September 15, 2014
¡CHI-CHI-CHI LE-LE-LE! ¡VIVA CHILE!
This week is the 18th of September, also known as "el 18 de septiembre" or "las fiestas patrias." This town is exploding from the excitement! Everyone has Chilean flags in their front yards, and in every house we visit they give us traditional cookies called alfajores (all-fah-HOR-es). Also our branch is planning a big activity for this Friday, the day after the 18th. People pass the 18th with their families, but the 19th is also a holiday. So on the 18th we still don't know what we'll be doing, but on the 19th we have the activity, which should be really fun. I will take lots of pictures :)
Also this week an elder from one of the quorums of the seventy is coming to visit our mission. So Wednesday we have a big conference with about half of the mission. Our zone is doing a musical number, so I will play the piano with Elder Crotzer (my old district leader) on the violin and the rest of our zone will sing. The song that Elder Crotzer and I practiced will be prelude, so that way our whole zone can participate in the musical number.
This last week was so crazy and also so great. It was hard to leave Río Bueno, but also really fun. The branch always puts together a farewell for the missionaries who are leaving, so on Tuesday night Elder Lawton and I had our farewell. It was so sweet to share with the branch for one more night! They are truly such special people. I felt so very loved. A bunch of people wrote in my memory book so that I can remember them and find them on Facebook after. It was also great because Elder Crotzer and I got to play our duet! Hermana Ball took a video, but videos are too big for me to send from myldsmail.net. So I am thinking that of all the videos I have taken, I will either put them all on a flash drive and send that to you guys, or maybe just wait to show you all my mission videos when I come home. Hahaha don't worry about the mail that Hermana Ball gets. It doesn't make me feel any less loved. Her family is a little nutty for mail. They send her so much stuff, and she has a reputation in the mission for being the missionary who receives the most mail. But she has such a big personality that she just takes all of the jokes really well. :)
Thank you for what you said about the transfers. I think a lot of that is really true! I don't like to think that I am limited, but I expressed a lot of the same frustrations and thoughts that I had with President Obeso in my letter, and then he called me later in the week. He told me that he needed me to be in Radimadi with Hermana Bernel...that he knew that I would work hard to serve the people here and to serve my companion and that I could teach her a lot. He told me that he loves to read my letters every week and that he loves the energy I have for missionary work, and he thanked me for everything that I did to serve in Río Bueno. He told me that there is something he needs my help with in the next transfer. I told him that I am willing to serve however the Lord needs me. Hermana Bernel thinks that I could be a sister training leader. It could happen. But we will see...I am willing to help the mission president in whatever way that I can. I loved the scriptures you shared. Those are scriptures I try to keep in mind always! As we serve the Chilean people, we serve the Lord!
I am so excited for this transfer. Hermana Bernel is AWESOME! It is so fun for me to be with a Spanish speaking companion again. I love that I have had the chance to serve with people from so many different places. Hermana Bernel loves this area and the people here love her so much. She is loving, genuine, and sweet, and also a very happy person. Our area is great! We have some awesome progressing investigators...and two of them came to church on Sunday! One of them told us that she received her answer, she knows that everything is true, and she wants to get baptized...but that when she gets baptized she wants to do it with her husband. We are so excited to help her! Her name is CXXX. One of the sisters in our branch is really going out of her way to be a good friend and missionary to CXXX! I LOVE IT! We also have some fabulous little old people who we visit here, and I am so happy. One of the recent converts is a little grouchy 83 year old man who lives across the street from us. I love old people. It's so great! I am so happy to be starting in a new area! As I think back on how I felt when I started in other areas, I can see just how much I have grown as a missionary. I feel like for these last six months I will be able to serve better than I ever have.
Me and my new companion!
At a service project on Saturday.
Last week I spelled the name of our area wrong. It is Radimadi, all one word. It is really interesting to be here because it is the rich neighborhood of La Unión. It reminds me more of the United States than any other area I have been in. The houses are much bigger, the majority of the people have cars, a lot more people go to college, and more people have tablets/smartphones/etc. Our papitos are kind of the epitome of this. They are from Colombia. He is a dentist and she is an architect. They live in a huge house and have a car, and our "mamita" is not the one who cooks for us. They have a lady who works for them who cooks for us. It is so different. I feel like I jumped into another world. Also because they are Colombian, they don't eat the typical Chilean food. I am getting accustomed to eating less again. That's probably good! haha. But I leave every day still hungry and when we go home to study I eat another piece of fruit and sometimes another piece of bread or a granola bar. The most interesting thing I notice about serving in a richer area is the willingness to listen. People here are much more busy, and much more rude. I am praying to know how I can be better in contacting them because they are very different from the people in Río Bueno.
I wanted to end with a spiritual thought. This week has been crazy, packing up and leaving from one area, then coming to a new one and trying to immerse myself in the work here and learn everything I need to know about my new area. I feel like my brain has so much different information that I have a hard time making sense of it all. But I have been thinking about what is the most important..."lo mas importante." What is the most important is the message...what is the most important is the Savior. I know that whatever may happen in our lives, wherever we may be...the most important thing will always be the Savior. He loves us and He has the perfect plan! He is there in every single moment.
I hope that you all have a wonderful week! I love you all so much and Mama, I truly truly appreciate your emails. Thank you for taking the time to write me every week. :)
I am sending you all gigantic hugs!
Love always, Hermana Latham
My District Leader in Rio Bueno and the one who I played the duet with.
The four of us from Rio Bueno branch...all four of us were born in 1994 and all four of us are BYU students :)