Monday, April 25, 2016

Healing the Wounded Soul

25 Abril 2016

15 months.... wow, it is very weird to have so much time in the mission. I tell people how much time I have and I don’t even believe it. I love my mission and will continue to love and enjoy my mission until the day that I have to leave the country that I have come to love. I honestly don’t want my mission to end. It has become part of me and changed who I am. It is sad for me to see missionaries who are counting the time they have left instead of enjoying every second of it because the time doesn’t come back. The mission is something to take advantage of every single moment to change your life and more than anything be an instrument in the hand of the Lord to help others and bring them closer to Christ.

We have an investigator that I really admire: Daniela. She is changing her life! Short story, her parents abandoned her with her grandparents saying that they didn’t want her. Her grandparents who were her new parents died and she got into drugs and alcohol at the age of 12. She started selling drugs and beating people up. After all of her dark past, NOW she can see who she is and who she wants to become. She started by saying sorry to all of the people that she has hurt or taken for granted. Now she has a plan for making the difference in her life. She has put her trust in the Lord and I know that she will keep changing through the enabling power of the atonement. The Lord loves all of his children. It doesn’t depend on what they have done or where they have been in their life. It is more about the direction they are headed in and who they can become.

I have been thinking a lot this week about the question that a lot of people ask us: ´Why are you here, FAR away from your home, talking to complete strangers (at first) in a language that you didn’t even know? Why are you here?´ I started thinking hard. For me, it is much more than just serve the Lord. It is more about healing. In the scriptures, it talks about the ´pleasing word of god, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul.´ (Jacob 2:8) When we are sick and we find something that heals us, we want to share it with EVERYONE that we can. Its because we know how it is to be wounded, hurting, sick, and to have challenges. If our load is lifted, we want to lift the load of others. THAT is why I am here as a missionary and why the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints try and share the gospel with everyone that we can. BECAUSE this gospel has healed our wounded souls.

I love you all! See ya soon!

Hermana Mather

Our zone activity where we went and played walley-ball! (volleyball in a racquetball court)
Super fun!

Our zone going out for lunch! Fried chicken as always ;D 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

´The Lord Magnifies the Efforts of His Servants´‏

18 Abril 2016

I can’t believe that I forgot to tell you guys the name of my new companion! hehe! My new companion is Hermana Vilca! She is from Antofagasta Chile. All of the Bolivians say that that was part of Bolivia and that she should give them their sea back ;D hehe!). She has 4 months in the mission and so far. I have LOVED how straightforward and honest that she is. She has a way of saying the cold hard truth in a way so amazing and down to earth that you can just feel that it is truth! I love how you can learn something from every single person that you come in contact with, especially companions!

Lately we have been teaching a young couple Samuel and Carmen. Carmen is less active in the church and is less than a month away from having a baby. Long story short, we have been teaching them, they were able to get married and Samuel wants to get baptized now! We are so happy for him and for his future family! We testify of how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families and how families can be together forever through ordinances that we make in the temple. We are so excited for Samuel and Carmen because we know that they will be able to have a ´forever family´

Lately I can see the results of losing myself in the mission. If you remember for new year, I made the goal to truly ´lose myself to find myself´ (Matthew 10:39). Day by day I am losing myself more and more and you know what? In losing myself in the work of the Lord, I have truly found myself. I have found my divine potential that God gave me from the beginning. There are hard times in the mission, but they are all worth it! President Henry B. Eyring said that ´The Lord magnifies the efforts of his servants´. He helps us when we are about His work and helps us to make a difference where we are and in who we are becoming. I believe that with all my heart! There are times where it is hard to see if I am making a difference here, but I know that when I am about the work of the Lord, HE makes the difference for me and for all of His children! He is always mindful of His children and knows what is the best for us.

That’s all folks! Love you all! Until next week!

Hermana Mather

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Colder, Colder and Colder‏

11 Abril 2016

You know how when you hike up a mountain--when you get above treeline--it gets colder? It is entering into autumn in Potosi' and it is getting SUPER cold! I can’t even imagine winter here. The people say that it is brutal cold so we’ll see what happens! They say that it’s a lot harder to wash your clothes (since we wash them by hand) because the water ices over! hehe

This week my companion has still been getting used to the high altitude so I am coming to the realization that I have been trained by the mission to walk super-fast. I am learning to slow down and have more patience and empathy.  ;D

With everything that has happened this week and in my mission, I have realized how important it is to have faith in ALL situations that we are in. It is easy to say that we have faith when everything is going well but the real test of our faith is when things don’t go the way that you want them to. These experiences are the best that we have to be able to grow and learn--when we can put our will in the hands of the Lord and know that whatever happens His plan is taking place. It is hard, but the best thing to do is to do our best to follow His plan and His will and, if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, we can have the trust in our Heavenly Father and know that in the end everything will turn out whether it be in this life or in the next.

There is a quote that I love from Elder Jeffrey R Holland which says, "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

I love you all! Until next week!

Hermana Mather

Me and my companion, Hermana Vilca.

Showing off the area to my companion.

This is why we are not allowed to eat pig here. ;D

We went to tour a Catholic church in town for our district activity today.

... and it has catacombs in the basement. ;d

...and we got to go to the church roof! Super cool! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A Masterpiece from the Ashes

4 Abril 2016

This week: I said goodbye to my companion, received a new companion (she is still getting accustomed to the high altitude: 4,090 meters or 13,420 ft ;d here in Potosi'.  It is brutal the first week here), and we worked hard. And we WATCHED CONFERENCE! WOOO!

I don’t know about you guys but I LOVED General Conference this week! (General Conference is when we get to listen to talks from our prophet and apostles of the church in a worldwide satellite broadcast) and I watched it in ENGLISH! YAY! It is just so much more meaningful when you get to watch it in your native language!

One of the talks more impactful for me was the talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  If you are member or not, everyone READ THIS TALK! It is so true and amazing! It talks about how God can restore, rebuild and renew us- there is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored by the great creator of all things! There are times in my life where I feel like big or small. I am NOT perfect, but I know that God can make us something so much more than we can make of ourselves.  He can fill our gaps, construct us, design our lives, and truly help us to make a masterpiece of our lives. God sees who we truly are and he sees us a worthy of Rescue from the Human state that we are in! I love this!

I would like to say that I just LOVE my mission. I am continually changing, growing, learning, and serving in the amazing work of the Lord. I cannot imagine if I hadn’t gone on the mission. My life and I would be so much different. It has been a blessing in my life and I will never forget this time that I have had (now 14 months) here in Bolivia. It has shaped my life and will continue doing so until the day I die.

Thanks for reading! I love you all! See ya next week!

Hermana Amber Mather