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 (

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


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

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sons and Daughters of God

From June 30:

Hello friends and family!
Just on update on what is happening in Good Ol' Mountain Home, Idaho, but I can't even tell you of 5% of them. It would take too long, so here are just a couple of cool things :)
   We have had great lessons with Thomas Wildman about the Commandments and the Plan of.  As you know he is a Marine Corps Veteran which is due to an incendiary land mine that incinerated his leg. Well, he has struggled for years with blood clots and pain but this week he got accepted for a special procedure which will cure both discoloration and pain! Yeah! He is still getting ready for Baptism on the 15th of July.
   Update on Jennifer Sizemore! For the first three months she kept saying things like "Now you know I have no interest in becoming Mormon" or "Well, I am Baptist through and through" etc. I was like "Hey you know I don't care if you convert, I just care if you come closer to God and Jesus Christ!" About a month ago we introduced her to Sister Stuart who has a 13 year old autistic son, has been divorced a couple of times due to abuse and moved to Mountain Home about two months ago. Since then Jennifer has progressed exponentially. Last week she got the courage to come to church! She stayed with Solon in primary and loved it. This week she came to our Gospel Principles where we talked about Priesthood Authority. We watched an Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ talk, "The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood". I saw Jennifer's eyes locked onto the TV very intently the whole time. After church Jennifer told Sis. Stuart, "That talk compelled me to be converted."  WOAH! I always thought it would take a miracle for Jennifer to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. :) She is beginning to feel God's love for her and truly finding out that she is a Daughter of God :) Once we come to the conclusion that we are Sons and Daughters of God, we can feel His love and know what we need to do in our life. It fills us with complete joy! It is awesome to be able to help people come closer to their God and Savior each day :)
  We have been sharing one scripture a lot this week. Mosiah 2:41. Read it! We all should consider why we keep the commandments and why Heavenly Father wants to bless us :) We are all His Sons and Daughters!

-Ethan Howard

Opening Doors to Conversion

From June 23:

Hello, Hello! This week in the great city of Mountain Home Elder Rosales (Brosales) and I shared the Gospel with a bunch of people!!

We met Rachelle Kassner (18), a young single mother and her friend, Frankie (16). We had an awesome conversation about who our Heavenly Father is and why having a relationship with Him is important.  It was awesome to see their thoughts about our Heavenly Father change from our short meeting. With Rachelle being a new mother, her views on life have changed, new responsibility brings new perspective.
We met Jack, a Vietnam and Gulf War veteran who LOVES riding motorcycles and grew up in Michigan. We talked a lot about the Restoration over an amazing dinner of Lobster and Steak! :) He is kind of a crazy old guy, but he is searching for the truth! At one point in the evening he grabbed my hand, looked me straight in the eye and said, "Save me, man. I feel empty inside. Save me." I replied, "I can't save you, Jack, but Christ can." I felt the spirit explode out of me. We invited him to the read the Book of Mormon and PRAY about it.  We will see him again tomorrow.
More news; Thomas Wildman, the Ex-marine is getting baptized July 15th by his father in law! He has an amazing heart, is reading the Book of Mormon, and knows the church and the gospel are true! Jennifer Sizemore finally got the courage to come to church this week! We are having Family Home Evening with her and the Stuart family tonight. Slowly but surely Jennifer is letting Christ into her heart :)

More and More amazing experiences happen every week.  My testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel is deepening. Today we are playing Volleyball with the youth.  Wish I could write more, but we took a little too long cleaning our house today!  Oops. See ya!

-Elder Ethan Howard

Another Great Week!

From June 16:

Well, I must give a shout out to Elder Rosales who is a great companion!  We really teach and work well together. This has already been the best transfer on my mission so far.

Sara's Baptism went very well.  We are hoping to set two more baptismal dates this week with Sara's sister, Samantha Potter and Thomas Wildman whom we met yesterday at church with his wife who is a member of the church. He grew up in the Salvation Army and is an Ex. Special Ops for the Marines. Thomas is seriously looking into the gospel now. He has a lot of knowledge and loved church yesterday!

Yesterday we had an awesome experience with Greg Bocox whom we know pretty well.  We just sat down and talk about God, Jesus Christ, The Gospel, The Plan of Salvation and life for about two hours!  We are supposed to keep our lessons down to an hour or less, but we were having more of a conversation than a lesson. I think back to how Christ taught.  He took as much time as was needed to best help the person. It is all about LOVE!   John 13:34-35 and Matthew 22:36-39 read them!!

-Elder Ethan Howard

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Parrett Family

We received the following picture and message on June 13 From the Parrett Family:

Dear Howard family,

We have had the pleasure of getting to know your son here as he serves here in Mountain Home.  He truly uses the gifts God has given him to reach out to others in love and joyfullness.  He is a delight and all my boys' role model.  

He is truly blessing so many lives!

With love, the Parrett family

The Book of Mormon is Awesome!

From June 9 

We got the transfer calls last night and Elder Rosales (I nicknamed him Bro-Sales) and I get to stay companions in Mountain Home :) A brand new missionary, who is Spanish speaking, and two new sisters will join our District.
     Kari's Baptism went amazing! See picture below. I was blessed to baptized and confirm her as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Saturday the 14th our bishop will baptize and confirm Sara Potter.  Just like Kari, I have seen the Light of Christ grow immensely inside of her. Both of them are so happy all of the time now! They both have personal struggles of which they can now handle easier. The blessing we receive from trying our best to follow Jesus Christ and the blessings we get from Living the Gospel are exponential. I love it with all of my heart!
    We started teaching a new family this week. Juan and Billie Gentry, they are a young couple who have SIX children ranging from 2 months old to 8 years old. The kids are at their grandma's for another couple of weeks.
    We've been having some awesome Book or Mormon reading clubs and I LOVE it. The Book of Mormon brings an amazing spirit. It truly contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel. I promise to every person that reads the Book of Mormon with faith, they will realize the truthfulness of that record, the truth that God loves all of His children, that Jesus is The Christ and that God has restored His gospel to the face of the earth.

-Elder Howard

Love, One of Lives Simplest Answers

From June 2

Hello everyone!
    This week was absolutely amazing, a lot of awesome and powerful experiences!  First of all Madalynn Armijo (Pic #2), Heather and Hayley Logan (Pic #1) were all Baptized and Confirmed this weekend :) I was blessed to be able to Baptize Hayley, and Confirm Madalynn a member of the church and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost! I love those girls and their families a lot :)
   Kari asked me to baptize and confirm her this Saturday! Sara is now getting baptized on June 14th!
  Second, Elder Rosales and I were part of a baby blessing and gave one of our dearest friends, Jennifer Sizemore, a blessing of comfort. We hit the Home-run of exercising the Priesthood this week! Through those blessings and ordinances I could feel the Power of God, literally sensing a change in the atmosphere of the room!  I know that the Priesthood, part of the Restoration of the Gospel, is True and Real.
    Third, I studied about the Light of Christ and the power of Love. "The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience." It is comforting to me that we have the biggest power and influence in the universe on Our side! As Christ taught, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matt 22: 37-40) Love is the Greatest commandment! First to God and Second to our neighbors. One wise man I know once said "You can share the gospel with people just by smiling at them" - Dan Wright, the man we live with. As we love others we will let them feel the Light of Christ inside them and help them come closer to Him. We Need to Love! We cannot be two-faced. We cannot lead negative lives. I hope we can all feel the power that comes through loving our friends and neighbors :)

    Love you all! -Elder Ethan Howard.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Praying and Fasting

From May 26

Well the next two weeks are going to be Exciting! These young women are getting ready to make a promise to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through Baptism- Friday May 30th, Madalynn Armijo (9 yrs old), Saturday May 31st, Heather and Hayley Logan (12 & 13 yrs old) and on Saturday June 7th, Kari Siira and Sara Potter (21 & 18 yrs old) will enter the waters of Baptism. Elder Rosales and I have been praying and fasting a lot recently because we can see Satan working hard on all these girls. He absolutely does not want them to make this step in their lives. We read together a talk by Bruce C. Hafen called "A Disciples Journey," about how Satan pulls us very hard before we make a big decision in our lives.

Lately in my personal study I have been studying perfection and the power of it. I came to the realization that God is God because He is Perfect. Jesus could heal people and cast away sin because He was Perfect. The matter and spirits that they command have to obey their orders because they are Perfect! It all is a matter of achieving perfection. When we seriously try to be perfect and Christ-like we have power that comes with it. Have you seen the movie “Ephraim's Rescue?” That is the main message in that movie. I love it! So yep, I am trying hard every day to be as good as I can, I fail... miserably, but it is the desire of our hearts that count plus the "works" that we do. James chapter 2 helps us understand that.

We were able to go to a Luau this last week for Solomon Chung Hee's graduation party! They imported a pig from Hawaii (or Tahiti?), and a bunch of native flowers. The food was amazing! All of his relatives were singing and playing music :) We have contacted a lot of the youth here in Mt. Home and are playing volleyball with them today. This summer they will go to appointments with us! The work is exciting! :)

-Elder Ethan Howard.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ=A Good Way of Life

From May 19

Elder Rosales and I again had a full week of teaching and serving. Just today we spent a couple of hours helping our good friend, Brendan Flanagan, do some yard work, mowing, weed-wacking, washing our car and blowing off the driveway.  It brought me back to my youth mowing and weeding all summer long :) I loved it!
We had some really great discussions this week about the Commandments of God. We reviewed the 10 Commandments with Kari Siira and Heather & Hayley Logan this week and taught about the Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom and Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Kari is so awesome she knew right away that these commandments are for our benefit. They help us lead our lives in the way that Jesus Christ did. With keep the commandments the Holy Ghost will be our companion. With the comforting of the Holy Ghost we can make it through the toughest of times and feel the presence of God in our lives. The Commandments don't restrict us but they set us free! Elder Schild who I served with in Salmon said "Even if this is all fake, it is still a good and happy way to live". We have the blessing of being happy when we follow in Christ's footsteps and follow His teachings. We have an even greater blessing to know through the Holy Ghost that these commandments and gospel are true!
  We are still looking forward to May 31st when Heather and Hayley Logan, and Madelynn Armijo are getting baptized!! Also we are continuing to prepare Kari Siira, Sara and Samantha Potter for June 7th :) These young women are starting off their life in good way. The Best way! Like it says in Alma 37:35 "O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God." They are learning and they are seeing the blessings :)

It is getting hot here! The Weather here is actually abnormally humid for this high desert. People are blaming me for being from MN! But I love the humidity. A couple of days ago it was almost 90 degrees and I was dying all day! We had a lesson outside with the Logan's and my back was super sweaty afterwards haha.  I scrub my white shirt necklines every time I wash them. All is Good!

Thank you for all of your thoughts, words and prayers! They are greatly appreciated :) Love you all!

-Elder Ethan Howard

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mother's Day!

 I had the wonderful opportunity to be able to Skype with my Mom, Dad, Granni Sandi, Peter, Michelle and their kids yesterday. It was very nice just to sit and chat with them. The work here in Mountain Home keeps us very busy so it was nice to take an afternoon to relax and have a conversation. I wish I could have done more for my mom to hopefully pay her back for all she has done for me but being 1,400 miles away it isn't that easy!
    On Saturday I got to witness the baptism of Lindell Hargrave. See picture below. The Sisters had taught him for six months before he got baptized. I had the amazing opportunity to be able to be a big part of his conversion. About a month ago Lindell went through some terrible things in which he got kicked out of his house and he was lost in what to do. The Sisters asked if we could give him a blessing of comfort. I had the amazing opportunity to give him the blessing. I know that Heavenly Father put these things into Lindell's life so that at this moment he could be humble enough to recognize the Spirit. It was that blessing that calmed his heart and helped him feel the Spirit of the Lord manifest that this Church and the Priesthood Power that was restored is True. 
   In Mountain Home in the next month sixteen other people will be baptized who all feel the same way Lindell does and they all came to that knowledge in different ways. Six of those sixteen are people Elder Rosales and I have been working with. On May 31st Hayley Logan (13), Heather Logan (12) and Madelynn Armijo (9) will be baptized. On June 7th Kari Siira (21), Sara Potter (18) and Samantha Potter (17) will be baptized.
   Kari was able to attend Lindell's baptism which was an awesome experience for her. She told us "The whole time I felt butterflies in my stomach. I knew that would be me on June 7th". I love seeing the excitement of Kari to be baptized. She is very excited to follow in Jesus Christ's footsteps and grow to be more like Him everyday.
Happy late Mothers day to all of the Mothers who read this letter. You don't know how much you effect us and help us become better people.

-Elder Ethan Howard

Update on Ethan

Hi Everyone,
     Just wanted you all to know that Ethan is doing great!  He loves serving a mission in Idaho.  Sorry, I am a couple months behind in posting his messages, but will get some from May on here this week.  He loves getting mail.  Here is the Mission Office address which will get mail to him throughout his mission.

Elder Ethan Howard
Idaho Twin Falls Mission
421 Maurice St. North
Twin Falls, ID 83301-4932

Letters can be mailed to his current address in Mountain Home as he will be there for at least another 3 weeks, but after that we never know until if he is getting transferred until the week it happens.  So, if you want to take the safe route sending letters, then use the above address.

Otherwise, here is his current address for the next 3 weeks -

Elder Ethan Howard
942 W 4th North
Mountain Home, ID 83647

Thanks for keeping in touch with Ethan.  He appreciates it and so do I.
Ethan's Mom