To all the people I've loved before,
Happy New Year! Supposedly we won't see 2013, so make this year a good one! ;) How's life on your collective ends? Life here is... Well, like it always is. I've realized how truly impossible it is to explain well. Suffice it to say that it's different and wonderful and filled with little moments that mean grand things. Life is about those little moments, I think. Savor them. Find them first, then savor them. Don't let 'em go.
We met two new investigators this week and they are both just so, so awesome! Samuel is living with a member (his brother) and really wants to join the church. He's been reading, praying, etc. It'll be a short process for him. Louis is non-practicing catholic who is very interested in learning about other churches. He says that he just wants to do God's will. He wants to read The Book of Mormon and learn more about the church. He's a nice guy with really interesting questions and I have high hopes for him.
New Year's was interesting. People here party for New Year's. I was... surprised? Surprised is a good way to put it. Streets closed, people dancing, drinking, music, etc. It wasn't a very good night for lessons. We tried.
Yesterday night, I met a really interesting woman. We call her Avó Manuela. She knows the Bible. She loves The Book of Mormon. Her only real hangup with the church is that we claim to be the only true church. She thinks that all the others that do good works can't be false, etc. It's something she has to work out on her own. Reagardless, I loved talking with her. Everyone was very surprised that I've only been here about 3 months. They all said that my Portuguese is very good. I receive compliments on my accent a lot as well. My goal for this year? Become truly fluent.
I have other goals, really. Little things, but things that'll make a difference. I've realized that this is the only year of my life (unless I serve when I'm older (I DO want to, by the way)) when I will only be on a mission. That's cool! I need to make it awesome. So, I have a few goals. I'm working on creating more. I invite all to do the same. Without goals... Well, you don't have much to work toward.
Well, I'd better go. This work is awesome! This church is true. If you love Christ and God, then keep their commandments. Read. Really show your dedication. Your life will never be the same.
2012, here we come,
Elder Cody R. Eckman