Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Natal

Dear Tudo,

Merry Christmas.

I will start with a Christmas message that I learned mostly at our Mission Party. 
So we have a lot of stuff.  We have food and family and bodies and houses and everything, but everything we have is from God.  If He wanted, He could take everything from us, just like Job.  There is only one thing that we really have that He can´t take from us. That is our Agency.  In this time of Christmas, and all year, we have so much, and the only thing that we are capible of giving back is the only thing we really have.  Our Agency.  Our choice to put God first.  Our Choice to do the hard stuff and get on our knees frequently, to study the Book of Mormon, to serve those who can´t give back, who are hard to serve.  To try and apply all the principles that Christ taught us.  The only thing we can really give is our hearts, to become completely, tools in the Lord´s hands.  God, if He hadn´t said otherwise, could take our agency and make us do everything to be happy.  This won´t happen, so why not use our agency to choose to let Him do the same thing with our lives.  Let go of the illusion of control and give this Christmas, your heart.
This will be Brief.
This week we didn´t have enough time to work.  We worked monday and tuesday, Wednesday we went to Sao Vicente for the Christmas party.  That was sweet.  It was pouring during the 45 min boat ride, and we were outside under a canopy with some drunks.  Fun.  We chilled with some other missionaries, and stuff until the next morning of the Party.  We had some great spiritual messages from President Oliveria and Pres Monson (video) and ate some great food (lots) and went out in our districts and sang to random people on the street and then came back and reported. It was all around fantastic.  So fantastic that we missed our boat and had to go back the next morning which threw stuff off a little.  So President goes to a Christmas party in every zone.  There is never a meeting with everyone from the mission at the same place.  There is a good chance I will never meet some of the missionaries I am with for 22 months. 

After a lot of time of straight traveling with no food or water, Keven was baptized, then we crashed.  He is a studd. I love him.  The ocean was a bit calmer. 

The next day we had a sweet district meeting (Which was sweet.  My district is the best litterally because we are super tight and work together instead of just kind of being in the same area.  We set some great goals for this transfer) and stuff but lost the whole day as we went to our branch Christmas party which was sweet and had soooooo much food.

Sunday I ate something weird and had a bit of upset stomach, but we ate at the one super strong families house, the Pasquinhas.  Everyone in our branch has been a member for like 6 months or less, except them.  (Used to be) President Pasquinha served a mission back in 94-96 and knows Brother Wright who talked to us before we showed up here.  I asked him about Elder Oaks when he came out and he showed me a picture of him with Elder Oaks and said that Brother Wright took the picture.  Small world.  Anyways, it was incredible.  Maybe my favorite meal the entire time here.  It was awesome. 

Yeah, so that is pretty much it. 
Oh Yeah, Joakina and her 4 kids were supposed to be baptized this week but they didn´t show up at church.  Pray for them.  They should be baptized next week.
Elder Jensen knows what is really up now, and has a very very hard choice to make so pray for him really hard.

Thank you to Aunt Diane.  I got the package.  I am so excited to have pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies.  They are my favorite and you can´t really get any of that stuff here, especially chocolate chips.  Awesome.

Well, I will talk to those of you who live at my house on Wednesday at 11, but those who don´t,
Merry Christmas!  See Spiritual Thought at the Top Again.
Yeah, so that is pretty much it.

Kéven and Otaniel and Us at the Baptism
Me in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a large storm with a bunch of Drunks!

Elder Sampson
Oh, and on the boat coming back (waves were terrible but that isn´t related to anything) I talked with these two cruse ship film makers from Hungary on a German Cruise ship that was stopped in Sao Vicente.  It was sweet.  My favore question was "So do you have any books you would suggest to learn more about this kind of stuff?"  Yes.  Yes I do.
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