Monday, October 27, 2014

Already another week!

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 Everything's going great in Balbuena and the days are passing by quick. We've been working really hard and are starting to have lots of success. Not even sure what to say. I will have to start taking notes during the week again.
Happiest thing ever this week. Friday when we went for shots and to the visitors center with a menos activa I found Hermana Nelson!! She was in my district in the MTC and is in the Northwest mission. We were really close in the MTC so I was WAY excited to see her even though we didn't have much time to talk. She's doing good :)
And President already said I could stop by the visitors center to see Aubrey Sintay when she comes from the MTC...:) She emailed me and said they are going on Thursday morning. SO cool. Pretty excited. We'll find a family to take too :)
We've started using some new ideas to help people understand our purpose as missionaries and help them prepare to be baptized. Have a bunch of calendars up on our walls to help us make plans and give good follow up. I've been spending all my time at night organizing the area books because we are combining the two areas. My area has just about doubled from what it was last transfer. So our agendas are pretty packed and we are running crazy everyday. It's just like when they combined our areas in Bosques all over again.
Last night at the visitors center with Daniel and Odette. Her son is getting baptized this week! And she wants to get baptized too.... but they have to get married first. He's been less active for several years but they've been going to church together for a while now :)
Also this week we got flu shots and had to go get x-rays on my companions foot. It's been bothering her quite a bit but nothing came out in the x-rays. Think its a tendon or something. She limps around pretty good but we've also got some awesome members in a ward that are willing to drive us everywhere. They'd literally drop us off at a cita and come back in an hour to take us to the next. It's been great to get around so fast and we were able to teach a ton of lessons.
Today we had a birthday party for a bunch of the Hermanas that are close by with a family in my ward. It was fun to see them all and see all of my old companions :)
All the birthday girls!
Sad news this week. We had the time change on Saturday so we gained an hour of sleep which means that it gets darker a lot earlier and all the hermanas now have to be home by 7:30 instead of 8:30 because it's too sketchy to be out when it's dark I guess. President said we could leave at 10am and come back in the evening to finish studies but we have a lot of people who can't see us until 7 or 7:30 but President said we can work it out with the members so we aren't in the streets at night but still teaching. Gonna take some careful planning but I was relieved because I think I would go crazy having to be home that early everyday.
At the visitors center.
I gave a talk yesterday in church about faith and relating it to sharing the gospel. I'm learning a lot about the miracles that come when we have faith and strive to always do the Lord's will. I love being a missionary and getting to share the gospel everyday. There is no greater joy than seeing people change and come unto Christ. One of my favorite things is listening to investigators pray. The kind of prayers where you can feel that they are sincerely searching for direction from God. The kind of prayers where you know that He is listening and that He will answer them because of their faith and love to do His will. 

Hope everything is going well at home. I feel like I had more to say but now I can't remember. Keep me updated on how hunting goes and Madison with her school work. I've been praying for you daily and know that you can do it. CBC is a little hard to get the hang of at first. I'm trying to think of my classes and yeah its kinda hard to remember right now but I will let you know. And Christmas yeah I don't know either. I will think about that too. Oh actually maybe some almond butter. I can't find any here. Love you lots and hope you have a good week oh and that Miranda gets better! It does sound like what I had. I'm not even sure what it was or how I got better exactly but it's a lot better now. Get a Priesthood blessing and be careful what you eat I guess. Love you and praying for you too. 

Have a good week and a Happy Halloween!! 

Con amor,

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hope everything is going well at home!

My new companion!! Hermana Izaguirre! Ya. I feel really tall. But shes the best. We already had been living together for the past transfer. Then when they called to tell us about transfers last Monday night they said that Hermana Amor and Izaguirre were leaving and they were going to close the area. Then President called us 10:30 on the dot and said he changed his mind and Hermana Izaguirre was going to stay with me and we were going to combine our areas. Hermana Medrano and I thought for sure we were going to stay together for at least another transfer! It was crazy and made it hard to sleep that night because we were all freaking out but Hermana Izaguirre and I are SO stoked to have the whole space to ourselves and finally make it clean and cute and homey. 

Its been a crazy week though since we both have little time in our areas and we are doubling in investigators and everything. Our agendas are overflowing and were both really excited to have more work here. Our area is huge now so we have to plan well so we get to citas on time too. It's been really fun though because we were already really good friends before. She's already been companions with both of my companions before too... (Hermana Burrola and Hermana Fowler) which is pretty cool. She was born in Peru but moved to Washington DC when she was 6 so she's pretty American :) But it's nice to have a companion who knows Spanish well and can correct my accent :) And she's my first companion who actually runs with me. That's been fun too.

Our new district! The zone leaders Elder Sumano from Mexico and Elder Molotte from Othello. Hermana Wilkinson (she came with me. We were in the same zone in the MTC) Hermana Burrola (SO stoked to be sharing a ward with her! Its been pretty cool to work together again.) Our district leader Elder Porter (hes James Olsens friend which is pretty cool. Said he met Mitch and Jaron one time too) And his comp Elder Perez from Argentina. It was Hermana Izaguirre's birthday this week! I got the Elders to bring her treats and just about every cita we went to. It was a fun day :)

Saying goodbyes with Hermana Medrano. Armando is a recent convert. We are working with his mom right now. They are an awesome family. And Mosiah was menos activo but now they are besties and totally active.

At cambios with all the Balbuena girls!

Our last cita of the day! They are an adorable family. Just need to get them married. Her boyfriend took the picture

Hard when there's no one to take the picture..... we tried to set it up all cute :)

An hermano in the ward had someone at his work make us red velvet cupcakes.... SO good :) 
Hope everything is going well at home! It's been a crazy week. Really wet too. Lots of rain... its actually pouring rain right now too. And I'm pretty wet right now too... Lots and lots of rain but I think rainy season is just about over. 

Oh yesterday we had a special stake conference with Elder Maynes!!! I thought it was pretty cool cuz we just had a special stake conference with him at home like last year. It was an awesome meeting!! He talked about missionary work and also about how we need to establish Zion on the earth. Not only be active members of the church but be members who are actively searching to share the gospel and actively increasing our faith through study and prayer. He talked about how building Zion starts with our own home... then our ward... stake and outward. If we want to make a difference in helping the Lord in building His kingdom it starts within the walls of our home. 

Don't have much time today but all is well and the work of the Lord continues onward. This week we found a golden family. Always love to work with families :) I know the Lord is guiding His work and that through small and simple things He brings about His great and marvelous work. 

Love you all lots!
Have a spectacular week!!

Hermana Rhoten (the one and only)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Your pictures from Peru are SO awesome!!!

Looks like you had a blast!! So cool to see you all together. Everyone looks so good and happy. That's crazy that you got to see Christian in Lima. My zone leader is from Othello too! Elder Molotte. He also knows the Calaways and Kelsey Turner's cousin. He probably knows Elder Kent too. That's awesome that you got to go to the Temple there!! I miss going to the temple... a lot. But we did some SUPER good deep cleaning this morning to try to fulfill our goal to make our little cozy home have the spirit of a temple. With four girls living together and a white floor it gets dirty quick. Always covered in hair. We must all be balding.

Machu Piccu looks fake! Did you edit those pictures at all? So legit. I was a little jealous about that but not really. Hermana Izaguirre says we can go hike a cool hill in her old area for a pday soon. The bonus of having a tiny mission. It's easy to travel and visit.
My companion and I :)
Tonight we'll find out about cambios! We had interviews with President this week too so with that and based on the time we have. Were pretty sure Hermana Amor and Hermana Lovell are leaving. It sounds like they might actually be taking out a companionship to close an area and our areas will just be bigger or they might put Elders in. It's fun having 6 Hermanas in the same ward but its a lot of Hermanas! And they've had 6 Hermanas here for a long time! Bishop was joking with us yesterday saying he was going to ask President for Elders so they will start baptizing more women. Pretty funny. Balbuenas a really great ward and they spoil us a lot. Since they knew cambios were coming up, they took us out to eat Saturday at a really really nice restaurant. It's like Tucanos where they bring the different types of meat out and have salad buffet. And they had someone make us these cookies too with our names on them and a picture of us. Yep. Pretty spoiled.
My salad plate. It was SUPER good. The meat too. And the roasted pineapple... SO good. Definitely didn't feel like I was on a mission in Mexico.
My companion was super excited to see pickles. I don't think I had seen or eaten any since I got here.
The dessert for Hermana Izaguirre's birthday :) Yep we even got tres leches cake.
This week was busy with lots of activities and meetings but it was good! Our area is progressing and has lots of potential but is progressing slowly. We have been trying and asking Heavenly Father what we can do or stop doing so that we can see some more progress and striving everyday to be more and more consecrated so we can find the people who are prepared and see the fruits of our labors.
6 Hermanas! Love these girls lots. It's been a fun transfer with them :) Were all pretty gringa though and I asked President in my interview if I was ever going to have a latin companion that doesn't speak English. All 20 of the Hermanas with callings assigned to the field are from the States and the 24 in the Visitors Center are Latin. He said he doesn't know why it's like that but that's how the calls are coming. I told him I wanted to get rid of my gringa accent and he told me that my Spanish was really good but my accent might not go away. He said just not to get a chilangen accent.. tehe. Presidents way cool. 
So on Saturday some members were driving four of us missionaries to the stake activity at the Visitors Center and they were saying how they first thing we need to do when we get home is get a pedicure and a nice massage. I agreed and told him our feet were super ugly. Next thing we know he found a spa in our area and bought all 6 Hermanas pedicures for today. We couldn't believe it and felt super fresa but it was already paid for... :) Never thought I would get a pedicure on my mission... but yeah that's what happened :) Yep we got spoiled this week...
My toes still need to be tanned but my feet feel SUPER good today :)
For the activity on Saturday, all the missionaries in the stake came to help one ward contact all the less actives in their ward and visit them. They put one missionary with a member or two and we all split for a couple hours. The Hermana who baptized Lilian (our convert bipolar and some other health issues) got her to come and she was excited til she realized how much we would be walking. I ended up staying at the chapel with her for two hours playing piano. She was a music professor for several years. We rewrote the song Venid Adoremos (cant remember whats its called in English) making it a little lower so we could reach all the notes. It was actually super cool and I learned a lot. Lilian is crazy but I've really grown to love her. She has her episodes a lot but she also has one of the most powerful testimonies I've heard. Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting after sharing my testimony I went back sat next to her and pushed her a little to go up. The room was filled with the spirit. Our schitzophrenic investigator Manuel is doing really good too.  We have to go really slow with him to make sure he understands everything before baptism but he's already passed 2 Nephi and loves going to church. Yep. I've been learning a lot here.
We got rained on pretty good this week! It was super strong so we tried to wait it out a bit while teaching this guy at a store. Then we decided to just go for it because we had to get to an appointment. We were far and so arrived completely soaked even with umbrellas...(well umbrella. My companion gave hers to a little lady that we always see in the streets. She comes from a pueblo to sell candy and cigarettes in our area everyday. She had a long way to walk and no umbrella so my comp being the super sweet person she is just handed hers over and we walked sharing the broken $6 one I bought at the swap meet in Hawaii. So more like half of an umbrella. I've been meaning to fix it but haven't found time)...... and they weren't there. We went to a recent converts house close by and she hooked us up with shirts, coats, dry socks, plastic bags for our shoes, hot chocolate and a melted cheese and ham sandwich. The people here are always so willing to give :)
Got some super cheap spinach but lots of it and needed to use it all so I made some spinach pancakes with oatmeal and flax seed and avocado on top. They were actually super good. You get pretty creative as a missionary making sure not to waste food :)
Well hope you make it home safe and that Madison doesn't get behind on her school work. Love you lots and pray for you daily. Christmas this year is coming soon when I find things I buy them and will send them so you can start looking for random surprises in the mail soon. Hope aunt Sheree had a good birthday last week too! 

Lots of love, 

Hermana Rhoten    

Monday, October 6, 2014

That's crazy that you guys are in Peru!!!

Monica and her daughter Liz and her daughter Nikol at Saturday Morning Conference :) Ya.. I didn't take as many pictures this week... next week ;)
Silly Dad. Trying to speak Spanish. Is anyone there to help you get around? Are you coming to Mexico next year? I'm not sure if it's allowed but I think so. Way sad you didn't get to see conference. It was AWESOME!!! I had a lot of questions answered and felt like Heavenly Father knew EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Pretty cool how that works. Also it made me SUPER happy to be able to watch conference in Spanish and actually understand everything! Definitely couldn't do that 6 months ago. It was fun to see how much I have learned since then. 
Hermana Izaguirre is way stoked that you guys are in Peru! She has lots of family in Lima but is from more up north. She says that everyone that goes to Peru has to buy a shirt like this. She's in our ward and lives with me. I think I'm gonna gift her some sublime chocolate for her birthday. Miranda said she would send me some :)
We had a really good week! My companions grandma was passing through cuz she's from Mexico and President gave us permission to see her! My comp was way excited. We got to take her to the Visitors Center with a recent convert and his mom who is an investigator on Tuesday. So that was exciting :)
We felt like we were almost matching this day so we took a picture :)
Also couple Elders from my mission were kidnapped this week but only for a few 8 hours or so. And they were fine. They just held them for ransom but nothing really happened so no worries. We got a good letter from President today with some new precautions. But don't worry. Our area is way safe and we never take taxis unless there is a member with us. But it got all the way to the First Presidency which is pretty legit. The Hermana areas are really safe and pretty and fresa. Fresa means strawberry in Spanish.. but in Mexico its also like rich or preppy or I don't know how to describe it. But the Hermana wards are pretty fresa :) And we always follow the Spirit. 

We were able to bring investigatores to almost all of the conference sessions which was really exciting! It was crazy to think that two years have already passed since the prophet changed the age for sister missionaries. Crazy to think how much this revelation he received has changed my entire life. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and that he is leading and guiding this Church under the direction of Jesus Christ. I love being able to teach and testify and wear His name everyday as a missionary. Through His Atonement we are not only saved but we can overcome whatever trial or weakness that we have. 

I really loved the talk by Jorg Klebingat that told us to rate and reflect on ourselves and asked if we would be comfortable to have a personal interview with the Savior. He mentioned a lot how we can change. We have the privilege to repent and the promise that we can be changed and forgiven and free. This principle is true. I have tried it and seen it in my life. We are never just stuck where we are or should settle with "well that's just the way I am." We are children of an Eternal God who loves us. As His literal children we have the right and the ability to become like Him. In the talk in the women's conference by Pres. Uchtdorf he testified of our identity as children of God and said that we can't comprehend what it really means to be a child of God but as we treasure His commandments we can come to know more of the potential that we have. I can't wait for you guys to watch conference! I could spend lots of time writing my thoughts and feelings about it but I don't want to spoil it too much... and were getting close on time ;) 

But hope you all have a terrific week in Peru and send me some cool pictures. Can't believe Miranda is already done! I love you lots and am so grateful for you example. I know that families are eternal and will be excited to see you again soonish :) Tell Madison not to slack on CBC homework while she's gone like I would have. She will regret it later. 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Rhoten 2