Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Hermana Saylor and me at the house with our chickens!

Dearest Family,

Transfers did indeed happen this week, but I didn`t go too far!  Just a hop skip and a taxi-ride away (still in the same stake and everything!) from Bosques is my new area: Olivos!  I`m here with Hermana Saylor, who actually just finished being trained by my trainer, and even though we are both REALLY white, we`re going to find miracles here in Olivos.  Just a little background info: Bosques is a solid middle-upper-class neighborhood, and Olivos is what you might call the ghetto.  I have noticed that a lot more people randomly call our "Gueras!" ("White Girls!") when we`re walking down the street here... So it`s going to be an interesting adjustment :)

In other news, Presidente Anaya and his inspired ability to do exactly what nobody is expecting have struck again!  He left Hermana Bracamonte in Bosques in a trio with two Latina sisters from the Visitor`s center, and one of them is just fresh out of the MTC and being trained by the other.  So Hermana Bracamonte`s an "Aunt" or something, and I`m like a great-aunt now.

On a different note, just so you all know, tomorrow is a world-wide missionary braodcast (just for the missionaries I believe), which will be AWESOME.  Also, I was thinking about how important it is to read the Liahona or the Ensign each month.  That wasn`t something I did a lot before I came on the mission, and I kind-of thought modern-revelation only came twice a year during general conference, but that is NOT true.  Prophets speak to us each month through the talks and messages in the church magazines, so I invite you all to look up the January Ensign and take a peak at what the Lord has offered us! 

I love you all and hope you know you`re in my thoughts and prayers!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

My last district class in Bosques!
 (Elder Delgado, Me, Hermana Bracamonte, Elder Jensen, and Elder Williams)
Saying goodbye to Bosques and Hermana Bracamonte (with our "theme" of the past three months: 1st Nephi

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

From 4 January 2016

. . .Good Morning!  Study Time!

Dearest darlingest family and friendlings,

I learn new things about Mexico every day.  But.  Something that ISN´T new, is their love of parties.  I mean, everyone likes a good party, but here everyone REALLY likes parties.  The holiday season goes like this: 24th (GIANT Christmas dinner/party/Santa Claus), 31st (Go OUT partying, have a piñata, and stay up until 3-5 in the morning), 6th (the Wise Kings come and leave gifts--like Santa Claus roudn 2--and you eat a Rosca and whoever happens to cut into the rosca and find the Christ Child has to throw a party in February) Feb. 2 (the person who cut the rosca in the wrong spot throws a tamale party and invites everyone).  So, vacation continues this week until the 7th!  Of course, that doesn´t really matter for missionaries...

On a different note, this week Hermana Bracamonte and I were a bit under the weather for a couple of days, but we pulled out of that and were back working full days in no time.  We´ve been working hard to find and teach new people in our areas, and in some ways we´re beginning to see results.  We are SUPER excited for the baptism of one of our investigators, scheduled for this week, and we are learning lots about working with the ward to do missionary work.  Also, the amazing thing about missionary work is finding people who are genuinely prepared and ready to be accept the gospel, and then watching as little miracles left and right seem to carry them right to the baptismal font.  It´s not easy, but I know that ultimately everything we do is managed by Heavenly Father, (NOT ME) and that His plan is more perfect than any plan I could come up with.

Anyway, one special spiritual experience from this week happened just yesterday, when we were following up with a name we found in the Area book that the old Bosques Elders left for us.  We went and visited with a sister who´s about 65, and has had a lot of trials and difficulties in her life, which have weighed her down a LOT recently.  We sat and she tearfully shared with us her story for about an hour and a half. Then we had the opportunity to share our testimonies about how the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for each of us can carry us through every difficult moment that we have in life.  I just wanted you all to know that there are two things I absolutely know: 1) life will NOT be easy for me or for anyone else and 2) because of what Jesus Christ did, it doesn´t matter because everything will be okay.  

I hope in this new-year time, you all will find a couple of minutes to put a spiritual goal so that you incorporate the sacrifice Christ made for us--the atonement--a little bit more in your life this year.

Hermana Houghton

Hey y´all!  Sooo.. This is like half of the mission, when we went
into the temple together for our Christmas activity a couple weeks ago :)  
The Elder selfie-ing is Elder Nobbman, and he´s hilarious... yep!

I always forget these things...

 What breakfast looks like in Mexico (salsa verde, ham,
and manchengo cheese on the eggs...)

How Hermana Bracamonte feels about the dinosaur she found
in her stocking a couple of weeks ago (we named him Lionard)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

That's CRAZy! Let's do it!

From 28 December 2015

Christmas Stockings. . .Bosquez, 24 December 2015

Dearest Everyone,


I trust you´ve all felt the Christmas spirit this month, and that you´re feeling it still as you head back to normal life.  It´s been an interesting week to be in Mexico, where we still get into the 70´s every day, and Santa Claus doesn´t come on the 24th, the wise men come on the 6th of January.  One thing that is the same, however, are the lights.  I LOVE Christmas lights and it brings joy to my heart to see them strung up to and fro about the neighborhoods, temples, and trees here.  Truly, Christmas IS about light.  It´s about the light of Christ, and it´s about the Light of the World that was born just 2015 years ago.  I´m so grateful to be able to know His story, and remember it every single day of the year.

So now, I want to explain my title a bit.  You see, there is a talk, which I have heard about and not actually read, about a missionary who, when he was on his mission, thought about things that he would never even consider doing as a missionary, and then he decided to do them.  These things might include preaching on a street corner, contacting an atheist, and who knows what else!  Well, sometimes Hermana Bracamonte and I try to apply a similar technique, and then we see miracles that come when we put our faith and our courage to work, and we try to work "outside the box".  Anyway, I have a testimony that Heavenly Father works miracles.  The missionary program alone is a miracle.  I mean, can you imagine when it started out and someone stood up and presented a simple idea of sending people out to teach the gospel, and then at the conclusion of his presentation he said "oh and by the way, I think we should send the 18 and 19 year-olds".  Logically, the program shouldn´t work, but because it is guided by the Lord, it does! (see Isaiah 55 "The Lord´s ways are higher than your ways").  

Anyway, Mexico continues to be an adventure, and Hermana Bracamonte and I are learning LOTS from our experiences here in Bosques.  We (and our mission president and his wife) send our love your way, and hope that you will all have a happy, alcohol-free new year!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton
A picture from Hermana Bracamonte. . .a happy Marta on Christmas day!

Christ's purpose in coming to earth (an event we celebrate on Christmas) is to allow us to return to live with our Heavenly Father as families.   One of the most exciting parts of Christmas for families of missionaries is the opportunity to skype with their far-away missionary.  Thus, for just a few minutes on Christmas, our family was "together"-- a fitting reminder of the joyful and wonderful blessing of Christ!  

Look at those smiles!