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August 17, 2013 by jennaljackson

The subject line is from Goonies, but replaced with gaia. It’s a stretch. sorry. I couldn’t think of a better joke. 

This week has been crraaaazzzy! I mean not really but everything just feels so crazy and new because we have no idea where we are or where we need to go or who we need to talk to at any given minute of the day. Well I may be exaggerating. Things clearly have already gotten a lot better but we still get lost a lot and need to have the elders take care of us. oops. 

People have been telling us this week like oh man, good luck, that area is hard. Which I guess is why they whitewashed it. But I can honestly say I have felt so protected this week. It’s the same feeling as the first week I trained. Just this palpable sense of the Lord’s protection, like nothing too bad could happen. I’ve never had people be so open with me on the street. I’m kinda glad we know nothing and neither of us have any expectations because we’ve honestly just been talking to everyone and it’s been a super cool experience. The elders left us a few investigators. One of them is a really cool Brazilian girl named Camila. She is super elect and said that she got an answer that it was true and felt ‘lifted’ in her heart from reading the Book of Mormon, so we marked her. She understands the scriptures really well and has a ton of faith in God and Christ. But then she didn’t come to church yesterday so we’re a little confused about that…….pretty sure she just slept in. Fubeca. Gives me saudades for the 4pm sacrament meeting of Vila Real haha. 

Sister Travis and I had a really cool opportunity this week to go and do an activity with the youth of the Porto Norte stake (not our zone but they wanted us to help out). We had basically a missionary fireside with their stake president, youth leaders, some returned missionaries and President Fluckiger. We did a few trainings on how to do contacts and teach the first lesson and then we took them out for divisions! I was with a sixteen year old girl named Felipa and I can honestly say she, along with all the other young women at the activity, is leaps and bounds ahead of where I was in terms of sharing the gospel when I was her age. She had no fear to walk around her own city and talk with strangers in the street about the message of the Restoration. When I see girls like her an hear them bear such strong testimonies, I have no doubt that they will be ready and waiting to hit the mission ground running at 19 years old. It’s so cool to see youth in a place where the church is still small be so incredibly grounded. If the future of the church in Portugal is in their hands, I’m not worried. 

Other than that, we’re continuing to learn our way around, to do contacts on contacts, to ride buses on buses, and generally have an adventure. We’re stoked to be in Gaia and Gaia seems stoked, more or less, to have us. We keep getting called ‘Menina Elders’ so that’s fun. Keep Camila in your prayers and know that you’re all in mine! Love you everyone 

Sister J


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