Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Hey family!

Sounds like you all have had an amazing week. Me too! Tell the kids thanks for the letters. And mom and dad thank you for the letters as well, they were especially good this week.

Well I got toms last later, it really affected me. I still can’t see the mission ending. But it has been the hardest, most rewarding, best experience of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And his letter put everything in perspective again. It does end, so I will take advantage of every moment while I am here. It sounds like he has grown a ton, and I am happy for him. Tell him congrats for me. He reminded me of a motto I have tried to live in my life. No regrets.

Well this week was awesome! Numbers wise it was the best in my mission. We found 7 new investigators. Including a young man that will be baptized this Saturday. He is active in the church but was never confirmed; he got baptized 4 years ago. So we are going to do the ordinance again. We have been working with his family since I got here, they are really awesome. We are actually going to teach them tonight and then have cake and celebrate a little for my birthday. We taught a ton of lessons this week. We are seeing little miracles daily. Even when some of our plans fall through. I am as happy as I have been in my mission and possibly as happy as I have been in my life.

We also found Luz this week and she went to church. She is excited to be baptized on the 3rd of August. She is doing really well. Her daughter is a little confused but we will work with her this week and hopefully she can be baptized with her mom.

Today was a fun day, the sisters in our district made a cake and we had a little get together with everyone in the district this morning. And then we rented what looked like Flintstone cars, but they were pedal powered, and had races. It was really fun.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I will be excited to celebrate the next one at home with all of you guys! But I am really discovering the joy of losing myself in the work, and today there is no place I would rather be than in good old Celaya Mexico!

I know the church is true. Christ lives and loves us, and is willing and anxious to bless us, but we have to do our part. For every commandment there is a blessing, the more we obey the more blessings we get.

I love and miss you all

Elder Utley

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bajo del cuchillo and Recovery Week

Hey Family

Sounds like you guys have had a buys week and a busy summer. That’s really exciting that Mary got her license, it seems like I just barely got mine. And Coop started acceleration, tell him to work hard, that really helped me. He also told me they might drain sand hollow? What’s that all about? Anyway, good luck at girl’s camp this week. Hope you guys get some good fishing in too.

Well I don’t have a whole lot to tell you guys this week. Surgery went well, it was kind of freaky to have it done here, not to mention it’s the first surgery I have ever had. But everything turned out okay.

The president came on Friday but it wasn’t really to visit me, we had a special zone conference to get to know our new president. And he definitely knows who I am ha ha. He was super nice, and his family too, they were all very concerned. He seems like a really good mission president, and a good guy. I was very impressed. I learned a lot at the conference and the spirit was really strong.

Anyway we got back from the hospital on Wednesday and just slept and rested. Then we slept most of Thursday morning. Then we went in a taxi to an appointment and again in taxi to the food with the members. And we actually had another appointment that night, and as we stopped a taxi a member offered us a ride. So that was nice. And on Friday we got up normal and studied and went to a few appointments, I got brave and started taking buses cause taxis are expensive, and in the afternoon we had our zone conference and I got to rest during that. And starting Saturday we started working like normal again. It’s been rather amazing how fast I have recovered. But I guess we get some special blessing as missionaries to be able to do what we do.

Luz and her daughter didn’t go to church and we couldn’t see them this week. We are super bummed because her husband prohibited her from going and listening this week. But her friend that gave us the reference is going to talk to her and her husband and see what they can do, because she and her daughter really want to listen and change.

On Sunday we had kind of a cool experience. One of the young men in our ward got his appendix taken out. And I was able to share a little of my experience with him and some of the thoughts I had. And I think it really helped him and his family.

I talked to them about a scripture in 2nd Nephi that talks about how it’s necessary that there is opposition in all things, and that we have to experience pain and trials to know good health and happiness. And a quote from Elder Eyring that talks about when everything is going good in his life he prays to the Lord and says give me mountains. All trials happen so that we can learn something, and are the best way to learn in this life. That’s why the Lord allows them.

I have been grateful for this experience, it has allowed me to exercise my faith and realize the testimony I have of the gospel and of this work. It would have been really easy to just go home, take time to recover, it would have been comfortable and I would have had my family to help me. I could have gotten back into swimming to lose the weight I need to so that this doesn’t happen again, and gone back to normal life. But I realized my work here isn’t done yet, and I don’t even have the desire to go home. I want to share what I know, and I still have a lot to learn in my mission. And I have actually been more excited to work and share the gospel since all that happened. It helped me realize my purpose here and testimony and I am grateful for it.

But we should not wait for a trail to come to be humbled like that. Like Alma taught in Alma 32, the people were blessed because they were humble. But they were poor and cast out and that’s why they were humble. He said even more blessed are those that done have to be compelled to be humble.

Well I love and miss you guys, have fun with all the activities these next few weeks
Elder Utley

Hey family!

Well I am sorry you didn’t get my messages for a while last week. The place where we usually write was closed and we had to go to another but it wasn’t very nice and me and my companion both had problems with messages not sending. But the good thing is it got there. Sounds like you guys have had a buys couple of weeks. But, lots of fun. Before you know it the summer will be over and everyone will be back to normal schedules!

So mom told me she got into nurse practitioner school! Congratulations!!! When do you start? What are the hours like? Where is it?

Well my week was good. I have been feeling good. I got my stiches out this Thursday, I was going to do it Saturday but the skin started healing over the stitches and it was really hurting. And its healing really nicely, it doesn’t look too bad even though the scars are big. The bummer is that there is a ton of scar tissue underneath and it all hard and feels kind of funny. But the doctor told me that will mostly go away with time.

As far as the work goes, we had a decent week. I still took it kind of easy but we worked like normal. We had problems with all of our appointments falling through this week, at least with investigators, but we visited a ton of less actives and new converts. We had a goal for 40 total lessons this week, but we ended up having some activities of service and district activities, which took up a lot of time. But we still had 30, and I am content with that because the mission standard of excellence is 25. My comp has been awesome. He had the same surgery so he can really relate and that experience really helped us become friends really fast. We have been working really hard. Bummer is that he will probably get transferred in the next transfer the first week of August...

Anyway we got to teach a few new investigators, and we taught one lesson to Luz and Lucy and it went really well, we put a new baptismal date with them, and they were really excited but they didn’t show up to church, so we will have to go see what happened there. We were kind of bummed this week, we had 10 investigators commit to go to church and not one of them went... but they have their agency we can only invite. Apart from that we invited like 5 or 6 less actives who committed to come as well, and only one showed up. So in the sacrament meeting I was kind of bummed and thinking of what we can do better to get people to church, and how I could be better as a missionary. And I was just supper bummed that those people didn’t come. But about halfway in a family of 3 walked into the church and just sat down. I looked at my companion and he said they weren’t members. They ended up being a family that one of the members had invited about a month or two ago and today they just showed up. That is huge! And they are going to go again next week. We have an appointment Wednesday with them. It was cool to see that if we work hard the lord is willing to bless us even if the people we teach use their agency and don’t act according to what they know.

Well that’s about it for this week. I hope everything goes well with coops soccer camp and Mary’s EFY, and all the activities. The youth in our ward went to EFY last week and came back completely changed people it was cool to hear all of their experiences. (They do EFY for stakes and they have all the stakes in the mission go to one EFY together)

I love and miss you all
Elder Utley

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First week in Celaya

Hey family!

First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I hope it has been a great day! It is super cool that I get to write you on your birthday. What are you guys going to do? Hope everything goes well and have a great day!

Also I got a few pictures from the surprise party you threw for Mary, looked like a lot of fun! Tell her I want to hear from her on what it’s like when 2 worlds collide ha ha (I might know a little about that, but it was voluntary on my part.). How did coop like scout camp? It’s kind of a bummer it wasn’t a stake or scout camp for his first one, but I am sure it was fun none the less.

I hear you guys are trying to kill the family tradition of Escalante this year, again. I hope you get to go this weekend, tell Mary and Brooke that we go to Salt Lake all the time and Escalante only comes once a year.

Well this week went really well for us. I really like my companion he is a super hard worker and excited to have a new companion as well. This week we put 2 baptismal dates for Luz and her daughter Lucy. They found them 2 days before I got here, and we taught them 3 or 4 times this week, but even in a week I can see a huge change in them. The mom didn’t think that repentance was possible, but she is now super excited to get baptized and change her life. She has some things to change but is really excited. We also worked with a lot of members and had some good lessons, today and yesterday we received 3 or 4 references that we are going to work to contact this week. We taught 30 lessons and that was with a lot of time restraint, the mission goal is 25. Its super exciting to be here where there is so much work if we want it.

The ward is one of the biggest in the mission, the chapel was completely full and there were about 170 people there. I really like Celaya. I comparison to the other cities I have been in it is bigger. I think Irapuato is about two thirds of the size and Matehuala is about a tenth of the size. There are 2 zones here but just one stake.

Well that’s about it for this week, I just want to testify that this is Christ’s work, and his church. Because of his atonement we can repent, and receive help and guidance in difficult times, consolation in others, and be able to overcome weaknesses and make them strong points in our lives. (Ether 12 27) I know Christ lives and loves us and watches out for us. And that prayer is the basic for us to communicate with him, and that scriptures and church attendance are the basic forms to receive answers.

I love and miss you all. Again happy birthday mom,

Elder Utley