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