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