Elder Houston

The Worth of Seouls – Seoul Korea Mission


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kimchi making, Palaces, and the Saints of Korea

Well I can tell you that this week has been absolutely amazing! It was a fun and really busy week this week! I was so happy to hear from all of you! Sounds like everyone is great! I am doing great because I am in the amazing Republic of Korea! I absolutely love it here! I am so attached to this place and the people! Especially our members, the saints of Korea!

To start off this week we did some Kimchi making on Tuesday! What a treat and what an adventure! haha I made kimchi and more kimchi and got kimchi sauce everywhere and had a grand ole time doing it too! Afterward we walked clear across Seoul to get to our service project! It was a fun activity and I love Kimchi!

Later during the week Elder Fisher and I went on splits to teach his investigator and go to a dinner with an american family and it was awesome! We ate with the Kraft family and she made ribs and it was just unreal! Elder Fisher and I really enjoyed ourselves! They invited a family over who is new here and he is from Dominican Republic and she is from Cuba and they are fluent at english and Spanish! It is unreal! They speak both as a family! Hahah it is weird to watch! But they were sooo nice and we had a great message with all of them!

So on Friday our investigator Q the cute old man who is awesome wanted to take us to a palace to learn about Korean history! President Sonkson was all for the idea to learn more about this culture and blessed place! Well it turned out to be an incredible experience! Also kind of funny! We went and Q walks slower than cold tar running up a hill in the winter time because his back isn’t so great but it made us really walk slow and appreciate stuff! It was amazing! It was King SaeJung’s palace and he is the most famous king and invented the korean alphabet and did some other amazing things and is so famous and his palace might be the most famous! It is amazing! WE loved it! We learned so much about korean history anciently in the dynasty periods and also the war and more current history! I soaked it all in and just loved it! I have such a love for this amazing and resilient people! Q is so old but has so much passion when he speaks of these things! He was really part of the history of the terrible war! He was born into poverty in Japan and fought to get freedom once again! It was a great experience and helped us love Korea even more! The funny part was there was a ton of girls there and tons of Chinese girls too, and we 3 Americans and a Korean kid in suits and ties walking around with a really old Korean guy and following him everywhere! It drew some attention! A lot actually…. we could barely walk anywhere without being photographed! Haha it was funny at first cause sometimes that happened but after a while it got really difficult to see the palace! It was like we were celebrities people would just stare… Then after we were just finishing up and about to leave I made a fatal mistake! Hahahaha I saw a girl trying to take a secret pic of us and so I decided to be funny! I held my thumbs up and smiled….. bad idea! She ran up and asked for to take “photo, photo” and that is no big deal, it had happened to us a bunch that day and we are missionaries and try to be so nice so we say yes and take a quick picture all together then politely move on as fast as we can ! So we said sure but then…. in about 5 seconds we had a line of like 30-40 girls to take pics with us! Hahah it was ridiculous but Q thought it was funny and we all stood by and they took pics! it was pretty hilarious actually! Once we got a break we took off quick! Stuff like that sometimes happens here but I have never seen it like that! It was insane! People would just stare like an alien from outer space walked by! Haha it was super funny!

Okay quick update on investigators! Rak Won Lee is the best as always working so hard but was willing to meet with us on Saturday his one off day! We are such good friends! Since he has started to keep the Word of Wisdom he is such a handsome guy! He will get baptized next Saturday if all plans align! We picked up a couple new investigators this week including one really cool Chinese guy named Wangzhen!

To end my letter I would like to talk about the amazing saints in Korea! We were invited to the Bishop’s house this last sunday to eat Authentic Mexican food made by a great Sister in our ward who spent a lot of time and effort! We went and it was great! We had such a great time and the food was UNREAL! I was so so happy! We had a recent convert who is in highschool and is my really good friend here and the AP’s really want me to pic up his mom as an investigator through working with him which we are doing now! She came as well! She is so awesome too! We got to talk a ton with members of the Bishopric and there wives and a few others in the ward and After the dinner Elder Fisher and Elder Jung shared a message about working together members and missionary because that is the focus this month! Well that was great! Then Bishop stood and talked about it! Bishop Sunggyungjin is a powerful and amazing man who is very close with the spirit! I love him so much! He talked about his conversion, he was emotional as he told of the struggle of not being accepted by others and the opposition of his parents in his decisions! I was touched! He was emotional and said how much this work means to him, he bore his sweet testimony to the recent convert kid and his Mother and the spirit was so thick you could see it rest upon them and all and work in their hearts! I was so grateful to be part of such a great work and cause in Korea! The challenges the saints in Korea face are amazing, and they are strong because of that! I had such a great time and built great relationships with those there and the focus here is now on missionary work and the relationships with the ward are flourishing! Great things are about to happen in the Sindang area! I am so excited for the work to be done here! I am grateful for this work and for Korea! I know this gospel is true!

Love,
Elder Houston


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Busy weeks (Wearing out in the service of God)

This week was great and just as busy as always! We had a solid week though! We saw a lot of miracles and had a lot of fun! We have an extra hour of study because Elder Lewis is a trainee so we practice a lot of stuff and role-play a lot which has been really good for both of us!

So this week the first thing I want to say is that Elder Lewis and I got the opportunity to go on split with one of the AP’s Elder Miller! It was a lot of fun! All we did though was go to English class together and teach and talk to a few people on the street! It was fun though Elder Miller is a good kid! That was on Tuesday right after service which is my favorite! We still talk to old people at a day care center and they are my favorite!

The next thing is I got to go on exchange with Elder Fisher this week! We have a lot of fun! We went to our favorite restaurant and ate there! We always eat there on exchange! It is kind of expensive but a ton of fun for us both! Then we went and learned Korean sign language because Elder Fish serves in the deaf branch and I am learning some sign language too so I can help fellowship deaf investigators! I am really good friends with one of their investigators and he is just the cutest nicest kid in the world and helps me practice my 수화 aka korean sign language! Haha it was a ton of fun! I don’t know much but I can say hi and compliment them! Haha and teach a tiny bit about the gospel! Haha it is a lot of fun though!

Now I want to talk about investigators for a second! Q our cute old man investigator is doing good! We went and visited him and he is just great! I love him a ton! We taught him the whole restoration and he received it really well! Also Rak Won Lee is doing soooooo great ! We saw so many miracles with him this week again! Let me tell you a little about the workplace and job market in korea though by telling you about Rak! So Rak got a job last week right? right, so that is a really good thing but it is a job in korea so it is crazy! He is working 84 hour work weeks right now, and he is commuting 30 hours a week, if you do the math, that shows that he barely has enough time to get a full night of sleep! I am not going to go into much more detail about his personal life but the salary compared to the work is ridiculous!  Yet, he is still meeting with us on his 1 day off a week! He is great! He wants to get baptized! This last week he had is baptismal interview on Saturday and he passed and we filled out his baptismal record! He is going to get baptized next week whenever he is off work! We are so excited for him! Please pray for him! He is one of my best friends! The last thing about investigators is yesterday we were out to talk to some people and we met a kid who seemed to be drunk or have some mental problems but we were nice and talked to him! He has lots of interest and wants to be baptized and knew a lot about our church! I gave him a baptismal date so we will see how that goes!

Well this week was really fantastic! We saw so many miracles and the hand of God is truly in this work! I can’t write all of the miracles in my email cause there are just so many that are so amazing! I truly can see the hand of the Lord sweeping through the nations and touching the lives of our investigators! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here in Korea serving a mission! I love this work and I love the gospel and I know that it is true! Have a great week, talk  to you next week and I love you all!

Love,

Elder Houston

beautiful korea

beautiful korea

bye to javier

bye to javier

Court sent me some fake glasses

Court sent me some fake glasses

IMG_0001 IMG_0006 IMG_0008 IMG_0011 IMG_0014 IMG_0017 IMG_0039 IMG_0036 IMG_0037

Bacon Chicken Man n cheese

Bacon Chicken Man n cheese

IMG_0040 IMG_0044 IMG_0045 Korea

P-Day with the homies

P-Day with the homies

Service with the Elderly

Service with the Elderly


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Christmas for Elder Houston

Hi Everyone,

This is Elder Houston’s mom.  As many of you know it is hard to find things to send to a missionary for Christmas.  Taylor really loves his mission and really doesn’t need or want anything of any monetary value, but I would still like him to have some kind of Christmas from home.  I thought the thing he would want most is letters and pictures from his friends and family.  I’m trying to keep this easy and simple for us all so here is the plan.

If you would be willing to help with this, please email me a quick note to Taylor and attach a picture or two if you would like.  I will print them all out on fun Christmas paper and include them in the package.  My plan is to have something from home for him to enjoy with a quick note from someone who loves him each day in December.  I need to get this sent to him very soon so it will arrive in time, so please try to get these notes to me by the end of this week.  I think it will make his last Christmas in the mission field a memorable one to have so many notes and words of encouragement from his loved ones back home.

Thanks in advance for all your help and love and support for Taylor!

My email in nhouston@erabrokers.com.

Thanks again,

Natalie


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Well Hello Family and Friends!

Well Hello Family and Friends! This week was another beautiful week in Korea full of blessings and miracles! It is just amazing the blessings and miracles we see on missions! What an honor it is to be on the front line of God’s army in such a perilous and treacherous time of the world! I love being a missionary! Let me tell you a little bit about my week!

Elder Lewis and I gave the message on Tuesday for English! I was nervous because I felt a lot more pressure in doing it! Buuut, it actually went fantastic! It was a lot of fun and very spiritual! We had a good time, and man was the gift of tongues present! Ever since I started training the gift of tongues just came through and hit me so fully! I guess I was made humble enough and reliant on the Lord enough to receive the blessing more fully!

This week investigator wise has been good! We first met with HanSang this week. We met and it was okay, but very frustrating. We teach him English and then the gospel and he is progressing but last time he was being very rude, he kept ignoring our gospel message and asking again about English! I almost got really mad. We teach free English which is crazy expensive here and all we ask is for 30 minutes to teach the gospel and fulfill our purpose and he was not giving that. Well I kept finding opportunities to turn to the gospel and after a lot of patience we had a decent lesson. But he didn’t ask any questions at all. Elder Lewis did a good job being brave in Korean! But then he asked Elder Jung the Korean Elder in our house a bunch of religious questions that he had that he didn’t ask us. I don’t know why he didn’t, maybe he thinks we can’t understand but it was a little frustrating for me cause he is a nice guy and does have potential to be changed through Christ’s atonement and have a happier life! Anyways… a huge miracle we saw this week is Rak Won Lee, the investigator of many miracles! I talked to him on the phone a few times during the week but then couldn’t get a hold of him at the end of the week. Well I had a great experience when I prayed and pleaded with Heavenly Father during church a little before Sacrament started to please help him to somehow get to church. I told him I have done all I can. Please.. and my prayer, was answered. God lives, he knows us and our hearts, and he does answer prayers after we have “done what we can.” Right as I said amen my phone buzzed in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw a text from Rak Won Lee who had seemingly again disappeared which said, “I am just getting on the subway I will be there in just a minute!” I accidentally made a funny noise and did a sitting happy dance in the middle of gospel principles class and almost cried! What a miracle! I quickly excused myself to the bathroom, (my new favorite place to commune with God) and thanked Heavenly Father for making up for my weaknesses, what I could not do! Soon I saw Rak Won Lee and he ran up the steps and told me how busy he has been and how he has missed me! I introduced him to Elder Lewis and he came in to sacrament and partook of the spirit there!  After he told Elder Fisher he is getting baptized soon and they planned to meet next Saturday for his interview! What a blessing and a powerful witness to me, that God is in control, without him I truly can do nothing! 

This week we also met with a member I called to practice teaching! He is so kind and was willing to help Elder Lewis practice! So we worked through the restoration! Elder Lewis is willing to work hard to improve and I love that about him, the two of us are pretty similar in a lot of ways! He practiced a lot and after we were done with the member we visited Javier to say goodbye because he is going to a new base in America! It was sad to say bye to him but I am so happy he will have a family of church members awaiting him in America! 

This week was great! My testimony has grown a ton as always! I have recently been pondering on the house of Israel and the promised Covenants to Abraham Isaac and Jacob(Israel). As I have pondered about that it just hit me how complete our gospel is. The Bible and it’s precepts are indeed essential to life and salvation but equally essential are the precepts that are found with the Book of Mormon. It completes everything including the prophecies of the gathering of Israel which I as a missionary am currently doing! The house of Israel has once again been established and is truly rolling forth on the earth! This work is the work of God, gentiles and Jews both are to be adopted back into the house of Israel or back into the covenant! God does deal with his people in these modern times just as he has in the past! I know how essential Jesus Christ is in order for us to be able to make it back to Heavenly Father! I truly know Jesus Christ is the savior, I know God lives and loves us and answers prayers! I know this gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston 

Service - Clean up duty

Service – Clean up duty

Clean up duty

Clean up duty

Clean up duty

Clean up duty

Green dinner for the "greenie" with Peregoy Family

Green dinner for the “greenie” with Peregoy Family

Javier

Javier

Magleby Family

Magleby Family

Magleyby Family

Magleyby Family

Selfie

Selfie

Pig intestine soup

Pig intestine soup

Rak Won Lee

Rak Won Lee


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Keeping Busy and Having Fun!

Hey everyone! You all sound like you are doing great! It is nice to hear from all of you! Thank you so much for emailing me! I hope you all had a very happy Halloween! 

Well this week was jammed pack with different things! We were super busy this week!

Some of the highlights was we had a few dinner appointments with American families! We ate with the Peregoys, the Craguns, and the Shamos! They were all great! I love all those families and they are always so good to all of us here in Korea! I am really grateful for there kindness to us, it is always uplifting to go visit their homes!

On Wednesday I had “Trainers” training and I learned a ton there and it was really great! All the trainers were such great guys and missionaries so I felt the pressure of the task but I also felt so good after we got our training from President! Then the next day we had transfers! I got met my new companion and “greeny” Elder Lewis! He is a good guy! He is from Boston and likes Golf, Hockey, Baseball and Lacross and stuff! He is a good kid and I am excited to be able to work with him! 

We met with a few investigators this week including Q our cute old man and HanSang! Both of them went really good! We gave HanSang a Baptismal date! It was great! We love them both and Elder Lewis did great in both lessons! I was impressed by his bravery! He is doing great!

Then on Saturday we had a ton of stuff! We had a Baptismal service for my good friend Javier at 8 am and that was great! He is a really good guy and was baptized by his friend on base! After that we rushed to the office and had a fireside with a guy named PJ Rogers! He is a really great guy! I learned a ton! He served here and is kind of famous in Korea and knows Korean culture super well and also knows the language super well! It is great and he gave us a lot of wonderful instruction! After that we had a giant ward activity! So we rushed back and we had a movie that we got permission from president to watch with the ward and it was fantastic! It was about when North Korea attacked a South Korean military boat in 2002 when the World cup was happening! It was a completely true story and heart breaking! I cried like a baby and it brought me so much closer to the Korean people! After that we had a magic show which was fun and then a music night which a professional oboe player who is a less active member came and played and it was unreal! It was a fun day! 

All in all this week was great! I am really exhausted cause this week was packed but I am really happy too! I have a testimony of the gospel! It can get us through anything and everything. I know that through the hardest times and the best of times the spirit guides us through this great adventure of life! I know with all my heart that there is a Prophet, and true mouthpiece of God on the earth today! I know that Thomas S. Monson is that prophet! I am grateful for all you guys do for me and I am grateful for this gospel! I know that it is true!

 Love,

Elder Houston

With my new companion Elder Lewis

With my new companion Elder Lewis

Yummy Food

Yummy Food

Yummy Dinner

Yummy Dinner