Elder Houston

The Worth of Seouls – Seoul Korea Mission


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Week 6 – Hey Everyone!

How are all of you?? I hope so so good! I loved getting all your letters and reading them! It makes me so happy to hear you are all doing so well! Okay first off….. Holy ABBEY!!!! THAT IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!! Great job on making varsity tennis for state! That is such an amazing accomplishment especially as a freshmen! I am so proud of you and want to remind you to keep working hard at it and you will go far!  Okay so there is not a ton of things to right about this week I don’t think just same ole’ lots of learning class time spirit and the usual. I will share a few things but other then that I am going to spend most of the time answering questions this week.

Some of the cool things that happened this week is we got to here Elder M. Russel Ballard talk this week and it was so amazing. He started and said I have grand kids on missions and I want to talk to all of you as if you were my grand kids and I was giving you advice on your mission. There was not a subject just advice on working hard and his testimony. It was so so so amazing, he has an amazing calming comforting voice and way about him. One quote I really liked is when he said, “When you get my age every morning the alarm goes off and I look over and say, ‘well I’m still here so the Lord has something important for me to do today so I better get up and figure out what that is’ I wish I would have learned this at a younger age. Every morning wake up and realize the Lord has something important for you to do.” It was an amazing quote and I know we all have something majorly important to do every morning when we wake up! We need to pray and Plead…. not just ask but plead to know God’s will and know who needs our help and influence that day. If we do this we will feel the spirit and be able to discern what we need to do. We are NOTHING without Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ but through them we can be amazing tools if we seek the will of The Father.

Another big emphasis this week is God’s incomprehensible love for each and every one of us. Our district had a devotional review after Elder Ballard’s talk and it was so spiritual. I grew so much from my districts testimonies and had the opportunity to share mine on several different things with them. A couple things I liked from my district is how much God truly loves us. Love is one of the most powerful forces on this earth and this earthly love doesn’t even begin to comprehend the amount of love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us. Jesus Christ died, and suffered and agony that made the very son of God even Jesus Christ bleed from every pore and ask if there be any other way let it be done. Heavenly Father had to go to the furthest corner of the Universe in order to let Jesus Christ his only begotten suffer this atonement. Christ suffer because he loves us. He went through this for one reason, so he, our eldest brother, our savior and king, could hug you again, talk to you again, talk about old times with you again. He truly loves us beyond anything we can comprehend and as a missionary I want to try my hardest to display a part of that Christ like love to everyone, look at people as Christ would and love them as Christ would.

Okay so after the good spiritual stuff I will now say the not so cool stuff. So the Elder are singing in the priesthood session of choir and you had to go to choir and fill out a survey. I filled mine out and the questions were okay and I felt okay about it even if I didn’t make it. But then the next day almost all the Elders except me and a few others got a letter to invite them to sing.. I was more qualified with music then most of them as was a few of the other kids and we were really devasted when we realized they just went through and picked out the very best singers (college choir status) (Elder Brantley) and the rest were just random selection. Most of the Elders get to go and sing and I don’t. I was really devastated by this and wondered why? The other thing was my companion really likes to brag about it which is frustrating but I am trying to understand and have got to rely on the Lord for strength for something that does seem small but at the time was really big to me. It is still frustrated but maybe the lord has something for me to do or learn during all the rehearsal time. The one other Elder in my district that didn’t get in was Elder Ellingford, (he is secretly one of my favorites) so I am looking forward to being on splits with him and getting to know him more. It was really unfortunate but I am trying super hard to see the positive side of it. I am so excited to see conference, I am so excited to see the modern prophet, Thomas S. Monson speak to us. He is a truly amazing man. We are so blessed to have modern prophets in this dispensation. One of the biggest things that my testimony has increased on is modern prophets and apostles. Joseph Smith and all the Prophets and apostle since him and all of them now. I encourage you to listen and cherish every word they say. We can learn so much from there wisdom and I am so excited to here again from a prophet of God in this general conference. It will be amazing and I am so excited!

Okay question answering time…..

I have not really got the itch to get out of here. There are days when it gets rough and I want to leave but the spirit is so strong that it is hard to be frustrated. You can feel the spirit so strongly all the time and what and amazing experience that has been.

I won’t hear about visa and flight plans until the day after next p day!

My companion and I are still good, we are like brothers but as with anybody we do get sick of each other. That is part of life and learning to cope and we do a good job. One of my weaknesses is being jealous of him. He is so smart and the language comes to him ridiculously easy. He knows like 4 languages and he looks at a word once and has it forever. It is amazing and sometimes can frustrate me. But it is also a blessing because I have always loved the challenge of keeping up with somebody and it gives me motivation. It has motivated and helped me a tone. I have been able to progress a lot faster because of him constantly challenging and pushing me cause I want to keep up. I love the language a lot and am doing good with it and am thankful for being pushed to learn. I have to work a lot harder to learn and memorize but the lord is playing my competitive side and so I keep pushing to learn it! haha the Lord knows us so well it’s awesome.

I am not really craving anything! I’m content! Thank you for offering though!

Oh and thanks Dad for some good advice! It was super helpful!!

I love you all so so much and you are all amazing!

Love,

Elder Houston 

with elder Ammon Finau

with elder Ammon Finau

We tied Elder Weiss to the bed just for fun!

We tied Elder Weiss to the bed just for fun!

My District

My District

My MTC Brothers

My MTC Brothers

Just outside decided to take a district picture . Teacher is in middle, Sister Simonson

Just outside decided to take a district picture . Teacher is in middle, Sister Simonson

It was Eder Grove's birthday so we decorated his room when he showered.

It was Eder Grove’s birthday so we decorated his room when he showered.

Celebrating Elder Groves B-Day

Celebrating Elder Groves B-Day


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Week 5 – Good and Crazy Week!

Hey family and friends! How are all of you?? I hope you are all so so good! I love getting all your emails and letters they lift my day so much!! I miss you all and love you so much and I hope you know that!! Haley looked beautiful for Homecoming!!!! I didn’t like it one bit! Tell her to tone it down while I am gone holy crud! She isn’t aloud to be that pretty til I get back and can knock some sense into any boys! Abbey looks like she is having so much fun and is getting so pretty too! I was jealous of that pic at the football game I bet that was a blast! Trevor is looking so handsome and sounds like the same little stud! I told my friends about all the funny sayings he used to say so now our whole district says all of them! like Grabbeee Sanny and baseball and norms and reezzaaas and beaches! Haha it’s pretty funny! Tyson looks so handsome too and I bet is the same lil hilarious fun stud I remember! I told them all about your face that you make at me Tyson when I would get mad at you and you would make your little face and say wwwwreeeeeee. Idk how to spell it  but I think you know what I am talking about so now we all do that to and I miss that a lot too but it makes me laugh when everybody else does it!!!! 

 Okay so this week I want to start by saying I couldn’t even complain about being sick last week because that was just the start. I got sooooo much worse the next few days and I didn’t sleep for several nights and every morning I felt like a train hit me! Haha but that is okay I pushed through and prayed so fervently for strength and received it! I took care of myself and really tried to be healthy and what not and I finally got a little better yesterday and feel way better today but I am still fighting off this sickness! But the Lord has blessed me and helped me through! I didn’t miss anything with my sickness so I am not behind and it was such a blessing and I am so grateful for it!

 Okay so this week we had Elder Richard G. Scott give the devotional on Tuesday and gave an amazing talk about prayer! Apostles always seem to directly answer my prayers and questions in General Conference and I have had some cool experiences but this talk was unreal. It literally felt like every question I had and every prayer I had said this last week was directly answered through him. I felt like I was in a one on one meeting and he was saying everything just for me. It was so amazing. He told us that Heavenly Father ALWAYS hears our prayers and ALWAYS answers even when we do not realize it! He told us that no matter the circumstance, we can communicate with him. He rarely answers while we are still on our knees but usually when we get up and act and then ponder our actions. His talk reminded me of something my Dad taught me years ago and it has helped me through my life. I don’t know if you will remember this Dad but I do! You taught me that when I pray I can’t just wait for an answer but I have to make a decision and do it and then ponder and feel if the spirit is telling me it was the right decision. Thank you so much for teaching me that Dad and teaching exactly what I needed to hear and it still helps me years later when an apostle said similar words to yours that reminded me of that personal experience! It was such a blessing to have him there with us and I learned so much. I miss the example of you Dad but I am so grateful to have apostles of the Lord come and talk to me and give me similar words of wisdom like you did and do! It makes it easier to have somebody taking the place of your example in my life for these next two years! The apostles are true servants of the Lord we should cherish their words! And also we should cherish the words of our fathers. I am pumped for conference!!!! Woooooo!!

Okay super embarrassing story of the week time! So for the Tuesday night devotional I decided I felt good enough so we skipped dinner to try to get into the choir! We got in and practice went great and I didn’t feel to sick which was a blessing! So this devotional is broadcasted all around the world to missionaries and there is huge cameras filming us! So we are all singing for Richard G. Scott and in front of everyone and it is beautiful. We are singing be still my soul and the cameras are filming the choir and Richard G. Scott is watching when suddenly I lose complete control of all body functions………. I sang a note and it made my throat super dry so I started coughing and it was one of the worst if not the worst coughing fits of my life! I bend down so the camera can’t see me and put my face in my suit coat arm to try to muffle the sound which worked great!! But suddenly my nose starts bleeding bad! Both nostrils and it’s a gusher so I grab my face and I am bleeding everywhere and coughing ridiculously! I also started sweating profusely because I was embarrassed and was dripping sweat! The song ends and people turn and look at me and I am bent over coughing with blood everywhere so they all think I am dying and coughing up blood and freak out! I quickly inform that I’m fine so then all the elders grabbed any tissues or hankercheifs they had and sent it my way! I got my nose under control and my cough finally and didn’t want to miss the devotional so I cleaned my face and stayed for the devotional. After the devotional they all asked if I was okay and I said yeah and went and washed my hands! It was so embarassing but kind of hilarious and a way weird experience! Haha anyways that’s all I have for this week and I will talk to you in a week!!

I am safe and sound and I love you all and I feel better and I KNOW that all our prayers are answered and it is so amazing to know that as big and powerful as God is he is equally as personable and loving.

Love you all,

Elder Houston

This is my friend Elder Lee! He dressed up like Psy that sings gangnam style and did the dance! he looked exactly like him!! It was soooo soo funny!!

This is my friend Elder Lee! He dressed up like Psy that sings gangnam style and did the dance! he looked exactly like him!! It was soooo soo funny!!

Elder Houston & Elder Lee  at the Computer Lab today.

Elder Houston & Elder Lee at the Computer Lab today.


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Week 4 – Prayer and music are powerful; very powerful things! Another Amazing Week!

Today has been another amazing week! So many cool things happened and I’ll try to get a lot of them in this email but I have actually come down with something and I am pretty sick and I am supposed to go home and sleep for as much free time that I have on P day which is not a lot. I also feel like a balloon so sorry if my email is scattered!

Okay so first a couple of experiences. So last week after I emailed you a bunch of pics.  Elder Ellingford asked to borrow my card and card adapter. I said, “yeah totally!” so I gave it to him and finished up laundry. So after I was done I went back and asked him if it worked for him and he went pale and said oh no I think I left it. We went back and searched for a long time but it was no where to be found. I wasn’t to bummed about the reader but the pics I was a little sad about but I felt so bad for Elder Ellingford because he felt so bad so I acted like NBD! Haha I kept reassuring him that everything was going to be okay and we would find it! That day we found nothing! He was really sad and I told him it would be okay! The next morning I knelt down fist thing and asked Heavenly Father to help comfort Elder Ellingford and help him know it was okay and to help us find this card if it be his will. The second I stood up I turned to Elder Ellingford and said we are going to find my card today elder, I know it. Later that day we were studying the scriptures and they were out in the hall studying when he walked in with the biggest grin on his face. He pulled out from behind his back my card and card reader and I said I knew it!!! where was it? He informed me that as his companion and he were studying they opened to a specific scripture in his comps scriptures. It just so happened that my card and reader was in that exact page of Elder Brantley’s scriptures. What a blessing and miracle. I immediately took my companion to a quiet room and knelt and thanked the Lord for helping us find it and for comforting Elder Ellingford!

The next experience was on Tuesday! I had the amazing opportunity to be in the choir at the Tuesday night devotional. We eat early and practice for an hour then sing in the devotional. We sang the song, Hope of Israel. That is now one of my favorite songs. It has always been good but singing that as a missionary with a bunch of other missionaries was such an amazing experience. We are the hope of Israel. The spirit during and after that song was incredible. Tears welled up in everyone’s eyes. I would encourage you to listen and ponder the amazing words of that song and think about how we are all the hope of Israel. I am soooooo sooo grateful for music here. My district and I are always singing when we walk when we shower wherever we are and it is a great way to invite the spirit. I love the songs I get to sing and I hope to do choir the rest of my time here.

Okay question answering time!!

Yes we learn about the culture because our teachers act like koreans and we teach and are in contact with real koreans often. Some cool things is you bow and when you shake hands you use two hands and don’t look in there eyes. Whenever you hand something or recieve something you do it with two hands out of respect. You talk to your elders only in high form and they talk to us in middle form! It is way cool

Everyone one in my district is going to Seoul! All the missions are evenly spread so there is 2 districts going to each mission if that makes sense. There are a few exceptions for different things.

I go to the temple every week and it is amazing! The provo temple is beautiful. I actually get to go every sunday and just sit outside of it too!

We won’t know til next week if Elder bogue comes back.

Gym time is awesome! It is a great way to wake up and is so nice to work out instead of sit. Other than that I love personal study. I learn so much during that time!

We hear a member of the 70 or something similar 2 times a week and we think that we will have a member of the 12 or the 1rst presidency this week because of rumors!

I print off all my emails so it doesn’t take email time to read. We print,  read, then respond so it is totally fine to email separate!

The language is tough but it is coming slowly but surely! It amazes me how some of the people can look at a word once and have it memorized. I actually have to work a little hard to keep up but I have stayed up in the class and don’t even feel behind. I’m better at some things and others are better at others and that’s just how it is.

Dad, the food is pretty brutal! Haha every once in a while we get something good but if you saw how many missionaries they feed….. wow a lot of the food just isn’t real and my stomach has had a really hard time. But on the bright side everyone’s stomach is like that so we all are okay with it!! Haha.

Okay lastly I just want to say mom even though I’m pretty sick I am fine so don’t be all nervous and stuff okay!:) But disease around here is crazy cause everyone catches something. It hit me hard yesterday and today and I was up most of last night. My headache and sore throat went away today a little but my tummy is still pretty mad! Ha but I’m doing good I could just use some Ibuprofen in your package and any other meds you think my help and also another exercise shirt. just dri fit one like the silky kind. I could use one or two of those but I don’t need them either!

Anyways love  you all so much! Talk to you in a week!

Love- Elder Houston

This pic is a few days ago when we got a downpour. It was raining so hard. This is me and some of my good friends in the zone! I love them all like brothers. We decided for five minutes of comp study that we would all go out and play in it. It was a blessing and was so fun! It was beautiful to see the provo mountains covered in clouds. Elder Godfrey is also in this pic!

This pic is a few days ago when we got a downpour. It was raining so hard. This is me and some of my good friends in the zone! I love them all like brothers. We decided for five minutes of comp study that we would all go out and play in it. It was a blessing and was so fun! It was beautiful to see the provo mountains covered in clouds. Elder Godfrey is also in this pic!

This pic is a few days ago when we got a downpour. It was raining so hard. This is me and some of my good friends in the zone! I love them all like brothers. We decided for five minutes of comp study that we would all go out and play in it. It was a blessing and was so fun! It was beautiful to see the provo mountains covered in clouds. Elder Godfrey is also in this pic!

This pic is a few days ago when we got a downpour. It was raining so hard. This is me and some of my good friends in the zone! I love them all like brothers. We decided for five minutes of comp study that we would all go out and play in it. It was a blessing and was so fun! It was beautiful to see the provo mountains covered in clouds. Elder Godfrey is also in this pic!

This pic is of me and Elder Lee! He is in the other district that got here at the same time as us. He is one of my best friends and i love him to death! He is korean but lived in LA. I just took this pic moments ago. He is going to new york korean speaking!

This pic is of me and Elder Lee! He is in the other district that got here at the same time as us. He is one of my best friends and i love him to death! He is korean but lived in LA. I just took this pic moments ago. He is going to new york korean speaking!


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Week 3 – Another Amazing Week!

Dear Family & Friends,

This week was another amazing week! I gave my first TRC lesson last friday and that is talking to a  native and teaching them in only korean. It is very hard but so so awesome! It was very frustrating to me and I got down for a day or two but the sweet sisters noticed and wrote me a very nice letter and told me that I was a great example and that they loved my upbeat personality and the brotherly love that my companion and I have and that helped a lot. Mom you said you want to know all the names and faces of the people so I don’t forget but I promise I will never forget the people in my district. I love them like they are family and am so close. When we go to Korea it will be like saying goodbye to family all over again. They are amazing. I am as close to the elders as I am with some of my best friends in just 3 weeks. They are soooo amazing. Every morning we get to go out and play sand volleyball and our whole district goes and plays together and it is so fun and funny to see the goofy fun side of people! We have a blast and learn so much from each others experience! My district is amazing! I will try to send pics of them all!

I had my first opportunity to host or “Curb Rip.” I was nervous to do it but it actually was a very amazing experience to be able to testify to other Mothers and Fathers who were in tears that there son is in the Lords hands and I could testify that I knew he would be okay and he would be blessed. I had been in there shoes and every person I saw I loved with all my heart because I knew how hard and exciting it was. I also knew what a blessing they had in store and my heart was full of love and happiness as I guided them through the MTC to get settled. It was an amazing opportunity to help! We also got new Elders and to be honest at first they seemed pretty strange. But we are trying so hard to show our love to them. One of them started flirting with one of our sisters and she looked at me and was way scared so I went over and told her that one of our teachers needed her so she left! That wasn’t completely true but our break was almost over and she was getting super uncomfortable so she thanked me shortly after. We are trying super hard to love all of them and in two days it has already gotten easier. They are amazing but I just thank heavenly father for the district I am in and the other district who arrived here at the same time as us! I am good friends with all of them especially a Korean Elder Named Elder Lee! We call each other Chingu because that is friend in Korean! I know we will be friends for a very long time! I love all the people here so much and it is so easy to love them!

Okay so a little bit about the language. The language was frustrating at the beginning of the week but there was one particular day were I was very frustrated. A few things happened and I heard a devotional and short Mormon message and my attitude towards it changed. My companion and I worked very hard and had a great lesson plan and the spirit was so strong with us. The lesson was on the plan of salvation and it was a great plan one of our best. When we went to teach our investigator sister suh, she immediately had a bunch of questions from our last meeting. I was so nervous because it wasn’t in our lesson and I didn’t know if we could teach without our notes in Korean. She wanted to know more about Joseph Smith, who we had nothing in our notes about. We started and it was very slow and she had a hard time understanding. It was frustrating not being able to communicate my testimony to her. I looked at my companion and told him to try his best to keep explaining. He did great and while he was doing that I said a silent prayer in my heart for the gift of tongues and interpretation for my companion and I. Suddenly we were both overwhelmed by the spirit. She asked a question about how we knew he was a true prophet. We both knew exactly what she had said and responded immediately and did not stubble and were confident and could smile because we knew we were saying the right things. I set the notebook down and we bore our testimony and answered questions that we did not even know yet for 20 mins. It went so good. One of her last questions was very hard and we weren’t sure we understood. We glanced at each other and my companion had done a great job answering her last couple of questions. I was so nervous cause I didn’t exactly know what she said and didn’t know how to respond. I reflected back to D&C 33:8 that says, “Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from jerusalem in the wilderness” I put 100% faith in the lord and I opened my mouth and it was filled. My companion looked at me after and I said, “what did I just say?” and he said he didn’t know but then we were prompted to give her the first vision and I gave it to her and asked her to read it before our next visit and the spirit and smiles were so strong in that room and she was excited to read about it. We still do not know what she said or I said but she understood and got emotional after I responded and said she would love to read and learn more. It was an amazing experience.

Family I love the MTC, I love the people here, I love this language, and I loooove the Book Of Mormon! I know it is another testament of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and I am so thankful for that! I have been reading in Heleman and I want so bad to be like Nephi son of Heleman. The Lord made him a promise that whatever he said would come to pass and the holy ghost pretty much teleports him places! Nephy the son of Helaman is and amazing man and I would encourage you to read all of helaman! It is a great book. The lord loves us all and I love you all! Ill try to send some pics and talk to you next week!

Love,

Elder Houston

 

From left to right, Grover, Brantley, Sederholm, Weiss, Ellingford, me, willcox, stancliffe

from left to right, Grover, Brantley, Sederholm, Weiss, Ellingford, me, willcox, stancliffe

left front, Lautaha, Left middle, Bryan, Very right, our teacher brother scoville

left front, Lautaha, Left middle, Bryan, Very right, our teacher brother scoville

me and my dong ban ja appreciating the little things

me and my dong ban ja appreciating the little things

Temple Visit 8.18.14

Temple Visit 8.18.14

this is bogue

this is bogue

wearing the tie that Nia and Anniston gave me! I miss them and my syblings!!

Wearing the tie that Nyah and Anniston gave me! I miss them and my siblings!!