Ola familia! How are all of you!? I cannot believe how fast that week went by!! It's unbelievable! Feels like yesterday was the other p-day haha.
Well, the work just continues to go here in Portugal. I am so blessed to be a part of all of this! We have had a lot of big meeting lately with some quorum of the 70 and leaders over here in Portugal because the explosion is beginning! Haha its amazing already! Amazing seeing the Lord push his work forward here in Portugal. The prepared are coming forth out of nowhere haha! What a blessing! I will explain what I mean.
First, you need to realize that Portugal is on a completely different step then you realize. It's nothing like over in the states where you have wards with 400 plus people in them, all active. It's just different. We are in the building stage and the growing stage of the church over here. We are in the construction of the Church of Jesus Christ and the leadership and everything like that. It might be weird to hear because the church has been in Portugal for a while but now they are really starting to make a more drastic push with the church. It's pretty much just steppin its game up over here.
The building of the temple has a lot to do with that! The people are getting excited and the leaders are steppin up to FILL THE TEMPLE. The temple will be such a blessing here and will really get the work going.
One thing is for sure and that is the work is changing. The missionaries are changing and there is a greater amount of just flat out faith coming to this area. With this change comes a change in what the missionaries are allowed to do and a change in rules and such. All of which I will gladly follow. There are already some pretty drastic changes for what we can do for p-day and such but it's really know biggy. If Portugal is really supposed to be the Forol or Europe then it looks like we gotta step the game up.
This week I am already starting to see all of the blessings of the Prophecy. It's awesome! People are just getting placed into our hands! This week we got a reference from Lisboa, who probably has to be the most prepared man I have seen. The day that we met with him, before we met with him, he just flat out decided to stop smoking and drinking....why? haha he just felt like it was the right thing for him to do! We have only met with him once and he already has a baptismal goal....hahahaha wooooo!!!! The 5th of March! He is such a blessing. He is looking for more in life and the most perfect answers that couldn't be answered by any other church!! hahaha hmmm..... THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!! Oh and he is straight up amazing on the guitar. He wrote like a book full of songs for who.... Jesus:) They are so deep and so awesome I love it. He is incredible on the guitar. Next week I am going to play SUNSHINE IN MY SOUL TODAY for him and teach him how to sing it. super pumped! I have no doubt he will be baptized on that very day. He is just one of many.
F., a awesome friend of mine that we have been working with since the day I got here, will be baptized on the 26th this month. I am so, so excited for her. She received such a strong confirmation the other week at J.'s batismo and is working hard to get to that point too. She will be batizado eu sei. Her mother wants to start coming to church too and we will start teaching her mother soon.
I., the mother of J., wants to start receiving the lessons so we will start that soon too. The example of her own little boy will bring her unto Christ! I love that sooooooooo much! I know one day J. will be a missionary, I already talked to him about it. We still drop by his house and we play futebol americano with him. Love that little guy.
And there is just so much more going on its unbelievable. To be honest we have not done much door knocking because we have been busy going back and forth between appointments and teaching people. My Portuguese is coming along great and I am being so blessed with it. In fact sometimes it's hard to type in English haha because my cabeca is busy translating haha. probably not a legit excuse for why i misspell so many words but haha. I am being blessed. I am starting to understand people a ton more and the speaking is coming great. I can really better express myself and understand what's going on. In fact the other night we were teaching our good friend Alberto at his work and I shared an example about sacrifice and preparation. Of course I used my thoughts on preparing for a football game and that. It was good to be able to say what I wanted in a foreign language. Sometimes after lessons I just look back and think...... woah! I just had a full conversation in Portuguese!!! hahaha woah!!!! gotta love it. Such a beautiful language and such a beautiful people!
Well, I gotta answer some perguntas so here I go. The area that I am in is kinda hard to explain. It's a giant of an area and its all kinds of different enviroments. Like, my actual house and the church house is in gaia which is a the lower half of the city of Porto, aka the southern border of the river Douro. my actual area is on the border to the ocean and goes down a long ways to a couple other cities. So I get oceanside lessons, so, so legit teaching someone of the beach, and also running and working out in the mornings on the beach!, and at the same time I get total countryside. I see a lot of ghetto yes hahaha welcome to the real ghetto. The A. F. G. boom. haha jk i haven't had any problems with them. But it's just hard to explain because one second you're in the ghetto, the next you're in a really nice area. Like, T., the blessing of a man that I was just talking about, lives down south of the City of Espinho which is in my area. Where he lives is like the countryside on the beach..... a weird but beautiful combo. Like I go from walking through the city to walking through the country side. Hahaha I LOVE MY AREA!!!! Gaia 2 is where it is at.
The people:) I love the people. I love them to death. They are shorter, but still get some people my height, and just.... Portuguese. haha. I could recognize a Portuguese person forever now. They just have a little bit of a different look to them. Wanna hear something cool? Andrea, I can now recognize the little bit of Portuguese that is in you. I can seriously say that!!! Oh Devin and Cory!!! guys you would for sure fit in here!!! They are like your height!!! hahaha jk jk. but seriously. Mom you would fit in too, for sure. So they also have brown hair and brown eyes and they don't really stray too much from that rule. But a beautiful people none the less.
They love to talk a lot hahahahaha a lot. Sometimes it's hard to get a word out. It's like a big battle of words. Fun though.
hahahaha D, I loved your email!!! haha about the blood thing hahaha. great stuff. Ya they are HARDCORE FANS HERE!!! You think we have hardcore byu and utah fans hahahahahahahaha that is nothing. They live and breathe soccer here! In Lisboa they have the BenFica club which is a huge club down there, color....red. Up here they have of course FC Porto, color....blue! hahaha EPIC SHOWDOWN!! The night that they played the whole city was empty. I love it though. We would walk by and just see bars full of people just intently watching! All the Porto fans, aka me and my best friend, are called PORTISTAS, and that is always a fun question to ask someone. So.... you a portista? hahaha then they explode with their answer either yes or no and explain some famous quote on why they are.... gotta love it.
Well I gotta go. I love you all and would love to hear from you all, I didn't get much emails this week, aka one from D and one from Putter. Dang where is my family? I thought you all really loved me. Be careful, you don't write and I may just stay over here for life;) jk I love you all and I am so grateful for all of your prayers. You're all the best ever and I love you all! Love your son, brother, friend, best friend, uncle, grandson, and so much more, Elder Daniel John Hatch