Thursday, August 13, 2015

So it's been a really really busy week!

We have been all over the place with meetings and the open house and trying to get everything set up in the area because they will be closing it for a month until more hermanas come. The Elders in the ward will be taking over so we have been introducing them to all the investigators and converts here.
my granddaughter and daughter and selfie.
It's been fun to be with Hermana Wilkinson again. I've gotten too know her pretty well the past year and a half and we've had some powerful lessons together this past week. She is an awesome missionary!

with families in Valle. baptism last Sunday

Thursday we had a meeting with Bishop and talked to him about the goals we have for the ward with the results that the temple open house should leave and he asked us two to plan a special sacrament meeting for this past Sunday on missionary work. It turned out really well. We ended up speaking which we hadn't planned but also the ward mission leader and bishop spoke. It was a very powerful service. I spoke of the blessings of the temple and the restoration of the Priesthood and my comp tied it all in to sharing the blessings of the gospel.

another family in Valle
We have been teaching lots and lots of lessons on temples and eternal families and trying to invite everyone possible to the open house that will start tomorrow! This past Monday we had a training meeting with all the hermanas that will be participating. We watched a video that had Megan Nielson and Lenise Volmer in it which was pretty cool. I'm assuming it was filmed when they were on their missions in Provo. They let us go through the temple and gave us a special tour. Elder Valenzuela and Elder Ken Richards and Elder Deoyos gave tours which was pretty sweet. All seventies. It was a really cool experience to be inside with them and the mission presidents from the 3 closest missions.
The temple is gorgeous!! I am so excited for us to come back in September to see it. It was so beautiful even though the Spirit isn't quite the same right now because it isn't dedicated yet.. it's still amazing. After our training and tours Monday we started helping out with the VIP that came that afternoon. The people who live close by the temple got special invitations and came this day as well. Even after just a few hours that afternoon, President showed my comp and I a huge stack of references that we had received. He pulled out one and said "Hermanas how would you like to receive this reference?" They had written on the comment card, "I loved it. I feel like Jesus Christ is here. I would like to be a member." Awesome right?
this is what my area looks like
My health is surprisingly doing a lot better. Last Saturday we had a zone conference and President's wife noticed I was still sick. I hadn't been telling her the past couple weeks because I figured I would just have to work through it and be sick until I got home and figure it out later. She didn't like that plan all that much and had us cancel our citas for the afternoon and come back with them. It was their pday so we went shopping with Pres and Hna Anaya and then back to their house to eat. Gave me some home remedy ish stuff for my stomach and I've been feeling a lot better since. We went to their stake talent show to watch their son that evening too. It was probably the weirdest day of my mission but also really fun to get to know President and Hermana Anaya better. President drove us to the subway Sunday morning because our ward doesnt start til 12. Pretty sweet day. And I was worried about going home and not being able to eat much but I think I will be able to eat good now :) Feel free to make lots of food.
last district class yesterday.
matching yellow shirts.
Today was a crazy day because we had to pack up and move everything to the temple grounds. We are staying in the Visitors Centers sisters dormitories the next few days to be closer to the temple. Tomorrow and Saturday we will be helping at the open house from 9-9 and we just heard that they might open Sunday in the evening as well! Monday we get to help out as well until they take us off to President's house and then take off for the airport around 3 in the morning we heard.
trying to get everything out of the house. all lined up on the stairs.. so much stuff!
I've loved my mission so much and I'm so excited for this weekend to be a part of the temple open house and feel the marvelous Spirit that is there. I have learned so much the past year and a half. My testimony of living the gospel has grown so much. It is the happiest way to live. I understand better the importance of our covenants and applying the Atonement into our lives daily. My faith in the Savior to help us change and become what the Lord wants us to be has grown incredibly. I have seen His power in the my life as well as the lives of many people here. He can make weak things strong. I am so grateful for Christ in my life. He is my Redeemer and King. This is His Church. It has the power and authority to perform the ordinances that will allow us to live with Him, Heavenly Father and our families forever.   
Excited to see everyone soon! Have a good week! :) 

Con amor,

Hermana Rhoten

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hola hola! Well it's been a busy past week!

 It was my last week in Mocteuma :( Sad to leave but comforting because I know I will be back to visit by the next fast Sunday when we go as a family and that makes me feel a little better! I truly loved my time there. It's been a good past 7 months :) Sad saying goodbyes!

Saying goodbye to familia Galicia! So sad. They are the greatest. I am so grateful I had the privilege to live with them for so long. 
Familia Neri! Love them.
With Jesus and Alicia. They are the sweetest!
Maricela started progressing really well this past week. We were able to go to the Visitors Center with her and also were able to find out more about her grandmother. She was a very very well known women in our ward who past away 7 years ago. She was known for being generous and bore her testimony every fast Sunday. It was so cool to make all the connections with other ward members. Her grandmother is now trying to share the gospel with Maricela. Hope she keeps progressing and gets baptized soon! :)
At the CV with little Alisson! And her dad went too.
My generation left this past Friday and my comp had to be at the offices for a training meeting so I was able to say goodbye to all of them. I thought that would make me want to be leaving with them but it didn't. Just the opposite. I was so glad I wasn't leaving yet and will get to go to the temple before I leave. I have been waiting so long to go in!
Saying goodbye to Hermana Fowler!!!
The next couple weeks will be very very busy! Hermana Heywood's new gringa hija got here yesterday! Hermana Gantz! She is awesome and I trust they will take good care of Moctezuma. So now I'm with Hermana Wilkinson again since we both extended and will be leaving together. We are in Valle de las Americas. I had already been here before on divisions. It's absolutely goregous!! It's outside of the District Federal so its not quite as city but still is. I went from the very bottom of our mission to the very top.
Me with my daughter and granddaughter at cambios yesterday :) Hermana Gantz is the new hermana. She's from Florida.
3 generations :)
We will be spending lots of time traveling to the temple and back it sounds like. I've spent my whole mission about 10 mins from the temple and now we're about an hour in public transportation. We had part of our pday yesterday and the other part today because we had a temple open house training meeting this morning. We will have a longer training meeting next Monday with all the hermanas that will be helping so we won't have pday til Wednesday. The open house starts next Friday the 14th but we get to go in with the VIPs on Monday!!!! So excited!!! :)
I found Frida today at the temple when we went for our meeting :)
So yesterday on our way to pick up Hermana Heywood's new comp with family Galicia we dropped Isaac off at the airport. Off to Utah! He's marrying an hermana from my mission the 22nd in Logan. They are adorable! Happy for them.
Isaac owed us pancakes :) They were really good until I threw them up. I think my stomach is broken.
All is well here in Mexico! I am cherishing every moment I have here and trying to make the most of it. I feel good about the work I have done the past year and a half. Kinda feel like getting to go in the temple next Monday and all next week is my reward :) It will be an awesome experience.
We found a mouse in the house this week! We put poison. And made a trap so it couldn't pass out of the kitchen. I'm out of that house now anyways :)
Well that's enough for now! I love you all so much! Have a good week! :)

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, July 27, 2015

It's been a successful week!!

Nacho got baptized!! After lots of weeks and months of preparing. He's made lots of changes in his life... getting married... quit smoking.. and many more. Him and Alma both look so much happier already!! :) Many members went to support them. Their 8 year old niece Andrea was also baptized! She wore my white clothes. 
It's been interesting this week to see so much progress with our investigators and in the ward because the past two weeks I've been sick and we haven't been able to work at our usual speed. We've learned that the Lord truly knows our hearts and intentions and knows that we have been doing all that we can. He only asks for our all. If we give him our best he will make up for the rest. And health wise I am doing better by the way. Not completely better yet but getting there. Good thing I extended so I have a few more weeks to get healthy before I come home :)
We met Maricela this week and had the coolest experience with her. She contacted us and asked if we were the English teachers because she saw a sign we had left. She said she would like to learn English but works during the hour we give classes. We said we would teach her at her house if she would like. We got there already feeling like we were going to teach the gospel instead of English and we did. 

She explained to us her story of how she had a dream in which her dead grandma who she loved so much told her to go take care of her uncle which is why she moved. Her and her grandma were always really close but she told us she didn't know why she was here but feels like God and her grandma sent her. When she realized we were Mormons she said her grandma was also a member of the church. It was a really sweet experience. We told her that was why she was here to find the church. She started to cry. After reading about the restoration she let us in with a big smile and said she was just like Joseph Smith and now she's found the truth. She doesn't have much but gave us these huge bottles of natural honey :) Adorable. Sad this is my last week in the area and won't be able to teach her for much longer.
We are working to finish reading the Book of Mormon together out loud in Spanish before this week is up! We are scheduled to finish on time. This past week we read and spend some time pondering all the miracles that Christ did in the Americas and the incredible faith of the people there. He wasn't able to do such marvelous things in front of the people in Jerusalem. Only few people saw Him as a resurrected being but in the Americas he presented himself to many. Many touched the nail prints in his hands and his feet and bore testimony of his reality. I was left meditating of all the many miracles the Lord can do in my life if I only have faith in Him.
At the Visitor's Center 7-19-15
My faith has grown so much these past several months as a missionary and the best thing about our faith is that there is always room for more growth. It will constantly grow as we keep doing all that the Father expects of us and recognizing his hand in our daily lives.
At the Visitor's Center 7-22-15
Happy Birthday to Miranda this Friday! Hope its a good one. I love you and miss you and will make you a mexican treat when I get home. Tacos? haha arroz con leche mejor :) Or some limon pie. Or flan. There's some pretty good mexican postres. 

Also I found one of our ancestor stories in the July Liahonna this week. About Ira and Wealtha Hatch. Pretty sweet right? Talks about her faith to be baptized in a freezing icy river and deciding not to wait til summer to get baptized. And then about how they left their home and helped build the temple. Pioneer day on Friday we watched the Legacy movie during the food. The members put it in. :) It was a fun little celebration. It's short and finished right as we finished eating.

That's probably enough for now! Everything is going so well here. I love being a missionary and and cherishing every last moment I have :) It is an exciting time here with the temple opening up soon :) Next week I will be writing on Wednesday and probably no longer here in Moctezuma. Love you all lots! Have a good week!

Con amor,

Hermana Rhoten

Today we went to a mercado and then made chocolate chip cookies with our convert Alisson and her cousin Frida. That's what the last picture is from :) They didn't turn out quite right... but they still tasted good! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Well it was a little bit of a trying week being sick

but today I am feeling much better and hoping it stays that way. I think this week was the most sick I've ever been on my mission or I've just forgotten the other times. That's the cool thing about the mission. There are so many good times and miracles that it makes you forget the trials.
One big lesson I learned this week is how much the Savior loves me. How much He loves each and every one of us. I was able to feel His love through so many people this week. I have no doubt that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers and that He knows me personally.
I have also learned that the best medicine is teaching the gospel. There is so much joy that comes from sharing the gospel and feeling the Holy Ghost testify through your words. It makes me so happy and I started to think a little bit this week of how I am going to be able to feel the same Spirit in my life even when I am not teaching the gospel full time. I will have to be anxiously engaged in a good cause and strive constantly to be worthy of his presence but I worry it won't be the same.
Our investigator Raul is progressing so well and is ready for his baptism this Sunday. He is an older man and has been so prepared to receive the gospel. He loves reading the Book of Mormon and remembers every detail. Sometimes I think he has taught us more that we have taught him. He is golden.

Nacho is getting so close to his baptism. He has gone from about 20 cigarettes a day to 1 or 2. We keep praying he can drop it. He has already made so many changes in his life in getting married and goes to church even after working the night shift as a taxi driver. We are still on a chocolate fast until he drops it but its been pretty easy since I've been sick and wouldn't be able to eat it either way haha.

Yesterday we went to the Visitor's Center with Valentin and his niece Angela. She has more than 2 months going to church now but still doesn't have permission to get baptized. Her mom wants her to wait longer. The good news is that today she left to EFY until Friday. We are hoping that she will come back with a strengthened testimony and stronger desire to be baptized and have the courage to talk to her mom about her desire with more certainty. It was fun in the CV with them because we were able to watch the video of Valentin there. It was a surprise for her.
My heart has been so full of gratitude this week for so many reasons. Sadly we weren't able to teach as many lessons as we would have liked but were still able to see good progress in the area and ward. We felt the love of so many members. Especially the family we live with. They were constantly checking up and even made me chicken noodle soup! It was the first time I've had that on the mission. So good. I can't even express how grateful I was for their many acts of service. My comp took a picture of one morning that they made me a rice drink with cooked apples and some toast. I actually ended up throwing it all up this day but it was still really good.  
Glad to hear everything is going well at home. Exciting that Mason turns 12 this week! Hope to be able to go do baptisms with him in the temple when I get back! They still have the Thursday morning session right? Hope Madison's knee gets better and isn't anything serious. Love you all! Have a good week!
Hermana Rhoten