Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016

This week will be an interesting "letter".  Elder Howland recorded his communication this week on a series of voice recordings and I'm having to transcribe them...

This week we talked to this little mexican couple on the street.  Elder Bee starts the conversation in simple Spanish and they kind of look at us like "what? these two white boys know Spanish?" And so I just start going busting any Spanish that I knew.  I gave them a pass-along card and it had a picture of the Salt Lake Temple on it right?  And they recognized it.  They were like templo de mormon?  I was like no way...they know what a mormon temple is?  what?  So we just started talking to them for a little bit in Spanish...they literally knew no English.  He was even holding a bible right there.  That was really fun.  It inspired a desire to continue learning Spanish and so I asked the Spanish elders if I could have a Book of Mormon in Spanish and I've been reading it side by side with a normal Book of Mormon so I can understand it better and it's so cool.  It's going to take me a while.  It took me 15 minutes to read 13 verses yesterday.  It'll be slow going but there's lots of learning going on.

On Friday Elder Bee found his first investigator and he did it all by himself.  Wow...proud papa over here.  We taught him a couple points of the gospel and by the end he was in crying.  Elder Bee...powerful missionary.  Every time we've taught a lesson this transfer between me and him, it's been so powerful.  We've been able to help people progress land that's a good feeling.

This week was a really, really good week...just solid.  Many miracles...lots of fun.  We had a very fun week and we're looking forward to doing it again this next week.

Have a great week.  Love you all.

Elder Howland

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016

Alright so this week was fun! I learned a lot and the focus on my week was definitely boldness. 

I am a people pleaser. I love when people feel good about themselves and sliding things in easily... Well Jesus Christ wasn't a people pleaser and I'm realizing that I shouldn't be either. He did what would bring people the most joy not the most comfort. An intriguing and important difference. So literally I've been trying to work on this since the MTC. I clearly remember Sister White telling me after a role play that it was good but I could be more bold. Well 5 months later I have officially taken my first steps to making it there.

So one thing that happened was we talked to this guy named Mark (haha there are at least 6 Mark's out here in the ward and investigators... wierd!) and he is a sad old man whose wife passed away. So we were talking to him and I decided I was going to be more bold. He wasn't very interested in learning more and I told him that our message is something unique and that it is that we believe that there are a lot of truths in other churches but that our church is the one church that has the fullness of the truths in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He kind of perked up and said "Are you saying that you are the one true church? I have a real problem with anyone that says that they are the one true church because that means that everyone else is wrong." I didn't back down at all, with all the confidence of my testimony of the truth I told him that I don't appologize for what I said. We do believe that other churches have a lot of truth like I said but that they don't have it all, like we do." And you know what? He didn't like punch me in the face or try to bible bash or anything. He simply asked if we had literature and wanted to come see our church. So it wasn't a huge miracle that changed his life or anything but it was a miracle in my life and helped change me and was cool.

I love you and am so grateful to you.  This week was awesome and I'm looking forward to next week. Love you, love you, love you! Yes you :) Genuinely.

Elder Howland

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Elder Howland with Elder Bee - 2/15/16

This is Mark's first "greenie".

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

Alright now this idea is not original so please don't give credit to me.  My cousin Jonny Howland is the elder that I stole this from but I thought it would be fun to do the same thing and talk in biblical verse to share about my week so here it is. The first Book of Mark. This is what happens when there is kind of a slow week haha But we did have an awesome lesson that changed Nicole and Audrey's day. They felt the spirit so strong and Audrey said that she felt depressed earlier that day and that our coming had helped so much. :) So cool to bring that to people. :)  Alright here it is...

1 Now it came to pass that the 7th year of the reign of Obama had passed away and in the commencement of the 8th year of the reign of Obama and in the second month on the fifeteenth day I did begin to make my record of my journeyings in the land eastward.
2 And it came to pass that I, Elder Howland, did return again to the computer that I might more sufficiently converse with my bretheren and sisters in the Lord.
3 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me, yea he hath commanded me in all wisdom that I should write the more part of the doings of His people in the land of Norwood.
4 Yea and the things that I write cause much sorrow to my heart and soul for the wickedness of this people, for they have set their hearts upon the things of this world and think not to praise the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
5 Wherefore we diligently teach this people that it is only through Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, that we have a hope of our deliverance from our lost and fallen state.
6 Yea we preach with all the exhortations of our heart the glorious message of our rock and Redeemer and that we must have faith in him unto the forsaking all our sins that we might be saved.
7 But this is not all, for what good are we able to do save we have charity?
8 And it came to pass that we did wander in the wilderness and were afflicted with exceedingly cold and harsh conditions which caused us infirmities and sorrows, nevertheless our Lord hath not forsaken us and he did encircle us about in the robe of his righteousness. 
9 And now behold, we see that the power and captivity of the devil is upon the greater part of the people of Norwood, the light of the Lord that is within man cannot be dimmed except by the agency of his children.
10 Yea when the sons of God reach toward their father in heaven, their father in heaven reaches down in love and mercy and blesses them according to the covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel. 
11 And it came to pass that 5 months hath passed away since I did begin my journeyings to share the word of the Lord with my bretheren in the land eastward, and great are the joys that we have experienced.

Haha I hope that that made some sense! I love you guys!

Elder Howland :D

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

So funny story.... Ok before the funny story. God has entrusted the training of some poor new missionary into my hands. Haha Good thing his name is Elder Bee and he is awesome already! He isn't scared to talk to people and is really converted to the Lord. What else could you ask for! Okay now funny story, we meet on Tuesday and that night we go to sleep and in the middle of the night I wake up to THE LOUDEST SNORING OF MY LIFE. Like it would be impossible for me to make a fake snoring sound right now while conscious that is as loud as his snores. Hahaha I laughed because I thought it was so funny. Luckily I can fall asleep in any given moment and sleep like a brick since becoming a missionary haha

Another funny thing is that he doesn't get enough sleep. And I know exactly what it is like, because when I think back to my first week I feel asleep so many times too. But during studies, during church, everything but I completely understand. So one morning this week we were reading an assigned conference talk by President Uchdorf and he was reading a paragraph and as he read out loud to me all of a sudden he stops talking. I look up... and he is asleep! Yes he fell asleep while reading OUT LOUD!!! Hahaha we laughed about that for days! It was so funnnnnnny! He is a great Elder and I'm so glad to be serving with him, he really has a great attitude.

Sorry you didn't get on only to hear about my companion (although he is obviously so much more entertaining than I am) but this week we taught a man who to say the least has some word of wisdom issues. He is a champ though and he is the humblest man and wants to change so much; it is truly inspiring. At the end of the lesson he said that he wants to check himself into rehab and he said he loves his fiance but if she isn't willing to make the same changes that he wants, he is going to have to leave her at least for a time. There is more to the story but as always short on time. We had a really great week and greenie grace is a thing.
Love you,

Elder Howland

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

So funny story that was kinda bad but hilarious... So we try and go visit an investigator and they weren't there.  So we knock on the neighbor's door to ask them if they know when a good time to see them would be (and try and pick them up as a new investigator also).  So I knock while Elder Leaupepe is a little farther from the door on the phone with the Sister Training Leaders... Knock Knock Knock and this big black lady opens the door and flat out yells "WHO IS YOU?"  Without missing a beat I start to tell her we are looking for her neighbor but she cut me off at "Oh we are just..." And she again yells "GET THE BLANK OUT!!!" And slams the door! :) Haha my eyebrows went up and we instantly started laughing and as we walked away we could hear her on the inside say something to the effect of "Who does that white boy think he is knocking on our door?" LOL We died! Don't worry we weren't disheartened or anything, just laughed and laughed. And then two minutes later Elder Leaupepe trips and almost lands on his face which made me just die all over again. Haha we both died laughing again and also keep in mind the other Sister missionaries are witnesses for all of this :)

We also had 3 people come to church yesterday which is the most we have had together this transfer. The most we have had is 1. So yesterday LaPaul was there and we also had Linda and Marion there. They are brother and sister and they are soooo cooooool! We actually had dinner over there on Saturday and that was awesome.  Then at church Marion said that he had been thinking about tithing and fast offerings for a while and that was what sacrament meeting was all about. And then Linda said the same thing but about Sunday school where they talked about baptism. They both had an amazing time and were excited to have us come back over and also to come back to church next Sunday, too :) :) :)

I think those were the biggest things that happened that I can share real quick. We are about to have a boss P day to send Elder Leaupepe off right! 

Love you!
Elder Howland

 Elder Howland, Sister Taylor, Elder Leaupepe
 Elder Howland, Elder Leaupepe