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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Email #43 (Gilbert, AZ)

June 16, 2014

Hola! Holy cow this has been a crazy craaaazy week. Let me just give you the low-down on transfers first:
So, I got transferred up to Gilbert! I am with Sister Carvalho, who is probably one of the cutest, sweetest, most awesome missionaries you will ever find in the entire world. She is from Curitiba, Brazil (yes, she is super sad about missing the World Cup right now haha:)) and she actually served most of her mission in the SLC Temple Square mission. She's been out for about 14 months and she is the coolest. She's one of those people who is just beautiful, inside and out. Her testimony is super fuerte, she's extremely hard working, she is so humble and kind, and all around amazing. Plus, she's teaching me some Portuguese, so I'll probably be trilingual pretty soon! Oi, tudo bem? Hahaha
Our area is pretty interesting. We cover two different (COMPLETELY different) wards. The first one is the YSA Mission Bay ward. I never thought I'd be able to cover a YSA ward on my mission since I'm Spanish speaking, but here I am! It's a little strange to be surrounded by people my age, but it's a great ward with a very missionary minded bishop, so it should be fun! Our other area is a little bit more complicated. We cover two stakes who previously had a Spanish unit, but a few years back it was dissolved, so for the Spanish speakers there, they don't technically belong to any one Spanish congregation. For one of the stakes, they are encouraged to go to the Pueblo ward in Mesa, but in the other one, the stake president wants them to go to an English ward so they can learn English.... which is very silly in my opinion. It also makes our work a lot more difficult in that stake. So the ward we are technically in currently is the Pueblo Spanish ward, which is a little bit crazy because it's outside of the mission. The Spanish elders had it before, but they white washed us in this transfer. As of right now the work is pretty dead in that area, partially due to the difficulty of the situation, but there is SO MUCH potential in both stakes. There is a little part of our area that has a dairy farm in it, or as we like to call it-"la lecheria" or "little mexico". It's essentially all these Mexicans who work at the dairy and you feel like you're walking through the streets of Mexico, there are a bunch of dogs running around, Mariachi music blasting, and Spanish just flying left and right! It's awesome and there's sooo much potential! It will be great. It might be difficult to get the work going, but I know that if we put our full faith and trust in Heavenly Father, many mighty milagros will be wrought in our area! I trust in President Nattress's ability to receive revelation and I know that Sister Carvalho and I are together in this area for a reason. We're just going to work our hardest and give the Lord everything, and I know that we can be instruments in the hands of the Lord to bring many souls unto him.
Our only investigators right now are Tim and Kyle (YSA), who are both awesome. It's a struggle getting them to church… just a little lazy. So pray that they'll have the motivation to change! We also have Georgina (Pueblo ward) who is soooooo sweet. She is a long time investigator, but she told us last lesson that she really wants to know what is true, because she's been Catholic her whole life and she wants to know what God wants her to do! She is such a cute old little lady who loves Christ a lot.

Okay so, once again….
My companion is Sister Carvalho:) It's pronounced "Car-va-leo".
My new address:
829 Park Ave
Gilbert, AZ 85234
Okay, well I love you all! Have an amaaaazing week! You are always in my prayers!
I will be praying for Norm and tell Marshall and Stella I love them and remind them that Heavenly Father loves and knows them.
Hermana Lattin

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Email #42 (Queen Creek, AZ)

June 9, 2014

I love reading  all of your emails and hearing about what's going on at home! I bet Stake Conference was AWESOME! I love all of the promises of reading the Book of Mormon. I never fully realized the impact that book has made in my life until I came out on my mission. We're going to try and help the Hernandez family start reading the Book of Mormon as a family so those promises would be great to share with them. And I'm so glad Nate did awesome on his talk!!! I can't wait to read it:)
So, we got transfer calls this morning and both Hermana M and I are leaving Hermana Lana. I don't even know what to think!! I am so sad to leave Hna Lana because we get along so well. She has become one of my best friends this past transfer and I'm going to miss her a lot. Along with that, the thought of leaving the ward makes me want to cry! Who knows what will happen though... there are a lot of possibilities and I could stay in the ward and go to my old area. That or I'm going up to the branch in Gilbert. Who knows! But I know that whatever happens, the Lord is in it, and wherever I go and whomever I'm with will help me grow and become the missionary and person He wants me to be. I'll let you know next week what happens. Pray for me and my new companion!
This week was really great! We had Rodolfo, Jose Hernandez and Rey all at church yesterday! MILAGRO!!! Rodolfo may or may not have fallen asleep during Sacrament meeting, but he stayed for all 3 hours and said he really liked it!! He is making so much progress. We are going to extend June 28 again to him this week for a baptismal date! Rodolfo is yet another example to me of the fact that one cannot progress in the gospel (member or investigator) unless they are willing to LIVE the gospel. Reading the scriptures, praying, coming to church are vital pieces to coming unto our Savior Jesus Christ. That's why it is so important that we do these things with a sincere heart, because if we don't, we cannot expect to progress. That seed of faith (Alma 32) cannot and will not grow, flourish and produce the everlasting fruits of eternal life unless WE decide to plant it and then put our full effort into watering it, giving it sunlight and cultivating it on a day to day basis. Rodolfo is putting in his effort in taking care of that seed of faith and he is seeing the fruits of that labor! He is such a humble man and willing to do anything to get closer to Christ. It's amazing!
We have yet to meet with Rey, but he came to church and he has a strong desire to learn and to grow. I know that Hna Lana and her new companion will be able to help him come unto Christ!
Here are the answers to the rest of your questions:
1. Yes, Romeo is still meeting with us. He isn't super committed to learning more, he really just tags along with Osvaldo. But who knows! Meeting with us and Osvaldo could change his heart and give him that desire to learn more!
2. We met with Maybelin this past week and she was finally really honest with us. We invited her to come to church again and she told us straight up that she wasn't ready to change. So we're probably going to back off from her a little and focus on just teaching them as a family.
Okayyyyy! Well I love ya fam! Hope you have another busy but great week of summer!
Hermana Lattin

Email #41 (Queen Creek, AZ)

June 2, 2014

How's it goin', familia??? Sounds like the first week of summer was un poco loco! But once again, I am not surprised! It's always a party with the Lattino fam. I am convinced that our family would fit perfectly into a Spanish ward... we're a little crazy, super fun, always late AND we like to party. Perfect match. Consider it, pray about it and tell me what you think about moving our records to the nearest Spanish branch/ward. Okay? Okay. haha
Well, this week was definitely an interesting one, to say the least! It started out locisimo because we had to work out the whole emergency transfer thing with Hermana M. The bottom line is that we are now in a trio, just until the end of transfers. I'll have to send you a letter about her this week or next week, because she's a riot. Very interesting and not easy to get along with…luckily Hermana W (whom I refer to as Hmna Lana) and I have each other though because we keep each other relatively sane:)
One great thing about Hmna M is that she does not know English very well, so we end up speaking a lot of conversational Spanish outside of lessons, and that is really helping me with my casual conversations!
But anyways, we've been trying to get used to teaching in a trio (more difficult than expected) which is getting better. We found two new investigators this week, Romeo and Rodolfo, thanks to our investigator Osvaldo.  Our investigator Osvaldo moved to a different part of our area so we got to meet even more people that he now lives with so we were able to start teaching both of the people he lives with as well! We taught Osvaldo the Plan of Salvation with Romeo and it went pretty well. Osvaldo is really striving to figure out what is right and true and he has been praying about baptism. He didn't come to church this week but we're hoping he comes this week! Pray for him! We are also still searching for that family of five! Max is soooo sweet to pray for Ariel:) I know that his prayers will make a difference in the lives of the Rodriguez family! They cancelled our lesson last week but I'll let you know how it goes this week with them!
The other event of the week was that all three of us got hit with a stomach bug from Thursday up until yesterday... it was awful. Being sick on the mission is the worst thing ever. I HATE it. You feel so useless and lazy, and you don't even have your mom to take care of you:( but we all survived and I feel great now!
Answers to your questions:

1. We get transfer calls this Sunday and transfers are next Wednesday.... I'm praying for at least one more transfer with Hermana Lana!
2. YES! We got the package. Thank you! They came perfect timing because I was sick the night before and I was still feeling pretty crappy that next day. It was the perfect little pick-me-up:)
3. The sweet lady I taught that is getting baptized is EDITH!!! The Puerto Rican viejita that Sister Chavarri and I found a looooong time ago who dropped us a few times. SHE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!! I am so excited for her:) I went on an exchange a few weeks ago and had the opportunity to teach her with Sis Bukoskie, and she was still stuck in the mindset that she had been Christian for a long time and it was too hard for her to change. We expressed that we were there trying to help her because we LOVE her and I think her whole perspective changed after that. I think once she realized that everything we did and said, and everything her son did and said was to help her understand the truth, she got her answer to her prayers and she is on the road to baptism:) She is so sweet and she calls me "muneca" every week when I see her at church.
 4. YES!!! We went to the Gilbert Temple again this past week and it was BEAUTIFUL! I love that temple so much. I'm so excited for all of you to see it in person someday!
Okay, I love you all soooooo much! Have and amazing, fantastic week!
Les quiero muchisimo!!!
Hermana Lattin

Email #40 (Queen Creek, AZ)

May 26, 2014

Hola!! How's the best family in the world doing?? Hope life is treating everyone well. Happy Memorial Day!:) 
This week has been a great one! I'm trying to think of the things that happened... but my brain is a mess right now because this morning we got a call from President and he told us that due to an emergency transfer, we will be getting another companion... so we'll be in a trio with another sister, Hermana Mireles. So the next few weeks of this transfer will be very interesting:)  Sister W was companions with her at the beginning of her mission and has some interesting stories about her.
Speaking of Sister W, I just gotta tell you how much I love my companion. She is awesome. One of the humblest, nicest, coolest, chillest, most hard-working missionaries I've ever met! Within the past 5 weeks, I've laughed more than I have in a long while and learned a lot about being more Christ-like. She is awesome.
Anyways,  this week was great! We taught a lot and really strove for exact obedience. We found two new investigators, and soft-committed them to be baptized! Jose y Juan. They’re two pretty cool guys that we found while trying to find another investigator, and we asked them if they would be willing to listen to our brief message. They told us sure and we sat down and introduced the Book of Mormon to them with the "How to begin teaching" points (PMG). It was one of the simplest, most straight-forward lessons we've ever taught. Since being out on my mission, I've been discovering the value of teaching the pure doctrine of Christ. I've realized how important it is that as missionaries we focus on always relating what we are teaching back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the pure doctrine found within: Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. That knowledge and understanding of the Gospel is what is necessary for people to know, not a lot of the fluff that comes out of my mouth occasionally during lessons, English and Spanish alike:)
 Challenge for this week: read 2 Nephi 31 to better understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'll do it too. I promise that with understanding the Gospel and it's pure doctrine more, we will have a greater capacity to share it with our friends, and by doing so, they will be given the path to eternal life.
I'm sure I'll have more stories for you next week... we're picking Hermana Mireles up today so we're in for a treat! Haha
Hermana Lattin