Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Week #41

Hello everyone! Hoppy Easter! I hope y'all had a wonderful Easter Sunday! This week has been another awesome week, and it went by so fast!

Before I start off, I would first like to make a shout out a wonderful young man who I love so much, my brother Tyler. I had the privilege of skyping my family on Saturday to watch him open his mission call, which I am so grateful for that opportunity. My brother will be serving in the...... California, Fresno Mission!! He will be speaking Spanish and reports to the Mexico City MTC July 18th, 12 days after my year mark! I watched him open it and cried like a baby haha. I'm so proud of my little brother and for the big things he's going to go do in Fresno. Cali isn't ready!! I love you bud, you'll kill it out there!

I had my first District Meeting as a DL and it was awesome! Not much to report on other than our district motto is #BeastMode. For those of you who don't know who Beast Mode is, it's Marshawn Lynch, the recently retired NFL running back. There was an E:60 documentary on him that I watched before the mission and he had some inspirational things to say, so I pulled a couple quotes from him and used them to get my district hyped haha it was fun!

So this week was full of miracles, one of which happened on Tuesday! We have a trailer park in out area, and in the area book we have a ton of potential investigators who live there, so we set out to make contact with them! We went thru the list with little success, and realized we had one more trailer left to visit on our list. We were walking to it, and right next door was a woman named Elizabeth sitting in her driveway. We went and talked to her, and came to find out that her and her family were looking for a church to join, and haven't found one yet. She was really interested in our message and asked us if we had any study material before we even brought it up! Haha so we have her a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet on the Restoration and she told us she wanted us to come back on Thursday and that she'd read the whole Book of Mormon by then! We've had 3 appointments since and her and her family are progressing very well!

Another came this past Friday when I was on exchanges in the Zone Leader's area. I wasn't there for this miracle, but it was still awesome! Elder Pitcher and my comp Elder Bannagao were in our area and were talking to people all day and not getting anything out of them. Then that night they went to go talk to a few potentials in the town houses we have in our area. They came to this potential's house, and the people who they were trying to contact weren't living there anymore, but the family of 4 that was in there listened to the two Elders testify and teach about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, and set a return appointment! They were one of the last houses on the list that night as well! It was great!

Easter was awesome! We had some wonderful programs, and then that night went to the Robbins' for dinner! Now the Robbins have about 50-60 family members living within 20 minutes of them, plus they had some family from out of town over as well, so the house was packed! But we had a feast which was awesome haha and then the kids 12 and up (I was still considered a kid😁) got to hunt for Easter eggs inside, and let me tell you, that was hard! Haha but it was fun and we had a lot of fun! This family is wonderful haha.

My thought this week comes from D&C 18:10 and it reads:

10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God

Short and sweet. The worth of EVERY soul is great in the sight of God. No matter what we have done, where we have gone, or how many times we've messed up, God STILL loves us with all of His heart. And despite what we do, there is always a way back. That way is through Jesus Christ. Because of Him and His atoning sacrifice, we can be cleansed from sin. In celebration of Easter, we celebrate Christ's resurrection and continued ministry on the Earth. May we all recognize and reflect on our Savior and His hand in our lives, as well as what blessings have personally come to us because of the Atonement. I know this church is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God preserved until these Latter Days for us! I know we have a loving Father in Heaven. I say these things in the name of my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.

I hope y'all have a blessed week this week! I look forward to hearing about it next week! Until then! God speed!

Elder Houssian

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Week #40

Howdy everyone! I apologize again for this being so late. I made a goal to get this done before P Day so that I don't leave y'all hanging! I hope your week was great and those who are on spring break are enjoying it!

So Elder Bannagao is an awesome missionary. We get along really well and he likes to work hard too so we are pounding pavement every day! He's athletic (he's 5'7" and can grab the rim on a basketball hoop)! He's an animal haha I'll send a picture of us!

We had an awesome miracle this week. There is an investigator named Joey who was progressing really well, but had to stop taking lessons for a bit because she races Go-Karts and Razors across the state and even in some other states as well! She's a boss haha. She told the missionaries to come back at the end of March, so last transfer Boudi and I went to try and find her again but no answer. Then this past week, we pulled up to her house and she was walking out to get her mail. We stopped to talk to her and she was really excited, then said "I don't know why I went out to get the mail, it's 2 in the afternoon". It was pretty funny. We answered her questions, set a return appointment, and asked if she'd read the Book of Mormon. She said she would, and then read 14 chapters in one day and asked us a bunch of questions, it was awesome! Then at our return appointment, she scheduled us for 5 more return appointments, as well as the next 2 Sundays of church! She's progressing really well.

This week has also been a week of a lot of firsts! And by firsts, I mean for my Filipino companion! We went to Sonic, Wendy's, the Nevada Las Vegas West mission (doctor's appointment haha) and the notorious Faustos. He did really well with all of the food, but Faustos (a Mexican place) got him pretty good. He wasn't feeling so good the rest of that day! But it was awesome haha he enjoyed it and we've been getting really close as a companionship.

And of course, the highlight of the week. One of my investigators from my last area, Amanda, was baptized on Saturday. Her husband performed the baptism and it was wonderful. The Spirit was strong and it hit me really hard. Also, like half the mission showed up to this baptism because she had been taught on and off for over a year! So tons of missionaries came to support her!

My spiritual thought comes from D&C 84:88, which reads:

88 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

I love this promise given by the Lord. This isn't just for missionaries, this is for EVERYONE. God will deliver us. He will help us. No matter what we are going through, He will be there with us, He will comfort us through the Spirit, and He will surround us with angels and lift us up. We will have the confidence to stand firm in our faith no matter what opposition we face. I know this to be true Brothers and Sisters. I know we have a loving Father in Heaven who wants the absolute best for us. He loves to see us grow and improve. He loves to see us succeed. And when we don't, he loves us even more. His love grows bigger and bigger as He helps one of His fallen sons or daughters get back up on their feet and keep pushing forward. We have to trust in Him and have the faith that He will bear us up and fill our hearts with the Spirit, and as we show that faith and trust, He will do exactly that. I know these things to be true, and I say them in the name of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, amen.

I love y'all so much and hope y'all have a wonderful week this week! Until next week!

Elder Houssian

 Amanda's Baptism

First of many comp pics (feat. The Corolla)
 Bannagoa going back to the basics #balancebike 

The herd of Elders who taught this awesome girl!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Week #39

Hello everyone! What an awesome week this week. I hope y'all had a great week! This week was fun-filled and spiritual, the best combo on the mission! Sorry this is so late, transfers were crazy busy!

First off, we found out about transfers, and sadly the twins are being separated. Elder Boudi is going to the Anthem Stake, and I am staying in the Heritage and River Mountain wards and getting a new companion, Elder Bannagao. He is a philippino who's been out for 3 months so it'll be fun to have a newer missionary! I also got a call from President Friday night and was asked to be a District Leader! I'm super excited for this assignment, my district is all Elders and all but 2 of them were here last transfer so it'll be a blast! And, I am FINALLY getting a car! I think I'm more excited about that than anything else!

This past Tuesday I was able to go to the temple with my ward mission leader and my companion. I love the temple so much. I had a couple questions on my mind and heart while in the temple, and I was able to receive answers and get a better understanding of things. It is truly a blessing to have the temple so close. 

We have been teaching Lindsay Granzow's fiancé who is not a member, and it has been going great! They're an awesome family and we always have a blast with them! We talked about the Atonement during our last lesson and Aaron (her fiancé) really enjoyed the lesson and gave input and asked questions, he's coming a long way!

And of course, this weekend was General Conference. That was a spiritual overload! The talks were all so great, I really got a lot of insight from Conference and learned a lot. I really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk and what he said about enduring trials. As missionaries we go through lots of ups and downs throughout the course of our missions, and in talking to missionaries about it later on, they all seemed to get something out of it. I wanted to share a quote (not sure if it's 100% word for word because the talks aren't on Gospel Library yet) from his talk that says something like
"Come as you are, but don't plan to stay as you are". Brothers and Sisters, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the ability to change our lives, but only if we let it. As we study the words of prophets from times of old as well as in today's times, we will become more and more converted to the gospel and our faith and testimony will grow stronger and stronger. The trials we go through today will make us stronger tomorrow. The Atonement is for EVERYONE. Don't ever forget that. As we use the Atonement, endure our trials with faith, and convert ourselves to the gospel and to the Lord, we will feel immense joy and happiness and will be able to feel the influence of the spirit in our lives even more. I know our Savior lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and was translated by Joseph Smith through the power of God. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love y'all so much! I hope you each have a great week and will be able to acknowledge the Savior's hand in your lives. Till next week. God speed!

Elder Houssian
 Last Day with Boudi
Finally!!!  A Car!!!