Elder Houston

The Worth of Seouls – Seoul Korea Mission


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Zone Training

Well I just got to skype my family which was sooo awesome! It was good to see everyone! And because of that I am going to send  a pretty short email! But it looks like everyone looks good! My family is doing good and I am very grateful for that and for them! 

This week there is not much to report except for we had zone training this week so Tuesday morning we woke up early and went to the office and were there almost all day getting trained and for the remaining few hours at the end of the day we prepared, and then the next day woke up early and planned and prepared and then we gave the training! We talked about planning effectively and executing with faith! It was pretty good! And then we met a few investigators and we have focused a lot on involving members so we had 5 lessons with members this week! So that was pretty good and they are helping with our investigators who have baptismal dates! One is named Jimmy and 2 are a Chinese couple and both are doing great! 

 This week was a great one! I really do know this gospel is true! I know that we can progress, all we have to do is choose to keep going. As we continue to act in faith that same faith increases! I know that God loves us, he wants us to succeed, Jesus Christ is our savior and I know that through him we can do all things and overcome all things! I know this gospel is true! 

 Love,

Elder Houston

I realized I forgot to post last weeks email so here it is…..

길음

Hey family it was good to here from you all! These last few weeks have been really good, no big activities or events so it has just been pure solid, hit the pavement missionary work and man it has been fun and we have seen tons of miracles!

I love this area! It has some great things happening right now! We met with several investigators including one who we gave a baptismal date so we have two now with a date! We also picked up two knew investigators who are at church and a few investigators came to church! We have been focusing on the key indicators and seen some huge miracles from that! Our investigator pool is increasing and we are seeing some cool things! We also have a couple inactive and less active families that are doing well and are progressing!

The part of my week that I want to share the most however comes form not my area, but my greenie area. I went on exchange to Jangwii this week. I was so excited, it was a great time, but also I saw a huge huge miracle. I really wanted to visit the Choi family that i used to visit, when I served in Jangwii! They are less active and had a really hard life, so we went, and we met the returned missionary son who has a testimony but is less active and won’t come to church! I had met him once before cause when I served in Jangwii he was doing military service so I only met him once! As we talked he wasn’t really having it, super nice kid and super fun, but he just said, “you guys don’t really know my situation, my family, you can’t understand” So I told him I had served in Jangwii a year and a half ago and I visited his Father and Mother and 2 little brothers every week for 6 months! I was very close with them and told him about there struggles with he was in the military. He was surprised by how much I remembered about the family but I really really loved that family and was really close to them! So he opened up a lot, he told me, of his families struggle for the last year and a half, I won’t go to details about their personal lives but it was heart breaking for me to hear…. by that point this 26 year old kid and I had something in korea known as “정Jung”! I can’t describe it in words, but it is just a feeling of trusting relationship and it is powerful in the korean culture, similar to love but different, I then asked why he doesn’t want to come to church and he said it was to hard, and gave a few reasons, but i testified and promised him that his life would be better if he came to church, he said he is fine with the telestial kingdom, he thinks he will be comfortable there, but I testified with all the my soul had, and he opened up a little, we called the Bishop and the Bishop talked with him on the phone and he said he would try to come back to church more, I told him to come talk with me and a member of gireum ward who is his friend, soon! The spirit was strong, he felt it, Elder Huckvale felt it, and i felt it. None of us could deny that spirit, I hope and pray for him and his family, but I was so amazed at God’s beautiful plan, to be an instrument in God’s hand, I hope I can truly help him in anyway I can to come back to church, despite the difficulties! I love him and I was happy to meet him and hear of his wonderful family again!

From this week and the experiences I have had I have learned a lot! I know that this church will bless our lives no matter what our situation, I know as we go to church and do the basics, the we will find more peace, even if it is hard at times, we can have our way, or we can have something better. That something better is God’s way! I truly know this gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston

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What a Wonderful Week

It is great to hear from you all! I am happy Novalee is home and all is well! And Nessa! 수고하셨어요! That is a little expression in Korean! It means, Good job, you worked hard! You are a great example to me Ness! This week was awesome and busy as usual! Elder Hong, Elder Ahn and I set some big goals and saw some big miracles! We were able to see a lot of cool things happen this week!

We were pretty busy teaching but we also had to finish up plans for the stake fireside.  I actually ended up singing with 4 other Elders a song called, “I love the Lord”, one of my favorites, it was really really spiritual for me, and a cool experience! It was a really hard song to sing though! But the fireside went well I think!

One of the goals we set this week was to teach more lessons and we saw some awesome results ending up teaching 21 lessons this week! We taught several investigators and we also taught 2 less active members who are doing great! We have a baptismal date now, a man who we went to his house, he is in a wheel chair, he is very poor, and is living completely alone! He has a really hard life, we try to bring a lot of light and hope into his life and he committed to a baptismal date but we have a long way to go before we get there! We love him and hope to be able to truly help him! He is a great man and we love him a lot! He is in his 70’s. We hope to get him to church really soon!

We also had an English class member come to church so I sat by him and talked with him all through church and invited him to take the lessons! He agreed and we taught him with a member and tried to give him a baptismal date but he didn’t exactly accept yet! He is really cool though but is soooooooooo hard to understand it is crazy! Haha but we are seeing a lot of cool miracles!

I have learned so much this week, like I do every week! This week I have learned a lot about retaining, about being full of God’s love and then keeping it, reading the Book of Mormon everyday, pondering, always thinking about God, thinking about important spiritual things! I know with all my heart that God lives, he loves each and everyone of us! And I know he always is with us, especially when we struggle, Heaven truly does cheer us on! I know Christ is the Savior! I testify of him! I know this gospel is true!

Love,

Elder Houston

 

We had some fun videos of Elder Houston this week that I would love to share:

Elder Houston’s Advice on How to be a Good Missionary (He did this as a favor for me for an activity we are doing for the youth in our ward)

Singing for a Stake Fireside  (A facebook friend from Korea sent this to me.  This is the song Taylor referred to in his email)

As Sister in Zion/Armies of Helaman (Korean Version) (Another beautiful song shared through facebook….I copies some of it for the advice video 🙂

 

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY MOM!  CAN’T WAIT FOR MOTHER’S DAY TO GET TO HEAR HIS VOICE AGAIN!  HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

 

 

 


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The Miracle of Roy

Hello family and friends! It was so good to hear form you this week! I am glad to hear Justin and Emily’s new little girl is doing good, she is in my prayers! And I can’t believe Abbey met Sister Bryan, or now..  Millie Bryan one of my homies from the mission!  That is really cool! It was really great to hear from all of you! 

This week was another amazing week! I am so grateful to be a missionary! I will start with saying that Monday night President invites us to his house because we were to busy to finish the last session of conference and we went… I loved conference all of it, it was absolutely amazing, I felt the spirit sooooooooo strong, but… I had asked several questions that were answered a little but not super directly. Then I listened to the last session, and Elder Holland stood up, and I thought that he looked me personally right in the eye and looked through my heart, and then spoke and addressed me. He addressed every question I had asked for conference! I was filled with peace as I reflected back to everything I had learned and wanted to apply and how I truly wanted to, “remember tomorrow, what I felt today”. It was amazing… it really was. I have a strong testimony of Thomas S. Monson as the prophet seer and revelator and the 12 apostles! I know they are called of God! 

This week we also met with several investigators and less actives and all went well! Not a lot to report as far as that goes, but we did have another powerful lesson with Brother Goe, a less active we have been working with. We also had a ward missionary activity/ping pong tournament that went really well. We had a few investigators there as a district who all had a great great time! It was really good.

 The last thing is the miracle of Roy. I don’t know if you remember but Roy was my investigator in Sindang. He was awesome, he is awesome! He is chinese and loves loves loves basketball, and he is fluent in korean and english and is so… normal. Just a nice normal guy who is so awesome! One of my best friends on my mission! He still calls me all the time to chat and I ask how he is.. well.. on Friday there was a music night in Sindang and he called and asked if I could come and meet with him and I could because my comp was singing in it. So I went, and met him before and one of my companions came with me and we went and ate before the music night and we got talking, he is so awesome! We talked about basketball of coarse and he gave me the updates on the NBA and what not, and because he was baptized just a month ago, I followed up on how he is doing… I soon found out that he is doing great….. Turns out, he is in Alma 50 in his Book of Mormon reading! We started talking about prophets and he loves alma and “alma Junior” or the younger because he says their stories are similar! But he said, his favorite prophet was King Mosiah because he transformed the government for God, transitioned everything form the kings to the judges… Hahahahaha he is so dang smart and is understanding amazingly! He told me of what he has been doing to not drink and keep the law of chastity and he is just amazing.  I asked him to help my other recent convert Wangzhen because he is struggling a bit and Roy said of course he would because it was part of his baptismal covenant! Hahaha oh man, he is doing so well and  he watched all of conference and highlighted President Uchtdorft’s talk and shared his favorite quote and he said I won’t ever go less active no matter how hard it gets.  He loves Elder Holland and President Monson! He is progressing and has changed his life a lot! It is amazing too see! 

I have a testimony of the blessings that come from living the gospel! It truly does bring a new light.  I know that Satan is real being set on destroying us and is sly and very cunning in his ways but I know that as we heed the counsel of Modern Prophets and apostles who direct the church through revelation from God and the chief Cornerstone Jesus Christ we will always be able to overcome and we will in the end be happy and have Eternal life! I know this gospel is true for myself! I love you all! Have a great week!  

 Love,

Elder Houston

Happy Missionaries

Happy Missionaries

Temple Day with Elder Hong

Temple Visit with Elder Hong

Work

Work

Yummy

Yummy


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Sanctified

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello everyone! I am so happy to have heard from all of you today! I am grateful for the opportunity to hear from my family and I am so happy to hear about Justin and Emily and new baby Novalee!! Congratulations! I am happy to hear Dad’s surgery was good and that everyone seems to be happy and healthy. 

You may have notice the subject of this email is sanctification.. Something I have put a lot of thought into and it is a great talk! I am trying to become a more completely sanctified missionary! It is something we are doing in our mission! And in order to do that we must have the center of our mind and hear on our mission! D&C 4;2 states, “therefore if ye embark in the service of God see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength” That is what we are trying to do! This last zone training we focused a lot on that! In order to do that we also had a rule change reducing our email time! So I will not have as much time to email people but, I am going to keep my mind centered on my mission and just merely share these cool experiences and my testimony with you! I am excited to become the best missionary I can be for these last months of my mission!

We had so many cool experiences and miracles this week! I wish I could share them all, I will share just a few starting with 

Revelation and preparation,

Zone training, we had a very spiritual time preparing and presenting zone training, we spend so much time of the preparation on our knees! I am grateful for prayer. We wanted to help our zone find and become better sanctified! So one of the commitments we gave was to do a 40 day fast. What this is, is we start with a day fast and think about and notice things that “poke” at he spirit in us and then right it down and make plans to stop or change action to become more sanctified by the spirit and more worthy of the spirit! We are doing this Forty day fast and it is one of the coolest things I have done on my mission. I can literally feel a mighty change of heart happening in me even more so then ever before! That leads to my next experience.

Mighty Change of Heart,

This general conference I went in with a very humble heart, and because of that, conference means so much more to me then it ever has. I was truly ready to have a change in my heart. Well as I listened, to the Prophet Thomas S. Monson and the first Quorum and the 12 apostles, the holy spirit gently rested upon me, and testified of the truthfulness once again of the reality of the living Prophet Thomas S. Monson and testified to me of their words. I was struck by the words of Elder Hales and Elder Bednar! I have such a great desire to pay attention to that spirit and use it more fully. I want to become sanctified through the Holy Spirit! I learned so much from conference and had such a burning desire in my heart to help all people! We also watched it with Brother Jang Young Soo and his family of four who we have been teaching for a while, and what a blessing that was. They are doing really really great! I continued to ponder on how to keep this mighty spirit that had rested upon at conference and that leads to my next experience..

 That is the spirit,

Yesterday, we had invited an investigating family to come to the music night in a neighboring area that Elder Hong would be performing in, so I went and waited for them, but they had to cancel. I was still so filled with the spirit of conference and was so deeply pondering as I listened to the choir practice. I said a short pray and told Heavenly Father, that I was trying to be completely a servant, and do what he wants me too, I told him we tried to get our investigators there that night but they could not come and asked him, I pleaded for him to help me to still be an effective tool in his hand that night at the music night. I may not have anyone coming but I asked him to help me recognize somebody who I could help. As I watched the wonderful production the spirit filled me more and more and more. And soon I looked at one of my dear friends, a missionary in the choir singing, and then, the spirit overwhelmed me and said, “Talk to him Elder Houston, tell him how bright his spirit is.” I was choked up and was so happy to see him singing with his heart about the Savior. Afterward, when things were starting to get cleaned up I pulled him aside gave him a big hug and with some emotion told him what the spirit told me to tell him.. I didn’t know why I did that, but now I do, that was the spirit. He proceeded to tell me with tear filled eyes about his day, and how hard it was, and he said, “Thank you Elder Houston, I needed to hear that.” I hugged him again and we went on cleaning. But as we did, I said a small pray again, and told the lord, “Thank you Lord, I needed to hear that too.”

I am Grateful for many things, but this week I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, for his son, our savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the restoration, I am so grateful for Thomas S. Monson, the true and living prophet who holds all the keys of the Priesthood,.I love him and sustain him along with all the Quorum of the 12 and general authorities! I am so, so deeply grateful for the Spirit, and how it works with us to bless others. I am so grateful that the spirit can work with each of us and as we listen to it, our own lives are blessed! I know with all my heart this church is true, and Christ’s only true church on the earth! I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Love,

Elder Houston


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Miracles

This week was so long for me! It feels to me like the last time we talked was forever ago! Hahah But it has been really busy and full of fun and exciting, and super full of miracles! I am so happy to have heard from you all and to hear how much you loved conference! I am so excited to hear conference next week! 

This week started good, we had a workshop where we learned about some skills to help our missionary work and it was pretty good! I didn’t feel very good at all at the workshop but it was okay! After I went on exchange and the exchange was good! We met with a super awesome guy and had a great lesson! We even gave him a baptismal date and taught him with a member who is one of my best friends! We met with a few other members and investigators this week and it all was pretty good. My companion Elder Hong saw some cool miracles! 

On Friday we did a street boarding activity and went to a college and did an activity we call “talk to a foreigner” It was sooooooooooooooo successful! We met so many cool people and I had 4 people text me before we even ended the activity and ask more about us and English class and things! It was really cool! I met so many nice kids there! I loved it cause I met Koreans and Chinese and Germans and so many different people from all around the world and just made tons of friends! I loved the activity and we are excited to try to get some new investigators from it! 

Just two days ago on Saturday Elder Hong and I saw some great miracles! We set a really solid plan and we went out to fulfill and went in faith, that morning we decided to study the Christlike attribute we needed to work on most and so we did and we were humble and ready to work. We went out and met 2 investigators and neither lesson really went anywhere, very short and brief and a little sad, but we headed to another appointment and on the way we decided to go a different way then usual because we felt that we should.  I decided I should stop and take a picture of the beautiful cherry blossoms! I did and as I did a cute family was walking by and the man said hello! I was surprised cause nobody in Korea says Hi to strangers! hahahahaha so I was so happy and I said hello back and we started talking… well he asked me were I was from and we started talking some. As we talked we came to find out that he knew Utah really well and then his wife piped in and said she had been to temple square and loved it….. Then he told me about his Best Friend in the world. He said when he was in middle school he met a Mormon missionary and they became great friends and he learned about our church and loved it but was never baptized.  Well the missionary went back to America and is in New Jersey but they are still in contact and they are great friends!! He said he loved our church and wanted his to cute little boys to learn English from us! Well I gave him my card and later that day I got a text, and he said his son asked who the big brother was that they met on the street and he said he will bring his family to meet with us again! It was so cool! They are such a great family! I am so excited to meet with them again! One of the coolest miracles I have seen on my mission! 

This week was just amazing! I have learned so much! I have really been rooted in the Book of Mormon and receiving revelation through it! I have been reading about Alma the Younger in the first chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon! I have learned so much about sacrificing worldly things for Godly things and the pride cycle! I have felt so much peace and strength through that amazing Book! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I am so excited to hear the voice of a Prophet of God this weekend! I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and I know that Thomas S. Monson is God’s prophet who lives on the earth today! I know that this gospel is true!

Elder Houston

cherry blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

flowers6flowers5flowers2

flowers4

Springtime in Gireum

flowers3Flowers

Great Filipino family!

Great Filipino Family

jangwii district

Jangwii District

jangwii district2

Jangwii District

 


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Back to Jangwii

This week was fun and full of great miracles and blessings! I was really happy to hear from all of you! I miss you all a lot and my prayers are always with you! I hope the weeks in the states are great and that you all are busy and happy happy! 

This week was great, we got to visit a few members and have some really good dinners with them and were able to talk a lot with them and we actually got a referral from one family and he came to church so that was a really cool huge miracle! We also got to meet a few of our other investigators and have really good lessons and experiences with them! 

On Wednesday we went to Jangwii’s district meeting and after I stayed there on exchange with Elder shepherd and it was a lot of fun! I loved being there and seeing my old area! I also called a few of my old investigators including one who remembered me really well and was so happy to hear from me and wanted to meet sometime soon! We were super excited and hopefully he starts to progress again like when I was there! It was a great exchange and the next  day we went back to my area and ate with the stake mission leader and then we had a great lesson with our investigators last night and I taught the restoration to our investigator! He is 10 and is awesome! When I taught the restoration and we talked about a modern prophet and I said Thomas S. Monson was the prophet today he was so surprised and excited! So he turned to his best friend who was teaching with us and asked, really? A prophet really exists?? And his friend said yes! And he turned to me and said where is he? I said in Utah… and he said, I need to go to Utah to see him!!! He was so excited and it was so awesome! Later his father came and we shared a short message with his father! 

I went on exchange again on Saturday and Sunday as well, and I was with Elder Policky and we taught several people together and we got one new investigator for our area and he was really cool, has a little bit weird beliefs but he believes the Book of Mormon is true… haha it is a long story but we have to explain a little more what that means to him! 

 All in all this week was really awesome! On Sunday night I got to see some of my friends from Sindang at a music night! This week I have stayed rooted on the atonement…thought about it, pondered it, the atonement does not only cover our sins, and the pains of those sins but it covers everything! Our, pains, sickness, infirmities, trials, and every difficult pain or sorrow we can feel! Jesus Christ truly knows how you feel.  He has felt every sorrow, every pain, every experience and he invites all to come unto him and find rest! I invite all to do the same! Have faith in that great saving grace provided by that atonement! Rely on him during your most difficult times and your darkest hours. He knows. He can and will provide comfort, peace and solace if we let him, I know he came, I know he atoned, I know he was crucified but rose to conquer the grave. I know that He lives! And because he lives we will all live again! I know this gospel is true, and I know that My Redeemer Lives.

Love,

Elder Houston 


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Easter Music Night

Hello family and friends!

I hope you all have had a great week in the states and stuff! I have had a great and busy week here in one of the busiest cities in the world! I am trying to keep my feet under me in the fast pace culture of Seoul Korea! But I am loving every second of it! Korean culture to me now is a lot the norm, and American culture is weird! It is a weird feeling! Haha anyways let’s get into the week.

 This week was really good, we visited with a few investigators and one of our investigators who is 73, we visited him at his work and he told us his wife got cancer and was in the hospital and he was pretty sad, and had great faith but was struggling, so we shared a verse from the book of Mormon and he loved it and it really opened his heart to the book of Mormon! Then we visited a member in a hospital and then we met with our grandma investigator’s family and we helped her make Buddhist’s flower things for the Buddhist temple! It was so awesome! After we did a fun activity and met lot’s of nice people! 

 Other than that most of the time was spent working on our Easter music night. We had to set up and test everything one day which took a while and then we did a run through/practice bringing everything together which took a really long time.  Elder Hong and I had to plan a zone activity to advertise and then figure out a method to get names and contact information which we did and made and also we made a huge poster to hang in front of the church! All activities were really time consuming and really stressful! Haha But in the midst of that we took off from one practice early and ran to the bus stop and then to our investigator’s house and we taught a family with a member present and it went really good! Things are good with this family and we are excited for them! Then on Sunday we had ward conference and then a big lunch after all together! It was really great! Then we had ward council and then the office Elders came and we started setting up everything for the music night.  Then……. in the midst of the craziness, the water in our church shut down so we had no water flow for bathrooms and water for the singers…. Dang it, so I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off figuring out why and making calls to building managers and Bishop’s and counselors and anyways ended up finding out what was wrong after we had to shut down the power during the final rehearsal! Hahahahah dang it, but about an hour before we had water again! Then I did mics and one of them broke during the production so I prayed and I’m pretty sure an angel held that mike stand up because I just let go and it stayed miraculously! And then a music stand got caught under a heater so I smashed my hand getting it out super fast so nobody would notice! Haha I was a “roady” and I didn’t know it could be so hard! But, the performance was great! Everybody that sang did great and the violin people and the piano people and a lot of people were impressed and loved it! So it was all good in the end! It was a pretty crazy week! 

But all in all this week was great and I learned a lot, one experience I learned from was, Elder Cable our new DL in my area asked me if I could attend his meeting and bear my testimony at the end.  I said yes, and so I prepared for it, and I learned a lot from the book of Mormon. I shared Mosiah 21 which seems like just a war chapter at first but God kept leading me back to reading and pondering about it, and I learned so much about the atonement of Jesus Christ. I learned how sometimes for us we have to get beaten and driven back several times before we will humble ourselves enough to partake of the atonement fully and completely! But when we are finally humble enough to completely rely on God, and ignore our desire to “go up to battle against the lamanites” whatever that may be, but when we do humble ourselves, even if the Lord is slow to answer our prayers because of our iniquities, he does, always, answer our prayers. I learned also that sometimes I rely to much on the arm of flesh, and not enough on Christ’s atonement. I was having a hard time cause I wasn’t humble enough, but then I was more humble and focused, and at the very end of the week, the congregation joined the choir for the last song of the music night and sang together in one voice, “I believe in Christ”. I thought, “I really do believe in Christ, I believe he came and he atoned, and because of that I am humble so that I may partake of that atonement. A sweet peace came over me and I felt so warm to know of my Savior and to be able to partake of that beautiful atonement! I know Jesus is the Christ, and that he came and atoned. I know because I have applied that atonement to overcome all things, I can truly say with all my heart, that, “I believe in Christ!” I know this gospel is true! 

 Love,

Elder Houston