Sunday, June 8, 2014

Disciple. The Best Thing I've Been Called On My Mission So Far! - found in the drafts folder, posting it late now!

From 10 February 2013

 A last-minute self-taken pic of Sister Orton and me in the clerk's office..

Dear Family,

Every time I get on email my brain falls apart. So, sorry for the discombobulation. I really can't help it. It's a basic part of normal missionary life...
I can't believe you got my release information already! I still have plenty of time! (ok, 15 Sundays isn't a ton of time, but hey, it's enough!)
Where to even begin this week with...
This week we saw amazing miracles as we followed the Spirit. This truly is the Lord's work!
Starting on Wednesday. We were waiting for our amazing investigator D, who was late for an appointment. We saw a man and his son taking some things (a mattress, a wheelchair, etc.) from their apartment and so we offered to help them. DW had seen Mormon Ads on TV and wanted to know if he could get one of our books. So we gave it to him and set up a time to come by the next day. Just then D came up and we started teaching him. His mom came out (we were sitting on the steps by the apartment) halfway through and asked us if we could talk to her after we talked to D. He told us that she had called us angels of God. After we had finished teaching both of them (great lessons!) we saw DW coming back to the apartment, this time with a shopping cart full of bags. We helped him carry them up the stairs and he told us that we were truly disciples. That is the best thing I've been called on my mission so far.
(P.S. D prayed about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and he got his answer! He told us he had to explain to his little niece that sometimes people cry happy tears :)
Fast forward to Friday.
We had an appointment at 4 with our investigator E. It was 3:40 and our visit to a less-active member near her house had just fallen through. I had a headache so Sister Orton suggested I take a 5-minute nap in the car before we headed over to Elma's house. Just then we heard the sound of a phone ringing - somehow our phone had dialed Elma's number. Her phone was off, but we hung up the phone and took that as a sign that we needed to go to Elma's house immediately. We headed over and had the most impressive spiritual experience that I've had on my mission.

The day before we had briefly met E's friend C, but he had brushed us off and left. When we got there C was outside with E, about to leave. As soon as we walked through the front gate he asked us what we had done. He said he felt completely different, like he was a totally different person, and he asked us what he needed to do to keep that with him. We taught them both a powerful lesson about the Holy Ghost that helped E to resolve some concerns keeping her from baptism and brought C almost to tears. We kept on having inspiration for what scriptures we needed to use, and at the end of the lesson neither of them wanted us to leave. C had been about to leave when we had walked up, just in time to catch him. What a privilege it was to help them feel the Spirit so strongly! How amazing is it that such a little impression could have such great results!

Directly afterward we offered a gratitude prayer. Sister Orton needed to use a bathroom, and on the way to our next appointment was a Burger King that we had stopped at several times that week. We decided we needed to buy something if we didn't want them to kick us out, so we used their restroom and got ice cream cones. The lady at the register asked us about our church and wanted us to come to her house to leave a prayer. Then we offered a card to a family that was about to leave. The mom S (with 6 kids!) wanted to know what we believed about the second coming of Jesus Christ, and set up a time for the next day that we could meet with her to tell her more.
Right afterward I felt strongly like we needed to harvest on a street really close to that area. We drove up and parked. At the first door we knocked was a woman who asked us through the window who we were. She opened the door as soon as we said we were representatives of Jesus Christ and told us she needed a prayer. She and her two daughters (ages 9 and 10) accepted baptism and before we could set up a return appointment K asked us if she could have our phone number to call us if she had questions before her baptism.
Best day ever!
On Saturday everything fell through. Everyone canceled on us. We needed to use the bathroom again and really wanted ice cream... and we were right next to the Burger King of the day before. But the conflict in our minds was that we would be wasting time, and we should try to go visit someone else. We prayed about a few places we could go and felt strongly that we should go into Burger King... We couldn't figure out why but decided to follow the impression. As we walked up we saw our former investigator J about to leave! We taught him about church and the Book of Mormon. So cool.
Later that evening we still weren't having any luck with plans following through. I remembered that earlier in the week I had thought about visiting a former investigator, B. But B lives at the far west side of our area where we don't go often, and she had dropped us pretty thoroughly, so I'd ignored the idea. When the idea of visiting her repeated I had those thoughts and so I told Heavenly Father that I was willing to see her, but it wasn't practical and the prompting wasn't very strong, so I would visit her only if everything fell through one day, because otherwise I would be putting our priority people on the back-burner when we needed to be seeing them first.
I realized that everything had fallen through so we needed to go see B. Miraculously I found her apartment without having the address and we went to knock. We heard people inside but she didn't answer. GAH. So frustrating! We decided to try and visit another former investigator who lived a few doors down, but on our way over we saw a man outside on his porch, so we stopped to say a prayer with him. He asked us if the whole family could come outside for the prayer! So cool. They loved the prayer and accepted church and baptism as a family.
Finally amazing miracle of Sunday. A, who we have been teaching for several weeks (I sent you a picture of him a while back), finally came to church! He has always been great but very slow-moving. We've taught him several of the lessons over again to make sure he really gets them. He came to church and is excited to be baptized next Sunday. And he has been alcohol free for two weeks now! He told us we didn't have to come over anymore because now he knew where the church was and would be here every week... :)
Phew. Long story. Lots of miracles. We loved them all. (Oh, and BTW, Sister Orton is just about the kindest person ever, so that's fun too :)
However, the frustrating thing about agency is that sometimes people make wrong choices. They don't call you back. They lie to you. They don't show up to appointments. They choose not to come to church... I'm still working on resolving the gap between the amazing spiritual miracles we saw this week and the lack of people who came to church or with whom we were able to follow up! It is so sad to see the people who've received a witness but let the world or their own priorities get in the way of receiving greater blessings. Sometimes I feel like Nephi, whose brothers had an angel appear to them but still refused to change. All the spiritual experiences in the world can't take away agency or opposition, I guess. We just keep on rolling, loving the Spirit and praying for people to have a change of heart.

I learned in the Book of Mormon this week about true gospel leadership. Alma 17:18 reads, "being the chief among them, or rather he did administer unto them." Later on in the verse it describes what administering is: "having imparted the word of God unto them, or administered unto them." I loved it. Truly as leaders in the gospel (in our companionships, homes, wards, with our investigators, or in any other leadership position - we all are leaders in some way or another) we can only lead by being instruments in the Lord's hands, forwarding His work, not our own. We teach God's commandments using His word and His Spirit and we will have success.
I also noticed for the first time in Alma 17:30 that Ammon calls the wild, ferocious Lamanites his brethren. I often think of Ammon as one of the great missionaries of history. And I realized today that his chief characteristic - which led him to perform courageous feats, listen with patience, share his testimony, see the potential of others, serve unceasingly, and make brothers of his enemies - is love, or charity. What an example!
OK, out of time and out of brain. Have a wonderful week! Send me some mail!

P.S.  Look at!  Fort Lauderdale Temple is on the home page!

From the other side

June 1, 2014

Hello dear missionary friends! First edition of Sister Houghton, post-mission. 

Inline image 4
At the Ft. Laud temple with all of the departing missionaries.

Inline image 3
At the airport. I walked right by my brother then did a double-take when I realized who it was.

Inline image 2
Biking at Yosemite, shameless selfie.

Inline image 1
Got my plaque back today at church. 

It's hard being back, but it's okay. Life moves on! Love you all!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Out with a bang!

Dear family, friends, and faithful mission-followers,

My last weekly email! 

We had three baptisms on Sunday, all of whom I believe I have written about. R is pictured here, with his sister L.
 J and RA were also baptized, and they were all so happy. I am excited for them.

 Last District training
My planners with Sister Olsen's
She has a lot to go!
This week I have been quite conscious of 'lasts.' Last exchange, last Sunday, last District training, etc. But you know what? It's been ok. Because 'last' does not mean 'only.' And I have had a lot of exchanges, Sundays, and District Trainings on my mission. I will miss them, certainly. But they leave a lot of space for new 'firsts.' And there will be many 'firsts.' As President Uchtdorf taught in this most recent general conference, in Heavenly Father's plan "there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

In the Book of Mormon this week I was struck by the importance of avoiding complacency, especially during Captain Mormoni's epistle to Pahoran. Onward and upward, forever! This work of serving others and saving souls doesn't end, and must be a priority.

Bishop Brown! So cool.

One wonderful spiritual experience this week was after our three baptisms, when Bishop was giving the official welcome to the ward. He was telling these wonderful converts about the importance of sharing the gospel, and our recent convert R exclaimed, "It's like going on a mission! And I'm ready for the journey." The Lord truly has prepared those whom we find, teach, and baptize.

During the course of my mission I've found people who would go on to be baptized in many ways - area book, member and media referrals, investigator referrals, other missionaries' contacts, etc. But I have never simply knocked on someone's door, not knowing who it would be, and then taught and baptized that person. I've seen that the Lord literally puts those whom he has prepared in our paths. Almost 1/3 of my baptisms have come from OYMs, and the rest have come from other people (missionaries, members, or investigators) who give us a referral. Wow! How important it is then to just open our mouths, as missionaries and as members. I love what President Kimball says in his talk "Jesus: the Perfect Leader":

"We must remember that those mortals we meet in parking lots, offices, elevators, and elsewhere are that portion of mankind God has given us to love and to serve. It will do us little good to speak of the general brotherhood of mankind if we cannot regard those who are all around us as our brothers and sisters. If our sample of humanity seems unglamorous or so very small, we need to remember the parable Jesus gave us in which he reminded us that greatness is not always a matter of size or scale, but of the quality of one’s life. If we do well with our talents and with the opportunities around us, this will not go unnoticed by God. And to those who do well with the opportunities given them, even more will be given!"

I have taught and baptized some people whom I would have looked down upon before my mission. I didn't want to even teach them! And now I love them more than I can express. Those with physical, mental, and other temporal or circumstantial challenges are so easy to disregard. But they too are among those noble and great ones, as Sister Ware describes them even the most valiant of God's children. He loves them just as He loves the rest, and they need Him just as the rest do. I am so grateful for the opportunities Heavenly Father has given me to know and serve and love His children.

I love you all!


We were in the office for a few minutes this week and I took advantage of the label-maker to change the transfer board a bit...

Mom's note:  Despite her label-making escapades, noted above, Hermana Houghton will complete her mission and arrive in San Francisco on May 29!  We will miss the tremendous blessings that have come to our family as a result of her mission, but we are so excited to see her and have her be with us for the summer.  She has written "100 Things I Learned on My Mission" as well as some goals. If you're interested in seeing those, she can probably email those to you.  We are so grateful  for her service and example as she has loved the Lord with all her might, mind, and strength!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Full Heart!

Dear family,

My heart is full. I can't believe it is almost over, but I know I've done my best and that's all I can do! I have my departing interview on Saturday with President Anderson and go to the temple with the rest of the departing missionaries next Wednesday, then on to California on Thursday

We had some amazing miracles this Sunday. J and J both came to church (some nice ladies on the bus called us so J could get on the right buses:) along with L and her brother R. J is super solid to be baptized this coming Sunday. Earlier this week he crushed his cigarettes and sold the rest of the ones he had to pay for his bus fare! He is set to be baptized this coming Sunday. J has been out of contact most of the week (troubles with work and her daughter's visa), but finally made it to church! She is praying about being baptized this Sunday as well. L was baptized in 1977 at the age of 17 but went less-active in the early 80s. She contacted us wanting to come back to church, and this Sunday she came along with her handicapped brother R. We found out when she came that her records had been lost, so she will need to be baptized again and R wants to be baptized with her (he doesn't need to be baptized because of his disability, but he can be if he wants to). Ra sadly was down in Homestead visiting a friend in the hospital so her baptism didn't come through :( next week though. 

We had a lesson with the Ws and Brother W is not down with getting baptized on the 25th :( He will get baptized eventually, because this is the truth, but he still has a few things to work through in the faith category. (And we all know the process is faith, repentance, then baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.) It was really fun talking to him though. I taught the lesson (mostly asking and answering questions he had) while Sister Merrill entertained the girls (they are 7 and 13, and so cute). Deep doctrine, so great. I realized how much more I have come to really understand the gospel on my mission.

Out of time, one more experience with an unnamed Sister on an exchange this week.
The spiritual highlight for the day for me was after a failed 12pm appointment, before we harvested. She mentioned to me that she was having a hard time feeling the Spirit as abundantly as she would like to. So I asked her how her reading in the Book of Mormon was going. She admitted that she wasn't reading it as much as she should - that she was reading it almost every day, but not always for a full half-hour (in our mission we're asked to read the BoM for 30 minutes every day, so it's an obedience thing). So before we went harvesting we sat in the car and read the Book of Mormon together for half an hour. We were uplifted, edified, and strengthened. The Book of Mormon is so powerful. I committed her to spend the first half hour of personal study on reading the Book of Mormon, every day.

I love you all so much!! Sorry this is short - I had a lot to write to President Anderson. See you soon!



A not-widely-known occupational hazard of being a Sister Training leader - we spend 3+hours more per week harvesting (walking around outside knocking on doors) than other missionaries, so we get a bit more sun!

Black Jesus! I've met some people on my mission who refuse to take the cards we give them with 'pictures' of Jesus because he's depicted as white... So it was fun to see this one :)

After a long day sister missionaries just like to have fun!

Light Bulb Moments!

From 12 May 2014

Dear family,

It was fun talking to the Soulsbyville Houghtons last night via phone... and weird that it's all becoming so real! Flight plans and everything, gah. Don't worry, it's weird but at the back of my mind. 

First the pictures...

On Tuesday we were out harvesting and started to walk around the side of a house to talk to the people sitting in the backyard. There was a little overhanging window cover thing (metal) and it was invisible... not literally, but that's my excuse. I ran smack into it and got a nice dent/cut in my forehead. Occupational hazards of being tall, I guess.

I saw this at one of the doors we knocked and it made my day.

R came to church again this week (yay!) and was all set to be baptized. But then she got sick halfway through sacrament meeting and had to leave :( But that's ok, next Sunday it is! 

There is a part-member family that we had dinner with a few weeks ago, the Ws. We read from Alma 22 with them, about how King Lamoni's father told God what he was willing to give up for salvation. We committed them all to pray to God and talk with Him about what they were willing to give up. Yesterday, Bishop Brown (who is awesome, btw) pulled Brother W (the non-member) into his office after sacrament meeting and committed him to be baptized on the 25th. So awesome! He has been married to his wife for 13 years and has a step-daughter on a mission. Finally he will be getting all the blessings too!

Oh, someone else really cool - our recent convert S, who's 17, wasn't sure whether his ride was coming to get him for church yesterday, because he wasn't answering his phone. So he got on his bike at 8am (church starts at 11) and rode off. He got lost a few times and arrived at 10:30. I was so impressed by his dedication! Thank goodness that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.

We had a great lesson this week with a recent convert, M. When we came over she was a little troubled by the fineness of the temple, and had been for a few weeks. She was telling us that God didn't need all that, and why would he want such extravagance when it could help people, etc. Sister Merrill explained that we give our best to God, and I shared my testimony of the purpose of temples as well, but she wasn't having it. She wasn't letting her testimony of the church get shaken, but it troubled her. We shared a lesson on another topic and halfway through she said something about a king and his throne, then turned to us saying, "oh, duh! God is the king and he deserves the best!" It was for me a great example of the Spirit teaching, and the importance of the Spirit to understand truth.

I read Ether in the Book of Mormon this week, and I finally, after 18 months of studying the topic on and off, gained a better understanding of the link between faith and hope. I was reading Ether 12:4 when I thought of some things I'd learned at zone training, about vision. That's really what hope is, having a vision of the possible positive outcomes available through the Atonement. But those outcomes are only available to us (and thus hope-worthy) if we have faith, or in other words have trust in and knowledge of God leading to righteous actions and covenants, which will allow us to fulfill that hopeful vision. It was a light bulb moment. 

Just about out of time, but I love you all a lot! 


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fort Lauderdate Temple Cultural Celebration & Dedication

5 May 2014

Dear family, friends, and everyone,

Only 3 more weekly emails to go after this one!  As usual, at this point I remember very little about what went on this week. A few fun points..

During Bishop's meeting (like correlation, but with Bishop Brown, who is very involved in the missionary work of our ward), Bishop Brown was trying to find the hymn he was thinking of to start off our meeting. We suggested that he hum a bit of it so we could help him. He turned to us and said, "I gotta tell you... I'm the first black man without rhythm." We died laughing.

Speaking of correlation, last night we were asked, along with some other missionaries in the Ft. Laud area, to help with replacing furniture in the temple after the dedication. More on that in a minute. At one point while we were waiting for the trucks of furniture to arrive and after we had already cleaned the temple to be ready for them, all the missionaries who were there, along with a few members who had come, were in the chapel. Our ward mission leader Brother Jensen was there so we sat down and had an impromptu correlation meeting! I think those plans will go through.

Helping out at the temple after the dedication! We got to
move the furniture back in that had been taken out for
the dedication... Well, the Elders moved it. We
dusted it all off as it came inside and vacuumed :)

So in cleaning the temple we got to go inside the newly-dedicated temple and clean it out - vacuum, dust, and remove the white chairs they had there for the dedication. When the temple furniture arrived we (and I mean the whole crew) unwrapped it, brought it inside, dusted it off (that was our job), and carried it to the rooms where it needed to go. We dusted almost all of the chairs in the temple last night. We left the temple at 9:30 and got home at 10. It was amazing. We wore white booties to protect the carpet and after scanning our recommends they gave each of us a white armband so we wouldn't have to scan the recommend every time we came in and out. I definitely saved mine.

Another amazing thing is that Sister Merrill's recent convert K is going through the temple on Tuesday night for the first time! She is one of three people who will be going through for the first time on the first day of operations, and Sister Merrill and her old companion Sister Karl get to go with her! They are both soo excited. Meanwhile Sister Furner and I get to go on exchanges up in Coral Springs :)

This is MLC at the Andersons' house.

I got to go to MLC, Mission Leadership Council, for the first and last time this Friday. It was fun. We all accounted for our own areas and our stewardships, then were trained by the Assistants on the importance and use of key indicators. Then President Anderson taught us about the faith cycle. We had Sister-Anderson-made lunch, took pictures, and off we went to apply what we had learned!

Sitting by Sister LeBaron and Sister Gordon...

On Saturday we got to go to the Cultural Celebration. Sorry for the use of so many exclamation marks and superlatives in this email, but it is all worth it. We arrived at the Nova University arena and saw all the other missionaries come in. Usually all the missionaries in the mission are gathered only once a year, at the Christmas mission conference. Since September we have been all together five times! So I got to see everyone I have ever served around :) It was fun; and probably the last time I will see most of them as missionaries!

The cultural celebration was great. The gospel singing, sign language, ocean life, mosquito swamp, hurricane, and helping hands were all very fun. But overall I was impressed not so much by the skill of the performers or the quality of the show as by the youth's power for righteousness. I also really really loved the mural at the end of Christ's coming. What you may not be able to see in the broadcast ( is that it is made up of hundreds of pictures of baptisms. All we missionaries were asked to send in any baptismal pictures we had several weeks ago, and there they are! I'm hoping we can get our hands on a copy of it!

The Orellanas are a family from West Palm. I love them.

I got to see a lot of people I knew at the cultural celebration, which was so fun. Members from wards I've served in all over the place! I have served now in 5 different units (6 if you count the two weeks in Miami Shores before we split off..) and I know a lot of people. 
Cesar is also from West Palm. He was baptized less 
than a year before I got there, and was a tour guide 
at the temple every day of the open house. So awesome!
Meeting up with the Kempers at the Cultural Celebration--
Andrea, Aunt Jill, Caroline, Bridget, and HH

And at the end I got to see Uncle Rick, Aunt Jill, Andrea, Caroline, Tarl, William, and Bridget. That was fun :) I didn't even recognize William and Bridget they have grown so much! I am nervous for the family reunion this June.. I enjoyed speaking Spanish with Uncle Rick (well-remembered, btw. I was impressed) and also enjoyed seeing him and Tarl be supportive of keeping rules and getting home on time. Maybe I'm being judgy, but I definitely think that a returned missionary's continued respect and obedience for mission rules shows his character! (so thanks, I'm glad for the example)

One thing that I was considering as we prepared for the dedication on Sunday morning was the fact that from the time from Adam until Joseph Smith, there was one temple on the earth at a time. More counting the temples of the Nephites, but we don't know much about it/them, so we'll stick with that statistic - at least only one in the Eastern Hemisphere at a time. As of yesterday, there are now 143 operating temples in the world! That is incredible. 

And we got to see President Uchtdorf as he came out 
of the temple after the last dedicatory session. He 
came over and said hi to our group across the street too.

The dedication was wonderful. We got to hear from President Uchtdorf of course, Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the 12, Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the 70, Presiding Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, Elder Kent Richards of the 70, and the new temple presidency and their wives. There were three dedicatory sessions and each one was different - different speakers, choirs, etc. (Oh, and I knew people from the choirs in each of the two sessions we were able to watch! And I think  saw Uncle Rick and Aunt Jill in the first session) I also really enjoyed the cornerstone ceremony. Elder Uchtdorf was giving a blow-by-blow because he had a clip-on microphone, and it was funny as different people were asked to come and put in the mortar. It felt right at home. 

Out of time, write to me! Not much time left to do it in!


Cousins, HH and Caroline Kemper Reid-Reynoso!

R & P are baptized!

The battery on my green watch is finally dead, almost
two years later. So I'm going to keep time using
my pump, and just had to commemorate the watch tan.

A pineapple plant. This photo is actually courtesy of 
Sister Ellett but it was cool so I thought I'd send it anyway..

Another one from Sister Ellett, who is serving in my old
area of Miami Beach English. This is one of my
favorite graffiti portraits in the art district.


Monday, April 28, 2014

"Jesus is Livin' Inside Me!"

Mom's friend Sharon came down to visit! She recently moved to the Coral Springs ward from the Ft. Laud ward and so she came to her old ward and we got to hang out :)   She's great. Also, what I didn't realize until after she left is that her maiden name is Sharon Merrill!  Sister Merrill was amused.

Dear everyone,

Random happenings of this week in no particular order...

A random man was riding his bike by us and so I offered him a card with a picture of Jesus on it. He kept riding by and told us: "Jesus is livin' inside me. That's why I'm exercisin'!"

This from President Anderson's email:
We are uniquely blessed with a wonderful opportunity to bless the lives of others through the wonderful work being done by the youth of our mission as part of the cultural celebration.  The Fort Lauderdale Temple dedication marks the first time that the Church is broadcasting a cultural celebration live and on the internet.    This means that anyone with a computer or device with internet access can watch and enjoy the cultural celebration next Saturday. Make sure your families and investigators have an opportunity to watch it.
Next Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm EST (be thoughtful of the time difference), the cultural celebration will be broadcast live on the internet at:

Watch it and you may see me and/or people I love here in Florida!

We had a really funny combined lesson with the Assistants (they cover the YSA branch in our area so we pass referrals back and forth a lot) where their investigator didn't show up but ours, the younger brother, did. He is 14 and wants to be a professional wrestler. So the elders created this whole scenario about the Book of Mormon's inclusion of wrestling. What better way to get him interested enough to start reading than telling him about how the wars in the BoM are about people and nations wrestling against each other, and the ones with God on their side always win! What chapter did we assign him to read? Why, Enos 1, of course.

Carlie (aka Sister Bean) was previously in this area.
She finished her mission almost two weeks ago.
She was my sister training leader for about half
of my mission. She and her mom came back to visit
and took us out for lunch 
then came to church on Sunday!
I got to go on a fire exchange (usually about 1.5 hours long, and we go into their area, exchange so one of us is with each of them, and go to whatever appointments or harvesting that they were going to do, with them. Two companionships in one area, woot!) in Lauderhill South, the area that I just left. I ended up going with Sister Porter while Sister Merrill went with Sister Sanchez (I always go with the one that will be teaching a lesson if we are in a Spanish area; otherwise we just go with whichever sister we feel we should!). Right before we got there the sisters had gotten a call from J, who is in the bishopric and also happens to be the uncle of the M family (L, R, and P in case you forgot:). He had talked with R and P and they wanted to get baptized that Sunday! So Sister Porter (who had never met them before) and I went over to teach them. It was so wonderful! I was happy to see them, they were surprised and happy to see me, Sister Porter boldly shared her testimony in Spanish, and they really did have the desire to be baptized. They were baptized and confirmed yesterday. I think that their older sister will soon follow. SOOO HAPPY!!! (Also, breaking news. I just got Sister Ware's weekly email and found out that a former investigator of ours in Hialeah got baptized yesterday too! Miracles abound.)

Our miracle this week is RA. We were trying to follow up with some other people inside a gated community (difficult to get into so you have to build up contacts every time you're inside so that you can return to follow up!), but nobody was home. We had another appointment to get to and were about to leave when we saw this lady just walking out of the building. I didn't have any normal pass-along cards left, just chapel cards, so I invited her to church. She was so excited, and told us she was looking for a church home. None of us had time to stay and talk, but she told us she really wanted us to come back and talk to her more. So we did! We just told her what church was like and told her a little about the Restoration, and she came to church yesterday. She absolutely loved it. We went over last night to explain a little more about temples (that's most of what they talked about at church since the dedication is this coming Sunday!!) and she also asked for a priesthood blessing because she was going into surgery this morning. The elders came over, we taught about priesthood authority, and she felt the Spirit strongly. She is getting baptized on May 11

Funny story. The same exact spot where we met RA, a couple of days later on Saturday: we were leaving the building again and saw this young man walking along sadly. As soon as we started talking to him he thanked us for coming up to him and told us he had been looking for people our age who did good things, and he knew God had sent us. We invited him to go to YSA the next day, and gave him all the info. We passed his phone number to the YSA elders but the text didn't arrive. Happily, D was motivated and called them so he was able to get a ride and get to church. He told them after Priesthood meeting that he felt spiritually enlightened and intellectually rejuvenated :) He is also getting baptized May 11

One thing that I loved in the Book of Mormon this week was a realization that I made about 3 Nephi 24:13-18. In verse 15 Christ basically says that pride isn't happiness. I was pondering that and realized that so often pride comes from putting our hearts on things of the world, from desiring things that are of no worth eternally. We may get those things by our own efforts, but what does it profit us? Why should we be proud of those achievements that aren't worth anything really? We have to let go of those things and then we will really be humble because we will see that the things that really matter most come only from God, not from our own efforts. 

I love you all! 

S called us the day after his baptism to ask if he
 could come out with us to do missionary work :)
Here he is, walking down the street with us!
We found out that one of his neighbors is
about the same age and less active, and
we knocked lots of other doors


When we went to visit that same less-active later in the
 week a couple of members from the Young Mens'
came over to visit him too. One of them had just
caught this Cuban Anul from a tree.
Then they put some thread on it like a leash and collar
and walked it around for a bit!
Yet another car accident on the mission... A lady was
trying to pass us on the right side. It was a two-lane
road so she was cutting through the parking lot we
were turning into. (excuse the grammar, no time to
 try and arreglarla...)

Speaking of cars, this is what we call a "donk."