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Monday, December 23, 2013

Email #18 (Gilbert, AZ)

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone from Gilbert, AZ! I just want you to know that I feel immensely blessed to be in the service of the Lord. The Gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives and to be part iof that miracle everyday is changing my life. 
Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: "As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness." I have found that when I lose myself and sincerely seek to help others, that is when I am the happiest I've ever been! May we always remember the wise words of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon: "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." I am so grateful I have this opportunity to serve others and the Lord and I know that He is watching over, blessing and protecting my wonderful family while I am serving him. 
Thank you for all the support, love and prayers!
-Hermana Lattin
Merry Christmas 2013 from Gilbert, AZ!

Love, Hermana Lattin and Hermana Chavarri

Monday, December 16, 2013

Email #17 (Gilbert, AZ)

December 16, 2013

Okay, so I first want to just say that I am so so so so grateful that you are all safe. I can't even tell you how scary it was to go a day without knowing whether or not Sammi and Alex were okay. I found out about the AHS shooting Friday night at our ward Christmas party. I was talking to a member and she asked me where I am from, and I told her Colorado. We talked about CO for a bit, and then she mentioned something about Columbine. The conversation was in Spanish so I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I eventually understood that she was saying that another school shooting had happened in Colorado and it had happened THAT day. I asked her if she knew what school, mostly out of curiousity, because I wasn't too concerned about it being Araphahoe. She said she didn't know, but she asked me what school I went to and I told her Arapahoe. Then she said (in Spanish) "Oh! That's the one! That's the school." What she had just said to me did not register in my brain. So I repeated "Arapahoe?" And she nodded vigorously and said it again. My heart dropped to my stomach and my body went numb. I couldn't believe what I just heard. The thing that kept running through my head was "Sammi and Alex. Are they okay? Are they safe?" She then continued to tell me the details about what she knew had happened. She just told me that the only person who was killed was the gunman himself, who shot himself. She said that two other students were hurt but not seriously (she must not have known about the other one who was seriously injured, which my mission president informed me of later). Despite her words of comfort, I still felt myself reeling. I didn't know what to do. Hermana Chavarri was really mad at the lady for telling me what had happened, and she didn't think it was a good idea to look up what happened. What I should have done was call President Nattress right then and there to see if he had any information. But, I was just in a state of shock for most of the night. I tried to be normal and happy, and I don't think anyone noticed that anything was wrong, so evidently I held it together okay. But when I got home, after my planning meeting with Hermana Chavarri, I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed and I just started sobbing. Everything was setting in and I couldn't believe that there had actually been a school shooting at Arapahoe, where two of my siblings still went to school. I didn't know what to do, so I kneeled down in the bathroom and just started praying. I don't even remember most of the things I prayed for, but I just prayed with my entire being that my family was safe. After that, a peaceful, calming feeling came over me, and I knew that everything was okay. The next day, I was calm and remained happy the entire day, and every time Satan tried to make me feel panicky and scared, I just said a prayer in my heart. I tried my best to not let fear get in the way of my faith. That night, President Nattress called and told me that you were all okay, and the biggest feeling of relief swept over me. He didn't tell me any details, besides that the gunman was an 18 year old boy who was trying to hurt his teacher and that he ended up killing himself, and three other students were injured, one with major injuries and two with minor injuries. I just want to tell you how grateful I am for you. I am so so so happy you are all safe and happy. I couldn't stop thanking Heavenly Father for keeping you safe in such a scary situation where anything could have happened.

I am grateful for the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father.
Love you all,
Hermana Lattin

Transfer calls came yesterday and Sis Chavarri and I are staying together!!!:) I'm excited to have another transfer with her. We've become really good friends and close companions so it will be fun, as long as I stay humble:) Haha okay, well I really do have to go now. Don't ever forget how much I love you!

fun pics at the barn where we live

we love the scriptures!

Email #16 (Gilbert, AZ)

December 9, 2013

So this week was pretty great! A lot of really fun things, like going to the temple and our zone conference, oh and Luis, Patricia's son, got home from his mission! He is so awesome and SO helpful in teaching Patricia. So helpful, in fact, that we actually commited her to the date of Dec. 21st for baptism!!! We were so excited!! Until... Luis dropped the bomb on us that she isn't married... we were distraught, because obviously, she cannot be baptized if she is living with a man. For some reason we just assumed she was married to her "esposo" because technically in Spanish that means "husband". Bad judgment on our part. I guess it's just part of Mexican culture to not regard marriage and its importance in the same way we do. Actually, if you look at the world today, there aren't a whole lot of people who still value marriage. It's so sad how much Satan distorts the Law of Chasity, marriage and family these days. The family is CENTRAL to Heavenly Father's plan for His children and that is why the Church places such a heavy emphasis on the Law of Chastity and striving to be sealed in the temple. But the good news is that Patricia REALLY wants to get baptized so I have faith that everything will work out according to the Lord's will:)
I cannot believe you have been praying for us this week to find new investigators, because that is definitely what happened this week!! Edith was definitely an answer to your prayers and our prayers. Edith is our new investigator and guess where she is from, Dad? PUERTO RICO!!! She is about the cutest old lady I've ever met. Her testimony of Jesus Christ is stellar and she is so cute. She has been praying about the Book of Mormon and the Church for a long time now and still hasn't felt she has received a definite answer from God. So we are just going to continue to teach her and help her feel of God's love for her until she receives her answer! She is SUPER hard to understand though... Dad how did you do it?? Puerto Ricans have crazy accents. It sounds way cool, but it makes it hard to understand what they're saying. It doesn't help that she talks really quiet:) haha but she is amazing! We love her. THANK YOU for praying!  That is so cool about the investigators you have been praying for in your home ward! I'm sure those missionaries are amazing. Tell them I say hi!:)

Rene, Concha and Naty (their daughter) are doing great! They are doing everything they can to be prepared for baptism on the 28th, so keep on praying for them for sure!

I hope your week has been great!  
It sounds like your concert at the retirement home was a hit!! I miss singing with you:( one of our favorite songs on the CDs is Breath of Heaven! We jam to your beautiful voice all the time!:) By the way I would love a copy of it with the DVD Luke II!
I love you all so so much! I can feel your prayers lifting me up and helping me to be happy and work hard.

I pray for you every night and the job situation. I sometimes wish I could be there so I could help with the craziness, but I have to keep telling myself I'm blessing you a lot more here than I would be if I were home. Keep me updated!
Hermana Lattin
Here is answer to your question:
1. We get to go to the Christmas lights at the Mesa Temple if we bring an investigator, and we brought the entire Garcia fam last sunday and it was AMAZING!! So beautiful. They loved it. We are hoping to take Patricia there in a few weeks so I'll take some pics for you.
P.S. We did get permission to go see Angel (Aunt Liz's mom)! I think we're doing that this week! I am very excited to see her. 

Okay bye loveeee you!

Entire Garcia Family at the Visitors Center

Hermana Lattin and Hermana Chavarri
My "awkwardness" still exists!

We love car naps! (jk...we don't really do that)


Email #15 (Gilbert, AZ)

December 2, 2013

 Helllooooo! It's so great to hear from everybody!!!
It sounds like your thanksgiving was FANTASTIC!! I do miss skiing... I console myself with the fact that even if I were home, I wouldn't be able to ski anyways because of my knee. But it is really strange being in the Christmas season and having it still be in the 70s (usually). But I'm so glad you got all the pictures on Thanksgiving!!
Our Thanksgiving was amazing! I was extremely grateful that President Nattress directed us to proselyte, because it is really a perfect time to share the Gospel with people in the holiday season! We made quite a few member visits and shared what we were grateful for. Doing this all day made me so grateful for our ward and each of the members. We truly have an amazing ward and amazing members down here.
But Hermana Chavarri and I almost died because we were SO FULL. We ate soooooo much food. We ate in the morning, around 11:00 with a family from an English ward, then later around 3:00 we ate again with a family that would go to our ward but they also go to an English ward because their son doesn't speak Spanish. Anyways, we ate with them and then went to several member's houses to share spiritual thoughts and every single one tried to feed us... we felt like we were going to explode! It was a great day though.
And then OH MY GOODNESS! Seeing Aunt Liz and Uncle John made my day! I was so surprised I just stood there and started crying... haha it was funny, but I was a little embarrassed. It was so so so great to see them and talk to them. Aunt Liz and Uncle Johnny thank you sooooo much for coming to see me! I love you both so much! But no, President Nattress has not called me yet about visiting Aunt Liz’s mom who possibly lives in our ward boundaries, but we have Zone Conference this week so I'll talk to him then. I would absolutely LOVE to go see Angel and help her get to the temple!!:)
Here are the answers to your questions Mom:)
1. Yes, Thank you so so soooo much for the CDs!!! We are loving them! It made me happy to hear your voice again, Mamita:) You are amazing! And then when I heard our Christmas CD we made for Dad like 10 years ago, I just couldn't stop smiling! I miss singing with the Von Lattin family singers:( Are you all singing anywhere this Christmas? Got any gigs?:) Oh and thank you for the wonderful felt tree:) hahaha I hung it up in the barn and I started decorating it yesterday! It is a beautiful addition to the Barn!! Thank you soooo much!
2. We don't have any new investigators yet. We're hoping to start teaching Myra and Edgar soon, but it's kind of hard because we're still trying to teach Concha and Rene. Hopefully soon though! But actually, they all live in the same house, except for Alejandra and Adriana and their families. It is a good-size house, but when you have 20+ people living there at the same time.... things get a little crazy:) If we want a quiet lesson, we usually have to teach them at the Church building.
3.Yep we have a kitchen in the barn! We make our own breakfast and lunch there every day.
4. Our splits/exchange with the Sister Training Leaders was AWESOME! Sister Anderson came with me in our area. She is amazing. She was so kind and encouraging the entire day, and that really helped me have the confidence to lead a day in our area! It was amazing because I was praying so hard to be able to understand and speak on my own, without the fluent help of Sis Chavarri, and of course, the Lord blessed me! I did it! I lead two lessons completely in Spanish. It boosted my confidence and helped me realize that when we put our total and complete trust in Heavenly Father, we can do anything! Alma 26:12:)
Okay, well I love you all so so much! Thank you so much for  fasting for me. I know that will really help me this week with my Spanish! I pray for you every day and every night. Have an amazing, fantastic week!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Lattin

Thanksgiving with the Hardt Family

Rene and Concha
Picture sent from the  Garcia Family
"We love you Lattin Fam and Santos Fam! Love your missionaries"

Surprise visit from Uncle John and Aunt Liz 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Email #14 (Gilbert, AZ)

November 25, 2013

Hola hola!!!
I first need to answer your question, Mom, to make sure I don't forget.
I am not exactly sure what our plans are for Thanksgiving... we have a lot of member visits planned to just go around and tell our members (and everyone else we see) what we're thankful for! I'm not positive who we have dinner with, but I'm pretty sure it's with the Baldwins, the family with the mom from Peru who makes AMAZING food every time we go over there. It will be a great day to share the Gospel!:)
Anyways, it sounds like everyone's week was pretty great!
Sounds like Max’s little concert was cute. It does surprise me a little that Max is a stage kid! haha maybe he'll be the first in our family to really get into theater.... hahaha I miss you all so much!
Oh and I feel soooooo bad that I haven't been getting Nate's emails! This entire time I just thought he wasn't emailing me! Have him make sure he has the right email: emma.lattin@myldsmail.net. Nate I love you tons!!! Don't ever forget it. If it doesn't work, have him email from a different account. Maybe the school email account isn’t working. I'd love to get his emails.
This week has been great! Not much to tell... just trying to work on my Spanish! I am realizing that there's a lot more to learning Spanish than just trying to sit in a lesson and understand what's going on. Even if you do have the Spirit, the Lord is requiring an active effort on my part to actually learn the language. I'm afraid there have been weeks where I've gotten slightly complacent about learning it, especially when I have a fluent companion. But I've been praying A LOT, and I now have this sudden flame of desire in my heart to really learn Spanish. I want so badly to be able to connect with my investigators, and understand them so I can better help them come unto Christ and feel his love. But, it is going to take time. I have to be patient, but pro-active about learning the language. I'm trying to find a way that I can best use my language study hour, because I feel like it could be MUCH more effective than it is right now. Part of the struggle with being stateside Spanish-speaking is the fact that I am not required to speak Spanish all the time, so I'm not completely immersed in it. But I can't let that stop me from learning it to the best of my ability so I can fulfill my calling as a Spanish-speaking missionary here in Gilbert, AZ. Pray for me!:)
Here are the answers to your questions:
1. Concha and Rene are great! They are still on date, and everything seems to be going well. We have a lesson with them tonight so hopefully we can effectively follow up and see how their progress is coming.
2. We don't have any new investigators yet, but I think we are going to start teaching Mrya and Edgar (another couple in the Garcia fam) and we just got a lot of great referrals that we will be contacting! I will let you know how they all work out. Thank you so much for your prayers for our investigators. I can see the blessings that come from having a loving and caring family, and how your prayers and love have blessed our investigators:)
3. My knee is doing fine! I haven't had any issues with it so far, and I'm trying to run every other day so I can strengthen it. Sometimes it gets kind of sore from biking or running, but it's a good sore that helps me know it's getting stronger every day! I actually have some muscle on my calves so that's good news:)
4. Um.... so far just the grey skirt you sent me works with riding a bike! But in all honesty, I haven't tried any of my other ones because I'm afraid of what will happen if they don't work... haha but I have this little clip thing (thanks to Sister Hair), that I hook onto my bike and then I clip the end of my skirt to it so it stays down better.
5. Here are some things I'm grateful for:

1. The light, hope and joy of the Gospel in my life!
2. My Savior, Jesus Christ and my loving Heavenly Father.
3. My amazing and truly wonderful family!!!
4. My calling as a missionary
5. My awesome investigators!
Those are just a few things I'm grateful for:)
Okay, I LOVE YOU ALL so so so so much. I pray for each of you every night! Have an amazing week and an amazing Thanksgiving up in the mountains!!
Con mucho MUCHO amor, Hermana Lattin

Friday, November 22, 2013

Email #13 (Gilbert, AZ)

November 18 2013

Hola familia!!!
Okay first of all I'd like to apologize for the past few weeks emails being sent at totally different times... Last week it was Veterans Day, so the library wasn't open, so we had to email from a member's house, and she couldn't do it until later. And then the week before we were told that our Zone was supposed to go do our emails at 2, not at 10, so that's what we did. But now, since transfers were this past week, our little Spanish district was moved to a different zone! So that's why I am emailing now instead of later. I am honestly not really sure when exactly our zone is supposed to email, so it might come at a different time next week, but we'll see:) And thank you for your emails today (from Mom, Sammi and Dad... Alex and Nate......... I'm still waiting:))
Mom! I loved hearing about the missionary fireside. It sounded like it was beautiful. I am not going to lie, I REALLY miss singing with my family. Sometimes when I hear songs that we always used to sing together (ex. A Child's Prayer), I get a little bit teary. But I'm sure all the songs were beautiful, and that a lot of people were touched by the spirit! I'm so glad you and Mary Dyer sang The Olive Tre, and I am honored that you used excerpts from my emails:)

 It was a great week! The best part about it was definitely MIGUEL'S BAPTISM!!! It was so beautiful. Something that is hysterical about the hispanic culture (and something that is very evident in our Spanish ward) is that nothing EVER starts on time. Not even sacrament meeting most of the time. I think our family would fit right in here:) But anyways, the baptism was supposed to start at 7:00, but of course it didn't start until 7:15ish, 7:20ish, because we were waiting for most of the Garcia family to get there haha, but once the baptism started, it was fantastic! Miguel looked so happy. It was so awesome too, because Jesus ( one of the Garcia daughters, Adriana's husband) was able to baptize him! It was so sweet. I just love Miguel and his humility, and his willingness to do anything and everything to follow Christ! A year from now he, Erika and their two kids, Jissel and Miguelito, will be able to be SEALED in the temple for time and all eternity:) and I'll be here for that! I love thinking about how the entire Garcia family is making steps to all be sealed in the temple, because that really is the goal. Baptism is the first step, and the goal is to get them to the temple! Speaking of the temple, did I already tell you that they are planning to dedicate the temple on March 1st, 2014??? We are so excited!!! We have this awesome temple video that we are starting to show to members and we are encouraging them to invite their friends over so we can show it to them and invite them to the open house. The presentation is essentially a compilation of a few different temple videos, and they are so powerful and bring the spirit of the temple every time we watch them. We are hoping this helps both the members and their friends to be excited about the Open House!!! And we as sister missionaries get to participate in the open house. We get to do the tours! I will be doing them in Spanish. am so excited.
The next thing I want to tell you about is Rene and Concha. You're not going to believe it, but just last night we got them on date for baptism for the 28th of December! A little preface to that- Rene earlier yesterday was driving home from somewhere and past by the scene of where his cousin had gotten in a serious car accident two months ago and passed away. He stopped on the side of the road and prayed to be able to find something of hers. They had looked around the area before and had never found anything. So he prayed and got out of the car. Something (the Holy Ghost) told him to hop over the barbed wire fence. He did and was guided directly to a bush. There he found a cell phone, lying face down on the ground. He picked it up, not knowing if it would work or not, but he plugged it into the phone charger in his car, and it turned on. Sure enough, it was her cell phone with all of her pictures and videos still on it. He said that through this experience he knew that she was there, watching out for him. Hermana Chavarri and I were able to bear our testimonies on the power of his experience, and I was able to help him know that because of the plan of Salvation, he would see her again. And because of the Plan of Salvation, he can accept the Gospel, and make sure her work is done in the temple someday. He said that this was a sign to him that he was on the right path. HOW AWESOME IS THAT??? So after that, we presented the date of December 28th and they were both a little skeptical, but we told them that it is a goal date, and if they do everything they can to prepare to be baptized on that date, Heavenly Father will provide a way for it to happen on that day, or he will guide and direct us to another date. Then they both said they were willing to do everything they possibly can to be baptized! It was amazing. I love them so much.
So those were the highlights of my week! I love the fact that I am able to witness the love and mercy God has for all of his children. He has a plan for each of us and is willing and waiting to help us reach our divine potential if we are willing to do our part. We must always strive to see ourselves as Heavenly Father sees us, His children, with divine potential and purpose. This is what I'm out here to do, to help His children discover God's plan for them through coming to know and understand the restored Gospel. How great is my calling!:)
Our investigators' names: Rene, Concha, Naty (their daughter), Patricia, Rigo and Connie. Thank you so much for praying for them!!!
Okay, I hardly have any time left, but I love you all so much! I promise to send pictures next monday and I am sending another letter this week, so be expecting that:) Thank you for your prayers and for your love. I pray for you every single night! YOU ARE THE BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD!
Con mucho MUCHO amor,
Hermana Lattin
Miquel's Baptism

Monday, November 11, 2013

Email #12 (Gilbert, AZ)

November 11, 2013
Familia familia!!! 
It was so great to hear from you all this week:) I love reading your emails and knowing what's going on in good ol' CO. I love you guys so much!
This past week was fantastic! So many things happened that I might have to number them so I make sure I get everything in...
1. It started out a little bit crazy... we moved! We are still in the same ward. We are now living in a barn behind a member's house. It's actually pretty nice! We aren't living with Hermanas Baria and Bukoskie though which is sad. But we are living with Sisters Marz and Hair... and they are pretty hysterical. So it's a party.
22510 S. 173 Way
Gilbert, AZ 85298
Our other house was being remodeled so they moved all of us out, and then they decided they only wanted one companionship living in the house on Cloud. So now we're in the barn!
2. You are going to be so SO proud of me. I am amazed with myself. I ATE RAW FISH. I'm not even kidding you. There is a family in our ward, the Baldwins, and Hermana Baldwin is Peruvian. She made a dish called Ceviche. I'm sure Michelle has had it. I saw it and looked at Hermana Chavarri with terror in my eyes. As a missionary, there is this unwritten rule that you always eat the food that is prepared for you, ALWAYS. Especially in Latin culture, it is extremely rude to not eat the food that is given to you. So I sucked it up and ate it. And I LIKED IT. I know. I am still in shock. 
3. I ran this morning for the first time in 5 months!!!! I ran 2 miles. Hermano Sempkin in our ward is a physical therapist and he gave me a routine to help me work up to running, and today was the first day he said I could run! It felt so good!
4. Miguel is still getting baptized this Saturday, Nov. 16. We are so SO excited for him. He is so humble and so willing to change in order to better follow Christ. There was a very tender moment the other night during our lesson when Erika (Miguel's husband) was talking about how amazing it is that her husband is being baptized and the change that she has seen in him. Her sister, Alejandra (who joined the Church about a year ago, she was the first of all of the Garcias to get baptized), was also there and her husband is getting baptized this month as well. So, she bore her testimony as well and they both were crying, and then they embraced and it was so CUTE! This Gospel changes lives and it changes families! It is so beautiful. What an amazing day it will be when the entire Garcia family gets sealed in the temple!! 
5. Also about the Garcia family (of course)...we were teaching Miguel last night and Francisco Sr. sat in on our lesson. Francisco is very quiet, and doesn't express emotion very often, but he has a testimony tan fuerte del Evangelio. I would have never thought I'd see the day when he cried. But yesterday, during our lessons, he was bearing his testimony on the change that he's seen in his life and his family since they've been baptized, and he started crying! It was so SO powerful to see such emotion come from this quiet, old man. AH. The love I feel for the entire Garcia family is a love stronger than I've ever felt in my life (besides the love I feel for my own family). It amazes me that I've only known these people for barely two months (sometimes don't even know what they're saying), but I love them so much! This is what the pure love of Christ does, it allows us to love our fellow man, putting aside all worldly things, all stereotypes, language barriers, etc., and it allows us to just LOVE. Charity never faileth! By the way Mom, thank you for sending me that talk! It is amazing.
 I got your letters in the mail:) Thank you so much for your love and encouragement. I have the BEST parents in the world!

Okay, now for your questions Mami.
1. I have not met Elder Lee, but I'll look for him  at transfer meeting this week! By the way, We're not getting transferred:)
2. Yes I did use the cayenne pepper drops when I was sick and they really helped! Thank goodness for the drops.

Okay well I have hardly any time left but I love you all so much! I'm writing a letter to all of you so expect one soon!
Have a fantastic FANTASTIC week! 
Les quiero MUCHISIMO!!!
Hermana Lattin

Monday, November 4, 2013

Email #11 (Queen Creek, AZ)

November 4, 2013
Hola hola, familia!!
I just want to start out and say: MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS FOR THE BELATED BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!!! Oh my goodness all I really wanted was a photo album and I got that AND so much more!!!! It made me so so so so so happy! I LOVE the pictures that are in the photo album... Sister Chavarri especially loves the last one of Alex and Nate. Everytime she looks at it she just starts cracking up. I'm just like "I told you they are weirdos!". Hahahaha but seriously the photo album is PERFECT. The perfume smells amazing, the little spanish help book is awesome and the skirt and dress are adorable!!! I wore the dress yesterday, (I looked pretty cute if I do say so myself:) Haha just kidding…but really the dress is so cute. And I am really excited for the gray skirt because it will be absolutely perfect for biking! AH! I just love everything! Not to mention the delicious pumpkin bread, caramel apples and all the candy. Seriously, you guys are the BEST. I love you so so so so so sssoooooo much!
Okay so my week was really great! A lot of ups and downs but it ended up being a good week. I got a little bit sick, just a little cold (don't worry Mom:)). I had a few days where I was just EXHAUSTED, the most exhausted I've ever been in my life (which is saying a lot, because there were days during high school with early morning seminary that I thought I was going to die of exhaustion... haha). And the combination of being sick and tired do not make for the easiest time of understanding/speaking Spanish. A lot of days I just wanted to fall down and take a nap. But being a missionary, you don't have a whole lot of time to just take a nap... so that's pretty rough. But the good news is that I always fall asleep really fast because I'm so tired. The other better news is that it is SO WORTH IT. On days where I'm super tired, Heavenly Father likes to remind me why I'm here!:) He puts people in our path that make me realize that I would take any day of being overly tired as long as I can see the Gospel change someone’s life, or be inspired by someone's testimony. That's the beauty of being a missionary, a lot of times the toughest days end up being the best days:)
A huge reason why my week was great was because of our amazing investigators (4 of which are from the Garcia family... are you surprised?:)) Rene and Concha are doing great. We haven't had a chance yet to talk to them about their little issue (they are living together and both married to someone else…both of which need to be resolved before they can be baptized), but we're hoping to have Obispo there and his wife to help us out. I'm not too worried though, because they are very humble and have such open hearts. They both want to do what the Lord wants them to do. I think they will want to take care of it quickly so they can be married and get baptized! I love them a lot.
Our other investigator, Miguel, who is Erika's husband (another one of Teresa's daughters) is SO AWESOME. He is so ready to accept the Gospel. On our first lesson with him, it was about the Restoration, I had the amazing oportunidad to invite him to be baptized. I just had this burning in my heart to do it, and I knew that it was the Spirit prompting me to do it. So I did (in Spanish!) and he accepted without any hesitation. Then it was amazing because the next lesson we had with him we extended him a baptismal date, November 16th and he just goes, "Well, yes! Except, my birthday is on the 12th, so maybe we could do it then!". Ahhhhh I could not stop smiling! He is so awesome.
With these amazing investigators, I really have been able to see how the Lord prepares people to hear and accept the Gospel. He prepares their hearts to be able to feel the Spirit and he prepares their minds to remember the eternal truths they already know. Then when we come to help them remember who they are, why they are here on this earth and what they need to do to get back to Heavenly Father, they are ready to follow the example of Christ and be baptized, and eventually make sacred covenants in the temple. It is also really a blessing in my life to learn from the testimonies and faith of our investigators every day. Being a missionary is the best.
Scripture of the week: 2 Nephi 31:20. It's a real good one:)
Anyways, I love you all TONS and TONS! Hope your week has been great and I hope this coming week is even better! Always remember who you are: a child of God!:)
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Lattin

We had a little too much fun on Halloween night with moustaches!

Hermana Lattin and Hermana Baria

Hermana Bukoskie , Hermana Baria, and Herman Chavarri

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Email #10 (Queen Creek, AZ)

October 28, 2013
Hola hola!!!! Happy Halloween Week!
Sounds like you had a great, eventful week!! I'm sure your Harp Fantasia Concert was fantastic, Sammi! And Nate way to go in your football game! That is awesome you made a touchdown! Oh and Alex I'm so proud of you for accepting the challenge of a dance off! We're definitely related:) And Max, I'm glad you liked my joke about your girlfriends! Haha and Olivia... WHY ARE YOU SO DARN CUTE??? Ahhhh that picture of her in her lion costume made me die.
Anyways, Mom I'm so glad my advice helped you! Your story of your lesson made me so so happy, especially the part about Danielle coming to church! That is amazing!!! Charity never faileth!
I'm going to try and send some pictures today, so my email won't be very long.
But, I did want to tell you about our lesson with Rene and Concha. Probably one of the most beautiful, spiritual lessons I've had since I've been out on my mission. We were talking about the Spirit world and Spirit Paradise and Spirit Prison and I could tell Rene was a little bit concerned, because his eyes were tearing up a little bit. So I asked him what was wrong and he told us that his sister had died a few years earlier and she was an AMAZING person. He didn't believe that someone like her, even though she didn't have the gospel in her life, would be subject to "Spirit Prison". Sis. Chavarri and Sister Munoz (la esposa del obispo en nuestro barrio) were explaining to him temple work and baptisms for the dead, and he just didn't seem satisfied with those answers. He couldn't believe that someone as amazing as her would be suffering in Heaven. I had this thought come into my mind, and a burning in my heart that I needed to share it with him. Luckily for me, he understands English, because I didn't know how to explain what I wanted to say in Spanish. I told him that I didn't think that Spirit Prison was a literal "prison". I told him that being in spiritual prison was more of a state of mind, because people who had done bad things on this earth and this life and had not repented of them would be subject to constantly thinking on those sins and those things that they had done wrong. But, if his sister is as amazing as he says she is, I told him that I was sure that she had already accepted the message of the gospel, and received the joy that comes from coming to the knowledge of the truth. Now she is watching him from heaven and rejoicing in his own journey in receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ for himself. I then explained to him that she is waiting for him to take the steps to follow Christ and be baptized, and then he can go to the temple and make sure that her work gets done as well. He smiled with tear-filled eyes as I told him that this Gospel is one of hope, and his sister had hope through him, and that she was not suffering, but rejoicing and waiting with anticipation and excitement for him to continue on this path in coming unto Christ. The Spirit was strong. At the end of the lesson, Sis. Chavarri bore a beautiful testimony on the Plan of Salvation. She related God sending us here on earth to her mom sending her out on her mission. It was AWESOME.
Rene and Concha came to church yesterday and stayed all three hours! They are progressing and learning a lot, and they seem very happy and excited about it!:)
Oh and to answer your questions Mami,
1. What am I grateful for? My amazing family, Hermana Chavarri, la Familia Garcia, and the gift of tongues, and the beautiful, and wonderful message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ!
2. Do you get to tract and teach on Halloween night?
No, we have to be back in our casa by 5:00... Party night! And by party I mean study night!!!:) hahaha
3. Are your other two roommates Spanish speaking as well? Yes our other two roommates are also Spanish sisters, Hermana Baria was Hermana Chavarri's trainer, and Hermana Bukoskie was the one who came from the CCM in Mexico the same day as me:) They serve in a different Spanish ward. We all have a great time together! It's awesome.
4. Do you have any Spanish speaking Elders in your ward? There's a trio of Elders (Elders Macfarlane, Lillywhite and Caldwell-the same Elder Caldwell that was in my district!) and then us hermanas.
5. Do your roommates like pumpkin bread?
YES. That's a definite "Pos, si!!!" (That's actually how you spell it, just found that out this past week:))
Here come some pictures!
Hermana Lattin

Francisco Garcia's baptism

Garcia Familia

Temple Trip! The Mesa Temple is BEAUTIFUL!

AZ (almost) sunset...it wasn't quite setting yet, but we were biking and we didn't have enough time to wait. I'll get a better one soon!

Instagram costume! haha Hermana Chavarri and I dressed up as twins..I think we scared him a little bit:)

Frodo Baggins:) This kid is awesome! His name is Carlitos.
Don't mind the fact that I look insane in both of those pics...I was just really excited (haha)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Email #9 (Queen Creek, AZ)

October 21, 2013
Familia familia!
Hola! Sounds like you had a busy busy week! I showed that picture you sent me of Olivia to Sis. Chavarri and she just about died:) haha why is she so CUTE??? ahhhh I miss my little Olivia. I miss all of you so much as well, but you should know that I am so happy. This mission is the best thing ever. And I'm gonna quote Shelby when I say: "This mission is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I'm the happiest I've ever been!" It's so weird how that works, but I know that it's because every day that I give to the Lord, as I am learning how to submit my heart, my mind and my will to Him, he is slowly molding me into the person that He wants me to be, which is someone much better than I could ever make of myself. And as I am learning how to be more Christ-like, and as I share the joy of the Gospel with others, I am feeling more joy than I could have ever imagined! Spanish is hard, and talking to people is really difficult, but every good moment I've had overpowers all the moments of discouragement by ten fold! It is amazing.
Anyways, Francisco's baptism! Oh my goodness it was so powerful! The spirit was overwhelming. Oh and it was so great to see the Perkins (Dad’s cousin and his wife)! As if my day wasn't great enough,  they showed up and said hi to me! It made me so happy to see them. I'm going to be honest, I didn't recognize them at first, but then once they said their name I was like, "Oh of course!" They are awesome. Let them know they can come see me anytime they want when I have a baptism (which is a lot hopefully:)) Haha but the baptism was amazing. I don't have enough time to tell you the whole story of the Garcia family, but I started telling Alex about it in his letter this week, so he can share the story in its entirety with everyone. I LOVE LA FAMILIA GARCIA!!!
We had another amazing experience with them, actually just yesterday! So every month the Mission President has a Recent Convert Fireside. I haven't been to one yet, but I've heard their amazing. We were supposed to go yesterday, but Francisco and Teresa Garcia couldn't go with us anymore because their daughter had here baby! Yayyy! We were a little bit sad about not being able to go to the fireside, because in order to go you have to bring an investigator or a recent convert. But instead we decided to go over to the Garcia's house and see how they were doing. When we got there, only Concha (another one of their daughters) and her boyfriend were there. Concha is one of the daughters that isn't a member yet. They offered us some food (of course! they always try to feed us when we go over there), and we talked to them about the Church and missions. Eventually, the rest of the fam came home from the hospital and we shared a spiritual thought with them and ate with them. Then Rene sat down and started asking us about the Church and asked questions about what we do as missionaries. Then he goes,"So what do you guys teach? Give me an example of what you teach." So, that's exactly what we did. We gave him the first lesson in Preach My Gospel and then he started asking us questions about the Book of Mormon and how we know its true and then he shared an experience where Heavenly Father answered his prayer and it was the coolest thing I've ever experienced. Oh, this was all in English by the way, so I was loving it haha. But the Spirit was so so strong. Hna. Chavarri and I could not stop smiling when we left! We are teaching him and Concha tonight again, so pray for us! Especially for me, since we will be teaching them in Spanish:)
But this showed me that Heavenly Father has everything planned out. If we had gone to the fireside, we would not have been able to teach Rene! It is amazing to me how much he watches out for us and that he loves us enough to give us what we need, and not necesarily what we want.
Okay Mamita here are the answers to your questions:\
1. YES I LOVE THE SHOES!!! They fit perfect and are sooooo comfortable and cute. They are my favorite pair that I own. Thank you!
2. Yes I have enough blankets for now. I sleep really well at night and I am neither too hot nor too cold:)
3. BRADEN NASH!!! That's crazy that he is serving in Uncle John and Aunt Liz’s ward! Tell them to tell him I say hi:) (Michelle and I went to his mission call opening)

In response to the question for your laurel class: The Gospel is for everyone. It isn't just for the people who have it right now. God is our Heavenly Father and that means we are all His children, and because we are his children, he loves and knows each of us more than we could ever imagine. It is our commision as members of the Church to help others understand this amazing relationship we have with God. To deprive others of it just because of how they act or the choices they make by not sharing that love with them is very prideful. Because we know the joy that comes from knowing that Heavenly Father loves us, and that we are his children, it is our job to help others feel it too.  All anyone needs is love, not judgment. Everyone needs to know the love that Heavenly Father has for each of them. And part of helping people feel that love is sharing it ourselves. Read Moroni 7:) I'm not trying to chastise but rather trying to help the understanding of the importance of loving others, no matter the circumstance. I know it's hard, but what Heavenly Father asks us to do isn't always easy, but it is what will bring us the most happiness and joy in our own lives. I hope that helps:)

Anyways I love you all so so much! Thank you for all that you do and all of your prayers. You are my inspiration everyday to try harder and work harder.
I love you more than all the delicious food that we eat at dinner (which is a lot):)
Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Lattin

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Email #8 (Queen Creek, AZ)

October 14, 2013
Hola! How is everyone this fine Monday? Thank you so much for all the emails and pictures! I am going to try and respond to all of you, but if I don't, please don't hate me!
I love hearing from all of you, though! It sounds like life is going good in the Lattin home! You are all amazing and my inspiration. Speaking of family-- funny story! We were giving this family (the Carrillos) of recent converts a lesson on how to do noche de hogar (FHE) and why it's important. I shared the scripture Mosiah 18:21 and started talking about how grateful I was for my family and that when we had family home evening in our home, our hearts were better knit together in unity. When I started talking about you, I got a little teary, and it came out of nowhere! I tried to pretend like I was fine and powered through without crying. I thought they hadn't noticed but then Adriana (the mom) mentioned it after our lesson and I was a little embarrassed. But it happened just because I love you all so much! Thank you for teaching me the principles of the Gospel and helping me learn and grow in this Church! I am so blessed!
Anyways, a cool thing that's happening this week is that Francisco, one of our investigators, is getting BAPTIZED this Saturday!!!! He is so awesome. His wife, Teresa, and several of his kids have joined the Church in the past few months. Their entire family is just amazing. Actually, Adriana, the lady I was talking about earlier is their daughter. We go over to Teresa and Francisco's house basically every day to teach him, and they are both amazing. Hna. Chavarri and her old companion Hna. Baria were already teaching them before I got here, and Francisco already had a baptismal date, but we have been teaching him the past two weeks and his testimony just continues to get stronger and stronger! Teresa, his wife, is one of the sweetest, cutest people I have ever met. She has a firm testimony and is so loving and kind, and cares so much about her husband and children. I love her! Their entire family is always over at their house, so I've met all of their kids, and many of them are members. They are all so nice to me, even though I'm just a gringo trying to learn Spanish:) They call me "Posi" (I'm not sure if that's how you spell it... but that's what it sounds like!), which is an abbreviation of "pues si" which means "well, yes". They're yougest son, Francisco Jr. (who is 17 and just got baptized last month, he's hysterical, he reminds me of Jake Boettcher), always says that around the house as a joke. They were all saying it one day and then they told me to say it... so I did and they all laughed hysterically. I'm not sure if it was at me or with me... hahaha but for some reason they thought it was pretty funny. (Don't worry, I've already made sure that that's what it means. Hopefully Hna. Chavarri isn't lying to me.) So, now that's what they call me, "Posi". I love that family:) It's amazing that even though I've only been out here for two weeks, I already have a great love for the people.
Another thing I want to quickly tell you about is that yesterday I bore my testimony in our Spanish ward during sacrament meeting! It was probably the scariest thing EVER, but it was an amazing experience. The thought hadn't even crossed my mind to bear my testimony, but then the meeting started and the Spirit made my heart pound and my hands got sweaty and I knew I had to get up there. Hermana Chavarri bore a beautiful testimony with her flawless Spanish. She is so awesome. I love her! And then she sat down and said "you're turn!" I think she was a little surprised when I told her I actually really wanted to go up. And then after I told her I wanted to do it, there was no turning back:) haha but it was amazing because I was praying so hard that I would be able to do it, and I knew I couldn't do it alone, so I just told Heavenly Father that I was going to rely completely on Him. I got up there and I was shaking I was so nervous, but as soon as I started talking, it all came out so easily. It was just like Francisco's lesson. It was very simple, but I did it! It was an amazing experience. It just goes to show that Heavenly Father answers our prayers!
Okay Mother dear, here are the answers to your questions:)
1. We are living in our own house with another companionship! It's owned by a member but we have it to ourselves. It's fun!
2. Yes, the ward feeds us every night! I've had some AMAZING Mexican food. I love it! The members are sooooo nice and so willing to feed us and help us out whenever we need!
3.We have a mission card for groceries and stuff!
4. We have both a car and bikes. But because our bike rack doesn't really work, we've been mostly driving. I have a funny story to tell you about that but I don't have time to tell it so I'll write a letter to you guys this week and tell you:) it's hysterical!
I love you all so so so so so so soooooooo much!
All of you should write me letters because getting mail is the best thing ever:) Haha plus, I don't have to wait until P-day to read it!
Have an amazing week and I'll talk to you next Monday!
I love you more than all the cute babies I saw on Sunday at church!:)
Hermana Lattin

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Email #7 (Queen Creek, AZ)

October 7, 2013
It sounds like your week has been awesome! The part about Nate recieving the Aaronic Priesthood and you all going to do temple baptisms made me sooooo happy! I teared up a little bit. I can't believe my little Nater is already 12.... CRAZY. How does it feel to be 12, Nate? It was so great to talk to you, Mom, Dad, Nate and Max. Mom, thanks for building me up and making me feel so much happier and excited to be here! Your words comforted me more than you'll ever know! I couldn't stop smiling afterwards! I love my family so much and I cannot wait to talk to you at Christmas!!!
Oh and wasn't General Conference AWESOME??? We are so blessed to have modern day prophets to help us stay on the path back to our Heavenly Father!
This past week has been amazing! Really crazy and different, but amazing. I have seen the Lord's hand in my life with every experience I have had so far. He is really watching out for me.
First of all, you are not going to believe it. Remember how I stalked that one girl Maria Chavarri on facebook after she friend requested me because we were going to the same mission? And I read her blog and even emailed her once to get tips on what to bring to AZ? Yeah, well guess what? She's my companion! Hahahaha it was the funniest thing ever because I told her that and she remembered that I had emailed her. Anyways, she is the answer to our prayers. She was born in Ecuador and then moved to the US when she was 12, so she is FLUENT in both SPANISH and ENGLISH! I think it is amazing that Heavenly Father gave me exactly what we prayed for. She is such a blessing to me. She is so patient with me and my Spanish, and she helps me whenever I need help saying something. She also makes me talk in Spanish a lot so that is really good. She is such a good missionary. She is extremely good at listening to the Spirit and always seems to know exactly what she's doing. She also has a firm testimony of this Gospel and a tight grasp on her purpose as a missionary! We also have a lot of fun together... she accepts my awkwardness and we have a great time.
So the first day here was crazy. So many hysterical things happened. First, in the morning we tried to get our bikes on our new bike rack... we struggled hard core. Then, when we finally did, we drove for about five minutes and they popped off of the rack. Luckily we had them fastened to the rack with our bike locks, but they were hanging precariously low to the ground. Then, when we got out to check them, we brought the phone out to ask the District leaders what we should do. Once we decided to go back home, we accidentally left the phone on the back of the car and drove away... luckily the phone was okay but that was quite a scare. Then throughout the day we taught three lessons, all in Spanish. We are in a Spanish ward, so another answer to our prayers, I will be speaking and teaching in Spanish ALOT for the next few transfers (hopefully). Anyways, during the lessons, I had no idea what was going on. I could pick out a few words of Spanish, but not to the point where I could piece it together into coherent thoughts. It got to a point where I could either cry or laugh. So at the end of every lesson, I would just come out laughing and Hna Chavarri would just laugh with me and make me feel better about myself by telling me that what I said in Spanish was really great. It was pretty funny. Later that day we went to get a car wash and I gave it a 20 dollar bill and it gave me 13 dollars worth of quarters... haha and then we were in the carwash and realized we didn't have the rearview mirrors folded in. So we unrolled the windows while the carwash was going and folded them in.... we had soap all over us! It was pretty funny.
But another experience from this past weekend was when we were giving a lesson about Joseph Smith to one of our investigators, Francisco Garcia. His wife Teresa (who is amazing) and his son Francisco Jr. were baptized about a month ago, and he has a baptismal date set for the 19th of this month! He is awesome. Anyways, we were giving a lesson to make sure he understood that Joseph Smith was (and is) a true prophet. And guess what? I understood every thing everyone said! Even Francisco, who mumbles a lot! When it came time for me to bear my testimony, I stumbled at first, but then, the words just started rolling off my tongue. I WAS TESTIFYING IN SPANISH!!! The gift of tongues is real. I testify to the power of the gifts of the Spirit, and even though my testimony was simple, Heavenly Father gave me the words to speak, He gave me the words that Francisco needed to hear. It was amazing. I still have a looooong way to go with Spanish, but I know that the Lord is going to help me out with what I need in order to accomplish His work out here in Gilbert AZ.
Oh and here is my address!!
Hermana Emma Lattin
19324 E. Cloud Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ 85142
Anyways, I am almost out of time, but I love you all so so so so soooooo much! Thank you for your prayers that have lifted me up and kept me positive and comforted me. Thank you for inspiring me to do and be my best everyday. I love being a missionary!
La Iglesia es verdadera!
Les quiero MUCHISIMO!
Hermana Lattin

Coming to America

Letter from the Mission Home
October 1, 2013 Dear Parents,

Your wonderful missionary arrived here in Gilbert Arizona on Tuesday morning – and we love them already!  We even received 3 missionaries headed to Rio de Janeiro Brazil, who are waiting for their VISAS to clear.  We are so happy they will be part of our mission, even for a short time.

They all arrived excited and a bit nervous and tired.  Their day began early morning at the MTC and the airport, so they had an early start and were worn out by afternoon for sure.  Six of our missionaries actually came from the Mexico MTC where they had been learning Spanish for the past 6 weeks!  Once they all arrived, they were able to meet  individually with President Nattress; while the office staff fed them, trained them, loved them and introduced them to their bicycles.  They were housed in a host member’s home on Tuesday evening;  then on Wednesday they received more training, met their new companions, and headed to their assigned areas.

We have attached a photo of their smiling faces taken just after they arrived on Tuesday morning.  They should be able to email you Monday, on Preparation Day, with their mailing address.

We are happy to have each one of them, and we will do all we can to support and encourage them while they are here.  Thank you for sharing your missionary with us.  Contact us anytime if you have any questions.

We are happy to announce the mission blog:  www.arizonagilbertmission.blogspot.com, where you can see more photos of your missionary.  It is a “work in progress.” 

Meeting President and Sister Nattress

President and Sister Nattress are from Payette, ID and are friends with 
Grammy and Grampy Boettcher