Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 22, 2015

Hello once again my most fantastic family! 

Happy Father's Day my old man! This is for my old gaffer! I don't know where I would be without you! 

As always we had a really busy and fast week full of the good stuff! 
We started the week with zone conference which is always fantastic! We had a the great opportunity to do a training on the Book of Mormon! Our mission has set the goal to flood 1000 Book of Mormons in 3 months! And then each zone has set their own personal goals and the total is 5000 Book of Mormon! So this past week the Book of Mormon has been at the fore front of my mind as we have gone contacting or working with our investigators, I have been focusing on the converting power of the Book of Mormon! Because the Book of Mormon and the Spirit are our most powerful tools in conversion! So with the flooding of the mission our mission is reading through the Book of Mormon in 43 days! So we are just Embracing the Book Of Mormon and I love it!

We were also trained on using Pageant effectively! We are so spoiled in this mission! We have some of the coolest things in this mission! I sometimes have to remind myself where I am and how significant this place is and the wonderful things that have happened here! Pageant is coming up really soon and it is a perfect lead into the Book of Mormon! So far things have just gone so well and we have been able to give out 7 Book of Mormons! I seriously love the Book of Mormon it holds everything together and helps makes everything make sense! It's Fantastic! 

Also at zone conference we won the gold plates! We had the cleanest car in the zone so we won the gold plates! I will attach a picture! :)

We, after one of our first exchange this week, got to do exchanges back in Palmyra, but the other elders we were exchanging back with were late so we got to go walk in the Sacred grove while we waited! It was awesome!

We also exchanged with the AP's this week and that was a miracle exchange! They are in the young single adult branch, so their area covers all of Rochester and Palmyra! We got to go contact people in my old area in downtown Rochester! It was so fun getting to go back to an old area! We met some really cool young adults. It was a great experience!

Sunday we had a sweet couple, brother and sister Wilson from Oregon, come and visit at church. We started talking to them and they asked where I was from. I said Shelley Idaho! They immediately lit up! They lived there 3 or 2 years ago! They started listing some names that could relate to and they mentioned the Cather's, who are pretty much our neighbors! Brother Wilson is sister Cather’s brother! It was really cool seeing them. It made me feel a lot closer to home. And then the other weird part is there was another family that was visiting and guess where they were from!!! ---Ogden! The two visitors that came were from my two homes! It was pretty cool!
That night we had a musical devotional at the Palmyra stake center! We had musical numbers from people from all over the stake from solo's, guitar solos, amazing piano arrangements, a piano saxophone duet ( that was our ward mission leader he is incredible) an Acapella men's choir ( I was in that one) and they had all the missionaries in the stake sing “I am a Child of God!" It was Powerful!  All in all it was a powerful devotional full of the Spirit! 

So good things are happening here in the Pitts!
I sure love you all! 

Elder Todd Houghton 

Ps. Happy Father's Day father! Your seriously are the most studdliest stud muffins I will ever Know! I am so grateful for your example! But dad really you are the best dad any son could hope for. You are the, The number 1, the hope diamond, the whole slice of pizza, the chosen one, my old gaffer, Mai's  maravilhoso,  The real deal,The one that's got the moves, the host with the most, and much more! I love you dad!

PPs, Also I am glad that Amber is ok; she will definitely will be in my thoughts and prayers! She has to feel good because they have a big move coming up! New Hampshire is a waiting!

June 15, 2015 "Please Bless That Man that He may Call"-- Best Two Years

Hello familia!

We have had such a crazy miracle week full of miracles! (Can you imagine that?) as I look back at what has happened this past week I kind of get this weird feeling inside that makes me just want to start jumping up and down like a little kid on a sugar high holding a massive chocolate bar. That's how I feel looking back on this week.
Let me explain. . .No there is too much let me sum up! (Princess Bride reference btw)

First one! So there is this on lady that has been investigating the church for a long time she started out in Victor was taught by the sisters there for a while, then she moved to Canidagua, and was taught be the sisters there for a while, then she moved again into our area! She moved to our area in March and we have been trying to set an appointment with her. Well appointments have been canceled every way you can imagine, because she was always too busy.  We set an appointment with her for this week, and then we prayed and a prayed that it would hold! And it did! We had a great lesson with her, and got to read the Book of Mormon with her .She told us that she loves the Book of Mormon and has seen it really help her in her life. So it's a pretty good start. We committed her to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it, and we all know what happens if she will do that! ;) It was a miracle!

Second one so I don't know if you remember but from my last letter i might of talked about this a little, but not this past Saturday but the last we met this awesome family on the canal we talked to them about the Book of Mormon, and they were golden! We gave them a Book of Mormon and everything the seemed super interested and then when we asked for their information so we could set an appointment. Instead they asked for our email, saying they would contact us. :( and pretty much nobody gets back to us. But we left them saying there was a still a chance! . .) Well Tuesday morning we were at the library putting training together when we see an email! And it's from him.--This is what it said!

Hello Elder Houghton & Garland,

I am not sure if you remember me.  We met on Saturday morning walking along the canal in Pittsford.  I was walking with my wife and daughter.  I enjoyed meeting you.  I feel in this day and age people rarely even say hello to each other in passing.  We either have our faces staring at our phones or our pride causes us not to speak to complete strangers.  I have been challenged by this myself and found it refreshing to take time to talk with you and Elder Garland that day.  I would love to catch up with you for lunch if you are available this week.  I live in Fairport and work in Greece so I pretty much cover the entire city.  We could grab breakfast as well.  Please let me know what works best for you. I am reading through the Book of Mormon you graciously gave me and would love to discuss that as well but most importantly I think it would be nice to extend some Rochester hospitality to some visitors.
 Talk to you soon.

We were so stoked! Literally answered some prayers! Remember that sugar high?! Yes, that was pretty much me the rest of the day! So we went and met with him last Friday for lunch. It was awesome! We had a great discussion. He had already read about 100 pages for the Book of Mormon. It was really good and the best part is he has committed to read and pray about it and he wants to keep in contact! It was super exciting! Such a miracle!

Third one! Elder Garland and I have also been really trying to exercise our faith. So at the beginning of the month we decided we were going to set a date for someone to be baptized and that we would find teach and baptize someone, by July 11th! We have been praying and fasting a lot to find someone who would be ready to be baptized. We have been working really hard to find people to teach. And then on Friday we were at the mission office and Sister Kennedy( she is part of the mission office staff she is from the Bronx, so funny)  well she told us that one of her friends has been coming to church for the past couple of months and said that she was thinking about baptism! So on Sunday for Sunday school we got to meet up with her. Her name is sherry. She asked what she has to do to be baptized. So we told her about the discussion and also went through the baptismal interview questions. We then taught the restoration and we set a baptismal date for July 11! My mind was blown! We are so excited for her and plan to meet with her again on Wednesday! It was such a miracle!

Thank you so much for all the prayers, I really have been feeling them this week, and have been seeing the power behind them! It such a privilege to see the hand of the Lord in the work!
I sure love you all! 
Miracles happen on a daily basis!
Elder Houghton
Playing golf for P-day

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

JUNE 8TH 2015

My dear family and friends,

I am much pleased with this grand opportunity to write once again to thee! And my soul has been filled with great joy at the tidings that I have received from the land out west. Truly there is no greater gift then should a man lay down an email for his fellow man.

So really this week has just flown by. I look back on this week and I feel like everything has just happened so fast that I can hardly even remember what we did. In the manner of a few words. I guess you could say, I have been about my Father’s business. 

Just like you, we have had a lot of rain here. And when it rains it pores! We were outside for literally less than 30 seconds and every inch of us was soaked! It has just been a blast!

Elder Garland has had a full recovery thank goodness! So we have had a busy week full of walking around, and just talking to every one! And the Lord is definitely helping us begin to find the prepared in this area! The only hard thing is most of the prepared don't quite realize how awesome what we are giving them is. The hard thing is they tell us they will call us when they have a question. many of my prayers have been much like the best two years. “Please bless that man that he may call.  . .”  But we are still waiting as of right now.

We had a fun experience on Friday, so we have been going around to different churches looking for opportunities to serve. So we were walking around and past a church and there were a couple people out front so we asked if there was any service opportunities we could help with. And they said that they were setting up for a funeral. So we just jumped right  in! It felt so good to follow Ammon's example, because we saw it really soften the hearts of the people there. Everyone was so appreciative and thankful for us being able to help out. Then we were able to come back to help take it down! It was just great opportunity to meet many new people, and planting seeds. 

We sure love you family! Great things beginning to happen here! 
Love Elder Houghton


June 1st 2015

Hello once again from the Pitts!

We have had a very interesting week this week! It started with poor
elder Garland throwing up, and then consisted with him unable to leave
the apartment. . . Needless to say I got some good studies in. But
then we discovered that the other elders in our district were in a
similar situation.  One elder had hurt himself and was unable to really
move so we decided to take the two sicky's and put them together. Then we were able to actually do some work!
That was a tender mercy Cuz Being stuck in an apartment is no fun at

Luckily (another tender mercy) E. Garland got feeling better by Friday
because we had zone meeting that day. Plus we were going to have it at
the Sacred Grove so that morning we decided that we were going to do
our studies there. We got there about 8:00, and got to walk around
that sacred grove in the morning, it was beautiful and there is such a
great spirit there. I don't even know how best to describe it but it
really dawned on us how that great event that happened there so many years
ago, has had such a huge impact on my life. I thought back to the
picture that is hanging up in grandpa and grandma Browning's downstairs
bathroom of the Sacred Gove that said " the events that happened here
changed the world, let it change your life." I remember seeing that
and just thinking how much I wanted to be able to go there. And now
here I am really seeing how it has changed my life! It was just really

The weather that day could not have been better and the meeting
was great! We had a fun part that we played in the meeting.  For
part of our training we decided to reenact the story in Alma 46 of
captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty. We played the part where he
motivates the people to gather together in defense of their freedom
and they came and rent their garments and cast it at the feet of
Moroni. Well we used that as part of the training and it was awesome,
we made a title of liberty that had our purpose on it and after the story
 we gave each person a tie ( elder Garland had a lot of old  ties)
and we had them rent their ties after putting their goals of what they wanted to become on them. It was kind of fun her is a picture of us doing it! It was a cool experience! Also our district is the flower power district, thus the pink flower! :)

March 25, 2015

Hello my family!

Sorry this is a little later than normal! We have had a busy day!
We got to go to a ward picnic today for Memorial Day, which was really
fun, one of the members of the high council came up and role played
with us as if he was an investigator, I already new he was a member
but we went with the flow! Then we came to the church and we played
volleyball with all the elders, it was a ton of fun, and now I have
some time to sit and right all of y'all!

We have had a busy week where we really have seen miracles happen.

Most of our week has been a mix of walking around trying to talk to
people, and also working with the members. So we have just been really

My craziest day where we saw a lot of miracles was on Saturday. We
went on exchanges with the AP's and of course, I got to stay in the
area, and of course our day was completely open.  We set our plans
to go contacting on the canal near our apartment. And we also wanted to drop by and
visit some investigators that we haven't been able to meet with since
I have been here.

We began by walking across the bridge to go  to the canal.  We looked over and we saw hundreds of people walking around over there, apparently there was a huge  regatta that was going on!  It is one of those boat races where they have like 4, 6, or 8
people rowing their boats.  Apparently it's pretty big over here! We
went and talked to as many people as we could and it was just crazy!
That day we gave out three Book of Mormons!  We gave out like 60 pageant
cards! It was just crazy! We also went and talked to a lady named Holly
who had investigated the church awhile ago and just for some reason missionaries
just couldn't get in contact. As we walked up to her house she
pulled into the drive way, and so she was home! She was super nice and
told us that she really has been searching for an answer and mentioned
that she is thinking about baptism, she is just waiting for an answer.
So we will work to try to make that happen.
Also on the way to her house, we just decided to park a couple blocks
away and walk, by so doing, we met a young man named Miles working on
his car.  We started talking to him, and we basically started teaching
the restoration to him, it was such a cool experience because I could
just feel the spirit touch his heart, Elder Cashmore asked if he had
any questions that he wanted answers to, and Miles said, “where did I
come from? and Why am I Here?” It seemed really cliché but it wasn't!!
This young man really wanted to know these answers, and we were happy
to testify that we do have the answers! We plan to visit with him not
this week but the next. I am so pumped!

Then that night we had about an hour and half left of daylight so we
went back to the Canal. There we had an interesting conversation with
some Born Again Christians. They stopped us and asked if we believed
in Jesus Christ and that he died for our sins, which we said we did!
(Which I think surprised them) then they wanted to know why our church
was different. So we explained, let's just say it wasn't a Bible bash
it was more of an opening up the scriptures to them, and never rose to
contention it was just a religious discussion, although at one point
one of the gentleman said that we were basically damned when it came to
seeing God at the judgment seat. But anyways we explained several
points to them and I was so grateful for elder Cashmore and the
Spirit!  They were not able to confound us. We told them the
need for the Book of Mormon and if they wanted to know if it was true
they would have to read it and Ask God to know if it is true, and then
we simply bore our testimonies to them, and it was remarkable to see
the Spirit touch their hearts, and they didn't know what to say
against that! And the best part is they committed to read the Book of
Mormon! It was crazy! But it was a great experience to see the power
that the Spirit can have on us!

Then Sunday came around, I woke up to elder Garland throwing up. Poor
guy he sounded awful, and felt terrible and so sadly we weren't able
to go to church, it was like the weirdest feeling. But there wasn't
much I could do about that. But luckily he got feeling better today
which was a tender mercy, because I cannot handle being in the
apartment for more than one day! I think I would have gone crazy!

I am so grateful that the lord is watching over us. He is the Besst!
Love you tons
Hurrah of Israel
Elder Houghton

Where Brigham Young was baptized

May 18, 2015

Hello again my most fantastic family .  . And friends. :)

It is crazy to think that I am writing to you all, all over the world
from good old Idaho to Hong Kong! I am just glad I don't have to worry
about snail mail, because once I press send it is there in matter of
seconds! Crazy!

This week has been a week full of miracles! The ward has started its
program to have a member go out with the missionaries every day for at
least one hour! And it has been awesome! It is amazing to see the
members jump to action. They have taken us to members, less active
members, part member families, or even one member came tracting with us! It
has just been awesome! It has also been nice because they always ask
if we have a dinner appointment and if not they take us out to eat.
The bad part about that is I have eaten out 6 times this week! And
four times at the same diner! Exercise each morning has become
extremely important!

So the members have just been wonderful in helping us out! Other than
that,  we have just have been going out as much as we can to talk to as
many people as we can! We have really been focusing on the Book of
Mormon as we contact and that has been so effective! I mean what
better way to help someone know it's true then to read the evidence! The
Pageant also makes it really nice because that is coming up, and it
leads perfectly in to the Book of Mormon!

So the district I am in right now has come up with a new name! And it
is the “Flower Power” district! To help build stronger unity between us we
all decided to wear flowers( like a flower tie, or flower dress or
whatever), for our district meeting. Sadly I discovered that I was
without such a tie.  The day before district meeting came and I was
still in need of a flower tie!  We decided to walk into the
Goodwill( eastern DI) to see if they had any options, and they did!
They were flowing in all sorts of ties. And we found some beauties! It
was a really small store in the downtown., There was one lady that was working at the store and she was super nice.  She started asking us questions about what we do.So we 
told her.

Then she started  asking us more questions about what we
believe and so on and  we were happy to teach her the restorationright there! It was awesome! We gave her the Book of Mormon and shesaid she would read it! And told us to give her some time to read butto drop back in to talk to her about it!  And then she gave us adiscount on our sweet floral ties! It was glorious!
Good things are happening here and I am just so grateful to be able towear this black name tag over my heart each day!

Have a wonderful week!
Elder Houghton