Monday, May 26, 2014

We Met an Incredibly Golden Man on the Street...

26 Mayo 2014

You´re all going to hate me again, but we do not have much time to write again.  We have zone conference, and it has been a crazy P-Day, President and Hermana Jackson and lots of other missionaries came from the other islands and we played basketball and such and went out to eat.

BUUUUUUT we have seen lots of miracles. After all, the baptism of Tibisay didn't happen, she had to work, but she will be baptized next week with our other investigator named Luis!!!  It has been incredible to see their journeys in gaining their testimonies, and I have been thinking a lot lately about teaching those we have been given and not judging them for their past and all.  We are excited to see them take this step in their lives next week.

I think I told you about Victor last week, a man who we contacted last transfer finally got in touch with us again, has come to church twice now with his little daughter Alison and Victor; he loves all of it.  I LOVED sitting in church with her, helping her sing, and draw to keep her entertained, it reminds me how much I miss being with little children; she is so sweet and innocent and pure.  I wish I could record every word he says in the lessons, he is so prepared for this gospel, he says he has been part of the world and he knows how it is...  It really didn't bring him any happiness and he feels such peace and joy and relief from his depression from being in the military for so long.  He has so much hurt and pain from what he has seen and experienced in the past, so many things that I am sure I just can't even comprehend, but it was incredible to teach him the plan of salvation this week, and feel the Spirit guide our lesson.  We said so many things, and it took such a different turn from any other lesson, and it was one of the moments that I can testify that those were not my words.  God knew what would touch Victor's heart.  We also gave Alison a Book of Mormon for her own with a pink bow and a little, pink pencil to mark her favorite scriptures :)

This week, I have experienced so many feelings.  Lately, I feel so aware of my weaknesses and I seem to be comparing myself with others at an extreme level.  This is something I so badly want to change and be happy with who I am, not wishing to be look different, be in a different area, know the scriptures better, make a better connection with people.  And there are some days that something inside of me tells me that I can't do it and why should I try.  So I know that Satan's influence is so real still.  What matters is that we get back up, dust ourselves off, and keep working. I feel blessed to know the difference between those days that we need to spend extra time on our knees pleading for the Spirit and to feel that He is really there.  And I am grateful for answered prayers.  We met an incredibly golden man on the street the other day and I copied his number down wrong.  I felt terrible these past two weeks, and we have been praying so hard to see him again.  We found him yesterday, and we are excited to start helping him find God.  I will tell you more about him next week :)

Once again, sorry for the short email again.  I love you all so much.  I promise I will be a sister, daughter, and friend next week, and will write a better email.  Congrats AMBER!! Graduation!! And DESI wahoo married!  Give them big hugs for me :)

Have a great week!

Love you, Hermana Emalooba Mather

Monday, May 19, 2014

His love can be felt in all directions!‏

19 Mayo 2014


How are you all?!?! It was so fun to see the Mormon prom dinner pictures of Amber, how beautiful!!!! You all look so classy and happy. I will be thinking of you all week, with graduation coming up, how exciting! I wish I could be there, but I will be there is spirit :)

I just wanted to share a few miracles and stories from this week!

Tibisay, the woman from Venezuela that we have been teaching will be baptized this upcoming Sunday!!! It has been crazy with her new job, trying to find time to visit her and teach her, in the end, we really hadn't seen her for two weeks.  She takes care of two older people and her only free day is Sunday (which she asked for free to be able to come to church!) and she came to church on Sunday! It was so exciting to see her; she was wearing a skirt and everything. We had what we like to call a "lesson marathon" to be able to finish up the lessons we had to teach her, ate a meal we prepared in the church, taught another lesson, and she had her baptismal interview. It has been pretty incredible to see the change from being so unsure about taking this step in her life, and now so willing to make these sacrifices and be baptized.

I am not sure if I mentioned before a man named Victor from Bolivia, but we met him on the street about 5 weeks ago now, we had one lesson with him, and then lost contact completely. He has been very busy. Oof, this man amazes me, he began working for the military 9 years ago, when they told him that they would give him Spanish nationality after 5 years, and he still hasn't received it. He is feeling very lost and confused and cheated right now, like he has wasted 9 years of his life. It really amazed me as he opened up to us so much (this continues to amaze me as a missionary, the trust that people have in us) about how he had been a very worldly man, and he wants to change. He truly, truly wants to change and feel more peace in his life. Even for the 5 weeks that we weren't meeting with him, he kept the Book of Mormon on his nightstand and said that his 7 year old daughter has been very interested and started reading it too. So, we finally got in touch with him again and I think he is back for good, we invited him to be baptized as part of this change in his life, he said that he is in it 100% and trusts that as he puts God first in his life, the rest will come. I love that more than anything, he wants his little daughter to come to know who God is and find this strong base in her life. Sister Burgos and I testified to him that that is why we are here. We have been raised by parents who taught us to believe in Christ and seek his comfort and peace and teachings, and here we were, really putting to practice what our parents have taught us all of our lives. I am so grateful for that. I am grateful for the marvelous power of the Atonement that creates this change in people´s lives, even though I can´t fully comprehend it. So many prayers were answered when we met with Victor again, I knew this man was very special from the first time we met with him. He and his daughter came to church yesterday and loved it. Alison played with all of the Primary kids! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for raising me in this gospel and giving me the opportunity to serve a mission.

Also, you should look up the song, "His Love" I think it is called, not sure who sings it (His love can be felt in all directions, from the thorns in his hands... he will find a way to remind you that he loves you). This song touched my heart this week, as I had one of those days that we all have, wondering if I could really get myself out of bed and face the challenges of the day, but then we went outside to run and I was amazed by the beauty that surrounded me! Then we listened to this song as we got ready for the day and it was like a tender mercy, answer to my prayers to feel God's strength and confidence in me. God truly shows us His love in so many ways.

I hope you feel my big wet kisses and hugs I am sending to you!!!!!! Have a great week with graduation, take pictures!!!  And send them!!

Mom, I am so excited you are reading Preach My Gospel!!  The book Jesus the Christ is going to have to wait for me....but I am so proud of you!! Wahoo can´t wait to hear what you learn :)


Hermana Mather

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Not much time!!!‏

12 Mayo 2014

Hello all of you!

It was so nice to see all of your faces yesterday!!!! I have to apologize in advance, we had some difficulties shopping for groceries and things for P-Day, so my email time is reeealy short. This will probably be my shortest email yet! Yikes, so sorry. It really was so nice to see all of you goobers, I love you all, and I think of you often.

I just wanted to share one experience from this week with you, I shared a little with you yesterday, but last Monday night we met with Tibisai, the friend of Luz Marina who is from her little pueblo in Venezuela, who we met at the beginning of this transfer. We found out that 30 minutes before we arrived, she had been called by someone offering her work. FINALLY!  I can share more about it next week, but it truly was a miracle that showed me how much Our Heavenly Father truly loves us and tests our patience to show us how perfect his timing is. So stay tuned.... :) We were jumping up and down and smiling as she said she couldn't deny this as an answer to her prayer, and wants to be baptized in two weeks!!! Wow, truly, God takes our imperfect efforts and turns them into something that will reach the hearts of the people and help their testimonies grow.

Again, sorry for the email CORTISIMO [VERY SHORT]!!! I love you. Let me know when you get your special something in the mail, Mom and Aaron :)

UNTIL NEXT WEEK!! Besos [Kisses]! I promise there will be a better email next week :)

Love, Hermana Mather

Monday, May 5, 2014


5 Mayo 2014

Wow I feel like I blinked and this week started and ended! I am not even sure where to start!

So this week started off with some hard news. We called our friend Virginia, the mom of Christian and Brian, the cute little family from Bolivia, and she said that the older man that she lives with and takes care of doesn't want to her to meet with us. He doesn't like being left alone, and he is very Catholic, so if she wants to go to church she will go there. These disappointments can be so difficult, because we have done everything, EVERYTHING in our power to teach them and help them accept the gospel and be blessed but there are just some things we cannot control, the only solution is to pray. Their time may come sooner or later, but it will surely come, it is just hard to see them progress, and then not be able to continue, they are so golden!

Hermana Burgos and I have been trying to look for more and more opportunities to serve and love people, and God is blessing us with so many opportunities! We called up a lady named Ines who was fairly recently baptized, and she said she didn't have time to meet because she is fixing up a room and painting it in her apartment, we told her OF COURSE that we would love to come and help her! She giggled and thought we were weird for being so enthusiastic, and said we can help. I have struggled my whole mission to know if truly I am working hard enough, getting good numbers, and making others feel of Our Heavenly Father's love every day. With how much I have been studying about Charity and Service, I realize how much I lack, and how I really need more of this Christ-like attribute. I try to think a little bit more every day about others, not about how well I might be able to explain the doctrine, or hope that my words come out okay in Spanish or find the right scripture, but truly LISTENING and letting the Lord speak through me so that I know what to say. This can make us feel very vulnerable. I find myself thinking all the time on the street or in church or in lessons wondering too much what others think of me or if I am making a big enough difference, but the truth is, I think of the Savior and what he would do, and all that he did had NOTHING to do with himself. I cannot picture him wondering about what to say or what others thought of him, he simply served and loved. So that is what I have really enjoyed about these past couple of weeks, as we spend our time and energy trying our best to make others feel loved, and then we see that the Lord blesses us so much with just enough time in the day to accomplish our goals. It truly is amazing.

I think I also told you last week about a man named Juan, who we met as we passed a member on the street last week. She was encouraging him to learn more about the gospel, and we have met with him a few times this week, he has been so prepared :) I love his sincerity, we teach and he nods and says "okay, okay, okay" the entire time. He really applies himself to learn in English classes, too. We also invited him to baptism and he is very excited to take this step in his life and to continue learning more! I will tell you more about him next week! I sent a picture of him in our English classes. He is from Columbia and loves baseball, and his dream is to come to New York, hehe.

We also had another experience that really touched my heart. A man who has been a bit inactive in the church lately called us the other day and said he wanted us to do a family home evening in his house. That night we went and found out that he and his wife (both members in the ward) are in the process of being divorced (they have struggled for the past 5 years). He really just opened up to us about how he feels so much pain, but knows he needs to get back on the right path, especially for his 6 kids. It softened my heart to see his humility and trust in us. We felt the spirit very strong as we read about holding onto the Iron Rod and did an activity to demonstrate holding on to the rod. It continues to amaze me the way people open up to us as missionaries and servants of the Lord, I love it, and love feeling like we can help them. I do not know what will happen to this family and it makes my heart hurt to think about it, but I know that the gospel heals hearts and brings family closer, because I have seen that in my life. He and his daughter are also studying Preach My Gospel and want to help us teach people!

Okay, I am out of time, but just wanted to share a funny story. Ha, one of our investigators, Luis (little bit of an odd duck, but we sure love him) came to the baptism that the Elders had this weekend. After, I was talking to him, seeing if he liked it, or had questions, and he said that he had already been baptized... in the Catholic church, normal stuff. But THEN, hehe, he told me he was baptized again. One day he just went to the ocean and decided to start a new life, and he submerged himself in the water, himself. Ha. We will have to touch up on baptism this week.

I hope you have a great week!!!! I CANNOT WAIT TO TALK TO YOU!!!

Love, Hermana Mather

p.s. You should watch the video "Because of Him" if you haven´t seen it. IT IS BEAUTIFUL. I cry every time I see it!

Near the ocean with Ani Flores, an incredible member here,
she served a mission in Venezuela and lots to come do visits with us when she can.
She reminds me a lot of Danae Carlson, very inspired and just FUN.
We ate Cachupas with her, yum :)

All squished in  the car to eat at a member´s house. Hehe.

I love my companion!!!

The view from a member´s home.

A Little bit more of what our area looks like!
Still lots of city, with ocean view :) the beaches here have black sand!

Our district (family) after district meeting.
We each brought salad, bread, and drinks to eat together in the church.
How fun :)

Magnolia. Ha what a cute member.
Investigated the church for 20 YEARS. Wow.
Gave me a picture she painted!

Mari, our Venezuelan grandmother :) She makes the BEST sandwiches.
A recent convert of Elder Argyle, she has the biggest heart I have every seen.

All of the Hermanas came to our piso and we made quesadillas together after zone meeting.
Love these Hermanas!!

Hehehe.  Helping one of the less-actives in our ward paint.
We were sooo excited to be able to serve her!! How fun!

English classes with Arepas from Columbia!
On the right is Juan, an incredible man who will be baptized in two weeks!

Heart attack!!!!

Yay the Elders had a baptism! Efrian, 18 years old.
He has made lots of changes in his life, threw out all of his piercings minutes before the baptism, wahoo!!
We are working with a lot of the younger youth (many of them aren't active right now), but yay he is part of the JAS here now!

Making cookies for Mom´s in the ward.
Mothers Day is one week before, and they love American cookies, hehe.

Its getting really hot here. haha