Monday, March 4, 2013

Feeling Like a Veteran

March 4, 2013

Daniel, just before heading to Chicago

Sister Clayton in one of the many
Time goes so strangely on missions. I feel like I just got out here, but at the same time I feel like I've been here forever. Last week was So long, but now it's like P-day was yesterday. We got a new Elder in our district this week - Elder Haddock is fresh from the MTC, and Elder Call is training him. What's really weird is that Elder Haddock got into the MTC the same day I did! But I feel like I have so much more experience. Sister Clayton and I were talking with him, sharing war stories, and I realized just how much has happened in the last six weeks. I have talked to more people than I talked to in the year before coming out here. And I've been in more houses/trailers/apartments than I had before in probably my whole LIFE. So strange.
Diesel the dog, scared of a chihuahua
Daniel moved to Illinois this week :( But as a positive result, we finally got a few good pictures of him. I even got one where he's smiling! While we were over saying good-bye, we had to walk back to our car briefly to grab something, and his dog Diesel followed us. I don't know if I've mentioned Diesel before, but he's great. He's a large fifteen-year-old pit bull who's a teddy bear. As we walked over the railroad tracks to our car a territorial chihuahua came out. It chased Diesel all the way back across the railroad tracks, which it could hardly jump onto. So. funny.

So, more about some other investigators. Elena and Dimas are a young couple (22 and 23) from Guatemala with two sons, three years old and three months old. They were hesitant to commit to coming to church, because they already go to a church, and they haven't been able to go since their youngest was born premature with breathing problems. We were impressed during our Thursday lesson with them to promise that if they committed to come to our church on Sunday their baby would be healed enough to leave the house so that they could come. They committed, and on Friday their doctor okay-ed them to leave the house for up to two hours at a time with the baby. They came to the first two hours of church on Sunday following another great lesson on Saturday with a fresh RM from the ward.
Also, ward members are SO important in missionary work. We don't use them as much as we'd like to, largely because we have a hard time setting firm lesson times, but we love it when we are able to have lessons with members there. For example, when Elena and Dimas came to church on Sunday we got stuck in the crush of people in trying to get up to them. By the time we got to their row Carlos, the member who came with us to their lesson, and his mother and brother were all talking to Elena and Dimas, about to leave to show them where primary was, and encouraging them for having come to church. It was awesome! And lessons are so much stronger with members there. The members help with their testimonies, they become resources for the investigators, and they help us on Sundays. Our ward is amazing in missionary work, too. We had members come out with us five times this week (three times the lessons fell through, but ah well). It is wonderful to see how much they feel the missionary spirit. Even when things don't go well they feel so invigorated. I've been able to see that the Lord really does bless members for doing missionary work, immediately as well as in the long term.
Okay, one last thing. We're teaching the Church's how to stop smoking progam tonight to one of our favorite investigators, Ruben. We felt inspired on the member we need to bring to the lesson, and it's going to be amazing. I'm super nervous for how we're going to do it, especially in Spanish, but I know that the Lord will help us. This work is moving forward!
I have a couple of really awesome spiritual thoughts to share with you, but I'm out of time, so I'll include them next time. Love you all! Write me!
Hermana Houghton

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