Happy New Year, Fam! I think we all get busier during the Holidays...I know I've been busy as a missionary, just in a different way. And now It's 2014! I can't believe another year of my life is going by yet again, so fast. I hope everyone made new year's resolutions after they looked at last year's resolutions and recommitted themselves to make a new year's resolution. :) Ok though, if we are being honest, no one really keeps those right? Or is it just me? Maybe I'm the only one that needs to learn how to make and keep goals.
This year New Year's Eve was just a little different. Filipino food, listening to horns for 2 hours, along with karaoke GALORE and fireworks. Yep, Filipinos really know how to put on a New Year's Eve party, probably better than Times Square. Even though I didn't get to watch the famous ball drop on TV, hit pots and pans with a giant spoon, and run around acting like a fool yelling "Happy New Year", I got to eat some really good Filipino dishes, and feel thankful for being a missionary, starting a new year over and giving my heart to Christ. I think that's what New Year's is all about anyway, being more committed to live the Gospel we all believe.
This week we had a baptism from the other Sisters here in San Jose! Perfect opportunity for:
A) Progressing investigators
B) Sister Missionaries singing a musical number they didn't know they were doing, and
C) Your beloved mission president there to watch
Yep, we whipped out a pretty good version of "Come Thou Fount" in a matter of minutes. Success. Sister Missionaries at it again!
Something Spiritual that's been on my mind: Why do we sometimes stop ourselves from becoming something great? What makes us give up, or not even try in the first place? So far on my mission I have felt this thought come to my mind over and over again, "It's possible to become a great missionary. I can be obedient, diligent, an effective teacher of the gospel." All these things are righteous, so why should I stop myself? Sometimes in our life we make ourselves back out from doing great things. Maybe we should focus on what good things we want to do and what's stopping us from doing them, and then re-focus. In other words, we should let ourselves 'become'. Become obedient, become diligent, become effective teachers. That's a good new year's resolution isn't it? HAPPY 2014, from San Jose Philippines!
Mom: This week was good, I'm still feeling stressed everyday but it's good. I really feel like I have lost some weight too, which is good for me-haha. I really ballooned up when I first came so it's nice to feel more normal again. Happy New Year to you!!! :) It's so weird to think I'll be spending my next year in the Philippines! It's going to be a good year of my life. I want to make it the best, since my years haven't always been that great. I really hope you know how much I love you, Mom. I think of you every day. Every time I hand wash dishes, sit on a little stool hand washing my garments, trying to train my companion on life skills/social skills, I always think of how you trained me. You trained me how to live the gospel, how to repent, how to be a good woman. A woman of Christ. I'm sorry for the grief I've given you.
I always get teary eyed when I talk about you to my companion. I actually have thought a lot about this particular thing I want to tell you. Every day, I feel overwhelmed, stressed, tired. There's never a break. But I think the only thing that keeps me going is my desire to make three people happy: You, dad, and my Heavenly Father. I say to my companion, "Sister Ricketts, I have a wonderful mother. I just want to be a good woman like her." We actually had companionship inventory the other day. She told me how her relationship with her mom has never been good... and I thought about you. I know that our relationship has never been perfect, we've had really rough times. I told sister Ricketts this: "Perhaps the only thing that keeps me here on this mission is my desire to make my Mom and Dad proud of the person I want to become. I want to take this mission and change so I can be a light of peace to my family that I've never been before. I want that more than anything else in the world." I then started to cry like a baby. I hope you know how much I love you, Mom. I know I've never been that great, but I'd like to think that when I am it's because of my mother and the kind of person you are. You are strong, capable, and Christ-like. I want to be that. :) I just want to tell you this because I mean it. I really do :)
You definitely could serve anywhere! Not just Boise haha :) You could go anywhere. You and dad would be great. I really appreciate the older couple missionaries here, they make our life easy; getting us things like washing buckets, rides from church, apartment checks/repairs. They make the mission life a lot smoother. I'm really grateful to be here. Even though the homesickness is getting rough lately, I just feel like Heavenly Father wants me here. I can't wait to read that talk you shared!! It will be like lotion for my sweaty skin--haha :)
I'm sorry it's back to the normal schedule again. The breaks always seem so short don't they? Have a great week, Mom! I can't wait to hear about seminary stuff, home stuff, anything!!
G&G Haslem: Hello in Vernal! I hope the weather is treating you alright. I love you both so much! How is Smith's? haha I love that you always go there :) I miss you guys, but I hope you had a Happy New Year! I hope that you know how grateful I am for you both. Thank you for the money and the MoTab CD, and for always supporting me. I listen to the CD every day! You're like my rock out here in my mission! Training is hard, but I love what I am learning. I learn so much. :) I hope you stay safe and warm--especially safe cause you are very dear to me. I don't want anything to happen cause I wanna see you both when I come home! So don't do anything but go to Smith's :) haha. I love you! Have a good week!! Know that I think of you EVERYDAY and feel thankful for you both. I hope you know that I know this church is true. I am so grateful for it. We all need it!
xoxo, Sister Seastrand
P.S. I haven't gotten the package yet! Hopefully on Saturday when we have zone interviews. THANKS a million again. I LOVE YOU.