I hope everybody had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Of course mine was great because I got to Skype with my family :) It is weird to think I will see all of them in 6 months.
Christmas in Brasil was very different from Christmas in the states, as you would probably imagine. Here the Christmas celebration is more like New Year´s Eve....at midnight they light fireworks and there is loud music playing all night. The real Christmas celebration takes place on the 24th with dinner, fireworks, opening presents at midnight, etc. So for Sister Barbosa and Sister Bojorquez they felt like Christmas was on the 24th and for Sister Jackson and I we felt like it was on the 25th. We didn´t do anything for the 24th. A member invited us over but we were all super tired and decided to stay in. All of the grocery stores had closed so we found an open bakery, bought a freezer pizza and salgados, went home and watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration for our Christmas celebration haha.
The 25th was much better because we Skyped with our families!! Woo hoo. We ate lunch with Irmã Araceli and her family (they are a perfect family...they help us with everything we need!) and then Skyped at her sister´s house. It was so awesome to see my family and hear their voices. Of course 40 minutes when you´re talking to your family feels like only 10! It passed way too quickly.
The rest of the week went well. Oh yeah, I finished the New Testament in Portuguese on Tuesday morning! I completed my goal of finishing the New Testament before Christmas :) That made me happy.
Next week we have transfers and I honestly don´t know if I will stay or go. I don´t know if I am really hoping for one thing or another either. I am happy here, but this transfer has been weird because of the holidays. A lot of members have been out of town so we haven´t really gotten too close with the ward. For the members that we are close with, they are wonderful. There are two families in particular that are such an example for me. When I have a family someday I hope to put in practice some of the things I have seen and learned here.
Yesterday the stake president talked about goals and enduring to the end. He started his talk by saying, "Today is Sunday, December 29th and all of you are here in church.December 29, 2019 is also a Sunday. Where do you picture yourselves at 9am? December 29, 2024 is also a Sunday. Where do you picture yourselves at 9am?" and he continued until after 2100. He said if we are imagining ourselves in church at 9am on those Sundays that is the first step in enduring to the end. Nobody makes a plan to fall away but sometimes it happens. He said we need to always have a goal to endure to the end and that happens daily.
All of the talks and lessons in church were about making goals. I need to make some goals for 2014. Reviewing my goals from 2013 I realized I got a lot better in some aspects and others might need to carry over to this next year. I hope all of you make goals and are able to take them one day at a time. In one year from now you can look back and re-evaluate. Don´t be discouraged if you didn´t complete everything you wanted in 2013. And don´t wait for January 1st each year to review and revise. We can change any day of the year, we can make goals for the better no matter what season it is.
I hope all of you have a great start to 2014! Love and miss you all!