¡Hola mi familia y amigos!!

Is this real life? Am I leaving the CCM next week? I don´t know where the time has gone. I love it here so much. I know I say that every week, but each day it gets more and more true. Es la verdad. "It's the truth", that´s something we say here a lot haha. I know that there are people waiting for me in California though. So I didn´t share this last week because I didn´t want anyone (mis padres) to freak out, but I was REALLY sick. I lost my voice a few times, I was coughing and sneezing and had headaches and a fever and I didn´t want to eat or workout, and it was miserable. It lasted for like a week and a half. After a few days, and after going to the doctor here, and after pills and pills and lots of dayquil, I asked one of the boys in my district for a blessing. His name is Elder Tadje and he has really impressed me while we´ve been here. I know that he is someone who truly holds his Priesthood in the highest regard and takes very seriously the responsibility that comes with that authority and power. In the blessing, he said some things that really struck me. He blessed me with faith to be healed and with strength and with the power of the gift of tongues and that I could continue to be an example to those who are in my district. But what really got me, was when he blessed me to know that there were people in Riverside, California who were being prepared to meet me and to accept the messages that I would share with them about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. HE couldn´t have known that I really needed to hear those words in that moment, but the SPIRIT knew, and I am so thankful that he followed those promptings to share that with me. I am so blessed to have such an amazing district. It is going to be hard for me to leave them, but I know that I am supposed to serve in California, just as Elder Tadje said.

Okay, so today we had another special devotional with a member from the first quorum of the seventy (I am so blessed, I know), Elder Don R. Clarke, and his wife. It was fantastic. Exactly what I needed! I don´t have a ton of time, but I want to share a little about what he said. He taught us, as is taught often, that we must "forget ourselves and go to work" he shared that "the day we will truly be happy in the mission is the day when we care more about the people we serve then about ourselves". Elder Clarke said that could be day 1 or day 500, it was up to us. I want to make that happen right now. This isn´t my mission. It´s His mission, and I need to remember that while I am here I am representing the Lord and I am doing His work. "Preach My Gospel" is a quote from the Savior, and I need to remember that since I am preaching His gospel, I need to do it in His way!! Another big topic was diligence. That is something we have been talking a lot about lately. "Diligence is ten times more important than intelligence", God rewards hard work and as long as we are doing our part, He will reward us and our families and our friends and anyone we care about. I love that! I may not be the most intelligent person, or someone with amazing skill and tact, I definitely don´t know the language perfectly, but I know I can work hard, and when I do, I know the rest will be taken care of. Diligence was also one of our topics for church on Sunday. I don´t know if I explained how sacrament works at the CCM, but here everyone writes a talk and then while we are in sacrament meeting, whoever is conducting stands up and names 3 people at a time who are going to speak. I was called on this week as the first speaker so that was fun! I got a lot of compliments on my Spanish afterward, but I am sure that everyone was just being nice because they could tell that I was nervous!  

Anyway, this has probably been all over the place but I really don´t have much time to go back through and re-read it. I love you all and I want you to know that the work I am doing here is very dear to my heart. My heart has been softened and changed while I have been here in the CCM and my testimony has grown tremendously. I love this gospel. I love this work. I love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and I know that His Atonement is sufficient for all people. All we must do is seek after it and use it in our lives. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can help all people with any problems or struggles in life and it can heal and clean us of our sins and iniquities. I know because I have prayed and used it´s redeeming power in my own life. I hope that everyone will have faith enough to ask for themselves and know that the promise in Moroni 10 is true, "By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things".

Know that I love you!! I don´t know if I will be emailing from Mexico or California next week. I will find out my flight plans tomorrow! I am so excited and humbled to serve the people of California! This work is helping prepare people for the Second Coming. There is no more important work on the earth than this. 

Con Amor,
Hermana Rutherford