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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Email #55 (Gilbert, AZ)

September 9, 2014

Hey there, fam!
So much has happened this last week. After I emailed home last Monday, President called. He had second thoughts about transferring Hna Carvalho. He gave her the choice to stay or not because it's her last transfer, and so she prayed about it and felt she needed to stay, and so we've got one more transfer together!!! HUZZAH!!! So stoked. It's going to be great because we're going to just give it all to the Lord! Pray for us that we can be exactly obedient and become sanctified missionaries so we can see miracles!
After the transfer stress, this week was a good one. We were able to teach all our investigators except for G (who was spending the week at one of her hija's house) and A (who was on a cruise). But I think one of the coolest things we were able to do is have a tour of the outside of the Gilbert Temple with E. We've started doing this Reception Center at the stake center right next to the temple where we can talk more about the temple, about baptism, family history and all sorts of awesome stuff. We give tours around the temple to our investigators AND also every Thursday night there is a mission choir concert about Jesus Christ and it is AWESOME! So powerful. So E came to that (she missed most of it because she was late) and then we walked around the temple with her and talked more about it. I am so grateful for that temple, and for all temples in general. I love that even those who cannot enter inside (yet:)) can still feel that God is there and that it is His house. It is funny too because she thought the concert was in there and so she walked inside the temple to the front desk... hahaha but God works in mysterious ways because through that, she was able to feel what exactly it feels like as soon as you enter the walls of that sacred place. She told us that she felt so much peace when she went inside, and she really loved it. So that was cool:) She can feel that everything we are teaching her is good and it is helping her come closer to God, but she is still worried about having to let go of the "superficial" things that she likes (aka coffee and wine). The thing is that she knows this is the path God wants her to follow, but she is scared of changing! As she continues to feel the Spirit testify of truth to her, she'll get there, poco a poco:)
Also V! She is back in the Lecheria and we saw her two days in a row. She is so awesome and she wants so badly to be part of Christ's church because she knows it is true and she just wants to have a new start at life, a clean slate. She knows that baptism will give her that and so she definitely wants to be baptized. We don't know when yet but it will happen. Everyone who knows her from the Pueblo ward is a little wary and skeptical about whether or not she will just disappear again, but I have faith that this time, things will be different. It is difficult to contact her because she doesn't have a working phone, but she isn't working right now so we can find her at home a lot. We tried to stop by this morning so the elders could give her a blessing because she is sick, but she didn't answer... just pray for her that she can be consistent so we can help her progress towards baptism!!
We're trying to figure out what T needs, because his progression is definitely progression (he's come to church two weeks in a row! hurray!), but he has yet to get a solid answer about the truth of our message. He feels good and he really really likes us but he still doesn't feel that God has answered his prayers yet. We're going to work on that this week. We're going to try and solidify his baptismal date of the 27th of this month. And T Li! Oh T Li, I love that cute Chinese kid. He is so funny and so happy all the time. He loves church and loves socializing. He's come pretty consistently for the past two months probably. He always tells us how grateful he is for us. Whether he knows it or not, he is really sensitive to the Spirit, because he is slowly but surely developing a belief and faith in his Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. We were able to teach him and A about repentance this past week and we talked a lot about Jesus Christ and his Atonement, that he suffered for all of us so we could repent, change and become better and return to live with Heavenly Father again someday. And then the next day (yesterday) it was fast and testimony meeting and SO many people bore beautiful testimonies of the Savior and their gratitude for his atoning sacrifice:) it was great.
Anyways, answers to your questions, Mom!

I already answered questions 1-6:)
7. Yes, we are hoping for cooler weather to come our way! It's actually raining right now, hoorayyyyy!!! It was starting to cool down a tiny bit before, but I think this rain will really help. Either that or it will just make the hot days hotter with humidity:) haha but a ver!

8. YES! We do get to go see the new temple. They haven't told us a whole lot about it yet. But I am excited to see it.
Alrrrrighty! I love you all soooooo so so so much! Have an amazing, fantastic week!
Moroni 8:3
Hermana Lattin
Together for one last transfer!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Email #54 (Gilbert, AZ)

September 1, 2014

Hola Familia!
Happy Labor Day! Hope your having a great day with the family:)
So... in all honesty I don't have much to say because my mind is slightly preoccupied with the fact that we just got transfer calls and I'm staying here in Pueblo but my compi is leaving. I am so bummed. I haven't quite grasped the concept yet. I just don't get it. We're doing so well here, in the YSA especially. I keep on tearing up about it and I am just really sad. I know that there is a purpose to everything and that President is inspired, but I don't see any reason to move us. I don't see why it's necessary, especially since this is her last transfer. Hna Carvalho has become my best friend.  We've grown together and worked together in ways that I've never seen with any other companion. The amount of trust and love we have for each other isn't something you find every day in a companioship. Cheesy, but true. She knows me better than anyone else, (except for my family of course), and I love her so much. I want this last transfer to be the best of her entire mission.  I also just can't grasp the idea of not having my compi around to laugh and be weird with.  :(  Sorry, I'm just rambling but I am struggling right now. We will have to see what happens.
But of course, I don't know everything. The Lord does and I know He works through President Nattress to help us learn, grow and become our best selves. 
Sorry this email is so lame and depressing. 
Anyways, this week was a good one! A lot of progress with both Tim and Edna! I am really hoping that we can get both of them on date this week so they can continue to progress towards baptism. I'll update you on their progress next Monday. CRAZY NEWS! Remember Vanessa who I taught back in Queen Creek? She lived in the Lecheria before she moved to Queen Creek, and now she is back!! AND she called Hermana Maynez to tell her she wanted to get her life back together and go to church. How crazy and amazing is that??? Pretty crazy and amazing. We haven't seen her yet, but I'm sure I will cry when I do:) And then she'll get baptized this time, for reals!!!:) I'll let you know how that goes!
Okay well, hope your week is a great one, and that all of your wildest Labor Day dreams come true!
Hermana Lattin

Email #53 (Gilbert, AZ)

August 26, 2014

Hey there, Lattino fam (and others who are reading this email)!! Sounds like you had a crazy birthday week! All my little sibs are growing up on me! Crazy. Those videos cracked me up!!! Olivia seems to take after someone I know when it comes to blowing out birthday candles:)
Also, you all are such studs for doing that Sprint tri. Brings back memories of when Zoe and I did it.... hahaha my favorite part was when we were running and there was a giant sign that indicated that there would be a water table at the top of a certain hill and Zoe, who was wayyyy ahead of me, gets to the top of the hill, turns around and, with great fury in her voice, yells "THEY LIED, THERE'S NO WATER!!!" or something like that... I probably looked like a hot mess because I was dying and laughing at the same time. Oh Zoe. I miss her. But congrats on completing the sprint tri! Y'all are the best!
This week was pretty great! A lot of good progress with our investigators, two of which we hope to, I mean, that we WILL (if it is the Lord's will) put on date this upcoming week. We were able to teach E twice last week, and she came to church!!! She still has quite a few questions and doubts, but I know that God will help us and her as we continue to teach her and as she continues to do the things that will bring her closer to her Savior Jesus Christ. She is awesome and so sweet. We love E!! AND T came to church!!! We've gotta figure out what his struggle is with church though, because it takes A LOT of effort to get him there and then when he does come, he books it out right after sacrament meeting. And Tony, sweet sweet Tony Li came to church as well. He is definitely one of those people that even though he doesn't understand everything, he is so humble and willing to learn that the Spirit is able to work with him and help him along his journey, even if he doesn't quite recognize it yet:) He told us last time that when he went to the Bowler's home last week and talked about eternal families, that he really liked that idea. He told us that's what he wants and we promised him that he can have that as he continues to develop faith in God:) He is awesome!
So this is the last week of the transfer! Seriously, time is FLYING. I can't even believe it. And I'm going to be praying that Hna Carvalho stays with me for her last transfer!!! She is just the best. It will probably be one of the saddest days of my life when she leaves... but that's not for a while so we won't talk about that.
Okay, here are the answers to your questions, Mamita!

1. Hmmm....What would I do differently in sharing the gospel in High School knowing what I know now? I would have definitely been bolder. I feel like when people asked me about it and when I heard other people talking about it, I was happy to stand for what I believed and answer questions, but I was always afraid to bring it up myself, to initiate a conversation about how much Jesus Christ means to me and why I am so grateful for the restored gospel in my life. I wish I would have done that with all of my friends, because I feel like I would have been much more pro-active rather than passive in being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
2. A typical day? I started to type it out, but it sounded really boring, because it was just a list of times and activities that we typically do as missionaries, more of the routine, ya know? I will write it out in more detail and with more thought and send that to you next week!:)
3. Am I working out? Is that a fat joke??? hahaha just kidding…although I know I'm getting a little chubby:) but yes we workout........ sometimes it just ends up being "stretching" but we've made a goal to run every day this week!! 
Okay, well I love you all sooooo much! Have an amazing, fantastic, wonderful week!!!
Hermana Lattin
Beautiful AZ sunset

Email #52 (Gilbert, AZ)

August 18, 2014

Hola! I can't believe school has started for y'all this today!! That's crazy. I can't even believe it. And it's la semana de los CUMPLEANOS!!! How are my siblings growing up so fast? Sammi and Alex are going to be 17?? No that's not real. And Max is going to be 7?? That's not real. Shelby is home?? Not real. And then how have I been out for a year already?? That's not real either. Time is going by ridiculously fast. Seriously, every week just flies. But enough of that, because it's too much for my brain to handle.
FELIZ CUMPLEANOS ALEX, SAMMI Y MAX!!!! I'll be sending each of you a birthday letter so be excited!!! Hope your birthdays are AMAZING!!!! LES QUIERO!!
Anyways, this week was a good one! Nothing too out of the ordinary, just working and finding and teaching!
But to not waste time I'm going to update you on investigators as promised.
The Asians- They are all starting to get extremely busy with school... they've started a new phase of school and everything is starting to get crazy. They can only meet with us on weekends, but they can still come to church! We haven't been able to meet with all four of them in a long time, but T and M have been pretty consistent. Especially T. Last night him and M went over to the Bowler's house and before we got there (we were at the Book of Mormon class), they had a discussion about temples and eternal families! So when we got there, we headed over to the Gilbert Temple to show them. They loved it. Their progression is still relatively slow, but they're doing well. Hopefully we'll be able to see the other two sometime this week!
A and A- She is still not super excited about meeting with us but she came to an activity we had in Pueblo ward this past Friday! And it was perfect because it was all about the Plan of Salvation and eternal families, perfect for her. Plus, she got to chat with more members and be fellowshipped a little more so that's awesome! I'll let you know if we get to teach her this week.
T- T. T. T. He's doing good. Except for the fact that HE DIDN'T COME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY. :( He always makes such good progress when we see him, and then he drops off the face of the earth for a few days, doesn't answer calls or texts and doesn't come to church! We'll be teaching him tomorrow so we'll be doing some serious talking with love:) haha
G- She's doing about the same. She has told us several times she wants to be baptized so she can be clean from her past, but she doesn't come to church:( we read el Libro de Mormon with her a little bit the other day and she really liked it. She told us that she asked her hija about baptism and she said no... I was on exchanges with Hna Bukoskie and she was able to share her story about her conversion and that her family didn't support her but the Lord blessed her as she moved forward with faith! It was really cool and just what she needed to hear. Hopefully she'll start acting upon her desires to get baptized and receive her answer that it's true!
E- She is so sweet. She came to FHE last week and LOVED it! We taught her the Restoration and she had a lot of questions and doubts. She committed to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. She went out of town so we haven't seen her since then but she is coming to FHE again tonight so that will be awesome!
A- We FINALLY got in with him last week and talked more about the Book of Mormon. He told us that there have been so people throughout his life who have told him to read the Book of Mormon and so he thinks that's a sign that God is telling him to read it:) His whole entire family (his wife and all his kids) are SUPER active in other Christian churches, and they are a great family. A is very sensitive to the Spirit, and very open to learning, so when he prays and asks, he will receive his answer from God and then he will bring his whole family with him:)
Las Clases del Libro de Mormon- they're going super well! Hno Laparra is an awesome teacher. It is mostly members there and a lot of recent converts (Edith and part of the Garcia fam from Queen Creek come!!:)), but last night a family in Pueblo, the Morales family, brought some non member friends that our in our area! The Pueblo ward is so awesome. We have great ward missionaries and an amazing Ward Mission Leader so it's fun.

Okay well I love you all TONNNNNS! Thank you for all your prayers and love. I feel it lifting me up every day! I have the best family in the world. Bottom line.
Hermana Lattina

Email #51 (Gilbert, AZ)

August 11, 2014

Hey there, mi querida familia!
Hope all is well in the Lattino home! I should have you know that I have officially adopted the name "Hermana Lattina" in the Pueblo ward, thanks to Hermano Maynez calling me that every time we see him. It's pretty great.
So this week was a pretty solid one. The most exciting part about it was that we found 2 new and GOLDEN investigators. The first one is Edna. She just moved from Texas and is in the YSA area, but she is also Hispanic and was so excited to find out we speak Spanish! She speaks really good English too though and she is really excited to meet new friends her age in the ward! She was a referral from some elders that helped her move in, and we went to see her and she was SO nice and open. We went back the next day to teach her and she opened up to us about pain and sorrow she is having due to her father's death just two months ago. We were able to testify to her about the Plan of Salvation and tell her that learning and accepting the restored gospel of Jesus Christ would give her joy and happiness. She also told us that she thinks it was a sign from God that she just happens to be surrounded by 4 companionships of missionaries who are next-door neighbors to her in her apartment complex:) She is awesome! We were supposed to teach her again on Saturday but she was sick, and she wanted to come to church but she didn't... but we're not giving up hope yet! She is really excited to come to FHE tonight with the ward so that should be fun! Our other new investigator is in the PUEBLO AREA!!! WHOOO! His name is Antonio and he's so awesome. He is currently really active in another church... but we're not losing hope with him either yet! He was a referral from some English elders who OYMed him and he told them that he had met missionaries a year earlier and they gave him a Book of Mormon, but the Spanish ones never contacted him after that (que malos:(), so we went over and saw him and he was super happy to see us. We have yet to teach him a real lesson still because he is pretty busy with work and watching his grandkids, but we have big hopes for him because he has great desires to learn and know the truth! He is awesome. We are going to teach both of them this week, so I'll let you know how they are progressing next week:) I am so grateful that God listens to and answers the prayers of his children. I know that prayer and fasting change things. They show God that we have enough faith in Him to ask for the things that we desire, and that we know that if it His will, he will grant it unto us in His perfect time and in His perfect way. 3 Nephi 14:7-11
In other news, we went to the Gilbert temple last Tuesday (amazing as always), we had Zone Conference on Wednesday (it was so AWESOME! Look up the new Mormon message "The Hope of God's Light", it is the coolest video I've ever seen, besides "Because of Him"), and we went on exchanges on Thursday and I was companions with Hna Chavarri for the first time in about 8 months! That was a good time. And on Sunday Hna Carvalho and I spoke in Pueblo! It was the first time I've ever had to speak on my mission... hahaha but it went really well! We were able to bear our testimonies on the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Something that my compi said in her talk really stuck with me. When we remember the blessings we have from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no way we can be sad or murmur or complain about our lives. It's so true! Remembering those blessings instills in us the realization of how much our Heavenly Father loves us, and how blessed we are to have this Gospel in our lives. Despite the trials and difficulties that we go through every day in this life, it's hard to be unhappy when remember all that we've been blessed with! Also, we had our Libro de Mormon class yesterday again and it was awesome, again! We had over 100 people there! It's so awesome to see all these amazing people get excited about the Book of Mormon. Also, I just really love Spanish. It's the best.
All of our other investigators are essentially the same... I'll update you on any changes or miracles next week!:)
Okay, well I love you all and hope you have an fantastic week!!!!!
Con todo mi amor, Hermana Lattina

As promised, a picture with my new glasses

Email #50 (Gilbert, AZ)

August 4, 2014

Hola. Sounds like you had a pretty good week, everybody! I'm so sorry Max got a concussion! That's crazy!:( Poor guy. Feel better, Max! And Eliana is crawling already????? What??? That's so crazy! Wasn't she just born yesterday...? Time is such a strange thing out here. Time really does fly when you're having fun, and especially when you're serving the Lord. I can't believe Shelby goes home next week.... that hurts my heart a lot. When I saw her email that said "ultimo correo (tal vez)" I about broke into tears. And if I almost had an emotional breakdown in the library, I can't even imagine how she feels.... I know she's probably trying to think about it as little as possible, but I bet it's still hard. Weird.

Anyways, this week was a pretty good one! Hna Carvalho and I are just having a blast out here in the AZ heat! Seriously, I feel like I never stop sweating.... And my face just gets really red all the time so all our Hispanic friends always are like "Estas bien? tu carita esta rojita!". Thus is the life of the guera. But life is good! We struggled a little bit with teaching opportunities this week, and are beginning to realize that we have A LOT of work to do in our area, especially in Pueblo to find new investigators. I'm striving to better understand the mysterious ways in which the Lord works when he puts people into our path, and we plant a seed but they aren't quite ready to accept it, so their progression is slow and they don't make a whole lot of efforts to change. It's frustrating. BUT (if you buy 2 completos, is only 2 dollars! BUT...), we must put our faith and confidence in Him because His plan is perfect and He is the one that makes miracles happen in His own time, and we are merely instruments in his hands. I witnessed this first hand as I was able to watch my old investigator Edith enter the waters of baptism this weekend. She is the cute little Puerto Rican lady that Hna Chavarri and I found a long while back. When we found her, we taught her for about 2 weeks and then she dropped us, and later we started teaching her again but she never made much progress. I was transferred from that area, but always saw her at church and occasionally got to teach her while on exchanges. She was stubborn and didn't want to be baptized because she felt she had already accepted Christ in her life and was already baptized into a different church. But God softened her heart, answered her prayers and she was baptized. And it was amazing to see that. Although it was not her time to be baptized when I was in that area, she had experiences that converted her to the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, thus bringing her closer to Him than she was even before. She is an amazing woman. Anyways, the point to that story is learning to have patience, to realize that everything happens accordingly with the Lord's timing and in his way, as long as we let it. If we do that we will see miracles with our current investigators and the investigators we are going to find. And although I know that everyone has their time in which they will be ready to accept the truth into their lives, and that time might not be now, I also know that there are people that their time is now, that God has prepared them to receive our message and they are searching for the truth but they know not where to find it. That is what Hermana Carvalho and I are going to focus on this week, finding those that the Lord has prepared for us to teach, especially in our Pueblo area that is really struggling right now.
Also, our Book of Mormon Class started yesterday!!! IT WAS SO GOOD! There were tons more people than I expected (oh thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? haha :)), about 90 people! Hermano Laparra did an amazing job and everyone loved it. We are so excited for how these classes will animar los miembros hispanos en esta area!
Answers to your questions, Mamita:
1. Our asian investigators are doing okay. Progression is really slow because they are busy with school, and they also didn't come to church yesterday, but we are going to teach them this week so hopefully that will help their progression.
3. F and A are doing well! A still isn't a huge fan of us, but we're trying to get her to like us by giving their cute daughter candy and stickers... hahaha but she is really nice to us when we're there, but when A tells her we're coming she hides in the house... we're going to keep working with her and our members in Pueblo are going to help with amistad, which will help out a lot.
2. T didn't come to church yesterday and hasn't responded to our texts in a few days:( we are going to get him on date though this week when we teach him! So pray that he will be able to accept and work towards that date.
3. G is...well, she’s G! She told us she prayed (once) and didn't feel anything. When we told her she has to pray more she was like "I have to pray more than once??" haha so she is doing well, just once again, slow progression.

Okie dokie, well I love you all so much! I hope your week is fantastic and I'll be praying that all goes well with school prep within the next few weeks!
Les quiero mas que todos de los tiempos que alguien nos diga que va a llover, pero no llueve...:( jajaja
Have a great week!
Hermana Lattina