"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

Monday, January 26, 2015

The week of Portuguese countryside, British accents, and MIRACLES!

How is everyone?!?!
  My week was great!!! We visited one of our smaller areas this week called Condeixa. We are actually visiting teachers for this British lady in our ward, so we have to go to her house every now and then (which, btw, looks like something straight out of a magazine! It is so modern and in the middle of this tiny Portuguese village overlooking a bunch of olive trees and it´s GORGEOUS, Not to mention I got to listen to a really cool British accent for an hour).
  Last Tuesday I had my 5 month anniversary in Portugal!!! It was pretty cool. We ordered pizza to celebrate!
  We are still teaching the gypsy family I always talk about! Mariana´s faith is growing so much! She goes to church with us and she loves it and she is reading and praying everyday and she is already spreading the gospel to her sister-in-law! She is accepting everything openly and readily, and she is also making my faith grow. The members are also looking after her too! They gave her tons of food and invited her over for lunch and they love her! Coimbra 1 has AWESOME members! I love Coimbra!
  Also, school started again, so the Harry Potter robes are starting to pop up everywhere again... :)
  We have some solid investigators! One of them is this old man who is so open and receptive and he recognizes who we are and wants to be baptized! His name is Antonio! He is super cool and he came to Church on Sunday and loved it. He was a random street contact!
  The other investigator we have is this man who is the son of a member. His name is Bruno. He has had some really big problems in his life and he wants to change a lot. We are working with him and he says that he´s starting to feel the difference in his life already after a week. It´s these times that makes me love my mission! I love this work so much!
Sister Mancuso


Hello everyone!
This week has been a week of MIRACLES! I don´t even know where to start. Remember those past few weeks where I was saying that my mission as of now has been ridiculously difficult for me?
  Well, we´ll start with Tuesday. We talked to this random lady on the street who started crying because she is having a lot of struggles in her life. She said we could come to her house and visit on Wednesday. Long story short, we had an opening on Tuesday, so we decided to stop by. We knocked the wrong doorbell, and she stuck her head out the window and let us in her door. We had an amazing lesson with her family, and it turns out her husband is a less-active member! He was baptized when he was young and then never returned to church. We talked to them and they are having a rough time. They are unemployed (for lots of reasons, he can´t work, and she´s looking but not finding anything), their 3 year old son has cancer, and they are literally rock bottom. Life has chewed them up and spit them out and they are truly humbled and ready to receive the gospel. It´s amazing how the Lord is preparing people to accept this gospel. We have been meeting with them everyday this week, and I can already see the change that is happening in them. Mariana is so open and accepts it because she realizes that we are representatives of Jesus Christ.
  She was our biggest miracle this week. And I know that the Lord prepared her to receive this gospel. This week has really reminded me of who I am on my mission. I am a representative of Jesus Christ, and as a missionary, I am here to help bring others unto Christ. I´, myself, am not very special. but the message I carry is. I have seen miracle after miracle after miracle, and I cannot deny that these things are true. I´m NOT here to drag people to be baptized. I can´t do that, nor do I want to. I am here to invite people to find out for themselves (not just for people to take my word for it) and ask God if these things are true or not. if there´s one thing I know, it´s that God doesn´t lie. If we ask Him with real intent, He will illuminate our path and show us the way. I have a firm testimony of that.
  I also had a bunch of other small miracles this week! We ran into this lady we contacted a couple of weeks ago, and she said ´well, I have a few minutes now, so let´s talk!´ And we did, and it was SUCH A SPIRITUAL LESSON! The Lord loves her so much! Another thing I´ve learned on my mission is that the Lord is hastening His work (aka spreading the gospel) as He sees fit, and there are so many people who are open and willing to accept it! I LOVE THIS GOSPEL AND I LOVE THE BLESSINGS THAT THE LORD IS GIVING ME! The Lord is literally waiting to bless us, we just have to go to Him. I know that is is Jesus Christ´s church restored here again on the earth! This gospel is for everyone and anyone! I invite you all to learn more!
  I love you all and hope you all are doing well!
P.S. I haven´t been getting enough letters from anyone... That needs to change...
Sister Mancuso



I can´t believe that I've been in Portugal for such a long time!
  This week was amazing! We are finally getting somewhere here in Coimbra! We had divisions this week with the Sister Training Leaders and we worked really hard and now we have some great people that are willing to listen to the gospel! The Lord has been giving us tender mercies all week!
 One amazing thing that happened to us this week is that we were just walking and talking to people on the street and then we decided to stop this one lady and talk to her. We´ve decided that every person we stop on the street, beforehand, we have a mentality of ´this person is going to be the answer to our prayers!´ And this was the one time we hadn´t said that to ourselves, and it was the time that it actually was! Her name was Mariana and she was a little sarcastic at first, but then she started to cry! Her husband can´t leave the house, her 3 year-old child has cancer, and she definitely needs hope in her life. She said that a few months ago, she was at home and she had nothing for her family to eat, then she said that two missionaries with our nametags knocked on the door with bags of food to give her. She said Í guess God sends you to me when I´m at the lowest points of my life.´ We both acknowledged that it was a miracle that we found her. THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!!! There are so many people out there with no hope in their life and it´s up to us to help them! There is ALWAYS HOPE! I know that the gospel brings so much hope in the lives of people whose hands hang helplessly down. I know that as a representative of Jesus Christ, I am called to lift up those hands, and it´s so rewarding, even if you don´t see it at first.
  Another miracle is that we started teaching Tamaiva, the Venezuelan lady we miraculously found on the street one day. She is amazing and she reminds me so much of home! When we go to her house, she speaks only Spanish and Sister Donahoo is like, úummmm, I only have the gift of tongues for portuguese, so I can´t understand her...´ But I know that the Lord put her in our path for a reason, and I know we´re a stepping stone on her spiritual journey, but I just don´t know what stepping stone yet.
 I hope everyone has a great week! THE GOSPEL IS TRUE AND IT BLESSES LIVES! I LOVE ALL OF YOU!
Sister Mancuso


Monday, January 5, 2015

1/3 done with my mission!!!!

AHHHH!!!!!!! I´M 1/3 DONE WITH MY MISSION!!!! How strange is that? I didn´t even realize it until an Elder at zone meeting was like ´Hey, Sister Mancuso, how does it feel to be 1/3 done with your mission?´
  And then there was dead silence. And I was like WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
  It feels weird everyone. Also, it feels weird because I just realized how detached from the World I am everytime someone asks me, did you hear that new maroon5 song? And i´m like, what maroon5 song? And then I realize I don´t know what they´re talking about because I´ve been on my mission for 6 months... That´s my thought process these days...
   So funny story, we were looking for inactive members in our area and we came upon one with the name of BigHate Dang-U. Yeah. We were dying of laughter. We were so confused about this person with this strange name that we asked our bishop. We said HER (yes, it´s a her) name and Bishop Pitarma was so confused that he looked at the name and said ´oh, bighate!´Just imagine me saying that name the way you would say it in spanish. Then we all laughed because bishop speaks english (he served in Ft. Lauderdale on his mission) and he knew what it means in english too.
  GREAT NEWS: GUESS WHAT????? Remember my investigator Jinilda, the one in Lagos who didn´t get baptized while I was there? WELL, She got baptized last week! WITH HER HUSBAND! Her husband was totally against it at first and he wouldn´t even let her be baptized, but they were baptized together and one day they get to go to the temple!!!!!!! AND the russians we were teaching in Portimão got baptized on Christmas! I feel amazing! I just feel like my mission was so hard and I sometimes feel like i´m running into a wall, but now I leave those areas and I had news of 4 baptisms in one week! Needless to say, I cried.
  MIRACLE OF THE WEEK: We contacted this Venezuelan Lady ( GO VENEZUELA!) and she said we could come by her house and talk so we tried but she gave us a wrong address (not on purpose because she´s super elect) and we never found her. THEN we ran into her on the street, after we´d prayed and prayed that we would find her again to talk to her! It literally was a miracle and this week we´ll be teaching her and her family, so I am so happy!
  I feel so much hapiness this week. I love Portugal and I love the gospel and even though a lot of people don´t want to accept this gospel, that doesn´t make it any less true! I get strange looks all day, doors slammed in my face, fake addresses and numbers, but that doesn´t discourage me! I love this gospel and I love the blessings it has brought into my life! I´m so excited to share it with others!
   GUESS WHAT THEY´RE SPLITTING UP THE PORTUGAL MISSION SO IT WILL BE PORTO AND LISBON SEPARATE MISSIONS! I STILL DON´T KNOW WHICH ONE I´LL BE IN, BUT JIDFHGWRFBHSJFDVBSDGBVSDCJXCHVBDFUGVBSDCFD It´s so crazy! I  could be in either one now! We already know who the MP´s are and they´re both brazilian, but they seem cool. I just really wanna stay in Lisboa because I haven´t served there yet and it would be really cool to serve there...

  ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! I hope you all had a good new years and i´m really sorry for not writing a whole lot these past few weeks, but I miss you all and love you!

P.S. Here´s a chicken nugget the shape of Florida! lol this is what we do on our P-Days...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

If only in my dreams.....

How was everyone´s Christmas??? Really, though, I wanna hear about it...
  I had an AMAZING ONE! Portugal has awesome Christmases. No one wants to talk to you on the street, but AWESOME CHRISTMASES. I ate Octopus and Cod fish and lots of turkey, and all the members of our ward in Coimbra gave us tiny presents and made us feel like we were home, so that was great! Coimbra is FREEZING. It´s like Florida´s really-cold-and-rare days. EVERYDAY. But it´s all good! My warmth comes from knowing that i´m where i´m supposed to be right now, even though sometimes it´s hard to remember. These few weeks in Coimbra have been hard only because we have no investigators and Coimbra is a total college town, so there´s no one on the streets. And the ones that are don´t really want to talk because it´s too cold.
  We attempted to go Christmas carolling a couple of times... Let´s just say that´s strictly an American thing. People don´t really do that here. Which is sad, but they have other cool Christmas traditions!
  I hope everyone has an amazing new year! As you make New Year´s resolutions, I invite you to make one of them coming closer to Christ. It is through Him that we can reach the highest level of happiness in this life. I know that Christmas already passed, but always remember that He is the Gift. Heavenly father loves us so much, and He is proof of that. I love you all! happy new year!
Sister Mancuso