Monday, December 30, 2013

Guatemalan Missionary-Christmas

Looking back, I realize it was Christmas this past week. 

People don't really do much for Christmas day, but we did get invited over to Lunch at the releif society president's house. 

Tomales and fireworks are the two biggest things about christmas here. At midnight, Christmas eve, people stay up to Eat dinner (tomales) and everyone sets off fireworks, and without any government regulations, it was a pretty sweet fire work show. We went out on our balcony and could see in almost a complete circle. There were fireworks going off for more than 15 minutes. Everywhere.

 I think I ate 5 tomales in 3 days. I'm pretty sure we have some more in the fridge, but probably the worst ones. The winner goes to my Land lady. 

But my favorite part of Christmas was in the evening when we went out and proselyted. We had prepared a Christmas message about Christ and the atonement. It was pretty good. Going out Christmas night, just like the angel proclaiming to the shepheards, we proclaimed of Jesus Christ and his divine mission. That, was a cool moment. We even got into a house that was big and decorated all beautifully. I really enjoyed their kindness and the opportunity to see one beautiful Christmas tree this year. 

I don't think I have any whitty or crazy moments for this week. I'm still alive, and so is my family. The famous missionary christmas call was made, however, most of the time was spent me talking about Guatemala. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

cristmas and tomales

Christmas in Guatemala is done a little bit differently. Apparently nothing really happens christmas day, rather, people will party it up on the 24th in the night. Also, christmas is celebrated with tamales. I don't think I have seen anything baked, given to neighbors, christmas presents, or full-sized decorated trees in peoples' houses. 

Our sweet land lady gave us tomales...they were yummy. 

We had a ward christmas party thing where they had a dinner and a little bit of talents which was singing, singing, and ....a couple of white girls playing a duet on recorders. haha. Hermana Edwards was convinced of how fun it is to play a recorder, so she bought herself one and I have been helping her to learn how to play her very first wind instrument. cute. 

We went to an orphanage this morning and the mission had these presents in a big zip lock bag for each child there. They had stuffed animals, toy cars, lip gloss, mirrors, toothbrushes, candies, suckers, notebooks, nail polish etc. there were about 20 kids, and they just loved us. (only 6 people of my district went to this) it actually felt like christmas. These kids were sweet and appreciative and were not shy to hang all over us and give us hugs. It was a special experience. I am very grateful for the familys, wards and individuals who donated items for this gift to these children. 

We had a christmas zone activity/conference this week. our district went with another zone to a retirement place and talked to/at/with/only listened to some old people. sand them some hymns. It was fun. It was good to make some people happy. ...including us missionaries. It was also neat to see how there are so many sisters. In this group, there was probably a little less than half of us were sisters. 

pictures are of my district, my tomale (apparently I will be receiving more) and....recorders. 

playing a recorder duet in front of an audience in guatemala......check. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Primary Program...Guatemala style

The primary program was so cute! They all had their parts and scriptures memorized, sang quite well, and even had coordinating red ties for the boys. It was so cute to see all of them up there in a row and to see them get so excited to give their parts. My little friend, Devora, rocked it out of the park. She was the last one to speak. she is 11 years old and gave like a 5 minute talk/speech. from memory (but I don't think it was scripted, just like, from her brain) of the restauracion (resteration, I don't know how to spell in english) with dates, back story, joseph smith, quoting scripture, quoting the first vision. pretty much lesson one from preach my gospel. The spirit was strong, she spoke with grace and eloquence. Hermana Edwards and I were about to hand over our mission tags at that point. That girl was fantastic! Maybe they used a cd for the music, maybe that one tiny boy has a voice of a man, maybe they have only been to primary twice in the past year, but they sure did blow that out of the water. Good job Puerto Barrios. 

This week has been an exciting week. 
We have worked really hard and had dats like never before, 12 lessons with a member present, 16 other lessons to investigators, 16 new investigators, 11 lessons to menos activos or recent converts. I invited people to baptism, 6 people said yes, 4 of them with a date. We were pretty excited. Finishing days with a new baptismal date is always fun, ....until it comes to sunday when only one investigator comes to church. yep. well, agency it is. We'll see what we can do to get these people to the chapel. 

also, Hermana Bender (from the CCM) is in my district now! It was so great to see her. She was with us for a part of a day and I got to go out and do divisions with her. So one of my mission dreams came true: to be companions with Hermana Bender. It was great. We taught this one family and I have never felt the spirit so strongly in one of my lessons. Good questions were asked and over all I just loved it. 

Being senor comp is still stressful, and it is still blazing hot especially in the late morning, /afternoons. Still doesn't feel like christmas, but that's OK. 

I am so appreciate for all of the support and prayers. When we were putting all of these baptismal dates I was asking my companion, "who do you think is praying for us?....they must be doing something right" 

We finally got our conference magazines! I read like 5 talks this morning. It was so good.

Well, here comes this time again when I have to leave and go back to the other world of Guatemala. Thank you all. and merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tis the season for Peace

This week has been long. 

first week as senior comp
first week training
first week without Hermana Ramirez
first baptism without hna Ceballos
first wedding I organized
first week of is coming, but it doesn't feel like it. 

Things are getting better. There is quite a bit of stress that comes with the things listed above, but there is also relief. 

Hna Edwards speaks english
I have a good district leader
I learn a bunch about training
Hna Ynjo is so sweet and positive
I saw the christmas English. How beautiful that was!

I really like what was said about Peace. The prince of peace, and receiving His peace. 
There has been a lot of stress this week, weddings, papers, teaching all of the lessons in four days. more papers. Finding members to come out with us, a baptism to plan. But it is okay. Not everything worked out exactly as hoped. And the more I learn about dats, the worse they tend to get. 

But there will be peace. 

I really liked what was said in the closing prayer of the devotional. I want to share this gospel like the good news it is. I want to share it with love, and with more than just my love, but the love of Christ. I strive to have the spirit with me so that it can carry this message I have as a representative of Jesus Christ to the hearts and souls of all who accept to hear. 

I don't have a miraculous story to share of how I was wooshed with peace, but I do have the tender mercies in my life that help me gain a new and stronger desire to be better. I get this peace in all different ways. letters from friends, letters from hna edwards' dad to her, vynl quotes on tuc tucs (pretty much golf carts) prayers, songs, devotional, comments, quotes etc. 

I hope to apply this peace more and more into my life. I would love to feel an overwhelming peace come into my heart. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

is there really such a thing as just a normal week in Guatemala?

nothing super crazy happened this week. I had to spend a lot of time at members houses just resting and reading. They don't want me to over do it as I recover from pnemonia. Hermana Watts has me on a new diet of low sugar, lots of water, a bit extra sleep, and carefulness. I am feeling much better with the pnemonia stuff, just a bit of heaviness in my chest and a cough on occasion. I take some antibiotics and ibuprofen and just take things a bit easier, but sometimes it's hard to slow down my lead comp, she's a doer, but I love it!

We had a zone conference with presidente watts and hermana Watts. It was sooooo good! It was really neat to learn about how to use the baptismal question more effectively and how to explain and introduce it. It's pretty nice to have this training, I feel like we will be doing some good work and seeing some good improvement in our selves too. 

I have times of difficulty for me, as a missionary. I am learning more about emotional strength, and how to cope with times of sadness or struggle. Somehow, there are always those notes, letters, people, books, quotes, video clips, conferences, talks, etc. that seem to come at just the right moment. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for this support. I am grateful for the answered prayers and support. 

well, I wrote my mom a lot, so I don't have any more time here. ...a big thanks goes to elise bowen for writing me a dear elder! apparently it's free. yall should look into that. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Hermana Hutchins, spreading the gospel....and germs." -Hermana Ramirez

I Know my blood type now! 
O negative (sad I know) 

Well this weeks letter isn't gonna be as long because I spent quite a few days not doing too much this week. I can officially say that I have stayed in a Guatemalan hospital over night (two nights actually). 
The story goes down like this:
Wednesday morning, I wake up, jump rope, study, we go out to teach lessons. Almost all of the lessons fell through, which means that there is a lot of walking, not a lot of sitting, and a lot of time in the hot sun. My legs were really tired and I just assumed it was because I had exercised that morning, but I was still unsure as to why they were so tired. The chances I did get to sit I took them (there are usually not enough chairs for everyone to sit, and we don't have a bunch of inside lessons in the middle of the day because it is so hot inside).Later my head hurt, my body hurt, my ear hurt, I got a fever and by the end of the night I whispered to my comp to catch me if I pass out. 

I didn't pass out, but on the way home we stopped for flour tortilla. I figured if I was dying the last food I would want to eat is a flour tortilla.

I fell straight asleep once we got home around 8pm. The next day stayed at hermana Cucul's house as my other two comps went out and worked. I just slept and read "our search for happiness" all day. I had a bad nose run, and I was coughing a lot. Rough day, but kinda nice to get some time to read. 

The next day we went to planning in the morning, I felt pretty bad, and was not sure if I would be able to go out and work that afternoon. I ended up calling the nurse because I was concerned about my one eye that was all red and sick looking, as well as my piling up of health problems. The nurse had us go to the doctors to do some other stuff that my companions and I needed to do, but they warned us that they might try to keep me there over night, so to prepare for that.

well, it happened. It turns out I had Pneumonia. They gave me an IV and everything. I think I got a total of 7 shots in the behind....ouch. and a bunch of medicine. 

It is weird to be treated as a patient in a different language. People were surprised when I could speak and understand spanish. However, my medical vocab in spanish is not as large as my gospel vocab.

One of the doctors thought I was from Germany. 

Our land lady came by the hospital and brought us some food (she is so sweet) apparently she thought I was from Italy. 

So I was in a Guatemalan Hospital for a total of 48 hours. I think I had about 6 or 7 nurses/ doctors work on me during this time, none of whom used gloves....yeah, it's Guatie. 

I'm still kickin, but I am pretty weak. My companions are in the capitol right now doing Hermana Ynjo's visa work, and I'm chillin with the other sisters in the Puerto Barrios area. I feel better, but once I do stuff, I get tired fast. I hope I get better quick so I can get back to work. I don't really know what's gonna happen tomorrow. I'll just take it easy today, and go from there. 

Prayers are always appreciated. I'll be fine though, so don't get too worried or anything. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

a family tree...or more like a family grove

Reading true to the faith is sooooo good. It explains things well, simply, and bluntly. I recommend it to anyone and everyone. 

My recorder playing skills are growing where now I can play pretty much any song (mas or menos) on request (as long as I am familiar with it) including.....lady gaga, backstreet boys, hymns, ada,  little ...and the list goes on. 

Last week we celebrated my companion, Hermana Ramirez's birthday. We (hermana Ynjo and I) had bought her some presents and I made her a gluten-free, oven-free, birthday cake. It turned out really well and consisted of stacked pancake like things with sweet and condensed milk and frosting. It was a big hit. 

My gluten-free oven-free cooking is actually pretty good if you asked me. I made a pretty mean peach cobler today. I am glad that I can help my companion eat something that she can enjoy and know that there is not any gluten in it. I really like cooking and know about food. I think food science is a cool major to have that knowledge. 

Answered prayers through others. President Monson repeats his feelings of that the sweetest thing that he can feel is knowing that God has answered somebody's prayer through you. It is so special to get to be the instrument for somebody else's blessing. I have been on the receiving end of this grace, and I am very grateful for that. 

We had a meeting with one of our recent converts, Carlos. He is so adorable. He just turned 19 and is considering a mission! He shared with us some sad news that his brother in law was killed the other day (we heard about this and prayed for the family of whoever got killed, not know it was carlos' family) Carlos said that he was able to explain to his sister and family about the spirit world, and how he is able to learn about the gospel now, and that we will see our families again. He explained how Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. Him sharing this experience was so touching. We had planned to teach him a lesson about family history and baptisms for the dead, which turned out to be perfect! He was so excited to hear that he can do these saving ordinances for his deceased family. He said how he has hundreds of pepole he could do. Apparently he has quite the family tree. His enthusiasm for missionary and temple work inspires me. I am greatful for his example. This guy is bien chilero (way awesome). 

Changes were declared sunday night that hna. Ramirez would be going to the capitol and I would end up finishing the second half of hna. Ynjo's training. It was really sad to hear that hna. ramirez had changes, but it wasn't too shocking since she has been here for 5 months or so. However, this morning we got a call from the APs saying that there were changes in the changes and that hna. Ramirez will be staying here for this transferr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yay!!!!!!!!!! We are super good friends and our companionship as a whole is really good. I was very happy to receive this news. 

I am learning more and more of who I want to be as a missionary. I am excited for my little sister to join me in the field almost exactly 6 months after I entered. We will literally be sister sisters. 

Thank you for all of the prayers and support! 
Love, Hermana Hutchins

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The weird looks you get for being white

I think the weirdest look I have ever received I received today. In a bathroom, from this guatemalen boy while I was playing a recorder (those flute things) and talking in english as well. I have never seen someone's face so confused. But what I have to say to that is....Why was a boy in the GIRLS bathroom?

Halloween was like nothing here. but they do do this dia de santos for the 1 and 2 of november where ´people go to the cementary and decorate the graves and repaint them if they need it and eat lunch or something there. We bought some pretty good dulce de leche that they were selling out side of the cementary. 
Our extent of halloween celebrations was that there was this rag up to dry on our line that has holes in it that looked like a gost face and there are some pretty big spiders and wicked webs in our celing rafters. We're legit here. 

I saw Ashley Whitten and Avery Skinner on the devocional on sunday...It was cool to think that there they were right then... a little sense of connection. It was good to see my friends, but at the same time, it was a little heart tugging. I really did like that devocional though, we listened to it in spanish, but I could really understand almost all of it. It is hard to keep the focus for so long though, but it is always great to hear from a church authority, it was so inspiring and filled with the spirit. 

I am overall happier this week than I was last week. I am figuring one of the biggest lessons I hope to learn on my mission is how to be happy continually. I know sad things will happen, and I won't  always be happy, but I want to always have a good attitude filled with hope and enthusiasm. 

Oh, I had this touching experience this week with one of the members we go out with for divisions. We were crossing this muddy muddy area and my foot pretty much got plastered with mud, and I was slipping around in my shoes and it was a bit dangerous as we crossed this sketchy bridge. Well, what happened is she got some water had me rinse my feet and she dried my shoes (crocs...the best) with her towel and had me dry my feet. I felt so served and really humble. Someone washed my feet. was touching. 

I am enjoying studying and learning. I have learned so much from my companions and I hope to be able to share more time with them by making it through the next transferr together. let's hope! We are really good friends and have a lot of love for eachother. 

I would like to say to all of the members reading this.....please volunteer to go out with the missionaries. They need your help. The investigators need friends and support. Just reach out to someone...and great shall be their joy [for those that bring souls unto christ]. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

At What Age Can You Give Your Child A Machete

So I don't know how to spell machetti (machete). bbbbuuuuuuuut. apparently a four year old can handle one of those things. just out there. cutting the grass with his dad. with his own machetti. yep. this ain't America people. 

and cigarettes (can't spell that either) aren't for 4 year olds either. ....that one made me sad. 

However, thank you mom for eating vitamins and minerals. I really appreciate my really good body that doesn't have huge problems with it. I know canckles are bad, but I'm getting over it. 

There are sooooo many sick people here. In almost every house someone is sick, or in the hospital, or needs to get an operation. I wish we could just...heal them. 

Clara suprisingly moved. She was my investigator who remembered my name and had the 6 year old son. We have been working with her to get papers so that she can get married (super difficult..we have more compassion for why people don't just get married here...papers) and so she can get baptized. well, long story short, she left for el salvador, and apparently isn't going to come back. We found this out and also that her...fiance is a drinker and doesn't help pay anything. so we are hoping that her life improves in el salvador. We pray for her, and I think she will get baptized. someday. 

Me and my american comp and the other american sister in our puerto barrios area, we eat lunch together at our house every day. and almost every day while we are getting the food ready we sing some American song like "my country tis of thee" or "I love america" but we don't just  sing  it, we sing it, but take turns singing the words. we change who sings at every word. We really like doing this. we love AMERICA!!!!

guatemala is cool too.

we went to quitiwa for p day. It was some pretty cool rocks that maybe someone in the book of mormon helped to make. maybe. 

I have a picture of my comp hna. Ynjo (een-ho) she is a great missionary, and her spanish is almost PERFECT (she still has the gutemalteco words to learn). we are glad to see her progress ;)  she is such a great missionary. We are good friends and I help to teach her spanish. she in from Peru. I am still in my trio, she is the other companion. so it's hna. Ynjo, Ramirez and I . We get along great. 

I am grateful for my loving home ward families (provo and st. George) Those were some pretty great wards to be in. I always felt like I had a family there. we are working with the ward here. We have hopes, but it is hard when the priesthood is limited and when people aren't worthy. 

I am so grateful for all of the prayers and love. I know that is what helps me receive tender mercies and moments filled with love and happiness and the strength to continue, even when I am having a rough time. Some days are hard, and some days are harder, but these are the times that push my strength and diligence to the next level. There isn't time to be down, there is work to do. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Me and my boxer, strong, tall, swimmer, barbie, gymnist, perfect, need to watch body

I get a lot of comments about my body here. Some are very generously nice (like, "hermana hutchins has a perfect body") and some are....special ("you look like this professional boxer that I know of") I am already quite self-conscious about my body, and my increasingly tight skirts don't help either.
I am receiving the opportunity to develop my talents. I am playing piano for sacrament meetings. whew! it's kinda intense for me, especially because I don't get to know which numbers we will be singing until we get to church sunday morning. AND I have never considered my skills to be suffient to play for a sacrament meeting, but here, people will gather around the electric piano (mostly kids) and watch me play before sacrament meeting starts. We got to sing hymn number 91 again (I think it is now we leave at parting or something in english) this is the thrid time singing it since I have been here, and I am glad to say that we sang that song NOT to the tune of "onward Christian soilders" That made me and my companion happy.oh the magic of a piano. I am grateful for the years of piano lessons that I had, but it is sure difficult for me to play the hymns well ( I never even started to play the hymns before I quit piano) so everything I can do now has come from personal practice and the grace of God.
We saw some dancing horses the other day. Hard to describe, but they were dancing. It was for some fair thing.
We were at a Relief Society activity on Saturday, and at the end of this activity there was cake (shocker. I know.) and tacos (but not american tacos). We were helping serve it all up and put the lettuce drenched in mayonase on the fried taco shell filled with cooked ground beef and onions that had been sitting out in roomtemperature for at least 3 hours and the cake ON TOP of the napkin on the plate (she was very persistant that the frosting covered cake slices needed to be on top of the napkin on the plate). When we were done serving everyone else one of the ward sisters who was helping was counting out how many more we needed for the missionaries (us) and for the other sisters who were helping to serve. I said how I didn't need a taco and she was like "why? do you not like tacos?" (all guatemalan like you better eat this food...ALL of it) but I was like, "I just ...can't" (aka I REALLY don't want to get sick from that meat that has been sitting out for HOW long?) so I took the little bit of the "pft" look and expressed my sincere gratitude. I think we are fine. they weren't even her tacos to be offended over. gah. food.
Well, for the spiritual side of a guatemalan missionary. 
I feel like I have some repenting to do. I kind of feel like Lamen and Lemuel. 
So with the story of Nephi and his brothers, Nephi is always the praised and admired one (which is good) but if you realize the difference between Nephi, and lets say, Lamen is theirattitude. They both went to the wilderness, back again, back to the wilderness, back again to get some girls, and back out to the wilderness, both help build the boat, both traveled to the promised land etc. weeeeeeeeeeellllllll the difference is their willingness to obey. and their attitudes throughout. I feel like I really need to develop this more as I do missionary work and receive new dats and stats and "goals" that I really don't agree with. I feel like it is all too focused on numbers (numbers are fine and good, they represent actions) but I want to focus on the people. I wish I could focus on our lessons and quality instead of quantity and hours and HOURS of contacting. We HAVE investigators, but we don't have time to come visit all of them because we are too busy getting in our hours of contacting. gah! but I know I need to have more faith that the mission president is inspired and this is really "not the manner of men" but rather "the manner of the Lord". I am still not too convinced. I am trying though. And I need to remember the blessings of nephi and his willingness to obey (I do have other aspects that I am applying this principle to my life) I have recently studdied the story of the vision of the tree of life and how sad and unblessed Lamen and Lemuel were and how happy and blessed Nephi was. I should be more like nephi. I want to be more like nephi. I just know that there is some heart changing that lies in my future.

I attached a couple of pictures. One is a typical bus with all of it's fullness glory. and the other is me not knowing how to sit on a cannon gracefully and my comp hermana Ramirez photo boming it. yep. that's us.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Deborah Ann Hutchins, great: mother, missionary, doctor, and pancakes.

I have suprisingly encountered multiple tomb stone storries this week. "Deborah Ann Hutchins  great: mother, missionary, doctor, and pancakes." This discription for my tombstone was given to me by my comp hna Ramirez this week after I made her gluten-free corn pancakes ( which were pretty great). We have been getting a bit creative these days because of my companion's newly diagnosed dificulty of having Celiacs disease. (gluten intolerance)  If anyone knows of someone who has this disease, they know that it is kinda a big deal when it comes to eating. It can be pretty frustrating and difficult to adapt your life too. But if you think it is difficult in america, try to imagine this in Guatemala. When you go to the biggest grocery store around find 5 or so different cereal types, no corn syrup, EVERYTHING in a tienda has gluten in it, it feels like. Well, back to the tombstone story. So I made these pancakes after I got a hold of some baking powder (the lady at the tienda said it was baking soda but I was looking for powder anyway, so that was good). After cooking the now called "corn cake" and taking a bite I instantly walked into the room with my comp and had her try it. Her face was dumbfounded with pleasure. She blessed my mother for all of the cooking skills that I have. She was also very pleased with the no-bake cookies I was able to come up with. These are a couple of our favorite gluten-free snaks so far.  (p.s. everything we have made is without a recipie) Well, after that she went of this buisness idea (she's a buisness major) of how I am going to make gluten-free pancakes, make bank, go to school, be a doctor or something for a while, go back into my corncake buisness, paint jesus pictures for my corncake boxes and end up super rich (the full-length idea is more complex and detailed). So essentially she explained my life plan to me which also included the phrase for my tomb stone. 

oh, and for anyone who wants to be of help to me and my comp. We are looking for gluten-free ideas/ recipies. If you know someone who has celiacs disease, could you talk to them and ask what some of their favorites are? but just remember that we are in a third-world-country where we can't use an oven and they don't really have a lot to work with at the grocery stores. There isn't anything really especially "gluten free" but we are getting creative. and we don't have corn syrup here either. 

My other tomb stone story is that we went to the cementary today for p-day. I'll send a picture instead of explaining it. but we did happen to find a bone laying around there...which wasn't that suprising. it's guatemala, you take things as they come. 

The praise for my mother continues as she gets buckets-full of compliments for my skirts. I was called a barbie the other day because of my beautiful skirt.....and white skin. haha. 

the other day at this investigators house we drank "agua de coco" (coconut juice) straight out of coconuts. it was legit. I wish we had our cameras, but we didnt´t. 

sometimes me and hermana ynjo like to dance to the music of our telephone. it's not that great, but it's something to laught about. 

Before we head out in the mornings we kneel and say a companionship prayer. I offered the prayer and in it I prayed for good weather, and that it wouldn't be too hot. (I knew we had hours of contacting a head of us) It was a little funny, but I was sure real about it. God hears and answers prayers. We received a good cooler day with nice breezes. The little things Heavenly Father will do for his missionaries means a lot to me. 

I am trying to apply docterine of conference in my life. The one I am focusing on now is the love for my Heavenly Father. I know that it is the most important thing for me to focus on now. 

I am doing really well, and I am especially happy that I can meaningfully help my companion, Hermana Ramirez with her new challenge with the food. It is pretty much what one of my life plans options are ( to design food for people who have diet restrictions, like celiacs disease) We get a long really well, and are super good friends. Hna. Ynjo (the greenie from peru) is adorable and a great missionary. I can't complain. I feel SO BLESSED to have really great companions.

Thank you for all of the help and support!

my old trio (for reals this time)

one of me at the castle. big people don't fit here.

we have this inside joke of "wheelbarrows of inspiration"

poem for the day:
by wiliam carlos wiliams (I memorized this in high school)

so much depends
upon the red wheelbarrow
glazed with rainwater
beside the white chickens

we talked about this poem for like a half hour on the bus a couple of weeks ago for like at least 30 minutes. 

one of the cementary 

Monday, October 7, 2013


first off, I have some questions that I need some help answering: where does the name "Hutchins" come from? (Rachelle probably thinks this is sad, which it is, but it is true, I don't know) however, people here think it is german or something. Also, what is my blood type? I'm pretty sure only my mother can help me out with this one, but yet another thing that people want to know, and I just don't know. sorry. 

Changes happened and I am still happy. However saying goodbye to Hermana Ceballos was sad. But in the words of Hermana Watts, the mission president's wife, "it is better to be sad than to be happy" because this signifies that you had a good 6 weeks together and that the moment of separation was a moment of sadness instead of releif. Our new third hermana, hermana Ynjo is from Peru. she is great, but she does need to remember to turn of lights, close doors, etc. but I like her personality and desire to work, so things should be good. 
They are splitting the area of puerto barrios. We have 2 more sisters here, so that should help with the work. 
I got to see my friend from efy, Hermana Savanah Roll, in the capital. She is now in this mission too and we ended up staying at the same house for the night of changes. She was really happy to have someone she knew there. Sometimes simple things helps bring a lot of support. 

I think I jinxed myself saying that I wasn't sick. I caught the cold. However, it is gone already! I had it fairly bad for a couple of days and I was having a hard time feeling well because of my lack of good sleep. We rode on a litegua (one of the nice busses) to the capitol for one nights worth of sleep, I slept on a caught for another night (which isn't very good for your body to relax) and then I shared a bed for two more nights (because we had 5 girls in a room for 3) hence, my cold was lasting longer than it needed to be and my body was just getting worn out! Now, I've got a couple of nights of good sleep on me, and I am doing much better. 

Coming back from the capitial with Hermana Ramirez was a blast! pretty much one of the best 6 hour bus rides of my life! (the other being the bus tirp for my grad trip to california with Nicki Bailey) We pretty much talked the entire time. We are a couple of good friends. I feel like I get to be blessed to serve with one of my friends as one of my companions.

Yesterday, we were talking to one of our inactive members at her house with all five of us. She was making FLOUR TORTILLAS which is pretty much my favorite thing (cafe rio pork salads are my favorite food thing) so she was making her tortillas and talking to us, which wasn't anything crazy special, but what was so crazy is that that room was a SAUNA! like I don't think I have ever sweat more in my life....and I've had some pretty sweaty experiences in my life. It was so so hot and I was melting like a ......worse than a snow cone on the fourth of july. But this story ends in a happy ending. I got a free trip to the spa AND I got a free flour tortilla...yum!

We went to a castle today for p day. it was a good bus trip away, but it was pretty sweet to go somewhere historic. I should have a picture attached in one of my other mails. 

General Conference! I wish I had my notes on me, but I've gotta say, it was good to watch it in english, even if the tv we were watching it on was SUPER fuzzy. I thought of many of my family, some of my friends, and also of my investigators. I hope we can all APPLY what we learned in that weekend. 

I had a spiritual enlightenment moment opening a jar for my companion. This other day, my companion, hermana Ramirez, was cooking something and had a new jar to open. She is a very independant person, but after about a good minute or two trying to get the jar open she hands it to me and asks if I would help her to open the jar (I knew that that action of asking for my help took a bit of humility). I opened it with instantly with ease. I gave it back to her and she finished cooking. 
Doesn't seem like much of a spiritual story, but it is! Later that evening I was thinking about this experience and how it relates to us and our Heavenly Father. Somethings for us are SO HARD and we can try and try and try to do it by ourselves, and sometimes we  can  do it by ourselves, and sometimes we need His help. We can struggle by ourselves, or we can ask for His help and receive all that we asked (and sometimes more). It takes humility to ask, but He wants to help. He is there for us. He can take our hardest of things and turn them into something very manageable. We can struggle by ourselves, or be supported with Him. 

I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospels of this church. I invite everyone to listen to general conference, and study those messages. We are living in a time to DO what is right, not just BELIEVE it. 

Rachelle gets the award for being best letter sender. Those things are my favorite and ALWAYS brighten my day. 
Hey,if someone is in contact with ELISE BOWEN or EMILEE EDDINGS I would really like their email addresses so that I could hear something from them. it's like they think I'm dead or something. 
Happy birthday to RACHEL THOMPSON who has been my friend since 5th grade. we have a bunch of good memories together, which may include singing in banana chairs and making towers with with the help of cheese plastic.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

There are two kinds of people in this world: those you love, and those you don't know

I GET TO STAY WITH HERMANA RAMIREZ IN PUERTO BARRIOS! and we are getting a newby...we are hoping for a spanish speaker, because we both want to improve with our spanish, and hermana ceballos has helped SO MUCH. I was super anxious to hear about the changes that are going to be taking place this week, but the feeling of RELIEF came when I heard that we get to be together. We have gotten to be really good friends. We've talked about our struggles with eachother, so things have really cleared up. It wasn't bad before, but now...we are a team.  

The General Relief society meeting. I got to watch spanish. NOT the same. It was good, apparently REALLY good, I'll be looking forwarded to reading it in English. However, I did understand a lot, but sometimes it is frustraiting to have a prophet speaking, but you can't hear his voice, and can't always understand what he is saying. My favorite parts were the musical numbers (they were in english) and I just really love the hymns, and singing. a lot.  Pretty sure my mom cried through the musical numbers with all of those sister missionaries. Especially with my little sister leaving for a mission in just a few months to california roseville english speaking. She leaves one day after her 19 birthday in ganuary....I mean january, because in english the "J" makes the "djuh" sound. 
which brings me to another story. So there are a lot of people who can't read here. and I want to teach them how to read. especially Clara, (one of our investigadores who remembers MY name out of the three of my companions....I felt special when she said that she can't remember my companions names, but that she could only remember mine ( I ususlally am the one that people don't remember or don't even try to learn)). I had this thought a few days ago and so I wrote it down in my planner to remember to talk about my idea with my companions later, and it just so happened that like a day later when we were at her house, she came out of no where saying that she wanted to learn how to read! I am so excited to help her with this! ps, thank you mom and mrs. Morris and mrs. Mendenhal for teaching me how to read. What a blessing it is! 

I am known as un "salvador" to my companions. I seem to always be prepared with whatever we need. water. hand sanitizer, flash light, bandaids, sizzors, tape, pills, good bobby pins, hair ties...the list goes on. 

Lights go out here on a normal basis. and the funny thing is, when the power goes out, sometimes you can't even tell because nothing really changes. possibly a fan turns off and maybe your one light bulb, people just are chill about it. I am grateful that I carry my flashlight for those times that the lights go out at night and need to go somewhere. like the other day when we had this tropical storm. It was pretty intense, but everyone and everything is okay. We had just gotten back from the store last p-day in the evening and were going to go do an fhe with a member family, but my companion really wasn't feeling well, so we ended up staying in the apartment for that evening. Which turned out to be a blessing about 15 minutes later when the big storm hit. 

So my mom asked me about bug bites and if I was suffering. i think it was the day after that I was at this one house for a LONG time because everyone loves hermana ceballos and doesn't want to say good bye. well, there were a lot of mosquitos, and I didn't get a chance to reapply my insect reppellent. let's just say the next day I had 40 inflammed mosquito bites...on one leg. I won't bother counting the other leg. yeah. it itched. a lot. 

We had a baptism of a 19 year old boy who is like my favorite investigator. But a funny thing is, (that wasn't all too funny) is the lack of white clothes. White clothes are a stress in my life. The priesthood men could really help us out if they all owned white shirts and pants. but all is well. We were eventually able to find some white clothes for the baptism. 

I guess I have more than just a stomach of steel, I've got an immune defense too. I'm doing pretty well at avoiding the sickness. My companions have both had a pretty good cold for the past week....annnnnnnd I'm still clean. They get a little offended when I don't want to share food off of the same fork/ biting a piece and then sharing etc. but I'm not sick.....jus sayin.

some funny things that happen in my life:
people using their hair as floss....yuuuuuuummmmm. :P
hitting my head in doorways, especially in busses. 
receving hair cream from a member assuring us that it is used for rubbing on mosquito bites to help heal them. 

and some adventures will be told after the mission....PS mom, I'm okay. :)

I'm continuing to learn more of my purpose here, as a missionary. I am learning patience more and more as I continue to do dishes of my companions, wait hours while this member is talking about who knows what with my companion as I am getting eaten to death by mosquitos, taking comments that aren't always super uplifting and so on...but really, I am happy. I don't know if the "time of my life" has kicked in yet, but I am sure enjoying this time more and more. 

I am so grateful for all of the support from my family, grandparents, ward, friends, parents of friends, strangers, church, and my Savior and Heavenly Father. I don't feel lonely, and I am not sad or nearly as frustraited as I used to be. 

Thank you for the prayers! 
with love, Hermana Deb Hutchins

Answering mom's questions

hutchins is interesting. People know that the H makes a sound, but in spanish there is no "uh" sound (as in umbrella) most people can't say it right. And for some reason, usually they don't put the S sound at the end...I guess they think in english everything ends with a silent letter? so it's kinda sorta oochen, Hoochen, or hoochens.
We have a member across the street who is the branch president's wife. we pay her for doing our laundry and we eat lunch and dinner from her...wich we pay her for as well. she is like our mother/grandma. She's great. her name is hermana cucul. She does the food shoping and preparation. She cooks really well, but I am not a huge fan of meat. I really never have been. almost ALL of the meat I have is chicken, and it is ALWAYS on the bone. I'm not even sure what part of a chicken I usually eat. I know it's not breast though because there is always more bone and fat then there is actual meat. But she really does cook well, and she gives us a BUNCH of food, and we have to eat it all to be polite...therefore, I am not as thin as I used to be. We have breakfast, made by ourselves (usually cereal, oatmeal or aroz con leche (rice and milk and cinimon stuff) usually at 8 am or so. lunch at about 2 and cena ...I mean, dinner, at about 8:30. 
There are not very many "stores" here at all. but a TON of tiendas. We have a joke that for every tienda there is a dog, and for every dog there is a church. haha. I don't know of THAT many churches, but there are a lot. a lot of evangelicas. The tiendas are like a cement building or part of a house or something, i don't know. but they are on all of the streets. they have gates in front of them and you ask the person there for the stuff that you want, you pay them through the gate, and they give you the stuff through the gate. they have candies and convinence store kind of stuff. cereals, salsa, toilet paper, oreos, pens....a lot of stuff. 
Yes we have 3 beds for 3 missionaries. Sadly, there is not a siesta here. so sad. 
I am so grateful for my clothes. they are great. My companions admire your skirt making skills. they are jealous. Crocs are an essential. they need to put it on the missionary shopping list. I wish I had more. I just hope these ones don't wear out. 
We usually have people to teach. We don't usually make specific appointment plans with a lot of people, we (meaning my companions) just know the times that everyone has work and we just show up at their house and hope they are there. It works out though. I'm not sure what people do here all of the time. just chill out in the sun and cook I guess. 
I think the whitness adds to the effect of bug bites. I don't know how all of the natives don't have bites, but I always do. I make a pretty good effort to keep bug spray on me, but I always have some nasty bites. I think they are usually ant bites. Probably mosquito bites too. There is not a lot of cocroaches, but the 3 that I have seen are about a whopping 2 inches long and can fly. great. I know. I was joking with my companion saying, "what if we got all of the ants in the world and put them in one spot, how much space do you think they would take up?" she responded, "probably a country" I responded, " I think they already have done that, and we are living in that country". haha. but really though. Sometimes we see ants with leaves the size of a dime or so on their backs all walking in a line. very discovery channel-ish. 
Hermana Watts (the president of the mission wife) is SUPER warm. and very close and touchy and sparky. We all love her. at first it's like, WOAH, but in like 2 minutes you know she loves you to death and wants to help you. kinda like sister sewell I would have to say. 
President watts is more serious and more of ...this is work, do it. But that is good. He is really nice though. I can feel comfortable with him. He is a happy man, with a purpose, so that is good. 
The church building is one of the nicest buildings here. it is like our chapels, but not quite that nice. the sacrament room just has tan chairs like the class rooms in our building. the piano is eletric, and right now, no one plays it. I need more practice to feel confident to play for a congregation. we have a little more than 70 people in our sacrament meetings usually. There are a bunch of celing fans, which are glorious. I think there is ac, but they don't use it, I don't know. in the offices though, they use AC. it's awesome.

That awkward moment when you think your water bottle spilt, but it's actually your sweat

So it's pretty hot here. and humid. And the other day we had a primary activity of "missionary for a day" 3 people showed up! hey, that's like 1/4 of the active primary children, and for a saturday afternoon, it was good. We went to the mercado and handed out a bunch of pamphlets of the restoration, plan of salvation, and gospel of jesus christ, along with little "invitations" to the church building on sunday mornings for the church meetings. well, 80 pamphlets later in the mid-day sun I realized that my water bottle had not spilt in my bag, but that yes. I just drenched 3 to 5 layers of clothing. that's skill right there. Puerto Barrios for ya. 

We had a lesson for "the district 3" the other day. (that's a joke) but it was really good! It was the first lesson, from a reference. we taught the restoration lesson and everything went perfectly! It was smooth, the spirit was there and at times I would think of something that I need to say, and literally two seconds later my companion would say the EXACT same thing out loud. It was pretty legit. We actually ended up commiting her to baptism with a date and everything. We left feeling pretty good that night. 

Sadly though, other days can't always be ideal. Our investigator girl who is 19 years old dropped/postponed her baptismal date. it was supposed to be last saturday night, so we made a plan B for the day, but nothing worked out that evening. all of our thoughts were that we knew why nothing was working out, because we were supposed to be at a BAPTISM right now. but it's okay. Her mom had a lot of influence of her hesitancy. I believe that she will get baptised, though, and soon. she is ready, but is scared of the change that will come in her life. 

We might have eaten 7.5 pieces of cake (some of which were pretty big pieces) in the course of 12 days. You can be jealous, but I'm not super happy about my waist line right now. It is quite werid not being able to choose much of what I get to eat. I miss spinach, kale, and SALADS. we don't get any of that here. 

I think I have a little obsession with peanuts/ peanut butter. I wish it wasn't so expensive here. and I wish they had recees cups (which I wasn't even that big of a fan of before my mission) and my favorite treat from the tiendas are a little pack of chocolate covered peanuts. yum. oh, I think the best milkshake I have ever had was the peanut butter milk shake we had the other day. sooooo gooood. 

There is this lady in our ward who will give exclamations us me and my other US companion when we do something well. It's like a baby learning how to walk, "yyyaaaaaaay! she can speak espaƱol!" ...thanks. 

Everything is "mi culpa" (my fault) whenever something goes wrong (ps our shelf died, and yes, it was "my fault") haha. I know it's just a joke. I'm not offended. But everynight when we are eating dinner out on our balcony at our little plastic table when we talk and something goes wrong, or if something spils the reaction is to fake trowing the table on me. One day we need to actually through that table on someone when they have the culpa. 

I might be an orphan mom. Since hermana Ceballos is going home next week, that leaves just me and hermana Ramirez who have been in this area. She is hopefully/probably going to stay here and continue to train me, but she has some health issues that might put her in the capitol for convenience with the doctors (we are 6 hours away from the cap) so that thought scares me to death. because I really don't KNOW this area. I just follow my companions around, and they know everywhere to go. I have hope that she won't get transferred this next week because God doesn't give us something we can't handle, and I'm really pretty sure I couldn't handle it, so we'll have to see. 

I had a "magic 8 ball" experience the other day because I was sharing my concerns about things that I have had and how they all kind of went the way my feelings were. (sorry if that was confusing) so after that my companions we asking me to tell them about their lives. and I was like uh....and then my companion broke out in laughter saying how I am like a "magic 8 ball" with the "ask later" option. 

Sacrament meeting was special yesterday keeping 4 children and younger busy enough so that the investigators could pay attention and feel the spirit. I kinda felt like a mom with 2 two year olds, a 6 year old, and a 9 year old. whew! good thing I had a couple of pens and my planner for the 2 year olds to color in. I think I need to invest in some crayons. 

I really don't have more time. but life is good. 
I am learning more about how this is a time for love, and the work will come. 

Thank you for all of the support. 
love always, Hermana Hutchins. 
 here are a couple of random pictures. enjoy!
oh, and the one where we are in green white and red is in honor of Mexico's independence day.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

say good-bye to abs of steel and hello to stomach of steel.

A really good quality trait to have in a forein country is being able to eat whatever is put in front of you. Where I am now, I have to eat whatever is given to me, even if it is white bread, like a lot of it, every day ( hence the good-bye to abs of steel) and other good little treats like the cow toungue I had this afternoon, or soda, which I really just don't like. ...oh yeah, and at times, we might be given river water (thank you filtered water bottle) but the good news is, I have yet to have stomach problems (unlike my companions) and I can pretty much down anything (thank you boy scouts). My companion considers my ability to eat on demand a talent. I would have to agree. I try to work out pretty intense for my 30 minutes every morning, but eating cake 6 times in a week is sorta rough for the waist line, a 15 year old member girl even had to make a comment that I need to watch my figure. How am I supposed to do that when she gives me cake and soda twice a week. pff 1st world missionary problems.
The other day I might have gotten trapped in our bathroom by our sketchy closet that spontaneously leans over everynow and again. I had to wait a couple minutes for my companion to respond to my little pleas for help.  

And we might have used a piece of the wood from that sketchy shelf to add to our fire for smores. and we MIGHT have had the opportunity to lay in a couple hammocks in the past two days and drink pine apple juice ( I promise, we do work)
ps, fitting 3 hermanas in one big hammock can be tricky, but we got skillz.

I got the opportunity to lead the music in church this sunday. Which is a lot harder to do in spanish, with out a piano, and when you have to sing the first line a capella to the whole branch. Well, I thought I was pretty good at leading music, until they change the song two seconds before and I couldn't figure out what the tune was/which song it was for a couple of seconds, or that I didn't signal for people to stand up for the rest hymn ( which we don't do in my home ward) and the last song...well, story has it it is also in the english hymn book, but I don't think I have ever sang it in my life, but I did it, and I'm pretty sure it was right (thank you sight reading skills)

We had another baptism this week! and we have some more in the near future!
We see little miracles every day in our lives. weather it is a bus that comes promptly, lack of sprained ankles, medicine, remembering keys, having somewhere to go to the bathroom, or some random dude that knows where this lady lives that we are trying to contact. 

Sometimes I have neat little realizations...this one is that a mission is kinda like a mini plan of salvation. We get "our call" you get to go to earth, this time, this place, this language. Then you get assigned a family (my companions and district) you have to learn how to talk and need to be taken care of at every turn. You grow up, learn the gospel, share the gospel, help others, in the mission case, watch people make covenants, have a LOT of learning experiences, and endure to the end, and then you return back, to be judged, and receive your glory. Sometimes I think about the time that I'll be where my companion, hermana ceballos is right now, just a few short weeks from going back home, and I think to myself, what will I want to be feeling/thinking then? what do I need to do now to be able to have that feeling of satisfaction by the time 18 months rolls around? I have a lot to work on, but I need to keep takin it one day at a time with an end goal in mind. 

Well, I think that is good for this week. I'm sure I'll have more stories to share next week.
con amor, Hermana Hutchins

shout out to my little sis Becca, turning 14 this week! crazy! ps, if you write me, I'll write you back.
and to my friend Steph Rimmasch who we've been good friends for....10 years now. pilas (cool)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Let us all press on

ok. another week.

here is my mailing address. Please use HERMANA hutchins for any packages (I don't expect any).

hermana Hutchins
Mision guatemala este
apartado postal 951-A
Guatemala, Guatemala C.A.

for the comic relief of the week. Another one of those "gotta share this with the fam" moments. In church on sunday, we were singing the closing hymn. We don't have someone to play the poor electric piano (I'm the best one there), so we sing a capella. I would probably try to play, but everyone sings in a lower key here because people don't really have a bunch of singing talent here in general, or maybe it's just that people aren't shy to sing, even if they don't have the skill. well, either way, we were singing the closing hymn "we sing we now at parting" or something like that, to the tune of "let us all press on". not on purpose. That was special. My American companion and I got a a good chuckle out of that one. like really?! does no one know how to read music here? haha. 

I taught the basic docterine class on sunday...and I didn't even die! wahoo! it's super intimidating because I don't know what the people's comments are, so If they say something wrong, or go off on a tangent, I don't know how to fix it. But everything went well! and I could understand (mostly). yay. 

Saturday we had a baptism! I am randomly attaching a photo, I hope it is of the baptism, I don't know for sure. She is super super sweet and this day was very special for me, especially when she was in the water and acted with faith. This girl is the one who I committed to baptism my first active day in the field, so that was really neat. 

We had Zone conference this week. It was pretty sweet to see more missionaries. We traveled 4 or 5 hours each way, but I really enjoyed the lessons shared and it got me more pumped as a missionary, so I think it was worth it. However, we were the only sisters there, I was kinda bummed that I didn't get to meet more sisters. Guys are cool and all, but when you are unavailable, and they are unavailable, being in a room with a 10 to 1 boy to girl ratio isn't all that exciting.

We continue to see miracles in our lives!
just this morning a woman on a motorcycle, well, two women (because who puts just ONE person on a motorcycle around here), oh yeah, and one of them is pregnant. well, they crashed on the motorcycle in the middle of the road right in front of us as we were waiting to meet up with some elders. It scared me, like a lot, to realize I could have just watched a pregnant women die right in front of me. But she didn't! she walked away with some bad scrapes, and some sore muscles, I was also able to help her out because I had some clean water and handsanitizer on me. And the other lady was un harmed. I don't know how that happened. but I am grateful I didn´t have to witness a death. kind of a strange blessing, but I am very grateful. 

another great moment this week. 
We have an investigator who has been waiting for an interview with the mission president because of some past life situations he had to clear up. well. This guy has been waiting for over a year, and has been going to church, with his baptised family, hoping that one day he can one day enter the waters of baptism too. This last week president watts was here for some random reason and we asked him if he could interview this hermano, he knew who we were talking about and his voice did NOT seem hopeful. we were all a bit bummed, but kept a hope and faith that it would turn out well. Saturday morning he had the inverview aaaaaaaaaaand HE CAN BE BAPTIZED! We all know that this is a huge blessing for this family, and we hope to see them go through the temple in a year from now. I love there little 10 year old girl, Debra. She doesn't know that my name is Deborah, but she is like my little friend here. I am so happy for them. Faith is real. Miracles are real. 

I'm not sure if all of the blessings because it is my companion's last month, or if it because it's my first, but whatever it is, I am grateful for them!

This week has been a bit difficult because of the random stuff going on, and I am still adjusting to thought of being here for a year and a half. It's quite intimidating honestly, but I hope that I can become the missionary for our Padre Celestial that He wants me to be. I sorta feel like this is another step in the "plan of salvation"....and then, after earth life is mission life where you have to put to practice everything you learned in earth life, and teach people about everything you have learned, and grow in patience, and love, and Christ-like attributes. and then after mission life you go back to earth life...haha. yep. this is my life. 

Let us all press on!
thank you for the support, love, and prayers!

con amor, Hermana Hutchins.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My life is a game of catch phrase

Well, it's official. I'm a real sister missionary; I have the awkward missionary shoe strap tan line to proove it.

Life is getting better here out in puerto barrios. We moved apartments saturday to this cleaner, more airy (wind is important people) apartment over a couple of streets. I was a little sad to say good bye to the neighbors talking parrots. they were so friendly, they would always say "buenos dias" or "hola". I think that's pretty legit if you ask me. but i wasn't so sad to say good bye to the pug dogs that bark and drool on us through the gate right next to our apt. door. We had a miricle of help moving our stuff. Seriously, no one here has cars, but somehow we got a hold of someone with a truck who we could pay 40 Q (like 5 bucks) for every trip to our new place. 3 or 4 men from the ward were there to help move all of our stuff. I am so grateful for them because carrying all of our stuff up 3 flights of stairs in the middle of the afternoon isn't what I would call prime. well, thanks to them we are now in a new and cleaner apartment. it is smaller, but I like the balcony as well. I'm getting more used to the humidity and heat so that's good news. 

some random stories:

last week, one night, we finished a nice lesson a bit late (but not too late, but it was time for us to go back to our apt.) we were leaving, and it was raining. a lot. but the part-member family let us use a couple of umbrellas and a big rain coat. well, we thought things wouldn`t be too bad, but a couple minutes later when we were walking in the street (they don't have side walks here) when the "river" was up to our knees, we just laughed. and laughed, and trugged along for the mile or so walk back to our apt. We got home and had issues with our shower (in the old apt.) so it turnes out I didn't get to shower until the next morning. life is life. I was just a little concerned with all of the dirt, and garbage, and who knows whatever that was stuck to my leg for a while in the street "river".

driving here is also an adventure. we don't drive, but we ride a lot, and walk in the streets a lot. Driving is pretty much a game of "chicken" and cutting people off is just how it is done here. and there is no such thing as "j-walking" or that is all they have here. aka, there are no rules for pedestrians! just good luck! 

the game of catch phrase and charades continues on! pretty much when I talk, or if my companion has a new word for me, we have to explain the one word we want to say with a bunch of other words that get the point across. and Charades....actions are universial, and they help. 

we have new investigators! we have a family that is super interested in the gospel, they are super humble and the dad asks a lot of simple, but sincere, questions. I love teaching people who want to know. 

We are also teaching Carlos. He is 19 years old and used to date a member girl. He is very humble about learning the gospel too. He is so sweet how he just wants to do what is right. He is very easy to teach. The other day we were going over 3rd nephi ch 11 with some highlight verses because he didn't get the time to read because he was helping this random dude fix his truck for free. Good guy. well. we were going over those scriptures and there is one where it talks about your desire to follow christ and be baptized, and pretty much after we read that HE asked US if he could be baptized! MILAGROS! (miracles) 

the miracles go on. Saturday night, when we were planning for sunday, we were setting "goals" for sunday and for lessons with a menos activos (less active aka inactive) and a recien conversos (recent coverts) and one of my companions trugged a long and declared in a very unhopeful, but our duty kinda voice "1 for menos activos (and said under her breathe "that would be a miracle"), and 1 for recien coversos (and again, that would be another miracle)". after she said that I replied, in a very hopeful and real voice, "why not!? why should there not be a miracle? I bet we could have one of each come to church tomorrow." well, to my companions suprise, the next day at church we had 1 recien converso and 1 menos activos show up for church. That was really neat to see happen. My companion admitted that is was a couple of little miracles. 

Also, in that same day at church one of our investigators with her little 4 year old son came to church again! (they really don't have much money to get to church, but they came!) So this lady, Clara, can't read (I wish I could help!) and neither can her 4 year old son (not a big suprise) well, she was super happy to see me there and I was super happy to see her. They sat in sacrament meeting, and then came to the next class too. This class is for missionaries and investigators/recent converts. it`s like a basics sort of class. My companion, hermana ramirez was teaching a lesson about prophets of old and prophets now. Cesar (the little boy) was bored, but he didn't want to go to the primary classes, so I whipped out the "liahona" we just recieved and gave it to him to look at pictures in the children's section and such. He would ask me "what's this?" and I would explain it. or I would ask him, pointing to a picture of christ, "who is this?" and so on. We were just wispering and I ended up explaining about the picture of george albert smith and how he was a prophet, but he is dead now, but we have a new prophet. I showed him pictures of the prophet and apostles, and the temple, and so on. He really like the pictures of the apostles (who knows why a 4 year old boy liked the pictures of 12 old guys in suits the best!?) well, He showed his mom some of the pictures, which was a bit distracting for her, but she really liked them too, because that is sort of her way of reading. She asked me some questions about the pictures and cesar explained a lot of the answers; how this guy is dead, he was a prophet, these are apostles, they help the prophet, this is the prophet, this is....and so on. after that, the class was ending, we said a closing prayer and then after clara raised her hand and said  "I would like to make a comment." I was really curious what she had to say, because she is ususally SUPER quiet, and I have heard her say hardly anything. but she raised her hand and spoke. She ended bearing her testimony of the gospel, this church, how much joy and happiness it brings to her life, and how...full...she feels when we are talking about it with her. She went on for like 3 minutes strait. It was SO COOL! The spirit was super strong and after, when me and my companions were in the bathroom, my companion was whiping away tears. It was so tender, and so special!

Other little miracles happen in my life. I am so grateful for them. I am so grateful to be an instrument for the Lord and His work.
Sometimes in lessons I get promptings to say something, or bear testimony, or share a scripture. Ususally I don't know what is being said at the time, or if it would be "appropriate" but I get up the guts and act with some faith and open my mouth. These moments always turn out to be really good and my companions keep encouraging me to keep it up because it is always so perfect, and fits in just right. I would consider this a little "gift of tounges" kind of moments. 

I had another oportunity to help bring a tender mercy to someones life yesterday. 
we had to take the 6 hour bus ride to the capitol yesterday for visa purposes. that's 12 hours in a bus to sign a piece of story. there we met up with a lot of missionaries doing visa stuff too, of these missionaries included ALL of the missionaries from my dristrict in the CCM. It was soooo good to see them. Talking to them I feel like I have the best companions in the world. So we were there and then right before we left for our bus to go home, me and my companions stopped in the church office building for some technical stuff, but while we were there, we had the elders check for mail. My companion asked if they would check for packages too. As he was rummaging through the boxes of stuff he calls out, "does anyone know a pheobe evans?" and then I was like "yeah! yeah I do." Pheobe is hermana Bender's friend (Hermana Bender, from my ccm district) who we have all been expecting hermana bender to receive a package from the entire time we were at the ccm. Well, it turns out pheobe forgot to write hermana bender's name on the package. she had all of the other info, just forgot to write her name. I told the elder that I KNEW that it was for hermana bender and that she had been waiting for more than a month to get this package. I felt like this was a neat moment because hermana bender is having a bit of a hard time with her new companion (who doesn't speak english and doesn't quite follow the strict missionary life that we all should be) I wanted to help her, but didn't really know what I could do but just be there for her and pray for her. So this was pretty neat because I felt like I really actually helped. What are the chances we would be in the office, ask for packages, the elder call out "does anybody know a pheobe evans?" and to actually know that pheobe is hermana benders friend and that the package should be sent to her. there was like 6 people in the office in total. there are like only 3 or 4 people in the whole mission that would know that pheobe evans is hermana bender's friend. It was cool for me. 

Life is good. I'm happy to be here. I try to keep a smile on my face at all times because if I can't speak the langauge, at least I can share my apperance with a smile. I am so blessed to see the hand of the lord in my life and in the lives of others. 

Please keep emailing me, letters are like gold, I'll put my new address for the mission home ( I think it is the same) for mailing up next week. usually I write on mondays, yesterday we were in the capitol.

here are some pictures. mom, you should share the one with skylar rogers with his family. I'll get some new ones with my new companions soon. most of these are from the ccm, unless they look like they aren't, then they are from down the street right next to the ocean, and there should be one from my balcony view with a bunch of orange red roofs. 

Love you all!
Hermana Hutchins.