Longest email ever = YES (Week 13)

Apologies for this week being late, I was on holiday and really needed my laptop to sort all of this out my phone screen was just frustrating to say the least haha!

Anyways she had a lot to say this week which was ace! And some more photos!

Hey guys!

This is probably the longest group email I’ve ever written, Lo siento!

It was a pretty quiet week this week again! Lots of people are away on
holiday still here in the ward, both members and investigators so
we’ve begun to do a cleanse of the ward list which is huge, like 41
pages long and it’s still missing a lot of members. A lot of the
people don’t live here anymore either, like I phoned one family and
fixed a family home evening with them because we don’t know them, when
we phoned for their address it turns out they live in Guardalajara
which is super far away and definitely not in our area, not even in
our zone in fact it’s 56km away hahaaa! So the ward cleanse has been
interesting!

We have a new investigator called Alejandra and she is amazing! We
street contacted her but she was about to go on holiday, so we rang
her (Americans don’t use the term to ring someone, strange right?) and
she wanted to meet when she came home! In the lesson she was a bit
sceptical to start off with the Joseph smith part but when we bore our
testimonies the spirit was just so strong! She cried and then the
lesson was just onwards and upwards from there and we get to meet with
her on Tuesday again so we are super excited! Also one of the best
parts about being a missionary here in Barrio 9 is that we do loads of
lessons in cafes and ice cream shops when we first get to know
investigators so we get to eat some great food! Like we went to eat
with the elders and our less active, she’s called Sajianna, who is
absolutely fabulous and she took us to a Bolivian restaurant. We tried
sopa de platano, which is not banana soup. It was plantain soup which
is somehow different and delicious!

We no longer get to teach gospel principles as they’ve called a
teacher from the ward to do it, which is nice but it makes me a bit
sad because although I ended up teaching it by myself a lot this
transfer…it was actually kind of fun and I did really enjoy it. Last
p day we played volleyball in mostales, well they played and I kept
score as my sporting ability is practically non existent. This week
we’re off to Segovia which is kind of far but is very beautiful! I’ll
send you all some pictures later!

The members here in Barrio 9 are phenomenal they feel just like my
family, I’m honestly so blessed to serve here. I really never want to
leave B9! And the people in the streets are equally as caring, even if
they don’t want anything they try to give us food in the streets!! We
have a new family in the ward too and a woman has moved over for a
month from America so I translate for her at church which is exciting
but nerve racking because not only did I have to translate in classes
for her but also when she got up to bare her testimony I had to
translate right there and then on the spot in front of everyone which
was scary! But also exciting, I actually kind of enjoyed translating!
☺

On Saturday the elders had a baptism! It was Nubias baptism and it was
such a sweet experience! Nubia has such a powerful testimony and such
a fire to share the gospel! She’s sharing the gospel with everyone,
it’s amazing to see how the gospel changes people’s lives and it’s an
even bigger blessing when they realise how their lives have changed
and want their family to have it too! 😊

On Saturday as well we took a trip out to a pueblo called Boadilla
which is like an hour away and met with Sylvia which was great. And we
went to dominos pizza out there, it’s cool because they have this
whole eat all you want drink all you want fare here for like €7, but
they give you cardboard triangles and you eat your slices off those,
it’s the strangest invention I’ve ever seen…But she might be moving
to the part of Switzerland in the France Lyon mission and so she might
get to meet Jemima, tag teaming even when we’re countries apart!!
☺😎👊🏻

Cool story for this week was that we saw them filming a film or an
advert or something. We have, in truth, no idea what they were filming
or if there were famous people there or not but it was cool to see it
nonetheless. Also our investigator who was going to be baptised this
Saturday, now isn’t going to be baptised 😦 so we are really sad about
that but it’s their decision in the end. We had another investigator
come to church on Sunday which was so exciting! She’s very ill but
she’s progressing so so much! It was such a blessing to have her their
this Sunday and to see her feeling the love of the members and the
love of God!

More interesting things of the week? So we street contacted a family
and were talking about how we have the restored church and we have
prophets and the dad was like woah no way so do we! And so we asked
him if he was a church member and he said no but his church also had
prophets. Then pointing to his wife, proudly told us she was one of
the prophets of their church…it was kind of awkward and I don’t know
if he was joking or not, but he said if we came to his church with him
he’d come to ours so we’re going to ask zone leader permission to do
this because they’d be such great members! Also we’ve been dropping
thank you cards to members and less actives and one of the less
actives photocopied it and gave us a copy back with the grammar
corrected! Super useful, but super awkward and super funny 💔😂

Okay something spiritual this week:

What is it about women?

This past week we taught the gospel principles class about the
priesthood. Unsurprisingly the theme of women and the priesthood came
up, yet what surprised me was the ensuing discussion. (Many people
find it sexist that God would allow only males to have the priesthood
and fail to see why it should be a “patriarchal religion.” Yet as a
woman I have never felt oppressed in any such way for not having the
priesthood.)

However in this class all the members expressed their sincere love for
their mothers and women in their lives, agreeing that men and women,
although were equals in the church, are different. Meaning that to men
was given the priesthood and the right to preside in the home but to
women was given the right of motherhood and the responsibility to
raise and nurture the children in love and righteousness. And that
both roles were of equal importance.

Yet how does his apply to women on the whole? Many women are single or
do not yet have children of their own, how then does this divine role
of motherhood apply to them? I came across the answer while studying
in the Liahona, it was a talk by Neill F Marriott in the last general
conference and she says:

“Eve was called a “mother” before she had children. I believe that “to
mother” means “to give life.” Think of the many ways you give life. It
could mean giving emotional life to the hopeless or spiritual life to
the doubter. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can create an
emotionally healing place for the discriminated against, the rejected,
and the stranger. In these tender yet powerful ways, we build the
kingdom of God. Sisters, all of us came to earth with these
life-giving, nurturing, maternal gifts because that is God’s plan.”

I think in reality all women are mothers and that Motherhood is the
embodiment of charity. Jeffrey R Holland once talked about how a
mothers love is the closest thing on earth to the saviours love for
us. “Today I declare from this pulpit what has been said here before:
that no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love
of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her
child.”
As a Hermana in the Spain Madrid mission I’m learning more about
motherhood everyday. As I learn to have charity for those I teach, for
my companion and even for strangers on the street I begin to care
about them! When someone rejects me on the street I don’t feel
embarrassed, I feel sad for them! Or when an investigator isn’t
progressing I find myself worrying about them. This is something I’ve
learnt from my mum, charity isn’t about words it’s about action. My
mum taught by example and loved by actions just like the saviour did!

And so this week I want to extend an invitation to you all, that we
can be more like our mothers. That although we may not have children,
or even be women, that we can make place in our hearts for the
disconsolate and the weary, that they can come unto us and we can give
them rest, that we can spiritually or emotionally give somebody life
this week! That we can learn to have this motherly love, something so
close to the divine it has merited comparison with the perfect love of
the saviour, for all those around us.

Entonces, ¿haréis esto? 😉

I really enjoyed reading her email she did so much this week and is super happy which is great! Lots of good experiences with investigators and people that they are teaching! I don’t envy her having to translate for the American woman, ah standing up in front of so many people! Good on her though!

More next week!

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