Friday, July 29, 2016

Dearest Everyone!

From 25 July 2016


Welll. Here in Mexico, life continues to be a grand adventure.  Every. Single. Day!  I do believe in the phrase that a picture says more than a thousand words, so I´m going to keep this email short and just send a ton of pictures!

Spiritual Thought: I had to give a talk on Sunday, and so I´m just going to give you a recap of all the things I learned to prepare for that talk!  
1) We need to have faith
2) WE need to have hope
3) We need to have charity
but, more importantly than just SAYING we have these things, is living them, and putting then into ACTION.  So I thought for a long time and decided 3 general ways in which we can put those things into action:
1) Having faith in Jesus Christ leads us to Repentance
2) Having hope for a better world leads us to make sacrifices to reach that world
3) Having charity for our fellow man leads us to want to serve him/her.  
So.  I´ve been working especially on those last three things lately!

I love you lots!  All is well, and I LOVE to hear how you are all doing!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

Photos:  Having a little fun in Hidalgo!

Why, yes, that is a Hulk piñata!
A *few* other piñatas

 And yes, of course.  Those are 2 Hermanas in our zone :)

hehehehehehehe!  Yes.  That is a full sized cut-out of
 2 elders in our zone!
That time when we made Tamales Oaxaqueños :)

During the photo-scavenger hunt (zone activity),
we got bonus points for taking a selfie with not one,
but TWO sleeping dogs!!!

Centenario Zone!
Toby.  He´s our friend.


From 18 July 2016

Getting to Hidalgo with Hermana Beck

Dearest Everyone,

So we made is through Week 1 of white-washing (opening a new area and starting from scratch) and really it wasn't that bad at all!  On day One (Monday evening) we met the branch president and his wife, and we happened to walk by and meet the Relief Society Sister who ended up feeding us most of the week and introducing us to the branch.  Her name is Angeles, and she´s awesome!  She has a little business making lunch/dinner, near our house, and we very sneakily wash her dishes all the time :)

We also saw some real miracles because there are a couple of prepared families here that came to church on Sunday and are ready to be taught.  We actually were praying and fasting for a miracle on Sunday, and one walked right into the chapel!  Her name is Zaira, and she´s an awesome young-adult that happens to be a reference from the ward I just left!  Tender mercies are everywhere, people.  

In other news, the city life is exciting!  Transportation is half the price, and we've only gotten lost on the Micros to and from the temple and other chapels once!  Our error left us walking about a mile back to our area and crossing a highway, but all is well!  Also, Mexico City has a lot more public maintenance than the State of Mexico, and it has a lot of cute little exercise parks which we've been taking advantage of these past few days.  It´s good to get out and run every now and then :)

Ok, life is crazy and there are A LOT of changes happening with our new mission President, but it´s exciting, and we just KNOW that we will be seeing a lot of miracles and growth in the near future :)

Hermana Houghton

Tobie, our friendly neighbor who lives on the roof.
Sometimes he barks at us, sometimes
he scares pigeons.  Mostly he´s bored.. .
Hermana Beck in our cleaned kitchen

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hello People

From 11 July 2016

Stock pictures of the Hidalgo area of Mexico City. . .
to give us an idea of where in the world is. . .Hermana Houghton!

Dear Fam,
So, unfortunately, exclamation points don`t work on this keyboard, so that`s sad.  But just know that I am really happy and excited to be emailing you all¡ Ok, so my solution is just to put them upside down¡  So, right now I am in my new area, the Hidalgo Branch, with hermana Beck¡  This week has REALLY been a crazy one.  Here are some of our bigger adventures:

1- President Naumann is changing the culture of the mission.  So this last week we had zone conference, which was awesome.  He explained to us about how Priesthood keys work, and exactly what we have the authority to do, and what we DON`T have the authority to do.  Basically, the Bishop is in charge of the missionary work in a ward, and if there`s not a bishop, the missionary work really can`t progress [this is big news here, where some Wards literally don`t have leadership sometimes]
.  Anyway, a lot of things have changed¡

2- My companion found out she was going to train, and that same day President asked us to start looking for a new house in our area, because he wanted to divide it.  So we went house-hunting the next morning and found 3 options before 11:00 when we needed to leave to get to the trainer`s meeting.  Unfortunately, the bus wasn`t passing, so we jumped in a combi [little bus/van], took the metro, and then arrived at a giant park which we crossed at TOP speed in order to get to the other side where the temple/meeting  was.  Of course, we were running late, so we hopped on a bus at the last minute and made it to the meeting 2 minutes early¡

3- We saw some MIRACLE baptisms in Olivos of Jared, Elìa, and Paola [pictures will come in the future when we find an internet where the USB outlets work¡] 

4- Hermana Woodard and I, after 4.5 months, got split up, and this morning we met up with our new companions, and Hermana Beck and I traveled an interesting route vìa various taxis to our new area.  We are opening it, and it`s been closed for a couple of cycles, but we`re PUMPED.  

5- It`s my first time in the REAL Mexico City, because both of my former areas were in the State of Mexico, on the outskirts of the city.  so the color of the taxis changed on us, and we`re in a lot more of a metropolitan environment.  It`s exciting¡  

Ok.  I`m really sorry for the lack of pictures, but it will have to do.  Today has been CRAZY, what with the moving, the cleaning the new apartment, etc.  We ARE excited to meet with the Branch leaders and get to work here, and all is well.
Thanks for reading, I hope you all have a LOT of adventures this week¡ [I decided a better title for companions is Adventure Buddy]

Hermana Houghton

P.S. Read your scriptures and pray everyday.  Just try it people, it will work wonders for your life.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


From 4 July 2016

It rained a lot this week, and we got caught in it... a few times :)
Dearest Everybody,

It has been a wild week, with many fun surprises and changes, and a little bit too much meat.  But before I talk about all of that, 


That´s right, even when we´re in Mexico, we are allowed to be patriotic.  In fact, Hermana Woodard and I dressed up in our (only) red-white-and-blue outfits today and bought root beer just for the occasion (you have to go pretty far out of your way to find root beer when you´re in Ecatapec, Mexico).  Unfortunately, due to the overwhelming amount of meat we have eaten in this week, we decided to go for salads instead of the more traditional hamburgers.  But don´t worry, we made it to MickyD´s for dessert (ice cream) so all is well in the world.  Anyway, I wish you all a happy Independence Day, and hope you got to see some fireworks and eat dinner outside with people you love!  

President and Sister Naumann
In the meantime, we've been preaching the gospel up and down our favorite street (Sanchez Colin), and we also had the opportunity to welcome our new mission President this week!  (President Naumann--he was born in Chile but lived most of his life in the U.S. Hermana Naumann is from Finland and they met when they were both serving missions in Florida).  It´s really amazing to see how Heavenly Father sends and guides his chosen servants so perfectly!  We met President Naumann this last week, and he and his wife and just wonderful, and also THEY'RE TALL!!  It´s amazing.  Most important of all, they are both prepared to lead and guide all of us crazy missionaries, and keep us on-track and working!  It looks like the mission is in for some exciting changes in the next few months, but we're all pretty excited to see what´s coming!

Unicorns in Olivos.
Ok.  All things are good and happy in Olivos, and I hope with all my might that things are good for you all too!  Be safe and happy, and do wonderful things like read the scriptures this week!

Lots of love,
Hermana Houghton

In other news, this week a really nice family in our ward took us to eat sea food!  We ate oysters, and I ordered fish filled with octopus, squid, shrimp, etc and covered with cheese!  Dad, you would have been so proud! 

 We were shopping in Mexico, in an American-like store,
and we found... a snow globe of the leaning tower of Pisa.  What!?