July 7, 2014
Wow, what a CRAZY story about Elder Prach! Note from mom: A young man from our previous ward in Colorado who is serving a mission in the States survived a horrific car crash along with his companion a few weeks ago. That must mean he and his companion still have an important work to do here on earth. And it makes me sad too about that lady who makes such a big deal about not having the priesthood. I think that all of us as women in the Church have asked ourselves why we don't have the priesthood...but although we don't fully understand why, the Spirit testifies that it is the way that the Lord created things. I wish that she could listen to the Spirit! Aww, I wish I could have been there with y'all for the 4th of July! I love Abby's patriotic creations. My 4th of July was weird too. Probably the only one that I will pass with a scarf and earmuffs. haha. My companion and I coordinated our outfits for the 4th of July...I'm sending pictures! :) It makes me sad to think about quiet holidays for you guys in the future! We will still be around though, even if we are not at home. And we can talk on the phone and in the future bring grandkids to play for the holidays. :) I still miss you a lot, too. I figured that after a while I just wouldn't miss my family so much anymore...most days I don't have much time to think about home. But sometimes it's really hard. I just want to hear your voice even on the phone, or if you could be here for 3 seconds to give me a mom hug. But I know that it is a sacrifice that will be worth it for the rest of my life! D&C 31 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/31?lang=eng&cid=email-shared has helped me understand that better. On the 4th I got the box you sent for my birthday. I opened it and saw that everything is in gift wrap, so I figured I would wait until my actual birthday. We'll see what happens with transfers and everything, if I have to open it before. My birthday is three days after transfers. You've asked me a couple times who writes to me and I always forget to tell you! You are the only person who writes to me every week. Daddy writes me a couple times a month, and Abby & Benjamin write me every once in a while. Sometimes I get emails from other family, like Nana or this week I got one from Uncle Chris. I get the forwards of letters from Brynne, and my friends Katherine and Paige. I haven't heard from my friends in a long time. A couple weeks back I got a letter from Sister Young who served in our ward! It was such a nice letter and I cried. Every once in a while I hear from a friend. I've heard from Tessa, Ashley, and Tricia a couple times. But I write quick little birthday emails to my friends and they always write me back saying thank you. Also every once in a while I hear from sisters in our ward, which I LOVE! I don't have all that much time to write emails, so sometimes I don't write back and I feel really bad. Before the mission when I had time, I ALWAYS replied to messages. But I just hope that people know that it's because of lack of time.
This week has been really great. Every morning when I wake up, I ask myself positive questions. "What are we doing today?" "Who can I help today?" "What do I really have to worry about?" And these types of questions are so great! They help me to refocus on my purpose, and on just how much the Lord is willing to help me. I feel more peaceful in the mornings and I feel like the Lord really loves me. It helps me to face the day better. Because I have mean thoughts like, "God is just a nice thought that you have, that someone is there who knows everything and who can make everything better." And then I can kick out those thoughts and listen to the Spirit, who tells me that God is NOT just a nice thought, He is my Heavenly Father and He is always there. I read a fabulous talk this week that I am sure was written for me! I don't know if the Liahona and the Ensign have the same talks. I think that they do. But I read this talk in the Liahona for July 2014, and it is called "Becoming Perfect in Christ." https://www.lds.org/liahona/2014/07/young-adults/becoming-perfect-in-christ?lang=eng&cid=email-shared This talk reminded me the same thing that you have been telling me my whole life...I do not have to be perfect. My companion is so great at forgiving herself and understanding her own flaws...and trying to be better without being mean to herself. She helps me to do the same thing! I loved this quote from the talk: "A misunderstanding of what it means to be perfect can result in perfectionism--an attitude or behavior that takes an admirable desire to be good and turns it into an unrealistic expectation to be perfect now. Perfectionism sometimes arises from the feeling that only those who are perfect deserve to be loved or that we do not deserve to be happy unless we are perfect. Perfectionism can cause sleeplessness, anxiety, procrastination, discouragement, self-justification, and depression. These feelings can crowd out the peace, joy, and assurance our Savior wants us to have." So....I do not have to be "una misionera perfecta," a perfect missionary, for Christ to love me. I don't have to be perfect to be happy. Christ loves imperfect people! This talk also talks a lot about how coming to perfection involves time and process.
After about a week and a half without finding new investigators, we found two on Saturday! We were just walking and contacting, and two times in the same day the contacts invited us to come with them to their homes and teach. It was such a cool experience.
We have some of the coolest investigators ever. UXXX is about 50 and he is a doctor in an emergency clinic in the country. He LOVES the Church and he keeps all of his commitments! This week he committed to pay a full tithing after he gets baptized. AXXXX is 10. Her parents have been less actives for the past few years, but they are coming back to the Church. She loves to pray with her family and read the Book of Mormon, and she is so excited for her dad to baptize her. On Sunday, they both came to church! So we were a little bit crazy helping them both, and AXXXX's parents, and also helping PXXXX! Also the man who plays the piano didn't come, so I played in sacrament meeting. It was a CRAZY Sunday! But I felt a huge peace and such a great blessing to be so busy in the chapel on a Sunday. The Lord has placed many wonderful people in our care, and it is so amazing to be able to help them! PXXXX got her first calling to be a Young Women teacher. I am so happy! This transfer has been crazy and hard, but with the new responsibilities that I have had as a senior companion and combining what used to be two missionary areas, I have learned so much more how to rely on the Spirit and how to feel the Savior's love for me and for the people here in Río Bueno. I love Río Bueno! It is such a great little town. I will miss it so much when I have to leave.
I love you all so, so very much. I ran myself out of time to tell you more of the cool things that happened this week, but I shared my favorite parts. I am sending you gigantic hugs from Río Bueno! I hope you are all enjoying your summer and you remember that a sister missionary in Chile prays for you every night.
Love you always, Hermana Latham