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