Wednesday, September 10, 2014

un buen terreno

                                                                                                                                                   August 25, 2014


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!  24 years!  HOW FABULOUS!!!!!  Y'all are incredible, honestly, the best parents that I can imagine.  The Lord has blessed me immensely to have you as my examples.  I am sending you gigantic hugs, lots of chocolate, and also red roses. :)

Thank you for the email you sent me.  Last week was a tough one for me, and Hermana Ball told me that it would be good for me to let you all know what was going on.  Like you know, sometimes it is hard for me to explain exactly why I am so sad or frustrated.  I just get so mixed up in my own thoughts sometimes and I have such high expectations of myself that sometimes I totally stress myself out.  I am working on being calmer, loving myself more, and recognizing the good that I do.  I am trying to be more patient with myself.  I am also working on making time to wind down so that I am not stressed out all the time.  It helps me when I take a few minutes at night to write in my journal.  The sister training leaders came this week and gave us some tips on how we can use our time wisely so I can write.  The sister training leader also did what you did in your letter and reminded me that I am doing a good job.  We also had a lesson in Gospel Principles yesterday about talents, and how each of us has different talents, and in that way we can all help each other.  So, I can contribute to this work through my own talents and I can get better as I seek help from others' talents.  It's nice to remember that different is not bad and that Heavenly Father loves us just the way we are.

It is unbelievable to me that on Thursday I will have been a missionary for a year!  Wow!  They aren't kidding when they tell you at the beginning that a year and a half goes by fast.  Like you said, I just want to make the absolute most out of these last six months.  I love being a missionary and I am so excited that the Lord forgives my weaknesses, uses my strengths, and gives me a chance to do this for six more months.  

This week has been a really good one.  We have found great new people to teach, and our investigators are progressing!  Yesterday in church, five of our investigators came!  Right now we are teaching a family who investigated with elders two or three years ago in another town, CXX, AXX, and their two sons.  CXX's father is an active member in the town next to us, and she loves to see how he has changed since he got baptized a few years ago.  We are so excited for them!!  When Hermana Ball was with the sister training leader, they accepted a baptismal goal!  They just need to get married first.  So they are doing great.  The other two who came are AXX and HXXX.  AXX is 18 and HXXX is 26, so it is fun to teach people roughly the same ages as us.  They are cousins.  We found them in English class and started sharing with them, and they are really receptive.  We have taken two different members with us to lessons with them, and they were so excited to come to church!  Our branch really reached out to all of our investigators to make them feel welcome.  It was fabulous.

On Tuesday night, we were walking home from a great visit with some less actives, and we went through the plaza (it is typical for towns in South America to have a plaza in the center) on the way home.  I felt something heavy and wet fall in my hair, and it was too big to be a was bird poop.  Yes, this week a bird pooped in my hair.  My companion and I just died laughing!  Oh my gosh.  I never imagined that happening in real life.  It sounds more like a movie.  But people say it is 7 years of good luck.  Here's hoping for that.  Because it was pretty gross.  hahaha.

One night a bird pooped in my hair.

We have had some GORGEOUS, SUNNY, AWESOME days this week!  On Saturday we planted flowers in front of our house with our owner.  I don't know if I ever told you that having a garden is one of my dreams.  I don't know much about gardening, but it was so fun to do!  And I took a page out of Daddy's book and was searching for a spiritual thought while we worked in the yard.  I noticed as we were digging holes to plant the flowers that the land here in Chile is really rocky.  We had to look around a little bit to find a good spot to plant the flowers.  Our owner is not a member, so we took advantage and shared with her a thought from Alma 32.  Hermana Ball talked about the good seed that we must plant in our hearts in order to gain a testimony.  And then I talked about how important it is that we also have a good piece of land, or "un buen terreno," so that the seed can grow.  The seed is good.  We can always have faith in that.  But in order to receive the seed, we have to prepare the ground in our heart first.  It needs to be black and soft, in a place where it can receive lots of sunlight.  I hope that all of us will do what is necessary to make the land in our hearts a good piece of land...reading the scriptures, praying, service, going to that the seed can grow and bring us joy! Link to scripture Melanie is referring to: 

Here is a picture of us in front of the Barbie house :)

This week we did green mud masks.
I love you all so much!  I hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend and soak up the last of the summer.  :)

Abrazos, Hermana Latham  

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