I'm glad you can feel how I am getting happier in my emails. I am happier each week! This week I am very happy and I have a lot of hope for the future. The first transfer was super tough in a lot of ways, but I really think that this mission is going to be amazing! Whenever I think about how I am here to represent Jesus Christ and His love for the people here, I feel so wonderful and so proud to represent Him.
As far as logistical boring stuff goes, I am sick. Blech. I am just slammed with a cold right now and I feel pretty miserable, physically speaking. Also, I got your Christmas package! I can't wait to put up the decorations. The delay in the mail really is a pain, but at least we have email! I love to read what you guys are doing each week. It makes it so you don't seem quite so far.
This week has been interesting as far as current events! Yesterday was the election for president here. It was crazy. Everyone has to travel to the city where they are inscripted to vote. I don't really know what inscripted means, but basically everyone was gone. We only had sacrament meeting for church. And what is really interesting to me is that the two head candidates are women! WOO! I think women in politics is really cool. :) I hope we see a woman president in the USA one day.
So you got my complaining letter about my companion. That was about a week into my time in Chile and I was SO FRUSTRATED at the time that I just had to tell someone and I couldn't wait to email it. Things got a little better. But this transfer has been really tough with my companion. She doesn't like to talk to me or do anything together (exercises, etc). But don't worry, I eat food. I told her how important it was to me to eat after the first few days. She is just very demanding. But I always just think about how hard it must be for her to have this insomnia. We've talked about it and I think the insomnia is probably just a symptom of a bigger problem. She seems very depressed. This week she felt bad enough that we stayed in the house for two days. Her health problems are pretty crippling, so she is going home this Friday. I am getting a new companion.
I have learned a lot from her about patience, and I pray every day to love her and help her in any way that I can. But I am really thankful for the chance to have a new companion! Maybe she will be friendly and loving. Maybe she will like to spend time with me. Maybe she will be a happy person! That would be just great. I have realized that one of the biggest reasons this transfer has been so tough is because of my companion. I tried not to look at it that way when I was thinking we would be together for 12 weeks. But now that I can take a step back, I realize that I was really trying my hardest to love her and be patient with her...and Heavenly Father is blessing me for that.
Our zone training last week was really great. I really respect our zone leaders because of the way that they lead. They try really hard to encourage rather than to criticize. I can feel their love, and they are really exemplary missionaries. During the training, I was thinking...all of these goals are so huge! How are we going to do it all? But then this calm feeling came over me that this is Christ's work, and the way we are going to be able to do it is with His help.
The next day we had companion exchanges with the sister training leaders, and it was AWESOME! I really felt the Spirit all day with Hermana Morassi, and I realized that I am entitled to feel that Spirit because of my obedience and faith in Christ. I realized that missionary work doesn't have to be such a negative life as it has seemed to me at times in this transfer. So I studied about daughters of God, or hijas de Dios, and I thought about this: I am a daughter of God. He called me to serve here in Chile. So I can do this! I really CAN do this! I can represent Jesus Christ and share His love. I can speak Spanish. I can love people who try my patience. I can learn to become more like Him.
With this new perspective, I have been able to feel happy despite challenges and daily frustrations. I am so hopeful for this upcoming transfer! With my new companion, we can really work to fulfill our purpose as missionaries and touch the people here. We have great investigators. I feel Christ's love for them and I can just tell how special they are. And daily He reminds me that I am special, too, and my purpose here is important!
A day in the life of a missionary in Chile, Osorno (in training. Because I have more study than other missionaries):
I wake up at 7:00. Then I say my prayers and I exercise until 7:30. From 7:30 to 8:30, I get ready for the day and eat my breakfast. I have personal study from 8:30 to 9:30. Then, I study with my companion from 9:30 until 11:30. We recite our missionary purpose and read from our missionary rules book, then we share with each other what we studied and we work out of my training manual. From 11:30 to 12:30, I have time to study Spanish. I usually study grammar and practice with some of the exercises from my books, and then find a few new vocabulary words. At 12:30 we go to the mamita's house for lunch. We come back around 2:00 (the mamita talks A LOT and super crazy fast, with bajillions of Chilenismos, or colloquialisms of Chile). We make lesson plans until 3. Then from 3 to 9:30, we have appointments, we tract, we visit contacts, and we visit less actives. A lot of our work is focused on less actives here in Pucón. Between 9:30 and 10 we go back home. We plan for the next day, and then I eat something and get ready for bed...and if I have time, write in my journal! I say my prayers and go to bed at 11:00.
That was a pretty boring summary. But that is basically what we do here! :) I am out of time now, so I will talk to you next week and tell you about my new companion! WOO!
Abrazos and love always, Hermana Latham