Only a few more days until I head into the mission! Wow time has flown by!
I cannot believe it is already July 18...WHAT?! I feel like I just arrived here, and I have am starting to feel so intimidated, knowing that I am about to being the REAL DEAL! It is SO incredibly exciting though. Our last day here is Monday, and we are supposed to be packing for the most part today for our Preparation day. Oh and last week, we meet our mission president, President Jackson and his wife! Well, we actually met them a couple weeks ago in passing because they were attending a baptism at the church building across from the MTC. We were headed to the gym to play volleyball and recognized them. It has been so exciting to see them! They seem so wonderful!! I already admire them so much. Each of them was so genuine, and recognized us from the pictures they have seen. They told us that they are waiting for us! We each felt so special! This gives me comfort in leaving the MTC, and makes me so excited to get to know them better. We found out that they will also be here on Sunday to speak to us, and to interview us before we meet with them again on Tuesday! It is crazy to think we have already been here for 6 weeks and we are already leaving, receiving new companions, and embarking on the journey that we were sent here to do! What an exciting time.
It is so bittersweet to leave this place. I am convinced that I am surrounded my angels here. We have some truly inspired teachers, and we have grown so close. Our teachers are so in tune with the spirit, and they know our personal needs. I consider them some of my best friends here. I really hope to be back in this area to serve so that I can speak Spanish with them fluently and see them again! They always know what to say when I feel discouraged, and it is the FUNNEST thing in the world to teach lessons to teachers when they are acting the part of someone that wants to know more about the church. Sister Heims and I feel so ridiculous because it isn´t real, but we feel SO HAPPY when we see the gospel changing people.
Yesterday at dinner, I think one of the Italian teachers here was inspired to tell us about her mission. She is from Italy and served in the United States. Learning English was SO HARD for her. We were telling her of our concerns about knowing the language, and she showed us what she did with the scripture in Ether12:23-28. She changed the scripture and applied it to her life. So I did the same last night, and it has really changed my perspective.
This is the same scripture, for me, and for ANYONE that is discouraged because of weaknesses that they might have:
And I said unto Him, Lord the people of Spain will mock these things, because of my weakness in speaking. For thou hast made us mighty in word by faith but thou hast not made me mighty in speaking Spanish. And thou hast made it that I can speak but little because of the awkwardness of my mouth. Behold thou hast not made me mighty in speaking or writing like other missionaries here, for thou madest it so that they were able to speak mightily, even unto the overpowering of men that hear them. Therefore when I write or speak, I behold my weakness and stumble because of the placing of my words, and I fear lest the people of Spain mock my words. And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness. And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then I will make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto you your weakness, and I will show unto you that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me the fountain of all righteousness.
There is SUCH POWER in the book of Mormon. I know that this book is of god, written for our day. There is such power in applying the scriptures to our lives, again and again and again. Different scriptures apply to us at different times in our lives, and this is a means of personal revelation. I am grateful for my testimony of the prophet Joseph smith. I know that he restored the same gospel that Jesus Christ established while He was on the earth. I know that God loves all of His children. He loves all of us! And I am SO grateful for my family, and I know that we can live together forever!! I know this, and I am grateful for this knowledge. I love that I have the opportunity to share this with others.
I wanted to tell you about the experience of singing on the temple ground. We do this every Sunday and the Sullivans even bring out their electric piano to play for us. They were both in the Mormon Tabernacle choir for many years. Cool! The power of music is incredible. If you haven´t gotten a chance, look at their blog (thesullivansinspain.blogspot.com) because I think they post the videos there. We sang "Army of Helaman" last week. We sang twice and I could not hold back my tears each time. I looked into the eyes of many people there, especially our teachers who are recently back from their missions and I could see their testimonies. I could see the many lives that they had touched because they had the faith to take a step into the darkness and go on a mission. I KNOW this is where I am meant to be and that there are people here in Spain that I am meant to touch. That night on the temple ground, a woman walked past, and was touched by our singing, and began to cry. The missionaries in the Madrid mission of course immediately began to teach her.
The other day, on our way to the park, Hermana Heims and I were talking to a lady in the metro, we have missed our metro stop, and I was a bit scared about finding our way back, but I have no doubt that this was the Lord´s hand. We got to know her, she showed us pictures of her grandchildren, and we came to find out that her husband had died. We each bore strong testimony that she could see her husband again. We told her about how much we love our families, and we KNOW that she can live together with her family... forever. What a sweet experience. I love the people here in Spain!!! I heard that it would be such a difficult mission, but the people are so ready to hear what we have to say.
My time is running out but I would like to leave one more thought...from a devotional that we have from elder Holland last Thursday titled "Don’t you dare go home!" haha
He said "we cannot promise heroic results, but I can promise my heroic effort" the salvation of Souls is a beautiful work and I want to live by this motto. We can always promise our heroic effort ALWAYS!!
I love you all so much! I hope to hear more from you... Mom, how is school for you?! Please tell me about your lives! I love you!
Love, Hermana Mather
This is the week of many pictures! Since I seem to have such little time to write emails, I am hoping that these pictures say MORE THAN 1,000 WORDS!!! I hope you enjoy them! I am not sure when I will be able to send more pictures next, since I have been using sister Heim´s memory card USB. There are pictures from various weeks here and I will do my best to explain them all!
|This is the door of our classroom, we added the nice Buzz Lightyear addition to the window!|
|An attrictive picture taken on Pday with sister Heims, on the bus.|
On our way to the mall to grab a few things that we needed.
|We play soccer here EVERYDAY! It is so fun!|
|Some of the little member kids play too. It is ridiculous how good they are.|
And I am so bad. Slowly but surely we Americans will learn their soccer ways. Ahah.
|The incredible Russian sisters that were only here for two weeks.|
I Love them. What incredible examples to me.
I can´t pronounce their names but I will always remember the impact that they left on me!
|The necklace that wade gave me, always reminds me of Him when I wear it!|
|Our classroom, where we spend about 10 hours a day…|
preparing for lesions, learning grammar, having a great time as a district!PP
|I could not have asked for a better companion. I have learned so much from her about selflessness and exact obedience.|
|So excited to be missionaries!!! I still look down at my nametag occasionally and I just can´t stop smiling!!!!!|
|I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! Is a such a blessing to learn more about the Lord´s works and be reminded EVERY day that every soul has worth in the sight of God.|
|Our district with the Mission President Jackson, his wife, and the Sullivans, a senior couple serving in the Madrid Area.|
|Sister Jackson, me, and Mission President Jackson|
|Our room! So homey Ü|
|Our closet… |
I just wanted you to see the lovely mickey mouse laundry basket that I purchased out here!
|This week was Sister Heim´s birthday! She turned 21! I can´t think of a better place to have a birthday. The Sisters here are wonderful. We made here this candy bar poster...|
|... and sticky noted the bathroom!|
|So, I was kicked in the shin last week in soccer. It hurt at the time, and every since my ankle has turned every color of the rainbow! Pretty huh?|
|So studious. I love time to read my scriptures!!|
|Missionaries in Front of the Madrid Spain Temple|
|Missionaries on the Escalator|
|Sister Missionaries with Mustaches|