Monday, July 8, 2013

Puddles Everywhere & Thank You PORTLAND!

Hello everybody!!

So you know in the movies, when its raining, huge puddles everywhere,
and a bus passes by a little too quickly, completely drenching the
silly girl who was walking a little too close to the road...Guess
what! This ACTUALLY happens. And another thing, it's not fun. But hey!
Don't take my word for it- try it sometime! ;)

This week was pretty good- but also a little slow. We had a lot of
good lessons and picked up some great investigators. But,
unfortunately, we only had one investigator at church- Emanuele and
her 2 adorable kids. Want to hear the excuse of the week? For 8/10
investigators that promised to be at sacrament meeting, it went down
something like this: 1) We clap at the door 2) Family answers the
door  3) we ask for _____ and 4) family member says ``they're
sleeping``.... wait, like what? Bummer! Ha - I figure if I have to be up
at 6:30 every morning, my investigators should definitely be up by
8:30 for church on Sunday mornings, right? Haha oh well, next week
will be better! And I still love them all anyway. It's hard to not love

Tomorrow is going to be great! We are meeting our new Mission
President which will be awesome! And my companion and I are eating at
a pizza buffet. No Dominos in town, but a pizza buffet sounds pretty
good to me!

This week should be good too- we have a lot of investigators that we
are preparing to be baptized this month. The only problem for most of
them is that they need to come to church first. But we are excited,
and our investigators are awesome!

Now I am going to answer some of the questions I got this week: Yes,
the cat is gone! Wahooo! The glass on the back door is fixed.

Language is coming along. I understand more and more each
day- but it is still really hard. Funny story: I was reading a
scripture at a lesson Saturday night and a little boy, Paulo asked me
if I am Italian. Apparently sometimes I have an italian accent? Don't
know how I managed that since I've never spoken a word of Italian in my
life! Haha and yes, ALL THE TIME, people ask me if Spanish is my
native language. Ha - Katie will like this- a lot of people here (before
they hear me speak, I'm sure) think I'm Brazilian- just from the south
because I am so pale.

Food is AMAZING. You would think rice and beans every day would get
old- but it doesn't! Everyone makes it a little differently here, and
every day it just gets better and better! My only complaint is still:
No peanut butter. But, I will live. I still have a jar left, I guess.
Hahaha! Walking all day is really good! We need it because the members
make us eat so much!

Our apartment.... we do our best to clean it - but spiders, mosquitos,
and now cockroaches are inevitable, I'm afraid. Haha it's fine- I'm over
it. But I guess the question was probably in regards to the damage
done by the elders before us. Yes, we have it under control now! Haha
I didn't realize just how good I had it in Oregon!

Speaking of Oregon - I miss the members and investigators there all the
time. I love them, and I always will. They were and forever will be
special to me - and I will never forget them. I know WITHOUT any doubt
whatsoever that I was supposed to go to Oregon, and I am grateful
everyday for the time I was blessed with there, and for the amazing
people I met. I really believe Oregon was just as much MY mission as
Brazil - even if I didn't see it that way in the beginning, that is the
ONLY way I see it now. I still pray for the people I know and love
there, and hope to one day see them again.

Cool scripture I found in PS yesterday: Isaiah 35:3-4, ``Strengthen ye
the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of
a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with
vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.``
Shout out to my beautiful mother: I know you won't want any
recognition, Mom. But, this scripture reminds me of you and the
missionary opportunity you had this week. I am SO proud of you and I
love you. Thanks for being a great example and missionary. Anyways,
back to the verse, I really love it! It is amazing to think we have a
Savior, Jesus Christ. We don't have to wonder whether He will come
again, whether hw will take away all the heartache in the world by
undoing all the wrong. We dont have to wonder whether He will save us.
He already has, and He will!

Here in Brazil, of course the people we find are different - unique.
They come from different backgrounds, families, homes, and
experiences. But a lot of them have something in common: they want to
be happy. They want peace, but they don't know how to find it. All the
investigators we teach come from 1) referrals and 2) street
contacting- people sitting on a curb outside their house- waiting for
something..looking for something. For what? Who knows! I don't even
think THEY know... but I know. They want something better, more
meaningful, change! Perhaps they want peace or hope or something
actually worth living for. Maybe they want to be inspired or loved?
The Gospel is all of that. It offers meaning, it offers a chance to
have a quality life. 

So what is a quality life? M. Russell Ballard
describes as follows, ``The quality of our lives. It's an interesting
phrase. I suspect most people think of this concept in terms of the
comforts and conveniences they enjoy. But I prefer to think that the
quality of our lives has more to do with substance than style. A
quality life is one that positively influences others and makes the
world around it a better place to live. A quality life is one that is
constantly growing, expanding its horizons and enlarging its borders.
A quality life is one that is filled with love and loyalty, patience
and perseverance, kindness and compassion. A quality life is one that
is based on eternal potential and not confined to this life only. A
quality life is a life well-lived.`` So.. how do we get one? Simply:
Through the gospel, through Jesus Christ. That's why the message we
have to share with the world is SO cool. Because nothing else in the
world is ever going to bring that kind of happiness. We are so blessed
to have perspective in our lives. And not just perspective, but
ETERNAL perspective.

Anyways, that is my thought this week. And I really hope this week was
a great one for each and every one of you! I hope you had a fantastic
4th of July (and that there were no fires in Alpine this year... ha). 

I love you and pray that God may bless you with every blessing you stand
in need of. Have a wonderful day! Smile! 

Astonish somebody with kindness, eh?

Sister Seal

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