Elder Houston

The Worth of Seouls – Seoul Korea Mission


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Hello Everyone!

Well this week was awesome! A lot more plain and a lot of proselyting time but it was really good proselyting so it was fun! We had a lot of fun, The air got super super bad one day though and a bunch of people got sick and sore throats from the pollution including my companion and I! But it cleared up later!

We had a few things happen this week, one was we met with our investigator Han Sang and he is doing good, we are still trying to push him to have some faith and try some things on his own but he is definitely moving forward, just really slowly!

Next I want to talk about Rak Won Lee! He is doing great!!!! We met with him on Sunday and it went great! He was a little tired in church but we I kept him awake for the most part and we reviewed some commandments with him, and he is still keeping all of them which was a miracle for us! He is going to get baptized on the 7th of November! I think Mindy gets married then, what a day! Hahah but anyways! He is super great and he was sick too from the super bad air but he is such a great guy and we will meet him again tomorrow! 

We had a few Dinners on Post or the American Base this week! Those are always fun and we really enjoy them! The American families are so nice and there is so many members on base it is crazy! But we enjoy ourselves. But one dinner appointment was on a split! Elder Fisher wanted me to come teach their American investigator Javier with him, so we went together and ate with him and taught a lesson! It went absolutely great! I love Javier so much! We are homies and he is a super fun guy and absolutely amazing! He is 21 and will be baptized this next Saturday! I am so excited for him, and honored to be able to see some of his conversion to the gospel. It has been a long process but he is ready and just amazing!

The last thing is we had transfer calls this week! I will be staying in Sindang but my companion Elder Jung will be leaving! I will actually be training this next transfer!! I am really excited but really nervous as well! It feels like just yesterday I was being trained! I don’t know who yet but I will soon! I am excited  but really nervous as well!

All in all it was a great week! I am so happy to be here in Korea at this time. The center and most important thing that has ever happened is the atonement. I know I talk about it a lot, but I study it a lot. It is so important! Although I can’t fully understand how it was done, or about it, we can all experience the effects of it as we study and partake of that sweet gift. The atonement truly can heal us of any wound. It lifts us, heals us, gives us peace of mind that passes all understanding, it bears know scars. This single Selfless act performed by Jesus Christ is the ultimate act, and through it, we can overcome ALL THINGS! There truly is no limit, and no end! I am so full of gratitude to my Savior for the atonement that He performed and the merciful plan of God, which plan allows me to return to God and live with him and my family for all of Eternity because of the saving grace of the Savior and his atonement! I know this gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston 

Spider

Spider

So Many People

So Many People

Kimchi Making

Kimchi Making

Just one Night...tired!

Just one Night…tired!

Gangsters

Gangsters

For Tyson! Korean license plate, sorry it took so long!

For Tyson! Korean license plate, sorry it took so long!

For the boys

For the boys

For the boys

For the boys

Eating

Eating

Cute Korean Kid!

Cute Korean Kid!

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Week of Random Fun!

This week was just what my subject line says, kind of random things but a lot of fun! I really liked it! I had some cool and unique experiences that I am happy to have had! It sounds like back home has been kind of a rough past few days for everybody, deer hunt not super exciting even though that is my 2nd favorite time of year besides Christmas and other things! But I love you all back home, I am praying for you and just hope you all know I do love you!

Well for this week I wanted to tell you about a few dinners we had! One with the Peregoy family and one with the Raymer family! they were both great! The families in the army are really strong in the gospel, it is really impressive! We had a good time with both families, and Sis Raymer is deaf so that was a cool experience! I know a few words in Korean sign language and she is learning and way better then me so I got to say a few things, like Hi, nice to meet you, thank you. The basics! It was really fun though! They are both awesome families!

The next thing I wanted to talk about it Rak Won Lee! We got to meet him once this week and it went good! He is doing good and wanted to meet Saturday but couldn’t because his uncle was in critical condition in the hospital so he couldn’t come to church either! I will call him tonight and see how he is doing! He is so close! Please pray for him!

One of the fun random things that was awesome this week is Elder Fisher and I got to go to 김장 kimjang or kimchi making! We went with a bunch of other foreign missionaries and it was a lot of fun! We made kimchi and got dirty and smelly and the old ladies fed us kimchi and they took pictures and we got interviewed by a news station and we introduced our church! Hahah it was so awesome! After we ate some super good hamburgers and proselyted home! It was such a fun day and kind of exchange!

The last thing is yesterday (Sunday) we had a fireside with a really smart guy who is the head of the Korean department at BYU and he has a PhD in Korean studies and served here and he told us about different religions and how to relate them to the gospel! Including Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shamanism, aka the main four influences in Korea! It was pretty legit! I learned a ton and had a lot of fun!

Well as you can see this week was pretty random but really fun! I had a great week! I learned a lot as always, I learned how much happier living the gospel standards is. I learn that every week but it is constantly refreshed! Even if we struggle and fall, and stumble, it is way better to just live the gospel standards as exact as we can. If we slip, don’t give up, if we fail, don’t get discourage, rely on Christ and move on. Keep working, keep striving, keep loving, and keep hoping. The hope of the gospel radiates in my life and it is easy to take for granted until you see other people who don’t have that and then I realize how important and amazing it is! I love this gospel and I know it is true! I love you all and will talk to you next week!

Love,

Elder Houston

Goofy Boy 2 (1024x768) Goofy Boy 3 (1024x768) Goofy Boy 4 (1024x768) Goofy Boy 5 (1024x768)

Kimjang or kimchi making

Kimjang or kimchi making

Kimjang or kimchi making

Kimjang or kimchi making

Making Kimchi

Making Kimchi

Making Kimchi

Making Kimchi

Zone

Zone


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Prophets and Apostles

Well this week was not super busy, we didn’t have a lot of stuff going on but we did have a few fun things. The highlight of coarse was getting to watch conference and watch our Beloved Prophet Thomas Spencer Monson address us. I only have a few things to say this week other than about conference so I will say them first!

This week we had zone conference which was good, but highlights this week were: We met with a family named the Cragun family, members on base, and we ate with them! They were super super awesome and she made something dad is familiar with from his mission in Costa Rica! Tres Leches! Or 3 milks in English and it was sooo delicious! They were a family of 8 and they were just so kind! She also sent us home with some real American cereal! They were awesome!

We met with our investigator HanSang and had a good lesson, we taught English first and then the restoration, it went better then the previous lesson. I spoke with more confidence and authority and he felt the spirit! Elder Jung and I worked together well in that lesson and he prayed for us at the end it was great! 

Okay one fun little story for you! We have an investigator named Q and he is the cutest old man in the entire world! We teach him English and the gospel! He is reading the BOM and doing good. This week we met him and sat at a park! We talked and he told me about history in Korea because I have been really curious! He was living history though! He is amazing. When he was 15 he walked around his neighborhood with a M-1 rifle defending his area! Wow! Koreans are amazing! After we talked for a while he asked if we were cold because it is getting cold, really fast, no fall happened! And we said we were okay but he said lets get up and move! So he said “wait a second”. He got up and slowly, very slowly hobbled over and grabbed a rope and said lets move that rock, pointing at a giant boulder in the ground! Hahah I was like no way, me, Elder Jung and this Old man who can barely walk. But Korean Old people are tough as nails! Haha so we did just that. I got some sturdy branches and propped them under the rock and hoisted it up and got the rope under and we moved that rock about 5 feet to where he wanted it! It was great! He is awesome!

The last thing is this week I had an interview with President and it was great! He is really happy and just a super good guy.  The first thing he said when I walked in was, “Houston, We have…… NO Problem!” hahah it was great! He is a good guy and really is loving! That was on Friday then on Saturday and we had to go to he office, which is basically right next to his house, we had to get conference off of a flash drive from the AP’s so we could set it up for the missionaries in English. We got there and practiced a song we were singing and President said Hi to us all while we were singing and then asked if we could help him for a second! We said yes of course! Him and Sister Sonksen needed help moving some furniture upstairs so we went up and Elder Fisher and I were super excited for any physical labor! so us along with the AP’s jumped right in and did it. Then we got to the bed. It was too big for that room so we struggled but got it. Half way through we hit the wall and President just said “oh well” with a happy face and said keep going. Then we accidentally hit the wall again and were caught and couldn’t move. We all stood up and looked at President to see what next. He paused, looked right up at me, and said half giggling, “Houston, We have a problem!” Hahahahahaah everyone started laughing and then we continued! Haha we eventually got the bed situated just how Sister Sonksen wanted it! It was a fun adventure!

 Okay my letters always turn out so long, but lastly I wanted to talk about conference! Wow, what a blessing it is to be able to listen to conference and listen to modern Prophets and apostles who truly do lead and guide the church today! God called Prophets and apostles and through them he does lead is church! One of my favorite talks was Elder Hollands. He talked about Mother’s. Everything he said was dead on,  that motherly love is closer to divine love of God than anything on earth! Mothers are amazing, my Mother is amazing! There were only two talks that got the tear glands pumping for me and that was one of them. I said at the end, “I just want to give my mom a hug.” Then I looked over at Elder Fisher, haha me and him are both sports guys and like to be tough no cry kinda guys but when it comes to our Mommas we both get teary eyed! Haha he put his arm around me and said “me too!” So thank you mom! For all you have done and all you do! You are amazing! And lastly I would like to talk about my favorite talk. My favorite talk was that of the Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson in the Sunday morning session. This was the other talk that jerked on my tear glands. One reason it was my favorite is because all the questions I prepared about spiritual things were answered beautifully in this talk, we are the light, we must stand out and be different and be the light. The other reason, is because I watched the Prophet of God on the earth, his body and health fail him, stand and finish his sermon with Power and complete composure. His testimony at the end was hard for him to muster the strength to even say, but it was so powerful that I was filled with the knowledge once again of the fact that Thomas Monson is a prophet of God! I know that is true. I have been in the presence of that man only once in my life and I know, with all my heart that he is the prophet of God. One of his favorite and most shared scriptures is D&C 84:88. This is my favorite scripture. I know that angels were around him bearing him up during his talk, they were sustaining the prophet in that time of need! I know Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God! I wish I could tell you more how much I know that is true but this email will have to do for now!  I know God lives and Christ is his son and heads this his true church! I know the gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston


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Miracles Come After the Trial of Our Faith!

Well family! This last week was quite interesting but ended so amazing! I am so happy! I am really jealous you have all got to listen to conference and also got to listen to our wonderful Prophets and apostles! I am so excited to get to listen to that next week! It was also great to here that you all went to the ranch and had a great time! I miss the ranch! I love that place so enjoy it for me! I am glad you are all good! I have been really busy lately so I haven’t had time to really think about what I will email so this email might be a little random!

Okay first thing I want to talk about is a few new investigators! We have seen so many miracles and been working hard, this week we got 5 new investigators and one has a Baptismal date! I don’t know why but our area is just being so unreal successful lately when it really struggled before we got here! But we got a guy who is Korean but Muslim and he is super cool and nice and it went good, a guy who we are teaching English and the gospel and he is really nice as well! And we met a kid on the street and had an awesome lesson and will meet him again on Friday and also a guy we called and met with who is 20 and sooo nice! He is a stud and accepted the Book of Mormon and we will meet him again soon! Then lastly we got a referral from the dongdaemun Elders and we met him! And he is awesome! We taught the 3rd discussion and gave him a baptismal date. He came to church yesterday as well, but he left today to go to North Korea because after the big conflict a few weeks ago they worked out an agreement to let families reunite for a few weeks and have south Koreans go to the north to reunite with their loved ones. He is not going for family but to cook for all the family reunions because he is a really good cook! He will be gone for 3 weeks so his baptismal date is November 21 and he is really prepared and said he will call right when he gets back! So we are excited for him!

Okay the next thing I want to talk about really quick is…. for service we went up on a mountain with our wonderful old people who I love! The guy that I walked around with is a little pervy so he kept doing hilarious things but super awkward, but he is a little cutie! Because he is old so he does whatever he wants, (culture thing) but it is so cute and it was so much fun! I love our service projects! Anyways. 

The last thing I want to talk about is Rak Won Lee! Tuesday we had temple day, I love temple day, the peace it brings to my soul is amazing! I loved it so much and then right after we met Rak Won Lee our investigator at sinchon subway station and took him to see the temple. He was happy and asked when he could go inside and felt peace! He is such a stud! I love him so much and he is one of my dearest friends!

Because of this I had quite a scare this Sunday. We weren’t able to meet with Rak won lee since tuesday but he said he would come to church but it was weird that we couldn’t meet with him! So we got to church and waited and he never came, our other investigator came but he didn’t and I called and called but he wouldn’t answer, all day he didn’t answer. I was so sad, it was a rerun of Jangwii when nam song ju was such good friends with us and then just stopped answering and ignored us for no reason. I was devastated and pleaded with the Lord all day to somehow give us a miracle.  I tried calling him on the sisters phone and his mom answered and said he wasn’t there. I was so sad. I couldn’t believe it! My companion said he was gone and had betrayed us but I didn’t think so. I really wanted to have faith and I did! I prayed and pleaded with the Lord, and told him I couldn’t do anything more. I needed a miracle in order to help this wonderful Son of God come into the true fold of God. That night, I once again prayed and then called him one last time before planning. It rang, and rang, and rang, and he didn’t answer. I was devastated nearly to tears. I just prayed again, and said one more pleading prayer and during my prayer, the phone buzzed.  I quickly snatched it up and looked and after almost 48 hours of him seemingly ignoring us, Rak Won Lee was calling us. I answered and said hello! And he responded and said Hey Houston! And I said hey are you okay? and he said yes I am so sorry! He explained he had gone out to the countryside with his friends and they ended up staying overnight and he didn’t have his phone and wanted to call us so bad! He apologized several times and I explained how sad I was because I thought he just disappeared because he heard bad things about our church and he was my good friend! He was like, “Hey don’t worry! I am okay! I am sorry you worried!” Haha and after that he promised to buy us any food we want on Thursday when we meet! I talked to him for 10 minutes and the other Elders said it looked more like I was talking to Courtney on the phone then Rak Won Lee! Haha, they were all in my room giggling cause I was like a giddy little kid! haha but anyways it was such a miracle! I could not stop smiling! Then my companion just said wow you are such a missionary! Haha, that was funny but it made me happy too! Anyways it was a huge miracle and after everyone left our room I knelt and thanked Heavenly Father with all my heart! It was such a miracle! I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who gives us miracles when we can do nothing more! I am grateful for Rak Won Lee! We are going to have to move his Baptismal date back at least a week. So probably Oct. 24! But we will decide that all on Thursday!  He is the salt of the earth! I love the people of Korea! Miracles really do happen after trials!

Wow I said a lot! 

 I love this mission, I love Korea, and I know this gospel is true! I know that God lives and loves us.  A witness and sometimes a huge miracle comes after the trial of our faith! I know that this gospel changes lives, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and preach his gospel! I know that He leads this church, He lives, and He watches over all of his children! I know this gospel is true! I love you all so much and am excited to talk to you next week! Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Houston

after english class

after english class

exchange life

exchange life

my companion haha

my companion haha

My friend

My friend

Rak Won Lee at the temple

Rak Won Lee at the temple

Luhan and Fisher

Luhan and Fisher

The mountain we did service at

The mountain we did service at

the view

the view

view

view