Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 20, 2017

This week. Every transfer is going so quick! It is crazy! I just found out that I am going to be transferred this week which I am super sad about. I have loved Georgetown and more importantly I am sad to miss the people! The connections and friends that you meet are so priceless!

I am being transferred down to Cincinnati which is awesome because I served right next door there a year ago! So I know the area a little bit and I think I like the hustle and bustle of the city in terms of missionary work. So that will be a fun experience.  Elder Scheffield is my new companion and he has only been out 3 months so far. It will be good to meet him. 

This week has been my favorite to realize that I have grown so much and the best thing- that I love myself. That is kind of weird to say out loud. But it is true! And I feel like it is a gift from God to acknowledge that! I love who I am and who I am becoming! 

I set a goal of finishing the Book of Mormon in 6 weeks and am finishing it today. Setting goals and learning to live to reach them is empowering and will help me to reach my full potential and so I am excited to expand my use of goals and do more than I ever thought I could! Haha cheesy but true!

I love you!

Elder Mark Howland

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 13, 2017

Alrighty! So this week was fun! We went on 2 exchanges and we had a Zone Meeting and lots of stuff which makes for a very quick week! We find out about transfers on Saturday already! 

So we met this family a couple weeks ago the McQuitty's. We were walking down the street and they were using a saw and cutting some wood and so what would any decent missionary do as they pass? "Hey do you need some help?" And guess what? For once, someone accepted our help!!! Talk about exciting!

So we went over and we can't do the actual saw work sadly but we helped them a bit. The mounting of the cabinets was difficult because the drill we were using was broken and would spin but didn't have any torque really so it was just a mess haha definitely a fun story. So we borrow a new drill from the members that live next door and we finish it and then this week we came and taught them.  They were very receptive and Jo had even read the book of Mormon before and the others in the family wanted to. 

Little things are just going right and making life just so happy. For instance having Elder Allred next to me all day is definitely a plus! We laugh and laugh all day and that really helps when we are talking to people because we are expressing the joy that the gospel offers us and that is the biggest blessing! :)

So this is not missionary-y at all but I heard for the first time that there was a Lego Batman movie and that it is out??? Yeah when I get home I am excited for that! Sorry that was trunky and stuff but I was just going to say that everything is awesome out here and that reminded me of it! I love it here and I love the Lord who is helping very good things to happen and I love serving a mission! :)

I also very much love you all and am so grateful for your support of me in all the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes.

Elder Mark Howland

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017

Every once in a while I hear about someone that reads the blog that I send home each week and I get all self conscious because I'm like dang it, did I actually put my heart into what I was saying that week or did I just write something home...?

So hopefully my heart is in this one because look, you are here reading it now. 

This week was awesome. For the first time in this area we were able to see a fast and testimony meeting! That is either the scariest or the happiest time in my life! I love love love those meetings when people get up and bear their testimony and share the Spirit together. But now and again you will find people that get up each week and share a story that has nothing to do with a testimony and are there for 15 mins. That is scary. But this ward is so great I love them so much everyone that got up shared their testimony and the Spirit was so so so strong! You know those times in your life when you just feel full to bursting with just so much love and goodness and peace and joy and everything?! :) Yeah I felt like that on Sunday because of each one of those wonderful ward members who shared their simple yet powerful testimony!

This week was rough because Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we did ZERO proselyting in our area because silly Elder Howland decided to up and get the flu! Also turns out that the flu doesn't specifically mean the stomach flu like I thought- no there is a respiratory flu that is way worse. So I had that but I'm doing much better now and we are working and loving it!

We taught this lady Tanya 2 weeks ago and she is awesome but we came back to teach her and she said that her neighbor also wants to meet with us.  So yesterday we brought a member over and shared the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Tanya again and Ruth for the first time! That was a really good experience and we will go back this week and discuss more. Ruth's husband wasn't baptized before he passed away and she believes that he is going to go to heaven although she doesn't know how it can be because he hasn't had that baptism. Oh what a sweet sweet gospel we have to know the eternal truths that have been revealed to us by prophets and leaders to help us find and do saving work for our wonderful ancestors and loved ones.

This Gospel is true, it brings us to greater happiness than we could find ourselves. God our Heavenly Father loves us so much more than we can even know. I love you too!

Elder Mark Howland

Elder Howland was on trade-offs with another set of elders.
Elder Howland's companion is 2nd from the right.