Monday, February 25, 2013


Hey Family!

How is everyone doing? It sounds like you had an exciting week, lots of stuff going on at home. So this has been an interesting week for me, and exciting, and a little tuff too. There have been a lot of changes and more are coming, but change is good most of the time, even if it doesn't seem good at first.

Well first of all the new area is good, but its super small, it’s probably about half the size of my old area and the town is a lot smaller but I have liked it so far. The bikes have been tuff.  I have been pretty sore the whole week but mostly my butt is just bruised, that’s the worst part. I can take the sore but I can hardly sit on a normal seat ha ha. They say after two weeks I will be used to it. I guess our area has about half the neighborhoods than my last area, but the size is big because they are spread out.

My comp is a good comp, he works hard and he is a good teacher. The only thing is he doesn't really know how to handle money. But we have been getting along really good. We live in a house with 4 elders, we live downstairs they live upstairs, it’s really kind of fun. One of the others is an American so that’s fun, we can relate a little better. The only problem is sometimes we speak a lot of English and I still need to practice my Spanish. But the apartment is super nice; it’s the best missionary house I have seen here. We have everything we need, except for a toilet seat, I have found out that is not an essential thing here in Mexico. But I talked to the president and got permission to buy one and get it reimbursed so I will buy that this week.

Oh and we did have our baptism this Saturday, it was really cool. The lady that got baptized is awesome and I already feel pretty close to her family. The only problem here is there are 2 companionships in 1 branch so there isn't a whole lot of work, and apart from the family of the girl that just got baptized we have like 2 investigators. So that is going to be a bit of a challenge, there just isn't much work here.

So Thursday night we got a call from the zone leaders and they told us we had to travel to San Luis Saturday morning for a zone conference - which is really weird because those are planned for like 2 months in advance. When we got there they gave us the news about all the new missions, 58, and 8 in Mexico. The reason you guys can’t see who our president is, is because our mission is being divided into 2 different missions, and the Léon Mexico Mission will no longer exist. One of the missions will be the Mexico Aguas Calientes Mission, and the other will be the Mexico Queretero Mission. And the change is happening on July 1st.  Basically, whatever area we are in, we get changed to that mission. So it’s going to be kind of crazy, but kind of exciting. There are changes on June 24th and wherever we are on that day, we will stay in that mission. I have been in them both, and I don’t really have a preference, both would be good. And both the new mission presidents will be Mexicans.

So that’s basically what has happened this week. It was a lot of stuff but it went by fast. I know that this is Christ’s church, it is growing and the work is progressing. The time to prepare is now. I know God answers prayers and we can counsel with him on anything, and I am so thankful for that great gift of prayer. I am glad everyone is doing well, I love and miss you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder Utley

p.s: That would be awesome if you send a package, any sort of American food or treats would be great, and letters, and I kind of want some zip lock bags too. Don’t worry too much about it getting here; we haven’t had any problems with that lately.

p.p.s: oh and I know I don’t comment on a lot of the stuff that is going on at home, but I am super grateful to hear about it, it’s always fun so keep it coming!

This is the person that we baptized on Saturday  She is in the middle, and the person that baptized her is the grandpa of her kids or the dad of her ex-husband. My comp is in the middle on the other side from me. And the rest of the Elders are the Elders in our district. There are only six of us, its all the missionaries here in Matehuala. There are four of us in one branch and only two in the other. the rest of our zone is in San 
Luis about 3 hours from here, we are on the outskirts of our mission, and there really aren't any other missionaries for a few hours, its kind of weird but everyone here is really tight with each other.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Hey Family!

Sounds like it’s been an interesting week. This week has been interesting for me also. Sounds like Coop’s team is starting to do really well again, I hope he keeps on working hard, I know he will be really good. Oh I forgot to tell you guys that I got a packet of letters from Brooklyn’s primary class like 2 weeks ago, it was really cool, they all drew me pictures...

So that’s kind of crazy about the ward splitting, but it sounds like a good thing. Did they create a new ward? We didn’t get any news about our mission president, I guess we will find on a little later.

So this week was a little rough in our area, but yesterday turned out to be really good. We still didn’t find Litzi or Pati, but we had another baptismal date with an investigator named Lupita. She was totally ready but in the end her mom didn’t let her do it. I still think she will get baptized but the bummer is that I won’t be there for it... The good part is she always goes with her sister who has to go get her, and her sister didn’t go yesterday but she showed up by herself! And we had two nonmembers show up to church, so they are going to start teaching them. We finally found some new investigators yesterday, it was really good to see because we hadn’t had a lot of good things happen the last two weeks.

The bummer is that yesterday we also had transfers, and I got transferred, so I won’t get to work with them, but I left the area in a good state! But I am really excited to be here in Matehuala. The city is kind of small from what they tell me; it’s in the northern limits of the mission, like an hour and a half from Monterey. I have only been here for like an hour because I have traveled the whole day... it took 3 buses that took about 7 to 8 hours to get here. It’s really far from Léon.
So I am kind of nervous because I got sent here as senior companion. So I will have a little more responsibility. But I am stoked to be here. We have bikes! So that’s pretty sweet. And they tell me we have a baptism this Saturday, I hope it goes through. I will let you all know what I think next week.

It’s funny how the Lord works sometimes; I was finally feeling good with my companion Elder Alvarez, we became pretty good friends, and then I got changed. But if there is one thing I have learned to do here in the mission its trust in the Lord. He knows best and gives us experiences so we can learn and grow. This week I really liked a scripture in Mosiah 24 verses 14 and 15. You should all read it!

I love and miss you all!
Elder Utley

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Hey family!

How is everybody? Sounds like it’s been a good week! Every week seems to go faster here. I don’t know why but I have really been wanting to swim this week, I miss it!  I can’t wait to be able to get into water again and swim!  

So I have heard quite a bit of news about all the new missionaries that are going to arrive! They are saying that right now we have about 55000 missionaries in the world. In June we will have 70000 in the world, and in December of this year there will be 100000 missionaries in the world! That’s pretty exciting. They keep telling us that ton are going to arrive here in our mission sometime soon, but this month we are only getting 4. I heard something like none of them can get their visas right now, and the rules are changing to get them, so they are all stuck waiting in the states. The other cool news we got is that they are going to create a new MTC in Mexico City. Right now it is a Mormon school but in June it will convert to an MTC. Some people say it will be bigger than the one in Provo, others say the second biggest. I have heard the campus is a lot bigger so it has the capacity to be huge. Everyone in the world who is speaking Spanish will be going to that MTC! The work is progressing super-fast and exciting things are coming.
Other big news is that we will find out who our new mission president is this week in the zone conference. I think he starts in July but I heard he has to come a lot sooner to be trained, so we will have 2 presidents for a little bit. And I saw one of my buddies from the MTC he is now in the offices as a financial secretary, so that was super cool. But he told me that 2 from our generation of missionaries already went home. One of them I know the other I don’t. That was kind of crazy. He said the one I know Elder Aiken went home for health problems... that would really suck.

So this week was pretty rough in our area. We had a baptismal date with Pati and Litzi, and they have been dodging us and we haven’t seen them in over a week... So I am a little disappointed, I don’t know what happened, we are going to try and see them at least once this week and see what happened. But the good news is that we put a baptismal date with an investigator, Lupita. for this Saturday. She has been investigating forever so I am happy for her. And we finally got her mom to start listening to us and she is interested too!

Dad asked how our zone is organized; my district is composed of 10 missionaries or 5 companionships. All of them are in Irapuato, and we are the Irapuato stake. There are 3 meetinghouses in Irapuato, one of which is the stake center. There are 5 wards. There are also 2 more wards in the stake and a branch, the wards are from Salamanca and the branch is Valle de Santiago. So the other district is those guys, there are 6 of them or 3 companionships.

The members in our ward are awesome, there are a few families that we can go with at any time and they always help us. But they are all great. The meals are good, our ward is kind of poor so it’s a lot of beans and rice, and chorizo, and eggs. (chorizo is sausage) but they always make sure we are full and satisfied. We have only had the family not be there or remember 3 times since I got here. I really enjoy the people here.
That said we have transfers this Sunday and I think it’s my turn to go. Who knows but I have been here a long time, and I kind of am hoping for new challenges and meeting knew people. Not to mention I wouldn’t mind getting a new comp. My comp is a good missionary, he likes to serve, but he is just a whiner, he doesn’t stop complaining and he gets really upset and frustrated really easy. It is taking a lot of patience. But I am learning, whether from him or because of him I don’t know ha ha...

Well that’s about it for this week. The photo attached is me in Abasolo, the view from the Casa de Oracion (which is like their chapel) is amazing. And it’s kind of cloudy in that picture. The Lord is working miracles in the world, missionary work is moving quickly and effectively. A lot of things are changing, and now is the time to prepare. I know the gospel brings happiness, and we need to live it every day to be happy and we have to be prepared now.

I love and miss you all
Elder Utley

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New month, new companion, new transfers

Hey Family!

I confirmed Angel yesterday! It was a super cool experience. He is the first person I have ever confirmed. I struggled a little bit with the Spanish in the blessing, but I got everything out that I felt like I needed to say. It was really cool.

So this week was good, a little frustrating but good. I was pretty used to how everything went with Elder Valdes here and how he knows everything about the area. I also know just about everything because I have been here forever, but it is really frustrating explaining to my companion in Spanish who everybody is and where they live. I guess it’s good because I am learning too by explaining how everything works, but never the less super frustrating. My companion is good, he is excited about the work and wants to help everyone. At the same time he is driving me crazy, he is a whiner (I can’t remember how to spell that... he complains a lot). If there is one thing that drives me crazy it’s someone who complains all the time. The other thing is he is so excited sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop.  This week he taught an hour and 20 minute lessons to bunch of little kids... normally we shouldn’t go over 45 for adults, and I think about 20 for kids. So it is taking some patience but we are working hard. We had really good numbers this week.

So we are teaching Pati you all asked about that, and her daughter. The other two in her family are kids also. She has 5 kids, 3 of them can be baptized. She and her oldest have a baptismal date for this Saturday. We will have to see, I am not so sure with Pati, but with her daughter Litzi I think she will get baptized. We do have a couple of other investigators. Two of them are brand new, we have only seen them once, and the other one isn’t really progressing, but she went to church yesterday so we will see all of them this week and hopefully we can put some more baptismal dates.

Well that’s about all I have to say. Oh and we have a weird transfer this time it’s only 3 weeks long, so we have transfers again in two weeks; that’s really weird. But with so many new missionaries arriving I guess they had to do it this way. So everyone in the mission right now will either go home 3 weeks early or 3 weeks late. It’s really weird, but it’s kind of cool.

This week I started the Book of Mormon again. I am reading it with a few different purposes and it’s been really cool. I am using one of the cheap ones we give out. First I am marking all of the references of Christ as I read, to learn more about him. Then with a different color I am marking everything about the atonement. And with another, everything about the Holy Ghost. So I hope to learn more of Christ his atonement, and how to recognize the spirit as I read the Book of Mormon this time. It’s been super cool and I have learned a lot already. Oh and I am writing all the words I don’t know in the margins, which has only been about 4 per page, so I feel good about that.

I challenge you all to start or continue reading the Book of Mormon. But to do it with a purpose, a question or something in mind that you want to learn. I know that by doing that you all will feel the spirit, receive answers to your prayers, and feel closer to God. I learned a cool phrase this week. It says “if you want God to listen: pray, if you want to receive answers: read”. I can testify that that is true and I challenge you all to test it.

I love and miss you all
Elder Utley

Sunday, February 3, 2013

1/21/13 6 months out &1/28/13 Transfers


Hey Family!

So it’s been kind of a crazy week at home? Sounds like everyone is just super busy. I am jealous of the shooting you guys got to do with the Briggs’s, we will definitely have to do that when I come home. Tell Brooke congrats on her award, and for working so hard. What is Mary up to? When does Coop start soccer again?

So to answer your questions yes when I say ex missionary I mean he is a return missionary, that’s how they that here and I guess I just wasn’t thinking about it. They are both really great. Also we did get moved into our new house, with light and water, and we have everything to get the hot water going but we haven’t been able to connect it yet. And I don’t want to try and do it because it’s a tank of gas, and if I do it wrong we could have some real problems. So until that’s connected we are still showering out of a bucket... fun stuff. We also won’t have the stove working until that gets connected.

Dad it sounds like everything’s going really well at work! That’s exciting. To answer some of your questions we teach about 10 lessons a week to investigators, and about 10-15 more to less-actives, recent converts or to families in the ward. I do make my own breakfast and dinner, right now since we don’t have a stove I have just been eating cereal and making sandwiches. I found a couple stores with peanut butter, I was pretty stoked! But when we have a stove working I am going to start making oatmeal or eggs in the mornings.

So this Sunday we have transfers and next Monday is the traveling day. I really don’t know what’s going to happen, if I will leave or stay. And I don’t really know if I want to leave or stay. So I will just leave it up the president and revelation and hope for the best! I have been feeling a lot better about my Spanish, I can pretty much communicate anything I need to and I understand almost everything too.

This week was a good week of work too. Angel had his interview and he passed, which is really good because he had a couple of things that made us nervous, but he choose to stay with the date we set in the first place for the 26th, so we will have his baptism this week for sure. We also found Pati and her kids again, they were the family we were working with when I got here and decided not to get baptized and stop taking the lessons. But we taught them 2 times this week, the mom went to church, and the oldest daughter asked when she could be baptized. So we are going to put a date with all 4 of them that can be baptized for one of the first two weeks in February. I am really excited, the family is awesome, so that’s kind of the reason I would like to stay here for another transfer. We also received some referrals, finally, and we are going to work with them this week!

I hope you all have a great week. Remember to read the book of Mormon, I am about to finish for my first time in Spanish! I am in the end of 3 Nephi. I know it’s the word of God and his prophets, and our lives are just better when we remember to read it. I love it and I cannot get enough of it.

I love and miss you
Elder Utley

Side note that came with pictures:

Hey you asked for some pictures! I have been taking them, contrary to what you might think, they are just a pain to send.  So this one is one of the activities we did as a district, we went to a buffet for breakfast. Actually one week we did a buffet and this one is we ate carnitas, it’s a type of pork that the Mexicans love, it think its okay. I will send two more of the buffet. I am planning on just sending the memory card home in a few months. I have actually taken like 100 or more pictures. And I will try to be better about it because I have missed some pretty cool stuff too...


Hey Family!

How is everybody! Sounds like you have all had a good busy week. Me too! This week was really good. It went by really fast. Well first of all Angel got baptized this Saturday!!!! I was so excited for him and his family. He still can hardly walk, to the baptism was interesting. Elder Valdes baptized him and I got all dressed up in white and helped with his leg. So there were three of us in the font. Kind of weird but I think the pictures are pretty cool. (Which I don’t have time to send today, I will explain later). His wife gave her testimony after the baptism, about how much the church has helped their family and changed their lives. It was so cool, and so rewarding.

Today we had transfers. Elder Valdes left and I stayed here in Irapuato. My new companion is Elder Alveres, I have only known him for a couple hours but he seems pretty cool and I think he is a good missionary from what I can tell. We will have to see. He is from Oaxuaca, and is about to finish his mission too, he has 20 months here in the mission. I am pretty excited for this transfer, we found a few really good investigators over the last couple weeks and we could potentially baptize a lot!

The weird part about this transfer is that I have heard it will be only 3 weeks instead of 6 weeks. So who knows what’s going to happen with that, I might only be here another 3 weeks or another 9. It’s really unusual for someone to be in an area for more than 6 months though so I’m thinking I will leave after this half transfer.

The other big news is I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the first time, today! I am pretty stoked. I read from the beginning of Alma all the way to the end in this transfer of 6 weeks. I know without a doubt it is true, it changes lives, and helps us become closer to our heavenly father in a way we cannot get from any other source. Read it every day!

I love and miss you all, have an awesome week!
Elder Utley