Sunday, September 29, 2013

la humilde oración

                                                                                                           September 26, 2013

¡Hola familia!

I can't believe that another week has gone by at the MTC.  It does not feel like a week ago that I emailed home!  I want to start off this letter with the things I forgot from last week and the things that I know I will forget if I don't put them first.  :)

First--last Sunday was my first time directing a choir!  I was pretty nervous because we hadn't had a lot of time to practice, I haven't directed a choir before, and also, we had very low participation...then when I walked into sacrament meeting, who would be there but the MTC president and his wife, President and Hermana Pratt!  I think my heart jumped up into my throat.  But I just took a deep breath and hoped for the best.  So, when it came time to sing, we had 8 people in the choir (way better than the 4 who came to practice!) and it sounded great.  The song "Come Follow Me" always brings the Spirit, and this time was no exception.  I sat down afterward and President Pratt smiled at me, so I trusted that the musical number was acceptable.  :)

 Very exciting news--I have lost 10 pounds since getting here!  Hermana Young needed to go to the clinic, and so naturally while we were there we weighed ourselves.  I was trying to convert the kilograms into pounds, and I was thinking, "there is no way this can be right!"  But it's true!  I guess what with exercising, trying to eat a lot of fruit, and working to avoid bread, there is now less of me to love.  (I got that expression from you, Daddy. ;)  ) 

I'm so glad you guys like the pictures!  This is such a memorable experience and I love being able to share it with you that way.  I don't have any new pictures to share this time, but I will make sure to take some for next week (my last P-day in Mexico!!).  I am not sick of my clothes yet, but I think some of them might be sick of I haven't been telling you about my clothes mishaps because I've been trying to pretend that it's not a problem...but here goes.  The first week I discovered that one of my black skirts is too short for a missionary (which is a real bummer) so I've been using 7 skirts since I got here.  Then, I broke one of my necklaces the first time that I wore it and I have also broken a pair of earrings.  As you already know, my tan shoes reject the rain, and this week I discovered that my snowboots are not sealed, so water leaked all the way through my socks, and my rubber overshoes are indeed too small.  They hardly fit over my shoes, and when I tried to force them, they started chafing my skin.  Lastly, my purple shirt decided it felt alone and needed some purple friends last week.  My orange shirt is now a strange shade of mauve/country rose with blue splotches on the front, and my berry pink shirt is now mulberry/primrose.  Also, all of my pajamas are purple-tinged.  I will never buy tops at Kmart again!  lol.  When this happened last Thursday, I was super mad, but now I'm not so frustrated any more.  Although I now have three shirts that are like three shades next to each other on a paint swatch from Home Depot, at least I have nice tops!  I do want to ask you when I get to Chile, though, to send me a couple tops.  I have a 1/2 or 3/4 sleeve orange cowl neck top and a yellow half sleeve peasant top with white designs on it that I think would make really nice missionary tops and would revive some color into my wardrobe.  :)

I also love YOUR pictures!!!  Abby looks so cute and so happy on her birthday!  I love her so much.  Did Benjamin read my email back to him?  It was nice to see a picture of him too.

Thank you for your letter!  Sports are getting better little by little...yesterday I hit the volleyball over the net twice!  YAY!'s the little things in life that deserve celebration.  I really like the inspiring words from Enya.  This truly is a dream and a journey for me.  Whenever I get bogged down in little frustrating daily trials, or have negative thoughts, I strive to remember my missionary purpose and why I came to serve a mission, and then I feel great joy, peace, and love from my Savior.  I can't BELIEVE that in less than two weeks I will be in CHILE!!!  I enjoy the MTC, but for sure, I am ready to be in el campo (the field). 

Last P-day, after we emailed home, our friends Hermana Howton and Hermana Ives heart-attacked our classroom!!  Right after the purple clothes disaster, it was so lovely to feel the love of friends.  They are so cute and sweet for taking the time to do that for us!  (Heart-attacked is when people cut out approximately a million paper hearts, write things on them, and tape them everywhere.)

Fridays are easily my favorite days here at the MTC.  We get the opportunity to do a service project, and last week we washed and dried a bunch of chairs and carried them into the cafeteria.  It is so fulfilling to help out, and I just LOVE it.  Then, after the service project, we get to have a little more time than usual to play volleyball!  It is so fun to let our hair down and spend time with friends, since we are usually in class for 10.5 hours a day.

On Saturday, Hermana Young and I taught a very spiritual lesson.  Rather than gluing ourselves to a lesson plan, we worked on the principle "teach people, not lessons" and we listened to the Spirit to share what our investigator needed to hear.  We were all crying and feeling the Spirit, and so thankful for the lessons in the scriptures about faith. 

I don't think I've told you about how they choose who speaks in sacrament meeting here.  Every week, everyone has to prepare a talk.  We are divided into groups in our branch, and each group has a different topic.  Then, after the sacrament, a member of the branch presidency announces who will be speaking.  This week, I was asked to speak on the Plan of Salvation.  It was my first talk in Spanish, and I think it went pretty well.  I know enough Spanish now that I can give a decent lesson and have a respectable conversation.  Also on Sunday, we were able to watch an UNBELIEVABLE devotional by Richard G. Scott.  It was given at the MTC in Provo in April this year.  The message was prayer, leading to my title this week...humilde oración is humble prayer.  This devotional changed my life.  If you guys can possibly find it on the Internet, I would highly recommend it.  My prayers are becoming so much more meaningful each day as I strive to pray in faith and as I consider Elder Scott's beautiful words about prayer.  I can't quite put it into words.  His lessons on prayer took my breath away.  I know that Heavenly Father is really listening to us, that He really cares, and that He loves us and wants to help.  I am so thankful for the unbelievable gift of prayer.  We also watched two videos, one about the life of John Tanner, a pioneer, and one about Christ called "To This End Was I Born."  I cried throughout the entire Atonement movie.  I truly stand all amazed at the love that Jesus Christ offers to each of us every day.  I hope that I can share that love with people who are looking for it.

Throughout this week, I have been working to strengthen my faith and make my prayers more meaningful.  It has been a challenging week, but Heavenly Father has been helping me every day.  I am thankful for my patriarchal blessing and a companion who listens are helps me out.  A couple days ago we had a torrential rainstorm and the rain was really cold, so it turned into tiny hail.  It was crazy and scary, and I was so frustrated that my snowboots failed.  But I knew that Heavenly Father was on my side, and that some soggy boots didn't really matter because I am a missionary, and Heavenly Father will watch out for me.  I cannot wait for General Conference and for all of the things that I will learn!  I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us, and that He will help us to achieve it.  I love you all eternally and I miss you every day!  To my sweet Benjamin--HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  I wish I could be there to see you pass the sacrament, but just know that I am thinking of you and praying for you and that I love you with all my heart!  Congratulations on turning 12.  You are a rockstar in my book.  :)

Abrazos, Hermana Latham  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"contigo siempre estaré"

Thursday, September 19, 2013

¡Hola, familia!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the dearest, cutest sister EVER!!  Abby, I can't believe that I can't be there for your sweet sixteen....but I hope you know just how much I love you and that I miss you every day!  It was so great for me to see some of your newest artwork and to hear about how great your sophomore year is so far.  I'm so excited that you are having a birthday party.  It will be such a blast and something that you will remember forever!  I love you and I'm sending you GIANT hugs from Mexico City!
I love Thursdays so much.  We are so blessed every other Thursday to get a chance to go to the Mexico City Temple.  Hermana Young and I got up at 5:30 today to get ready, but it was so worth it.  Then, I get to come home, eat lunch, and email you guys!!
This week has been very exciting.  Like I told you, last Thursday we had to move.  The casa we used to live in had problems with the bathroom and the chemical they were using to resolve it was bad for us, so we all had to move.  You're right, this property has been here since the 60s!  It used to be a Church-operated high school.  A lot of the buildings are old.  Our move was okay.  It was a really rough day for me, though.  We had to leave our sweet roommates, and then it seemed like I just couldn't  At gym time here, I have been trying to do sports (we all know how that goes...) and so on the day we moved, I also totally twisted my foot in an attempt to play my foot was hurting super bad and I was limping.  Since we moved, we ran out of time to plan, so I felt unprepared, and so naturally, the last straw came out and I was having a really tough time.  Our district leader gave me a blessing and Hermana Young prayed with me.  As I exercised faith, things worked out one by one.  Our new roommates don't really talk to us, but at least we have a clean, safe house to live in!  We made do with the time we had for planning, and within a couple days my foot was better.  Thank goodness.  :)
Friday was our service day and we played a super fun game of volleyball!  I get a little bit better each day (although one time I managed to knock the volleyball and cut my wrist with my own fingernail all in one movement, and then the next day a volleyball smacked me in the face).  I had forgotten how much it hurts to get hit in the
Saturday and Sunday were both really neat because we had the opportunity to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.  On Saturday we had a program and watched cultural dances, and a lot of the dancers sang the EFY medley in Spanish.  Then Sunday was Mexico's actual independence day, and we got to stay up past 10:30 (oh, snap!) to participate in the annual "grito."  The grito is a cry of victory in remembrance of the day that Mexico stood up to Spain for independence and freedom.  The Mexican president leads the grito on live TV and he commemorates Mexican war heroes.  For example, "¡Viva Hidalgo!"  Then everyone else follows with "¡Viva!"  It was cool to learn about Mexican history and patriotism.  The grito happens at 11 at night.
On Monday we had questionable red hot dogs at the comedor (cafeteria).  I did not touch them, but the people who did got really sick.  That was an interesting experience!  The elders in my district are hilarious and they were trying to explain to our morning teacher, Hermana Olmos, how terrible the "perros calientes" were.  She was just Spanish they are hot dogs too.  lol
Every Tuesday we have an MTC devotional, and this week our branch and another branch were invited to be in the choir.  We sang "Tu me has dado muchas bendiciones, Dios," or "Because I Have Been Given Much" in English.  Hermana Young and I got to be in the quartet for the last verse!  Hermana Howton and Hermana Ives offered to take pictures for us and they also took a video, but I can't get the video to send.  Hopefully computers are better in Chile :)  But this is a rough translation of what we sang:
For many blessings that you give me, Lord,
To those who need it I will give my love.
My gratitude I want to express,
Serving others with kindness,
And this is how I will do your will.
I LOVE the hymns in Spanish!  They are so wonderful.  Recently in my personal study I was studying "Creo en Cristo," or "I Believe in Christ."  My email title this week is my favorite phrase from that hymn.  It is a promise from Christ that means, "I will always be with you."  I know that this is true!  As we teach our MTC investigators, we study for them, and I have been studying the Holy Ghost.  It truly is a blessing from the Lord to always have the Spirit with us as a comforter.  I experience unexpected trials at the MTC...but I am learning more and more each day the power of the Atonement in our lives, and that He truly promises to always be with us.  When I remember this promise, I feel stronger and more able to face my challenges--to be a better missionary, a better friend, and a better person.
My other most spiritual experiences this week were the videos we watched on Sunday.  We watched a devotional video from Elder Holland, and it was incredible.  He makes me want to strive to be the best missionary I can possibly be.  I know that this experience has the power to change everything in my life, and the power that will shape me is love.  Love for my companion, love for my investigators, love for the Lord, and, as I am learning more and more each day, love for myself.  My companion is helping me to learn to love myself more, which is a tough battle for me.  But I know that as I pray, Jesus will be able to help me to change and grow.  I told Hermana Young that I am climbing the self-esteem ladder.  :)  We also watched an amazing video about the life of Joseph Smith.  I can't for the life of me remember what it is called, but it is relatively recent (like maybe 2010?) and I would highly recommend it.  It is such a powerful testimony of Joseph Smith's life.  Everyone told me that my testimony would grow on my mission and it was hard for me to imagine exactly how, but my testimony grows each day.  I am so thankful for this gospel in my life. 
I am so glad that you got to take a break and go golfing!  I know that days off mean the world to you, so it's good when your boss encourages you to take them :)  Haha I can't believe you saw so many alligators!  In the process of learning Spanish, it becomes hard to remember how to spell things in English companion leans over to me once every couple days asking how to spell "investigator" because in Spanish it is simply "investigador" with a d.  So I am always thinking of gators when spelling investigator in English.  lol.
I am so excited about BYU and Auburn's football success!  WAR EAGLE AND GO COUGARS!  I didn't think about the normal daily life things that I would miss, like football season.  I hope we beat the Utes!  (our new roommates both went to the U before their maybe that's why they don't talk to me! ;)  )  I really can't believe that Abby is sixteen already.  I remember when we were little girls.  Sometimes I miss those days.  Thank you very much for your insight and for your prayers.  I definitely feel your support in my life, and I pray for you all every day as well.
Thank you for your scripture story!  Every day I love the prophets more and more.  They are such incredible examples and missionaries.  I admire their faith.  Thank you also for telling me how Abby and Benjamin are doing!  I miss all of you so much and it is good to know what's going on in your lives.  I would love for you to send my letters to Evan.  I am so excited to share this experience with him.  I am in awe that I will be able to walk some of the same paths that he did.  Wow, I can't believe my blog had so many views!  That's exciting.  This is such an amazing and life-changing experience; I'm really glad that I can share it with so many people that way.   I could definitely use a different bag.  There are tiny areas where water can seep through.  I bought cheap-o scripture cases at our MTC store to keep the water out of my scriptures...they haven't gotten too badly waterlogged, but a little bit before I bought the cases.  I don't know when Chile's rainy season is and I can't use the Internet, so it might be easier for you to find it on Google or something.  I'm sorry I can't tell you!  The national holiday is Chilean Independence Day.  It threw off everything.  A couple elders in our zone will serve in Concepcion, and they had to leave today, when missionaries usually depart on Mondays or Tuesdays.  It must be a lot bigger deal there than 4th of July is for us!  I miss talking to you too, but I am so thankful for email.  It is so fun to share our experiences with each other!  It sounds like the Olive Tree was beautiful.  I'm sad because we are not allowed to listen to ANY music at the MTC.  President Pratt says that the rooms are too close together and it could disturb people who are studying.  I miss listening to music (yet another reason why I can't wait to get to Chile!)  Hugs from the other hermanas are the best.  I knew that not hugging boys would be tough, but it is even harder than I thought!  I truly love the elders in my district and I just want to hug their guts out.  :) 
I love you all so much, and I pray for you each day!  I hope that you are enjoying a gorgeous fall (we are here in Mexico!)!
Abrazos, Hermana Latham

Friday, September 13, 2013


                                                                                                    Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hola familia!
I hope you can see the pictures I sent.  This computer was being frustrating and it would only let me send two pictures per message, so I only sent my favorites.  :)  I got some cool shots of the Mexico City of them is our entire district (minus Elder Gleed) in front of the temple.  The picture of the four girls is me, Hermana Young, and our roommates Hermana Howton and Hermana Ives.  We had to make sure to get a picture with the four of us because we have to move out of our casa today!  There is something wrong with our bathrooms, so all of us are moving.  The four of us have gotten to be pretty good friends, so we are sad that we won't be roommates anymore.  :(  They are great!  They will serve in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission.
I have never felt so much peace in my life.
I am in an entirely different country and I have never felt so much peace.
The issues that I was having last week with my companion are so much better!  When I emailed you, I was thinking, "I have no idea how I'm going to do this for six weeks.  We are just too different."  But I have been developing a huge testimony of the power of prayer.  I think that since both of us are trying to make it work, it is working.  I pray for patience and love for Hermana Young every day, and Heavenly Father helps me to know that since we are working so hard at this friendship, it will be a rewarding friendship.  Hermana Young is trying so hard too!  She wants to understand me and she listens to my concerns.  We are getting along so well.
It is so good to have so much support!  I have read letters from Sarah Beth, Daddy, Mama, Aunt Cheryl, Grandma, and Carrie.  I feel so loved and my peace comes from knowing that I am in exactly the right place right now, doing exactly the right things.  I have also never felt the love of Christ in my life stronger.  I love to read your letters.  Mama, your letter came in the mail yesterday, and I also got a letter from my friend Shauntel from the Provo MTC!  It was so exciting and fun to read your letters.
Another important thing that I learned this week is the difference between faith and faith in Jesus Christ, or fe en Jesucristo.  This week we have two new teachers, Hermano May and Hermano Escamilla.  We LOVE Hermano May!  He has been home from his mission for three years, and he served Spanish-speaking in North Carolina.  Hermana Young and I had some questions for him about how we could be better missionaries.  I was wondering how to get over the inadequate feeling.  He told us that it was important to remember the difference between faith and faith in Jesus Christ.  When we have Jesus Christ on our team, I know that we can become anything He needs us to be.  Hermano May also told us his mission president's mantra: We do hard things.  I like that it says we DO hard things, not we CAN DO hard things.  Because, in all honesty, we do hard things.  I am here, speaking Spanish, striving to love people who are hard for me to love, in an entirely different country...and I am doing these things because I love the Lord and He is my strength. 
Last spiritual message for the week--in Relief Society on Sunday, we talked about the conversion process and its ripple effect.  We had a quote, "When you save a girl, you save generations."  If I can save one girl on my mission, then I will have the chance to save her generations.  I know that our decisions are not our own.  Each and every one of them blesses (or hurts) us and all those whom we touch. 
Funniest/most embarrassing story of the week....yesterday I ate an empanada that was pretty spicy.  Then I thought I would cool my mouth down with watermelon...and the watermelon juice spread jalapeno juice all throughout my mouth and I just KNEW that it was bad!  My face got all freaky looking and my ears were burning and I literally RAN to get milk.  Then, the sisters I was eating with and all the elders in Elder Johnson's district were super worried about me and asking if I was must have been some face, I guess.  lol apparently I just can't eat in public, what with the corn flakes and spicy just might be too dangerous ;)
Laundry here is insane.  Last week we didn't have time to do our laundry on P-day because of the temple trip, and it took not one, but THREE dry cycles for my clothes to be done...and the washing machine in our casa was out of we had to use the elders' washing machines and I was doing laundry all day Friday and Saturday for 2 loads.  Super frustrating.  But now we know and we are prepared for the worst!  hahaha.
I thank you for your excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.  How inspiring!  I love that President Pett told me that, as a missionary, I am a sister to the world.  All I want is to be the best sister I can possibly be for the precious people of Chile.  Every day I want to go there more and MORE!  I have wanted to be a missionary for so long, and all of the preparation is teaching me confidence and hope for my service in Chile.  We have 10 people in our district, 8 elders, 2 sisters, and we have a district leader.  Also, two elders in our district just got called to be the zone leaders once our current zone leaders leave for Honduras on Tuesday.  I love you so much and I think about your example to me as a missionary every day.
Our ''investigators" are MTC teachers.  The lessons are entirely in Spanish, which is difficult, but it helps us to learn.  Every day Hermana Young and I get better at teaching in Spanish.  We try to talk to one another in Spanish a lot too.  It is such a beautiful language!  I truly adore the hymns in Spanish.  For choir, I am teaching a spiced-up version of Come Follow Me (Venid a mi en espanol).  It is so fun!  Last week we only had four singers, though, so this week I bought cookies and I am hoping for more participation. :)  All of the missionaries here are learning Spanish, which makes it really fun for group meetings because we sing together in Spanish, pray together in Spanish, and recite our missionary purpose together in Spanish.  It's easier if you send me one long email, since I can only check email once a week.  I am printing your emails and reading them in the mornings so that I can respond in the afternoons after I've read them.  I would LOVE for you to post that video on my blog!  I think once people understand what being a sister missionary really means, it's more inspiring to them.  Thank you SO MUCH for your support!  Your letters encourage me so much.  I know that I have so much potential in this portion of my life to become more like Christ, and all I want is to let His love reflect through me to people who are seeking it.  

The letter in the mail was the best.  Thank you for including the Facebook posts.  I know it's expensive to send real mail, but one a month or one every couple months will be so appreciated for me!  The rain is kind of a pain, but since I'm from Atlanta, it's not as tough for me.  When it's not raining, the weather here is gorgeous, around 68 to 74 during the day.  So I'm not sure if we have air conditioning since the weather is about the temperature air conditioning usually makes it anyway.  It is pretty hilarious how much of the district mama I am.  I remember more Spanish than anyone else in our district, so they are always asking me for Spanish help.  But I really enjoy the opportunity to teach. 

I like how you mentioned my patriarchal blessing.  I see it coming true every day here.  Heavenly Father has blessed me with talents for music and teaching, and they help me each and every day.  I would love a copy of my patriarchal blessing!  I brought one with me, but I wrote all over it at BYU, so I would love a blank copy.  I feel like it would be against the rules for me to call you from the airport...also CRAZY expensive.  I don't know anything about my trip (where my layovers will be, etc).  I would feel better about being obedient and waiting to call at Christmas.  That will be the perfect gift for me!  I miss your voices and beautiful smiles!  I'm so glad things are going well for you guys!  

I'm excited for Abby to be in Beta Club and for everything you're doing with the canned food.  I'm also so proud of you for reading the scriptures!  I know with all my heart that they are a source of inspiration for our daily lives, and they bring us closer to our loving God.  I am always telling people about what a great mom I have, especially your conversion story.  I am so thankful for your example to me of faith and service.  Thank you so much also for your letters!  I love and miss you all.  I hope you can see in the pictures how beautiful it is here!  I will try to send even more pictures.  More than anything, I hope that through my emails you can feel of the beautiful Spirit that is here.  I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us, and that He loves us more than we could ever understand. 
I love you always and I hope you are having a wonderful week!  (Please tell me how Abby and Benjamin are doing next week!)
Abrazos, Hermana Latham


Friday, September 6, 2013

!Estoy Agradecida!

                                                                                                                                                                 Thursday, September 5, 2013

¡Hola familia! 
Today´s the day!  P-day!!  I´m so excited that I finally get to email you all.  :) 
It is so COOL to be in Mexico!  Sometimes I look around me and realize I´m in another country and I feel really excited.  We spent so much time figuring out the weather in Chile, but we never looked up what it would be like in Mexico!  The elevation here is 7,000 feet!  I drink so much water, it's insane!  (but I promise that it's clean, filtered water.  :) )  Also, we are in the middle of Mexico's rainy season.  It pours every day around dinnertime, sometimes through the night, sometimes just for a couple of hours.  But it didn't rain at all until the third day that we were here.  Soo....not expecting the rain to be so crazy, we thought we would be fine with jackets and umbrellas.  We got drenched!  My leather shoes took 3 or 4 days to dry!  Also, most of my missionary books got waterlogged...the water seeped through my purse!  It is crazy rain.  But we are getting ready for Chile, I suppose!
The first day here was super overwhelming.  After I emailed you all, I got my information packet and they just told me, "Okay, go find your casa!"'s a big campus, so I was kinda freaked out.  But when we went outside, there were hermanas everywhere who wanted to help us find our house and get ourselves situated.  I say it was overwhelming because they were all talking at once and they kept telling us, "The first day is going to be the longest day of your life.  And don't be surprised if you cry yourself to sleep.  Just push through it until Sunday.  It gets better!"  All of those things sounded weird to me.  I knew this was going to be hard when I signed up for it, and I'm so up to the challenge! 
My companion, Hermana Young, and I could not be more different.  She is a year older than me but she never went to college.  She stayed at home and did school online.  She is from California.  We work really hard to get along, but sometimes it's a big struggle.  She has a serious boyfriend back home, and she's homesick all the time, so I try to help her feel more welcome and feel loved...but I can't tell how well that is working. 
Our district is so much fun (albeit kind of crazy).  I am the only one in the district who has been to college, and for that I am truly grateful.  All of the others have had a tough time with homesickness, and it hasn't been quite as hard for me.  In our district, there are 8 elderes and 2 hermanas.  All eight of our elders are 18 and just graduated high school!  How unbelievable is that?  Elders Orraj, Adams, Benavides, Pistorius, Harmon, and Rayfield are going to Chile Rancagua.  Elders Gleed and Gibelyou are going to Chile Osorno with me and Hermana Young.  I also met Elder Washburn and Elder Johnson, both going to Chile Osorno, but they are in another district. 
Our teacher, Hermana Olmos, is honestly fabulous.  She is such a great example to me.  She is from Mexico and just returned from one of the missions in Mexico nine months ago.  Her spirit and testimony are amazing, and I love having a Spanish teacher who is a native Spanish speaker!  You guys were all right when you thought that Spanish would come to me quickly.  One of the counselors in my branch presidency, Presidente Garduno, and Hermana Olmos both asked me where I learned my Spanish!  President Garduno told me that he thought I was ready to go into the field already, and Hermana Olmos offered for me to move up to the intermediate class.  I opted to stay in the class that I am in.  I really like the elders in my district, and I think it's important to stay companions with Hermana Young because she needs somebody to help her feel less homesick. 
We have adventures in the MTC everyday that make us laugh until our abs hurt.  :)  When we had interviews with Hermana Olmos, one of the elders in our district told her that he was trying to be "mujer" instead of "mejor"...which is a huge difference, because "mujer" is woman and "mejor" is better.  He was so embarrassed...but it was so funny.  One day, I exploded a serving-size bag of corn flakes.  I picked up corn flakes off of the floor, off of my tray, out of my water, out of my milk, off the table...Elder Johnson came over to help me and Hermana Young clean up the corn flakes.  It was pretty funny.  It got funnier when I got to class and found corn flakes in my purse and hiding in my yellow scarf...I was just thinking, "adventure is out there" from the movie Up.
Hermana Young and I have been teaching a practice investigator named Carlos.  Today will be our last lesson with him!  So far, we have taught him four lessons.  The lessons have gotten progressively better.  At the beginning, they were pretty rough.  But as we have been gaining more confidence, Carlos has been throwing wrenches into our plan!  One day, we had planned to teach him about the Restoration, but when we opened the lesson, we realized we would be teaching something very different.  We had already given him a Book of Mormon, and we asked him what he had been reading....and he referred to Alma 39, where Alma explains to Coriantumr how bad sexual sins are.  So, we taught the law of chastity (which was really hard to do in Spanish!) and then we explained that commandments come from God's servants, the prophets.  We told him about the Atonement of Christ, and we bore our testimonies.  It must have really struck a chord with him, because he accepted to be baptized!  Hermana Young and I were so excited.  I can't imagine how exciting it will be when we have a real investigator who commits to baptism!  Yesterday his question about the Book of Mormon was why God told Nephi to kill Laban.  That was harder than the chastity question...oh my gracious.  :)  We learn a lot from teaching Carlos.  

Sunday really was amazing.  It was Fast Sunday, so it was even more special.  Hermana Pratt, the MTC president's wife, is our Relief Society teacher.  She is so spiritual!  I learned so much from her and completely refreshed myself on my purpose as a missionary.  She taught with a quote from President Uchtdorf's talk at the Young Women 2013 broadcast and verses from 2 Nephi 31 and 32.  She explained that even though we are learning Spanish, the language that we really need to be learning is the universal language of love, or the tongue of angels, according to Nephi.  If you would read 2 Nephi 31 and 32 with the universal language of love in mind, it will have a whole other level of meaning for you!  I had the opportunity to bear my testimony in Spanish, and it was so amazing.  I felt the Spirit really strongly.  I just LOVE Spanish!!  My other favorite part of Sunday was the video we watched: "The Book of Mormon: How Rare a Possession."  It was incredible, and really reminded me how blessed we are to have God's truth in our lives! 
Today we went to the Mexico City Temple.  It is absolutely stunning!  The entire session was in Spanish, but I understood a lot of it and felt the Spirit really strongly.  The temple is an amazing place.  It's about an hour from here, and the difference between the temple and MTC grounds and Mexico City would knock you off your feet.  I am so grateful for the gospel.  The other exciting thing about today is choir practice!  My branch president has assigned me to be the branch choir director.  We'll see how it's a new adventure!
I am doing okay.  The food here is pretty good, relatively normal.  ;)  Lunch is the biggest meal of the day and there are always beans, rice or pasta, bread, fruit and vegetables, meat, and a dessert.  (I don't eat all of that, don't worry!!)  Breakfast and dinner are smaller meals, with only some of the things that are at lunch.  I came down with a cold on Saturday night, and I ran out of my little packets of Kleenex part of the way through Sunday.  They don't sell Kleenex at our little MTC store, so I have been blowing my nose on toilet paper...thankfully, the elders in my district are super sweet and understanding.  They feel bad that I'm sick!  I love them so much.  Hermana Young was worried about me, so we went to the clinic.  I knew it was just a cold, but I figured I would tell you about the doctor because he was hilarious.  He told me that I should come back if I blew out anything that looked like pineapple yogurt or gummi worms.  Who compares mucus to food?  lol.  I'm getting better.  I think it was just from adjusting to a new climate. takes about 2 and a half weeks for a letter to travel from the States to the MTC.  So they told us that packages are kind of out of the question since they take so long to get here.  I'm supposed to travel to Chile on October 8, 2013, and return to the States on February 24, 2015.  A sad logistic piece...I took tons of pictures today, but my camera cord is in my room and I can't run back to get it, so I'll have to share pictures next week.  Also, I didn't think to buy paper at our MTC store so I could print out I have 8 emails and I won't be able to read them all!  But I will read them next week and reply as soon as I can. 
The title of my email means, "I am grateful."  Every day I am grateful to be here at the MTC.  Every day, I am grateful for the scriptures, my family, the beautiful mountains, my district, and this amazing gospel.  I love to pray in Spanish because I focus more on what I am saying and I feel very close to my Father in Heaven.  I know that He hears me.  Every day, I know that I made the right decision by coming on a mission.  It washes over me with joy and excitement!  I cannot WAIT to get to Chile and have the opportunity to share Heavenly Father's marvelous message of light and truth. 
I miss you all and I hope that you are doing well!  I love you so very much and I pray for you every day. 
Abrazos, Hermana Latham