I can´t believe another Christmas is already here! I have so much to write today but don´t know if I will have enough time. To start off, we had Christmas Conference on Wednesday and it was wonderful!! We had the privilege of having Lex de Azevedo speak to us and then play piano. I would be lying if I said I knew who he was before the conference, but he is a pretty famous pianist (Google his name). He is married to a Brazilian and currently living here in DF. His mission stories were so funny and when he played the piano he was hilarious. He decided we should sing Christmas hymns but then after playing two, changed his mind and decided we should sing Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells. So there we were, 150 missionaries from various countries singing Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells (in a Samba style) in English. That is a scene that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was sitting on the stand, too, because I was in the choir so I got to see the faces of all the missionaries smiling, stumbling through the words, and laughing. To end his time, Lex played Silent Night (Noite Feliz because we sang in Portuguese) and it made me sad to realize this is the only Christmas conference I will have as a full-time missionary here in Brasília. I was grateful for the Spirit that we felt in the Conference and the messages we heard.
After the spiritual part of the mission conference we had lunch and then had a talent show. It was so funny to watch the missionaries still be missionaries but have the appearance of normal people. I hope that made sense haha. I got to see all of my former companions (only Sister Victorio was missing because she already went home) and missionaries from previous zones and districts. I also saw Elder Anderson and Elder Lant and took a picture with them because it had been almost exactly a year since we all met in the MTC! At the end of the Conference, our Christmas gift from President and Sister Gaertner was a box of Oreos. I haven´t had Oreos since the plane ride down to Brasil nine months ago. They were delicious (no, the whole box isn´t gone, yet).
The day after conference was my 1 year anniversary in the mission. It was a very bittersweet day because I realized I only have 6 more months to be a missionary. I was happy for the time I have spent in the mission but I felt this cloud hanging over me because the mission is now 2/3 of the way done. I am excited to go home and see my family, obviously, but to think about the day I have to hang up my tag and return to normal life is daunting. I am just going to do my best to appreciate these next 6 months!
I read my journal that I started in the plane to the MTC and realized two things: 1. my English vocabulary is now significantly smaller and 2. I have changed a lot. Since Thursday I have been reflecting a lot about who I have become, what I have done, what´s changed, what´s stayed the same, and where I hope to be when I am back in a plane on my way home.
|Sister Bojorquez, Sister Barbosa and I today in JK Shopping. We aren´t allowed to go into shopping malls but we got permission so we could take Sister Barbosa to McDonalds for her birthday today. We saw Santa there, too :)|
|Rain yesterday...the streets were flooding!|