So it was another crazy week. I feel like every week as a missionary is a crazy week. lol. But this week really was different from the others. I got some sort of bug. It seemed sort of flu-like. I just had kind of an overall weakness in my body, with those pains that make your arms and legs feel floppy and your chest, stomach, and neck just hurt. I couldn't eat the normal food we eat here because it was too heavy and made me feel nauseous. I never had a fever or threw up, but I wasn't well enough to go out and do missionary work, so for the majority of four days we were just in the house. I just rested a lot, took Tylenol or ibuprofen, drank a lot of fluids, and watched a lot of Church movies in Spanish (lol). It was pretty lame. You know me, I just wanted to get OUT of the HOUSE and serve the Lord! We tried various times off and on in those four days, but my body just couldn't handle it like normal. But I still had wonderful spiritual experiences and learned a lot. The Lord really has infinite wisdom, and I believe with every fiber of my being that everything happens for a reason. I think it was harder on my companion that it was on me to be stuck inside for four days. But we grew from it! I find that most of the experiences that I have on this mission are to teach me to better understand the love of Christ. There were moments when I was laying on the bed, just feeling like a failure as a missionary. After all, I didn't sign up to come to Chile just to sit around. I felt like I was missing so many opportunities to share with God's children, that maybe I was just making a big deal out of nothing and it would be better if we left...but then every time we left I got dizzy, or overheated, or nauseous, or something and we had to go home. It was frustrating. We called the sister training leaders and talked to them, and I thought about what the Lord would want me to learn. I think that He wanted me to see just how much He loves me. He knew that I wasn't just being lazy or trying to avoid my responsibilities. He wanted me to learn patience with myself and to love myself enough to care for my body rather than tear myself down for being a "bad missionary."
On Thursday we had our interview with President Rappleye, and I was telling him about all of the mean thoughts that I have that tell me that I am a bad missionary, or a terrible companion, or that I don't have a strong enough testimony, or other mean things like that. President Rappleye is a car guy. With him everything is very straightforward. He just looked me straight in the eyes and asked me, "Where do you think those thoughts come from?" I know exactly where they come from. I know that every mean thought that I ever have comes from Satan. He has told me so many lies over the years! He is just so MEAN! But on this mission, I learn more and more each day how to melt the icy shell of mean things that Satan has put in my mind with the warmth of the love of Christ. President Rappleye is so wise and so spiritual! It was really wonderful to have an interview with him and to understand his concern for us as missionaries and for me individually.
I have never felt so loved in my entire life. Here in Chile, my companion, my sister training leaders, zone leaders, and district leader, the ward members, and the mission president care about me so much! They make me feel important and loved and help me understand my worth as a daughter of God. We live across the street from our ward Relief Society president, and she has been watching out for me as I've been sick this week, calling out of the blue to see how I'm doing and bringing us brownies. (she's about your age, Mama, and her hugs and the way she loves us, she's like my Chilean mom). Then, I received three letters this week...one from Sister Butler, one from Sugar Hill Stake YSA, and one from Aunt Cheryl. Every week I get emails from my parents and my friends, many of whom are in other parts of the world serving missions. It is a love web that spreads around the entire world! (that sounds super cheesy but it's really how I feel! I am so far away, but so close to everyone in my heart.)
The title this week is "una voz," because this week while we were in the house I listened to a lot of new songs that Hermana Montalván shared with me, and my favorite one is called "One Voice." It talks about how even though we are each just one voice...we can make such a big difference. "I am just one voice, but one voice can still be heard. I have made the choice to seal my witness with my word." " I am just one voice, but one voice will carry far!" I still don't know all of the words because I just discovered it, but it has such a wonderful message! It goes on to say, "He was just one voice, but one voice that changed the earth..." in reference to Jesus Christ. So even if I am just one voice, my testimony is strong. It is made of simple truth and valiant faith that the Savior lives, and that He loves every single person. I KNOW this to be true. So when I am out in the streets, and I am nervous or I can't think of what I want to say, I will listen to the Spirit and speak what I believe! And my voice can carry far. Because I can share my testimony from the very south of the world up to all of you in the United States!
I love you all so much! I will keep the Mulcays, the Snyders, and Elder Washburn in my prayers. This mission is hard. But we have to do all that we can not to leave! We must keep going! The Lord will make us strong enough to do His work. Thank you for the scripture, the picture, and the box. You are the cutest mom ever. I love you and I miss you!
Abrazos, Hermana Latham