!!!!!! Steffy got her mission call!!!!! To Ohio!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ha. That is where Derrick went! Is it English speaking? That would be so hard for me now! I can't talk about gospel things in english anymore!!!! I can't even pray out loud in english anymore. It is so hard!!!! I always start transitioning back to Portuguese. I am going to have a hard time with that when I come home. You can't make fun of me though! And holy cow! Derrick has got a beard!!!! A legitimate beard! Haha. He could be santa!!! He just needs to dye it white. :) And I just can't believe Addy is soooo big! And running around like no body's business. Haha. She is so stinking cute! Well, everything here is great! As you know we are in a tripla!!!! Which I wasn't happy about at first because it makes street contacting super hard. But, it makes divisions with members soooo easy! We only need one member with us and we can do a division! We don't have schedule difficulties. It is such a blessing. I honestly can't believe it is almost Christmas and that we are gonig to be able to talk soon!!! And yes, we should be skyping at around 6 or just a bit later. ;) So keep it on! I am so excited!!!!! So our baptism we had marked for the 28th got cancelled... Because we went to Madeira!!! He went for Christmas and he won't be back till the 29th... So, we might just have ourselves a new years baptism!!! That would be fun! Vamos ver. Oh, I mean we will see. So, we are really hoping today that we will get to see santa and get a picture with him! You will find out next week if we succeeded. ;) We had our Christmas Conference! I ate too much... and of course we had fish. :) But I got to see Elder Lee, Collier, and Zaccarria from the MTC. :) It was good! And I got to hear my name as Stokeees again! I love it! Ha. After the Christmas conference, we ended up being stuck with the office Elders because they had to drop off tables to their appropriate church's, and we had gotten a ride with them. As they were bringing two tables to one of the church's-not sure which one we were at at the time, out of no where it started down pooring! Haha. It was so funny, and the church was locked! So they called the Elders that work in this area and got them to come open the church for us. They were actually quite upset... More than they should have been. Elder Lindsey said the one acted like he wanted to punch him... How ridiculous... So sometimes the Elders still need to work on their maturity level... But thats ok! We are all learning, growing, and improving together! That is one thing I love the most about my mission. How much I have grown since the beginning. It is the most humbling work. It makes all of your flaws stick out like black stains on a white cloth! So in the beginning it is like a slap in the face. And you realize just how imperfect you are -even when you thought you were actually quite good-and just how many stains you have got, and how much work you have in front of you. Ha. But slowly we are washing and scrubbing them out with pure bleach. Though, no matter how hard we try, they won't all come out, but we keep trying to get it as good as we can. :) Only through Christ, can they truly be made spotless. No matter how hard we try. We will never be able to make the stains appear as if they were never there, without Him. Oh, I love the gospel so much! And I am so greatful to have this opportunity to be on the mission during this time of year! And man has the world got Christmas backwards! Christmas is all about Christ, and what was Christ all about? Loving and serving our neighbors. And everyone around us. It isn't about the getting, but the giving. I hope we all remember this basic, yet beautiful, true meaning of Christmas this year. For our joy, our true and pure joy, doesn't come from man-made things of this earth, but from people. Spending time with our loved ones, influencing the lives of other people for the better. There is no better thing we can do than to make another person, smile. To make their life, just a little bit better than it was before. I love you all so much, and I am super excited to get to talk to you and hear your voices! And make sure you are on Santa's good list this year! ;P Till Christmas!!!!
Sister Amanda Stokes