Holy cow, this week has just flown by... actually this transfer in general, and I am not really even sure what to write today! Sounds like the whole family is super busy and happy and healthy, I am glad!
Each day this week really has been a challenge and I have been finding it a little hard to keep up "the fire". Trying to keep motivated and believing that God can work miracles. I think back to the beginning of my mission and how energized and motivated I was (but a little too stressed out all of the time, jaja) and I always pray to have that same motivation. It is amazing to see the new Elder Howard here, he reminds me of that "FIRE" that we should always have. It can just be hard when we feel like we are doing all that we can, and baptism dates are still not reached and we don’t fully comprehend the Lord's timing or measure of success. But he constantly teaches me:
1 Thou therefore, my son (my daughter), be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. (2 Timothy 2:1, 3, 10)
…and I feel that one day we will understand why things shouldn't have gone as WE (weak, limited humans) plan things, rather how GOD (all-powerful, all-knowledgeable) plans them and His way is always better. It is a constant thought in my mind... what I want versus what the Lord wants. Learning to leave behind my wishes and desires and following Him.
The woman we are teaching, Marcela from Bolivia, is progressing slowly but surely! She is working a whole lot more than before and we can only see her once a week, but finally she said that she wants to be baptized and has confidence that she will see miracles in her life as she keeps God’s commandments! She especially needs his extra help in bringing her three children here from Bolivia. It’s a lot of crazy paperwork, time, and money. It makes me sad knowing that they live so far apart and it could be a long time before they are all together as a family again.
Victor, oh Victor! He is still progressing. It looks like he had another setback. We will figure that out this week. It is hard when he seems to struggle to not have one foot in his old life and one foot in the new life as a changed, better version of himself. It can be SO DIFFICULT for me to just do our part and let the rest play out. Trust in the Lord and His timing, even though it can be painful to see setbacks and trails. But, through this, we have been able to come in closer contact with Veronica, the mother of Alison, Victor’s daughter. It is a pretty complicated relationship, (I have NEVER been so involved or known so much about people's personal lives than I have as a missionary!) but I always wanted to get to know her better. And now we are starting to and she is so sweet, a great mom, and has a great potential to accept the gospel. We will be teaching her tonight. God is very aware though, if ALL of these trails and setbacks and changes of plan hadn't happened, we wouldn't have gotten to know her better. I am excited to work with her :)
Suelin and Irene are doing well! I sure love them! They've been busy, but they do what they can and are progressing at their own pace :) and we mop their stairs when Irene is feeling stressed out with all that she has to do. It’s nice to see the smile on her face when we help her. (Especially when we are wearing dresses while cleaning, hehe)
For Pday today we went to Teide!!! POR FIN [finally; at last]! Oh my goodness I needed it... it was a breath of fresh air!!!!! It was incredible to be at the top of a huge mountain and see the ocean out in the distance. I miss the mountains. It was nice to breathe some mountain air :)
I hope you have a great week!!!
Love, Hermana Mather
PS. This week I also had an intercambio [companionship exchange] with Hermana King. She is an incredible missionary :) and she reminds me how much I love music and how it touches my heart. That is the most impacting way for me to feel the spirit. It reminds me of many nights spent singing around the piano as family! We sat there in companionship study, as I just listened to the lyrics and cried. Music is so beautiful! You should look up the song "Blessings" by Laura Story:
"What if your blessings come through raindrops
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you're near?
What if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise?"
I think we all go through moments when we can identify with these lyrics. They are very touching :)
|Ever heard of Harry Pooter? hahahahahaahah|
|Teide!!! Me, Hermana Palomino, Suelin!|
|Elder and Sister Hatch, a senior missionary couple|