Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas 2014

Hello Ho Ho Houghtons! And everyone else!

Thank you all so much for the Christmas cards, gifts, stockings and for the wonderful chance to see my most favorite people in this world!  It has been such a wonderful Christmas week, one that I will remember for the rest of my life!

Christmas Eve was so much fun! We had our mission Christmas party! So all of the missionaries in our mission came.  We have such great elders and sisters here! We had a talent show which was great! Missionaries sang Christmas songs, played the piano/ violin, one sister in our district danced point,(I thought about you Rach) some did some missionary raps, others sang about orange juice, and Elder Walker did a Hoop dance-I was so proud! It was so much fun! I was so happy I got to see elder Walker again because he leaves on New Year's Eve, I am going to miss him a ton! ( he was my trainer BTW) Then we had a fun white elephant gift! We had all types of things from cheap family
dollar gifts to full TV's! :) while I was there I got to see Elder Gammon!!! This made me so happy but it blew my mind, I mean I was baptized on the same day as this kid-- we even talked about serving together when we were younger so yeah a little crazy. Not to mention having Elder Tomilson there.  We graduated together, we were in seminary together,and we went to mission prep classes together! It is kind of nice having a familiar face from home here in the mission! :) just awesome!

Celebrating their 9th birthday together best friends--Sean Gammon and Todd Houghton

Elder Sean Gammon
After the incredible party we then went caroling with a bunch of families from the ward.  We had a huge caravan going around and it was super warm like over 50 degrees! So all we needed was a light jacket.  We had the windows rolled down and everyone we saw on the street we wished/yelled a Merry Christmas to them! We went to several places like an old folks home and the lobbies of apartment buildings where some members lived, and after we sang all of us missionaries just dispersed and handed out a ton of those "He is The Gift" cards! I loved it so much and we ate a lot! Then after all that we had dinner with members. It was a full day!

Christmas morning I woke up and the Santa/postman came! Bearing packages,boxes and bags. We had the ASL elders come over in the morning to open all of our packages. I got to make breakfast for them as well. Mom you would be proud my cooking, just saying. It was so much fun, then I made some cookies that we could take to some of our investigators, and because of it one lady we have been trying meet with let us in! She was really impressed that even on Christmas we went out
trying to help people. So hopefully this will let us get in next time to teach her! We did that for awhile! Then I got to talk to you guys! And that made me so happy! It made you feel a lot closer! I just loved
it!  We spent the rest of the day at the Pulleys and had dinner with them.  We also got to watch one G rated movie! So we watched Monsters University! That felt weird. It was a great Christmas!

The next day elder and sister Ray- a senior couple from Becky and Dan's Ward in Kaysville came to do deep clean of our apartment! By the way they think the world of the Bryan family! Kind of a cool
connection and I still can't believe that the Bryan's are moving to Idaho! I am super excited for all of them! Idaho is going to love them! Anyways we did a deep clean from 11 to 5 and now our apartment
is super clean! It makes me super happy!

The rest of the week was great, we have a baptism set with Luis! So I am so excited for him!

I love you all and I love this work and I am so grateful for the chance to be here in the Lord's vineyard!

Love Elder Todd Houghton
Skyping with Elder Houghton!

The best part of Christmas :)
When you are in the service of your fellow men you are in the service of your God.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

December 22nd, 2014


Can You Believe it-- Christmas is in 4 days!!!! Crazy!
And The Thing I am most excited for is getting to see all of Your
beautiful faces! :)
Well lets see I am going to have to give a quick recap of the events
this week because I have to save some stories for Christmas! ;)

Well a missionary broke his nose last Monday while we were playing
basketball, that was exciting.

Tuesday we had the awesomest Spanish referral! His name is Luis!
We dropped by his place and he Let us in! (That is always surprising
as a missionary.) He is from the Dominican Republic and Apparently he
used to meet with missionaries there. He doesn't remember to much from
all  they taught except the Word of Wisdom which he is keeping!
So we got to teach him the Restoration and the Word of Wisdom! I still
don't understand anything being said but I am able to at least follow
along and get the base of where the conversation is at.  It is kind of
cool. Then he invited us back Friday! When we got there he was ready
for us. He changed his sweat shirt and beanie for a button up shirt and
combed his hair back. :) then he told us how he wants us to go through
every thing slow so that poco by poco,  little by little he can become
fully converted to this gospel! He wants to be converted! It made me
so happy! Then he came to church last Sunday as well! it was awesome!
We now have two Luis's coming to church and they are both Spanish
investigators! and they are both Solid! The other Luis has a baptismal
date set for the 3rd! :)

Last Friday we had an interesting dinner with a member, basically
during the ward Christmas party a less active lady that let's just
say has a some kind of disability.  She invited us over for dinner.
 She lives in an apartment building and on her front door was an interesting sign. 

We didn't know what to expect haha, We were happy to say she was 
really nice! She went all out and made turkey and something else that I didn't recognize. 
It was ok I just don't want to know how she made it.

Talk to you soon love you all!!
Elder Houghton

December 15, 2014

Hello Again From Rochester!

It really is Christmas time in the City Here! They have put up
Christmas lights and every Thing! (But it doesn't even Compare to
Temple Square, witch is super awesome that You got to go! I absolutely
love that place!
Also Thank you So much for all Birthday wishes and packages! It made
me so happy getting packages on my Birthday! Elder Scott even took me
to Moe's For lunch and I got me a delicious Quesadilla! It was
awesome! and a great day for missionary work! a miracles happened that
day as well. so Cassie is one of the people with a baptismal date, but
we just haven't been able to get in contact with her like at all! she
would cancel appointments then we couldn't even get ahold of her on
the Phone. So Tuesday the ASL elders went to Starbucks to do Online
Proselyting (we get one Hour online each day) But the WiFi wasn't
working so they went to the restaurant next dour were the Wifi worked
so as they were doing there thing one of the workers came over and
started to talk to them and basically testified that she knew that the
church was true and is the only correct church in front of like every
one there and that it was a sign that they were there! and Guess Who
that was! It was CASSIE! She then told them that she would call us
that night so we could come over! It was awesome! I love it when
things like this happen and they happen all the time!

Wednesday really was an Eye Opener, we got to go to One of our
investigators Grandson's funeral. I am pretty sure it was a Baptist
funeral and we were 2 of the 3 only White People there. It was
probably One of the most different, and depressing things I have ever
experienced in my life. For example they had an Organ, drums, and an
electric Guitar, and during the Opening prayer the lady progressively
got louder till the point of Yelling, the Guitar and organ was playing
along and people were Shouting out! "AMEN" and "PRAISE JESUS"! and that
was just the opening Prayer! During the opening Number It was Chaotic!
Lets just say there was a lot of Weeping, wailing and Gnashing of
teeth from the mother of the son who passed away, and everyone around
her was trying to comfort her! all during the song! it was so sad.
Also I don't think I have ever heard the Word "Amen" so much in my
life. It was a really interesting, and It makes me so grateful to have
this Gospel and for the Wonderful plan that Our Father has made for
us-- to be able to live with our loved ones again! That truly is one of
the greatest blessings. And then to hear what happened to Jonathan
broke my heart, life is so fragile and it so hard to hear that some
one I knew and graduated with and has now passed away. My thoughts and
prayers go with his family!

And Then Saturday we were at the church like all day! We went to a
baptism in the morning and then we had a went to a single adult ward
lunch talked to an investigator there! And then we went and set up for
the ward Christmas party! It seriously was one of the best ward
Christmas parties I have been too! It was gorgeous the food was
incredible we had over 250 people there many were friends that people
had invited! President France's came and Spoke and we had fabulous
musical numbers and then the best part was I got to be Santa's little
helper! Yes I was an Elf! You got to love what you get to do as a
missionary!!!!! I will have to get some pictures to show you cause it
was incredible! But that was basically my week!

Oh! This is transfers week! And Elder Scott and I are staying
companions! Which is crazy because he has been in this area for 6
months already! Haha the work is going really well here still! And I
am loving it!

Hurrah for Israel

Merry Christmas!

 Feliz Navidad

Making ginger bread houses
 Downtown Rochester

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

That's not the language they Taught me in the MTC. Dec. 1, 2014

Dearest family and beloved friends

I hope you all had a magnificent day of Thanksgiving because I did but
I will admit it felt really weird not being with you for it. This was
both mine and Elder Scott's first Thanksgiving one the mission field
and we both just felt a little weird about it but it was really good.
So Thursday morning we started by walking up early (like 6) and went
with the the ASL elders to play some basketball at the church---still
terrible at it. And after that the stake had a Turkey Bowl in 3'in. of
snow. We went and played with with them two hand touch of course.
But it was so much fun! I don't think I have played football since
last last Thanksgiving! It was kind of crazy how a whole year has past
by since then. After an awesome game in the snow! We got cleaned up.
Did our studies we watched the Joseph Smith movie! I was reminded how
lucky I am that I am literally only 20 minutes away from where it all

We then had dinner at the Pulley's, members from our ward, it was
my first time meeting them and they are a great family and dinner was
delicious!  Afterwards we got to play ping pong. It was a day to be
Thankful for! The the rest of the week we were busy doing a bunch of
missionary Work. We did Lots of contacting this week because 90% our
appointments canceled on us. We just get to meet tons of people it's

One of the great things of this mission is Facebook! I love looking
for things we can do for creative post! I still find it crazy that all
time I spent on Facebook was actually preparing me for this mission!:)
My favorite this week was making the #ShareThe Gift in the snow. It
took a lot of skill and directing but I think we reached perfection!

Missions really are great and no matter how much I miss all of you!
There is no place I would rather be than here! Sharing this wonderful
gift with everyone we meet! It is a great and marvelous work!

I love you all a ton!

Elder Todd Houghton