Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dearest Family/everyone

From 2 May 2016

Olivos in all of its glory!
How is it going!?  No really, I would love to hear what´s happening in your lives, and if you´d like to send me some mail, my address should be located somewhere nearby... hrrmmm... I hope.

This is how to get a quick letter to Mexico:  Take an 8x11 piece of paper (not lightweight notebook paper), write your message on one side of it, fold it in thirds like you're putting it in a larger envelope, but don't put it in an envelope.  Use two pieces of tape to tape it to itself, but don't tape the ends closed and don't include anything in the letter.  Address it, place a regular U.S. postage stamp in the upper right hand corner, and pop it in the mail.  If it gets to SLC by Thursday, it'll make it into the "pouch" and be delivered in Mexico on Friday.

Hermana Houghton
Mexico Mexico City East Mission
P.O. Box 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150
Post-cards and one-page only mail, without envelopes and no light/weight notebook paper. Otherwise, my mail address in Mexico City is:
Sister Marta Irene Houghton
Mexico Mexico City East Missio
 Party with piñatas
Here in Mexico, we are truly having a party, while also working very hard to preach the gospel to all of the Mexican world (that is in our direct vicinity).  Fun news from the week: 1) yesterday a bird pooped on my companion´s head 2) Mother´s day (Skype call) is a week away!  3) It´s yellow mango season (we just buy like 5 pounds for a dollar and we feast on them all week) 4) For P Day we went and ate Alambre (delicious Mexican meat, bacon, cheese, chile combination) in a fancy Mexican Restaurant in another part of the mission, and 5) Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said the weather was nice?  yeah, that only lasted for a week... (But we´re just fine, and we just have to put on sunblock and carry a lot of water!)

 Some lovely niños that we are currently teaching :)
Also, one thing I really learned about this week is a lovely attribute of Jesús Christ called (drumroll please...) humility.  Yep.  It turns out that life is actually a lot harder when we have a lot of pride, and when we can throw selfishness out the window and focus on the needs of other people, we are a lot happier.  But humility brings more than happiness, it also brings learning and growth and helps us to become more loving and obedient servants of our Heavenly FAther.  The beautiful thing about serving Heavenly FAther is that He is the smartest, most loving and merciful, but also just and strict boss that anyone could ever ask for.  He takes care of the people who obediently and humbly follow His instructions and the example of His son.

Anyway, life continues to be a grand adventure here, and there´s a lot of learning and growth each and every day!  I invite you all to think about the Christ-like attributes that you may be missing in your life and your attitude, and maybe pick one to work on.  Mine (for this week) is humility, and we will see how the progress goes!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

P Day adventures with Mexican food
P.S. pictures

Combi selfie


From 25 April 2016

Dearest Family,

Life is crazy.  But it´s also lovely!

Here´s the latest news from Mexico: 

Baptism of Carlos and Karla--Sunday, April 24

1) Karla and Carlos got baptized on Sunday!!  It was an amazing experience to help them get to that point, and we are excited to continue working with their family throughout the next few weeks.

2) The weather cooled down this week and it has now officially begin to rain (the rainy season starts about now and lasts into fall, but we´re finishing up the hottest part of the year (hopefullly) right now.  BTW, I don´t really know anything about the pollution levels in Mexico City, but I hear they´re terrible.  I have no idea how/if that´s actually affecting us, but I hope it isn´t!

Zone temple trip! #anàhuac
3) We got to go to the temple on this last Friday, and it was WONDERFUL.  For those of you who have never visited an LDS temple, I highly recommend you find one near you and spend some time checking it out.  Temples aren´t just interesting places, but they´re holy grounds where we can more strongly feel the love and influence of our Heavenly Father, or God.  They are feelings that are VERY difficult to find in other parts of the world.  For those of you who HAVE had the opportunity to visit a temple--VISIT IT MORE!!  :) 

Yes.  We do have great companionship unity :)

4) Except for short bits of time, we haven´t lost water for a few weeks, and so we can do laundry, take showers, clearn, etc. without hardly any hassle.

5) Holy Cow!  We´re finishing up April!  That means next Sunday is Fast Sunday!  YESSSS!!! Fasting is a commandment from Heavenly Father where we don´t eat, because we are demonstrating that our need for certain blessings, or for spiritual nourishment is greater than our need for physical nourishment.  It´s a great tool that we have to ask Heavenly Father for the things that are most important for us and for our loved ones.  I invite you all to be thinking this week about what those things are for you, and to prepare to fast specifically for those things.  It is a miracle-bringing power indeed!
No one was harmed in the production of these images!

That´s all for now folks!  Be safe and do wonderful things that make you happy and help you know God!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

P.S. Pictures:

The Elders got out their "luchador" masks and had to take some pictures
 yes... these are Elders...
The Elders had a bit too much fun with their masks :)

Adventures in Olivos

From 18 April 2016

Image result for we have water

Dearest Everyone,

Yes.  We have had water this week, and we have been SO grateful for it!  It came in handy especially when we found a bug infestation in my companion´s mattress this morning and had to clean it out with disinfectant and insecticide.  The mattress is now de-bugged, and safe for sleeping in :)

Image result for empanadas
In other news, this week we went on lots of adventures, and it was REALLY crazy!  We also got to go to a choir practice (we´re preparing a couple of musical numbers for when Elder Oaks comes to visit us on Saturday) and I got to see a 3 of my former companions there (10 our of the 12 "field sisters" of the mission are in the choir), which was a highlight.  Also this week, we made cookies and we made the dough for empanadas with our neighbor/landlady "Hermana Gris", and that was a lot of fun (I will send pictures next week).

As for the missionary-work aspect of the week, it´s been a slow one.  A lot of people left for "semana Santa" (it´s basically spring-break/Easter holiday in one big 2-week holiday) and this week they all got back and were really busy, or stopped progressing as investigators :(  "Dropping" investigators is one of the hardest parts of missionary work, but it´s very necessary, and we´ve just had to do it a lot lately.  However, Pedro got confirmed this week, and Olivos is really very full of potential as far as missionary work goes.

Hermana Woodard and I are working hard to do the work of the Lord here, and bit by bit we´re seeing exactly what it is that He needs us to do.  I´m so grateful for the chance that I have to be on a mission right here, right now.  It´s probably one of the best decisions of my life, and I´ve learned more about people, the gospel, and my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, than I could ever have imagined.  I invite you all to get to know these three special people I just mentioned,  They make up what´s called the "Godhead" and their purpose is to bring ALL of us back to live in the presence of God one day. 

I hope you all have FANTASTIC weeks, and do lots of wonderful things!!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton