Too much happened this week. First, I went to the temple. It was weird to be in a airport and traveling by myself after so many years of traveling with kids. The flight is only an hour, but with waiting and everything else I had to take, it was still 6 hours from the time I left our apartment until I got to the temple grounds.

I've said it before, but I still like Madrid. I've never had (and still don't have) any interest in Madrid's sights, but as a large city, I admire it. The subway is so clean and easy to understand. I didn't see a single cigarette butt or piece of garbage anywhere, and it's ridden by everyone: mothers with strollers and small children, teens on their way to school or other places, businessmen and women, and all the rest of us.

At the temple hostel, I shared a room with a sweet, little old lady from southern Spain. I knew it the second I entered the room because of her slippers laid out neatly under her bed. I got about the same amount of temple work done as when we go as a family because I could just go straight through, instead of trading off with Woo. Overall, it was a good temple trip, and not too exhausting.

At the end of the week, the kids had school off for carnival. The school part is mostly okay--Archie got to dress up every day this week--but we skipped out on the parade, which involved a lot of standing around last year that the kids didn't enjoy too much.

As for the adult portion--I was hoping to get everyone out of town, but the temple hostel didn't have room for all of us (another reason for my solo visit). But we haven't ever visited any of Woo's old mission areas, and decided this was the time.

We drove north to Guarda, where he spent about 6 months, but remembered hardly anything. We have some pictures of what *might* have been his apartment and where the church *might* have been. The post office is the post office he remembers, though.

There is no branch there today, but Woo is grateful for the things he personally learned there. Here he is looking out over Guarda through a rose-colored window.

We visited a couple castles that he remembered as being less safe and less tourist friendly. They have been cleaned up in the last couple years and the kids had a good time running around inside.

We stayed in a little house in a mountainous area. Switzerland is apparently the quintessential mountainous country for Portugal, because we passed villages with names like "little alps," and our house made some attempts at being a Swiss chalet. It was probably our favorite Airbnb we've ever stayed in because it was so clean and had fun little rooms with angled ceilings, etc.

The kids snuggled right in and went right to sleep. Moses and Herbie did no whispering or wrestling before falling asleep, which is kind of a miracle. Ruby got a bed and room to herself because Penelope was happy to sleep on the couch in front of the pellet stove. It was only a bit chilly, but it was nice to feel like it was cold and we needed a fire.

Also, there was a soccer stadium at the foot of it, and we went on a little mountain walk where we saw sheep and old men out tilling their section of terraced mountain. The kids, or I should say we all, miss mountains.

Whenever anyone mentions snow, all the Portuguese bring up Serra da Estrela, which is their highest point, and gets some snow. We drove there on the way home and it was crowded! There were some patches of snow, which the kids were really excited about, and so were all the Portuguese. We saw many people in full snow gear (suits, goggles, boots) even though you had to go way out of your way to even touch snow and it was at least 65 degrees, probably warmer. Someone was making a killing selling sleds on site. There were barely any hills, but everyone had to try sledding at least once, it appeared.

We stopped in a town with a nice, large, new city park to pick up a bike for Linus, which he was excited about, and headed home.

And that's pretty much our week. Hope yours was great!

Testimony Below:
Some of my favorite scriptures are in Isaiah, talking about the blessings that come to those who fast and pay a generous fast offering:

Isaiah 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward. 9 Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. 10 then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: 11 And the Lord shall guide thee continually.

I know that it is a privilege and a sacred opportunity to fast every month and pay a generous fast offering, because I know that these blessings are sure. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen


Algumas de minhas escrituras favoritas são em Isaías. Eles falam sobre as bênçãos que recebemos quando jejuamos e pagamos uma generosa oferta de jejum:

Isaías 58: 8 Então romperá a tua luz como a alva, e a tua cura apressadamente brotará, e a tua justiça irá adiante da tua face, e a glória do Senhor será a tua retaguarda. 9 Então clamarás, e o Senhor te responderá; gritarás, e ele dirá: Eis-me aqui; 10 então a tua luz nascerá nas trevas, e a tua escuridão será como o meio-dia. 11 E o Senhor te guiará continuamente.

Eu sei que é um privilégio a jejuar e uma oportunidade sagrada a pagar uma generosa oferta de jejum, porque sei que essas bênçãos são certas.

Em nome de Jesus Cristo, amém