Something Exciting?!? And Way Too Much Writing...

This week is going to look boring because we didn't do a very good job of taking pictures, but it was NOT.

I had a general feeling of excitement all week, like something exciting is about to happen, and I think a lot of us felt the same. I (and the kids, apparently) had trouble sleeping several nights and on top of that, Woo had his talk in district conference this week looming constantly in the back of his mind.

Monday: Linus' class went kayaking (we found them by some miracle and Woo's sharp eye). Also, we found out both Elders were leaving the branch and we were getting Sisters for the first time. On hearing the news, Herbie, Moses, and Linus were upset, Archie didn't care, and Penelope and Ruby were super excited. (Ruby had even prayed for this scenario.) But after the boys initial disappointment, we all got really excited about it, for some reason.

Tuesday: I woke up remembering two dreams in which we were preparing for new, life-changing events, which added to my general feeling of excitement. Woo and I went grocery shopping in the morning which elicited shouts of joy from the kids when they discovered 1) carrots in the fridge and 2) we'd bought them all Portugal t-shirts. Also, Ruby and Herbie got all "boms" or "muito boms" on their finals.

Wednesday: Herbie had a concert in the evening. He spent lots of his free time practicing "You Look Wonderful Tonight." We ate an early dinner and read scriptures, then he and Ruby took off for the pre-concert practice. I showed up right when it was scheduled to start (we thought) and caught 3 minutes of the practice. Then we sat down to wait for the start and the rest of Herbie's class... left. After sitting there an hour and watching other classes practice and then leave, and the last one finish and pull out food, Ruby asked the teacher when the concert was supposed to start. 9pm. 9-11pm. We went home and went to bed, Herbie disappointed and the rest of us chuckling about the super late middle school concert... If only we'd known...

Thursday: I invited an old friend (in Woo's nephew, Alek's, mission, but not his area) to meet with the missionaries and she agreed. We also had the Sisters over for dinner. The kids were unreasonably excited about this and had a hard time settling down for bed. Moses did a crazy dance at dinner when the Sisters told him one of his favorite Elders had been transferred to our district and Penelope did a lot of loud, crazy laughing.

I stayed up way too late talking to someone in another time zone about the Book of Mormon on Twitter and gave a (digital) Book of Mormon (and D&C and PofGP) to easily the most genuinely interested person I've ever given one to.

Friday: Was pretty tame. Woo had correlation meeting with the missionaries at our apartment which ended up being kind of stressful because they were late and all the kids came home from school in the middle of it. After the meeting, I took the Sisters downstairs to meet one of our neighbors, but she was not interested. At some point, I'm not aware of, Woo wrote his talk. At some other point, he smiled and waved at his "enemy" and received a slight nod in return.

Saturday: Woo was pretty nervous and practiced his talk, but took a couple hours off to go with us to the beach. Linus was very upset to be missing the party in the park. (Our neighborhood was turning 50 years old.) But once again, we had an early dinner and scripture read to be on time for the adult/youth session of district conference.

Just before it started, we got a phone call from Moses (who was babysitting and showing a movie). I took the phone from Woo on the stand and spent the first talk in the foyer helping Moses navigate computer issues. All was solved in time for Woo's talk, which I enjoyed the most (because I could understand it the best). The basic premise was that children do come with a manual--that manual is the Book of Mormon.

There was food and socializing after the meeting and also we'd given rides to people who took the opportunity to meet with priesthood leaders... we got home at 10:30pm... to all the kids alive and asleep in their beds... if only that had been the end of our night...

I was surprised and pleased that there wasn't any music blaring from the party when we got home, but when I got out of the shower at 11pm, it started. And it kept on going for the next 4 hours. That last half-hour, I thought I was going to die... the music was so loud and vibrating the whole building... Woo was just happy that the last half hour they finally starting playing American rock songs he could recognize. We slept maybe 3 hours?

Sunday: I was convinced today was going to be one of the worst in my life. So, I said lots of prayers, and it wasn't. The drives to and from Santarém were pleasant; the kids, while not their best, were not out of control; during the first hymn: I Believe in Christ, I thought, "This is really nice. I'm glad I'm here." I did not get a headache at any point; We finally got around to watching the "Be One" broadcast for FHE, which was fun and inspiring; dinner was super easy; and we got the kids to bed early.

Anyway, sorry for the long email with subpar pictures. Hope your week was great!