Monday, March 11, 2013

1/6th of the way. When did that happen?

March 11, 2013
Eliza and Sister Ellett realized they were wearing matching outfits.
I suspect by Eliza's stance, that she is naturally just a bit taller than Sister Ellett! 

Dear family and all!

Wow, I'm already two months into my mission! That is really crazy. Plus time in the MTC, and I'm 1/6 done. When did that happen?

Updates on the people I wrote about last week first. Elena and Dimas have been super busy this week, and we've only met with them once :( I'll start a new paragraph for Ruben though.

Ruben, Sister Clayton, and Sister Houghton
He almost didn't give us the cigarettes, and
only handed them over as he was driving away.
We saw Ruben on Tuesday and felt like we shouldn't teach the stop smoking program. I had been reading the Ensign from January 2012, which has the 12 steps in the Addiction Recovery Program, and it was perfect! (P.S. The 12 steps are basically an in-depth set of directions on how to repent, which is awesome. I want to apply them to my life!) We shared them with him at our lesson (attended by a recent convert who is basically a missionary, sharing Old Testament stories and applicable verses from the Book of Mormon at the drop of a hat), and he gave us his cigarettes and lighter! It was amazing. We kept the cigarettes on our counter to show to President and Sister Anderson when they did an inspection on Thursday. We gave Ruben cinnamon toothpaste and breath strips in return for the cigarettes, and promised to give up chocolate until Sunday. It was harder than it sounds. Sadly, Ruben then told us he was feeling pressured about baptism and had to make the change on his own, and didn't come to church on Sunday. We're really hoping that the Spirit will work with him and he can receive the blessings from being baptized soon!

Right now we're teaching this amazing family, the Martinez family. They're from Guatemala and have three kids. They are so ready for the gospel. We've been teaching them for about a week and a half, and every lesson has been a miracle. And some funny things have happened too. On Saturday night we came for an appointment and they said they were going to bed because they needed to be up in time for church on Sunday. That's an acceptable excuse, I think. Then during the last hour of church Esteban, the dad, skipped Priesthood meeting to go outside with their four-year-old. We always encourage them to go to all of their meetings, but hey! he was out there reading the Book of Mormon. It is so exciting to think about how much the gospel and the church will bless their lives.

One more quick story. We met a man this week, Francisco, who is one of those who has been 'kept from the truth only because he knows not where to find it.' He was so excited to learn that God does still speak to the earth, and said that of course he would follow the prophet and give up smoking and drinking. His enthusiasm for the message of the Restoration really helped me to feel the wonder of it again. How amazing is it that Joseph Smith was actually a Prophet of God, that God and Jesus Christ appeared to him, that God allows man to hold his priesthood authority on the earth? SO amazing.

Anyway, my testimony is growing every day. I'm learning tons and loving the mission more and more as time passes. I played the piano in Sacrament meeting yesterday - songs which I'd never played before in my life. So fun. The bishop stopped us after the first verse and asked everyone to sing with more enthusiasm... But it's great! I love it!

Hermana Houghton

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