Happy Halloween Family and Friends!!!
It was weird not being home for Halloween this year! I sure hope everyone had fun asking for free candy. What a wonderful tradition we have haha. Aaron and Amber, I hope that you did not stop trick or treating until you had a pillowcase full and enough left over to send me :) But really, I have been in Spain serving as a missionary for a little over 4 months now, does that blow anyone else's mind? Sometimes time does go kind of slow, but when we are working hard and having fun the time flies!
This week we had Zone Conference (we have this meeting every three months, so it was my first one) with President Jackson and His wife and intercambios (exchanges) with the Sister Training leaders. I loved Zone Conference. I think it came just in time, as I felt like a have needed a little bit of a push to work harder. I have never really been a lazy or disobedient person, but lately I had felt the need to get my heart in the right place and let my desires be more in line with those of the Lord's. It is hard when we get up at the same time every day, exercise, study, and basically the same schedule...it is hard not to become complacent. BUT I do not want to become comfortable with what I am, because I know I will always have something to improve on. I completely agree with Wade´s last email, that it is sometimes really hard to deal with all of the stresses and demands of the mission. I happen to also be a perfectionist in many ways, and I came out into the field thinking that if I worked hard enough I could be the perfect missionary. How wrong I was. It is still hard sometimes (once again I agree with Wade) because I do not always feel happy and I never truly feel adequate, but the Lord never asked us to do this alone. He asks us to come unto Him and let him change us. a big theme of zone conference was "Nuestro exito es directamente proporcionado a nuestros deseos - tanto en la mision como nuestras vidas" which translates to "Our success is directly proportionate to our desires - both in our mission as our lives". Our desires lead to what we change about ourselves, what we achieve, and what we become to be. We talked about how to receive more righteous desires and how we can be happier and see more success in repenting and changing out desires to make them in line more with the Lord's. I feel like I always have so much to change and I can always be better. I will never be the perfect missionary. That is discouraging sometimes as I feel all of my weaknesses are shown! But I loved what the shared at Zone conference as well: Nunca vamos a llegar al final de la mision y quejarnos por haber obedecido o trabajado arduament. This translates to "We will never come to the end of our mission and complain about the fact that we were too obedient or worked too hard", but you will regret it otherwise.
We also watched: "Sanctify Yourselves" Mormon message, and Super Sid (Sid Going) Mormon message. Both very powerful and of course mad me cry.
Also funny story, the man who will be baptized this weekend... his name is MERVIN not Melvin. haha. Sometimes we still do not understand the crazy accents of the Dominicans here. But we sure love him. He had his baptismal interview a couple of days ago. He ended up being in there for AN HOUR. Sister Aagard and I were getting a little nervous because it was taking so long. But, he came out with a big smile on... happiest moment of my mission. He will be baptized November 9th as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This man is our miracle (Milagro!). The miracle of the mission is seeing a life changed through the Atonement. This man gracefully accepted each of the lessons we taught, so willing to live the law of chastity and not move in with the woman he loves. Apparently he had been drinking quite a bit up until we met him, and he immediately stopped once we started teaching him. He has a little bit of a hard time reading but we have already seen his abilities improve with reading the Book of Mormon. What a journey and a privilege it has been to teach this man and see his life change. When he gives answers in Sunday school he likes to read ahead in the manual and stand up and give the answers in his own humble manner. And then Sister Aagard and I cannot stop smiling. And he made us brownies!
We also have another man named Marcos who accepted a baptismal date for December 1st!!! This man has also progressed relatively fast and has some really in-depth, well thought out questions when we meet with him. I love teaching him as well! Sometimes it is hard to feel like we are making progress here, when there are some days where all of your appointments fall through, or no one is answering their phone, or people just plain aren't progressing. But I know the Lord´s hand is in this. We know the ending of this story... the gospel is meant to be taken to all the ends of the earth and it is a privilege to be a part of it!
We also ate with an American family in our ward on Sunday! OOO it felt like home, it made me miss you guys and I loved speaking English and eating American food for a while:) Do you miss me? It is nice to know I am missed sometimes! You should check out their blog lavidadelhubers.blogspot.com i think it is.We will also be going to Toledo next weekend (YAYAYAYA finally some exploration and sightseeing!!) so you can see pictures of that on their blog. I might not be emailing for very long next week.
This is a long e-mail, I hope you've got a little bit of time to read it all. But one last thought: The powers of the Atonement do not lie dormant until one sins and then suddenly spring forth to satisfy the needs of the repentant person. Rather, like the forces of gravity, they are everywhere present, exerting their unseen but powerful influence. The Atonement is, in fact, the most powerful motivational force in the world to be good form day to day and to repent when we have fallen short. The atoning sacrifice was designed to motivate us, to draw us unto Him, to lift us to higher ground, and ultimately to assist us in becoming as he is."
I love you all! I sincerely apologize that letters are coming back so slowly to all of you. I want to write you all back and TRULY appreciate all the love and support. I promise I am trying to write you all back. Please keep them coming. I sure love Family and Friends (Mom, Dad, Nathan, Wade, Amber, Aaron, Mary, Eric Louis, Travis, Eliza, Kristen, Aubrey, Jesseniah, Jeanne, Kurt, Susan, Grandma... this list goes on and on!!!)
Love you all, Hermana Emily Marie Mather
|I just wanted you to see the cute little Spanish man named Pepe that we keep running into here! hha. He sang to us. I have a video to send you of it soon! hehe.|