"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, 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