Hiya all,

This week was incredible. I don't know how so many things happened in one week, and I don't know how to describe it all to you, but I will try to cover a little bit about every point! 

First off, we had Multi-Zones. It's a big training day where the STL's (Sister Training Leaders), AP's (Assistants to the President), ZL's (Zone Leaders), and President and his wife (the first lady) all train. It was from 7 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon so we were completely wiped out by the time it was done. It was really informative and instructive though, so I appreciated the training! We learned a lot about talking with everyone and how to serve others more, even our non investigators. We also learned about the importance of planning effectively, which is something we have been trying to work on, as a companionship, a lot more lately! 

We put the "talking with everyone" to the test this weekend. It's something we do when someone is in our path, obviously, but we hadn't really been going out of the way to talk with everyone. So on Friday we didn't have a lot planned for the middle of the day and all the people we had written in our planners were either not home or ignoring us. Sooo we started walking. We have a pretty large area so we usually don't spend much time walking. But on Friday we spent about 2 1/2 hours doing it. We walked just one street ( a really long one) and stopped whenever we saw anyone, and talked with them! We picked up about 10 potential investigators that day and a few of them we have had or have return appointments with! What a blessing! One thing that really stuck in my mind after the training was that some of these people don't know any LDS people, they don't know what missionaries are, they don't really have any contact with the church. A lot of times we as missionaries rely a lot on member referrals, or referrals from our current investigators for finding new investigators. But there are people who don't have any one to refer them! That is the importance of talking with everyone. Maybe that's the only way they would ever have the opportunity to get in contact with the truth!

On morning  we got treated to a delicious breakfast, followed by presents! I swear, I've never gotten more presents than on my mission. The Arredondo family spoiled us silly with way more chocolate and treats than I would ever want haha. It was really sweet of them! Friday night we had a ward party for El Dia de San Valentin! It was super super fun with lots of food and of course DANCING. I mean, I didn't dance (unfortunately), but there was lots of it. That's one of the things I love most about the Spanish culture. Everyone loves to dance. It doesn't even matter if you're good at it or not. You just do it! I can't wait to go home and learn all the different types :) 

Saturday morning was Valentine's Day and the day of THE WEDDING!!! Ahhhh we woke up so excited and got ourselves all ready to go and decorate the church! It looked pretty dang good for having a few missionaries decorate it with no budget! Catalina and Marco had sooo much support from the ward. We couldn't have asked for anything better. The ceremony was simply and beautifully performed by The Bishop of our ward. The after party was amazing. There was food and dancing and singing and laughing and hugging and pictures and cake. Oh my goodness, I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I had to be a part of their lives and to serve them as their missionaries, to plan their wedding, and then on Sunday to see them baptized! I love this family with all my heart. 

Sunday morning Hermana Castrillon and I woke up and were asked to give the gospel principles class, so we decided to talk about the Temple and family history work! It was really enlightening and edifying. The members and the investigators loved it! Everyone came up and thanked us afterward and many people shared their desire to attend the temple and do work for their ancestors! How great is it that Heavenly Father loves all His children so much that He gives us the chance to help in the greatest work of all time? The work to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"? I am eternally grateful that I get to serve as a missionary and that all of us have the opportunity to attend the temple and perform the saving ordinances for those who didn't do so in this life! Sunday night was THE BAPTISM! I have probably never felt the spirit stronger in my life than while I was giving the talk on baptism!! I started crying. I usually don't cry during lessons or talks, but man, I couldn't hold it back. I know with all of my heart that Catalina and Marco made the right decision and that they are going to be eternally blessed for it! They have already seen so many amazing blessings and changes in their lives, and those are just going to multiply and magnify as they continue living the gospel! I want to share 2 Nephi 31:21 with all of you, it says, "And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen." I can testify that this is the only way. There is no other way that we can by saved then through our commitment to following the gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptism is our first covenant with Our Eternal Father, and It is worth any and every sacrifice it takes to get there. 

This was definitely the best weekend of my life. I love this work with all I have and I can't wait to make every single day for the next 13 1/2 months count for all they're worth. And each day is worth a lot. I love you all. Thank you so much for your support and love. I feel the powers of your prayers in my heart. 

Con Amor, 
Hermana Rutherford

Valentine's Day gifts from the Arredondos!

The Cake!! So pretty, right? This ward is crazy talented!

With the happy NEWLY MARRIED couple and their girls!