Monday, June 16, 2014

una semilla de fe

                                                                                                                                                            May 5, 2014

Thank you so much for the thoughts that you sent to me this week!  I am continually amazed at how well you know me!  I think that maybe you know me better than I know myself.  The thoughts that you sent me helped with just the feelings I was struggling with today.

As far as health goes, in la gran Misión Chile Osorno (the great Chile Osorno Mission) we have the opposite problem from Brynne's our problem is to not gain a ton of weight!  I have been doing pretty well so far.  I try to eat fruits when I can and always eat salad at lunch.  You wouldn't believe how much the mamitas give us for lunch.  It is more than what Daddy eats.  (And by that I am not saying that Daddy eats too much, just that it's more than what I ate when I was home.)  But somehow my stomach has gotten accustomed and I can eat so much.  Seriously, so much.  Mountains of potatoes, rice, or pasta.  Every day.  Somehow magically I have only gained 2 kilos.  I think that is about 4 or 5 pounds.  It must be for the morning exercises and the simple fact that we walk a ton.  Also dessert here is usually home-canned fruit, so it isn't like the sisters in the States who eat brownies and ice cream with the members regularly.  On Friday we went to Osorno and got flu shots, so hopefully I will be good for the winter.  Ever since I learned that I was lactose intolerant and changed my habits (stopped eating cheese, started buying lactose free milk) I haven't been sick.  YAY!

The week before transfers is always the longest one for me.  All of the other weeks in the transfer fly by and I think, "Oh my gosh!  What can I tell my family?  It feels like I just wrote them!"  I think the last week is the longest because we are all thinking about what will happen, where we will go, who will be our companion, etc.  But this time all of that was in vain because when our district leader called us, it was to tell us that....Hermana Núñez and I are going to be together a third transfer in Río Bueno.  We were so shocked!  We really thought after two transfers together we had learned and grown a lot together and it was time for a change.  But the Lord's plan is always better, and He wanted us to stay together.  We have talked through it a whole lot.  You can be companions with pretty much anybody for one transfer.  Six weeks really isn't that long.  Two transfers is a little bit harder.  You start to drive each other nuts on occasion.  But you also learn how to teach better in unity, and how to be better friends.  But three transfers?  Three transfers, or four months, is really for the valiant.  hahaha.  The good thing is that we get along really well.  We don't really understand why the Lord wants us to be together again, but we do know that this is His work and there are people to love and serve and work to be done!  So we are going to keep at it!  

I still haven't gotten the box.  But how exciting that there are two bunnies!  My companion LOVES bunnies.  She has one at home and when she tells people about her family, she always tells them about her "coneja" (girl bunny) along with her sisters and her parents.  lol.  So she will be really excited.

This week we have had some great moments.  Last week on P-day we bought all the stuff to make tacos with an investigator!  She told us she wanted to learn how to make something typical from the United States and what she wanted to make was tacos.  It's funny to have to go to the international section to buy tortillas and taco seasoning.  Also sour cream doesn't exist here.  But we had ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, so they were still pretty good tacos.  It was so fun!  I didn't remember how much I like American food.  haha.  

The work has been rolling on!  Of course, like normal, we face our share of rejection.  The rejections this week were a bit tougher.  The girl we found from our old investigators told us she would prefer that we didn't visit, and the investigator who we have been working with SO MUCH to have her progress told us that if she ever gets baptized, it will be in the Protestant church.  But on the other hand, we found four great new people to teach this week!  We get so happy when we knock on a door and the person tells us we can come in and share.  :)  The sweetest moment this week was that a less active man we have been teaching for months came to church!  We were SO excited to see him come into the chapel!  And he stayed for all three hours!  He is so great.  As I am writing this tears are welling up in my eyes.  It wasn't a baptism.  But it is a soul who is deciding to accept Christ in his life.

"Una semilla de fe" is a seed of faith.  This analogy has taken on so much meaning for me.  I love the talk that Elder Andersen gave in General Conference and how he talked about spiritual whirlwinds and how real winds affect trees.  Our faith starts as a seed...but then it is a small tree.  With every tough experience, our little tree grows stronger, and as we nurture it over the years, it gets deeper roots in Jesus Christ and more rings of knowledge and understanding.  So if we ever feel like our tree of faith is being pushed really hard with spiritual whirlwinds...we must remember that that is the way that our tree will get strong!  And if we think our tree is too small, we have to be patient and keep caring for it so that we can be more deeply rooted in Christ and have more rings.  Hermana Núñez and I were talking about this idea this week, and about the biggest tree that there is...the sequoia.  Maybe right now our tree is small.  But as we hang on and put our hope in our Savior, our tree keeps becoming the marvelous sequoia that it was meant to be.

I love you all so so much!  HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!  I hope for Family Home Evening you go to Moe's and eat delicious Mexican food for me.  I will see you on Sunday at 5:00!

Abrazos, Hermana Latham 

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