Friday, January 23, 2015

January 17th, 2015

Hello Again My most Wonderful! Family!

I absolutely Love hearing from you all! This is one of my favorite things is getting to hear from my most favorite people in the world!

Rochester is still Awesome! We had some exciting things happen this week! One was that our area boundaries changed! So instead of having the smallest Elder’s area in the mission our area pretty much doubled in size! So with that we got several of ASL's investigators to teach.  I am super excited about all that!

Something I love about being a missionary is being able to connect with people that I never would of imaged becoming friends with.  We get a lot of rejection, but there is something amazing about being a missionary and being able to meet with complete strangers just once and then by the time we leave I feel like we have a special bond of friendship-- that only could happen as a missionary! I love it! I believe that it is through this gospel that this is even possible. I love being able to share it each and every day! There truly is no better work!

We had a really cool lesson last Saturday. We meet with a Lady (Nancy) that is from Mexico in an awesome little coffee shop. I felt like I was in a movie, and the Hot Chocolate there was Divine!  It was really interesting how she came to meet with us! She was raised as a Catholic but while she was in Mexico she saw the temple there and thought it was nice.  She kind of set it aside in the back of her mind. Then later she visited Salt Lake City and had a tour of Temple Square and she thought it was nice. Then she came here for school and as she was at the bus stop she happened to meet two sister missionaries who shared with her the restoration! She told us how she never even thought of actually trying to find out for herself if another religion would be right for her. But now she wants to know and we get to be the ones to teach her! It blows my mind sometimes how many influences some people have before they are converted. We never know how or who we are affecting but people are watching and we just might be another step, for them, towards true conversion!

Ok so another crazy thing! We have been having a several theft problems at our church building. Two weeks ago Chantal, a resent convert to the church, had her coat stolen and then last week one of the ladies in the ward had her Car stolen! It is crazy! Sadly they still haven't been able to find it for them! So now last Sunday the bishop was emphasizing a lot about reporting any suspicions acts in the church and to keep an eye on everyone around ya! Crazy!

Also we ended up moving 3 different people between Saturday and Sunday! So that has been pretty fun I never realized how much missionaries help people move! That's something they should teach in the MTC!

Well I love you a ton!

Hurrah for Israel

te Amo

Elder Houghton

January 12th, 2015
Hola! To mí favorito familia!

It looks like you had a great time on your Cruise Mom and Dad, I will admit I was a little jealous when I saw you parasailing over the beautiful blue waters, I looked outside and saw snow and gray skies. But I am so glad you had good time! I hope it was your most wonderful birthday yet!

Happy Birthday Jenn! It is blowing my mind that your 17 already!

It has been another interesting week here in good old Rochester! Don't worry we have been surviving the cold. I am just super grateful that we have a car and that we don't have to bike around right now. 

Ok, so remember how back in Ogden how one time a missionary used a can to slam his finger but because he had it on a firm foundation (the Counter) it didn't hurt him, and then how I let him do it to me!  So I got to do that for the first time! We were having dinner with a less active family, that has feed the missionaries for a while now, but they don't really want to do anything with the church. Anyways I remembered that experience and told them about it-- and of course I had to give them the real experiences, so I quoted Helaman 5:12 and slammed my finger! It was Exhilarating! everyone in the room screamed.  I lifted the dented can and showed them that my finger came off conquer! That was my first time doing it since that first time in Ogden so I was freaking out a little on the inside. It went really well and I think I got the message across! :)

Ok so one of our investigators and members of our ward are Free Masons, and they have been filling us in a little on the social group and it is really interesting. We told Bill (our investigator) how Joseph Smith was a Mason, and he found it very interesting and wants to do a talk on Joseph Smith for one of his meetings. We then told him that we have a member who is a Mason and that we could bring him to the sites and see the real thing!  We are super excited about that!

This past week I have had 6 people ask us for money: three were super Drunk ( taught two of them the Restoration, probably won’t remember anything), and one of them Begged from us twice on different days! It breaks my heart to see these people and I just want to share with them this message that will help their lives.

Saturday I got to go to the Palmyra Temple!!! I was so excited it is the first time I have been able to go since I have gotten here! I shined my shoes, I Ironed my shirt, my pants and even my tie, I was that excited! and it was such a wonderful experience! We went with Bro. Kelley, a resent convert in our ward, to receive his endowment! There was such a wonderful feeling being there and being able to witness the fruits of this marvelous work. I was so excited for him! It was great! The Palmyra temple is really small but it is Beautiful! and one of the best parts is looking out of the window in the temple and seeing the Sacred Grove. It is a wonderful place to be and I am so happy I get to be here serving were it all started!

I am loving the NYRM!

This is the best work!

 Elder Todd Houghton

January 5th, 2015

Happy New Year!!!! My most wonderful family! I hope you all set some good attainable resolutions! 

Happy Birthday to the most incredible woman, My Mother! You are the best! I love you more than a Fat Kid loves Cake! 

Second thing this has been quite the week! I feel like 1/2 of the lessons we went to I could hardly understand what was being said, and it is quite the challenge but it is also kind of fun! Some examples are: Spanish lessons, Sign language lessons, lessons with someone with a super thick Jamaican accent! However, the Gift of Tongues-- or should I say ears, is real!  For example, I went on Exchanges this week to an ASL area, and we had three lessons that day that were in sign language, luckily Elder Longherst is really good at it so I could just talk and he would translate for me. I even got to say the prayer is sign language one of the times. :) Also on that exchange (remember how I told you we had a guy (Bugsy) who was "as drunk as a Skunk" came over on Christmas eve and told us how he wants to change his life and we got his info and everything.) ok, so we called him in the morning and he couldn't remember us, But he still wanted to change his life and so he invite us over to the homeless shelter that he Volunteers at so we could meet with him. It was Awesome! He introduced us to pretty much every one there! One lady said she had meet with missionaries before and told Elder Longherst to read her the 10 commandments! She wants the missionaries to come by her place! Kind of cool. Bugsy is such a nice guy. He gave us a tour of the building and then told us how he wants to change his life around. Just before we were about to leave he admitted to us how he was really nervous but happy that we were there. I felt weird that this 40 year old man was nervous to have two 19 year old boys meet with him, I know that there is something behind this name tag that others can see and feel and it is such a privilege to be one who gets to wear it on my chest. I am super excited to see where he goes!  There is something amazing about being able to connect with just random strangers and then be able to come to grow to love them! It real is amazing!

We have had lots of Spanish appointments as well his week. New Year’s Eve we went over to Brother Cruz’s family who were all none members, it was pretty fun, Puerto Rican food is so Good! But that night was short lived because we went to bed at 10:30 just like we do every night! It was kind of nice really. 

So right before we went to meet with Luis for his Baptismal interview, he told us that his wife really wasn't his wife and that they have been living together for the past 45 Years! So he knew that he would not be able to be baptized the next day.  He told us that he is going to use this time to prepare himself spiritually. So I just hope that his wife will be ok with them getting married! Luis then came to church on Sunday which made me super happy!

 Once again I can't believe that it is already 2015! This mission is flying by and it is freaking me out a little! I have learned so much since I have come out! It is wonderful to see the miracles happen each day and to be a part of it is a huge blessing! My testimony in the message we share each day has grown! I know this is true and love being able to share it! 

You guys are the best! 

Hurrah for Israel!

Happy New Year!