Friends and Family, 

Welp, lately I've felt at home. It has been raining sooo much here in Riverside. I don't know why but it has been freezing at dumping rain for the past week. I've worn my rain coat! Woah. But I am hoping that "April showers bring May flowers", because I was hoping to be warm here in So Cal. This morning it wasn't raining, but it was sure windy. We were playing soccer as a Stake and it I could hardly keep my eyes open let alone kick the ball in a straight line! Woo. It was fun though! We played for about 3 hours and then went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate a couple Sisters who have had their birthday this past week, so it evens all out. Soccer and cheesecake, my favorite! 

This week has been pretttty interesting. I'm not really sure how to relate it all to you. I have felt that I am on a rollercoaster ride and all of a sudden there are dips and turns and loops and sometimes you don't even know what direction you're facing, but somehow you end up at the beginning again safe and sound. We have had a lot of successes this week. We had 6 investigators at church on Sunday and we have 5 on date to be baptized, including one for this weekend. Maria Guzman is going to become Maria Orozco on Friday and then after the wedding, she will be baptized on Sunday. Maria is someone that I have worked with for the majority of my mission. She is amazing. She has such a strong testimony and such a strong desire to be baptized! But living with her boyfriend, George has kept her from really progressing. They have kids together and had all the intentions in the world, at first, to get married, but somehow or another it ALWAYS fell through. George didn't want to marry her. George didn't have time. Maria didn't want to marry him. They couldn't choose a date. There was always some excuse. But something I've learned about excuses are that they aren't relevant to Heavenly Father. Either we want something and we make it happen, or we don't. "If it's important to you, you'll find a way; if it's not, you'll find an excuse". Finally Maria and George decided to pray TOGETHER and work things out TOGETHER, and guess what? Heavenly Father was working with them too. He was pulling for this marriage the whole time and as they showed their faith and their dedication, Heavenly Father blessed them with the way to accomplish the things they needed to do. He is so good. Maria is so ready to be baptized. She reads in the Book of Mormon everyday. She prays the most beautiful and heartfelt prayers, and she comes to church, without fail, every Sunday alone with her two kids. She has been paying tithing for the last few months and takes every opportunity she can to share the gospel with others. I could not be more excited for Sunday! Plus, Hermana Castrillon also gets to come up for the baptism, WOO!! 

Speaking of Sunday, that is the day that I will be giving my talk in Stake Conference. I have been thinking and praying a lot to make sure the talk I have prepared is the talk that Heavenly Father wants me to share. I hope it is, but if not, I just hope He'll let me know soon! I have been studying a lot about happiness and I have come to realize that the thing in my life that brings me the most happiness right now is definitely sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel has brought me such happiness and joy and I know that because I have been richly blessed, I need to share those blessings with other people. “Regarding one's testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses."- President Thomas S. Monson I love this quote and I believe it applies equally as well to our happiness. We aren't happy alone. That's why Heavenly Father gave us friends and family. That's why He gave me you! And when I work on sharing my happiness (the gospel) with others, we both become happy together! D&C 18:15-16 "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" JOY. That's what I want. And look how excited the scriptures are about this. 2 exclamation points. That's pretty impressive! I pray that you will all be filled with joy and happiness this week and for the rest of forever. I know that you can as you center your lives on the gospel and teachings of Jesus Christ. Remember Him. Exemplify Him. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for your support in this work. It wouldn't be possible without you. Remember that I am thinking of and praying continually in your behalf. Have a great week!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Rutherford

This is us at the Cheesecake Factory earlier today. Woo!

Also, I forgot to talk about Mormon Helping Hands! This weekend our whole Stake went to tear down old structures at a nature center in Rubidoux, CA. It was lots of hard labor as there were so many structures and they were all filled with materials and garbage so they had to be emptied first. I don't have any pictures of it :( But it was amazing and it felt great to help! I hope you all had beautiful experiences on Earth Day or with the Mormon Helping Hands association as well   :)