Saturday we went with a few families from the branch to Ponte de Lima in Portugal. We took a nonmember single mother and her seven year old daughter with us. We attended an annual flea market that is held on All Saints Day. It was huge and all set up in a big open field. There were mostly booths of clothing and shoes, with some furniture, crafts, baked goods, plants, and lots of birds for sale. Many many places to eat were available with meat grilled over wood fires being one of the most popular selections. We just followed the lead of the branch members and wandered the booths for a couple of hours. I think they bought mostly clothing items. I did buy some boots that were inexpensive and a little unusual but I'll probably only wear them with tucked in jeans. After shopping we were pretty hungry and I was looking forward to eating some of the grilled meat etc. but they decided it was too crowded there so we all drove to a restaurant which was also crowded. They eventually got all 17 of us seated but we had to wait forever for our food. We did have a lot of fun just talking and laughing while we waited and the food was actually pretty good. We got home in time for Larry to drive to Pontevedre and pick up the Vigo elders that had an intercambio and needed to change back but because of the holiday the buses weren't running on their normal schedule so the elders couldn't get back.
After SundaySchool I saw Tomasa (85 year old convert) walking down the hall and asked her how she was. She said she was feeling dizzy and sick and was going home to rest. She has no car so I knew that meant waiting to catch the bus and then a long bus ride to her home so I offered to take her home. She was so relieved so Larry went to get the car while we waited. As we were waiting a branch member suggested she get a blessing. So I went to find the Elders and they went into a vacant room with a member of the Branch Pres. and administered to her. I stayed in the foyer watching for Larry because he would have to double park and wait. We got her to her building and as I was walking her in she said as we were driving that her dizziness and sickness left her and that she felt so much better. She then said how the Lord always blesses her and that when she trusts in him and has faith her prayers are answered. This faithful dear lady does have so much faith and she is so humble and so grateful for the gospel in her life. She is a wonderful example to me to stay humble and faithful to the end, to love the Lord, and trust in his care and love for us. I did tell her she still needed to go up to her apt. and rest which she said she intended to do. Later that night we had pancakes for members and investigators at the church. The lady and daughter whom we had taken to Portugal were there and we had fun talking about our adventures at the flea market. This lady loves to socialize with the branch members and comes to different activities but she has taken the missionary lessons and just doesn't feel like she needs to be baptized again and any church is fine. We'll just keep loving her and being her friend and hope someday she feels differently.
Monday it was pouring rain and the young elders and sisters invited us to have lunch altogether. We went to Foster's Hollywood in the Mall which is our old standby and the missionaries love it. We had to pick everyone up and take them to various locals after lunch because of the hard downpour of rain. Still a fun way to spend part of P-day. I baked pumpkin bread later for zone training meeting which was yesterday in Santiago.
Friday we headed out to a small pueblo an hour from Vigo with the sisters to teach a Portuguese lady that is probably 50ish. She met an LDS woman from the south of Spain while she was on a cruise and spent a lot of time with the member lady talking about the church. When they ported in Vigo the member from the ship brought this woman to the church and all of us missionaries were there finishing up district meeting. They asked if someone could meet with them right then and have a lesson which the sisters did. This happened a few weeks ago and the sisters were finally able to have another lesson with her Friday morning. She seems like a good lady and says she has been seeking for the truth for years. She has been with the JW's for about 3 years but has never felt good about being baptized into their church. She made an interesting comment and wondered why we didn't get together with the Jehovah's Witnesses and talk because we are all good people and have some of the same beliefs. It just doesn't work that way.
We had lunch with a member family and the young missionaries. The dad is a fisherman and goes to sea for a few months and then is home for about 3 months. When we first got here I assumed the mom was single until he showed up about 2 months ago then I figured it out. He leaves again in January and his ship goes to Canadian fishing grounds where they fish for halibut.
Tuesday evening we watched the movie "Wait Until Dark" with the JAS. I think they were a little bored at first but eventually got into it. It was a simple night and not a lot of work so after the Halloween bash the week before it was good to low key it a bit. They did love the cookies and cream popcorn I made for a treat. We had 3 nonmembers at the activity which was good although one young man left about 1/2 hour into the movie. Maybe he was bored who knows but he was at FHE last night.
We had a great zone training meeting yesterday. The focus was on setting goals and taking specific steps to obtain the results we desire. We also watched Elder Lynn Robins talk from October Conference when his subject was which way do you face as in towards Christ and his leaders here on earth. Later that evening we had english class and then FHE so a long busy day.
It's been a fairly calm and routine week but again we have enjoyed every moment. You all take care. We love you.
Mom and Dad