Elder Houston

The Worth of Seouls – Seoul Korea Mission


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Our Missionary is Coming Home!

Elder Houston will be returning home from a wonderful mission in Seoul, Korea on Thursday, August 21stHe will be speaking in our home ward on Sunday, August 21st at 8:30 am  (2436 East Crimson Ridge Drive). 

Sunday 8/14/2016

Well this last week was my last week! It was super busy!  A great way to go out, super busy! Hahah so this summer is the Hottest summer in Korea in 20 years! it has been pretty nuts! This week was a hot one but a blessed week as well!

This week we had only a few big highlights, We had MLC Which was awesome, We learned a lot about talking with everyone and being effective in teaching and Baptizing! I learned a ton to apply in my last week of missionary work! We then prepared and gave zone training to the 35 missionaries in our zone! It went really good, we used a lot of video and computer equipment so I was doing a lot of video computer tech stuff before and during! haha it was a fun and a good experience! No IPads but who needs them! haha I hooked a computer monitor up to a giant tv and plugged the sound into the church sound system! Hahhahaahah it was complicated! And I couldn’t have done it if Elder Hong wasn’t there to help me! Hahah But the training went really good! I am so grateful to have had so many opportunities to testify to other missionaries! I love the Dong Zone and I love Korea! This week the sisters also had to move houses so we had to go help move them! Elder Anderson and I were left to finish talking all their stuff down for flights of stairs……. I thought I was going to die! I actually have never ever sweated more in my life then at that time! Haha we got feeling not so good so after we were done we sat down and drank some water and chatted. It was good to have a chat with Elder Anderson! I love him, he has been a good friend as we have served together! Then the Elders came back and we hadn’t had time for lunch yet so at about 430 pm a member found out and but us some cold noodle soup! I usually am not a huge fan but I at that pretty fast! Haha it was a fun day! The rest the week was just a lot of Byes… hard Byes and sad Byes!  But most of them are done! 

This week was Great and emotional! To end the week I gave a short talk in the ward that I have been serving in for the last 7 months! I talked on conversion, 3 types, the Investigator’s, the missionary’s and the Member’s conversion, I thanked the ward and encouraged them to keep doing missionary work! After they had a huge Lunch for sister bell and I cause we are going home and both have served in Gireum for almost 7 months! It was a lot of fun and hard to say bye to so many members! I got to testify a lot this week though! I do know that God lives, Jesus Christ is his son and our Savior, this is his church and it was restored through Joseph Smith! I love my savior and his doctrine is in my heart! I know this gospel is true !

Love,

Elder Houston

Sunday 8/7/2016  Jimmy Got Baptized

Hello family and friends! Sounds like you are all doing great! I can’t believe all my friends are like home and coming home… It is so nuts! hahahaha Elder Reid and I are pretty mind blown! hahah. This week was awesome and ended with a super solid baptism! 

We had temple day this week so I got to go to the temple so that was awesome! I love the temple! We can feel so much peace inside the temple! I went on exchange with Elder Mortensen and it was a lot of fun! We got to teach a few lessons together and had a good time doing so! We met with Jimmy several times and prepared him, he was interviewed and passed and his faith has grown a lot! He was baptized after church on Sunday! At his baptism I had to sing a duet with Sister Bell who is an incredible singer….. I literally could not stop shaking I was so nervous and so I was still shaking a little when I baptized him! Hahah A sister in our ward sprung the duet on me really fast last second cause she knows I am terrified to sing in front of people and so there was no time to argue… probably the scariest thing I have done on my whole  mission! Haha but we had lot’s of member participation at the baptism and Jimmy is doing great! After he was baptized I asked how he felt, he said, “I feel so tightly full, I was surprised.” (Sorry what he said is really hard to translate to english) But it was a good thing! He felt really good and it was awesome! After I talked to so many members about how I am leaving and how crazy it is! I love Gireum ward! 

Anyways I am out of time! I love you all and I hope you have a great week! I know that God lives, Jesus Christ came and atoned for each of us and through his name we can do all things! I know that through the masters name we can see miracles! I know this gospel is true! 

love,

Elder Houston

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Sunday 7/31/2016  Referrals and President Brown

Hello family and friends! It is so good to hear from you all! It sounds like St. George is pretty hot! My little Brothers seem like they are so grown up! man… it is crazy! This week has been super solid and really fun! I am having some amazing experiences here in Korea! I really love Korea! I love the people here! I love being a missionary! 

This week has been great for a few reasons! We were pretty busy which is always great! We went on exchange this week with some Elders and it was good, I went with a little quieter Elder but as we talked I think he came out of his shell a little so that was good! But also this week we were in a little bit of a finding phase but because we have been close to the members and worked a lot with them here they really came through and helped us out! We got 3 member referrals this week! What a huge miracle! That is the highest on my mission by far! I was thrilled! It was really good to be able to work with members and do missionary work! There is so much I still need to learn and so much I could do better so I am grateful for the love of the members in trusting us with their friends! We also got to finally meet with Jimmy again this week! So we decided we would just do what missionary’s do. That is teach Repentance! We prepared and we taught him Repentance and we committed him to repent! It actually went really well! We gave him a new Baptismal date and he is preparing! We got several members on board to ask him about it and encourage him and it seems like he will really go through with it! He seems prepared and so we will see after his interview! We are excited cause he is supposed to get baptized this weekend! 

This week we also had a conference with President Brown! He was President Sonksen’s(my mission president’s) Mission President and was the 3rd missionary in Korea! He is super awesome and it was great to hear from him! He gave a conference for just he missionaries and he also gave one for the Korean Saints! He is a powerful man and we were all filled with the spirit! We took our investigator Jimmy to the fireside and he seemed to enjoy it! also This last week I did a baptismal interview for a 23 year old kid, he was a super cool kid and after a good solid talk and discussion about the baptismal covenant I found him worthy to be baptized! He has a powerful testimony! We became really good friends very quickly! I attended his Baptize Saturday night in Uijungbu and it was amazing! He got the Holy Ghost and ended up going to president Browns fireside as well! He is doing great and we had a good turn out from our Stake! I felt the spirit a lot this week.

I have felt God’s love and the spirit a lot this week, I have felt the power of God truly sweeping through the nations! Through Christ’s name we have power to do all righteous things according to his will! I know that God lives, Jesus is the Christ, the Holy Ghost can abide with us if we so choose and I know the Book of Mormon is true! I love this gospel and know that it is true !

Love,

Elder Houston

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Zone Activities and Member work

Well this week was really busy and super stinking fun! I hope you all had a great 24th of July! I am jealous that you got to go up Beaver Mountain and camp and fish! It was good to hear from all of you and get pictures from all of you! 

This week we were busy but had a great time! First off we got to meet with the Jang family several times! The first time we met we did a concert! Haha the last few months the Jang family has been working with the Kang family who are members to make a little music concert thing happen! We were invited to participate because they are our investigators as well! So we did a little music service concert at an old folks home on Tuesday! I had to sing Hallelujah with my comps and sister bell and sister Kim. Hahah it was fun! We spent a lot of time with them and then after we went and the fed us at a restaurant! The next day we were invited to go to the countryside with them and the member family for a picnic! We went and had a ton of fun with there family! Ate a picnic and had a solid message and really invited them strongly and Boldly to set a steady time and set a solid time to listen to all the lessons before I leave! It was super solid! That day we were also on exchange so Elder Hong my last comp was with us! It was a blast! The Jang family is doing great!

Later in the week we had few cool things, Mom I bet you remember Elder Smith from my first area. Now Tavish Smith! Haha well he is back working for a few weeks in Korea! So he came and took us to lunch! It was sooooooooooooooooooooooo good to see him! I was super happy and we had a good time at lunch together! I was super happy to see him! Right after that we took off to an appointment and had a member present lesson! Then on Sunday we had a great day! Church was awesome and fun, then that night at 5 we had a Zone activity that Elder Seely and I planned for all of the stake! We have worked on it for a few weeks and invited members! there is a lot of missionaries so it took a lot of planning and organization but it went good! We did a proselyting festival. Went to a famous cross walk and then had 4 stations, cookie decorating, face, painting, book mark making, and a street board about family! It was super awesome! we had a ton of fun and it was really successful! we had several members come out and support and after a awesome member of our ward, pretty much my Korean mom invited us over to have dinner! So all the Gireum missionaries went and had delicious duck meet, and… I got to meet her less active son!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been trying to meet him for so long! I talked to him a lot and we got a long nicely! It was a super great day and week!

I know that the book of Mormon is true, it plainly testifies the Jesus is the Christ, that he came and atoned for all of us so that we in our fallen state can return to him if we abide by his Gospel! It is clear evidence of God and of Christ and that Joseph Smith was a prophet! I know that book is true, I love it, I know that God has reached out in our days and that he cares about his children! I know through Christ we can return! I know this gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston

Elder Houston ( Zone Leader)Making CookiesZone Activity in GireumZone Activity

 


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Playing Catch-Up on Elder Houston’s Emails!

Sorry I’m a bit behind on Elder Houston’s emails!  He is coming home August 18!  He will be speaking in our ward on August 21st at 8:30 am.  We are so excited we can hardly stand it! – Natalie (Taylor’s Mom)

July 3, 2016 – Last Transfer 시작….

Dear Family and Friends

This week has been wonderful! It was super great to hear from all of you! My family is at the ranch which is awesome! I miss the Ranch a ton! The Ranch is so beautiful and still remains to this day my favorite place on the planet! My Brothers and Sisters have grown so much I can’t believe it! Thank you for all the warm emails! Grandma and Grandpa Baldwin and grandma Houston I love you and miss you and I am working hard and will work hard for my last transfer! Thanks for your love and support everybody!

This week was super solid! We had some awesome miracles starting on Tuesday! Tuesday we had temple day and it was great! After the temple we played Basketball for P-Day with Brother Cho who just got baptized! He is good and it was really fun! That night him and Sister Ha came to a music proselyting activity and helped us! it was super fun and another member came too and then after the member took us all to eat, a new investigator came and our two recent converts brought a referral cause they want to do missionary work super bad! Ha so we taught two member present lessons right there at dinner!!! Yeah buddy! I was really happy! Haha We went on exchange this week which was fun! Elder Du Plessis from South Africa came with me and Elder Sanders! it was super great! We also got to meet with the Jang family! They are doing great! we met with them all and taught about faith and committed them to pray as a family! We meet with them weekly now and it is just incredible to teach a family! On Friday we had a insane rainstorm to the point where it was hard to even walk! But we had things to do so we kept going as much as we could! It was wet and fun! Haha Then of coarse Brother Cho and Sister Ha got confrimed! they are amazing and doing amazing! 

That was a little of my week! Other news is we got transfer calls! I will stay zone leader in Gireum but….. Elder Seely and I will be training a korean in a threesome and our zone got combined so we are the zone leaders over the entire stake now! We have very big zone again! It is excited and going to be very busy! But that is just how I like it! I am going to work so hard while I still have time! I know that this work is the work of the Lord! I know that we are nothing, truly lower than the dust of the earth and we must always remember that during times of success and prosperity to keep ourselves humble. I know that if we remember truly who leads the work then we can continuously receive blessings from him! I know that God lives, I believe in him and his son Jesus Christ and all people can know them through Living their commandments and praying! I know this gospel is true!!

 Love,

Elder Houston

 July 10, 2016 – Transfer Switch

Dear family and friends,

It is so good to hear form you all! Thank you so much for the emails! This week has been another solid week of miracles!

 Okay so last week I was supposed to train right? Hahah well because of some emergency things it was switched around last second! Elder Anderson came to be with Elder Seely and I and we are greeny breaking him! He is awesome! We both love him a lot and he is a great kid! He loves ball and we got to play together today so that was fun! 

 This week was really good, we met with Brother Cho and Sister Hah for my last time on monday and tuesday because they got to China until Aug. 25 and that was really hard, they got me a super cool present! A mini horse statue from China! I sure do love them! When we met we had some fantastic lessons with them again and they were on a spiritual high as the left for China! We were able to meet with a few more investigators this week and they were all fantastic! We did a music proselyting activity and we also had Stake Presidency Meeting and his house! He fed us some delicious food and we talked with him and the mission President and all the High Priest about the work! It was great!

 There is not to much to report this week but I did learn and was reminded that God loves each of us, because of that he truly did restore the fullness of his gospel as to give us an absolute in out life. One man this week was so caught up on the fact that there was no absolute religion, This church is that absolute! It is absolutely complete, it is Christ’s church. Sometimes the work is a little bit hard, but I was reminded this week that, the work of salvation can’t be easy, it never has been. Jesus Christ suffered for all of our salvation and it was never easy for him, so if I am engaged and that very same redemptive work how could it ever be easy for me. I am grateful for that hard times and the rejections. Because those are the times when I truly am a little closer to the savior. I feel even the tiniest portion of what he felt. I understand him, his divine role more as trials happen! I am so happy to be part of this redemptive work and would not trade it for anything! I know this gospel is true! 

 Love,

Elder Houston

July 17, 2016 – Zone Training, and Fireside

Hey family! It was great to here from you! This week was pretty fun and really quite busy for us! We had zone training this week! So we had Mission Leadership Council and we also got to prepare for and do a fireside! It was a solid week of fun! 

First things first, we had MLC! We went to the mission office and got trainings from President and Sister Sonksen and from the AP’s! It was solid, we focused a lot on Positivity and teaching repentance and measuring success!! It was super uplifting and I was very happy during the whole meeting! After we went back and started to prepare, it was a little difficult because our zone is huge so we have 3 Sister training leaders so we had to plan with all five of us, but it came along nicely and the next day the training went super well! One elder was having a bit of and attitude problem during the meeting but we worked around it pretty easy and we had a super spiritual training and the missionaries were uplifted! I was uplifted! Then, we didn’t have to many lessons the next few days, we went on exchange and taught a man named JJ Kang and then did a less active night! 

 The other fun part of the week was actually a fireside, which me and my companion and I high councilman helped plan! It was a stake fireside on member missionary work, it turned out good and we had a solid turn out, I actually gave a talk and shared an email I sent to all of you a few weeks ago! It was very fun! When I shared my email I was pretty nervous but I felt the spirit a lot! It was a good experience! The stake president stood up and said he wishes his son would send him that long of an email! haha his son is a good friend of mine and is serving in Australia and doing really great! It was a great night and a great week!

I know that God loves each of us, I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, I know that we can receive comfort through him as we rely on his atonement! I know the Book of Mormon testifies of him and is true, It is the word of God, we can learn lessons from the Book of Mormon as we study and ponder the teaches in it! I know this gospel is true! 

 love,

Elder Houston

Elder Houston ordered 2 custom made suits as a take-home souvenir.  He loves them!

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the guy made a mistake and gave me pink inside… oops hahaha but it is still sick!

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Brother Cho and Sister Ha got BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well this was a wonderful wonderful week! It was so good to hear from everyone! My sister is successfully moved up to Logan and safe! My other sister is starting drivers ed….. (watch out everybody) and sounds like my little brothers are fish cause it is summer in St. George! I was really happy to hear from everybody today! This week was super solid and just a blast! We met with several investigators and had so much fun!

We picked up a few new investigators this week including what man that is 72! He has lived in America before and is pretty good at English! He is a super nice guy and he took us and showed us around our area! He showed us a beautiful amazing Buddhists temple and there were several monks there! It was a super cool experience! After he took us to a big look off point where we could look around Seoul! It was super incredible! We also met with Leo and his family! We met with his dad and taught about Eternal families and it was super good! Leo asked me if it was really true? He said he had really been curious about that and really wanted to know! He was so happy when I assured him it was true! They are doing better and better! We also had a few dinner appointments with members this week! It was a lot of fun!  Sister Jun took us to a delicious shabba shabba place and it was really nice! She has helped us a lot recently with investigators! She is super awesome!  

 Other than that we just had the most incredible baptism ever! We met with Brother Cho and Sister Ha on Friday and finished up on some of the commandments.  On Saturday they were interviewed and passed by Elder Reid. Then on Sunday that came to church and we had their baptism right after church! We had really solid member participation and it turned out wonderful! Both of them had not only the goal to be baptized but to have a temple marriage! They were soooo happy when they got baptized! It was amazing because it was like baptizing two of my best friends! I am so close to them.  I absolutely love them and have prayed and stressed over them a lot! But from the time I met them on the street a few months ago to now it is amazing the change that has occurred and the conversion that has taken place! They did not know about God or Christ when we started! Now that have amazing faith in them! The best part of the whole thing is at the end of the Baptismal service, I had invited them to bear their testimony and they agreed. They stood and as they bore their beautiful testimonies everyone was overwhelmed by the spirit. Brother Cho went first.  He speaks no English but they are really good at Korean. He said there are 3 reasons he was baptized. 1. He believes God, and he believes in Jesus Christ. 2. He said that he was not a good student, or son, or boyfriend before this, but he wants to become a good person and has become better as he has met and learned and he wants to continue to do that and the last…. this one really got me.. 3. Both of his Grandfathers have died, and he misses them a lot. He said that he wants to go to the temple and get baptized for his grandfathers who are waiting for him to do so. It was so powerful! His understanding of the gospel is incredible! Sister Ha then stood, up to this point she had not shown much emotion, but when she started to speak, she stopped, for just a moment to hold back her tears, then she started crying, and said simply, “I believe Jesus”. She bore her beautiful testimony and then just thanked everyone for all they had done! She cried through the whole song and after when we sang nearer my God to thee she cried more and there was not a dry eye in the sacrament hall! Every member in participation was grateful to be part of it! A sweet spirit was there. It was one of the most powerful moments of my life! I am grateful for them and love them! I know this gospel is true with all my heart! I know that God lives, Jesus is his son and our Savior! I know he leads and guides this work, and the spirit is what converts people! Not me. I love you all! Have a great week! 

Love,

Elder Houston

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The Witness Comes, After the Trial of your Faith

This week has been incredible… it truly has! I am sorry to hear that the warriors lost but sounds like it was a crazy finals! Hahahahha. But it was good to hear from all of you family and friends! I love hearing about what you are doing! 

This week, has been a testimony builder and life changer. The last few weeks have been quite difficult, my investigators couldn’t meet and it was heart breaking and frustrating to almost lose them! I wanted to relate a few experiences from this last week.

First, is a testimony of the power of fasting… 

Brother Cho and Sister Hah! Our Chinese investigators! Age:28, and 24! They are incredible and so prepared. 2 weeks ago we taught the law of chastity, they accepted but were a new it would be hard, they were also prepared to be baptized on the 18th, but after that lesson we had not met for two weeks and had very little contact! I thought they were frustrated or embarrassed and didn’t want to meet. I was so worried. I decided to fast for them this last Wednesday, So I did, I felt so much spirit that day, and that night we were supposed to meet at English but they didn’t show up, I was pretty devastated… The next day Elder Yamashita from the 70 came! He is the first councilor in our area presidency. He talked with us at our mission conference and it was incredible, I felt his love and energy and he talked on “be believing” and “be obedient” And so many other amazing things, after he touched on “be believing” I reflected on those wonderful Chinese friends of mine, I said a short prayer in my hear, “Heavenly Father, I have done all I know to do for them, please help them, and help me to be able to meet with them again.” Moments after that prayer our phone vibrated in my pocket, it was a text from Sister Hah, the text explained how busy they had been with tests and how she was also preparing an interview for graduate school, but she needed my help with it! So she asked if we had time the very next day to meet. I was amazed and filled with the love of God. I was so humbled by the mighty power and miracles of God. I first prayed to thank him for this opportunity and then responded that we could meet! 

the next is a day of miracles, my testimony of the witness coming after the trial…

The next day we met with both Sister Hah and her boyfriend brother Cho! I helped preparing for the interview and while doing so the commandments came up, I asked how they were going. And they responded that they were keeping all of the commandments and wanted so much to be baptized, they said they were soooo busy this week that they couldn’t get baptized but next week they want too! We set their new date for the 26th, They are preparing and are super amazing! Afterwards we went to Brother Kang’s house to try to meet a family who we unsuccessful tried met the day before. They actually felt really bad about that and invited us to their house for the first time and we ate with them.. and had a lesson on families! We also had not been able to meet with them for a very long time! It was an amazing miracle but we were late coming home. And we needed a taxi bad! But that spot wasn’t super popular for taxis…. but after a day filled with miracles and being so full of the spirit. I know God would send us one immediately if we prayed. I said, “Elder Sanders I will pray for a taxi.” So I did. On the side of the street. And the second I closed and looked up, a taxi was 20 feet in front of us and was open and ready. Immediate answer to our faithful prayer.  God cares about all of his children. I know that he lives and loves us, each person! I know that he is a God of miracles and works miracles in our days! I know he is a God of mercy and if we never give up… He will always be there to help us up and keep going! I know this is the Work of the Lord! I know this gospel is true!

 Love,

Elder Houston

 


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Transfers

May 23,2016

This week was so great and packed full! Haha I am pretty tired but so happy! I love the summer, it is really hot and there is no relief because our house is not much cooler that outside but It is so fun, I really like the summer! This week was again full of miracles for us!

I will start off with a little investigator update! Our awesome chinese couple is doing really great! They are progressing really well. We taught them the word of wisdom and at first it was hard but after talking with the brother more we got closer and he opened up to me and they think they can keep it! They are still progressing towards baptism on june 18th, we also met a lot with Jimmy and he is planning on getting baptized this Sunday! Pray for him! We are so excited for him to be baptized! He has come a long ways! Good things are happening in Korea! Especially in Gireum! This last week we had 2 baptisms in Gireum and will have another this week! Wahoo!!!!!! Yay yay yay! The hand of the lord truly is rolling forth through the nations preparing the way for the savior to come to the earth again! Keep Praying for missionary work because I can testify that the Lord is hearing those prayers!

So transfers! My companions are both leaving! Elder Hong will go train and then Elder Ahn will return home! I will get 2 new companions and be in a threesome again! Elder Seely will be zone leader with me and Elder Sanders will be our junior companion! Elder Reid my buddy from highschool is coming to replace Elder Cable and we will live together! Haha it is crazy! Elder Seely is a good kid and he was just companions with Elder Lewis who I trained! I am excited!

I know this gospel is true! This work truly is the work of God and he is leading and guiding it! It will roll forth and we are part of it! This is the Old Ship Zion and man is it good for us to be on board and to help our brothers and sisters come on board to sail to safety with us! I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ! I know this gospel is true!

Love,
Elder Houston


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Sports Day (Week of May 16)

(Last weeks letter)

This week was jam packed busy! That is just how I like it too! We had sooooooooo much fun this week serving the Lord! I can’t even count the blessings and miracles we have seen this week! We are continuing to be blessed!

I don’t have much time but a little investigator update, jimmy is getting ready to be baptized in 2 weeks and has has grown a ton, and our awesome chinese couple is progressing really well for June 18 as well! I am so excited to be here at this time! We also got to work with the other Elders investigator a lot this week as he is working on some Word of Wisdom things and coming close to being baptized, we got the chance to work close with the Stake President and Mission President and had a great council meeting this week about member work and investigators. Both Presidents are really happy and excited cause the work is rolling forth!

On Saturday we had a Stake Sports day! Our chinese couple came and it was fantastic! We had a ton of fun! We buillt a ton of great relationships with members and our investigators had tons of fun playing sports I met some less actives from Jangwii and had the opportunity of talking closely with the less actives families with the Stake President and Stake Clerk who are in Jangwii ward! It was really cool! I got fried even though I used sun screen but it was such a good use of time! Our chinese guy loves Basketball too so it was good! I had a ton of fun and we are so close to our members right now, and Gireum Ward Won!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha

This week one of the biggest miracles I saw was working with members! We have been really focused on that lately and this week we planned out 12 pretty thoroughly but 5 fell through and so we had 7 Member present lessons which is my mission record so I was pretty happy still and the work just really is speeding up and rolling forth! I can see the hand of God sweeping through the Nations! I know that this gospel is true and this is the work of the Lord! have a great week!!!

love,
Elder Houston