January 26, 2015
I love your last email! That hymn has come to be my favorite sacrament hymn on the mission. It's beautiful in Spanish, too. (The Hymn Melanie is referring to is In Humility Our Savior.
Link here: www.lds.org/music/library/hymns/in-humility-our-savior.
It's also funny to me that you noticed my missionary tan. lol my body is a wreck. I have a super-duper farmer's tan, a watch tan, my feet are striped from the different straps on my two different pairs of shoes, and I have like some kind of progressive tan going on on my legs...from brown at my ankle to totally white at my knees. My feet have weird blisters and calluses (sp?) all over them, I have huge scabby calluses on my knees, and my hair is kind of the opposite of my legs...it's somewhat brownish at the roots and literally yellow at the ends. The summer here is just so hot and sunny. We actually got up into the 90s this week. It's really no fun when you are either walking or inside a place without air conditioning. We can't make it through a day without getting our hair in a ponytail, we wear tons of sunscreen, and we drink tons of water. You guys will be happy to see me but then as the days go on you will be laughing....lol. I'm also glad that I'm not going back to school after 3 days. If you would have a nervous breakdown, I would be the same if not worse...probably wouldn't have eyebrows....hahaha. I've really worked to break that habit on the mission. I had to go on the BYU website and fill out my part, and I think that was when President Obeso did his part.
This week was crazy. It was a lot of lasts...last zone training, last exchange with the sister training leaders, last zone conference. But I am kind of glad to get all of those lasts out of the way so now I can just totally focus on missionary work and who I can serve and how I can help. It was just a little bit emotional. The sister training leader I went out with is awesome. She is from the Dominican Republic, and she is just so friendly, so relaxed, and so loving. I was fine until the end of zone conference when we sang our mission hymn, "Fe en cada paso," or "Faith in Every Footstep." Link here: www.lds.org/new-era/1997/04/faith-in-every-footstep?lang=eng It dawned on me that it was the last time I would sing that hymn in such a big group of missionaries and I started crying. I know that all good things must come to an end...it is just hard. I was thinking about that talk by President Uchtdorf and how we are not made for endings. So I know that this will just be a pause and then I can be a full-time missionary again one day (maybe with my husband, or maybe in the spirit world).
But then a couple hours after zone conference, Hermana Brown asked me to check her head for lice. I was like, yeah right. Found a little black bug. We called the nurse and she came back home quickly to check it out...all four of us had lice. AAAAAHHHHH!!!!! The good news is that lice are not terrifying. When I was a little girl I thought that if I got lice I would have them for the rest of my life. We just had to buy the lice treatment shampoo, and comb any eggs out of our hair with the tiny-toothed comb they gave us, and then vacuum the whole house, cover it in bug poison, and wash all of our clothes and bedding. Good thing that we have a washer and dryer in this area. But we have just been dealing with this mess for the last four days and we are still not done with all the laundry. Ugh. Also today I put a red scarf in a colors load and it turned a bunch of other things red. And somehow or another my Missionary Handbook got in the washer and totally died. So it's been a really frustrating process. I never want to have lice again!!!
I really learned a lot at the zone conference! President Obeso based his talk on the analogy of the glass half-full or glass half-empty. He talked about how it's all in our perspective, and the importance of gratitude for the things that we have. Maybe our ward is struggling. But we have X number of members who consistently attend...so let's work with them! Let's look for their friends and invite them to go out with us to make visits! It was a really good reminder just to think about the importance of gratitude and positivity. I learned that gratitude honestly is the same thing as optimism.
We also talked in the zone conference about diligence, which I thought was really applicable as I enter into the last month of these 18 months. The definition of diligence in the scriptures in Spanish is "a constant, valiant effort," or "un esfuerzo constante y valiente." As missionaries it is so imperative for us to be constant and valiant in our efforts to serve!
I love you all so much and I hope that you are doing so well! I hope you are not too cold!
Lots of love, Hermana Latham