Monday, September 29, 2014

Well. . . .It's pretty much been super spectacular week!

Partly cause I'm not sick anymore!!! I've just been feeling on top of the world. My poor companion and other uhh... roommates... (the other companionship that lives with us...:) Cuz all week everyday I think I've mentioned something about how great I feel and how excited I've been that I'm not sick anymore and I can eat with out feeling sick. It was just such a constant thing for a good 3 weeks so I've been super happy :)
Look what we found today!!! It's the mystery van from Scooby Doo! Couldn't help but take a picture... :)
I really love it here too! Our ward helps us a ton!! Always wanting to go to lessons and drive us around. It's really sweet. Definitely gonna try to be a good member missionary someday when I get home. We've been working with a wide variety of people here. One of the recent converts in our area has bipolar and lots of other health problems. She's lived alone for 34 years and never been married or had kids. Its been cool to see how the gospel has helped her life but... she also goes through her phases and they're really strong. I am learning to be more tolerant and patient but she is doing good and has a big heart. 

Then we have an investigator with schizophrenia. He's 50 but it's like were teaching a child. But he has lots of faith and is really really excited about the gospel and baptism. He waits outside for every cita and always arrives at church way early don't worry we never teach him with out members present. With him I feel like I'm also learning to be more patient and compasionante.

This is from last Monday in Bosques with my Zoe girl. She's the cutest! We had a tea party with yakults. My comp took a photo shoot of us.
We also have Karen and her angel daughter Ximena. They are golden. We had a lesson on Saturday and then they went to see a baptism. Karen has cancer in her bones but she's only 34. In the lesson she told us that she's always had a lot of faith, she's always wanted to get baptized but has never been in a congregation and feels like she's always missed that guide in her life. She told us that she doesn't want to go back to the presence of our Heavenly Father without being baptized first. She started to cry. It was a really tender moment. I know she's afraid of dying but I also know that God has a plan for her and everything will work out. She has been through lots and come a long way. Her daughter turns 8 in December and is sad that she has to wait until then to be baptized. I don't think I've ever met a girl so young with so much faith and understanding. She's adorable. I really love them. With them I've been learning how to pray with all my heart and how to have true compassion and love.
Our Bishop is way cool. Check out his birthday cake!! They invited us to come down and have cake with all the fam to celebrate. It was super good. Like orange tres leches. SO grateful that I was actually able to eat some. Yep. It's been a good week :) They are an adorable family!

Another thing I learned this week is that the pioneers were really wise to sing as they walked and walked and walked. It really does help! I think it was Tuesday we got stuck in the rain after a tough cita and were both feeling a little down. As soon as we left it started to rain.. then pour and just kept getting stronger and stronger. I put my scarf up close to my neck to keep from getting sick and with my small broken umbrella started to sing hymns through the storm. We had a long walk to the next appointment...but it was a really important one and we couldnt be late! Definitely helps though. Just saying.
En al CV otra vez!! Yeah we go a lot.. but it's so close to our area and investigators LOVE it. The Spirit there is so strong and its guaranteed to strengthen their testimony. Christian didn't end up getting baptized this week because he was too nervous. He's really ready though. We are gonna keep working with him and be patient. The girl next to me is Daniella. She's in our ward and just about to put in her mission papers :)
Selfie in the morning. My companion is the greatest! Felt like we didn't have enough pictures together.
We were able to see the women's conference on Saturday. I LOVED it. Made me realized how much I miss going to the temple and also the power and importance of covenants. Well about out of time but I've just been really grateful this week. I know that this is the Lord's work and that He is guiding us every step. To have the constant companionship of His Spirit I feel like I have to be constantly repenting but I know that it's there because I can feel it. I'm so grateful to be healthy and have been trying hard to fulling wear myself out in service of the Lord everyday to show my gratitude to Him.  

Hope everything is going well at home. Sounds like it is. Keep working hard and know that I love you lots! Have a blast in Peru and get me something cool ;) 

Con mucho amor.... :)

Hermana Rhoten 2 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hola! What a week!

Really loving Balbuena and all but I'm SUPER happy today because I'm back in Bosques for the day. We came to visit our old companions and to see Alejandra :) Feel so at home. Even though I really do love my new area and ward. We are doing well and seeing lots of progress right now. But I'm happy to be back again for a few hours :)
Found Hermana Larsen today at the doctors in Aragon! She's in the Northwest mission but was in my district in the MTC. I was WAY stoked to see her! Sounds like shes doing well :)

I feel like I'm learning a lot about faith and trusting in the Lords timing. We had an investigator pass away this week. The day after he had gone to church. He was preparing to get baptized in a couple weeks and was WAY ready. His faith amazed me. He had been in a car accident and was in a wheel chair with metal legs and little use of his arms. We actually still aren't sure what happened because he was only 50 and we haven't been able to contact his mother and have only heard from the neighbors. So that was sad but good to know that he had already accepted the message and the only restraint he had was physically being able to go to church. We had to arrange so members went to pick him up and carrying him in their car and then out of it and it was really hard for him physically so now he's in a place where he won't have those restraints anymore. The Lord has a perfect plan for everything.
Hermanas de Balbuena!
Got to go on divisions this week with Hermana Wilkinson! She was in the MTC with me too and it was really cool to see how she's grown and changed over the past 6 months. It's been fun having her and Hermana Lovell in the ward. Hermana Lovell is the girl that we met up with at the temple in Rexburg last year and Miranda also trained her best friend in Peru, Hermana Whitlock. We went running together this morning. I'm so grateful Ive been able to run on my mission. Hadn't gone the last couple weeks but finally was feeling up to it.
With Dani! Shes putting in her papers soon :)
That's the other really cool thing about this week.. I'm FINALLY getting better and should be almost completely good in a couple weeks. Thursday my intestines were way angry and huge so I had to go to the doctor again and they were a little worried that it has been lasting so long and just getting worse and said if it wasn't good by Monday I was gonna have to go do some other tests and stuff that sounded really miserable. They also gave be a pill to kill all bacteria and parasites and changed what I was taking before and gave me a list with about 6 things that I was allowed to eat which was super lame.
Ward activity Friday night for Mexican independence day! 
Then Saturday still wasn't feeling much better and we came home a little early and Bishop asked if I wanted a blessing. He actually speaks pretty good English and we had a good talk with him about faith and healing. Then in the blessing it said that my body was commanded to reject what ever illness that tries to enter it and that I should stay and rest tonight but that I would be able to wake up the next day as if nothing had ever happened according to my faith. That it was the Lord's will that I would physically be able to do the work that the Lord had for me here with out the restraints that I had before. I'm so grateful to be a member of the Church where we have the restored gospel and restored Priesthood power. I was reminded that through the Atonement we can be healed in every aspect of our lives.
This is the Young Women dancing. The Relief Society also danced and the Primary. It was way fun and cool to watch. There was TONS of different foods too! Even though I wasn't able to eat any of it... one of the members bought me a couple cups of jello though :)
And... it literally was a miracle. Yesterday for the first day in weeks my intestines didn't feel like they were popping out of my body and today the doctor was really surprised how good I was doing. So I've been really really happy today! Now just gotta be strict on food for a couple more weeks and finish some prescription and I should be good :)  

I know that the power of the Atonement is real and that through Christ anything is possible. This morning for personal study I read the His Grace is Sufficient talk by Brad Wilcox and remembered how much I loved that talk. Christ suffered so we don't have to. He paid the debt in full and all we can do is show our appreciation to Him by living His gospel and doing our best to change and become more like Him, that someday we will be able to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father and feel comfortable there. I know that this church is true and I love being able to preach it everyday and see the blessings that people receive. 

Hope everyone is doing well at home! Have a great week!

Con amor,

Hermana Rhoten 2

PS. Happy Birthday this week Sydney!!! Love you lots and you should shoot me an email because I don't think I have yours. Hope it's a good one!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hola! Happy Mexican Independence day :)

There's been parties and fireworks every night for the past few days from people getting prepared to celebrate and I've heard tonight is gonna be even more crazy. People really like to party here.
At the visitors center last night! The mother and daughter (Karen and Jimena) are investigators and they are golden. She has cancer in her bones and has to have surgery this week to remove it. We had one of the Elders give her a Priesthood blessing and she loved it and said that it was exactly what she needed. The promises in it were really cool. She is really strong though and excited about finding the gospel and preparing to be baptized soon. The other mother and her son (Guadelupe and Geovanni) were menos activos that work in our area. The little boy left a picture of Jesus that we gave him on the computer at their papeleria and through his small act we were able to find Karen and a couple other references.
This weeks been really good! Learning a lot and working hard. We had a really good zone conference with President on Tuesday and about how we can improve our teaching skills. A couple Elders in my zone gave me this purifying challenge talk. It's pretty sweet. You make a list of anything that is distracting you from the Spirit and eliminate it by constant prayer and strength from the Lord. Reflecting morning and night for 40 days and being extra cautious of any word, thought or action that could be uncomfortable for the Holy Ghost. At first I couldn't think of many things and had a small list of three things but everyday it keeps growing as I pay more attention to the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life. Even just doing it the past week I've already been able to see a huge difference and feel like the Lord is really on our side here in Balbuena. We had several people accept the invitation to baptism this week and are really excited to see their progress.
At our zone activity today!!

I'm way excited for dad and his new calling! He will do great! Brother Dye and Brother Powell will be awesome too. And sounds like Madison is doing great too! So exciting to get your patriarchal blessing! You will cherish it. I love reading and rereading mine here. It has helped me a lot. Crazy you are going to Peru so soon! One of the Hermanas that lives with me is Peruvian even though she grew up in Maryland. She loves Peru and is way jealous that you guys are going and says to send me Sublime chocolate because its supposedly way good.
Valeria! Bishops daughter that lives below us. Shes adorable :)
I think I've been getting better or just used to being sick but either way I'm sure it will go away soon :) I've been enjoying making all sorts of healthy creations with our blender and fruits and vegetables and other seed things that are supposed to be good. Probably gonna open up a smoothie shop when I get home. 

Think that's about it for now. Love you all and hope you have a good week! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Rhoten 2

Monday, September 8, 2014

Hola familia! Ya me fui de Bosques!!!

Diana and Hermana Benita. Gonna miss them!!
Just as I thought last week, I had transfers and moved to Balbuena! Even though Diana already told Mom.....tehe. So this week was a little bitter sweet. We spent Tuesday morning running all around the area to say goodbye and share little messages with the people that I could find. Hector and Alejandra fed us and drove us to cambios. I was excited to leave and meet more people but... definitely not excited to leave the people that I love so much and all the work I had done in Bosques. I might have cried this week for the first time since I left my house.
And Blanca. Shes gonna get baptized someday for sure.
Hermana Hilda! We worked to activate her and she's doing really well right now. Her son too! Sweetest lady ever.
My neighbors! We rent from Laura. She helped us a ton but never wanted to go back to church.
La familia Flores! Love them.
We came to say goodbye to Grecia and her family but we only found Christian. Gonna miss their family too! Good thing Bosques is only about 10 or 15 mins away in car from my new area.... about 30 in the metro though...
Hermana Sonia! She activated and her daughter Jessica was the one who really helped her with her desire to learn more and get baptized. She's now preparing to serve a mission in a year and a half. So we gave her Hermana Fowler's name tag for the picture :) Love them.
Saying goodbyes.. Gaby Diaz and I. Gonna miss them!
Hermana y Hermano Torres!! Love them. They've helped us out a ton... including buying me peanut butter :)
Happier note. My new area is really awesome and we have already seen many miracles in just the past few days. It surprised me how quickly I could love the people here. There is a lot of potential in our area and lots of work to do! My new companion is Hermana Medrano. She's from California and has 9 months in the mission. She is honestly the greatest. I am already learning lots from her and love teaching with her. We live above the Bishop's house with two of the other Hermanas in our ward. It's super fun with the four of us but also a little cozy. Not sure if I want to send you pictures cuz it looks super messy and cluttery but I really love it. And.... the shower works here!! And the boiler too! So I've been loving my hot showers this week! Our ward is way nice too! I don't know if you remember how I said before that there is one zone in our mission that has over half the Hermanas because it's safer and all.. well I'm in that zone now. So my ward has 6 Hermanas in it! Way different than my ward and zone before but I am really happy that I finally get to know the other Hermanas in my mission better.
In the car on the way to the cambios meeting with Zoe!! Shes the cutest. Alejandra says she looks like my daughter.
Cambios..... nada mas nos cambiamos companeras y areas.. tehe :) Pocito chistoso. There aren't many Hermanas or places for Hermanas and we just ended up switching places. We still haven't received new Hermanas since I got here and I've heard rumors that we won't until the first American Hermanas leave in Mayo. So... I'll probably never get to train until the end of my mission.. but maybe those rumors aren't true. No one really knows.

Not quite as happy note.. I'm still sick cuz that bacteria infection I had messed up my intestines just about everything I eat hurts so I had to go to the doctor again today. She gave me a prescription to take before every meal and a strict diet to follow for the next 30 days. I really liked the food here before but now I can't eat anything greasy or fried or spicy or pork or chocolate or dairy nor peanut butter. Pretty much just fruits, veggies, crackers, eggs, chicken, and soy milk. Wednesday I got a blessing and it said that Heavenly Father was aware of my sickness and it would be healed according to my faith but that I had to be patient and as I ate the right foods and drank the right amount of water He would heal my organs and cells. It was a really cool blessing because everything was so specific, and also talked about the work I had to do in this area.
Normal clouds in Mexico City! This was this morning going out for our run. We did divisions with the other Hermanas in our ward and I ran with Hermana Wilkinson! She was in the MTC with me :)
Alley way morning selfie :)
I know with out a doubt that this is where I am supposed to be and am so grateful for the time I have to serve. I know that the power of the Priesthood is real and that our Heavenly Father is very aware of us in every moment of our lives. He loves us and has a plan for each of us so that we can return and live with Him someday :)

Have a good week! Love you lots and am praying for you always!

Hermana Rhoten 2

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!! 24 years :)

Hope you've been able to enjoy it! Sounds like it was a rough week for Dad. I hope he gets better soon and the infection heals up. Keep me updated!
That's awful about AJ Hunt! I will be praying for a quick and full recovery.
Also I loved your ring story last week Mom. Its so true that God really does hear and answer our prayers.
We thought this random rusty fireplace thing was pretty cool so we took pictures with it :)
I'm almost positive I have cambios tomorrow so I've been taking more pictures this week just in case. These little boys are the cutest ever.

We've been getting lots of random gifts this week so we put them all together and took a picture of ourselves. SO grateful. I really love it here. The people are the best.

Diana got us the coke cans with our names on them! It's a pretty big thing right now I guess. They wouldn't let her do last names though.

With our chef investigator Fabiola helping with her chiles enogadas. She was stressed out about getting them done in time when we came for our cita so we ended up helping her and discussing her Book of Mormon reading instead.

And the final product of the chiles enogadas. She saved us a couple and we stopped by Sunday after church to eat them. WAY good. My favorite Mexican food for sure.

Fabiola and her mom gave us this bread poster. It's a map of Mexico from sweet bread. It's a pretty big deal here. There's panerias on every corner and they're super cheap!. Dad would love it!

And yesterday with Hermana Shulamit and her daughter Nicole. LOVE them :) A woman of great faith!

Today we spent most of the day painting the room for Alejandra's mom. We have gotten to know her pretty well but she lives in our zone leaders ward so she invited them to come help too. It was fun and turned out good but took a lot longer than we thought it would. But she made us breakfast and the comida and let us wash our clothes there. I'm gonna miss them lots!
Her daughter Zoe came to help us paint too. Shes adorable.

With Alejandra's mom and Zoe today :)

Thursday doing service at the Diaz house with some of the Elders in our zone. We finished all the primer in the apartment quick with all of us working.
I think this one is pretty funny :) Tall and short.. there's a place for everyone.
We had an awesome week! I have been feeling pretty sure I have cambios but I won't find out until tonight late. I love my ward and the people here but I'm fine with where ever God wants me to be. I'm really glad that our misión is so small too because it makes it easy to come back and visit on a pday if I can :)
Painting the casita :)
 We don't have much time so most of my email today will be pictures :) But todo esta bien aquí en Mexico! Days go by so fast it's hard to remember what happens during the week! But I am learning lots, working hard and enjoying every momento!
Have a good week!
Hermana Rhoten 2