Monday, July 28, 2014

I Fell In The Mud

Hello Family!!!

Another week here in Iguala. It's weird because it's starting to feel like my home here. 

Yes I fell in the mud. Ok, it wasn't that dramatic...but it was really embarrassing. We went to visit an investigator and he wasn't home, but his brother was and he said that we could teach him. He got out some chairs for us to sit on. It had rained the night before so the ground was muddy. We had a member with us and she and my comp sat down first and all was fine. I sat down in the chair he handed me and all of a sudden, I was on my side in the mud. I don't know what happened...well, yes I do. The ground was soft and when I sat in the chair, one side sunk down into the mud and I lost balance and I had mud all over my hand, my skirt and my leg. My hand was a little scrapped up but mostly I just felt really dumb and I almost cried...ALMOST. But I held it together and we had a good lesson.  We didn't have time for me to change so I had a dirty skirt the whole day but luckily it was dirty right in the spot where my bag hits me so it was hardly noticeable. Yes, the life of a missionary is super glamourous.
This week went wasn't quite as dramatic as last week with the baptism craziness, but we are finding more people to teach. We have some really great investigators and we are working really hard to help them progress...but the thing standing in their way is going to church. We do everything we can, but the thing I am realizing is that the obstacules that these people are facing...well, most of them are from their own making. Excuse after excuse after excuse. Being a missionary is great and I love it...but it is so frustrating at the same time. We have one less active sister who has 5 kids that want to come to church. 2 of her kids should be baptized. She tells us every week that she will come to church. We go by her house, call her, text her, but in the end, she dosen't come. It makes me so sad because she is not only halting her spiritual progress, but that of her children who really want to learn and go to church. 

OH...remember the investigator I wrote about who only wanted to pray in Hebrew? His name is Cipiano. HE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! When I saw him I was so confused. His dad is a member so he came with him. There is a member in our ward who apparently knows him so he brought him over to us to tell us that he wasn't a member. Of course I already knew. Cipiano was like ' haven't come by my house lately.' And I was like 'Um...actually we have but you were never home....and you are slightly crazy and scare me.' The member asked us why we haven't gone by to visit him so we explained to him why and he offered to visit him with I might have a chance to hear a prayer in Hebrew. 

Romaldo recieved the priesthood yesterday and Danna was confirmed a member of the church in sacrament meeting (since her baptism was on Sunday last week she had to wait a week to be confirmed). Our ward has a goal to read one chapter in the Book of Mormon everyday and the goal is to finish by March. THey gave everyone a little paper that says 'HE LEÍDO EL LIBRO DE MORMÓN' in block letters and there are little boxes to mark off each chapter. Romaldo asked me about it after church because he was confused so I explained to him what it was all about. We went to visit him later that day and he whipped out his paper and showed us that he has already read 2 chapters! I was so happy because he can't see very well...or read very well, but he is trying his best! We asked him about what he read and he explained about Lehi and Nephi and how they left Jerusalem and all. He told us that when he went away for 2 weeks to work, he read up to chapter 12 in 1 Nephi but started over since they gave this goal in the ward. He is seriously so awesome.

I love hearing from my family that you are going out with the missionaries!! That makes me so excited. Lessons with members are SO helpful and I am glad that you are helping the missionaries. I can tell you that they love and appreciate you!. 

I am almost finished reading the Book of Mormon and I can't tell you how much I love that book. It truly contained the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has the secret to being happy. You want to know what it is...obedience to the commandments of God. I know that obedience to the commandments is the only way to be truly happy in this life. God knows what's best. And he gives us commandments to help us reach our potential and receive all the blessings he has in store for us. I hope that all of us can come to the point where we realize that the commandments of God aren't burdens...but they help lift the burdens we have. 

I am sure I have said this before, but if you aren't reading the Book of Mormon everyday, I would encourage you to start. 1 chapter everyday...that's all. You will learn so much and your life will be blessed with a greater understanding of God's plan of happiness for your life. It's a wonderful thing. 

Well, I hope you all have a fabulous week. I love you all!! Thank you for the pictures, letters, and prayers.

Love, Hermana Durham

I didn't take any picture this week except this one. This is Pao  and he is one of my favorite kids in our ward. He is obsessed with my stickers and always asked for 'estrellas'. I had Dora stickers this week and he decided that I should have all of them on my forehead. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

What A Week

I have a lot to write and this keyboard is really stiff...this should be interesting.
What a week we had here in Iguala. Let me tell you about it.
On Tuesday we went to visit some investigators. We had just arrived and were talking with them when their neighbor came out...this old crusty man named Juan. We introduced ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We started to tell us that he respects us a lot because we are preaching the word of God. He respects all religions...EXCEPT the mormons because they don't talk about God. I laughed a little inside, smiled and said 'well, Sir, we are mormons. But the church is called the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints. He then started to tell us all that was wrong with our religion and was quite rude. He insulted my spanish and I didn't feel bad. He was like 'your accent isn't very good. You sound very gringa' I thanked him for his kind words. At least I could understand the insult! We let me talk for a little longer and then we started to teach the Restoration. It was actually really cool. He has all sorts of weird ideas of our church and all were resolved through the scirptures and the spirit. I really felt like I was teaching with 'power and authority'. At the end of the lesson, he had calmed down and his weird ideas about our church were resolved. Then he started talking about how pretty I am and how beautiful my eyes are so we left quickly after. But...I love the gospel because it is perfect. It really answers all your questions that you have. I love when investigators have questions or doubts because I am confident that their answers will be found in the Book of Mormon. I love being able to teach people about the restoration of the gospel because it MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. All of this makes sense.
This week was full of preparations for BAPTISMS!!!
Like I mentioned in last week...Romaldo returned! He's so great. He had his interview on Friday with the Zone Leader. We were waiting for them to finish but my companion really need to go to the bathroom and didn't want to use his because she REALLY had to go (if you know what I mean) we booked it over to the house of Adrian and Cristina Hernandez Roman and used their bathroom. Suddenly it started POURING RAIN and we only had 15 minutes to make it back to our house so they offered to give us a ride. They have a bug like us...and it doesn't have windshield wipers! So we took it slow and right before we made it to our house, the car died! So Hno. Adrian got out in the rain pushed his car to the side, got soaking wet but fixed the problem so we all got back into the car and made it home in time! haha. I love mexico and that family.
Saturday was the baptism of Romaldo...and it was the most stressful day ever. Let's start from the beginning. We had a correlation meeting in the morning with the elders and our ward mission leader. While we were there, the sisters in another ward called us and told us that the water in the font was green and they didn't want to use it. We have a connection in our ward with a company that has a pipa..a big truck with clean water that can fill the font. I was confused why the sisters were in charge of the font because our ward mission leader assigned the elders to make sure the font was good to go. The sisters also had a baptism that day rght after us so the elders pushed the responsibility to them! Our ward mission leader wasn't very happy. Anyway...we gave the number to the company to the sisters and they were working on getting the font filled.
We arrived at the chapel at 5pm but no one had keys. The sisters (Hna. Junca and Hna. Sappenfield) were there and told us that the font still has no water. They called the people with the pipa and they waited for them but they never came. We were waiting for the elders to come with the keys to open the chapel for like 30 minutes, too. It was 5:30 when the chapel was opened with our baptism was at 6. The font still had no water. We called and called and the pipa people never came. We waited and waited but at a certain point, we decided to just fill the font with the green water and deal with it. But it was like 630 by this point and we had two we decided to combine the two and had a joint baptism. OH my goodness, I was so stressed. But Romaldo was baptized and that is all that matters. He was confirmed a member on Sunday and is now official.
On Sunday, the missionaries gave talks in church. It was missionary sunday. My first talk in Spanish in Mexico! It went well and I felt good about it. I talked about the conference talk by Elder Ballard from this last conference. We also sang a song about missionary work and the ward mission leader made me sing a solo and the others sang the chorus. It was fun and all went well.

We had the baptism for Danna and Alan Hernandez Roman. There was another little girl in the ward that was getting baptized, too. When we got there, the little girl didn't have white clothes. I don't know what happened with that, but we decided that Danna would get baptized first, and the other little girl would use her wet dress, and get baptized after. The baptismal service was really beautiful. They had 4 young boys from the primary give talks on Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Holy Ghost. They were so precious and the spirit was really strong. THe talks were like a minute each and perfect. The primary sang 'WHen I am Baptized' and they were of tune and half yelling but I started crying because the spirit was really strong. The BEST part of this all was that Hno. Adrain was able to baptize his kids. He was so nervous but said the ordinance perfectly. I was so happy. After, we had cake and then we booked it home.

We were so exhausted but so happy. Good things are happening here in Iguala and I am blessed to be a part of it. Oh, and Hna Hernandez and I are both staying here for another transfer so there will be more to come from Iguala.
I love you all! I love this gospel and KNOW that it is true. We have to share it with others because it is the only way to salvation. The only way to true happiness.
I have a bunch of pictures so get ready.


Hermana Durham
With Danna and Alan
ROMALDO!!! I love this picture. We kept telling him to smile so he started laughing.
Thumbs up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Return of Romaldo

Hello my dear family and friends.

I hope everyone had a great and happy week. I had a pretty good week...with some not good mixed in there.

First...Happy Kidney Day yesterday, Kara and Christen! 15 years and still going strong. 

And...CONGRATS TO EMILY!!!! You will be an awesome nurse. I am so proud of you!

We are finding more people to teach. When I first got to the area here...we had no one. Maybe like 3 people. The area was split and the elders were nice enough to give us all the areas that they never worked in. It was really hard in the beginning, but now we are seeing miracles and finding investigators and a lot of menos activos and part member families! AND...if all goes according to plan, we will have 2 baptisms this week. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

I got sick this week. Really bad. On tuesday we ate something called Rajas con crema y pollo. It's chile but it isn't spicy and it's in a cream with chicken. It is my companion's favorite food. It tasted really good. We also had agua de papaya. Little did I know that agua de papaya is a laxative and the combo with cream is deathly. Not literally, but yeah. So Tuesday night I was in the bathroom ALLLLLLL night long. My companion didn't hear a thing. My stomach hurt so bad and I even threw up. I had what they call here in the mission the ´double dragon´ hahaha. TMI? Sorry but I'm in Mexico. I wanted to die a little. I also had a fever and felt so weak all Wednesday so we couldn't leave the house. When I called my district leader in the morning to tell him I was sick, he asked what I ate. I told him and he was like 'SERIOUSLY, HERMANA? Usted no es Mexicana!' Why didn't anyone tell me before?! I wasn't feeling any better that night and still had a fever so the elders and my ward mission leader came to give me a blessing. I looked so disgusting and had my glasses on and everything...lucky elders got to see the real me. But the blessing helped and I felt well enough to work the next day...although it was pretty rough. 

I mentioned last week that Romaldo was missing in action. He left to work and didn't return when he said he was going to and he doesn't have a cell phone. We went by his house almost every day. On Friday, we were walking down the street and I looked up and saw some men working on a roof. One of them looked familiar so I stared for a minute and realized that it was Romaldo. I literally jumped for joy. We set an appointment to meet with him because he was working and left feeling really happy!

Saturday we had interviews with President. I really love President and Sister Kusch. They are so great and really have our best interest in mind. My companion and I set goals with Sister Kusch to help her (my comp) learn English. Every missionary that doesn't speak English is supposed to study it. We also got chocolate because we cleaned our house...not all the elders got chocolate, though. My interview with President was good. He told me that one day, I will look back on this experience and realize my capacity to do hard things has increased. That one day when I am a mom and my kids are complaining about doing something hard, I can tell them about my mission. I said that I'll just hand them my journal and let them read it. Or I'll send them to Iguala for a few months. haha. But really, I am learning so much and this experience is one that I will never regret. Yes, this is a sacrifice..but one that is worth every minute. 

After interviews, we went to look for a menos activo reference that we received from our ward mission leader. We found his house but he wasn't home but we met another lady that lives next door to him. She invited us in and we started teaching her and her kids the first lesson. We mentioned the Book of Mormon and she told us that her husband went to our church, is baptized and has this book and reads it. He was baptized in Cuernavaca and they haven't lived in Iguala for very long. I guess when he was meeting with the missionaries, she was sick and couldn't go to church, so she didn't get baptized. Her husband was at work but we are going to go back and teach all of them. She and her kids have a baptismal date. There are some days that we don't find anybody. That all of our appointments fall through and it's sad. But there are other days where it is VERY clear that the Lord's hand is directing this work. I realized that the hard days help us enjoy the good days even more. I felt so happy that we found them. Saturday was a good day. 

Church church church...Sunday is the most stressful day for a missionary. But guess who came to church. Romaldo. YES! If all goes well this week, he will be baptized on Saturday. Also, Danna and Alan...the kids of the Family Hernandez Roman who we found and reactivated will be baptized on Sunday. I really hope that all works out because this is the last week in this change and there is always a possibility that my comp or I will be changed! And I don't want to miss either of these baptisms. No way. 

We ate with the Bishop and his family last night and I couldn't help but think of Pop and mom feeding the missionaries. Our bishop here is super cool. He was giving us marital advice for some reason...not sure why. 

Things are good here. Only 1 week left in this change so who knows what will happen next week, but I am going to work as if there are no changes because I want to see Romaldo, Danna and Alan baptized this week. I love Iguala and the people here. 

I have a testimony of this gospel. I know it is true without a doubt. I know that the Lord requires us to make sacrifices in our lives that aren't always easy or comfortable...but that we are always blessed ten times more than the things we sacrificed. I know that keeping the commandments is the only way we will be protected from the evil of this world. I know that the covenants we make at the waters of baptism and also in the temple help us reach our potential here in this life and in the life to come. I am grateful to be a missionary and a member of this church. 

I love you all. 


Hermana Durham

Front row: Yara, Denisse, and Nayeli 
Middle: Danna and Me
Top: Alan

Danna, Alan and Yara are kids of Fam. Hernandez Roman and Denisse and Nayeli are their cousins. Alan is the one who is scared to look at me in the eyes! haha. I love this little kids. THey are so eager to learn and so much more spiritually in tune than adults. 

Monday, July 7, 2014


Hola Familia!

I hope everyone had a great week. I got pictures from mom and loved seeing (almost) everyone all together. Oh it made me happy! Also a little sad and I might have cried a few tears...but I'm good now. I am glad the baptism went well! I thought a lot about Skye on Saturday.

This week was good. On Tuesday, we were eating in la comida and all of a sudden it starting RAINING! Of course we didn't have umbrellas so I asked for a plastic bag to put over my bag/scriptures. We had an appointment on the other side of our area and we didn't want to pay for a taxi so we headed out in the rain like brave little missionaries. I was CERTAIN that our appointment would be home. We contacted her a few days before and she told us she has been to church and talked with missionaries before and is really interested. This doesn't happy everyday. So I was walking through the rivers of La Ruffo (the colonia that we work in most of the time) singing ´Tengo Gozo En Mi Alma Hoy!´(There is Sunshine In My Soul Today) and feeling really good despite being soaking wet. We got to her house and...she wasn't home. Dang it. But it's all good...we had back up plans. So we headed to the next house, sloshing through the disgusting water and...they weren't home. And another...It's weird. When it rains one is in the streets yet no one is home...hmmmm...

So after a little bit of rejection, we went to our correlation meeting with the ward mission leader and then to an appointment with another menos activo family. They have a daughter who isn't baptized and they want us to teach her. We taught the Restoration Lesson 1 and we set a date for her baptism. After the lesson, the parents told me that when I was describing Joseph Smith's first vision, it was totally quiet...they couldn't hear any cars passing by or other noises. They said they could really feel the spirit. That made me feel really good. After a day of being wet and rejected, it was nice to feel like I helped someone feel the spirit. It also reminded me that this message that I am sharing is so true and worth it. Oh...the husband is a convert and he was taught by he kept calling us Elderes instead of Hermanas and his wife kept correcting him. haha

I didn't feel too good the next day...I think they are right...the rain can make you sick. I wasn't actually that sick, I just had a really bad headache so I took some drugs and felt better. Oh, I always call advil or other medicines drugs because I think it's funny. My companion is always, drogas son malas...son pastillas, Hermana. But now she says drogas, too. :) 

I didn't realize that it was the 4th of July until the end of the day! I was planning on wearing RED WHITE AND BLUE but I failed. Maybe next year. I love the 4th! I hope everyone enjoyed Hotdogs, Hamburgesas and fireworks! 

We think that a new church opened really close to us because people were singing songs really loudly about Jesucristo on Saturday when we were studying in the morning. I told Hermana Hernandez that our plan to find Nuevos this week is we are going to find this church and convert them all. Wouldn't that be so cool. Walk into a church and take the microphone and be like 'Listen. We have the truth!!!' Yeah right...we would get arrested or something. But a missionary can dream...

The elders had a baptism on Saturday. Her name is Gabby. Her mom was baptized about a month prior and is super awesome. She bore her testimony about how her life has changed so much since she was baptized and she wants to share the gospel with everyone she talks to! I love it. Gabby is 18 and is also super great. Good things are happening here in Iguala. 

Sad news, Romaldo left to work in a different city two weeks ago. We thought he was going to be back by yesterday but we passed by his house in the morning and last night and he hasn't returned. We are praying and praying that he comes home soon so we can continue teaching him and he can be baptized. 

Oh and remember the appointment we went to in the rain and she wasn't there? We found her! We taught her and she has a baptismal date. Also, we found out her husband is a member but inactive. And her mom is really interested, too. YAY! 

We have found 3 inactive families in the last week that have kids that aren't baptized. There are SO many inactive members in this area..and I think in all of Mexico. I was feeling a little sad that we didn't have a ton of investigators in the chapel yesterday, but the Family Hernandez Roman was there (we found them about a month ago and they have been coming to church ever since. They have two kids that will be baptized in two weeks) and Hno. Adrian (the dad) got a calling to be the 2nd counselor in the Young Men's Presidency! I was so happy and realized that if I do nothing else but help this family reactivate and eventually get to the temple, it will all be worth it. Obviously, I want to do more, but it is so great to see a family come back into the church and really take advantage of the blessings found there in. Oh, and the funny thing is that he had NO IDEA what his calling was going to be. They told him before the meeting that he was going to recieve an assignment and when he stood up to be sustained is when he found out what it was. He said he felt like he got a cold bucket of water thrown on him! haha. He was like 'I have no idea what to do!' I told him not to worry, that he will be trained and he will love it. He is awesome and this is going to really be good for him and his family. And the young men in the ward. 

We had a meeting yesterday with the Stake Presidency and all the bishoprics, HP group leaders, and EQ presidents in the stake. We were privileged to have President Kusch there, too. WE have church at 1 pm and the meeting was RIGHT after, so we couldn't go to our food appointment. The angel of a sister who we were supposed to eat with brought us sandwiches so we didn't die of hunger since it was fast sunday, too. 

The meeting was good, President talked about the work of the mission. Side note, in our mission, we have 91 Hermanas and 120 elders! Almost equal. CRAZY. By September we should have almost 100 Hermanas in the mission. He talked about the work of Salvation and many of the challenges we face as missionaries. Also, how the work of Salvation is the responsibility of the wards...and the missionaries are a resource for the wards to help find and teach investigators. But really, the wards should have a much bigger part than they have right now. 

I really think that one of the reasons that the age change for missionaries happened is 1) because the Lord is hastening his work and 2) to help change the culture in the church. Right now, the missionaries and members aren't totally united but imagine once all these missionaries come home...the work in the wards is going to be a lot different. I don't know if I explained that really well...but hopefully you understand me. 

I really love this ward and the members here in Iguala. It is a special place and I feel lucky to be here.

I love the Book of Mormon, too. It is powerful and true. Alma the younger is one of my favorite Book of Mormon heros. He had such a powerful testimony and such a love for God, keeping the commandments and others. He was probably one of the most successful missionaries ever and I want to be like him.

I love you all so much. I am so grateful to have you in my life. THank you for your prayers, too. 


Hermana Durham 



Happy 5 months...I look weird and sweaty!