20 Enero 2014
Hola a todos [Hello everyone] :) I hope you all had a great week :)
I just read Wade´s email, and I couldn't agree more with him about Amber and Aaron... serving the mission is the BEST. Sure, it is one of the hardest things I have done yet in many ways, but there are so many blessings I have seen now, and some I am sure I have not even seen yet. ALWAYS, always, always keep this in the back of your minds because everything you are doing now is preparing you for something else. Always be ready and worthy to be able to serve, you will not regret it. You will make friends for a lifetime.
Speaking of friends for a lifetime, Hermana Aagard and I figured out that by the end of this transfer, we will have spent 168 days... just about 6 months together NONSTOP! Wow, that's quite incredible. She has taught me so much, and we have learned distinct lessons every transfer. I just wanted to share with you what we like to do after every transfer to measure our growth and progress. We like to write memorable moments, what we have learned, and what we can improve on. These are just a few things that I have learned personally from serving so far, my 7 months as a missionary:
1. Work HARD. It is the best feeling to be happily exhausted at the end of the day.
2. Laughter really is the best medicine.
3. Involve God. It is HIS work. We are to teach by HIS power, with HIS spirit, and speak HIS words.
4. Comparing yourself (not just in missionary work) does not move you forward. We should be taking our imperfections to the Lord, and he can tell us personally how we can be better.
5. Miracles are found when you are out WORKING.
6. Obedience with exactness is possible, and truly brings miracles :)
7. God uses imperfect people to do His work... I may not ever feel completely adequate, but God does make up for my weaknesses and those are the moments when I can recognize His power. (Ether 12:27)
8. LOVE is everything. This gospel is love. Numbers and goals are there to push us to our full potential. I will not always remember numbers, but I will always remember the people I came to love.
9. First impressions are generally wrong... (Agustina and Pablo).
10. When I am teaching with the spirit, I recognize it because I learn from what I have said, that I didn't realize before. I have seen this in lessons and when we share what we learn in companionship study.
11. God can make MORE with LESS time, and we have been taking time to serve other missionaries and do intercambios [exchanges] with them.
12. Memories are made with people, not so much where you are or what things you have.
13. The holidays truly mean more as we testify of Christ and learn of Him. And as we focus on the miracle of His life, and not just on His birth.
14. God takes imperfect efforts and strange situations and turns them into something beautiful.
15. Successful missionaries are measured by the transformation that occurs in the lives of other people.
And what I LOVE about being a missionary:
1. Feeling like we are instruments in the Lord´s hands, looking back and knowing we were where we needed to be, saying what we needed to say.
2. All of the incredible people that have changed my life forever... people so willing to open up, tell us their struggles and let the Lord heal their doubts and pains.
3. Discovering over and over again that the Lord knows me personally and is one of my best friends.
4. Fear is the opposite of faith and Satan in real. We need to protect ourselves ever day against his powers (2 Timothy 1:7-8).
5. Seeing other people come unto Christ and seeing myself change little by little in the process (I hope!).
6. Feeling the support from prayers all around the world especially family and close friends.
7. Meeting people not only prepared for this message, but also humble enough to accept it.
8. Loving the scriptures, learning to love the words of the prophets and feel their faith.
9. We can permit the Lord to change us when we give ourselves to the Lord and His work.
10. Learning the DESIRE is everything. We should willingly give our hearts to the Lord. That is when we can feel His power and see miracles (Helaman 3:35).
11. I see the need of a marriage rooted in the strength of the gospel.
12. I hope that my family is blessed for my service here (please read "Come, All Ye Sons of God"... an incredible story.)
13. I think I am comprehending a little bit of what parents mean when they say that the love their children different, but equally. Our converts in the church are SO different but I have such love for each of them and want them to continue to grow and learn. hah sounds cheesy I know.
So there are just a few reasons for you (especially Amber and Aaron... I am so excited for you to start preparing to go on missions :)
Just a little excerpt from Hermana Aargard´s email for the week: hah
"Miracle in disguise, was Marcos. Marcos was an investigator that had a fecha [baptism date] but he disappeared from off the face of the earth. Randomly last week he called us and asked if we could come to his piso, because he was locked IN his piso [apartment]. We thought we had understood wrong but went to his piso. We found him hanging out his window waving keys saying the locks didn't work. He told us he was going to throw the keys so we could let him out. Very strange I know. Anyways I get below him to catch the aforementioned keys and without warning he chucks them down. Luckily, my face broke their fall. I now have a lovely dent right in between my eyes from where his keys met my face. Hahah I am learning charity on the mission J But it was worth it because he came to church the next day and is working towards a baptismal date."
That was an adventure. Isn't my companion funny??
So after the two baptisms we just had, we have been looking for a lot new investigators, walking and knocking doors a lot. Our ward mission leader came back from Utah wearing a shirt with a huge American flag on it! haha. We are so glad to have him back and pushing us to help our investigators and get them to progress. I agree with wade, the WARD MISSION TEAM it something every ward should have. we need members in the work.
Oh, one more little miracle, last p-day we were chased out of the Locutorio [internet cafe] by a man saying "Elders! Elders!" It was a man from Bolivia who has been inactive for a long time, but has been looking for the church here. He wants us to start teaching his friend who is searching for the truth. His name is Jerson.
Welp, sorry for the long email this week, I finally had time to say all that I have been meaning to say for a while :) I love you all and pray for you all the time!!!
Love, Hermana Mather
P.S. Just an interesting fact, we found a store here that is like WALMART!!! Wow please cherish every moment you have near a store that has everything you are looking for. Haha it was like being in America! It was such a little tender mercy, yet very overwhelming at the same time. Hehe, sometimes I am reminded how much I love America.