Happy heart day

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Los Kitchens,                                                                                                   December 17, 2012

¿Que tal? Hey everybody! Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I really appreciate it. It´s way crazy to me too that I´m already 20 years old. It was good to hear from all of you, thanks! Sounds like everyone is doing great. Well as for my birthday weekend...it went great!! It was different, but awesome. So first on the 14th we went to our planned Christmas Activity at the Mission Home with President and Sister Reeves and half the mission (the other half went on a different day). We played a few games outside, busted a pinata, sang Christmas songs, ate some really good food, watched a bit of the broadcast with Mo-tab and the Prophet, and then opened a little present that Sister Reeves made for all of us. They were hand-knit scarfs cool huh? It was such a fun activity. Oh you guys have asked a bit about my Mission President, and I keep forgetting to tell you about him and Sister Reeves. They are both SO awesome. President Reeves has such a powerful testimony. He does so much for the mission. He is also just a really calm, friendly guy who has a sense of humor. I haven´t got to see or hear from him a whole bunch, probably like 5 or 6 times. Sister Reeves is a great "mission mom" as you can see she does a lot for us too. Anyway so on the 15th Dolores got baptized!!! We had a service with two niñas that are 8 years old with Dolores too. Elder Tinoco baptized both of the little girls, and I was privileged to be able to baptize Dolores! Cool huh? My first baptism and confirmation on my birthday, and I got to do it :) It was such a great experience. I´m so happy for Dolores and his decision to change his life and follow the Savior. He is going to be a great member. I have a cool story of something that happened right after the service. We had some soda and cookies, and when just about everybody had left...guess who randomly walked into the Chapel?! Victor with my Christmas/birthday present!! I was so surprised! I honestly have no idea how he found me all the way up here in Atexcac in the church. He was with a couple of family members that are from here. He gave me my present, his number if I will need anything, took a couple of pictures to send you guys, and then they were on their way. Wow he is a really nice guy! I thanked him and his family for their kindness. What a cool surprise right after my first baptismal service. When we got home that night I´ll have to admit I couldn´t help but open it a little early haha. I figured that the 15th would just be when I celebrated my birthday because the 16th was the sabbath and all. So...I LOVED my package. Wow guys thank you so so much! Mom you really out-did yourself :) I have enough chocolate to last me forever! It´s perfect. I love the Ipod too its so cool!! The music is great too Mom thank you so much I can tell you spent a lot of time on that. I´ve already listened to a lot of songs, and they´re awesome. Also Elder Tinoco says thank you for the tie. We both wore them yesterday on my birthday. We also made some P B & Js which were awesome! Thanks again guys I loved it. It means a lot to me. I also really enjoyed all your letters that were inside. Anyway on the 16th we got to confirm Dolores into the church. Also there was like a Christmas program from the primary. As for the rest of the day I told my companion not to make it a big deal. We had a few teaching appointments and things. It felt good to forget myself and try and help other people. As for today we had a zone activity planned. We went up close to Popo to eat and play soccer. It was fun. We are also going to have cake with our investigator Adán later today because he wanted to buy cake for me yesterday, but we wouldn´t let him brake to sabbath for my cake haha! So my birthday was awesome!! 

We had a really good week. We taught Dolores the rest of the lessons that he needed for Saturday which went awesome. He really was the definition of a golden investigator. We also had two first lessons; one with Anita and other with someone named Tomasa who was a reference. 2 new investigators! We are excited to keep working with them this week. We also did service this week a couple times for Adán our other investigator and his family. We are really getting to know them well. They are all really funny. We had a great lesson with Adán on my birthday. I shared a detailed experience, and after I really didn´t know how I spoke so well. I know the Lord is helping me so much with the language. The gift of tongues is real. We also had quite a few lessons with less-active members as well. It was a great week for us here in Atexcac. Well I wish I could tell you all more about the work, and some experiences, but I don´t have time! 

Thank you so much for an awesome Christmas package. It was a birthday that I will honestly NEVER forget. I love and miss each and every one of you. I hope that you are all enjoying the holiday season!  Anyway thanks again. I love you guys. It was surreal baptizing Dolores. I remember being a bit nervous right before because I wanted to say everything right in Spanish and what not. I said a quick prayer in my heart and asked for strength, power, and confidence. Instantly I was not nervous anymore. I said the words perfectly and powerfully. I know that prayer is real, powerful, and essential. Never underestimate the power of a simple heartfelt prayer. I have to rely on the Lord out here, and I continually plead for His divine help. No matter what we are doing in our lives, we can receive the same divine help from our Father in Heaven. Through sincere pray we literally do receive divine help, guidance, and comfort. I love you guys! Have a great week! I can´t thank you enough for all the continued love and support. Until next week!

Con Amor,
Elder Kitchen
Dear Family,                                                                                                 December 10, 2012

P-days just keep coming` don`t they? It`s crazy how fast the week comes and goes. Anyway oh before I forget, the shoes did finally come. Apparently the zone leaders have had them for a little while now, but we haven`t seen them in a while. They are not the same ones as I have now, but they should work out just fine. I`ll save em` until the ones I have now start falling apart I guess. Well it sounds like everyone had a great week! I really look forward to reading your letters and hearing how everybody is doing. Yesterday sounded like a good Sunday. Tell Nick hi for me! I can`t believe he is already home. Also thanks for going to Chandler`s farewell Dad I`m sure that he appreciated you being there. Sounds like he is ready to go. I`m glad that he put his head on straight and he`s heading for the mission field haha. So dad he mentioned me specifically in his farewell talk? He`s going to do great out there in Oregon. Also it was cool to hear about Cameron coming home and ya`ll going hunting again. Man, I leave and ya`ll decide to go hunting everyday huh? I`m joking looks like you guys had fun. Tell Cameron estoy emocionado poder placticar con Èl en Español cuando regresarè tambìen. Dìgale tambíen ser listo por que voy a hablar bien rapido y con un accento mèxicano perfecto. Tal vez no entenderà ;) Anyway yeah Dad that Carne Asada was to die for. I had like 5 or 6 tacos mmm. I`ll have to get some recipies and try and make some good Mexican food when I get home. So 20 degrees huh? Wow I`m not mission that at all haha. Hope you guys are having a good time! I`m wearing a short-sleeved shirt right now. Oh and Mom no I haven`t gotten a letter from Kylie yet...I actually have only received one letter so far. I don`t know if the zone leaders are holding anymore right now, or not. I also wanted to thank you again mom for spending so much time getting my package ready. Dad told me you`ve been spending a lot of time with it. I really appreciate it. Love you Mamma. It`s weird that I`m about to turn 20 years old. It`s doesn`t really feel like it. Also it doesn`t feel like my birthday is coming up cause it`s usually always cold. What`s going on with my sisters? I feel like they died or something, because I haven`t heard from them yet. Jami...? Kaylee...? You guys still alive? haha I hope you guys are doing good and enjoying High School. High School...I can`t believe you are both in High School. That scary. Dad I was cracking up with the end of your email haha. It must have been pretty late huh? Good luck with the old man check up ;)

Anyway I`ll tell you a bit about the work here in Atexcac. We`re already on the 3rd week of the 2nd change which means I only have 4 more weeks of training left. I wonder what will happen at the end of this change. Well Dolores is still progressing really well. We taught him the 3rd lesson, and started with the commandments this week. On Sunday, we taught keeping the sabbath day holy, which went really well. If all goes planned this week I will have my first baptism on Saturday the 15th and the confirmation on Sunday the 16th. Dolores is such a prepared investigator. He`s great. It`s kinda funny because he talks really really fast and has a little bit of a speak problem, so I don`t understand him very well. My comp doesn`t even understand him sometimes. When it comes to lessons though we are able to understand each other well. I`m really excited for this week. We also had a lesson with Adàn our new investigator yesterday. We found him in the area book and saw that he had received the missionaries and part of the 1st lesson a long time ago. We read that he had an issue accepting Joesph Smith. We felt strongly in planning to start teaching him the Gospel with the Plan of Salvation. So we did, and the lesson went really really well. We hope that we can get him to church this Sunday, and to the baptism. We also plan on teaching the Restoration to him in our next lesson. Those are our only 2 progressing investigators right now. We have quite of few of potential investigators that we are working to set up appts. with all the time, so I`m sure we will get the opportunity to teach them soon. We served quite a bit this week too. Everyone is harvesting corn and a little fruit called tejocotes, so we help chuck corn and stuff a lot. Oh yeah also I got sick for the first time this week. It was only for one day about 24 hours so we think it was something I ate. It wasn`t too bad. I got to rest it out and I had some medicine and everything. Anyway that`s what has been going on around here.

Well I better wrap it up. Thanks again for all the support. Tell Grandma and Grandpa Kitchen/Ellsworth thanks for the continued support as well.  I love and pray for all of you. I miss you too, especially over the holidays, but I know I`m wear I need to be and I honestly wouldn`t want to be anywhere else right now. I am so grateful for all the blessing the Lord continues to bless our family with. I hope that you all continue to enjoy the holiday season, and that you keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas. Without our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement we wouldn`t be anything, but with him we can hope for all things. Have a great week!

Con Amor y Siempre Fruete,
Elder Kitchen
¿Que Hacen? (greeting unique to Atexcac...doesn´t make much sense literally)  December 3, 2012

Hey hey everybody! How´d the week go? We had a really good week! Looks like you guys are working hard and having fun too, so that´s good. So am I :) That´s cool you got to go hunting again Dad. Sounded like you and your girlfriend Kit had a good time with Nate and the guys. haha. To answer your question, no we haven´t had a zone conference yet, but we have had what is calling a zone meeting, which to me seems like the same thing. I have had a few experiences with my zone already. Also, my knee is doing really well. I make sure to do my hamstring workouts every morning when I work out, so it should be nice and strong to jump cliffs in Park City when I get home ;) Anyway Mom sounds like you guys had a good time up in Salt Lake at the Christmas Devotional. I enjoyed both the pictures that you sent. Keep ém comin. And yeah we didn´t get to see the Devotional here, and even if we did it would have been in Spanish, so it would have taken my full focus to understand it all. I feel like as long as I´m not distracted (like eating or something) and that I´m putting my full focus in to what people are saying, I can pretty much understand everything. Almost. There are times when I don´t, and it gets frustrating because I really want to be able to. As far as speaking, that is coming a little slower than the understanding (which is normal I´ve been told) but I´m pretty much able to roughly communicate anything that I want to say. It just depends on the context really. We have a new District Leader Elder Matt from Park City who has 21 months in the mission, and Elder Tinoco says that I have a better accent than him already. So that makes me feel good. Oh and as far as reading, if it´s in PMG I understand pretty much everything I´m reading. Scriptures...not as well, but I still understand. I´m almost done with 2 Nephi in B.O.M in Spanish. Yeah the Isiah chapters? Didn´t understand hardly anything in Spanish haha. Anyway...to answer your question Mom Nealtican is just like a bigger version of Atexcac. A pueblitio. It´s about 20 minutes away. We are in the Nealtican Norte stake, and some of our zone is there too. There is actually 2 stakes in Nealtican and Atexcac which is a ton of members. They call it a pueblito version of Utah haha because of all the members.

So I´ll tell you a bit about the work and how my week went. There is a ton that happened, so I probably won´t be able to write it all. As for our new investigator Christina, she isn´t progressing because we weren´t able to see her this week either. We´ll keep working with her. Our prayers are really starting to be answered though. We should be able to teach and get new investigators with some of the contacts I told you about last week. We set up appts. with a girl named Anita, her sister and cousin, and also with someone named Adrian. It didn´t work out this week, but they look promising. They are good references and their whole families aren´t members. Other than that we have 2 other investigators that we are working with. One is named Adán who is new from last night (Sundays are the best days here). We taught him and he wants to hear more. Also I´ve got to tell you about our progressing investigator Dolores. He is like 34 years old and works with sheep. He has totally been prepared by the Lord to receive the Restored Gospel. We have already taught him the first 2 lessons and he has a baptism date for the 15th of Dec! If it all works out then the confirmation will be on the birthday the 16th cool huh?! He is so willing and already has really strong beliefs. Here is a quick bio of his story: both his parents have died, one from alcohol related issues. He used to have a drinking problem too, but he had an experience (I don't know when) where he made a promise to God that he would never drink again. Very recently he had a dream of our church (don't know the details) so the very next Sunday, like a couple weeks ago he just showed up at church all by himself. Cool huh. He told us he already received an answer from God that the Book of Mormon is true and he already believes. He was talking about wanted to be baptized before we even committed him to a date haha he is awesome. We´re excited for him.

Well I better go. I hope this week goes really well for all of you. I hope that school is treating you all well, and that work is good for you Dad. Has Tyler moved back in yet? How is everything coming along for the BYU-H? I hope you are all enjoying the holidays. Tell all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents that I miss em and happy holidays. Everything's is going good here. Until next week, Love you guys

Con Amor
Elder Kitchen

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

¿Comò le va fam?                                                                                      November 26, 2012
Wow you`re right mom the weeks are just blowing by! I`ve already been out here for one whole change (6 weeks). I will have for sure another whole change with my trainer Elder Tinoco, and then who knows? We would stay with eachother in this same area, he could leave and I could stay or vice versa. Mom that`s CRAZY that Nic is almost already home! Now I know why the time just flys by. I can`t belive Steve is alreay hit his half-way mark too. I`ll have to try and get ahold of him someone one of these days. Man, Tyler was right P-day are busy. I have time to write you guys and that`s about it other than a email to a missionary of something. Sounds like Thanksgiving was good for everybody. I`m glad. Dad I got a kick of you Kit watching TV haha that`s funny. As for my Thanksgiving it was obviously different, but actually really good and a lot like a Thanksgiving should be! It was Elder Betts (in my district) birthday on Thanksgiving, so they invited us to go to their comida appt. because they were making something really good for his birthday. It was WAY good and there was a ton of it. They also had a legit Mexican piñata that we all took turns wacking at. So that was at about 2:00 pm. Then again the same day we were invited to a zone activity in Nealtican to eat a thanksgiving dinner with the whole zone. Those pictures are of the dinner we had. It was really goood. The house we went to was the President of Nealican`s house and it was the nicest house I`ve been to here in Mexico. They are really rich. So yeah Thanksgiving was pretty awesome for me too! Oh and the other picture is of the basketball court behind our Chapel here in Atexcac. Elder Tinoco and I had been planning a missionary/ward activity for a while now. It was a fubòl tournament with the whole ward with food and music and stuff. It took a lot of planning on behalf and Elder Tinoco and I. The goal was to have members bring non-member friends which didn`t really work out that well. We did have a TON  of less-active members show up though so that was good. Well it sounds like everyone is doing great. Tell Tyler good luck with all the packing and everything and let me know how all that goes. Thanks mom for all the encouraging words, and Dad for the words about patience. It`s definetly true. And hey dad look at Either 12:27 and think about patience...anything is possible that`s all I`m sayin` haha :) I hope Jami had fun snowboarding and Kaylee is doing good too. I was actually happy to hear that the snow isn`t very good yet haha sorry for you guys but it makes me happy over here! 
Anyway this week went really good. There was slow times, and some busy times too. Something really cool happened yesterday. I swear Sundays are the best days ever. Especially here because it`s the only day that everybody is home. We had some teaching appt. fall through so we went contacting for some people that were references from members. We made 5 contacts and we have appt. with all of them to teach the 1st lesson to! That`s huge for us right now. We`re hoping for 5 new investigators! So that was cool. Also, we went to go teach Hermana Cristina the Plan of Salvation, but she wasn`t there today. Bummer. We only get one chance a week to teach her because she is only here on weekends. Anyway the work is going really great. We are excited for all the work we have to do next week. It`s an answer to my prayers.
Anyway I better get off now. Oh one question you guys have been asking, but I keep forgetting to answer is the weather here. Well in the mornings and the nights it`s actually kind of cold, but in the afternoons it`s warm enough to wear a short sleeved shirt. I`m fine though I have a little jacket I wear when its cold. Compared to Utah it`s not cold at all! Well I love you guys and miss you. I`m glad to hear you are all doing well. Keep it up with scriptures and prayers, you`re right it makes a huge difference in our lives. Oh I wanted to tell you Mom and Dad when you want to read another book read Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage. It is an amazing book!! I`m about half way and I have learned so much more about Jesus Christ and his life. I highly recommend it. It`s mind blowing really. I hope you all have an amazing week!!
Until next week
Siempre Fuerte
Con Amor
Elder Kitchen

Saturday, November 24, 2012

¿Que onda mì familia?                                                                             November 19, 2012
Hey everybody! ¡Buenos tardes from Huejotzingo! (Huejo) I enjoyed hearing about your week mom and dad. Just a quick heads up I only have about 20 minutes to write today sorry! It might be a little short. We have an appointment right at 6:00 and we still have to take a combie up to Atexcac. Dad those pictures were really cool thanks for sending them. I really like that one of Kit. I miss that dog you guys should tell her Hi for me haha. Anyway Mom I hope you get feeling better, Dad told me that you weren`t feeling all that great. Also, good luck with submitting all your grades and everything. I`m proud of you Mom, being a school teacher and all. It`s really cool how you went back to school and got your degree. That`s something else I´ve already really learned to appreciate here: a good education. Man I am so grateful for my education. I can just see now what a huge blessing it is. At one point in my life I would have laughed if you told me that I`d be saying this someday, but it really is true. A lot of people in our area do not have a very good education at all. Some don`t even know how to read. We visit a less active Hermana that is probably in her 60`s and she doesn´t know how to read or write. We come over and read the Book of Mormon to her sometimes. Anyway sounds like all is well with the Kitchen family. Tyler I`m way excited for you and BYU Hawaii!! That will be an awesome experience for you man. You`ll have to tell me all about it when you get out there. Happy thanksgiving everybody!! I hope you have a good holiday. As for me I don`t know if we`ll do anything or not. There has been talk about our zone doing something fun, but I´m not exactly sure. Oh and no I haven`t received the shoes yet. I don´t know if there is any way to track it and see where it is, but my companion says it usually takes about 2 weeks or more for a package and then you have to get if from your zone leaders at some kind of reunion with them, so hopefully it will come soon. 

Man the work this week was really slow! We had a trainer/new missionary meeting on Tuesday with Pres. in downtown Puebla that took most of the day, and then the very next day we had interviews with Pres. in our zone leader`s area, which by the time we traveled there, did the interviews, and traveled but, it was most of the day too. The rest of the week went slow also, but we had opportunities to serve and to teach/visit members/less active members. As for investigators Margarita really isn`t progressing anymore until her and Hector finally get married. They want to they just don`t have the money right now. Most people are really poor here in Atexcac. I won`t lie, I got a little disappointed one night because I just really want to teach investigators and to be a little busier then we are. I`m fine though. We have been praying long and hard to have more investigators and more work and guess what?? Ours prayers were answered last night! We vistied Hermano Bentura the recent convert with the 97 yrs old abuealita haha she is funny I`m not sure I`ve mentioned her yet. Anyway we visited them and came to find out that one of his sisters Hermana Christina that visits on weekends is not a member. She was interested and we got the chance to teach the Restoration to her! New investigator! Wooh! Here in Atexcac that is exciting for us. Something funny real quick about that 97 year old grandma. She is super Catholic, and so one time when we were there we showed her a picture of Jesus from my pic book. She was like "ohhh mì Senor and mì Dios" and she started to pray to the pictures and do the cross thing and then she kissed it. It was quite the scene. Anyway me and Elder Tinoco were saying if she could actually hear what we were teaching about the Restoration she would probably freak out and say it was wrong, but she can`t hear hardly anything ahah. We have all kinds of funny experiences here in Atexcac mixed in with the spiritual ones too. It`s great.

Anyway I`ve probably got to go now. We`ve gotta fill up our girafon pure water jug and head back up to good ol` Atexcac. I love each and every one of you. I pray for your happiness and success. Being out here living amongst these poor humble people has made me appreciate what we have so much more. Never forget how blessed we are. It`s mind-blowing to me how blessed we are. The thing is though, these people are blessed too. Material things don`t matter in life. They are happy and content with the way that they live. It is so inspiring to see the way the Gospel of Jesus Christ uplifts and blesses the lives of the people here and people everywhere. I love coming to church and seeing all the people dressed all nice and worshiping the Lord. There are literally only a few things in this life with eternal significance. Your strength in the Gospel of Jesus Christ: relationship with your Father in Heaven, scriptures, etc. And your family. I´ve realized that these people have both, and I can see the way the Gospel blesses their families. Don`t ever loose sight of what matters most. We are blessed with a lot, but the biggest blessings of all are the ones of eternal significance. Everybody no matter how much they might have materialistically speaking can have the opportunity to enjoy these blessing. Anyway I love you guys. Thank you for all the continued prayers and support!

Until next week, y siempre fuerte,
Con Amor
Elder Kitchen
¡Hola Familia!                                                                                                  November 12, 2012
Before I forget I think that it is best to have this added to my address:

Elder Ryan Ellsworth Kitchen
Misión México Puebla Sur
31 Poniente 109 int. 201
Colonia Chula Vista
Puebla, Puebla México 72420

So I would start giving this one to people and using it. The other one without the extras should work just fine as long as my name is on it. This one is just more specific.

Anyway how has everybody been this week? Man, looks like Dad is working hard haha just kidding Dad looks like you´re having a good time. You work hard, so you deserve it. I really enjoyed the pictures that you sent me! Looks like an awesome place to go Pheasant hunting. Kit is looking good. Tell Rick, Kate, and the guys from work hi for me. I actually just got that second picture and dang you´re right it looks like it should go on a hunting magazine! Anyway I hope all is well with the family, and that you are all happy and well. Mom you mentioned how it is almost Christmas and how it´s nuts how fast the year has gone by and I would have to agree. Can you all believe that it was a year ago since we went to New Zealand and when Tyler got home from his mission?! I can´t. Time goes by fast. That´s why it´s important to make the best of it. Well I´m pretty bummed that Mit didn´t win the election. Oh well. I guess you´re right mom we gotta pray Obama does a little better this time around haha. Okay so a bit more about my companion: He has 2 sisters and 1 brother who is leaving on his mission in Dec 5th to Guatemala. He has a sense of humor like me, but he is a great trainer and missionary too. We get along really well. We´ve had a lot of fun already so far, and that´s important to have fun on the mission.

Yeah those changes are pretty big huh? Like you all said it´s an effective way to do missionary work. Mom you´re right it is amazing because the church will be able to be stronger and the wards will be a lot stronger too. Something else cool that bishop told us in ward council this Sunday. He went to a meeting with our mission Pres. with all the bishops in the stake and discussed the new changes. He said that as we begin to teach the 5 lessons to less active members, for example, if the family has a the two parents, a young men/young women aged child, and a kid in primary, then the first lesson we would go with lets say someone from the ward representing the Elders Quorum. Then the second someone from the Relief Society. Then the third with someone from the young mens/young women's program. You get the picture. It´s going to really help the work and the wards here in México.

Anyway this week we have like 8 lessons with less active families and 9 lessons with members teaching the restoration. We plan to make another appt. with the members to teach the 1st lesson again, but this time they will invite a non-member friend. Also we will continue to teach less actives all the lessons with visitors from the ward. It´s going to be cool. As for work with investigators this week, it was really slow. Our only progressing invest. is Hermana Margarita. We are still working on a marriage with her. So we hope to be able to teach more invest. in the next upcoming weeks throught the members. In the mean-time we will continue to teach members and less-actives in efforts to strengthen the church here in our area.

One experience and then I´ve got to wrap it up. I still need to write Tyler and my mission Pres. Yesterday we visited a family that is almost completely inactive. Familia Torres. We came to teach the whole family, but it only ended up being the parents. We talked a lot first and got to know them better (BTW language is coming along good, gift of tongues is real. I´m starting to understand most of the time now, and I´m able to say a lot...at least when it comes to lessons and the gospel). Anyway we then asked him why he doesn´t come to church anymore with his family. He actually opened up to us and told us of some struggles that he has been having with the commandments and other things. He said that he used to be a bishop and that he knows the church is true. He knows the scriptures really well too. I felt prompted to share Either 12:27 with him and share in broken Spanish how what is in this verse has happened to me. I shared with him my testimony and I felt the spirit really strongly. He wanted us to come visit again next week, so that will be good. Anyway I have had a good time teaching a whole lot this week. I´ve been able to bare testimony many times. I know I´m doing the work that the Lord wants me to. We have like 50 or more less active families in our ward, so we got a lot of work to do, and hopefully along the way we can teach investigators too.

May God continue to bless our family. Stay strong and do the simple things. Everyday :)
Siempre Fuerte
Con Amor
Elder Kitchen

¡Hola!                                                                                                          November 5, 2012
Hey everybody how`s it going? I can`t believe it`s already P-day again it`s crazy how time is flying. Tomorrow I will have been out on my mission for almost 3 months total...weird. Well I`ll first try and answer the questions that you had. Okay so no my comp. and I probably speak more English together because its just hard to communicate in Spanish still. It`s not good I know. One of my goals is to start speaking Spanish with him more. I`ll work on that. Yes we walk everywhere we go, but our area is really not big at all, so It`s not a big deal. We have a couple of out-lying houses that are a pretty far walk, but other than that and how everywhere is steep hills its fine. There is only little tiny stores here in Atexcac, so on P-days we take a taxi, bus, or combie to the nearest city called Huejo. We actually decided to write here in Huejo that`s why I`m writing earlier than normal. Huejo is pretty big and a lot crazier than our nice calm little town up in Atexcac, but its fun to come out here. We just ate some really really good tacos at this restaurant mmm. There is a pretty big grocery store here that we like to do our shopping at. As for bugs we do have spiders, but there aren´t very many not a big deal. Flies are everywhere and I hate them haha, but we control them in our house. There are bugs called chinches which are like bed bugs, but worse. Elder Tinoco and I pretty well got ride of them with bug spray, so no problems anymore. As for zone conference and zone leaders I have only seen my zone leaders once at a meeting we had last Tuesday, other than that I don`t even know who is in my zone yet ha. We actually have a 4 person District up here in Atexcac. Elder Shipley (DL from Cali) Elder Betts Elder Tinoco and I. They have a bigger area just below us. We see them all the time, and they actually live pretty close to us. And yes Dad, I`m writing in my journal every night. I never want to forget the experiences I`m having. Yes Mom Popo is active and it puffs smoke or whatever every day, but just a little like in the picture. It doesn`t reach here or anything its not that bad.

That`s cool to hear about all that is going on at home. I`m happy to hear about Micheal Wells and Dave Clarke! We have so many missionaries from our ward its nuts. Tell Brother Harris congrats and thanks again for being a great teacher and leader over the years. He is an awesome guy. Also hearing about Krissy makes me so pumped! First girl of the Ellsworth family, that's cool. Tell her good luck and that I`m proud of her for me. Mom/Dad thank you for all the uplifting and kind things you always send me in the emails. Mom it`s cool to hear about your class and all the things you`re learning from the scriptures. The learning is endless. I`m always learning from the scriptures and I`m confident that I will my whole life. I love all of you guys so much. Keep up the good work. Oh and yes mom I know what siempre fuerte means :) Good phrase. Oh and Dad I just read your email! That`s awesome! Now I can just use the Eccos on my mission and save the Johnston and Murphey`s for when I get home. Cool news. Thanks for doing that for me.

Okay so a little bit about my week and the work. First of all I`ll try and tell you about the big changes we had in the meeting I was talking about on Tuesday. It was with 2 zones, the APs, and the Mission Pres. I`m sure he did the meeting with all the mission over time. So it is a big change that came from the Area Pres. of Mexico and stuff and it is effective for every mission in Mexico. I`ll start with the biggest thing first: No more tracking, and only contact when the spirit directs. We are going to be working along side of members a lot more. There is a lot of work to be done with members, and there is a ton of less active members in Mexico too. Another reason could be the danger I don`t know. Other changes: We will be teaching active members the Restoration and then setting up appt. to teach it again with a non-member friend. Also, we are going to be teaching less actives all 5 lessons! We`re about to get a lot busier. We`ll be able to strengthen member and less actives through teaching, and we will be able to get more referrals through the members. There was a couple other changes, but they weren`t big and I can`t remember them right now. I know that this is the way the Lord wants his work to be done here in Mexico. I lot of the other missionaries said after the meeting that this is the way it should have been for a while now, so it`s a good change. Also Elder Tinoco and I have some referals and potential new investigators on the horizon. The work is really starting to pick up it seems like. As for this week, we did a lot of helping members, and teaching less active/members. I actually have some sad news about our investigator family. We visited them on Wednesday to set up an appt. and long story short we won`t be teaching them lessons anymore. It was a sad day for us. They are really having a hard time with the idea of changing their religion. Their whole family in Puebla is Catholic. Also another and probably bigger reason is they have had a few bad experience with members not treating them very good and stuff. hmmp. That`s why we need to work with some members haha. It`s too bad when that happens though. Obviously they didn`t read the Book of Mormon with real intent and pray with real intent we could tell. We will be able to visit them still, so we are still hopeful. Also, Margarita and Hector (her member husband) still haven`t made a wedding date, so we`re working on that still. I`m excited for the work coming up.

Well I wish I had more time to tell you about my Sunday yesterday, but I don`t. Next week maybe. We ate a soup with Chile De Arbòl and it was the hottest spicy-est thing I`ve ever had and same with E. Tinoco. We were both sweating and crying hahaha. I had to pray my way through that one too. Anyway I love all of you!! May God be with you and continue to bless our family. May the Gospel light and the love of our Heavenly Father continue to uplift and enlighten your lives.

Until next week
Siempre Fuerte :)
Elder Kitchen

Monday, October 29, 2012

¿Que Hace mí familia?                                                                              October 29, 2012
Hey everybody! What´s going on how is everyone doing?? Sounds like you´re all doing great from you email. How did you like hearing about my area? Pretty crazy huh? Sorry I didn´t have very much time to write. I have more time to write today, so I´ll try and explain what my life is like these days haha. Thanks Dad for telling me about Chandler!! Thats awesome I´m really happy for him. Mom sounds like school is goin really good I´m glad to hear. What´s Jami, Kaylee, and Tyler been up to? That´s cool it snowed Dad...I´m going to miss snowboarding, but who cares I´m on my mission I´ll go when I get back :) haha. It actually snowed on the tops of Popo and the big cool mountain right by it (called Ixztazihuatl) this week when it rained here in Atexcac. I will send you a picture of the other mountain that we live right by next week I don´t have one right now.
Anyway hmmmmm where do I start? I should probably start by explaining Atexcac and everything better. I didn´t have enough time last week, so the way I explained it was very vauge. Okay so it´s not as in the sticks as I explained it last week...at least not everywhere and everybody. Yes there are concrete huts/house things and families that don´t have very much at all, but there are also concrete houses that people have that are more, but still not much. Everybody has electricity and running water, so it´s not like 3rd world or anything, but its just a whole lot different than anything I´ve ever experienced. Most people that live here work in los campos (the fields) where they harvest corn, peas, beans, fruit, you name it. One of the reasons that the work is slow here is not only because its a small area, but people work in the fields all day long. A lot of them have big trucks going up and down the little streets where they put all of crop. It´s nuts because from morning through the afternoon they have what are called combies, like little bus things that take kids to school and others into town. They drive into town and blarrrrr on their horn letting people know that they are here. You get used to horns around here. Also people selling tamales, propane, candy, supplies, etc. will drive around throughout the day announcing their sell on a megaphone haha its weird. People just live a different lifestyle completley here. Everyone is really laid back. The community is like family in some ways. So, an average walk down the street towards an appointment I would see dogs, turkeys, chickens, donkeys, horses, trucks, combies, etc. Hopefully that helps you see a little better. Ask questions and I´ll answer them next week.
As for me I live in a concrete house with title floors which is really nice for this area. Elder Tinoco says its one of the coolest houses he has ever lived in because of how big it is (he has been out for 16 months). Its big for two people anyway. We have all the essentials kitchen, bathroom, study room and stuff (we clean our clothes at the bishops...hut ha). Its more of a house kinda style not an appt. becuase we are renting from a family that lives in a house right by it. It´s not bad at all...at first I didn´t know what to think, but with some cleaning and getting used to I actually really like it. As for hot water for showers we have a propane tank that it connected to some kind of water heater that we have to start up every morning its cool. I´ll have to take some more pictures to send you next week of different things around here.
I´ll tell you a bit about our investigators and the work here in Atexcac, and then I´ll have to sign off. 3 of our 4 investigators are a small family. Yessenia (mother) Angel (14) Mario(10) both kids boys. She is divorced I think. She is actually the dentist of the small town health clinic. They are originally from the city of Puebla and they are Catholic, but don´t practice it. They are so awesome and even though I can´t understand them all the time I really do already love and care about them. Before I got here they had been taught the first lesson. Elder Tinoco and I have had a couple more visists with them since I´ve been here and we´ve taught most of the 3rd lesson and a lot about the Book of Mormon and Faith. Angel actually doesn´t believe and God or Jesus Christ, but I think he is coming along. Actually my first real lesson with them I invited them all to be baptized ha that was scary, but it went well because of the Spirit. Yessenia timidly accepted a date to be baptized, but in a later lesson expressed that she didn´t want to commit to a specific date yet. So we are visiting and teaching regularly with them. It´s amazing to finally be invovled in real missionary work. We are teaching the most basic gospel principals, but that is what is so great about missionary work. I get the opportunity to bear testimony and try and share and even though I can´t speak very well yet, I feel the spirit working through me to touch thier lives. Our other investigator is named Margarita who has a member boyfriend and they have a small child. She wants to be baptized, and she has been taught all the lessons, but we are working with them to get married. Most of our other work is visiting less active members and doing service for members/others. We have a lot of noche de hogar which is family home evening with less active members where we get to sing hymns, share testimony and scriptures to try and uplift the family. We had  many less actives go to church this past sunday! We also organize activies to play soccer or basketball at the church so we can invite investigators or less active members. The work can be really slow at times, but that is how the area is here. We just got to do what we can.
Well I´ve got to go now. I love and miss all of you. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. I fell strenghth and I sure need it with the langauge. It´s getting better step by step. It will take time and I have to be patient. May God bless each and every one of you! I love it out here and I wouldn´t want to be anywhere else. Keep working hard and staying strong in the Gospel. Keep up the reading! It makes all the difference. We are all so blessed. Until next week,
Con Amor
Elder Kitchen

Sunday, October 28, 2012

¡Mi Familia!                                                                                               October 22, 2012
Hey whats up everybody? Yes I am alive and well :) WOW I have so much to tell you, but I don´t think I will have enough time to tell you everything that has happened this week (the most different week of my whole life). So, as you know I landed okay in Puebla, but I wasn´t able to write you at the misson home. I had to wait until my P-day. We met the APs and Pres. Reeves and his wife in the airport when we finally arrived. Ha we flew in the smallest airplane I´ve ever been in. We then took the 45 min. journey out to the mission home (the most interesting drive of my life) where we talked and ate a quick meal with the Pres. and wife. By the time we got to bed it was like 12:45! Anyway in the morning almost the whole mission met at a chapel in the main city of Puebla for changes where the new missionaires (me) would meet our trainers. My trainer´s name is Elder Tinoco, a native from Durango, and he is awesome. Luckily he can speak english pretty dang good too. I don´t know what I´d do if you couldn´t speak english. I´m blessed because a couple of new Elders got put with trainers that can´t speak english only spanish. Anyway right after the change meeting we threw my bags in the back of the bishop´s truck from our area and we headed out. The mission is bigger then I thought. From the mission home our boundaries go 6 hours south and about 4 hours north! We made a 2 hour trip south of Puebla city to our area which is called Atexcac way up in the mountains of Puebla! Guys. hahaha it is nuts up here!! In a  good way though. It´s just so so so different from anything I´ve ever experienced or been to. They call areas like this the pueblos. It pretty much just means in the STICKS haha. Their way of live here is so crazy different. As you can see in the pictures we are way up by the volcano called Popo, its awesome and we live pretty close to it. The work is kinda slow up here, but we are working with a whole ward of about 100 people its awesome and I loved church. Our area is actually really small. This area we do a lot of service and member work. We actually have 4 investigators right now though. I´ll have to tell you more about them later because I don´t have any time left sorry. Well just a quick visual: people live in concrete huts with hardly nothing. Í have been so humbled already. There are millions of crazy dogs that run around. Ah I wish I had more time!! I have experiened so much this week already. Just two quick stories: One we went to teach a lesson to a recent convert named Bentura. When we got to his home he had to do some more work in his field so we helped. We got a wheelbarrow, a sickel, and a machette and went to town cutting down cornstalks. That was my second day ha. Another. Yesterday (sunday) we went for our usual lunch appt that we have everyday with a member and quess what it was? Its called mole de pansa which is cow intestine and cow stomach!! Awww it was crazy I can´t believe I ate it. The languge is really hard...The first couple of days I couln´t understand anything anyone was saying becuase they talk so dang fast! But its getting better and I have faith. I´m well and happy and I hope all of you are too. I love the gospel and I know it´s true. Don´t worry I will share more next week. Pictures: 1 popo 2 Atexcac 3 Mission home
I love you all so much!! Don´t worry about me I´m doing great
Con Amor
Elder Kitchen
Hey Family!                                                                                               October 13, 2012

Just a warning I don't have a whole lot of time to write. I emailed Tyler, and I've got to get packing going, so it won't be as long as usual. To answer the most important questions, yes it is Monday, not Tuesday that I will be heading out. So if you want me to call at Houston I'm not exactly sure the exact time I will be there. I don't know if the time on my travel plans takes in the time change or not. It just says that we'll be arriving at 4:36 pm and leaving at 5:54 pm so I'm sure that will be Texas time. So that means I'll be calling either around 3:30 Utah time or 5:30 I forgot which change it is, so I'm sure you'll figure that out :) I'll just call our home phone. I already have a calling card.

I'M SO EXCITED TO GO TO MEXICO!! It's going to be nuts. Yesterday during normal P-day we had a full-day in-field orientation, so that is why I'm emailing on Saturday. It's been a great week! Conference was amazing!! The change is HUGE huh?! 18 for Elders 19 for Sisters...its a game changer! All of us here in the MTC were gathered where we usually have devotionals and wow you should have heard all the "gasps" going through the audience. The whole MTC was freaking out haha! I absolutely loved hearing that Jami, Krissy, and Cheri are seriously thinking about serving now! It's so awesome. Like you said: the missionary work is going to sky-rocket. So if conference wasn't enough...guess who we got for the Tuesday Devotional?? David A. Bednar!! Wow. I was on the 3rd row front and center...he was right there! It was such an awesome experience. The spirit was so strong I can't even explain. I can tell you more of what he said to us later, but I'll share a couple of things now. One thing I really liked is at the beginning he mentioned the change. He said it was funny how fast people start to talk and come up with reasons for the change. It said it is funny to see because he was in the very council when the Prophet and the 12 were discussing the change. He said the real reason is simple: "The Lord is hastening His work, on His time, in His way." The spirit came so strong when he said that. It's exciting! The work of the Lord will and is moving forward, and it will not be stopped :) He then talked about conference. I can tell you that because of the way I watched conference this weekend and because of this talk by Elder Bednar,  Conference will never be the same ever again. He told us how the talk are never assigned and that "The Master coordinates." He said "I stand all amazed" at the way that the talks are perfectly "woven together by the Master" Its so true. If you read and study their talks, you will gain that testimony too. He taught us a way to study that he uses. When he studies these Modern Scripture he looks for three things: 1.Doctrine 2.Invitations 3.Promised blessing. It is the will of the Lord coming forth through his Apostles and Prophets, so there is no doubt that if you do what they invite you to do, you will receive those promised blessings. He also talked of the Prophet and how his commonly mis-conceived "closing re-marks" are so much more than that. He is the Prophet of God.

After Elder Holland's talk about "Feel my Sheep" (and wow it was great) I made a strong connection when right after the Prophet shared stories in his life. I made the connection that he truly is a disiple of Christ. He has been "feeding the sheep of the Lord" his whole life. We have some many examples it's amazing. Well I've probably got to go. Sorry if I didn't answer all your questions. I can't wait to talk to you all on Monday. May God bless.

Con Amor,
Elder Cocina
Hey everybody!                                                                                             October 5, 2012
How has everybody been doing this week?! Thanks Momma for the brownies! Mmm I love 'em. Yeah like Dad said I was the brownie boy this week. I sent G&G Kitchen a thank you letter just barely today, but man I loved that package too. I shared the sheet of brownies with my district/zone and they all loved it. Grandpa sent me a really cool Cabela's tool/knife that will come in handy for sure. I love you and miss you all. Oh I got Tyler's email! I'm added you email to the senders list Tyler, so you should get this too. I LOVED hearing from you!! Sounds like you're doing great just living the busy college life. I don't have time this week to reply the way I want to, so I'll work on a letter or email and respond in the next couple of weeks :) You're a stud Ty. Anyway thank you again for all of your continued support and prayers.

Well I'm going strong on my 8th week at the MTC already. Like all of you have said: it is just blazing by. I can't believe it. I have some BIG news!! A lot happened this week. So on Tuesday we were sitting in class just doing the usual when the intercom buzzed in our hall way (when the buzzer rings in your hallway you know its going to be news about something cool). So our district all went really quiet as we listened the the lady say: "would Elder Allred, Elder Dougherty, Elder Astle, and.....Elder Kitchen come down to the Travel Office to get their Visas!!" Our whole district freaked out! "YEAAHH" So all the Elders going the Puebla got their visas (the Lord heard and answered our prayers!). It was a good day. Pheww. We went to the Travel Office and were told that we'd be taking a shuttle up the the Mexican Consulate in SLC the next day (Wednesday). So Dad, I was up in Salt Lake on Wednesday at around 2:30 p.m. We were pretty close haha. At the Consulate we just had to get a picture and they had to scan our index finger. Now if that isn't enough cool news the very next day (Thursday) in our mailbox we all got our travel plans! We will be leaving on time (Oct. 15th) our flight is at 12:36 pm with United Airlines and we land in Houston at 4:36 pm. We then leave Houston at 5:54 pm and head for Puebla Mexico and are expected to arrive at 8:03 pm!! This just got real! Wow. I'll be in Mexico in a week from Tuesday. We'll be traveling in a group of 4 (all the Puebla Elders) together so that's nice. Well I though you'd all like to hear that :) I'm super excited!

Anyway I don't have a whole lot of time left to write, but I'll try and answer some questions. Oh Mom you asked if the district or zone changes? Well our district does not change at all so that's nice, but our zone is obviously changing as Elders come and go. Oh and thank you Mom, Dad, and Tyler for sharing all that is going on. I love to hear about it :) Mom it sounds like everything is going well with school. Dad you made me chuckle quite a few times in your letter. I hope you survive in the "house full of women." Tell Jami and Kaylee to heed to the words of Pres. Utchdorf when he says: "Just stop it." (with the fighting). Don't worry sisters I still love you! Just think of how much more Our Father in Heaven loves you and how he does not want us to have contention. I know its hard, but give it your best effort. Anyway Dad sounds like you're training a top shape hunting dog ha. Tell Kit hi for me, oh and Jazzi and Zoe (that's if Jazzi hasn't kicked the can yet) ha. You mentioned Conference Weekend!! I'm excited. We actually have class canceled all day long so that we can study and watch conference. We get to watch all the sessions on Sunday too, its going to be great. There is something I want you all to think about that I learned this week and that I am going to do tomorrow too. When Jesus told his 12 disciples before hand that it would be one of them that would betray him in the future they all came to him with much concern asking: "Lord is it I?" That needs to be our attitude as we listen to the prophets and apostles during General Conference. As they speak, don't say to yourself: "man this talk would be really good for Joe (random) he sure needs to hear this." No. Rather listen and ask yourself this question in your heart as did Christ's apostles: "Lord is it I?" When we do this we leave room for improvement and growth. We are all not perfect and have many things we could work on, believe me I do too. But as we look forward to the Savior and his example, while listening and heeding to the words of a living prophet, we can all improve. I know the will of the Lord is spoken through prophets. Conference is going to be great! I love and miss all of you so much. Keep working hard :) you are all great examples to me. I'll leave with a quote because I'm becoming quite the quote kind of guy now haha: "It's easier to be a character, then you have character" -Neil A. Maxwell

Until next week,

Elder Kitchen
Hey Everybody!                                                                                       September 28, 2012

I am now pushing my 7th week here at the MTC. It's been nuts to experience how fast the days and weeks go by. I guess that is how it goes when you're busy learning and working hard. First off thank you so much for the packages!! Dad was saying how Mom is really pullin' through with some awesome packages...I couldn't agree more! I loved those caramel apples so much! The apples from the apple tree are easily my favorite apples ever, and they reminded me of home :) I shared them with my district and they also really liked them. Thanks also for those funny stickers Mom! It was fun passing out stickers to all the guys in my district and stuff. You should see the back of my name-tag...it looks cool haha. Also I've had fun with the bouncy balls, silly putty, and flarrrp. It's keeping me sane ;) Anyway it sounds like everybody is doing really good. Dad everything with work sounds really awesome. Thanks for telling me about the book drive and 5K that you're involved in. Sounds like a great cause! Also, that's exciting the hear about the house in St. George. It will be fun when I get to see it in a few years. Just to answer some questions, yeah Dad I've been playing quite a bit of basketball and my knee feels great, no problems there. We also play soccer and other stuff sometimes so that we can be better when we go to Mexico. Also, I never got the email from Tyler, I don't know why. Make sure he sent it to the right email: ryan.kitchen@myldsmail.net. I'm glad he wrote me, so make sure he tries to send it again, thanks! So the singing went really well. We were all really nervous, but we all feel like we did really well. I'm glad I got the opportunity to do that. I will never forget the experience. And Mom yeah we have all wondered if we could see a recording as well, but we haven't really found out about it. It would be cool if there was some kind of recording of it.

So I'll tell you a little bit about what is going on with me this week. This week our zone and district experienced a whole lot of changes. For some odd reason we were re-assigned to a completely different building of residence. So, one night we packed everything up, and then in the morning we hauled everything to a different room. Our residence now is a whole lot nicer and newer, so I won't complain. Also, it is that time when they change up all the district leaders and stuff. During the MTC experience they change the district leaders every few weeks so that people can have the experience to learn and step up and serve. President Claybaugh (our branch president) asked if I would serve as the new District Leader. I'm grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow as a District Leader. I hope that I can do the best for the District. It should be fun. Also, I thought I'd let you know about the visa situation. Most of the Peru Elders (3 of 4) have already got their visas and have left. There is 4 elders going to different parts of Mexico and they have already got their visas as well, and are good to go for October 15th. But the 4 of us that are going to Puebla have not got our visas yet...I'm praying' that it will come soon! Anyway everything is going great here, and I'm determined to make the very best with the time I have left here in the MTC. This week we have been learned what is called Subjunctive Grammer in Spanish, and it completely turned our world upside down! Ha, it's okay I know I'll get it down.

Well thank you all again for all of your love and support each and every week. I was thinking about this the other day: What would I be without my family? Nothing. So thank you all for everything. I love you guys. I am the person I am today because of the things that you've taught me. I wish you all health and happiness. Here is a good quote from President Packer: "If all you know in life is the things you see with your natural eyes and the things you hear with your natural ears...you don't know very much at all." I am so grateful that we have the Gospel Light in our lives, and that we have had the great blessing of enjoying it for our whole lives. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is such a blessing. By living by Gospel, we decide to use our agency in a positive way that not only affects our lives, but the lives of others. I loved hearing that you all are making a good effort to read the scriptures and pray together! It really makes all the difference in the world. Make sure you all also make an effort to study, ponder, and pray personally, so that you can have the strength and personal revelation that will bless your live and the lives of others. It is a commandment from God that we ALL do these things, so that we can be close to him :) So that we can become better people. So that we can become more like our Savior. I love you guys and I look forward to hearing from you next week!

Love Elder Kitchen

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kitchen Family,                                                                                              September 21, 2012
Hey how is everybody doing?! I hope that all is well, and that you are all happy and healthy. First of all, oh my goodness mom thank you so much for the homemade cinnamon rolls!! They were absolutely amazing. I shared them with my room, and multiple people said "those are easily the best cinnamon rolls that I have ever had in my life." And I said "Yep my momma lives up to her name." Anyway thank you very much. Also, thank you for sending me the addresses of those guys. Dad I got a kick out of that picture of you and Kit. I'm also glad that she is home and out of "doggy-prison." Well it sounds like everyone is busy and living life to the fullest. Mom it sounds like school is busy for you right now...I wish you the best of luck. One thing that came to mind is when I was reading the Biography of Thomas S. Monson, one of his seven words of wisdom that he has lived his life by is: Balance. I can't remember the other words, but I recommend reading the book. And Dad it also sounds like you are busy at work. I also wish you luck, and I hope everything goes well. That is so cool that Tyler can get half-off tuition because of his mission to New Zealand! Is he going to go there for sure next semester? Also, is here still dating Skyler Hardy's litter sister...haha I'm just curious.

Anyway to answer a few questions I did not see that broadcast of Dallin H. Oaks or the Provo Mission President, but the whole MTC will be able to see the re-broadcast of the Brigham City Temple Dedication this Sunday, so I'm excited for that. I have some pretty dang cool news for everybody. So, we have a musical genius in our Zone whose name is Elder Madsen. This Elder can literally take whatever song he wants and make is our arrangement to it. He is amazing. So anyway, here at the MTC every Sunday night fireside there is a special musical number preformed by someone or a group of Elders out of the 2500 or so that are here right now. You have to audition in from of the MTC President's wife to get in for the musical number. All week long groups of Elders try out to sing in the musical number and only one is picked. We tried out with "Ye Elders Of Isreal" (Elder Madsen's style) and the same day we were notified that we are going to sing for the special musical number this Sunday in front of the entire MTC!! Wow! We all can't believe it. It's going to be an experience that I don't think I'll ever forget.

All is well here at the MTC. It's amazing how fast we all learn Spanish. I'll tell you a quick cool experience that my companion and I had this week. We were studying on a bench when a couple of Spanish speaking Elders came up to us. They were brand new missionaries that had only been here for a couple of days. They must have been doing something for class because they tried their best to bear their testimonies in Spanish and then they left. I was amazed after they left, because it reminded me where I was at not even a month ago. They could barely even speak, and that was me a month ago. It is blowing my mind how fast we learn Spanish out here. I know it is only because we are the Lord's missionaries and he is helping us as we work hard and be obedient. This week my companion and I taught a 45 minute lesson in Spanish with no notes. I testify that the Spirit of the Lord speaks all languages. I fell the spirit so strong as I teach. Yo se que El Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero. Jesucristo es el Salvador del Mundo. Dios es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial. El Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios. Yo se que familias podemos juntos para siempre mediante el plan de Padre Celestial. Yo amo ustedes mucho!. (I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ its true. Jesus Christ is the savior of the World. God is our loving Heavenly Father. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that families can be together forever through Heavenly Father's Plan. I love you all!) To put it simply :)

Until next week
Elder Kitchen
Hey Family!                                                                                                   September 14, 2012
How's it going everybody?! Well I've now been here for a month, and it literally feels like a couple of weeks. First of all I wanted to thank you for sending me the candy, goodies, the knife, and the card reader. I got it all okay. Thank you :) I always enjoy getting a cool package. My next request would be some cool little super hero or other funny stickers so I can put them behind my tag, give them to Elders in my district, and put them on letters. Ha I know its a funny request. Also, if you could get creative with some dollar store kind of stuff...like bouncy balls silly putty kind of stuff (you have to get creative out here or you'll go crazy) (I know you are all busy, so time-permitting) Thanks! :)

So anyway wow sounds like everything is going great with everybody. Thanks Dad for sending those pictures. It was really fun to see Kit! I miss that dog already. Also, that fishing trip looked really fun, I'm glad you had a good time. Thanks for that knife, I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled a sweet Benchmade out of my package. Thank you Mom for the goodies and the card reader, I always love the things you send me! Sounds like school is going good. That's cool that you saw Trevor's mom. Tell her that me and Trevor have been keeping in touch. I got a letter from him the other day, and I just sent one back today. Also, I'm starting to get in contact with my other friends who are out on their missions, so that's fun. If you could look in the phone book or something and get Chandler's mailing address that would be way cool because I want to hear from him. Also if you could get me Spencer Neilson's address so I can send him a "you better wake up and serve a mission" letter (in a nice and encouraging way). Oh and I want Tyler, Jami, and Kaylee to know that the letters I sent them weren't meant to be  ONE-WAY letters ;) I'm joking. I can't believe Tyler is working two jobs and going to school, that's crazy. Tell him good luck and I hope he is doing well. Tell Jami and Kaylee I love em' to death, and to be good girls.

Well I'll tell you a little bit about what is going on with me. I won't lie, I'm way over the food. Mom, I miss your cookin'. Tell Tyler that I've already been here longer than him, and that I still have double the amount of time to go haha. For the most part though, I still love it here! I love my district and zone and teachers so much (as I've mentioned). I love the spirit that I feel here on a regular basis. I love being a missionary for the Lord I can't express how much I love it. We study all day long, but I know it's so we can be better missionaries and so we can speak the language. Yesterday we had a "zone conference" (MTC style) and it was so good. A group of missionaries and I from our zone put together a musical number "Ye Elders of Isreal" it was fun to be apart of it. We got a chance to hear testimonies and listen to words from prophets. I spirit was so strong in the room the air was thick. I want you to watch something on Mormon Messages called "Patterns of Light" its a 3-part series with Elder David E. Bednar on the Light of Christ. They are only like 2 minutes a piece, but they are so good! Watch them! That reminds me...has that Mormon Message with all of us in it come out yet? Anyway I'm about running out of time. A meaningful quote I heard this week goes like this: "Be the kind of person that others will see and want to get to know Christ because they know you." I love each and every one of you and I'm so grateful for all the support. Don't worry about me for a second, because I'm doing great out here! I love it. I'm so grateful for everything I have. We are all so blessed to have the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. Recently, I was thinking back on our family trip to New Zealand. That was the best trip of my life. I think the thing that made it so good is being together as a family. I came closer to each one of you guys on that trip. I'm so grateful to have the knowledge that family can be together forever through God's merciful plan. I know that God does live and he knows each of us. I know that the Jesus is the Christ; the literal Son of the Living God. He lived and died for each and every one of us. I'm humbled to have the responsibility to bring these simple truths to the people of Puebla. The Gospel has changed my life, and continues to change it everyday. Let it change yours as well :)
May God bless
With love,
Elder Kitchen

Hola Family                                                                                     September 7, 2012

Hey guys! Wow I can't believe a week has already come and gone. It's crazy how fast time is going out here. I'm sure all of you feel the same way with how busy you all are! It sounds like you are all having a good time. I'm sure Bryce Grand Canyon was a good time. I'll have to go check it out when I get home like Mom said. Oh and Dad the shoes are perfect size and I love them so no worries there. I'll try and find this Sister Belliston to give the other ones to. Is it the Sister Belliston that is in our ward? Anyway yeah I'm sure you are all excited to pick Kit up! I miss that dog already. And mom It's so good to hear that you are loving your class this year. I'm really glad that it all fell into place for you. I'm not surprised :) make sure to thank the Lord. Thanks Dad for the advice about writing in my journal. I have done an okay job so far, but I swear I was better at writing in it when I was at home ha I'm just so busy and when we get back to the room after a long day the last thing you wanna do is write, but I still do it. I'll do even better because, like you said, I want to remember this experience forever. Oh and Mom It's cool to hear about your calling as Sunday School teachers! It seems like its been a while since you've had callings. Its crazy because our ward is so big. Real quick I have just a couple things in mind that you could slip into the next package: My Gerber knife that Dad gave me (apparently you can have them as missionaries because everybody has one here) and that memory card reader that I bought so that I could put pictures onto the computer from our old camera. This would be great because that way no matter what computer I'm using out there in the field, I can plug that baby into a USB port, stick my memory card in, and attach pictures for ya'll throughout my whole mission! Sounds good right?

Anyway a little bit about me this week...if I can remember haha. The days seem to blend together I swear. The language is still coming along just fine. We're finally learning how to speak in past tense and future tense which makes it so much easier to talk and teach. I'm really glad that we're going through this at the MTC, because we're learning so much. Some hot news...me and my district have picked up 4 square at the gym...it gets pretty intense (suppose to be a joke, but at the same time its true). Anyway getting I'll tell you about a couple of experiences this week that are just now coming to my memory. For the Tuesday devotional a Elder from the 70 came with his wife. They are from Germany and they just moved here to the States. His wife have a really enthusiastic talk that was really funny because she couldn't speak English very well. Elder...I would give you his name, but honestly I can't remember because it was a weird German name. He gave an awesome talk and if was a good experience.
Another cool thing that happened this week happened after some of us had taught a "progressing investigator" (MTC style). We were all a little discouraged because this particular investigator is being really difficult for us I'm guessing so we can learn. Anyway we were all kind of frustrated with the language and stuff. So our teacher took us to a different room instead of normal class we watched some clips from Elder Holland and just talked about what we could do better. Afterward I gave the closing prayer, and again it was one of those times where I was speaking better than I thought I could. It was awesome!! I felt the spirit really strong. I am so happy out here. I love it!!

Well guys I got an elder sitting behind me that has been waiting to use the computer for a while now. I just want to let you know again how much I love each and every one of you. I am so grateful for all your love and support. Tell Grandma and Grandpa Kitchen and Grandma and Grandpa Ellsworth thank you so much for your support and that I love them. All is well here with me so don't worry. I know I'm doing the Lord's work and that there are people out in Mexico that need to hear the message that I have. Remember how blessed we are to have the gospel in our lives. Well good luck with everything that is going on! May the Lord bless the Kitchen family :) Amo ustedes con todo mi corazon.


Elder Kitchen

P.S. "Adios" literally means "to God"
Hola Mi Familia,                                                                   August 31, 2012
Hey how is everybody doing?! Man, I can't belive that I've been here at the MTC for over 2 weeks. It has gone by really fast. The days are really long, but then when you look back on the week you just had, it goes by in a blink. Well everything is going great here at the MTC. I'm still loving it here its really not bad. Its crazy because remember what Pres. Welch said in my blessing as I was getting set apart about me knowing I am in the right place at the right time?? Well yeah that has totally happened to me already from day 1. My district, companion, teachers, zone, branch presidency, zone leaders, etc. are all so sweet. Me and Elder Astle get along so well. He is a great guy and we share a lot of the same interests. We both have a drive about us that we both want nothing less than to be obedient and work hard. My district is so great as well. I'll name off the guys...whoops...I mean ELDERS for you: Elder Hauser/Elder Hansen; Elder Garcia/Elder Ellison; Elder Doughtery/Elder Allred; Elder Stephens/Elder Chote; and finally Elder Yano/Elder Thompson. Yeah we have a big group. Most districts have about 6-8 elders and we have 12. It is a blast, and all the Elders work hard, but when at the same time we all like to have fun. It great. I know that I'm here at the right time and everything. I wouldn't want it to be any different. Oh and to answer mom's question our investigators are actually our teachers that are acting as someone that they taught when they were on their missions. It really does feel real though because they don't ever come out of character. We have to be speaking spanish the whole time during our lessons. The teachers here at the MTC are mostly BYU students that have been home from their own missions for only about a year. We have one teacher that has only been home from his mission a month! Also you asked if we have to speak the language all the time. The answer is agency haha. We are encouraged to SYL (speak your language) as much as you can. During class and throughout the day, we do our best to speak the language as much as we can, but when we are in some certain situations we just want to speak english. There is acutally goals that districts make that they won't speak english for an entire day, or for certain periods of time in a day. The longest my companion and I have gone without speaking english is about 3 hours. Its pretty crazy how much spanish we know already I won't lie. But, I'm well aware that as soon as I step foot in Mexico I won't have a clue what anyone is saying!! Don't worry I'm looking forward to it.
Anyway, it sounds like you guys are all really busy with everything going on at home! It's that time of year. I hope Jami, Kaylee, and Tyler are all doing okay with their classes and workin' hard. Dad it sounds like work is going good and that you guys are having a good time, I'm glad. How's the golf game?? Hopefully it goes to the pit by the time I get home so I can kick your butt haha ;) I'm jokin'. Mom I'm so happy to hear that experience that you had! It makes me think back to the everything that fell into place when you were looking for a job at Shelly. I know that didn't end up working out....hmm...maybe it was just a trial of your faith, and now here comes the blessing when you least expected it! :) It's so cool to see everything work out for you and that you're teaching 5th grade with a picture perfect class. WOW. We are very blessed. Make sure to thank to Lord for all of our blessings. We enjoy so many each and every day. Tell Jami and Kaylee to keep up the good work and to keep their noses clean. High School is make or break. It can be one of the greatest times of your lives. It is what you make it. Either you work hard and enjoy every moment, or you end up looking back with some amount of regret. In any case and no matter what you make out of the experience one thing is of necessity; the greatest importance: Make good decisions. Family first. Do the basic things that matter most, scripture study and prayer. Keep the commandments. Strive to follow the prophet. By listening to their words you will come closer to God. Most importantly look to the Savior as your greatest example. Strive to be like him. Follow him and his teachings; his church and you'll find in yourself a better version of yourself. I promise that this is the case. Do these things for yourself, and you'll find yourself happier than you've ever been. ENJOY IT :)
Just to finish up I wanted to share with you a really cool experience that stood out to me this week. On Tuesday we had something that is called TRC training. It is when real members of the church volunteer time out of their day and come to visit with missionaries just as themselves, so that we as missionaries can get a feel for what it is like to get to know people and share a message. We had only had a few minutes to prepare a short spiritual message, and yes, you guessed it, it has to be all spanish :) So we go in there and talked with this awesome lady named Joseiphina I think. In our broken spanish we got somewhat aquainted with here and continued to share a simple spiritual message with here about God our Heavenly Father and how he loves every one of us. I spirit filled the room as we spoke and shared scriptures. At the end my companion shared his testimony, and then came me. I don't remember everything I said, but as I walked out I remember thinking to myself "how in the world did I speak spanish so well." It wasn't that I was saying things I'd never learned before, but it was the manner in which I was able to say it. It was simple, yet strong. I love being a missionary. I want you all to know that this is the Lord's work. God loves us and has a plan for us. Central to that plan is the Savior Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for my Savior and His Atonement; it has changed my life forever. We can all develop strong relationships with our Heavenly Father if we just Come Unto Christ and follow Him. Thank you all for your amazing examples in my life. Thank you for your love and support! It means the world to me. I love each and every one of you, and I miss you all. God be wich you til' we meet again ;)
Elder Kitchen
P.S. if you have time you should all read Moroni Chapter 7 the whole thing. Its great. Love you!
Hey guys!                                                                                                           August 24, 2012
This is going to be a really short email because here at the MTC we only have 30 minutes alloted to email. I´ve already emailed Mom and Dad, so right now I´m going overtime so it has to be quick. I think next time I´ll just write one email to answer everybody´s questions n stuff.
So to answer some questions, no I haven't seen JT yet, but like you have seen with Kaiden Worthington I have seen a lot of people I know. I've seen probably 35 people that I know from American Fork or surrounding areas, so that has been fun. The language is really tough, but I seem to be doing well, especially since I've only been here just over a week. We had our 3rd lesson in spanish with our investigator yesterday and we had learned how to challege for batism. So we challenged her and she said yes! Ha I know its the MTC, but it was still way cool. It's amazing how much you have to rely on the spirit as a missionary, especially when speaking a new language. This Tuesday was our first weekly devotional and guess who came?! Elder Neil L. Anderson of the quorum of the twelve!! It was fantastic. Our first week here and we get an apostle.
Anyway I'm sorry I got to cut this one short! Try and get some mailing addresses for me cause I forgot... like maybe Chandler or something.
Jami and Kaylee I love you and I hope you have a great start with High School... wow.. crazy to think about. Tell Tyler I love him and good luck with school. Mom and Dad thank you so much and good luck with everything going on right now.
I keep all of you in my prayers every night you guys mean the world to me. I know this is the work of the Lord here on the earth; I know it without a shadow of a doubt. I am so humbled and greatful to be apart of this great work. I can't wait to bring the wonderful message of the restored gospel to the people in Puebla Mexico. It make me so happy. We are all so blessed beyond belief! I'll try and write more next P-day, but I don't seem to be given much time. God bless!
Elder Kitchen
Hey whats up family                                                                                           August 18, 2012
I'm writing so soon because we don't have real P-day until next Friday. Today is like a mini-P-day I guess. Anyway I'm really enjoying the MTC so far. The first couple of days were a handful! There was a lot to take in and I felt somewhat overwhelmed, but I'm doing awesome now, so no worries. My companion's name is Elder Astle and he is so awesome. We were meant to be companions I swear. We have a lot in common, and we get along really well. He is 20 turning 21 in October, and he is from North California. We both have committed each other to doing our very best, and trying to get the most out of our MTC experience. Oh I also love my district. There is a lot of really cool guys in the district. We have guys from New York, Texas, Cali, Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and one more state I think. There is only like three of us from Utah. We all seem to get along so far and there is some funny guys as well!
Anyway, the language is actually really frustrating right now. I know this is only my fourth day, but being out here on a mission makes you just want to teach and speak and share my message, which I can't because I don't know Spanish. I need to be more patient though. Its humbling because I swear my companion has like a photographic memory, so when he looks up a Spanish word he'll pretty much remember it. I don't have that gift, so its frustrating. I know that I'll get it down though in no time.
Just a quick story about our very first lesson her in the MTC. We got here on Wednesday and on Friday we had to teach a lesson to an investigator in Spanish! It was stressful. The funny story is that we prepared something to say before we got in the room, but she just let us in right away so it was a quick change of plan. Because of this I just went straight to my seat and forgot to shake the investigator's hand as she had it outstretched toward me following me as I sat down ahahaha. My district was making fun of me. It was a good one. Well I just wanted to let you know that all is well here in the MTC and that I'm absolutely loving it out here. I have been blessed with a great companion. To be honest for being here only 4 days I already know quite a bit of Spanish like I can say a basic prayer and testimony already. Also I really enjoy my teacher Brother Clifford he is a good guy. Well guys I'll tell you more about whats going on my next P-day which is next Friday.
Love, Elder Cocina ;)

Elder Kitchens companions

Tehuacan (5/14/2014) to (8/6/2014) Elder Conrad from Draper, Utah

Nealtican (4/2/2014) to (5/14/2014) Elder Christensen from Denver, Colorado

Nealtican (2/19/2014) to (4/2/2014) Elder Sanchez from Chiapas, Mexico

Puebla (1/8/2014) to (2/19/2014) Elder Dzul from Cancun, Mexico

Puebla (10/15/2013) to (1/8/2014) Elder Betts from Mexi-Cali Baja California, Mexico

Atlixco (7/23/2013) to (10/14/2013) Elder Ortega from Nayarit, Mexico

Puebla (3/19/2013) to (7/22/2013) Elder Burden from Snowflake, Arizona

Puebla (2/19/2013) to (3/18/2013) Elder Knowlton from Springville, Utah

Atexcac (1/8/2013) to (2/18/2013) Elder Olvera from San. Luis Potosi, Mexico

Atexcac (10/16/2012) to (1/7/2013) Elder Tinoco from Dorango, Mexico

MTC (8/15/2012) to (10/15/2012) Elder Astle from Northern California


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