Sunday, August 7, 2016

president called me

Dear all, 
As for news from Traslados: I am staying in Chivilcoy. (Woohoo!)  My new comp is named Hna Mattinson and Hna LeSueur's new comp will be Hna Cordova (my second MOM! WOOT WOOT!). Right now Hna LeSueur and I are alone in Chivilcoy awaiting our new comps (they get here on Wednesday). So we're gonna work in both our areas and clean the pench for the arrival of the other hermanas.
I'm super pumped for this traslado. Seriously. 
The news I want to share today has to do with a phone call I received from President on Saturday night. We all get a little nervous when he calls...
Hna Alarcon answered the phone and then she passed the phone to me. Hola, Presidente...
Well, long story short, he told me that he had just been present at Omar's baptism in Ituzaingo and said it had been a really wonderful experience. He said that when Omar bore his testimony, he said the following(...this is paraphrased obviously):
I am so grateful to the sister missionaries here today. They have taught me and helped me tremendously. But there is one sister missionary who is not here today and I wish she could've been. Hermana Huston is the one who told me very directly that I needed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to know if it was true. And because I did that, God was able to inspire me to be baptized in the true church - the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And because of that, my life has changed.  
Okay, that was VERY paraphrased. I mean, President was quoting Omar and obviously he translated it when he talked with me and then I wrote what I remembered so yeah. But can you just imagine my surprise and utter joy in that moment? I choked up and all I could say was Thank you. Thank you, President, for calling me.
Even now...I get this feeling in my heart and throat that, man, it's just indescribable. 
I know that it wasn't me that got to Omar. It was the Holy Ghost giving power to my simple words. I know this is God's work and I am eternally grateful to my Father in Heaven for allowing me to be His servant. I love being a missionary. I love respresenting my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love this gospel and I know that it is true. And I share these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Con amor,
Hna Huston

Milagro

Dear all,
Something funny here in Argentina is that instead of names like darling and honey, couples call each other things like viejo, gordo, flaca, etc. and that's considered cariñoso. 
In other news, I started reading Our Search for Happiness and I love it. On page 8, Elder M. Russell Ballard explains exactly, EXACTLY what I've been feeling and experiencing since I got to Argentina. 
"As I strolled along the Trent, weary and yet happy and satisfied in the work, an overwhelming feeling of peace and understanding came over me. It was at that precise moment in time that I came to know that Jesus Christ knew me, that He loved me, and that He directed our missionary efforts. Of course I'd always believed those things. They were part of the tesimony I had shared just a couple of hours earlier. But somehow in that instant of what I realized was pure revelation, my belief turned into knowledge. I didn't see any visions and I didn't hear any voices, but I could not have known of Christ's reality and divinity any more intensely had He stood before me and called out my name."
That first part is what I wanted to share because he explains what I've been feeling PERFECTLY. 
"It was at that precise moment in time that I came to know that Jesus Christ knew me, that He loved me, and that He directed our missionary efforts. Of course I'd always believed those things...But somehow in that instant of what I realized was pure revelation, my belief turned into knowledge."
My belief is turning into knowledge, time and time again. 
I know that this is the true gospel. 
And God is blessing us with miracles. MIRACLES. 
Yesterday we called our mission president to tell him about a huge miracle that happened and I wanted to share it with you all. On Saturday we were visiting Edith, a woman who is one of the ladies here in Chivilcoy who is basically like our second mom. She doesn't go to church and hasn't gone for years. We don't know exactly the reason, but she was hurt by something that occurred and for that reason, doesn't come to church. But in her house, we met Sebastian. One of Edith's sons is named Juan and he is special. So is Sebastian. I think he's slightly autistic. And he has some physical handicaps since he had 6 operations on both his legs and therefore can't walk well. We didn't know that until yesterday. 
Wow, I'm doing a terrible job of telling this story.
Suffice it to say that we met Sebastian on Saturday and he started asking us questions about what religion we belonged to, where the church was, etc. He gave us his number, his address, and he said he'd come to church to check it out. Ok, as a missionary, I can tell you this. Sebastian es un RE MILAGRO. What's more is that yesterday, he came to church. He came late, because well, we discovered a bit about his medical history and that just testified to us even more how amazing he is. Despite his physical impediments, HE CAME TO CHURCH. I don't know how he walks by himself. When we got to him, we each took him by the arm and helped him into the chapel. And afterwards, he told us that his dad doesn't know that he came to church. So we're gonna have to go ganar confianza...pray for us please.
Like  I said, Sebastian is slightly autistic. But he is super intelligent and super GOOD and we feel so blessed that he found us. Yeah, we didn't find him. God led him to us. Wow, I just can't even express my gratitude and happiness to be a missionary right now. 
Also, Hna Cordova emailed me to give me the news that Omar is going to be baptized! He was our investigator in Ituzaingo just before I got transferred. 
And there are more miracles. With menos activos, with random people in the street...things are happening that confirm my testimony over and over again that this is God's work and He blesses us when we try, when we put forth our very best effort and we follow the Spirit. I leave you with my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Con amor,
Hna Huston
P.S. Sorry my emails are so loco. Time is up so I don't have time to edit. I hope I made some sense. Love you all!

a few of my favorite things

Dear all,
My favorite things about Argentina (apart from the people, of course), are the sky and the ice cream. Both are heavenly. 
And I love the Spirit too.
Other random notes from Hna Huston in Chivilcoy:
- kinotos are little, oval oranges. But oranges that you can eat the peel of. Super yummy.
- I dream in Spanish now! Apparently I still talk in my sleep occasionally...
- the other Sunday our class was on ayuno (fasting). And Elder Brockbank started the class asking what we knew about fasting. Someone spoke up and starting describing his morning and how he prepared himself breakfast and stuff....what?? hahaha he was describing "desayuno" not "ayuno". When we all recovered from our inital surprise, we all had a good laugh. And by the end, everyone understood what ayuno meant, thankfully. 
- We wear helmets for more than just our physical protection. They make us look uglier and that is a very good thing. Nothing bad has happened, do not worry. God protects us. It's funny how much the mission is a metaphor for life. Follow the mission rules. Keep the commandments. And God WILL bless you and guide you. 
- look up "She's going on a mission" (Hna Alarcon has that song and it's super funny. I'll watch the video when I get back, but in the meantime, I thought you'd all enjoy it.)
- Missionaries have many roles: nurse, psychologist, ping pong player, baker, friend, cyclist, listener, dog and house-sitter, the list is endless. But obviously the most important: respresentative of Jesus Christ.
If you're wondering "dog and house-sitter???), let me explain. Yes, in my last area, we took care of someone's house and dog while he was in the hospital. I forgot to tell that story, but I want to share it now. 
Esteban is a recent convert in Ituzaingo. He is 60 something years old and after he got baptized, he resumed his bad habit of smoking and we were trying to help him reach his goal of quitting for good. 
So, one night, Hna Cordova and I had just finished a lesson and didn't have any set plans, but we consulted our map and our possible plans and for some reason, everything was directing us to a certain street called Brandsen. So we walked all the way to Brandsen and started along that road, when all of a sudden, we see Esteban. He was hobbling along and we said hello, but as we got closer, we realized that he was in a lot of pain. He was trying to get to the pharmacy, so we walked with him. But it was closed and the pain was getting increasingly worse. Ugh we felt so bad for him, becuase he was in such pain. We walked him home and from his house, we called the ambulance. They came and he gave us the keys to his house and then they took him to capital to a hospital. 
We called the Bishop and let him know what was going on. And for the next couple days we made sure his dog (Ñoño) had food and water.
What is the main point of telling you this story? 
The Holy Ghost guided us to Esteban that night. I know that without any doubt. He needed us that night, and thanks to the Spirit, we were led to him.
And you know what else?
After Esteban's stay in the hospital (he underwent an operation of his vesicula...don't know what that is in English honestly), he returned home and told us that he didn't smoke anymore. He wasn't allowed to smoke in the hospital, so he was FINALLY able to overcome that addiction.
God works in mysterious and miraculous ways. 
Con amor,
Hna Huston 

in the zone

We've been having a lot of experiences lately where people come up and approach US to talk to with us. Milagros! And then we get their address and sometimes a specific cita to go visit them. It's pretty exciting. Today we're gonna go for the first time to a home that we contacted yesterday and we're pumped because the kids were super buenos. 
I'm starting to feel less nervous and more confident in myself and my castellano. All the studying and prayers and fasting are definitely helping and working miracles in me. God is helping me. For example, yesterday marks a landmark for me in my mission...no, in my LIFE. Cuz I gave my very first talk where I didn't write down every word I was gonna say. AND it was in castellano. WOOT WOOT. 
Shout out to my wonderful mother for sending me the email that was the main thing I based my talk off of. It was the conversion story and testimony of her oldest brother Hector as well as her testimony. So I shared lots of testimonies yesterday because of course I added my own testimony in my discurso. 
I prayed so much. And I KNOW that God helped me have the Spirit when I was up there at the pulpit or else there's NO way I could've done that. Not that it was perfect, but it was the message that I felt God wanted me to share about "las bendiciones del Libro de Mormon" and I didn't faint or anything. I winged my talk for the first time ever, (I had notes, but I didn't have my whole talk written out word-for-word) and the Spirit guided my words. That may seem like a small or insignificant miracle to others, but to me, that is maravilloso. Because I've never been able to do that before. I always let my fear and doubt get in my way. 
But no more. I am learning and growing. I know there will still be times where I fail, but it's okay. I just need to do the very best I can and rely on the Lord. This gospel is amazing. 
Con amor,
Hna Huston
P.S. This pic is from our Zone Conference on my birthday :)
Hna Alarcon, my comp, is to the right of me if you're looking at the photo. And the two hermanas on the far right are Hna Macha and Hna LeSeur (from Peru and from Gilbert, AZ) and the elder on the far right is Elder Tingey, also from AZ...Mesa, I think. Lots of Arizonans :) 

fortaleza

Dear all,
Go read "Fortaleza que va mas alla de la nuestra." Not sure exactly what that is in English, but it's a talk by Elder David A. Bednar and I want you all to read it. Cuz it's awesome. 
Thank you for all the birthday wishes! Missionary birthdays are interesting lemme tell ya, but yeah, I appreciate the love.
This week is La Semana de la Dulzura. You give someone a candy and they give you a kiss. 
Argentines celebrate anything and everything. It's pretty funny. 
I'm a fan, although I can't really participate in lots of the celebrating...haha I'll just have to return to Argentina someday as well as implement these traditions in the U.S. 
Un abrazo!
Hna Huston

Bici

Dear all,
Whelp, this week has been very interesting. I have a bicycle (it's plain black) and I love it. It's fun even though it's also so different than walking. It's pretty weird how many times I am doing something and just think..."what on earth? How can this be real life? How can this be my life? I must be making things up." But no. It is real life and it is my life. I am riding around on a bicycle in the rain and wind and cold to share the gospel with people I just barely met, but somehow I already love. 
Ugh, I am so far from perfect, it is laughable. I am so wet, it is funny. I am so ME, it makes me shake my head at myself.
But I am also a representative of Jesus Christ. So I am happy.
Happy doing these funny, weird, tough, crazy things. 
To clarify what these "things" are, here are some examples:
- sharing my testimony on the spot in my new rama (in spanish obviously)
- being the only people in the whole city who wear helmets when riding bikes.
- riding a bike in whatever weather (and always in a skirt)
- saludando a todos (saying hola! buen dia/ buenas tardes/ buenas noches to EVERYONE regardless of the response we get in return)
- teaching lessons and praying in the oddest situations and cualquier circumstances
- going to teach a lesson with Hna LeSeur cuz our comps were both sick. (yeah, they trusted us to do that, idk how, but somehow it worked out.)
It's a party. I learn and grow every single day. I'm not where I want to be obviously, but I am trying my hardest and I am learning that I will NEVER be perfect. I just want to keep working. And keep improving. 
It's a good thing I'm used to my body hurting. I feel bad for my comp cuz she was so tired the other day, that she just couldn't. So we went home and she slept for a few hours. I wrote in my journal and studied PME and slept a bit too. I'm just thankful for my background in running cuz that helps me be strong in moments that test my physical endurance.
Oh yeah, so it's four of us in one pench now and it's super fun! Hna LeSeur is from Gilbert, AZ (SHOUT-OUT TO KRISTI RUSH!!!!!) and she also likes to run so we've all gone running a couple times already. Hna Macha is from Peru and she's our hermana training leader. A lot of the older sister missionaries are finishing their missions and going home and that's why we only have one hermana lider entrenadora instead of a companionship. I try not to let it stress me out that that means younger missionaries like me are gonna have to step it up SOON. Ah! I am doing the best I can and trying to learn all I can so I can be ready for anything. It's so hard. But possible. Thank goodness for the gospel. 
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Huston
P.S. Next week I'll try to send pics from my last transfer cuz Hna Cordova promised she'd email me some. 

Off to Chivilcoy!

Dear all,
This week was loco. I´m emailing from las oficinas right now. We couldn't email yesterday because it was dia de la bandera and everything was closed! It was a long weekend for everyone here in Argentina because they had feriado (holiday) on both Friday and Monday.
But yeah, this week was really great. We had divisiones on Tuesday so I learned a lot from Hna Dos Santos (from Brazil) and by now she is already at her house cuz she finished her mission this traslado. She is super wonderful and I loved that I got to spend a day learning from her example. Then on Thursday we went to Capital to do tramites, but turns out they were tramites truchos because we were supposed to go at the earliest, 10 days before my visa is going to expire...so we went too early. 
After that we had a trio for a few days which was muy divertido. And then on Sunday night, they called us with the changes. I am going to Chivilcoy (CAMPO!) with Hna Alarcon (she's from Mexico, Mami!) and we're gonna be riding bici! Apparently she's the only Hermana from Mexico in our whole mission. So I'm lucky to be with her :) and the pench in Chvilcoy is super cheto! I'm pumped for that cuz the pench in Ituzaingo 3 was one of the oldest in the mission. I mean, I loved it and it was muy lindo...but the pench I'm gonna be in now has a LAVAROPAS and a microwave - WOOT WOOT! That is really rare. So I'm gonna appreciate it while I can. 
Yesterday was rough...saying goodbye to the people in Ituzaingo wasn't easy. But I am excited for the new experiences I will have and new people I will meet in Chivilcoy. 
Today, we went to Capital again and this time it was a success. I renewed my visa and then in a month or two I'll finally get my residencia...or whatever it's called that will let me stay in Argentina for two years ish. 
Lots of change this week, but change is good cuz it helps us progress un monton!
Con amor,
Hna Huston
P.S. Apparently the US is doing pretty well in something...cuz when I mention that I'm from the US, everyone updates me on our status in fútbol. Woot woot! 
Go USA! And Argentina!