Monday, August 25, 2014

Hola familia, This week went by so fast again.

 Tomorrow we have transfers, I don't think I am leaving but its weird that today I started my very last agenda of the mission. If I don't leave I hope my companion and I stay together because she is the best and I have learned a lot from her.

Hmm, what happened this week? Well we went to Huancavelica again and the best part of the divisions was being able to do interviews. They have been a really spiritual experience for me to be able to interview sisters and feel the influence of the Lord as I question them. We also helped with the family history fair at the stake center on Saturday for a few hours. That's what the pictures are from. It was cool to see old Peruvian stuff.
So I love this family so much. Also has anyone seen Emperor's New Groove lately? his poncho reminds me of that movie.
There was also a huge party in Hualhuas. I'm honestly not sure why but they were dancing, drinking and selling a ton of hats. A drunk man grabbed me and my companion told me I needed to stay closer to her so that she could protect me. I just laughed because my companion is maybe a hundred pounds. She is a little stick.
These are mantas from different time periods. I was wondering because people of the same age group wear the same kinds of mantas.
My companion and I have been teaching so well together. We had a really spiritual lesson with a new family as we taught them about the restauracion. It was received with understanding. When we asked the mother about how she felt about what we had taught her and she said she was scared. She responded, Do you realize what this means if all of this is true? Knowing their situation we responded, of course we do, it means that you will have to change, it means that your family might hate your decision, and that your might have to find other work but we promise that greater blessings will come into your life.The message that we carry changes everything but it also brings great blessings.

I have no idea what these costumes are.
There is a dog here next to me as I am writing this and it won't leave me alone. Haha

Cool stuff from the family history fair.
Something cool I learned from the scriptures this week was about the process of receiving the Lord's guidance. I have read in Nephi 8 (about the vision of the tree of life) many times and I always thought the first verse about them gathering seeds was so random. I was like that's cool that they gathered seeds but it doesn't have anything to do with anything. I learned that them gathering seeds was being obedient to commandments of the lord and that Lehi's family passed though a similar process to the Jaredites. They were both promised a promised land, sought the lord in diligence, faith, and humility, God commanded them to prepare (gather seeds, flocks), and he gives them a specific place that he will meet them. Only when they did what God asked and they were in the correct place did the Lord lead them. This process can be applied to many different situations but it can also be directly applied to missionary work. As we are prepared doing what the lord asks and we are in the place where he has asked us to be he says to missionaries as he said to the Jaredites, I will go before thee. (Ether 1:42, D&C 84:88)

Hope you have a great week! Love you!

Hermana Rhoten 1

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hola Familia!

My weeks are so busy that honestly I don't remember most of it. I always have to look in my journal before we leave to know what to write about. The gist of it is that we had a multi-zone pday, and conference, two divisions, the stake activity all day Saturday in Huancayo and the confirmations on Sunday.
Recognize her? She is a convert who was baptized when I was in Camino Real at the beginning of my mission. And her son. So cute.
Fun facts of this week:
- One of our investigators came to church drunk this week. It's always a bummer when that happens. It's like they are progressing but not really at the same time.
- David and America's family are getting sealed this Saturday! I talked to them all at the stake activity we had this last Saturday. So exciting. Wish I could go.

- We did two divisions back to back this week, one with a new sister that lives so close to home (The Dalles, Oregon) and a sister that lives in one of the farthest things from my home (Iquitos, Peru). It's jungle, you can only get there by several day boat trip or by plane, she had a pet baby crocodile and monkey, and they don't knock on doors to call people out of their houses but make an owl like sound. I'm practicing it so I can freak you all out when I get home.

- Remember how a few months ago I made fun of people for falling asleep on combis? Well I fell asleep on one standing up this week. That's what I get I guess.
our ward's table, us and the elders of our ward
The green dish was made by our ward. It was good.
Basically all the pictures I sent were from our stake activity. They assigned each ward to bring a typical plate from an assigned part of Peru and they did typical dances from each part too. I sent lots of pictures of food so you guys know what I eat here.
In case you were wondering what I eat here.
It's not a good picture but this is made of alpaca and potatoes well a type of potato called yuka. Not the same thing. Peru is known for its potatoes, they have like 30 types.
The peppers are ricota rellena which is a dish from Arequipa where my second comp was from. It's really good.
Our ward won third place for food overall, but that guinea pig won first place.
   The guinea pig won the contest.
Everyone loved it. So weird. My companion has a hard time even seeing it because one time we walked into a house right when they happened to be slaughtering them putting knives in their throats.
all dressed up for the dances
The dances were so cool. I recorded a bunch of them so remind me later in life to show them to you. These people love to dance and they all know how even to the littlest ones. It turned out to be a success, it was packed and we had investigators that went and received an awesome reference too.
Dances from my old ward. David and America's family danced too.
I am learning that God has a perfect knowledge and understanding of what he does and why he does it. He has perfect mercy and justice at the same time and that everything he does gives us the best chance of returning to him.

Have a great week everyone! 

Love, Hermana Rhoten 1

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hey! I am on super late today

We had a giant multizone pday in Huancayo with all of the zones of Huancayo and the one in Huancavelica came too. We just played a bunch of games and stuff but it took all day. It was fun to see other companions and friends from through out my mission. 
Pictures from the baptisms. I was sick this day so I'm a little ugly. haha
So this week was super busy, I had mission counsel again all day Tuesday, divisions and we had baptisms! On top of all that I got sick. Sometimes I wonder how things ever get done when we are always sick all the time, but the work moves forward somehow. We taught a new high of lessons this week I passed through the worst of it, I had a high fever for two days, sore throat but now I just have a cough. I hate being in bed though so I went out and worked what I could even if it meant being miserable in the wind, cold and rain. I felt blessed by the lord for the efforts that we had. My zone leaders were calling to keep up on what was going on and the one that is going home the same time as me said Hermana Rhoten you can't die yet you have two months still! 
The highlight of the week was definitely the baptisms! The two older ones in the picture were investigators we found from helping reactivate their families, the littlest one is a ward baptism. They were baptized in our ward baptismal font, the river. The water was so cold and they were all so brave. River baptisms are different but so cool. I feel the spirit so strongly the moment of their baptisms and always feel like their is sunlight shining directly down on each of them.
more baptism fotos
It's also sometimes really tough to keep reverence during the program. We were interrupted by a herd of cows in the middle of it that passed through the middle of all the people sitting on the banks.
Then after the ordinance the elders and the boys had to go find bushes to change behind and they had to walk a long ways so we sang hymns forever! 
our ward mission leader and his pulpit
The best part of the meeting was the testimonies of those who were baptized. The youngest boy was so cold in the water and we almost thought he wasn't going to be able to get baptized because he was nervous but during his testimony he said I believe that during by baptism Jesus Christ was at my side and I felt all my sins washed away. I have definitely gained such a testimony of the importance of this ordinance from watching others take the step to follow Christ and be baptized and see how happy they are. The gospel is true! 

Hope you all have a great week! 

Hermana Rhoten 1

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hey guys! Another week flew by. Thanks for all the letters.

I don't think I will have time to respond to them all but I will answer questions at the end of this letter.
our rescued member this week
I don't know about you but I'm feeling 22! Just kidding, I don't really feel like I am twenty two at all. For my birthday we worked all day and then in the evening my pension bought a pizza! They brought it all the way from Huancayo and it was Pizza Hut. They put a candle on it and sang to me. It was really special after eating white rice and potatoes for basically every meal the past three months.
Birthday pictures
Everyone here is celebrating Santiago. It's a celebration that I have really no idea what it's for. Everyone I ask tells me something different. But they decorate all their animals with ribbons and drink a whole lot, and dance in the streets with bands and really fancy skirts. I can hear the Santiago dance song replaying in my head right now, it's been stuck in my head all week!
  the decorated cows for Santiago
A great lesson I have learned from my mission is what it means to have faith. One of our investigators that is progressing towards baptism got kicked out of her house with her two kids, they live in a humble home while she works washing clothes, and her friend who is a member told us she goes many days with out having food for her family. Even in her trials she has been looking for good, coming to church, and helped with our ward service project on Saturday. I know that God will bless her with what she needs as she seeks for God's kingdom as promised in 3 Nephi 13. I have promised so many people that they would have food to feed their families as they were obedient to the Lord and those who have the faith to act have always been blessed.
These are our pension's little girls.
I finished the Book of Mormon this week in Spanish. I had planned perfectly to finish it on my birthday. I simply want to share my testimony that it is a true book inspired by the Lord. I have been examining, studying, searching and applying its teachings for almost a year and a half and I can't deny that it is true, because of my own personal witness through prayer, the way it perfectly intertwines with the teachings of the bible, and the way it teaches me to be more like Christ every time I read it. I have paused to think to myself, if it wasn't true after a year and a half of studying it you would think that I would have found fault in it. But I am more convinced than ever that it must be the word of God and I will stand by it for my entire life.

Have a great week!

Hermana Rhoten

Questions, Answers and Comments:
How have you been? Happy and very busy.
Do you eat guinea pigs? Yes, but only on special occasions because they are expensive.

When's the date you fly into the airport? Ask my mom, I'm sure she knows. (Oct 14 @ 4pm)
I wish I could just dare people to be Mormon too Mason, that would be so much easier. You can't turn down dares.
If you want stuff just send money with my parents. My favorite things are the mantas (the blankets that they hold babies in that are super colorful), llama sweaters (so warm), nativities and mattes (the carved gourd things). I love all Peruvian things, they are so cool. 

I'm so excited for all the babies to be born in the near future. Babies here are so cute and so chubby. I learned this past week that they tell mothers in the hospital that they must breastfeed them for at least two years and longer is recommended. That sure explains a lot.

I love and miss you guys too!