Monday, February 23, 2015

So Much To Say, So Little Time

Panarama of cool sunset in Marasti
Hey Guys,

Thank you for all the awesome emails I have received from you, I love you all very much. This week I don't have much time to write, but here are some highlights of this week.

We visited a former investigator this week. We established a day to meet and we went over to his house. It didn't turn out quite as we were expecting as he told us that as we are standing now, we are teaching the wrong gospel and we are going to Hell. 
Made a poster. It says Words of God

But we did find a less active member this week who was happy to see us and thanked us and asked us to come back. 

We also visited with the family we found in the block and taught them about the Plan of Salvation. We also helped their daughter and handicap son learn English. Someone asked me what my favorite Romanian food was and I confessed that it was Sarmale. So, the Mom told us that she will make it for us! So yesterday, Sunday, they invited us over again to eat! 

This week President Ivory will be coming to our city to have a Zone Conference with the missionaries in Cluj and 4 other cities. 

Thank you for everything and have a great week!
Elder Houk

Elder Allen and I
Elder McAllister and I

First thing I see when I walk out of the house
Second thing I see. The road to the left.
Sunset in Marasti

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cool Happens

Hey Guys,

A cool experience happened this week. At about 10 in the morning on Saturday, I get a call from the Branch President. He says, Hey Elder Houk I was wondering if you could or maybe not, do me a favor, and give a talk tomorrow in Sacrament meeting. Could you do it? Trust me I really wanted to say, I don't know, I'm sure my companion would just LOVE to do it much more than me! haha. But for some reason I said yeah, no problem, I can help you out. After that call, I went and grabbed my patriarchal blessing, personal study journal and said a prayer. And I started reading and it started coming to me slowly but surely. We left to teach English. After, we came home for lunch I spent a little time on it then left again to go to an activity. We had some fun and I met the Branch President there. He wondered if I could still do it and of course said yes. We cleaned up the church for the following day and headed home for the night. I decided that I was going to do this talk with only notes and not write out everything word for word. I had always wanted to do that, but I always thought my first time doing it would be my homecoming talk, in English. haha. 

There were points of the night where I was stressed and felt that I would not be able to do it. But I kept praying for help. I realized what I needed was faith. The faith to know that if I did my part the Lord will make up the rest. So I went to bed and woke up. My morning prayer was praying for the faith and the gift of tongues. I said my talk once fully in Romanian while getting ready and I felt strangely comfortable and confident. We traveled to the church and did all the normal things, talking to people, setting up the sacrament and everything and wasn't feeling too nervous, it was weird. When I was called up to give my talk I went up with my notes and scriptures and went for it. I can usually tell if something goes good or not by the way I feel at the end. I knew that it wasn't perfect, I messed up here and there, but I knew, without a doubt, that the Lord helped me deliver that talk. And I felt good about it. An investigator told me forte bine (very well). A sister told me she cried. A member referenced something she liked in my talk relating to the lesson, and the beauty of it all was that I KNEW that it wasn't me. It wasn't my talk at all, but the Lord's. Because it was the Spirit and I was just grateful enough to be His instrument. I didn't think I could do it and I couldn't. It took me to realize that I needed the Lord and his Spirit. All I needed to do was trust Him enough to accept and humble myself enough to ask Him to help me. It was a great experience for me and a spiritual step to learning the ways of the Spirit. 

I hope you guys have a great week and I love you all!
Elder Houk

More cool news!
Published on February 10, 2015
Apostle Russell M. Nelson, who 25 years ago blessed Romania, sent a video message inspiring members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all the people of Romania, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the this historic moment. We invite you to listen to the message!

Published on Feb 10, 2015
Apostolul Russell M. Nelson, cel care în urmă cu 25 de ani a binecuvântat România, a trimis un mesaj video înălţător membrilor Bisericii lui Isus Hristos a Sfinţilor din Zilele din Urmă şi tuturor oamenilor din România, cu ocazia sărbătoririi a 25 de ani de la acest moment istoric. Vă invităm să-i ascultaţi mesajul!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hey, I Know You!

Hey Guys,

SNOW is here!...Again.
This week was pretty cool. So to start off, we actually have a good amount of people who want to learn what we're teaching. Some people stayed after English class for our spiritual thought and we talked about how we have prophets in these days and how it is the same church Jesus established. They were pretty interested and curious to know more about it and said that they would like to meet at another time to talk about it. Earlier in the week, one of the people took a BOM as well. 

We  went out yesterday and Block knocked. When we knocked on this door a man answered and we told him about English class. He was convinced that he knew my parents and he remembers when I was really little. He explained how we helped his handicap son into a bus. I was thinking that he probably met with missionaries like us on the street with a senior couple and he thought that they were our parents. He went back in and brought his son out, who knew pretty good English. He said that he knew me, as well. Then he got his wife to come out and she thought she knew me too! So they invited us in and we started talking a little more. He then invited his
The view from a block.
daughter out into the room and he said to her, "Look, its him, you remember?" But she was the only one who was like, "I have no idea who this kid is." haha. They said that they had met my parents and I 10 or 11 years ago. I then started to realize they were actually talking about knowing ME and MY parents and not just other missionaries. I apologized for the misunderstanding, but explained that it must have been another family. (or parents just haven't told me their secret) They were surprisingly okay with us not being the people they thought we were, and we kept on talking. Eventually, it got on the subject of who we were and we explained a little about us and the church. It got on the subject of religion and I mentioned that God has a plan for us. I asked them if they knew where we were from, why we are here, what we do here, and where we are going. He told me that those were unanswerable questions. I explained that we have the answers for those questions. We didn't go much in depth, but we left them with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and a CLM (Cartea lui Mormon aka Book of Mormon). They said we could come by anytime, dupa masa (after 4ish) and that they were interested to learn more. As well as, we will teach English to their son and daughter. I have to say we were really stoked after we walked out of their apt. 

Truly, the Lord really does work in mysterious ways. It was a cool experience and I look forward to coming back and visiting with them.

I hope you guys have an awesome week and I'll catch ya next week!
-Elder Houk

One of my favorites. onion, garlic, chili powder, oil and linguini. topped with parmesean cheese and pepper.
(you know I had to throw some food in here)
Our light fell. haha

Monday, February 2, 2015

We Have A Message For You

Downtown Cluj
Hey Guys,

This week I gave my scriptures to a guy here in Cluj to bind them with Authentic leather! This is the thing to do here as a missionary. I will send pictures when they are finished! 

We block knocked this week and tried to make it fun. When people would open the door, I put a card or a pamphlet or something up high and then they open the door and I say we have a message for you! and point to the thing. haha 

Pizza Hut has this Pizza Festival thing that is going on now and you can eat as many pizzas as you want for 21.9 lei. Super good deal by the way. Thats like 7 dollars. Anyway, of course we went there and I stuffed myself till I felt sick for the rest of the day, what did you expect? haha 

We had a cool bowling activity this week on Thursday and then ping pong and sarmale on Saturday. The activities are starting to take off and people are starting to have some fun together. 

We have this big A0 Poster with an English ad on it. So this week we broke it out and just by walking around with this huge thing we got into more conversations with people than I could believe. So now we sometimes just go out and walk around with it and pass out English cards. So people are going to know us as these 2 dudes with the huge poster walking in the middle of the sidewalk. 

We visited with some members yesterday. One of the members just got back from her 4th mission. She can manage in about 9 languages! Crazy! 

Well that's my week guys. Thanks for being you and have a great week!

-Elder Houk
And here's something really random in Romanian:
(ma scuzati, dar ma doare parul. ma ajuti?)
(sorry, but my hair hurts. Can you help me?) 

Thanks Aunt Tiff! The broccoli packet thingy was good!