Friday, February 13, 2015

Testimony of True Faith

From: Mon, Feb 9, 2015 2:03 pm

Well everyone, the big news is that Seth Graham was baptized!!! Man over the last 6 months or so Seth has become a real man. He has become such a humble young man who really does whatever he can to be closer the Lord. He was baptized Sat. Feb 7th at 6:30. Seth being baptized wasn't the best part, it was the testimony he shared afterwards. He was smiling so big it was hard for him to start talking! Seth shared with us some very powerful things. He boldly testified that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each and every one of us,  that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and if anyone were to read it with real intent would find out  it is true. He knows it is and shared his conviction that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is Christ's church upon the earth today. Man it was powerful! I could feel the Holy Spirit there bustin' everyone's hearts softer and softer.

Also our Musical Fireside went swell!! Boy oh boy, I did not know how much planning has to go into a fireside until this one. But with all the planning it was well worth it! We had about 150 people in attendance with 5 musical numbers. 
1. Savior Redeemer of My Soul (Elder Howard & Elder Te'o)
2. I Know That My Redeemer Lives/I Feel My Saviors Love (Amber and Levi Heward)
3. How Can I Be? (Morgan Heward, Nicole Heward, Elder Howard & Elder Te'o)
4. My All is Thine (Nikki Worthington & Jill Brown)
5. Joseph Smith's First Prayer/Come Thou Fount (Elder Howard & Elder Te'o)
Sadly we didn't record them because of the program being in the chapel and other things but man let me tell you it was one spiritual fireside!! After each song the participants each bore their testimonies and shared something they felt inspired to share. Throughout the whole night tears of joy were shared and the spirit was felt. I was super blessed to be able to be a part of such a great program and great musical talents shared. 

All in all the week was super awesome! Today we are just going to bowl and hang out with all the missionaries in Burley. I have definitely come to love Burley and all the people here. Even though it is a small town (8,000 roughly) it packs a huge punch of love and charity :) Love you all!

-Elder Ethan Howard

Pictures: Seth in the black t-shirt to the right of me with some of his young single adult ward friends and me rockin’ a new hairdo.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Things I Learn Every Day

From Ethan: Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 12:34 PM

Holy Cow everyone, I could write a book about the amazing things that happened this week!!! Too bad I only have a short amount of time to fill you in... Anyway some super awesome, successful, battle changing events happened this week! First of all, we had a very awesome lesson with Seth Graham in which he taught me multiple things. We discussed the Gospel of Jesus Christ along with the Plan of Salvation using a cool little drawing that I came up with depicting our journey through life. (I hope you can understand the drawing without too much explanation. See photo below.)  Seth understood everything and added this thought, "Heaven is our Home."  Seth has been using this phrase as his motto since the beginning of the year. He explained that since we are all God's children, then Heaven is our real home and all we have to do is make our way back into his presence. He has come so far in the six months I have known him.  Seth committed and is ready to be baptized this Saturday, Feb. 7th! He closed our meeting with a prayer and in it said something I have overlooked too many times. Seth thanked our Heavenly Father for giving us another day and an opportunity to progress. WOW! That hit me like a brick wall because I have recently neglected to be thankful for that.  For as many things I think I have taught Seth, he has taught me just that same.

Second great event was with the Hiesingers! Ron and Shirley Hiesinger are two super people :) They have embraced this gospel with all their hearts and slowly, through much prayer and dedication, have gained outstanding testimonies. We had a lesson with them directly about baptism and they agreed to be baptized before the end of the month! Them accepting baptism wasn't even the greatest part about our meeting, it was their testimonies that they shared with us. Both Ron and Shirley have felt the Holy Ghost bear witness to them that this church is true and it is the right course for them. They also mention that Heavenly Father has a grand plan for each of us and that He puts certain people in our paths to help us. Little to our knowledge Ron and Shirley had come into contact with an amazing family over the holidays whom they have pretty much adopted into their family. Joe and Andrea Farfan family live in town and out of the kindness of their hearts have let Ron and Shirley be the "grandparents" of their children. They are members of the church who didn't know that Ron and Shirley were investigating the church! Through their example and the guidance of the Holy Ghost, Ron and Shirley have gained testimonies of their own :) It's such an amazing thing to witness how our Heavenly Father has a hand in all things.

Elder Te'o and I have been having the most wonderful time here in Burley Unity area. At the Mission Conference with Elder M. Russell Ballard a lot of elders came up to Elder Te'o and I and asked us how Burley Unity area was going. They seemed to have a preconceived notion that the area was "Deader than Dead." Yet we shared with them all the success we are having here and how much fun we are having. I believe that there is no such thing as a dead area, only dead missionaries. True some areas may not show much success on the outside but we wouldn't be here if the Lord didn't want us here. We have so many wonderful people in this area and success everyday!

I know that the work I am doing is for the Lord and it is the best thing I can do with my life! Please help the missionaries in your area and help the work progress forward! Love you all :)

-Elder Ethan Howard