"And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my Gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength as is not known among men."

-D&C 24:12

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 2 in Povoa

Well, this week was really great! Week 2 serving in Póvoa, and i´m really liking it.

Today we went to the Torre de Belem! It´s really old and beautiful and so very portuguese :) Me and Sister Lewis had been planing this day for awhile, so we met up with some sisters we know and after ALL of this time I have in Portugal, I finally went for the first time:)

This past week was really great!

Well, I had my last conselho de missão (mission counsel) this week. It was so spiritual and probably the best one i´ve bene to. One thing that always happens at the end is that we sing the hino da missão (mission song), which in our case, is "Called to Serve". Everyone gathers in a circle and we sing it and it´s always so spiritual, but this time, it was even more... :)

The next day, we had our zone meeting (Lisboa Oeste, woot!!!!!), which was also very spiritual. Me and sister Lewis gave some trainings about CHRISTMAS and it was amazing :) Christmastime as a missionary is very special because we have the opportunity to really spread Christmas cheer and tell the whole world about Jesus Christ. I know, it sounds super cheesy, but it´s true! I love the fact that we have so many opportunities each day to spread the good news that becaue of Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to be completely clean and one day return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ taught us so much, and one of His attributes was that of Charity. I studied about that this week. I remebered a quote by Hyrum Smith that says "Charity is the ability to separate the man from the things he does." I though about that this week and about how important it is to really love our brothers and sisters here and I realized how much I have come to love the Portuguese people. I love them so much and this love has been growing and growing every day.

This week, the spirit guided us to so many cool people and to places where we really needed to be. We explored a bunch of our área, which consists of 3 towns: Póvoa, Santa Iria, and Vialonga. We explored and found new people and even ran into less-active members who really were needing to talk to us. It´s amazing how much the spirit guides us if we only listen and follow.

Me and Sister Lewis are taking advantage of the bread here in Portugal. THE BREAD IS SO GOOD. So we made a "Pão-endario" (bread calendar) and are trying to eat a little bit of portuguese bread everyday :D

Well, this next week is going to bring lots of new adventures because I get to go to the AZORES to do divisions there! I´m super excited and I hope I will have lots of good stories to tell next week!

Amo Vocês!

Sister Mancuso

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hello Everyone!!!

Hello everyone! 

  This week was a roller coaster. It was really crazy, not gonna lie. We had another division this week with the Sisters in Olhão, and this time we separated and I went to Olhão with Sister Oliveira and SIster Harper stayed here in Faro with Sister Andrade. I just love those sisters so much. Sister Andrade has been with me the entire time i´ve been in Faro and we´ll be finishing the mission together.
  Sigh. I love the Algarve. These last couple of P-Days, we´ve been roaming around the Algarve with the car and visiting new places and coming back to well-known ones. This very well may be my last week in the Algarve and Faro because next weeks is transfers and I have no idea what´s going to happen with me!
  Will I stay? Will I go? Who knows? Well, God knows. And I trust in His judgement, so I know that whatever happens will be what needs to happen. Sigh. Maybe i´ll serve in or around Lisbon. I still haven´t served anywhere around there yet...
  We had our District Conference this past week and President and Sister Tavares were there. They spoke to the whole district of the Algarve and it was so spiritual. 
  One thing i´ve been reminded of this week was of how fast the work of the Lord is progressing and how much satan doesn´t want that. He really will do anything to stop this work from progressing. And so many things have happened this week in Faro that it´s so important to remember that NOTHING can stop the work of the Lord and it´s so important to always be united and in harmony with one another. I love my companion and I love my district here in Faro. 

  I truly have been so blessed with so many good people around me here in Portugal. It makes me so happy that sometimes I just wanna cry of happiness. 

  Have a marvelous week, everyone!

-Sister Mancuso


Monday, November 9, 2015

Be thou my vision

Olá gente! Tudo bem????

This week was really... hectic. Som much happened. Where to start?

Me and Sister Harper stayed in Faro last P-day. It was super downcast and the sky was threatening rain and we were in the downtown pretty part of the city.

And then it actually did rain and we had to find shelter... So we found refuge in this place called Bolo de Caco, which is a really yummy sandwich originally from Madeira. I LOVE BOLO DE CACO!

On tuesday night, we went to Lisbon with the elders for mission counsel which was held on wednesday. The whole 3 hours was just listening to Christmas music. So much Christmas music! But mission counsel was so spiritual. I learned so much. Everytime I go I just feel so happy and i´m reminded of how amazing the mission is. The mission is so short and the time so precious that it´s so important to really take advantage of every second here! And especially here in Portugal...

Today we went to Portimão again. Man, I just love going there! We visited a beach called Praia dos Três Irmãos. GORGEOUS. Giant rock formations and no one was there and the weather was perfect because there was a sea-salty breeze that you can only smell in Portugal. The sun was out and we could hear the seagulls and the waves lapping in and out... And I just thought, "Wow. I´m in Portugal today, and there´s no other place i´d rather be right now."

I LOVE PORTUGAL! Have a great week, everyone!


Sister Mancuso

                                                               Praia dos Tres Irmaos

Bolo de Caco

Monday, October 26, 2015



Yes, you read right.

 The Lisbon Portugal temple has been announced and the ground breaking will be on December 5th of this year! I´m so happy that I will be to be here in this beautiful country when it happens! Temples are such an enormous blessing and words can´t describe how happy it makes me that the ball is finally rolling on its construction! I think it´s funny that i´ve been living in this wonderful country of Portugal for more than a year, and i´ve seen so many miracles here and seen so many lives changed and have just GROWN SO MUCH LOVE for these people, that when they get their own temple, it makes me feel just as happy for them

That was the highlight of my week.

  It´s been really rainy. I´ve had to use the umbrella I bought all the way up when I was in Braga. But that´s good because I still haven´t used it, so at least i´m getting some use out of it!

  I have been having such a blast with Sister Harper. We have really been working hard and we did our first division of the transfer this week in Olhão. It´s so funny that we went back because i´ve been there so many times, I feel like i´ve already served there!

  We marked one of our investigators, Linda to be baptized! She is making a lot of progress. she really has a real intent to know if God exists and is praying and reading the Book of Mormon. When she prays she says that she feels calm. She is incredible!

  So I have had a desire my whole misison to find and baptize a chinese family. I don´t knw why, but I just really want to. So I ordered a bunch of materials in chinese and went to every chinese store in our area. No luck. I was feeling kinda sad about it, until last night when we contacted this young man. Who happened to be chinese... :) We got to talking and it ended up being an amzing contact. He´s 20 just like us and is a college student, but I felt the spirit so strong during that contact that I know that It really was supposed to happen! I know that that desire I have isn´t for no reason, and i´m super excited for the next time we meet with André!

  I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting this week about the Book of Mormon. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON! I think one of the most precious things I have in my life is my portuguese BoM. I have marked up and read it so much and used it so much that it is so precious and full of personal revelation for me. The Book of Mormon has given me a testimony that God really does speak to His children and He wants us to read His scriptures to be able to know what to do in our lives to have more happiness! It´s kinda like a road map to happiness!

Well, I hope everyone has a week full of miracles!

Sister Mancuso

Monday, October 12, 2015

Faro, Faro, Faro....AND FARO!

This is gonna be my 4th transfer in Faro! I´ll be staying here and i´ll be serving with Sister Harper- we were together in the MTC!

It´s gonna be an AMAZING TRANSFER!

  I´m super excited to see what this transfer will bring! Well, one thing´s for sure- it´ll bring lots of miracles. It´s what I live for here on the mission! Everyday things and people that God puts in our path to show how much He loves us and how much He loves the people we meet. We met this man this week named João. João works for the Portuguese Red Cross and we met him on the street one morning. He said that the day before, he was feeling kinda depressed and wanted to feel free of whatever it was he was feeling- then he ran into us. Me and Sister McChesney both felt that we have to do everything we can to help him. We had a lesson with him and it was so amazing and spiritual. I felt in that moment the power that we as missionaries hold- we hold the salvation of God´s children in our hands, and that´s something that should be treated with a lot of care and love.

  We went to Lisbon this past week with the Elders to our mission counsel- it was awesome! I always love Lisbon, and this time we went by car, so it was way awesomer! We had to leave at about 6:30 in the morning, but we got there in time to have a super amazing meeting. 

  Hope everyone has an amazing week and sorry that my letters are kinda short- I promise to write a longer one next week!

Com amor,
Sister Mancuso

Monday, October 5, 2015


Oh, yeah.

That´s right. 

Only happens twice a year.


This is my 3rd GC on the mission, and it´s so funny. because everytime I watch it, I understand more and more. My first one- didn´t understand ANYTHING. My 2nd one- understood lots. My 3rd- I was surprised with how much I picked up! I understood everything and, of course, I was spiritually fortified. I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE! And even though I didn´t cry this time, I came pretty close a few times. But it´s all good. We had 2 investigators come and they both loved it and felt the spirit really strong.

And we also had a really good experience with one of the Elders´ investigators. His name is Regmi, and he´s from Nepal. He didn´t grow up with a christian background, and he´s been wondering exactly HOW it is we know. Well, on saturday night, he watched conference and later came up to us. He said "I felt it. I felt the fathomless depth." And touched his chest. HE FELT THE SPIRIT! It testified to him. It was a super amazing experience and that is why I love this gospel!

Well, that was the highlight of my week! Have a great week, everyone, and WRITE ME!

Love, Sister Mancuso

Monday, September 21, 2015

Miracles, Miracles, MIRACLES

So the BIGGEST miracle happened this week!

We were all in the chapel one day and a man´s car broke down right in front of the chapel. He asked if the Elders (who JUST happened to get a car this week!) could give him a jump on his battery. The car was still not working, so we decided to show him the chapel. Then we all got to talking, and this man we just met said that he grew up in Venezuela. As with ANYONE who mentions Venezuela, I said "My mom is from Venezuela!" Then he looked at my name tag and said, "I can´t believe it. I can´t believe it! I know who you are!" 

Silence. I was really confused.... Then he said "You´re grandpa is Fidel Castillo, isn´t he?" and it was even more bizarre! I responded YES, and he started naming everyone in my family! Turns out he´s a family friend of my mom´s!!!!! I FREAKED OUT! It was so cool and unbelievable and I couldn´t believe it! I still can´t. All the way in the Algarve, there is someone who knows my family in Venezuela! But I know that that wasn´t coincidence and I know that the Lord has a plan for this man! His name is Carlos Figencoli (don´t know if that´s how you spell it) correction: Carl Fingenschou. But really, it was incredible. It strengthened my testimony that the Lord really does put us in the right place at the right time. 

I love you all! Have a great week!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Members! Members! Members!

Tudo bem?

This week was amazing! 

So much happened!

  So. This week we had the best zone meeting. EVER. We got the whole Algarve zone pumped up and ready to work and ready to help make this district a STAKE! We worked super hard and the spirit really touched all of those missionaries. We focused a lot on working with members, reactivation, and working with the leadership in our branches. These are the things that are going to contribute real growth to our district here, and we all felt really strongly that the Algarve WILL be a stake!
  One funny thing we did during the meeting to help out the missionaries with not getting bored is that we made milkshakes for them! We randomly brought them out after doing a treinamento, and they all got super excited and happy!
  Me and Sister McChesney have been running every single morning and working really hard to be fit and healthy! The running was really hard at first, but after 2 weeks, i´m feeling way better and i´m kinda starting to like it... :)
  This week has been full of miracles! We have seen so many! We have talked to so many people this week and have felt so quickly the love that God has for them, it´s incredible. A little hard to describe, but it´s really amazing. You can see the potential that person has to be so happy, especially when they´re sad. It makes me wanna talk to even more people. We get a lot of rejections, but when we help someone come closer to Christ in that moment, then it makes the rejection worth it.
  We have been working so much with our members this week! We saw an amazing miracle. Remember when I said we went to a funeral a few weeks ago? Well, me and Sister were walking down the street, when I felt all of a sudden to go down a certain street. We went down it, and almost immediately, a woman opened her door and said, "I knew it! It´s the sisters!" It ended up being the widow of the man who had passed away (she´s a member´s mom). We ended up entering her house and having a powerful lesson with her. We explained the Plan of Salvation and explained the Temple. It made me so grateful for the knowledge we have of these things.

Hope everything turns out amazing for everyone this week! Never forget how much the Lord loves you!

Sister Mancuso


Monday, September 7, 2015

Faro- City of Miracles

Bom Dia pessoal! Tudo bem?
  How are all of you today????? So this week was really amazing! Me and Sister McChesney have been working hard and talking to EVERYONE about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! I lost count of how many times I felt the spirit during contacting (talking to people on the street) this week. It´s amazing how much the Lord guides us to talk to certain people who really need it.
  One other thing we did this week was... MISSION COUNSEL!!!! I. Love. Mission counsel. It´s incredible. This time we went to Lisbon on wednesday night. A 3 hour train ride with the Elders. Sigh. It was a long train ride, but it was good. Our Elders are so funny and so different, that their companionship totally works! Me and Elder Braga are the ones that stayed here in Faro this transfer, and Sister McChesney and Elder Fish got here this transfer. We all sdecided that this transfer is gonna be the best on yet! 
  And honestly, that´s the way we have to start our transfers. It´s so important to exercize our faith and really start off the transfer right. I´m so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission here in Faro and I love you all so much THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Com amor,
Sister Mancuso

Monday, August 31, 2015

3rd Time's a Charm!

Olá todos! Tudo bem?
This week was very interesting, but also very good. I learned A LOT this week. BUT I´ll get to that eventually. Right now: TRANSFERS! So it turns out I stayed in Faro this transfer! This is my first area where I stayed longer than 2 transfers (about 3 months) so i´m really excited to see what´ll happen this transfer! But I have a good feeling about it :)
  Sister Cardoso finished her mission today! She´s off to Sintra (her hometown) and she is so amazing. I learned a lot from her and she truly helped me to do my very best. She has such a big love for everyone, and she is so loyal and she really taught me a lot about what it means to be a true friend (ha, that sounds so cheesy, I know, but it´s true!). Sigh. Getting a new companion is always sad because I get so attached to them, but that´s ok because my new companion is Sister McChesney! I served in the same zone as her in Coimbra, so i´m super excited to work with her here in Faro!
  BIG NEWS: This week, our recent convert of 14 years old, André, went to FSY ( a big, church-sponsored week-long program for youth 14-18) and LOVED IT: He said it was super spiritual and that he learned so much about the gospel. He shared his testimony with us that before he didn´t have a certainty, but he felt the spirit so strong testify to him that all of this is true. There was a youth there that got his mission call and decided to open it at FSY, and André said "it wasn´t even my mission call and I was so excited and happy for him that I almost cried. I felt the spirit so strong and I felt that I really need to serve a mission one day as well." Needless to say, I got so happy I couldn´t take the smile off of my face for the rest of the week!
  I love this gospel and I know it´s true and can bless all of our lives! Have a great week! Love you all!

Com MUITO amor,
Sister Mancuso

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pai Eu Quero Ti Amar

Hello Everyone!

   I´m so sorry that I haven´t written these last couple of weeks! When I say things have been crazy, this time i´m not kidding. Wow, i haven´t written for 3 weeks, that´s crazy! And SO MUCH HAPPENED. So... where to begin?
   3 weeks ago, we went to Lisbon for Mission Counsel and it was AMAZING! So spiritual and all the leaders in the mission got so pumped up andwe were all ready to go out and talke to EVERYONE about the Gospel!
   Not to mention, the day before that, we got to spend our P-Day in Lisbon, and i´ve never visited the ACTUAL city of Lisbon- it´s SO GORGEOUS. I fell in love. We ate ice cream and strolled around and visited so many cool places, and I got to take the metro!
   This transfer has also been the transfer with the most opposition. I don´t think i´ve ever seen so much opposition in my life. but it has also been the best transfer. Full of lots of self-evaluation, growing, and let´s not forget the fun moments I have with my comp. I LOVE Sister Cardoso! This transfer has been a roller coaster ride, but I KNOW that us being together this transfer was INSPIRED and had to happen. AFter everything that happened, I feel like we have a stronger bond because of everything that we´ve been through this transfer. She has taught me so much about love and service and not being afraid to share your feelnigs with the ones you love. I have had a lot of difficulty on my mission with sharing how I feel and communicating with my companions. I know that it´s something I need to better, and Sister Cardoso has helped me a lot with that. Despite all of her health problems, she made it to her last week on the mission (when so many thought she wouldn´t, even us at one point or another), so we are going to make it the best!
   Last week I hit my one year mark in Portugal! It was really strange and I don´t like to think about it...
   Last sunday was also Manuela´s baptism! She has been doing a lot of family history since she came in contact witht he church, but despite all of the problems in her life, she took the step to be baptized and it was amazing! She also prepared her testimony to share at the next testimony meeting and we didn´t even know about it!
   I know that God has a plan for every one of His sons and daughters, and I know that He loves each one of us infinitely. 


Sister Mancuso

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I am weak, but He is strong

Hello everyone!
  I know that I say that every week is crazy, but this week was the craziest of my mission as of now. I don´t think I've felt emotions so strong as I have this week.
  Lots of things happened this week, but basically, my companion was in the hospital this week due to a couple of seizures that she had. But now everything is ok, Sister Cardoso is ok, and we´re both in Lisbon today for mission counsel! Lisbon is beautiful and great stress relief!
  But, due to everything that has happened this week, it has caused me to reflect a lot on our human weakness and the part that Grace plays in all this.
  As humans, we are weak. We have weaknesses and strengths, and that is part of our human condition living on this earth. Even though they may be different, everyone has them. And that is
why the Grace of God is so important.
  Grace is the enabling power from God to do what we can´t do on our own. When we physically can´t, that is when Grace comes into our lives. I learned that this week. When my companion was lying on the floor from the first seizure, I was lost and frantic. I don´t know what to do. I said a prayer and started crying. At that moment, I know that the Lord helped to do what I couldn´t do- He helped me to overcome my weaknesses and help my companion, and that is what I learned this week from all this. I´m so grateful for Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice, and for God´s amazing Grace.
  The church is true, and so is the Gospel! I love all of you and hope you have a good week! Love you all!
Sister Mancuso

One more transfer in Faro!

Hey y´all!

  How was your week?
  Mine was CRAZY. but I guess, as a missionary, there´s never really a normal week (all you RM´s know what i´m talkin´about!). Let´s see:

  New transfer! I´m staying in Faro with my companion, Sister Cardoso! This is her last transfer, and we´re stil STL´s for the Algarve, so this´ll be fun! Usually, Zone leaders are the ones to do transfers, but since ours were busy, they asked us to call everyone, so that was great one and only experience i´ll never do again!

  We had a baptism this week: Lucas! He´s only 12, but he such a big example for all of us! He was so excited to be baptized, and so was his family! We´re still teaching them and we brought some members to have a lesson with them this week: it ended up being so spiritual. We brought the Prado family to talk with Leo and Sol (Lucas´ grandparents. BTW, don´t know if I mentioned this, but Sol is lamanite- she´s form the amazons!) and we started talking about the Restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon, and sister Prado shared her conversion story, which was truly remarkable (she bought the BOM at a used book fair, read it and knew it was true, and traveled all the way to Peru to try to find the `Mormon` church, which ended up being right here in Portugal!) Lots of people were crying, and then sister Prado also said that she´d had a dream with Leo and Sol the night before, and afterward, Leo said that when they hugged, he felt like it was not a woman hugging him, but someone bigger and more loving and basically, he said it felt like the Savior was hugging him.

  Sigh. Gotta love the mission. So many spiritual experiences! I just love how the Lord places us right where we need to be in order to do His will. It´s mind-boggling, really. He loves us so much and He genuinely helps us all the time as we strive to bring His children closer to feeling His love. 

  We also did divisions in Olhão this week with the sister there, Sister Selk and Sister Andrade. I´ve already done divisions with Sister Andrade, so I thought it was great that we got to be together again! Then the next day my comp had a doctor´s appointment, so we didn´t get a rest this week! SO MUCH WORK. SO TIRED. BUT SO HAPPY.

Well, I think that´s all the news i´ve got this week! Hope everyone has a blessed week! Love you all!
Sister Mancuso


Monday, July 13, 2015

Lisboa, Menina, e Moҫa

How was everyone´s week?
Mine was SO AMAZING! 
Where to start?

  I am now a year old on the mission. That´s new. I also happened to have the best 1 year anniversary ever because it was Mission Counsel and it was the most powerful one yet!
But i´m getting ahead of myself.

Let´s start with tuesday.
  I met my new mission president and his wife on tuesday night! Then on wednesday we had the Algarve Zone Conference with President Tavares! It was super spiritual and amazing! Before coming to Portugal, they received special instruction from all of the apostles for 5 days! There is no other training like that in the church, so, man, was he inspired!
  President Tavares has been working for CES for most of his life and so he´s very instructed an dintelligent. He has this Fogo (fire) for the new mission and for Portugal, and it´s incredible to be able to witness it. Sister Tavares is so sweet! She is always feeding us and she is so ready to be here and help out with the work! She served a mission here in portugal before she got married, so it´s great that she´s back!
  And since the Tavares´ were going back to lisbon that day, we decided to hitch a ride with them instead of take a really long bus... 3 hours with the new mission president... But it actually ended up being really awesome and we all felt very inspired and uplifted afterwards! Since mission cousel was going to be in the mission home the next day, we stayed there and hung out with Sister Tavares (who is such a sweetheart and I already love her so much!) and their daughter, Karen. We laughed and talked a lot, and they told me all about Brazil (they´re from Curitiba) which makes me really wanna go there one day, especially since I can speak the language now!
  Me and Sister Cardoso spent the night in the mission home... in the General Authority room! It was so funny to think that lots of Apostles slept where we were sleeping...
  And then the next day: MISSION COUNSEL.
  2 words: Blown away. The most spiritual MC yet. We all gathered in the living room and President and Sister Texeira (he´s part of the seventy and he is in charge over ALL of europe) who both also served in Portugal as well. We learned a lot about making goals. We learned the importance of setting, making, and keeping them. This work is full of goals. We´re ALWAYS making goals. Even in life, goal-making is essential. But when we align our will with the Lord´s will and work on reaching inspired goals, we will witness miracles. Not just in the mission, but in LIFE! I love how the mission really is preparing me for what comes next: life! MC was incredible and everyone was crying and we all heard inspiring stories and all of us left with so much FOGO and were so ready to go out and talk to everyone! 
  After those amazing 2 days in Lisbon, we had to go back to Faro by Bus. I kinda missed riding with the Tavares´ because it was cheaper and shorter and with better company. But this time we went with the Elders, and that was also great because the Elders can be such goofballs and make us laugh on long bus rides!
  We also had this great lesson on Friday with this elect family of 2 grandparents and their grandson. Lucas, the grandson, is so excited to be baptized. He was the example for his family, and now his grandma is also preparing to be baptized and we had such a spiritual lesson with them. They are from the amazon in Brazil (aka Lamanites!) and they know that these things are true! The Grandpa, Leo, had a dream that someone was telling him about the church and its beliefs before we ever even got there and ever since then, he´s been wanting to be baptized! So, we´ll update next week!
  Hope everyone has a great week!
  Amo Vocês!
-Sister Mancuso


Monday, June 29, 2015

The law of opposition is TRUE

Hey everyone!
  This week was... interesting. Wow. Where do I start?
  Well, like I said last week, we had the amazing baptism of our investigator André. Man, he is gonna be a big leader in the church one day. I can feel it. But just as I can feel it, the enemy (Satan) can also feel it, and he was working hard last week to make that not happen. I see this a lot on my mission. We missionaries call it "A lei de opposição"- the law of opposition. I know that it truly exists because i´ve seen it time and time and time again on my mission, and in my own life as well. Every time we make a decision to do good, Satan is right there behind us trying to steer us away from that.
  Long story short, André was definitely feeling that opposition this week. Without going into too much detail, lots of strange things were happening and we decided to have a lesson with André and the elders, and the Elders gave him a blessing of comfort and peace. We spent a lot of time with André, Joana (she´s 7 and getting ready to be baptized too), and Elisabete (their mom). They are starting to see the difference of living the Gospel in their home, even though it´s not easy. But it´s worth it. 
  And we felt so proud of them when we all went to McDonald´s and Joana traded her iced tea for a juice box. *sniff sniff wipe off a tear* AND He was confirmed yesterday at church! He now has the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is super important!
  We also had our very last Zone conference with the Fluckigers. They are leaving Portugal next week and we´re gonna get new mission presidents! It was super spiritual and we all cried, and me and Sister Cardoso made SO MANY COOKIES for our sisters here in the Algarve.
  Fun Fact: Portugal doesn´t sell chocolate chips, so we have to cut up chocolate bars every time we make cookies.
  So that was my week. I´ll finish off with my favroite quote of the week! Love you all!

“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
-Joseph Smith
Sister Mancuso

Monday, June 22, 2015

Batismo em Praia de Faro

This week was great!
  André, our investigator, got baptized yesterday at the beach! Another Jovem (youth) baptized him and he was really happy. The opposition for him was so strong, but he did enter the waters of Baptism and he loved it and now, life is good! He´s only 14, but he was such a bright future ahead of him! I have a feeling he is going to serve a mission one day :)
  His mom was a less active for most of her life, butnow they are all coming to church, and they make me so happy! Sometimes I get scared when i think of the future, but then I think of the scripture that says "If God be for us, who can be against us?"
  Needless to say, yesterday was one of the best days ever.
  What else?
  We did a division in my old area of PORTIMÃO!!!!!! It was so great to be there again and to see everyone! it was also strange because last time I was there was when I was in my 3rd transfer, and now I came back as an STL and in my 8th! It was surreal, but so worth it. I did a division with Sister Marinho (YES, Sister Marinho (mother), I know you´re reading this!!!) and with Sister Steagall, both of which are stunning sisters. They teach with the spirit and I just love divisions because they teach me so much!
  I know that this church is true, and I know that the Lord loves us!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hello Everyone!!!!


Shout-out to my little sister SARAH! Sarah got her mission call to serve in the ECUADOR QUAYAQUIL WEST MISSION! I´m so proud of her and so happy that she´s going to serve the Lord in Ecuador for a year and a half!

WOW. The rest of my week is gonna seem boring compared to that news.
   But i´ll tell you anyway. SSSOOOO on sunday night, I got THE CALL from Sister Fluckiger (the one that means that SOMEONE in the house is gonna be sister training leader next transfer) and it turns out... I got transferred to Faro! After only 2 transfers in Braga! Sister Gutierrez is staying in Braga one more transfer. I have to admit, I predicted it, but my predictions never come true, so that´s why I was surprised it actually did this time. During my last week in Braga, I got REALLY bad allergies and my lip and half of my face swole up! It was crazy, so we finally reported it and sent pictures to a doctor. I think that might´ve been a factor in my being transfered to Faro. But now i´m going to be STL in the Algarve and I get to visit 2 of my old areas- Lagos and Portimão! I´m stoked because this was my dream! Not to mention, I´m gonna stay in my mission! I was preparing myself to be in Porto, but here I am in Lisbon! AAHH!!! 

So that was a major plot twist.

Anyway, I stayed up late packing, and we left early in the morning to go to Lisboa. 6 hours and a bus ride later, I got there! And I met my new companion, Sister Cardoso. She´s portuguese, but she also speaks really good english, so we speak both english and portuguese. We stayed in Lisbon on monday so we could go to Conselho de Missão (some Elders like to call it Jedi Counsel...). IT WAS AWESOME!

Conselho da missão was amazing! We recieved amazing instructions and recieved tons of revelation, and I felt so happy and grateful to be a missionary! It was President´s last one, and the spirit was so strong! It just got us all ready to go out and do our best and keep on trying hard!

After that, came the difficult part: lugging my suitcases all the way to the Algarve... ! It was a nightmare, but thankfully everything turned out fine. After another 3 1/2 hour bus ride, we finally got to Faro, and had to run home because it was already super late! The Faro house is so pretty, and so close to the Chapel! We have blue tiles on the walls and There´s also this giant wardrobe that reminds me of The Lion, the Witch, And the Wardrobe. It happens to be where I put all of my clothes...

And so began the first few days of my transfer in a new area with a new companion and pretty much a new everything. The first few days are always awkward... But now it´s fine. I´m adjusting and getting to know everyone!

The north and the south are so different from one another. It´s like the difference between NYC and New Orleans. So different! But beautiful, nonetheless. 

My Quote of the week: "Everytime we reach out, however feebly for Him, we discover He has been anxiously trying to reach us." I testify that this is true! I have seen this so many times on my mission. God loves us so much, and anytime we do our best to achieve what we wanta nd use the power of prayer, we will achieve it if it´s His will. I love my mission and i´m so excited to take on Faro and grow and help others grow even more!

I love all of you!
Sister Mancuso

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bracara Augusta

FUN FACT: Braga has been around for thousands of years, and was the capital of the roman state of Galecia, and it was called Bracara Augusta. Pretty legit. So this week there was this big festival in the city center and there were lots of people dressed in togas and street vendors and random roman bands playing music. It was really neat! Obviously we did´t participate, we just walked through to get to places, and it was still interesting.
  This week was... stunning. But definitely a roller coaster. We went to Matosinhos (Pronounced Matosiños), just outside of Porto, AND IT´S SO BEAUTIFUL THERE! Even though, it´s an hour by train, and then by metro, it´s great! I like to look at the portuguese countryside, even though I get a little anxious when we travel. Don´t know why. 
  But... We did a division with the sisters there and I LOVED IT. I went with Sister Hillam, who is amazing! She is so happy and bubbly, and she was praying that this division would be miraculous, AND IT WAS. It was literally one miracle after the other! We met so many families who were willing to listen to our message, and we also ran into a couple of less actives and had great lessons with them! I know that that day, the Lord placed us where we had to be exactly at the right place and time, and the best part was that it kept happening again and again! We talked a lot about how important obedience is in our lives and if we´re obedient, we will see the blessings of it. Sometimes it won´t be immediately, sometimes it´ll take awhile, and (as Jeffrey R. Holland once said), some don´t come until after this life, but they do come! Obedience is the first law of heaven! Never forget that!
  Oh, And... In the morning, we all went running to the beach, and we decided to go sword fighting with the Elders!
  Oh. let me tell you all a little something about Portuguese Pastries. Most of the time, we abstain from eating them simply by not walking into the confeitarias, But in Matosinhos, we cracked... And it was so good. Pasteis de Nata. Uma maravilha... :)
  On monday, we went ot visit this family whose son (his name is Kelvin. He´s awesome!) really likes church and goes with us almost every sunday. There are 3 other little sisters at home, and they are so cute! The youngest one is 7, and we decided to pray with them, and she wanted to say the prayer. After I helped her, she just looked at me and said "I can feel it. A warmth in my chest." and she just pointed up. The feeling in the room was so strong and everyone was quiet because the Spirit was there, testifying to all of us! It was amazing.
  Also, we have this investigator from spain and she only speaks spanish, and she went back to Cadiz this week, but she loves the Sisters and she feels the spirit so strong everytime she´s with us! I gave her the only spanish Book of Mormon I had, and she said she´s gonna read it and find the church in Cadiz. I love her!
  Well, that´s all for this week! Hope you all have a great week! Here´s a picture of me sword fighting an Elder!
Sister Mancuso

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week one of travelling

Hello Everyone!

This week was awesome!

 Me and Sister Gutierrez did so much this week! We went to Foz do Douro for a division with the sisters serving there. Foz is BEAUTIFUL! (Makes sense, it´s right by Porto, which is gorgeous.) Especially right by the beach, it kind reminds me of Coney Island or something like that.

 We had the amazing opportunity to have a division with Sister Mauricio and Sister Carroll. Sister Gutierrez really felt she should go with Sister Mauricio, and I really felt that I should´ve gone with Sister Carroll, so it was perfect because the spirit really did guide us to that decision. We split up foz and talked to everyone!  We experienced so many tiny miracles and found lots of people who were interested in listening. Overall, it was a great division, and we all felt the spirit abundantly. I love those sisters so much!

 Oh my goodness. When we were on our way back home, we went to the Porto São Bento train station... The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! Google it. Google it right now. 9 months living in Portugal, and I’m still in awe. And everything in Porto is just gorgeous...

  I´ve been having weird allergic reactions the the pollen in the north lately. Sometimes my lip swells up twice its size. And in Foz my hand blew up: It was great! But I bought allergy medicine, and it´s all good now.

 We had a lesson with Silvina, Mimi, and Malaika (the family from Mozambique) and they also went to church this week. Silvina kept saying "all of it just makes sense! Every time I come into a class or lesson, I just feel really good and I feel like all of this is true!" They read the BOM everyday, and Silvina is always going on the church website. THEY LISTEN TO THE MOTAB! They are so amazing. We just love them and we really try to stress eternal families with them. They are so special and they truly were prepared by the Lord to receive this message.

 This week in Braga was also great! We felt ourselves being guided to find those prepared for the gospel, and we have found so many! It feels like I feel so much love for so many of the people I meet and we really want them to accept this! It´s kind of funny how on the mission, you get so used to these experiences that it seems so weird that you lived your life in any other way. When we are worthy to have the spirit with us and constantly try to repent, the impressions of the spirit are so strong and you know that it´s undeniably the spirit taking to you. I love the opportunity I have to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I love the mission! And I love my companion. We are constantly trying to better ourselves and be the best versions of ourselves that we can be. It´s really hard, but we´re working to make immediate progress, even if it´s a little.

 Well, that was the best of my week in a nutshell. Hope you all have a great week, love you!!!!!


 Sister Mancuso

Monday, May 4, 2015

Traveling. So much traveling.

How´s your week been?
   This week was AWESOME. Tiring, but awesome! We went to Lisboa on Monday night and on tuesday we didn´t get back home until 10:30!
  The weirdest thing happened on the train ride there! I ate a few digestive cookies and we had arepas for lunch beforehand. I have never ever ever ever ever had a problem with motion sickness, but that day, on the 3 and a half hour train ride to Lisbon, I got a really bad stomachache and started feeling nauseous. I ended up having to run to the bathroom and I puked my guts out 3 TIMES. I had no more food in my stomach and I was dry heaving! I tried to drink some water afterward and then I threw that up too!!! So that´s the story of my temporary motion sickness!
   We ended up staying the night in the old Benfica sister´s apartment and went to Conselho da missao (Mission counsel. Where all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet with President Fluckiger and receive training on how to help the other missionaries). It was so spiritual and it made missionary work so much more amazing! I´m so happy to be able to go to Lisbon again because I don´t think i´ll be going back after the next conselho da missao when they split up the mission! I´m pretty sure i´m staying in the Porto mission.
  And it´s also funny because 3 other sisters who came with me in the MTC are STL´s as well! I can´t believe how fast time has passed! I´m almost 10 months on my mission and it´s CRAZY.
  What else?
  On Friday, we went to Porto, and that´s always an adventure, mainly because of the metro and the train and that´s always fun... me and Sister Gutierrez gave some trainings and I got SUPER nervous! But it was fine and awesome and great! I met all of the Sisters we´re gonna be visiting in a few weeks and it was awesome!
   We´re teaching this amazing family from Mozambique (I might´ve already told you...) but they are so elect and they are reading the BOM and praying and they are thinking seriously about baptism, but still haven´t made up their minds. I think the mother knows it´s true, but the daughters are a little bit harder to convince... We´re praying, though. It´s so funny because they are teens and the 2 daughters remind me so much of me and Sarah and me! We taught them about temples and how families can be together forever through marriage in the temple! I LOVE TEMPLES! 
   One more miracle! It´s been raining like crazy this week. We were walking in the rain like we always do, and we were late for an appointment, and we were speedwalking, and I was PRAYING that a member would find us and give us a ride. A little bit later... A MEMBER FOUND US WHILE THEY WERE DRIVING AND GAVE US A RIDE! The Lord´s tender mercies are amazing!
  I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Mancuso

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ice Cream, Black eye pea soup and baptisms.

AHHH!!! How was everyone´s week? Sorry I kinda disappeared for a while. BUT...
   I get to stay in Braga for another transfer!!!! I´m so excited and I love it here, even though I will probably stay in the Porto mission... But that´s ok, because I will always be a benfiquista in my heart.
   This week was so full of adventures! Me and Sister Gutierrez are staying together for another transfer! We´re really really excited! We had some interesting adventures this week!
   We had just finished eating lunch and we were walking to our next appointment that day, but it was SO HOT and we both looked at a nearby cafe that was selling ice cream, and we both looked at each other and ran in! After buying the ice cream, we met the owner lady, and she said "oh! Sisters! I´m so happy you´re here!" and she hugged us! It turns out that she had talked to the sisters before a few years ago when her husband passed away and she said that the sisters that were here helped her out a lot in that difficult time. She ALSO said that right before we´walked in, she had been praying for someone to come and help her. MIND BLOWN. It´s amazing how a simple ice cream craving was actually a spiritual prompting to run into this amazing woman! Her name is Paula, and she was so looking forward for us to come back. We are too!
   Cleyton was baptized yesterday! He is from Brazil and we met him 2 weeks ago. He never came to church because he was never invited, so we invited him and he actually came! He really was someone who the Lord prepared to receive the gospel! He said he felt so good afterward, and he knows that it won´t be easy, but it will be worth it.
   It has been raining LIKE CRAZY OVER HERE. But it´s so funny because when we forget our rain jackets, we look like we´re braving a hurricane or something! The wind ALMOST broke my favorite umbrella!
   We decided to make soup for after the baptism! My mom sent me a really good recipe that we made a couple of weeks ago and it was AMAZING! So we thought, ok, we´ll make that soup for the baptism! Well, it was A FLOP it tasted so bad, but we´d made so much that we decided to take it anyway. So we did. We hauled that GIANT Cachupa pot all the way to the chapel (30 minutes from our house... walking fast. But you can´t really do that when you´re hauling a big pot in between you both...). After the baptism, only a few people stayed and I think they might´ve just eaten our soup out of sympathy. They all had like 2 bowls and they were eating slowly and we could just tell. Cuitadinhos. But it was a great day anyway!
   I love this work and I love Braga and I love all of you!!!!! Have a great week! Write me!
Sister Mancuso

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


How are you all??? BTW if anyone is getting married/engaged or if anything interesting is happening in anyone´s life, I wanna know about it!
  This week was awesome! Me and Sister Gutierrez just finished running up Bom Jesus (this giant Catholic church WAY up on a mountain. We´ve been training every morning and we finally did it! It was so hard but WE DID IT!
  Let´s see... So much happened this week! We got a reference from the Church headquarters this week from a woman who was interested in learning more. MIRACLES! She lives super far away, though! but she went to Church with her daughters and liked it and we´re so happy and excited to teach her!
  We found this elect Brazilian guy named Cleyton! He´s gonna be baptized this Sunday! He knows this is the truth and is so excited! He´s so elect!
  Me and sister G are doing a 40 day fast from all of the things that are keeping us from being more consecrated.
  Our phone stopped working! it´s so frustrating!
  We made bread this week! seed bread! it´s SO GOOD.
 I just love my mission! I have seen so many miracles and my testimony has grown so much! I can see how much the Lord has truly blessed and prepared these people to receive the gospel, and just my everyday encounters with people and i can see their divine potential! Me and my comp are both latinas and we speak Spanish sometimes but we are struggling! Portuguese has taken over my Spanish

... :( But we are working really hard to become consecrated missionaries. Have you read that talk by Tad R. Callister? It´s called the consecrated missionary and it´s my favorite! find it if you can! It´s SO GOOD. It´s funny because this transfer, I feel like my weaknesses have been thrown into my face and I feel like i still have a lot to go. Ether 12:27 has been the scripture that has really gotten me through it. It´s one of my favorites and time and time again I´ve had so many experiences with it throughout my mission. In the consecrated missionary there´s a part that says that the Lord doesn´t expect immediate perfection, but He expects immediate progress. So that´s been my story lately. And as I try and try, I can see how the Lord blesses us and shows us He is conscious of us. I LOVE MY MISSION! Hey i´m not perfect, but I´m trying hard, working hard, and loving the people!
love you all!!!!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Feliz Pascoa!!!

Happy Easter!
  I hope it was great for everyone! Braga has a lot of traditions. We heard bells ringing all over the city in the morning! It was really cool!
  I know it totally was for me! We watched conference at the Chapel with everyone and as usual, The Lord knows exactly what I needed to hear. IT WAS AWESOME! Right before, we made an Easter lunch at the Church with the Elders and we all ate and sat and watched Conference! I love that we have the chance to hear the words of our Prophet Thomas S. Monson! It was truly amazing!
  I went to porto this week for the first time! It was amazing! We went to a Zone Conference! Zone Conferences are where we get to meet with a bunch of other missionaries in other areas and just get pumped up about Missionary work! Porto is so beautiful and historic! Especially since I´m probably gonna be in the Porto mission anyway so I better get used to it...
  Women´s Conference was also this week! I bawled. BAWLED. But i´m ok now, tudo bem. Every once in a while it´s just so hard to control!
  We had a miracle this week with a woman named Mariene! She´s brazilian and so awesome and we had one lesson with her and she was already saying that she felt the things we were telling her were true! She´s marked for baptism for the 19th! We could all feel the Spirit so strong in that lesson!
  We visited 2 people in the Hospital on Easter. One was a member from Nigeria (she gave me an African dress!)  who´s been having heart problems. We went to go spend time and comfort her because she really needs it. Another was this investigator of the Elders who just had a baby! he was so tiny and cute and perfect and it really strengthened my testimony that Families really come from God and that we´re all His children!
  I hope everyone´s doing great! BOA SEMANA!
Sister Mancuso

Monday, March 30, 2015

I love Braga!!!

I LOVE BRAGA! It´s the biggest area i´ve ever had.
IT´S HUGE! Braga is the 3rd largest city in Portugal, and we have half of it. It´s crazy!
What happened this week?

Well, we had a baptism on Saturday! Her name is Catarina! She´s so cute! She´s 11 years old and her family´s aready members, and they wanted us to teach her. 

Sister Gutierrez got sick this week, and I was a little bit too, so we just stayed in and rested and ate salad :(

I studied a lot this week (because we were inside for 3 days!) And I studied a lot about Easter. My love for the Savior has grown so much this week. I read parts of the Savior´s last week in the gospels and I learned so much. Christ really loves us so much! He taught us so much and He gave us a perfect example, always. He took upon himself the sins of the world. EACH and EVERY one of us. He knows how we feel. Our pains, our embarrassments, our sins, everything imperfect about us.
His love is so pure and He´s always there with His arms wide open for us. And the way we can feel the love He has for us is by reading His word: The scriptures! I love Him so much and I know each one of us can grow our own relationship with Him. 
I hope everyone has a great Easter this Sunday!

Watch this video! It´s only a minute, but it´s SO GOOD. Because He lives, we can be cleansed from everything we´ve ever done!

Love you all!
Boa Semana!
Sister Mancuso