Monday, September 28, 2015

Weeeelllll. . .

aAAAnnndd Sarapes.  Nope.  I didn´t get one... :(

Okay Familia.  

So, this week´s been exciting (as usual), filled with laughter, grease, sickness, and strangers.  Here´s a run-down of what has occurred:

Tuesday was normalish, and we had district class in the morning and talked about the nature of our Heavenly Father and how that is SO important in the gospel.  

Wednesday: We had exchanges (because my companion is a Sister Training Leader we will have them every week) and I got to be with Hermana Mortensen (an American with 1.5 weeks in the field under her belt) for a day.  It was a tough day for proselyting because it was really hot, and almost every single appointment or plan fell through, but it was a great experience nonetheless, and it was good to chat with her about mission life.  

 Chiles en Nogadas.  De.  Lish.  But seriously. 
They´re amazing and very traditional Mexican food
(but only for special occasions).--this is not what made
Hermana Houghton sick.
. .
Thursday: In the morning before we finished up our exchanges, I got an answer to prayer when we contacted a random stranger on the way to our meet-up, and he turned out to be really interested in learning about the gospel.  He doesn´t live in our area, but when we saw him yesterday, he said he had read about the Restoration in the pamphlet we left him, and he loved it!  Woohoo!  Of course, after Hermana Chavez came back, we went to comida and I started feeling sick, but then we needed to go with the Elders to give a blessing to a friend of a recent convert, who has cancer.  They ended up blessing the woman with cancer, her husband, their two daughters, and two of their grandchildren, and it was a very powerful spiritual experience.  We taught a quick lesson, and as soon as they find time we´re going to start teaching them.  Of course, after that, we went home and I became ill and then slept until noon the next day :D  

Friday...  Being sick when you´re on a mission isn´t fun, which is why I was very grateful when I basically slept off my fever and other issues, and by 4:30 we were able to go out and walk A (one of our investigators) to the chapel receive her Baptismal interview, etc.  

Our (now old) zone. The two elders in the front
 on the right are the "Elders" to which
I am usually referring, who share our ward.

Saturday: We had a somewhat terrifying contacting activity with our zone on the Metro in the morning.  The goal of the activity wasn´t so much to find people to teach as it was to help us newbies overcome our fears of talking to strangers.  So we spent an hour talking to strangers on the metro about the gospel, and then we had comida, visited people, etc.  It was a pretty busy day, and we finished it off with tacos (my first tacos in Mexico) with the Elders.  For the record, the difference between an authentic Mexican taco, and an American taco is almost laughable.  Anywho, they were tasty, and hot, and the Elders warned me to take some Pepto Bismol so I didn´t get sick from them.

Sometimes were crazy.  And we match.

What Mexico City looks like on dreary rainy, cold days
like today (I LOVE them)

Sunday:  My companion has been having a LOT of backpain, but don´t worry, most of the ward gave her suggestions of exercises, diets, and offered medicine, gel, and pain-killers!  Anywho, because of that we didn´t get much done, but church was good, and a lot of Less-Active and Recent-converts showed up, so we were HAPPY missionaries :)

Okay.  So that´s life for me.  Today we´re not doing many fun things except buying and eating chocolate.  We´re foregoing our usual P-Day ice cream in favor of cake (for Hermana Chavez´s birthday) and chocolate.
BTW We didn´t get to watch Women´s Conference on Saturday night, but we are looking forward BIG TIME to General Conference this weekend!  My challenge to you all is to write a question in your journal or on a piece of paper each night this week, and then watch carefully for an answer during General Conference.  Also, Pray always, because truly Heavenly Father answers our prayers ALL the time!

Love you all bunches and bunches!  Be safe and happy!

Hermana Houghton

 This one´s a bit old, but last transfer, this was ALL of the
 Hermanas in the mission!  Aren´t we adorable!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


 So in Mexico, dessert is usually jello, or flan, or yogurt-y-pudding-ish stuff.  They don´t really believe in chocolate, cake, or pie :(  But they make these BEAUTIFUL jello flowers by injecting the colors of jello into the jellos... yeah.  Life goal = learn how to do this!

Dear FAM and friends,

So, in Latin American countries, everyone has 2 last names... But I don´t stick out too much because almost all of the missionaries are only allowed to use 1 last name, so I´m not weird.  Just thought I´d mention that...

Ok!  This week was a quick one, but I learned a bunch!  One really important, and slightly scary thing I learned how to do is contact!  In my area right now, we don´t have too many investigators to teach, so during the day, when we don´t have teaching appointments, we go out in the street and talk to people about the gospel!  It´s slightly terrifying at first, but after you talk to the first 2 or 3 people, it´s actually kind-of fun, especially when you find someone who´s interested!  As a missionary (and member of the church) it´s part of our purpose to find those who might be seeking the gospel, but often they don´t know that they are even looking for it until you pop into their life!  Anyway, we don´t knock on a lot of doors here, partly because we´re Hermanas and partly because it´s just not the most effective way to proselyte, but street contacting is just as exciting (and you don´t have to wait for them to answer the door or slam it in your face because usually, if they don´t want to talk to you, they avoid eye contact or walk in the other direction).  Yep.  It sounds really awkward, and truly it is!  But when you´re a tall blonde walking around in Mexico wearing a dress, you can´t get much more awkward...

 My "huarache loco" which had eggs, chorizo,
some other kind of meat, cheese, and salsa
on top of a thick tortilla thing with beans
on the inside of it.  It was HOT but delicious :)

In other news, today I got to go to my first Zone activity!  There are about 14 of us in the Plazas Zone, and we are the only Hermanas (there are 3 American Elders).  So we met up at a chapel on the other side of town today and played Ultimate Frisbee with water baloons.  Then, we pretty much had a water balloon war.  It was a blast, and with about 200 very large water baloons, we all got nice and wet.  Then we took off across town to eat "huaraches locos" on a random street corner (usually we don´t eat in the street because it´s a risk, but aparently these had been tried before...we´re crossing our fingers that the whole zone doesn´t get sick tonight).  It was quite a party!

Image result for patience
Ok, spiritual thought for the week:  Patience is a virtue.  It´s so easy to get frustrated with the pace of some in life, but really, stressing out about every minute wasted never helps situations. I'm learning bit by bit to be more patient with companions, members of the church, investigators, and even the Elders, who sometimes show up to comida an hour late...grr...).  Anyway, patience is one of many important attributes of Christ, which I´m trying to master!

I love you all!  Please send me any questions, or things you´d like to hear about!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

I finished the Book of Mormon!  Out loud!  In Spanish!  
It only took me 7 weeks!  It´s seriously the best book in the
world, and I plan on reading it over and over again for
 the rest of my life!

Can you find me?  Still the tall one!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


From 16 September 2015
Mexico City Temple Dedication

Dearest Family,

To my pleasant surprise, I am NOT training right now!!  My mission president is an interesting man.  He doesn´t worry about who he´s going to transfer literally until the week (and sometimes just a few days) before they need to transfer or train.  So, and we don´t find out about transfers until the night before we need to leave (at 10:30 when we have to go to bed), so it´s kind of exciting!  This last 6-week cycle, President said he wouldn´t be pulling any of the Visistor´s center missionaries out to train the 4 new American Hermanas, but I guess he changed his mind, because Hermana Chavez and I got off the hook for training, and instead he did pull 2 Latina Hermanas out to train the Americans in the field.  So I get to be with Hermana Chavez here in Bosques for another 6 weeks!  

Also, the Mexico City temple (2nd largest in the world) was re-dedicated on Sunday (Elder Holland and President Eyring came), and this morning we got to go do a temple session with the other missionaries in our zone, and a bunch of CCM missionaries too!  Also, on Saturday morning we were at the temple/stake center for a meeting and we got to sing to Bishop Cosé (of the presiding bishopric I think) in the Visitor´s Center with the Hermanas there--it was really random!  Anyway, the temple is gorgeous, and it was a wonderful opportunity to visit this morning :)  

Image result for mexican independence day
In other news, today is Mexican Independence day!  So everything is closed!  Also, Cinco de Mayo is a popular American myth--Mexicans don´t celebrate it at all.  However, they celebrate the 16th of September, starting the day before, with a LOT of food (last night I ate posole and bombasos), fireworks, music (salsa, mariachi, rock, you  name it), a big special shout at 11:00 p.m. (Viva México!), and a truly remarkable amount of alcohol (or so I´m told).  It´s actually the biggest holiday of the year, according to my sources.  We slept with earplugs in last night (fortunately).

Anyway, the work is going pretty well here in Mexico!  We´re teaching lots of people, and we´re always busy!  I hope you´re all surviving life and enjoying your September adventures!

Hermana Houghton

Image result for journal
P.S.  Spiritual thought:  KEEP A JOURNAL.  It is incredibly important for future generations, and can also be a great blessing for you in the future.  Think of it as a spiritual/emotional savings account :)

Sooo... This is my apartment.  It´s actually one of the biggest, nicest, most expensive in the mission!  We have hot water, an oven, and no cockroaches or bed-bugs!

Our desk/study area--guess which side is mine!?

 Kitchen!  Fun fact: the light switch is inside our cupboard!

Kitchen part 2 + laundry room (where we wash our clothes by hand
 and hang them up, right there!)