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 (

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 (