Monday, February 24, 2014

"If you want greener pastures, expect a little rain."

      Well the title of this entry explains this week. It was DOWN IN THE DUMPS. We had almost all of our appointments with people cancel because of various reasons, nobody was home to contact, and most of those we talked to on the street were not interested in our message about Jesus Christ. 
     There was one miracle this week. A couple of minutes before lunch on Friday, we were walking home from a visit. We were really down hearted because we had nothing happen the whole week.  I felt impressed to knock on one last door.  We knocked...nothing, knocked again.... nothing..... knocked one last time......nothing. We were walking off the front porch when a car backed out of the driveway and stopped. A lady rolled down her window and asked, "What are you guys doing?" With smiles on our faces, we shared with her who we were and what we do as missionaries. She looked confused and when we asked her is she had ever talked to missionaries like us she said, "Nope and I normally never do but you guys seem different. How about you come back tonight around 6?" "Heck yeah we will!"  Finally someone cared!  We had an amazing discussion with Julie and Darrel Swofford. They really loved having us over. We talked about how much God loves us and how important Jesus Christ is in our lives. We are going to start going over to the Swofford's every Friday evening. 
    So the lesson I learned this week falls in with a verse from a song written about Salmon, ID titled "God's Front Porch."  The last verse says
" Sometimes there are storm clouds, that roll upon the plains,
If you want greener pastures, expect a little rain.

He'll wash away your sorrows, with the morning dew,

Like a gobbler song in the spring time morning, He'll come through for you.

And when the evening sun sets I'll bow my head in prayer,

And thank the Lord for His front porch, and all the memories we have shared."
     I learned that I am out here for a reason. I know that God has a plan for me out here to help people no matter what. Though this week has been tough, I need to endure and keep moving forward. I love that phrase from Meet the Robinson's "Keep Moving Forward!" All of us have hard times in our life. I know we can get through them if we rely on Christ and His power to help us. I am so glad I have this knowledge. I want to share it with everyone!  That is why I will Keep Moving Forward till the end :)
Love, Elder Ethan Howard

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Young Group of Missionaries

            Well, I am in Mountain Home, Idaho!  Guess what… there are no Mountains!  But the people are nice and a lot are being led to the Gospel. My companion is Elder Hefner from Gilbert, Arizona. He is Phillipino and Italian and Irish. We are teaching one man from Iraq and his son watch their story!  
Sadly I don't have enough time to write much. . . 2 minutes left! So, here is a little more.  There are 9 wards (congregations) here. Elder Hefner and I cover two of them.  Being District Leader has been good so far, nothing bad.  The Elders and Sisters in my district are super awesome and really young! I am the oldest Missionary! One spanish speaking Elder and I have been out for about 5 months, 3 others out for 2 months and 3 out for 1 week! SUPER YOUNG! But they are super ready to learn and do missionary work :) I will love and serve them, just like Christ said, "He who is Chief among you, let him be your servant."  
             I will Miss Salmon a TON! But I am looking forward to making new connections and friends out here. Our District is awesome! We have 9 baptismal dates in March. On March 15th there should be 3 baptism services with 5 people getting baptized. So the missionary work is progressing. It's fun! 
Have a good week!!

Elder Ethan Howard

Hello from Mountain Home, Idaho!

From a snail mail letter written Feb. 6, 2014
     I gotta tell you it is not what I was expecting, but I already like it a lot!  So . . . no mountains, no trees, no river or pond, I heard that the Snake River is kind of close, but there's nothing, just little shrubbery. Also, no more van to drive. We got bikes! I don't think I've ever been so cold riding a bike for 30 min. in 10 degree weather with heavy wind, but at least I'm not suffering -23 degrees like you guys at home in MN! Crazy!
     I've already met some amazing people who I know God has guided them here for a reason.
     One guy, Phil, was here visiting his family from Las Vegas when he got a DUI.  Growing up here, he knew about the church Addiction Recovery Program, so he went for help.  Then BAM, he started taking the missionary lessons.  He reads the Book of Mormon, knows it is true, and is on the cusp of being baptized.
     Just one more . . . look up Dean Khazaal on Google or YouTube and watch the NBC video about him. Do it! . . . So, yep we are teaching him.  We got an Arabic Book of Mormon for the Uncle Hasan, who legally changed his name to William.  William is awesome.  He told us the Book of Mormon is like a punch to the face from God telling us truth and proving He still loves His children.  When his citizenship papers arrive, he will set a date to be baptized!
     Some great things are happening out here. I'm living the dream out here. :)
    Take care and take luck,
Elder Ethan Howard

Trout Fishing!

 From Ethan To Mark on Feb 3, 2014

Well, we just got back from fishing on
Bro. Dave Silcock's pond.  Gotta WINNER
rainbow trout. :) This is God's country.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Leaving God's Country . . . Salmon, ID

SAD NEWS! I am moving out of Salmon :(  I am transferring to Mountain Home, ID on Tuesday to become a District Leader. SO SAD, I cried 3 times yesterday while bearing my testimony in sacrament meeting and at investigators houses. But it wasn't out of sadness, it was more gratitude and happiness from seeing all the amazing miracles I have seen here. I told my investigators how I came to find them and I just felt the spirit tell me that it was because of Him that I was guided to them. It was really sentimental!
I am sad to miss out on Steelhead Trout fishing, and the spring time here, and free chiropractic care, and laundry being done for us and free lunch everyday... anyway enough MOPING! I am on to New Places, New People and New Experiences!
     I went up to Gibbonsville and North Fork one last time on Saturday. We saw lots and lots of people! One guy, Glen Goddard showed us around his whole farm and I got to pet his Monguliese Pigs, puppies and cows. It was fun! He told us some crazy stories of elk coming into his house, and a cougar on top of his roof! We also saw a family named the Tenbrinks, Tim and Robin. Tim collects revolvers. I bet his whole collection is worth over 1 million dollars because they are rare and brand new. Last, we visited a family who joined the church about 2 years ago, the Sheppards – Matt, a game warden so we always talk about elk, wolves, deer, bobcats, cougars etc., Kim, and 4 children - Savannah (15), Sidney (12), Logan (9) and Carson is (4). I had a little too much fun because I let Savannah and Sidney put make up on me. They will forever remember Elder Howard who they put make up on! I have way too much fun out here.  :D
     Yesterday was a tough day, my last Sunday in the area. I cover two wards and it was fast and testimony meeting yesterday. Both meetings were super spiritual and as soon as I got up to bear my testimony and bode farewell to these wonderful people I couldn't help but cry out of gratitude and happiness for being here. I became close to So many people here in Salmon and many hugs were given and tears were shared. Throughout the day we saw all the people we are teaching and helping understand the gospel. I bore my testimony to all of them.
       I LOVE Salmon, Idaho. I love the land, the people, the weather, the city, but most of all I love how ever present that God's spirit and love is here. Up in the mountains I am positive that the veil is thinner here and when you enter this valley you can feel it. I was so impressed thinking back on how much the spirit guided me to find people and help people. I will miss this wonderful place and these wonderful people but I know in Mountain Home I will feel God's love and see miracles there as well.
-Elder Ethan Howard (    Address- Twin Falls Idaho Mission
                                                                                         421 Maurice St. North
                                                                                          Twin Falls, ID 83301