"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, February 23, 2015

Tears, toilets and traveling

Hello Everyone!!!!!
   How is everyone´s week going? I miss everyone so much!!! Buuuut... Not too much because I don´t wanna get distracted... :)
   This week was crazy, but really good!!! Where should I start?
   Well, On tuesday was Carnaval in Portugal, which is actually celebrated kinda the opposite as it is in Brazil. Lots of people don´t work, so everyone just kinds stays home or will go to a party or something like that, SO our ward decided to have a Party! It´s so weird because Carnaval is in the middle of february, but you feel like it shoud be October because lots of kids are dressed up and everything, but... No, it´s february. We had a big churrasco (barbeque!!!!) and everyone was there and it was so cute to see the little kids dressed up! That took up most of our tuesday and it was so nice.
   On Friday we had INTERVIEWS WITH PRESIDENT! It took all day, so our proselyting time was cut WWAAYY short this week because of Carnaval, interviews, Sister McCall still having a headache, and stake conference. But more of that later.
   We had a training by the APs (assistants to the president) and the Zone Leaders and then me and Sister McCall were the last ones to be interviewed... But it went well! He asked me about things on my mission and how my family was and I told him that Sarah was getting ready to go on a mission! President Fluckiger (flu-key-gur) is so insightful and always helps me and I know that he really does preside over this mission and loves Portugal and the misisonaries so much! AND I got to talk to Sister Fluckiger as well! She really is the best and I just love how she served a mission before it was cool because that´s how awesome she is!
   THEN, the next day was Stake Conference, so we had to go to Viseu for 2 days. The first day was great. President and sister Fluckiger were there as well and they spoke, and Elder Moreira was there as well! He´s an area Seventy, and he reminds me so much of Papi. They´re both bald and they laugh the same way and they talk the same and they both have that passion and love for the gospel and man, he just reminds me so much of him. 
   Also, on saturday at conference, our phone fell in the toilet! It was great (saracsm) and I was so happy. So we had to fish it out and put it in rice when we got home... My life. Is. So. Awkward sometimes...
   I missed Papi a little after that. But tudo bem, because I got to see the whole stake of Coimbra!
   On Sunday morning, We had to catch a bus at 7:30 that left from the Church, and we accidentally woke up late so we had to DASH to the Church. On the way there, a bus stopped in the middle of the road, and bishop walked out and said, "wanna hop in?" and we walked in and I felt a little like a princess walking down a runway or something because the bus stopped especially for us! 
   We tried to get Mariana to come to conference on Sunday because we both felt that it would help a lot with her receiving an answer. We had a lesson with her this week and it was exactly what she needed because she´s been having a rough time, and we both knew that the Lord was guiding our footsteps once more. THIS TRULY IS THE LORD´S WORK!!!!!! But Mariana ended up not going. We were both really sad. But we won´t give up!
   Every time I go to Stake Conference, I get so hyped up and excited about the gospel and missionary work and I just LOVE THIS WORK SO MUCH!
   While we were traveling to Viseu (an hour and 15 minutes) we saw some GREAT scenery and I just love Portugal so much! Giant boulders and hills and mountains and little villages on top of isolated regions and the Mondego river that starts in the Serra da Estrella. FUN FACT: The serra de Estrella has a sad legend attached to it:
   There was Once Upon A Time a princess named Estrella who was betrothed to a prince named Mondiego. Mondiego had to go to war and as you can guess, he died. She cried so much that her tears formed the Mondiego river and now the river starts in that mountain range. Sad, right? 
   OTHER FUN FACT: There are two types of Fado in Portugal: Lisboa and Coimbra! Because that´s just how boss Coimbra is. 
   Well, that´s all for this week! I hope everythign is going good with you all!
Sister Mancuso

Monday, February 16, 2015


Hello Everyone!
   How was your Valentine´s Week? Mine was filled with lessons and contacting people on the street! Hence, the name of my letter this week: #Sister4Lyfe. Portugal celebrates it, but not as much as back home. So yeah!
   This week was awesome! I truly truly love my mission so much! And it´s mainly because of weeks like these! 
   Well, let´s start with Monday. IT WAS AMAZING. It was definitely one of those P-Days where you totally remember you live in Europe, because in the day-to-day missionary life, you forget sometimes and speaking only Portuguese becomes normal. We visited all of the historic sites Coimbra has to offer. We started out at the botanical gardens. Me and Sister McCall both agreed we felt like any moment we would transport into 1776 or something.
   We also visited the University of Coimbra (AKA Harry Potter University) and were totally in awe the WHOLE TIME.
   FUN FACT: University of Coimbra is the 2nd oldest University in THE WORLD. It was founded in 1290. 1290!!!!! How awesome is that!?!?!?!? We walked into the Library, saw students studying, and it reminded me of my freshman year of college... Sigh...
   We also decided to just discover the Old City of Coimbra. We went past little cafes and Sister McCall´s a believer in Carpe Diem while we´re in Europe, so we decided to go to 3 different cafes and eat pastries! It really was awesome... :)
   The rest of the week went just as great! We were able to have lessons with Mariana and Nuno again this week! They really are amazing and we´ve been talking to them about marriage and asked them to pray about it, so we´ll see how that goes this week.
   We met this woman who´s a friend of a member, and we´ve been having the most spiritual lessons with her! She´s this little old lady whose husband passed away a few years ago. Me and Sister McCall both feel so strongly that we met her for a reason and when we had a lesson with her this week, we both, without saying anything could feel the presence of her husband and her parents in that room with us. It was so spiritual and a testimony to me that The plan of Salvation that the Lord has for us is indeed real! There are people who have passed on who are waiting for their loved ones here to accept the message! I know that that is true. We felt so strongly the love that Maria Odilia´s family has for her when we were teaching her in her house! The Lord really has a plan for everyone, we just have to humble ask in prayer what His will for us is. 
   We were also just randomly knocking doors one day, when we met this ELECT African woman who immediately let us in and start teaching her! It was so great! We could really feel the miracle that the Lord really guided our footsteps and really, He´s been doing that all week!
   We also had a lesson with this man who is so open and receptive and he has so many questions and after our lessons, he just smiled and said "I´m really happy with what I heard today. It answered all of my questions."
   So, that´s my week in a nutshell! I hope everyone is having a good week and please write me! Stay awesome!
Sister Mancuso


Monday, February 9, 2015

 7 MONTHS! I´VE BEEN ON MY MISSION AND AWAY FROM ALL OF YOU FOR 7 MONTHS! I haven´t talked to most of my relatives for 7 months! Or friends! Barely anybody for that matter... Except the whole of Portugal!
   I love the pics you sent with PJ. BTW, mom, my comp and all the elders thought that you were my sister when i showed them your picture. So, yes, it still happens after all these years!
  I´m feeling much better than i was a week ago. being sick on the mission STINKS. Because then i have to stay in and not work which i secretly like but then i feel so lazy and i hate that but im sick and it´s like 40 degrees outside so there´s no way i´m leaving the house! I stayed in on P-Day except for emails and compras and a little restaurant we go to called chocolate chocolate... :) Waffles covered in 3 types of chocolate with ice cream! It´s really good! We decided i was well enough to work on tuesday so we went out, and on wednesday we went out but i had to come back because it was really cold and freezing. We worked the rest of the week until Saturday when I had a little relapse and almost died (not really) but we had to stay in the whole day. I think now i´m totally ok to go out and work and i´m happy because when i have more time to work i have less time to get trunky! Yeah we made ourselves trunky by talking about our favorite books and movies and it was terrible. But, hey, I only have 11 more months!
  Other news...
  This week has been a week filled with finding. We´ve been knocking doors, talking to everyone, you know, the usual. I am so happy i finally have a raincoat (because the sisters in Portimao brought mine back) and oh did you know i´m broken like 4 umbrellas in the last month? YEAH! Because of the wind. It´s awesome... But, yeah, nothing new in the way of investigators. We have come to a little bit of a standstill, but i have faith and hope that it will get better!
     Today we have plans to visit the old city in Coimbra (aka harry potter university). OH speaking of!!!! We were doing contacts one day this week and we see 2 guys from afar that look like elders and we were like "elders????" and they ended up being 2 students with capes who walked up TO US and tried selling us these postcards but I had no money. They thought we were foreign exchange students, but we told them who we were and then they were like "oh fixe!" and they gave us postcards anyway because they thought it was really cool that we were American! So that´s my my funny story of the week...
I love you SSSSOOOOOO MUCH! I hope everything is doing great over there and i love you and miss you and you all are the best family ever!

Monday, February 2, 2015

There can be miracles

Transfers week! I´m staying in Coimbra! Sister Donahoo went to Madeira, so now my new comp is Sister McCall! I´ve known her since the MTC!
This WEEK WAS amazing!!!!! So many miracles! It seems like the Lord really tries your faith sometimes, but in the end, if you trust in Him and do your best, He WILL deliver! And so it always is, becuase this week: #blessingsabound
  It literally came out of nowhere, but it was perfect! Remember that guy that I told you about who was the son of a member and we started teaching him? Bruno was so elect and prepared and he was so willing and ready to be baptized! He started crying after the baptismal interview and said he was feeling something special. He knows that all of this is true and he has such a strong testimony of the BOM and of the gospel! This gospel literally turned his life around! Everytime we had a lesson with him, the spirit was so strong and it was testifying to all of us of the truth of these things. The BOM has an incredible power that can help any person in all of the problems in our lives. I have such a strong testimony of that! The gospel can literally change the hearts of men to do good!
  So yeah, originally he was marked to be baptized next saturday, but we did a mini division, so when we went to have our next lesson, we felt that we needed to challenge him to be baptized this saturday. The spirit was so strong and he said a prayer. We all waited in silence a minute and then he said "Saturday" and smiled. We got so happy and excited and for the rest of the week, we helped him prepare for saturday. Bruno is literally an example of someone the Lord has prepared to receive His gospel. I love this work so much!
  Mariana has been coming to church every sunday and she´s been reading and praying a lot these past few weeks. When we first met her, she didn´t even know if a God existed and now, she told me the other day "the very first thing I do before I wake up is say a prayer" and she always keeps the BOM that our bishop gave her and she reads it on the bus. She gave her testimony on Sunday and when Sister Donahoo left, she cried! She cried  A LOT. But she knows the church is true and she said that some of the best moments in her life have come from coming to know the gospel. Now we just have to work on getting her married.....
  What else happened this week?
  We heart attacked a bunch of members this week and they all LOVE IT! We went to one member´s house, and unknowingly HA her door with hearts and scriptures and she said that that day had been terrible and that our HA helped her out so much because she said that the Lord answered her prayers. I think we brought a little happiness back to the ward because they have been a bit down these past few weeks. They kept saying that "angels left hearts on their doors", so that was awesome!
  OH GUESS WHAT? I have the flu. THE FLU!!!!! It stinks so bad. And it´s been raining a lot in Coimbra! The perfect combination :)
  Hope everyone´s doing great! Thanks for the emails! I love hearing about everyone even when I can´t respond back! You are all amazing and THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!
Sister Mancuso