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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)