Aug 22, 2016

Week 12 - August 22, 2016

Hola!  I have had a wonderful week here in Ataco.  We found some amazing new investigators, 5 less active families were back in church this week, and the members here are finally beginning to open their hearts to the missionaries again.Woohoo! I couldn't be any happier.  I'm feeling the joy that comes from serving others everyday.  My Heavenly Father is literally guiding my steps, and I'm preaching peace to anyone who will take a couple of minutes to listen.  With hard work, prayer, and a whole lot of love for the people we are seeing this little town change right before our eyes.  The Lord is doubling, tripling our efforts - I know this is His work and I feel so thankful to be a part of it.

My relationship with Hermana Reyes is still great, but we have our rough patches.  Here's an example from this week.  So, by some miracle the members are starting to love us.  We had members inviting us over to eat everyday this week. One night, we ate dinner at the house of a woman who hasn't had missionaries over for more than 2 years.  I don't know what happened, but she wanted nothing to do with us when we first got here. I was determined to make this woman love me, and she now calls me her "pequena gringa hija" - her little white daughter, haha.  Mission accomplished there. Anyways, we went to her house for dinner and she said that she had made her specialty... which was 3 chicken feet and 2 chicken hearts for each of us with some rice...Ahh...Obviously I did not want to lose my relationship with this Hermana, so I started eating, and it was not very good.  The worst part was when the Hermana left the room for a minute, Hermana Reyes put all of her food on my plate.  I looked at her in absolute shock and she just shrugged her shoulders, saying nothing.  When the Hermana returned she was so pleased that Hermana Reyes had liked the food so much that she gave her 2 more feet and another heart.  All of which was again transferred to my plate.  I ate 8 chicken feet, 5 hearts, and started throwing up 2 minutes after we left the house.  I spent the rest of the night throwing up, and my cute companion did not say a word.  My 6th time throwing up, at 4:30 a.m., Hermana Reyes brought me a cup of water and with her hilarious endearing English simply said, "welcome to the mission," she laughed so hard she cried, then went back to bed. Definitely something I will never forget.

The other special moment from this week happened on Friday.  We were sitting on the sidewalk taking a break when a cat decided to run in front of an on-coming car.  We tried to warn the poor thing but it didn't listen and got ran over.  Really sad, but this cat didn't die...It just started running around in circles, with blood flying everywhere.  It was horrific. And just before this cat was about to die it decided to jump into my lap. So, I was sitting on the side of the road, with a dead cat in my lap, blood all over my face and clothes, bawling because I had just witnessed the most horrific moment of my life.

Well, I continue to grow and love my mission - the good and the bad - more everyday.  Things are really improving here, and I feel that I am exactly where I need to be.  We have transfers this week, which is crazy. I can't believe I have been in Ataco for 6 weeks. Since I'm in training it is extremely unlikely that anything will change, which I'm thankful for.  I'm excited to have another 6 weeks serving the people of Ataco and learning from Hermana Reyes.  Thank you all for your love and support, I've been blessed with amazing friends and family.

Have a wonderful week,

Hermana Houston

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