Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Dear Everyone,
Did you know that lightning in Florida kills more people than lightning in any other state? Fun fact, but it also led to some fun miracles last night! We were directed in Zone Conferene on Friday to stay under shelter or in the car whenever there is lightning directly overhead. So last night we were waiting for lightning to pass from the area where we were going to harvest. We had some great studying, but after a while without any relief from lightning we decided to go to another area.
We pulled up to the curb and out of the truck across the road comes a man whom we'd harvest blessed the other day but hadn't been able to get in contact with. We'd seen him on Saturday too, driving out of a gas station halfway across town. We knew it couldn't be coincidence - three times in four days in completely different places is crazy. So we talked to Wilfredo and his brother Gilberto, whom we hadn't met before. They are crazy busy with work, so arranging time for lessons will be fun, but it will be worth it. They are super excited about baptism and recognize that they're missing something in their lives. Plus they're Cuban. Oh, and they think I have an awesome native-born accent, even if my vocabulary isn't very good :)
HH with Giovanni's mangoes
Some other fun people we met this week were Giovanni and Rogelio - more Cubans! We met Giovanni as he was picking up a big pile of little mangoes off the ground. He told us to take some, so we grabbed a few. Then he wanted us to take more, so he went and got a garbage bag to put a bunch in. It was sweet! They're really yummy. Anyway, turns out that he's pretty great too. We came back and taught him the next day along with his cousin Rogelio, and we're going to talk with his wife Janet this week (she's never home when he is and vice versa). He loved the Book of Mormon and was super excited about coming to church... until work came up. He's really hilarious, and very generous. His cousin Rogelio is legally blind, but when he said he couldn't read the Book of Mormon Giovanni said he would read it for himself first, then read it out loud for Rogelio.
I know all I ever talk about is Emma nowadays, but she called us on Friday night asking us to come over and read some mail she'd gotten from the court. We were able to help her with that, leave a blessing on her home, and help her 6-year-old write a Mother's day card for her. It was a really sweet experience.
We had some hard times this week too, though. We were having a hard time finding any really solid people and getting lessons, and we had several investigators drop us. At our zone conference we made a commitment to teach a lesson on repentance that night, so we did, to Jorge Roche. It actually didn't go quite as well as we had hoped - we found out that Jorge didn't really have a desire to change, but just liked the Spirit that we brought. It was hard when he dropped us on Saturday. But then I was reading today in 1 Nephi 14:7, where it talks about the purpose of the great and marvelous work of the gospel. It's not to forcibly bring everybody to Christ. It's to give everybody the clear choice between what is right and what is wrong, with the hope that they will use their agency well and accept the help of Jesus Christ to their salvation. That realization cleared my vision of my purpose and the Lord's plan for this work.
On Sunday we were bummed out. We did round-up, but we hadn't been able to get in contact with any of our few investigators who had said they would be able to come. Getting investigators at Sacrament has been a struggle recently, so our hopes weren't high. But then the Lord showed us exactly whose work this is. We had three less-active members bring friends and family to church and refer them to us. We got to visit one of the friends last night, and she's getting baptized this Sunday, after getting married to the less active member on Saturday. It was fantastic. It really made me think of Isaiah 55:8-12. I know that the Lord will get things done in his way in his time. I've been thinking lately that the Lord will make miracles occur in our area through us - by giving us inspiration or strength. But really we don't know how those miracles will occur. We just know that they will.
To close, it was wonderful talking to the fam yesterday. Just for the record, Fort Lauderdale missionaries do not get "trunky." We yearn for the end of P-day when we can get back to work :P Well that's the idea at least. I've noticed that I'm actually getting a lot closer to it. I miss you all a lot, but I am where I am supposed to be, touching the lives I'm supposed to touch.
I LOVE YOU ALL A TON. Write me letters and send me packages and I will love you a metric tonne.
Sister's at the Zone Conference--Eliza in the back, as usual!
-Hermana Houghton
P.S. Just kidding. I won't love you any more. I will just be happier.

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