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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

Email #6 (Mexico City)

September 30, 2013
I´m writing this on a Monday because I´m not sure when  my P-Day is out en el campo (the field)! I cannot believe I´m actually leaving tomorrow! Well, actually it´s almost tonight, because I leave at 2:00 in the morning from here. And then my flight from Mexico to Texas leaves at 6:15! Fiesta! I found out I can definitely call you when I am in the airport tomorrow! So from 7:45ish to 9:15, expect a call! I will be calling Mom´s cell so if you get a call from some random number please please PLEASE answer:)
It really is just so surreal to be leaving here. I have truly come to love this incredible place. It is amazing! I am sad to leave but SO excited to get out to Arizona and start doing the Work of Salvation!
Hermana Lui left early this morning. Boy was that a hard goodbye.... I am so grateful that I was blessed with such an amazing first companion. She is going to work incredible miracles in Chicago. #TONGANSROCK
I´m not sure if I have much else to say in this email. But, I do want to send pictures! So to make up for the lack of words, I´m going to send pictures. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!:) haha sorry that was cheesy. But I love you all SO SO SO SO much! This time tomorrow I´ll be back in the States! I am so excited to meet President and Sister Nattress.
I am so grateful that I have been able to spend the past six weeks here in el CCM en Mexico, with the best companion and the best district in the world. I have learned more about myself, this Gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ within these past weeks and I am very excited to continue growing and learning as a missionary. La Iglesia es verdadera!
Hermana Lattin

My legs with 57 mosquito bites... haha you can´t see them very well but trust me, there were 57. I counted.

 Elder Caldwell and I on our birthday!!! Elder Caldwell is also going to Gilbert! I love Elder Caldwell! He is awesome.

Hermana Lui and I with our branch president President and Hermana Jewell!

District 11B Hermanas! Hermana Stratford (tall with dark hair) is going to Ft. Collins, CO on her mission! And Hermana Frisbie is going to Chicago West with Hermana Lui!

 District Selfie! Hahaha ignore my double chin...

That little circle thing is where you are supposed to gather if there is an earthquake warning. A little scary but don´t worry we only had three times where we had to go to the green circles, and all three times, we didn´t feel anything! So don´t worry, Mom, we were safe and sound!

 Hermana Thomas and me! Hermana Thomas is my hero! I love her so so so much.

Our district con nuestras maestras, Hermana Valdez and Hermana Thomas. I love both of
them so much.

Hermana Lui and me just workin´the camera, the usual. I love that girl!

Elder Bacon and me! So glad I got to see Caleb while I was here! He seems to be doing awesome, love that kid!