Monday, October 24, 2016

¿Qué onda?

Dear all,

Traslados: I'm going to Lobos. Again: campo, bici, rama, but this time my comp is a Yankee (she's from the US). {Tangent: when people find out I'm from the US, they usually call me a "Yankee trucho". Cuz I don't look like the typical Norteamericano haha} I'm excited.

Enjoy the pics...I gotta go now, love you all!

Con amor,
Hna Huston





Monday, October 10, 2016

Ezekiel 33

Dear all,

We are the watchmen. (Ezekiel 33:1-7)

The gospel has all the answers. And for that I am so, so grateful.

The pics attached are a common sight and a common meal in Arg...
We ate lunch as a district (choripan and asado) with Flia Covino today. Woot woot!
And Hna Da Silva made Brigadeiro. YUM!

Con amor,
Hermana Huston



Monday, October 3, 2016

conferencia general

Dear all,

As you can see from the picture, we got the chapel to ourselves on Saturday, but don't worry, members and investigators did come on Sunday.
I loved all the talks especially the ones by J. Devn Cornish, D. Todd Christofferson, Russell M. Nelson, and David A. Bednar. And my absolute favorites were by K.Brett Nattress, Dale G. Renlund, and M. Russell Ballard.
And as you can see from my other picture...I am already meditating on what I learned from conference, from the scriptures, and from the Spirit and you should be too! :)

I just want to add my testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only path that leads to true happiness in this life and in the eternities. 
I know that wherever we are on that path, whether we find ourselves close to or far from our Savior Jesus Christ and his teachings...we can always do more. We can always study and apply the gospel better and serve others and in so doing, we will invite miracles into our lives and into the lives of our loved ones.
I am so grateful that we have a prophet to lead and guide us today and I am so grateful for the scriptures that help us come to know our Savior more. 
I testify that Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that through Him, we can overcome anything that we face in this life and most importantly, we can overcome our natural man bit by bit and become more like Him through His Atonement.  
Of this I testify in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Hermana Huston
 


Monday, September 26, 2016

Hip Hop

Dear all,

25 de Mayo is sooo campo. The other day on our way to the laguna, we saw a bunch of horses and cows, as well as two dead dogs and innumerable live ones. 
On Tuesday I got to go back to Chivilcoy for divisiones and Hna Mattinson taught Sebastian, just like old times. And I got to say hello to Hip Hop. (That's one of Mari's dogs. She's crazy, but good, but crazy.) I'm known as "la media morochita" in Chivilcoy, Hna Mattinson made sure to inform me. 
Ezequiel and I are best buds. He reminds me of you, Thomas! (Shout out to my whole fam. I miss you, love you, and pray for you always.)
Our bicis and the laguna. Sorry some of the pictures are blurry. My district leader is currently trying to sell my camera for me so I can get some money out of it. 
Thank goodness for worthy priesthood-holders. Hna Da Silva and I are super thankful for the elders in our district. They're capos and they help us a ton. 


I'm really excited for General Conference this weekend. I have tons of questions and things I need personal revelation on. I testify that the words of the prophets can help us so much. We need to prepare ourselves NOW so that when they speak, the Holy Ghost can confirm to our hearts the messages that they share and reveal to us how we can apply them in our lives to bring us and others closer to Christ. 

Con amor,
Hermana Huston








Monday, September 19, 2016

25 de Mayo

Dear all,

This is what it's like to be a missionary in Argentina during transfers. 
We look like homeless people (but cheto homeless people) with our bedrolls and suitcases and STUFF. There are dogs everywhere, even in the terminal waiting for our bus (micro). 

My new pench was previously the pench of the senior couple missionaries. It's really nice. We even have a full-length mirror. 

Hna Da Silva is a super good cook. And we both love to eat. It's a slight problem...but don't worry, this transfer I'm gonna focus on controlling my eating habits. They've been terrible lately.
The other night she made bolinhos de chuva which are basically homemade donuts covered in sugar and cinnamon aka delish. (And we ate them all.) 

25 de Mayo is a little pueblito. It's really different than the city. Even Chivilcoy was less campo than 25. 
Yesterday was branch conference and guess what! The missionaries did a special musical number. We sang the words of himno 14 La oración del profeta, but we sang it to the tune of Come Thou Fount. It was really cool. 

I included a picture of our investigators, Ruben and Laura. They are super capos. We taught them once, and then they came to church. I won't say that never happens, but that does not happen often. Laura, especially, has a heart of gold. Ruben is her pareja (they're not married...yet) and he is super funny and good too. I'll keep you updated on their progress. 

Grammy shared this with me in an email and I wanted to share it too cuz it's so true: 
"Have a greater trust in the Savior and you will have greater confidence in yourself. It is up to each one to keep growing with a pure heart. Go forth with love wherever you are."

As we center our lives on our Savior, Jesus Christ, we will be able to have faith in ourselves and be able to do the will of God more diligently and with a happy heart. 

There are always and will always be ups and downs in life, but we just have to strive to be constant. And God will bless us in our efforts. I know this to be true because I see and feel witnesses of His love every. single. day. 

And I share my testimony with you in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Con amor,
Hermana Huston




 




Monday, September 12, 2016

CIAO CHIVILCOY!

Our district had shirts made cuz we're that tight. 

Transfers: I'm now in 25 de Mayo with Hna Da Silva from Sao Paulo, Brasil. WOOT WOOT! 
I'm so excited for this transfer. I'll send pics and stories next week!
Have an awesome week!

KBO!
Hna Huston




Monday, September 5, 2016

photos galore

Dear all,

funny story of the week: yesterday an old guy biked past us and when he saw us, he crossed himself (like the Catholics do when they see a church or something scary...), and then said, "son hermosas, hermosas!" as he went by us. We said, "ciao." Nicely. 

explanation of the photos today:

Yerismen and Emiliano are awesome. They chose to have a lesson with us instead of joining in the festivities in the field next to Yerismen's house. Woot woot! 
I was excited when I saw this sign so we took a picture by it. 
Our district leader bought us all arroz chauffa, but he said it's way better in Peru. All the same, it was yummy. 
When we do practices in the morning, our onion friend is our fake investigator. Name suggestions, anyone? 
Here's Celeste and all her kids. She has 4 and they all have different dads. But then she found God, and now she is a completely different person. It's funny cuz we know God led us to her so we can help direct her to His church. She really is awesome. I love her and all her kiddos. 

I have a couple more pictures so I'm gonna send one more email.

to be continued...








Monday, August 15, 2016

best and wildest week yet

Dear all,
Missionaries are not perfect. I am NOT perfect. 
Why did I start off this way, you ask?...well, it's honestly too long of a story to explain it all, but here's the short version:
Saturday was a ROLLERCOASTER of emotions. Sebas was almost not able to be baptized cuz we couldn't get his dad to sign the ficha. But God worked a miracle so that Sebas could take this very important and very special step on the path that leads back to Him. 
Oh yeah, and in the end, he was baptized in cold water. If it had been anyone other than Sebas, I don't think they would've gone through with it as willingly. But he is CAPO, so he didn't let anything, even cold water, stop him from getting baptized. 

Oh boy, I get tired just thinking about that crazy day. 

K, here are pictures:
Sebastian's baptism!
Templo! President and Hermana Robertson are the BEST. And so is the temple. 
Of course we play ping pong on p-day...
Those orange things are kinotos (or quinotos, not sure on the spelling...) and that is Ofelia! She is awesome. She was raised by nuns, but is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (for about two years now). {God works miracles and this IS the true church.} 
About Ofelia: she is 75, but has more energy than me. She worked as a cook for gay men in the United States for 30 years. She doesn't speak English very well, but she can follow a recipe just fine. She loves missionaries and she loves her Catholic traditions. She lives alone and talks a TON. (like practically every Argentine...) So, in a nutshell, it's always a blast to go visit her. 
Con amor,
Hermana Huston








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!