Monday, February 4, 2013

Real Missionary Experiences

 February 4, 2013

My own captions for the pictures Eliza sent. . .Eliza's Mom

With Hermana Clayton and their matching new shoulder bags.

They are feeding her!  Gourmet dinner from one of the sisters.
With Pedro, a recent convert who with his
friend Max, takes the Hermanas out to lunch
every week, and this week brought chocolates.  

Dear family, friends, and everyone,

Missionary work is still hard, but I'm learning to really love it. I've been working on keeping my focus on the work, and it's been great!
We had some interesting experiences this week. One evening we came across this group of men just coming home from work in the fields. They were all recent immigrants, and rather amused by the American girls trying to speak in Spanish. Luis, David, Renan, Jesus, and Antonio all listened quietly, as we stood outside their house and they squatted by the wall with three sitting on the lone chair and one on a bike. But Achilles wanted to talk. We quoted scripture, discussed doctrine, and invited. They all went and got drunk on Saturday night, so they didn't come to church, but we're going to keep teaching them like they're getting baptized tomorrow! (An attitude I learned from Sister Clayton)
We also met a man this week who enjoyed our blessing, recognized the Spirit, but cheerfully told us that we were following the teachings of men and that Joseph Smith was schizophrenic. We were a little bit taken aback, but it was a funny experience. We also met a man who didn't want to listen to us because he thought that the Mormons had supported Prop 8, which was in fact legalizing gay marriage. He wouldn't believe me when I told him that he was confused and I was from California.
We've started teaching a family in the ward whose mom actually served a mission. She married a non-member and won't go to church or take her kids to church unless he's a part of it. Frank thinks that church isn't for him, but really wants his kids to learn about the gospel, so we're trying to pull them all along to church. Luckily with football season over now he may be open to coming to church for a week or two. Also, the two kids are soo sweet. They are 10 and 14, and the 10-year-old girl told us that she just wanted to follow Jesus. Her brother described his hero as someone who cared about others, worked hard, and always had time for his family.
I'm slowly adjusting to the Spanish ward. My Spanish still needs a lot of work, but I can usually understand most of what people are saying as long as they're not going into long soliloquies about their lives, and we're not talking on the phone. This week we're really focusing on making connections in the ward, so I'll get lots of time to work on my more in-depth Spanish, rather than just my teaching Spanish!
Daniel, who got baptized last week, is so awesome. He can't wait to go to the temple and loves learning about everything. He's really smart, and I enjoy finding answers to his questions within the scriptures when I can. He's actually receiving the priesthood this week and will be blessing the sacrament next week! I can't wait to see how many lives he is going to touch.
I've really been diving into the scriptures this week in my personal study time. I'm out of time, but just know that my testimony of Jesus Christ, the gospel, the Church, and the Book of Mormon is stronger than ever. I know that the work I am doing right now is the most important work there is. I read a quote from Brigham Young that said basically, "This is my religion. This is what the Holy Ghost dictates to me. It is saving the people." I know that through the gospel of Jesus Christ souls are saved, and as we strive to follow Christ we are personally converted and changed every day. I love you all!
Hermana Houghton

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