This week was so incredible! I LOVED the conference with Elder Nelson. It is such an unforgettable experience to hear an apostle in person. The same as with Elder Ballard, I couldn't believe how old he looks in person! One hermana told me that he is close to 90. Somebody also told me that they have to wear makeup for General Conference. I'm not sure if that's true. But it would make sense. What is incredible is that even though the apostles are so old, they are so powerful. Elder Nelson probably has more energy than I do! His voice is just so powerful...but so loving. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have had to meet two different apostles. They are each different in their ways of teaching and serving...but their message is exactly the same. Elder Nelson is so loving and so HAPPY! Honestly, he completely radiates happiness! As I am relating this experience to you I feel like maybe it wasn't even real...I loved to see that happiness in him. And he talked about the importance of happiness as a missionary. He said, "A smile on your face is one of the most important things as a missionary." I know that it is true! We have the best message in the entire world, one that brings us such joy...and we need to share that joy in a world that needs it so desperately. I am working to always have a smile on my face so that I can help and invite others to come unto Christ. In the end, I didn't play the piano at the conference. So I freaked myself out about that for nothing. I was thankful that I didn't have to play, because that way I could just soak in the experience without feeling super nervous. It was another truly celestial experience. When an apostle of the Lord says, "I'd like to teach you from the scriptures," you know it's gonna be good. He taught us, verse by verse, in Doctrine and Covenants 31 and some other verses in the Bible that I don't remember off the top of my head. I could listen to Elder Nelson teach us from the scriptures all day. It's amazing the things that he learns and sees in the scriptures.
It was also special to see so many of my friends from the mission. I saw Hermana Bernel, Hermana Alonso, Hermana McNeil, Hermana Greer, the Biggs, Elder Dower, Elder Johnson, Hermana Núñez, and others. It was so wonderful to see them, and visit with them a little bit to see how they are doing. Especially because a lot of them are ending their missions in 2 weeks! It has totally escaped me to tell you about the Stotts! They have been in my zone ever since I got to Río Bueno in February. They are great and I am thankful for all of their help to us.
Today I chose to make the theme "con todo el corazón," or "with all the heart." I have just been thinking about how I just want to give and give with all my heart as I come to the close of my mission. I also remembered a sweet Christmas song that I sang in Women's Chorus at BYU...
"What can I give Him?
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part.
Yet what I can I give Him...
Give my heart.
I want to give Him all of my heart this week and for all of the weeks!
The last thing...today we went to the Volcán Osorno, the volcano on our mission seal! It was 3 hours in bus to get there, but completely worth it. I'm so irritated with myself that I left my camera cord at home. But I will send pictures when I can. It is completely gorgeous! We were on top of the volcano and we could see the neighboring volcanoes and mountains above the clouds. It was a pretty cloudy day, so for the majority of the ride we couldn't see the volcanoes or anything...but then we drove up above the clouds and it was like being in another world. Honestly the coolest thing ever. I'm sending a postcard your way within the next weeks (don't have time to send it today). It was a hard and steep hike, but incredible.
I love you all so so much! Thank you for the sweet quotes, pics of Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, recipe, and pic of y'all at the game. You're so cute. I miss you and I hope that you are doing really well and not freezing to death! (it sounds like it's been pretty bad in Utah.)
Love and lots of hugs, Hermana Latham