Monday, January 27, 2014

Just keep swimming!!!‏

27 Enero 2014

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AARON!!!!! woof.... 14 years old?!?!? I cannot believe you´re so stinkin' old now. I was going to send you a cane and a wheelchair but I don´t have money for the postage. I hope you enjoy my birthday card! Have you gotten it?!? HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR AARON HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YEEWWWW!!!!!!! Just imagine me singing that very loud to you in the morning for your breakfast in bed :)

Today ALSO marks one year since I opened my mission call. WOW how time has flown. It has caused me to sit back and think about how much life has changed since then. From that day when wade and I opened our mission calls, life was all about preparing for a mission, entering the temple, and studying to scriptures. That feels like yesterday! Now, here I am, in a little locutorio in Spain, with my little missionary Chapa on, sitting next to my companion. I feel so grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me the prompting to serve a mission. I learn more and more every day of the reality of our Savior Jesus Christ as we teach that his Atonement carries our investigators. But it not only does that, He carries me during my times of trial and weakness. There are so many things I know I would not have learned otherwise. I feel such a love and appreciation for my family. I see the importance of having a life centered on the teachings of the gospel.

So for this week! I read an article from the Liahona [church magazine] this morning that mentions Finding Nemo and how sometimes in life, we just need to KEEP SWIMMING (I thought of you, Petunia)!! Missionary work can be like that sometimes. Enduring, being obedient, studying, teaching, talking to everyone... knowing that the Lord will see the true desires of our hearts and work miracles. Marcos, from last week, who threw keys at Hermana Aagard´s head haha, has been progressing so well! Before, he was in his own little world, forgetting to come to our appointments and not seeing much of the importance of the gospel in his life. But since becoming in contact with him again, he is so much more humble and willing to listen, really taking to heart the lessons we prepare to teach him. God worked this little miracle: 5 months ago we contacted Raul, a friend of Marcos and began teaching in his house. Raul didn't end of having time or interest, but Marcos listened. We lost contact with him, but ran into him again, and we are teaching him. He is preparing for the 15th of February for baptism.

I don´t know how much I have told you about Alba and Walter, but they are a couple we are teaching that I wanted to tell you about! Alba was also a street contact from 2 transfers ago (about 2 months or so). They are both from El Salvador, and they have accepted all of our teachings well, and we even taught her to make brownies.  We always have a great time there, laughing and feeling the spirit in our lessons.  I love watching them interact. They are so sweet to each other and really truly love each other. However, they are not married...... A dreaded bit of information to find out when you are a missionary!! So we have been dreading a little bit teaching the law of Chastity lesson to them, because we really weren't sure how they were going to react! We taught the Ten Commandments and read "Thou shalt not commit adultery" and passed over it a bit the time before, but this time, we really emphasized the importance of the family in God´s plan. The family is the center unit of why we are here! We are not given these families by chance, and children deserve to be born in the ties of marriage. I felt the spirit testify to the truth of this as we studied for and taught this lesson. All in all the lesson really did go very smoothly, and they understood the importance of marriage in God´s plan. Walter will be leaving Spain in 1 month, and they are not sure when they will see each other again. It could be months, or it could be years. In spite of all this, they still accepted to live the law of chastity because they know that it is the right thing to do, and that it will bless their lives. THIS IS INCREDIBLE TO ME! Wow, people have so much faith, they never fail to strengthen mine. Alba said immediately "Walter to the couch!!" then squished his cheek. I love them.

Just a few thoughts!
1. I did an exchange with my friend from the MTC, Hermana Nydegger, who just returned from the [Canary] islands. We had not seen each other in 6 months. Wow how time has flown! I actually met her at BYU in mission prep class before we left. It was neat seeing both of our progress with gospel understanding and language.
2. Pablo is now Assistant Mission Leader... best friends with the mission leader, Segundo! So he comes to correlation with all of us missionaries and he gets to see what goes on "behind the scenes" of the missionary work, as a recent fruit of our labors! ha, he swore 4 times in correlation though. I guess we need to have the 10 commandments lesson again. oof.
3. I received a cool package from grandpa with pictures and stories and poems! Thanks grandpa!! I sent a picture of it. I got to see dad as a missionary!!!

Well, that's about all for this week!

Love you all!

Love, Hermana Mather

The baptism board in our ward!

Package grandpa sent with pictures of the Sacred Grove, his mission and dad's mission too!

This is a little example of the city life I have become accustomed to.
So different from little Monument Colorado!

Our first landmark here in Alcobendas!
I always knew where I was when I could find HOMIES TATTOO.

An example of a little fruiteria.
We have these on every corner.

At Zone Conference with Hermana Aagard in Alcala

We were so excited to have peanut butter.
Hermana Aagard put our picture on it because we have had great bonding experiences.


Christmas from Wade!


Well, I wrote Aaron a birthday card of 14 reasons why I love him.
I guess the number 7 didn't make it in… sorry!
Here it is! Happy birthday!!!!

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