Tuesday, September 30, 2014

no locas. fuertes.

                                                                                                                                            September 29, 2014


Okay, first, I still can't send pictures.  The computers in this cyber are not friends with my camera.  It appears with nothing in its memory when I plug it in.  :(  I need to ask someone for help.

I love your email this week!  It is crazy for me to hear the story about Hermana Butler (a missionary in our home ward who returned home last week) and think about how I only have 5 months left!  AHH!  I can't WAIT to see the Women's Meeting and the rest of General Conference!  As a missionary General Conference is pretty much the most exciting thing that exists (well, other than a baptism, of course).  Every time it also makes me reflect on how time passes.  Can you believe that it was two years ago when President Monson announced the age change for missionaries?  It makes me feel kind of old to think that if I was still at home I would be a junior in college.  Thank you for sending the pictures of Ashley's wedding!  

I always laugh because after I tell you guys things on Monday, something crazy happens on Tuesday that I want to tell you, or the weather completely changes from what I said it was.  For example, it has been rainy and cold all week.  But we can't complain about the rain because it is what gives us so many beautiful flowers!  I still can't get rid of my winter stuff until it gets a little warmer, but I have thought a bit about what I will bring home and what I will leave.  Do you want the winter coat back, or should I leave it here?  Also as I was thinking about packing and suitcases I remembered that I wanted to ask you for one thing for Christmas.  I know Christmas is still 3 months away.  But I don't want to forget.  Can you send me a temples calendar for 2015?  I have always thought they were so great.

Despite the rain, we had a wonderful week.  HXXX and AXXX in Río Bueno got baptized on Saturday!  Last week when I played the piano at the funeral, Hermana M, one of the sisters from Río Bueno who went with us to teach them, cornered me and told me about the baptism, so we got permission and went!  It was so beautiful!  I felt SO happy.  I'm so glad that Hermana M told me so that I could go!  She is so great.  She served as a missionary in this mission 15 years or so ago.  She asked me how my new area was going and I told her it was great, but I was kind of sad that I only have 5 months left.  She told me that the last 5 months are the best ones.  I believe that!  I feel like I am able to be such a better missionary now than I was a year ago when I was just starting!

The sister training leaders came to visit us, and it was so wonderful.  We learned from them more techniques to try in our area.  I loved to see how Hermana Nielsen was so brave in teaching in whatever circumstance.  She helped me learn more how we can teach our message in a contact or with someone at their door in a simple way so that they can feel the Spirit and be interested to learn more.  So Hermana Bernel and I have been working on contacting more and teaching in the moment with pamphlets.  We have been able to find so many new people!  It is GREAT!  Every day when I wake up I am so excited for who we are going to visit and who we are going to meet.  Hermana Nielsen also helped me to recognize the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus have for me as a missionary.  Sometimes I feel sad because I wish that I could have offered something better to them in this past year.  But Hermana Nielsen helped me to remember that our weaknesses are a part of who Heavenly Father created, and He needs us to have them so that we can progress.  And she helped me to realize that what I have offered and what I am offering every day makes Heavenly Father pleased.

This has been one of the first weeks that I have truly felt like I am a good missionary.  It is such a good feeling.  I get emotional when I think about it!  The Lord has given me many strengths that I can use to help in this work, and even though I have weaknesses, He still loves me and I can still be happy.  Yesterday I gave a 10 minute talk in sacrament meeting in Spanish.  I never would have imagined being able to do that!  I have learned so very many things on this mission.  The title of this email came from a recent convert we are teaching here.  We were talking about the rain and how people must think that we are crazy to go outside in a terrible black waterproof rainsuit and rubber boots just like it was any other day.  But she said, "No locas.  Fuertes."  Not crazy.  Strong.  Surely there are people who see us and think that we are crazy.  But there are also people who see us and think that we are strong.  This made me think of the quote that "it's not what you look at, it's what you see."  When the Lord looks at us, two young women trying our very best to share His gospel, He sees strength.  I am learning to see it in myself.

I love you all very very very much!  I am sending you huge hugs!!!  I am so out of time but I also wanted to ask you to pray for our investigators, CXXX and MXXX, and AXXX and AXXX.  The two women are so excited about the gospel, but they want their husbands to listen too!  So we are praying to know how to help them to feel the Spirit.

Hope you enjoy General Conference and the snack mix!  :)

Abrazos, Hermana Latham

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