Monday, June 29, 2015

Los Bendiciones del Espiritu‏ [The Blessings of the Spirit]

29 Junio 2015

Quick rundown of the week: we had a baptism!!! WOOOO! I can’t express how amazing it is to bring others closer to Christ and see the difference that it makes in our lives! I also completed 5 months in my mission (I officially complete new months every 27th of the month! wow... it feels so weird to know that I've been here for that long... @.@)

This week for me has been practically ALL about El Espiritu (the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God). I've been realizing the importance of the spirit, the difference that it can make in all aspects of life (especially missionary work) and I've been striving to have the spirit in my life. The spirit of god is SUCH a blessing that we can have in our lives! It can guide us to know what to do, it can give us revelation, it can comfort us in all times and give us a little slice of the joy and peace of heaven, it can help us to know the truth of all things, IT CAN WORK MIRACLES in our lives! With the baptism that we had this week I was able to see our beautiful little convert, Flor, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost which she can received after baptism and it was touching. Flor explained it perfectly to us saying that before baptism we can receive the guidance of the Holy Ghost. He comes and goes, but he can’t stay with us all of the time. After baptism, you can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and he can stay with you at all time, but there are some times where we choose different things in your life that withdraws yourself from that influence. I am so grateful for the influence of the Holy Ghost that I can strive to have in my life SIEMPRE (always). I know that the Holy Ghost is Heavenly Father’s way of giving us a GPS for navigating this life. This GPS can tell us where to go even when we don’t know exactly where we are going. I just cannot express (in Spanish or English) how grateful I am for this influence!

Tender mercies for the week (I've forgotten about this for the past emails... ;D): the testimony of little Flor was so amazing at her baptism – to see all of the family that will be supporting her and helping her along the way to grow in her faith and stay active in the church was such an amazing thing to experience. To have missionaries (misioneras) here that care for and support one another by celebrating the little moments together is such a blessing. To have a blessed family at home, where all of the members are happy and enjoying life even though there are hard times in life. Having Sister Training Leaders in my area who are so amazing and always help to motivate me and keep me working towards better and better goals.

Crazy facts for the week: I saw a cow being slaughtered in my area while I was out proselyting the other day... that was a gut wrenching sight O.o. Also, they say that when a girl can peal fruits, especially potatoes, with a knife REALLY well here, that you are ready for marriage ;D. Let’s just say that I am not ready yet... still training :P. hehe

That is all I have time for this week, but take care, look around and enjoy life around you!

Love you guys!

Hermana Mather

´True conversion comes through the power of the Spirit. When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed. When individuals, both members and investigators, feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of the Lord’s love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a person is willing to experiment upon the word. This is how we come to feel the gospel is true.´ - Elder M Russell Ballard

So, go! Experiment upon the word!!!

Feeding pigeons in Plaza Principal... ahhhh!

Cute little Bolivian kids!

Look at what we found! Super fun!
But my poor companion... you can see her falling off of the pad to go down the slide.

We honestly didn't plan to match... it was a wear freak experience!

Just thought I should let you know that I´m still crazy ;D
Loving the carrots here ;D

All of the family members who are supporting and helping Flor!

Flor's baptism!

Wow, isn't Flor just glowing!

Bubble blowing with my companion!

Monday, June 22, 2015

News from the week :D‏

22 Junio 2015

WOW! Life at home just seems like it is moving along just as fast as it is here! With my brother getting home last week as well as my sister getting engaged and my family having the family reunion it just makes me think that I am so grateful to be a part of an eternal family in the church and to know that everyone at home is enjoying life!

Other news from the mission: I cut my hair! Not a bunch, just a "wittle" bit since it is getting so small and sad looking... I have no hair... but it hopefully will be better with this haircut!

Hey! A miracle happened! I like tomatoes now! Like... a lot! I love eating them plain with just a little salt! yummmmm!

I LOVE my companion! She is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO awesome and cute and really helps me with the language and with staying positive and she keeps me laughing! hehe! IT is so awesome how you can find some of your best friends on the mission!

One of the missionaries that is in my pension had a birthday this week! WE tease her a bunch about being a ´Barbie´ just cause she is SUPER pretty and just cause it gets a rise out of her, so we decorated everything pink and Barbie-ish and pink! it was great!

This week was full of missionary work (i would be worried if it wasn’t ;D) we have been working really hard this week to meet new people and to help our investigators to progress, and we truly have been seeing the fruit of our labors! We have so much more to do in this area together, but was it so rewarding this Sunday to have 8 of our investigators come to church and truly take part of the amazing blessings of church! I can truly say that going to church is such a blessing! Not only can we be somewhere were god has promised that he will be a part of, but we can take the sacrament (which renews our covenants of baptism and reminds us of Jesus Christ, our loving brother and redeemer) and I can see the difference that church attendance can make in individuals, friends and families. It is so amazing how we can give only a few little hours to the lord and he can give us so much in return! I am so grateful for the blessings that come from the church and from the Sabbath day!

That is all I have time for this week, but I love you guys and can´t wait for more news from you!

Hermana Mather

Milkshake ;D

Doing the carpeeta de area [area book]... Its a mess... 

I like tomatoes now! Like... a lot!

Ain't she so cute! Love my compi!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Noche Fogonera!‏

15 Junio 2015

Wow, this week has been quite the week! With a quick run-down of the week, my companion and I have been working hard in our area to talk to everyone that we can and to help her meet all the people her and we got sick this week!

We were sick with body aches, headaches, stomachaches and all kinds of aches for 3-ish days this week. We were just slumped in our beds for a day taking turns heading to... you know where ;D it was actually SUPER funny (not in the moment.. but you know ;D memories ;D) and really great bonding time with my new compi! ... So, we really didn’t get all that we wanted to done this week... BUT, we are happy to say that we are feeling A LOT better now! WOOO!

We got the awesome opportunity to be a part of the 1st Noche Fogonera [Fireside Night] in the mission Cochabamba Bolivia (from what I understand ;D) where the missionaries did all the special musical numbers and there were testimonies from recent converts and President Hansen gave a talk... It was WAY cool! Especially because my compi and I were able to be in it! She and another sister sang `Yo se que Vive, Mi Señor` [I Know That My Redeemer Lives!] and I was able to play the violin part to 'Savior, Redeemer of My Soul'! It was such a great experience and such pretty musical numbers! Way cool!

Funny story (actually from last week ;D) ... so you know how I have been teaching people here how to make American recipes? Wellllll, my Hermana Cruz and I were teaching an investigator that we have how to make apple cake in her house the other day. The whole time while we were making it, she and her husband were asking how I learned how to cook such delicious things (their words not mine ;D) and we got to the point where it was all cooked and we were putting the topping of cream cheese frosting on and something just didn’t look right... We ended up dishing everyone up and tried it... something definitely didn’t taste right.. my compi and I were looking at eat other mouthing `what is wrong with this cake?` SOOO it turns out that the cream cheese that we used for the icing was CHEDDAR FLAVORED! So we had apple cake with cheddar icing... it was an interesting experience to say the least ;D

Well, that is all I have time for today! But, take care, smile, enjoy the warmth and keep my updated on your lives!

Love you!

Hermana Mather

Making Mexican food in the pension [apartment] with my compi! Yummmmm

Cinnamon popsicles and puppie! What could be better?

The Noche Fogonera with all the other missionaries

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Have a NEW COMPI !!!!!‏

9 June 2015

I have a new compi [companion]! She is the best! Her name is Hermana Cruz and I absolutely love her! She grew up in California and her family now lives in Utah, but cool thing is that her parents are from Mexico so her Spanish is AMAZING (and we get to cook Mexican food!!! YUMMMM)! She has such an amazing spirit and an amazing knowledge of the gospel that is already helping me so much! I love her! We are so ready to get to work together!

Funny experience for the week: One of the Elders here loves to call one of the sisters here ‘Barbie’ just to get a rise out of her. And her birthday is coming up, so he was talking at lunch about how we would Barbie theme her birthday for her (which she just... loooovvveeed ;D) and suddenly the whole pension [apartment] broke out in the song of “I’m a Barbie girl”, even the Latinos know the song! It was hilarious!

Spiritual experience for the week: getting used to a new companion and a new teaching style is really different, especially because this is just my second companion, so for a few days I was feeling a little lost as to how we were teaching and everything... but I can honestly say that I gained a stronger testimony of how the spirit can help us in every facet of our lives! I was studying one morning about how prayer can invite the spirit into our lives. I can truly say that it works! Wow! When we pray with real intent, genuinely asking for the spirit, we can be helped so much! It can help us to love people more fully, and help us to know who we really are. It can help us to have a happiness that is real and lasting! It is so amazing to see the fruit of the spirit and the difference it can make in the lives of the people here, and to see the difference in my life! Wow! It really can make all the difference when we have this spirit with us to help us and guide us!

That is all I have time for today, but thanks for reading, writing, sending letters and packages and always being there for me! You guys are the best! Love ya!

Hermana Mather

We love our fruit here! SO good! Yum yum yum yum yum!

We love our packages! American stuffs! Yay!

Isn't my compi just so cute! Awe! Love her so much!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Growing Pains‏

1 Junio 2015

I will be 100% honest with you... This week was probably one of the hardest in my mission so far.

It has been hard to feel a little homesick with the focus of Hermana Llanos going home. It was hard to feel like the area was being handed over to me with the responsibility of taking care of all of the precious souls that are here and to get sick in the middle of the week with a cold that left my head spinning. It was hard to think that I would have a different companion and just SO much came to a climax this week. BUT, the thing about having challenges is that we can grow SO much from all of them!

It has been hard, yes, but man have I ever learned a lot! I have been able to see myself being stretched as a missionary and as a person in the past few days where I wouldn’t have been able grow this much in my comfort zone. There really are times in our lives where things get hard and at these times we have a decision to make: We have the choice to learn and to grow from it or to back down and complain that things are hard... and let’s just say that it’s much better with the primero [first].

I can honestly say that I know that Heavenly Father prepares us for all that we have to go though in this life and that this life isn’t meant to be easy for a reason. This life has a purpose and we are supposed to learn and to grow; anyone can tell you that with growth you get growing pains and for now I´m just experiencing the growing pains of the mission. I am so grateful for the chance to grow and to learn in the mission!

Wish me luck for this week! I will be picking up my new companion tomorrow from the airport; she is coming from Potosi! Her name is Hermana Cruz and is from the US from what I hear ;D we will see what will happen with all of this!

Love you guys!

Hermana Mather

Service project with machetes! Fun stuff

Fruit ninga... literally ;D