(From 12/16/13)

So, I want to start off by giving the one advice I will ever give to any girl who wants to serve a mission or whatever. You definitely NEED to wear skirts that you can run in. Let me tell you whyyyyyy.This week we ran like, a million and a half times. Sometimes from creepy men (the worst part… sometimes they are recent converts! ahh!) sometimes out of random downpours, and sometimes because the elders pulled the MEANEST prank on us, ever. I will start with THAT. So, our water heater had been leaking, and sorry, but I am not a plumber, so I do not know what I am supposed to do with that. We just called and asked the elders who we should call, and Elder Morse goes “wait. what did you just say? your water heater is leaking?” And I am just thinking, well ya… no big deal and he goes, “Sisters. Did you turn off the heat to your house?” and we go no, because why would we. So, Elder Sorensen throws out, “Sisters. Go home. Where are you? You need to turn it off. Your water heater is gonna blow!” And, so I start freaking out. Because, our apartment was going to BLOW up. WHAT? So I am yelling and like, what? And Sister Dumas and I just hang up, turn around and BOOK it. ALL THE WAY BACK TO OUR HOUSE, WHICH WAS UP A MOUNTAIN and like, 15 minutes away. We get there, and the Elders are already there, just laughing. Who is so calculated? I hate them. Also, our water heater still drips… they did not know we should call. I hate them.

So yeah. Lots of running this week: Flowy skirts are my number one. Still. Anyways, this week was pretty good. Sister Dumas and I worked on getting some good meals secured for ol´Natal. We did get our number one and number two pick. But then, through a twist of events that NO ONE saw coming, the Relief Society president accidentally made us give up one of our meals. I am not into it! BUT we will work on Socorro and her family this week. We are gonna try to swing a Brazilian Christmas. Keep your eyes open for THAT hashtag.

So, although Christmas is all about getting meals out of members and stuff, I have really tried this week to focus on the real part of Christmas, Christ. I am ALMOST done with Jesus the Christ, so I have been reading a lot about the life of Christ, which is great. We were having a message with Socorro (which, by the way, means promptings, but she is just this really nice lady from Brazil with three freaking cute kids), and she started talking about how important it is to read the scriptures because you can not really love someone unless you KNOW them, and HOW can we know Christ? By reading about Him. We are given scriptures for our profit and learning, and also to help us grow closer to Christ, by learning about Him and His teachings. So, I have been trying to really study the scriptures while focusing on Christ. Which has it ups and downs because right now I am reading the Old Testament, which we all know only holds the prophecies of Christ, so it is harder to find things about his life in specific. But, I found something really cool that I wanted to share with you all. So, in Genesis, we have the story of Joseph. Now, Joseph was sold into Egypt because of his brothers´ jealousy. While in Egypt, he was first thrown into jail, but afterwards he was living a pretty good life. There was a famine in the land, and he had been given a vision of this BEFOREHAND so he was able to store up much for this famine. So, when his family hears of a man in Egypt with surplus, they go to visit him and see if they can receive something. So, I know what I would do in this situation: tell my brothers to get the heck out of there. But Joseph, in Genesis 45, tells his brothers (after a long process before they find out it is really him) that he knows that this was done for a purpose, for God´s purpose, and because of this, he forgives his brothers. Just like that, they are forgiven. And then today, I was reading in JtheC and I read about when Christ tells Heavenly Father to forgive those who crucified Him. I just thought these are two great examples of forgiveness. Forgiveness is HARD, but we can always know that if Christ was able to forgive those who trespassed against Him, those who betrayed Him and crucified Him, we also can take this example into our own lives and just remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us so much and we can show our appreciation for their love by showing our own love towards others, especially through forgiveness.

Just a little thought. I will get off my soapbox now. But, I want to wish you all a very great one week before Christmas! Have a great time eating cookies, and drinking hot chocolate, and studying for finals (try to not hate that), and also just remember that the greatest way WE can show our love of Christ is by loving others!

coimbra at night
amo voces.

Sister Azevedo