Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

This week went by super quick and was awesome!

Ronda is still awesome! She came to church this week after having worked from 11pm-9am and our church is at 11. So she was here til 2 and then went home and crashed haha She is wonderful and always is so willing to contribute in classes.

Tiarra and Alazaleah (sorry about the spelling) came to church this week too! They are 17 and14 respectfully and they loved it too! Honestly I don't think we have had an investigator not come away from church talking about oh wow I loved Sunday school when they said... or something like that. This ward is truely awesome and the people in it are great! My problem is that I want to go talk to and learn more about all of them but I can only go see a couple each week. I have been in this ward going on 5 months now and I just introduced myself to a couple this week I had never met before!

So Nicole who got baptized a couple weeks ago is going through a hard time right now. Her grandmother Audrey passed away this week. She practically raised Nicole and so it is really hard. Honestly if it was my mom I don't know what I would do also so we are just trying to show her how she can rely on the Lord. She was awesome, as we were talking after she said that the one thing sh ewas looking forward to was in a year going and being baptized for her. Her mom Pam is also now taking lessons from us and is making good progress. The lesson that came right after her mom's death just happened to be the Plan of Salvation and so I think God planned it that way so that she could have that knowledge of where her mom is and that she will see her again.

We love love love this area, Elder Mc Kellar usually keeps us laughing he is the one that stands by me through it all and I'm grateful for that.

Love you guys

Elder Howland

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016

April is halfway over?????

What in the world? Did someone press fast forward on the remote? Wasn't it just January?

Well this week was awesome and we did some great work! We have a new friend named Ronda who we met with this week.  When we taught her about the Restoration, she connected so well with the idea that she should ask God for truth! She is awesome and on Sunday she came to church with us; she is so cool and funny! She said that she wants to change where her life is going and that is why she came. We gave her a Book of Mormon and as we bore testimony of it and how it will help her change, help her feel forgiveness, and help her to come closer to Christ she was crying and the Spirit was so strong. 

Coming out here I feel like I had a pretty good testimony. Looking back now I realize how much my testimony has grown and that is the coolest thing. I definitely can say without a shadow of a doubt that I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith is God's chosen seer in these last days with the keys to this dispensation. I know that God loves each of his children individually including me. I know that Jesus is the Christ, my Savior and my Redeemer.

Nicole got to go to the Louisville, KY temple on Saturday and we are so happy for that!!!!!!!!!! We helped her do some family history work and get it temple ready, and then she took her Great Grandma's name and was baptized and confirmed for her. She cried afterwards when she realized the significance of what she was doing. What a beautiful gospel that we have as a gift from our loving Heavenly Father! And how grateful am I for my privilege of being a part of it and knowing of the hope and goodness that is found here. 

I love you all, Thank you for all your support and prayers!

Elder Howland

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Hello good morning and how do you do!

You know the weeks that don't go very well at all where everything is opposing you? Yeah that was last week. You know the weeks that go really really well and everything is in your favor? Yeah that was this week!!! :)

So on Monday we went on exchanges with one Elder Cusworth. He is such a stud of a missionary, very good listener and loves the people. So we went to one investigator's house, Reuben, and at the front step he was about to drop us and tell us to go away but luckily I had a trick that I pulled out that he wasn't expecting! I asked him to use his bathroom and BOOM he let us in. And from there we gave him a Book of Mormon to read and asked if we could take a few minutes and show him how it would help him... And an hour later where the spirit was there so strongly we finally left and he was so excited! Haha that man is so cool! 61 years old and still knows that there is more to learn and so humble!

So Ben is this guy that we met 3 months ago and on Sunday we really talked about his commitment level which was pretty low based on the evidence. He said he wants to learn more and do more but never came to church and would often flake on our appointments. So after Sunday he was pumped and ready to come to church and meet with us on Tuesday and Friday... well he didn't show up on Tuesday and we were worried... and then on Friday we went over and... he wasn't there again. UGH!!! But. On Sunday morning who came to church? Ben :) And he brought his fiance, Amy, too! :) Testimony meeting was good but it was priesthood that was the most powerful. It was all about the atonement and the resurrection. 

This week really was so great and the Lord was ever mindful of us. Even last night when I was walking without a jacket or umbrella and it poured down on us... again!!!!!!!!!!!! Haha

Good things are happening in the Norwood area!!! :)

Much love!!
Elder Howland

Note from Mark's mom (Cheryl):
When Mark was selling down in Arizona last summer, he met Sis. Eaton (picture above) in his ward. In fact, while he was down there she got her mission call to Cincinnati, and he already had his, so that was cool.  And now they're in the same zone back in Cincinnati.  Fun to see a familiar face, I'm sure.

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

This week was aweeeesome!

Oh wow they were right when they talked about conference being so much better when you are a missionary! Honestly, I think it is simply because I listened more this time than I have in the past. haha  After the morning session I said to my companion, this is the best Conference I have ever seen and it continued getting better! So many good ones to talk about! But I guess you already had 10 hours of it so I'll let you off the hook this time. But my one question is, "how did Elder Holland know we were going to have ice cream right after?!" Haha

So this week we I had a pretty sweet experience. And it started by having the worst day! I won't get into it but it was just a bad day. But one thing our mission president has done is had us memorize some "Faith Scriptures" for exactly this reason. So I had absolutely zero motivation to do any work or keep going, so what I did was say over and over in my mind Joshua 1:9. And then had to keep doing it, God is with me, God is with me, I'm not alone, God is with me. We shortly thereafter had a lesson with our friend Ben and that was awesome; it picked me right up! So that was the proof that God was with me. Another scripture was from Alma "bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success". That promise was fulfilled and it is so cool.  If we do our part God's promises are fulfilled. Every time.

We are also teaching this awesome girl named Liz. Her dad or step-dad I think is a less active member of like 20 years but he is supporting her and so is coming to church with her! They are both so amazing and I'm glad to know them and all the people here in Norwood.

Thank you for all your support and prayers. They are felt and appreciated.

Love, Elder Howland