January 18, 2014
Okay, first for the questions. I forgot to answer the one about the elder on the phone last week. He was my district leader in Pucón and just finished his mission, so now he's back home. I didn't really know how to cut him out of the pictures...lol so he's just randomly in the doorway talking on the phone...
I would love if you could send me some Altoids and Cheez-Its. And I would imagine that you aren't thinking of mailing me beef jerky, but just in case, they told us this week that Chilean customs absolutely DO NOT PASS beef jerky, so that should not go in the box. lol. I'm good on memory cards for now. I can't think of other medicine that I might need...I really only use ibuprofen and decongestant. I would love a plastic waterbottle that I can wash and reuse. Other than that I'm doing pretty good! I can buy almost everything like normal here.
I am super super limited on space and weight, especially when there are transfers, so the less stuff that is not necessary the better. Printing photos here is super expensive, so I don't generally print them. I'm just going to wait to do a mission photo album until I get home with all of the photos throughout the mission.
This week absolutely flew by! I honestly cannot believe that it is Saturday again. Craziness.
The activity went so well! There were more people at the activity than in sacrament meeting! A lot of people brought their friends, and some of them seemed genuinely interested in the Mormon church. I'm sending a couple of pictures of it.
So we are dying of heat here! I know you guys are freezing to death. lol I have never been so tan in January! El sol chileno is the Chilean sun. It is so strong! Temperatures here are recorded in Celsius, so when people tell us how hot it is, half the time I don't really know how to react, like, "Oh, that's so hot!", or what. So we have done a couple conversions...it seems that it's typically around the low 80s here. So it's not really that hot. But the fact that we are outside a whole lot and that air conditioning doesn't exist here makes it seem hotter. Blech. I am so sweaty and gross. And covered in bug bites. We keep our windows open in the house because wind comes in and makes our house less of an oven. But then we find interesting bugs...
The other night we were getting ready for bed and there was this giant, flying, shiny, green bug in our house...I was trying to get it and it whacked me in the arm and I kind of freaked out because I didn't know if it could sting me...and this whole time Hermana Johnson was in the bathroom, so she was just laughing because she could only hear what was going on...lol. I sent a picture that we took of it. It's basically a big shiny green beetle that flies. It's called a San Juan, and people told us that they don't do anything so it's fine. lol adventures with Chilean bugs...I told Hermana Johnson that this bug was like half an edamame...
This week we went to the Registro Civil ( I honestly have no idea how to say that in English) to get my carnet. They told me that I couldn't smile, so I basically look like I hate life...I'll have to send you a picture when I get the actual card. We were dying laughing. It looks like a mugshot.
I've had two different interpretations of my accent from people here this week....one girl asked me if I was from Brazil. An investigator told me that I sound like Google translator. lol. So it's funny to hear that my English is weird too! haha I'm just a mess as far as talking goes, apparently....everything in English and Spanish is so mixed up. Sometimes I ask myself how to pronounce things in English.
In our ward here we are serving with the zone leaders for Zona Osorno (I guess it would be Osorno Zone in English). They are so fabulous. I can tell that their ideas for what to do in our zone really come from God. We have been working to apply the things they said in training this week, and we really have seen miracles! We insisted that one of our investigators pray, and when she did, the Spirit really entered the room! With our contacting this week, we have been focusing on setting a return appointment with every person we talk to...and yesterday we set 3 return appointments! It is so exciting to see the work grow as we trust that our zone leaders are inspired by the Lord. It's really cool to learn how to respect and trust peer leaders. It makes me more ready for when I'm a real grown-up!
My companion and I have been talking about fear lately, and how fear really doesn't come from the Lord. What comes from the Lord is courage and hope. Everyone has fear...but we just need to ignore it and trust in God! I know that when we live righteously, He has us in His tender care. We are stronger than we think we are with Him! And our purpose is so big, we just can't let things that scare us stop us. I love a scripture...I'm pretty sure it's 2 Timothy 3....I don't remember. But it says something to the effect of how the Lord doesn't give us fear, but a strong mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.)
This week I also studied The Living Christ. It brought back so many memories of when I memorized it for Young Women, and really reminded me how strong my testimony is. I know He lives. I know He loves me! I know that He loves every single person, and He is always there. I know that I will see Him again someday. All that He asks of me is to follow Him. I'm so glad that you can share my testimony from these letters! As a missionary, I know that I am truly a witness that He lives, and that this is His gospel, the good news and the way to return home to Him one day. Link to The Living Christ: http://edge.ldscdn.org/ml/jesuschrist/SonOfGod/StaticFiles/PDF/Manuals/TheLivingChrist_TheTestimonyOfTheApostles_36299_eng.pdf
Thank you for the C.S. Lewis quote and the picture of us in the quilt! I miss lots of people....but Mama, I miss you the most! My companion is amazing, but she doesn't really like hugs. And this week I was really missing your hugs! But I hug you every night in my heart. And I teach this gospel and do this work with all the strength I have, so that I can help other people to feel the joy I feel in Christ.
I hope you have a wonderful week! I love you! Thank you so much for your letters and your support!
Abrazos y amor para siempre, Hermana Latham(hugs and love always)