Happy heart day

Happy heart day
We love you too!

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

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