Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Word!

It was a treat to receive this email on Christmas day--our first word since Eliza entered the MTC on December 19th! (Eliza's Mom)

Merry Christmas family! I miss you all so much, but the spirit is incredible here. This is the first time I've been allowed on the computer and I have five minutes, so I'll have to keep it brief, but here's a quick overview.
Thank you for the Christmas packages and wishes! I will send mail later in response to your letters, Mom and Dad, but thank you! The goodies are appreciated muchly, and the word from home even more. The barettes were perfect too - nicely chosen :)
It will be easier for me if you send most news in the mail so I have more time to read and appreciate it.  works well, I've heard (It arrives the same day or the next day usually). I will be writing letters like crazy to all of you, when I'm allowed to!
Things have been super busy at the MTC - every minute has something happening. We've really been focusing on the true spirit of Christmas - that Jesus Christ lived and died and rose again. My testimony has been growing as we've read talks and scriptures, taught lessons, sung hymns, and listened to devotionals and talks.
I sang in the choir today during our Christmas devotional. Elder Nelson and his wife spoke to us, which was fantastic. We sang "Where Shepherds Lately Knelt" and "The First Noel." They talked about the spiritual gifts that are available to us through our prayers and efforts and the importance of our work as missionaries - we are sharing the greatest gift we've been given!
Marta would be jealous - yesterday we read two Elder Holland talks and watched one more. It doesn't look like I'll be seeing him while I'm here, as he came at Thanksgiving, but it has been really cool to be in this place. I also sat in his chair in the Board Room when we had a Zone meeting.
Things about the MTC:
-The food is usually pretty good. Lots of options
-The gym is crowded
-It's cold!
-My companions, Hermanas Nesbit and Hernandez, are awesome!
-So is the rest of my district - Elders Johnson, Baldarez, Dore, and Hart.
I'm out of time, so I'll write later. Please remember my address!
Sister Eliza Marie Houghton
MTC Mailbox #259
FL-FTL 0226
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604
I love you!
Hermana Houghton

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Call -Received August 30, 2012

I've been called to serve in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission, speaking Spanish. I report to the Provo MTC on December 19.

A few fun things about the mission:
-In July there were 140 baptisms (for about the same number of missionaries)
-The mission includes Miami and the Florida Keys
-There are a lot of Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants in Florida... and a lot of rich white retirees
-Manatees live in Florida!
-Alligators and cockroaches do too, darn
-The climate is semi-tropical
-Hurricanes hit Florida
-It is humid in Florida
-All the missions in Florida are bicycle-riding missions (this is hearsay from a guy at my YSA branch who served in Tampa)
-My mission president will be Donald E. Anderson. His wife is Janet Anderson. They are from El Paso, Texas.

There are a lot of rules that I'll have to follow in the mission, and some friends and co-workers have thought they weren't fair, or they were too strict. But let it be known that I am willingly giving up the chance to swim, wade at the beach, watch TV, surf the web, read fiction, listen to non-LDS music, do my laundry whenever I choose, stay up past 10 pm, and go to Harry Potter world while I'm in Florida.

I am going on a mission simply because the gospel is true. Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and the Plan of Salvation is real. Through the Atonement, we will all have the chance to become all that we can be. I have found no greater joy than in feeling the Holy Ghost and knowing that I'm doing what is right. I believe that a knowledge and understanding of the gospel is the greatest gift that I can give to anybody, and so I am choosing to go teach the gospel to the people of Southern Florida. I can hardly wait

*The first post on this blog is actually a re-post from the family blog, and was written in September