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