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Elder Wilker - 12/5/2022

Hello everyone,

I am finally here in Portugal!  My first area is a town called Leiria and it's been fun.  Early last Monday morning we all flew from Utah to New York.  The layover in NY was 4 hours, enough time to enjoy some pizza in the airport before flying out 7 more hours to Portugal.  So it was a bit of traveling. I didn't get much sleep because some baby in the front was crying and behind me a toddler was kicking my seat and the mom took my pillow when it fell behind me so that was awesome.  But the excitement to get to Portugal was there so I was fine.

All together we arrived in Portugal with 40 new missionaries!  Several other missionaries that were serving stateside just got their Visas so we arrived together in a big group. Portugal is awesome!  My trainer, Elder Quarnberg, is pretty chill. I'm living with another companionship and together we are the only people in our area.  

The people here are awesome!  It seems like many of them smoke and drink.   I've seen 12 year olds with cigs so that's fun.  The ward members are awesome.  I can't understand much but they were friendly and welcoming.  About 90 percent of our ward is Brazilian.  Brazilian people are strong in the gospel.  Also, my church building is insane!  It's not even a building - It's just an old mansion that is now used for church.  We have  about 180 members in our ward and I don't know how we fit everyone.  We fit as much as we can in the living room chapel.  Then when it gets full, there's a big basement with a TV that shows the service going on upstairs.  

Eventful Sunday, some lady passed out and my companion gave her a blessing.  It was really cool and she turned out alright.  She just had low blood sugar.  The food here is really good!  Mostly just beans, rice and pasta.  There's also a lot of pastries.  I just eat those all day because I honestly don't know how to live alone yet.  But I will figure it out!   This is really good for me.  It will set me up for the rest of my life.  

We live next to the biggest wave in the world (Nazare) which is so funny because that's where I wanted to visit.  We will probably make it down there and take pictures next week. This place is so beautiful.  There's a castle on a hill right in front of where we live and a soccer stadium right next to it.  I'll put pics down below. 

Missionary work is awesome.  I can't understand one bit and I never know where the person is from and everyone speaks differently.  We got a lot of people from Africa and Brazil and here in Portugal, so it's crazy.  Some people speak English but everyone speaks Portuguese with a different accent so it makes it hard to understand.  I can feel the Holy Spirit very strong teaching people even though I can't say much. But I know if I try Heavenly Father (Pai Celestial) will do the rest.

So far, we mostly teach about the restoration because everyone here is a non practicing catholic.  The Spirit is so strong when we get to testify of the first vision. 

I appreciate hearing about you guys, so email me when you can. Estou Grato por o Evengelho de Jesus Cristo. Atè  jã!

Love you guys!

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