Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 23 letter.

This week flew by! Every week here seems faster and faster, I can't believe I only have three weeks left of training ahh.   I am so grateful that I've had sister O as my trainer she has taught me so much. I feel really good about teaching, finding everyone's homes and the language all things I've been praying for since the  first week of my mission. I am so excited to keep learning and studying there are so many wonderful things to know!  I was talking with Sister O this  week about how perfect the missionary schedule is.   We wake up early exercise and study by the time we leave the house I always feel energized by what I studied and I'm excited to teach. I think we have the perfect balance of study and work. I hope I can keep the missionary schedule throughout the rest of my life. I love it so much!

Oh and my birthday was wonderful! I woke up to a beautifully decorated room and a banana cake with 20 candles :) Sister O. doesn't know about my habit of waking up super early on my birthday,  so she was a little tired the rest of the day but it was a great day nonetheless. We got to watch the Christmas devotional which was probably the best present of all. The messages were so beautiful I love the music. I'm glad they don't translate the choir it's good to hear a little English!  I actually don't miss English too much, Portuguese is my language now.

This week was a little different as far as teaching. Tuesday afternoon we left for Fierra to sleep there so we could get to Salvador in time for our meeting. I Love the sisters in Fierra, they are the best!  We woke up at 5am Wednesday morning to catch the bus to Salvador. The meeting was so wonderful!  We got to hear from Pres. and Sr. Hart during the first part and then we had a big lunch (of course) Then elder Leal of the Seventy spoke to us.   He talked to us about not just working hard but working intelligently. I feel grateful for sister O for teaching me so much about that. She is so good at planning the day and using our time wisely. Something else I really like that he said was how the mission isn’t just a time to develop Christ like attributes but also Christ like techniques. He made the point that without techniques the characteristics we develop like love, charity and patients will never reach the people. We need to work each day.  I'm not just studying the life of Christ but truly trying to live as he lived. This is but a short time I get to serve and I've already seen how quickly it goes. I never want to look back and say "what if". I will work my hardest here I will love these people and I will be obedient. This is the beginning of everything in my life, this is just the first chapter:)

Teaching this week was good! Even though it was a shorter week which made it a little harder,  we were able to meet with almost all of our investigators.  The family I told you about last week are doing so great we are just trying to help them get to church now.  I think they will come this Sunday the ward has been great and helping us find new families to teach and we have quite a few this week that will go meet.  I don't know if too many will be home because of Christmas but we shall try.  I'm excited to talk with you guys on Christmas I can't believe it's already that time Christmas Eve is going to be great having dinner at one of my favorite family's house they’re from Uruguay and they all speak perfect English.  Their kids all play the piano and sing so I'm sure it will be an evening filled with music. I'm not sure what all the plans are for Christmas day.  I think we will talk to our families then just visit families in the ward and I investigators it's strange not to be with you guys for Christmas but I'm happy to be here.  I only get this opportunity once in my life and the rest of my Christmas’s(after next year) Will be with you! I have a little family here with the ward and Sister O. and I know it's going to be a wonderful Christmas I love you all so much I will be thinking of you on this special week.  I am so grateful for all the Christmas’s we had together and I am grateful for all that you did to help me be here.  One day we will look back and say,” what happened to the time?” I've already felt that way here.  So let’s make the most of it!   Remember in whom we celebrate this week.  He is our Savior, our redeemer and our best friend.  He will walk with us each moment and we only need to take His hand. He was from the beginning, He who the Father trusted to save this world and he can save each of us. That perfect son born to set us free. Remember him. And when the presents are open and the lights come down you won't feel empty. The spirit of Christmas is not the decorations the parties or even the family gatherings it's a true spirit of Christ he has promised to never leave us. Continue to seek Him. I love you so much!

Love Always

Sister McKenzie

PS read the general conference talks! They are so amazing