Monday, October 7, 2013

Birthday Missionary!

Dear Family,

You are the best!! What a wonderful birthday I have had so far. It's like you know me or something!.. But really, thank you so much to everybody for the birthday wishes, goodies, and love!

Baptism day with P!
As you can see from the pictures, yesterday we had two baptisms!! And, more excitingly, two baptismal services. The first was P, who I told you about last week. Like we signed in the back of his Book of Mormon, he was baptized on October 6, right after the Sunday morning (although it starts at 12 pm for us...) session of General Conference. Some fun things about Pedro:
-He really does not appreciate people who are not on time.
-He worked in the Portugese embassy in Cuba when he was 16-19 (mandatory military service in Cuba for 3 years), and so he speaks Portugese
-We taught him a lesson on repentance on Thursday afternoon, and had the hardest time. In Spanish, the word 'repent' also means 'regret,' so it took us a while to figure out that he thought we were saying he had to give up being himself when we said that he (and we all) need to repent. Finally it made sense to him when I said, "God doesn't want me to be someone other than Hermana Houghton. He just wants me to be a better Hermana Houghton."
-He has read in the Book of Mormon up to the end of Alma thus far :)
-We saw him outside the library just as we were coming in this afternoon!
He's awesome. 

W on baptism day!
The other one is also amazing. W lives at the same Assisted Living Facility (ALF) as R and A, and jumped in on a lesson with them a few weeks ago. We gave him a Book of Mormon, set him with a baptismal date, and then he disappeared for two weeks. Last Sunday R and A walked into sacrament meeting and W was with them! He had read the whole Book of Mormon and was working on going through the Index and reading each scripture associated with each topic. He had his baptismal interview on Thursday and told Elder Hunter (our new District Leader) that he didn't feel like he was ready yet... So Elder Hunter set him with a date for the 20th. We were not satisfied with that, so we talked with W and helped him to see that getting baptized is a commandment, and we need to not procrastinate obeying God's commandments. We talked about the requirements for baptism and helped him build up the faith to be baptized! He wasn't ready for church on Sunday morning, but we went back by at 3:30 after P's baptism to see if we couldn't get him and R to church. Well, we did, and he got baptized! Our ward is THE BEST. There was great attendance at both baptismal services, food after the first one, and all in all half of our ward was there from 12 pm to 7 pm

One funny thing about W: he is from Cuba, and changed his name when he came to the states. We're not sure what his original name was, but he chose an authentic American name. 

Another funny thing: both W and N are type 1 diabetics :)      --note from Mom, so is Hermana Houghton!

So, moving on. Remember J? He came to the Priesthood Session on Saturday night... but was three hours early, so watched most of the Saturday sessions in between. On Sunday he brought his 8-year-old daughter D (so cute!) to conference. She hung out with us in the Relief Society room watching conference in English. For P's baptism we asked him to say the closing prayer, and told him that at the next baptism we were going to ask him to talk about the Holy Ghost... And then he did, at William's baptism. It was amazing. The ward has embraced him, and he has embraced the gospel. He even taught the entire Restoration to his ex-wife (D's mother) and we are going to start teaching her!

We've also continued teaching L and J this week. We had an FHE on Monday, L made us amazing baliadas Wednesday, and we had a law of chastity lesson on Friday. We read through The Family Proclamation the Family Proclamation and asked them what action they needed to take. L immediately responded that they needed to get married. J wanted to wait, to let her get to know the church better, but we cut that excuse right out - you don't need to wait to keep the commandments. So they're working on getting their papers from Honduras so they can get married! One fun moment was when J, who is a member, looked at me and said, "when are you leaving?" I told him probably in about four weeks, and he said, "I knew it! You just want to be here when we get married! That's why you're telling us we need to do it soon!" So funny. I promptly told him that, no, I didn't want them to get married before I leave, I wanted them to get married and L to get baptized before I leave :) We were talking about the lesson afterward and realized that it was one of the least romantic proposals ever. Even less romantic than yours, Dad ;)

We have determined that bug-bombing (fumigating) the house for cockroaches does not work, and may actually increase the number of cockroaches. Ah well. We just wrap all of the food in plastic and we're good. I love you all!

Hermana Houghton

I had a chance to email chat with HH for a few minutes today, and asked her if she'd received her birthday gifts and what wonderful things she had planned for the day--Her response:

I LOVE all of the birthday stuff! I screamed when I got the baklava... and then the other sisters came in to ask what I had gotten that I loved so much... I showed them my oxford picture dictionary and threw the baklava underneath a sweater :)

As for wonderful things, pretty much chilling. Sleeping hopefully, writing letters, ya know. We were going to play smashface but the elders wimped out.

 Another silly picture during the interview

During William's baptismal interview: Sister Ware, Elder Allen,
and R (pretending to take a nap)

Ws baptism, with his baptizer Carlos Gonzalez and his member friend R :)

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