Monday, November 9, 2015

Signing Out

Hey guys! 

So this is it! My last email! My last day in the field! This is all so much to handle. Looking back I see many good times yet, many hard times indeed. These hard times helped me to turn to the Lord like never before.

I love these countries and the people here and will miss them dearly in my heart. I am excited for the new experiences life has yet to bring me. As I travel these next few weeks with my family I am going to cherish the present as well as the great memories that have taken place. My mission wasn't easy, but I believe it was worth it. 

Take the time this week to cherish those around you. Show them your love and care for them, because life, just like a mission goes by in the blink of an eye. Take care everyone and I will see you on the other side! :)

Signing out,
Elder Houk 

Monday, November 2, 2015

I Will Submit Cheerfully

Well, here we go. This is one of my last emails in Romania. Whew! So weird. I'll be honest I haven't been thinking about the end too much. Been trying to focus and stay in it to win it! 

Alright but seriously, things are going good here. We had a great Halloween party and we all came dressed up as missionaries. We had some sarmale and mici with some Romanian cakes and candy. The kids carved some pumpkins and we watched Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Ware Rabbit. A good amount of people came and we all enjoyed each others company. 

We also met up with some Marines who are stationed here in Constanta and came up to Galati for a day. They saw a free English flier and gave us a call. They were some civil officers and we met up and we told them who we were and what we were doing here. They were some cool guys and they want to help us out if they can and, of course, we offered to help them if we could. So he gave us his business card and we gave him a number for the missionaries in Constanta. So that was a cool experience. It was weird to see some other Americans that weren't missionaries though. haha

This week for Language study I studied a talk by Elder Bednar called "Bear up their Burdens with Ease." It's a super cool talk that was from General Conference in April 2014. He talks about how the atonement isn't just for the sins and for the bad things that we need to repair in our lives but it is also to help us in our trails and our daily struggles. Sometimes we pray just to get out of the situation that we are in, but just like in the book of Mosiah when Amulon persecuted Alma and his people, they poured out their hearts to him and the Lord heard them. But instead of making their problem go away and getting them out of the circumstance that they found themselves in, he instead said this: 
Mosiah 24: 14 "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."15 "And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

So what​ we learn here is that, sometimes we may not understand why we are in certain situations or what we can learn from them, but if we pour our heart out to God, he will reach out to us. He may not change the things that we want the way we want or make the problem disappear, but he will make the burden light on our backs so that we can endure it even with happiness.
Thanks for staying tuned for my mission updates. You guys are the best. I hope you all have a great week and a happy November! See you guys in December!
​Elder Houk​

Fratele Prada gave Elder Evans his jacket because he looked cold.