April 7, 2014
Could there have BEEN a more powerful General Conference? I love General Conference so very much. I feel like every time it comes around, I love it more and the talks mean more to me. I just can't wait for the Liahona to get here so I can read all the talks again! I agree with you, I loved the talks from President Uchtdorf and President Monson. I also LOVED the talks from Elder Andersen, Elder Nelson, Elder Packer, and Elder Bednar. WOW. I have been praying recently to understand the nature of God more, and it was incredible to me how much the speakers talked about the love of God. I loved what President Monson said, that our Heavenly Father is personal and real. I testify of that. He understands us even when we don't understand ourselves, and He is truly there. If we humbly get down on our knees to speak with Him, He listens, and He comforts our souls. I also loved Elder Zwick's talk about using better language...but mostly for what he said at the end, that Jesus really cares what we are thinking. I love that! There are so many times that we think that nobody cares what we are thinking...but Jesus always cares. He is the best friend that we could ever have.
I think that one of my favorite things from General Conference was how much the speakers talked about being a true disciple of Jesus Christ--un verdadero discípulo de Jesucristo. Elder Holland explained to us that being a disciple of Jesus has pleasant parts and painful parts. I never realized how true that was until I came on this mission! Being a true disciple of Jesus Christ means giving your all to Him. It is not easy. It is not comfortable. But it brings to us some of the truest joy and the deepest peace that we can ever experience. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to learn to be more and more like Him. In conference, we learn how to be more like Him in a lot of different ways. I listened for ways that I can be more humble, more tolerant, more obedient...and most of all, have more faith. I thought it was interesting how many people talked also about the reality of the adversary. That is also something that has become very clear to me as a missionary. He will always be there to attack the truth and try to knock us down. But no matter how strong his winds are, the powers of goodness--the powers of Christ--are always so, so much stronger. There are a lot of things that I do not understand. I have never seen Christ. But I have felt His love, and I know that He lives! The Spirit testifies to me that this is true. I love a scripture that I found this week, Moroni 10:6 & 7. " knowaccording
I have officially been here in Chile for six months! I am still not a perfect missionary. But I am striving to be a good missionary! I learn more every single day.
This week we learned what a blessing it is to work with the members. I loved what Elder Ballard shared in conference, and how connected it was with what he shared with us when he came to visit Chile. This work is the work of the Lord, which means that it is the work of all of us, full-time missionaries and member missionaries. It makes me so happy that y'all are working to share the gospel! When we work together, we are so much more effective. We had three great lessons with a member this week, and in each case the investigators understood better and felt more comfortable when the member was there. In the States most of the missionaries are from the same culture, so I think that it is probably different. But here, the Chileans just feel so much better when we bring another Chilean--someone who understands them more naturally. But even in the States, if the members go to the lessons, I know that the investigators will feel more comfortable because they will have someone there who is a "normal person." :)
It is really amazing to me that the Lord calls young people, starting at age 18, to do this work. We are so young and have virtually no experience in the "real world." We have a lot of weaknesses. We are just starting out in this life. But He teaches us so carefully how to be better adults and how to handle problems. As a missionary, I have truly learned to better understand that the only way to solve our problems is through the Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement. He truly loves us. He is there, always, to offer us the comfort we seek. And as we seek to follow Him, we will feel closer to Him every day.
Sorry this email is so short! lol it must be because I tried to make it more especially spiritual. :)
You always ask me if we do fun things on P-day...today we went to the senior missionaries' house with a bunch of sisters from our zone and made chili dogs and frosted brownies. It was so great. :)
I love you all! I wish that I could give you giant hugs and tell you that! But for now, I am sending my hugs through the computer screen.
Love you always, Hermana Latham