Dec 26, 2016

Week 30 - December 26,2016

Hi family!

Oh how wonderful it was to talk with you all yesterday, there just are not words. I miss you all, but how fun was it to talk and laugh.. And realize that I am still a normal person! Haha. I love you all so much.

I had a really fun, really happy Christmas here. I only slept one hour on Christmas Eve, there were so many fireworks going off. The people here go crazy for the Holidays! Starting at 9 o´clock and ending.. at 4 o'clock in the morning. They celebrate midnight as the minute that Christ was born, and our beds were literally shaking from all of the noise. Our mosquito nets fell from the ceilings and everything. Haha, so crazy. So much fun. Everyone also burned all of their trash? Interesting tradition.. But I just love El Salvador. 

The members took such good care of me. We have eaten like queens the last few days. Cheesecake, chocolate cake, cookies...a ton of food. The sweetest thing ever is that some members found me DR. PEPPER! I have no idea how, but I literally started crying I was so thankful. We all know that I am irrationally emotional, but oh my goodness it was so nice. And I still love Dr. Pepper more than I should.

We received word of transfers this morning. I will be staying here in Centro, and I will be meeting my companion on Wednesday! I am not sure who she is yet, but I am so excited to meet her. I am going to be her first companion here in the mission, so I just hope that I can do a good job of helping her love missionary work as much as I do.

I love you all! Have a happy week!

Hermana Houston


Dec 19, 2016

Week 29 - December 19, 2016

Hi hi!

Oh my dear family and friends.. What a week. I am usually a really positive person, but I think I am getting close to my breaking point. Ahh! But I am becoming more humbled, learning to be more patient.. And we are getting through! Despite the little trials that I am passing through.. There is always something to be happy about, always something new to learn, and something to be thankful for. And as usual, I love being a missionary here in El Salvador:)

Literal miracles happened this week with Jose Rafeal! As we have been helping him to prepare to be baptized, we have been faced with a really rough smoking addiction. It has been hard, but I have never lost faith in him, and he hasn't lost faith in himself. The hard thing about life is that Satan is tricky, and that he knows what he is doing.. But as we have put our trust in the Lord, Jose has strengthened his faith in a loving Heavenly Father. Wednesday morning Jose smoked his last cigarette.. Jose tried to fight the temptation to smoke all morning, but just before lunch came up a little short. However, I had spent the night before praying my heart out that there would be a solution. And smoking that morning gave him the worst headache that he has ever had in his life, and that headache comes right back every time he even thinks about smoking. Oh my goodness! Do we ever realize how wild that is? A lifetime of smoking all taken away because of the love of our Heavenly Father and the Atonement of our Savior. I love being a missionary. I absolutely love it. 

Our cook told me that there is no danger in eating fish eyes, and that if I didn't eat them this week she was going to be offended. Can someone google if I am putting my life at risk, or if I just need to be more humble? Thank you. 

How thankful I am for this Christmas Season and the opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. How thankful I am for His birth, for the life that He lived, and the example that He gave. How thankful I am for His selfless sacrifice and the hope that it gives to me everyday. How thankful I am that He lives, that He loves me, and that I have the chance to become a little bit more like Him everyday. As the angels sang at the time of his birth,  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peacegood will toward men." Luke 2:14.. I add my humble missionary testimony that He lives, and that thanks to Him, we all have hope for eternal peace and happiness.

Merry Christmas everyone! 

All of my love,

Hermana Houston

Dec 12, 2016

Week 28 - December 12, 2016

Hello Beautiful Family and Friends,

My life is so wonderful. I am not being obnoxious or bragging, but I love being a missionary. The truth would be that things are really hard right now, and sometimes I feel like everything is going wrong.. But there is such a joy and peace that I have in my heart all of the time! Being a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints is without a doubt the best decision that I have ever, ever made. Thank you for letting me be here and for supporting me. And, ahhh! I get to see your cute faces in less than two weeks. Oh, my heart.

Okay, now for an adorable and amazing story. About 2 weeks ago, Hermana Guzman and I were looking for new investigators. And things were going as they usually do.. Doors in the face, sometimes people spitting at us because that's cute. So, I said a really sincere prayer with my companion, because I had just about had it.. But I pleaded with the Lord, and after said to my companion.. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Lord could just shine some light over a house so that we could know where to go? We laughed, and then literally the house to our left turned on their front porch lights. We looked at each other in shock, and kind of ran, with far too much excitement, to the door. The person waiting for us would become my good friend Jose Rafeal. A 63-year-old man with a heart of gold. We learned this week that not two minutes before we knocked on his door, he shared a humble prayer with his Heavenly Father to tell Him that he was ready to change his life, and he just needed to know where to go. Well, two young women with big smiles and a message about Jesus Christ were the answer to his prayer. We have been teaching Jose for 2 weeks, he accepts everything that we tell him as the truth without a shadow of a doubt. He came to church yesterday, and said that he wishes he would have known about the gospel for all of his life. Jose is going to be baptized on the 7th of January, and there could not be more joy in my heart.

Life is hard, but I know that the Lord is using me as His hands here in the center of Santa Ana, and it is the most amazing thing that I have ever experienced. I was studying this week in Ether, and I loved the last verse of chapter 12... "And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen." How thankful I am for this Christmas season and for all that my loving older brother, Jesus Christ, has done for me. What an honor it is to share the truths of His gospel with the people of El Salvador. I feel so thankful to be here, and I really would not change this experience for anything. During this Christmas season, may we seek our Savior Jesus Christ, our Redeemer that the prophets and apostles have testified of since the beginning of the world. I am so eternally grateful for His eternal sacrifice, and for this time of the year that we can praise His name.

Hermana Houston

Dec 5, 2016

Week 27 - December 5, 2016


Oh, what a week. I would be lying if I said that I didn't miss you guys. That I didn't miss home a little.. The truth is that the holidays are hard! But, I love my life here. My weeks are spent teaching the restored gospel to amazing families, teaching little kids how to read, and learning how to become a better, more humble person. Life isn't super easy for me right now, but there is always something to be happy about, and I love being a missionary.

We spent all of the morning hiking a literal mountain. The Elders made it sound like it was a cute little hike, but then all of the sudden we were making our own path with pocket knives. Haha, an experience that I will never forget. The view was beautiful, and I only have a few minor injuries.. So all is well. My companion hit her head on tree branches more than I ever thought could be possible, but shes acting normal.. So I am pretty sure that everything is okay. 

There are some great progressing investigators here, and we are just trying to help them with their doubts. The most amazing part is that we are also teaching two really positive families! Teaching families is the best. One of the families, is a family of 11 which is a little missionary miracle. They have a lot of doubts and questions, but we are doing our best to help them. And they came to church yesterday! It was so beautiful and they loved it. The mom recently threw out her back so Saturday Morning we went to help her clean her house a little bit. My good intentions turned into washing 11 people's clothes.. But its okay! Because service is good, and I love everyone. And washing their clothes.. With my hands.. For 11 hours.

My 6 month mark started with waking up to a dead frog in my bed, (thanks to the oh so thoughtful Hermana Guzman), and ended with more Pupusa practice, so you can all get ready for how fun that is going to be in a quick year. The Pupusas, not the frog. I slept with the dumb thing the whole night because I had no idea, and just keep praying that I won't end up with a terrible disease. But life is happy happy happy!

Well, I love you all a lot. The Christmas Devotional was so beautiful last night, and I am so thankful to be spreading my Savior's gospel during this time of the year. As we apply His attributes in our lives and becoming more like Him, we can find true joy. I know that this is true! Have the happiest week.

Hermana. Houston