Monday, December 14, 2015

Guyyysss I dont want to write... 

uuuummmmmmmm okay sooo Karla is super stoked for her baptism WOOT WOOT! Shes making super cute invitations and everything and wants to invite the whole world and its so awesome to see her so happy! She is golden. I know the Lord has people prepared here to accept the gospel because Karla is one of these people. 

This week we also started teaching these two guys named Ramses (#nachoooo #ramsesnumber1) and Jose Antonio. So the story with them is that for weeks they've been bothering us in the streets and yelling out EHHH GUERA and one day we were like ¨hey why not contact them?¨ so yeah, they accepted fechas so yay more people to teach!
Oh also this week we went to poza rica for the cena de navidad. SUELO SUELO SUELO yeah it was a party. We sang lots of Christmas songs. Hermana Blackham and I took turns butchering them on the piano. That was fun. No, she was good it was mainly me butchering the songs. And we got to listen to President and Hermana Greer, the best people ever! We also had piñatas and everything! 

But best part of the week was yesterday at the dedication of the Tijuana temple WOOT WOOT. It was so awesome to be a part of that! it truly did feel like I was in the temple and it was amazing to be there with Valente and his family.

AH I'm out of time. I'll send pictures next week. 

Hermana DeGraw

Monday, December 7, 2015



uuuummmmmmm..... what to write.... 
okay so yeah this week was good. Kind of frustrating because NO ONE was in their homes this week for some reason so we didn't have a whole ton of lessons. haha but okay one day we taught this little old man named Bartolo. He made it very clear to us that he is catholic and showed us all his altars and images in his house. But we taught him a lesson and invited him to be baptized but he denied because he didn't understand what was wrong with his first baptism. But anyway, we invited him to pray at the end of the lesson and afterwards he says ¨wow... que bonito se siente.... que diferente!¨ and hna martinez and i think... could this be? a miracle? he's gonna change his mind and accept a baptismal date? and then he looks at us with a smile and says ¨que bonito ser catolico¨ *cara de pichon* Bueno, adios bartolo. que tenga buen dia.

BUT a miracle did happen this week. maybe not with Bartolo but with Valentes baptism!
okay so Saturday was the day for Valentes baptism. We went to the church early to get everything ready but for some reason we didnt have the key to open the church gate (triste elderes took them from us) so we had to wait like a half hour for someone to come open the gate. then we couldn't figure out how to work the fount. when it finally started to fill up, it barely had any water and then it stopped filling. there was no more water. the church never has water. by then it was like 3:30 and his baptism was supposed to be at 4 and it takes about 2 hours to fill the fount and yeah... we were kind of freaking out because they couldn't do the baptism any other day. So i prayed for a miracle because i didn't know what else to do. Hna Martinez called our district leader one last time and he told us to go upstairs into some closet where the rotoplas (water tank) was and hit it. just hit it. so she did... and all of the sudden water came! ... what? i don't know how it worked but yeah! she just hit the rotoplas and boom. water. MIRACLE. Also the fount filled in much less than 2 hours. another miracle. Heavenly Father answers our prayers!

 so... yeah! Valente was baptized!! His wife, hna Delfina was bawling all that day. so sweet to see their whole family together in the church and soon theyll be able to be sealed together as an eternal family!!!!!!

Yesterday was fast Sunday and their whole family got up to bear their testimonies, including Valente! 

So.. yeah! things are great here in Papantla. just chillin eating tortillas every second of my life. seriously though, I've heard multiple moms tell their children you need to eat more tortillas, you only had two! that's not enough, you cant leave the table until you eat more tortillas¨ tortillas are basically vegetables. they're also utensils. sometimes, I'm given mole without utensils to eat it with.. so i have to use tortillas instead and it takes like 20 tortillas to finish one bowl of mole. plus homemade tortillas are just sooo good.

Okay so last night, we got to watch the first presidencys Christmas devotional and something i liked was from elder Bednars talk. He talked about Samuel the Lamanite's prophecies of Christ birth and how there was going to be a day, a night, and a day without darkness. when the sun set, it was as light as if it were noon

Christ is the LIGHT of the world. 
Every good thing comes from Him. Because of Him we can have faith, hope, joy, confidence, salvation, eternal life. 

Share His light with others during this Christmas season. 

Love you all! 
-Hna DeGraw

Tortias give her strength.

Valentes baptism

Hna Martinez and Hna DeGraw love the tacos!

She named her succulent Frida.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Okay so sorry I'm gonna be rushing this email. 

My comp is hermana Martinez, shes from Honduras and this is her last transfer so i will be killing her off. SHES FREAKING AWESOME i love her. The first day or so she was super serious and i was kind of terrified and i thought this would be the longest transfer ever but then half way through the second day she showed me how crazy she is. shes hilarious and real fun and i'm sad i only have one transfer with her. 

Last week we ran out of water and had to bring in water from the well every two seconds to shower, flush the toilet, wash our hands wash the dishes and like everything. Not having running water sucks. 

okay but back to my comp. Shes taught me a lot already. We contacted a ton of people and it was actually way fun. She showed me that getting references is actually really easy and lessons with her are... i don't know.. much easier for me. I felt way more laid back this week. not in a lazy way, but in a more comfortable way. Now that I'm the missionary that everyone knows, its much easier for me to talk to people. And hna Martinez is really good with connecting with people so yeah! i'm feeling good! I also felt way more comfortable with my spanish this week. 

haha okay so everyone here on the street yells HOLA GUERITA or something like that when they see me and its kind of annoying but hermana Martinez taught me something funny. when they yell HOLA GUERA I'm supposed to go [guera? donde?[ and look around and then they get all confused. Its actually really funny when i do it. 

So this week we were meeting with a guy named luis ( i dont know if i already mentioned him) hes a brother/son of member and we invited him to be baptized but he was hesitating because he doesnt want to get baptized and then mess up. he has lots of problems with the word of wisdom so hes worried about that. but thats the great thing about the gospel. Heavenly Father knows that were gonna mess up and were gonna mess up again and then again and again. Thats why He sent His Son to atone for our sins. The atonement is infinite and eternal and no matter how many mistakes we make, if we repent, we will be forgiven. Yes baptism is a big deal, and he needs to prepare himself to make this sacred covenant and be willing to obey the commandments for the rest of his life but if he makes a mistake, thats okay! We can always repent! 

But yay Valente is getting baptized this saturday! im way excited for him!!!!! 

Love you all!!!!! have a good week! yay for Christmas time! 
-Hermana DeGraw

Sunday, November 29, 2015


CAMBIOS!!!! So I will be staying here in Papantla and Hna Perez after being here for 10 months is heading off to Poza Rica which is only 20 minutes away lol. Im nervous to meet my new comp but it'll be exciting!!
Sorry this email is gonna be pretty short because my mind is kind of blanking. 
We met with Carmen and Florentino this week and it was sad because Carmen just had a whole ton of problems with how we hold our church meetings and she thinks we worship images and Joseph Smith and she wouldn't listen to any of the explanations and answers we had. It was so sad! We ended up just bearing our testimonies of the restoration and told her that all she needs to do to resolve her doubts is to pray and ask God if the church is true. Hna perez and i were both crying a lot while we told her all of this. I really did feel the Spirit working through us both as we testified of these things but unfortunately, investigators aren't gonna feel any of that if they don't want to. 

We taught Karla this week and she told us that she was really sick this week and she went to the doctor to do some tests and stuff and they thought she had cancer but she hadn't gotten the results yet. We taught her about the priesthood and how she can get a priesthood blessing. We were in the church building so luckily we had some priesthood holders on hand and so the Elders came in and gave her a blessing. It was really a sweet experience. She talked about how much faith she has and how no matter what happens, she knows everything will be okay. But when she went back to the doctor later in the week, everything came back okay for the most part. She doesn't have cancer! 

But really, we are so blessed to have the power of the priesthood here on the earth! It truly is the power of God, the same power that was used to create the earth, the same power Christ used to do all those miracles and heal so many people. It was restored again on the earth through Joseph Smith and miracles still happen today through this sacred power according to our FAITH.  
All you Priesthood holders, be worthy of the power you hold. Remember how sacred it is. You never know when you might need to bless someone in need so always be ready and worthy. 

The Church is true! The Book of Mormon is true! If you don't know these things for yourself, go to church, read the scriptures, and pray for an answer! 


Monday, November 16, 2015


So this past week we got to go to XALAPA for a capacitacion de nuevos. So I got to take TWO really awesome naps on the bus ride to and from Xalapa. It was great. I also read a book called Our Search for Happiness by Elder Ballard. Everyone should read this book! Whether you´re a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not. Actually, Especially if you´re not. Its a good one. 

This week was great! We started teaching a girl named Karla, shes super awesome and really sweet and she came to church with us and ah... seriously shes so so sweet. She sends us a text almost every morning telling us to have a good day. She just makes my heart smile. 

Also we found a new FAMILY to teach with the help of Hna Krisanta (a really awesome member with a really adorable little boy named Oscar). Yeah! The family is Carmen, Nestor, and Florentino. Carmen and Nestor aren't married but they're all ready and willing to get married!! We´ve already gotten them some of the paperwork and everything to seal the deal. They're lots of fun. Hna Perez has a lot of fun joking around with them. And i have a lot of fun laughing with them but I don't really say much because me no speak no spanish. Okay that's only kind of true. But yeah, they went to church too! They were all ready and dressed up when we stopped by their house to pick them up and go to church! Good stuff. 

Unfortunately Carlos and Epidia and Lucino didn't go to church. Hna Perez and I are really sad because we think Carlos might be trying to ignore us lately. We´re not sure though, i really hope not because he was such a good investigator! 

Some more fun things that happened:
1. had to eat elote again (corn with all the gross mayo and cheese and chile) I was really hoping id never have to eat that stuff again but Hna Krisanta bought us some so i had to eat it. It was really funny because there was a ton of chile on it so i was like... bawling while I ate the corn but I didn't want to be rude and not eat it. She saw me crying and gave me a napkin to wipe the chile off. I still didn't like it even without the chile though. Lol. 

2. OKAY Saturday night at 2:30 am Hna Perez wakes up and starts rambling on in spanish and i have absolutely no idea what shes saying because its 2:30 am and I cant understand spanish for the life of me that early in the morning. But all of the sudden she starts doing pushups on her bed and I'm like UH WHAT IS GOING ON WHY ARE YOU DOING PUSHUPS GO TO SLEEP but she just keeps talking and i was so so confused and so i just ignored her and went back to sleep. In the morning I told her about it and she just started cracking up because she thought that had been a dream but yeah she remembered doing the pushups. like.. what? she just wakes up, does some pushups and then goes back to sleep. It made no sense. 

scripture to ponderize ¨believe in God believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth. believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you and now if you believe all these things see that ye do them.¨ Mosiah 4:9-10 

Sorry for the typos. Have faith in the Lord and ACT on that faith. Be humble, trust in the Lord because He knows our needs better than we do. 

-Hermana DeGraw

Monday, November 9, 2015

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Que transita por sus venas??? 

Well this week was a party. Monday night, Hermana Perez left for Xalapa so it was just me and good old Grecia left to roam around the streets of Papantla. It was really good! We met with Alejandro who said he was reading and praying and receiving answers to his prayers!!! We taught him about the Priesthood and it went really well. Turns out, I can actually teach a lesson without my mama. But obviously, I don't do as good of a job. haha I asked if he had any doubts about what we were teaching and he says ¨so... can I still get married if i have the priesthood?¨ hahahaha yes, you can definitely still get married. I guess I'm not that great of a teacher. But yeah, Tuesday was just me and Grecia again and it went really well. I didn't get lost or anything!

Wednesday we did divisiones and so I went to a place called Gutierrez Zamora with Hermana Paez. Zamora is right on a river which is really pretty but also there are A TRILLION MOSQUITOS. I seriously got demolished by mosquitoes this week. I tried to count them on my legs but it was impossible. I had at least 150. 

I GOT YOUR PACKAGE DAD! Thanks!!! It was the best! Lots of candy. I really am gonna get fat here. Don't make fun of me. 

Also Hermana Perez brought back some turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes from Xalapa. (hna Greer made them a thanksgiving dinner) But yeah I ate those leftovers and it made me soooooo happy. Why can't people celebrate thanksgiving in mexico too just for fun?

Okay so more about Alejandro. Hes been struggling with the word of wisdom and its always so sad when he slips up and then we have to postpone his baptism. Also his schedule for work changed and he was supposed to work all day on Sundays. So it just seemed like he would never be baptized and we were really sad. But yesterday he called us and said his boss gave him the day off (his boss happens to be a member) and he said also that he wanted to be baptized today! or.. yesterday! So we double checked everything with our leaders and everything was great and YEAH! ALEJANDRO WAS BAPTIZED! It was such a beautiful baptism. ahhh I"M SO HAPPY! It really was the greatest day. 

So yeah, things are good down here in Mexico. Every day when we wake up, its to roosters doing that sound they make. I forget what that"s called. But sometimes (like today) we get to wake up to a really terrible sounding trumpet followed by the rest of the band playing in the field by our house. It really is the worst sounding band ever. I think they're in middle school. But really, its hilarious how bad it sounds. BUT I LOVE IT!

Hope everyone has a great week! READ THE SCRIPTURES. PRAY. SHARE THE GOSPEL. 

-Hermana DeGraw 

 Hermana Perez in the rain.  We had to walk on the curb to avoid the rivers on the street.
Alejandro's baptism.  A great day!!

The Zone leaders sang at Alejandro's baptism and it was really beautiful.

Hermana Perez and I drinking the root beer that dad sent me.  Thanks Pops!

Mosquito bites.  Will my legs ever be the same???

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hope everyone had a super fun Halloween!
This week I had to make up a new word in Spanish. Its a word us güeros had talked about in the ccm but i had to share it with my companion and a couple others. 
Festar-to party 
yo fiesto
tu fiestas
ud fiesta
nosotros festamos
uds fiestan 
I had to explain the meaning of ¨to party¨ to my companion and she just thought this was the funniest thing ever. But why dont they have this word, its necessary!! example ¨we´re going to party tomorrow because its DIA DE LOS MUERTOS¨

Anyway. this week was great! lots of exciting things!
first, last Monday night, we were walking home and we were going down this hill and we heard this terrible screeching from a cat. So we walked to the side of the road and looked down (there was like a 10 foot drop to the ground) and saw these two dogs tearing apart this cat!!! it was terrible! so my comp went to grab a rock to throw it at the dogs but by the time we got back, the cat was laying there dead and the dogs had left. IT WAS THE WORST THING I'VE EVER WITNESSED. Everyone knows how much i love cats, and i watched two dogs murder this cute little cat and then they just left it there! 

I also ate a ton of weird things/things i don't like AND I SURVIVED

1. Shrimp. But like... with the heads and stuff. Id never seen the heads and little whisker mustaches of shrimp before. That wasn't fun. 

2.Fish heads. That was nasty. But again, i survived. They were huge too. 

3. PIG INTESTINE and at the time, i had no idea what i was eating. It was super hard to chew and lumpy and gross and my comp was laughing the whole time while i was eating it (she didn't have to eat it, just me) and then later she told me. didn't feel too well that night. 

But its okay because president and Hermana Greer came to our house for interviews on Thursday and Hermana Greer made us these cookie brownie m&m things and they were magical and sooooo goood. made up for it all. 

Also this family has a cat named Shakira and she had kittens and i got to play with kittens!! so cute!!

We got four new investigators this week. I felt so much better during our lessons! Its getting easier and easier to teach. Yesterday after church we taught this couple, epidia and lucino and they had this giant altar for dia de los muertos and it was actually pretty sick. Its covered in flowers, candles, pictures, pan de muerto, tamales, fruits and lots of cerveza too. But anyways, other than the altars, i didn't see any other celebrations. they're all in the cemetaries, they accepted baptismal dates and seem super interested in the gospel. They had lots of questions, which is always good. They really were miracle investigators though. No one ever lets us teach them on Sunday, let alone accept our message. Miracles come through fasting! We had just finished our fast when we found them!

My comp is currently in Xalapa for leader conference thing so I'm gonna be with a member named Grecia tonight and tomorrow and i'm super scared because I don't have my comp to help me teach!! but Grecia is awesome, shes a recent convert and shell be able to help a lot. But yeah, scary! 

This week I read a talk by elder Bednar that i think i mentioned already in an email earlier. Its called the Character of Christ and its a super good talk! I always cry when i watch/read it. I don't have time to say much but everyone go and read it!! 

Love you all! 
Hermana DeGraw

El Tajin.  They are such cool pyramids!

Hermana Perez and Jorge the burro.

 Shout out to my CCM missionaries