Buenos Dias a todos, les quiero y les echo de menos. Ha sida una buena semana aqui in Alcobendas :)
[Good morning everyone. I love you and miss you all a lot. It has been a good week here in Alcobendas :)]
This transfer has been flying by, especially with the exchanges we've had. I went to Azuqueca to do intercambios with one of the sisters there, then to Guadalajara for their district meeting, then back to Alcobendas, teaching a handful of lessons, Gustavo had his Baptismal interview, and then the baptism!
I feel like every time we have a baptism, its a good time for reflection. The mission is like a marathon, we have to be in tip top spiritual shape, thus we have studies for up to 3.5 hours every morning (while I am training) and sometimes it is hard not to just get stuck in the routine of it all, with my head down at the pavement, wondering if I am changing, learning, and growing. I try to enjoy every moment of it, and sometimes that can be hard too!! Sometimes we just have to put our feet to the pavement and GO, trusting that the Lord sees the big picture, and that everything we go through will be for our good. So, this weekend was one of a bit of reflection for me, as each baptism or other big event is like finishing a leg in the marathon, realizing that God´s hand is truly in this work, and it will ALL be worth it in the end. :)
The baptism went well, and we all felt surprisingly relaxed, as the ward members really had everything figured out, and they have just welcomed Gustavo with open arms. He only had to be baptized once (thank heaven that part went smoothly too!) and the service was wonderful. :) He and others bore their testimonies. He was so happy! Once again, I find myself putting myself in his shoes... if some strange missionaries talked to me on the street, would I accept to meet with them? Would I ride my bike to church? Would I be willing to accept this complete change of lifestyle, change my standards and friends if necessary? Gustavo is an incredible example to me and I feel blessed to have seen this little miracle. He has been asking questions about what it requires to serve a mission... :) We shall see where that leads!
Just some things I have been thinking about and studying:
There are many who, for different reasons, find themselves waiting on the road to Damascus. They delay becoming fully engaged as disciples. They hope to receive the priesthood but hesitate to live worthy of that privilege. They desire to enter the temple but delay the final act of faith to qualify. They remain waiting for the Christ to be given to them like a magnificent Carl Bloch painting—to remove once and for all their doubts and fears.
The truth is, those who diligently seek to learn of Christ eventually will come to know Him. They will personally receive a divine portrait of the Master, although it most often comes in the form of a puzzle—one piece at a time. Each individual piece may not be easily recognizable by itself; it may not be clear how it relates to the whole. Each piece helps us to see the big picture a little more clearly. Eventually, after enough pieces have been put together, we recognize the grand beauty of it all. Then, looking back on our experience, we see that the Savior had indeed come to be with us—not all at once but quietly, gently, almost unnoticed.
This can be our experience if we move forward with faith and do not wait too long on the road to Damascus. -Deiter F. Uchtdorf
We have been studying this talk, trying to figure out what hold´s Alba and Walter and other investigators from being baptized.... and I am realizing more and more how baptism really is a step of faith, just like many other things we do in life, trying to put all of the pieces we have together. When we commit to be baptized, we show our willingness to the Lord, and that we need more pieces of the puzzle from him. As we do this, he promises to guide us and we see the picture more and more clearly as he walks beside us and gives us his spirit. WHAT A JOY it is to see people put the pieces together too. Let us move forward with faith and not hesitate to put aside our fears.
Well, all is well. Thank you for your emails, prayers, and support!!! I sure love you!!!
Love, Hermana Emily Mather
|Dario, Gustavo, Yo, Hermana Sanchez, Hermana Hansen|
A Spanish family invited us to eat with them, they live in a cute pueblo.
What a breath of fresh air :)
|Thanks to Hermana Chapple asking us to help her get a haircut,|
we contacted Gustavo on the street 5 weeks ago, and here we are!
|Wahoo!!! Dario was so happy to be the one to baptize Gustavo.|
I hope they both serve missions very soon!