Wow I wish I knew where to start my emails!!!!!! Well first off... HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! haha the Elders at the MTC this morning woke up this morning ten minutes early to belt out the star spangled banner! hahahaha. I was in the shower, but It was wonderful to hear some American spirit! I hope you are all in the United States blowing things up for me!! ha.
WELL! It is the highlight of my week to hear from ALL of you! I apologize that all of my emails seem so wimpy compared to most people, and I apologize for not being incredibly great at replying. Just know that I feel your prayers and cherish every letter and email!
It was so wonderful to hear from Wade! I just skimmed over the email, but it sounds like he is doing great. I skim through and print them out to read after so that I have most of the time to email all of you. This seems to work best. Also, because many of the keyboards here are weird -- and for lack of time -- I apologize for spellling errors. Whoops! there one is! haha I hope you fix them before you send them out dad, it is embarrassing! [Editor note: Yes, the spelling errors are being corrected, except for the “spellling” error above.]
This basically sums up the MTC for me.... Pray as if everything depends on your prayers, and then get off of your knees, and work as if everything depends on your work!! We are constantly told that obedience will bring blessings and exact obedience will bring MIRACLES!! So I am trying my VERY BEST to be exactly obedient to all of the mission rules. I pray harder than ever here. Times can get hard. But then I think of the great work that I have the OPPORTUNITY to be a part of. And I have an army of support back home. I sure do love my family!
So Wade explained a lot of how it works to teach investigators here. I wanted to tell you a little bit more about that. It was so scary at first!! We actually teach our teachers, they just pretend to be different people. But it is truly INCREDIBLE!! We have to teach them completely in Spanish, too. Yes.... it is intimidating! Holy cow. Sister Heims and I would take hours on end to plan out every single word in Spanish so we could sort of read a script for the lesson. I am pretty sure everything is written wrong too. Ha. It is such an adventure though. We really have come so far, and I completely agree with Wade that you learn to just love the people that you teach. Even though they aren´t truly investigators, I think that our teachers or role playing as people that they taught on their missions, which makes it that much more meaningful. Everyone that teaches here is a wonderful example to me. I have seen so much improvement in learning that we are teaching people, not lessons. It is very difficult when I know few words and I can´t conjugate verbs properly. And, I am not sure how to form sentences, but that is where the Lord steps in. Our past few lessons have been more geared towards the investigator´s needs! It is SUCH a wonderful feeling to express my thoughts and feelings of some sort. Through this I have learned that language barriers should not stop us from sharing the gospel. I get so impatient with myself sometimes, but this week I have learned that the Holy Spirit does not need a language to speak to people´s hearts. I am trying my best to remember that the Lord always provides a way. It is incredible to feel the spirit even when different languages are being spoken, and I do not understand the entirety of what has been said.
Speaking of other languages... we got a new batch of missionaries last week! They are all Russian speaking and they are just wonderful -- all coverts to the gospel. One of them a convert as of a year ago, and her family does not support her in going on a mission. And another is the only active member in her family. How hard would that be? I look at myself and think would I still be doing this if that were my situation? Then my answer is YES!! I sure hope so. I am surrounded my incredible, strong, valiant missionaries.
Speaking of incredible people, I am convinced that I have the best district in the MTC. We have become so close, and I think I have made some lifetime friends. I feel like we have known each other for so long. Ha, like someone said the other day, we are not monks, be we aren´t monkeys either! We work hard when it is time to work, and I love laughing together when we need some comic relief. I will send you some pictures of our district this week hopefully! We went to the Prado all together last week which was cool! My favorite part was walking through the city actually. It is BEAUTIFUL. I thought I would be homesick, missing nature. I know that I still will be, but these cities here are filled with clean streets and huge trees! I will try to send some pictures of that too. The Prado was.... cool. haha Not really my cup of tea. Many dark pictures of Christ and war, but I am glad we had the opportunity to go. The best part is the people that I am able to spend time with there.
The highlight of my week here is always the temple. It’s interesting how it always comes right when I need it to. Part of my session was in Spanish today too! I can´t really say I knew exactly what I was saying or hearing, but once again, the spirit is the same, no matter what language. How wonderful.
Also! Two days ago, our district (Hermana Nydegger, Fowers, Heims, and me and Elders Franklyn, Benton, Dunn, and Holt) all decided to have an ENGLISH FAST day, where all we could speak was Spanish! This was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. haha. It was either very quiet all day, or very broken Spanish being spoken with long pauses between each word. haha. The longest day of my life! BUT after all was said and done, I believe that we progressed so much, because speaking the language makes such a difference. I would say now that I understand about 90 percent of what people speak in Spanish (ha, if they are talking slow) which is quite an improvement! Speaking the language lags far behind what I understand, but I think that is normal. So this day of only speaking Spanish was very helpful, even though I thought I might not make it. I am so relieved that I didn´t die. We plan on doing it at least once a week now.
I am going to eat lunch now, then I have a half hour after to email! I will email more soon! I hope you are sleeping great! haha. [email arrived at 5:05am Mountain Time]
Lunch was wonderful today! The mission president and his wife decorated the entire upstairs for Fourth of July and we had BBQ-type food, with ICE CREAM! Oh how I missed ice cream! Oh goodness. I hope to have time to send pictures of that too. Just made my day to have a little bit of America!
That fireside sounded wonderful from Tyler Haws. I loved going to watch him at BYU basketball games!
I need to make sure that the pictures attach, but just one more thought. (Sorry these emails are so crazy and scatterbrained). I have been thinking a lot about this quote this week.... Everything you are doing now is preparing you for something else! I love that. This applies to EVERYONE! When times are rough here, and I want to give up, I think of how the Lord knows everything. He knows what I need. I need to patiently persevere. Patience is knowing that it is in the waiting rather than the receiving that we grow the most. I am receiving so many lessons in patience and humility. And I am learning little by little, better ways to see the personal revelation that I receive in my life. I have always struggled with that. What an incredible experience. I love you all so much!
Until next week, my beautiful family!
Love, Hermana Mather
|My favorite food here so far at the MTC! YUM! Salmon and jello.|
The pears here are AMAZING!!! I think I eat 4 pears a day. The fruit is just wonderful!!
|Walking through the city on our way to the prado|
|03 My companion, Sister Hiems, and I at the Prado!! MUSTACHES!|
|... and Elder Franklyn too!|
|MTC Sisters at the Madrid Temple|
|Beautiful Madrid sunset!!! (Madrid Temple; from the MTC window)|
|Missionaries in Madrid|
|Paseo del Prado (one of the main boulevards in Madrid, Spain)|
|Today at the temple!!!|
|Yum! First cupcake I have had here!!|
|All of the missionaries in our MTC for our Fourth of July lunch!|
|Fourth of July lunch!! So fun!! (MTC companion Hermana Heims)|
|My MTC teacher's cute little son!!|