Saturday, March 19, 2016

Made It to Sunday

Dear all, 
Sorry about the suspense caused by my last email! K, here's the story in a nutshell. My throat has been hurting since before I even entered the MTC, but since I never take medicine, I just kept going on with life. But my throat still HURT really bad, and it hurt to swallow, which you do a lot when you're talking a lot. And missionaries have to talk a lot. So...yeah. Hma Hardinger convinced me to go see the doctor and I was tested for the flu and strep throat, but thankfully that wasn't it. I just had a small fever (my temp was 101) and the doctor prescribed me some antibiotics and ibuprofen so that's why we walked to the Health Center and I saw a Sister Shepherd. She LOOKED super familiar, but I couldn't remember how I know her. Anywho, I am totally fine now. Yay!
I absolutely love my companion, Hma Hardinger, and my entire district. Most of them are native speakers, but Hma Hardinger is not. They stuck the gringas together haha but it's wonderful! It was a little weird figuring each other out and stuff in the beginning, but now we are best friends. She is serving in the Panama City, Panama mission and we both are so excited to get out in the field. I mean, I love the MTC. But I am already kinda REALLY excited to leave and go to Argentina...it's a weird paradox.
Me encanta Espanol! (I don't know how to type Spanish accents or upside-down exclamation points or else I totally would've right there.) Even though I understand everything being said and that is awesome...I am still in the advanced class so my struggle right now is trying to learn the gospel in Spanish and gain my testimony in Spanish and teach in Spanish and express myself in Spanish. It's frustrating because I would be able to do those things pretty well if I were speaking in my native tongue, but since it's Spanish...it's hard. Because most of the rest of my districto can already speak fluently, including regarding the gospel. I feel like a little child. ARGHHH But that's ok haha because I definitely need to learn some humility. Oh, and thank you Mom and Dad for having us read the Book of Mormon once as a family! That has helped a ton.
I just can't say enough how happy I am to be serving a mission right now. Everybody I've met and everything I've seen and felt and heard since I got here has been a confirmation to me that this is the true gospel and that this is what I am supposed to be doing. It's the best thing ever. 
It's funny that you guys got to email Elder Huston for two years and now you get to email Hermana Huston huh! It's weird for me too. 
Weird, but so cool!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Huston

Sunday, March 13, 2016

First email from the MTC

MI QUERIDA FAMILIA!
First off, IMPORTANT NOTE: I only have 10 minutes right now so I apologize that this will be a very short email. We just have enough time to tell our family and loved ones that we made it safely and we are happy and doing well. And believe me, I am so happy. Here at the MTC, we are immersed in the Spirit and I am loving every second. I am also already SUPER excited to get out there and share this gospel with the people of Argentina. 
I wrote a lot in my journal on my first night that I want to share, but I'll have to do that on Monday because that's our P-day! So I'll have more time. And we get to go to the temple! Woot woot!
But quick story...my comp and I got to leave the MTC and walk to the Student Health Center on our second day in the MTC! So, yesterday...haha 
But I'll save that story for Monday as well. Don't worry, we're both fine now!
Oh and my comp and I have so many random similarities, it's hilarious!! Her mom is also from Mexico. (but she doesn't look AT ALL Mexican. She has auburn hair. And she wears hair extensions which was kinda new to me.) Her boyfriend is serving in the Lisbon, Portugal Mission! (We got to see him cuz he's here in the MTC too. Weird.) She is Hermana Hardinger so both our last names start with H. We both like to run! Hallelujah! Although, when she found out (I did not tell her, but she found out when we were having our little adventure at the Student Health Center and I saw a lady I knew who brought up my past as an athlete...), she almost changed her mind about running with me. But luckily she loves me and trusts me enough to still JOG with me. (her word) We'll see how it goes today haha
Well, I just want you to know that I am focused. And happy. Sometimes I can't believe that I am a MISSIONARY. And other times, I feel like I've been a missionary for YEARS. It's cool. 
It's starting to hit me that I will be talking to REAL people with REAL problems and helping them receive the restored gospel. That is a bit intimidating. (ok, VERY intimidating...) But, I KNOW that..."todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece." (Filipenses 4:13).
Oh and I LOVE SPANISH. Me encanta muchisimo. Y me encanta ser misionera! 
Please please please send me pictures and a package cuz you still can while I'm in the MTC...not when I'm in Argentina. And send me people's emails that I should include in my weekly email on Monday which is our P-day. Thank you and I love you all!!! 
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Huston

Sunday, March 6, 2016

See ya later

I ate a Dove chocolate yesterday and this is what it said:
Pretty prophetic.
The hard part though, is leaving behind my family and friends and loved ones.


 
So hard. Especially in the moment.
But then I think about WHY I am going to serve a mission. I think about the multitude of blessings that will result from my full-time missionary service. Blessings for me, for the people I serve, and for my family (both present and future). 
And that makes it all worth it.




 





Coming back to Provo is definitely making the transition easier. 
Thank you, Heavenly Father!
I love my friends and family. 

One of the greatest lessons I've learned and that I'm still learning is to TRUST IN THE LORD.
Although this can be difficult at times, I know it will all be worth it in the eternities.
That's why keeping an eternal perspective is so essential and powerful.
Even though goodbyes are hard, I know it's not goodbye forever. It's just a see ya later. 
In this case, a "see ya in 18 months."
And the gospel makes that possible in life in general. Even when loved ones pass away and we have to say goodbye for a time...we know that we will see them again. 
Thank goodness for the gospel. Thank goodness for our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
I am so looking forward to sharing my testimony of the gospel with the people of Argentina for 18 months and then with my future family and everyone I meet for the rest of my life.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Not my will, but the Lord's

I talked about this in my farewell talk a bit, but Elder Bednar says it perfectly:

"The object of our prayers should not be to present a wish list or a series of requests but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is eager to bestow, according to His will and timing. Every sincere prayer is heard and answered by our Heavenly Father, but the answers we receive may not be what we expect or come to us when we want or in the way we anticipate. This truth is evident in the three examples I have presented today.
"Prayer is a privilege and the soul’s sincere desire. We can move beyond routine and 'checklist' prayers and engage in meaningful prayer as we appropriately ask in faith and act, as we patiently persevere through the trial of our faith, and as we humbly acknowledge and accept 'not my will, but Thine, be done.'"

—David A. Bednar


Amen.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

pre-mish

Today after work I am getting set apart as a full-time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so excited and nervous for this new adventure. I am so happy I get to see my brothers and friends in Provo soon!
Yesterday for some pre-missionary-setting-apart fun, we went to the mall (Payless, Kirkland's Home, Pet's Mart, Target, Dillard's, and Ihop) and then the roof of my house. It was the perfect way to spend my last night as a non-full-time missionary. (I didn't want to say "normal person" or something...)





We had fun trying on high heels and struttin our stuff.



And checking out all the cute (and weird) animals at Pet's Mart.


Pippin got a haircut! He looks funky, but he's cute and clean.


Pippin LOVES Weston. 
He wasn't the only one who wanted to cuddle with him though...


 
Love IS crazy.
Life is crazy.
Crazy WONDERFUL.

I don't know if you can ever really be ready to leave for a year and a half in the service of the Lord...but as long as I rely on the Lord, I will be okay. I'm so thankful for that knowledge and I'm looking forward to sharing the gospel with the people of Argentina.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

word nerd

I love words.
Here are a few of my faves.
DISCLAIMER: This list is by no means comprehensive. These are not the only words that I like and I didn't put these words in any particular order and I didn't include every definition out there. And I will continue to add to it in the future.
I've simply come across these words when reading, or watching movies, or in everyday conversations and I wanted to share them with you so that you can add them to your vocabulary.
Also, there may be some words from other languages. What can I say? I have friends who speak many different languages and I love languages and I speak Spanish so...yeah. Just so you understand.

epiphany - a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience

infinite - immeasurably great; unbounded or unlimited; endless

picturesque -visually charming or quaint, as if resembling or suitable for a painting

copse - a thicket of small trees or bushes; a small wood

zeitgeist - the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time

serendipity - an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident; good fortune; luck

stunning - causing astonishment or bewilderment; of striking beauty or excellence

ineffable - too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words; inexpressible

kindred spirit - a person with whom you share an affinity (I MADE UP THIS DEFINITION. It's based on a term used in Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.)

affinity - a natural liking for or attraction to a person, thing, idea, etc.

sanguine - cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident; reddish or ruddy

zenith - the point on the celestial sphere vertically above a given position or observer; a highest point or state, culmination

perambulator - baby carriage

gazebo - a structure, as an open or latticework pavilion or summerhouse, built on a site that provides an attractive view

shucran - thank you  (Arabic)

afwan - you're welcome  (Arabic)

petrichor - the scent of rain on dry earth

eternity - infinite time; duration without beginning or end

lovely - charming, exquisitely beautiful, delightful, highly pleasing

Celestial - heavenly, divine

minha - Portuguese for "mine" when describing something feminine

sonhe com os anjos - sweet dreams; dream with the angels

ameliorate (meliorative - adj) - to make or become better, more bearable, or more satisfactory; improve

mellisonant - pleasing to the ear; dulcet, honeyed, sweet, mellifluous

meek - humbly patient

memorable - worth remembering; notable

merciful - full of compassionate or kindly forbearance

mesmerizing - spellbinding, captivating, compelling

mindful -  attentive, aware, or careful

moralistic - practices virtuous conduct

merry - full of cheerfulness; joyous in disposition or spirit

modest - having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits

marvelous - superb; excellent; extraordinary

mature - fully developed in body or mind, as a person

magical - mysteriously enchanting

wonderful - excellent, great, marvelous

warm - characterized by or showing lively feelings, passions, emotions, or sympathies, etc.

wise - having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; possessing discernment, judgement, or discretion

witty - amusingly clever in perception and expression

watchful - vigilant, alert, closely observant

faithful - true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.; steady in allegiance or affection

adventurous - willing to engage in adventures

athletic - physically active and strong

incredible - so extraordinary as to seem impossible

honest - honorable in principles, intentions, and actions

classic - of the first or highest quality

insightful - able to apprehend the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding; possessing penetrating mental vision or discernment and the faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth

The Golden Hour

Fiona, thank you for being such a patient and fun photographer. 
Never forget, you are my FAVORITE sister and I love you!