Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Email #22 (Gilbert, AZ)

January 20, 2014

Familia!!! Hola hola!!!
Thank you so much for the letter and the pictures!!! I have been showing Elle off to everyone:) haha
Also, Mom I didn't know there were so many miracles this past December! I am so grateful for our wonderful extended family and their ability to hear the whisperings of the spirit. Your experiences this past December are definitely a testament of how Heavenly Father is very aware of us and our needs, and he will do anything and everything to answer our prayers because he loves us more than we could ever know. 
I still cannot get over how HUGE Eliana is!! She really is the cutest.
I will be writing a letter today about our 3 (almost 4) new investigators this week! . Juanita, Jesus, Guadalupe, Gerardo and Karina. Thanks for keeping them in your prayers.

I have so much to tell you about the Gilbert Temple open house!!  We were just trained last Tuesday by Elder Walker, the member of the 70 who is in charge of all the temple openings. We got to go through it (all the sisters in our mission) with Elder Walker as our tour guide, and it is AMAZING!!! Seriously, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I am seriously considering getting married in the Gilbert temple... hahaha but that's not for a while so I won't worry about that. The fact of the matter is that this temple is incredible. I can't wait for you to see it--when I get back from my mission and take you all on a family trip to Gilbert. I know all temples are beautiful, but there is something about this one that is truly amazing. Especially the Celestial Room with the most beautiful chandelier I've ever seen. You can't help but just look up:) But anyways, the tours started this past Saturday. The sister missionaries have two jobs:
1. We quickly introduce the 12 minute video that everyone sees before they go through the temple.
2. We stand in the reception tent and help answer questions that people have and encourage them to fill out comment cards. It is really fun!! We worked this morning (hence the reason I am emailing so late) and I did a lot of tour intros in Spanish! It was a little scary, but really fun! It is amazing to see the amount of people who are coming from all over to see this temple. And I don't know how you can go in there and not feel the Spirit. We had the chance to go on Saturday with Concha, Rene and Naty. They LOVED it! They are amazing. I feel so blessed to be here, in this mission, with this beautiful temple and this life-changing open house. I really believe that it will change lives.
Pray for hearts to be softened and eyes to be opened during this special time:)

Here are the answers to your questions:
1. The Spanish is coming. It's difficult to think about Michelle, Shelby and Jake and the status of their Spanish, because they are immersed in it. Whenever I compare myself to them, I can't help but feel a little bit inadequate. But I try to remember that the only person who can determine whether or not I learn and become fluent in Spanish is ME. So, I have decided to give everything to learning Spanish and allow Heavenly Father to make up for what I lack in the language. I have moments where I feel my Spanish is really good, and other, very humbling moments, when I realize that I still have a LONG way to go. But I really do think I can do it. It's just going to take more effort and more faith on my part. It's funny because my comprehension is good. I understand a majority of what people say to me. Speaking is a lot harder. But I know with faith and a lot of work, it can get A LOT better.
2. Update on Patricia:
 We talked to Luis, her son this past Wednesday about the whole situation. He agrees with us that she should NOT get married. Luis actually has this plan to get married and then invite her to live with them so she can get out of that house and away from her "not-husband". Isn't that AWESOME! We felt so hopeful after talking to him, because before we weren't sure what we could do for her. Even though she really should not get married to him, she can't really leave because they work together. If she did leave, not only would she not have a job, but she wouldn't have a house either. So to have Luis tell us that he has a plan to help her get out of this situation gave us so much more hope. So, he needs to hurry up and get married! Haha just kidding, but there is hope for her, it might just take a bit longer for her to get baptized. We have been striving to help her understand the Atonement and how the pure love of Christ can heal her if she lets it. It's just hard with her being constantly surrounded by him and his influence. So, once she moves out and can be completely separated from him, then I think she will be able to let everything go and just allow the Atonement to heal her so she can be happy and live the Gospel!

3. Suggestions on encouraging timliness to seminary for Alex and Sammi:
 I feel like I don't have very much room to talk about being on time to seminary, because I was hardly ever on time. In all honesty, though, I really wish I would have made more of an effort to be on time. I probably would have gotten a lot more out of it and I genuinely regret not putting more of my heart into it. But that is an individual thing, something that you can't really force out of someone. In fact, I feel like when it is forced, it becomes even more of something we HAVE to do and not something we WANT to do. And with that, there is a big difference in what someone get's out of something they want to do and something they have to do... And I'm not sure if consequences really help with that:) But, they should know that being a missionary now, I look back and wish I would have had more of a desire to be on time and learn from seminary. Not that it was a bad experience, because it was great for me! But I do think I could have gotten a lot more out of it had I put more into it. And ultimately, they are the ones who decide what they get out of it. Does that help at all?!

Okay well, I LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH. I hope you know that. 
The scripture of the week is Helaman 5:12! Remember when you focus your life on Christ, and have Him as your foundation, Satan has no power over you and you cannot fall.
Que tengan una semana marvillosa, bonita y fantastica!!! 
Hermana Lattin

Emma and other sister missionaries serving at the Gilbert Temple Open House


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