Thursday, December 26, 2013

So this is Christmas ...

You wouldn't believe all the Christmas music I have learned this month... thanks to my companion... #futureMOTABmember... But its great- it makes up for the lack of caroling. It doesn't exist here. I tried to explain to my Brazilian roommates that we wanted to go ``caroling`` and they both started laughing in our faces. Haha ok. It just wasn't meant to be. Gotta let go of these american traditions, I suppose.
MERRY MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS meus entes queridos!!! It definitely is the most wonderful time of the year! 

Thanks for all the Christmas letters by the way! My Zone Leader is getting sick of me I think, haha. He said next to Elder Taylor in our mission, I get the most letters. I am not sure if he is right, but I sure do have the greatest family in the world. That I do know.Hahaha so thanks. You guys are great! Letters help SO much, you have no idea. 

Great week- we did a TON of street contacts as part of a Zone Goal from Tuesday´s meeting. And... Lais was finally baptized. Recap, for those of us who don't remember this little angel: Our zone leaders gave us a reference- a girl who had been going to church in their ward with her boyfriend who is a member there. This girl is Julianna. Anyways, we passed by her house a lot, but she was never home. She works all day every day. But, the girl who always answered the door was her little sister, Lais. So, of course, we started teaching her. In the beginning, she didn't feel ready to be baptized, but we kept teaching her and following up with her progress. Anyways, after we taught her the last lesson, she told us she had dreamed the night before that she needed to be baptized and that the church was true. So, she accepted baptism- and wanted to be baptized as soon as possible.( This was about a month ago- more or less.) Her parents were fine with her being baptized, but wanted her to wait a little longer, and for some strange reason, she refused to tell them about her dream... Then she stopped coming because of the work load at school. But 2 weeks ago she called us and said, I want to come back. We took her to church and in the meeting she said, ``I want to be baptized on Saturday, for my birthday``. We were shocked. But, nevertheless, Saturday, on her birthday, she was baptized and yesterday confirmed in sacrament meeting. SO COOL! 

Sister De Paula hit her 9 month mark on the mission Saturday and I hit mine this Friday... so we took a few funny pictures. I don't actually know why Sister Missionaries take the ``pregnant photos``... and I swore I never would... but... we did. Ha don't freak out. Yes, we are weird, but at least we recognize that right??? 

I read a message by Elder Holland that was written to missionaries and armed forces and whatever other person that is away from home on Christmas. He talked about his first Christmas away from home, that it is one he will never forget because is was the first unselfish Christmas of his life. It is in the Christmas without tinsel, and trees, and trimmings and toys that we learn what Christmas is really about, isn't it? 

I was thinking about the Nativity skit that we do every year....with Mary and Joseph, the shepards, and animals. I was thinking about each role we assign all the cousins. When I was younger, I was always Mary... my brothers shepherds... but we mixed and matched until everyone had a part to play. This year I am not Mary. I am not a shepherd, merely watching. I am not one of the wise- men either, giving gifts or traveling from a far. As missionaries, we have one of the coolest roles of them all, aside from the role of the savior and his sweet mother- we get to be the angel. I never gave much thought to the angel, and in all reality, always forgot about him when assigning roles. But this year, I am the angel- bringing good tidings and great joy to all the earth- the news of the birth of the savior of the world. But its not because I wear a name tag, or because I am far from  home. It is because I am a member of the true church of our living savior. You, too, are a member of that church. And whether you be on a mission, in the army, over land, or sea; whether or not your are ``home for Christmas`` you have a message to share. Though our locations may vary, our message is the same. You too, can be someone´s angel and declare glad tidings of great joy. So my challenge to you this holiday season and forever is to be ``an angel``. Share the gospel with someone this week and this Christmas WILL become one you will never forget. 

I love you all and am grateful for your support. May we all remember why we celebrate this special day and do our best to keep that memory in our hearts every day of the year. Be safe. Be good. Be happy! I love you.

Sister M. Seal


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