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,

Emily

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  



Mar 6, 2017

Week 40 - March 6, 2017



Family and Friends,

I think that all of my life, growing up, I felt like when I was 20 years old I would finally feel like a grown up.. I would finally feel like I had life figured out. I also thought that when I had 9 months in my mission, when I had made it to the halfway point, I would really know how to be a missionary. Haha. When I woke up on Thursday morning I just couldn't help but laugh.

My birthday was really happy here. I would be lying if I said that I wasn't a little sad in the morning.. Just because.. yes I am more mature and independent but yes I still cry because I miss my parents. And you know how I get sentimental when it comes to events...But then my companion and the members treated me like a little princess, and I felt so loved! I spent the day getting cake smashed in my face, or eggs smashed on my head because I currently live in El Salvador... But I really could not have imagined a better day! It was your perfect, typical Salvadoran birthday.

We worked really hard this week. We worked incredibly hard this week. Then we took this picture at church yesterday when nobody came. It is a beautiful demonstration of the "newby" optimism and the constant stress of a worried and kind of chubby mother. But I have 9 months to slim down so everything is going to be fine.

Have a good week:)

Sister Houston



Feb 27, 2017

Week 39 - Feburary 27, 2017




Hey cuties,

Okay good news! I am still living and back to normal health here in El Salvador. I have medicine that has been helping a lot, I can finally eat, I am back to doing the work that I love, and I am... Happy! Oh so happy.

This week was full of miracles, because that is how Heavenly Father does things for His missionaries... And it ended with a baptism! We have been teaching Bryan for a couple of months now. He is the younger brother of a recent convert, and ever since his brother got baptized,he has wanted to be a member of the church too. Bryan is only 13, and for that we wanted to make sure that he truly understood the doctrine and the importance of baptism. Back in January, Bryan had decided that he wanted to be baptized on the 25th, and we were doing all that we could to help him achieve his goal. However, when I got sick things got all crazy and I had thought that we were going to have to postpone his baptism. But, in very real and special ways we were able to see that the Lord wanted Bryan to be baptized, and he cleared the path for him. The baptismal service was beautiful, his older brother was able to baptize him, and in the font they hugged and cried together from the pure joy that only the gospel can create. They have a long road ahead of them, but they are two amazing young men whom the Lord is preparing for amazing things.

I continue to become more humble every week. I love being a part of  His work, sometimes I stand in awe that the Lord is trusting us with His children. These last few weeks haven't been easy, but I am learning and growing. My testimony is stronger. I know that the Lord knows what He is doing. 
Jacob 3:1 says:

Look Unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause. 

I just trust in that promise with all of my heart.
Thank you for the sweet emails, for the prayers, and for the constant support. I could not ask for better friends or a more amazing family. There isn't anywhere else that I would rather be.

All my love,

Sister Houston

Feb 20, 2017

Week 38 - February 20, 2017



Loved ones,

It has been... another week. My health got a little bit better, then a whole lot worse... And my attempts to put on a big smile and a face that said "This sister missionary is DEFINITELY fine and DEFINITELY doesn't need to go home" absolutely failed during multi-zone conference. So I spent a few days in the hospital... Yesterday I left, and I now have a week of bed-rest. I am really... sad. Because I want to work and I want to help people. But as I have said in past weeks, my faith is growing, and I continue to learn how to put my trust in the Lord. 


These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33


Thank you for the love... For the support and prayers. Keep praying for me. I don't know what is going to happen.. But I trust in my Lord and Savior, I trust that He is working in my life, and that He knows what He is doing. So, for now, I will keep trusting in Him, and just doing the best that I can.

All of my love,

Sister Houston

Feb 13, 2017

Week 37 - February 13, 2017



Hello beautiful people,

Hi! How is everyone doing? I am doing much better, and my health feels just about back to normal.. Woohoo! Miracles. It was a nice, chilly week here in Santa Ana. So chilly that the strength of the sun combined with the dry brush on the mountains created fires. I am not kidding. I passed part of this week feeling like I was living in a movie, but it is normal life. On Friday my companion and I were walking in the street, trying to figure out how to not breath in all of the smoke, but we were also sweating so terribly from the sun.. That we just started to laugh! It was a mess. And then we laughed harder when a member told us that it just keeps getting hotter here until May.. Ha.

The work is going well. Sister Chinchilla and I spent the week trying to figure out how to fix everything from my days when I was dying of the  Black Plague.. Despite a few challenges, we are back into the swing of things and doing well. Not much to report for this week but I am sure for next week yes... Hehe. The good news is that Sister Chinchilla and I continue to get along so well. I think it is incredible. But I really am enjoying my mission more than I ever have before.

A really beautiful experience happened this week with a less active member, who thanks to a prompting from the spirit, we found at just the right moment. This sweet woman has passed through so many difficult things in her life, and during this moment was feeling very discouraged. She said a prayer pleading for help, and apparently not seconds later these two sister missionaries knocked on her door. I had never met her, had never seen her, and Sister Chinchilla neither. But we talked about life, and faith, and the ways that we can keep pressing on despite discouragement. We shared Ether 12:32 with her, and talked about how we can have hope for a better life with our Heavenly Father. We cried, we sang, we prayed, and encouraged her to return to church. And she came! Experiences like these have to be what I love most about missionary work. Being the Lords hands to help his children, in the moment when they need it most.

We celebrated Elder Slater's birthday this week which was fun. The poor thing has only been here a couple days in Centro, and didn't tell anyone about his birthday. But, when we found out we tried to pull a little surprise party together with some of the members. I made Chicken Cordon Bleu (how is that spelt?) (I am just thinking of the guy from High School Musical) which is actually really impressive because I don't have Pintrest or anything. And usually a strong lack of ability to cook. I continue to become more of the crafty mormon mom that I never thought I could be.

Well my cute friends and family, I love you all. I hope that you have a Happy Happy Valentines Day. You can put your money on it that I will be eating pizza.


Sister Houston

Feb 6, 2017

Week 36 - February 6, 2017




Hi Family and Friends,

Well another week has passed by in Centro. Also, we will finish another transfer this week. Which is unreal, because I feel like I have only been with Sister Chinchilla for two weeks. However, I am pretty sure that we will get to enjoy another change together- so I am happy about that.

This week was a little hard for me. This "white girl stomach" has just been absolutely failing me, and I spent a lot more of this week in bed or at the doctor than I would have liked to. But.. I continue to learn and better understand the importance of trusting in God's plan for me. On Thursday morning in my personal study I was feeling a little sad, because I was just sick of being sick and worrying about whether or not I would be okay.. But as I was reading the Book of Mormon I felt comfort and peace. While what I learned had nothing to do with the passages of scripture that I was reading, I felt the spirit confirming to me that everything would be okay as long as I kept trusting in my loving Heavenly Father. He knows me better than I know myself, and his ways are higher than mine. I don't understand why everything happens the way that it does, and that's okay! For lack of better words, the Lord has my back. How thankful I am for the power of the Book of Mormon, and also for the Holy Ghost who comforts and bears witness of what we need, when we need it the most.

Well, I really just don't have much to say. The good news is that I have had wonderful people taking care of me, the most amazing ward and friends here in El Salvador praying for me (lots of amazing people at home too), and after 3 weeks of struggling.. I am finally doing better. Thank you for the constant support, prayers, and love. It was hard to be so sick and so far away from home, but there isn't anywhere else that I would rather be.

I am sorry that I don't have any pictures.. But there was just nothing cute about this face during the week. Next week! Woohoo.

All of my love,

Sister Houston

Jan 30, 2017

Week 35 - January 30, 2017






Hello hello my beloved friends and family,

Ahh, I think this week may have been one of the funniest weeks that I have yet to experience here in Santa Ana. I spent almost all week laughing, and also crying- because while I have grown in a lot of ways, I am still the most emotional person that I have ever met.

Okay okay. So my health is good. Kind of. I am feeling a lot better. Kind of. I still have some difficult stomach pain, but we keep pressing forward, and it should all pass soon. But, funny story. So one night this week we were eating dinner at the house of a family who is always really sweet with us. After I ate, I just had the worst stomach pain, and I was trying to ignore it but it was absolutely terrible. So, the Sister was trying to explain to me that the solution was to drink oil, and I was trying to explain that I had medicine from the mission and that everything was okay.. When all of the sudden she just yelled, "Sientese! Le voy a dar aciete!" (Sit down, I am going to give you oil) So with my passive personality and fear of offending others I sat down and she handed me a huge spoonful of pure vegetable oil. My companion at this point had tears running down her face from trying not to laugh, and asked if there wasn't a different type of oil that I was supposed to drink. All of the sudden the Sister grabbed my head and shoved the spoon in my mouth. As you can imagine... Yummy. After, she brought me a huge glass of Limeade, as if I wasn't already dying, and told me to drink it because she made it with love. Also.. Yummy. You guys, I love everyone. And I continue my trend of throwing up outside of members houses.

We have 3 really amazing investigators who all have baptism dates! They are wonderful! And progressing in the gospel! And also did not come to church yesterday.. so now I am sad. All 3 were for logical reasons, but I am still sad. So I will tell you more about them next week. If they come to church. And if I am not sad... Missionary work.

Well, I hope you guys know how much I love you. I hope that I am making you guys proud. This week I will complete 8 months in my mission which is unreal. I still feel like I got here yesterday. I am so thankful for my mission. For the things that I am learning, and the ways in which I am growing and progressing. It isn't anything easy, but it could not be more worth it.

Loves!
Hermana Houston


Jan 23, 2017

Week 34 - January 23, 2017



Friends and Family,

Hello! It has been a..... week. I am doing okay, but a nasty stomach bacteria kicked my little missionary booty this week. I don't tell you to worry you, just that over Skype we said that there wouldn't be anymore secrets.. But I am doing okay! I started taking a medicine that has helped me a ton, and the members here in Centro took such good care of me. I threw my baby girl, Sister Chinchilla, out against the wolves to visit with some members' and she did such an amazing job! So, the work is still moving forward.. And I am a happy, proud, and now not sick mom.

The good news is that we went to the temple this week! Oh my goodness, it was so wonderful. I was feeling pretty stressed.. And just overwhelmed because I was sick, some trials that our investigators are passing through, and just.. missionary life in general. However, my testimony continues to be strengthened that our Heavenly Father knows his children! He knew that I would need to be in the temple this week. I felt the peace and strength that I so desperately needed, and I feel optimistic for the coming week.

We have been teaching the Rajo family for about a month and a half now, and they are truly just amazing people. They attend a different church, but have always been warm and receptive of our message. The father of the family, Fransisco, received his answer that this is the true church about 2 weeks ago, but has been struggling with a fear of how changing his religion might affect his family. His wife is wonderful, and firm in her beliefs in the gospel in which she was raised, and doesn't have much of a desire to consider anything else. We have been praying and fasting that she could soften her heart a little bit, and on Saturday night the Lord helped us out. She told her husband that she just wanted him to be happy, and that she was okay with him going to church with the (mormons) and that she would make more of an effort to learn more too. Ahh! I am sure you can all imagine how the spirit blessed their home in this moment, and we were absolutely thrilled.

Sunday morning I was reflecting on the miracle that happened within the Rajo Family, and also the power of prayer.. I loved what I found in the bible dictionary "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them." Here's another humble missionary testimony that God hears and answers our prayers! He knows our needs and the needs of our loved ones, and through the power of sincere prayer, he can and will work miracles in our lives. He will bless us in ways that we have never imagined were possible.

I love you all, I love missionary work. Thank you for your support. Have the most amazing week:)

Sister Houston

Jan 16, 2017

Week 33 - January 16,2017



Hello Sweet Friends and Family,

You are going to have to forgive me, I don't have much time today. One of my best friends serving here with me in El Salvador received some tough family news, and we have spent a lot of time crying and hugging.. Because that's how life works out sometimes. I am just glad that I was here when she got here and that we can get through this next week together. She is amazing.

But for a quick, funny story. Quick background info..  In my mission I have seen a lot of ways in which the Lord has just placed people in our path, and because of that, I have complete faith in that someone walking down the street could be exactly the person that we need to talk to. Okay, so, this week we were walking down the street and this man said, "Hi, wait, I have always felt a need to talk to you!"  And typical Sister Houston.. In my mind I am saying, "Yes! An answer to our prayers! Our Heavenly Father has prepared this man to receive the gospel!" I was so excited. We started talking with him about the gospel and asked him how he felt that God had showed his love for him. "Well, probably by putting you in my path," he said. Again, the mind of Sister Houston.. "Oh my goodness! He can tell that we are messengers of Christ and that we are here to help! How amazing is this?" As we kept talking the man interrupted.. "It's just your eyes.. And your.. your hair. And your beautiful white skin..". Are you kidding me??  As you can all imagine, I was devastated.. And now my companion tells me, "Goodnight Pretty Eyes" every evening.. Because not much has changed, and people still continue to enjoy my suffering.

Hermana Houston

Jan 9, 2017

Week 32 - January 9, 2017


 Hello loved ones,

It has been a happy, happy week here in the ever so hot oven of Santa Ana. Haha, but seriously, it is so hot. Besides getting cooked by the sun almost everyday, everything is absolutely amazing. We are doing a lot of good work here, my companion continues to be one of the best people that I have ever met, and Jose Rafeal was baptized on Saturday! Life is great, and being a missionary is without a doubt the best thing that I have ever done.

This week we had a multi-zone conference which was wonderful. We learned so many great things, and as we have applied them to our work we have seen miracles. But you guys, miracles. I always love the idea that while we might be doing a pretty good job, there is always something to improve. And as we improve, the Lord blesses us. It applies in missionary work, it applies in life. As we do our best to become better people, Christ´s atonement comes, sweeps us off our feet, and makes us who we need to be. Oh, how I love this gospel! And being a missionary:)

Haha, my hair is still orange..(Well it actually just depends on lighting) I still shower in cold water, and the ever so lovely screeches of Geckos is still what puts me to sleep at night or just overwhelming exhaustion. But I can assure you that I am the happiest that I have ever been. My faith in my loving Savior and in the Restoration of his gospel is stronger than it ever has been before. And I have the opportunity to share that testimony every day! What more could a girl ask for- Maybe Panda Express. No, but really, I am thrilled with my life right now. 

President Thomas S. Monson said, "To be an example of faith means that we trust in the Lord and in His word. It means that we possess and that we nourish the beliefs that will guide our thoughts and our actions.  Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in our Heavenly Father will influence all that we do. Amidst the confusion of our age, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives."

I wish you all a great week! Let it be a week of increasing faith and finding happiness in all that we do. I love you all, and you will hear from me so soon.. Because the weeks pass by like days. I still cant figure out how.

Love,

Hermana Houston 



Jan 2, 2017

Week 31 - January 2,2017



Dear family and friends,

Happy New Year! How amazing that it is already January..? I feel like December started yesterday, but I guess that is how the time passes here in the mission. All too quickly.. However I am doing the best that I can to make the most of every little missionary minute that my Heavenly Father is giving me, and I am so happy! I cannot even explain it.

Meet my beautiful "hija", Hermana Chinchilla. I was hesitant to call her that because I didn't want to offend her, but then she told me after our first day that I was the best mom that she could have ever asked for:) so now we are just a happy little family here in Centro. My companion is amazing, but you guys.. Amazing! She came ready to work, and with a testimony of gold. Working with her is such a joy. While I feel very inadequate to be a trainer, things could not be better. We are working hard and truly seeing the results of that.

Jose Rafeal passed his interview on Saturday! And he is going to be baptized this Saturday! I repeat, he is going to be baptized this Saturday! I was talking to Jose yesterday and he said, "Hermana Houston, I had lost hope that I was ever going to be able to change.. But look! Here I am, a very sinful man who is about to start his life over in 6 days. Look at me! Jose Rafeal is now a man of faith!" It has been the biggest blessing, and the most beautiful experience to have watched this man change over the last few weeks. I love this gospel! I love that no matter where we are at, as we apply the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can become better, happier, and more faithful people. I have seen it happen in my own life, and right before my eyes with my dear friend Jose. What joy it is to be a missionary!

I always love the time of starting a new year.. A time of self reflection and setting goals' mostly of losing weight or doing a better job at work or improving our relationship with our Heavenly Father.. Most of which we forget after two weeks.. However, my friendly missionary invitation would be that we make the effort to set goals! To set good ones, and to do what we need to in order to accomplish them. My companion and I made goals on Saturday Night, and the goal that Hermana Chinchilla set for me is that I will find a handsome husband in December hahaha.

Okay, I love you all dearly. I hope that you have a wonderful new year full of success, happiness, and finding peace through our loving Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Hermana Houston