23 September 2013
Buenas Tardes todos!
Every night when we arrive in the apartment at 10:00 Hermana Aagard and I write HAPPY THOUGHTS for each day (even on the hard days) and I am so grateful for this, because each day feels like 5 days and I can hardly remember the week when I sit down to email on Mondays! Here are some of the highlights of the week:
I think that if anyone is thinking about taking any kind of marriage preparation class, then should just go on a mission! Haha. You will learn more about yourself and other people than you could ever imagine. It really is wonderful, we sit down every night and talk about what we did well and what we can do better, how we can improve our relationship with others, etc. Not that I am thinking a lot of marriage right now, but what good preparation to do this with a spouse, always trying to improve and become better together and learn from the other when they do things in a way that we would never have thought. And we are constantly praying and studying to make sure that we are united with the Lord, that is the best part!
I gave a talk in district meeting (all in Spanish... that still amazes me that I can communicate myself in the language sometimes) about sanctifying our thoughts as the first step to finding people to teach here. Hermana Aagard and I have really gained a testimony of this, because it has been difficult to see the Elders in our district baptizing people every two weeks as we start from scratch and have days were all of our appointments fall through, but our theme for this transfer is Joshua 3:5... Sanctify our thoughts! And make them full of faith in this work and the Lord´s timing, then He can work miracles! I also love everyone in our district! I felt like I was lacking some missionaries to really look up to last transfer for hard work and obedience, but this transfer I really feel like we have big shoes to fill, but it is a GREAT kind of pressure to have. Our Elders make us want to work harder every day.
We found TWO families to teach this week! one from Venezuela and one from Ecuador. We have some amazing experiences teaching them, and look forward to return appointments and getting to know them better. It felt just so real and comfortable teaching them :) We are constantly surprised by the Lord´s hand, as we realize the some people we have contacted on the street who we didn't think had potential have ended up being those we really feel like are ready for this gospel in their lives.
We had a disappointing lesson, that didn't take the route we had expected, and the member we have for the lesson was frustrated because we were a little bit late, and we felt like sometimes people just see all of the things we haven't quite got right yet. BUT our ward mission leader sure brightened our day, he said that he call tell we are working hard, because we are finally finding people to teach and filling out our weekly inventory sheet with all of the wonderful little fruits of our labors! wahoo! We have the best mission leader ever, I feel like he is an intimidating army Sargent sometimes haha.
We were teaching English classes the other day, and tried to hint to the elders (for the 500th time) that we are still eating on the floor and would like some chairs for our table, and maybe a sofa. We talked with our students about our "piso de sueno" or piso of our dreams, really emphasizing that our apartment could use these things. haha. The next day the elders called us and delivered a box from IKEA to build a futon that said on it: THE PISO DE MIS SUENOS! [the floor of my dreams] haha. So just so you know we no longer eat on the floor. woohoo!
We love to work hard and try our best to be obedient. I love that about Hermana Aagard! haha we stayed a little later than we should have at a member´s house, that was clear across town and actually ran home (in skirts I might add) in NINE MINUTES. haha. I have not sweat so much in a long time. We are also trying to figure out the bus systems here, and got lost headed to a town in the middle of nowhere. We seem to find adventure wherever we go! Oh and fun little side note, I forget what they are called but I used those bum-washer things that are in all of the bathrooms here! haha remind me what they are called? [Bidet] And fun little European fact: we do not have dryers, and the clothes washers are in the kitchen, we email at Locutorios [Booths] (stores with computers) and there are little stores here that have everything your little heart desires here that a lot of Chinese people own. Everyone calls them Chinos [Chinese].
And now for some spiritual thoughts for the week! I have been reading the Fourth Missionary, and I would recommend anyone to read this wonderful talk, becasue really it applies to anyone living on this earth. It makes me want to be better. I love these scriptures: Omni 1:26 and Mosiah 2:34 which talk about giving all that we have, all that we are, OUR WHOLE SOUL to the Lord. That is what this life is about. Really, the odds are all stacked in our favor in this life! We have a loving Heavenly Father who created a plan for us to have success. When we open our heart freely to the Lord, that is when we can feel his power enter into our lives, and that is when we change for the better. The whole entire purpose of this life is change, and we are constantly changing. I try to ask myself everyday if I have changed for the better, gaining more light and taking rubbing off more of my rough edges. I love this quote from the Fourth Missionary (the kind of missionary that we should all strive to be): "I am doing my best. I have a lot of weaknesses and a lot to learn (I think we feel this way no matter what stage of life we are in). But I am withholding nothing from the Lord (where is my heart?) I am serving with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I am faithful and giving all that I have to give.´´ :) Truly, the Lord knows us. he knows that my best may not be the same as someone else's best. He knows where my heart is. He knows this is hard! He knew that we would feel discouraged sometimes on our journey here on earth. We are tested, tried, and told to give up every day, but the Lord is so please when he sees us get back up, and open our hearts, acknowledge our weaknesses, then rely on his power.
I love this from Henry B. Eyring:
I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast! I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, and my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear! I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up stored up, and paid up of the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till I know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.
Henry B. Eyring
We renew our desire to press forward everyday as we truly study the scriptures and apply them to our lives and pray to the Lord. It is that simple. "Just give up, surrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. Withhold nothing. All of YOUR desires, wishes, dreams, and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just in your behavior. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all things. Trust Him who has all power. Trust Him who alone suffered, paid and atoned for your sins, and for your WEAKNESSES (I love this aspect of the Atonement, because I am so imperfect) as well. Trust Him that He will make of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God" -the 4th Missionary.
I know without a doubt that this is the work of the Lord. I know it is anything but easy, but life wasn't easy for our Savior either. I know that through Him, we can be made into more than we can ever imagine, because He loves us more than we can ever comprehend.
Que tenga una buana semana! Les queremos muchissssssmo! MUAH! BESOS!!!
Love, Hermana Mather