Monday, February 23, 2015

We had a short week this time!

This morning we got to see Meet the Mormons in the Visitor's Center. I loved it! It's coming to some theaters here this Friday so they let all the missionaries see it so we can tell others to go see it. It was really good and I'm so grateful to be Mormon and have the gospel in my life.
This morning the Hermanas came over for breakfast! We made scrambled eggs and ham and hotcakes. So good. Love them.

I kinda got distracted today playing on family search and researching family history stuff. It was really interesting but now I don't have much time... :) Sorry! But it was really cool. We have some awesome stories on there. 

It was a good week! We were working lots with the other Hermanas in our ward because one of them was sick. I got to do divisions with Hermana Fowler a couple times and we worked in both areas. It was way fun to get to teach together again. We also passed the best reference to the Elders ever. It's a girl named Kimberly that I was teaching in my other area in Balbuena. She could never get baptized because she was living with her less active boyfriend and they didn't want to get married. She finally moved out and lives in the ward right next to mine! We introduced her to the Elders that are going to teach her and she came to our ward because hers is later during her work hours. Can't even explain how happy I was to see her and happy to see her at church! She should now be able to get baptized soon. I taught her quite a bit in my other area and love her lots!
We went to the CV this week with Julian! He still has to get over a few doubts but is doing well and close to his baptized. He admitted after watching a video of Christs life that he really is the Son of God. (big step with him!)
Also Rocio and Uriel came to church yesterday!! Rocio is 17 and Uriel is 9. Their mom and uncle are less active members that are reactivating. Her mom has been cold for a little while but is finally warming up and we are hoping they can get baptized soon. Uriel loved the primary :)
And we saw our old district leader at the CV today! Elder Beatoncourt. He is leaving soon! So we took a picture :)
One little moment that made my week this week was talking with our 12 year old recent convert, Araceli. She has always told us she was Emo and wears pure black and is very quiet and usually sad. She had told us before that she has no friends at school and we had made her a promise that if she went to church she would find friends. Well she's been going to church... got baptized last week and this week when we came was so happy to tell us that she has found friends at church. And she was smiling. And she was wearing a white shirt... :) So cool to see that the Lord always blesses us and to see the promise we had made to her come true! 

All is good! Working hard and seeing lots of miracles. Loving the work and the people. Hope everyone has a good week! Love you all lots. 

Hermana Rhoten

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hola! Well it's been a long week and a half. So much happened.

Not sure where to start! Well we didn't have cambios which wasn't a surprise. This is now only my second transfer here and my companions third so we didn't expect changes. But actually none of the Hermanas in the mission had changes. It was pretty funny. This President just didn't know where to put us because there aren't many options when there's only 20 hermanas in the mission. So he just left us all :) 11 Hermanas are leaving in May and only 1 coming so that will be interesting to see what happens. Then 3 in June I've heard. The first hermanas that have come since I got here!
Eduardo, Araceli and Raymundo got baptized this week!!! Little Dulce Maria turns 7 on Dad's birthday in April so she's still gotta wait a little longer. She is the cutest thing ever though. She remembers everything we teach so well and I am always so amazed by her. She was with us when we were going over the baptism interview questions with Raymundo and answered them all perfectly. Raymundo has a ton of energy so its a little harder for him to pay attention. 

Elder Vail had my camera during all these pictures.... but here ya go!
Friday night we had a ward family night that they went to and Raymundo was running around to everyone announcing that he was going to be baptized tomorrow and inviting them to come! So fun. He volunteered to give the closing prayer at the end of the activity. I heard a couple people behind me like "Uh is someone gonna help him with the prayer?" But he did it just fine. He always loves saying the prayer at our lessons. And always prays for his family because they are a team he says. Then this time with the whole ward he prayed for all the families... because they are teams. It's pretty adorable. Always makes me smile.
We didn't get to the house in time to dress little Dulce Maria with real clothes. She was wearing a pink onesie and the same brown tights shes had on for days... but we were in a hurry. She's cute no matter what :)
At the activity they had us write Valentine's cards with our testimony and give them to someone we didn't know well. Eduardo gave his to Hermana Fowler and she showed it to us. It was really sweet to see his testimony because he doesn't express much. I took a picture of it! But it's in Spanish... :) And kinda hard to read. But it made me really happy.
The baptism went well. We ended up combining it with the zone leaders baptism too because they didn't have water in their chapel. So it was pretty packed which was fun to see so much support :) Two recent converts Alexis and Oscar baptized them which was also super fun to see! Their first baptisms. 

Sunday we got invited to a baptism of an investigator I was teaching in Balbuena, Gerardo!! That was also super fun and rewarding. I was so happy to see him. He was so interested at first but then after we taught word of wisdom he kinda felt like he couldn't keep it and started to hide from us which was really sad. But he got over his drinking and smoking habits and is now excited to share about the church with friends who have similar addictions.
This baptism we were singing at we went to on Sunday in Balbuena because I was teaching him before I left and he asked me to come. He is a brother of our other recent convert there. 
Also I can't forget about our service project this week..... we really wanted Eduardo and his kids to come home after their baptism and be able to feel the Spirit in their house. His been a single dad for the past 4 years since his wife left them and I doubt that the house has been cleaned in all that time. So some of the Elders and the other Hermanas, Bishops daughter and another recent convert all came to help us clean. With all 11 of us working and deep cleaning the one small room that they have, their bathroom and little kitchen... we were able to finish in 5 hours. It was a pretty intense cleaning job. Probably the nastiest thing I've ever done. Found more spiders and roaches than I can count and pretty sure I spent over an hour just on the fridge.The Elders had to buy acid for the bathroom. Bishops family helped us wash a lot of their clothes too which was really nice of them. It was pretty intense. But it turned out really nice and they were so grateful. The kids were so happy when they came home! We had a little lecture afterward about the importance of keeping the house clean so the Spirit can be present. It made me so grateful that I grew up in a clean home with hot running water. So many things we take for granted.
Well that just about sums up the past week and a half. Full of lots of new experiences and adventures. Learning so much here everyday and enjoying every minute of being a servant of the Lord. Love you all! Have a good week! :)

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hola! We had an awesome week!

Working hard and seeing lots of results. The Lord is trusting us with lots of His prepared children right now and we are keeping really busy.

Saturday Hermana Guadelupe got baptized!!! YAY! She was an eternal investigator in our ward that the other Hermanas had been teaching. Well she's been taught for a long time... so lots of people have been teaching her... so... just about half the mission came to her baptism. This picture doesn't quite have everyone. It was lots of missionaries! The assistants are next to me then our zone leaders and the district leaders are behind them... everyone's tried teaching and being patient with her and she finally chose to get baptized. She was SO happy and it was fun to see her confident in her decision. :)

And Sunday! Rodrigo got baptized! Hes just golden. Contacted us. Started going to church. He's a chef and never had time for us to teach him in his house during the week so we teach him every Sunday during gospel principles. The week before his baptism we had to get through all the commandments. He had a coffee drinking habit and when we taught word of wisdom he response was "I didn't know!" I could have been so much healthier all this time. I've even been going here for a month and no one told me it was a commandment of God." Opps... I guess we should have mentioned that sooner but we never see him during the week. "Is it going to be hard for you to drop your coffee?" "Well its a habit of 30 years but I'm not going to drink it anymore. And I'm a man of my word." So cool. And he hasn't since that day.

Also yesterday Eduardo had his interview and is ready for his baptism this Saturday!! Yep. Valentine's day baptism. So excited to have the whole family get baptized together. Well Eduardo, Araceli and Raymundo. Dulce Maria has to wait another year to turn 8. And we are still working with their grandma Maria Luisa. And their mom abandoned them four years ago. Saddest thing ever. But so happy to see them accepting the gospel. Little Raymundo is so excited to be baptized. He talks about it all the time. Children are perfect. 

Our investigator Julian is progressing well. When we first found him he didn't believe in God. It's slowly changing and he has definitely felt the Spirit. Last Monday we watch the Finding Faith in Christ movie and he loved it. Later in the week we taught the law of chastity and he wasn't to thrilled about that one. Longest law of chastity and obedience lesson I've ever taught but in the end he accepted it. We invited him to talk to his girlfriend and show her the pamphlet when he saw her the next day..... And he did! And it didn't go so well.. but hey he did it! So cool to see people with a sincere desire to follow the Lord. He was a little sad that it didn't go well but said over the phone "I know praying will give me strength" Hopefully he will be ready to get baptized soon! 

Araceli and Manuel are both confirmed and doing well! They are excited about the church and sharing the gospel with their family members. So fun to see. 

President Galicia surprised us with tortas de tamales and hot chocolate one morning. Its a Mexico City thing. Pretty good. So fun living with members.

Well the work goes on. Lots to do and learn. God lives. He loves us and I don't have a doubt in my heart that he hears and answers my prayers. Sending my love! Have a good week :)

Hermana Rhoten! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Hola! Another week has come and gone.

It's scary how fast the days go by. My comp and I complete a year in the mission this week! So crazy.

We are doing well and learning lots. I have really grown to cherish my study time. Since the Hermanas still aren't allowed to be out in the street past 7:30 without a member until the time changes again in April, we do some of our studies at night so we can leave earlier in the morning. I love being able to study twice a day and have developed a strong love for the scriptures especially the Book of Mormon. I was in the Isaiah chapters of the Book of Mormon today. It was a tough pday study but I'm learning to love Isaiah too. Before Grandpa Rhoten passed away he counseled me to read and study Isaiah's profecias because they were written for our day and it is important for us to understand them. Gotta keep working on that.
We found this lizard on our wall this week and caught it with a pitcher. We were all freaking out thinking he was gonna run away really fast and get lost in the house but no. He was a good little lizard.
Araceli got baptized yesterday!!! She is such an angel. We love her so much and were so happy to see her get baptized. She was just so prepared and understand the importance of baptism. He neighbor is a recent convert and has been a good example to her. We sung her the primary song When I was Baptized or I think that is what its called. Cuando Me Bautice. She started to cry and I could feel the Spirit so strongly. Lots of the members from the ward came and some investigators too. She was so happy :)
Araceli's baptism. She was so ready. So happy for her.

Also yesterday was fast and testimony meeting!! We are usually pretty crazy Sundays... getting investigators out of bed and running with them to church. Then leaving when investigators are calling us lost or trying to find those who haven't arrived. Yesterday was one of those Sundays. Then I got up to remind the Bishopric announce the baptism and figured I better share my testimony while I was up there.
Visitors Center!!! Again. Gotta go at least once a week. They loved it. Raymundo had left to work with his grandma. I was sad he didn't get to come. We will have to go again... :)
Little Raymundo was making faces at me like he wanted to come too. I nodded my head to tell him yes but he didn't follow. As soon as I sat down he came up to me "Hermana Rhoten when am I gonna get to say my testimony?" So cute. I told him right now if he wanted and asked what his testimony was... unsure of what my 9 year old investigator would share with the ward. We walked up anyways. "My testimony is that I know God exists. I know because he gave me my family." He said a couple sentences about his family members and closed saying again. "I know that God exists." Yep. Children are the greatest. So pure, sweet and faithful.

I know this church is true and and so thankful to be a member of it. The principles and ordinances of the gospel are eternal truths that cannot be changed or altered. God's children that live with him forever in His kingdom will be those who chose to live the truth. 

Love you all and hope your week is full of joy and sunshine :) 

 Hermana Rhoten