo loooooooong :) haha :)

This week we met and marked appointments to teach 3 families! We are bringing members to all of them so it'll be awesome! I'm super excited! There's a family with 2 older children and a younger one, there's a couple that have a small child and then there's a mom with two older kids and a niece! They've all got a lot of potential to accept the gospel! :)

We had a new couple move into our ward from the Oetis Stake down in the greater Lisbon area. They are very nice! He's a returned missionary and so he's happy to come teach with us when time will permit! They also invited us over for lunch on Friday, which I just realized will be my birthday!

Holy cow. I honestly can't believe that I'm turning 20 years old in only a matter of days. Two decades of life! holy cow! That's a large milestone. No longer a teenager. It's like the final nail in the coffin of my childhood haha :) It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I had my 19th birthday. I was still in my first transfer in Portugal. We had fasted from the day before until that morning as a mission and I had been on a division the day before with Elder Domingo’s, and had gotten the chance to only be able to speak Portuguese with him. It was interesting! And then that morning, he distracted me while elder fortes and my trainer Elder Cluff put the "candles"(matches) in my cake. I came in and they sang happy birthday to me :) It wasn't a huge ordeal, but it made me feel good :) It's weird to think that another year has come and gone since then. It seems like an eternity ago, and yet just the other day!

I love being out here on my mission. It's the biggest opportunity I have to serve others. I get worry about very few things. Truly when Christ told His Apostles to take no thought as to what they would wear or eat He was reminding them to think not of themselves, and instead focus their service on others. I only have 9 months left out here. And they're going to be the best 9 months ever. Because I get to spend them forgetting my worries and myself and instead focus on the needs of others and how I can help them! What a lesson and a blessing!

I know that Jesus Christ Lives. I know that through His prophet, Joseph Smith, Christ and our Heavenly Father restored the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth in the exact form that Christ himself established! I have sought and prayed and fasted and I know!

I miss you all very much! I hope you all have a great week! Feel free to send a note if you wish :)

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Monday, February 29, 2016

New Area, New Comp, New Transfer

Hey hey hey! Who has two thumbs and is finally out of the mission office? THIS GUY!

I've been sent an hour north (by Metro still haha we're at the end of the red line) to Póvoa de Varzim! I'm now in the Porto North Zone. I'm back to being a regular old district leader, which is nice I guess. I haven't had a meeting yet and won't this week because of zone meeting on Thursday. But on the plus side, there are only a pair of sisters in our district, so no divisions haha! Póvoa is a really cool place...I like it here, very tranquil. It sits right next to the ocean. My comp says the beachside on sunny days is great for contacts. Oh my goodness, yesterday we walked down a road alongside the beach and I saw the waves and the wind was howling and it was cold but sunny and I loved it :)

My Companion is Elder Gomes. He's from Lisbon and is a native Portuguese. He was born here and so were his parents, his grandparents moved here from cape verde. He's a cool kid. Only member of his family who's a member, and got himself on a mission against everything that could've stopped him. Very inspiring.

We have two big cities we work in, Póvoa de Varzim and Vila de Conde. We live at the bottom of Póvoa close to Vila. We walk back and forth. I'd forgotten how much walking you do without a car haha. It's been a while. But I think I've lost those couple of pounds this week that I gained in the office haha :) It's a good kinda sore that you feel at the end of the day. very satisfying. You feel like it was a hard day of work. We do a lot of contacts, especially close to the beach.

We've got a special ward activity at the end of march for Easter of 4 days that we're starting to pass out invites this week. It's awesome. Elder Gomes always thinks big and then acts accordingly. I really like that.

I really like this ward. They're all so nice and excited to work with the missionaries. Our ward mission leader is young and got back from his mission in Sep, so that's cool : )Quite a few old ladies, two or three families. Only 2 young women for the youth, but we're working on making it 3!

They had been teaching a young woman named Inês before I got here. Our only problem is that her mother will let her be taught but keeps giving excuses to not let her be baptized.  It's very sad to see. So we're still trying to help her and teach Inês.

Well there's my update for y'all :) Have a great week!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Friday, February 19, 2016

Representative of Christ

Hey all :)

Well, we're coming towards the end of a transfer here in the Portugal Porto Mission. That means change. It's funny how when change used to be such a bad thing, you come to love the opportunity it gives you to grow as a missionary. It's an opportunity to get a fresh start. That's something I took away from our mission tour that we had with Elder Kearon yesterday. That I have the opportunity of a fresh start each and every day. It's incredible!


Whole Mission

And that's the beauty of the sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of what he did, we can have a fresh start, as many times as we fall we can get back up! Through being baptized and then participating in the sacrament (or the remembrance of Christ) each Sunday, we can begin anew. And that is what I'm here to spread. That news. That truth. That we can be redeemed by and through Jesus Christ and His restored church.

I am a representative of Christ. I tell the world that every day I put on my nametag.

I want to make sure that all of you know, that I know that Jesus Christ Lives. That He is our Savior. And that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His complete church on the earth.

Have a great week! :) 

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Friday, February 12, 2016

Short, but Sweet!

Hello! 

This'll be a short one, I don't have much to report on! Just a regular old week...

We have a huge mission conference coming up this week, which is going to be awesome! The entire mission except for Maderia (the island) will be there! 120 something missionaries! haha :) President plans on being very strict on time and dress standards as an area 70 is coming! He's going to give a training, which will be very cool.

It's amazing how the weeks blur together, especially when I just sit at the computer all day, trying to write a manual to help future secretaries know how to perform tasks!


Elders Eldredge, Joao, Buchanan, and Humphrey
Dinner at the Ashby's

We have a cool event for Valentines Day coming up this weekend! I'll let you know how it goes! 

Have a great week!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sometimes you feel like a nut, Sometimes you don't!

Almond Joy's got nuts, Mounds don't. :D

This week was highlighted by our trip into Porto to go to a restaurant called NUT which serves food revolving around nutella. The crepe with ice cream was pretty darn good actually. We went with our investigator José!

Interesting news about José! I don't think I've ever told y'all about him. He was found by or rather he found them) Elder Hicks(my comp from last transfer) back at the beginning of his mission when he served in Porto 1st. Well he wasn't able to get baptized because of special circumstances. SO he's been "investigating" the church for over a year! But President knew that he wanted to serve a mission and if he waits too much long, he'll become too old. So he's been trying to get approval for José to be baptized earlier and he just told us that it's almost for certain José can get baptized at the end of February! He also gave us a large order about José's baptism -- there must be 100 investigators there. WHOA!

So we've got some large plans to involve missionaries all over the Porto area, everyone José knows, and we're gonna do everything we can to not only have 100 investigators there, but to make it as special and spiritual of an experience as possible!

In other news, President has decided to change the make up of the office and dissolve my position and have it absorbed by a new position of an Administrative Assistant to the President. So I'm going to be spending the rest of the transfer here training Elder McColley on how to do stuff, and also writing (or rather finish writing) an executive secretary manual. So that'll be nice to finally be relived when this transfer gets over. I get to go to a new area and just be a normal missionary again, walk, not have to eat fast food due to lack of time...Maybe I'll lose some weight again...haha :) cuz unfortunately...I've gained some back. :'(

I don't really have any other news than that! So I hope y'all have a great week! I miss ya! I think of ya! 

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan

Saturday, January 16, 2016

La La How Life Goes On

The Beatles said it best :)

This week seemed to have dragged by and flew at the same time. It's amazing how fast 6pm shows up and then we're out working and then we're home and then its a new day (its a new dawn, its a new life! sorry...had to :) ). I've been dealing with some logistics this week. I was finishing stuff I didn't get done last week, and then working on stuff that needed to be done this week. 

Monday I got up early and stood in line with 3 missionaries (including my companion) so we go switch their American licenses for Portuguese ones. I'd been running around the end of last week prepping all the documents for that. So a few hours and a few lines later we managed to get them! (see how exciting my life is? haha) Something else I did which took way too long is up date the transfer boards. These show the whole mission, split into zones, and then Districts and then into areas with the two missionaries. We have three kinds: The digital one that is in the system we use, then there is the excel sheet we made to print out so we can see where everyone is with one look (hence it's name "one glance file") then we have the two white boards in President's office at the office and at the mission home that have little cards with missionary names, number of transfers in an area etc. that have to but updated by hand. That one was the worst. haha 

Elder Morrison is a really hard worker. He's only in his 5th transfer, and the poor guy got stuck in the office. He's doing well so far. We've had some cool experiences this week. So on Monday we go to contact this contact that the Sisters passed to us and he cancels on us as we show up for the appointment. So we go, "ok, well we're here so there must be a reason, lets go knock some doors." That night we met Nuno and Pedro who let us right in to teach them about The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! But the amazing part is that we came back 2 more times and met two more really cool people who let us teach them! He and I teach pretty well together, but to be honest it doesn't matter how we teach, it's if the Spirit is there, and we've been feeling it.

I had a long day yesterday, man. SEF, or residency is the worst thing in the world haha! But I know the process and how to make it easy if I ever decide to come back, right? ...kinda I guess.

I won't really talk about what else I've done in the office because it really isn't that interesting... :P

Today we took a p-day! Yay :) we're actually gonna go to a baptism here in a little bit so I'll have to wrap this up soon. But we decided to go down to the center of Porto! Which I've been to several times, but it was still fun. I think a lot of people were on a vacation or something, quite a few things closed. But Elder Morrison and I walked down to the river ( I'll send photos) and were on a bridge, I bought a post card and some cools ties on sale. So all in all a good day and week :)


Hope all y'all's week was great :) I miss you! Have a great week!

Abraço,
Elder Buchanan