Thursday, May 28, 2015

Memorial Day trip to Stanley!

Sent: Tue, May 26, 2015 1:30 pm

Happy Memorial Day to everyone! I am so grateful for those that have put their li ves at risk and given their lives to secure the freedoms that we take for granted so often. I hope we all can respect our amazing country and our American Flag which is a symbol of our freedom. I get emotional every time I hear or sing our National Anthem because of the great respect I have for the founding fathers of this country and all those who live up to par with what America really stands for.

Kimberly has been great this last week! Yesterday for Pday (preparation day), The Bybee family from here in Kimberly invited us to go mountain biking and exploring in Sun Valley and Stanley!! We called our Mission President to ask if we could go and to my surprise he said yes! We left in the morning after our studies and cleaning. We arrived in Sun Valley around noon biking around town for an hour or two, then went to Stanley where I got to visit some amazing people that I met when I served there. Going back to Stanley was a little like going back home to be honest. I never thought I would be up there again so soon. I love it so much! My heart was warmed by the sight of the mountains and the association with the people up there. Sadly some of the stores weren't open for the season yet so we didn't get Papa Brunee's pizza, but we did however get to go to Red Fish Lake Resort, the most beautiful place on earth!! I got to see the Clegg family who I missed a bunch and they are as wonderful as ever, (Shout out and thanks to them for letting us be at Red Fish Lake as missionaries and providing us with so much!). I am super serious about wanting to work up there for the summer of 2016. It's like heaven on earth! Here are some pictures of Stanley!   

When we got back to Kimberly last night we played Ultimate Frisbee, my favorite game of all time, with one of our wards at a ward Memorial Day Party at the park. I love the people in Kimberly, they are all so down to earth and kind and loving. On our walk back home in the evening we walked past a non-denominational youth pastor's house which is right across the street from us. There were a couple of young guys our age who came up to talk to us. They were really great guys and they knew the Bible super well; I was impressed. We discussed seeking and finding truth, and what the "Gospel of Jesus Christ" really is. After awhile there was a whole group of young people around us discussing The Word! To say again, I was very impressed with the knowledge of all of these young men and women, age s sixteen to twenty-two, and how much truth they were speaking. The big point where we disagreed was the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Most of them were trying to prove with verses in the Bible that the Book of Mormon was false. I asked them "How many of you have actually read and prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true?" Only two of them said they had done it and they didn't mention if they got an answer. We invited and encouraged them to take the challenge of the Prophet Moroni when he said " And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." I know with all of my heart that if we sincerely ask God after we have read His word if it is true or not, that we will get an answer. I am amazed at how many people will simply not read The Book of Mormon just because of the rumors they have heard about it or because they fear that it is true. If you want to know what it is all about read it for yourself!!! I Testify that it does contain the true Gospel of Jesus Christ just as is in the Bible and that The Book of Mormon is True. I only know because I have read it and prayed about it, and I have received an answer.

 I am amazed by this picture of a church sign because of the truth it actually holds. Even those people know it!

~ Elder Howard

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


No blog from Ethan this week, but here is a short message included in his email to me (his Mom):

Sorry, an Elder just told me about his haircut appointment, so I won't be able to write a weekly email, but I gave a talk in one the wards here about service. It was awesome to connect the dots between our baptismal covenant expressed in Mosiah 18:10-12 and our willingness to serve, aka comfort those that mourn and stand in need of comfort, etc.  As we become better disciples of Jesus Christ our DESIRE to serve will increase! Missionary work is the greatest service because we are helping others in all the ways of service as well as bring them closer to Christ. Then they can serve in the Church and serve others even better! It was interesting to see the change in me being on a mission, now I have a way better desire to serve. :) 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Call and Transfers!

Sent: Mon, May 11, 2015 12:32 pm
Transfer calls came in this morning! I am staying in Kimberly, becoming District Leader again and getting a new companion! My new companion is Elder Schmidt from AUSTRIA! He was in my district over in Burley a couple months ago so I already know him! He has a really cool German accent and has been out over a year so we should work well together! He is a little soft spoken and quiet but that's probably a good thing because I'm usually talking like a mad rabbit all the time. It'll be great to have him here in Kimberly!

Happy Mother's Day all you wonderful Mother's! :) You really do make the world go round. I am so blessed to have a mother that is kind, loving, forgiving, righteous and humble. She did well with me growing up and I can say I wasn't the easiest child to raise, but she made it work! Yesterday I was able to Google Chat most of my family. I saw my mom and dad, both grandma's, one uncle and all my siblings and nieces and nephews. My, my, oh my, my have they grown like crazy! My oldest nephew was talking to me, showing me his Cheerios and saying "I love you Ethan," that was pretty heartwarming, if I may say so. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family who sets a great example for me at all times. I am so blessed that all of my family are keeping the covenants they have made and are all sealed in the temple. I am so blessed to have the knowledge that we will be a family together forever :) Those are the greatest blessings of life! Now it's my turn to follow in their footsteps and make the right decisions in life. 

Good things have been happening in Kimberly! The ward is super supportive.  I am starting to really love the people here. Last week we were able to meet Nick Orozco who has been interested in the church for a while but has been moving and switching between living places and missionaries.  About a year ago while Nick was going through a divorce, his neighbor in Kimberly, Bro Ward, introduced him to the Book of Mormon. He started reading it to gain comfort and solace through the divorce process. Well he found it alright! In the past six months he has read through the Book of Alma and loves it! His family is very strong Catholic, so he is having a hard time with his parent’s acceptance of coming to our church. We are trying to soften the hearts of his parents to let him have his freedom so he can experience the sacrament and all the blessings of attending church. He already has a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Gospel. When he makes church a priority in his life, he will be ready to come unto Christ through baptism :)  The testimony is there. The next step is making a commitment. We hope we can help him!

I have been seeing some sweet cars in Kimberly and Twin falls, a 1965 Mercury Comet and a 2015 Maserati Ghibli ! That's a $71,000 car right there... Also I got to hang out with a little bull calf and feed him! It's was sweet! Good old Idaho for ya :) 

~ Elder Ethan Howard

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Three Missiateers!

From Ethan: Mon, May 4, 2015 12:08 pm

Since Tuesday I've been in a trio, or tripanionship! So in other words I am with two other missionaries. We jointly cover both of our areas for the next week and a half until the real transfer date. Covering four wards at one time is a little tough, but we never find ourselves with nothing to do that's for sure. Also with limited miles for our car and Kimberly (my area) about seven miles from where we live in Twin Falls we are having to really plan out our travels and walk places that are fairly close. So right now I am living in Twin Falls, only a little over a mile from our Mission Presidents house and the mission office as well as the Twin Falls temple! Also we live right across from an Episcopal church which has a cool bell tower with a cross on top. It makes a great sight for sunsets that's for sure. 

The two Elders I am with are Elder Roth and Elder Johnson. Elder Roth was in the MTC with me!  We have been out the same amount of time. It's been cool discussing the last year and a half of our mission. He is from Atlanta, Georgia but doesn't have any form of accent from there. Elder Johnson is from Lehi, Utah. He has been out three months less than Elder Roth and I. Elder Johnson was trained in Challis at the same time I trained my former companion Elder Mace in Salmon! We were in the same district up there, Challis being about 50 miles south of Salmon, but that was over a year ago! It is really nice to serve with two missionaries who are considered "seasoned Elders." We are all able to teach lessons and contact people proficiently and it's fun talking about old times on the mission.

Rewind to last week Monday, Elder Cardon's last day. Monday evening we were going around our neighborhood in Kimberly saying goodbye to Russ and Maggie, and a couple of other people Elder Cardon had grown to love. On the way in between houses we had two great experiences that came out of no where! I'll just talk about one. We were walking past a house where two guys, Richard and Garrett, were unloading logs from their truck. They actually called us over!  Right when we got up there they started asking us about the Last Days and the second coming of Christ. Richard was very educated in the Bible and also World News and he started going off on all the crazy stuff that is happening in the world. The conversation turned to faith and Elder Cardon took the chance to speak up. He asked Richard if he had ever thought about modern day prophecy or read the Book of Mormon. Now this was a shocker to me because Elder Cardon has never spoken up... EVER.. in a conversation until now! I was in awe as I witnessed Elder Cardon teach this man Richard through the Spirit all about the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, how we can have faith that we will be alright during the Second coming of Christ and have a sure foundation on our Savior. It was awesome!! Richard accepted a Book of Mormon from us to read. He doesn't live in our area cause he was just helping Garrett move these logs but we hope the Elders on the other side of Twin can teach him more. It was amazing to see Elder Cardon grow and be ready for that opportunity. It helped me increase in my faith that "with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26). I know that He was with Elder Cardon that night. After that experience another similar one happened! I love it!

All these experiences will be life long and I am so grateful for everything that happens on my mission. It truly is the best two years of my life but also for my life.

Elder Howard