Monday, August 25, 2014

Hola!! Its been a crazy day! Pday always flies by way fast.

The Elders in our zone wanted to have a breakfast party cuz some of them were having a hard week so we went to that at the church and I made some super sweet chocolate crepes even though I couldn't really eat them. We pretty much just ate and ended up playing soccer.. like always but it was really fun! There's a lot in our zone that already have time in their areas and will most likely have transfers this next week. Including me... maybe. I wouldn't mind either way :) I LOVE my ward and area here but I also almost have 6 months here so... it would be good to get to know more people and areas too. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have changes though so I've been trying to work really hard and set the area up good for whoever comes.
  Me with our collection of apples in the house. They are safe to eat so we've been going through apples like crazy!
Pretty much just took these because Miranda always takes pictures of her food... tehe :) This was last Monday at the house of our chef investigator. Her and her mom are way cool. We went to help clean their house last week because it was flooded from the rain and they fed us. It's not anything traditional Mexican though but they made it healthy because I'm still sick. They also taught us how to make way good guava tea :)
Another of me with food.
Our kitchen is kinda fun. We have the one stove that goes off and on lots and this other one our neighbor gave us but it works good :)
We cooked up some veggies for the week and made an apple pear tea with all different types of apples and pears and cinnamon. It was super good.
My comp got a package last week with starburst. We roasted some while the tea was cooking. Realizing how much we miss campfires.
Also I'm still sick. Long story short I had to go back to the medicos on Friday and they said that there's a bacteria infection from something I ate in my intestines and that's what really caused the colitis, not the change in food or stress. They said its most likely salmonella and some other bacteria name that I didn't recognize in Spanish. The day before it started a couple weeks ago from last Saturday the members gave us money to eat and we bought salads in a fast place and I think something in that wasn't fresh. But now I have an antibiotic and it should be completely gone this week :) I've had to be really careful and picky with what I eat though and lost a good amount of the weight I've gained here but I was actually pretty grateful for that :) And I still get to be picky and careful for another couple weeks with what I can and can't eat :)
The Diaz family is building an apartment on top of their house for Gaby and her husband and daughter. I LOVE this family. I've talked about them a little here and there but they are WAY cool. We went to help her paint today even though it took a lot longer than we thought. But we already got it approved to go finish painting the whole house with some of the other Elders in our zone Thursday morning. I'm way excited! We are always searching for service projects. Also her Dad went to church on Sunday for the first time in over 10 years! It was a miracle. Her younger sister went too! Love them and am happy for their progress.
My comp took some pictures of me putting primer on in this tiny corner. The little stairs for her 3 year old daughter were a little hard to work with :) I'm excited to go help finish everything on Thursday. It will go fast with lots of us and they will be SO happy to have it all done in one day.
This picture is the view from their apartment. All the houses are connected here. Nice and cozy with your neighbors. Pretty different from home.
But apart from that we had a really awesome week! The work here has been slowing down a little bit but there is still lots of potential here. There is always lots and lots to do but we've had more success with menos activos and conversos that investigators this past couple weeks. I really really love the people here and am amazed by how well people treat us and accept us. I wish I could tell you more but were about out of time. We have an appointment in 10 minutes with a girl we contacted the other day whose father just barely passed away last week. We had a sweet lesson with her in the street and really felt like we were inspired to find her. It's always so clear to me that Christ is leading and guiding His work. We can see His hand in it daily. I testify of Him that He lives and loves each of us more than we can imagine. 

Have a good week! 

Hermana Rhoten 2 

PS. Hope Kevin had good birthday last Saturday!! And I can't believe how tan and blonde Madison looks!! That's crazy!!! Love you all! Hasta luego ;).

Monday, August 18, 2014

What a week! A couple small challenges but we are learning a lot :)

I was feeling really sick to my stomach all day last Sunday and Monday night it hit me again really bad. I figured it would go away so I ate carefully and tried to work through it but it wasn't getting any better. Thursday we went to the doctor and they said I have colitis which is like inflamed intestines or colon. I got some prescription and they said it was just from the change in food here because I wasn't used to eating so much grease and chile. I was surprised that I hadn't had problems until now but they said it just happens little by little and can also be triggered by stress. That made the rest of the week a little tough but I'm feeling a lot better now. But I'm also not allowed to eat anything fried or greasy or citrus or chile or a lot of cream or cheese for another week and even after that I'm supposed to try and avoid chile and fried food for the rest of my mission.. which is pretty hard here. I was kinda bummed because I'm really starting to like chile a lot but I've never been a fan of greasy food so I've really enjoyed having an excuse not to eat it :) I totally thought of Darrell and Kim telling me last December in Hawaii that I needed to start eating a bite of fried food everyday so my stomach would start getting used to it and I wouldn't get sick when I came to Mexico... but I didn't listen... :) But it's really been a blessing. I think I was definitely humbled this week.
These are the only pictures we took this week! A little nervous about posting them... cuz we look pretty gross... but we had just gotten back from the gym this morning. I hadn't ran in the park all week being sick but today I got a solid 6 mile run :) I dyed my companions hair!!! So that was fun :) Now were heading to Alejandra's house to wash our laundry and hang out with her and Zoe. They are the coolest. Last night we had family night with them and made them dinner and cleaned their kitchen while they watched the Testaments for the activity. Pretty much date night. I will be sad to leave them if I get transferred in two weeks!

And it was an awesome Sunday. Even though we didn't have many investigatores show up. Every one of my converts were at church and going strong. It made me so so happy to sit surrounded by them this week and to see their progress. Cute little Grecia ran in late with her little sister and came to sit with us. I've really enjoyed teaching them. The gospel is so simple but sometimes we complicate it. Teaching to children helps me realize how pure and simple it really is. 

Our ward mission leader was out of town yesterday so he asked me to teach gospel principles. The lesson was on charity so I spent some good time focusing on that this week. I love the words of Paul in 1 Corintios 13 about how we can have all knowledge, all faith even enough to move mountains and give everything we have to the poor and give up our body to be burned but none of that matters if we don't have charity. In the mission we learn a lot about how we must have the faith to reach the expectations that the Lord has given us but we are also learning that we must have charity, the pure love of Christ. 

We were asked this week by our ward mission leader how we got ourselves so motivated to share the gospel everyday because they can't get the ward members to do their visits. First we told him that it's a little different as a missionary because we have been set apart and we know we have been called by the Lord. We have this responsibility and it's really all we think about and all we focus on. We don't have jobs or school or family here to worry about. Secondly my companion and I explained to him that we must have a love and desire to share. We can't only serve out of obligation but we must serve the Lord because we have felt the effects of the Atonement and because we sincerely want others to receive the same blessings. It was a cool experience to reflect on this principle and the truth of it. 

I know that this is the work of salvation and that God loves us and has a perfect plan for us so that we can return and live with Him, like Him and with our families forever if we choose to. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and that He is still guiding His church today. He is our Salvador and Redeemer. He can make weak things strong if we go to Him in faith. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to represent Him and serve Him. 

Hope you have a great week! 

Hermana Rhoten 2

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hola! The week went by quick again!

I'm trying to remember everything that happened. Tuesday we had a really good zone meeting and they talked about the importance in exact obedience and also a lot about personal conversion and applying the Atonement. My companion and I both hit our 6 month mark and we tried to convince everyone to bring us presents... but we did win a giant granola bar for having taught the most lessons the cycle before. Apparently that was our gift :) It was way good though.
Soaking wet at our zone activity today! We played soccer and ate hamburgers and then played capture the flag... but since they aren't allowed to touch the hermanas we used waterballoons.. then it turned into a water war. Pretty sure I won... :)
Wednesday I we had intercambios with my old companion Hermana Burrola and Hermana Izaguirre. I went to Izcalli with Hermana Izaguirre. It was way fun :) Her area is a good hour or so away and closer to the hills so it's way pretty. I should've taken pictures. 
Our baptism for this week fell through and we were a little bummed because we were really wanting to baptize every week this whole cycle. We fasted and prayed that the Lord would provide a miracle and tried our best to follow the Spirit. Our font had been left super dirty and not drained from the other ward so Saturday night we decided that we were going to wake up early and clean it. We knew that the Lord could still provide but we needed to be prepared and do our part. We got to the church at 6:30 yesterday morning and scooped all the water with buckets and through it out the window and scrubbed it all down real pretty. Then we left to go pick up investigators and help them wake up and get to church in time by 8.

Our zone leaders called and said they were having a last minute baptism but the water wasn't working at their chapel and they didn't have clothes for her either. They asked if them and another companionship could use our font. Our prayer wasn't answered in the way we hoped for but it all ended up working out in the end because our font was clean and ready to go and we got the opportunity to be a part of their miracle. She ended up using my white shirt and skirt too. It was kinda a crazy day but it turned out really good and we were able to bring a family of investigatores to watch the service. 

I know that God hears and answers our prayers. Jesus Christ is the head of this church and the head of this work. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and for all the things I've been able to learn. Their is always SO much to improve as missionaries and my companion and I are always putting new goals of how we can be better and teach better. I testify that it really is by small and simple things that Heavenly Father can preform His miracles. I'm so grateful for the chance to be a missionary and for the blessings Ive received being raised in the church.  

Hope all is going well at home! Love you lots :) Have a good week!

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten 2

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hola!! La semana ha pasado bien rápido otra vez!

Grecias baptism yesterday!!!! She's the sweetest. I have LOVED teaching her. Takes a little more patience but she has learned a lot and I love being able to teach the basic doctrine.
Her half brother Christian baptized her! He is sending in his mission papers in a couple weeks. Him and his older siblings have been members almost a year and a half. Grecia is 10 and loves going to church with her siblings and their mom. She was really excited to be baptized.
The before pictures :)
We've had a good week! Always lots of ups and downs but overall the good always overcomes the disappointments. We can see that Heavenly Father is always watching over us and providing for us. Sometimes we have to be patient and align our will with his but I love in 2 Nephi 26:24 that says that He won't do anything unless it's for the benefit of the world. I know that this is the Lord's work. He is guiding it to fulfill His purposes and bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
I got my hair cut last Monday at the Flores Salon! They are a really awesome family. Still working on activating them... but they are way cool. Ivan cut it and Paola curled it with a straightener. I had been just trimming the ends of my hair myself the past 6 months so it felt nice to get it trimmed for reals :)
It felt kinda weird getting my hair cut by a guy... but he did a good job!
Diana did our nails last monday!!! Love her!
I am learning that all we can do is be obedient and trust the Lord and then He can use us as instruments in His work. I love being a missionary! My companion and I made some knew goals this week to try and become changed. We both have 6 months tomorrow since we arrived at the MTC! We are striving together to overcome our imperfections and be more consecrated servants and representatives of Jesus Christ. There will always be more that we can improve but I know that the Lord is willing to help us when we come to Him and He can change us and sanctify so we become who He wants us to be.
Today we went to Hector's and Alejandra's to make banana brownie pancakes and wash our clothes. The zone leaders went too. It was pretty sweet! They are a way cool family.
We made this one especially for them :)
We are pretty tight on time today! Always so much to do! But I sent lots of pictures so hopefully that can make up for my short email. As missionaries we work hard but play hard too. The people here are AWESOME and I've made some great friendships! It will be hard to leave this area. So many people I love.
Sometimes people give us clothes. These are my favorite pajamas now.
Excited to hear how Madison's EFY goes! All the youth went to an EFY this past week and testimony meeting was incredible yesterday! The Spirit was so strong. They will all make great future missionaries :) Jessica our recent convert from last week went too! She LOVED it! We tried to have a lesson with her on Saturday but the whole time was stories from EFY. But it was still really good! I am so happy for her!
Our feet have the nastiest tan ever. Its pretty sweet.
Love you all lots and hope you have a good week!  

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Rhoten 2