Happy heart day

Happy heart day
We love you too!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

What's up everybody?!                                                                                    November 18, 2013
Well how are things going up there in Utah? Sounds like everything seems to be going good. Dad I'm glad you had fun hunting again. Sounds like you're going to be going hunting this year just as much as you all went to St. George last year haha. Are you all planning on going to St. George a lot again? I'm pretty excited to see the house. Mom you asked if all these are our baptisms or if they are from the whole zone. These have all been just in the area of my comp and I. The ward is called Tres Cerritos. There are other baptisms in the zone, but we don't have time to go to all of them. We do have to do quite a few of their interviews though. Wow the missionaries in our Ward just keep coming and leaving. It feels like every kid in our ward is going out including girls. That's pretty cool. I got a email from Bryce Bishop and it looks like Alex Ross and Cameron Laycock are coming home already. Quite a few of the first ones from my age are already heading home. I'm glad I still have quite a bit of time left. I'm not done yet :) Still got a lot to learn, people to meet, teach, and baptize. Dad you asked if they celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico. No some hardly even know what it is. It's an all American holiday. Thanks for the football update. That's pretty cool that Alex Smith from Utah is doing so well.
This transfer has been the most successful and fastest transfer on my mission so far. We were blessed and privileged to baptize a young man who is 18 years old named Daniel Palma Dávila. He is so awesome!! I love him. We have been teaching him since the first week I got here and have been helping him to get to church and learn the truth. He has been so willing and accepting. He has a great member friend in the ward named Jorge (George) who has been helping him so much. I gave Daniel one of my ties after I signed it with my name. He gave me a hug right after he got baptized and it got me all wet :) haha He already has a great testimony. Well this week he have planned to baptized another younger kid named Carlos Villegas. He has been taught by other missionaries, but lives in our area. We are going to start teaching him tomorrow, but he already wants to be baptized. A little bit about Pilar (the middle aged woman we baptized last week). She is great. She had been taught a few times before I got here by my comp and Elder Knowlton. As I started teaching her with Elder Betts we got to see her really change her life. She has had it rough. She has had marriage problems and problems with the word of wisdom as well in her life. She was scared at first, but she accepted baptism because she felt the spirit and she knew she needed to change her life for good. After more lessons and blessings and everything she was baptized! It was awesome to see how coming unto Christ changed her. She also read the Book of Mormon a lot. Well this area is awesome and I'm loving it here. I know that I'm going to get a new comp after this week because Elder Betts is going home. Next P-day I'm probably going to visit one of his old areas with him. It's something that Pres. lets the leaving missionaries do. I'm hoping I stay here in the Mayorazgo zone and the 3 Cerritos Ward. We'll see what happens.
I know that the Savior lives. This is His work. I feel happiness as I see people coming unto Christ and changing their lives. I often express to them how I was able to change my life before the mission. I love being to bear my personal witness that Jesus is the Christ and that ONLY through His Atonement we can be saved. He cleanses and washes away sins and wrongdoings. I know that he is the Mediator with our Father. Let us all live lives that reflect our personal beliefs in Christ and our determination to return home with our Heavenly Father. It's our divine potential and right. Being good is worth it. I love each and every one of you. You're in my prayers and in my heart. The impact that you've had in my life reflects the way I live and teach and serve others. Thank you for all of your sacrifices to let me be here trying to make a difference in the lives of these people. I love the people and I love the culture and language. Keep up all the good work!
Un fuerte Abrazo
Con Amor
Elder Ryan Kitchen

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hey guys!                                                                                                          November 11, 2013
Well here we are again. Can you believe it?! I have 15 months on my mission...weird. I'm starting to get sad thinking about how it's winding down. Of course I still have a lot more time, but it's just going by fast. Thanks for sending me your emails I've read them all. They always make me happy. I'm going to have to respond to Jami and Tyler next week because we have a lesson in 40 minutes and I've basically got to go soon. Dad looks like the hunt is going really awesome! I bet you and Kit have done a real good job out here. I'm glad that you've had fun. Mom I hope you and Jami had fun in St. George. I can't believe it's already getting cold again there. It's a little bit cold here too, but nothing compared to Utah. We're closing in on Christmas again! My second on in the mission. Mom that's great you read Alma 32. Keep reading everyday all of you. President Reeves challenged the mission last zone conference to read the Book of Mormon from start to finish. I'm a little behind because of how busy we are, but it's going okay. KRISSY IS GETTING MARRIED??? What in the  world is going on over there. That's crazy, but awesome as well. I'm happy for her. Tell her congrats for me. Thanks for the pics Dad and WOW my little sisters are getting super pretty. Makes me worried. 

As far as numbers go this has been my best week on the mission. We baptized 3 different people from different families this week. It has been a crazy week that's for sure. We have 2 more baptisms coming up this next Sunday too. I love this area and this zone. Being a zone leader is nuts,  but I love it as well. We are going to keep working hard out here. If you want to know more, ask me but right now I don't have time. Oh on Sunday I got permission to go back to Atlixco in my old area because Salvador got baptized!! The one that my old comp and I were teaching for so long! He is chosen. He is going to be a great member of the church. It was such a powerful service and the spirit was felt so strong. 

I love you guys. Thank you for everything, for this opportunity. I learn and grow each and every day. It's not easy and sometimes there are trials, but it's the best. Well I gotta go. 

Fuerte Abrazo
con amor

Elder Ryan Kitchen

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hey guys,                                                                                                         November 4, 2013
Sounds like everything is going great. Thanks for the cool pictures Dad, I really enjoyed them. Looks like Kit is doing good and everything. Man I can't believe it's already that time of year for the hunt and everything. I swear you guys were just barely telling me how cold it was and everything, and now it's going to be winter again. Mom that's cool that you girls went to St. George. How was it? Did you have any fun? Let me know how it went for you. Mom you asked if Elder Betts had already been here for a while, and yes he was in a different ward in this same zone, and then in this ward for a transfer so far. Thanks for sharing with me some things about the great testimony meeting you had. It's true, the Lord puts a lot a trust in the youth. Dad that's cool that the Sox took it. Good for them. They seem to be winning quite a bit in the last few years...ever since they finally broke that long win less streak. Wow I didn't know you where a ZL for 8 months. If I finish my mission as a ZL, I'll have been one for 10 months. It's a great experience. I love it.

Well this week was awesome! It was filled with awesome experience. I have a cool story to tell you! So I'm not sure if you remember, but Elder Ortega (the second one I trained) and I started teaching a niece of one of the members in Atlixco named Brenda Ashley. She was studying in Puebla, but she came to live with her aunt every weekend. We taught her like 3 or 4 lessons and she came to church about 3 or 4 times. She told us in the beginning that she really wasn't sure about it all. She said that she couldn't leave her other religion behind. We got to see a huge change in her as she read and prayed. She started to receive a testimony. Then what happened was that she was able to get a place in Puebla, and we weren't able to see her anymore. We ended up having to pass the referral to other missionaries. Turns out that as I got transfers, I happened (work of the Lord) to end up in the same ward as where she lived! We started teaching again and we extended an invitation to be baptized on Nov. 3rd which ended up being here 18 birthday! As we kept teaching her, things got a bit complicated because her Dad is paying for her school and everything and he wasn't okay with it all. We fasted together and talked about faith. She said "there is no way my dad will ever say yes." About building her faith, she talked to him and the Lord softened her heart. This Sunday she was baptized!! She is awesome! I got the privilege to baptize her. My comp Elder Betts can play the guitar really good and so we sang a special musical number in the service. It was a great week. We have two baptisms set for this week and I'm super excited!

I know this is the Lord's work. I got the chance to have an exchange with the assistant Elder Turley which went really well. He is a great guy. I love the people her and I love the Gospel. Living it gives me purpose in this life. I feel confident that I am doing God's will. The Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ is everything. If it wasn't for Him, this life would be hopeless. We have to apply it daily! We all make mistakes, but as we fight to overcome trails and problems, we are strengthened. Have a fantastic week!

Con amor,

Elder Ryan Kitchen

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hey everybody!                                                                                                   October 28, 2013
It was great to hear from everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays...well the start of them anyway. It really is interesting to think that I've been here in Mexico for over a year now. Oh my Halloween package came!! Thank you so much! I loved it. That card was great I laughed so hard with my companion and I loved the candy and jerky and stuff. Those leaves were cool too. I remember that Mom wanted to put real leaves in one of Tyler's packages, but they won't let you. Oh well, it's the thought that counts. I also liked the pumpkin decoration, it's on my desk right now. I wanted to wish my Grandma Kitchen and Grandma Ellsworth a very happy birthday! I hope it goes great and I want to personally thank you for the example and support that you have both given me. WOW thanks for the pictures Dad! I'm glad to see that everything turned out well with Aunt Paulette. Tell her: felicidades de tu sobrino Elder Kitchen! So dad how did you guess that I was going to be called as a Zone Leader?? I didn't even see it coming! Fatherly instinct I guess :) Thanks for the advice.  Tell Kit happy birthday too haha. Cool to hear about the homecomings and farewells Mom. Me and Steve have sent a couple of emails to each other in Spanish recently. He seems to have loved his mission. So you guys seem to think that here in Mexico they celebrate Halloween. Down here in the South they kind of think about Halloween, but the main day is on November 2nd. It's called the Day of the Dead and it comes from Catholic roots. Basically they believe that if they make offerings for their dead that they'll visit them. The most common thing is when they put a trail of orange flowers from outside into their house where their offering is. Some go all out and their offering is pretty wild. Others put out beer or things like that hahaha. On Nov. 2nd kids do dress up and go around for candy or money. They don't say "trick or treat" instead they say "calaveritas" which means little skulls. Basically to me it's kind of  mix between Halloween their crazy day of the dead tradition. 

So you guys wanted to know a bit more about my area and companion. Elder Betts is from Mexi-cali Baja California, Mexico (super close to California). He doesn't really look too Mexican, and his name isn't very Mexican either, but he is Mexican. He is on his very last transfer here on the mission. He'll be headed home on the 27th of Nov. He has worked hard to learn English on his mission, and he has had pure American companions of his mission, ending with me. It is really cool to be with a missionary so experienced. I'm learning a lot from him. Well our area is basically apartment buildings...there is a million of them and they all look exactly the same! haha. It's way cool though because they're full of families! We have a few other neighborhoods as well that I haven't got to know yet. We actually have some really rich places too. It's a variety. We had a SUPER BUSY week. We taught more lessons this week then any other week on my mission. It's awesome. So with these past two weeks here we have had two baptismal services, but zero baptisms. Both times fell through with last minute problems :( But we are still working hard with them. We have 4 other baptisms planned as well. I'm excited. Being Zone Leader is a lot of work, and I think with a new area, new assignment, new ward, new people, new zone, and so much that happened this week I got a little overwhelmed at the end of the week. I'll get used to it though with time. 

Well let me know if you have any more questions or if I didn't answer all of them in past letters. Jami I read your letter, but I'll have to write you back next week. May God continue to bless and protect our Family. I love you all! You're great. Thank you for everything you do for me, really. Keep working hard. Set goals and try to look at the future the way that the Lord would. We all have divine potential!!! Dream what you want to become and then make it happen with faith. Read Alma 32 and the parable of the seed. Ponder and pray about what it can mean for you in YOUR life. Moving forward! Be disciples of Jesus Christ and let His Light shine through the life that you live.

fuerte abrazo
con amor,

Elder Ryan 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