Monday, February 8, 2016

"I put my trust in the Lord and in His grace"

This is Susan, Dallis' mom - I can't believe this is the last week of Dallis' Mission. I am so, so happy to get this sweet boy home and I know he is leaving family and friends there and his heart is torn. This little boy has always watched over me and taken care of me his whole life. He will never let anything bad happen to me. I know that he has done the same thing for his sweet members and converts that he has had the privilege of serving! I know he has watched over them and loved them and taken care of them. And just as hard as it was for him to leave us here, it is equally as hard for him to leave them there. I am grateful for Dal's service and his enthusiasm to do whatever the Lord asked him to do! What a great blessing this opportunity will forever be in his life! I love this boy and thank Heavenly Father for allowing me to share his life with him!

Well, fellow friends, this is it. The last week of Elder Quinn in Wonderland. And what a Wonderland it has been. Being able to come back to finish my mission where I started was a huge blessing. When I started here in Setúbal, it was very difficult. I couldn't see the end, and being honest, I didn't want to stay and have to adjust to the missionary life. It was a pride thing on my part. I was used to being able to relax and take it easy, and the mission demands more of us. I had to leave my comfort zone and thank goodness I did. 12 companions later, 7 different areas in Portugal, here I am. I made it. Why? Because I put my trust in the Lord and in His grace. I now know for sure that the Atonement is real, and that Jesus lives, He is resurrected. Yes, He suffered, but that was not the end. Jesus broke the bands of death, meaning if we rely on Him, we can break the bands of our difficulties. It was because of the hard times I passed that I came to know the Lord. All the rejections, all the days of looking and no finding, and Sundays when no investigators would show up to church, was all worth it. The Lord suffered it all, it was only a little that I passed through here, and how grateful I am to have done it. To be able to call myself a representative of Christ for 2 years, the best thing I have done until now. My life and eternity are changed forever because of the mission. The Lord and His tender mercies these past months have been beyond what I deserved. The Lord uses imperfect people to perform His miracles and to help Him with His work. It is an unexplainable joy that I have come to feel here on the mission. It has all been worth it. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the Lord´s kingdom on earth, The Book of Mormon is the word of God, we can enjoy the blessing of His Priesthood power on earth again, Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God. I know this because I conversed with God, and He answered me. I see answers in my life and the lives of others, proof of His love, that keeping ALL of His Commandments is the only way to live with everlasting happiness in this life.

I love you all, thank you for everything these past 2 years! All the prayers, love and support!

Love Elder Quinn

"We kept looking and working"

February 1, 2016 - 

Well, a drastic difference between the last week and this week.... two weeks ago was maybe the hardest week of my mission... we had a pretty rough time finding new people but we didn't give up. We kept looking and working. We went to our appointment with Mariana and before we even prayed she couldn´t wait to tell us that she wanted to get baptized!!! We have been working with Mariana since the first day of the transfer. We knocked on the door of a member that I met my first time here in Setúbal and Mariana answered. The member that I was looking for had gone to England for a vacation, so we visited with Mariana. She told us right from the beginning that she didn't believe in the Book of Mormon. We explained just a little and invited her to church and she went. Then we kept teaching her. Her member friend from England came home (Vanessa) and helped us out a lot! Mariana started reading from the Book of Mormon and started believing in it's words and we kept focusing on that for her foundation and on this past Wednesday she was way excited to tell us she wanted to get baptized! We ended up teaching her 3 lessons in one day so she could make her baptismal covenant with the Lord this past weekend. She accepted everything and was truly prepared by the Lord! On Sunday she got up (being invited by the Bishop) to bear her testimony and she said she was nervous and wanted to go home when she got to the chapel door on the night of her baptism, but she came in, and when she was getting baptized, all she heard was her name, and nothing else. Then when she was actually being baptized, she said it felt like she was there for a while, just floating on clouds, a sensation, or a sign from heaven she was doing the right thing, and then she came back up out of the water. It was an awesome experience!
Also, Andrey came to visit again!!! He and Cleusa came down to see us again and it was soo awesome! He made us some drinks called Caipizero, some lemon lime drink with some groselha syrup and they also brought us lunch! Then they went and taught Mariana with us before her baptism! It was one of the funnest days of my mission! That's about it for the week! I love you all!
Love Elder Quinn

"we will keep fighting!"

January 26, 2016 -

So it was a pretty good week! Our Rui from barreiro was baptized!!! We were invited to go and we got permission and went! We were teaching him when we were in his area, then we got transferred, and the other Elders came in and did a great job working with him and then he was baptized this past week. It was awesome to see someone again, willing to change their life for the Lord. It was also a difficult week in the matter of finding other elite individuals.We didn't get too much out of the week, but we won't get discouraged. We will find the Lord´s elect.

A great surprise this week, we got a call from the sisters for a "reference" named John and he wanted to meet with us. So on Saturday, we went there and were sitting in the chapel and Andrey came walking in with his mom and Cleusa! They came down for a surprise visit and took us out to pizza hut and we got to catch up a little. It was awesome! Such a blessing in our hard week.  I bought the sickest sweater.... you can call me HP!!! Harry Potter!!! Other than that... all is well! Love you guys! Thanks for everything!!! Oh yeah, I had a meeting yesterday for adjusting to the life after the mission, it made me a little sad and it was then that it hit me the hardest that it is truly coming to an end... but we will keep fighting! Love you all!

Love Elder Quinn

Sights of Portugal!

January 18, 2016 - 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Another awesome view

January 11, 2015

The view from our house

...the most wonderful thing I have ever done."

January 4, 2015 - Welp.... last transfer starts today.... how crazy it is that we have come to this point. Only 6 weeks from now and I will be on my last day of the most wonderful thing I have ever done. The hardest thing I have ever done. I truely do love it here and the people are so amazing. I can't believe it's really here. Yes I'm worn out, no I don't always focus, and there are many times when I could do better. But I know that the Lord is happy with my choice to have come here and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I received the transfer call, and I will be ending where I started my mission, Setúbal!!!! I will be training as well. My new comp is an american named Elder Taylor and I will pick him up on Wednesday. I am overwhelmed to truly think of how kind and patient the Lord has been with me these past 2 years. He is my best friend and I have come to understand the true love that Heavenly Father has for us through His son and through Their work. I am sad to leave Barreiro, especially because our friend Rui came to church yesterday and will soon be baptized, but I won't be able to keep working with him. It´s part of the mission. :(
Yesterday I had the opportunity to go back to Cacém!!!! I got to see Andrey!!! And some other great friends I made while being there. I got to go back for a very special reason. While I was serving there, the Sisters from another area needed a place to stay, so we left our house and went to stay at with some Elders so the Sisters could stay at our place for a bit. We worked in the other Elder´s area while we were living at their house and the first door we knocked on was a humble man named Paulo. He answered, let us in, and listened and came to church that Sunday. We went back to our house after the sisters had moved out and Paulo continued on working with the other elders. Then I got transferred to Barreiro. Well yesterday was his baptism. And I got to go! What a miracle and what a tender mercy to be able to have been an instrument in the hands of the Lord those days we worked there. That´s the update for the week, I love you all!!! Thanks for everything!

Love Elder Quinn

Me and Paulo

Andrey, Cleasu, and me

Friday, January 1, 2016

"but the little miracles and successes are so sweet and worth it."

It is a lot harder towards the end of your mission to stay focused and to keep on trying over and over with so much failure, but the little miracles and successes are so sweet and worth it. I am going to do better this next year and especially this my last transfer in the mission. We had dinner on Christmas eve with the branch presidente, and then two member meals the day of Christmas. Love Elder Quinn!!!