Monday, March 31, 2014

First Birthday on the Mission

Sorry for not writing the last couple of weeks. We have been working hard and giving lots of service. We are doing lots of yard work for older people because the weather here is Awesome! 50's and 60's every day, although it is windy here a lot. Hopefully it won't dry out too quick! 

Since today is our Preparation day we are going to Tye-dye shirts for our Mission District, then go hangout at the Sand Dunes for a couple of hours.  My Mission District gets along so well. We have me, from Minnesota, Elder Hefner from Arizona, Elder Lecuana from Monterrey, Mexico, Elder Sanchez from California, Sister Owlsey from California, Sister Tiongson from the Philippines, Sister James from New Mexico and Sister Kentner from Florida! We are all from diverse places, but all great missionaries.  Also, my companion and I got a 2014 Toyota Corolla to share with the Sister Missionaries every other week, so it'll help a lot not to ride bikes half the time!

General Conference is coming up fast! It is awesome that we get to hear words from modern day living prophets. It will be an amazing conference.

The Grewells and Swoffords are doing great!  On splits with a member last week at the Grewell's, we read Mosiah 2 together. We have had lessons on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Grace, and the Atonement the last couple weeks. They are committed to watching General Conference! We are going to try and watch it with them. Darrel Swofford is in St, Louis this week visiting his daughter, but we had really awesome lessons with some members about the Plan of Salvation.  We are going to invite both of the families to church for next weekend after General Conference.

We are working closely with a family who is coming back to church, Brandt and Sarah Guidroz. Brandt actually served his mission right here in Boise, ID four years ago! We helped them clean out there movie selection and the drinks in their house. They are super stoked to share the gospel with their friends.

Thank you all for the Birthday wishes. It'll be the best birthday ever because I get to teach the gospel to people on my Birthday! Love, Elder Howard

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Feeling the Spirit is the Best

This is a picture of the Mountain Home District of missionaries.
    Transfers are tomorrow and we got the call on Friday night. I am staying in Mountain Home with Elder Hefner! He will be the first companion I will spend more than one transfer with. We get along very well, love to teach and are willing to do anything to help the work progress! 
   The cool thing about our district is that all of the elders and sisters in Mountain Home are staying put where they are. We are so united as a district and still have work to do here in Mountain Home. 
     Elder Hefner and I are teaching more than when I first got here. This month we have gotten 10 new investigators almost all from street contacting and a couple from houses we have felt prompted to knock. The two I will tell you about are my favorite!
   I think I have mention the Swoffords, Darrell and Julie. We felt prompted to go knock on this young couple's door. Julie was backing out of her driveway, rolled down the window asking, "What are you boys doing?" We quickly shared who we were and what we do. We have had about 4 lessons with them. Last night we taught the Plan of Salvation. I love teaching the Plan of Salvation because it makes so much sense Both Darrell and Julie were touched by how the Plan of Salvation shows God's love for us and how much he helps us throughout eternity. Julie is super sincere and doesn't know much about Christianity even though she grew up in a Catholic home. Darrel is a joker who knows a lot about religion and is open to have us teach. Julie told us, "I never let people into my home, much less strangers but you two just seem special" We love them and hope to invite them to church soon! One of their good friends, a member, Sister Kollat's was there. She talked about our Saviors love for us, how families can be together forever and how central families are to the purpose of life. 
    The other family is the the Grewell's. Jerry and Cathy have 4 children - Chris 21, Devin 20, Charles 18 and Michelle 16. They always have friends over at their house, are working on 4 wheelers or a truck or tanning some animal fur.  Haha. They are fun! Cathy's father is a minister in Missouri but she is surprisingly the most open one of all! She prayed last Friday after the lesson on the Restoration, "Please let us accept the message these boys have brought into our home." That caught me off guard!
     There are more people we are teaching about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ of which I will tell about at a later time!
     The past couple weeks have been a time of huge personal growth. Repentance is real. The blessings that come after repenting are beyond anything I could ever imagine. The feeling of the presence of God in your life and realizing how much His hand is in our lives is humbling. We are all on a path back to our Heavenly Father. There are many road blocks in our way. We must face those road blocks with square shoulders and blast through them with the strength of our Heavenly Father at our back. It CAN be done! In the past couple of days I have felt the spirit in my heart more often than any time in the past. When the center of our focus is love for our fellow man and love for our Savior Jesus Christ, the happiness that we feel can barely even be expressed. Let us all put the past behind us and "Keep Moving Forward"!
Thank you all for your love and support. I can't expressed the gratitude I feel everyday for all my friends and family. I love you guys!

   Love, Elder Ethan Howard (

Monday, March 10, 2014

Teaching, teaching, teaching!

 Wow Elder Hefner and I have been busy busy this week with teaching! We had 17 lessons this week, more than double last week! We were blessed to be in many peoples homes sharing a message about Jesus Christ and the restored gospel. 
    We also had a super fun evening last Monday with William Khazaal, Dean Khazaal and Brother Dan Wright (The guy we live with) at the Sand dunes! We went fishing for about an hour and nothing was working so we went to the dunes! I have never seen so much sand in my life! There was a MOUNTAIN of sand!! It was crazy.  The dune was probably at an upward slope of 35 degrees and it was about 150 feet tall! Elder Hefner tried racing me up to the top and we both almost died half way up.  It was tough because our feet kept slipping under the sand and it was steep and tall. Whew. Talk about exercise! It was too dark for pictures so we are going back another time earlier in the day.
    We had an awesome lesson about prayer with Phil Trupiano.  I recently learned that prayer is "the act in which the will of the Father and the will of the child come into agreement." (Bible Dictionary) That pretty much means through prayer we are able to find out what our Heavenly Father wants from us. And if we are humble we will do as he asks. Phil is going to pray about a baptismal date.
    Jenny Lindsay got baptized this weekend on the 8th! She is awesome and here is a picture of her and the family who introduced her to the gospel :) the Cox family!

I am loving it out here!
Elder Ethan Howard

Monday, March 3, 2014

Scripture Study and Sand Dunes

Hello everyone! This week was a lot better than last week!  We went to Jerome, ID for Zone Meeting where we talked about how to more effectively study our scriptures. It was awesome! Scripture study is the way to learn for ourselves from the Spirit! Studying the scriptures is the bomb. It will help you a lot.
   We are having 9 baptisms in Mountain Home during March! About 3 a week! One of the girls we are baptizing is Theresea Parsons. A recently divorced mother of two, she has had the church in her life for a long time, but finally realized that it was the best thing for her and her family.  She is getting baptized on March 15th! Pray for her please! She is a super strong mother and a great person. Bad things happened to her but she came out of the them even stronger!

   Also, today we are going to some Idaho sand dunes with William and Dean Khazaal.  It should be super fun! Sorry this is so short but I am short on time! I wrote a lot to my mom and dad! They are awesome :) Thanks for all you do.
The Gospel is true and Jesus Christ is our Savior! Test it out ;) 
Love you all!  
Elder Ethan Howard