Jun 7, 2016

Week 1 - June 7, 2016

Hola everyone!

One week! We did it!

This week was hard, it was really hard and ridiculously long- but it was also one of the best weeks I have ever had. The CCM is such an interesting but wonderful place. I have never been so fully immersed into something before in my life, and it can be overwhelming. However, this is the work of the Lord, and I can not imagine anything I would rather be immersed in. I love it here. I love the people, I love the language, and I love the weather. Okay, that was a lie. I haven't stopped sweating since I got here. It is so hot, and so so humid. I am sure I will adjust to it with time. The Lord and the Holy Ghost are so near to this place. I have felt the spirit so strongly this past week as I have learned how to better serve the Lord and his children. I know that God is watching over his children, and he is watching over me.

The drive to the CCM from the airport was such a surreal experience. It was 6 AM and the city was so alive! People are crazy drivers here, it is like nothing I have ever seen. Arriving at the CCM was fun, everyone is so good to us here. President Morris and his wife are some of the sweetest, most faithful people ever. I have been shocked at how well the language is coming overall. I have been very blessed regarding how I have adjusted to everything here in the CCM. I know things will continue to improve as I continue to trust in my Heavenly Father and do all that I can. It has been important for me to realize that the Gift of Tongues is like any other gift from the Lord. We have to do all that we can first, and then he fills in the rest. As I have remembered that and also that I can not do any of this without the help of my Savior, I have been very blessed.

My companions are Hermana Ashton and Hermana Speth.  I am in a trio! We are having so much fun. We are the only North American sisters here who won't be staying in Guatemala for our missions. Hermana Ashton is going to El Salvador, San Salvador East along with four other Elders in our district. Hermana Speth is going to Honduras, Comayaguela- she is the only person here going to her mission, and I am the only one going to mine. We think there will be some Latinos here in two weeks who will be going with us. There are four other girls who I live with, so I will give you a brief summary of each.

Hermana Ashton-- Her first name is Joy and she is the epitome of just that. One of the most selfless and sweetest people I have ever met.

Hermana Speth-- She is hilarious and we have become great friends. We get along great, but I have realized that being with anyone 24 hours a day can sometimes be hard. We don't always see eye to eye but we work through things quickly. She gets upset with me when I cry about missing my family, and I get a little frustrated when she curses anytime something goes wrong.  Its all good though. Growing pains.

Hermana -- Super nice girl with such a great heart. She has a watch with a calculator and has us ask her math problems to "keep her sane.." We all deal with things in our own way.

Hermana -- Listens to Beyonces Spanish songs in the morning and justifies it because Beyonce is "part of her religion" The Latina sisters don't appreciate it, we all don't know what to do.

Hermana -- Says really cute, compassionate things like, " I don't mean to make you all feel inferior with how good I am at Spanish, I just think I am being more blessed." Yeah, no. She has taken 6 years of Spanish. She has good intentions, some people are just interesting when they, you know, speak. 

Hermana -- Calls the men in her life names like "HBK- Hot Babe Keith" or " No Hope Nicolas." She wakes me up at 3 AM when she can't sleep. She has convinced herself that the gunshots we hear at night are the people of Guatemala practicing a play about the Revolutionary War for the 4th of July. No one has the heart to tell her that they don't celebrate that here.

There is never a dull moment.

Two pieces of bad news.. I can't send any pictures from the CCM. I am so sorry! I promise that I will send lots of pictures in 5 weeks. My face is worth the wait, I am sure. Haha. I also can not receive or send letters.. The mailing system in Guatemala has been shut down and they do not know when it will open again. I am afraid that the letters that have been sent I will never receive. I am devastated and so sorry. I wish I would have known sooner.

I have had a wonderful week, and I hope that you all have too. I bore my testimony in Spanish during Sacrament meeting. It was simple, mostly testifying that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that through him all things are possible. I know that to be true. I know that it is true at home in the United States, and I know it is true in this crazy, beautiful, foreign country of Guatemala.

I love you all very much,

Hermana Houston

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