Mama, thank you so much for your letter. You always find a way to share so much love for me...and it's like a hug on a piece of paper! I love your sweet Primary class! They are so lucky to have you for their teacher, just like I am so lucky to have you for my mom. And my visiting teacher. lol. If you would like to send me something else, that's cool. If not, that's cool too. You always share with me your insights from the scriptures and quotes and things (which I really honestly love!), so to me that seems like a pretty great visiting teacher. I love the quote from Pooh and Piglet. Winnie the Pooh is so great!
Thank you also for helping me feel more normal about my weird stomach pains. I called the mission nurse and she told me that I might be lactose intolerant. So I tried going without cheese and I even bought lactose free milk (which is actually not that bad), but it didn't really make a difference. So it is still a mystery if I am lactose intolerant. lol. It would make sense! There are a lot of lactose foods that make me feel kind of icky. But at the same time I really hope that I'm not because I love cheese SO much. lol.
I'm glad that you could see Rio Bueno on the Internet! Isn't it cute? Little by little I love it more. We are starting to have fall here, with cool mornings, hot afternoons, and cool evenings. The trees are starting to turn colors (YAY! I haven't had fall in a year and a half!) as well. My favorite thing here is that the skies are so clear. We can see so many stars at night! My camera isn't connecting to the computer today either, but hopefully next week I will be able to send pictures.
I think our fall will be chilly because the summer here really wasn't hot. It got into the low 80s on occasion, but never got super hot. I have heard that it starts to be pretty cold in May and then June, July, and August are "pleno invierno" or basically just plain winter. So I'm expecting a super cold birthday. haha. Today we got permission to come to Osorno because I want to buy new shoes and some boots for the winter. Soon I'll also be looking for leggings and more pantyhose to keep my legs warm in the winter, and one thing that I would love for when winter comes is slippers of some kind. Warm socks are great, but the problem is that because the bottom isn't plastic, the cold seeps in when your feet are on the floor.
This week Hermana Núñez and I have been working really hard to apply the things that we learned from Elder Ballard. I don't remember if I told you last week, but one of the things that he told us is that there are a lot of people in this world who really don't know who God is. He told us that God is our Heavenly Father, and we are His children, and it's that simple! So we have been trying to teach more in contacts, lessons, and at any appropriate time, that God is our loving Heavenly Father, or "Dios es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial." This simple truth resonates with people. We can see in their eyes that they recognize it and they really want to know how they can become closer to their Heavenly Father. We have had some cool moments this week with contacts and investigators simply by focusing on this truth. Elder Ballard challenged us to really internalize the doctrines that we teach from Preach My Gospel. I have read the first lesson about a million times, but I don't think that I have ever really studied it the way that I have this week. If y'all have a copy of Preach My Gospel, I would invite you to read the lessons in Chapter 3...but not just read them. Really ponder about what they mean. My deep study of the first lesson this week has strengthened my testimony so very much, and I have been more able to offer the beautiful truths of the gospel to people who need it. God truly is our loving Heavenly Father. He has a body of flesh and bones. And He misses us! He loves to talk to us in prayer, just like I love to talk to y'all in email! He watches over and blesses us and has a perfect plan for each of us, because He wants to live with us again someday.
As Hermana Núñez and I have been studying, working, and praying so hard, the Lord truly guides us to the people who are ready for the gospel. We have taught a lot of great first lessons. One of my favorites this week was to a little boy whose mom is a less active member. He is eight years old, so he could get baptized if he decides to. We went by to visit his mom, but Hermana Núñez asked him if he would like to be in the lesson. We taught him about God as our Heavenly Father and he understood so well! I love to see how little kids really grasp onto gospel truths and believe them easily. We taught him how to pray and he offered the prayer at the end. It was such a wonderful experience. I hope and pray that he keeps listening!
We have also had a lot of fun moments this week. Outside of Rio Bueno a part of our area is campo. The direct translation of campo is field, but it basically means "the middle of nowhere." It's really pretty out there, but one place we went this week....there were literally more cows that people. And we decided that it is better to teach the gospel to people than to cows after we had to wait for the bus for over an hour. haha it was frustrating but at the same time funny, because the people who live en el campo (in the middle of nowhere) really aren't worried about anything, so a bus schedule would be at the bottom of their list. The buses are more regular on Saturdays, so we think we are going to go to el campo only on Saturdays (we have some great contacts there). One elder in our branch celebrated his birthday this week, so we had a little activity in the chapel. There is this dog here who is probably my favorite dog from my three areas. Her name I think is probably spelled Puppy, but in Spanish the letter "u" says "oo." So, it sounds like Poopie when people say her name. She is this really small, really fat dog with tiny feet who runs all the time and is SO happy. Sometimes she starts following us and then we get happy too. What a crazy, little fat and happy dog. lol.
I hope that you all have a wonderful week! I love you and miss you so much!
Love always, Hermana Latham