Thursday, December 29, 2016

Week #25

What an awesome week. We had a White Christmas!! (No snow though) I hope y'all had a great week this week spending time with family, remembering the Savior, and getting stuffed with tons of food!

This week, we had a baptism! (Hence the "White Christmas") It was a family that was found about a month and a half ago, and the mother and oldest daughter were baptized. Jen is a single mom raising three amazing daughters, and Kylee is the oldest of them all at 13, and she definitely led the way and set an example for her younger sisters who will be turning 8 within the year. The Spirit was felt so strongly there and it was a wonderful way to start the day that Christmas Eve morning. Seeing two beautiful daughters of God enter the waters of baptism and take a huge step in their spiritual progression really helped me feel the Spirit and see the true converting power of this gospel and the truth that it contains.

I was also able to see some relatives of mine Christmas Eve and have dinner with them! It was great to see them again after so long and to get to know all of my cousins again!

Christmas morning we went to church and heard a beautiful Christmas program that ended with "Oh, Holy Night", which is my absolute favorite Christmas song. Then we went to the Wagstaff's house for brunch. After that we went to the Davis' household to Skype our families. It was so great to see them and talk to them and just be with them again. And it surprised me how much has changed in the last 6 months! The Davis family also gave us gifts, and one of them being homemade ties from their 15 year old daughter who is really really good at making and designing clothes and such, so bonus. After that we went to the Flinders', the die hard Texan family in one of our wards, and they're a very entertaining family to be around! After that we went to the Ramirez's for some filet mignon which was bomb!!

My heart has been about the same as before. Sadly we are back to playing the waiting game until next week on the 4th, but I will keep y'all posted!

My spiritual thought isn't a scripture or anything this week, but an invitation. I would invite y'all to reflect on the birth and life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This season is a wonderful time to do so because we are literally celebrating His birth. Christ has done so much for us. He took on our pains and sufferings and mistakes and suffered for them and died for them. He was crucified and rose again on the 3rd day. Because of that we can be forgiven of our sins and we can be resurrected again some day, and ultimately return to the presence of our Heavenly Parents while having our families forever. Families are eternal, I know without a shadow of a doubt that they are. May we all strive to be Christlike and to remember the Savior Jesus Christ. I say these things in His sacred name, even Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a wonderful week y'all, and a Happy New Year!! Till next week!

Elder Houssian

 Puppy therapy for my heart 😂


Christmas Eve with Dad's cousins! 

Houssian side loves "Take 2"

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week #24

Howdy howdy! I apologize for not sending out my letter yesterday! Just a heads up, there isn't much to talk about this week due to the fact that I still am having heart troubles. So the work is very limited and it's the worst! But its ok, the Lord is still here and is guiding me through this. I hope y'all had a great week! And also, Merry Christmas!! 🎄 

This past week we had a Christmas Conference with 3 of the zones in the mission including ours. It was a lot of fun, the Spirit was there, and the talent show after was awesome! My comp Elder Moen did stand-up comedy and it was hilarious! My companion is a goon haha. It was great.

This week, one of our members suggested that we go to the temple, and in the mission we are allowed to go every other transfer, and it was about time for us to go! So Elder Moen and I went with Brother Ramirez to the temple, and man how great it felt to go into the house of the Lord. The Spirit was so strong and it was an amazing experience. 

Sunday was Elder Moen's birthday! So after we had church and then lunch/dinner with a family in the ward, we went over to the Ramirez's for cake and had Jen and her family over with us. Jen and her family are getting baptized on Christmas Eve! It was great to have their family over and spend time with everyone!

My spiritual thought this week comes from Alma 26:27, it reads "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 has been a struggle for me. One of the worst things on the mission is being restricted on doing the Lord's work, and that's what I've been going through this past 2 weeks. But I know that as we turn our troubles, our sadness, our worries, ANYTHING to the Lord, He will help us and comfort us. He will guide us back and guide us through our trials. I know this to be true. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ lives. I know as we turn to Him, all things are possible. This gospel is true. I know that with all my heart. I say these things in He name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love y'all! Have a Merry a Christmas! Until next week!

Elder Houssian
 6/8 of the OG MTC district at Christmas Conference (L to R: Elders Rigby, Smith, Houssian, Stucki, and Brandli)
Temple trip!
ust chillin with Phineas the new puppy!

 Celebrating Moen's birthday at the Ramirez's with our investigating family getting baptized Christmas Eve! (This is Kylee)

Hanging with the girls and Troy (the blondes are all part of the family getting baptized)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week #23

Hello everyone! This weeks email will be kind of short. This week I haven't done very much at all. I hope the week went well for everyone! 

So this week I have been having some health problems and going to doctors trying to figure out what's wrong. So far we have found nothing, and I am going to a few different doctors to try and figure out what's going on and how to fix it. Do not be worried, I'm all good and I'm in the Lord's hands, so all I can do is wait and trust in the Lord. And it is nothing super serious, like life threatening or anything, just more of a nuisance is all. The only thing I ask is that y'all keep me in your prayers. Thank you for your love and support for me while I am out in the service of the Lord. 

On a happier note, we have 2 baptisms on Christmas Eve! It's super exciting! They're names are Jen and Kylee, and they are progressing very well. Then they will be confirmed on Christmas Day, which I think is amazing, and they will also receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which I think is the best gift to ever get on Christmas.

I also had a baptism on Saturday for one of my favorite investigators ever who was in my last area. Her name is Marshah. She's amazing and her and I got a long and joked around a ton. She is a wonderful woman and I am so happy to see her enter the waters of baptism and grow closer to Christ!

I was also able to see my dad this week!! It was crazy how it all worked out, but he was in town and we worked out some stuff and I was able to see him, which was an amazing blessing. Christmas came early this year! Haha it was great to see him and to be with him.

My spiritual thought this week comes from Alma 36 verse 3. Part of it reads "..for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day." I know this to be true. This scripture really stuck out to me this week as I have been going through the trials I'm facing this week. I know that as we put our trust in the Lord, we can have the support of the Lord in everything we do. I know Christ lives. I know this church is true. I love my beautiful family with all of my heart. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love all of you! Thank you for the many things you do. Talk soon!

Elder Houssian

Me and the big fella! 

Marshah, the OG, not having it 


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week #22

Hello hello! Another week is through! The time is just flying by, its crazy. So like I said last week, I was transferred into Henderson. It is such a different place overs here than in any other part of the Vegas valley that is in our mission. There are lots of big houses and lots of stubborn people haha, so the work is a little harder, but I love it! My companion's name is Elder Moen (how he describes it, "its pronounced like you're 'mowin' the lawn") He is such a funny guy and really makes the work so much more enjoyable (not that it wasn't before, because it was)! He's always making jokes and smiling and it is always a good time with him.

We went by a couple member families this week so I could meet them. One of them was the Flinders family. We had knocked on a door a few houses down from them, and then Elder Moen took me to go meet them. We knocked on heir door but they weren't home, so we started walking away. As we did that, they pulled up! (Before I go any further, just a heads up, Sister Flinder is a die hard Texan, she bleeds it eats it and breathes it haha)! So we go out to meet her and she says "Well howdy y'all" with quite the southern drawl. She proceeded to ask where I was from and of course I said "Austin, Texas" and she flipped out! She waved her arms and said "I've been waiting for a Texan to come through here for so long" and then said "I need to hug you"😂 So before I registered it enough she gave me a hug and Elder Moen was dying laughing. It was a sight to see for sure! Then, one of her kids gets out of the car and she excitedly says "Guess where he's from!? Austin, Texas!" And the kid gasps and gets wide eyes and smiles, then her other kid that was in the car got out and she said the exact same thing, and then the second kid proceeded to have be exact same reaction haha, I guess sibling really are alike😉

The other funny experience this week happened Friday night. We were finishing up the night, and went to a member's house to ask them for a ride to our apartment (we live a mile away from our area, and it's all uphill, so we walk instead of ride bikes which I am definitely ok with). We knock on the door and their cat runs at our feet. So Elder Moen goes to pick it up and as he bends over, he splits his pants! And we're not talking just a little tear, like he had a split that was a foot long at least! Then the door answers and it's one of their kids and Elder Moen asks "Is Mike (their brother) here? I need him". So we walked in and Elder Moen used his back pack to cover his huge hole and ran into the bathroom. It was hilarious!

My spiritual thought comes from 3 Nephi 9, verse 14. It reads "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." As I was reading this in my personal study, I reflected on the phrase "eternal life". In this verse, Christ is proclaiming that those who come unto Him will have eternal life. What a great blessing that is. Eternal life is one of the greatest gifts of God. I know that as we come unto Christ and strive to be like Him, we can and we WILL have eternal life, we will be able to live in the presence of our Maker, and we will be with our families forever. This is not the end. Because of Christ, death has no sting and the grave no victory. We will see our loved ones again someday. Those who have passed on before us are watching over us and walking with us side by side through the ups and downs of life. And not only that, Christ is doing the same thing as well. We have so much support on this earth from our loved ones here and in Heaven. May we all continue through life knowing that we will all be together again some day. This church is true. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is risen. It is through Him and only through Him that we can have eternal life. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Before I go, I just wanted to shout out my family. I love them so much. They are my rock and are what keeps me going on the mission. I would not be here today without y'all. I love you guys so much. My mom is my number 1 fan and is my favorite woman in the world. Nothing can separate the special bond that she and I hold. Not a day goes by where I don't think about or talk about my mother. She has taught me so much, and has been an example to me on how a mother should be, especially while being the odd woman out with 7 boys counting my dad. My dad is like a brother to me. He's my best friend and always knows what to say, and gives me a lot of good advice for the mission. I hope I can be half the missionary he was by the time I'm finished. He also is a great example on how to be a father. My brothers are my best friends and brothers through everything. They mean the world to me. I hope they know how much I love them. I look up to each of my younger brothers, they really set an example for me on how to be Christ-like. I know I will always have them, and that means everything to me. I am eternally grateful for my wonderful family. I am so thankful for all of you and for the many wonderful things y'all do for me. I love each of you. Thank you for the impact each of you have on me. You are blessings in my life. Until next week!

Elder Houssian

 The Flinders gave me a Texas Flag because they have like 5 of them #yeeyee

Baptism!  Elder Brady is out in the sticks and couldn't make it, so we called him on FaceTime!