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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Email #1 (Mexico City)


August 28, 2013
MI FAMILIA!!!
Hola!!! Oh my goodness I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to read all of your emails. I may or may not have cried throughout all of them... but don´t worry, it´s a happy cry. Because I just love you guys so sooooooo much. I am so blessed to have you in my life.
Holy cow... where do I even start?
Well, mi compaƱera is Hermana Lui. She is Tongan. Also, she is one of the nicest, coolest, funniest people I´ve ever met. We get along really well, and laugh a lot... probably more than is allowed. She is so awesome and I am so grateful that she is my first compaƱera. Although I´m a little worried because she´s gonna be a hard one to beat for the rest of my companions on my mission. They´ve got big shoes to fill!
So I got here around 9:30ish at night last Tuesday. Then the next two days were busy, great, but really rough at the same time. I think the combination of being exhausted, overwhelmed and extremely homesick made for a very loooooong two first days. If we´re being completely honest, I definitely cried myself to sleep the two first nights. It´s all your fault for being the best family in the world and making me miss you so much! But after our first "investigator" lesson, things got way better. I think I felt a little bit of the "missionary mantle" that Dad always talks about. So after that, I remembered my purpose, and remembered why I came on a mission, and my attitude took a 180. I absolutely love it here. It feels so good to be able to focus on learning how to do such an important thing, bringing others unto Christ.
The Spanish is coming along pretty well. I know A LOT more than I did last week, which means I´m learning. But it is really difficult. I´m wishing I would have taken AP Spanish (haha) but I guess there´s nothing I can do about that now! Our lessons have to be in all Spanish! It´s so frustrating to have so much to say about this Gospel and not knowing how to say it. But that has gotten a lot better too, because I´ve realized that the language of the Spirit can touch hearts much more effectively than my broken Spanish can. Also, what I´ve discovered is that however much studying you put in, that´s how much your going to get out of it! So I´ve been trying to study as hard as I can. Sometimes my district gets distracted though... OH! My district! My district is so AWESOME! There are four of us hermanas and 8 elderes. We have a fun time together. All the elders are like brothers to me, and they´re so spiritual and fun.
What else... the food is okay. (haha) When I first got here I was like, uh... this is gross. I think they're trying to accomodate all the Americanos here so they make some really strange foods that have hot dogs sliced up in them sometimes. But I don't know if it's because I'm getting used to it, or because it´s actually getting better, but it really tastes good to me now! (haha) I haven´t gotten sick yet, luckily. There are quite a few people that have so I am lucky.
Speaking of being sick, I am so sorry to hear of the colds that have been going on in the Lattin fam! I´ll be praying for you to get better. What´s funny/cool is that the first day I felt myself getting a cold, and my throat started to hurt really bad. I was really worried about getting a bad cold. It made me cry when I read that you were praying specifically for my health because the next day it was completely gone and I felt great. Thank you so much for praying for me. The power of prayer is real!!
I think my favorite day so far has been Domingo (Sunday), for two reasons: 
1. We watched an MTC Devotional from Elder Holland. This is what really brought me out of my homesick "funk". He talked about the fact that a lot of people love us and pray for us, and also expect a lot from us. It´s our job to live up to those expectations. We cannot let the members, our families, the Apostles, the Prophet, ourselves and (most importantly) God down. 
Family, I will not let you down! I´m going to give everything I have to this work. 
2. We watched The Testaments, which is one of my absolute favorite church movies of all time! Hermana Lui and I were bawling like babies.
Today we went to the Mexico City Temple! It was BEAUTIFUL. The entire session was in Spanish and I tried my best to understand what was going on but I wasn´t very successful. But it´s really cool to see that the church is the same everywhere you go, no matter what language you speak!
Oh and Mom, this is the mailing address you should use:

Carr. Tenayuca-Chalmita No. 828,
Col. Zona Escolar, Deleg. G. A. Madero,

The address in my packet is actually the address of the temple, because the old CCM used to be by the temple.
 So I´m 99% sure that the one I just gave you is right.
But yeah, mail here is pretty unreliable. Emails will have to do for now:)
Anyways I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOO MUCH!!!! I hardly have any time left, but I promise next week's letter will be longer and better than this one. And I´ll send a few pictures!
I pray for you every night!
Yo se que la Iglesia es verdadera!
Love you all more than the delicious ice cream they sometimes have on special days here!!!

Hermana Lattin

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mexico Here I Come

August 20, 2013

After some mechanical problems in Denver and missing her connecting flight in Texas, Emma made it to Mexico Tuesday evening. Her email was short and sweet. She seems happy!

Hi Family!!
I´m emailing you from the Mexico MTC! I made it safe and sound.
It´s very beautiful here at the MTC! I´m very excited to start learning Spanish.
Well, they¨re not giving me much time, and theres another Elder waiting to email his family.
But I wanted to let you guys know that I´m here!
I love you all sooooo much! I can´t wait to email you on my P-day, whenever that is...
I miss you all already, but this is gonna be great! I can already tell.
Adios! Te amo!
Hermana Lattin

Ways to communicate with Emma:


Email:
emma.lattin@myldsmail.net

OR

DearElder.com: 
choose Mexico MTC as location and send it to Hermana Emma Lattin.  Type her a letter and click "send" and the MTC will print off a hard copy for her and it is delivered on Sundays. It is always nice to have an actual written letter!

Pouch Mailing Address: ( send letters)
Mexico MTC
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150
Address: (packages)
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal
Mexico


Saying Goodbye






Saturday, August 17, 2013

Just a little bit about me...

Back in October of 2012,  my best friend (and roommate) and I were sitting in our dorm room watching conference on her laptop. We had just woken up five minutes before (typical) and were drowsily watching President Thomas S. Monson address the world in the Saturday morning session. All of the sudden there was a glitch in the live feed, and we were left waiting for it to come back on for about two minutes. About halfway through those two minutes, we heard a series of screams in the hall. Concerned, we peaked outside our door and saw a majority of the girls in our hall jumping and screaming "We're going on missions!!!". Now extremely confused, we hurried back to the computer to see what we had missed. We went back a few minutes and watched. My heart raced in anticipation. Something big was coming, I could feel it. 
President Monson announced the age change from 19 to 18 for boys. Then it came:
"Today, I'm pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21." 
Michelle looked at me, her eyes wide and her mouth agape. My heart had stopped.
Of course you're going. With all of the other thoughts running through my mind, that was the one that stuck. The Holy Ghost basically shouted it at me (in a still, small voice, of course).
Even when the age was 21, I always wanted to serve a mission. For some reason, whenever I thought about it, I just knew it was right, I knew it was what Heavenly Father had in store for me. So when this monumental change was made, I didn't even hesitate. The Spirit immediately confirmed to me that it was what I needed to do. 
I'm not trying to sound cocky or self-righteous. Trust me, it's the exact opposite. I always knew I would serve a mission, not because I thought "Of course I'd be a great missionary" or "Heavenly Father needs me to serve a mission". It's because I thought "I need a mission". I need the people I'm going to meet, I need the experiences I'm going to have, I need the refiner's fire I'm going to enter. Christ could easily find people who are far more qualified than I am to represent him. He doesn't necessarily need me. But I most definitely need him. And because I know I'd be nothing without my Savior, I am obligated to share that knowledge with the world.
In the following months, I took a mission prep class at BYU and started my papers. I was blessed with two amazing best friends, Cecily (she was my roommate for summer term) and Michelle who also decided to serve and we were all in the same class, so that made the preparation even more exciting and fun. We went through our mission prep class and learned, studied, laughed and cried... a lot. Our class was amazing, thanks to Sister Ulrich. She was realistic about missions. She just told it like it was: Missions are hard, but worth it. 
In March, I submitted my papers to Salt Lake City. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Just kidding, I didn't even have to wait that long (two weeks), but it felt like an eternity. 
But guess what?? It came! And guess what else?? My family happened to be driving down to Provo to visit me for their Spring Break! I had my family and best friends there with me. What more did I need?
A call to serve. That's what I needed. And that's exactly what I got, a call to serve in the Arizona Gilbert Mission, Spanish speaking. I was to report July 10th. 
Now there's another long story that involves an ACL tear, then a re-tear, some surgery, and a 6 week delay on my report date, but that's not what's important now. What's important is that I am headed out to the Mexico MTC this Tuesday (August 21st), and after a little waiting I'm finally ready to start this new adventure! And with cousins in Texas, Chile, Peru, North Carolina, and California, and my two best friends in Idaho and Peru, I am beyond excited to join them out in the mission field. 
I love this Gospel and I know that it is true. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share it and and its joy with the world. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and he saw God the Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I know that by revelation, he was able to translate the Book of Mormon, another testament of Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that with the Bible, it holds the Gospel in its fulness. I know that this Church today is led by a prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He is called of God and is able to receive revelation for this Church from God. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. He makes up for everything I lack. I know that He atoned for my sins so that I can live forever someday with Him, Heavenly Father and my family. I know that families can be together forever, and I am so grateful that mine has been sealed for time and all eternity. Although leaving my family for 18 months will be the hardest thing I have ever done, I know it will be worth it, because I will be helping others be with their families forever. 
I know for the next year and a half, I will be exactly where God wants me, and I will be doing exactly what He wants me to do. 
This is my testimony, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.






My Family



For anyone reading that doesn't know my family, I'd love to introduce you. Meet The Lattins.

First up (oldest to youngest): Dad (Daddy/Papa). He likes BYU football, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and surfing. He dislikes clowns, reality TV (except Duck Dynasty) and yodeling.

Next, Mom (Mother Dear). She likes green smoothies, running, and singing (really beautifully I might add). She dislikes high fructose corn syrup, lazy kids and Spongebob (I know, right?! Who doesn't like Spongebob?).

Then there's me (Emma Dilemma). I like boys, chocolate, and sports (any and every sport). I dislike apple cider vinegar, scary movies and spiders.

Now Alex (aka Big Al/Alejandro). He likes being a dork, swimming and playing the ukelele. He dislikes being told he's wrong, eating fish and an empty fridge.

And here's Sammi (Sammi Sue). She likes cute clothes, the harp and steak. She dislikes rude people, early mornings and annoying brothers.

Then Nate (Nate the Great). He likes girls, lacrosse, and hair gel. He dislikes sore throats, being bad at things and broccoli.

Next up, Max (Maximillian). He likes Power Rangers, soda and his best friend Clara. He dislikes wolves, the dark and movies with kissing in them.

Finally, there is Olivia (Baby/Livs). She likes being outside, Spirit and ice cream. She dislikes being told "no", shoes and Alex.

And, believe it or not, my mom is pregnant! When I get back there will be a new little Lattin in the household:)

They're all crazy, but I love them to death!



Friday, August 16, 2013

My Friends and Cousins



#holleratourbods
I'm so blessed to have the two best friends in the world!
We're all serving missions:) Isn't that just great?
Sister Flora is serving in the Idaho Pocatello Mission.
Hermana Scott is serving in the Peru Lima East Mission.
I love them so stinkin' much and I cannot wait to be out serving with them!<3 p="">
I also have some really awesome cousins serving missions, who also happen to be a few of my best friends!
Elder Boettcher is serving in the Texas Fort Worth Mission.
Oh wow... #hawties. I love this chump!!

Hermana Lattin is serving in the Chile Concepcion Mission, and Sister Bassett is serving in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.
Hermana Lattin is in the middle and Sister Bassett is on the left.
#3musketeers4lyfe
Also,
Elder Lattin is serving in the Peru Chiclayo Mission.
The other Elder Lattin is serving in the Scotland/Ireland Mission.
Elder Bumgarner is serving in the California Ventura Mission.

I absolutely love my cousins and friends!!! Can't wait to be serving with them and to share in this beautiful mission experience with them.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

One Last Family Trip Before I Head Out



I leave next week, so we decided to take a quick family trip to...

It was amazing to get to spend time with these people I love so much.