Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hello from the beautiful state of New York!

 It has been absolutely amazing! It started out really cold last week but this week the weather here has been sunny, beautiful, and perfect for missionary work! All the trees are Changing color! I love it!

The people here are super nice, but also people here are very religious, or very busy. So trying to get in and teach people has been a little bit difficult, However, this week has been great. It almost seemed that every one and their dog wanted to talk to us! (of course with a few exceptions), Tuesday especially, pretty much every one we tried to see wanted to talk to us.  One example is that one Catholic lady we have been visiting finally let us into her home, she has been reading the Book of Mormon and she had us come in and address one of her concerns.  She wanted to know what happened to people who die who are not a Mormon.  It took us a minute but we were able to tell her about the Plan of Salvation and she said after that we could still be friends! 

One lady was quite impressed with us ( Cough Cough sniff sniff) and invited us to come speak of our "Religious Roots" at one of their Catholic prayer group things! We are super excited about it, I am also a little bit nervous about it, but that's normal I am a Greenie after all ;)! all I have to do is put my trust in the Lord and He will help me through it! 

I Got To Go On My First Sights Trip!!! WOOT WOOT! :) We got to Take Jeff  who has been kind of investigating the church for a while now. And it was great! We went to the Hill Cumorah and the Joseph Smith Farm and the Sacred Grove, and the Book of Mormon Publication Sight! I was reminded of how Great it is to serve where it all started! Missionaries all over the world testify of what happened at the sacred grove and I have it right here in my Mission!!! Jeff liked it, he is the kind of guy who likes to go see places and historical things so he enjoyed it a lot! 

Check out my Hoops!

This Sunday was the Primary Program! :) I don't think I have ever seen so many kids up on a stand before but it was very well done, and the best part was several of the members had invited friends to come see it! I never would have thought of it as a Missionary tool! It truly is wonderful to hear these Children of God Bearing Testimony of simple truths! and now we have an appointment to teach one lady this Wednesday

 Disna moved to Dubia this week :( but we got to see her and testify of how this gospel can bless her family. she said she wants to continue to learn and that she plans on going to church there! :) It is so hard to see such a Golden Investigator leave but I know God has a plan for her! the funny thing though was right after we said goodbye to Disna, Sister Campbell Took us over to meet some of her friends who are From Saudia Arabia! she invited them to church and they seemed some what interested! All it took was a simple invite, I think sister Campbell is one of the best missionaries here! 

I know I am a little short when it comes to details but I am trying to do Better! 
I love you all SO VERY MUCH 
You are the best! I loved the Package! There is nothing better than a taste of Idaho! 
Jenn You are a stud!!! Driving Sloppy Joe all over town, ! You have achieved very high honer of learning to Drive Sloppy Joe, may you drive him well, and tell him I love him and miss him! ALSO for beasting it up on stage! so Proud.
Rach keep it up! I can't believe all that you have gone through these past couple weeks I am very impressed, I am so sorry for the Loss of papa Campbell. That is no easy thing but way to keep on pushing through! 

Mom way to be! I wish I could of been There to see it! but I have a feeling I wouldn't have been invited to the Jane Austen  party thing. But way to be a missionary!
DAD YOUR A STUD! nuff said!

Elder Houghton 


Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Dearest Family!

I just love hearing from all of you! I get so excited for P-day, it's like Christmas just waiting on the stairs to come up and unwrap all of these awesome presents (letters). 

Rachel your making your big brother so Proud! That is a great accomplishment to drop time on a difficult course.Just keep it up and Shelley might have a new State Champion! ;) Jenn I am super excited about the play! Mom the young women couldn't ask for a better leader because your so amazing! Dad that car looks way luxurious but Sloppy Joe still has it beat! 

 The work here is progressing very well! We are really trying to work through the members because they are the key to success in missionary work. But missionary work can be a little bit terrifying, so we are taking the steps to help the members in our ward feel the fire of this work.  We have  gone to a bunch of members homes this week and we have been inviting them to pray for our investigators. It is working very well we are already feeling the power of prayer here for these children of God!

 I went on my first exchange this week with Elder Skinner! AAAANNDD His area is a biking area! My dream has been complete there is just something about biking as a missionary that I have looking forward to my whole life! We also discovered that we are related--sort of-- he had a Great Great grandpa Eborn the same as JT's Great something grandpa. it was kind of cool.

This last Sunday President Francis came and spoke to our ward! He is such a great guy, he can make anyone feel like a million bucks. and he inspired our ward to do missionary work!  I am super excited about that.
The mission life is absolutely great, and transfers are this next week time goes by way fast here like its unreasonable!
and also mom don't worry about us not getting fed here we have a dinner every night with a member for the next 2 weeks! :)
I love this work!
Hurrah for Israel

Elder Houghton
PS. I have an Ipad so I can receive messages just about everyday I just can't respond to them until Mondays!

PPS. Dad for the scripture D&C 4:4 is good but if its not to late I think I would prefer D&C 11:3 they are practically the same I just like this one better!

This was at our ward party! 1 mile run!

September 8, 2014

Hello again my Dear Family and Friends,

Time on a mission is really weird. I have been in the mission field roughly 4 weeks now and I feel like I have been here forever! I have gotten to meet and know hundreds of people here!  But then I also feel like I just barely left home! Its a little crazy!

I can't tell ya enough about how amazing it is here in the mission! They were not lying when they said that miracles happen on a daily basis. But they also were not lying when they said it wasn't easy!
Each morning elder walker and I go run and we see at least 5 to 10 deer.
We then study a TON! which is really good because I REALLY need it!

We then go and meet all types of people! I could almost compare the people I meet to the 7 dwarfs. Some are happy to see ya and talk to you! Some are like Doc and are all about science. Some are like Mopey ( I made this one up but it fits some people) they are ones that are depressed and we had a cool experience praying with one of them and she wants us to come back! :) some are Dopey such as a physic, a guy who said he was Jesus, and so on, and of course some are just plain old Grumpy you meet all types of people! 

Elder Walker and I have been doing a lot of Family History Tracking this last week because its a lot easier to start talking to people about family history.  One couple even let us in their home from it!  One of the doors we knocked on, we met D., we told her about Family history stuff and we started talking with her. She asked to hear about our message So we told her that there is a living prophet on the earth and that we can receive answers from the Book of Mormon. She then said " I have been waiting for you guys," she told us that way back in 1997 she made a large breakfast for some reason and didn't have any one to really share it with.  She prayed that she would have some one to share it with and lo and behold some missionaries knocked on her door. later her mother wasn't doing very well and they had to put her into a hospital which broke her heart to do that and she was really struggling. She was in the hospital hallway  when she saw those same elders and they helped her through that difficult time!

It was super cool! She is a religious person and invited us to one of her churches prayer circle.  I am excited to see where this goes!

Another lady came to church and brought her whole family .Her husband was a really nice guy and I think they enjoyed it! some of the Relief society sisters told us that when this sweet sister introduced herself to the Relief society that she basically bore her testimony! they are awesome! We can learn a great lesson from Sister Campbell ( This ladies Neighbor) she had invited her several times to go to church and she always said no, but after awhile she finally did  accept the offer and loved it!

 As members all we can do is invite, we never know who the Lord is preparing!
The Mission life is Great!
Hurrah For Israel!
Love you all SO MUCH!

Friday, September 5, 2014

September 1, 2014

Hello family!

Happy Labor Day!

Sounds like you guys have had an amazing week back at home! Rachel I am so proud of you! But your going to have to run like me so that when you finish you have to go to the hospital! ;) No I am just kidding don't do that!
And because of that all of the libraries are closed. :( so I couldn't get to a computer but I have an iPad so I can still write! Whoot Whoot! Dad I got your package but I can't use it till next week so the pictures will have to wait until next week.
Yes! I do have a Facebook it is a great way to quicken the work!
Feel free to have any one add me as a friend if you want to see a little more of what I Am doing here in New York! I just have to focus on missionary work!

This week has been another great week here in Amherst! I had my first zone meeting down in Buffalo this week! It was awesome to get to know a bunch of the elders here and Buffalo is huge! 
They have these huge church buildings that are just boarded up and out of use-- kind of crazy!
Elder walker-my trainer-is Great! We started running every morning which is amazing! I am just super lucky but not only that he is a great missionary, and he really teaches by the Spirit!

We are teaching this lady from Shri Lanka by India, and she is just golden! One of the members in our ward just started inviting her to church. She came and now she just wants to learn all about it! She has no religious back ground and English is her second language so teaching is a little different because we have to go to the basics. She is reading the Book of Mormon and she prayed at our last lesson It was so wonderful because she sincerely talked to God and that she wants to know and learn about this gospel! It was awesome! It's moments like that that just make the mission!

Also the lady that thought about committing suicide came to church and is doing great now. Some of the member are planing on helping her go to the temple again!

This work is amazing!
Hurrah for Israel!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August 25th, 2014

Hello family and friends,

 I absolutely love hearing from you all! The Temple looks AMAZING! I am a little jealous!
 I seriously don't think its fair that I only get one Hour to tell you EVERYTHING that has happened this past week! Because there is so much, so I will just have to narrow it down.

 Amherst New York is awesome! The weather here is beautiful! The ward is amazing! --and we get fed almost every night! It's fantastic!  The bad thing is that I think I am getting so spoiled at the beginning of my mission, that's not good because I will be comparing all of my areas to this one! oh well! The mission life is Good!  Elder Walker and I are finally getting to know people in the area! So that makes life much simpler! 

So we went to meet some of the potentials and less actives in one part of our area and we came to this big a apartment building that a less active sister lived in. We decided to go in and say hello! The hallways smelled of smoke and they were kind of dark. A nurse answered the door and said that now was not a good time! She, the nurse, was on the phone with the police.  We found out that the less active sister was planning on committing suicide! The atmosphere was just crazy! but then this sister, who was in one of those moving chairs, saw us and her eyes got all big and said "Wait! these guys are from my church!" The nurse let us in and we said a prayer with her to help invite the spirit. We then just had a wonderful discussion with her and I could really feel the Spirit. She told us several times how before she was going to kill herself but not anymore, she felt much better! 

I know that the Lord is watching over all of His children and He is there to help them in their most dire situations. I am so grateful to be a tool in the Lord's hands, because I know the Lord is directing us where to go, even if we don't know it! Just as we were about to leave, two police officer came by but we had already fixed the problem haha I loved it!

So many things are happening here! That was only one of the awesome miracles that I have seen here, but there are so many more!
I Love it here!
love you all!

PS. I will try to send pictures next week!
PPS. Rachel I am impressed with the 24 hour race! You take after me! ;) You will do great on your race! I am super excited for you! and Jenn Congrats on the making the Show-choir! You are going to beast it up on stage!