Thursday, September 12, 2013
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 Temple...one 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 okay....it must have been some face, I guess. lol apparently I just can't eat in public, what with the corn flakes and spicy empanadas...it 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 commission...so 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