Monday, January 26, 2015

Hola! Hey!! Lunes again! Crazy how fast time is flying by!

We had an awesome week. Super busy. Not even sure where to start! Manuel got baptized yesterday!!! It's been cool to see him make sacrifices to go to church and was definitely ready to take that step! I'm shocked and happy by how many people are progressing right now. Out of nowhere we are seeing a lot of people ready to accept the gospel and had more investigators in church yesterday than I've ever had before in my mission.
Many's baptism yesterday!!! So happy for him :)

I'm not sure who took this picture or when.... but it describes our Sunday pretty well :) Busy busy busy!
Monday night we had family night with Bishop's family and Eduardo and his kids! We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. We put two papers on the ground, one with our names and the other saying Heavenly Father and explained that it was impossible to make it back to him without touching the floor but with the stepping stones of faith in Christ, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end we can. It was a fun lesson. I love teaching their family. It's so fun to have kids that listen and participate so much in the lessons. I had forgotten a little bit how much I love hanging out with children. They are so innocent and pure and close to God. I got to sit between little Dulce Maria and Raymundo yesterday during sacrament meeting. Brought some picture books and candy... :) We love them SO much!!
This was from our family night last Monday at the Bishop's house. We teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Cutest kids ever. Raymundo. He's hilarious.
And him with Dulce Maria. Adorable. We really love this family and its been so fun to teach them because their kids pay attention and yeah its just so fun.
Our other family night last week we went up with the family we live with and made some decked out Oreo brownies :) Hadn't had those in a really really long time. Yum. For the lesson President Galicia talked about the new area plan for this year. We have lots of work to do! The Lord is definitely hastening His work.
Hermana Campbell and I bought some sweet matching sweat shirts
This area is a little more humble than my other two areas. Lots more poverty and marijuana (if that's how you spell it). I've become pretty pro at sniffing it out. A skill I didn't have before the mission. It's so heartbreaking to see how people live and makes me want to give up all that I have. I feel like I have been so incredibly blessed through out my life and doesn't seem fair. But I know that Heavenly Father knows whats best for each of us so that we can return and live with Him. 

My old companion Hermana Fowler is in this ward with me which is super fun! We did divisions for a few hours today to go visit our converts together in Bosques. So nice to see them and see that they are doing well :)
I also got to visit some of my favorite people from Bosques today!!!
(Family Morales Gomez)
Apparently the Elders think they can be friends with Hector and Alejandra tambien! They all were there eating when we came.

The mission is the greatest. I have learned so much and love my time here serving the Lord. I know that this is His work and that He is guiding us everyday. I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life and the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that as we follow His example and trust in Him completely we are blessed, comforted and guided. Faith in Him gives us the ability to change, to reach our full potential and become what He wants us to be.
At another baptism
Hope everyone is doing well! Thanks for the updates. So sad about Nathan McBride. Hope his family is doing well. Glad to hear Randy is recovering good. Sounds like everyone's having having babies and getting married. So legit that Steven Beo might play for BYU. Good luck at State little miss Madi. Happy half birthday Miranda. Hope the Seahawks win. Have fun in Disneyland with the Hatchlings :) 

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten 
We were at Visitor's Center Thursday and Saturday this week.


Monday, January 19, 2015

A Child's Prayer

Last week I got a call from Hno Paco and he said, "come outside, I've got a surprise"... it was Dario! And cheesecake too :)
We had a really awesome week!! Seeing lots of progress and have been filled with appointments just running around like crazy everyday. Hitting over 60 lessons a week! Fun stuff. We are working really hard together and putting lots of goals and keeping busy.
We made smores this week!!! With reeses. Super yummy.

My favorite part about this week was teaching that family that I mentioned who walked themselves to church last Sunday. We were teaching them the plan of salvation with all the cute little pictures and all. And at the end we talked about their baptism date and how it was necessary to get baptized to go to the celestial kingdom. Asking them how they felt about their baptism. Papa Eduardo is a yes. Raymundo the 9 year old was all excited and Dulce Maria as well (even though she's 6 and has to wait a bit...) But Araceli the 12 year old girl just shook her head silently.
A new fruit I tried that is really good... granada (like a pomegranate but not red)

She told us she was scared and we invited her to pray and ask Heavenly Father if she should get baptized. I've spent my whole mission telling people to pray and ask specifically in their prayer and very seldom do they actually do it. But Araceli understood and gave the most sincere prayer I have ever heard. Pausing after giving thanks and said.."... and...question... should I get baptized? Because I'm not sure if I should get baptized. I'm just scared and I don't know. Can you let me know if I should. Please, if it's not too much of a bother can you answer me and tell me if I should get baptized?..."
The giant naciemento in the temple. I just like it. So I took a picture. Counting down the days until this temple opens up! I have been dying to enter for so long now.... but not until June or July..

Definitely one of my favorite moments of my mission. The faith of a child. If only we all prayed with such faith and sincerity. We finished by promising her that God would answer her prayer. I know that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers, that He loves us and wants us to be happy.
We went to the Visitor's Center twice this week. Saturday and Sunday evening. Love it there. Such a peaceful place. Perfect for investigators. And my new area is even a little bit closer than the last.
If you were wondering what it looks like from the roof of where we live.... I took some pictures when we were hanging up our clothes to dry today. Pretty cool. The roofs are all flat here for clothes to hang and dry. There's lots of contamination today but when there isn't quite so much you can see the volcano. There's also the 30 pesos a day gym (2 dollars) in front of the house.. and the paneria... so good.
Better get going! Not much time today... we went to Bosques and got hair trimmed with a family I know there and then visited Hector and Alejandra and their cute kids. Love them! So it was a good day :) Hope everyone is doing well! Love you all!
Have a stellar semana!

Hermana Rhoten

PS. I think Sydney's brother Jase Ward was in this ward too. I found his name studying the area book the other day and then we were eating with a family that had known a lot of missionaries and they said that they usually never remember their names after they leave and then the 14 year old boy was like the only one I remember was Elder Ward. He was a really cool Elder. So if that was Jase he's sure left a good legacy.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hola! Well it was a shorter week this time.

Lots happened but I left my camera charger in my other area so my camera was dead all week and I have no pictures. But I got it back now so next week we will be better :)

I thought at first it would be super lame to stay in the same zone and just cross the street to another area like so many of the other hermanas have done but its actually pretty sweet. I feel like I already know the area well and everyone here. We live with the nicest family ever and our ward is very supportive in missionary work!

I also have 8:30 church here! It's been at 8:00 since I entered the MTC in February. I had 12:00 one Sunday.. and then got transferred back to early morning. So those few Sundays that I will be home before starting school I promise I won't be late to our 8:30 church. I'll be ready to leave and wake up all the investigators by 7 ;) We actually had a pretty sweet experience yesterday with a family we found and had accepted a baptism date on Saturday. The member with us said he could pass by for them and we were going to go early to make sure they were up and ready. Instead we left our house and found them in the street each with their Book of Mormons in hand and walking to church. Even 6 year old Dulce Maria. Such a cool sight.

My companion is really really awesome. And I'm not just saying that because she told me her mom likes to read my blog. :) It has been so fun to work with her since we were already good friends from the MTC and sharing Balbuena. She has a huge heart and love for all the people here. I know that we are going to see lots of miracles and success here together. She actually reminds me a lot of Madison so that's pretty cool too. Like if Madi were a missionary I imagine her being a lot like Hermana Wilkinson which means she's gonna be a great missionary! Just gotta wait a little over 2 years.  
The coolest thing about being a missionary is when people recognize the spirit we bring. People often comment that were so cute and young and far away from our families.... we walk all day when its hot or cold or people are probably mean to us or how it was probably hard to learn Spanish and so on. I mean it's nice and all that they' notice the sacrifices we are making but my favorite thing ever is when they talk about the spirit and light we bring and how different they feel when we are with them. Then we get the chance to explain that these feelings come from the Holy Ghost and that He is testifying that our message is true. That it's not because of us that they feel that way but because God has called and sent us to find and save them from sin. To help them find Christ and be purified in Him. I love my calling and responsibility as a missionary. 
Today we had a zone activity and watched Ephraim's Rescue and ate banana pancakes and hot chocolate but I was making banana pancakes the whole time :) It was a good time. Other than that it was another chill day preparing to be able to work super hard all week. Hope that Randy is doing well and recovers quick. Love you all lots and hope you have a fantastic week!
Con amor,
Hermana Rhoten

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Feliz Ano Nuevo!‏ Well today is pday for us this week!

We took some random fotos with this pinata while we were waiting for a member to come with us to our cita.
I got transferred yesterday! Literally just crossing the limit of my other area. The ward right next to it and the same stake jaja but I'm really excited to still be close to Balbuena. Lots of people I love there. My new companion is Hermana Wilkinson!! Yep! Pretty sweet because were already really good friends. She was in the MTC with me and we shared the ward in Balbuena for a few months. She just left last transfer from Balbuena to Moctezuma so I am following her now. I'm really excited because she likes to run!!! Yes!! We used to run together in Balbuena so I'm super stoked for that. Also she's really hard working and obedient. The two things you always hope for in a companion.
Con my companion!! In front of our super cute house.
We live with family Galicia. He is in the stake presidency so I already knew their family. They're the greatest. We also have a gym right in front of the house and the internet cafe too. Our house is adorable. I think I just keep upgrading. We have a couch!!! A fuzzy tiger blanket and hot water showers for a full 10 mins. Really grateful for that.
Our desks!!!
The couch... Im sooo happy to have a couch. Didn't realize how much I missed that.
My bed. With the fuzzy tiger blanket. Its so fuzzy.
Our Kitchen
New Year's Eve we had to be home by 8... so we didn't do anything crazy. Bishop's family was going out of town again so President told us we should go sleep with the other Hermanas in the ward. So we got to have a sleepover! We drank a glass of sparkling cider and some members brought us some dinner. We went to bed at 10:30 hearing lots of music and parties and woke up at 6:30 hearing the same. People really like to party here. New Year's Day was pretty dead. 

Here in Mexico the 5th of Enero Los Reyes Magos come to leave toys for all the kids. It's like Santa Claus for them. They write their letter with their wishes and tie it to a balloon and send it off that night and then they come and put their toys under the tree in their shoes. Las Roscas de Reyes were everywhere. In all the panerias. It is the big round fruit bread picture that I sent. There's a plastic baby Jesus inside of the bread and whoever finds it in their slice has to bring tamales on the 2 of febrero for everyone there. An excuse to have another party!
La Rosca!
Also I got your packages this week!! Super excited to have some new CDs and clothes! Thanks so much! And mints too. So good. Also Mom I think I might be buying a new suitcase but I haven't quite decided yet. Probably will have to before I go home though. Or I will just leave lots of stuff here. It was a miracle that I could fit all my stuff for transfers with my biggest suitcase gone. I'm not sure how we did it. But I used my bags to put stuff in too and won't be able to take that many bags going home.
Tacos de Juan! A recent convert in our ward makes really good tacos. He's pretty known for it.
And His mom Julie! We've been teaching her and her granddaughter. They are the sweetest.
Rosa Maria and Jesus! They are both preparing to get baptized. Rosa always tells us that she loves going to church because she feels peace. She's adorable. 
So pretty much I have a bunch of fotos with everyone this week because my companion and I weren't sure if we were going to have cambios or not and my comp was really good about bringing her camera and taking pictures everywhere and with everyone! Another cute family in our ward
Sad to hear about Randy and will be praying that his surgery goes well! Dad.. you should go get your heart checked. Sad to hear about Hermano Clark too! He is such a great man! I learned lots from visiting him.
We had a really chill pday. Cleaning and unpacking. I've been sick the past few days. But its alright I hadn't been sick in a long time. My stomach just got really angry though so I've been taking advantage of the time today to lay on the couch and avoid moving. But my comp and I were able to have some good study time and read and relax. That almost never happens on the mission. 
All is well here! Excited for a new transfer, new year and new opportunities to serve the Lord here in Moctezuma. I'm so grateful to be called as a missionary and the joy the gospel brings to my life. Love you all and hope you have a spectacular semana!

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten