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!