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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Email #61 (Gilbert, AZ)

October 20, 2014

HOLA querida familia!!
How's it going?
So, this email might not be super long because we have a super crazy P-day planned, because Sister Carvalho has a lot to get done before she leaves...
But I'll fill you in a little bit on the crazy week we've had.
So, transfers happened and we are in a quad-panionship:) So I just happen to be companions with all 3 of my best mission friends... Hermanas Carvalho, Chavarri and Woolstenhulme (Lana)!!!! Hahahaha oh man we have a blast together. I am so grateful that I have been blessed to meet some of the most amazing people here on my mission, and that they have become my close friends. The sad thing is that I'll have to say goodbye to all three of them within the next transfer... because Sis. Carvalho leaves next Tuesday, and this is Hna. Chavarri and Lana's last transfer.
Anyways, so we've got the quad and we're covering all three of our areas: the Gilbert Spanish branch, Mission Bay (YSA) AND Pueblo... let's just say that it's been insanity for the past few days. But the kind of insanity where you are running por todos lados and teaching a lot, so it's such a GOOD insanity. It's just a struggle being organized with all of the investigators and people to meet and see, but the Lord is helping us. It's going to be even crazier when my compi leaves, because we won't be able to split off at nights to see different people, but we'll figure it out. I've got to learn how to be extremely organized because next transfer, because I won't have all these solid companions to help me..... I think by next transfer hopefully I'll just be covering Mission Bay and the Branch so that should be more manageable.
One thing I do want to share from this past weekend was one of the coolest experiences. We had a baptism in the branch, her name is Elizabeth and she is the sweetest, most prepared woman I have ever met! I only taught her twice before her baptism but even in just those two lessons, she blew me away with her faith and testimony. She is amazing! But at her baptism, President Nattress was there and shared his testimony in Spanish. Let me remind you: President does not speak Spanish, except for a few Gospel basics. He started to share his testimony in Spanish and the Spirit hit us all like a wall. The words were flowing out of his mouth and his grammar was perfect, but most important, the Spirit was testifying to every single person in that room through President's words that "mi Redentor vive." It was an amazing manifestation of the gift of tongues that I will never ever forget. I am so grateful for my mission president. I have learned so much from him and his testimony. Every time he bears his testimony, whether it be in English or Spanish, you can feel the Spirit testifying to you of the truth that our Savior lives, that He is the living Son of the Living God. He is the BEST.
There are no notable updates on our investigators at this point, we're just doing our best to help them progress to baptism. I'm so sorry I don't have enough time to give you a low down on some of the new ones. Our two new investigators are Raquel and Araceli. I will update you next week!
Just be sure to pray for Tim that he will have the desire get work off on Sundays so he can come to church and Edna-that the Spirit will touch her heart again so she can have the desire to be baptized.
Have an amazing, fantastic week!
Moroni 8:3
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Lattin

Email #60 (Gilbert, AZ)

October 13, 2014

Como estan todos?? Espero que todo este bien en la casa de la familia Lattin:)
So, I bet you're wondering what's happening with transfers, and I have all the news. Sister Carvalho and I will be together for her last two weeks here (her parents arrive here from Brazil on the 28th to pick her up)!!!!! Hooray!!!! Once her parents come, I will be in a trio with Sister Chavarri and Sister Woolstenhulme up in the Gilbert Spanish branch!!! So we will be covering both the branch and the YSA ward. I am pretty stoked.
The sad news is we're moving out of Pueblo:( Which, although the work is difficult there, I have met some of the most AMAZING members there who support us so much and take care of us so well, so that ward will be a hard one to leave. But it will be good for that area because they are going to put a zebra trio of elders in that area, and the Spanish elder will most likely be Elder Vazquez, who is a native mexicano and he will be AWESOME for that area. Just what Pueblo needs. He is a super solid missionary and he will definitely make miracles happen in that area, no doubt. We met with President Nattress last week and he asked us what we thought he should do with that area, since we're losing so many Spanish missionaries in the next few transfers (especially sisters), It was definitely pure inspiration that we gave him the idea to move Elder Vasquez over there.
So, yep. That's the transfer low down!
Man, I can't believe my companion goes home in two weeks... my heart really hurts every time I think about it!
This week was pretty good! I feel like there isn't a whole lot to report on... OH. We are so grateful that you fasted for Tim and Edna yesterday. They need it. Both of them most likely won't be getting baptized this Friday, unless Heavenly Father works some miracles in the next few days. The only way it could happen is if Edna changed her mind this past weekend about changing her date. She went back home this weekend to be with her family for her dad's birthday. She expressed to us her worry that the same feelings of sadness and anger would come back, so we hope she was able to be strong and hold on to the love and strength God has been giving her these past few days. She also told us that she didn't feel like she would be ready on the 17th, so she wanted to change it. But we are going to try and help her be ready for baptism before Sister Carvalho leaves. That's what we're praying for. So please pray for Edna this week.
And Tim… He just recently got a new job and will be working on Sundays:( So his progress will probably slow down quite a bit until he gets Sundays off again. He is doing well, but if he can't come to church his spiritual focus will definitely take a hit. And if that's taking a hit, then it will be harder for him to recognize his answer, which he is still struggling with a lot. So pray for him too.
Tony Li is doing well. He just told us in our last lesson that he still isn't sure he believes in God, and he isn't ready to get baptized, but "maybe in 10 years". Haha he is still coming to church though and went to the Meet the Mormons movie and LOVED it!!! He especially loved the Humanitarian from Nepal, because his home village is on the other side of the Himalayas, so the scenery was familiar to him. It was a cool connection.
Speaking of the movie, IT IS AMAZING!!!! You are all going to love it!!! Prepare yourselves for one of the best movie experiences you've ever had. Seriously, it is so good. I bawled like a baby in the last story. The whole thing really just perfectly captures the lives and faith of these LDS people, who live very different lives in places all around the world. It is an inspiring movie. And I love that the whole theme it sets forth is that we are fervent believers and dedicated followers of JESUS CHRIST. I'm so excited for you to see it!!! That's crazy that it was sold out when you went to see it! That makes me so happy. Definitely invite your friends and go request it on meetthemormons.com so it will come to even more locations in CO!:)
Okie dokes, well I love you all so much!!! Hope you have an amazing week.
Moroni 8:3 (as always:))
Hermana Lattin

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Email #59 (Gilbert, AZ)

October 6, 2014

Hola hola!!
Hey there, mi familia querida! Sounds like life is pretty good in the Lattin home! Whenever I walk into a home with a lot of kids, noise and craziness, it makes me feel so happy because I feel right at home:) I have a hard time when things get too quiet, I'm not used to it!

Anyways, can we just talk about the fact that General Conference was AMAZING??? Seriously, I was mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted because it blew my mind. I always love the themes that come out of it, because it helps me know what specifically we, as Christ's Church, and individually as God's children, need to understand work on, and improve. And wasn't it SO cool to have the speakers deliver their talks in their native language?? We watched the 2nd session of Saturday in Spanish with Edna and it was awesome to hear Eduardo Gavarret deliver the talk in Espanol! And Sister Carvalho was really excited about the one in Portuguese:) I took some great notes that I forgot at home, so I don't have all of my favorite things from conference accessible currently... but I remember a few things:) I absolutely loved our Prophet's words on walking AS Christ did, and following His perfect example as His Disciples., President Uchtdorf's on Saturday Morning, he was so powerful in his assertion that we need to know for ourselves, and that when we seek for, receive and embrace divine revelation from God through the Holy Ghost, our vision of truth and eternal reality is clarified and broadened. And then President Eyring was so sweet as well expressing his love for our prophet. And Elder Nelson, Elder Scott, Holland, and Bednar... all of them were SO GOOD. I wish I had the words and time (and my notes) to I could express how much I loved it. But it sufficeth me to say that it left me with an even greater conviction that my Heavenly Father loves me, and that He loves each of us more than we can comprehend and because He does, His Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, marked the path back to our heavenly home and through his mercy and love, he made it possible for us to do so, and that it is our responsibility exercise our agency to CHOOSE to do the things necessary in order to return back to our Heavenly Father, that we must seek truth through personal revelation, accept the Lord's will, and act in obedience to His laws and commandments, as established by His chosen servants, all along the ways serving and loving our families and friends, that we may return all together to live in the presence of our Father and our Savior as eternal families. And that's what it's all about. Conference left me feeling a strong conviction and confirming witness of all of those truths. I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!:)
General Conference brought some great progression with our investigators, Edna especially! She is awesome. She LOVES the Book of Mormon and I think Conference helped her to understand the significance of having a living prophet and 12 apostles, and she really felt the Spirit. She feels good about the 17th of October (which happens to be my companion's b-day:)) and is preparing for that day. She is truly our milagro.
And another cool thing happened thanks to conference too! Hna Carvalho told me Saturday night that she felt really strongly that we needed to invite Sony and Phanuel (the guys from the Congo) to General Conference. So we followed the prompting and called them and they said they would come, and bring a friend! So they watched the first session on Sunday. Now remember, they had a lot of doubts and questions and caused quite a bit of contention over two topics: the Prophet and the Godhead. And what were the two main themes of that session? PROPHETS AND THE GODHEAD. How amazing is that? Pretty amazing. I don't know if it changed their beliefs, because especially Phanuel didn't seem completely convinced, but they definitely felt the Spirit, and even if they didn't recognize it, I know the Spirit testified to them the truth of our message. We are going to see them this week, so we'll let you know how it goes! Tim, unfortunately didn't come:( He bailed last minute, but hopefully he'll come to FHE tonight so we can talk to him then and tell him what he missed out on.
I cannot believe it's the last week of the transfer... and I cannot believe my companion goes home in just 3 weeks (she's staying 2 extra weeks while her parents come to visit). I am so sad that she is leaving me, but we wont focus on that right now!
Okay, well have an awesome week! Remember to review notes you took on each talk and try to make some goals as a family and personally to work on so the words and promises of our church leaders can come to pass!:)
I LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO SO MUCH. Don't ever forget it.
Moroni 8:3
Hermana Lattin

Email #58 (Gilbert, AZ)

September 29, 2014

Holaaaa. Well, this week was the birthday week and it was great. My companion made sure to remind me every day (starting last Sunday) that it was my birthday WEEK. So she said happy birthday to me pretty much every day this past week haha. But it really was a great week, filled with a lot of miracles, a lot of love, and a lot of cake (a lottttt of cake...). But THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGE!!!! I absolutely loved it. I especially loved all of your letters. Thank you so much for that. I seriously have the best family in the world. Just sayin'. My birthday day was so great and both our members and investigators alike just made me feel so loved and special. The Morales Fam took us to Joe's bbq in Gilbert where I got a free birthday meal!! It was soooo good, and we're definitely going there when we come back as a family. And then we had a lesson with Tim and he baked me a cake AND got me a gift. Tim is the sweetest. OH! And he's on date for October 17th, so that is a birthday milagro for sure. And then later that week, my compi made a brigadero cake for me (brigadero is Brazilian deliciousness) and Hermana Villalba took us out for lunch, our favorite less active Rafael made us dinner and a Tres Leches cake (best I've ever had in my life) AND the Maynez family gave us another delicious tres leches cake yesterday. It was just great. Birthdays bring many opportunities to share the gospel!
The one thing I wanted to tell you about that was incredible this week was our lesson with Edna. She is one of the most amazing people I've ever met, and it is incredible to see how God is working miracles in her life as she is giving her heart to Him. In our lesson on Saturday, she essentially bore her testimony to us about the Book of Mormon and told us that she feels it bringing her closer to God than she ever has been before. You can tell in her eyes that she knows what we are teaching her is good and true. She is scared of the commitment of baptism, because she knows how important it is, but she said she has been thinking about it a lot. We invited her to pray about the 17th of October (it's just a great day:) haha) to be baptized. She told us she'd think about it because it's so soon. But that lesson was one of the most amazing lessons I've ever been in. The Spirit was so strong and was testifying to all of us the truth of the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Between us, Edna and our awesome member, Carly, we could feel of our Heavenly Father's love for each of us so strongly. It was one of those moments where it was yet again confirmed to me that this work is true and I am so blessed to be part of it. Edna is such a special and amazing daughter of God, and seeing her enter the waters of baptism will be one of the best days of my life.
This gospel is true. I know it. And thanks to my mission, the experiences and trials Heavenly Father is giving me, my companion, and the amazing people we are teaching, I know it now more than I ever have in my life. I know that the gospel was given to us by a loving Heavenly Father so we could make it back to Him one day. I know that He sent His Only Begotten Son to suffer and die for us in order make that possible for us. His Son is my Savior, my Redeemer and I know that He lives. And because He lives, we will all live again, and if we do all we can in this life to follow his example, we can return to live with him and our Father again, as eternal families in His kingdom. I know that God has restored His gospel on the earth through His prophet, Joseph Smith, and that the authority and power to act in God's name was restored in order to provide us the ordinances needed to enter back into Heavenly Father's presence. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that by reading it I have come to know my Savior and my Father better than I ever have before. I know that we have a living day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and that by learning and living His counsel, and the counsel of the Twelve Apostles, we can know exactly what we need to do in order to make it home someday.
I am beyond blessed to be a servant of the Lord. Being a missionary is the best. This gospel is the best. My family is the best. I am just too blessed to stress (as Jake would say).
So, yep. That's pretty much it.
Hahaha alright well I love you all tons!!
Moroni 8:3
Hermana Lattina
Birthday Time!
Hermana Carvalho's famous Brigadero Cake!

Email #57 (Gilbert, AZ)

September 22, 2014

Querida familia,
HOLA! Sounds like Olivia's cumple was a blast! I'm so glad she got to ride a horse! Dreams do come true! Did she get my card?:) I know my artistic talent isn't prime, but it was made with a lot of love. My little baby is 3! I can't even believe it!
And WHAT??? You had 33 non-members at church yesterday??? That is amazing. I'm excited to hear how the primary programs goes as well! Let me know who comes and how it goes:)
Well, this week was an interesting one. I got this weird flu thing on Tuesday and it lasted until Thursday. It was one of those times where I really, really missed my mom. But my super great companion took good care of me, so I survived:) That's one of the worst things in the world though, getting sick on your mission, because you feel so useless! All you want to do is go out and work, but at the same time you feel like you're dying, so all you can really do is lie in bed and sleep.
That consumed a huge chunk of our week, but the good news is that we still were able to see many miracles!
We had a miracle Monday night because all three of our investigators were at FHE! They seemed to have an awesome time and the members are doing an awesome job of fellowshipping them. They are all coming along at their own special pace, but the progress that we've seen with all of them is amazing. Especially Edna. I really think Edna is getting close to baptism. She is very sensitive to the spirit, and despite the fact that she's a little stubborn, she knows that God wants her on this path and that baptism is something that He wants for her. We taught her the word of wisdom on Thursday and we had an awesome member with us! Her name is Carly and she just got back from her mission in the Philippines. Anyways, she was really helpful and I think her testimony helped Edna understand the importance of the Word of Wisdom and the blessings that come from it. But Edna was hysterical throughout the whole lesson because she is not happy about the fact that she has to give up coffee and wine, but she knows it's what she needs to do. She also has been reading every day this week and has even almost been late to work a few times because she gets so caught up in the Book of Mormon! It is a cool thing to see how the Spirit works with her, and how often times when she has doubts and questions, she is able to answer or resolve them herself because the Spirit brings the truth to her remembrance:) She is awesome.
Also, we are teaching this little boy named Luis in the Spanish area. His mom, who is less active, works a ton so they aren't able to come to church very often. He is 8 and wants to get baptized, so Hna Perez (his mom) wants us to teach him and prepare him for baptism. He and his siblings are the CUTEST kids ever!!! Luis reminds me so much of Nate when he was a little bit younger. He cracks me up! They are the best though, definitely one of my favorite families I've met on my mission. OH and we had a miracle yesterday in our finding efforts in Pueblo! We took our good friend Mariem (a prospective missionary-she is AWESOME), with us to visit some people after the Book of Mormon class, and she suggested that we go visit Alex and Veronica and their two kids, some friends of Mariem's family who have come to a lot of activities, but never come to church and are extremely busy with work all of the time. We've been trying to contact them for a while now, but weren't able to get in, until last night! They were home and we were able to go in and get to know them a little better and (despite the mom repeatedly mentioning that they are Catholic), we were able to share our testimonies of how the Gospel strengthens families and the importance of reading the scriptures. We are going to try and go by to read the Bible with them this week:)
It's crazy that it's my birthday already tomorrow... how did this happen??? Just yesterday I was in Mexico, right? This year has really flown by. It's been the craziest but best year of my life so far:) I am so grateful for my mission and for all the things I am learning and in all of the ways I am growing. We went on exchanges this week and Hna Baria (she goes home this next transfer) was sharing with me some pearls of great price that she has gained whilst on her mission and she said, "Don't miss a moment". This is such precious time that the Lord has given me, and before I know it, it's going to be gone. That realization has stuck with me for the past few days and has made me feel pretty nostalgic, especially having a companion who is leaving me so soon. I can't miss a moment that God has given me out here to serve Him and bring His children back to Him!
Alright, enough with the cheesiness! I hope you have a FANTASTIC week!!! Thank you for all your prayers and love. You all are the best! Moroni 8:3
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Lattin

Spanish Speaking sisters in the Gilbert Mission!

Email #56 (Gilbert, AZ)

September 15, 2014

FAMILIA!!! Hola!!!
It's so great to hear from all of you. I was thinking about my last homecoming week and I told Hna Carvalho about how crazy it was! Olivia was born, the homecoming bonfire, the homecoming football game, staying up late into the night TPing the junior girls, my birthday and then the dance on Saturday... Loco! It was a party though. Speaking of parties, that party that y'all had instead of going to the dance sounds like it was a blast!!
I also cannot believe how cold it is there! It still is about the 100s usually during the day, but it isn't too bad anymore, it's starting to cool down. All the rain we got last Monday definitely helped cool it down here! I am a little jealous that fall is there in CO, because it's so beautiful during the fall, but I am really grateful that I'll miss a lot of the cold:) Winters here are perfect so I can't complain!
Anyways, this week was awesome! It was a week of teaching for sure and we saw so much progress with all of our investigators. Edna, Tim and Tony all came to church!!! I felt a little silly because when we were sitting there and they were all there with us in sacrament meeting, I was so overwhelmed with love for them, and I got a little teary. Nobody noticed though (I don't think) so that's good:)
I am so blessed. So, so blessed. It really hit me hard yesterday that I am so blessed to be serving my Heavenly Father and serving all these amazing people. Whether it be my companions, investigators, members, other missionaries, leaders or just random people on the street, I know that God has placed me here with these people so that I could learn and grow from interacting with and serving them. He knew I needed to learn how to be more like his Son, Jesus Christ, so he placed in my path some of the most amazing and Christ-like people I know. I am so grateful for the people I've met on my mission and for all they have taught me, and for the opportunity I have everyday to feel a little bit of the love Heavenly Father feels for those I serve.
Also, cool thing about yesterday that happened!!! At the clase del Libro de Mormon, we were learning about Christ in the Americas and Hermano Laparra just happens to be really good friends with Robert Allen, the person who is Christ in the Reflections of Christ photo series... so he came and talked to us!!! It was so amazing to hear him speak about his experience, and his testimony touched every single heart listening. It was a powerful experience. It was strange to see Jesus standing up there at the pulpit in a suit and tie... but then I had to remind myself it wasn't actually Jesus:) haha but he was amazing. We got a picture with him but I forgot my camera so I will send it next time!

Answers to questions Mamita:
1. All of our investigators are doing well, like I said they all came to church and are progressing very well. Edna is especially just soaking it all in right now. She has some worries and concerns about the Word of Wisdom (coffee and wine), but we are going to teach her about that this week and also try and find a baptismal date for her. I'll let you know how that goes! Tim is progressing, a little bit slower, but he'll get there eventually. He's come to church 3 weeks in a row so that's a milagro!:) I'll give you better updates next monday, because some great things should happen this week! We found a new investigator named Marialena and she is this sweet old lady that is good friends with the Morales family in our Pueblo ward! More on her next week. Also.... Vanessa has disappeared again:( I'm trying not to lose faith in her though. I'll let you know if we find her.
2. Yes, we do get fed by the Spanish ward and they are the BEST! The miembros in the Pueblo ward are so kind. So many amazing families that love us and do everything they can to help us out.
3. As I wrote about, the Book of Mormon classes are going super bien! People are loving it and it is an awesome thing to watch their desire to share The Book of Mormon grow as they are strengthening their testimonies of it.

Also, FELIZ CUMPLEANOS, OLIVIA!!!! I just realized that the only birthday of hers that I've been physically present for was her actual BIRTH day... sad:( that's okay though. She knows her big sis loves her! Give her a big hug and a kiss for me!!!
OKay, have a semana fabulosa, familia! Make good choices, remember who you are and remember who He is:)
Hermana Lattin