June 9, 2014
Hermana Núñez and I have honestly been so, SO happy this week! Our investigator is getting ready to get baptized on the 28th, and she is progressing so much! This week we had three lessons with her, and brought members to all three lessons. The members are so happy to see her coming to church and progressing toward baptism! I have been so completely amazed by how much she wholeheartedly accepts the gospel. The person who prepared PXXXX to make this decision in her life is the Lord. I know it. I feel so blessed to be able to love and serve her and her beautiful daughters! We taught her about the Restoration this week and she feels that it is such a blessing to be able to have a living prophet today, and that the Restoration was necessary to end the Great Apostasy and bring light back to the earth. She loves the gospel. Our branch mission leader gave her a copy of Gospel Principles and she read half of it in three days. What. I haven't even read half of Gospel Principles! She makes me think of one of my favorite missionary scriptures, Doctrine and Covenants 123:12: For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
There are people who are only kept from the gospel because "they know not where to find it," or "no saben dónde hallarla." Hermana Núñez always tells me about one of her favorite missionary songs, that is called "Te hallaré, mi querido amigo," or "I'll find you, my dear friend." In the song, two friends from the premortal existence discover that one of them will come to earth and have the gospel, while the other will not. The friend who will have the gospel promises the other friend that he will find him to give him the gospel. I have felt this with PXXXX! It is amazing. I truly think that PXXXX and Hermana Núñez and I were friends before this life, and that we promised to find her and give her the gospel. Because that is all she needed. Someone to knock on her door and give it to her. It has been so special to get to know her! Our transfers are coming up next Wednesday the 18th, and after three transfers together we know that one of us will not be here to see her baptism. But in the end it doesn't matter so much...just to know that she will make this promise with her Savior is enough.
We brought our mamita to visit our investigator who is reading the Book of Mormon. Our mamita shared her testimony about the Book or Mormon, and the story of when she started reading it as an investigator. It was such a sweet moment! I know that as she keeps reading the Book of Mormon, she will be able to know that it is true. On Saturday we had a Family Home Evening with PXXXX and some members of our branch. It was SO much fun! We watched a video about Joseph Smith, and Sister GXXXX made a fabulous cake, and we listened to some funny rock'n'roll versions of hymns....we laughed so much.
I am learning so much how to trust in the Lord and how to understand and love myself more. When I look at myself from another perspective, I can see that I truly do love my Savior Jesus Christ and that I have faith in the Atonement and the opportunity He gives us all to have eternal life. It is because of my faith that the cold, rain, dogs, chopping firewood, or other challenges that present themselves don't bother me so much. And when I am sad, or overly stressed out, or anxious, or scared, I can feel a sweet, quiet voice that tells me that He loves me no matter what. And because He loves me, He gives me many blessings. In some way or another, I deserve them! Being emotional is not a defect, or a weakness, or a failure. It just means that I am "wired differently." Today we talked about how of the first presidency, there is one who is more emotional than the other two. You don't have to think very much to recognize that it is President Eyring. But that doesn't make President Eyring weaker, or less spiritual, or anything like that. He is just "wired differently." And it would be ridiculous if President Monson told President Eyring, "Okay. You can't cry in your talks anymore. Just stop it." Today we talked about how many different types of personalities will go to the Celestial Kingdom. There is not a cookie cutter of who will go there. The way we get to the Celestial Kingdom is by keeping our covenants. That is what is the most important!
I would love it if you could send me new shoes for my birthday! The ones that we looked at last year are great. I could use brown or black, mary jane style, and without heels is better. It is so strange to think of a new bishopric! But I know that Brother Bowcut will do a great job. He is super awesome. YAY for Girls' Camp! I will pray for Abby. I remember when I was 12 and one of my leaders said that she had gained the beginnings of her testimony at Girls' Camp. I know that a part of the core of my testimony came from those special weeks. I hope you are really enjoying the summer! It is so strange to be in opposite seasons with you guys! But it makes me happy to think of you guys relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. :) I will pray for Andy and Grace. How sad!
I love you all lots and lots! I miss you so so so much! But I can feel your love and support even from far away, and I am so thankful to be a member of our family. Sometimes I get mixed up in my own thoughts and like you said, the cold dreary weather does affect me somewhat. But it is such a special opportunity to be a missionary! I have never loved the scriptures more. My favorite for the past few weeks has been Proverbs 3:5&6: Trust in the with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. It's a golden one.
Also today I read 1 Nephi 13:37: And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. The Lord has wonderful promises in store for us!
Love you always, and gigantic hugs from Río Bueno, Hermana Latham