Haha how come I have never used a hashtag as my email title before? This is great.

This week. I can't even explain it. It has been one of the most amazing weeks of my life! There were so many highlights that I don't even know how to begin explaining them all. I guess I'll try anyway though. 

First off, the wedding. Maria Guzman (now Orozco) is someone that I have been teaching for the better part of my mission. She has been so prepared for so long, but because she was living with her boyfriend (and father of her son) unmarried, she was unable to get baptized. George works like a mad man alllll day long everyday (including weekends) and so it was so hard for them to be able to get married. We know this is an obstacle that the adversary but in their path. Finally, George had a day off to go to court and so while they were there, they were able to get their marriage license. Because George works so much though, the only time they could have the Bishop marry them was on Friday night at 8:30pm. Well, we made it happen and it was amazing! It was very small and intimate. Maria didn't have a wedding dress or cake, but that didn't matter. They were fulfilling the commandments of God and they were so happy to do it. As soon as the small ceremony, preformed by the Bishop, was over, Maria couldn't stop smiling and talking about how she only had two more days until her baptism! What an incredible blessing it was to be part of their humble wedding in the Relief Society room. 

Next, my talk.This whole week I have been praying so hard in order to know the things that Heavenly Father wanted me to share with the people of the Jurupa California Stake. I was blessed with lots of personal revelation that I was then able to (in parts) articulate into words and share yesterday. My preparation was definitely the hardest and most nerve wracking part. Up until Sunday morning before we left I was changing and revising the things I would share. But as soon as I sat down on the stand in front of 1000+ people, I was fine. I wasn't worried or nervous. I knew I had prepared and Heavenly Father was blessing me for that. This experience makes me think of a favorite scripture of mine in Doctrine and Covenants 123:17 "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." I had done everything in my power and in that moment I was able to stand still and see how Heavenly Father would take care of the rest. Honestly, I don't really remember giving my talk. I remember feeling good and lots of people smiling at me, and Hermana Rasmussen crying (she cries a lot haha, she said she was 'just so proud of me'), and I remember sitting down and feeling relieved and comforted that I had shared the things I was supposed to, but that was that. I was the second to last speaker and so it wasn't long after that when it ended completely! I was on a spiritual high and I felt so darn good. That feeling only increased throughout the day as we continued to study, prepare, teach lessons, and then finally head to Maria's baptism. 

Finally, Maria's baptism was so stinkin good. She got baptized. Hermana Castrillon was able to come up for it. She had tons of support from the ward. Nothing went wrong. Maria immediately could tell the difference. She felt the Holy Spirit confirming to her that the things that she had done in the past were washed away. She had the assurance that she was following God's will in her life and that she was going to receive so many blessings for all the sacrifices she had made in order to get to that point. I can't describe the feelings of being able to participate in a baptism, especially as a missionary! The sound of a baptismal font filling up in an empty church building has become my favorite sound. My favorite sight has become the ripples in the water that are formed as someone is brought down in symbolism of the Death of Christ and raised again to signify His Resurrection (see Romans 6:3-5, 8). I love hugging our converts as they walk up the steps into their new life as a disciple of Jesus Christ. And on Sunday I can't wait to hear the sweet words "receive the Holy Ghost" spoken by someone who holds the true and proper Priesthood authority of God. Maria will be an amazing member of His Church. She and her family will be blessed for the eternities. This is the reason I am on my mission. 

I love this gospel. I know with all my heart that is true and that the true power and authority of God exists today in one church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that through ordinances preformed by this Priesthood we can be forgiven of our sins, receive the constant companionship of The Holy Ghost, who is the third member of the Godhead, we can open the gates of Heaven, we can be with our families in joy forever, and we may live with God again. With all my heart I pray that each of you will come to know of these sacred and simple truths for yourselves through diligent scripture study and prayer as well as church attendance and worship. I know that God lives. I know that He loves us all individually and that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to lead the way back to Heaven for each one of us. I love you all. 

Con Amor, 
Hermana Rutherford 

The Wedding!! George and Maria Orozco

Three generations.

Aweee me and my mission Mom! Love her :)

Okay so we have Chinese neighbors and they made HUNDREDS of dumplings and kept giving them to us. They also said they are going to give me a Chinese name, so hold on for that!

Some investigators who came to stake conference!!

A super cute package that Hermana Rasmussen's family sent her!! National Star Wars Day.