Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Elder Lee on the Island of Madeira

The beautiful island of Madeira
Olá, da bonita ilha da Madeira!! [Hello the beautiful island of Madeira!]
I got transferred here, and I'm serving with another Brazilian, named Elder Costa. He'll be finishing his mission this transfer. He seems cool so far, and cooks really good! When people come to the Islands (Madeira or the Azores) they usually stay here for 4-6 months, so I'll probably be here for a while haha. 
Since we didn't get in until 9:30 last night, and we haven't had any time today, we got to email now.

So yesterday I got a 3 hour bus ride to Lisbon, then had to decide what stuff I'd be leaving and what I'd take, because we can only bring one bag around 23 kg and a backpack. I'm not sure how I did it haha.
Then, we had an 1 1/2 hour flight, and I was on the plane with 3 other elders and a sister coming here! But we didn't sit next to each other. I ended up sitting next to a 45ish year old lady from Michigan, and we talked for a good part of the trip! She just started asking a ton of questions; about how the mission works, my family (I showed her a picture of you all and she loved it), and about church doctrine. It was a really, really cool experience explaining all of it. I had an english pass-along card with me, and she wanted to read it to see the message that it had. It was the one of the Salt Lake temple, and on the back it says ´´where do we go after this life?`` and she asked what we believe about that. So I explained the plan of salvation (all in English) from what happens after we die to the end, and talked about how she can be with her family forever. That was a really spiritual moment; when she explained that she always wondered about that, because her husband had died. So I also explained about temple marriage. I happened to have put an english ensign in my backpack earlier in the day so I could save space in my big bag, and so as we were leaving I gave that to her. It just felt really really good, and strengthened my testimony of the church and the plan of salvation.
We did end up baptizing Tiago yesterday, but Deolinda was still working on some things. She'll be baptized here soon though I'm sure! Tiago was baptized on the beach, which was really cool again. This time there were only like 3 people there on the beach already. 
The branch was doing alright; the 1st counselor Afonso had to move back to Coimbra for a few months (until November I think) to do some papers and his internship term ended, but when he comes back he'll be here for at least a year and a half.
 
I was pretty sure that I was going to be leaving, I'm not sure why. And when I heard it was going to be Madeira, I was super happy! It's the dream of most missionaries to come to the Islands, and it makes sense why. It's SO beautiful here. We can see the ocean from our appt window, and the church is up on the hill so it has an amazing view. Actually, everything is on a hill here haha, it's just a big mountain. So, my legs and feet are already killing me from walking so much. The people seem nice so far, their Portuguese is really interesting though. It's kinda like Portuguese with a New Jersey and Scottish accent, and I'm having some troubles understanding them! 

Wow, Ella already is so big!! 
Spencer and Seth, good job with Football!! And Maren, with doing that backpacking!

Have a great week! 
--Elder Lee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeira   More about Madeira!
http://www.golftoday.co.uk/travel/features/images/madeira_map.gif

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