Monday, March 31, 2014


I can’t believe it.....March is over. Time won’t stop! But, the good news is: GENERAL CONFERENCE IS FINALLY HERE!!! Yes, I have a paper chain in my bedroom, a countdown on my phone, and it circled in bold colors on ALL of my calendars. I don’t think anyone really realizes how excited I am... muahahaha. Stoked. And my request to all of you is that each of you sends me just one quote- (at least) your favorite quote from this conference. Deal? I’m not actually offering anything in return, but know that it will probably result in blessings pronounced upon your head. :)
Speaking of time flying- next week is transfers again. You know the drill. And, we all know I only have 2 months here, so 5 more to go- I will probably stay. Hallelujah- this area is my mission GOLD MINE- we are baptizing weekly here, so I have NO complaints and NO desire to leave. 
I forgot to mention awhile back that I switched companions in the middle of the transfer (well, one week in, actually). You see... we are living with another companionship that didn’t get along too well- and it was hurting our whole district here. (In all reality- the girl is just struggling a lot here on the mission, and it’s been hard on all of her companions) So, I emailed Pres and offered to switch. He called me up the next day and the rest is history. But- companionships are what you make of them, you know. That’s an idea we ALL can learn from, and quite honestly her past is her past and I only care about her future. We are getting along very well and everything is going smoothly. No more problems. Lessons learned: love your companion for who they can become, everything is what YOU make of it. 2 people with the same situation will act very differently- lets choose the way Christ would react. Attitude is everything. Perspective is everything, so let’s keep ours eternal. 
We had 2 miracle baptisms this week- Ana and her daughter Nina. It was amazing. Ana struggles with depression and just wants to be cured. Depression is a soft spot for me these days and thus, I am quite motivated to help her find her cure- the Savior, the Gospel. 
My message today is from Katie Bean. She sent me a stellar talk on the atonement- I was blown away, and have to share. Group companion study?
She didn’t send me the title, but it’s by Neal A. Maxwell. I am not going to type it all out, and it probably won’t make much sense altogether, but I am going to share some of the highlights- my favorite ideas from his message. He said, "There are also our customized trials such as experiencing illness, aloneness, persecution, betrayal, irony, poverty, false witness, unreciprocated love, etc. If endured well now, all these things can be for our good and can greatly enlarge the soul, including an enlarged capacity for joy. Meek suffering often does the excavating necessary for the enlarging.
“Special guidance is found in His instructive, personalized words about the Atonement. As He began to feel the awful weight of the approaching Atonement, Jesus acknowledged, ‘for this cause came I into the world’. We too, brothers and sisters, came into the world to pass through our particularized portions of mortal existence. Even though our experiences do not even begin to approach our Master´s, nevertheless, to undergo this mortal experience is why we too are here! ...Moreover, partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus. ... Some ‘why me’ questions would be much better as ‘what’ questions, such as, “what is required of me now?”
“...yes, we need the essential ordinances, but we also need the essential attributes. Yes, we need to keep our covenants, but we also need to develop our character.” 
And finally, Dallin H. Oaks said, “The final judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts- what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts- what we have become.”
I testify that all he said is true. We need to understand the atonement more and more each day if we want to stand before God at the last day and know we have been changed by His grace and mercy. Studying His life and love has brought me so much peace in a world that only offers misery. I promise it will do the same for you.
Thank you for your support and love. I received a bunch of letters this week- and I read every one of them with SO much gratitude. I know I am AWFUL at writing back- but I hope you know the difference you make. Your letters are very helpful to me- appreciated more than you´ll ever know. Don’t give up on me, please. 

I love you all so much. Until
 next Wednesday. Pray everything goes according the Lord´s will, and know that I pray for you all as well-daily. Be safe. ``Be good``- Kim. Haha :) LOVE YOU! 

Sister M. Seal

Monday, March 24, 2014

One Year!

Happy Birthday Friday, Michael! 18- you are old, kid. And... Happy birthday tomorrow, Holly :) Hope it is a wonderful one!

Gente. This week makes 1 year that I left home-headed for who knows what, know one really knew (at least I didn't). I can honestly say, looking back on this year that it has been one of tears-happy and sad. Its had its ups and downs. But, I wouldn't trade a minute of it, I wouldn't change any of it. It wasn't necessarily all I thought it would be, but it has been everything that I needed it to be, and I am SO grateful to be a missionary, and very much am looking forward to these next 6 months. Like a sister from my MTC district said, “We are going to finish our missions RUNNING!” And we will.

Ok, it was a good week, as always. My message today is on mercy. I have never read a more beautiful talk on the subject than the one by Uchtdorf. I’m just going to share some of the highlights. Dad will like that, it’s the “Driver´s personality version”. 

“Strained and broken relationships are as old as humankind itself. Ancient Cain was the first who allowed the cancer of bitterness and malice to canker his heart... since those first days, the spirit of envy and hatred has led to some of the most tragic stories in history... I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge. Perhaps there are even times when we recognize this spirit in ourselves...

“...but when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. Though we cannot look into another’s heart, we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel tat in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt...refusing to forgive is a grievous sin- one the savior warned against.”

Uchtdorf’s bottom line was, “STOP IT” It’s that simple. 

“...We must recognize that we are all imperfect-that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy-to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?

“Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven?... Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones. Let us be kind. Let us forgive. Let us talk peacefully with each other.``

And my FAVORITE part of the entire talk, ``Brothers and sisters, there is enough heartache and sorrow in this life without our adding to it with our own stubbornness, bitterness, and resentment.``

Go back. Read it again, please. And again and again--however many times it takes you until you're ready to “put down your stones”. We didn’t come here to fight. 

“We are not perfect. The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life, it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go our of grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn to let go of such things. That is the Lord´s way.

“Remember Heaven is filled with those who have this in common: they are forgiven and they FORGIVE.  Lay your burdens at the saviors feet. Let go of judgment.  Allow Christ’s atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another. The merciful will obtain mercy.``

Okay, so it wasn’t actually the readers digest-but I tried. I’m long-winded, you know. 

LOVE YOU GUYS. Have a great week. Lets all try to be a little more merciful and compassionate this week and it will do us all a lot of good. Be safe. Be good.

Love, Sister M. Seal

Photos-I wash dishes every day at the members house... They say I’m good-I wash like a Brazilian! Ha! But the photo is because of the cute apron. Hope grandma wants to help me make one just like it when i get home??? :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week of Many Miracles

Bom dia.
My heart is full of so much gratitude for the miracles I have seen and heard of this week. The first and greatest of all, being the most amazing story I ever heard from Conner. That is one I will keep tucked away in my journal forever. Conner, I hope you know that I could NOT IN ANY WAY OR EVER be more proud of you. Who you are, are becoming, and who you have always been. You are a rockstar- and I have learned a lot from you. Keep it up, kid, and the Lord will bless you forever.
This week Joseane was baptized (the sister of the man that was baptized 2 weeks ago). It was really sweet. All week we have been studying and praying for ``desire``.  Joseane wouldn't stop hugging us, and with tears in her eyes, she said several times, ``I feel free.`` That moment changed me- and little by little I am seeing just how much the world NEEDS this. They don’t even know what they are missing…but once we show them- their lives fill with the sweetest joy, and in turn, our lives too.
Tuesday my district leader asked Sister Augusta and I to give the training/lesson. He asked that we teach the Plan of Salvation. It was incredible- and only one or two stubborn elders with dry eyes in the room. The Plan of Salvation encompasses the fulness of the gospel-it’s what we have and what we know that the world has lost, ``because they know not where to find it`` as the scripture says. Please don’t take the knowledge you have for granted. I am really grateful for the opportunity I had to learn more about God´s plan for us- and our role here on earth in the execution of that plan. We have a lot to do-so lets get to work.
Friday we had another training-the assistants. They talked about desire (YES!) and it was really cool! They way we become more motivated is through obedience, prayer, fasting, and diligence. These 4 things are KEY.
Well, we starting tracting this week-first time in my mission since Oregon.. Let me tell you, I didn't miss it. It is a request directly from President Nogueira-to tract out the areas closest to the chapel to do a “clean sweep”, if you will, of our area and make sure everyone is hearing our message. We have found a few really great investigators already, and as this is a question of obedience and diligence, we know many blessings will be granted.
My message today comes from Sister Linda Reeves, “Claim the Blessings of Your Covenants”. She used a really profound analogy similar to the idea of clay in the hands of the potter. She said, “Almost 3 years ago a devastating fire gutted the interior of the beloved, historic tabernacle in Provo, Utah. Its loss was deemed a great tragedy by both the community and Church members. Many wondered, “Why did the Lord let this happen? Surely He could have prevented or stopped its destruction.”
Ten months later, during the Oct 2011 general conference, there was an audible gasp when Pres. Monson announced that the nearly destroyed tabernacle was to become a holy temple- a house of the Lord! Suddenly we could see what the Lord had always known! He didn't cause the fire, but He allowed to fire to strip away the interior. He saw the tabernacle as a magnificent temple- a permanent home for making sacred, eternal  covenants.
My dear brothers and sisters, the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity. We have seen the lives of loved ones- and maybe our own-figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen. But He does not leave us in the ashes, He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him. He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His spirit can dwell eternally.
In Doctrine and Covenants 58:3-4, the Lord tells us: `Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come here after, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Where fore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory.´
I testify that the Lord has a plan for each of our lives. Nothing that happens is a shock or a surprise to Him. He is all-knowing and all-loving. He is eager to help us, to comfort us, and to ease our pain as we rely on the power of the Atonement and honor our covenants. The trials and tribulation that we experience may be the very things that guide us to come unto Him and cling to our covenants so that we might return to His presence and receive all that the Father hath.``
I testify to all that she said, recognizing that it can be easier ``said than done``.  That is where prayer, patience, and faith come in. I really don’t believe God changes our circumstances-Ive said that before.  But, I know that prayer is enabling. The atonement is enabling. When we pray for strength to change our own circumstances, that is when we find power. That is when we find strength. Instead of asking God to fix things for us, lets pray to Him, asking humbly that we might find the strength through the grace of His son to LEARN to fix things with His hand and help.

I love you all and pray for you daily. I pray for your health. For your safety and for your success. Above all, I pray for your happiness-but happiness only comes through living the gospel the way it is meant to be lived. Your life is as simply as you make it- nothing is out of God´s control. This week, my challenge for each of us is to take a step back and look at things with a new perspective. Let’s try to simplify the challenges and circumstances in our lives-bit by bit and day by day and I promise you things will become easier-your burdens will be lifted. Eternal perspective is key. Aside from the building of God´s kingdom, NOTHING is THAT important. And God cares MOST for the things which pertain to His kingdom, He is always in control, so even in that aspect-we should not feel overwhelmed. By living simple lives, people will be drawn to our examples, and we can then help others to live their lives in a way that is a little more simple, too.

I hope you have a wonderful week. I love you all. Please be safe and take care of one another.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


This week was carnaval- we couldn’t find computers... that’s my excuse for the 3 day delay. Sorry!
Great week. We had two baptisms this Sunday! WHOOT! And, the other photo is of my two future missionaries. Ha! Yes, we have another baptism this Sunday. It will be wonderful; it’s actually the sister of the boy that was baptized last Sunday- love working with families. :)
We had a zone meeting this morning- love my zone. That’s the group pic I sent. 
I am going to start writing to missionties to get letters to you all faster. THANKS FOR THE LETTERS I GOT TODAY!!! Papa and Grandma, Oma, Kim, Katie, Holly and her wonderful family (loved the pictures too!!!) and Mom. Thanks guys!
My message today is one I need to learn from.

``We´ve all felt anger. It can come when things don’t turn out the way we want. It might be a reaction to something which is said of us or to us. We may experience it when people don’t behave the way we want them to behave. Perhaps it comes when we have to wait for something longer than we expected. We might feel angry when others can’t see things from our perspective. There seems to be countless possible reasons for anger. But…To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan.  No one can make us angry.  It is our choice.  If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. Anger is Satan´s tool. Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing but it can destroy everything.”
Kim’s questions?
I got from Prossind to Guarabira by bus. They have a cool bus system here...
Our branch is awesome, but small. The building is beautiful and normal looking.
Our area is all hills and green and horses. It looks like one of the boys´ video games- or Skylars :) It’s mostly houses and not so many apartments, but we live in an apartment.
I am living 15 minutes from the church- it’s in the center of Guarabira- it’s a great place. Close to Acaí shops (delicious). 
I don’t have a good permanent address yet... the mail system for this apartment is strange... but we will work on it. 
My companion is still Sister Mingledorff. she is from georgia. She has 8 months on the mission but I finished her training last transfer. She is super sweet. I like her a lot.
Gotta go- gotta be obedient. Have a great week.

Love you!