It was so great to see your faces and hear your voices!! Here are some pictures from Christmas morning when we went to Cabo Branco, where the sun rises first. We definitely went full tourist for a few hours, bought hats and leite de coco and everything, but hey, it was Christmas :) Don´t get too jealous, but I have the best mission in the world. This place is in my AREA.
So for the second week in a row we didn´t have anyone at church, but it turned out to be exactly what we needed to change what we needed to change. I came into this mission being what we call a ´´Golera´´ or goalee who doesn´t believe in baptizing as quickly as possible as many people as possible. I tried really hard to just be obedient, do what my leaders say and try to understand and one day it just clicked with me and I had the desire to be a ´´Batizadora´´. I still am 100% a believer in baptizing, but I just think it went to far and along the way I forgot exactly what I´m here to do. We did 100 contacts on Monday just to acheive and hit a goal. Out of those 100, not one was elect. It was because we weren´t even looking for elects, we were just looking to hit a number. The way we´ve been doing things, I don´t even know anything about anyone we teach. It made me feel really sick. We were sitting there in sacrament meeting and I just felt so guilty for my lack of charity. So I took a piece of paper, wrote my sins down and after taking the sacrament I ripped it up.
Right after that experience Sister Seal and I talked about what is going wrong and we just recieved a TON of ideas all at once. The Lord really just started helping us again and we decided that instead of telling people why our church is the only true church, we are going to focus more on what they really will get if they go to church. I never stayed in the church because of Joseph Smith, I stayed in it because I know how it has blessed my life and my family. It is true, and I know it by it´s fruits. Everyone needs this gospel in their life, the gospel can help them with anything that they´re struggling with. I can´t believe I´ve lost sight of that. Either way, the reason no one came to church of the 300 we invited was because we had to learn this. And we had to learn this for someone who was waiting for us. That night we went contacting and met Alcicleia, a true elect. We almost abandoned the contact because she wasn´t very firm about going to church this Sunday but then we stayed a little longer and listened. She got married at 15 and suffered a lot in that marriage. She has four kids and her house burned down so she recently moved and left her husband. She spent Christmas without her kids and just wanted someone to listen to her, and was very grateful for us. She says she only wants to look to the future now, she doesn´t have a church but she´s looking for direction in her life. It was seriously the coolest day of my mission. Sometimes God just needs to land you on your bum to tell you that you need to learn something. He does His own work. I´ve been really lost on New Years Resolutions, but now I know the missionary I want to be.
The mission is flying, and I have a feeling that the second I learn how to be a missionary will be the day I go home. Presidente Nogueira just sent an email that we all need a reserve of R$100 for travel so I think tons of people are getting transferred. I still love this area and I love Sister Seal. Our companionship just keeps getting easier and we´re always laughing. It is going to be sooo hard when we get separated, but we both feel it´s coming. I really want to stay here in Prossind. I love my ward, my leaders are like big brothers to me (which it seems I can never get enought of) and I will be devastated when I have to say goodbye to Jaqueline. She is a better missionary that me and Seal combined and really has taught me a lot about loving the people we contact on the street and who we teach. I truly believe she is an angel, and she deserves much happier of a life than she has.
I love you all so much!! Feliz novo ano!!