Sunday, January 8, 2017

Merry Christmas 2016!

Family!!!
Holy cow it was so awesome skyping your guys yesterday! You all look so good and so happy. I love my family! Im glad you´re all doing well. :) Im glad Ken is doing a lot better! It´s a Christmas miracle now that she´s starting to move her large motor skills. Little by little she´s going to get better. I just know it! She´s my little sister! Im sure spending Christmas in the hospital wasn´t exactly what you all wanted but you know, im glad we were all able to skype and be together for a little bit. It made my Christmas seeing everyone. :)

This week was awesome! Lots of Christmas activities and Marcela had her baptism! Im so happy for her!! Our ward had a huge christmas party with lots of dancing and singing. (from what we heard) Haha the party was supposed to start at 7 but started at 8:30 so my companion couldn´t stay very long hahaha. But it was awesome seeing some of the less actives and our investigators at the church with the members. :) We also had a party with all of the missionaries and President and Hermana Ruiz. It was super awesome! We had a gift exchange and sang Christmas songs and had a talent show. President and Hermana Ruiz gave little talks about Christmas and it was so great. It was so spiritual and uplifting. I love my mission president and his wife! 
Marcelas baptism! She was so happy! I dont know, something about having her baptism on the 24th and her confirmation on the 25th just makes me so happy. Im never going to forget her baptism! Such a special day. Her sister and sons were able to support her this weekend and that made her so happy. She´s such a strong person and has really changed these past months we´ve been teaching her. She just wants to look forward to a bright future and she´s on track. We couldn´t be more happy for her. :)

Speaking of futures, 2017 is just around the corner. 2016 has seriously been one of my favorite years. Its been a year where I´ve grown the most and have figured out who I am and want to become. Im excited to make goals for this coming year. It´s going to be so great! Family! What are some of your goals this year?? I would love to hear some of them! 

I love you all so much and hope you´re doing good! Keep on reading your scriptures, praying, attending the temple, and attending church. You are all such wonderful examples to me. I couldn´t be more happy right now in the mission! Thanks for all of your love, prayers and support. I hope you had a Merry Christmas! I hope you have a Happy New Year! Be safe and have a wonderful week. :) Love you all!!
Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) Favorite house decorated with Christmas lights this year! 
2) Christmas morning! Last present to open! Thank you for the packages, family! 
3) Mission Christmas Party! Hermana Johnson, Hermana De Leon, Hermana Terry, Hermana Tarabilda, Hermana Bair, Hermana Peterson and Hermana Christensen. :)
4) At the Christmas party with President Ruiz!
5) Day of the baptism :)
6) Hermana Marcela! 





Trip to the ER!

Hey mom!!

First off!! MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS!! Holy cow, I cant believe its almost Christmas! This year went by soooo fast. I remember waiting for my mission call about a year ago.. so crazy! And now Im here in Merida! It´s going to be awesome talking to you guys this Sunday. It will be around 4 my time! So I think it will be 3 at home. :) If there are any complications, have your email ready.. We´ll have to test it out when I call on Christmas. To answer your questions: when we had our meeting with Hermano Tegero he said he served in Quetzaltango, Guatemala and that he served with an Elder Gates! And then he said I look exactly like him hahahha... I know hahahha. BUT yeah, crazy huh?? Thank you for the Christmas packages!! So far its going so great! Im so grateful for you guys! Seriously I´ve been blessed with the best family ever! Thank you thank you thank you! Please tell the grandparents thank you too! 

Haha I didn´t like the subject caption! How is everyone doing?? Oh man I hope ken is doing better and that everything is okay. She´s in my prayers! Are you guys still in hospital? Thats so nice that those kids got to sing to her. What a special experience for you all! She´s never going to forget about that. 

This week was a good one! Seriously went by so fast. Im trying to enjoy every day here, especially during this Christmas because its the most special time of year!! On Tuesday, our zone met up at a park in Viciente Solis and we sang christmas songs! We gave out book of Mormons and shared the #iluminaelmundo video with the people in the park. It was so special! It was snowing (raining) so it really felt like Christmas. ;) It was awesome! We had members join us too which was so great. 

This week my companion and I have been trying really hard to find new people to teach.. it´s frustrating when no one will listen to you, but we DEFINITELY are not going to give up! There is so much so work to do here in Dolores Otero. We know we´re going to find those who are ready for the gospel. We keep reminding ourselves that this is all in the time of the Lord. He knows what he´s doing! We just need to keep talking to as many people as we can. :)

A friend asked me what I would give to my savior this Christmas. Made me think of He is the Gift video. I thought of all of the gifts that I have recieved because of the Savior and I just cant help but feel soo much gratitude to my Heavenly Father and my Savior. They have given me so many wonderful opportunities and experiences in my life. I have a wonderful family, wonderful friends, the gospel and I have the opportunity to serve a mission right now. Really, these things are the most important to me! I think the perfect gift I could give the savior this Christmas is to share his gospel with all of my heart, might and mind. There are so many people in the world that know nothing about their Savior. They don´t know that they are beloved Sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father! This message of the restoration brings me the peace that I need to be happy here on earth! What would you give to Christ this Christmas? I challenge you all to think about what you would give to the savior this Christmas. :) I lovvvvveee you alll sooooo much!! Im so excited to see you on Sunday!!! It´s going to be so wonderful! (We´ll only have 30 minutes :() but I love you!!! Have a wonderful week and talk to you sunday. :) :)

Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1 & 2) Helping Abuelitos Sosa put up their Christmas decorations!
3) Zona Merida! Singing in the park!!!
4)hahah my companion hahah
5) Hermana Peterson! 
6) I bought my first food off the street this day. I was a little nervous but then thought! I just need to do it! Im living in Mexico right now! It was corn with cream and chile.. like off of nacho libre hahahah.
7) Abuelos Sosa! They are the parents of Felipe! The guy that called you guys. :)
8) This is our Christmas Tree this year hahah








NFR

Mom!!
So good to hear from you! Im doing so great! This week seriously flew by, I cant believe it. I love this time of year! I dont think I can say it enough hahah. I love Christmas and all of the feelings and thoughts it brings. Its something so so special! This week we went out with our ward Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and sang Christmas hymns to the less actives and members in our ward. It was so awesome. My companion and I took our little portable DVD player and gave a short little message about Christ and Christmas and showed the Light the World video. You could feel the spirit so strong. We visited an older lady in our ward who doesn´t have the best health right now and she just started crying when we sang to her. Mom.. These experiences priceless. These people are so special to me. I love being a missionary! 

Our investigator Marcela is doing so great. We are seeing a complete change in her and it something incredible! Her baptism is going to be on the 24th of December. She is so excited! She´s keeping her commitments, going to church on her own and just really showing our Heavenly Father that she wants to follow him and obey him. The 24th of December will be a very special day for her! We are in the process of finding more investigators right now! The elect are out there, we just have to find them. :)

We got a call from a ward mission leader in a different ward (our neighboring area.. they dont have missionaries) and he said that there is a family who aren´t members who have been attending church and want the lessons!! MIRACLE. TENDER MERCY. The Lord works in mysterious ways!! We got permission from President and we are going to start teaching this family! This is funny though... It just so happens that the ward mission leader in this ward served his mission with Reggie! Elder Tegero! Does Reg remember him? He said to tell reggie hi haha! Seriously such a small world. 

So Manuel is just a member in our ward. But he´s so great! Haha very hilarious! He´s the ward mission leader who all the missionaries know because he puts so much of his time into the Lords work. He´s always accompanying us on our visits. I cant believe I´m going to be skyping you guys soon hahaha. Its sooo weird! Okay Im gonna talk to my companion to see what time she can skype her family. Thank you for the account information, I will be sure to write it down! Umm... nah I just want our family and grandparents.. if Madie wants to come by she can too.. but yeah! I just want to see you guys!! 

Thats so fun you and dad got to go to the NFR! I love that you two do that every year. I was actually wondering if you were going to be able to go this year or not.. so im glad you got to go! Thats fun Had and Reg went down with you two, too! The Christmas tree Kennadi´s class made her is so cute! Her little class is the best! I bet she misses not going to school right now, but its for the best! She needs to stay healthy! Im so glad you guys are continuing to shine your "light" this holiday season! I love the iniciative this season! Its so fun to tell others about it and show them the video. I hope that you are all doing well! Thank you for all the love and support. I love my savior and I know He lives. He is the reason for the season! :) Have a good safe week! Talk to you next week! Love you!!!!
Love, Hermana Gates 
#kickitkdog




It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

HELLOO FAMILY!!
So great to hear from you!! KENN! I love your new haircut! Its sooo cute and totally fits you! Seriously. Jody did a great job. :) I loved the pictures!

The conference with Elder Pieper was amazing! So he was supposed to come with Hermana Gonzalez and I back to Dolores Otero to meet some recent converts but had to leave so it didnt work out... BUT. I got to have an interview with him! President chose 10-15 missionaries to get to know Elder Pieper and I was one of them. Mom, it was the coolest experience ever. He is so down to earth and truly is an inspired servant of God. It was a privilege. I told him about you guys and everything.:) During the conference we talked a lot about how we could help our investigators grow in their own testimonies. He gave really good advice that Im so excited to put to practice. :) One thing that  really stuck out to me this weekend was that we need to be worthy to partake of the sacrament every week. Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Its SO important to repent every single day. Because the promise of the sacrament is to always have His spirit to be with us. During the day, night and week! Its a gift! Please read D & C 20:37. Its the baptism requirments but it totally works with the sacrament. Because when we partake of the sacrament we are renewing ALL of the covenants that we made with our Heavenly Father at baptism and in the temple. Honestly, repentence is a beautiful thing! The atonement is so essential. We have the great opportunity to use the atonement every single day in our lives. :) My thought: Always be worthy to partake of the sacrament. 

YULISSA WAS BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!! Im so excited!!! We weren´t sure if she was going to be able to have her baptism this week because their were so many activities going on with Elder Pieper and everything but it all worked out! Her baptism was supposed to be a few weeks ago but due to other church events and everything we had to postpone it a few times. But yeah! She finally is a baptized member of the church. :) She was so prepared to make this covenant. When we first met her we could tell that she had a great mission here on earth. She was ready! In her testimony yesterday she said that she is preparing to serve a mission. Hermana Gonzalez and I are so happy for her and the choice that she made. :) Seriously this week was the best week ever. Best week of my mission. So many amazing experiences happened and I couldn´t be more grateful to my Father in Heaven. Im just so happy! Being His servent here in Merida is the most amazing thing. This work is the most important work! 
Im so happy everyone is doing well. I love hearing how everything is going back at home. Thank you for all of the love and support! This Christmas time is such a wonderful time. Everyday try to reach out to help someone in need. A smile goes a long way. please be happy and safe this week! Love you all so much. Have a wonderful week. :)
Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) It was Yulissas 16th birthday this week! 
2) Little kids and the best face paint ever.
3) Our mission leader Manuel! Hes the greatest!





Grateful!

Mama Gates!
So great to hear from you!! Wow I love you! Im so glad everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. It´s always the perfect time to remember what we are most grateful for in our lives. :) I appreciate the 10 things you are grateful for! And everyone else who wrote me with the things they are grateful for. Seriously we have been given SOOOO much. We should always express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father because he has given everything to us. 

Yaya Im glad Ken has this week off. That will be nice for her! She´s not going to school, right? She´s the best baby sister ever. Im glad she´s doing well! 

This week was a good one! Went by super fast! Hermana Gonzalez and I are staying here in Dolores Otero! We are so excited! We have so many plans and activities we want to do with our ward for this Christmas season. I dont know if you guys have seen the light the world video but it is so amazing. Please. If you haven´t watched it yet. Please do so. You wont regret it. After our District meeting last week, President Ruiz and his assistants showed up at the church and showed us the video and invited us to take the iniciative and do the 25 days challenge. I want to challenge you guys do this as well! There´s a lot more information on Mormon.org. :) Christmas time is perfect. Its so important to realize why we celebrate this holiday. Christ humbly came into this world to be our savior and redeemer. He was the light of the world. He was the perfect teacher. He is our greatest example of love, charity, service and faith. We can all be a light in the world when we serve our brothers and sisters with love. I encourage you guys to take on the challenge this christmas season. :) I promise you wont regret it. You will be filled with an understanding of why we celebrate Christmas. 

This coming week we are getting a visit from the area president, Elder Pieper! Ah we are so excited! The conference is this Saturday and after he is going to come with me and my companion to visit a recent convert family. Its a surprise for the family so we are so excited! I hope everything goes the way its planned. 

Things are going great here in Merida. I love love love being a representative of my savior! I hope you all are doing well and are safe and healthy. Im so grateful for all of the love, prayers and support. You are all such wonderful examples to me. :) I hope you have a wonderful week and always stand up for what you believe in! Talk to you next week!

Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Hola!!!!
Hey hey hey! I feel like I was just on these computers! How is everyone doing?? Sounds like this week was a good one for of you! Lots of traveling! I´m glad you´re all keeping busy and doing good. :) Music to my ears! 

This week was great! It went by super fast! So this is kind of a downer, but we had to move Yulisas baptism one more week. ahhh. Its the night of excellence this week for the young women and so her baptism would´ve interfered with that so we had to move it the 3rd of December. Ahhhh it´s all good! She´s excited, she just has a lot of activities and finals going on. But next week! Ha! Our other investigators are doing good as well. We are lucky to be able to teach such wonderful people right now! It´s so exciting being a missionary!
Woo hoo this week is Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving!!! Im so grateful for you guys! We dont celebrate turkey day here so I wanted to do something with you guys! For the next email I would love if you´d tell me 5-10 things you´re grateful for and why! It´s going to be fun! Heavenly Father has given us SO much and we have SO much to be grateful for! (Mosiah 2) I´ll start it off: 1) My family!! Wowowow I love you guys! Your support these past months has been amazing. Im so grateful for all of your examples. I love how close we all are. You guys are seriously the best. :) 2) My friends. My friends on missions and at home! Im so grateful to have grown up with people who have such good standards! 3) Book of Mormon! My favorite book! ha! Seriously everytime I read the Book of Mormon, I learn something new. It´s amazing. (How is your daily scripture study going?) Its the greatest when you´re able to find an answer to a question you had. 4) The members in the Dolores Otero ward. Such amazing people. They are all so humble and are willing to help us out with anything we need. They have such strong testimonies and are so uplifting. I love the people here in Merida! 5) The gospel!! Seriously the Gospel of Jesus christ is such a blessing. It brings me so much happiness and joy and Its a privilege to share the gospel right now! 6) My companion! She´s great! We get along great! She´s like my sister haha. 7) President Ruiz and Hermana Ruiz. They are such wonderful people! Always checking up on us and the other missionaries. :) 8) The progress Kennadi has had since she´s been diagnosed. She is such a strong little girl and I truly look up to her! She is definitely a little fighter and is kicking out the cancer! 9) Good ol St. George. Im just so grateful for the mountains and everything. There aren´t any mountains here hahaha. 10) MERIDA!! Ahh I love Merida! Its so beautiful! I love the people, I love the pueblos, I love the cities, I love the heat, I love everything about it. Im soo grateful to be here! 

Im doing great! We have transfers this week so it will be interesting to see what happens with Hermana Gonzalez and I! We´re hoping that we´ll both be staying in Dolores Otero another transfer. We feel like we just got to the area! There´s a lot of work to do and a lot of people to meet. :) BUT we will see!

I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week this week. Dont forget to read the Book of Mormon, pray, attend church and go to the temple!. Individually and as a family. It´s SO important. It´s the small things that make the difference! Im so grateful fo you all! Please be safe this week! Talk to you next week. :) Love you!!


Con amor, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) P-day in centro! 
2) Shoes from Vegas. ;)
3) Primary children from our ward



Trump for President!

Hola Mama y familia!!

How is everyone doing?? Sounds like this week went super well for you guys!! hahaha seriously everyone has been talking about Donald Trump here. I honestly dont know anything about him and everyone is asking me what I think about it and all. Hahah it´s been awhile since I´ve been in the US. I dont know much of what is going on! Congrats Pres on making the basketball team! That is super exciting! Thats crazy she´s been in Japan all week! I bet it was an awesome experience. :) Ken, keep kicking the cancer out! You are doing so awesome, im so proud of you. Sounds like this week is going to be a crazy one of traveling back and forth so be careful! :) The Christmas tree!!!! It looks so great! Ah this is seriously the best time of year! My companion and I want to buy a little Christmas tree for our house hahah. Do you think its going to snow this year? Mom you´re the best! Thanks for sending the package. Ill be on the look out. :)

 This week was a good one! We had Ocho Principios. We had reunions on Thursday and Friday with all of the missionaries here in Merida. It was so much fun seeing everyone. We had TONS of practices and it was so great. There´s always something new to learn. President and Hermana Ruiz were there as well. They seriously are the best! They make us feel like we are their children. So great! 
After one of the reunions my companion and I had an appointment with a new investigator. So we went to her house and the only person home was her mom! So of course we started talking to her mom about the gospel and she let us in the house. She started talking to us about her husband and how he passed away 10 years ago and how she doesn´t think she´ll ever see him again. *Perfect missionary opportunity*. We were able to teach her about the plan of salvation and I have never felt the spirit so strong. She accepted the baptism invitation and wants to know more and everything! Seriously the lesson was AMAZING. I love being a missionary and having the spirit teach! My companion and I are just the mouths here in Dolores Otero. The spirit took over and ahh it was the greatest experience. 

Saul and Yulisa are doing great! Yulisas baptism is the 25th of November! She´s 15 years old. Saul´s baptism is going to be the week after. We have another investigator Marsela who is preparing to be baptised on the 17th of December! These investigatores are GOLDEN! My companion and I are so blessed to have the opportunity to help these children of God enter the waters of baptism. :) Things are going so great here!! Im loving the mission! Thank you for all that you do for me. Seriously I have been blessed with the greatest family ever!!! I love you guys and hope you have a WONDERFUL week. Be safe and choose the right!! :)

Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) 5 out of the 7 american sister missionaries hahah. :)







Preslee's almost off to Japan!

Mama Gates!

Heyyy!!! No things have been great this week! It sure went by really fast! Anddd.. no. I feel fine! I just havent started yet haha

Seriously though this week went by super fast! SO good to hear from you. Yes, we are all moved in and settled into our house. I love it. Our house is lime green hahah. It´s so great! It´s so nice not having our study and planning sessions on the ground haha. To answer your questions: When we travel we take a bus which costs 7 pesos or a taxi which is a lot more expensive. We try to take the bus whenever we need to travel. We actually dont have cars here! Hahah I dont think I´d want to try drive here in Mexico. Im perfectly fine taking the bus and taxi. :) Yes this is my second area! I absolutely loved living with those other sisters for 2 weeks. They were so much fun to be around. Especially since Hermana Peterson was just starting out her mission I was able to help her out with a few things. Their house is pretty big. It has two stories so the other sisters slept on the top floor and my companion and I slept on the bottom. We actually cant go to the mission office whenever we want. But if we need to, its close enough we could walk. Id say like 3 or 4 miles. :)

Thats so exciting the girls had tournaments this weekend! It sounds like they did great! Thats awesome ken got to play! Good luck at basketball tryouts Pres! Holy cow its so weird saying that! It´s crazy it´s already time for basketball! I cant believe she leaves for Japan tomorrow. How long will she be there? It´s so crazy thinking she´ll be in a different country haha! Our time changed last week! Here´s a funny story... I dont know if I told you last week but our mission leader told us that the time would change three weeks ago so we arrived to church late our first Sunday in Dolores Otero. hahaha. It was so embarrassing! We were so confused when we showed up to the church, because we thought we arrived 30 minutes early.... but nope! ha! 

Good luck with next phase K-dog! I know she´s going to keep fighting hard just like she has been these 6 months! Thats so cool Riley will be able to see Rylee! Thats crazy that they have games out of the country! That will be an awesome experience!

We had a "first" lesson the other day with one of our investigators, Saul and we were talking about Jesus Christ and baptism. A little bit about Saul. He´s 70 years old and is seriousy the nicest man! He´s the greatest because he keeps EVERY promise! He´s been super diligent at reading the book of Mormon and praying. The other day we were talking about baptism and right before I asked him "the baptism question" he asked, "So when can I get baptized??" HA! It was awesome! He has a date for the 3rd of December. We are so excited to keep teaching him. :)
Yulisa is doing great! Her baptism was going to be this week but there´s stake conferences going on so we postponed her baptism for the 26th! She´s doing great! Her mom and sister have been a great help in preparing her as well. She´s been completing her goals in her personal progress and keeping her commitments. It´s been so fun teaching her!

Im doing so great here! It´s been awesome serving here in Dolores Otero! I LOVE this gospel! It´s honestly a privilege to share the gospel. I challenge you all to share the gospel with your friends and family this week! Whether its on social media or a text message or phone call or visit. I dont know! Just share it! We are all brothers and sisters and need to help each other make these special covenants with our Heavenly Father. :) I hope you have a wonderful week! Please be safe and choose the right! Love you sooo much!!!!
Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) SANTA CLARA!
2) Dana and Paola!
3) family home evening with Familia Ceh Cetz! We love their hammock!
4) This is Pibe! Its one of the traditional foods they eat here in the Yucatan! The people eat it here during dia de los muertos! Its sooo good!
5) First dog i´ve held since being on the mission. hahahah Jazzy is a lot more fun to hold.





Preslee's Birthday!!

 Hey mom!!!

First off, Happy Halloween!!! Totally forgot it was Halloween until someone told me today! Do you have any fun plans for today? How is everyone doing?? To answer your question... Dolores Otero is probably like 45 minutes away from Caucel. Our area actually covers a little bit of centro. Its super nice because we are so close to the mission office. :) We´ve traveled to centro every single day the past two weeks because we´ve had to travel from our area to another to sleep at the others sisters house in Vincint Solis. BUT guess what?? We finally found a house here in Dolores Otero!!! Its been the craziest experience trying to find a house to rent here. On Thursday the assistants called us saying that we only had 3 days to find a house so we had to drop a lot (not all) of our appointments to search our area. We set out for the search and found the perfect house! We actually moved all of our things into the house this morning. We still need to unpack everything, but we´re going to do that later haha. Its been a crazy morning. Good but crazy. :)

HOLY COW. Reg got the big buck! Im impressed! He needs it to cover up his little buck. ;) Thats so fun that you guys got to go back out to search. I can imagine its starting to get chillier in good ol St. George! Happy Birthday Pres!!! Sounds like she had a great birthday. I cant believe she´s 15! Does she have her permit yet? Ahhhh thats so crazy she´s gonna be driving soon!! ahhh Im so glad everything is going well with everyone. It´s so fun to hear what everyone is up to these days.
Its been so much fun getting to know more of the members in our ward. My companion and I are learning the area together and having a lot of fun. We´re teaching a 15 year old named Yulisa right now. Her baptism is November 12th, so we are in the process of preparing her for that day. She is awesome! Her mom and sister are recent coverts and have been so helpful. We helped Yulisa start her personal progress and now everytime we see her she´s completed a goal! She´s super excited for her baptism. We are also teaching a couple! Their names are Porfirio and Juanita. They are amazing! So sweet. Seriously have the most tender hearts. We are preparing them for baptism on the 26th of November. Its been such a great experience being here in Dolores Otero. Things are definitely going to be a lot peaceful now that we have a house and we wont have to leave our area everyday. :)

Things are going great! Living and loving the mission. Seriously the mission is the best decision I´ve made. I have learned SO many things I know I probably wouldn´t have learned at home. There´s nothing more perfect than the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel brings true happiness and joy. It´s a privilege to share the gospel with the people here in Merida. I love being a missionary!! Thank you for all of your love, prayers and support. I love you and hope you have a FANTASTIC week!!! Thanks for everything!!!
Love, Hermana Gates
#kickitkdog

1) Hermana Gonzalez! hahah we couldn´t help but take a picture by this wall!
2) Me by the same wall (;
3) Familia Ceh Cetz! They are so fun! Recent converts!



Deer Hunt 2016!

Hey mom!!!

So great to hear from you! Sounds like things are going great back at home! Yaya! Thats awesome Ken doesnt need to have another Interm maintenance phase. Music to my ears! I bet you are all very happy about that. This next phase of treatment sounds a lot better than the others she`s had. Thats nice she`ll have quick in and out appointments once a week now. You`ll have more time to spend at home which will be so nice. :) She`s a trooper! Im so proud of her! She`s seriously kicking out the cancer out of her little body. 

And yes! We can get letters here. I think they sent off their letters the first part of September so it takes about a month.. but yeah it was awesome getting a letter from Troy and Stef. I really appreciated it!

This week has been such a great week. Seriously. So crazy but oh so good. First off, I love my companion Hermana Gonzalez! She`s an angel! She`s from Baja, California south. Yep we`ve already planned a trip to her territory after the mission. ;) We are still in Dolores Otero houseless haha. It`s been a fun week though. Last Monday we were told that we`d have to sleep in a different area with other sisters, Hermana Poroj and Hermana Peterson. So we packed our suitcases and headed over to Vincint Solis. (That was an adventure with the taxi driver hahah) This week has been a week of learning the area, searching for a house to rent, and finding more people who need the gospel! It`s been a very humbling week. I`ve learned a lot. We are the first sister missionaries in Dolores Otero in 10 years! WOW. I dont know why it`s been this long to have sisters in the area but we both feel very privileged to keep the work going here. Im so happy here!!

I absolutely love the ward members. It`s been so much fun getting to know each of them. The ward is a little small but we are here to make it grow. :) The little kids in the ward are so funny.. Especially the little girls.. They always run up to me and my companion and tackle us with hugs and kisses. So funny. We get along with them great. Oh yeah! Before I forget.. the secretary in our ward served in the Las Vegas, Nevada mission. He served in Mesquite for 6 months! He said that Mesquite was his favorite area! HAHA. I couldn`t really believe it but yeah! It was fun talking to someone who knows what it`s like back at home. We dont have a bishop in the ward so the stake president comes to our ward and ward councils. So thats a little different for me but its awesome!

I love being a missionary!! It`s seriously the greatest experience ever. I love meeting new people and talking to them about the gospel. Its so much fun. This week we are gonna keep searching for a house and investigators! It`s gonna be a great week, I know it. :) Thanks for all of the prayers and support. I love you so much! Im so grateful for your example. Have a wonderful week! Be safe! Let me know if you need anything!
Love, Hermana Gates
#kickitkdog

1) Hermana Gonzalez and I!
2) Baseball stadium! First baseball stadium I`ve seen since I left home! I got super excited hahaha. I guess thats what happens when you`re born into a family of baseball lovers!
3) Hermana Peterson! She just arrived in the mission field last week. Shes from South Jordan! 




GIRLS STATE SOCCER

Mom!!

So good to hear from you! How are you doing?? Sounds like you all had a good week! Thats fun that the kids got a break from school and you were able to go up north and do something fun. :) I  loved the pictures you sent!! Please send more! Thanksgiving point, BYU games, soccer games sounds like a good weekend to me. Thats so interesting about Kens feet.. I´ve never heard of cancer kids having problems with walking.. Its super interesting learning about all of things that are going on. WOO HOO last phase of interm maintenance! CONGRATS KDOG! Ken is such a champ and is doing so great. She sure is fighting so hard. Im proud of her. Riley has told me a little bit about the girls hes going on dates with. Im glad you guys like Maddie! 

Keyla had her baptism! It was so special. she is the cutest little girl with the purest heart. It was such a great experience teaching her. She truly understood everything we taught her and payed a lot of attention. Its so fun teaching little ones haha. It´s easier on my spanish. ;) Nah but it really is such a cool experience. :)

We had transfers today!! WOO HOO! I left Caucel which I was so sad to say goodbye to everyone but Im so excited to have more experiences here in Merida. My new area is Dolores Oterno. My new companion, Hermana Gonzalez and I are both new to this area so we are excited to start working and meeting members. Its a fairly new area. Its been closed for awhile and there have only been elders here........ Okay wait we just received a call saying we might have to leave this area because its a little dangerous for sisters.. hahah.. Hermana Ruiz doesnt want us here..... So we dont really know whats going to happen but we´ll see! Ill have to let you know the details next week haha! Im sorry this letter is short but we have to go and figure out what we need to about this area. 

Im very happy here! Things are going well. Im so happy to be a missionary and to have this opportunity to do the Lords work. Thanks for all of the love and support! I feel your prayers everyday! Love you so much and talk to you next week!!!
Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) Helping Keyla with her English homework. I have(now had) a few people Id teach english to in Caucel. :)
2) Keylas baptism!
3) Keyla and her mom. 



Week off from PCs!

Mom!!

How are you doing? It´s so great to hear from you!! Woo hoo! Im glad kens counts were good so you two could leave PC´s earlier last week. I hope her counts are good today so she can go to school this week. Thats crazy its fall break! It feels like Summer here still. hahah... It´s gonna feel like summer my whole mission. :) There´s not a big change in the weather throughout the year. Thats crazy the deer hunt doesn´t run into fall break this year. What are you guys going to do?? haha! Thats so fun you and pres went to her japan party! That is so crazy she will be traveling to Japan! She´s going to have a great experience in a different country! Lucky girl! It sounds like you are all keeping busy and so happy! Im so glad!! 

This past week was an interesting one to say the least haha. First off, my companion broke her tooth so we were in centro a lot trying to find a good dentist. I feel so bad for her because her tooth literally fell out and we dont know what she´s gonna have to do about it. A member referred us to a dentist and so we decided to make an appointment with him. When we arrived his office was in his house! It was super funny/a little bit creepy. But he was super nice and made us feel at home. She wants to wait to see what she needs to do after the baptism this week. :)

Yes! We have a baptism this Wednesday. Keyla is so excited! We will finish teaching her the rest of the lessons today and then she´ll be ready! Her mom is baptized, mom. She was just a less active for awhile. Their family is super great. Always offering to do things for us. So nice! Keyla is so funny. She seriously acts like she´s 20. She´s so proper hahah. Such a sweet spirit!

Ahhh Erick. We are working with him. On Wednesday he went to institute and absolutely loved it! He talked to our bishop and seemed so happy and excited about everything he´d learned. We went to visit him on Thursday and he talked to us about serving a mission and just seemed so open to everything! My companion and I were sooo excited!! but...... We went to visit him again on Friday and we dont know what happened but he was doubting everything. Everything. I dont want to get into the details but we are working with him. He´s 19 and so he´s at an age where he´s trying to figure out what he wants and needs to do right now. He´s great! Just needs some time. :) 

This is the last week of transfers! Ahhhh. This transfer went by so fast! I honestly have no idea if I will stay in Caucel or if I´ll be leaving. We´ll see! I wouldn´t mind leaving so I can experience a different area, but I also wouldn´t mind staying here in Caucel because its close to centro and people here are so great. We´ll see where the Lord needs me to go. :)

Being a missionary is the greatest! Im super happy here. I love this gospel so much! I have learned so much and Im grateful for the opportunity to be able to strengthen and share my testimony with the people here in Mérida. Its a blessing! I love my Savior and I know He lives! I know that he atoned for all of our pains, weaknesses, sickness and sorrow. Because of Him we are able to return back to our Heavenly Fathers presence for eternity. I love you so much and hope everything is going good! Let me know if you need anything! Have a WONDERFUL week. Le quiero MUCHO!!!!


Con amor, Hermana Gates

1) My poor companion hahah
2) At the dentist!
3) Sosette! 



GENERAL CONFERENCE!

Hola mom and family!!!

Como le va su semana?? I hope it was a good one! Sounds like everything at home is going good. :) WOO HOO! I´m so glad Kens counts were good so she can start her other round of treatments! Drive safe up to Salt Lake! Does the HHN take her counts every Saturday? Thats awesome that Riley got to come for a couple of days to watch conference with you all. It was weird not watching it with you guys but it was super awesome being here as a missionary and watching it. Wasn´t conference the GREATEST?? Seriously we are so blessed to have a living prophet and apostles on the earth today. I know they receive direct revelation from God to help all of us on earth. What talks did you especially like??

This week was a good one! Filled with general conference and little tender mercies. My companion and I are teaching a teenager named Erick right now. He is Christian and knows the bible from cover to cover haha. Its been a super awesome experience teaching him. Every question he has we´ve been able to answer and he´s truly been able to understand that the Church of Jesus Christ is the ONLY true church on the earth and has everything we need to return back to live with our Father in Heaven. Last week we were passing his store when he came out to us and said that he knows and feels that this is the true church. Now that is music to missionaries ears! We were so excited! It seriously was a huge tender mercy. We are working on a baptism date for him right now. :)

Keyla (our little investigator) is awesome! Her baptism will be held next week! She is so excited :) Teaching little ones is so much fun. They have the purest hearts. Sometimes it´s a little hard to keep her attention on the lesson but I´m learning patience hahaha. It´s fun because her mom is a less active and so we are working with her too. Last night we visited them for a little bit and she said that she loves it when my companion and I go to her house because we make her feel better and she feels more content with all the things that she´s going through right now. It made us feel really good to hear her say that. Seriously such a sweet family! 

We worked with our new recent converts on their personal progress this week too! Now that was super fun!! Having the opportunity to work on Personal Progress is such a privilage. It was so fun to see the excitment in Sandras, Alejandras and Mariana´s eyes when we were reading the scriptures and talks and thinking of projects they could do for their values. Personal Progress is the best! 

Conference. WOW. So good!! Hermana Frehner, Hermana Johnson and I watched it in english this weekend and it was so great. It was awesome to hear the inspiring word of our prophet, apostles and leaders. I know they were inspired to say what they said. I really loved the talk given by Elder Nelson. I loved how he said that saints can be happy in every circumstance. It has everything to do on the focus on our lives. We should always focus on Jesus Christ because He is joy! "Joy comes from and because of Him". Every day that we follow Christ we can experience true joy. We can just be happier people! I also really loved the second session of conference. I feel like it really pertained to missionary work. :) 

Missionary life is going great here in Caucel! Im so grateful to have this opportunity to represent my Savior and teach His gospel. I love you all so much!!! I hope you have a great week! :)

Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) Karina made us "Gorditas"
2) Mariana, Alejandra and Sandra!
3) Alejandra and I!
4) Our recent converts named this cat "Wilson Romero Gates" hahahahah




SWISS DAYS!

Hola Mom!!

    How was your week?? I hope it was a good one! This week FLEW by! I feel like I say that every week, but it´s so true haha! The pictures from the Swiss Days 5K were so great! Thank you for sending them. How was Swiss Days this year? Was there a good turn out? Swiss Days is always something to look forward to. :)

    Oh man, as much as it makes me happy that Ken can go to school I want her to have good counts to be able to keep getting her treatments. Maybe taking this week off of school is a good idea. Especially now that it´s starting to get colder and more kids getting sick, it´s better for her to stay home so she doesn´t catch anything. Im glad she´s not getting behind too much in school! Just remember this trial will test a lot of yours, Kennadi´s and our family patience. We want her to be completely healed so bad but it will take a lot more than having faith for her to be healed. It´s going to take a lot of patience, prayer and fast. "Whatever it takes"!!! There´s not a doubt in my mind that soon she will be able to go hang out with friends and play sports and do what all the other kids her age are doing. It´s only going to take time. And that time is up to our Heavenly Father. Keep patience!! :)

   The woman´s conference was the best. Simply the best. We watched it at the stake center! There´s another American Sister serving in my stake and so we found a computer and found a room in the church and watched it in English haha. It was so fun! For general conference we will watch the Saturday sessions at the stake center and the Sunday sessions at our church. Most people dont have internet or television so they cant watch conference in their homes. WE ARE SO BLESSED! Something that really stuck out to me was how it important it is for our generation to KNOW the doctrine of Christ. we live in a time where people say it´s okay to go against the laws of God, but its not. Its so important for all of us to truly stay true to the principles and stand up for what we believe in. Thats something I´ve come to realize out here in the mission. I´ve been in situations where people will confess something to me and my companion and naturally it would be something that I´d shrug off because I wouldn´t want to offend them. BUT thats when we need to be respectful and share our testimonies and bear truth. Because that is something God would want. He wants us know these doctrines and principles how he created them. Also, President Uchtdorfs talk was so great too! It makes me want to expound my faith so I can be a better missionary! There´s ALWAYS room for improvement! 

   Our lessons with our little investigator and her aunt and uncle are going great! We taught them about the restoration the other day and they loved it. Our ward had a "noche de Mexicano" on Friday night and they came and played games with the ward members and everything. It was so fun seeing how excited and happy they were to participate with the members! We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to teach them. Yesterday, our recent convert Yasmin was confirmed!! YAY! She hasn´t been able to make it to church since her baptism with her work situation, but yesterday she was able to make it to church so we were stoked. 

     With General Conference coming up this weekend I challenge you to write down questions you have about whatever things you have questions about haha! And listen with the spirit to the words of the prophet, apostles and our leaders. I promise you they will answer your questions in some way or another! Presidente Ruiz challenged us to do the same thing, and I want to extend this challenge to my favorite people! I hope you all enjoy your week this week! Enjoy your time being together and watching conference! It´s the best time of year(minus Christmas ;)) I love you so much!!! I hope you have a great week!! Talk to you next week. :) If you need anything let me know!!

Love, Hermana Gates
#kickitkdog


Another week off at Su Casa!

Hey mom!!!

How are you?? SO good to hear from you. :) I agree, this week went by way fast! Im glad you and Ken are able to enjoy home while you can... but darn I hope she can get through her treatments so she can keep progressing! hahahahhahah to answer your question... a pueblo is a small village. There are many pueblos here in Merida! Those pueblos can be a little rough. It depends on the area! Here in Caucel we are super safe. We have doors that lock, bars around our windows and brick walls around our house. Its good! :)

It gave me goosebumps reading about how Ken was able to give her talk in the primary program. Im so proud of her! The Childs Prayer is the perfect song to end with. Those Primary children are pretty special! I always loved hearing their talks during sacrament meeting! 
This week was a gooooood one. On Tueday we had intercambios and so Hermana Balboa came to Caucel and we got to work together while my companion went to Hunucma with a different Hermana. It was fun and I learned a lot from Hermana Balboa. We visited old investigators and set baptismal dates for them! woo hoo!!! 
We had a miracle on Sunday. So all of the investigators we taught this week didn´t show up to church. My companion and I were pretty sad about it because they all committed to coming. So as we were heading to the sacrament room a lady stopped us and said that her 9 year old daughter hadn´t been baptized and she wants us to teach her! WHAT. TENDER MERCY. Her daughter is the sweetest thing! As my companion was talking to the mom, getting all of their information I talked with the little girl for a little bit. I asked her what she liked to do and her response was, "I really like to learn about Jesus Christ." (in spanish haha) SO SWEET. She has the purest heart! We set up an appointment to see her mom today and when we arrived at her house, her aunt was there and said she wants us to teach her too! And maybe her husband! Heavenly Father knows what he´s doing!! The work is going forth here in Caucel! Im so happy!!!

Okay I have some homework for ya´ll. There is a talk given by Elder Bednar in the Liahona, August 2016 called "Accepting the Lords Will and Timing". PLEASE READ. It´s so good! I think we can all relate to the family that he talks about. :) Keep having faith in Him. Keep reading your scriptures. Keep praying. Keep attending the church and temple. Keep doing all that you can to strengthen your relationship with our Heavenly Father. He loves you and wants to bless you!! I hope you have an incredible week. Love you!!! Talk to you next week. :)
Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) fresh off the coconut tree!
2) Panuchos! traditional yucatan food!


Life back home!!

MI MAMA!!!

How are you doing?? This week went by fast. I know I say that a lot but seriously I feel like I was just writing home! Yeah, the baptisms went great! We were pretty happy for those teenagers. Their whole entire family are members.. (were less actives).. but they´re coming to church now so its so good. Seriously mom my companion and I talk about it all the time.. we have seen a BIG change in these kids. It´s pretty amazing!! Yesterday, Alejandro received the priesthood! And he is planning on serving a mission! And the girls are starting their personal progress and are loving it. It´s so great. :) And yes, I will be in Caucel for another 6 weeks. Which im soooo okay with. I love it here! I love the members and the people. Maybe its because Im a little scared to be in pueblo from all the stories I hear... but I truly love Caucel City! 

Ahh sounds like this week was a little rough for Ken. She´s definitely gonna have her hard days. Just keep reminding her that she can overcome this. I know she´s a fighter! Thats so funny you have the "nurse bait". I bet the nurses look forward to that haha! Awee those pictures of Ken and Mia are cute! I bet she was so excited! Reading the Book of Mormon is a great idea mom! Seriously with all the time you have at the hospital, no doubt you´ll finish by January. The Book of Mormon is the greatet book ever. 

I hope Ken will have the energy to do her part in the program! I love the scripture! I forgot I shared it with her haha. She has such a strong testimony that should be shared with everyone. WOW. I had no idea Devin, Jake and Hailey and their spouses were expecting! How exciting! Thats so fun! Reggie and Had need to wait a few more months... ;) Tell them congrats for me! Thats so cool Terri, Robbin and Kent saw Maddie and Syd! I´ve emailed Syd a few times and it sounds like she´s doing great. I hope Maddie is doing good!

This week was a good one! Since my companion and I ended our last transfer with our baptisms we started this new transfer with zeros ha... BUT this week, we found some great people to teach! We are so excited. We have an investigator who is SO interested in the church. He asks SOOO many questions. It´s great! And yesterday he went to church with us and loved it. Im so grateful for the ward members because they all welcomed him in and were so sweet. We have another investigator with a baptismal date so we will be working towards that. Our goal is to find a family! I know we can do it!! Lots of work, fast and prayer. :) I hope you have a great week! Always remember that we have a Heavenly Father who loves each and everyone of us. He has so many blessings he wants to pour upon us, we just need to be faithful to him. Love you!!! Talk to you next week. 
Love, Hermana Gates

#kickitkdog

1) Alejandro received the priesthood!

Dad's 49th Birthday!

MOM!!!!!
I love hearing from you! How are you doing? How is life going? Our 4 baptisms went great! They were baptized on Saturday(dads birthday woo hoo) and confirmed on Sunday. Mom, it was amazing to see the change in these 4 teenagers. When we first started teaching them we wondered if baptism was something they even wanted or how we were ever going to be able to teach them and help them, but with many prayers and fasts it happened. They are clean and have so much to look forward to in the future. My companion and I are so happy for them. I know, Im done being trained! So weird! Transfers are today but I have the same companion and same area for another transfer so Im sooo grateful and happy. Seriously. Prayers answered! We have a lot of work to do in Caucel! Im excited! Lots of families to visit and help. :)

Thats awesome Ken got to go to school all week this week! Thats awesome she got picked for student council! She´s a great candidate for that! Sure, she´ll probably be gone a lot but she´s a hard worker. She´ll get things done. :) That post that mrs. T posted was so nice! I bet it made Kens day. Mrs T is the best!! I dont dare download any videos on these computers. Is it online somewhere that I can watch it? Thats so fun you had a little league party! Sounds like everyone had a blast! You always know how to throw the best parties, mom. :)

Thats awesome Ken go to take out the football at the football game! Shes a lucky girl! Thats fun you spent dads birthday in Pine Valley! WOAH big 49! CRAZY. hahahaha. I bet it was fun having the whole family together! I hope Kens counts are good this week. 

This week we contacted in a different area so that was fun! We contaced in an area where there are americans! Sadly the only american we found didn´t want anything to do with us hahah. It was funny though because I was so nervous to speak in english that I totally mixed up my words and didnt make a whole lot of sense but it was pretty funny! We also painted a house this week which was really fun. Lots of things im experiencing here in Merida! Its so fun! I love being a missionary! Im so grateful to be here. I know that this church is true with my whole CORAZON!  im so grateful to have the knowledge of the plan of salvation. I know that Jesus Christ lives! I know that through Joseph Smith, the church was restored back onto the earth. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I love the Book of Mormon. It is evidence that the church is true. All of lifes answers are in the book, we just need to take the time to read and ponder it. Im grateful for the book of momon because it gives me the opportunity to learn more about my savior and his ministry. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON. Its amazing!!

I hope you have a great week! Know that I pray for you and the family every day. :) Talk to you next week!!
Love, Hermana Gates
#kickitkdog


1) Hna lupita and Israel!
3) Alejandra and Mariana. 2/4 who were baptized this weekend.
4) Sandra! During entravistas!

5) Cleaning and painting!
6) I cant remember what this fish was called but this member was SI excited to cook it hahahaha.
7) Painting!
8) My companion, Rosa and her grandchildren (who got baptized) :)