Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'm so blessed to be apart of this work :)

Hello Family and Love ones :)
It has been a wonderful week here in the Philippines!  It is still hot as ever, there are still mice in the house and cockroaches in the shower, but I am loving being a missionary and an instrument in the Lord's hands :)

So, you all are probably wondering how training is going? Who is my new companion?  So I will give you a little background.  My companion is Sister Tropia, she is from Pangasinan Philippines.  She studied at BYU-Hawaii for three years so her English is really good, but we mainly talk in Tagalog.  One of the many wonderful things that I have seen so far in her, is that she immediately loved the people.  She didn't so much love the apartment, or the city, but she loved the investigators, members, and less actives from the moment she met them.  It showed in her teaching and listening that she cares about them and wants to help them come more unto Christ.  We worked really really hard this week.  When I first picked her up from the mission home, our numbers were really low, but we worked hard, talked to a lot of people, met new wonderful investigators, and taught powerful lessons where the Holy Ghost was present and testified to the people we were teaching, that our message was true and from Heavenly Father.

I want to share a thing that I studied this week.  I decided to study about the Sons of Mosiah and the mighty change of heart that they experienced.  I loved following their story and their coversion process.  In the beginning the Sons of Mosiah were trying to tear apart the church, to pull people away from the truth.  However, they experienced a mighty change of heart and were converted unto the Lord through repentance and living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Because of the testimony and desire that they had gained, they were called to preach the gospel amongst those that were against the church.  In Alma 23:5-6 we read of the success that they had amongst those people.  It says in these scriptures that thousands were converted unto the Lord  and never did fall away.   

While being here in my mission, I have seen this mighty change of heart.  I've seen it in investigators, less actives, and also in myself.  Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, WE can CHANGE.  One of our investigators, Des, will be having her baptism interview this Saturday.  Throughout teaching her, I have seen a mighty change of heart.  And she has told us that she is going to prepare to serve a mission so that she can help others experience the change, joy, and peace that she has experienced through her conversion.  Like the Sons of Mosiah, Des experienced a change of heart, and now wants to go and serve the Lord and His children.  I know that if we apply the gospel in our lives, and let the Atonement change us for the better, we will experience the joy and peace that Heavenly Father will give us :)
Thank you so much family for everything, I love you so much and I'm grateful for all the support you are giving me.  This is such a short amount of time to serve the Lord, but I'm grateful to share my experiences with you :) Love you all
-Sister Latham

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Hello Family! Well to let you all know, transfers are here again! Time is just flying, I can't believe it. I got a call from the AP's yesterday letting me know that I would be training! I really am so excited to train and be able to  lead by example for a new missionary. It's funny because my trainer(nana) in the mission leaves this wednesday to go home, and then I was called to be a trainer! I'm grateful that Heavenly Father is trusting me with this calling and I'm excited for what this transfer has to bring :)

As for Sister Duque, she is very sad to leave, but we got a call this morning that she is transferring to TayTay, the exact ward and area where I came from!  I'm excited for her to continue to teach the people that I taught there and to help build up the ward and area over in TayTay!

As for our apartment, it is a big problem....hahaha We found a wonderful apartment this past week, contacted the owner and made an appt with her to lay a downpayment, and then the day of our meeting she texted us and told us that she gave it away...We were very upset and frustrated because it was a wonderful apartment and we were sure that we were going to get it.  Oh well, we will continue to keep on trying.  

The work here is going really well!  We have a few really progressing investigators.  They are gaining really strong testimonies, keeping the commitments, and truly applying the Atonment in their lives.  We have one investigator who has had a really really rough past.  She is in her teens, and from the moment we began teaching her, she has began to change her life, to repent of past mistakes, and change her actions.  The power of the atonement is so real and I have a testimony that if we apply the teachings of the gospel, repent and change, our lives will change for the better and Heavenly Father will help us in becoming who He wants us to be. 

I also received wonderful news today from my recent convert Nicole Calapati from TayTay.  Her younger brother was just baptized a few weeks ago, she has been studying in institute, and her mother has begun to come back to church.  It's wonderful to hear news of how someone who is new in the gospel, is inviting others to come unto Christ and partake of the happiness and joy that comes from it.  When I read her email just a few minutes ago, it brought tears to my eyes to see the progress that she has made and the things that she is doing to come closer unto Christ.  I am seeing miracles every single day :)

Also, a little fun side note.  Now that we are in the "-BER" (septemBER) months, Christmas music is being played, and Christmas decorations have begun to be put up!  It is a party here in the Philippines! Hahaha

Also, One year ago, this week, I received my mission call to serve here.  I will always remember that day and how excited I was to serve here, and I'm grateful that I still have that same excitement and joy with me here :)  It feels like only a few months ago that I opened my mission call, but it really has been a year on the 12th! So crazy :)

Well Family, I love you so much! I'm excited to let you know about my new companion and how being a trainer is :)  Love love love ya!

Miracle Baptism : )

Hello Family, sorry I do not have a lot of time today, but I want to share an experience that has strengthened my testimony about the power and importance of the Holy Ghost. On Saturday I got to witness Marechel enter the waters of baptism. She is a miracle. I remember meeting her my first Sunday here in Quezon City. I asked Sister Duque about her and she said she had not yet taught her. I asked why and she began to explain the situation. Sister Marechel is deaf, can't read, speak and also does not know sign language. However, from just meeting her for the first time, I could see her desire and I told myself that we would figure out a way to teach her and a way for her to get baptized. I first did not know how, but I knew that there was a way. 
Through a lot of acting, pictures, and drawings, we were able to teach her the gospel principles simply and she was able to understand.  Throughout all of this, I learned a powerful lesson which is that we are not the teachers, but the Holy Ghost.  we probably did not explain the lessons the best, but we sure tried our hardest and worked with what we had considering the situation.  Through the power of the Holy Ghost, we were able to see conversion taking place.  The Holy Ghost testified so strongly about the truth to her and she was so in tune with the spirit, because that is ultimately all she could rely on.  What a strong testimony I have now obtained through this experience that Heavenly Father has given me.  I know that the Holy Ghost is real, that it testifies of truth, and that it is the real teacher.  We are nothing without the companionship of the Holy Ghost in our teaching and in our investigators learning.  I'm so grateful for that powerful lesson that Heavenly Father has taught me.  I know that no thing is impossible for the Lord and that He provides a way for all things to be accomplished IF we rely fully on Him and put our trust in Him.  Below I have attached a picture of sweet sweet Marechel who I have never seen happier and more filled with the light of Christ than at this sacred event of her baptism :)
Another big thing is happening next week, TRANSFERS! I can't believe that transfers is already here, the time is just flying by!  I also have my interview with President Revillo tomorrow and I am so excited for that!  So I will not email until Tuesday next week and I will let you know what is happening.  I think that I am most likely staying here, but as for my companion we still don't know!  

I love you so much family, thank you for all your love and support.  Also thank you to everyone back home, especially the Young Women from the stake.  I received all of the sweet sweet letters from them this week :)  Hopefully I will be able to go back to girls camp in the upcoming years and encourage those sisters to serve missions because it is the best thing ever :) Love you all, sending my love from the Philippines!
Love, Sister Latham