Monday, December 14, 2015

Happy Holidays!! December 14th 2015

Hello everyone!

 I hope you are all getting into the Christmas spirit! I have been
loving it. We may have been having a Christmas season but it feels more like
a cool summer day outside right now, not what I would normally expect
in the winter!

We have been having so much fun this past week it is almost hard to
consider this work!

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! I love the new satchel
bag! I am feeling very classy now! Wednesday was a really good day I
got to go on an exchange with Elder Littlefield, he is a great
missionary that goes home this week. We had an awesome day, we got to go to UB
and did our booth and we had a big sign that said "A Savior is born!" It looked pretty legit!
We do the booth with the sisters so before we left we found our truck
had been plastered with balloons and confetti, and candy, it was a
nice surprise and not one I expected to get out on the mission. :)
 Elder Littlefield is going home so he took us elders out for
dinner at the Cheesecake Factory it was phenomenal! We also went
caroling to our investigators.  The first family we went to was the
sisters investigators who are the parents of a member that lives in
Utah.  We sang one song then they invited us in, and we're just so
happy. Then, they were so funny they called their son and told him
that they had a bunch of Mormon missionaries  in their home.  It was pretty funny. They
ended up being the only family we were able to Carol to! But it was
all worth it!

Saturday was awesome! We got to see Mercedes again! She is the one we
had taught on Thanksgiving. We were going to
teach the Plan of Salvation but when we got there  the thing we
were going to show her wasn't with us and then also it just didn't
feel right so we ended up having an awesome lesson on Christmas and
showed the video, "what would the world be like if there wasn't a
 Savior!" It's the one the church made! And I love it! If you haven't
seen it go to and watch it! We had a great lesson
with her and the Spirit was really strong. She is going back home to
Spain for a month. But I am excited to see her when she gets back!
Saturday night was also our branch Christmas party! We had it at a
member of the stake presidencies home and it was really nice! Like mom
you would want to see this house! They had all the members of the YSA
branch come and it was so much fun! We got to give the devotional on
Christmas! So much fun!
Also I have done more singing this week then I have my whole mission!
We, the missionaries, did a musical number for the sacrament meeting. We sang
"Brightly Beams" with "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" two of my favorites
in one and it sounded pretty Good! Then our stake had its Christmas
music concert and our branch had to pull together a musical number. We
switched what we were going to sing about four times. We pulled it
together at the last minute.

 We have been seeing lots of really cool miracles! Several people we
have been meeting with, have been progressing really well!  I just love

 Sadly, the transfer calls have come again and they are taking my companion
away.  I am so sad. Elder Tomlinson is going off  to train a
new missionary.   I am getting Elder Glenn! Which I am also excited
for! We were in the MTC together so I am excited to be companions with

 I love you all so much and hope you all have a great week!


Elder Todd Houghton
The Buffalo zones with Elder Schwitzer!

 Our branch Christmas party
Wearing our super cool Christmas sweaters


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"We just love to see you in white" December 8th 2015

Hello family!

This week my P-day was switched to today instead because yesterday we
had several meetings we had to go to! We literally were at the church
from 8:30 in the Morning to 8:45 at night. But it was just an
incredible day.  Elder Schwitzer, of the quorum of the Seventy, came and
spoke to our mission! It was incredible! I felt like I learned so
much! My understanding was just expanded! I loved it! He talked to us
a lot about repentance and conversion and just so many things! One of
my favorite lines was when he talked about the protesters at  Temple
Square,  He said, " I don't think Jesus had a sandwich sign and a blow horn
marching up and down declaring repentance."

We really had such an amazing week this week! Saturday was awesome
because Ireland was baptized! It was so cool getting to work with her
because she literally fell out of the sky! We met her for the first
time a month ago! And then boom she was baptized! She is so sweet!
Elder Tomlinson got to perform the baptism.  A special moment for me was
that she asked me to do the confirmation!  I was really nervous before but It was awesome!
Then yesterday after FHE she showed us that she got a temple recommend and is going to the
temple this Saturday for the baptisms! It is amazing to see the
changes in these people! And I love it! I love the mission life!

Ireland's Baptism

We have had several great lessons this week as well! We were able to
meet with one young woman named Brittany! She was way cool! We had such
a good restoration lesson with her! Like it was really good and she is
planning on going to the sights with us this next Saturday! I am
so excited!

We are just seeing lots of miracles! And it sounds like you are all
having great missionary experience back at home and that makes me so

Just 2 and 1/2 weeks till Christmas!!!! And I will get to see all
of your beautiful faces! :)

Love you all so much!

Elder Todd Houghton

Rocking with the UB Bull!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Oh there is no place like a mission for the holidays November 30,2015

Literally this has been such an interesting and a spiritually packed

First off I am so excited for Amber and JT I was so excited when
I got an email on Thanksgiving! I am so excited to be an uncle!
OK, so we had some pretty amazing experiences this week! I went on
exchanges in Eggert Buffalo this week and I had many interesting and
new experiences while I was there.

One -- I road my first subway! 
That was so cool! I felt like I was in a movie. We also had a cop pull up to
us and asked us what we were doing?   We just told him "oh we're
missionaries and we are going around talking to people about Jesus!"
The cop said, "Are you serious" we were like "yup" and he said "OK be
careful"! :)  haha it was awesome!

I also got a foot massage from one of their investigators! That was interesting. 
But my feet felt heavenly afterwards.:) It was a fun exchange!

On Tuesday morning at our UB booth, there were not as many
people as there are normally in the student union building because most
people had left for Thanksgiving break. However, there were still a good amount of
people. The cool thing was that we got to give out 5 Book of Mormons
in just the 2 hours we were there. The cool miracle was  a
girl walked up to me and said that she wanted to learn want we were
all about, and when that happened I just didn't know what to say at
first because normally we try to talk to people and get them
interested, but when their interested I was at a loss for words -- at first.  
Then I got to testifying of the restoration! We gave her a Book of
Mormon! We set up an appointment with her for the next day but she had to cancel 
so we met with her on Thanksgiving.  Meeting with her was probably one of 
the most spiritual lessons I have ever had on the mission. She 
is from Spain and we meet her at the UB booth, and she couldn't go
home for Thanksgiving, and I felt so sad for her. We brought with us a
pumpkin pie so she could have a taste of Thanksgiving. She was talking
to us about how the past few months have been really difficult for
her.  She has a roommate who is from India and they are both on the UB
tennis team.  The roommate came down and she at first wasn't going to stay but we
offered her some pie and then she sat and listened in on the lesson,
which was awesome. The lesson was kind of all over the place but as we
taught them the spirit came and was so strong, She looked so
peaceful and happy and told us how this was the first time in three
months that she felt peace!  Her roommate told us she was Hindu but she
told us how she felt like her faith was strengthened by our discussion.  We gave her 3
Nephi 11 to read. She said she would read it. When we talked about God and
Jesus Christ being separate beings she said she always believed that.  
Then we talked about prayer about how it is more of a conversation
with God and she said that is what she does. She is just incredible,
we invited her to pray at the end, and she offered such an amazing
prayer! And when we asked her when she would like us to meet with her
again she said tomorrow!  She is so Awesome!  As we were driving away
both Elder Tomlinson and I were on a spiritual high!

During  that lesson on Thanksgiving I realized just how
grateful I am to be a missionary and sharing this message. It was a
simple Thanksgiving but it has probably been one of my favorites I
have ever had.   Mosiah 2:17 is so true! When we are in the service of
your fellow beings we are only in the service of our God! I know that
is true! I know this gospel is real!  And it truly can bring happiness
into our lives!

So many great things are happening! I love this area so much! I
really hope you all had a wonderful Thanks giving!

Elder Todd Houghton

PS. I don't know about you guys but the weather here has been pretty
nice here in Buffalo!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving November 23rd 2015

Hi family,

The leaves are falling, the air is chilling.
Winter is coming, and so is Thanksgiving!

We have had quite the week full of great experience! I still love this
area so much! We have seen so many good things and I just love making
all of these new friends! It's great! I just love the mission life
there is never a dull moment because it is always go go go! And I love

Also it's almost Thanksgiving :) Which I am so excited for! But this
week I have also realized how grateful I really am, This past week I
have seen some situations, where I look at what some of the people
have gone through and I just could not be me more thankful for what
you have all done for me.  For example we went to meet with some of our
investigators, and when I looked at their living situation it just
made me sad because they don't know how to take care of themselves.
They sit and watch tv and play video games all day, they also had very
little food in their apartment, and their dishes were all in the sink.
One of them asked if we could help them out so I washed all the dishes
and then Elder Tomlinson taught them how to cook pancakes because
they had never been taught!  I really just want to help them learn these
important thing, so we talked with branch council about starting a
self reliance class.  I kept reflecting on how much you  taught me
growing up so many things which have helped me on my own.  I am so thankful for
all that you have taught me!

Biggest highlight for the week was on Saturday morning. We drove up to
Palmyra with the branch for their temple trip, but for us instead of
going to the temple we went and took Ireland to the Joseph Smith farm!
And it was awesome!!!  We got the tour of the log home, and then we
went and walked to the sacred grove and there we read from Joseph
Smith's history; i.e. his experience of the first vision and after we did
that we bore our testimonies and then we gave her the opportunity to
pray in the grove by herself.  She told us after that she cried and
didn't know why.  It was just awesome!  We also went to the Hill Cumorah
and there we watched the hour long Joseph Smith movie!  It was so good!
I think Ireland enjoyed it and is so ready for her baptism on the 5th
of December!

I got to speak in sacrament meeting this week.  I was pretty
nervous but I had a really good subject and that is Christ's Atonement!
It was based on Dallin H. Oak's talk this last conference.  But really
that is one of the things I am most thankful for and that is what our
Savior did for us and how he made it possible for us to return to live
with our Heavenly Father again!

I love you all so much and hope you have a great thanksgiving!

Elder Todd Houghton

Got to do some raking this week! Took us three hours!
At the sights with Ireland! So Awesome!

Just doing a little raking:)

I found our park

Shelleyites are still together November 16th 2015

Hello from beautiful Buffalo!

Lets just say that this past week has been one of the most spiritually
draining weeks so far from my mission. It has also been one of the
most successful weeks I have seen. And once again it all happened in
the blink of an eye. We had transfer calls this morning and we are
both staying which we were very excited about! The Shelleyites are
just tearing Buffalo apart! :)

So we have had so many cool things happen this week, and we have had
some interesting experiences.  We went to meet with Justin and Nicole
again this week and before we went there we got a text from one of
their friends saying she wanted to learn more as well.  Justin is a
returning member and he told us how he really wants to receive the
Aaronic Priesthood so he can baptize Nicole.  He also called us before
and said he wanted one of us to go over some scriptures and answer
some questions for him, while the other one of us would teach Nicole
and and her friend the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When we got there they made us
lunch of minion macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and kool aid then we got
to teach them. Elder Tomlinson sat on the couch and taught Justin, and 
I sat on the floor and went over the gospel of Jesus Christ with
Nicole and Noni and now Noni wants to be baptized as well!  It was so
awesome!  And what made me even happier was when Nicole asked me what
she needs to do to become a sister missionary?  It made me so

We also met with this one girl from our UB ( University of Buffalo) booth. She is so
Great!  We went over the restoration with her.  It was cool she told us
how she believed that all churches had a piece of the truth as if they
were all just a different windows from different places that you could
look out and get a different perspective, and then she said but what
your tell me is that your church is at the core and looks through all
the windows!  We were like exactly, the fullness has been restored
which was awesome!  We set a baptismal date with her for December 19th
as well!  So We are pretty excited about it!

Thursday night there was an inter faith dinner at UB where they had
different religious groups from UB come and have a Thanksgiving
dinner.  At the beginning they had a some one stand and represent
the different organizations and they would talk on how their church shows how
they are grateful.  Can I just say that our church is true!  When Laruen
stood for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, there was
just power with her words!  It was awesome!  I love being able to just
talk to people of other faiths in that comfortable setting!  It is

Mom Dad and all my sisters you will appreciate this. So remember how
my whole life I never really cared at all for tunafish sandwiches,
well we went and taught a member the plan of salvation and he made us
lunch and can you guess what he made?  Tunafish sandwiches!  I said a
silent prayer that I could eat those sandwiches, and when I had them
they actually weren't bad, it was a great tender mercy!

We dropped by Marsha's place yesterday, sister Medsker's aunt, and she
was super nice and let us right in and we talked to her for good
little while!  And I found out that SYDNEY IS GETTING MARRIED!  That is
way exciting!  Congrats!

We also had stake conference this week, and I loved one of the talks.  It
was on the tree of life and how the tree of life is the love of God
and how we need to be like those who partake of that fruit but heed
not the distractions of the world.  That we need to keep our Eye on the
fruit!  That is so true when we keep our eye on the love of our Savior
we will never be lead us astray!

Well I sure love you all!  I hope you have a great week!

Elder Todd Houghton