Thursday, July 4, 2013

Where in the world is. . .Hermana Houghton?

Hermana Houghton told us she was leaving, but not where she was going!

From 2 July, 2013

The Mendez family. I love them so much. I'm pretty sure I've told
you about them before... A few minutes ago Sister Mendez
 texted to find out who was leaving and then called me
 to tell me how much they would miss me.
She was crying!
She asked if she could send a package to the mission office for me.
I felt so loved.

Yes, dear family, friends, and everyone, I am leaving West Palm Beach tomorrow. I have no idea what it is going to be like, and I am going to miss the ward and the people here so, so much, but I am excited to go to a new area, have fantastic experiences, and meet more of Heavenly Father's wonderful children.  

Hermanas Smaellie and Houghton
with Natalie and her mother, Maria

Before going any further, I should tell you that we had a baptism this week! You probably don't remember, but Emma lives with another family that we were going to start teaching once they got their schedule worked out, because the mom (Maria) works in Miami every weekend. We had shared the Book of Mormon with the nine-year-old, Natalie, when we taught Emma, and had also learned that Maria's family in Honduras was LDS. This week we went over to Emma's house to pick her up because she was going to accompany us to a teaching visit (and she was incredible, BTW :) While we were there Maria told us that she wanted Natalie to get baptized that weekend. We were a little taken aback - but definitely in a good way. We started talking with her and found out that Maria is a member! She was baptized when she was 9, and her family got sealed in the temple! She thought she needed to get rebaptized because she drank coffee.

So we visited three times in three days. Every time they fed us - a blessing because Emma is a chef (looking for a job at the moment, but she's really good), but they feed us a LOT of food. We taught Maria and Natalie about the Word of Wisdom and the Sabbath Day, and Maria committed to live both of these commandments. She is currently looking for work in West Palm so she will be at church on Sundays :) Natalie had her interview on Saturday and got baptized on Sunday! Her mom is already making plans for when she will go on a mission. She and Emma sit and talk about their daughters going on missions. It's way cute.

Some other great things that happened this week:
-We have a super awesome investigator named Jose. He is going to get baptized in a little under 2 weeks. He's way sweet and humble and just a nice guy. Also we realized yesterday that he needs to marry Emma. 
-I ate raw fish this week! Ceviche with the Fernandez family, from Peru. They made it 'poco picante' for us poor gringas - but the Elders wanted more spice... It actually was pretty good.
-I went to the endocrinologist's office yesterday and we met two amazing people whose information we got and gave to the Creole Elders who will be teaching them.
-I gave out a card at a stop light today.
-Last night Sister Smaellie and I carried the laundry of a Haitian family two blocks back to their house. My bag was boring, but the lady whose bag Sister Smaellie carried taught her how to balance it on her head!
-We had an amazing exchange with the Sister Training Leaders on Friday. I learned a lot, and had a wonderful time.

Okay, to finish this email off I am going to write some of the things that I've learned this transfer, from the list I made this morning. Some of these seem pretty obvious; guess I'm just a bit slow!

-Ask people if they would mind doing something rather than just telling them that something needs to be done... even if it feels ridiculous
-If you're not humble, you're not going anywhere
-Repentance is great!
-Boldness invites the Spirit; tell it like it is, because they NEED this
-Sometimes doing my best doesn't mean it's going to be perfect
-You get things done a lot more effectively and efficiently if you have a plan
-Sometimes recognizing that I'm wrong is how I make it right
-If you feel like you've hit a brick wall with somebody, take a step back and try to treat them in a Christlike way; be the most loving you can be
-Letting others lead means encouraging them, helping them, asking if they need help - not just giving them responsibility
-The greatest problem with communication is the assumption that it has happened
-Always love people more
-It takes two people to contend - and I will never be one of those people
-We need to keep our thoughts kind and loving; look for the best in others
-Doctrine is simple, bold, and essential

The last twelve weeks have been challenging. If I had to do it all again I would change a lot of things... But live and grow, right? I am excited for what's coming down the pipe. I love you all a ton!!

Hermana Houghton

Natalie & the Elder

"The District" + Zone Leaders + AP

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