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.
Elder Ryan Kitchen