Monday, May 25, 2015

Another awesome week! Staying super busy and working hard.

Can't believe how fast the time is going by. 
Rainy season is starting up again and we are learning that we need to carry our umbrellas everyday because you just never know when its gonna start to pour. But it doesn't ever stop us. We have gotten pretty wet this week but have also been protected and healthy :)

One of the highlights of this week was finding the Diaz family. Well they were actually a reference of a missionary who just got back from his mission the week before. His name is Valentin and he's pretty much famous because he has a Mormon message about him on You should look it up! But he's the only member in his family and got baptized when he lived in California. He came back to Mexico City before his mission and is living here now. 

He introduced us to all his family! Grandparents, cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews... the whole gang. His parents still live in Cali but has tons of family that lives in our ward. We have been working most with his sister's family. They are already progressing so well and working towards their baptism date :) It was so cool to have so many new investigatos that are truly interested. Valentin obviously really wants them to accept the gospel as well so he is a huge help. 

We had stake conference this past weekend and they changed the stake presidency! It had been the same for the past 10 years!! Elder Valenzuela came and President Anaya and his wife too and another seventy too. The conference was incredible but also kinda crazy because we had lots of investigators there to worry about. Elder Valenzuela's talk at the end was about keeping the sabbath day holy and it was really really good. Everyone enjoyed it and it was definitely good for our investigators to hear :)
Everything just seems to be falling into place so perfectly here in Moctezuma. Some days its like a roller coaster full of joys and disappointments but we are trusting in the Lord and His plan and seeing so many miracles. I love being able to work with the people here and helping them change their lives. There is nothing better than being a missionary!!

Have a good week :) 

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, May 18, 2015

We had such an incredible week! Full of lots of miracles and sweet surprises :)

I'm so excited that I get to stay here in Moctezuma longer because I know the ward well now and they are helping us so much. All of our investigators have member support and we have been receiving calls of members and recent converts volunteering to come with us to appointments. It's so great because we are usually the ones calling them!
Saturday we had an incredible awesome conference with Elder Craig Christensen which was really uplifting. The Spirit was so strong that morning and it stayed with us the whole day. I remember having a little fear that I wouldn't be able to enjoy the same strong constant company of the Spirit when I'm not a missionary. I sure hope it's the same! We did questions and answers at the end of the conference and one of the elders asked him what has helped him the most to fully consecrate himself in the work of the Lord. His answer was his desire to feel the Spirit is what had motivated him through out the years. I thought that was pretty cool.
Friday we visited recent convert, Oscar's mom, Manuela. I had never taught her before because she was on the side of the ward where the other companionship or hermanas was before. She had gone to church several times, two baptisms and the visitor's center about three times. She loves being there but from what I had heard from the other hermanas she wasn't progressing and didn't want to be baptized. 

We just listened to her for a long time.. all her worries about getting baptized. Lots of them were just misunderstandings. Mostly she was concerned that she would have to pass a test to get baptized and she has a hard time remembering things. She also worried that she wouldn't be able to go to church sometimes because she is sick. We went over the interview questions with her and she was ready :) She still was very unsure and we told her she could just do the interview on Sunday with our district leader and see if she passes. 

Saturday I felt really strongly the need to fast for Manuela that she would get baptized on Sunday if it was the Lord's will. My companion and I fasted together and our plea was answered. Our district leader came out with a big smile and told us she passed and wanted to be baptized today! It was such a miracle. We canceled our other plans and organized her baptism for that afternoon. Her son was so overjoyed to have the opportunity to baptize his mother. It was such a beautiful experience :) She was so happy!!! The Lord really changed her heart because she didn't want to for several months.
Oscar and Manuela drove us to the Visitor's Center afterwards with four other recent converts to watch Meet the Mormons again :) One family that came has been less active for the past couple months and have been canceling on us a lot. We were SO happy they came :) Such a happy day :)
Other details is that the rain came back this week! We got nice and wet. I got a cold but was able to work through it. Also whenever our plans fell through this week it was a little disappointing for a moment but then we would find new investigators or go visit an investigator unplanned and have an awesome lesson. It was so cool. Every time. The Lord is so guiding this work.

Saturday when our plans fell through and we had a little extra time we went to search our investigator Rocio and ended up finding her son Roberto who told us at first that he doesn't believe in God. We talked with him on the doorstep for about 40 minutes and by the end he prayed, accepted a baptism date and to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. It was also a cool lesson because he works in the airport and speaks pretty good English which made my companion really happy. He told us several times after we testified to him that he felt strange. One time he even looked like he was shivering a little bit and just said he felt so strange and he didn't know what it was. We explained to him that it was the influence of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit is a huge help in every lesson. Pretty sure his curiosity for that strange feeling is the only reason he was able to accept our invitations.
Wednesday night we also had a miracle lesson with Nacho and Alma. Her family is all members, some active and others less active. Nacho invited his brother and sister in law to come listen too. It was fun to be able to teach with such a full room of people who were sincerely interested in our message.
Thursday night we had a family night with Jorge and Ana's family and the Neri family in our ward. We taught the plan of salvation and the Spirit was so strong. Jorge and Valeria and the other children all accepted the baptismal invitation but Ana was still unsure. She will get her answer though. We had to hurry home afterwards but the members invited them to stay for treats and to watch some Mormon messages. So cool.
Also little Alison is progressing so well. She is 10 and absolutely adorable. We had a really good restoration lesson with her, her half sister Ingrid who is 15 and their neighbors who are members. Ingrid didn't wake up in time for church but Alison was outside waiting for us in her dress at 7:45 in the morning. We went early to talk with her dad before church because he is gone a lot during the week. It was fun to see her so young and so dedicated. She reads everything we tell her and the teachers tell us she participates a lot in primary too :) Chosen child. 

Well that's about all for now! The work goes on. Excited for another awesome week of miracles. Have a good week! 

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wow! So much has happened this past week and a half!

Tuesday we brought a big bag of clothes that had been left from so many Hermanas going home to our convert Rocio and her mom. They were soooo happy and had fun trying all their new outfits on in front of us. She always dressed immodestly but it was because she didn't have anything else. It was so cool to see them walk in this Sunday in the clothes we had given them. I gave them some of the skirts I had made that I haven't been using anymore and they were both just so happy. It was a fun experience.
Later that night we went to Kimberly's baptism!!! She is my age and I was teaching her when she lived with her boyfriend in my old area in Balbuena. She has now moved out to live with her mom again and is in the ward right next to mine so the Elders have been teaching her. She finally got baptized :) I got to speak and it was a really happy day.

Wednesday I found out I was going to train a new Hermana that was coming!! Finally. She's the first hermana that has come to the mission since I got here :) I was really excited because my last two companions have been going home. It will be nice to have a companion that will be here for a while still :)
Yesterday it rained all afternoon! We got pretty wet :) 
We took a really high up selfie of us on Thursday for my companions last day of work as a missionary! Her parents came to Mexico to pick her up and President gave them permission to come pick up her suitcases Thursday night after we got home. It was fun to meet them and take videos and pictures of their reunion. Her parents are really really sweet and brought me a ton of mints and chocolate cookies :)

Friday I had a training meeting and all the hermanas that were going home were at the church as well. It was sad to say goodbye because we have all been together for so long. Afterward I went with Hermana Jones to my old area in Bosques!!!! It was so fun to visit. Also really awesome to be with Hermana Jones! She was my comp in the MTC but I haven't seen her all that much since. They had a ward family night and some old investigators I had taught came as well as many converts and less active members that have stayed active. It was so cool to see :)
Saturday we went back to my area in Moctezuma and had a really solid day as well. Lots of miracle lessons and a family that committed to be baptized after watching the Joseph Smith movie. We explained the Priesthood really clearly and asked them what the restoration means in their lives and the father answered saying "well I think I would like to get baptized." Awesome. :) We were able to take an investigator to a baptism in the stake later that evening who really enjoyed it and accepted a date as well.
With the Reyes family after an awesome lesson . 
Sunday was a crazy day and also full of lots of miracles. There were significantly more investigators at church. Many more than we have had the last several weeks. The talks were all incredible and I felt the Spirit so strongly in sacrament meeting. Hermana Campbell was there with her parents and we took lots of pictures : )
With Hermana Campbell and Hermana Jones!
After my ward we went to Hermana Jones's area in Bosques for their services. I recent convert Christian Vargas who went to lessons with us when I was there finally received his mission call and invited us to see him open it. His little sister had been baptized when I was in his ward as well. It was amazing to see how much the ward has grown and made me so happy to see several familiar faces of members who are still strong.
With Hermana Torres in Bosques :)
And Hermano Torres.
With Pamela in Bosques!
With Hermana Vilchis!
And Bishop Ramirez!
Hermana Shulamit and Nicole!
With Claudia :) Her and her dad got baptized when I was there.
Gaby Diaz and Paco! So so so happy to see them. They were both at church. Both. Gaby activated while I was in the ward and Paco listened but didn't really want to commit to anything... and never wanted to wake up for church. But they've now gotten married... he stopped smoking and drinking and is getting baptized this Sunday!! They have a goal to get sealed in a year as well :) Gaby also wants go do the temple work for her mother who passed away last year and was never endowed. So cool. Hoping we can go to their baptism :)
Gaby's brother Ivan! Love this family.
We ate with Hector and Alejandra and skyped at their house as well! Love that family so much! They have a goal right now to go to Utah in December to be sealed and we are hoping and praying they do :) Would be so cool to see them there!! 

Monday we had to clean and pack up the house in Bosques, district meeting, Christian opening his mission call, my convert Jessica's birthday and then met up in Aragon at 1:30 to pick up my new companion. It was a busy morning!!
Christian's going to Saltillo, Mexico and leaving June 9th!!! So cool :) Happy for their family!
Hermana Heywood is from Gilbert Arizona and is absolutely adorable! She is turned 19 in December and went to BYU Idaho for a semester in the fall. We have already seen lots of miracles together and even those the language is hard and new she just keeps smiling through :) I am really excited to be working with her and to have a constant companion for a few months :) I already have 3 transfers here but President said I can stay another two to train which made me really happy because I really love this ward :)
My daughter and I :) She's the best.
I think that's about it for now. Busy week with lots of changes and lots of pictures :) Hermana Jones has even more on her camera I will have to get to you later. Love you lots! It was so fun to skype this last week. Everyone looks great :) I didn't have time to feel trunky or think about home and family much after skyping which is probably a good thing but I do remember thinking how much I love my mom and how grateful I am for all that she's done for me in my life. I realized it so much more being here how blessed I was to have a mother who was always there for me and always available when I needed her growing up. I love you all so much! Have a good week! Talk to you soon :)

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten


Monday, May 4, 2015

Hola! We had a really awesome week!

Before I forget next week I won't have pday until Wednesday for cambios. This transfer has gone by so quickly with so many changes in the area, ward and companions. I should be staying another transfer though. I really really hope so because we found a ton of golden new investigators this week. And we have some less active member families that have been progressing too. The ward seems to know us and trust us a lot because we both have about 4 months here in the ward so they are helping a ton with lessons and keeping converts strong.
This week is going to be a little crazy because my companion leaves Friday morning and I had a change of plans from what they had told me last week and I'm going to be with Hermana Jones this weekend working in Moctezuma and Bosques!!! Yep that's right. I'm SO excited because we were companions in the MTC and I haven't been able to serve near her since. Also Bosques is my first area that I was in for 6 months and I'm way excited to go back and see everyone. And we are going to skype with Hector and Alejandra's family on Sunday!! Love them so much. But it will be crazy covering both areas because they aren't super close and we will have to take the subway back and forth everyday or have members drive us around. I'm really really excited though! Its gonna be a fun weekend. Then I will get a new companion on Tuesday.
With Jared. He is good about helping us in citas!
The work here is progressing well. We saw so many miracles this week it was incredible. We are both bummed about Hermana Campbell going home and not being able to keep working with all the new investigators we found this past week. I felt like the Lord was guiding us so distinctly this week and we were led to people who are ready to accept this message. Last night we went to the Visitor's Center with a group of 10 people :) 1 recent convert with his mom whose investigating, a family of 4 who are investigating, a menos active couple who brought their neighbor who was really interested too and an active member. It was so fun to go with a big group.
Cutest family ever.
We watched Meet the Mormons... again... :) I think I've seen it 5 times now..? Something like that. It's just such a great missionary opportunity and everyone who came absolutely loved it. Little 7 year old Alejandro enjoyed it so much, he was talking to everyone about how much he loved it and how he wants to get baptized in October when he turns 8. We had been looking through our area book and praying about old investigators who we could go look for to start teaching again. We both felt really good about this family who had been going to church a year ago but stopped progressing. It's the couple and their son Alejandro. We called and put a cita for Saturday and they committed to go the the CV Sunday. Now their 14 year old niece Valeria is living with them and last night she explained to us that she had a strong desire to be baptized into a church but didn't know which one. It was so cool! She is a little Joseph Smith that is so prepared to accept the gospel.
We found Leslie from Balbuena at the CV too. Always fun to see who you run into there.
Also I ran into Matthew Hazel in the Visitor's Center! We only had about a minute to talk but we took a picture quick. Looks like he is doing well! Said it was the first time he had come to the CV because its about three hours from his area. I don't think I can count the number of times I've gone now. It was cool to see a familiar face though!
Some other little miracles... 
A convert who got baptized about a year ago and then later fell back into addiction with drugs and alcohol was able to go to church again! We had been visiting him in a rehab center that he was living in and he was working so hard to get over his addiction and get out. It made me so happy to see him there. He looked so happy. Proof that through the Atonement of Christ anything is possible.
It was Dulce Marias birthday :) We brought her a small gift. Shes 7 now and excited to be baptized next year!! Love them.
Zone class!
The cockroach my companion found. It was big and aggressive. The bug spray wouldn't kill it! It took us a good 20 minutes to figure out how to take care of him. The neighbors said they heard us screaming haha
Cute little Eliza. She lives above us :)
Also we got a reference to the cutest little girls ever. Alison is 10 and Ingrid is 15 but they are both very mature. Their cousin is a member of the church and sent their reference. They wanted a picture because my companion said she was leaving. We were so excited about them as well. They said they had been out all day yesterday with their dad and step mom but hurried home for the cita we had at 5 and had some cookies ready when we showed up. I love finding youth and children looking for guidance and willing to accept the gospel. It's so much better for them to have the gospel in their life young to prevent future heartache and regrets.

There's so much more I could write about but that's enough for now. Good thing we get to skype this week :) I'm looking forward to talking to you all. Have a good week! Nos vemos el domingo. The church is true. 

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten