Thursday, April 14, 2016

Let Zion in her Beauty Rise April 11th, 2016

Hello to all who are in Zion!

Which is all of you! We have had such wonderful experience this week,
and it has just made me so grateful to be apart of this great work.

There were also a few things this week that made me appreciate the
good moments. It snowed several times :(.  I also  had the opportunity
to remember that on April 6th 1830, in a small log home in Fayette New York, the church
of Jesus Christ was organized again on the earth.

186 years later we got to be there!! We had a specialized training
at the Peter Whitmer's farm and it was just so neat to see what
 the church used to be and then watching General conference just a few days
before and seeing what the church has become! It was really a
wonderful experience. Also I just love all of these missionaries and
getting to see them again is always a highlight. A crazy thing
happened while we were there. The power went out in the kitchen so
President Francis went to find the circuit breaker. President is very
tall ,he is 6' 7, and when he went in to the closet to find it he stuck a
nail into the top of his head. He began to bleed very badly and got
blood all over his shirt and his suit. And when he walked out there
was a family waiting to go on a tour and they saw him. He had to go to the
bathroom to clean up, however  20 minutes later he was up in front of
all of us missionaries! His shirt was still a little pink and he
recounted that experience to us and then he talked about Christ's Atonement
and how our sins though they may be as scarlet they can be as white
as snow. How grateful I am for Christ's Atonement and that through Him
we can be clean! I am also grateful for a remarkable mission president
I have learned so much from him.

At the Peter Whitmer Log Home on April 6th!

Friday was also a very unique and special day. Nanii from the Buffalo
YSA,that I had been teaching, was getting baptized!!! Which is such a
miracle in itself. Elder Tomlinson and I were the ones who started to
teach her. She has been through a lot, but getting to see her again
was amazing because she truly looked like a new woman! She had taken
all of her piercings out and she just looked so good. On the way down
to the baptism Elder Merril (He is the senior elder who is in charge of
all the vehicles in the mission) asked if we could take an additional
car with us down to Buffalo for some of the missionaries down there.
So in order to do that Elder Tomlinson and I had to drive separately
but we had to still stay within sight of each other. It was one of the
strangest  hour and Half rides of my life. It will probably be the
nearest thing to being alone I will get as a missionary.  The
baptismal service was wonderful! Kind of funny--right before the
service I got a pretty bad bloody noose, and it just reminded me of
that same scripture that our sins even if they are scarlet can become
white as snow! Nanii was so happy and I am so happy she has made such
a wonderful and sacred covenant with our Father in Heaven!

All the Missionaries who taught Nanni!

 Pre baptism Selfi!

I love you all so much! What a great work we get to play a part In!
And how wonderful it is that we can repent!
Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Todd Houghton

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Snowy Day in April April 4th 2016

Hello again from the land of Rochester!

Where the weather is unable to make up its mind! We woke up to a white
snowy, spring morning!
This has been a very unique week in the land of the NYRM I don't know
many missionaries are able to say they are companions with someone they
graduated with from home--Twice.  I have
loved serving with Elder Tomlinson again.  He is a fantastic missionary
and we work very well together. So it has been a great experiences so

We have had many meetings this week with the new transfers, so we got
to just jump right in!

Wasn't General conference the best?! I loved every minute of it! It
blew my mind to think that this was my last General conference in the mission field, It
still feels like I just had my first one. Time is flying by! I don't
know if I can put my fingers on any specific talk as my favorite
this time because I felt like they were all speaking to me! Although I
really loved Russell M Nelsons talk on being able to have priesthood
power! It was inspiring, they were all so good!. Also as I listened
I just couldn't help but think how grateful I am for my family and for 
 how they have done such a good job at living the gospel. Mom and
dad you are the Greatest!

There was a wonderful experience I had during the morning
session.  It was basically all missionaries in the chapel watching the
broadcast when this this nice man walked in and sat next to the elder
next to us. I looked over and realized that this was Benny, (he was a man
that elder LaBar and I had found almost 6 months ago!) We found him
when we decided to stop and have a hot dog from a hot dog stand, We
sat next to him and talked to him about the church. He was such a cool
guy and we gave him a Book of Mormon. We had to refer him to the city
elders and I hadn't heard from him since... And then boom, there is he
was watching General Conference! He said he really enjoyed it and he told us how
much he enjoys being with the people of this church! It was a great

This is the best work! I am so grateful for living prophets, who are
inspired and are able to help lead and guide us! I am grateful for my
family and for this restored gospel which enables us that we can be united
Love you all so much!

Elder Todd Houghton

Happy Easter March 28th

Hello and Happy Easter!

I hope you all had a wonderful week, I have truly loved this time of
year especially as a missionary it just feels like more people are
willing to talk about Christ and His Resurrection! And the best part
is we don't just have to talk about it ones a year but we get to
reflect on Him and talk about our Savior Jesus Christ always!

So transfers are again this week! Elder Detlor is going to be training
a new missionary which I am really excited for him! He will do a great job
with his new missionary!
My new companion will be Elder Tomlinson! . . . Again! It is pretty
crazy to serve with a previous companion ,but I am excited to serve
with my fellow Shelleyite again!

 We had a week full of Miracles and  Exchanges that is we went
on three Exchanges this week! Which is a lot! Any who!

One really cool experience was that one Monday night last week we had
a lesson with Major again. we had it at the Mission home and President
Francis got to be there! It was kind of exciting when we got there
President put us on the spot and asked if we would sing a hymn before
we started.  It was interesting singing to President and his barber in
the mission home but it really helped invite the Spirit into the
already spirit filled home. We had a powerful lesson on the Book
of Mormon. We started reading 2 Nephi 2 with him but only got 9 verses
in because we were discussing and digging into the meeting of each
verse it was powerful! And there are a lot of precious treasures in
those scriptures!

We also met this really cool young woman named Kayla on exchanges, and
we went back and had a great lesson with her and her roommate who sat
in on the lesson. We had a powerful lesson teaching about
the restoration! Teaching the restoration just never gets old! because
it is such a great message!

Tandra has been doing well! Although this week has been tough on her
because it was her schools spring break and she stayed behind. The
problem is that she doesn't have a car. And the school closed all of
the food places on campus so she had no access to food, and we are
basically her only outside sources.  We made some trips to the
store, and ordered pizza for her a couple of times. It was unique!
We have been super busy with lots of appointments and meetings! We
hardly have time to think and it is great!

Things are still going well! I sure love you all! And hope you have a
great week!
Elder Todd Houghton

 Elder Detlor is getting transferred and really
wanted to come to this place called the Dinosoar BarBQ for lunch. It
was pretty good! Had a pretty cool view!

Welcome Spring Time March 21st

Hello from Rochester! 

This week has been a blur, I feel like I should be used to it by now but it never ceases to amaze me how fast time is going! 
I am really learning to apply the saying that President Frances says often,  "be Quick but not Hurry".That has been our life just running around and trying to get everything done with the time we have been given! It has been Crazy
We had several Meetings this week but despite all the meetings we still saw some great things!

One of the blessings and privileges was we got to go and check like 40 Ipads, and talk about setting Goals and Making Plans, it was Great! 
 Another thing was we got to go and meet with Major ,he is President Francis Barber, this week. President had been working on him for quite a while and often talked about him during meetings and everything so I was a little nervous to meet with him but we just focused on the principle of repentance and it turned out to be a really good lesson and we will get to see him again tonight!

Sunday was awesome! After Church We went to the Hill Cumorah because they have been doing these Easter Sunday concerts there. One of the members of our Branch and her friend Andrew, who is someone we have met with a couple times, performed there. Carly sang and Andrew Played the Harp and it was a beautiful performance! It was really Unique to have it at the Hill Cumorah! After that the  Easter Video #HALLELUJAH played on the big screen and wow it was great.
I also had the great experience of trying Scrambled Brownies. Not a bad Idea  if you're short on time and don't have time to Bake but still want the goodness of chocolaty Brownies. You just throw them into your skillet and cook them like Scrambled eggs and-- Walla Delicious Brownie Goulash.  It's especially  great served with Ice cream! :) 
We are still working with Tandra and just doing the best we can to help her be prepared for her baptism! We just have to do all we can!

I sure Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love Elder Todd Houghton

Everyone and Their Dog Needs the Gospel March 14th

Hello family!

I hope you all have had a wonderful week! We have seen so many great
things this week! I just love being a missionary! It's the best!

We had a miracle exchange this week on the east side of Rochester.   We
taught 12 other lessons and gave out 10 copies of the Book of Mormon.
It was a beautiful sunny day, about 70 degrees, and
everyone and their dog were outside. We had lots of people
to talk too! We were contacting referrals and with each referral we
did a 2-5-2 ( where we knocked on the 2 houses on the side and 5 houses
across the street.)  The interesting thing was there was only like one
referral that was interested but many of the people we tracked into
seemed some what interested! We had one really cool experience;  we
tracked into their house and right as we were knocking Elder Wilson
was telling me about how he had never been let into someone's house
from tracting.  This guy named Eddy answered and said
he wasn't interested but that his wife was, and told us to come back
in like 40 minutes. So we were like OK and didn't think to much of it.
 We came back about an hour later and Eddy let us right in and we sat
down met his wife Debbie. She had two little girls with her  and we
taught the "Restoration!" It was a powerful lesson and just an amazing
experience.  We realized that God really does have a sense of
Humor, because he made Elder Wilson eat his words at that same house.

We went by and we met with this guy  who is super legit
he looks like a thug with pants sagging and the wide brim hat, but is
super spiritual.   He probably had like five bibles. He said he was
planning on coming to church. He just came from the Barber so he could
look his best. We had a great lesson with him and taught him repentance,
and what it really means to repent and how to do it. As we were going
over it with him he identified a couple things that he needs to stop
doing, like smoking. He already knew he needed to stop doing that. He
also told us that he had never been baptized and that he knew he
needed to, We invited him to be baptized on April 16th and he said he
would prepare himself to be baptized! He is a pretty sincere guy. I
am really excited for him!

We also had a great opportunity of going to the sites this week with
Chris! We went and walked through the Smith Farm and also the Hill
Cumorah. I just love having the sites so close. My favorite part from
that sight trip was that we brought Elizabeth with us. She is a member
and as we walked through the grove we asked her to bear her testimony
to Chris and it was a great experience. :)
That's just a few of the great experience we have had this week! I
love you all and I love this gospel!


Elder Todd Houghton

PS. Isn't it great to be a Mormon?
Visiting the sacred Grove

 Giant Janga, things are really Getting serious.