Friday, November 13, 2015

Be Strong and of a Good Courage

Hello Family! Wonderful to hear from all of you again, I got so many birthday emails this week that I don't have time to respond to everyone! I hope that next week I will have time to email everyone!
I had a wonderful birthday here in the mission, I got to see so many of my friends here in the mission, and I got to see President and Sister Revillo which was the best.  They are my temporary parents here in the mission :)  I got a picture with Sister Revillo as well, I sure do love her and President.  President's birthday was also yesterday!  And I also have some recent converts whose birthday's are this month, November is a month to celebrate for sure!  

Sister Tropia and I went out to dinner at Chili's for my birthday and they even sang to me and gave me a free icecream :)  It was a good birthday and one that I will not forget, because I got to spend it here in the mission!

As for the work, it is really hard.  This week we had to drop a lot of our investigators because they are not progressing, hiding from us, and just don't want to be taught.  The difficulties that I'm experiencing now are a different type of challenge than what I experienced in my first few months in the mission, but I would say they are even harder.  In the beginning, it was hard because I missed you all and I was thinking too inwards.  But now it is hard because I am saddened about the people here no accepting the gospel.  I hurt because this area seems as though it is not progressing.  I hurt as I see those who put other things before Jesus Christ, as He is only a back up to them.  I want people to accept Him.  I want people to just love and read the Book of Mormon.  I want people to experience the eternal blessings that will come through accepting this perfect and complete gospel of Jesus Christ.  I can say this because I love the people here.  I desire with all my heart their salvation and eternal happiness.  I'm trying to figure out what else I can do,  I know that there are so many things I need to do and improve on, one of them being faith.  Faith that He is in control of all things.  Faith that if I do my part as His servant, He will make up for my weaknesses and bless this work and area.  I know He can do it and I know that I am able to do it, only if I give Him my all and let Him lead me through this work.  I know He is by my side in this work, lifting me up when I am feeling down and feel like I can't do it anymore.  I love Him.  he is my best friend, and I know that He loves me too.  I know I just need to push forward with faith, BE STONG, and continue to rely on Him. 

We were able to find though one potential investigator who is a part member.  She is really really sweet, and wants her husband to come back to church and for her to be baptized, so we pray that she will continue to progress and feel the same way that she felt in our first lesson with her :)  I continue to have hope and faith!

Well, I love you all so much, I'm so grateful for all your love, prayers, and support! I look forward to hearing from all of you next week :) Love you!

Love, Sister Latham


It's here! I thought that this week was never going to come and then BAM, ITS HERE!
This past week has had it's ups and down, but way more ups! 

Because these past few days have been holidays in the Philippines and the kids don't have school, a lot of the people left the city and went to their provinces, so we got punted a lot and people were always busy, but we pulled through and continued to stay positive.  Whenever we are punted at the doorstep, we always just walk away and start singing a uplifting hymn to stay positive and keep the faith going :)  It is wonderful.  It would be way better if we were not punted, but we are still working hard and trying to increase our teaching pool because it is pretty low right now.  

I do have wonderful story to share with you all though.  Sister Tropia and I started brainstorming on how we can start getting more investigators to church and receiving member referrals.  So we decided to invite every member to invite a friend to come to church.  We invited about 6 families and they all said they would try.  So when we got to church on Sunday, Brother Kim our recent convert was standing talking to a man his age.  We went up and introduced ourselves and then Kim said, "this is my friend that I invited to come to church, and he came!"  We were able to teach his friend after church, he accepted a baptism date, and already feels very welcome into the church! It was so wonderful to see how just by a small invitation, great things can happen!  

I also have another wonderful story to share.  So every other friday we always go to a hospital and go and deliver home made baby hats to all the newborn babies and we visit with the mothers.  When we got there, I heard someone call my name, I looked over and saw a less active that had just moved to another town outside the city.  We had also taught his wife and I had missed them so much!  She had just given birth about 3 days ago and I was going to be able to see her and the baby!  When I saw them both, they said that they had been praying to have someone that they loved come and see their baby and celebrate the birth of their baby.  They said that it was an answer from God that we had come that day.  They also informed me that they had given the name Princess Natalia to their new baby girl :)  I love that little baby!  I attached a few pictures of that experience.

As for this week, it will be a fun and busy week! Tomorrow we have our zone training, then on wednesday we have trainer/trainee meeting!  I am excited to be able to see my friends in the mission, and President and Sister Revillo on my birthday and half way point!  I know I will enjoy my birthday here and as Nicole emailed me this week "what a way to start your 20's on your mission"!   I sure love you all so much and am excited to let you know about my upcoming experiences next week!  Love love love ya!

-Sister Latham