Monday, June 2, 2014

Trekking to Guarabira

CONGRATULATIONS MICHAEL..... Send me a pic of your diploma because I still don’t believe it ;)
To all of you still in school- finish strong. And, happy summer!
This was a great week- they always are, but this one was especially good thanks to the mission conference and Maya´s baptism. Pics... are coming soon.
This week looks great too- tomorrow I have a leadership meeting in Joao Pessoa. (YES- get to see my buddies again and prep up to do the zone training Wednesday- its gonna be great!)
Moving on- let’s talk miracles. Friday night the sisters in Guarabira were needing help so my companion and I decided to travel to their area to help them out. tudo bem. We got the phone call at 5 and decided to leave immediately. But... we obviously didn't think it through very well because little did we know- traveling after 6 pm is stupid, really stupid. Instead of $10 per person, the price shot up to $50 for the both of us ONE way (Taxi prices..pshh.) and honestly, it probably wasn't the safest thing we have ever done, either. Well, you all know me, I am stubborn and REFUSED to pay $50. Ridiculous. Instead, we trekked over to a street corner where drivers pass for a better price. (Uh, yes, basically Brazilian hitch-hiking) but.... no one was passing by. I didn't realize how difficult it is to travel here at night. So, we said a prayer that somehow we could get to Guarabira safely to help the sisters. Just then, a woman showed up, also waiting for a taxi- she asked where we were headed to. Our luck was that she was going to a neighboring city. (good- now we have a travel buddy) then she said, ``You're sisters!`` Music. To. My. Ears. And then said, ``I am Mormon, too!``
She offered, ``You can come with me, my nephew is coming to get me right now.`` After talking for some time, we find out that she has been inactive for a very long time... it was so sweet to hear her sing along with us the words to Nearer My God to Me and other hymns she remembers after so long. But the story gets even better- a friend of hers showed up and started asking us about the church and she so enthusiastically answered all the questions and said, ``come to church with me Sunday, I will take you!`` He accepted her invitation and i was so impressed with this woman and the member missionary she was without even realizing it. Even more impressive was finding out that the reason she was at that street corner was because she had missed her bus from Joao Pessoa. I believe gods hand was in that. Honestly, I see God’s hand in all of it. I cant even count how many prayers were probably answered that night. 
Long story short- we made it to Guarabira and yes, I promise to never do that again.

This morning, too, was one of learning. It was an interesting day at the bank. There were huge lines and one girl decided to cut everybody- joining in with a buddy right in front of me. There was an uproar- everyone began to yell at her- complaining that they´d been waiting in line for an hour and that she had no right to be so selfish.... etc. It was astonishing how quickly they became angry. My companion and I looked at each other, sadly, as they attacked her, calling her an idiot, uneducated blonde. It was appalling. I stood in silence, remembering the video I watched on Tuesday in the mission conference about the Savior. It showed a story of Pharisees and tax collectors. In the movie, the people were screaming at the tax collector, calling him a thief and every other manner of cruel language. Jesus looked at the Pharisee and spoke of prayer. He said, wo unto the hypocrites who pray to God saying, ``Thank you Lord for letting me be better than the sinners in the streets- more holy, more like thee``... on the other hand, Jesus said that Our Father in Heaven is more willing to hear the prayer of the sinner, of the ``tax collector`` who calls to heaven, ``Have mercy on me, Lord, for I know that I am a sinner``. I am not saying who is right and who is wrong in the situation I saw at the bank today. But as the crowd attacked her with hatred and harsh words telling her she was ``wrong`` or that her actions were not ``just or fair`` I thought of Christ. I thought to myself, truly Christ cares little about what is ``just `` or ``fair`` or ``equal``. Christ is much more concerned with mercy...
This is not to condone cutting in line or other uncommon and unnecessary behavior. No. But it is to say, may we be more merciful. May we be more patient with others and their weaknesses for surely god is well aware of them in each of us and knows the path we need to take to overcome them. May we remember God’s mercy towards us even and especially in the moments we least deserve it and may we leave our hypocritical tendencies alone, aside, and far, far away.
This is the message I wish to leave with you today and this week. May we remember the savior in all we do and learn to act as He would is my prayer.  Have a great week. Be safe. ``Be good``- Kim. 
Sister M. Seal

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