June 23, 2014
It was so fun to read your letters this week! YAY BEACH! How fun! I love your story about Pensacola, too. It really is crazy that I am about to be twenty years old. I think that when I was a little kid I thought I would know pretty much everything when I was twenty. Boy was I wrong. hahaha. I also love the story of the missionary birthday. :) Just goes to show that there truly is opposition in all things! I'm sure that she was so thankful that she could share with a loving, wonderful family and for all of the efforts that y'all did. If it had been me, I would have taken a picture with the ugly cake because I would have wanted to remember such a funny, happy moment that I shared on my mission. :) I also love that story in 3 Nephi. When I read chapter 17 I always cry, for exactly what that sister shared. It is mind-boggling how the Atonement of Jesus Christ is not only infinite...it is individual. At various points in my life I have felt sad wishing that someone could be with me to experience what I am experiencing. At BYU I wished that my family could be there. In the celestial moments of this mission I have wished that y'all could feel what I feel. As we get close to PXXXX's baptism, it makes me sad that Hermana Núñez can't be here to see it. But it has dawned on me this week that there is one person who is there to experience every single day of our lives...and He is our Savior, Jesus Christ. He knows and understands our pains and our weaknesses, and He shares in our joys and tears. If no one else can be there, He can. How incredible is that?
This week has been SO crazy. Hermana Núñez said goodbye to all of the people here in our area, and that means she had to say goodbye to me too. I think I was in denial that she was actually leaving. It was so, so hard for me to say goodbye! I miss her like crazy. And it's funny, missing her has made me miss y'all more too. In most of my dreams this week I have been with my family. I think that my mind is missing being with someone familiar who I can hug. When I think about her too much I get sad and I cry! But Hermana Alonso (my new companion) reminded me that I could see her again in the mission, and even if not I hope that we will stay in touch after the mission. When Hermana Núñez left, it was a FREEZING morning, really early. We went straight to Hermana Alonso's old house and cleaned up everything and moved all of her stuff in to our house. It was a crazy long day because after all that, we did proselyting like normal! Then we had the longest weekly planning ever combining two area books, two sectors worth of investigators, less actives, contacts, everything. We are still working on learning how we can best use the time that we have to visit people in our now gigantic sector. This week we have walked a lot more than usual. But we have also been able to really focus on our investigators who are progressing!
On Saturday there was a district Relief Society activity, and three of our investigators came! PXXXX made a kuchen (German dessert that is really common here) to bring to the activity. It was so much fun to be there with a bunch of sisters from the branch and our investigators! Then we came back to Río Bueno and PXXXX passed her baptismal interview! She is fabulous. Like I said earlier, there truly is opposition in all things. She almost couldn't come to the activity or her interview because one of her family friends died and she sang at his funeral, and on top of that she has a really bad cold and maybe pink eye. But she is so excited for her baptism and she wants so badly to be involved, that everything worked out. The Lord provides a way. Then on Sunday, we had four investigators in the chapel! They are all progressing toward baptism and they love to come to church. Hermana Alonso and I are so, so excited for this challenge and for the chance that we have to serve Río Bueno and the Lord! I just pray that my humble service will be enough, and that the Lord will use my strengths to bless the people I serve.
All the missionaries who came to the District Relief Society Activity.
We got together as all the sisters in our zone to make pizza last week before transfers.
The four of us that served in Rio Bueno. The little one on the left is my new companion, Hermana Alonso.
Yesterday I was feeling pretty frustrated in the chapel about something that a person in our branch had said. I really didn't want to feel this frustration with this person! We have a baptism that we are preparing for, and there were four of our investigators there in the chapel! I needed to manage my stress and emotions to be able to help. The Lord helped me to remember a scripture during the sacrament, Alma 38:12--"bridle your passions, and be full of love," or "refrenar tus pasiones y ser llenos de amor." I LOVE this scripture! It is one of my favorite missionary scriptures. The natural man gets mad, impatient, frustrated, etc. But a servant of the Lord is full of love, forgiveness, and patience. This is a scripture that I know we can apply in our daily lives, as full-time missionaries or member missionaries. Normally, whatever the issue is, it is not worth losing your cool over. It is so important when your mind is going in a million different directions, you don't understand your emotions, and your thoughts are stressing you out, to refocus on the very purpose of this life and this work, the one our Savior shows us....to love. I am striving to be full of love as I serve this mission!
I almost forgot! Updates. This Friday, our new mission president, Presidente Obeso, comes and Presidente Rappleye goes home on Saturday. That will be so strange! But the work goes rolling forward. Also, PXXXX is getting baptized this Saturday! AHHHH! and yes I loved your analogy. It is a giant missionary GOOOOOOOOOOL! in my heart! I love PXXXX and I am so happy for her. So happy for her. I also loved the picture of the curly haired sheep. Thank you. :)
I love you all so so very much! I hope that you soak up all that you can at the beach this week!
Love you always, gigantic hugs, Hermana Latham