Buenos Dias Familia y Amigos!!!
What a week it has been! Wowza, so the week began with saying goodbye to Hermana Aagard as she headed off to Segovia, and I was in a trio with the other two sisters here (Hermanas Shelton y Hansen) for the night and morning. I felt strangely calm about everything, although the past few days before I was feeling very panicky, wondering who my new companion was, hoping I am capable enough to train, etc. But I do believe I was feeling the prayers of family once again! It was the strangest experience though, I had to travel 1 1/2 hours ALONE by metro (subway) to [Calle Hacienda de] Pavones (the temple) to go the training meeting and receive my new companion. Oh boy was that weird after being with someone 24/7 for the past 8 months. It all went okay, though, and I made it in one piece, and even received a reference, wahoo!! I was reading The Book of Mormon on the Metro ride and I noticed a lady looking at it so I said hello! It turns out part of her family is members and she has listened to the missionaries before :) cool!
I really enjoyed the training meeting with President and his assistants. Once again I felt a calm, as if the Lord was telling me that everything will be alright. We talked about the importance of obedience (of course) and the importance of being an example. President Jackson even showed us a picture of HIS trainer (great comb-over hair and everything!) and how HE set the pace of the whole mission for him. I sure hope I am that kind of trainer for my trainee!
So we were all sitting in the chapel, President and Hermana Jackson had a cute little PowerPoint with pictures of our faces, where we are serving, and then the picture of our trainee!!! The three sisters that came in the field are from Spain, Argentina, and Italy. My new companion´s name is Hermana Sanchez, from Granada, Spain!!! WAHOO for native companions!!! She doesn´t speak English (at least that is what she told me at first!) but she understands me usually when I say some things slowly in English. I am very excited to improve my Spanish; it has been helping so much already. I swear she came pre-trained!! She is so willing to be obedient and diligent, and that is all I can ask for!! And do you remember Araceli, the return missionary here that served in Washington D.C.? Hermana Sanchez is her sister-in-law! What a small world!
So we got back here in Alcobendas Tuesday night and got straight to work! We had two appointments that night across town, and we have just been running non-stop ever since... got up at 5 the next day to be able to go to the temple. SO WORTH IT. I love the spirit and relief I feel there. I continue to be amazed with my companion, she can already teach doctrine so clearly and I feel like we have been teaching together for a whole lot longer than a week. I think the Lord just wanted to train ME again. Haha. I sure love her. It really takes me back to about 7 months ago (wow has it really been that long??) when I entered the mission field and everything was so shocking and new. I am trying my best to help her to adjust well, understand everything clearly, feel the Spirit, and have fun! I taught her how to make brownies! Hopefully we will learn to make some yummy Spanish food too!
As for our investigators, WOWwowWOWwow. Javier and Gustavo are incredible!! They both were simple street contacts, but truly prepared people. They both have baptismal dates for the 15th of March. Javier continues to tell us that he does not feel like he did before, in the darkness, with the weight of so many past sins on his shoulders. And Gustavo... GUSTAVO! He is 20 years old... and he didn't even know he was looking for the truth. But he really thinks about everything very clearly and logically and it all makes sense. More than anything, he FEELS it. God is so good. I feel so blessed to see these miracles. The best part is when we plan days that we think are just perfect and flawless, they fall apart, and we see that God had a better plan, we saw that when Gustavo called us and said he couldn't make it to an appointment, which we had members coming to, but in the end he attended family home evening with the ward members and had a great time! He even shares messages and answers questions in Sunday School Gospel Principles [class] :) I feel so blessed.
Welp my companion is waiting on me, I had better go! Talk to you next week! I love you! I forgot my camera [memory card] converter, so I will send pictures with my companion next week :) I love you!
Love, Hermana Mather
PS. Trials in our lives
Not sure if I have sent this to you before, but I have been thinking of this a lot lately:
"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before." -Thomas S. Monson, “I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee”
I love you :) and thank you for all the missionary talks you sent!!!