Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 13th, 2015

Hello my most wonderful family!

It never ceases to surprise me but I feel like I just barely wrote yesterday, and than I look back through my planner and see how much has happened since then-- and it is a lot!

Elder Gibby and I have been very busy this past week, because there is so much to do and yet so little time.  We know that time is running short for one of us, because transfers are this next week and we are pretty sure one of us is leaving  Bath. We are both just sprinting as hard as we can to do all that we can to help everyone that lives here! I have loved serving in this small town, and I have been able to meet and develop great relationships with many of the people here. I especially love going to the store because there is always someone that we know there that we can talk to! It has just been great!

On Wednesday night we have a Book of Mormon class that we go to and teach every other week. this week was Elder Jones turn to teach the lesson, and this class normally fills the rest of our evening. Well Sister Jones Called and told us that Elder Jones had gotten terribly sick all of a sudden and wasn't going to be able to teach the class so they just told us that they canceled the class for the evening. Now that our evening was open we were wondering what we were going to do when one of our investigators (Gary) called us and had a couple questions. He wanted us to go and meet with him. Not only him but he had invited a couple (Bob and Dorothy) that we met the first week we were in Bath and haven't been able to meet with them since. Gary has been investigating the Church for a long time now and loves missionaries, but we have been struggling to see what is holding him back and how much he believes. We have been reading through the Book of Mormon with Gary and so we had a nice Book of Mormon study with these people. It was one of the weirdest studies I have ever read. We read Alma 11 ( we skipped through the money verses) and at one point Gary had a question about what was said and I didn't know how to answer, then Bob explained it perfectly to Gary, then later Bob was being very skeptical about believing what it was saying, so Gary pretty much began to testify to him about the Book of Mormon! It was awesome! I pretty much could just sit back and let the spirit help them teach each other. It was probably one of the best lessons I have had with Gary! It wasn't until after that we realized that if Elder Jones Had not gotten sick then we wouldn't of had that great lesson. The Lord really works in mysterious ways!  

I also have been amazed at how the Lord seems to put us in places to help others when they are in their low or sometimes lowest places. We have been working with Valentina and she has a lot on her plate and when we went to go see her for our appointment she had completely forgotten that we were coming again because she had just had another crazy thing happen to her and her life.  We always seem to show up right when she in a very tough situation. I know that the lord knows what was going to happen and was able to have us drop by and help her in her time of need! I don't know how much she understood  from that lesson because she had kids running around and her dog was going crazy but I know that she felt something. It has just been a very interesting experience for me.

I sure hope all is well in that part of Zion! Because we are seeing great things happening here! I love you all so much!

Hurrah For Israel! 

Elder Houghton!


This is the Edge of our Mission Boundaries!

P.s. I loved the Easter package! I felt like I was right at home!
P.P.s Elder Browning Is home! What??? that Blows my mind! I wish I could of been there to here the great report!

April 6th, 2015 Easter

Hello all!

This week has been one full week of Miracles and strange weather! And also I hope you all loved General Conference as much as I did! I am so Grateful that we have a living Prophets and apostle that speck to us plus the technology to take it all over the world! I felt very close to you thinking that we were watching the same thing at the same time! It was way awesome!

Earlier this week I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Clinger in Penn Yen! Elder Clinger is actually Jacob Clinger's cousin and he is from Idaho Falls. He is a great missionary, Penn Yen is a really cool small town by the Finger lakes and has a large population of Mennonites and Amish so it is common to see horses and buggies riding down the road, it is a really fun small town. 

Also in the elder's apartment they have four Elders, it felt so much like "The Best Two Years", I loved it. Once we got out we had miracles happen one after the other, We were Going to have an appointment with an investigator in another small town about 15 miles away so we got there and he called and canceled on us. so we had the whole evening to just go contacting. The very first person we saw was walking to the store with a huge bag of beer cans, we asked if we could show him a short video on Easter. (the Because He Lives Video!!! I love it so much! I literally have watched it over 20 times this week!) He told us we could come over to his place and show him in about an hour, so one hour later we knocked on his door and he let us right in. We got to show him the video and he really liked it and then he just began to open up to us about how confused he was. He literally was asking us the questions of the Soul, the "where did I come from? What is the purpose to life? and Where am I going? Then he told us to Enlighten him. We were very happy to oblige but We were both so surprised at how prepared this man was for our message and how willing he was to hear it. We taught him the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon to read.  It was probably one of the weirdest lessons I have ever given. There really are people prepared to hear this message.  The rest of that day was just as great. The Lord knows whats up! He helps us with this work!

We Had another really sweet miracle happen the next day! We got in contact with Valentina again and we had a crazy lesson with her. Let's just say that she has had it very rough and when got there, she was struggling a lot with the many things that she had going on, We simply just listened to her and after we offered her a priesthood blessing. It was intense and the spirit was so strong! I know that there is reason that we found her when we did because she is ready and this Gospel can help her through her trials.

Friday It got up to 65 degrees!!! it was so nice! We had on our shorts sleeves and everything it felt so so good! it seemed like every one came out of there houses as well! I didn't realize how many people actually live here! Then on Saturday it snowed. . . Sunday morning we had a good 2 inches of snow, We had a White Easter! before The Sunday morning session We actually were invited by one of our investigators to go to his service in the Episcopal church, it was a very interesting experience, they had a Huge Assembly Hall with tons of beautiful stain glass, and massive Anglican style pillars, they had candles and incense, it really was interesting and quite nice, but an interesting thing is they never mentioned the atonement, It was good to see what many people actually see and do for an Easter service. But the coolest thing was once that was all over and we went back to the church to watch conference in our nice little, simple chapel, we could feel a huge difference in the spirit the second we walked in to the chapel.

I don't know what was my favorite talk because they were also good! We got to watch it at the church, all by our selves, so that was interesting! but I love the themes  to General Conference. One that I loved was the one on Families and what we can do to strengthen them! How Grateful I am to have such a great Family!! One that I get to be with Forever! I also love how much they talked on the Atonement and how through Christ we can be made Whole! I just loved it all so much! 

Love you all!

Keep on trying!

Hear the music!

Church is true!

 Elder Todd Houghton

 We never have to worry about getting lost with this. . . as long as we are obedient! 

 The Bunny. the Bunny . 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

March 30th 2015

Hello my dear family! 

Once again it is that time to let you know how incredible Bath New York is!  Needless to say it is awesome! 

We have been super busy! This week and we are seeing miracles happen! Tuesday was one of the weirdest days so far of my mission. It was actually warm, and I think this warmer weather is warming the hearts of the people we are meeting with on the streets or by tracting! We met 4 potential investigators which is a lot compared to the rest of the winter! One we met tracting was kind of abrasive at first, but we boldly testified of why we were here and that we knew this Gospel to be true. He then opened up and was a super nice guy. He talked to us for thirty minutes and invited us to come back anytime! ( I was like—wait- what? He asked us to come back?!) :)

I learned something really cool this week as well! I am serving in the Cradle of aviation! We went to the Curtis museum by Hammondsport.  I did not realize that where I am serving is where aviation took off! Grandpa Houghton you would of loved the museum-- just saying! I also don't think it a coincidence that it is only an hour away from the Cradle of the Restoration!

We got to go back to Mark's, (he is the dairy farmer). We went and did some service over there which was just awesome! I got to hand feed a calf! It was pretty sweet! They love that Elder Gibby is a pig farmer and connected really well with him! Then they asked what I did before the mission. When they found out that we sell mermaid tails they just laughed and laughed they thought that was one of the coolest and weirdest things! 

We had Zone Conference this week as well, it was at the Palmyra stake center, which is situated about 1/2 a mile from the Sacred Grove! Yeah, I have the coolest mission in the world! At the conference they introduced to us the Easter initiative! the #becausehelives. We have probably  now watched that video about 25 times! After zone conference we dropped by the Granden Press building. Thursday was 185th anniversary since the Book of Mormon was published!  Then even after all of that we went to the temple to do a session! We were on a spiritual high that day! I loved it! It still blows my mind that I get to have the sacred privilege of serving here! 

One thing is that I find it very difficult to write some the my experiences from this week. We have had some very special experiences with one of our investigators and one of our members, where they really opened up to us. I don't think I can write what happened  during those lessons but I will say that the Spirit was very strong, and my eyes where opened again. I was touched by how much trust some of these people have in us. I mean we are only two 18, 19 year olds, and we are seeing people that are much older than us, who seek to find guidance through us. I say "through" because I know that it is not me that these people are learning from but it is through the Power of the Holy Ghost that is touching these people.It is just a very sacred experience for me to be a part of it.
Love the Badge! 
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Houghton
 1. The work will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent!
 2. America!
 3.Home sweet home!

March 23rd 2015

Hello Family!
Life is like (Bath New York weather) you never know what you’re going to get!  We wake up each morning and there is snow on the ground in a couple hours, the sun is out and it’s warm and then it’s raining… then warm then it’s cold again!  It’s definitely been keeping us on our toes! However, despite our odd weather Bath Is On FIRE!!! :) I love seeing this area turn around!

Tuesday all of our appointments cancelled on us, so Elder Gibby said we should go tracting up in Pratsburg which is a small town we missionaries haven't touched in a long time. So we went, and it was awesome, not very many people were actually interested but we got to talk to quite a few and plant some seeds. Then before we left we decided to knock on at least one more house, and what happened? A mother answered and asked if we were J.W.'s-- we told her we weren't - which she seemed relieved about. Then she asked what was the difference between us and Christians! We were happy to relate the restoration of the fullness of the gospel to her.  She then told us she wanted us to come back so she can learn more! :) There is something about the last door because I believe the Lord loves photo finishes. We just have to be willing to push forward to the end so we can see the blessings of enduring! Mosiah 4:27

OK, so on Wednesday we went to pick up one of the members to go on splits with us at this dairy farm where this member volunteers to help his neighbor out about each day.  While we were there he introduced us to Mark who is a hard working Dairy farmer, and one thing about Elder Gibby-- he is a Pig Farmer!!! So he could really connect with Mark, they just got to talk all about Farm stuff!  I got to say I was around a lot of potato farmers… but mostly I felt like it was a field trip seeing all these cows and animals!  I loved it.  Mark was super open to having us come back and sharing our message with him!  We are excited to go preach to him and his cows! :)

Thursday we had to do some training on our new iPad  which are really nice!  Thanks Mom thanks Dad!  During this training they mostly talked about how we as missionaries should more effectively use the tools we have. So in one of the videos it shows missionaries in action teaching and following the Spirit, and they bought up a talk that Jeffery R. Holland gave April of 2008 called “My words never cease”.  It is an excellent talk.  He explains what the last verse in Revelations was actually saying – the importance for Prophets and the importance of always needing continuing revelation!  We thought this would be really good for Ron, so we went there and asked if he had any concerns about what we have been teaching him.  First thing he says is how he is still confused about the last words of Revelations!  We were like "well we are glad you asked, this is exactly what we wanted to share with you!”  It was exactly what he needed at that time!

One of the high lights of this week was being able to sing with Brother Hopper in sacrament meeting!  I think it sounded good!  We were pretty happy about that, and one of our investigators came and really like it as well!

Miracles are happening daily here and it is a privilege to be a part of it!  You are wonderful I love you all!

Hurrah For Israel!

Elder Houghton!