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Monday, July 28, 2014

Email #49 (Gilbert, AZ)

July 28, 2014

First of all, the pictures, I LOVED them! They made me so happy and it was so crazy to see how big and old everyone is... so weird! Don’t worry about sending so many pictures of both family reunions. They didn't make me sad at all, just happy that y'all were happy. Plus, the beach will be there when I get back, and so will my amazing family so it didn't make me homesick or sad at all. ELIANA AND OLIVIA ARE SO CUTE!!!!! Seriously one thing that is hard about a mission is that I see all these cute babies that make me think of my little sisters at home and all I want to do is hold them, but I can't! That's okay. It'll all be worth it in the end, right? Anyways, sounds like it was an awesome vacation and everyone had a great time!!!
Our week was pretty great! We taught quite a bit and are seeing great progression with our investigators. We had a lesson with our Asian friends, Tony Li, Anthony, and Raymond last week at the Bowler's house, and we taught them the Plan of Salvation. It was very simple and quite slow, but the Spirit was definitely there and I know all of them felt it. Tony had a lot of questions, and Raymond and Anthony (they have a more solid understanding of Christianity than Tony) accepted it all. We asked them to pray about it and they said they would! It was very cool. They are definitely coming along, slowly but surely! Also, Tony brought a friend, Mike to church! So now we're teaching four Asians! hahaha pretty soon we're going to teach all their roommates [there's at least 15 of them because they all live in different rooms)! That's our goal at least. I'll let you know when we start our YSA (Young Single Adult) Chinese ward:)] haha they are awesome though. So humble and very willing to learn. Our new investigator Mike, when he showed up to church with Tony one of the first things he told us was (in broken English) "I am very curious to learn more about your church."
Also, MILAGRO---- TIM CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!! We did everything we possibly could to get him there, we made personal daily contact, read the Book of Mormon with him and gave him a church tour and he came!!! I was so happy I teared up a little when I saw him sitting there with his shirt and tie:) he is the best and I know that he will receive an answer to his prayers about the truth as he comes to church, reads his scriptures daily and prays often. This week we are going to get him on date to be baptized. That will be one of the greatest days of my life seeing him get baptized.
ALSO (ayer fue un dia de Milagros), Sony and Phanuel came to church as well!!! It was actually really funny because we were doing weekly planning and planning to do a drop lesson with them because we just didn't feel like they were progressing at all, and as we were discussing it, Sony called us and told us they wanted to come to church! Heavenly Father obviously was telling us not to give up on them yet! And it was perfect because the Gospel Principle class was on Baptism:) They said they enjoyed it and are excited to meet with us this week... we will see how it goes!
ALSO (I'm telling you, dia de Milagros), Alejandro (a recent convert in Pueblo) brought his non-member wife to church because it was his birthday and she agreed to go to sacrament meeting! We have been teaching her the past few weeks but have not seen a whole lot of progress with her. She is very quiet and doesn't say a whole lot. She wasn't super happy about Alejandro joining the church because he basically told her that he wants to be sealed in the temple and have an eternal family, and if she didn't want to join him on that path, he would have to find someone else.... yeah no wonder she isn't a huge fan of us:) haha but he has such a strong testimony and he has a dream of his whole family going to church together on Sundays, doing family prayer every night and family home evening, just being united and strong in the church together. We promised him we would do everything we could to help his family, and we promised him that with faith, miracles can and will happen with his wife.
So yeah, yesterday was a good day. We also had dinner with the Asians at the Bowler's house and they cooked authentic Chinese food for us! And I ate with chopsticks! It was a great time.

Here are the answers to your questions, Mamita!
1. Here are the names of our Asian investigators: Tony Li, Raymond, Anthony and Mike
2. Georgina is.... well she's Georgina. She always tells us she wants to get baptized but doesn't act. She didn't come to church yesterday, but we're going to talk to her and see why she is struggling with that commitment. Hopefully we will understand and be able to help her so she can be baptized!
3. Hermana Carvalho is good! She actually told me something really funny this week... So, Mom I talk about you a lot, of course and sometimes I imitate you when I talk about how great and crazy you are!! This past week I was describing how much I love a certain song (with a lot of animation apparently) and she goes "Oh my goodness, I don't even know you're mom but you sound just like her sometimes!" Hahaha it was pretty funny. Also I said something like "Okay, we'll finish this conversation after dinner" and she goes "Okay, Becky!" hahahahahaha You're gonna love her when you meet her! She's the best.

4. Just keep on praying for our investigators! We can definitely your prayers over here! Especially pray for our Pueblo area this week, it's still struggling. The Book of Mormon classes start next Sunday! They are going to be AWESOME!

Okay, well I love you all so so so so much!
 Seriously, you are the best family an hermana could ever ask for. Have an amazing week! Moroni 8:3
Con mucho MUCHO amor y todo mi Corazon,
Hermana Lattin

Tony Li helping in the kitchen for our chinese feast!

The Bowlers had some of our investigators over for an authentic chinese meal!
Please observe my chopsticks!

Arizona Sunset

Email #48 (Gilbert, AZ)

Hey there. I don't have a whole lot of time because the computers filled up way fast at the library today and I didn't get a computer until a little bit ago, and I feel bad making my companion and two roommates wait for forever to go to the store!
Anyways, guess what??? Sister Carvalho and I have another transfer together!!!! We're both staying in Pueblo and Mission Bay! Huzzah! We're pretty stoked about it. It's going to be awesome. Especially with the Book of Mormon classes coming up in August, it's going to be a great transfer! My compi is the best. That is actually something I wanted to say that I am really grateful for on my mission, the people I've met and the friends I've made. These are friends that I know I'm going to have for the rest of my life. The spiritual growth you have with your companion as you give the Lord your all and work together to bring souls unto Christ is amazing. And not just companions, but other missionaries in your district and zone, or members in the wards you serve in and the people you teach, they become people you truly and genuinely care about. Developing a Christ-like love for others is something that is a huge blessing as a missionary.
Your week sounds like it's been crazy! I cannot believe Brynna is married. I'm so happy for her! She looked beautiful and JB seems like a good match for her. I love my cousin!
I am really grateful I'm on a mission.  Marriage seems so scary to me and I'm happy I don't have to worry about it for another few years... come to think about it, maybe I'll just be a crazy old lady who lives alone with all her flea market and garage sale finds and lots of cats!! haha 

Our week was great! BIG news! Georgina is on date for the 16th of August!!! MILAGROS SON REALES!!! The only issue is that she got on date last Wednesday and then she didn't come to church yesterday... :( poco a poco. And we taught Sony and Phanuel on Friday and it was the exact same so we've decided to give them a break. It's impossible to teach them when they are unwilling to learn... and I myself learned that I get a little too passionate sometimes and need to learn how to be calm in anti situations:) Definitely one of my weaknesses. But it's one I'm working on! Our asian friends are doing well, and we found another one! Anthony! They were at church yesterday and they seem to really love it. They love all the friends and the people they meet, but the more complicated part is helping them spiritually progress when they don't have a solid Christian background. But they are very humble and willing to learn, and so the Spirit will touch their hearts and they'll get there eventually.

Hermana Lattin
P.S. I promise next week I'll send pictures.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Email #47 (Gilbert, AZ)

July 14, 2014
Como estan?? Hope everything is going well in the Lattino home!:)
This week was a solid week. We saw a lot of good progression with investigators, with Tony Li, his friend Raymond (new investigator), Tim, and Georgina. Tony Li and Raymond were at church yesterday! They stayed all three hours and stayed for waffles afterwards (YSA is awesome... they always have food). They were so cute in their white shirts and ties and were socializing with everyone. We have a member who served his mission in Taiwan and speaks Mandarin Chinese and he is awesome with them. He and his girlfriend are getting married soon and are disgustingly cute together... that's one con to YSA is that there are sooooo many couples getting married and they're all so cute and it's obnoxious! Haha it's an interesting setting for a missionary to be in. You feel a little out of place because everyone around you is your age but they're all focused on a very different part of their life:) Anyways, enough venting about cute couples in YSA wards.

The investigators from the Congo, Phanuel and Sony are fine... we had an interesting lesson last week in which Phanuel decided to anti us about the Trinity vs. the Godhead. He knows the bible very well and whipped out a several scriptures to try and prove his point. He was being quite contentious in a passive-aggressive sort of way. I got a little bit worked up and a little too passionate and as a result I was sweating super bad and my face was bright red (not a very dignified look). Luckily, Hermana Carvalho is a calm and collected person in all situations, so she reigned me back a little bit, especially afterwards when I was frustrated with how the lesson went and how I reacted. We ended up just bearing our testimonies and leaving them with an invitation to read the Book of Mormon and ask God to find out the truth.

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, a miracle has been happening the past few weeks in our Spanish area!! With the help of Hermano Laparra, we are going to do these amazing clases del Libro de Mormon! They are going to be super poderoso and are going to help all the Hispanic members in this area (Los barrios y ramas de Pueblo, Gilbert 11, Terra Rica, Escondidos, and Queen Creek) gain a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and have the ganas to share it with their friends and family. That's the end goal! All of it is going to be focused on la obra misional and it's going to be awesome! It has a website and everything:) www.librodemormonaz.com

It's pretty official! We're so excited!

Yep, this week has been a good one. Time is literally flying. My compi only has two transfers left... ah! I really hope President keeps us together until she leaves. Transfers are next week! Crazy.  OK, well I love you all soooooo much! You are all the BEST.

Les quiero MUCHISIMO!!! Que tengan una semana fantastica!

Hermana Lattin

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Email #46 (Gilbert, AZ)

July 7, 2014

Hey there, fam! Sounds like you've had an eventful, awesome 4th of July week! I'm LOVING all the pictures, so keep on sending them!:) You all look happy, healthy and great! Seriously, I have a beautiful family, inside and out! You are the BEST!
I am doing great! The only issue I have right now is that I am currently wearing flip-flops in the library and my feet feel naked. The reason behind me wearing my Rainbows right now is due to some bad decisions I made concerning an ingrown toenail I had for about 2 months... don't worry I've learned my lesson to not let an ingrown toenail get out of control because it gets way nasty and it HURTS. Just within the past few weeks (ironically after I tried to fix my toenail myself by cutting it down... bad idea), it flared up pretty bad so our nurse had me go to urgent care last night. Haha it was a little silly but very much needed. Bottom line is that they fixed it and it's doing better. I just have to wear opened-toed shoes in public and I'm not a huge fan of it because my feet are really white! But I'll get over it:) I've learned my lesson, don't you worry! And luckily I've got a great companion that loves me enough to ignore me telling her "I'm fine". She's the best!
So other than the ingrown toenail fiasco, this week has gone great! We have been having a lot of success in finding in our YSA area. Yesterday, we found two more investigators that are students at the flight school and live in the same apartment complex as Tony Li. They are from the Congo and their names are Soni and Phanuel. They both have solid Christian backgrounds and were very receptive to our message yesterday when we taught them more about the Book of Mormon. We have a lesson with them this Wednesday and are going to teach them the Restoration. I'll let you know how it goes! Also, Tony Li (Li's American name is "Tony") came to church again yesterday!!! And he came with a white shirt and tie... Sister Carvalho and I about died of happiness when we saw him. We had a lesson with him yesterday as well and we had an elder in our mission come that speaks Mandarin Chinese! It was perfect because he was able to help Tony understand better and help us understand Tony better. Tony is a little overwhelmed by us and everything we have been trying to teach him, and he feels quite a bit overwhelmed. That is our fault completely! We just got SO excited and wanted to make sure he understood that God is our Heavenly Father and that we have a message that will change his life and bring him more happiness than he can imagine. He wasn't angry or anything, he just told us that he needed some time to read the Book of Mormon and ponder and think about it. Poor guy, of course he feels overwhelmed! He comes to America (HUGE culture shock, I'm sure), speaks very little English, is studying to be a pilot, and all of the sudden these two random girls are trying to get him to read a book and come to church when he doesn't even know about God! But he told us that he is grateful for our kindness and that the people he has met at church are always so nice to him. So he definitely feels of our love for him and is beginning to feel God's love for him as well. He wants to continue to come to church every week (yay!) and activities, but he just wants to meet with us once a week. So with him, progress is definitely happening, it's just going to take a little bit of time.
Work in the Spanish area is still pretty slow. The good news is that we had a lesson with Georgina last week and for the first time since we've been teaching her she really paid attention and the Spirit was SO strong. She has to be one of the CUTEST little old ladies I've ever met. She has been through so much in her life and she has una gran fe in God and wants nothing more than to follow Jesus Christ. We talked about repentance and baptism with her and she looooved it. Y un milagro paso! She said she wants to get BAPTIZED!!! We're going to follow up with her this week on that and put her on date so she can enter los aguas de bautismo.
Things are happening slowly but surely in the Spanish area. I think things will change very soon and President Nattress and Hermano Laparra are going to help us get things started in the Boulder Creek stake, it's just going to take some time. I'll give you updates on it next week because I have a feeling this week is going to be a week of FINDING:) Thank you for your fasting and prayers, I can feel them supporting me and lifting me, and even when I feel overwhelmed and discouraged, I find strength in your faith in me.
Mom, here are the answers to your questions!
1. YES! I got the workouts you sent. Thank you! That's going to help us out a lot (especially me) because up here in Gilbert we only play soccer on Saturdays. I knew you'd respond pretty quickly to that request:)haha
2. We have not met Tony Li’s roommates yet, but they are coming to FHE tonight!!! We're so excited:) We're going to open up the first Chinese ward! Hahaha
3. Our 4th of July was great! We actually had dinner with Tim! Tim is progressing, but didn't come to church yesterday:( we were so sad because he keeps on committing but never makes the effort to come. Keep on praying for him! He'll get there eventually he just has to find the motivation to ACT. But that was pretty much all we did. We had to be in at 7:00pm, but we did get to write a letter to our families, so you should be getting that tomorrow or Wednesday:)
I think the lesson I've learned this week is that things work out when we turn ourselves over to the Lord. When we try to control things that are out of our control, the only results are those feelings of frustration, stress, disappointment and being overwhelmed. I'm still working on it, but I'm realizing more and more everyday that the only times that we really see miracles in life is when we take a deep breath, put our trust in the Lord, move forward and serve with all our heart, might, mind and strength. That's when faith moves mountains. We have to have faith in God, not ourselves.
Missions are the best!
LES QUIERO, FAMILIA:) Have an amazing, fantastic week!!!
Hermana Lattin

Email #45 (Gilbert, AZ)

June 30, 2014

It's great to hear from y'all (do I sound like Elder Boettcher?)!! It sounds like the funeral was beautiful.  I am sure that Norm was there and he was loving and appreciating every second of it. Please tell Marshall and Stella I love them and will continue to pray for them.  Please encourage them to watch the "Because of Him" video. We've watched that a lot this past week and I think it would be perfect for them to see and remember all the hope and light we have in our lives because of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Our week was a great one! A little bit trying and stressful, but I learned a lot. In all honesty, our area is struggling. We are striving to balance our two wards and give them both an equal amount of our time and efforts. But, something I realized is that we don't have to worry about giving the two wards our efforts. All of our efforts should be given and directed to the Lord, and he will make everything fall into place. I have faith in the promise the Savior gives in Matthew 11:28-30. That's something that just came to me, and I think I need to focus on that…giving my burden to Him…allowing Him to carry this work and me so we can bring to pass the Work of Salvation in this area. Because in reality, I'm not working for Him alone. My efforts are not replacing His. He is working right alongside me, and if I let Him, He will guide my efforts as a representative of Him. It's amazing how God gives us revelations in the time when we need them most! Haha this part of the letter makes me sound depressed... I promise I'm not! I just think the reality of our area's situation and struggles hit me pretty hard this week, and I felt like no matter what we did, it couldn't fix it or help it. So I think Heavenly Father wanted to remind me just now that I'm not called to do this work alone. The success of this area is not on mine and my companion's shoulders alone, but on His and on His Son's, our Savior Jesus Christ. And those are two sets of shoulders I know we can rely on to help this area flourish in bringing many souls unto Christ!
Anyways, we did have some success in our YSA work this week! Story time! Okay so on Tuesday we went to an apartment that houses a TON of students of a flight school nearby. And a good portion of these students are from everywhere around the world! It is awesome!! In this past week, I've met people from China, Italy, France, Belgium, the Congo, and my comp is from Brazil!!! I love foreign people. So anyways, we OYMed this nice Chinese guy named Tony Li (Tony is his American name)  who had only been learning English for 2 weeks. He was very happy to meet us and told us he would like to learn more about religion. So of course, we went back a few days later to teach him. Let me just say, I have neeeever ever had an experience like this in teaching. He knows very little English and has no religious background. The process of teaching him is extremely slow. We're still trying to help him understand that God is his loving Heavenly Father. But guess what??? He came to church yesterday!!! Hoooorayyy!!! He only understood about 30% of what was said, but that is okay. He told us what stuck in his brain is that God lives. And that is perfect. He is such a genuinely good person and so humble! This week we're going to try and start teaching his roommates as well! Should be a good time. Asians Rock!
Haha okay Mom, here are answers to your questions:
1. Yes! Hermana Carvalho and I go to the stake center and work out with Hermana Chavarri and Bukoskie. Hey, speaking of which, could you send us some work outs??? That would be awesome!:)
2. Hermana Carvalho doesn’t’ finish her mission until October, so we still have some time!
3. PRAY FOR LI!!! And pray that we can find a family to teach in our Pueblo area. We have been praying specifically for a family of four.
4. Tim is a YSA investigator, so he speaks English!
5. Georgina (Pueblo), Karen (Pueblo), Tim (Mission Bay), Li (Mission Bay)-those are all our somewhat solid investigators right now.
6. Not yet but she is in August!!!! So excited for her!!!:)
7.  The language is crazy, because our YSA ward boundary is English and our Pueblo ward boundary is Spanish speaking. It's a little bit difficult because we switch back and forth between teaching in English and Spanish everyday. It is good for me to stretch my language skills.
I am amazed though at Hna Carvalho's ability to speak Spanish. I know Portuguese and Spanish are somewhat similar, but still, she is doing so well. She is amazing. I'm so excited for you to meet her someday!!

Okay, well I hope all of you have an amazing week! Les quiero muchiiiiisimo!!!
Tchau tchau!!! VAI BRASIL!!!! :)
Hermana Lattin

Email #44 (Gilbert, AZ)

June 23, 2014

Holllla Familia!!
It's great to hear from you. When I heard about Norm's turn for the worst last week in the hospital I felt so sad for him and Marshall and Stella. I said a prayer that night and prayed that he would be okay, but I told Heavenly Father that I knew that His will was what was best. What is crazy, is that I distinctly remember Wednesday evening when I was saying my evening prayers, I knew it had happened...that Norm was gone. I felt very peaceful afterwards and that entire week, whenever I prayed for their little family, I just felt prompted to pray for Marshall and Stella that they would be strong, that they would be able to accept His will and feel of His love, and that they would know that their dad was in a better place, that he was happy and at peace. I hope they are doing okay, and tell them I love them. I will write them more of my experience in a letter.
Anyways, this week was a good one! This email is going to be pretty short because I'm going to send some pictures home... courtesy of Sister Carvalho because I forgot my camera cord at home:) Thank goodness for companions! Haha really though, she is the best. She is one of those people I've met on my mission that I knew I was supposed to meet and become good friends with! I love my comp.
We worked extremely hard this week and are going to continue to work to meet all the people in our Pueblo ward so we can get the work goin' in our area. Our Ward Mission Leader, Hermano Maynez is probably the most awesome ward mission leader in the world. He also just happens to be the coolest person in the world as well. His entire family is awesome and we LOVE THEM!! I think that's what I've learned this week, that we are so blessed to have amazing members, in both of our wards. I know that as we continue to work with them, we will see miracles happen here! It's not easy to work in two areas, it's almost a little bit overwhelming, because there is SO much work to be done! But I know that the Lord can do everything and anything. I know that He will guide us to those who are ready to hear our message and accept the Gospel in their lives! It will happen.
Here are the answers to your questions, Mamita:
11.    Yes, we actually leave the mission boundaries to go to church in the Pueblo ward every Sunday! (haha) It’s pretty weird, but fun, because I get to drive more than 45 mph on the freeway. Don’t worry, Dad. I drive safely. I consider Sister Carvalho precious cargo, so I try not to let my Boettcher driving instincts take overJ (haha) But yes, we cover those two stakes for all of the Spanish work. There are also a set of Elders and a set of Sisters (both Spanish speaking) serving in the Pueblo ward that are from the Mesa Mission, so that’s interesting.
22.    We have a car and bikes. Unfortunately, we rarely ride our bikes because our areas are so far apart. We spend a good portion of our time driving to different areas and different houses within our Spanish area.
33.    Yes, Hermana Chavs is in my new district!!! She is awesome and I missed her so much! Oh, and did I tell you Elder Caldwell (from the Mexico MTC) is my district leader?! It’s great.

Okay well I love you so much! I'll send some pictures:)
Hermana Lattin

With my new companion, Hermana Carvalho, on transfer day