Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Days

Hello Family,

Tomorrow will be exactly 2 months until my birthday so get your presents ready to send me. :) Also, 2 months until I get to talk to you!!

I can tell you that yesterday I just felt really happy. I am so grateful to be a missionary and have this opportunity to meet some many amazing people who are changing my life. Being a missionary can be frustrating, but mostly it is really miraculous.

Let me tell you about my week. Last week, I didn't get the chance to write much. We have two sisters with us (Hna. Gongora and Hna Chambers) that will be with us for at least 2 more weeks. If things don't calm down in Guerrero, it could be longer. It is definitely an interesting time. I feel like I have 3 companions instead of just one since Hna. Ward and I are hardly ever together. We did decide to teach Greco together since he is getting baptized soon and I am slightly possessive of him. :). We switched companions on Friday so I am now working with Hna. Chambers until next Friday. I was reflecting back on the MTC and realized that I have come such a long way. Thank goodness.

On Tuesday we had district meeting and I saw a BUNCH friends that have been in Chilpancingo that I haven't seen in months. It was crazy. I reconnected with my Companion Hna. Martinec! So crazy to see her after 7 months.

Well, I am sure that you all know there is a lot of unrest because of what is happening in Guerrero. The only crazy thing that I have seen is a huge march on Wednesday. I was with Hna. Gongora and we were in a combi (it's like the short bus...haha) and we were stopped because of the march in the street. We were sitting there watching it for about 30-40 minutes and the whole time I just wanted to cry thinking about all the injustice in the world, especially here in Mexico. The March wasn't dangerous or anything, so don't worry. It was all the students from the University in our area and they had signs and were chanting but nothing violent. I just pray that they are able to find the students that are missing and that the missionary work in Guerrero can keep moving forward. I just wish that these people had the gospel in their lives. If we all lived the gospel the way we were supposed to, things would be so much better. But all I can say is that I can feel that we really are in the last days.

We taught Greco the all the commandments this week and he basically taught us what they were because he is basically a member already. I wanted to do something fun to teach Tithing and Fast Offerings so I brought a bag of MnMs and had him pretend to pay his tithing with the candy. He loved it, obviously. He loved it even more when I gave him the rest of the bag at the end because he faithfully paid his tithing! I love teaching kids. I probably should have been a teacher or something of that sort but thinking about working in the public school system is not my ideal job so I will probably just be a good primary teacher one day. I think that'll do. :) Also, I asked to take a picture with him and he freaked out and was like 'wait, I need to do my hair!' haha. He spent like 10 minutes in the bathroom with the gel.

On Friday, Hna. Chambers and I had a really cool experience. We went to an appointment we had with a contact that Hna. Gongora and I had made in the street last week. He had gone to visit them before but not all of them were home and they didn't have time, so we left a Restoration pamphlet with the dad, Rafael and asked him to read it before our next visit. When we arrived, Rafael came out and said 'I read the pamphet you gave me about Joseph Smith!' That made me excited because hardly no one actually reads the pamphlets. Then he said 'I have a Book of Mormon! I found it in the trash a while back and the title Another Testament of Jesus Christ stood out to me so I took it home. I haven't read it, but it seems really interesting!' Um, can we say escojido? I hope so! We taught him and his wife and daughter. They understood the lesson really well, which also doesn't happen very often...haha. It was awesome. They accepted the invitation to be baptized and to come to church this sunday. Now, many people accept the baptismal invitation and the invitation to come to church, but very few actually come. I had a feeling that Rafael would but I didn't want to get my hopes us. But on Sunday, HE CAME! I was so excited. His wife and daughter couldn't come, but he did...and he lives far from the church. I was so happy. He liked the church. He said that he is interested in learning more and we will go to visit him this week.

Also, we have another awesome investigator named Cesar. He is the son of a member, Hna. Yola. He is 33 and works in Mexico City but lives in Cuernavaca on the weekends...that means we can teach him. He told his mom a few weeks ago that he wants to be a member of her church! Ok...we can help with that! He has taken the missionary discussions 3 times but he told us that this time he feels ready to be baptized and the fact that he is 33 and Jesus was baptized when he was 33 is also another reason. Haha...sounds weird but he is totally normal, I promise! Hna. Chambers and I went and taught him the Plan of Salvation before church and it was such a good lesson. He asked awesome questions and was underlining and marking all the scriptures we used to teach him. His brother is a member and a Returned Missionary but he is inactive. He is married to a non-member and has 2 little boys who are just the cutest. We have been working with him to get him to come to church again and he came yesterday with his brother!! I really hope that his brother getting baptized will help reactive him because his family needs the gospel. His little boys need to be in the primary learning the beautiful gospel truths that will help and protect them in this crazy world. Yolanda, was soooo happy to have both of her sons with her in church. I was so happy too.

We had 4 less active members and 3 investigators in the church yesterday. That might seem like small numbers, but I felt so happy. I love the reactivation part of the work of salvation. It might be one of the hardest parts, helping people who have left the church for one reason or another come back, but it is such a beautiful feeling to see someone come back and feel again the peace that is only found in the church. I would encourage all of you to think of someone in your wards that hasn't been to church in a while. Go visit them and tell them that they are needed and missed. Because it is true. They are needed and they are missed. It is what the Savior would do.

The other sisters in our ward had a baptism for Marcos on Saturday and we went to support. Marcos is the son and brother of two recent converts. He has been working really hard to comply with the word of wisdom and has have many setbacks but he was finally able to overcome his weaknesses and his brother baptized him on saturday. It was so beautiful to see. His mom, Marilu was beaming. We sang a song in the baptism and I sang a solo part. Everyone told me after that I have the voice of a Disney Princess. If only that was actually true! haha...the Young Women's president invited us to sing at a retirement home next week with the Young Women! I am excited for that.

I really have felt in the last week that the Lord truly is hastening his work. That these are the last days and that what I am doing here is helping, even in a small way, to prepare the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ. We don't need to fear if we are keeping the commandments. Listen to the prophets, repent everyday, do the small things that will give you the protection to withstand the temptation and evil of the world. A lady in the ward yesterday said that she was in a meeting with the area 70 of Mexico and he said 'this year has been/is hard, but next year will be even harder. The only way to prepare for it is by keeping the commandments' This is so true and I just pray that all of my family and friends will be faithful in keeping the commandments. Do whatever you can to be ok with the Lord, it may seem hard now, but it will be so worth it.

Well, I love you all. Be good. Follow the prophet. Write me.

Hermana Durham

Hna. Martinec and I
Hna. Chenowyth and I
Me and some cute little girls that we ate with on Tuesday. The little girl is named Andy and CRACKS me up.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Hi everyone...

Of course I have SO MANY things to write and only like 20 minutes because we went to Xochicalco today. It was so worth it though. Look it up on I will try to send pictures if time permits. 

Ok, so on Thursday we received a call from our district leader asking us how many matresses we have in our house. We have 3 extra. We thought it was for inventory purposes or something but then we got a call a little while later from the assistents reaffirming that we had space for 3 more people. I thought it was weird and figured they were taking all the missionaries from Guerrero out and bringing them here. At 7 pm that night we got a call and were told to come to the offices immediately to pick up our new companions. Hna. Gongora from Tabasco and Hna. Chambers, my MTC companion. Welp, ok then. The mission is so weird. So we headed to the offices and there were SO MANY missionaries there and I got to see some of my favorites and old companions. We got to the house and made up some beds for them and planned for the next day which was super stressful. We are doing divisions every day since the sisters don't know the area. I have been with Hna. Gongora this week. It has been fun getting to know her and working with someone different. I like learning different ways to teach. And she knows a lot about the sciptures and I really admire her for that! 

Funny story. On Friday it started raining REALLY hard. We were close by the Pintor family so they lent us umbrellas to use. The Testigos de Jehova (Jehova's witnesses) always use umbrellas and hats. Ok, so the next day, we went back to return the umbrellas. We knocked on their door and were waiting for them to answer when a man pulled up in his car behind us and said 'Hola Hermanas!' really friendly. I turned around and he asked if we went to the English Congregation. I told him that we were missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and let me tell you, his friendliness disappeared instantly and he said 'oh, I thought you were Testigos de Jehova like us. Have a good day' and drove off!!!!!! Oh my goodness. First of all, how embarrassing that he thought we were TJs and second rude. But whatever, I don't care. 

THEN...we were in a lesson with an investigator named Fernando and we were nearly done teaching him when his aunt invited the Testigos to come in because they were going to teach her after!!!!!! Can I just tell you that as soon as they walked in, I felt the spirit leave. It was weird. I didn't care that they were there, though and I challenges Fernando to baptism and he accepted! Then We asked them if they would join us in prayer and they literally refused. They said they don't pray with anyone but Testigos and they were talking the whole time. We left happy because Fernando accepted a date for baptism but feeling super weird and awkward about the encounter with the TJs!

I wish I had more time to write. We decided to go to Xochicalco today with a bunch of other missionaries and it was so much fun and SO cool! There were a bunch of pyramids and ancient ruins. I loved it. I am super tired and my neck got burned, but it's all good. 

I hope you all know that I love you sooooo much. Honestly, I feel so blessed to have the best family and friends in the world. Thank you for the support and prayers that I always receive. I really know that this work is of God. There have been many miracles in the last week with all the missionaries being brought to morelos and I know that we will continue to receive blessings as we continue in this work!

I love you!
Sorry I can't write more!


Hermana Durham

We went to the Casa de Oracion this sunday and took a picture. The little boy closest to me is Greco.

Almost all the Hermanas that went to Xochicalco


Monday, October 13, 2014

Is It Really October?

Oh hello there family!

Happy birthday to Bella this last week. And I believe Mr. Andrew will be having a birthday soon!! Happy happy birthday to you both!

Just a random tidbit...I was sitting in the bus the other day looking at my hair and noticed this really dark hair. I don't have dark hair these days so I thought it was curious. When I took a closer look, it was SUPER thick and long...weird. I was fascinated by this hair. I ended up pulling it out and showing my companion which kind of weirded her out. She told me to put it in my journal because it is a sign that I am becoming Mexican, but I ended up just throwing it away. I searched for more like that, but there are none to be found...

Welp, another week here in Mexico and it was a good one. I am still with Hermana Ward until maybe Wednesday. There have been some issues going on in my old stomping ground, Iguala, so transfers have been postponed. I highly doubt we are going to get changes, though. We are working well together and trying hard to find more and more people each week.

I am going to tell you about one of my favorite investigators, Greco. I think I might have mentioned him before. He is 9 years old and is the grandson of a member in our ward that goes to the House of Prayer that is really far away. This kid is the cutest thing ever. I forgot to take a picture with him last week, but I will try to remember when we visit him this week. When we got there, he was like 'I learned how to pray in English this week!' Um, why are you the cutest thing ever? ANy other kid would look up lyrics to a song or random sayings, but no...Greco learned how to pray. We wrote down more things he could say and helped him with the pronounciation before we left. He said the closing prayer in English and I could almost understand all of it! haha. He told us that he wants to learn how to say his testimony in English. He also showed us his missionary fund that his grandma started because he wants to serve a mission. Only 9 more years to go!

Hermano Tomas received a calling this week in church...guess what it is? He was called as the PRESIDENT of the Sunday School! awesome! Put him RIGHT to work. He is super excited to have a calling. He told me, 'I know that the Lord has a lot in store for me and I am very grateful to be able to serve Him in His church.' After he was sustained, he turned to me and said 'Now what?!' I explained that he would be set apart by a member of the bishopric and receive training about his calling. I've never been President of SS so I have no idea what he will be doing, but I am sure he will do a great job. Yesterday at church, I just looked at this family and they looked SO happy. It made me feel so happy to know that I helped in some small way to bring them this happiness. I think I forgot to write last week that Fabiola no longer works on Sundays so she can come to church every Sunday AND Helen found a job working in a Salon (which is what she studied) and she doesn't work on Sundays either. Before she was baptized, she said that she was looking for a job and the one that was a possibility would require her to work on Sundays but it was in a pharmacy which is nothing that she wanted to do. We told her that if she was patient, obedient, and prayed for help, the Lord would provide a job that would allow her to have Sundays off. She decided to keep looking and 2 weeks after her baptism, she found the job of her dreams and she has Sundays off.

I just have to testify that the Lord truly keeps his promises. He wants us to keep the sabbath day holy, and he also wants us to prosper and have the necessities of life. I know that when we keep the commandments, we will prosper, because the scriptures say so. We were able to promise Helen that because it has already been promised to us by the Lord. This is something that I wished all of our investigators and the members of the church understood. We have commandment so that the Lord can bless us. And He WILL bless us when we follow them. Many people think, I HAVE to work or I won't be able to pay the bills. We try to explain that if they go to church and pay their tithing, they WILL be able to pay the bills without having to work on Sundays. The Lord always provides and blesses the faithful. Even if we aren't rich, we will have what we need.

Sometimes I wish there was a camera following me so that you could really understand what it is like to be here in Mexico. It's become so normal to me and I think I will definitely have culture shock when I get home. It is a blessing to be here. We are taken care of and I know that all of your prayers and thoughts are helping me, too. I am grateful to be a missionary and I am learning so many things.

Thank you for the love!


Hermana Durham


My district...I will see them all again tomorrow but we could be changed on Wednesday!

I don't know why, but this little chicken made me laugh soo hard. I had to take a picture of it.

WE use agendas on the mission (if not we would die) and we usually cover the front and back with pictures and plastic because if not, they get super dirty and gross. This is my favorite agenda so far. Pop sent me the picture of Grandpa Durham with Great Grandpa Durham before he left on his mission so I decided it needed to be on my agenda. KEEP CALM AND DURHAM ON!

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference is My Life

Has anyone noticed that I have been gone for 8 whole months?!?! I got to celebrate it by watching conference. Pretty great.

This week went well! On Friday we had divisions with the Sister Training Leaders and I stayed in my area with Hna. Resendiz and Hna. Ward went to their area with Hna. Obregon. It was the first time I had divisions and totally felt comfortable in my area. Can we say improvement?! Hna. Resendiz is a powerful missionary and I learned a lot from being with her. We contacted a ton of people and taught some great lessons. Also, we ate with my dear friend Lucy (the mom of our investigator who signed up to feed us 3 times this month) and we FINALLY were able to teach her the first lesson about the Restoration. It was such a good lesson. I taught about the first vision and after I gave Joseph Smith's account of what happened, we asked her if she thought it could be true and she said 'YES! Definitely!' and told us that she had shivers when I was telling his account. I almost cried. She accepted a date to be baptized and everything. She is a beautiful soul. And her food was delicious, too!

While we were eating with Lucy, she said 'It is so weird that you have only been in Mexico for 8 months and you can speak so well! I don't get how you do it.' I explained to her that it is through the gift of tongues that I have been able to learn the language so quickly and that she is able to understand me. She said that she has been to other churches who claim to have the gift of tongues but they just start talking in giberish and no one can understand anything. I explained to her that the Lord wants all of His children to understand and hear the message of the gospel in their other language. He wants us to understand. Why would he inspire someone to start speaking in a different language just for the heck of it? I explained that I have help beyond my own on the mission and that there is no way I could have learned the language this fast if it wasn't for the help from the Lord. She  said that it makes so much sense! And after I realized how much I have improves, I gave thanks to my Heavenly Father for the divine help that I receive every day. I am definitely not perfect in Spanish, but everyone can understand me and I can understand them. I am able to teach the gospel in a way that they can understand, maybe in simple terms, but isn't that how the Lord intended it? The gospel is simple. I struggled a lot with the language in the beginning, and of course I still have days that I can't speak as fluidly as I would like, but I can communicate and it is awesome. This is the real gift of tongues. And I only have it to help bless the lives of the people here.

Of course, this week's highlight was conference. On saturday, we went to the Stake Center and watched both sessions in English. We actually watched them in the mission offices because it wasn't set up in the stake center when we got I got to watch conference on a couch, just like at home! I also got to watch it with my good friend, Hna. Hellstern. I was so happy to see her again. She got transferred a few weeks ago and before she left she told me that it somehow we would watch conference together...and we did!

I LOVED the saturday sessions of conference. I had written down a few questions that I had and they were answered. I loved the talk from Sister Esplin about the sacrament. I definitely want to study that talk more and apply her counsel to my life. I also loved Elder Christofferson's talk, and the one about how to gain spiritual confidence. Obviously, Elder Holland's talk was super powerful and his testimony of the prophet was...well, amazing. I shouldn't even try to say which talk was my favorite since I loved them all. What was your favorite talk?

Sunday was a little sad. My bishop told us that we would be able to watch conference in our church building in English in the office. I was super excited but then...we got there and they told us that the internet wouldn't be able to support both the one in Spanish and the one in English. We started out watching it in English but it was stopping and buffering so much that we ended up just watching it in Spanish. I could understand pretty much everything, but I had to pay such close attention to the words that I missed out a little on feeling the spirit (I did feel it, obviously, it's just different). Also, it is just NOT the same listening to the voice of the man translating. I was so looking forward to hearing the voice of the prophet. But there is always next time, I guess. But Richard G. Scott translated his own talks, so that was cool to hear. Also, I love the new element that the 70 can give their talks in their native tongue! That is super cool.

We had a few investigators come to conference, including Lucy! But she had to leave RIGHT before Elder Bednar's talk! NOOOOOO!!!! hahaha...His talk was so good. I always love his talks. And I hope that if you missed it, you go back and watch it and then post it on our social media page so that your non-member friends watch it because it was written for them!

We had a Noche de Hogar (FHE) with the Pintor Family after conference and it was so fun. Also, Tomas got a calling! But I can't tell anyone until after he is sustained! You'll just have to wait until next week!! All I can say is that it isn't a small calling and he is super excited to have a responsibility in the church. That family is the best. They came to both sessions of conference on Sunday and Tomas and Edgar went to Priesthood session.

I can't believe there is only 1 week left in the change. I have no idea what will happen next change, but I am ready for anything. I am grateful to be here in this ward and in this area. Oh and mom...I am wearing sweaters because it is actually cold here. It's probably one of the coldest areas in the mission, especially during the rainy season and the winter!

I am grateful for a living prophet and apostles who lead this church through continuing revelation. I am grateful to be able to receive confirming revelation, like Elder Nielson talked about. I know that these men and the other leaders of the church are men of God. They have been called to lead the gospel in these last days and I am beyond grateful for their counsel and advice. Something that impressed me a lot during the sunday session was the theme of Prophets and the restored priesthood authority that they hold. God speaks through prophets...He always has and He always will! And we, ask members of the church and people in general, should head their counsel and advice because the Lord has said 'What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same' ENTONCES...the words that we heard this last weekend are literally the words of the Lord. How cool is that?!

I love you all so much. Thank you for your constant support and prayers. These last 8 months have flown by and I can't believe I'm almost half way done! But I am not going to focus on that...only on the face that I still have work to do and I am grateful to be here doing it!

¡Que tengan una bonita semana!

Les amo muchooooo!!!

Con amor, 

Hermana Durham

Some awesome and kind of creepy grafiti in Ahuatepec

Hna. Resendiz, Hna Lucy y Yo

Conference pancakes! I made the Salt Lake Temple because President Monson's face would have just been too hard.