It's been a good week here! It really has flown by and I feel so blessed to be here. We as missionaries have such a great opportunity to meet a large variety of different people, and teach to their needs and learn how to love them all. A lot of the apostles and prophets in General Conference emphasized using LOVE as motivation in all that we do, and I think this is something we can always improve on, in any aspect of our lives!
Last week, our phone was stolen, so we have spent an entire week without a mobile, we are going a little crazy!!! Ha, nonetheless, it has truly been a week of miracles. Two weeks ago, we started teaching a lady named Virginia, and her sons Cristian (14 years old) and Brian (8 years old). They are from Bolivia! I have a special little place in my heart for the Latins. :) I have never taught such little children before, I sure love it :) I can't stop thinking about how Cristian is the same age as Aaron (my little brother) and it just makes my heart melt. They came to church on Sunday and they seemed comfortable and content. Brian got to go to Primary and Cristian to Young Men. It has been fun seeing them learn to sing hymns and teaching at a level to help all three of them understand.
We also met with a former investigator from the area book, named Gustavo, from Columbia. He sure loves the Book of Mormon and has really sincere desires. We were very firm and clear with him, and taught him that baptism is the end goal, and that he can live with his wife and daughter forever as a family as he follows this beautiful gospel we have been given. He seemed a bit shocked and said that he liked the message and would meditate about what we said. Sometimes ya gotta be clear with where all of this is going... and the Spirit takes what we say and carries it to their hearts so that they can ponder what we say and ask God if it is true.
I cannot tell you how much I love having district meeting every week, it feels like family here, and I feel a strong spirit as we join together to share talks. The main theme of our last meeting was centered on three things:
1. The Lord is WITH US (Matthew 28:19-20) He will protect us. Sometimes I wonder if I realize what a special and important time of my life this is to be able to represent the Lord and focus all of my time and talents and energy on others. So grateful to be here.
2. Testify of Christ more. On the street, in lessons, on the go in the Tranvia [tram / train].
3. I surely love my companion, Hermana Burgos :) She is so wonderful to serve and love and light up my day. I am so grateful to learn more about other cultures, even though it can be a bit of a shock, the different way we were raised, what we like to eat, how we react to certain situations. But what a great opportunity it is to mix cultures and become enriched. When I am having a hard moment of the day, she clues in, and makes me a nice banana smoothie or makes me take a relaxing bath with candles. She loves to laugh and joke. I learn from her profound Bible studies every day, and her diligence and willingness to learn the gospel and love the people inspires me.
We went to Candelaria to teach one of our investigators this week. You should look up pictures online :) It’s beautiful!
Also, I got some news from Hermana Sanchez, my companion that I trained in Alcobendas. She said that they had a baptism the other night, and a lady named Gabriela came. I don't know how much I told you about her, but Sister Aagard and I taught her for a while. She was a reference from a member in the ward. She seemed to lose interest for a while, or just wanted to investigate on her on, so we hadn't taught her for a little while. But she approached Hermana Sanchez and said that she wants to be baptized in April!!! She will be baptized the same day as Vicenta, the other Dominican lady we had been teaching in Alcobendas. What a JOY it is to still hear about the fruits of missionary work going on there. I couldn't stop smiling when I found out. Hopefully she'll send me pictures so you can meet them :)
Well, that's about it for the week! I look forward to you emails and letters about what you are learning in Preach My Gospel :) hehe. Will you start studying with me in Chapter 5, What Is Role of the Book of Mormon?
Have a great week! You are always in my prayers :)
Love, Hermana Mather
p.s. A short little note. Did you ever realize in 1 Nephi 8, that before Lehi has the vision of the tree of life, he has to walk in darkness for HOURS. Lehi. A prophet of the Lord. He then prays fervently to the Lord, then he is shown the beautiful tree and sees the Love of God. I never realized that before. It is a testimony to me that sometimes the Lord needs us to step into the dark and take the scary step of faith so that we can appreciate the light and testimony that come afterwards. :)
|Paella [Valencian rice dish] homemade from the islands|
|Eating today for Pday with some investigators of the Elders!!!|
|The streets of Tenerife!!!|
|Hermana Burgos taught me how to make Arepas [Columbian flatbread]! Yum!|
|Happy birthday creation for Tibisai, our investigator (far right) with member Luz Marina (center)|
|In the mission with have “cumpli-meses” [completed months] where we celebrate|
every month how many months we have been in the mission field.
Hermana Burgos made me pancakes!