Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Video Call

From Ethan to his parents: Dec 29, 2014

Lots of babies around Grandma Howard's house but I bet she loved it :)  It was really great seeing everyone together having a good time. It really doesn't seem like much has changed besides the size of all the kids and the voice of  Jaden ( 14 yr old cousin). He is becoming mature and that's weird!! It was crazy seeing how big Jillian (10 yr old cousin) and Ally (12 yr old cousin) are. WOW! But seems like everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves and catching fish every time you went out that's pretty good! 

Thanks for all the pictures of stuff it really hits home for me.

Lunch with the Silcocks was great! Just a couple of hours but Elder Te'o and I got to sing some songs and lead people in singing the 12 days of Christmas and other songs. It was pretty fun!  New years we will get together as a district and play games, a lot like Halloween. Transfers are Jan. 7th! I hope I stay at least another transfer because we are rebooting all the ward mission plans and working on a missionary fireside where Elder Te'o and I will sing. So I hope I stay!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Spirit is invited by Music!

From Ethan: Mon, Dec 22, 2014 1:13 pm
It is still brown and down in Burley, ID with NO SNOW!!  I don't want a brown Christmas but I guess everywhere back home there isn't any snow. Boy, that's sad. Maybe I'll have to get on the roof and do a little snow dance to liven up the skies!

As you probably guessed from the title of this letter, music has been a huge factor in our missionary work this past week. Since Elder Te'o and I both love music we put together a couple of arrangements! For our Mission Conference and a ward Christmas party we sang an arrangement of "Savior Redeemer of my Soul." This is a video of our performance of it at our Mission Conference.   In Sacrament Meeting yesterday we sang "All Glory Be to Christ" by King's Kaleidoscope.  (Look it up! For me, music is one of those things that invites the spirit the most.  Martin Luther said "Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us."  Ludwig Van Beethoven said "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy."  I really think that Heavenly Father can influence people through music and help them return back to him.

 We have really fun plans set up for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve we are having a Mexican fiesta with one of the awesome families in our ward! They are straight up from Mexico so it should be super authentic Mexican food. Christmas day our main man, Dave Silcock from Salmon, is coming down to spend the day with us and his family! It'll be awesome to catch up with him and spend a good uplifting day with them.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

~ Elder Ethan Howard

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Teaching with Parables

From Ethan: Mon, Dec 8, 2014 1:09 pm                  

Boy oh boy I have been having such a fun time the past week that it all seems like a blur!  Time is passing like a touchdown throw from Payton Manning! Serving again with Elder Te'o is more fun than ever.  We both know each other’s teaching styles and personality so it makes things quite easy! 

We had some awesome teaching opportunities with some parables this week. I finally understand why Jesus Christ used so many parables when teaching the multitudes. They are so easy to mold and teach to people’s needs. Two of my favorite parables are the parable of the sower (Matt 13:3-9) and the Pearl of great price (Matt 13:45-46).  We were able to share the first parable with the Millspaugh's this week.  We likened ourselves to the ground. To make our ground "good ground", we need to do the simple little things in our everyday life like praying, giving service, reading scriptures and going to church! Once our ground is "good ground", we then water our seed planted in that ground by being baptized and showing forth our faith! That is how we make sure the seed of our testimony will flourish and grow into a big tree!

The youth of the Unity 2nd ward went to the temple this week to perform baptisms for the dead.  Since it was Salena's first time attending the temple, we got permission to go.  Before we went to the temple we all went to Golden Corral, a buffet, and then together started a fast for missionary work! :) That is a bomb idea and I know it'll provide us more opportunities to share the gospel. But I love going to the temple to perform ordinances for people who have passed on. When the day of Resurrection comes we will have the opportunity to meet those that we performed the ordinances for. I think that was a side thought that Paul, the early Apostle had when he said "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?"(1 Corinthians 15:29). It is an amazing a very humbling experience.

I love the Christmas season and all the joy that it brings into people’s lives :) Christmas music is the best.  Elder Te'o and I love to play guitar and piano and sing Christmas songs for people. It's just one of those talents that I get to share with people to help lift their spirits. Hope you all find ways to serve others and share your talents with them! 

Here is a picture of Elder Te'o and I swaggin' those vests!

-Elder Howard

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving in Gratitude

From Ethan: Mon, Dec 1, 2014 1:12 pm

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Well this is the second Thanksgiving I have had with Elder Te'o! Last year up in Salmon and now here in Burley. We ate a ton! Also road a tandem bike (two-seater bike), played chimes with a family, colored and drew turkeys and also played basketball to work off all the fat! Being here in Idaho we are super blessed with all that the people provide for us. Lemme tell you we don't go hungry! (Don't worry mom). Honestly I am so grateful for all the people out here in Idaho that take care of us missionaries. We feel the love from all of our ward members and even people not of our faith because they know that our purpose is to invite others unto Christ and to help people live better lives.

We had a super fun time with the Heisingers this week because we got to have dinner with them! We shared with them the "He is the Gift" initiative that the church is doing this Christmas season. I really love this video and the message that is shared because it focuses Jesus Christ at the center of Christmas as it should always be! Without Christ, "Christ"mas wouldn't even exist and without Him none of us would be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven. That is why He is the greatest gift of them all :) Here is the website to see the video and the #ShareTheGift!

With the holidays it was a little hard to see people because of family in town and other things but we are expecting this week to visit everyone we can and to share the simple, yet amazing message of Jesus Christ :) Tis' the Season!! Enjoy the first bit of the Christmas Season everyone!

-Love, Elder Howard