Tuesday, February 11, 2014

dulce tu obra es, Señor

                                                                                                                                             Feb 1, 2014

                                                              Hermana Latham and Hermana Johnson
¡Hola hola!

Thank you so much for all of the prayers you are sending my way!  Prayer is my source of strength through everything, including being sick.  There is a mission nurse, but she is another missionary and most of the time she doesn't answer her phone.  So it's pretty much your own judgment on health stuff.  I just rested a lot, drank a lot of liquids, and took some different pain medicines.  I did get in touch with the nurse, and she helped me a bit as well.  I would love to be friends with DXXX and with MXXX.  haha it's weird to think of MXXX RXXX because he was Elder RXXX here before he went home...that will be one of the strangest things, I think, all of the people I met here having real names after the mission!  ;)  

This week has been so, so great!  Every once in a while you tell me in your letters that it's okay if I share the bad/frustrating things that happen...and those happen every week, it's just that the good things so outweigh the bad things!  I have honestly never felt so genuinely happy in my life!  At the same time, the sad and the frustrated feelings on the mission are bigger, but the happy just eats it all up and Christ helps me to take care of the tough stuff.  I think that it is really inspired that we can't be calling home all the time, because we really learn to rely on the Lord!  This week my companion and I had a few bumpy patches, and all that I wanted to do was call you and ask what you would do.  But I couldn't do that, and so I prayed and we talked together and worked everything out...and now we have a friendship that is more valuable and we really appreciate each other.  I have been studying this week about the importance of opposition.  I really love 2 Nephi 2!  (Yes, I finally finished 1 Nephi in Spanish and now I'm in 2 Nephi.  Seeing progress, little by little. lol)  If I never had problems with a companion, I would never fully appreciate the great times we have together.  Also, if I never had someone slam the door in my face, I wouldn't fully appreciate the miracle of a humble person who makes room for Christ in his or her life.  It's a principle that can really apply to anything.  I think as normal human people we just want to see the pretty happy things....but I testify that God puts tough stuff in our path so that we can be able to recognize the good.  This week our zone leaders talked about the importance of faith and energy in this work.  We really have to put all of our hope in the fact that we can see changes daily through the Atonement...even if they are little changes.  They challenged us to look for miracles every day.  So I have been looking for the miracles....and I see them.  Every.  Single.  Day.  This week we have faced more rejection and had more problems than in other weeks...but at the same time we have seen more beautiful miracles.  

                                            "las gringas locas"--me and my crazy companion :)

I LOVE our investigators.  I LOVE this ward.  I LOVE this work!!!!  "Dulce tu obra es, Señor"  is the Spanish version of "sweet is the work, my God, my King!"  This work is so so sweet.  Our golden family is progressing unbelievably.  They discovered the Mormon channel on the Internet, and now they are obsessed with watching talks from General Authorities.  This week....they set a date to get married!!!  AHHHHHHH!  In Chile there are lots of people who live together without getting married...but they have to get married before they can get baptized.  We have been praying and teaching them and hoping, and they set the date!  We are SO excited!  They told us that they are doing this because they really believe that their family can be eternal.  What a sweet joy.  Our other progressing investigator is a man who has a hard time with the Word of Wisdom, and he is working to give up smoking.  He wants to get baptized to be born again and have a new opportunity.  We have been working so hard this week with the members of the ward.  We had a fabulous family home evening with the bishop and our golden family, and we have been working a lot with two sweet Young Women.  They are in summer break right now and they both want to be missionaries.  They are on fire with missionary work!  One day we went to visit a bunch of less active young women in the ward, and they made scripture bookmarks for every single one.  

This week Hermana Johnson and I both got packages from the United States.  Nana sent me a Valentine's day box and I got another Christmas card, this one from Sister Shultz.  Both of us got American chocolate!!  WOOO!  So we have been enjoying Ghirardelli, Hershey's and Kit Kat that all, amazingly, didn't melt in their journey to Chile.  Nana sent me a box very similar to those that she sent me at BYU, including a jar of peanut butter and a can of tuna.  lol.  

This transfer is almost over and we are getting so excited!  At the beginning of the next transfer, Elder M. Russell Ballard is coming here!  He is coming to speak at a multi-stake conference, and the next day he will speak to our mission!!  AHHHHHHHHH! There are 405 missions in the world, and this time he is coming to the Chile Osorno Mission!  WOO!  I can't believe that this transfer is almost over.  It has gone by so fast and I have learned so much.  I think that one of the best things that I have learned this transfer is the grand difference between being a self-centered person and a Christ-centered person.  There are so many things in this world competing for our attention, and they all just want us to be self-focused, self-interested, and careless.  But the Spirit whispers to us and reminds us of our Savior, who loves us so much and brings us everlasting peace.  And in the end, when we strive to be Christ-centered, magically all of the problems that we had within ourselves seem to lessen and we are filled with happiness.  Today is the beginning of a new month!  I hope that we can all work on centering ourselves more around our Savior, so that we can find real happiness with Him.

I love you all so so much!  I miss you!  I hope you are staying warm in the snow!  

Love you always, gigantes abrazos de Chile, Hermana Latham

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