Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

Family!!!!  I miss you all like crazy!!!  It is weird having a Christmas season without you guys.  It hasnt felt like much of a Christmas season yet cuz it is so hot here!  haha I have never sweat so much in my life!  It is crazy humid here too.  But I love being in Brasil!!

So this week on Tuesday, we had our Mission Christmas Conference.  It was in Florianopolis, so we took a bus there with a bunch of missionaries.  It was a lot of fun!  Floripa is so cool!  And it was so good to see all my friends again at the conference.  President gave a couple talks, and we had lunch and then some funny presentations given by some of the districts.  It was a good time!

This week seemed super busy!  Me and Elder Val were in the choir for our Ward Christmas party on Saturday so we had to practice that a lot throughout the week.  I love the ward here.  There are so many cool people in this ward and they go ALL OUT for activities here! haha for the Christmas party, there was a play, and they made this huge nativity set on the stage for the play.  It turned out to be super cool and everyone loved it.  I was happy that I got to participate in the choir, even though I hate singing! haha but it was a really good time.  I have a lot of fun with Elder Val, and also with the members of the ward.

Yesterday, there was a Stake Christmas Devotional.  It was really good.  It was full of music and had pictures of our Savior on a projector.  I felt the Spirit way strong at the Devotional.  It is the first time here that I have felt the Christmas Spirit, cuz it is so different from home! haha.  I never thought I'd say this, but I just want it to snow here! haha I MISS THE SNOW!  Christmas just isnt the same without family, friends, and snow.

This week we taught Marcelo again.  His wife wasnt able to be there for the lesson, so we met with him.  He is doing good!  In January, his working on Sundays will end, so he will be able to start coming to church with his family.  We are planning on meeting again with them this week and teaching his wife the first lesson.  

We didnt have a whole lot of teaching time this week, cuz things fell through and we were busy with Christmas stuff, but this week will be great!  I cant believe that Christmas is a week from tomorrow.  I am sooo excited to call you all and talk to you guys!!!  I love you all and I will email you guys next week and then the next day I'll CALL you guys :)  Love you!!!  Tell Morgan that I love her too!  And you guys have fun at the Howard Christmas party.  Tell everyone that I say hi!


Elder Howard

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 10, 2012

FAMILY!!!!  I miss you guys like crazy!  I always get so stoked to talk to you all each week!!!

This week went by super fast for some reason!  I really like it here in Itajai.  The members are great!  I have made so many new friends in the ward and they are really good to us!  Also, Elder Val is great!  He is a really good companion and we have a great time together.

So this week we met with Jandira again, and while we were there, her friend Ezekiel decided to stay for our message.  Because he was there, we taught him quickly about the BOM and gave him a BOM to read.  We then taught them about Nephi and how he always did as the Lord commanded him.  It was a really good lesson and I felt the Spirit strong.  I always do when teaching cuz I can feel the things that we are teaching are true.  We invited them both to come to church, and they said they would.  But when Sunday rolled around, they never showed up.  It made me so sad cuz I really felt like they would come and the lesson went well.

We ran into this guy named Fabio the other day.  We had met him one other time before.  He lived in England for a couple years so he speaks really good English. Has a funny accent too! haha.  But we talked with him, and he told us he wanted the church back in his life.  He was a member but has been inactive for quite some time.  We made arrangements to meet him at his restaraunt just before church so that he could come with us.  We got there on Sunday and he never showed up, so we called him and his phone was off.  He never made it to church.  This made me sad too!  Things were going well with him, Jandira and Ezekiel, but when Sunday rolled around they didnt follow through.  It is tough when we work hard and do our part, but the others dont follow through.  But we are working hard and sticking with it!

We met with this guy named Marcelo and his family.  He lives with his girlfriend and their daughter.  They arent married yet, but we are trying to make steps to getting them married.  He is a less-active member, and she isnt a member.  They are a really great family!  We invited them to start to read the BOM each day as a family for just a few minutes.  We will follow-up with them this week on that.  Marcelo works on Sundays, but that ends this month, so he plans to come with his family each week starting in January.  This will be so great for his family!

So we had two days set up to meet with Danubia again, but we went to her house 4 times each of the two days and she was never there.  That kinda sucked, but luckily we ran into her on Sunday on the street.  She gave us her cell phone number and told us that her mom didnt want her to hear from us anymore, but she said she really wants to learn more.  We have plans this week to follow-up with her.  I know it will be tough with her mom, but I do feel like she has a desire to learn more and grow in our church.

This week had its ups and downs with people, but we are working hard and doing our part.  I love you all so much and I am so excited to talk to you all on CHRISTMAS!!!  It is coming up fast!  Tell Morg that I love her and you guys have fun for Laurens birthday tomorrow!

Ill talk to you in a week!

Elder Howard

December 3, 2012

FAMILY!!!!  I miss you guys like crazy!!!!  I am so stoked that Christmas is getting closer and closer so that I will be able to skype you all.  I love you guys!

So this week started off a little rough cuz my health wasnt too great.  My stomach was messin with me and I had body aches.  But I got a blessing the other night from Elder Val and now I am back to 100%!!!  I am so grateful for Priesthood Blessings.  

I had my first baptism this week... Thought you guys might wanna hear that! haha.  It was super random how it happened.  The zone leader was with us, and he had to interview the girl named Veronica before she could be baptized.  Veronica was taught by the sisters in Balneariu, and they said that they didnt have anyone to baptize her.  The zone leader was planning on doing it, but I spoke up and said, "Eu quero batizar ela." meaning "I want to baptize her."  The zone leader, Elder Souza, told me to grab my white clothes and lets go!  We headed to Balneariu, and the whole time I was on the bus I was reciting the baptism prayer.  I was so nervous, especially cuz it is all in Portugues!! haha.  We got there and I met Veronica for the first time.  She is 16 years old and is the only member of her family that is going to be baptized.  The meeting started and it was time for the baptism.  I think I was more nervous than she was.  And then to make my nerves worse, the water was FREEZING! haha and you guys know how much I hate cold water.  It reminded me of my baptism when Bishop Johnson told me he had just gotten done putting ice cubes in the water. hahah.  But anyways, the ordinance went great and was such a cool experience!  I could feel the spirit so strong, and I know that she could too.  I know that it wasnt technically my baptism, cuz the sisters did all the work, but I felt honored and grateful to perform the ordinance.  I am grateful to be a missionary and to help out people in whatever way possible.

We taught Jandira twice this week.  Her situation is very difficult with her addiction to cigarretes.  She is such a great lady though and I think we might be making a little progress.  She loves us and loves seeing us so we definitely have her trust.  We are also wworking a lot with her daughter Jennifer (who is a member) to do all that we can to help Jandira.

We got a new investigator this week.  Her name is Danubia.  We arrived at her house and her mom almost kicked us out.  Her mom is die hard catholic and didnt want us teaching her daughter.  But Danubia begged her mom, and she allowed us to stay.  We taught her the first lesson and it went great.  Then, she accepted baptism on the 22nd of this month.  We meet with her again tomorrow, so hopefully she still has that in her plans.  I know that it will be incredibly difficult with her mom and everything, but if she has the desire, I know that the Lord will provide a way.

I loved all your emails this week.  I miss you guys like crazy!  Im glad that mom got to talk to Elder Vals mom.  I really like Elder Val.  He is a fun and pleasant person to be around and we are enjoying our time here. And by the way, I am eating SOOOO much.  I cant gain weight!!! hahaha hopefully I do soon tho! 

It will be three months on the mission this week!  Pretty crazy.  I love you all and I will write next week!  Tell Morg that I love her a lot as well!!  

Elder Howard

Monday, November 26, 2012

Photos from Brazil - November 26, 2012

Landon uploaded some photos from his mission. You can view them here:

Letter - November 26, 2012

FAMILY!!!!  I am so glad its been another week so that I get to talk to you all again.  First off, President said we can email family, so if Uncle Curt or anyone else wants to email me, they can directly.  I miss you all like crazy!  I got your Christmas package ready today!  I will be sending it off tomorrow so be ready for it.  It should be pretty sweet!

So this week was 100x better!!!  I am starting to love it out here.  The week started off normal.  I was still sick so Talvane took me to the doctor.  The doctors office is at the hospital here and is soooo sketchy!  It is on the same floor as the emrgency rooms...  I saw people get rushed in, I saw people covered in blood from head to toe, I saw people go into a room and come out bawling after saying their final goodbyes, and I saw a body bag get wheeled out.  Luckily I didnt see the body.  It was seriously the saddest thing ever.  We didnt get into the doctor, so we went the next day.  They drew my blood and did an xray of my chest cuz I was having pressure from coughing.  Everythhing looked great and they gave me more medication.  This time it is actually helping.  I feel back to 100% now and I love it.

So Talvane got an emergency transfer on Friday to go be a Zone Leader in Lajes.  So I got a new companion on Friday.  His name is Elder Val and is from Layton.  He is a really cool kid!  He played basketball and soccer in high school, so this morning we went and shot around at the church.  It was a lot of fun.  It helps that he knows English too! haha.  But he has really helped me with my Portugues and it is coming along nicely.

On Saturday there was a ward talent show.  They go ALL OUT here! haha it was a lot of fun!  They were bumpin American music like Shania Twain.  We were definitely getting into it.  Then me and three other Elders sang Silent Night or Noite Feliz with an investigator.  It went really well.  I sang really quiet so that they could hear the good singers and not my terrible voice! haha.  But it was a lot of fun!  I love the ward members here.  They are so friendly and so welcoming.  We eat at a members house every single day for lunch, cuz lunch is the biggest meal for them here.  It is great and I love the food here. I am glad that you guys accepted Eddy on Facebook.  We stop by his house almost every night before going home.  They are members and are such a big help to us out here.  I love them a lot.  I will Skype you guys from their house on Christmas :)

Last night, we taught Ajona and Leblum, the two guys from Haiti.  We taught them about the Book Of Mormon.  I could feel the Spirit so strong and I think that they could too.  I love the Spirit that I feel as we teach this true gospel.  I love this gospel and I love the opportunity that I have to share it with others and bring the happiness to their lives.  Both of them committed to reading 3 Nephi 11, and we are going to follow up with them tomorrow about it.  So I will keep you posted :)

Sounds like you guys had a great Thanksgiving!  Mine was pretty lame cuz I spent the day at the doctors and just thought of you guys having fun! haha.  I miss you all like crazy!  I am lovin it out here and I know it will keep getting better and better, especially as I learn this language.  I can feel the Lord helping me every step of the way.  I cant thank you all enough at home for all your prayers.  I have truly felt so much spiritual help out here and it has helped me adjust quicker than I ever though possible.

Love you all and I will talk to you guys in a week :)

Elder Howard

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Holy Cow I miss you like freakin crazy!!!  So President is crackin down on the rules, so we can only email family.  We cant email friends or even other missionaries.  Pretty lame.  So if people ask, just send them this weekly email.  Also, we arent allowed to chat back and forth either.  Pretty lame as well!

This week had its ups and downs.  It is definitely a rollercoaster out here, but I think that the rollercoaster is going up.  It is just a rough adjustment for me.  I have never prayed so hard in my life.  Or so much.  I feel like I am constantly pleading with my Heavenly Father for help and he sends it.  I love prayer so much.  Through prayer, we are able to talk to our Creator one on one.  WE, insignificant people, get to talk to the most powerful being in the world.  How cool is that?  I feel a lot of help come through prayer.  I am so grateful for prayer.

So this week had some cool experiences!  We taught these two men, one named Lebloom and the other Ajona.  They are from Haiti.  We got to their house, and it was only one room.  There are three beds in there, a tiny TV and a stove.  I just wanted to cry I felt so bad for them.  We are so blessed to have so much.  They live in one room underneath an unfinished building.  This building is where they work everyday.  They are away from their family in Haiti.  Their kids and wives live there.  They told us how so many members of their family have died.  I just wanted to cry again hearing all this.  Super sad to hear how hard their lives are.  But we taught them the first lesson, and I did a lot of the teaching.  Elder Talvane pushes me to teach, and it really helps me use my Portuguese   At the end, we committed Ajona to baptism, and Lebloom is going to pray about our lesson, and if he receives an answer, he will be baptized.  So cool!  We want to have them baptized by the end of this month.  It would be awesome!

We are also teaching another lady named Jindira.  She has been taught for a while now.  She has been a smoker for 40 years now.  But she believes in the things we teach her and she knows the church is true.  She just needs to take that leap of faith and be baptized.  Along with her, we are teaching her cousins.  A wife, husband and young child.  We also invited them to be baptized.  They will pray about it and see if they get an answer.  I hope that they do.

Today we went on a crazy cool hike for PDay!  I took some super cool pictures.  Is there a website that I could upload all my pictures each week so that you guys can see them too?  I want to share all of them with you guys!  And sorry, I dont have my cable to upload photos this week.  On Saturday, we went and toured a Brazilian Navy ship.  It was super cool!!  Also, I teach English class twice a week each week.  I really like it, cuz I get to speak English! haha.  Portugues fries my brain each day, but all the people here say that my Portugues is the best they have heard for a new missionary.  So I just need to be patient with myself.

I love hearing all about your guys week!!  It sounds like you are having so much fun together!  Please please please dont worry about me out here.  Thats the last thing that I want.  I dont want you guys to worry about me.

I love you all and I will talk to you again next week!!!  Try to find a website or something that we can upload photos back and forth to eachother!


Elder Howard

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letter - 11/12/2012

FAMILY!!!!! I miss you all so much!! Like a lot.

My first are is called ItajaĆ­. I love the people here and it is a super cool place. It is up the coast from Floripa. The members here are so welcoming and so nice! They all told me that my Portugues is the best they have ever heard for a greenie (a new missionary).

My companion is named Elder Talvane. He is a Brasilian and only speaks a little bit of English. He is awesome tho!! He is super funny and so nice to me. This week I got sick with a cough, and one night I had a fever, and for a whole hour straight while I slept, he kept a cold rag on my forehead and it got rid of the fever. He is so selfless and so helpful. I am so blessed to have him in my life.

We have done a lot of teaching here too. I love it cuz we get fed by the members every single day for lunch. It is so great! The food here is absolutely fantastic and the members are always so great. I shared the quick little message with them each meal. We have taught a lot of investigators too. Mainly just the first lesson. Talvane does most the teaching, but leaves me the part about the restoration. I teach that whole part. It is great. I always feel the spirit so strong in our lessons. I hope the investigators feel it too. I pray for them every night.

We ran into an Anti Mormon the other day. haha I only understood a little of what he was saying, but he was an idiot! haha he was comparing Joseph Smith to Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Osbourne. But thats alright, cuz when he dies he will see who was right.

I teach English classes two times a week to anyone who wants to come. I have had help from Elder Perren who is an American in the other half of Itajai. It is super cool cuz a lot of them are really good at English so it is nice being able to talk to them. But My Portugues is coming along, and it helps to be out here, cuz this is the best place to learn it. It is coming along, I just need to be more patient cuz I just want to be fluent already!!! haha

Floripa was beautiful!! I got a window seat for the flight in and got some great pictures. We met President and got to go walk around for a little while by the beach. I think me and Talvane might go to the beach today. I dont think we can walk on the beach but we can go close :)

I got the package!! Thank you all so much. And I dont need the driving permit cuz we dont have a car here. 

So last week at the CTM, we were investigators and we used the Whoopie Cushion on some younger missionaries there. It was absolutely hilarious!

I love you all!!! Tell Morg that I love her as well. It helps me when I can talk to you all. I love hearing from you all. And if you send letters, just send them to the mission home address. I only get to pick them up once a month tho at zone conferences. By the way, I went to the city where Uncle Clarks friend lives, its called Balneario Camboriu, and it was for our zone conference. It is like the Las Vegas of Brasil! hahah elders arent allowed to serve there cuz girls wear too little of clothing. Good thing when we went it was raining so everyone was fully clothed! haha Love you all! My camera just died. I will send photos next week :)


Elder Howard

Julia found a photo of ItajaĆ­ so we though we'd include it here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Letter - 11/6/12


I made it to FLORIANOPOLIS!!!  It is sooo pretty here!  All the elders are so nice and the mission president and his wife are great!  We are all at the mission home right now and they are letting us send a quick email to let you know that we made it safe.  I can already tell that Im going to love it here.  Everyone is so welcoming and so nice.  When we got off the plane, I looked at the mountains and the green and I couldnt stop smiling!  hahaha so lame.  But I am super excited to be here.  I cant wait to get to work and bring people this gospel.  Im a little nervous about the language, but everybody is.  This will be the best place to learn it.  I havent met my new companion yet, but Im hopin for a good one.  Also, I think my pdays will be on Mondays from now on, so the next time I get to email you guys will be in a week.  I LOVE YOU ALL!  And tell Morg that I love her as well.  I cant wait to get out there and meet new people!  Let me know WHEN Romney wins :)  Love you all and I will write you when I can.

Elder Howard

Friday, November 2, 2012

Letter 10/30/2012

FAMILY!!!  I miss you all like crazy!!!

Yesterday I went proselyting and it was such a great experience.  The first guy we talked to was a guy named Orlando.  He was an older man and he loved God and Jesus.  He was Evangelical or something like that.  He talked to us a lot and we understood a little, but then I talked to him about the BOM and how it talks about Jesus Christ.  He seemed excited to hear about it.  I bore testimony of it, and then gave it to him, and when I did, he started kissing it and talking to the sky! haha it was super funny but super cool.  I told him to read it and to pray about it to know if it is true.

We placed five BOM's total!  Which is really good cuz it was just around the MTC and everyone here knows about the missionaries or has a BOM cuz there are so many missionaries around.  We stopped a lady named Vanessa.  She was super nice and probably in her 30's.  She was Catholic and had never heard about the BOM.  I bore witness of it and told her all about it.  I then showed her Moroni's Promise, and while I read that to her, she reading it in a whisper to herself.  She seemed really excited about it!

The other one I want to tell about was a kid probably around my age.  He was sitting on the sidewalk looking in a phonebook, and he too was Catholic.  He was a really nice kid.  We shared about the BOM again, and bore testimony of it.  He seemed interested as well.  I hope they all read it.  If not, I planted 5 seeds yesterday which is super cool :)  I never forget Orlando being the first guy I gave a BOM to.  It makes me so excited for Florianopolis.  I just wish I was fluent already! haha.  But I know it will come, and that learning it in the field will make it come that much faster.  I am so ready to leave the CTM!

Mom that is awesome about the TV Show!  I prayed for you all week.  I also talked to all my friends about your company.  They think it is such a great idea so keep up the hard work!  Sorry I can't reply to everyone's emails but I love y;ou all!!  I am hopin next week that I'll be able to email you all, but I;m not sure yet.  It is crazy that I have been out two months already.  I can't wait for FLORIPA!!

Love you all and I'll enmail you soon!!!

Elder Howard

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New mailing address

Landon will soon be going out in the field. His new address is:

Elder Landon Derek Howard
Brazil Florianopolis Mission
R. Feliciano Nunes Pires, 42 Centro
88015-220 Florianopolis - SC

Letter from Landon - 10/23/2012

FAMILY!!!!  I miss you guys like crazy!!!  I loved the picture of you all dressed up in Halloween costumes :)  haha one Elder walked by as I was looking at it and while pointing at Morgan said, "dang!  Who is that?" haha So Morgan keep the guys away from you while you are dressed up as Superman for the HOWL!!  You all looked way good, I wish I could have been there with you guys!

This week was good, but was pretty uneventful! haha I can't wait to get to Florianopolis!!!  ONLY 2 MORE WEEKS!!!  How crazy is that??  I am so ready to get out of the MTC and to teach real people and to bless their lives with this wonderful gospel.  I do like the MTC a lot tho!  I have met some really great friends!  My friend Elder Jensen left for his mission yesterday.  He is the one the will live with me AND Austin up at Utah State after the mish!

So we taught a fake investigator this week named Igor.  I felt the spirit in this lesson so strong, and he isn't even real! haha.  His situation is that he doesn't believe in God because of some things that have gone wrong in his life when he did believe in God.  It was tough to hear all of this and tough to respond, but me and Naugle are trying to help him as best as we can.  Our Portugues was really good in the lesson, and I am continuing to get better.  I have been workin hard, and I'm gonna give it my all these last two weeks.  Today at a store, we talked to an Asian lady about the BOM for just a sec.  She has one in Chinese and in Portugues. She has only read a little, but it was just nice to talk to her a little to prepare me for PROSELYTING on Monday!  I can't wait!

The Book of Mormon is amazing.  I ho[pe you have all started to read it and been reading it regularly!  I promise it will bring you an extra strength in your everyday life, as it has for me!  I am to Alma 33.  I've been flyin through it and I've been learning so much more!  I plan to finish it next month and then to start in Portugues.  

So every week we have this thing called TRC where we have to teach other elders as investigators with a certain story to them.  Now, since we are some of the oldest elders here, we get to be investigators.  It is really fun!  I also feel great about my Portugues cuz the people teaching us are only week 3 or 4! haha.  

I love my companion Elder Naugle.  He has been such a great blessing in my life.  I am so glad to have met him and to have met so many great people here.  I'm doing great and I love you all!!!  I got a letter from Grandma and Grandpa and it was great!  Tell them thank you!  Also, from now on with letters, send them to my mission home address.  You guys should have that address :)


Elder Howard

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Letter from Landon - October 16, 2012

FAMILY!!!  I have been gone for 6 weeks.... how crazy is that???  It is inasane!  I only have three weeks left here so I'm trying to make the most of it.  I am definitely ready for Florianopolis.  I just want to get out and teach real people and bring the gospel to so many souls out there.  Or just one.  Whoever is lookiing for the gospel, I'll bring it to them.  The language is coming along, but it is pretty tough.  I am trying to study it hard.  I practice a lot with all my Brasilian friends.  It definitely helps a lot. 

Today, Elder Naugle got very sick, so we were unable to go to the temple.  I was very understanding tho, cuz he had a bad upset stomach.  So this morning, he rested up a lot and got some medicine.  While he rested, I read my patriarchal blessing and also the Book of Mormon a lot.  First off, I love my Patriarchal Blessing.  I read it often, and it is so crazy how new things still stick out to me each time!  And how things relate to me now, that didn't a week ago.  All of you read yours this week.  They are awesome!  Also, if you guys aren't already, READ the Book Of Mormon.  I LOVE THIS BOOK! haha.  It has blessed my life immensely out here.  From reading the BOM everyday, I have become stronger to fight off discouragement and temptation of every kind.  This brings me a lot of strength, and I know it will help you all in your everyday lives too.  So try to read every day, even if it is one verse or one chapter.  It will bless your life more than you could ever imagine.  Also, try to have family prayer every night.  I know that will keep bringing you guys closer.  I love reading about how much you guys do as a family.  Our family was extremely close before I left, but it seems to have doubled in the last month.  So keep it up!

We have a fireside every Sunday, and we had a speaker come named Elder Scadden.  He gave such a great talk.  It was exactly what I needed.  He talked about the ten things you need to become a good missionary.  It wasn't necessarily the things he said, but the spirit I felt there was great!  I love the spirit I feel here.  I've learned that you have to invite the spirit into your life always, and I do that best by staying positive and finding joy.  Sometimes it feels like a prison here, haha, but I know that as I make the most of it and keep going forth with a good attitude, that will become natural to me.  I love all the experiences I have had out here and the great people that I have met.  I look forward to all the great experiences to come in FLORIPA!!!

Mom & Dad- hopefully the package will come.  If it comes after I leave tho, they won't forward it to me and they'll have to send it back home.  So hopefully it comes in time.  I'm praying that it will.  And also, I have music on my jumpdrive, but no speakers.  They sell a little portable speaker for 30 reais.  Can I get one?  Also, I'm a little low on cash, cuz for Austin and Hayden's gift I have to use cash, so make sure my bank account looks good. haha just teasin, but I do need a little bit In there that I can take out for emergencies.  I'm trying to budget my money as best as possible.

Dad I am so jealous you are in DC!!  One of my favorite Elder's here is from DC so I told him all of our family stories in DC.  And Happy Birthday again!!!  Wish I could have been there for it!  Scissors!

Hayden!  Keep bein nice to all those kids at school!  Don't put any soap in their drinks like your borther did ;)  and keep up the great work with soccer.  WORK HARD every practice and every game!

Austin!  Congrats on another goal!!!!!  Goodness you sound like you are doing great!  Keep killin' it on the soccer field!  And you got asked to the dance?  You are a stud man!!  I know that you'll have a blast! 

I love you all!!  And I love Lauren and Cody too!  Not too much happened this week, but I am doing great!  Sorry I can't reply to all the questions!  30 minutes is soooo short.  I love you all and tell Morg I love her too!  Thank you for all of your support!  I am so grateful for all of you!

Elder Howard

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Letter from Landon 10/9/2012

FAMILY!!!  Holy cow it has already been another week!  It is so crazy!  We had our half-way interviews on Sunday and it was fantastic.  I really like my Branch president, President Wilkinson.  He is a former judge so he is super intimidating, but he is such a nice guy!  He has been to Florianopolis almost 15 times and he said that if he had to live in a place outside of the US it would be Floripa!  I can't wait to get there!

Conference weekend was awesome!!!  I loved every second of it.  I did miss you guys tho, and I missed not being able to play m&m bingo and look for Aunt Jerrie with you all.  The talks were so excellent!  I loved everything about them.   Here are some of my favorite quotes from conference:

1) Become the Person God intended for us to become. - Uchtdorf
2) It's not a race, it's a journey.  Enjoy the moment.  Don't be so focused on the finish line and focus on the NOW! - Uchtdorf.  Love that!
3) Not expected to be perfect but striving for it. - Robert C. Gay
4) God is mindful of each and every one of us and will not forsaken us. - Gay
5) No blessing will be withhelde as you keep faith in Jesus Christ. - Anderson
6) In whatever you choose, it's essential that you become profficient. - Christofferson
7) A man is never taller than when he is on his knees. - Perkins.  Possibly my favorite quote from all of conference.
8) Nobody is destined to fail. - Eyring
9) All things are fulfilled by FAITH!- Nash
10) Fear not, I hvae overcome the world. - John 16:33 - Monson.

Such a great conference!  I took nearly 13 pages of notes! hahah I loved it.  And about the new age thing, that is absolutely crazy!  I know that Morgan was thinking about going on one now.  You guys should tell her she should.  She would make an amazing missionary and would bless so many lives.  I know she would do great out there!  And Aust, you could possibly go at 18!  that's insane.  I was looking forward to our year at USU together tho, but let me know when you are thinking of leaving and what your plans are.  And start preparing now.  It's never too early to prepare to serve a mission :)

Not too much happened this week.  We taught another fake investigator and we were able to teach the whole first lesson in Portugues without any notes.  It was super cool!  The language is coming but it is still pretty tough.  I'll learn it will God's help tho!  Also, I started reading th BOM aagain, just in English.  I started on the 4th of this month, and I'm already through first Nephi!  It is so great.  I love the BOM.  I love learning new things each time I read it.  I encourage you all to read it often.  It will help you in whatever you are going through in life.

DAD Happy Birthday on Friday!  Wish I could be there for it!  And then DC on Sunday?  You're livin the life!  You all should save and come pick me up in Brazil.  You guys would absolutely love it here!

About the package, put lots of candy in it so it looks like a care package.  And also, you might want to send it to the mission home in case it doesn't make it here before I leave on November 6th.  Cuz if they get it here at the MTC and I'm not here, they won't forward it to me.  They only forward letters.  So SEND THE PACKAGE TO MY MISSION HOME :)  and I'll get it when I get to Floripa!  You guys are the best!  I miss you all like crazy and I pray for you every day.  I love you all!

Elder Howard

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A month in...


I love hearing from you all each week.  I can't wait until I get to Floripa where I'll have more time to talk to all of you!  My fingers cramp up from how fast I get typing! haha

This week went really great!  I love it here now!  I have met so many cool kids!  One is named Elder Jensen and me and him want to live together up at USU.  We'll get back at about the same time, different missions tho.  I got his email so we could stay in touch.  Its crazy how many connections I have with people here.  Such a small world.

So sunday was fast and testimony meeting.  It was an excellent meeting.  I had no desire to get up, but then immediately I got a feeling to get up and bear my testimony.  So I did.  It went really well.  I talked about the quote, "Missionaries leave their families for two years so other families can be together for eternity."  Such a powerful quote.  It really helps me put into perspective the things I can do in the field.  I can't wait to bring souls unto Christ, even if it is just one.  This church is so true!

So this week my teacher demonstrated teaching, and he had me be the investigator.  It was all in Portugues.  It was in basic words and sentences, but I was able to understand a lot of it.  I replied with broken sentences, but he knew what I was saying.  Portugues is tough, but it is coming along.  We teach a lot of fake investigators here as practice, and it's all in Portugues.  Me and my companion never take in a script, and we can teach 30 minute lessons.  It's all just basic words and stuff, but it works for now.  Dont think I'm fluent tho, cuz I'm far from it! hahah

We got knew Brazilian roommates this week.  They are sick kids.  We have room prayer everynight together.  We say ours in Portugues, and they pray in English.  It is super cool to practice with them.  One of them has nice flowing hair, so we call him Rico Suave.  The other looks like The President, so we call him Elder Obama, or El Presidente! haha they like that! 

My personal prayers are almost all in Portugues now.  They sound great!  I'm able to say just about all that I want to say in Portugues!  It is a cool experience, and I know the Lord is helping me every step of the way.  I also found a newfound love of the BOM.  Holy cow it is a cool book!  I now read the words and relate them to my life.  No matter what it is, I relate it to myself and it makes it so much more meaningful!  Austin and Hayden, read the book of mormon often.  Relate it to yourself.  Don;t just read over the words. Mom, dad Lauren and Cody, you guys too.  It has all the answers you will ever need in life!

The food at the CTM is getting better.  Still sucky tho.  Mystery meat in a pot with beans.  We asked the Brazilians, and this food is nothing like what they have outside.  So today we tried a Brazilian BBQ place, just like Tucanos.  It was AMAZING! haha. and really cheap too for all you can eat.  More than half the price of Tucanos.  This was authentic Brazilian food, and it was great!  I also like rice and beans a lot... haha I have it with every meal.  I never thought I would like it. 

My nose is still a little stuffy.  I thought it would be a bigger change than this.  But it hasn't bled at all, so the surgery was definitely worth it.  I loved all your emails!  Austin you sound like a scoring machine!!!  KJeep it up!  When is homecoming?  Haydz keep killin on the field too!  I love you all so much!  I am so grateful for all your prayers and emails.  I can't believe Braden Cousin is going on a mission!  I got so excited when I read that!  And Dawson putting in his papers so soon!  It is awesome!  Tell them I am so proud of both of them.  Tell Jake to email me too.  I haven't heard from him in forever.

I love you all!  Keep up with the emails.  I love it here and can't believe I've been gone a month!  It's insane.  But I know this is where I;m supposed to be.  Austin and Hayden, it's never to early to prepare for a mission.  Prepare now. And don't play too much XBOX. :)  love you all.  I'll write you next week!

Elder Howard

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Handwritten letter from Landon dated 9/13/2012

Photos from Brazil!

Mean muggin'!

The view from my room.

Landon and his companion, Elder Naugle


Our Brazilian roommates. Such cool kids. I call the one on my right Kung Fu Panda and I poke his belly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Letter from Landon


I miss you guys like crazy!! I love all the stories from this week.  I can't believe Austin is going to Homecoming!  Haha I feel like he isn't old enough yet.  And Austin, CONGRATS ON THE HEADER GOAL!!! That is so cool my man!  WIsh I could have been there for it!  HAYDEN congrats on being in first place!! That is so cool bro!  Keep playin aggressive and kickin' butt!  Sorry I don't have much time to reply to everyone.  I love you all.

This week went by pretty fast.  The days feel sooo long from studying all day, but the weeks go by fast.  Portugues is tough, but I know more than I think.  We have to teach fake investigators almost every single day in Portugues.  It gets tough, but I was able to teach hinm about faith and repentance without looking at a script.  It was very bad portugues but I got my point across! hahah

Yesterday, my teacher was sick.  He has been sick with a pretty bad cold for the last few days.  He asked my district for a blessing.  There are 8 elders in my district, so I didn't know who would do it.  But Elder Huxford said, "The district leader should do it!"  Hahah I had a feeling it would be me.  I was really nervous, but turns out I gave a really good blessing.  The spirit was there with me guiding me what to say.  Everyone in my district complemented me on how good it was.  I love the power of the Priesthood and I can't wait to use it more throughout my mission.

Today we went to the temple again.  I love going to the temple weekly.  When we got there, a temple worker asked for three elders to do initiatories, so me and two friends volunteered.  It was super cool cuz it was all in Portugues!  I couldn't understand it, but I could feel the Spirit there.  I love that feeling.  After, we got to go into the Celestial room.  I prayed to my Heavenly Father and felt his love so strong.  I know that he is there and he is proud of me.  I felt such peace and joy from being in his house and serving him.  Whenever you guys need anything at all, pray about it.  I know he is there for you.  I have also been craving to read the Book of Mormon so much out here, so I always turn to it.  It has answers to every question in life.  My BOM is so marked up now it is awesome.  There are so many verses that I turn to whenever I need help.  I also turn to my Patriarchal Blessing.  I love it because it is a blessing just for me.  It is so cool.

Mom about packages, it should be pretty safe to send.  Since I'll be in Florianopolis for Christmas, be sure to send it to the mission home, NOT THE MTC.  They won't forward it to me from the MTC cuz it costs too mkuch.  So just send it to my mission home.  Mom I got your letter this week.  I loved it!  If you guys have time, write me more!  Lauren and Cody, sorry I didn't have time to reply to your email, but I got it and I loved it!

I love you family and I'm doing great!  You are in my prayers every night!!!

Love, Elder Howard

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Letter from Landon!

FAMILY!!!  Holy cow I miss you guys like crazy!  I am so glad that you are all doing so well.  It brings me a lot of comfort to get so many emails from you guys.  I love it so keep it up!  Sorry I can't reply to all of them I only have 30 minutes on the email.  It sucks.

This week was ten times better than my first week!  I like it here a lot!  I have made a lot of new friends.  Mostly Brasilian Elders! haha they are the coolest ones here.  Our Brasilian roommates left today for there mission.  It was super sad.  I'm going to miss singing American songs with them. 

My Portuguese is coming slow, but its coming along.  It is pretty difficult, but I am studying hard.  I know that I can't learn this language without my Heavenly Father's help, so I'm putting all the work into it that I can.  I can understand a little bit, and talk a little bit.  I practice on the Brasilian Elders here cuz they like learning English as well.  One of my favorite one's here looks just like Chancho off of Nacho Libre.  haha so I call him chancho and he has no idea why.  They love saying random English words so I helped them pronounce "Michael Jordan" "Statue of Liberty" and "Stretchy Pants"! hahah it is so funny!!  I love talking to the Brasilians here.

Today we went to the temple again and did another session.  Mom and Lauren would be obsessed with the celestial room in the Sao Paulo temple.  It is beautiful!!  The session is cool too cuz some parts of it are in Portuguese.  I felt the spirit strong there today.  It was great!  I was so happy to hear that Lauren went and did baptisms.  I know you are all so busy, but maybe find a day within the next month where you can all go do baptisms as a family.  And invite Morgan! haha

I am so glad to hear that Morgan came and visited you guys! That makes me super happy.  I'm also glad that the boys are kickin butt in their soccer games.  Keep workin hard boys!  It will pay off!  And Hayden, Be more aggressive.  Me and Austin taught you better than that! haha. but serious.  Austin you would love Sao Paulo.  It is the perfect place to ParCore (I dono how to spell that).  My teacher loves to parcore.  The city is crazy!  I don't see how people live here.  I had a spiritual experience the other night and it was great!  I wrote in a letter to you guys that I sent out today with some pictures.  You should be getting them in about a week.  I got your letter this week mom.  It meant the world to me!  But I'm doing great out here, just studyin hard.  I can't wait to get to Florianopolis and actually be a missionary!  Lauren and Cody, that would be awesome if you guys did an intern in D.C.!  You guys totally should. Haha I love that you invited Morgan on the family vacations.  Wish I could go to D.C. with you guys if you end up going.  You should all come pick me up from Brazil (with Morgan) in two years and we'll tour the place.  You guys would love it.  Well I've got to go now.  My enter bar just broke so sorry this paragraph is so long.  I love you all and I'll write you again next Tuesday!  Love you guys!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Landon's Companion

Just as a quick note, Landon mentioned in his email that his companion is Elder Nougle. If you look at the photo of the missionaries, Elder Nougle is the one with the yellow tie on the back row.

Landon's Mailing Address

You can write Landon at:

Elder Landon Derek Howard
Box #24 District #36-A Brazil MTC
Brazil Florianopolis Mission
Rua Padre Antonio D'Angelo, 121
Casa Verde, Sao Paulo, SP
Brazil 02516-040

Please note: Letters take about one week to arrive in Brazil from the United States. After about eight weeks, I will post a new address to mail to.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our first email from Elder Howard!!

Our first email finally arrived today. It is so good to finally hear from him!

From: Landon Howard
Date: Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Subject: Re: Hello


I`m just sending out one mass email to you all because I don't have a lot of time! They only give you 30 minutes for email which is definitely not enough.  So I'll do my best to share all that I can.  Mom make sure you forward this to everyone and forward it to Morgan too.

I can't believe I'm in BRASIL!!!!  It is insane here and is super cool! The MTC feels like a prison sometimes!! haha cuz we only get to go out of it on p-days.  Today is our first p-day, so my p-days will always be on Tuesdays while i'm at the MTC or CTM in Portugues.  I have met a lot of cool kids here.  A couple of weird ones too.  The food here is so crappy!! haha but It is getting better.  I think the only reason it is getting better is because we are getting used to it.  It is always mystery meat here.  But I just eat it because I am always super hungry.  My companheiro (companion) is Elder Nougle.  Dad met him at the airport.  He is a super cool kid!  He is a little quiet, but he is super cool about everything and goes with the flow.  I like him a lot tho.

We have 6 elders total in our room.  2 are Brasilians!! they are hilarious! haha they keep me sane when it gets crazy here.  They like to sing American songs so the other night we sang some Miley Cyrus and Simple Plan together!  They are super funny!  I've been practicing my Portugues a lot with them.  Portugues is pretty tough, but I know through Heavenly Father and the Gift of Toungues I will be able to learn it!

It's been a rough adjustment!  I miss you all like crazy.  It is super weird just not talking to you guys everyday, but I know that you are doing great and that you are in the Lord's hands, as am I.  I was having a rough night the other night so I turned to my patriarchal blessing.  It is crazy how more of it relates to me right now in my life that I have always just read over.  It brought me so much comfort and I could feel Heavenly Father's love for me and I knew I was doing the right thing by coming on a mission.

Today we went to the Sao Paulo temple.  It is about an hour away.  The drive was crazy!! It is such a big city!! the drivers are crazy and there are tons of bikers swerving through everyone.  There are huge buildings and so many people walking around.  We did a session and it was in English.  It was a cool experience to do it in another country.  We just got back from walking around the streets of Sao Paulo by the MTC.  It is so cool out there!! Brazil is awesome!  You guys definitely need to come over here and pick me up when my two years is up.  And bring Morgan with you.  The boys would love it here.  It is all about soccer!

Well I don't have much time here which is pretty crappy.  But I love you all!  You will be getting a letter from me.  In it it talks about this thing called, you guys can just disregard that.  I went over to the place and it is super  comlicated and not as cool as I thought it would be.  So just disregard that and tell Morgan too as well.  I loved all the personal letters you guys wrote me.  It brought me a lot of strength and encouragement.  I also got a letter from Morgan today and that made me so happy.  All your emails and letters have been so helpful!  Sorry I don't have much time to reply.  I love you guys a lot!  Tell the boys I love them and to kick some butt in soccer this week!  Let me know how their games and stuff go and I will email you next Tuesday.  Alos, stoked that USU beat Utah!!  Wish I could have seen it.  Tell dad SCISSORS.

Love you!
Elder Landon Howard

P.s.  I forgot to mention, I was made the district leader on sunday over my district.  Ask Cody, He will tell you what that means.  Tell Morgan too!  Love you all!!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Landon is in Brazil!

We received word form the MTC in Sao Paulo this morning that Landon made it safely to Brazil. They even sent a photo.