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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Email #39 (Queen Creek, AZ)

May 19, 2014

Hola Hola Familia!!!
Everyone sounds like they're doing great! I hope you all know how much I LOVE YOU.... I always wonder how I got blessed with the best family in the world. I am one lucky missionary!
It has been quite a week!! It was filled with some teaching, awkward oym's (open your mouth), laughing, lots of speaking spanish, learning, and everything else that comes with missionary life!
We had Zone Conference this past week and it was pretty great! I just gotta say that President Nattress has got to be one of my favorite people in the world. This mission is so blessed to have him and his sweet wife. Whenever we get to see him, he always awakens my mind to how important my calling is as a missionary and the vitality of exact obedience to the Spirit. I've almost been out for 9 months now (WHAT THE???) and I did not fully understand this principle until this past week. I've never been disobedient by any means, luckily I was trained how to be obedient by one of the best missionaries around (Sis Chavarri), but I wasn't fully aware of the WHY until last week. It just kind of hit me. Exact obedience is how we qualify for blessings! There is a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants that says "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world upon which all blessings are predicated-- And when we obtain any blessings of God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated." How amazing is that?? When we receive any blessing from God, it is because of our OBEDIENCE! I love that. I am also realizing that obedience is what drives us missionaries to work and work hard. By our obedience, we are given the Spirit, and it is only through the Spirit that we can teach. I then think of all the people I have met here and come to love because of this beautiful opportunity to serve and teach by the Spirit. It all starts with obedience! And obedience starts with truly, fully and completely loving God! The only thing he has given us that he has no control over is our hearts, or our will. So will we decide to be obedient and wilfully give our hearts and will to Him, so we may be blessed according to His love and mercy? I hope so! I am really going to focus on that this week, because it is through exact obedience to the Spirit (meaning that if the Spirit prompts you to do something, you've got to have the courage to do it!) that we will see great blessings and MIRACLES! I am way excited to see the milagros that come from our efforts this week!

Okay Mom, here are answers to your questions:

1. My companion is awesome. She makes me laugh all the time. She's probably the humblest person I've ever known and she's even more go-with-the-flow than I am... hahaha we have a good time. Our teaching skills together are improving poco a poco. I just hope she realizes how awesome she is, because I feel like she doesn't see herself in that way! If she saw how great she was, she'd have a lot more confidence:) But we're doing really well. We haven't really encountered any issues. She does have Celiac disease (gluten) so that's really hard for her because her health isn't the best. But she hardly ever complains and I admire her a lot for that. She is great!
3. My planning is improving... haha I'm trying to keep more lists and write more things down so I remember things better. Thank goodness for our planners!!!
4. Am I still afraid of spiders?
 I guess I never told you about the time in the barn when I saw a scorpion in the bathroom... did I? I don't remember but Sister Hair was the one who caught it and eventually killed it. She's a brave soul. I've been doing a lot better with killing bugs though! Usually if they are not huge, I can kill them pretty easy, but there are some pretty scary spiders out here that I have yet to see so.... I'll let you know if I ever have to kill a black widow or something!:)

Alrighty, well I love you all!
Keep on being the best! Moroni 8:3
Hermana Emma Lattin

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Email #38 (Queen Creek, AZ)

May 12, 2014

I cannot even tell you how AWESOME it was to be able to talk to all of you yesterday. Seriously, WHY ARE YOU THE BEST???? I was overwhelmed by the love I felt for each of you yesterday and want you to know that I love you more than you even know. Every single one of your prayers is felt and your love lifts me up every day. I couldn't believe how old everyone looks and every time I think about little Elle I get teary again. Seeing that sweet face for the first time is something I will never forget. It is crazy to think that she is my sister! She is so cute! I couldn't help but cry because I was just so happy to see her.
It was also a blessing for me to bear my testimony in Spanish. Thank you Dad, for asking me to do that. It made me realize, after seeing tears streaming down your face while I was talking about eternal families, yet again, that it doesn't matter what language you are speaking in, because it is the Spirit that testifies and carries the truth into the hearts that are open to hearing it! Hopefully my Spanish will be even better by the time I see you at Christmas:)
I am so blessed to have you as my eternal family. LES QUIERO MAS QUE PUEDAN IMAGINAR!!!

I know we just talked yesterday so I just wanted to give a little thought that has been on my mind recently--especially with Mother's Day yesterday. It's the story of the 2000 stripling warriors and it's in Alma 56 and verses 47 and 48 say:
"Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death... yea they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it." The faith and wisdom of their mothers is what saved these young soldiers. Because their mothers had taught them to put their faith and trust in God, they were preserved by His hand. I know that this principle applies to mothers today, not in just a physical sense, but a spiritual one as well. It is the love, knowledge, faith and support of a mother that gives her children the means to understand and apply the gospel in one's life. Where would I be without my wonderful, loving, hysterical, sometimes-crazy mother? I don't know, but I sure don't want to find out! Thank you, Mom, for EVERYTHING!
May we always remember the importance and value of mothers, and the divine stewardship they have as co-creators with God himself to bring His children into this world and help them on the path back to him. There is no greater call than being a mother!!!

Answers to your questions:
1. Yes, I play soccer every morning at 5:30 a.m.
Soccer is the best! It's not as hard after doing it for a while, your body gets used to it. I've discovered that I'm a lot more awake during the day if I have a good workout in the morning rather than just sitting around "stretching"...:) haha
2. Yeah, the missionaries ran the entire sacrament meeting yesterday at church. That was the first time in our ward that Obispo asked any missionary in the ward to speak! It was pretty cool!
3. After our Mother’s Day call, we went and visited an investigator (Mirsa), and then we went back to eat at the Abreu house. The Abreus are the best! If we're allowed to have favorite families on the mission, they are one of them, along with the Garcias!!
4. Yes, we always have appointments on Sunday nights. Usually our ward members don't work on Sundays, and if they do, they usually end up going inactive for a little bit which is really unfortunate. A lot of our work right now actually is with less actives in our ward which is great! We love making those visits.

And I am glad you like my mission motto that I shared with Sammi: It's true. 
“If it's not awkward it's not a mission!” I am reminded of that every day:) hahaha

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!! Have an amazing, crazy and fantastic week. Thank you for your prayers and I'll let you know how finding a family to teach goes this week. 
We must discover the FAITH to FIND!:)
Les quiero TANTO,
Hermana Lattin

Eliana's first picture with Hermana Lattin
Definitely some happy tears when Emma first saw Elle
sisters chatting!
Best Mother's Day Gift EVER

Email #37 (Queen Creek, AZ)

May 5, 2014

Hola Familia!
My new companion is awesome!!! Her name is Hermana Woolstenhulme (it's a crack up to listen to the members of our ward try to sound that out... hahaha) and she is from Salt Lake City, UT. She went to the one and only East High (yes-that East High, the one in High School Musical... WILDCATS, GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME!!!). She is probably one of the sweetest people in the entire world and wayyyy laid back and chill. She has been out for 11 months and her Spanish is way good. She wouldn't tell you that because she is super humble, but it's a lot better that what she gives herself credit for! She is pretty quiet and soft-spoken, but she is a great teacher so it works out really well because sometimes I get carried away blabbing and she brings it right back in with the Spirit. We're still just in the beginning phases of our companionship, so sometimes it's a teensy bit awkward just because we don't know each other, but we'll get through it. Something I realized is that leading an area is HARD. I am not the most decisive nor the most organized person (both Sister C and Sister B were SUPER good at that), therefore sometimes I have a difficult time taking charge and doing things effectively as possible. It's definitely a weakness that has been brought to light because Sister W is very soft-spoken and easy going... and I'm pretty chill too, so I'm always fine with taking the backseat and letting other people handle the situation when it comes to organizing something. But because Hermana W is new to the area, I am the one who has to know what's going on and I have to be the one to make the decisions... it's stressful (aka weekly and nightly planning) and it's good that I'm seeing that now so I can learn how to work through it!

And yes we are living with Sister A and Sister H still. They are hysterical. I love them.
 Sister Chavarri was transferred to the Spanish branch:(:(:( gahhhhh it's so sad. It's such a strange thing not seeing her on a day to day basis. But she emailed me today and she's doing good, and I know that she's where the Lord needs her to be. She'll definitely be a HUGE blessing to the branch. She's the best. I'm excited for you to meet her in person one day:) I'm still holding on to the hope that we'll be comps again someday!
Now onto our mission work. Vanessa is as golden as ever! Unfortunately she did not make it to church this past sunday so she can't be baptized this coming Saturday (you have to go to church at least twice before you are baptized, and she's only been once within the past few months). But not to worry, we're seeing her tonight and putting her right back on date for the 17th.
Maybelin, Ariel and Brian are doing great! Still haven't come to church yet... but it will happen! We taught them about keeping the Sabbath day holy this past week, so hopefully they will use their agency and come unto Christ through attending church!:) Thank you so much for your prayers. Vanessa especially needs the prayers. She works crazy hours and is extremely exhausted and stressed a lot of the time. 

Can’t wait to talk to you on Mother’s Day!!

Hermana Lattin