Monday, September 16, 2013

We Met Elder M. Russell Ballard!‏

June 2013 Photo Album

July 2013 Photo Album

August 2013 Photo Album

Some photos have captions.  Also, there are some short videos.


16 September 2013

Hello from Spain!!

So we do not have much time to email today, so this will probably be a short email time, and I do not have money to print out emails so I have to save time to read them on here. Also I am broke so there is no money to buy stamps for the letters I have written to you so I will have to wait until next week to send those! So sorry!

I have wanted to tell Mary Murray and Jeanne thank you for writing me such sweet letters! Please do not stop writing even though I am terrible at replying :) I have been meaning to tell you that my companion reminds me so much of my cousin MISSY!! I want them to meet when we get back home. She always makes me laugh at her silly jokes and is so sweet and hard working.

Also fun fact! Elder Ward is in my district now! He came back to Spain after recovering in the US for a while from the train accident. He came last week (I think it was) and has been working in the office with our Elders here and will be for the next little while. I sure do love this Elder! He is so inspiring and bounces back from anything. Did you know he accompanied me and another Hermana in the MTC for a duet that we sang? He is an amazing pianist.

We got a surprise phone call on Friday and heard that Elder M. Russell Ballard was going to visit us on Saturday! We had the incredible opportunity to shake hands with an Apostle of the Lord, and hear his words in the little chapel next to the temple. HOW COOL! He said everything that I needed to hear, and really gave us a boost for this week. Elder Ballard gave a wonderful message. Part of it focused on D&C 11, where the Lord answers Hyrum Smith’s question, “What would the Lord want me to do?”

Verse 3 states, “Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.”

And then, in verse 8, “even as you desire of me so it shall be done unto you; and, if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.”

Notice the word DESIRE in these verses. The key to success is desire. Elder Ballard told us that all things that we desire and really believe in righteousness can be achieved.

Elder Ballard said, “Your success is directly proportional to your desire.”

Then, he asked, “How much do you love The Lord? Do you love Him enough to get up on time?”

He said that this had been a very busy trip for him. Then said, “Frankly, I’m tired. Sometimes I ask myself, ‘What is an old 85 year old doing running around like this?’” Sometimes he is tempted to get discouraged. When he does, he pulls out a small picture of the Savior that he always travels with, and looks into His face. He said that he keeps going because he understands Gethsemane.

In verse 17 of D&C 11 it says, “according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith shall it be done unto you.” And in verse 21 “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.”

Neat, huh? I need to remind myself that I do everything that I do because I understand Gethsemane, and when I start to stumble or question what I am doing in life, I had better study the Lord’s sacrifice for me, because then I will see that My Father in Heaven would never ask me to do anything that I cannot handle, or anything that is not for my own good in the end.

Like I wrote to Mom in a little email, I met a family who was baptized by Rachel Borup’s husband (8 years ago I think). I love how small the Mormon world is!! I sure hope that now this family has a little bit more contact with him, they will remember the covenants they have made with the Lord, and begin to attend church again. The Lord´s hand is surely there in our lives if we are looking for it. Circumstances like this remind me that I am her for a reason! All of our lives are so intertwined and planned specifically by our divine Creator that knows all.

Here opening this area for Sister missionaries sure tests our faith! Things finally seem to be picking up, but opening here means that we start from scratch with everything, while we see our Elders here who have baptisms every two weeks and know ward members so well. We try not to compare ourselves! But we do have a few people to teach now, and are getting to know the ward members. For one, the ward members are incredible!! More than half of them haven’t even been baptized for much longer than one year. They are all so on fire and friendly and willing to help us with missionary work. I feel so blessed to be here. Even though I feel so inadequate sometimes, I know that the Lord trusts us, because he has sent us two Hermanas here, who are not fluent in Spanish, and we need to find people to teach, teach English classes here, get to know our ward members, and keep everything else in line like showering daily (haha, just kidding, we always shower). But it really is difficult to find a balance.

All of our hard work will pay off here I know it! I really just have to pray so hard every night to make sure that the Lord accepts my sacrifice here, because I always feel so stressed out about doing better. We are doing a lot of seed planting here....and it is hard not to see the fruits of our labors right away, but it sure is neat to teach the people that we do have. We have started teaching such a sweet family here, that just LOVE reading about Christ and the plans that He has for their family.

Shoot, I do not have much time left and I want to read your emails, so until next week! i love you!

Please don´t stop writing! And don’t stop believing!! haha.

Love, Hermana Mather

p.s. Scripture of the week... MY FAVORITE!!  1 Peter 4:12-14.  Wow! Please read it!

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