Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 25, 2016

This week has been awesome but there is not much to say. It has been a really really good week though. We had dinners with members and awesome lessons and miracles. 

One thing I should tell you about is something that happened to Elder Leaupepe. We were walking over to the church and after it snowed it iced over and as we walked Elder Leaupepe talked to the Sister Training Leaders on the phone and slipped... then caught himself... then slipped again and fell and it was hilarious. He is fine just so you know and I'm not that terrible of a person but maybe you had to be there... We both laugh about it still :) We  have a lot of inside jokes between us which makes for a really fun time. He is for sure my favorite companion so far and next week is transfers and he is going HOME. It seems crazy but I have been very lucky to learn from him. I have had 3 stud companions so far and I have been so lucky and I'll take it as long as I can :) The good news is that I am 90% sure that I am staying in this area because he is leaving :)

I love learning and growing more in my testimony. I look back at the end of each transfer and love to see the growth that I have seen and hope that I can continue growing literally for the whole 2 years I'm out here but also beyond that. AKA the doctrine of Christ. That is what we focus on here in this mission. Living the Doctrine of Christ and helping others to live it (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End). It is the best thing ever.

Much love, 

Elder Howland

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January 18, 2016

Okay so this week we met this guy and shared a little about our message and he was so excited to hear more. And we found out that he just barely got back from a bridge where he was going to jump and some voice told him that he shouldn't. We went back and taught him the next day and found out that nobody had ever taught him about God or Jesus Christ or anything like that and so we were privileged enough to do that for him. We had him say his first ever prayer with us and he was able to feel the spirit so well as he did and as we talked with him it was so cool to see! He kept thanking us and thanking us for it because he kept talking about how good it felt! He came to church (all 3 blocks) and he is still loving all he is learning and so excited to see more. We talk about baptizing people and stuff but honestly he is the one asking when he can be baptized and what he needs to do before. The first week of February that is going to happen and he will be on his way to growing so much! Ah we love him so much! 

So we had a zone conference about following the promptings of the holy ghost... Hmm that is too soft of a way to say it... it was about The power and authority that you can have with you by following the directions and commands of God. Yeah that is better :) So after that I started to pray for the courage to follow those commands whatever they were and this is what happened...

This one happened just yesterday. So this week we contacted this less active and a few weeks ago he said he wanted to come back to church but then never did and kind of disappeared.  Well on Wednesday he said again he was going to come. Then Saturday we called again to make sure and he again confirmed he would come and even be early. So Sunday morning at 10:50 no sign of him so I called... He says that his biological mother just passed away and that he has to go to Kentucky. (I don't know if you all would agree but I would honestly consider myself a people pleaser, I like keeping peace and keeping everybody happy.) So I get this thought that I need to be bold with him and tell him he needs to be here.  So I muster up my courage and tell him that I don't want to be insensitive but that I know that church is where God wants him to be right now and that I've seen Satan put all sorts of roadblocks in people's way but that he needs to come to church even if it is only for 30 minutes of sacrament and then go down to Kentucky. And his response was simply "You're right and I'll be there soon." Well he got there right as the bread was coming in our aisle and he stayed all the way to priesthood. He called us that night and thanked us for motivating him to come because he really needed it and he felt that everything there was meant just for him.

Moral of the story. Follow the Holy Ghost. He will show you all things which you should do.

Also it is sooo coooold! But that is awesome because people give you rides when it is cold :)

My testimony grows every day! That is so cool, the fact that I can see it in myself is powerful and I know that the doctrine of Christ is working in me and making me better! The work is going forth and will not be hindered by anything! 

Love ya!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11, 2016

So this week is a better email I promise.

First of all we were talking with this guy Michael and he is like 40ish and he talked to us out in the cold for like 30 minutes...about RC Cars! Like c'mon man toys? Haha it was so funny because it was so cold but while standing up in the cold in the road both Elder Leaupepe and I may have started to drift off while he talked AT us.  #missionarylife

Quick story- while we were fasting Friday we had a miracle happen, Elder Leaupepe received an assignment from the Relief Society President last time he was here and she was a do not contact but he had the impression to try and find her again and through a series of what seemed like unfortunate events (like missing our bus) we walked by her house and someone was on the steps outside. So we went and asked if she knew Cheryl Taylor and it turned out that it was her! We talked to her and just being there was a blessing in her (and our) life.  She bore her testimony with tears streaming down her face then she said in her own words "I'm sick of waking up each Sunday morning wishing I was at church." We bore our testimonies and she was at Stake Conference yesterday. God was there.

Another funny story was that the two of us went to Lee's (which is kind of like KFC). So we ordered kind of a lot of food haha and when they brought it out it was apparently enough food for 8 because they brought out that many utensils for us... Yeah well the two of us ate it alllllllll! There was so much and I'm not going to lie I was a little bit in pain but Elder Leaupepe was just fine #poly #ithinkwebrokethewordofwisdom hahaha It was awesome. 

People say the funniest things here. There is a new lingo like "fina" (fin-uh) which pretty much means "going to" This guy said "we fina get snow this week" haha I didn't know what it was and Elder Leaupepe had to explain it to me. Another one is "usedtacould" which is more straight forward like used to be able to but more ghetto. haha

There is opposition in all things and this week we saw it but as you can see we keep spirits pretty high and there are miracles still happening!

Love you all!

Elder Howland

P.S. Miracles:
Transfer 1- tore black suit
Transfer 2- spill gravy on nice gray suit
Transfer 3- take gray suit to dry cleaners and find out it won't come out
Transfer 3- God comes in and saves the day and Elder Leaupepe who is going home this transfer bought a suit like a year ago and it is a slim fit and is too tight for him and so up and gives it to me! It is a sweet blue one too :) See? More miracles :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

January 4, 2016

Happy New Year and hello cold! 

This new years was an interesting one.  We had to go into the apartment at 6 on New Years Eve and then had to be inside all day on Friday and clear until NOON ON SATURDAY!!! Whoo... That was exhausting staying inside allllll day. BUT we got a cool assignment that asked for a lot of writing, reading, and pondering. Needless to say all of that together meant I was sitting in Revelation Station!! That was so cool. It was really good but at the same time it was really really really long... After hour 7 of reading I was like ok I'm done...I need to move! But I didn't. I stayed and I read for another 9 HOURS after! Ugh my brain was fried! 

Haha Okay I'm done complaining now because I'm so happy that we did it because of how much I got out of it. I always thought that it was like dozens of stories all put together but from this perspective it seemed more like 4 stories. 

I love you all. Sorry short again!

Elder Howland

Monday, January 4, 2016

December 28, 2015

Rain rain go away come again... Never!!!

Hahaha Just kidding! ...But seriously. Thursday it started raining and it is still raining! How is there that much moisture? Those clouds have to be empty! We are cold and wet all the time!

Okay now that the complaining is out of the way, the work has not been stopped or even slowed by the rain or anything. I thank everyone for your prayers and what I realized the other day is that I'm done praying for other missionaries. Missionaries are fine, we are personal representatives of God; how much better does life get?! But the ones to pray for are the investigators of the missionaries in the world. They are the ones that Satan is attacking and are struggling in life and wanting something more! 

The same is true here. The other night a man approached us looking for men of God and a place to worship (which we were very happy to be able to fill his needs) and we met his fiance who is an alcoholic.  After we met him and were leaving with an appointment to come back Tuesday, he was seriously begging us to come back and help him and his fiance.

This week was awesome, my companion is fun and almost gone!!! I still can't believe it haha 

This is a short letter but I'm just short on time this week.  We have had a lot of fun.

Love you guys!

Elder Howland