February 9, 2015
Cool plants in Osorno :)
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!! I did get your card, just a few days ago. It was so nice to see it; I was kind of figuring I wouldn't get mail anymore at this point! I love Valentine's Day so much. We still are up in the air about if we are moving this week or not, so the sisters in our house did the sweetest thing for us for Valentine's Day. They heart-attacked our beds and our study area. Some of them had sweet compliments on them, and others had conversation heart type phrases on them. I took pictures. But I left my camera at home. :P But Hermana Brown and I want to make some valentines to give out to people this week. We found those cute foam stickers you sent me a while back that we are going to use. :)
This week we prayed hard and searched hard and found a new house, but we are just waiting for the zone leaders and the elder in charge of the money (in Spanish it's financiero...financer? treasurer?) to approve it. They better approve it soon, though, or someone else is going to buy it! AHHH! I think it's just confusing for them to figure it out because our mission is going to be dropping in numbers, so they don't want to rent homes that they'll just have to leave. Now that the age-change wave has died down, our mission will drop 50 missionaries in the coming months. For example, when I leave, I go home with 8 other elders...and then one new hermana comes, and I think only 3 or 4 new elders. So successively our mission will have fewer and fewer missionaries.
That's so crazy about our new ward! But I can't say that I'm surprised. We have really small wards here, and yesterday we had a stake training meeting at night and there were over 100 people there, and we were all like, "Whoa! There are so many people!" So then we were talking at night about how many people were in our wards at home, and I told the sisters in our house I thought about 200 people or more came on a weekly basis to our ward....hahaha I was so off. Daddy told me it was about 400. I may go into shock when I walk into a sacrament meeting so full that it goes into the gym. hahaha. So Daddy's calling got changed. Are you still a Primary teacher? Is Sister Merrell still in our ward? It'll be really interesting for me to see what our ward is like when I get back.
It's been a good week. On Wednesday, we had an appointment set up to visit an investigator with a member. Then, the investigator wasn't in her house. That same day, another of our appointments had fallen through, and we had had a somewhat disappointing visit with GXXX. I felt frustrated because it seemed that whatever we were doing to help our sector to progress, wasn't working. But there was a special area devotional for women that night, and we called and invited all of the sisters in our ward. We planned to meet with an older sister and go with her to the devotional. As we were leaving, we saw a couple less active sisters on their way to the devotional. Then, when we got there, there were two other sisters from our ward who had come! We were so happy! It was not the success that we had been imagining for the day, but it was a sweet and special success and we felt so proud of the faithful women in our ward. The devotional was fun. It was a broadcast from Córdoba, Argentina, for all of Argentina and all of Chile. Neill F. Marriott from the general YW presidency spoke, and Linda K. Burton, the general RS president, spoke. They both spoke about things that really help us in our lives....especially prayer and the love of our Heavenly Father. I felt that it was such a wonderful, applicable message for our area. It was very nice and spiritual...but also hilarious because Sister Marriott was confused about what language people in Argentina speak...and gave about half of her talk in Portuguese. At the beginning I thought it was just a joke, but as she kept going in her talk, and kept trying to say things in broken Portuguese, it became funnier and funnier. I don't know how no one stopped her to tell her that people in Argentina and Chile speak Spanish! Or how she didn't know that already...hahahaha. There are a couple sister missionaries from Brazil here in Osorno, so they were the people enjoying the Portuguese the most. haha.
We had a special meeting as missionaries with our stake president here in Osorno, and then there was a meeting with all of the ward councils, all of the missionaries, and the stake presidency last night (the stake training meeting). They were both really good and we learned a lot. Our stake president can't be more than 35 years old, and he is a little young guy totally full of energy and joy for the Lord's work. We all love him so much and are thankful for his example. Yesterday in the meeting he was talking about faith, and he said something I really liked. He said, "La fe tiene un apellido." "Faith has a last name." He continued to say, "It's not just faith. It is faith in Jesus Christ." This is so true and so important! If our faith is not firmly placed in Jesus Christ, it is not an effective faith. This is His work, and He is the one who guides it. By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. I had a somewhat sad day this week thinking that I had not seen more baptisms on my mission...specifically, not been able to help GXXX to get baptized...because I didn't have enough faith. But after talking about it with Hermana Brown, and after thinking about the idea of faith in Jesus Christ, I know that if I have sufficient faith in Him, His will will win. If I have faith in Him, my small and simple service can make a difference. I am so excited for these last two weeks and for the chance to serve. I believe that I can make a difference!
I love you all so much and wish you all the best! Thank you for signing me up for summer classes. I will figure out the details when I get home. I hope that you have a lovely Valentine's Day! And I hope that you can all continue to feel great peace about the ward split. Change is always for the better.
I keep forgetting to ask...did Abby keep going in GHP? Is she going to Valdosta?
Love always, Hermana Latham
Cool plants in Osorno :)