Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Video Call

From Ethan to his parents: Dec 29, 2014

Lots of babies around Grandma Howard's house but I bet she loved it :)  It was really great seeing everyone together having a good time. It really doesn't seem like much has changed besides the size of all the kids and the voice of  Jaden ( 14 yr old cousin). He is becoming mature and that's weird!! It was crazy seeing how big Jillian (10 yr old cousin) and Ally (12 yr old cousin) are. WOW! But seems like everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves and catching fish every time you went out that's pretty good! 


Thanks for all the pictures of stuff it really hits home for me.

Lunch with the Silcocks was great! Just a couple of hours but Elder Te'o and I got to sing some songs and lead people in singing the 12 days of Christmas and other songs. It was pretty fun!  New years we will get together as a district and play games, a lot like Halloween. Transfers are Jan. 7th! I hope I stay at least another transfer because we are rebooting all the ward mission plans and working on a missionary fireside where Elder Te'o and I will sing. So I hope I stay!



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Spirit is invited by Music!

From Ethan: Mon, Dec 22, 2014 1:13 pm
It is still brown and down in Burley, ID with NO SNOW!!  I don't want a brown Christmas but I guess everywhere back home there isn't any snow. Boy, that's sad. Maybe I'll have to get on the roof and do a little snow dance to liven up the skies!

As you probably guessed from the title of this letter, music has been a huge factor in our missionary work this past week. Since Elder Te'o and I both love music we put together a couple of arrangements! For our Mission Conference and a ward Christmas party we sang an arrangement of "Savior Redeemer of my Soul." This is a video of our performance of it at our Mission Conference.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3JwvTshDYA&feature=youtu.be   In Sacrament Meeting yesterday we sang "All Glory Be to Christ" by King's Kaleidoscope.  (Look it up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGUq4fdocuI). For me, music is one of those things that invites the spirit the most.  Martin Luther said "Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us."  Ludwig Van Beethoven said "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."  I really think that Heavenly Father can influence people through music and help them return back to him.

 We have really fun plans set up for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve we are having a Mexican fiesta with one of the awesome families in our ward! They are straight up from Mexico so it should be super authentic Mexican food. Christmas day our main man, Dave Silcock from Salmon, is coming down to spend the day with us and his family! It'll be awesome to catch up with him and spend a good uplifting day with them.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

~ Elder Ethan Howard

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Teaching with Parables

From Ethan: Mon, Dec 8, 2014 1:09 pm                  

Boy oh boy I have been having such a fun time the past week that it all seems like a blur!  Time is passing like a touchdown throw from Payton Manning! Serving again with Elder Te'o is more fun than ever.  We both know each other’s teaching styles and personality so it makes things quite easy! 

We had some awesome teaching opportunities with some parables this week. I finally understand why Jesus Christ used so many parables when teaching the multitudes. They are so easy to mold and teach to people’s needs. Two of my favorite parables are the parable of the sower (Matt 13:3-9) and the Pearl of great price (Matt 13:45-46).  We were able to share the first parable with the Millspaugh's this week.  We likened ourselves to the ground. To make our ground "good ground", we need to do the simple little things in our everyday life like praying, giving service, reading scriptures and going to church! Once our ground is "good ground", we then water our seed planted in that ground by being baptized and showing forth our faith! That is how we make sure the seed of our testimony will flourish and grow into a big tree!

The youth of the Unity 2nd ward went to the temple this week to perform baptisms for the dead.  Since it was Salena's first time attending the temple, we got permission to go.  Before we went to the temple we all went to Golden Corral, a buffet, and then together started a fast for missionary work! :) That is a bomb idea and I know it'll provide us more opportunities to share the gospel. But I love going to the temple to perform ordinances for people who have passed on. When the day of Resurrection comes we will have the opportunity to meet those that we performed the ordinances for. I think that was a side thought that Paul, the early Apostle had when he said "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?"(1 Corinthians 15:29). It is an amazing a very humbling experience.

I love the Christmas season and all the joy that it brings into people’s lives :) Christmas music is the best.  Elder Te'o and I love to play guitar and piano and sing Christmas songs for people. It's just one of those talents that I get to share with people to help lift their spirits. Hope you all find ways to serve others and share your talents with them! 

Here is a picture of Elder Te'o and I swaggin' those vests!


-Elder Howard


Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving in Gratitude

From Ethan: Mon, Dec 1, 2014 1:12 pm

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Well this is the second Thanksgiving I have had with Elder Te'o! Last year up in Salmon and now here in Burley. We ate a ton! Also road a tandem bike (two-seater bike), played chimes with a family, colored and drew turkeys and also played basketball to work off all the fat! Being here in Idaho we are super blessed with all that the people provide for us. Lemme tell you we don't go hungry! (Don't worry mom). Honestly I am so grateful for all the people out here in Idaho that take care of us missionaries. We feel the love from all of our ward members and even people not of our faith because they know that our purpose is to invite others unto Christ and to help people live better lives.

We had a super fun time with the Heisingers this week because we got to have dinner with them! We shared with them the "He is the Gift" initiative that the church is doing this Christmas season. I really love this video and the message that is shared because it focuses Jesus Christ at the center of Christmas as it should always be! Without Christ, "Christ"mas wouldn't even exist and without Him none of us would be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven. That is why He is the greatest gift of them all :) Here is the website to see the video and the #ShareTheGift! http://www.mormon.org/christmas

With the holidays it was a little hard to see people because of family in town and other things but we are expecting this week to visit everyone we can and to share the simple, yet amazing message of Jesus Christ :) Tis' the Season!! Enjoy the first bit of the Christmas Season everyone!


-Love, Elder Howard

Monday, November 24, 2014

Salena's Baptism and the Return of Elder Te'o!

From Ethan: Mon, Nov 24, 2014 11:34 am

It's been an awesome week here in Burley Unity!! Salena was baptized :) Like the whole ward was there to support her and she brought a bunch of her friends, too! It was a very spiritual service with all the people there to support her.  The talks that were given were great! Stake Conference was this weekend so Salena will be confirmed on November 30th.

You've probably been wondering why the title has "The Return of Elder Te'o" in it. Transfers are this week and I am getting Elder Te'o as my companion again!!!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS I cannot even hold in my excitement and happiness!! Elder Te'o and I served together one year ago in Salmon for only 5 weeks.  We are the best of buds! We are very similar, can teach together super well, both love to work and to have fun. Also another funny thing, Elder Bagley is getting transferred up to Salmon! I get to give him a good snapshot of Salmon before he goes there :) It's so Exciting! Elder Te'o and I are going to tear it up in Burley Unity!!

We had another great lesson with the Heisingers this week. Ron has made up his mind that he believes in the core principles of the gospel so he is all good to go! Shirley is taking her time in trying to understand all the doctrine before making a decision to join the church.  We know that she will be super concrete when she makes the decision. She is really searching it out through the spirit.

Exciting things are happening! This next transfer is going to be incredibly awesome! 


~Elder Howard


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's been a rollercoaster couple of weeks... but hey it snowed!

From Ethan: Mon, Nov 17, 2014 11:52 am

Well I assume the title explains a little bit of how we have been feeling the past couple weeks. Two steps forward and then two steps back. At least this week was a "two steps forward" week!  We had some really awesome lessons and people committed to pray about Heavenly Father’s will for them.

Salena Martinez is looking forward to getting baptized this Saturday Nov. 22nd.  She has asked me to perform the ordinance for her! I can really see how God guided us to meet her when she was ready and open to hearing the restored gospel. Also we have felt the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the truthfulness of the lessons and she recognized it too! She is an awesome young lady :)

We had a couple of spiritual lessons with Ron and Shirley Hiesinger and Shawn and Casi Millspaugh.  Ron, Shirley and Casi have been coming and participating at church for the last 3 months.  They all feel deep down that the gospel can help them in their lives and bring them closer to God and Christ. With the Heisingers we focused on how through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we overcome physical and spiritual death. The way we can access the Atonement is to have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, be baptized in the name of Christ and receive the Holy Ghost.  We invited Ron and Shirley to pray to know whether Dec. 6th is the day for them to be baptized. Ron said the closing prayer and he truly asked sincerely if this was the right path for them! The spirit was like BOOM, super strong right then.  We’ll see what they do this next week!

With the Millspaugh's we focused on all the blessings that the gospel can bring to us. We wrote a super long list on a white board! They both know that they need to be baptized. We asked them two questions, "How have you seen the gospel bless the lives of those around you?" and "What blessings await you in the future?" I could see in their eyes that they knew this is the right thing for them. They said they would ponder and discuss our invitation to be baptized on Dec 22nd. The Millspaugh's daughter, Bailey (16), was baptized in August. They have seen how much the gospel has changed her life for the better so they have an eye witness! I really hope they feel in their hearts the desire to commit their lives to our Lord.

So there are some sweet things that are happening here with the people we love a lot :) Not everything is butterflies and daisies though. We are having some struggles with Seth Graham and the Watterson's. They aren't showing as much commitment as we would hope but slowly they are changing their lives to better follow Jesus Christ! We pray for them every day but we cannot override their personal agency. It's all about making our own choices for good and committing ourselves to follow our Savior Jesus Christ.

I brought the MinneSNOWta to Idaho!! It snowed here really really early in the season and there was quite a bit! That's it! God bless you all and enjoy the Holiday's! Share God's love by smiling to everyone you meet :)


-Elder Howard

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another Week, More success!

From Ethan: Mon, Nov 10, 2014 12:07 pm
Hello, hello everybody! This week went incredibly fast.  It seems like I was right here writing you just a couple moments ago.  I guess the saying stands true, "Time flies when you are having fun." :) We are continuing to see the hearts of people come closer to God and our Savior Jesus Christ. 

We had an awesome opportunity to help an older lady in the ward do some house work! Mellie Morgan, originally from Australia, married a man who served his mission there, then moved here to the USA. She has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever seen! It shows through her work as a mother and care taker. One of her sons, upper thirties, suffers from a terrible thing called Crones disease. It is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that makes it hard to eat anything and causes pain and severe weight loss. Mellie spends all of her time taking care of her son and the house. She can't get everything done so that's where we came in! We were able to help clean her whole kitchen and organize her house which has been cluttered for years. It might seem like a little thing but I know Mellie really appreciated it. To adhere to the counsel of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, "when ye are in the service of your fellowbeings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17"). I know that to be true by the feelings of joy and happiness while giving service to other people. I have a thought about service and why it brings happiness. Happiness comes from the desires of our heart to do good continually.

We are looking forward to the next couple weeks where we can see Seth Graham and Salena put their faith forward and enter into the covenant of baptism. Seth is struggling a little bit with living situations, so we are going to let all that settle down before making this commitment, but Salena is right on steady for Nov. 22nd! They are both experiencing the joy of having the gospel at the center of their hearts and that is what it is all about! Our Father in Heaven told Moses, "For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man," (Moses 1:39) which comes through giving your heart to our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.


-Elder Howard (ehoward@myldsmail.net)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Miracles and Success!

Sent From Ethan: Mon, Nov 3, 2014 1:19 pm

Wow we are having an incredible time here in Burley Unity wards and the Young Single Adult ward! It's amazing how much success we have seen in the last two weeks. Lemme tell you about it!

First, at the beginning of this week we had a lesson with a young man named Seth Gram, 20 years old who has had a really rough past couple of years. His family does not support him, so he has struggled to find a place to live and work.  About three weeks ago we had a lesson with him that was all over the place with no focus. We left the lesson with feelings of stress and doubt that we all learned anything from it, but apparently it helped Seth out a bunch! His initiative kicked in. He got a job and a place to live. Seth met with us again this week! We discussed how through prayer we can receive answers from our Heavenly Father. We asked him "Have you ever prayed to know this gospel is true?" He answered with a firm "well, yeah!"  The discussion turned to us asking him all the baptismal questions. He is getting baptized on November 15th! WOAH! It's crazy how just a simple meeting can turn into a life changing experience.  Seth is an interesting dude with a lot of enthusiasm to make the world a better place. Having the Holy Spirit with him at all times will turn that enthusiasm into works!

Second, the first couple of weeks I was here we randomly met a couple of sophomore aged girls on the street while walking to an appointment.  Turns out one of them, Salena Martinez, has been going to church with her brother, Tito, who was baptized just last year. At the first appointment she asked if we were there just to baptize her into the church.  Not at all! We as missionaries are here to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. We pretty much help them increase their faith in order to follow Jesus Christ, their Savior. We have taught her pretty much all the lessons. She is reading the Book of Mormon and the Bible now. She has come to church a couple times. Just last night she told us that she believes the gospel is true and wants to be baptized! It's amazing how much she has changed is becoming a better person every day with the knowledge of the restored gospel.  She is reading, pondering and praying. She always sarcastically says "It was such a coincidence meeting you two on the street that one day." Let me tell you, God works in mysterious ways!

Last week for P-day we went to a straw maze.  I found a cool little buddy there! See the picture and the really cool pumpkin carved by one of the families. Today for P-day we are going bowling!! Over in Rupert (a neighboring city) there is a bowling alley that is owned by a member of the church. They let missionaries bowl for free! My former Companion Elder Rosales will be there!! I miss that fool a bunch! We will also play basketball and probably board games with our district. The weeks keep getting busier.  We are look forward to Seth's baptism on Nov. 15th, Salena's on Nov. 22nd and Easton and Slayter Wattersons’ on Dec. 6th! It's been quite amazing! It is not about the numbers of baptisms, but the number of lives changed for the better.


-Elder Howard



To every nation, kindred, tongue, and people

From Ethan: Mon, Oct 27, 2014 12:18 pm

Wowie was it a nice and busy week!! We taught 16 lessons and barely had any free time! I think I can contribute the success to one thing that Noelle Pikus-Pace committed me to do. Each morning during my prayer I have been asking for two things, to be reminded to take upon myself the name of Christ more throughout the day and to have the spirit with me at all times. It seems to have worked very effectively! We had some great lessons and the Spirit bore witness every time we taught a gospel truth. Prayer really does work!

I have been in heaven this week with all talk about hunting. Elk and Mule deer season just opened this last weekend! I saw some pretty nice elk and deer horns :) The area that we serve is almost totally a farming community, sugar beets, potatoes and dairy cows! Finally the harvest is over, I guess that had an effect on our being able to meet with more people. Now the farmers are fertilizing their fields.  Guess what they fertilize with... (DON'T LET THE KIDS READ THIS!)  Yep, they use all the Cow Poo! Here in Idaho they have perfected the way to fertilize with Cow Poo.  Instead of using the traditional spreader and working it into the ground, they liquefy the poo and spray it out the back of huge semi trucks!! I guess it gets into the soil faster. Also they kill two birds with one stone, watering and fertilizing. With all the spraying poo, it gets in the air and yeah, we gotta smell it all day. I have never been in a place where it smells like our bathroom after my dad uses it ALL THE TIME!! It's most definitely something I would not wish on anybody. So that's a little bit about Burley, Idaho Unity Wards!

We had a very cool lesson this week with Taggert Patterson. Recently adopted by the Patterson family, Taggert was born in China an orphan.  At 13 years old, he speaks very little English because his mainly speaks Mandarin Chinese. We were able to find a man who served his mission in Taiwan, Brother Kyler Redder, who is still fluent in Mandarin! We were able to teach and have it translated into Mandarin. It was such a cool experience to hear the gospel taught in a foreign language. Even when Brother Redder would go off on a certain topic, we could still discern by the Spirit what he was talking about! Taggert grew up Buddhist and hasn't been able to except Jesus Christ as the Son of God. When Brother Redder testified of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Savior and Redeemer of the world in Mandarin Chinese I could not help but think of the scripture Mosiah 15:28 "And now I say unto you that the time shall come that the salvation of the Lord shall be declared to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.”  Now I know just a little bit of what my father felt when he testified of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the people of Taiwan.

I love being able to share the Restored Gospel with the people of Idaho and to help them receive all the blessings it has to offer them. I wish everyone could feel the love that I have felt from my Heavenly Father and a witness from the Holy Spirit that this Gospel is true!! It is something I hold very dear to my heart and when I share it with people I feel like I am sharing a little part of myself with them. It is amazing, it is lovely and it will continue the rest of my life!! 

Love and Miss you all!!

-Elder Howard (ehoward@myldsmail.net)

Monday, October 27, 2014

I Met 2014 Winter Olympic Silver Medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace!

From Ethan: Mon, Oct 20, 2014 12:32 pm

This week started with a lot of disappointments and frustration with no one being home and not having anything to do, that all changed on Thursday after Elder Baggins (Bagley) and I watched a video during companionship study time. It helped get us into the Spirit! And want to go out and get stuff done!! After that we had some awesome contacts with people, service opportunities and lessons. 

Noelle Pikus-Pace, American Skeleton racer, Silver Medalist in the 2014 Winter Olympics came to Burley for a youth fireside! She and her husband gave some really amazing talks about how the struggles and failures in her racing has shaped them into who they are. Noelle gave some really good insights on what she learned from her crashes and other disastrous events. Here are two stories that I loved!

 The first story is from the World Championship preliminary race in Germany when she was 19 years old.  Because she was young and new to world championship races, her team mates gave her advice about this German track. They told her to look out for different turns in the track telling her they could flip her off her sled. As she approached the starting line she watched a Japanese woman and a Canadian woman both crash on this track. She started down the track already nervous and scared.  Having made it through the first 9 turns, she was approaching turn #10 and recognized it as a full 360 degree turn with 3 "pressures". The pressures are dips in the track designed to bring you up to the roof or down to the bottom of the track. She had the thought, "I'll just go with the flow."  Then she let the pressures bring her up high and down low. To her demise, the third pressure brought her up way too fast.  She crashed into the roof of the track losing her sled and ending her run.  The thing she learned from this run was to avoid the pressures of the world.  Do not go with the flow of society. We need to steer through the evils in this world and keep our focus on the straight and narrow path leading back to our Heavenly Father. 

The second story is of a miraculous Priesthood blessing of healing.  She noticed that the man transporting the sled weighing 65-70 lbs. from the truck to the plane was a little older.  Not wanting him to throw out his back from lifting her sled she quickly cut in front of him and lifted it herself.  Well, you can guess what happened!  She threw out her back, the DAY before her Olympic trials!  The pain was incredibly terrible, she couldn't sit up straight.  With faith that her Lord could heal her to perform her best, she asked her husband for a Priesthood blessing of healing.  The next morning after a terrible night’s sleep with her back still out, she knew she needed to show her faith in the Lord by going to work no matter what the pain. Jogging like a cripple on this track, she was praying in her mind. About five minutes into the run on a random step her back popped back into place and the pain was gone!! WHOOO! She went on to make the Olympic team and win the Silver Medal! The Priesthood Power of God is REAL. I can tell you first hand that I have seen it work in my life and the lives of other. We are so lucky to have the restored gospel in our lives accompanied by the true Priesthood authority and power of God. It's amazing!

I was super lucky and blessed to be able to meet Noelle and her husband. When she was bearing her testimony she asked, "Are there any missionaries here?"  Five minutes late to the fireside, we were way in the back but we raised our hands proudly!  Pointing to us she said, "Look at those servants of the Lord! If you haven't read the Book of Mormon, get one from them and read it! Good job, Elders". Holy smokes! We also got to meet her and get some pictures with her :) I got to hold the Silver Medal, Check it out!!! That definitely made my week :) Check out her story at http://www.noellepikuspace.com/


-Elder Howard


Another Transfer?!

From Ethan: Mon, Oct 13, 2014 1:11 pm

HA. Just kidding, I'm staying here in Burley with Elder Bagels (Bagley) for another six weeks! I'm finally starting to get to know most of the people in the ward and the people who live around us. Changing areas is always a struggle because we essentially need to put all the names of people we know in the back of our minds and fill up our memories with new names and faces. I'm thankful that God gave me a pretty good photographic memory to be able to handle this fairly well.

Our mission was visited by a member of the Quorum of Seventy this week! Elder Christoffel Golden from Johannesburg, South Africa came to our Zone Conference on Thursday. At 7:15 in the morning we had a leadership meeting for all trainers, District Leaders, Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. Elder Golden was a bit late so I got called on to play prelude music on the piano. Turned out I had to play for 45 minutes! (Thank you, Taleah, for teaching me the basics of piano!) In the meeting, one point really stuck out that I need to incorporate in my everyday life. Elder Golden said, "To get really good at teaching, you have to get really good at learning". With Elder Bagels being fairly new to the mission I need to teach him about lots of things. Elder Golden's advice tells me that I also have to learn a lot from Elder Bagels to be a good teacher.

We had a great lesson with the Heisingers about the Restoration of the Priesthood and the divinity of the Book of Mormon. To have an understanding of the Restoration, we need to have a full understanding of the Apostasy. Historical and Biblical evidence of an apostasy just years after the ministry of the early Apostles is undeniable yet very hard for some people to accept. The Heisingers are those people. I can totally understand what they are thinking though, they asked some really great questions which we answered, then testified of the need of a Restoration. I could literally feel the Spirit increase whenever we testified! We just hope that Ron and Shirley were able to feel it. We invited them to not take our word for truth but to really search it out and ask God.

One of the biggest things that I learned this week is the need to "watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds" (Mosiah 4:30). It seems to be a problem here in Idaho and Utah of people not living what they preach and it rubs off on people who aren't of our faith. The talk given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks this last weekend was very timely. I implore people to watch their thoughts, words and actions and "be the change you want in the world" (Mahatma Ghandi). We need to strive to live all that we teach and not be hypocrites. We don't realize the mockery of Jesus Christ's atonement when we perform deeds contrary to what we say and present on our outward facade. Please be watchful! Read this talk!! https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/loving-others-and-living-with-differences?lang=eng

Love you and pray for you all!


-Elder Howard (ehoward@myldsmail.net)

Unity in Burly, ID

From Ethan: Mon, Oct 6 1:07 pm

Here in the Unity wards (congregations),  Elder Bagley and I have been sharing the scripture Ephesians 4: 11-13 "11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."  God gave us the organization of the church so that we can improve on our weaknesses as well as help others, too! It's a great message for everyone, especially the people in the Unity Wards! :)

We set some baptismal dates with Easton and Slayter Watterson. Their father, Shay, is working towards being able to be the one to baptize them. They shared with us the difficulty of coming back to church after not attending for such a long time. Elder Bagley and I both bore our testimony of how attending church is a blessing and helps us be better disciples of Christ. The Spirit was so strong in the room we all were getting emotional and stuff, Aaah, I'm such a boob when it comes to that stuff. But we are super excited for the Wattersons! 

We also watched General Conference with the Hiesingers! I loved Conference so much and took a lot from it. The Hiesingers really enjoyed it as well and were able to learn a lot about the church. You can bet on the modern day Prophet and Apostles to do that pretty well! The Hiesingers are reading the Book of Mormon very thoroughly!! They committed this week to ask God if the Book of Mormon is True. Like President Uchtdorf and Eyring talked about in Conference, everyone must receive revelation from God to make sure knowledge of something.  Revelation from God will exceed any earthly education we can receive.

My favorite General Conference talks were President Uchtdorf's talk during the Priesthood session about "Lord, is it I",
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2014/10?lang=eng&vid=3821424091001&cid=7
and Elder Lynn G Robbin's talk about "Which way do I face?"
Some of my favorite quotes from conference go like this – 
-          Courage is the form of every virtue at its test
-          teach the power of prayer, not the routine of prayer
-          God resisteth the proud, but gives grace to the humble
-          Our personal work is but a drop in the sea, but if we didn't do it the sea would be one drop less
Sorry I can't tell you who said these and I probably botched them really bad but we are so lucky to be able to have these words of wisdom and knowledge at our finger tips! I know I am going to try my best to have these words change how I live my life. Burley is an exciting place. Lots of farmland and people who have years of wisdom to share with us! I think my time here in Burley will be very well spent :)

-Elder Howard (ehoward@myldsmail.net)


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Emergency Transfer to Burley!

From Ethan: Mon, Sept 29, 2014 12:16 pm

Guess what, I'm in Burley now! A couple of missionaries had to go home early and unexpectedly due to personal issues and sickness. I left on Saturday from Stanley for a 4 hour drive with my Mission President and his wife down to Burley, ID. Yesterday was a full day! I met a lot of the people we are teaching and a lot of members living in our area. We cover a farming area south of Burley called the Unity Wards. We have those two wards, Unity 1 and Unity 2, and also the Young Single Adult Ward! Yesterday we went to church at the Institute Building with the YSA Ward and wow oh wow there were a lot of people! Compared to back in Minnesota the building is about four times as big and about 4 times as many young single adults. Well before I get more into what Burley is like let me tell you about my last week in Stanley.

This past week was full of craziness and excitement. We had Elder Garrish from Challis come and join us in the middle of the week.  With three strapping young men we got a lot of service opportunities! Dia Danner went down into her basement one evening to find a huge pile of dirt from her house foundation caving in. Elder Prosch, Elder Garrish and I spent a good amount of Friday digging it out transporting the dirt with buckets. Boy that was hard work! We got to celebrate a day of hard work by going to the Elk Mountain restaurant with our main man Officer Tom Barret, the local Stanley law enforcement. We usually have dinner with him once a week and we've become bro's! Hopefully he'll get to sit down with Elder Garrish and Prosch to talk a little more about the gospel and how much it can help him. (Hint Hint Tommy Boy)

 The last event I attended was Brenda Adams baptism!  Without a church building up in Stanley and no baptismal font, her baptism was in a very unique location - Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch at their hot springs pool! It was one of the most spiritual baptisms I have ever been to. Brenda has been waiting a long time to be baptized and finally make that covenant with God. Yesterday she was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost!  I am glad that I got to stay long enough to see Brenda be baptized :) To see her face light up with the love of God is one of those memories I will never forget :)

Here in the Burley Unity area we are blessed to have really awesome people we are teaching! Tonight we are meeting with a family, The Wattermans, who are coming back to church. We are teaching their two sons the lessons before they get baptized.  Easton (14) and Slater (11) are two busy bees who both play football, basketball and baseball.  Their family hunts and goes camping a lot. I am super excited to get to know their family and help them increase in their faith!  The Patterson family recently adopted a 13 year old boy from China named Taggert. He speaks Mandarin Chinese fluently and very little English. Growing up in China he heard very few things about God or Jesus Christ. He is very curious now he is with his adopted family who are active members of the church. He is noticing how happy and joyful they are about their Savior Jesus Christ and he wants to know more! He has been taking the lessons for a couple weeks and the things he has been learning are amazing to him. He is a little dude filled with curiosity and faith! The last people I will tell you about are an older couple, Ron and Shirley Hiesingers. They have lived here about three years and have recently started attending church and reading the Book of Mormon. They are really down to earth people looking for the joys the gospel can bring into their lives. Yep that's about it! My companion is Elder Bagley from Richmond, Utah. He has been on his mission for only 9 weeks so I am finishing up training him! He is pretty shy and quiet but very nice and willing to do whatever. I think we will work together very well! I'm excited to be here in Burley to see what happens! Peace out folks!

-Elder Howard



Monday, September 22, 2014

The leaves are changing and so are lives!

From Ethan:  22 Sept 2014

Wow you would not believe the beauty of this place in the fall!! There are birch trees among the pines on the mountains turning all sorts of beautiful colors. The mountains are coming alive!! We were able to take some hikes with people and see the beautiful landscape that Stanley provides :) This weekend was quite a busy one because of the really nice weather. 

Sad news, Sarah has gone back to Portland to start school :( We got to meet her parents who were super cool just like she is. It has been an amazing summer for Sarah to be here in Stanley all around nature and people who love her! Her testimony of the Restored Gospel has gotten so solid because of her faith in her Savior Jesus Christ , like the scripture in Helaman 5:12, "remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation...which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Her foundation is in Christ! It'll be hard for Sarah to go back home. Her faith will be tested,  but I really do know that she will press forward and make the covenant of baptism back in Portland. (You're strong Sarah!)

Great news, Brenda Adams is going to be baptized this Saturday! President Curtis came up to Stanley yesterday for one final meeting with her and she is all ready to make this commitment! Boy oh boy Brenda has turned her life around 180 degrees. Last year around this time she was charged with a DUI and went to the Boise Woman's Correctional Facility but since that time she has made changes in her life to conquer her addiction of alcohol and smoking! Now she is strong in faith, courage, good works and is all around more happy!  That’s my message the last couple months - the Gospel is here to help us be more like our Savior Jesus Christ and by doing that we are happier! Brenda is a perfect example.  This Gospel, the Restored Gospel given to us by Jesus Christ through prophets of all ages and times is true! I hope everyone takes the chance to learn and discuss the Gospel with missionaries where ever you are. The message that I and every other missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  shares is a message of hope, love, peace and happiness! You can know the truth that is out there and you can come closer to your Savior Jesus Christ. Take my word for it, I see it every day!  With that I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of your day! Love you all!

-Elder Ethan Howard (ehoward@myldsmail.net)
Write me a note or letter at:

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


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The wisdom of Him who knoweth all things.

From Ethan: Mon, Sep 15, 2014 2:16 pm

Hey friends and family! It's interesting how even though the little town of Stanley is starting to pack up for the winter, we are still teaching and giving service all the time! In just a couple more weeks all the lodges, resorts and stores will close down. The town will be back to its little population of 63.

I met a guy named Ron Khosla this week at Red Fish Lake.  He grew up in upstate New York and has been to Palmyra where Joseph Smith lived when he was called to be the Prophet of the Restoration. Ron told us all about his life and inventing this little machine to help cool his outdoor cooler. Now he lives in Oregon but visited Stanley and we were able to introduce the Book of Mormon to him! He has a cool story.  Read it here  http://storeitcold.com/thestory.html 

I met a Stanley resident who is originally from Northfield, Minnesota!  Shout out to all my friends at St. Olaf and Carleton College! We had dinner with her and a family who are members of the branch (small congregation)  here. She grew up Episcopalian. We discussed how similar all Christian churches are. She talked to us about a struggle of faith about her brother passing away recently. What bothered her is that her brother was one of the most faithful guys she knew and God let him pass away. We were able to teach this wonderful lady about the Plan of Salvation!! We are so blessed to have the knowledge that we are children of our Heavenly Father, that we lived with Him before this life and have the chance to live with Him again. We will all see each other again after this life because of the Atonement and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. Our friends and family pass away but we can be assured that "all things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things." (2 Nephi 2:24). 

It's pretty awesome to be able to lift people up with the knowledge of God and Christ that we have. Like I said last week, it is the gospel that changes people’s lives for the better.  I am blessed to be a part of it, to have it change my life and assist in changing other people’s lives. 


-Elder Howard

Monday, September 8, 2014

Everyone and Anyone Can Come Unto Christ

From Ethan: Mon, Sep 8, 2014 2:33 pm
  Wow it seems like I was just doing this, but that was a whole week ago! The old proverb is still in effect, "Time flies when you're having fun"! Well being in Salmon last week was incredibly fun! I'm blessed to know such wonderful people there in Salmon Idaho who are doing great! :) I can't wait to spend at least a week with everyone up in Salmon when I return home from off my mission. Things I have to look forward to are a river rafting trip with Jeremy Varley, salmon fishing and wolf and elk hunting with Dave Silcock (Mr. Hot-Garbage), building an Iron Man suit with Ed Davis and all the other shenanigans I can pull with the Bingham family! 

Most of the business we had this week was service. We helped Dia split and move wood, we took care of a guys dog for a couple hours while he was fixing a water pump, we baked cookies for people and laid sod for a family. Like I've said in other letters, service is one of those things that softens hearts and makes the world a better place! That's why us missionaries love, love, love to do it! One day was a Zone Meeting that we had in Arco which is two and a half hours away.  Meetings with other missionaries weekly and monthly can rack up a lot of time and miles. We are in the Carey Zone in which missionaries are in Shoshone, Dietrich, Carey, Sun Valley, Arco, Mackay, Stanley, Challis and Salmon. It's the biggest zone in the mission area wise, but has the fewest missionaries.

I got an awesome email from Jennifer Sizemore in Mountain Home about her baptism! She told me it was amazing!  She wrote, "That poor lost and alone woman you met six months ago is gone. I have a family now." Seeing changes in people that accept the restored gospel has helped me understand that everyone and anyone can come unto Christ and be lifted from their burdens. Recently I have reflected on the changes in others and me when we dive into living a Christ centered life.

Sarah McInroy wants to be baptized here in Stanley at Red Fish Lake! Her parents are coming to pick her up on Sept. 20th so we will see what happens!

I hope we stay busy this week just like the last! I love hearing about everything happening back home and miss you guys! Keep me updated! I am amazed at all my friends getting married or going on missions or having more kids, it's amazing what happens in just one year. Like they say in Meet the Robinson's, KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

-Elder Ethan Howard (ehoward@myldsmail.net)


Just some pictures that are cool :) 
-We found a little Cigar Indian just like in "Seinfeld!" 
-The Sockeye Salmon looks like the Walleye up north in MN. 
-I found that tuba in Dia's plane hanger! I had to play it :)   




Back to the Stomping Grounds!

From Ethan: Mon, Sep 1, 2014 12:38 pm

Hello everyone from SALMON, IDAHO! Elder Prosch and I came up here for P-day :) Driving up here was awesome because seeing everything brought back so many good memories! We are emailing here at the Meadows Assisted Living Center which the Binghams' own and live at. They are so awesome! We are going to lunch with the Bills later! I also plan on visiting my old Ward Mission Leader, Bro Dave Silcock, a.k.a Mr. Hot Garbage! We are going to catch up and play some guitar together :) Maybe we'll go fishing at his pond again! I also plan on spending some time with the Davis family, Ed and Chrissy and also see Samantha Ladd and her son Dylan. I miss it up here but I'm so glad to be able to come up for a day! Back in God's country again! :)

We were again able to do some service for Ms. Dia Danner! We filled in some ground squirrel holes, moved a cabinet, dug up some rocks and split kindling for her! Service is an awesome thing. It is one of the ways we show our love for God and for our friends :) Like Mosiah 2:17 says, "when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God" :) Dia is such an interesting person and has really enlightened my mind about the creation of the world and science. I hope we are enlightening her mind in return about God, and our Savior, Jesus Christ :)

With Sarah McInroy we watched some sweet movies! "The Work and The Glory" and "17 Miracles"! Each movie showed how much people suffered and went through persecution just because they knew the Restored Gospel to be true. I am amazed at the faith of those people to be able to walk across the plains of America just reach Zion. They suffered so much on the way but their faith brought miracles! Sarah, being the first in her family to come to know of the Restored Gospel will probably suffer persecution for it, but she is strong and faithful! Like it says in Philippians 1:29 "For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;" with a belief in Jesus Christ sometimes comes the burdens of discipleship, but in the end brings everlasting peace and joy in our lives :) 

We got the transfer call yesterday! Both Elder Prosch and I are staying in Stanley for another 6 weeks! It's crazy because in a few weeks most things will be shut down for the winter.  We will lose all the extra people but we still have 3 weeks with Sarah, and till Oct. 5th with the Red Fish Lake employees. We are staying in Stanley for a reason, we may not know it yet but I know we'll find out. The work of the Lord will go forth everywhere! No matter how desolate and how small. It'll be an interesting 6 weeks but I'm sure I'll learn some valuable lessons :) Until next week!! Have a blast everyone! I sure am.

- Your Son, Brother, Friend and Colleague,

        Elder Howard

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Most Odd Opportunities Can Turn Into Missionary Work

From Ethan: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 5:46 pm

    Again another rainy week has slipped by in Stanley, ID. The weather is turning colder.  Yesterday it was a crisp 44 degrees most of the day! Not your typical Minnesota August weather. 

  Well this week it seemed that we got tossed into a huge variety of odd opportunities but in every case we were able to help someone increase their faith in Jesus Christ or learn a little bit more about the gospel. On Thursday, we went into town to find out that an outdoor community country concert and dance was going on! We recognized a few people standing on the sides so we decided to take an adventure and talk to them! Almost instantly we had people coming up to us and asking us questions about our missions or about certain doctrines in the scriptures. I guess in our white shirt and ties we stuck out pretty well among the crowd :) Although we weren't in a normal teaching setting when talking to these folks about the gospel I still felt the Holy Spirit testifying of what we were saying as true. We weren't in the best environment and got offered beer, whiskey and vodka a couple of times, yet we were protected as we focused on helping people in their faith. As I thought about this experience the rest of the week my mind was brought to the Savior and His ministry. In Mark 2:16-17 we see just how Christ went about his work. "16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Now, I'm not saying everyone there was a sinner or anything like that, but we were able to help people in a place where people wouldn't expect missionaries to be. 
   
   On Sunday, we attended one of the other services at the chapel, the multi-denominational service. When people saw us they were definitely surprised but didn't say a bad word. All they did was welcome us to the service and commend us for our work! Visiting was a Lutheran Pastor from Hailey, ID, just over the mountain. His message was about the "Body of Christ" and the grace by which we were saved. It was a wonderful sermon. However, through the whole thing I felt as if something were missing. As Elder Prosch and I discussed afterward what was missing we determined the Authority of the Priesthood wasn't there. The Pastor shared a great message and he didn't say anything against the doctrine of the Bible, but we could feel the lack of Priesthood Authority from God there. We are so very blessed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to have the fullness of the gospel and Priesthood Authority restored from Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. I have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel.

   Shout out to the Clegg family from Jerome and all their generosity allowing us to eat and be at Red Fish Resort so much! As it was another rainy week, we spent some time inside of the Clegg's family cabin watching movies with Sarah McInroy and others. Don't worry they were all good movies like "The Restoration", "Finding Faith in Christ" and "The Best Two Years". Sarah is quite determined to be baptized into the church and married/sealed in the temple for all time and eternity :) She is waiting to share this with her family in Portland, Oregon and will be baptized in her ward up there.

I got some fantastic news from Mountain Home today! Jennifer Sizemore has received a witness that the Book of Mormon is true.  She will be baptized on the Aug 30th! Sadly I won't be able to attend the baptismal service, but I would ride my bike the whole way if allowed! She really is a special daughter of God :) If there is anything I've learned in the past month, it is that anyone can change. Anyone can partake the gospel of Jesus Christ and be forgiven of their sins through repentance! That is exactly what repentance is, Change. Our Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to change ourselves and accept His truth. Through His son, Jesus Christ we are able to be forgiven of our sins and return to God. This is true and to quote the Prophet Joseph Smith about the First Vision, "I knew it, and I knew God knew it." 

Sincerely your friend,

-Elder Howard          (ehoward@myldsmail.net)
 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Rain, rain GO AWAY!

From Ethan August 18, 2014

We've been having crazy amounts of rain and thunderstorms this week. Monday through Thursday I bet it rained 60% of the time. Many stayed in their cabins or stayed home because of the weather so there were very few people out and about that we could talk to, however we had little miracles happen every day :)  Every time it seems nothing is going to happen, Elder Prosch and I have a motto from Galaxy Quest, "Never Give Up, Never Surrender!"

Brenda has been smoke free for 17 days! Here in the Twin Falls Idaho Mission the period of time in which people need to follow the Word of Wisdom before baptism is two weeks. So, now we can move forward in setting baptismal date with her! And though both Brenda and Sarah were sick, they both were at church yesterday!

We did some service for a well known lady in the community, Dia Danner, who has lived in Stanley most of her married life. She is on the Meditation Chapel Board, in the Mountain Mama's club and as a pilot gives tours of the Sawtooth Mountains from the air! Dia has been learning about the church and attends in the winter time quite regularly but is very non-denominational. We spent about three hour with her digging weeds in her yard and around her hanger, as well as digging out some trailers that have been buried in mud and dirt from all the rain. It was rigorous work which we got done in a jiffy :) We talked about the gospel a lot.  We also shared with her the scripture Abraham 3:24-25 which talks about why we are here on earth - to prove to God that we can follow all the things which He commands us to do.


Following the commandments will bring us the most happiness.  I've seen it in my life. I hope all people we converse with will have the inclination to better follow the commandments of God. That is my prayer and my hope!

~Elder Ethan Howard

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Worldwide Church

From Ethan August 11, 2014

Hello Hello from the great but little town of Stanley, Idaho! Serving in a town of 63 residents creates a challenge in filling our time, but Elder Prosch and I really try to stay busy all of the time by walking around town talking to tourists, contacting houses in the middle of nowhere, helping the town library sort books, baking cookies and treats for people and most of all sitting in the town square setting an example by reading scriptures on the benches!

People from all over the nation come to vacation here.  Many of the non-members do not like us coming up to them, so it is like hunting in Minnesota – we let them come to us. A lot of the tourists are members of the church who are so surprised that we are here full time and frequently ask, "What did you do right to get sent to Stanley?!"  I get to wake up every morning to a view of the Sawtooth Mountains with a green valley below!  :)

We had a wonderful experience with Sarah McInroy who has been coming to church and having lessons for a month or so. She had been having a rough time with friends back home.  After we gave her a priesthood blessing, she knew exactly what to do about her situation. Sarah, like Nephi in the Book or Mormon, is a faithful and loving person who is easy to forgive others who have done wrong to her. The next day we taught her about the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hand by those with priesthood authority and she has decided to get baptized!! She will wait until she is home in Oregon because she wants to introduce her family to the gospel. It's great stuff!

Church here is great and interesting.  Since the chapel is a non-denominational community building we have four services total, two of them being LDS. Each week there are about 200-300 Latter-day Saints tourists cramped in that little chapel for the morning services!  It is truly amazing and the Spirit is so strong every week :)  After our service is the non-denominational service, then the Catholic service happens. We are thinking of asking if we can sit in on their service just to see what it is like.  At the evening service there are mostly full-time residents - about thirty - plus around thirty more summer workers. We get to have priesthood meeting outside under the peaks of the Sawtooth :)

I love being here in Stanley around such great people and landscape. One of the things I love most about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is that it is a worldwide church, the same all around the world. The doctrine is the same no matter where you are!  It is one of the strongest points of my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly God's church, restored upon the face of the earth today :)


~Elder Ethan Howard

Monday, August 4, 2014

God's Creations

 From Ethan: Aug 4, 2014

    Boy oh boy has this week been busy! We had the awesome privilege having our Mission President, Pres. Curtis and his wife come here and teach with us.  We had lessons with Brenda and Sarah. We taught about missionary work, service, teaching and learning in the church and enduring to the end.  Brenda has recovered from being an alcoholic and has gained a deep testimony of the gospel. She is happier than she ever has been and is doing great missionary work by being "an example of the believers" (1 Timothy 4:12). With Sarah, we helped her read and understand the Book of Mormon.  Then we went with President and Sister Curtis to visit a Young Men's Youth Conference that was held at one of the camps up here. We shared our testimonies about missionary work and help train Young Men who are preparing for missions how to be effective missionaries. I love being a missionary! 
    On Friday we rode with President and Sister Curtis to our Zone Meeting which is in Arco, ID 2.5 hours away! In the evening we taught Mckayla Brunson, 12, and her grandmother Darlene Welkers! They live in Gooding, ID but are here for a couple of weeks. We met them last week.  Mckayla has gone to church in Gooding a couple of times with a friend.  Both loved to hear that the Gospel has been restored here in our Latter-days.  Mckayla has already started reading the Book of Mormon! 
     Today for P-day we took a hike up the mountain 8 miles round trip to Sawtooth Lake with a couple of girls from the branch and Kevane Needham, from Jamaica who we are teaching! It is incredible how much the terrain up here is the same as northern Minnesota!  The trees, creeks, lakes and animals are the same, the only difference is the elevation! The mountains here are so beautiful.  I could never get old of seeing them.  I think I said this in an earlier blog but I love being up here in the middle of God's untouched creations which really helps me feel his love for me! It reminds me of a passage from King Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. 

" Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.
 10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask insincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love… and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.

 12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true." 

The first two picture are from the hike to Sawtooth Lake.  In the third picture we are with is the Bar Tender at Red Fish Lake.  We are hoping to teach her soon. She is one of the few full time residents of Stanley.


 


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stanley Idaho, Back in God's Country!

  From Ethan July 27, 2014

  Stanley is BEAUTIFUL! The mountains are huge with glaciers on top and it's green with pine trees everywhere. With lakes and rivers around every corner, it is a lot like Minnesota except there are mountains! It's like being at home camping again.  In the summer there are a lot of tourists with a lot of young people coming to work at the stores and resorts. At one of the biggest places called Red Fish Lake Resort there are 60 employees from all around Southern Idaho, a lot are returned missionaries and youth preparing for missions! There are also a lot of people from either foreign countries or other states. We are teaching young single adults from New York, Oregon, Florida, Jamaica and Bulgaria! It's pretty sweet. The church up here is held in a community chapel called "Stanley Meditation Chapel." There are two meetings, 8:30-10:30 and 5-7. In the morning there are at least 250 people cramped into that little building. It overflows so people have to sit outside ha, ha! A lot of people are flabbergasted that missionaries are here full time.
    My companion is Elder Prosch from Birmingham, Alabama who is super chill! We have a lot of fun together. We live one mile out of Stanley in Lower Stanley behind a store called "Jerry's Country Store" owned by a member who lives behind it, too. They have 4 returned missionaries who live there in the summers. Most members in the summer live on the resorts or near the place they work at. For being such a small town there is a lot of work to do here.
    We are working with Brenda Adams and Sarah McInroy. Brenda, 40's, works up here all year and has known the elders for a long time! She has a testimony of the gospel, but smoking is holding back from being baptized. She has been one week and 2 days without smoking! Addictions are tough, but I know if we accept the help from our Savior that anything is possible!  Sarah, 17, from Portland Oregon works at Red Fish Lake Resort for the summer. A non-denominational Christian, she really enjoys going to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here in Stanley. We invited her to baptism this last week.  She is thinking about it however, she did say if she knew the Book of Mormon was true she definitely would be baptized.
    The Book of Mormon is powerful evidence from our Heavenly Father that the gospel and the church have been restored in these latter days.  The Book of Mormon is another record of God's dealing with ancient people. It shares the same doctrine as the Bible because the Prophets in both are Prophets of God. I plead with everyone to read the Book of Mormon, ponder it and ask Heavenly Father if it is true. It takes a lot of faith to read it but guess what, that's what our lives are all about! Showing our faith and humbling ourselves to whatever God has in store for us.
   It is awesome to be back in the Mountains where I am so close to nature, so close to God's creations that are untouched.  I am blessed to be a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints :)
God Bless you all,
~ Elder Howard

Pictures of Ethan's living quarters and the community chapel.





Monday, July 21, 2014

Joy in the Work

From July 21:

Well, I am being transferred back up to the Mountains!! On Wednesday I will move to Stanley, ID between Salmon and Sun Valley in the middle of nowhere. The population is about 60.... but it is a resort town, so there are hundreds of people in the summer! Hopefully we will get to teach people consistently but I feel like it will be a bunch of planting seeds of faith. Oh well, the Lord sees fit that I serve my time up there and I will do my best.  And it will be good to be back in the mountains!
    My time in Mountain Home has slipped by faster than I ever imagined. I am sad to leave but happy and excited for something new. :) I ended my time here with the baptism of Thomas Wildman this past Tuesday. I can't believe all the progress people have made in coming closer to Jesus Christ here in just six short months. We set a baptism date with Lee Kauffman for August 4th! Sadly I won't be here, but I will get pictures. :) I love being a missionary.  And I don't count baptisms as success, I count the number of lives changed for the better as success. I feel just like the "other Seventy" that Christ appointed to go out two by two in Luke ch. 10, "the seventy‍ returned again with joy."  I feel joy in the work that I have done in Mountain Home.
    I know for a fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace, comfort and joy into people’s lives. It may not be easy, but I know it is worth it. All the bad things that happen in our life are for our personal growth and experience. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17), " We should all look forward to when we can "one day rest from all [our] afflictions." (Alma 34:41) . We can only attain that rest if we give our heart and soul unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who paid the price for all of our sins. This is why I am giving two years of my life out here in Idaho. I want to let people know that there is a way that we can make it through this mortal life and always have hope.
Continue to Keep Moving Forward :)
- Elder Howard (ehoward@myldsmail.net)


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Christ Strengthens Us

From July 14:

   Boy oh boy are things Heating up in Mountain Home! Quite literally. Yesterday it got to 110 degrees! AHH I AM MELTING! Ha,ha,ha.
    We had a bunch of people with birthdays this week so inevitably we have loads and loads of leftover cake and junk food. No wonder I am close to a 40lb gain on my mission so far! We also had two very cool experiences this week.
    On Saturday we had a barbeque with William and his girlfriend, Allie. We had a grand ol' time grilling, talking about life when all of a sudden William started asking questions like, "Do you think Christ's death really saves you?" "How can the Bible be true?" Elder Rosales and I listened to all he had to say. Then we each testified of Jesus Christ as our Savior. We couldn't hold back the words that were coming through our mouths.  I felt so good afterward. William did not have any more to say. He was asking some really good questions. I felt like one of the apostles such as Peter or Paul. It was awesome to feel God lifting us in our words and guiding us in our speech.
    This morning we had a long talk with one of our good friends, Lee Kaufman, who has been investigating the church for a while, has been going through a terrible time with his jobs, personal beliefs and his relationships with his girlfriend and family. I gave him a Priesthood blessing of comfort.  Later Lee sent us a text saying, "I want to tell you that you have my gratitude for the blessing. A weight has been lifted from my mind, and the fog has lifted. I haven't felt this well in weeks." Amazing! The power of God is truly amazing. We always end a blessing, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." We do it for a reason. It is Christ who lifts us, it is Christ who strengthens us. I am blessed to be a conduit of that power. The gospel is amazing and I know it is true. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly Christ's church on the earth today and His authority accompanies it. :)


~Elder Ethan Howard

HUGE NEWS!

From July 7

   Happy 4th of July week everyone! 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, but apparently it isn't a big thing out here in Mountain Home, Idaho. You would think it would be huge because of the heavy military influence but there wasn't even a parade! There were very few fireworks because of the fire danger. We had to be in promptly at 9 pm, but we saw a couple of the fireworks from our house. Also, it was a day of no “first contacting,” so we got to spend some fun time with our investigators instead of always teaching all the time. I seriously love that. We got closer as friends which is a very important thing! Like I've said before, it's all about LOVE.
   HUGE NEWS! Here in Mountain Home we live with a middle aged man, divorced for about five years, named Dan Wright. (We joke around saying, "that's Dan Wright!")  Well, remember Sister Stuart from my last email? She is divorced and moved here a couple months ago with  her two youngest sons. Josh is an amazing 16 year old who really handles well his brother, Charlie, a 13 year old with autism. Josh also comes out teaching with us missionaries almost every day it seems! ANYWAYS (sorry ha,ha) This past week Bro.Wright and Sis. Stuart got engaged! They have been dating since she moved here. Bro. Wright told us, "The first time I went up to her, well even saw her, I knew she was the one!"  It is like in the movie, Saturday's Warrior, where they feel like they've known each other forever. Now that they are getting married we might not be able to live with Bro. Wright anymore :(  It might be too hard with Charlie who breaks down just about every time we leave his house. I love that kid to death and he loves us missionaries a little too much! See the picture below of Charlie with me on the 4th taken at Dan’s house where Elder Rosales and I live.
   I have been in Mountain Home for almost 6 months, 1/4 of my mission. I fear I may be transferred! It has been a blast here! I really hope I stay so that I can continue to work with these people I love so much. But whatever comes will be for the best.
   The work here is going extremely well. I feel blessed to be helping so many people increase in their Faith in Jesus Christ and come closer to our Heavenly Father. Thomas Wildman is set for baptism on the 15th! He is a strong and determined man. He had surgery on his leg this last week and toughed it out to attend Sacrament meeting this Sunday, talk about dedication!  That shows faith.


~Elder Ethan Howard