Monday, June 20, 2016


From 13 June 2016

Going to the Visitor´s Center with Berta,
Iltse, Aaron, and Ricardo

Dearest FamBam,

It has been quite a week for everyone, or so it seems.  I´ll give you a quick rundown of all the craziness on this side of things:

Polanco Adventures
1) We went on an adventure to Polanco to renew our visas.  Polanco is a fancy/rich part of town that feels (almost) like American-city-life.  We renewed our visas and while we waited we got Dairy-queen, and walked around the giant fancy malls (great and spacious buildings) that were nearby.  It was an adventure, but it was strange for us all to realize that a year has already flown by and before we know it, we will be heading home :/

Zona Anáhuac (June version)

2) President Anaya and his wife had a good-bye devotional, and we all shared our testimonies, and he gave us life counsel and instructions on how to treat our new mission president who´s coming in a couple of weeks.  There were some powerful testimonies born, and the spirit was VERY strong.

3) We had stake conference and 2 area authorities of the church (70´s) came and spoke to us.  Elder Peiper talked about how, as members of the church, we are blessed immensely, but sometimes we only eat "frijoles" (beans) at this "grand buffet" of blessings.  He invited us all to participate more fully in the gospel and enjoy the blessings of it.  

what Mexican wards get to celebrate
Ward Conference (Dad, take notes :) )
4) Our stake Presidency got reorganized and THEY STOLE OUR BISHOP!  That´s right, they took him right out of Olivos Ward and made him the stake President.  The ward (and the missionaries) will miss his leadership a LOT.  HOwever, probably the mostly inspiring thing I have seen in my mission was when he got called on Sunday morning.  You see, this particular Bishop is a young, hard-working father who, within the last year-and-a-half has lost his mother, 3-year-old daughter, and father.  His father passed away as the evening session of the Saturday conference was starting (around 7:00) but Bishop stayed the whole time.  Then, they held the service for him at 1:30 a.m. and by 9:00 a.m. he was at the stake-center with his family ready for the conference that started at 10:00.  They buried his father that afternoon, and then hosted a dinner at the church in the evening.  We happened to be in the chapel at the time of the dinner for a meeting, and he greeted us with a smile and cracked some jokes. Wow.  This is the gospel in practice, people.  

DAnna´s baptism

5) At that same stake conference, we got to sustain 5 men who I have had the opportunity to teach (from Olivos and Bosques) to receive the Melchezidek Priesthood.  Wow.  That was a really special moment for me.  

Okay folks, that just about all the adventures I have to share with you for today.  Life rolls on, and we keep working hard to share the gospel with those around us.  I learned a special lesson from the Bishop this week that was reinforced in a chapter of the book of Ether (in the Book of Mormon). In chapter 6, the Brother of Jared and his family set out to cross in ocean in barges, trusting COMPLETELY in the Lord to save them and guide their course.  They are blasted, by wind, storms, and waves for over a year in that journey, but they don´t complain.  In fact, it says that when they were most afraid, they sang praises to the Lord, and when they finally reached the land, they knelt down and gave thanks.  I love this passage, because it demonstrates that, as in the case of our Bishop, the Lord sends us trials, and sometimes it just seems like they don´t stop coming.  But he does it to help us reach "the promised land" or the place/person he wants us to be.  He loves each and every one of his children, I just know it. 

Keep up the good work everyone, and don´t forget to sing a happy song if life´s trials have got you down!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

P.S. Pics: These ones are WAY overdue:

Well Hello there! Welcome to the R1!

 Happy 1-year Hermana Woodard!

giant pig in the middle of the highway

Welcome to our lovely Ecatapec.  Why yes, that is pollution :)

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