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New callings!

New callings!

Hello my queridos amigos. I hope that this awesome time of year has you all in good spirits and thinking about our Savior Jesus Christ! I literally don’t understand how time flies so fast in between these emails but a ton has happened!

I finished off my time with the good ole Elder Smith and received news that I would be training and a new District Leader! At first I was super nervous but I’m actually really enjoying it so far. I got another Elder from California named Elder Yniquez! He has served 1 transfer in the Washington DC/Maryland mission and then he came to me! We are already clicking very well and have a lot of the same interests. We both also have a lot of passion for what we do here as missionaries and serving the Lord every day so things are going pretty well. Well, in terms of our ethic and desire to work.

Unfortunately, I’m still not sure how things work 100% with my new calling and even with stuff like public transport so I may have led my new “kid” astray a few times during his first day. But no matter! We got everything figured out in the end and now we’re groceried up, so we actually have food to eat hahaha.

Anyways in terms of the work, things aren’t terribly great but we did have our good friend Maria ask to postpone her baptismal date because her daughter and grandson do not approve of her decision to be baptized. If you all could pray for her to receive a real answer, that would make me so happy! I know the power of prayer works and If y’all pray and maybe even fast I know the Lord will give her the opportunity to decide what she wants for herself! We are also having trouble getting in contact with the Brazilian family we are teaching so if you guys can also put Patrick, Raiana, Issack, and Luíza in your prayers too would be awesome. 

I’m trying to think of cool or funny stories that have happened but the first thing that came to mind was when we were teaching our friend Isabel for only the second time and we answered all the questions she gave us and one of them was about why bad things happen. We explained that we are here with our free agency for our betterment, and that it wouldn’t be right or just of God to step in every time something bad happens but then she started going off about the war in Ukraine and how racism in Portugal is a huge problem. We just reexplained what we’d said basically then finished teaching the lesson right after. We get up to leave and I shake her hand with a big smile and asked “Is there anything else we can help you with before we leave?” Then she says no thanks and looks at my tag. “What even is your name?” she basically said. “It’s Elder Ho-Ching”, I replied knowing something normal was coming like, but your eyes don’t look weird, or stuff like that but this lady reaches up to her face, pulls her eyes to make them appear as an asians, and says “Elder Ching Chongy?” bruh. What. I started laughing super hard because we had been talking about racism like 2 seconds earlier then she did that but it was so funny and shes so old that I just did it with her and said “yep, just like that”. 

Well, there was your funny story so I guess here is your spiritual one.  It’s nothing crazy but was a tender mercy for me. Like I already said I was feeling super stressed with all my new responsibilities and struggling a bit to figure out how to balance everything. We were walking to the church yesterday and we got a call from Irmã Ester, the woman who’s door we knocked on 5 minutes after she’d prayed for help, and I picked it up. I greeted her with a lot of excitement because she unfortunately stopped coming to church again and I’m trying my best to be super friendly to her but she just said “Elder, tenho Covid” (I have Covid). I was super confused because she literally just had the vaccine but whatever. Anyways I asked her if she was alright and then she said yes but she had something important to say. She reminded me of a phone lesson I had had with her a couple months back where I read a verse in (I don’t remember which but it was about needing to put faith in God in order to see miracles, probably Ether 12:6) and how during the call she said it was exactly what she needed. Well after that call, she decided there were things around her house that had waited long enough to get done and some repairs that were needed on their house.

Businesses here are crazy busy here this time of year but she asked for the help of a repairman to fix something outside of her house. The problem is it’s been POURING for the last who knows how long but Irmã Ester said she asked him again in faith and he said he would only do it if the rain went away. The very next day, and for the next 4 days the skies were clear as could be. Even the forecast said it was gonna rain but it didn’t and because of this, the work on her house was finished! She bore her testimony to us of the church and how grateful she is to us for the time we took to read her that scripture. In that moment, appreciation for what I’m doing out here was very much needed.

With God, in my experience, there is sunshine around every corner, even if it’s pouring rain right before we walk around it ;). I love you all and encourage you to keep going, to strive on, and to pray to Heavenly Father for guidance in EVERYTHING you do. God is good! I love you all and will send another email next week sorry for the short one this week haha. Tchau!

-Elder Ho-Ching 🫰🏼

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