Monday, September 29, 2014

What Kind of Witness Will You Be?‏

29 September 2014

HIIIIII FAMMMILLLYYY!! hoooooolllaaaa!!

So... this week!! I have so many thoughts and things I would love to share. There truly are so many things I could share every week, I pray that what I DO share comes out right, haha. Getting towards the end of a mission can be HARD. I can´t really describe it in words, but the adversary works hard at my weak points and I want nothing more to finish strong serving the Lord here! With the amount of time I have left, like Wade said, I know the Lord expects us still to serve with all of our Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength, and it ALL truly starts with our desires. I feel blessed to have Hermana Carrol here, she is a strong, diligent, good-hearted person and we have fun together. The Lord knew I needed her!

We had a zone conference this week, and listened to a talk from Dieter F. Uchtdorf, called Fear Not, I Am With Thee, and he related the story of how "This act of love (the Resurrection) transformed a band of frightened, worried disciples into a dynamic group of fearless missionaries who changed the world. The events of that day have the potential and power to do the same for every servant of the Lord, for every missionary, for everyone who is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Can you imagine how pained Mary and each and every one of the disciples felt as Christ was taken to His tomb? Would we be like Mary, seeking to know where Jesus was laid? Who do we seek? I believe desires truly are of the most importance, because when Christ asks "Whom seekest thou?" that is a question for each and every one of us!! Whom do we seek? According to Mary´s desires, He appeared to her. We will all pass through time of trial and darkness but according to our faith and the desires of our hearts, God´s word will be completed in EVERY DETAIL! I know that is true.

Will we be able to recognize His voice like Mary did that day? Will it be familiar because I have heard His voice as I follow Him and listen to Him every day of my life? Because of the event of the Resurrection, EVERYTHING changed. President Uchtdorf says that Jesus´s disciples before were mostly witnesses and followers, they observed and learned. I feel like at many times in my life I have merely been a follower, if that. We all, at time fear what others might say of us and maybe we were just observers from the outside. As I have come to know my Savior here while serving a Him, I understand that I really don´t know much at all!! But I DO KNOW that coming to know Him and believe that He lives and resurrected that day has transformed me. It´s not so important what the world may think of us. We are to fear no man. How has the knowledge of the Resurrection changed your life? Something to reflect on. Everyday we are faced with decisions... with those decisions, What kind of witness will we be? Will we be able to recognize His voice?

While serving a mission, I think we learn to recognize little miracles along the way every day, and that keeps us going :) God´s little tender mercies are there to tell us all will be well and He is pleased with the work we are doing, however imperfect it may be. About a week ago, we were walking home and it was late at night and we talked to an old Spanish man with a big mustache walking into his door (the mustache in an important detail, haha). We didn't think much of it, passed by another time and his wife told us not to pass by again, but we decided to call him. He said he would meet with us at the church this past Saturday, we weren't sure if he would come, but he did! He was even 30 minutes early. And we were there talking for almost two hours!! His name is Carlos, he is from Gijon, and he is such a GOOD man. I wish I could have video recorded the lesson, I just felt so astounded how the Spirit touched him. He began saying he didn't know exactly who God was, and was convinced that we cannot know truth, but as time went on, we described the Plan of Salvation and bore testimony of the role the Christ plays in that. As a father, he said that he loves His children--more than his wife--and he would be willing to give up his life for them. And it made me think so much profoundly about this scripture.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  (John 3:16-17)

God has such a perfect love for us. He sent is Beloved Son to die for us. That is such a key point of doctrine, and it really touched Carlos' heart. Everything he said brought scriptures to our minds and little nuggets of truth that we could testify of. haha. By the end of the lesson, he said casually "Well, I think I might pass by this afternoon, will you to be here to talk again?" That NEVER happens!! haha We gladly met with him and invited some other members to come with us, turns out, they were acquaintances already! It was a day full of miracles! We tend to get scared to approach the people from Spain here, because they can be generally a lot more close-minded, especially the older generation, but we felt the Spirit so strong in our lessons with him, and we could see such sincerity in his eyes, searching for something. I could have sat there all day just enjoying that feeling of letting the Spirit teach us. I will let you know how Carlos is next week!

Just a closing funny thought, hahahahaha. Our ward mission leader. His name is Santi. He is from here, Gijon. He thinks the best way to do missionary work is feeding us and giving us chocolate. He has one arm. He took us out to lunch this week and as we ate he told us how he had copied pages of the Gospel Principles book to study while he was in the sauna that morning. I just about died laughing and had a hard time eating when we all pictured him preparing to talk about how families can be together forever (his little one-armed self) in the sauna. Hehe, he said he tried to share some little spiritual thoughts with the other people in there. I wonder how that went.

I hope you have a fabulous week! We will be doing the same thing at the same time, hearing the prophet's words!

I LUFFF YEWWW!!! I miss you!!

Love, Hermana Mather

Scriptures of the week (I hope you actually read them, they are incredible!):
D&C 6:20
Juan 16:12-13
Juan 21:15-17
Matt 16:24-25
1 Tes 2:8
1 Tes 2:17, 3:9-10

p.s. Are you sooo excited for conference?!?! Have you been preparing?! Have you got your questions all ready? :)

p.p.s. Hermana Philips, who served here in Madrid, and Wade met her in California on his mission (he interviewed her brother for baptism)… She was featured in Church News! Cool!

The two hour bus ride we took to zone meeting in Leon was beautiful!!!
This is a shot out the window

Elder Ward, Hermana Carrol, and I.
Do you remember Elder Ward, he was in the MTC with me, he was the elder in the train crash?
He is incredible, so funny :) He can play or make up just about anything on the piano, its incredible.
We had a special musical number, he played piano and we sang. So fun!

And… this is what happens when there are mirrors in elevators.. hehe

Gijon! This is about a 40 min walk from our apartment!
We went here for my first time today!!
Tis so beautiful! We just jumped for joy  :)

Thought you might like this Wade and Aaron... paddle boarding!
Our favorite family beach activity! They do it here in Spain too! 

I was speechless!
These are my feet, we were standing above this beautiful overlook of the ocean!
There are little stairs leading down from the grass patch to the ocean here.
It was a fun, relaxing pday today.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Embrace Change!

22 Septiembre 2014

Amber, I have been thinking about you so much this week, I randomly say to Hermana Carrol, "My sister is going to Cochabamba, Bolivia!!!" And even though I have said it out loud randomly countless times this week, it still doesn't feel real! I have met a lot of people from there (Victor and Marcela, investigators from Tenerife are from there!!!) and you will love it :) More than anything, I am so excited to see how you grow and develop and Come to know Our Savior, Amber. It will be the best experience of your life, not because you fully enjoy every moment of it, but because you will truly come to discover so many things about yourself and about others of different cultures that you never knew. And we learn how Christ's Atonement applies to each and every situation and person. I am not sure I could possible express the gratitude that I have for the opportunity I have been given to serve. It is the hardest thing I have done mentally, intellectually, spiritually, etc. Just in every way! But you will love it Amber. You will be "investida con poder" in the temple and come to realize personally all of the blessings that The Lord has in store for you and His children. You will spend more time on your knees than you have ever spent in your life. You will be amazed at the humility and diligence it takes to learn a language!! But I can tell you one thing: IT WILL BE WORTH IT. Please look up and read the talk "Rise to Your Call". I thought of you when I read it this week :) You will do INCREDIBLE things Amber. You will touch many lives with the gifts you personally have been given. That’s also an incredible thing about missionary work. We are all called, we all wear the chapa [nametag], teach the same lessons, but the talents and gifts YOU HAVE will touch others in a way that no other person could. The Lord has called you, He will guide you, and He will magnify you :)

This week has been sooo interesting!! Overall, it’s been one of the smoothest adjustments from transfers that I have had, despite all of the traveling from one end of the ocean to the other, haha. Hermana Carrol is a gem. She is 25 years old and has great desires to be obedient and learn Spanish and touch others. I received such peaceful feelings before I came and various times this week, knowing that this is where the Lord needs me in His vineyard. I realized something though! She is my first companion from the United States in 7.5 months since Hermana Aagard! Wow! It’s been weird being able to speak English again. My brain is so Spanish oriented and sometimes the Spanish words just come out when I am speaking English, haha it’s embarrassing! I miss speaking Spanish so naturally 24/7. I am realizing what effort it will take on my part to continue to improve and progress in speaking and learning the Spanish language. I love helping Hermana Carrol too.

So many missionaries in the northern Spain have a mindset, that is it very difficult and the people are very close minded and it's close to impossible to baptize people here. I do not want to ever let that get into my mind! I know there are many prepared people here. It is different for sure, but we will see miracles!! There is a lot of work that needs to be done with less-active members here that we feel need help, so we have been working on reaching out to them. It can be difficult to really get to the bottom of their struggles and understand how to help them feel the spirit and help them. I have come to be very grateful on my mission to catch a glimpse of how Christ felt during His earthly ministry.  I love thinking about what He would do if He were here in my situation. Sometimes we need to feel the heartache of rejection or misunderstanding or pride (we felt that one lesson this week with a man, it was a difficult night for me… he was not very open learn and feel the Spirit) to feel a portion of what Christ felt. He, The Son of God, was rejected and spit upon and He continued, knowing that what He taught was eternal truth that would save their souls. Wow, it amazes me how He truly learned line upon line, precept upon precept, and continued forward. I truly believe that I need to experience tough moments like that to understand the hurt that Heavenly Father has when His children are too far from feeling to feel His presence. But it is so true (and we see this pattern over and over again in the Book of Mormon) that "His hand is stretched out still." I have gained a testimony that because of His love, His merciful hand is ALWAYS stretched out towards his children.

Oh! Hermana Carrol and her former companion started teaching a Dominican family here: Antonia (the Mom), Fran (son, 17 years old), and Aaron (son, 8 years old). I love Dominicans!!! We teach English and the gospel to them each week, and she also brought us some yummy peanut butter :) I am excited to get to know them better. They have a baptismal date for October. I have already felt so welcome in the ward here.  The first night we went to President Florin´s house (he is from Romania) and met them, ate some wonderful Colombian food (his wife, Gladis, is from Columbia!) and got to know them. Gladis is so wonderful and willing to help the missionaries. This is my first time serving in the branch, and there is a lot of drama that goes on. Many people have become offended and gone inactive, so we plan to really SHARE THE LOVE with everyone. It will be different and interesting. We are up for the challenge!

And Gijon! We were going to go to the beach today buuuuttttt it is really rainy. Next week! Ha, we really need to improve on taking more pictures. This is the only picture we have really taken this week. He is an incredible ugly but cute dog Carmelo and Vicky have (members here). His tongue doesn't fit in His mouth and his is veeerrrry wrinkly. haha. Enjoy.

Oodles of LOVE!!,

Hermana Mather

p.s. "If I only think of my own performance, my sadness deepens. But when I remember that the Lord promised that His power would go with me, I begin to look for evidence of what He has done in the lives of the people I am to serve. I pray to see with spiritual eyes the effects of His power." Rise to Your Call by Elder Henry B. Eyring (read it!!!)

p.p.s. One more thing! To prepare for General Conference, read the talk General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony by Elder Robert D. Hales! Start getting your questions ready and preparing. I am so excited!  :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sacrifice, Enjoying the Journey, and Transfers!!‏

15 Septiembre 2014

Buenos Dias!!! My mind feels all boggled from the family email and from Amber. I was expecting an email of your mission call in at least two weeks!!!!! AH CONGRATS AMBER!!! How do you feel? Are you excited? When will you go to the temple? WE CAN SPEAK SPANISH TOGETHER SOON!!!! Wow, I did not expect to get this email today, I am so happy for ya sis!!!! You have so many blessings and challenges and adventures awaiting you :) I can't wait to be "companions" with you and do mission prep with you when we are home together! YOU´re goin’ on a mission!

These past few days have been a roller coaster of emotion!! We were at stake conference (afterwards) Saturday night, when we received the news about transfers! I was nervous about leaving this area and especially my companion. Everything felt so comfortable and fairly smooth!!! But that’s pretty much why I was leaning towards the fact that I would be transferred. I am learning more and more that the blessings come in the storms!!! The little storm we were thrown: Hermana Palomino will stay in Santa Cruz and area train, and I caught a flight the next night to Madrid and stayed the night then rode a train to...... Gijòn!!!!! Oh the train ride was BEAUTIFUL, it is so green and mountainous... surroundings that I have missed for so long!!! I feel like we are in the shire from Lord of the Rings, or that we rode a train to Hogwarts. hehe. It feel definitely be a change to work here, I feel like I have started a different mission all over again. Please look up pictures of Gijòn to get an idea of it, I tried to take pictures on the train ride and they all turned out terrible, hehe. I have always secretly dreamed of serving here! It was an adventure to get here, traveling from the very bottom of the mission, to the very tippy tip of the peninsula, but we are here we are here we are here!!!

AMBER ROSE... I can´t believe it... you’re going on a mission!

My new companion is Hermana Carrol from Arizona! She has about 10 months in the mission and I just love her to death, we had met in Madrid on intercambios [companion exchanges] and had a good time. When we were told the news, it was all so bittersweet, lots of goodbyes said and it was hard to think of a chapter in my life closing, BUT NEVERTHELESS I felt a peace. The peaceful feeling always comes and I find myself reflecting a lot, thinking about if I had accomplished what the Lord has asked of me.

As we sat in stake conference I felt so strongly that all of the recent converts we have in the ward will just flourish and do so well! A patriarch was just called for the stake there, and it just gives me chills thinking of all that Luis and Ana have in store for them as they seek to have an enduring conversion the rest of their lives, receiving their patriarchal blessings, etc. If I have learned nothing else on the mission, it is that the mission changes lives (I am a witness of that, they say that the first convert of our mission should be ourselves, and I have felt so many changes in myself along this journey). If I have learned another thing it is that the times in our life of greatest trial and feeling uncomfortable is when the greatest growth comes. And lately, especially this last weekend, I have just felt an outpour of blessings and feeling so in debt with the Lord. I can never get even with Him.


I wanted to share these from the last zone conference with you!...

Being twelve years old is a drag! I hate being a Boy Scout and I hate these long hikes. If only I were like my brother and could go to High School and have a car and drive everywhere instead of walking, then I would be happy.

Man, High School is a drag! Tests every week. Mary likes you, not me. Gas costs so much and Mom and Dad never let me have the car. College would be an easy life. No parents to bug me. Then I would be happy.

Boy, I wish Mom and Dad were here! Mom could fix me a good, hot meal. So much homework. Never have any time. But soon I’ll be going on my mission -- that will be great. And I hope I go to a foreign country so I can go to the MTC and learn a new language. Then I’ll be happy.

If only I had gone to an English speaking mission. Life here in the MTC is really a drag. I can’t pass off the second discussion. Have to cut my hair every two weeks. I got a “Dear John” that everyone seems to think is very funny. Spend three hours in the lunch line and can’t say families correctly. I can’t wait to get into the mission field to be with people and to teach them. Then I will be happy.

Boy, what I’d give to be back in the MTC where at least if I did speak English someone could understand me. Here I sit in Puerta del Sol, in Madrid, Spain and wonder what my girl friend is doing. Wonder what  Mom’s cooking for supper: can’t really wait to get home again, get into life, get married, have some kids, really want some kids and then I’ll be happy and life will be good like I always dreamed.

These kids are a pain! They’re always getting into stuff, business is bad, never have a minute to myself anymore. The kids always need this or that. When I retire and have all day at home with my wife, then I will be happy and life will be good like I always dreamed.

I wish those kids would come home and visit sometimes. The place seems empty with everyone gone. There’s nothing to do. Don’t have the strength and enthusiasm I used to. 

Boy, I wish I was a Boy Scout again. I remember when I was 12 years old and a Boy Scout. Those were the best days of my life.

And a letter President received from a returned elder who served in the Spain Madrid mission:

“I was reflecting yesterday if I would call the mission a sacrifice. And for everything it seems I might have sacrificed, I feel like I have been given tenfold. If I say I have sacrificed time with my family, then I must realize that I have been rewarded with a family more united and loving than ever. If the mission has been a sacrifice of time, I have been rewarded with knowledge that no university in the world could have taught me. If it has been a sacrifice of my talents, I have been rewarded with more than I ever had before. I can speak Spanish, I care more genuinely about people, [and] I am less quick to judge and more anxious to serve. If it has been a sacrifice of human relationships, I have been rewarded with practice in speaking to men and women from all walks of life and in diverse situations. If I have sacrificed my earthly possessions, I have been given new ones that I value infinitely more. For anything I have sacrificed I have been given more.”

This really touched my heart. No wonder we ask members of the true church of Jesus Christ are asked to sacrifice so much. Along the way we are just taught little by little that we really aren’t sacrificing after all, and that is how I have felt this week, thinking about the people I have met, the experiences I have had, things I left behind, but so many things worth so much more that I know and cherish. I can never pay the Lord back for what he has given me :) But we can always live our lives in a way that we thank Him for all that He has done. That is the happiest way to live :)

You may all send letters to this address... I live here now!!!!  Letters are always welcome :) please send some to this lonely mailbox soon!

Hermana Emily Mather
Calle Jove y Hevia
#19 1-D
Gijòn, Asturias

I love you all so much!!! I pray for you and think of you daily :)

Love, em

Marcela!!! The lady we taught the entire 6 months I was there in santa cruz!
I wasn't sure if you had ever seen a picture of her.

And Pablo, I don't even think I have told you much about him.
He is a little miracle, I will have to tell more about him later.
He is progressing so fast and LOVES coming to church and being involved. haha
He wore a white shirt and tie without us even asking him to on Sunday.
Well, he brought the tie because he didn't know how to tie it, we helped him.
After stake conference he said he was just so inspired to be nicer to people
and say hello to them even when they don't give him the time of day.
He says he needs to be better and more friendly and an overall influence on others. Haha
He is a cute 64 year old man!!

Saying goodbye at the airport yesterday to Hermana Palomino and Mary and Paco

and.. suprise!!!! Augustina!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I got to see her in Alcobendas this morning, all the plans just worked out and we ended up having time!
We grabbed a video and everything, we surprised!! hehe
I walked up the stairs, she saw me, and she fell to the floor!!!!
It was the happiest reunion EVER and the greatest surprise for myself and for her :)
Wow, it felt like time had not passed, and I was back with my Dominican grandma :) hehe.
She is doing so well, she is firm and faithful and always going out to help the missionaries with lessons!

This morning, getting ready to board the train after some great reunions with an Elder I have not seen for over a year!!
Wow its so good to run into other missionaries and members and recent converts :) 

My new companion, Hermana Carrol!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Luis Is Baptized!!!

8 Septiembre 2014


I my goodness it is so good to hear from you and know that you´re all well!!! And actually having time to write you is really nice :) Oh goodness you are all having some adventures too!! Wow, that story about the Elder in our ward at home sounds about right, haha it really has been amazing me lately how much I have grown to love soooo many of these people here. My companion feels like my Ecuadorian sister, the Elders here feel like my brothers, members and investigators are so kind and caring...and none of these people in our areas were even part of our lives a few months or years ago. It is incredible to think about. It is crazy thinking about both worlds of people I love, both at home and in the mission and how hard it is to not be able to have them exist together and be all together at once. But that is what heaven is for. I think a lot lately about how it isn´t enough to just return to the presence of God and our older brother Jesus Christ, they want us to all return TOGETHER. The relationships and ties we create in this life are so important... every kind word said and service offered matters. I love you all so much. It still can be hard sometimes to be away from Mom, Dad, Amber, Aaron, Wade, and Nathan... but it truly is such a comfort to be to know that we can live in the eternities together. I feel a bit emotional just thinking about how blessed we are able to, and what a legacy our ancestors have left behind so that I can have such a beautiful family based upon the gospel. Mom, I received your letter with stories of our ancestors this week and your handwritten letter (thank you sooooo much! it was so nice to hear from you!!!) and I am filled with such gratitude for all of the sacrifices that were made for us to be where we are today, just because they felt the truth and recognized the Lord´s voice when the saints were called to gather in Utah. Wow, I really wasn't planning on writing any of that in my email today, but it came to mind how truly blessed we are and what we owe to our forefathers. What a blessing it will be to get to know Grandma and Grandpa Powell who I have never met, and other descendants and live with our immediate family because we have been sealed together with the Lord´s priesthood authority here on earth.

I AM SO HAPPY FOR AMBER! Yay, that will be so nice for her with others all around her with the same standards, I have always admired her natural spirituality and love for others. I can completely see her simply saying "let’s fast" or "why don´t we say a prayer?" Ah I just bet she´s having the time of her life out there. AHHHH I can´t believe her mission papers have been submitted! I’m just getting so excited thinking about it! When will her call be here?!?  Thank you for sharing your testimony of prayer and fasting mama. Wow, we are witnesses of little miracles when simple things like that soften hearts and give us strength. The Lord is so willing to help us when we let Him in. I love hearing about how He works with our family. I love you guys :)

Oh YES! Last week was so fun!! We flew out Monday morning (I am going to see if I can send ya some pictures of us on the plane and all hehe) and arrived there to see the missionaries from all the other islands (5, I think) and President. Wow, when President got here 2 years ago ALL the sisters were in Madrid, there weren't any in the North [of Madrid] or in the islands. I feel so blessed to be here. It was a painful week of sore muscles after playing volleyball and ultimate Frisbee for hours, haha I could hardly walk and was very sun burnt. ALL worth it though! I cannot express how much I just love getting to know all of the missionaries, and be with people who are all here for the same purpose. We had a relaxing night (surprise!) and all the sisters stayed in what used to be the mission home there in Gran Canaria. It was a dream!!! We had time to shower and relax and have a devotional, eat some delicious American style chocolate chip cookies, French toast, bacon....we felt like we were on vacation. It was a different and strange but very nice feeling! Zone conference was incredible. Our leaders truly are inspired, I always walk away with a list of 1032434580 things that I can improve on and hope to be able to apply :) We talked a lot about DESIRES. I love that word...and how the Lord knows the desires of our hearts and we can change our desires, The Lord has called us and can magnify us. We all stood up together and recited D&C 4, memorized, and Elder Howard, Elder Muller, and I sang the Spanish version of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing (my favorite song!! It’s pretty in Spanish too).  We always leave Zone conference edified and charged up to work hard again, I love it. I want to send you a few copies of some of the things President said to us.

It has been a week of unexpected events and running around like crazies with plans for another baptism! I am not sure if I have told you very much about Luis, but I wanted to share a little with you today. We met him late one night as we were in a bit of a hurry. It was dark and we needed to be home fairly soon, and we walked past Luis and his friend, but felt the need to turn around and talk to them. We shared the story of The Restoration with them that first night, and that’s where it all started!! Since he was 8 years old, he has read the Bible and been interested in religion, passed through some difficult times in his life with an abusive father, done some things he really regrets, etc., and his journey has been an interesting one. He studied with many religions, the latest being the Jehovah's Witnesses and always ended up feeling further away from God, and wanted to be baptized after many years. But after 5 weeks, it’s been interesting to see the transformation in him. In the beginning, he didn´t even believe that he had chosen to be here in this life full of suffering and pain. He had so many doubts about being able to keep some commandments specifically, but we continued to teach and he continued to soften his heart. The past Sunday, we wanted to announce the baptism without anyone´s name (because he wasn’t sure if we had received an answer for sure if he should be baptized the 6th of September) but they ended up announcing his name in sacrament meeting along with the baptismal announcement... ooops. We felt soooo bad! He felt awkward as he had to tell others that he wasn’t really sure about it. We apologized and he just looked me in the eyes and said: It’s okay, I know your hearts. Maybe you two know that I am more ready than I think I am. I am starting realize that I was prepared to accept The Gospel of Jesus Christ before I met you two, I just didn’t know it". WOW. I couldn’t believe it. I just didn’t have words! The Lord works in mysterious ways and takes our imperfections and brings His purposes to pass. He is very prepared and yet we have felt so much opposition this week. The Salvation of Souls is not a cheap experience!!! The first time we scheduled his baptismal interview it was 2 hours long, and needed to talk to President for 1 hour, clearing up some things that had happened in the past...he´d had a hard day and felt upset and offended. But the Lord also used this imperfection to teach us a lesson of patience and it was the Lord´s way to teach each of us humility hearkening to the words of those called of the Lord.

So, making this veeeryyyy long story short (maybe I will tell you the entire story someday! haha) after 3 phone calls with President, lots of waiting nervously, innumerable prayers, two interviews, announcing and postponing the baptism, LUIS WAS BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY the 6th of September! Wow, I am so glad that this is the Lord’s work and not ours. Salvation is not easy! It’s been a journey. During the baptismal service I kept thinking about what a miracle it was that in 5 weeks the man we met on the side of the street who gave up hope on the whole world became the man dressed in white, humble and willing to make a promise with the Lord and be baptized. He bore his testimony about how all his life he wanted to be clean, but it was like his washing machine was just broken. the clothes kept coming out dirtier and dirtier, but he has finally found the solution to be on the right track and realizes it is a good thing to be humble and accept the Lord’s help in the process We consider Mosiah 5:1-6 his story.:) I will try and send pictures if I can find a memory card reader!

It was so good to hear from you! Thank you for your support and prayers :) they are well received and much needed.


Hermana Mather

PS. Before I forget, I just wanted to tell you about an incredible talk you should read: "The Best is Yet to Be" by Jeffery R. Holland. It’s so great!!! It is so applicable in so many different situations in life!

Our yummy breakfast with the Sisters and senior couples and a bit of the Gran Canaria mission home!

Hermana Palomino, Elder Howard, Elder Muller, the Missionaries in Santa Cruz!

Boarding the plane!

The airplane!

The Hatches, Luis, Hermana Palomino, and I

Luis is baptized!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ana is baptized!!!!‏

1 Septiembre 2014

Well hullo there!!!! Mama, pops, Nathan, Amber, Aaron, Family and friends!

So this is probably going to be the shortest email in all history of emails from Hermana Mather because we have spent out P-day here as a zone in Gran Canaria!  Believe it or not, we took a half hour flight over here this morning and arrived here just in time to eat some sandwiches and go to the park to play ultimate Frisbee and volleyball and soccer!! It was so fun!!! It was really refreshing! It was crazy trying to find computers and locutorios [internet cafés] to write emails for alllllll of the missionaries so we are short on time.

I wish I could write so much for about Ana´s baptism, but it was a very special experience, she was a little nervous. Her testimony afterwards was so touching … she started crying. I had never seen her cry before. She thanked us for not only teaching her the gospel and her true path in life, but also for being her sisters. Oh, she is really a true friend. She testified of the truth of the church, after only investigating for 2.5 weeks. How incredible!!! She is a miracle and a lifelong friend :) Her aunt, who we found out is less active, came to the baptism and is returning to church. Her grandmother came and loved it :)

I will tell you more next week okay!!!

Love, Emaloooba :)