7 October 2013
Well hullo theeere family and friends!!
Can I tell you HOW HAPPY I feel when I open up my email and see lots of emails from my favorite people in the whole wide world?? And letters!! I feel so loved and so supported and I would love to send you all personal hugs and kisses right along with letters (I sure hope you know that if you have received a letter from me, I personally kiss each letter I send!!!) I hope that this email suffices for now. I tell myself every p-day ´´I will have time to write lots of letters, especially a long one for my family´´ and we end up being so busy!!! I blink and P-day is over, so I hope you all understand.
First of all, Family, I was hoping to send you a big letter this week... looks like that is not going to happen... I was going to write it on the bus ride to president´s house today (we had a sister activity there with 45 sisters... crazy fun!) but the bus ride ended up being 5 minutes and I got 2 sentences done. Soooo hopefully I will finish that next week, but I wanted to add my words to the letter that Wade sent to all of us, but I believe it was TRULY inspired what we both asked the family to do... buy cheap copies of the Book of Mormon and READ TOGETHER as a FAMILY!! Will you please do this? I could not believe what I read in Wade´s letter to us all, because I had been praying so hard to know how to help the family back home, and this is what I came up with to. I couldn't believe it when Wade’s letter came and he said everything that I had been thinking I wanted to tell the family, so basically I second everything that He said. I know that the power of prayer is real. I know that our family can grow closer together if we do this. Will you read the Book of Mormon with me? There is nothing more powerful than sharing your testimonies together my dear family. I listened to conference thinking so much of our family and went through and highlighted what stood out to me. Here are a few:
"Our lives will be infinitely more blessed as we read the scriptures"
"We gather together at conference to hear the words of the Lord, and return back home to live them"
How do we strengthen our family? We keep our covenants and use the POWER of the priesthood. Strengthen the home with it!
Anyways, just know that I know you are all so busy, but I know that, although it seems so simple, truly diligent daily scripture study and prayer is soooo important. I know our family can grow so much closer together as we do this :)
Sooooo it has been a great week! I got a bit of a cold… which was hard. Being sick on the mission is the pits. I am feeling better now, but I sure do not like feeling unmotivated or tired. Being on the mission is the BEST if you are WORKING HARD. I have learned that. It was interesting because we went to an incredible zone conference this week, very, very spiritually uplifting and I felt like it was just what I needed. Really, I wondered if someone had been reading my mind. In all reality, the Lord just knew what I needed to hear, because it was all about not comparing ourselves to others, but to take the things we see in ourselves as weaknesses, then take it to the Lord. We can leave these things at the Lord´s feet. The only person we should really be comparing ourselves to is to our Savior. We re-evaluate everyday what attributes we can change, turn away from the natural man and come unto Christ so that He can change us. I needed that because it is so hard not to compare myself to all of the missionaries I see hear every day we can speak this language and teach lessons and know who they are, and I still feel so inadequate. So it was a great message to help me remember that is so okay that we are so imperfect, because we are just being humbled to carry this perfect message :)
So we really seem to be making some great progress here in Alcobendas! We should be seeing baptisms very soon here, which is very exciting! It has been really wonderful seeing that we have started from ground 0, where our agenda really had nothing in it the first couple of weeks, just contacting every day, to being scheduled full of lessons with growing testimonies of this gospel! We recently started teaching a family, the mom´s name is Nancy; she is from Ecuador. She told us that people had always approached her to talk about religion on the street before and she always refused, but for some reason with us, she accepted. We teach her little boy Jeremy English every time we go over, and she has two other really cute children. Our first lesson with them didn't go over the best, we walked away thinking that we had just ruined our chances with teaching them possibly… But the Lord sure does send us tender mercies. Just when we have hard days and feel like we aren't making a difference here. Our next lesson with them when really well, we felt the spirit very strong, and they are starting to get excited about what we have to teach. It is so cute to hear about their little family reading the Book of Mormon every night.
Also, I know we shouldn't have favorites but we started teaching a little lady from Peru…Our first short little lesson with her we decided to talk about the love of God for us, and how we see that love through his Son Jesus Christ. We asked her who Jesus Christ was to her, and she just started crying and couldn't speak. She said that she feels so much love and her heart swells when she thinks about it. We love teaching her and showing her pictures of our family, hearing about her family who are all far away in Peru while she is working here. I feel like she is my second mom. She gives the best hugs, has so much love for the Lord, and loves to say cute little English phrases to us to practice her English. We will be setting a baptismal date for her hopefully tonight when we take her for a temple tour ;^) She came to church last week and two sessions of conference. The first time she came in jeans, then the next in a skirt, looking just like a member. I love her so much.
We are also teaching a lady from Spain (which is a pretty rare occasion!) and her name is Rocio. She has such a desire to know her purpose in life and often reads more than we even ask her to. I feel the spirit so strong as we are able to tell people that they DO have a purpose here in this life and they have a Heavenly Father that loves them so much!
Also, wasn't general conference just so wonderful? From what I understood at least, it was great ;^) I saw one or two talks in English and the rest we watched with our ´´friends´´ (investigators) in Spanish, which was a little difficult. I will work on reading them. It was really neat this time though, because I wrote down questions and things I was struggling with before conference, then took notes at conference, and went through and highlighted every single answer that I received. Our leaders are so inspired. I love this gospel. I love how the relief society and first session were so based on COVENANTS that we have made. I have a renewed desire to remember and fulfill the covenants I have made with the Lord and serve Him with all that I have.
Some of my favorite quotes from conference (paraphrased… haha I was translating from Spanish to English I hope this is what they said!)
´´Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith´´
´´We were not placed on this earth to walk alone, from the beginning our loving Heavenly Father promised us He would be there with us. He loves us NO MATTER WHAT.´´
´´It is not important where we serve but what we do. It is not so much where you have been or what you have done, but what you WERE and ARE willing to do´´… sometimes I wonder why I was called here. I feel like I struggle to speak this language sometimes, I wonder if I am being the missionary that the Lord wants me to be. But I am realizing more and more that a willing heart and a strong desire to follow this Lord is truly what it takes."
´´Cling to your Covenants and the Lord will lift our Burdens´´
I love you all so much! I am so grateful for a loving companion that has shown me how to have fun and work hard. I am grateful for a Mom and Dad that have always taught me the ways of the Lord, I always knew what they expected of me. I am grateful for worthy priesthood holders in my life. I am grateful to be serving a mission, in this great work of Salvation. I am so grateful to be serving at the same time as my brother and sharing experiences! I have really learned how much I love America from being here and for the cultures and freedoms we have there. I am grateful for living prophets and apostles to guide us. I am grateful to be an instrument in the Lord´s hand here in Spain. I am grateful for trials that keep us humble and help me turn to the Lord. I am grateful for all of you, especially my family ;^)
I love you so much! Have a great week!
Love, Hermana Mather