Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week #63

Howdy howdy! I hope this week has been a great week for y'all! We have had a super busy week this week, and have seen many miracles!

So first off, Glenna got baptized! It was such an awesome service, the Spirit was super strong and there was a good amount of people there too! Some of her family came me surprised her for the baptism too which was awesome! Her husband served a mission and then went less-active, and he ended up baptizing her. It was such a neat experience to witness.

Jakob and Matthew are both doing well and are still on track for this Saturday! They are growing so much and are really enjoying the gospel!

We had the blessing of finding a lot of new people to teach this week, including this awesome part-member family! Their name is the Redd family! They have 5 kids with number 6 on the way! Blair, the dad, is the only member, and all of the kids have lots of questions about the church. They are doing really well, and the kids even want to come to church!

My spiritual thought this week comes from the Book of Mormon, in Ether chapter 12 verse 6. It reads;

"6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

This is great verse. A lot of times as missionaries we run into people who want physical evidence of the things we teach, but aren't willing to exercise their faith to find out if it is true. It says we will not receive a witness until after the trial of our faith. That means we have to act upon our faith and show the Lord our faith. As we do this, we will receive help from on high and answers to our prayers. I challenge each of you to exercise your faith and rely on the Savior and His power! I say these things in the na,e of Jesus Christ amen.

Have a great week y'all! Until next week! God speed!

Elder Houssian

 An awesome storm we watched the other day.

Glenna's baptism! 

My Son :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Week #62

Howdy y'all! This week has been a crazy week, and man did it fly by! I hope y'all have had a wonderful week this week! 

First off, our Mission President dropped some big news on us this past week! We received an email mission-wide saying that we are going to become an online proselyting mission! So we can use Facebook, Skype, and other apps to continue spreading the word and have more resources to do so! Also, I've been sick for the second half of the week which hasn't been fun. Its alright though! 

This week we were able to set two more people to be baptized! Harold and Kasie (Cassie) are set for October 14th! They are such a sweet family and it has been so much fun getting to know them and teach them. They gospel is truly changing them for the better, and they are uniting as a family!

Glenna is doing great! She had her interview and passed! She is ready for this Saturday, and is eager to be baptized! Jakob and Matthew are still doing great and are anxiously looking forward to their baptism next Saturday

For my thought this week, I wanted to share part of a verse from Alma chapter 22. It's verse 18 and it reads

".. and I will give away all my sins to know thee"

Here, Aaron is teaching a king about God. The king had very little knowledge of God, and was curious to know the nature of God and how we as humans came to be. After Aaron taught about eternal life and how it comes only through Christ, the king asked how he could have eternal life. Aaron taught that he needed to pray to God with faith, to repent of his sins, and pray for conversion to the Lord. In doing so, he would receive the blessings God had in store for him. As the king prayed, he said "..and I will give away all my sins to know thee". He was willing to sacrifice all of his ways that weren't in line with the will of God's. Are we as members of the church willing to do that? Are we willing to make sacrifices to align our will with God's, and to take upon ourselves the name of Christ? To take upon us the name of Christ (which we promised to do when we were baptized) means to have a willingness to do whatever He asks of us. We do that by giving away all of our sins, to know Him. When we do so, we honor Him, and draw from His power, and become more and more like him. I pray that each of us will work towards and make sacrifices to align our will with our loving Father in Heaven. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a wonderful week y'all! God speed!

Elder Houssian

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week #61

Howdy y'all! I hope y'all have had a great week this week! This week went by really fast, and we were definitely able to see some miracles!

So first off, Glenna, Matthew, and Jakob are doing great! Glenna is ready for the 16th! She's reading to the Book of Mormon, saying her prayers, and she's at church every week. Jakob and Matthew are both getting ready for the 23rd! Their baptisms are together, and will be at 8 am so we'll be up early! These three individuals are progressing very well. It is incredible to watch the Spirit work with these wonderful children of God.

One of the miracles this week that we saw was this past Thursday. We went to go contact this girl who the past missionaries were talking to, and in the past few weeks we have never been able to catch her. But finally, we did on Thursday! We were riding our bikes down the street and saw her getting out of her car, and her neighbor was standing there talking to her. We rode past her and then I felt this prompting to go turn around and talk to her, so we did. We rode up and she was leaned over in her car, and her neighbor put his hand up signaling he didn't want to talk, but we still stopped and we asked if we could have some water. She comes out of the car and was super excited to see us, ran in, and got us water. We were there talking to the neighbor and he started to relax and talk to us. Then Kasie came back out with water for the both of us. We set a return appointment for the next day, and when we came back her husband was home and so was their 6 year old daughter! So we sat down with the three of them, and they said that their daughter was asking about who God was. So we went to the very basics and tried teaching a 6 year old who God was haha. Nonetheless they were super interested. They expressed desires to come to church and get closer to God. We went back and saw them the next day, and then invited to church! They committed but then couldn't because Kasie's sister shattered her wrist, so she was in the ER with her. But we saw them today at Walmart and set a return appointment for tomorrow!

Another cool miracle this week was when we went to stop by a former family that had been taught in the past. We had tried before and no luck, but this time caught them sitting on their porch! We talked to them for 20 or 30 minutes, and then set a return appointment. We came back the next day and had a great conversation with them, and they really opened up. Their 12 year old daughter wants to find a church, and is very interested in our teachings. Her mom has some high standards and morals very similar to the church, and when we told her that we believe in the same things, she was very intrigued. We invited them to come to church, and the daughter came! She has a friend in the ward that is a member, and this member had invited her in the past to go to church. So Mikayla (the daughter) came to church this week! Her mom just got a new job so she had to work, but she still wants to meet with us this week.

My spiritual thought this week comes from the Book of Mormon, in Mormon 7:5 and it reads

"5 Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up."

I love this scripture. Here Mormon is admonishing these people to believe in Christ and accept His gospel. The scriptures are for our day, and so here Mormon is admonishing US to believe in Christ and accept His gospel. We do this by really studying the scriptures, by fervently praying, and by attending Church so that we can partake of the sacrament and renew our covenants, or promises, with the Lord. And in return, we are promised to have His spirit to be with us wherever we go, as long as we live worthily of it. As we take heed to this counsel and do the things we are asked to do, and keep the commandments, we will grow and progress, and the Lord will mold our hearts into better disciples of the Lord. We will be changed and we will grow closer to our Savior, and we will learn what we can do to be more like Him. It also says that He gained victory over the grave, and in Him the sting of death is swallowed up. When the Savior suffered in Gethsemane for us, He didn't just take on the sins of the world, He took on the sadness, the sorrows, the pains, the afflictions, and everything else. He knows what we are going through. We ALWAYS have someone we can turn to, no matter what, because the Savior felt everything, and He felt it first. As you build your faith in Christ and accept His gospel, you will come to a sure knowledge that Jesus truly is the Christ, and that He knows us individually, and knows what we have gone through, what we will go through, and what we are currently going through. He did this for us, and this gift was freely given. I pray that y'all will use this freely given gift, the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I promise if you do, you will be strengthened and uplifted, and the Lord will help you withstand the roadblocks we face in life, and you will be made stronger and more prepared to take on the trials ahead. I say these things humbly, in the sacred name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope this week is a great week for each of y'all! Enjoy the holiday weekend and be safe! Till next week. God speed!

Elder Kyle Houssian

 Water bottle bowling!

This stake was literally the size of my face!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Week #60

Hey y'all! Hope y'all were able to stay dry! I heard the storm has been crazy, stay safe! We've had a fun week this week! Lots of big things are happening!

We have been meeting with this 17 year old kid named Jakob, and the lessons have been going really well. He's a scientific kid and wants evidence to the things we teach, but over time has softened and has learned to listen more to the Spirit. On Wednesday we invited him to baptism and he accepted!  He is set to be baptized on the 23rd! He is really excited and is progressing quickly.

Glenna and Matthew are both doing really well still! Glenna is set for the 16th and Matthew is set for the 23rd also! They are both progressing and are growing every day!

Funny story! So I know this is nothing compared to the rain Texas has been getting, but it's Vegas! So Wednesday we decided to do some biking to mix it up. So we start and it's super cloudy outside. We go and contact a few people and see some miracles. Then we start to feel a light sprinkle, so we start hauling to a member's house down the street. Not 30 seconds later and God is throwing buckets of water on us (it was so much fun). So we get to this member's home to wait out the storm.... and they're not there. That meant we had to bike 3 more blocks to get to the next member's house. We waited for a slowing of the rain, and took off. As soon as we got to the end of their driveway, we got pounded again, and this time it didn't stop. So we biked in a downpour for about 5 minutes and get to this member's house soaking wet haha. To be honest, I absolutely loved it haha it was so much fun! Plus Vegas barely gets any rain, so you've got to enjoy it when it comes!

For my spiritual thought this week, I wanted to mainly target the kids, but this applies to everyone! On Sunday we were with the Young Men during third hour and we were talking about families, specifically the importance of our parents in this part of the lesson. Something that one of their leaders, Brother Hammond, said really stuck out to me. He said "be the kid that you want your future kids to be". That really hit me. Often times, we as teenagers think we know the world. We sometimes think that our parents hold us back or make everything "lame" in a sense. We get mad when we can't stay out an extra 30 min or hour, or we can't go to a friend's house. Whatever it may be, we've all had those moments (I'm definitely guilty as well). But the fact of the matter is, our parents are merely trying to follow the commandment given to them when they signed up to raise us, and raise us right. Raise us in a home where the Spirit can be felt and where the teachings of the Gospel are present. A family reared by the teachings of the Gospel as well as the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a solidly founded family, prepared to withstand the whirlwinds that are placed before us. They aren't doing what they do to limit us, they're doing it to help us so we can grow and progress even further. I truly appreciate the love that my parents have shown my siblings and I, and I'm so thankful for them and all that they did to raise us in an environment strongly rooted in the Gospel. I am forever grateful for my biological parents, Arron and Sarah, for loving me enough to give me up so I could have a better life. I'm grateful for the relationships I'm able to have with them and their families (all 12 of my other siblings and my niece😊). I am forever grateful for my parents, for adopting me and giving me the life I have today. It is because of their example, their love, and their charity that I am where I am today. I know families can be together, and it's such a blessing to be sealed to my wonderful family and to be able to have them for time and eternity. I love my big happy family with all of my heart. It is truly a remarkable blessing to be able to be where I am today with all of these wonderful people. I don't deserve it. I thank my Heavenly Father each and every day for the people I've been blessed to call family, and for their example and their selfless service in making sure me and all of my siblings were raised right, in a Christ centered home. I love y'all. I say these things in the name of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Thank you all for all y'all do! Sorry this is a bit late! I hope y'all have a great week this week, and please keep the people of Houston and other affected areas in your prayers! Until next week! God speed!

Elder Kyle Houssian

 We spray painted bowling balls and then spray painted them for a member
 Stuntin' with my son!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week #59

Howdy everyone! I hope y'all have had another awesome week! Man time truly is flying... another week down! It's been a fun week for Elder Paulukaitis and I!

So we have two investigators with a date right now, and they are both doing great! Glenna is slowly getting off of coffee, on Sunday she came to church at 1 pm and said she didn't have any! She's solid and ready for the 16th! Her and her husband have been coming every week, and her husband is becoming active in the church again!

Matthew Galloway is doing great as well! He's, well, he's a 12 year old haha but he is so much fun to teach and be around! He's got such a kind heart and a sincere desire to learn.

We found a super awesome couple this week, Jacob and Lorena! They have a few kids and are very interested in the message we share, especially Jacob! He expressed the desire to be baptized with his family, so we are excited!

This week for my thought I wanted to share with y'all a scripture that I came across in my studies. Its D&C 12:8, and it reads

"8 And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care."

As members of this Church, we are all given the charge to share the gospel with everyone, to open our mouths at all times! We are so very blessed to have this wonderful restored gospel in our lives, and it is our duty to share it! When we see others as Christ see them, and develop the love and charity He showed, then we will have a burning desire to share it with everyone. As we humble ourselves, build our faith and hope and develop that charity, we will be able to fully participate in this great and marvelous work! As you do this, you will bless the lives of others, you will help them find the happiness and joy they are searching for, even if they don't know they are searching. It will awaken them and open their eyes as to what God's plan is for each and every one of us. I promise that the Spirit will be with you and accompany you, and as promised in D&C, it shall be given in the very moment what ye shall say. I invite all of you to seek out friends, neighbors, or whoever and share our beliefs with them. Plus, the missionaries will love you even more when you give them referrals, because those are the best. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope y'all have yet another wonderful week! Until next week! God speed! (Also, have fun at school for those who start or are already started😉). Also I wanted to shout out my stud of a Brother Tyler tearing up the Mexico City MTC! Fresno isn't ready!!!

Elder Kyle Houssian

 Massive house in our area, and its one of the smaller ones in their neighborhood . . .

Sunsets here are sweet!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week #58

Hey y'all! This week has been busy, the first few days seemed slow but the week flew by! I hope y'all are enjoying yourselves!

So first off, I got my new companion Wednesday! When you train, you call your new missionary your kid haha so I have my son now! His name is Elder Paulukaitis (Paul-uh-kite-iss) he's from Atlanta and is the youngest of 5! He's such a stud, I love this guy so much. He is ready and willing to work hard, and we've been getting after it this week! 

So Thursday we had a meeting with President and Sister Youngblood and all the trainers/trainees. It was awesome, the Spirit was super strong and I learned a lot about being a trainer! It was really cool to see so many friends from the mission! I think there's 5, maybe more, from my group that are training so it was awesome to see all of them there!

We've just been going out this week trying to talk to people, get to know members and investigators, and trying to learn our area since we are both new to the area! We have two people who are set to be baptized next month, and we are super excited for that! One is named Glenda, her husband is a return missionary who has been less-active for years, but she got interested in the church so he started coming again! She's set for September 16th! Then we have Matthew, he is 12 and has a mom who's a member but was inactive for a while, she's coming back though! He's set for September 30th, and is doing really well!

My thought this week comes from Preach My Gospel, a study tool to help us become better missionaries! It's for members and missionaries! In it is a quote from Thomas S. Monson, and it reads 

"Regarding one’s testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses. … Teach and testify. There is no better combination.”

Our testimony is our strongest arrow in our quiver. I invite y'all and extend the challenge to y'all to share your beliefs with those around you. There are so many people who are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel! You never know who you might impact by opening your mouth. I promise as you do this, the Lord will accompany you and you will have the Spirit with you more and more in your life. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope y'all have an amazing week! It's great to hear from all of you! Until next time! God speed!

Elder Kyle Houssian (I gotta put that now since Tyler is out too haha)

 When it rains in the West Las Vegas Mission but no in ours . . .

 Funny sign that a member had on their door!

 Members dropped off food to us on our first day!

 Part two . . .

My amazing son Elder Paulukaitis!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Week #57

Hey y'all! I hope y'all had a wonderful week this week! This week has been a lot of fun! So July is over... man it just keeps going faster and faster! And the transfer just ended as well... it's all a blur! Time flies when you're having fun!

So first off, we found out about transfers and........ Yup you guessed it! I'm being transferred again! I'm going back to the Lake Mead stake in an area that is right down the road from my last area! I'm SUPER excited! We have 2 wards, Pueblo and Calico Ridge, and there are some awesome members out there! Rudy Rudeger (or however you spell it) was baptized about 8 months ago and he lives in my ward! I've met him before, he's awesome, but it will be so much fun! And we cover Lake Las Vegas so that'll be nice to see water again haha. I'm still going to be a District Leader which I really enjoy, and the best part.... I'm training! I'm super excited to train, it'll be my first time training! I have an awesome district as well! Elder Owens, who came out with me, is in my district and my old area, and we are both training! We are the oldest (been out the longest) in our district, and we are both training! And we have an awesome companionship of Sisters, one who's been out for about 6 months and one who has been out for 6 weeks! So this will be a very motivated and moldable district! Elder Alfred will be taking over the area and getting Elder Holly as his companion, and they came out together! This area is in good hands, it has been a ton of fun serving with Elder Alfred!

Update on Elder Alfred's iPad. It still turns on😂 so the guy said it's fixable! Miraculously haha so he gets it back on Thursday! Just thought I'd throw that in there!

So this week was busy! We've been seeing Thomas and Garrettson almost every day! They're doing really well, and we are really working with them! They are progressing well, and there are some big things coming for them in the future!!

We got an awesome referral from the Independence Missouri Visitor's Center (of all places haha) to go visit this lady and give her a copy of the Book of Mormon! She's a member, baptized when she was 8, but was never active! Her husband and 12 year old son are not members, and they all want to come to church this week! Her name is Nancy and she is such a sweet lady! We are going to be meeting with her and her family this week! 

Jarrell is doing well also! He is crazy busy as a janitor at UNLV with school starting up and stuff, but he's loving every bit of it! He's such a kind hearted man, and really loves the gospel and learning about it! He's on track for November 11th, but we are working with him to move the date closer because he is definitely ready!

This week for my thought, I wanted to share a little bit about faith. As I was studying out of the Book of Mormon this week, I was using it side-by-side with the Institute manual for the Book of Mormon. I cam across this quote about faith that really stuck out to me. It says

"If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith."

This really struck me. Sometimes we feel as though the Lord is not listening to us, or that we are not receiving answers to our prayers. God will always answer our prayers, but it may not be in the way we want, and will not be in our time. It will be in the Lord's time. With that being said, sometimes God has us test our faith a little bit. Like it says in this quote, if all of these things happened every time, we wouldn't need faith, and in doing so that would take our agency, freedom to choose, away. If we didn't have our agency, that would make God a liar and His plan invalid. Sometimes, we need to go through things to test our faith, to help us grow stronger, and to help us experience things so that we can turn and help our fellow man. We especially go through trials to be humbled so that we turn ourself to Jesus Christ. When we do that, we receive added, divine strength to be able to withstand and power through our trials. Whenever we ask "Why? Why is this happening to me? Why do I have to go through this? Is there an easier way?" just know that you are not alone, and you are not the only person who's asked that. Someone a lot greater, and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn't an easier way. Brothers and Sisters I promise that as you turn to the Lord, you show Him your faith, and then you act on that faith, you will be strengthened and lifted up, and you will better be able to endure your trials, and in the process you will grow stronger and will be prepared for trials to come, and you will be able to reach down and lift up your fellow man next to you and be there for him as Christ is there for us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope this is another awesome week for y'all this week! I love y'all so much! Until next time! God speed!

Elder Houssian
 Getting our air conditioner fixed
Old School Porsche