Sunday, March 30, 2014


A pleasant Sunday today in the Portalegre group.
There are not enough members here
to be a branch yet,
but they are working on it :).
Two baptisms today, a lady, baptized
 by her 17-year-old son,
(he was baptized himself last September)
and the husband of a member.
What a great day for these families!!!
Elder Soutas, Florabelle, her husband (a nonmember),
her son, and Elder Bascom 

There is not a baptismal font in their small meeting room, so we drove
 to a lake near the Spain/Portugal border up in the mountains and
held the baptisms there. 
Notice the picture of Jesus being baptized in the pictures above from the chapel...
Today felt similar to the River Jordan where Jesus was baptized. 

It was soooo cold, but in this little inlet, the waters were calm and the
wind was blocked.  This was a very happy time for these new members!

A blustery, rainy day, looking across the valley towards Spain.
I can't say it enough... it is so beautiful here!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


View from bedroom window... it's actually a wonderful view.

View from kitchen window... the home across the street is being remodeled,
so fun to watch the progress.

Our apartment building, 4th floor here but actually 5th floor here as they count the first floor as "0."

Street level view... we were walking to the church from our apartment.

The very bumpy sidewalks... someone should inform them it's time to modernize, LOL!

The famous "bubble"... our car:)

Our church meetinghouse...small but functional.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Our zone rocks!!! 
We won the fun March Madness contest
by getting more referrals than any other zone!
Go Santarem!!!
l-r, (seated) Crossmans, Fluckigers, Sommers
(1st row) Elders Hartley, Sebastian, Fontes
Sisters Lybbert, Shumway, Santos, DeCarvalho
(2nd row) Eddington, Knight, O'Malley, Walker,
Later (ZL), De Oliveira (ZL), Bascom, Dayton
(back) Beckstrand, Collier, Rigby, Soutas, Tyler

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Santarem Towne Days, March 19-23, 2014
A 5-day celebration honoring the founding of Santarem.
It's quite the celebration, complete with famous singers, carnival,
and the famed Tourados (7 men who face a bull, with only their hands, that is held in the stadium).
We took advantage of the crowds of people and set up a table and went about giving away free videos and pictures, basically trying to get the word out about the Church and inviting them to join us.
Here are a few photos of the missionaries in action. 

The sisters, Filipe (our branch mission leader) & Elder C.

Joao Barata (branch member) and his grandchildren stopped to say Hi.

Spreading the word, Filipe and another member of the branch.

The end of a beautiful day in Portugal!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Bruno, Rubin & Olivia
The Bernardino's 
Brother Barata (left) baptized Olivia, and his son, Joao Barata (next to Sister Lybbert)
baptized the 2 boys (he is a priest, 16 years old). 

What a great day!!!

A cake made by a member of the branch in honor of the baptism of the family.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


The men picking our fish for yummy! 
We had dourada (dolphinfish) and red snapper!

The Phippens -- 4th mission -- 77 years old and an amazing couple!
Not even a broken collarbone could slow them down. 
He is the branch president in the Azores.
They reminded us of our friends
John & Elaine Bishop... it was like looking into the future 20 years 
(not only their physical characteristics,
 but also their positive outlook on everything they do!)

We toured the presidential palace in Lisbon.  This is one of the guards.

The beautiful gardens at the palace ... what a view!

Our new friends, the Sommers (aka, Captain Jean-Luc Pickard)

Listening to the tour guide (supposedly :).

A popular lunch place where we had lunch.
The Pao-Pao

The streets of Lisbon near the palace.

Our tour guide at the palace.  Fortunately he spoke English :)


(Standing, l-r)
Larry & Paula Rose, Bountiful, Utah
Clair & Ruana Ransom, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Elder & Sister Jeffers, Las Vegas, Nevada
Don & Luanne Markham, Saratoga Springs, Utah
Ron & Shanon Sommers, near San Bernardino, California
Ron & Ronda Crossman, Bluffdale, Utah
(seated, l-r)
President & Sister Fluckiger, Dallas, Texas
Elder & Sister Phippen, American Fork,Utah

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Irma Flora is from Mozambique!  It was her birthday and we went over and gave her cookies and sang Parabans (Happy Birthday) to her.  She loves the sister missionaries! 

She lives very humbly, walks bent over, has no teeth, but she loves Jesus Christ
and comes to church every Sunday.   

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Testimony of Paulo Guerra -- 3/2/2014
Paulo was baptized in January, 2014, a little over a month before we got here.  Here are his words:
"Before I met the missionaries my house was closed and dark to the world, but the day I met the missionaries in (December), something strange and good entered my house that made it full of light.  It was the Spirit of Jesus Christ that came to illuminate me.  They then taught me to pray – speaking with Heavenly Father.  Then I went to church and I liked a lot what I saw and heard.  There were not any idols or statues that people pray to nor memorized prayers.  It was very good.
I was then baptized on the 11th of January, 2014, another joy because I felt I had been reborn in that moment.  Only good things have come to me and because of this I pray to Heavenly Father and I advise you to do the same.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Monday, March 10, 2014


Sister Hilario
Our first Sunday dinner here was at this family's house.
She made the cake... It was too cute to cut, but she did and it was yummy!
She is an amazing person, an artist and interior decorator.

They love to sing here and they sing loud... I can even join in and you can't even tell I'm singing.
Love it!!!

Relief Society Social... the sisters were treated to makeup and nails and then had dinner served to them by the men.
There were 70 people there and, oh, they know how to have fun!

This woman is the BEST!!!  She is soooo funny and fun-loving. 
She is about 4 feet tall, half deaf, but has the heart of gold!  She participates in everything, and always with a great big smile plastered on her face.

Super nice sisters in the branch... the one on the right has been a member about a year, but you would think she has always been a member forever!  She is very strong in the gospel.

The sisters are so loving to each other and kind and expressive.  The traditional greeting is a kiss on the left cheek, then the right.  The sister on the right joined the church 2 months ago, Maria Joao.

This is Monica Nogueiro. She made this cake for the baptism of Olivia and her 2 boys on March 18th.  She is from Brazil, has 2 adorable little girls... it makes us homesick for our grandchildren. 

This Rosemarie de Costa from Londrina, Brazil.  Ron served in that area on his mission so long ago.  In talking with her, we discovered that one of Ron's missionary companions baptized her and she has been wondering about him all these years.  We were able to give her his email so she can make contact with him. 
God is aware of His children and He answers prayers through others !!!