Can you believe this is the last email? Wow, I feel like I am in denial, it’s an interesting feeling! I have found some scriptures that have really spoke to me throughout my whole mission and explain so much better how I feel! Here are a few!
86 I give unto you this privilege, this once; and behold, if you proceed to do the things which I have laid before you, according to my commandments, all these things are mine, and ye are my stewards, and the master will not suffer his house to be broken up. Even so. Amen.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.
1 Thessalonians Chapter 2
1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judæa are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.
2 Timothy 4:6-7... Paul said it best...
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
As you can see from the pictures below, we had to opportunity to see Javier´s baptism this week! We learned that there is opposition in all things, especially when we had planned everything the best we could, and some things were thrown off and we had to deal with a few changes. I found myself thinking and worrying so much about everything else, and sweet Hermana Orrego leaned over and told me not to worry about all of the things that were not going is planned, we just needed to focus on how Javier feels and He sure did look happy. Sometimes in life we seem to do that don’t we? We worry so much about the little details and we start to miss the big picture! I was grateful for that moment to put myself in Javier´s shoes. He looked to comfortable and happy and he gave a great testimony afterwards. He walked out of the building just glowing. During church the third hour of church, it was priceless watching him finger through his new scriptures, excited to start reading The Pearl of Great Price :) THAT is what matters.
This week, we also saw so many miracles with Amanda!!! We have met with her every day this week, and she has progressed so much. She even sang a Spanish arrangement with us at Javier´s baptism of "Be Still my Soul". She LOVES to sing and feels the spirit so strongly with the music :) We have been working for a while towards her baptism, the 6th of December, quite unsure if she would be able to, because she needed to talk with her mom, and she has been a bit unsure and scared about a few things, but we were so incredibly happy and surprised when we asked her this week. She said she had talked to her mother, and that she can be baptized!!!! She is so involved with the ward (in her shy timid way) haha. She is so ready, and it sure is a tender mercy to be able to teach her. Ha she is so cute, she is allllwayys cleaning the house for her mother and doing her homework and when she is not doing that she with us or in seminary :) so fun.
So, it’s been an adventure. I received Nathan´s wedding invitation this week! So exciting! Oh and Dad I received your last mission letter too :) I haven't had time to read it yet, but I plan on reading it and writing my own last letter of my mission on the train ride from Gijon to Madrid in a week. It’s hard to even know how I feel right now let alone be able to express it all just sitting here at the computer, so I will write down all of my thoughts better when I have more time to reflect and think.
One thing I have been thinking though is how everyone keep asking me about how I feel, expecting me to be really sad or excited or happy, and I honestly don´t know what to say! I decided that serving with ALL THAT I HAVE and BEING HAPPY is how I feel. I get waves of sadness, knowing that I will never wear a name tag with Christ's name on it again, or have the incredible opportunity to become so close to my Savior in the way that I have here. It's hard now knowing if I will ever see any of these people ever again. But at the same time, I know that I was sent her to serve for a certain amount of time, and I will also finish my work here, but that does not mean that the work is over. I will just complete the Lord's will here and the moment will come when the Lord needs me to work somewhere else and serve Him in different way. We all have our unique circumstances and gifts to serve in the Lord's work. He is SO AWARE of us... of our strengths and our weaknesses. I know that is true. He has shown me His hand in my life so many times. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve Him and His children.
There is a unique fullness of joy that only comes by serving the Lord. I love the way that Ammon describes it. We as humans have a small capacity to love in comparison to the way that the Lord loves us, but as I have served Him I have seen that He truly is mindful of ALL of His children, even those that we might judge as imperfect human beings. And as we serve Him, we begin to feel a bit of that love. I am grateful for that. Now this is my joy and my great thanks giving, and I will give thanks unto my God forever :)
Take care and see you soon :)
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
Love, Hermana Mather
PS. Hey you should all watch the "He is the Gift" Mormon Message if you haven´t seen it already!
|A billboard I saw that says "arrive to your home"|
|Making empanadas with members :) yum from Columbia!|
|We went to Oviedo this morning and hiked with all of the missionaries of our district to the Christus there!|
|It was rainy and cold but beautiful and completely worth it!|