Thursday, December 19, 2013

More Enthusiasm From Ethan

Ethan asked if I would share an update on the Dobson family that he wrote in an email to me.  I decided to include a bit more as well because I love his enthusiasm!  And I can't wait to visit with him on Christmas!
A happy missionary mom,
". . . Missionary work is fun and super gratifying, right?? I do love it. I can't even explain how much I do. I just love meeting new people and getting to know a lot of people! . . .
". . .The Dobsons are doing great! All of them were at church yesterday, we sat with them. The first time we went over there we couldn't see the floor it was so dirty but apparently when Lucas Dobson met with the bishop he told him "A Clean House invites the spirit" so as a family the cleaned the whole thing and WOW what a difference it made! They all get along better and are just happier with their living situation. Hopefully Lucas can work towards quitting smoking and then they can work towards going to the temple :) It's been Lisa Dobson's goal for a long time and now Lucas is working towards it too! I am SO, SO, SO Happy for them! 
(OH, if you haven't already sent my big email can you put this in there?)
"We will be in Twin Falls a lot this week. We are leaving tomorrow at 4 and getting back Wednesday at 9pm. Then, we leave Friday at 9am, have a mission Christmas party and will get back Saturday at noon. 20 hours of driving the next 5 days. Now I am grateful to have experienced those long drives to Utah and back. 
"Can't wait to video Google party it up on Christmas! :) It'll be so fun to talk to you guys. Well, we are off to practice a song we are performing in River Ward next week!
"I am so sad Elder Te’o is leaving. Hopefully my new companion is half as fun as he is. . .  .
"Love your son,
Elder Ethan Howard"

The Gospel Brings Happiness!

This week has had a lot of ups and downs. I never knew life could be such a roller coaster! But I love Salmon Idaho more and more every day. The people are so down to earth and pleasant. My sister, Taleah, wrote, "I was talking with grandma Howard this week and we both agreed that it sounds like you are having the time of your life on your mission, and that your happiness and enthusiasm is helping you bring the Spirit into others' lives" It is so true! Well at least the part that I am having the time of my life! I only hope I can bring the happiness of the gospel unto all the wonderful people I meet every day. 
     Last week we got a call asking if we could give a priesthood blessing. The man lived 35 miles away up in the mountains. We made the long trek up there in our van almost sliding off the mountain a couple times because of the snow, but we eventually got there. Lance Ingwerson was laying on the ground. Sister Cockrell explained that Lance is a chiropractor who had a bad accident a couple years ago. With chiropractic work he regained full strength in his back. Recently his belly button herniated, so he hasn't been able to do the chiropractic work on his back. He was having surgery the next day, but was in so much pain he couldn't eat, sleep or get comfortable. Sister Cockrell asked if he wanted a Priesthood blessing from us missionaries. He is not a member of the church but said, "Sure, they are men of God so I know they can help." I had the great opportunity to give the blessing. I don't even remember what came out of my mouth honestly, but we both felt the presence of the Holy Ghost. We were there for maybe fifteen minutes and that's it! On Wednesday we got a call from Sister Cockrell telling us that the surgery went perfectly and Lance was home recovering. He got a good night’s sleep before the surgery! He told Sister Cockrell that we could come to his house whenever we wanted and maybe start teaching him about the gospel! We are going in a couple hours, so I'll tell you how it goes!  It was an amazing experience and I know it was guided by God. 
     We had another Christmas party! This one was WAY FUN! They had a nice formal dinner and then the real party started with musical chairs, dancing, limbo and a play put on by the little primary kids of the birth Christ. It was super fun and a lot of people were there -members of the church, non-members, and people who haven't been to church in years. 
   Update on Samantha Ladd: Her baptism was scheduled for Saturday but she had a little slip up with smoking a couple nights ago. I know her heart is in the right place and that she definitely knows the church is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this church has the restored gospel and priesthood.  Smoking is just hard to get over. DON'T START IN THE FIRST PLACE!! I know she will get to baptism! Her baptism will probably get pushed back a couple of weeks, a New Year's baptism! But something pretty awesome, Samantha asked me if I could be the one to baptize her :) Boy, I feel honored! I will be blessed to be able to be a conduit to her making a covenant with her Heavenly Father to take upon the name of Christ and follow His example.
    Well, Transfers are this week on Wednesday! Sadly Elder Te'o is leaving Salmon 5 weeks after he got here. He is becoming a Zone Leader in Rupert, ID. I am blessed enough to be staying here and train a brand new missionary! I'll tell you all about him next week! Toodle-oo and have a nice week. Happy Holidays!! 

-Elder Ethan Howard (

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cold Week!

     Boy, this week has been cold, -12 on average for 3 days!  It doesn't feel that cold. I finally realize the difference about dry cold and humid cold. Minnesota feels much colder than Idaho!  With the cold, I am glad we have our awesome van, nicknamed "Natasha" after the Marvel S.H.E.I.L.D agent "Black Widow" :D  Yah, if you couldn't tell - I LOVE super heroes!
     We spent most of this week working with the less active members of the church to uplift them in the Christmas season. Thursday night we split up to each go with a member of the High Priest Group from the River Ward.  We visited four families to share a spiritual message and ask what we can do to help, gave Lucas Dobbson a priesthood blessing to overcome his sickness, set up a visit to administer the sacrament for a family and bless a home! Working with members who live in the area brings so much success and warm feelings in the community :)
     A couple weeks ago while hunting, Joe Miller fell down a mountain breaking his neck, pelvis and femur. Saturday there was a successful Silent Auction for him at Nelson Angus Ranch. WOW oh WOW the whole town was there! I bet too high for an item I didn't want and won, but hey! It’s for a good cause. I'll send it to my brother for Christmas! Ha. Ha.  Joe is an active member of the church who has two brothers in town. James Miller and family are members but haven't been to church in 5 years. We have been working with them for about two months now.  Jack Miller is not a member of the church, but his wife is. We have just started teaching Jack the gospel!!
     Well the peak of the week was Sunday! Turns out all the families we visited on Thursday night came to church! These families came simply because we visited them with active church members who showed them love. :) IT WORKS PEOPLE! Christ like love changes and lightens people’s lives. I urge you all to show Christ like love to your friends and neighbors especially this Christmas season. Call the missionaries to come with you for a friendly, uplifting visit to people you care about.  Lucas Dobbson, the one we gave the blessing, got better the next day! He honestly looked like death on Thursday. His wife and son got sick, so we went over after church to give both of them a blessing.  At the Silcock's for dinner, we had baked potatoes, Elk tenderloin steaks, baked mustard glazed Steelhead trout and Steelhead trout poppers. Can you say best meal EVER?! Brother Silcock is a master chef, hunter and fisherman and plays the guitar! All 3 of us took turns playing and singing :)  
     To end this wonderful day, we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional with Samantha Ladd, her son Dylan and the Taylor family. WOW the devotional filled me with joy!  As the Prophet, spoke, my heart was filled with the spirit. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was amazing!  Afterwards we read in the Book of Mormon, Alma chapter 7, about the Atonement of Christ. It is one of my absolute favorite chapters! Sam said, "I have searched all my life to fill this empty void in my heart and through this gospel it is finally filled. I have never felt so much peace and happiness in my life. I am finally ready to be baptized . . .” WOW the spirit was so strong my heart was ready to burst out of my chest! I couldn't stop smiling because of the joy and happiness I saw in Samantha Ladd :) It really strengthened my testimony of the love of God and the peace and joy that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ and using His atonement for a remission of our sins. I am incredibly blessed to be here in Salmon, Idaho sharing with people the joy of the gospel :) 

Love and God bless you all this Christmas Season, 
            -Elder Ethan Howard (

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Mail

Hi All,
This is Ethan's mom writing.  I just wanted to let everyone know that mission transfers will happen on December 18th which means Ethan might stay in Salmon, Idaho or he might get sent to a new area, but we won't find out until December 23rd when Ethan writes to us.  So, if you are planning to send mail to Ethan for Christmas, send it to the mission office to arrive before December 20th - the day of the mission Christmas party for all the missionaries in the Idaho Twin Falls Mission.  Mail will be distributed to the missionaries at the party.  The address is:

Elder Ethan Howard
Idaho Twin Falls Mission
421 Maurice Street N.
Twin Falls, ID 83301

Thank you for supporting Ethan as he serves the Lord by bringing the Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people in Idaho.  May your heart be filled with joy this holiday season.

Merry Christmas,
Lisa Howard

Monday, December 2, 2013


Thanksgiving was good! We played in the Turkey Bowl football game. I was wearing my Captain America sweatshirt and SHREDDING it up! First play I caught an interception and ran it back for a touchdown. The next time we had possession, I jumped over everyone and caught a one handed touchdown pass. I switched to Quarter-back and threw two touchdown passes, threading the needle! It was super fun! The Captain America sweatshirt made me have super human football powers :)
We had two BIG thanksgiving meals. We went to the Bingham’s, Michelle and Jim, Hailee (16), JoDee (14) and Hunter (10), for our first dinner at about 2pm. I ate two full plates and four pieces of pie!  Ha ha. They own a Care Center just down the mountain from us. They are SUPER AWESOME!!  We stop at their house just about every night on the way home. They love love love missionaries!
Then we went to the Hubb's, who lived in Northern California for about 50 years and have been in Salmon for the last 20 years. We are teaching their grand-daughters, Shyanne (15) and Cierra (13), about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whenever we are there they always thank us for keeping their household filled with the Spirit even though they continuously fight and bicker with each other. This time I only had one full plate and two pieces of pie with ice cream. :)
BIG NEWS everyone! I am officially 6'6" and 200 lbs! But I still don't have a big belly which is good! My shoulders have filled out for sure.
We had a Zone Conference on Friday down in Arco. The mission president, President Curtis, was there! I had a great interview with him. He is amazing! Super sweet and down to earth. We are blessed to have such a great man as our mission president. We watched a movie as a Zone called, "Ephraim's Rescue". If you all haven't watched the movies, "17 Miracles" and "Ephraim's Rescue," you need to!! The stories of the early pioneers are simply amazing! They really make me grateful for all the technology and easy lives we live. I am super blessed to be here in Salmon and hope to stay here for a lengthy period of time. The Lord's Work is Hastening! 
Christmas Season is upon us!! This season is so joyful because of our Savior's birth :) I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!! I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy this Christmas season.

Love, Elder Ethan Howard (

More About The WOUND!

A member loaded this video on YouTube of me right after my service accident. WARNING: If you get queasy real easy don't watch it! But it's pretty sweet :)

Love you! ~ Elder Howard

Here is a video at the location where the accident happened.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Smacked in the FACE!

2 Big things happened this week!
   The first awesome and amazing thing happened with Holli Thibodeau, 42 years old and has spent the last year in women's shelters. About two months ago she moved to Salmon staying at the Mahoney House, a women's shelter. She was invited to church and came! She bore her testimony in front of the congregation telling of her story in life and how God has helped her through mental health issues. She felt the Holy Ghost bear witness to her that she was in the right place. This week she told us, "The Devil has been working hard on me!"  So we gave her a Priesthood blessing that calmed her mind and was the first time it's been that clear in the longest time. We explained to her the Restoration of the Priesthood, the authority and power of God on this earth to benefit his children. We had an awesome lesson. She accepted the invitation to be baptized in the name of Christ on Dec. 21st!
    The second big thing happened Saturday during a service project.  We met a bunch of men from the church at an old widow’s place who needed wood split for the winter.  I was splitting wood like a knife slices peppers, flying through log after log. The split pieces were all piled up next to my chop block. One of the split pieces found its way under my chop block.  Next thing I know it catapulted up to my face which ensued a laceration on my forehead 1 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch deep. As soon as I got hit, I bent over and blood came pouring out of my face! I feel pretty skilled because none of the blood got on my white shirt or dress pants :) We rushed to the ER for stitches. I have an awesome battle wound which I am sure will turn into a sweet scar. In a few years I am sure the story will start "On my mission in northern Idaho we were tracting up in the mountains, lo and behold we came across a bear...." Ha, ha, ha, it'll get better over the years.  I am totally fine, just have a constant headache. 
    I am so excited about this upcoming month!  I am going to get FAT this week!  We are having three thanksgiving dinners this week -Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We have 2 baptismal dates! One for Samantha Ladd on Dec. 7th. She is golden :) and Holli Thibodeau on Dec. 21st. The Hastening of the Lord’s Work to bring his children the gospel is continuing on an uphill route in Salmon, Idaho :) Have a great week everyone and thank you for all you do.

   Love, Elder Ethan Howard, (

Service Project Mishap

Brother and Sister Howard,
Don't be alarmed but Elder Howard had a little run in with a piece of wood while helping split wood on a service project. He went to the ER and got 8 stitches and is feeling fine and obviously back to his normal self. :) We love having him and Elder Te'o in our home and serving in our ward. They are a great companionship and teach well together with the Spirit. Thanks for sharing him with us! 
Sister Holmes (the Bishop's wife)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elder Te'o and Sauna Time!

I got a new companion! Elder Te'o was born in California and moved to Missouri 9 years ago. He is Samoan, funny and loud, super hard working and knows how to have fun. We get along like two peas in a pod!  
      We had 3 big things happen this week.  First, Wednesday night we had another lesson with Samantha Ladd.  It was about the Word of Wisdom.  She smokes and drinks coffee, but she knows she should quit to be clean so the Holy Ghost can influence her life. She asked us for a blessing of strength to help her quit. We were prompted to set a baptismal date with her - December 7th in 3 weeks. She is an amazing woman who is strengthening her testimony in Jesus Christ everyday! I have been blessed to see her journey of coming unto Christ.
     Second, Saturday we gave tours of our church building. The Primary Children were there practicing for the Sunday program. When we were about to leave a little boy came up to us and said, "Hi! My name is Dylan. I am not a member of your church. I am having trouble believing in God. I was wondering if you could come to my house and teach me and my dad the gospel." HOLY SCHMOKES!!!  I couldn't even believe my ears! I told him absolutely! He is 7 years old, super smart and loves super heroes, so I gave him my Iron man drawing and gave him a high-5. We are seeing them on Wednesday.
     Third, last night we had dinner with the Patterson family. They live up on Williams Lake about 5,500 feet up in the mountains where not many people live. It is GORGEOUS! Their house was built in the 70's with long orange carpet, orange and brown window curtains, green couches and a bunch of awesome lamps. It is all in really good condition still. After dinner we had a sauna. :) Brother Patterson served his mission in Finland. It was about 10 degrees, snowy outside and the sauna was out by the dock. It was about 240 degrees. After we couldn't stand it, we went outside and poured ice water over our heads. It was sweet!! Then we had cold Finnish Ginger Ale called Vernors. The sauna felt amazing. That night I slept like a Rock! 
     The people in Salmon are amazing. I love this small town and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Sure, I miss home, watching super hero cartoons, hanging out with friends, working at Jersey Mike's and jamming on the guitar, but my mission has already been the best experience of my life. It's the BEST!! Love you all and miss you! I love hearing from you. Email me! (

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Plan of Salvation Makes Sense

So we had two really good lessons this week, one with Greg and Jesse Lowell and one with Samantha Ladd , the one from Tennessee.
    Greg and Jesse Lowell have been talking to missionaries for a long time and are super intellectual. But no missionaries have taught them actual gospel. Just befriended them. So we have gone over there a couple times for them to get comfortable with us and then dove straight into teaching! We had an Awesome in depth lesson about the Plan of Salvation and they understood it really well! It's like they knew the answers just out of their pure knowledge. Greg asked us "Do you want us to join your church?" I replied "Well obviously because I know this gospel is true, but what I really want you to do is come closer to Christ and have a better understanding. I don't just want you to be baptized." He asked "Would you think different of us if we didn't join your church?" I replied "Absolutely not, you have your agency and can choose your life path. I am just here to present one path which I have found to be truth and nothing but truth." He seemed very pleased with it. I know Heavenly Father is working on them with all of his might and they are slowly but surely converting unto Christ. 
    We also taught Samantha about the Plan of Salvation! She is golden. She understands everything and already knows it to be true! The things she has gone through in her life have prepared her really well to know God and Christ. She came to church again this week and is progressing in the gospel super well!
    We also started teaching this guy named Jack Eison. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel and about the Prophet Joseph Smith. He told us, "Well it does make sense that there are prophets on the earth today! Why do the Children of Israel get a prophet, and I don't" Obviously God will provide his children a prophet" BOOM Truth right there! He is a character and I always look forward to seeing him.
    We had another child of God make the baptismal covenant yay! Her name is Kristen and she is from a part member family. She is 30 years old with a 2 1/2 year old son named Adin. He went to the hospital 2 hours before the baptism because he wasn't breathing! turns out he has a virus that builds up stuff in his bronchus in his lungs. We gave him a blessing and bam he started doing better! the baptism went on :) I love giving blessings and I get to do it a lot. The power of the Priesthood is amazing!
I am sorry I haven't even told you guys about Kristen 

    So I am still here in Salmon with Elder Schild from Salmon 2 area. Elder Van Zalinge and Elder Johnson drove down yesterday and Elder Van Zalinge is in the air on the way home right now! That is crazy. We are going to Twin tomorrow to stay the night and will be back Wednesday evening. I am not training, that's for sure but I hope I get a cool elder! Most elders will be pretty easy to get along with compared to Van Zalinge. He was kind of blunt and prideful but a good trainer! 
    Levi is trouble. This week he stole four doughnuts from us! My uncle Dennis told me to set a trap for him to make him stop stealing our food! I'll think one up and tell you how it went.
    The Work is Hastening and I am so very blessed to be a part of it! Everyday I see people come closer to Christ and I get closer as well. It makes me grow stronger and stronger in my faith everyday! :) Love you all and wow the time has flown by! It's already been about 2 months. Crazy crazy!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Missionary Fun!

Just had to share a little bit of what Elder Ethan Howard wrote in a letter dated Oct 26th to me, Lisa Howard, his grateful mother:

". . . I also got to go on exchanges (switching companions for a day) in Twin Falls with my Missionary Training Center companion, Elder Jones! and also his companion, Elder Menlove.  Yes, his name is Menlove.  Kinda funny!  But we had safe travels and a grand 'ol time =)
". . . Hooray for the Sister Missionaries (in my congregation here in Andover) having an investigator come to General Conference.  I hope she felt the Holy Ghost and they are teaching her.
". . . I love missionary work, it ceases to be work and is now Fun, Missionary Fun!"

Monday, November 4, 2013

Baptism & Snow

Potato Day and the work moves forward!

Well the snow is falling! It has snowed the past two days but sadly it is all melting. Our Halloween was fantastic! The members here gave us four bags of candy and pumpkin pie! This morning while we were playing basketball at the church, Levi, the mentally challenged guy who lives next door and "Takes care of the apartment", stole about half the candy and the rest of the pie we didn't eat. He is a Trouble maker! We also had a thing called Potato Day on Saturday. A very successful potato farmer brings a semi truck load full of potatoes to our church parking lot, sets up a conveyer belt, and lets people take all the potatoes they want! Boy oh Boy did we get our fair share of potatoes that day. They say there were 75,000 lbs of potatoes in that truck. We filled up bags and delivered them to peoples cars for two and a half hours! each bag weighed 50-60 lbs and we probably filled and carried 100 bags each. doing the math, Us four missionaries lifted and carried about 24,000 lbs of potatoes that day!! we also helped someone move that day. Lets just say we are super sad we can't go get massages!
Our week has been super busy and super successful :) We took some time early in the week to talk about and see what we can do to help our week progress. We found that we weren't putting as much faith in our Heavenly Father as we should. So we studied about faith and how it is essential to miracles and feeling promptings of the Holy Ghost. We made it a priority to follow the promptings we were receiving and put our faith in Him that it will bring us opportunities to teach and help people. Christ said "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Matt. 17:20). Well we didn't move any mountains but we did have success everyday! We have four new people who want to hear about the gospel and were able to teach eleven lessons in one week! That is almost double than any previous week. One new investigator of the church, Holli Thibadeau, came to church for the first time this Sunday. She bore her testimony in front of the congregation telling of her story in life, and how God has helped her through PTSD and other mental health issues due to past experiences in her life. She felt the Holy Ghost bear witness to her that she is in the right place. She is amazing and can really see Heavenly Father guide her to having peace in her life through the gospel. Her life is continuing to change as she puts her trust and faith in God.
We also had the opportunity to see Trishell and Wyatt get baptized this Saturday :) They really made a big step in their lives in making a promise to God through baptism. The promise that they will take upon the name of Christ and always do their best to follow in his footsteps and keep the commandments. They are amazing and I know they will grow up with a strong relationship with their Heavenly Father.
As a missionary I have been blessed to see Heavenly Father bless my own life as well as many others. I am grateful for all the people who have helped me grow in my testimony of Christ and in my Heavenly Father and I know that everyone can feel Them in their lives. All our Father in Heaven wants for us is to return to Him after we have had all these growing experiences in our mortal lives. He has provided a way and an outline for us to accomplish that! Through having Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement for our sins, Repenting of our sins, Being baptized by proper Priesthood Authority to make a covenant, or promise, with God, To receive the Holy Ghost by the same authority and then Enduring to the End and trying our absolute best to follow the commandments and help and serve others. This is the way to accomplish all that God has in store for us and I know that it is for everyone.
I want to share that with everyone I know because it has brought me so much happiness and direction in my life. That is why I am here in Idaho, to tell people this great message! I am having the best time of my life here in Salmon, ID and look forward to everyday :) I wish you all the best in your personal path towards our Heavenly Father and love you all!
-Elder Ethan Howard (

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recently I have thought So much about how I could have helped people back home in the gospel of Jesus Christ a lot more, and how I could have been a better missionary in my high school years. Now I know so much more that missionary work is all about the invitation of the gospel and the spirit into peoples lives. They are the deciding factor in everything. They must use their agency to bring the message we bring, and the Holy Ghost into their hearts.
So Elder Van Zalinge is going home to Little Elm, Texas on Nov. 11th! He is getting married in January or Feb. at least that is the plan. He is very blunt and obedient. He has taught me a lot about the gospel and also tried my patience more than I thought someone could haha. He picks out little details and corrects me on them. It's a good all around learning experience.
We have already put 1200 miles on the new 2014 Dodge van we got last week. Lots and lots of driving! We have 2300 miles each month up here and use all of them. We traveled down to Twin Falls for a mission conference, stayed there and worked for a couple days. We got to hear from Elder Cardon of the Seventy during Mission Conference. He trained us in a lot of things like, the role of a ward council,  inviting the head of the house to pray, teaching about the Prophet Joseph Smith plainly and simply. He was very straight forward and blunt. Elder V.Z. liked him a lot haha.
We have two new investigators this past week. One we helped move apartments. She is 50-60 years old named Morraine She has had a rough past of drinking and what not, but we are going to help her come closer to Christ! The other is a single mother about 30 who moved here from Tennessee last week. She came to church and said she has been investigating for 12 years now. All of the rest of her family joined the church besides her. We are meeting with her tonight and going to get to know her and her thoughts. The wards are fantastic! They really strive to be member missionaries and love us. We mostly eat beef roast or pork chops. We haven't had a weird meal yet. Meat, Potatoes and green beans mostly! I am growing a lot, I think a lot of it is muscle from chopping wood and doing other service. I'm gonna get ripped here in ID!
Happy Halloween to all!! I am going to miss the Parade in Anoka and I love sharing with people that my home town is the Halloween Capitol of the WORLD! Miss all of you a lot and have a wonderful week :)
-Elder Howard (

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Salmon is slice of heaven!

Salmon really is a little slice of heaven. The leafs are turning and the mountains are all cool colors! With the full moon every night it lights up the valley like it's dawn all throughout the night. We have had such success with bringing people closer to Christ this week. We have been helping a girl named Shyanne. She comes from a house where her father drinks and has hit her, her mother has two little babies and yells constantly. We have been teaching her for a couple weeks now but we can really see her looking towards Christ and Heavenly Father for support in her life. She is growing in faith and actually smiles now a days! She said home life has been going better and also school. We are very happy for her and are looking forward to her taking on the name of Christ in her life and being baptized by true Priesthood Authority. She understands that baptism is an important commandment and it is following in the foot steps of Christ himself. 
Boy oh boy am I getting fed well and getting lots of exercise chopping wood. I have gained 15 pounds since being here! Gonna a strapping young lad when I get back. 
I wish everyone a good week and hope you enjoy every minute of it! Remember Christ in your life everyday and I know it'll bring happiness in whatever you are doing. Take Luck!
-Elder Howard

Monday, October 14, 2013

Give Us Your Tobacco Scott

Elder Van Zalinge and I did some serious Word of Wisdom work this week! A man named Scoot Elliott, a less-active member who has smoked for year, gave up his tobacco! We had a long discussion with him on how much addiction takes away from the spirit and how much his life will improve from quitting. We felt the spirit super strong at the end of the lesson and Scott way almost to tears. We plainly asked "Scott, will you give us your tobacco and commit to quit this Sunday so you can take the sacrament?" It took him about three minutes to think it over and he said YES!! The weirdest thing was we had a pound and a half of tobacco in our car the rest of the day.. But He is on the way to quitting! He has a very strong testimony and loves the church but smoking had been the one thing holding him back his whole life. We took Sunday afternoon to clean up his rolling station and clean out all the butts around his house and in his car. Pray for him!
     We have been giving lots of service to people here by chopping older folks, or widows wood for the winter. I never thought I could get a quarter sized blood-blister from chopping wood! I fear my hands will be super rough when I get back. But I am glad to be helping people.
     So I see at least 30 deer everyday in people yards, in town walking around, it's crazy! It's like they are people! They go up to people's houses and eat their plants. No one can shoot them either! THEY ARE EVOLVING. I bet in the next 20 years there will be domestic deer out here. I have only seen a couple bucks, 6 and 4 pointer. I get excited whenever I see deer though.
Tomorrow the Assistants are coming to give us the van and apparently we have to get "Van Certified" I don't even know what that means but we have to watch a 74 minute video. We have the van so we get better gas mileage and can more comfortably carry people down to Twin Falls for transfers.
   The cabin we live in is just one room with a kitchen and bathroom. We have a bunk bed and a little study table each. We have meals with members just about everyday so we really only cook breakfast and lunch. For breakfast I usually have eggs (Fresh provided by ward members) and toast with nutella, or cereal or instant oatmeal. For Lunch I have Ramen, a sandwich, pasta and ragu, instant meals like barbequed rice or chicken with fried rice which I microwave. Lots of simple stuff! The meals we get are fantastic. Roast beef and potatoes, Fried chicken and potatoes, Ribs and potatoes. I am pushing 200lbs already! but now I'm working out in the mornings. Only gained 10lbs so far.
     I am love, love, Loving Salmon Idaho. The people are super friendly, but also very stubborn in their ways. As I have seen people change because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only change is for the better! I know that if we humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father and our savior Jesus Christ our lives will change for good and we will feel more love for others. When we follow the example of Christ in our lives we become more accepting, loving and caring towards all of God's children. I miss you all and thank you for your prayers and letters!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hello From Salmon, ID

Hello From Salmon, Idaho! So as I said I am five hours north of Twin Falls. Out in the Boonies! There are approximately 3,300 people here of which 30% are active members, 50% in-active members, and the other 20% are here to escape the world. we are in a Valley at about 4,000 ft elevation. It has snowed here already but melted super fast. it ranges from 20-50 degrees everyday! My companion, Elder Van Zalinge from Texas, and I live in a little cabin next to someones house on a ranch. We really don't see them all the time but their son Levi is there all the time! He is a character. He was born with mental disabilities and is about 35 years old. He thinks he has dominion over us and steals our food. He is a blast though! Finding people to teach is super hard! Mostly because the trend here is to disappear for a couple days at a time. We have a total of seven people we are teaching of which three we saw this week because of them disappearing, us spending 14 hours in a car and General Conference.
I had an amazing opportunity to give a woman in the hospital a Priesthood Blessing. Her name is Verla Hutchinson and she was probably 80-90 years old. She lost her husband, a brother and a son-in-law in the span of a month. I was the one to give the blessing and it was amazing. During the blessing, words flowed out of my mouth that I know didn't come from me, but came from the Holy Spirit. I felt a portion of the Love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ feel for this daughter of God. By the end of the Blessing Verla was crying and I was too. We both felt the Love of God and the comfort of the Holy Ghost. She said "I knew you two young men would come because God told me you would" We are going back to check up on her this week.
Driving to and from Twin took 10 hours, and then Arco for a Zone Teaching meeting took 4 hours. and with General conference being 10 hours that is 24 hours out of our teaching time! This week I know we will teach more. So don't worry next weeks letter will be more exciting! Miss you all and love you!
-Elder Howard (  Email and Write me!       Elder Ethan Howard
                                                                                                      1 Sunflower
                                                                                                   Salmon, ID 83467 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I'm Going to Salmon, Idaho!

Well I have left the MTC and am in Idaho! let me just say Idaho is empty! and flat too. I can see mountain ranges that are probably 100-150 miles away. But it has a rugged beauty and I'm sure Salmon will prove to be Beautiful as we get up in the mountains.Today I got informed that my first area will be Salmon, Idaho. I will give you more info about the area once I get there. It is a FIVE hour drive from Twin Falls! So we are getting supplies and stuff before taking the trip. The Mission President, President Curtis wanted us to e-mail our families before we left! Our focus as a mission is to get the members more involved in missionary work. We will primarily work through them to help invite their friends to learn more about the gospel and come closer to our savior Jesus Christ. My companion is Elder Van Zalinge from Texas. He has six weeks left on his mission but he made it clear that he will work hard til the end. I'm So excited to go and serve the people of Salmon and bring the gospel to bless peoples lives who don't know the happiness and joy that it can bring. 
-Elder Howard
p.s.- You can send letters to the mission home and they will forward it to us, or you can send it right to me! but if I get transferred and I'm not there i won't ever get it. for packages send them to the mission home with U.S postal service, not UPS or FedEx or else they cant forward it.

Mission Home:                                   Our Address:
Elder Ethan Mackay Howard               Elder Ethan Mackay Howard  
421 Maurice st. N                                1 Sunflower

Twin Falls, Idaho 83301                       Salmon, Idaho 83467

Friday, September 27, 2013

2nd Week at MTC

"Well This week has been a blast! We have done so many role play teachings and mock investigators. We spent one whole day doing a In-Field Orientation in which we learned how to plan out weeks, set goals, work with members, endure to the end, listen to the spirit, It was long but worth it. The MTC is in flu season and it seems like everyone is getting sick! One sister, Sister Bagley was out for a day and a half. Luckily my immune system compares to that of a Grizzly Bear so I'm still feeling great! Another mis-fortune in our district, Elder Elliot (From Denver, CO) got a bad case of Athletes foot and it has been infected. It's double the size and blistering and splitting open and stuff. Don't worry I won't attach the photo I took. I leave for Idaho on Tuesday morning at 5:45am. We are taking a bus with the Sisters from another district. There are 8 sisters and 4 elders going to Twin Falls, Idaho. I can't express how excited I am to bring the message of the gospel to Heavenly Fathers children in Idaho. Even in mock teachings, when I invite someone to have faith in Jesus Christ, His atonement and then be baptized and they say yes, it warms my heart like nothing else! To know that they can use the enabling powers of the Atonement to better their lives just makes me happy, but more importantly makes them and our Heavenly Father happy. I wish everyone had the courage to commit change to their lives and come closer to out Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. I invite you all to look up  2 Nephi 7:11-16 and read more about the atonement. It is some Powerful stuff! Enjoy yours weeks and you might not hear from me till Monday OCT 6th. Miss you all! If you have any questions or free time write me! Here is my Idaho address.

Elder Ethan Mackay Howard
421 Maurice st. N
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301-4932

United States"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hello from Missionary Training Center

"Hello from the MTC (Missionary Training Center)! I have been here in Provo, Utah for three days and it has been amazing! learning about how to be a better missionary by listening with love and teaching through the spirit has been a huge blessing already! I have a companion Elder Jones from Los Alamos, New Mexico. Even in these three days we have come super close and I couldn't see myself being companions with another dude.  

Even in these few days here my testimony and faith have grown exponentially. We have been learning how to listen to people with love and trying to understand how the Lord feels about these people. I have learned that everyone in on a journey towards our Heavenly Father and He has been trying their whole lives to reach out to them some way or some how. What we missionaries are here for, is to bring people farther down that path in accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and having faith in his Atonement, repentance and baptism. For people to gain faith they need to hear the words from us, and then act on the faith that they already have. Through all the classes I attend and all the personal study I do is to help people gain Faith and come unto Christ.

I know that Jesus Christ is my brother and Savior. I know that through Him we can feel peace and the Love of our Heavenly Father! The happiest feelings I have are when I can feel the Love for me from my Heavenly Father and Savior. Christ has helped me become more humble, more thoughtful, less contentious, always striving to do what is right and to feel the Holy Ghost always with me as a personal companion. the message that my brothers and sisters in the gospel are sharing is all about Happiness and Joy! That is what this gospel brings. 3 Nephi 27:19-20 are amazing scripture that we should all take to heart, be baptized by Priesthood Authority and repent so that we can stand blameless before God at the last day.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this and Write me if you can! I will write back as soon as I can! 
Elder Ethan Mackay Howard
2007 N 900 E Unit 97
Provo, UT 84602   "

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Last day in Minnesota

Today is my last day in Minnesota! I have been set apart as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have been truly blessed to have the means and opportunity to give all of my time to the Lord for two whole years! I have also been blessed to be born into such a loving and supportive family. They mean everything to me! Thank you to all who have had an influence in my life and to all who have been supportive in my preparations to serve :)
I have a firm knowledge of the truth of this gospel I am a part of and I know that it blesses my life everyday. The Book of Mormon is a True testament of Jesus Christ and along with the Bible it provides us with all the answers that we need in life! I urge everyone to read this incredible book and pray about it. Ask our Heavenly Father if it is true. I can't wait to share this message with the people of Idaho and I wish all of you good luck in the next two years.
Love- Ethan Howard 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Elder Ethan Howard's Mission, Twin Falls, Idaho

I'm starting this blog to share the thoughts, experiences and events of my mission to Twin Falls, Idaho. I will be sending weekly emails to my parents to put up on this blog! I have five days before flying to Utah to the MTC  (Mission-Training-Center). I will spend about two weeks there studying the scriptures, doing mock teaching sessions and learning the best way to be a missionary. Then I fly to Idaho to start my journey! I am extremely excited and can't wait to get out there and run the Lord's errands.
-Ethan Howard