To my dear family August 11, 2014

There are so many things to say and so very little time to say it. My heart is filled with joy this morning and I write this and think of the many blessings that have come and are coming. Thank you first of all for the people who you are. For your purity. For your testimonies. For your examples of true discipleship. You are all leaders in many ways and bring light and life to the world as the hands of the Savior here on the earth. Oh how much I love you and am grateful for you.

One day early on in the week, I was having a rough day. It`s normal to be a little down every once in a while but it was a deep sadness that didn`t seem to have a source. It was nearly time for bed and I knelt down to pray and plead the help of my Heavenly Father. And as I prayed I felt an incredible strength that was not my own. I felt that it was a strength that had not come from my prayer either. It came from the prayer of someone else. I`m not sure who was praying or where but I felt so incredibly strongly a strength come that was not my own. And suddenly all was right. I felt this excitement and energy and a deep desire to share the gospel. I felt faith and charity and light. And lots of hope. And so I sat down and I wrote out some things and we`ve been working ever since. There have been some rough days and there have been some crazy things but not a single moment since then have I felt the sadness. I feel this strength and excitement. Tender mercy wouldn`t even begin to describe it.
 
I am so grateful for my dear companion, Hermana Castillo (Sister Castle hahaha, she`s adorable) who just looks at the world for all of it`s potential. She never gets tired. She doesn`t get offended or angry. She just keeps working with the most amazing attitude. Hahaha. I hope one day you`ll get to meet all of these choice spirits that have intertwined their lives with mine at this part of my earthly journey.  She is incredible. This week we`ll be out of our sector for half the week doing exchanges with the Sister Missionaries in Coyhaique and Puerto Aysen which will be lots of fun. 
 
New investigators have been coming out of the woodworks including the daughter of that one guy I told you I love to teach. She`s just as interested and excited about learning and asks the same kinds of questions as her dad. And he`s way excited that someone he loves so much is interested, obviously, so I only see good things in the future there. 🙂 And we had the miracle to see him read the Book of Mormon. He read the first three chapters and understood it all and that, my friends, is a miracle. We`ve been fasting and praying to see him progress for weeks. When he makes the decision to get baptized I know he`ll be a tremendous leader in the church.
 
I`ve been studying the last week of Christ in the book of John to have a model and example for my last week. Something that really stood out to me was how much time he took to teach the leaders of the church and strengthen them. 
John 15: 17-19

These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

He teaches them to not be offended. To be patient. It`s just because they don`t understand. The incredible example he gives of love and patience is astounding and just what this world needs. And so I, being a representative of Him must do as He did:

when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. – John 13:1

Next week I`ll be traveling all week to get there… My last day in Cisnes is Monday. Deep breath. Here we go 🙂

-Hna Lethco

Energizer Bunny – putting the batteries Aug 4, 2014

Hey Family,

Hermana Monroe finished saying goodbye to Cisnes Monday evening and we both packed up all of our things and left the next morning on the 8 am bus. Hooray! She made it out alright and got back fine. She sent an email to our Papitos saying she got there safely but that the heat was KILLING her. Hahaha. Good stuff. Meanwhile, the rest of the flights were a little complicated so I got to wait for my new companion from Tuesday until Friday night when she finally got in. I spent the week with Hermana Pierce in Coyhaique and really had a lot of fun with her. I had the privelege of teaching a bunch of amazing people and even helping a beautiful lady (who supposedly is an eternal investigator) decide that it was time she get baptized. 🙂 She´s planning on getting baptized at the end of this month. 🙂
 
Oh and before I forget. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ARWEN AND MOM this week!!! I hope you gals have wonderful birthdays with lots of birthday cake! LOVE YOUUU!
 
Do you remember those energizer bunny comercials? They keep going and going and going. Well, I think that´s a great way of describing my new companion, Hermana Castillo. She´s  just a little ball of energy and fun. She´s from the northern part of Argentina and has a GREAT attitude. She´s one of 11 siblings! Wow! She´s a convert and the first missionary of her family. Her parents were baptised shortly before she came out on the mission. 🙂 Fun stuff. She´s just the kind of energy that I need right now. Love her already!
 
And to answer your questions from the other week….
The Latinas told me that the tea bag would help the redness I had (it got infected somehow in the journey)… It didn´t. But it was funny to take pictures.
The guy from Puerto Montt was an AMAZING investigator. He understood it all and was really excited to get baptized. He had a baptismal date all set apart and was excited to invite his children and share the gospel with them. But then he had to visit his sister in the North and when he came back we lost contact. Didn´t answer our calls… 😦 The Elders ran into him in their sector but he didn´t say much… Not a great story.
And yes, please continue to pray for Cata. Her family situation has gotten even more complicated. But she has a testimony, she just needs to take the leap of faith.
 
Love you!
-Hna Lethco

His Time. His Way. Happy Birthday. Oh, and breakup chocolate. :) July 28, 2014

Thank you to all for the beautiful birthday wishes. Really, it means a lot. 🙂 An insane storm came in just in time for my birthday – wind and pouring rain all day. Hahaha. In Coyhaique it snowed some 30-40 cm and the airport is closed (complications for my companion´s flight back to the U.S.? We´re praying not….). It certainly was the coldest and wettest cumpleaños (birthday) I´ve ever celebrated but it was warm with lots of hugs from our little Cisnes Branch. 🙂 Fun stuff. i woke up to a sweet scavenger hunt that my companion made for me in the house – each clue had a different type of chocolate attatched YUM! And at the end were majar filled crepes for breakfast. She skipped around me in circles singling happy birthday and then held up the candles we usually use in the bathroom to see in the shower and I got to blow them out and then she gave me her BEST scarf. 🙂 hermana Monroe is an angel. For sacrament meeting my companion played the piano and I directed the hymns (we switch off every other week). We both gave talks. I taught Sunday School. My companion said the prayer in Relief Society and then we both taught singing time in Primary. Hahah. A solid Sunday in Cisnes! Hahaha. For lunch our Papitos came out and sat down and ate lunch with us. They usually are working and don´t sit to eat with us but special for my birthday they did. It was an incredibly thoughtful gesture. It wasn´t anything special, just soup, but it was warm and it had lots of vegetables which have been my best friend here 🙂 In the afternoon we visited a handful of investigators and less actives, all who showed lots of love and we ate lemon pie in almost every house. Hahaha. Ah well… 🙂 And it was a fun little combined celebration because my companion heads back to the states tomorrow. 

 
As for the rest of the news… It´s been a week of lots of lessons. We had a bunch of really amazing people SET on going to church but then a bunch of really dramatic things happeneds to all of them. One got kicked out of her house. Another´s husband left her. It was all quite shocking. But we did all we could and the rest was just simply out of our hands. Agency is just a funny thing, isn´t it? I always joke and say it´s the enemy of missionary work. Hahaha. On Thursday we had a BUNCH of people drop us in different forms – one said she needed a break, another tried to tell us we should stop focusing on him but was a little confused about that request, another avoided us, another yelled at us in the street for lying and not coming the day before like we´d told her. So by 4 in the afternoon we already needed to stop and buy ´´break-up chocolate´´. I am learning MORE and MORE how much the mission is teaching me about relationships. Hahaha. Ohhhhh boy.
 
Thanks for your words about God taking care of me. You´re right. And I promise I won´t let it distract me from the work I´ve got to do here. If it doesn´t work out it just means that Heavenly Father has a different plan, and that´s alright. I´m learning a LOT about how Heavenly Father works and I´m trying really hard to better align my will with His. Or in all reality, I´m trying to give up my will and adopt His more specifically, I´m praying to be able to understand what Heavenly Father´s goals are for me in the time that I´ve got left. I´m praying that I can get that inspiration this week so that I can use His time with wisdom. 
 
Trust in His time and His way. Always. It´s the only way to have true inner peace.
 
-Hna Lethco
 

Patience and the Timing of the Lord July 21, 2014

This week we had the pleasure of going to Coyhaique to do exchanges with the sisters there. And guess what? We missed the 5:30am bus AGAIN! Thankfully my body clock was working and I  got up right on the dot at 7am. We got to run across the town yet again and made it for the 8am bus. Hooray! That would have been a rough day canceling on them again! Our intercambios were fun. I haven´t walked that much in a LONG time. But I got to meet a lot of new people in lots of fun and different ways. 🙂 Those sisters are amazingly dilligent. And in the morning for our exercises we all practiced the new dance steps Sister Obeso taught us. 🙂

This week I had to have a solid reality check about what I´ve accomplished and what I haven´t accomlished in the mission. My companion listened to me for a long time as I explained all that I was thinking and feeling and she helped me reshape the way I was thinking and feeling about it all. She said, ´´Hermana Lethco, the Lord does NOT do things according to our time table. His way is always better. So what if not all the promises are fulfilled? You still have an ETERNITY of progression to see these promises fulfilled. When you were set apart it wasn´t just for this year and a half while you´ve got a name badge on. It´s for the next life as well.´´ Then she told me about how when the temple in Kirtland was dedicated and how the saints were promised protection and that their enemies woldn´t prevail against them. This promised wasn´t fulfilled right away. Not in the slightest! But we can now see how it has been fulfilled today. I´ve been thinking about that a lot over the last couple of days.
 
This morning I read in Luke 20 where Christ explains to his apostles that they would face opposition.
´´And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends ; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
´´And ye shall be hated of all men for my name´s sake.
´´But there shall not a hair of your head perish.
´´In your patience possess ye your souls.´´ (Luke 20:16-19)
How could the Savior tell them that they were going to be betrayed and hated and even put to death and at the same time tell them that they wouldn´t lose even a hair on their head? Because that promise doesn´t have to do with this life. he´s clearly speaking of the resurrection (Alma 40:23) when every thing will be restored to it´s perfect form. The resurrection is clearly a much more important promise than anything that one could receive in this life. I read what it says in Preach My Gospel about patience and a big part of patience is the ability to do the will of the Lord and accept things in His time. To wait with hope and faith for the Lord to fulfill His promises. 
 
I think of the sons of King Mosiah and all they went through. 
´´And we have entered into their houses and taught the, and we have taught them in their streets, yea, and we have taught them upon their hills. and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
´´And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy woudl be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving som.
´´Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors. and are they few? I say unto you, Nay,they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us…
´´Blessed be the name of my God who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.´´ (Alma 26:29-31, 36)
I certainly haven´t been imprisoned but I understand a great number of the things these faithful disciples of Christ describe. And equally, I am praying to see with the spiritual eyes that can only be given by my Heavenly Father to see those fruits.
I love you all. Trust in the Lord. Be patient in His timing.
-Hermana Lethco

Missed buses July 14, 2014

So this week was incredible and it flew by incredibly quickly. TOO quickly! First thing´s first, Monday night Cata had a freak out. Turns out she´s getting lots of pressure from ALL sides and very little support so she backed out of her interview. We´re still working with her, of course. She’s completely ready. She just needs to make the decision. Meanwhile we´re praying lots and trying to help her have the confidence in herself to take that step. 

We teach this lady from Columbia that is perhaps one of the most beautiful people I´ve ever met. She works here to be able to support her family there because it´s nearly impossible to get work in Columbia and actually be able to support your family. She decided that when she can finally leave here she is going to go to Columbia and get baptized. She really has changed so much. Last night we had a really spiritual lesson where we were all crying and she told us that she had really seen a lot of changes in herself. 🙂 We may not be able to be there for her baptism but we had the priveledge of being there for her conversion.
 
This week was the week of missed buses. We were scheduled to go have exchanges (intercambios) with the sisters in Coyhaique on Thursday and the sisters in Puerto Aysen Friday but we accidentally slept in and missed the bus. I actually woke up when the sisters from Coyhaique called at 7:20 to ask when we´d be arriving. We threw on our clothes and sprinted with all of our bags and backpacks across the town to try to get the 8am bus to Coyhaique before it left but it was full so it didn´t even stop. That´s the thing about Puerto Cisnes. There are only two buses – one at 6am and one at 8am and if you miss it you have to wait until the next day. AND pay a little fee… Woof. Well, it was an expensive mistake because it looks like we´ll have to go back to Coyhaique this week. But Puerto Aysen was beautiful and we made it in time for THAT bus. I enjoyed leaving with Hermana Revelo (from Columbia) in the afternoon. She´s WAY fun and way dilligent so it was great. 
 
Saturday morning we had interviews with the new President, President Obeso (yes, that does mean Obese in Spanish) but the weekend schedule was different so we showed up 10 minutes late and missed that bus making us a full hour and a half late for itnerviews. Ah well. Like I said, missing buses was the theme of this week. When we did make it there was a little meeting with all of our Zone and President Obeso and his wife so that everyone could meet them. Then, while we were waiting to have our interviews Sister Obeso (who at one point was a gym instructor) taught us all how to dance for exercises. When it was our turn we would just excuse ourselves from the dance and have our interview. Hahaha. I ended up going in to my interview without shoes but President said not to worry. Hahaha. LOTS of fun. 🙂 President asked all the sisters to stay after the interviews so he could give us a talking… So we all waited and when he finished the last interveiw he said that President Eyring had instructed him to take care of the sister missionaries. And so he felt that he needed to Chiquear us (not sure on the spelling, it´s a new word for me). He looked at me and asked if I understood the term and I told him no which was good because not even the latinas knew what it meant. In a jist, it´s the Mexican word for spoil. So he put all six of us in his car with his wife and took us to this famous pastry shop in Coyhaique and bought us all whatever pastry we wanted and then bought us all another one to bring home. It was ADORABLE. 🙂 
 
We´re making lots of progress with the members and gaining thier confidence. The switch of having Sisters instead of Elders has been a little difficult for them but I think it´s healthy. And it´s a learning process that just requires lots of patience.
 
Well, that´s all I´ve got time for!
 
Love you!
 
Hna Lethco
 
P.S.- Chileans wash their clothes with a normal washing machine and laundry detergent. The only difference is that not everyone has dryers. In fact dryers are VERY few and far between. The majority just hang them over thier fires and dry them like that. The only real SMELL will be the smoke. When you see me I´ll probably smell like I´ve either been at camp or that I´ve picked up a smoking habit – don´t worry, I´ve just been in southern Chile. 🙂

New President and all the Jazz July 7, 2014

Sorry, I had just started writing when the lady at the library got mad at us for being on the computer too long and kicked us off. Sigh. So we´re at a cyber now writing, though to be honest I hardly remember this week. We have some sweet new investigators including one guy that owns a little convenience store who is an ex-marine. Did  I tell you about him? Well, he´s basically become one of my all-time favorite people to teach. He just GETS the gospel. He´s not one of  those people that nods and says they get it. He listens and then when we get finished teaching a section he always says Okay, now here´s my question… It´s incredible. He´s HILARIOUS too. He was telling us about the World Cup Game and said that there was a CLEAR interference by divine powers at the end of the game because they were tied and then at the last second the ball went in. He said Argentina will always win because they´ve got the Pope praying for them. ´´And the U.S.? Looks like you´ll have to call up Joseph Smith and see if he can call in any favors.´´ I died laughing. And when we taught about the Fall of Adam and Eve… Oh man. But despite his jokes he really is interested and his questions are always really relevant and interesting. And he knows he´s stubborn and hard-headed and actually WANTS to know. So that´s great.

 
As for Cata, thanks for your prayers. Her father gave her permission. Just before we left for Osorno we had a lesson and she was sharing with us all of her favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon. It was ADORABLE. She´s so ready! But then last night we saw her again and she said she was getting nervous because it´s a really big decision and she´s so young… So that´s kind of a rough thing, but keep her in your prayers please and we´re going to do all on our side to help her realize just how ready she really is. 🙂
 
So I´ve been doing lots of studying and lots of praying and to be quite honest I´m starting to get really stressed about all that I haven´t accomplished yet. I feel like my expectations and more importantly the expectations my Heavenly Father has set for me are so much higher than what I feel I´ve gotten to… And yet I´m trying not to stress myself out and run faster than that which I have strength. So what? What am I supposed to do? How can I know what Heavenly Father sees in me for this time that I have left and how can I accomplish it? Some big questions that hopefully can have answers in the near future…
 
Happy Bday to Emily and to the U.S.A. (abbreviated in Spanish EEUU). We sang a solid Star Spangled Banner in our leadership meeting on Friday for our new President. 🙂 Uncle Sam would be proud 
 
-Hna Lethco