Elder Anthony Scott Lee

Elder Anthony Scott Lee

Daisypath - Vacation

Tony can be reached at...

ELDER ANTHONY LEE
Portugal Lisbon Mission
Rua Jorge Barradas 14C
1500-370 Lisboa
Portugal


Friday, November 21, 2014

Week 76 Letter

Monday, Nov 17, 2014
Famlee!

Hey everybody! As you might have heard, I am back on the Azores, the most amazing place in the world!!! I am so excited to be here. I am now on the island of São Miguel. The accent here is CRAZY! It sounds so much like French! Terceira has an accent, and I learned Portuguese in that accent, but the accent here on São Miguel is so thick, I feel like I am in the beginning of the mission again!

Well, before going forward, I should do some catch up, because things happened really fast and I wasn't able to get you all the details. My last Sunday in Odivelas we had the baptism of our investigator, Engrácia. I will try to attach a picture. It went really well. 

I was really not expecting to leave the area. After all, I only had 1 transfer there. I already have so many areas on the mission! They told me Sunday night that I would be coming out here to the Azores, and I was so excited! I thought they were joking with me. I always wanted to come back out, but never believed I would, because it really doesn’t happen. I only have 4 transfers left, and I hope I can stay put for all 4. 

Our week was good. Unfortunately when I got here, the area was pretty dead. We started the week with 2 investigators: a couple who are waiting on their marriage papers to get here. Outside of them we didn't have anybody. So, we rolled up our sleeves (not literally, that is against the rules) and went to work. I remembered that the people out here were a lot more closed than on the continent, and it is true, but now I feel like I have things figured out. I feel like we will have success. We have found some investigators with good potential. We actually marked an investigator for baptism but (Terciera all over again) his aunt, who he lives with rejected us pretty hard and forbid him from seeing us. He is 19, so he should be able to make the decision for himself, but he lives in her house, and she won't let us pass by anymore, and he doesn't even have a phone, so we can't call him =/  But we still have others with potential. We found a girl last night; she's 32 or something around there. She has a disease that I think might be fatal. Some sort of muscular thing that is affecting the brain. She didn't explain a lot. But talking to her, I really felt the spirit, like I haven’t felt for a while with an investigator, so we have a lot of hope for her. Please pray for Ana Paula. 

Well, the Azores are as pretty as ever, even going into the rain season. I am excited to see as much of it as I can. We have an awesome branch president who I think will take us to see some of the amazing things here on the island. 

I love you all. I can't believe Shane is getting married, and I can't believe that Cameron is going to be gone so soon. I am so proud of them both!

Hugs and Kisses,


Elder Lee


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 75 Letter

Monday, November 10, 2014

Just letting you know that I probably won't be emailing later today, but tomorrow instead... I got transferred, but you'll never guess to where!

Love you!!!

Elder lee

Tell you when I get there ;D




Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hi mom! Well, I don't know if this will look familiar to you... but I am in my new area safe and sound =)
=D Yup! In the Azores but not on the same island. I am on São Miguel. I am serving as Zone leader and district leader... lots of responsibility =/... hahaha But I really don’t have any time; I just wanted to let you know that everything is good with me. Anything I can do for you?

Can’t write a family letter;  lots to do today. I will write one next week. As far as a package goes, you can send more good floss if you’ve got it. And those gloves. I think I might have to buy a new coat, mine is really bad. It was supposed to be good for rain, but it really just soaks up the rain. I really don’t want to though because it will be expensive. 

Okay, but I have to go now... I sure love you a ton! I AM SO EXCITED TO BE BACK ON THE AZORES!!! First time as a zone leader though... a little bit of pressure. The islands have been struggling a little lately. 

Love you! 


Elder Lee


Week 74 Letter

Monday, November 3, 2014
Famlee!

Hey everybody! How are you all?? I am great. How was Halloween? Here halloween is kind of sad... There were some kids dressed up, and a bunch trick or treating, but I don't think I saw a single candy in any of their bags. We were in a poor neighborhood that night, so I don't know if that's how it was everywhere else, but it seems that Halloween is pretty small here. Carnival makes up for it though...

We had a really cool week, with both ups and downs. Like I have said before, we have had a lot of investigators with a lot of potential, but haven't gotten them going yet. Well, we thought we were doing really well, until we even had 4 or 5 marked to be baptized this week, but then only one of those people came to church =/ So now all of the other investigators have to be remarked for another date. 

The one who did came to church was Engrácia. She is about 20 years old, from Cabo Verde. She never would talk to us when we started visiting her inactive brother, but slowly she started coming in for the prayer, listening to some of the lessons, until finally we had a good sit down lesson with her and marked her to be baptized this weekend. She is excited. We still need to teach her the commandments, but if all goes well she should be baptized this weekend, on sunday after church. 

We have transfers already the end of this week, and it might be crazy. I think either a lot will happen in the district, or nothing will happen. Whatever happens however, the next transfer is only a four week transfer because of complications with flights during holiday times, and at the end of that 4 week transfer my entire district will have gone home... I will be the only one left, that is if I stay in the area after this week. We'll see what happens. Anyways, I hope I stay. 

Today I got cool news. Elder Cook will be coming to portugal, and we will have a conference with him midway through the month! I am really excited. it will be a good speedboost for me as I get into my last 6 months. 

Indira and family are all well. It is possible that Giane and Tália will be baptized this weekend. Still need to find a solution with the dad. We still havent met the other half of the family either. Everything will work out though. 

Well, I need to get going, my time is up. Love you all!


Elder Lee


Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 73 Letter

Monday, October 27, 2014

Famlee!

This week was awesome, and ended in a miracle. We baptized one of our investigators, Patrícia. She is a young single mom who has had a lot of struggles in life, but has an amazing potential. The entire time we have been teaching her we have really focused on how as a daughter of God she has an incredible potential, but that she needs to live up to it, or will surely fall short. 

The baptism was awesome. One of the daughters of the family we are teaching, the youngest, Tália, sang a special number with the sisters in our ward. They sang ''Lead kindly light'', but it was awesome, because Tália had never sung it before. She has a good voice, but didn't know the notes, and had only combined with the sisters to do in right before the baptism. So what they did was have Tália sing one line, totally improv, and then the sisters would sing a line normally. It was awesome, and so funny too that she was so willing to do that. They need to get baptized sooo bad!!!

P-day was super awesome today, because we got permission from President to drive to the other side of Lisbon, to my old area Cascais. It was so fun being back, but it made me homesick for all of my old areas XD  We went and did a lot of cool things, but then at the end 4 of the elders left, but Elder Wiscombe and I went to go try and find one of my recent converts from Cascais, named Bemvindo. I don't know if you remember him or not. Well, I had heard that he was struggling, so I went out to find him. We went to his house, but only his grandma was home. I was surprised to find that she remembered me because I didn't think she was ever really conscious of me while I was there... she is kind of spacey. She told me that Bemvindo had gone to get water. So, we left and I took us to a market that he used to always go too. When we walked in, I went first to look in the checkout lines, and saw from a far a kid who looked like it could have been him, but he had a hat on and I couldn't tell if it was him or not. However, he looked towards me, we made eye contact, his face got kind of confused for a second, and then he lit up with a huge smile, left his stuff and ran over and gave me a giant hug. It was so cool. We had almost no time, but we helped him carry his water home, the whole time just talking like back in the day. His mom is in the hospital to have twins, a boy and a girl. His little brother, Junior, the super funny one is doing well. Bemvindo will get a diploma from his course tomorrow. He also promised that he wouldn't miss church anymore. It was so good to see him. I took some pics with him, but I don't have my camera or much time this week.

Anyways, those are some highlights from the week. It sure was a good one. I hope you are all well and happy, living and spreading the gospel. I'm sure you are.

Love you all!

Élder Lee 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 72 Letter

Monday, Oct 20, 2014
Famlee!

How is everybody!? How is fall going? It's going pretty good here, we're still up in the 80's... it's pretty nice. This week was a fast one, and I sure enjoyed it. 

First off, we unfortunately were not able to baptize Aiman, Giane, or Tália as was planned. The dad came into town this week and didn't let us pass by while he was there. I still don't even know where he is at with all of this because we weren't able to talk to him. He sounds like he is being somewhat reasonable still. Or he at least didn't just cut us off. However, now we can only meet with them one time a week, and he talked to Indira and told her that they should all wait before being baptized. Wait until what? I don't know. I just wish we could have talked to him so that we good explain things well, because people always assume that what we do as missionaries is worse than it is... So it was pretty sad. We had fasted for them and prayed for them to be baptized on that date, because we felt like that really was the day Heavenly Father wanted them to be baptized. However, Heavenly Father knows what is going on, so we will just trust in Him and continue fighting for the salvation of this fantastic family. 

Outside of the family we have a lot of people who are close to getting on the fast track to baptism. I feel like that has been the challenge this transfer. Getting people who are almost progressing and would make really great progressing investigators to actually start that progression. 

This week is a big one. We need to see milagres, or we definitely won't reach the goals we made for the month. I don't like not reaching goals, but I guess they are there mostly just to make us do everything we can to achieve them, which we are doing. And the month still isn't over yet, so we still have time. 

Today was fun. We went bowling as a district. Here in Lisbon there is a giant shopping center called 'Colombo', and they have a bowling alley there, so we went. We were the only ones there. For my companion and Elder Cardoso it was the first time bowling. It was pretty funny XD but they did well.

Well, I don't have much time left. I sure love you all. I know the Lord loves you all too. Keep going, and wherever you are and whatever you are doing, strive to be an effective instrument in the Lord's hands!

With love,

Elder Lee


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week 71 Letter

Monday, October 13, 2014

Famlee!
Heyoh! How are you all doing? Sounds like you all had a good weekend adventure! Hahaha, glad everything is working out. I can almost taste the washington apples...
Well, before I get started I just want to say...
Happy Birthday Jet!!!!!! Parabéns! I can't believe you are getting so old Jet, it's crazy! Dad told me that you still remember me really well though, which made me happy. Don't forget all of our good times! (Like the time I took you fishing... cough cough... (For those of you who don't get that reference, just go ask Jackson Romney about it...))
And,
Happy birthday Ryan!!!! You sure are growing up! In all the pictures mom sends me you look so old and so cool! You are such an awesome kid Ryan, I am proud to have you as a brother. Keep being cool, and don't grow up too fast! (Also, eat some albertson's chicken for me!)

Dont worry, I know there are a lot of other birthdays this month (wink wink Ali...) and I didn't forget them. I just sent them separate letters.
This week was awesome. We keep finding more and more people with potential. Elder Bezerra is a really good worker, so we really get things done. 


As far as our family, things are pretty complicated. I mean, kind of. They are all still great, and really want to be baptized. They all went to church and loved it. However, we have found out more about the situation with the dad. We taught Indira the law of chastity, and asked her if she wanted to be married. She got a bit smile on her face and looked up longingly and said, "ahh, yes, yes I would! If I could be married tomorrow I would be." She then explained the following.

The dad is Muslim. She and he met almost 20 years ago in Guinea Bissau, and decided to start a family and be married (unofficially, of course). So they did. However, Guinea is going through basically a civil war right now, and it isn't a very good place to raise a family. The education system has crashed, there is violence, and a lot of instability. So, very early on in their relationship they decided to raise their kids in a better place. But, the dad works for a company there in Guinea which is how the family lives. So, he sent her up to Portugal when she got pregnant. Well, the dad makes good money, so he was able to pay for flights, so he visited the family a lot, or paid for them to fly and visit him. The family grew to have 3 kids.
Like I said, the dad is Muslim. I doubt you know this, but Muslims are allowed up to 4 'wives'. So somewhere along the line, he made another union with another woman, who also is now living in Portugal as well. They have at least two kids together. Naturally, Indira felt pretty bad about him doing that, but she still loves him, and the kids love him, and she decided that when she married a Muslim she accepted the risk of that happening. She just never thought it would. So, the two families of this one dad just lived separate lives. No contention between them, they lived separate, didn't communicate, and just went on with their lives. However, time in, Indira decided that they should make a friendship, because they didn't want their kids growing up knowing they had siblings they weren't allowed to see. So, Indira reached out and they began letting their kids play together and that kind of thing. Indira has already invited the other family to church, and we are going to teach them soon I think.
So there it is. To be baptized, Indira has to be married, or leave the father. If we start to teach the other woman and she wants to be baptized, she also has to do one or the other. If Indira tries to marry the father, what will the other woman do? I think they would both like to marry him.
I'm kind of stuck. I don't know what to shoot for. Advice would be great from anyone who is getting this letter. The kids I think will all be baptized this weekend, but we will have to wait on Indira. Pray for them!
As far as everything else, we are really trying to hit some high goals this month. We are going to do it! We need to figure out who really has desire and really focus on them, as well as keep finding lots of new investigators. Progressing investigators are my favorite thing in the world!
That's what's going on with me on this side of the world. I love Portugal so much. Sometimes I forget how different it is. Cobblestone, castles, milk from boxes, and a lack of hot water and water pressure have all become the norm. I love it!
I love you all!
Elder Lee

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 70 Letter

Monday, October 6, 2014
Famlee!
Hello everybody! How are you all? I heard a lot of fun things about you all from mom, and it sounds like you are all anxiously engaged in a good cause. Good job! Keep up the good work.

I wanted to shout out to Cameron about his mission call: I am so excited for you Cameron! I saw the video of you opening your mission call and it made me want to get mine all over again! You are going to learn Spanish! That is so cool man! We will be able to understand each other just fine I think when we get back home together. I can understand Spanish pretty easily, and you will learn to understand Portuguese soon. I know a mission who lives in Alaska who got super excited to hear that you were called there. He says he is going to visit you sometime =)

Well, this week was so awesome! I love being back in the field! I have an awesome companion. His name is Elder Bezerra and he is a crazy little Brazilian. When I got out of the office all I wanted to do was work like a dog, and he has the same desire. Because of that and because of the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father we already have found an awesome family who is marked for baptism on the 18th. They are soo amazing! I think I should get Ali the email of one of the daughters, Giane, who is learning English and speaks really, really well. All of them are so incredible. We had the most picture perfect lesson I have had on my entire mission with them this week, where we committed each of them to be baptized, one at a time, asking them why they wanted to be baptized. They all have so much desire and all gave amazing responses. However, there is one thing that we need to overcome before everything is perfect. The mom, Indira (an absolutely amazing woman from Guinea Bissau) has been with her 'husband' for almost a dozen years now, but they are not legally married. The husband lives in Guinea, and isn't here to get married. The husband belongs to the Muslim faith. They are separated because Guinea is basically in a civil war right now. As a result the education system has failed; there is insecurity, violence, and lack of resources. So, they had to make the decision to have the family move up to Portugal while the dad stays there working in a big business to support the family. The dad is very successful, and has a really good high-paying job. As we were hearing this, we became a little sad because we didn't know how everything would work out. It seemed pretty impossible. However, we then found out that he will be coming up on October 15th to stay for a couple months and visit! I have so much faith that everything will work out that that the entire family will be baptized together. Please, please, please pray for them, and include them in your fast on Sunday. They are a family that needs to be sealed for time and all eternity!

Everything else is going well too. I am driving, yes a stick shift, yes in crazy Lisbon. Portuguese drivers are crazy! I already knew that, however now that I am on the road driving with them it is even more apparent... they don't have a lot off accidents, but the driving style is definitely different, and when I first was learning stick it was pretty scary! Good thing I have a lot of miles in a car... luckily I learned stick pretty fast. I only have killed it once so far, so that's good =) I have the hang of it now for sure. 

Well, my time in this little Indian internet café is running out, and these guys are ruthless. I heard that if you go over your paid time that they will cut off both of your thumbs so you can never use the space bar again, and all of your emails justlooklikethisanditisreallyannoying. We wouldn’t want that, would we?

I love you all. I hope you all loved conference! It was awesome!
Lots of love, 
Elder Lee

PS- The names of the family members are Indira, Aiman, Giane, and Tália (mom, son, daughter, daughter)        

Loveyouall!


Hey mom! How are you?

I am great. The new area is super cool as far as the work goes. I am driving (a stick shift, wooh!) here in Odivelas. My address is R. Alfredo Roque Gameiro Nº5 3ºd. However, you should probably just use the office address for anything you send, I am pretty close to the office and my zone meetings and stuff will be in the office chapel. I am basically in a suburb of Lisbon, it might even be considered part of Lisbon, Lisbon is pretty big. I am serving with Elder Bezerra, a little Brazilian elder. 

Conference, yeah, I got to actually watch it this time. It was really cool. I especially like the talk where it was actually in Portuguese and not just translated. I know the Brazilian guy's son; he was a teacher in the MTC


My time is short.  I sure love you.  Have a great week.  I know I will.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 69 1/2 Letter

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hey mom, just a quick update for ya! I am leaving to go to my new area, a place called Odivelas to be District Leader. I will be the companion of one of president's assistants, a little brazilian Elder called Elder Bezzerra. It is going to be an awesome 6 weeks!
Just wanted to let you know. I sure love you!
Elder Lee

Friday, September 26, 2014

Week 69 Letter

Friday, September 26, 2014
Famlee!

I think this will be the last time that I write you from the mission office! President has already told me that I will be leaving with the new transfer, however, I still don't know where. I am excited to find out. I am super excited to get there and go to work! Today marks 15 months in Portugal for me. Crazy! That means 16 and a half months on the mission. I can't believe it has been that long. 2 years never seemed so short.

The week was busy with all sorts of things, but I will hit highlights. This week I have been training an Elder who came to the office because of a hurt knee. It has kept me busy with all of my other tasks, but it has been fun too. I swear, this Elder is an exact copy of Caleb Ybarra. Not how he looks so much, but his personality and how he acts is so similar! He reminds me so much of him.

I got my Portuguese driver's license as well this week which is cool. There are only a few areas here in Portugal with cars, so not many Elders get to drive. I guess president is really trying to take care of my ankle for me. Driving in Lisbon is quite different from driving in Spokane... luckily however I was able to pick up the stick shift without any problems and all the driving has gone smoothly until now. Getting the license was a huge pain though; I spent a good four hours waiting to get my numero de contribuínte (I don't know what it is in English. We don't use it in the states though.) On Wednesday and then no less than 7 hours yesterday to get the license. Anything government run here is going to give you a nice long wait. But after it all, we finally got it all taken care of. 

Sad part about leaving the office however is that I will miss Sara's baptism =/ She will be baptized October 5th, one week after I leave. I love seeing our investigators baptized, but the important thing is that she is baptized and that God sees it =)

Last night we got an interesting call from a very angry lady that we had taught once or twice... A member (Brazilian of course, Brazilians are trouble ;P) was on the street outside the church yesterday and started playing with a dog with a little rope that he picked up off of the ground. He was twirling the rope above the dog's head, and the dog was trying to get it in his mouth. Well, this lady who was the owner of the dog saw this, and started freaking out. She took the dog and walked quickly away. Well, later that night she calls us and starts accusing us of trying to do voodoo on her dog, or cast a devil into it. She belongs to A igreja Universal (The universal church; Shane, you probably have heard plenty of this church, I think it is one of those crazy Brazilian evangelical churches.) which believes a lot in demons and they are always 'casting out demons' in there church. Well, she thought we were casting a demon into here dog using a weird voodoo rope. It was a pretty irrational conversation as you might assume, and it ended with her telling us never to come back to teach her again. She said our church can't be true because we don't cast out devils in our chapels every Sunday; however we kindly pointed out that we don't even let demons through the front doors of our churches. Don't know if she appreciated that.  

Well, I need to get going. I love you all and really, really thank you for all of your love, prayers, and support. God loves each of you, and sees every kind act you do, and I bet he especially loves seeing the secret kind acts that we do. Let's do lots of secret kind acts =)

Love you!

Elder Lee





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 68 Letter

Friday, September 19, 2014
Mom,
I hope this doesn’t wake you up... I was just going to tell you not to send a package if you haven't yet, I have something you could put in for me. I am going to the zoo right now! But I will talk to you after! 

LOVE YOU

Your cute little boy



Hey Mom,
Have you sent that package yet?  I need some gloves. They don't have the ones I want here, and last year it was a pain. When you are working in the cold and you have to use your pen in your planner a lot it gets really annoying with gloves. I wanted to find those ones that are like mittens, but then you can pull the top off of it to expose your fingers so you can actually use your hands. you know the ones I mean? I don't know how you would find them before winter though. Hadn't thought of that. Do you think you could find some?


Famlee!

Hey everybody! How are you all doing? I am great. Things here are good. This week we were getting ready for this next week to come... the week before transfers. I am kind of dreading it, because the last week before transfers in the office was insane. We a lot of nights with very little sleep. Hopefully we can be even more efficient this time though so that things aren't too crazy. 

This week there really isn't too much to tell. We are still working with Alex and his family, but unfortunately we haven't been able to get a hold of them much. We are also working when we can with a woman named Sara who has a lot of potential. I am really looking forward to having a lot more time to do work in the field. 
Today we went to the zoo here in Lisbon which was pretty fun. The aquatic show was awesome and super funny too. It reminded me of the summer we all went to Sea World. My favorites though were the monkeys. It reminded me of how much Levi loves monkeys.

Danny, happy birthday!!!!! I can't believe you are 12 now! You're a man! You are almost ready to pack up your bags and be a missionary! You will be such a good missionary, I am excited for you. 

Speaking of good missionaries, Cameron, I am so excited to hear about your call! I think I am even more excited than you are! I hope you are getting yourself ready, because it is going to be the best 2 years of your life. It will also be the fastest, I can testify to that. Time is blowing by.

I have been doing a study on the atonement (the huge study that I translated... I already knew it really well before actually starting the study) for the past week, and it has been so awesome. I have been studying the condescension of Jesus Christ, but also of the Father. They both sacrificed so much. It reminded me of a class we had in seminary where you, dad, led us in a study of the story of Abraham and Isaac. You asked us who we would rather be in that situation: Isaac, who was about to be sacrificed because of the will of his father, or Abraham, who had to sacrifice his very own, promised son. We can't forget about the sacrifice that the Father made in sending His very own son to save the world. I am so thankful for the sacrifice of both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know they live. 

Well, I know this is a short letter, but honestly, a lot less interesting things happen cooped up here in the office... I need to spread my wings and fly again. 

I love you all, and hope you have an awesome week! 

Elder Lee

PS - This is something I whipped up over the weekend.




Week 67 Letter

Friday, September 12, 2014

Anthony sent us a recording for this letter.  It was soooooo good to hear his voice.  And he is still so Tony.  Very charming and charismatic and so cute.  It made me really miss him though.  He has found a whole family to teach, even in his 1 hour a day.  I hope he sees them baptized before he leaves.

Week 66 Letter

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Famlee!

Friends, Washingtonians, countrymen; lend me your ears! 

I come to bury the office life, not prolong it;

The evil that men do in the premortal life lives after them, while the good is oft forgotten in the veil (hence my presence here in the office). 

So let it be with me.

Hahahaha, sorry... for those who are a little confused, that was my attempt at a Mark Anthony-ish start to my letter. Maybe it’s just best that you look up his original speech. Mrs. Seipp from 11th grade would be proud to know that I still remember most of that speech =)

Well, I am still here in the office, but progress is being made with the ankle. Physical therapy is my least favorite thing in the world. It is very similar to what I imagine a medieval torture session to be... That and it seems like my physical therapy lady must have a double life as a UFC or MMA fighter because she seems to know the most crazy techniques to twist and pry my ankle to really make it hurt... I am always so relieved when I see her grab this weird lotion because that means I am at the end and she is going to give me a much less painful (yet not completely painless) ankle and calf massage. 

I am still going on planning all of President's interviews with every missionary in Portugal, but we are making process. I still get nervous every time my phone rings on an interview day because I am paranoid that something might have gone horribly wrong with the interviews. So far so good though. I haven't heard much from President Fluckiger, but Sister Fluckiger sure made me feel good yesterday about how things were going =) Perfect balance of a mission president couple I tell ya. 

Today was the first in weeks that we had an hour to do something fun for Pday. Elder Moeller and I set up the ping pong table in the chapel, and started a friendly game of ping pong. It ended in ping pong warfare where we just dumped the entire pack of Chinese-store ping pong balls out and started smacking all of them at one another in a crazy frenzy of battle. It was very stress relieving. 

As far as the work outside of the office goes, we haven't done a ton, but the Lord is blessing us for our efforts. We are working with both a woman named Elsa and a woman named Sara who are both making progress. Elsa needs to stop smoking, but is willing and determined. Sara needs to make the decision to be baptized. We appreciate any prayer offered asking for them to have help.

I can't believe school has already started for you kids! Sorry about that... hahaha, you will all have a great time, I'm sure. 

I received some devastating news this last week. The branch president in Bragança has passed away. My old companion is the one who found him. He was only about 50 years old, and they are investigating the cause of death. There isn't any fowl play expected, I think it might have been a heart attack. I really hope it wasn't anything self-inflicted. He was a great friend, and a good man. He was learning to be a good branch president too. He doesn't have any family that I know of, and he considered me a brother of sorts. I pray that he keeps progressing on the other side. The members in Bragança are a little shell shocked, but they will go on strong. They have a good new branch president.

Well, I hate to end on that note, so I will try not to. Cameron, I heard about your progress on the mission papers! I can't believe you could have a call here in 3 weeks! Man, I am so stoked for you! You are the man! Keep up the good work, and prepare yourself spiritually as much as you can. Go out with the missionaries as much as possible, and start learning with them. That way you can be a real blessing to your trainer here in a few months and make his job a lot easier =) You'll be so awesome.

I love you all, and wish the best for you all this week!
Hugs, kisses, and fist bumps,

Elder Lee



The funny quote this week comes from my physical therapist. This is an excerpt form a debate we were having while she was inflicting a good deal of pain on me...

Her- You said you did this playing football?

Me- Yeah

Her- They don't play a lot of football in America?

Me- No, it’s more American football there. Here in Portugal it is all football.

Her- Yeah, that's true.

Me- I mean, everybody here cares about football. Men, women, children, everybody. Everybody has a team, everybody knows about it. Everybody.

Her- Not necessarily. Me for example, I don’t care about it or follow it. 

*She recognizes the jersey I’m wearing is from a team called Sporting*

Her- You're a Sporting fan?

Me-Yes

Her- That's too bad. Benfica (a different team) is the best.

Me- I rest my case...

Her- Well, what? Benfica was the champion last year

Me (just thinking this time) - This is way too easy...


Week 65 Letter

Friday, August 29, 2014
Hey mom, life is kind of crazy. Really stressful as of late. Please pray for me... I could really use time back in the field. I am going to physical therapy for the 2nd time (not today, just in general) right now. I might be back on later, but like I said, things are crazy and president isn’t very happy with some stuff. I'll explain later. 
Love ya, talk to you soon, 
Elder Lee

I just got done being tortured by an angry Portuguese torture specialist... okay, she wasn't angry or mean, but it was pretty brutal. Now I am hurting again. Today is going to be pretty sad. I have been here 4 weeks and haven't had a single pday... I just need a breather, but today isn't the day I am going to get one. President is on us about interview schedules, but we haven't done anything wrong. We did it all perfectly and there were a few small problems caused by other missionaries or even mistakes by President, but we are taking a lot of heat for it... He gave Elder Moeller and I a pretty good reprimanding this morning, and it is frustrating because we did literally the best possible. I’m not just talking we tried our best, I am talking we had the best plan possible. But said something really funny too... he wasn't joking, but it was still funny... hahaha... want to hear?
Don’t get me wrong, I love him like crazy, and I am really glad that he is the only mission president that I will have on the mission. It’s just that he feels he always has to have his expectations higher than our performance rate so that we can keep from becoming satisfied with where we are instead of progressing. However I feel like to have a method like that, it also requires a lot of letting the missionaries know they are doing good, praising, and then encouraging or even showing you aren't satisfied. But I feel like there is a little lack of praise or gratitude. I think he just forgets. He is awesome though. 

This morning Elder Moeller made the mistake of using the word assume, and president didn't like that. He said, 'elder, assume is spelled a-s-s-u-m-e. Therefore to assume makes an ass out of 'u' and me.'  Hahahahaha, wasn't funny in the moment, because he wasn't joking, but now we are laughing about it.
pday is out of the question today. I have been running around doing things all day. oh well. I’m just trying to get some emails to you in between tasks. How is dad? Sounds like he has a lot on his plate as usual.
Just got off the phone with President, resolved some things. I got a lot more work from him though. I don't know if I will be able to get a famlee letter out.  I can take a couple seconds to write you, but writing a famlee letter would be really scattered. I will get permission to write later tonight or tomorrow but right now I only have time for back and forth and I want to talk to you because I won’t be able to do that any other time.  I'm alright. I just need a breather. I am going to have to pop a few cold sore pills tonight, because it’s been high stress. I need a haircut but I haven’t had a pday in 4 weeks to do it. My ankle needs to be elevated but I need to get things done on the computer. However I am happy, don’t worry about me. I don’t know what I would do if there weren’t cool people in here with me. 

I gotta go.  I love you.  – Elder Lee

Week 64 Letter

Friday, Aug 22, 2014
Famlee!

Well, another crazy week! Sounds like you guys also had an eventful week! I'm glad you enjoyed the family reunion. Sounded like it was a blast, although I didn't see many pics (hint hint Mom, send me some more pics!)

A lot has happened with the ankle. It is a little complicated to explain. Luckily I am not coming home. Yesterday I went in to the doctor and they told me I needed surgery, because it turns out that when the X-ray was taken the very first time the ankle was actually dislocated. Not sure how the doctor in Bragança missed that... well, this doctor he asked me if the doctor in Bragança had re-located it. I said no, because he didn't do anything with my ankle other than put a cast on it. So he was like, 'well, if it stayed dislocated for any small amount of time, you are going to need surgery'. He told me they would do a CAT scan to be sure, but he was pretty set on surgery. If I needed surgery I would be going home to get it done, and staying home until I finished physical therapy and recovery. I of course didn't like the sound of that (not that I don't love you guys). Well, we did the CAT scan and they told us to come back the next day (today) to get results.

I had a long night of sleeplessness and prayer. I knew God would do what needed to be done, but I really hoped that it included me staying in the mission. Today, I went back in. Turns out God didn't want me to go back home, because to the surprise of the doctor, everything was okay. Miracles had happened. Sometime along the line, after the original X-ray my ankle re-located itself, without me even knowing. Phew. 

Funny story... but first some background. President Fluckiger is amazing. I love him so much. One thing about President is he says exactly what he is thinking. He says things how they need to be said. He sometimes thinks people know how he wants something done when it hasn't been communicated at all... hahaha, so here is the story. We were getting ready to get the new missionaries in. We were in the airport waiting for them. I had made president a list at his request of all of the new missionaries, and then an interview schedule for them. I had ordered the interview schedule by area, where the new missionaries were going, and included their new area on the list so it would be easier for him to find where they were going. Well, we were in the airport waiting, president, the other office elders, and I. President was examining the list, and then he looked at me and said, "Well, these names aren't in alphabetical order." He hadn't said anything about how he wanted them ordered, nor had past interview schedules been done in alphabetical order, and I thought it would be more convenient for him to do it by area. But I said, "Sorry president, I didn't know you wanted them like that, but I understand. Next time I will be sure to do that." He did his'hmm' sound, well known by the missionaries of the mission and then put his arm around me and said, "Well, don't worry Elder Lee; we are going to fire you as soon as we can." Everybody laughed pretty good, and then I replied, "President, I'm glad to hear it." It made me feel good to know that President wanted me out of the office and back into the field as soon as possible =)

Well, I'm pretty busy, but it's a good thing. I love you all, and like always I thank you for all of your prayers, thoughts, and support. You guys are the BEST!

Lots of love,

Elder Lee

Quote of the week:

"Elder Lee, you’re in the office!? What happened??"

Not very funny, but it seems like it is all I have heard for the past couple of weeks... hahaha

Mom,
I know you aren't going to like hearing this, but you need to stop and breathe for a second. Everything is okay. Everything worked out okay, and the Lord has had His hand in all of it, so nothing is out of control. I am fine. The ankle re-located itself sometime early in the process, which means my ankle will be just fine. I am already putting a little weight on it. My physical therapy will start soon.
We did transfers. I didn’t sleep. Now I am working on scheduling an interview for every missionary in the mission with president, which means individually planning the travel times for each one. It is like a giant puzzle, because I need to get them in and out as fast as I can. CRAZY! I already finished one zone, and the interviews happened today. I haven’t heard anything from President, so I think everything went smoothly... phew... only 10 more zones to go
Awwww... my little boy is growing up... it’s weird. I don't know what to think. I think I am going to send them something for the wedding gift. I mean, it is my best friend and brother... I had a fun idea, but I don’t know if it will work. They both served in Brazil, yeah? 

This scheduling is proving difficult... blah... I better go. I hope I get this done in time.  I love you.

Week 63 Letter

Friday, Aug 15, 2014
Famlee!

Hey everybody, how are you all? I am great. This week has been the most different week of my mission... but really cool too. I am a part of the team that keeps the mission afloat. I just got done talking to president (he came into my office to talk to me, which was a little bit backwards... hahaha) and he told me that I would be staying here in the office. I was hoping I might get to go back out into the field this Monday for the beginning of the new transfer, but I am going to stay here in the office until I am better. However, he told me that this didn't mean I would be here the whole 6 weeks. He says he wants to get me back out there ASAP, so as soon as I am good to go, I am out of here, regardless of what week of the transfer we are in. But he did give me some good advice too. He said this is a very unique call as a missionary, one that almost no other missionary understands. Being one of the few who works to keep a mission going is special. He told me to take advantage of it, and I will.

Well, not much to tell. Adventures still happen here in the office but they are different. I'm sure things are going to be pretty crazy the next few days. We need to start planning all of the travels of all the missionaries being transferred. Bus, train, airplane, metro, taxi, everything. And it is a big transfer. Lots of missionaries moving around. So there will probably lots to tell next week. 

This week we had 1 good day that we got to spend 7pm to 9pm proselyting. It felt so good! I went crazy! I don't do so well walking with these horrible crutches, so we decided to knock a giant apartment building in a wealthier neighborhood. We started at the very top, level 13, and started knocking. Well, half way through we were experiencing Matthew 19:24 pretty severely, all rejection, Elder Braga's back had been bothering him, and we were all dead tired, but I told them that I still felt good about the building. We kept knocking. 

Not one person listened to us in the entire building, 13 floors, and 4 doors on each... until the very last door. A woman named Laura opened the door. She was very nice and interested as well. We testified, and prayed with her. We have an appointment for tonight that I hope goes really well. The experience just testified to me that God looks out for all his children. Us, the tired beaten missionaries, and Laura, the lost lamb. It sure was neat. 

Okay, well, I sure love y'all. Congratulations Shane and Heather! I almost forgot about that... You guys are awesome! You'll have to send me a tie from the wedding =) This will be 2 weddings missed on the mission... wow! Life doesn't stop back home while I'm on the mission, that's for sure!

Hugs and kisses,

Elder Lee

PS, Here's a funny picture that Elder Lima drew of our district when I was in Bragança... hahaha, thought it was good.


PPS- Funny quote from a Portuguese... almost forgot. This one comes from elder Braga. He's a missionary, but he is from Portugal, so it counts. 
After we finished proselyting the day we found Laura he said, "Lesson learned." 
I responded, "Endure to the end?"
He said, "No. Start on the bottom." 



Hey Mom,
The ankle is progressively getting better. The pain has gone down. Life is good. Weird. I miss regular missionary work. We only got to do real proselyting for about 2 hours last week, and I went insane. We knocked a giant apartment building at the very end of the night. Elder Braga wasn't too sure about it, because he had hurt his back and we were all dead from the crazy hours. But we knocked every door, getting rejected every time (It was a wealthier apartment building). Until the very last door, a really cool lady opened the door and let us talk with her. Hopefully we have time to get there tonight, but we are about to go crazy on transfer stuff. More sleepless nights to come. Just got word today (Office privileges) that I will be staying here. However, I think it is just until the foot is better. Might not be the entire transfer. I don't know. 

How is Koli? What's wrong with him? Does he have asthma? That is super scary. I am worried.  Keep a really close eye on him, don't let him be alone.

I can't believe Shane is getting married. That sucks. Well, no, it is a really good thing, but weird. Did heather serve in Brazil by the way?

Ahhh. I am a little stressed. I'm good though. This weekend will be insane. Lots of missionaries travelling all over the place. Hopefully we don't lose any. Pray for me. 

Don't know if you're awake, but sure would like to talk to you =)

 I think the Elder who replaced me is doing alright. The area was dead for 2 years, but then we started it on fire again, so I hope it doesn't die again. Not much is going on here. Been working on putting baptismal records into the system. We are about to start working on the travels for all the missionaries for the transfer. Looks like we are going to miss another P-day =/   Well, so far on p-day we haven't done anything. This week or last. But it is normal. Clean house, shop, write home, go do something fun if there is time. Our apartment is 7 floors above the office, really close. But I have both eaten and slept in the office... hahaha 
President and Sister Fluckiger live in a beautiful house about 15 minutes from the office. I was there the other day for the first time since my first day in Portugal, and that was really weird.  I did see the family movie. It was really good =) I don’t have speakers... what music did you use? New stuff? I might not know it. There were a lot of circles, but it really was good. I loved that picture of Koli and Ryan upside-down over him. Can you send that to me? Also the pics of the family with Shane and Heather? Those were funny =)  
President and Sis Fluckiger’s kids are married off. I don’t know how many grandkids. Something like 10-15 I think.  Dad is going to do what President Fluckiger did. He was called as a 70 and then later a mission president.  


I already made the connection with Elder Eddington. We didn’t figure out how we are related though. He is from Utah so...  It is still sunny. But Lisboa isn’t as hot has Bragança.  Did you guys already buy a new car?  
I ate cereal for lunch today. I can't wait to eat American cereal.  I call these chocolate toe nails. They are supposed to be like little scoop things, but they look like toenails. They are really hard. They don't have, like, poufy cereal. Just hard cereal.  And, I’m still not a man, don’t worry. Everyone still tells me I look like I'm 15. But that’s just because Portuguese kids have beards with 13 years. 
Oh, hey, did I tell you I should be getting a reimbursement after all this time for the stuff I had stolen? Apparently they are now just deciding how they will pay me. I don't know how long that is going to take, but it has already been a while.  Hahaha...
How is butterscotch? How are the cats? Is Cebu still gimpy?  Well I have to go.  I love you and I will talk to you again next week.  I am going to go teach Laura!
Hugs and Kisses to the kids,

Elder Lee