Thursday, October 29, 2015

MALAPIT NA! (It is close)

Hello Family and Friends!
This past week was really good, it went by fast!  We stayed busy and although we were punted a lot, we stayed positive and were able to find a few potential investigators this past week that we hope to contact next week!

We just got back from Sisters Conference and it was so wonderful.  I love meeting all together as sisters and having some fun and learning new things.  We worked out this morning, did facials and make up, learned how to cook, and then watched "The Errand of Angels" which is about a sister missionary!  It was a very fun morning and afternoon.  I was able to also see all my old companions, sister Pectol, Pakalani, Makaneole, and Duque :)

The theme of the conference was "Covenant Keeping Sisters"

They did a workshop about when we all received our mission calls and how excited we were! I still feel the same excitement now as I did when I opened my call!  The work here is so wonderful :)  As I sat and listened about the theme, I thought to myself about the covenant or promise I have made as I chose to serve a mission and was called of God to serve here.  I promised to serve Him with all my heart, might, mind and strength.  My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ.  I remember a talk that Holland gave about how when Jesus called His disciples at the Sea of Galilee, He did not call them for a day, or a month, or years.  He called them to be His followers and disciples FOREVER.  The same happened when I received my call.  I am not only called to serve for 18 months, but I am called to serve forever.  My purpose will continue to be my purpose after my mission as well.  I will always continue to serve Him and invite other to come unto Him and receive His gospel.  The gospel is wonderful :)

In just a few weeks we have the opportunity to have 2 apostles come to our mission and spend a day with us.  Elder Neil L. Anderson will be coming along with one of the new called apostles.  I am so excited to be able to meet them and hear them speak to us and this mission specifically!  That will happen on November 17th :)  

There are so many exciting things to look forward too!  

Well, MALAPIT NA family!  The time is already here that I am reaching my half way mak! Next week is November 4th: my halfway mark and birthday :)  The time is going by too fast and I can't believe I am already turning 20! So crazy!  

I look forward to emailing you all next week!  I love you all so much, and send you my love and thanks to you all :)
Love, Sister Latham

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Hello Family and Friends, 
Well, if you didn't know this, but we experienced and are still experiencing a Typhoon here in the Philippines, but lucky for us, it has not been that strong here, I think it hit the north of the Philippines really bad, so our prayers are with them!  As for here in Quezon City, there has just been really strong wind, and pretty constant rain.  We only had sacrament meeting because the other classes were cancelled.  But we are safe and doing well here.  Despite the typhoon,  I have to say that I have never slept so good :)  I wore my sweats, and thin sweatshirt, and I slept with my warm blanket wrapped around me :)  I felt at home for a little bit!  I also drank some warm hot chocolate :)  I also found some Christmas lights, so it really felt like fall or winter.  It was truly wonderful :)

We got a call this morning from the ZL's and I was told that Sister Tropia and I would be spending another transfer together in this area!  We are so excited!  We truly love this area and we love being companions.  We are hoping for a few baptisms in this upcoming transfer and we look forward to helping them progress towards baptism.  

Talking about baptism, we also had a baptism this past Saturday! Reylanie was baptized and it was so wonderful!  I know that she has been waiting forever for this day.  I have seen her faith grow so much as she has read the Book of Mormon everyday and continued to attend church.  I'm grateful for the opportunity that Heavenly Father gave to me to be able to teach her and help her on her path that she has taken to this point :)

I also want to share a personal study of mine this week.  It really touched me and it continues to remind me to always work my hardest and do what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want me to do. I titled my personal study "How would He introduce me?"   We read so many times in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon where Heavenly Father introduces His son, Jesus Christ.  Specifically in 3 Nephi 11, Heavenly Father introduces Jesus Christ to the Nephites in the Americas after His resurrection.  He introduces Jesus Christ 3 times saying, "Behold my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name-Hear ye Him."  Heavenly Father was so proud of His son for fulfilling all righteousness.  He had great reasons to be proud of His Son.  When I read this I thought to myself, I hope that Heavenly Father would introduce me like that?  Am I doing the things that would qualify me for an introduction like that or welcoming me back into His presence" Am I doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do?  These are wonderful questions for us each to ask ourselves to evaluate where improvement is needed and how we can become more like our Saviour, Jesus Christ.  
I'm grateful for the time that I am given every day to study for 1 hour and to have these times to really think about what I am studying and how it is applicable to me.  I'm experiencing conversion here on my mission and I am so grateful for all those supporting me in this conversion, especially my Saviour, Jesus Christ, who because of His atonement, we are able to repent and change for the better.  
I love you so much family and I look forward to hearing from you all again next week.  And in just about 8 weeks I will get to see all your beautiful faces :)  I love you all, I pray for you everyday and pray that the Lord will continue to bless each and everyone one of you :) Mahal ko kayo
-Sister Latham

Not conversion to the church, but to Jesus Christ

Hello again!  We just got back from a wonderful zone activity! We went bowling and it was a blast, I attached a few pictures :)

As for this week, It's been a good week despite a lot of challenges coming my way.  I was able to push through them and search for the good that is happening around me.  How could I not be happy when I am in the service of God right?  Its a joyous cause to be a part of :) Having the opportunity to hear from the apostles, prophets, and leaders this weekend was absolutely wonderful as well.  I received so many answers to prayers, guidance, and faith that I needed.  I love President Monsons talk about Christlike attributes.  I remember that my farewell talk was about Christlike attributes.  I listed when I gave my talk a few of the attributes the I really wanted to develop in my mission.  I am still striving daily to gain those Christlike now and make them a part of who I am :)  I know that developing Christlike attributes is a lifelong journey and takes patience, faith, diligence (those being Christlike attributes haha).  While I've been here, I've also noticed Christlike attributes that I thought I did pretty well on, but realized they are really my weaknesses.  Throughout the experiences that I've had though on my mission, I have seen my "weaknesses turn into strengths" just as it says in the scriptures, Ether 12:27.

To give you an update on the work, our investigator Reylanie will be getting baptized this Saturday!  We have been teaching her ever since I got transferred here to Quezon City.  She would already read and pray, but would not come to church because she is a strong Catholic and would go with her mom to church.  As we continued to read the Book of Mormon with her, she started to gain a testimony about Jesus Christ and His true church.  She began attending church, but would not get baptized because her mom was against it.   She is 18, so she has the choice, but she still questioned her decision.  We still continued to visit her, share messages, and read the Book of Mormon with her. In the past few weeks, I have seen so much progression in her conversion.  She started to get excited about her baptism, and she had gained faith to follow what the Holy Ghost was telling her was right, and that was to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the proper authority.  I am so excited for her because she is taking this wonderful step in her life to accept Jesus Christ's gospel.  As D Todd Christofferson said "We do not strive for conversion to the church, but to Jesus Christ."

Next week I will also not be emailing till Tuesday because it is transfer week :)  I have no idea what is going to happen!  I'm excited to let you all know next week! Sure love you all and I send you my prayers and love.

-Sister Latham

8 months

Hello Family and Friends! It's been a crazy week with a lot of meetings, a zone conference, womens conference, and a temple tour! It feels like we did not have much time to proselyte this week, but I feel spiritually uplifted from the experiences I have had this week, and also the talks that I have heard. 
Wednesday was zone conference and I'm always so grateful every time that I get to hear from President and Sister Revillo.  We discussed about the sacrament and about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  As it says in Preach My Gospel, as our testimony of the Atonement increases, our desire to share the gospel will increase.  As I've been studying the Atonement lately, I've truly come closer to Jesus Christ and as Sister Revillo said, everything good we do is because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I'm grateful that every day I gain a stronger and stronger to go out and invite others to come unto Christ and to let His atonement work in their lives.  I made three goals for myself after zone conference which are to 1)Talk to more people 2)seek a better understanding of the atonement and 3)stretch myself because I know that through Jesus Christ, I can do all things :)  Those are my goals that I am working on right now and I know that through diligence, faith, and obedience, I can accomplish them.

This Saturday we also had the opportunity to take Des, our recent convert, and Reylanie, our investigator who will be being baptized on October 17, to the temple :)  It was a wonderful experience.  We were able to share our testimonies and let them feel of the peace, joy, and happiness that we feel when we stand on sacred ground.  We also had the opportunity to go to the MTC.  Des was so so excited!  She kept telling President Trask that she would be coming here!  She is so excited to serve in hopefully a year, and her family is supporting her so much.  Her parents said to just make sure she comes home first to see them before she goes out and serves.  Sister Reylanie, also wants to serve after she saw the MTC and felt the spirit that was there.  Later on that afternoon she had her baptismal interview and she is ready to be baptized :)

Next week we will be able to watch conference and I am so excited to hear from the Lord's servants and their inspired revelation from God.  It is such a wonderful opportunity :)  I only have one more conference to watch while I'm here on my mission!  Time is flying.  10 more months :)  Thank you for all the support, prayers, and love you continue to give me.  I'm so blessed.

Love, Sister Latham
1)my anak(companion) with her mother(trainer) and father(district leader) in the mission
2)Des at the temple

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A week of Miracles!

Another week has passed, time is flying! Well family, this week has been wonderful!

First off, we had our baptism on Saturday and it was a wonderful baptismal service.  Des and Kim were baptized and I've never seen them so happy!  In the week leading up to their baptism, we were able to visit them almost everyday.  Sister Des shared a wonderful experience with us that she had one night.  One night as she was reading in the scriptures, she read about Lehi's dream and the fruit from the tree of life.  She asked Sister Tess, who works with her, what it meant.  Sister Tess described that the fruit is the gospel, true happiness. Sister Des really related to this scripture as she thought about all the blessings that she has received from the time the missionaries began teaching her.  She said that all she wants to do now is to share it.  To invite her family to partake of the goodness of this gospel, to share the happiness and joy that comes from accepting Jesus Christ and His Atonement into our lives.  She said at that moment, she knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father and promised Him that she would serve a mission.  To bring the same joy and blessing that she has received, to others that so desperately need it.  She plans to go and teach her family and then go and serve the people to where she will be assigned.  I was amazed as she shared this story and this beautiful prayer and promise that she made with Heavenly Father as she prayed to Him.  

Brother Kim was also able to share his testimony in a lesson that we had with his friend.  He had such a strong, sincere, and loving testimony about the Book of Mormon.  I have seen him apply the teachings in his life and come closer to Heavenly Father through living the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He also is sharing the gospel as he posts everyday on Facebook.  A member in our ward showed us his facebook page and he is sharing the blessing and his testimony to all of his friends.  They both have truly partaken of the fruit that Lehi described in his dream and have such a strong desire to share it with those around them :)

On the day of their baptism, they both showed up so early, even before us because they were so excited.  They had prepared all of their clothes about 3 days before.  But as I walked in and saw Kim, he had the biggest smile on his face and said "I'm ready!" and then as I went up to Des, she said "It's here!" Haha  I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for preparing these two people to accept the gospel into their lives.  I'm also grateful to Heavenly Father for giving me the opportunity to share the gospel with them.

I also experienced another miracle yesterday that I want to share with you.  On saturday night as we were planning for the next day, I opened up the area book which has all the information about our area and it opened up to an investigator that was taught about 4 years ago.  As I looked at the name and the information, I suggested to Sister Tropia that we should go and visit them.  The information that we were given was that her husband, Brother Morada,  is a LA and  they had two kids who now would be about 12.  So, we planned to go and visit them.  As we traveled to where they lived, we asked around if they knew where these people lived.  One man pointed to another man and said "that is him."  So we went over and he said "Sisters! How are you?" and then he welcomed us into his home to share.  As we shared with them about families, Brother Morada said he wanted to share a story.  He said that a few days ago he had seen us walking, but didn't say anything.  Then Saturday night, the night that we saw his name in the folder, he had a dream.  In his dream his mother, who used to be a member but passed away a few years ago, came to him and told him that he and his family need to return back to church.  He said that he was amazed that the next day, we showed up and have invited him back to church. He knows that the church is true and wants his family to join as well.  We gave his wife and daughter a baptism date and we are hoping that the father will be able to baptize them when the time comes.  I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us, and that he prepares people for us as His representatives to go and visit people at the right time and right place.  I know that it is not a coincidence that Brother Morada had that dream the night before we came to visit him and his family.  It truly is a miracle and a blessing :)
The work is progressing and it is a blessing to be a part of the Lord's work here on earth at this time and in this wonderful place, the Philippines :)

Thank you family for all of your love and support, I love you all and am so blessed! 
Love, Sister Latham 

P.S. I reach my 8 months this upcoming Sunday :)))

Good news about the Apartment :))))

Hello everyone!  Another week has passed!  It's been a crazy week!  Every night when I got home this week, I was completely exhausted.  I think part of it might be because of the drastic changes in the weather, and we worked our tails off this week.

A hard thing though this week was Sister Tropia got blisters all over her feet, because she was wearing new shoes, and we walked like crazy, and her shoes are not really made for the weather here.  I felt so bad for her, but we went home one night, released all the pus and liquid from her blisters, and then I let her borrow my crocs, and since then she has started to feel better.  She is such a trouper for continuing to work and give it her all in the teaching.  She also gave her first successful bap date to an investigator.  So this investigator came as a referral from the bishop's wife.  She was at the grocery store this week and this lady approached her.  She said that she was a member that was baptized about 10 years ago, but that she had gone inactive and wanted the missionaries to go and teach her and her husband who is not yet a member.  So, we went to teach them and they are a wonderful family.  They have 3 kids, 2 of them being twins and they are the cutest.  He is really interested in the gospel, wants to get sealed as a family in the temple, and they even came to church right away yesterday :)  Another miracle :)

We also had our two baptism interviews for Des and Kim, and they will be getting baptized this upcoming Saturday! I am so excited for them, and they are so so excited! Sister Des came out of the interview and just hugged me, she was so so nervous, but she said that it went really well.  I said "umiyak ka ba? " which means did you cry and she said "Malapit na" which means that she was close to it and then she just hugged me again!  I love Sister Des so much, and I am so grateful that she has converted herself unto the Lord :) A member also showed us that Kim has been posting all of these mormon messages and sharing his testimony of Facebook so that all of his family and friends can see.  I was amazed!  These are two wonderful people who are soon to be members of this wonderful church :)

So lastly about the apartment,  Sister Revillo really wants us out so she called the Landlord, and we have to be out by the end of we better find an apartment or else we will be homeless...hahaha But we found 2 apartments this week that are really nice and we will be showing pictures to Sister Revillo this week at trainer/trainee meeting!  Pray that everything will work out for us!  By the time we actually move, there is a possibility that I could already be transferred haha but at least the new missionaries won't have to experience all that we have experienced there!

Well, that is about it, Hopefully I have more to say to next week and pictures to also send!  I didn't take any pictures this week..whoops!  Anyways, love you all! And thank you for everything :)
-Sister Latham