Sunday, December 22, 2013

December 9 & 16, 2013

December 9, 2013
Hey family!

Well I was shocked to open my inbox and find a bunch of pictures of a snow covered St. George! That looks really fun. I can’t believe they cancelled church, that is crazy. And I also got the picture of the backpacking trip, I was a little jealous, where did you guys go? Was it Zions? I can’t believe you guys are finishing your semester of school; it seems like just yesterday that you were starting again. 

This week was kind of interesting. I had an ingrown toenail, which I have never had before. And I didn’t realize until it was already infected and hurting a lot. And I didn’t want to go to the doctor so I tried to take it out myself, but was unsuccessful. It was beneath the skin and I couldn’t get to it. But I tolerated it for a day. And then I could hardly even walk to we finally went to the doctor. They put anesthesia in my toe and cut it open and took everything out. They did a really good job. But they cut it to the point that they told me not to walk for a day and then try not to walk much. And it was easy to follow their instructions cause it was kind of painful. So we were in the house all of Thursday, it was super boring. But I am going to finish Doctrine and Convents soon and that was kind of exciting.

So we had doctors’ appointments Wednesday and Friday and rested Thursday. We didn’t get a whole lot done. We did see Jorge and put his baptismal date again, but he didn’t go to church so we are going to have to see what happens there. We did get one of the husbands of a member of our ward to go, and we are teaching their son as well. They seem pretty excited to I hope we can get them going more. The problem is that they have a lot of fear to be baptized. 

We also had transfers this week. And it was a testimony that prayers are answered. I wasn’t going to be able to stand my comp for 6 more weeks. I know it might be wrong that I was praying for that, but I am really relieved. He is a good kid and a hard worker but I couldn’t get along with him very well. 

The big news is that I have my first American comp! His name is Elder Craig, he is from San Diego California, and he has 4 months in the mission. He seems like a really cool kid, he runs track and loves baseball. And apart from that is just really excited to be on the mission and work hard. I have a feeling it’s going to be a good transfer! 

This week we have a special zone conference and Elder Johnson (of the 70) is coming to the mission to teach us. He is the area president of México. So that is going to be really cool. I don’t know if we will have a conference for Christmas or not, but I imagine that we will. We still haven’t received any information about the Skype calls for Christmas and I’m not sure how it’s going to be with our new president, but I will let you guys know when I know something. 

Well that’s about it for this week. I want to leave you my testimony that the church is true, that Jesus is the Christ and He lives and loves us. That the Book of Mormon is the word of God and we will grow closer to him by applying the principles that are found in it more than any other book. That we have a living prophet and apostles on the earth. And that God knows and loves us.

I look forward to talking to you all in a couple weeks, I love and miss you all
Elder Utley

December 16, 2013
Hey family!

How is everyone? Sounds like you all had a good week. Is coop still playing soccer? I haven’t heard anything about that. Oh and you guys told me that Real Salt Lake made it to the finals but you never told me who won. By the way I heard that Léon won the championship here in México, that is kind of cool. I can’t believe Christmas is coming so fast, and that this year is going to end. Is it still super cold there, is there still snow? I am assuming so because of the pictures you sent. Here December is like perfect weather.

That also means the Skype call is coming up, we still haven’t heard anything about it from the mission, so I could change but my companion and I are planning on doing it Christmas Day sometime between 5 and 7. Would that be okay?

Well this was a really good week. We worked really hard and saw a lot of results. We still didn’t get many people to church but we are getting there. We had a couple of really good references and we are going to contact them this week. We are getting the ward involved, and we have a lot of help from the stake president’s family who lives on our ward. We also got a new ward mission leader called which is going to help a lot. He is really excited and one of my favorite members.

The conference with Elder Johnson was really good, Elder Ortiz who is also a 70 actually came as well, and he is going to come just to the Irapuato Stake this week! That should be really good. We learned a lot about how to work with the members and how got get their help and support in the ward. And just as importantly how to get references, which is actually working. In 2 days after the conference we got 3 references which is pretty much unheard-of.

I really like my comp Elder Craig, the computer I’m on isn’t working right but I will send a picture of us next week. We do speak a lot of English but it’s been good I need help with my English. And I help him a lot with his Spanish. President said we should speak English because if we don’t we will forget it and then when we get home we will forget Spanish. But if we can practice switching off from one to the other we will have good retention.

We have had a lot of experiences about following the spirit this week. I have learned that we should not question if a prompting is of the spirit or if it’s just one of our thoughts. We should just do it. And we did do it this week and we saw a difference. The other thing is if it’s something we shouldn’t do we just feel empty; we don’t feel anything in our heart. And we had an experience like that this week as well. I know the Lord is guiding and protecting us. The 12th was day of the virgin here in México and it is evidently really dangerous, and we are both Americans, which doesn’t help. We had an appointment in a rather dangerous area and the appointment fell though. When walking back to the house we turned down a street that would have made our route a lot faster and we take it almost every night, but we got ten steps into it and I felt empty. I knew we couldn’t walk down that street. I realized I will probably never know what would have happened if we walked it that night, but I don’t need to. Learning to recognize and follow the spirit is one of the hardest things for me to understand. And I am sure I still lack a lot, but I was thankful this week to know that god was guiding me and my companion. I undoubtedly felt his love. I know I am his son, and we are all his sons and daughters. He loves us. And he has trusted us with his spirit and we must do his will.

I miss and love you guys

Elder Utley

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