July 14, 2014
Some random little things that I forgot to tell you last week....fun fact: "esmeralda" means "emerald" in Spanish. Now it makes so much more sense to me why Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame has green eyes! There are all kinds of animals here. Our little town of Río Bueno is almost in the country. One day we were walking around in our mamita's neighborhood and we saw a baby goat. It was so adorable and so happy! I don't know if you remember the video that came out last year with the goat screaming in the Taylor Swift song. Ever since that day I have loved goats so much. They are so hilarious. The other little thing--People here love no-bake cookies, and every once in a while people ask me if I know how to make them, so I wanted to ask you for the recipe.
Today we talked about how important it is to remember that the Lord is not out there to make us into a different person, but into the best version of ourselves. I think that I have always had thoughts that I should just wake up one day and be different, or that when I grew up I would be more like another person. But I am learning that the changes the Lord expects in me are that I will be the best person that I personally can be. I don't have to be just like anybody else. I need to be just the very best Hermana Latham that I can be. He gave me strengths and weaknesses and He created me the way that I am! And even though He wants me to change, that doesn't mean He wants me to be someone else. I don't know if that made very much sense. It's kind of a hard concept to express even if I was actually talking to you. But anyway, it is a good thing to work on learning and understanding.
Thank you so much for your prayers! Recently I truly have felt so happy. Of course I still have tough moments and it's not like everything is roses and butterflies. But I am learning how to better control my thoughts and feelings so that I can be happy in general. If I was happy 100% of the time, I wouldn't recognize what a blessing it is to feel happy! I am learning to handle stress, live with other people, and a million other things, so this mission is really preparing me to be successful in my life. I have learned so very many things! I think that the two words that are the most important are patience and faith. With patience and faith, anything is possible. And one of my favorite things that I have learned is that I can do hard things and still be happy. This mission is hard, but I LOVE it and I am happy! So when I come home and go back to college, start searching for an eternal companion, have a family, become a physics teacher, or whatever else, it will be hard, but I can be happy. I am honestly loving this mission so, so much. I am so thankful that I have a few more months to serve! I hope that in the near future I can train a new missionary so that I can help her with the tough moments in the beginning of the mission and help her to know that one day, she will love the mission more than she can even imagine.
Yeah, I started putting the names of the investigators because it is more fun that way! You guys can imagine them as real people and pray for them! And I realized that if I am only giving you their first names there isn't much chance of something weird happening with their information on the internet (which was my fear all of that time before). I love our investigators so much! A is doing so well. She and her family all read 3 Nephi 11 that we had left for them, and they were so excited! We came into their house and all four of them grabbed their copies of the Book of Mormon and the little kids started reading us their favorite verses from the chapter. A's favorite verse was the one that talks about how the people who are baptized inherit the Celestial Kingdom. This family is fabulous. The two kids are so excited to get baptized and their dad is so happy to baptize them. He and his wife have been working together on coming back to church. I love to go into their home and feel the fire of the Spirit. We were sad that they didn't come to church yesterday, but it could just be that they got sick or something. We are going to call today and see how they are doing. P gave her first class in Young Women! We helped her put together an outline, but she really wrote the entire class herself. She was so excited and happy to do it! She even made little reminder cards for her class like my leaders did when I was in Young Women. I love her so much! What a blessing it is to learn from her faith and testimony!
This week was special because our mamita's daughter got baptized! We love F so much. She is so funny and friendly, and she has been excited about getting baptized for forever.
In my scripture study this week, I came across a favorite scripture. It is in Alma 17. In this chapter, Alma and the sons of Mosiah come back together after being missionaries for 14 years (can you imagine a 14 year mission?!?). They are so happy to see each other and they start telling stories from their missions. At first they tell about the tough moments that they had and the prayers they prayed. I loved to read that part! Alma and the sons of Mosiah had hard moments on their mission! They got stressed out! They didn't know what to do to help their investigators understand the truth! And when they prayed, the Lord gave them a beautiful answer in Alma 17:10&11. My favorite part is in verse 10. "Sed consolados." "Be comforted." There are moments in life when we just don't know how to handle everything. We become really emotional and stressed out, get overwhelmed by anxiety, and sometimes just collapse into a puddle on the floor. And the Lord is there. Patiently and lovingly, He tells us, "Be comforted." I know that the Lord is there. I know that He loves us no matter what, and that if He were here He would give us a gigantic hug and tell us that everything is going to be okay. Because, really, everything is going to be okay. He is there. I know that He loves us! The way that I have come to know that is through the Spirit. He testifies of the truth, and He testifies that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father, and that His love is fuel for us to always get back up and keep on going.
I love you all so very very much! You are the cutest cows ever; my companion and I loved the pictures. I hope you have a very safe trip to Canada and that you take lots of pictures of the gorgeous mountains!
Love always, Hermana Latham