Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Week 3

Hey y'all!

What a week! It's the third and final week! I leave tomorrow morning for the airport to go to Vegas at 3:45 am! It's so early but I'm so excited! This week has been a little more mellow cause we are now in the groove of things. So I will try and put stuff together!

The basketball gym was closed cause they were putting a new floor in, and that opened last Monday. It's nice to go play and mess around. There's a handful of kids that know what they're doing but most don't haha but it's fun, I enjoy it. It's been 3 weeks, and I'm STILL not acclimated. So playing basketball makes me super winded, but it's worth it. We have to go up to the 5th floor for class every day in one of the buildings, and just climbing those stairs makes me tired haha, I feel so out of shape here! It's roughly 4,800 feet at the MTC, versus Austin where it's only 480 feet. So I'm still dying haha.

We as a district have been getting so close and our bond keeps strengthening. I love them so much and I am so excited to see how much they effect (affect?) the mission field. The Sister missionaries are coming to Austin to serve, so keep an eye out for them!

The food here is still terrible, BUT I leave tomorrow so my stomach will finally get a break! 

We did companion exchanges Thursday, and I was paired with my District Leader, Elder Stucki. We taught a lesson and it was the best lesson I've ever taught. The spirit was so strong and not only did the investigator's faith (her name is Diana) grow, my faith did as well, as well as Elder Stucki's. God's love is real. I am so blessed to be here and to be doing the Lord's work. I am so excited to go out and see what the Lord has in store for me in Las Vegas.

The Nashville Tribute Band came and played for a devotional this week. If you haven't heard them, go look them up. They sang a lot of songs, and we got to sing with them. It was so powerful and spiritual. I cried haha not going to lie, but it was happy tears for sure. There were 2 songs that stood out to me. One talks about Hyrum and Joseph Smith, and their relationship as brothers. I immediately though of all of my brothers and how much I love them. That was an overwhelming experience. The second song was written by the lead singer, who actually served his mission in the Las Vegas, Nevada mission. It was so cool to relate to him on that. He sang about his feelings leaving, serving, and coming home. The line that really got me was when he talked about coming home after and kissing his momma's cheek. I thought of my mother and the blessing she is in my life, how much she lives me, impacts me, and how much I love her. I got really emotional then and thought about her and how happy I must be making her, being out here in the field. Even though that moment is a while out, I thought about it and about seeing her again, and that made me more motivated to go out and serve the people of Las Vegas. After he finished singing the song, he had the workers at the MTC put the words up on the screens behind him and we sang the song with him. I couldn't sing most of it cause I was choked up and overwhelmed by the spirit, but I was able to sing parts of it. While listening to all 2000+ missionaries sing that song, I couldn't help but smile and feel the Spirit. It was a special experience and I will remember it forever. I love my family so much, and am so blessed by their love, support, and sacrifice for me as I am gone serving the Lord.

Lastly, I would like to thank you all for the thoughts and prayers you send my way. I feel them all the time and feel of your love and support towards me. I pray for you every night and thank Heavenly Father for the lose and support y'all send me. I love you all. Things are about to start getting so real. 17 hours from now and I'll be on my way to the airport to go to Vegas.

Thank you for your emails as well. They go a long way and really give me a boost for the days to come. Till next week!

Elder Houssian​

Awkward pics with one of our teachers because we can't put our arms around women #missionprobs​
 Most of the Elders in my district being candid on the temple grounds. I have so much love for these young men.​
My district, my family, posted up in class​
​I fell asleep... Oops

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Week 2--MTC

July 19, 2016

Hey y'all!

What an amazing week I've had at the MTC. The spirit is so strong and I can see myself growing daily, which I'm so grateful for because in due time, my growth will be able to help bring others back to Christ. I love this gospel and I love what I'm doing. There are lots and lots of hard times, but I know this is where I'm supposed to be. So here we go!

First off, we had a devotional Sunday night, and we watched an amazing talk by Elder David A. Bednar, and once we were done, the lights came on and our MTC president wasn't in the room. He then proceeded to walk into the gym WITH David A Bednar and his wife following. It was unreal. I was in the presence of an actual apostle of God. We had a Q and A session with him for about an hour, and then he walked out and got into his car. No one was allowed to shake his hand (obviously) but it was so insane. But then, as I was walking back, I saw him get into his car, and me and my companions I was with ran over and as he was driving away, we got to shake his hand. I was able to shake the hand of an apostle. It was one of the best experiences I've had. I looked at him and he looked at me when I shook his hand and I felt the spirit. It was amazing.

The next thing was that yesterday, we as elders gave 3 out of the 4 girls in our district a blessing and we were all able to participate in all of them. The spirit was so so strong and I was moved by the experience. I was so happy to be a part of that amazing experience. I have an amazing district and we have grown so close over the last week and a half. 

Elder Cook and I have been having some awesome lessons. We committed an investigator to be baptized last week. What an amazing experience it was. I am loving the mission and love interacting with new people. I am ready to get out and serve and be around new people. 

The spirit is unbelievably strong. I feel it so much during the day and it really helps strengthen me and helps me to learn and grow and focus. I love this church and I love this gospel.

I have gone to the temple twice now to do endowments, and doing the ordinance is such a wonderful experience. I love the chance I have to do that in the temple and I am so grateful for the happiness I feel when participating.

God is real, and He is great. God loves each and every one of you. There's no place I'd rather be. I'm focused on the Lord's work and it's helping me grow and learn so much. The church is true. I am so excited to get out in the mission field and interact with real people and meet new members and find investigators. I know there will be hard times, but I also know that when these trials happen, I can turn to Christ and He will give me the strength to help others come unto Christ. I love you all, thank you for your thoughts and prayers, they go a long way and I definitely feel them in times of need. Till next time!

Elder Houssian

My amazing district 
 Ran into my friend from Idaho--no hugs!  Just handshakes!
 My zone/branch.
 Squad at the Temple
I just threw my hands up because we just saw the temple and are going to get food!
 Posted up with the Elders
How Elder Cook and I interact on the daily
 Elder Smith and I accidentally wore the same tie!
Classroom shenanigans!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week One--MTC

July 12, 2016

Hello everyone!

I am short on time today so this will be a little short, but I wanted to let y'all know that I am doing so well!!

The environment here is beyond anything I could've imagined! The spirit is so strong and I am already seeing myself grow. We are packed with learning every day. Our days are 16 hours long and consist of PLENTY of class time and study. But it is worth it and greatly benefits us as missionaries. We have started teaching lessons to people who are teachers at the MTC but act as investigators, and it has been really fun! We started teaching a particular woman, her name is Olivia, and we found out she is a REAL investigator learning about the church. It is such a blessing to be able to teach someone who is genuinely interested in learning about the gospel and its teachings. 

I forgot to mention, I am companions with my BEST FRIEND from Florida, we are serving in the same mission and now are companions, it's crazy how God works. I am also receiving lots of mail and packages which really helps, and gives me plenty of opportunities to share food with fellow hungry Elders. My district is amazing, some of the most spiritual souls I know. I am so blessed with the opportunity to serve with them! Plus, the Sisters in our district are coming to the Austin area for their mission, serving in the San Antonio mission! So be on the lookout for some new sisters! 

I was called as a zone leader along with Elder Cook, and what a joy and blessing that has been. Elder Cook and I compliment each other very well and strengthen each other tremendously. It has been 5 days and I have learned so much from him. 

I am off to eat, the food here is very terrible. Sending my love and prayers towards everyone. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers, they are needed and I feel them a lot. Talk to y'all soon.

Elder Houssian

 Elder Houssian and Elder Cook from our ward in Tampa

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

And so it begins . . . 

Kyle flew to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT on July 5th. We have lots of family in Utah, so he spent the next 24 hours hanging out with them and saying his final good-byes.  We are anxious to get his first official missionary letter! Stay tuned . . .