Another month down and it has rained everyday since November started. When I say it rains... it pours... for hours on end; not to mention the lightening and thunder that follow the rain are bigger and louder than anything I've ever seen or heard before in my life. Don't get me wrong I love the rain but everything is wet and cold and I want to see the sun. Despite the rain I had a really good week, I didn't have school on Thursday or Friday, Sam Smith's new album was released (it's amazing. give it a listen), and on my days off from school I went to Olimpia and spent the day at a water park.
I have basically driven 4+ hours in every direction: North, South, East, and West to visit a different city in the past 3 weeks. Last Sunday I went to Porto Feliz for a Rotary convention. Although I had absolutely no idea what was going on I got to see some of the other exchange students that are spread out around the district; most of them almost 3 hours away from where I live. It was nice to see them and catch up on how their exchange is going. They're the only people who can relate to exactly how I feel and what I'm going through.
Nothing important happened the rest of the week, I was only focused on making it to Thursday. Thursday was some holiday here (Brasil has so many weird holiday's but they are days I get off school so I'm not complaining). My family packed us up at 5:30 a.m. and drove for 3.5 hours north to Olimpia to a huge water park. It was one of the only day's that it hadn't rained as much as it had which worked out perfect. We spent the whole day there and it was so nice to visit a different place and be outside all day. Agudos doesn't have much so I am limited to what I can do for fun; I was so grateful for the chance to get out and travel.
Being in Brasil for the past few months has taught me a lot about how to love somebody without ever having to say anything; not because I didn't want to say something but because more times than not I just can't say anything important. I've learned in life to ignore most of what people say and watch what they do instead. The people I've felt the most love, all of them have some of the same qualities reflected through their actions. I sat down and made a list of each attribute these people had and came up with:
These are the qualities that define the most loving and honest human beings. These are the qualities that propel people to greatness. The most important of these qualities I believe to be is KINDNESS. J.M. Barrie once said, "Shall we make a new rule of life.. always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?" If every single person reading this and every single person who isn't made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary; The world really would be a better place, And if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize it and they themselves become a little kinder too. Life is a journey for us all. We all face trials. We all have ups and downs. All of us are human. But we are also the masters of our fate. We are the ones who decide how we are going to react in life. React a little kinder. Have a little more courage. Be a friend. And be of good character. The future is what you make for yourself, and anything it possible.
Tenha uma boa semana. Eu amo todos voces. XOXO
(Picture above: My two favorite girls from church. They are the cutest things. & yes my hair is pink)
Nossa (that's wow in Portuguese for your information) .. what a week. I didn't really do anything special but it's still another week that has passed by.. 5 days of school filled with nothing but reading and watching Netflix. (I know that's probably not what you want me to say I do during school but it's exactly what I do.) I love to read and I read A LOT. It's productive and helps the time in class go by faster. After school is lunch; I love this meal and the time I get to spend with my family. I decided while I was here it was important to learn how to build healthy relationships and the time we spend together as a family during lunch is crucial to building those relationships. Lunch is usually followed by homework. Remember when I told you guys I was "done" with my online school for Herriman. HA! Yea right. Jokes on me. I actually have another semester I have to finish before I leave on my month trip in December. Please pray for me and my mental health as I try to manage to finish 3 semester classes in less than 1 month. After I feel like I've done a sufficient amount of homework I go to the gym and run. I thought the day would never come and I really hope my mom doesn't read this but I love to run. Yes, I said it. It's a good release on the days that I struggle. Then the night is up to me.
Despite my daily routine I just laid out for you I manage to somehow have a lot of free time on my hands. I decided to dedicate that empty time to start and finish Personal Progress..again. (because just once isn't enough ya know?) I forgot how much I love Young Women's and the Personal Progress Program. I forgot how much I love the gospel and how important it is in my life. I realized this week a couple things while working on the faith portion.
1. Faith isn't just something you have; it's something you constantly have to work towards. It's a decision you have to make every day, sometimes multiple times a day in each and every situation. And even though sometimes we do not understand all things, all the time, heavenly father does. Trusting God means embracing the unexpected and knowing who is in guiding us. It's knowing that we are giving up something good for something better. God's will is not knowing how things will work out, but just knowing that they will. I would like to take a minute and credit losing everything I had before to gaining everything I have now. Heavenly Father loved me enough that He was willing to hurt me by having me lose things, so that I could wake up and get on the right path; what a blessing it is to see how my life has turned out. He always has our best interest in mind.
2. To be loved and not known is comforting, but superficial. To be known and not loved, is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is well, a lot like being loved by our Heavenly Father. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us, and strengthens us for any difficultly life can throw at us. Compared to God we are nothing and yet to God we are everything. That is amazing to me; Love is the very essence of this gospel.
Anyways, hopefully somewhere in my list of lessons I've been taught this week (I don't think we can ever be taught these lessons enough) there was something you might've needed to hear or some amount of love that needed to be felt. I'm not quite sure. But this is a new week.. it's a good week to have a good week. Let the adventure begin. Sua semana é o que você faz. Torná-lo um bom. Amo todos vocês. Tchau.
Sua semana é o que você faz. Torná-lo um bom. Amo todos vocêsSua semana é o que você faz. Torná-lo um bom. Amo todos vocêsSua semana é o que você faz. Torná-lo um bom. Amo todos vocês
So I'm a little ( a lot ) late this week. oops. anyways. thanks for coming back to check up again on me this week, super appreciate it. Like the past 2 months nothing new or exciting has happened. I'm pretty sure I have been living the same day over and over again. (I think there's a movie about that). And in all honesty if you were to look up the word "day" in the dictionary you'd find my schedule: I wake up, go to school, come home and eat lunch, do more homework, go to the gym, read, and go to bed. It's so typical now I can actually list what I'm doing. I guess I was doing the same things over and over again at home but you get used to a routine you don't notice after a while.
The highlight of this week wasn't an event but a person, my person here Brasil.
If you're just tuning in Anderson is the only other exchange student in my city ( he's from Taiwan ) and that kid has gotten me through it all. His English is.. there, kinda. He tries his best and makes the most out of any situation. I think that's what I like about him so much. He's not afraid of anything. He just gives it his best shot and hopes for the best. Maybe we can all learn and be a little more like Anderson; Giving life our best shot and hopping for the best. Even if you go for something and it doesn't work out, you still win. You still had the guts to head straight into something that frightened you. That type of bravery will take you places.
When I started writing my blog I wasn't sure what I would include and I wouldn't, I wasn't sure what I would write and to what extend I would write it. The good times, the bad times, the easy and the hard; they are real and they happen. I learned that first hand this week. I always liked to believe that hard things would never happen to me, but hard things happen to everyone, including me. especially this past week. One of the people I admire the most in this world once taught me, "So much of life depends on our attitude." We simply cannot control what happens to us but we can have absolute control over how we respond to the changes in our life. It's how we respond to hard situations and make the most out of where we are, with what we have that matters. The maximum happiness, peace, and contentment come when we choose a positive attitude.
When you start to feel like you should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents and those moments weren't in vain. You aren't the same as yesterday, last week, or last year; you have grown and are growing. You are breathing and living and things will get better. It's through the highs and the lows and the moments between. For where you are now and for where you will go. For the "I've always known" and the "I told you so", for "nothing is happening" and "all has gone wrong". It is here in these moments in this journey that you will learn to be strong. There is more to you than yesterday and you will get to where you're going. You will end up where you belong. Even if you don't know where that is yet.
My wish to anyone who is still here, who is still reading, please continue. Continue to be who you are. Continue to have an attitude of optimism. Continue to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to thrive and do so with passion and compassion. This life is yours and I think you should just go for it. Eu amo muito todos vocês. Obrigada por tudo.
Ah here we are again. Another week has come and gone and absolutely nothing exciting happened. Just to clarify just because I live in Brasil doesn't mean my life is filled with day to day life changing events. If someone reading lives that kind of life, PLEASE tell my your secrets. Despite all that I am overfilled with joy to say I will not be going back to school until February. Let me say it again a little louder for the people in the back, I AM NOT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL UNTIL FEBRUARY! BACK TO BACK SUMMER VACATIONS ROCK!!
Anyways, I am so, so, SO excited to say that this week I am leaving on a 3 week trip to places I've been dreaming about since I was a kid. Let me just include a few of those places: Salvador, The Pratinha Cave in Lençóis, The Pajuçara Pools in Maceio, Rio de Janeiro, and so many more I can't even list all of them. You know the saying "Do something that would make you childhood self proud." Well that's what I'm doing. I think 12 year old Lex would be pretty proud of myself right now.
This week was the first of the holiday's to be spent without my family. Thanksgiving was celebrated twice. Two different days with two fully prepared and fully cooked meals. AND I cooked the meals myself. My mom said it was okay to brag about the fact that I cooked two pies: one pumpkin pie ( roasted the pumpkins, and grounded my own ginger) and one apple pie ( which took less effort but still is impressive ). All the food turned out great. The first dinner was at a family from my wards house with the missionaries. They are the cutest family; I posted a picture of me and their little girls a few weeks ago for reference. The second dinner was at my own house with my host family. I am so happy I got to celebrate twice. Just one dinner wasn't enough to celebrate my gratitude for all people and things in my life. Throughout the past few months I've realized that the more thankful I am, the more I have to be thankful for. Be obsessively grateful, you're better off that way.
The past few weeks have been an interesting few weeks. It has been filled with things that I haven't ever experienced before but I guess that's just part of the growing process. Growing up is the weirdest thing let me tell you. And despite the hard times it made me realize most of us in life are just doing the best we can and sometimes were not very good at the things we do but I feel that there is something amazing in that. We fumble through this life in the most ungracious ways and yet every morning we wake up and try it again. We still find ways to love each other in spite of our faults. We still find things to live for in spite of it all. Life is amazing. Then it's awful. Then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. You have to live in the amazing moments and hold tight during the awful. Those ordinary moments, you just have to relax, exhale and be thankful for the life you're living. That's the beauty of this life. It's full of heartbreaking, amazing, healing, awful, and ordinary life moments.
The past few weeks I have been so grateful for the opportunities I've had, the people I've met, and the things I have been able to see. This life is truly what we make it. Time passes away and ultimately we can either spend it creating the life we want or spend it living the life we don't. The opportunity to live to the fullest is there but most people don't have a willingness to grasp it. It's waking up on Monday morning with no complaints. It's knowing you deserve to laugh. It's doing what is right no matter what. It's doing what you what, no matter how stupid you may look sometimes. It's about being yourself because at the end of the day nobody can tell you you're doing it wrong. It's the life you create for yourself and I hope you create something that makes you happy. "Happiness is not a goal, it's a by- product of a life well lived."
Anyways, that's all I've got this week! I won't be updating my blog until the end of December when I come home from my trip!!! I hope you all ( if there's anyone still reading ) have a good month of December and fill it with all of your joyous Christmas activities and traditions. My personal favorite is to participate in the, Light up the World: 25 ways in 25 days. You can learn more in the links below. I love all of you so much and hope you have the best holiday season!! I will talk to you soon. XOXO Tchau.