Thursday, October 23, 2014

buscar a este Jesús

                                                                                                                                                             October 20, 2014

Thanks for looking up all that stuff on my Facebook.  It's fun to hear about what people are doing.  :)   I am so happy for Kristyn!  She is fabulous.  You can accept the friend request from A.  She is one of my investigators who just got baptized about a month ago.  Of course Daddy isn't taking his allergy medicine.  :P  I have been taking some because it helps me wake up with less headache.  With the flash drive...the thing I have is just a speaker with a USB port.  So whatever flash drive works to listen to music.  Abby is so sweet!  If she just copies the CDs onto the flash drive, it'll be good for my speaker.  The Relief Society meeting sounds awesome!  I don't know President Galt, but his wife was our stake YW president when we first moved to Georgia and she is awesome.  So I am excited to get to know him when I come home!  I'm sad that K came home early.  :(  Honestly, being a missionary is such a special, sacred time.  How sad to cut it short when it is so short to begin with!  It is hard.  But it is so, so worth it.

We have transfers on Wednesday, but since Hermana Wadsworth and I just started out together 2 weeks ago, I really don't think we are going to have transfers.  But it's just crazy because I only have 3 transfers left!  That's only 4 months!  AhHhHhH!!!  How CRAZY!  I can't even believe how fast this last transfer went by.  Every transfer goes by faster.  I told Daddy in my email that I feel the opposite of the people who come home early from their missions.  "Can I have more than 4 months left in Chile?"  But I know that there is a reason that the Lord called me for only 18 months, and that I need to finish this mission to be able to continue to progress in life.  But today I talked to one of the senior missionaries, and he told me something that made a lot of sense to me.  He said that we have to take the next step in our lives just as we have taken the mission...with faith in the Lord, and trust that He will help.  There is really no use in worrying, or wondering what the next phase of my life will bring.  I just need to give it all I've got for four more months, and then come home to do the very best that I can in my new life.  I have learned so much on this mission.  It is completely priceless and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Even the hard days are memories that I treasure and times when I could come closer to my Savior.  I'm doing really good right now.  I feel stable.  I am more patient and loving with myself, which makes me more able to do the work that the Lord needs me to do.  Of course life can never be perfect and there are still tough days or moments.  But I just have a happier outlook and a lot of hope for every new day.  I feel like with the Lord's help, I can handle whatever comes.  I told the senior missionary today that I feel better than I have felt in probably years!  I feel so happy with the progress I have been able to make and I thank my Heavenly Father and Jesus for all of the experiences and people They have sent me to make it this far!  

This week was a tougher week.  A bunch of our investigators all at once just lost interest, and since we are still both new here, we don't know many people.  So we knocked a lot of doors and did a lot of street contacting.  It was just a lot of walking and searching.  Then I lost my umbrella, and the next day it rained a ton...we locked ourselves out of our house one day....we had planned to go to a district Relief Society activity, but our investigator had to cancel at the last we had a lot of little frustrating things that made it a tough week.  But Hermana Wadsworth is so awesome and she just keeps saying that all of this opposition and all of the work we are putting into this means that something great is around the corner.  And I am thankful for a hard missionary week so that when the blessings come, I will recognize and appreciate them more.  It also gives me a chance to build my faith that this is the Lord's work, and He is preparing people, so He will show us how to find them.  Also, the more time we had to walk around gave us more time to talk and get to know each other better.  Hermana Wadsworth is fabulous.  I love her so much!  She doesn't go to BYU, she goes to Utah.  But it is still close enough that we can see each other once we are home too.  It's been funny that all of my U.S. companions in the mission have been from basically the same area (Alpine, then Highland, now Lehi).  We are enjoying our time together and learning to appreciate the little miracles.  This week we had one awesome lesson with a member.  We went to visit some new investigators we found and we taught them the Restoration.  We know that they felt the Spirit and we have been praying for them to remember it.

The theme this week comes from one of my favorite scriptures in Ether 12:41.  "Buscar a este Jesús" in English is "seek this Jesus."  In the Book of Mormon, the prophets tell us all about Jesus, about His life, His sufferings, and His attributes.  But I just love the invitation that this verse gives to each of seek this Jesus in our lives.  Seek is an action word...and it is also a word with a promise.  Anyone who truly seeks for something with an honest heart is bound to find it.  I know that if we follow the invitation to seek Jesus in our lives, we will find that He is much closer than we ever imagined Him to be.

I love you all so much!  I hope you enjoy your autumn and think of me when you make caramel popcorn!  :)

Gigantes abrazos, Hermana Latham

Monday, October 13, 2014

el precioso don de la vida eterna

                                                                                                                                              October 13, 2014
Hna Latham and Hna Wadsworth in Osorno for Melanie's Visa


Logistics stuff...still can't send pictures.  My memory card hates me.  I think I'm going to give it to the elders again to see if they can fix it.  I want to send you pictures of what's going on!  But I also sent Hna. Wadsworth's mom's email address, so maybe you can get some pictures from her.  Can you check my Facebook and see what Carrie Moll and Laura McCranie are up to?  Do you want the purple and black coat, or can I give it to the mission home?  I have a white blouse still.  Starburst, cheese crackers...can you send some Crystal Light packets or other kind of powdered lemonade in individual?  I would love that for the summer.  Other than that I can't think of anything.  I wrote to Abby to ask her about a flash drive with Christmas music on it.  Oh, one more thing...Hermana Wadsworth and I will be together for Thanksgiving and she thought it would be fun to make cornbread dressing.  Would you send me the recipe?

So it has been a great week.  :)  The bad news is that I have had a cold all week and used approximately a million tissues.  And also after a year in Chile, I finally got bit by a dog.  But don't worry about it, he didn't hurt me.  His teeth didn't even make marks on my tights.  We were just being followed closely by little persistent dogs and they nipped at us a little bit.

We had our interviews with President Obeso this week.  He is such a loving person.  He thanked me for everything that I am doing as a missionary, and especially for taking the emergency assignment.  He told me that thanks to the transfer, both of the sisters that were affected are happier.  He wanted me to remember that I am a good missionary and that the Lord is pleased with what I am doing.  It was so great to talk with him.  It has really been such a blessing for me to be able to have two different mission presidents.  I have learned so much from each one of them!  And you heard right, he told us that Elder Russell M. Nelson is coming to our mission on November 12!  I can't believe that I have the blessing of seeing two different apostles on my mission.  President Obeso asked me to play the piano when Elder Nelson comes.  So that is pretty nervewracking.  But we are so excited for him to come!

It has been such a fun week with Hermana Wadsworth!  I really just love teaching, and it is especially wonderful to teach someone everything about being a missionary.  I love being a missionary so much, and I feel so happy to have the chance to share what I have learned with someone!  She is so great.  She is focused and hardworking, and has an incredible memory.  She is working so hard to be a better missionary every day, and I love her drive and her testimony of this gospel.  She wants to learn Spanish so much!  It's fun that both of us are new to the area, because that way we can make what we want of the missionary work here.  We are working hard to help our investigators understand our purpose and keep their commitments.  We have met so many new investigators and contacts this week, and after weekly planning we just felt so excited for what we are going to be able to do here as we serve together.  It is definitely a big responsibility to be a trainer.  I have to remember a lot more things, I have to give more of the lessons until Hermana Wadsworth feels more confident in Spanish, I have to make a lot more decisions.  But I feel every day that the Lord teaches me how I should do this.  Rather than feeling weaker, I have felt so up to the challenge.  I can feel Him helping me to remember things, teaching me how to serve, and showing me how to love my companion and all the people around me.  I love this so much.

A zone activity where we made Sopapillas

This week I have been reading in Helaman (finally finished Alma!).  I love Helaman so much.  It is such a powerful part of the Book of Mormon, showing us how to really focus on our Savior and seek Him.  But the phrase that really stood out to me this week was "el precioso don de la vida eterna," or "the precious gift of eternal life."  I loved Elder Scott's talk because he explained to us the tools that we need to get from here to eternal life.  These are the tools that we invite our investigators and less actives to use every day, and I know that they are so important!  I KNOW that they are the steps that bless our lives!  If we pray, read the scriptures, have Family Home Evening, and go to the temple, we will feel His presence in our lives.  I think that one of the most important things that I have learned on the mission is how to organize my priorities.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing, more important in life than our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ.  They love us and they want to bring us safely home to them, to participate of the precious gift of eternal life.  It is so easy in life for us to get lost in our daily activities and not make time for Him.  Hermana Wadsworth and I have talked a lot about that this week.  A lot of our investigators tell us that they don't have time to go to church, or to pray.  But what they are missing is that it is so essential to pray.  It is necessary to go to church.  We need the direction of God in our lives!  When I come home from this mission, all I want to do is live my life in such a way that I can feel His guide and His love.  

So as of Wednesday I have been in Chile for a year.  We are here in Osorno for P-day because we had to come here to renew my visa!  How crazy is that?  I can't believe how fast this mission is going by.  We went to the mall today and it was weird for me to go to a place that reminded me of the United States.  I also felt like I was breaking a rule of some kind for being in the mall and not in the street contacting. will be really interesting the whole adjustment process when I come home and become a normal person again.  But since I have a short time left, I just want to give this everything that I have.  I just want to serve with all of my heart.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week!  I love you so much!  

Love always, Hermana Latham

Monday, October 6, 2014

llegó el momento.

                                                                                                                                                    October 6, 2014


For the entire time that we were together, Hermana Bernel's theme was this quote, "Cuando llegue el momento de actuar, el tiempo de preparación habrá terminado."  "When the time to act comes, the time to prepare will have ended."  I didn't pay much attention to the quote.

Until President Obeso called us on Friday night and told us about the emergency transfer he needed us to make the next day.  Hermana Bernel needed to leave and I was going to be companions with an hermana who got here three weeks ago.  He needed me to be a trainer.  So, the title of this email is "llegó el momento."  The moment came.

It was crazy!  President Obeso told me that he had felt he would need my help with something next transfer, but it turned out that he needed my help right now.  I am so grateful that I had those three weeks to be companions with Hermana Bernel.  I think she has been my favorite companion.  What a blessing to be able to serve with her!  I was so sad to say goodbye!  I miss her a lot.  But I learned so much from her pure charity for this branch, for the Lord, and for me.  The hermana who was training my new companion was really struggling.  She is ending her mission and I think she just needs a companion who can really love her.  And my new companion needs someone who can help her to learn and be excited to be a missionary.  So we were the rescue team.

My last few days with Hermana Bernel were so great!  It has been so SUNNY and GORGEOUS and we just loved the sweet spring air!  I think that these past three weeks have been the happiest ones of my mission.  We had some glorious missionary experiences searching for new investigators and striving to help our other investigators progress.  On our last night together we went to a wedding for our branch mission leader and his new wife.  It was such a happy way for Hermana Bernel to leave the area.

I felt kind of scared to train since I have only been in this area for three weeks.  But I feel so strong and I know that the Lord will help me to teach her the things she needs to know, and when I prayed, I felt so surely that this is His work, and His vineyard, and He will help us to be what He needs here.  My new companion's name is Hermana Wadsworth and she is from Utah.  She is really excited to learn more Spanish and to learn everything there is to know to be a good missionary.  We have only been together for two days, but I have really enjoyed doing the extra study with her from Preach My Gospel.  It helps me to learn how I can be a better missionary, and helps me also to recognize how much I have learned and experienced in this year I've been in Chile.  This will be a really great challenge and I know that the Lord will be with us as we learn together.  So far she has been really patient with I got lost trying to lead us around in the center of town where we go to write and buy stuff.  Sometimes the Lord builds us up and then surprises us with a new challenge...but I know that hard things are worth it, and that Hermana Bernel and I both have new and wonderful opportunities to serve.

I LOVED General Conference!  It was crazy for me to think that it was my last conference as a missionary.  I always put stars next to the really great talks that I want to print and study, and I put stars next to so many talks.  I think that as a missionary the talks are even better.  If it is possible to pick a favorite talk, I think it was probably Richard G. Scott's talk.  I LOVED his talk so much.  I know that we need to seek Christ in our lives to find strength.  Of all the quotes you sent me, my favorite one was about "the three things that she learned in hard times."  It is so true that in the hardest times we learn that Jesus is much closer than we realize.  I feel so much His love for me, and His understanding of who I am.  He knows each and every one of us and He is there, always.

Benjamin is so huge!  I can't believe it!  Where is the fall picture?  I can't think of anything else for Christmas.  After Christmas I will have only 2 months left, so like you said, it will be more weight in my suitcase.  A new outfit would be nice.  And I thought of another thing, I will email Abby later about it...I want to ask for a flash drive with Christmas music on it.  I have a speaker to play music from flash drives.  The caramel sauce from last is called manjar (mahn-HAR).  Here they put it on bread or soda crackers or fried bread at "once."  It's kind of like Chilean peanut butter.

I love you and hope that you are having a great week!

Love always, Hermana Latham