Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015 - Happy December

Good morning! Okay so I thought that weather here was pretty comparable to that of Utah but I guess I am wrong. I've heard that it has been down in the teens in SLC and single digits in Logan!?! It seems a little early for that! But here we thought it got cold down to 31 and that is the lowest we have seen, but I'm learning that weather means a lot more when you are out in it for hours! But today and yesterday it warmed back up to low fifties and so we are pretty happy about that! 

Okay so this week has been awesome! We taught with so much power and authority from God and met awesome people that are the definition of elite and everything is awesome! Everything is cool when you are on God's team! Haha so we have 2, count em, 2 baptisms this week! Ethan and Evan Stuart are 9 and 12 and their dad is a member and so we are making that happen! This has literally been years in the making and finally (and I must admit, no thanks to me) they are getting baptized and we are so excited for their family. The mom (Erica) is not coming any closer to listening to the gospel but she is an amazing woman and we love her :)

So funny story. We received like A LOT of grace this week. Like an absurdly large amount. So after we committed this kid James to church we had 8 others already committed and this was on Wednesday so it all happened in 2 days but usually we only get like 3 ish... But all these things kept on happening like we would meet people that were super excited to learn more, one kid yelled at us from accross the street and stopped us so we could teach him. Like insane things that I can't even describe! So anyways sorry for the rambling but after James agreed to come to church, Elder Bunderson and I walked away and simply started to laugh... and then we laughed harder and harder until we were both crying and neither of us could control it! One of us would slow down a little and then the other would keep it going and then we both were laughing again! You know those times? Yeah :) At that moment Elder Bunderson and I realized that we were true missionaries because we laughed so hard and were so happy simply because God was working with us and we were having SO much success :) Good times :)

Ok so crazy thing. We are in a walking area right? No car. So we take the bus sometimes and walk most of the time but one day after I recieved a miracle bike from a guy in the ward, we decided to go out on them to cover more ground. Well I don't know if any of you have ever been to Fort Thomas, Kentucky (and let's face it I doubt it because there is nothing here) but the hills here are pretty intense! Also keep in mind that I can't remember the last time I was on a bike..quite possibly several years. Anyway so we have this one particularly steep hill (which is like a canyon road) and it had rained right before and at the bottom of the hill is a 90 degree turn. This is the perfect setup for a bad situation right? Well I go down and QUICKLY gain a lot of speed, and I hit my back brakes which lock up immediately and I try the same with my front.  Well luckily I had the Holy Ghost with me because he told me to slowly squeeze them over and over so that even though they were locking up they were slowing me at least a little bit too. At the bottom of the hill I stopped like a foot away from the curb which seemed like a miracle because I thought I was going to get destroyed! The lord is looking out for me and I thank all of you for your prayers for me because that is what I attribute that to! :)

Also we had the coolest experience that I will describe very briefly. We met this kid, Cruze, and we went over and taught him the restoration and luckily I have a boss companion because after he shared the first vision we experienced an outpouring of the spirit. I can only describe it as perfect stillness in the silence that ensued. It was so strong and so wonderful and after the lesson Cruze said something to the effect of "Thank you for your time and we will definitely be speaking again soon" :) Did I mention that he is 20?  James another kid is 18, I'm so impressed at these kids who live in a really really rough part of town and still God is so important to them. 

I don't know if I have mentioned it but Newport, just one of my areas here, is super super sketch! Like apparently it used to be a big mafia hotspot and now is just full of super low income, largely minority, gangs, and just sketchy. But there are soo many good people and I just want them to get out of here and have a real shot at life and success ya know?

Okay this is waaay too long. Sorry, I love you and God is amazing, look for the Holy Ghost in your life because you have the Lord's promise that you have it to be with you! Follow where it guides you because it will lead you to joy and peace!

Elder Howland

 Elder Howland and Elder Bunderson
 Mark with Brother Tipton
 Elder Howland and Elder Bunderson
 With the Kash family
With Matt Stuart

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