Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 17, 2017

To be short, this week was incredible!

Zone Conferences are this week and it is so much fun! Being able to spend time with other missionaries and our Mission President and his wife is always the best!

One cool thing is that we lost contact with one of our investigators last week, she asked us not to come back via text. Well that isn't the cool thing... this is the cool thing: We ran into her near her home one day and after asking how she is doing we asked how she felt when we were with her and in her words she said "it was a Godly feeling."

This is my favorite thing that we do. We get to bring a Godly feeling to those we talk to. We pray and we teach and testify of Christ. We invite them to come closer to him and we promise them the blessings that come from living the Lord's commandments! I can't think of a more fulfilling thing.

We got an email from a missionary that went home just a couple months ago. He was emailing us and at the same time scraping off some gum from under an elementary school chair... Man I am so grateful to be serving a mission! I am excited to be here and excited to spend the next few months serving the Lord.


This is the BEST thing in the world. I wish that everyone had the opportunity to spend these 2 years serving. Words can't describe!

Elder Howland

NOTE FROM CHERYL:
We received the flight itinerary for Elder Howland's return.  That makes his return so real...and so soon.  Just 2 months until he's back.  He flies into Salt Lake on the morning on September 20th...my birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!  I can't wait for a hug !!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 10, 2017

Mondays don't feel like Mondays anymore, we don't really do much of a Preparation day...well actually that is all we do. Take care of the bare essentials and then work through a lot of it instead of playing. 

I am loving life I just need some additional sleep is all. But I can do that when I get home. But then I will want to see everyone and so I will be like I will sleep in a few months. And then I'll say I can sleep when I graduate and then I'll say I'll sleep when I retire and then I'll sleep when I am dead. Long story short. I'm never going to get enough sleep haha


This week we are starting Zone Conference and I am so excited for that! We get to be with all the missionaries and teach and train and just have a ton of fun! :)  I have given a lot of trainings to missionaries as a Zone Leader and District Leader but something is different when we are the ones training the Zone Leaders. We had a Mission Leadership Council and so all the Zone Leaders and the Sister Training Leaders all come and we train them so that they can go out and lead their missionaries in their zone. It is weird because we are doing all the same things at every level of missionary work but the only difference is what level we are teaching. Assistants train Zone Leaders who train District Leaders who train missionaries who train investigators. It is really interesting. This is really just an interesting assignment. 

Man being a missionary is so wonderful and simple and it takes so much but is so good! I am just trying to dig my heels in and enjoy every moment because it is going quick!!!!

Love to you all.

Elder Mark Howland
This photo came from a member in Elder Howland's area.  She sent it to me through Facebook Messenger and said, "Your son is one of my missionaries.  Today I cut his hair and he asked me to send this to you.  We thought you might like it.  He's awesome.  He's either very tall or I'm just that short.  I come up to his chest."  After "chatting" back and forth, I found out she's 5'1"...and Elder Howland is 6'3" or 6'4"...I can't remember which.

Monday, July 10, 2017

I finally got a new address for Elder Howland:

Elder Mark Howland
4610 N. Bend Rd.
Cincinnati, OH  45211

If you haven't taken the opportunity to write to him, please do.  He loves to get mail, just like we all do...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 3, 2017

In just one week serving here I have learned so much! The biggest thing here is Elder Cook is talking to everyone. All of us make excuses and we find and create reasons to not talk to someone. Whether it is they are a little farther away or they are talking on the phone, there is always a reason not to talk to someone. Elder Cook's example has brought a lot of evidence of why we talk to everyone. Many of our new investigators this week came from talking to everyone. That and media referrals.

Elder Manning is a great asset to us. I feel like we are 3 different points of an equal triangle and with all 3 of us we are able to do more than any of us by ourselves.

One that was fun was when we saw Carla and her son Reggie. Carla said that her brother was a drug addict and in a really bad place...until he read the Book of Mormon and was baptized. She said the change that he made in his life was so visible! He ended up being so good and she said that she wanted that kind of change also. We taught them the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and they came with us Sunday to church but it was really a surprise when she brought her other daughter and granddaughter to church also! Afterwards she said she was excited to see us tomorrow for our lesson and would be back next week!

I have been out here for a while but one thing that I have kept with me is a constant attitude of being teachable. I want to continue to learn because in the gospel just like in life there is always a better way of doing things and always more to do and learn. I know what Enos meant when he says that when the thoughts of the joy of the saints and eternal life sank into his heart- he hungered. I feel that craving for more. A desire to be my very best. Throughout a lot of my life I have given part of myself, in academics and work I have given enough to get by. Enough to keep pace with everyone else in the race. But we are not meant to simply keep pace with the rest of the world. We are endowed with so much more ability than that. We are the noble and great ones saved for the last days. We are able to make a difference and to let our brighter lights shine in growing darkness. 

If we try and give a little more of ourselves I think that each of us will find that we can do it. We can pray a little more sincerely, we can study a little longer and deeper, we can build on our charity for others a lot more. We are able to do it and Heavenly Father will bless us with glories and joys that we can imagine and more. I hope that if you are reading this that you want to as much as I do. 

You can, you know. You can do it. 

And I love you.


Elder Howland

(FYI, Elder Howland was tranferred last Monday and made an assistant to the mission president.  There are three assistants right now...that's why he's talking about two other elders.)

Elder Cook, Elder Howland, Elder Manning