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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