Elder Houston

The Worth of Seouls – Seoul Korea Mission


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Happy New Year

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, I know I did! This week was a great week of miracles and of tender mercies from God! I am so happy to be serving the Lord at this time! I was so happy to Skype my family and to hear from everyone today! I am going to jump right into my letter!

This week we got to meet with Doug our investigator and he is doing great! He took us out to eat and we met at his house and talked to him for a while! It was so great! He is a great guy and has a great heart! On Wednesday we had our Christmas conference and met at Presidents house and had a really good training and then a fun dinner! It was really fun!

On Christmas eve we ate at the Peregoy’s house and then we had Wangzhen’s baptismal interview and taught him and it went great! After meeting with him we went and met with the Murphy family and they were awesome as well! Both families gave us stockings of Christmas food! It was a Merry Christmas eve for us!

Then Christmas came and it was a great day of miracles! We had a Christmas party which kept us busy! We actually had two! We helped with the deaf branch party and then after that we prepared for Wangzhen’s baptism! Wangzhen,  a deaf investigator, and a member who turned 8 all got baptized! Wow what a Christmas present! We had a big turn out and Wangzhen bore a beautiful testimony of coming closer to God! It was a great baptism! Very stressful and so busy to try to make everything work but it all worked and it went great! Elder Lewis was able to baptize Wangzhen and it was really a great experience for everyone! Another huge miracle we saw was that morning I got a text from Rak Won Lee and he wanted to meet! He came to the baptism and everyone was thrilled to see him. He talked to the Bishop and missionaries and members and talked a lot about baptism. He is there, he will get baptized, it is just a matter of when! He had a great time and has a true desire to be baptized! He is a great guy and I was so happy to see him! After the baptism we had a Ward party! It was a lot of fun! We had a good turn out of less actives,  investigators, recent converts, and lots of members! It was a fun night and to end it, we did the nativity again! I was Joseph again! hahah It was a lot of fun!

Then on the 26th I went over to the Peregoys and skyped my family! It was so much fun! I loved it! It was easier than the calls and I liked it a lot better! I was so happy to see everyone! We talked and had a great time! And hanging up is always hard, but it wasn’t too bad because I hung up after the skype time was up and said bye to my family and then chatted with my family here in Korea, The Peregoys! She made us some delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and we ate and talked to them for a while after! It was so great, it was just like home! I love the Peregoys and I am so grateful for them! Then of coarse we had a busy but fun Sunday! Elder Fisher also left so now Elder Jung is our companion for a little while until he gets his visa! So we are in a threesome! It is pretty fun!

Well that about sums up the amazing week! I know with all my heart that God lives, Jesus is the Christ and Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers and showers us with tender mercies and blessings! I am grateful for the opportunity I have of serving here in Korea and serving the wonderful Korean people! I love this gospel I know that it is true! I especially know the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ, it can truly lift us past all heartache, push us past any pain, can lift us higher, and make us more. As we obey the commandments of God, we are filled with his love. I know this gospel is true!
Happy new year!!

Love,
Elder Houston

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Skyping with the fam

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First family pic in 18 months

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Wangzen’s Baptism

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Elder Fisher with Def investigator

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Christmas party

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Pills

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Wangzen’s Baptism

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Pills

 


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Christmas Season

Well this week was an interesting one for me! Hahah before we get into the letter I just want to say for my mom that I am doing well now and I am almost completely healthy again! Haha but I loved hearing from you all today and I am very grateful for all the Christmas love! This week was a fun one, and an interesting one! We should just jump right into it I think!

So this week I got to plan three zone activities working with the zone leaders and it was sooo stressful and I had a ton to do. Well I wasn’t feeling to good all week but at the beginning of the week I got most all of it taken care of but then Tuesday night before English I ran home and took my temperature cause I was not feeling good at all! Well I had a 102 fever and so I stayed home and tried to sleep it off but I was so hot it was hard! The next morning I woke up and felt a little better but still had my crazy cough that I have had since last Saturday. Well I felt pretty good and I had my first District Meeting to give so I took a few Advil and went to district meeting, I had a few cough attacks but made it, it went pretty good! District meeting was fun! We had a lot to discuss as a district and it was pretty great! After that I went on exchange with Elder Fisher cause he had a more relaxed schedule with his sign language class so I went to that and after went home and again had a fever, so I slept it off again but Thursday morning when I woke up I did not feel good, I got ready and then just collapsed on my bed and fell asleep! My comp came out a little later and made me take my temperature and I still had a fever so he called Sister Sonksen and Sister Cannon our mission nurse and they said I wasn’t to leave the house. So I stayed home and slept all day when I really wanted to go to the zone activity I had put so much planning into but I missed it, I felt so sick, that night i still had a fever and the next morning I still did, not as bad but still had one so my comp updated the Sonksens and the Cannons and I got sent to the hospital…. dang it! Haha well I went to the hospital and I got checked and turns out I have a respiratory infection! They got me some antibiotics to help keep the infection from spreading and to help kill it off and also a million other drugs, like allegra D, codiene, some gnarly tylenol, a couple random ones I don’t know the name of and yeah! So I went home and was bedded down the rest of the day friday and all of Saturday as well! haha it was pretty miserable cause I missed all three super fun and Christmas zone activities! But hey on the bright side saturday night i started to feel better and yesterday Sunday I did a full day of normal stressful missionary work and was fine! just had a little cough! So Momma Don’t Worry! I am Fine!!!!! Promise!!!!!

Haha so other news for the week is Wangzhen is still doing good! We met him and we are having his baptismal interview and baptism this week on Christmas day! We are really excited for him! It is going to be great! We had a good lesson with him Sunday and helped him a lot I think! He is doing really good! No update on Rak Won Lee yet!

Other than that this week didn’t have much more to it! I am grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary! I am so grateful for Jesus Christ my Lord and savior. I am grateful for this Chirstmas and my opportunity to serve and truly completely remember the true meaning of Christmas! There really is a special spirit of Christmas, try to pay attention to it because it really is the spirit of Christ! The joy we can find through the gospel is amazing and I am so happy to share it with others! I know God lives, he hears and answers our prayers, he is aware of all his children and he is always there for us no matter who we are, where we are, what we have done, or why, we can address him, he will accept us if we come to him and follow his son Jesus Christ! I know this gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston

 

image Some of the elders decided to do a fun family picture for Christmas ! 😂😂😂

 


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Bad Week for the Body but Great for the Seoul

Hey every body! It sounds like you are all doing good and Christmas break is coming up quick! The Christmas season is a great time of year! The good thing about the title of this email is it does make for a couple of hilarious stories! haha 

We will start this email with an explanation of why this week was “Bad for the Body.” Please feel free to laugh! So sometimes in the morning I wake up early and go to a community center gym close to our house with Elder Fisher. Well, one morning we got up to go and we always run on the way there. Well, some background about Korean sidewalks, they are all cobblestone and not very good cobblestone, kind of uneven and can easily grab your toe when walking. Well, I was running full speed on this sidewalk and I came around a turn and I got caught by and uneven cobblestone! And I mean really stuck! My big toe smashed it and I was going full speed so I went down hard first onto my knee and then rolled a few times…. nobody but elder fisher saw so that was good.   I have a big bruise on my knee now still and my toe kind of hurts still.  Okay next story, so later that week we got permission to go out after planning and run for just 10 minutes, it was my redeeming run….. so I thought. Well we were running and it was dark, really dark and we ran to Dongdaemun and on the way back we were hauling! Haha it was my redeeming run so I had to push it! So I was going really fast….. really fast….. and I went to step around a lady blocking my way and suddenly I got hit by a stinking freight train!! so I thought anyways! Well turns out in front of some parking lots they have that thing that lets you in and out, well the end is a big black rubber thing. The same black as darkness actually so virtually invisible if you are running fast and it is dark out! So Elder Fisher and I didn’t see it at all! Well yes I hit this inanimate object and I went flying! It completely took me off the ground, I hit the ground so hard I bounce right back up and turned to the lady who was screaming, said sorry, and took off running before people could stare. I honestly thought I broke my collar bone but I didn’t so no worries. I couldn’t move my left arm for a day or two and I have a pretty gnarly bone bruise on my collar bone and chest!!! Hahah and then to top of the week I got sick yesterday had a fever and had a really busy and stressful day so no time for rest! hahahaa Oh classic Elder Houston…. 

Okay now for the Great for the Soul (Seoul) (see what I did there) part! Well this week we went to the temple, the house of the Lord and wow I love that place! I had such a great experience once again! We also went to the war museum and learned about the Korean war which is sadly only a small part of American history courses but is actually a hhuuuuugggee part of American history as well! I got to learn of the amazing Korean people and what they went through and how far they have come!

Wangzhen is doing great! He is preparing for baptism and came to church! We met with Rak WonLee this week as well and we had a tough lesson about the sabbath day and keeping it holy and his job! We spoke with boldness and because we did so with love he accepted well, he committed to tell his boss he could not work on Sundays. I will call him soon and see how it went! And also on Sunday I had a million meetings! I had PEC meeting and worked a lot with coordinating between the ward and the missionaries and also because I am the new military base missionary as well I had some meetings on base and we are trying to work on some permission to get me to go to the South Mission for a Sunday soon and meet at the branch building there so the members could see me a little more and we could build a little better relationship! It was busy but man it was productive and kept my mind off of my fever so thank goodness for that! It was such a great week and I have learned a ton!

I am grateful for the opportunity to serve others!  The opportunity to learn and grow as well! I know that the gospel is true! I know I say it a lot, but I do. I have found so much happiness and truth in it. I have found so much happiness and comfort in times of trial knowing that I can live with my family forever, that I can be with them and see them all again! I know Christ came and suffered for everything we have felt! He came to the earth, and he performed the atonement! He is our savior, and he can comfort us in our deepest and most exquisite sorrows. I know he came to earth, I know through him, all can find relief. Because a savior is born…. All can find peace and happiness. I know this gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston

A Savior is BornMissionary WorkWar Museum 2War Museum 3War MuseumWar Museum 4

 


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Work of the Lord: Busy and Beautiful

Hey everybody! It sounds like you are all great! I am always happy to hear from you! I hope you are having an amazing Christmas season and remember the root of the word Christmas and the true meaning of Christmas! Well this week was great! We had a ton of stuff this week so I am just going to mention the main points as usual!

This week we had Zone meeting and learned about the Christmas Initiative! We are really excited about it because it is a great opportunity to teach people about Christ! It is kind of confusing and difficult because we are moving to a lot of online things for the initiative because the church is doing great stuff online and the online things about the church in Korea are struggling. The difficult part is we don’t have any online resources so we are having to figure out some special unique and fun ways to get videos and things out there to the people! It was a great initiative but wow Zone meeting went way to long!! But it was great! 

 This week we ate with the Peregoy’s and the Castro’s! They are both awesome families and are super nice! We have a lot of fun on base but it is a lot of work as well! Those to families are super awesome! The Castro’s son taught me chess, and then taught me how to lose in chess…… haha it was pretty great! We had a good time! We also had 12 week follow-up this week which is the first 12 weeks for a missionary or his “greenie” stage and it is the half way mark so we had a meeting with President and learned some good stuff! It was pretty great! 

Okay now a little about investigators! First is Rak Won Lee! He has had a rough week and hasn’t been able to be baptized! We are struggling to meet with him despite his efforts and ours. He will have to get interviewed again for baptism! He is great! keep him in your prayers please! Wangzhen is doing great! I taught him with Elder Jung this week and because Elder Jung speaks pretty good Chinese we were able to answer a lot of good questions! He is doing well and is progressing! We are excited for him! We also got a new investigator this week from base! He was a referral and his name is Doug Pasnik! He is such a great guy! We met him with the Patterson family and he is dating a member of the church pretty seriously so he is taking the lessons to learn! We met with him twice with the Patterson family and had some incredible lessons! He is such a great guy and friend and we are excited to keep meeting him! 

The member work in Korea is really picking up! At least I can see it a lot in our area! We have started to develop great relationships with the ward! We are having a lot of fun and seeing a lot of miracles and the ward seems to be generally strengthened! They are more warm to the missionaries now and there is a lot of good things  happening! I am great for the Lord’s hand in the work! I really really am grateful for trials. When we have trials we are humbled and rely on the Lord and when we rely on the Lord our weakness becomes our strength and we become greater than we were before! So trials and stress and opposition really make us become greater! I am grateful for so many blessings in my life! I am so grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and for the sweet babe who come humbly lying in a manger! I know this gospel is true!

 I love you all! Talk to you soon! 

 Love,

Elder Houston

*Side Note from Taylor’s Mom

I thought I would share another little bit of a conversation I had with Taylor.  He was a little stressed this week but very excited about all the exciting things happening:

…….. I have also been just crazy busy! Our hard work is paying off but we are packed! I am also the District Leader now so that was kind of stressful to take on because we have some older Elders in our district than me and I wasn’t really expecting it and there is a lot of stuff I have to do for that and I have been doing a lot of stuff on base as well and working with that branch! I am in the process of becoming the new base missionary as well! So I will be working a lot with our Korean ward and the one on base which is an English branch of Americans and has like 200 members and there is a lot of potential for it to be a really good resource! It is confusing though! So just a lot of stuff to take on and a lot of stuff and training too! It is all a ton of fun though! 

Elder Lewis & Elder Houston

Elder Lewis and Elder Houston

My District

My District

Snow in Korea 2

Snow in Korea

Snow in Korea

Snow in Korea

Elder Lewis did the yogurt challenge.... He lost... #barfed #unbeatable

Elder Lewis did the yogurt challenge…. He lost… #barfed #unbeatable

This is Coagulated cow blood.... I ate it.... Not ma fav!

This is Coagulated cow blood…. I ate it…. Not ma fav!

 


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겨울 도착했다 Winter has arrived

Well this week was a great one! Very cold but great! We got the first snow of the winter this week! Its snowed for two days this week but not a ton came down! On thanksgiving it snowed! I love the snow! Hahah But it was a great week full of fun and hard work and trials and miracles! Just he usual missionary life! 

First things first, I got my Christmas package in the mail! I was so happy and am excited for the Christmas season! The Peregoy’s kindly provided! They are super awesome and so kind to us! They always provide us with fun stuff and good food! 

Every Tuesday we do a service project at an old folks day care center. This week we went and had a super fun time! It was really cold and wintery and the season of Christmas was in my heart so I was happy to go! It was the funnest service ever! We played charades with them and had such a good time, and then we sang traditional Korean songs and had a good time! I love it and was so happy to go there! 

Our update for investigators… first of course is Rak Won Lee! We are so crazy close but his job is absolutely crazy! So demanding! He was ready to get baptized on Saturday but had to work all weekend! He worked 90 hours this week so he couldn’t get baptized! It was very sad and frustrating for me, but we are so supportive of him and he was sad and disappointed as well! He is so ready! All the people who know him and this situation are sad and so stuck! But we will help him, and figure out a way! Keep praying for him! He is so awesome! He said he will come to my wedding! Haha we are that close, he seriously might fly to America when I get married! I want him to have the gospel a part of the rest of his life so bad! Please pray for him! I also want to talk about a new investigator WangZhen from China! He is awesome! He came to church this Sunday and afterward we taught and gave him a Baptismal date! he is doing really well and progressing a ton! He hated the talk in church cause it was “boring” but he loved the atmosphere and people! The few people that speak Chinese said hi and talked to him and were so kind! It was really great! We are excited for him as well! 

For thanksgiving this week we actually got to go to an American family’s house and eat thanksgiving there! It was soooooooooo great! We had Wangzhen come and there was a lot of missionaries and members and investigators! It was great! We were so happy to be there and we ate some really delicious food! We are so grateful for the Tallot’s! They are awesome.

Lastly I wanted to share a cool and unique experience I had this week! This week Elder Fisher and I went on split and went to the Kraft families house! They are awesome and had done some work and had some referrals for us. Elder Fisher is leaving soon so I went with him because I know that family and will be working with them when he leaves. Sister Kraft is from Dominican Republic and Brother Kraft served in Boliva I believe. We went and turns out that 5 families came and were a part of the night! They were all Hispanic and almost all spoke good english! I of coarse busted out my few lines of Spanish! Haha it was great! haha but we taught a message in English at the beginning! It went great, we talked about God and Eternal families a lot! Well, the spirit was thick, I got to see how the people of Southern America are so prepared! Two families were really touched and talked to us after, one guy talked to me and told about his family and his kids and the struggles he was having to help them keep his Catholic values. He wanted to know more about us, and the family, and how to strengthen it. His wife was talking to brother Kraft about the gospel and another lady from a different family was talking to Elder Fisher and all attention was on us while we all talked with the families! It was amazing and we hope to be able to follow up soon and see if we can’t help them come unto Christ! It was a new experience! Nothing like that has ever happened to me or Elder Fisher! We came out of there on a cloud of happiness! It was so amazing! The world is small and all connected! It is amazing to see that hand of the Lord moving through all nations! 

 This week was amazing! We saw so many miracles and so many great things! I am so happy to be here on earth during this great and last dispensation helping to gather Israel! I love this work and I am so happy to be apart of it! I know that God truly lives, he loves each and every one of his children! He knows us and answers our prayers! I know Christ lives and loves us! Have a great week and I will talk to you again soon! 

Love,

Elder Houston