Buenas Tardes Familia y Amigos!
Phew, it has been crazy stressful week!
Every week as a missionary is pretty stressful and tiring, but this week was even more so! Oof I wish I could tell you every minute of every single day, but I will try my best in this little email time!
I love having lessons with members, who can really relate to the people we are teaching. A lady named Graciela who was just baptized 1 year ago likes to help us in our appointments and she always talks about how it helps her keep her testimony strong. I LOVE teaching the little niños clases de ingles!!!! This is the best kind of service ever, as we get to teach little children, and the mothers are starting to open up and ask questions about the church and like that we pray before the classes! And they want to learn how to make American brownies from us! There is also a return missionary that just got home from Washington D.C. that lives in our ward, who served a Spanish speaking mission, but learned English on her mission, who goes with us to lessons and we learn a lot from her too! I love this work!!
During our Thursday planning session, both Hermana Aagard and I had been feeling really down on ourselves after having a zone conference that told hit a lot of points that we can do better at as missionaries. We just got to the end of planning, then had companion inventory, where we talk about the strengths of our relationships, how we can do better, etc. and before we knew it, Sister Aagard was crying and I started to cry as we both felt like we would never be the missionaries that the Lord wanted us to be. I would describe it as the feeling that we are standing at the bottom of one of those 14ers that we like to hike as a family, wondering how we will ever make it to the top. I was hit with another wave of homesickness this week that came out of nowhere! And here we were just wondering how we could press forward as representatives of Jesus Christ when we feel so imperfect. But, we cried it out, and then went back to work! haha it was pretty weird, and I think that the adversary was just hitting us pretty hard before we had our baptism this week.
We met with Mervin every day this week to help him finish up the lessons and get him all ready for baptism! We have been having little "Family Home Evenings" with him in the homes of the members so that they can get to know him. I love this man! It was really neat talking to him again about how he would take upon him Christ´s name, the power of God that he would hold when he receives the priesthood, and how he can spread this happiness to his family that lives in the Dominican Republic. AH! This is what we work for every day. To see these souls come unto Christ. This is why we study for hours, spend all day walking and contacting people and building relationships with members. And it was incredible to see it all come together as this man dressed in white stepped into the water and committed to follow Christ. He bore his testimony afterwards and said that he felt clean of things that tormented him before and that he had never felt so content :) Then to see his face as we sat in church and he was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints was just the best. And as everyone raised their hand to affirm that he was accepted and sustained as a member. I loved looking as Mervin´s face. He looked so content. I am convinced that there is nothing better than to bring this gospel to people, as we come to understand their needs and circumstances and what principles of the gospel they could use most right now. We are surrounded by God´s children who will each one day come to the truth, and we were so blessed to be a part of helping Mervin make this commitment!
So now, we feel like we are starting over a little bit, as we are trying to find a lot of new people to teach. I am reminded how much I love getting to know new people and bringing them to the restored truths. There truly are people being prepared everywhere, we see the Lord´s hand every day.
I wish I had more time to write now, but just a few more highlights! We get to go the temple this week and see the new movie, I am SOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!! And, I ate cow tongue! Nathan, you were right, it is so tender and delicious!!!!!! yum, we didn't even know what it was until after haha. We also went to Toledo today!!! I will send those pictures next week!
I love you! Dad and Mom, I bought all of you Christmas presents in Toledo to send next week. I want you to be here exploring it all too! Please pray for me too, I am nervous for the next transfers and have been feeling homesick again, not sure why.
Have a great week! I love you!!
Love, Hermana Emily Marie Mather
|Hermana Aagard, Mervin, Hermana Mather|