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 (