6 am Christmas morning we went to the Bingham's to open presents. I thank you all for the gifts you sent! It was very wonderful to feel the love from my family and friends. We had a blast throwing wrapping paper at each other afterwards. Then we went to another families house for Christmas breakfast! Bacon, french toast, egg and sausage casserole, muffins and sticky buns! We get fed so well here.. They are the family that offered to do our laundry for us! We had the wonderful opportunity to video chat with our families :) It was so awesome to see face to face and talk to my parents, siblings, grandma's, aunt and uncle and my niece and nephew! I'm so glad everyone is doing well. The rest of the day we played games, had dinner at Bishop Williams house and watched the movie "Ephraim's Rescue"
For missionary work this week we visited a lot of people! We had an awesome lesson with Shirley Hoy, an 83 year old woman whose husband was a member but passed away about a year ago. We gave her a Book of Mormon a month ago and we were surprised to see it all marked up with sticky notes, pencil marks and papers. I love to see that because I know she has been studying and reading the Book of Mormon. Everyone who reads the Book of Mormon and prays about it WILL find that it is true scripture. It is another Testament of Jesus Christ brought forth along with the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for our further learning and understanding of the Gospel. It was written by prophets just like Noah, Moses or Abraham just in a different part of the world! Shirley asks the best questions. She will find the answers as long as she prays! Her desire to find truth will be answered by her faith in Christ :)
We split wood for Samantha Ladd and helped her set goals to quit smoking and be baptized. Last night she said she was quitting for final! She set baptism date of Jan. 10th. We explained how the atonement of Jesus Christ can change the desires of her heart. As she enacts faith in the Lord, He will bless her with strength. After she has shown that faith, she can be strengthen yet again by the covenant she makes with Heavenly Father in baptism :)
The Holidays were wonderful and joyous! I am excited for this new year to find more people to share the joys of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with. Being a missionary and serving the Lord is the most wonderful thing I could ever think of doing! I am living the LIFE! It's super fun and I see miracles and good things happen every day.
Love you all and I hope that if you have any questions about Idaho, about what I do everyday, about the Gospel that you don't hesitate to email me! I love hearing from all of you! Have a wonderful New Year! Love you all!
-Elder Ethan Howard (firstname.lastname@example.org)