Monday, July 28, 2014

I didn't get transferred!! Another 6 weeks in Bosques :)

Visitor's Center yesterday with Alejandra and Hector!! We love them!! We stayed for quite a while... they really loved it. The Visitor's Center is WAY nice here :)
I'm really really excited for this transfer. I feel like we are all set up to have a really successful cycle.
New agenda :) I didn't have transfers!! Way excited to be in Bosques for another transfer!
I love this ward. The members and people here treat us really well. We don't even go grocery shopping anymore because people are always giving us food. We pretty much only buy bananas and milk every now and then.  The months already almost over and I still have a good 800 pesos. My companion and I get along great and work hard together. Were finding a lot of prepared people and have a lot progressing and ready for baptism :) The mission has its times of planting seeds and times of harvesting and it feels like were definitely in a harvest right now. Days are busy and time is flying by quick but were enjoying every moment :) We got permission to go to a gym in my area this morning!! It was only 30 pesos for the day so well probably start going every Monday. It felt way nice but I think I'm gonna be sore tomorrow. I got a really good treadmill run in too and I can still keep a good pace like when I left but my muscles are sooo weak. The elders in our ward and our zone leaders came too. Then we all went to breakfast at Diana's house after. She made crepes and I made a strawberry mango smoothie. Way good :)
from the left it goes Elder Castro from Colombia, Elder Loya from Mexico, Elder Macias from Ecuador and Elder Loveland from Idaho. And me and Hermana Fowler :)
I decided yesterday that my two favorite moments in the mission are one: when were waiting behind the baptism font holding their towels and then getting to talk right after in the bathroom while they're getting ready. We get the first impression of how they felt and to see the instant change that people experience when they are baptized. They are always glowing and each describe the feeling differently.
Jessica's baptism yesterday!! Shes adorable! Left for efy today and gets back Saturday... then her confirmation Sunday and then her and her mom and going to the stake temple trip in Vera Cruz next Friday. Her mom had been inactive for almost 10 years but Jessica's desire to get baptized helped her come back. She is golden.
 And... two: when people start describing how their life has changed for the better from living the gospel but they don't really understand what it is... and then we get to tell them that what their feeling is the Holy Ghost. That the Spirit of God has touched their lives and that their Heavenly Father loves them and is aware of them. It makes it all worth it.

Since our last zone conference my companion and I made a goal to start giving out 4 Books of Mormon a day. I love teaching and testifying about this book and know that it is the word of God that has been saved especially for our day. Our mission President challenged us to read through it and mark Christ's name in one color, His doctrine in another, His words and another for His characteristics. So.. I've been working on that and it's been really cool to see that the Book of Mormon really does testify of Christ on each page. I know that He is our Savior and Redeemer and that He is an active leader of this church. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve as His representative. 

Hope everything is going well at home!! Enjoy the nice hot weather :) We haven't had as much rain this week.. lots of sun! I'm getting a nice missionary tan. Can't believe Miranda turns 22 this week! That sounds pretty old. Love you all lots and have a spectacular week!! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Rhoten 2

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hola todos! Como estan?

 I feel like I should be better about documenting everything that happens in the mission and all the cool experiences that I've had but it's hard to keep up with

I  can't remember if I mentioned last week that I was sick. But I had an awful cold with the crazy climate here the past week and a half. And it didn't take more than a few days to pass it on to my companion so we've both been sick but still working hard through it. Everyone keeps giving us meds and random cough syrups and cough drops to take and other natural Mexican remedies but we aren't really allowed to take a lot of it unless Hna Anaya gives us permission.
Special tea remedy that our neighbor gave us. It's with lime and cinnamon and honey and some random leaves. It was good though :)
We have transfers tomorrow and we won't find out if we are staying or leaving until later tonight but I think I am staying. I still feel like I have lots and lots of work to do in this area. In my interview on Wednesday I asked President and he said I should be staying one more which would give me 6 months in this area. I love working with our converts here and we have some menos activos familias that I really love too and are progressing. We already have baptisms planned and set for every week the next six weeks that I'm really excited about. We are hoping and praying that they all go through :)
Sunday morning we got up at 6 to make pancakes for a menos activo familia to help motivate them to wake up early and get to church. We made a chocolate surprise sauce with lots of random stuff but they LOVED it!! Also brought PB and honey and ate breakfast at 7 then went to church at 8. LOVE their family. These photos we were waiting for them to come down. They have the most comfy couches ever. And I was way tired.
I got your package Wednesday at our zone interviews and all the Elders were making fun of me for having you send me peanut butter. They do have it here... but not the natural flax seed kind :) The dark chocolate coconut almonds went fast but were WAY good! And I loved Miranda's letter. It really helped me realize that its by the small and simple things that miracles come to pass and everything is little by little. I will get to writing letters soon.... It's so hard to find time! Also Happy Birthday last week to Sara!! Hope it was a great one! And on Wednesday is Mason's right? Gonna be 11!!! That's way exciting! Only one more year until he can receive the Priesthood and go to the temple. Way cool. Happy Birthday Mason! Love you lots and hope it's a good one! 
Today we made chiles enugadas at Alejandra and Hectors house with her and her mom. They were WAY good! It's kinda a long process to make them but I think it was worth it. I'll have to make some when I get home :) I really love their family. We also played barbies and read the frozen story and colored tangled pictures with her daughter Zoe. She is the cutest. It reminded me how much I LOVE hanging out with children.
This is the chiles enugadas. Way good!
We also had a lesson scheduled with Gracia today :) Yep.. on pday... but shes 10 and wants to be baptized so she can be a member and go to primary and sing but we are working to get through all the lessons so she's more aware of what she's doing. We have been teaching her with her half sister Nancy whose a lot older and little Pamela who just turned 7. They are the funnest to teach :) We use lots of pictures and have made some fun little visuals. We hung out a little after wards today and made crepes with them :)
Not sure how I forgot to mention this.. .but Friday our neighbors put in the shower head!!! So we have a shower that works now :) I was SO happy I took a photo. Its still cold water but its a real shower :)
Emily Cabbage!! I saw your email I printed the other day and realized I haven't written back in forever! Yeah it rains just about everyday :) But we are learning to love the rain! It's always really refreshing but sometimes it makes us sick and our clothes smell bad. There are a couple Elders who play piano and I'm sure there are some Hermanas that do too but we rarely see other Hermanas where I am right now. One of the Elders has been teaching me how to play piano without reading music and it's pretty cool :) I hope you are having an awesome summer and spending lots of time enjoying it in the pool. I definitely miss swimming lessons but am enjoying teaching the gospel too :) Ask your mom to send me your new address! Love you and hope you and your family are doing well! 

So glad to hear that girls camp was good this week! Sounds like all is well. Think were out of time and heading to a cita right now but love you all and hope you have a spectacular week!!
Con mucho amor, 

Hermana Rhoten 2

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hola todos! Another week came and gone!

I didn't take notes again this week so I will try and remember all that happened. We are working really hard and having a lot of successes but also a lot of trials. Transfers are this week but I'm really hoping I can stay one more and that they let us keep the whole area that we have right now. There's a chance they might put another companionship in and split it like it was before. I like having the whole area because we are kept crazy busy and spend the whole day running from one cita to the next. Literally running... sometimes :)
Love her!! We had some cheese cake for breakfast today. I didn't know that existed here. Way good.
Posing are nails at Diana's house! We are pretty spoiled.
Tuesday we had a really good zone conference. We have an awesome zone and leaders. President has put some new goals and expectaions for the missions are we are trying really hard to reach all of them. 

Hectors baptize went really really well yesterday! They are the cutest family and we really love them. We went to Walmart today to print off their pictures. We decided the one of them hugging and all in white should be their Christmas card foto saying ¨This year we took a big step in our eternal progression¨ We are really happy for them and the progress they are making as a family. It was a really special day :)
Hector's bautismo :)
Yep. They're adorable.
Our zone leader Elder Ramirez came to baptize him because they were in their ward antes.
Also yesterday we went to the visitors center with the Flores family. We really really love their family too!! They are the cutest. They live in their dads salon which is really sweet. They have only been menos activos for the past 7 months and were really cold to the church but right now they are warming up little by little. I'm really excited for the progression they are making.
At the Visitors Center last night with the Flores Family :)

Another cute family in our area accepted a baptism date this week and went to church yesterday!! The grandparents, their daughter and her husband and their grandchild who will be 8 next month! They decided that they all wanted to get baptized for his birthday :) 

I love it here in Mexico and am really learning a lot. My companion is the greatest too and we are striving everyday to be more diligent, patient and trusting in the Lords timing. We also made a goal this week to teach and testify with more power and authority. Sometimes I think we get a little nervous because we still don't have a lot of time in the mission and don't speak or understand Spanish perfectly but we know we have been called of God to teach and anything is possible through faith and relying on the Spirit to guide us.
Diana took some pictures of us singing:)

There are so many incredible people here that I want you to meet so I hope you can plan a trip next August..... :) Also I am really happy to hear that Madi and Siena are doing good! Madison sounds so busy! Anxiously engaged in a good cause. Keep working hard and remember to have fun too! Sounds like Miranda has been sick. I skimmed through her email where she said shes realizing that shes not happy when shes not teaching. Its so true. Teaching and sharing the gospel brings SO much joy and I'm SO grateful for the opportunity to serve. Hope she gets better soon tho! 

Sorry I didn't write much this week! I will take better notes through out this week of good things to say! But I took lots of pictures so that should make up for it :) 

Have a great week!

Hermana Rhoten 2

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hola!!! The time keeps flying by!!!

My companion and I both completed our 5 months this week! That seems so weird to think. And we already have transfers again in 2 weeks but I think we will stay here together one more.... hopefully!!! I don't want to leave this area quite yet. We've found a lot of new people and I feel like I still have lots of work to do here but.. well see :)  
  I was slacking on taking pictures this week so here are some of me here in the internet cafe. The lighting was kinda weird from both sides... It started to rain crazy hard on our way back from the mission offices sending references. We have two huge boxes to carry back for our zone too! We got pretty wet waiting for the camion. But President was in the office when we were leaving and called our zone leaders and told them they have to bring us tamales and atole for our zone meeting tomorrow morning to repay us. So....  it was worth it :)

We didn't have a baptism this week but Claudia and Ignasio from last week were confirmed. They have just been glowing ALL week! Yesterday we went to the Visitors Center as a ward and they both LOVED it. Claudia was really excited this week to show us all her markings in the scriptures and talk about everything she's been reading. They are both so golden and happy and excited to share the gospel. That's the best part about being a missionary :) We get to see people change their lives and feel the joy and blessings that we can receive when we make and keep sacred covenants with God.
Ran into Braden Nelson at the Visitor's Center

Also yesterday Paola, who had been menos activa for years and her daughter Shady, who is 10 and preparing to get baptized in a couple weeks, came to church and blessed her baby girl. We adore their family and LOVE teaching Shady. She is the youngest investigator I've had but she understands really really well and is always making us cute little bracelets and drawings. She has been a huge example for her mom in helping her get back to church. We are really excited for them :) 

More pictures from last weeks zone activity
This Sunday Hector is getting baptized!! We LOVE their family too. His wife Alejandra had been menos activa for some years and they were in our zone leaders area for a while and they helped them get married and then when they moved here they told us they had a goal to get sealed in the temple. So we told them he better get baptized so they can. They started going to our ward and reading and praying consistently. He gets home really late from work so we go to them a few times a week in the morning and then switch to do our studies later. They are way cool and she likes to feed us different traditional Mexican food every time we go :) They want to get sealed next year in Salt Lake and said they can do it when Hermana Fowler and I are home so we can go :)
Also this week we got a reference from the Elders to the nicest family ever. Fabiola and Oscar and their mother Rosa Maria. Fabiola is a chef. We contacted them last Tuesday evening with out a cita or anything and she let us right in and brought out some fancy cakes and made us yummy sandwiches too. After they invited us over the next night because she was making posoli verde which is way good. The Elders were pretty jealous when we told them. We don't just eat there... we also have been sharing the Restoration and they were all really excited to read the Book of Mormon and fascinated that Christ came here in the Americas. A lot of people are really excited to hear about that :) 
The other day a little boy in the street saw us and walked right up "Ah las gringas!" We kinda chuckled and I started to introduce us and he interrupted ¨Si las mormonas!" He was all excited and told us that he had family that were members and he had gone with them before and really liked it but his parents don't like to go. He gave us his address and told us to come teach them. He looked like he was about 10 or 11 max but he told us he was 14. The way he just walked up with such confidence and approached us still makes us laugh though. 

Well that's probably enough for this week! I really love the people here. There's still so many more I want to talk about but I will save them for next week :) One thing I am learning is that as missionaries we can do everything but nothing at the same time. We have to follow the Spirit and do all possible to help people make and keep covenants but it all comes down to their agency and faith which is something we can't really change. Sometimes it's hard to see them fall or reject the truth but I know that when we trust in the Lord everything works out. He has a plan for each of His children. Sometimes the choices of others hurt and affect us but Christ´s Atonement covers every pain and sorrow we feel in this life, even the ones we cannot control and if we come unto Him with faith and trust in the power of His sacrifice, we can find the peace, joy and hope that everyone is searching for. I am so grateful to have the gospel in my life and for the opportunity to share it everyday :) 

Hope all is going well at home! Looks like it was a fun trip to Lonna's last week! Love you lots and hope you have an awesome week! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Rhoten 2