I realized something the other day again. I have enjoyed my time here serving a mission more than any other time in my life. When I serve God I am happier than at any other time! It is crazy that by doing the things God asks us to provides us with happiness!!! :) I go through "little Gethsemane's" and love it because that is where the growth is. I can enjoy the easy and fun moments because they're easy and fun, but the critical times that I remember most, and learn the most, and grow the most, and help others the most is when I am going through that refining fire!
For example, I had a certain companion out here that it was so hard being with him! Sooo hard! I wanted to be more obedient than he did and wanted to work harder than he did and yet I found myself being less obedient and diligent because I didn't want to make him feel bad. I was literally caring more about what men think than what God thinks. After a while I made up my mind that no matter what other people around me do, I will be obedient and diligent. Looking forward to real life and applying the same concepts, I realized that my friends or maybe even my spouse might not be as diligent or obedient as what I know we should and so I asked myself if, heaven forbid and this is very dramatic but, if my wife went less active in the church would I try and make her more comfortable by not going to church also? Or would I set the example and go and try and lovingly lead her back to Christ also? So now I know and it all came because of a hard time. :) That is why I love them! If I had been around a perfectly obedient companion my whole mission, I would have never learned that I had the power to stand on my own for what I know is right. And you know what? That companion started following my lead and being more obedient. Happy ending!
Transfers are here but I dodged a bullet and I'm staying. Elder Wilcken is leaving which is kinda sad because he has 5 weeks left before going home and has to do it in a new area. Hopefully he goes back to an old area though!
So I had a crazy week this last week, on Monday I dislocated a few toes while playing soccer and that has made walking all day rough but it isn't too bad. My companion Elder Wilcken and I also both got super sick with this ridiculous cough that has been plaguing us! I'm living in Dayton, Ohio and really like it. This place is like half ghetto and half super ritzy it is wierd. Kind of like West Valley except the nice parts are wayyy nicer! So the families that feed us dinner are the nicer ones and so they spoil us sometimes :) It is nice!
Love you all,
Elder Howland doing a service project...