|No idea who the others are, but that is a happy looking Elder Houghton!|
This week has been an interesting adventure. I'll list some notable things here:
- Dinner with the WML yesterday and then coordination meeting after out in the country-so nice to get out of the city (though Gloucester isn't bad especially compared to Coventry). That covers most of the pictures-the sisters stole my camera for part of it...
- I spoke in Sacrament Meeting. I fasted and prayed and worked hard on the talk and it went well. I spoke about how living the Standards of For the Strength of Youth prepares us to serve missions by helping us become true disciples of Jesus Christ. I had less time than I was told I would have but it went well. In the talk I shared this next bullet point:
- We were biking down to see someone and I said hello to a lady waiting at a bus stop. Shortly after that, we had to stop at a red light and the woman came running after us. At first I was worried but then she asked if we knew if the #14 stopped there. I wasn't sure so I decided to check at the next bus stop (not all of them have the information posted so I hoped the next one would). We biked down to that one and I realised that the #14 didn't come that way and that it was only the #12 and #12A that did. We went back to the lady and she was surprised that we came back. I asked where she was going and it turned out that the 12 was actually the right bus to get on. She was relieved and then saw our badges. When we explained, she promptly asked where she could get an invitation to come to our church and said that she would come. Just then, the bus showed up and I barely had time to write down the church address and meeting time before she hopped on and left. It was really cool. Simple acts of service really work. It's not often that people ask for an invitation to church! So cool as well that a friendly hello can have such a cool snowball effect. I'm glad that I learned those principles of service as a Youth!
- I'm working on my "My Family" Booklet for use in proselyting. My dear sister Eliza sent me stories and pictures of my maternal great grandparents and I'm working on the rest. I need pictures and stories though. Photos need to be passport size but please send anything you have about my ancestors. It's so fun and great to get to know who they are and how they lived. Thanks to Grandpa Kemper for compiling a few cool stories about Fredrick William Kemper, my Great Grandfather. My Great Grandmother Leona was a Lawyer and she died four days after I was born (I never knew that!)
- Transfers are on Wednesday. I'm pretty sure that I'll leave as it's been hinted and suggested to me many times by President and Sister Rasmussen. We'll see what the Lord has in store for me next and I'll let you know as soon as I can! For now, send stuff to the mission office address if you have letters or family history info to share!
- I finally used all the dirt moving cement mixing skills that I learned at home as we helped Gary put in their new back patio and do up their garden. It was great fun. They didn't have quikcrete though so the construction guy we helped showed me how to mix the Portland cement and aggregate with the proper amount of water. I know that Grandpa Houghton worked in that industry for a while and that Grandpa Kemper did as well so I guess my cement mixing skills are genetic! It was great fun. I can't believe that I didnt' like helping as much when we did all those projects at home! Also, I can't believe that I'm saying that!
- I got to go on exchange with the Zone Leaders in Cheltenham. While there, we taught a former Zoroastrian. That's one interesting ancient religion. He's a baptist now though but very intelligent. I hope he opens his heart to receive the Book of Mormon and the truth of the restored gospel!
- Also in Cheltenham, we ran into and spoke to a professional genealogist in the library there for about 30 minutes. It was super cool to talk to her. She's Ghanaian so I learned about how to do African Family History (it's a bit of a different approach). She has used the church's resources and websites/family history centres extensively so it was great to talk. Turns out she's so skilled that she can tell by looking at a person where their ancestors are from. She pegged me as having a strong Scandinavian influence (which I do) and Elder Williams as British but not just English (He's predominantly Irish, Welsh, and English I think). It was pretty cool. Also, she showed us how to tell the difference between a pure African person and a mixed race African person based on the undertones of their skin. It was really cool to talk to her.
So, with the help of my speaking assignment, I've been thinking a lot about becoming a True Disciple of Jesus Christ and becoming converted to the Gospel. I think I've figured out the role of commandments and standards that the Lord gives us to guide out lives and help us make good suggestions. Covenants then remind us of our commitment to live those commandments and be worthy of the promised blessings. By being obedient to the commandments of God (which is a demonstration of our love for God) and serving others (which is also a demonstration of our love of God and our fellowmen), we can become true disciples of Jesus Christ. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (see Matthew 22:35-40). I'm so grateful to have a living prophet on the earth who directs this church and helps us see what we must do to receive all the blessings that Heavenly Father wants us to have.
Love and miss you all!
Elder Luke Kemper Houghton
|This must be from when the "sisters" got hod of his camera!|