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

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Week #56

Hello y'all! Sorry for the late email, we had some technical difficulties this week haha but its all good! This will be short and sweet, but it was a great week!

Part of the reason why I was having technical difficulties was that I am currently sharing an iPad with Elder Alfred because his is..... well broken. He left it on top of the car and it fell off while driving down the street.... then got run over by a truck. Haha so yea I have been letting him use my iPad to talk to his family and such. Pics will follow.

So our investigators Thomas and Garrettson FINALLY came back into town, so we've been spending time with them and getting back in the swing of things. They are still progressing very well and are definitely taking big steps towards entering the waters of baptism. 

Sue Heseltine is progressing very well as well. She is out of town until the 6th, but we had a solid lesson with her and she is really looking for answers. Her husband passed away recently, (he was inactive for 40+ years), and the Ward stepped in and helped her with everything and even helped with the memorial service, and she was so taken back by it that she wanted to learn more about the church. Thanks to faithful home teachers, she was having little opportunities of feeling the Spirit and learning for a year! Now we are teaching her and things are looking great!

Jarrell is doing great as always. He's such a kind hearted man. We have gotten very close these last 3 months and it has been such a blessing getting to know him and building the friendship we have.

For my thought I wanted to share a quote I found this week. I'll attach the picture with it. It says "To be worthy does not mean to be perfect". I feel we often times feel like we are unworthy of the Lord's help, or unworthy to ask for things from Him through prayer, because we feel we fall short. This is such a common feeling, and is one of the tools Satan uses against us. He tries to bring us down and tell us that we are not worthy of the Lord's help because we are imperfect. But in reality, why we came to this Earth is so that we CAN learn from our mistakes, learn and grow, and be imperfect! We are not expected to be perfect, but rather we are expected to TRY and STRIVE to be more like the Savior, who is perfect. That is our purpose. We are most definitely worthy of the Lord's help and are ALWAYS worthy to pray. God will not deny a faithful and hopeful prayer of one of His children. Turn to Him, and He will help you. When you have those thoughts of not being worthy, combat them. All that is is Satan trying to drag you down. You are worth so much in the eyes of God, no matter what Satan says. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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

Elder Houssian

 The Squad!

 The quote I shared with my thought
RIP Elder Alfred's iPad

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Week #55

Hello everyone! This week has been a great week! July is almost over... the time is just going faster and faster! I hope y'all have had a great week this week!

Jarrell is doing great! We have met with him a lot this week and we were able to set him with a baptismal date for November 11th! He is progressing really well and is loving the discussions and attending church!

Thomas and Garrettson are doing great as well! They come home this week from New York, it's been slow without them here!

We have been teaching this lady named Sue Heseltine. Her husband was an inactive member and passed away recently, and when he passed away the ward put together a memorial service for him, and she was so impressed by that. She's had home teachers for a while with her husband, and they've kept in contact with her even after her husband died. So we are teaching her now and she is loving the discussions and meeting with us! There's is some solid potential there!

One of my past investigators, Melissa, god baptized this week! What a wonderful experience to see her change and grow and accept the Savior in her life! The Spirit was present and very strong during the baptism!

My spiritual thought comes from a General Conference talk titled "Why Do We Serve?" by Dallin H. Oaks, I believe his first Conference talk. In it, he outlines six reasons why people serve, in order from worst to best, six to one. These are the reasons/motives; 6. Hope to obtain an earthly reward, 5. Good companionship, 4. Fear of punishment, 3. Sense of duty or loyalty, 2. Hope for an eternal reward, 1. Charity - love for God and love for our fellowmen. Brothers and Sisters, as we strive to obtain this pure motive to serve others, the Lord will strengthen us. We will be able to love unconditionally, and truly help our fellowmen grow closer to the Savior. As we strive to obtain this pure motive, even the pure love of Christ, we will change, we will become better disciples or followers of the Savior, and the Eternal Blessings of Heaven will be bestowed upon us, along with so many more blessings that we can't even comprehend. The way to obtain this pure motive is to study the scriptures, study Charity, pray for strength and guidance, and then ACT! Practice that pure motive, learn to love those you serve, our fellowmen. On my mission, I have learned and I am continuing to learn how to love these people the way the Lord loves all of us. I promise that as we do those things and continually build our faith and trust in the Lord, He will help us accomplish and obtain that pure motive. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thank you so much for your love and prayers. I hope y'all have a marvelous week! Until next week! God speed!

Elder Houssian

Lono reported to the MTC Wednesday to go to the Philippines.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Week #54

Howdy y'all! Another week is in the bag! This week was definitely a week spent in the refiner's fire. The Lord is truly molding my district and I into something great, but we were definitely in that molding process this week!

Before I start, I would like to shoutout my brother Tyler, who is about to leave for the Mexico MTC today, and then continue onto Fresno California to serve the people there for two years. I am so proud of the maturity and spiritual growth he has gained thus far, and I cannot wait to see the man he becomes on his mission! It's crazy to think that your younger siblings can have such an impact on you, and they all have. I have learned so much from all 17 of my siblings, and they have all truly been an example to me, especially on my mission.

Jarrell is progressing very well! We have been meeting with him regularly and he is getting closer and close to baptism! The Swint's are also doing well. They are out of town this month, but while staying in contact with them through text and calls, they're still doing very well!

I wanted to share a quick thought with y'all, and it comes from D&C 121:40 and it reads

"40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen"

As members, we are all given the charge to be missionaries, whether in the mission field, or as every day members. It's truly a privilege to see other young men and women take that charge and accept the call to serve and the assignment where they are to labor. I know this work truly is the work of the Lord. It humbles me and softens my heart so much more to see someone who has had such an impact on my life the last 18 years take that call and serve a mission. I cannot put into words the amount of love I have for my family, and it has changed my perspective and my spirit to see one of my family members take that charge. I love my family with all my heart, and Tyler, I pray for your safety and growth each and every day. I'm proud of you bud, I love you. You have truly impacted me and have taught me so much, and I'm very blessed to have you in my life and in my family. Let's make a difference. May the blessings of heaven be with you, your companion, your fellow missionaries, your leaders, your President and his wife, and your mission. I promise you, that as you are obedient and diligent, you work hard, and you learn to love the people as the Savior does, you will be forever changed. The decision you make on your mission will impact you for the rest of your life. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to literally be changed by the hand of God. Pray often, be teachable, stay humble, and stay freaking hungry dude. You got this. I love you. God speed brother. 

I love y'all! Thank you for the wonderful thoughts and prayers, I feel them every day. Until next week. God speed!

Elder Houssian

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week #53

Hey everyone! Another week is in the bag! And it's official... I've hit my year mark. It's unreal how fast time is going. It's truly remarkable to see the time fly by while in the service of the Lord. There's nowhere else I'd rather be right now! The Lord's hand is at work and the work is truly progressing in this part of His vineyard!

We were able to meet our new Mission President and his wife this week, President and Sister Youngblood! They're awesome! I'm excited to see what impact they have in this part of the Lord's Vineyard. They are a wonderful couple and have been prepared by the Lord to fulfill the purpose they were divinely called to perform. 

This week we had a set back, well I had a setback. I've been sick this whole week, and trying to fight it and still go out and work has worn me out! It's been a pain, but we are given trials to help us grow, and I know whatever the reason may be that I'm going through this, something can be learned!

We found this wonderful family the previous week, Trae, Lisa, Austin, and Devin, and they're progressing very well! We had an awesome visit with them, and during the lesson Trae (the father) said that he wanted his family, especially his kids, to have some direction in their lives. They said they wanted to be baptized, but wanted to take the discussions seriously since it is such a big commitment! We are planning on setting them with a date during one of our visits this week!

We also have been teaching these two Indian kids and they're adorable. The Bishop and his family have been having those kids over to play with their kids every day this summer, and have invited them to church a few times, and they've came! We had dinner Saturday with Bishop and his family, and the Indian family came and made some authentic Indian food! We were able to meet the parents and share beliefs about our religion and their Hindu beliefs. This family is progressing, but it will be a slower progress for sure. But there is nothing wrong with it, the Lord's hand is active in their lives and He is preparing this amazing family!

My thought this week comes from a scripture that has helped me a lot throughout this week. It comes from the Book of Mormon in Alma, chapter 26, verse 27. It reads:

"27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

This week, as I have been internally struggling with being sick and discouragement, this scripture has brought peace and comfort to my heart. As a District Leader, I always want to make sure I'm doing all that I can to lift up my stewardship, and I feel like when I'm not at my fullest, I am not capable of fulfilling my purpose as their leader, or fulfilling my purpose as a missionary in general, which leads me to feel feelings of discouragement. But I know, brothers and sisters, and I testify, that the Lord is there to lift us up and keep us going. He suffered and died for us so that we could be forgiven of our sins and return to live with our Father in Heaven again some day. Our Savior Jesus Christ knows exactly how we feel when going through our trials, when we mess up, when we are torn down. He felt everything. No matter what, we are never, ever alone. Someone is there who knows what we are going through, and that person is the Savior. As we turn our pains and trials to the Lord and seek His help, He will strengthen us, He will empower us. He will not take away our trials, but He will strengthen us and help us be more capable to endure and overcome those trials. Christ can and WILL strengthen us. I hope and pray that we all may turn to Him more, and access the Atonement, which has been freely given to us out of charity and love from our Brother. I promise that as you do so, you will feel the Spirit touch your heart and soul, and you will feel the hands of God lift you up and strengthen you. You have the Father and Jesus Christ on your side, you have a loving family here as well as in Heaven, cheering you on. You can overcome anything with the help of the Savior. I know He lives. He loves us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have an awesome week this week! Until next week! Love y'all, God speed!

Elder Houssian