Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

I know you have been waiting on the edge of your seat all week ready to be updated on all things spiritual in the land of Kentucky. Well prayers have been answered and I'm finally ready to report! Haha just kidding! But seriously this week has flown by! I swear it was 2 days ago I was here emailing!

So most notably we had a sad day Saturday. Kayla, our progressing investigator who was planning on being baptized received a call from her mom that very day, where her mom brought enough fear and doubt to Kayla that she was super emotional and was just uncomfortable going through with the baptism. It was heart breaking. Kayla is the sweetest girl and she still wants to get baptized; she just doesn't want to go against her mom to do so. But everything is still great! Kayla still wants to get baptized and we are now going to work with her mom to help her feel more comfortable with it too. Next Saturday Sister Robinette is going to brunch with Kayla's mom and they are going to work miracles and Kayla will get baptized. Kayla has such a sweet heart; let me tell you a funny story. So we go and teach her the word of wisdom a week ago. Now Kayla is great, every commitment we have ever left with her has been tackled no sweat because she wants to do what God wants her to. Awesome! But then we tell her that she can't drink tea and coffee and this is a little tougher. She is still fine with it and agrees to live it but she is asking a lot of questions about it like why and that kind of thing. So we explain it and she has a good understanding for it and she is like, "Can I ask one more thing?" And we say of course Kayla you can always ask us anything. So with complete sincerity and hope in her voice she asks us if it is okay if she still drinks milk!!! XD hahaha I tried so hard not to laugh but I failed! We definitely assured her that she could drink milk. 

One thing that I have loved is how much heavenly father blesses me. I have found that keeping your thoughts on track on a mission is hard. When your thoughts drift from the work you don't have the spirit with you as much and many many times my thoughts have drifted and I have been able to say a prayer and it has immediately helped me keep the spirit more closely and to keep control of the natural man. 

So we had the opportunity to go to the temple this week!!! We take a mission trip every 6 months and so we were able to go to the Louisville, KY temple and can I say that it was funny how small it was!!! There was no chapel for us to wait in so we waited in the changing room and it was weird!! There was a stake center next door... the stake center was bigger than the temple was!!! But it was awesome and I loved it and there is such peace to be felt in the temple!

One thing I have to mention is scripture study! Are you studying your scriptures each day? I remember reading Howard W. Hunter said that we should be studying each day for an hour. And if that absolutely can't be done then a half an hour would bring the spirit into our lives and we will be blessed, and if that absolutely can't be done then fifteen minutes every single day will provide learning and a better direction to our day. Before my mission I can't say that I even did fifteen minutes but now doing an hour of personal study I can't imagine doing anything less. After the hour I'm like a child getting woken up by their mom in the morning... 5 more minutes please! I love the scriptures and know that they are the word of God. Your day will be better if you apply the things you study to it...I promise you that. Know that there are blessings out there to be had that God is just waiting to give to you. He wants to because he loves you.

Another experience that I had was when we went and visited a less active recent convert whose name is Sister Houston. We knocked on the door and talked to her outside her apartment and I don't think I have told you but a lot of the places around here are POOR. This place was government housing like... the projects. It's rough. But that's fine, one sad thing was that we were able to see some cigarettes in on the table. So this Sister is single with 3 kids and one on the way. So all of this coming together in my mind and this being my first time meeting her, I'm sorry to say but I was judging her a little bit. So she seemed slightly disinterested and I thought to myself "Why are we even here?" But then I had a thought and I pictured her spirit all in white and saying to me "Please don't give up on me." Even though she isn't where she wants to be I know that I can help her achieve it, and after this life when she is in the presence of God and I am there it will be because I never gave up on her. So I wrote that down "Don't give up on me" and put it in big letters at my desk so I can be reminded never to give up on someone. Mom, I know that you never gave up on me when I wasn't living the life deep down I wanted to be living and I am grateful everyday for your influences that brought me to where I am today. I have never been happier than this last month. I can't wait for the next 23!

I love you all,

Elder Howland


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  2. Elder Howland, Thank you for your inspiring message. Now, you have to be careful to never mention your mother, much less thank her or tell her you love her. You see, she loves you a great deal, is proud of who you are, and is pleased with your commitment to the gospel. The joy she feels is just overwhelming, so she becomes emotional and then apologizes for it. :) Thanks for being the source of such heartfelt joy in the life of your mother. It means a great deal to everyone who knows and loves your mother as well.