Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My heart is so full!

I've been waiting days to email you! It has been such a wonderful week :)  I will first start off with the best news..the Jorge family was BAPTIZED :) 
It was such a wonderful baptism, I've never seen them so happier, all dressed in white as a family, and so excited to enter the waters of baptism! 
The support of the ward was also amazing, so many people attended, the whole baptismal font room was filled, we had their visiting and home teacher there who gave the talks, and the ward was just so excited about a whole family being baptized!  Hearing their testimony after their baptism was also just the best, especially the parents.  The gospel has changed their lives, individually, as parents, and as a whole family.  They have found their way onto the right path, they have been cleansed from their sin and they are just so happy!  It was the best!!
We also were able to have a Family Home Evening with our other family that plans to be baptized this June or July 9th and it was so much fun!  They absolutely loved it!  I attached a few pictures of the family as well.  They are so excited about the gospel and they have also seen how the gospel has brought them closer as a family.  The kids don't remember the last time they went to church as a family and now they all come together to  church, they are reading and praying every night as a family, and are happier than they have ever been :)

Last Monday after I emailed you, we had our zone activity and we went to the falls near our area.  It is so so pretty, and it was nice to just have fun, eat lunch, and get to know the missionaries better!  Hopefully we can go there when we all come back :)  
Another fun and crazy thing happened this week! I was able to go on exchanges with one of my past companions Sister Tropia, I was her first companion and trainer and we just had the best time being back together! It is now rainy season and that day we went out and worked in the afternoon and as soon as we started working it starting pouring!!! I was drenched from head to toe (I was using an umbrella)!  I don't know how it happened, but the wind was strong and the rain was heavy and it was crazy!  Their whole area was flooded, some areas were only to the knee, but other areas were flooded to the neck!  So crazy!! As we waited for the storm to pass, we just went into Mcdonalds and had some ice cream and french fries.  It was quite embarassing because we were the only ones soaking wet (i don't know why haha), and there was water dripping from us.  The workers were like mopping around us hahaha 

I always love working with the sisters and it was so much fun being able to work with one of my past companions and see the growth that she has made :)  The mission is so powerful and really has helped strengthen me, and I know that is because I have allowed the Lord to lead me and guide me.  I have followed His will, and not my will and I know because of that, I am so so happy even when the work is hard!  
Here is my trunky news...I got my flight itinerary!  The time is going to fly by, but I still have so much to do, there is no time to waste! 
Next week is transfers and I am praying that Heavenly Father will allow me to stay here one more transfer, I love these people and I want to see these families and those that I am teaching be baptized :)  I will email you next week on Tuesday to let you know the news!  Thank you for all your prayers, support, and words of encouragement! I love you all!
Love, Sister Latham

They are getting baptized!!

First off, I want to thank you all for your wonderful encouragement that you gave me last Monday because it has pushed me even more this past week!  I've kept myself really really busy so the time has just flown by.  We have seen many miracles this past week and I am excited to share them :)
This past Saturday, the Jorge family had their baptism interview and they all passed and are so excited to be baptized this upcoming Saturday :)  They are 5, the mom and dad and their 3 daughters will all be baptized!  I am so so excited!  Bringing families into the gospel brings the most joy to be!
Albert, Lani and their family is also progressing so much!  Brother Albert's faith has helped him to completely overcome the word of wisdom and they are now reading and praying as a family every single night.  Tonight we will also have FHE with them and Albert's brother and his family who are very strong members of the church.

Also, I was surprised yesterday at church!!!  about 10 minutes before church started, one of the others sisters came to me and said "Sister Latham, you have visitors"  when I looked to the door, I saw 2 of the ward missionaries from TayTay, Lester and Lady!  I went up to them and I could not stop smiling!  Lady gave me a big hug and said "Sister Latham, Bishop and Sister Dasalla are out in their car, they came to see you!"  Oh my goodness, I grabbed my camera so fast and when I saw their car, Sister Dasalla got out of the car and we like ran to each other!!  I could not believe that they came from TayTay to visit me!  I miss them so much!  They dropped off Lester and Lady who attended church here in Antipolo, but they said that one Sunday they plan to come to church as a family in Antipolo!  I LOVE THEM!  To be honest, when they left I was a little home sick haha I am so excited to go back to TayTay in a few weeks and visit them all!

To be completely honest, everyone here is so excited to meet you all next year, as in so excited!!  I just love all these people so so much.  I choose to not think much about leaving here or else I would probably break down in tears.  The Philippines has become my 2nd home :) 
I love you all so much, until next week :)
Love, Sister Latham

Wednesday, May 11, 2016


To all of those women that have played a part in my life, in my growing up, and in all aspects of my life I say THANK YOU!  I wish I had time to list of you, but please know that I love you and I am so grateful for you!  And of course the biggest "thank you" i owe is to my mom, I LOVE YOU!    It was so great being able to see all your faces this morning, talk to you, and just enjoy the good ole times :)  I have been blessed with the best family and especially the best parents.  There is nothing I could really do to repay you for everything, but I remember what President Revillo said this past week at interviews, that the best way you can show your love to them is by being here, serving the Lord, and representing your family the best way you can :)  Thank you for your endless support and love for me while I have been here.  I LOVE YOU!

This week was a wonderful, we had our zone interviews and workshops.  I had my last interview with President Revillo before my exit interview.  President just thanked me for my service and expressed how grateful and proud he is of me.  He has really seen the change, he remembered my interview with him in my 3rd transfer where I was really struggling, and then he sees me about to go home and he can't believe it! I can't believe it either.  He told me that was time was almost up, but to keep working hard and then when I get home the Lord will bless me and then I will start a new phase of life :)  I am excited but there is still so much I have to do here in these last 2 months of my mission! 

In these next two months we have planned for 3 families to be baptized :)  They are all coming to church and really progressing!  I pray and pray that I do not get transferred in a few weeks because I want to take this journey with them.  Whatever the Lord has planned for me though, I will go and do.  I have learned that His plan is 1000x better than my own plan or what I want :)  

We also had Missionary Leadership Council this week and I can really tell that they are preparing for President and Sister Revillo to leave and for the new mission president to come in.  We had a really good and deep discussion about the culture of the mission.  There is more that we need to do to help the culture of the mission and help these missionaries fulfill their duty to the best that they can :)  Its been a great experience being a part of the Missionary Leadership Council.  

I also received  some sad  news this week that my sweet sweet recent convert in my first area passed away because of sickness.  He had planned to go to the temple next month, but the Lord needed him sooner I guess.   He name is Tatay Cornelio Clemente.  I will attach some pictures.  I will always remember Tatay Cornelio, he would always call us his children, he was the happiest man, and he LOVED the gospel.  He always participated in the classes and loved learning and learning.  I remember going on a temple trip with him and he was so so excited!  Although he himself was not able to temple and continue on his journey here on earth, I am grateful and I know that he is grateful that in his last year he joined the church and became a member of this true church.  I know that when we see each other again it will be a happy reunion and he will be grateful that he chose to become a member :)  I love him.

SO, I love you all so much, don't forget to live each day to the fullest, having no regrets and doing your best each and everyday.  There is more work to do, so I just want to end with I LOVE YOU ALL, and now I go back to work :)  

Love, Sister Latham

Rest in peace Tatay Cornelio :)

Here is also a picture from MLC :)


I am writing again! It feels like just yesterday!  So I first need to say that I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU IN 1 WEEK!  I really am so so excited to see you all again and talk to you!  After that, the time is just going to fly and then before we know it, I will be seeing you in person!
So, this week was such a fun week!  We were able to go to Morong (province) and go on exchanges with the sisters!  It was such a blast and I was also able to meet Nanay Fedela who we taught when I was there the first time and she just got baptized :)  We also taught Nene who is a sister that we met last exchanges as well and she was BAPTIZED :)  So wonderful!  I love them all so much, even though they are not in my area, it makes me so so happy to see their progression and see the sisters working so hard in their area.

From the short time that we were able to work in our area, we had a wonderful lesson with the Mendoza family, Brother Albert, his wife, and his children.  When we taught them about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and read about baptism, we were shocked when he asked us "So sisters, when can I be baptized, I want to be baptized"  Sister Bairulla and I left the lesson and could not stop smiling.  They are so amazing.  Brother Alberts brother also bore his testimony in sunday and shared about him and his brothers life.  They have been through so much and then him and his family became members and now he is loving seeing his brother make changes in his life that are bringing him closer to the Savior.  When he bore his testimony, I turned around and looked at his brother Albert and his whole family who had come to church and they were in tears.  The spirit was so strong.  I can't really describe my feelings about it all, but I am just so happy :)
This past Sunday we had the most attendees in the longest time, we all barely fit in the sacrament hall, they will be splitting the wards in just a few months, it goes to show how fast the church is growing here :) It is so amazing.
So this week, we have our zone interviews and workshops tomorrow.  I am really excited to have my interview with President Revillo :) It is my last interview before I have my exit interview with him, I can't believe it, it has gone by so fast!  I don't know what he will have to share with me, but I am so excited to share with him everything that is happening in this area and the miracles that I see everyday :) 
Well Fam, I am so excited to see you in 7 days!!! I love you all so much :)
Love, Sister Latham

The 1st 2 pictures on in Morong and the last picture is of the Mendoza family with Brother Albert and his wife and 2 kids and their families :) 

Conversion has Begun

I have so many miracles and things that I want to share with you this week, too many to write, but I will do my best! 
So I first want to talk about my new companion, Sister Bairulla, she is awesome and we are just loving our time working hard and having fun!  She just reached her one year mark yesterday :)  She is from Davao and I love her!
We have seen many miracles this week and have had many spiritual experiences.  

Here is the first and it is about the Jorge family.  We had an appointment with them on Thursday and it was very spiritual.  Brother Jorge had not drank alcohol in quite a while and we could really see the light that he and his family had.  We were able to give them a bap date for May 28 and we committed them individually one by one.  I know that Brother Joven can really prepare himself if he just continues to forget about himself and his desires and pushes forward with faith that the Lord will help him.  I really really love this family and I am so excited for them to get baptized.
Another experience this week we had with Daisy, Bernadette and their children.  Daisy and Bernadette are sisters and we can tell that they are those that Heavenly Father has prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel.  Last lesson they told us that they had heard some things about word of wisdom and how they drink coffee so they feel like they are not welcome into the church.  We left them behind with the Word of Wisdom pamphlet and promised them that they are always welcome into the church.  So we entered into the lesson and began with reviewing the restoration and the role of the prophet to understand that as a prophet of God, Joseph was able to receive revelation from God himself to help us in this life.   They really were able to understand why the word of wisdom is important and they believed it as a commandment of God as they realized themselves that Joseph Smith was really called as a prophet of God to lead and guide us.  They committed to stop drinking coffee and they committed to come to church on Sunday.  And good news...they came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it :)
Here is the last one that I have time to share.
One of the members of the ward, shared to us that he had a friend that he wanted to share the gospel with.  He shared some things with us that his friend had done and asked if he would be able to be baptized.  I won't share the things, but they are very serious sins.  We told him that there was nothing impossible to the Lord and that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can work miracles in people's lives to become cleansed from sin.  After a few days, we texted Brother Mendoza again to see if we could come to their house and meet his friend.  As we showed up to the house, Brother Mendoza talked to us real quick and told us that "his friend" he was talking about, was actually his older brother.  He told us that he knows that we can help him and welcomed us to his brother.  When we walked to his house, his brother welcomed us right into their house.  Throughout  the lesson the spirit was so strong.  I saw the gospel creating a light that slowly grew within him.  He shared that he felt far from Heavenly Father and that he was dirty and not worthy to pray to Him.  I just testified to him that the Lord loves him and is waiting for him to come back to him.  We were able to share about what happened to Enos in the Book of Mormon where he prayed mightily unto the Lord for forgiveness and the Lord told him that he was forgiven because of his faith.  Brother Albert  was filled with hope that the Lord could carry him through his repentance and guide him to the right path again.  He was very hesitant when we invited him to church, but in the end he knew that he needed to take that step.  When we invited him to say the closing prayer he refused and said "no sisters, I'm not ready to face Him.  I'm too dirty, I can't do it."  I prayed to Heavenly Father in the moment to know what He wanted me to say and it is as if Heavenly Father took control of my words.  As I lifted my head and looked at him in the eyes I told him that "as a representative of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, I know that you are worthy to talk to Heavenly Father and He wants you to do so.  He is waiting for you."  After years and years of not praying, Brother Albert prayed and gave thanks to Heavenly Father for all the blessings that he has received.  As he ended his short, but heartfelt prayer to the Lord, there were tears in his eyes and in the eyes of his whole family.  Conversion has begun and the power of the Atonement has started to take power and action in their hearts.  And as they came to church on Sunday, Brother Albert said..."next week I am bringing my whole family with me."  The church is true. :)

This past Sunday we had 12 investigators at church, and out of those 12 there are 4 families :)  I love this work and I know that this gospel blesses families in every aspect of our lives.  
Speaking of families, I look forward to skyping you all in just 2 weeks!! The time has come so fast!  I love you all so much, keep up the hard work and I will keep praying for you all! love love love you!
Sister Latham
Pictures:  one day mission with the ward :)

"In the gospel, we get credit for trying"

Hello Family!  I don't really know where to start because I have so much to say, but I know I don't have the time to tell you everything!  But we will start with my favorite part of the whole week and that was general conference!
I feel spiritually uplifted, I felt like every message that was shared was for me.  Everything was perfect and I left with my testimony of Jesus Christ more strengthened.  I feel refreshed and ready to keep pressing forward in this wonderful work!  I will share my favorite talks from every session :)
In the Saturday session I was very touched by the talk given by Gary E Stevenson about the Priesthood keys.  I testify with my whole heart that the Priesthood keys are in this church, that they allow saving ordinances to be performed and that we all benefit greatly because of this power that has been restored to the earth through a prophet called of God.  I have been blessed because of the Priesthood.  And I'm grateful for the knowledge that this Priesthood will never again be taken off of the earth.  He also talked about the temple.  What a blessing that there are now 150 temples.  It is a testimony to us all that the church is growing, that Zion is being gathered, and the Lord is preparing the way for all His children to enter into His kingdom. We are preparing ourselves everyday to be worthy to enter into the House of the Lord :)

In the Saturday afternoon session I loved the talk by M. Russell Ballard about family council.  With Satan's attack on families, family councils will provide a way to overcome the attack on families, to gain a stronger foundation, and to unite families.  I'm grateful for mom and dad who did this with us kids. I know that because of parents who follow the council given by the living prophets and apostles, help their children come closer unto God and help them gain a testimony that will allow them to overcome the everyday temptations.  This is something I will continue in my own future family and I know that blessings will come because of it :)
In the Sunday Morning Session I really enjoyed the talk given by our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. What a short and powerful message he gave.  The choices that we make today, determine our destiny :)  My favorite thing he said was "choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong."  He was inspired to say that because I know that sometimes it is hard to choose the right and easier to take the easier route which might be wrong.  As I ponder about my decision to serve a mission about a 2 years ago, I am reminded how hard a decision that was.  I knew that it would be hard, that it would be one of the most difficult 1 1/2 years of my life, but it was by far the best and right decision that I have made in my life :) 
I also loved the talk given by D. Todd Christofferson about fathers :)  I know that last conference Jeffrey R. Holland talked about mothers, and now there is another great talk about fathers.  As I pondered what he said about "Fatherhood requires sacrifice, but is full of joy and satisfaction"  I thought to myself " I know that I was a pain for Dad, that I had attitude and didn't show all my respect and love to him.  Dad really sacrifices a lot for our family.  But I know that when he has all of us together and we reflect on everything that we have been through, it has been a time of joy and satisfaction"  Hopefully I got that right dad :)  We love you so much dad, and on the rank from good, better, or best, you are definitely the BEST father :)    

Lastly in the Sunday Afternoon session my  favorite quote was given by Jeffrey R. Holland who said "the 1st greatest truth in all eternity is that God loves us with all His heart.  The 1st greatest commandment in all eternity is to LOVE God"  Let us love Him by showing Him.  Let us show how grateful we are through our actions that we do everyday.  He is cheering us on, the heavens are cheering us on!  Let us push forward with faith everyday and was said in conference "In the gospel, we get credit for trying"  :)
What a great conference and I look forward to next conference where I can either attend in the conference center or watch it with family :)
This past week we also had service as a zone and we swept the road and picked up trash!  We also had Missionary Leadership Council and for our activity we went to a "Home for the Old"  and we sang songs and did a small Family Home Evening with them! It was wonderful :)

This upcoming week we also have our last Sisters Conference so I look forward to that!  Next week is also transfer week, so I will email on Tuesday :)  Its crazy that I am heading into my last 12 weeks...I can't believe it!! 
Thank you for all your love and prayers, I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week ahead!
xoxo Sister Latham

Zone service!! I took what I learned from back home working in the yard and put it to use here :) I look forward to cleaning the yard when I get home dad :)  I'm sure you never thought you would hear that!

We love the sisters from Pakistan, they are great at threading eyebrows!  It hurt quite a bit!
Have a great week! Love you

Be the Lord's HANDS

Hello everyone again!!

We just got back from a wonderful morning of giving service to a family that is investigating the church, the Estrabela family! I really love this family, they are so sweet and so welcoming :)  They are starting up a store, so we went and cleaned their new space.  Before that though we also all went jogging this morning, and it was such a beautiful morning  :) I missed going on morning runs, and it was not hot, so we had such a fun time! I will attach some pictures.

This past week we were busy going on exchanges with two sets of companionships and we had such a fun time!  The sisters here are so amazing and I am learning so much from them :)
We also got to attend the general sisters conference, which was wonderful.  When I saw all of the sisters singing all standing in white, I couldn't help but cry, it sounded and looked like heaven :)  I hope one day I can attend a general sisters conference.  One of my favorite things said by Cheryl Esplin, I don't know it exactly, but she said something like unless we lose ourselves in the service of others, most of our lives are useless.  It was also said that "When we reach out in love and service, hearts are changed and softened."  I have such a strong testimony that as we forget ourselves, stop looking at our needs and our problems, and instead reach out in the service of others, our lives will be changed.  I have felt that happen here in the mission.  I never want to go back to where I was.  In the past I was selfish and usually only thought about myself, but it is a life changing lesson that I have learned here.  We are happier when we are in the service of others :)  

This upcoming weekend we will be able to listen to the general conference and I am so so excited to hear from the living prophet and apostles :)
For our investigators, the Jorge family is still progressing and plans to be baptized this month, I love them so much! Yesterday was Kim's birthday, she turned 12 and we celebrated with them :)  They are so excited to get baptized as well! 
This upcoming week will be really busy and not a lot of time spent in the area because we have exchanges, Missionary Leadership Council, and then general conference!  A sister in this ward also has her farewell as she is about to report to go to SLC mission!  Its going to be a fun week and I look forward to telling you all about it next week! Thank you for all of your love and support! I love you all so much!
Love, Sister Latham