Monday, November 13, 2017

Week #71

Howdy y’all! I hope y’all had a great week! This week has been a crazy busy week for us! So this week we have seen a lot of progress in our investigators and in our mission! 

There are some advances being made in our use of our technology on the mission! We had a special meeting with President and Sister Youngblood, where we received some awesome trainings. Sister Youngblood talked about some housekeeping stuff (don’t worry mom, my apartment is clean!) and then President Youngblood talked about some much needed things! He talked about discouragement and how we can face it head on on our missions, and then talked about repentance, which is always good to be refreshed on. Then he gave some training on Facebook. We are getting ready to become an Online Proselyting Mission, so you might see some changes on my Facebook account because we have been given the green light to clean up our accounts and get ready to get the ball rolling! I believe it will be a great tool in the mission if used properly. The Lord’s work is moving forward!

We received a super awesome referral from some elders for a family of four! It’s the Rousseau family, Nathan, Tasha, Alexis, and Talon! They are so solid and are such a cute younger family. 

The Redd’s are doing great! They had their baby this week, which was huge! They named him Lemuel. This will be interesting haha! 

Tyler is doing great! We have a solid date set for him and he is motivated and ready to be baptized!

Everyone else is doing well also. Elder Smith has been doing great and is adjusting so well! I have loved serving with him so far! 

This week I came across this quote from President Hinckley which I loved. It says;

“Never forget who you are. … You are in very deed a child of God. … He is your Eternal Father. He loves you. … He wants His sons and daughters to be happy. Sin never was happiness. Transgression never was happiness. Disobedience never was happiness. The way of happiness is found in the plan of our Father in Heaven and in obedience to the commandments of His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

We are all children of God. He loves us and wants us all to be happy. The way to be happy in this life is through obeying god the commandments of the Savior and through the Plan of Salvation (a.k.a. The Plan of Happiness). I double to testify what President Hinckley said. God loves us and wants us back home. I promise that as we follow the commandments and build our faith in the Savior, and Heavenly Father’s Plan for us, we will find the most joy and happiness in this life, and eternal joy in the life to come. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a wonderful week y’all! Love y’all! Until next week! God speed!

Elder Houssian

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Week #70

Hey y’all!  This week has been crazy busy, and today flew by so I don’t have much time to write! First off, Happy Birthday to my brother Nathan! Love you buddy!

I got my new trainee this week, and I love him! His name is Elder Smith and he’s from Adelaide, Australia! We have been loving serving together and have seen some miracles in the work!

All of our investigators are doing great! This month is looking great for a lot of our investigators! Tyler is doing great and is loving the lessons! The Redds are doing great great also, they are really learning and growing as a family, and Holly is going to have her baby any day now!

Besides that, all is great! I wanted to leave you with this scripture I came across this week in my studies. It comes from Alma, chapter 34, verse 32. It reads

32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

I love this scripture. It is a great reminder that we are only on this earth temporarily, and that after we pass on, we will eventually be in the presence of God again. The decisions and choices we make now will affect us in the life to come. God knew we wouldn’t be perfect and we would sin, so to over come sin and death He sent our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is through Him that we can be forgiven of our wrong choices and be made clean again, and one day live with our loving Heavenly Father again. Those blessings are dependent upon our humility and willingness to allow the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ’s enter into our lives. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope y’all have a wonderful week! Talk soon! God speed!

Elder Houssian

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week #69

Hey y’all! Another week and another transfer are in the bag! This transfer went by so fast! We got our transfer calls this morning and found out that I am staying in my area for a 3rd transfer and I am training again! I am super excited to be able to train another missionary! Elder P is going to a new area in Henderson and he will be training as well. This is a first for me, as it’s the first area that I’ve had where I’ve been there longer than 2 transfers! I love this area so I’m excited to continue serving here!

Our week this week has been busy! We’ve had a lot going on and have been teaching a ton, which is always nice. This week we were able to set one of our investigators with a baptismal date! Her name is Deborah. She is such a nice lady and is really taking the time to study and learn about the Book of Mormon. She comes from a Christian background and knows the Bible very well, and knows how to study it, so she is really loving the Book of Mormon. 

Our investigator Tyler is doing very well! He is on track to being baptized on the 11th, and is so solid. He wants to be a member of the Church so bad. We are going to be seeing him tonight and continuing to tech him and prepare him to be baptized.

The Redd family is doing very well also. Momma Redd is about to have her baby any day now, so we may or may not have to put stuff on hold for a little bit! The kids want to get baptized and are so eager for their baptism on December 9th

Everyone else is doing well! We have lots to do today so I’m going to close with a quote this week! It comes from Erastus Snow, an early General Authority, who said it in a discourse given on October 8th, 1879. It says “He (God) will work in his own wondrous way his purposes to perform. It becomes us to be very humble, that we may be worthy to be his instruments in accomplishing his designs.” Humility is a Christ-like attribute, and one that we as humans always are improving on. As we are humble and align our will with God’s, we will be made effective instruments in His hands to accomplish the things He Needs is to accomplish. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a wonderful week! Talk soon! God speed!

Elder Houssian

#vegasstrong


The Squad
 Still working on their musical talent . . .
 Everyone needs the gospel, right?

 Deer sausage and eggs!

The bros!  Elder Owens and Elder P are being transfered.  :(

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week #68

Howdy y’all! Another week is in the bag! Time just keeps moving, it’s already week 6 of the transfer! We were blessed to see miracles in the work this week, and the Lord’s hand was definitely active in the work. 

We went on exchanges this week and I was privileged to be with Elder Owens, a fellow MTC District member, and we had a blast! We were able to meet an awesome family of 5 that was taught by missionaries before, but then lost contact. They are such a fun family and love having us come over and teach their kids! I played basketball with some of the kids while the others and their friends tried to sword fight Elder Owens with plastic swords. Haha all in all they loved us coming over and wanted us to come back!

We were also able to set two more of our investigators to be baptized in November! Their names are Rayne and Sarai. They’re really cool and humble kids that want to learn more and build t their relationship with God. 

All of our other investigators with dates are progressing very well! We had a great week with most of them, and things are looking up to have a great November!

For my spiritual thought this week, I wanted to share a scripture that I came across this week. It is a very common scripture, but it really stuck out to me. It comes from the Book of Mormon in Ether 12:27. It reads;

“27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”

As a missionary, you feel like there’s an endless list of things you can improve on, which there is. The Lord helps us learn and grow on our mission, and in life. As I have seen my many weaknesses start to surface, I have learned that turning to the Lord for help and strength makes is SO much easier to work through the weaknesses than by my own strength. The Lord has shown us our weaknesses, and has promised that if we humbly turn to Him, He will make our weaknesses become strengths. This is all because of Jesus Christ and the Atonement which He performed. Through Him, we can become stronger, and we can be an instrument in God’s hands to lift up those around us and bring them the joys of the gospel. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a wonderful week y’all! Until next week! God speed!

Elder Houssian

 Handyman Houssian working on a hammock

Slaying this service project!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week #67

Howdy y'all! Man what a good week. I hope y'all had a great week this week! The weather here has been so nice, I think it's here to stay now! There have been a lot of big things that have happened this week, and it seems like time just keeps getting faster and faster!

So this week we were privileged to hear from President and Sister Youngblood. They gave some great trainings, and I was able to learn a lot from them! We also learned how to change a tire and change the oil in a car, which was fun. Thanks Grandpa Tracy and Dad for teaching me that when I was younger, it came in handy!

This week we had the opportunity to do some service for an elderly lady in our ward and her roommate, Deborah. Deborah is a solid investigator we have! We had to move about a ton of rocks from one side of their property to the other. They rented a truck, and Elder Paulukaitis, the Zone Leaders, and I shoveled it into the truck, which Deborah drove to the other side of the house, and then we unloaded it. It only took 1 1/2 - 2 hours, and we had a lot of fun doing it! Deborah is progressing well and is reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and coming to church! She's doing great.

The Redd family is still going strong. Their only hold up is attending church, but Holly and the girls Gracie and Vannah are all reading and praying as well. They are such a wonderful family and are loving the lessons we are teaching!

Tyler is doing great! Jakob has helped us with the lessons so far, and we are going to see him again later today. He wants to get baptized so bad, it's great! On that note, Jakob also received the Priesthood yesterday. It was such a wonderful moment to witness. Now he can baptize his brother if Tyler wants him to.

We have a few more people we are working with, but we have not been able to meet with them too much this past week. We will definitely be picking it back up with them this upcoming week!

The spiritual thought I wanted to share this week comes from 3 Nephi 11:39, which reads;

39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

I love this verse. In this part of the Book of Mormon, Jesus visits the people and teaches them His gospel. At the end of this chapter, after He teaches more principles, He leaves this promise. If we build our faith and our testimony on the Savior and on His teachings, we will have a strong foundation, a foundation that is unshakable when the winds of the adversary try to beat us down. The Savior gave us these teachings so that we can find the most peace, happiness, and joy possible in this life. Life will not magically be perfect as we live the gospel, but we will be able to bear with patience our afflictions, and we will be able to find joy in the things that matter most. I know that to be true. Our Savior willingly gave His life for each of us. He knows us personally. He loves us. He knows exactly what we are feeling and what we are going through, because He felt all of that first. I challenge each of you to turn to Him a little more this week. Thank our Heavenly Father for the endless blessings He has given you, and seek guidance from Him through the Holy Ghost. Allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to carry you, because that is what it is there to do. They are all waiting to help us. I promise you that as you do so, the Lord's hand will be implemented in your life, and you'll find greater happiness and joy in your lives while turning to the Savior. I say these things humbly in the name of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

I love y'all so much! I hope you have a marvelous week! Until next week! God speed!!

Elder Houssian

 Zone Conference!

  My new favorite Halloween decoration!

 I hugged Hermione Granger.  Hermione is and will always be my favorite.  #magical
Shout out to my boy Q.  Do work on the other side, make us proud.  See you soon brother 10/1/17

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week #66

Hey hey y'all! Hope this week has been a great week for everyone. There are lots of big things happening in our area, and this week has been full of miracles!

This week has been great with the Redd family. We had a great lesson with them and set them to be baptized November 18th and they accepted! They are a wonderful family and it has been so great working with them!

We went to go visit Jakob our recent convert this week and see his family as well. His older brother Tyler is my age, and he has been helping us teach Jakob before and after baptism. So come to find out, Tyler was never baptized, even though everyone including himself thought he was baptized. So we went over and asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he accepted and was super excited!! So we are working with him and he is scheduled to be baptized in a November as well! It was such a cool miracle! 

So last night, we had a companionship who was having a hard time finding people in their area this week. I felt impressed to text them Sunday night and see how the work was going for them. They were struggling a bit, so we went with the other companionship in our district and just hit their area hard. From 8:30-9:15 at night we were able to find 6 people to teach and some awesome potential future investigators. It was so fun working as a District and really cool to see the Lord's hand active in the work.

So this week has been a tender week for the Vegas valley, and for a family who I have grown to love so much on my mission. One of my friends, the oldest kid in the family, lost his life this past weekend in the tragedy that occurred on the Strip. It has been a rough week for me, as I have not experienced something like this before. I was able to go and see the family and visit with them Friday, which was a wonderful reunion. Then Saturday I attended the funeral service for my friend. There were 1200+ people there, and more than half of the people who attended were not members of the Church. The two main topics that every speaker mention were the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit was present and was very very strong during the service. I learned so much from that service, and this week has helped me grow closer to my Savior and understand God's Plan. My testimony and my faith have been tried this week, and in turn I have had to rely on the Savior and on the scriptures more than ever this week. The spiritual thought I wanted to share with y'all came from my friend's 17 year old sister. She wrote down her testimony of the Book of Mormon and made copies of it, then put them and copies of the Book of Mormon next to the programs at the service. The copies were taken and majority of the copies of the Book of Mormon were as well. I wanted to share with you the testimony she wrote, which will be attached as a picture. Please read it, and please prayerfully read the Book of Mormon. I testify that it is true. It is the word of God. As my friend's sister said, "It is the only pure and perfect thing on this Earth after Jesus Christ", and I double testify to that. It can comfort us in our darkest times, and we can get closer to God through its principles than by any other book. I know that to be true. I hope you all take the time to read it. God's Plan is perfect. Families can be together forever. And I know that one day I will be able to see my friend again. I know he is with me in this work and is leading the charge for the missionary work in the next life. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope y'all have a fabulous week! Until next week! God speed!

This is the Strip normally

This was the strip last night.  For 11 minutes all the hotels dimmed their lights as a tribute to those victims who lost their lives last weekend. 


The wonderful testimony

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Week #65

Hey hey y'all! I hope this week has been a fun filled week for y'all, and I hope y'all enjoyed General Conference and were able to get something out of it. The talks given were wonderful and they all had great messages to us as God's children!

So for starters this week, I turned 20! I don't feel a whole lot different, but also it was made known by a few fellow missionaries that it was my last birthday in the mission. It's crazy how fast time flies! It was a good day though, I got to spend it doing what I love, and that's Missionary Work! Plus a few members helped make it a bit more eventful! Overall, it was a solid day!

This week we were also able to set another person with a baptismal date! Her name is Cindy and she is a wonderful lady! 

The Redd's are doing great! We are continuing to meet with them and they are progressing very well!

Sorry this email is kind of short, it's been a crazy day with lots of stuff going on. My spiritual thought this week comes from Matthew 11:28-30. With the events happening across the world, and along with that, the recent tragedy down on the Strip in Las Vegas which has affected many lives here including my own, these scriptures have brought peace and comfort to my soul, and have reassured me that we have a loving Father in Heaven and a loving Savior who are there to comfort us and carry us in times of need. It reads;

"28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Brothers and Sisters, these short yet powerful verses are true. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for ALL of our pains, sorrows, sadness, afflictions, and everything else. It was for ALL of us. No one is excluded from the comfort and solace found in the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. With troubled hearts and minds with whatever situations we are dealing with, if we turn to Him, He will strengthen us and empower us, and be our guides through our trials and afflictions. On the contrary, we must also recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives, even though we may not be going through servers trials. Heavenly Father provided us a Savior, so that when our imperfections show due to us being human, when we are knocked down, when we are struggling, in pain, questioning, or anything else, we would be able to be strengthened, uplifted, and healed by the infinite love of Him who suffered and died for us. I know our Savior is there, waiting with outstretched arms to carry us and help us through our trials. He will NEVER abandon us. I plead with each of you to take the struggles and pains of your heart to the Lord. He will give us rest. We will be yoked with the only perfect Man to walk this earth, and our burdens will be made light. We can all be strengthened by Him. I testify from the depths of my very souls that's CAN and WILL be strengthened by the Lord, and the healing power of His Atonement will surround us, comfort us, strengthen us, and make us whole. It is only through our Savior and His Atonement that we can find true eternal happiness. He loves each of us and is aware of our needs. Please, turn to Him, and "ye shall find rest unto your souls". I humbly say these things, in the name of our perfect Brother and loving Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

I appreciate all of you who continue to support the missionaries throughout the world! Your thoughts and prayers are felt and are with us each and every day. My sincerest condolences go out to anyone affected by this tragedy that occurred last night. May God bless you, strengthen you, and be with you. 

Until next week. God speed!

Elder Houssian