Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!
I hope your Christmas was marvelous! I sure LOVED talking to my sweet family. Hahaha the member I was with, Romualdo, said I am a crybaby. Whatever.
Some Christmas traditions in Brazil.
1. They have a huge dinner Christmas Eve. AT MIDNIGHT. See Skylar.... its not strange to celebrate Christmas at midnight Christmas Eve. :)
2. Christmas morning isnt actually a huge deal. Thats sinful, but its fine.
3. Santa doesnt really do ``coal`` here... Or stockings. Maybe because there are no chimneys?
Overall, Christmas is just really different here- but the idea is the same worldwide- its the birth of our savior that is important.
Talking with you all was the best gift of the year. I miss you guys but am so happy to know you are all doing well. I LOVE YOU.
This was a great week. Monday my companion and I set a goal to do 100 street contacts... who is doubting us right now? Cuz we DID IT! YES! It was exhausting- but super cool!. Tuesday night we watched Joy to the World (great film- you should watch it if you havent) and then ate dinner at 8 pm at a member's house. Suuuuper yummy.
Wednesday we went to the beach- kind of. (With Jaqueline and Romualdo). We were actually on this mountain above the beach- great views. And.... I got burnt- like crazy. Valeu- it was legit. Hope you enjoyed the photos. We had a blast! It is supposedly the farthest eastern part of Brazil- where the sunrises first. But, you know me- I am not the girl to get up at 4 o clock in the morning to watch the sun 6:30 it was. De qualquer jeito, it was still cool.
Thursday I had the best lunch of my existence. I never even liked Chinese food that much- but I seriously almost died when we went to Novo Oriente with a member family. Maybe it's because we eat the same thing every day, and the change almost blew my mind. But seriously... soy sauce never tasted so good. Yep- didn't even like soy sauce before either. Ha! Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Merry, merry, merry Christmas.
Sunday we found a few really cool new investigators and I will let you know how that goes. This week looks pretty good too.. Transfer is coming to an end, so we are trying to make the most of every minute.

Well, tomorrow is the last day of the year, and I can't believe how quickly 2013 passed. My mind is focused always on change here in the mission field- but these last few weeks, now more than ever with a new year and a new start around the corner. I thought about how far I have already come here on the mission- my mission is already halfway over- but then I remembered how far I still need to go. I have a lot left to learn... but one thing I have learned is that we can't look back and say, ``look at all the incredible things I did in my life or last year or yesterday`` and then give up. It is our charge to improve every single day. It's like the talk from the last conference by Edward Dube ``Look ahead and Believe``. He said, ``Our Savior, Jesus Christ, who sees from the begining to the end, knew very well the rad He would travel to Gethsemane and Golgotha when He proclaimed, ``No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kigdom of God (Luke 9:62). In the sight of the Lord, it is not so much what we have done or where we have been but mch more where we are willing to go.`` So if 2013 was rough, this is your chance for change. If 2013 was great, FANTASTIC! Now, what are you going to do to make this next one even better? And... if you give up on resolutions that hang in our mind until the first week in february, give it another chance and remember that the only realy change comes through the atonement. Focus on the things that matter most- internal changes were always more important than external. Always remember that if we have faith- no matter how difficult the task, we can change any part of us that doesnt make us happy. *See Mosiah 5:7 and Alma 5:12-14, 26. (Ran out of time, cant type it out, sorry).
Well, this is a wonderful time of year, isnt it? I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. I truly love you all and wish for your best interest. Praying for you. Love you! Be safe. Have a wonderful week.

Sister M. Seal

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