Apr 24, 2017

Week 47 - April 24, 2017

They told me that President sent you guys an email last night to let you know that I was in the hospital again. I am not going to be able to make it to a computer today, so I just wanted to send you both a quick email to say that I love you and that I am doing okay. We haven't gotten much of an answer yet, but tests are being done, and I feel peace that everything will work out. I hope that you guys aren't too worried- I am sure that I will be better soon. I love you both dearly, thank you for your support and prayers. Give the girls a hug for me.

All of my love,


Apr 17, 2017

Week 46- April 17 ,2017

Friends and Family,

Hi everyone! I hope that you all had the happiest Easter holiday. I had an interesting week here... I love celebrating holidays in a different culture, but sometimes it also makes me miss home.. Hehe but then I just have to snap myself out of it and get my booty movin' because there is work to do. But, yes, I missed you guys this week.. And Easter Egg Hunts. Oh well.

Considering that there are 3 catholic churches in my area, Centro was taken over by Holy Week Festivities. Parades, lots of street paintings which was pretty, parties, and... Drunk men. A lot of drunk men. We spent the week eating fish and other seasonal dishes.. Which resulted in throwing up 7 times. Haha, I just don't even know what to do with myself anymore.

As far as the work goes, it was a rough week. Everyone left to go visit family, or joined the rest of their families in their catholic traditions.. However, everyone will be back in their houses this week, so there's a lot to be happy about.

It was an eye-opening experience to pass this holiday in a culture that focuses a lot more on the death of Christ than what I have been used to. I was surprised that after a week full of street plays, singing, and crowds of people praying in the streets, on Sunday Morning just a car passed through the streets with a speaker that said "He is Risen" at 5:30 in the morning, and everyone started normal life again. It gave me the opportunity to think on and reflect about how grateful I am for the knowledge and testimony that I have of the Savior of the world. How thankful I am for His perfect example, His sacrifice, and that He Lives! Thanks to two amazing parents who raised me with gospel principles, I have never questioned who is Jesus Christ and the role that He has in my life. And now that I am older, my Savior has become my greatest friend, and His Atonement my greatest hope. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and I love to testify of his holy name and sacred mission every single day. "And now, after the many testimonies that have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!"

I love you all, have a great week!

Sister Houston

Apr 10, 2017

Week 45 - April 10, 2017

Family and Friends,

Hello hello. It was a good week here in the ever so hot oven of Centro. Sister Chinchilla and I have been working hard, and have really been able to see a change of heart in some of our investigators.  Which is what learning about the gospel, and receiving testimonies of eternal truths does to people. And let me tell ya, there is not anything more beautiful than to watch it happen. 

Some of our amazing investigators are the Solis Family. We met them while street contacting, and when we started talking the husband listened and was really nice, but the wife completely just ran away from us. We were able to set up a visit, but I mostly just felt nervous that the wife was going to be upset when we showed up at the house.. And I wasn't wrong. Juan, the Father, is almost never home because of his work schedule, and we spent about a week of trying to teach this family but every time we tried the wife closed the door before we could get any words out. But, we felt the Spirit telling us to not give up, so we just kept trying. About a week and a half ago the wife started letting us come in. We washed the dishes, did the laundry, cleaned the house.. Really just whatever she needed. And she would let us sing a hymn and pray before we left.

I have never been more sure that we are not alone in this work, because during this time, the heart of our sweet friend has truly been softened. We have started teaching this family about the restored gospel, and the blessings of it.. Something that I thought was going to be just about impossible to accomplish. The other day Sandra asked us, "Please explain to me why you are here doing missionary work? Isn't it so hard? Remember how mean I was to you? Why do you do it?" It gave Sister Chinchilla and I the opportunity to do one of the things that we love the most, bear our humble yet strong testimonies about the beautiful experience that it is to be a missionary. We talked to Sandra about the miracles we have seen, and about the way that this gospel changes the lives and hearts of those who listen to and accept the message. She expressed her desire for a change in her life and about all the doubts and concerns that she had. The conversation ended with us inviting Sandra to pray and really ask the Lord if our message is true, if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and if the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

When we got there the next morning, the biggest smile and happiest person was waiting for us. Sandra prayed, the Lord answered her prayer, and I have never seen an investigator as excited about the gospel as Sandra Solis. You guys, she called us last night to tell us everything that she learned in her study of the Book of Mormon.

I will admit that it has been a couple of hard weeks for me. I felt like I was giving my whole heart and effort to people who didn't really care to receive it, and that was difficult for my overly sensitive heart full of good intentions.. But I once again feel humbled and thankful to be a servant in the Lord's vineyard. With all of the joys, heartaches, laughs, and tears that come with it. This work changes lives, and it is without a doubt changing mine.

I send lots of love, and wishes for a happy week!

Sister Houston 

Apr 3, 2017

Week 44 - April 3, 2017


Hi hi hi,

Happy April! Can you believe it? The time is flying by, and I literally have a "jaw to the floor" feeling when I realize that I have 10 months in my mission. It has been a hot week.. But.. Really, really hot. Everyone says that it will continue to get hotter every week until May, so I am sure that it will be a fun month.

The highlight of the week was without a doubt general conference. I am currently the only [white girl] in my zone... So while all the Elders were watching it in English, I was watching it in Spanish. But, I understood so much more than I did in October, so that was fun to see.  I just absolutely love general conference time with all of my heart. Everytime that I watch it, it becomes more and more amazing to me that while these inspired messages are meant for every member of the church... All over the world, and in every circumstance... Through the power of the Holy Ghost the messages become personal, and apply so directly to what we need to hear. I know that I felt some really special answers, and I hope you all did too!

Side note, our house has basically been invaded by flying cockroaches. They fly... We killed 15 the other night.. And it felt pretty similar to living in a horror film.

Okay, I love you all a lot. Happy happy happy week.

Sister Houston

Mar 27, 2017

Week 43 - March 27, 2017

Hi cute people,

I think that some of the experiences that I have had in the past few days have changed my life forever, and without a doubt, seeing how the Lord works in the lives of others has changed my perspective of everything. Sister Chinchilla and I were talking last night about our week, and we just feel so humbled to be here... And so humbled to know that the Lord trusts us to be His hands! The joy that I have felt in the last few days is the kind that fills your heart and soul, and it is the joy that only comes from the knowledge of the gospel, and service to God's children.

On Friday, after lots of appointments had fallen through and disappointments appeared, we had a strong impression to visit an inactive member named Tatiana. She opened the door with tears in her eyes, and nervously let us in, which was strange but I knew that we were where we needed to be. We sang a hymn, prayed, and after tried to figure out what the story was... And how we could help. We learned that Tatiana's husband had left her alone with her 3 children about a week ago. That they hadn't eaten in days...There was no light or water in the house. And that the landlord had just passed by to tell them that if they couldn't pay the rent by the next morning, they would be out on the street. Sister Chinchilla and I are 20 year old girls. I have been very blessed in my life, and I have never experienced or seen anything like that...But I had a crying and devastated mother in my arms, asking me what to do, and Sister Chinchilla had 3 young children crying at her feet. We were without words, and I felt more inadequate than I ever have in my entire life. But something that my mission has taught me is that the answer can always be found in our Savior, and so I trusted that He would guide my words.

We studied the scriptures, bore testimonies, and remembered how powerful the Lord truly is.. And that He works miracles in the lives of his faithful children that seek His help. By the time that the lesson was over, Tatiana was smiling, her children laughing, and their sorrow was truly swallowed up in the joy of truth and light.

And this is what this gospel does... It brings light to the darkest places, peace to the weary soul, and hope when all other options are gone. Elder Jeffery R. Holland has said, "There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the light that is endless, that can never be darkened. It is the very Son of God himself."

I love my Savior. I testify that He lives. I know that He loves each one of us, and I know that
He knows us personally. I am eternally thankful for the knowledge that I have of this gospel, and I am eternally thankful for the opportunity to share it.

I love you all.

Sister Houston


Mar 20, 2017

Week 42 - March 20,2017


Hello hello,
It is going to be a short email this week because I am in a cyber and things are crazy around here. I am happy, and we had a good week. The news of transfers is that I am staying in Centro with Sister Chinchilla! I never dreamed I would have 3 transfers with my favorite little Latina, but our time together has not ended just yet.. And we are SO excited! Working for your Heavenly Father with one of your best friends by your side is a dream come true, and there is a lot to be excited about for this change.
I learned how to make tamales this week, so I continue to become my favorite white latina. Someone asked me if I was from Brazil on Friday. That makes 5 times that people have asked me that question. It is funny for a lot of reasons, but none of which that I will share right now.
I also threw up rotten fruit soup, maybe I will share the story next week. Maybe not. Sister Chinchilla had to sneak me out of the house with the throw up bundled up in my skirt so that we wouldn't offend the member. My life is a wonderland.
Love you all. Miss you all.
Sister Houston

Mar 13, 2017

Week 41 - March 13, 2017

Hello everyone,

RAIN! I have not seen rain since I left Ataco, but we got rain! To be honest, it was a difficult week.. But there is a lot to be happy about! Like.. the rain. And.. the rain. I will have more things to be happy about next week. Hehe.

No, really, I am doing okay. For those that know me pretty well, you know that I have a heart that usually doesn't do a good job of watching out for herself. I tend to start loving people before I learn what their favorite color is, and that isn't normal... But I continue to make an effort to see it as a gift. Being a missionary has been no different. When we meet people and start to share the gospel with them, I just start to love them in a way that I don't think that I could put into words! The Lord helps me to see their divine potential, the ways that the gospel could bless their lives, and the love that the He has for them.. And that makes things a whole lot harder when they decide that they don't want to keep learning about the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am not kidding, I felt like I was dumped by a boyfriend this week. It felt worse than getting dumped by a boyfriend.

But the Lord knows how I am feeling, and He knows that everything is going to turn out okay. So, I just keep trusting in His love, and finding comfort from the example of His life. In the Book of Mormon, in Jacob chapter 5 is the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees, and just about all of it relates to missionary work.. In verse 41 it says, "And the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant- What could I have done more for my vineyard?" I felt a lot of peace in this verse.. That the Lord understands me perfectly. Sometimes the Lord cries for His children, and He definitely feels sorrow when they don't want to keep progressing in His gospel. The thought passed through my mind more than once this week.. "Are you kidding me? Where did we go wrong? What more can we do? Why?!"  But the Lord knows why.. And with His help, we are going to see miracles this week.. We are sure of it.

And until the miracles come.. I will just be here, dancing in the rain.

Haha clearly not, I will be here working diligently so that miracles happen. Ok, love you all. Happy week.

Sister Houston