Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vila Real: Week 2

All the new missionaries in Portugal!

What's up? It was really good hearing from you all. Can you believe it I survived my second week here. I have some bad news. My camera broke! I took a picture with a sister and like 2 seconds later it was a goner. So... I haven't been able to take a single picture of Vila Real which is killing me. I will try to figure out a way because I REALLY want you all to see this place. It's unreal.

Well guess what? Remember how I was freaked out that I would have to eat fish? Ahhhh this lady in our branch fed us on Friday and she comes out with a plate of fish. I literally froze and my stomach dropped. I hope she didn't see my face haha. She had the fish chopped in half so we could choose to eat the head or the tail. I chose the tail because it didn't have eyes. And thank goodness she also served us rice and beans because I was able to drown out the fish flavor with that. Oh man. That was a rough one. But I did it! I have a feeling that wasn't my last fish experience. The day before that her brother who is in our Branch Presidency fed us lunch. It was fine nothing too sketchy. But they bring out dessert and they asked if I'd ever heard of sweetened condensed milk. I told them I had and they scoop a huge bowl full and give that to us for dessert. OH MY GOSH that was worse than the fish! It was like eating straight diabetes. I could hardly gag it down. You'd think it would be good but just believe me. Haha basically every meal here is interesting. I'm trying so hard to eat slower because the second I finish they're like HERE EAT MORE and shove more food on my plate. Rough life being a missionary eh? Haha.

So the language is still REALLY tough. Obviously since I've only been here 2 weeks. But I think people in our branch expect me to be fluent already because they come up to me and try to have a full on conversation and I just stare at them with a deer in the headlights look. I feel like a little child trying to speak again because they talk slower and louder and use small words. I can understand I just have no idea how to respond! Haha. It gets pretty frustrating sometimes to be honest because I can't ask my companion what to say because she doesn't know what I'm saying either. But I will get better no worries!

Oh! Last week we had our Zone Conference and I got to see Sister Gidney and Sister Brand from my last district. It was fun we actually stayed the night at Sister Brand's house. I met with President Fluckiger. He's a really nice guy. Porto is a sweet city! They have the coolest cathedrals and just everywhere you look in Portugal is seriously so pretty. The Sister Training Leaders came back to Vila Real with us and we went on splits with them. I went with Sister Wilde. She's from Arizona. Seriously the COOLEST person in the world. She goes home next month unfortunately because it would have been awesome to be her companion some day. But it was great to work with her that day because I could ask her questions in ENGLISH! Haha while we were street contacting we were talking to this lady and her son and we invited them to come to church with us on Sunday. The little boy was super excited and wanted to come with us and the lady was like, "Oh no sorry we're actually going to Switzerland that day." The little boy was like, "Mom no we're not!" and the mom shushed him and hurried away. Hahaha who uses that they're going to Switzerland as an excuse? At least tell us you have to work! We were laughing so hard. 

Oh yesterday Sister Silva and I were street contacting and I start seeing all of these white people with cameras. I could instantly tell they were tourists and as I was walking I heard someone speaking English. So I turned around and booked it towards them because English is like music to my ears. I started talking to them and they were all from England on a tour. I talked to them for a while and then invited them to church. They said, "Sorry but you have just met the only 4 Jewish people in Portugal. Good luck converting us." Haha. Oh well... at least they were nice! 

Oh my gosh. I had the most embarrassing moment yesterday. So I was playing the piano and I do the introduction and everything and when everyone starts singing it sounds so bad like the piano doesn't match up at all. I look up at the board and I was playing the WRONG hymn! Hahaha so I hurried and tried to play the right one but everyone had started in a different key so it just wasn't working. So I just stopped playing completely. People probably were thinking that I'm the worst pianist in the world but whatever! I can just blame it on the language barrier. Haha. 

We have had some really awesome investigators. I have high hopes for all of them but you never know what will happen. We've also had some disappointing ones. While I was on splits with Sister Wilde we met a guy name Pedro who is the saddest guy I've ever met. His dad died six months ago and he doesn't have a mom or any other siblings. He has no food or money or a job or a phone or anything. He said he doesn't believe in God because he has nothing in his life. It was so sad and you can tell he's let himself go. We set up an appointment and he told us he was really interested but he didn't show up. We bump into him in the streets almost every day and he always talks to us but I think he just wants our money. It's sad because there's nothing we can do if he doesn't want help. The economy here is shot so a lot of people beg us for money every day :(

Well I can't believe Kelsey, Keeley, and Barrett are done with school. They're not supposed to grow up while I'm gone. It's kind of funny seriously since I got on my mission I feel like the real world is just on hold and that everything will be the same when I get back. I'm going to die!!! 

Anyway I probably have a thousand more things I could tell you but I will some day! Sorry I probably wasn't able to answer all of your questions. Thanks everyone for emailing me! It was fun to hear how everything is going for you all. Oh I forgot! We have another area about an hour away from here we have to ride a bus to it about twice a week. It's called Regua. Also very pretty and we have another small small branch there. The same branch President from Vila Real drives there for sacrament on Sundays. There were only 8 of us there total! I can't believe how small it is. I will most likely have to speak every single week. I just had to bear my testimony this week but yeah. Anyway, have a great week everybody! Miss you all.

Sister Carroll 

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