Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jesus, Is that You?

You are probably wondering what my title of this week's email has to do with my week, but I will get to that in a bit. This week was truly amazing. The spirit was so strong, I have been so patient with myself, and I have seen the Lord bless my life in so many ways. First off, we had an investigator this week, we had taught her a little bit about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the first lesson and invited her to read and pray. We followed up with her in our second lesson and she told us that she did not do either of those. I had the impression to read with her and go through the first lesson with her. We taught about Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry all the way up to the Restoration of Christ's church and how he translated the words of God, The Book of Mormon. I bore my testimony of prayer and I felt the spirit so much, I got emotional when bearing my testimony of the power of prayer and asking for guidance and comfort in trials because I had experienced His hand in my life so much the week before with pleading to my Father in Heaven for his comfort. She asked a lot of questions and we were able to answer them, which was awesome! Cause sometimes it is hard to understand them in Tagalog but we were able to answer them correctly and in Tagalog. I just need to add to this that this lesson was 45 MINUTES and ALL IN TAGALOG. Talk about a miracle. And she agreed to get baptized on March 18th, the day before we leave : )) It's amazing.

Dad, you said something this week to me in a dear elder that helped both me and my whole district when I shared it with them because it was such a powerful statement.  "I hope you are learning the things you need to, but most importantly feeling the things you need to feel."  I have shared that with so many people this week and it has been something that has changed their outlook on their experience here at the MTC.  Learning the language is SO important; however, the Holy Ghost is the ultimate teacher and we need to invite Him into all of our lessons and throughout our whole day.  If we do so, we will be blessed and the language will fall into place.  Sister LeeAnn Johnson, Elder Daniel L Johnson (quorum of the 70) wife, stated at devotional on Tuesday  "Our purpose in life is to come to know our Father as taught by His son, through the Holy Ghost."  They are all connected in one purpose.  We are invited to come unto our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ and what a joy it has been to do that in our lessons with investigators.  
The oldest district in our group left this week, so sad.  Sister Delgado and I just cried when we said goodbye to each other.  We love them so much and they were just the best.  They came to our rooms around 10:30 at night to say goodbye, and when they left I ran to the bathroom real quick before I went to bed.  I hear this sister come into the bathroom just crying like crazy.  She was in the stall next to me and I could tell that it sounded like Sister Loa, I said "Sister Loa?"  and her response was "Jesus, is that you?"  SO FUNNY!!!  I told her to come out and she was like "Sister Latham!" hahaha We both could not stop laughing.  So funny!  She was so sad about having to say goodbye to Sister Delgado.  Well, I could go on with all the funny things that happened this week, but it would be a novel!  Just know that I am having the time of my life, it is hard, but I am enjoying it so much.  The days are forever long, but the week went by pretty fast.  My teacher Brother Williamson used me as an example in class yesterday.  He said "Kailangan ni Sister Latham ng asukal sa klase."  Sister Latham needs sugar in class.  I thought I was about to pass out and was just sitting on the floor.  Classes are so exhausting and my brain was still hurting from that 45 minute lesson with Chrissy haha  

Well, I sure love you all so much!!! Miss you like crazy but know I am doing great and I know this is where I need to be :)  
Love, Sister Latham

D&C 4:2-3

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 2 is accomplished and I'm alive!

Hello Family!  Magandang umaga po!(goodmorning!)  

Well this week was definitely something.  It sure had it's ups and downs but I am doing alright and loving being a missionary!  After I emailed you guys last week we got to go to the temple in the afternoon, which was AWESOME! The provo temple is so pretty inside and I needed the uplifting spirit that I felt there.  Two sisters in our district who are from an island in the Pacific were taking their endowments out since they were not able to go to a temple before they came so it was amazing to be there with them and be their family since their own family could not be there.  They are the sweetest and were filled with the spirit so much.  It was such a neat experience.  

On Sunday I had to attend a lot of meetings for being assigned the sister district leader, super tiring.  I kind of can connect to how you felt on Sundays as the bishop with all your meetings even though you had way more than me! haha  Sunday night we had devotional and I got to participate in the MTC choir, pretty amazing.  I would say that we almost sounded like the MoTab! haha  Elder Larry Y Wilson of the seventy spoke.  He emphasized the importance of the Book of Mormon and how we need to sit down and read it with our investigators.  I loved that because when reading it with them, it gives them the opportunity to ask questions and to make sure they are understanding it.  When teaching Angelo this week, he did no t follow through with his commitment to read a chapter a day so we sat down and actually read it with him.  He paid a lot of attention to what we were reading and was able to answer the questions that we asked him concerning the reading.  I also ran into Christa Lahmann and Kelsi on sunday, so great to see some familiar faces!  As I said earlier, this week had it's ups and downs.   

The only struggle I am dealing with is the language..IT IS SO HARD!  People keep telling me it will get better and one day it will click so I am just waiting for that day!  I am also exhausted.  It is always go go go so by 3 o clock I am dead and when we have night classes I am awake, but my brain is not.  I get up during class sometimes and just run around the building, seems to help a bit.  From dealing with all the stress of the language, one of our teachers, Sister Riddle who is amazing and I love her, met individually with each of us and when I talked to her about my experience, I just cried and told her that I want to know the language so badly and I do not have any patience with myself.  She told me that I reminded her so much of how she was on her mission and that I don't need to worry because the language would come.  She told me the best thing to do would be to be myself and speak by the spirit.  She has taken on the role of a mother/sister to me and I love her so much.  She told us yesterday that she will be leaving in a few weeks because she got a career job, so so so sad :(  I will miss her so much but she said she added me on facebook so Nicole will you make sure to add her?  Thanks!  

We taught 3 lessons this week and they went pretty well! Angelo agreed to get baptized and is feeling the spirit when he reads.  He believes that the Book of Mormon is true and he wants that in his life.  We were planning for his lesson that was supposed to be tonight, until yesterday when we walked into class Angelo was there and we found out he has now become our teacher and we will be getting a new investigator on Monday.  Our new investigator is our other teacher Sister Brock who is the sweetest girl ever.  My companion and I are excited to prepare a lesson for her and teach her. 

I was asked to speak this Sunday with another girl in my District, Sister Weston.  Everybody thinks we are related! haha I will include a pic of me and her.  I have also made a personal goal to read the Book of Mormon in 2-3 weeks so build up my own personal testimony.    I am loving being a missionary and although it is already the hardest thing I have ever done, I know it is the best thing I will ever do.  Tell everyone Hello and that I love them!  Happy Valentines day!

Quote: "The work is more about who you are and what you are, rather than what you say."

Scripture: D&C 4:5 "And faith, hope, charity, and love with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Missionary Training Center

Kamusta pamilya ko!  

How are you?!!  I hope you guys have not been worrying about me too much because I am having the time of my life here.  I love being a missionary! Masaya po ako! (I am so happy!)  The first day in the MTC was miserable.  I felt so sick, I thought my head was going to explode, my body was exhausted, and I felt like I couldn't do it and I questioned why I was here.  I missed you guys and was worried about how you guys were doing and was overwhelmed with so much.  But it got better throughout the day.  When I first walked into the doors I got my name tag put on my shirt which was amazing, it finally felt real.  I am a representative of Jesus Christ.  My responsibility is to bring others unto Christ and that is what I am going to do.   We then took my bags up to my room which is on the 4th floor...heavy suitcases plus 2 small girls trying to haul them up 4 flights of stair=one funny sight.  Thank goodness some girls offered to help, everybody is so nice and positive here.  I love it!  We did not get anytime to unpack and we went straight to class.  To answer your question mom, they did not give us a day to adjust or anything, we walked into class and there was no English, only Tagalog.  Talk about a deer in headlights!  I was so overwhelmed. Kamasa po(my companion) and I just whispered in English to each other "What they heck is going on?"  haha  I have the sweetest and cutest companion ever!  Her name is Sister Pectol, she is from Cedar City Utah and we get along so well.  I love her! 

I also had an interview with the branch presidency and they have assigned me as the Sister district/teaching leader! I am so excited for this assignment and feel blessed and humbled to be given this opportunity. 

Over the past 3 days I have gotten better at speaking Tagalog.  I now know how to greet people and ask simple questions, bear my testimony, and pray in Tagalog!   So cool, and I can feel the spirit so strongly when I speak in Tagalog.  The first night my companion and I prayed in Tagalog with the sheet on how to make sentences in front of us and even though we were reading it and were unsure if we were saying things right, we knew that Heavenly Father was hearing our prayer and that he would bless us for our effort and would hear the words we were saying.  

As I said before the first day was not so good.  However, that night as we were at a big meeting with all the new missionaries and we all stood up and sang To Bring the World His Truth and they switched up the lyrics in the song to "and we are now the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth."  That is when I had the confirmation that this is where I needed to be.  Not only where I needed to be, but where I wanted to be.  I love my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ and I want to share my love and His love with the people I am around. My favorite quote I heard this week was "Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care."  I care so much about this gospel and about the people I will meet.  On our first night we meet with real investigators and were able to talk to them, in English, and ask them questions.  We got to know them and after only a few minutes I cared about them so much and wanted them to have what we have and bring them unto Jesus Christ.  My companion and I have a goal to talk to them whenever we see them around the MTC campus and try to set up an appointment with them :)

Lastly, I am feeling so much better and have slept so well every single night!!  The 2nd day in the MTC I woke up and felt revived and energized and healthy! :)  Mom and dad, thank you for the letters and for the package!  Made my day!  I shared the cinnamon rolls with the girls in my district and they told me to tell you that they love you and thank you!  I love you all so much, miss you lots, but know that I am having the time of my life!!  I will send my testimony in another email.  Love you guys!

Alam ko po na Diyos po ang Lating Ama sa Langit.  Alam ko po na tagapaglitgtas ko po si Jesucristo.  Alam ko po na mga anak ng Diyos namin po ang Ating Ama sa Langit.  Sa pamamagitan ng panalangin at Espiritu Santo Alam ko po na totoo ang Aklat ni Mormon.  Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa pamilya ko.  Nagpapasalamat po ako para sa ebanhelyo.  Sa pangalan ni Jesucristo, Amen.

I know that God is our Heavenly Father.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I know that we are children of our Heavenly father.  Through prayer and the Holy Ghost I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I am grateful for my family.  I am grateful for the gospel.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.