July 29, 2013
Oh my goodness! I do not know where to start! Right when I begin to get comfortable at the MTC, everything changes. I have formed so many lasting friendships with everyone there and t was really hard to leave. I loved my district and MTC President. What incredible people.
Mom I haven´t received your package yet, but we have zone conference Wednesday so maybe they will bring it to me then. If not, I heard I will not receive package for another 3 weeks or so... oh dear. And no, my wallet has not shown up sadly. It was mostly sad because it was the wallet Nathan brought back for me from Argentina! It will all be okay though.
I am so glad that you got the email from the Jacksons! They are INCREDIBLE! Just wonderful. We really enjoyed spending the day at the mission home, in anticipation for receiving our new companions and areas. Yikes. I actually started feeling VERY, very nervous the night before, and felt like I should receive a priesthood blessing from President Sitterud. I do not know why I felt this way, I had just been thinking about how inadequate I felt because I do not know this language, I didn't know what area I would be sent to, and I was questioning my testimony. But I am so glad that President gave me a blessing. In it, he assured me that my sacrifice in serving at the MTC was accepted of the Lord, and that all was well with my family back home. He assured me that all would be well with getting to know my new ward and things would go well with my new companion. He gave me some advice that I have thought of often since then. He said that sometimes Heavenly Father does not give us a definite answer in our prayers, and this was the point I was at. This is when we just need to go on in faith, and then Our Loving Heavenly Father will bless us with more light and knowledge.
So...I had been praying for a native companion and guess what?! I got one! Well, she is from Columbia and her name is Hermana Tabares Insuasti. I have really questioned whether this prayer should have been answered though, because she knows only a few words in English...oh, my, gooodness, really, what, I, do, not, understand. haha. WOW I keep thinking to myself, what have I gotten myself into? This is by far the HARDEST thing I have ever done. I have found myself thinking a lot lately about home, and how this is the farthest from my comfort zone I have ever been. It really has been wonderful, please don´t get me wrong. We taught our first lesson the first night I got here, and have taught lots since, but it is so difficult for me because I want to make a difference in these people´s lives. I want to touch them like my companion can, but I do not speak their language and I am not sure how to make a connection. I am so lucky to have her though. She is very obedient and dedicated to this work, even though she has only been out for 4 months. Her whole family is inactive but she is still her serving. She is 24 years old. It is pretty amazing that we have kind of gotten to know each other, because it is just the two if us in our apartment, and I speak so little Spanish! But I am so lucky to have such a great teacher!
Every day is a new adventure.... I never feel like I truly know what we are doing or where we are going because we can´t communicate all that well. It is interesting that is for sure. We have taught recent converts to the church, less active members, new investigators...the work surely is not slow here! Many of the members are from all over, mainly South America, I believe. I just feel like my head is going to blow up all the time, especially at church. 3 hours nonstop of Spanish, so many vocab words and names running through my mind! Also, I gave my first talk in church! haha I had to write it out word for word and have Hermana Tabares translate for me, but it went well! I can speak well when it is written out, and I understand quite a bit normally, especially when conversations are slow and gospel related. My motto: POCO A POCO which means: little by little.
I have never had such a test of my patience in my life! Holy cow I want to understand everything NOW and be able to speak and teach and touch people´s hearts. But I need to trust in the Lord´s timing. It is all come around. That is what the American missionaries here keep telling me.
But I would like to ask the family to please pray for me. I do not want to feel these aching feelings of homesickness. I have not had it this badly yet because there were people in the MTC that I could speak English to all the time. My heart aches for my comfort zone, and I feel such a fear that I won’t learn this language or be the best missionary that I can be. I know there are so many things I can do better every day. I have gained a testimony of purifying our thoughts, pushing away thoughts of discouragement and replacing them with thoughts of faith and hope and happiness. This really makes a difference. I think it would really help me if you pray for me to adjust to these changes and to feel comfortable here. My heart aches to be home. Please pray for me. I feel so alone sometimes, even though I know that I truly am not. My savior is there, always there to listen.
Mom, I really appreciated your letter from last week! Thank you for all of your kind advice and I LOVE that quote about pressing forward and turning our fear into faith. That has helped me a lot this week. I read a quote that really helped me the other day when I was having a rough time:
It isn't as bad as you think it is
It all works out, don´t worry
I say that to myself every morning
It will all work out
Put your trust in God
And move forward with faith
And confidence in the future
The Lord will not forsake us
If we will put our trust in Him
If we will live worthy of His blessings
He will hear our prayers
I know that our Savior is ALWAYS there listening. I really appreciate all of your faith and prayers for me.
I received letters from Jeanne, Kurt, Denae, and Travis before I left the MTC. These all mean so much to me. I am slowly trying to write back. I can only write on P-days now, so that makes it hard. I am trying! You now have my address though, so please send letter and packages here! That is best!
It is so impossible to tell you all everything that I want to!
I love you all so much! I hope to send pictures next week, sorry I haven’t for the past couple of weeks, they wouldn't attach. More to come next week! I love you!
Love, Hermana Mather