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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

First Baptism!!

 WOOHOOOOOOO. First baptism was yesterday with good old Jonathan. It was so awesome! Alejandro was supposed to be baptized yesterday too but he decided he wanted to wait an extra week because he wasn't feeling too sure yet. But he went to Jonathans baptism and then afterwards we asked how he felt and he said he was ready to be baptized this next sunday woohooo!!

Yeah this week was really really really hot. and humid. Im constantly drenched in sweat. everywhere. Its sort of terrible hahaha. and my legs are so sore all the time because there are seriously SO MANY HILLS AND STAIRS. sooooo many. We´ve been really struggling to reach our goals this week. We only have one new investigator, Olivia. She has a fecha but yesterday we stopped by to get her to go to church and she said she would. and then we went by again right before church to pick her up and she wasn't there. I don't know.. she always bails on us so i don't know if shes really escogido or not. Also no one here is married and that makes the whole baptism thing a lot harder. 

Valente didn't go to church again because he has chikungunya. Everyone has chikungunya which is a virus or something from mosquitoes. I'm actually really afraid of getting it. Your whole body itches and your bones ache and you have a fever and headache and it sounds pretty miserable. Hermana Blackham, the other güera in the zone said shes gotten it twice already. or maybe just once. I don't know. 

But yeah, spanish is hard. I'm trying to talk more but you know... its a little difficult. haha even when i do talk in lessons, our investigators cant even understand me half the time. so sad. 
Okay funny story so I kept hearing this sheep all the time go ¨baaaaa¨ and i was really confused because i never see any sheep. then i finally found out where it was coming from. Its not a sheep! its this guy who walks down the street selling bread and hes actually saying ¨paaaan¨ (bread) and no joke he sounds exactly like a sheep its hilarious. my comp agrees. oh man. He was walking behind us last night for quite a ways and it took everything in me not to laugh at him. 
Well... I don't have any more time even though i want to write more. 

I'm feeling good right now. thanks for all the emails! love you all!!!!! 

-Hermana DeGraw

Steep stairs are going to be the death of me.         Jonathan with me and Hna Perez

My boyfriend Jorge the burro.  I see him everyday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

 FIRST WEEK IN THE FIELD HECK YEAH. So Papantla is really cool. I actually didn't realize what it was actually like until about an hour ago when we went to el centro. It really is a cute little town. But in Xanath, its way... more humble. We kind of live in the ghetto but hey I like that. We walk up and down hills all day long. The steepest hills I've ever seen in my life. And the longest set of stairs in the whole world too. man, so many stairs. So if any of you BYU peeps want to complain about that one set of stairs, I forgot what they're called. but anyways THINK AGAIN. Luckily its started to cool down though. Its been raining almost every day. And when it rains, it really rains. and then the streets flood and some of the streets are just dirt so its super muddy and slippery and some of the stairs going up the hills are just dirt so sometimes we get stuck on top of a hill with no where to go because there are rivers of mud and we cant climb back down without slipping and dying hahaha. But i like the rain. its fun. 
My first day here i had elote (corn on the cob nacho libre style) and it was the grossest thing ever. Seriously, never again. They put mayo and cheese and chile on it and.... yeah never again. Next time someone tries to sell me that I will smack that corn down and shout GET THAT CORN OUTTA MY FACE and then I{ll hand them a pamphlet of the restoration and ask them to be baptized. Im sure that will go well. 
Other than that, the food is great. We get fed by a different member every day for lunch. Sometimes we eat dinner or a tiny bit of breakfast. Sometimes not. So I'm not sure if ill lose or gain weight yet. We don't get a ton of food but when we do eat, its like 27 tortillas and rice and mole so.... ill probably gain some weight. 
Its super hard for me to communicate with people. Well,,, it depends. some people i can understand but i never know what to say. Other people i cant understand at all. My companion I can understand perfectly during lessons which is really cool but in our house.... mas o menos. 
So story time! One day we went to a members house for lunch and after we ate we found out that her husband, Valente, isn't a member so we started chatting with him and teaching him and talking about a whole bunch of different things. The first lesson and a little about eternal families and he accepted a baptismal date! and then when we asked his wife how she was feeling, she just stood up and walked over to her husband and hugged him and they sobbed in each others arms. and I was crying too and I couldn't even understand a lot of what they were saying but it was soooo awesome!! Unfortunately, hes been really sick the past week so he couldn't come to church. 
The people here are seriously so nice. Practically everyone lets us come into their house to chat and teach, even if they aren't interested in the church. They're all pretty religious and very humble. We went to visit this one member and she lived in this tiny house partially made of cinder blocks but also a lot of cardboard and she didn't even have a light in the house but she kept giving us food and more food and more food and they're just all so nice. 
We´ve also taught two different people who are missing a leg. 
OH I take bucket showers and that real fun. 
Also i may have electrocuted myself a tad because we heat up our water with this metal thingamabob that we plug into the socket and then put in the water and i wasn't thinking and put my hand in the bucket of water to see how hot it was and yeah... lol 
But its just me and Hermana Perez in our house. 
Our district is just us two and then Elder Skinner (my friend from the CCM) and Elder Rodriguez. Its been so nice having Elder Skinner in my district. I actually get to speak english every once in a while! And hes just really goofy. This one day, we ate lunch with the elders at a members house and she had cut pears into the shape of french fries and elder skinner actually thought they were fries. Then after he ate one, he realized they weren't fries but he still thought they were potatoes, he just thought they were raw. Im pretty sure pears don't taste anything like raw potatoes hahaha it was real funny. 

Yeah some people here only speak Totonaco. But not a whole ton. I've learned a couple words but i actually cant even remember them right now so nevermind. This place really is a party. Its super green and pretty. There are dogs and cats roaming the streets everywhere. Also chickens and turkeys. And sometimes there are cute little old men riding burros in the street. 

also dad, los voladores aren't in our area, they're in the centro which is where i am right now on the computer. Were going to go to el tajin in two weeks i think! 

Annndd this week ive been ponderizing (lol) John 15:4-5

Hermana DeGraw

Going to Xalapa!

Alright then. The past couple of days have been looooccooooo! Saying goodbye to my district pretty much the worst thing ever but its aight. Monday morning, our bus left at 4:30 am and by the time i got to xalapa it was like 11. I sat next to this really really nice guy named Marcos on the bus and elder Skinner (one of my friends from the ccm) and I talked to him the whole bus ride and then when we were leaving I gave him a passalong card and then he tried to kiss my cheek and it was really awkward and i had no idea what to do so that was interesting. 
We spent the whole day at President and Hermana Greers house which was super fly. Xalapa is seriously the cutest city. I would totally live there. Anyway in the night we had a testimony meeting and President called each of us newbies up one by one and then after we shared our testimony he told us who are companion is. It was really awesome. President is so funny too, he cracks us all up all the time. and he lived in Oceanside for kind of a long time so that's cool! 

Well my comps name is Hermana Perez shes really nice, shes been out for 9 months and she speaks absolutely no english. I was the only american girl last night and it was a little scary but i guess i should get used to that. there are only two other gringas in the whole mission. 

This morning we left for papantla! My area is called xanath but i promise, however you try to say that, its not gonna be right. i think its someting like shiana. anyway its freaking hot here and sooooo humid. and i just walked up THE STEEPEST HILL ive ever encountered in my life. but its sooooo pretty here despite all the hills. 
well um i should probs wrap this up because were going to meet with an investigator in a couple of minutes and im going to pee my pants because i dont know what im doing. but hey my life is good. reaaaaal good. 

Love you all!! 
-Hermana DeGraw

Saturday, October 10, 2015


OKAY wasn't conference just awesome??? It really is like Christmas here in the mission. It was so great to have a break from classes and sit in comfy chairs and listen to the words of the prophets IN ENGLISH!! So a sweet. First of all, I just want to say how much i love President Monson. Everything he says is so simple and clear and loving. Listen to the prophet. He knows whats up. As do all the other apostles including our three new ones!! Just a couple things I wanna share. I thought it was so cool how both Elder Stevenson and Elder Renlund mentioned how the gospel is preached by the weak and simple. Ain't that the truth, especially when it comes to us missionaries. I thought that connected really well with the devotional we watched last night of Elder Holland talking about the importance of having the spirit as our third companion in the field. We need a heavenly connection to do this work. With the Holy Ghost, our less than divine abilities, and our weaknesses and simplicity will not fall short! 
I also really loved Elder Oaks talk about the Atonement. Alma 7:11-12 is an awesome scripture. Christ knows our heartaches, temptations, sicknesses, weaknesses, and everything we are going through personally and perfectly because He experienced it all according to the flesh. And because of that He knows exactly how to strengthen us, help us, and cause us to stand. He will give us strength and patience to endure our trials. Everyone go watch the video ¨None Were with Him¨ it is soooooo goooood. 
Also shout out to all the moms out there, especially mine. Wasn´t Elder Hollands talk awesome?? I think that really hit all us poor missionaries who miss our mommies. Mothers have a majestic influence that is ESSENTIAL to the Lord{s work. 

Ummm I FOUND A CAT THIS WEEK. She was so friendly. She actually walked into the chapel while we were watching the Womens broadcast and i really wanted to just pick her up and pet her but then some terrible person shooed her out of the room. LAME. people who don't love cats have no souls. But i guess i cant really talk because I'm practically a ginger so... I don't have one either. man life's rough sometimes. 

So everyday we go to class with a latin district for like 2 hours in the morning and an hour in the evening. Its pretty fun. Sometimes its a little scary but its been a good experience so far. There's not really much to say about it though. Oh i met a girl in one of my latin districts going to Xalapa. Shes funny. When the teacher asks us a question, she{ll volunteer for me to answer it. So that's cool. But yeah so now its more than just me, elder skinner, and elder austin going to xalapa! I think around 10 other latin missionaries arrived last week going to our mission. 
AND WE GOT OUR TRAVEL PLANS. We leave at 4:30 in the morning and i thought we were flying but it turns out it'll be a 6 hour bus ride. wooooohoooooooo. Im SO PUMPED but still really really really really sad to say goodbye to good old district 6D. I love them soooo much! By the way my comps mission is Queretaro. 


Hasta Luego,
Hermana DeGraw

p.s. one more reason why im so blessed. coconut popsicles at the tienda. so good. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This week was kind of interesting. We had a bunch of different teachers for our night classes because Hermana Villegas hurt his back and had to stay home. But hes okay now. But basically all of the teachers love our district and they always come in to our class to hang out with us. Its fun. Except the real reason they like us is probs just because we always share our donuts and stuff with them. THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE, DEAR PARENTS OF MINE. I don't know how you got homemade brownies to me (or they at least tasted home made) it was AWESOME. They were the perfect gooeyness so shoutout to whoever made those. AND IBC ROOTBEER. oh man. Those were good. 

So two of the districts in our zone left this week and it was actually pretty sad, They were awesome. And now were the oldest ones here and its weird. ONLY TWO MORE WEEKS AHHHH. Its weird to think that my mission hasnt even really started yet. BUT IM SO EXCITED TO GO TO XALAPA. One of the teachers here told me that i can find a lot of weird food there. lengua, ojos, cerebro, y oreja de baca. Also menudo (cow stomach) armadillo, iguana, rat, grillo, gurzanos. Sooo i think fish should be the least of my worries. I don't know about any of you but im never really been dying to eat a taco filled with live worms. 

Monday we were able to watch Elder Scotts funeral which was a really cool experience. The Plan of Salvation is sooo amazing! How great is it to know that we will be reunited with our families and that we will live again. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang I Know that my Redeemer Lives as the opening song and I pretty much lost it. And then they sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing which is my FAVORITE SONG. But yeah, it was kind of like a mini conference because we got to hear from the apostles and the prophet. Anyone else pumped for general conference this weekend cuz I AM. 

Oh by they way, we didn't change districts. We had our little language test on Monday and basically this guy came in and just talked to us all together for a couple minutes. we didn't do that well. That was definitely a bad spanish day for us. It was actually really funny. When hermana garcia asked elder graham what he did his last day home he told him that he ate cheetos with his companions.... he didn't understand the question. It was funny. So we all of the same companionships and everything. I honestly don't think they would have changed it anyway. That would have been a lot of work to move around the companionships that were already made and move houses and everything. So what{s gonna happen is were gonna start going to latino classes for two or three hours a day instead of having language classes because we don't have any other lessons to learn. That will start tomorrow

So sometimes during our breaks in class we play basketball with a paper ball covered in tape and the trashcan. Its so much fun! Sometimes our games get a little intense though. Yesterday one of the elders basically ran me over to make this one shot. I guess that's called getting postered? I don't know.. But he was really proud of it and wanted to make sure i mentioned it in my email.

Also i get bullied by my comp all the time. She goes to Utah State and hates on BYU a lot. There are actually a surprising amount of people here who hate on BYU. Its tragic. They just don't know what they're missing out on. Actually, they probably do and that's why they're so bitter and MEAN. But that's okay i still love her. We do have a couple things in common, like our love for naps. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE MY NAPS. That's probably the hardest thing about the CCM. Not getting my daily 5 hour nap. But today we got to take a 3 hour nap. "I feel very blessed" *Michael runs over Meredith* (if you don't understand that reference, shame on you. watch the Office more) 

Um.. well yeah. I think that's it. Hope everyone has a good week! 

Love you! 
Hermana DeGraw

Chicken enchiladas and flan but I didn't get to finish my lunch because the fire alarm went off. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015


OKAY Things over here at the CCM are still awesome but not much different. OH shoutout to the best parents ever for sending KRISPY KREME AND CHOCOLATE MILK #praise. Its kind of a big joke in our district that no one loves us because we go to servicio postal to check our mail box and there has never been anything for anyone. But all the other districts get like boat loads of letters every day and packages all the time. So yesterday was amazing WE FINALLY GOT SOME LOVE. Elder Graham also got a package so yesterday was pretty exciting. uuuummmmm what else happened..... OH i got elder allred to eat a rollie pollie in exchange for a snickers. That was pretty funny. It took a lot of yelling and hermana shumway was not happy that he ate a bug but it was great. Then the day after i ate an ant kind of on purpose and kind of on accident and IT BIT MY TONGUE. I didn't know ants could bite/pinch. not cool. 

So don't be fooled. Even though were an intermediate group or whatever, we kind of slack off because of it and its really bad. So were trying to be a lot better because our spanish is not where it should be and were being tested on Monday to go into the latino districts and now all of us are terrified because we haven't been practicing as much as we should be. sometimes i feel like were not actually learning too much spanish here, we{re just forgetting all our english. But that's not actually true, our spanish is improving too. Just at a slower rate. 

Last Saturday we had our first TRC and i have no idea what that stands for but basically we got to meet with two members and give them a little message and it was awesome!! we talked about the Book of Mormon. One of the ladies, Pilar, was really hard to understand and she talked a lot but basically we just tried to focus on the spirit and we were able to know what direction to go in while talking with her just by following little promptings. It was cool. And she said something i really liked. something like "the Book of Mormon is our map to guide us to Christ" READ THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERY DAY. Our other lessons with our ¨"investigators" are going pretty well. Some days we have a terrible lesson and other times we have AMAZING ones. It all just depends. were learning how to plan better as a companionship, and that's making them go a lot smoother. 

hmm what else should i sayyy. wanna hear about a regular day at the CCM? alright here we go. 
wake up at 630, breakfast at 7, personal study at 730, class from 830 to 12 (we teach investigator during that too) then lunch, gym, tall (computer lab), more studying, more planning, dinner at 530 then classes from 630 to 930 (which are soooo hard) and bed at 1030. That was really exciting i know. some days we have devotionals or other things but that's the general horario. 

The reason we didn't have pday yesterday was because we had to go to the migration building to do some paperwork today, so we had to move our pday to today. just for this week. After we were done with all the papers we went outside and there were CHURROS and TACOS but the guy who was with us wouldn't let us get them!!!!! he kept stopping us before we got to the vendors. SADDDDDD I REALLY WANTED A CHURRROOOOOO. They wont let us eat street food because well get sick. I honestly don't care if i have diarrhea until Easter I JUST WANT A CHURRO AND SOME TACOS. that's okay ill get over it. OH but on the bus ride back, our driver basically gave us a tour of mexico city. it was sooo cool. I got some pretty solid pics. luckily my camera has a sweet zoom so the pics are pretty decent even from the bus. The area around the CCM is kind of a shady area and i just thought that was how the whole city was and i still loved it but then when we got into the city city, it is surprisingly really clean. 

So we watched a devo by Elder Bednar a couple of weeks ago about turning out instead of in. I've been thinking about that a lot this week. Its really easy to feel sorry for yourself sometimes but Christ never did that. He always turned out to others and worried about them instead of himself. That also makes me think of this video we watched about having the gift of tongues. There's this scripture 1 corinthians 13:1 i think about how we need to have charity when we speak with others or else our words will just be noise. "No one cares what you know until they know that you care." -i have no idea who said that. HAVE CHARITY. TURN OUT. and occasionally turn up. 

Hermana DeGraw 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

¡Feliz Dia de Independecia! 

Okay so I'm not really sure where I'm supposed to start. I guess Ill just answer some questions. So the weather here is similar to home in temperature and humidity. Its a little chilly in the morning but not too bad, the hottest it gets is maybe 75 but usually like 72 degrees id say. And it rains almost every single evening. There have only been like 2 days that it hasn't. And that includes thunder and lightning. its kind of awesome. We do get to exercise every day. Except some days that just includes a district ping pong tournament. Hermana Shumway and Elder Allred are basically professional ping pong players. 

We try to speak to the natives here at the CCM a lot but we don{t do it as much as we should. Its good practice though. We actually became really good friends with these two elders from mexico and panama. They are sooooo funny. And they would just mess with us gringos all the time but its all good. we like it. They taught us some slang words so we can say "thats cool". "que padre" "chido" and "chebere" but apparently they only say "chebere" in panama. Anyway, we started saying those a lot and then i accidentally said que chido to one of my maestros and he got mad at me... it was funny though. we{re not allowed to use slang... But i gotta know how to be cool right? Anyway, those elders left already so now we have to find new natives to be friends with. 

Also on like the second day, Hermano Sanchez (our maestro) told us that our district will most likely be splitting up in week four and we´ll be put in native districts. Which will be really cool!! Hermana Shumway really doesn't want to though. it would help us so much with our spanish though. And it would be such a great opportunity because they rarely do this. Spanish is tiring though. Some days i feel so good about my spanish and it doesn't take much out of me and i can speak a little faster than other days but then there are the days where i feel like i cant say anything. Its kind of frustrating. pero está bien. 

We finished our lessons with Carlos and now he is our night teacher, Hermano villegas. Night classes are sooo hard because we´re all falling asleep. Plus Hno Villegas asks much harder questions and expects us to answer within 1 second of asking the question which is pretty difficult but I think its good for us. Now we have two new investigators (our teachers) but with new names. Eduardo and Alejandro. After our first lesson with Eduardo (hno sanchez) he told us that we did a really bad job and we were so surprised because we thought it went well. So basically we have a lot of work to do but we´re learning a lot every day and improving so its all good. 

We never get to leave the CCM to go proselyting. They used to do that but there are too many missionaries now. But today was awesome because we got to go to the temple!!!Sunday was the re-dedication and so we got to watch it in one of the auditoriums which was an extension of the temple. It was awesome! Elder Holland and President Eyring were here for it. So this morning we got to go to the temple and do an endowment session and it was so cool! I didn't ask for headphones so it was all in spanish and i loved it. A little scary, but cool. The temple is beautiful! AND right before we walked into the temple a GATO walked right in front of me and i really wanted to chase after it and kidnap it and take it back to the CCM. But i didn't. It felt awesome to get out of the CCM though. Mexico City is seriously awesome. There have been some crazy celebrations down here for el dia de independencia. fireworks and gunshots and music all night long. 

Okay so heres my missionary message for the week. Our propósito as missionaries is invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo al ayudarlas a que reciban el evangelio restaurado mediante la fe en Jesucristo y su expiación, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepción del don del Espíritu Santo, y el perseverar hasta el fin. (sorry i don't know it word for word in english but you can figure that out) Anyway, notice how it was invitar a LAS PERSONAS. It doesn't say nonmembers. Our job as missionaries, whether or not we are set apart to be missionaries or not (because we should all be missionaries), is to invite others to come unto Christ. That means members, nonmembers, less actives, your teachers or students or parents or friends or classmates or whoever. That's why it doesn't matter whether or not our investigators here in the CCM are real. Because our job is to invite them to come unto Christ no matter who they are. 

Love you all! 
-Hermana DeGraw

OH by they way, I ATE FISH. COOKED FISH. Everyone should be proud of me. I chose the fish instead of the chicken to prepare myself for Xalapa. It wasn't too bad, but still not too good either so...