It is so interesting to see how time passes by. I can't believe that y'all only have four more weeks of summer! Or that tomorrow we are starting with July! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that we have opposite seasons. This will be the weirdest 4th of July ever, with a scarf, gloves, and earmuffs...haha. It hasn't rained for about 2 or 3 weeks, and it also hasn't been quite as cold. When I calculate it into Fahrenheit, it's normally in the 40s during the day and probably the 30s during the night. We just wear a bunch of layers. One of my boots died this week. But there is a guy who fixes shoes (can't remember that word for the life of me) here in Río Bueno, so I took them to him to fix. It's crazy that Brynne has been gone for a year now! It's not all that uncommon to be in an area for six months. I've been here in Río Bueno for almost 5. How crazy is that? And it was cool to hit 10 months...because it was exactly on the day of PXXXX's baptism! There is no cooler way to reach 10 months.
The Opps could not have chosen a more British name! Oh my gosh! It's funny to read about your relationship with Benjamin. I always wondered what he would be like as a teenager...haha. It's true that my relationship with you is very different! When I was his age, you were my best friend! And I'm so thankful to my Heavenly Father that from a young age I have always been able to say that about my mom. Sorry about what happened on the boat. That is such a frustrating experience. :(
Thank you for the quote you sent from President Hinckley! That is one I need to frame or something. As you know, it is really easy for me to become an emotional mess...even in the times when I should be the happiest. I wanted to be just glowingly happy as we got closer to PXXXXs baptism and after...and I have definitely had my glowingly happy moments, but somehow the adversary always creeps into my thoughts and makes it hard for me to focus on the beautiful things. I like the direct way that President Hinckley puts it...don't be gloomy! Love life! This week has been better with Hermana Alonso...I haven't missed Hermana Núñez quite as much and Hermana Alonso and I are starting to become great friends. She is very helpful, spiritual, and energetic. She is also really funny and doesn't take herself seriously...so she helps me to take deep breaths and not get so anxious in stressful situations. I thank my Heavenly Father for every different companion that I have had and how much I have learned from each one!
Me and my companion
This week was crazy and fabulous. On Wednesday we had to go to La Unión to organize everything with Hermana Alonso's visa, and then hurry back to Río Bueno to eat lunch and meet up with the senior missionaries to finish cleaning out the other house. Then on Thursday was President Rappleye's farewell, so we went to Osorno. On Friday the sister training leaders came and Hermana Alonso came down with a cold, so she stayed at home with Hermana Howell (one of the sister training leaders) and I went out proselyting with Hermana Lee (the other one). We had a lot of great lessons with members throughout the week, especially preparing PXXXX for her baptism. The opposition is always there! It seemed like everything that could have happened, happened. My companion was really sick. When I was ironing the dress we found for PXXXX's baptism, we realized that it was way too sheer. We forgot to invite the branch president to the baptism. Even though we went to the chapel three hours before the baptism to start filling the font, it didn't fill as much as it was supposed to. AHHH! It was so crazy and stressful! The elders had an investigator who was baptized at the same time as PXXXX. On Sunday, their investigator got confirmed...and PXXXX still didn't come to church! I was FREAKING OUT! Then in the middle of the sacrament hymn, she came in, and she got confirmed after the sacrament. In both of these cases, I learned something very, very important--God makes everything work out. He is in the details of our lives. As I have said before, He has the perfect plan! He loves us. And I know that He loves PXXXX. Her baptism was wonderful. Although her family and friends aren't supportive of her decision, lots of members from the branch came to the baptism. All of the people who we brought to her home in lessons helped out. Hermano V gave a talk. Hermano G baptized her. Hermana M gave the closing prayer. It was so, so beautiful to see how happy she was! She was just glowing with excitement. I wish that I could record the moments after her baptism and watch them over and over again and show them to you all! After her baptism, we went to help her change into dry clothes...and she was jumping up and down, SO happy for this decision that she has made. I just hugged her so hard, even in her wet dress! I have never been happier to be all wet. What a special hug that was. I thought of a scripture that I love in Doctrine and Covenants 18, that talks about "how great shall be your joy" if you bring souls unto Him. "Cuan grande tu gozo será." It was some real, amazing gozo (joy). D&C 18:And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! I am so, so happy for PXXXX! I love her so much! And it was also special because we sang "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" for the closing hymn, which is Hermana Núñez's favorite song.
Yesterday we had such a special day, what with PXXXX's confirmation and also being able to meet our new mission president! President Obeso is WONDERFUL! He came to visit our zone first. He said that he felt a special impression to come to visit us. In my interview with him, he shared some really great scriptures...one of which is Mosiah 4:27, that talks about how we should not run faster than we have the strength, but be diligent. Mosiah 4:And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. Scriptures like that help me to remember just how much my Savior loves me. President and Hermana Obeso reflect Christ's love so much. They have so much faith and energy for missionary work, and they are so friendly and loving! I love them! I am so grateful to have two mission presidents and to learn from them both.
This week I have a few wonderful scriptures to share...D & C 18 and Mosiah 4:27 that I mentioned before, and also Ether 12:27: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I love you all so so much! I miss you! I hope that you enjoy another week of summer.
Love always, Hermana Latham