Monday, August 8, 2011

Hey guys!! This last week has been pretty great, actually more of a roller coaster ride!! It is so crazy being transferred!! Whenever people hear that I am about a year into the mission and this is only my third area they are amazed ha ha. Its allowed me to get really close to the people and accustomed to them in my areas so far, so that is good!!! Speaking of about a year, I will hit my year mark this week!! Wow I cannot believe how fast time flies. I still feel like I'm one of the younger ones in the mission but that is not the case!! I'll have to savor my last year with everything I've got!! I hear that the 2nd year goes by even faster!! Unreal!!
Well, me and Kessler got on the plane and left on Tuesday morning!! Wow it was hard to leave the members, investigators and elders on that island, but it's ok because I've got more great experiences lying ahead of me!!! Vasco da Gama is a HUGE area!! It covers so much land and they are also pretty big cities!! I really miss the islands, but at the same time, it is so nice to be back in the city surrounded by people on all sides. This area has been progressing a little slow in the past from what I hear, but it seems like there is some great potential here!!! For example, the other day, me and Elder Banks knocked doors and got about 17 references in one day!! We are just praying that these references are elects!!! It's also interesting to see the cultural diversity again!! On the Azores, it was pretty much just Portuguese people, but over here it is African, Brazilean, Indian, Chinese, of course Portuguese, and pretty much people from all over the world. Vasco Da gama isn't too far away from Lisbon!! So we kind of live in the melting pot of cultures!!!
We have 2 people we are working with right now for baptism. One is a guy named Jose from Angola, and another is a Portuguese guy named Leonel!! They are super closed to baptism. They have already been marked before, but fell through. Pretty much, their only struggle is smoking so we are praying for them. We hope to baptize them this upcoming weekend!!
The branch is pretty cool!! It's a branch of quite a few members, but only about 45 of them are active. Still a pretty good sized branch considering we don't have a chapel. We have church here in an apartment building, but the spirit is still the same!! The members took me right in. I already feel like a friend to all of them, so it's going to be a great experience!! Next week we have Stake Conference!! It's the Setubal stake and supposedly, the Setubal ward is one of the biggest wards in all of Portugal, so I'm excited to see them all at stake conference!!!!
Elder Banks is a great Elder!! He is the same age as Elder Wiseman was, so he has been in the country ever since the end of December!! He has a strong desire for the work and works his butt off with the language!! Its going to be great!! Normally, I only spoke Portuguese outside of the house, but me and Banks are starting a goal of speaking Portuguese 24/7!! It's going to be great, I'm excited!!!
Well, I think that's about all the news for this week. I'm enjoying my new area!! Thank you all for being such an amazing family!! I love you all so much!!! I pray for you all everyday!!! Talk to ya next time. OH and here is my new address!!!!
Elder Coulton Willes
Rua José Ladislau de Sousa
N29, 2esq
2870 Montijo, Portugal

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