Monday, August 25, 2014

"Follow Up"

Bom dia família linda! 
Logan, parabéns on your talk! Sounds like you rocked it, kiddo. No surprise there, you´re an inspiration. LOVE YOU. Sky, I know you did fabulous on yours as well. 
This week was stellar! We had a mission conference. Minha nossa! Of my whole group (all missionaries going home) President chose me to bare my testimony at the conference. It was nerve-racking, but I think it went well! It was really cool. And it was legit to speak with one of my good friends, my old District Leader, Elder Morais.  It was just a great conference. 
The funniest part was in President´s talk. He read Elder Ballard´s talk about the dance where he met his wife and how being a missionary taught him to ``contact and follow up``. Well.... after reading he said, ``That's right Sister Seal, you're going to go home and wait for your `returned missionary`. Someone is going to come around who is going to `contact and follow up` with you!" I was so embarrassed- everyone laughed so hard. Ridiculous- there are 12 other people going home with me and he totally singled me out. HAHAHAHA it was hilarious. BRIGHT RED was the color of my face. 
Other cute story- we found a really special family Saturday. There is an 11-year-old boy who asks so many questions. He is darling. He asked me if i play soccer (uhhhhhhhh, no folks, not going to lie i dont! hahaha). I told him we were going to have a 1-on-1 match. I said, ``If I win you are coming to church with me (luckily he already wanted to go)``. And he said, ´´Fine, but if I win, you cant go home to your country, you have to stay here with us...`` He was so devastated when he found out I go home 3 weeks from now. Ugggggghhhhhh, I am not ready to go home. I LOVE THIS PLACE.

Just a good week:) And... I found my ``fuel`` in Isaiah this week (who´d have thought). 40:31, ``But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with winds as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall run and not faint.`` I know God can at all times renew the strength we may feel we have lost... I have felt that strength in the times I needed it most. And lucky for all of us- this promise doesnt just apply to missionaries- but to all of God´s special children. And I only know special people so without any doubt this verse is for YOU. Trust him. Pray for strength and you will receive it. Prove the truth of the promise in the book of James like the prophet Joseph and see the miracles happen in your life. 
I love you all so so so much. Don't worry- I am working. Excited as heck to see y'all 3 weeks from now (stop counting, Mom ;) ) but I am working! 
Praying for you. Love you. Have a great week. Be nice. ´´Be good,`` said Kim.

Sis M Seal

Monday, August 18, 2014

Doing well now...

This week was interesting.... stayed home sick but we are all doing well now. 

We had 2 baptisms this week: José Francisco and Joselito. The greatest miracle was seeing them Sunday morning already on their way to church alone! They walked together to be confirmed in sacrament meeting. It was the most beautiful thing ever! I couldnt believe it! No one dos that here. Just another one the tender mercies of the Lord. 

We are doing great! Don't have too much to say because, as I already said, I stayed home all week. 

This week, we have a mission tour- ahhhhhhhhhh, I have to bear my testimony for my group (because we´re all headed home). It will be good. :)

I love you all SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much! Have a great week! Until next Monday!


Sister M. Seal

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Skylar!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SKYLAR!!!!!!!!!! We will definitely be celebrating 5 weeks from now. :) Hope you are ready to go to Cafe Rio AGAIN, guria!

This was easily one of the best weeks of my mission. Seriously. The miracles we saw brought me to tears and then to my knees, not knowing to do anything but pray in gratitude. We had 3 baptisms this week: Lourdes, José Miguel, and Ednaldo. 

Lourdes asked to be baptized Thursday morning. So, bright and early (new vocabulary for me, folks) we show up at her door. Problem: No one is home. I was a little let down, but I thought to myself, ``I am not going to get upset or stressed out... God has a plan in all things, and most of the time, the only reason we face difficulties is so we can prove to him that we know who is really in charge.`` So, I decided to smile and say a prayer that somehow we would find her on our way back to the church. I couldn't believe it. As we turned on to the next road, less than 20 seconds later, she is the first person we see! We hug her as she says, ``I waited and waited and waited for you guys to show up... and then gave up and went out to run errands.`` I then asked what she was planning to do next,  and she said, ``well, I'm going to put this bag in my house and then you guys are going to take me to the church.`` So, we took her to church, and it was one of the coolest baptisms of my mission. We were having a zone meeting there- so the entire zone participated in this baptism. It was really sweet!

José Miguel is just an angel. Thursday night he said he 1) read the BOM chapter we marked 2) didn't drink coffee (he had given us all the coffee and cigarettes the night before) and 3) went to the store to buy gum and candy INSTEAD OF CIGARETTES to help him with his addiction.... AHHHHHHH. I couldn't believe it! He is a miracle man and he makes me laugh SO hard. 

Sunday was another special day... we had a lot of investigators in church. I really believe its because we made a few changes in our morning and Sunday routine to be obedient. And honestly, reason #1 for it all is just frankly because Heavenly Father is SO good to us. I was so humbled by all of the blessings I saw this week. I am seriously just LOVING life. 

2 scriptures I wanted to share: ``But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him`` (1 COR 2:9). If the promised blessings seem far away...if they seem to come to those around you but skip your door, remember that if you love the Lord, you will receive those blessings- every one of them, in the Lord´s timing. And ``How great shall be your joy``. And the way we show love is through service and obedience... So as we serve, and as we remain obedient (always) we qualify for those promises. Don't forget that. :)

Another favorite, ``Fear not, little ones. For you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; and none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost`` (D&C 50:41-42). Don't be afraid of the future, because surely the past is proof that God never leaves us. We will never sink so far that He cannot find us and lift us up. The promise is that we are in His hands. So if you feel a bit shaken, hold on a little tighter. And as we cling tighter to him, he clings a little tighter to us. 

Wonderful week to you all-may we all recognize the blessings that fall from the heavens, daily, hourly, and in every moment. He LOVES us. That's the greatest news of today. That's the greatest news of any day, really. So, lets smile about that :)

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! May each of you have the wonderful week that you deserve, and good luck to those of you headed back to school! 

Sister Seal

PS Photos coming soon...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The beginning of the end...

I cant believe how fast its gone by... It was quite a shock to open my email this morning to my travel plans. I guess I thought I was never going to leave... It hadn't really sunk it yet. Honestly, I'm not sure its going to sink in until a week of waking up back home. 

Nothing new happened this transfer- everything is going to stay the same. That's a blessing. I don't have to worry about changes- I can keep focused on the work.

It was a good week this week. Cant believe its August. School starting up soon. HA!

My thoughts today are turned back to a quote I heard long before my mission, “Everything will be okay in the end. If its not okay, its not the end.” I don't know who exactly needed to hear that message today, but know that God is watching over you. He loves you. And in God´s plan, there are only happy endings. Remember that in this life, we are only living Act 2 of the play... and in Act 2, well, that's where everything goes wrong, isn't it.. ha it helps me remember that this life isn't a fairytale, its a test of patience and faith. But if we are obedient, we will see that happy ending- the kind that never ends.

I am doing really well... I know its hard to tell because I don’t write much, like I used to... I think its a sign of aging, which scares me. Hahaha I think my memory is going bad. Ha whats worse is that I cant say my journal is looking any better. 

I forgot to mention that we had interviews with President last week which went really, really well. President said, “Sister, you should be so proud of the missionary that you are. Even though you have 6 weeks left, you can safely say already that you have completed your mission here, an incredible mission here and Heavenly Father is really proud of you. You should know that your work here was not merely the salvation of your investigators (those you taught) but you have also saved missionaries here...” It was really difficult not to cry when he said that. I don't really think I agree with him... but promised blessings from leaders always make me want to try harder, give a little more, and stick it out a little longer. 

I am amazed by the simplicity of the gospel and the joy that comes through repentance and change. If for nothing else, my mission has been incredible to me because it was here that I learned to understand the sacrifice that our beloved savior made. And it was here that I learned to love him more deeply- to the point of tears each time I testify of His sacred name. In whatever lesson we´re in, if I look too long at His picture or think too deeply about what He did, something deep in my soul cries out, catching in my throat and bringing tears to my eyes. I know my Savior lives. 

All the things I doubted as a teenager have become concepts I´ve come to love and recognize as eternal truths. I LOVE the gospel. I LOVE my family. I LOVE my life and I LOVE my savior. Really, God has been good to me and I love Him and am so grateful for His patience with me because I am very weak and rebellious at times... But, I am trying. And every desire of my being is to be who He wants me to be. I recognize repentance as a very change in nature, in desire, in purpose, in future. 

Christ is everything. God gives us everything, if we but ask, and even in the times we don't...

I love you all. Thank you too, for your patience with me and my weaknesses. Thank you for the support you have given to me thus far, and know that it is my every desire to make the most of these last 6 weeks- to give it all, every last ounce of energy, drop of sweat or blood...every last tear and every last step. I´m all in until its game over and then the game begins again. Missions don't ever end... they just ``alter a bit``... We all have a mission, and what a glorious opportunity it is to find the one specifically designed for each one of us. 

I hope you have a wonderful week. I love you all. God be with you till we meet again.

With all my love, 
SIster M. Seal