Monday, June 29, 2015

Hey sorry I didn't have time to get back on and write today. We went to Sam's Club with someone that had a card because we had never gone before but there was a crazy rain storm while we were there and we had gotten there in about 10 or 15 mins and then it took about an hour and a half to get back because of the crazy traffic and flooding in the streets. We talked to President and he said to just write a quick message. Next week I will be sure to write more :) Sorry! Love you lots! Have a good week! The work here is going really really well. We are seeing the miracles that we have been hoping for. I will give you the full update next week!

Hermana Rhoten

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It was a long week this week!

So much happened. First off.. we don't have cambios!!!!! Yes. I was so relieved. I didn't think we would but I was a little nervous since I already have 4 transfers here but no :) Gonna be able to finish my mission in Moctezuma with Hermana Heywood!! Super excited because we have a lot of investigators right now and we also get along super well. For sure one of my favorite comps. 
Breakfast to celebrate that we didn't have cambios! I really miss cooking.
To be honest we had a really rough week. Lots of our investigators are being attacked with lots of opposition. But lets start with the good things...

I convinced some people last week that in the U.S. we celebrate half birthdays and that they should make me cake for my half birthday and it totally worked! We've got pictures to prove it too! One of our converts bought us cake and the family we live with some brownies :) Made my day.
This is the one that is marrying a girl from my mission. Funny kid.
Our baptism dates for July are all progressing very very well and we are love teaching them. One of them is our recent convert Alisson's step sister, Gaby. She is 14 and since Alisson's baptism has been very interested in the church. Monday we were teaching them outside to not wake up their baby brother and it started to sprinkle a little bit. They decided to put blankets up on the clothes lines to keep us covered. It was fun teaching in a little tent. We took some pictures :)
With Gaby and Alisson!
Well the sad news almost overcame the good news this week but not quite because the lessons we learned from it were worth every trial and tear. 

Nacho and Alma are waiting a little longer to get married because of a family problem they are facing. It's been a roller coaster but they are getting so close. They still want to get married and it could be in the next coming week. We will see. Just gonna keep having faith.
Jorge was so close to getting baptized. Their whole family went to church on Sunday and went with us to a baptism in another ward. Jorge had his interview afterwards and is ready just not sure if he wants to take the step or not. He believes in the doctrine and is living the commandments but just feels like he needs more time. His biggest thing is that he wants to get baptized with his wife but Ana doesn't want to. She likes going and listening but she likes her Christian church and doesn't want to get baptized still. Alejandro loves church and really wants to be baptized! He is sooo smart. But he won't be 8 until October and then he can :) We have been teaching and praying for this family so much and they are getting closer and closer. We just hope they keep progressing because we would hate to have to drop them. 
Angela already passed her interview and was very excited about her baptism but her mom changed her mind about giving her permission and decided she needed to wait longer. She is 14 and loves church and young women's and was so ready... but now is facing a lot of opposition from her extended family that lives with her and didn't make it to church last Sunday either :( Her little brother is losing his interest too. We love their family and are praying and fasting lots for them. We fasted as a zone that her mom would give her permission and her heart is yet to be softened but it will be soon :)

So those were our big trials of the last week and a half but we have also learned many many things. 

First off... I learned that we have to trust in the Lord and His plan. He knows what's best for His children. We can do all that we can do but in the end its the will of the Lord because we are doing His work. "His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts." Isaiah 55:9 I am realizing that we must trust in Him. I felt at peace knowing we have done our part in being obedient and teaching by the Spirit. Now we must put the rest in the hands of the Lord and know that "all things will work together for good for those that walk uprightly and to the sanctification of the church" D&C 100:15
While sitting in sacrament meeting this past Sunday I couldn't help but feel a little bit disappointed in seeing how many still hadn't arrived in time to take the sacrament and would be missing out on that blessing or those who just weren't planning to come at all. I felt so worried for many but as I took of the sacrament I felt so strongly that everything would be okay. I truly felt how the Atonement can mend a broken heart and then began to ponder in the blessings of eternal life that our promised to the righteous...

"... the day shall come where you shall be crowned with much glory.." D&C 58:4
"... and ye shall have a fullness of joy.." 3 Nephi 28:10
In the many mansions of the Father's house that He is preparing for us...John 14:2

I know that as we trust in the Lord's plan and are obedient to each of His commandments we will find peace in this life and eternal life in the life that comes. I'm so grateful for my Savior and friend. I know His promises are sure. He pleas that we come unto Him. He tells us that we should look to Him in every thought, doubt not. Fear not. He is on our side :) 

I love being a missionary. As missionaries we agree to live a higher law for a time. To consecrate everything to the Lord for 2 years or 18 months. I have come to truly love living this higher law and hope to continue living a higher law the rest of my life. To constantly strive to consecrate myself to the Lord and follow His will whatever it may be.
Lastly some pictures from our feast today. We decided to break our fast right today and made some yummy grilled cheese turkey sandwiches and tomato soup. Hadn't had that in..... a really really long time.
My huge sandwich and tomato soup. I had to save half for later.
Then we made some tres leches cakes to share with the families we live with and some other investigators. I magically found an extra 500 pesos in my bag this week which means we had a little extra money than usual at the end of the month (Proof that God loves us and blesses us as we pay our fast offerings..:) I'll send pictures of the cakes next week though. Love you all and hope you have a great week! :) 

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Another week full of lots of miracles.

My testimony of specific prayers and fasting has really been strengthened lately. We are seeing so many answers.

Last Sunday were praying and fasting that the Spirit would be really strong at Alisson's baptism so that her family would be more interested and start listening to our messages and going to church. Tuesday when we went looking for Alisson, her step sister Gaby came out with a big smile happy to see us and excited to listen. She used to run away when we came... but she loved the baptism and wants to know what she needs to do to learn more about the church and be a member like her younger sister. She is already progressing well in her reading and prays and went to church for the first time yesterday :) Alisson was also confirmed yesterday. She is just adorable. Such a great example. 

Another miracle Friday when Nacho and Alma told us they have been talking and praying together and decided they finally want to get married! That's something we have been fasting and praying for for about a month now. SO excited for them. They already have 14 years together... Nacho was so excited to tell us too. We had just finished weekly planning when we went to visit them. His baptism date is coming up next week and we were thinking of how we could help him reach it. We decided that they would have to get married by Friday morning and had even written it in our agendas in pencil that we were going to go with them to get married that morning... and then they told us they were thinking Friday morning too!! Inspiration for sure. 

Saturday we had the ward movie night we had planned. It went really well and we had a new family that showed up who seem very interested. It was a great opportunity for many to share testimonies and have fun together. We are working on getting the ward more involved and unified. We put a goal to help motivate them to get names for the temple since it will be opening again soon. We made a poster that looks like this.. well its not quite done yet but its gonna be something like this. They will put a sticker for each name.

Also were starting English classes this week. Lots of investigators and members have been asking us so were decided to see how it goes :) Not sure how great my English really is. It should be a fun learning experience and hopefully will help us find more investigators too :) 

Valentin's niece, Angela passed her interview last night and will be getting baptized on Thursday! She is really excited and all the young women seem to love her. Our other young women convert Rocio came with her to the interview to support her too :) So sweet. We are very excited for her.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the Visitors Center with Jorge and Ana and family. They didn't get up in time for church which was a bummer but also understanding because they had a tough week. Jorge's brother passed away and he was out of town for the funeral. Also their neighbor who was staying with them had a heart attack and is in the hospital so they are watching her grand kids. It was refreshing to go to the CV and watch the family video with them and talk about temple and family history work. Hopefully gave them some hope and strengthened them. They have a lot of time investigating the church and really like it but still aren't sure if they want to get baptized. We love them lots and are working to help them overcome their doubts and make a decision. They are still reading and progressing.

Some members brought their cousin to church with them yesterday and we taught him during the third hour. He has been before and used to go to institute so is familiar with the church. He accepted to get baptized in a few weeks and they all went with us to see a baptism of another ward in the stake after church yesterday. (Yep yesterday was a really busy day.... ) He liked it and is excited to learn more and have his cousin baptize him. Should be perfect because his cousin is preparing to go on a mission soon

All is going well! Love being a missionary and serving the Lord. We are both working hard to give all that we can to the Lord. This week we had a friendly competition in the zone to see who could pass out the most book of mormons. We won of course.... ;) I think weve gotten stronger this week carrying 6 Book of Mormons each plus our normal set of scriptures each day...It was a really awesome experience because we didn't just give them out to anyone but searched for the constant guidance of the spirit to help us distinguish who were the people who really needed it and would value the gift. I loved being able to teach several lessons about the Book of Mormon and it helped us find lots and lots of new investigators too! So many cool experiences with following the Spirit this week. 

Hope all is well and that Dad has the best Fathers Day ever this Sunday! Love you all and will see you soon :

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Another stellar semana!

The highlight was definitely Alisson's baptism yesterday!!! :)
She is the only member of her family but has been going to church alone for almost 2 months and goes to all the activities and does every commitment we leave her. Her aunt and cousin are strong members and they will be helping her along the road. I was a little nervous about her getting baptized because she is only ten and wont have a ton of support from her parents.
But Sunday during fast and testimony meeting when she stood up to share her testimony the Spirit confirmed to me that she was ready and she would be okay. I felt myself get a little teary eyed listening to her simple testimony of the gospel and how it would help her to receive eternal life. Definitely a special spirit :) All the ward loves her and there were many at her baptism :)
Her dad and step sister came as well!! That was a pleasant surprise :) Also our convert Rodrigo came with his wife and she really enjoyed the service and is interested in learning more :) We sand the Jenny Phillips song Happily Ever After in Spanish with her cousin Frida and aunt Nashely. It was really pretty and Alisson cried. We saw her dad rubbing his eyes a little to hide the tears as well :) There was a sweet spirit present the whole service :) And cake at the end too... :)
I love being a missionary so much and have felt so much joy being able to serve the Lord and serve the people here in Moctezuma. Our ward is progressing so well. This weekend we planned a ward movie night for the members to come and watch Meet the Mormons and bring friends. Yesterday we went to each organization and passed out invitations that we made and everyone seemed really excited to help and invite their friends we are hoping it goes well :) 
We decided we deserved some ice cream today... didn't realized ordering the banana split would be quite so big. Don't worry though we shared it :) Yum.
All gone.
Also I have some good news!! Well I think its exciting news. President gave me permission to extend a few extra weeks and go home the 18th of August :) Sorry to throw off your countdown. Saturday morning while I was running the park I realized I only have two months left until I go home and it just didn't feel right. I hit me that I needed to extend a few more weeks and called President as soon as we got back to the house. Ever since I've felt so good about it and know its the right decision. It will give me a little less time to get ready for school but I am sure that it is what I am supposed to do. 
We are working hard to always follow the Spirit. I have learned that the Spirit is the most important aspect of every lesson. Without him our investigators can't have a true and everlasting conversion. I know that this church is true and am so grateful for every principle and gospel doctrine. I am especially grateful for the influence and guidance of the Holy Ghost that we receive as we live these principles. I testify of his power. Have a good week everyone! 

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hola!!!! It's been a good week! Busy busy.

We have lots of good investigators right now and are working hard to make sure we are giving them all the follow up and attention that they need. 

We have seen the promise in Moroni 10:3-5 come true many times this week and my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon has been strengthen in so many ways. Last Sunday at our Stake Conference I was talking with President Anaya about some of our investigators and his answer to each case was the Book of Mormon. My companion and I made a goal to focus more on the Book of Mormon in our teaching and make sure each of our investigators understand its purpose and power

We taught several lessons on just the Book of Mormon and are seeing the fruits of our efforts. We now have several investigators who actually read what we ask them too and are sincerely interested in knowing if the book is true. We are seeing the power flow in their lives. The Holy Ghost is testifying to them as they read and is helping them develop a true conversion. 

Rocio told us that every time she reads the Book of Mormon she feels something strange and unusual that kind of scares her because she is not used to it but it makes her want to read more. She described it as giving her the chills and making her skin swell. It's always interesting to hear people describe what it's like to feel the Spirit for the first time. 

Christian has been reading the book as well and told us that he has felt a huge difference in his life since we started visiting him as well. That he has been a lot less stressed out and feel much more tranquillo or calm I guess.

Little miss Alison is progressing well and is getting baptized this Sunday!! She is so adorable and very smart. She is 10 and gets up for church by herself. She reads what we tell her too and loves the gospel :) Her cousin and aunt are members so they will be supporting her because the rest of her family isn't quite as interested. 

We also met Rosa Maria this week. She lived with her daughter who is a member in Oakland California for 6 months and was going to church and listening the the missionaries there. She had to come back because her husband got sick and passed away. She now lives alone and was so excited to go to church yesterday and meet so many new friends. In our appointment with her on Saturday her son called and she started to tell him all about us and how excited she was. "You won't believe who I'm with right now!!.... the Mormon missionaries from the church that your sister goes too... I want you to meet them. When can you come over and meet them?" If only everyone was as excited as Rosa Maria :) She totally made our day. 

We had an incredible zone conference on the Book of Mormon as well this week :) I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel and translate the Book of Mormon. I'm so grateful for this book in my life. It has been a guide and comfort for me. I testify of its divine power and truthfulness. 

Sorry we have been bad about taking pictures but here are some from today :) Hope you all have a good week! 

Con amor, 

Hermana Rhoten