Monday, August 25, 2014


First of all a BIG SHOUT OUT to my wonderful Grandparents for 65 YEARS OF MARRIAGE! I wish I could give you a big hug to thank you for being my grandparents and for raising the best mom I could have asked for. I hope you enjoy your day and can think back on the wonderful adventures that you have had and are still going to have! Here is to 65 more!!! :)

One blessing of being on a mission: I got a jury duty summons...first one in my life. And I am in Mexico. Score.

This week was good but Eder didn't end up getting baptized. His parents told us that he wasn't ready which I thought was crazy because he has had all the lessons, been to church, knows how to pray, etc. but they are the parents so we postponed it for two weeks. Also, Edgar blessed the sacrament this Sunday! One of the counselors in the bishopric brought him a tie. He had to repeat the prayer twice but it's all good! It was so exciting to see that and Tomas was super proud, too. They had a priesthood fireside and they both went. I love seeing how exciting they are about church. We had a lesson with Helen, Edgar's wife, yesterday about the Book of Mormon because she has some doubts. I asked her if she has seen changes in Edgar since his baptism and she smiled really big and said YES! He doesn't drink, he's a lot nicer and more respectful to his parents and seems happier. I was like...That's because this gospel changes lives. You will continue to see these good changes as you two work together to live the gospel! How cool. 

We got a reference from the elders the other day named Erik. We called him to set up an appointment and he speaks English really well. He told us that he really needs help and that he would meet us at church on Sunday. When we met him, he told us that he basically lost everything in his life...his job, his motorcycle, his girlfriend, his grandfather died...everything. He said that he has no idea why this is happening because he is a good person. I told him that sometimes in life, the Lord sends tests, not to punish us, but to prepare us for something better. He is searching to find his purpose. It was like a little miracle finding him. He is totally prepared for the gospel and I know that these things in his life are preparing him to accept the message that we have. YAY!! There are escojidos here! 

The highlight of the week was out multi-zone conference. WHY...well, because it's zone conference and we learn lots of great stuff. ALSO...I was reunited with HERMANA GARCIA after months of being apart. I can't explain how excited I was to see her. She looks like a mouse in the pictures because she was in a skit that we had to do for zone conference. Speaking of the skit, I was a background character that has no part...but I was happy with that. My companion was also a mouse and this sister in our zone HAND SEWED the costumes. Don't asked me where she found the time, but I thought it was rather impressive.

Zone conference was really good and we focused a lot on the Book of Mormon. It really is the key to our religion and if people actually read it, they will gain a testimony of the gospel. 
We are getting the hang of things here. I know the Lord gives us challenges to help us become stronger. Sometimes I don't really know how I am doing what I am doing. Especially this change with both of us being new...but then I realize that it is because we are working on the winning team and the Lord will help us with His work. This is the last week in the change and I am highly doubting that we will be changed...but in the mission, one never knows...

I love you all! Have a wonderful week. 

Love, Hermana Durham :)

Some sisters from my zone...Hna. Hellstern, Me, Hna. Hingano, Hna. Thompson, and Hna. Perez...she is hilarious!

Hna. Hellstern. We found out we have the same name (hers is spelled wrong but that's ok) and that we are basically the same person. 

Me and Hna. Mouse...Ward.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Am Wearing A Sweater

It is actually kind of cold in my area. Maybe I am just used to the deathly heat of Iguala, but I pulled out my cardigans that I brought with me because my area is high in the mountains and actually is a little cold. And by cold I mean, Las Vegas in's nice, but with wind you need a little something to keep you comfortable.
Another week...where does the time go? I couldn't tell you. We are still trying to find our area and get to know the people in the ward. He got lost a few times and we ran out of minutes on our phone so that was an adventure. We are getting the hang out things for the most part but we want to move houses because we live really far from our area. We are in the process of looking for a new place and we have some members helping us out in the looking process.

There is a sister in the ward who is American and came down here about 9 months ago to learn spanish and to just hang out. She has a friend here and decided 'what the heck, I'll go to Mexico.' She ended up getting a job teaching English at a preppy high school so she didn't actually learn any spanish, but she is super cool and had us over la comida this week. Hna. Ward and I almost died of happiness when we saw rolls, mashed potatoes, salad, gravy, chocolate pudding...everything fattening and American. I almost cried. She went on a mission when she was old like me, so we bonded over that. We made her sign up for one more day before she heads back to the US. Don't get me wrong, I love Mexico but it smelt like home when I walked into her apartment. 

I also felt a little bit at home today because we found a walmart in our area and went there to buy groceries. They don't have my facewash...but they had lots of other good Kraft Mac N Cheese. We bought it to have for lunch today. So delicious. haha. 

 This week we focused a lot of the family Pintor because Tomas and Edgar needed a few more lessons and their interview for their baptism. Man, this family is so great. Tomas talks a lot and you can tell that he has a big desire to learn and to do what is right. Edgar is 19 and married to Helen. They are so great. I like them both so much. Helen was actually born in the US and lived there until she was 13 so she speaks English but is loosing it because she doesn't practice. I told her to practice with me and she got so excited! She was like...I was going to ask but I felt silly doing it. I told her 'WHY? You talk better in English than I do in Spanish!' We were trying to teach Eder...the youngest son of Tomas how to say things in English. I would say 'Hi! How are you!? and he would look at me and say 'YES!' Then I would tell him what to say and he would just say YES. haha. 

The highlight of the week was THE BAPTISM!!! Tomas and Edgar were so prepared and so ready for this. The baptism went perfectly...the water here is actually clear which was a huge relief. haha. Our mission leader put together the program and put it on facebook so we had a lot of people from the ward and investigators there. The spirit was so strong. I love baptisms. It makes it all worth it to see someone enter into the waters of baptism and change their life for the better. The 1st counselor in the bishopric was conducting and he asked Tomas and Edgar to give their testimonies/feelings and I almost cried. Especially when Edgar spoke because he is more reserved than Tomas is and doesn't share his feeling much. He said that he couldn't describe the feeling that he had in his heart and that he knows that this is the true church. He is excited to start a new life and follow the example of Jesus Christ. I was bursting with happiness. I just can't explain what it's like as a mission to see these people change and give us their old lives to start a new one on the right and true path. 

They were confirmed members of the church, received the gift of the Holy Ghost and were ordained to the priesthood on Sunday. They were so content and you could just see a difference in the way they looked. Eder, the youngest son, has a baptismal date for this Saturday if all goes according to plan. AND Tomas will be able to baptize him! How beautiful is that? I love the gospel so much. 

I am grateful for the blessings of the gospel. I know that this gospel changes lives. It brings families closer together and helps us overcome our weaknesses and become the people that our Father in Heaven wants us to become. 

I love you all. Thanks for your love and support. 

Hermana Durham

 The Pintors have this bird and I was trying to take a picture kissing it and it BIT MY LIP! So that is how I captured this beautiful picture. Enjoy.

With the little devil bird. He pooped on me the next day. 

Eating Elote for the first time. It's corn on the cob with mayo, cheese, and chile powder. Sounds gross but it¿s good. Also, I'll probably come home with diabetes. Gotta love Mexican Food.

We ate at a family's hosue and they had these awesome chairs so we took a pictures, obvs.

BAPTISM!!! Back row: Ramon (baptized Edgar), Bishop Alarcon (baptized Tomas), Hna. Ward, Me
Front row: Helen, Edgar, Tomas, Eder

Me, Helen, Edgar, Eder, Tomas, Hna. Ward

Crazy eyes...I taught him how to do that. My only talent. haha

Some awesome mexican hats. 

Mac N Cheese for lunch. YUM.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Kneeling To Pray Can Save Your Life


What has even happened this past week. I feel like I have been here for over a month...nope. 1 week.

This week was full of trying to find our investigators, looking for old investigators that might have potential to progress and trying not to get lost. We have a HUGE area...and we know probably like 5% of it right now. But we are learning and will get there eventually...or I will get changed to another area. haha. 

First off, we have a family that we are teaching...I think I mentioned them last week. Familia Pintor. Tomas is the dad and his son is Edgar. If all goes according to plan, they will both be baptized this Saturday! They are so awesome. Tomas loves learning about the church and is so excited to have a calling and really contribute. I gave a talk yesterday and he was day I'll give a talk, too! Edgar is married to Helen and Tomas is married to Fabiola. Fabiola and Helen have baptismal dates in a few weeks and we are thinking that Tomas can baptize his wife and that Edgar can baptize his wife. How cool will that be?! 

We were teaching them the other day and my companion suggested that we kneel to pray at the end of the lesson. We all kneeled down and RIGHT AFTER I kneeled, a huge cockroach fell from the roof RIGHT WHERE I WAS SITTING! I am not kidding...I could have died. I could have died. I told my companion later that her idea was inspired. Prayer can save lives, people. :)

We went looking for a family that used to be investigators of the sisters but their 15 year old daughter had cancer and they were always out of town for her treatments so they couldn't come to church much. We decided to pass by and meet them to see if we could do anything to help. We got there and the dad told us that Angelica, his daughter, died a week before and that we could come in and say a prayer with them. We walked into their house and they had a room with pictures of her and flowers. We decided to sing Families Can Be Together Forever. It was a miracle that I didn't cry while we were singing the song, but after the prayer, I lost it and began to cry while I was telling them that they would be able to see their daughter again some day. The dad was so calm and handed me some tissue. The spirit was so strong as we explained a little bit of the plan of salvation. I was so grateful for that knowledge and the blessing of the temple. That in the temple, we can be sealed for time and all eternity and be with our families forever. We are going to go back to see them again this week. 

We also found some new people to teach and are working hard to try and find new people every day. I wish we had a car or someway to get around faster than the buses because it wastes so much time traveling and we want to get to know our area more, but i know that all will work out and that we will find the people who are waiting to hear our message. We are going to see if it is possible to change houses and live in our area. I have no idea why we live where we live but we are going to work on it. 

We gave talks in church on Sunday and I recycled my talk from Iguala since no one here heard it before. :) 

I hit 6 months in the mission this week. What the heck! Where has the time gone. Although we have no money, we splurged and bought a lemon cake at the grocery store and celebrated. Hna. Ward made me a sign and she also made me cut a sock...I don't know why but it was fun. Also, our house has the virgin mary everywhere. Our keys have a key change with her on it, too. I think they belong to the landlord so we can't really take them down so we covered them up with a picutre of Jesus and an I'm a Mormon magnet. You can see the pictures attached. 

I have to tell you all that the mission is the weirdest thing ever. But also the best. Everyday I talk with random strangers in a different country and different language and try to help them change their lives. We meet so many different kinds of people (for example I met a witch this week...awkward....) many of whom don't have any desire to talk with us. It can be discouraging, it definitely is tiring and some days are just hard. But then there are times where we actually find people who are prepared or searching for the truth,and it makes it all worth it. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is directing this work. We are trying our best to do all that we can but there is no way we can do it alone. This is the work of the Lord. 

I love you all. Keep praying for me because I need it. :) I will keep praying for you. Have fun at the Dodger game this weekend...I almost cried reading that you are all going down there. Eat a Dodger Dog, chocolate malt and Tito's Tacos for me. Love you!

Love, Hermana Durham

our splurge for the week

If you are wondering, yes...I always look that beautiful after the day is over.

Confusion...haha...the magnet goes over the virgin. :)

Monday, August 4, 2014


Changes. WIth a few miracles here and there.

I don't know if I will have sufficient time to write everything I want to...but I will do my best. 

Ok, this last week in Iguala was so great. We sent a list around in Relief Society to see what sisters were willing to accompany us during the week and we had a bunch of sisters sign up that never have come out with us before. We were super excited. On Wednesday we did divisions and I went with one sister (Susanna) and Hna. Hernandez went with another in order to meet with more people. It was fun to be with Hna. Susanna. I have to tell you all, members in lessons are so powerful. Your testimonies help the investigators and also the missionaries. I love hearing the conversion stories of the members and it is something different than my own voice or my companions.

After our divisons were over, the sister that went with Hna. Hernandez, Hna. Eliadora, had a little more time to go out with us. I asked her about her granddaughter because I heard that she brought a friend to EFY the week before. She was like 'Oh yeah, I'll take you by her house and introduce you to her mom!' Sweet! We went by her house and the mom, Marilu, told us she didn't have much time but Hna. Eliadora was super awesome told her that we wouldn't take much of her time and was practically walking in her door haha. She agreed and we taught her and her daughter and they both accepted fecha for baptism. She also has a husband and three other kids that could be baptized, too! FAMILY!! During the lesson, though, Hna. Eliadora was super great and helped explain things from the perspective of a member. Marilu was saying that maybe she will just come to church alone because her kids are really irreverent and Hna. Eliadora was like 'My grandkids are all like that but I take them to church anyway because they need to be there! Bring your kids!!!' It was so awesome. She also offered to pass by for her and go with them to church on Sunday. Magic. 

We saw many other miracles like that this week because we had members with us. We would not have been able to find certain people without them. I was so pumped and really feeling a change in the mentality in the ward about missionary work. I love Iguala so much. We really found so many awesome people this week. 

And then...Friday night happened. We were heading to visit a family in the ward when we got a call from our District Leader, Elder Gonzaga. It's not unusual to get calls from him with annoucements or questions so I wasn't expecting anything more than that. He told us to put the phone on speaker and said that he was going to miss us. We ask him if he was leaving early this week (he only has like  3 weeks left in the mission) and he was like 'No, I am going to miss you two together because you have special changes!' I thought he was joking and didn't believe him but then I realized that he was serious and that I would be the one leaving. I got changed to Cuernavaca and would be with Hna. Ward from Pennsylvania. I started to cry a little thinking about all the people that I woulnd't be able to say goodbye to. This is the worst part of the mission...having to say goodbye or not being able to say goodbye to people you love so much. We also had so many investigators that were really starting to make progress and I was so sad to leave. But that's the life of a missionary. We passed by the mission leaders house to say bye and take a picture. Love this family. I look horrible in the picture because it was after a day that was  really hot and I got a little sunburned but it's all good. Their son who is 9 kept running around finding things to give me so that I would remember him. He even ripped a page out of his journal to give to me. haha.  I will miss that family for sure. 

I went home and packed up all my stuff. I had to be at the bus station at 7 the next morning to head to Cuernavaca. Hna. Hernandez and I had our last meal together...Tacos de Barbacoa...outside the offices waiting for the other sisters to arrive. My new companion, Sister Ward got to the offices and I asked her...'So how is our new area?!?! Do we have investigators?' and she was like...'I don't know. I thought you were here before. I just came in from Chilpancingo.' Um...what?! Apparently both the sisters that were in this area were changed and we are both BRAND NEW. The sister training leaders were telling us...that we don't live in the area that we work in and that it's really far from where we live. They were trying to act positive but I could tell they were thinking 'I'm glad I'm not you...' you know what I mean? 

But here started the miracles.

So we had 4 huge suitcases and we didn't know how we were going to get to the apartment. Right at the moment when we were waiting for a taxi, a member from our ward pulled up in a truck because he was going to take something from the office to another apartment of missionaries and he said that he could bring our suitcases to our house for us. Miracle #1. The sister training leaders came with us to show us where we live. As we were walking in the house they said 'there is a slight problem with your don't have water right now.' Oh yeah...just a slight problem. No big deal. WHAT?! Apparently the water in the morning doesn't exist so we have to fill up buckets of water in the night in order to shower and clean. Also, the sisters that lived their before us were super nice and left us a mountain of dirty dishes and other lovely things. I was feeling a little...well...tired, hungry, overwhelmed and slightly annoyed. Luckily there is another pair of sisters in the ward that live really close by us and one of the sisters was actually in this area at the beginning of her mission so she knows how to get to our area and everything. Miracle #2. Also, we were eating at the same house for la comida that day and they could show us where it was. Miracle #3. ALSO, all of their appointments fell through and they had time to show us how to get to our area and introduce us to a few members that could help us. Miracle #4. After the comida, we went to met a sister that is about to leave on her mission and she knows where our investigators live and a few other people. Our investigators weren't home but we figured out where they live. They actually signed up to feed us on Sunday and the sister told us that they come to church on their own. Miracle #5. After an overwhelming day, we got back to our apartment RIGHT when it started raining. I didn't know how the keys to the door worked so we got a little soaking wet but we just laughed about it and started to plan for the next day. The Hno. brought our bags with his wife and helped us bring them up to our apartment. They told us that if we need anything, they live close and they are happy to help us. They told us we are like their kids and to not hesitate for any reason. I hadn't cried the whole day but in that moment I was so overwhelmed with so many emotions...but mostly gratitude that I started to cry a little. I gave the sister a hug and resolved in my heart to always help the missionaries when I am a normal member again.

That night we filled up buckets of water and washed the dishes and got ready for the bed. The next morning I had my first shower with a bucket and it wasn't that bad. We warmed up the water on the stove so it wasn't cold and yeah. No big deal. We were on the way to church and a member saw us and gave us a ride the rest of the way. Miracle #6. We got to the church and met some of the members and our investigators showed up! I think sacrament meeting was probably one of the best that I have had in the mission and I was really really encouraged. I bore my testimony with my companion so that everyone knew we were new and needed help! haha...After church another member gave us a ride to the food appointment so we didn't have to take the bus or pay for a taxi. Miracle #7. We got to know our investigators more. They are a family and are super great. They have come to church on their own for the last 4 weeks and are really progressing. 

The last two days have felt like a week but I have really been able to see the Lord's hand in all of this. Honestly, I would have freaked out if I was in this situation 3 months ago, but I am actually excited to be totally new in the area with my companion because we can talk to EVERYONE and turn the work around here. My companion is awesome, too. Miracle #8. We have a LOT of work...mostly just getting to know our area and how to work the bus system, but I am confident that we can handle it. But...I will ask for your prayers because, well...we could use them. 

Man, I can't tell you how much I love this gospel and missionary work. I finished the Book of Mormon today, after 65 days of reading 10 pages a day, and I felt sad that it ended. I LOVE that Book with all of my heart. I know that when we read it, we learn how we need to live and what we need to change in our lives to receive the blessings of the Lord. I also know that the Lord is so aware of our situations and he puts people in our paths to help us. He never gives us a commandment without preparing a way for us to achieve it. There were so many other little miracles that happened in the past few days that would seem insignificant to any other person, but to me it reaffirms that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and cares about even the little details. It's amazing, really. 

If you finished reading this whole email, go reward yourself with a piece of chocolate in my honor. 

I love you all. THANK YOU for the prayers and thoughts. It really means the world to me. 


Hermana Durham