Hello Family! It makes me so happy that you have been reading our emails for FHE every week AND that you will be doing FHE missionary writing nights. Oh goodness I love getting letters more than you can imagine. I never knew how happy just a simple few pieces of paper with a stamp on it could make me :) I wish I could express in words my deep appreciation for all of the time and sacrifice that went into sending carious packages and letter. It is so nice to have a little home away from home, eating dried mangos and reeses from America with my new hippo slippers on my feet.
So this week was the baptism for Agustina!!!! Wow, this woman is incredible :) We actually had President Jackson´s wife, Hermana Jackson in a lesson with us and her this week, it was really fun. We realized that Agustina doesn't actually know our names either, haha so we have been working on that. She really just enjoys calling us "Mi Niñas" which just means "my daughters" :) . She has been the biggest tender mercy for me here. She always talks about how she looks at the positive ALL the time. She tells us how her husband died but its not a big deal, she still feels his presence and she knows she will see him again. She is friends with EVERYONE. She knows half of the people in our church, just from being friendly and positive and loving to everyone, so even her first time at church she had friends everywhere because of her Christ-like attitude towards everyone :)
The baptismal service was beautiful. Oof, baptisms can be very stressful trying to organize everyone to drive to the temple and make sure the baptismal clothes are set to go, people giving the talks are coming, programs are taken care of, Agustina feels special, there is food, etc. It was a beautiful service, though, after the talks and on Baptism and the Holy Ghost were given, we walked her to the font, and she was just smiling and crying out of joy, as she was about to fulfill the promise made to her by her father more than 50 years ago. And she is just the most huggable little woman.. I love her!!!! She is my little Dominican Grandma. Family, I want you to meet her someday.
Haha, funny story, an old Spanish man who came to a lesson with her baptized her, and it took 3 TIMES... hehe. He was really nervous and kept messing up the work order and couldn't submerge her. But in the end, it all turned out okay :)
Truly, I believe that different times in my mission will bring different struggles. It is very difficult to feel like I am making progress sometimes because just when I feel like I have achieved something, I there another struggle comes along or I have another humbling experience. But this is what LIFE in general is all about. I truly believe life should be about enjoying where you are, who you are with, and what you are learning at any given time, and helping others along the way. I am so grateful to lose myself in this work and serve others. Every waking moment of the day is physically and mentally and spiritually taxing but SO WORTH IT.
Being a missionary is incredible. I read a talk the other day that said we will know when we are speaking through the spirit when we learn from the things that are coming out of our own mouths. I find this happening as a missionary often and it bears testimony to me that the Lord uses us as weak humans into strong instruments to touch the lives of others.
I love the immediate trust and love that some people have for missionaries. I love the support and prayers I feel from home. I love being a living witness that GOD IS A GOD OF MIRACLES, as we read in Mormon, chapter 9. I am amazed looking back at many experiences on my mission, noticing that many of our encounters that have come to be miracles did not seem so out of ordinary at the time. The night we met Agustina was just any old night, walking home in the dark, finding one last person to contact. It happened to be a little old Dominican woman in bright blue pants headed to a catholic funeral, but she is now a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I love you all so much and love reading your emails every week :)
Have a great week! I look forward to your letters!!!
Love, Hermana Mather
|Hermana Mather, Agustina, Hermana Aagard|