Monday, October 15, 2018

Elder Jake Hough, 10.15.18--week 12

it has been a while but " It feels good to be back!"
Not much to say, but I have been working hard, and here are a couple stories from this week that I thought were funny, and then a final thought about the gospel. 
Tatabánya is a smaller town in Hungary, about 80000 people so about CS, and has a moutnain with a cool bird staute on it and a cave we will go to next week probably, The food here is amaying you think american gyros are good and ice cream is good just come here and try their 45 cent ice cream, it is divine. ANd the gyros blow everything out of the water sooooo goooood!
We Went to a smll village called vertesszőlős just outside tatabánya and it looks like a third world country but european edition. These people are poor temporaly and spiritully, nad we have that answer. Very humbling, but I made my first joke to someone in this area. He asked if we believed in coffee and Peery says no. Then I quickly added "but we believein Water!" REally funny haha Peery (Elder) loved it. And we were surrounded by a gang there or a group of people there that were big a burly and we just stoppped and talked to them about the gospel and one said THESE MEN ARE OF GOD! and afterwards at home I realized huh, we coulda been beaten up real bad, but we werent. Very blessed. Kinda a take no thought for yourself moment. But I wasnt even thinking that at the moment so it is all good! 
Pretty sunset from Vertesszolos.
BIIIG Paprika home grown peppers...mi csoda!

I have been learning some things about coming closer to christ and how we do that better. We come closer to christ through faith and hope and acting in faith and those are all necessary and important, but we truly come closer to chrst by doing what he would do, serving as he would serve, and caring for others as he would. And that is all we do on this mission is teach serve and testify. And it is not easy but it is very rewarding, and I encourage yall to serve someone this week, make the effort to, whether that be listening to someone or helping them with something, do it and I promise you will feel closer to the savior. 
I love yall, this is an awesome experience and I cant wait to get more! Til next week!
Sok sok szerettel!
Hough Elder

I almost got booted off a train in the middle of nowhere in Hungary this last week. We needed to be in Györ for district meeting, and we missed the first train, and so we were reushed to get out hte door to get the next train and I bought a ticket. Well there is start klub receipt or card you have that gets the tickets for half off, so I naturally used that since I had the receipt to verify, well I didnt when the conductor came by to check, and 1) I couzldnt understand him and 2) he was yelling and I had no idea what to do but pray, Peery Elder helped where he could, and I finally found I could pay the extra 3000 forint to stay on the train which took forever, and that hűwhole tme I was praying. Thanking HF (Heavenly Father) for everything I had in my life and that I was able to stay on the train. very intense but very good, I learned that lesson the hard way haha!
I have been running and playing the piano more. We run almost every morning before the nippy era settles in, cause it will here pretty quick but we have fake out fall too. Super nice weather. But I m the branch pianist now and played "considert the lilies" in sacrament meeting yesterday, for 5 members. Its brutal here man, this is the smallest area and most struggling area in the mission that is opened according to Peery Elder who has been her for 4 months now. But like, we have had an average of 7 mew investigators every week, but 90 percent dog us every time, really tough to take and trying to help the branch. Really sad, we are expending every eűffort to keeop this failing branch of members from crumblng., life is just so hard here in europe, no one can swithc job tmes, it is far from their homes, and it is a really tough life and really strais your faith. REally eye opening and we are trying our best to help them every day we talk about it and brainstorm ideas but it is hard to build their testimonies in Jesus Christ when we have no investoigators to bring them to teach. Really hard. Any advice would be appreciated, we are drilling into our skills and capacties to solve this problem and to build the kingdom of God in Tatabáanya. 

yeah it has been harder walking everywhere without stolen bikes (so apparently Jake got a coat last week, but neglected to tell either me or Jared--yet told his brother--that their bikes were stolen--chained up and all!) but we are gettting new ones on wednesday when we go to Budapest for ZONE CONFERENCE!! Whooh I am hype for that, and next week we have Quinten L Cook coming to speak to us, it is crazy!!

*Luke, our foreign exchange student son from Brazil, just found out this week that his friend from back home got his mission call to Hungary/Romania. Before Jake left on his mission he had a dream that his first companion was Japanese and neither one of them could speak the others' language or Hungarian so it was pretty wild! We chuckled that maybe this friend of Luke's would be his "Japanese" companion! Jake replied that would definitely force them to (SYL) Speak Your Language. J

Monday, October 8, 2018

Elder Jake Hough, 10.8.18--week 11

Have like, one minute, but conference was awesome, pray to know that what you listened to was true and if you havent watched I encourage you to do so, it was pwerful and straight from our loving Father in Heaven. Look to Him in every thought, doubt not and fear not. (Link to Oct. 2018 General Conference). I love this work and this Gospel that continues to bless my life and the life of these Hugnarians, no time but I love yall and will hopelfully have more next week! 
Hough Elder

(From Jake's letter to the family...)
Thank zyou for your words, they really helped me and I am honestly doing SOOOO much better. I really am grateful to see that love God has for me, and yeah, the life of a missionary is still hard. It is. But I feel I can get through it much easier now that I have gained a bit of Hope and Real Faith as Elder Ballard suggested last conference.
Also, let me enlighten zou to the life of a missionary in the good old town of Tatabánya (did you find it on the big map??) and heres what it is like:We sleep on a 2 inch foam pad, 2 thin blankets, and yeah. Iáll attach pics for sure. (Didn't get the pictures :) then we move to the bathroom. Oh the bathroom how I love it....hehe not really no. It has no shower from the wall, and you have to stand very carefully so as to not flood the bathroom when you shower, becuase no curtains, and I did that a couple times. Luckily we have a mop haha! And the toilet is great! Except there is not flush so you use a pot to flush poop or the shower head itself. So that is fun. We drink our bought juice out of cartons we marked that are ours (HAHA I HAVE BEEN WAINTNG FOR THIS DAY) and we eat some awesome Hungarian granole and cereal for breakfast, eggs the usz. And you would be proud, I made Europaniyed lemon oryo salad (Jake took his favorite recipes from home with him) and Peery Elder loved it!! So good.
I had an expereince after my first email where Peery Elder said I follow you on where we street, so I on my bike 5 days in starting going not knowing where the heck to go, I took an left, then a right, thaen striaght for a bit, and said hmm that 10 story looks good. Well we ran into two people who gave us return appointments back to back, and one is still an investigaotr, and we never made it to said 10 story, but I was for sure guided by the spirit, there is no other way that would happen! So cool.
I have also this week through prayer and study, decided to make Meekness the center of my growth in the Mission, based of (Elder) Bednars talk, but it isnát just meekness it is everything associated with meekness, fiath, hope, charity, self restraint, and foresight. So I will be continuously studying these and applying the principles I learn into my liufe for sure.
peery elder doesnt run but I had him ride his bike and I run one morning and that was fun haha! Coops Hung Beanies and all (Cooper crocheted Jake a hat in the colors of the Hungarian flag--red white, and green and sent it to him before he left the MTC. There was an extra one so maybe Peery Elder got it?)!
I lvoe this gospel and am definitely better, have stopped worrying about how good I speak and more on how good I share and just trying my best knowing that is all I am asked to do. It was a hard shift, but I am good. But I have also missed yall like crazy, I cried in a lesson when I showed them the pic I have of us and I said I know families are forever, and that I love yall a ton, I started to tear because I felt that was true. I miss yall so much and am here for the lord these people and yall!
Sok Sok Syerettel!!
Hough Elder

Monday, October 1, 2018

Elder Jake Hough, 10.1.18--week 10


Never before has this scripture found in the 31st chapter of 2nd Nephi meant more to me than right now. I got here to Hungary last monday, and I was loving it!! I was on cloud nine, not sure what to think, and the next day I was with my comp, Peery Elder, such a STUD I lvoe him so much. We Get along great, but we are the youngest companionship out, he is just 10 weeks in and I am literaly 1 in. So we have a challenge ahead but Pres Hettuinger said that he trusts us and the Lord trusts us to kill it in our area, and we will! 

We are in a small city called Tatabánya, (northwest of Buda) and it reminds me of college station, but it is really small, and the houses are sma,l and run down, more than I thought, and it is a humbling sight to be here each and every day. But I will be honest to everyone, I was doing great getting  by not understanding everyone we talked to on the streests and taught and the members and all that unitl Sunday morning, it hit me. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING. I am in Europe, speaking one of the Hardest languages in the world, with a persoin I just met, and in a place where I dont know if the people I tak to are saying you are nice or I want to kill you haha. It was a moment of complete overwhelming stress, and I literally starting to freak out internally, because I only want to serve and do good to this people, and I cannot do that without knowing the language, so I got on my knees, and I prayed, and I cried. I did. I cried of frustration and despair becuase I have no idea what I should be doing, All I can do is smile say hi, and bear testimony. And After that I had a good talk with my comp and from then until now I have been really leaning if not laying on the Atonement of Jesus Christ to carry me through this, and I heard two things come to me as I was thinking the last couple days. "God breaks us down, to build us up 100 times stronger", and from Elder Anderson of the 12 (Apostles) "You may not know everything, but you know enough", and a quute from my mom "I asked God why are you taking me through such deep waters? He said, "because your enemies cannot swim.""

I Amstruggling, but I am thriving on the spirit of missionary wrok. I know everything I am experiencing is for my good, and I need it, and I will grow from this. I am already doing better but it is a process. I love you all, and encourage you to plead with all the energy of soul to Father in Heaven for things you need, and he will support you. 

Love yall!!
Hough elder

(Some other interesting tidbits from his quick letters to me and Jared this week).
I literally only get 1-2 hours most to respnd and read emails in this area and the best place to do it is in győr, an hour train ride from my first city, tatabánya. (Even still...) the computer shuts off, its in Hungarian! I had a hard time getting onto this computer to email cause I had no idea what the librarian was saying, but I got through it with help. I do not like how helpless I am and vulnerable when people talk to me, but I am really trying to trust that the language will come. (Because of Jake's limited time to read and reply to emails--the Mission President wants them super focused--there are a few pictures, but no captions. But I'm grateful for pictures!)
Where we are we have 12 members in church, I obviously play piano in sacrament and they love it, and we have one progressing investigator who is struggling to overcome sins, and we teach her the plan of happiness today. 
I learned though that though there are 5000 memebers in Hungary, only 800 are actively attending. That is a daungting amount of inactivity.
It is pretty cold. Winter is coming and I dont have a coat, but the thermal [underwear] has saved my BUTT. For real they have, and we are getting a coat if we can today, a scarf and gloves. (Jake had a really nice multilayered coat that we bought for him that he took to the MTC. But there was a German elder who needed it more than he did, so Jake sold it to him for very, very little. And consequently went to Hungary without anything to keep him warm. Kind of reminds me of this clip that has always been a family favorite. How can we be mad at him for helping another? Yay for thermal underwear, but this mama will feel much better once he has a coat again!)
I love tatabánya, it has some really poor areas, most of it is poor, and the buildings are shambles and it is honestly a 3rd world european country, very humbling, but there are people that need this gospel, and I am here for them not for me. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

update on Elder Jake Hough, 9.25.18--week 9

"I'm so excited to be leaving. It is what Heavenly Father needs me doing right now and I have had a personal witness of that fact, so do not worry about me! I am in the Lord's hands, the safest in the universe!" ~Hough Elder

Jake left the Missionary Training Center in Utah, yesterday morning. Somehow, as is his special luck, he was pulled aside and had to go through an intense security check--at the Salt Lake City airport of all places. As if they've never seen a clean cut young man in a suit and tie before. ?? They patted down his tie among other things and went through his carry-on bag--all 35 pounds of it. (He got "pegged" in the College Station Airport, also, when he was flying to Utah. They had to pat him down all over and they unpacked his entire carry on and then, once they deemed it okay, they made HIM put it all back in, causing Jake to be one of the last passengers to board and a little bit frazzled. Poor guy.)  Maybe the security check yesterday wouldn't have been such a big deal, except he lost about 30 minutes of time to call home because of it. But by some miracle, there was a delay in their flight to Amsterdam and we got about that much time back to talk to each other before he left.

When Jake first called, I told him call Cooper at school. Coop had mentioned to his 4th, 5th and 6th period teachers that his brother, who he hadn't talked to in 2 months, was getting ready to fly to Hungary for two years and was able to call briefly before he left. They were all pretty understanding about that. Wouldn't you know that Jake called at the end of Cooper's German class in 6th period, taught by a wonderful teacher who attends the College Station 3rd ward--the ward we used to live in. :) I was touched when he told me what she said. Cooper approached her before class saying that his brother might be calling before he leaves the country on his mission and before he could say another word, Frau Allen put up her hand and said, "Say no more. When the call comes in you just point to your phone and go right outside to take that call."

Because of the flight delay, Jake was able to talk to Jared at work and then again back at home with me. He actually caught JJ after school and I drove to the bus stop where Karcyn and Calvin would be dropped off so he could catch them, too. Jake was just minutes from boarding. It would be close! I couldn't believe the blessing of being able to connect Jake with his younger siblings. I certainly didn't anticipate that happening! Karcyn got off (while trying to manage and balance a big broken binder full of books and folders and her viola) and got into the car. But there was no Calvin. When I asked her where he was, she said she didn't know and didn't see him on the bus. Ahhh!! I gave the phone to her to talk to Jake as I drove her home while looking for Calvin at the previous bus stops.

As we got closer to the house, I finally had to say goodbye to Jake--he was steps away from the gangway and I had to find Calvin. Jake was SO bummed he couldn't talk to his little buddy. (Turns out when I pulled in the driveway with Karcyn, Calvin was calling. He thought I was substituting that day and was going to pick him up. Ohhhh. Darn it, darn it!! I had thought about working until I learned Jake was leaving that day and got out of it. Poor kid. So I drove to go pick him up feeling terrible about the misunderstanding and that he was the only family member who didn't get to talk to Jake--which he actually took in good stride.)

I wanted to share one thing that Jake mentioned in our call yesterday. I'm a little worried about him going to the mission field, fresh out of the MTC, ready to rock 'n roll and being with a companion who is tired, burned out and has lost their excitement and motivation, settling instead for being cynical. I don't want Jake to EVER become cynical and told him to please pray against those discouraging thoughts and to not let anyone make him feel that way. To that, Jake responded that he's already decided there are THREE things he's going to tell every companion he gets, regardless of where those other young men are on their mission journey. 

1) I'm so happy to be here and I'm going to work hard.
2) We're not talking bad about anyone, especially other missionaries.
3) I love you and can't wait to get to know you better as we preach the gospel together.

I just received these "Proof of Life" pictures from Sister Hettinger, wife of the mission president. 
And I wept tears of joy when I saw them! Jake and his "older big sisters" look fabulous!! I'm so grateful for their safe arrival and can't wait to hear how everything unfolds!
What a beautiful city! What a wonderful work!

This is it. This is what Jake's been planning his whole life for. And this has been my mission--to raise a missionary ready to hit the ground running in whatever field of labor the Lord needs him. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Elder Jake Hough, 9.19.18--week 8

The End of The World...As Well As My Stay at The MTC


Good luck to my Aggies as they take on Alabama on the road. And congratulations to BYU for winning ON THE ROAD against #6 in the nation Wisconsin, that is such a special occasion and I am happy for all those who enjoyed that success!

Well, this week literally blinked by, it was just last wednesday and now here I am, typing out my last email to y'all before I enter the mission field of Hungary....I am just in shock at how fast time flies and how many good friends you make in the MTC, leaving in 5 days is going to be way harder than I thought it would be. Every day this week is a last for me, I have already started packing.....its wild. But I did receive my flight plans! Got them late friday night, and I'm leaving monday at 10:15am and the flight from SLC to Amsterdam is 12 hours, and I get there at 9:15am, layover for about 3 hours, then another 3 hour flight to Hungary, get there about 1 pm their time, I am so excited! I just learned by experience that "Perfect love casteth out all  fear" and I am just so excited now and not scared to serve! I promise as a representative of Jesus Christ to y'all as you reach out to others in love and to serve them and to do as the Savior Jesus Christ would, you will find that the things that are scary to you, the things that are hard, the things that are weighing down your minds and hearts because of the troubling things that can transpire in life, all these things will be wiped away by the Savior's merciful Atonement that allows us to become better and more like Him. Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said once that 


I just love that. It is so true, through his grace and Atonement we are able to BECOME. Become better, become more loving, caring, patient, meek, humble, submissive, selfless, and ultimately more like He is. that is the mission statement of the MTC: "Become as He is". I know this to be true, and that as we study Christ's teachings and doctrines in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible, we will come to understand Him more and will inherently come closer to Him, and as I was saying earlier, all the worries and strifes of life will be wiped away as we come to love others and love the Savior. "Perfect love casteth out ALL FEAR." Not just a little, ALL. Such a powerful promise from our Loving Heavenly Father. 

Alright, so I know y'all read the title above and you are probably wondering why I said the end of the world. Well, as of the beginning of last week, a massive, MASSIVE fire was started in Payson Canyon. HUGE. Since then, it has been blowing 40-50 miles an hour consistently driving it further into populated areas and other parts of the mountains. Some of the Noverek (Hungarian sisters) have family in Salem and Elk Ridge and have pictures of the bright orange flames literally in their back yard as they are evacuating their house. It is a humbling picture. On day we were walking outside doing an SYL walk (Speak your language practice) we could see the red flames from the MTC twenty miles away from Payson Canyon. I'll attcah pictures but it is a humbling sight to see. It literally feels like Vesuvius went off and we are getting rained down on by ash. Because saturday we did. We were outside and even inside it smelled like SMOKE. It looked like smoke, and the rooms inside even smelled bad. and it was snowing ash from 20 miles away. and to make matters worse, the Payson Canyon fire AND a second fire converged to make a big one, which as of saturday was only 4% contained. Well everyone was praying and fasting that I knew of, and we get outside sunday and there is NO SMOKE. None, I was baffled. It was all gone. I then hear that saturday night was Miracle Sunday morning, becuase the trenches the Fire Fighters were digging to keep it back, even with 50 mph winds, the line held and it didn't move, and though the forecast showed no rain, a rainstorm came in onto the flames and helped make it smaller. Literally one of the coolest things to hear about and to know that Heavenly Father gives us these things, natural disasters, trials, so that we can see His hand in our lives and to be grateful for His love, and to just know He is there. It was a raw experience.

Also, Neil L Andersen came yesterday to talk to us about an odd subject, but he talked about the temple. And he said a lot of stuff that is not appropriate to share on a mass email due to the sacredness of it, but one promise he made to us missionaries is one I would like to convey to y'all, because it is a promise from an Apostle of The Lord Jesus Christ, and is from God to His children, he said "If you will go to the temple in a spirit of humility and a spirit of searching, and love for the temple, you will come to have a surety of the knowledge that there is indeed life after death, and that this is not the end, but a small part of the Plan of Salvation, God's Plan of Happiness to His children. It will not all come at once, but as you are patient with yourself and willing to learn, you WILL come to know this to be true." What a promise! I loved that. And he made the point that you cannot compare you physical or temporal learning and progression to your spiritual progression. They are intertwined and important yes but everyone learns temporally and spiritually very differently. Patience with ourselves and with God when learning of things that are spiritual which are Eternal, is one of the greatest attributes to have, and I would invite y'all to work on being patient with yourself and God as you go through you life, to really just trust in Him, and His timing. Another Andersen quote, "You don't know everything, but you know ENOUGH." I know this to be true.

If there is one thing I could end with, that has been impressed upon my mind to share with y'all that has really helped me through the MTC, that has really helped me to have a change of heart and a coming closer to Christ in my time here, is this: God, our Eternal Father, the most magnificent Being in the universe, love each of us individually. He could be doing anything he wants to, yet, He loves us on an individual level because we are His spirit children, so much so that He gave us the opportunity to come to Earth, to receive a body. to gain experience and to really feel snippets and pieces of what it is like to be Him. He gave us families, which enables us to have and to experience the joy of bringing spirits to this world, and to be a parents as He is, and He knew that in all this joy and happiness that we experience because of life, there would be harder times. We would have doubts. Fears. worries. Insecurities. Physical Ailments. Afflictions. Temptations. But Heavenly Father loves you, and me, and the people of Hungary and the World so much, that He sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to Atone for the fears, worries, insecurities, physical ailments, afflictions, and temptations of all who have lived, live now, and will yet live on this Earth. He took upon Him all that so that we could turn to Him, and ask Him for strength, comfort, peace, guidance, and forgiveness through that infinite Atonement. And because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I am able to make mistakes, and to feel down, and to experience these things, so that I may be able to know the joy and peace that comes from Christ. And you are too. Heavenly Father also loves us so much that he gave us a record of His children in Ancient America, that holds the fulness of His Gospel or teachings that will enable us to return to live in His indescribably magnificent presence as we live by His gospel. The Book of Mormon, the record I mentioned previous, is true, and it has POWER in it. the stories and experiences of those people and prophets of old are for ME AND YOU to come closer to Christ. without that book, I would be lost on the waves of the world, with no sense of direction and purpose. But becuase of it, I have a compass in my life to tell me which way to sail safely the seas of life. I know this to be true. I implore each of you who reads this, and promise you, that if you read this book-whether for the first time or the 25th time-if you read it with an intent and a desire to come closer to Christ and to know what you must do to return to our Heavenly Father's presence And if you pray on your knees, and ask, plead with Heavenly Father if what you read was true, and I promise when you do, you will feel the love of God stronger than ever testify to you that what you read was true. The joy I have from this Gospel is real, I cannot deny it, I would die rather than deny what I know to be true. I am humbled and boggled that my Father in Heaven trusts ME, a 18 year old boy, still unsure of many things, to teach this beautiful message of Eternal Happiness and Salvation to His Hungarian children. I am honored and sunk to my knees every night in gratitude for this opportunity. I love y'all, I love the Hungarians, and I love my God. I cannot imagine what Hungary will be like, but I know they need this message. And only I can take it to them in my broken Hungarian. May God be y support over these next months. I turn to what the prophet Nephi says at the end of his message to his people in the Book of Mormon: "The Lord has commanded me, and I must obey."

isten áldja meg a magyarokat és mindannyian! Jézus Krisztus evangéliuma igaz! Ő él! 

Sok sok szeretettel!
Hough Elder 

District Selfie with Sharp Nover (their third teacher--she led the missionaries through the pre-MTC program/experience as well before they even arrived in Provo.)
 Hosting the new missionaries coming to the MTC last Wednesday.
Yay for middle school orchestra fundraisers!! Jake said the chocolate bars I sent the district were "Well received!!" :)
 Studying the Book of Mormon in Hungarian "Other Side of Heaven" style.
Elder Soltis--English speaking elder, but native HUNGARIAN from Vesprem! He is awesome!

As I was getting this post ready to send out, I received this picture below in my email. It wasn't from Jake, but from friends of our family--taken today. The guy in the middle in the red shirt was JARED'S MTC companion, Shane Johnson, 25 years ago. He and his wife, Brandi, were dropping off their son and first missionary, Trey, for his report day. I don't know where they were or what they were doing, but Trey said,  "Mom, look. I think that's Jake." (I'm impressed Trey would recognize Jake--the kids don't know each other that well.) So Brandi called out, "Is that Elder Hough?" When Jake saw them, he ran over and gave them all hugs. Brandi said it was such a tender mercy for them as they were saying their goodbyes to Trey. It was a tender mercy for me, too. So glad another dad and mom could give Jake a hug when I couldn't! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Elder Jake Hough, 9.12.18--week 7

SZIAAAAAA AGGGGGGIEEESSSS! and of course, ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE A COUGAR!! LETS GO! Before I start the email I wnat to give a shout out to the CSHS (College Station High School) Cross Country team, who has dominated their last two meets from what I hear and are well on their way to exceeding their expectations for state, their last meet at the Hewitt Kiwanis Invitational was a sweep, I'll let the numbers speak for themselves:

1- CSHS 28 pts 
2- Killeen Ellison 81 pts 
3- Austin Westlake 105 pts
4- Belton 109 pts
5- Corsicana 109 pts

CSHS top finishers 
Benn- 15:52.4
McGinnis- 16:00.9
Sid- 16:15.4
Reichmann- 16:42.9
Lindahl- 16:58.1
Hazelwood- 17:21.1

All finished in the top 20 

Guys, I want y'all to know I am BEYOND stoked and excited for y'all. That is getting into Lovejoy territory more than it ever has, so keep up the work. I wish I was there to watch, but I know that y'all will do great and I am so proud of y'all and happy for the success y'all are having! Enjoy it Seniors its gone before you know it!

Alright. This week, as most, was just mind blowing! i have never seen Heavenly Fathers love for me individually, and for the Sister Missionaries in my district more than I have this week. It was a rough week. It really was. But the experiences we have had because of it and the emotions that have been shared and the charity that has been felt between everyone has brought us closer as a family than anything else could, and that is what the Gospel is about. Bringing everyone closer together as we come closer to Christ. Because as You and I come closer to Christ, we come closer to each other because we are going in the same direction. We had a few sisters this week have a hard go, and it was a ROUGH week, I didn't know the 3rd week till you leave is the hardest but it is. Anyway, we were in class and some of the sisters expressed that they were having a hard time feeling of God's Love in their lives, because of how hard the mission life is, and that prayers theyve had haven't been answered and we sat in a circle and read scriptures with each other. I shared my keystone scripture Alma 38:5 (And now my son Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that inasmuch as ye shall put your trust in God, you shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day) with them and told the story behind that scripture which was when I collapsed at Region and was in the hospital, but I told them the whole emotion behind the story, and how I cam across the scripture in the hospital bed, and that I at one point when I couldn't think or breathe right after the incident that I thought I was going to die I was so scared, and then not knowing what was wrong was the hardest not answer to a question. But I told them that I had learned a hard lesson in trusting in God and His plan for me, and we just discussed scriptures like that and that spirit was so strong I teared up. I didn't cry because I don't bawl, but some tears of empathy and charity for my fellow sisters were shed, and it was a tender and very spiritual experience. I realized the possibility that I could be put on a different flight than the Sisters (being assigned) in two days which would mean I would have to say good bye at the MTC, and as I thought about it, I can honestly say that they are my sisters. Older Sisters I have never had until now. The road of that realationship and dynamic has been rough, mainly cause I work hard, and they do too but they are the most savage roasters on the planet (sorry dad you pale in comparison theyd destroy you) and I have had to learn to REALLY just go with the flow with them and to laugh at myself and to just recognize fun where it is and for what its worth, and because of that journey with these sisters and the fact I wont see them in Hungary because of mission rules, I will probably cry when I say bye, honestly. And I'm ok with that. If you asked me if I would've wanted a district full of sisters before my mission I would have said heck no. But I can say with the honesty of my heart that I would have it no other way. I wouldn't.

I got sick this week. Flu season is upon us. But I wasn't flu sick, just really bad headache, runny nose, drainage and ACHING EVERYWHERE it was not fun. It got to the point where I almost fell walking back to my room on saturday night and I asked my good friend Yasli Mitchell for a blessing of healing, yasli Johnson to anoint and all the yasli to bless. Mitchell had never done one, and he did awesome with it I was really proud of him. Well, that was right before I went to bed so we said prayers and then went to bed. I prayed again for the healing from that blessing. and then in the morening, after the cobwebs were shaken off I realized every single symptom I had the night before was GONE. Vanished. Drainage and cold doesn't normally go away by itself from my experience that fast. That was overnight. I know that the Melchezidek Priesthood that Yasli johnson, MacKay and Mitchell held worthily is what healed me from my ailment. And The whole floor is sick now, but I am fine, thankfully. What a testimony builder of the power of the Priesthood in our lives, and if any of you have worries, concerns, stresses, or sicknesses that are ailing you, go to those who hold the priesthood: Dads, brothers, ministering Brothers, and ask for that blessing, and I promise as Christ repeatedly says in the New Testament "According to thy faith", you will be healed, and if not immediately, don't worry! The Lord knows exactly what you need and when you need it. Persevere with patience and you shall not fail. I promise you that. (In another message, Jake said: There is an elder one floor below us who is quarantined because of the Roto Virus that has been going around Provo and American Fork. He is bedridden he is so sick cant even go home and apparently it is airborne hence such serious quarantine. Pray I don't get it before leaving!) 
A final thought before I finish this email, We had Robert C Gay of the Presidency of the 70 come last night to speak to us. Well, his wife spoke, then he gets up very quietly and says "well, in true missionary fashion, I ripped up my talk just two minutes ago, and would like to convey what the lord needs you to hear this night." I got chills when he said that and was like here we go. He spoke by the Holy Ghost, no notes, nothing but his scriptures and the Spirit, and he answered a question I have had for a week or two in the first 5 minutes of his address. But what I want to tell y'all and have y'all really think about this week are these two quotes that work hand in hand:

"You can live by COVENANT or by CONVENIENCE"---Robert C Gay

"If something we think, say, do, or see/watch alienates us from the Holy Spirit of Revelation and of God, then we SHOULD NOT DO IT. It is not for us."---Elder Bednar

I love y'all so much, next week I'll let y'all know where I fly out to and when and with who and it's so exciting! I love this gospel, and I love my Savior. He died for me, and this mission is literally the least of what I could do to try to repay that debt I owe to Him. Love those around you, and just smile, its the plan of happiness after all!


Hough Elder

Photo shoot Friday!
BEST DISTRICT selfie with FIEL NOVER (one of our instructors)!
"Trifle not with sacred things." Haha!
Look who I ran into at the MTC?! (Jared and Dallin Garlick's cousin!!) (Friends in our old ward)
Guess the drink 2.0. (I call it dragon juice:)
Hough Elder

Also funny story, I made Fox 13 as a missionary lol! I'll send you the link with me and the turkish on camera. It was so funny. "Riiiiiiiiiiighht THERE!" (a reference from "The Incredibles") is what you'll be saying haha! 

View news clip HERE.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Elder Jake Hough, 9.5.18--week 6

Itt a nagy email, remelem szeretetek neki! (Here is the big email, hope y'all like it!)

Szia AGGGGIELLLLAAAAND! Focsi ido van! (It's Football season!)

Hope all is well in the promised land of the south, football and otherwise, I heard that the Aggies took a win this last week which is awesome! though, it ALWAYS starts this way, so we'll have to wait and see how it goes with Jimbo haha!

This week was AMAZING! Everytime I start thinking the MTC is getting comfortable or monotonous in the daily routine Heavenly Father probably chuckles to himself and says, "monotonous you say? Well, have fun with this". He has a sense of humor no doubt, because of this story that happened this week that was the highlight of the week not for the trial it was but because of the outcome. So I have been carrying my 2 inch binder full of piano music around with me to play when the 5 minutes opportunity to tickle the ivories comes up and I can do that, but it doesn't fit in my scripture bag cause its a 2 inch binder, so I have to carry it, and it's heavy. Another missionary and I have come up with an engineering idea for piano music accesibilty and such to incorporate into pianos but I will keep that to myself for now so no one takes my million dollar idea haha. But one day, I think monday last week, I lost the binder. Straight up, I couldn't find it, I had jsut moved into my room with the Turkish Elders who ARE THE BEST oh my goodness I love them all so much and they are so amazing. But I checked my old room and then I literally looked on every square inch of the room I was then in, in bags, in drawers under beds-Mom, you would be tearing up with pride at how well I scanned these rooms, it was that thorough-and I couldn't find it....I was getting frantic at this point. Not outwardly, but internally. I then realized I should say a prayer and ask for help to know where to look, because Heavenly Father will not help us in our endeavors if we are not ENDEAVORING for them, we must be moving in some sort of direction or he cannot tell us which way to go. So I started looking in every MTC lost and found there was, which with the fact of no free time in the MTC was a feat, and quite a burden for those with me, but they all graciously helped me look basically everywhere I had been with it, and as wednesday came and went, so did friday, and nothing had been found, though the entire time I had been praying morning, night, and everyday. I was still happy and having fun of course, but the nagging urgency to find my binder of music that wasn't for me even I brought it for the Hungarians to be blessed by Gospel Arrangments, was creeping into the forefront of my mind more and more steadily. Finally, saturday morning afterour morning class, I still had not found it. I was really saddened and dissappointed, but at this point of it being almost a week of not finding it, I was in the computer lab on our floor that we frequent often to write emails, read emails, and practice language online. I was preparing for a lesson or something along those lines when one of the Noverek (Frandsen Nover) was by the desk in the lab, and says "Uh, Hough Elder, is your binder big and blue?" Confused I turned my head and said "why yes it is, why do you ask?" She responded with " Because it's right here." The binder had been in the most obvious spot of the entire MTC, but because of it's generic look and size everyone, even other teachers and missionaries had assumed it to be a teachers binder and had left it untouched until we came across it. I checked and it was indeed my binder full of music. 

At that moment, I knew in my heart and mind that Heavenly Father knows each of us on a personal level that can only be described as perfect. He is our literal father, and loves us with a capacity only infinity can understand, and that week he was testing me, trying to see if I would be faithful to him and trust in His will, and to have the faith. And now I can testify to y'all that he is indeed our Father, and loves each of us, and if we ask with sincere hearts and real intent the desires of our hearts whether that be questions, concerns, life trials or afflictions, even the deepest cry a person can ask "Why?" If we ask in faith, then ACT in faith, He will guide or steps whether we know it or not, and some questions are answered in 2 days, 20 years, or after this life, but ALL questions are answered. God Loves each and every one of you, and He loves the Hungarian people so much that he is sending me, a member of His church from College Station Texas, to preach and proclaim His word to them that they may have eternal life. That is just a particle of evidence that shows His love for us. I want each of you, I invite each of you who read this, to sometime this week, whether now or tonight or in two nights, to get down on your knees, and ask your Father in Heaven the desires of your hearts. Any problems or concerns or stresses you have, give them to Him, and ask for answers or help to those quieries. I promise, that as you ask in faith, then ACT in faith, whether that be searching for an answer yourself or searching the Book of Mormon with that question in the front cover or even just continual prayer and listening after that prayer, I promise that He WILL answer you. In one way or another He will. I know this to be true. The words to a hymn will suffice to end this thought "Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side; With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain. Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change he faithful will remain." (Hymn 124 Be Still my Soul).

Another cool thing that happened this week was that our district had an experience in class on Saturday that was ridiculously funny on so many levels given the variety of savagery and personality on our class, that caused all of us including Squire testver to laugh for literally an hour of class. It was that funny and just fed off of everyone. I have never laughed so hard or long in my life. The details of the why are not appropriate to diclose in this mass email or other emails, but it was a time for us to come closer as a district as the last 19 day countdown is upon us, and that has some of us worried more than excited so it was a good thing we could spend some time laughing together. 

There is so much more that happened this week that I can't write down, but this Gospel, the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith is true. I know this with all my heart. I am humbled by the opportunity to be a fulltime servant of my Savior and to bring these glad tidings of great joy to the Hungarian people. 

til next week! Szeretek Titeket!
Hough Elder

Yasli (Elder) Johnson (one of the Turkish roomies) and I in the morning
Me and Elder Cook (from serving in the Houston temple and First day at the airport) he left today for California spanish Speaking
 Yasli Mitchell and I literally best friends he is so awesome
The district monday night, I finally get to hug someone in a Picture! ;)