Monday, December 30, 2013
WOW can you believe that Christmas has come and gone?? It honestly just seems like a blur to me. haha It turned out to be one that I will never forget. Christmas in the mission is very very different as you can expect, but the spirit of the epoca is the exact same!!! On Christmas day we had the opportunity of eating with one family in our ward called Gonzalez. They are THE BEST! They were so sweet to us and fed us WAY too much food, and really made us feel like part of their big family. They had two piñatas and a lot of desserts and just a lot of visiting and meeting new people (which I love so much!) It truly was a special Christmas for me, difficult, don´t get me wrong! (I just wish I didn’t have the best family in the world back in Utah that I miss) hahaha But what a blessing it is to be here in Mexico testifying of why we really have Christmas!!! Because a lot of families were busy and not home on Christmas we got the wonderful opportunity of going back to our house and DEEP CLEANING!!!! Merry Christmas ;) haha It was fun and we rocked out to the church Christmas music - we had a lot of fun :)
I did indeed get the packages - ALL of them, and wow, I really don´t know what to say! I honestly couldn´t help but bawl when the Mission President unloaded 4 huge packages from his car when he came to visit! haha THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION AND A HALF!!!!!! We loved all of the little surprises and you had better believe that we have made a huge dent in the food already! We are really excited to make the cheesecake for new years!!!! Really, thank you so much. And the boots are incredible and so warm and comfortable! Thank you thank you thank you! Tell Susan & Ken THANK YOU SO MUCH and grandma too please!!!
HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY AMANDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hna Jacobo and I sang happy birthday for you - I hope you know! What did you do?? Did you eat some good cake and ice cream??
The weather is getting colder, ha-ha, but we are getting smarter and figuring out how to keep our house warmer in the night and by warming up our pajamas with the little heater while we are planning! haha It is crazy how cold it is... so much for buying clothes for 100 degree weather ;) hahaha It is great, and the clothes and hat and everything you sent have helped so much!
This week was an interesting week with the holidays and everything! But it was a great one! We worked really hard to find new investigators this week because we know how powerful the spirit of this season is, and we really were blessed! That is really cool that you got to talk to a Hermana in my ward; she is so sweet and her husband is the mission leader in our ward, so we have gotten to know her really well! Hna Jacobo and I also got to speak in our ward on Sunday (yes mom in Spanish). I think it went really well; everyone in the ward said that my Spanish was good, and that they could understand me... so I would say it was a SUCCESS!!!!!!!!
I have a couple questions!
How´s the BE b-ball team doing??
What do you have planned for new years??
How does Derek like sleeping in his bed again??
I love you forever, and am always praying for you! I have the best support system back home, and I am so so so grateful!! Never doubt the power of the Lord to help you in EVERYTHING!!!!!! I know He lives and loves you!
p.s. It was AMAZING to talk to you!!! I can´t believe how big MY Beckham is - make him stop please!!!! Keep smiling ;) I love you with all my heart!
Monday, December 23, 2013
HOLA HOLA HOLA! Can you believe that it is almost already Christmas??? AHHH Where has the time gone? I really can´t believe that it has already been 2 months since I left little old Brigham City! If my mission goes this fast... I may just stay here for 3 years?? Is that okay with you fam? hahaha
We had a really great and difficult and blessed week here in Casas! We worked so hard to work with the barrio (ward) this week to try and strengthen their testimonies so that they will have the desire to share it in their lives. On Monday night we had a Noche de Hogar (family home evening) with the ward and we watched “Joseph Smith: A Prophet of the Restoration”. It turned out to be an incredible night and everyone who attended shared their testimonies after, and I really feel like that sparked something in the ward because the rest of the week they were really helpful and excited about the work! It truly is the work of salvation for all. So don´t think you get off easy because you aren´t on a full time mission. EVERYONE NEEDS TO SHARE!! (and I know I say this every week... but it really is so important.) hahaha :)
We also had a devotional Christmas yesterday for everyone in Casas Grandes and the Colonies. All of the missionaries sang in a choir that we have been practicing for about 2 weeks now. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! We sang pretty much all the Christmas hymns and also performed some numbers in small groups. I actually got to sing “Oh Holy Night” as a solo too!! :) I absolutely love music, and coming on a mission has just made me love it so much more. The spirit really does talk through the music of the soul. There actually is a Sister who lives in Dublan who is the stake president’s wife and she has a facebook page for a lot of the missionaries’ moms and family... I think it is called “Chihuahua Moms” or something like that. You´ll have to search for it and asked to be added to the group. She is going to put some videos from last night up on the page!
1. Did you get any packages yet? I didn´t get any packages yet, but I told the zone leaders yesterday to keep an eye open for it because you sent some! It might take a little longer because I am so far away from the mission home. But no worries; I will get it!! and THANK YOU AGAIN!!!! You, family, are really such a blessing. XOXOXO
2. What good foods have you eaten? Oh my goodness where do I start?? The food here is to die for! Everyday I think, "Today is going to be the day that I am going to eat something that is gross..." But nope, the day hasn´t come yet! So to answer your question... EVERYTHING IS GOOD! ;) We eat tamales a lot, and salsa!!! And chicken and meat cooked so well, and a lot of rice and beans. Mmmmhmmmm just really good Mexican comida!
3. How is your Spanish going? My Spanish is going pretty well. I mean it is so hard to be somewhere where everyone speaks perfect Spanish and I am just thrown into the middle of it, but I love the language! Everyday my Spanish is getting better and better. The gift of tongues is honestly so real!
4. Do you still Love your sweet parents? TE AMO MUCHO MUCHO MUCHO MUCHO!!!!! Honestly there isn´t a day that goes by that I don´t think I have the best parents and family in the whole world. Every night I thank our Father in Heaven for you. I wish I could explain how incredibly much I love you. Thank you for being such great examples!!
Hahahaha - you probably thought I forgot about Skype.... haha :) We are going to Skype tomorrow around 6:45 or 7! We finally found a family that has a camera and internet! It should all be good and work perfectly. Thank you for setting up my account and sending the password and everything. I forgot how Skype works but do you have to add me as a friend or something first? Who knows, but I’m sure it will go smoothly tomorrow! ARE YOU EXCITED TO TALK TO ME?????? ;) I miss you so much and can´t wait to see your beautiful smiling faces... Don´t make fun of me if I cry when I see you though; I haven´t changed too much - I still cry like a little baby! Hahahahahahaha
But I hope you have a great week and enjoy Christmas! Remember to pray and remember why we are really here on the earth! You are a child of the most powerful and perfect being in the UNIVERSE!!!!!!!
I love you for eternity!!!
P.S. Hasta Mañana!!!!! hahaha
Monday, December 16, 2013
It honestly was an incredible week here in Casas Grandes! The Lord has prepared so many hearts here to hear the gospel, and Hermana Jacobo and I are working harder than ever to find the Elect of the Lord. I have been told that this area in the past has been really difficult and they never have had too much success, but things are changing and people are excepting the gospel every day. It is so incredible to see how the world is changing in these last days. Hearts are being softened and members are starting to have a desire to share the gospel too. It is a blessing to be where I am, doing what I am doing everyday right now! I am so blessed to be a representative of the LORD!! And even though it is a big responsibility, I know that the Lord only expects my best. So every day that is what I am going to give Him.
Earlier this week I went with the other missionaries from the US to the Migration Office about an hour away in Janos! We had to give our finger prints and sign our lives away. I´m pretty sure I signed a paper that said I can never leave Mexico... Sorry fam ;) haha But the trip was really fun, and it was so nice to be able to speak in English. I absolutely love being around other missionaries. There really is strength in numbers, and especially when they are all missionaries! The spirit is so strong.
I also got to learn how to make tortillas this week! LEARN is the key word. I failed and it was embarrassing to try and spin the thin piece of dough and watch it break into pieces... haha The member who showed us was really nice, but you could tell for sure she had had years of practice. haha
Also on Saturday we actually had our first baptism!!!!! And I wish I could explain to you how incredible the entire experience was!!!! Pedro is the joven who loved to drink coffee (if you forgot) and he is such an example. He was so ready for baptism; he pretty much jumped into the font! The spirit was so strong during the entire meeting and the baptism! I am honored that I was able to meet Pedro and witness yet another miracle!! I know that baptism is the first step that we show Jesus Christ that we accept him and his perfect plan for us. OHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It just was the happiest day ever!!!! :) I´ll send a pic, don´t worry! I´m not that great of a missionary yet.... ;) hahahaha but it was incredible and I got to sing at it also!!!! Oh what an experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, before I forget we found out that we DO GET TO SKYPE for Christmas! I will be skyping on the 24 and probably in the tarde! I am so excited to see my beautiful familia!!!! But I am not sure that I have an account that works, so I was wondering if you could set one up for me and for you, and then la proxima semana just let me know what the password and information is! That way it will be much easier and we won´t have to bug the member family for as long. We only can talk for 40 minutes, but that will be long enough to show you I am still alive and happy ;)
-1- Did you find you a warm coat?
I did find a coat that was semi warm! hahaha It is hard to find really good quality here, the zipper broke the second day I had it, but I will still keep looking for one, don´t worry! But it is cold! I still can´t get over how crazy that is; I´m in Mexico for heaven’s sakes!!! hahaha
-2- Do you have Elders in your area or are there just sisters in your city?
Hermana Jacobo and I are the only ones in our area! Called Estacion :) But there are Elders in the all the areas around us. In our district we are the only sisters, but in our zone there is another companionship! We meet together every Lunes, and sometimes more than that like to practice Christmas songs for our devotional on the 22!!
-3- Is there a ward or a branch? What kind of a building do they meet in?
We are in a ward, and it is semi-small but really really really incredible! The members are so sweet and really are starting to get excited about the work we are a part of. Our building is really pretty nice! It’s just like a normal church house and we have a piano that actually works!!! BLESSINGS!!!!!
-4- Did you hear that we have a Texas address to mail your stuff to? It's a UPS office in El Paso but should speed things up alot and will be cheaper. So is your comp still working out OK?
Awesome!!!!! That is super nice!!!! :) I am still really far from Juarez, but it will still get to me!!! The zone leaders should pick it up!!! Isn´t it amazing how the world is changing and the work of salvation is progressing???
-5- We've looked you up on the maps and you're in the middle of nowhere. Did you say you lived on the street "Cinco de Mayo"?
I’m just off the street in a little alley way! :) I LOVE THE STREET CINCO DE MAYO!!! So exciting :)
But I want you to know that I am so incredibly happy! I am where I am supposed to be and it is so amazing to see the miracles of the Lord daily! I have never prayed so much in my whole life, but I also have never been so happy :) coincidence?? No such thing....! I know that Our Savior Lives!!! I am safe, the Lord is always with me; people are usually SUPER nice!!!! Sleep is sufficient and I’m drinking water, of course! I am the daughter of the water queen!! ;)
TE AMO!!! Tenga una buena semana!!!!
I hope you have a great semana preparing for Christmas!! But remember what Christmas is really about :)
Con MUCHO Amor
Hermana Sutton :)
P.S. We just got a text from a young man (Raul-from Mexico) who is now in Provo that says you know his mother. Her name is “Silvia Ortega De Rodriguez” from the Estacion Ward. If you know her, we could send a box with him this Friday. He’s going home for Christmas and offered to take some things down for you. What would you like us to send you? Coats, boots, sweaters?
YES YES YES YES I know who that is, and it would be incredible if you could send some things with him!!!!! OH WHAT A BLESSING!!!!!
Don´t get overwhelmed, but if you could send with him WARM THINGS!!! like sweaters, socks, sweats, scarves, sweaters and gloves and maybe even a pair of boots. I bought a pair here but they already are falling apart :( oh and maybe a hat!
But don´t worry if you can´t. I am still surviving!!!!! :) and happy! But I know it is just going to get colder every day!!! I mean I am fine and happy and usually pretty warm!
Just some ideas, don´t get overwhelmed! These are just some ideas!!!
P.S.S. Thanks for the new coat Aunt Jennifer :)
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
How are the best family and friends in the world doing this week??? I can´t believe you got so much snow? Thank goodness the snow hasn´t come to Nuevas Casas Grandes yet, but it is very very very cold!!! We´ll keep our fingers crossed that the snow stays in your neck of the woods. Snow would make walking everywhere all day a little bit more difficult. The crazy wind and dirt already makes it impossible to stay looking like a presentable representative of the Lord ;) haha
This week was incredible! I know I said this last week, but every week is just so special and so different! This week Hermana Jacobo and I had the opportunity to sing in sacrament meeting junta. She played the piano and I sang; the obisbo asked if we could sing “Oh holy Night”, and I gladly excepted because that is my favorite Christmas song as well!!! It turned out so amazing and the spirit was so strong. It was great to be able to kind of express myself and my testimony because it is a little difficult to explain how I feel in the few simple phrases I know in Spanish! ;) But the spirit is the same in every language. And I love the quote I heard in the MTC (I’m not sure if I shared it with you...) God doesn´t need Spanish speakers, He needs Spirit speakers :) so that is what I am trying to do - rely on the spirit!!!! But just so you know, my Spanish is getting better every day and even though it is so hard, I can see myself growing and I am learning so much everyday! My favorite thing is to talk to the kids, because they speak a little bit of English and use simple words in Spanish!!! It is great!!!
I got to watch the First Presidente devotional this week too!!! ( I know Amanda and Eric did) did you?? It was awesome to hear the familiar sound of Motab! But sadly I didn't understand too much of the messages the speakers gave, because it was in Spanish!! ;) Hahaha but I really enjoyed it, and one of our investigators named Judith came with us!!! (I’ll send a picture of her.)
This semana was really special because the members actually wanted to help and share the message of the gospel! Can I just testify to you that this work of salvation is not just for missionaries who wear a badge to share, EVERYONE IS A MISSIONARY!!!!! And why not share with those around us? This is what makes us happy, so why not help otro personas feel the same!!!
1: Will you be able to SKYPE at Christmas or will you need to purchase an international calling card?
I am not exactly sure how calling is going to work on Christmas. I talked to some of the other missionaries and in the past they could not Skype... :( But I’ll double check with the zone leaders and let you know next week! Can you believe it is almost Christmas???? ahhhhhhh :) I am so excited for Christmas aqui! In all of our lessons we have been singing Christmas songs, and it is so amazing to feel the spirit of the Lord!!!
2: Did you buy some warm clothes?
I did find some boots which make things a lot warmer!! I am borrowing a warm coat from a member and gloves and things, but today we are going to look again and see if there is anything that will work! The stores are... well interesting here! There are some nice ones and some not so nice ones, but you know me the bargain shopper! I´ll find a good deal ;)
3: Do you want us to give your e-mail address out to the ward or is that not really allowed?
You can give the ward my e-mail; I don´t really care, but make sure you tell them I probably won´t e-mail them back! I really don´t have very much time at all, and emailing is a challenge for me anyway! It´s hard because I stress I am going to forget to tell you something, so just have patience with me because I may write kind of scatter brained!! hahaha
4: What made you smile this last week?
OHHH I smiled so many times this week!!! I think the thing that made me smile the biggest was yesterday when we got back to our apartment and Heramana Jacobo and I were thinking about our amazing day!!!
With the help of the members yesterday and the miracles of the Lord, we found 5 new investigators! And they are so ready to hear the gospel and so ready to change their lives!!! The Lord works miracles, and everyday I can´t help but smile because I get to see firsthand how the Lord changes lives. :) He has changed mine!!!! I am so blessed!!!!
I know this church is true family!!! No doubt in my mind, and as long as we have the faith of a mustard seed, the Lord can work with us and we can become something amazing!!!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
I have no idea where to even start.... I´m in Mexico and it is incredible! It is pretty much what I had imagined when I would have crazy dreams about Mexico (but better!!!!) The area I am in is called “Estacion” and it is just a little tiny town in the middle of the desert. There are main stores and like a down town and all that jazz, but a lot of our area is just in the little neighborhood around the big main street you could call it! MY FAVORITE part of our area is that street; it´s called cinco de mayo (confusing I know) but it is the greatest street I have ever walked down. I have no idea why but it is just magical ;) So many people everywhere and all the fun little shops and places to pass by! I love it.
Hermana Jacobo is the greatest companion I could ever ask for; she is so patient and loving and really obedient and the spirit just radiates from her! She speaks well... a little bit of English... haha but she is trying to learn and it is fun to teach her new words and make fun of her accent like she does to mine. It has been really helpful to have her only speak Spanish because it forces me to learn and to better understand! Because for heaven sakes - I CAN¨T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING!!!!!!! hahaha but for some reason I still am loving it! It has been the greatest experience to be able to feel the spirit of the people we are teaching (because I don´t totally understand). The people in Mexico are ready and I am so excited to be helping them realize that we are here for a reason!
We live in a really small two room house that is owned by a member that lives next door! It is tiny and everything is broken, but I LOVE IT! The city has dirt roads everywhere and the houses are really small and really humble, but the people are incredible!!!! We buy our groceries at a store just like Soriano in Mexico! (I think that is what it is called) which is normal! We have been eating a lot of fruits and vegetables which I am loving! The thing is the eating schedule is really different here... We eat a pretty big breakfast and then we eat lunch at 2 and then when we get home at 9 or 930 we eat like fruit or something little if we aren´t too exhausted to cook ;) haha
Our mission president is really nice and his wife too, but we are in an area like 3 hours away from them so I really haven’t gotten to know them very well! We pretty much are on our own which is fun! And heavens no, I didn´t tell him I got sick! I’m a tough Sutton - remember ;) hahaha
IT IS FREEZING HERE!!!!!!! I am not even joking; it is as cold as it is there! Everyone says that we are going to get a little bit of snow in the next couple of days... needless to say I have had to borrow coats and buy tights and a scarf and all that jazz. I honestly didn´t think it would be like this, but HEY, I love it still!!!! If you are okay with it, would you put a little bit more money in my account so I can buy some boots and a hat. I am not going to be able to borrow stuff from the members forever, so I thought I would look around and see if I can find something!!!!
We went to our ward for the first time yesterday and it was INCREDIBLE!!!! Everyone is so welcoming, and they help yo con my Espanol! It feels like a family and I am so so so grateful for that, because I miss my amazing family! ;) I actually got to play the piano in primary because they don´t have a pianist. It was an awesome experience and was really helpful that they used simple Spanish with the ninos! haha (I am just like them) well they speak way better than I do... but it´s fun!!!
I want to tell you an amazing miracle we saw this week! We taught this man named Pedro who is incredible and has been investigating the church for about a month or so, and he loves it so much. He was having a really hard time not drinking coffee though... that was the only thing that was keeping him from baptism. The very first appointment we had with him I shared dad´s story with him (yes in Spanish; it was a miracle!!!) and told him that once you knew the church was true, you were willing to do anything! I told him how you trusted in the Lord and He made your weaknesses strengths!!! And then I invited him to be baptized, and he said YES!!!!!!!! He hasn´t had a sip of coffee since!!!! Dad your story hasn´t just inspired me! IT IS CHANGING PEOPLES LIVES!!!!!!! Miracles are happening every single day, and I know without a doubt in my mind that through Jesucristo the work of salvation is going on! AND we are all a part of it :)
I am so happy family!!! This is the hardest and greatest thing I have ever done in my whole life! But it is worth it because the Savior LIVES!!!!! I love this gospel and the people in Mexico!!! I am truly blessed!!}