Monday, July 21, 2014

Tu Obra No Està Terminada, a Penas ha Empezado!‏ [Your Work is Not Done, It Has Just Begun!]

21 Julio 2014

Hello Familia!!!

Guess what!!! I got all of your family letters!!!!! Wahoo!!!! Oh my goodness, there is nothing better that getting all of your letters in the mail... it was a difficult 4 weeks and I really wanted to hear from all of you and I appreciate the time you took to write about what is happening in your lives and print out talks and dad your journal entries, sending leaves, it all means so much. I think my patience was just being tested, and all the sudden I finally got ALL the postcards and letters from all of you. THANK you! And Wade, I am so happy you got your package!

Mom, I hope things get better for you, and less stressful with everything happening with Mr. and Mrs. Rose. It sure does sound like a crazy week. Just keep swimming! You're in my prayers!  I am glad they have all had a good time with scout camp, leadership conference, and all. It's so good to hear from you. :) Thanks for making time to write during all of this craziness.

As I have looked back at all that we have learned and experienced this week I would just like to say: Now behold, I, Hermana Mather, cannot write all of the things pertaining to this week: our joys, trials, spiritual experiences, etc, But what I do write, I hope will benefit you and I. This is a record of my small plates, the spiritual experiences that I hope will benefit those of my people. hehe. Here we go...

As for this week, do you remember how I told you that I want to be better in recognizing and following the spirit in missionary work and in my life? Wow, just like an answer to my prayers, it truly has been a pattern in our week. As we ended Pday last week, we were concerned because Victor hadn't been answering his phone for 3 days and all of our plans had fallen through, I had a strong feeling that we should pass by his house, which we had never done before... and so we did. To our surprise, he had fallen again. :( This time he went out with friends Friday and didn't show up at home until Sunday, gone for three days and he didn't even know what had happened. Yikes, he sure was regretting everything he did, very humbled and confused about what to do, as everyone around him (even family) laughed at him for falling into temptation again, worse than before. How grateful I am that we followed the impression to pass by, even if it was just to stand in his doorway and assure him that the Lord wants to forgive, there is still hope, and he has these weaknesses for a reason. I fully believe that he needed to pass through this trial one last time to help him realize quite a few things and make immediate changes NOW so that he can be baptized. He needed to feel God's love for him in THAT moment. And during this week, we have seen him bounce back and really hold on to what he knows, stronger than before and more determined. We watched "Pueden Hacerlo Ahora! [You Can Do It Now!]" and he said he felt like Dieter F. Uchtdorf was talking to him. He has spent the whole week reading the Liahona, talk after talk and loves to tell us what he learned. He says, "Estas revistas te hagen hacer cosas buenas! [These magazines make you do good things]" hehe.

We were able to recognize God's will as well Tuesday as we had planned to go on splits with members and had so many lessons planned, but the day turned out completely member fell through as did many appointments, but sometimes what seems like a disaster to us (not meeting our high expectations of numbers in one day, pulling out the huge map of the city when we aren't sure where our next investigators live, etc.) is EXACTLY how God planned it in the end. This is the day we met Irene and Suelin. God guides us and makes what seems like a very imperfect mess all pulled together at the last minute something perfect. Irene and Suelin are incredible. Every day since our first lesson with them, Hermana Palomino and I have said that we feel like we truly knew them in the pre-earth life, we feel like they are our family. It was one of the most simple and spiritual lessons we have ever taught of the Restoration. And we both feel like we have known them for years!!! I want you to meet them someday. They are from Venezuela (I love the people from Venezuela). Irene is Suelin's aunt. Irene (we contacted her on the street) has been here for years and Suelin just arrived not to long ago, they both have such faith and great values. They came to English classes that we teach and the Ward activity we had in Las Terrasitas, too! They are just so easy going and fit in with everyone. Both of them came to church on Sunday, too. Irene sat there agreeing with everything that was said and making her own little comments. We were surprised that they stayed the whole 3 hours, but they really enjoyed it. :) Time goes by so fast with them. Mom, Irene reminds me a lot of you, the way you care for me and watch out for all those around you. She is very selfless and has a cute sense of humor. We have found a little piece of family here. After 4 weeks of not seeing much of the fruit of our labors, we met them. :) Sometimes we don't see the big picture or realize the small whisperings until after the fact. I have no doubt that the Lord was preparing us and the both of them for some time to meet. We feel so blessed!

During Zone meeting this week, and for the following days after, I kept having the most interesting thought in my mind: Your work is not done, it has just begun. I suppose it was because we heard 4 missionaries bear testimony for the last time before they go home and it made me reflect a lot on the work the Lord has for each of us to do here. I also read the talk that Natalie sent me (what an inspired little cousin I have). Lately, I have such a thirst for knowledge and a desire to do MORE. That can be a bit of an overwhelming thought, when it is hard to keep pushing and I feel like I could collapse from how tired I am sometimes. But I feel very strongly that there is so much more work to be done. There are more people who need to hear this message here, more people who need to be loved and served, more people like Irene and Suelin so prepared out there. And this mission I am serving now will not end that work that needs to be done! It just means another chapter! I suppose this is what the gospel does for us -- it helps us to keep this hunger of knowledge -- spiritually and intellectually. After personal and companionship study, Hermana Palomino and I have a list of OTHER things we want to study and we don't want it to end, haha. It is the same with language study and so many other things. The closer we come to Christ, the more we come to realize that we are not alone in these goals and aspirations that we have and we desire that he guides our path to achieve the potential He tells us we have. I hope that we can always feel this way: with a strong desire to serve and learn and love and do the Lord's will. I know that God lives. I know that the more I learn about Him, the more I realize that I truly don't know. I know that He guides our lives and tests our faith to show is that He is the one that looks us in the eyes and tells us that we can do it! I know that my family is forever and this is the greatest blessing that I could ever ask for.

Also, in the July Liahona, you should read "Becoming Perfect in Christ". Its great!  I pray that we will all come to the day that we will look Our Savior in the face, feel comfortable in His presence, and recognize and embrace him!!

I hope you all have a great week!

You're in my prayers, always. Things aren't easy here, but its not meant to be. Thank you for your prayers and support in letters and emails!!!

Love, Hermana Mather

The mail Man.. a missionary´s best friend!!!!!!!

YESSSSS all of your letters that I was missing came all at once!!! What a happy sight!!! THANK YOUUUUUUU!!!

Our Ward activity at the beach!!!!!! 

Don´t worry we didn´t go swimming... someday  hehe :)

This is Suelin on the left!

From left to right, Irene, Elder Bird, Hermana Palomino. Suelin, Victor!

Playin' dodgeball and volleyball on the beach as a Ward!

I fell...

Suelin, Hermana Palomino, Irene, Yo :)

Con victor :)

Mary, Paco, Arelis, Barbara  Not sure how much I have told you about them. They are from the Lalaguna ward. Mary sure takes good care fo us!

Oh Mary… Made us Pabellon, a Venezualan dish. MY FAVORITE. She is the best Venezuelan grandma I have ever had

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