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