Elder Houston

The Worth of Seouls – Seoul Korea Mission


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Beautiful Korea. 홀로 아리랑

Okay there is so much to do and so little time! Haha I am not gonna say much just jump into the week cause I need this letter to be a wee bit shorter! Okay! Okay Okay! yay!

Monday 5/25 – What a treat today was! We had Brian our English class guy take us up as a district to an awesome little place in the mountains and we had a picnic by a stream with some super good food! I was just like my two lil bros running around from place to place and I was like a giddy lil 5-year-old! I was exploring and found 3 snakes! I took a quick pic and didn’t get bit but I really wanted to catch them but they were super bright-colored so I resisted! Then we went to a buddhist’s temple and it was so pretty and super cool and the hike was awesome and I love photography and yeah! Okay next day!

Tuesday 5/26 – We spent all day with a member named Park wiChang! I haven’t said much about him I don’t think but he is one of my best friends here in Korea! I love him so much! He came about a month ago from BYU Provo and he is just so awesome! He came and did missionary work with us all day! He is 23 and we get along super well! He has been such an amazing kid! He has had us over to his house a lot for food and I love his Father and Mother too! I feel a part of their family! I have grown so close to him and his family! I talk to him daily and see him usually daily to for him to teach with us or for dinner or something! He is awesome! 

Wednesday, 3/27 – We street boarded and Brother Park was there with us again! We got a way cool new investigator! His English name is Anderson.

Thursday 3/28 – We met our investigator named Ho Jaewon today and had a really good lesson with him and committed him to baptism on the 19th of June. He accepted and accepted to come to church but had to study for a test so didn’t come but we will meet him again soon!  Then we got on a bus to Seoul and met a Less active in the temple area because Elder Ashby served there before here. Then after we ate with him we went to the temple and it was absolutely amazing! We stayed at the temple with our zone and the other Kongwondo zone! It was a lot of fun!

Friday 3/29 – We had a combined conference with the Seoul South mission! I saw all the people from the MTC and I also saw Sister Gooch from St. George! I accidentally left my camera upstairs but she took a picture on her camera so you will have to find it I think! Haha but it was cool to see everyone! I also got to see Elder Smith one last time before he goes home! I was so happy and gave him a big hug and we talked for a while! I am excited to be able to email him soon though! That will be super cool! It was a cool conference and Elder Maines was the speaker! It was so fun to see Elder Jarrett and Reid who are now companions! So that is awesome! I loved seeing all the awesome people at conference!

Saturday 3/30 – We came home Friday night and left Saturday after studies to go to Kangnung for a fireside to say goodbye to our mission president! We had to practice singing too! We sang a song called the Arirang. it is probably the most famous traditional Korean song and I looooooooooove it! It was fun to be there! 

Sunday 3/31 – We had church and we as missionaries had to watch the kids today….. Wow, I love my little family and their well-behaved kids cause holy smokes. I was about to lose my mind with some of those kids! Haha! That night we went to Brother park’s house and said goodbye. He leaves today for military so it was the last time I will see him for a long time! I was really sad but his mom and family and dad are awesome and I love them! 

This week was awesome! I love the gospel! The work is hard! But hey! I like it that way! I am so grateful for all of your emails to me, for this beautiful world and life I live! I think it is pretty funny that Emily smashed cake in my dads face too! I was actually talking about Justin and Emily’s family this week with my companion when we were talking about family! Haha so I showed him that and he thought it was pretty funny too! Ha but Emily should watch out because my Dad might get revenge….. also happy Birthday to Grandma Houston and my Dad!  I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your impact in my life. This work is hard but I am able to do it because I know with all my heart how much it has blessed my family and how much happiness it has brought to me and I know it can and will help others who are willing and ready to accept it!  That is why I am doing this and I am so happy to be doing it! I know Heavenly Father loves each and every one of you and your families! I know this gospel is true! I can’t wait to talk to you next week! Love you all!

Love,

Elder Houston

At a Buddhist Temple

At a Buddhist Temple

A Cool Bug for my little brothers

A Cool Bug for my little brothers

Cool Jungle Frog

Cool Jungle Frog

Saying goodbye to Brother Parks

Saying goodbye to Brother Parks

Saying goodbye to Brother Parks

Saying goodbye to Brother Parks

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More busy days of good stuff!

This week we had another great week that was really busy and we did a lot of stuff and saw some super cool things happen! I won’t say much but I will just jump right into the email.

Tuesday, May 19 – We cleaned the church for service today! Elder Ashby and I cleaned windows, it is surprising on my mission how I have found how much I enjoy cleaning and cooking! Haha I really have enjoyed those things! That night we met with a referral we got from a member on monday named Ho Jaewon, he is the second member referral I have got! We were soooo excited. We at dinner with him and then took him to english class, he really enjoyed it I think. He is really socially awkward and suffers from depression a little but is doing good. 

Wednesday, May 20 – My companion gave his first district meeting today and it went pretty good! We discussed a lot of good stuff about the branch and area! Later that day we met with a guy but he was super busy but wanted to meet later so we will!

Thursday, May 21 – We had music practice today because we sang on sunday. We practiced and sang Brightly Beams our Fathers Mercy. After we practiced we visited with Kim CheoulJong our investigator and had an okay lesson. We built a better relationship and despite the extreme difficulty to understand his korean and speak so he understands we came to an understanding after a while. We also got to see some super cute kitties that made us laugh pretty hard! That night we also met with Ho Jaewon again and we had a really good lesson with him! we taught the whole first lesson. He comes from a Buddhists background so he was pretty overwhelmed I think but I thought it went pretty good! We ended good and were happy but he has seemed a little off since, we haven’t been able to meet since but hopefully later in the week this week we can meet with him again!

Friday, May 22 – We did weekly planning which was good as always, made some solid plans for our investigators! After we met again with Kim CheoulJong our investigator but it was very frustrating, We taught the plan of salvation but he argued a lot about science and random, random stuff that was weird and we could not understand him at all. It was super difficult to speak to him because we was so random and Korean is still just so hard.  I am nowhere near fluent and can barely even hold a conversation despite studying so hard. Korean is really frustrating and after lessons like that I get a real opportunity to learn patience because I want to punch a wall sometimes. (by the way I actually have punched a wall a few times) #stillllearningpatience Haha but anyways it is really hard!  (I thought before my mission I would be so much further along in the language than I am!) but we ended on an okay note with a little understanding and we will meet with him again soon! That night we tried to go find a less active far away in a pretty part of the outer parts of Wonju, but we couldn’t find his house, but it was a beautiful walk and we saw an awesome sunset. The sunsets here are amazing!

Saturday, May 23 -Today we ate lunch with members at the church and then did singing practice which was really good and we needed it. My companion and I sang tenor and it was pretty fun! After singing we had English class which was really fun and Elder Ashby and I gave the message! We had some hard words to use too. We talked about muscles and protein and how that relates to our spirit and spiritual recovery. It was super super hard in korean but we got through with help of some of the advanced English speakers! Haha!  After that, we finished cleaning the church with the members for branch conference on sunday! We cleaned and cleaned and I got to talk to our branch president a lot more and it was tough but I felt like I was able to talk with him for a little while and build a better relationship with him so it was really good!

Sunday, May 24 – We had our branch conference so President Christensen came a spoke and it was great! I understood most of his talk in Korean which was a first so that was fun. We had a good conference and after church we had a super tasty lunch that the ward prepared! It was delicious! And I got to talk to Brother Park who is 23 and is one of my best korean friends. We talked and joked a lot! He is a great guy and fluent at English! He goes off to mandatory military service next week for 2 years though so I am bummed about that! My companion also got called as second counselor. That night we met with an investigator. He was an old guy and pretty usual meeting. He was way drunk and told us he talked to God and he wants to stop drinking and we said we could help, he was super depressed and kept saying scary stuff and we did the best we could and we will meet with him again tonight after p-day! So hopefully he isn’t drunk cause we told him to not drink or smoke for a day and he said he would try. That was it for that day. We went back and studied and made calls.

This week has been a good one. We have seen a lot of cool things happen and I have learned a lot as always. I learn more and more to be humble, if I am not yet, well I am going to get humbled!   Ha! I have learned a lot about attitude as well…it can change everything. It is just a matter of learning to control our attitude in the most difficult of times. I know Heavenly Father tries our Faith and Patience so that we might grow! I Love you all and can’t wait to talk next week! 

Love,

Elder Houston

Elder Ashby and I

Elder Ashby and I

Elder Ashby and I

Elder Ashby and I

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Hike with district and our friend Brian from English class

Hike with district and our friend Brian from English class

The District

The District

Forest/Jungle of Korea

Forest/Jungle of Korea

Elder Ashby and Elder Houston

Elder Ashby and Elder Houston

Trail Sign

Trail Sign

Steep Trail

Steep Trail

Ascending up the trail

Ascending up the trail

At the top

At the top

At the top

At the top

Green, Green, Green and beautiful!

Green, Green, Green and beautiful!

Statues

Statues

Statues

Statues

Acacia Flowers

Acacia Flowers

Cool Bug!  They are all over Wonju!

Cool Bug! They are all over Wonju!

Cute

Cute

Kittens

Kittens

Green

Green

One Last Sunset

One Last Sunset


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Miracles Coming Forth in Wonju!!!

Well family and friends, I have had a really good week and my testimony has grown a lot! I have a conviction of the truthfulness of so much of this gospel and I am so happy that it is such a huge part of my life! You all sound great and super busy! Haley is graduating, Tyson’s getting baptized soon and Dad and Grandma Houston’s birthday are coming up soon as well! I am so happy to hear from everyone!

Tuesday 5/12 – Elder Grimshaw and I visited Kim cheoulJong and Elder Grimshaw said goodbye to him! and afterwards we dropped Elder Grimshaw and Elder Yetter off at the bus station and said later gators. They left and it was just me and Elder Osborne in Wonju! We went and taught English class just us two and then went back and got some sleep!

Wednesday 5/13 – Elder Osborne and I did studies together and cleaned the house up as well.  Then we went and picked up our new companions! My new companion is Elder Ashby and Elder Law is the other new Elder here! I like them both a lot! Elder Ashby is a hard worker and it is interesting, Elder Redd trained him and my amazing trainer who I love Lee WonHyung was his first zone leader and he looks up to him a ton as do I! I can see a mixture of a lot of both of them in him but it is good! He is a hard worker and so far us together have been an awesome combination. We have worked so hard and have seen some amazing miracles already in our short time together. We are both young! I am his first junior companion and he is still under a year in the mission! So Korean is difficult but it is a really good learning opportunity for us both! We had a good day of proselyting that day!

Thursday 5/14 – We met an investigator today and taught him outside in the hot day because he didn’t want to go inside.  I think he was drunk despite the claims of never drinking alcohol. It went good and he took a Book of Mormon! We will meet with him again this week if he recalls us meeting him the first time! That night we decided to take off to the outskirts! We hit a cool hill where there were houses scattered throughout the trees so we knocked on doors! Most were Buddhist who didn’t get a lot of random visitors like that. They were kind but we didn’t get into any doors but a lot said we could visit again sometime so that was way cool!

Friday 5/15 -We had some cool miracles today! We met a guy that had English interest only! But Elder Ashby and I did some “How to Begin Teaching bullet points” from PMG (Preach My Gospel) on him really hard and well and actually ended up only teaching the gospel and he wanted to meet again! It was super cool! Then on our way back to eat lunch,  because we had to skip it at first, we met a guy on the street who said he had been to our church a bunch of times and had prepared for baptism. He was pretty strange and prideful but it was way cool! We invited him to come to church in Wonju and he said of course he would! But he didn’t show up! But it was still a cool miracle I’d say! We also met Kim CheoulJong and he was really stressed and seemed a little off! But we ended up having a pretty good lesson after some struggle with understanding and speaking Korean which was really frustrating to him cause he was already is a frustrated mood. But we quickly lightened the mood as we both said prayers in our hearts! Kim CheoulJong is very difficult to understand because he talks very sophisticated and about a lot of random things, so we prayed to have ability to understand and prayed to be able to speak and prayed for each other in our hearts and Elder Ashby and I were able to lighten the mood and make him relax after a stressful day and also answer some of is very difficult and frequent questions about the gospel! It was really cool and he was excited to meet us again next week!

Saturday 5/16 – Today we had our first English class as a district and because only Elder Osborne and I were here last transfer, I have been heading up almost everything to do with people who were in Wonju to help them meet the new missionaries and yeah so ward stuff and English stuff! It has been difficult but fun and rewarding! So I conducted English class and we have a rather big class here in Wonju. All the missionaries introduced themselves and we had a great time! It went well and Elder Ashby and I gave the  message which also went well.  I could feel the spirit and it was really fun! We had a good time!

Sunday 5/17 -We went to church and got all of the new missionaries introduced and did a lot of work with the ward and tried to build and solidify a lot of relationships! But unfortunately today we had set 4 appointments which was really good. We were going to have to work through lunch but all 4 appointments punked! It was a big bummer but we shook it off and had some super spiritual studies instead.  I studied about Thomas Spencer Monson our living prophet who presides over the church today! I love that man!

To end I just wanted to talk about President Monson a little more. I have studied about Prophets and about how we can know true and living prophets. I know that it is by their fruits or what they have done, that we can know, because of this, I Know with all my heart that President Monson is the living Prophet of the one and only true God, and Jesus Christ leads and guides this Church through president Monson. What a blessing it is to have him on the earth with us. He has lived a life full of amazing fruits and I have listened to a lot of his counsel before but it has never taken such a profound impact on me as it has on my mission. There are difficulties and trials that I have never experienced before my mission but I always find comfort in the Council of President Monson. I am striving more and more to live like my redeemer Jesus Christ and I am so grateful the my Father in Heaven has given me a living example of how to better do that in President Monson! I know Jesus Christ lives, he died for us but rose again and lives on! I know he is the chief corner-stone of this the only true church of Christ and he leads the way as our master! I serve him and I follow him! I strive to heed the council he gives through  his servant on the earth President Thomas Spencer Monson! I encourage all to read more about President Monson and his life, study his council and as you do you will to realize he is a prophet of God! I know this beautiful gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston


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Hello from Wonju!

Hello everyone! I just got to talk to my family on the phone and it was awesome! They all sound great despite a few leaky eyes! I have got some other things to do on email today so I am going to jump right into the email today!

Tuesday 5/5 – We taught our investigator Kim CheoulJong today and it went well. We taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and he received it really well! Later in the week Elder Grimshaw and Osborne taught him part of the restoration and he received that well too! He is doing well and we are excited for him!

Wednesday 5/6 -We had zone conference today and it was really good. After zone conference I was on exchange with the zone leader Elder Johnson so I stayed in Gangnung area! It was an amazing exchange.  I learned a lot, had a lot of fun, felt the spirit strong, and really needed it! Elder Johnson is a good kid and served in Jangwi! We had some fun experiences. One funny one I want to share; for dinner we decided to have some pizza, (expensive in korea but we found some okay priced pizza) so Elder Johnson called and ordered it. We showed up and our pizzas were not ready so we were confused but they quickly made our pizza and we took it home and started eating. Pretty soon we got a call from a pizza place.   Elder Johnson said, “Why is pizza school calling us…… Oh No!!!” haha we had ordered from a different restaurant so we had to go by 2 more pizzas. We were so full so we just gave them out to people who looked hungry and to a less active member as well! It was a pretty funny experience but turned out to be really good and we made a lot of people happy! 

Thursday 5/7 – I woke up in the mansion of a house in gangnung and had a super good night sleep too! Wowza! Ha but Elder Johnson and I did training for each other. I got to prepare a training for him and it was super fun and good and I learned a lot and he also gave a training to me! I learned a ton from it! It was a great time! We talked a lot and I also talked to Elder Dixon a lot who lives there! He was great friends with my trainer and I really like him! It was a really good time! We went back to Wonju after lunch! We planned for a game night activity in a few days that night!

Friday 5/8 – I went on exchange with elder yetter and it was good.  We had a good lesson and got them a super cool new investigator.

Saturday 5/9 – We had english class and after our game night which turned out really good! We had 2 investigators and a less active there and it was super fun! Our first counselor here is hilarious and he made it super fun so it was really good! That night we had transfer calls! I am staying and so is Elder Osborne and everyone else is leaving. My new companion will be Elder Ashby. He is two transfers above me and I will be senior breaking him. So I will be his first junior companion! It will be really fun! 

Sunday 5/10 – Church was good and we ate all together with the ward afterward. I went on split with Elder Osborne while the other Elders packed!

This week was pretty great and I learned a lot! I know that this gospel is true! I know the power of the atonement is real and through it we can be more than we could ever be alone! I know we can reach the potential our Father in Heaven has for us if we rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ and his atonement! I love you all and I will talk to you next week!

 Love,

Elder Houston

Some of the fun at our game night.

Some of the fun at our game night.

More Fun

More Fun

Playing games with kids

Playing games with kids

More fun with kids

More fun with kids

Game night! I started as scum.....

Game night! I started as scum…..

But ended as KING!

But ended as KING!

Elder Yetter & I

Elder Yetter & I

The Zone

The Zone


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Hello Family and Friends!

Pretty River (1280x960)

This week has been a good one. I realized just how much missions make you realize about yourself and how much you grow! This week has been another of learning and growing and becoming somewhat of what God wants me to become! I love my family and my friends and the great outdoors and that is something I continuously recognize on my mission. A mission is a great opportunity for God to tell us what is really important! I love it! Anyways here is my week.

Monday 4/27 – We went hiking on a mountain outside of Wonju, it was just beautiful. It is a very short hike more of a walk with lot’s of people on it, but it goes up to some Buddhists temples which were super cool and it was far enough up were I could look and see mountains that didn’t have a million people on them and just love the fresh air and beauty of God’s creation! I was so happy and content! 

Tuesday 4/28 – We visited our investigator Kim CheoulJong again and he is doing pretty well! We helped him a lot with English today but then talked about what he had read in the Book of Mormon! It was a pretty good lesson. Other than that we just did service and proselyted on the street all day!

Wednesday 4/29 – Today we had district meeting and it was good! We listened to a talk that I love that was given in the 70’s and is about Babe Ruth! I loved the talk so much! Haha I love old talks too actually a lot, I have listened to a few lately! After I was on exchange with Elder Osborne, we went and did some door knocking for the rest of the day.

Thursday 4/30 – Today we visited Kim CheoulJong our investigator again! He again has been doing well! We helped him with english and didn’t have a lot of time after but he had been reading and next time we will talk about baptism with him! He is a great guy! That night we proselyted on the street and visited a few members to give them an invitation to our game night we are having next week!

Friday 5/1 – We had weekly planning today which was good, we talked a lot about Kim CheoulJong and what we will be doing with him in the next week which was really good. That night we had a dinner appointment with a guy who we met at a gym we go to in the morning. He likes us a lot, so one morning he invited us to eat. We went today and his restaurant is a goat meat restaurant so I had some goat meat! It was pretty tasty! It was a really fun time eating goat and he took a picture of us and he said he is going to hang it on his wall! It was pretty funny!

Saturday 5/2 – Today Elder Grimshaw and I went and did service by going to a place called golden voice, it is an English club and we volunteer there to help teach English. It was super fun! One of the guys there had just drank a huge thing of beer so he was pretty drunk so the topic a lot of the time was how much they drink and do dumb stuff and go to the hospital cause they don’t feel good after. It was pretty funny but they all like us a lot! We help them out and a few of them have started coming to our English class and like it too! Then we taught our English class later and a few of them came and after had family night but nobody came so the one member that was there went and bought us some yummy waffles from this place! It was so delicious! It was the first waffle I have had in 8 months and I thought I was in heaven! 

Sunday 5/3 – Fast Sundays are great! I love it, I am always able to feel the spirit a little more and just have that comfort and peace and clarity! I love it so much! I am so grateful for fasting and how it can help bring extra blessings when we need them and especially when others need them! It was really good. We had a dinner appointment that night with the first counselor and his son who came from BYU just a few days ago to do his military service! He is so awesome! And he made us some delicious Kimchi rice which was perfect to end our fasts! It was a fun night and a great day! 

This week was good! I read and listened to President Monson’s talk from the October 2013 conference a few times this week. It is one of my favorite talks in the world. He gave this talk the Conference after his wife died and it was titled, “I will not fail thee, Nor forsake thee!” I looooved it so much! I listened to it maybe 2 times and read it 2 times! It is just amazing and I loved it so much. He talks of the special promise that God gives to us in Joshua saying, “I will not fail thee, Nor forsake thee.” It is an emotional talk but I have found that very thing to be true. I know that is true, in any trial or time of difficult or sorrow, I hope like President Monson that we can remember the wonderful promise to all, “I will not fail thee, Nor forsake thee.” I hope you all have a wonderful week and are doing amazing! Thank you for all you do for me and for all your amazing emails that bring me so much joy! Have a great week! I love you all!

Love,

Elder Houston

Elder Houston and Elder Yetter (1280x960) Buddhist temple 3 (1280x960) Buddhist temple 2 (1280x960) Buddhist temple (1280x960)