Saturday, October 5, 2013


The mountain with the B (for Benemeritos de los Americas).

Our district with two of our teachers, Hermano May on one end and Hermana Olmos on the other end.
 Cool view from the MTC Entrance.

¡Hola familia!
Yes, you are right, my email was shorter last time because I had so many people to email back!  I have heard from so many friends and family members, and I love the support and love I feel from them.  Also, since I've been here I have been trying very hard to keep to my hour email limit.  A lot of people email up to three hours!  I am trying to be obedient.  Today I will just have to go over my limit, though, since it is my last P-day in the MTC and I have sent many emails.  :)  I did get an email from Nana and replied to it last week; I hope it's working out for her!  Also, I got my patriarchal blessing in the mail yesterday and last week received a darling letter from the Lunt family! 
Thank you for sending me Paige's address and Aunt Janet's email.  Her words were so touching!
I want to start by thanking you, Mama and Daddy, for teaching me to love the temple.  Yesterday I had the opportunity to look at pictures of temples on, and today was my last visit to the Mexico City Temple before I leave for Chile.  I feel so blessed to have a love for the temple and to be able to worship in the House of the Lord.  I feel so close the Lord, so peaceful, and so joyous in the temple.  Today I was just soaking it in since I won't be able to go the temple for a while.  I hope that you all try to go to the temple when you can!  It is such a blessing to live so close to a beautiful House of the Lord, and I know that inside its walls we are endowed with power from on high.  I also know that the real goal of teaching people the gospel is not baptisms, but helping people to reach for the temple, where they can receive the ordinances of salvation and come closer to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
It is crazy to think that in a few short days I will be flying to Chile!  We travel on Monday the 7th, but we don't get our official flight plans and what not until tomorrow.  I get to email home one last time on Sunday to let you all know about my travel.  That will also be when I tell you if I can call.  I'm still not sure if I can get a calling card or if it's even allowed, but if so, I would love to talk to you!  I hope you aren't too nervous or scared for me!  I am not afraid.  I am not afraid because I know and have faith that Christ is with me every step of the way.  I know it is so far away from my home...but I feel an overwhelming peace knowing that Christ will be there with me, that this is the right decision to be making, and that it will shape my future and the future lives of some investigators and my future family.  I know that what I am doing is right, and I trust in the Lord that I will be safe. 
Words cannot express how proud I am of Benjamin!  It makes me cry to think that he is now a worthy young man holding the power of God.  What an incredible responsibility and blessing.  One Sunday here, we had a lesson about how to exercise the priesthood in righteousness, and the things we learned paralleled the lessons I've had about Christlike attributes.  Of course it would make sense that to exercise the power of Christ, men would need to live like Him and strive to be like Him in their every action.  Benjamin, I know that you are such a great example to the other boys in our ward and to the boys at school!  You are an example to me!  I'm sorry that Caesar died, but even without him you are still awesome.  Thank you for being worthy to have the priesthood.  <3
I haven't seen the Relief Society Broadcast either!  We will be watching it on Saturday night while the elders watch Priesthood session.  I am so excited and I cannot wait to hear the missionary choir.  (I can already envision the sobs coming.  :)  )  I am so excited for General Conference!  What a special time!  I hope you guys have fun in Auburn and watching conference with Grandma. 
Thank you for helping me with my clothes mishaps!  Since I have so few tops, I'm still wearing the ones that turned colors.  They're acceptable, just not gorgeous.  As far as the rubber overshoes go, I think I'll have better luck finding what I need in Chile.  I will likely give the things I can't use to the mission home in hopes that another sister will have use for them.  I already threw away the snowboots...they just would not dry out, and they smelled worse than any other pair of shoes I've ever they're gone.  ;)  I want to see what other sisters use for bags in Chile.  I am assuming messenger bag or professional purse, since the Church is phasing out missionary backpacks.  I just can't wait to get to Chile!  We've been really blessed to enjoy a gorgeous Mexican fall before jumping into a Chilean spring.  I'm excited.  I love spring, and I'm not too worried for summer, especially since Atlanta had a non-summer this year what with all the rain.  I think I might appreciate the heat!  :)  But I suppose only time will tell...
Please, if you can, go ahead and update my blog!  I would love to have my email and snail mail addresses on it so that people can write if they want to, and it would also be cool to list my companions and areas.  :)  I wish I could see this blog!  It sounds like such a cool archive for this adventure.  I already feel behind on technology.  lol but I know I'll pick it back up.
This week, my title is 100%.  This refers to a couple of things.  First, this week Hermano May has challenged us to speak 100% Spanish.  It is so HARD!  I know a lot of Spanish, but I'm so used to speaking English that I find myself slipping into it.  It's definitely a lot easier for me to speak English than Spanish.  I don't have to work to remember vocabulary words and switches in verb tense.  But, it's been a really great challenge and I know it helps me to get ready for Chile every time I practice.  Our devotional on Sunday was about giving the Lord our 100% on this mission.  Sure, I've heard this 80 million times throughout my life, but it never really had meaning to me the way that it did this time.  I always imagined that giving the Lord my 100% meant to give Him all of my talents, my mind, my heart, and my good qualities.  But as this week has worn on and I have pondered the idea of giving the Lord my 100%...I have realized that He wants all of me.  Not just the good parts.  Not just the easy parts.  Not just the happy parts.  All of the parts.  As I give Him my fears, my weaknesses, my temptations, my sins, and my failures, He will be able to shape me into the one He wants me to be.  And this is the miracle of the Atonement.  I suppose I understand the Atonement better every day.  Being here at the MTC has forced me to throw myself headfirst into the gospel, and in so doing, I have been faced with difficulties.  Old trials that I never exercised enough faith to solve have resurfaced...and I have chosen to trust in the Lord's ability to make me His, and I am choosing to give Him my 100% every day.  Sometimes my 100% is not nearly what I want it or need it to be...but I know that Christ makes all the difference.  I feel His love encircle me like a blanket, and I have peace in my soul.  As I work every day to trust in Him more, I know that I will be able to better explain the Atonement to people who desperately need His light and love.  As I strive to understand His love for me, I can love myself and others more.  I can be more forgiving and understanding and not feel like my flaws are failures.  I love Ether 12:27:"And if men come unto me, I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble, and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (forgive any messups in there, that's just the verse from memory).  Every day I feel Christ's strong arms lifting where I stand, and helping me to conquer my weaknesses.  I testify that He loves us more than we can comprehend, and that He is in the details of our lives.  I've often heard that no problem is too big for the Lord...but to me it's just as important to remember that no problem is too small for Him either.  He truly cares.
I'm sorry I don't have as many details about the MTC to share as I did in the beginning!  We do the same things every week, and the longer we are here the more it all runs together.  :)  I feel truly blessed to be here.  It is amazing to me how fast I have been able to learn Spanish...but I know that missionaries don't come to the MTC to learn Spanish.  They come to learn the Atonement.  Because the Spirit is the same in every language, and through faith and diligent effort, the Spanish will come.  I have been blessed with a wonderful and truly loving companion, and with many other friends all united in the cause of helping others come unto Christ.  On Monday there will be 6 of us going to the Chile Osorno Mission and I honestly feel that I am in such good company.  What a blessing it is to be able to stand for Christ's name.  (It's also a nice blessing to lose 10 pounds!  :) )
I love you all so, so much and I pray for you each day!  Happy General Conference!  :D  (While you're watching, please remember how blessed we are to have a living prophet today!)
Abrazos, Hermana Latham   

The beautiful jacaranda trees.  They are really gorgeous and they line the streets here.
Our entire district with Hermano May next to Hermana Young and our other teacher, Hermano Escamilla next to me.  Hermano Escamilla is the most hilarious Mexican man that I have ever known, so the picture below is us doing something silly with him.

 Hermana Latham and Hermana Young with Hermano May. (above)  Hermana Latham and Hermana Young with Hermanas Howton and Ives, our friends en route to Arkansas Little Rock.
 The Angel Moroni on the Mexico City Temple is unique.  He is holding the golden plates!
 Our cute casa.  All the casas are painted different colors.  The first one we lived in was pink.

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