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

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Week #52

Hey hey! So June just flew by so fast, and I will hit my year mark on Thursday.... I'm losing my mind! Also, Happy 4th of July to y'all! Sorry for not getting this to y'all the other day, we had some stuff we had to take care of and we had to help out some other missionaries while they were with another missionary, who ended up going to the ER. But all is well! It has been a crazy couple days!

So this week as a Zone we focused on finding, and we set a pretty high goal for the 3 districts combined, and we hit it! It was awesome! Lots of big things are happening in my district, we have a lot of people we are teaching right now and a lot of people who are set to be baptized! The Lord's hand is truly at work right now in NLVM!

So this week we did exchanges with the ZLs, and Elder Rincon and I were in my area. Elder Rincon is an absolute stud! We hit the ground running and saw lots of miracles! So that night, as we were driving back to the apartment for the night, we get a call from the STLs over in Eldorado (kind of by my last area) and said that they had a member who was in the hospital down the street and needed a blessing. So we went to go give this guy a blessing! We get to the hospital, and as we are walking, we turn the corner and all of a sudden I feel Elder Rincon hit my arm. I turn around and he had no traction on his shoes so he started slipping and sliding all over the place😂 it was hilarious! There was a family behind us too who saw the whole thing! So then we get to the ICU, and the hospital setup looked like something from a horror movie. Dimly lit hallways, monitors beeping all over, yea it was sketchy. And I want to be a PA someday.. HA. So anyways we gave this guy a blessing, Elder Rincon was the voice, and it was a great blessing. This guy was also being tested for tuberculosis, so we had to wear like a latex apron, gloves, and a mask, it was crazy!

We found this wonderful family of 5 this past week! Their names are Trey, Lisa, Austin, Devin, and Geo! They're a wonderful family and we are starting to teach them this week! They are Christian but are looking for a church right now. Super awesome family and I'm really looking forward to teaching them this week!

In my studies this week, I came across this scripture and wanted to share it with y'all. It comes from D&C 88:63 and it reads

"63 Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

I love this scripture so much. As we grow closer to the Lord through prayer, scripture study, keeping the commandments, and attending church, He will bless us. We will be able to find Him. He will answer our prayers. He will bless us the the blessings that He is waiting for US to ask HIM for. Earnestly pray to the Lord, pour your heart out unto Him, and He will open the windows of Heaven and bless you immensely. As we strive to align our will with God's, and we do the things we know we need to do, the things that God has asked to do that will bring us happiness and joy in this life, He will implement His hand in our lives, and we will recognize it. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ lives. He is risen! It is only through Him that we can be forgiven of our sins, and return to live with God again someday, and there partake of all of the blessings He has in store for us. I know this church is true. I love my Savior. I love my amazing family and I thank God every day for the blessing they are in my life. They are my foundation. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope this week is full of fun and good weather! Stay safe! Until next week!

Elder Houssian

t's crazy to think that is goons have been out for a year! Time flies!

Jack Jack says Hi!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Week #51

Hey hey everyone! Man what a great week this week! I hope y'all have been enjoying your summer and have had a super good week this week! Next week, I will hit my year mark. It's so weird to think that I've been a missionary for almost a year, it most definitely doesn't feel like it at all, time is flying!

So this week we have focused on finding a lot, because we've had more than a few investigators tell us they didn't want to take lessons anymore. So Elder Alfred and I set out this week to find some more people to add to our teaching pool, and the Lord definitely accompanied us in our finding efforts this week!

We have a super solid part-member family, the Swint's. Brother Swint is a member, but Sister Swint is not. All of the kids except the oldest, Thomas, are also baptized. We have been really working with Thomas and Sister Swint the last few weeks. Thomas is going to be a senior this year and loves cars and working out, so we've gotten super close the last couple weeks. Sister Swint is the most active non-member I've ever seen! She even holds a calling in the Primary Presidency and she isn't a member! It's crazy! They're doing so well and are progressing tremendously. 

So the CRAZIEST thing happened! We were at the Swint's and there was another kid there who is 20 and I've never seen before. We introduce ourselves and sit down and jokingly I asked "so how do you know these goons?" and he went on to say that he was adopted! So Brother Swint put him up for adoption 20 years ago, and they had just met like 2 weeks prior to that night! It was crazy! So Brother Swint asked me to share my story, and my story was SO similar to Spencer's. For the last 13 years, Spencer has lived in the same Stake as the Swint's, they've even been in the same building at the same time! Also, Spencer lives literally 2 miles away from Brother Swint for the last 13 years. I lived like 15 minutes away from my biological father for 13 years. His birthday is September 30th, mine is September 28th. We are the same build, brown hair, blue eyes. He just got off of his mission from Florida (we lived there at one point). It was just so surreal. We had so much in common and made so many connections. I never thought I'd hear a story like mine, and then I did, and it was so cool to relate to Brother Swint and Spencer. We really built a bond with that family. There was lots of emotion that night for sure!

The thought I'd like to share this week comes from the Book of Mormon, in Moroni chapter 7 verse 16. 

"16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God."

We all have the ability to feel the influence of the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. The Spirit has many roles, like comforting us, teaching us, and inspiring us. Here in this verse, the Spirit invites us to do good. All good things come from God, and God communicates to us through His Spirit. When we feel peace, happiness, comfort, and when we receive inspiration, or promptings to do/not do something, along with many other feelings, that is our loving Heavenly Father reaching out to us. He is putting forth that effort to show us that someone is always watching over us, that someone always has our back. Brothers and Sisters I testify of the tremendous and unconditional love our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ have for each and every one of us. They love you. They want you to be happy. They are there to help you. The Plan that God has created for all of us is something so great, yet so simple. This Plan is a testament of God's love for us. God knows we make mistakes, because we are human. He knew we'd mess up, so He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer and die for our sins, our pains, our suffering. Then on the 3rd day, He rose from the dead and was resurrected. Because of that, we too can be resurrected, we can one day return to live with our Father in Heaven, and we can live with our families forever. That is the message that the Gospel brings. I challenge each and every one of you to go out and share that message. Be daring. Be BOLD! God will stand behind you, and witness to you and to those you speak to, through the Holy Ghost, that this message is true. I extend this invitation, this call, and this challenge, to everyone who is reading this. Take that step, and share the Gospel with someone you know. Do not be afraid, the Lord is on your side. Who knows what kind of change and difference you will be able to make in someone's life, just by opening your mouth and sharing the Gospel with those around you. Your potential is great, you have the Spirit with you, and you are more than capable of fulfilling this calling. So what are you waiting for? :) I testify that our Savior lives and reigns. I know the Book of Mormon is true. It is the word of God, and it goes hand in hand with the Bible to bring us the fullness of the Gospel. I leave these things with you, with a humble heart, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Week #50

Howdy everyone! I hope y'all have had a wonderful week this week! This has been a busy week for us! The days and weeks are blending, its scary how fast this is going! Things are going faster and faster, and I'm not ready for it! 

So first things first, TRANSFERS........... and I'm getting transferred again! I'm just kidding, I'm staying in my area haha but Elder Fowkes will be leaving and going to the Paradise Stake. I'm sad to see him go, he was a great comp, but the Lord has a reason for everything and I'm super stoked for my new comp, Elder Alfred! I've served around him twice already and he's a stud. It will be a ton of fun! He's also my 9th companion in 11 1/2 months haha. I'm still the District Leader, and my district went from being really old (lots of people going home in the next few months) to really young (been out for a year or less), and I'm super excited for that as well! I feel like there will be more of that fire lit under everyone. Don't get me wrong, the older missionaries definitely work too, it'll just be a nice change in the environment of the district!

So we have some super solid investigators we are teaching! We have Jarrell who is such an awesome older guy. He has the kindest heart and has great desires to learn more about the gospel and follow the example of the Savior. He's going to get baptized, it's just at his pace! It's something he wants, and he's doing so well.

We also have Amber! Amber has been through a ton. She's divorced and has two girls that are 10 and 6 I believe, and one of her daughters is a stage 4 cancer survivor! So she has a firm belief in God because she knows that God was the reason why her daughter survived cancer! Super cool! She's super sweet and she loves the things we teach her, especially the Plan of Salvation. She's doing very well! 

My thought comes from a verse I came across in my studies this week, and it's found in the Book of Mormon in Alma chapter 2 verse 28. It reads

28 Nevertheless, the Nephites being strengthened by the hand of the Lord, having prayed mightily to him that he would deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, therefore the Lord did hear their cries, and did strengthen them, and the Lamanites and the Amlicites did fall before them.

So in this chapter, Amlici (am-li-ky) is evil and he is trying to be appointed king. As a people, they vote, and the majority didn't want him as their king. So he and his followers left the Nephites and became their own people, and made Amlici king. With that, Amlici wanted to take over the Nephites, so he joined forces with the Lamanites (the Nephites and Lamanites hate each other) to try and take over the Nephites. All throughout this, before battle and during battle, the Nephites pray to God to protect them and deliver them, while the Lamanites and Amlicites relied only on their own power, the power of man. As a result, the Nephites prevail. Brothers and Sisters, the power of prayer is so tremendously strong. The Lord has the ability to strengthen us at any time. It's human nature to say that we might not need His help, or that the trial we are facing is something so small, that it's not worth His time. I sometimes have that same thought, it's something too small. But I'm wrong. Nothing is too small for the Lord. He cares about everything! As we turn to the Lord in humble prayer, He can change us, He can give us strength to go through our pains and afflictions, and help us prevail. He can help us come out on top, and be more prepared for our future battles. Elder Cook, one of my best friends I've ever had (and still have of course) said this to me in the MTC "God gives His strongest warriors His toughest battles". That has stuck with me ever since. We are ALL God's strongest warriors, and our strongest battles are personal to us. When we turn to the Lord, He will help us. He will get us through our battles in one piece, then He will take us, mend us, rehab us, put us through PT, and get us back on our feet. Then, we beef up, we get bigger, faster, stronger, and then come in guns ablaze and take our battles head on with more ease (they will still be difficult to some degree), then rinse and repeat. The Lord is aware of our concerns and our struggles, and the more we turn to Him, the more we will be able to overcome those trials and struggles. Prayer is a two way conversation between God and us. As we pray, we continually strengthen that connection with God, and we will be able to recognize the promptings of the Spirit more and more in our lives. It is my humble prayer that you and I become a little more humble, and submit ourselves to the Lord and to His will, recognizing we cannot do things alone. In doing so, the promised blessings are tremendous from our Lord and Savior, and we will prevail. We WILL be changed. I promise. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope y'all have another great week! Looking forward to hearing from so many of you! Also, keep going on that 30 minutes for 30 days prayer challenge! It's worth it! Keep me updated on how it's going for those of you who took it on! Until next week, God speed!

Elder Houssian

 When you're giving a training on being a Finisher, and on Beast Mode, so you're trying wall sits to see if you should use that in your training, all while doing follow-up calls.  #beastmode

 This is a very large cookie!

Elder De Mott's funeral since he goes home tomorrow
#riptomyexcompanion #thirdcompaniontogo home 

We'll it looks like we aren't in Spring anymore!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Week #49

Hello hello! Man what a great week this week! I hope y'all are enjoying your summer break! The weeks keep going by faster and faster, I don't know what to do! We find out on Saturdayabout transfers, this transfer has flown! 

So this week was a pretty solid week! We had some disappointing moments for sure, but the Lord gives us trials to make us stronger and to prepare us for things to come, I firmly believe that. So yea, we had 2 of our super solid investigators drop us this past week which was hard. They were actually progressing really well, but people have their agency, and I guess they haven't been completely prepared by the Lord yet. Their time will come for sure!

On the flip side, we were able to see the Lord's hand in our lives and in the work this past week! We were able to find some super solid new investigators! Two of them are a younger couple that we ran into. We went to go knock on the door of a former investigator's house, and a girl opened the door and turns out the family we tried to contact moved out. So instead there was this sweet lady named Susan and her husband Jason who were excited to see us! We were able to teach them a little bit and get a return appointment set up, it was awesome! 

We got to do exchanges with the Shadow Canyon Elders, and both of them are former companions of mine! Haha so I went with Elder DeMott into their area, and man we went hard! We were able to find two new investigators in the first 30 minutes of the exchange, it was awesome. That night, we got to go meet up with our recent convert from the area we served in together for dinner, and she invited the other missionaries who had taught her as well (and their companions haha) so it was awesome to run into some of them, and see Elder Moen, one of my other former companions! Overall, it was an awesome exchange. We had a lot of fun together just like the good old days! Plus, he's WAY into cars, and so there was talk about him making my car go way faster after I get off of the mission haha. 

This week I want to share a scripture and a quote on grace. This comes from Moroni 7:48 and the quote is from the talk given by Brad Wilcox titled "His Grace is Sufficient".

“A life impacted by grace eventually begins to look like Christ’s life.”

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Brothers and Sisters, God's grace is sufficient for everyone. No matter what. You cannot sink lower than the infinite light of Christ's Atonement shines. Because of Christ, we can be forgiven of our sins, we can one day be resurrected, we can become perfect. Because of Christ, we can one day live with our families forever, and live with them in the presence of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This life is a constant effort to become more like the Savior. As we turn to the Lord for help, for support, and for forgiveness, we will be able to be changed by grace. We will be able to change and be able to be more like Christ. I know that to be true. I hope and pray that y'all will continue to turn to the Lord with any doubt, struggle, pain, sadness, and anything else. He is there to help you. And when we mess up, use the Atonement. If you want to show appreciation and gratitude for what the Lord did for us, then use the Atonement, use what he's freely given to us. I know my Savior lives, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

I hope this week is a great and fun week for y'all! Until next time! God Speed!

Elder Houssian
Dinner with the recent converts! 

 The door-knocker had "Heaven" engraved on it #knockknockknockingonheavensdoor

Work hard, rest hard