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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Email #30 (Queen Creek, AZ)

March 17, 2014

Hola hola familia!!!!
I guess I forgot to tell you last week that this week is transfers! But not to worry, our whole district is staying the same!:) Hermana B and I are moving though (closer to our area). But HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY! Don't worry, I'm wearing green!:)
So this week was an interesting one to say the least. It ended really well so that's good, but it definitely started out rough. I'll have to send you a letter about it, though. Just know that despite the fact that I am very happy to have another transfer here in the ward with Hermana B, I am also a little bit nervous for it because of what happened. It's not a huge deal, just another breakdown she had. I am just worried about my inadequacies in helping her with her emotional issues, because I love her a lot and I want her to be happy, but I'm not sure how much I actually helped her when we were in the midst of the issue. I know one thing for sure though, that Heavenly Father gave me Hermana B in my life because He knew I needed to learn how to be more loving, patient and humble. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve with her, because even though I have been stretched in ways that I didn't think were possible while being with her, I know that I have grown closer to my Savior Jesus Christ more than ever. Plus, I have a new friend. So that's a bonus!
Anyways, other than that little issue we had, this week was great! One person I would love to add to your prayer list is Jose Hernandez. He is an investigator from a part member family (he is the only one who isn't a member). He is the dad, and he really is awesome. He has even said multiple times that he sees himself as a member eventually. But he also says that he doesn't want to be forced into it, he wants to get baptized when he feels its right, and when he knows it's 100% true. He's been saying that for 12 years:) Haha but un milagro happened with him last night. Our lesson with him started out the same as usual, we were talking about Helaman 5:12, because that was what his two kids, Edith (15) and Alonso (13) had learned about in Sunday School that day. We were talking about building your life upon Christ and how with him, Satan has no chance in bringing you down because He is your foundation. We were about to wrap up the thought when Hermana B invited Jose to pray to be able to have a life more centered and focused on Christ. From that, in his response, he somehow ended up talking about how he wasn't sure if he could pray to know if it's true or to know if he needs to get baptized because he doesn't feel ready. He kept on talking about this "lucha" that he was having within himself and the fact that he didn't know why, but he was rebelling against wanting to know the truth. As we were listening, I just said a quick prayer in my heart to know what to say to him, because in my mind, I was thinking "He's already heard everything, he's been investigating for 12 years... what's going to change his heart?". As I opened up my mouth to try and help him, I honestly had no idea what to say. But I started talking, and I somehow found myself telling him that the reason he's fighting within himself about this whole thing is because Satan knows his divine potential and he also knows that if Jose were to pray, he'd get an answer, and that scares him. So he is doing everything in his power to keep him from knowing and accepting the truth. Therefore, in order to overcome this fight and defeat Satan and his efforts to keep him from the truth, he HAS to pray, because that's the only way he can overcome Satan. I know for a fact that those weren't my words coming out of my mouth, because after I was done, the spirit was so strong and Jose really took it to heart. Then Hermana B followed the Spirit and told him that Satan also knows that if he were to accept the Gospel, his family could be an eternal family, and that's another reason why he's putting this fight into Jose's heart. The Spirit was so strong and I truly believe that it was a turning point for Jose.
1. Mirsa just got home from Utah yesterday so we should be meeting with her this week!!! I'm so excited:) I'll let you know next week if anything big happens. We are deciding to give Vanessa and Francisco a break after another week of absolutely no contact with them. We aren't going to give up on them, don't worry, but we are just going to try and figure out a better, more effective way of finding them, because they are nowhere to be found. There aren't a whole lot of other updates besides the one on Jose Hernandez. But this week is going to be great so I will let you know!
2. My Schedule:
6:30-7:00- Wake up, exercise
7:00-8:00- Breakfast, get ready for the day
8:00-9:00-Personal Study
9:00-10:00-Comp. Study
5-6 Dinner
9-10:30 Daily Planning, filling out area books, getting ready for bed, prayers, lights out:)
If you want a more detailed schedule, let me know, I'm just running out of time so I did it fast.
3. The get together with all the sister missionaries was really fun! President and Sister Nattress are the best!!!!

 I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!! Have a wonderful, amazing week!
 Hermana Lattin 
Welcome to Queen Creek (we are out in the boonies!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Email #29 (Queen Creek, AZ)

March 10, 2014 FELIZ CUMPLEANOS, MAMITA!!!!! Espero que su dia pase muyyyyy muy bien!!! I can't wait to hear about all of the birthday festivities:) I LOVE YOUUUUUU!!!!!
Goodness, every single one of the emails I got from you (Mom, Dad and Sammi) all made me tear up a little bit! Especially the part about the blessing and Dad mentioning me in Eliana's baby blessing. It is amazing to see the blessings that come from a mission. I just love you all so much (even if you didn't email me…Alex and Nate)! It's amazing that we are far apart physically, but I feel so close to all of you spiritually. I feel your prayers and love every single day. I am so blessed! Also, I'm so glad you had a fun week with the grandparents, Bubba and Braden! I love them all so much! They're the best! ELIANA IS SO CUTE!!!! 

I want to tell you a little more about the temple dedication, since I ran out of time last week.
It was a spiritual high for sure. I loved the theme that so many of the speakers (including Thomas S. Monson himself) focused on…Rededicating yourself to the Lord. Sometimes in the midst of life’s quick pace and never-ending stream of things to do, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. Dedicating oneself to the Lord isn’t something that’s done once, it’s a continual daily effort, and often times, we forget to do it when we get caught up in other things. We must always remember what it means to be members of Christ’s church on the Earth. When we take upon ourselves His name at baptism (see Mosiah 5:8), we essentially promise to dedicate our lives to Him, and therefore all other things pale in comparison to the importance of living a life worthy to be dedicated to Him. But, our loving Heavenly Father knows us well, and He knows that we’re very forgetful and prone to getting caught up with other, much less important things. That’s why He gave us the sacrament, so we could renew our covenants and, in essence, rededicate ourselves to the promises we made with Him at baptism. I am so grateful for the sacrament, and for the opportunity I have to rededicate myself to the Lord through remembering my covenants. Thinking about that topic of rededicating myself to Him was exactly what I needed to hear. I think that’s probably why I loved it so much, because it really hit me hard. As a missionary, your days are pretty repetitive, and sometimes things get a little mundane. Especially if the work in your area is a bit slower. Sometimes, although you are still working hard, you find yourself just going through the motions, rather than truly giving Him your consecrated service with all your heart, mind, and strength. But with the idea of rededication, it helped me remember my purpose and WHY I am serving. I have a renewed desire to “rededicate” myself to Him.
I didn’t think it would ever happen, but I’m actually getting to the point where the thought of going home scares me….don’t take that wrong! I still love and miss all of you, but there really is something about being a missionary that is just the BEST. I love it.
I have grown a lot this transfer. I have discovered that I have complete and total control over how I feel or react to a certain situation (or person), despite what I can’t control. Each time that we are given trials, we are also given the choice as to how we will react. There’s a quote from a talk called, “The Fourth Missionary” by Lawrence E Corbridge (probably my favorite missionary talk EVER), and it talks about this:
“Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness every conflict, every sadness, tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation and every opposition happens for one purpose only: to give you opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus. And as you do so, you are changed to become more like Him.”
Wow, now that’s a cool thought isn’t it? In every situation we face in life, we are given the beautiful opportunity to change and become more like our perfect example, Jesus Christ. That sure does put things into perspective. It also makes me realize the many chances I have missed (or messed up) to become more like the Savior. But, thanks to the mercy of both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we are given many second chances. After all, that is the purpose of this life, isn’t it?
It seems that I am always on this rollercoaster of self-discovery and realizing that (more often than not), the reasons behind my sadness, annoyances, frutstrations, etc. have everything to do with me and my own weaknesses and not the situation or person I am struggling with. Thank goodness for repentance and the Atonement!
Sorry for all the rambling!

Here are the answer to your questions:
1. We didn't see Mirsa this entire week! She was in Utah for a funeral for her friend, so we weren't able to teach her and she wasn't at church. But this week we are going to see her and teach her a lot more, and hopefully help her out with her situation with Paco the gato.
2. We also haven't seen Francisco and Vanessa for a good 2 weeks now. They are nowhere to be found!:( we have stopped by the house, the McDonalds where she works, and called and texted them daily! We aren't quite sure what happened but this week we are going to find them! Pray for us that we will be able to contact them!
3. Yes! We found three new investigators this week! One is Sergio, who was a referral from some english elders. We taught him a doorstep lesson (because his wife wasn't home) about the Book of Mormon and he said he would read it, we're going there on Tuesday to have a lesson with him and his girlfriend Laura (they're not married... surprised? I think not). Also Javier Moreno, who is the son of some less actives we have been trying to reactivate this past transfer (they came to church on sunday!!! YAY!). We talked about the church with him and gave him a Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment for this week. My only concern with Javier is that he may or may not have been a little bit drunk while we were talking to him.... so we'll see if he remembers meeting us when we go back. His mom, Hna Moreno will be in the lesson with us so that should be good! Also, just last night we FINALLY contacted a potential whose name is Rosi. She was very sweet and let us in. We shared Mosiah 16:9 and bore our testimonies about Jesus Christ. We also introduced the Book of Mormon and invited her to read and pray about it and she said she would!
4. We have interviews with our mission president every other transfer. One transfer we have zone conference and the next we have interviews. So about once every 12 weeks.
5. AH I love Bubba!!! He is so cute! I can't hear the videos because the computers in the library don't have sound and I don't have headphones but I watched them and he is so cute! I can tell he is doing his awesome laugh and he looks so happy to be with all the kids. I love him:)
6. That is so crazy that Will is going to JAPAN!!! What a cool kid. I am so excited for him, he will be an amazing missionary!!! When does he leave?
I hope you all have an amazing week and give everyone a big hug and kiss for me, okay?
I love you so so so so soooooo much!!!
Happpppppy Birthday, Mamita!!! Te quiero muchisimo!
Con bastante amor, Hermana Lattin

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Email #28 (Queen Creek, AZ)

March 3, 2014
Familia!!! Hola hola!
I can't believe Brynna is engaged!!! Tell her congrats for me. So weird and crazy but I am so happy for her!
Hna B and I are just dandy! I am really doing well. I'll give you more info about it in my letter home this week!:)
Goodness I have so much to talk about this week I don't even know where to start... I guess I'll just number it so I can cover it all.
1. Last monday we went to a Greek Orthodox Monastery for our zone activity. It's out in the middle of nowhere down in Florence. I included some pics.  I look ridiculous! When we got there, they had clothes for us to wear so we could be in proper clothes... everything had to be covered, so we were wearing these really stylin' skirts and long sleeved (mens) shirts with scarves to cover our heads. Sister Chavarri kept on looking at me and laughing because I guess my outfit was just too cool for school! On a more serious note, it was very interesting though to experience the Orthodox religion. It was interesting to feel how different the Spirit is there in comparison to our Church. We don't say we have the truth for kicks and giggles, we really do have the truth, all of it! You can FEEL the difference of the Holy Ghost manifesting the truth in a lesson while talking about the Restoration, or the Plan of Salvation, or the Gospel of Jesus Christ as compared to when the Monks were giving the tours of their chapels. It brought me back to when I was 14 and I was in Kirtland, Ohio and we were touring the Kirtland temple with a tour guide from the reformed LDS church and I was thinking "Why don't I feel the spirit like I did this morning when we had our morningside in the temple?" It's because we have the full and complete Truth! And the Holy Ghost will always testify of truth (Moroni 10:5). But it was VERY cool to experience something very different and unique. I enjoy learning about other faiths.
2. Both Mirsa and Isabel came to the baptism of Mayra, Edgar and Brandon (Garcia fam) this past thursday! It was truly un milagro, because the Spirit was so unbelievably strong there, and it was a perfect place to allow the Spirit to teach them without having to say anything at all. When cute little Brandon was stepping into the font to be baptized, I looked over at Mirsa and there were tears just streaming down her face. She knows this gospel is true and wants to be baptized so bad, so continue to pray for her situation with Paco. With your fast yesterday, I know we will see miracles this coming week. Another plus to the baptism was that I got to see the Garcia family!
Update: Concha and Rene are still planning on getting married in May!:)
3. The Cultural Celebration! Did you watch it?? Since I don't have a lot of time to talk about all of it, I just gotta say that when they played the clip of President Monson making the mission age change announcement, I lost it! I hadn't seen that in so long, and the fact that the announcement changed my life forever, hit me so hard. It was awesome. Also, I realized how AMAZING this generation of youth are. They did such a great job singing and dancing and bearing their testimonies. I just want to remind Sammi, Alex and Nate, and any other youth reading this email, that you truly are amazing. Satan knows your potential, and it scares him. That's why he is going to do everything he can to stop you from reaching it, but you have to show him that you remember who you are, children of a loving Heavenly Father, and that you have greater divine potential than even Satan can comprehend. Remember who you are and the blessings God has in store for you if you stand up against Satan and stay TRUE TO THE FAITH.
4. The Dedication! AH! It was soooo amazing. I was reminded over and over again as to how blessed I am to be here in Gilbert, Arizona with this beautiful new temple. It was an amazing opportunity to be part of the Open House, and to see the direct influence that the spirit of the Temple has had on the entire area. I am so excited to go to the temple now that it is dedicated! I love our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He is truly a prophet of God! I will write this week more about it but I just want to mention a common theme throughout the dedication was "Rededicating yourself to the Lord".
It was a crazy, awesome, fun packed week! I can't believe it's already the 5th week of the transfer... time is flying.

Okay well I love you so much! Espero que esta semana este fantastico!
 Les quiero muchisimo!
 Hermana Lattin

Pictures from our tour at the Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, AZ