June 16, 2014
It never ceases to amaze me how unexpected each and every one of the transfers is. After three transfers with Hermana Núñez, we knew that something was going to change. But our change is super radical! For the past year there have been 6 missionaries here in Río Bueno, 4 sisters and 2 elders. But now, there are only going to be 2 sisters and 2 elders. I have been here with the same 3 sisters since I got here. But one of the sisters is ending her mission and going home, and Hermana Núñez is getting transferred. So I will stay here with the other sister, and we will be combining our two areas. We are going to have so much work to do! But since we have both been here for a long time, we both know our respective areas really well. We both have progressing investigators and members who are willing to go with us to appointments. It should be very busy and very interesting! My new companion is Hermana Alonso. She is from Ecuador and this is her first area. It will be my first time as senior companion, so I have some extra responsibility in that regard. Since we have two houses here, Hermana Alonso is coming to move into our house. Their house has rats and doesn't have a wood shed to chop the firewood. Hermana Núñez is going to the island of Chiloé, and she will be training and replacing elders! We are both stressed out for the huge change and all of the new responsibilities...but we have faith that the Lord prepares us to do whatever He calls us to do. I am SO SAD to say goodbye to Hermana Núñez after four months together! I love her so much! We have made some great memories together.
This week we had some unique, only-in-Chile experiences. We ate the grossest thing I have ever eaten in my life. It is called "queso pata." As you know, queso is cheese. Well, pata is foot. And not just any foot. Animal foot. This food is somewhat like meatloaf. But instead of having ground beef or turkey, it has giant, white chunks of meat from cow feet. It also has carrots, oregano, pepper, and a ton of grease. And its name will fool you. There is no cheese in it. Oh my GOSH! It was so nasty! Hermana Núñez and I will never forget the legend of queso pata.
On Friday was the first of the three games that Chile has in the World Cup for soccer. It was Chile versus Australia. People here go crazy! Every single house has the lights on and people are watching the game. People don't go to work on days when there are big soccer games like this. There is no one in the streets. And when Chile scores, the whole town explodes, "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!" (pronounced goal, in Spanish it's "gol.") Chile won. After the game, people all left their houses and the ones who have cars honked their horns and it was a total fiesta. Wow. If there is one thing that still hasn't changed much about me, it is my general apathy for sports. lol....
We are still preparing PXXXX for baptism! She is so excited. It is crazy how many challenges have come into her path since she decided to get baptized! Now both of her little girls have chicken pox! so even though she couldn't come to church this Sunday, she is still really excited for her baptism. The members help her so much to feel welcome! They truly are friends that will help her after she gets baptized and after we have both left. She is sad that Hermana Núñez won't be here to see her baptism!
On a rainy Saturday, we went out searching for less actives on our list. We came to a house where a big truck was parked and people were throwing firewood into the backyard. We contacted the little old lady who lived there and helped her get all of her wood stacked up in a dry place. Then she invited us into her impeccably clean, warm home. She just got over being really sick in the hospital for 2 weeks or so, and she is really depressed. It was so good to be a listening ear for someone who needed it, and to offer her a little bit of hope through teaching her about prayer. I think that my absolute favorite principle to teach is prayer. One truly can't feel alone once they realize that there is someone who is always there when we need Him. I hope we can visit again and help her out!
One of my favorite, favorite things about President Thomas S. Monson is his focus on courage. Courage truly is everything! Courage takes faith, integrity, and hope. It requires strength. But courage isn't only exhibited in wars or other dramatic moments. It is something that is exhibited every day as we stand up for what we believe in. Courage makes your mind and character stronger...and it also makes you happier. I hope that in every challenge that each of us face, we will remember the importance of courage (la importancia de valor). I love the talk that President Monson gave in the priesthood session of General Conference, "Be Strong and of a Good Courage." I also love his quote, that "Courage sometimes is the little voice that says, 'I'll try again tomorrow.'"
What a fun Father's Day! I can almost taste all of that food! I hope you have so much fun with the sister on her birthday! It honestly means everything and more when the members make an effort to show the missionaries their love. It is so sweet the feeling of family that you can find even from far away. My favorite cake is a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. mmmm. :)
I love you all so so so SO much! I wanted to leave you with a great scripture that my companion shared with me, Moroni 7:19-22: Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ. And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing. For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.
With Christ, we can take hold of every good thing. I know this to be true. Thank you for all of your love and support and especially for the quotes and pictures! GIGANTIC hugs from Río Bueno!
Love always, Hermana Latham