Monday, June 11, 2018

The Best Problem in the World

There are a lot of these little, bright green lizards in Georgia, and the other day, one rode several miles on our car with us and we also found out it can change colors (it's brown, sitting on the windshield wiper).

Hi everybody! 

This week I've been experiencing the best problem in the world! Since the Elders left, our teaching pool of investigators doubled on the first day of the transfer. Our zone goal this transfer is also to find a new investigator every day, so in accordance with that goal, we've been working hard to find and teach new people every single day. Now, we have more people to teach than I can keep track of! And that's my "best problem in the world." I love it. :) 

In other news, I got to go on exchange with Hermana Rhoton again this week - it was a blast! Despite the heat, we made it through a day of tracting and miraculously found a solid investigator at one of the last doors we knocked on. This lady has always rubbed shoulders with Mormons, but never had the chance to learn about what we believe. She also has the mind for remembering historical details (especially about the Bible, which she has studied extensively), and when Sister Harper and I taught her on Friday, we were overjoyed when we could answer her questions because of some old, goofy seminary videos we watched last week. It was awesome, and we are excited to follow up with her this week!

That's all for now everybody! It's been a great week, and today we are having a water balloon-based zone activity, which should be fun! Happy mid-June y'all!

Love,
Sister Houghton
9102 Holland Place
Lawrenceville, GA
30043
 
Tracting in the heat sometimes gets to you, but it's worth it. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Catching UP!

From 4 June 2018


We get to wear some fancy-schmancy hats where we serve ice cream at an extended care center!
Hello everybody! It has been a crazy-busy week, mostly because we have been trying to meet all the investigators the Elders left behind. Probably the best word to describe it is "hectic." Possibly the best part of the week was that we were able to contact not just one, not just two,...but five investigators on Friday within about 3 hours. It was a miracle!

Besides that, the highlight of my week was stake conference this weekend. Elder Whiting of the General Authority Seventy came and led two (that I went to) very good sessions. He taught us about what it really means to minister and love the people around us as Christ did (well, does). I'm hoping to implement many different ideas he talked about in the coming days and weeks, because missionary work is really about loving the people around me.

Last week, I forgot to tell you about Sister Harper! She is my new companion and is from Ajo, Arizona (nothing to do with garlic, for all you Spanish-speakers). She has been out 9 months and is an amazing teacher who even occasionally laughs at my terrible puns. It's been a fun week getting to know each other as we've been running around trying to figure out our lives. I'm looking forward to the rest of the transfer with her.

Love,
Sister Houghton
9102 Holland Place
Lawrenceville, GA
30043

P.S. News of note from Mom:  Sister Houghton's brother Levi received his mission call to Cordoba Argentina.  Fortunately, we will have almost 3 months between Sister Houghton returning home and Elder Houghton departing! 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Miracle Sunday and Transfers

From 28 May 2018

It rained and stormed a fair bit this week, so we got plenty wet!

Hey y'all!


Before I get into the details of my week, transfer calls were last night, and I will be getting a new companion, Sister Harper, here in Collins Hill. Sister Fullmer is going to train and whitewash an area a couple of zones over. I'm sad she'll be leaving, but she'll be an excellent trainer and I'm excited for her. Also, the Elders are being taken out of Collins Hill (because the mission's compliment of missionaries is being drastically reduced this summer, so almost every English area is getting cut to one set of missionaries), so it's going to be a crazy next couple of weeks trying to work with twice as many investigators as we have been. Outside of my area, there are even a couple of quads in the mission, and as Zone Leaders. (Normally missionaries go in twos, or occasionally in trios, but now there are a couple of sets of four missionaries because so many people will be finishing their missions in July!)

Besides transfer news, I only really have a couple of things to tell y'all about.

First, I had the opportunity to be an office missionary for a couple of hours on Friday while Sister Fullmer was in her meeting for training. I gotta say, it was a blast! Our office missionaries are mostly senior couples, and they do a lot of the important things that keep the mission going. Plus, they are really fun and love to joke around with us, which makes them twice as cool. Basically, my appreciation for senior couples and office missionaries has grown immensely this week. If you're considering going on a senior couple's mission, I highly recommend it!

Yesterday (Sunday) was something of our miracle day for the week, so I'm going to tell you about it. There is a mission goal to have 10 lessons each week (per companionship), and Sister Fullmer and I have not had trouble hitting that goal in the past. This week, however, was graduation week for the county we work in, so a lot of our regular appointments didn't happen. Yesterday, we were at 9 lessons and none of our investigators were available for a lesson, so we asked Heavenly Father to help us find a lesson while we were out knocking doors. Sure enough, we got knocking, and on our 4th door, we met a couple who were willing to talk with us for a while. In the end, they weren't interested, but kindly told us not to give up and to "keep spreading the Word." Heavenly Father answered our prayer in a way that wouldn't have happened had we not been willing to work toward our goal. That's a lesson I've experienced time and time again on my mission. Just like prayer is a 2-way communication between ourselves and God, oftentimes, the answers to our prayers are a group effort to make them happen - Heavenly Father will set everything up for us if we will just "go and do." The other miracle yesterday was simply that one of our investigators, H, is actually reading and learning from the Book of Mormon! She was writing a paper for her schoolwork, and had the idea to use a verse she had read in the Book of Mormon. She wasn't sure, but felt good about it, so she asked her 10 year-old daughter what she thought about the idea. Basically, both of them felt it would be good, and now, H's professor wants a Book of Mormon! H was excited to share it with him, and is earnestly seeking her own answer about whether or not it is true. Plus, she is going to make us authentic African food this week, and I'm excited for that. :)

Missionary life is good, and I'm learning to look for little miracles every day, which has really helped me see how this work is truly directed by God. I hope you all are also able to recognize the little blessings in your daily lives this week! I love y'all!

Love,
Sister Houghton
9102 Holland Place
Lawrenceville, GA
30043



We planned to treat ourselves to BurgerFi the other day and ended up getting it for free!

My district this past transfer: Hermana Williams, Hermana Rhoton, myself, Sister Fullmer, Elder Knight, Elder Salle, Elder Roberts, and Elder Nuffer.
Last but not least, Sister Fullmer out-did herself while serving ice cream at an extended care center where we do service.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

When it Rains, It Pours

from 21 May 2018

Hello everybody!

First of all, this week has been a bit more wet than the past few. The humidity has been up and we've had a couple of good thunderstorms while the water dumped out of the sky.

On Tuesday, we got to go to the Temple with most of the missionaries in our zone, which was super fun! Plus, our ride took us to Sweet Tomato afterwards, and that was great too.

All of our top investigators had us in some degree of panic mode on Wednesday. L dropped us, so we got to experience some "missionary whiplash" (as Sister Marsh, our mission president's wife says) and then our other top investigator, J, lost his beloved dog, Bailey, that same night. That was a rough day, but it is over and the week only got better from there.

On Thursday evening, Sister Marsh came up to our area to work with us for the night. We had dinner together and then went tracting, using a family history technique that Sister Marsh has been inventing since last July. It was really cool to see people open up about their ancestors and cultural heritage when we knocked on their doors instead of just telling us they aren't interested in talking religion.

Saturday night capped the week as several sets of us missionaries hosted a "What is the Book of Mormon? Fireside." Although none of our investigators came, a lot of our ward showed up and some investigators came from other wards who meet at our building. One of those investigators even brought a friend who was seriously impressed and asked to learn more after the speakers' portion of the event.

So, it has rained, and it has poured, but life goes on! I've loved recognizing small tender mercies this week, despite several hugely discouraging moments. Satan tries really hard to keep us from being happy, so this week, keep that in mind, and don't let him! I love y'all!

Love,
Sister Houghton
9102 Holland Place
Lawrenceville, GA
30043

Again, sorry for no pictures.  Blogspot is not cooperating!  
Pics: After tracting with Sister Marsh, at the Temple, and missionaries at Sweet tomato! Also, this morning, all the Sisters in the zone went to a Hindu Temple together, and it was a neat experience!

Temperature Rising

from 14 May 2018

Hi y'all! It's been quite a couple of weeks, and there is so much I could tell you about! I'll spare you many of the details and try to just hit the highlights.

Last Monday, I got to play field sports with my zone (about 30 missionaries) and had a blast, despite my slowed pace. We played kickball (I kicked left-footed and somebody else ran for me), frisbee, volleyball, and hot potato! It was sunny, but not too hot, so I survived. My water bottle was quickly drained when we finally went back to the car though. It's been getting toastier and toastier, and the humidity has been kicking in, so we're starting to plan our days to fit in chunks of time with air conditioning or shade. 😅

Do you remember L? Well, she is as wonderful as ever. On Wednesday, we were able to teach her with our mission president's wife, and L absolutely soaked up everything we talked about. When we recited the first vision for her, she audibly gasped at the Spirit in the room. I've loved having a front-row seat to her experience learning about the gospel and recognizing the Spirit. We have another appointment with L this week, so I should have more to say next week!

On Thursday, we had the best Zone Conference I've ever been to! President Marsh taught us about something he likes to call "Yellow Pad Prayer" (praying with pen in hand and solutions/answers already written down, looking for confirmation of correct answers - his preferred paper is a yellow, legal pad, which is where it got its name) and a really neat, easier-than-expected, bizarre way to memorize doctrines for various chunks of scripture (Sister Fullmer and I have got the books of 1 Nephi and Jacob down, so we're just waiting for more details from President Marsh to learn everything else in the Book of Mormon and then the New Testament). Sister Marsh led a discussion about motivation, and where it comes from, which inspired me to look at the days differently. I've already seen a huge difference in the few days I've been thinking about it. The other exciting part of Zone Conference was that all of my previous companions who are still in the mission field were there, so it was a big reunion! It was so good to review my mission by talking with them and realizing how much I have changed. Although I never realized it at the time, I have learned so much from each companion I've been with and each ward I've served in. I'm trusting that the pattern will hold true to the end!

Okay, I don't have time to write a novel, but the missionary work is going great and I am excited to keep working here in the Collins Hill Ward. I love y'all!

Love,
Sister Houghton
9102 Holland Place
Lawrenceville, GA
30043

Sorry, the pics won't download this week!  But, here are the descriptors...and the moth was really quite impressive!
Pics: Sister Lu, Sister Hahn, Sister Parsons, Sister Cleveland, myself, and sister Fullmer at Zone Conference (I have not been companions with all of those people, but that's who ended up in the picture), and a moth on somebody's door, which shortly thereafter attached itself to my dress!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Things are Heating Up in Georgia!

It is late in the day and I still have a million things to do, so this is going to be very, very short. We had our Zone activity today, and we just played field games for several hours out in the nice, hot sun! All of us are sporting slightly sunburnt looks, but at least we know it's time to break out the sunscreen when we're out tracting this week.

The highlight of my week was going on exchange with a Spanish Sister who came out with me and being able to observe how we have both changed so much over the course of a year. Being representatives of Jesus christ truly has changed the both of us in many good ways. I am so grateful to be a missionary!

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful women I know! I love y'all!

Love,
Sister Houghton
9102 Holland Place
Lawrenceville, GA
30043

Monday, April 30, 2018

Miracles Abounding!

We ate lunch at a beautiful park this week, where we also met a neat lady feeding the geese who were there.
Wow, it has been quite the week in the Collins Hill Ward! The ward here is amazing, for a whole multitude of reasons. It's been super fun getting to know all of them and experiencing their testimonies. Actually, I haven't had a "normal" set of Sunday meetings yet because of some unique opportunities/events happening in the ward. Last Sunday we had a 2-hour "Ministering Conference" and this week we had a professor of marriage therapy (a member of our congregation) lead a discussion with all the adults in the ward for one of our meetings. Next week I should get to see what an average Relief Society meeting is like here, unless something changes. Something I have discovered is that a huge part of our ward are swimmers and water polo players, just like me! I've loved getting to connect with several youth just by talking about some of my favorite things with them!

My companion, Sister Fullmer keeps making me laugh, laughing with me, and laughing at me (only when I deserve it, so far 😁) - she is great! Plus, she is really good at keeping me humble by pushing me to do a little more each day, which I really appreciate.

I believe I told you last week about a lady we tracted into who was super-amazingly-neat and somewhat of a miracle. Did I call her L? That's what she will be known as here. Well, this week, we got to go see her again. Apparently, she was busy doing some research about us between our visits, and when we first found out about that, we were very nervous, because we assumed it meant she had probably found some serious anti-Mormon literature or something. As it turned out, however, she had actually gone to a "Mormon community" on her pixel-simulation game she does and asked a lady on there about it. Whoever that lady was, she told L all about missionaries and that she should keep meeting with and learning from us! Hooray for that member, wherever she is! L also watched a documentary and read a decent bit of the Book of Mormon, so when we saw her on Friday, she had a list of questions and was prepared to take notes on our discussion. She was thrilled when we told her about Gospel Library, with all its videos, articles, and other resources. Although our appointment went way longer than expected, the Spirit was definitely there as L pondered on the truths we were teaching her. We have another lesson with her on Wednesday, and I can hardly wait to see her again and hear some of her new questions.

Besides L, Sister Fullmer and I have seen a handful of miracles happen as we have followed up with several potential investigators and referrals from other missionaries. This coming week appears to be full of promise and potential and I am excited to see how it goes!

Love,
Sister Houghton 
9102 Holland Place
Lawrenceville, GA 
30043


When it rains in Georgia during the springtime, pollen puddles
form and then the wind blows them down hallways
 in our apartment complex, where they dry!