December 27, 2009

Christmas on the continent

Merry Christmas from the Portugal continent!  We celebrated with the 6 zones on the continent with an amazing talent show, a catered dinner, a gift exchange, and then the traditional reading of Luke 2 with actors from among our missionaries!  We're just grateful that even though we are away from our families during this holiday season, that we have a big, loving family here in the Porto mission!

Madeira Christmas

Merry Christmas from Madeira!  The 12 missionaries, along with President and Sister Walton, had a dinner at the Rodrigues family one night, caroling in downtown Funchal, and then the annual Christmas dinner at the wonderful restaurant "Estrella Do Mar" where an investigator worked.  The gift exchange was fun and the lights were magical as we celebrated this Christmas season with our little zone in tropical Madeira!

Elder Causse Mission Tour

During the month of December Elder Causse came for a mission tour in all of our zone areas.  It was a whirlwind 4 day visit, but he inspired us to be better and to work harder to find and baptize the people the Lord had already prepared here in the Porto Mission boundaries.  The last day here, he met with our zone leaders in a special zone leader council and left us feeling energized with the Spirit.  He even treated the zone leaders to a piano solo, "If You Could Hie to Kolob".  He is a gifted pianist!

December 3, 2009

Porto Christmas 2009

The first day of December found Elders Charon and McLaughlan decorating the office Christmas tree in anticipation for the month-long focus on the birth and life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Hopefully we'll have fun photo's to post every week so parents, families, and friends can see just how much Christmas spirit our band of Porto Portugal missionaries has.

The baptism of Ester

It was an exciting day for Elder Jensen and Adams who began teaching Ester many transfers ago, and now the fruits of their labors are being realized!  It was especially wonderful for Elder Jensen who was technically not in our mission anymore, but who was travelling with his parents and returned to Porto just to baptize Ester, before he and his family departed for home!

Porto Mission Thanksgiving 2009

Every zone in our mission celebrated Thanksgiving with a traditional American football game, a district/zone meeting focusing on gratitude, culminating in the big feast with all the trimmings. These photo's are from the Porto zone, but if the other zones will send Irmã Walton some photo's, she will publish them on our blog so we can see just how each one celebrated.

November 2009 Departures

Nine of our finest missionaries concluded their missions and we were left to say goodbye as they move on in their lives to great things.  Four Irmãs and five Elders all finished with honors and were sent home to America, Brazil, and England!

November Transfers

November 19th found us sending 3 missionaries out to the island of Madeira, and saying goodbye to 9 missionaries - 4 Irmãs and 5 Elders.  It was extra difficult because we had no missionaries arriving from the MTC.  Irmã Ray and Elders Vidulich and Imbuqui were very excited to be going out to our tropical island.