Monday, September 15, 2014

al otro lado del río

                                                                                                                                             September 8, 2014

                                                  Rain suits and umbrellas--my clothes' best friend!


Thank you for your letter this week!  I love to read from you.  It's actually really hilarious to me how similar I am to you.  You nailed exactly on the head my feelings about transfers, and also...I totally inherited the stress management and inability to sit down and take a break from you.  hahaha....good luck with your crazy week!  Everything will work out!  

Okay, ***drumroll please,*** I am getting transferred!  Where am I going?  "Al otro lado del río."  The other side of the river.  Río Bueno is on this side of the river, and I am going to La Unión, the little town on the other side of the river.  haha.  I had built it up so much in my mind having a transfer and I am going a 20 minute bus ride away.  lol.  So I am going to be in the same zone, and my new companion has been in this zone with me for the past four transfers.  The branch is called Radi Madi, and my new companion is Hermana Bernel (bare-NELL).  She is from Argentina and she got here to the mission a few transfers after me.  Radi Madi is her first area!  So it will be great to be with her.  I have loved being in her zone for the last six months and I know she is a great missionary.

At first I didn't have the greatest attitude about this.  Although you had been praying for me not to go to Punta Arenas, that was my dream!  I was hoping for something that would be a totally new adventure!  I was thinking that maybe after a year as a missionary, and having had a couple of junior companions, and having worked with Hermana Ball so hard on her Spanish, maybe I could get the chance to be a trainer.  I have wanted to train for my whole mission.  And Hermana Ball is going to train next transfer here in Río Bueno.  And my district leader is going to train next transfer.  But Hermana Ball and I talked about it a lot.  Just because the Lord hasn't called me to be a trainer doesn't mean I'm a bad missionary.  And even though my transfers are really close by and I will still have to come to Río Bueno for zone meetings and things, that doesn't make it "the transfer that wasn't."  In Radi Madi, there are people who the Lord is preparing to hear the gospel, and I get the chance to meet and serve them!  And it will be great!  And even if I stay in this same zone for the rest of my transfers, it will be wonderful.  Maybe I won't get to see as much of southern Chile as I had imagined.  But I am not here to see southern Chile.  I am here to serve the Lord!  And He has called me to La Unión.

Other logistical stuff...We sprang (sprung?  working so hard on past tense in Spanish with Hna Ball, I don't remember past tense in English...haha) forward an hour this weekend.  So we are now an hour ahead of Eastern time.  Also, I am putting a box in the mail for you guys.  It has stuff that I can't keep lugging around in my suitcase, but it also has fun Chilean food and souvenirs and birthday cards.  :)

My district leader gave me some difficult sheet music for Canon in D and I practiced hard throughout the week.  We got together and practiced a lot.  Then on Sunday, the light was cut for all of Río Bueno basically all day, and the piano is electric.  So we couldn't perform it.  :(  But we are going to perform it on Tuesday at the farewell the branch is doing for me, and probably in some other zone conference (since we are still in the same zone).     

So my last week in Río Bueno has been wonderful.  We honestly have the best investigators that I could ever ask for.  We are teaching a young evangelico (Christian) couple, and unlike other evangelicos I have known, they are really willing to learn more about our beliefs.  They totally accepted the message of the Restoration, and they accepted to read the Book of Mormon.  It was a really great lesson with them because we brought a member with us!  

We also had a lesson and a family home evening with AXX and HXXXX.  HXXXX is amazing!  He is reading all of the chapters we give him from the Book of Mormon, coming to church every Sunday, and praying to receive an answer.  The only reason that he doesn't accept a baptismal date is because he knows that it is such an important decision.  We are just telling him about the blessings that come from baptism.  AXX doesn't keep her commitments...but she does listen and participate in the lessons, and if Humberto keeps going, I know she will too.

We also had a great lesson with CXXX, AXXX and their son VXXXX.  All three of them have accepted the goal of baptism on the 27th!  VXXXX
is precious.  We watched the video of the Restoration and asked him what his favorite part was.  He said the part when Joseph prays and receives an answer, and sees God and Jesus.  He totally hit the nail on the head.  I love understanding the gospel from the perspective of a child.  As adults, we overcomplicate everything...when honestly, the gospel is so simple, so beautiful, and so true.

I have had some really beautiful moments this transfer of truly understanding that I am a daughter of God and that this message we bring as missionaries is the truth.  It brings happiness to everyone who will wholeheartedly accept it.  I know that our Savior lives and loves us, and that He is willing to go to any length to comfort us.

This week in our district meeting we talked about the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lessons, and how we can help our investigators to identify the feelings that come from the Spirit.  It was so inspired that we talked about that!  As Hermana Ball and I studied it more, and really strived to put into practice the techniques to have the Spirit, we saw a change in our lessons.  We saw a change in our investigators.  I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost; I know he is the third companion.

I love you all so much!  I miss you and I hope that you are doing well.  

Love always, Hermana Latham

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