Greeting to my dearest family and friends at home!
My exciting event this week: BAPTISM!! I sure hope the pictures I send work!! It was pretty incredible to watch my first baptism as a missionary. It was a different feeling... I cried!! haha. Kind of embarrassing. In the photos you will see Hermana Tabares and I, Alexis, and Elder Nunez and Cloward in our district who also had two baptisms. Alexis is 18 years old, and his mother and sister were baptized in January. It is incredible to see the strength that this gospel brings into families and individuals. I feel privileged to have been a small part in bringing the gospel to Alexis! He went to EFY [Especially For Youth] here and has made so many decisions to change and live this gospel. EVERYTHING we do here as missionaries is to bring the love of God to people, and the first step of finding more love from God in our lives is baptism. What a happy day. It is really also incredible to think that baptism is just the door that we enter into (3 Nephi 11) and that there is more happiness to come!! Being a member of this Church does not mean that we will not have challenges and problems... they still come. But we have a greater access to our ROCK, our Redeemer when we live the principles of this gospel. The baptism was beautiful!
President and Hermana Jackson also came and gave a fireside after the baptism about how members can be more involved in this work (and yesterday in church we watched the first half of "The Work of Salvation" - so far the ward members are responding so well, we have already been invited to more homes lately to take place in family home evening, and more eating appointments... yikes I hope I fit into my clothes). The Jacksons showed a Youtube video of a bunch of young adults opening their mission calls, I tears just started running down my face. I think it is so important to remember these times in our lives, when our faith is comformed, that this is what we are supposed to be doing. Opening my mission call was one of those moments for me. I KNEW that the Lord needed me here, for these people, speaking this language, at this time, etc. Sometimes in life we forget these moments when times get hard, but we have to remember, and hold on to that testimony that was confirmed once upon a time. When we do this, we always have the promise of the Savior walking beside us through those dark moments. When we hold on to the truths that we DO know, the light soon comes, and our faith grows. I think that life is like a cycle of moments like this, and being on a mission is just going through the cycle more rapidly for me right now!
Do you have moments like this too? Mom I really enjoyed your quotes about hope, and I actually just read that talk by President Uchdorf - it is quite incredible "The Hope of God´s Light", if you haven´t read it in a while, go back and read it... it makes me smile.
Also, some other talk you all might enjoy: Improving Your Personal Prayers (Elder Kevin W. Pearson) I really enjoyed this one...I am working on improving my relationship with God.
Oh! And if you could please, look up a poem online... "The Race" attributed to Dr. D.H. "Dee" Groberg. It starts with "Whenever I start to hang my head low". Wow, this is an incredible poem that applies to anyone’s life, giving us witness that we always have a father in heaven, looking after us and cheering us on. And we truly win, if we rise each time we fall.
I will just leave you with a few spiritual thoughts!!
"It is serving God and others persistently with full purpose of heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into UNBREAKABLE STRENGTH!! -Henry B. Eyring
"In these latter days, we know something of God´s love through the Book of Mormon. We know how to make His love our own, and we become His disciples as we gain power to love as He does. As we keep His Commandments we become more like Him. We broaden our circle of love in reaching out to people of EVERY nation, kindred, and tongue" (this one gives me comfort in learning this language too.)
I just wanted to mention all of the letters I have received and thank these people: Carlson family, Jesseniah, Eliza, Anthony Viglione, Kurt and Jeanne, Aubrey, and of course the immediate family. Thank you for thinking of me, and I am slowly trying to write back!
I love you all and hope you have a great week! Crossing my fingers that you receive my letter! (p.s. shoutout to Krissy and Desi, I haven´t heard much from either of them, but just thought I would tell you a love you! And Lisa Kofford, good to hear she is doing great! and Julia Gramlich, I think of her so much, using her lovely journal to write scripture notes in!)
Love, Hermana Emily Marie Mather
|Pictures of bowling last week for Hermana Tabares´Birthday!|